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Necron : A Look At Evolution 2.2 Upgrade

Posted Feb 22, 2007 by

Neocron 2 upgrades to Neocron Evolution 2.2 with new additions and changes to PvP and PvE systems.

Neocron 2, the unique Cyberpunk/Science-Fiction real-time combat MMORPG, reaches its next evolution stage. Neocron Evolution 2.2 provides a complete revision of the Player vs. Environment (PvE) and Player vs. Player (PvP) combat system. In close cooperation with the Neocron 2 community, all aspects of these core systems have been reviewed and adjusted accordingly. Neocron Evolution 2.2 is a free update; all that is needed is an active Neocron 2 game account.

On the occasion of the soon coming release of Neocron Evolution 2.2, all inactive Neocron 2 game accounts will be reactivated for 30 days with no charge as of the day of release. Additionally, a new payment method via PayPal will be available for credit card users.

Read more here.

General : Casual Play: World vs. Game Part 2

Posted Feb 22, 2007 by Jon Wood

Steve Wilson continues his short series on the world vs. game debate by taking a look at his second game, Star Wars Galaxies.

Following in the footsteps of Ultima Online the second big 'world over game' MMO was Star Wars Galaxies. Like its spiritual predecessor it had a vast empty landscape with little hand crafted content and nothing more than hopes and dreams that its player base would generate enough content to keep each other entertained. While it didn't fail miserably it performed well below expectations in converting new players into the MMO fold. Which was shocking at the time considering the huge audience that the Star Wars license held. No game had broken a million US subscriptions and it was hoped this would be the one. In the end after 3 years of development, endless cycles of hype and fan hysteria it would only manage to barely increase the number of subscribers that UO had once commanded.

Most of the problems with Star Wars Galaxies from an outsider's perspective can be summed up on one sentence; It's the content stupid.

You can read the whole column here.

Age of Conan : Developer Focus: Jason Stone

Posted Feb 22, 2007 by Jon Wood

Funcom Developer Jason Stone stops by to answer Garrett Fuller's questions about live, work and the games industry in this Developer Focus interview.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?

Jason Stone:

I moved a great deal, I think when I counted at around the age of eighteen I had moved something like twenty-three times. The longest I ever went to school in one place was for three years of high-school. Because my family was constantly moving I think I spent a lot more time playing with my commodore 64 and messing about in the early days online. I remember Delphi internet, the web before the web browser, and downloading Apogee shareware like Commander Keen off library BBS while playing L.O.R.D (Legend of the Red Dragon) and trying not to get eaten.

Read the whole interview here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Player Events Updated

Posted Feb 22, 2007 by

Star Wars Galaxies updates player events page. Check out the dates for some of the events.

Check out the exciting in-game events hosted by SWG players for SWG players! Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we update the Current Player Events Page so that you can get all the specifics on the latest and greatest player-created events. Just take a look at what's going on and then jump into the fun!

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Celestial Tournament Results

Posted Feb 22, 2007 by

Guild Wars offers a look at the Celestial Tournament Results. As well as giving us a preview of pairing for the next round. Good luck to all the contestants.

Today you can read the results of the first round of play in the Celestial Tournament, plus get a look at the pairings for Round 2, which will take place this weekend. Remember that you can catch some of the action between the higher-ranking guilds on Observer Mode!

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Statesman's Task Force Preview

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

City of Heroes opens the doors on the Statesman's Task Force Preview. Check out some of the details below.

For those people unfamiliar with the City of Heroes universe, Task Forces (called Strike Forces for villains) are special sequences of missions, sort of like mega-issues of a comic book, which require dedicated teams of up to eight heroes (or villains) to confront challenging tasks and experience pivotal moments within the lore of our fictional universe. Of course these also yield great XP and great rewards.

The Lord Recluse Strike Force, which made it into Issue 7, was our way of getting Hamidon-level Enhancements into the hands of the Villains for City of Villains. We needed something that was difficult, and Hamidon-level difficult, but we didn't want to just regurgitate Hamidon, we wanted something cool. We wanted something where you fought the signature Heroes of the City of Heroes franchise.

We accomplished that goal, but in the end some of the Archetypes felt left out, since they didn't have the build to contribute to the huge Archvillain fights that the Lord Recluse Strike Force was built around (we took our learnings forward from this).

Fighting the signature characters was cool, but it was also something that was exclusively in the hands of the Villains. We really wanted something where the Heroes could have a chance at taking down the signature characters from the Rogue Isles. We wanted Heroes to see some of the cool things we did for the Villains since not every player is into playing "the dark side."

About the Mission

The mission starts out with Statesman telling you that Arachnos is up to something, something big. They are building something in Grandville of unknown power and use, but it is obvious that it's more than a simple broadcast antenna that Lord Recluse claims it to be. Your orders are simple. Get to the factory near Grandville and shut it down.

Here we had a chance to have some ?mayhem mission? type action, with your team of Heroes causing havoc in the WebFac, destroying vital pieces to the array in Grandville. This was something that players asked for when we introduced Safeguard missions. They wanted to go to the Rogue Isle and bust stuff up. Now they get to bust stuff up, but with a purpose.

I don't want to spoil too many of the surprises, suffice it to say that players will be encountering, and engaging, many of the more powerful NPCs that Arachnos has to offer. Dr. Aeon plays a key role (several, actually), as does the Arachnos Flier. We also chose some prime locations for the mission maps, a lot of stuff that your average City of Heroes player wouldn't normally get to see.

Oh, and the final battle isn't simply smash your most powerful attacks until Lord Recluse goes down. We wanted there to be a reason to have Archetypes other than Blasters and Defenders on your team. Controllers will find themselves greatly desired in the final battle if the team wants to have any chance of winning. Our goal was to make sure that all the Archetypes had something to do that could mean the difference between success and defeat.

Being a Hero is the driving force behind Statesman's Task Force. Every mission leads up to the ultimate confrontation where, upon success, players will be able to stand in Atlas Park and proudly display to all onlookers that they have Saved the World. Isn't that what being a hero is all about?

Read more here.

Lineage 2 : Preview Of Interlude Update

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

Lineage II gives us a first look at the next free update Interlude. Check out some of the details in this upcoming expansion.

Lineage® II offers the world's elite MMORPG players unrivalled player versus player combat (PvP) set against a lush backdrop of exotic creatures, rival clans, castle sieges and an ever-growing fantasy world.

Interlude is the next huge, free update for Lineage II offering the chance to take part in a game that has captured the imagination and reached over 14 million gamers worldwide. Forming a bridge between the Chaotic Chronicles and the future Chaotic Throne (scheduled for later in 2007) Interlude hints at what is to come in the challenging times ahead.

Highlight Features:

• New Zone - Primeval Isle

Pterodactyls dominate the skies and vicious dinosaurs prowl the earth in a hunting ground for top-level players.

• More weapon augmentations for incredible bonuses

With the help of a Blacksmith, players can receive even more spectacular bonuses to abilities, battle values and skills

• Shadow Weapons

Weapons can be expensive - limiting their acquisition to advanced players with enough money. Shadow Weapons look and behave like 'the real thing' but are cheap enough for new players to afford them. However, as shadows of real weapons, they will eventually wear out and disappear

• New Dueling system

PvP almost anywhere with no penalties. No need to go to an arena and for the first time - see your opponent's hit points!

• Multiple New Skills

Over 60 new high level skills are added to the game, bringing new dynamics to PvP and PvE combat.

• Multiple New Quests

Enter the mighty Siren's lair or capture a Tyrannosaurus for clan rewards - just two of the many new quests that will test the mettle of the most hardened players.

Read more here.

General : A. Castoro Forms Heatwave Interactive

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

A new game company named Heatwave Interactive forms under Anthony Castoro and Donn Clendenon.

Veteran online Designer/Producer Anthony Castoro and accomplished entrepreneur Donn Clendenon announced today the formation of Heatwave Interactive, Inc.

The newly formed company combines its passion for original games with the rigorous discipline needed to get products to market profitably. With a library of original IP in pre-production, the company is preparing to discuss its future with investors at the upcoming Game Developers Conference.

Heatwave promises a new take on gaming. "This is not 'just another MMO' company," states Mr. Castoro. "The current crop of 'massively multiplayer' games only provides a glimpse into the power of connected gaming. Heatwave Interactive's mission is to create original games that unite the power of online gaming with the excitement of traditional single-player video games." Mr. Castoro is well known in the industry for his work as a game designer and Producer at Electronic Arts and most recently as Director of MMO Games at Codemasters.

With a solid financial background, Mr. Clendenon brings his experience and initiative in founding and managing gaming and technology companies. Founder of World Gaming Corporation, which was sold in December of 1999 to Women.com, Mr. Clendenon is glad to be back in the gaming environment. "This is the most exciting time to be in the gaming business in the past ten years. With much of the industry rehashing the same formula hoping to realize the success experienced by a select few, a vast opportunity exists for Heatwave which is dedicated to creating innovative character-based experiences."

Read more here.

RF Online : One Year Anniversary

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

Codemasters has announced that their game, RF Online has reached its one year anniversary. Congratulations to the developers and fans of this game.

Codemasters Online Gaming are today pleased to announce that Rising Force Online, an MMOG with an epic mix of traditional fantasy and futuristic sci-fi action has been in operation for 12 months.

Launched throughout North America and Europe on 21st and 24th February, 2006 respectively, RF Online has gone from strength to strength witnessing major updates and expansions along the way such as the awesome 'Giga Final Part 1', with its breathtaking battle dungeons and other associated high level content, as well as the much anticipated 'Giga Final Part 2' which introduced the impressive Guild vs Guild battles and the Elan Plateau, an awesome new area for all players to explore.

There is a host of new content on the horizon for RF Online and its players, with Episode 2 Part 1 on its way and scheduled content lined up all the way through to 2008.

You can read more about RF Online here.

Vanguard : News Update

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

The following information was posted on the official Vanguard website on Tuesday the 20th of February and is a "Vanguard News Update".

Memory Leaks

The next patch should fix two major memory leak issues that have been causing many players to crash to desktop somewhat frequently. After the fixes are patched, please let us know on the tech support forums or affiliate fan sites if these issues show up again.

Tooltip Fixes

There were several very annoying issues with tooltips (such as them not displaying an item's correct stats) that have been fixed for the next patch. Deciding whether to roll on loot or not should be much easier now!

Gold Farmer Reporting

The community has been absolutely fantastic at helping us catch gold farmers by reporting them and pointing them out to us. Many bannings have happened already and many more are soon to follow. So please, keep up the good work and thank you!

Visit Vanguard here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Beta Journal

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar have released a new Beta Journal.

Humans are good at anything, Hobbits are quick and sturdy, and elves are practically demi-gods with spell or bow, but dwarves are truly the masters of battle. Dwarves have a high tolerance for pain and poison, as well as high strength, but are less agile than the other races of Middle-earth. Dwarves can be Minstrels, Guardians, Hunters, or Champions. Unlike the other races, dwarves are simply "dwarves", and have no male/female character option - Dwarf gender is difficult to discern by non-dwarves, and they guard their women more carefully even than their Mithril! Playing to the might of the Dwarf, I chose to play a Champion, the most powerful class in melee combat against multiple opponents and the one in which I believe his dwarven talents can be used to their greatest effect.

Regardless of where they hail from, dwarves begin their adventures in the mountains of Ered Luin at Thorin's Gates, after an introductory adventure which includes meeting a couple very familiar characters, and an adventure with a Cave Troll. This area also has many elves, who escaped from Edhelion during the siege and subsequent downfall of the city. A variety of gathering, fighting, and exploring quests take my Dwarf up onto snow-covered mountains and down into deep, dank caverns under ancient ruins. Combat ranges from trading blows with simple beasts of the wilderness to fending off multiple goblin warriors. Once my Dwarf has proven himself a worthy member of his race, he is trusted with a difficult rescue mission. After this, he is allowed entrance into Thorin's Halls and given free reign to delve into the lands around Thorin's Gate.

Read it all here.

General : Community Spotlight: Treatment of IPs

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week, Community Manager Laura Genender returns to highlight a conversation on the boards that focuses on major IPs and the ways that they are turned into MMORPGs.

Star Wars Galaxies, Matrix Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Warhammer Online, even World of Warcraft - like any other media, our MMO industry has become host to a slew of games based on another IP (Intellectual Property). This week on the forums, poster Tristaan brought up the industry's use of IPs.

More specifically, Tristaan brought up the industry's misuse of IPs. "Developers have succeeded in destroying Star Wars, the Matrix, and LOTR," Tristaan says. "These should be on top...they are not and they won't be."

Read the whole column here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Dev Journal: The Dumbest Quest

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

Jon Selin from Dreamlords returns with another Developer Journal. This time, he tells us all about The Dumbest Quest in the World.

The Dumbest Quest in the World exists. And more disturbingly, for a brief moment it existed in our game. The other day I was watching one of our designers exerting all his piss and vinegar as he was working on a new quest for Dreamlords. Then he shook is head, turned to me with a sad look on his face, and asked: "What do you think when we create utter crap for your game?"

I didn't know what to say at the time, and to be honest I don't even remember what my answer was. Given the question, it is more likely than not that my retort was a pun of questionable character.

A few days later, I was glaring at the true meaning behind his question. The Dumbest Quest in the World. Behind closed doors we call it "The Gay Quest", and no, it's not about gay bashing, the quest is actually about interracial homosexual relations, but it doesn't stop there... Oh well, I better explain it from the top.

You can read the whole article here.

The Matrix Online : The Other Side Of The Looking Glass

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

The Matrix Online gives us their latest updates in newest edition of The Other Side of the Looking Glass.

Late and Early Other Side

Things got a bit tangled at the end of last week and this one is looking even more complicated. I was out last Friday and now, for reasons beyond my control, it looks like I'll be out the rest of this week, as well. So, I apologize for the lateness of last week's Other Side and will try to make this juicy enough to tide everyone over until next week.

Obviously that means talking about Update 50.

Does it Hurt When we do This?

We've been talking a lot lately about the hottest issues we want to take care of in the game. This has led to discussions about Discipline balance, weapon and clothing itemization, and future features. One result is that we're working on fixes for the much complained-about Knife Thrower tree for Update 50.

I know many of you were surprised when we actually improved the tree in Update 49. That was an unfortunate oversight on our part, as we were simply fixing some bugs with the abilities. We should have included updates for other abilities in that tree in order to rebalance things.

There are several adjustments that will affect how the tree plays. First, we adjusted animation sets that were too short, allowing "spamming" of various knife throws. Paralyzing and Blinding throws actually got assigned different Interlock animations from the other throws, which both adds variety and prevents rapid reuse. While Dracomet was in there, he also made adjustments to transition animations to reduce the "popping" from one animation to another.

We also looked at how the Spy tree's timers were set up in comparison to the Soldier tree's and concluded that not enough Spy attacks were on the same family timers. So, anything below the Spy discipline that currently uses a Ranged timer will now use a Thrown timer, keeping players from stacking multiple throws.

We reduced the Neuro Dart downgrade timers down to 15 seconds; putting it more in line with other abilities. We're also working on fixing the bug that allows Deadly Throw to be spammed, although that one is being more tricky than anticipated.

The QA team has been testing this suite of changes that addresses major concerns with our Master Knife Thrower tree. We'll only truly see the results when y'all get your hands on them in widespread PvP. Our hope was, if anything, to clamp down hard enough to remove the concerns--we'd rather hit it too hard and relax a bit than to revisit the tree down the road because we didn't do enough.

Read more here.

Final Fantasy XI : Adjustments To Besieged Update

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

Final Fantasy XI Online offers a look at further adjustments for Besieged version update.

In the upcoming version update, we plan to make further adjustments to Besieged, including a level increase to the beastman armies, the addition of new temporary items, and new combat abilities for the Serpent Generals.

Beastman Army Level Increase

In addition to the maximum value for enemy forces being increased to 170, level 7 units comprised of new monster types will be introduced for each beastman army.Be sure to participate in Besieged to discover what deadly new opponents threaten the Imperial capital!

New Temporary Items

To coincide with the threat of powerful new enemies, the variety of temporary items distributed at the beginning of every Besieged will also be expanded. These new items will have an offensive focus, and their availability will depend on which NPCs have been taken captive and the overall condition of the Imperial defense.

Serpent General Abilities

The Serpent Generals will each receive unique new combat abilities to use during Besieged. Join the fight against the beastmen alongside these inspiring leaders!

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Design A Weapon Contest Announced

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by

Guild Wars announces new contest for players to design a weapon in game. Here is your chance to leave a permanent mark on Guild Wars.

Prepare your pencils! Organize your oils! Launch your laptop! Corral your crayons? Well, whatever medium you choose, the new Design-A-Weapon contest is your chance to make a permanent addition to the game, and to win nice prizes, too! Design a new weapon, shield, or focus item, and mail it to one of the six offices outlined in the rules. The Guild Wars Team will select up to 20 winners and the new items will be added to the game over the course of the next few months. Find out all about the Guild Wars Design-A-Weapon Contest here.

Read more here.

Entropia : Server Park Upgrade

Posted Feb 20, 2007 by

Entropia Universe plans for server park upgrade.

Due to increased demand from new participants in the Entropia Universe, MindArk PE AB will be upgrading the Entropia Universe server park to the next generation of servers on:

Wednesday, 21st Feb. 2007, 08:00 UTC

Temporary disruptions and login difficulties may be experienced during this upgrade, and we thank all participants for their patience while this performance enhancing upgrade is implemented.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : YouTube Hosts WoW Video Contest

Posted Feb 20, 2007 by

YouTube hosts World of Warcraft video contest. Get your best Leeroy Jenkins voice going for this one.

YouTube is holding a video contest that asks you to record your funniest World of Warcraft moments. Have a pickup group go all wrong? Pulled a prank on your guildmates that had them all rolling with laughter? Capture it on video, and you could have the chance to win a gaming PC powered by the new Intel CoreTM 2 Extreme quad-core processor.

Read more here.

Anarchy Online : Craig Morrison Named Game Director

Posted Feb 20, 2007 by

Funcom names Craig Morrison as the new Game Director of Anarchy Online. Craig comes with plenty of experience, we here at MMORPG.com certainly wish him luck.

Funcom announces that 'Anarchy Online', the award-winning massively multiplayer online game set in a sprawling science fiction universe, is now under new leadership. Long-time 'Anarchy Online' devotee and Funcom Community Manager Craig Morrison has been appointed as the game's new Game Director, picking up the torch passed on by previous Game Director Morten Byom who will occupy a new position at Funcom.

Morrison has been following 'Anarchy Online' for years. Besides playing the game since before launch in 2001, Morrison has written hundreds of guides and operated one of the game's largest fan sites. For the past few years he has been employed at Funcom as a Community Manager, working closely with the players of 'Anarchy Online' and the potential players of 'Age of Conan', and he also been extensively involved in the planning and development of 'Anarchy Online' as part of the game's management team.

"It is a true joy for me to be working on 'Anarchy Online', and I am very eager to begin the job building on the remarkable success that the game has had for the last five years," said Craig Morrison. "The game is still a top priority for Funcom, and we aim to provide both new and existing players with an abundance of new and exciting content in the years to come."

While Morrison picks up the reins on 'Anarchy Online', previous Game Director Morten Byom takes on the role as Assistant Game Director for 'Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures'. Byom, who is tremendously experienced with developing online games, will be leading the team that is already well into the development of the Xbox 360 version of the game. Funcom is putting a considerable amount of focus on the console title, and is aiming to provide a completely new massively multiplayer experience for console players. The PC version is scheduled for release in October 2007, while the Xbox 360 release will happen later though no specific date is set.

'Anarchy Online' have won numerous awards since its launch in 2001, and over a million people have logged in and taken part in the science fiction-based online universe. The game holds four expansion packs to its name; 'Notum Wars', 'Shadowlands', 'Alien Invasion' and 'Lost Eden'. Players can download the game and play the entire classic version for free, and a paid subscription is only required if the player chooses to download and play the expansion packs.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Jeff Anderson Part Two: Monster Play

Posted Feb 20, 2007 by Jon Wood

Managing Editor Jon Wood recently had the chance to sit down with Jeff Anderson, the President and CEO of Turbine Inc. In this, the second part of a two part interview, Jon and Jeff discuss the Monster Play feature in the upcoming game, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Last week, we brought you the first half of Jon Wood's interview with Jeff Anderson, the CEO and President of Turbine Inc. about the process of turning the well-loved classic Lord of the Rings novel trilogy into an MMORPG. Today, we bring you part two of Jon's interview. In part two, Jeff talks about the game's unique Monster Play system.

One of the major complaints that we heard about Lord of the Rings Online when details first started to be released was that there would be no evil races available for play and because of this, the game would not have PvP. You see, many fans of Tolkien's books are as much a fan of the utterly evil races as they are the bright and shiny hero races. Lord of the Rings was, for me growing up, the ultimate story of good vs. evil.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of PvP, but it really felt to me as though there was a missed opportunity here. When I asked Jeff Anderson, the President and CEO of Turbine, about this, I was relieved to find that while it was true that Turbine would not be including Orcs in their list of playable races, there was still a system in place that would allow players to get into the evil mindset and actually get our hands on some of Sauron's minions. Monster Play, I was told, would solve this problem.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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