Xiah announces Valentine's Day Events.
Xiah announced today that it will have 3 special events to celebrate Valentine's Day. The period for all events will be from February 6th (00:00) to February 19th (21:00).
Two of the events will involve the "Gift Box" item and offering more opportunities for players to acquire them. Also, as part of this event Xiah will introduce a limited time item called "Chocolate". This item restores 2 important character elements, Life and Mana. The other event will give players a chance to earn 150% of experience points.
"We wanted to give our players something special for Valentine's Day", said Jiwoo Park, Xiah PM.
Please visit Xiah Valentine's Day Events for more details about this event.
Read more here.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes recently posted a news update covering various concerns with the game just after launch.
Naming Policy Enforcement
In the near future Sigil will be evaluating all player names to make sure they are in accordance with the naming policy. Names that are not will need to be changed - we will post more information on this soon but in the mean time, please take a moment to go over the naming policy if you have not already.
Active Vanguard Subscription Now Required
As of 12:00pm PST on 2/2/2007 all players are required to have a valid retail game key to continue playing Vanguard. So if you have not yet picked up your copy, make sure to swing by your nearest store this weekend!
In the Works
Some of the top issues are aware of and working on currently:
European players are currently unable to properly claim their Collector's Edition benefits. We are aware of this and are working on it.
Players who abandon diplomacy quests, lose quests due to server crashes, or fail to accept a quest the first time it is offered may never be able to do the quest again. This is being worked on.
Sometimes, when going through certain areas, group members will "disappear". Their character is still there, but other players are unable to see them. This is being worked on.
There are still some bugs here and there with the social server, we are aware of these and working to fix them.
Improving client side performance is still a priority, and our efforts in this area will be ongoing.
Read more here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea serves up a new Dev Log from Jess Lebow entitles 1000 Missions.
What does the number 1000 mean to you?
To me, it's the Mount Everest of numbers. It's the top of the heap, the pie in the sky, the finish line, the goal we have been shooting at for what seems an eternity now but in reality is more like a year.
It haunts me, the number 1000. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes thinking about 1000. Why? Because that's how many missions we plan to ship with. The number of missions that EVEN IF IT KILLS ME WE ARE GOING TO SHIP WITH.
Did everyone hear that?
And I'm not counting missions that simply send you to the bartender to talk about what's going on in town. I'm not talking about "Why don't you try out this ship" missions. I'm only counting missions with meat on their bones--ones that require a little strategy, a little pizzazz, maybe even a little blood, sweat and tears to complete.
It's not going to be easy. I know that. ConCo knows that.
But the truth is it takes us a lot longer to make a mission than it does to play one. Why? Well, there are a lot of moving parts. But that's another dev log entirely--one for another time.
So, why 1000?
Simple. Because I don't want you to run out of stuff to do while we're putting together the first content patch and expansion.
Okay, so I know there will be some hardcore players who will blow through everything we do in an ungodly short amount of time. But for the average player, I figure the content we're putting out will be good for 300 to 600 hours of play (without playing the economy or PVP).
That seems like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? 300 to 600 hours of play in the initial box?
Okay, so there is a second reason I want 1000 missions.
Because I don't want any two people to have exactly the same experience. I want your choices to change the way you experience the world we've created.
Sure, two people could play the exact same missions, in the exact same order, but I figure the chances of that are a lot lower if there are simply too many missions to choose from. And I suppose someone could play ALL the missions. But if someone did play them all, then I guess having more to play is a good thing, right?
Maybe I'm obsessing over nothing. Maybe the number of missions means nothing. But I don't think so. We in ConCo just want to give you a good game with lots of stuff to do. I'm a firm believer in the idea of biting off more than you think you can chew. I mean, at the end of the day, we're never going to make a great game if we don't push ourselves a little.
Okay, so maybe that's the real reason behind 1000 missions. The reason why I lose sleep at night. Because deep down maybe I don't really think we can make it. Maybe that target it just a little too pie in the sky.
Talking about this, I'm reminded of a story of when I was a kid and I had just gotten my first bicycle. The other kids on my block and I would build jumps out of leftover plywood, rocks, turned-over buckets...whatever we could lay our hands on that would help us catch more air.
Slowly the jumps grew larger and larger, and so did my anxiety. Each time the ramp raised, I wondered silently to myself if I could make it over the jump and if I would survive the landing.
I guess my point is that anything worth doing is worth being a little scared about. If the risk isn't there, then neither is the reward. So, we're taking a risk. We're going to ride up to the edge of that jump just as fast as we can, hoping that we don't catch our shoelace in the spokes and fly over the handlebars to land on our collective chins.
It's a risk we take because we think we can rise to the challenge. The threat of crashing head-first into the ground is what keeps us sharp--keeps us working late into the night and pushing the tools we have built for ourselves to do more than we ever thought we could get from them.
It's a risk we take because when we hit that jump at just the right spot, at just the right speed, we'll go sailing off to catch some rad air--and that moment will be so very sweet. So very sweet indeed.
Read more here.
Dan Fortier returns this week to talk about the way that your gaming life can affect your real life and vice versa.
It's Monday morning an you stroll into work, late as usual, greet your fellow co-workers and head to your desk. Out of nowhere some guy from a different department you've never seen before runs up and starts punching you and is quickly joined by two of his buddies. You've been working at your job a lot longer so none of the punches land and you easily kill two of them before the other runs off cursing about how you cheated. You squat over your assailants and do the running man dance and throw in a bit of 'the Robot' for good measure to insure that they are suitably humiliated. Before heading off you loot them for whatever office supplies they had on them to sell to some of the new guys.
Read the rest of Dan's Column here.
Staff Writer Donna Desborough asks questions of Stephen Nichols about the upcoming NCSoft title, Dungeon Runners. Nichols is the Producer and Lead Programmer for the game.
You can read the whole article here.
How is the Premium Service going to work? And how much will it cost?
The basic game is free to download and play, and for $4.99/month you get access to members-only features. At present, those features are: access to weapons, armor and magical items above "blue" quality, more powerful stacking potions (take up less inventory space), login queue priority and access to an in-game bank to store loot.
Right now, you can pay for membership with a credit card and very soon, you'll be able to use an NCsoft game time card. We're also looking into other ways to pay.
Funcom has released a new video for Age of Conan. The amazing terrain in this upcoming MMO is really shown off in this movie!
|Field of the Dead Fly Through
Fly through of the Field of the Dead. The landscape in this area is mind blowing!
You can view all of the videos here
MMORPG.com has teamed up with OGPlanet to bring you an exlcusive new contest for the month of February! From now until March 1, 2007 you can enter to win a nVidia 8800GTX graphics adapter! We also have 15 runner up prizes consisting of five $25 Albatross18 "cookies" and ten $10 "cookies" (in game currency).
To enter the contest click here!
Multiplayer. Online. Golf. Like you've never seen it. Set in the beautiful backdrop of a fantasy world where reality stops and magic abounds, Albatross18: Realms of Pangya presents a unique experience to the game of golf - mixing elements of classic golf play with the popularity of fantasy role-playing games. Featuring upgradeable avatars with special items and magic potions, real-time multiplayer tournaments, and a sophisticated physics engine that accurately governs the realistic golf play, Albatross18 provides one of the most unique and exciting online gaming experiences. Oh, and it's free!
For more information about Albatross18, visit the official website here!
MMORPG.com is proud to present another new and exciting contest for our members. From now until Feb 28 we will be taking entries into our Voyage Century contest...where you have a chance to win a nVidia EN7600GS video card or one of (10) 500 pt game cards for Voyage Century!
As with all of our contests, the more days that you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning are (see official rules for details).
When you are ready to enter, CLICK HERE!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports on the recent shutdown of a Lineage II private server.
It must have seemed like the perfect scheme--buy the stolen source code of a popular online game, rent some servers to run the game as your own, and then hang a shingle on the web inviting gamers to come play at a steep discount.
A California man who followed that path must have thought he'd never get caught. He was even warned once by the game's rightful owner, a large South Korean company, to shut down. He didn't.
"They don't think that a company is going to come after them at any point," says Christopher Thompson, a special agent on a cyber squad in the FBI's office in Austin, Texas. "He said he was going to stop doing it and he didn't."
So the company, which has offices in Austin, called the FBI. The suspect was apparently lining his own pockets from "donations" and ads on his site while his pirated version of the game, "Lineage II," was siphoning $750,000 a month in potential revenues from the company.
According to Agent Thompson, here's how the scheme evolved:
In 2003, a computer user in China obtained the "Lineage" source code from an unprotected website. The proprietary code was then placed on the underground market, where a Texas man, among others, bought it in 2004. He then passed it along to his business partner in California, who set up a website, www.l2extreme.com, to offer the "Lineage" game at a discount. Gamers arrived in droves--as many as 50,000 active users by 2006--which pinched the legitimate game's bottom line.
"It's comparable to the music-downloading and file-sharing problem in the late '90s--thousands of people engaging in activity that is inherently illegal," Agent Thompson said.
The California man soon assumed full control of the site and ramped up operations. In late 2005, just months after promising to shut down the site, he rented more powerful servers--enough to accommodate 4,000 simultaneous gamers. He solicited donations from users to help defray the costs and collected more than $25,000 in less than two days.
"Even if game sites collect no money, they still operate in violation of copyright laws," Agent Thompson said. "But he just got greedy because the money was there." Indeed, online gaming is estimated to be a $1 billion industry and growing. And massive, multi-player online games (MMOGs in the gamers' parlance) are one of the leading categories.
Last November, Agent Thompson led a raid on the California man's home, shut down the game, seized the l2extreme domain, and posted the FBI anti-piracy warning on the site. Meanwhile, the company posted a press release on its website announcing the raid. "We've taken this action because we strongly believe in defending the intellectual property rights that we've worked so hard to create," the company said in the release.
The result: several other servers running pirated games "ran for the hills," Agent Thompson said. There are others, to be sure, but the case serves as a reminder that stealing intellectual property is a criminal offense. As our warning clearly states, " Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000."
Read more here.
Read more about Lineage II here.
Age of Conan gives us an in depth look at the Druid of the Storm class.
This week we take a deeper look into another of the classes available in Age of Conan - The Druid of the Storm.
Primal and resourceful, these priests of the shamanistic arts are masters of the world around them, at one with nature.
Their understanding of the world around them also means that they have an almost endless knowledge of natural healing remedies that can keep their allies standing in battle. Not just a healer they can utilise ancient arts, runes and charms passed down by their forefathers to protect and keep allies safe from harm.
While obviously adept at protecting their allies makes them respected travelling companions, these Druids are actually more feared for what they can call forth from nature.
Masterfully in touch with the elements themselves, the Druid of the Storm can control and call upon the power of weather to hinder and attack their foes, calling down lightning and creating storms.
They can use the power of wind to throw their enemies back, and harness the raw energy of lightning to burn their foes, or call forth the bitter winds of winter to bite their opponents with the extreme cold that only nature can summon forth.
As an example their defining ability at level 80 is called 'Eye of the Storm' and calls forth a great hurricane down upon the Druid themselves that acts as natural shield, a wall of wind that not only keeps attackers at bay but charges the air around the caster with such electrical energy that it can augment the Druids lightning spells.
'Eye of the Strom' thus grants the Druid vastly improved defence against ranged attacks but has the down side that it is almost impossible to move. It increases electrical magic damage and the radius of effect for their lightning based spells. Enemies attacking the caster have a chance of being knocked back while the druids themselves become immune to most knockback effects.
Far from being 'just a healer' these Shaman are powerful and dangerous foes to cross on the battlefield.
Read more here.
World of Warcraft makes The Burning Crusade available for direct download.
You can now buy account upgrade keys and download the game client for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade directly through the account management section of www.worldofwarcraft.com. With this new direct online upgrade method, you don't even need to leave your desk if you decide to upgrade to The Burning Crusade and join more than two million players who are already adventuring beyond the Dark Portal.
All you need to do is:
1. Login to Account Management
2. Click the Burning Crusade "Download Now" button
3. Enter your credit card information
4. Follow the link to download the Burning Crusade game client
That's it! If you haven't upgraded your account yet, now's your chance to take your World of Warcraft experience to the next level - whenever you want, and absolutely hassle-free.
Read more here.
This week, in a special Friday edition of Casual Play, Steve Wilson tells us about the Casual Gamer's perception of MMORPGs as work.
Count me among the millions of casual gamers that play MMOs to relax, this notion that the game must be work seems completely absurd.
This notion of work is the often-repeated mantra that implies that casual players want only the easiest content that requires the least amount of pain and effort to enjoy. To which many of us say, "Well, duh." We're here after all to enjoy ourselves, to temporarily escape from those real grinds known as jobs, expenses, and the crushing weight of a thousand dreary mundane tasks. We want to feel heroic and be able to do it in thirty minutes to an hour. We don't need a game like Star Wars Galaxies to give us yet another rent bill to pay. Or mandatory guild raids that turn our favorite game into a literal second job. We're here only for the fun.
Read the whole column here.
Carolyn Koh had the chance to talk to Dreamlords Lead Designer Jon Selin about the upcoming MMORPG.
Hello Jon, it's been a while since we talked to you last in October of 2006, and prior to that, it was E3. Tell us what you've accomplished in the "in-between" time and if there have been any more "massive" changes.Jon Selin:
As always it has been extremely hectic over here, but that's the way we like it. The last months we have focused mostly on tweaks and bug fixes but we have managed to sneak in a few major things as well. For example we have implemented a more interesting PvP system. Rather than just choosing to fight someone there are now several battle-maps with territories that the players can claim and wage war over. The designers have been hard at work with the content, recently we have been focusing on the storyline and expanding the role and choices surround the player's avatar, the Dreamlord. At this phase of development a lot of our focus is mostly on balancing and tweaking rather than dreaming up new features. Oh yeah, we also updated our engine so the artists are hard at work squeezing out what they can from it. I don't know exactly what it means but from all their talk about changing the materials and new lightning it's got to be good.
You can read the whole interview here.
Knight Online penalized accounts for exploits.
In efforts to provide a better gaming experience to all players, your Knight Online team has penalized 3469 accounts identified in our databases to have been exploiting the recent quest bug. Players that have abused this bug received an experience point double penalty. This penalty is based on their total experience earned and how many times the bug was abused. An example of this is if a level 70 player used this bug to level to 75, that would result in the player being de-leveled to 65.
Remember that any exploitation of discovered bugs can be punishable up to account termination.
As always, we thank the vast majority of players in the Knight Online World who are playing the game fairly and we look forward to seeing you in-game!
Read more about Knight Online World here.
Star Wars Galaxies gives us a look at the Holo-Bands feature coming in Chapter 5.
We have another sneak preview of some of the great things coming your way in Chapter 5: Holo-bands!
Holo-bands give entertainers a new way to have fun in the game by spawning their own band members. With this entertainer expertise ability, dancers can choreograph new dance routines using their holographic dance group and musicians can create a well rounded band comprised of a variety of different instruments allowing for a more robust sound - but all under one player's control.
Bottom line: Spontaneous fun that allows Entertainer's to do what they love most - entertain others in-game!
Read more here.
Guild Wars releases Issue No. 32 of The Scribe update.
Our wandering writer happened upon two connected events that involved a special opportunity to share the joy of Wintersday, and he writes about them in this week's news scroll. He also details an upcoming test event for Heroes' Ascent and proffers far more than his customary list of notable citizens of Tyria, Cantha, and Elona.
Read more here.
World of Warcraft announces new PvP Honor System Rewards.
We have just published three pages listing the new PvP Honor System rewards you can now purchase in your faction's barracks. Alliance characters need to seek out the Champions' Hall in Stormwind's Old Town district, while members of the Horde should head to the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar.
Read more here.
Laura Genender returns with another Community Spotlight. This one looks at the crossfire between Players vs. Devs.
MMO players are always complaining that devs aren't giving us what we want. "You're releasing too early!"; "You said the game would be out a month ago!"; "Too difficult!"; "Too easy!"; "It's overwhelming!"; "There isn't enough to do!"
Of course, the focus lately has been on the recently released Vanguard, though this has always been a debate for players and developers of MMORPGs. For players, the perfect video game would be one where we could invest as much time as we would like and keep current with content, yet still be competitive. It would have no subscription fee, the best graphics, frequent updates, free expansions, character customization, no lag, lots of space but it wouldn't feel empty (i.e. population would be spread out). You could progress via large-scale wars, raid content, group content, solo content, crafting, and all this with a perfectly crafted weather and season system, and NPC AI.
Read the entire article here.