Turbine and Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, have announced that they will be implementing an integrated voice chat. This feature could dramatically change the way in which this game is played. With DDO billing itself as a small-group game, communication is going to be key. In recognition of this, Turbine has provided this new communication option.
We've all been there. You're in an epic battle, spells flying left and right, swords clashing, and monsters roaring. In the chaos of battle you suddenly realize your hit points are low and start to type, "I need a heal!" Just as you are about to hit enter... you die. Argh! If only we could all type at 100 words-per-minute! Well, now you don't have to.
Dungeons & Dragons™ Online: Stormreach™ will be the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game to offer integrated voice chat. Unlike previous MMOGs, voice chat in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach will not require players to use their own system resources and bandwidth to host a chat server or run third party chat programs while they play the game. Everything is fully integrated and customizable right in the game client! Voice chat only works between players in the same party so you don't have to worry about hearing too many conversations at once.
With voice chat, a rogue can quickly alert his party when he sees a trap before that foolhardy Dwarf charges into it and Clerics can concentrate on the battle without fear of missing heal requests in the chat window. Integrating an easy to use voice chat system allows players to react swiftly and discuss strategies when dealing with Eberron's many trials just like they do when sitting at the gaming table playing the pen-and-paper game.
For more information on Dungeons and Dragons Online, click here.
Blizzard's World of Warcraft has announced that they are unveiling a new feature. Parental controls. Parents will now be able to manage their accounts in such a way as to schedule play times for their families.
We are proud to unveil our new parental control system for World of Warcraft, which allows account owners to create play schedules for their accounts. With the parental control system, you can determine when your World of Warcraft account is accessible. This system can be used, for example, to ensure that your children only play during predetermined hours, such as after homework is done or on weekends. For more information on how to access and use these controls, go here.
For more information on World of Warcraft, click here.
RF Online has released a new piece of lore. This story tells the tale of two great Earth civilizations, Mu and Atlantis. Titled, "Ancient Civilizations at War", this story, the second chapter in an ongoing tale, is worth the read.
Dohyun, President of the Arcane Club and a once highly respected anthropologist, was leading the research into the origins of human civilisation from the confines of his research facility in the Lablum Sector. As the key founder to the Arcane Club, his academic peers treated his work and findings with huge scepticism. His reputation was damaged and in tatters within the academic community.
The main discussions within the Arcane Club centred on the two great civilisations of Earth’s time, Mu and Atlantis. The focus of investigation and research were based on the histories of Stonehenge in England and on the mysterious Moai stone formations on Easter Island.
For centuries mankind investigated the origins of it’s species, the civilisations it created, and the mystical powers that ancient scriptures spoke of. Though many legends exist, their validity has never truly be proven, yet cultures through time have believed in them. The Easter Island Moai Stones, believed to contain spiritual powers and linked with the supernatural, helped to establish the ancient Mu civilisation. Could there be an element of truth in these beliefs?
Doctor Dohyun’s research on the subject had to be put on hold as news about the Earth’s destruction filtered through to the outlying colonies. This shocking news triggered Dohyun to investigate the Arcane Virus with great interest. Fortunately for Dohyun, the research materials regarding the virus reached him before the terrible events that took place on the investigating team’s ship from Earth...
To read the rest of this story, click here.
EVE ONLINE: RED MOON RISING CCP Announces Major Upgrade to EVE Online
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – November 18st, 2005 – CCP Games, an independent developer and publisher of massively multiplayer online games, today announced the public release of "EVE Online®: Red Moon Rising”, a new expansion to its highly successful and fast-growing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) “EVE Online®: Exodus”. Red Moon Rising is scheduled for release this December, and will be provided to subscribers free of charge.
“Red Moon Rising is the last of the EXODUS chapters and is the precursor of the Kali expansion," said Magnus Bergsson, CMO of CCP Games. “Players will see new ships and features in Red Moon Rising created explicitly to augment warfare, so those who crave the adrenaline rush of action-packed PVP will really enjoy this release!”
With nearly 80,000 active subscribers and over 17,000 simultaneous users on one server, “EVE Online” is the largest independently developed and published MMORPG on the market.
“The introduction of these new components is analogous to adding rooks, knights, and the mighty queen to a galactic chessboard,” said Nathan Richardsson, Lead Producer for EVE Online. “Fighters, carriers, and titans are going to take combat to a scale that the MMPORG genre has never seen before. In addition, the sheer economics required just to produce these leviathans will create great opportunities for industrious-minded gamers to take advantage of.”
EVE Online®: Red Moon Rising is the march towards an epic clash between the empires as the tentative peace presiding over the galaxy continues to slip away. Nations begin to conspire against one another, secretly preparing for the inevitable conflict that threatens to redefine the borderlines of EVE forever.
Some of the key features of this upgrade are:
CCP Games, a privately held company, is a recognized leader in the creation of challenging and unique massively multiplayer online games that offer gamers a fresh alternative to traditional fantasy games. CCP creates, develops, publishes and distributes its own games, and is one of the few MMOG companies that have experienced continued user growth since its start. CCP Games is headquartered in Reykjavík, Iceland.
About EVE Online
EVE Online is host to the largest virtual universe in the world, and is the fastest-growing Massively Multi-Player Online Game (MMPOG) of the genre. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, EVE is a breathtaking journey to the stars, to an immersive experience filled with adventure, riches, danger, and glory.
Supported by a vast player-run economy, EVE offers professions to choose ranging from commodities trader to mercenary; industrial entrepreneur to pirate; mining engineer to battle fleet commander; or any combination of these and much more. Join forces with other players to form mighty corporations; unite coalitions to forge powerful alliances; or run solo to stake your own claim to power in EVE.
Your greatest asset is the starship, designed to accommodate your specific needs, skills, and ambitions. Complementing its lethal arsenal are thousands of modules and components, allowing for countless levels of customizations. From brokering business deals to waging war, you will have access to a diverse array of sophisticated tools and interfaces to create your own destiny in EVE.
At the Austin Game Conference we talked to Daniel James, the CEO of Three Rings and the designer of Puzzle Pirates. In addition to the growth of his game, we also talked about where it is headed and his company's next project: "Bang! Howdy".
| The growth of Puzzle Pirates was one of the biggest revelations of the Austin Game Conference. On the secondary market panel – and later confirmed in an interview – Daniel James spoke of how his company had grown from bringing in $500,000 to $2,000,000 this past year. Daniel James is the CEO of Three Rings, a San Francisco development company that released their first game – Puzzle Pirates – in the late 2003.
Puzzle Pirates is unlike the typical MMORPG. Rather than the traditional systems for fighting, sailing and other things you’d expect in an MMO pirate game, players must work at mini-games (puzzles) to do things like sail, fight, etc. In this way, the game is unlike any other MMORPG.
You can read the full article here.
Dark and Light has announced that they will offer exclusive advantages to players until December 4th. Pioneers will recieve special benefits, not only for The Settlers of Ganareth, but also for Dark and Light itself:
Dark and Light™ Offers Exclusive Advantages To Players Until December 4th Through Limited Edition “Pioneer” Program
NEWS: Limited edition “Pioneer” designation gives Dark and Light™ MMORPG players a wide range of skills and privileges, both during Settlers of Ganareth (opening for free December 8th, 2005) and after Dark and Light releases in April, 2006
WHO: Maximum 8,881 registrants for 8,881 numbered accounts
WHEN: Pioneer registrations taken ONLY from November 24th, 2005 (6:00 PM GMT) through December 4th, 2005 (11:00 PM GMT)
HOW: To register, go to www.darkandlight.com
COST: $59.99 USD
DETAILS: Leave your mark on Ganareth for generations to come! Pioneers will receive unique rights, powers and commemoratives starting immediately with the free debut of Dark and Light’s Settlers of Ganareth period.
Benefits during Settlers of Ganareth:
Benefits during Dark and Light:
For more on Dark and Light, click here.
Age of Conan has announced the release of a brand new trailer for their upcoming MMORPG, Age of Conan. The trailer is titled "Hyborian Adventures". Happy viewing!
Durham, USA — November 18, 2005 – Funcom announces the release of a brand new trailer for ‘Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures’. The trailer showcases the fantastic qualities of the highly anticipated Online Action RPG, and is now available for download from the official website.
“Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures” is scheduled for a Windows release in Q4 2006. The game won the Gamespot award as “Best MMO” of E3 2005, as well as being runner-up as the “Most Innovative Game of Show”.
For the first time Funcom also offer a cell phone version of the trailer. Take advantage of the latest in cell technology to show or transfer the trailer to all of your friends!*
The trailer, more information, screenshots and forums can be found on the official website: http://www.ageofconan.com.
For more on Age of Conan, click here.
Today, Dark and Light released what could only be considered to be a teaser for the upcoming opening of "Settlers of Ganereth", which in and of itself is only a preview of the game to come:
Settlers of Ganareth Launches on December 8th, 2005
As the seething mass attends it's tasks in the camp, few take notice of the shadows that emerge from behind the hill… Fourteen shapes walk down the mountain...they neither hide nor flee. A few battalions begin to take up arms, and prepare for the fight. Dragoon’s General is not disturbed; he is convinced that his name is sufficient to make any mortal flee in terror… But those who walk down the hill are not mere mortals. They are the Immortals – they are the vengeful arm of Gothar. They walk boldly down the hill, eager to fulfill their master’s command. The Orcs and Trolls line up downhill, facing the fourteen Immortals. They sense that these fighters are not their common prey; they show neither fear nor anguish. It is Dragoon's legions who have become the prey, but they have yet to realize it! The fourteen fighters disband after crossing the valley… In their wake, they leave only smoke and bloodless Dragon corpses. Now the Fourteen's quest is to seek out mortal disciples and instruct them in the Immortal arts. Men, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and many more will train and grow strong – these are the Apostles and it is they who will lead the first force to truly challenge Dragoon’s power.
You are about to enter a world of chaos and desolation: You will have to repel Dragon armies, recapture wild lands, and build the first fortresses to hold what you take back… With time and the Apostles’ teachings, little by little, economic activity and the first traders will re-appear… You are the chosen ones, the front line in this crusade: You are the pioneers of the resettlement. The greatest among you will learn Teachings from the Apostles themselves. You are Gothar’s first soldiers in the massive army He is gathering for the survival of all - and for a new hope in the world of Ganareth.
For more on The Settlers of Ganareth, click here.
In translation, Huxley Producer Kijong Kang spoke to us about Webzen's upcoming MMORPG/FPS. This game uses the latest in Unreal technology and is one of a slew of games coming down the pipe from the Korean MMO specialists.
| MMORPG.com: Can you tell us a little about Huxley’s character advancement system?
Kijong Kang: Huxley’s advancement system is actually separated into two. In the early part of the character advancement system, players can shape their character in the style they like best. After that, players can then add depth to their characters. ‘Experiences’ and ‘Battle points’ are two elements of character advancement. ‘Experiences’ will affect the earlier part of character development and ‘Battle Points’ will affect the later part of a character’s development in a big way.
In the earlier part, by acquiring licenses, characters can have opportunities to use upgraded weapons and armors. In the later part of the game, players will concentrate on developing their characters to be more effective under any circumstance. We are planning to make the earlier part of character development relatively fast and the later part of development a bit slower but more abundant. This is because we decided that too much difference between characters abilities that affect combat result is not good for FPS game.
You can read the full interview here.
WEBZEN PREVIEWS NEW ONLINE GAMES FOR PRINCE ANDREW, THE BRITISH COUNCIL
SEOUL – Nov. 18, 2005 – At a business development event sponsored by the British Council, global online games company Webzen, Inc. delivered a presentation on Korea’s burgeoning games industry and showcased some of the company’s upcoming online games to Prince Andrew and other British dignitaries. Earlier this year, Webzen, Inc. was awarded the worldwide publishing rights for the upcoming urban action massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) All Points Bulletin (APB) from British game developer Real Time Worlds.
“The United Kingdom is the largest market for games in all of Europe,” said Nam Ju Kim, chief executive officer, Webzen, Inc. “We are seriously examining the possibility of establishing a subsidiary in Europe, and with this visit by Prince Andrew we expect there will be an even more active exchange between the two countries.”
During the event, Webzen, Inc. showcased movie clips from game titles in development, including APB and the fantasy massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) Soul of the Ultimate Nation and Wiki. During the event, Prince Andrew showed avid interest in the realistic graphics from Soul of the Ultimate Nation, which will soon enter open beta in Korea and launch in North America in 2006, and the technical expertise of the Korean online games.
The urban action MMOG APB is the first online game developed by David Jones, the creator of Grand Theft Auto. APB is currently being developed in the United Kingdom for PC online and Xbox 360 versions and is slated for simultaneous launch in North America, Korea and the United Kingdom in 2007.
About WEBZEN Inc.
Based in Seoul, Korea, WEBZEN Inc. has become a global leader in the MMOG market, and has developed some of the world’s top online game and client/server technologies. Already having achieved critical mass in Asian markets with publishing arms in Taiwan, China, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand, WEBZEN Inc. has established WEBZEN America, a wholly owned US subsidiary based in Los Angeles. WEBZEN America leverages WEBZEN technology and partners with some of the most well-known names in the video games industry to deliver some of the most compelling, visually stunning graphics available in persistent world games. WEBZEN and WEBZEN America are poised to launch a diverse portfolio of online products and services, beginning with the highly anticipated fantasy MMORPG Soul of the Ultimate Nation, the Unreal 3.0 engine-based MMOFPS HUXLEY and the original urban action MMOG All Points Bulletin (APB.)
For more information about WEBZEN products and services, go to www.webzengames.com.
SEED online has released some brand new screenshots for our viewing pleasure. Below, you can find 3 samples of the screenies, which depict characters talking and interacting. To see all 8 of the new screens, as well as the others in our collection of SEED screenshots, click here.
Neocron 2 has recently made some major changes to their game through the introduction of the Neocron Evolution 2.1 Upgrade. As a result, they are offering players with cancelled accounts the opportunity to re-visit the game for free for 14 days as of December 1st, 2006.
In light of the major changes the Neocron Evolution 2.1 upgrade offers, all canceled Neocron 2 accounts will receive 14 days of free playing time to check out the upgrade. Starting December 1, 2005, the release date of the upgrade, all former Neocron 2 players will have 14 days to take a look at the improvements like the graphical updates, the new weapons, the engine improvements and the new content! Of course the free 10 day trial will also be available at www.neocron.com for those who never had a chance to try the action-packed Cyberpunk MMORPG.
This measure is part of a big marketing push that includes a new banner campaign, a couple of surprises we will reveal shortly!
Also please note that banned accounts can not benefit from this offer.
For more information on Neocron 2, click here.
Oz World, the game that encourages players to be social, make friends and have romances online, has released a couple of updates to the game and the way that it runs:
For more information on OZ World, click here.
Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot has announced a new event. Dubbed "Newbie Tag the Dragons", the event requires players to creat brand-new first level characters. The goal? To get the weak first level as close as possible to the dragon before they die. The winner is the person to die closest to the great beast. If you are interested, you are going to have to get your e-mails in quickly, as registration for the event ends at 5PM EST today! The event itself will take place at 3pm EST tomorrow.
This fun little live event is the Newbie version of Tag the Dragon. The rules are very simple. Players who wish to participate need to create a new level one character in Hibernia on the Pendragon Server. Leave the character in Mag Mel. Once you have your character created you need to email me at rduffek AT mythicentertainment DOT com with the character’s name. Also include your primary server, realm and main character’s name.
Emails will be accepted from now until Friday, November the 18th at 5pm EST. At that time I will compile the list of participants. Saturday, November the 19th at 3pm EST all participants need to be logged in on their new level one characters and standing at the bind stone in Mag Mel. At 3:15pm EST I will start the race.
What’s the objective you ask? Simply get as close to the dragon as you can with your little newly created level one character. Get there by any means necessary. Horses, run, swim etc. Your objective is to get as close as you can before dying. Once you die, but before you release, send me a tell and I will come mark your location. Do not release until I have specifically told you to do so. The 5 people who get the closest to the Dragon will be declared the winners.
What do the winners receive for their efforts you ask? Well I’m glad you did, because I wish I knew as well! (Sanya here: Stickers! Have you seen those clever oval stickers with the initials of your vacation spot du jour? Choose one from ALB, MID, or HIB.)
To get the rest of the information on this event, click here.
Whether you like the changes or not, the Star Wars: Galaxies NGE has made a great number of changes to the game, and has left a number of players wondering just exactly what it is that is going on. The developers have released a FAQ section on their official website in the hopes of clearing up some of the questions that players may have about the update.
How do the nine new professions relate to the existing profession templates?
Knowing this could be a difficult transition for many of our players, we have lined-up several options to help make this as easy as possible. First, you will be allowed to choose any one of the nine professions and transition to that profession at a level commensurate with your current level. For example, if you are maxed-out at level 80, you will transition over as a level 80 character into your profession of choice. Veterans (all players having started their characters before the enhancements are introduced) will receive nine review ("re-spec") opportunities that allow them to sample the new professions before making a final decision. This gives everyone the opportunity to try out each of the new professions at least once at their current skill level. In the event you are unhappy with your choice of profession, you can "re-spec" and try out one of the others until you find the one you like best or until you are at your final opportunity.
**IMPORTANT** Note that there are a total of ten (10) re-spec charges (opportunities), but one is "used-up" on the initial transition, so players will then have nine charges left after choosing their initial iconic profession.
How do the iconic profession paths work?
As part of the transition process you will receive 9 options to try out the nine different new professions. There is also an in-game video that highlights each of the special skills and abilities of the selected professions (also available on our web site in the new player section).
Once you have decided on a profession, simply select it and re-allocate/"re-spec" your existing skill points (for current players) within your new chosen profession. From there, you can begin taking quests and earning experience (XP), you can then use to purchase the next skill on your path.
In the event you aren't happy with your chosen profession, don't worry - you can "re-spec" your existing skill points up to nine times, excluding your initial chosen profession.
To have a look at the whole FAQ, click here.
Shadowbane, a game known for its PvP content, has announced plans to implement a large addition to the PvP experience in their game. After the December Content Patch, players will be able to gain experience from their PvP exploits:
Shadowbane is considered by many to be the premiere Player-versus-Player (PvP) massively multiplayer online game (MMOG). In the December Content Patch, we will be implementing a feature that many have been asking for since they first heard of Shadowbane: Experience gains granted from Player-vs.-Player combat!
Players who engage in combat with others and succeed may be granted experience. Note the word “may”. There are some stipulations that must be met before such rewards are granted. First and foremost, players under Rank 4 (Level 40) neither grant nor gain experience from PvP; this is considered an elder game system only. Worry not, though, that isn’t the only rule.
When you kill someone, a variety of checks are done. Aside from the level checks, the system ensures that the player who was killed is not in the same nation or guild as the player who could potentially be rewarded. Then they will check to make sure that the player is not Errant; an Errant is a player who has not nation nor guild affiliation. While killing an errant character may award experience, errant players themselves gain none from PvP. Wait, there is more!
Next the system checks to verify if the character killed had a Deathshroud effect prior to being killed. If so, no experience gains are granted. Finally, it will see if the player being potentially rewarded has been granted experience in the last hour for the same individual. If so, again, no experience will be rewarded. This will not add on to that timer, though.
To read the rest of this announcement, click here.
The makers of Irth Online have released some Update Notes. The brand new game has made some changes and tweaks that players may find interesting.
Irth Online 1.007 Additional Changes Latest Updates Please see the irthonline.com forums for more details.
[LAST UPDATE November 16, 2005]
For more on Irth Online, click here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have partnered with GMX Media to bring you another new and cool contest offer!
From now until Dec 17, 2005 members of MMORPG.com can enter to win 1 of 10 copies of Battleground Europe - the only WWII MMORPG in existence!
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com - the better your chances of winning a prize! (see contest rules for details).
Don't wait any longer, click here to enter now!
Busy times over at Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. Today, they have made some release notes available to us. The notes themselves are fairly lengthy, with lots of changes, bug fixes, and the like. The expansion, "Trials of Atlantis" gets special attention this time around:
NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES
To read all of Release Notes: 1.81b, click here.
Auto Assault has released a rich bounty of information today. A new "Chassis 101", a "Recon Update" and a "Weign In Wednesday" all make an appearance on the game's official website.
The third lesson of Chassis 101 is now available. Chassis 101 is a Flash primer that teaches Auto Assault's chassis system and its various hardpoints. This week our accredited course examines ornaments, melee weapons, and the ignition key.
Our Recon update this week examines Fort Logan, the main starter city for the Biomeks and the role it plays in the Scrap Valley region.
Our Weigh-in Wednesday poll is all about instancing, "What division of instancing do you prefer in MMOs?"
For more on Auto Assault, click here.