On Thursday night, the guys from the EverQuest team stopped by to talk to fans and answer their questions in our chat room.
MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.forthegamers.org! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura "Taera" Genender. Joining us today is the EverQuest team!
MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to two questions at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.
MMORPG_Taera: To submit your question, please /msg devbot yourquestionhere
MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to DevBot while our guests introduce themselves!
EQ_Zztozia: Greetings Everyone. I'm Zatozia, EQ's Community Relations Manager
EQ_Rytan: Greetings, I’m Rytan Barker assistant design lead.
EQ_Maddoc: Hey everyone, I'm Jason Mash, one of the Assistant Lead Designers on the EQLive team.
EQ_Nodyin: Hello everyone, my name is David Ford and I work on the AA system and content design.
EQ_Ngreth: Hello, I am Adam "Ngreth" Bell, general content and tradeskills designer for everquest and resident development Ogre.
EQ_Rashere: Hey folks. I'm Travis McGeathy, Lead Designer for EverQuest.
EQ_Merloc: Hello, I'm Keith Turkowski I work with items, factions, systems, and content.
EQ_Prathun: Hello all! I'm Prathun, designing EverQuest since 2002, most recently working on Spells.
EQ_Prathun: Oh, and I also go by Jonathan Caraker. :)
MMORPG_Taera: Diet_Canada :asks: i think what puts most wizards off the new casting system is the change to instants. any chance of maybe returning instants back to what they were or at least make the mr oen useful and the cold/fire ones have 6 sec refresh so spell haste is useful again? :)
Read the whole thing here.
Don't miss tonight's live chat with the developers of EverQuest, at 7pm EST!
Curious about EverQuest's newest expansion Secrets of Faydwer? Now's the time to state your curiousity! Please join us in the MMORPG.com Live Chatroom starting at 7pm EST on 11/15/07 to meet the developers behind EverQuest. Bring a question, bring a friend! After the chat, be sure to stick around for EverQuest and other MMORPG discussion.
Users can also connect via any IRC client, to server forthegamers.org or irc.eu.forthegamers.org (Euro). The chat will take place in #mmorpg.
Learn more about EverQuest here.
Check out this new TCoS movie released at the recent G-Star Korea 2007 show!
G-Star Korea 2007 Movie
In the video you will see different parts of the Spellborn world: the Arena, Deadspell storm and last, but not the least - the Mines. You'll also see tons of wicked combat.
Watch more here.
Ankama Games has announced that they will be launching a heroic server in December which will operate under a hardcore rules set where advancement is fast and death is permanent.
This December, a brand new DOFUS game mode will introduce another dimension to battle-weary veterans and wide-eyed beginners alike.
This game mode offers quicker character evolution, allowing you to gain more experience from fights and quests. But you will also need to be more vigilant and tactical in your game play because if you die, you won’t come back. The new mode will also call for more dedicated and concerted guild activity in order to help players survive for as long as possible.
In this highly intensive mode, the game has been adapted according to new rules which are exclusive to this server. Among other exciting modifications, this mode allows players to increase their level far more rapidly and to make better and bigger drops! Experience in professions will also be gained more quickly. This server has one cruel rule above all, however: death will be permanent. You cannot come back to life. If your character’s level is in the top 100, however, the corpse will rest in the Cemetery of Heroes.
Another diabolic hallmark of the server: whether players lose against monsters or other players, their victorious enemies will keep all their items. Some enemies, though difficult to beat, will be tempting to fight for just this reason.
In future, part of the official site will be dedicated to this server with regular updates giving information on the new world, including its background. This part of the site will also host the Cemetery of Heroes. Warriors of all nationalities will take each other on to rise to the top of the world league table.
To those who thought they’ve mastered DOFUS or seen it all, the Ankama Games team hereby challenges you!
Read more about Dofus here.
NCsoft has announced details of the Tabula Rasa Referral Program, where players can earn a month of game time by getting a friend to buy the game and one month's subscription.
Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa® Referral Program
The AFS is looking for new recruits, and now YOU can aid in the war effort, and get a FREE Month Credit* to Tabula Rasa! If you refer a friend and they purchase a standard account and pay for one month of subscription to Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa®, you will be automatically credited with one month of free game time!
So get out there and get recruiting! Here’s how…
Read the step by step instructions here.
The Zu Online official site has been updated with a look at the Holy City, one of the most important cities in the world of Zu Online.
Holy City is the birthplace of the Swordsmen and the Bead Fairy, and is also one of the most important cities in the Zu World.
Lotus Palace, Truth Palace, Sword Grave Peak and the Fairy Pavilion are all indispensable architectural marvels in Holy City. An important NPC called Whitebrow lives in the Lotus Palace and is one of the judicial leaders in Zu. Whitebrow can also instruct players how to go to the Righteous Pagoda instance. Players can find the Warehouse Master in Truth Palace, and he can help players deposit items that are not being used. Swordsmen can also learn skills from their outstanding leader, the High Swordsman, who resides in Sword Grave Peak. Similarly, the Bead Fairy can learn skills from their leader, the Jade Pool Fairy, who resides in the Fairy Pavilion. The Medicine Master near Mythic Tree sells various medicine which can restore players' HP or SP quickly. The Pet Master stands near the Medicine Master and sells pet eggs, pet food and pet equipment. Additionally, the Gear Judge can help Swordsmen and Bead Fairy repair their equipment, and he also sells a variety of equipment.
Also in Holy City, there are many Ride Guardians who are able to help players travel around the city swiftly. Zhanshun stands near the Mythtic Tree, Qingan is in the Lotus Palace, Linf is in the Truth Palace, Sinyou stands near the Dragonhead Cliff Gateway, Xuin stands near the Moon Cliff Gateway, and Ger stands near the Cloud Cliff Gateway. These Ride Guardians can also teleport players outside of the city.
Read more here.
Fury, the PvP MMO from the land down under, has been live for one month now, and the folks at Auran have prepared the Fury Newsletter to mark the occasion.
When people talk about FURY, they often talk about POTENTIAL and that is what we're working on right now - unlocking that potential. We have learnt a lot in the first month since release, and obviously we need to make improvements. First of all we need to provide a game platform that is stable and performs well on more machines - we've made some big steps, but we have further to go. We need to provide an easier to understand and more enjoyable experience for new players. We need to work closely with our core community to deliver on our goal of making the Number One PvP game in the world. And we need to provide ongoing content and feature additions to keep the game fresh. This update will give you an outline of what we have learnt throughout Beta and the launch period and where we are going in the future.
FURY is designed around the concept that, win or lose, a closely fought match is more fun. To date, too many matches have been lop-sided and that's no fun for the winners or the losers. FURY requires critical mass: with a higher population, there are more people in the queue for a match. With a bigger pool to choose from, the matchmaker can create a much more evenly balanced match.
Read the Fury Newsletter here.
SOE and Beckett's Massive Online Gamer have announced that they will be offering an in-game item for EverQuest II with the next issue of Massive Online Gamer magazine.
Fans of the new EverQuest II (EQII) expansion, Rise of Kunark, have something else to be excited about as Sony Online Entertainment and Beckett's Massive Online Gamer (MOG) magazine are offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to EQII players and MOG readers. A secret access code has been added to the latest issue of Massive Online Gamer magazine available on newsstands the week of November 28th that will provide all readers with a limited edition portrait of the infamous warlord Venril Sathir. For fans who cannot wait for the magazine to hit the newsstand, the first 1000 people to subscribe to Massive Online Gamer will receive a unique code via email that can be redeemed for the in-game item.
"We have set up a subscription service that will allow new subscribers to get the code almost instantaneously. EQII players can either wait for the magazine to hit the newsstands or get the code now. When you subscribe, you'll get the code as well as a great discount on our annual subscription," said Doug Kale, editor of Massive Online Gamer.
Fans of EQII will want to nab this exclusive Venril Sathir in-game item as quickly as possible since it is a limited edition item. This marks the first time that Sony Online Entertainment, the makers of EQII, has offered an item of this level through a magazine.
"We are excited that Sony has partnered with Massive Online Gamer. Our readers are interested in every angle of the massive online community, so rewarding both existing as well as new readers is a tremendous opportunity for everyone," added Kale.
Read more here.
At the end of last week, MMORPG.com's Laura Genender visited the NCsoft studios in Austin to take part in a tour of the upcoming free expansion to Lineage 2, The 1st Throne: The Kamael.
Last Friday I visited the Austin offices of NCSoft to tour and preview Lineage II’s upcoming expansion, The 1st Throne: The Kamael. This new, free (as always) expansion is the largest in Lineage II history, including a ton of high end content, and a new player race and starting area. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
A History Lesson
NCSoft started our tour off with a slide-show history of Lineage II. The first expansion, Chronicle 1: The Harbringers of War was released over three years ago and opened up the original 5 castle sieges: Gludio, Dion, Giran, Oren, and Aden castle. This expansion introduced Antharas, the fierce land dragon and one of the first raid targets of Lineage II as well as auctions on the first clan halls in several major cities.
Chronicle 2: The Age of Splendor brought us the Monster Race Track and arena, a small area reachable by any town where players could gather for monster races or small arena battles. More raid bosses entered the scene – Baium and Zaken – and the manor system awarded castle owners more control over their land and the people hunting on it.
Read it all here.
Turbine is looking for Lord of the Rings Online screenshots that show off some of the graphical improvements of DirectX 10, which was introduced into LotRO with Book 11: Defenders of Eriador.
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar: Book 11: Defenders of Eriador introduces DirectX 10 for the first time in a live MMO, and to celebrate, we're pleased to announce the LOTRO DirectX 10 Screenshot Contest! Send in your favorite pictures from LOTRO using DirectX 10 and it may be featured on lotro.com! We're looking for screenshots that really show off the dynamic lighting, beautiful water effects, and incredible shadowing that can now be found in LOTRO on machines running DirectX 10.
For more information, see the rules below. Good luck! We look forward to seeing your screenshots!
To enter the LOTRO DirectX 10 Contest send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line LOTRO DirectX 10 Contest. Three (3) entries per player per week.
All screenshots should be unedited, although cropping is allowed. The dimensions of the final screen will be 1024 x 512, so please bear this in mind when taking or cropping your screenshots. Screenshots MUST be taken with DirectX 10 graphics enabled.
Read more here.
The folks over at Guild Wars have announced the return of Skill and Item Unlock Packs which give access to basic and elite skills from all Guild Wars campaigns.
Unlock the Power of your Game
Whether you're a PvE or a PvP gamer, you'll find the new Skill and Item Unlock Packs hard to resist. The new Skill Unlock Packs provide access to basic and elite skills from all Guild Wars® games (the original campaign, Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North) for your use in PvP combat, and give your Heroes an advantage over your foes in PvE. The new PvP Item Unlock Pack provides hundreds of item upgrades to ensure that you go into combat with exactly the gear you want.
For a limited time, enjoy special, introductory pricing of 50% off when you purchase any of the new Skill or Item Unlock Packs listed below through the Guild Wars In-Game Store or PlayNC.com. Offer good from Noon Pacific time (-8 GMT) November 15, 2007 to Noon Pacific time (-8 GMT) December 31, 2007. Discount will be applied at time of purchase. This promotion is non-transferable, and is void where prohibited.
PvP Access Kit
Gain instant access to the Player versus Player portion of Guild Wars with the new PvP Access Kit. This package contains everything you need to jump right into the competitive world of Guild Wars PvP! No other Guild Wars purchase necessary.
Read more here.
In last month's newsletter, the devs at Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning released info on the High Elf Swordmaster.
The White Tower of Hoeth, the greatest seat of learning in the world is home to a cadre of warrior-scholars, known as the Swordmasters of Hoeth. These warriors train arduously, honing their exceptional agility, and mastering every nuance and facet of sword fighting. Swordmasters wield the greatswords of Hoeth, elegant blades often six to seven feet long from pommel to tip. Such is a Swordmaster’s skill with the blade that he can raise his sword, sever an enemy’s neck and return his sword to rest before a lesser warrior can even raise a shield to block him.
Read it all here.
Since the announcement that Ojom would be ceasing its services for Face of Mankind at the end of November, FoM players have been wonder what the future holds for their game. Now, the Face of Mankind staff has posted a letter to the community saying that they will take on the responsibility of running the game, detailing the changes that are necessary to do this, and hinting at their plans for the future.
Dear FoM Community,
many of you are waiting to hear word from us about the future of Face of Mankind. Since we have been informed about the cease of service by Ojom at the end of november, we had to do a lot of thinking and planning. The main questions were whether we would be able to continue hosting the game by ourselves and if we would be willing to take the financial risks involved.
We have spent a lot of efforts, diligence, money and even health into the project, and we are not willing to give it up that easily. So we decided to go on, with a few changes, but at least go on.
In order to be able to host the game on our own, we need to simplify everything a lot. During the last weeks we've come up with a concept for this, which I'd like to present to you roughly. By simplification I mean the game, the server structure and the portal.
The portal will be reduced to the minimum necessary to present the game to the public.
We will no longer host an official forum or irc channel. We want to give that into the hands of you, the community. As the developer we will present all necessary information through the portal or the game. Also, we are going to implement a biweekly development blog with all kinds of information that would be interesting to you, both official and internal. That is to give you an insight view of how hard it is to create and manage an MMORPG.
The changes to the game will be rather dramatic. But rest assured, these are necessary changes for FoM to survive and hopefully grow later on.
First of, the accounts. There will be two kinds of accounts, a free one and a premium account. Free accounts have no time limitation (so they can be used forever) but limited features. With such account your character can't evolve beyond a certain point. With premium accounts all limitations are lifted. They will cost a yet to be defined monthly fee. We are also considering the option to purchase premium game time to remove the necessity of having to "subscribe".
Next, there's the game mechanics. During the last years with FoM we could gather a lot of experience and let's say "maturity". We've tested a few very revolutionary features, if we remember the first versions of the mission system. After a few more iterations, we have to admit that some things just won't work, at least not yet. Some have worked out, others rather not. We took a very honest view at all of the features in FoM and decided to do the following changes. I'm going to list them here as notes only.
Read more here.
At the end of Zu Online's recent Alpha Test an event called “A Happy Ending to Alpha” where a number of players posed for a few pictures of everyone having their happy ending in Zu Online.
Since Zu Online officially started its Alpha Test on October 25th, we here at IGG have been pleasantly surprised by our players’ passion for this unique game.
Most of the players who have had the opportunity to try Zu Online have given a lot of good comments on the game, for instance, the unique storylines, strong visual appeal, responsive controls and environment, wonderful music and so on.
At the end of the Alpha Test, IGG held the “A Happy Ending to Alpha” activity to help players’ remember their happiest moments in the game.
Read more here.
The latest game design dev journal has been posted on the Chronicles of Spellborn official site. This week's topic is sigils, which are used in the game to enhance a character's combat characteristics.
Feature article: Sigils
by El "Selachii" Drijver
A well known fact about Spellborn is the non-stat armor and weapons. To make sure players can still customize, tweak and tune their fighting characteristics whichever way they like, we have a wide variety of Sigils. These can be collected from different sources in game like quests and loot.
Sigils are items with 'magical effects' which can be used when they are equipped one way or another. There are three types of sigils: Skill-, Jewelry- and Weapon sigils. I will handle the Jewelry- and Weapon sigils first as 'item sigils' and conclude with the Skill sigils
Like mentioned above there are two types of item sigils, one for jewelry and one for weapons. First up, jewelry isn't visible, you won't be able to see the rings or necklaces on your character in game, only in your 'paper doll' screen.
Both weapon and jewelry act as containers for sigils, but the amount of sigils that can be fitted is determined in a different manner. The jewelry has an amount of slots dependant on the item level and rarity. Whereas the weapons have an amount of sigil slots dependant on your player level, adding 1 every 10 levels. The reason we do it differently for jewelry is to reward players that put in that extra effort to find that rare item. The reason we actually can do it like this, is because jewelry is not affected by the 'dress to impress' motto. If the slots on the weapons would work the same and be dependant on the item level and rarity, we'd be back to square one when it comes to player customization. Players would be forced to upgrade their weapon because of the amount of sigil slots, even though they don't like the look of it.
Read more here.
The Vanguard official site has been updated with an interview with Chris Akesson, Art Lead for Vanguard.
Hi Christian! Thanks a bunch for taking the time out of your busy day to introduce yourself to the Community. Easy and quick questions first! Where are you from? How long have you lived in San Diego?
I am originally from Sweden and have lived in San Diego since 2001.
What is your official title here at SOE and how long have you been a part of the Vanguard team?
My official title is Art Lead and I have been part of the Vanguard team since end of 2002.
What did you do before coming to work here?
Before coming to SOE working on Vanguard, I was working for Sigil Games on Vanguard and previous to that was working for SOE on EQ 2 which was my first job out of college. The circle has, in a sense, been completed :).
What areas within the game have you worked on, and which are you most proud of?
During my years here I've touched on most areas of the game, meaning, technical player character work, a Keith Parkinson original NPC, terrain, environment and objects. I am probably most proud of the wall/row of ancient giant statues that islocated outside of Vulmane village and the revamp of the elven starting city of Leth Nurae.
Read the full interview here.