Garrett Fuller dives back into World of WarCraft in his latest article. Today he looks at Casual vs. Hardcore Players in the popular game.
| In any MMORPG there is such a thing as Time Played. Time Played can tell you a lot about your gaming experience. Has your time been spent grinding away to get the highest level, and once you reach that high level what is next? Do you spend your time getting loot, killing other players, or joining huge raids to progress in end game content? How does time played factor into a casual lifestyle or a lifestyle bent on being the best in a particular game. A very hot topic right now in MMORPGs is the notion of both casual and hardcore gamers playing on the same server and going after the same goals. This brings up the question what is the difference between a casual gamer and a hardcore gamer?
Currently, I have been playing World of Warcraft so please understand this article will be based around that particular game. However there are elements that may apply to EVE Online, City of Heroes, Everquest, Shadowbane, etc. So with that said how much time do I spend playing World of Warcraft? I would say an average of about twenty hours a week. Please understand I do work and have a family, luckily my wife plays too. Still with our schedules as they are I would say about three to four nights a week I am playing Warcraft. I do not think this makes me a casual player by any means. Many people will disagree with that. Hardcore players spend much more time than that working towards end game goals, because really that is what it is all about, the end game.
You can read the full article here.
Valerie "Pann" Massey, the Community Coordinator for NCSoft, has sent along some information about a charity that was founded by Penny Arcade. The charity is based on the healing properties that video games can have, and offers a great counterpoint to a culture that blames video games for violence.
Child’s Play: Put your money where your mouse is!
Dear fellow gamers,
All too frequently, we hear tragic stories of how videogames are allegedly to blame for violence and corruption. Please join me in my crusade to help turn that misconception around and show that games (and the people who play them) have a lot of great things to offer.
An easy way to get started is by supporting Child’s Play, http://www.childsplaycharity.org, a children’s charity that was founded in 2003 by the wonderfully creative folks that bring us the Penny Arcade web comic. In just two short years, this amazing project has blossomed into a full-blown phenomenon that gives comfort and joy to patients and their families in hospitals throughout North America.
Research has shown that patients who play videogames require less medication, heal faster and have improved pain management as illustrated in these articles:
Child’s Play isn’t just about games. Through Amazon.com, donations for a wide variety of items that include videos, music, toys and books as well as games and game systems can be purchased and shipped directly to the hospital of choice. This is one of many clever ways the Penny Arcade team has devised to ensure that they make good on their pledge that every cent donated to the charity goes straight to the kids. There’s no wasteful overhead, no mysterious administrative cost.
Even if you’re down to your last few gold pieces, credits or clink, there are still many ways you can help.
Please help Tyco and Gabe in their efforts to help bring some gaming goodness and joy into the lives of some very special people who need it. You can make a difference.
Best wishes and happy questing,
The Matrix Online has made an intetresting and potentially controversial announcement. It seems that their game will now be full of real-world advertisements:
Massive In-Game Advertising Announcement
An exciting new addition is coming to the world of The Matrix Online. As part of Update 38 we will be introducing Massive in-game advertising to The Matrix Online. For long-time community members, and those of you who play Planetside, it will be a familiar part of the game.
Real-world advertisements will begin appearing on billboards around the Mega City after Update 38 goes live. Just like real-world billboards, they’ll change to feature new advertisements over time. (Don’t worry: Your favorite ads for Slumberil, The Sentinel, etc., will remain a part of the game.) These static advertisements will not affect game performance in any way.
The inclusion of Massive in-game advertising opens up the possibility of something many community members have been asking for, player advertising around Mega City. We will be looking into the idea of running contests for selecting player-generated ads in the future as a way of incorporating these ads into the game. Once we have confirmed we can do this, we will make an announcement on Data Node One. Stay tuned and we will keep you updated on our progress over the next few weeks.
For more on The Matrix Online, click here.
Jon Wood spoke to Ken Troop, the Lead Designer of Dungeons and Dragons Online, at a recent event in San Francisco. Here is his report on that interview:
| On November the 8th, I had the opportunity to head across the continent to San Francisco for a Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach press event. The event itself was a success, as members of the video game press descended upon The Dragon Bar for the event. There, we had the opportunity to listen to a presentation about the game from Lead Designer Ken Troop, and to play the game hands-on.
Throughout the event, the developers from Turbine made themselves available, not only to help us out with the game, but also to answer our questions. Fortunately, I was able to corner Ken Troop for a quick one-on-one interview.
You can read the full article here.
World of Warcraft has released a new "Warcraft Weekly", a feature that links to forum threads created or commented upon by the community team.
The latest Warcraft Weekly provides direct links to threads created or responded to by the World of Warcraft Community Team. This weekly news archive is a great source of information, and checking it out each week is a wonderful alternative for those that wish to stay current on all the latest and greatest topics but don't have time to sift through the forums each day. Check it out here.
For more on WoW, click here.
Final Fantasy XI has released some details regarding a version update that they are expecting to have take off in mid-December of 2005. They have also announced a change in the format for the "Topics" section of their official website.
The next version update is currently in development and is scheduled for release in mid-December. Planned content include:
In addition, this section (FINAL FANTASY XI main page "Topics") will soon undergo changes. The Topics section has traditionally been used to report version update information, as well as changes that are in development, as they are made public. Soon Topics will change to include comments from the developers on upcoming changes and more. We hope you enjoy the new format.
For more on FFXI, click here.
Tulga Games has released some notes on the newest update for their game Horizons. The update applies to the Blight shard and will become active as of November the 15th.
The following updates, fixes and additions will be added to the Blight shard on November 15th, 2005...
For more on Horizons, click here.
Guild Wars has released the latest in their series of Guilds of the Week. This is the 25th incarnation of a feature that shows us what a rich and diverse community the game has. This time around, it is Esoteric Warriors, a guild that started "as a pickup group".
Within the hallowed halls of the Tomb of the Primeval Kings, a place where so many have met their end, the Esoteric Warriors found their beginning. What started as a pick-up group became the foundation of a guild, and from these humble origins, EW has grown to reach the upper echelon of the Guild Wars ladder, and stands as one of the top competitive guilds from Europe.
While EW may have gotten their start in Tombs, in recent months they've focused heavily on GvG battles. EW finds a greater degree of tactical diversity in guild battles, where you often have very little idea of what you will encounter, both in terms of the strategies that enemies may employ and the builds that they might use.
Even though the Esoteric Warriors aim to be as successful as possible on the field of battle, their first focus on having fun. EW hopes that their guild battles are mutually enjoyable. . With its smaller roster of 13 members (as of this writing), EW is a tight-knit group—in their own words, "like a family." While there’s a mutual respect shared among members, that doesn’t stop them from teasing each other and keeping things light-hearted, showing a sense of humor that is sometimes absent within highly competitive groups.
To read the rest of this guild profile, click here.
After quite some time away, Blizzard has returned with a regular feature that brings us some fanart and a new wallpaper. This time around, the fan art varies greatly in subject matter and in style, while the wallpaper captrures the essence of the style of the game with a beautiful character representation.
For more info on WoW, click here
Shadowpool Studios has released another developer journal for their game "Trials of Ascension. This one was penned by Jennifer H. WIlliamson, the 2D artist for Shadowpool Studios as she takes us through the process of art for the game:
Greetings, fans of ToA! My name is Jennifer H. Williamson and I am a 2D artist for Shadowpool Studios. My main tasks are to create concept art for the player races, weapons, apparel, and architecture. Though I specialize in traditional art (pencils, markers, etc), much of my work is painted in Adobe Photoshop. You may have seen these paintings while browsing each race description on the website. For this developer’s journal I will show you the process of concept art…translating an idea to a visual design.
My job is to take the design team’s description of an asset and translate it to an image that is then used to create a 3D model. Because other artists rely on concept art, it is essential that I make them as detailed as possible. They also have to look pleasing as well as functional. Most of the time, I use real-life references from different cultures to create realistic concepts.
For more on ToA, click here.
Flyff is encouraging the MMORPG community to participate in their beta test. Selling themselves as "the newest style of MMORPG play", the game itself might be worth a try before the December 20th publish date:
Fliff Flies to Soaring Heights in Only Two Weeks!
San Jose - November 15, 2005 – Are you one of the 48,860 registered users that have taken to the skies in Flyff? If not, it’s still not too late to participate in the open beta test and be amongst the tens of thousands that are enjoying the newest style of MMORPG play.
In a little less than two weeks Flyff has been able to bring countries together for hours of enjoyment. While Flyff is still working out all the bugs that all games go through, the world wide Flyff community has been instrumental in helping to identify many of the bugs in game play; which will allow a smoother transition for the December 20, 2005 commercialization date.
As the number of registered users continues to grow daily, one has to ask the question; will Flyff reach the 100,000 user mark before the end of their beta session? No need to ask, it is well on its way to reaching that and then some!
Have you and your friends registered to play Flyff? If not, fly over to the Flyff Official Website and Fly For Fun!
For more on Flyff, click here.
Our very own Craig McGregor sat down recently for an interview with Force Council, a games site which covers both PC games and games for the next generations consoles (the only one currently active is the XBox 360).
In the interview, McGregor talks about the past, present and future of MMORPG.com as well as our staff, community and rating system.
To read the article, head on over to www.forcecouncil.com.
Blizzard's World of Warcraft has just come out with a newer, more secure way to log in to their extremely popular MMORPG. Dubbed, the "Blizzard Launcher", this program can be used once you have completed a client patch.
The Blizzard Launcher serves as a portal to World of Warcraft and the latest World of Warcraft-related news, as well as a tool that provides greater security for our players. Once you complete the client patch update, you can begin using the Blizzard Launcher immediately. To learn more about this utility, please visit the Blizzard Launcher page and check out the Blizzard Launcher FAQ.
For more World of Warcraft, click here.
In their latest developer journal Rick Wells discusses the playable races found in The Chronicle, by Rapid Reality. To go with this lengthy developer journal, the team also sent two new screenshots. The marked improvement in quality is due to a technology upgrade; details of which are headed our way later this week.
|As far as anyone knows, the elves have always been a segregated race, adhering vehemently to their divisions and geographical locations. The notion is all the more believable from the fact that the elven sub-races, more than any other parent race, bears such distinct separations in both physical form and social organization. Noble elves are natural leaders, wild elves are unequaled in wilderness proficiency, wandering elves are adept with magical energies, sea elves are much sturdier than their land-bound cousins, and the dark elves are as smart as they are quick.
Unlike humans, who tend to worship divine entities, elves have always followed ideals instead. Each sub-race of the elven heritage largely adheres to a single ideal, though crossovers have been known. One thing is certain, however; elves are no less dedicated to their chosen ideal than devout humans are to their patron deities, including all ceremonies, duties, and sacrifices. The noble elven ideal is tradition, the wild elves favor change, wandering elves cherish knowledge, sea elves have a connection to cycle, and the dark elves focus on the self.
You can read the full article here.
Neocron Evolution 2.1 Features
With the free Neocron Evolution 2.1 upgrade, the graphics engine recieves a big update. Features like accelerated vegetation rendering, an improved LOD system, or a new texture compression system improve the performance, while the new weapon models and vegetation provide a much nicer look. The upgrade also contains new monsters, new quests and new zones. The images show the pistol, rifle and cannon version of the plasma family weapons.
For more information on Neocron 2, click here.
A big thanks to Simutronics for the continued access to these images.
Today is a big day for both fans and critics of Sony Online Entertainment's Star Wars: Galaxies. Today is the launch of the innocently named "Publish 25". Innocent in name, but at the center of a controversey that has garnered the interest of fans and non-fans alike. Publish 25 promises to bring big changes to a game that has recieved a great deal of criticism since its launch.
Publish 25 brings us all some exciting new game enhancements. For quite some time we have heard that our game is not delivering on the promise of a true Star Wars adventure. The enhancements premiering in Publish 25 take our game to an all new level of Star Wars style action making our game play experience feel more like the films and fiction; exciting, story-driven, Star Wars fun. The game plays more like a fast-paced, action-packed Star Wars adventure.
Enjoy the new adventure that lies ahead. May the Force be with you!
To read about the changes coming in with Publish 25, click here.
The developers of Blizzard's World of Warcraft have updated the "Under Development" section of their website. This time, they've added some information about their next upcoming content patch, titled, "The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj!"
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj will house two massive, unique dungeons - the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, a 20-man raid dungeon, and the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, a 40-man raid dungeon. As players delve deeper into the mysteries of Ahn'Qiraj, they will discover revelations of the Silithid infestation and their shadowy masters, the Qiraji. Players will have to complete a world event of massive proportions before they can open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj on their realm.
For more from the "Under Development" section, click here.
Nevrax Announces the Beginning of the Ryzom Ring Alpha Test
PARIS, FRANCE – November 15, 2005 – Nevrax, the developer and publisher of the massively-multiplayer science-fiction fantasy game The Saga of Ryzom, announced today it has launched the alpha test of Ryzom Ring, its first expansion.
“Ryzom Ring is an extremely powerful expansion pack,” says Daniel Miller, CTO and Executive Producer of Ryzom Ring. “The opportunity is finally given to the players to become not only participants, but creators.”
Ryzom Ring offers players of The Saga of Ryzom a complete set of simple and intuitive tools to design and implement adventures and maps thus empowering them to imagine, create, launch, share and enjoy an almost infinite combination of online scenarios. It is the first time that a massively multiplayer online role-playing game has offered its players such a large scale creation and editing platform.
“Ryzom’s future is, from now on, in the hands of players,” Miller added.
From Alpha Test to Launch
Beginning with 50 of its most loyal players, new testers will be continually added to the alpha team until early 2006, when the Ring will enter its beta phase, during which all of The Saga of Ryzom’s players will be welcome. Also in Q1 2006, there will be further open beta and load testing opportunities before the Ring’s official launch by the end of Q1.
A new website is currently being created to inform all players and testers of the status of the Ring’s development, and which will contain new communication and monitoring tools for all the testers and our future “creators” once testing begins.
Founded in early 2000, Paris-based NEVRAX is an online game and software development company that specializes in MMORPG engine and production tool technologies and products. Utilizing NeL, its open source platform, Nevrax’s team of over 50 engineers and designers have completed their first MMORPG, a Science Fantasy game entitled The Saga of Ryzom. For further information, visit www.nevrax.com.
About “The Saga of Ryzom”
Three generations ago, the proud civilizations of Atys perished in the Great Swarming, when hordes of Kitins swept from the Prime Roots and wrought war and genocide. Now it is time to reclaim your heritage. Join forces with thousands of others, master the arts of sorcery, war, and tradecraft, and re-forge the destiny of your people. The secrets of the past have been lost, but The Saga of Ryzom has just begun. For more information please visit www.ryzom.com.
About “The Ryzom Ring”
The Ryzom Ring is the innovative extension for Nevrax's online role-playing game, The Saga of Ryzom. It provides tools that allow the players to access Ryzom's creatures, buildings, maps and missions to create their own events and scenarios, giving them unprecedented power to shape the game. Thousands of other players can experience one person’s handiwork, or kept as a private sanctuary only accessible to a select few. For more information please visit www.ryzom-ring.com.
Codemasters has announced that their Eurpoean Beta Test for Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach is going to be starting in a few months. The are now, however, accepting applications for the Beta process. All you have to do is get signed up for a Codemasters Account (it costs nothing) and head on over to this link.
With the popularity of the North American Beta, spots in this test are going to be difficult to come by, so if you are interested in trying out this game, hurry up and fill out the form.
For more News on Dungeons and Dragons Online, click here.