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Istaria : Downloads Section

Posted May 30, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Horizons official webpage has announced the return of the downloads section of their website. Coincidentally, they're also announcing that they are taking submissions for it.

 

After much cajoling, begging, and eventually arm-twisting (ok, I just had to wait for E3 and finals to finish), the Downloads section is back!

Well, actually, right now it's empty. Completely empty. Bereft of any content whatsoever. It's sad.

But, if you'd like to submit your link, description and an image for your plugin, app or just cool stuff, I'll be happy to review it and approve it!

For more on Horizons, click here.

Vendetta Online : A Year of Changes

Posted May 30, 2006 by Jon Wood

Vendetta Online has released a comprehensive list of things that have changed in the game over the last year. Below, we provide a small portion of the list. The remainder can be found by following the link below:

 

Ships & Equipment

  • Behemoth introduced
  • Behemoth heavy introduced
  • Capital ships re-introduced
  • Raptor (ship earned through a mission tree, not licenses)
  • TPG Teradon
  • Trident light Frigate
  • New bus
  • Presets for 4 favorite ship loadouts
  • Destroyed ships may now drop equipment (which has, thanks to the Hive and various police/military NPCs, expanded the weapon selections a bit)
  • Law neut
  • Introduction of hive-posi
  • Introduction of hive-AGT
  • Introduction of hive-bat
  • Can sell weapons to others if they have not been unloaded into a station

Missions

  • Border patrol missions added
  • Inteligent, cool and expanding, (AAAAAHHHHH!!!!) Hive in Sedina
  • Trade convoys
  • Trade convoy pirates
  • NPC pirates that attack anyone and everyone in Gray Space
  • Escort mission
  • Guard the miners mission
  • Liberation mission
  • Border Skirmish mission

Read it all, here.

General : MMOGChart.com Update

Posted May 29, 2006 by Jon Wood

MMOGChart.com has released a new update. The site offers independent industry estimates of subscription numbers for MMORPGs. In the most recent release, for example, they place the relatively new Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach at roughly 90,000.

 

Version 20.0 is now available! This is a major update, with updated numbers for many games, most notably World of Warcraft, Eve Online, RuneScape, and most of NCSoft’s titles. I’ve also added three new MMOGs to the tracking data: Tibia, The Matrix Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. I’ve also removed the old subscriber data for Ragnarok Online in Japan, and unified the various total subscriptions charts. Also new to this update is preliminary market data for Asian MMOGs (including Ragnarok Online) that are commonly reported in terms of Peak Concurrent Users and Average Concurrent Users. Given the differences in pricing models, many of these games are not subscription-based, so a direct comparison with subscription MMOGs cannot be made. There are literally dozens more Asian MMOGs that are not included; I’ve tried to chart the ones that are the most well known and for which I could get multiple data points. In the future, I hope to get more data on these games directly from the companies involved, so my data can be updated on a more frequent basis. My thanks to everyone who helped with this update, and thanks to those of you who waited patiently for this update!

Go check it out!

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Added to List!

Posted May 29, 2006 by Dana Massey

We first told you about Dreamlords during E3 when Garrett Fuller visited their booth. Today, we've officially added the game to our extensive gamelist. The title, from Swedish developers Lockpick Entertainment, combines RPG and RTS elements in a unique fashion to create a hybrid MMO.

You can view screenshots here.

Once you've read up and seen the screenshots, cast your vote on their hype meter.

For more information, check out their official website.

Age of Conan : Ten Years of Conan Rights for Funcom

Posted May 29, 2006 by Jon Wood

Funcom has announced that it has extended its agree ment with Conan Inc. for exclusive rights to MMO games based on the Conan License.

 

Funcom and Conan Inc. extends agreement up to 2023

- Exclusive rights for all MMOs in Conans universe extended up to ten years-

Durham, USA - May 29, 2006 - Funcom and Conan Inc. has extended the agreement in which Funcom has the exclusive rights to develop any and all Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games based on the Conan license. The agreement gives Funcom the right to develop MMO games with the Conan brand on PC, present and future gaming consoles, portable devices and mobile systems until 2018. In addition, Funcom now has an option to prolong the agreement with five additional years.

“It’s great to see the evolution of Age of Conan, and we truly believe we will deliver a special and fun online experience,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “At the same time we look ahead, and we feel confident that Conan is a brand which will stand strong for many decades. With the investments involved in today’s online games and the very long life spans of MMOs, it is important to have long term license agreements, and together with Conan Inc. we will continue our focus on investing in the Conan brand.”

”We have a great passion for the qualities and works of Robert E. Howard, and we share this with Funcom,” said Fredrik Malmberg, Head of Licensing at Conan Inc. “We have worked very close with Funcom for more than three years now, and we have great belief in their ability to deliver. Virtual worlds become ever more important, and we feel certain Age of Conan stands a great chance of gaining a large share of the MMO market.”

Age of Conan is a Showcase Game for Windows Vista, and earned the E3 2006 award as the Best MMO Game of Show from the three world-leading gaming websites IGN, Gamespot and Gamespy. “When you talk about the greatest fantasy writers of the 20th century, theres no disputing the two names at the top of the list: J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard,” stated IGN in their text for the E3 award.

More information, screenshots, forums, newsletter sign-up and a welcoming community portal can be found on the official website http://www.ageofconan.com

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted May 29, 2006 by Jon Wood

As usual, the weekend brought people away from their offices, some went to the beach, others, camping, but Sanya Thomas saw them all off on Friday witht he weekly Grab Bag from Dark Age of Camelot. Follow the link below to read it all.

 

Q: "Since version 1.81, we have adjusted nineteen classes, in many cases making very significant changes. In this version, we are taking a step back, to assess the impact of all of these changes as a whole, and refine these adjustments as needed. In many (but not all) cases, we feel that we did not increase a class’s abilities enough, and we will be making additional improvements."

Does this supercede the announcement of the class changes to Valk on Pendragon currently with 1.84a?

A: No. The notes would be the final authority, but in any case, the Valk was one of the classes that wasn't "done" with the changes made in a previous patch.

Speaking of Valks, I got lots of questions about "is this intended" etc. for the material on Pendragon. Yes, it's all intended, but is it final? No, we're still collecting feedback.

Q: I've noticed bolts seem to hit casters about twice as hard as tanks. Does bolt damage vary with armor factor or armor absorb? Aren't they magic damage? What's the deal?

A: A good question, since we're currently revisiting bolts as a whole. The Big Wheel, our class guy, told me: "Bolts are physical attacks. The damage dealt by them depends on the ABS the target has. A player with high ABS will take less damage, where a player with low ABS will take more damage."

Read it all, here.

Auto Assault : Developer Q&A

Posted May 29, 2006 by Jon Wood

The official Auto Assault webpage has conducted their own Q&A with NetDevil developers Brian Booker, Dan Russet, and Hermann Peterscheck, concerning the upcoming patch and what exactly players should be expecting. It won't all fit in here, so follow the linky below for more:

 

We recently talked to Auto Assault leads Brian Booker, Dan Russet, and Hermann Peterscheck with some common questions regarding the upcoming patch, what players can (and shouldn't) expect, and a lot more.

Brian "Storm" Booker, Lead Systems Designer

  • This update includes the ability to respec characters. The first respec will be free. How much will the next respec cost? Will this fee scale upward with each subsequent respec?

    Respec is free at first then the next few are incredibly cheap, but the cost in clink to re-train your character does increase each time you do it. The re-training personnel find it difficult to teach the same character over and over and will charge extra each time you do it. The first 10 aren't very expensive, but if you re-train your character 20+ times, you will find the cost rises to 400 scrip and will remain fixed at that price. You can re-train any number of times, clink provided, but you can only re-train once every 48 hours.

  • Will balance issues be addressed?

    At the end of beta - right before gold, we made a number of significant global balance passes. This brought DPS values, ranges, timing, damage, point costs, and overall combat balance of both player skills and equipment into a good overall balance. Since then, we have corrected a great number of individual player skills for both functionality and balance.

    Recently, we improved many stealth-related skills after introducing a delay that prevents immediate "restealthing." We feel the improvements made to all of the stealth-related skills balances with the newly-introduced time delays. In a second stage of improvements for the stealth system, we would also like to introduce a stealth detection system for both players and AI.

    We continue to evaluate server data logs, feedback from our forums, and our individual play experiences to tune both the PvE and PvP balance. This important work will continue over time with each new patch that we release.

Read it all, here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : May Community Update

Posted May 29, 2006 by Jon Wood

Flying Labs Software's Pirates of the Burning Sea has updated their website with a new Dev Log. This one serves as a COmmunity Update for hte month of May. As usual, it's too long to post here, so follow the link below to read it all!

 

May's Community Update!
It's been awhile since I've had a chance to do a proper update, and so I've decided to put the ever-present, ever-growing to-do list on hold, and take a moment to share a little bit about what's going on in my neck of the woods.

User Content Changes
As you know, we've spent the last few weeks hammering out the details for a new User Content resource- you've no doubt had a chance to check out the Devlog written by Augustus that explains some of the decisions we made. (Haven't read it yet? Check it out by clicking here.) While his Devlog shares just about everything you need to know about the new changes, I do want to extend a hearty thanks to the community for their patience, with special recognition due the Steering Committee, for their work filling in the blanks while the pieces came together on our end.

Your contributions to this project are truly appreciated, bravo!

Everything Old is New Again?
As Augustus notes in his most recent Devlog, the new and improved User Content processes also introduces higher design standards for UC submissions. These new artistic standards make it imperative that we revisit any flags and sails that were approved once upon a time, understanding that many of those designs wouldn't pass muster with the new quality guidelines.

The question we have now is this: How do we revisit all of these submissions in a way that causes the least possible pain for our community? Would releasing 50 a week be reasonable? How about 100 a week? Or, would you prefer we just tear the band-aid off all at once, and dump the entire lot of 1,633 UC submissions that were approved under the old guidelines, and let you sort through them as you can?

So which would you prefer? Your participation in the poll attached to this thread will help determine the method we use to revisit UC submissions of yore. On Monday, May 28th, we will review the poll results. Given your feedback, we will move forward with the most popular choice, to be implemented by Friday, June 2nd.

So cast your vote, and let us know what you think, by visiting this link.

Read it all, here.

D&D Online : MMORPG.com Review

Posted May 29, 2006 by Dana Massey

Garrett Fuller files the MMORPG.com review of Dungeons and Dragons Online. Turbine Entertainment's latest MMORPG release is a heavily instanced version of the Dungeons and Dragons universe. Fuller, a long time pen-and-paper player, as well as MMO fanatic, takes a look.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach is the classic RPG game’s first step into the MMORPG world. Many people carry the opinion that Dungeons & Dragons started it all as far as role playing goes. With its foundations in the mid-seventies to its height in the eighties, D&D has always given players fun worlds to explore and create on their own. The classic D&D scenario is a small group of players, between five or six, getting together to explore a dungeon filled with monsters, traps, myths, and mystery. Each player selects a character class and race which has become the standard in many RPGs.This pack of travelers meets up and decides to go out and right the wrongs of the realm that have been troubling its citizens. How well does this scenario fit into a video game? Very well, the entire RPG world has been shaped by this type of situation. How well does this fit into an MMO? It works, but there are many things lacking in the Massive-Multiplayer department. Also, the game has almost no solo content; this can be a problem if you want to just play for an hour or so by yourself. The game has its fun moments, but does not offer an expansive world for players to explore.

You can read the full review here.

A Tale in the Desert : Launched

Posted May 28, 2006 by Jon Wood

A Tale in the Desert has announced that the third installment of their game has launched. It launched yesterday at noon, and includes over 100 changes from the previous incarnation:

 

Citizens of Egypt,

I was trying to think of some analogy to the start of a Tale. Arriving in a new city, with only the shirt on your back? Arriving on the shores of an unexplored land, along with a group your countrymen? Few of us have actually done something like that, but I suspect the feelings would be the same. So many possibilities, so much history about to be written. After a successful and fast-paced Beta, A Tale in the Desert III will launch:

Saturday, May 27, 12:00 Noon EDT (GMT-0400)

A Tale in the Desert III includes over one hundred changes and improvements to ATITD 2, but some of the most notable are:

  • A new Events System that integrates Tests, Laws, Developer Chat Sessions, special contests, and other happenings.
  • Principles - miniature versions of each Test. Complete each to increase your Level and open new paths.
  • The Discipline of Harmony
  • Unlockable Everything: Skills, Technologies, and now even Tests.
  • Regional Chat

My goal with Tale 3 is to have the entire game feel like a giant, social adventure-puzzle to be explored, dissected, and finally mastered. A fast-paced game. A game rich enough so that everyone from the most hardcore player, to the most casual, can carve out a meaningful role. But what sort of history will we write? If you've played a previous Tale in the Desert, names like FaceAnkh, DrDave, VoodooC, Hellinar, Shelomit, Quizzical, Rehpic, Silver, CardinalTarod, Asheara, and Qetesh may mean something to you. What about Igoka, Malakai, Mafia, Obiwan, Bindy? And "Flower"? Kestrel and Boaz? Someone reading this letter right now will change our history in a way that I can't even imagine. What will I be writing about a year from now? Who? I have no idea, but I can't wait to find out. Join me this weekend, and I promise a Tale you won't forget.

Sunrise on the Nile,
Pharaoh (Teppy)

For more on ATITD III, click here.

Spellborn : Dev Chat Log and Blog Update

Posted May 27, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Chronicles of Spellborn have posted a Dev Blog Update and have also posted the log of their third Dev Chat:

 

We just completed our third Dev Chat and the log is now available for your reading pleasure! Thank you to everyone who showed up and asked questions this time! The next session is scheduled in two weeks and details about the subject will be released in our upcoming newsletter.

The log can be found here, and you may take a look at the logs of our previous Dev Chats by selecting the "Dev Chat Logs" in our navigation menu.

For more on TCoS, click here.

Age of Conan : Competition and Con Art

Posted May 27, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Age of Conan site has been updated with concept art and a new creative-writing competition based on a character that players would like to play in the game's world.

 

Ready to show off your creative writing skills? Find out more about our great forum competition.

Now is your chance to show the Age of Conan community your creative works! We are looking for a story about a character you will play or a character living in Hyboria. The top 3 creative stories selected will be allowed to set their own custom forum usertitle*!

Your story can include several things including how you came to Hyboria, what your current profession is, any major events in your life that affect what you do now, childhood memories, your friends, your lifestyles, and lots more.

Get the rules, here.

World of Warcraft : Realms, WarCraft Weekly, Beastiary

Posted May 27, 2006 by Jon Wood

The WoW website has been updated to include a new WarCraft Weekly, a beastiary update and the announcement of new Realms:

 

We're happy to announce the opening of two new realms: Demon Soul and Jaedenar, two PvP realms. These realms are located on our latest World of Warcraft site, which feature all new hardware. This will provide an opportunity, to new and old players alike, to begin fresh adventures in Azeroth!

For more on WoW, click here.

Hero Online : Dev Journal: Introduction

Posted May 27, 2006 by Dana Massey

We're introduced to Hero Online by its developers in this new developer journal. With no information available, we simply asked them: "What is Hero Online and what will make North American players want to play it?"" Here is their response.

Imagine for one moment, all sound fading away as light dims into complete darkness. You are alone and there is nothing else besides your self. Gradually, a light begins to form and sound begins to return. At first, they return so slowly you hardly notice, but soon you are flooded with sensory information that all say one thing: You are no longer where you once were. Looking around you realize that you are in the middle of a bamboo forest with green sunlight shining through a canopy of Bamboo leaves. The bamboo stalks serenely sway as you feel the wind breeze easily through the forest. The forest floor is soft and cushiony as you walk around trying to get a bearing of where you are. For every step you make you hear the soft rustle of leaves and smell an indescribable aroma that warms the heart. The sound of birds chirping seems to come from everywhere and nowhere in particular. It is neither loud nor quiet, but perfectly resonated to match the quiet atmosphere of the bamboo forest. Despite not knowing where you are, this place induces an inescapable sense of peace.

You can read the full article here.

General : May End Game/On Available

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com is pleased to announce that the May Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

 

This week on Game/On, we say goodbye to our co-host Michael Hampden as he moves on to pursue a job with Tulga Games, the makers of Horizons. Upon saying goodbye to one co-host we welcome Garrett Fuller as he joins the Game/On Team. This week, we talk about E3, hear from people standing in that long line to play the Wii at that event, and have a full-length interview with Jeremy and Kyle from PurePwnage.com.

Get it, here

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Log

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new Dev Log over at Pirates of the Burning Sea. This one covers The User Content Ststem and the recent overhaul that it has undergone:

 

The User Content system has undergone a well-needed overhaul, with a host of new features and options. In his latest Devlog, Augustus takes a moment to explain what happened, and most importantly, what happens next!

The User Content features are in place now, and you can read all about them by visiting this link!

Enjoy, won't you?
Aether
Community Envoy

For more on PotBS, click here.

D&D Online : Info On Module 2

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online have released some new information about what will be appearing in the upcoming Module 2. We don't have enough room for it all here, but follow the link below to read it all!

 

New Enhancements

Module 2 will be introducing a number of new enhancements (purchased with action points) that will let players further customize and specialize your characters. Almost everyone will be getting some new enhancements to choose from; over the next few weeks we will be posting in-depth descriptions of what these new enhancements are and how they work.

New Enhancements for Spellcasters

We have several new lines of enhancements for arcane spellcasters, designed to help them specialize in specific types of spells. With these new enhancements, casters can score spell criticals on damaging spells, similar to the critical hits that the sword-swingers get when they get lucky on an attack. Each enhancement is specific to one energy type, and gives you a percentage chance to score a critical, and a multiplier to damage. For example, a sorcerer with the enhancement "Lineage of Force 3" has a 15% chance of scoring 50% extra damage on their magic missiles; if he prefers to use fireballs he could instead take "Lineage of Deadly Fire" which only has a 3% chance of scoring a crit, but will do triple

Read it all, here.

Dark and Light : Download Postponed

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dark and Light has announced that due to an undefined problem, the download of their game has been postponed:

 

Greetings,

Following a problem that occurred today regarding the game database, we have to postpone Dark and Light's download. We're of course actively working to solve this problem, and we will give you further news and a precise delay as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the stress test remains open, and an important patch will be released.

Please note that the Dark and Light download will occur through a Bit Torrent file, then you will update through a patcher (not through the update.bat). We suggest you keep the Bit Torrent file you downloaded for the stress test (the 1.8 GB archive) in order to save some download time.

Please accept the apologies of the entire NP3 team regarding this inconvenience: we're doing our best to solve this matter ASAP.

Best regards,

NP3.

Read more about this on their forums, here.

Guild Wars : Banning Bots

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has announced the closure of over 1000 bot accounts in their game (meaning people using thrid party programs). They have also released the Bonus winners from their emblem contest.

 

In our continuing efforts to preserve a solid game economy and to support the legitimate Guild Wars player, we have been actively pursuing those who use "bots" in Guild Wars. In the last week, we have closed more than one thousand accounts of those using third-party programs, and we will continue to take similar action in the future.

Click here for more!

Dark and Light : New Story

Posted May 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new story out over at Dark and Light. There isn't enough room to publish the whole thing here, so if you like what you see, click the link below for the whole story!

 

Unconciously, hands poised on their weapons, many warriors raised their heads towards the sky to see what started out as a great shadow that covered them.

Forming big circles over fortune encampment, a trained dragon, mounted by a Brave in armor, searched for a place to land in the plains already darkened with people. In the last few hours, many Fighters had reached the border of Al Drifa, in these plains more accustomed to hosting festivities and other markets rather than the veritable military camp that was currently there.

The incessant hubbub, mixing the dialects of all the regions of Ganareth, began to subside when a group of men, accompanied by guards and the Duke Tenastil of Cidd, left Cidd. One of them, a mage from the look of his garments, climbed up on a headland and called for silence and explained to everyone the serious situation that reunited them.

The Oracle, before falling into a deep coma of strange origins, foretold the approach of a powerful army of Dragoon marching on Al Drifa. Unfortunately, we knew nothing more, and the scouts, even if they had located the uncoordinated movements of Orcs or Trolls, were unable to determine their gathering place.

At all costs, it was important to know more about the place that the danger would come from and only the Oracle could answer that. Time was running out, and the old man was in a pitiable state, the clerics and priests were powerless to heal him. A scaled operation had to be put in place.

Read it all, here.

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