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Wurm Online : At A Glance - A Look at Wurm Online

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Jon Wood Correspondent Mike Balent writes this At A Glance look at the java-based game Wurm Online that apprently holds more than some readers might expect.

Recently, I decided to try out Wurm Online. I went to the site, made a free account and began my adventure. Wurm Online has both premium ($16USD every two months) and free servers. The game is Java based and is being developed by an Indy developer. The game is skill based, and is a refreshing change from the countless clones that flood today’s market.

The Beginning:

As I log on, I can see the corpses of some recently deceased players. It was a very dark night, and it was raining. I slowly walked over to the NPC guide, and he explained to me how harvesting and crafting worked.

Read the article here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Screenshots

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today we present eight new images which have been added to our Pirates of the Burning Sea screenshot gallery.

See all eight screens here.

Tabula Rasa : Hawking Joins Operation Immortality

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has become the latest and most famous earthling to add his DNA to Operation Immortality and have his genetic code sent into space.  Prof. Hawking says he is participating in the project to raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics which will award first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less with $10 million.

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 23, 2008—Stephen Hawking, best selling author of “A Brief History of Time” and the children’s book “George's Secret Key to the Universe” written along with his daughter Lucy, will be sending his digitized DNA into space as part of NCsoft’s® Operation Immortality™. Lucy Hawking is also participating in the project. Together, the father and daughter are hoping the project will raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a competition that will award $10 million to the first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less.

Operation Immortality is a project intended to collect and archive the very best of what humanity has accomplished by sending a digital time capsule of the human race, including messages from people around the world and DNA samples from some of our brightest minds, musicians, athletes and video game players.

Hawking’s DNA will be transported into space by celebrated video game developer and longtime member of the X PRIZE Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Richard Garriott, who is traveling to the International Space Station (ISS) in October. Garriott, whose most recent video game project, Tabula Rasa®, depicts the destruction of mankind by an alien invasion, will take Hawking’s digitized DNA as well as an electronic copy of “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” on a storage device called the Immortality Drive where it will be placed on the ISS.

This is not the first time Hawking and Garriott have teamed up for high-flying adventures. In 2007, Garriott hosted Hawking aboard a zero gravity flight where Hawking was able to experience a weightless environment.

“Richard and I share the same dream of traveling into space,” said Stephen Hawking. “And we both realize the incredible importance of DNA to life in the universe.”

In actuality, Hawking would like to have sent his completely sequenced genome into space. Current science however, is not yet capable of producing low-cost, fully sequenced genomes. By participating in this project, Hawking hopes to highlight the need for inexpensive, fully sequenced human genomes so that scientists and doctors can begin to better understand ways to identify, treat and prevent disease.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Jacobs on the IP, Marketing and EA

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Jon Wood Managing Editor Jon Wood had the opportunity to speak with Mythic Entertainment boss Mark Jacobs about the Warhammer IP, Marketing and EA.

Today, we continue with Part Two of my interview with Mythic Entertainment VP and GM Mark Jacobs. In this part of the article, we focus in on working with the Warhammer IP, Mythic Entertainment’s relationship with EA and more!

When I first asked Jacobs about Mythic’s lack of experience handling a major IP like Warhammer Online, I was reminded that this isn’t Mythic’s first kick at the IP can. I was quickly reminded that while it’s the first time that they have applied it to a massive scale MMORPG, Mythic has worked with titles like Aliens, Godzilla and Starship Toppers and others in the past and that they do have experience with IPs.

Read the article here.

General : Unannounced Halo MMO Canned

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Gamasutra is reporting that the previously unannounced MMO title that was in the works at Ensemble Studios was an MMO based on Halo.  Unfortunately, the game has been canceled, as Ensemble Studios is set to close down.

Following the recent announcement that Microsoft-owned Age Of Empires creator Ensemble Studios would close after the completion of Halo Wars, Gamasutra has discovered that a now-canceled Halo MMO was in development at the studio, unearthing prototype UI and level screenshots of the Ensemble-developed project.

The prototype art, which was at one point made available on an Ensemble-linked online artist portfolio website, further confirms previous rumors that the studio was working on an MMO based on the Bungie-created sci-fi franchise.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : State of the Game: Guru Challenge

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Guild Wars have posted another edition of their state of the game articles, this time looking at the Guru Challenge.

The Challenge

Earlier this year, after I was fortunate enough to participate on the tournament committee for the 2008 RAWR Cup, it occurred to me: We could do this. After the tournament ended and the committee wrapped up its work, I spoke with Inde, the head administrator for Guild Wars Guru where I am a senior moderator, and suggested that we host a GvG tournament of our own. Armed with my experience on the RAWR Cup committee and Inde's marketing connections, we went to work on building the Guru Challenge. We wanted as many participants as we could get, so we added two more divisions beyond what RAWR Cup had used — a Premier Division for elite level guilds and a Casual Division for players new to GvG. We also added a prediction contest where winners could win real-world prizes.

Getting Sponsors

As long as we had substantial prizes to award, I knew we would get the same level of support as comparable RAWR Cups. That dictated our first step: securing sponsors to provide prizes. As a rule, sponsors love good promotional exposure, so I went to ArenaNet and floated the idea of a Guild Wars Guru-sponsored tournament. ArenaNet's willingness to provide tournament coverage gave us the hook we needed — our tournament would be on the front page of ArenaNet's website and in an in-game URL. Inde sent out 50+ emails to potential sponsors, and we lined up three who were very interested in sponsoring our tournament. The biggest was Electronics Extreme, a new division of a large online retailer, which was willing to provide over $10,000 worth of laptops, portable DVD players, and MP3 players as prizes. (If you would like more information on how to secure sponsors, what information and numbers a sponsor is looking for or have questions on how to start please feel free to email Inde).

Read more here.

DOFUS : New Heroic Server

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Ankama has announced the addition of a heroic server for DOFUS, which has permanent character death rules in play.

Roubaix, France - 23 September 2008 – Both beginner and experienced players will find in this brand new game mode a challenge that matches their expectations.

Ankama’s teams have been working on the development of the Heroic Server these past months to perfect the game’s mechanisms and to offer players a stable in-game system of disconnection/reconnection for a better gaming experience.

In order to make the experience even more exciting, the Heroic Server also brings in new game rules! The main change is the introduction of permanent death for all characters. A new rule which is launched for the first time in online role-playing game history! This server is unique and will enable players from all over the world to play in the world of DOFUS.

Whether players are taking on a monster or other players, they just cannot lose. In case of death, the opponent can take the victim’s items. Besides, each character will have the privilege of resting in peace in the Cemetery of Heroes – which is a worldwide ranking, updated every 24hrs and can be consulted on a dedicated web space!

The game rules have been adapted to this exclusive server. On the Heroic Server, skills level up a lot quicker which means more experience at the end of a fight or when a quest is completed. Profession experience is also gained a lot more quickly. In general, leveling up is much faster.

However, players will have to be extremely careful in their tactics since their character’s life is at stake at each blow! They will have to reinforce their guild strategy and communication if they want to survive!

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Correspondent: Gold Earning Guide

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent Robert Rutherford writes this article giving players advice on making money in Blizzard's colossal hit game.

The Gatherer

There are many things to be gathered in the game. This includes leather, herbs, ore, fish, linen, wool, mageweave, stones, gems, and so on. Moreover, there is much gold to be made here.

There is something to be said for those that gather - they spend a lot of time making their money. Many players begin to make their money by gathering - and I encourage it. And, later on, finding a rare vein or herb can bring in several gold alone.

The benefit of being a gatherer is that you don't ever have to buy supplies. Moreover, you may just find the things to mine/gather while leveling. This is especially true with leather (tradeskill is skinning).

Read the article here.

EVE Online : Correspondent - A Pirate's Life for Me

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Jon Wood EVE Online Correspondent Richard Morris writes this new article talking about the benefits of pirating in CCP's space-based sandbox game.

Pirates are notoriously known to pillage, loot and disobey authorities. In EVE this is just the same, only... space-like. The general EVE world mould breaks down into security sections. Pirates are only safe in low security areas that are .4 and below. Normal players are only safe from player pirate attacks with higher security levels that are .6 and above. With these security levels in place it makes it both easier to start and harder to progress. But never fear! The concord will assist you whenever possible. Well... that is assuming you're not a pirate yourself. In which case they will leave you for death (my current sources say that death likes fresh meat). Do not worry though, being pod-killed is not so bad when you have a decent clone.

Pirating is often known to be the ultimate risk in EVE. Though NPCs can be pirates and cause just as much trouble in some situations, another player is unpredictable. This makes player versus player that much more exciting.

Read the whole thing here.

EVE Online : Population Caps Lifted

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that they have removed population caps on all systems, with the exception of Jita, which has had its cap increased.

During downtime today, Monday 22nd September, a hotfix was deployed to Tranquility. The system cap applied to the server yesterday has now been removed from all systems with the exception of Jita. From today, Jita will still maintain a maximum player capacity which has been raised significantly.

Read more here.

Zu Online : New Summoner Talents

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has published information about new abilities for Summoners that were added in version 1.5.03 of the game.

Summoner is a different species in the secondary world. They are able to summon ghosts from hell to fight for them and torture their enemies by poison and magic scroll.

The Summoners in Zu Online ( always attract attention because they are the only class that is able to summon minions in Zu Online. Now some of the Summoners’ new talents added in Version 1.5.03: will be shown as following:

Cocoon Trap: Freezes the target and any other enemies surrounding him.

Agony of Poisons: Poisons the target and any other enemies surrounding him, causing damage over time.

Multi Soul Lock:Reduce the attack speed by 16 of the target and any other enemies surrounding him.

In contrast with other classes, Summoners do not need Vigor points to cast spells. Additionally, Summoners can now learn their first area of effect attacking spell, Agony of Poisons.

These new talents will certainly bring players more fun and challenges.

Read more here.

Myth War 2 : Veteran Rewards

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Myth War II have announced a package of rewards for veteran players.

Since Myth War II Online has been a big attraction for numerous Myth War fans, the official is now offering all veterans many benefits to play Myth War II Online.

Event duration: September 27th to September 30th


1. You can set your new characters in Myth War II Online to be level 50 and will be rewarded 200,000 talent if your characters in Myth War Online have undergone 1st rebirth.

2. You can set your new characters in Myth War II Online to be level 30 and will be rewarded 100,000 talent if your characters in Myth War online are level 60 or above.

3. leaders in guilds at level 2 or above consisting of 10 guild members can have their guild set up in Myth War II Online and stay at level 2. Besides, 1,000,000 gold will be given to their guilds.

All you have to do is to reply to the event thread in its forum with your application for these merits.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Najena: The Deep Forge Preview

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at EverQuest II have posted a preview of Najena – The Deep Forge, a new zone coming in The Shadow Odyssey, the game's next expansion.

Najena is the home of the Teir'Dal master elementalist, Najena (not exactly known for her modesty). Najena left her home, Neriak, so that she would be free to practice her arts far from prying eyes. The Empress of the Elements settled in the Lavastorm Mountains, where there was an abundance of mana and resources befitting her experiments, and there created her underground laboratory.

Najena couldn't just walk out of Neriak and build her lair, though. She took many months building her sanctuary in secret. Under the guise of doing research for Neriak, she created minions to carve out the underground fortress. She laboured quietly, diverting resources from projects for the Dark Elven Empire, to silently build her own little kingdom.

Read more here.

Vanguard : Old Accounts Reactivated

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Vanguard have announced that accounts that have been inactive for 60 days or more have been reactivated for a month, to give former player the chance to see what's new in Telon.

Former Vanguard subscribers whose accounts have been inactive for 60 days or more are being called back to Telon! Come back to Vanguard Saga of Heroes for free* starting Sept. 18, 2008, through Oct. 18, 2008, through your reactivated account and uncover new game updates, enhanced character models and an exciting new starting area, the Isle of Dawn.

Those heroes who return to Vanguard through this reactivation promotion, create a new character and journey through the Isle of Dawn while achieving level 10, and then continue into the lands of Telon by re-subscribing to Vanguard with a paid, active subscription in good standing will receive a special pair of Gnomish Rocket Boots**. These boots will help you to progress through the land with great bursts of speed. The Gnomish Boots are yours once you progress off the Isle of Dawn and into the world beyond.

Accounts will be reactivated starting Sept. 18, 2008, at 12:01 a.m. PDT through Oct. 18, 2008, at 11:59 p.m. PDT, so come back to see the great new features for yourself. Simply log back in, rejoin the adventure, start a new character and visit the Isle of Dawn for free!

Read more here.

Star Trek Online : Ask Cryptic

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Cryptic return once again to answer fan questions about starships, uniform customization, 3d chess, and playable Horta in Star Trek Online.

Will ship roles be analogous to naval combat roles or will they be more like the party roles in other MMOs – will ships be cruisers or destroyers or they be tanks or healers?

Federation ship classes are inspired by the television shows. So, for example, you could have a ship like the Enterprise, the Defiant or the Voyager. We call the different classifications of ships Cruisers, Escorts and Science Vessels.

More details on the exact roles and differences are coming soon, but for now, suffice it to say that the ship roles are a combination of naval combat and traditional MMO gameplay. Klingon ships are different, and reflect their style and culture. And everything will be very customizable and very Star Trek.

Will Starfleet and Klingon uniforms be semi-customizable with extra additions?

Character customization is one of the hallmark features of a Cryptic game. You will be able to modify and customize the uniform of your characters, but it will always have the look of a uniform. The costume options will reflect popular pieces from the show, as well as new concepts and styles.

Read more here.

EVE Online : System Population Limits Enforced

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced the addition of a new feature in EVE which will prevent access to systems with too many players in them.

During the downtime today, Sunday 21st September, we deployed a new feature to Tranquility. The Stargate will now check how many players there are in the system and deny access if you attempt to jump into it when too many players are present. In addition to this you will not be able to login on a character if the system has too many players.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today is a special day for the inhabitants of Middle Earth as it is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

It’s time once again to celebrate the Birthday of Bilbo and Frodo! Be sure to visit them and wish them well. You might even be able to help Frodo with a small matter.

Keep a sharp eye out and you may have an opportunity to match wits with the Riddlemaster.

Happy Birthday to two most exceptional Hobbits!

Read more here.

Aion : New Screenshots

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today we present ten new screenshots from NCsoft's Aion: The Tower of Eternity.

See them all here.

Warhammer Online : Mark Jacobs Blogs on Gold Farmers

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Jon Wood

On his personal blog, Mythic Entertainment GM and VP Mark Jacobs writes his feelings on Gold Sellers. Personally, I think he's holding back. How doyou REALLY feel, Mark?

I hate gold sellers/spammers. No, that’s not strong enough, let me try again. I HATE GOLD SELLERS WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING. Ah, that’s better. Now, why do I hate them you may ask? I hate them for a number of reasons, most of which have been detailed in various interviews I’ve done over the years. And now that they have taken their obnoxiousness to new levels with gold service spamming, I HATE GOLD SPAMMERS EVEN MORE NOW THAN EVER BEFORE. For years, lowlifes like IGE have told us, in defense of their behavior, that they a) are just providing a service; b) don’t interfere with players enjoyment of the game. Well, I can’t argue with (a), they are providing a service, just like maggots I suppose but I’ve always argued that (b) is totally and complete BS. Now, those old arguments aside, I can’t see how this new generation of pond scum (new and improved, with 25% more scummy action!) can argue that their constant spamming of chat channels doesn’t interfere with players enjoyment of the game (I’m waiting for the whole “Oh, you can always just turn off chat” argument). I hated seeing their messages when I played WoW or any other MMO and I’ve been waiting for the day that WAR launched so I could have the absolute pleasure of instituting policies to make their lives more difficult so we could drive them out of WAR.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Weekend Wrapup

Posted Sep 22, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks at NCsoft's Tabula Rasa have released a new edition of the Weekend Wrapup, a quick feature that highlights recent goings-on.

PlanetTR Podcast

Operation 4 is now up! Listen in as hosts Grier and Chandler interview GM_Vagabond in this latest podcast from PlanetTR. Interview questions are taken from the PlanetTR forums. Enjoy!

Player-made Video

Check out this video created by our very on MisterGlass entitled "The Sleeper" in which his spy tackles enemies throughout Magma Caverns. Way to kick some Bane butt Glass! View the video ( make sure to watch in high quality).

Read the whole thing here.

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