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Age of Conan : Character Selection Screen Video

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has posted a video peak at the character selection screen for Age of Conan.

Every now and then, we rummage around and find some cool stuff on the way, and we just can’t resist sharing it.

For example, we were digging around the various arcane folders in our virtual haunted library and stumbled upon a video from some of the developers, obviously captured while they were working on something.

It was a hot new character select screen, one that’s never been seen before. Heck, half the development team probably hasn’t seen it. We watched it and we thought, well, that’s pretty cool. We should give that to people. Then we should leave, before Gaute comes stomping up to demand an explanation for releasing definite Work In Progress-type stuff.

So, here it is, the very latest, cutting-edge, ganked from the developer’s desktop, version of the character selection screen. What’s interesting is that has a life of its own, like a day-night cycle (it’s night in the clip you’re seeing), plus wind and all sorts of things.  Some of this is still not even ready for beta, much less public viewing, but we’re bringing it to you anyway!

Watch the video here.

Warhammer Online : Inevitable City Screens

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

EA Mythic has released these four new screenshots of Inevitable City, the capital for Chaos int he upcoming Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

Check out all four full-size images here.

Champions Online : Ask Cryptic

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has answered anopther round of questions from fans of Champions online, Cryptic's Superhero MMO which is currently in development.

You asked, we answer! Today we cover more about villains, zombies and a hint at characters.

Do you think that with all the feedback, input, suggestions, speculations, questions and everything else that you've seen on your forums as of now, the community would be very pleased with the game? Or the game as it is right now? Or the game you imagine it to be in the distant future? (MeSoSollyWan)

Jackalope: I certainly hope people will be pleased! I know I love playing the game. But I think what people would be most pleased with is how much we listen to the community. I can give a very recent example. Last Q&A, we all but eliminated the possibility of customizing your animations. We had looked at it long ago, and frankly the feature was incredibly time intensive. After seeing the community responses, we huddled up and rethought the feature. Is there a way we could do this without sacrificing other elements of the game? That's produced an ongoing discussion between software, art and design. I can't promise you that we'll be able to get the feature in for release, or even how soon we could get in after release, but I can tell you that the community response really made an impression.

Read more here.

Angels Online : New Region Maps

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has provided maps of several of the new instances which will soon be playable in Angels Online.

The Angels Online team, from IGG, have already informed their valued players about the two brand new instances to be introduced into the latest edition of the game. Now they will also tease them with a wee preview of the maps of the new areas.

The upgraded version of Eden contains 8 brand new maps including the 2 new instances and 6 level-up & quest maps such as Sad Abyss, Fiery Path, Lava Cave, Flaming Door, Underground Square and Hell Palace.

Each map has its own innovative monsters and far more powerful bosses. So our players had better get ready to come face to face with some fiendishly evil challenges. But the rewards, of course will make it a worthwhile fight.

Read more here.

Tales of Pirates : New Update, New Server

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Tales of Pirates have announced that the game will be receiving a content expansion and a new server called Dawn Sea.

Tales of Pirates will be releasing a new update patch at the end of April. And with an increasing number of TOP players, a new server called Dawn Sea will be released soon as well.

The new update patch includes:

  1. The New server Dawn Sea is available in Mystic Oceans
  2. A prison system has been released to combat bots. Cheaters may be sentenced to “life imprisonment”
  3. The first part of the “Golden Twelve Palace” event, Aries is available.
  4. New Apparel is available.
  5. The starting point of Hexathlon has been changed.
  6. Updated Black-market system is available.
  7. New items for obtaining extra EXP are released.
  8. The events for Valentine’s Day and Dragon Boat Festival were cancelled.
  9. Added the Fairy Box to the newbie box.
  10. A few bugs in some quests have been fixed.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in the Galaxy

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Sta Wars Galaxies have posted a list of the ten most wanted criminals in the Galaxy, at least according to the Bounty Hunters Guild.  Players can defeat all ten to earn a reward and complete this collection from Game Update 3.

The Bounty Check skill gives bounty hunters a chance to find one of ten named fugitives. These dangerous renegades are on the most wanted list of the Bounty Hunters Guild. Track and eliminate these criminals and collect your reward by completing this new collection in Game Update 3.

Most Wanted 

Bounty Check is a level 86 skill used by all bounty hunters. The check can be used on any non-elite humanoid target between levels 70-90. This skill has the chance of discovering a disguised fugitive. If you kill one of these wanted criminals, the Bounty Hunters Guild sends you a transmission and your kill is added to a collection.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Looking for Squad, Control Point Changes

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

In the Most recent Feedback Friday Feature on the Tabula Rasa Community Site, they take a look at the various new features the TR team will be focusing their efforts on, including an improved Looking for Squad system and changes with clan owned control points.

Spring is in the air, the treemites are coming out to play and it feels like update time again. As stated in Starr’s update, the team has gotten smaller. With a smaller post production group, you have to concentrate on the things that will make the product better and prioritize features that will make the game enjoyable for the players. So the team got together, and talked about what that would make the project better in the short term based on their thoughts of the game and player feedback. We came away with two big features that we felt would really make a large amount of difference.

The first feature is a better ‘looking for squad’ system. We want to make sure people can find other players to play our game with. Tabula Rasa is much more fun when you play in a squad, so we need to facilitate that. Speaking of which, one of the things to enhance this system will be a better lock feature. When you lock a target, that target will now stay locked, regardless if it is behind you or not. Furthermore, there will be a lock for friendly and hostile actions. So if you are locked on a friendly, but switch to a hostile weapon, that friendly will still be locked when you switch back. This feature is going into testing now with 1.8.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 13 Spotlight Page Launched

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has launched a new spotlight page which highlights Book 13: Doom of the Last-king, the upcoming free content expansion for Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar.

Book 13: Doom of the Last-king is the latest free content update for The Lord of the Rings Online™! It’s packed with new features including Forochel, a new region to explore for higher-level players. Monster players can take on another role in the struggle between the Shadow and the Free People as a new healing class, the orc Defiler. Adventurers ready for a little downtime should check out the first Hobby, fishing! Return to Annúminas or check out the newly revamped Social panel options to find groups more easily than ever before. Join us as we unveil the next book in this epic adventure: Book 13: Doom of the Last-king!

Read more here.

WWII Online: Battleground Europe : 14 Day Free Trial

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cornered Rat Software has offered an open invitation to gamers to try out WWII Online: Battleground Europe for a 14 day free trial.

Bedford, TX, April 11th, 2008 - Cornered Rat Software is inviting gamers to a special 14-day free trial of their award-winning MMOG, "WWII Online: Battleground Europe" with great prizes and a special rank bonus for those who exhibit the skills and instincts to defeat their enemy in combat.

PC and Mac gamers can create a free 14-day trial account, download the game and compete in a test of skills on the virtual battlefields of World War II Europe. Each week, the player who scores the greatest number of kills in selected categories will be awarded a free 1-year subscription to "Battleground Europe". A special rank bonus, unlocking additional weapons and equipment, will be awarded to those trial players who perform above and beyond in their duty to defeat enemy forces. See the trial information page for more details at www.battlegroundeurope.com/trial

Read more here.

Hellgate : Korean Launch

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Hellgate: London has launched in Korean and Flagship Studios is calling it the most successful Korean Launch in 3 years.

San Francisco, CA (April 11th, 2008) - Flagship Studios today announced that its action role-playing game Hellgate: London has become the most successful online video game launch for Korea in the past three years with over 1 million accounts registered within the first two weeks of its open beta test. Hellgate: London is the first online game in over three years to use a monthly subscription business model.

After launching the open beta on January 15th, Hellgate: London quickly rose to the ninth most played online game, fifth most popular RPG and most popular online beta game in PC Cafes*, with over 1 million accounts. Hellgate: London was released commercially on February 22nd, and achieved record sales in its first week of presales.

“To become the most successful launch in Korea for over three years is an incredible achievement,” said Bill Roper , CEO of Flagship Studios. “This milestone wouldn’t have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our publishing partner, Hanbitsoft, and our dedicated community in Korea . We look forward to expanding the Hellgate universe and building upon this success in the future.”

Read more here.

General : Mousing Surface and Razer GW Mouse

Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh gives us a quick look aat and her impressions of both the Razer Destructor Pro Mousing Surface and the DeathAdder Guild Wars Edition Mouse.

The Razer Destructor Pro mousing surface is the latest mouse pad offering from Razer. A hard surface, this mouse pad is larger than your average mouse pad and as it is a hard surface, is thinner than your average padded cloth mouse pad.

In order to develop this mouse pad, Razer called on pro-gaming teams for their help and the resulting product has earned their endorsements – which are printed on the product box itself. It is shipped in a beautiful padded case with a cut-out foam insert for easy transport to and from LAN parties and competitions. You wouldn’t want to accidentally bend this puppy!

Read the whole thing here.

General : A Chat about MMOGChart

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Jon Wood

In her final report coming out of the Indie MMOR Developers Conference, Laura Genender talks to Bruce Woodcock, better known as "Sir Bruce" of the interesting and sometimes controversial traffic-tracking site MMOGChart.com.

Last week at IMGDC I sat down with Bruce Woodcock, MMOG Analyst, and the man behind MMOGChart.com. For those of you who haven’t visited MMOGChart.com, Bruce’s idea and actions have become six years of tracking MMO populations.

It all started in 2002, when Bruce was browsing a forum and a random, interesting post caught his eye. An Ultima (or perhaps ex-Ultima) player posted a story about UO numbers declining based on Ultima press release numbers vs. EverQuest press release numbers.

Read the whole article here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Welcome to Forochel!

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Jon Wood

Turbine has posted this great (and interesting) dev journal about designing Forochel from a World Builder's perspective. In MMO production, World Builders are the ones who populate the world withe verything from hills to rivers to buildings to deserts.

After weeks of teasing the Isengard players and later the Live forums, it is now known without a doubt that Forochel is the newest playable region for The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM. With the launch of Book 13: Doom of the Last-king, players will get the opportunity to explore this brand new region (aimed at level 44-50 characters) and earn the trust of the Lossoth - the native folk of the Northern Wastes.

Forochel is a region that many of us on the World and Content teams have been looking forward to for a long time now. It is off the beaten path of the Fellowship, which affords us a lot of flexibility in terms of design. This new landscape also gave us an opportunity to try out some new tools that were just recently developed for our upcoming expansion, Mines of Moria!

Read it all here.

StarQuest Online : New Screenshots

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

Six new images have been added to our StarQuest Online screenshot gallery.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Guild Wars : Guild Wars Art on Sarah Brightman Album

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

Symphony, the Latest album from Sarah Brightman will feature art from Guild Wars by ArenaNet Art Director Daniel Dociu.

As some of our eagle-eyed players have noticed, Symphony, the latest album from world-renowned vocalist Sarah Brightman features art from Guild Wars. Several months ago Ms. Brightman approached ArenaNet Art Director Daniel Dociu, feeling that his art style was a great match for this album. The album and website include concept art from Guild Wars, as well as original art created specifically for Symphony.

For more information, visit the official Sarah Brightman website.

Read more here.

Angels Online : New Server

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they will be adding a new server for Angels Online during the games next maintenance.

Angels Online, the new MMORPG from IGG, has attracted a lot of players during its short 4 months of operation.

With an increasing number of the AO players, the Angels Online team has decided to open a new server called Sofie after this Thursday’s maintenance, and at the same time a series of captivating events will be held to commemorate the opening. You can view these events below:

Event 1: Quianer Meets His Match

Event Location: Training Palace A1 (161, 86) in the Sofiel Server

Event Contents:

  1. After beginning, the GM will wait for all the Little Angels in Training Palace A1 (161, 86).
  2. The GM will make a team with four random angels in Training Palace A1 (161, 86) and help them finish the quest.
  3. After finishing the quest, the GM will leave the team at once and make a new team with another group of angels.
  4. Don't worry if you aren't on the first team made. Also, there is no need to trade with the GM or add him as a friend during the monster killing. Our GMs will continually make new teams to try and help everyone.

Read more about the events here and here.

Wonderland Online : Closed Beta Screenshots

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has sent over eight new screenshots from the Wonderland Online Closed Beta, which can be viewed in our Wonderland Online screenshot gallery.

On the day of the Wonderland Online Closed Beta release, tons of players surged into the game. The servers were almost full within 5 minutes after the release!!!

Right now, we’d pleased to share some wonderful screenshots with all. Here are eight screenshots available for viewing as below:

For more about it, please visit the official website.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : Double Reputation Weekend

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Disney have announced that they will be holding a Double Reputation weekend, where players can earn double reputation points.

Earn DOUBLE REPUTATION points in Pirates Online this weekend!
Play anytime from noon - 3 PM (PDT) this Saturday, April 12, and you'll earn double reputation points in both land and ship battles. Saturday's event is for both Basic and Unlimited Access players!

DOUBLE REPUTATION Points on Sunday & Exclusively for Unlimited Access Members!
All Unlimited Access members are also invited to participate in an exclusive double reputation event this Sunday, April 13, from noon - 3 PM (PDT).

Don't miss this chance to level up your Pirate & twice as fast!

Read more here.

General : Turbine Makes List

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine, the company behind Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Asheron's Call has announced that thay have made the list on the Northeast 100 Top Private Companies.

WESTWOOD, MA -- April 11, 2008 – Turbine, Inc., a premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds, today announced that it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the Northeast 100 Top Private Companies. The first-annual Northeast 100 list was compiled by the AlwaysOn editorial panel. In order to be eligible for the list, companies in the Northeastern United States had to be creating new business opportunities in high-growth markets, demonstrating significant market traction and pursuing game-changing technology in a key sector. AlwaysOn received hundreds of nominations for this year’s list.

Turbine and the Northeast 100 Top Companies for 2008 were honored at the AlwaysOn Venture Summit East held April 7 – April 9, 2008, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, MA. Venture Summit East is a two-day gathering that highlights the significant economic, political and technology trends impacting the global growth investor. Venture Summit East features the most influential institutional investors, venture capitalists, corporate buyers, investment bankers and research analysts in the Eastern US in keynote presentations and panel debates. The idea behind the Northeast 100 companies list is to identify the most promising entrepreneurial opportunities and investments in the Northeast region’s technology industry.

“For the first annual elite Northeast 100 list we surveyed more than 500 venture investors, investment bankers, and technology insiders, who nominated hundreds of companies to determine the Northeast 100 winners,” said Tony Perkins, Founder and Editor, AlwaysOn Network. “Each of the Northeast 100 winners had to demonstrate leadership among their peers in the following areas: innovation, market opportunity, commercialization, media buzz, and stakeholder value creation. We congratulate them all on this great honor!”

An online entertainment veteran, Turbine is recognized globally for its industry-leading technology platform, groundbreaking game graphics and its ability to create and operate massive and persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities. Turbine employs over 250 people and has become the largest privately-held online gaming and technology studio in North America. Turbine has created some of the most popular and exciting game worlds on the Internet, like the award-winning Asheron's Call®, Dungeons & Dragons Online™: Stormreach™, and The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™.

“Turbine has created the technology and experiences that are driving the future of online entertainment by bringing together the best of online games, virtual worlds and social networks,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “We are honored to be selected as one of the top 100 companies in the Northeast as it is a real validation of our success to date and of our strategy moving forward as we expand our product portfolio and our geographic footprint.”

Read more about Turbine here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : User Interface Preview

Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab Software has posted a dev journal which takes a look at what the Pirates of the Burning Sea UI team has been working on of late.

The other big task the UI team had for this milestone was to improve the mission journal. From your feedback, we knew that the list of missions wasn’t giving players enough information to decide which missions to do and when. There were also a few sorting and color bugs that needed to be squished.

The first problem we wanted to address was how mission difficulty is shown. Lots of players have shared how frustrating it is to go on a mission meant for higher-level characters, only to fail the mission or worse, lose a ship. We also heard from quite a few people that the original color choices meant to show difficulty were hard to distinguish and pretty much useless for colorblind people. So, we improved the colors… but didn’t stop there!

We also had the content team take a look at mission difficulty and adjust when to file a mission as “easiest” or “hardest,” etc. The result is a much more accurate color-coding system. To make things even clearer, we also put the ideal level for the mission in its own sortable column. Hopefully this will give everyone a clearer picture of how hard a mission will be before they attempt it.

Read more here.