City of Villains has released 10 brand new screenshots featuring their new "Mayhem Missions" that will be a part of the upcoming Issue 7 "Destiny Manifest". They have also released a movie to go along with the screenshots, which you can see here.
For more info on CoV, click here.
The Legend of Ares has just completed their first closed beta, which ended on April 30th. They will begin their second closed beta on May 3rd and it will run until May 7th:
The End of 1st Closed Beta
Thank you very much for participating in our first Closed Beta for The Legend of Ares. We have received many suggestions, bug reports, and comments during the past week, and we are very thankful for them as they have proved very helpful and useful.
We are working hard to implement many changes from our user input and look forward to hear what they have to say during the second Closed Beta.
The second Closed Beta will begin on May 3rd and end on May 7th.
We are hoping for a great turnout for this event as more and more of The Legend of Ares will be revealed.
Player characters from the first Close Beta will persist through the second Closed Beta meaning no changes will be made.
If there are any comments or suggestions users have from the Beta events please direct them to email@example.com.
For more on The Legend of Ares, click here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released a new Weekly Forum Roundup. This feature highlights various threads in the official game forums that the developers thought might be helpful or positive.
Every Monday we will highlight certain threads from our forums. These threads will be helpful or generally positive threads started by our team or by the members of our community from the previous week. They will be fun items we wish to highlight, or good discussions that we feel the players would benefit from reading.
Read the feature, here.
Guild Wars has released a warning that the grace period for people who have bother a Prophecies and a Factions key is almost up. This refers to an offer whewre a user who has both of these things is able to create a 5th or 6th character.
The grace period mentioned in an earlier news post will end at 11:59 p.m. PDT on May 8. During the 10-day grace period, if you have a Prophecies account and have added a Factions pre-order key, you can create a 5th or 6th character. After the 10-day grace period, if you have not added a Factions (retail) key to your account, you will not be able to create a 5th or 6th character. We will not delete your new characters, items, or skill unlocks after the 10-day grace period. However, you will need to add a Factions (retail) key to your account in order to play with any Canthan characters after the end of the Extended Head Start Event.
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
Andrew Tepper drops in to answer our questions for our latest Q&A. This interview focuses on the third installment of his social-Egyptian MMORPG. Unlike most games, A Tale in the Desert begins anew with fresh challenges once the players solve the goals of the previous tale. Recently, A Tale II came to an end, sending this game back into beta.
| MMORPG.com: What would you say are the major distinguishing features between ATITD3 and ATITD2?
Andrew Tepper: In ATITD 1 and 2, we had a very good retention rate – 50% - through the point when a player becomes a Citizen. Typically that is 5 or 6 hours. And the game was very good about letting you know a good first goal – the path to Citizenship was laid out as a checklist that could be accomplished in any order.
Once a player became a citizen, the game branched enormously, and provided no “snack-sized” goals. Only the most self-directed, focused players did well in that post-citizenship phase, and that was a huge flaw in the game design.
In ATITD 3, we've introduced the concept of Levels. All the main goals (the Tests) post-citizenship have checklists associated with them. Complete a checklist, and you have completed “Principles of (the Test)”, and advance by one level. So for example, the Test of the Obelisk challenges you to build the tallest Obelisk in your region. Principles of the Obelisk requires you to build a 14 cubit-high Obelisk. While Tests sometimes have goals like “the biggest”, “the most highly rated”, or “the most complete”, Principles all have fixed goals.
You can read the Q&A here.
Final Fantasy XI has released some new information concerning monsters, claiming monsters, and enmity. This article expands on information from a news release back on April 17th:
In the version update news released on April 17, there was a brief explanation of the changes made to claiming monsters. We would now like to expand upon that explanation to give players a concrete idea of how the process of claiming monsters has been altered.
To state things clearly, only the conditions for “claiming” a monster have been changed--the process through which a monster chooses a target based on enmity remains the same.
Read it all, here.
Age of Conan has released some more detailed information on Prestige classes as well as their guild system. We've only given you a small piece of hte information pie, if you'd like to read more, follow the link below:
This week we take a deeper look at the Prestige class and guild systems in Age of Conan
First up a word from Game Director Gaute Godager on the subject of guilds and the Prestige classes on all the interest shown amongst the community.
"I thought I would write a section for you about the balance between guild- and solo play. This has generated a lot of heated debate on the forums, which is something we really do appreciate, honestly, and it does inspire us to make sure we get this balance right.
The core of the question is: can we give any advantage to social gameplay without affecting negatively some peoples’ perception of solo gameplay? I guess that is impossible. The problem is, I want to reward people for being social, without alienating the true image of Conan as a truly solo friendly game. I have thus decided on making a compromise for the social classes, the Prestige Classes as we call them. The compromise is to let all abilities be available for your social class, but simply in a somewhat weaker form. You are barred from nothing, but you can not reach your full potential.
Now then, the remaining question is: how much more powerful will the abilities be in a Guild? Is it 5%, 10% or 50%. To be honest, I don’t know yet. This is something we will find out during beta. There will be a difference though. Now on to the important parts..."
Read it all, here.
This past weekend, Sanya Thomas released a brand new grab bag for Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. As usual, we provide a sample of the bag, to get the whole thing, click the link below:
Here we go again on my own, rolling down the only road I've ever known:
Q: There is so much lag on Agramon. What are you doing about it?
A: We strive to make optimizing tweaks in every patch. The first thing we do, of course, is run around the target zone with a variety of hardware setups at a variety of times. Your man in PQ reminded me that performance in windowed mode is significantly worse. Even though we are planning to make some tweaks in 1.84, you may find that the convenience of windowed mode isn't worth the performance cost.
Q: Now that Valkyries are able to use large shields, is there currently any way to trade medium versions of Aten's Shield and Cyclops Eye Shield for the large versions?
A: The Cyclops Eye is only available in the small and medium sizes. We will do our best to get an exchange policy for the Aten's Shield into the next patch for you.
Q: Does a Heal Over Time spell add the caster to the mob's hate list?
A: Nope, says our lead programmer.
Before you ask about Frigg's, it's just different by design. Whether or not we change that design will depend on the discussions we have when we look at the shaman again.
Read it all, here.
John "Rev" Tynes, the Producer of Pirates of the Burning Sea, has released a brand new "milestone update", letting us know some of the upcoming milestones for the game.
Pirates of the Burning Sea is an ever-growing world. To build it we structure our work in milestones, which are blocks of work six to eight weeks long. Each milestone focuses on specific objectives in development, art, and world-building. As we create the game, we’ll tell you what we’re working on in the current milestone and what we’ve got planned for the next, so you can see all the cool new features that are coming down the pipeline and get an inside look at the creation of a new MMORPG.
Current Milestone Goals
For more information, click here.
Nathan Knaack's weekly column is back with a look at alternative social structures in MMORPGs. Every Monday, this former Rapid Reality developer pens a design-themed column for MMORPG.com.
|We’ve seen many forms of social interaction in MMORPGs over the years, from loose-knit and temporary groups of people who come together with blind invitations to multiple game-spanning guilds composed of hundreds, even thousands of dedicated members. The internet will soon have more websites dedicated to MMORPG guilds than porn, it seems. It’s also no secret that game developers are starting to design content specifically for groups of 40 or more players, fully realizing that this puts most of that content beyond the scope of individuals, even those who might be willing to work with other strangers. In most games, it’s tough to keep a group of eight players together before someone crashes, leaves to do their own thing, or has to log off for some reason. In a game like WoW, where most of the high-end content requires a good-sized guild to conquer, there is a growing population of casual players, people with lacking social skills, or individuals that just prefer to play solo that are being left out.
What I believe MMORPGs could use are some additional social structures, different systems in place to give those people the option of getting involved in larger groups without having to wait in long cues, harass existing members, brown-nose their way into an elite guild. Some readers are already formulating their “don’t force anything on me” rebuttals, so I’ll remind them of the key word in this paragraph: “additional.” I’m not talking about changing or eliminating the faction/guild/clan/corporation structure of existing MMORPGs, but adding more optional structures that would provide more dynamic character interaction. I’ve spoken of this tactic before, referring to it as “tricking people into role-playing.” In this case, perhaps a more accurate description is “tempting” them into it.
You can read the full column here.
Candace and Jim Miller of GirlzGameToo were recently interviewed by Brian Perry Jr. The duo have set up a community website for female gamers and are running a very unique event in celebration.
|Mayday is an event envisioned by Vyktor, the webmaster over at girlzgametoo.com. While the site is a community for female gamers (or men to better understand female gamers), it’s not some feminist society for the removal of men. Actually, it’s just a site thrown together to celebrate female gamers, much like the Mayday event. However the Mayday event really is more than a just some random celebration, it’s actually a well planned out gathering to make a statement.
The main purpose behind Mayday is to celebrate being a gamer. With all the negative publicity gamers have endured recently, from the Jack Thompson slandering of gamers as a whole to the now ancient “Hot Coffee” mod controversy, gamers really haven’t had anything positive to celebrate. This bothered everyone over at GGT, including Vyktor, so he started making plans to host a huge event across many different games to reach out to as large of a group of gamers as possible.
You can read the interview and see the full preview here.
Gods and Heroes, the MMORPG currently in development by Perpetual Studios, have announced the launch of their brand new community website. The new website can be found at: http://community.godsandheroes.com/
Global Goonzu Online has announced the offical launch of their new open beta test, which began on April 20th, 2006.
Global Goonzu Online- Official launch of NEW OPEN BETA
NDOORS Corporation, the PC and console (PSP, PS2) game developing and publishing specialist, has officially announced the launch of its MMORPG, Global GoonZu New Open Beta Version, on April 20, 2006. Global GoonZu Online provides improved graphics and additional game features along with more character choices. (Download – http://global.goonzu.com)
NDOORS Corp is currently planning to introduce the game in Electronic Entertainment Expo, simply knows as E3, to grab the global players attentions. With its successful commercial launching experience in Korea and in Japan, NDOORS Corp is aggressively seeking its opportunities to take the fast growing online game market by satisfying the global users’ tastes. Goonzu Online, the popular Korean MMORPG, has now more than 3 million members.
Cute and simple animation style graphics and low system requirements are the distinctive features of this game, and the easy game control and comprehensive game interface allows the new MMORPG users to play the game with ease and helps to shorten the learning curve. Goonzu Online distinguishes itself from the rest of traditional battle focused MMORPGs by simulating the real world social aspects like politics, real-time trading, stock exchanges, and resident voting system.
NDOORS Corp has development teams which consist of highly experienced developers (more than 15 years of experience) in both areas of PC and console game development and Tae-Gon Kim, the R&D director of NDOORS Corp, is recognized as one of the top three star developers in Korea.
For more on this game, click here.
TQ Digital, the company behind the released MMORPG, Conquer Online, has announced a new title that will soon be hitting their alpha stage shortly. The game, which had been orginally titled "Realm of Chaos", will be called "Eudemons Online".
TQ Digital Entertainment today changed its fantasy MMORPG Realm of Chaos into Eudemons Online. In this mythic world, you can choose to become a warrior, Mage or Psychic, command your heroes and challenge the most powerful and evil boss.
In Eudemons Online, you can raise some pets to guard you and destroy your enemies. This is Eudemons Online's exclusive and distinctive features differs form other MMORPGs. The system has provided 8 kinds of pets for you to choose: explosive, mutative, reflecting, possessing, dynamic, magical, agile and defensive. These pets possess their own unique combat skills. Some can self-destruct themselves or possess enemies’ spirit to impair and destroy.
Meanwhile, TQ Digital announced that close alpha test would begin on May 8th in Las Vegas server. Close test will last about 1-2 months and all data be removed after that. By beta accounts, they said the ways of getting thest accounts would soon release, you can visit Eudemons Online official site for more info.
To visit the site, click here.
The Horizons development team has posted a development update on their community site. It runs through what the team has planned in the next while.
|Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Two design previews in a row! There is so much to talk about that we just couldn't wait to get another typed up and posted for you all to read. So, without any further delays...
May is going to be a busy month for us. We have some content on Blight that will be (barring unforseen developments) patching to the live servers. This content will include the next event titled "The Offensive Continues" as well as the beginning of the New Trismus overhaul. The invasion of the Withered Aegis towards Harro heats up and your beloved war-hero, Jatell, continues to predict the movements and actions of the invading forces with uncanny skill and accuracy. On New Trismus, six new quests for both Warrior and Mage are available and we hope new players enjoy them. Quests for Clerics and Scouts as well as the other three base schools (Monk, Spiritist, and Druid) will be coming in time, but we aren't yet done with Warrior and Mage. We have an additional five quests for each that will be added in the near future, including a four-part story quest.
You can read the full update here.
To conclude our April podcast series, we bring you the big show. This week, Jon and Mike debate the hot topics of the MMO genre, while Dana interviews Shadowbane Community Manager Sean Dahlberg about his memories of the game, its future and much more.
You can listen to the full podcast here.
A Tale in the Desert III beta is going to be going live today. Read the latest info on this game in their newsletter below! Read more about A Tale in the Desert, here.
Citizens of Egypt,
I'm really excited to finally be able to announce the Beta Test for A Tale in the Desert III:
A Tale in the Desert I had a frantic pace early on. Most technologies were fully player-unlockable, and so it was a race to open as many per region as possible, and a race to learn as many skills as possible, and to build everything. Not surprisingly, burnout was the overwhelming reason for people leaving the game.
A Tale in the Desert II attempted to enforce a more moderate pace. Though some people felt they couldn't keep up, just as many left due to wanting to play faster.
I don't think it's possible for a Tale to be slow and fast at the same time, and I think the faster pace was more fun. So, the plan for ATITD 3 is fast paced. I'll give plenty of "Pace Yourself" warnings, but the game won't try to enforce it.
The notion of player-unlockable content has even been expanded: At release we should have 28 Tests (plus the 7 Initiations) unlockable. We'll have somewhat fewer than that at the start of Beta. To unlock a Test, visit the appropriate University, and (for instance) "Petition for the Test of the Acrobat." You will be told:
"The Test of the Acrobat must be petitioned by one with Dexterity of at least Seven, even fleetingly."
So this means that as soon as Cooking has been unlocked, and enough recipes are known to create a meal with +7 Dexterity, The Test of the Acrobat can be unlocked. The person who actually does the unlocking is recognized in the System channel.
I'm planning to do two beta sessions - the first will last for about a week, and is primarily for experienced/existing ATITD players. It will be an "open" beta in the sense that no special keys are needed to enter, and the goal is to get the right feel for that first critical week. Expect lots of developer-chats and quick changes to difficulty levels.
The second Beta will last for about three weeks, and we're partnering with FilePlanet for that one. I expect that Beta to have a somewhat more refined/mature feel to it. I'll send another newsletter next week with details.
A Tale in the Desert II will continue without interruption throughout both Betas.
Ok, next item is the preorder system. Three different packages this time, with some options. All of these come with a T-Shirt by default:
3-Month: In-game goodies include choice of a Sheep, a Medium Stone, or a Compound Trim Upgrade. Also access to the 12 legacy avatars normaly reserved for Tale 1/2 players, a Specimen Case for preserving unique cut gems, a Flight-of-the-Phoenix fireworks assortment (28 shells), and a miniature assortment in Beta. $49.95
6-Month: All of the above (Sheep, Stone AND Trim upgrade), an additional Specimen Case, an additional "Fury of Isis" fireworks assortment, and some extra fireworks during Beta. $89.95
12-Month: All of the 6-Month package, plus something that only a more intimate game like ATITD can offer: One of the ATITD team will visit your camp and help decorate it with favorite species of flora, terrain customization, and decorative items. Not in a way that gives a gameplay advantage (no forests of wood), but just as a way of saying thank you. For those ordering this package, I have a few extra gifts, including a rare "Octec's Glory" ancient fireworks package, a Founder's Chat Bubble, and an additional pair of specimen cases. Since we're a small team, this one is naturally limited. $169.95
Also, the folks at Heavy Melody Music have put together a CD of all the music they composed for ATITD, packaged with screenshots of the game, in a jewel case. The CD even includes one unreleased track. Add this to any of the above packages for $6.95.
Well, time for me to get back to code. I'm really happy with how A Tale in the Desert III is turning out, and I look forward to these next few weeks, and then to launch. Can't wait to see everyone there.
Dawn in the Desert,
Thanks to FlyingLab for sending these on.
Dark Age of Camelot has announced some brand new Classic World Notes. We are thold that these hot fixes are now up.
CAMELOT CLASSIC WORLD NOTES
Quests - Albion
- The Important Delivery quest can now be obtained from Master Frederick.
Quests - Midgard
- The Important Delivery quest can now be obtained from Dalikor.
Quests - Hibernia
- The starter quests initiated by the base class trainers in Mag Mell can now be obtained from the appropriate trainers. The quests affected by this fix are as follows: Information from Etain, Information from Blercyn, Information from Ula, Information from Breeda, and Information from Meadghbh.
- The Important Delivery quest can now be obtained from Addrir.
For more DAoC, click here.
The good and hearty folk over at Flying Labs Software, the developers of Pirates of the Burning Sea, have announced the release of a brand new video:
You've clamored, you've demanded, you've poked and you have prodded, all in the hopes of seeing a brand new video trailer for Pirates of the Burning Sea.
Well, poke and prod no more! Flying Lab Software is pleased to announce the world premier of the latest Pirates of the Burning Sea video production, graciously hosted by our friends at the Coldfront Network!
Once again directed by Sevker, the renowned master of machinima, this trailer boasts an original and evocative soundtrack, as well as a phenomenal cast of characters recruited directly from our very own beta testing community.
But wait, there's more! With the introduction of this video, we are pleased to announce that the video production schedule has been adjusted so that we may bring you a new Pirates of the Burning Sea video at least once, and sometimes twice, every month.
We hope you enjoy our latest work, and we encourage you to share both your feedback on this video, and your ideas for the future.
Without further ado, download your very own copy of the world premier Pirates of the Burning Sea game play trailer by visiting this link!
Enjoy, won't you?
For more PotBS, click here.