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Elf Online : Rare Pet Training Report

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Happymmo have released information on the training of rare pets in Elf Online.

Many Elf Online lovers bear the same question: how to raise a best pet. No doubt that basic attribute is important for a pet, however, what helps the players most is the talent skills a pet has. The higher training level it is, the stronger skill a pet will have. But what is the fastest way to train pet skills? In other words, what is the fastest way to upgrade pet training level?

Now with the help of Elf Online player CowCow, let’s anatomize the fastest way to raise a strong pet. According to CowCow, he owns rare pet Ninja Turtle. Now the pet level is Lv34, but extraordinarily its pet training level is Lv57.

How does he achieve this? Let’s see his special way. CowCow told us that he used some mall items to help him. Firstly, he used the single monster card so that every time he would only encounter 1 monster in battle. And then he used the chicken soup which helped him to get double training exp. So every time he fights in a battle, he will get the maximum 20 training exp by killing one monster easily. Together with his hard working and persistence, he achieves the extraordinary Lv57 training level pet.

With the help of the strong skills brought by high training level, CowCow levels up easily in game.

Read more here.

Stargate Worlds : Jaffa Get a Makeover in SGW

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

Stargate Worlds Assistant Art Director Nick Heitzman has penned a few paragraphs on the look of the Jaffa in Stargate Worlds.

We wanted them to be strong, sexy and exuding an aura of command," said Nick, "adding a presence of power and discipline to groups they assist or work with to further their goals. To achieve that in Stargate Worlds, Jaffa are consistently larger, more muscular in appearance, and precise in their movements than other galactic residents. They are stern and militaristic for the most part, adapting an almost Spartan aesthetic in clothing and armor which has evolved from their non-materialistic attitude and status as slaves or mercenaries on most worlds - preferring function over form in their clothing, armor and equipment - with little in the way of unnecessary decoration.

Their palette is mostly earth tones and muted colors, more ancient Greece than Rome. Preferring to prove their worth through combat prowess rather than extravagant appearance or fully encased in ornate or complex armor. They appear extremely vibrant and healthy, in peak physical condition thanks to constant training and untiring devotion to focusing their skills to a higher level of effectiveness.

Read more here.

Hellgate : Update Details Revealed

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Hellgate: London have released their plans for the next three game updates at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.  The updates include two smaller patches and a major content update called "The Abyss Chronicles".

Perhaps the most sought-after information that Hellgaters are most interested in on our forums is insight into the future of Hellgate: London. After a great first day at the Games Developer Conference, we'd like to offer a kingly scoop on this very topic. And so, without further ado, we lift the curtain and reveal our plans for the next three Hellgate: London updates. Note that while the bullets outline the contents of each patch, they are actively being worked on and will have more thorough patch notes upon release.

Patch 1.2

  • In-game mail with the ability to attach items.
  • Marksman skill adjustments.
  • Many bug fixes.

Previously known only for its sweeping changes to the Marksman class, Patch 1.2 will add in-game mail, a hotly desired feature. Additionally, a great many bugs are addressed in this build, many of them reported by the community.

Read more here.

General : Requiem: Bloodymare - GDC interview

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Jon Wood

At this year's Game Developer's Conference, Community Manager Laura Genender caught up with the folks developing Requiem: Bloodymare to talk about their upcoming MMORPG.

Your average MMORPG shows a definite appreciation of certain adult concepts: revealing female armor, enemies such as skeletons and zombies… hell, entire games are based around combat and killing. Today at GDC, though, I saw Gravity Interactive’s upcoming MMO Requiem: Bloodymare, a game that takes adult and mature concepts to the next level.

Gravity’s Joon Yoon (Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator) and Bohle’s Derek Asato (Vice President) gave me a tour of the game – and as the name suggests, its very bloody and very gory. Every swing of our character’s sword produced a spray of blood; deaths were heralded by flying limps and, on rare occasions, I was treated to the sight of creatures cut clear in half.

Read the whole article here.

EverQuest II : Get to Know a Developer: Bill Yeatts

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has released a dev profile of EverQuest II Art Director and Character Lead, Bill Yeatts.

How did you become a game artist? Can you tell us about what path you took?

I got my art degree from a junior college in traditional 2 dimension design/painting. I meddled with digital art here and there during school then eventually got an internship. A year after I graduated, I finally landed a full time spot. 17 years later I ended up here at SOE doing what I love, making games.

Did you ever think you'd end up as a game artist?

No, I didn't even think art was a valid career beyond illustration.

I am glad I was wrong.

Which of these was your first love: games or art?

Games. I have always been a crazy gamer. I love computer games, online games, pen and paper role playing games, card games… you name it, I probably like playing it.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-earth: Vale of Thráin

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorbook has been updated with a look at the Vale of Thráin, where many brave Elves and Dwarves begin their adventures.

Leading down from the lofty heights of the Blue Mountains, where lies the gate to Thorin’s Hall, is a long and wide valley bounded by forested slopes and ancient ruins: the Vale of Thráin. All manner of wild beasts inhabit the mountains, from elegant lynx to massive bears and filthy hendrevail. Along the road through the Vale are two outposts maintained by the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains: the way-station Nogrod, and Gondamon, the fortress at the foot of the Vale.

The road running through the Vale was once heavily travelled by merchants and traders, but recent difficulties with goblins and dwarves from the outcast Dourhand clan have rendered the highway unsafe. Along with that strife, tensions have slowly been rising between the dwarves and the Elves of Duillond, the refuge south of the Vale.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Quarterly Economic Newsletter

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has published EVE's Quarterly Economic Newsletter by their resident economist, Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson.  The report details economic activities and trends for the fourth quarter of 2007.

The population of EVE grew sharply in Q4. This jump is attributed to the Trinity expansion and continued interest for EVE. By the end of 2007, there were 220,000 active subscribers representing 460,000 player characters—a 14% increase from the 192,000 subscribers on October 1st, 2007. The average number of characters per account fell from 2.2 at the end of Q3 to 2.04 at the end of Q4 2007. This is most likely due to the increased number of new subscribers that have not fully utilized their character options. Further growth is expected in subscriber numbers and thus characters as well. We therefore estimate that by the end of Q2 2008, we will have more than 250,000 subscribers representing 500,000+ characters in EVE.

EVE is a vast universe of more than 5000 solar systems distributed over 66 regions. Each region and each solar system is unique in terms of ore type combinations, quantities and distribution of agents. In such a vast environment where the risk and time cost of transportation between systems is significant, we decided to audit the movement of characters.

Read more here.

General : SOE Founds Scholarship For Female Dev

Posted Feb 21, 2008 by Jon Wood

On Tuesday night of the Game Developer's Conference, the team from Sony Online Entertainment announced that they would be providing money for a scholarship that will see one potential female developer awarded $10,000 toward their education at The Art Institutes.

On Tuesday evening, attended an SOE gathering at the Game Developer's Conference. There, the company announced a new initiative that will see a $10,000 scholarship for The Art Institutes awarded to a deserving female candidate. On top of the tuition money, the winning candidate will receive a paid internship at one of SOE's numerous studios.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to try to draw more women into the gaming industry, an industry that is currently male dominated. It is the hope that the scholarship, named G.I.R.L. (Gamers in Real Life) will eventually help to close the gender gap that currently exists on the development side of the industry.

According to a press release, Torrie Dorrell (VP of Global Sales and Marketing for SOE) had this to say:

Read it all here.

General : Cryptic Announces Champions Online

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

After much speculation on what Cryptic Studios have been working on since the Marvel MMO was officially canceled, they have officially announced that they are remaining in the super hero business with an MMO based on the pen an paper RPG Champions.

LOS GATOS, CA – February 20, 2008 – Cryptic Studios™, one of the leading independent developers of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), announced today Champions Online™, their first ever self-developed and self-published MMORPG. Champions Online, based on the popular pen-and-paper Champions RPG, will give players the power of total customization of their hero experience while they explore a vast universe of richly detailed 3D environments. Champions Online is slated for release in Spring 2009.

Cryptic Studios also announced today that it has acquired the Champions intellectual property (IP) from Hero Games. First published in 1981, the Champions role-playing game is one of the first RPGs to forgo the traditional dice-rolling system of character generation in favor of a point-based system. Cryptic Studios has licensed back to Hero Games the rights to produce Champions RPG books, and the sixth edition of the HERO System and Champions, set to release in 2009, will include rules on how to recreate Champions Online characters and scenarios.

"We thought carefully about which IP to select for our next game,"said Jack Emmert, chief creative officer of Cryptic Studios. "I've been playing the Champions RPG since it first came out and I love both the rich history and wide array of compelling characters which made this an obvious choice for Cryptic Studios."

Read more here.

Visit the Champions Online Official site here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Lord of the Rings IP Rights Extended

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced that they have come to an agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to extend the license to develop MMORPGs based on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to 2014.

WESTWOOD, MA – February 20, 2008 - Turbine, Inc. announced today that in the wake of the global success of The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, named the 2007 PC Game of the Year*, it has reached an agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to extend it’s license to develop Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG) based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien to 2014 with additional options to extend the rights until 2017.  

“We’re thrilled with the global success of The Lord of the Rings Online since its launch in 2007,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc.   “With the recent announcement of what are sure to be two blockbuster films based on The Hobbit and a sequel, we expect the success of the license and our relationship with Tolkien Enterprises to grow for years to come.”

“We have had a wonderful working relationship with Turbine over the past several years,” said Albert M. Bendich, Executive Vice President of The Saul Zaentz Company, and its merchandising division Tolkien Enterprises. “We look forward to our continuing success with Turbine as it pushes the envelope for compelling online entertainment and gameplay to bring the compelling characters of Middle-earth to life for Tolkien fans around the world.”

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Devlog, New Producer

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

Yet another dev log has been posted on the Pirates of the Burning Sea official site. This one introduces a new programmer, reveals what's on the horizon in the 1.2 patch, and helps players get to know the game's new producer. 

Although I’ve been on Pirates of the Burning Sea since before it had a name, and have posted lots of dev logs and many replies in the forums, I don’t think most of you have heard of me. John Scott Tynes (aka “Rev”) is going to work on other things, and I’m stepping into the role of Producer on Pirates, so I wanted to re-introduce myself and talk a little about what’s coming up in the next few weeks.

To start things off, we have a new hire! John Zipperer joins us as a new client and tools programmer. His years as a programmer on Guild Wars at ArenaNet will be a real asset to the Pirates of the Burning Sea team. John will be working on a new art pipeline in order to greatly increase the rate at which our artists can get new environments into the game, and I’m excited to have him here.

The other big news is the 1.2 patch. This is our first major content patch and it is so chock full of good stuff that we have to spread it out across a series of Devlogs that you’ll see throughout the next week. To kick things off I wanted to give you an overview of what’s coming up.

Read more here.

General : SOE, Vivox Partnership

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

Sony Online Entertainment has announced a deal with Vivox to provide voice communication tools for SOE's roster games.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, is poised to revolutionize the way gamers stay connected with sophisticated new voice services where fellow gamers and guild mates are never more than a shout away.

Need standard chat for groups and raids? Check. Don't want to tie up your own bandwidth? Roger that. Want your voice to sound completely different? Done. Late for your raid but want to take part in the group setup by cell phone? Can do. Dream of having in-game voicemail? There ya go. Playing a non-SOE game but want to use this service, free of charge? Aye.

These powerful community building features and tools are coming to SOE games at no additional cost to players and go far beyond basic real-time chat with the usual headset and microphone setup that is commonly used today.

In an agreement announced Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference between SOE and Vivox, Inc., an established provider of high quality voice communications, players will be able to access a suite of voice communication tools including voice mail, voice fonts to synthesize player voices into in-game character voices, and the ability to receive external calls in SOE games.

Read more here.

Spellborn : Slywood Video

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at The Chronicles of Spellborn have produced a video trailer of Slywood to complement their many dev journals on the game region.

In the past months, you've came to be quite acquainted with the Slywood area, as our devs presented you with many aspects of the creation process for the zone.

It's now time for a glimpse of the final result with this trailer of an upcoming video presentation of Slywood:

Slywood Impressions Video Trailer

Enjoy, and don't forget to check out the site and forums for more very soon ! :)

Read more here.

D&D Online : DDO Soundtrack: 5 New Tracks

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has released the next batch of tracks from the Dungeons & Dragons Online Official Soundtrack.

It's time for more DDO music! To help celebrate DDO month, during the month of February, and the 2nd birthday of our favorite game, we're releasing 5 more tracks from the Official Soundtrack!

6.Tavern Rock Volume 2
7. Tavern Rock Volume 3
8. DDO Theme - Part 4
9. Lets Go To The Market
10. Tavern Rock Volume 4

Click here to check out all of the music we've released so far!

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Children of the AFS

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Tabula Rasa have posted a short story dealing with the fate of children who managed to survive the Bane's invasion of Earth.

They’ve been in my care since… well, since the war began for us really. I was as shell shocked and fractured as everyone else when they called me in to headquarters that fateful day that I was reassigned to Project C.A.F.S. Everything I had known was destroyed, my home, my classroom, my daughter. I was one of the “lucky ones” that survived. After a few weeks being treated in a field hospital for laser burns and a very disorienting trip through one of those wormholes, I ended up on Foreas. They stuck a gun in my hand and sent me off for basic training. I just couldn’t cut it. I was physically fit enough to make it through the endurance tests, but that’s about all I did well in. My aim was terrible… the sounds of the gun firing made me yelp a little each time. I froze during the field exercises. It was clear after my first week in training that I wasn’t cut out for the front lines. To be honest, that was quite fine with me. But I still wanted to help the war effort. Luckily, it seems there were other ways I could contribute, though at the time, I never would have imagined what it was.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Unrest Missions Cause Unrest in PotBS

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab has become aware of a new tactic players have been using to take a port from peaceful to a port battle in no time flat by turning in a number of unrest missions all at once.  FLS have produce a short term fix and and say they will be working on a longer term solution for the near future.

A tactic arose recently in regards to port contention. Players (and their alts) would take unrest missions and hold onto them. Once they all had unrest missions, they would turn them all in at the same time, and push a port all the way from peaceful to having a port battle scheduled.

The reason we have these missions in the first place is to allow rich players to spend their money in ways that directly impact the game world. As secondary goals, missions create markets for items that dont necessarily fit into ship production, and create a demand for those items. Also, the missions drain money out of the economy in a purely voluntary way. These things are all basically Good.

The problem is that we clearly never intended for players to be able to take a port from 0 to 5k or even 10k unrest instantly. While were biased towards attackers (we like PvP!) this goes well beyond bias and into the realm of insanity. Defenders should be able to draw a line in the sand, declare a port off-limits, and enforce that with doubloons. Thats not currently possible. Worst of all, this tactic can be used on new player ports just as easily as on ports in the Antilles. New player ports are intended to be harder to attack, and this process circumvents all the tuning we did to make that the case.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Technically the Arts

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Pirates of the Burning Sea official site has been updated with a new dev log which explains the role of a technical artist, the the art of bringing a game world to life.

Well, I do not even really know how to begin this. I never thought I would write a Devlog about my job because, well, I seem to be the only crazy fool who actually thinks it is fun! At least that is what people around the office are thinking. Have you ever been walking down the street and thought to yourself “wouldn’t it be cool if there were these two guys dressed like pirates sword fighting on top of a bus?” Well, that is pretty much what I get to imagine and bring to life in POTBS!

In short, I am a Technical Artist, what that actually means can vary a lot between companies. Within FLS that pretty much means that I am the go-between for different departments, and where things get sent that no one else wants to do! Ha ha! I work closely with the Animation, Environment, and Concept departments. I think the best way to illustrate the inner workings of my job, calls for an example!

Read more here.

EVE Online : Incompatible (Protocol) Error Fixed

Posted Feb 20, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced the implementation of the Trinity 1.0.3 Patch, which fixes an issue caused by the previous Trinity 1.0.2 Patch back in January.

Tranquility will undergo an extended downtime on Wednesday, 20 February. The start time is 11:00 GMT and the length of the downtime is expected to be three hours. During this time, a patch will be applied to Trinity consisting of one fix to correct the problems caused by the Trinity 1.0.2 patch.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Question of the Week: Skills

Posted Feb 19, 2008 by Keith Cross

In there Question of the Week column on the Earthrise forums, Masthead Studios answers a question on the game's skill system and the game's lack of classes.

What do you have planned to make sure characters differ? If everyone can get every skill then wont people find "the best" skills and equipment and all end up being the same?
Many MMOs have problems with balancing skills and try to separate players in alternative development paths - classes is the best example - so achieving powerful combinations is limited to one path only, a fighter, a warrior, a thief and so on. Each class has its powerful abilities and developers try to balance them to their best knowledge. Characters in Earthrise will not have classes or take exclusive character development paths. Players will have the same choice of skills and abilities. That alone will not lead to ultimate builds because many skills will not provide players with passive bonuses that directly affect their success in various actions, but instead unlock wide array of carefully balanced abilities they can use in different situations. These abilities will be customizable action templates that can be further enhanced using special system we will announce in detail soon. This system will allow players to modify their abilities to a certain extent. They will be able to create new abilities builds and receive a slight boost but there will always be some disadvantage that they have to live with and take into consideration in almost every situation the ability comes in play. Think of this as the paper/rock/scissors game, where “the best” character template will be beatable by another “best” character template.

Read more here.

CABAL Online : GDC vehicle Screens

Posted Feb 19, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today, the team met up with David Hoffman from OG Planet, the company behind Cabal Online. While there, he was kind enough to provide us with these new screenshots.



Check them out here.

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