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Age of Conan : AoC-RP.com Relaunch

Posted May 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

Age of Conan role-palyers have announced the relaunch of AoC-RP.com.

One of our newest Bear Shaman Advocates who just so happens to be the site admin to AoC-RP.COM recently announced the new relaunch of this great gem that was the English RP Headquarters. Here is what Rykoth had to say about the new relaunch itself:

"Age of Conan Roleplayers (AoC-RP.com) as we all know, became inactive shortly after launch, due to the admin at the time abandoning the game and the site without warning. It left the owner no choice but to close it.

However, after much thought, and recent discussions about the state of the RP Community, and after talking with several other fellow RPers and Guild Leaders, I decided to try a project. Whether or not the project succeeds is not up to me, or those with me on the admin team, but to the roleplayers out there. Is AoC-RP.com the place for Cimmerian Roleplayers to hang out, chat, and relax, or is it to be left in the past?

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Prizes for Performance Testers

Posted May 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

Turbine is looking to improve performance in Lord of the Rings Online and they are offering the chance to win prizes to each player who participates in the performance test on Bullroarer on May 14.

Screenshot

LOTRO is getting a performance boost for its servers, and you could get a performance boost for your PC just for playing on Bullroarer during our LOTRO Performance Event! You could win a super-fast solid state hard drive, a blazing CPU + 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a killer DX10.1 video card, or a signed copy of the game!

Where: During the event on May 14th we’ll monitor performance on the Bullroarer server and we need as many players to participate as possible! If you don’t already have it, download the Bullroarer game client now and install it to be ready for the event.

When: Log in and play LOTRO on Bullroarer between 9:00PM and 11:00PM Eastern on Thursday, May 14 for your chance to win great prizes. Lots of Turbine developers and staff will be playing on Bullroarer and chatting with players (look for names that start with a plus sign [+]) – and we’ll have many other cool in-game surprises too!

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Exclusive Pet for BlizzCon Attendees

Posted May 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced that BlizzCon attendees and those who purchase the event through DIRECTV will receive an in-game pet.

Want to do your part to protect Azeroth from interstellar invasion? Everyone who attends BlizzCon 2009 or purchases the BlizzCon Pay Per View event via DIRECTV will be joined by a new World of Warcraft in-game companion, Grunty the murloc marine. This tiny terror is fully armored and comes equipped with a gauss rifle, which he’ll occasionally fire into the air to make sure no invisible spacecraft are swooping in to attack.

BlizzCon 2009 takes place on August 21-22 in the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, May 16, with a second allotment to be released on May 30. For further details, check out the recent press release and the official website.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Going Rogue Expansion Announced

Posted May 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team at Paragon Studios has announced the existence of a new expansion to City of Heroes in the form of "Going Rogue", a new addition that will allow players to walk the line between good and evil.

NCsoft®, the world's premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), and Paragon Studios™, the developer of City of Heroes®, today announced the development of City of Heroes Going Rogue™, the first major expansion for the City of Heroes franchise since the launch of City of Villains® in 2005. As the name implies, Going Rogue will blur the line between heroes and villains in the first and longest-running super-powered comic book MMO game.

In the Going Rogue expansion, hero and villain characters will become immersed in the new parallel universe known as Praetoria, which is governed by Tyrant™, the evil incarnation of the game's main protagonist, Statesman™. As gamers search for Tyrant and the rest of his Praetorian guard, implacable foes and fierce resistance will arise to face them from all sides, causing heroes and villains alike to question their loyalties.

City of Heroes Going Rogue will introduce a new alignment system that helps players explore the shades of gray that lie between good and evil. For the first time, hero characters can become villains and vice versa, enabling hero archetypes to cross over to the Rogue Isles™ and villain archetypes to experience Paragon City™. Clearly marked missions, in addition to behaviors and decisions made by the player, will move a hero's or villain's moral compass, which could eventually change the hero's or villain's alignment. Going Rogue will also introduce two primary new fictional characters representative of this alignment shift in the game's lore: Maelstrom, a pistol-wielding hero gone rogue, and Desdemona, a demon-summoning villain who has been redeemed.

"City of Heroes has brought a fresh new perspective to the MMO stage with its foray into the super-powered hero comic book genre, and we are excited to present gamers with even more innovative content in Going Rogue," said Brian Clayton, general manager and executive producer at Paragon Studios. "For years, players could choose between playing as a hero or a villain. Now we will present a third, malleable path where players can be affected by the results of their actions, enabling them to further develop, unveil new perspectives, and overcome new challenges."

NCsoft will share more details on Going Rogue in the coming months. The game is currently in development by NCsoft's Paragon Studios, the City of Heroes development team that most recently launched the ground-breaking Mission Architect system. The launch of Mission Architect sets a significant milestone for City of Heroes as the first MMO to allow players to create user-generated content. City of Heroes has and continues to set new standards among its MMO peers and player community with its engaging and approachable comic book-inspired universe theme and consistent delivery of concepts that break the standard MMO mold.

Read the Going Rogue FAQ 

General : 5 Marketing Campaigns You'll Never See

Posted May 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com contributor Sanya Weathers takes over the top five list this week with a satirical look at MMO marketing departments as she counts down five marketing campaigns that players will never see.

Five awesome systems, not thirty hacked together chunks of derivative mediocrity!

We decided that since we didn't have thirty million dollars or a publisher with a "when it's done" mentality, we would be better off choosing five systems we could execute with originality and style. Those five systems - and only those five - are listed on the back of the game's box. There's no mention of the features we hope to patch in if enough of you buy the freaking thing. In our pre-launch interviews, no one has talked about the features we partially built, but ended up cutting during the prioritization meeting three months before gold master. Finally, all five systems work together and make perfect sense for our story and gameplay.

Read Five Marketing Campaigns You'll Never See

Atlantica Online : Dark Archer Guide

Posted May 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Atlantica Online Correspondent Andrew Corpuz writes this guide to the Dark Archer.

Hello my fellow Atlantica friends! For my first MMORPG.com Atlantica article, I have written a guide on the mysterious and deadly Dark Archer mercenary, the final upgrade form of Archer.

Quick Profile

Class: Upgraded C-class mercenary from D-class
Weapon: Bow + Arrow
Armor: Long-Range

Read the Dark Archer Guide

Mortal Online : A Brief Look at Mortal Online

Posted May 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Mortal Online Correspondent Phil Penman writes this introductory overview of some of the features in Star Vault's upcoming MMO.

Star Vault have been developing a new MMO for the past four years which is entering the final stages of Beta readiness, Mortal Online.

Utilising the third generation Unreal Engine the game looks stunning, with some fantastic alpha screenshots and excellent in-game preview movies released for public viewing. So graphically at least, they appear to be on the right track. However as with all MMOs, success will depend on more than eye-candy. The devs at Star Vault are well aware of this and are blending well proven elements from existing MMOs with some neat new features.

Read A Brief Look at Mortal Online

Clan Wars : Launch Day Interview

Posted May 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood recently caught up with Disciple's Tobias Batton to talk about the browser MMO that launches today.

MMORPG.com:

Can you tell us a little bit about what Disciple is all about?

Tobias Batton:

Disciple is based in a world called “Aphelion”. Aphelion is a real word that literally means:

“The point on its orbit when the Earth is farthest from the sun”

So, this world is extremely dark, brutal and violent. If you read into the lore there are heavy God themes that deal with abandonment of the creator and a fall from grace.

As a result you have a land of people that are recklessly searching for meaning in their lives and others that have lost hope and seek only power.

The game itself is really focused on status and skill. As you fight other real people online, you can dismember them, remove their heads, gain rank, level and skill. As you mature in the game you can create and manage a clan. Clans themselves are ranked so there is a lot of cooperation involved for serious players.

Read the Launch Day Interview

Star Trek Online : Dev Blog Update: From Press to Dev

Posted May 11, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team at Cryptic Studios has updated their Star Trek Online blog. This time we hear from Joe Blancato, a one-time game journalist now serving as a Community Representative for STO as he tells us about making the move from press to dev.

I got the phone call about two months ago. The good people at Cryptic HR phoned me with a job offer, and across the country I went, like a modern-day Tom Joad fleeing home for greener pastures in sunny California. Only instead of picking grapes and cursing creditors, I’m managing two communities ... and cursing creditors – some things never change.

Prior to my time at Cryptic, I was a game journalist. I ran my own gig at Giant Realm before the economy changed my plans for me, and before then I was an editor at The Escapist. Other than the tabletop game I created with a friend of mine, the closest I ever really got to game design was sitting in back rooms at conventions, prying information from developers large and small, then delivering what I learned to readers just as hungry for tidbits as I was.

Read Dev Blog Update: From Press to Dev

General : Top 100 Bankable Game Studios List

Posted May 11, 2009 by Jon Wood

Develop Magazine has released their list of the top “most bankable” development studios. Specifically, the website states that: ‘Develop 100 ranks the world's most bankable games development studios based on a variety of key criteria including sales data, critical success and industry standing.” In order to qualify for the list, companies had to have released “key titles” in 2008. The magazine’s editors took into account such factors as: review scores (as per Metacritic and Gamequary), general industry standing, studio reputation, publisher relations and more.

Focusing strictly on the MMO studios, Blizzard Entertainment took the number one spot overall. The next closest MMO company, Nexon, followed Bliazzard at 19th overall. The remaining MMORPG developers followed as such: 44 - Square Enix, 55 - EA Mythic, 58 - Codemasters, 62 - NCsoft, 70 - CCP, 77 - EA Bioware, and 83 – Funcom.

Blizzard taking the #1 spot as the most bankable game development studio shouldn’t take anyone by surprise, but how did you feel about the rest of the ranking order? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the forums!
 

Check out the entire list at develop100.com

EVE Online : Canon Clean-up

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

In the most recent dev blog out of CCP, Tony Gonzales talks about plans to bring more story to EVE Online and their efforts to eliminate inconstancies within the game's canon.

There is much more than meets the eye in EVE. Since 2003, we've been using storytelling to add depth to our beautiful game universe. By harnessing the power of immersion, we bring to life that which the game is unable to portray just yet.

Building upon the vision of the game's original founders, the Storyline Team now has the tools to do more "showing" rather than telling by working closely with other departments to integrate different storytelling components with the content of the playable game. Our goal is to combine every tool-chronicles, short stories, novels, videos, mission content, and epic storyline arcs-in such a way that the full scope of any one major story thread is covered in part by each of these mediums. Being exposed to any of them should be fulfilling, but to get the full enrichment of "finding out where the story goes next", you'll be encouraged to explore more parts. For example, some information that you read about in a chronicle just might prove handy during a mission encounter. Clues about the history and technology of Sleepers might be unveiled in an epic arc.

Although full integration is some time away, we're producing more storyline content than at any point in our history. But unfortunately, we haven't been perfect in the execution of this effort. A balance had to be maintained between keeping the storyline fresh and dynamic while also holding fast to the core attributes of foundation material. That led to mistakes, contradictions, and general inconsistencies in the canon. We took that personally, and decided to do something about it.

Read more here.

Runes of Magic : First MMORPG.com Blog

Posted May 11, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team from Runes of Magic kick off their bi-weekly MMORPG.com blog this week with an entry from the CEO of Frogster America.

Welcome to the first bi-weekly Runes of Magic blog. I'm the lucky guy that gets to introduce the blog to you all, which is going to be where we give you a chance to see what it's like behind the scenes on Runes of Magic. It's pretty difficult to create and operate a free-to-play online game, but we'll let you into the studio and let you know what it's like from the perspective of Frogster and Runewaker as we continue to build this game for the community. We're going to talk about all of the great things we're working on in the future and give you the opportunity to get to know some of the team. Sure, we'll talk about features, issues and how we're solving them, but also how we are inspired to make this game better every day for the fans.


The next writers will be Daniel Ullrich, Director Product Management at Frogster and Tony Tang, VP of Business Development at Runewaker Entertainment, and they've already promised to reveal something in the next blog post, so stay tuned.

Check out the first Runes of Magic blog.

General : Richard Aihoshi Talks To F2P Leaders

Posted May 11, 2009 by Dana Massey

In his latest column, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind II," Richard Aihoshi talks to Sean Kauppinen of Frogster America and Jonathan Belliss of Perfect World Entertainment about F2P MMOs and the coverage, or lack thereof, they receive.

Check back every Monday for Richard's continuing column that hones in on this kind of game.

Kauppinen cites casual games as another category where, although the mindset is changing, the game media has not kept up with the broadening of the overall market. And he sees the result as self-detrimental. "I think on a lot of levels the core gaming press is losing some of its importance with regard to games," he states "since the audience has grown exponentially over the last several years, and it's not just 13 to 30 year-old males playing them."

Read the entire article here.

Runescape : Tools for Games Dev Diary

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Runescape have posted a new developer diary which looks at developing tools for players to create their own games within the game.

There’s a slightly different update on the cards for the not-too-distant future. It won’t suit all of you, but, then, juggling all the different things RuneScape players like to do is always our biggest challenge. What it will do is make some little differences here and there, with new features that you can use in several ways that we’ve thought of...and hopefully a few we haven’t.

We know that to some of you, RuneScape is home to various pastimes that we didn’t really plan for you. Besides all of the quests, minigames and other features that the team has worked hard on over the years, Gielinor has plenty of room for you to organise scavenger hunts, races and all kinds of other activities, and we’ve seen that some of you like to do just that. Now, we’ve decided to set aside some time for a small update aimed at the players who come up with those activities.

I was asked to come up with some items to help out, some little trinkets for the freestyle gamers among you. It’s an interesting challenge: if this stuff is all about the things we didn’t design, how can I deliberately set out to develop it? If I over-design these objects they’ll be really good for whatever I had in mind, but give you much less freedom. That would completely ruin the idea of helping you with the gameplay that you want to make.

Read more here.

Star Trek Online : Meet the Team: Roman Stepanov

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

Cryptic studios has posted an internal interview with Roman Stepanov, art lead for the Star Trek Online Environment team.

What do you do on Star Trek Online?

I'm an art lead for the Environment team. We make all the pretty pictures, and crazy worlds. Basically I work close with our art director to come up with ideas, guidelines for colors and styles for each world we are creating. He’s a very busy man, so there are times when I'm helping our awesome artists with critique and guiding them to take the space to the next level.

How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?

I’ve been making games since the year 2000. Before Star Trek Online, I worked on Champions Online, which was also a lot of fun and experience. And even before that I worked at Rainbow Studios in Phoenix, AZ. We made many, many off-road racing games.

Read more here.

Magic World Online : One Year Anniversary Events

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Magic World Online have are celebrating their game's first anniversary and have announced a series of events to mark the occasion.

Magic World Online, the first concept MMORPG with legal bot, will be celebrating the one year anniversary from May 12th for a whole month. Numerous events will be held to mark it, and both new players and old players are invited to join the grand Carnival.

At the time of the 1 year anniversary, players can get special items named “For Magic World online 1st anniversary celebration” from the drop of monsters. Then they can go to MWO Ambassador (Sun City: 175,177; Sky city: 198,159) to exchange for special gifts. You must not miss this chance because you may acquire the super rare Gold Equipment.

Another event is Auction Hunter, in which countless items which are better than ever will be put in Auction House, waiting for players’ bid! First come, first get! Besides, Hide and Seek, Prison Break which are popular in players will be held on irregular basis.

In addition, we will put on higher drop rate and better chance of Blessed Crystal (super) in terms of Growing Weapon composition.

Please join us for a month of celebration starting from May 12th and run until June 15th!

Read more here.

Destiny Online : One Year Anniversary

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Destiny Online have are celebrating their game's first anniversary and have announced a series of events to mark the occasion.

Destiny Online is an MMORPG featuring Beautiful 2D Graphics, Exotic Weapons, Powerful Skills, Loyal Pets, Versatile Mounts, Fierce PK, Tribal War, Online Romance and Wild Wedding Party. Now it has been a great year since last summer when Destiny Online was first launched. We experienced lots of fun together and those memories will be with us forever.

It is the first MMO that “Pays U 2 Play”, meaning that for each 2 hours that you are continuously logged in the game, you will earn 2 Gold Points. The Gold Points that you accumulated by being online can be used to purchase valuable items from the Destiny Item Mall. And now with the new twist of it, the brand new Master-Slave program, you can even earn more Gold without doing any more work.

Read more here.

Eudemons : Divine Path Clips

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Eudemons Online have posted several brief clips of the upcoming Divine Path Expansion.

Finally, the grand opening of the epic era is just around the corner. The daring journey will begin soon! Evil will pass from their world to the holy land. Only the bravest ones can defeat them and survive. And then, players who pass the difficult test, the Apotheosis, will be gifted with the god-like power - the Godships. Now, are you ready to fight for glory?

Apotheosis Quest
The darkest moment is coming. The door leading to the Apotheosis Land is there waiting for you to cross. The mortal warriors must pass through the 5 shrines built by the Twelve Olympians on the Hirus Mountains within 60 minutes to eventually reach the divine land. Only the strongest warriors on the continent of Yartland are permitted to the Apotheosis Just be well prepared!

Read more here.

Angels Online : New PvP System Preview

Posted May 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

IGG has posted a preview of the new PvP system that will be coming to Angels Online with the game's next expansion.

In the new edition called House Party, the Angels Online team has developed a brand new PVP system, Angel Arena, which is totally different from the Totem Battle and Holy Battlefield. Players can join this PVP system alone and fight to win the highest single honor in game. Today, the Angels Online team is going to give a brief introduction about this all new PVP system.

Level Requirement: Only Level 60+ players can sign up and take part in this event.

Event Location

The Angel Arena in sever branch 1 of all servers. Players can use any [teleportation] items or [Escape Potions].

Sign-up Location: Players can go to one of the four main cities, the Angel Lyceum or Palm Base to find the NPC [Battlefield Angel] who will teleport them to the [Sign-up Office]. There, they must sign up at the [War Angel Servant] and then choose to join or view the battle.

During the Battle

After the event starts, all participating players will be teleported to their corresponding battlefields. Then, the system will automatically count down 5 seconds in the World Channel (it is included in the 20 minutes for each stage.) After 5 seconds, each participating Angel must find a blue circle on their feet. Then, they can begin to PK with each other.

If players are killed in the Angel Arena, they can’t join the battle again. They can continue to view the battle and they will lose no exp after their death. However, if they are offline during the event, they can’t join the battle even if they login.

Read more here.

Jumpgate Evolution : Dev Answers From the Forums

Posted May 11, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Jumpgate Evolution Correspondent Sean Bamberger has scoured the Jumpgate Evolution forums for developer responses to player questions. In this article, he presents some of those answers.

Tired of trawling through multiple posts, polls, trolls and goons looking for titbits of new information? Well let us here at MMORPG.com be the solution to your problem, condensing all the latest diatribes, answers and knowledge from the UK and European community officers at Codemasters and the development team at NetDevil.

Of course, if you are a fan of forum hunting, I'm sure the ND and Codies guys would love to see your input on the forums, so join up quick sharp! Since the last article here on MMORPG, there has been a sudden influx of dev and community team input, so qualms and queries alike are flying out thick and fast at the moment.

Read Dev Answers From the Forums

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