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Free Realms : Patch Notes

Posted May 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

SOE has posted the patch notes for the latest update to Free Realms.

Screenshot

Highlights

  • In Tower Defense, fixed an issue that allowed towers to be placed in invalid locations
  • The max limit for tin ore in Rich nodes has been removed
  • Pet Trainer quests can now be completed using trial pets
  • Declining a friend request will no longer auto accept that person as a friend
  • Fixed some flow issues in the Marketplace when consuming a game card
  • All-Star Brawler Pauldrons and Helmets have been added as Brawler job quest rewards
  • The profile portrait will now update each time you switch your job

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : WAR holding at 300K

Posted May 06, 2009 by Jon Wood

In the company’s F4Q09 Earnings Call (which covers the quarter ending on March 31st, 2009), Electronic Arts announced that Warhammer Online ended the [fiscal] year with over 300,000 subscribers and said that their subscription revenue streams, which come from Pogo and Warhammer Online “continue to grow”.

This new report indicates that the game’s subscription numbers have held steady since the end of 2008, when subscription numbers were reported at the same levels.
 

Darkfall : 60 Day Report Blog

Posted May 06, 2009 by Jon Wood

In his latest blog entry Phil Guzzardo, better known as Paragus, writes a 60 days of Darkfall report, looking at numerous changes, good and bad, that have been made to the game since launch.

It's been about 60 days since Darkfall has gone live, and I figured that I would take some time to give an overall update to how the game is progressing. There have been a lot of changes since I wrote my Beta Review, so hopefully this should give people a general idea of where the game has improved, and where improvements are still needed. I write again from the perspective of a guild leader, and someone who has been fortunate enough to see more aspects of the game than perhaps the average player. I am not going to review the basic game here or go over things I have already talked about in previous articles, instead I am going to focus on some of the changes that have occurred over the last 2 months.

Read the 60 Day Report Blog

Freaky Creatures : Freaky Space Expansion Interview

Posted May 06, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood had the opportunity recently to talk to the developers at Abandon Interactive about the upcoming expansion to Freaky Creatures, Freaky Space.

Yesterday, the team at Abandon Interactive announced that they plan to add a pretty significant expansion to their toy-based MMORPG Freaky Creatures. The addition, titled Freaky Space, will allow players to leave the planet in spaceships to discover "an all-new, unexplored space."

The most significant addition that Freaky Space will bring to the game is the inclusion of a new Player vs Environment system that expands the game beyond its current PvP fighting game model and into the realm of a full-fledged MMORPG.

Read the Freaky Space Expansion Interview

Darkfall : Tasos Responds to EuroGamer Review

Posted May 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

Yesterday, EuroGamer published a review of Darkfall, scoring the game 2 points out of 10. Darkfall's Tasos Flambouras responded on the Darkfall forums, saying that the review was unfair and that game logs showed that the reviewer had only spent a total of 2 hours in the game.

Today, EuroGamer Editor Tom Bramwell has posted a response, saying the reviewer spent 9 hours in the game, and that EuroGamer fully backs the review, but they will be posting a new review for another perspective on the game.

Now, Tasos has posted a new response to the latest developments, clearly unsatisfied with what EuroGamer had to say.

Our server logs are at Eurogamer's disposal as we said. This isn't a one man operation. There are 40 professional developers here and 900 people at Audio Visual and to insinuate that a conspiracy to fabricate our logs is possible, while convenient for Eurogamer and for the reviewer, is very insulting to our entire operation.

All events on the server are stored in an SQL database. This database is backed up daily. We have routines for saving the logs and we keep them pristine in case of needing them to prosecute legal activities. There is no human interaction with the data unless they need to be manually checked because of special circumstances. Since they are kept in multiple places logs can be cross-checked against each other making this alleged doctoring improbable. These logs contain numerous details on a player’s activity. It’s theoretically possible to doctor the logs but it would be a huge operation.

We stand by our logs and we’re willing to prove our claims. Eurogamer can send one of their technicians here, we will be happy to cover this expense, and he can examine our procedures and our logs himself and he will be satisfied that our logs are accurate. That, or they can do what they’re doing at the moment: believe their reviewer blindly and keep an unfounded and damaging review of our game public on a few minutes of actual play-time.

Read the review here.

Read the first response from Tasos here.

Read EuroGamer's response to the response from Tasos here.

And read the response to the response to the response here.

Spellborn : Exclusive Dev Blog Debuts

Posted May 05, 2009 by Dana Massey

Want to keep up with the latest on The Chronicles of Spellborn? Exclusively here at MMORPG.com, we debut a brand new The Chronicles of Spellborn developer blog. It's your chance to communicate directly with the team at Acclaim, responsible for this recently launched MMORPG.

Check out the blog.

General : Five 80s Cartoon That Would Make Good MMOs

Posted May 05, 2009 by Dana Massey

Managing Editor Jon Wood is back with another countdown. This week, Wood looks at five 80s cartoons that he believes would make great MMOs. Click on to read his list, then let us know what else should have made the cut on our forums.

Anyone who grew up in the 1980s grew up watching many of the same, 30 minute toy commercials known as Saturday morning cartoons. Those same children, in all likelihood, grew up in households where video games had become more a part of daily life. Consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis together with the emergence of more games for the personal computer which was becoming more and more popular in homes made gamers of many of them. It seems only natural then that these two childhood memories, cartoons and video games, come together in this list of 80s cartoon IPs that, should a development studio CEO get nostalgic, would make for interesting MMORPGs.

Read the whole article here.

Global Agenda : Meet the Team: Jeff Voeltner

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

Hi-Rez Studios has posted an internal interview with Jeff Voeltner, Senior Environment Artist for Global Agenda.

Global Agenda Screenshot

What do you do at Hi-Rez Studios?

I’m a Senior Environment Artist. I design and build the areas or "sets" that the players run around in. Most of my time working on Global Agenda has been on designing and developing the social spaces for the game (cities, agency headquarters, etc.).

How long have you worked in Gaming, and what did you do before Global Agenda?

I’ve been working in the industry for about seven years now. The first game that I worked on was Call of Duty: Finest Hour. I also worked on the games Legendary and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty during the beginning stages.

Prior to working on games, I’ve had the fortunate opportunities of working within feature film, advertising, and in comic books where I began my career as a color artist with Image Comics in the 90s.

Read more here.

Runes of Magic : Item Sale

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Runes of Magic have announced a week long sale on a number of useful items to Taborian adventurers.

Why not take it easy the next time you're out adventuring and braving the elements?

Our Hot Items might make even the hardest task and adventure easier and certainly more bearable.

This week everything is possible - and even more with our newest offer! With 30% less the hottest items from our shop not only save you money but you can explore the whole of Taborea and save yourself from a lot of stress.

Read more here.

Black Prophecy : Community Bulletin

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

Reakktor Media has posted the second issue of the Black Prophecy Community Bulletin, where they talk about community matters, press interviews, and the search for a publishing deal.

Screenshot

The last two weeks have been quite busy again. While the dev team is making good progress with the game, our management is continuing the negotiations with several publishers who are very interested in a cooperation with us. We still cannot state any names yet but we are confident to be able to provide more information in the next weeks. In addition, some of our team members faced the games press in several interviews giving a little more insight into Black Prophecy.

We are also very delighted to see the community growing and flourishing. None of us has expected to see so many people from all over the world in our forums discussing Black Prophecy and having a good time together. This makes us confident that we are on the right way to make Black Prophecy a great game for every one of you.

Read more here.

Runescape : Dwarf Quest Dev Journal Part 3

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Runescape have posted the third part of their dev journal on the new Dwarf Quest.

Good news, everyone! The design brief for the new dwarf quest is complete. This is the core design document of the project that defines all the important details of the new quest. The initial concept document said things like “there's a puzzle here involving such-and-such a thing”; the design brief defines exactly how the puzzles will work.

Creating the design brief involved a lot of back and forth between me, Mod Mark (RuneScape's lead designer) and our balancing expert. We agreed on the bulk of the document pretty quickly, but a few of the details took a bit of haggling to get worked out. This took a while, but it's important to get things right at the design brief stage, rather than trying to balance the project at the last minute.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : A Word on the Pace of Combat

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

Masthead Studios has published a statement addressing player feedback to recent demonstrations of the combat system in Earthrise, saying that combat will be much faster in the final game than it has been in the recent demos.

Screenshot

One of the things we've noticed recently is a fair amount of concern over the combat pace and cooldown of weapons. Masthead prides itself on listening to its community and we are committed on making Earthrise a fast paced RPG game that many people will enjoy. One of these things we are doing behind the scenes at present is fine-tuning the combat as a whole to make it faster and better. You'll no doubt notice this means things will be faster as you experience them for yourself than initially demonstrated. We may slow things down a little bit in our demos and footage for illustrative purposes on occasion to highlight systems and features, though, but this is nothing to worry about. As we proceed through beta, is important for us to know what the community thinks overall about Earthrise because we want to continue to make Earthrise an unforgettable experience. We appreciate and thank everyone for their honest opinions and candid feedback.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Phishing Email Warning

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

CCP is warning players to be aware of an email scam where the sender claims to be with EVE Online Customer Support in a phishing attempt.

EVE Online Screenshot

There is currently an EVE mail going around from someone claiming to be from EVE Online Customer Support saying that account security has been compromised and asking players to go to a certain link to log in and change password. This email is not from CCP, and several players have wound up victims of this scam unwittingly.

We urge you to be careful whenever you receive emails of this nature, and to always double-check links. It's much better to be safe than sorry.

Read more here.

D&D Online : New Site

Posted May 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

Turbine has given the official site for Dungeons and Dragons Online a makeover, adding new functionality and promising big changes to the DDO Compendium in the near future.

Screenshot

DDO.com has an all new look and brand new features!

  • A brand new landing page!
  • More game information articles for newbies!
  • Share DDO articles, spotlights, and news with friends using the built in social bookmarking tools!
  • We've even made some additional Wallpapers available! Visit the redesigned Wallpaper page!

The DDO Compendium will also be getting a new look to complement the new site, so stay tuned for the announcements!

Read more here.

Darkfall : The Conversion of a Self Styled Carebear

Posted May 05, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Darkfall Correspondent Kelly Price writes this article talking about how a player can go from preferring PvE aspects of MMOs to liking one of the most hardcore MMOs currently available.

Starting out in Darkfall Online is a bit like staring at a blank page. The palpable potential and nearly infinite possibilities are quite overwhelming. Because of this, it will take some time for the general MMO community to warm up to it, but once the initial culture shock wears off this game's greatest weakness will ultimately end up being its greatest strength. To alleviate some of these fears I'd like to now share some of my personal experiences and opinions from a newbie's perspective. Here is a bit about my background: I didn't play nearly as many first-person shooters or skill-based games as some say I should've done to prepare myself for Darkfall, and so I came into the world of Agon (like many of you) as a proverbial blank slate. I have been an enthusiastic MMORPG player since the good old days of Everquest, going on to play Final Fantasy XI, Everquest 2, Vanguard (PvE), and Age of Conan (PvE) among other things. As you can see, I have been known as somewhat of a 'carebear' in my time, but you will soon see why I have changed my ways.

Read The Conversion of a Self Proclaimed Carebear

World of Warcraft : The Pures vs Hybrids Debate

Posted May 05, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com World of Warcraft Correspondent Robert Duckworth writes this look at the recent debate over how hybrid characters should be handled in the hit game.

If you participate in any kind of PvE in WoW then you've probably heard, if not taken a part in it yourself, of the Hybrid vs Pure debate. Sticky situations between Hybrids and Pures are not new to WoW, or even the RPG genre. In most games, there's always one class that's more powerful than another just because it is so hard to strike a perfect balance. While the debate is not new, the current incarnation is. It all began when Blizzard unveiled their new plans for balancing classes in WotLK. They summed it up with an easy to remember phrase, "bring the player, not the class." In other words, the idea is that you aren't forced to stack specific classes in your raid just because you need that class's buffs.

The argument stems from the difference between a Hybrid class and a Pure class. Hybrid classes are those that can perform multiple roles in a raid setting. There are only three roles in the game according to Blizzard: Tanking, Healing, DPS'ing. Pure classes on the other hand can only perform one of the three roles. So with that in mind, the only Pure classes are Warlocks, Rogues, Mages, and Hunters. Everyone else is a Hybrid.

Read The Pures vs Hybrids Debate

Atlantica Online : Disecting the GDC Experience

Posted May 05, 2009 by Jon Wood

Atlantica Online Community Manager Rio Hartwell uses this developer blog to talk about their team's experience presenting at their first Game Developers Conference back in March.

The floors have been swept, the projectors turned off and the thousands of bustling industry folk have returned to their respective companies. GDC 2009 is over and with it NDOORS Interactive took its first step into the stormy waters of gaming conventions. This was "serious business" for our team. For weeks we had been combing through the development schedule to see what would be ready for public presentation, coordinating with our localization team, writing scripts and drinking copious amounts of energy drinks during those long nights of preparation. We wanted to do this right and make sure we not only showed our dedication to the North American market but also present as much as we could about our development plans for the next year to our players. The pressure was on.

Read Disecting the GDC Experience

Mir 2 : 500 More Gift Keys

Posted May 05, 2009 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com has been given 500 more gift keys for Mir2 after the first 500 went so quickly!  These seem to be popular, so get yours while supplies last!

GET YOUR GIFT KEY FOR MIR2 AT THIS LINK!

General : Closed Beta Keys For Freesky Online

Posted May 04, 2009 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com and IGG are pleased to bring the MMORPG.com community a new beta testing opportunity. While supplies last you can get a beta key for this new browser based MMO title that features sky battles with massive airships! Get your key and get into battle while the keys are still available!

GET YOUR CLOSED BETA KEY FOR FREESKY ONLINE AT THIS LINK!

General : 10 Reasons to Attend Fan Faire

Posted May 04, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at SOE have posted their top 10 reasons for attending this year's SOE Fan Faire to entice players to join the festivities.

If you need a little convincing that Fan Faire is the place to be this June, or if you're already planning to go and you just want to add a little jolt to your excitement, then we've got some fuel to add to the fire! Here are our Top 10 Fun Things To Do at Fan Faire 2009!

10. Enjoy the summer sun! (Or at least look at it from your hotel room window.) If you need a break from the glow of the monitor, Vegas is the perfect place to see daylight, and lots of it. Or if you're working hard on your gamer tan, you can stay safely in the air conditioning and enjoy Sin City's fine interior offerings.

9. Freebies, giveaways, shwag...whatever you call 'em. We all like to get fun little gadgets and gizmos. Who knows what will be in the bag this year? You'll have to come to find out!

8. Compete for awesome prizes by showing off your best in-game emote, impersonating your favorite NPC, or squeezing into teeeeeny pink t-shirts!

7. Live Quests! It's just like living in your favorite game! Only without the armor, or the weapons, or the terrain, or the... But they're still fun!

Read more here.

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