Adam Carpenter spoke to us about Fury and we had a chance to play it rather extensively - for a Con - on the show floor. Here is our in-depth report on what we found.
| Before our interview, Adam had invited Carolyn and I to sit down and duke it out for their four on four “vortex games”. These games pit the two groups in a competitive game not unlike capture the flag. The goal is to capture four crystals for your side before time expires. The crystals are carried by flying bugs called pekons. These bugs ensure that the crystals enter the game over time and increase the tension and excitement as more crystals enter the world.
Unlike most early PvP games we’ve seen, it seemed melee was a more than viable option in Fury. As a warrior, I had no problem running around and killing enemies. Sure, I got destroyed my share of times as well, but as a die-hard melee gamer, I definitely felt things were fair.
You can read more here.
While most of EA Mythic showed WAR in Germany, a small group made it to Seattle and PAX. There, Carolyn Koh played the game and spoke to the team to find out how things had been coming.
| At E3, Warhammer had already shown the Greenskins and the Dwarven races, and according to Content Designer John Cox they were showing off was the development of the UI and the Career Advancement; otherwise known as character development.
Each character will have three areas of skills to build. They are core, specialization and secondary abilities and points are awarded in each category as your character advances. The points distributed will be roughly in a 10:8:6 ratio and you will be able to gain enough points to advance all your core abilities, but must pick and choose the specialization and secondary abilities. Abilities can also be further upgraded through trainers.
You can read more here.
Carolyn Koh wraps up our PAX blogging with her final day's entry. This blog covers some of the fun had on Sunday in Seattle.
|We were snuck in early by the Turbine guys so we could spend some quality time with them before the crowds got in. So while the servers were booting up, we watched as Meghan rocked Guitar Hero and we all picked up Magic: The Gathering Mousepads.
The crowd was sparse in the morning of the last day of PAX, which made taking pictures easier for our photographer. The lights were also low for some reason and that made even more optimum conditions for capturing screens.
You can read more here.
Blizzard has announced that their Online Store for World of Warcraft has been stocked with their new 2007 calendars as well as The Art of World of Warcraft:
We've just updated our online store with two new items for your enjoyment. The World of Warcraft 2007 Calendar, complete with themed reminder stickers, is a great way to organize your year and stay on schedule in the game as well, and The Art of World of Warcraft, a glossy 208-page hardcover art book, offers a look at the unique fantasy artwork that inspired many of the characters, settings, weapons, armor, and monsters found in Azeroth today.
For more on WoW click here.
The people at Age of Conan have started a rather unique auction over on eBay. If you haven't seen the lifesize Age of Conan throne that has been making the rounds with the dev team to events like E3, then you're missing out. Fear not though, you could take that bad boy home:
Seen the lifesize hand-crafted throne that we have used at the various tradeshows and conventions? Well now you have the chance to own it!
Our Throne of King Conan, that was designed and hand made by the talented crew at McFarlane Toys has served us well through two E3 shows and more then a few conventions!
Thousands of people have had their photograph taken posing on the throne and now as this convention season comes to a close we have decided to give someone the chance to own the throne for themselves!
We are now auctioning off this wonderfully unique piece of gaming memorabilia. So make sure you check it out if you would like to have a chance to own this once in a lifetime item.
You can find the auction here on Ebay
For more on Age of Conan, click here.
Guild Wars has released a report of their events that took place at the Penny Arcade Expo. From all reports, the game was a hit at the event:
The first ever Guild Wars Live Event and the Guild Wars 10k Arena were a smash hit at the Penny Arcade Expo. Gamers clamored to partake in the Live Event and arrived early to secure their spot in the Sealed Play tournament. Read more about the first day at PAX, with photos, in our report.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
MMORPG.com has just been given another 1,000 beta keys for Pirate King Online to give to our members! The first 1,000 went really fast so act fast to get one out of this batch!
LINK TO PROMO: http://www.mmorpg.com/pk_promo.cfm
You can see more here.
Along with their upcoming Lord of the Rings Online, Turbine also showed off upcoming changes to Dungeons and Dragons Online at PAX in Seattle. Carolyn Koh reports on the upcoming Module 3 and PvP additions.
| Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) is a good looking game and one that taxes a gamer’s skills and grasp of strategy. It has sometimes been described as a cross between a twitch and an RPG game in that players are able to dodge, hide behind objects and use skills such as tumble to avoid damage from spells and sharp objects.
The fans at PAX were treated to a sneak peek at the new PvP module on the horizon, and Module 3 – Demon Sands – a desert themed update which will increase the current content by about 30% and introduce a new Favor Reward for about 1,000 points which will open up a 7th character slot and provide 4 bonus stat points that can be applied to a single character. A powerful reward if one enjoys PvP.
You can read more here.
|A ping-pong master, I shall not be. The final 32 man tournament for the modified XBOX 360 simply didn’t go my way. I knew I was in trouble when my opponent told me he owned the game. When he started doing trick shots, I knew my improbable run had come to an end. I lost 11-0, 11-2. Oh dear.
So, to sooth my bruised ego, I headed next-door to try the PvP demo for Pirates of the Burning Sea. Turns out, I faced a cheating Lead Designer! Taylor Daynes used his “hot bar” to shoot better and sail faster en route to sinking my beloved pirate ship. Curse the British! My first mate, an unnamed animator, didn’t tell me about the powers of this hot-bar until it was much too late. It was a spirited battle – we closed in quickly rather than squirming about in a giant circle – but one cannot compete against unsavory tactics.
You can read more of Dana's blog here.
To catch up on Carolyn's adventures click here.
NCsoft has announced that the much anticipated Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood for Lineage II will be making its debut to players on September 6th. The update will be free to all players. In celebration of their announcement, they have released the following video featuring "the musically-inclined boss, Frintezza and his distressing subordinate, Scarlet Von Halisha":
So, I may have slacked off slightly to enter a Rockstar's Table Tennis tournament. Nonetheless, I found time to write my Day #2 blog!
|Unlike most conferences, the emphasis at PAX is on fun and it is reflected in each and every booth. Two highlights of the first true day of the show were Fury’s constant PvP tournaments and – straying from MMORPGs – Rockstar’s ongoing Table Tennis tournaments.
There are only a limited number of MMORPGs at PAX and after annoying everyone I knew for a few hours, I decided to put my caffeine-induced energy to good use. Every hour, they had sixteen people square off in brackets similar to the NCAA basketball tournaments. They’d play matches, loser eliminated, until only four remained in each group. The final group – of a size I never did find out, but likely anywhere from 32 to 64 – then squares off on Sunday in single elimination matches until a winner is crowned. The prize? A very snazzy modified XBOX 360 in the Table Tennis theme.
More of Dana's adventures here.
Carolyn's blog gets underway in a two-parter. First, she talks about her first day of PAX. Second, she explains our meeting with Wizards of the Coast. It's not quite MMORPGs, but I'm sure many will find it interesting.
|Remember the first popular trading card game that took the world by storm? Magic: The Gathering has grown up into the online genre and will be releasing the 3rd incarnation of the client in the first half of 2007.
From the simple, pretty much pixilated graphical interface of version 1 to the more complex, less pixilated version 2, version 3 promises a more dynamic user interface, with a larger card playing table, scaleable card views and 3-D look at player avatars.
Building on that success, Wizards has begun development of The Goblin Game. Described as a cross between Civilization 3 and play-by-mail, it is a turn-based game. Players can create a private game with their friends or join a public game. Similar to a Fantasy Football league, players will pay by game and join a faction. The game ends when one faction manages to press the shiny red button and destroys the world (only they survive).
More can be read here.
Nick Parkinson is a community manager for Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. We chatted with him at PAX in Seattle and have this report.
| On the eve of PAX, Carolyn and I had a lunch interview with Nick Parkinson, a community manager for Sigil and SOE’s Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. One of the most eagerly anticipated games in recent memory, Vanguard comes from the brain of legendary EverQuest designer Brad McQuaid.
At PAX, they’re not showing the game. Instead, Parkinson made himself available for interviews.
Currently in Beta 3, Vanguard has finally reached the point where the developers say they’re able to have a cohesive and fun experience. The development goal for this phase is to get all the features promised into the game in at least some form, then polish, complete and tweak them. Beta 4 will then be an open stress test before the game’s ultimate launch this winter.
You can read more here.
You can see the gallery as it grows here.
The popular MMORPG.com Saturday Editorial Debates make a return today as Garrett Fuller and Dan Fortier tackle the slippery subject of in-game advertisements:
Dan Fortier: Recently Funcom, makers of Anarchy Online, announced they were adding interactive billboards featuring advertisements for Toyota. I’m not sure wether to laugh or cry at a game developer trying to sell in-game adverts as a feature. I understand that this isn’t the first off the wall ad placed and the game is free to play and this a way to generate income, but please spare me the speech that supposed to get me excited about it.
This kind of thing has been going on in some form for quite a while with games like SWAT 4, Splinter Cell and a virtual horde of sports games placing ads for real life products into their games, but having a billboard for something that clearly has nothing to do with the world I’m in is just wrong. While certain ads can actually enhance the game somewhat by placing things you would expect to see in a parallel world, it borders on insulting to see something like Judge Dredd holding a Red Bull can.
You can read the debate here.
No Grab Bag from Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot this week. Seems Sanya Thomas is in Lepzig. In place of the Grab Bag though, Missy Hatch throws us a couple of announcements:
|Sanya's in Leipzig, so I just have a few announcements for you.
If you've been reading the Herald this week, then you're probably going to have deja vu during most of these announcements. Sanya is living it up in Germany this week, though, so the Grab Bag is on hiatus. I wish I knew a few quippy little German phrases to toss in here, but rather than embarrass myself, I'll just point you to these very informative announcements.
R.A. Salvatore is going to be the Keynote speaker at this year's Vegas Roundtable. It's just about a month away now and it’s going to be loads of fun, so if you haven't already signed up please do so! The special rate offer from the Rio expired on the 23rd , but they still have rooms available if you want to stay at the venue. If it's a little too rich for your blood, there are plenty of other hotels nearby that are a little more wallet-friendly.
Speaking of the Roundtable, why haven't you sent in your video explaining why you're Camelot's #1 Fan? Prizes abound! More info here.
It seems a little odd to remind you about a poll that was just announced this afternoon, but hey, what could it hurt? We're asking our players whether it's a good idea to allow Legendary Weapons on the Classic servers. So far the results are pretty close, so make sure you log in and vote this weekend!
A patch to Pendragon is in the works for this coming Tuesday, and if testing goes well the tentative plan is to go live with 1.85 on September 6. Beta 1 for The Labyrinth of the Minotaur is in full swing, and I'm planning some Pendragon events soon to give everyone a chance to get into Beta 3. As always, keep your eyes on the Herald for more info.
Well, that's it for this week. Hope it was a good one! Have a fantastic weekend, see you Monday.
For more on DAoC click here.
Shot Online has annoucned that they will be holding an event called "End of SUmmer Spectacular". The event itself will be held from August 25th to 28th:
San Jose, CA August 25th, 2006 – Shot-Online announced today the launch of the “End of Summer Spectacular”. This event will be held from 08/25/06(1:00 AM) ~ 08/28/06 (1:00 AM) Current Server Time. The “End of Summer Spectacular” will consist of three separate offers.
Due to the high level of interest, Shot-Online will once again be giving away an Xbox 360. This offer applies only to new users who register during this event period (8.25.06-8.28.06). The player with the most experience points will win the Xbox 360.
The first item offer encompasses all “Enhancement” items. All “Enhancement” items are 10% off during this event. There is no player level qualification needed to be able to take advantage of this offer. All players qualify.
The second item offer available during this event period is that all clothes in the item mall will be 50% off of the original price. This is a great opportunity for players to purchase clothes that they have had their eyes on at only half the cost.
For more on Shot Online click here.
MMORPG.com is happy to release a new podcast, this time around marks another of Garrett and Jon's commentary episodes:
This week, Game/On's commentary duo, Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood return to discuss all things MMORPG. This time around, they're talking about WoW update 1.12, a recent Farlan Entertainment press release and the legal issues surrounding an EVE online scam.
You can listen to the podcast here.
MMORPG.com is very happy to announce that we have been authorized to hand out exactly 1,000 beta keys to our registered members for Pirate King Online!
These are going out on a first come, first serve basis so act fast!