IGG has announced that they have launched a new server for Zu Online.
Zu Online is pleased to announce the opening of a new server to celebrate the coming Christmas and the New Year. The new world, Desert City, is set to open at 04:00am on 24th Dec. 2007. To celebrate its launch, the Zu online team has decided to reward all of the participating players with a the level-up activity which will take place from 04:00am on the 24th Dec. 2007 until 02:00am on the 14th Jan. 2008.
Read more here.
In this Christmas Eve edition of Beyond the MMORPG, Managing Editor Jon Wood uses Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 to discuss storytelling in MMORPGs.
As a pre-Christmas present to myself this year, I went out and picked up the 2008 addition to the Smackdown vs. Raw franchise. This wasn’t a new and impulsive decision; I’ve played every game in this series, and quite enjoyed it. The thing is, and the reason that I am writing about that particular game today is because I think it highlights some important issues that are present in video games in general and in MMOs in particular.
The reason that this particular title may cause a few heads to turn in confusion is that, in case the name isn’t familiar to you, Smackdown vs. Raw is a game based on professional wrestling. World Wrestling Entertainment if we’re going to get specific. So, what is it exactly that MMORPGs can learn from a game based on a fake and scripted sport?
Wrestling, you see, has often been referred to as “a soap opera for guys” and when you think about it, that’s not far from the mark. Now, I want to remind everyone that I am speaking in generalities here, and I am in no way implying that only men can like wrestling or that all women watch soap operas.
Read it all here.
The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with an article which gives tips and tricks for decorating player housing.
Interior decorators can add even more of a personal touch with the new rotation commands in Chapter 8. New commands can be used to make moving furniture easier, and home designers can use new pitch and roll abilities when they complete two new Chapter 8 collections!
What are Pitch, Yaw, and Roll?
Pitch, yaw, and roll refer to the rotation axis for an object.
Rotation around the longitudinal (front-to-back) axis is called roll, and rotation around the lateral (side-to-side) axis is called pitch. Yaw, previously called Rotate Left/Right in Star Wars Galaxies, is rotation around the vertical axis.
The left and right furniture rotation commands have been replaced with new yaw commands. Open the radial menu on the furniture you would like to adjust.
Under Rotate, select Yaw + and Yaw -, or use the slash command /rotateFurniture yaw <degrees (-180 to 180)>.
Read more here.
Flying Lab has announced that they will be extending the open beta for Pirates of the Burning Sea until January 1st, so that players can continue to play over the holidays. They have also announced that beta testers who purchase the game will receive a special flag and sail design.
Tens of thousands of players have been playing the Pirates of the Burning Sea Open Beta and having a blast. We’ve made frequent patches to address issues with both lag and gameplay, and thanks to all your feedback, we’ve made really rapid progress on the final polish pass for the game’s launch on January 22nd.
We’ve been planning to end the Open Beta this Sunday the 23rd. But we’ve heard from so many players who want to play over the holidays that we’ve changed our minds.
The Pirates of the Burning Sea Open Beta will now run until the morning of January 1st, 2008! That gives everyone one more week to play the game, see what we’re doing, and check out the very latest improvements and changes.
If you haven’t played the Open Beta yet, you can get an access key and a client download at no charge from any of the sites at this link.
Read more here.
SOE has announced that they will be holding a community get together for players of their line of games on January 8th in Las Vegas.
If you are going to be in Las Vegas on January 8th and find yourself carving a Warp Core Breach and great conversation, come on down to QUARK’S BAR AND RESTAURANT at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas and hang out with the SOE Community Relations Team! The gang will be in town for CES, so head on over and meet the community folks from your favorite SOE games and perhaps share a dry iced filled drink!
What: Community Get Together
Where: Quark’s Bar and Restaurant in the Hilton Hotel, 3000 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
When: 7:00 p.m. PST, January 8th
Read more here.
As some of you may have noticed, there are a few new titles floating around the forums!
How to Get TitlesThe new MMORPG.com title system rewards you for making a positive impact on the community. You can receive new titles by making helpful posts, guides, or links.As every gamer knows, quality matters more than quantity. Please make sure your posts are legible and clear; I highly recommend a spell check pass before posting! Feel free to use screenshots (uploadable in our User Galleries) to help illustrate your point. Posts lacking in quality as decided by the MMORPG.com Community Manager (that’s me!) will not earn titles.Titles can also be earned by having your post/blog featured in a Spotlight article. If you feel you have made a post that warrants a title, or if you have been a spotlight poster/blogger, please email email@example.com!
Find more details about the new titles here!
The holiday season is also known as the season of giving. In that spirit, many MMO developers and communities are supporting Child's Play, the charity that provides games and toys for sick children. To raise money for the charity, NCsoft is auctioning off a few items, including signed City of X and Tabula Rasa merchandise, as well as a Tabula Rasa character named after you.
NCsoft auctions for the Child’s Play charity have reached more than $2500… help surpass that to help this wonderful charity!
This holiday season, give your loved one an original gift (their name as an NPC in Tabula Rasa) or a rare find (City of Villains Lord Recluse statue, signed posters and games, etc!). You can feel good about it because it benefits children! Do it for the kids.
Read more here.
Spellborn fans will have the chance to win some Chronicles of Spellborn merchandise this holiday season by producing videos, arts and crafts that epitomize a Spellbornian Christmas.
With a drift of white snow and jingling of the bells Spellbornian Santa droped by our office and left some goodies for our community members to claim! Send us your best:
* Spellbornian Chrismas tree decoration
* Spellbornian holiday outfit
* Spellbornian holiday food/consumable recipie
* Spellbornian Christmas carol
* Spellbornian Christmas gift
* Spellbornian holiday greetings card
* Spellbornian Holiday video/flash
* Hoppy-reindeer implementation
* And for those having exeptional ideas - general Spellbornian Holidays picture.
Send us your contribution at the latest on 2nd of January, in the forum thread linked in the button below, and you may win one of the special framed artworks!
Read more here.
Funcom has posted the results and notable entries from a recent contest that would see the winners heading to Oslo in January for a hands on look at Age of Conan.
When we started this contest, we couldn’t have anticipated the response that came in.Hundreds and hundreds of entries poured in. Every community showed an incredible amount of enthusiasm and entries ranged from the sublimely hilarious to the awe-inspiring. Either lots of people really love this game or lots of people really love the idea of Norway in January!
These entries were all very, very good and we liked them a lot…
It's Christmas in Hyboria!
Unlike some jolly Christmas spirits, Santa Gaute demands ransom!
An enterprising railfan found that someone has been breaking the launch date...
There's another game out there that a lot of people apparently have strong feelings about.
And, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Gaute. He lives! And he lives in Oslo.
See the other entries here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
Q. My question is about last patch, 1.91. I have tested the "Supernova" Celtic Dual level 50 style with special haste debuff poisons and they did stack together. I was also told by many people who used the level 50 CD style long before that, that they did stack. NOW after patch 1.91 when the CD style changes took place, I have learned that haste debuff poison and "supernova" no longer stack. Is this a bug?
A. According to the Balancinator: We made no changes to the effects themselves. The effects are spells and we link them to the styles. We have not changed the way those spells work. It is not a bug either. The spells are designed to overwrite lower level versions, but not to stack.
Q. According to a popular fan site, the Dragonbane Recurve Bow gives 5% to melee damage. Since you can’t hit people in melee with your bow, I find this strange. Is this a bug which will be fixed soon, or is it the way it’s supposed to be? Another option would be that the fan site is wrong?
A. In this case, our apologies to the fan site, but its information doesn’t match our database. Here’s what the Bearded Wonder found out for us: The Dragonbane Recurve Bow has a bonus to magic damage, not melee damage.
Read more here.
SOE has announced that they will be reactivating inactive Vanguard accounts for for the holiday season, from now until January 20th.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is giving the gift of gaming this holiday season! If you think you've experience all the world of Telon has to offer, think again. Better yet, play again, this time on us! Beginning on Tuesday, December 18th, all Vanguard accounts that have been inactive for more than 60 days will be reactivated until the New Year (January 20th)!
The world of Telon is alive with the Festival of Gloriann! Towns are adorned with festive decorations and wintery cheer. Keeping with the spirit of giving, players can collect numerous gifts, sweet treats, and rewards – including Randolph, the reindeer mount which anyone can acquire and use to fly through the skies during the holiday season.
In addition to the holiday content, log in and experience Vanguard's premier raiding dungeon, Ancient Port Warehouse, which was part of the highly anticipated Game Update 3 that brought numerous bug fixes, performance increases, as well as exciting and challenging new quests for adventurers.
Happy Holidays and safe travels in Telon, from the Vanguard Team!
Read more here.
SOE has announced that they will be holding two bonus experience weekends, this weekend and the next, in celebration of Frostfell and the holiday season.
In celebration of Frostfell coming to Norrath we will be holding a pair of 20% bonus experience weekends! During these weekends, all players of EverQuest II will enjoy a boost in adventure and tradeskill experience gain to celebrate our Norrathian holiday!
The first bonus experience weekend will begin Friday, December 21st at approximately 3:00 PM PST and last until approximately 10:00 AM PST on Monday, December 24th.
The second bonus experience weekend will begin Friday, December 28th at approximately 3:00 PM PST and last until approximately 10:00 AM PST on Monday, December 31st.
Happy questing and happy Frostfell!
Read more here.
IGG has begun their Christmas activities in Tales of Pirates, which involve a number of activities in the Christmas Village, and the plans of an evil Santa from the Converse Christmas Village.
We have excellent news for all of our TOP players; As a way to celebrate the upcoming festivities we here at TOP opened the Christmas Village in the game on the 19th of December. In this magical place players can take part in many wonderful activities such as Snowball Fights. And of course all of our treasured players are invited to the Christmas Meal where everyone can get together for fun, food and frolics. And maybe even big rewards?!
Christmas In-Game Activities
Activities Duration: Dec.19- Dec.31
Location: Christmas Village
Activity I: Delicious Christmas Meal – An easy way to level up During this activity, players can obtain Turkey Meat from turkeys, and then can cook the meat to make a Delicious Christmas Meal. They will find that their experience levels are greatly increased after eating the mouthwatering feast.
Activity II: Turkey Hunting & Reindeer Seeking – Get your Christmas gifts Players should go to find all of the turkeys, which have stolen gifts from Santa (our Nov Activity), and also some naughty reindeer that have nicked Santa’s gift boxes as well. The turkeys and Reindeer will give players a big surprise when captured!
Activity III: Christmas Gifts – Big surprises Players can obtain a Christmas Box and a Christmas Stocking by hunting the turkeys and Reindeer, the box will offer players the chance to obtain special Christmas gifts. Players can also obtain Christmas gifts with a Christmas Stocking.
Activity IV: Christmas Wishing Tree – Spread your wishes There is a beautiful Christmas tree in the center of the Christmas village, and players can take their Christmas Cards (Turkeys drop) there so that they can make their Christmas wishes in front of the tree. The system will spread the players’ wishes throughout the current server when they click on the Christmas tree.
Activity V: Almighty Gem Exchange – Gain great power Players can obtain a “Special Quest Card” in the Item Mall, and then find Santa Claus to exchange the card for an Almighty Gem. Almighty Gem: permanently improves players’ stats (Each player can only exchange one time only for the Almighty Gem)
Read more here.
Happymmo will be holding several leveling competitions to promote the upcoming open beta for Elf Online.
To celebrate the upcoming Elf Online Open beta. Happymmo will held a leveling competition.
Players are expected to jump into the game and experience the fun and excitement that Elf Online brings. Want to see who has the best pet and who is most skillful in battle, just be tested by leveling up competition.
The event will lasts for 2 week from Est 8:00 PM Dec 21st 07 (the open beta time for Elf Online) to Jan 7th 08.
On Jan 7th 08. Elf Online team will announce the winner of the leveling competion.The top ten players with the hightest level character and the hightest pet trainning level will be rewarded.
Read more here.
Last week, Dan Foriter opened up voting on the worst games of 2007. Today, he posts the results along with his own picks.
It’s that special time of year when we huddle around space heaters and ignore the family members we never liked. That’s right, Christmas is here and what better way to spend it than running around like an idiot at the last minute trying to buy gifts and reading my weekly column? Last week you cast your ballot for this years Awards in typical hater style for the games that made you sick. I have tirelessly counted all the ballots so now is the time to pull off the rotten curtain and reveal the results of our dastardly little experiment. Please check your optimism at the door and come on in!
Before I announce the winners in the standard categories I wanted to award a special achievement honor. Since once again the readers of the site (and their alts) voted in large numbers for Star Wars Galaxies even in irrelevant categories I decided to remove all the votes for SWG from the existing categories and make an Award especially for them so that the rest of us can get on with our lives. Behold!
The Award for Biggest Mistake in MMO History goes to: Star Wars Galaxies: NGE
Gratz NGE! You managed to turn a bunch of normal gamers into forum terrorists. With this lifetime achievement award bestowed perhaps we can actually get some diversity in the voting next year. Sure I broke the rules, but that’s my job. Now on with the show.
Read the whole thing here.
Adele Caelia, MMORPG.com's resident EQII writer, had a chance to sit down with the guys from Legends of Norrath, the popular online card game that acts as a companion to the MMORPGs. The game, we are told, just launched their first expansion, Foresworn.
Legends of Norrath, and online card game similar to Magic the Gathering is the newest edition to the SOE family. Its huge success and popularity over the past four months has left the community asking for more. SOE has been more than happy to oblige to this request by creating Foresworn, the first expansion for this thriving card game, which went live on December 19, 2007. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Legends of Norrath’s Sr. Game Designer, Paul Dennen, and Game Designer Chuck Kallenbach about the upcoming expansion Foresworn.
Launch and Reception
When LON first launched I think many had their doubts about its success, but over the past four months the growing amount of tournaments, the overfilled chat rooms, and the amazing amount of loot cards seen within the game make it hard to deny that this addition to the EQ and EQ2 is a winner.
“It’s been great. It’s been a real experience in terms of linking it inside Everquest and making it playable in Everquest and Everquest II,” said Paul Dennen. “It’s not the coolest thing in the world but I didn’t know how it would go over. I was very concerned about keeping both camps happy. Everybody seems to be very happy with it.”
I think the recent tournament contest with a 5k prize to each qualifier, plus airfare and hotel to GenCon backs up that statement. The grand prize for the final tournament at GenCon is set to 100k, and with that kind of cash being thrown around, in my opinion is a sure sign that this game is doing quite well.
Read it all here.
Robert Garriott, President of NCsoft North America, has posted an article on NCsoft's official site which takes a look at the previous year from NCsoft's point of view.
As 2007 comes to a close, I think its well worth discussing what a great year it has been for the company, and using that success as a platform for 2008 and beyond. We’ve had many exciting things happen this year, with much of it providing building blocks for even better years ahead of us.
First of course is the release of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa in November, which is a big event in the history of this company and the fruit of much labor by many current and former employees worldwide. We founded Destination Games in April 2000 in part to release this game, and while I give my brother Richard some grief now and then about the length it took to produce it (though, I must admit, the game you see today is the result of work since 2004), I’m very proud of Tabula Rasa and our commitment to producing exciting, different massively multiplayer games. Not only have we delivered an interesting science fiction game to our players with some unique differentiators over the standard MMO, we backed it up with a very smooth launch and exceptional customer service. I can’t think of a better launch than Tabula Rasa. I look forward to seeing the game grow with new features and content…especially since I actually enjoy playing this game so much!
Also in November we had even more exciting news. We absolutely love City of Heroes and we really wanted greatly to re-invest in the franchise; the question was how to do it in the best way possible. Ultimately our decision was to acquire the entire City of Heroes Intellectual Property (IP), which we had previously shared with Cryptic Studios. In the process, we formed an entirely new development studio, NCsoft NorCal, where we hired the entire City of Heroes development team, and we’re currently hiring more to take this IP to the next level. This change of ownership hasn’t slowed us down much at all, with our content updates (“Issues”) continuing on their normal pace and “Issue 11: A Stitch in Time” launched in late November. We have big, big plans for this franchise, which we hope to share in 2008, and we know that City of Heroes fans will not be disappointed.
Read more here.
Each month, the Warhammer team over at EA Mythic prepares a Zone Overview for the monthly WAR newsletter. November's Zone Overview takes a look at the Shadowlands, a land ravaged during the first war between the High Elves and the Dark Elves.
Following the death of Aenarion, first Phoenix King of Ulthuan, the Elves faced a difficult choice. Some argued that Malekith, Aenarion's lone surviving son, should succeed his father. Others, however, feared what Aenarion had become after he drew the Sword of Khaine and worried that the dread sword's curse had been passed on to Malekith. In the end, it was Bel-Shannar who was chosen to lead the Elves, and not Aenarion's heir.
At first, Malekith concealed his lust for power and his hatred of the Elves who had denied him his birthright. Instead, he made allies and won great victories in war, rising to a position of prominence among his people second only to the Phoenix King himself. It was then that he made his move, assassinating Bel-Shannar and proclaiming himself the rightful Phoenix King. Only one thing now remained. Malekith would have to prove his quality by entering the sacred flame at the Shrine of Asuryan, to be judged by the greatest of the Elven gods.
When he did so, however, the flame rejected him. Malekith was burned and disfigured, and his servants rushed the ambitious lord to the land of Nagarythe in the north of Ulthuan. When truth of the assassination came to light, the High Elves made war upon Malekith and his followers. When he was defeated by the new Phoenix King, Caledor the Conqueror, the son of Aenarion hatched a mad plan to undo the magic of the Vortex and let the raw power of Chaos spill into Ulthuan, destroying his enemies. The attempt was only partially successful, but the results were devastating.
Read more here.
NetDevil has announced that they have launches a new official site for Jumpgate Evolution. The new site features forums, screenshots, video, news and information, and more.
NetDevil today announces the much anticipated website launch for Jumpgate Evolution, the new action-based space combat MMO in Jumpgate universe.
Jumpgate Evolution lets you jump into the cockpit and fly your ship just by moving your mouse, giving sci-fi fans a unique opportunity to experience a large and versatile universe. As a space hero from one of the three different nations: Solrain, Quantar, or Octavius, players can interact with both PvP and PvE content earning advancement through combat, mining, missions, exploration, and trade.
From a variety of small fighter ships and capital ships to giant battle stations, players get to engage in galactic space combat for an MMO experience unlike any other. Visually stunning graphics at minimum PC specs, accessible yet rich gameplay, and advanced AI are just some of the prominent features of this new epic and dynamic online universe.
In addition, both new in-game screenshots and game footage have been added to celebrate the website launch, alongside a collection of previously released concept art, in-game screens, and backstory, providing fans a deeper glimpse into the ever-expanding Jumpgate Evolution universe. Join the official forums so that you can interact with our continuously updated community.
Read more here.
Thirteen images depicting the Green District of Quarterstone have been added to our Chronicles of Spellborn screenshot gallery.
Today we released new screenshots on our website for your viewing pleasure, where you'll see the Green District and many of the places located in this dangerous and mysterious part of Quarterstone.
Among these point of interests, you'll discover the former verdant Maze, different views of the District, as well as some shots on the narrow alleys where the Shunned are eargerly waiting for the adventurous players.
These screenhsots will be followed next year by a brand new series of Video Development Diaries, the first ones dealing with, obviously, the Green District.
Enjoy and don't forget to post your comments in our forum!
See the images on the Chronicles of Spellborn official site.
To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.