ArenaNet has released a pair of screenshots tonight on the official site for Guild Wars. They claim that these two shots will be your "alpha" and "omgea" during your "E3 For Everyone" demo.
The shot on the left is the Great Wall of Ascalon, where you will begin your journey. The shot on the right is where you will hopefully end victorious at the Hall of Heroes.
The first appearances of technological items have started to make their appearance in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy cross-over MMORPG:
"The Void minions are on the move and they have pressed even deeper in to Seregor. There has been much talk of strange new weapons from the void and a party of humans final got one of the weapons to show everyone this newly found power."
"Little know to all "The Void" is a alternate dimension... and is on a very different time line then the world of Seregor. Over Time more and more tech items will leak there way into Seregor as the Void Minions press forward."
The pictures above show a character wearing full platemail armor of the typical fantasy/medieval style yet wielding an obviously technologically advanced rocket launcher.
You can check out the full announcement and the rest of the official FreeWorld site here.
Don't worry, you have not accidentally linked to the National Geographic website...you are still at MMORPG.COM ;-) This week we are featuring some breathtaking images from EverQuest 2 that look like they were shot with a 35mm in the plains of Africa! We hope you enjoy them...
Members who are logged in can view the high-rez 1600x1200 version of each screen by using the links under the screens.
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Sony has announced that they are developing a new expansion for EQ Live titled "Omens of War". The estimated release date for this add-on is July 27, 2004 -and SOE is taking pre-orders at their "Station Store". This new expansion will give the player the following:
They have launched a new site for expansion which you can find at this link.
We have just added a new game to our ever-expanding list of MMORPG titles - Auto Assault! This game is being developed by NetDevil (creators of JumpGate) and will be published by NCSoft (City of Heroes, Lineage II, Guild Wars). The official site opened just 2 days ago and does a very nice job of showing off the current state of the game.
Burningseacommunity.com has just posted a really nice Q&A feature with Akella - one of the companies behind the breathtaking creations behind Pirates of the Burning sea. Here is a snippet from the interview:
Community: Last year the partnership between Flying Lab Software and Akella has been established. How did this partnership start?
Sergey: We liked Flying Lab Software's project idea from the first time we had seen it, and when we got acquainted with executive producer Russell Williams and Taylor Daynes, the Lead Designer of Pirates of the Burning Sea, we gladly agreed to work together.Community: What was the reaction of the team of Akella in general about Pirates of the Burning Sea?
Sergey: Pirates of the Burning Sea impressed us a lot! The online pirate game is a really cool idea! Ship drawing technology is fascinating! No game has ever had so intricately detailed ships before! We are glad to take part in such an ambitious and interesting project.
You can read the full feature at this link (you will need an account for their site).
Nikita has re-launched their English version of the Sphere site and are preparing to show their game at the 2004 E3 show at the 1C Company booth. Although the game has been running in Russia for some many months now, we are still waiting to hear back from them on the status of their English client. If/when then have an English client version we will set this game to "Final" on our list.
Today Mythic will be commencing the open beta for the New Frontiers update on the Pendragon server. Sanya Thomas has a few reminders for those wishing to participate, which can be seen here. Some excerpts follow:
- We're trying something new this time. The closed beta was relatively short, and the open beta will be relatively long. In the past we've gone live a few short weeks after going to open beta - but not this time. We're not taking New Frontiers live this month, and honestly, I don't know of a set date for launch. We're going to see how the next month goes before we decide.
- As a result of the longer open beta, New Frontiers is a lot more raw than "open beta" usually is. Please recognize that this is a beta, that this is not going live anytime soon, and that you will encounter much that is not fully implemented. If this unfinished state frustrates you or makes you angry (and it would drive me crazy, I know), please come back to Pendragon in a few weeks after we've got more done. We look forward to seeing you then.
- Again - THIS IS NOT A FINISHED PRODUCT. Please be productive, submit bugs, participate in any tests you come across, and don't complain about things being unfinished during the beta. It is to be expected, and we appreciate our testers helping us with the process.
A short beta guide can be viewed here.
Players wishing to join the test must be at least have Shrouded Isles installed. The beta files can be downloaded at this link.
Visit the official Dark Age of Camelot website here.
Testers of Ashen Empires were treated to the Fozzie patch on Monday. Fifteen screens were posted on the official site from the new sweeping patch. Jacob Hawley, TKO Software CEO, stated that all the Fozzie features (as outlined here) are implemented and, "...it looks beautiful."
To see screens of the new Ashen Empires, follow this link or click on the thumbnails below.
Nevrax has added a new feature to the official Saga of Ryzom website - Editorial Notes. Nevrax CEO and Creative Director David Cohen Corval will be regularly posting items to give you a peek behind the scenes. The first item, available here, discusses "The Vision of Ryzom":
In Ryzom we want to give players the opportunity to enter a world where their actions can truly shape the make-up of the planet and the even the storyline. It's fine to read about heroes, but it's much better to be the hero yourself! We've tried to sculpt a world which really feels real; where each player has different experiences, where creatures have their own behaviour patterns and quest experiences can be different for each individual and not merely just a virtual medal to say they've gone down exactly the same road as thousands of players before them and thousands of players after them.
The Saga of Ryzom is currently in open beta in anticipation of a June release. Visit the official website at this link.
Mary-Margaret.com, a leader in international recruitment services for the interactive entertainment industry, is pleased to announce that company co-founder Robin Chenoweth McShaffry will be conducting a computer and video game industry resume workshop at the How To Break Into The Game Industry: Resume Workshop and Conference on Saturday, May 8, 2004. Produced by The Game Initiative, this event is the first of its kind in Los Angeles and is presented as a complimentary event to the E3 Expo (Electronic Entertainment Exposition), on May 10-14. Below are more details:
From 8:30 am to 3 pm on Saturday, May 8, 2004 , Robin McShaffry, founding director and V.P. of Operations for Mary-Margaret.com, will participate in the How To Break Into The Game Industry: Resume Workshop and Conference. As the creator and moderator of the afternoon Resume Workshop, McShaffry will lead a lively and informative panel discussion about game industry resumes, using some of the attendees as "volunteers." The conference will be held at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. Attendance costs $60 online, and $75 at the door. Complete details can be found on the Internet at http://www.gameconferences.com/la
Gravity Interactive announced today that they have officially launched their "Juno" expansion which will add classes, maps, monsters and skill to the already popular anime-style MMORPG. Here is the official press release:
MARINA DEL REY, Calif., May 4, 2004 - Gravity Interactive's Ragnarok Online:
Juno Expansion, an anime-style, massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), is now available in the United States.
Ragnarok Online is one of the world's largest MMORPG communities -- more than 25 million players globally, 780 000 concurrent users, representing 130 countries. Inspired by the fantasy graphic novel of the same name and written by Korean author Myung-Jin Lee, players can be anything they desire -- from a strong and vengeful fighter to a swift thief, caring healer, or an intelligent mage.
Ragnarok Online: Juno Expansion adds job classes, maps, monsters and skills.
The graphics have also been enhanced, providing more visual detail for characters and objects. The most notable addition, other than the floating city itself, is the new job classes. Players can now become Crusaders, Dancers, Alchemists, Sages, Bards, Monks or Rogues. Each new class incorporates new skills previously unavailable in the Ragnarok world.
"With so many elements added and upgraded, Ragnarok Online: Juno Expansion is a totally new game experience," said Peter Kang, senior director, Gravity Interactive.
Ragnarok's success has been fuelled by the ease of gameplay that appeals to players who traditionally shy away from MMORPG's. The title is easy to play for even the novice MMOG player.
Ragnarok Online: Juno Expansion maintains a non-technical design, but advances the game and worlds to explore to the next level.
Ragnarok Online: Juno Expansion also features charming characters and activities that appeal to a wide audience. In Ragnarok Online's world, players can own pets, make friends, own guild castles, sell products as well as slay monsters.
Players can download the game and play free for 15 days at http://iro.ragnarokonline.com.
Unlimited gameplay is available for $12 a month or 30-hour sessions can be purchased for $7.99.
We recently ( today ) got word from Gaile, the community relations manager for Guild Wars that we have some alpha testers here at mmorpg.com and they are officially aloud to speak with you all! So if you are interested in having some questions answered that may be on your mind about Guild Wars then head on over to our Guild Wars Forum and join in the fun!
We are getting reports from some of the players that the Dryads have been freed on some servers and will now be a playable race in the game. This would now be the second race freed in Horizons - the first being the Satyrs back in March.
Nice work players!
The team at Eternal Lands issued a general press release today that covers where they stand with their project at this moment. Here is their very lengthy release:
We just completed the first beta stage, and now a second beta is available. We hope that this version won't suffer from the old flaws, such as a really bad economy, boring combat, monotonous gameplay, nearly invincible high level players, etc.
So we took our time and had a retrospective look on the past 6 months, in order to see what was bad and what was good. After all the errors we identified, we spent almost 2 months to correct them, and make the game much more fun.
In this new version, pretty much everything changed.
For example, we added the concept of knowledge.
This means that in order to make items, harvest resources and summon animals and monsters you will need to have specific knowledge. This is done by reading books or scrolls. Some of them are available in stores, while some are rare, and can be only obtained by killing powerful monsters.
Books will be 'one time' items, meaning that they will disappear once you start researching them. Each book has a certain number of research points needed. The more complicated a book is, the more time you will need to research it. To prevent people from being AFK while researching, a food level over 0 is required. As soon as your food level drops over 0, the research pauses.
In addition to knowledge, manufacturing items requires food as well. A positive food level is required, and attempting to manufacture items (regardless of the
success) will usually subtract some food points. To make the system even more interesting, each time you fail you have a 30% chance to lose the ingredients.
The skills requirements to make various items was also changed, and now it is possible to make items even if you don't yet have the required skill. That's why we changed the name from 'required' to recommended.
Recommended means that if you are at that level, your chances to fail are 50% (and the chance to lose the ingredients is ~16%). If your level is lower than the recommended skill, then the chances to fail are higher.
The economy suffered many improvements as well. For example, NPCs will not buy high level items anymore, thus reducing the massive money influx in the game.
NPCs will buy raw materials (such as flowers, ore, coal, etc.) at 1/10 of the price they sell them, which encourages a more player based economy, and also reduces the money influx in the game.
One of the biggest change is the combat. Now many maps allow multicombat. That means, you can attack a target that is also attacked by others. This encourages people to group against enemies, and strengthens the bounds between players and guilds.
All the weapons, armors, shields and medallions were changed to make the game even more interesting. For example, some weapons will give you more damage, but lower accuracy, and/or lower chance to do a critical hit. The best weapon in the game gives you only bonuses (no penalty), and it is VERY rare, and very hard to manufacture. Therefore, the players who can manufacture that weapon will be very busy.
The shields won't give you any armor bonus, like they did before, but, instead, they help you not to get hit. The heavy armors will usually have an opposite effect (giving you an armor bonus, but also make you more likely to receive a hit in combat).
Some armors, like the leather armor will give you more mobility than others, but less protection. Leather armors also give you a thermal protection bonus, as opposed to the metal armors that give you a thermal protection malus.
The attributes (strength, dexterity, intelligence,
etc.) system was totally changed. Before this update, it was a mess. Everyone had basically the same attributes, because it the way to get attributes was very standardized. Just complete a few quests, and then buy them from various NPCs.This was very flawed, and had to change.
So we introduced the concept of 'overall level'.
Basically, this works like any other skill, except that it's the sum of all the experience gained in the other skills. Each time you gain one level in the overall skill, you get a 'pickpoint'. With the pickpoints you can chose to increase an attribute, a nexus, or get some perks. The perks usually take more than 1 pickpoint, depending what they do. We also have some negative perks, that will give you various disadvantages, but will give you more pickpoints which you can invest in other things. Example of positive
perks: Poweraving (allow you to keep the food level positive, if you are not doing anything), Mirrorskin (10% chance that the enemy will take the hit that was meant for you), etc. Negative perks include Hellspawn, which gives you a 20% chance to land in hell each time you enter/exit a building or map, Antisocial, that prevents you from buying/selling things to NPCs, and so on.
This way, people can specialize on various 'professions', such as choosing to be mainly a fighter, or a trader, or a craftsman.
Nexuses are something between a skill and an attribute. They are required for various things, such
as: making items, wearing better
weapons/armors/shields, gathering resources and summoning animals.
Finally, there is a new skill, called 'crafting'. With this skill, you can make various powerful rings and medallions, which either allow you to teleport to some predefined spots in the game (1 ring for each major map), or increase your armor, evasion, etc.
The client was improved as well, making the user interface less clumsy, adding status bars for mana, health and food level, fixing many bugs, and many other nice improvements. The client is still beta quality, but given the fact that it is an Open Source Software, many people help us improve it, and that shows each update.
Eternal Lands is a free mmorpg (download for free, play for free), with an Open Source client. We are working at a paid version as well, which will contain many new improvements, such as an enchanter skill, some unique items, more monsters, more maps, more resources to gather, more perks, etc. However, the free version will not be limited, as in, we won't remove anything from it, we'll just keep adding more stuff to the commercial one than to the free one.
Radu Privantu and the EL Development Team
A new combat manager has recently been released to Horizons players. This combat manager allows players to enjoy much smoother combat. Here is a brief run-down of the update:
Check out the official news article here (complete with screenshots): http://www.istaria.com/page.php?pg=news&mid=Improved%20Combat%20Manager
Warner Brothers has announced that they will now being accepting applications for beta testing of their highly anticipated MMORPG "The Matrix Online" based on the popular cinematic trilogy. Here is the official press release:
Burbank, Calif. - May 3, 2004 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
(WBIE) today re-launched the web site for The Matrix Online, calling for beta signups. Developed by Monolith productions, The Matrix Online is a persistent world online PC game that is based on the continuation of the storyline of The Matrix movie trilogy.
Gamers can signup for the beta test of the massively multiplayer online title by registering on www.thematrixonline.com. Players selected to participate in the beta will be the first ones to experience what it is like to exist in the Matrix. They will assist the developers in testing server loads and gameplay features in addition to being able to provide overall feedback directly to the developers.
The redesigned web site features news, artwork and information about The Matrix Online. Also, community members of www.thematrixonline.com will have a brand new message board system where they can post questions to the developers and talk about the Matrix.
Because MMORPG.COM is all about making your gaming life as easy as possible, you can click here to jump right to the beta form ;-)