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General : Editorial: The 600lb Gorilla

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Dana Massey

Jeremy Starley pens this new editorial that gives developers tips on how to learn from, but not rip off World of Warcraft.

The flood of recent articles written about or by MMORPG developers on the subject of how to capture more players - and, by default, more money - has led me to believe that most developers still do not quite grasp the concepts that have driven the sales of one of the most popular MMORPGs of all time: World of Warcraft (WoW). Article after article, I read ideas that have little to nothing to do with the very simple reasons WoW is the 600lb gorilla in the mist that is the MMORPG market.

Fear not, oh lost developers. I'm going to point out three simple things you can do to have your very own gorilla.

The whole article is here.

EverQuest II : Dev Chest

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Sony Online Entertinment's EverQuest II have released a new Dev Chest. The Dev Chest points players and interested parties at forum posts made by EQII developers.

 

Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Dev Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts from the developers that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Dev Chest!

For more on EQII click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Top Teir Population Bonuses

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dark Age of Camelot has made an adjustment to the way to their population bonuses are distributed on Gaheris and Mordred. Previously, they received the second-highest possible bonus. As of yesterday, it was announced that they would receive top-teir population bonuses.

The following quote was posted here on the Herald nearly a year ago: "Generally, we make the population bonus adjustments to keep the various realms in alignment with each other. Since neither Gaheris nor Mordred have realms, we generally do not adjust them. However, because of their lower populations, we decided to give them bonuses, as well. We assigned them second-best bonus adjustment available. As such, they will receive free levels every three days and all associated bonuses and discounts."

I'm posting today to let you know that this has changed. As of now, Mordred and Gaheris are enjoying the top-tier population bonuses, including a free level every two days instead of three, and all associated bonuses and discounts. This is a result of player feedback and close evaluation of those servers. Special thanks to our Team Leads for their help with this decision. Enjoy!

For more on DAoC click here.

D&D Online : Sir Lawrence D'Deneith

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a enw event in town over at Turbine's MMOG Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. This one takes the form of a scavenger hunt. For more information on the rules and details, follow the link below.

 

Sir Lawrence D'Deneith is visiting Stormreach again, with another challenge for adventurers!

"Located throughout Smuggler's Rest and Stormreach's various wards (Harbor, Marketplace, Houses Deneith, Phiarlan, Kundarak and Jorasco as well as the Cemetary), I have hidden rare collectibles in obscure corners, bushes and waters located throughout the city. My challenge to you is to find them!"

Read it all here.

Guild Wars : Shing Jea Boardwalk

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

This weekend will greet the return of the Shing Jea Boardwalk, a haven for fun and exciting activities. Not only that, but the Dragon Arena will also be open for fun and exciting PvP action.

 

This weekend, visit Shing Jea Monastery and follow the crowds to the Boardwalk, that popular venue for fun activities and games of chance. The Boardwalk will be open all weekend long, beginning on Friday, the 20th, at Noon PDT and ending on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PDT. During the weekend, you can also enjoy exciting PvP action in the popular Dragon Arena. Simply speak to the NPC in Shing Jea Monastery to join the fun!

For more on Guild Wars click here.

World of Warcraft : Hallow's End

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Halloween event over at Blizzard, the makers of the extremely popular MMOG, World of Warcraft begins today. Known as Hallow's End, the event will see characters participating in traditional and not so traditional Halloween activities.

 

Observed by both the Horde and the Alliance, Hallow's End is the celebration of the break between the Forsaken and the Scourge. Adventurers can speak to innkeepers to get silly masks to wear during their adventures, and much more.

Learn more about this event, which runs from October 18 until November 1, on our Hallow's End page.

For more on World of Warcraft, click here.

City of Heroes : Halloween Gears Up

Posted Oct 18, 2006 by Jon Wood

Starting today, Cryptic Studios, the company behind NCsoft's City of Heroes / City of Villains will be  starting their expanded halloween event. This year will see players of both game be able to participate in classis Halloween activities like Trick-or-Treating, as well as new themed-monsters, pumpkins and more. 

 

Starting on Wednesday, Oct. 18, NCsoft and Cryptic Studios are launching a new expanded version of one of its most popular in-game activities, the Halloween Trick or Treat event in the City of Heroes and City of Villains games.

Beginning at 10 a.m. CST on Oct. 18 and ending on midnight on Nov. 1, players in both “City of …” games will be able to go trick-or-treating. Players can “knock” on random doors in the hero’s Paragon City or in the villain’s Rogue Isles and will receive either treats such as inspirations and temporary powers, or nasty tricks in the form of blood-thirsty ghouls and other creatures. As players defeat the ghouls, they will receive items from a special set of four savage drops that once all are collected can be turned into an additional character costume slot by delivering the salvage to special new contacts in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles.

Additionally, pumpkins will appear all over both game environments and giant monsters such as the Jack of Irons and the Pumpkin King, and their minions, will roam the streets adding to the mayhem during the in-game event. Additional treats such as badges will be available for defeating the Halloween-themed monsters.

On the night of Halloween itself, signature heroes and villains will appear at the Pocket D Dance Club to mix and mingle with Halloween revelers.

For more information about the Halloween event go to:
www.cityofheroes.com/community/event_halloween2006.html

For more on CoH click here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-Earth: Archet

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, has released a new "Exploring Middle Earth" feature. This time around, they take a look at Archet, a small hamlet to the northeast to Bree-town.

 

Archet is a small hamlet in Bree-land lying to the northeast of Bree-town, nestled at the edge of the Chetwood. The town and its outlying lands are inhabited by farmers and other rustic folk, who have little use for the bustle of big town life. A few hobbits dwell here, but the inhabitants are predominantly Big Folk.

The lack of any real authority and the peaceful nature of Archet's people have recently drawn the attentions of a band of brigands known as the Blackwolds, though rumour has it that the Blackwolds have much darker goals than terrifying common folk and farmers. To counter this threat, a retired sellsword by the name of Captain Brackenbrook has begun organizing the townsfolk into a makeshift garrison to repel the advances of the brigands.

Little is said of Archet in The Lord of the Rings, other than a brief description of its locations, allowing the developers at Turbine some room to expand on its personality. Building upon Professor Tolkien's allusion to troubles with 'robbers' in the region, Archet became the starting location for Men and the threshold from which both Men and Hobbits begin their journey in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™.

For more LOTRO click here.

City of Heroes : Issue Eight On Test Server

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

The newest expansion for City of Heroes / City of Villains is now up and running on the game's test server. Issue 8: To Protect and Serve put the focus on the Heroes side of the game, in contrast to that previous Issue 7, which shone the spotlight onto the Villains.

 

We are pleased to announce that City of Heroes / City of Villains Issue 8: To Protect and Serve is now live on the Training Room (Test Server).

Please check out the patch notes here.

For more on City of Heroes click here.

Face of Mankind : Interview with Marko Dieckmann

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

The Managing Director of Duplex Systems drops in to answer questions from Staff Writer Garrett Fuller about his sci-fi MMP that launched in March '06.

MMORPG.com: Player crafting is always very important for MMO players. How has crafting grown in the game and what areas can players expect improvement?

Marko Dieckmann: The economic cycle has always been one of the most innovative features in Face of Mankind. Everything in the game has to be produced by the players. This creates very dynamic markets and gives a lot of power to the players. We only control the basic prices for raw materials along with basic mining and production costs. The rest is controlled by the Dominion citizens. Each faction can define tax rates on the colonies they own. The economic cycle is closed, which means all money that is spent will go somewhere else and won't be lost.

A few months ago we introduced the new real-time mining and production system and we've balanced it a lot since then. The only thing we still need to introduce to complete a believable economic cycle is item decay. Item decay means that items that cannot be destroyed, used or emptied (such as weapons, implants, clothes etc.) will age and at one point become unusable. This feature is on our to-do-list.

The full interview is here.

EverQuest II : New Smedley Blog

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

John Smedley, the President of Sony Online Entertainment, has posted a new blog over at station.sony.com. This time around, Smedley talks about the Playstation 3 and its potential.

 

John Smedley's latest blog is now available at blog.station.sony.com.

A Microsoft Blogger Says PS3 Online "Likely Underwhelming".

John Smedley disagrees, pointing out some very common sense basics about online communities. It's an interesting read for sure.

Click here to read the blog.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Log

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new Dev Log over at the official website for Pirates of the Burning Sea. This time around, GavinIrby discusses the game's Career Story Arc. For the complete Log, follow the link below.

 

In Pirates of the Burning Sea, there's going to be numerous ways to get your character to level cap: Solo missions, group missions, career missions, legendary missions, epic missions... The list goes on. One of the paths that I'm particularly excited about is what we're calling the Career Story Arc. This is a story line designed for solo play that your character can follow all the way up to level 50. It consists of missions that focus on role-playing, character development, and plot. Since our mission system allows for dialogue trees and branching story lines, we want to make the most of these great features to give the player a better role-playing experience. Two of the common failings of current MMORPG's is the lack of a coherent, compelling story line and the ability to give players a sense that they are important. Typically, a MMO player is made to feel like a peon in a horde of hi-level characters rather than a hero with an important role to play in world events. Pirates of the Burning Sea is going to change that with the Career Story Arc.

I've been asked to write a little bit about the process of writing and implementing these missions so our players can get a glimpse of what is going on "behind the scenes," so to speak. Since I don't want to give away too much about the story itself and spoil any of the surprises, I'm mostly going to discuss my own writing process and the things I hope to accomplish with the Career Story Arc.

My background is in academia, rather than creative writing, and so my process is maybe atypical for a content developer (Luckily, our team has some very talented novelists to act as my editors). I start with hermeneutics (meaning, the interpretation of texts), which is in many ways, the mirror image of the writing process. It may seem strange, at first, to call video games "texts," but they actually conform very well to contemporary hermeneutic theory.

Read it all here.

Guild Wars : Pumpkin Patterns

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released a new batch of Guild Wars themed jack-o-lantern patterns. When put together with last year's crop, interested players now have over 40 patterns to choose from.

 

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be giving some thought to holiday décor. How about a Guild Wars theme for your Jack O'Lantern? Our talented friend, The Pumpkin Lady, has created a new batch of Guild Wars Guild Emblems to add to the set she created last year. You now can choose from more than 40 different Guild Wars pumpkin patterns. Check here for the patterns and handy "how to" carving info!

For more on Guild Wars click here.

World of Warcraft : Spells and Talents

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

World of Warcraft has updated the Spells and Talents preview for their upcoming expansion, The Burning Crusade.

 

We have just updated the Burning Crusade Spells and Talents Preview. The spells and talents will continue to be updated as development and tuning progresses, so check back often.

For more on WoW click here.

General : Column: Behind the Online

Posted Oct 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

War of the (Online) Worlds is the first column from Dave Bonnewell. Within, he picks a contender for the belt currently held by World of Warcraft. This is a weekly column that will run on this site every Tuesday.

Imagine if you will, however, an alternate reality. One in which the Alliance and the Horde have a grueling fight on their hands greater even than the open-ended one with themselves. One in which a far-reaching battleground beyond some simple valley, basin, or gulch truly exists. Soon this alternate reality may become our own. Soon, very soon, World of Warcraft's eternal flame may just ebb a little dimmer and Blizzard could well feel the frostbite sting of serious opposition. This winter could prove a bitterly blustering one for Blizzard indeed.

It has been quite some time since genre-defining and MMORPG were used in the same sentence. Not since the original virtual online drug of choice, EverQuest (or EverCrack if you like) burst jubilantly onto the MMO scene over seven years ago, in fact. Let's face it folks, if World of Warcraft is the "mutha" of all MMORPGs, then EverQuest is the mutha pimpin' godfather. And, irony of ironies, Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler, creators of the aforementioned genre-defining EverQuest, aspire to take on the world once again by (winter) storm and stand a fair chance of delivering a swift kick to World of Warcraft's coin purse. with Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. That's right dear readers, come December a new MMORPG behemoth will be coming in from the cold and on a dura-steel mechanostrider it will not ride.

For the full article, click here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Our Exclusive Monster Design Blog!

Posted Oct 16, 2006 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com is proud to present our first ever monster design blog feature.  We have partnered with Lockpick Entertainment to allow our community to help design a monster in their upcoming MMO "Deamlords"!

All you need is a MMORPG.com account and you can enter your own design ideas. Their concept artist Björn Hurri will then read through your comments and select the ones to use and update the concept art in real time!

As time progresses the monster should begin to take shape based on user comments.  Don't be shy, feel free to submit the craziest ideas you can think of!

TO CHECK OUT THE BLOG JUST CLICK HERE



Pirate King Online : Interview with PKO Team

Posted Oct 16, 2006 by Dana Massey

Rivai Adidharma and Eugene Koh of the Pirate King Online team get together to answer our questions about their MMG.

MMORPG.com: PvP seems to be possible in Pirate King Online, so my question regarding this is: "Is there any benefit one has from entering PvP, beside the warm fuzzy feeling you get for grinding the face of your enemies to dust?"

PKO Team: At the moment, the PvP features have not been fully released. We do currently have the arena open where players can challenge each other to earn honour points for bragging rights. There is also a guild vs guild feature that we intend to test out soon in this closed beta.

Earlier on I mentioned about high level dungeons being accessable through random whirlpools in the game. These areas are Free For All meaning you can PK anyone who steps into the place. We are expecting a lot of clashes and rivalry between players and guilds for this highly contested territory purely for the item drops and rewards that are available in these areas.

You can read more here.

EVE Online : No Other Destiny Nominated for Mackie

Posted Oct 16, 2006 by Jon Wood

CCP, the company behind the popular sci-fi MMO, EVE Online, has announced that their video, No Other Destiny, has been nominated for a Mackie Award. The Mackie Awards recognize excellence in the field of Machinima filmmaking. Machinima films are made using 3D graphics engines from games rather than the 3D animation software that is commonly used by professional animators.

 

CCP’s No Other Destiny video nominated for three Mackie Awards

Reykjavik, ICELAND, 16 October, 2006 – CCP is pleased to announce that their EVE Online video entitled No Other Destiny has been nominated for three Mackie Awards in the categories of Best Editing, Best Commercial Machinima and Best Sound Design.

No Other Destiny offers a glimpse through the mind’s eye of a seasoned warrior as he prepares himself for a momentous assault where the Empires will collide head-on in the ongoing battle for interstellar supremacy. The video features actual gameplay footage from EVE Online with music by the Dutch group Black Sun Empire. According to producer Greg Kruk, the “Arrakis” music track is a key element of the video. “Its intensity really sums up player versus player combat for me.”

Kruk was “pleasantly surprised” by this year’s nominations. “I was hoping for one, but to get three was great!” Last year, he was honored to receive a Mackie Award nomination for another EVE Online video he produced, EVE Never Fades. Both videos, and many others, are available for download at http://myeve.eve-online.com/download/videos/.

The 2006 Mackie Awards winners will be announced during the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences’ Machinima Festival to be held 4-5 November in Astoria, New York. Visit http://festival.machinima.org/ for more information about the event.

For more on EVE Online click here.

Scions of Fate : Name Change

Posted Oct 16, 2006 by Jon Wood

Yulgang: Balance of Power has changed its came to Scions of Fate. At the moment, the reason for the name change is unknown, but MMORPG.com will continue to folow this story as it develops.

You can learn more about this game here.

General : New Column: MMOWTF

Posted Oct 16, 2006 by Dana Massey

Dan Fotier debuts his new column on MMORPG with "Lessons Not Learned". In this first edition of his weekly articles, he looks at Dark and Light. Check back every Monday for a new edition of MMOWTF.

So there I was sitting at my PC, staring at the screen wondering how to start off my new weekly column. It should be something appropriate and it seemed like I should start things off with a bang. In the midst of this pondering this, my trusty Yahoo Instant Messenger cheerfully advised me that I had a new e-mail and thus this rant was born.

In my inbox was mail from my friends over at NP Cube, makers of Dark and Light. The introduction line reads:

"The Ganareth Tour will give newcomers to the world of Ganareth a taste of many of the world's most addictive elements. It can be downloaded at no cost."

You can read more here.

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