We here at MMORPG.com are continually expanding our games list in an effort to keep our readers as informed as possible about everything going on throught the MMORPG genre. This past weekend, we added four titles to our lists.
Winter's Twilight, which is one of four new games that were added to our game's list over the weekend, have announced that they will be holding their first competition. The competition itself asks players to come up with a weapon, and that weapon's backstory.
Well, its time to explore your competitive streak with our first competition!
'Yay', I hear you cry!!!
Depth of story and background knowledge is required by any MMORPG to get you, the player, involved in a maze of quests, explore the depths of a hidden dungeon or venture forth on an expedition to win the hearts of many or corrupt the souls of the weak.
The Development Team are looking for a feel to their armoury with background stories for our epic weapons.
The competition requires the creation of a weapon accompanied by a background story of perhaps the early years of what the weapon was used for. Who wielded it? Evil or good? Cursed or blessed? You decide…
The best entries will be displayed on our website for the whole world to see, with the possibility of a series of quests relating to your story. The overall winner will receive a month’s free ‘Veteran’ status within the game once after release.
So come on all you budding writers, this is a great opportunity to get a story published and influence a game in the making.
All entries are to be sent to email@example.com with the subject reading ‘COMPETITION’
Good luck to one and all and may the luck of the Elves be with you!!! (or is it the Irish?)
For more on Winter's Twilight, click here.
City of Villains / City of Heroes has released some information about their newest free expansion, "Issue 7: Destiny Manifest" along with a few new screenshots for our reading and viewing pleasure.
New High Level Zones
Mayhem Missions (Villains only)
Other New Missions (Villains only)
Patron Powers (Villains only)
New Power Sets! (Villains only)
New Base Features (Heroes and Villains)
Quality of Life Features: (Hereos and Villains)
CoH Art Upgrades (Heroes)
New Costume Items
For more City of Villains, click here.
There's a new Producer's Letter available on the EverQuest II official website. Below, we have provided you with the opening of the letter, but there is far more information available at the link below. If you are a player of this game, or just have an interest, I strongly advise giving this at least a quick read.
Thanks to all of you, EverQuest II is growing.
We've been attracting more and more people over the past months. That's one of the big factors that went into our decision to spend time improving the progression for new characters. We've been getting a lot of feedback on it, improving it as we go, and we look forward to it going live this week as a part of Update 19!
There's another topic we've been listening on that I wanted to talk about today. Server growth, and the perception of the size of the worlds.
In reality most of our 36 US, Europe, and Asia EQ2 servers currently house the same number of people as your average server from any MMO. Because of the size of our game world, some of the worlds feel less full than they should for them be ideal, fun places to play.
When we first started out, EQ2 had 369 total zones or instances of zones. The game has since expanded to having over 600 of them, just about doubling the playable space.
On some worlds, it can seem like there are fewer people to make friends and group with, fewer opportunities to bump into others. Nothing makes a world feel more alive than other people. When you don't run into enough other people, folks who otherwise love the game are more likely to drift away.
It's no secret. It's a problem that's been discussed on a few of the server forums, and it's one that we've been spending quite a bit of time thinking about as well.
Over the next few weeks, we're going to do something that might seem counterintuitive on the surface for a growing game, and combine a few of our existing servers reinvesting in the ones that remain.
Some people who don't play EQ2 will have bad things to say about this move. Yes, this is a controversial decision, but our primary concern has to be making sure that the worlds are all healthy, fun places to play for the people who enjoy playing EQ2.
Read the rest of the letter, here.
For more Pirates of the Burning Sea, click here.
We have more answers from the Dark & Light team has we continue our Q&A series with interview #10. This week, they address frame rate, the combat system, live events and a lot more.
| MMORPG.com: Can you tell us about your live events being run by Alchemic Dream. How have they gone so far?
The Dark & Light Team: Events have been organised since the beginning of SoG.
They can happen in various ways: if most of them are organised by AD teams, using prepared scenarios and animated by dedicated game managers who lead exiting and innovative adventures, game managers naturally contributes to any animation or event ingame, according to the current situation.
The game managers team is organised in order to be available 24/24Hours a day in five languages so that any player can take part to an event or an animation and enter deeper into Ganareth intrigues. Indeed, a very deep lore is being developped, in collaboration with Gary Gygax.
Following each player action is key to keep organising animations in line with the current life ingame . For instance, even if players settled in withdrawn areas, they could discover that surrounding pets where not that welcoming and quickly meant their dissatisfaction to the new Settlers ! Strange things are woven in the world and Ganareth inhabitants observe with more or less benevolence the installation of these strange adventurers.
A Gazette will be soon online to report Ganareth events and be sure anybody can know how are evolving Ganareth adventures.
You can read the whole Q&A here.
Thank you to Spellborn for sending this in.
Your first experience with undead is likely to arrive in the form of a human skeleton, perhaps in the haunts of the sanctuary or in a quest for ancient weapons said to lie beneath the city’s harbors. These poor witless creatures cannot truly be blamed for their attempts to rend your flesh and delicate bits from your bones; they are mindless creatures who work under the compulsion of necromancers or evil surroundings. Still, they must be destroyed by brave adventurers in their sewers and crypts. The alternative is that they someday rise up into the streets and threaten the helpless civilians of Stormreach.
The common skeleton doesn’t possess any special tactics or tools—it will relentlessly claw at its victim until one of the two is dead. The things you need to be aware of when dealing with this foe can be quickly learned—and used for when dealing with skeletons of any size. First (and this for all of those pea-brained fighters out there—I’d include barbarians, but they’re all illiterate), for the sake of your own life, put away your swords and daggers. The only weapons with proven effectiveness on skeletons are weapons that smash—bludgeoning weapons such as clubs and maces. My next piece of advice should be obvious, but not every wizard or bard is blessed with wisdom: skeletons are undead. Your charms, fascinates, and hold spells will not work on them! Unless your spell is specifically dedicated to dealing with living dead, don’t take a chance. Rely strictly on damage-dealing spells. And of those, stay away from spells such as cone of cold, because there’s no flesh on those bones to freeze. Finally, as for clerics—well, turning undead is good, but don’t expect your foes to remain turned forever. Isolate and deal with your foes before they can do the same to you.
Now, it should be noted that not every undead skeleton is the same. While they may all share the same characteristics mentioned above, some skeletons are far more powerful than others. Some are armed with swords, or swords and shields. Others may wield ranged weapons such as bows. Some of these weapons may have been with the skeleton when it was laid to rest (a reason to frown on the practice of entombing our dead with their prized possessions, if you ask me). Others may have been given to the creature posthumously by whatever foul master it now serves. Whatever the case, be wary when taking on armed and armored skeletons, for they may be significantly tougher than those you’ve encountered in the past—especially (if the rumors are true) those skeletons whose bones have turned black with some dreadful curse.
For more on DDO, click here.
This week Lead Content Editor Dana Massey and News Manager Jon Wood argue the merits of making MMORPGs out of major intellectual properties, such as Lord of the Rings, Star Trek or Harry Potter. Dana takes the yes side, while Jon argues against it. Here is a teaser:
|Jon Wood: There are a number of flaws in the concept of companies developing MMORPGs based on major pre-existing franchises. I can clearly see why it is done. It creates a pre-made customer base and almost guarantees a strong launch. Unfortunately, from a gamer point of view, these games are doomed to fall short. All you have to do is look at game like “Star Wars: Galaxies”, which has been on the receiving end of a never-ending barrage of criticism because the game doesn’t live up to the epic expectations of either Star Wars fans, or MMORPG fans.
What another example? How about the criticism that Turbine has received for their new game, Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach? Players have been waiting for a long time to get their hands on an MMORPG version of their favorite pen and paper game. Now that one is in production, the complaints are coming in about everything from the choice of gaming world (Eberron, which is the newest and least established of the gaming worlds from Wizards of the Coast), to the use of the 3.5 edition rule set. In short, many players are turning away from these games because they do not, and in my opinion, can not, live up to the enormous expectations put upon them by the strength of their individual franchises.
Read the entire debate here.
Thank you to Flying Lab for sharing these.
well, it's Friday, and what would Fridays be if it wasn't for Dark Age of Camelot's weekly Grab Bag Feature. Below, you'll find a sample of the" bag" this week, click on the link below for more.
Q: If the exploit fix was 1.82B, does that mean it's still on Pendragon and the exploit is still on live servers?
A: Nope. We zipped that up to live servers right away, and called it 1.82B just to keep our version numbers straight internally.
Q: Is the Orlando Road Trip stop still going to happen?
A: Yes, so if you're driving from out of town, you don't need to cancel your plans. Thanks to all of those who sent in suggestions for alternate locations, by the way - my players ALWAYS come through!
Miss Juli was able to save the day and grab us a spot at a place recommended by several players:
So, February? You, us, good times? Right, see you in Orlando.
Get the whole grab bag, here.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – January 27, 2006 – Sony Online Entertainment announced their preparations for the 19th update to EverQuest II, slated to launch on game servers February 2. This update will bring significant changes to the game, and is a precursor to the launch of the new Player vs. Player game servers, scheduled for late February.
The most noticeable addition to this update is the new Character Progression system. The gradual Archetype progression has been changed, and players will be able to choose their final class at the beginning of the game, rather than working their way up to level 20. This change means that the class system will be a more unique experience for players at low levels, and give players access to unique spells and abilities that set their class apart. Newly-created characters will also begin with new class-specific gear that will further differentiate players and make the world feel more diverse.
The game’s Tutorial section has also been dramatically changed. SOE would like to bid a fond farewell to Captain Varlos and the good ship Far Journey, as new players will now begin on one of two new islands, either the Outpost of the Overlord (evil) or the Queen’s Colony (good). The islands still serve as a “newbie” introduction to the game, but are much different from each other and contain a number of quests to get players started.
In addition to benefits for new players, one of the best dungeons in EQII, Solusek’s Eye, is receiving a content overhaul, with new high-level action and rewards for players in the late 40s – 50s level range. This awe-inspiring dungeon is now the home to new, powerful items, including fiery red equipment to match the dungeon’s theme. Additionally, the new quests create a foundation for the storyline that will develop in Kingdom of Sky, the next EQII expansion scheduled for February 21.
Additional changes in Live Update 19 include: changes to Mentoring to make it more fun for those helping their lower-level friends; the ability to send cross-faction mail (good characters can now send items and coin to evil characters and vice versa); a cleaner and clearer Adventure writs system; expanded vault storage space in some of the premium player housing; and tons of tweaks to the game’s user interface.
Since EQII’s launch in November 2004 there have been literally thousands of changes and augmentations made to the game. SOE is very excited about the upcoming live addition of PvP to Everquest II, as well as the arrival of Kingdom of Sky, both scheduled for February 21.
The following information provides a detailed description of the additions in Everquest II Live Update 19:
*** New Character Progression ***
New Tutorial Islands
Racial Quest Paths
Adventure Yard Quests
*** Dungeon Exploration ***
*** Mentoring ***
Your high level spells are now useable (at a reduced effectiveness) when you mentor a lower level player. No more messing with your hotbar when you want to help out a friend! Most spells will no longer drop or suspend when you start mentoring a lower-level player. Instead, they now adjust themselves accordingly.
*** Writs ***
You can now select from a list of all writs you are eligible to embark upon when speaking to a writ giver.
*** The Norrathian Express ***
Much to the chagrin of both Antonia Bayle and the Overlord, the Norrathian Express has expanded its services.
*** Housing ***
The Qeynos Exchange and Freeport Reserve have expanded their business and now allow those with more prestigious homes access to expanded vault facilities.
*** User Interface Improvements ***
You can now Buy Stacks or Buy Quantities of items on the Broker window. The Broker window will now show real-time item quantities. If you buy an item, everyone who has that item on the page they're viewing will see the quantity decreasing. To avoid potential purchasing mistakes that might arise if items you see in the window are bought by someone else, items will show zero quantity instead of disappearing entirely. Class information is now displayed for items in the Broker window tooltips. There is now an option to pop up a confirmation box when making expensive purchases from the Broker window. The default price is 10 gold, and the slider for the minimum price can be set from 1 gold to 5 plat. This is to prevent the accidental purchase of an expensive item. The option is available in Options -> User Interface -> Game Features -> Broker Window.
Health, power, and resists have been added to the dropdown in the Broker search window.
Searching for food and drink should now be a bit simpler. For example, if you search for level 40-49 foods, you will now only see food that is appropriate for that level range.
The Broker window will now perform a search if the Enter key is pressed while the
Item Name or Store Owner fields have focus.
The broker window buy/stack quantity is now more like the merchant window for consistency.
Groups and Raids:
Mouse Behavior Modification (No mice were hurt during this process):
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (JANUARY 27, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ entertainment products in North America, announced a simultaneous launch for FINAL FANTASY® XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan™, the third expansion pack for the title. The long-awaited release of FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will also be available that day. Specifically, retail product and service will be available as listed in the following regions (based on time zone differences) – April 18 in North America, April 20 in Europe and Japan.
FINAL FANTASY XI, the first cross-platform, cross-continent massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) will be accessible on Xbox 360 for the first time to players in North America, Europe and Japan. Gamers will be able to communicate and play together no matter where they are or from what platform they connect - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows® operating system or Xbox 360 (platform based on region availability). FINAL FANTASY XI has more than 500,000 subscribers in North America, Europe and Japan, combined. With the release of the third expansion pack and Xbox 360 version, the world of Vana’diel® will be an even livelier place to visit, expanding the community even further.
Treasures of Aht Urhgan can be played along with the original version of FINAL FANTASY XI (which is required to play any of the expansions) and does not require the Chains of Promathia™ and Rise of the Zilart® expansion packs. The third expansion will be sold separately for PlayStation 2 and Windows users at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). Treasures of Aht Urhgan will be available as part of the complete package for Xbox 360 which includes PlayOnline™, FINAL FANTASY XI and all three expansion packs for the title - Chains of Promathia, Rise of the Zilart and Treasures of Aht Urhgan at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).
FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows
FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2
For updates and information on FINAL FANTASY XI please visit: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/index.shtml.
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com/na.
Blizzard has announced that the Lunar Festival is off and running in their popular MMORPG, World of WarCraft. Take a look:
Come celebrate the wisdom of the ancestors under the comforting canopy of Moonglade -- the Lunar Festival has officially begun! Elaborate fireworks and festive outfits await you among the revelers -- but be on your guard, for during this time the ancient Omen is said to stir within Lake Elune'ara...
For more WoW, click here.
Another series kicks off today! Every Friday we'll have exclusive screenshots and renders from EverQuest II: Kingdom of the Sky starting with these three images. We will also carry an exclusive interview every other week. In the first installment, Rob Hinman asks Scotts Hartsman (Senior Producer, SOE) about several issues.
|MMORPG.com: Many magic users often complain about the lack of design and color to their robes. Their argument is that many of these robes have the same exact design, saved for a few different looks; and by level 40 every mage is wearing purple and gold robes. Will the new expansion bring forth any new and exciting designs that are different from the common look and how will they look class specific (example: A Necromancer robe and an Illusionist robe should look differently)?
Scott Hartsman: This is something we feel strongly about too. So much so, that we’re not only adding them in the expansion. We have been, and will continue to be, adding them to the live game as well.
New robes with new appearances have already made their way in to the game via our dungeon improvements over the past weeks, most notably in Ruins of Varsoon, Runnyeye, and the Temple of Cazic-Thule.
Even more new appearances will arrive in the coming updates to starting classes (as all casters now start out looking unique) and the dungeon improvements continue in Solusek’s Eye with at least one new robe there that the folks on the beta server thought looked amazing.
You may read the entire Q&A here.
Dark Age of Camelot is at it again, putting out some more of their Release Notes. Today, they're for Test Version 1.82D. As usual, we give you "New Things and Bug Fixes". If you'd like to read it all, just click on the link below.
NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES
Read it all, here.
Guild Wars has opened a new market for their game. As of 7pm Pacific Time on January 26th, Guild Wars was available to players in Japan.
We are pleased to announce the opening of Guild Wars in Japan. The game has been in testing for a few months now and at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time (Noon Tokyo Time) the servers will open and players from Japan will be playing the official retail release version of Guild Wars. Youkoso!
For more Guild Wars, click here.
MMORPG.com is pleased to announce that we will be holding a contest for a new t-shirt design! From now until February 17, 2006 we will be accepting entries into our contest to design the new t-shirt for the MMORPG.com website.
After this date we will select up to 6 finalists and allow our members to vote for their favorite design.
The winner of this contest will receive a $250 gift certificate for J!NX (http://www.jinx.com)!
For the official rules and instructions on how to enter, please visit this page. Good luck to all those that enter!
People have been waiting to hear more out of Adventurine SA (formerly Razorwax AS). Today we have it as Tasos Flabouras goes in-depth on their upcoming MMORPG Darkfall, known for its PvP-bent.
Tasos Flambouras: More than any other game before it, Darkfall brings the fantasy battlefield to blood-splattering, neck-chopping life:
Spell explosions blow you away from the battle line with kinetic force; blood splatters on your armor as the ditch-bound head of a decapitated foe rolls past; smoke from fireball bursts reduce vision temporarily until the wind carries it away; warhorses kick savagely and opponents physically block your progress as you race to execute a wound-stunned enemy before their healers get to him; thundering hooves signal victory as your cavalry arrives just in time to turn the tide of battle.
MMOG combat has tended towards the boringly static, with players deducting hit points from each other while micromanaging their characters. In Darkfall, however, combat is as unpredictable, visceral, action-packed and intense as medieval fantasy combat can be.
You can read his whole interview here.
Thank you to RazorWax for sending these over.