New Community Manager Laura Genender takes over the Community Spotlight, and highlights the kinds of responses that beta tests can provoke on the forums.
The forums are overflowing with talk of Vanguard. There are the avid followers, who have nothing but good to say of the game; there are the posters who predict its immediate failure and demise. "The trolls have a point," one thread argues, while another reminds posters: "It's in beta testing...DUH!"
Of course, these are just the extremes. There were more conservative users, those who favored the game for the uniqueness of the classes or the scope of the world but understood it still had it's faults, and those who fault the developers for releasing too early but admit that the game has potential. In a thread titled No Immersion forum posters got a bit off topic and began to discuss the state of the game's release date - Poster dukelouie pointed out that some of the immersion issues were due to missing animations, and that the product was far from complete.
Read the whole column here.
John Scott Tynes, the Producer for Flying Lab Software's upcoming nautical game, Pirates of the Burning Sea returns to MMORPG.com to offer a new Developer Journal focusing on the highs and lows of a beta.
Operating an MMO beta is fantastic. You get all the fun of interacting with real players who are really playing your game, but you're still below the radar enough that the pressure isn't overwhelming. It's a great opportunity to learn what it's going to be like to run a live service.
We started our beta program a year ago, in late 2005. Players who tried the game back then and then tried it again more recently are amazed at how much has changed. But that's what a year of development gets you! The game has come a long, long way in that year and is much better than ever before.
You can read the whole journal here.
Dungeons and Dragons Online plans to open Risia for a second weekend to preview a newer version of the Litany of the Dead Part 2.
Two weekends in a row! Risia will be open once again this weekend! We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to download the Risia client since Risia will be open again to preview a newer version of Litany of the Dead Part 2. To see a complete Risia schedule for this weekend please click here.
Read more about Dungeons & Dragons Online here.
Guild Wars plans double experience weekend.
This coming weekend, you will receive twice the normal number of Experience Points for every Elite Skill that you capture in Tyria, Cantha, and Elona. So join us this weekend--with existing characters or perhaps with a new one--and double up on the XP! The event starts at Noon PST on Friday, January 12 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, January 14.
Read more about Guild Wars here.
World of Warcraft plans midnight launch for The Burning Crusade.
The Burning Legion isn't waiting until the morning - its assault on Azeroth begins at the stroke of midnight, January 16th! Various retailers across the country are hosting midnight release parties to commemorate the event. In addition, members of the World of Warcraft team will be on hand to celebrate while signing copies of the game at four California retail locations. Check here for more details!
Read more here.
World of Warcraft releases the Burning Crusade Patch to prepare for the expansion.
Several years have passed since the Burning Legion's defeat at the Battle of Mount Hyjal- and the races of Azeroth have continued to rebuild their once shattered kingdoms. With renewed strength, the heroes of the Horde and Alliance have begun to explore the broken lands beyond the Dark Portal. What dangers or rewards await mortal champions in Draenor? And what will the Alliance and Horde do when they discover that the demons they thought vanquished have returned to renew their terrible Burning Crusade?
Our latest patch "The Burning Crusade" sets events in motion for the release of the Burning Crusade Expansion and the opening of the Dark Portal. A stirring of events has begun throughout Azeroth and rumor points to the Dark Portal as its source. The time has come at last for the dark forces of the Burning Legion to make themselves known.
You can read the entire patch notes here.
Read more here.
Lord of the Rings Online gives players a listen to their latest music track from the game.
Read more about Lord of the Rings Online here.
Star Wars Galaxies gives players a new developer profile.
Want to know a little bit more about the SWG Team? Remember - they don't just work on the game...they also enjoy playing it! Get an inside look at how the folks behind-the-scenes enjoy Star Wars: Galaxies.
Click here to read this week's Profile that features Head GM - Sharon Morris!
Read more about Star Wars Galaxies here.
World of Warcraft opens four new realms.
We are pleased to announce the opening of four new realms. These new realms will provide a great place for new and old players alike to begin fresh adventures within the world of Azeroth. Enjoy!
Name Type Time zone Battlegroup
Moon Guard RP CST Emberstorm
Hydraxis PVE CST Emberstorm
Quel'dorei PVE CST Emberstorm
Mok'Nathal PvE CST Emberstorm
Read more here.
Carolyn Koh is currently attending CES in Las Vegas. While she's down there, she will be taking a look at games like Gods & Heroes, Vanguard and EverQuest II. Today, she kicks off her coverage with her coverage of a pair of hardware media events.
It never hurts to check out the media events to see what the latest and greatest is being shown at the CES. Since it's a Consumer Electronic Show, most were geared toward, and showing their new Media Center Hardware.
Apart from Vista, Microsoft is working on a Home Server software designed for families with several computers that wish to share their media files but like their current Windows Media Center, is planned to be sold as a hardware and software "solution" i.e. you can't buy the software and install it yourself. Boooo!
Three PC makers were there, all showing off their new hardware. Velocity Micro showed their gaming rig claiming that they make the big boys across the aisle cry, then opened up their media box, their Cinemagix Grand Theater System to show me their liquid cooled innards, appeasing my inner geek.
You can read Carolyn's whole article here.
Jack Emmert, the head of Cryptic Studios, returns today for another Community Q&A where it's our MMORPG.com members who ask the questions.
What are your impressions of Issue 8? Would you like to see more variety in Mission goal-types than saving hostages, blasting a baddy, or searching for stuff?
Like to? Sure! New mission types take time to design, code, then implement. We're always working on new twists and turns. I7 brought villain players the joy of Mayhem missions while I8 provided heroes with the challenge of Safeguard missions. Each brought some new stuff into play. So rest assured, we'll keep delivering fresh, innovative content.
You can read the whole article here.
Ashen Empires announces one on one PvP Tournament in March.
Who is the best of the best in AE? Who reigns supreme? The question will be answered on March 3rd and 4th. Players will compete in single elimination 1 on 1 battle in the Lotor's Castle arena. You lose and you are OUT!
First Prize: Apple 2GB iPod Nano* and Ashen Empires T-Shirt
Second Prize: Ashen Empires T-Shirt and 1 Month Ashen Empires Gift Certificate
To enter, send the following in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Title: AE Tournament Entry
Entries MUST be received by midnight on February 15th. Only 1 character per account may enter the tournament.
Tournament brackets and start times will be announced on February 20th. You MUST be present at your start time in order to participate. This will be an ALL DAY event.
*or prize of similar value.
**Tournament brackets will be randomly generated. There will be no consideration to character level.
Read more about Ashen Empires here.
Scions of Fate announces Beta Test schedule and Release Date.
After much ado and anticipation, MGame USA is FINALLY just about to announce of the release of Scions of Fate!! But Wait! It gets better! Before actually releasing the game, we need help from a few good players to test aspects of the game to ensure quality of stability.
So what does that mean for you?
It means that you can get a speak peek into the world of Scions of Fate and help us finalize the development of the game if you get a Beta Key!
So hurry up and get a key as soon as you can (because they are limited in supply), and come see for yourself what's got over 35 million players worldwide hooked on Scions of Fate!!!
Before trying to receive a Beta Key, please note that those who participate in 1st Closed Beta will not required another key to participate in 2nd Closed Beta.
Closed Beta Test Schedule
First Closed Beta: January 15th ~ 19th
Testing Time: 2pm ~ 9pm US Pacific Time (-8:00GMT)
Test Objective: Bug and Stability Test
Second Closed Beta: January 22nd ~ 26th
Testing Time: 24 hours
Testing Objective: Ranking and PvP Testing, Premium Item Test, and gift cash distribution Test.
Third Closed Beta: January 29th ~ February 2nd
Testing Time: 24 hours
Test Objective: General overall test of the game; bugs, translation, stability, etc.
Scions of Fate Official Release Date: February 7th, 2007
Read more about Scions of Fate here.
Players flock to Guild Wars in record-breaking numbers and rack up 20 million hours of gameplay.
The annual Guild Wars Wintersday Festival kicked off on December 20, 2006, drawing new and existing players into the game in record-breaking numbers. Players racked up more than 20 million hours of gameplay during the Wintersday Festival alone as they participated in holiday-themed quests, festive events, competitive snowball fights and received unique Wintersday gifts. This year's Wintersday Festival was the fifth major holiday festival to be celebrated in Guild Wars, the hugely popular online roleplaying game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games.
In keeping with that spirit of giving, the festival has been extended for a week, now ending at noon PST (8 p.m. GMT) on January 11, 2007. This extension allows Taiwanese players affected by last weeks earthquake and countrywide Internet outage a chance to revel in the festivities. In an additional show of holiday spirit and goodwill, Guild Wars players have offered to share their Wintersday gifts with those affected. Plans are currently underway for a massive in-game gift donation.
Read more about Guild Wars here.
MMORPG.com and Zboard have teamed up to bring you an exciting new contest! From Jan 8, 2006 to February 7, 2007 @ 9PM EST we will be accepting entries into a random drawing where we will give away 5 prize packages including the Zboard keyboard and the World of Warcraft Burning Crusade keyset! All you need to enter is a free MMORPG.com account!
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com - the greater your chances of winning a prize!
Ready to enter? Click here!
Nick Parkinson, the Community Manager for Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, returns to write the last in his four part series of articles that highlight their team and at the same time answer the question: "So You Want to be an MMO Developer?"
We're lumping Quality Assurance, Customer Support and Community together because while the jobs are very much different all three are often seen as "foot in the door" jobs, so to speak. Meaning, a lot of folks get hired on in a position in one of these areas and want to eventually move on to some other area (typically design, though sometimes art). If you find yourself applying for one, don't feel that you need to keep that fact a secret either as it's usually not a problem.
Anyway, QA and CS people can prepare in much the same way you would for game design. Play lots of different kind of games, be active in the community and give good feedback where you can. For community particularly, and CS too having an amiable, generally good natured personality goes a long way. If you're just not a people person, you probably won't like being a GM or on the community team a whole bunch.
You can read the whole article here.
Dan Fortier returns today with his MMOWTF column. This week, Dan is making some predictions about the upcoming 2007 MMORPG releases.
It seems that getting a Monday column has worked out perfectly so far. I got Christmas Day and now New Years Day all to myself. I am taking this opportunity to throw out any sort of creative writing I might have planned in order to bring you a very special MMOWTF preview of the year to come. Just ignore the boring parades and turn off whatever Bowl game you're watching and read on because your monthly subscription money might depend on it.
Many of you are glad to see that those festering pile of crap titles that got foisted on us last year, are now clearly in the rear view mirror. This New Year brings no less than five big MMOs with release dates in the first half of the year so let's start by taking a closer look at them:
You can read the whole column here
Gods & Heroes shows us some new screenshots and video of The Cliffs of Anxur.
The Romans conquered the Volscians and took control of the Cliffs of Anxur only after a long and bloody war, but they have maintained a fragile peace in the region for three generations now. The Volscians never fully assimilated into Roman culture, however, and the two peoples have never become true allies. Thus, when an advance troop of Greek invaders first arrived at Gaeta, the Volscian capital city, the Roman Senate voted to send an insultingly small shipment of supplies and a paltry number of reinforcements. Having been left more or less to fend for themselves, the Volscians' forces were easily routed, their farmland razed, and Gaeta occupied by the Greek conquerors. Those Volscians that survived have fled north and taken refuge in the small village of Sibilla. Thus, while the Volscians most certainly hate the Greeks, they have just as little reason to trust Rome. Only now, at this late hour when the entire region is under Greek control, has the Senate realized the value of having the Volscians as allies.
Read more about Gods & Heroes here.
New community manager, Craig Dalrymple, joins EverQuest II team.
Craig Dalrymple, occasionally known as Grimwell, joins SOE!
After a lengthy search, we have found your new community manager. Please welcome Craig Dalrymple (Grimwell) to the EQII community. He has years of experience in MMO's, which you can read all about on the EQII forums.
Read more about EverQuest II here.
ArchLord Player base doubles as Codemasters Online Gaming get set for the Season of Siege!
Codemasters Online Gaming are thrilled to announce that its popular MMORPG ArchLord has gone from strength to strength doubling its players base in little more than 2 weeks thanks to the recent move to free to play / no monthly subscription.
Gearing up for its next major free expansion titled Episode 2: Season of Siege, there are now twice as many players taking up the challenge to become the games single all-powerful ruler of the world! Episode 2: Season of Siege introduces many new and exciting gameplay features such as the opportunity to command your guild and take part within some of the most destructive siege warfare ever seen in an MMORPG as you fight for control over the games guild owned castles.
In response to the recent move to no monthly subscription Codemasters Online Gaming have seen unprecedented demand for the ArchLord game service attracting thousands of new players each week taking up the overall challenge to become ArchLord something that has yet to be achieved in the game.
Read more about ArchLord here.