Funcom has posted a guide to Ymir's Pass, an area recently released in Age of Conan.
If a man wishes to travel the distance from Cimmeria to the southern kingdoms, the fastest route is through Ymir’s Pass. It is a journey that captures the raw beauty of the northern lands, from the ice-tipped peaks which shadow the land to the snow-covered planes that lead further south through rocky valleys. Once through the mountains, the land slopes downward to the rocky expanses of the Border Kingdoms and the great plains of Nemedia beyond.
But would-be travelers must be cautious. Not all is well in Ymir’s Pass and the wind that sweeps down the mountains and howls across the plains carries with it the stench of war and death. It begins with the self proclaimed bandit-king, Atzel. Thoth-Amon returned Atzel to life after his death at the hands of Conan. In return Atzel swore to help the sorcerer carry out his plans.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com managing Editor Jon Wood had a chance recently to speak with Lord of the Rings Online Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel about the launch of the game`s first expansion, The Mines of Moria. This interview coveres everything from new features both inside and outside of the expansion, the timing of the release and more!
As many of you who haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months probably know, today marks the official launch of Turbine’s first paid expansion for its hit game, Lord of the Rings Online. The expansion, dubbed, Mines of Moria, will allow players to delve deep into the heart of the ancient Dwarf stronghold that played such a pivotal role in the books that preceded the game.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Jeffrey Steefel about the launch and what players can expect from the expansion when it hits store shelves (and digital download) today:
The first question that I asked was simple: What does Mines of Moria add to Lord of the Rings Online. The answer, as you might imagine, was a little bit more complicated.
“What does it do for Lord of the Rings? What does it do for the world that we built?” Steefel responded. “It adds a lot of things, but most of all it adds Moria… We’re pretty sure it’s going to be an RPG experience for players in terms of being in a 3D environment that they have never had before.”
Read the Mines of Moria Interview.
Mythic Entertainment has announced the start of the new Heavy Metal event, which will reward players who complete the quests with up to a week of advanced play with the Knight of the Blazing Sun and the Black Guard classes.
During this special in-game event, which runs from November 18th until December 1st, the armies of WAR will be given orders in preparation for the arrival of two new tank classes - the Empire Knight of the Blazing Sun and the Dark Elf Black Guard. Players that successfully complete the quests associated with the Heavy Metal event will be rewarded with early access to the new careers a full week before they are available to the general public.
As part of the Heavy Metal live event, players will also have special access to Reikland Factory, a new, instanced Scenario taking place on the grounds of an Empire steam tank factory. This Scenario is available to all players and all ranks, but will only be open for battle during the live event. Soldiers are encouraged to secure the Reikland Factory for their Realm, and continue the fight across the many other battlefields of WAR during Heavy Metal.
Read more here.
To celebrate today's launch of their first expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, the folks at Turbine have provided us with this exclusive video featuring the Great Delving in the Mines of Moria.
Watch the Mines of Moria, Great Delving Trailer
Mythic has posted a special edition of the Grab Bag, answering fan questions and providing feedback about the recent Heavy Metal event in Warhammer Online.
Q. What’s the first step to getting started in this live event? How will I know where the event is taking place in my zone?
A. Just open up your Tome of Knowledge and click on the Live Events section. Take a moment to listen, and then check out the daily task that’s set before you. Each day, this page will change in order to tell you what the task is for that day. Make sure you log in every day to see what the next task is. The tasks will change every day around midday Eastern time.
Q. I take it those people who have unlocked the classes will be able to continue playing them once they're released for others? Not just a preview period?
A. Yes, once you unlock the class you’ll be able to play it for as long as you choose. If you don’t do the event, you will still be able to play the classes, just not a week early.
Read more here.
The latest Feedback Friday column on the Tabula Rasa Community site takes a look at some new and improved soldiers that are causing trouble for the AFS.
In response to over a year of AFS successes, the Bane have improved upon their conscription process and are enhancing their army with a new kind of super-troop. Recon reports indicate that these troops have shown up sporadically in recent attacks on Foreas and Arieki. Intelligence suggests that these troops are suited to heavy conflict - such as that found on Earth. These conscripts are being used to hunt down and eliminate the remaining scattered survivors of mankind.
What we know:
* They hit hard
* They travel in small groups
* No single receptive has encountered a group and lived to tell about it
E.P.I.C. Bane (simply reduced to 'Epics') will need to be confronted by a full squad of prepared and highly coordinated Receptives of the highest rank. They are not to be taken lightly. Caretakers, Technicians, Pistol and Rifle Soldiers as well as Thrax Grenadiers have all been sighted.
These new conscripts represent the foremost threat to our survival. Receptives, it is up to you all to work together to confront this menace and defend the last of Humanity.
Read more here.
Turbine has published the extensive release notes for The Mines of Moria, the first expansion for Lord of the Rings Online.
Grab a drink and a snack, get comfortable, and delve into the release notes for The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria! The development team has been hard at work making new systems, updating old systems, revamping the UI and monster play, and creating the mother of all dungeons: Moria!
Read more here.
Quest Designer Joel Bylos discusses the challenges and story behind the new Ymir's Pass storyline in Age of Conan.
Ymir’s Pass was the first major playfield we were given to work on after the launch of the game. The first challenge of Ymir’s Pass was create a believable storyline. I wanted to fill in a knowledge gap which existed in the game. Why were the Vanir, Ymirish and Frost Giants helping Thoth-Amon, who by all rights should have been their enemy?
The Frostfather was the answer.
Read more here.
Craig Morrison, Game Director for Age of Conan has written a letter to the Conan community where he details plans for the near future of the game, including the DirectX 10 version of the game coming in the next major update, as well as new dungeons, the Tarantia Commons outdoor playfield, improvements to the game's itemization and statistics, and more.
With the latest game update launched and on the live servers I thought it was a good time to catch up with you all and let you know what is on the horizon for the coming game updates and give you all a general status update.
With the new PVP systems now in place and Ymir’s Pass now available for you to explore we move on to the next major additions to the game. I’ll talk a little about the immediate plans for the next update as well as covering the things you can expect to see relatively early next year.
We are now preparing to take the DirectX 10 version of the game from our internal testing servers out to the public test servers, so you can see it for yourselves. The next major game update will include this version of the game and make it available for everyone with the appropriate hardware to enjoy. Since the outset we have been determined that the new DirectX 10 functionality would not just be a ‘gimmick’ addition to the game and would add visual quality to the game, we feel that the version we are preparing now for testing does achieve this and in a way that will find the right balance between visuals and performance. We have also gone to great lengths to try and make virtually all the DirectX10 features customizable so that you can find the right balance between features for the performance level of your hardware. What we did not want to do was push this version out too early and not see the real added benefits this technology can bring. I am really looking forward to players getting to experience some of the new visual improvements that this new technology allows. It really brings an even further splendor to the game world.
Read more here.
IGG has published an overview of the new Enchanting and Gear Star Level System, one of the four new systems which will be introduced in Zu Online with the upcoming new version of the game.
With the release of the new Enchanting feature in Zu Online (http://zu.igg.com/), players can use it to improve their equipment. The monsters will drop Spars, Attacking Spars, Defensive Spars and other items used for enchanting equipment.
Intro to Enchanting interface
There are 3 slots on the Enchanting interface. They are the target equipment slot, Spar slot and Enchanting preview slot.
2. Spars: There are Attacking Spars and Defensive Spars of different quality. Spars of different quality are used in enchanting equipment of different levels. (For example, Attacking Spars are used for enchanting level 1-3 equipment. Medium Attacking Spars are used for enchanting level 4-6 equipment. Greater Attacking Spars are used for enchanting level 7-9 equipment.)
3. Enchanting: The amount of Spars used in the Enchanting determines the star level of the equipment when it is enchanted successfully. Players may preview the Enchanting effects
Enchanting can only change the basic numerical value of the equipment’s damage or defense but not affect the other equipment attributes.
Equipment will not yield Stones (Stone I, II, III…) again but will yield Spars when disenchanted. The number of Spars gained from a piece of equipment is equal to the numerical number of the equipment rank.
Differences between Enchanting and Refining
Refining: Refining works at creating equipment or changing the special attributes of equipment. For example, players may add Fire attributes to equipment using the Refining function.
Enchanting: Enchanting works at increasing the equipment’s damage or defense. Please remember that the success rate of Enchanting decreases as the equipment rank increases and the rank reduction for a failed Enchanting increases as equipment rank increases.
Read more here.
The folks at EverQuest II have posted a rundown of what players can expect with on launch day for the Shadow Odyssey, EQ2's fifth expansion which launches on November 18th.
EverQuest II's fifth expansion, The Shadow Odyssey, launches on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. Here's a quick rundown on what to expect on launch day.
11:59 PM PST on Monday, November 17, 2008: The pre-order process will be turned off. You have until this time to place a pre-order in the station store for the digital download and still qualify for the in-game items.
12:01 AM PST on Tuesday, November 18, 2008: The magic starts happening. The servers for all regions will come down and the new data will be pushed out to the live servers.
6:00 AM PST: The Community Relations team gets into the office and checks in with the dev team and starts posting updates on the forums!
12:00 PM (noon) PST - This is the estimated magic hour when we anticipate having the servers up and running for all of you to experience The Shadow Odyssey!
From there on out it's all about enjoying the expansion!
Read more here.
NCsoft has announced that Aion reached 170,000 concurrent user during beta testing, making it the largest beta event in Korean History.
SEOUL, Korea, Nov. 14, 2008—One of the most highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, Aion®: The Tower of Eternity™ from NCsoft®, is already showing signs of reaching hit status in only a matter of days since open beta testing kicked off earlier this week. Aion is scheduled to launch in Korea within the year and launches in China, North America, Europe and Japan are planned for 2009.
Since Tuesday's launch of open beta testing in Korea, concurrent user numbers have already jumped to more than 170,000 players, making it the most popular beta event in Korean history. According to NCsoft officials, more than 11,000 people were logged into the game after only two minutes of open beta service. In less than an hour, that number had ballooned to 40,000. Currently the number of concurrent players has leapt up to more than 170,000.
Read more here.
NetDevli has posted an overview of the Solrain Sector, the home area of the Solrain Commonwealth in Jumpgate Evolution.
We’ve just put live some introduction overviews to the different sectors players will be able to traverse, explore and engage in that reside within Solrain Space, the home area of the Solrain Commonwealth nation.
You can visit the Solrain Sector overviews in the Galactic Database. This is only the tip of the iceberg-like asteroid; look out for more in-depth information about each of these sectors soon.
Read more here.
On November 15th, MMORPG.com hosted a dev chat with the folks from Runes of Magic. Today, we post the log from that chat in its entirety.
MMORPG_Kunou: Howdy and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Dev Chat on irc.coldfront.net! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's Community Manager Richard "Kunou" Cox. Joining us today are members of the Runes of Magic dev team!
MMORPG_Kunou: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to one question at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded. Feel free to add another question to the queue once yours is either asked or rejected.
MMORPG_Kunou: To submit your question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere. If your question was deleted, it's probably because someone else asked the same thing first.
MMORPG_Kunou: This room will be moderated during the chat; if you want to talk during the chat, feel free to visit #rom.
MMORPG_Kunou: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to MMORPGBot while our guests introduce themselves!
Kerensky: Hi everyone. Good to be here. My name's Jörg "Kerensky" Koonen. I'm the Community Manager for the English speaking "Runes of Magic" community.
Danatros: Hello, I'm Daniel "Danatro" Ullrich the Director Product Management at Frogster Online Gaming. - Nice to be here ;)
MMORPG_Kunou: Ok then, here we go!
Question: flying4torpedo asks, "what kind of crafting skill wil there be ?"
Kerensky: There are 3 gathering skills and 7 crafting skills that allow to "create" - like carpentry and tailoring
Kerensky: You can gather materials and refine them into armour, weapons etc.
Read the entire Runes of Magic Dev Chat Log.
With the Mines of Moria expansion launch mere hours away, MMORPG.com's Jef Reahard writes this overview of what players can expect from Turbine's first forray into the paid expansion universe.
Chances are you've heard of the little Tolkien game that could, otherwise known as The Lord of the Rings Online. Turbine's plucky PVE-centric game has carved out a respectable niche for itself in today's crowded online multiplayer market, striking a nifty balance between adapting the most widely read fantasy in history and following the rather bland and uninspiring blueprint for current generation MMORPG titles.
Chances are also good that you've heard of the game's first paid expansion, the Mines of Moria, debuting tomorrow in digital download format as well as two flavors of retail packaging. Turbine has long lavished free content updates on its player base, adding a total of six additional 'books' to the existing game since its original launch in April of 2007. Hundreds of new quests, raiding options, housing and reputation systems, and a generous helping of polish have been continuously bolted onto the core game, begging the question of whether or not the first paid expansion is in fact worth the money.
Check out the Mines of Moria Preview
Our new Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent writes this short article giving a few play tips for players who may have left the game and are planning a return.
"Even though you played SWG, you are not a vet of the game you just joined"
I always said that if I wrote a guide for returning 'vets', that would be my first sentence. If you can't get past that point, then frankly, you should not even attempt to play again. This is not the SWG you knew. Sure there are remnants of the past; your city may still be there, heck, maybe even your old house. You'll probably even find some old acquaintances traipsing around the star ports if you're lucky. However, what you used to know, what you used to own, where you used to group, and more importantly your reputation is irrelevant now.
SWG is in its fourth iteration: Pre-CU, CU, NGE, & Post-NGE. There are specific milestones between NGE and post-NGE, namely chapter 6 and game update 4 - Ch. 6 increased NPC difficulty to promote grouping and GU4 marked the final balance pass and update of all profession expertise systems. So for those of you, and I know who you are, who complain and gripe about how terrible the NGE was, realize that like Pre-CU, the NGE does not exist as you knew it.
MMORPG.com has teamed up with Aeria Games to bring an exciting contest to our community! From now until Dec 15, 2008 we will be taking entries into this random drawing sweepstakes where we will give away 203 prizes with great items like Logitech MX Revolution wireless, dockable, laser mice, and in game rewards!
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details).
Full List of Prizes: