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Pirates of the Burning Sea : Cutthroat Skills

Posted May 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted the latest in their series of Developer diaries which examine the class and skill changes in version 1.4 of the game.

If you havent read about the general skill changes, check the start of the first devlog in this series. You can find it here. The general changes to Cutthroat(new pirates) are linked to the new Buccaneer career. You can find information on the Buccaneer here.

A lot of the cutthroat changes were aimed at skill order and acquisition instead of new skills, since they already have so much functionality. The old skullduggery chain is gone, although some of the skills still exist. Due to the addition of the Buccaneer, Cutthroats now have the same number of skills as other careers. The two careers are intended to work together with complimentary abilities to compete on even terms against national groups. The removed skills were generally tiered skills and redundant skills. Were trying to move all the important Cutthroat functionality into a more condensed list, thereby providing more options with the same skill selection. This is harder to quantify, but important.

Read more here.

ArchLord : Pets Update

Posted May 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Codemasters have announced the addition of several new pets that are as cute as they are deadly to Archlord.


Pets Update!

ArchLord has gone all cute and fuzzy; this week sees the release of three new terrifying creatures on the world of Chantra. These creatures are joining the fight to become the ArchLord, aligning themselves with adventurers up and down the world. They provide bonuses to help their masters in their struggle against the dark monsters of the material world and the other would-be competitors for the crown of ArchLord, supreme ruler of Chantra!

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : April Newsletter

Posted May 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning April Newsletter is now available, bringing reports from the beta, interviews, career info, and more.


Hankering for the latest beta craze, new career masteries, brand new guild info, or just some good ol fashioned WAR news? Well wait no more as the April newsletter is here and available now on

Click here for the latest WAR news and don't miss a beat!

And if you're still waiting on yours to reach your inbox - fear not. We're looking into ways to get you your newsletter faster than ever!

As always you can register for beta here and look forward to it coming to you at the end of each month:

See you next month...WAAAGH!!!

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Beta Finale PvP Event

Posted May 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that they will be holding a special event full of PvP madness to celebrate the end of the Age of Conan Beta as the game prepares to launch.

On the 10th of May Funcom is transforming the entire Open Beta into PvP MAYHEM, while at the same time giving testers access to all which Hyboria has to offer!

As we take down our servers for a short period we are at the same time changing the entire server rule-set to Free For All PvP carnage!

Here are the dirty details:

  • All servers become PvP servers. You can kill each other – no level restrictions on killing or getting killed, but you cannot PvP in the major cities.
  • All level 13 characters becomes level 20. Their inventory is wiped, but they have “tons” of money and really nice equipment suitable for level 20’s. Shopping bonanza!
  • You have access to ALL zones and ALL levels after level 20!
  • You will be zoned to your Race’s Hub. (Cimmerians – Conarch Village, Aquillonians – Old Tarantia and Stygians – Khemi!

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Life After the Server Merge

Posted May 07, 2008 by Jon Wood's Carolyn Koh speaks with the folks from Flying Lab Software in this progress update that brings us information not only on the recent server merge but on the game's past issues and its future.

“What server merge?”  Russell Williams, CEO of Flying Lab Software deadpanned, comfortably seated in his office on top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle, WA.  “Didn’t you read the follow up announcement?  Our web servers were hacked.  Ha!  Gotcha!” 

Russell really wasn’t trying to pull one over me, but was simply joking, this sunny morning in the Pacific Northwest that I was visiting to talk to the team.  Take a temperature reading, find out the whys and wherefores of the server merge in Pirates of the Burning Sea and what they had planned for the future.  One thing I know about Russell, having interviewed him several times previously, is that he is candidly honest and would provide a wealth of information.  I lusted surreptitiously at the model of the Yamato (among other toys) he has in his office, pondering once again how I could tuck that under my coat when I left, then urged him to “tell all.” He did.  Starting with what went wrong.

Read more here.

Champions Online : Custom Convention Content

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios will be attending several shows in the coming months and they want to hear from their fans about who at Cryptic they want to see, and what they want them them to talk about.

We've already announced that we will be attending GenCon and PAX.

But that's not all. We're making arrangements for panels and presentations at conventions and gatherings, and we want to know what you want to see.

Who from Cryptic do you want to meet? What do you want to hear us talk about? What are you interested in? What do you want to know more about?

It's convention customization. So help us tailor our presentations so you get what you want!

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Lorebook Update: Girdley Island

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with an entry on Girdley Island, a former outpost of the Dúnedain, and currently a popular fishing spot for local Hobbits.

In the midst of the Brandywine River, between the North Bridgefields and the Brandy Hills, lies a small but steep island. In the early days of Arnor, the Dúnedain used this island as a beacon-hill, but it was abandoned when the hobbits came to dwell here. Later, a member of the Brandybuck family rowed out to the island and discovered it was a particularly excellent spot for fishing.

Girdley Island, as it has come to be called, has become a popular excursion for Brandybucks on holiday (for they among hobbits are the least afraid of water). They have built two small piers on the island, providing ample room for fishing hobbits, or anyone wishing to take a break from their adventures with LOTRO’s fishing system.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Douple XP for Squads

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

To encourage group play, NCsoft will be offering double experience from May 5th to May 12th for players who play as part of a squad.

To encourage teamwork with fellow AFS soldiers, General British has authorized Double XP to be awarded to those soldiers who play as part of squads between Monday, May 5, 2008 10AM CDT and Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4pm CDT. All soldiers fighting in squads will earn 2x the XP normally awarded while in a group.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Blizzard Store Redesigned

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced that they have revamped the Blizzard Store, where players can purchase Blizzard merchandise and more.

We are proud to announce the release of the brand-new Blizzard Store! Completely redesigned from the ground up, the Blizzard Store allows you to purchase Blizzard Entertainment games and other merchandise directly from the source. Here are some of the features of the new Blizzard Store:

  • User-friendly interface makes your shopping fast and convenient.
  • Search and browse products by major franchise categories as well as product type.
  • Convenient online shopping tools such as saving payment methods and shipping addresses for future reference.
  • Digital downloads: now you can purchase select Blizzard Entertainment titles as direct downloads, with immediate access upon payment.
  • Purchase World of Warcraft game time for yourself or for a friend.
We hope you enjoy the new Blizzard Store!

Check out the Blizzard Store here.

Stargate Worlds : Dev Blog: Moving Beyond the Wall

Posted May 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

Nick LaMertina, a Sound Designer for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment's Stargate Worlds has written a fantastic blog post over at the game's official site. We have asked for permission to re-publish it here at as it serves as a grreat example of a developer struggling to do the best job possible on a project and also of an artist struggling to ply his trade in the games industry.

There are some days things just plain refuse to work, and fault never lies with just one person or circumstance. The software is crashing, the MIDI routing hiccups, the instrument doesn’t perform as expected, or there’s an unannounced support task that inhibits or destroys my momentum. Or sometimes it’s even an outside issue (or frequently, issues) that affects my composure at work.

It’s often frustrating when I’m trying to accomplish something, and I know, I just know, that I’m fully capable of delivering the goal I have in mind, but one roadblock after another comes up and inhibits my progress. Sometimes it’s my own fear of failure (or success!) that holds me back. It’s very easy to get discouraged and feel like the end goal is an impossible task and not worth pushing to, especially when dealing with an art as emotional as music. It’s frequently a lonely experience, speaking, reading, and writing in a language that most can only topically understand, and no matter how much I try to disconnect myself from the work, I’ve never been able to reduce that emotional bond to my work. It is singularly my greatest strength and my most significant weakness.

Read it all here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Meet the Buccaneer

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Pirates of the Burning Sea official site has been updated with a devlog which introduces players to the Buccaneer, a new pirate career.

Up to this point, Ive talked about a lot of the changes that are happening to existing careers and all the new stuff theyre getting. Now its time for something thats completely new: the Buccaneer pirate career. Existing pirates will become Cutthroats, since the generic pirate is no longer applicable.

Our current career landscape is one that destined for imbalance. The game has changed a lot since pirates were created, and they need to fill a role in the Conquest endgame. A single, solo-emphasized career works great when pirate mechanics arent part of the overall war, but it doesnt lend itself to group PvP. Ive got a soft spot for solo PvP, but that doesnt mean we can ignore the group PvP necessity and the associated balance implications.

Group PvP is all about the sum, which is where pirates start to create problems. Theres a single pirate career versus multiple national careers. There are two critical implications:

1)If the careers are equal, then the side with the options will win.
2)If the single career nation has sufficient options and versatility to compete, then that will lead to dominance.

Read more here.

Granado Espada Online : Name That Expansion

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Sword of the New World Are running a poll which asks players to vote for the name of the game's next expansion.

Attention Pioneers!

Starting now, you have the chance to help decide what the title for the next expansion of Sword of the New World should be! To take part and vote, click here and have your voice heard!

The poll will run until Friday May 9th, and will close at 5:00 PM PST that day, so get your vote in now!

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Welcome Back Weekend

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine will be holding a welcome back weekend from May 8th to 12th, where former players of Lord of the Rings Online can return to the game and play for free.

Have friends who used to play LOTRO, but haven't been on in a while? Let them know that this weekend, from May 8-12, the doors are opening to former players to come back and experience all of the new areas, content, and fun that LOTRO has added over the past year! For more information, and to download the most recent version of the client, check out our Welcome Back Weekend page!

Read more here.

EVE Online : Council of Stellar Management Elections

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that voting for EVE's Council of Stellar Management has officially begun.

Voting has begun to elect your representatives for the Council of Stellar Management

These are exciting times, not only for EVE but for the future of virtual worlds in general as the first democratic elections began today for the Council of Stellar Management. EVE Online subscribers may vote for their representatives who will then represent them as council members interacting directly with CCP.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Early Access Registration Opens for EU

Posted May 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that registration for early access to play Age of Conan on the EU servers is now open.

Registration for customers with pre-order keys has now opened.

Registration for customers with pre-order keys has now opened on Registering with a valid pre-order key (such as the Rhino or Mammoth key) is the unique way to be eligible to purchase Early Access for 5€/5$. This fee includes 10 days of game-time as well as the digital download of the client. Hurry though, because the Early Access is only available while supply lasts!

Read more here.

CABAL Online : Cabal Cominc Issue #2

Posted May 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

The fine folks over at Cabal Online have provided us with part two of this new and original comic.

Check it all out here.

General : Dyyno test Wednesday

Posted May 05, 2008 by Jon Wood

This Wednesday at 7pm EST, will be holding a public test of a new feature. Dynno will be providing the technology that will allow players to stream their gaming live for others to watch.

With a single click, Dyyno lets you broadcast your gameplay (or any other window) live to a potentially unlimited audience without slowing down your PC. Dyyno streams are very high-quality and can be viewed in a web browser.

More on Dyyno here.

Warhammer Online : High Elf Swordmaster Class Overview

Posted May 05, 2008 by Jon Wood

Our Warhammer Class Overview series continues this week as Managing Editor Jon Wood speaks with WAR Combat and Careers Strike Team Lead about the High Elf Swordmaster class.

Have you ever wished that you could play a character who was so good with the sword that you could walk toward a curtain of arrows with nothing but the cold steel in his hands to deflect the incoming onslaught? Well, now you can with the High Elf Swordmaster of Hoeth in Warhammer Online.

Late last week, I had a quick opportunity to sit down to talk with Adam Gershowitz, the Combat and Careers Strike Team Load over at EA Mythic about this class in our continuing Class Overview series.

The Swordmaster of Hoeth (name generally shortened just to Swordmaster) is a formidable opponent. Master of the blade, she has the ability to cut her foes down not only with the cold steel in her hands, but also through the mysteries of magic.

Read the whole article here.

General : Acclaim Games Partners With TrialPay

Posted May 05, 2008 by Keith Cross

Acclaim Games has announced in a press release that they have partnered with TrialPay to give out Acclaim Coins, which can be used to purchase goods in Acclaims line of games, for trying offers from specific advertisers.

Mountain View, Calif. – May 2, 2008 – Acclaim Games is taking its free-to-play online gaming model one step further today by partnering with TrialPay to give away its virtual currency—Acclaim Coins—for free. With Acclaim Coins, players can buy virtual items such as laser guns and swords to enhance their favorite online games.

Using TrialPay, players get Acclaim Coins for free by trying or buying an offer from blue-chip advertisers. Now, even players facing gaming budget restrictions can get more by earning Acclaim Coins when they buy clothes, send flowers or choose from hundreds of other TrialPay offers. Through this partnership, Acclaim Games gains loyal customers and players get new upgrades for free. With TrialPay, everyone wins!

“We’re excited to make our special features more accessible to players,” said Howard Marks, CEO of Acclaim Games. “Our new partnership with TrialPay allows more players the opportunity to customize their characters and use new features at no additional cost.”

Acclaim Coins are redeemable for virtual items in any of Acclaim’s five free-to-play multiplayer online games. Players can use the Coins to change their character’s wardrobe, upgrade their weapons and improve their skill packs. All of these features and more are free for users who complete one TrialPay offer.

TrialPay uses advertising revenue to pay the full value of each customer’s virtual currency, thus turning players into paying customers. This partnership—TrialPay’s first with a massively multiplayer online game publisher—could revolutionize the MMOG industry by giving players total access to games and special features for free.

“We’re proud to partner with Acclaim Games,” said Alex Rampell, TrialPay’s CEO. “TrialPay gives players hundreds of ways to pay for virtual currency and ensures that there’s an offer for everyone.”

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 13 Screens

Posted May 05, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks from Codemasters have sent us these new screenshots featuring areas from the recently released Book 13: Doom of the Last-King that recently made its way to live servers near you.

Check out all four here.

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