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EverQuest II : Devdiary with Steve Kim

Posted Apr 30, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at EverQuest II have posted an interview with character animator Steve Kim.

Can you tell me what you're doing for EQII?
I'm a character animator for EQII. I'm also responsible for most of the character rigging.

What titles have you worked on for SOE?
I've worked on EQII, EQII Kingdom of Sky, EQII Desert of Flames, EQII Echoes of Faydwer

How did you become an animator?
I got into it almost by accident. I initially went to college for architecture. I hated it so much that after two years of architecture, I switched my major to graphic design. In this major, we were required to take one computer animation class. I enjoyed it so much that I continued to work on computer animations on my own free time. It eventually became my senior project before graduating. After graduating, I kept in touch with one my college friends, Ben, who moved to San Diego to work in a comic book company, by emailing him animations that I was working on at that time. One of Ben's friends from a gaming company happened to visit his studio and saw my animations on his computer. Interested, he asked Ben for my contact information and the rest is history.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : I12: The Midnight Hour and Me

Posted Apr 30, 2008 by Jon Wood

City of Heroes Senior Designer Joe Morrissey writes this developer journal telling us about the Midnight Squad, a group of heroes that has appeared in past lore, but makes their first appearance in Issue 12.

“So, why the Midnight Hour?”

The Midnight Squad takes the main focus of this issue. They’ve got some of the coolest history, yet hardly any of it has been opened up to the players. I choose the Midnight Squad because they were seriously crippled by the invasion and therefore were extremely motivated to take action against the Rikti. We did a lot with the Rikti story for Issue 10, but it was only through the single lens of the Vanguard. Now we see a second perspective, through the eyes of those hardest hit from the invasion, the Midnighters.

Rather than retreating further back into their libraries, they are stepping out of the shadows and throwing their pipes and monocles into the fight against the Rikti. The Squad has always been a group of intellects who research, discuss and analyze the world of the unknown, but now they have a purpose. They have an enemy – an enemy who thought them important enough to attack first. An intelligent man might believe there was something to that, something the Midnighters can use to their advantage. Now all that knowledge and hidden power is being turned against the Rikti.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Screenshots - The Midnight Hour and Me

Posted Apr 30, 2008 by Jon Wood

To go along with Joe Morrissey's developer journal on Issue 12 and The Midnight Squad, NCsoft has sent along these new screenshots.

Check out all six here

Guild Wars : 3rd Anniversary Sweepstakes

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet has announced that they are holding a sweepstakes to celebrate the third anniversary of Guild Wars.

The third anniversary of Guild Wars is here! To thank all of you for another awesome year, we're holding a sweepstakes. You have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including an Alienware laptop.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Director Speaks on Fileplanet Open Beta

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Jon Wood

Funcom Product Director Jorgen Tharaldsen speaks to Managing Editor Jon Wood about the Fileplanet Open Beta. In this interview, Tharaldsen addresses a number of the rumors that have circulated since the Open Beta announcement.

Ever since their open beta was announced, Norwegian development company Funcom has come under fire from fans of their upcoming MMORPG, Age of Conan, and the criticism has had very little to do with the content of their game.

The complaints stem from a decision to partner with IGN’s Fileplanet for distribution of keys to their beta. In order for players to qualify for an AoC beta key, they have to be the proud owners of a premium membership at Fileplanet (which costs $5 per month for a year). While many has applauded a beta through Fileplanet, is has  also led players to feel as though they are paying to participate in a beta and that Funcom has done this in an attempt to a) draw in extra funds for the game and b) to disguise some kind of failing in the game itself.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Build 1.4 Captain Skill Changes

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted the first in a series of six devlogs which detail the skill changes that are planed to be implemented in build 1.4 of the game.

This is the first in a series of six devlogs (yes, six) about the major upcoming captain skill changes. We are hoping to release one of these per weekday until we’re done. All of the changes discussed in these devlogs are slated for build 1.4, which should be hitting testbed in early to mid May.

Keep in mind that the details contained in here are subject to change based on feedback, ongoing internal testing and testbed activity. These devlogs will almost certainly be outdated by the time these changes hit the live servers.

 Why are we making these changes?
 Goal 1: Provide more character options
We want to provide more character options within each career. Ideally, we want there to be enough good skills available that its difficult to select the skills you want to use.

 Goal 2: Improve skill chains, reduce the feeling of “wasted” skill points
We want to alleviate some of the issues where players feel they are required to invest in an undesirable chain because of core skills. Although we expect a couple chains (like Survival) to be common to almost everyone in a career, it’s important that the chains are all useful. 1.4 makes some pretty big changes here, and we’ll continue to make adjustments until were satisfied with all the chains. None of the future adjustments should be as major as the ones that are coming in 1.4.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : 4th Anniversary Message

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

City of heroes lead designer Matt 'Positron' Miller has posted a 4th anniversary message for fans of City of Heroes, and provides a few fun facts about the game's run thus far.

Four years.

I will say that again in case you misread it.

Four years.

I am pleased beyond all belief that this game continues to prosper four years into its life. Our community is stronger than ever, the game as a whole is stronger than it ever has been, and the future for the game, as well as the franchise is extremely bright.

When I look back upon the game that we shipped in 2004, I can’t help but look at all the things that were missing from it. Things we added immediately, and things we added recently. Badges were not in the initial launch. Heck, level 41 to 50 were not shipped with City of Heroes! As the game has progressed, I think we have added more free features with our updates than any other MMO on the planet. Multiple zones, missions, features and systems have been added to the base game over the past four years, making the game better and better with every update.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Schedule of Events

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at NCsoft's City of Heroes have announced the dates for a number of events between now and January of 2009. These events are being held to celebrate the four year anniversary of the game.

April 28th, 2008 marks the fourth year since the launch of City of Heroes. To celebrate this achievement, the NCsoft NorCal team has created a City of Heroes / City of Villains calendar for fans of the game. This downloadable calendar features each of the 12 “Issues” that have been launched since the games release, one for each month of the year.

The calendar also includes an Anniversary message from Matt “Positron” Miller, along with important dates for the next year, including:

  • May 6th, 2008: Issue 12: Midnight Hour enters Open Beta Testing
  • July 18, 2008: Double XP Weekend Begins
  • October 20, 2008: Halloween Event Begins
  • December 15, 2008: Winter Event Begins
  • January 23, 2009: Double XP Weekend Begins

To view these dates, plus many more from the lore and history of City of Heroes, visit the 4 Year Anniversary Calendar web page.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : New Podcast

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks behind SOE's EverQuest II have released a new podcast for the game. This is the 34th in their ongoing series.

We finally hear officially from Robyn "Naylie" Vallee and 2 of our International Community Relations Reps! The Love Doctor stops in to give some "great" advice and we have 2 top 10 lists! Jason Ryan is back with the news, be sure to get all of the updates for your favorite game.

So tune in! You can get your Podcast goodness two different ways head over to the Podcast's official site, and click on your preferred bandwidth or if you have iTunes installed select iTunes store, type SOE into the search box and click Subscribe! Your feedback is always welcome either on the Station forums or via email at!

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : TabulaCast

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Tabula Rasa team has released a new episode of TabulaCast.

The latest episode of TabulaCast, Episode 21, is now available here.

Host John discusses the latest Tabula Rasa news with new co-host Matt. Listen in, as they talk about the following topics:

  • The latest patch on the Test Server
  • 6 month veteran rewards
  • Clan Control Points

Read more here.

General : Legends of Norrath - Tournament Overview

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Jon Wood

Since December of 2007, the folks at SOE have been making their way toward naming a Legends of Norrath tournament. The trading card game, a spinoff from the popular EverQuest MMO franchise, will name a winner at this year's GenCon Indy. In this article, we have the stories of the four winners of qualifying rounds held in December, January, February and March.

February Tournament Wrap Up

Third Time's a Charm at the February Championship Qualifier

Good stories were easy to find at the February Legends of Norrath Championship Qualifier. Sylvanking and xSabacca50x finally made the top 16 after placing in the top 20 but not making the cut in qualifiers past. Kensu and Fatchoy sought redemption after previous second place finishes. But it was Lacein, the only person to make the top 16 in all three Championship Qualifiers and current winnings leader, who stole the spotlight. After Lacein’s narrow loss to Zgabu in round 4, he was given a shot at redemption in the finals, adjusted his deck and play, and came roaring back to win the February Legends of Norrath Championship Qualifier!

Lacein now joins Leto and Aesir as the only players currently qualified for the $100,000 Championships at Gen Con Indy.

Read the whole thing here.

Endless Ages : Game Returns, F2P

Posted Apr 29, 2008 by Keith Cross

Endless Ages, a game once owned and cancelled by now-defunct Rapid Reality, has been obtained by a company called Digital Motion Entertainment and will be offered as a free-to-play game starting on May 1st. Early reseaarch indicates that DME plans to offer in-game advertising to cover their costs.

Digital Motion Entertainment is proud to announce the re-mastered return of Endless Ages. Endless Ages is now 100% completely free to play without restriction and will be opened for Live play as of May 1st 2008! We will challenge and provoke even the best gamers to explore over 100 square miles of virtual landscape filled with new experiences around every turn.


Read more here.

General : NY Comic Con Images - Part Three

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Jon Wood

The team at this year's New York Comic Con came away with some great MMO coverage that we will be seeing throughout the week. Today, they present part three of our Comic Con Photo Gallery. In our last set of photos from the event, we feature images of Chris Carter (X-Files) and's NYCC mascot Flat Eric.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Clan Owned Control Point Update

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has posted a much anticipated update on the progress of clan owned control points in Tabula Rasa.

It’s been a while since we’ve last given an update on the progress of clan owned control points. I know a number of players have been hoping to hear more about the design and progress of this. With the 1.8 build you’ll notice the addition of a new pane on your character doll called Prestige. It’s the first part of a system that will be the basis for how clan owned control points will function.

So, what exactly is Prestige anyways? Glad you asked! Here’s a quick overview of the current design:

  • Prestige is a new form of currency that is recognized by the AFS. It is gained through the actions of your player.
  • Prestige can be gained through two types of actions: PvE and PvP.
  • On the PvE end, these actions are as follows:
    • Achieving a max kill streak
    • Killing control point minions and bosses
    • Killing standard bosses
    • Acquiring rare items off corpses of enemies you’ve killed
    • Included in the reward for specific missions
  • On the PvP side, Prestige can not only be gained, but lost as well:
    • Killing an opponent will net you prestige that is generated based on your level relationship to the player
    • You will also acquire a percentage of your opponent’s prestige that is taken directly from them.

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.

Q. I have noticed there is a distinct lack of Granite Giant Oracles when doing the History of Stone quest. There are any number of Stonelords and Pounders but the lack of Oracles is very noticeable and the spawn rate takes a very long time. Should there be more Oracles because of the numbers that do this quest?

A. The Lady of the Jewels looked deeply into the crystal ball: The oracles are not really any rarer than the other giants. There is a random chance when you kill any of the giants in that area that an oracle will show up to replace them. It's just that a Stonelord or a Pounder has an equal chance to appear instead. It has to do with the way random spawns are set up. The location given as the waypoint is only one place in Dartmoor where you can find these mobs. If you are not having much luck getting the oracles to show up at that location, try checking some of the other hills and valleys around central Dartmoor.

In the meantime, we will look into having an additional waypoint added for this quest that will show players another location where the oracles can be found. Thanks for the report!

Q. There is a rumor that's been floating amongst Enchanters for a while which I have not actively tested which goes like this: You put up a casted damage shield, say the Aura of Global Feedback (the level 44 Hibernian base caster damage shield, then put up a focus shield on the same pet, the presence of the Aura of Global Feedback reduces the damage of the focus shield, (most people who believe say it cuts it in half) this seems a little odd to me but I'd appreciate clarification on this matter..

A. After a few moments of pondering and checking into the spells the Balancinator says: No, the spell "Aura of Global Feedback" does not decrease the damage done by your pet only damage shield.

Read more here.

Vanguard : The Ruins of Trengal Keep

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has posted an extensive overview of The Ruins of Trengal Keep in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Rotting away on the expansive Thestran continent, lays the crumbling remains of a once great manor that served as a home to the human kings of Thestra. Time and trouble have etched away at this massive castle, creating a dangerous breeding ground for evil entities, Orcs, and Goblins, who now use the rubble as their fortress, hiding away long lost secrets.

In the misty skies above the ruins, floats an eerie meteor that some say contains the power to control the many Orcish minions who now live amongst the debris. Those who have ventured into the ghost of a castle have returned silenced from fear, or have never returned at all, only adding to the secrets that surround these mysterious ruins.

It will take a group of Heroes to unlock the secrets that are so carefully contained within the ruined walls of Trengal Keep. So find a few of your must trusted adventuring friends, and prepare to ride into the heart of Thestra to begin your quests for truth and treasure!

The expansive area of Trengal Keep encompasses not only the remains of a once great castle, but also the lands surrounding it. If you travel by riftway, you and your group will find Trengal Keep as a destination. Those who prefer their trusty mounts, or a brisk walk on foot, can find the Keep in a central northern area on Thestra, to the

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : New Stories

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has updated their stories page with two new stories of friendship from inside World of Warcraft.

The second Arena season was half over and there I was, in the middle of the ocean, sitting on the water thinking of what to do next (as shamans like myself often do). I was finished with raids for the week, had 75k honor stocked up, and had enough gold in my pocket to buy a small island. I had the title of Gladiator, and was wearing a full set of Merciless gear with the choice of just about any tabard there was in World of Warcraft.

I figured the best thing to do would be to log out and find a different form of entertainment for the time being. Just as I was about to pack up and leave, I caught sight of a druid in aquatic form swimming up right beneath me.

"I sure wish I could walk on water," she says.

"You know... I can make it happen," I reply.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Friday Feature: Office Tour

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

In their most recent Friday Feature on the Star Wars Galaxies official site, the folks at SOE provide a tour of their offices.

In his first Technical Report, Teesquared shared a look at the offices and desks of the programming team. Have you ever wondered what the other offices of the Star Wars Galaxies team look like? Get ready for your own personal tour!

The Star Wars Galaxies team is located in the SOE Austin studio. The offices are well-stocked with Star Wars toys and goodies, caffeine, and SWG team members.

Meet the Producers

Our first stop on the tour is the offices of Lorin "DeadMeat" Jameson, Producer, and Ellen "Calcipher" Andersen, Associate Producer.

Read more here.

Tales of Pirates : Post Launch Interview

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Jon Wood's Joe Iuliani caught up with Frank Yang from IGG to talk about IGG's recently officially launched game, Tales of Pirates. Yang is the Product Manager for Tales of Pirates.

Has the launch of Tales of Pirates shown a growing Frank Yang membership, or is it just the same members who are playing other Frank Yang games?

Frank Yang:

The launch of TOP stands for growing Frank Yang membership specifically in TOP and overall. Although some players have come from other Frank Yang games, most new members are new to Frank Yang as well as TOP.

Read the whole interview here.

General : MMO E-zine Thirteen1 Launches

Posted Apr 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

Thirteen1, a new MMO e-zine which is published at 1pm on the 13th of every month, has officially launched on the promise of shorter articles and more fun.

Thirteen1, a brand new and completely free to read MMO e-zine has just launched.

Released on the 13th of every month at 1PM it aims to bring coverage and shed light on all those things that really matter in the online gaming world. The e-magazine is completely free, there’s no time consuming downloads and is packed with content.

“We aim to bring you informative and quirky articles about all of the relevant issues affecting games and gamers in the industry. It even includes those hidden corners you probably don’t know about…but most definitely should. You don’t want huge articles and neither do we, that’s why we get to the point and have fun while we are doing it!” Comments the thirteen1 editorial team.

“It’s no lie that there’s a lack of MMO magazines out there, and those that do exist are forgetting that the core element of online gaming is about having fun!

Thirteen1 hasn’t forgotten, and that’s why its editors have put a ban on the boring details that litter the rest.

You don’t want huge articles and neither do we, that’s why we get to the point and have fun while we are doing it!” Comments the thirteen1 editorial team.

From the seemingly irrelevant to the massively obvious, from comic strips to competitions, mass-debating and a funny little man named Dre, thirteen1 taps right back into the original pull of gaming.

Thirteen1 is a completely independent publication, so all the content is written from the editors perspective and no-body else!

The magazine is made by gamers for gamers, check it out today…and then on the 13th of every month at 1PM!

Read more here.

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