Gamespot is reporting that hackers have crippled SOE's flagship EverQuest II as they have attacked the economy of the game. This is quite an interesting read.
|Sony claims that a group of hackers illegally created a huge amount of EverQuest II currency over the weekend, and it says the players caused the game's economy to suffer 20 percent inflation in just 24 hours before being caught.
According to Chris Kramer, director of public relations for EQ2 publisher Sony Online Entertainment, the players had, on Saturday, begun using their so-called "duping bug" to make large quantities of platinum, the game's currency. (A duping bug is a hack that exploits a weakness in online games' code to effectively create counterfeit currency or other goods.)
Click here for the full article.
Ken Troop of Turbine Entertainment drops in to answer five more questions from us in the third installment of this bi-weekly series which continues on August 26th.
| MMORPG.com: How does the combat system differ from other games?
Ken Troop: The combat system of pen and paper D&D® does a great job of taking both the capabilities of a character and the real-time decisions of a player into account to simulate the immediacy of action combat. So in Dungeons & Dragons® Online: Stormreach™ we worked hard to make sure the experience was both genuine and fun to play. The result is a unique combat system where player decisions and character stats are equally important.
On screen, you see monsters lunge and attack, maneuver and position. As the player, you can try to stay beyond the reach of a sword or press the off-hand of an opponent. You make the call on whether you attack, defend, prepare to parry, or tumble out of the way. But in the background, dice are still being rolled (you can actually see the d20!), saving throws are being made and damage is being calculated. The movement and animations are fluid and interactive so while there’s a give and take, you’re never counting rounds. Meaningful controls and feedback allow a player to rely on their reflexes or count on their character’s skills. Of course the most successful combatants will be ones who can master both.
You can read the full Q&A here.
Avaria has posted some recent news which highlights the many changes they have made to Endless Ages:
I would like to extend a very special thank you to our phase 1 and 2 testers for their hard work and diligence with helping with quest updates and bug testing. They are a very valuable asset, and we are very grateful to have these individuals within our community that are willing to sacrifice their personal time on a completely volunteer basis.
Thank you to everyone involved for making this happen! You can check out the full feature here.
The folks behind DarkSpace have sent along word of the latest update to their space MMORPG.
|Since the successful rollout of DarkSpace version 1.483 there have been several more updates. due to player demand we have moved back to a control system where "lag" is much less visible to the player, although as in any MMO it is still present to some extent.
The latest version, 1.483.6 includes several fixes and improvements. The next version, which we are already working on will include the following changes:
For anyone unfamiliar with DarkSpace then please pay a visit http://www.darkspace.net and take advantage of the 14 day free trial that is open to all users. You can still play after this period but will be limited to the basic ships unless you are subscribed.
We look forward to many more years of gaming and to the continual growth and development of the gaming community.
Drafell Moraxi, DarkSpace Community Liason
Thanks for the update!
Tulga Games has passed along word that their free trial offer is being extended from seven to fourteen days for their MMORPG Horizons.
|Now…NEW, IMPROVED Horizons: Empire of Istaria has an extended FREE TRIAL OFFER of 14 DAYS
Tulga Games has been hard at work, with vast game improvements and innovations.…..especially relating to the powerful Dragons. And to prove it, for a limited time we are extending the free trial period from 7 to 14 days. This allows you two full weeks of free game play to experience the only game in the world that lets you breathe fire, learn to fly, and become a fearsome adult Dragon.
Horizons takes place in the fantasy world of Istaria and, in addition to Dragons, includes ten other unique player races. Horizons has dramatic combat spells, awesome monsters, player-built cities and the best crafting system of any MMORPG. Come try Horizons free for 14 days... the game download is also currently free at http://www.istaria.com/.
Internet Relations Manager Sanya Thomas answers our questions about Imperator, the health of Dark Age of Camelot and how everything impacts Warhammer Online. She also drops a hint about a possible new third project at Mythic Entertainment.
| MMORPG.com: It is not often that we see a press release that “postpones” a game, especially when the press release reads more like a cancellation. What are your future plans for the Imperator title?
Sanya Thomas: We try never to say never around here. The assets we developed aren't going anywhere, and we still think the concept and the story have a lot of potential. We had great feedback at E3 from those who actually did a little play testing. For those reasons and more, we won't say cancelled - but we wanted to be very honest with fans in the press release, and make it clear that we weren't actively pursuing development for the time being.
You can read the full Q&A at this link.
EA has announced a new promotion to get people playing their aged, yet classic MMORPG "Ultima Online". Here are the details:
|You have spoken, and we have heard. Because so many players with multiple accounts requested it, we are introducing a special Mondain’s Legacy 5-pack! In the UOML 5-pack you will receive the following goodness:
In order to implement the special UOML 5-pack at the uogamecodes.com store, we will be moving the pre-order start date from August 14th to August 17th. This will give us time to ensure the new 5-pack in implemented properly at the uogamecodes.com store.
Visit www.uogamecodes.com on August 17th to Pre-Order your copy of Mondain’s Legacy!
For more information, check out their official site.
Although not exactly MMORPG related, this does apply to many gamers. For all of you who have heard yourself say "five more minutes" several hundred times, here is a cautionary tale on CNN.com of a man who died of heart failure from playing too long!
|Lee had planted himself in front of a computer monitor to play on-line games on August 3. He only left the spot over the next three days to go to the toilet and take brief naps on a makeshift bed, they said.|
"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official said by telephone.
Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe.
Click here for the full article.
Turbine Entertainment has announced that hot on the heels of their beta invites flying out the door, the D&D Online alpha is now underway!
|Turbine is pleased to announce that the public Alpha for Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Stormreach has officially started! This is the first phase of the public Alpha and we are very excited to share our work with our fans. Following our successful showing of the game at E3 and the incredible response we received from players, we have made quite a few significant improvements and additions to the game. We look forward to hearing the feedback from our Alpha players and incorporating it to make Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Stormreach even better.
If you haven't signed up for the Alpha yet, there is still time! Be sure to register for our message boards as that will be a factor in selecting people for the Alpha and Beta. Click here to sign up for the DDO.COM message boards. You can sign up for the Alpha by clicking here.
Over the coming weeks and months we'll be letting in more players so there will be many more chances to get in and play. Keep an eye out on DDO.COM for future Alpha and Beta announcements!
You can see the original announcement here.
MMORPG.com once again looks to expand its coverage as we add expansion pack reviews to the table. Over the coming weeks and months, readers can expect to see several in-depth expansion pack reviews. With that in mind, we need writers. These are people who have played various MMORPGs and their expansions and would like to write individual reviews on each one. Ideally, one writer would handle the entirety of each game.
We seek talented, enthusiastic players who are able to see both sides of the coin and write objective and fair reviews.
If you are interested, please email me at email@example.com and include which games interest you.
Mythic Entertainment today released a lot of new information on Darkness Rising, the next expansion to Dark Age of Camelot. Included is the following press release as well as an official introduction to mounts and several screenshots.
Expansion Begins a New Chapter in Epic Online Game
In Darkness Rising, an evil uprising threatens the land and the mightiest heroes in the Realms are called into service. For the first time in Dark Age of Camelot, players will be able to earn the right to be called a Champion of the Realm. Players become Champions by exploring new zones and revisiting altered lands while investigating the mysterious uprising to discover its sinister underpinnings. By performing this service for their Realm, players achieve new levels of advancement and gain the ability to wield class-specific Champion Weapons. Darkness Rising also introduces majestic player-controlled horses and other more fantastic steeds which can be ridden into conflict in the war between the Realms.
Champion of the Realm Details:
The Darkness Rising expansion pack will be available in North America for $19.99 via digital download this October directly from Mythic Entertainment. Darkness Rising requires the original Dark Age of Camelot and Catacombs expansion pack to play.
About Darkness Rising
Darkness Rising begins a new chapter in the epic saga of Dark Age of Camelot. Years of strife and conflict have taken their toll upon the peoples of Albion, Midgard and Hibernia. Increasing occurrences of rebel uprisings threaten to plunge the Realms into turmoil and chaos, and in this desperate hour, a call for help has gone out. Only a true champion of the Realm can stem the tides of revolt and save their Realm from destruction from within. Answering this call, the player must embark on a quest to crush the rebels seeking to depose the Realm’s self-anointed ruler. However, all is not as it seems. Behind the uprisings, dark powers are seeking to exploit the three Realms during their time of need. From the halls of the infamous dungeon, Darkness Falls, these sinister forces are massing a mighty invasion force to subjugate all the Realms and establish a nightmarish new order on Earth. New foes have emerged to challenge the might of Albion, Midgard and Hibernia. A new darkness is rising in the lands. The courage and might of a champion is all that stands between the forces of evil and total domination.
About Mythic Entertainment
Mythic Entertainment is one of the most successful developers and publishers of massively-multiplayer online role-playing games in the world. Credited with 15 online games, including the award winning Dark Age of Camelot, Mythic’s success is based in proprietary technology, superior game design and exemplary customer service delivered by a talented staff of more than 160 people. Dark Age of Camelot is played throughout the world in seven languages. It was launched in Japanese in January 2005, and in April 2005 became the first international MMO localized into Spanish. The recently announced Warhammer MMORPG will be available in 2007.
We're back - as we are every Tuesday - with some brand new Hero's Journey content. This week Game Designer Aaron Standridge answers five questions from our community and Staff Writer Jon Wood, while we also carry our 16th week's exclusive image.
| MMORPG.com [Anwar]: Can you tell us a little bit about how you are planning on balancing group play with solo play? Will playing solo be a viable option at higher levels?
Aaron Standridge: Being almost exclusively a solo player myself, this is always of primary concern to me in any new game I check out, and this is one of the main reasons we’re going with an instanced design. Instancing quest areas allows us to easily provide a more personalized experience, both in terms of story and gameplay. To that end, we’ve built this absolutely incredible dynamic quest system that scales on the fly to provide challenging and engaging gameplay to groups of players of any composition, from a single low level player to a party of seasoned veterans armed to the teeth.
Of course, there are designs in place to ensure that groups work well together, and that it’s worthwhile to team up with your buddies, too. And, as mentioned previously, it’s still possible to seek out wandering monsters in common areas, and these will be perfectly happy to knock you into next week if you show up underpowered and alone.
You can see the picture and read the Q&A here.
ArenaNet has released a new movie that highlights some of the new free updates coming soon to Guild Wars! In the movie you will see footage from the two new regions that will be opened up. You can get the movie at this link.
Some shots from the movie below:
Chip Bumgardner, the Executive Producer at Planetwide Games responsible for RYL, has completed our questionairre as we continue to provide readers with insights into the industry, the people who populate it and how they got there.
| MMORPG.com: Can you tell us a bit about what you currently do, and the day-to-day responsibilities of that job?
Chip Bumgardner: My Current title is Executive Producer. I am currently managing RYL: Path of the Emperor, RYL: Battle Lohan, the 1 Million Dollar Grand-Prize Skill-Based Tournament (our president has given me the nickname “Million Dollar Producer”) as well as other un-announced titles.
My day to day responsibilities include working with a team of translators to ensure proper translation of both of the RYL games (they are originally from Korea). I manage the patching / testing process as well. We have 2 separate servers set up that are solely for testing each version of the game. I make sure that the game, website, forums; basically any form of communication that goes out of the building has a unified message. Working on an MMO is drastically different than working on a “normal” PC game or any of the platform games (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, etc…). Once an MMO goes live, that’s when the real work begins because we need to monitor the game and more specifically, the tournament server CONSTANTLY. This requires a great deal of work and I’m thankful that I have people like Kyle, Damien, and Ning around to manage a lot of those issues.
You can read the full profile here.
SOE is the latest MMO company to join the world of online-gaming advertising. Today they announced a deal with Massive's Video Game Network to put in-game advertising into the MMOFPS Planetside.
Massively Multi-Player Online Game - PlanetSide(R) - to Include Dynamic Advertising
NEW YORK, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Massive Incorporated today announced that Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a leading publisher of massively multiplayer online games, has joined Massive's video game network. SOE's MMO action game, PlanetSide®, will now be part of the Massive network and is scheduled to begin running in-game billboards in mid-August.
"Realizing another revenue stream in PlanetSide will ultimately be good for the entire PlanetSide community," said Louis Figueroa, Director, Business Development, Sony Online Entertainment. "The additional income will allow us to support the game with continued development and new features that the community has been asking for. Working with Massive's network helps make this possible."
"The Massive Network continues to expand with recognized titles like PlanetSide and we're thrilled to team up with Sony Online Entertainment on this title. With its leading content and technology expertise, SOE's involvement further demonstrates the importance of video game advertising to the future of the game industry," said Mitch Davis, CEO of Massive.
The Massive Network delivers advertiser messages seamlessly into premiere video games, played primarily by an 18-34 male audience. Massive provides an additional stream of revenue to game publishers through its innovative video game advertising network. The profit impact for publishers and developers can be significant. Game publishers and developers retain complete control of where all advertising is placed and how it is executed. Ads only appear in locations selected by the game's creative developers who strive to minimize interference with game play, functionality or bandwidth
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Digital Inc., is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends(TM), and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies(TM): An Empire Divided(TM), SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.
NOTE: EverQuest is a registered trademark and of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. SOE, the SOE logo and PlanetSide are registered and Untold Legends is a trademark of Sony Online Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
About Massive Incorporated
Massive Incorporated has created the world's first video game network across all platforms. With its patent-pending technology, Massive dynamically serves advertising across the largest aggregated network of premier video game titles and delivers measured results on consumer interaction with this brand messaging. Massive has partnerships with more than 20 leading game publishers, over 35 blue-chip advertisers, and has served over eight million game sessions, to date. Massive allows publishers and advertisers to capitalize on the largest cultural and economic entertainment force in the world. Massive is backed by DFJ Gotham, DFJ New England, RRE Ventures, NeoCarta, Tobat Capital, and Newlight Associates. www.massiveincorporated.com.
NCSoft continues to build towards the launch of the ground breaking expansion/sequel City of Villains with a new piece of fan fiction on their website.
|Ms. Liberty's militia is becoming increasingly problematic. They call themselves Longbow, which is a reference to the range of their influence. I suppose I must admit they live up to the name.
The youngest "defender of liberty' seems to think that this new, more militaristic branch of the Freedom Corps is somehow special. I have seen broadcasts of her speaking to the press about their heroics, all while standing comfortably on her pedestal in Atlas Park. It seems that she believes Freedom Corps proper are still best utilized in their current duties in Paragon City, but that upon occasion there calls for more direct response to...how did she put it...villainy.
You can read the whole story here.
Usually, ArenaNet holds a Friday developer feature on a fansite from around the net. This week, they changed route and did a feature on their official site with participation from around the web; similar to Dark Age of Camelot's Friday Grab Bag.
|This week's Fansite Friday interview is a change in format. Lead Designer James Phinney answers a several fan questions that were gathered by Guild Wars fansites from around the globe. The questions were combined into subject areas: Guild Halls, PvP, as well as the game interface and functionality. There is also a bonus question that asks James his personal choices for "tweaks" to the game.|
You can read it all here.
Looking good. There is a reason it won best graphics at E3!
Six new skills have been announced on the official Tactica Online site:
|The foundation of Tactica Online's gameplay is the skill system. The skills which your characters possess will determine what they're capable of, as well as how many points they're worth.|
Choosing your skills wisely is the first step towards victory. Skills are arranged into six lines: Melee, Ranged, Hunting, Doctrine, Lore, and Research.
Read it all here.