To celebrate their first monthaversary, Flying Lab has sent the Noble Order of Toastmistresses to all four nation capitals to hand out a special mission.
As you can no doubt tell by the rising tide of great reviews and 21-gun salutes, Pirates of the Burning Sea is now one month old! To celebrate this milestone and thank the thousands of players who have already set sail with Flying Lab, we’ve dispatched the Noble Order of Toastmistresses to the four national capitals.
By complete coincidence, the order is also celebrating one month in the Burning Sea and after Friday’s maintenance window, they’ll be handing out a special mission that can earn you a unique piece of avatar outfitting you won’t be able to find anywhere else: a Celebration Mask suitable for all your fancy balls, dignified coronations, or boarding parties.
The Noble Order of Toastmistresses is a relatively new organization dedicated to public speaking and social refinement. Members can be found in most any nation in Europe and most of the colonies, but they’ve only just entered the treacherous waters of the Burning Sea. Wouldn’t you want to celebrate surviving for a month in such a circumstance? Four Toastmistresses will each offer the same mission to players of their nation. In the British capital Port Royal look for the charming Miss Penelope Askham. Spanish Toastmistress Novia Vela calls San Juan home, while French players can raise a toast to Mlle. Carole Dubray in Pointe—Pitre. Even the piratical Brethren of the Coast can count a few Toastmistresses among them, including Desdemona Fabritzius of Tortuga.
Read more here.
The third question that Managing Editor Jon Wood asked of the GDC Panel discussing "The Future of MMOs" revolved around MMORPG business models and whether or not Free to Play and microtransaction games were going to take over the more traditional subscription fees.
As those of you who have been kindly following the series know, I recently moderated a panel at the Game Developer’s Conference. The panel was titled, “The Future of MMOs” and consisted of some of the biggest names in the MMO industry: Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios, Matt Miller from NCsoft, Ray Muzyka from Bioware, Min Kim from Nexon and Rob Pardo from Blizzard.
So far, we’ve talked about 3rd party IPs and we’ve talked about the console question. That brings us to the half way point of questions that I was able to ask of the group. My third question revolved around the business model. While there are a significant number of people out there who totally discount item shop, or free to play based games, there is no arguing that this business model is expanding. As a result, my question to the developers was simple: With the North American MMOs of the future be paid for using an item mall and micropayments, or will they continue to use the subscription model.
Read it all here.
While at the Game Developer's Conference, Community Laura Genender had the opportunity to talk to the folks from Nexon America about their upcoming game, Mabinogi.
Last week at GDC I met with Nexon America, the publishers behind MapleStory, to discuss their upcoming title: Mabinogi. Originally released in the Asian market, Mabinogi has already proven that it can withstand the test of time and player appeal. Through 8 Generations (expansions) of content, the game has prospered in five Asian countries; the 5th of March will mark the American Open Beta with Generation One.
First up, some company backstory. Once upon a time, there was a South Korean company named Nexon. Nexon has always been an industry pioneer: from publishing one of the first graphic based MMOs, to blazing the trail of the free to play model, they earned every ounce of success they gained. Nexon even sports an MMO with over 50% female players – Audition, a dance-based game found here.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com has teamed up with Gravity to bring you a special beta offer for their new mature rated, bloodfest horror MMORPG!
We were only given a total of 5,000 keys to hand out so get them while they are still available!
NOTE: This promotion is only available to MMORPG.com members that are over the age of 17 and reside in North America.
Are you ready to check out this new game? CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR KEY!
IGG has posted the latest information on building finding in Voyage Century Online. Today's building is the Athens Amphitheatre.
The Voyage Century Online published the last building finding this week. The details about Athen Amphitheatre are below. Find useful information, and enjoy it.
Athens Amphitheatre --- "King Oedipus"
Quest: The story of Jarolim
Precondition: Anyone of Voyage, Sea battle or Eloquence reaches level 5+
Given by: Alexandria (Athens Suburb)
Other NPC: Jarolim (Athens Suburb), Adis (Athens Port), Albertus (Athens City), Aleger (Tripoli City)
1. Today, I was strolling in the Athens Suburb and came across Alexandria. He told me Caroline was acting weirdly recently.
2. I found Caroline in Athens Grand Theatre. He did act weirdly that he asked me to find him a cutlass. I wonder what the cutlass is for.
Read more here.
IGG has released a look at Angel Credit, which measures a players contribution to the world of Eden.
Angels Online has attracted tons of players’ attention since its Open Beta Test started. This game prides itself on its cute characters and captivating in-game systems. Today Angels Online team is going to give their players a little preview of Credit and Rank.
“Angel Credit” is used to measure Angels’ performance in Eden. If you only kill monsters in Eden and contribute nothing to the world and community, your Credit would be relatively low, and Credit determines your Rank in Eden.
How to Obtain Credit:
Do Quests: Accepting quests from NPCs and helping them solve various problems (some quests can be done repeatedly) is a stable way to obtain Credit.
PVP Battle: Participating in the upcoming Totem Battle or donating various materials to the Totem of your faction (building totem) will also enable you to obtain Credit.
Craft Recipe: Angels who belong to the production system can obtain Credit by making goods according to the craft recipe they collect. To Obtain Credit in the Fighting System: Finishing quests and killing enemies during the PVP battle.
To Obtain Credit in the Production System: Craft recipes and building the totem for your faction.
Read more here.
The folks at KAL Online have announced a new in-game event that began on the 26th of February.
Folks, We, Korean lost our “Namdaemun”, beloved Seoul landmark, which is designated as number 1 Korean National Treasure. KALONLINE has offered campaign restoring “Namdaemun” in the game, since 26th of Feb. In order to restore “Namdaemun”, players have to hunt monsters and take restoration items ‘pine tree’ and ‘tiles’ which are needed for restoration to NPC standing in front of the burning “Namdaemun”. “Namdaemun” will be completely restored, when restoration items collected hit 111,111. This campaign is being offered in Korean service as well. Let’s join this campaign to help restore Korean’s national treasure.
More on KAL Online here.
MMORPG.com has added a new game to our Game List. Today, it's Citadel of Sorcery, a fantasy MMO being made by a company called MMO Magic.
Citadel of Sorcery is a full 3D massive multiplayer epic fantasy adventure, and though it is an MMORPG, when you enter this new MMO experience expect something you have been missing… extraordinary game play. Citadel of Sorcery is first and foremost designed for enjoyable and exciting adventures, not repetitive grinds. It is a game where you take magical journeys through intriguing and unique quests, rather than trudging through a linear plot. This game is about the wonder of magic and your own personal epic fantasy story. In short, it is the game you have wanted, but never found. Citadel of Sorcery is not just the next generation of MMO games; it is the next evolution of game play.
-Blurb provided by MMO Magic
Check out the game's entry here.
The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted a devlog which looks at duels, skirmishes, and ship to ship combat.
One of the things we’re most proud of in Pirates of the Burning Sea is our ship to ship PvP. We feel that we have created a deep, enjoyable system for player versus player combat, with interesting and complex battle possibilities. Unfortunately our PvP has some fairly significant barriers to entry. The biggest of these is that you’re risking your ship every time you go out. While we like this risk, and the context and meaning it gives to our PvP, it’s a bit daunting, especially for new players. In light of that we’re adding a couple of new systems to help ease new players into the PvP experience: duels and skirmish battles.
Duels are fairly straightforward: you and another player agree to a no risk ship fight. Both of you must be in a town when the battle starts (though you can be in different towns), and you join the battle in the ship you are currently sailing, with the outfitting you currently have equipped. You and your opponent enter a private instance and have at it. All the normal ship combat rules apply, but when you’re sunk your ship does not lose a point of durability and retains all of its outfitting. Cannon ammunition you expend is still gone, and if you choose to use consumables you don’t get them back, but you cannot lose your ship. At the end of the battle you’re returned to the port from which you entered the battle.
Read more here.
The Guild Wars official site has been updated with another edition of their Sate of the Game article series. Theis weeks article looks at the Midline Shutdown.
Midline shutdown, in general terms, means the removal or disruption of opposing defenses or offense. In a previous discussion, we discussed the importance of frontline coordination. However, without proper midline shutdown, even the best Warriors will fail to kill their targets. In the next few articles, we will focus on the midline and its shutdown role against a typical balanced team.
Rather than Illusion templates, we'll look at examples based on popular Domination builds because, for almost every team running a balanced build, a Domination Mesmer is central to midline shutdown.
Mesmers use several methods of shutdown:
Energy Denial Shutdown: preventing characters from using skills by depriving them of the Energy necessary to do so. Energy Surge, Energy Burn, Panic, and Power Leak are several examples.
Disruption Shutdown: Interrupting skills to break down opposing defense, and interrupting offensive skills to reduce pressure and spike damage. Power Leak, Power Drain, Leech Signet, and Power Block are common examples.
Read more here.
SOE has announced that they have partnered with Visa and MasterCard to provide increased security with their Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure services.
To provide our customers with increased credit card security, Sony Online Entertainment will be partnering with Visa and MasterCard. In a few weeks SOE will add Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure to our Station store purchase flow.
Q. How will this affect an SOE customer?
A. When adding new subscriptions, changing a subscription or purchasing software from the station store you, the customer, will be prompted to join Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure. An application will pop up and prompt you to join the security program.
Q. How much does it cost to join Verified by Visa or MasterCard secure?
A. It is completely free to join Visa and MasterCard's security for online purchases.
Q. Why should I give Sony Online entertainment my personal information?
A. The information requested for these programs is not stored on any SOE servers. These programs are provided by Visa and MasterCard. Only Visa and MasterCard will retain the information you provide for your security.
Read more here.
While at this year's Game Developer's Conference both Keith Cross and Laura Genender attended a seminar called "My First MMO". This seminar was about the upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin. While both Keith and Laura left the room impressed, Keith's impressions were pessimistic, while Laura's was through the roof enthusiastic. Today, we present both of their views as an MMORPG.com first look at APB.
Part One Sample
While at the Game Developers Conference, I attended a seminar titled “My First MMO.” I assumed the focus of the seminar was going to be on tips and tricks for those ambitious souls who want to take on the challenge of creating the fickle creature known as the MMO game. The seminar turned out to be more of a showcase for the graphics and game concepts for APB. If you haven’t heard of APB, or All Points Bulletin, it’s essentially cops and robbers online. Another way to look at it would be to think of it as GTA’s half sibling because the guy up on the podium is none other than Dave Jones, the creator of the original GTA and currently the CEO of Real Time Worlds.
The question of what exactly defines an MMO took up the first portion of the talk. The MMO world is currently dominated by RPGs, and the definition of MMO in the popular consciousness is blurred with that of the MMORPG. In my mind, the bare minimum you need to call you game an MMO would be a number of players, numbering in at least the thousands, playing together in a persistent game environment with unique characters. Of these minimum qualities the only one that I would put in the category of both MMO and RPG would be having unique characters.
Part Two Sample
This past Thursday I accompanied Keith to the “My First MMO” seminar. I didn’t really know what to expect; to be honest, I thought it would be ‘lessons learned’ about MMO-specific issues, like customer support tools, PVP vs. PVE balance, etc. As Keith mentions in his article, though, the seminar was more about speaker David Jones’ upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin, or APB.
The first half of the seminar, Jones discussed the definition of an MMO and how he was trying to break that mold. Keith gives an excellent description of that presentation, far beyond my power of memory, so I’ll just recommend you read his article and move on to APB.
The second half of the seminar was a showcase of APB, and here’s where my jaw started unhinging. Everything about the game seems fresh, detailed, and unique; whether or not it will actually work as an MMO is another question, but it’s Keith’s job to be jaded – I get to be a fangirl.
Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Every month, we profile a different member of the Funcom development team. This month, Helene Johnsen answers our questions. Helene is a Content designer on Age of Conan.
Besides games what other influences brought you into your career? Whether it is books, movies, or artwork everyone has different tastes, tell us about yours.
I’m a great fan of anything that triggers the imagination. I write stories next to working at Funcom and hope to publish something one day too. The artwork of Luis Royo is absolutely fantastic. I also like the dark atmosphere in Stephen King’s books. Creating websites and interactive content in Adobe Director helped me choose the path of game design. Also Live Action Role-playing (LARP) is something I can recommend for everyone. You are bound to meet a lot of creative people, have fun and explore what it is like to truly be inside the story.
Read it all here.
The folks at Lineage II have announced that they have updated The Library: Items and Equipment database, bringing it in line with the most current version of the game.
We're very happy to announce that The Library: Items & Equipment database is now current. This is an ongoing work in progress, as many of the items still need screenshots and there are more items to add to the Miscellaneous categories, but we wanted to share what we have completed thus far. We hope you enjoy the changes!
Read more here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea has officially launched its Oceanic server. As an added bonus, players in Australia and New Zealand will have access to the Captain’s Cockatoo, a limited in-game item.
Pirates of the Burning Sea has now launched with a dedicated server for our Australian and New Zealand customers!
If you are in Australia or New Zealand, you are invited to download Pirates of the Burning Sea and participate in a 7-day free trial by visiting this link to the BigPond website.
As an added bonus, our Oceanic customers gain access to a limited edition in-game item, the Captain’s Cockatoo! The Captain’s Cockatoo is available to all new characters created in the first month of the Oceanic server, across all nations! All you have to do is create a character and the Captain’s Cockatoo will be standing on your shoulder to greet you.
Read more here.
The folks at Tabula Rasa have that they will be adding Respec Tokens as Control Point mission rewards to better allow players to respec their characters.
A respec was not given out with version 1.5, but we are still discussing if we're able to give one out to Spies (as they were affected most with the last patch). We are investigating what it will entail to do this, so please stay tuned for updates.
In our next publish (version 1.6), we are making some exciting changes that will allow players to fairly easily respec their characters. We will be removing the current Control Point mission rewards, which are simply Crafting recipes, and replacing them with Respec Tokens that can be purchased and used. One kind of Respec Token will reset your character’s attributes, and a second kind will reset your character’s skills. These will be available to characters of all levels, and will require a reasonably small amount of time attacking and defending control points in order to purchase the Respec Tokens.
We want to encourage players to experiment with different skill, ability, and attribute combinations. We want to make sure everyone will be able to easily adjust to ongoing improvements we make to skills and abilities for all classes, and adding an easy respec mechanism is a great way to do that!
Read more here.
The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have announced the “Tell Us Your Story” contest, where participating players can win 1 of 5 PotBS Pre-Order boxes signed by the Dev Team.
The Boarding Party has devised a great opportunity for Pirates of the Burning Sea fans: the “Tell Us Your Story” contest!
You could even win 1 of 5 Pirates of the Burning Sea Pre-Order boxes signed by the Development Team!
For more information and official rules, click this link!
Many thanks to our Boarding Party members for their hard work, and…Enjoy, won’t you?
Read more here.
Wish you were in the Age of Conan Beta? Think you haven't got a prayer? Funcom thinks you do. Funcom is running a contest where those who post the best beta prayers to the Hyborian gods could win access to the AoC beta. Just remember, Crom doesn't love you.
Sometimes all you can do is pray to the gods and hope they listen. We at Funcom have heard your prayers to us, but it never hurts to have the gods on your side! Therefore, we have reserved a number of keys to the General Beta of Age of Conan for the best beta prayers to the Hyborian gods.
Anybody can enter this competition. The only thing you have to do is to post in THIS thread and write down your betaprayer to any of the Hyborian gods (Set, Crom, Derketo, Mitra, Ishtar, Erlik... doesn't matter which one you prefer). The funniest/best/most creative/outstanding entries will be rewarded with a key for the General Beta of Age of Conan. This competition ends on March 9th 2008 at 12:00 GMT so make sure you have posted your prayer until that time!
"But what about us veterans that are not yet in the Beta?" some of you might ask. Don't worry. We have put aside a certain number of betakeys for active long-time followers and will handpick those from our community on this forum. So a new round of veterans will be invited outside of this competition.
Read more here.
There is an interview with Michael Mann on the Vanguard official site, where he gives insights into the upcoming Game Update 4.
What areas within the game have you worked on? What are you currently working on? Can you give us any hints as to what's coming after Game Update 4?
I work on player classes for the most part. I'm mainly responsible for the Dread Knight, Blood Mage, Disciple, Sorcerer, Druid, Necromancer and Ranger. I have also worked on most of the other classes at one time or another and have dabbled in the harvesting system, overland raids, NPC abilities and class quest stuff.
I am currently working on answering questions for this interview and getting the Druid, Dread Knight and Necromancer adjustments, as well as the Shaman patron quest stuff ready to go.
In GU4 you will see quite a large change in the way a Druid functions. The druid will be focused more on using their special spells called Phenomena. These spells have been improved, cost less and are available more often. This will increase the damage a druid does and fix bugs associated with the class. Other things to look for include Dread Knights using 2 handed weapons to fulfill their tanking roles and Necromancers having more focused choices with Lich and Wraith modes.
That is only the stuff that has to do with classes I have worked on, things other people have done include helms, the riftway system and many other great additions that are in store for GU4.
Read more here.