Well it's over and with almost 500 people in attendance our Dev Chat with the WAR dev team rocked! In case you missed it we've posted the transcript of the event.
MMORPG.com: Sinkael :asks: My question is this, when DAoC came out and for some time afterward, there was a feeling of realm pride that slowly faded as time went on and people started realm hopping between realms. This realm pride was one of my favorite "features" of DAoC and I want to know what you are doing to folster this, if anything at all.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: So an underpopulated realm will always have a good chance at defending and attacking in RvR due to the balancing that scenarios can offer.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: Eek. Another question!
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: Okay. My slow reading skills have now caught up.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: And, to be honest, not necessarily a bad thing in all cases.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: But one of the major ways we intend to foster that sense of pride and place and belonging is via the guild system.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: We're aiming to build into the guild experience a sense of purpose and direction that will make it worthwhile to stick with a guild long-term.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: That said, we certainly hope people try lots of things out in-game.
[WAR]EAMythic_Josh: Since... well... we love the whole thing and want people to see what we've been building. MMORPG.com: Godban :asks: how big will the groups/party/raids will be
[WAR]EAMythic_Gersh: Looks like I'm up
[WAR]EAMythic_Gersh: Groups currently at 6 people, we are supporting larger raid or "battlegroups" for RvR scenerios etc however the final size is YTB
[WAR]EAMythic_Gersh: We'll be locking that down after we get a good feel for the needs of a large scale event
Read the whole enchilada here.
Warcry is running a story that Perpetual Entertainment, the company developing both Star Trek Online and Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, has new investors and that this brings the future of Gods & Heroes into question. The article asserts that the game has been canceled.
Neither the Gods & Heroes site, nor the Perpetual Entertainment website currently reflect any change or closure. MMORPG.com was unable to reach Perpetual Entertainment for confirmation of this story. We will, of course, follow this story as it develops.
Read the original story here.
The Star Trek Online official site has been updated with the third installment of their DevLog series. DevLog 3.0 focuses on the process of taking concept art and seeing the vision realized in the game.
Welcome back to the STO DevLog, a recurring glimpse into the planning, plotting and production of Star Trek Online, the game so big it takes half the galaxy to tell it.
For this installment we'd like to mix things up a bit. For the past couple of months we've closed out the DevLog with stunning pieces of concept art, showing off the elite skills of our concept team.
This time around, we'd like to start with one of these boffo images, and take everyone on a whirlwind tour of how they're broken into increasingly tiny pieces.
Let's start with the snazzy "Vulcan Village" concept by Ryan Dening that we shared in last months' DevLog:
That's darned pretty, but if we're going to build more than one Vulcan-style village in Star Trek Online (and we are), this beautiful drawing will have to be broken down into its component parts, so that our modelers and texture artists can create dozens of bits and pieces that can be easily be re-assembled into a nigh-infinite variety of combinations. This process is usually handed off to a member of the concept team, who has "ownership" of the concept breakdown.
Read more here.
NCsoft has announced that they will be holding a special Halloween event in Tabula Rasa during the 3 day pre order head start, where players can collect special Halloween goodies and masks.
Join us in-game on October 31st during our 3 day Pre-Order headstart to celebrate that special spooky time of year, Halloween! Players will run missions spreading Halloween goodies and receive special Halloween masks as a treat from the Dev Team. There are 9 special masks to collect and keep, but you can only get them if you are in-game on Halloween day as part of our Pre-Order Headstart. Pick up your Tabula Rasa Pre-Order Bonus pack today and join us in game on Halloween to get your treats!
And be certain to check out our screen shot of the week to sneak a peek at one of your Halloween treats!!!
Read more here.
The Pirates of the Burning Sea official site has been updated with part two of their treatise on Tuning, where they take a detailed behind the scenes look at what makes a ship a ship.
Ship tuning is all about the details and numbers. We define ships in text INI files. Each INI file is a long series of values, amounting to nearly 500 lines in length for the biggest ships (many of those are blank lines). There is also a 100-line base file that's included in all ships. A good chunk of the values are set once and left alone for a long time, and many of them are used for the ship art. Once those are stripped out, there are about 150 values (not lines) used in tuning ships. Obviously, we cannot show players every single one of those values in the UI.
Setting the values on ships is often more complex than the output that players see in game. For example, players see the speed and best wind angle for ships. Those two stats are the key values out of the 24 values that are used to set a ship's speed. On top of that, there are numerous values to determine how fast a ship turns, how fast it accelerates and decelerates, how much speed it loses when it turns, how quickly it accelerates into a turn and how well it turns at different speeds. All of those values come together to determine how the ship handles in combat, and I use the data to make simple charts. Here's a chart that compares the acceleration over 30 seconds for the Cerberus, Stralsund, Defiant, Capricieux, Lexington, Mediator, Invincible and Oliphant.
Read the full article here.
The Guild wars official site has been updated with another edition of their State of the Game series of articles. This week's article is the third part to last week's article titled "NPCs, Splits, and you" which focuses on split team tactics.
Some of the quirkier guild halls--Burning Isle, Isle of Weeping Stone, Isle of Wurms, and Isle of Meditation--do have unique options for splitting, but the same split tactics that work on other maps also work well here.
Well-executed split maneuvers share several key characteristics. Successful split squads move in to the enemy base and act quickly to eliminate NPCs and then escape before opposing players arrive. Good splits also create mismatches, allowing a team to collapse on outnumbered opponents for quick, easy kills. Lastly, split teams maintain control of key areas of the map to prevent opponents from establishing a strong position in one place unless they give up ground at another.
Split characters often bring a speed boost or Shadow Step for rapid travel, though some teams simply dispatch a Ranger with Natural Stride or even Escape to gank enemy NPCs while the main battle takes place at the flag stand. Other teams might use an Aura of Displacement (AoD) Assassin who Shadow Steps to a foe, marking a Shadow Step anchor, and infiltrates far behind enemy lines. If the Assassin gets into trouble, he simply cancels the elite Enchantment and Shadow Steps to safety.
Read the full article here.
Blizzard has posted an in-depth guide to macros in World of Warcraft, starting with the basics of what they are and how to make one, then moving on into more specific detail.
In a game with the size, complexity, and depth of World of Warcraft, many features can be overlooked by players, including longtime veterans who have been playing for years. Even the game's familiar features often have additional layers of complexity that many players may not use or be aware of.
Thus, we come to the macro. Essentially macros are lines of script that execute in-game commands. They allow you to combine multiple actions into one user-customized button that you can use just like a spell or ability. For example, you can take a string of commands that you would ordinarily press one after the other, and combine them into one button that executes them all in sequence. These helpful tools have the ability to improve and streamline your entire play experience.
Read more about macros here.
Community Manager, Laura Genender was in San Francisco recently, to attend Sony Online Entertainment's "Step Into Fall" event where she had the chance to take a guided tour of Pirates of the Burning Sea.
I first saw Pirates of the Burning Sea two years ago at E3 - in a genre so inundated with fantasy repeats, the historical piratey theme was intriguing. This past Thursday I got to meet with the POTBS team at SOE's 'Step into Fall' event. Expecting to release on January 22nd of 2008 (with preorders on October 23rd), the developers have been hard at work adding new game-play opportunities like avatar combat, user-created content, and more.
My guides for the tour were Flying Lab Software's Russell Williams (CEO) and Jess Lebow (Content Director). To start the tour out, they showed me avatar combat, where players fight on foot instead of in their ships.
Avatars can train in one of three combat styles: Florentine, a duel wielding style that is generally more defensive; Dirty Fighting, which specializes in immobilization; or Fencing, which is the fastest of the styles. Players are able to respec from one style to another - for a cost, of course.
Read the full article here.
Managing Editor Jon Wood recently had a gaming experience that left a bad taste in his mouth, and he has chosen to share that flavor with us in this week's Beyond the MMORPG.
This week in Beyond the MMORPG, I wanted to take a quick look at what I consider to be the single worst game that I've ever played for a console, and how that might effect the production of an upcoming MMORPG. Don't think it's possible? You just wait and see.
Okay, the game in question, I should say, is the first and only game that I have ever, ever played for only two hours and then took back to EB Games. I couldn't get a full refund on it, but I did trade it in. The game was so bad, in fact, that I didn't wait until there was something out that I wanted, and I currently have a gift card for EB with the price of the trade-in on it.
After a lead up like that, I suppose I should just out and tell you the name of the game. It's Star Trek: Legacy. On the surface (and from the boc), this game looked like it was going to be a winner. It billed itself as "The quintessential Trek experience", included storylines written by Trek mainstay D.C. Fontana and used the voices of all five captains.
Read the full article here.
The Lord of the Rings Online official site has been updated with another look at some of the creatures that populate Middle Earth. This time around it's everyone's favourite fire breathing lizard: the Salamander. Well, maybe second favourite. They're definitely in the top 5.
Since the days of the Great Dragons – such as Ancalagon the Black, Scatha the Worm, or even Smaug the Golden – dragon-kind has been in a deep decline, spawning weaker and simpler breeds. Drakes are strong and semi-intelligent, while worms are nearly mindless and lack the physical might of their elders. Salamanders, however, while not nearly as intelligent as drakes or as stupid as worms, still hold some vestige of the old fire within their bellies.
These beasts, also called efts by some of the more learned, are fearsome and share their forebears’ lust for treasure. Fortunately, they are also not very proliferative and are only found in out-of-the-way places, such as the nearly uninhabited region of Evendim. Regardless, adventurers would do well to beware their breath.
In keeping with J.R.R. Tolkien’s devices, the concept for the salamanders was drawn from English folklore. While the original salamanders were classical in origin, the draconic version presented in the game is an English adaptation, as is the alternate name “eft.”
Read more here.
EA Mythic has announced that they will be closing down the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning beta servers for two months, starting October 10th. They say the reason for the shut down is so they can make major improvements to the game and to add polish and new content. The beta will return in early December.
Recently, all WAR Beta participants received a letter stating our plan to end this phase of the closed beta test this Wednesday, October 10th. We periodically close Beta, our last closure being in March of this year, to focus on major improvements and polish. The next phase of Beta will reopen in early December with plenty of new and improved content, art and systems for our beta-testers.
We are very proud to have reached this point in development. Beta has been going very well and the testing community is extremely active. Excitement around the game continues to grow and the team is looking forward to enhancing many features already in the game as well as continuing to add new features to an already great game.
Based on player feedback, our own observations and our current schedule, we have set the following major development goals:
- Improve open field skirmishes and battlefield objectives with major enhancements.
- Provide players with even more options to customize their character both through their abilities and visual appearance.
- Continue to enhance Public Quests and the PQ System.
- Prepare the elves for their release into the world!
When the beta reopens, we look forward to welcoming back all of our current testers, as well as many new faces. Shortly after re-opening the doors, we will be inviting the first wave of guilds into the beta to really get things rolling.
- The Warhammer: Age of Reckoning Team
Read more here.
Aeria Games has announced that the open beta for their racing MMO Project Torque has begun. As an added bonus, they'll give 32 players the chance to duke it out for $1000 and other prizes.
California, U.S.A. (October 8, 2007) - Aeria Games announced today that the open beta for Project Torque has begun! Project Torque is one of the first MMORGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Racing Game) to hit North America. This game embodies the essence of competition and delivers all the fun of casual gaming. Tune your car, personalize it, and then show it off and race everyone at the track.
$1000 Cash Contest - In November, Aeria Games will randomly pick 32 people from our highest level players in Project Torque. These finalists will test their skills, luck, and mettle against each other in an all-out battle for the $1000 grand prize, a Philips amBX system, Logitech gaming equipment, and ultimate bragging rights!
Read more about Project Torque here.
Today NCsoft sent out a new dev diary written by Mission Designer Rebekah Tran. They also included a short video showcasing the area of Tabula Rasa, Torcastra Prison.
In Tabula Rasa there are many steps involved in creating the rich story line of the world. First of all, we’ve amassed an overarching story which includes lots of detailed back-story the player may never see and branches far out into plot twists and turns that we’ll touch on in future expansions. Next, that fiction is trimmed down leaving the content that the player will visit in game. This is then split amongst all the overland maps (the persistent maps that are shared amongst all players) in the game world. Each overland map then links to about three or four instance maps that provide more unique content for individual parties. It is here that we can more intimately progress the story for each overland map.
Torcastra Prison Video
NCsoft has provided us with this video featuring one of the areas in their upcoming MMO, Torcastra Prison.
Read the entire dev diary and watch the video here.
The Ultima Online official site has been updated with another edition of their Five on Friday series, where they answer a variety of questions form the UO community.
"Why is Sudiva (the dragon from the Candle of Love event) still around?"
She's grown quite fond of her lair, and no one has been able to persuade her to leave. Besides, she's taken an interest in the lives of the crunchy little beings who sometimes visit her - you may see her get involved in future adventures.
"The Helm from the Virtue Armor set is showing negative resists - what do I do?"
There was an issue with the set bonus where it was getting removed incorrectly - and excessively - if the set was broken. We patched out a fix, but the only way for the fix to be applied to the armor is if it is either locked down in your house or in your bank box during a server reset. So take your helmet off next time you log out for the evening and stick it in your bank box - that should fix it.
Get your questions answered here.
Each week, Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at one of the MMORPG.com blogs. This week, she looks as a mock-ad about Restless Finger Syndrome.
While browsing the blogs this week, I came across Jesad’s entry in his popular blog “In My Understanding.” While Jesad has often featured a great sense of humor, I felt that this week’s blog entry took it to a whole new level. Hats off to you, Jesad.This week’s entry was written in a serious tone – it’s an advertisement for the Zen of Standing Still, a cure to the Restless Fingers Syndrome. “Do your fingers bother you?” The mock ad begins, “Do you find it hard to keep from pressing the movement keys? Maybe you just can’t help yourself when that stray mob passes by while you are supposed to be waiting for the rest of your group to assemble to enter a dungeon. If you have ever experienced any of these symptoms you may be suffering from Restless Finger Syndrome.”
Following the introduction is a mock player testimonial given by Newton and Hardcore, the two personas Jesad uses to express his points in his blog.
Read it all here.
Recently, Community Manager Laura Genender attended a press event for Sony Online Entertainment. While there, she had a hands-on demonstration of EQ's latest expansion, Secrets of Faydwer.
Last Thursday at the SOE “Step into Fall” event, I spoke with EverQuest’s senior game designer Ryan Barker about the upcoming EQ expansion, Secrets of Faydwer. This expansion brings 30 new raids, 5 new levels, new areas, and so much more to the massive world of Norrath.
The expansion is based in Faydwer, where an evil gnomish necromancer named Meldrath the Malignant has shattered the earth by raising his air fortress Mechanotus. Players can visit the floating fortress itself – or delve into the newly exposed areas of Faydwer.
To start the interview, Ryan gave me a tour of these areas. Our first stop was Mechanotus, the floating city – and to get there, we had to take a catapult! Clicking on the catapult launched our character into the air and into a zoneline – though by the scattering of bodies on the far wall, I could see a few unlucky players had not made the zone in time!
Read the whole thing here.
The official site for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has been updated with a look at some of the new quests in the Ksaravi Gulch region, where players can expect to find new monsters carrying rare treasures.
Everyone is really excited about the arrival of raiding in Vanguard via the Ancient Port Warehouse, but level 50's aren't the only ones getting to have all the fun. There's a lot more in store for Game Update 3, including the beefing up of some areas in Telon that many of you may already be familiar with! Game Update 3 - Phase 1 is bringing a few new and exciting quest lines to the game!
"In the war between Khal and the Ksaravi, it has become apparent to both sides that force of arms is not enough. To this end, the Ksaravi have turned to the creation of vile magical toxins and diseases with which they plan to afflict the good people of Khal.
In the aftermath, they intend to claim the city as their own. In order to put an end to the Ksaravi taint, you will need the aid of Curate Sabha and Brumdul Svat, priests of the White Coronaria, a sect that worships Sahari Jeddai, the Qaliathari aspect of Gloriann."
Read more here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
Q. On the classic cluster, Druids that do the Dragonslayer armor quest now are receiving the ToA version of the chest. Was this intended as a change after 1.90, and are other classes also getting access to the ToA chest pieces on classic? Thank you.
A. Actually this wasn’t by design, it was a bug that we already fixed earlier this week: - Because some Druids on the Classic ruleset might have been able to receive the chestpiece reward for the Normal ruleset, we need to remove the reward that is specific to the Normal Ruleset. This needs to be done as that reward has bonuses introduced with the Trials of Atlantis (TOA) expansion that should not be available on the Classic ruleset. Players with the Normal ruleset reward on the Classic ruleset will find that the item in question will delete itself from their inventory when they login and be replaced by the proper Classic ruleset version of the item.
Q. I have been using the Arcanium Astral Plaguebringer for about 2 weeks constantly in RvR but not once has the elemental proc gone off for me. I've seen this proc go off for other people using ml10 weapons with this proc is this specific weapon just bugged or stubborn.
A. Nothing appears patently wrong with the item upon cursory examination. There don't appear to be any weapons that share the same exact proc either. If you feel it is not working, feel free to send in a bug report and add data to support your claim and we'll have our QA folks test it out. If you want to include the exact item name and proc name of the item you say that is similar, that would be helpful as well. Thanks, Bearded Wonder.
Read the Grab Bag here.