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RAN Online : Q&A with PB Kim

Posted Jul 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

PB Kim is the Lead Designer of RAN Online. This MMORPG puts players in an Asian campus setting as they compete against each other. Recently, Garrett Fuller had a chance to interview them about it.

MMORPG.com: RAN supports PKing or player killing in the game, how has this worked out for both players and game development?

PB Kim: The PK System is a sort of burdens for the developer in terms of considering balance not only between the player and the monster but also between the players. It might be very boring if there is only Player Vs Mob system and millions of players only slaying mobs everyday. The ‘troubles’ between players will give them some kind of ‘subject’ and it may bring a ‘fun’ for others in the game. Also the PK System is the one many of our users suggested continuously. Therefore, to challenging or searching for high-level player, people traveling around the Game Centers and looking for X Box Live. This can prove how much people enjoy the PK System.

You can read more here.

General : Roundtable Debate: EA/Mythic

Posted Jul 15, 2006 by Dana Massey

Six of our writers gathered to discuss the EA/Mythic deal. Steve Wilson, Frank Mignone, Dan Mann, Cari Davidson, Brian Chapman and Garrett Fuller all give their opinions and then ask your own.

Steve Wilson: For the casual player this might be a good thing. EA is a big well known company that while not being innovative in game-play mechanics is certainly consistent in quality that casual players tend to notice, like top notch graphics and slick UIs that are easily portable to console gaming. They will also have much broader experience conducting entry level consumer testing and quality assurance aimed specifically at users that aren't as savvy as the hardcore gamer. They also have a huge advantage in regards to getting the game into the hands of people that have never played an MMO before. The company is enormously visible in retail chains having contracted deals that allow their products guaranteed premium shelf display, something a small company can never achieve. In addition just being branded with the EA logo may encourage some players that otherwise might not to try the game out. Expanding the audience base of MMOs ensure the longevity of the genre and encourages smaller startups to experiment and expand new concepts.

You can read more here.

EverQuest II : New Content Since Launch

Posted Jul 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

EverQuest II has posted an interesting feature on their official website that takes us through the important additions and changes that have happened since the game's launch:

 

We're constantly updating EverQuest II with new content and features. With the recent launch of Game Update #25, we thought now would be a great time to highlight the headlines from each of our 25 major free updates. Check out the overview of the major additions and changes we've made to EQII since launch in: Tons of New Content Since Launch.

For more on EQII, click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Jul 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

It's the weekend, and that means another Friday Grab bag coming out of Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot. As is always the case, we've just given you a sample of the questions and answery goodness. Click the link below to read it all!

 

Q: What, if any, effect do confusion spells have in RVR? I tried searching the herald and the knowledgebase, but the word 'confusion' is used in so many articles, it was impossible to find anything that could be of use. Thanks a lot.

A: I know what you mean - I appreciate you searching first, but that doesn't always help! I gave this to Big Wheel, and he replied: "The spells interrupt another player's spell casting. And on pets, they have a slight chance to do the same thing they do vs. mobs."

Q: I was wondering, what resist type are the spells that Animist mushrooms cast?

A: Big Wheel, again (doing penance for going on vacation and coming back to a giant pile of Grab Bag questions from me): "If you're talking about the Creeping Mastery shrooms, they debuff Body."

Read it all, here.

D&D Online : Keith Baker: Chapter Six

Posted Jul 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine has released the final chapter of the story written by Eberron Creator, Keith Baker:

 

Keith Baker has written a story exclusively for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™. Here is the Sixth and final exciting chapter in: Shadows of Stormreach.

For more DDO, click here.

Guild Wars Factions : Championships Info

Posted Jul 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild wars Factions has announced that one of the teams that had qualified for their championships in Lepzig, Germany, has declined their invitation to participate. They have awareded their place tot he team behind them in the standings. Guild Wars has also released some new match videos, which can be viewed here.

 

As we enter the Guild Wars Factions Championship Open Event this weekend, we must report that the Japanese guild, Sacrament of the Waooru [SotW], has decided to decline their invitation to attend the Guild Wars Factions Championship event in Leipzig, Germany. Due to scheduling conflicts, the guild was unable to field a full eight-player roster. In the spirit of healthy competition they have decided to give up their seat to the guild with the next highest point total, Treacherous Empire [Te], hailing from the United States.

Here is a statement issued by Sacrament of the Waooru:

"The Championship is the highest tournament of Guild Wars, and the best six guilds should participate in the championship. The matches will be exciting, wonderful, and instructive. And if we attempt to compete with henchmen, we will betray the players and easily lose. We want the tournament to be the best!"

We are saddened that Sacrament of Waooru has decided to withdraw from the event, but applaud their gracious sense of fair play. Look for an announcement next week with the winner of this weekend's GWFC Open and the full Guild Wars Factions Championship line up!

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

Gods and Heroes : Scout Feat Tree

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Dana Massey

Community Manager Daniel "Deodatus" McLaren is back with another developer journal look at the 1-20 level feat trees in Gods & Heroes. Today, Chris hones in on the Scout class.

The Scout is one of the most versatile and intriguing character classes in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™. They are also one of the more enigmatic, being that they are more at home sleeping under the stars and living amongst the animals in the wilderness than they are dwelling in the relative luxury and comfort of Rome. They have a wide variety of talents; in addition to utilizing a bow and arrow to devastating effect, they are also masters of woodland lore, stealth, and trap-making. As evidenced by their Feat Tree, the Scout will be a vital part of any group of heroes seeking glory in defending the honor of Rome.

Feats like “Aimed Shot” and “Piercing Shot” make even a lower-level Scout a ranged-combatant to be dealt with. As they grow in experience, Feats like “Rapid Fire,” “Auxiliarius' Target,” and “Searing Shot” make their attacks even more overwhelming. While delivering massive amounts of damage from long-range is their specialty, Scouts can perform other Feats while in battle that increase their lethality, such as “Crippling Shot,” which slows down their enemies, further reducing the opportunities those enemies have to inflict damage on the swift and elusive Scout. They are also endowed with a variety of Feats that boost the combat prowess or defenses of the other members of their party, such as “Fire Volley,” “Targeting Aura,” and “Scatter.” Taken together, these Feats will make the Scout a most-welcome addition to any band of campaigning heroes.

To see the full tree click here.

General : Game/On: Mark Jacobs Interview & More

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Dana Massey

This week on Game/On, Dana Massey returns to the show to sit down for a one on one interview with Mythic Entertainment CEO Mark Jacobs regarding the recent announcement that Mythic will be acquired by Electronic Arts.

But that's not all. Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood discuss all things MMORPG, including the new statistics released by MMOGChart.com.

Next week, Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood will bring you one of their patented commentary shows.

You can hear the podcast at this link. It is available directly on the page, direct download as an mp3, RSS feed, iTunes, iPodder, or PodcastPickle.com.

Check back in week for a commentary epsiode of Game/On.

The Matrix Online : Update 45

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Matrix Online has released notes for their recent Update 45, which came into being yesterday, July 13th. there is an extensive list of changes, which you can read in its entirety at the link below:

 

Update 45 is scheduled for release the morning of Thursday, July 13, 2006. Featured Changes

The Matrix Online Story Continues in Episode 5.2!

The 5.2 Storyline missions and cinematic are now available in game.
The first 5.2 critical mission will be available as soon as the patch is live. The remaining four missions will roll out each following Thursday (7/20, 7/27, 8/4, 8/11)at 1:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (0800 hours GMT).

Changes to Spy Tree abilities

The following Abilities have had these changes applied to improve balance (Note: Other effects for these Abilities still apply):

 
Read all about it, here.

Necron : Game Related Sites

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Neocron 2are asking for information from anyone who has a website that is related to their game:

 

We would like to invite all operators of Neocron 2 related web sites to send in their web site information for updating the link list on the Neocron 2 product page.

To add your website to the link list we need the following data:

  • URL
  • Language
  • Short description
  • Banner in .jpg format, size: 380x60 pixel
  • Name and e-mail adress of the administrator/operator as contact person

Additionally we would like to invite all operators of Neocron 2 related web sites which have already been added to the link list, to check their information on the product page and send in up to date information and banner if needed.

If you are planning to create a Neocron 2 related web site you should check out our fan site kit which contains a simple HTML template and lots of graphical content to style your website appropriately.

Please send in your information directly to this e-mail adress. Incomplete submissions cannot be accepted. Please check everything before sending it in.

For more on Neocron 2, click here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Virrago's Picks

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Virrago, of Star Wars Galaxies has taken the time to pick out some threads from the game's official forums that you might want to take a look at. Enjoy!

 

Here are my picks for the week... Enjoy!

Check out what Eureka_Maru did to win GarVa's Galactic Home Show.

Meet NebHuskerFan and the player behind him in the July 7th Player Spotlight.

If you haven't already seen it, you should really take a look at GarVa's new forum game: The Puzzler!

Introducing Galactic Tales – a bi-weekly story writing thread on the forums that will showcase fictional pieces created by our players (and based on a given theme)! Everyone should make some time to read that thread, there are some great stories being created there.

Alrek21 from Valcyn put together this awesome in game video: A Coy Video!

For more on SWG, click here.

EverQuest II : Treasure Chest

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

There'sa  new Threasure Chest over at Sony Online Entertainment's official website for EverQuest II:

 

Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Treasure Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Treasure Chest!

  • The movie magic continues to flow from the talented EverQuest II community. This week Zemfira shares "Beyond the Clouds" for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to add this to your must see summer movie list!
  • Jethal's song writing antics are in full swing as he shows off his latest song, "Who Let the Gnolls Out?". Now you can find out who really let the Gnolls out!
  • The Norrathian Home show travels far and wide to find the most talented home decorators in all the land. This week we stop in on Eveningsong's 3 bedroom at 20 Lucie Way. Great work!
  • Sit back, relax, and listen to a traveler's tale. This week ShiftySands shares "A necromancer's tale", enjoy!

For more on EQII, click here.

Guild Wars : The Scribe #6

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released another new edition of The Scribe. This release is the sixth in rhe "news scroll's" existance:

 

This week's news scroll from our roaming in-game reporter offers an article on an underappreciated profession, a call-out for a few extraordinary players, and a feature on one of the most feared monsters in Tyria.

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : World Series, Art and Trolls

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has made a number of updates to their official game website. The first is a wrap up from the World Series of Video Games. Secondly, they have new wallpapers and fan art, and finally, they have updated their Troll Compendium:

 

We've just updated the troll compendium with some brand-new information. Check it out now to learn more about the sand troll tribes, their history, and other trolls.

For more on WoW, click here.

EVE Online : Collectible Card Game

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

CCP Games, the company behind the popular Sci-Fi MMORPG, EVE Online, has announced that the online game will soon be joined by a more physical entity in their new collectible card game:

 

CCP LAUNCHES A NEW COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME AT GEN CON INDY SHOW

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – JULY 13, 2006 – CCP Games is set to launch its first Collectible Card Game called “EVE: The Second Genesis™”, based on its award winning MMOG EVE Online®, at the Gen Con Indy Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 10-13, 2006.

“EVE: The Second Genesis” CCG challenges players to build up their empires and crush their opponents. Players use their deck of cards and wealth amassed to build starships to expand their Starfleet, expand their empires, and use all the dirty tricks up their sleeves in order to gain power and weaken their opponents.

Booster packs will be available, containing 15 randomly assorted cards of different rarities. The booster packs are advised for the more experienced players who are ready to start adjusting their decks or create new ones. Players have a 50% chance of finding a holographic premium card in each booster pack.

“Starting to play will be made easy by offering pre-constructed Starter Kits sufficient for two friends to start playing immediately,” says Ingolfur Aevarsson, CCP´s CCG Marketing Director.

New players may choose between two Starter Kits: “The Great War™” which includes a pair of pre-constructed 55-card decks containing both the Gallente and the Caldari races; and “The Day of Darkness™” with two 55-card decks containing the other two races, the Amarr and Minmatar. Each Starter Kit comes with a complete rule book and coin tokens.

Additional details can be found at www.eve-ccg.com where each of “EVE: The Second Genesis’” Starter Kits can be pre-ordered along with an entire display box of 24 Booster packs. Pre-ordered shipments are expected to begin at the end of July. EVE: The Second Genesis will hit stores in October, 2006.

For more on EVE Online, click here.

Istaria : Elder Play

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Horizons has released a new letter that details Tier 6 (Elder Play) design philosophies. There isn't enough room for the whole thing here, so click the link below to read the whole thing:

 

Multiple and duplicative topics of discussion have been occurring on the boards lately regarding Communication between Tulga, the Players and the direction of the game – the Elder Game in particular. While both sides are in agreement that some level of discussion and foreknowledge is preferable so that the game experience can be designed for maximum enjoyment, there are areas where the design and development team are hesitant to release too much information too soon.

  • Too soon, and the team feels committed to a design they're not confident is best for the game.
  • Too much, and the players may lose the "wonder" of entering a game world, the surprise of the evolution of...well, everything!
  • Too little of either, and the players feel as if they are no longer engaged in a process of change for which they are uniquely qualified to contribute.

Recently, we have been monitoring those topics that appear to be paramount to our Elder Players and hope that we can enlighten you as to the direction we are heading - without giving too much away. Please, understand, these are in no way promises of what is to come, but more a "design philosophy" - our hopes of what the game will be.

For more on Horizons, click here.

Shadowbane : Mark Nausha Hit by Stray Bullet

Posted Jul 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Stray Bullet Games, the company that picked up work on Shadowbane after the closing of Wolfpack Studios, has announced that they have hired Mark Nausha, the former Director od Development for SOE:

 

Stray Bullet Games: Mark Nausha Hit by Stray Bullet

AUSTIN, TX -- July 13th, 2006 -- There is a new face at the offices of Stray Bullet Games. Mark Nausha, formerly Director of Development for Sony Online Entertainment, recently joined the Stray Bullet team as the President and Chief Executive Officer.

“I saw the potential of Stray Bullet Games to become a leading developer in the online gaming space,” says Mark. “The chance to work with trusted friends and carve out a future in the explosive online games market was too good to resist.”

Mark is no stranger to the game development industry. He began his career in the early 1990s at Interactive Designs, where he worked as a Project Manager and later instrumental in the acquisition of Interactive Designs by SEGA. Mark then worked at SEGA on the original Eternal Champions for the Genesis and Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side on the SEGA CD where he worked alongside Stray Bullet team members Ala Diaz and Frank Lucero. During his tenure with Interactive Designs and Sega, Nausha shipped 14 games.

In 1995, Nausha left Sega and joined Interplay Productions where he was the director of the Action/Arcade Division. He directly managed six producers and had ultimate responsibility for 30+ titles. Interplay’s involvement with Shiny Entertainment, makers of Earthworm Jim and MDK, fell under Nausha’s jurisdiction during his time with Interplay. Mark then joined Point of View as Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer.

More recently, Mark took a position at Sony Online Entertainment as Director of Development, where he oversaw live support and development of Everquest and Everquest II.

“Mark brings a huge range of expertise, ranging from console games to cutting edge MMO development”, says Frank Lucero, Vice President of Product Development and Chief Operations Officer of Stray Bullet Games. “It’s rare to find an individual with Mark’s depth of experience, even more so to find someone at this level you can unequivocally trust. Having worked with Mark in the past, it was a no-brainer to bring Mark on board at Stray Bullet Games.”

Stray Bullet Games is forming one of the most creative, talented, and experienced teams in the industry. Interested parties that wish to learn more can email shoot@straybulletgames.com or visit the website at www.straybulletgames.com.

For more on Shadowbane, click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Matt Firor Leaves Mythic

Posted Jul 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

On his blog, X-Mythic developer Scott "Lum the Mad" Jennings confirmed that Mythic Entertainment Executive Producer Matt Firor had left the company. You can read the original story here.

Director of Community Relations Sanya Thomas then dropped by the IGN Vault Boards to say the following about the situation.

Here's my obligatory post to say that this has actually been coming for a long time. He has been my boss for five years. He has been on my private, and very short, list of genuinely good and decent people for even longer than that. His commute was ridiculous, and his family obligations have also increased lately. The timing makes sense if you realize that it would be unethical for him to participate in the long term EA/Mythic planning if he was not going to be here for the long term. So this move happened now instead of in six months.

The team most affected by this was mine. His management and support have allowed me to function independently, to create a team that doesn't have to kowtow to external forces, and to always give the feedback to the devs straight up. I have more freedom, intellectually and otherwise, than any of my counterparts do. The phrase "better luck than management" did not apply.

His other responsibilities here at Mythic weren't related to the development of WAR, and only lightly related to Camelot, unless you count managing me as development. The stuff he had been doing lately was all unannounced stuff. And if I could tell you what it was, then it wouldn't be unannounced :)

But he was the first producer of Camelot, so his fingerprints are still everywhere in the game.

There's the whole story, FWIW.

Thank you to those who passed this story along and best of luck to Matt in his new ventures.

Star Trek Online (Perpetual) : New Screenshots

Posted Jul 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

The folks at StarTrek-Online.net noticed that the IGDA Website has some new screenshots of Star Trek Online, the first of a ship's exterior. We've added these to our gallery.



Thank you to everyone who sent word.

General : Conversation with Mark Jacobs (teaser)

Posted Jul 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

Mark Jacobs is our guest tomorrow for the Game/On Interview. The Co-Founder of Mythic Entertainment discusses his company's acquisition by Electronic Arts and what it means to Warhammer, Dark Age of Camelot and even Imperator. In advance of that, we are releasing this brief article.

“In the short term, really very little [will change]”, Jacobs told me. “Mythic is still going to be based in Virginia, we’re staying intact as a company, we’re going to be adding staff to work on the various projects.”

He added that the deal will help the company penetrate new markets and provide better logistical support around the world.

The biggest concern for fans of Mythic is that the deal will somehow undermine Warhammer Online. Before the news of EA purchasing Mythic broke, Warhammer Online was far and a away the most hyped game on MMORPG.com with an average rating of 7.7/10. Today, they’re tied with Age of Conan at 7.2. Obviously, the news was not met with joy on all fronts.

“Nothing is going to change,” Mark said of Warhammer. “It’s going to be the game that Mythic wanted to make, that GW wanted us to make and if anything it’s probably going to be a better game.”

More can be found here.

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