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General : 38 Studios Monsterographer Contest

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

38 Studios is holding a contest to create a short back-story for Munch, their company mascot. Among the judges will be 38 Studios founder and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, and acclaimed fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore.

Enter 38 Studios' first official contest for a chance to become part of 38 Studios history--and earn some cool stuff to boot!

38 Studios' beloved little green mascot, Munch, was born to personify the company's values and attitudes. He's upbeat, tenacious, focused, competitive, mischievous, driven to excellence, and ever-hungry for World Domination Through Gaming.

For full contest details, click here.

Age of Conan : Conan in Deutschland

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will be in Münster, Germany next weekend at the RPC (Role-Play Convention) to answer questions and show off their game.

Okay, so the barbarian himself won't make it, but Funcom is taking Age of Conan to the Role-play Convention in Münster, Germany this weekend!

Funcom will be bringing Age of Conan to RPC (Role-play Convention) 2007 in Münster, Germany this weekend. If you live in the area or just fancy a long drive/flight, this is your chance to see the game in action.

Get the details here.

General : SOE Official Podcast 16

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

SOE has released episode #16 of their official podcast. They speak on numerous topics, including EverQuest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, and Station Launcher.

Interview #1

As promised here is the interview with Nathan "Hammerfel" Pearce - Platform Creative Director. Nathan fills us in on Station Launcher!

* Set to lauch mid to late summer

* Features to include:

  • Finding old friends
  • Skipping the Eula
  • Downloading patches while PC is idle
  • And more

Read more here.

General : MMOWTF: Linear Systems

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week, in this MMOWTF column, Dan Fortier takes a look at linear systems as a trend in MMORPGs.

You just had to see this new show. All the critics raved that it was the next classic and it's been sold out since it was announced. You had to buy a scalped ticket on E-bay just to get in for the premiere. The seat is comfy and they even pass out delectable H'orderves on shiny silver trays. Eventually the light dims and a man in a top hat who looks like he belongs in a carnival struts across the stage in front of the curtain and bows dramatically.

"Ladies and Gentleman, children of all ages! Welcome to the release of the greatest thing since sliced bread! A spectacle fit for the Gods themselves. You will be witness to a performance that will leave you breathless and steal your heart away with its complexity and drama. You've waited patiently for this day and we're proud to show you what we've accomplished. Now without further ado, let the show begin!"

Read the whole column here.

Fury : Part 2 of The Origin Myth Revealed

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Fury have released the "Age of Virtue," the second part of their seven part Game Backstory, Fury: The Origin Myth.

The land of Altaia was once a paradise. The Altaian people lived good and happy lives. They worked hard, lived off the land and spent much of their time in worship. As their civilization grew, they constructed great temples and monuments to their beloved Gods.

The Altaians worshiped four Gods and each of them had Demigods devoted to one of the elements of: Fire, Water, Nature, and Air. These Gods were benevolent and gave the Altaian people a wonderful gift, the power of magic.

Read the history here.

Dark Age of Camelot : New Grab Bag

Posted Apr 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

On Friday Sanya Thomas answered a myriad of miscellaneous questions in the latest edition of The Grab Bag over at the Camelot Herald.

Q: What is the status of the broken Mytherian items?

A: We've got them all listed, and I am told the team will be working on the for the next patch. Whether or not we can fix everything (for instance, Mytherian items are SUPPOSED to raise your stat caps) remains to be seen, but we will do our best.

Q: Is there any news about the UI revamp?

A: We've got some "quick fix" stuff in testing for 1.90. The bigger revamps are still scheduled for this year, but we may be reorganizing the immediate schedule soon. Stay tuned for updates and status checks, as always.

Read the whole article here.

General : Temporary Virus Exposure

Posted Apr 15, 2007 by Craig McGregor

Early this morning MMORPG.com visitors were exposed to a virus through our web pages. We shut down our web site and proceeded to secure our services against this new threat. We are now confident that we have isolated and halted the malicious code and have once again turned our site back online. Users are advised to install a virus scanner and perform a full system scan to be on the safe side.

We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to assure our community that we will continue to do everything in our powers to keep our visitors safe from these attacks.

EverQuest II : Game Update 34 Preview

Posted Apr 14, 2007 by Keith Cross

Quest sharing, new mounts, and the brand-spanking new Coercer class are the topics of this Preview of game update 34 for EverQuest 2.

Game Update 34 Preview

With April well under way, the joking season is over and it's time once again for some exciting changes all around Norrath! Here's a special sneak-peek for those of you hungry for information on what's happening in-game.

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Super Bonus Week

Posted Apr 14, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Dark Age of Camelot have anounced a week of big bonuses as part of a fix for a recent bug.

The good news is that all of the realm points that everyone earned in the past two weeks are correctly added on to your characters. No individual totals have been harmed in the making of this patch.

The bad news is that the points were not being accumulated as part of most guild totals since 1.88. We have rectified the problem. (It was a cluster bug, if you're wondering.)

The obvious solution is to simply add up the characters' points, since they are not lost, and retroactively add them to the guild totals. This is not feasible, given that we have no tools or processes built to do this task, and time spent building the tools would be time NOT coding fixes for the game.

But the other solution - a blanket reward - didn't sit well with us. Giving everyone the same number of "we're sorry" points would be a (more pleasant) way of doing nothing, really.

So instead we decided to temporarily jack the bonuses to eleven, so that the people who are playing could make up for lost time very efficiently.

Get the details on every bonus by clicking here.

General : Bethesda Buys Fallout IP

Posted Apr 13, 2007 by Keith Cross

Interplay has sold the rights to the Fallout intellectual property to Bethesda for $5.75 million. Interestingly, Interplay now acts as a licensee of the Fallout IP, and as part of the deal they will be required to begin development of a Fallout MMO within 2 years.

New filings with the SEC show that Oblivion and current Fallout 3 developer Bethesda Softworks has officially purchased the Fallout series IP from current holders Interplay for $5.75 million, with Interplay now acting as licensee for its own planned Fallout MMO.

In an interesting twist, as part of the agreement Interplay now acts as a licensee of the IP as it continues to ramp up production on its own Fallout-themed massively multiplayer game, first announced in 2004 alongside Bethesda's sequel, and shown via internal documents as recently as December to have a projected $75 million dollar budget and launch date of 2010.

In a special clause of the purchase agreement, Interplay agrees that "full-scale development of its FALLOUT MMOG will commence within 24 months of the Effective Date of this Agreement" and that "Interplay will have secured financing for the FALLOUT MMOG in an amount no less than $30 million" within that time frame or forfeit its license rights for the MMO.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : LotRO Special Edition Announced

Posted Apr 13, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine and Midway have announced a special edition of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. The special edition will feature goodies such as: a "making of..." DVD, a map of Middle Earth, and an exclusive in-game item.

WESTWOOD, MA and CHICAGO, IL - April 12, 2007 -- Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) today unveiled the Special Edition of The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. This Special Edition of the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online game provides fans with exclusive items, including the "making of" DVD, a soundtrack of the game, and a special in-game item. The Lord of the Rings Online is scheduled to launch on April 24th in the U.S. and Canada and the Special Edition of the game is now available for pre-order at select retailers nationwide.

"We have experienced unbelievable anticipation and support for The Lord of the Rings Online throughout the development process," said Jeff Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine Inc. "We knew that the game had to provide a terrific experience to the millions of Tolkien fans and we wanted to enhance that experience even more with this Special Edition."

Find out more details here.

EVE Online : Fanfest 2007 Time and Place Announced

Posted Apr 13, 2007 by Keith Cross

CCP has sent word of EVE Fanfest 2007, which is being held from November 1st to 3rd in Reykjavik, Iceland.

It's that time again, capsuleers! Fire up your autopilot, plot a course for Reykjavik, Iceland, and join us for the Fourth Annual Party at the Top of the World.

EVE Fanfest 2007 will be held November 1 - 3 at the incredible Laugardalshöll in the Laugardalur Valley. This yearly event gives EVE Online players a chance to meet face-to-face beyond the confines of their cozy little pods, hobnob with the EVE dev team and participate in panel discussions, roundtables and competitions.

Icelandair is offering special rates, including an "early bird special" on a variety of packages for airfare and accommodations. Visit their website for more information and to book your reservations. Fanfest passes are sold separately and may be purchased through the EVE Store. Passes must be bought in advance and will not be sold at the door.

Get all the details here.

General : Interview With Mark Kern

Posted Apr 13, 2007 by

Mark Kern of Red 5 Studios talks with MMORPG.com. See what Mark has to say about his past, present, and upcoming future with Red 5 Studios.

Mark Kern was the Team Lead on Blizzard's gargantuan hit, World of Warcraft. Now, he is the President and CEO of Red 5 Studios. In this interview, Mark answers Garrett Fuller's questions about his past, future, and the direction of the MMO industry.

MMORPG.com: Great to talk with you Mark. Can you tell us how you got started in video games and more importantly MMOs?

Mark Kern: I wrote my first computer game on a TRS-80 computer so I've been at this for some time now! I knew I always wanted to make games, but it wasn't until college that I started to think about online games. I played a commercial mud called Gemstone on the Genie bulletin board service back when you paid $5/hour to play. I was absolutely hooked, and nearly flunked out of school until one day I quit cold turkey. But even though I had quit, I kept thinking about designing the ultimate text-based MMO. Things have changed now, but I'm still trying to create teams and make the best games possible. And if you look very, very closely, you'll see some Gemstone influence in World of Warcraft today.

Read the entire Interview here.

General : LFG Added to Featured Comics Section

Posted Apr 13, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com is pleased to announce that we are now featuring the Looking For Group web comic by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza!

LFG, the fifth web comic on our site, joins the likes of: Extralife, The Noob, GUComics, and Layonara in our comics area.

You can visit our comics section here.

World of Warcraft : Blizzard Announces BlizzCon 2007

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by

Blizzard Entertainment announces BlizzCon 2007. Get your best Tauren costume ready and book that flight to California!

A year and a half ago, Blizzard hosted the first "BlizzCon," a convention celebrating the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo game universes and the amazing community of players who contribute to their continued popularity. Today, Blizzard announced that BlizzCon will once again open its doors on August 3, 2007. Highlights for this year's BlizzCon will include: * Discussion panels with Blizzard game developers; * Competitive and casual tournaments, including a World of Warcraft TCG tournament; * Costume, machinima, and character sound-alike contests with great prizes; * Live orchestral performances of music from Blizzard games; * And many more exciting activities to be announced soon at www.blizzcon.com!

Read more here.

General : Former IGE VP Hired on By SOE

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by

Sony Online Entertainment names David D. Christensen as Vice President of Business Development & International Operations.

Sony Online Entertainment, (SOE) a global leader in the online gaming industry, today announced the appointment of David D Christensen to Vice President of Business Development & International Operations. In this newly created role, Christensen will be responsible for generating strategic global growth opportunities and securing key business alliances for SOE, with an emphasis on the European and Asian markets. In addition to his business development responsibilities, Christensen is tasked with managing SOE's international operations group. Christensen will be based in SOE?s new Los Angeles studio and will report to John Needham, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Sony Online Entertainment.

Christensen is a veteran of the video games industry with a broad range of business experience, including development partnerships, acquisitions, licensing and business affairs. Prior to joining SOE, Christensen served as Vice President of Business Development for IGE where he drove the company's relationships with the massively multiplayer publishing community. Prior to that, Christensen served as the Director of Business Development for Vivendi Games. He was instrumental in leading negotiations on licensing and development deals for several critically acclaimed and commercially acclaimed successful franchises including Crash Bandicoot, The Incredible Hulk, Lord of the Rings, Riddick and Spyro.

"David brings a wealth of experience to his new role within SOE," said John Needham, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Sony Online Entertainment. "His exceptional knowledge and insight into the global online gaming market will be an integral part of our expansion strategy moving forward both domestically and in key international markets."

Christensen studied taxation at the Georgetown University Law Center and received his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois.

Read more here.

Lineage 2 : Interlude Launches In N. America, Europe

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by

NCSoft announces the release of Lineage II's Interlude in the North America and Europe. This free expansion offers some new material for players to explore. Read the details below.

NCsoft® today announced the release of Interlude, an expansion to the massively multiplayer online PC game Lineage® II in North America and Europe. Interlude is the next step in the evolution of Lineage II, forming a bridge between The Chaotic Chronicle and the game's next chapter, The Chaotic Throne. The Interlude expansion is free to all current Lineage II subscribers.

Lineage II, the gaming market's premier player-versus-player (PvP) massively multiplayer online game, has reached more than 17 million players worldwide since its launch in late 2003.

The Interlude expansion offers a variety of new challenges to players, including the new Primeval Isle, which is home to many new creatures making their first appearance in Lineage II. These include Wild Striders, Pachycephalosaurus and the deadly and powerful Tyrannosaurus Rex. Primeval Isle is a lush and beautiful zone, but in the tradition of Lineage II, offers tough tests and is not a zone for those unwilling to take on great challenges. Mastering the beasts on Primeval Isle will require strategy and teamwork from players and clan members.

Enhanced single-player elements such as the new dueling system will enable players to challenge friends to one-on-one fights or party-versus-party battles. By dueling, players can understand the nuances of their character better than they ever have before. In addition, there are no penalties for defeat in Lineage II?s dueling system, so players are free to let loose and test their mettle.

Also available for mid to high-level players are more than 150 new bonuses to enhance and customize weapons. Lower level players can take advantage of the new Shadow Weapons, a "try before you buy" service offered by the village weapon vendors. This new feature makes weapon selection more effective and simple.

"I'm very excited about what Interlude offers," said Adam Davidson, the North American producer of Lineage II. "It introduces elements of the game's next evolution, The Chaotic Throne, as well as unleashing dinosaurs. Who doesn't like taking on a T-Rex? Interlude also demonstrates the open-ended nature of Lineage II and shows off NCsoft?s ability to deliver features that give the game its signature depth and never-ending challenges."

Interlude also marks the three-year anniversary for this franchise in North America, where it has been steadily growing and reached a platinum status in November of last year.

Read more here.

D&D Online : Module 4: Reaver's Bane Released

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced the release of Module 4: Reaver's Bane. This expansion for Dungeons and Dragons Online sports a bunch of new goodies, including wilderness adventuring, raising the level cap to 14, and the long awaited introduction of dragons.

40,000 years ago, Gianthold was the capital of the Lost Empire of the giants on Xen'drik. Protected by the fortress of Gianthold Tor, the giants of Gianthold learned mighty magics, trained fearsome soldiers, and created great works of art. But Gianthold was destroyed by the dragons of Argonnessen. Only the dragons themselves remember this event well, and their historians believe that the giants brought about their own downfall by misusing the magical secrets entrusted to them by the dragons. This is true -- but it is only part of the story...

The Stormreaver was a hero of the disastrous war against Dal Quor, and when faced with imminent defeat, he turned to his most powerful ally - an old dragon whose true name is lost, but whose wisdom had earned him the epithet, "the Truthful One." The Stormreaver forged a pact with the Truthful One, who was approaching the Twilight and his death: They would sacrifice their lives to power a great spell, the Reaver's Bane, which would turn all of Xen'drik itself against the Quori.

Get all of the details here.

World of Warcraft : WoW TCG Offers In-game Items

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by Keith Cross

Upper Deck Entertainment, the makers of the World of Warcraft trading card game, have announced that the newest expansion set will contain "loot" cards which will give players access to in-game items.

Today, Upper Deck Entertainment (UDE) announced the availability of the new World of Warcraft Trading Card Game expansion set, Through the Dark Portal. This new starter set and booster pack contain special "Loot" cards which players can use to gain access to unique World of Warcraft in-game items.

Find out more here.

D&D Online : Interview with James Jones and Kate Paiz

Posted Apr 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today sees the launch of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach's Module 4: Reaver's Bane. Yesterday, Managing Editor Jon Wood had the chance to sit down for a talk with James Jones, the Executive Producer of DDO and Kate Paiz, the game's Producer.

As many of you may or may not know, today marks the release of Module 4: Reaver's Bane, the most recent free update from Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with James Jones, the Executive Producer of DDO and Kate Paiz, the game's Producer to talk about the release, and what players can expect from it.

It is well known that any MMORPG is a constantly growing and evolving entity. Even when a game is released, a team continues to work on the game, both fixing problems and creating new content for their players to explore. Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online is no exception to that rule. Numerous game play elements have been added to the game since its launch a year ago. Previous modules and updates saw players able to: solo in the game, progress further as the level cap was raised, play and meet new and different races, the list goes on.

Read the whole article here.

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