Our series of developer profiles from Funcom, the company behind the upcoming Age of Conan, continues today with answers from Morten Sorlie, the game's Audio Director.
Can you remember your first video game? How often did you play, what other games had an influence on you?
My father always brought home his old computer from work, so my first encounter with pc's and games was on the 8088 and 8086, both with monochrome screens. I didn't play more than a few hours every week, partly because I wasn't allowed by my parents, but also because I wasn't that interested in games. I can't remember which game was the absolute first, but I do remember that GATO; a submarine war-simulator; was the first game which made a great impact on me. Later on, the Kings Quest series also had a great appeal, followed by a lot of the other Sierra-games from that era. Parallel to these early pc games, my best friend got a Commodore Vic20, and we played a lot of Jupiter Lander and Road Rash (I think it was called).
You can catch the entire interview at this link.
This week, we return with three new screenshots from EVE Online, so if you're not familiar with EVE, or you just want something nice to look at, check out these new shots.
You can get full screen shots at this page.
The May $100,000 Tournament series has ended and the winners have been announced over at the Guild Wars Official site.
The inaugural season of the $100,000 Tournament has come to an end. Congratulations to Heart Of Ashes And Dust [HAnD], winner of the GvG Championship, and to Piccolo Il, winner of the Hero Battle championship. Look for a chart with lots of tournament data, match reports, and an article about the first season in the coming days. And remember, you can jump into the June tournament season now!
Get the details on the winners and their prizes here.
Auran has put out the call for all brave, action loving gammers, announcing that players can now sign-up for the Fury Beta.
This is your chance to be among the first players to experience a brand new genre of gaming - the first ever MMOTPS (Massively Multiplayer Online Third Person Slasher).
Sick of picking flowers or farming pigs and mindless AI monsters? Jump into FURY for its fast paced PvP from the word go.
If you enjoy running through sunny meadows collecting herbs for your next quest, stop reading NOW! If you would rather mercilessly slaughter the herb picking care-bears then read on...
Got what it takes to compete? Can you handle defeat at the hands of your opponents and stay focused through thrill of victory? Just fill in your details, and begin to define your place in FURY history.
Let your friends clan-mates and guild-mates know about this sign-up, and get them to join you in-game as you form the first Clans and gain immortality on the Beta Ladders. If you have no friends then be sure to get in-game and make some quickly, allies are one of the few aids in the fight to make a name for yourself.
Sign up now, as numbers are strictly limited!
Sign up for the Fury beta here.
Staff Writer Jeremy Star is at it again as he gives us his review of Razer's DeathAdder Mouse. A preview of the review is below:
Another month, another mouse! Perhaps we should start a "Mouse a Month" club or something. This month Razer was nice enough to send us their new gaming mouse to review. Will it stand up to the competition? Will I like it as much as their Krait mouse? Will Harry Potter die this summer? Read on to find out!
The Razer DeathAdder is an optical mouse with a USB connection. (Honestly, does anyone use a PS2 mouse anymore?) It features Zero-acoustic Teflon feet, an 1800 DPI 3G Infrared sensor, and a 1ms response time.
The DeathAdder uses a new kind of optical sensor to track movement, something Razer calls the 3G Infrared Sensor. In a nutshell, it's an optical engine that uses infrared light instead of the old visible red LED light we're all used to. This allows it to exceed the previous DPI limit for optical mice, and offer us a nice 1800 DPI score.
You can view the full review by clicking here.
The folks at Lord of the Rings Online have updated their site once again with a look at some of the new places created by the LotRO development team. This time around they look at the Elven refuges of Ered Luin and the starting area for Elf characters.
Hundreds of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, the Elves of Lindon founded a refuge upon the slopes of Ered Luin, where wood for the White Ships was gathered and elven wine was made. Edhelion, it was called, and it was a place of contemplation and peace . . . until Skorgrím Dourhand, an evil Dwarf-lord descended from the kings who once ruled the long-ruined kingdoms of the Blue Mountains, led his people, allied with goblins and trolls, against this elven refuge.
Talagan Silvertongue, the Master of Edhelion, sacrificed himself to defeat Skorgrím, but Edhelion was abandoned in respect for its many fallen defenders. The Elves removed themselves to the foothills of Ered Luin and founded a new refuge, Duillond, nearer to the elven port of Celondim, which ferried the wood gathered in the mountains down the river Lhûn to Mithlond, the Grey Havens. The Elves of Duillond lived in relative peace with the dwarves of Durin's line who had followed Thráin and Thorin into exile in the Blue Mountains, but now tensions between Elf and Dwarf is rising once more.
Edhelion, Duillond, and Celondim are all locations created by the developers of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM to provide a starting point for players who choose to create Elf characters. Elf players will get to experience the fall of Edhelion, six hundred years prior to the events of LOTRO, and help uncover a sinister plot brewing in Ered Luin.
Read about the elven refuges here.
New MMORPG.com writer David Murrieta explores the recent Issue 9: Breakthrough expansion that was released for City of Heroes / City of Villains and offers his insight into the addition. A preview of the article is below:
Breakthrough", the title for City of Heroes' ninth expansion, accurately describes the purpose and idea behind what Cryptic hopes to do: cracking their own original design models, once again, in order to present the playerbase with an innovative system to add to their game. I'm referring, of course, to the hugely hyped Inventions System, which are Issue 9's main addition. It caused, ever since it was announced, a considerable number of debates among players who believed, like the developers themselves once did, that loot and crafting were definitely out of the question in a game about superheroes and crime fighting. Almost inevitably, though, Inventions happened, and after a month of the expansion's release, we're starting to see the effects.
The economy that players in followed, in general, was the first thing to be affected directly, indirectly affecting other things like slotting options and build plans. While Base Construction with Issue 6 brought some changes to the way players earned and spent their Influence, the impact enormously decreased within little time, and heroes who created a balance between playing in Supergroup Mode or not stabilized their earnings back to numbers very similar to those they were previously used to. Taking that into account, will the same happen with this new Issue?
You can check out the full article at this link.
ArenaNet has released new lore for Guild Wars: Eye of the North, detailing the changes to the peoples of Tyria over the past six years since the Prophecies campaign.
Time marches on. Six years have passed since the events in Guild Wars Prophecies, since the Searing blazed across Ascalon.
Chroniclers in Lion's Arch have compiled a report on the state of all Tyrian races and nations, both familiar and recently discovered. Enter now the setting for the upcoming Guild Wars: Eye of the North.
The mighty kingdom of Ascalon has seen better days, humbled under the relentless assault of the Charr. Brave heroes have slowed, but not stemmed, the invading hordes. A large military force under the command of King Adelbern continues to defend the nation from incursion. Several years ago, the king and a group of heroes struck down the Titan gods of the Charr. However, with his forces declining, the king now fights a war of attrition, his army driven farther and farther south by the enemy.
In these dire times, a brave cadre of Ascalonians has chosen to take the fight to the Charr, striking into their homeland. These units--many of which are made up of humans who've escaped Charr enslavement--have slipped behind (and, in some cases, broken through) the Charr lines. They are now establishing advanced bases deep in Charr territory where they harry the invaders and divert supplies and troops away from Ascalon.
The Charr were rocked by the death of their gods. For years, Charr legions were commanded by the Shaman caste, who claimed authority on behalf of the Titans the Charr worshiped. When human heroes, alongside King Adelbern, proved these beings were all-too mortal, this created havoc at the very top of the Charr hierarchy. Individual Charr and even entire warbands broke away from orthodoxy, but each heretical uprising has been crushed by the religious establishment. Even now there is dissension among the Charr. While the Shaman are ever determined to crush human resistance in Ascalon, they are equally alert to the rebels and heretics in their own ranks.
The White Mantle also suffered losses when the veil of godhood was lifted from their so-called deities, exposing them as a front for powerful, yet mortal creatures. In the wake of this revelation, Kryta fell into civil war, with the Shining Blade attempting to restore the old royal family to power.
Despite their casualties, the heavily entrenched White Mantle remain a formidable foe. Unable to match them directly with military might, the Shining Blade has sent agents across Tyria seeking new weapons and allies to turn the tide of battle. Each side has vowed to bring peace to Kryta no matter the cost.
King Jalis Ironhammer has restored order to the Shiverpeaks, scattering the Stone Summit forces and rooting them out of Sorrow's Furnace. Now, Inspired by the recovery of the Tome of Rubicon, the Deldrimor have turned their attention once more to the Depths, the vast underground regions that lie beneath Tyria. The tome foretells of a final conflict between the Great Dwarf, the embodiment of the Dwarven race, and the Great Destroyer, a creature of vast destructive power and limitless evil.
Read more about Guild Wars: Eye of the North here.
The latest content update for Puzzle Pirates features the Brigand Kings, whose fleets roam the seas with the ability to blockade and conquer islands. Players can reap booty and bounties for doing battle with these foes, and two new fighting vessels can be purchased by players to help get the job done.
Greetings and Salutations to All Who Sail these Seas
A warning to all unwary travelers: an armada of most unruly and troublesome brigands was sighted in these waters this very week. Attack may come at any time!
Be vigilant! These Brigand Kings have put to sea with mayhem on their minds. No port or island will be safe until their threat is answered. The Navy calls for all brave sailors to pick up their arms and stand in the defense of their homeland.
A bounty has been set. Good pay for the stout-hearted sailor who strikes at the enemy. Expect no mercy from these scoundrels. Give them no quarter in Battle!
Danger stalks the sea lanes! Watch for the Brigand King's Flag, for his scoundrel forces may be building out there in the deep blue-yonder.
Refugees from distant lands tell of cruelty, barbarity, and unfettered avarice. Their scouting ships were only the beginning. These so-called Kings would enslave the free Islands of this Ocean for their own petty gain. Click below to learn more about these most terrible and implacable foes.
Learn more about the Brigand Kings here.
MindArk has announced a deal with Cyber Recreation Development Corp. to bring Entropia Universe to China and create a cash-based virtual economy for China.
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 30, 2007 -- Entropia Universe, the safest virtual world utilizing a real cash economy, has been chosen by the Beijing Municipal People's Government supported online entertainment company Cyber Recreation Development Corp. (CRD) to create a cash-based virtual economy for China. The landmark deal was negotiated for almost a year and will bring an outside virtual world into China for the very first time. Entropia Universe was chosen over several other proposals, including one by Second Life.
The new project will permit up to 7 million concurrent users logged into the virtual universe with an overall aim to attract some 150 million users from all over the world. Entropia Universe, a three-dimensional universe on the Internet intended for entertainment, work, commerce, community building, culture, and much more, is expected to generate over $1 billion annually in commerce from this partnership.
David Liu, the CEO of Cyber Recreation Development Corp., says, "It is estimated that the project will generate some 10,000 qualified job opportunities in China. An important aspect for this project is also the positive effects on our environment that we foresee. People will actually be able to work from home inside Entropia Universe, as many people do today, even from rural areas, thereby decreasing the amount of pollution generated by travel. Entropia Universe's highly secure system and open-ended approach is suitable for a variety of exciting developments, from trade to cultural exchange, to environmental saving and historic preservation. All in all, Entropia Universe is absolutely the best choice on the market for us to achieve the set goals."
Jan Welter Timkrans, the CEO of MindArk PE AB, says, "The scope that follows from this agreement is truly grand in vision but also great for the continual development of Entropia Universe. The ideas presented during our mutual talks with CRD are mind-boggling and show the potential that lies within Entropia Universe as a safe, stable and trusted platform, both for real cash commerce, as well as gaining culture and education for Entropia participants. On the technical side, the server structure running the Entropia Universe will be one of the fastest on Earth. I am also very pleased that MindArk has been able to quickly come to a mutual agreement, as this journey began when MindArk joined the delegation surrounding the East-India ship Gotheborg's arrival in Shanghai in August 2006, and the celebrations around this. The Swedish Royal family and esteemed members of China's upper political echelon were present at the celebrations."
The technology introduced with this project will enable other companies within media, film, music and gaming industries, or other content providers, to acquire their own planet within Entropia Universe. In turn, this will provide a diverse, entertaining and interesting three-dimensional virtual universe of vast proportions for participants to explore. A number of the world's largest corporations within the aforementioned business sectors are currently in negotiations to purchase their own planet within Entropia Universe.
The heart of Entropia Universe today lies in a distant planet named Calypso, encompassing two continents with large expanding cities that offer a variety of entertainment and social interaction for its citizens. The cooperation agreement with China will generate hundreds of new planets and open up space for travel between the planets.
Read more here.
Mythic has announced a deal with GOA, a French publisher, to publish and operate Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning across Europe. In other Warhammer news, North American and European beta sign up is now open.
FAIRFAX, VA - JUNE 6, 2006 - Mythic Entertainment, a leading developer and publisher of massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG's), today announced Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ (WAR) will be published and operated across Europe by GOA, the France Telecom-owned publisher of online games. GOA has successfully operated Dark Age of Camelot in Europe with Mythic since 2001. WAR is based on Games Workshop's popular Warhammer® fantasy war game and features next generation Realm vs. Realm™ (RvR) game play that will immerse players in a world of perpetual conflict. WAR will arrive on the PC simultaneously in the US and Europe in the fall of 2007.
"The initial partnership between Mythic and GOA resulted in Dark Age of Camelot being the number one MMORPG in Europe for many years," said Mark Jacobs, CEO and President of Mythic Entertainment. "With WAR our goal is nothing less than to take Europe by storm and regain that leadership position in the European market."
"We are thrilled to be partners with Mythic again and build on the five-year relationship and experience that we've been enjoying with their team," commented Ghislaine Le Rhun, Senior Vice President of GOA. "Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has tremendous potential and we intend to treat the game with all the care it deserves. We look forward to introducing the game to European players."
To learn more about WAR, visit www.warhammeronline.com. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive exclusive stories, art, and game information, as well as a chance to take part in the game's beta test.
Read more about the deal with GOA here.
Visit www.warhammeronline.com to sign up for the beta.
According to a recent press release, Myth War Online will now support two new payment options, Google Checkout and Pay By Cash.
New Payment Methods Release
In order to provide a most convenient way for players to purchase points card, the official has launched two new payments for you: Google Checkout and Pay By Cash. These two payments provide more purchasing choices and cover even larger areas.
Meanwhile, they also make some amendments to the players paying through PayPal.
Read more here.
Details of EVE Fanfest have been published on the EVE official site. The event is being held from November 1st to 3rd in Reykjavik, Iceland.
MORNING ROUND TABLES AND PVP TOURNAMENT
Test your l33t skillz against your opponents' in the PVP tournament, hit them with your killer deck in the CCG tournament or share your ideas and opinions at one of the roundtable discussions. The alliance meeting points are a great place to synch up with your capsuleer friends
AFTERNOON HOW TO'S AND LECTURES
This year some of our experts will have short courses regarding different aspects of EVE where you can learn tips and tricks from the creators themselves. In the auditorium, presentations will be given by members of the Tech and Art teams
EVENING LOUNGE PARTY
Some of the best memories from Fanfests past have been of the time shared between the players and devs as they share a cold one during the Lounge Party. This year, we're adding a little something extra: the EVE pub quiz.
Read the full event schedule here.
This Friday the BBC's Money Programme will focus their attention on the world of online gaming. The show will look at the virtual world of Second Life and the fortunes that some have made there, as well as the huge growth and success of MMORPGs over the past few years.
Millions of us are opting out of real life and signing up to "live" in computer worlds like Second Life instead. And there is a fortune to be made there. Reporter Max Flint sets up shop in the cyber-world and finds out how it's possible to live a virtual life and make a real fortune. Multi-nationals like Reebok, Nissan and Calvin Klein are now also getting in on the act. Then there are fantasy games like World of Warcraft, which has over eight million paying members, and the newly-launched Lord of the Rings virtual world. Both are proof that there are real fortunes to be made in cyberspace.
More and more people are turning their backs on the real world to spend time on their computers in places that don't really exist. Whether it's on an artificial continent, a fantastic world of monsters, deep in space or in a city full of Superheroes - these virtual online worlds are attracting thousands of visitors every week. 'The Money Programme's reporter Max Flint travels deep into this alternative reality to meet the inhabitants who have seen a way to make serious money.
The programme explores two different examples of virtual worlds. First, places such as 'Second Life' which attempts to recreate, in an exaggerated version, the real world, with real trading and real money changing hands, but which is free to enter. Secondly, 'Massively Multiplayer Online Games' (MMORPG) in which players adopt amazing characters to explore fantasy worlds but which charge monthly subscriptions to participants.
The programme looks at the rapid growth of virtual worlds and meets its entrepreneurs who are hoping to strike it rich as virtual landlords and builders.
The programme also explores the phenomenal popularity of MMORPG and meets David Solari, Vice President of Codemasters Online Gaming, who has just launched a new game which he hopes will become one of the most popular in the world; it's based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings'. The programme investigates 'Virtual Crime' and how the industry is responding to MMORPG players who illegally trade items for real money.
Read more here.
Over the weekend CCP was accused by a number of members of the EVE Online community of several wrong doings. CCP has now concluded their investigation into these matters and has issued a response to the allegations along with evidence supporting their side of the story.
Needless to say, it has been a very long weekend for a number of staff here at CCP Games. What could and should have been a quiet enjoyable extended weekend turned into something else.
The following blog is long. There will be some in the community that claim the information contained is fabrication, fallacy or an attack by CCP on a portion of the player community. We are simply presenting the results of the investigations, as well as our interpretation of information presented to us and the events that transpired over the weekend.
We ask you read the blog with an open mind and you reach your own conclusions based on the information presented. If you think CCP is in the wrong, we welcome constructive dialogue and criticism. If you feel we as an entity are corrupt and abhorrent, we bid you good luck in finding a game and company that suits your interests. If you agree with our assessment, we thank you for sharing our opinion and ask that you continue playing EVE in your normal manner. We do not ask for any retributive action to be taken, either in-game or out, on our behalf.
Read the full response here.
The folks over at Myth War have announced several upcoming in-game events, along with some new items and events at their Item Mall. Events include the Drowcrusher and Bounty quests, the Fourfold Exp for Beating Mobs event, and an In-game Quiz Contest.
1. Drowcrusher quest
Event Period: June 1 to June 3
Event Content: The accumulated times for completing Dragon slain quest of each character per day will be increased by 5 during this period, which means that each character will be allowed to finish Dragon Slain quest 10 times per day during this period.
2. Bounty Quest
Event Period: June 1
Event Content: We will wipe all Bounty Hunter records at 0:00 Server Time June 1, 2007 and gather the final results at 20:00 Server Time June 1, 2007. Players can do Bounty Hunter during the 20 hours from 0:00 to 20:00 on June 1, 2007. NPC will show the final winning group. And the winners will be rewarded.Event Reward: Snow Wolf
Get the full event details here.
Many World of Warcraft players are familiar with Ezra Chatterton, the 10-year-old who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and who was given the opportunity through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to tour Blizzard's studio in Irvine, California and to design some of his own custom content for the game. Blizzard recently announced that his father has set up a charity foundation to accept donations to help cover medical expenses.
In partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Blizzard recently welcomed Ezra Chatterton, a 10-year-old who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, into our headquarters for a day and gave him several unique opportunities. We have been touched by the outpouring of support from the World of Warcraft community, and wanted to take this opportunity to let players know that Ezra's father Micah is setting up a charity foundation to help pay some of the medical costs. Those interested can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make a donation to the American Cancer Society to support ongoing cancer research. For more information about the situation, please check out the original article or the follow-up piece from the Orange County Register.
Read more here.
The most recent edition of the State of the game articles for Guild Wars is now available, giving tips on the ins and outs of PvP and the new Automated Tournament System.
After spending weeks perfecting your team's GvG build on the open ladder, your guild finally decides to risk the rating points and signs up for its first Automated Tournament. After paying five Tournament Tokens to Tolkano, your guildmates buzz with anticipation over your voice server as the seconds count down until your first first-round pairing. The moment of truth arrives. As the Automated Tournament system pairs you up with a top-100 guild you've played before on the ladder, you feel confident that meticulous skill selection and attribute point tweaks will earn your first tournament victory in a high-profile match. Zoning into Burning Isle for round one, your team races across the lava, ready to Hex some Warriors and knock down some Mesmers--only to have your team spiked out and rolled over by five Searing Flames Elementalists.
Welcome to Automated Tournaments, where guilds can use their knowledge of both the maps and their opponents to rack up Qualifier and Tournament Reward Points.
Read the full article here.
The most recent edition of the Grab Bag answers questions about weapon and shield styles, dragons, and more. Also of interest is the mention of a few job openings.
Q) I've noticed in the Dragon's Revenge section of the herald all the dragons look different. But in game they are all the same. My question is; am I not getting the new dragon graphics or is this a picture of the dragons yet to come?
A) The new art you see on the Dragon's Revenge portion of the Herald is the new art that's being released in the final chapter of the campaign.
As a heads up, the dragons will be gone for two weeks as the storyline progresses. During their absence, the growing dragon brood will be filling the demand for the dragon treasure and respec stones normally found on the dragons. When the dragons return they will have the new art, upgraded AI and revised loot tables.
Q) What affects the rate of hitting someone with your shield with shield styles?
A) The style itself, as well as the level of the user/target affects hit/miss rates. Shield weaponskill derived from stats like dex and shield spec will aid in penetrating block/parry/evade, but will not affect hit/miss rates.
Q) I currently have catacombs, darkness rising, and LotM installed on my computer. Which, if any, of these can I safely uninstall to free up space on my hard drive? I believe that this has been answered before, but I'd like to be sure on the subject.
A) If you have multiple versions of the game installed, but you only use one version, say... 'Labyrinth of the Minotaur', you can safely uninstall all other versions. You can find which versions you have installed by running 'Add/Remove Programs' from the Windows control panel. Alternately, you can look for versions installed under the 'Mythic' Program Group (Start->All Programs->Mythic). In either case you can safely remove or uninstall any version that you don't use.
Read the full Grab Bag here.