The folks from NCsoft have sent along this developer paper on the Mekhi Mechanagught, Weapon Highlights and Capture the Flag. While the robot battle game doesn't meet our criteria for listing, it certainly shares a number of traits with MMORPGs, including a persistent character.
Spatter Gun – The Spatter Gun is one of the first types of shotgun weapons purchasable for starting players. The –C model costs only 4,000 credits and can be quite useful in dispatching nearby enemies. Exteel’s shotguns are similar to traditional shotguns; they fire giant rounds of ammunition that will cause decent amounts of damage against an opponent at close range. The weapon is very accurate (much more than SMGs or even some rifles) but can have a long reload time.
Read it all here.
Ncsoft has announced that they have partnered with Double Fusion to provide optional in game advertising in City of Heroes / Villains, with the revenue generated from the ads to be reinvested into the game.
Today we announced our partnership with Double Fusion to provide optional in-game advertising for City of Heroes. I wanted take some time to share some details beyond those in the press release.
In-game advertising is something that we have carefully considered ever since the initial release of City of Heroes in 2004. From our perspective it always came down to a few fundamental questions: Will this technology make our game experience more immersive or less immersive? In other words, is City of Heroes an appropriate environment for it? In-game advertising in other MMOs has sometimes been received as an unwelcome addition, so could we actually find ways to make this a significant win for our customers? And with the plan of reinvesting all the revenue that we make from this, how much will this single (optional in-game advertising) initiative actually allow us to grow our development team?
These are complex questions that can’t necessarily be answered with 100% certainty, but after discussing this for a number of years we believe we’ve found the right partner to bring ads to the game while being sensitive to our community’s needs. I want to make it very clear that we are not “forcing” in-game ads upon our players. Thus, the word “optional” is of key importance. None of our players have to change their game experience in any way if that’s what they prefer. All that you need to do is opt-out via the Options menu in the game.
Read more here.
The official Lord of the Rings Online website has a new developer journal concerning some of the elements of the upcoming Book 13, including solo info and info on the new area known as Forochel.
Somewhere within the frozen northlands of Eriador lies the remaining piece of a puzzle that both the Free Peoples and the servants of the Witch-king seek to claim as their own...
The Content team for The Lord of the Rings Online has been working day and night to bring you our latest free content update; Book 13: Doom of the Last-king! Due to the solo nature of the Bay of Forochel the majority of Book 13 will be soloable as well, but players should expect to have to team up for at least one chapter against the denizens of this icy region.
Doom of the Last-king was a very fun part of the Epic storyline to write; bringing in the Lossoth against one of their ancient enemies, Angmar. We wanted our players to see and visit a number of important locations and people in Book 13, including the ancient Dwarf-mines, the ill-fated elf ship, and maybe even get a glimpse of an ancient spirit whose deeds remained unfulfilled. Hopefully the Book 13 epic will provide a few twists and turns that you won't see coming!
Check it out here.
Cryptic Studios has posted an interview with John Layman, one of the Writers for Champions Online, where he talks about his work on Champions Online, his past experience, and more.
Today we get to talk with John Layman, the writer of Champions Online:
Q: What do you do as the Champions Online writer?
A: I come up with many, if not most, of the missions, as well as figuring out the big picture "overplots" for various neighborhood maps and the game's overall story. A lot of this involves coordinating with Jack Emmert and making sure the stories match his vision and his ideas, and talking things over with Steven Long at Hero Games to make sure that stories effectively utilize existing Champions lore whenever possible. I work with designers to get the missions into the game and provide them with villain and henchmen dialogue and mission-giver text and flavor. It's a job that provides a great deal of variety and opportunities to write in different tones and styles, a challenge which I enjoy.
Q: How long have you been working in the gaming industry, and what did you do before working on Champions Online?
A: I've been at Cryptic for about nine months now. Before that, I did freelance writing for games for about three years, but as a freelancer I was more on the periphery of the game industry than actually in it. I don't know the game industry like other people at Cryptic do, but get the sense that Cryptic is a very different environment than most game companies. As a comic book writer, I was able to sit on my couch in my underwear all day and type on my laptop. Sometimes I get into my cubicle at Cryptic and strip down to my underwear in order to work, and so far nobody has said a word.
Read more here.
Star Wars Galaxies has been updated with the lates chapter update, and SOE has posted the complete release notes for Chapter 9: The Fury of Exar Kun.
Temple of Exar Kun Heroic Encounter:
- A team of archaeologists has been searching the remaining temples on Yavin 4 to find lost Sith artifacts. While exploring the area around the Temple of Exar Kun , the team stumbled upon undiscovered catacombs hidden deep underground. What will they discover in the depths of the temple? Find out in this new heroic encounter!
Your journey to uncover the mysteries of the Temple of Exar Kun begins in the Aurilia Adventurer's guildhall.
- Storyteller blueprints have been added. Blueprints allow a storyteller to lay out a scene with storyteller props, save that scene, and deploy it quickly and easily. The storyteller vendor near the NPC theaters in each city offers a blueprint for sale. Use the radial menu on the blank storyteller blueprint in your inventory and choose Save Blueprint Data to save the complete scene.
You can also add a description to a blueprint that can be viewed in the Examine window.
- Ground targeting for storyteller prop placement has been added.
- Jukebox converters have been added to the storyteller vendor. A jukebox converter will make a storyteller prop that you target and that you own into a jukebox. It will then behave just like a normal jukebox storyteller prop.
- The music being played by a storyteller jukebox can now be heard whether or not you are part of that jukebox's story. The one exception is if you are participating in someone's story, then you will only hear music played by jukeboxes that are part of that story.
Read more here.
IGG has announced that the Alpha test for Wonderland Online has come to an end, and that the closed beta will begin on April 9th.
The Wonderland Online Alpha Test has now successfully ended. With our testers' help, we have found many important bugs and will be fixing them all as soon as possible. Thanks for your help!
Since the testers' Alpha Test character information will be wiped out, we have decided to make up for this by giving them the following bonuses.
1. All testers can keep their current accounts for the upcoming Closed Beat Test (no activation)
2. All testers will obtain 1 Turtle Car after the first Closed Beta maintenance (the first created character will obtain the Turtle Car)
3. All testers will obtain 100 Item Mall Points after the Item Mall opens to players.
Extra Bonuses for Guilds
1. Apart from the bonuses above, the following guilds will obtain some Item Mall Points which are worth 100 USD after the Item Mall is open to players. (We will give these points to the guild leader and then the leader will distribute them to their members at their own discretion.)
IGG has announced that a PK competiotion will take place in Zu Online on April 7th.
Zu Online is a recently released MMORPG from IGG. Today the Zu team announces that they will be holding a Guild PK Contest to establish the strongest Guild and to present winners with abundant rewards.
Event Duration: From now until 12:00 on April 7th (GMT-5)
- 1st place: Each teammate obtains 10,000 in-game Gold.
- 2nd place: Each teammate obtains 5,000 in-game Gold.
- 3rd and 4th place: Each teammate obtains 1,000 in-game Gold.
- 5th-8th place: Each teammate obtains 500 in-game Gold.
Read more here.
IGG has sent word of a monster slaying event in Voyage Century Online which could yield great treasures for adventurous players.
Remember that entertaining Boss Party we held for our players last Christmas? Have you been wanting to go after all that elite equipment again? Well, don’t worry because we are going to be giving you one more shot at it. 2 cities, situated on the Atlantic, are prospering because of their long histories and brilliant culture. However, there are some greedy monsters planning to seize these 2 cities and steal their treasures. You need to protect the 2 cities from being occupied by the monsters. By beating these loathsome monsters, you will obtain the treasure they are carrying with them.
Start Time: 8:00pm EST (GMT-5), April 5th 4:00am EST (GMT-5) and 10:00am EST (GMT-5), April 6th
At the beginning of the event, tons of monsters will appear in these 2 cities. Players can be a maverick and go after them alone or they can team up with other players to kill them. The event is divided into 3 phases, with each phase lasting 1 hour, and monsters appearing every half an hour. Once all the monsters are killed, the event is over.
In order to enable lower level players to join in this event, ordinary bosses will appear in Madeira, and powerful bosses (perhaps, even a super powerful boss or 2) will appear in Reykjavik. You’d better be in the right place at the right time if you hope to survive and gain abundant rewards.
Read more here.
Gamescampus has announced the addition of The Greatest Guild War to Ziah Rebirth, a PvP system which allows 50 guilds with 30 member teams fight it out in a free for all.
San Jose, CA April 1st, 2008 – Gamescampus has announced the introduction of “The Greatest Guild War” recently to its Free to play epic MMORPG, “Xiah Rebirth.” The guild war is a gigantic new PvP system which allows up to 50 guilds with over 30 players in each to battle it out free-for-all to see who gets bragging rights every week. Along with the new "Greatest Guild War" system in the PvP-focused changes, there have recently been a number of end-game content updates such as new maps, higher level cap, new monsters, more quests, and the inclusion of powerful new high-level armor sets. Currently Xiah Rebirth is holding several bonus event periods such as double pet experience rates for the next four weeks, and a triple metallurgical stone extraction rate for two weeks to allow players to better extract valuable enchanting materials from imbued items.
Read more here.
Flying Lab Software has posted an introduction to the Character Copy tool, which allows players to copy characters to the Pirates of the Burning Sea test server.
Testbed is a really useful tool that allows players to try out a build before it goes live. The downside is that it takes time and energy to level up characters on a test server, and that means we don’t get as much test feedback as we’d like to see. To that end, we are introducing the Character Copy tool to allow you to copy existing characters from other servers onto Testbed. That means they’ll be ready and able to test the latest features right away.
Read more here.
GameTribe has announced that on April 10th, players will have access to a new playable character.
The Infinity Fever is increasing… everyday new warriors join the fight!
As of April 10th you’ll have the chance to discover a new character to play with: Violet.
Furthermore new items will be available in the item shop to improve your gaming experience:
Essence of wide range attack (increase attacking range and angle by 10% and 10°)
Essence of growth (increase the experience rate by 50%)
Essence of luck (increase probability to be rewarded with an item of 100%)
So what are you waiting for? Run to the arena!
Check it out here.
GameTribe has announced some of the details of the upcoming April 9th Update including new potions, new quests and more.
On April 9th fly to Eversun and discover the brand new contents that GameTribe has reserved for you.
In the item shop you’ll find very useful new items:
First of all, a teleport gate to join your friends wherever they are from wherever you are!
The pet hibernation box ! This box stores a pet without losing loyalty
New potions to help you in your adventures :
Speed increase (Gale Pill),
Size increase/shrinking (Hulk/Midget pill)
600 HP increase (Health Booster)
300 MP increase (Magic Booster)
Last but not least new costumes to change your look (Kimono and Holy Cross).
Beside these new items, new quests will be available:
Flying quest step 2
Main quest step 6
All these new content will be added to DOMO during the weekly patch on April 9th.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com and IGG are pleased to present you a new beta offer for MMORPG.com registered members. We have 10,000 keys for the closed beta of Wonderland Online for our community!
If you would like to try out this new 2D MMORPG from IGG then you are in luck!
In our continuing coverage of EA Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood pens this article on the capital cities in the game.
Warhammer Online is an interesting game. Not just for what they are doing that is unique and innovative, but also for what they are doing that is a constant in MMORPGs. What do I mean? Well, while visiting the studios to get a look at the un-released game, I sat in on a presentation on cities. While virtually every MMORPG has cities, Warhammer seems to take city building to an extreme making large (very large) cities and filling them with content.
While we didn’t get to see every race’s starting city on our trip, we did get to see the two human cities, Altdorf and Inevitable City, giving us a great idea of both how similar and how different the cities can be.
Before we get into talking about the specific cities, we should probably talk a little bit about how the cities work and what is available in them:
Read the whole article here.
While attending the 2008 Indie MMO Developer's Conference in Minneapolis, Community Manager Laura Genender sat in on a round table discussion about the ever-popular End User License Agreement (EULA).
Every time I log into my MMO I’m faced with a wall of legal text, scrolling down for 5 long pages of information overload. Covering every topic from third-party software to account ownership rights to password protection, this EULA is your standard all-encompassing agreement between MMO provider and MMO players – but despite the fact that we click “I agree” buttons daily, how often do MMO players actually read through these endless License Agreements? And is it really worth it, considering the standard umbrella statements which leave the end user with little recourse?
This weekend at the Indie MMO Game Designer Conference, Erin Hoffman brought this discussion to the roundtable. Hoffman – a writer and game designer from philomathgames.com – is one of the leading forces behind Settlers of the New Virtual Worlds, an essay collection concerning player rights in virtual space and online games. Working in conjunction with Erik Bethke’s BetterEULA project (www.bettereula.com), Hoffman hopes to make the EULA more substantial and helpful to both developers and players.
Read it all here.
NCsoft has published the details of the new Powerset Proliferation in City of Heroes and Villains, which will give characters access to powers and abilities that were previously not available to their class.
I, Doctor Brainstorm, have unlocked the secrets of the universe! In the coming weeks you will see a lot of powers used by archetypes who never had access to them before, and I wanted to give you some forewarning of what you can expect/achieve with this new Powerset Proliferation!
With all the coming new powersets, I know you are anxious to find out who got what, and that is exactly what I am going to tell you. I will also go into a little detail on the “hows and whys” that certain choices were made.
From a development angle Plant Control just made sense for a Controller. I mean, it has the word “Control” right in the title! Controllers also get access to Thermal Radiation, to keep those spores, trees, and fly traps enveloped in the growing warmth of their own solar powers, as well as being a good thematic match to the current Fire Control powers they have access to.
With these formerly villain only powersets now in the hands of a heroic archetype, we also find out that the opposite is now true. Brutes get access to Battleaxes and War Maces, weapon-based powersets that they have been asking for. And with Issue 11’s Weapon Customization they have all the different implements of destruction at their disposal that Tankers do. For their secondary they get access to Super Reflexes, which is very good at helping them generate Fury while avoiding damage.
Read more here.
Masthead Studios has answer the latest Earthrise Question of the week which takes a look at the various types of terrain that the game will feature.
This week's question: We've seen some pictures of the environment now - how varied will Enterra island be, and do you plan on implementing things like weather? Will the environment be interactive (can we climb and fall from trees, or swim and drown)?
"Earthrise will provide players with environment that is rich and consistent throughout the island of Enterra. Our artists strive to create many different, visually striking environments that still create coherent and realistic feel across the whole game world. The majority of the island is covered with eye-catching and sprawling grass fields and hillsides, lush tropical jungles and high mountains with deep, foreboding canyon rifts that create beautiful vistas for players to enjoy as they walk through. Among that green paradise rises the towering cityscape of Sal Vitas, clean, almost sterile monoliths that emphasize the high achievements in technology and social advancements. The style of Continoma runs through majority of all necessities that players will have access to – from vendor terminals to local resurrection points that strive to bring back to life the unfortunate victims. Many of these technologies have been reverse-engineered by Noir and the further the players stray from the secure areas of Sal Vitas, the more obvious will become the sense of faction control.
Neutral territories will greet players with unique architecture that has grown from the roots of the past civilization, from the striking Asian flavor of Eastern Gardens to ruins spread across the land and the morbid shadows that spawn in the mutant-infested ruins of a city left behind from before the war. Many distant places will carry a deserted, derelict feel – with large scrapyards of abandoned technology that acts as a hideout of the forsaken groups, cities run by criminal organizations and forced to live in necessity. As players walk away from civilization and enter the vast territories that have been used for decades as transportation network for the rarest of materials on Enterra and now turned into contested areas open for entrepreneurs to fight for profit and control over the island’s economy, they will face the ravaged effect of constant struggle over the nature. Open fields void of untouched greenery but made into a constant battlefield will reflect on the aggressive spirit of the contested territories. Much of it will be made of what players build themselves, so the environment will be constantly changing; constantly evolving among the players own needs and conflicts.
Read more here.
The most recent State of the Game article has been posted on the Guild Wars official site, and wraps up their look at midline strategies.
Previous articles in this series have discussed individual Ranger and Mesmer responsibilities in midline shutdown. However, in an actual GvG, with an eight person team, these professions rarely work alone. The midline of a good team works together, much like the frontline pair does. This article covers the communication needed for efficient midline synergy. Throughout a match, the midline's communication should focus mostly on targets, skill shutdown, and team status.
‘Targeting communication’ is identifying to your team which opposing player you're shutting down. Even though it is typically undesirable for you to camp on one target, calling out that target gives your teammates enough information to find another target to shut down. For example, if Diversion is a problem for your backline, you can have your Ranger temporarily reserve Distracting Shot to take care of it. And if your Mesmer is on that target, then he or she can swap targets while your Ranger takes care of any other skills the opposing Mesmer tries to use.
Read more here.