GameZone.com has recently sat down with Gaile Gray of AreaNet for a few questions. Here is a snippet from the interview:
Question: Well, right out of the bag, how can you afford to offer this game without a monthly subscription fee?
Gaile: We can offer Guild Wars without charging a monthly subscription fee because our on-demand streaming technology allows us to adopt an expansion model. This gives gamers what they want: choice. We certainly intend that each chapter in the evolving Guild Wars universe will offer enough cool new stuff that you will want to buy every one of them, but the choice is yours. You can always play with the content from the chapters you have purchased, and more importantly, you can always play with your friends, regardless of which chapters they have purchased. It's a win for our customers, because they never have to feel like they are paying the cable bill, and it's a win for us, because we hope to have a much larger online community!
You can read the full interview at this link.
Recently, Jake Rodgers - the Art Director for Star Wars Galaxies posted a letter to the community. He details the present and future states of the visuals in SWG. Below is his letter:
I'm happy to have another opportunity to say hello. My name is Jake Rodgers- Art Director of Star Wars Galaxies. For those of you who have been with the game since the beginning, you've seen many, many changes- we thank you for being part of the journey. If you're just joining us- welcome, and let me say you have only seen the beginning...
After the launch of the game last June, we didn't slow down. We had very high expectations of what we wanted to create, to finish what we thought would complete the foundation. In short, we've created a universe full of possibility- a place where you can not only live in the Star Wars universe, but you can chose from an array of professions, drive your own landspeeder, build your own house, and even be mayor of your own city.
We have gained new focus in our production process and our publish cycles. We now are making publishes more concentrated, more focused, and more thematic, so we can really combine the efforts of art, programming, and design. It has been such a rewarding experience to not only work with the development team, but with you as well. Having the community more and more involved has been a very positive experience, and has made the game immensely better.
We've been planning for the next several months with these things in mind, and it just keeps getting more exciting. What is next for the art team? The space expansion, for one. You'll see images from the space expansion soon. We have been busy designing and building all the ships you'd expect to see, and many you've never seen before. Soon you'll not only see them, you'll be able to craft, customize, and fly them!
In the next several publishes, you should also expect to see new art going in with each profession revamp. The first pass will be for Image Designers, but you can also expect new dance animations, clothing, armor, weapons (lots of weapons!), furniture, droids, mounts, some great new bunkers and caves, and some very special surprises coming as well.
Once again, we hope to go beyond your expectations for the look of the game. See you there...
We are happy to announce that on Tuesday 9th of March, both "Promised Land" and "World of Legends" Servers where updated with the latest patch. Simply connect, as normal and your client will be automatically updated.
This Patch has many new and exciting features including:
Long range and support modes for your pet, as well as a handy teleport device, that brings it back to you instantly, no more trudging back to town to fetch "Fluffy"
Sealoost Dungeon gains an extra floor and some terrifying new inhabitants.
A whole new class of items for all races and levels that you make yourself, these new "Platinum" items are something special and will be well worth the effort of making them, yes that's right, you, the players make these!
Mother Dragon is extending her power! And has made her home twice as big, and if that's not bad enough she has specially created 9 new monsters to serve her!
However all is not lost for the Shilon Sorcerors have created a special portal that makes reaching Paros much easier.
Chakarums can now be put into the quickslot for a more dynamic attack method, (you've heard of "point and click" well now "click and point" for that long range kill!) Chakarums now have there own grindstone too, so no more sharpening them on the Laglamia statures.
This weekend saw the launch of a major new in-game technology to players of eGenesis' award-winning MMORPG title "A Tale in the Desert".
"The Test of Flight" challenges players to choreograph complex aerobatic displays using a sophisticated system of automated gliders and smoking contrails. The players who produce the most spectacular displays in the game will be elevated towards the coveted rank of "Oracle of Art".
The Test of Flight is the most recent of seven challenges faced by followers of the discipline of art. Other art challenges include the design of advanced pyrotechnics, the creation of impressive sculptures, and the construction of beautiful ornamental flower gardens.
Andy Tepper, lead developer at eGenesis, commented: "I'm amazed at some of the designs we've already seen, and judging from the other Art tests, I know that Egypt will soon see some truly impressive displays."
HomeLan posted an interview with JÃ¸rgen Tharaldsen from Funcom about their upcoming expansion, Alien Invasion. The interview was a good read which gives a great idea on the current status of Anarchy Online and also on the future expansion.
Read the official article here: http://homelanfed.com/index.php?id=21449
An interview at Worthplaying.com about the new Everquest Engine was posted on 2/25/04 (sorry we were a little late covering this). There are a lot of cool things proposed in the engine update, below we'll highlight some of them covered in this interview:
Check out this article for even more information on this update: http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=16309
Mojo Games has announced a new and exciting feature for Thesa Online. They are going to open up a couple newbie zones in Thesa that allow players to enjoy the game without time limits and at no charge. Here is their official press release:
March 6, 2004
Chicago- Mojo Games International, an entertainment marketing company specializing in wireless embedded, console, and online games, is happy to present a free limited version of the massively multiplayer RPG, Thesa:
Online. The feature limited service will include access to the following in-game areas:
- Port of Dawn
- Beginner's Hunting Area East & Beginner's Hunting Area West
In addition, players using the free limited play will be able to freely interact with subscribing players. New players are welcome to take advantage of this offer and see for themselves what we have to offer them.
The free play offer is not time-limited; however to be able to access new areas, new features and updated game content, and be able to develop characters to higher levels users are urged to subscribe.
To enjoy this special offer, you can visit this link.
Sigil Games, the company known for their "secret project" MMORPG has made a recent press announcement regarding their latest recruit - Mike Hutchins who will fill the role of "Senior Designer". As many might remember, Mike was a heavy hitter in many EQ projects as well as other MMORPG titles. Here is their official press release:
SAN DIEGO, California - March 8, 2004 - Sigil Games Online, Inc. today announced that Mike Hutchins, one of the first game designers/level builders assigned to the original "EverQuest" team and builder of zones like Solusek A& B, Mistmoore, Neriak, and the Hole, has accepted the position of Senior Designer with the company.
"It's great to be working with Hutch again," said Brad McQuaid, President and CEO of Sigil Games Online. "With all of these old school EQ team members joining Sigil, this place feels more and more like home everyday."
Mike began his career as a World Builder for the original "EverQuest" in 1997. Over the course of his career, he has held the positions Senior Game Designer, Assistant Producer and Lead Systems Designer on games such as "EverQuest," "EQ: Ruins of Kunark," "EverQuest 2," "Earth & Beyond" and "Ultima X: Odyssey."
"I am looking forward to working on this project with Brad and the rest of the team," said Hutchins.
It has been announced on the Realms of Torment forums that, due to legal issues, the name of the upcoming MMORPG will have to be changed. No word at the moment as to what the name will be, but we will let you know as soon as it it official.
As a result, the website name will change as well, but surfers will get redirected for a time, so this link will get you to the official site for some time.
You can check out the forum thread announcing the impending new name at this link.
Two systems that are currently being focused on are Combat and Community Building. As the next three months go by, players will start to see fixes and optimizations rolled out two these two systems on a technical side.
The art team is finishing up a very interesting addition to the game that I cannot talk about just yet as that would ruin the surprise. Once that is done they are going to start building more monsters. I've seen some of the concepts for them and they are looking pretty cool.
There have been a few discussions regarding the Shadow Dragon. I want to clearly point out that the Shadow Dragon is not meant to fill any role other than a part of the Rite of Passage. He is in the game right now so we can see how he functions in a combat situation. Whether he stays the way he is or gets harder is yet to be determined. But rest assured, he will not hook into anything other than the dragon advancement quest. We don't want people farming him and preventing dragons from completing the Rite of Passage because part of their quest is constantly camped. Yes, this does mean that we are in the final phase of testing for Dragon advancement and players should expect to see this very soon!
You can read the entire update by following this link.
Dear Dransik Classic Faithful:
During the past few years Dransik Classic has engaged your senses and enriched your fun on the internet. Dransik Classic's founders, led by Jason Ely and Doug Gessler, have worked very hard with us here at TKO Software to make the Dransik Classic game available, but with great difficulty we relay the following decision.
TKO Software, publishers of Dransik Classic, have decided to discontinue Dransik Classic, effective today. We came to this decision after much consideration and with great reluctance, as the Dransik Classic game is our original MMORPG. However, for the past couple of years, AsylumSoft has worked very hard to make the subscriber base grow and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, it has not. We recognize that MMORPGs have changed over the years, and we know that there are other good games out there to play. We invite Dransik Classic users to Ashen Empires.
All of us at TKO Software greatly appreciate your support and participation in the Dransik Classic community. In addition, we are grateful for the kindness and enthusiasm that has been extended to all of us by so many of you. Jason Ely joins me along with the rest of the TKO team in wishing you well in your online adventures.
Jacob Hawley, CEO
TKO Software, Inc.
Ashen Empires, TKO's flagship MMORPG, will continue in beta with a release currently scheduled for the first half of 2004. For more information, visit the Ashen Empires website here.
In an attempt to alleviate server lag issues, servers 1 and 2 of Conquer Online will be relocated from China to the United States today, March 9, according to the official site. This will result in a temporary outage, but, and I am quoting the website here, "...don't be alerted. Joy will come to you very soon."
The same item on the official site decrees that, "Now all your pain and despair will go away forever. Happiness and fun will come back to you from this day on."
The item is here (Lotto and Pick 3 numbers not included).
MMORPG.COM is proud to present our 1000 Beta Giveaway contest for Risk Your Life! Risk Your Life is a fantasy based game from CiB Net Station. They have authorized us to issue 1000 beta accounts for their closed beta phase. We will be giving away these prizes on March 21, 2004 at 9PM EST.
You can enter this contest at this link.
The World of Ryzom site has recently posted their developers chat log. It covers some interesting topics. Here is a bit from that interview:
Q: How would a famous guild benefit from its status?
A: Each has his own fame. Then people from a certain civilisation have specific missions which are only for guilds. Guilds with higher fame will have access to those missions, they are related to outpost. Then when acquiring those outposts, your guild will gain some specific points, which grant you access to higher missions, with higher stakes.
Q: Will the be guild buildings include halls or meeting places?
A: Guild have a guild buildings. They have to buy it, it is located in the big trees for the Matis as an example. then with the guild points, you will be able to evolve this building.
You can catch the full interview at this link.
Dark Ages has introduced a feature, known as the "Knights".
"For the first time in Tumair, Loures is granting the title of Knighthood to select Aislings, a position once held only by Mundanes"
Check out all the action right here! http://www.darkages.com/
A new patch was released in El Kardian on March 5th. The patch adds a few notable features to the game:
You can read the official news post here: http://www.elkardian.net.sg/
Today is the last day for Monster & Me's magic pill quest (March 5th - 7th PST). This quest was part of a special event in which features a new pet, Dolphina, as a reward. The official news post offers some hints as to how this quest will be solved.
Read the official post here: http://www.monsterandme.com/Cyz_news/result/news/mm-2004-3-5-15-35-58-1.htm