Managing Editor Jon Wood recently sat down with the guys from Blue Orb, the company that has created Switchblade. Switchblade is a program that allows gamers to use an XBox 360 controller to play World of Warcraft.
Like many MMO players, over the last few years I find that I've developed the "gamer's hunch" whenever I sit down at the computer. You know the symptoms, your shoulders come forward, one hand goes to the mouse while the other hand goes straight for the WSAD keys. I've tried other things, like kicking back with the keyboard in my lap, but it's always seemed too big and bulky to be comfortable. Is it going to stop me from playing games? No. Does it keep me on the lookout for something that can help? Of course.
With that in mind, I sat up and took notice when ads started appearing on this site for the Switchblade, a device with the tagline: "Play World of Warcraft... With a 360 controller". The ad actually shows a guy suffering from "the hunch", and how using their product could help to alleviate it. I mean, the guy looks so happy in the after shot... Now, I want to be clear right now that this isn't a review of the product in question, that will come in time, but the ad did make me curious enough to book an interview with the guys over at Blue Orb, the company that developed the Switchblade.
Read more here.
NCsoft has announced that General British will be making a surprise inspection of the troops and their sci-fi knowledge tonight at various times across Tabula Rasa servers.
General British is known for making frequent appearances in the game, to the excitement of players, but the success of the launch of Tabula Rasa has prompted this “impromptu” event to be created.
“I wanted to quickly do something fun in-game as a thank you to the players who have made this such a smooth launch. We have continued NCsoft’s track record for incredibly successful launches and player interest and excitement is higher than we expected in both North America and Europe. The battlefields are full of players taking down Bane invaders & we’re having a blast kicking alien butt.”
Read more here.
Turbine has announced that their user written game guide contest has reached its final phase where DDO players are asked to vote on their favourite guide from the ten finalists.
The User-Written Game Guides contest has moved into the final round! Click Here to cast your vote for the most useful guide written by your peers! Voting is open until Friday night.For more information, see the official rules and announcement here.
Get more details here.
CCP has announced that EVE Online is now officially available on the Macintosh and Linux platforms.
EVE Online now available on Linux and MacintoshIf you've ever wanted to play EVE on Linux or Mac your dreams have come true. EVE Online now has versions for both these additional platforms. The EVE clients can be obtained on our download page.
Get more information here.
The folks at Dark Age of Camelot, in cooperation with the Make-a-Wish foundation, have added a new quest called 'Saving Zarees' written by a young man named Daniel, who has Marfan Syndrome and ants to be a game developer.
We are proud to introduce a quest that was written by someone very special. The Make-a-Wish foundation contacted us on behalf of Daniel, a young gentleman with Marfan Syndrome, whose dream is to become a game developer.
Daniel wrote up his idea for a quest based on his character and his companion and we've taken his wonderful ideas and implemented them in Dark Age of Camelot. The quest is called 'Saving Zarees' and is available from the NPC 'Tym' in the starting area (Cotswold, Mularn, and Mag Mell) of each realm. The quest is available at two level ranges to make it accessible to as many people as possible. It is available for characters level 7 to 10 and characters level 48 to 50. We encourage players to get on and try out their realm appropriate version and send us feedback on the quest; we will compile that feedback and send it to Daniel.
Read more here.
Blizzard has announced that first series of World of Warcraft Action Figures are now available. The first series by DC Unlimited will include iconic races and classes such as the Dwarf Warrior, Undead Warlock, Blood Elf Rogue, and more.
The new Series 1 World of Warcraft Action Figures by DC Unlimited are here! These amazingly detailed figures - debuted at New York's American International Toy Fair this year - have already garnered a high level of interest among World of Warcraft players, collectible enthusiasts, and the media. The initial set of figures will include a blood elf rogue, orc shaman, undead warlock, and dwarf warrior, fully decked out with the latest armor and weapons from the game.
The Series 1 figures are available at Toys "R" Us, comic book stores, and specialty stores nationwide. Call 1–888–266–4226 or head to the Comic Shop Locator Service to find the store nearest you.
Read more here.
IGG has posted an overview of their pet system in Zu Online, giving details on the benefits of owning a critter and how to take care of it.
In the world of Zu Online--http://zu.igg.com, pets are not only status symbols, but also can help you a lot. Once players have their own pets, their HP, MP, Attack Damage, Physical Defense and Magic Defense will be increased. Pets allow you to travel overland more quickly than on foot when you ride them. Even more, these pets can be equipped with equipment when they reach level 60, which will make them even more powerful.
Ways to Obtain Pets:
- Players can obtain temporary pets named Ink Kylin through quests when they reach level 20.
- Players can obtain low level pets called Ursus through quests when they reach level 30.
- You can also find the Pet Master in Holy City or Desert City and have the option to buy 3 different level pet eggs, which will give you a random pet.
Read more about pets in Zu Online here.
Each month, MMORPG.com brings you a profile of one of the developers working on Funcom's Age of Conan. This month, it's Loremaster Elliott Kingdon who answers our questions.
Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?Elliott Kingdom:
Fantasy gaming has been part of my life since I was twelve years old. A book called Warlock of Firetop Mountain came out and soon after I discovered Basic Dungeons & Dragons. I've been playing D&D ever since. At school I organized a lunchtime gaming club where we played the Dune boardgame, Judge Dredd boardgame and Nuclear War cardgame incessantly.
I got into PC's because I wanted to play X-Wing and went on to a degree in Information Systems but I spent a lot of my time at university playing Command and Conquer, King of Dragon Pass and Alpha Centauri, as well as Call of Cthulu and good old D&D.
I'm from the UK but was already resident here in Norway when I got the job at Funcom. It's the only job I ever saw with 'dungeon master' in the candidate requirements. I moved across the country to work here and it's been well worth it.
Read the whole thing here.
IGG has sent word of a number of upcoming Thanksgiving holiday related events in Tales of Pirates, including a Turkey Hunt.
The Tales of Pirates (http://top.igg.com) team wants to bring to its loyal players a special banquet to celebrate the coming Thanksgiving Holiday. As everyone knows an indispensable part of Thanksgiving is the turkey, so ToP will hold 3 rounds of Turkey Hunting activities during the month of November.
Thanksgiving In-Game Special Activities - Turkey Hunting Details:
The naughty turkeys have escaped from the oven and have stolen Santa’s Christmas gifts, meaning that the little children will wake up Christmas morning with nothing under the tree if the Pirates can’t get these gifts back. During the event, these turkeys will appear in Argent City, Shaitan City and Icicle City…. The turkeys will be dropping some items, collect and save them because they will be very useful during the Christmas holiday.
Read more here.
Vanguard Producer Thom Terrazas has posted a lengthy letter to the community detailing the issues and areas that the Vanguard team will be focusing on in the coming months.
These are pretty exciting times for Vanguard right now. The team is currently putting the finishing touches on Phase 2 and 3 of Update 3 after having launched an astounding performance update in Phase 1. We received a lot of great feedback from you on Phase 1, and we're going to continue our focus in delivering consistently high quality, engaging and in-demand content in each update.
I'd like to introduce myself to many of you that do not know me. My name is Thom Terrazas, Producer for Vanguard. In a few words, I've been with Sony Online Entertainment over 9 years (unofficially). During that time, I have and still do work, with some of the greatest people in the MMO world of whom I intend to solicit feedback from and use to my advantage. One of the best things that I have learned in this industry is to work closely with your team, while at the same time allow them to do their jobs and show off their talents - and we have some amazingly passionate and talented developers working on Vanguard. I give them a lot of credit for launching an MMO of this caliber, and you'll continue to see their talents shining through in our future updates.
Read more here.
The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with a profile of Taylor "Zoraka" Haley, QA Supervisor for Star Wars Galaxies.
What is your real name? Taylor Haley.
What is your official title/position? I am the QA Supervisor for Star Wars Galaxies.
How long have you been working on Star Wars Galaxies? I started working on SWG in January of 2003.
What profession do you like to play in Star Wars Galaxies? Various crafting professions have always been my favorite, although recently I've been playing smuggler more.
What do you enjoy most about your job on SWG, and why? I enjoy the environment I work in and the people I work with. We've got a good culture on this team, and I work with some amazing people.
Read more here.
The New York Times recently ran an article on Richard Garriott and Tabula Rasa, which launched last week.
AUSTIN, Tex. -- At the age of 46, Richard Garriott is an old man by video game standards. In fact, when it comes to games on personal computers, he could be fairly described as the old man.
Mr. Garriott has been one of the world's most famous game designers longer than almost anyone else. Starting in 1980 with Akalabeth and Ultima I, his early work defined home computer games as thoroughly as Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong defined the arcade experience.
The original Ultima series provided players with an expansive swords-and-sorcery fantasy world presided over by the majestic Lord British, a nickname for Mr. Garriott himself. But as with most early games, only one person could play at a time.
Read the full article here.
Auran has announced that because of popular demand, they are now offering a 10 day free trial for their PvP action MMO, Fury.
We've had a lot of requests for a free trial, and previously we've said we were planning to have a free trial available for Fury. Starting today, those plans are now a reality! If you don't yet have an account, or want to see if your friends will join you in-game, you can obtain a 10 Day FURY Free Trial account by visiting http://www.unleashthefury.com/freetrial/.
Grab a key, create an account and play as much as you like for the next 10 days. You can then choose to upgrade your Trial Account by purchasing the full game from a retail store or online at http://www.auran.com/auran/shop.htm.
We have also re-enabled all inactive Fury Challenge and beta accounts for 10 days. (Note: you may need to change the password on your account).
Read more here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
Q. My question is this ... Are HoTs from Vampiires, Valkyries, and Maulers affected by healing effectiveness from items and from Mastery of Healing?
A. No, they are not affected by Mastery of Healing and pluses to Healing like most heal spells. Although, Heal over time spells are unaffected by disease and heal for full value. It is a trade-off between the every day heal spells and heal over time spells. Thanks, Balancinator!
Q. Why is it that lately Cuuldurach will leave his den and kill people near Tailtiu? Is this a bug? Did Cuuldurach escape? Can/will you fix this issue?
A. When you’re hunting in dragon territory, beware! The Lumberjack explains: This isn't a bug. Each dragon has multiple patrol paths through their epic zone. After spending some time in the lair, they randomly choose which path to take and begin their flight through the zone. These patrol paths were established long ago when the epic zones were originally developed, though with the changes brought about during and because of "A Dragon's Revenge" they're more likely than before to go patrolling.
Open the Grab Bag here.
The EverQuest II official site has been updated with a preview of Rise of Kunark. The upcoming expansion will raise the level cap to 80 and the achievement point cap from 100 to 140, as well as new zones, new quests, new gods, adaptive combat music that changes with the tide of battle, and more.
Buried beneath a war-ruined land ravaged by centuries of conflict, a forgotten enemy rises. Exiled from their homeland and banished from Norrath's history, an ancient race emerges to uncover artifacts long thought lost. Engage in all-new adventures as you embark on a crusade to reveal the truth of the wars between the reborn Iksar Empire and the Sarnak. Adventure awaits in the fabled land of Kunark.
Read the preview here.
Continuing today's Tabula Rasa theme, Laura Genender shines her Community Spotlight on MMORPG.com user Chryses and his recent blog entry about his personal experiences playing TR.
This past Friday marked the official launch date of NCSoft’s Tabula Rasa; many players, myself included, set foot into a new MMO world with varied expectations and experiences. One such player, Chryses, shared his experiences through the first two days of Tabula Rasa gameplay in his blog Chryses’s articles and reviews.
Chryses had not participated in the Tabula Rasa beta and all of his expectations were formed off of official postings, screenshots, video clips, and forum threads. He came into the game expecting an average to below average experience. The game does, after all, get a lot of flack on the forums! “Tabula Rasa is a game that only receives hate or love postings on these forums,” explains Chryses.
Read it all here.
Back in September, MMORPG.com Community Manager Laura Genender gave us a preview of NCsoft's new MMO, Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa. Well, the game launched this past Friday and today Laura brings us her early impressions of the live version.
When the Tabula Rasa servers came up early this past Monday night, I was there and ready to explore the changes made since my beta preview in late September. I came into the game slightly tentative – my past TR experience had been fun, but not exactly fulfilling, and hadn’t really convinced me that this was a long-term habitat.
While I’m still leveling up and making a lasting decision on TR (yes, I will do a review!), my first few days were nothing short of fun. The changes were apparent right out of the tutorial. The missions were more appealing, with more guidance, voiceovers, and rewards that were actually useful to my Recruit. While drops and rewards still quickly replaced my original color palette chosen in character creation, the replacements were a neutral slate-blue instead of the former pink and orange eyesores. And all over the newbie world I found dye recipes to fix my armor up at a crafting station.
Read the whole article here.
MMORPG.com and NCSoft have teamed up to bring you an exciting new contest! From November 5, 2007 to December 5, 2007 @ 9PM EST we will be accepting entries into a random drawing where we will give away 50 prizes made up of 25 copies of Tabula Rasa and 25 copies of Guild Wars: Eye of the North! All you need to enter is a free MMORPG.com account!
As with all contests at MMORPG.com, the more days you login to our site the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details).
Are you ready to enter? CLICK HERE!
Funcom has released a new edition of the Clan of Conan newsletter for our reading pleasure.
Buried deep beneath an ominous mountain that looms behind Kheshatta, rests the infamous home of the Black Ring Citadel. This week we share a peek into this beautiful location with a new video, wallpaper and some new screenshots. Let us not forget to mention the new special feature that takes a glance at the character development in detail.
Read it here.
In this new column, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood sums up his thoughts on some of the happenings around the world of MMOs in the past week. This week, he talks about Warhammer Online's release date being pushed back, Tabula Rasa and EVE Online.
Well, it’s Saturday. That means that it falls on me to sit down and start a new weekly tradition here at MMORPG.com, the Editor’s Round-Up. In this new column feature, I’m going to look at one or more of the week’s top stories and do something I don’t often get to do: give my two cents.
We decided to add this column last week, and so I’ve spent the week trying to decide what major stories would pop out at me and make good fodder for the first edition of a column. I wasn’t having a lot of luck… That is, until Thursday night.
Read it all here.