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Guild Wars : Bonus Mission Pack Available

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet has announced that the Bonus Mission Pack is now available.

With the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack, you play through four pivotal moments in Guild Wars history and earn rare weapon rewards—some of the best-looking gear in the game!

  • Gather unique rewards as you play a key figure in the Battle of Jahai and go up against Palawa Joko and his undead army.
  • Experience Cantha's turbulent past when you bear witness to events in the violent Tengu Wars.
  • Learn firsthand how the White Mantle rose to power in Kryta.
  • And, finally, discover what became of Gwen after the Charr invaded her home, and the Searing destroyed everything she'd ever known.

Read more here.

WWII Online: Battleground Europe : New Version Notes

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

The developers responsible for Battleground Europe: World War II Online have released the patch notes for the version update that went live on January 22nd.


Unity 1.5 Graphics Engine Update:

  • Frame rate and stutter performance are dramatically improved in this release.
  • Improved terrain loading
  • Reduced memory footprint
  • Improved collision code
  • Improved OpenGL state handling
  • Vehicle hulks now queue for loading

Vehicle Marking:

  • All ground and air vehicles now have historical looking markings
  • These markings are per brigade
  • Each player will also have an identifying mark based on their game name (these are not globally unique)
  • For a complete list see the WWIIOL Wiki


Check out all of the notes here.

Lord of the Rings Online : To Russia with Hobbits

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced plans to release Lord of the Rings Online in Russia in conjunction with a company called IT Territory LLC.


WESTWOOD, MA -- January 28, 2008 -- Turbine, Inc. and IT Territory LLC (ITT) today announced a new relationship for the distribution of The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, the PC Game of the Year 2007. Under the terms of the agreement between Turbine and IT Territory, a leading publisher of online games in Russia and Eastern Europe, will operate and manage publication of The Lord of the Rings Online in the fast-growing Russian market.

“Our vision is to lead the growth of online games in Russia,” said Igor Matsanyuk, President of IT Territory. “We believe that The Lord of the Rings Online is the perfect franchise for us to deliver to our audience as part of this strategy. Our partnership with Turbine underscores the tremendous success, attention to detail, and transparency that our operations bring to the best game developers in the world as they seek to enter the massive Russian market.”

“The Lord of the Rings Online has taken North America and Europe by storm and we are committed to bringing the game to fans around the world,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “ITT is a major player in online gaming and we look forward to partnering with them to bring The Lord of the Rings Online to Russia.”

The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before. The Lord of the Rings Online is currently operating in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. For more information about The Lord of the Rings Online, please visit


More on LotRO here.

World of Warcraft : Lich King Bestiary

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

On Friday, Blizzard released a new "bestiary" page for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Wrath of the Lich King will introduce a vast new land and many new dungeons to the game. A multitude of strange and terrifying creatures inhabits the frozen continent of Northrend, and you can now catch the first glimpses of the denizens of Northrend on our new Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary page. This page contains a sampling of the many new monsters you will encounter as you venture deep into the forgotten lands and desolate wastes of the Lich King's domain. The Bestiary will be updated regularly, so make sure to check back often!

More on WoW here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Blackbeard Server Online

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Keith Cross

Over the weekend, the Flying Lab Software team fixed the glitches and put the Blackbeard server online.

We believe that we’ve remedied the technical glitches on Blackbeard and the server is now live. We will continue to monitor Blackbeard’s performance throughout the evening.

We thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.

More on Burning Sea here.

Age of Conan : Art Book Preview: Tortage

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Jon Wood

While in Norway, was provided with samples from the Age of Conan Art Book. Today, we look at art representing the disreputable Tortage.



Check out the images here.

Flyff : Q&A With Joon Kim

Posted Jan 28, 2008 by Jon Wood's Joe Iuliani recently had the opportunity to talk to Joon Kim, the Assistant Producer of the MMORPG, Flyff about the upcoming Version 10 of the flight-based game.

Can you describe the process of becoming a Master and Hero?

Joon Kim:

The first step in becoming a Master class is to attain level 120 with a standard job class. Once the user achieves level 120, they can venture into V10’s new area, Volcane Dungeon, to unlock the Master Quest. After completing Mastery, the user can unlock the Hero Quest (also within Volcane Dungeon) and embark on a journey to become a hero of Madrigal.

Read the whole thing here.

General : New Podcast

Posted Jan 27, 2008 by Keith Cross

The latest edition of the Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week on the Podcast, co-hosts Jon Wood and Keith Cross discuss Jon's recent trip to the Funcom offices in Oslo, Norway to take a look at Age of Conan as well as Funcom's other games. They also discuss Rock Band, X-box Live, and micropayments.

You can listen to the Podcast here.

Spellborn : Video Dev Diary

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Ben Krueger

A new dev diary video has been released this time featuring Romano Molenaar Lead Concept Artist. 

Video Interview Video Dev Diary
The Green District Conception with Romano Molenaar (Lead Concept Artist).

Watch more here.

Zu Online : Challenge a GM

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released information about an upcoming event in Zu Online where players are tasked with challenging the GMs.

This week, the Zu team will offer players a chance to show off their game control by challenging their GMs. Details are as follows:

Event Location:

Ghost Canyon and Blue Mountain

Event Contents:

  1. GMs from opposite factions will appear in Ghost Canyon or Blue Mountain.
  2. GMs will prompt players to find them through the world channel.
  3. GMs will stay in the same place for 10 mins after they tell players where they are, and then they will teleport to another place. If a GM is killed within the 10 minutes, they will also be teleported out.
  4. When players find a GM, the GM won’t attack them until they are attacked first.
  5. GMs will drop some random equipment when they are killed, and any player can pick them up.

Read more here.

Asheron's Call : January Release Notes

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has posted the release notes for Asheron's Call's January Update.

Hello and welcome to the Release Notes for the January 2008 update of Asheron's Call! This month we find that the seasons have once again changed, and a chill is in the air. With this change of seasons, we see the arrival of snow once again across the landscape. This of course means that players may run into a snowman or two in their adventures. Be careful though, as not all snowmen are friendly.

Some adventurers have been reporting that they have been having some problems recalling exactly what happened during some of Dereth's major events. Some feel that Aerbax is involved in this somehow. Perhaps speaking with Asheron could clear things up?

Lets see what else is happening in Dereth this month!

  • Alchemy peas have been added to the game. This will help those who use grenades create their wares in batches now. We suggest all those interested, speak with Janier al-Evv in Xarabydun.
  • With the turning of the seasons, the landscape has once again begun to take on a more winter feel.
  • The events that were started in October, will be turned off this month. This includes the Al-Jalima invasion, the Harvest Reaper spawns, and the the Majestic Pumpkin.
  • Frosthaven has once again become an active area. Make sure to check the area out and help the snowmen.
  • Rumors of a Snowman who is need of assistance have been floating around recently. They say he has been seen most frequently in the mountains to the northeast.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Sait's Rebellion

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with the back-story to a new quest series that revolves around the defection of an Imperial Star Destroyer Captain.

Chief Olum heard the klaxons echoing through the ship and knew that the traitorous captain had put his plan into motion. The stormtroopers could be heard thundering down the hallways, carrying out Sait's orders to remove all crew members who were not loyal to him. Olum didn't have much time.

When Kenkirk had approached Olum the day before to test his allegiance, he was wise enough to keep his mouth shut. The Star Destroyer was in deep space, far from the eyes of the Empire, and the chief engineer was well aware that Sait had an entire legion of stormtroopers at his command.

"The captain has decided to join the Rebel Alliance?" Olum had asked the lieutenant.

"Don't be foolish," snapped Kenkirk. "The Empire will squash that little uprising before too long. This isn't about politics."

"Then what is it about?"

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Double XP Weekend

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has announced that they will be holding a double XP weekend from February 8th until the 10th in City of Heroes / Villains.

Double XP Returns!

Villains, prepare to plot your take over of the world in double time! Heroes, clean the streets of scum twice as fast! The ever popular Double XP weekend returns!

Starting on Friday, February 8th following our weekly maintenance period, all defeat rewards, including experience, prestige and influence or infamy will be doubled! This will continue through the weekend and conclude the night of Sunday, February 10th.

To discuss this event, join us on the Official City of Heroes Message Forums.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : 2008 Events Schedule

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Warhammer Online have posted a calender of events where they will be showing off WAR to the public.  Events included are the New York Comic Con, Toronto Games Day, San Diego Comic Con, Penny Arcade Expo, and more.


Dying to show your support for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning or just learn more about the game and its development? Well stop on by any of the following events for your chance to get your Waaagh on!!!

We'll be all over the US and sneaking into Canada this year and we'll be doing it in style. Engage in RvR, meet the Devs, get to know some of your fellow community members and check out the rest of the show while you're at it. 2008 will be a year to remember!

Read more here.

Guild Wars : PvP Predictors Propose Predictions

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

Last week ArenaNet put the word out that they were looking for player's with the skills to become PvP predictors.  Now, the predictors have been chosen and they have made their predictions for this month's tournament.

You've seen the Xunlai predictions our writers made for past tournaments. More recently, we asked you to show off your own prowess at prognostication. And you answered. From the submissions we got, we gathered several likely PvP Predictors and published their results below.

Predictor: Prophet Jakal


  1. Dark Alley [dR]
    With players from famed American guilds [QQ] and [iQ], these players have ample tournament experience. Unfortunately they haven't been able to show this because of connection problems that have been plaguing them, including a last minute error that forced them to forfeit last month's tournament. If their connection is stable, expect [dR] to give a performance equal to their rank on the ladder.
  2. Close Encounter [cE]
    A guild reform including people from both [EW] and [vZ], I expect them to give any guild in the tournament a run for their money, especially if they are on top of their game. I expect them to easily deal with the Japanese split-oriented builds, but falter against [dR] whom they will have little experience facing.
  3. Supernova Jpn [SpNv]
    [SpNv] has proven time and time again that they can play with the best of them. Not only has [SpNv] been around for a very long time, but they have finished in the top 16 (seven times) in the $100,000 Tournament Series including 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes. Expect them to breeze through the Swiss rounds, but fight with lag and teams more capable of facing their play style.

Read more here.

Zu Online : Exclusive Screens

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks over at IGG have been kind enough to send us three exclusive screenshots for their upcoming MMORPG, ZU Online


See them all here.

General : Hardware Report - CES

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Jon Wood

Earlier this month, Carolyn Koh traveled to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While there, she had the opportunity to talk to a number of different game developers. Still, you can't go to CES without checking out the newest gadgets. Today, Carolyn gives us a look at some of what she saw.

Apart from the media events, hardware companies show on the floor of the convention center. Most are in the Sands Convention Tech area or South Hall. I made the trek out to North Hall just for Razer as they had a meeting room rather than a booth. CES boasted a “gaming” section this year which was dominated by furniture type gamer accessories as most other game hardware companies had other CE lines, or simply stayed where they’ve traditionally exhibited.

I started off hunting for my usual suspects that I’d seen at previous CES – Logitech – lots of “Digital Lifestyle” goodness: new remote, wireless keyboard, music server – Saitek was in the Bellagio and I ran out of time – that’s one I regret missing and Patriot memory was in a private meeting room – oh well, I then moved onto the other interesting ones that had come across my email as a member of the media, and some I ran across on the show floor. Some of them are doozies, so without further ado, here are the “nifty” gamer stuff I saw at CES 2008 in Las Vegas.

Read it all here.

Tabula Rasa : Designing Fault Lever

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

Tabula Rasa world builder David Vargo guides us through the design process and philosophy behind the Fault Lever instance in Tabula Rasa.

I think one of the important things about being a world builder is making a lasting impression on players through visually compelling environments.  I’ve tried to accomplish this goal in Fault Lever by keeping the level’s layout believable while fun, providing interesting highlights and details to the backstory, and focusing on the mood or character of these spaces.  

It was pretty clear how to begin Fault Lever’s design because the associated shared map, Thunderhead, had all of the relative environmental features I wanted to incorporate.  The design document called for an underground instance map connected to the north face of the massive Ligo Fault Rift.  The players’ ultimate mission within this instance is to turn off the four hammers (shockwave inducers) found within the shared map’s rift..  Because the mission objectives were closely connected to the shared map, I felt it important to integrate visually the rift and accompanying elements into the instance map.  However, this design direction presented unique layout challenges.

I had a strong desire to show how the interior spaces related to the exterior terrain features.  One of the ways I achieved it was by creating windows that look out from the control rooms in the instance map into the rift where the hammers are firing off their energy bolts.  That posed a problem where we had to make sure that I recreated all the shared map’s visible environmental features onto the separate instance map.  So I had to work closely with Michael Hutchison, the shared map’s world builder, to make sure any changes he made also made it to the instanced map.  It took more coordination than usual, but being able to see out onto the exterior was crucial because it allowed the players to create a visual link between the two maps.

Read the full dev diary here.

Wonderland Online : Collection System Preview

Posted Jan 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released a preview of the collection system in Wonderland Online.

Wonderland Online, an IGG game, has been highly anticipated by many players since it was first announced. Today the Wonderland team is going to give you a little preview of the collection system.

There are 3 major resources in Wonderland. They are ore, log and grass. To obtain them players need the corresponding collection skills such as mining, lumbering and collection. There will be a large demand for various grasses, such as Asakusa, Vine, and Fruit which can be obtained through collection as players make their way through the game. There are also some useless weeds, so players should spend some time improving their collection level so as to improve the efficiency of grass collection. When the collection level is high, it's convenient for players to either sell or use them.

To learn the grass-collection skill, players need to obtain five barleys from the monsters at the chicken farm of North Island and hand them to the farmer at the farm in the west of South Island. Also, the chicken farm at North Island is also an ideal place for lvl 12+ players to lvl up. Use cleaner when players are near grass resources, and then they can start to collect these grasses. Since few people focus on this skill, it's a good way to make money.

Read more about Wonderland Online here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Forum Moderation Policy Change

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab Software has stated that they will be making changes to their forum moderation policy for their Pirates of the Burning Sea forum.

As the Pirates of the Burning Sea community grows, and with it our moderation team, we have to evolve our community policies and tools to match.

As a part of this ongoing process, we are changing some of our forum moderation policies. From today onwards we will be using a system of warnings and bans that all moderators will follow.

How does this affect you? Well, website users who post something that violates the Community Rules will receive a warning. If you rack up enough warnings, you will get an automatic temporary ban. Over time if you continue to break the rules these bans become more and more severe and can result in a permanent revocation of your forum privileges.

We are reasonably hopeful that we wont have to issue bans very often, as our community has always proven to be both mature and thoughtful. These new moderation policies will assure that we maintain that high level of quality interaction on our forums, in addition to improving the communication of our expectations governing forum behaviours.

Read more here.

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