Martin J. Schwiezer, CEO of Reakktor, has posted an overview of the upcoming Neocron expansion in the News section of the official website. The expansion, entitled "Neocron: Beyond Dome of York", will be a major overhaul to the game and is slated for release in the second quarter of 2004. Per Schwiezer, pre-orders will be available on the Neocron website starting March 15.
The plan file covers many aspects of the existing game as well as the expansion. From the new 3D engine:
The 3D-rendering of the "Tekktonic - Virtual Worlds Engine" gets a major overhaul to take advantage of today's 3D hardware generation's features. Thanks to an upgrade to Direct X 9, the engine will support the nowadays common features like higher texture resolutions, higher polygon counts, and several new shading technologies. This will raise the overall quality of the graphics by quite a bit (real-time bump-mapping, realistic lighting and shadows, photorealistic water etc.).
To the new Wisdom of Ceres skills:
The Wisdom of Ceres (WoC) Skills can only be attained by capped players. E.g. If a tank has reached strength 100, he can continue to gain XP. To reach the first level of WoC-strength, he will not only have to gain a lot of XP, but also find a certain artifact, as well as an NPC that will train him. WoC skills will give you access to a diversity of powerful items like weapons and tools.
It even covers the red-light district:
[A]ll strippers in the game will be replaced by higher detail models with complex motion-capturing animations. This is also true for the peep-shows, bar dancers etc.
The entire plan file may be accessed here.
The official Shadowbane website includes an article by Kellion about the current state of and future plans for Shadowbane. The item recaps recent issues regarding Shadowbane's European release:
Although we were extremely excited about our success in December, January has turned out to be phenomenally better. Finally, after a year in total limbo following the dissolution of the European Shadowbane publisher, Ubisoft was able to acquire the rights to distribute and offer Shadowbane to our many friends and fans there. Just two weeks ago, the first German, English, French, and Italian gamers started arriving in the worlds of Aerynth. The entire Shadowbane team is overjoyed to see our European and North American fans united at last.
Also covered are some of the upcoming additions to the game, including the next macro-zone:
In March, the next major content patch for Shadowbane, "Rise of the Upstart Gods," will be released. This major update will include a new macro-zone that features our second Epic Encounter in Shadowbane. We wanted to show you our concept for the new super-powerful monster.
The State of Shadowbane may be read in its entirety here.
GameSpy has just posted 10 exclusive screens showing the many faces of the new and extremely anticipated sequel to Everquest. In this new gallery you will see images of elves, humans, dwarves, orcs, skeletons, wolves as well as various landscapes from within the game.
Click here to view all of the screens.
Codemasters has just published a new developer diary. This one is by Taija Seppala, an animator for the Dragon Empires team. Here is a small bit from the article:
Currently everyone in the studio is working away to meet our deadlines for the next Beta and for the first time I'm not only seeing the monsters we've animated over the past year-and-a-half wandering aimlessly around the world but actually thinking for themselves! Over the past couple of weeks I've been attacked by dozens of angry predators, chased by them relentlessly and in turn bashed their little heads in with a big axe. Being an animator in the games industry is not for the faint of heart, it takes a lot of guts (or just plain stupidity) to walk up to a creature as big as a bus and just poke it to see if it reacts!
You can check out the full article at this link.
MMORPG.COM has just obtained 9 exclusive screen shots for Pirates of the Burning Sea. They feature the new addition of shadows that was recently added to the graphics engine! The detail in these shots is truly amazing! You can view all of the new screens in our PBS gallery.
The developers of UXO have made a large update to their website today (1/29/04). Here's a look at some of the things they've added:
To view these updates, check out the UXO website: http://www.uxo.ea.com
And finally, we'd like to again thank Calandryll for being with us on our forums. It's truly an honor =)
The official BiosFear web site has posted that they will officially go pay to play on Feb 10, 2004. Here is the official post from their site:
On Tue, Feb 10.2004 will be the start of the commercial service of BiosFear UK.
That means everybody can play for 14 days without providing payment details. After that access is denied for every account which has not been provided with payment details.
Current Open-Beta users have time to enter their payment details till Mon, Feb 23 (midnight) or access will be terminated. After that date they can still reactivate their account and regain access by providing payment details.
The Pirates of the Burning Sea Community web site has just posted their interview with the developers at Flying Labs. It is the first part of a series and answers a lot of interesting questions. You will need to join their community to read the full interview (it's free), but here is a snippet:
Community: Because of this activity you can ask the community for ideas and concerns. How far has that influenced the game this far? And for future releases?
FLS Design Staff: It has certainly charged our own conversations about issues such as PvP, combat, ship controls, crew, and so on. We often cite discussions on our forums when we talk to each other about such issues. We end up making our own decisions, because ultimately we have to make the game we believe in, but the discussions are very helpful to us.
We expect community involvement in the beta to be extensive, of course. And because we are putting an emphasis on adding features and content regularly after release, thanks to Valve's Steam software, community feedback on what features to prioritize will be an important part of our planning.
If you would like to check out the full interview, then follow this link.
We have just received word from Mutable Realms that on January 31, 2004 - their last day of beta they will be holding an in-game chat with the beta testers. Here is their official release:
Huntsville, AL - January 28th, 2004 - Mutable Realms, the makers of the upcoming Ultra Massive Online Role Playing Game "Wish" will hold a live Developer Q&A with their beta testers on Saturday January 31st at 5pm Eastern Standard Time. This will mark the final day of the company's initial beta test.
The Q&A will feature Mutable Realms' President Marc Laukien, Wish Producer James C. Moffet IV, Lead Software Designer Matthew Newhook, and World and Live Content Designer Dana Massey. They will answer fan questions for two hours outside the in-game city of Barleydale. Mutable Realms' partner for conducting the Beta Test, the Themis Group, will moderate this event.
"In the name of all our employees, I would like to thank our testers for their great feedback over last weeks, " said Marc Laukien, President of Mutable Realms. "We have an outstanding testing community, which is very supportive, and brought new ideas to our attention, many of which will be implemented for the next beta test."
Over the course of the first beta test, Mutable Realms ran a two-week trial of Live Story Content. Live Story is made possible by the company's advanced server technology that will allow all of Wish's subscribers to play in one seamless game world. The two-week plot arc will conclude on the evening of Friday January 30th, at 7:30pm Eastern Standard Time.
Interested players can sign up for a future chance to test Wish through the Themis Group website (http://www.themis-group.com/wish/beta_app.phtml).
IGN has just added 5 new screen shots to their gallery for City of Heroes. These shots show some great scenes from the current version of the game some even show weapons and special abilities in action.
You can check them out at this link.
It is been a long time since we have seen any updates posted at the official Roma Victor web site...the silence has been broken and they have posted 8 very exciting animations of various characters and actions in the game.
You can view them all at this link.