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Fury : Preview Weekend

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Auran has announced that Fury will be holding a free preview weekend starting today, Friday July 27, with up to 200,000 accounts being issued on a first come first served basis.

Fury's servers will be open for 60 hours from midday Friday July 27 (Saturday morning in Australia/Asian time zones) and up to 200,000 log-in accounts will be issued on a first come first served basis (accounts are currently still available). Simply point gamers to www.unleashthefury.com/PreviewEvent to get their free key and receive download instructions. Existing Closed Beta testers will be able to use their existing account, or if they've lost it, apply for a new one.

Get all of the details here.

Tales of Pirates : Double Experience Weekend

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that Tales of Pirates will be holding a double experience weekend from July 28th to July 30th.

Tales of Pirates: Weekend Double XP Event

IGG is going to hold Double Exp event and Item Mall Overall Special Offer to welcome the coming new version of Tales of Pirates (http://top.igg.com).

Double Exp event

The Double Exp event will be held for two weekends from 0:00 EST July 28th - 0:00 EST July 30th & 0:00 EST Aug 4th - 0:00 EST Aug 6th for all servers.

Item Mall Overall Special Offer

All items available in our item mall are at 20-50 percent discount now until ET (GMT-4) 6:00 AM August 20.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : LotRO Google Maps

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced the addition of the LotRO Google Maps feature to the Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook.

Introducing LOTRO Google Maps!

We're pleased to bring you a brand new LOTRO Lorebook feature - LOTRO Google maps! Use this feature to add detailed maps, plot quest paths, and mark locations in your Lorebook entries, or just explore the game from a bird's eye perspective.

Visit our Editing Maps section for tips on getting started. For a taste of what LOTRO Google Maps can do, check out Frodo's Path to Rivendell!

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Greenskin Starting Area Description

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

A while back, MMORPG.com ran the first part of an interview with Mark Davis and Steve Perlins from EA Mythic. Yesterday, MMORPG.com presented you with an overview of your first few hours as a Dwarf. Today, we bring you the conclusion of the interview where Mark brings us up to speed on the first few starting hours in the life of a Greenskin.

"When we first got into this... revising these areas, we were largely happy with the Greenskin area. But, after we had really put our resources into re-doing the Dwarf area and re-imagining that whole place, we looked at the Greenskin area and weren't that happy anymore. We though 'ya know, we can do Greenskins better."

Personally, I like the idea of developers overhauling something they don't think is quite as good as it could be. In today's MMO world, there are too often complaints that games are rushed to market without being completed, let alone polished and re-tooled.

Read the whole article here.

Voyage Century Online : New Version Client

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that a new edition of Voyage Century will soon be available. The new edition will include several new systems including the Gem Enchasing System, new maps, new challenges, and more.

After 7 months' successful running, Voyage Century (http://vc.igg.com) has proven to be a marvelous game with a profound cultural background. Now, the highly anticipated new edition of Voyage Century is going to be released, in which elements from the new and old editions combine to form a fantastic world.

Now, with the new edition undergoing final testing, we believe it will be in general release very soon. Apart from the systems included in the current edition, new systems and contents are added into the game such as a gem enchasing system, new equipment and a new map.

Among the new content included you will find three new features as below:

Gem Enchasing System

Carnelian, Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond and Black Diamond have been added into the game. There are different gems with different attributes. Players can enchase them onto their jewelry or weapons according to their need, making their jewelry unique.

Skill Upgrade

In the new edition, a skill levels upper limit has been increased to 120.

New Maps, New Challenges

A mysterious world opens its door to the players in the new edition, Hurricane Island.

Located in the North Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland, Hurricane Island is a small, mystic island never found before, where bizarre creatures ,dinosaurs, lizardmen and aboriginals run rampant. Do more unknown things lie ahead? The Island is waiting for its first visitors.

Read more about Voyage Century http://vc.igg.com.

General : MMOWTF: To Twitch or not to Twitch

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

Weekly MMORPG.com columnist Dan Fortier takes a look at the idea of using twitch-based combat in an MMORPG.

Of all of the features requested by gamers on a virtually non-stop, a twitch combat system stands out as one that is constantly ignored for all the wrong reasons. The industry standard MMO combat system of click-and-wait has proven that it is easier to balance and cheaper to implement, so it's no surprise that many developers have shied away from a more active combat system. This week, I want to expose a few myths about twitch combat systems and see what trends might play out in the future for the genre. Take off your rose-colored glasses and read on.

When I say 'Twitch' combat, I'm referring to a system that gives players with faster reaction time, better aim or quicker wits a decided edge in combat. You could make a case that even auto-attack systems can achieve this to various degrees and you would be right, but for the purpose of this article, I'm specifically referring to systems that have a real-time element to them rather than a 'stack' or queue for your actions. There are many different ways of integrating this real time element into combat and there are even various hybrid type systems that have been used to create a more exciting combat experience. Games like Fallen Earth and Age of Conan are already promising these types of systems, but only time will tell how successful they will be, since most games have enough issues without trying to raise the bar.

Read the whole column here.

Second Life : Gambling Banned in Second Life

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Linden Labs has announced that there will no longer be any gambling activities allowed in Second Life, citing the need for compliance with real world laws.

[UPDATE: Wednesday, July 25 4:47PM PDT] For those of you who find logging into the Knowledge Base to be sort of kludgy (and I know it is -- we'll find a better way!), I've pasted the text of the policy and FAQ below.

Several months ago we discussed the issue of gambling in Second Life (R) in a blog post, and at that time we let you know that we would no longer accept any classified ads, place listings, or event listings that appear to relate to simulated casino activity.

While Linden Lab does not offer an online gambling service, Linden Lab and Second Life Residents must comply with state and federal laws applicable to regulated online gambling, even when both operators and players of the games reside outside of the US. And, because there are a variety of conflicting gambling regulations around the world we have chosen to restrict gambling in Second Life as described in a revised policy which is posted in the Knowledge Base under "Policy Regarding Wagering in Second Life".

As you review this new policy, please remember that Resident compliance with real world laws has always been an integral part of our Terms of Service. We appreciate your cooperation with this policy, and your understanding that we believe this action is in the best interest of providing a successful Second Life service. Because this is an evolving area of law, we may continue to adjust and clarify this policy as we receive feedback from the community and from legal authorities, or as new regulations, industry practices and technology solutions come into effect.

Read The announcement here.

World of Warcraft : BlizzCon Survival Guide

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted a few tips to help atendees of this years BlizzCon get the most out of the experience.

BlizzCon Survival Guide Much like its famous neighbor (the Happiest Place on Earth) across the street, arriving at BlizzCon may leave you wondering where to go and what to do first. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your two days in a way that would give a seasoned Disneyland expert a run for her money.

Get Your Badge Early

There will be lines at the badge pick-up stations when the show first opens. Beat the rush by coming by on Thursday between 4 and 11 p.m. or on Friday starting at 7 a.m.

Make a (rough) schedule

One of the easiest and biggest pitfalls that even experienced conference-goers can make is poor time management. On one end of the spectrum is cramming everything humanly possible into a rigidly regimented schedule, and on the other end is doing one activity for too long and missing out on something else. A happy medium, where you have a defined but flexible schedule, is best. Having a list of priorities for each day can work well. Keep in mind that there are differences between Friday's and Saturday's offerings, such as the different slate of developer panels for each day.

Get to the live events early

The live events, such as the developer panels and the tournaments, were heavily attended at the first BlizzCon - since there will likely be even more people and interest this time, come early. For these live events, you can't beat the view of the action that a well-placed seat can provide.

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.

Q. In a recent Grab Bag, you answered a question about 250 quickness cap as it relates to evade... but the person asking the question was giving the details that 250 quickness is cap for swing speed... I need to know is this true? Will going over 250 quickness not affect your swing speed at all? Even if you haven't hit the 1.5 second cap? For instance 250 quickness will swing the same speed on a 4.0 weapon as opposed to 300 quickness and a 4.0 weapon?

A. From the all-knowing (well, almost) Redhead: Correct, 250 quickness is also the cap for swing speed.

Q. Does the ML 10 Warlord ability Warguard work on the caster, or only the people around him if any are present?

A. Soloers rejoice! The Redhead says: Warguard will benefit the player who cast the spell, as well as those in the radius.

So if you find yourself all alone in the middle of a bajillion drooling, bloodthirsty enemies, no worries!

Q. Hey, I have got question. What is the cap of RESIST PIERCE? I have got 15% now with the new dragon cloth, but I don't feel like it would work. Could you help me?

A. There's actually a display bug regarding the Resist Pierce cap. The cap is really 10%, though the display shows up to 25%. So if you're displaying 15%, only 10% will do anything. We're working on a fix for the display bug. Sorry about that.

Read the Grab Bag here.

World of Warcraft : Short Story: Unbroken

Posted Jul 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted a short story about the tragic hero Vindicator Nobundo on the World of Warcraft official site.

The skies wept when the orcs laid siege to Shattrath City.

It had been many long months since rain had graced the lands of Draenor, but now, almost as if in protest of the looming battle, dark clouds roiled overhead. Light showers drizzled over the city and the army outside its walls, increasing to a steady downpour as the two sides watched and waited.

There must be a thousand of them, Nobundo speculated grimly from his perch high atop the inner ramparts. Beyond the outer walls shadows moved among the torch-lit trees of Terokkar Forest. Perhaps if the orcs had taken the time to plan more carefully, they would have deforested the region outside in preparation for their attack, but these days the orcs cared little for strategy. For them there was only the thrill of battle and the immediate gratification of bloodshed.

Telmor had fallen, as had Karabor and Farahlon. So many of the draenei's once-majestic cities now lay in ruins. Shattrath was all that was left....

Read Unbroken here.

Myth War : Survival Quest

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released details about their upcoming weekend activities in Myth War.

Win to do Survival Quest with Game Master

In the previous Survival Quest activities, players usually fight to survive all by themselves. This time you have the chance to taste a special Survival Quest with the help of Game Master.

Time: The event will commence at 4:00 PM Server Time, July 29th

Location: one random map on Myth War

Instruction: On July 29th at 4:00PM Server Time, System channel will put on bulletin to announce that there will be 2 GMs in different places on the same random map. Two lucky players will take along with GM to race to Newbie Guide in Sky Passage.

Reward: Winner will deserve a chance to ask GMs to help him for survival quest on the date July 30th.

Get the full details of the event here.

General : Nielsen Facilitates Advertising in Games

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Wall Street Journal has posted an interesting article about Nielsen ratings and advertising in video games. The article also releases information from the study about who is playing on what console and for how long.

The audience-measurement system that helped television and the Web evolve into important vehicles for advertising is here for a new medium: videogames.

Nielsen Co., of New York, which tracks television and Internet usage, is today unveiling the first results from a new service, Nielsen GamePlay Metrics, that can track what games users are playing, on which devices and when. The service could provide one of the most complete pictures yet of game usage on consoles like Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and others -- major data that could help game publishers sell ads within the action of their games.

"Advertisers are seeking new demographics, and they know gaming is an engaging new platform," says Jeff Herrmann, vice president of Nielsen Games and Nielsen Wireless. "They want to quantify gaming," Mr. Herrmann noted.

In-game advertising is similar to product placement in movies: Game publishers offer certain elements within their virtual environments -- such as billboards in stadiums and vending machines inside buildings -- for sale to brands. As online gaming -- including on consoles -- becomes more pervasive, game publishers see a lucrative opportunity to deliver in-game ads dynamically over the Internet, changing the ads at regular intervals.

Read the full article here.

Age of Armor : Transform and Fight System

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

SnailGame has released new information about the transformation and flight systems for Age of Armor.

Transform and Fight

Do you remember a cartoon named Transformers? Have you seen a hot film named Transformers? If the answer is yes, then you can go to Age of Armor to re-taste your beautiful memory of childhood and make your dreams come true; if the answer is no, then you can go the Age of Armor to experience the wonderful game to transform like the transformers.

You can control a robot in Age of Armor; what's more, you can transform, and change into a car, a plane, a dragon or other kinds of figures. If your armor transforms to be a car, the speed will be faster; if your armor transforms to be a plane, you can attack monsters or enemies above the sky; different style has different advantages.

All the parts of the armor include head, control cabin, core, arm, leg, shield and weapon, which are invisible from the appearance of armor. However, those parts are the most important parts for you to transform in the Transformed System.

Transformation in Age of Armor needs players to combine two styles of armor changing to launch. After players change the exterior set, the whole armor will be in a state of middle conformation, which looks like normal, but it is ready for transformation and its ability is increased. For example, the armor Tiger will show its teeth and tiger tabby after changing the fittings. It will activate the final transformed style after the player changes proper inner set. Armor Tiger will become a real TIGER with more powerful strength. Final transformation will consume a chip and with time limitation. Players can not always be in the transformed statue which is in order to keep balance and interest of AoA. In a word, if you want to survive in such crude world, the best way is to choose the best time to transform.

Base on such creative transformed system plus the communication during playing this MMORPG provide a great atmosphere for all the players. Transform to fight!

Read more about Age of Armor at http://www.aoaus.com/.

Warhammer Online : WAR July Newsletter

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning July newsletter has been released, featuring articles about the High Elf and Dark Elf Armies, a profile of the Chaos Marauder, a first look at the Empire Capitol City, and much more.

Say what you will of us. Call us heathens because we deny your weak pretender-God. Call us savages because we strike at you. But know this - it is we who are closest to the Ruinous Powers. We most favored of the Gods shall raid your lands, revel in your suffering and destroy you. Despair! For all that remains for you is the taste of Northern steel and the end of your world. Such is the will of the Gods.

- Hallbjörn, Norscan Marauder

In the frozen roof of the world - Norsca - live the many and various northern tribes collectively known as the Norse. Born in that frigid, hostile place, Norsemen are universally powerful - gifted with ferocity and strength at arms. Believing themselves to be closest to the gods, they flock to the banners of the great Chaos Champions in the hopes of proving themselves worthy of favor. These brutal Norse warriors are the Marauders - a fanatical throng whose only interest is destruction. Bred for war, dedicated to the gods, endlessly violent. This is all a Marauder knows or cares to be.

Marauder Specialty

As favored warriors of Tzeentch, Marauders are granted the Gift of Change in its purest form. As their bloodlust rises in anticipation of the violence of battle or pillaging, the energy of Chaos itself courses through the Marauder, bringing about dramatic physical changes. Limbs stretch into obscene forms, skin changes to iron or scale or stone, features multiply or disappear. The look of a Marauder mutated and ready to attack is terrifying to behold. Each mutation brings with it an additional, unique gift that aides the Marauder in battle. These gifts help to direct and enhance the destructive force of the Marauder and, in turn, help to earn greater favor (and more horrible gifts) from the Changer of Ways.

Sign up for the newsletter here.

Tales of Pirates : The Demonic World

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released information about the Demonic World, an underground maze filled with peril, and with an entrance that is open for only a brief period.

Tales of Pirates: Key to the Demonic World

There is a huge underground maze deep in the snowfield of Ascaron in Tales of Pirates (http://top.igg.com). That maze is what we called the demonic world. Rumor says that in the maze, conceals some chests of the demonic world which contains the supernatural equipment and gems that can unseal the level 65 equipment. Equipped with the equipment, you will be endowed with the power of the king of pirate?

However, the demonic world is not a place easy to be reached. The portal to the demonic world is accessible at EST 9:00 AM 12:00AM 3:00PM 6:00PM and will last for only 40 minutes. Even if you had entered the demonic world, there are lots of danger lies ahead. Ancient monsters are waiting for the unwelcome visitors from the outside world. Thousand of pirates had lost their lives here. Though, their followers still challenge to unveil the mystery of the unknown world.

Coordinates

Everyone will fell into delusion while in the huge maze. To the veterans, intuition is their best guide. However, to these new visitors of the maze, coordinates will offer them great help.

About Monsters

Maze first floor:

  • Level 50 Imaginary Snow Doll
  • Level 55 Snow Doll Spirit
  • Level 57 Evil Snow Doll Spirit

Though the level of these monsters is not so high compared with other monsters in the maze, their attack is pretty high. They are a threat to voyager, sharpshooter and crusader. If they are team with champion, they will be much safer.

Maze second floor:

  • Level 61 Demonic Snowman
  • Level 65 Demonic Yeti
  • Level 59 Confused Snow Doll

These are elites among the monsters. With high attack and defence, only champions are able to confront them.

Maze first floor boss monster: Snow Lady. Skilled in frozen skills, is a ticklish opponent.

Maze first floor boss monster: Snowman Warlord. It's formidable monster, skilled in Mighty Strike and Knock out.

These are some basic information of the maze. Hope it will be helpful for the pirates questing for the demonic world.

For more on Tale of Pirates, visit http://top.igg.com.

Lord of the Rings Online : Giants!

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar official site has been updated with a look at one of the larger denizens of Middle Earth, the giants.

Little is known about this secretive race that dwells high atop the mountain passes and peaks of Middle-earth. Some would say their existence is merely the stuff of tales for children, but there are those who have explored less-inhabited lands and have witnessed the power of the giants first-hand. If the tales are to be believed, it is said that the giants resemble Men in much the same way as Hobbits do, but where Hobbits are diminutive, the giants are enormous! Imagine a tribe of Men, each standing a full sixty feet in height, hurling boulders from mountaintop to mountaintop creating a thunder all their own. The power of these creatures instantly sends a chill down the spine of any who hear the tale!

The giants of Middle-earth, while rarely mentioned and never described in great detail in The Lord of the Rings books, are an important part of the design of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Mysterious and powerful though they are indeed, the giants are also a rare mix of both terrifying monster and potential ally for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. As of yet holding no alliance to either side in the War of the Ring, the on-going battle between the giants in the peaks of the Misty Mountains east of Rivendell is sure to attract the attention of the bravest of adventurers.

Read more about the Giants of Middle Earth here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Chapter 6.8 Patch Notes

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

The patch notes for Chapter 6.8: Masters of the Wild have been posted on the Star Wars Galaxies official site.

On Thursday, July 26th at 4:00 AM PDT all U.S. and European galaxies will be taken down for server maintenance and a live update.

When the update is complete, all galaxies will be live but unavailable while we complete final testing. All galaxies will be made available after that time.

Gameplay:

  • /assist now takes an optional parameter for the name of the character to /assist, so you no longer have to target the character you want to /assist. /assist without any parameter still works as usual, which is to /assist the character you have targeted.
  • Different classes now get different stats, rather then everyone getting 90 or 0 in everything. See Racial/Class Statistics at the end of these update notes for more information.
  • Wookiee Shoulder Pads now use the left shoulder slot.
  • Players can now join groups if they are in stealth.
  • Added purple color to the Mandalorian color palette.
  • Altered Force Melon to act as a healing stim item.
  • Imperial Battle and Imperial Super Battle Droids found patrolling Theed will no longer attack Rebels on Leave.

Content:

  • Increased the experience and credits given as a reward for the repeatable Azure Cabal quests.
  • Dulok villages on Endor have had Duloks added to them.
  • Dantooine villages have had spawns added to them.
  • Huff Darklighter now gives his quest.
  • Tusken junktown mobs spawn no longer inside of world building objects.
  • Disabled Igbi Freemo's static quest.

Read the full publish notes here.

Vanguard : Game Update #2

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

Hasium has posted an update on Game Update #2 for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, detailing all of the changes and improvements that will soon be on their test server.

Hey Everybody,

Here are the long awaited details of Game Update #2. There is variety of good stuff in there as well as a couple of items that are sure to be controversial. The Update addresses several performance issues, some long needed polish, new features and some changes to help the economy.

The Update will be pushed to test very soon. We need as many people as we can to bang on it while it's on test. QA has done a great job finding most of the major bugs, but we really need the players to put Update 2 through its paces before we can push it to Live.

We will make a Game Update 2 post where the changes can be discussed and Dev's will be responding to.

Hasium

Game Update #2

  1. Guild Halls
  2. The Brotherhood System
  3. Bind on Equip
  4. LFG Improvements
  5. Rest Experience
  6. Level Based Diplomacy
  7. Diplomacy UI
  8. Deconstruction
  9. Item Level Requirements
  10. PvP bug fixes
  11. Crash To Desktop fixes and Optimizations
  12. Quest Journal and Quest Tracking improvements
  13. Item UI
  14. Scrolling Combat Text

Read the details here.

World of Warcraft : World Series of Video Games on CBS

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted an announcement that the World Series of Video Games stop in Louisville, Kentucky will air in a one hour special on CBS at noon on Sunday, July 29.

Don't expect to see David Letterman or even CSI when you tune in to CBS this Sunday, July 29 at noon Eastern Time. It will instead be locked in the midst of a battle between the Horde and the Alliance on the distant world of Azeroth. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will make its network television debut on CBS Sports as part of an hour-long special on the World Series of Video Games circuit stop in Louisville, Kentucky.

The World Series of Video Games, presented by Intel, features World of Warcraft as a headline title and gives players a chance to play for a piece of the $90,000 prize pot. Check out some hardcore 3v3 PvP Arena action as the best World of Warcraft teams in America fight for the gold (medal, that is). Be sure to see Team Pandemic under the watchful eye of Joseph "Noktyn" Romano take on Insurrection, Mob TurtlePower, fnatic and other heavyweights. Can they hold their own or will there be a new top team in town?

The only way to find out is to tune in Sunday, July 29 on CBS Sports at 12 p.m. Eastern Time/9 a.m. Pacific Time.

View the trailer and get more deatails here.

General : Forum Spotlight: Insect MMO?

Posted Jul 26, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a thread from our forums that discusses the idea of an insect MMORPG, and the idea that the setting doesn't matter, it's features that are key.

This week on the forums, user DruNk_DwArF2 posted his idea for a new MMO genre - an insect MMO, where players play as ants, termites, bees, etc. Seeing this post got me thinking about the whole idea of MMO genres in general.

In my freshman year at college, I remember expressing a love of fantasy to my Creative Fiction professor. His response radically changed my views on all media and entertainment, from books to plays to movies to video games. "The genre is a setting; write compelling characters and a compelling plot, and how they're dressed or where they're from doesn't matter."

While I love seeing new settings open up in the game world - I know plenty of us are tired of dragons and elves - I think that a lot of new games lately have used genre almost as a one trick pony. Instead of developing a cool story, precise balance, engaging gameplay - our game is about pirates! Instead of detailed character creation, world involvement, storytelling - our game is about spaceships! So what would happen if our game was about insects?

Read it all here.

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