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General : Game/On

Posted Sep 02, 2006 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com is pleased to release the August month-end episode of our podcast, Game/On:

 

This week MMORPG.com is pleased to present the end-of august version of Game/On. This week, Jon hits the commentary solo, talking about EVE Online, Non-Disclosure Agreements and more while Dana Massey sits down with Jason Roberts, the Lead Designer of EverQuest II to talk about their deity system.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Disney's Toontown Online : Toonfest Dev Diary

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Dana Massey

Greg Wiatroski, the Lead Developer of Toontown Online, covered his own event for MMORPG.com recently. This Disney children's MMORPG recently hosted Toonfest. Here is what happened:

Today (August 26th) we’re hosting the first-ever fan-fest for Toontown Online in Burbank, CA at Walt Disney Studios. Since the event sold out in one week, we were expecting a strong turn out of enthusiastic fans – a group that ranges from kids and teens to moms and dads. I arrived on-site around 8:30am and was thrilled with the setup that the events team had put together. The setting, decorations and backdrops really brought the game to life along Mickey Avenue. There were over 40 computers set up for an in-game scavenger hunt and for Goofy Speedway grand prix racing as well as stages for developer Q&A sessions and sneak peek panels.

Throughout the day I’ll be on-stage for four "Sneak Peek" panels where we will give the guests a preview of what is in the cards for Toontown Online. I am also looking forward to watching our guests play the Toontown themed carnival games, checking out the many fan costumes and maybe even trying my hand at some of the activities like “Squirt the Cog.”

You can read his whole diary here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Exclusive Screen, Week #22

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Dana Massey

We bring you two more images from Pirates of the Burning Sea in today's weekly update. Flying Lab Software shares these with us every Friday.

Thanks to Troy and company for making this happen every week.

Lord of the Rings Online : Alpha Journals

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine has released a new bathc of Alpha Player Journals for our reading enjoyment. Below, you will find only a sampling of what appears on th site, so follow the link below to read the whole thing:

 

My adventures began shortly after the Alpha 3 players were permitted to begin playing, Monday evening. At first, I was admittedly overwhelmed by a sense of awe just to be in the world. I didn't have much trouble figuring out the newbie instance and solving the quest objectives. I did have a little bit of trouble figuring out how to use the different chat channels, but after a few failed attempts, I was able to find out how to change my default channel. After that, the learning curve seemed to be fairly easy. Tiggs and other players were very quick to answer questions and give advice and instructions.

I am currently a level 10, Female Human Burglar. I have run across a few bugs, but not nearly as many as I expected. The quest log is terrific! I have only had problems solving 1 quest so far due to inadequate or unclear objectives, which others have also posted about on the forums and it's being worked on. I really love the Lore Book with its additional objectives to receive rewards from. I am quite eager to see more and am already feeling pretty addicted.

The servers have been remarkably stable. There was one reset last night, but other than that I have not had any crashes. There is lag whenever I am in a crowded area, but I've seen worse in games that are post-launch, and truly believe it can be alleviated with further optimization.

I have to give the Turbine two thumbs up on their efforts so far. The game is shaping up very well. The communication between players and employees is excellent and I think they are doing a wonderful job making the playing experience a positive and fun time for everyone.

Read it all here.

Age of Conan : Dragoncon

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Age of Conan has sent out a reminder to all of its fans that they will be appearing at Dragoncon in Atlanta this week:

 

This week sees us at the Dragoncon convention in Atlanta. With lots of fun and a chance to meet some of the team, make sure you check out the details.

Several Funcom events are planned including panels on Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, a Funcom fan gathering and participation in several of the panels going on including those on our games and a special panel on getting a job in the game industry.

All players of Funcom titles are welcome to come by the booth and meet with ARK, the GridStream Production Crew, Gms and Devs from Funcom.

See the Dragoncon schedule for times and locations. Stop by the Funcom booth in the Marriott (booth 211) for info on a special Saturday night gathering. Attend in costume or bring an item fashioned after one from Anarchy Online and get a prize!

Scott Allie the editor of the Conan Dark Horse comics will do signings at the Funcom booth in the Marriott (booth 211) on Sunday Sept 3rd from 3-4pm. Scott writes and edits for Dark Horse Comics and other publishers. Editing credits include Conan, Hellboy, The Goon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Serenity. His writing includes the horror comic The Devil's Footprints.

Bring your camera for special photo opportunities with Conan's throne!

We look forward to seeing you there.

For more on Age of Conan click here.

EverQuest II : Treasure Chest

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new Treasure Chest over on the EverQuest II offical website. The Treasure Chest brings together a number of different and interesting threads from teh EQII forums for our reading pleasure:

 

Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Treasure Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Treasure Chest!

  • Hijinx in PoA? Are you up to no good and have some silly pictures to share? Hop on over to Be-min's thread and share your pictures as well!
  • Stop in and check out the latest movie from the talented Zemfira! Kyriel Doku Presents a Tragic Tale, "The Bond" is an excellent movie that everyone will enjoy!
  • Kick those soggy boots off, stay and listen for a while. This week Gratuitios shares a Traveler's Tale with us, The Adventures of Shavala and Renai will keep even the grumpiest traveler entertained!
  • Need a cozy place to stay? Why not stop in and stay a while at Apheetia's Bed and Breakfast? The Norrathian Homeshow stops in for a visit this week and we may stay for a while.

For more on EQII click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Tech and Billing Closed Monday

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Just a reminder from EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot that their tech support and billing departments will be closed for the holiday this coming Monday:

 

Labor Day this Monday, and that means our technical support and billing center will be closed in observance of the holiday. As always, our in-game support team will still be chained to their CPUs thinking only of your happiness. Give 'em some love should you need their services on Monday.

For more on DAoC click here.

D&D Online : Trivia Event

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine has announced a new trivia event which will be taking place on Saturday, September 2nd:

 

The Coin Lords representative for Trivia and Events, Sir Lawrence d'Deneith returns with his next round of events! Join him as he tests your knowledge, and you attempt to win great prizes!

Event Schedule:
Saturday, September 2nd

7:00 PM Eastern / 4:00 PM Pacific: Mabar
8:30 PM Eastern / 5:30 PM Pacific: Tharashk
10:00 PM Eastern / 7:00 PM Pacific: Thelanis
Event Details:

  • Event will run 60 minutes
  • Questions will take place roughly every 5-8 minutes server-wide via a broadcast message.
  • Sir Lawrence will be gathering players in front of the Market gate in the Harbor.
  • To reply to a question, send a /tell to "+Sir" with what you believe is the correct answer. The first player to reply with the correct answer will win that round.
  • Players can answer a question correctly no more than once per server in order to allow others a chance to win prizes. Winning players may not win on the other servers.
  • At the end of the allotted event time, all the winners will be asked to gather together and they will be asked a new question which will determine that server’s grand winner!
  • Players may attempt to answer questions on each event server, however all winners may not win more than once.
  • Prizes for each finalist will be a unique robe exclusive to trivia winners. In addition, the top players from each server will win a limited edition DDO poster signed by the game designers and Sir Lawrence d’Deneith as well as a special D&D related prize

For more on DDO click here.

Guild Wars : PvP Unlock Packs

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars is offering players the opportunity to purchase PvP Unlock Packs for either $9.99 USD for skills from one profession, or $39.99 for all skills for all professions:

 

Guild Wars players now have the opportunity to purchase PVP Unlock Packs for all Prophecies skills! For $9.99 USD (€8.99, £5.99), you can unlock all of the 70+ Prophecies skills for a single profession. For $39.99 USD (€35.99, £23.99) you can unlock all 450+ Prophecies skills for the 6 professions. Once unlocked, skills can be used by any of your PvP characters. Head to the Guild Wars Official Store to take advantage of this much-requested opportunity.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

Guild Wars : Ladder Abuse in Fun Season

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

It seems as though the recent Guild Wars Fun Season has been somewhat tainted by ladder abuse. The guilds in question are no longer eligible for Fun Season prizes, and the list of winners will be changed to give rewards to the top 16 guilds:

 

During the recent Fun Season, three guilds were found to have knowingly participated in ladder abuse as defined in the GWFC Events Eligibility rules. The rules state that guilds engaging in such actions may be disqualified from receiving prizes in events during the GWFC, including the Fun Season. Since the rules violation took place only during the Fun Season, these guilds are no longer eligible to receive any of that season's prizes. The winners list will be adjusted to reward the top 16 eligible guilds.

To submit evidence of any ladder abuse/manipulation or other rules violations, please email tournament@arena.net.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

World of Warcraft : Sculpture Creation

Posted Sep 01, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard is taking a walk on the artistic side and showing us how the sculpture of Illidan Stormrage, which was displayed at this year's E3, was created. Check it out:

 

At this year's E3, a massive sculpture of Illidan Stormrage, the Betrayer, reigned over the Blizzard booth. This enormous piece of artwork now stands tall at Blizzard headquarters, lording over the lobby and reminding everyone of the inherent dangers of making pacts with demons. The group behind the creation of Illidan's statue has now posted a series of pictures showing how the statue was made. Check it out here.

For more on WoW click here.

Gods and Heroes : Priest Feat Tree & Screens

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Dana Massey

We're back with another Gods & Heroes feat tree. Today, we see what the Priest will be up to between levels one and twenty. We also get three images of this game that won Best of Show and Best Graphics at E3 2006.

The Priest is the most godly hero in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™ -- which is to say, they wield the powers of the gods more extensively than any other class. Because of their intense and unyielding dedication to the gods, Priests command unsurpassed powers of blessing and cursing. In other words, they are sure to be a necessary component of any group of heroes seeking to defend Rome: not only can Priests heal their group’s members, but they can also do extensive damage to their enemies. Priests are also the only heroes in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™ who can learn the spell to resurrect an ally who has fallen in battle. This, more than anything, demonstrates the immensity of the powers invested in the loyal Priest by his or her chosen god.

Priests have at their disposal a variety of spells that replenish the health of their comrades. “Healing” mends the battle wounds of one specific companion, while “Unit Healing” restores the well-being of the entire group or squad. “Healing Genius” allows the blessings of good health to be regained over time, which could come in very handy during a protracted battle. And if things get really dire, “Draining Heal” allows the Priest to convert all of his or her energy into health for an ailing ally. When a companion needs to be cured of a specific affliction, Priests can perform feats like “Cure Poison” and “Cure Plague.” And of course Priests have the ability to learn the “Revive” spell, which raises their fellow combatants from the dead.

You can read and view more here.

EverQuest II : Return of the Gods, Part II

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Dana Massey

We get to the good and one more netural as we exclusively reveal details of the eight EverQuest II gods soon to come your way. Check back tomorrow for an exclusive audio interview with the Lead Designer of EverQuest II as we reveal what all this means to the game.

Mithaniel Marr: The Truthbringer
Alignment: Good
Portfolio: Honor

Mithaniel Marr is allied with Quellious and Tunare, and is the enemy of Innoruuk, Rallos Zek, and Cazic-Thule. Wielding the fabled two-handed sword known as Truthbringer, Mithaniel Marr is the very personification of Valor. Frogloks and barbarians, both of whom hold honor in high esteem, are among Marr's most devoted followers. Mithaniel Marr teaches that conquest in battle is not enough, for true victory can only be achieved if one holds true to the principles of courage, honor, and Valor. The priests and paladins of Marr have been renowned throughout history for their virtue and bravery, setting an example for all Norrathians to follow.

You can read more here.

City of Heroes : Issue 8: To Protect and Serve

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCsoft has announced details on the upcoming Issue 8 expansion for City of Heroes and City of Villains. Titled "To Protect and Serve", the expansion is heavy on the changes and additions to the Heroes game. On the other side of the coin the last expansion, Issue 7: Destiny Manifest, put a great deal of focus on the villainous side:

 

Details released on new City of Heroes and City of Villains expansion coming later this year

CITY OF HEROES ISSUE 8: “To Protect and Serve”

Issue 8: To Protect and Serve, the eighth free expansion since the launch of City of Heroes® in April 2004, introduces a host of innovative features, gameplay improvements and player programs. Issue 7: Destiny Manifest allowed villains to wreak havoc in the PvP zone Recluse's Victory and physics-filled Mayhem Missions. Now it's the Heroes' turn to take back the streets!

Safeguard Missions (Heroes only)

Vandals are creating mayhem and destroying Paragon City while high profile villains are attempting major bank heists! Emergency broadcasts from the new Police Band scanners (see below) call Heroes to action, resulting in a frantic new twist on Mayhem Missions. Heroes must stop the mayhem (in massively destructive versions of Paragon City zones) and prevent the heists from occurring.

Police Band (Heroes only)

Offering similar functionality to the Newspaper Missions in City of Villains®, new Police contacts throughout various Hero zones grant Heroes Police Band access, opening a plethora of new missions and rewards.

Pocket D Arenas (Heroes and Villains)

For the first time, Heroes and Villains can officially battle each other using Arena kiosks set within the neutral ground of the Pocket D nightclub.

Faultline Reborn (Heroes only)

Faultline transforms from a hazard zone to a city zone! Paragon City's Measure X has passed, reconstruction of Faultline has begun, and the effort has revealed some major surprises.

Veteran Rewards Program (Heroes and Villains)

Launching together with Issue 8, the Veteran Rewards Program retroactively* rewards City of Heroes and City of Villains players for their past active playing time. Specifically, for each increment of three months played, players will unlock special costumes, powers, badges, and more! The program is retroactive by player account and rewards will be applicable to all characters within each respective account.

*This means time that players have already played counts towards their rewards!

For more on CoH click here.

Ryzom : Lepzig Wrap-Up

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at The Saga of Ryzom have compiled a review of the Games Convention in Lepzig, Germany:

 

Thanks to all visitors and the guys who helped us at the show. A special thanks to the CSR's who kept the Support running in game during these days. Thanks a ton guys, you're awesome!

We hope the visitors enjoyed it as much as we did, and the GC-IRL was really great, we can't wait for the IRL on 16th Sept. in Cologne.

We made a review of the GC 2006 and don't want to hide it. Here you can find the review that shows the four (public) days of the GC 2006. Moreover you can find a lot of pictures in this gallery related to the Games Convention.

Tomorrow there will be a gallery on the Ryzom-Network too!

For more on The Saga of Ryzom click here.

Final Fantasy XI : 1,400 Cheaters

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

Square Enix announced today that they had banned or suspended 1,400+ accounts for breaking the EULA and using third party tools in-game.  The "bust" went down yesterday, August 30th:

 

Today, a number of accounts which were confirmed to have violated the user agreement by using unauthorized third-party software tools within FINAL FANTASY XI to enable abnormal in-game movement were discovered and have been suspended or permanently terminated.

Based on the results of an investigation, over 1,400 PlayOnline accounts have been either suspended or terminated on Aug. 30, 2006 for the malicious and intentional use of these third-party tools.

We would like to take this time to remind our players that the use of any third-party tools will not only destroy the in-game balance, but will also encourage RMT (real money trading) activities. We will continue to take strict actions against those individuals that we have confirmed to have used such tools.

Please note that some of these third-party tools may cause character information to be altered, erased, or personal information to be leaked to unwanted third parties. If you come across a third-party tool over the Internet, we ask that you please refrain from the download of such a tool, no matter how minor it may appear to be.

To ensure our customers could enjoy the game safely, we will continue to apply measurements to combat these third-party tools and violations.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this matter.

For more on Final Fantasy XI click here.

ArchLord : NDA Lifted

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

Here's one from Wednesday that slipped through our fingers until today:

According to the game's official forums, the Non-Disclosure Agreement for ArchLord has been lifted:

 

Hey Guys,

NDA has been lifted for all

Mr.Ktat

__________________
www.archlordgame.com

"Why would I ever want to run Disney? Wouldn't it make more sense just to sell them Pixar and retire?"

-- Steve Jobs, Fortune, Feb. 23, 2004

"What say we kick it a nickle...?" -- Brian O'Conner, 2 Fast 2 Furious, 2003

For more on ArchLord click here.

World of Warcraft : No Open Beta for Burning Crusade?

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

WorldofWar.Net, the website that bills itself as "The Unofficial WoW Site", is reporting that Blizzard Entertainment will not be holding an open beta test of the expansion for World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade.

 

Most of Blizzard's beta test have included an open beta period for everyone but it appears the BC will be different. According to Blizzard there are no plans for an open Beta which means there will be a lot less people involved in the final phases of testing and the group will be more focused. Of course if you went to BlizzCon you will be included in the closed Beta via your special key which all attendees were given. Bet you wish you;d gone now ;) Blizzard state:

While we do plan to host a closed beta at some point in the near future, at this time we do not have plans for an open beta, like what was experienced just before we launched classic World of Warcraft. It's always possible that our decision on this matter may change, so your best bet is to periodically check the website for updates, but I'd implore you not to get your hopes up, as it is very doubtful that these plans will change.

For more on WoW click here.

Guild Wars : End of PAX Coverage

Posted Aug 31, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars wraps up their coverage of the Penny Arcade Expo today with details on the popular Guild Wars Live event:

 

The final article on our coverage of the Penny Arcade Expo details the Guild Wars Live event. Get the details on the various challenges and stations, and find out the winning faction, in the report.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

Lord of the Rings Online : PAX Preview

Posted Aug 30, 2006 by Dana Massey

Turbine Entertainment's Lord of the Rings Online has some big shoes to fill. We saw them at PAX and spoke to Lead Systems Designer Nik Davidson. Here is what we learned.

The star of the Turbine Entertainment booth at PAX was Lord of the Rings Online. In taking on this second massive license, Turbine has a mighty weight on their shoulders and expectations to live up to.

“This is an MMO for people who love MMOs,” explained Lead Systems Designer Nik Davidson. He made special note of how the game had not tried to “reinvent the wheel” when it came to things like interface, controls and basic mechanism. Lord of the Rings Online will not have change for change’s sake.

That said, there were two fundamental aspects of MMORPGs that Davidson felt their game had to get away from. The first was empty quests. They made it a goal to make every quest and task mean something. Given their IP, this seems like a relatively straightforward task. Although, in the demo, he did have his elf deliver the mail.

You can read more here.

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