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Zu Online : Talent Point Reset

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they will be resetting player's talent points in Zu Online, allowing player's to re-choose their talents as they like.

Zu Online Open Beta has lasted more than a month and the game has been greatly improved. Each day brings more bugs and patches, but is also bringing Zu closer to being a finished game world. More players are joining the game and experiencing this unique fantasy world everyday.

Here, the Zu Online team wants to say thanks to the players for their great support and indispensable help and advice. Meanwhile, to help players get to know the talent system better, all their talent points will be reset on January 23rd, which means they can reallocate their talent points as they see fit.

Read more here.

Angels Online : Combat Sytem and Class Introduction

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released an overview of the combat system in Angels Online, and the games five combat classes.

As one of the MMORPG games operated by IGG, Angels Online appeals greatly to players because of its unique double training skills. Now, the AO team is making an introduction to the 5 classes of combat system in the game. Combat system has five classes, Warrior, Protector, Spearman, Swordsman and Archer.

Warrior: Waving a hammer and an axe to attack enemies for great damage. In close combat, Warriors usually appear on the front line.

Protector: The best offense is a good defense. Protectors are good at using shields to build defensive walls for their companions.

Spearman: Good at using spears. Spearmen excel at long distance attacks and can strike enemies with a lethal blow before they even know who's attacking them.

Swordsmen: Swordsmen are the mobile force of the army because of their outstanding agility and fast movement speed. They excel at sword techniques which increases the possibility of their long term survival.

Archer: Sharp eyes, strong arms and fast movement speed. Archers are good at long distance attacks.

Skills in close combat are preferred for players who enjoy the fun brought by participating in battle. Besides, in future territory battles, classes of close combat are critically important. Skills in close combat are Sword techniques, Axe and Hammer techniques, Spear techniques, Enhance techniques, Grappling techniques, Shield Protection techniques, Reserving techniques, Finesse techniques and Garment techniques.

Read more here.

DarkEden : Chakrams Race Added to Open Beta

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

DarkEden Online has added a new race to their open-beta horror game. The Chakrams are half vampire and half human.

SAN JOSE, CA - January 23, 2008 - Joymax, an independent developer of
interactive entertainment for the global market, has introduced a third
race, called "Ouster," to its vampire-themed massively multiplayer online
role-playing game, Darkeden. A unique race that is half vampire and half
human, the Ousters can use special summoning magic and wield bladed weapons
called "Chakrams."

New players can now receive special beginners' gear when they join the game.
Available for the first 14 days of play, the gear will better prepare
neophyte gamers to experience the dark, gothic world of Darkeden.

More on this game here.

Star Trek Online (Perpetual) : Case Dismissed

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

Shacknews is reporting that the lawsuit filed against Perpetual Entertainment by Kohnke Entertainment has been resolved out of court. As a result, the case against the former STO development studio have been dropped.

Shacknews has confirmed that PR firm Kohnke Communication's lawsuit against former Star Trek Online developer Perpetual Entertainment has been dropped following a mutual resolution.

"The latest development is that the parties have resolved their dispute," a source told Shacknews. "The dismissal of the case was filed with the Court this afternoon."

A representative of Kohnke confirmed the suit's dismissal this afternoon. "The parties have reached an agreement, but we can't detail any further than that," Kohnke told Shacknews. "Part of the agreement was that we would not detail."

Check out the story here.

General : Interview w/ David Solari of Codemasters

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Jon Wood

Recently, MMORPG.com's Donna Desborough took some time to speak with David Solari, the Vice President of Codematers Online. The two talked about micropayments in-game and the future of Codemasters.

MMORPG.com:

Micro-payments are becoming more common. What are Codemasters plans for their use?

David Solari:

Well we already have 2 games which support Micro-payments with RF Online and Archlord so we are getting some great experience there.

We are planning other micro-transaction games going forwards as it's exciting and growing business model.

However we are strong believers that certain games work best as subscription games and others as micro-transaction games. We also believe that this can change though a products lifecycle.

Read the whole interview here.

Angels Online : Exclusive Screenshots

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Jon Wood

IGG, the company behind Angels Online, have sent along these exclusive screenshots for our viewing pleasure.

 

Check out the others here.

EverQuest : Dev Chat Log

Posted Jan 24, 2008 by Jon Wood

On Wednesday night, the folks from EverQuest stopped by our chat room to answer questions from the MMORPG.com community.

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.coldfront.net! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura Taera Genender.

MMORPG_Taera: Joining us today is the EverQuest dev team!

MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to one question at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: To ask a question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere

MMORPG_Taera: you can do that now :)

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to MMORPGBot while our guests introduce themselves!

EQ_Merloc: Hello, I'm Keith Turkowski, I work with systems and general content, I'm in charge of itemization, faction, and loot related systems.

EQ_Ngreth: Hello I am Adam Ngreth Bell, Game designer and tradeskills specialist.

EQ_Nodyin: Hello everyone, my name is David Ford and I work on the AA system and create raids and various content.

EQ_Rashere: G'evening everyone. I'm Travis McGeathy, lead designer for EQ and puppet for the man.

EQ_Prathun: Greetings all, I'm Jonathan Caraker. I'm on the systems team working on spells in addition to content.

EQ_juhans-dev: Hi, my name is Justin and I work on the EverQuest graphics engine and other miscelaneous EverQuest coding features.

EQ_Zatozia: Greetings deveryone. I'm Lydia Pope, preferably known as Zatozia the Torturess, EQ's Community Manager.

EQ_Zatozia: everyone 8)

EQ_Maddoc: Hey everyone, I'm Jason Mash, an Assistant Lead Designer on the EQ team and I work on a lot of the systems in the game.

Read it all here.

MapleStory : Big Update, 4th Job Added

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Nexon America has announced the launch of a major update for Maple Story.  The update will see the addition of a 4th job, user interface improvements, a new area, and more.

Los Angeles, CA – January 23, 2007 – Nexon America Inc., is delivering a new dimension for hardcore MapleStory players with the addition of a fourth job, which launched today. The 4th Job represents an elite tier which can only be reached through completion of rigorous class requirements demanded by a character’s three previous jobs. Nexon America recognizes the importance of rewarding and involving its most dedicated players and only a small sample of the over five million MapleStory players will have reached a high enough level to achieve the 4th Job, which begins this week. But everyone will appreciate the multitude of enhancements made to the user interface.

MapleStory is largely celebrated for its lively and energetic community, evidenced by the millions of quirky and colorful characters, abundant guilds, comical YouTube manifestations of Nexon’s MapleStory commercials, and a hyperactive forum complete with users who post photos of self-concocted MapleStory-themed desserts and costumes among their many posts. It’s MapleStory’s compelling and deep game play which drives new and existing players to the MapleWorld. The addition of the 4th Job provides further depth to an already intricate and complex game.

Players will appreciate a new meter, which will show how many hit points it will take to defeat an enemy. Items will also be easier to use with the automatic item organizer and a new world map should help Maplers have a better sense of direction while traveling the heavily-populated MapleWorld.

Also being introduced with the 4th Job update is the town of Leafre, a region dedicated to experienced (Level 100+) MapleStory players. At Leafre, players can find new upgrades for some of the game’s more powerful weapons and also party with other elite players. MapleStory’s most fearsome monsters will be found in the region as well, including the infamous Horntail, a monster renowned for its ability to defeat brave Maplers. Leafre offers a home and hunting ground for players in search of new friends and challenges.

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : Group Wedding Ceremoney on Valentine's

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Voyage Century Online have announced that they will be holding a large group wedding as part of their Valentine's Day activities.  As of yet, there has been no word on the honeymoon, and whether or not it will also be a group event.

The Voyage Century Online team will be holding a big group wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day. VCO has prepared pleasant gifts for the coming couples in this event. Couples will obtain 2 Spirit Rings, 1 Marriage Title, and 1 Formal Dress.

Sign-up Duration: 23rd Jan to 31st Jan

Wedding time: February 14th (exact time TBA)

Wedding Location: New Auditoria

Requirements:

  1. Forum Member’s levels rank in the Top 10.
  2. The top 10 players who contributed most to our Item Mall in 2007.
  3. Players who have won first place in any one of the events in 2007.
  4. Players whose game events were listed in our Voyage Century World Records.

Players who meet any one of the requirements above are qualified to attend the Wedding. To attend the wedding, other players need to use Item Mall Points to obtain a Spirit Ring and a Formal Dress in our Item Mall.

Read more here.

Angels Online : Pet System Introduction

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released an introduction to the pet system in Angels Online, including a look at pet rank, pet skills, and what happens to pets when they die.

Today, the Angels Online (ao.igg.com) team from IGG is making a detail introduction of the pet system in the game.

Pet System

Players can ride various cute animals such as turtles, little pigs, horses, and big lizards to wander around the fascinating world. During battle, your pets can not only help you to fight against monsters, but also can level up and become more and more powerful.

Rank

Pets will experience 4 phases in their entire lives.

  • Egg:At this phase, the pet’s appearance is an egg, and it can fight and level up.
  • Junior Pet:The pet will break out of the egg shell when it reaches level 15.
  • Secondary Pet: When the pets’ level is 35+, players can buy a Medium Blood Certificate from the Item Mall, and use it to change their pets into a secondary pet.
  • Advanced Pet: When the pets’ level is 65+, players should buy a special item to change their pets into an advanced pet, but the special item hasn’t been released.

Skills

  • Whenever pets advance to a higher rank, they can learn a new skill, and they are able to learn 3 skills at most.
  • Whenever a pets’ level has increased by 10, the power of their skills will be increased by 1 rank.(If pets keep increasing their levels, the power of their skills will be improved as well)

Pet Death

  • The pets’ experience and intimacy will be decreased when they are dead.
  • Players should find Pet Experts in anyone of the four main cities or the Angel Lyceum, and ask the pet expert to revive their pets.
  • If the pet is wearing the Pet Amulet, which can be bought from the Item Mall, the pet’s HP will be full again when its’ HP is 0, but the amulet will disappear.
  • The pet will be reclaimed automatically when it’s master is dead.

Read more here.

General : Masthead Studios Announces Earth-rise

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Masthead Studios, a Bulgaria based development studio, has announced Earth-rise, a post-apocalyptic MMO based in Earth's future after humanity is nearly wiped out by a world war.

January 23, 2008 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Masthead Studios, the innovative independent game development studio based in Bulgaria, is proud to announce its debut MMO Earth-rise, a post-apocalyptic science fiction title slated to release in 2009.

In the aftermath of a catastrophic third world war, Earth lies in ruin, and mankind is all but extinct. In a small corner of the world a new society has risen in the years following, populated mostly by the clones of those stored in a massive DNA database compiled at the end of the war. A corporate government has created a seemingly Utopian civilization, but its heavy-handed control over society, its resources, and even life itself has forced a substantial opposition. These rival factions accuse the government of crimes against humanity in its rampant willingness to abuse the cloning process to its own gain. It is at this crossroads that players will find themselves: fight as a champion of the new world order, or take up arms with Noir, the shadow government sworn to overthrow the totalitarian rule.

Masthead has employed its own engine to craft the stunning graphics and atmosphere in the game, as well as to handle its dynamic combat mechanics. Explore the diverse and sprawling capital city of Sal Vitas and surrounding unclaimed territories. Fight with advanced PvP mechanics featuring customizable power armor, huge mechanized exoskeletons, and an arsenal of weapons to control contested lands and their resources. Influence the market-based economy by working for the corporate world or trading on the black market, all based in immense and highly customized crafting and offline play systems. Players will shape the society in the beginning of a new mankind; or they will create their own dystopia.

Read more here.

Granado Espada Online : Manifest Destiny

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

K2 Network has announced that the Manifest Destiny expansion for Sword of the New World has launched, bringing to the game 5 new characters, 2 new maps, 15 new zones, and more.

Irvine, Calif. - January 23, 2008-K2 Network (www.GamersFirst.net) a leading online game publisher, announced today that it has launched an expansion for its epic Age of Exploration MMORPG Sword of the New World: Granado Espada. The new expansion is entitled Manifest Destiny; a name that was proposed by the game's own community. The expansion offers five new characters, two new maps and five new zones as well as new events and additions to the game's item store.

In 2007, Sword of the New World: Granado Espada players were included in the process of naming the expansion and the Halian Family from the game's Orpesia World proposed the eventual winner: Manifest Destiny.

"We feel that this name perfectly encompasses all of the aspect of the expansion," said Philip Maurer, Associate Producer at K2 Network. "As Pioneers will be exploring further West in this expansion, claiming the new lands "Manifest Destiny" puts a real spin on the continuing storyline as the Crown and the Republic begin to lay claim to lands that seem to be occupied by other inhabitants. As the story moves westward it will become clear, that this land was put here by providence and it is up to the Pioneers, to take it."

New Characters

The expansion brings with it five new UPC (unique playable characters), with three of these characters immediately available on launch day: Soso, Angie and Viki.

Read more here.

Anarchy Online : New Tiered Subscription Model

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that they are making changes to the subscription model of Anarchy Online.  They will be offering the contents of the Shadowlands expansion 5 USD / EUR, in addition to their free to play plan and 14.95 monthly fee.

Durham, USA – January 21, 2008 – Funcom announces the introduction of a tiered subscription system in Anarchy Online, and players can now choose between three subscriptions plans going from free-to-play to 5 to 14,95 USD / EUR a month. The newest subscription level means that gamers can access the areas and content in the Shadowlands expansion pack for only 5 USD / EUR a month, thereby offering one of the most profound, engaging and deep online experiences around for a low monthly cost.

The new areas which open up for the 5 USD a month subscribers are all located in the Shadowlands. This expansion pack got an incredible review score average, several awards and great critical acclaim when it launched, and is one of the most heralded MMO expansions of all time. The expansion not only gives players massive new areas to explore, it also introduces lots of new features as well as a chance to reach the maximum level in Anarchy Online. 

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Press Event Report - Part Three

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Jon Wood

Last week, Managing Editor Jon Wood traveled to Norway to visit the studios of Funcom's Age of Conan. Today, he presents part three of his report, looking at raiding, city building and sieging.

Over the last few days, we’ve spent time talking about a lot of different aspects of Age of Conan, but in the end, it’s the high-level stuff that makes or breaks an MMORPG for many players, especially the hardcore folks, that makes all of the difference.

Traditionally, PvP and raids have dominated the endgame of most MMORPGs, and while Age of Conan follows that trend, they have found a new approach that will not only call upon players to fight against each other, but to plan and organize fights over property that actually means something.

Read it all here.

EVE Online : EVE Coming to Steam

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP and Valve have announced that EVE Online will be the first MMO title to be available on Steam.  To promote the launch, they will be offering a 21 day free trial of EVE for Steam gamers, and an addition 5 dollars off their first months subscription.

Bellevue, Washington and Reykjavik, Iceland - January 22, 2008 - EVE Online, the award winning massively multiplayer online (MMO) game from CCP, is coming to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games and digital content with over 13 million accounts worldwide.

To celebrate the launch of Steam's first massively multiplayer online game offering, a special 21-day trial period for EVE will be available, free of charge, to all Steam gamers. Steam gamers will also save $5 off their first full month of EVE Online.

"Launching EVE on Steam means the addition of another fantastic PC game and the introduction of MMOs on Steam," said Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve. "The team at CCP continues to expand EVE's universe and gameplay for the legions logging in to play each month, just as we continue to expand Steam's consumer and developer features."

EVE Online is a leader in online gaming technology, hosting hundreds of thousands of players in the same persistent universe. The latest EVE Online expansions, which are always free for players, introduces a graphic update of gargantuan proportions and a host of new gameplay features. Every ship, station and stargate is rendered in an amazing splendor of spacefaring sights.

"We are immensely excited and honored that EVE Online will be the first MMO on Steam," said Magnus Bergsson, VP of Sales at CCP. "Steam has been the leading online distribution platform for a long time and home to some of the most dedicated gamers around, so we couldn't think of a better fit for EVE Online."

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Developer Profile

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

The EverQuest II official site has been updated with a developer profile on Enviormen Modeler, Brandan McDonald.

What do you do at SOE?
I mostly model the outdoor regions for EverQuest2 along with buildings and props. I work together with designers, concept and texture artists. In our latest expansion RoK, I made the Fens of Nathsar region and in the previous expansion of EoF, I made Greater Faydark, Lesser Faydark and the Emerald Halls.

How did you join EQ2?
I actually joined the EQ2 team from the start of the project. I am also an EQ1 team veteran since I was on the team when we were part of SCEA, back in the day. So joining the EQ2 team was a given for me since we could use more polygons and higher resolution textures.

What are you currently working on?
I am working on the planning of the next EQ2 expansion

What do you like most about your job?
I get to make a part of a fantasy world for so many people to enjoy. On launch days, I enjoy seeing players exploring the new zones I helped create. I also get to work with so many incredibly talented people here at SOE.

Read more here.

Manga Fighter : Added to Gamelist

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Manga Fighter, the massively multiplayer shooter game with a manga style, has been added to the MMORPG.com Gamelist.

Manga Fighter, published by OnNet USA, is a Massively Multiplayer Online Shooting game (Third Person Shooter) with a twist. Players will join other combatants in a 3D Manga-style world. Players will also have the choice of multiple modes of combat and character customization. The game style allows for fast and intense combat, but with a fresh Manga-style look.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Art Book Preview: Aquilonia

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Jon Wood

While in Norway, MMORPG.com was provided with samples from the Age of Conan Art Book. Today, we present this overview of art from the in-game area known as Aquilonia.

 

Check 'em all out here.

Anarchy Online : New Engine Q&A and Video

Posted Jan 23, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Funcom have announced that Anarchy Online will be getting a face lift in the form of a new engine. Game Director Craig Morrison takes the time to answer a few of our questions as we present a trailer featuring the new engine.

MMORPG.com:

What was the rationale behind developing a new engine for a game that launched all the way back in 2001?

Craig Morrison:

We still have thousands of new players every week through the free player offer and we realize that while we are very proud of the games art direction, it is starting to look its age compared to modern titles. With so many players still signing up and trying the game every week we felt it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t bring the engine up to date and little and improve the visuals. We know we have a great game with a lot of depth so in doing this we hope we can also attract people with a modern looking engine.

Check it out here.

General : Lego Universe January Newsletter

Posted Jan 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

Lego Universe has sent out their January Newsletter, which features an interview with their technical director and an interview with a member of the LEGO Universe Kids’ development panel.

At this very moment the LEGO Universe is being built up from electronic bits and bytes. This super specialized setup work is being done by people called “programmers” or “developers”. They work to create LEGO Universe, the first massive multiplayer online game for LEGO fans and supported by community members from around the world. They are super dedicated and they love to build with LEGO!
Listen in while we gab about the game with the technical director, Erik.

This month you also get a bonus interview with a lucky guy named Reed. He’s on the Kids’ Development Panel and he’s actually played early versions of LEGO Universe!

Read more here.