EA Mythic's game-in-development, Warhammer Online, has released their Novemeber Newsletter. This month's newsletter is packed full of fun and interesting information about the upcoming game: Exclusive First Look: Army of Chaos, Karaz-A-Karak and Female Dwarfs, Video of the Month, Zone Overview: Thunder Mountain, and much more.
You can subscribe to the WAR newsletter here.
You can view the November issue here.
From out of the frigid wastelands of the north, a great warhost marches upon the northern borders of the Empire. Led by a mighty Champion of Tzeentch, the Great Manipulator and Changer of Ways, this army of savage marauders and potent sorcerers is accompanied by otherworldly creatures both strange and terrifying.
For the Empire, already weakened by the ravages of a deadly plague, the situation is desperate. Without aid, the greatest nation of men will fall before the onrushing army of the Dark Gods, and be transformed forever into a domain of the Ruinous Powers.
For more on WAR click here.
News that Nevrax, the company behind the MMOG Ryzom, had gone into recievership late last week wasa dissapointment for fans of the game. Some of those same fans are now starting a project in the hopes of purchasing the source code, artwork and intellectual property associated with Ryzom in order to continue the game as a "democratically run player project".
Learn more about the Free Ryzom Campaign here.
Until now, Nevrax has produced Ryzom, as a typical commercial software company. Nevrax, not the players, decide what direction the virtial world of Ryzom takes. We want to turn this model on it's head and give players control over the virtual world their character's inhabit. We want to purchase the source code, game data, and artwork, so that we can further develop it by placing it under a Free Software license. Once this is accomplished we would reopen the universe of Ryzom to players and have it function and further developed under democratic controlled basis.
How can we hope to purchase a large software package which took millions of dollars to develop? We must be crazy, right? Not exactly, what we are attempting isn't without precedent, and we look to make it happen again! Blender, a powerful 3D modeling package cost millions of dollars to develop. In 2002, when the company behind Blender went into liquidation. The community surrounding Blender came to the rescue and raised 100,000 Euros to purchase the software package from its investors. To this day, Blender is a highly successful and actively developed Free Software project, maintained by its community of users. This is the success story we seek for Ryzom.
We are now working feverishly on a proposal, which we will present to the official presiding over liquidation process. The gist of this proposal is that we would seek to repurchase Ryzom, financed by a donation campaign, as was the case for Blender. The principal difference is that, we would likely not be the only party who would wish to purchase Ryzom. Also, any repurchase that occurs, will be carried out by the liquidators, not the shareholders. So far we do not know the conditions the liquidator may impose on the sale, nor the exact sum of money that will be required. We estimate that the amount will be, at least, tens of thousands of euros, and in the worst case, hundreds of thousands Euros.
Regardless of the exact amount, it is an large sum, but far from being unattainable. When taking into consideration millions euros necessary to the development of a MMORPG, this is a golden opportunity. If we get 500 donations, each contributing 20 euros, we would already have 10,000 Euros, easily attainable and well on our way to repurchase Ryzom. For this relatively small price, the community would obtain a game, which as of the time of writing this was tied for first place on MMORPG.com, as rated by the players. Developers would be able to build their own worlds and servers, based on the code, artwork and tools used in a #3 rated MMORG on MMORPG.com.
The Indie MMO Game Developer's Conference has opened its doors for early bird registration. The conference itself will be taking place on April 14th and 15th in Minneapolis, and will be bringing together independent game developers from around the world.
Minneapolis, MN – November 24, 2006 – Last Straw Productions announced today that registration for the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference 2007, to be held in Minneapolis, MN, is now open. The Indie MMO Game Developers Conference (IMGDC), to be held on April 14 and 15, will be an informative, educational, and fun gathering of independent game developers from around the world who want to focus on MMO technologies. IMGDC is designed to be an informal venue of Indie and hobbyist developers with the shared goal to focus on design, development and production of Indie MMOs/Virtual Worlds. IMGDC will have sessions ranging from game design to legal issues facing Indie developers. Industry professionals and pioneers, including Dr. Richard Bartle and Brian “Psychochild” Green, will be providing sessions focusing on "Industry Secrets." IMGDC will also feature team building "elevator pitch" sessions which are meant for developers to pitch their projects or their talents to other developers. This provides an excellent opportunity for team building and networking.
“IMGDC is providing an outlet for Indie developers to learn valuable lessons and take the steps needed to produce a AAA quality Indie MMO and Dream Games, Inc. is proud to co-sponsor this much needed conference,” comments Ashley Kelley, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Dream Games, Inc. “For years developers have been seeking ways to break into the ever growing MMO market. IMGDC will provide the resources and education needed for Indies to realize their dreams.”
IMGDC provides content, community and contacts for artists, designers, programmers, and Indie entrepreneurs. If you've caught the incurable desire to make MMO games commercially, or even as a hobbyist, this is a community gathering of talented individuals you will not want to miss. Registration is available online now at www.imgdc.com. Pay only $49 for a two-day pass, including sessions, parties and access to the elevator pitch sessions. As space is limited, reservations will be on a first come, first serve basis. Registration after December 15, 2006 will be $99. For more information, please visit the IMGDC website at www.imgdc.com.
Lead Designer Matt Miller talks about crafting the Veteran Rewards program from a developer's perspective. This program is part of Issue 8: To Serve and Protect, which hit the live servers today.
| Coming up with the Veteran Rewards was one of the coolest things I've done as Lead Designer on the "City of" games so far. It was really a challenge to come up with cool rewards that players have been asking for while at the same time making sure that nothing became the "end-all-be-all" reward that every character MUST have. In addition, I wanted to throw in some cool rewards that players hadn't asked for, but that I knew would be useful for them and make the veteran players' lives a little easier.
I first scoured the boards for suggestions for costume pieces. Trenchcoats were always something that players desired, and we had put them on NPC characters in Issue 7, so getting them into the hands of the players was inevitable. I decided to make this the initial reward, earned at three months, simply because it is probably the most requested costume piece, and it is a nice gift we can give "new" players for a simple three month time investment.
The full journal is here.
They're ruining games. Senior Editor Dana Massey looks at one specific example within the MMORPG.com office and says why he thinks people should be less superficial.
|Graphics whores are killing innovation in gaming. A bold statement, but one I believe.
These same people who give new games a one because their graphics are not up to snuff, often sit around and complain that no one innovates. They attack companies like Blizzard and SOE for putting out games they've already played. Then, they turn around and give random indy MMO X a one rating because the visuals are not up as good as EQII!
The full article is here.
The folks over at Trickster Online have announced that the Open Beta phase of the testing for their MMO is wrapping up:
Ntreev USA Inc. announced today that Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy is currently completing its Open Beta Testing, the highly anticipated release of their popular fantasy MMORPG, Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy.
The upcoming full release of the hit MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) is the new English Language version of the game by the same name known around globally. During the current Open Beta new features are already being released including more on the horizon to be continually added up until the full version is released. The newest features include a new Guild Feature, a direct game access and log-in, a resetting of the Character Stat Points for all Accounts continuing from the Closed Beta version, as well as 2 recently released holiday special events.
Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy, is a two dimensional MMORPG in the vein of console era fantasy RPGs from the 90s. With an upbeat, anime sense of style and an offbeat sense of humor, Trickster Online is set to establish a new market in the online gaming community. Characters are customizable from a selection of 8 animal based-characters and 4 different types. From here, the Characters can be further developed and individualized through the gaining of Skill Points, Jobs, and items as well as becoming stronger through the gaining of EXP (Experience Points, earned through combat, hunting and Trickster’s unique item Drilling Feature). In the upcoming full release of the game Players will be able to further customize their Characters with new, special items, clothing, armor, weapons and even a room for their Characters to decorate and inhabit. There is NO subscription fee to play Trickster Online and the game is free to download over the internet. For more information regarding Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy, including Account creation, upcoming news and special events and announcements, visit their website at www.tricksteronline.com.
For more on Trickster Online click here.
NCsoft has announced that Issue 8: To Protect and Serve, is now live. As the name implies, this is the eighth expansion for the City of franchise. This time around, the changes and addition focus on, but are not limited to, the Heroes side of the game.
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 29, 2006 — NCsoft® and Cryptic Studios™ today released the eighth free expansion to City of Heroes®, adding new mission styles, new story content and a veteran rewards program to one of the most successful comic-book themed PC games ever.
Issue 8: “To Protect and Serve” delivers a host of new features starting out with a wide-variety of veteran rewards for players who have had a City of Heroes or City of Villains® account for three months or more. The rewards are given in increments of three months of active play, and include special powers, base items, badges and costume pieces such as wings. The veteran rewards program is retroactive by player account and rewards will be applicable to all characters within each respective account.
Building on the tradition of super-powered crime fighting, Issue 8 is introducing Safeguard Missions where heroes will be given a limited time to halt major crimes being committed by super-powered villains and their henchmen. Using the new police band contacts, heroes will be alerted to attacks on Paragon City™ business, resulting in high-intensity action as players battle to prevent heists and city destruction from occurring. These missions are similar to the City of Villains Mayhem Missions introduced in Issue 7, but with an even more frantic reactive tone to the action.
Issue 8 also features a revitalized Faultline neighborhood that has been transformed from a trial zone into a city zone. As a trial zone, Faultline was in ruins and overrun with zombies and evil sorcerers, but as the area is restored to order agents of Arachnos are attempting to infiltrate the area.
“Issue 8 continues to build on a great game, giving players new adventures, areas to explore and rewards for their loyalty,” said Matt Miller, Cryptic Studio’s lead designer for City of Heroes and City of Villains. “The action of the new Safeguard Missions is amazing and gives players a way to really feel heroic, which is one of the keys to why City of Heroes has been so successful.”
City of Heroes and City of Villains are available at retailers in North America and Europe as well as at the NCsoft online store at www.plaync.com. Both games include the first month of online game play, and after the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Customers who purchase City of Heroes and City of Villains can play both games for the single subscription price of US$14.99.
For more on City of Heroes click here.
Final Fantasy XI has announced a Beta Version Update and have included notes from hat update. As usual, there are too many to print here, so follow the link below to real all of the notes.
The FINAL FANTASY XI Linkshell Community Beta Version has been updated. A calendar and an auto-login function have been introduced to the site, in addition to changes made to existing features.
Using the calendar, you can announce detailed information regarding regular in-game events or recruit participants from all over your World.
Click here for a detailed explanation of the calendar feature.
Read them all here.
Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, have released a new "Characters of Middle-Earth" feature. This time around, they're taking a look at Old Man Willow.
Adventurers in the Old Forest, to the east of Buckland and the Shire, know well that very little is what it seems in those darkened woods. Many tell tales of the very trees whispering and moving, hindering the passage of travelers, many of whom become forever lost amongst the forest's shifting paths. Of these dark legends, perhaps there is none more sinister than the tale of a certain ancient willow, with a heart as dark as the forest itself. Old Man Willow, his trunk immense and his branches spreading out like enormous clawed hands, stands along the banks of the Withywindle awaiting the approach of unwary adventurers. A creature of great power, Old Man Willow is adept at luring his foes into a pleasant drowsiness in his idyllic setting along the river's meandering valley. Travelers had best be wary of his tricks, or they will soon find themselves consumed within the twisted roots and fissures of this evil forest-dweller.
Old Man Willow is certain to be well known to fans of The Lord of the Rings, and although he will no doubt be a favorite location for players to visit, those familiar with the books will also know to approach him with extreme care. Located near the home of Tom Bombadil and not far from the edge of the Old Forest and the mysterious Barrow-downs, Old Man Willow is the first of the great and ancient powers in Middle-earth likely to be encountered by players. The grumpy old tree has a dark heart, to be sure, and protects his forest realm without sympathy for interlopers into his valley. It could be said that by his actions he is merely protecting the old way of life, as the Old Forest dwindles along with other ancient stands in these dark days. Players should be careful when adventuring along the Withywindle – Old Tom Bombadil may not always be about to save the unwary, as he did Frodo and company in the pages of The Fellowship of the Ring!
For more on LORTO click here.
EVE Online has announced the launch of their newest free expansion, Revelations I. Revelations II and III will follow behind it eventually.
The deployment of EVE Online: REVELATIONS was completed on 29 November at 0200 GMT, an on-schedule deployment. The first of three installments in EVE Online's second major game expansion, Revelations brings a wide range of new content, features, updates and improvements to the EVE Online universe. You can view this information by visiting the EVE Online: Revelations Features and Patch Notes pages. Dev Blogs with information on some of the recent changes, additions and features are also available.
Please note: The Revelations Patch is currently avalable for manual patching from the EVE Patches page. The full version client is in the process of being built and will be available shortly.
For more on EVE Online click here.
EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot has announced that the game's servers will be coming down on Thursday at 8 AM EST. They estimate that the servers will return to action around 3:30 PM on the same day.
I wish I had a few more details, but I wanted to post as soon as the plan came through. The live servers will be coming down this Thursday at 8:00 AM EST for a few fixes. We expect to be back up on around 3:30 PM. There will be a Pendragon patch tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST, and more detailed notes will follow. Thanks as always for your patience, and keep an eye on the Herald for updates!
For more DAoC click here.
Guild Wars has announced that this weekend will see players who have completed Nightfall gain access to a new area. The Domain of Angusih will open for players on December 1st.
This weekend is truly special, as we launch the opening of the Domain of Anguish. Players who have completed Nightfall will be given access to this elite area through the Chantry of Secrets on Friday, December 1st. You will find four separate areas for players to explore, nearly a dozen quests, new armor upgrade options, a system for acquiring novel weapons, and of course a compelling mission as well. We look forward to seeing you in the Domain of Anguish!
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Blizzard has just added a new section to the official website for their popular MMO, World of Warcraft. The new site keeps track of daily statistics within the game, and will allow players toa ccess that information at the click of a button.
We've just released our new Game Statistics page. This new page will provide you with up-to-date statistics about some of the most important aspects of World of Warcraft: most sought-after items in the Auction House, most common player-created items, the fiercest killers in the NPC kingdom, most gathered and found items, most looted items, and the most popular quests. Click here to see more.
These stats are updated daily and you can even do a side-by-side comparison for up to seven days to see how the statistics are progressing, so make sure to check back often!
For more on WoW click here.
EI Interactive, who recently purchased Horizons from Tulga Games and was embroiled in a a host of controversy afterwards, has been bought out by Pixel Magic Entertainment. There was no immediate comment on what - if anything - this deal means, although it should be noted that the Pixel Magic website lists Ed Andercheck, the owner of EI Interactive, as a Director.
MMORPG.com has contacted the new company for comment and will bring you more on this story in the coming days.
E I Interactive publishes online interactive content products. This includes casual games through an online game portal, gaming review and information sites, and massively multi-player online games (MMOs). EI owns and operates www.mygamehaven.com a portal access site for MMOs, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the interactive entertainment industry.
Pixel Magic Entertainment Corporation through its affiliate companies builds and evolves online products for niche communities. Their efforts endeavor to incubate technology that better supports community construction in the online world. Their culture is built around a team-based commitment to discovery and innovation in technology driven online communities. Interactive entertainment is amongst the fastest growing consumer markets today; the online component of interactive entertainment is its fastest expanding subset.
Laura Genender looks at Veteran Rewards in anticipating of tomorrow's big expansion. Issue #8: To Serve and Protect is a largely City of Heroes focused expansion. When we last spoke to Cryptic at AGC, they told us that from here on out players can expect the expansion to be equally focused across both sides.
| Introduced with the "Issue 8: To Protect and Serve" expansion to City of Heroes and City of Villains, Cryptic Studios will be implementing a Veteran Award system that rewards players based on how long they've had an activated account for the duo of games. These rewards range from costume pieces to special powers to extra base items, including a lot of novelty items that City of Heroes and Villains fans have been anticipating since the opening of the game.
That's right, we're talking wings.
The full article is here.
Community Manager Jon Wood kicks off a new weekly series where he looks at a specific issue raised in our community, how you saw it and how he sees it. Check back each Tuesday to see if you're in the Community Spotlight.
|"Well, sounds like you want a new game called Life Replacement," said user Aquakitty.
Others though, either offer support. "It sounds a good, but then again lots of people will flame this and say 'Dude, there is something called real life!' But it sounds awesome!" Sahilian wrote. Others offered existing game examples such as EVE, Darkfall and Star Wars: Galaxies.
Personally, I like the idea that what he's striving for is a real-life simulator. After all, isn't that generally what role-playing is at its core? Looking beyond the rules and the complexity of role-playing games, hasn't the point always been to create a world that was like real life but more exciting? It's always seemed odd to me that MMOs have moved further and further from this goal of simulating the real world in favor of holding to well used conventions like levels, classes, experience and the like.
The full article is here.
Disney Online has announced that their family-friendly MMORPG, Toontown Online, is now available for Macintosh computers as well as the PC.
North Hollywood, Calif., November, 28 2006 – Disney Online today announced the availability of Disney’s Toontown Online for Macintosh computers, plus the addition of new “gags” to keep players on their toon-toes. The first massively multiplayer online game designed for kids and their families, Toontown invites players to live life as a cartoon character, along with thousands of other players in a continually growing online world. Now both Power PC and Intel-based Mac players can join the more than 15 million PC-based ‘Toon’ characters created in the game by downloading Toontown at www.Toontown.com.
“We are thrilled to offer Mac players the chance to get in on the fun and help expand the world of Toontown,” said Steve Parkis, vice president of Premium Content for Disney Online. “One of the reasons Toontown is so popular is there’s always something new for players – like the special new gags we’ve just added to the game.”
Players can unlock a new arsenal of gags, including a Wedding Cake throw gag, an Ocean Liner drop gag, an Opera Voice sound gag, and more, by reaching the highest skill level on each of their gag tracks. Players have the option of using these new gags either in battle against the Cogs or planting them using the new Estate Gardening feature that was recently added to the game.
Toontown for both Mac and PC is available for download at www.Toontown.com for $9.95 per month, with extended membership packages available at special rates. Each membership includes six separate “Toons,” so multiple family members can play as their own character. A free 3-day trial and additional information is available on the site.
For more on Toontown Online click here.
Voyage Century, a high-seas MMO currently in development, has announced that their game will be Guild-friendly, and IGG will provide limited support for those organized groups.
(Sunnyvale, CA – November 28, 2006) – No longer are online gamers compelled to explore the seas and quest for adventure alone in Voyage Century Online, Internet Gaming Gate’s (IGG) massively multiplayer online nautical role-playing game. Creating guilds are now available to players, with limited guild support from IGG.
Within Voyage Century Online guilds, players carry out many kinds of enriching economic activities including investment, production, trade and more. The most important factor of guild system are the city battles, which guilds must bid to participate in; only the winner can control over the whole city or port. Any guild who owns a city has many additional favorable rights such as imposing special taxes on other players and guilds, free trade and producing weapon or reconstructing ships at a low price.
During this play testing phase, all players will have an equal opportunity to found a guild or join a guild founded by others. The IGG will determine the top 20 guilds in Voyage Century and reward them when Voyage Century is in open beta. Plus, after the closed beta, top-tier guilds will be provided in-game funds and materials to support the guild development. In addition, the Internet Gaming Gate will reward the top 3 guild leaders with a sailboat model and in-game tiger, wolf and parrot pets.
For more information about guilds, please visit http://group.voyagecenturyonline.com/
Voyage Century, in pre-release development, is a ground-breaking massively multiplayer online nautical game. Featuring visually powerful, intense combat and adventure on land and sea, Voyage Century is a dream game for armchair captains everywhere. Trade, craft, wage war around the world, even search for buried treasure, Voyage Century offers just about everything imaginable from the 16th century seafaring era. For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com.
For more on Voyage Century click here.
SOE's EverQuest II has released a new feature that discusses the Lesser Faydark. It's too long to print here in its entirety, so click the link below to get the whole scoop.
Can you tell us a bit about Lesser Faydark?
Morticus: Well, Lesser Fay or LFay as it's called by some – is the smaller extension of the Faydark forest in the continent of Faydwer. Much has changed to the forest over the last four to five hundred years, which is easily noticeable with a quick look around. The first thing you will notice is that the zone is pretty much devoid of trees, but is now filled with huge towering mushrooms, twisted overgrowing vines and gigantic flowers. I really think it gives the zone a great sense of magic and wonder, especially over the traditional coniferous forests you find in most fantasy games. Tunare hasn't forgotten her followers that reside within the Lesser Fay either, which is evident by the Great Tree that grows within her grove in the Northern part of the zone. Some say that the Great Tree sprouted from a seed taken from Tunare's home within the Plane of Growth.
Lesser Faydark features ravenous plant growth. Can you explain the events that lead to all this incredible growth?
Morticus: Oh yeah, the Loa'Sur river that flows from the Emerald Halls is to blame. The water that runs through and permeates the forest of the Lesser Fay is rich in life and growth, all due to the influence caused by the Bloom of Growth Wuoshi is guarding in the Emerald Halls. At the beginning of the Age of Cataclysms during the Rending, a tremor cracked open the lair in which Wuoshi and the Bloom of Growth had been hiding. This fissure within the mountains allowed for light to shine upon the Bloom and water to flow into the Lesser Faydark. Before Tunare left her plane with the gods, she wanted to be sure that she left something behind in her absence… Wary of trusting her beloved Elves due to their invasion of her plane and attacks on the inhabitants there, she deemed them unworthy and sought another. (Bad bad adventurers!) She noticed Wuoshi, a dragon well learned in druidic magics and felt she could entrust him enough to guard the Bloom in her absence. She bade Wuoshi to hide it deep within the mountains and agreeing to guard it with his life, Tunare endowed him with some of her power, thus making Wuoshi the Guardian of Growth.
Read it all here.
Dark Age of Camelot has released some notes from a recent Hotfix.
The following changes are now live.
For more on DAoC click here.