Our friends at MGame USA and Hero Online have sent us five brand new screenshots for your ciewing pleasure. All five of the screenshots can be found in our Hero Online gallery, which can be found here.
You can learn more about Hero Online by clicking here.
Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has released a new Creatures of Middle-Earth feature. This time out, the feature focuses on "bog-lurkers":
Found in the forested wetlands of western Middle-earth, the bog-lurker lives a concealed existence in the darkened wilds. To the casual observer, the body of the bog-lurker is seemingly made of root and bramble, its back alive with marsh-plants and its limbs formed of bark and wood. Ancient tales tell of the creature working alongside the mighty Ents of Eriador, acting in their service to assist in the shepherding of the trees. While the Ents retreated from those lands, the bog-lurkers remained, living a solitary life separated from their masters, although they are occasionally found in the company of the forest Huorns they once tended.
Bog-lurkers are unique to LOTRO and were designed and visually conceived to be in the same class of creature as Ents and other "natural" inhabitants of Middle-earth. Bog-lurkers tend to stay out of the affairs of the speaking races of Middle-earth, preferring their own isolation to the wars between good and evil. However, in the wetlands of Eriador, adventurers would be wise to be cautious in their presence, as the corruption and darkness of Mordor and Angmar have found their way even into the most desolate marshes. Beware the rustling in the brush. It may be only the wind in the reeds, or it may be a watching bog-lurker, turned to the service of darker powers.
For more on LOTRO, click here.
The good people over at Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach have released another edition of their "Weekly Development Activities". As usual, there is more there than we can publish here. Read the excerpt below. If you're interested, click the link below:
Check out the latest updates to the "Weekly Development Activities." The goal for this feature is to give solid expectations on what you can expect to see in future updates.
These items are in QA and should be a part of the next scheduled update.
Read it all here.
The third set of skill pins will be made available at Gen Con Indy. Some time ago, Guild Wars announced that the winners of the Guild Wars World Championships would be choosing which skills would be incorpoated. At E3, the first two sets were unveiled:
As you may be aware, the winners of the Guild Wars World Championship selected eight of their favorite skills, and from those we crafted attractive 1-inch skill pins. The first two pins (Crippling Shot and Aura of the Lich) were released in May at E3 and the second set (Contemplation of Purity and Energy Surge) at San Diego Comic Con. Now you have a chance to collect the 3rd set of pins at Gen Con Indianapolis where you can also compete for $5,000 in the Guild Wars 5k Arena! No account is needed; just bring the entry fee and your willingness to compete. All participants in the Gen Con 5k Arena will also receive the first two skill pin sets while supplies last as well! So come compete for $5,000 and get your own set of these limited edition pins!
For more on Guild Wars click here.
We would like to announce that we have partnered with HanbitSoft to bring you another cool contest offer. From now until September 8, 2006 @ 9PM EST we will be taking entries from our members to win one of 500 prizes for Tantra Online. The prize is a 50 "Taney" card which can be used to acquire in game goodies.
Warhammer Online, the much-anticipated IP MMORPG from Mythic Entertainment, has released a new feature for the game's official website. The feature is called "The Armies of WAR", and profiles each of the races in both the Destruction and Order factions. Currently, the only two available races are Orcs and Dwarfs.
Below, you will find an excerpt from the Dwarf section of the site:
The Dwarfs are an ancient and industrious race that is long past its prime. Their once-great empire of Karak Ankor now lies in ruins and many of the Dwarfs' mighty mountain holds have been abandoned or conquered by Orcs and Goblins, with whom the Dwarfs have warred for centuries. It is not uncommon to hear a Dwarf wistfully recall the great glories of the past, observing bitterly that nothing the Dwarfs do in this day and age can compare to the majesty of what once was.
An enormously proud people, the Dwarfs are quick to react to any slight, real or imagined, and remember any such infraction for years, even passing on the responsibility of vengeance to their heirs through their Books of Grudges. It is perhaps because of their obstinate pride that the Dwarfs refuse to openly admit that their culture is slowly creeping towards its nadir. Inwardly, however, they know that they are a doomed race. This gives them a uniquely dour outlook upon the world and perhaps explains their great fondness for drowning their sorrows in tankard after tankard of ale.
In fact, the only thing that the Dwarfs love more than a good mug of ale is gold. A Dwarf in the throes of goldlust is a thing to behold. The race's legendary drive and stamina is brought into sharp relief when they are presented with the opportunity to acquire gold. As miners and experts on ore and metals, the Dwarfs are without peer. Items of Dwarf craftsmanship and engineering are the most valuable in all the world, revered even by the Elves.
The fates of the Dwarfs and men of the Empire are inextricably intertwined. Ever since the day Sigmar united the tribes of men in the defense of the Dwarfs at the Battle of Black Fire Pass, the stout warrior-folk have honored their oath to come to the aid of men in times of need. With the fate of the Empire now hanging in the balance, it seems that this old debt may soon come to call.
Check it out here.
On Friday, Mythic Entertainment released a new Grab Bag for their popular MMORPG, Dark Age of Camelot. As usual, we publish only a taste of what's in the bag. To read it all, follow the link below:
Is Mythic planning on, or even already working on a way to insert a Starting Stats Respec? Looking back at the beginning of DAoC shows that you guys told us to put our points in the wrong places on a few classes.
I know I wouldn't mind fixing a few toons' starting points!
A: You and me both. This isn't something we can do in a single patch, because it’s so inextricably linked with your character data. Can you say emergency character reset? I have nightmares about this.
But I continue to request it as a feature as soon as it becomes technically possible for our current team, because we've all been there.
Read it all here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea now has a Community Site for their Chinese customers. On Friday, Flying Lab software announced the launch of the new website as the pirate-based game continues to grow:
Flying Lab Software is proud to announce the launch of the official Chinese Pirates of the Burning Sea website! This new site, www.burningseaasia.com.cn, will allow us to provide the most current and accurate information regarding Pirates of the Burning Sea for our friends in China.
We are extremely excited about this new resource, and look forward to the continued expansion and support of our growing international fan base!
For more PotBS click here.
A new State of the Game has been released by the good people at Shadowbane. Last time, the State of the Game talked about the change in studios for the game. This time out, Ashen Temper lets us know what we can expect for the game's future:
Normally, we try to present the State of Shadowbane as a quarterly update to let everyone know what is going on with the game we all love. But, as we can all no doubt attest, these last couple of months have been anything but normal. The last State of Shadowbane brought everyone up to date with current events, especially as they pertain to our studio and to the game. Enough of the present; now I want to talk a little about the future.
First and foremost, in the months to come you will see new patches, and many changes made to improve the game. We will be working on streamlining the code for better performance, as well as rectifying issues as they arise. We’ll target behavior in the game that was not originally intended, like the siege changes in Patch 16. Guild Leaders are now the only owners of Buildings of War – we made the change so to keep players from bypassing the balance restrictions placed on attacking forces. Improvements and adjustments such as these will always be high on our priority list and an ongoing process. We have more of these kinds of changes planned.
While these sort of adjustments are part of Shadowbane’s future, they really do not answer the question as to what lies ahead of us. Not too long ago I took the reigns of Shadowbane’s design, and I have some big shoes to fill. I will do my best to keep within the original vision of Shadowbane, but I intend to bring some of my own ideas into.
That’s what this State of Shadowbane update is; instead of listing a bunch of micro design changes, I want to talk about my vision for the game, and my goals for the Shadowbane Player-vs.-Player experience. These goals are what lie behind all the power tweaks and system refinements: they’re the yardstick I’m using when charting future patches.
Over the years many people have posted to ask us “what were you thinking?” Well, that’s not entirely true – their language wasn’t nearly so clean. Here’s an answer to that question: The following three (3) items outline my grand strategy for Shadowbane’s future direction.
Here’s what I’m thinking...
Read it all here.
Guild Wars has released a new State of the Game feature. This time around, the article focuses on Flag Stand Control. As usual, the feature is too long to publish here, but can be read in its entirety by clicking hte link below:
Success in Guild Battles often comes down to maintaining a higher morale bonus than the opposing guild over the course of the game. Thus, superior flag stand control can mean the difference between victory or death.
The Flag Stand
Every guild hall has a flag stand located an equal distance from each team's initial flag position. To capture the stand, a player must click on the flag to pick it up, and then click on the flag stand to plant the flag. Once captured, the flag stand yields a 10% morale boost to the team that controls the stand for two consecutive minutes.
Morale boosts can change the tide of battle. Each boost not only increases a team's maximum Health and Energy by 10%, but also instantly recharges all skills—including a used Resurrection Signet. Thus, a timely morale boost can mean a quick recovery from an opposing Mesmer's Diversion or regaining the ability to resurrect fallen teammates. Because players in GvG who reach 60% death penalty do not revive automatically at the resurrection shrines, morale boosts can also save a team from playing shorthanded.
Note that while the Isle of Meditation Guild Hall also features an Obelisk Flag Stand, it does not provide morale boosts on that map. However, the team that controls the Obelisk Flag Stand can enjoy a significant advantage, particularly during Victory or Death, due to the obelisk damage. Keep in mind that the obelisk's ranged damage reaches the Tower's flag stand and beyond so a flag runner can get a lot of help from control of the Obelisk Flag Stand, especially when engaged in solo combat with an enemy flag runner.
Read it all here.
The first entry into the MMORPG universe of The Lord of the Rings will be taking place in Edinburgh on Tuesday, the 22nd day of August. The game makes its debut at the upcoming Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival:
Hobbits, Elves, and Orcs are set to descend on Edinburgh later this month when The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar receives an exclusive premiere at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival 2006’s (EIEF06) Game Screenings event.
EIEF06’s Game Screenings offer members of the public a chance to get up close with some of the leading names in video games. The event is being held at The Odeon, Lothian Road, Edinburgh on Tuesday, 22nd August.
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game is currently in development at Turbine, Inc.’s studios in Massachusetts and is tipped as the next major landmark in online gaming.
In The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar players will journey to Middle-earth™, an evolving and persistent re-creation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved world. There they will join thousands of others in an epic adventure as they explore a massive online world while defending the lands from the Dark Lord Sauron.
Gamers will face the dangers Frodo and the Fellowship left behind when they began their epic journey to destroy the One Ring. They will be able to choose from thousands of players online to forge their own fellowships and face the hideous monsters and minions of evil, fight epic battles and immerse themselves in the greatest adventure of our time.
Be one of the first to experience The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar at EIEF06’s Game Screenings on Tuesday, 22nd August at The Odeon, Lothian Road, Edinburgh. For information, please visit www.eief.co.uk
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is currently alpha phase of development. The game will be published and operated in Europe by Codemasters Online Gaming. For more details on The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar visit the official European website at http://www.lotro-europe.com/
For more Lord of the Rings Online click here.
Matt Firor was the producer of Dark Age of Camelot and Executive Producer for all of Mythic until he stepped down a few weeks ago. Hot on the heels of the EA deal to buy Mythic, the timing was conspicuous to say the least. We get the truth from Matt about why he left.
| MMORPG.com: Now that you’ve left, can you tell us what you think of the EA/Mythic deal?
Matt Firor: Everyone wants me to dish some dirt on this one! Really, I think it's a good thing. We all know EA has had some problems in the past with absorbing acquired companies, but the new management there is committed to making the EA / Mythic relationship work, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. They need Mythic just as much as Mythic needs them – EA knows that online games are the future of this industry, and they are setting Mythic up to lead their online MMO efforts. The last thing they want to do is jeopardize their investment in the studio.
You can read more here.
We recently received this video from Sigil/SOE highlighting some of the hot features in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. In it you will see flying mounts, a flying city, never-before-seen zones, combat and player-owned boats!
MMORPG.com is pleased to announce that from now until Sept 5, 2006 all of our members can enter to win a free 60 day account for EVE Online - the acclaimed sci-fi space MMORPG by CCP Games.
We will be giving out a total of 25 accounts. As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details).
Ready to enter? Click here!
Guild Wars has announced a new community contest. This time around, they are asking for Guild Wars Nightfall guild emblems:
With the announcement of Nightfall, and with our first view at images from the realm, it's time to announce a new community contest. The Guild Wars Nightfall Guild Emblem Contest starts today, and offers you the chance to earn your place in Guild Wars history and in your local Guild Emblemer's heart, too. Read the contest details here.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Blizzard's World of Warcraft has a new home in MySpace. With their new MySpace homepage, the game giant can offer a number of different features, including WoW-themed buddy icons:
We've just launched our World of Warcraft MySpace homepage on social-networking site MySpace.com. Visitors to the site can check out World of Warcraft trailers, audio tracks, and art; enter the screenshot contest to compete for a Blizzard Edition iPod Nano; or just connect with other World of Warcraft players online.
Other features include World of Warcraft-themed buddy icons, skins for your personal MySpace pages, and an in-game mail template for making customized postings on your friends' MySpace pages. In addition, the World of Warcraft MySpace homepage has a feature that lets you adopt animated World of Warcraft pets, such as the baby murloc, for your own MySpace pages.
For more on WoW click here.
Codemasters and ArchLord have unveiled a new "multi-level" playment ststem called "PlayPLUS". PlayPLUS will work on a credit system that will see players able to purchase in-game items that are meant "as a way of enhancing your character further."
The official website has an interesting chart to go with this article. To view that, please click the link below:
Codemasters Online Gaming today announces ‘PlayPLUS’, a revolutionary subscription system for the hugely anticipated MMORPG ArchLord™. The PlayPLUS system will enable players to purchase packages that include both game time and in-game bonus credits. Credits will be redeemable against in-game items and benefits, such as experience bonuses, teleportation spells, health boosts and many other desirable enhancements.
Items obtained using the bonus credits are additional to the standard in-game currency system and are only used as a way of enhancing your character further. Regular in-game items, including weapons, armour, potions, and mounts, will still be freely available through the regular in-game currency system.
David Solari, Vice President & General Manager, Codemasters Online Gaming, commented: “We are very pleased to bring this exciting concept “PlayPLUS” to the MMO market. We believe the ability to utilise items will give players more freedom to develop their characters in the game world and will enhance their overall experience. Coupled with quality gameplay at a very competitive entry price we believe ArchLord is the MMO to get into this year.”
The all-new PlayPLUS system will be integrated into ArchLord in time for launch in Q3 this year. However, gamers participating in the forthcoming Beta test will be able to experience the system early. There are still places left in the BETA sign up now at the official ArchLord website www.archlordgame.com
Ed Relf, Director of Marketing at Codemasters Online Gaming, commented: “We are ecstatic to finally unveil the full details of the new payment system, which we will introduce with ArchLord. The PlayPLUS subscription system will allow players to join ArchLord at a great, value-packed price and we look forward to welcoming them in the coming weeks in the game’s BETA phase.”
For more information on the ArchLord PlayPLUS system please visit www.archlordgame.com/playplus.
More info here.
Age of Conan has published a new Developer journal of sorts, as the game's Lead Designer, Ole Herbjørnsen sits down to explain to us what exactly it is to be a game designer. There's more info that what appears below. Follow the link at the end to read the whole thing:
Ever wondered what exactly it means to be a game designer? This week join Lead Designer Ole Herbjørnsen as he explains a little more about what goes into designing a game like Age of Conan!
A game designer is actually a very generic term, especially so in MMO-terms owing to the fact that the teams are usually quite large. For any one person it is a difficult task to know everything about every single system and technology we are using. There are so many very different skill set involved that we actually have several very different types of game designer - our own form of classes if you will!
It's quite cool to get the opportunity to tell you a bit about their feats, pets, skills and special combos, so I hope you enjoy this little insight into what goes on here behind the scenes.
I thought it would be fun to start out with a theme of sorts, and explain the various types of designers that work together to bring a monster from concept to final implementation in the game.This is the realm of the npc designer, bcc designer and script designer...
Read it all, here.