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Final Fantasy XI : July Version Update

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Final Fantasy XI has released the notes for their July Version Update. Of course, an update contains far too many notes to be presented in its entirety here, but if you're inteterested, click the lnk below, and read it all!


The following adjustments have been made to Besieged:

Changes to Besieged as a whole:

  • After a beastman army retreats, the enemy forces in that army’s stronghold will immediately begin to increase. The enemy forces will increase very slowly at first, but will gradually increase at a faster rate.
  • If the enemy forces are reduced to a certain point, the rate at which they increase will accelerate.
  • The enemy forces will increase if a player is KO’d in a beastman stronghold.

Changes to the beastman strongholds:

  • New sections have been added to the beastman strongholds.
  • Notorious monsters have been added that will periodically increase the enemy forces in the beastman strongholds.
  • Archaic mirrors will now be surrounded by defending beastmen.
  • Archaic mirrors now appear more frequently and have much higher endurance. In accordance with this change, players will receive less Imperial Standing credits when trading an archaic mirror to an Imperial guard.

Read it all, here.

RF Online : XP and PT Increase

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Our friends over at RF Online have released some enw information about an increase in both PT and in XP beginning on Saturday, and lasting until the new, Giga Final Part 2 patch is completed:


As some of you already know, we will be increasing the rates of both XP and PT in the new Giga Final Part 2 patch due shortly. In preparation for this, we have decided to enable 2X PT and 2X XP increased rates across all servers from Saturday the 29th of July at 12am NST, up until when the patch is released.

So - what does this mean for you?

Well, if you’re a new player, this means you’ll be able to get into the Chip Wars and the PvP aspect of the game twice as fast; meaning twice as much fast paced RF Online action for you to enjoy.

If you’re an experienced RF Online player; this means you will be able to GM those all important PT’s before you take part in Circle Zone Scramble – the all new Guild Vs. Guild battling system coming in Giga Final Part 2.

For more information on Giga Final Part 2 please click here!

To discuss this announcement, please click here!

See you in Novus folks ;)

For more RF Online, click here.

EverQuest II : Dev Chest

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

The EverQuest II branch of Sony Online Entertainment, have released a brand new Dev Chest:


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

  • If you happen to have heard some grumblings of a join in and see what Lyndro has to say!
  • Erudite's have an interesting and unique style all their own. See what Vhalen has to say about the history of the Erudite's style in this thread.
  • Did you happen to have an issue with the proc on the Clawed Basilisk Boots? Aeralik is quick to respond on what we're doing about this.

For more EQ II, click here.

Guild Wars : Nightfall PvP Weekend

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars Nightfall is going to be for a little look this comping weekend from July 28th to july 30th. It seems as though the good folk at Guild Wars will be holding a PvP preview event to help to hype their second spinnoff game, Guild Wars Nightfall:


This weekend, from July 28 to July 30, players will be able to experience a special sneak preview of our newly-announced game through the Guild Wars Nightfall PVP Preview Event! During the event, both Guild Wars Prophecies and Guild Wars Factions players will get a first look at Guild Wars Nightfall, and will be able to try out the two new professions being introduced in the game. In addition to testing the new professions and arenas, players also will be able to compete for items throughout the weekend that will be exchangeable for a variety of rewards.

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : Forums Stress Test

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

At Blizzard's World of WarCraft, they're ready to start stress testing the beta for their new forums. This is going to happen beginning today, Wednesday June 26th.  


We're happy to announce that we'll be ready to begin stress testing the beta version of the new World of Warcraft forums starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 26 at 2:00 PM PDT. This stress test is scheduled to last approximately 24 hours. To ensure that the stress test is successful, we will be making our regular forums read-only during this 24-hour period. This means players will still be able to visit our standard forums and read what's available, but they will be unable to post there.

Our support teams will also be participating in this stress test, and we’ll be adding technical support, customer service, and test realm forums to the beta forums during this time. Each team will be actively answering questions on these forums for the duration of the test.

So, beginning tomorrow afternoon, please head over, take a look, and make lots of posts! Keep in mind that we'll be testing our new moderation tools as well, and our Forum Code of Conduct will remain in full effect, so please continue to abide by our rules and guidelines when posting.

For more WoW, click here.

Disney's Toontown Online : Championships

Posted Jul 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Toontown Online has announced thay they are inviting players to take part in the second UK Toontown Championships. Apparently, players from around the world are eligible to play, but only UK participants can get the prizes:


Disney Announces Toontown Championships 2006

Toons Invited to Compete in the 2nd Annual UK Toontown Championships for the Chance to Win Fame, Glory and Amazing Prizes

London – 24th July 2006 - With schools breaking up for the summer, most UK families will be planning a variety of activities to keep themselves occupied during this period. To help keep boredom at bay, the Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) is today launching the 2nd annual Toontown Championships - a perfect way for families to stay busy and have fun together.

Toontown Online, the award-winning online computer game from Disney (NYSE: DIS) designed specifically for families with kids aged six to 12, is hosting five Toontown Championship events every weekend beginning 29/30 July and ending 26/27 August 2006. Kids and their families are invited to enter the Toontown Championships online at where one winner and two runners-up will be selected every weekend and awarded great prizes such as Disney Mix Stick MP3 players, DVDs and plush toys. In addition, winners and their personalised Toons will be featured on a ‘Leaderboard’ thus gaining fame and glory with their fellow players and receive a personalised certificate with their Toon.

Tens of thousands of people have already passed through the virtual gates of Toontown since the game’s launch in 2004, exploring an amazing world full of hilarious adventures, challenging quests and classic Disney magic. In Toontown, everyone gets to create their very own cartoon character, and interact and unite with other players online in a quest to defeat the Cogs, evil humourless robots intent on turning Toontown into a boring corporate metropolis. Toons must use cartoon-style gags such as squirting flowers and falling anvils to make the Cogs laugh and banish them from Toontown.

On Toontown Championships weekends, players will have to complete certain tasks – ranging from battling with the Cogs, to fishing in the Toontown ponds, kart racing and playing trolley games – to earn points. The Toons who score the most points that weekend will be the winners and their names will be announced on the following Thursday. Each weekend will be a separate event and players may only come in first place once so there are lots of opportunities to win! Check out the web site and join the challenge. Are YOU Toon Enough?

The Toontown Championships are open to everyone*, both current and new players. Anyone can play Toontown free for three days at

*All players may take part but only UK residents are eligible to win prizes

For more on Toontown, click here.

Trickster Online : Added to List, Launch Delayed

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Dana Massey

The anticipated launch of Trickster Online, due today, has been delayed again. Nonetheless, we have taken this chance to add this title to our game list.

You can read more about Trickster and check out their new forums over in their section.

Hero's Journey : Dev Journal: Wyr

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Dana Massey

Simutronics presents another developer journal here on This week, Jay Miller drops by to let us know about one of the game's defining features: wyr.

So I was trolling through the forums today - you know, chattin' it up with the little people, listening to their plights, beheading the odd finger-pointing, nay-saying miscreant - when I discovered a startlingly alarming statistic: of all the gamers across the globe who follow Hero's Journey, we haven't a single Merfolk among our ranks! Now I know what you're thinking: "There's no such thing as Merfolk, ya bleedin' maroon!" But how can we know that? For all we know, the oceans are teeming with the fellers and all we have to do to lure them out is give them something amazing to get excited about!

It got me thinkin', it did! If we could bring out something so phenomenal, so undeniably brilliant that no one – man nor mer – could deny its greatness, then I'd say we stand a pretty good chance of luring those feisty little buggers out of their hidey-holes and into LAN gaming centers everywhere! Hell, maybe with the extra income I can stop sleeping on the floor of the office and get a flat of my own!

You can read more here.

Hero Online : Patch 105

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Jon Wood

Hero Online has released notes for patch 105. Below, you will find a list of fixes and changes that will take place with that patch:


After update 104, where we implemented the new bounty system, we experienced several bugs dealing with PvP.

The following have been fixed by patch 105:

  • the skill cooldown animation has been fixed
  • job specific skill books now give the right amount of status buffs
  • The Bounty attack toggle should now be unrestricted. People can toggle their bounty attacks in any zone.
  • certain skills were displaying wrong amounts of damage. That has been fixed.

For more on Hero Online, click here.

Vanguard : Employee Spotlight

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Jon Wood

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, has released a new Employee Spotlight. This time around, we're getting to know Peter Rocchio Jr.


Of course, the profile is longer than we have room for, so what you see here is a sampling of what you'll find if you click the link below:


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a god among men. My true name is unpronounceable by tongues of flesh. Therefore, on this plane, I am called Peter Rocchio Jr.

I create quests with but a thought, populate entire dungeons using a keystroke from my pinky, and slay the most powerful of creatures with a single command. There is no challenge that I cannot meet.

How did you get your start at Sigil?

Jeff Butler and Brad McQuaid were plundering the horde of a dragon they had just slain when they discovered an egg. At that very moment the egg hatched and I spilled out, floundering into your realm. Laying eyes upon anyone for the first time I bonded to them as a child does to its mother. Together, they raised me as their own, honing both my mind and body into a weapon of awesome designing power.

Read it all, here.

Lord of the Rings Online : The Dead Spire

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has released another of their "Exploring Middle-Earth" features. This one takes a look at The Dead Spire, located on the Barrow-downs.

The Barrow-downs is a name of dread, but it was not always so. The barrows were originally raised by the Edain, Men of ancient days, and later kept and revered by the Dúnedain of Cardolan. In the Third Age, a great plague swept across Middle-earth, out of Mordor, and the last vestiges of the Men of Cardolan perished. The Witch-king of Angmar sent evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur to stir the bones of the dead and make the Barrow-downs the place of dread and evil it has become.

As Frodo Baggins and his companions made their way through the Barrow-downs from the house of Tom Bombadil, they stopped to rest beside a great stone marker, the Dead Spire. Here they were overcome by the spells of the barrow-wights and taken to a barrow to be sacrificed – the barrow, it is believed, of the last prince of Cardolan: a final insult by the Witch-king of Angmar to the memory of Cardolan. The barrow was, however, reclaimed; and the barrow-wight who dwelt there was destroyed by Tom Bombadil when he came to the rescue of the hobbits.

When players of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar see the Dead Spire, they will know the barrow of the last prince is not far away. In LOTRO, the Barrow-downs play an important role in the story of the rise of Angmar, drawing on some surprising and little-known lore from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

For more on LOTRO, click here.

D&D Online : Weekly Development Activities

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has released their newest Weekly Development Activities feature. Follow the link below to read more:


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.

Read the feature, here.

Guild Wars : Arena Play

Posted Jul 25, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released their newest State of the Game feature, wherein they talk about Arena Play:


On the heels of another weekend of exciting Guild Wars play, the newest article in our Competitive Section offers helpful insight into arena play. You'll find descriptions of the many different maps and helpful tips and advice on how to succeed in gathering Balthazar Faction and Gladiator points.

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

Fury : Interview with Joseph Hewitt

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Dana Massey

Joseph Hewitt is the Senior Designer of Auran's "Fury". This MMORPG wowed us at E3, impressed us when we saw it in Australia and now we learn more as Carolyn Koh asks Joseph some questions. Why did you create a game like Fury that breaks away from the traditional class mold? (What do you think is lacking in the current line-up of MMOGs out there?)

Joseph Hewitt: The class mold is a very artificial constraint and only seems normal because it has been around for so long. The reason why it has survived for so long is that it easy for game designers to balance. They know exactly what to expect from each character class and can balance accordingly. In many ways classes are like training wheels for players, and very early on we decided we were making this game for the core audience.

Skill based systems offer so much more and let players build characters aligned with their own play style. Of course this can be harder to balance, but ultimately it is far more fun.

Once we decided to go with a skill based system for Fury, we took a hard look at what some of the downsides to it were. Personally, when I play games where I can build my own character, I am always afraid I am making a bad decision that might gimp my character. We decided that we wanted you to be able to rebuild your character anytime you wanted with no costs or penalties. That way we were sure players were free to have fun and experiment. Once we did that it was just a natural progress to say that you could load and save those templates and the incarnation system was born.

The incarnation system led to so many other benefits. For example, incarnations remove the need to have alts since you can switch between incarnations anytime. This also means you don’t have to fill your friend’s list with multiple entries for one person keeping track of his alts. One of the really cool things is you can build a lower ranked incarnations to play with friends new to the game.

You can read more here.

Final Fantasy XI : Cheaters Banned

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

SquareEnix, the company responsible for the MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, have announced that on the 21st of July, they took steps to suspend or permanently terminate players who are using "unauthorized third-party software tools".

In other words, cheaters beware!


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 2,000 PlayOnline accounts have been either suspended or terminated on Jul. 21, 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 Trade) 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 their games 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.

To read more about FFXI, click here.

Lineage 2 : Chronicle 5: Preview Site

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

Lineage II has released a new preview site for their upcoming Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood.


Learn more about Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood by browsing through the preview site. Take a look at the expanded clan system, changes to Player vs. Player combat, and the new areas to get a taste of what’s coming in Chronicle 5.

Check out the preview site, here.

The Matrix Online : The Other Side of the Looking Glass

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

The good folks over at The Matrix Online, have released another installment of their feature, "The Other Side of the Looking Glass". As always, we don't have enouhg room for the masssive feature here, but the sample below should tell you if you want to click the link to read it all!


The Other Side of Oregon

As I mentioned last week, I've been down in the San Diego offices this week. I might as well call this "the other side of the US", as I've gone from 2 hours to the Canadian border to 30 minutes away from the Mexican border.

I came down early to start getting things ready for the block party this weekend and sneak into the San Diego Comic Con for a bit, as well. Overall, it's been another long week.

Forums Transition

I suppose having the forums transition be interrupted by a blackout in Southern California might have been taken as a sign. Throw in the ripple effect on air traffic, and I also ended up with a four hour delay getting off the ground Wednesday. Good thing there wasn't anything going on I needed to pay attention to, right? :P

No, the forums transition has not gone smoothly. Yes, there have been some serious bugs and security issues. Yes, we and some of the other communities get to be the "guinea pigs" for the rest of the communities. And our experiences are going to help them not to go through the same issues.

Does that suck for us? Yes. But someone had to be first and it was better to go through this with the amount of data we have versus the amount that EQII or SWG have. There are certainly things we could have done to keep some of our current problems from happening and we're making sure those lessons are learned internally.

However, it is one reason I am glad I'm here in San Diego for the transition. The platform group has been working long hours to fix bugs and test new builds to get them out to the communities. They're just like any other game-programming team in crunch-mode right now. While things are rough for us now, that experience is going to benefit us in the long run.

Is this a "rah-rah" speech for the forums team? Sure. Beating them down isn't going to help anything, but making sure they have what they need to get our community running smoothly again will. They're learning hard lessons and all the CRMs dealing with the new forums right now are making sure the devs understand what needs to happen.

Read it all, here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Friday Grab Bag

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

We just passed a weekened, and you can't have a weekend without a Friday Grab Bag from Mythic. As always, we have presented only a sampling of the grab bag goodness that was given to us. To read it all, click on the link below:


Essence Flare doesn’t stack with the Warden Heal Procs (both Nurture and Regrowth). Is this a bug? If not, why was it designed this way?

According to The Big Wheel, “This is not a bug. You cannot have two offensive proc buffs up at once by design. Both spells are offensive proc buffs, hence unable to be up concurrently.”

Would it be possible to add a run-speed potion to the game?

I sent this one to the Content King, who said: “This is one of those tricky items. It’s something we’d like to add, but we have to be careful because that sort of thing would impede on the territory of run speed classes. The idea has been under discussion on and off for awhile now. If it was added, the potion would probably offer a lower bonus, similar to what’s available from hasteners in New Frontiers.”

Read it all, here.

World of Warcraft : Blood Elf Paladins, and Draenei Shamen

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has released two interesting race/class descriptions. Both are based on the new races from the upcoming WoW expansion, The Burning Crusade. The stories in question bring to light Blood Elf Paladins, as well as Draenei Shamen:


As we draw closer to the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, more of the secrets shrouding the draenei and blood elves are being revealed. In the upcoming expansion, players will finally be able to play classes that were previously unavailable to their faction. The blood elves have harnessed the power of the Light for their own needs, and the Horde recognizes the value of these renegade blood elf paladins. Meanwhile, the draenei have been granted the wisdom and strength of the elements, and a number of draenei now follow the path of the shaman. Read on to learn more about the new class combinations available to players of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

Read the stories, here.

Age of Conan : Publishing Deal

Posted Jul 24, 2006 by Jon Wood

Funcom, the company developing the popular Age of Conan MMORPG, have announced that they will be co-publishing the game with a company called, SCi/Eidos. Sci/Eidos will be handling the retail publication, while Funcom will keep the rights to the digital distribution of the game:


Funcom and SCi/Eidos sign co-publishing agreement for 'Age of Conan'

- The highly anticipated MMO has March to May as new launch window –

Oslo, Norway - July 24, 2006 – Funcom announces the signing of a co-publishing agreement with SCi/Eidos for ‘Age of Conan’, the highly anticipated Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO). Under the terms of the agreement, SCi/Eidos is to publish the boxed product of ‘Age of Conan’ while Funcom retains digital distribution rights. The agreement gives SCi/Eidos distribution rights for North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Funcom will operate servers and provide customer service for the game and collect and retain subscription revenues.

The two parties have agreed to set the new launch window between March and May 2007. The contract contains specific sales targets, which, if met, will make ‘Age of Conan’ a highly successful game. The PC version of ‘Age of Conan’ is currently in the Beta phase of development and Funcom and SCi/Eidos are pleased with the status of the game. Funcom and SCi/Eidos will also co-operate to bring the game to the console market.

“We are very excited to work with SCi/Eidos on the publishing of Age of Conan,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “SCi/Eidos has proven their strength in PR, marketing and distribution with series like Hitman and Tomb Raider, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our co-publishing partner. Our two companies share a strong commitment and ambition for the game, and we feel certain the partnership will increase the likelihood of success and the total sales potential for the game.”

“We have strong faith in the sales potential for ‘Age of Conan’, and by combining the knowledge and reach of both SCi/Eidos and Funcom we believe the game will become a great success,” said Ian Livingstone, Product Acquisition Director of Eidos. “The many E3 awards, the extensive worldwide press coverage, the vibrant online player community, the strong global brand and Funcom’s extensive MMO experience are all factors which bode well for the future of ‘Age of Conan’, and we will do our best to contribute to making it into a successful MMO franchise in the years to come.”

‘Age of Conan’ is a Showcase title for Windows Vista, and the game recently won the “Best MMO of E3” awards from IGN, GameSpot, GameSpy and Yahoo Games. More information, screenshots, forums, newsletter sign-up and a welcoming community portal can be found on the official website

For more on Age of Conan, click here.

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