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Tales of Pirates : Studying System Preview

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at IGG have prepared a preview of the Studying System, which is coming soon to Tales of Pirates.

Tales of Pirates ( will be launching a fun new studying system. It’s a super cute and simple way to gain experience for your character by reading books; which is totally different from training your character by hunting critters. The cool thing is, that characters can study and gain experience while the player is Away From the Keyboard. This means that the players gaming world can be fitted around their real world. So there’s less time in game waiting around and more time getting on with the action adventure of Tales of Pirates.

Studying Skills
Studying is one of the life skills. Players can buy the skill books from the grocery merchants in the 3 mains cities. You will simply learn the studying skill by using the skill book and obtaining a Student Card; which is used to record your status of studying.

Whilst studying, you will accumulate experience points on your student card. You can then turn that experience into character experience by accomplishing simple quests. Studying skill has 5 ranks, the higher skill learned, the more EXP gained!

Studying Books
The studying books are the necessary source of studying. They are equipable items that you can get from (Malls / Awards / Events / Rewards). The books are also ranked according skill levels. Only the highest-level players can learn from the senior books. Whilst you are studying, the book must be equipped in the place of main equipment, and its durability will decrease as it is used. Once the durability is exhausted, the book will become useless (cannot be repaired).
The Studying book can be traded
The Studying book cannot be repaired

Student Card
The student card is used to record your current studying level. You can obtain this item when learning the studying skill, and should equip it before using the skill.
The Student card cannot be traded

So come join the fun and advantages of the Studying system of Tales of Pirates!

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Watching Garriot Go To Space

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

If you've ever wanted to watch Richard Garriott's get shot into space (for his trip to the International Space Station, of course), you can watch live video streams of the launch, or if you'll be in the Austin area you can attend the launch party.

Interested in watching Richard Garriott's historic journey into space in the early hours of Sunday, October 12? Now you will have multiple opportunities, both at a space launch party in Austin and across the Internet via a variety of live video streams.

If you're going to be up and around in Austin Saturday night into Sunday morning, the space watch party will be held at Opal Divine's Penn Field restaurant on 3601 S. Congress Avenue. The festivities start with live music by The Echo Vine at 11PM, with pre-launch activities starting at 12:30AM and the launch scheduled for 2AM local time. You must be 21 or over to attend.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Create a Character Contest

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at City of Heroes have announced that they have partnered with Palit and AMD to bring you their Create a Character Costume Contest.

Over the next two weeks players can submit screenshots and bio of their character and be entered into the Palit/AMD City of Heroes “Create a Character” Costume Contest to win great prizes! This is a skill based contest based on the creative use of the City of Heroes Costume Creator to design a hero or villain outfit along with the backstory of that character. Entries will be judged primarily on the quality, cohesiveness and creativity of the character’s costume. Secondary considerations will be (in order): the character’s biography, the quality of the submitted screenshots and the appropriateness of the character screenshot’s background.

Read more here.

Champions Online : Meet the Team: Daniel Stahl

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has posted an internal interview with Champions Online Producer, Daniel Stahl.

Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: As a producer on Champions Online, every day brings something new. Some days, it is reviewing bug lists and prioritizing the things to fix first. Other days, it could be making sure dinners get delivered for the crew working late. It boils down to helping out in any way needed. It's my job to ask a lot of questions, keep track of the big picture, and never lose sight of our goals.

Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Champions Online?
A: In 1996, I launched a popular Battletech fan site and from there I was recruited by Wizards of the Coast. I spent 6 years working on projects such as Magic: The Gathering and various other collectible card games (Pokemon, Star Wars). During this time, I also co-developed the Pirate's Cove board game with my friend Paul Randles. I then moved on to work with the Xbox Live team for the launch of the Xbox 360 and continued working on Xbox Live features.

Read more here.

Atlantica Online : New Screenshots

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today we present nine new images which have been added to our Atlantica Online screenshot gallery.

Check 'em out here.

Final Fantasy XI : Guide to Goldsmithing in FFXI

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Jon Wood Final Fantasy XI Correspondent Adam Poma writes this guide to Goldsmithing, a frustrating but ultimately rewarding job in Square Enix's Final Fantasy XI.


Final Fantasy XI screenshot

So you want to level Goldsmithing (here after known as "GS"), eh? Well are you absolutely sure? I suppose I should actually word the question: Are you ready to tear up as you throw millions and millions of Gil at a craft that is notoriously brutal, and leaves most people crying to their mommies at about level 60? I will not lie to you, it is a long and hard road, but once you get to the 90+ range you will be pretty set financially for the rest of your game time. With all of that in mind, I present to you this guide.

The path that I personally used to obtain 100 GS. Used during the Vana'diel great depression of 2007, the recipes I chose were either as easy on the wallet as possible, or profitable. As most guides out there say, do not follow this guide blindly. Check your server’s prices ( is freaking' sweet) and go from there. What is profitable on one server may be a waste of time on the next. I am writing this guide assuming that the reader is decently versed in Final Fantasy mechanics as well as a decent understanding of the crafting system. Also on a final note, have a nearby punch friendly object. Because under cutters will make you want to kill kittens.

Read the article here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Exclusive Q&A

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Jon Wood's Joe Iuliani recently asked ten questions of the team over at Earthrise to help us find out a little bit mroe about the upcoming sci-fi MMORPG.

How will PVP be handled in Earthrise, will it be open world or zoned PVP?



Most of Earthrise's PvP will be held in open world environment. We are strong believers that a persistent, dynamic world such as Enterra is best suited for unrestricted, natural PvP combat - from one on one struggles to mass combat siege battles.

Read the interview here.

General : Video Competition: Win An XBox 360!

Posted Oct 02, 2008 by Craig McGregor has teamed up with - a new video competition website to bring a cool new contest to our community. From now until the end of the year you can submit a MMORPG "spoof" video - and if your video gets the most votes you win!

You can get details about this promotion at our contest page at this link.

NOTE: is not operating this contest.  For questions about rules or the contest please visit the contest page at

General : Otherland Screens: Lambda Mall

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today, RealU announced that they were developing an MMO based on the Otherland novel series by Tad Williams. Today we present the first screenshots to come out of their labor. The images depict Lambda Mall, a main social hub in the game, and various modes of transportation in this space.

See all of the screenshots here.

Warhammer Online : A Guide for the Fresh New Player

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

Warhammer Online Correspondent John Lisenby Writes this guide that introduces the early mechanics of the game to new players who might ot be too familair with them.

What do you do when you log on? Where do you go? Who do you talk to? What does that green circle over that NPC's head mean? Don't look any further. Here are the answers you seek. This short guide goes over a number of elements that should help you get started if you're a first time player.

When you first log in to this new game world you will find many things to do. What do you do first? Me, I found out all I could about the controls, interface, and the chat. It's really pretty simple, and I've laid out a quick overview of each below:

Read the guide here.

Vanguard : More Accounts Reactivated

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that all former Vanguard accounts have been reactivated until October 18th.

Due to popular demand, we have expanded the recent account reactivation promotion that was sent out to former players who had opted-in for promotional emails. Now all Vanguard accounts that have been inactive for more than 60 days have been reactivated for free play through October 18th.

With the new Isle of Dawn starting area and over 1000 bug fixes in our most recent update, there's never been a better time to revisit Vanguard.

If you still have Vanguard installed, just log in and start playing. If you've misplaced your disks, you can reinstall the game through Station Launcher, our simple one-click application that delivers all your Station games, friends, and community news right to your desktop.

Read more here.

General : New MMO Based on Otherland Novel Pt. 1

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Jon Wood news Manager keith Cross traveled recently to Singapore to learn more about a new MMO being developed by Real U Studios based on the Otherland novel series by author Tad Williams. Today, Keith begins with part one of our introduction to this new game.

Recently, a group of European and North American game journalists were invited to Singapore to visit Real U studios, where we were promised a first look at a previously unannounced MMO project. Today, the embargo on the information has been lifted and we can freely talk about Otherland, a game based on the novel series of the same name by Tad Williams. Tad was the surprise guest of honor for the trip, and was at the main presentation along with Kevin Buckner, the Senior Producer on Otherland, and Andrew Carter, CEO of Real U.

Otherland is currently about 75% through the pre-production phase, and about 15% complete according to Real U. The game is being developed with a special version of the Unreal Engine 3, and is currently scheduled for release in 2010.

Read the article here.

General : Otherland MMO Announced

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

dtp Entertainment and RealU have announced that they are developing an MMO based on the Otherland novels by Tad Williams.

Hamburg, Germany, 01 October 2008 – dtp entertainment and the development studio RealU, based in Singapore, today announced the MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) Otherland. Otherland, based on the best-selling novels by fantasy author Tad Williams, will appear for the PC in 2010.

Game fans can expect a completely new MMOG experience with Otherland. Based on the Unreal Engine 3, Otherland will set new technical standards for the MMOG genre. ‘Unreal Engine 3 is the basis for our client side game and graphics engine. To push it over the top our developers have also made countless additions to ensure outstanding graphics quality over huge environments. At the same time our artists and engineers are exploring the boundaries of Unreal Engine 3 to create fresh new visual styles for the game. At Real U we are developing completely new architecture that allows us to build a groundbreaking MMO game with Unreal Engine 3 at its core,’ says Andrew Carter,
CEO RealU.

MMO fans can also expect a fascinating gameplay experience. Based on the globally successful novels, the Otherland gameplay is distinguished by a unique narrative structure. Rather than retelling the story, players will experience their own individual stories within the Otherland universe and will encounter many of the familiar characters from the books. The game world will change dynamically around them during the course of the game.

Starting from the player lobby Lambda Mall, an Entertainment, Meeting and Communication centre, players will teleport into a wide variety of game worlds. As in the books, virtual reality is a central topic of the game. Nothing is what it appears to be at first glance in this futuristic vision from the pen of Tad Williams, who played an important role in the development of the game.
‘Tad Williams visited us during the conception phase and was very actively involved in the realisation of this project from the beginning,’ comments Andrew Carter. ‘Because this is a MMOG, a linear storyline would not be feasible. Therefore, we had to find an alternative way of telling a story. I think we have found a terrific combination of innovative narration and faithfulness to the books,’ Carter continues.

Andrew Carter is the leader of a development team, now consisting of 80 people, based in Singapore. The international team is composed of game experts with years of experience in the gaming industry. The core team had previously worked at Melbourne House, EA, THQ and other major international studios. RealU is a 100 % subsidiary of dtp entertainment AG.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Cross Pairing Queuing Now Available

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Warhammer have announced the that players can now queue for all scenarios that are available in a player's current tier, eliminating some pesky travel time.


Your feedback is very important to us and it’s always our goal to make your play experience an even more enjoyable one.

In response to popular demand, you’ll now be able to queue for all of the scenarios available in your current tier, across all three pairings. For instance, if you’re in Nordland, you can queue for the Nordenwatch scenario as usual. You can also queue up for Khaine’s Embrace (the Tier 1 scenario in the High Elf vs. Dark Elf pairing) and the Gates of Ekrund (the Tier 1 scenario on the Dwarf vs. Greenskin pairing), all without leaving Nordland. No travel is required at all; just click the WAR symbol on your interface as you normally would, and use the arrows at the top of the window to scroll through the different scenarios.

We know many have been waiting for this feature and we have a lot more great additions coming on the horizon. We look forward to your continued feedback as we work to take WAR to the next level…WAAAGH!!!

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Guide To Farming on the Sunwell Plateau

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent Deborah Dietrich writes this guide to getting the most out of farming on the Sunwell Plateau in Blizzard`s World of Warcraft.

Farming on the ole’ Sunwell Plateau with an Ei, Ei Oh

So, you want to make a little gold? You’d like to get some epic gems at bargain prices? You need sunmotes to have a pattern made or to trade in an item, or you are after some of the most epic items currently available within World of Warcraft, items that just happen to be available to any half organized pug? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll definitely want to start farmin’ the Sunwell Plateau, McDonald.

You see the spam throughout the day and evening in Trade chat: SWP LFM, or even more likely SWP LF 2 mages. But what are these Sunwell Plateau pick-up groups all about and would you want to join one?

Read the guide here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Port Battle Changes

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have announced that they will be extending the amount of time between port flips and port battles, as well as removing random scheduling of port battles.

After reviewing community feedback, we have decided to extend the time span between port flips and port battles from 22 to 46 hours. We are making this change in order to give players extra time to build contention, and we believe this adjustment will give players more time to organize for pending battles.

This adjustment will be introduced, along with the removal of the random scheduling of port battles, this Tuesday, October 7th, during the normal server maintenance window.

Read more here.

Zu Online : Bead Fairy Guide

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Zu Online have prepared a guide full of tips on playing a Bead Fairy in Zu Online.

Bead Fairies in Zu Online ( are quite popular with players for their enchanting appearance and exclusive abilities. Now let’s look at them more in depth.

Class Feature:

First, Bead Fairies can cast beneficial effects and healing spells. But the other classes must use certain reagents to restore their own health.

Second, Bead Fairies have a relatively short spell casting time.

Third, Bead Fairies can use shapeshifting spells to improve attacks.

Two important spells:

Circle of Healing: It instantly heals the Bead Fairy and any allies nearby (+6000 HP). It is one of the most important spells of the Bead Fairies.

Formation of Taipai: It increases defense for all friendly players in the formation. It is very effective in group fighting.

Tips on actual combat:

While fighting common monsters, using Shapeshifting Spells and Bead Strike spells means fast kills. Bead Strike spells are the main source of damage. It does not deal much damage but it can be cast continually. Bead Fairies formation abilities are very effective while fighting multiple monsters.

While fighting a tough enemy, a Bead Fairy should use the Mighty Force spell (Increases the target’s attack and defense by 20% for 20 seconds) and Hibernate to stun the enemy, then hit them with a damage spell. If a Bead Fairy’s health gets low, use Circle of Healing to heal. After doing this several times, most enemies will be defeated.

Bead Fairies can cast beneficial effects and heal themselves and their allies. This gives them a crucial role to play in group action.

Read more here.

Star Trek Online : Meet The Team: Matt Highison

Posted Oct 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has posted an introduction to Star Trek Online character artist, Matt Highison.

Q: Explain what you do on Star Trek Online.
A: My job is to turn the Awesome up to 11 on the Star Trek Online characters, creatures, and ships. With the rest of the Character team, I am building upon the amazingly robust costume creator in Champions Online, reworking it for the Star Trek universe, and adding in loads of new customization options designed especially for STO. Any one day could consist of modeling characters, painting textures, creating shaders, and implementing new tech.

Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before working on Star Trek Online?
A: I started at Cryptic a bit over a year and a half ago working on Champions Online before moving over to STO. Before that I had various stints of contract work while attending the Art Institute of California, San Francisco.

Read more here.

Fiesta : Correspondent: In-Game Weddings

Posted Sep 30, 2008 by Jon Wood Fiesta Online Correspondent THomas Watson writes this feature looking at the ability to get married in-game in Outspark's F2P title.

There are many MMORPGs out there that have attempted to bring out features to the online gaming community that puts reality into a very high priority. These features have no doubt brought online players much closer together. Players who live far away from each other in real life come to meet in the game and learn about each other. Players who never knew each other become best friends. In Fiesta Online, players aim to be the best on the game servers they play on. To be the best means to be able to overcome the most treacherous of monsters and to have the best stats of all players. Oftentimes, to achieve this, one must have a loyal partner to adventure alongside with. It can be a guild mate, a best friend, a staff member, etc. It comes down to some point along the journey that one might ask themselves how they feel about their partner. Do they want to be next to their partner through the rest of their adventure? Not many online games allow its players to marry each other, allowing them to be loving partners for the rest of their gaming experience. One person might ask "will there ever be a chance that I can be able to marry this person in game?" Not many MMORPGs can answer this question, however Outspark's Fiesta Online can. With their newest in-game wedding feature already released, many players are thrilled to take part in this traditional real-life event that is now finally implemented into the game.

Read it all here.

Warhammer Online : Hickman - Addressing the Cut Classes

Posted Sep 30, 2008 by Jon Wood

In the first part of our post-launch interview with Mythic Entertainment's Jeff Hickman, Managing Editor Jon Wood asks a couple of questions about the four classes that were cut from the game pre-launch, when we can expect to see them in-game, whether or not they are affecting game balance and more.

When and how are you going to implement the careers and cities that were cut prior to launch?

Jeff's Answer:

Sorry folks, there’s not set date for this just yet, but Jeff had some interesting things to say on the topic and assured us that they hadn’t been forgotten and that they would be in the game:

“We desperately want to do some of these things that we’ve pulled out of the game… We do have plans. We’ve been talking about it for months and it’s very important to us to do the right things with the game. I don’t mean to sound wishy-washy about it. We’re going to [get the classes in]. It’s just a matter of how long it takes us to do the right things to those classes. We pulled them away for a reason and that’s because they weren’t as good as they needed to be. So we’re looking at those classes hard now and we’re looking at how long it’s going to take us to make them to the point where they feel as good as the other 20 classes in the game.”

“I firmly believe,” he said “that our classes… each one feels cool and unique in and of themselves.” He doesn’t however, want everyone to like every class. He told us that his goal was to evoke emotion from players about the classes. Players should love some and hate others.”

“We’re going to launch those classes when they’re absolutely ready,” he continued, answering the original question, “hopefully it will be fairly soon., but don’t look for it in the next couple of weeks. That’s just not going to happen. We have to make these things perfect or at least as perfect as they can be.”

Read the interview here.

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