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EverQuest II : iGames Event

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

"Leading game center organization" iGames has announced an event to help celebrate the launch of EverQuest II's third expansion, Echoes of Faydwer. The event will see fans receive a little free game time, and maybe a snack or two.

EverQuest® II Echoes of Faydwer Launches with Free Events at iGames Game Centers

Third Expansion Pack in Sony Online Entertainment's Blockbuster EQII Series to Feature Special In-Game Item – The Greatstaff of the Sun Serpent

Event Also to Include Free Game Copies, Free T-Shirts, Free Food and Beverages at the Premiere, Saturday, November 25


Leading game center organization iGames will host a series of special events to celebrate the release of Echoes of Faydwer™, the third expansion pack in Sony Online Entertainment’s massively popular MMORPG series EverQuest® II. Unlike other iGames premieres, this event is completely free, with pre-registration and seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The first event will be a one-day premiere, Saturday, November 25, with free pizza*, sodas and game time for all participants, followed by an expanded showcase, November 27 through December 10, allowing EQII fans one free hour of game play over a two-week period to sample the eagerly anticipated title.

(*) Pizza may not be available at all locations and might be replaced by other food items.


Premiere: 50 select iGames member centers across North America, including Canada and Mexico.
Showcase: 100 iGames member centers.


  • The chance to win free copies of the game.
  • Get a free promo card to create a character and play EverQuest II and the all-new Echoes of Faydwer expansion with no credit card required.
  • The chance to receive free Echoes of Faydwer t-shirts.
  • The unique chance of experiencing an exclusive in-game item – available only at iGames centers: The Greatstaff of the Sun Serpent – this golden serpent, winged and silent, awaits you, its new master. Its ruby-inset eyes are mesmerizing, beckoning your foes to come closer...closer...within striking distance. This unique item will put victory within your grasp.
[ expand article ]

Dark and Light : Special Report: Billing Issues

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Dana Massey

Reports surfaced late last week of inactive accounts being imporperly charged. Garrett Fuller reports on what happened.

Farlan Entertainment, the makers of Dark and Light, has come under fire by community members for billing player accounts who are not actually playing the game. In these types of situations things can become very tricky so we here at want to try to provide all the people involved with as much information as we can get. Here is the situation as it stands from community posts on the Dark & Light boards.

When players signed up for a Dark and Light pre-order last November they agreed to have ClickandBuy, an online pay service, charge them for any services rendered by Farlan Entertainment for the game Dark and Light. Players could have signed up for this pre-order and never once logged in to play the game, hence expecting to never be billed. All they were doing was signing up for pioneer accounts and giving information in case they wanted to play and be billed accordingly.

You can read the full report here.

Lineage 2 : FBI and NCsoft Stop Illegal Servers

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCsoft has announced that they, in conjunction with the FBI, have closed down a group that has been fraudulently providing Lineage 2 service to its customers.  The investigation and subsequent raids focus around The website has since been replaced with an FBI Anti-Piracy Warning that clearly states that "This site has been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigations" and that "The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000".


FBI, NCsoft Close Down Computer Game Operation

Year long investigation results in raids in multiple search and seizure warrants; Individuals questioned in unauthorized game server scheme

AUSTIN, Texas, November 20, 2006— FBI Agents working in conjunction with officials from NCsoft’s® North American business successfully closed down a computer game operation alleged to be reaping profits by providing a fraudulent service to its players. The operation was closed down after multiple raids and interviews were conducted in various cities from California to Virginia.

Federal search warrants were served on owners of L2Extreme who were also questioned during the raid. L2Extreme was providing its users with unauthorized service and code for NCsoft’s online computer game, Lineage® II. The warrants enabled officials to halt L2Extreme’s operations while collecting further evidence in the course of the investigation.

The FBI estimates L2Extreme has up to 50,000 active users on its service. NCsoft estimates that monetary losses and damages from the operation are costing NCsoft millions of dollars per year.

L2Extreme advertised on its website,, that more than half million registered users had subscribed to play.

“Operations like this essentially are defrauding customers by stealing from companies like NCsoft,” said Matt Esber, NCsoft North America general counsel. “In the end those losses impact our customer support, product development, operational areas and ultimately they impact our player communities, most of which are trying to play games legitimately. This group in particular was downloading our version of the Lineage II software from our servers, costing us close to a million dollars in realized bandwidth costs during the period it was operational.

“We’ve taken this action because we strongly believe in defending the intellectual property rights that we’ve worked so hard to create. We’re extremely pleased that the FBI has worked with us so diligently to bring this particular case to its current state and we want our customers to understand that we will continue to fight similar operations in the future in order to maintain the integrity of all NCsoft games.”

The investigation into the L2Extreme operation is ongoing.

For more on Lineage II click here.

General : MMOWTF: Along Came a Merger

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Dana Massey

CCP Games and White Wolf are now married. Fortier looks at their union and muses on who might be next in his weekly column.

How could I pass up an opportunity like this? While mergers are becoming more and more common as we spiral toward Cyberpunk, the most recent amalgamation between Crowd Control Productions (CCP, creators of EVE Online) and White Wolf Publishing (the second largest pen and paper RPG maker) made me stop and think. What other companies who might want a slice of a related industry would be looking to join forces with (or swallow whole) another company with a strong history and tools in the field? This week in MMOWTF I'm going to dig up some details behind this deal and speculate on the next big corporate fusion.

The full column is here.

General : Call For Writers!

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Dana Massey

It's that time again. As you may have noticed, has much more opinion on its pages now'a'days. We're looking for some fresh blood to help represent all sides of various issues. While the pay is not great - strictly bonus driven save specific circumstances - the venue is. We provide writers with a chance to showcase their written talents on the biggest MMORPG site around.

  • Staff Writer: Writers contribute opinion pieces on a range of MMO and gaming related topics to the site on strict deadlines. Depending on your time availability, this can expand into game reviews, previews, interviews, regular columns and other forms of written content. Other perks include access to betas as available, access to games you cover for the site and - for the best among you - the possibility to travel and report on the MMO genre.

If you're interested in the above position, please email a 750 to 1000 word editorial on a topic of your own choosing to Please place " Writer Tryout" as the subject line of your email.

General : Two Games Returned to List

Posted Nov 20, 2006 by Dana Massey's policy is to add the North American version of any MMO to our list as the primary game. In two cases, games were removed from the list when the original company we listed them under disappeared. Today, we're adding two foreign (yet English language) versions of games back to the list that had previously been removed.

  • RYL: Unforgiven Wars: More familiar to some as RYL, Risk Your Life or RYL: Path of the Emperor, this game was removed after their North American publisher Planetwide Games shut down their servers. The game is also hosted by a company in Tahiti called Tahiti Nui Interactive. We've thus returned the game to the list.
  • A3: This game had been removed during recent maintenance when it's website appeared to have disappeared. An Indian company is currently hosting an English version of the game for players to enjoy. Thus, we've returned it to the list as well.

We've also updated a number of games with new official websites as North American versions of foreign games come to our attention. If you see any games missing or attributed to foreign companies when there is a North American version, please do not hesitate to email me at

General : Correction

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

In yesterday's article "EVE Fanfest: Avatars, Linux and Announcements" we made a small attribution error. On page three of that article, we wrongly identified the participants in the art presentation. They were in fact Asgeir Jon Asgeirsson (Lead Concept Artist) drawing and presented by Benjamin Bohn (Art Producer).

Our apologies to Asgeirsson and Bohn for the confusion. The article has been corrected.

General : Neverwinter Nights 2: Online Interview

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

We chat with the developers behind Neverwinter Nights 2 to find out what's in this game for the average MMO gamer. Will it follow in the footsteps of NWN1 and become a mini-MMO? Your game is not an MMORPG by any stretch. Why do you believe traditional MMORPG players will be attracted to your title?

Annie Carlson: Aside from the actual meat of the game - robust character creation system, a compelling and diverse array of character classes, a solid ruleset (a system that many MMORPG players might be familiar with, as a lot of modern RPG systems are derivatives of the Dungeons & Dragons system), and the ability to play the game online with up to 4 players - it's not just about the single-player campaign. Neverwinter Nights 2, like its predecessor, is shipping with a fully-functional toolset designed to allow players to create their own adventures. Even if your average player is not as attracted to making their own campaign, there exists a gigantic community - which grew and flourished from the time of the original Neverwinter Nights release - who are committed to creating outstanding adventures and releasing them for public use. But wait - there's MORE! In addition to stand-alone adventures, communities of players are creating "Persistent Worlds," which are basically miniature MMORPGs, games with their own storylines, quests, and areas, created from the toolset and populated by a vast number of players from all over the world.

So, basically: in addition to a large, robust original campaign (which includes a multiplayer component), a versatile toolset for creating your own adventures, a vast number of downloadable modules and adventures, and access to a large number of Persistent Worlds to play in, there's a tremendous amount of variety of gameplay a player has access to within this one single title. I think there are elements within each aspect to draw the eye and win the heart of any gamer, including the most fickle of MMORPG players.

The whole article is here.

EVE Online : Video: New/Old Ships Side-by-Side

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

At the fanfest, graphics were some of the biggest things they had to show off. This video shows new and old ships side by side.

Thanks to CCP for this video.

General : Game/On

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood is pleased to announce the release of our newest episode of Game/On, our official podcast.


This week on’s Game/On, Jon and Garrett return to talk about the excitement of the launch of the PS3 and the Wii, the new Burning Crusade release date and the CCP and White Wolf merger.

You can listen to the podcast here.

EVE Online : Revelations Screens & Fanfest Photos

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

Today we bring you a double dose of EVE goodness. First, we have fourteen images of the Revelations graphics upgrade (DX9, not Vista). These images show off new ships, some screenshots and a side-by-side image. We also have a piece of concept art of their "walking in stations" concept.

Finally, we also have a huge photogallery from the event itself that you can access by clicking the banner below.

Revelations (DX9) Screen
Revelations (DX9) Screen
Revelations (DX9) Screen

You can check out the images here.

World of Warcraft : Editorial: Two Casual Years Later

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Dana Massey

Steve Wilson looks at why he believes WoW has held players' attention despite what pundits had predicted. Each week, we try to bring you a range of editorials, including one focused on World of Warcraft.

Two years later and I find myself doing something I’ve never done in any other MMORPG, I’m still playing World of Warcraft. As a casual player I should have long since gotten bored and moved on. It only took 6 months with EverQuest, six months with Asheron’s Call, three days with Ultima Online, three months with World War II Online and Planetside and about a year with Star Wars Galaxies. WoW has not only kept me playing longer than all the others, but kept me active and interested in it nearly the whole time.

The whole editorial is here.

Conquer Online : Server Split

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

Conquer Online has announced that one of its servers, Glory, will be split into two servers on November 22nd.


We are happy to announce that the Glory server will be split into two servers on November 22, 2006. We name the new server "SnowWhite" in FairyTales group.

If you are willing to move to "SnowWhite", please click here and enter your account information before November 22, 2006, 10:00 pm (PST). After the fixed time, we will not be able to undo your moving.

Note: We will bring down the Glory server for a few hours to perform the server split on November 22, 2006, 10:00 pm (PST). Sorry for any inconvenience brought to you during this period.

For more on Conquer, click here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-Earth: Crickhollow

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Turbine and Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angamr have released a new "Exploring Middle Earth" feature. This time around, they're exploring Crickhollow.


In Buckland, not far to the north of Brandy Hall in the hills rising away from the path of the Brandywine, travelers will come upon Crickhollow, an often-visited retreat for those Hobbits who wish to spend a few days away from their daily routine, or simply rest and eat more peacefully than they are used to resting and eating at home. Those who live near Crickhollow are pleasant enough folk, though generally they like to be left alone to their peace and quiet.

Many of the old-timers in the area tell stories of travelers who have ventured beyond the High Hay and into the Old Forest beyond, many of whom never returned to tell the conclusion of their tales. In these days of the growing darkness in the north, many indeed have been the strangers who have ridden into the region to ask questions, though none can, or will, say what specifically these dark figures pursue.

Crickhollow plays a significant role early in the journey of Frodo Baggins and his companions in The Lord of the Rings. It is here that Frodo buys his house after leaving Bag End, not with the intention to stay in Crickhollow, but with the goal of diverting would-be pursuers from his trail. Adventurers familiar with the tale will no doubt want to seek out Frodo's home, though the locals may tell the travelers that, although the home of Mr. Baggins is filled with his many possessions, he has not been seen in these parts since the day he first arrived. Most doubt he has closed himself in his new residence and believe he has gone off on some personal quest, perhaps to locate his old uncle Bilbo who disappeared so many years ago.

For more on LOTRO click here.

Runescape : Notes

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Runescape have been busy. To find out how busy, check out their most recent notes. Below is a sample and you can read it all by following the link below.


This week, the gods of RuneScape take a wee bit of a breather as the scribes and artists bring you their finest work. So what have Reldo, Postie Pete, the Makeover Mage and the Bank of RuneScape been up to?

First up, straight off the presses come the next batch of Area Guides. This time the researchers have been wandering westwards and brought back tales of Kandarin, Karamja and the Void Knights.

Postie Pete, of course, has had a hand (or a chin) in this update as well, bringing together some remarkable art by adventurers, heroes, scoundrels and curs from across the length and breadth of RuneScape. There are some amazing pieces in there, so you'd best put on your cleanest looking-at-artwork suit to visit the Player Gallery.

For more on Runescape click here.

Lineage 2 : Thriving

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

On the 15th, the folks over at Lineage 2 sent out a press release letting everyone know that their game continues to thrive and be a success. Among other things, they boast a 25% growth rate in 2006.


NCsoft today announced Lineage® II, with more than 14 million customers worldwide, has reached 100,000 active players in North America and Europe. The title started as a cult favorite of many massively multiplayer online (MMO) gamers in North America and Europe and continues its success as the premiere player-versus-player (PvP) online role playing game for the elite PvP player.

Lineage II was launched in North America in 2004 as a modest success. The game has since built itself into one of the top MMOs in the western markets, with a 25 percent growth rate in 2006. NCsoft credits the growth of the game to regular updates and free expansions to the product, and delivering features requested by players. Additionally, NCsoft has implemented aggressive policies to eliminate activities like "botting" and "farming" which give some players unfair advantages over legitimate players.

"This is a great franchise that has dominated Asia and now we are seeing very positive growth in North America and Europe," said Robert Garriott, CEO for NCsoft North America. "This game took a little time to find its audience because it is such a rich, tough and complex world. It is not a game for the faint of heart, but we worked to adjust the game to fit our customers and we’re seeing more players view it as the pinnacle of MMO gaming. More and more players are joining in and staying with Lineage II, making it one of the top MMOs in North America and Europe, as well as in the world."

Lineage II - The Epic Collection is available at North American retailers and at the PlayNC® online store for an estimated street price of US$29.99.

For more on L2 click here.

Guild Wars : The Scribe

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released a new edition of "The Scribe".


The Scribe conducts an interview this week with a fellow with several disadvantages: He's a drunkard, he's a scallywag, and he's dead. On the other hand, the information he shares is mighty intriguing! In other articles, you can learn about new riches in Elona and some remarkable citizens, too. Find the newest issue here.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

World of Warcraft : Burning Crusade Test Contest

Posted Nov 17, 2006 by Jon Wood

World of Warcraft is offering a contest for people who log in to the closed beta for Burning Crusade for 5 hours this weekend.


From Saturday, November 18, 2006, 9:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) to Monday, November 20, 2006 at 12:01 AM PT, players who log in to The Burning Crusade closed beta test and play for 5 hours will have a chance to win 1 of 5 prize packages that include: World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and a 1-year paid subscription to World of Warcraft!

For the complete rules and eligibility requirements to participate in this contest, click here.

For more on World of Warcraft click here.

EVE Online : Fanfest: Avatars, Linux & Announcements

Posted Nov 16, 2006 by Dana Massey

In part two of three, we look at walking on stations in EVE, graphic upgrades, Linux and other support and a range of other news and announcements. Check back soon for Part 3 on Revelations II and III and much more.

Procedural animation is probably a dirty word among the animators of the world. Typical video games are created by hiring an army of artists to pre-render each individual movement of the character. They are then called up to perform them as appropriate. In recent years, games have added animation blending to make characters more life-like. An example of this is the ability for a character to turn his head to look at something as he runs along. Procedural animation throws all that out and mathematically has an avatar respond within their physical limitations to outside stimulus. The result is more dynamic, lifelike and promotes less art-intensive development. Will Wright's eagerly anticipated existence-simulation Spore promises to use this kind of technology to animate the creatures that players create.

The whole article is here.

General : Editorial: Timing the Market

Posted Nov 16, 2006 by Dana Massey

Staff Writer Garrett Fuller discusses MMO release dates and the way MMOs are launched in general in this new editorial from Every day, we try to bring you opinion, as well as news and features, to cover the MMO industry.

Readers on this site often have a lot to say about games and how they are played. I've written many editorials on that very topic. What I wanted to discuss here this week is games and how they are launched. If you are a member on this website and check updates weekly chances are you know the pulse of the MMO world. Also if you are a gamer, you check out other websites for console game news and features on what games are coming out when. The way the market is moving it seems like every video game development company in the world right now is thinking of an MMO as one of their games. Somewhere on the drawing boards of game studios are the next MMOs waiting to be launched. is currently tracking over seventy five games for launch in the next few years. Those are the ones we know about. Many have yet to be announced, and some major companies such as Green Monster Games and Bioware have yet to show us what is on their drawing boards. Needless to say the MMO world is growing fast and we're all caught up in it. Now, I was not a marketing major in college, but I want to try to talk about the MMO market that we're in and why games come out when they do.

The full article is here.

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