MMORPG.com is happy to release our newest Game/On podcast:
|This time out on Game/On, Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood sit down and talk about all things MMORPG. This week, they focus on weekend events, SOE in the news and they also talk about in-game advertising and how that can effect a game.|
You can listen to the podcast, here.
Horizons - as was announced last night - has been sold to EI Interactive. Today, MMORPG.com spoke to EI Interactive owner Ed Andercheck and Tulga Games CEO David Bowman to find out what this means for the game, its fans and the people who built it.
|Ed Andercheck’s EI Interactive has purchased Horizons and, as of last Friday, the deal means that nearly everyone who worked for Tulga Games is out of a job.
“I’m a gamer and I saw a mature and exciting group of people,” explained Andercheck of why his company decided to purchase Horizons.
He added that the culture of the community, the game’s rich potential for storytelling and the way players can grow the world all made Horizons an extremely attractive product for him.
Andercheck added that his company has no plans to radically alter the course Tulga Games had laid out and hopes to stay true to the spirit of Horizons.
You can read the full report here.
Stieg Hedlund, the Design Director of Gods & Heroes, was interviewed by the good folks at the now defunct website Society of Gamers. Unfortunately, when the site ceased operations recently, the interview was left in limbo. A special thanks to Perpetual and Society of Gamers for allowing us to run it.
| MMORPG.com: Gods & Heroes uses a unique squad-based system; players have command of many minions. Please explain how this will maintain a "squad leader" feel while not forcing players to constantly manage and direct individual troops.
Stieg Hedlund: The minion system is one of our most crucial systems in the game and implementing it correctly is paramount to the experience we want to create. A significant portion of the development of the minion system was focused on the user experience and how we could adapt this system to the widest spectrum of players possible. The solution was to give the players as much, or as little, control as they wanted.
Minion control is achieved through a minion user sub-interface where multiple options, like agro radius and aggression levels, can be set. To start, the minions are broken in to three sub-groups, Infantry, Skirmisher, and Casters. This allows you to issue commands to individual groups and essentially micro-manage each sub-group of your minions. In these sub-controls you can independently set varying levels of aggression, agro radius, and even what they should be doing when they attack. You can tell one group to hold back while another attacks and have the casters in the back on support (healing and buffing) only.
In contrast to this, if you don't want to deal with these sub-groups or micro-management you can just issue orders from the main commands and they will respond accordingly. Of course if you just set them to an aggressive behaviour, you might find yourself in a few more fights than you originally anticipated!
You can read more here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach will be holding an in-game trivia event on three of its servers. This event will take place on July 21st (today) at the times laid out below:
The Coin Lords would like to introduce their new representative to Stormreach: Sir Lawrence d'Deneith! As his first diplomatic outreach to the citizens of Stormreach, he will present an In-Game Trivia Event on the Riedra, Fernia and Aerenal servers! Starting at 7PM Eastern, you will have the chance to win prizes as you prove your expertise in all things related to DDO and pencil-and-paper D&D!
Sir Lawrence will broadcast trivia questions and select a grand prize winner among the finalists. A copy of the D&D Basic Game and a limited edition poster signed by the DDO Dev Team and Sir Lawrence d'Deneith will be awarded to the event winners on each of these three servers! All finalists will also win "Lawrence’s Robe of Trivial Knowledge", a unique item only available to contest finalists!
7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific: Riedra
For more on DDO, click here.
Guild Wars has announced that they will be resetting the ladder and running a "Fun" ladder event. You can read more about that at the link below.
Guild Wars has also released a brand new edition of "The Scribe". This is the seventh in the game's continuing series:
This week's news scroll gives you info on a much-sought-after treasure, and offers a bit of advice on how to obtain it. In addition, you can read about this weekend's Balthazar-based event, and catch up on the kind feats of a few extraordinary Tyrians and Canthans, as well.
Read about the ladder event, here.
Blizzard has announced its interntions to make their presence felt at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. People attending the Con will be able to play the new expansion, The Burning Crusade:
Comic-Con 2006 is currently underway at the San Diego Convention Center from now through July 23. Blizzard is on hand at this year's convention, where show-goers can go hands-on with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Attendees will also receive a 14-day trial of World of Warcraft with paid admission. Visit us in booth #4615, on July 21-23 from 2-3 PM PDT, where Blizzard artists will be signing free World of Warcraft posters, while supplies last!
For more on WoW, click here.
EI Interactive has purchased Horizons. The company has been sold and Tulga is no longer involved in its development. According to the press release, the new company will be based out of Phoenix, Arizona.
BUTTE, MT - (July 20, 2006) EI Interactive (EI) has acquired the game Horizons: Empire of Istaria from Tulga Games effective July 21, 2006. Horizons is an online role-playing game originally published in 2003 by Atari, Inc. and winner of multiple game show awards. Horizons has gone through a genesis, emerging today as a world class MMORPG providing a very stable and intrinsically interactive persistent universe for play.
The quality of the Horizons community and the potential of the Istaria world defines this game as a flagship property. EI is committed to maintaining the integrity of the Horizons way of gaming and will continue the Horizons support in a new Phoenix, Arizona office.
“The magic of Horizons is not only in its uniquely supportive community, but also in the deep potential this game has for a player’s participation in building the environment and growing the storyline”, said EI Chairman Edward C. Andercheck, “the success EI has had in building the Savage Eden community is a great testimony to our in-game event team’s efforts, we look forward to the same experience in Horizons”
EI Interactive is a Butte, Montana division of EI Communications Corp., an established publisher of online content, including MMORPGames, casual games, web based game portals and information sites. EI Interactive combines an intense customer service culture, broad gaming experience and in-depth technology skills to provide a uniquely strong platform for a superior customer experience.
For more information, visit: www.eiinteractive.com - www.mygamehaven.com or contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our second weekly clan feature sees Ken Johnston and Steve Altman present us "The Brotherhood of Thieves". This feature also contains 11 screenshots for you to enjoy.
| This is the second instalment of a six article series exploring the background lore of the clans in the exciting new MMO martial arts game 9Dragons. Today we’ll explore one of the black clans ?The Brotherhood of Thieves.
The Brotherhood is an organization of thieves, robbers, rogues and brigands, unified by a noble purpose, that of fighting off the Imperial tax collectors and feeding the poor. Hence their common farewell, “Take what you will, share what you can!” Well, that’s how the clan started off anyway. Today, the clan itself is rather corrupt and violent. Coercion is used to ensure loyalty and non-adherence to clan rules is dealt with swiftly and harshly. And so, with true nobility at the root of their clan, and a harsh criminal code of ethics, life in The Brotherhood is sort of like Robin Hood joins the Mafia.
You can read more here.
Kevin Tierney returns with a new editorial today. Inside, he examines the issue of faction systems in MMORPGs and theorizes on how he believes they should be used.
|One of the best features in my mind about an MMORPG is the ability to join factions. When one joins a faction, they no longer specifically game for their own purposes, but for the benefit not just of a guild, but for a collection of guilds all under the same banner. However, I also believe that the majority of MMOs do nothing to support the faction system.
As it stands in most games, people are free to join whatever faction they may desire. They can bring dishonor towards the faction, but there is nothing that can be done against them. Factions are also almost entirely PvP orientated. Unless you want to go around killing other players, there really is no benefit or contribution one can make towards certain factions. There also is very little benefit to actually controlling different regions for one faction, unless more PvP is viewed a benefit. Can such a system be changed? I believe it can be done, by incorporating a few systems.
You can read more here.
Sony Online Entertinament announced today that they have licensed the use of the Unreal 3 Engine. The engine will be used in upcoming projects like the DC Comics game that is currently in production in Austin:
Epic’s Next-Gen 3D Engine to Power Several of SOE’s Next-Gen Online Games
SAN DIEGO, CA – July 20, 2006 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced a licensing agreement with Epic Games to use their Unreal® Engine 3 technology for the development of content for some next-generation console and PC-based games. SOE will utilize this technology for a number of future projects, including the DC Comics-based game currently under development at SOE-Austin.
“Our development teams are very excited about harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 3,” said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. “The combination of a top-notch graphics engine and a robust set of design tools will enable our teams to deliver incredible and innovative game content for next-generation consoles and the PC.”
This agreement allows Epic Games to include another impressive name to an already extraordinary list of licensing partners.
“Sony Online Entertainment has a reputation for delivering detailed, truly engaging, interactive online worlds” said Mark Rein, Vice President, Epic Games, Inc. “It is a great privilege for us that they’re using Unreal Engine 3 to help create their next generation projects.”
Sony Online Entertainment, the makers of EverQuest II, as well as numerous other titles, has announced the availability of their second official SOE podcast. Feel free to follow the linky and have a listen:
We are proud to offer the second official SOE podcast to our communities, and hope you all enjoy the latest installment of our podcast series. This time around, we went with a much more laid back and conversational approach. Make sure to let us know how you like it! Find out more!
For more on EQII, click here.
Dark Age of Camelot yesterday released the following notes on their hot fixes:
As if we needed any more heat this week. Slather on the sunscreen and check out these HOT fixes!
For more on DAoC, click here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has released a new trailer for their recent second module, titled "Twilight Forge":
The Twilight Forge Module introduces the Restless Isles, the Drow race and a plethora of new features. Take a look at the Twilight Forge Module Trailer here.
For more DDO, click here.
Guild Wars has announced that this coming weekend, from Friday to Sunday, players will be treated to double their faction in arenas.
This weekend, Guild Wars players will enjoy another double dose of fun, as players acquire double faction in arenas. That means twice the faction for unique kills, matches won, and flawless victories. In addition, you can ring up double Gladiator Points for winning ten consecutive matches in the Team and Random arenas. The fun starts at 12:01 a.m. PDT (7:01 a.m. GMT) on Friday, July 21 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 23 (06:59 GMT Monday, July 24).
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
The official website for Archlord has been updated with a new and exciting feature. The feature is a new "Races Section", that will give players more information about the game's three classes: Humans, Moon Elves and Orcs:
Races Section Goes Live!!
Why don't you take a look at the new sexy addition to the website! We have now put the races section of the website live.
So take the time to read it and find out more information than you could imagine about the ever sexy Moon Elves, delightful Humans and the fierce Orcs.
You can look forward to plenty more sections going live over the coming weeks as well.
For more on Archlord, click here.
K2 Network has announced the second expansion for their title, Knight Online. THis one, called "Reign of the Fire Drake" and, like most expansions, adds a large number of new features to the free online game:
IRVINE, Calif. – July 11, 2006 – New and existing game players can soon immerse themselves in a second expansion to K2 Network’s free online game, Knight Online (KOL), a MMORPG set in a medieval fantasy world where players all over the globe hunt monsters and even one another. A fierce dragon has invaded the world and it’s ready to wreck havoc. The Knight Online: Reign of the Fire Drake expansion introduces new bosses and monsters, intricate zones, a cleaner, more organized user interface as well as additions to the hunting and Player vs. Player (PvP) features.
Players will explore outer limits of new territories, including a rumored Land of 7 Sins. There are at least 15 new monster models to encounter leading to a wide array of interesting and exotic baddies. What hidden treasures will journeymen stumble upon? True PvP continues to evolve as the level cap is raised to 80 and players take part in world wars with the aid of additional class-based skills. Thrill seekers will also encounter a variety of other implementations such as the ability to send and receive mail even if the recipient is not in the game and new PvP battles with different objectives at hand.
“K2 Network is committed to constantly upgrading the enjoyment of all of our Free2Play titles to provide superior game experience and to maintain the level of user satisfaction. Thanks to the loyalty of our KOL players and the curiosity of those new to the game, we are pleased to enhance and extend the KOL experience with this huge expansion,” said Joshua Hong, CEO of K2 Network.
K2 Network’s Free2Play model allows players to have full access to the game free of charge. Additional titles to the Free2Play catalogue of MMORPGs, sports/casual and FPS games include War Rock and Global MU Online.
Players craving an even more enhanced experience can subscribe to premium memberships that provide access to enhanced play including increases in earning experience and items, reduced experience loss upon death, 50% discount on item repair fees, and more. Current premium subscription packages are offered at Bronze for $8.95, Silver for $19.95 and Gold for $24.95.
The Knight Online: Reign of the Fire Drake expansion is currently open exclusively to its existing users as a test version. Any new users that joined after July 8 will be able to access the full version of the expansion later this month. To learn more about Knight Online, please visit www.knightonlineworld.com.
For more on Knight Online, click here.
The controversial subject of in-game advertising has reared its head again. This time, Massice and Funcom have announced new technology that will allow players to interact with billboards in-game (Anarchy Online). THe first company to bite into this? Toyota, to promote their new Yaris:
Toyota first company to utilize interactive ads in games
Durham, USA — July 19, 2006 – In-game advertising takes another leap forward as Funcom and Massive Incorporated introduce interactive advertisement technology in ‘Anarchy Online’. The new technology allows players to interact with dynamic billboards in the game, making for a more memorable and interactive advertisement experience. The new Toyota campaign allows players of the free ‘Anarchy Online’ version to walk up to in-game billboards and interact with it to unveil the sleek new Toyota Yaris. Funcom expects this new move in interactive advertisement to pave the way for future endeavors across the entire games and advertisement industry.
Massive Incorporated’s CEO Mitch Davis heralded the joint move as “a tremendous step forward in terms of giving advertisers what they want- the ability to target the elusive male 18-34 range and allowing them to interact with the products for a more memorable experience.” He continued “This is just the beginning of interactive ads in games, and we are very pleased to unveil this new technology together with Funcom and Toyota. What is important to mention here though is that we are not adding this to distract from the game experience itself. Our company always has the best interest of the gamers and the game experience in mind.“
Massive Incorporated has pioneered in-game ad technology, and has grown to become the biggest game advertising network. The company was recently purchased by Microsoft.
“In Funcom we are always trying to push the envelope in innovation and technology, and this recent move with Funcom, Massive and Toyota is a perfect example,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “Our primary goal is always to deliver the best possible entertainment, but to offset the high development costs in today’s gaming landscape we need to look at additional forms of income. What Massive is offering us is exactly that, and we are therefore very pleased to continue working with them to introduce new technologies that give us a competitive edge.”
On the 24th of March 2005 Anarchy Online became the first game ever to feature dynamic advertisement billboards. On the fourth anniversary of Anarchy Online on the 27th of June it became the first game to introduce live videos and sound on dynamic advertisement billboards. In 2005 more than 500.000 new players registered for Anarchy Online, and the game continues to draw in impressed crowds in their hundreds of thousands. A new expansion pack entitled ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’ will be released this fall. Go to http://www.anarchy-online.com for more information.
For more on Anarchy Online, click here.
Our friends over at Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, have released another point of itnerest in their continuing series of features called, "Exploring Middle Earth". This time, it The Withywindle:
From its source in the mysterious Barrow-downs and all along its course through the Old Forest, the River Withywindle is a place of strange happenings and of dark and ancient legends. When adventuring in unknown areas within the Old Forest, travellers would be wise to avoid these winding, slow-moving waters, though doing so may prove difficult – The Withywindle has a way of drawing the unwary toward its deceptively tranquil surface and into its dark depths. It is also said that strange creatures of the forest - and even the very willow trees themselves along the Withywindle's banks - are agents of its ancient evil.
As readers of The Lord of the Rings are no doubt aware, the Old Forest and the journey to the banks of the Withywindle represent some of the strangest and most exciting locales for brave adventurers to explore in all of Eriador. Taking the lead from Professor Tolkien himself, leaving the relative safety of Buckland and travelling the winding paths to the Withywindle in LOTRO is a journey full of unexpected twists and turns, where nothing is truly quite what it seems. Adventurers should travel with caution, keeping an eye out for strange beasts and even the menacing movements of the trees on all sides. Unexpected pitfalls abound for the unwary all through the wood. However, the ancient voices of the Old Forest are not all in opposition to travellers. A keen observer will find the home of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry along the river's banks --but beware, for the wickedness of the Old Forest lies all around, even in these rare areas of friendliness and apparent safety.
For more, click here.
Eudemons has announced that this weekend, Friday to monday,players of Eudeomns Online will be given a "God blessing", thatw il lgrant special features (see below):
We are excited to announce that you will be able to enjoy God Blessing for free during the weekend.
From Friday 00:01 am PDT to Monday 11:59pm PDT, Eudemons Online players are all blessed by god, which means all players can enjoy God Blessing for free during the weekend. We hope you can find and report any bug related to this newly implemented feature and help us to make it perfect.
Afterwards, you can purchase God Blessing either by game gold or Eudemons points.
The following is main information about God Blessing
The war with demons has lasted for thousands of years, human's army suffered a lot under the blood-thirsty demons' crazy attack. Though our forging technique has been improved, new eudemons found, but we still can't change the inferior position in the battlefields. Until one day, people found a scroll of magic litany in the ruins of Hilus Palace. After singing those beautiful songs, God's blessing will be with you.
You'll have 12 kinds of benefits if you are being blessed.
Special effects when you log into the game;
SP increased 50%;
For more details, click here.
For more on Eudemons Online, click here.