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City of Heroes : Issue 13 Changes Interview

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today, we learned that Issue 13: Architect had been re-named Issue 13: Power and Responsibility due to the fact that the much anticipated Mission Architect system had to be pushed back to Issue 14 and has been replaced by a number of new features. In this interview, Brian Clayton (Executive Producer) and Matt Miller (Lead Designer) answer a few of our questions.

Are you at all concerned that making an announcement of this magnitude this late in the game is going to turn off some players in this time when developer transparency is so important to players?

Brian Clayton:

I expect that adding more features to Issue 13 and releasing it earlier than anticipated will be well received by our player base. With Issue 14’s focus now on our Mission Architect system, we’re able to introduce a more full-featured experience and better accommodate player feedback for this ground-breaking mechanic.

Read the interview here.

World of Warcraft : Correspondent - Rogue Guide

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent James Wood writes this guide for would-be Rogues in Blizzard`s World of Warcraft.

Rogues: Quiet, sneaky, and painful when it counts. Even with the numerous patches that have been released that have reduced the Rogues’ combat abilities, this class is still not to be underestimated. Even if Blizzard constantly nerfs Rogues, doesn’t that mean that they were overpowered to begin with? 23 Rogues are all about stealth and thought. They plan their motions ahead of the target, wait for the right opportunity, then strike. Their fights are meant to be quick, with strikes that immobilize their opponent. Rogues are like spiders, immobilizing their prey until they’re ready to devour them.

Read the article here.

Atlantica Online : Beta Contests and Prizes

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

NDOORS has announced that they will be running a number of competitions and giving out prizes to beta testers for the duration of the Atlantica Online Open Beta.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Sept. 24, 2008 – NDOORS is giving gamers the opportunity to win cash, gaming hardware and in-game items while they try out the strategic, turn-based MMORPG Atlantica Online. Open beta testers will have multiple chances to win through participation in the game’s PvP arena called the Free Leagues.

Individual prizes range from cash to game systems such as the Nintendo Wii and electronics like the iPod Nano. The value of the prizes will scale up as the total number of participants in the Free Leagues increases, up to a $10,000 cash prize if 30,000 players participate. Players who reach Level 20 and fight in the Free Leagues will be eligible for random drawings during the course of the beta. Free League participants can also compete for cash and prizes in single-elimination PvP tournaments. The random drawings and tournaments will be held when each of the milestones for players in the Free Leagues -- 5,000; 10,000; 20,000 and 30,000 players -- are reached.

“NDOORS created something unique in the MMO world when we designed the deep turn-based, strategic world of Atlantica Online. So we decided we needed something just as original for our open beta,” said Peter Kang, CEO, NDOORS Interactive. “This is going to be unlike anything anyone has seen before.”

Atlantica Online is set in a parallel universe that takes players on an exciting journey to unravel the hidden secrets of Atlantis. With its heavy emphasis on strategy, Atlantica was designed to stand out amongst the ‘cookie-cutter’ MMOs.

The strategic game play incorporated into the turn-based combat, mercenary and nation management systems will appeal to strategy and RPG players. The turn-based combat system offers players the chance to strategically plan every move of the nine characters in their group. The mercenary system gives players the chance to manage multiple characters’ development simultaneously. The town/nation management system adds a layer of strategic play where guilds establish control of cities or even countries and go to war with each other.

Read more here.

General : In-Game Items Available in MOG

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Beckett Massive Online Gamer have announced that four exclusive in-game items for Warhammer Online, EverQuest 2 and Mabinogi will be available in the next issue of the magazine.

DALLAS, TX (September 23, 2008) --- Beckett Media LP is pleased to announce that issue 15 of Beckett Massive Online Gamer (MOG) will include four exclusive in-game items for Warhammer Online, EverQuest 2 and Mabinogi.

“This is one of our most exciting issues of the year and our readers benefit from this opportunity to upgrade their characters,” says Doug Kale, Editorial Director of MOG.

* The special Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning in-game item is the Vanquisher’s Emerald Band. The item offers +2 to all stats, plus a special effect that gives you a chance to inflict additional corporeal damage.

* The exclusive EverQuest 2 in-game item is a Limited Edition Guild Hall Statue. EverQuest players can now proudly display this unique item in their Guild Halls.

* This issue of MOG also features two in-game items, a Cat Club weapon and Special Cat Earmuffs, for Nexon America’s Mabinogi. Players can now customize characters in a feline way using these two new items.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Wrath of the Lich King Talent Preview

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Blizzard have updated their Wrath of the Lich King talent calculator, which details changes and additions that are on their way with the next expansion for World of Warcaft.

Are you curious about the changes and additions in store for class talents in Wrath of the Lich King? The new interactive talent trees for every class are now live on our talent calculators. Please note that all talent information is not yet finalized, and is subject to significant change during the testing process.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : You've Decided to Play a Goblin Shaman?

Posted Sep 25, 2008 by Jon Wood Warhammer Online Correspondent David Beamer writes this introductory article for WAR players who choose to start life as a Goblin Shaman.

Creating your character in WAR is a very easy and straightforward process. There are no stats for you to tweak, just the look of your character to customize. So without further ado make your Gobbo as funny looking or serious as you like and enter the game on your chosen server.

You've chosen to make a Goblin Shaman, so before we go any further let me explain what you have taken on by doing so. You are a healing class and so people are going to expect you to heal, whether you want to or not, and if you choose to ignore healing you are missing out on a large part of your potential. In addition to aforementioned items you have to learn the basic class mechanic for the Shaman, how to harness the power of the WAAAAGHH!

At the bottom of your screen, you will see two Orc faces, one yellow and one red. The yellow one is Mork and the red one refers to Gork who are the Greenskin Gods. When you cast a damaging (DPS) spell the yellow face's mouth will open and the number one will appear. This indicates you have built up WAAAAGHH! for your healing spells, and if you were to now cast a healing spell it would gain a bonus to it. However, you can increase that bonus all the way up to 5, so if you cast 4 more damaging spells you would be able to cast a healing spell with a big bonus. The same applies vice versa too, so the more healing spells you cast in a row, the bigger bonus you will receive to your DPS spells, but once that spell is cast the bonus is spent and you must re-accrue the bonus.

Read the article here.

Dream of Mirror Online : New Player Week

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

GameTribe has announced the begining of new player week in Dream of Mirror Online, which gives new players a variety of gifts to help them on their way., the premier destination for Free-to-Play games today announced that new player week has begun in Dream of Mirror Online (DOMO).

Due to a huge influx of new players, a brand new special event has gone into the game to aid people as they begin their journey in the Mirror World. The “Welcome Newbies“ event will guide new players through the early levels of the game along with letting them check out some of the many cool costumes and vanity items within the game and is now live along with a very special “Newbie Goodie Bag”.

The Newbie Goodie Bag gives new players all the essential items they need to get a great start in Eversun in one place for a very special price.

Also in the update comes the Special Amulet Goodie Bag which contains some great Experience Booster Badges for extended periods of time.

The new update will be available to players after the weekly Wednesday maintenance window.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Game Update 49 Experience Changes

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at EverQuest II have posted a preview of the changes to the experience system that will come in Game Update 49.

The amount of experience needed to progress from levels 20 - 70 has been lowered to allow a speedier progression for people playing in those tiers. This is especially good news for all you altaholics out there!

Now it will be faster and easier to rejoin your friends with the new you! With this change, it is possible that people who are close to their next level may ding, but no one should ding more than one level.

Read more here.

Wonderland Online : Version 3.0 Preview

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has published a preview of the version 3.0 update for Wonderland Online.

Wonderland Online has announced that the new 3.0 version will be released soon. Players have been waiting patiently, and with news slowly leaking about the new upgrades coming, they decided to open the floodgates and give you a comprehensive sneak preview of the biggest changes.

In Wonderland v.3.0, when players’ meet the new level requirement—100, you can be reborn! Go and see the Accession Official and simply complete the appointed quest. Afterwards, players will have a cool class and special abilities. In addition, skills grow in power after being reborn as well. More important than those, classes can be strengthened. Don’t miss the new Class System in Wonderland Online.

The new version begins in the hometown of the fairies. Players happen to meet there for an anniversary fiesta in the Spring of the fairy. What kind of things are going on? What kind of hidden secret was in the lender rumor? Players can research it on their way to adventure!

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : TR Gets New Lead Designer

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has announced Susan Kath as the new Lead Designer of Tabula Rasa, who takes over the position from outgoing Lead Designer, Tom Potter.

So, hello, everyone! My name is Susan and I'm the new Lead Designer of Tabula Rasa. I've been working on Tabula Rasa for the last four and a half years. I originally joined the project as the fiction writer, and then worked in early systems design, then as a mission designer and eventually Lead Mission Designer. I've worn many hats around here and acquired a good bit of knowledge about the game over the years. In fact, there's a megaphone sitting beside me emblazoned with the words, "Hey, Susan!" given to me as a joke about the number of people who are in my office on a daily basis asking, "Hey, Susan... do you know how to do that thing with the stuff?" types of questions.

Read more here.

Angels Online : Atlantis Equipment Update

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released details on new equipment coming in the next expansion for Angels Online.

The Angels Online ( team is very happy to introduce the new equipment in the new expansion Atlantis for all players.

In the new expansion, players can obtain superior equipment through many different ways. More than that, they can enhance their weapons with the help of the Gleaming Weapon system. All new weapons and new equipment are relative to the 14 professions in game.

For example, a complete Fane set can help players increase their DEF by 500. It is very attractive to players who would like to be the Main Tank in battle. In addition, the Level 100 Superior Shield, Seagod's Eye, and others will help players increase their HP a lot while also offering them considerable DEF bonuses.

More than that, the Bowman can wield a superior Letin Storm set to become even more helpful in group play.

Read more here.

General : What's Behind NC West?

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Jon Wood Managing Editor Jon Wood recently caught up with David Reid, the President of newly minted NC West. The formation of this new company from NCsoft has been the starting point of a number of runors about the future of NCsoft Austin. In this interview, Reid speaks about the new company, and the future of games like Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners.

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to David Reid, the new President of Publishing at NC West, the recently announced spinoff company from NCsoft.

There has been a great deal of confusion and speculation coming out of this most recent announcement. Even looking around at various forums and even some news sites, reports and rumors of the closure of the NCsoft studio in Austin, among others, have been circulating.

The best guess for the heart of the circulation of these rumors is the line in the company’s original press release which read: “NCsoft’s existing subsidiaries NC Interactive, NC Europe, NC Austin, and ArenaNet will be led as a unified organization under NC West with a dedicated focus towards becoming the world’s premier western publisher of MMOs.”

This seems to have been mis-interpreted (at least according to Reid) by some readers and members of the media alike.

Read the article here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : Original Pirate Phrase Contest

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Caribbean Online are holding a Talk Like a Pirate Contest which runs until October 3rd.

Disney Online, the company behind Pirates of the Caribbean Online, is celebrating national Talk Like a Pirate Day (9/19) for the next two weeks. There can never be enough pirate speak!

Now through October 3rd, players can enter the Pirates of the Caribbean Online Talk Like a Pirate Contest for a chance to have their own pirate saying added to the game. The Top 5 original phrases will be added to SpeedChat in the game! Winners will also receive recognition on the game’s website and a customized Pirates of the Caribbean Online t-shirt listing the winning phrases. To enter, players must login at, visit the “Community Tab” and select the Talk Like a Pirate Contest.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : When The Horn Pipe Blows

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Keith Cross

When the Horn Pipe BlowsIn honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day last week, the folks at Pirates of the Caribbean Online have provided us with this video of a pirate talk battle, in rap form.

Watch the video here


Warhammer Online : Correspondent - PQs, A Breath of Air

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Jon Wood Warhammer Online Correspondent Todd Lundberg writes this articles giving his opinions on the concept of public quests in Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online.

Like a lot of gamers I have always been a big fan of instances in MMOs. I have always loved killing bosses and finding a challenge that required a group to overcome. One thing I always disliked was trying to find a group, sometimes it would literally take hours. You would finally fill up your group and your ready to go, then someone has drop from the group and your back to searching for a member. Even worse is when you get your group together and clear some mobs in the instance, maybe even take down the first boss and then your tank or healer says, “ Sorry I g2g, thanks for group”. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning attempts to find the solution to these problems with their much talked about Public Quest System.

Public Quests are area based multi-staged fights which lead you to a final boss. There is no taking the time to get your group together and then waiting at the entrance of an instance for everyone to get there. Just walk into certain areas and there will be a Public Quest ongoing (marked on your map with a treasure chest icon). Generally, the first stage will be killing X number of these creatures and the area is flooded with said creatures, although I have read that there is a great variety in the objectives given. The next stage usually consists of a group of harder mobs, this progression continues until you get to the final stage. The final stage is a boss fight. The boss is a much harder fight and requires a little more coordination than the previous fights. When you defeat the boss the group receives a chest of loot.

Read the article here.

Wurm Online : At A Glance - A Look at Wurm Online

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Jon Wood Correspondent Mike Balent writes this At A Glance look at the java-based game Wurm Online that apprently holds more than some readers might expect.

Recently, I decided to try out Wurm Online. I went to the site, made a free account and began my adventure. Wurm Online has both premium ($16USD every two months) and free servers. The game is Java based and is being developed by an Indy developer. The game is skill based, and is a refreshing change from the countless clones that flood today’s market.

The Beginning:

As I log on, I can see the corpses of some recently deceased players. It was a very dark night, and it was raining. I slowly walked over to the NPC guide, and he explained to me how harvesting and crafting worked.

Read the article here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Screenshots

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today we present eight new images which have been added to our Pirates of the Burning Sea screenshot gallery.

See all eight screens here.

Tabula Rasa : Hawking Joins Operation Immortality

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has become the latest and most famous earthling to add his DNA to Operation Immortality and have his genetic code sent into space.  Prof. Hawking says he is participating in the project to raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics which will award first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less with $10 million.

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 23, 2008—Stephen Hawking, best selling author of “A Brief History of Time” and the children’s book “George's Secret Key to the Universe” written along with his daughter Lucy, will be sending his digitized DNA into space as part of NCsoft’s® Operation Immortality™. Lucy Hawking is also participating in the project. Together, the father and daughter are hoping the project will raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a competition that will award $10 million to the first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less.

Operation Immortality is a project intended to collect and archive the very best of what humanity has accomplished by sending a digital time capsule of the human race, including messages from people around the world and DNA samples from some of our brightest minds, musicians, athletes and video game players.

Hawking’s DNA will be transported into space by celebrated video game developer and longtime member of the X PRIZE Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Richard Garriott, who is traveling to the International Space Station (ISS) in October. Garriott, whose most recent video game project, Tabula Rasa®, depicts the destruction of mankind by an alien invasion, will take Hawking’s digitized DNA as well as an electronic copy of “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” on a storage device called the Immortality Drive where it will be placed on the ISS.

This is not the first time Hawking and Garriott have teamed up for high-flying adventures. In 2007, Garriott hosted Hawking aboard a zero gravity flight where Hawking was able to experience a weightless environment.

“Richard and I share the same dream of traveling into space,” said Stephen Hawking. “And we both realize the incredible importance of DNA to life in the universe.”

In actuality, Hawking would like to have sent his completely sequenced genome into space. Current science however, is not yet capable of producing low-cost, fully sequenced genomes. By participating in this project, Hawking hopes to highlight the need for inexpensive, fully sequenced human genomes so that scientists and doctors can begin to better understand ways to identify, treat and prevent disease.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Jacobs on the IP, Marketing and EA

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Jon Wood Managing Editor Jon Wood had the opportunity to speak with Mythic Entertainment boss Mark Jacobs about the Warhammer IP, Marketing and EA.

Today, we continue with Part Two of my interview with Mythic Entertainment VP and GM Mark Jacobs. In this part of the article, we focus in on working with the Warhammer IP, Mythic Entertainment’s relationship with EA and more!

When I first asked Jacobs about Mythic’s lack of experience handling a major IP like Warhammer Online, I was reminded that this isn’t Mythic’s first kick at the IP can. I was quickly reminded that while it’s the first time that they have applied it to a massive scale MMORPG, Mythic has worked with titles like Aliens, Godzilla and Starship Toppers and others in the past and that they do have experience with IPs.

Read the article here.

General : Unannounced Halo MMO Canned

Posted Sep 23, 2008 by Keith Cross

Gamasutra is reporting that the previously unannounced MMO title that was in the works at Ensemble Studios was an MMO based on Halo.  Unfortunately, the game has been canceled, as Ensemble Studios is set to close down.

Following the recent announcement that Microsoft-owned Age Of Empires creator Ensemble Studios would close after the completion of Halo Wars, Gamasutra has discovered that a now-canceled Halo MMO was in development at the studio, unearthing prototype UI and level screenshots of the Ensemble-developed project.

The prototype art, which was at one point made available on an Ensemble-linked online artist portfolio website, further confirms previous rumors that the studio was working on an MMO based on the Bungie-created sci-fi franchise.

Read more here.

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