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Auto Assault : The End of Auto Assault

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has announced that Auto Assault will be shutting down for the last time at midnight on August 31, 2007.

NOTICE: Today NCsoft is announcing that it will be closing down service for Auto Assault at the end of the summer. The service will close at midnight on August 31, 2007. As of today, any player currently in the service with an active billed account will not be billed again. If players have previously purchased time via multi-month billing or time cards that extends their service past July 31, NCsoft will reconcile these accounts appropriately. There will be more announcements coming soon regarding the shut down of Auto Assault and its impact on current accounts. Please check back at http://www.autoassault.com/news/.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Newsletter

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

Over the weekend, EA Mythic released the latest edition of their newsletter for the upcoming MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This month's issue looks at "The Knight of the Blazing Sun", Player Army Details, Weapons, journals, zone overviews, and more!

Player Army Overviews

All players begin WAR as part of an army, but they are not your everyday, rank-and-file grunts. No, each player is part of an elite fighting force that will play a significant role in their race's ongoing war efforts.

The Oathbearers

"The High King decreed the founding of a new regiment, which he called the Oathbearers. Such was the importance of their task, any Dwarf wishing to join the Oathbearers would be required to swear an oath to the High King himself."

To sign up for the newsletter click here.

Age of Conan : Community Changes

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

As an FYI for fans and followers of Funcom's upcoming MMORPG, Age of Conan, the developers have recently made at least one major change to the game's community website.

For quite some time it has been known that the developers of this game are looking to develop a game for a more adult audience, and as a result, the MMO will carry an "M" rating from the ESRB. In keeping with ESRB guidelines, the Age of Conan community site now asks visitors to confirm their birth dates before entering the site.

Visit the Community Site here.

Age of Conan : Newsletter

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

Funcom's Age of Conan has released the newest edition of their monthly newsletter, Clan of Conan. In this issue is info on ranged combat, beastiary additions, the Border Kingdoms and more!

This month's issue brings you new insight into ranged combat, some mighty additions to the bestiary, and a deep look into the territory of a thoght to be dead bandit-lord who walks again.

The prize of the Border Kingdoms, within the grasp of the bandit-king Atzel, is the main pass into Cimmeria - used by humble traders and merchant-princes alike. Control over that pass keeps Atzel's bandit minions well-paid, well-fed and well-armed.

As always, we include a location video and accompanying screenshots.

Check out an online version of Clan of Conan here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Jedi Expertise - Dev Diary

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with a developer diary detailing the evolution of the Jedi Expertise System.

Howdy! I'm Thomas "Hanse" Eidson with another designer diary for y'all to peruse. The first diary I wrote explained a little about what a system designer does. My second diary had a high level explanation of how I approached a balance issue with Player versus Environment (PvE). In this diary, I will explain how I approached the Jedi expertise in Chapter 2.

At the time of the first expertise chapter, Jedi had already been revised and given many special actions. Their special actions were way more powerful than any other class and they had a larger variety of them. The expertise's intent was to allow for players to customize their character in a way they wanted to play as well as make them slightly diverse. This also went in hand with something to look forward to spending points on as you advanced with the profession.

The brainstorming began for the expertise. One of the other designers had been assigned the expertise and already had a basic flow chart designed for them. I had been assigned the Jedi by Helios and took over. Since I had a limit on introducing new abilities, I roped a few into the expertise. Too many new abilities would have caused major problems for designing the other profession expertise, as we might not have had time to complete the entire profession changes needed. The theme for the two expertise pages were general and the other light and dark abilities.

Read the full article here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

The most recent edition of the Dark Age of Camelot Grab Bag is back to answer an assortment of community questions.

Q) What affects hit/miss when using a critical strike style; primary weapon skill level, critical strike skill level, or both? I ask this because after the last 2 patches (or a bad respec choice), I am missing a lot more than usual using Creeping Death.

A) Neither of these factors will affect outright miss rates, as that is determined by factors like level, to hit bonus on the style and weapon/armor enchantment. Your skill levels for weapon and CS will affect your ability to penetrate defenses such as block, parry and evade.

Q) Does "bonus to duration of spell" affect DoT's? I know it used to affect how long a pet would be ML9, but can you essentially get another tick or two out of a DoT with this bonus?

A) Yes, it does.

Q) I recently started adding points into Aug Dex on my hunter. I noticed the other day after getting the next level of Aug Dex, and getting buffed by a nice shaman buddy, my Dex was over 400! I did not know this was possible! Where is the roof on Dex? When does Dex pretty much stop effecting hunters? I have never had a toon reach higher then 400 on any stat.

A) 400 in a stat is not uncommon for some archers to hit. As for dexterity over 400, there is a lot of debate among the community as to its actual benefits. While you may still see slight increases in damage and speed over 400, it's generally accepted that 400 is a good stopping point for many players, as the cost to benefit ratio becomes very minimal when the stat gets that high.

Read more here.

General : Blog Spotlight: I Have A Dream

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a blog from MMORPG.com user Vajuras, discussing "Appealing to the Hardcore PvP Crowd" and "Player Run Universes".

Blogger Vajuras, like many users on our website and forums, is part of the "vocal minority" movement of gamers. The mass appeal today is with games like World of Warcraft and Lord of the Ring Online: games that take what has been done and polish it to perfection. Players like Vajuras, though, are speaking up for innovation and new ideas: appealing to niche markets instead of the mass one, and evolving gameplay as an art.

Vajuras' blog starts off with an article titled, "Appealing to the Hardcore PvP Crowd". The entry starts off by comparing our MMO characters to our favorite book and movie characters: in books and movies, we watch as our favorite characters progress and grow, from the village farmer to the center of world-saving efforts. "This is the great thing about RPGs: they take this transition and take gamers through this process." We start off as level 1 fighters and mages, embark on epic quests, class transfers, and so forth, and end up as a max-level badass who can do just about anything.

Read the whole article here.

Guild Wars : Eye of the North Release Date: August 31

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet and NCsoft have announced that the release date for Eye of the North, the first true expansion to Guild Wars, will be August 31st.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North Readies For August 31 Release

NCsoft and ArenaNet set $39.99 price for first ever expansion of Guild Wars franchise

Bellevue, WA., July 2, 2007--NCsoft® and ArenaNet® announced that Guild Wars: Eye of the NorthTM, the first ever expansion to the subscription-free Guild Wars® franchise of fantasy online role-playing games, will be released to the public on August 31, 2007. The Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion will be available for an expected price of $39.99 in North America and €34.99 in Europe, as well as through the NCsoft store at PlayNC.com and in the Guild Wars in-game store.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North will continue the no subscription fee model pioneered by ArenaNet, and will provide new content accessible to players who own both the expansion and any one of the three previously released Guild Wars campaigns (Guild Wars, FactionsTM, or NightfallTM).

The Guild Wars franchise has sold more than 3.5 million units since the release of the original Guild Wars campaign, in 2005, making it one of the most popular online role-playing games of all time.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North follows up on events told in the original Guild Wars campaign, and is set in previously unexplored areas of the continent of Tyria. The expansion contains a host of new features that will appeal directly to veteran Guild Wars players, including 18 large, multi-level dungeons, 150 new skills across all ten Guild Wars professions, ten new Heroes, 40 new armor sets, and more items, weapons, and titles. Additionally, through the innovative Hall of Monuments, Guild Wars: Eye of the North creates a path for players to carry the legacy of their characters into the upcoming Guild Wars 2. The Hall of Monuments will allow players to preserve their accomplishments and titles from Guild Wars, Factions, and Nightfall, which can then be claimed in Guild Wars 2.

"Guild Wars has one of the most committed and loyal player bases I've ever seen, and Guild Wars: Eye of the North is our way of delivering prized content to veteran players and creating a link to the future of Guild Wars," said Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet.

For more information on the Guild Wars franchise, go to: www.GuildWars.com.

The award-winning Guild Wars campaigns can be purchased from retailers or downloaded from the PlayNC store at https://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl.

Read the press release here.

General : Microsoft Reclusa: Keyboard Review

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, Carolyn Koh takes a look at The Microsoft Reclusa, the keyboard child of Razer and Microsoft.

The Microsoft Reclusa is the offspring of a Razer / Microsoft collaboration. A follow-up to their successful first collaboration on a gaming mouse, the Habu. At first glance, the keyboard doesn't look any different from a typical media keyboard, and has the jog dials that Microsoft seems to like.

Features

Like any keyboard aspiring towards the gaming arena, it has to have additional keys for macros. The Reclusa is no different, measuring in at 21" at its widest; about the same size as the Logitech gaming keyboards.

Design & Layout - The design is a little different, to stand it out from the crowd perhaps. The keyboard has rounded edges, a detachable wrist rest with a padded leatherette covering which does not snap on very securely, nor fit seamlessly - it folded then slipped off when I moved it from my desk to the keyboard drawer, and it wobbles. That being said, it does add a large degree of comfort.

Read the rest of the review here.

Guild Wars : State of the Game

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Keith Cross

The latest edition of the State of the Game series of articles about the art of PvP in Guild Wars has been posted on the Guild Wars official site. This week the article focuses on breaking down defensive tactics.

"Blind on One."

"Blurred on One!"

"Blurred on Two!"

"$#@%! BLOCKED!"

These complaints of physical attackers should ring familiar to many players. Any halfway serious PvP team brings at least some sort of defense, and many top guilds run multiple layers of defense. Guilds like Cry for Eternity [Cry], currently ranked second on the Guild Ladder, have even chained "Shields Up!" on their front-line Warriors in recent Automated Tournaments. Breaking down these defenses thus becomes critical to success.

Defenses exposed

Defense, defined in the broadest sense, consists of anything that prevents a team from losing. For team builds such as Heroes' Ascent's IWAY, which has recently fused with Zergway, defense comes from an unyielding offense. These teams spam the Energy-denying "Fear Me!" and use high-damage and disruptive attacks to prevent opponents from using key skills. Empty the blue bar, or empty the red bar--it doesn't matter as long as the opponent can't kill anyone. The high armor of every character allows the team to get by with healing support and defensive buffs from Paragons, who also contribute offensively.

In addition to Energy denial, disruption, and simply killing the opposition, other defensive measures include debuffs, shutdown, damage mitigation/prevention, healing, and removal. Of these, healing takes center stage because, on a spike, preventative measures only do so much if the victim never regains Health. Naturally, well-timed skills like Spirit Bond or Cry of Frustration can deaden a spike (depending on the spike), but replenishing the Health bars remains essential to the team's survival.

Read the article here.

General : Win a Zboard™ + 7 Keysets!

Posted Jul 02, 2007 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com has teamed up with Ideazon to bring you a cool new contest. From now until August 1 @ 9PM you can enter to win a Zboard gaming keyboard and your choice of 7 out of 27 total keysets!

As with all of our contests, the more days that you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning (see official rules for details).

Are you ready to enter? CLICK HERE!

Fury : Closed Beta Sign-Ups

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Auran, the Australian company behind the development of the upcoming MMORPG, Fury, have announced that sign-ups for their Closed Beta are now open!

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28, 2007 - What is War without Fury? The Age of Fury is drawing ever closer and players wishing to unleash their competitive spirit can sign-up now at the Auran Closed Beta registration page [http://www.unleashthefury.com/beta/signup.php]. The first phase of Closed Beta testing is scheduled to commence at 3pm PST Friday July 6th. Invitations for players who have already registered will start being sent out in the coming days, so keep checking your inbox to see if you have made the cut. We're expecting thousands of new players so make sure you keep your calendar clear for next weekend.

Gone are the days of level grinding and countless hours spent wandering the barren terrain of your typical "MMO." Fury is a fast-paced, online, player versus player game that blends the speed and excitement of a First Person Shooter with familiar MMORPG combat and character advancement. From the minute you log in, Fury keeps the action flowing at breakneck speeds, never letting up and pushing you to your limits. This Closed Beta version includes 3 game types, a new Tutorial, new vendor areas, new gameplay balance and a host of bug fixes and tweaks.

This is your chance to get an edge on the competition. The Dev Team is already hard at work adding the finishing touches to the Open Beta version, where players can look forward to significant performance and graphics improvements, loads of new content and major updates to the game economy. So what are you waiting for? Fury is a game of skill, not brute force, twitch or time played - the only way you'll succeed is by mastering the game itself. Here's your chance to become a master before anyone else. Are you up to the challenge?

Read more on Fury here.

World of Warcraft : BlizzCon Contests

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has released details on three online contests for their annual convention, BlizzCon. Participants can enter contests in: fan art, movies or original songs.

We've just released some new information about the three online contests for this year's BlizzCon:

BlizzCon Fan Art Contest

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce our official BlizzCon Fan Art Contest! We're looking for some talented artists to draw their favorite character or monster from the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo universes in a recognizable in-game location. We'll be posting the winning submissions on our site, and we'll also be prominently displaying them next to original artwork from our titles in the art gallery at BlizzCon 2007!

Visit our fan art contest page for more information.

BlizzCon Original Song Contest

Music can set the mood, lift spirits, and create suspense. It is a part of our everyday lives and can help create lifelong memories. Enter to win the BlizzCon Original Song Contest and your song could be a part of a BlizzCon 2007 memory.

Visit our song contest page to find out more.

BlizzCon Movie Contest

Ever wanted to share your tales of action, hilarity, or epic drama with an equally epic audience? Here's your chance to bring the untold stories of Azeroth to light in this year's BlizzCon movie contest. Contestants are challenged with creating an original and compelling story told within the daily lives of the denizens of the world of Warcraft, and the winners will have their work unveiled at BlizzCon.

For more information, please check out the movie contest page.

For more on WoW here.

Dungeon Runners : On Download.com

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

On June 26th, NCsoft announced that their free-to-play MMORPG, Dungeon Runners is available for download on the popular Download.com.

You now have one more option on where you can grab Dungeon Runners: Download.com.

Read more on Dungeon Runners here.

Spellborn : Classes Skill Overview

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Spellborn International have released a complete overview of the Classes Skills for their upcoming MMORPG, The Chronicles of Spellborn.

The TCoS Classes Skills overview is now complete with the introduction of the Rogues Classes skills: Death Hand, Trickster and Skinshifter. You can find the full overview here. We implemented a language selection for our different communities. Simply click on one of the flag to switch language! The Chronicles of Spellborn offers a unique skill-based combat system with FPS-style manual targeting. You can find more general information about the combat system here. And you can find a detailed overview of Spellborn's statistic system here. Let us know what you think in the forum thread linked below.

Enjoy!

Read more on Spellborn here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Herald Update

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

The Dark Age of Camelot, Camelot Herald is sporting a few new updates including: an announcement that all servers will be down today from 8am EDT to approx 4pm EDT, some new hotfixes, and postings for job openings in their CS department:

Want to get your foot in the Game Industry door? We have a couple openings in the Customer Service department. If you're interested swing by the EA Jobs site linked below, click on the "Fairfax, VA" link at the bottom and look for the "Customer Service Rep" listing.

http://jobs.ea.com/pljb/ElectronicArts/United_States/applicant/index.jsp

Read all the stories here.

City of Heroes : Issue 10 Open Beta

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Cryptic Studios and NCsoft have announced that the Open Beta for the upcoming addition to City of Heroes and City of Villains, Issue 10: Invasion, is now... open.

Your opportunity is here to experience Issue 10: Invasion before it goes live! Starting on Wednesday, June 27th, the City of Heroes Training Room will be open and available for any customers interested in joining the beta test effort. Get involved as the Development Team applies polish to our next free expansion! Issue 10: Invasion introduces a host of new content and challenges as it unfolds the storyline of the return of the Rikti invasion force who are bent on destroying Earth!

Click for details on Issue 10: Invasion!

Click for instructions to join the Open Beta and access the Training Room.

Read more on City of Heroes here.

General : Support Downtime for the 4th

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II has announced that technical and account support will not be available on July 4th due to the American Independence Day holiday.

Technical and Account support will be unavailable on Wednesday, July 4th 2007 in observance of Independence Day. Phone and Chat support will return to its normal hours of 10:00am through 7:00pm PST on Thursday, July 5th 2007.

E-mail support is available any time at here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Desktop Calendars

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Turbine has released a number of new desktop calendar wallpapers for their popular MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Summer is here! Time to update your desktop with the latest LOTRO desktop calendar wallpapers, now available in our Wallpaper Gallery! Enjoy!

Read more on LotRO here.

Warhammer Online : Hickman and Barnett, Games Day: Part 2

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Joe Iuliani and Anthony Love attended the recent Games Day for Games Workshop's Warhammer. Of course, EA Mythic had a presence, and Joe and Anythony were able to catch up with that team's dynamic duo Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett for an interview. Enjoy part two!

Joe:

With the public quests, as you mentioned before, the community of Warhammer Online is the driving focus?

Jeff:

I think that's the driving focus of any MMO.

Joe:

You would think, but a lot of games are like do this, turn in, do this turn in. Or just LFG, LFG.

Jeff:

If you talk to Mark Jacobs, the first thing he'll say about public quests, "It's my way of trying to help people, of meeting other people" and he's right, there are a lot things that public quests do. That's one of the big things you're in that area and not grouped with anybody but there are so many people online already there doing the same things you're doing. "you wanna come help me? Oh cool, let's get together, we can do this better".

Paul:

It's an evolution of the questing system. It's saying what about MMOs do people really love? It's doing a quest that means something. I like having a lot of fun, they like doing big things and the way it's been done in the past, you forced people to group. What we've done is given people the ability to just go in and say, "My God, there's a giant over there and he's smashed the hell out of that wall, and I'm gonna go help." That's why you can join up at anytime, you join at any stage, there are three hundred of them (public quests) across the land. They're all epic, we just saw one recently that ends with a dwarven train...

Read the whole interview here.

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