In a press release issued Wednesday, Electronic Arts announced plans for a new Ultima Online expansion. The as yet unnamed expansion is set in an Asian-themed world and is currently scheduled for a Fall 2004 release. The press release is available by clicking here.
On a sadder note, EA also issued an announcement that the Austin, Texas studio will close down by the end of April. Rumors of the close had been circulating on Wing Commander and Ultima fansites for some time, but this release makes it official. This studio was the home of Origin Systems, Richard Garriott's company that created the Ultima franchise. It was also the home of Ultima Online. The UO team is being relocated to EA's Redwood City, California facilities. This move should not effect the existing game or the development of the new expansion.
The shut down of the Austin facility closes the final chapter on Origin Systems, an event which should give any veteran gamer pause. Follow this link to read the press release regarding the relocation.
We have just received our screen shot of the week for our last week in February. It features a wood elf standing in front of a home with a white picket fence. Registered members of MMORPG.COM can also view the 1600x1200 version by clicking on the link below.
The details for the February update for Final Fantasy XI have just been posted at the PlayOnline website. Quite a few things have been changed, and in addition the new Dynamis areas are now online. Check out the link below to read the massive update.
(Note, the update is listed with the date 2/26/04 JST, this is actually the 25th in America)
View the list of changes at the PlayOnline website: http://www.playonline.com/comnewsus/200402264502.html
As reported by Gamespot (and as duly noted on our forums by alert member higgsboson), UbiSoft has announced it is no longer on board as publisher of The Matrix Online. Warner Bros. and Monolith are still committed to the project, however, and the game is still under development.
At the time of this writing, the official site is up, but the forums (hosted by UbiSoft) are offline for "frequency modification." They are expected to be back online within 24 hours.
The Matrix Online's official site is here.
Monolith's official site is here.
IGN peek of the week #17 has been published and continues the discussion on resources in the game world. Here is a snippet from the write-up:
We built up a "dynamic spawn raw materials system", which basically means that some props containing a finite quantity from a raw material will be dynamically spawned into some specific world areas. They'll stay there for a time, and players can harvest raw materials from them until they exhaust the source. After a while, the exhausted source will respawn in another part of the world, or in some other specific area and so on.
To read the full preview, follow this link.
Knight Online has made the first version of the Open-Beta Client available for download from the Official Game Site http://www.knight-online.com.my.
The Scheduled Open Beta Phase is to begin on the 27th of February 2004.
For those fortunate enough to have been involved in the Closed Beta Phase, it is required you uninstall any previous versions of the Game Client before installing the Open Beta Game Client.
Credit goes to mmorpg.com member cedori for this article.
Square-Enix has just announced the official release date for the PS2 version of their popular MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI. The title is set to launch on March 23rd, 2004.
You can view the official news article on this here: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/polnews/news1543.shtml
Will horses have their own attacks like trample or hooves attack?
There was some debate about the role of mounts in combat, and the possibility of warhorses and special attacks did come up. Horses, particularly knightly warhorses, are damned expensive and difficult to get hold of. We decided it was better all round if horses didn't get involved in combat directly- the last thing you want is for your beloved dobbin, that you've slaved and skivvied to buy, to get killed the first time you accidentally encounter a chaos troll. Instead we opted to have horses act as a boost to your combat abilities- there are certain techniques you can only do whilst on a horse, and as any knight will tell you, the basic advantages of being up on a horse are quite considerable- we've taken care to make sure that anyone in mounted combat will feel that.
Click here to see all ten questions and answers.
Gamespot today posted some new screenshots of "World of Warcraft" which can be found here. IGN has also posted some new screenshots for the upcoming game which you can view here.
For more information on "World of Warcraft" visit the official website.
We have just obtained a new exlusive video of Ultima X: Odyssey from EA. The video shows a couple spellcasters (a Phoda and Human) taking on some baddies!
You can check out the video at this page (login required).
The Dragon Clan (http://www.dragon-clan.de) had the great opportunity to meet Dhevrin - Lineage II Community Coordinator - for a small interview. Keep on reading for some interesting insights about the world and surroundings of Lineage 2 ! Here is a small snippet:
First off, Lineage II is a hard core PvP game. If you cannot deal with the constant risk of life in Aden, then Lineage II might be a difficult game to swallow. Secondly, Lineage II is episodic. Most people don?t appreciate that fact enough. The storyline of Lineage II continues after the game is released in the form of Chronicles. Chronicles don?t just add features, they extend the world of Lineage II in new and exciting ways.
Thanks Dhevrin for the nice interview ! The whole article is available at this link.
The official SWG site has posted a gigantic list of new features that will be coming soon to the MMORPG based in George Lucas' Star Wars universe. Here is a partial list:
Droid & Droid Engineer Enhancements
- Droid Damage Repair Kits and Droid Wound Repair Kit
- Droid Battery consumption rate halved (enabling them to last twice as long)
- Droids will no longer be susceptible to poisons, bleeds, /warcry or /intimidate
- Combat Droids will have all the fighting functionality of a regular combat-capable creature (CL10)
- These options will function like creature pets.
- All players will have the ability to own and operate these combat droids.
- A combat droid is a droid that is capable of attacking things, in addition to other potential droid capabilities that can be added to droids currently.
- The normal crafting process is used, and a combat module is included in the droid.
- Combat module will only mount in droids capable of combat. They can be placed in one of the general droid module slots that already exist on the droid chassis', seen during the crafting of the droid.
- Combat module is crafted in exactly the same fashion as other droid modules, using a draft schematic, resource ingredients, and previously crafted component ingredients.
- Combat modules can be crafted at varying quality levels, which can be seen when the module is examined.
- Combat modules stack and if more than one of them is placed in a single droid, they have a cumulative effect.
- To have the strongest combat droid, six 100% combat modules must be used in constructing a droid.
Preliminary Combat Balance Changes:
As part of the ongoing Combat Balance, the team has made some preliminary changes to combat in order to equalize some of the larger changes that have been made recently.
- Defensive Modifiers will have a hard cap with profession template stacking. Defense stacking will no longer stack beyond the intended combat calculation limits causing the defender to be nigh invulnerable.
- Carbineer Specials have been improved:
- The dizzy effect in /fullAutoSingle1, /fullAutoSingle2, /fullAutoArea1 & /fullAutoArea2 have been improved
- /burstShot2 was changed from a single target to an AE cone attack
- /actionShot2 now hits all targets in the area of effect.
- Defense / To-Hit Fixes:
- Melee attackers now get a To Hit bonus when attacking targets with ranged weapons.
- Dodge enhancing Food now decreases your chance of being hit.
- Accuracy increasing food now increases your chance to hit your target.
- Dead Eye buff now increases your chance to hit your target.
- Warcry has been changed from being a single target lock down preventing it from attacking to a method of "crowd control". Enemies can be temporarily prevented from attacking as long as they are not currently being attacked themselves.
- Bleed DoT Improvements: Targeted pool bleeds (/mindShot1 & 2, /healthShot1 & 2, etc) now hit their intended pool on the initial strike as well as the bleed damage.
The list at the official web site is MUCH longer than this, please follow this link to read it all.
An update has been made to the World of Warcraft official FAQ at the WoW website. In addition, an interview of Richard A. Knaak, the author of Warcraft: Day of the Dragon, has been posted.
You can check out this update by visiting the official World of Warcraft site: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com
There has been some question as to why we are "wasting" a publish by doing character transfer. The answer is, "housing phase 3." That is to say, we wish to avoid another sword of Damocles hanging over our heads for a year. We are committed to delivering this service, so we want to focus our efforts on completing it, make sure it is as polished as we can make it, and then move beyond it to resume our regular schedule of bug fixes & new content.
The official Ultima Online website may be accessed here.
A brand new creature is shown in a screen shot over at the Guild Wars website. This creature, a Stalker, is a member of the slaver Charr race.
See this and more screenshots from this highly anticipated game at this link.
Turbine's official site for Asheron's Call 2 has finally gone live, marking another milestone in the transition of the Asheron's Call franchise from Microsoft to Turbine. The site may be accessed at http://ac2.turbinegames.com.