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Lord of the Rings Online : Creatures of Middle Earth

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

The lord of the Rings Online official site has been updated with another edition of their recurring feature which looks at the various creatures that inhabit Middle Earth. This time around the focus is on one of the more mundane creatures of the land, who have taken on a more sinster edge in recent days since the rise of Angmar: the bat.

For those who wander beneath the moonlight on tranquil evenings in Eriador, the sound of bat wings in the darkened sky rarely brings a sense of fear or dread. In the wilds of Middle-earth, it is not uncommon to hear the rush of wings or catch a glimpse of small, darting shapes flittering on a night's hunt for insects around fields and still ponds. Even those who explore dark caves are more startled than truly afraid when the light of a lamp disturbs the slumbering creatures into a frenzied rush for the cave's exit. In these dark days, however, the wild creatures of Eriador are not as they once were.

A shadow of corruption now spreads throughout the wilderness, bringing with it an unwelcome darkness. The bats of Eriador, once content to be concealed from villagers and townsfolk, have begun hunting larger creatures, even swarming to attack unwary travellers in the night. Adventurers from outlying areas tell tales of menacing creatures with huge, leathery wings, cold black eyes, and needle-sharp teeth that deliver wicked bites. These tales are troubling indeed, for these creatures of the skies are numerous throughout Eriador. If they now fly in the service of a dark master, travel by night is likely to be perilous, even for the wariest adventurer.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : GW Hits 4 Million Mark

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

Congratulations to NCsoft and ArenaNet who announced today that Guild Wars has reached the 4 million mark in units sold since its release in 2005.

Bellevue, WA. Aug. 21, 2007--The Guild Wars® franchise of online roleplaying games has broken the four million units sold mark in just over two years. Published by NCsoft® and developed by ArenaNet®, the Guild Wars series (consisting of Guild Wars, Guild Wars FactionsTM, and Guild Wars NightfallTM) has set the standard for online co-operative and competitive play with award-winning content and a subscription-free business model. Since the first campaign launched in 2005, Guild Wars has developed legions of loyal fans who are hotly anticipating the August 31 release of the game's first true expansion, Guild Wars: Eye of the NorthTM.

"ArenaNet's fantastic work on Guild Wars has helped make NCsoft the leading online gaming publisher in the world," said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. "Guild Wars players continue to join in droves and stay loyal to the franchise thanks to a business model that makes for a very accessible product. We are all excited about the future of Guild Wars with the expansion ready to be released and Guild Wars 2TM on the horizon."

Read the full announcement here.

Tabula Rasa : New Screenshots

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

Eight new images have been added to our Tabula Rasa screenshot gallery.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Spellborn : Sounds of Spellborn

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Chronicles of Spellborn official site has been updated with their latest artistic developer journal. This time the focus is on the sound design and mood setting music in the game.

In The Chronicles of Spellborn music plays an important role in establishing moods for area's. As those of you who played the beta have found out a little (and a lot more had I done the volumes right ), music plays very seldom. Most of the time, you simply hear the ambience of an area. If you are in a forest, you'll hear forest sounds, on the road next to the forest there is a road ambience and once you go out into a field, it's different again. All of this is heard in gradual motion, as you move between the area's.

Every so often, the music belonging to that particular shard comes in and plays. At the moment this happens every hour or so, though we plan to make it such that people can change how often this happens.

Jesper Kyd composed those pieces of music, now almost two and a half years ago and as you can imagine, we have made a few changes in the mean time.

Read the full dev journal here.

Istaria : Rebirth of Horizons

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross is reporting that Horizons, an MMO which has spent a significant amount time in development limbo, is poised to make a comeback under the new management of Virtrium.

Like the proverbial phoenix (dragon?) that continually rises from the ashes, Horizons: Empire of Istaria is poised to take flight once again. Purchased just over one year ago by EI Interactive, the game has languished with no updates, billing errors and poor community support until recently when Virtrium, LLC purchased Horizons and all remaining assets from Tulga Games. The players have been wondering, though: exactly who is Virtrium?

Good question. In the previous two weeks alone they've re-established Blight, the test server; opened the community forums to registration (they've been closed for more than 8 months); established a new, very agile support ticket system (none had existed for nearly a year); and have somewhat covertly been talking to the players. Things the remaining rag tag bunch never expected as they were simply hanging on to the game until its dying breath.

Read the full article here.

Age of Conan : Siege Warfare at Leipzig

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced their plans to show at the Games Convention in Leipzig where they'll be displaying some of the game's pvp game-play as well as the much an anticipated siege warfare system.

Durham, USA - August 20th, 2007 - Funcom's highly anticipated massively multiplayer online game 'Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures' is getting ready to invade this year's Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. Not only will the siege warfare system be demonstrated to select press behind closed doors, gamers will also be able to join in on the fun by playing against each other in brutal, bloody, and ferociously fast-paced player-versus-player battles on the show floor.

"It is time for the gloves to come off," says Game Director Gaute Godager. "This is the first time we will let consumers get their hands on the game at a trade show and we are kicking off by letting them experience the intensity of player-versus-player battles. This is the true Conan experience - bloody and barbaric!"

The siege warfare gameplay, one of the most anticipated features in 'Age of Conan', will be shown behind closed doors for select press for the first time ever. In the game guilds will be able to construct entire battlekeeps for themselves and they can even capture and destroy other guild's battlekeeps by going into battle against them. Players will enter into epic struggles for fame, fortune and land using swords, cavalry and catapults as they charge towards each other on the blood-soaked battlefields of Hyboria.

Read more about Age of Conan and Leipzig here.

Fury : Fury Challenge Interview

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, Auran, the makers the the upcoming PvP MMORPG, Fury, announced that they would be holding a tournament with $1,000,000 in prizes up for grabs. Today, I talk to Content Designer Michael Hampden about the upcoming event.

This week, you guys announced something called the "Fury Challenge". Can you give us a quick idea of what that's all about?

Michael Hampden:

FURY Challenge is a massive beta event beginning on the 14th of September. We've teamed up with major sponsors like NVIDIA, Dell, Logitech, and more to offer over $1,000,000 dollars worth of prizes for FURY Challenge participants.

Read the whole interview here.

General : New Game/On

Posted Aug 21, 2007 by Keith Cross

The latest edition of Game/On,'s weekly podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week on Game/On, co-hosts Jon Wood and Keith Cross talk about Jon's upcoming trip to the Games Convention in Leipzig and all of the games that will be covering there.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 10: The City of the Kings Video

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Ben Krueger

On the heels of the Book 10 update comes this video showcasing the latest free update to LotRO.

Book 10: The City of the Kings Video Book 10: The City of the Kings Video
Check out this video showcasing the newly released Book 10 free update for LotRO.

Check out more videos here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 10 Launches

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

Book 10: City of the Kings, the second free expansion to Lord of the Rings Online officially launched today. The new expansion brings to the game numerous additions to the game, including: the ability to play as a Troll or Ranger in Session Play, the new region of Annúminas, numerous Monster Play enhancements, over 100 new quests, the new reputation system, revamped hunter and Captain classes, and much more.

Read the release notes here.

Zu Online : Official Site Launched

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they have launched their oficial site for Zu Online.

With the Zu Online alpha test right around the corner, we are pleased to announce that the official site of Zu Online has been released. This site will be a resource for the testers and all players in the future, as well as serve the community as a place to follow what's happening in the game.

Detailed game information and forums are currently available for viewing. We encourage you all to stop by often to learn more about Zu Online. Pay close attention to the website:

Visit the Zu Online official site here.

Spellborn : Dev Journal: Looking Cool

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Chronicles of Spellborn official site has been updated with another developer journal. This time the focus is on looking cool in MMOs and the game's appearance system.

With Spellborn, we decided this was not how we wanted things. An MMO is all about living a fantasy life, and people like to pretend to be a hero. Even if you choose to remain a rookie throughout our shard world, you still would like to wander around feeling you're the toughest Daevi that ever existed. But if, for some reason, the next day you feel like a little happy hoppie, and want to stroll through Quarterstone in nothing but your pants on, you would like to be able to do that too! And if, after months of trying, you finally beat the biggest boss you'll ever find, and put on the trophy you scavenged off his stinky remains, you want everyone to see that it's *you* who wears The-Coolest-Helmet-Ever-Made-(TM)!

Exaggerating only a little bit, this was basically what I was asked to make possible within The Chronicles of Spellborn. A system where artists can design and import helmets, armours, clothing and weapons, and then have players buy, dye and wear them in every combination possible. Oh, and ofcourse in such a way that it doesn't put too much strain on network bandwidth.

So the first thing I did was making sure I got the numbers straight. I haunted our artists to the point they didn't like me anymore, just to make sure that when the races, body types, armours, pants, shirts and swords would be coming in, I wouldn't be caught off guard. When this was done, it was time to detail every part of a player's appearance: "Okay, so they have a race, a body type, a head type, a head skin variation, a voice, tattoo's, clothing items, armour, weapons.... nice..." A lot of different settings, and most of these are subject to change any time: a player might remove a shoulder piece, put on a different shirt, or finally decide to wear that cool reddish belt!

Read the full developer journal here.

Tales of Pirates : PK Weekend

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced they will be holding several PK weekend events where players can battle other players for honor, glory, and loot.

IGG has announced that a PK weekend has been added to the weekly activity schedule for Tales of Pirates. Guild War and Lucky Survivor will be involved in the PK activities. Click here to check the weekly activity schedule.

Details for PK Weekend:

Guild War

The honor of the guild stimulates you; faith in the supreme power supports you. Want to be the best in the guild? Want your guild to be the Triton of the minnows? Then draw your cutlass, fight for your guild, and devote yourself to this heroic war.

Rule: Before EST 12:00AM each Friday, each guild can go to Guildmaster-Forlan(831,3249) in Shaitan City to bid for their right to fight against the Defending champion. Guilds with the winning bid will be allowed to challenge the Defending champion at EST 12:00AM each Saturday. The winning side will be given the title Champion Guild and will be rewarded generously. Click here for details about the guild war.

Lucky Survivor

It's the warrior's destiny to be tested. You have no choice, all you can do is to become stronger and stronger, push on and defeat whatever lies ahead.

Rule: Est 22:00~23:00PM every Sunday, GMs will make an arena in which Players are free to PK without any restriction. To apply to join, Players can go to find our GM near the PUB in Argent City (To apply, Players have to be included in the friends list of our GMs). There will be 40 Players in a group. When the battle begins, the GM will ask 20 Players to go into the arena first. Once a character has died, our GM will ask the next Player to go into the arena to join the fight. The last man standing will be the champion. There are no restrictions in the arena, you can use any item and even team up with other Players to form temporary alliances. However, there will be only one survivor and only the last Player standing can get the reward.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Read more about Tales of Pirates here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Imperial Content

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced on the Star Wars Galaxies official site that high level Imperial characters will be able to take part in new Imperial content, including new quests and rewards.

Players who have already completed the Imperial Theme Park have been granted permission by the Galactic Empire to complete new tasks for the high ranking officials of the Empire. Imperial citizens and officers who complete the assignments set before them by the Empire will earn Galactic Civil War points for completing quests and will also obtain a brand new quest reward.

The Empire seeks your assistance in hunting down and eliminating threats to the Empire. You will be called on to thwart the efforts of the Rebel Alliance to recruit sympathizers and reinforce the Empire's position as the ultimate power in the universe. Your services are essential in reaching this objective.

To begin this adventure you must be a member of the Galactic Empire. You can become a member of the Empire by visiting a faction recruiter and declaring your allegiance. You can find an Imperial recruiter on Naboo near the spaceport in Theed at -4928 4228.

Read more here.

General : Community Blog Spotlight: Alts

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Jon Wood

Every Week, Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at one or more of the entries being created in our blogs. This week, she looks takes a look at a member blog about playing alts in MMORPGs.

Many of us MMOers not only play multiple games, but we play multiple characters within those games; these are called alts, and user neschria is certainly one of the most prolific alters I've ever heard of. Sporting over 72 EverQuest characters, 50 WoW characters, and more spread over other MMOs, neschria's latest blog entry in Tastes Gamey tells us about her personal altaholism, and talks about alters and the allure of alternate characters in MMOs - the entry itself is aptly titled "I wish I could have alts in real life too."

Read the whole column here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.

Q. I've killed Myrddraxis (Fomor Hydra) and got no remains nor have read ANYWHERE that he drops them. However, I still keep hearing that he drops them. So my question is does he actually drop remains and if so is it a random drop?

A. From the Bearded Wonder: There are no remains for Myrddraxis. Urban Legend. Seriously, Taxidermists have to draw the line somewhere, 1 head... okay. 5 heads? Sorry, no dice.

Q. Can/will you please officially state whether or not one is able to see an enemy player's torch if they have it on in an RvR area? Some people try to claim that two years ago there were patch notes saying that you are not supposed to be able to see enemy realm torches, but I know for a fact that you can since I see them all the time making people glow like a beacon, especially at night.

A. From the Keeper of the Devs: If a player has their torch on their face will be lit up to other players, regardless of realm. I must admit I can be found being yelled at by my group mates many a night. "Turn off your torch!" Gah...I hate running around in the dark.

Read the Grab Bag here.

World of Warcraft : 11 Months WoW Subscription with DirecTV

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced that they have partnered with DirecTV to offer 11 months free subscription to World of Warcraft and a free copy of the game to new DirecTV customers.

We've partnered with DIRECTV to offer a great value to World of Warcraft players and new DIRECTV customers. Between now and November 30, 2007, players who sign up for DIRECTV will receive 11 months of World of Warcraft FREE! New DIRECTV customers who aren't already World of Warcraft subscribers will also receive a free copy of the World of Warcraft game client. Visit DIRECTV's Championship Gaming Series site to learn more about this special promotion.

Visit DIRECTV's Championship Gaming Series site here.

Zu Online : New Screenshots

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Keith Cross

Five new images have been added to our Zu Online screenshot gallery.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Bounty Bay Online : Introductory Q&A

Posted Aug 20, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, we have added a new game to our Game List. Bounty Bay Online, a version of the already released Voyage Century, is different from its counterpart in a number of significant ways. In this Q&A, Managing Editor Jon Wood speaks with Markus Melching, the head of Yusho GmBH (the game's co-publisher) to talk about BBO and how it differs from Voyage Century.

What kind of game is Bounty Bay Online?

Markus Melching:

BBO is an MMORPG set in the 15th century. BBO allows the player to discover the world as it was known at that time on land and on high seas. The game offers a mixture of action packed sea-battles, land-fighting, exploration possibilities, crafting and economic simulation.

Read the whole interview here.

Lord of the Rings Online : City of the Kings Patch Notes

Posted Aug 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has posted the rather lengthy patch notes for Book 10: City of the Kings, the next expansion to Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Book 10: The City of the Kings Overview

New Area : Annúminas!

  • The main theme in the area is one of battle over the ruins of the past. The Rangers are far out-numbered by Angmar and its troops. The players are coming to help turn the tides in this struggle.
  • The area around Annúminas is full of rolling green hills and fields, leading the edge of Lake Evendim (Nenuial). Upon the banks of Nenuial lies the ruined city of Annúminas, long abandoned by the Men of Arnor in the days of Amlaith, who moved the seat of power from Annúminas to Fornost.
  • The city of Annúminas was one of the greatest achievements of the Men of Westernesse, built during the reign of Elendil. Great works of architecture spanned the city across multiple levels, though nearly three-thousand years of weather and abandonment have left much of it in ruin. Where once were beautiful gardens and tall spires now are pools of filth and decay and jagged ruined towers.

Monster play enhancements and new quests

  • Play as a Troll
  • Play as a Ranger
  • Play as a Chicken
  • Gain powerful new keep defenses
  • Gain allies in keep assaults

New content:

  • Three new Annúminas instances
  • New Ered Luin reputation Dungeon
  • New Barrow Downs reputation Dungeon
  • More integrated Events: Ettenmoors Events, Annúminas Events (three)
  • More special game Events: Trestlebridge Invasion, Ost Guruth Invasion, Tale of the Shipwrecked Mariners
  • New Ettenmoors quests
  • New Annúminas quests

Read the patch notes here.

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