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General : MMOWTF: Console MMO Apocalypse

Posted Jun 29, 2007 by Jon Wood

Weekly MMORPG.com columnist Dan Fortier muses on the subject of MMORPGs for the next-gen consoles.

As online games become more commonplace and popular, we are seeing their growing influence in all sorts of unexpected and interesting places. We have already seen WoW on South Park and an animated Everquest Adventure cartoon (*shudder*), so frankly I'm sure that we can expect a lot more exposure for the genre in the years to come. This week I'm going to focus on another way that MMOs are pushing their way out of their perceived niche. With several MMO titles now being announced for the 'next-gen' consoles, I figured it was time to weigh in on the matter with a typically obtuse offering.

Console systems have generally shied away from any titles that exposed their weakness over their PC counterparts and concentrated on games that were much easier to play with a controller. While every so often a deep and interactive title, like Morrowind, would find its way to the controller geeks, games that required a massive amount of options have been the domain of the PC platform since their inception. Anyone that remembers the tedious button combinations required to give orders to your wing men in either of the Super Nintendo's 'Wing Commander' games will know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course, all this is starting to change slowly as the newest crop of titles are finding it useful to bundle multi-player and internet features to keep up with the online revolution.

Read the whole article here.

EverQuest II : Update #36 Launch

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today sees the launch of Game Update #36. In honor of the event SOE has sent out a press release detailing some of the finer points of the update!

Swords of Destiny: The Final Chapter Revealed!

The next and final exciting chapter in an on-going saga, the Swords of Destiny quest line will conclude with GU 36. This third phase provides players a chance to complete the quest trilogy and discover the final details about the history and relevance of the swords and their impending role in Norrath's future! See Sir Trodonis in Butcherblock for further information.

New Raid Zone: Felwithe Throne Room

It's time to Storm the castle and seize the Throne of New Tunaria (aka Felwithe Castle)! Available as an instance for high level raid groups, the addition of Felwithe presents challenging opportunities to explore the lore surrounding the Thexian Throne and a final chance to defeat the infamous Mayong Mistmoore.

New Dressing Rooms

Try before you buy, or see what that linked item looks like on you! GU 36 also brings the ability to preview weapons, garments, armor, furniture, mounts, and more. This new window will allow you to preview these items from links, merchants, brokers, recipe books, during trades, while inspecting others, in the commission window, and most any other place you'd want it to.

Also in GU 36: Tradeskill Reset, Coin Changes!

  • Not happy with your tradeskill profession? Consult a Tradeskill Career Counselor in Neriak, Kelethin, Qeynos Ironforge Exchange, Freeport Coalition of Tradesfolke or Haven about the possibility of starting over!
  • Coin is now weightless and automatically changes up to the best denominations, so no more destroying your copper!

Information on additional enhancements included in GU 36 can be found here.

Read more on EQII here.

7 Day Trial here.

Silkroad Online : Compensation Event

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Silkroad Online has announced that they will hold an event starting on June 29th until July 3rd that will see players earn 30% more Skill Points.

Hello. This is Silkroad Online.

We have mentioned that the event will be held after the bot punishment around mid June due to the long duration of server inspection that has occured beginning of May.

We will be proceeding Compensation Event for the incident.

More on this here.

Guild Wars : June Tournament Reports

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released the Match Reports from their June Tournament.

The recently concluded June Season of the Guild Wars $100,000 Tournament Series ended in single elimination rounds with a final showdown between the top contenders. Read all about the builds, kills, and tactics of the GvG final between Virtual Dragons [vD] and Peace and Harmony [PnH] and the details of the Hero Battle match between X Ekelon X and ????.

More on Guild Wars here.

Dark Age of Camelot : UI, Others Death, Cluster Issues

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Lots of stuff going on over at EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. From a cluster rollback (a small one) to UI stuff to an "Others Death" Option Issue:

There seems to be an issue with the 'Others Death' option, in which it is not seen in either the Main chat window or the Combat window. We are working on getting that issue resolved, however until then, the good folks in our CS Department wanted to let everyone know that there is a simple work around. All you need to do is open a new window and you will be able to see the 'Others Death' text.

Read about everthing in The Camelot Herald.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Log #2

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Flying Lab Software has released Devlog #2 for our reading pleasure. This devlog, from GavinIrby, is about Role-Playing Story arcs and more.

People on the street are always asking me, "What's going on with the Career Story Arc? What's it about? When will we get to play it? Do you use a product to get your hair like that?" Instead of answering people one at a time, I figured I'd just write a devlog and address everyone's concerns all at once.

First of all, the name's changed. We're now calling it the "Role-Playing Story Arc" so as not to get it confused with the career specific mission chains (Navy, Freetrader, Privateer, etc). The content has been submitted and exists in the main build (not the beta build, so don't even try). It consists of over 70 missions, 30 custom encounters, and 100 characters. Now I'm in the process of fleshing out the details and fixing bugs. Naturally, you'll want to know, "What do you get to do, anyway? MMORPG's aren't known for having compelling storylines. What makes yours so special?"

Read this whole log here.

D&D Online : Update 4.2 Lore

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released some new lore for Update 4.2: Searing Heights.

We've received reports that the Sul'at League has resurfaced in the Searing Heights. The League is intent on protecting their volcano at all costs as it is rumored to house the tribe's lost legacy.

Our sources also tell us that an organization of fire giants called the Battalion of the Basalt Towers has started preparations for a demonic ceremony. We are unclear about what their motivation is, but our source was extremely concerned. The Battalion of the Basalt Towers revere an ancient hero named Adaxus who supposedly used a demonic alliance to crown himself the Fire Prince. We fear that this new generation of fire giants is attempting to follow in his footsteps.

The news of the Battalion of the Basalt Towers recent activity combined with the reports of the first Drow sightings in this area for many years cannot be a coincidence. We are extremely worried about the security implications. You must go to the Searing Heights at once and report what you see. Hopefully it isn't too late already.

More on DDO here.

General : NJ Paper Runs Game Addiction Article

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

The Star Ledger, a newspaper out of New Jersey ran an article today on Gaming addiction. The article tells the story of a 13 year old EverQuest player who, when he had his computer taken away, smashed the window of the locked room his mother had placed the computer in.

The short article goes on to talk about a report from the American Medical Association on the subject.

The American Medical Association has called for research to determine whether the obsession with such games could be considered a new condition -- video game addiction.

The request, adopted by the association yesterday, was not as aggressive as an original AMA report asking that such a disorder be included in future issues of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by all psychiatrists.

The final decision will be up to the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the manual and will review all research before rendering a decision. The next version of the manual is scheduled to be published in 2012.

Read the story here.

Granado Espada Online : Unlocked Character With Retail

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Elephant Entertainment has announced that, for a limited time, fans who buy the retail version of this MMORPG will be treated to one, unlocked character.

The word is out to all those MMORPG fans who buy Sword of the New World: Granado Espada at their local store: Elephant Entertainment & K2 Network is letting you level-up right out of the gate by offering one unlocked character per game from among these four - Rescue Knight, Idge Imbrulia, Lorch Furuholmen, and Najib Sharif. For a limited time only, players who buy the game from their favorite store are rewarded with an immediate advantage.

Battle vicious dinosaurs and mysterious skeleton monsters everyday with this week's character profile - Rescue Knight. Rescue Knights fight with their sturdy shields held high and their bodies fully protected by armor and rock-hard helmets. While cautious and deliberate in their approach to battles, they nonetheless accomplish everything they are commissioned to do. They block and attack relentlessly, allowing them to serve the role of the "tank" quite well.

Discover a new world of action and combat with Sword of the New World: Granado Espada. Winner of the "2006 Presidential Award for Game of the Year" in Korea, Sword is the only MMORPG that allows you to control up to three characters simultaneously as you conquer a mysterious and dangerous continent. Choose from five unique classes each armed with an amazing arsenal of weapons, stances and skills. Sword delivers more adventure than any other MMORPG.

Read more on SotNW here.

General : Players of the Year at Fan Faire

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that they will be crowning "Players of the Year" at SOE's Fan Faire this year. The contest is only open to US residents 21 years old or older.

Do you know someone who is the poster child for your MMO? Someone so dedicated that they walk around bloodshot and sleep deprived in their favorite wrinkled gaming T-shirts and baseball caps (what else would they be wearing?). Someone who goes so above and beyond the call of duty helping other community members in-game, out-of-game and everywhere in-between that they're practically an online Mother Theresa? Well, they just might be the perfect candidate for SOE Player of the Year and we want to know more about them!

Nominate a fellow player (or yourself) by writing a 200 word (or less) letter or roleplay story explaining why the person deserves to be an SOE Player of the Year. Optional - you can also include a link to an image (screen capture, artwork, video or photo) with your entry as support for your story but please note that a written submission is still required.

Read more on this contest here.

Warhammer Online : Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett: Games Day

Posted Jun 28, 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. Today, we present Part One, come back tomorrow to read part two!

Paul:

What's great about this place is that it's Games Day. So what you got is our game with all the other people who are obsessed about the Warhammer idea. Some people are here because obsessed because they have read the novels and really like the background. A lot of people here because they are obsessed about the miniatures and the realization of the IP, but there are TON of people who are obsessed about our computer game.

Joe:

I know, I saw the line all the way around your booth.

Jeff:

Oh yeah, it's crazy.

Paul:

and what it shows is just how strong and wondrous the idea of Warhammer is that you can do it as table top game, as a novel as a comic, you can also do it as a computer MMO and that's because we are making a hobby. We're not making a computer game, this isn't a wash, rinse, repeat out the door, forget. This is a community; we just had Games Workshop in our building.

Read the whole interview here.

General : Community Spotlight: Death Penalties

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at what is being said on our forums about Death Penalties in MMORPGs.

This week on the forums, poster ASmith84 posed the community a question: "Why Death Penalty?"

"Why do people want a death penalty?" He started the discussion, "What is so great about losing XP? It just makes you play the game longer which makes you pay more. Why do people like this?"

Poster Ghostleader replies, "I don't know about most people but I like death penalties because of the feeling that if I lose I'll actually lose which makes me play better and actually gives me a bit of a rush when PvP as opposed to other games where I lose nothing so there's no reason for me to feel like I need to stay alive."

Read the whole column here.

Age of Conan : Developer Profile Q&A

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, we continue our series of Developer Profile Q&As where we take a more in-depth look at one of the people working on Funcom's Age of Conan. This week, we're talking to Orjan "Mathis" Tvedt, the Service & Quality Assurance Senior Manager for AoC.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?

Orjan "Mathis" Tvedt:

School had probably very little to do with me choosing to become a part of the video game community. I come from a small city on the west coast of Norway called Bergen. At least its small compared to cities you find in countries such as England, France or USA. It was a very good gaming community in this city and I got a job in one of the internet stores. We had some high profiled Quake and Star Craft players coming from this store and it was during the days of Everquest that I got my job in Funcom. While playing Everquest I decided to give the gaming industry a try.

Read the whole interview here.

Guild Wars : Eye of the North FAQ

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Guild Wars official site has been updated with an FAQ focused on answering questions about the upcoming expansion Guild Wars: Eye of the North.

What is Guild Wars: Eye of the North?

Guild Wars: Eye of the North, also called GW:EN, is the first Guild Wars expansion. It follows the original Guild Wars campaign as well as the Guild Wars Factions and Guild Wars Nightfall campaigns. GW:EN takes place in heretofore unexplored lands of Tyria, including the Far Shiverpeak Mountains, the Charr homelands, the shores of the Tarnished Coast, and even deep within dungeons that plumb the subterranean depths.


What will GW:EN offer me?

  • All-new content designed exclusively for your existing Guild Wars characters
  • 18 huge, multi-level dungeons to explore
  • Monuments commemorating your Guild Wars achievements that give access to special items and titles in Guild Wars 2
  • 150 new skills (50 of which are special, roleplaying-only skills) to use against your foes
  • 10 new Heroes to help in your adventures
  • 40 new armor sets suitable for the great heroes of the land
  • A first look at some of the exciting, playable races in Guild Wars 2
  • Numerous new items, weapons, and titles

What is the release date of GW:EN?

Guild Wars: Eye of the North will be released in the third quarter of 2007.

Read the FAQ here.

Anarchy Online : New Point System

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that they have added a point system to Anarchy Online. Players can buy these points and use them to buy virtual items, services, and content.

Durham, USA - June 27, 2007 - Funcom is proud to announce the introduction of a additional business model for Anarchy Online, exactly six years after the launch of the world's first sci-fi MMO. Set to launch this summer, Funcom now introduces a point-based system where players can purchase selected virtual items, as well as new content and services. The new approach comes as an addition to Anarchy Online's existing business models, and it is a current Funcom focus to only introduce items which do not affect gameplay balance.

The first virtual items to kick off the program will be the introduction of jetbikes and hover boards, giving players the chance to cruise around Rubi-Ka in an all new fashion. In addition Funcom will offer previously released scout-mechs, luxury apartments, Leet pets and various sets of social clothing. By using points the players can also get access to previous and upcoming expansion and booster packs, as well as new services like changing in-game names or moving to another server.

"Funcom has long been a pioneer on new MMO business models, and with the introduction of virtual item sales we are once again moving our game in an exciting new direction," said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. "Selling virtual items and smaller content upgrades is now a prevalent MMO business model in Asia. This has yet to be fully explored in the west, but we believe that the time is now right to test a limited version of such a model. At the same time we remain committed to the overall evolution of the game, making sure that Anarchy Online will be a success for many years to come."

"Celebrating six years is a fantastic milestone for Anarchy Online, and we are genuinely honored to still entertain so many people," said Craig Morrison, Producer and Director on Anarchy Online. "As we now introduce a new addition to Anarchy Online we have ensured that our paying customers get certain privileges. At the same time we also want to show our commitment to taking the overall gameplay experience forward. I am therefore glad to announce that we are developing a new graphics engine for the game, replacing our entire server farm, as well as developing exciting booster packs which include new playfields and more."

Read the full release here.

For more on Anarchy Online, visit http://www.anarchy-online.com.

Voyage Century Online : New Screenshots

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Four new Images have been added to our Voyage Century screenshot gallery.

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

Granado Espada Online : Public Beta

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

K2 Network has announced that Sword of the New World has entered open beta, and is now open to the public.

IRVINE, Calif. - June 27, 2007 - K2 Network, Inc. (www.k2network.net), an online game publisher, announced today that the beta for its epic MMORPG, Sword of the New World: Granado Espada is now live and open to the public.

"The growing Sword of The New World community has been waiting for this day and it's finally here," said Grantley Day, Vice President of Development at K2 Network. "Until now gamers could only read about the unique and exciting experience that is Sword of The New World; but now they can experience this truly exceptional game firsthand."

Gamers who are interested in being part of the open beta which is now live and continues through until early July should visit http://www.swordofthenewworld.com/register-beta.php to sign up and start playing. In the beta, players will have access to 4 worlds while experiencing the game's extensive costume selection feature and unique multi-character control system, while testing out the deep and compelling character classes.

Licensed to K2 Network by Hanbitsoft, Sword of the New World is developed by imcGAMES. imcGAMES is headed by CEO Hakkyu Kim, the creator of Ragnarok Online, one of the world's most popular MMO's with more than 25 million subscribers. A fantasy MMORPG whose story is modeled after Europe's exploration of the New World, this gorgeous, original title allows players to create and simultaneously control a family of characters utilizing the excusive Multiple Character Control (MCC) system.

This innovative fantasy adventure lavishly unfolds its luscious graphical style through a rich and compelling story comprised of thrilling missions and quests. Swept by an exotic New World fever in the 17th century, this fictional yet profoundly historical exploration of the new found continent includes features that are all-new and exclusive to the U.S. and European versions of the game.

To sign up for the beta, click here.

For more on Sword of the New World, visit www.k2network.net

EVE Online : CCP Hires Economist

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced in a press release that they have brought a real world economist onto the EVE Online team. Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson plans to publish quarterly reports on the EVE Online economy, and evaluate various economic indicators on an ongoing basis.

Reykjavik, Iceland - June 27, 2007 - CCP Games, one of the world's largest independent game developers, today announced the appointment of a in-world lead economist for EVE Online. This is the first time an MMOG has commissioned a dedicated real world economist to operate at this level of economic monitoring and research for a virtual world. The appointment is a real testament to the growing intricacy and strength of EVE Online's thriving virtual economy.

Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson brings over 15 years' experience in economic studies and research, and joins CCP directly from the University of Akureyri, Iceland, where he among several teaching positions held the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Science. Prior to that he was a research associate at the University of Rhode Island's Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics where he also completed his PhD. He has authored or co-authored 15 publications. Dr. Guðmundsson's first blog on EVE Online economics is at http://myeve.eve-online.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=481.


Dr. Guðmundsson will publish quarterly reports on the state of the EVE Online economy as well as ongoing analysis of other economic indicators, such as inflation, economic growth and price trends. His research is designed to provide players with information necessary to make strategic decisions, but is also expected to have an impact on future development of the game. Dr. Guðmundsson will also be responsible for coordinating research initiatives with academic institutions.

"EVE Online may be set in the future, but the skills needed to play are rooted in the real world of today. Players operate vast corporations whose shares are traded in-game among players so economic strength and agility is key to their success. Just as entrepreneurs and executives rely on real-world economic indicators, EVE Online players need timely information and analysis of the in-game economy," said Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. "That's why we created this important position and we're delighted to have someone of Eyjólfur's caliber and expertise fill the role."

"Virtual worlds and MMOGs are emerging as one of the most interesting areas of experimental economics. Since becoming involved with EVE Online, I have been exploring the game and growing more fascinated with the community, its complexities and the unlimited potential of it all. I can see that CCP has understood that the social structures in EVE Online are far beyond those of other games," said Eyjólfur Guðmundsson. "Economic information is the lifeblood of the game and I believe that, by ensuring everyone has access to the same data, we will enhance the player experience and facilitate economic stability in EVE."

Visit the EVE Online official site at http://www.eve-online.com.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Chat report

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

Last night, Flying Lab Software held a developer chat to discuss the SOE publishing announcement, and answer some questions from the public. Adele Caelia was on hand at the event and files this report.

Recently the announcement was made that Flying Lab Software would be teaming up with Sony Online Entertainment to publish and distribute Pirates of the Burning Sea. In light of this news the developers from Pirates of the Burning Sea held a chat session to answer questions from fans, and try to ease their worries.

Flying Lab said that they are firm in their decision to team up with Sony, and they do plan on sticking with SOE for the long run. CEO Rusty Williams said, "We have our responsibilities and they have theirs. Good fences make good neighbors."

SOE will be handling billing, marketing, and distribution. This means that customers will need a Station Account to play, but they are now in the process of figuring out how they will link up a player's current PotBS accounts with their existing or new Station Account. PotBS will be included in the Station Pass, which is great for current SOE gamers who are looking to try out the new swashbuckling game, and is also great for those who plan on playing PotBS, and want to try a game or two in SOE's current line-up. One other added perk to this deal is that players will also now find PotBS at the upcoming SOE Fan Faire, and the developers have said that many of them plan on attending.

FLS also stated that they would be handling their own customer service working with Playerbase Solutions in the U.S. and with Alchemic Dream in Europe. They are not interested in outsourcing customer service overseas.

"It's a little cheaper to do it that way, but I think it makes for a much worse support experience," said Williams.

Read the whole article here.

Eudemons : Patch Details

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Eudemons Online have released details of their most recent patch which will add two new daily quests to the game.

We are happy to announce that two daily quests reported before will be added after this Wednesday`s maintenance.

New Hatchers

Do you think that there are not enough hatchers to hatch eudemon eggs? Well, the fifth and sixth hatchers will be available for you to activate in Patch 1064.

Cronus Snipe

Look forward to doing new quest? Then it`s good news that Cronus Snipe is waiting for you. If you are between levels 80-131, please visit Sam (Cronus 181,383) and get ready to fight the monsters.

Read more the new patch here.

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