ArenaNet and NCsoft have released a new trailer for the upcoming stand-alone sequel to their popular game Guild Wars. The Nightfall trailer is available by clicking the link in the below quotation:
Here's your chance to take an exclusive look into the world of Guild Wars Nightfall! For your viewing pleasure, we’ve put together a trailer of this exciting new campaign, featuring glimpses of breathtaking cities, lush landscapes, and terrifying new foes. Also previewed is brand new footage of our Dervish and Paragon professions. Download your copy today, and prepare yourself for Nightfall!
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Blizzard is looking for good player-created strategy guides. The can be found under three general categories, General, Class Guide and Profession:
Have you created a great strategy guide, and do you want to get the word out? We continue to look for great player-created strategy guides to share with the community on our site. If you would like to submit your guide, head over to one of our three main link pages. You can also check out this page for some great player-submitted tips.
For more on WoW, click here.
Author Steven-Elliot Altman is leading up the lore and writing for the North American adaptation of 9Dragons by Acclaim. Our Carolyn Koh recently asked him a few questions.
| MMORPG.com: Since 9 Dragons is actually an existing game in Korea - have you been given a blank slate apart from the historical basis to work on or are there some “don’t touch” elements in it?
Steven-Elliot Altman: Well Carolyn, I must admit that at the beginning I felt lost in translation. A lot of the early documents I read based on the backgrounds of the Clans (those are the groups you can join in-game, each with their own special philosophy, ideals and Kung Fu) were rather confusing. There are elements of Asian culture that simply do not translate. So, the earliest part of my job was trying to ask the right questions (through translators) to the designers to find out how clan history was actually interacting with elements like alliances and quests. Once I understood what elements were essential to game-play, I could choose which historical information would be fun and accessible to English-speaking gamers. The Korean team’s writer and Loremaster, Jwa Baek, a rather famous best-selling author in Korea, did an amazing job at weaving the original story with compelling characters and Chinese mythology. So I felt a little nervous when I started changing story elements to suit the English market… but he has been very accepting of the new work as they translate my “Remastered English” back to the Korean designers.
There weren’t any real “don’t touch” moments, but everybody did get a little antsy when I explained that we had to adjust the names of several of the clans. Sure, our gamers have probably heard of Shaolin and Wu-Tang Clan, but other clan names would have been meaningless (and difficult to pronounce). So a good example might be that I studied the “Mojiao Clan”, thought about their arcane ideals, read up on their Bloody Fist Kung Fu technique, and then renamed them Heavenly Demon Clan.
So, rather than a blank slate, it was more like an empty plate I could fill… and when I couldn’t understand something on the menu, I asked them to bring the cart around and let me taste the food. Then I did my best to describe each delicacy.
You can read more here.
Aaron Roxby has some distinct opinions on the grind. In this new editorial called "DING! Or why I killed several thousand innocent goblins and rats", we learn what they are.
|DING! For anyone who has spent any amount of time in a virtual world, those four letters carry great significance. Even typing them into MS Word gives a bit of a tingle, a slight sense of accomplishment. In fact, I am going to type it again. DING! That feels good. In this context, there is little meaning behind it. In an online game, however those four letters mean that you just leveled and that is, of course, why we play online games. To level. To press a series of buttons that make a little bar fill up, which in turn will usually make a satisfying little sound (or in EverQuest, a nerve-scraping clang) and a little number will go up by one. Truly exciting stuff, and well worth the massive amounts of time and money that it can take to get there. I can’t help myself… DING!
Of course, not all words are so electrifying to type. Here, I’ll show you: Grind. That was no fun to type at all. Typing “Grind” fills me a sense of impending frustration, a sense that I might just be wasting my time. Let’s try another: Treadmill. No, that’s no good. That one gives a sense of futility, a sense of expending energy but getting nowhere. Excuse me a moment… DING! There, that’s better.
You can read more here.
Nik Davidson, the Lead Systems Designer for Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, has released a new developer journal. This one answers the question "what are the Vocations and Professions, and how do they relate to each other?"
You can read the entire journal by following the link below:
I was rather pleased with the response to my first crafting dev diary. It's a subject near and dear to me, and it clearly means a lot to the LOTRO community too. I've always felt that a strong crafting system that allows for dedicated crafters to visibly ply their trades and thus garner a reputation for themselves will be a strong asset to community building in an MMO. Judging by the responses to the system, I see we all basically agree on that, at least. Splendid!
It wasn't long after the first dev diary was released before Ramen came by and started pestering me for a follow-up. She's a shrewd negotiator*, and I quickly agreed. After all, I did want to do a slightly more fact-rich update, and this will give me a chance to do so.
First of all, let's answer the most common question I've been getting in a definitive and final** sort of way: what are the Vocations and Professions, and how do they relate to each other? The following are diagrams of the seven Vocations: Diamonds are "production professions" – tradeskills that make stuff and the Circles are "gathering professions" - professions that gather materials so that you can make stuff. You'll notice that there are seven Vocations, and seven production professions. Very shrewd of you! Except for the Scholar (whose materials are only found via loot), each production profession requires materials from another profession, so although there are multiple vocations that allow you to be a Tailor, only one of them also lets you be a Forester, which will provide needed materials for your own use...
Read it all here.
Dark Age of Camelot has announced that they will be bringing their servers down tomorrow in order to upgrade the network and associated systems:
We need to take the servers down on Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM EDT. Our new overlords are upgrading our network and associated systems, and to prepare for that upgrade, we need to tell our servers to accept some new settings. I hate having downtime that isn't related to patches, but if we failed to do this, we would not be able to log into our own servers. Please accept my apology for the inconvenience, and watch the Herald for updates.
For more on DAoC click here.
Blizzard has announced that two new realms have been opened in their popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft:
We are pleased to announce the opening of two new realms: Tanaris which is a PvE realm and The Forgotten Coast which is a new PvP realm. These new realms will provide a great place for new and old players alike to begin fresh adventures within the world of Azeroth. Enjoy!
These realms and any future new realms will be made available for the Paid Character Transfer service 6 months past their launch.
For more on WoW click here.
After some time, EVE Online has announced that a new Peak Concurrent Users milestone has been surpassed as the numbers crept just over 28,000 on Monday:
Yesterday at 18:21 a new PCU milestone was reached when 28020 EVE Players were logged in at the same time. The dream of more than 30K users seems to becoming a reality.
For more on EVE Online click here.
The Chronicles of Spellborn will be making some noise in Lepzig at the Games Convention. Goth-rock band Within Temptation will be playing two concerts where they will play some of their own hits as well as some exclusive new Spellborn songs:
Two exclusive concerts from gothic rock formation "Within Temptation" on the opening day
Berlin, 14.08.06: The upcoming MMORPG hit The Chronicles of Spellborn will provide the best of entertainment on the Games Convention 2006 in Leipzig from the first day onwards.
On the press day the well known European rock band Within Temptation will rock the expo twice. The Goth Rock band, build around front woman Sharon den Adel, will perform two mini concerts during which exclusive new Spellborn songs and platinum selling hits like 'Stand my ground' will be played. A real world premiere! Within Temptation will perform their show in Hall 4 during the expo.
The first concert takes place on August 23, the press day, at 15.00. The second concert will take place the same day at 18.00 hr. All expo visitors during that day are invited to be part of this very special Games Convention groundbreaking event. Frogster and Spellborn will plan a plethora of surprises surrounding these concerts. The press gets the opportunity to do some exclusive interviews with the band and the developers. After the last concert Frogster will organise a 'get together'. The Chronicles of Spellborn places thousands of gamers together in a world filled with history, dangers and adventure.
The game is based on the Unreal engine © and offers groundbreaking graphics and art style with numerous innovative features, like players influencing the world with their adventures and a skill-based combat system with manual targeting. The new songs from Within Temptation were inspired by the fantastic and dark atmosphere of the Spellborn world. Players can discover The Chronicles of Spellborn themselves in the booth in Hall 3, booth A21.
Angela Schierholz, Project director Games Convention Leipzig: "I think it is great that we will celebrate a double premiere on the Games Convention. Both the game, The Chronicles of Spellborn, can be seen by the public for the first time and the new rock songs from Within Temptation that will be performed live for the first time. It shows the importance of the Leipzig GC, that such a well known band wants to make such a performance on our convention."
Dirk Weyel, CMO with Frogster interactive: "We will make clear from the start that The Chronicles of Spellborn will be main topic of the games convention. Thanks to Within Temptation it is going to happen with a bang. Future plans for this cooperation between Within Temptation and The Chronicles of Spellborn will consist of a video-clip supported single release, an exclusive end of beta event and Spellborn art used as basis for the Within Temptation concert stage setup."
For more on TCoS click here.
Farlan Entertainment, the company responsible for Dark and Light, have announced that they will be offering "Three months of no invoices for existing and new subscribers". The company says that the decision was made to offset the fact that the game was released too early. The press release goes on to blame the premature release on pressure from the game's investors as well as the gaming community.
PORT LOUIS, MAURITUS — (August 15, 2006) — Farlan Entertainment, publisher of Dark and Light™, The Largest MMORPG You’ve Ever Seen!, today announced it is embarking on a new initiative to correct and improve various operational aspects of Dark and Light. While worldwide play in the Internet game will not be interrupted during this period, Farlan is nonetheless offering a thank you to the hundreds of thousands of Dark and Light subscribers who have signed on thus far by offering three months of play with no monthly subscription fee.
Dark and Light, which debuted in June of this year, has broken new ground in many aspects of MMORPG entertainment, bringing to the industry the largest virtual game surface ever, total freedom of movement without loading time, and three axes of character progression, among other breakthroughs. However, Farlan Entertainment now acknowledges that the game was released prematurely due to pressure from its investors and from the gaming community.
To rectify the situation, the company is taking several major steps. First, to facilitate the change/upgrade process, Farlan has signed a new production agreement with SnailGame Entertainment. SnailGame, a game developer which currently handles distribution of Dark and Light in China, will provide additional people to focus on graphic and scenic production. Farlan wishes to reiterate that NP Cube will continue to oversee Dark and Light’s evolution and technical/creative control.
Second, Dark and Light’s development team will focus on improving and correcting the game’s technical challenges, especially its handling, user interface, processing speed, game immersion, and battle performance. The process of upgrading and improving Dark and Light is already underway; for example, a new major patch was recently installed that corrects a number of game balancing and graphic interface issues. Additional major improvements will be forthcoming very soon.
Third, to reward the Dark and Light subscribers who have stayed the course during the past few months, Farlan is making Dark and Light available for three months with no subscription fee; that is, no invoicing for the next three month period. All operational aspects of the game, including user accounts and player credits, will be maintained during this period. It is anticipated that this free subscription phase will provide ample time for the various technical corrections to be made.
The free Dark and Light subscription is being made available to current subscribers; however, new access keys are still available to any player wanting to take part in Dark and Light. Purchase price for an access key is $39.99 USD (39,99€, taxes included).
For more on Dark and Light click here.
The Lepzig Games Convention is going to be a hot-spot for fans of ArenaNet and NCsoft's Guild Wars franchise. First, it will be the location of the finals for the Guild Wars Factions Championships. To top that off, Lepzig fans will have a first look at the upcoming Guild Wars Nightfall:
Tuesday 15 August 2006/...NCsoft Europe has today confirmed its presence at the Leipzig Games Convention, taking place 23 – 27 August 2006.
Visitors to the Games Convention will be able to witness the culmination of six months of intense online battles where top guilds from all over the globe have been competing for the crown of the first ever Guild Wars Factions™ World Champions and a share in the $100,000 prize pot. The final, which will take place on the main show floor, B12, Hall 5, is sure to be both exciting and tense for not only the players but also those watching.
NCsoft Europe will also treat visitors on the show floor to the first look of their upcoming title Guild Wars Nightfall™, the next campaign in the international best-selling Guild Wars series. Guild Wars Nightfall takes place on the continent of Elona, Land of the Golden Sun, which has fallen under the shadow of an evil, outcast god. The people of Elona will need more than a hero to save them, they will need a hero to lead them ... for nightfall is at hand.
Dirk Metzger, Marketing Director, NCsoft Europe says: “Guild Wars is a hugely popular title in Germany and both the German press and consumers have always been very supportive. Leipzig is the perfect place for us to showcase Guild Wars Nightfall and the buzz at the convention makes it the ideal place to host the final of the Guild Wars Factions World Championship.”
Alongside the tournament and demonstration NCsoft Europe’s Director of Product Development, Thomas Bidaux will take part in the GC Developer Conference where he will discuss overturning the traditional perceptions of MMOGs and will look at the four new developments that he believes will herald a second, more lasting, revolution of the genre.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Every year, we're trying to re-review every major MMORPG. These things change and one review for all simply wont do. Today, we tackle what is sure to be the most controversial of the reviews: EVE Online. For years, it has led our rating meter and swept last year's Reader's Choice Awards. Here is our latest review.
| It is time once again for an intrepid explorer to jump inside a goo-filled sphere and take a fresh look at the world of EVE Online. It’s a step not taken lightly though, as the life of a pod pilot is filled with danger, challenge and hopefully a wallet full of ISK. There are no promises of wealth and power, but with determination and skill you can make your mark on the galaxy, wether or not that mark is a kill stamp on a pirate’s hull or not is up to you.
Since the last review quite a bit has been added to the EVE universe in the form of three major content expansions called Exodus, Cold War and Red Moon Rising. Exodus added tons of new ships, modules and skills, but also added the capability for groups of Corporations to form Alliances to control their territory and defend it from others with Starbases. These allowed for entirely new level of galactic conquest and many great player empires had risen and fallen in the two years since.
You can read our full review here.
Thank you to Auran for coming along.
The people behind the Penny Arcade Edop, or PAX, have announced that while they do not intend to become E3 they are making some changes for PAX 2007:
Seattle, WA-August 14, 2006-There has been much discussion in the industry about what event, if any, will take the place of the event formerly known as E3. Robert Khoo, Penny Arcade's Director of Business Development, responds to widespread speculation about the growing role of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), now in its third year:
"PAX has clearly been growing in leaps and bounds. Even before the demise of the 'old' E3, this year's PAX was on track to attract more than 17,000 attendees with a big presence from Microsoft and Nintendo and scores of other big names in gaming. But PAX is all about the community, and Penny Arcade is committed to keeping it that way. We don't want to be E3. PAX is a place that hardcore gamers, whether they work in the industry, or not, come to be completely immersed in game play, game music and game culture.
There will be some changes in store for PAX next year. In 2007, PAX will move to a venue triple the size of 2006, and we've already begun to receive reservations for booth space from AAA publishers. Based on recent conversations with our exhibitors and potential new exhibitors, we do expect publishers to continue - perhaps even more so than in the past - to reveal developmental phase games to hardcore game fans in order to get their direct input on unfinished products. In a way, PAX is like a giant 3-day beta test, which works really well for both developers and publishers. We're also seeing an increase in PAX interest from the media - both gaming and mainstream."
Late on Friday, Dark Age of Camelot released their weekly Grab Bag. You can read the whole thing by following the link below:
Before I begin, I'd like to make a public service announcement. The patch is not done yet. Thank you.
Q: Why can't we sell potions to NPCs on Pendragon?
A: Because we're still working on the patch. Right now, when you sell a potion with multiple charges, the system doesn't check to see how many charges are actually on the item, and gives you money as if the item were fully charged.
In other words, yes, we catch exploits before things even get to Pendragon all the time. ;) As soon as it's fixed we'll turn potion selling back on.
Q: Hey, I play on Classic, and I was wondering, do you think we can get Legendary weapons now?
A: We're definitely discussing it, since the departing bonuses were the reason you didn't get them in the first place. But I don't think we'll have an answer in time to make a decision for this until after the fall expansion is launched.
Read it all here.
Guild Wars was busy updating their site over the weekend with daily reports from Gen Con Indy. Today, they have released a new State of the Game feature that focuses on Guild Wars Damage Calculations:
When you attack a player with a weapon or skill, it means you deal damage. A successful attack displays yellow numbers above your target's head, showing how much Health loss you inflicted. Many variables influence this damage. The game calculates damage type, location on the target's body, armor level (AL), and any other modifiers like Enchantment buffs or Hexes. Once the game has crunched the numbers it determines how much damage you do. By remembering the basic damage types and how to resist them, players can hone their playing ability and select proper targets and skills when entering into a battle.
You can read it all here.
This week, Kevin Tierney and Carolyn Koh debate the ethics of power leveling companies. These are companies that players can hire to build characters for them in popular MMORPGs. A large portion of the MMO community considers this a form of cheating, while others must obviously approve as the companies seem to do well. Here is what our writers think. After reading, let us know your thoughts.
|Kevin Tierney: The problem I see with power leveling companies is two fold in my opinion. First, the game no longer becomes about living in a virtual world and advancing as you grow in skill, but rather who can pay the biggest amount of out of game money to have someone advance for them. The entire issue of using out of game money for in game advancement has always bugged me, and the power leveling companies are just a manifestation of this.
The other concern I have comes from a guild management perspective. When one recruits players, they normally want people who are dedicated to that game in one sense or another. I believe when you have those who pay others to level for them, what you have is someone who is simply looking to cut every corner in the game he can. There is also the fact that he will not be very skilled with his character, as he hasn't really played it. A classic example would be what we called the "Jebay" from Star Wars Galaxies. People would buy Jedis off of eBay (already fully templated.) The only problem was they figured once they were a full Jedi they had an "I win button" but were frequently vastly ignorant about how to play, and ended up causing more headaches than benefits. The same principle I believe applies here.
You can read more here.