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D&D Online : Solo Content

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released some more information about the addition of solo content to their game, as has been previously reported at MMORPG.com. There is mroe to read, so follow the link at the bottom of the item:

 

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ delivers some of the most exciting game play experiences available in online gaming today. Turbine has received tremendous positive feedback on the launch of DDO. Feedback from new players has included the request for more solo-play content as an option to the already fun and challenging group-focused content throughout the game. Turbine has listened to this feedback and is pleased to announce the upcoming availability of solo-friendly content. An all new solo setting is being introduced to help new DDO players navigate through the early game content, allowing them the time and space to learn about their characters, try strategies and face monsters for the first time on their own. Players will now have the option to play at their own pace as a solo-player in the Harbor.

The Harbor Solo Option

Quests in the Harbor have a new option available to you, opening up solo gameplay during your character's earliest levels. In addition to the Normal, Hard and Elite settings already available for each dungeon, the Solo option allows you to take on a dungeon at a difficulty setting suited for a single player. When you enter a dungeon on the solo setting, it contains monsters and traps that can be defeated without the help of a party.

After completing the solo adventures, you will be better prepared to gather allies and gain the best Experience rewards and loot, only available at the higher difficulty settings. Solo mode will not unlock the Hard and Elite difficulty settings. To gain access to the increased danger and reward from the Harbor's higher difficulty settings, you will need to complete each dungeon on its Normal setting, just as you do today.

The Waterworks, Irestone Inlet and the Kobold Assault dungeons will remain areas that require a team to conquer. The Solo difficulty setting will not be available in these areas.

Read the rest, here.

D&D Online : New Enhancements for Rogues

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine is handing out even more information about their upcoming new module. This release covers New Enhancements for Rogues, as well as the answer to some questions about how that is going to work. You can read the whole release by clicking the link below.  

 

Module 2 will be introducing a number of new enhancements (purchased with action points) that will let players further customize and specialize your characters. Almost everyone will be getting some new enhancements to choose from; this is the second in a four part series of articles featuring in-depth descriptions of what these new enhancements are and how they work.

New Enhancements for Rogues

Every Rogue loves to sneak attack. This hallmark of the Rogue will become even more powerful with new enhancements designed to make Sneak Attacks more likely to land and able to do more damage. Rogues will be getting two new lines of enhancements – sneak attack accuracy and sneak attack training.

Sneak attack accuracy gives you a +N to hit when sneak attacking. Sneak attack accuracy has three versions, received at levels 3, 6, and 9, giving +1, +2, and +3 respectively to hit. Level 10 characters will be able to purchase the level 9 enhancement (+3 to hit).

Sneak attack training gives you a +1 to damage when sneak attacking. There will be one version of sneak attack training at each level, giving +1 through +10 damage.

Read it all, here.

Gods and Heroes : Beta Sign-Ups

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Perpetual Entertainment is encouraging players to get involved in the beta program for their upcoming MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. If you'd like to know how to go about doing just that, you can click on the link in the article:

 

We are getting closer and closer to kicking-off the official Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising beta program, so now is your time to sign-up for your chance to get in! How do you sign-up for your chance to get in? Well, the best (and right now the only) way to get signed up is by creating a personalized Perpetual Entertainment Platform Account HERE. This will also get you registered for the message boards, so if you already have a message board account, you are already registered.

For more Gods and Heroes, click here.

Guild Wars : State of the Game

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released another of their weekly "State of the Game" features. This one looks at character builds, and how they imppact the game:

 

This week's State of the Game feature takes a look a several new characters builds, ones you may have seen used with great effect in the GWFC Season Two Playoffs. Check out the character assessment, and learn how these builds are impacting the game, in this week's article.

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : Community Spotlight, Video and More

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has updated the World of WarCraft website to include a bran new Community Spotlight, Honorable Mentions for their comic contest, and and exclusive E3 video:

 

Xfire has posted some of their E3 video coverage, focusing on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. This video features an exclusive interview with World of Warcraft lead designer Jeff Kaplan.

For more on WoW, click here.

Runescape : Player Owned Housing

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

The good folks over at RuneScape have announced that they have added a brand new feature to their MMORPG, player owned housing! Not only have they made the announcement, but they have provided us with a press release that tells us all about them:

 

Player Owned Houses (POH) is the latest, largest and most ambitious addition to RuneScape, the massively multiplayer on-line adventure game. It gives subscribers the freedom to own a piece of the game world; to build their house and fill it with hundreds of different pieces of furniture, tools and creatures. This new feature is tied to the release of Construction, a massive new game skill that players will train in to build more impressive houses. Allowing players to create their own houses is a bold new step sure to excite the community, and it is a sign of Jagex's commitment to make RuneScape the most exciting and innovative MMORPG in the world.

The guiding principle behind POH is to encourage players to interact within their houses. Players are able to visit their friends’ houses, and many of the objects that can be built have been designed with player interaction in mind. Players can duke it out in a boxing ring, test their strength against each other, fight their way through dungeons and compete in archery contests. This is only a brief list: there are dozens of games and activities that players can enjoy.

POH gives RuneScape members the ability to 'be their own game developer'. Players will be able to design the layout of their house and garden, the dungeon they can place beneath it, and even the inhabitants. House owners can hire a variety of servants, from a cook to prepare their food to a demon butler that will serve drinks or greet visitors at the door. Dungeons can be equipped with all the gadgets beloved of villains, as well as a whole host of creatures to attack unwary adventurers.

Even the most advanced players, having reached the pinnacle of RuneScape excellence, will find something of interest in POH, as they can work towards perfecting the new Construction skill. This skill is an indicator of a player's mastery of home building and decoration. This skill is at the centre of POH, as the higher a player's Construction skill, the more elaborate and fabulous their home can be.

Every player will find that building their house is a simple process. Each room or garden has a number of 'hotspots' on which the owner can select from a range of fixtures and furnishings. Many of the items that players can put in their house are interactive, and the player can even build items that will help them train or change their appearance. The number of room options and the freedom of layout means that no two houses need be the same.

By opening or restricting access to your home, you can choose to make your house a show home to prove your brilliance in home decorating and garden landscaping, or invite your friends to test themselves against the devious design of your dungeon. We fully expect that POH will rapidly become a fixture of RuneScape, with players hosting parties and dinners for their friends in no time. This expansion to the game is obviously also an expansion to the community of RuneScape members. By giving players the power to control their own wedge of RuneScape, a new subtlety is added to the way the community interacts.

POH is sure to be popular with RuneScape members, and we expect Construction to explode into the game as players explore the new opportunities that it opens up. POH went live on the 31st of May, and RuneScape will never be the same.

For more on RuneScape, click here

RF Online : Arms Race Winners

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Our friends over at RF Online have announced the winners of the Arms Race Event that was held on each of their game's servers:

 

On Friday it was announced on the forums which faction from each server won the Arms Race Event. The results were as follows:

Spirit: Cora
Earth: Cora
Water: Cora
Fire: Accretia
Wind: Accretia

The winning faction from each race received the following benefits over last weekend:

i. 2x MODIFIED PT RATE
ii. 2X MODIFIED DROP RATE
iii. INCREASED RECOVERY RATE AT THE MINES
iv. ADDITIONAL GM-SUMMONED PIT BOSS MONSTERS (RANDOM) AT RACE OUTPOST

These benefits have now been extended until Friday the 9th of June, meaning each winning faction has an additional 5 days to take advantage of the rewards.

Want to discuss these events with fellow players? Visit the official RF Online forums here!

For more on RF Online, click here.

Seed : Screenshot and Video Competition

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Seed is asking its players to help them to create a large collection of diverse, original screenshots. This is a competition, and competitions mean prizes. If you'd like to know about about this competition, please follow the link below:

 

Location graphics as well as lightning and particle effects in Seed have improved vastly during the latest months. So vastly that our current collection of screen shots and videos on our website is rather outdated.

We need new ones, and we would like all of you to help creating a large collection of great, intriguing, fascinating, original screen shots and video clips. All screens/videos published afterwards on the website will carry the credit (forum name) of the person who submitted them.

As in all competitions there will be prizes for the best contributions as well. We have emptied our suitcases from E3 and gathered a little pile of our best swag.

The prizes will be:

  • 1st prize: 1 Seed boiler suit + 1 Seed T-shirt (limited sizes available) + 14 days added to paid subscription *.
  • 2nd-5th prize: 1 Seed T-shirt (limited sizes available) + 14 days added to paid subscription *.
  • 6th-10th prize: 14 days added to paid subscription *.

*For trial players the 14 days will be added to the first paid subscription period following the trial.

Boiler suits worn by our E3 actors can be seen here:
http://www.seedthegame.com/gallery/d...album=1&pos=15

T-shirt front and most of the back are shown by Jan and Stephane here:
http://www.seedthegame.com/gallery/d...album=1&pos=13

The jury will consist of lead artist Jan Roed Thastum, lead writer Alex Uth and communications manager Morten Juul.

Read all about it, here.

City of Heroes : Strategy Guide

Posted Jun 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCSoft and Prima Games have announced that they wll be providing an updated, free, digital strategy guide for City of Heroes / City of Villains. This updated book will include information on the new Issue 7 expansion:

 

Updated City of Heroes & City of Villains strategy guide available for free

Prima Games and NCsoft are providing an updated City of Heroes and City of Villains strategy guide free for digital download. Cryptic Studio’s Jack Emmert, creator of City of Heroes and City of Villains, helped to author the updated guide that includes specific information on the new expansion to both games, Issue 7: Destiny Manifest. Issue 7, which is going live this week, is free to subscribers of either City of Villains or City of Heroes.

The 251 word strategy guide covers all of City of Heroes and City of Villains, and has updates to several of Issue 7’s major features including the new City of Villains zone, Grandville and the new mayhem missions. Additionally, the strategy guide provides tips for negotiating Recluse’s Victory, the new PVP zone where heroes and villains battle for domination of the zone.

The entire updated guide can be downloaded as a PDF at the following link: http://coh.primagames.com/

For more CoH, click here.

EverQuest II : Curt Schilling on Good Morning America

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

To some gamers, it sometimes feels as though mainstream media represents video games only in a negative light, but this morning, MMORPGs got some much needed positive publicity from a prominent mainstream media source.


Some time ago, MMORPG.com reported that Boston Red Sox (Major League Baseball) pitcher, Curt Schilling would be pairing up with SOE and EverQuest II to spearhead a charity event to help the battle against ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

 

This morning, Schilling appeared on popular morning show, "Good Morning America" to prote the event:

 

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA ALERT -- BOSTON RED SOX ACE CURT SCHILLING PROMOTES EVERQUEST II "BATTLE ALS" CHARITY EVENT ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA

Boston Red Sox pitcher and World Series MVP Curt Schilling appeared on Good Morning America on Monday, June 5 to promote his in-game appearance in EverQuest II as part of the "Battle ALS" charity event. Curt appears within the online video game EverQuest II as an evil baddie that players can fight. Every time Curt's in-game avatar is defeated, Sony Online Entertainment will donate $5 (up to $10,000) to the ALS Association, in order to benefit patients with Lou Gehrig's Disease. The "Battle ALS" event takes place from June 5 through June 7, during the three-day Red Sox/Yankees baseball series in New York. EverQuest II players can also contribute independently by typing the "/als" command into the game, and donating directly to the charity.

On Good Morning America, Curt spoke with anchors Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson and Marysol Castro throughout the course of the morning. Curt was talking with the hosts as well as playing with his son, Gehrig, 11. Both father and son are avid EverQuest II players.

For more information, visit http://www.battleals.com.

Hero Online : Q&A with Jack Stanley

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Dana Massey

We caught up with Jack Stanley, the Lead Designer of Hero Online, to discuss this Asian MMORPG that MGame USA is bringing to the North American market.

MMORPG.com: How do you think the Asian elements of Hero Online will translate to an American audience?

Jack Stanley: The Asian elements of Hero Online are one of the more distinguishing factors when it comes to playing the game, but that’s not to say everything will be “Asian”. One of the more obvious examples of this is the language. The translation team worked very hard in order to come up with the proper choice of diction in order to capture the essence of the text. Because of this, the game will be easy to read and understand while still maintaining the depth and context in the many items, skills, quests, and plots. Comprehension was the ultimate goal, but authenticity was high priority as well. So how do we think Hero Online will be received in America? Hero Online is a game with so much depth and content, that interest in martial arts is not a requirement to enjoy this game. Any gamer who enjoys MMORPGs with gripping storylines, great quests, and extensive content will enjoy Hero Online.

You can read more here.

World of Warcraft : WSVG Lanwar, WarCraft Weekly

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

This weekend saw the WoW website updated with a new WarCraft Weekly, the Honorable Mentions from the Comic Contest, along with info about unofficial tournaments being held at WSVG Lanwar in Kentuckey:

 

Those who have registered for WSVG Lanwar in Kentucky can now register for the unofficial tournaments the Blizzard team will be running at the event.

  • To save your BYOC seat at Lanwar, register first at the official website here. There are still spaces open in both Blizzard BYOC areas.
  • Once you've signed up for the event, sign-ups for all the Blizzard tournaments can be found here.

Note that the WSVG website includes some cool features for those wanting to participate in the tournaments. If your friends and guildmates can't make the event, you can sign up as a free agent so teams missing players can pick you up. Likewise, if you have an incomplete team, you can sign up with open spots listed.

We're also happy to report that the folks at WSVG have sent over the specs of the high-end gaming PCs that will be given away in the main event of the unofficial Blizzard tournaments: the Strathholme Race on June 17th.

For more on WoW, click here.

The Matrix Online : Through the Looking Glass

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new edition of "Through the Looking Glass" at the official website for SOE's The Matrix Online. It deals with Crew and Factions Issues, Follow the X, Free Trial Issues and more. So much, in fact, that we provide you a sample, visit the link below to read it all!

 

Crew and Faction Issues

We're continuing to work on the crew and faction issues some of you have been experiencing. We haven't nailed down the root cause yet, but continue to look into the problem. If you are experiencing problems with your crew and/or faction loading, do not delete your crew or faction! Send in a /ccr reporting what exactly you're seeing, include all character names having the problem, and any other significant details you have. Every bit of information you give us can help us resolve the problem.

In Memoriam: Morpheus

Seems I stirred up the anthill by posting the "In Memoriam" poster this week. I originally thought the date was May 23 and was frantically searching the archives for the "In Memoriam" posters. When I finally tracked them down, I found I was mistaken and the actual date was May 27.

Then, a confluence of events prevented me from getting the image posted on the correct date. However, when I found this thread on the forums, I couldn't resist posting the image. Besides, it's pretty dang cool, IMHO, and I thought everyone would like to see it.

Read it all, here.

Star Wars Galaxies : June Events

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

SOE's Star Wars: Galaxies has released some information on the upcoming player events for this month of June. Jedi Council Meetings, Sunday Night Fights, New Player Festival, a Cantina Crawl, and more:

 

Get in on all the action! There are over 65 player events happening on 20 galaxies in June!

Whether you're into PvP, role-playing, space combat or parties, your fellow players have it covered. All you have to do to get involved is check the events calendar and show up!

Click here to see the Player Events Calendar!

If you want to get an event listed, post in the Player Events thread located on your respective Galaxy Forum.

For more useful information on hosting events please visit the Player Events Web Page .

How to Request Support for your Player Event.

For more on SWG, click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Jun 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

Over the weekend, Dark Age of Camelot released another of their weekly Grab Bag features. As usuakl, we only provide a small sampling here, click the link below to read the whole thing:

 

Q: Is anything being done for toons who are not allowed in Leirvik due to their Master Level?

A: Not at this time, unless you count our adding a new BG this coming patch. Certainly there are a number of you who have made this request, and I've passed it on.

Q: My guild recently moved to a different server, and we could not find a housing area with enough lots to create the village we had on our old server. Will you be adding new ones?

A: No. Setting up new zones requires a certain amount of hardware, and we can't justify that when the housing zones are not full.

I know that very few guilds get the mansions and villas we envisioned they would when we designed Foundations, and prefer the village set up. We have a lot of feedback from our volunteers on how we could make the larger houses more desirable, and I hope to add some of those requests someday. (Adding a second merchant hookpoint, by the way, will probably never happen, as it's a massive database change and would require insane resource levels.) But our community tells us through all methods of feedback that we should have other priorities at this time.

Read it all, here.

General : Debate: Tradeskills & Female Gamers

Posted Jun 03, 2006 by Dana Massey

Staff Writers Laura Genender and Carolyn Koh threw them down today to argue how important tradeskills are to female gamers. Every Saturday, we hope to bring you a new debate. If you have any ideas, post them in the comment thread.

Laura Genender: One thing I've always hated in MMOs is when people assume that, just because I'm a female gamer, I should be really into the tradeskills and crafting aspect of the game. Personally, I've always avoided crafting skills like the plague; even in craft-centric games like A Tale in the Desert I spent more of my time working with flower genetics and exploring the desert than I did at the loom or the kitchen.

Like many aspects in MMOs, I think that crafting and tradeskills are often projected as a "woman thing" just because that's what "women do in real life." We cook. We sew and embroider. If there was a Pregnancy skill in EverQuest, I'm sure that would be highlighted as a big draw to the woman market.

You can read the full debate here.

Istaria : In Development Update

Posted Jun 03, 2006 by Jon Wood

Tulga's game, Horizons, has released its June "In Development" Update! This update takes a look back at the month of May, and also welcomes former MMORPG.com writer Michael Hampden to the mix over at Tulga.

 

MMORPG.com wishes Mike all the best in his new position.

 

Three! Three design updates in a row. This might be a trend folks! May was a busy month for us here at Tulga so I thought I'd try to summarize everything that happened and let you know where we stand with our various projects.

To begin with, we had a great E3. (Electronic Entertainment Expo) While we didn't have a booth, we garnered quite a bit of media attention with the announcements of both Horizons: The Settlements and Dark World Online. We also were able to speak with several websites about Horizons: Empire of Istaria regarding the growth we've been experiencing and progress we're making.

We've continued patching out numerous files, including the new assets for the Confectioner revamp as well as a few new monster assets. Neither are available to players just yet, but things are moving along nicely on both fronts. Other assets will be coming over the month as we begin working on fixing the occlusion on many of our existing models. Combined with the client work that is on-going, soon you will begin to see improvements in performance in towns across Istaria.

June is also going to be a great month for us because we'll be adding two new people to the Design Team: Zach Whitten and Michael Hampden. Both are great guys who bring with them a lot of enthusiasm and we can't wait to get them up to speed on our tools and the game and let them start to make their mark on Horizons and the future.

Read the whole thing, here.

General : Game/On: Stargate and Warhammer

Posted Jun 03, 2006 by Jon Wood

We have released a brand new episode of Game/On for your listening pleasure. This time around, we have interviews from both Stargate Worlds and Warhammer Online:

 

This week on Game/On's first interview show of June, we present you with two great interviews from E3. In this first interview, Jon Wood sits down for a very brief chat with David "Zeb" Cook, the Lead Systems Designer for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment's Stargate Worlds. The second interview takes Garrett Fuller and Dana Massey to the Mythic Entertainment booth for a long chat with Greg Grimsby (Art Director) and Jeremy Dale (Lead Animator), about the ins and outs of their newest property, Warhammer Online.

Get it all, here.

Spellborn : Newsletter #9

Posted Jun 02, 2006 by Jon Wood

The developers at The Chronicles of Spellborn have released a brand new newsletter, the 9th such publication from this game. Below, we present you with a small portion of the exciting information published there, info on their next Dev Chat as well as an interesting new lore story. If you are interested in signing up for this newsletter, with all of its varying features, please visit the official website.

TCoS Dev Chat 4

We’re going to bring you a Dev Chat every two weeks until release. The fourth session of the series is scheduled for Sunday the 11th of June at 21:00 CEST. Each chat will be held in Q&A format with our QAbot open to receive questions starting 18:00 CEST and during the chat. To participate or read along, you simply have to join #spellborn-qa on our IRC server: irc://irc.tcos.com. More details about the network and services are available on our website. A log from each Dev Chat will be made available on TCoS.com after each session.

The upcoming chat will focus on the three rogue classes in The Chronicles of Spellborn. Our Game Designer Coen “Co-N” Neessen will once again be available to supply answers to your most burning questions.

[ expand article ]

Winter's Twilight : Update: Faction Standing, PvP

Posted Jun 02, 2006 by Jon Wood

Winter's Twilight has just released a major update for their game that includes PvP, new player documentation, and Faction Standing. Below, you will find a small sampling of what they have to say about their new features. Visit the appropriate links in the following blurb:

 

In Winter's Twilight one of our prime goals is to allow different servers running versions of our game world ( or shards as some games call them ) to develop and grow differently. We will achieve this by implementing a complex faction system, and an elegant and multi-tiered PvP ruleset.

We want our players to be able to progress at their own pace, never feel limited in what they can do; how good or evil they can be; reap rewards and feel punishment. Above all, we want the actions of our players to not only affect them, but the game world as a whole.

Factions

Hmmm? One divided by two? Nope, that's fractions. Easy mistake to make...

Factions are basically cultural and socio-political groups who have developed certain feelings, either negative, indifferent or positive towards other such groups. Geddit? Okay, we'll go back to fractions...

Seriously though, factions dictate the way that the characters in the game 'feel' about each other.

Every character in the game, both Player Characters (PC's) and Non-Player Characters (NPC's) attain Faction Standing as a result of negative or positive actions against another PC or NPC. Throughout the course of play, a character's Faction Standing will change every time they attack a creature, do a quest, assist someone, harm someone, loot someone etc...

[Read more on factions in Winter's Twilight, here.]

Player Vs Player

Player Vs Player battles (PvP) is something that we feel very strongly should be an integral part of every player's life. We wanted to employ a system that would ensure that the tougher you get as a character, the tougher and more risky, and therefore more challenging, your gameplay experience becomes.

We felt that the 'Thrill' had gone from games of this genre, and we firmly believe that a great game keeps you on the edge of your seat, makes you sweat with panic when you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, causes you to think before blindly rushing in, encourages group play and comraderie, allows actions to go rewarded and punished... well, you get the idea.

[Read more on the Player Vs Player System in Winter's Twilight, here.]

For more Winter's Twilight, click here.

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