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Amid rumors of another round of layoffs at NCsoft's Austin and Brighton Studios, NCsoft has announced the formation of NC West, a new corporate structure that will oversee NCsofts products for the European and North American markets.
SEOUL, Korea, Sept. 10, 2008—NCsoft ® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS), the world's leading publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), including award-winning franchises Lineage®, Guild Wars® and City of Heroes®, today announced the formation of "NC West™". A wholly-owned subsidiary of NCsoft with operating responsibility for western regions including the US and Europe, NC West will be led by Chris Chung as CEO, Jeff Strain as president, product development, David Reid as president, publishing, and Patrick Wyatt as CTO as well as yet unannounced European executives.
NCsoft's existing subsidiaries NC Interactive, NC Europe, NC Austin, and ArenaNet will be led as a unified organization under NC West with a dedicated focus towards becoming the world's premier western publisher of MMOs. NC West is the tentative name for the organization, and the company expects to announce final naming and corporate structure in the near future. NC West's headquarters is planned to be established in Seattle, WA by the end of 2008.
Read more about NC West here.
Read more about the layoffs here.
Today we present five new screenshots from Lord of the Rings Online which depict Khazad-dum, the once great Dwarven city, which is now a goblin infested hive deep in the Mines of Moria.
See the rest of the images here.
SOE has announced Ethernauts, the fifth set for Legends of Norrath, the trading card game which is playable in EverQuest and EverQuest II.
Trace the timeline back thousands of years ago to the story of a handful of brave adventurers who risked life and limb to save Norrath from void storms and terrible creatures. If not for them, Norrath might well have been torn apart in a maelstrom of destruction. Now, strange storms and stranger beasts have been appearing in Norrath again, eerily similar to what came before. Can you unravel the history of the Ethernauts and use their ancient knowledge to save Norrath once again?
Ethernauts introduces over 280 beautiful new cards with new unit races, new scenarios, and of course, exciting new loot cards for EverQuest® and EverQuest® II! In addition, Ethernauts will debut a new Starter Pack option for this block, making it even easier to jump in on unforgettable adventure.
Read more here.
Mythic has announced the head start dates for players with the Collectors Edition and Standard Edition Pre-Orders for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. CE players can begin on the 14th of September, while SE players begin on the 16th.
Can't get enough of Open Beta but you're ready to finally start your journey in the Age of Reckoning?
Starting Sunday, September 14th all Collectors Edition Pre-Order players will be invited to join us as we kick off WAR and officially end Open Beta.
On Tuesday, September 16th all Standard Edition Pre-Order players will join the ranks of Collectors Edition players as we prepare to release WAR to the world next Thursday, September 18th.
Read more here.
The folks at Stargate Worlds are preparing for their next developer podcast and they are looking for a round of new questions from SGW fans.
Post your questions to the Development Team for Episode IX!
Post a question for a specific dev or department here in this thread and we will work on getting it answered in this developer Q&A! If it doesn't get asked, not to worry -- It may be too early for them to answer -- and there will be plenty more opportunities in the series to come.
Read more here.
NetDevil will be holding a meet and greet while at the Austin Game Developer's Conference next week, giving the public the opportunity to meet the developers behind Jumpgate Evolution.
Monday September 15th, Scott Brown, Hermann Peterscheck and Grace Wong will be at the TGI Friday's in the downtown Radisson (111 East Cesar Chavez Street Austin, TX 78701) starting at 5:30 pm and lasting until 7:00 pm.
They will be able to answer your questions and if the conditions are just right, you will get to see the game.
Read more here.
IGG has announced a series of Mid-Autumn events in Myth War II.
September 14th is Mid-Autumn Day, and it's right around the corner. To celebrate the festival and give something back to players for their continued support, the Myth War II team will be holding a series of events to offer all players a chance to enjoy the game and have fun.
Event One: Mid-autumn Riddles Guessing
Players can find the NPC "Moon Cake Seller" around the field on the 3rd server branch. You can obtain abundant rewards by guessing the right answers to riddles and defeating the Crescent Wolves
Event Two: Double Exp/Talent for Four days
From September 12th to September 15th, all players will obtain 2x Exp and 2x talent points by killing monsters.
Read more here.
The folks at Florensia have announced details of the first part of their three part Balancing Update.
A new island has been discovered! Chester Island, designed for level 60-80, is ready for exploration. Having been separated from the rest of the world for a long time, the people in the city Cherry Town have become very sensitive regarding security matters. Lord Briant, once a smart and bright leader, is has grown old and... strange...
* New island: Chester Island
* New town: Cherry Town including 15 NPCs and new items
* New field: Rainbow Highland including 14 new monsters
Detailed information about the new history of the new island, town and field will be added to the Game Data section after the patch on Tuesday.
Read more here.
'The Precious Stones of the Forgotten Temple' is the second major expansion of the year for the free-to-play game CABAL Online. Today, the developers have provided us with a new video of the Forgotten Temple B2F Dungeon that comes along with the new expansion.
Watch the interview here
MMORPG.com Tabula Rasa Correspondent Matt Favale writes this long overdue overview of the class structure in NCsoft's Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
The class system in Tabula Rasa is very unique compared to other MMOs. All players start as recruits, who can use basic firearms (pistols, shotguns and rifles) and have the ability to discharge lightning to damage their foes. Lightning and firearms are skills that can be upgraded with training points accumulated each time you level up. Below is the class tree in which all classes are listed with their respected pre classes (the class you are before you choose that class) and a description of the class system and class tree.
After you reach level five as a recruit, you can choose to be a soldier or a specialist. Soldiers are much more direct damage oriented while specialists are focused on keeping groups alive longer and supporting other players through healing and protective buffs. Soldiers have access to reflective armor, very resistant to photonic(laser), physical, and EMP damage, and chain guns, in addition to the rage ability which makes the soldier do more damage but gives much less health for the duration of the ability, as well as the shrapnel ability which hurls a storm of sharp metal at an area. Specialists have access to leech guns which take away enemy health and give it to the player, hazmat (hazardous material) armor, which is resistant to fire, ice, and viral damage types. Specialists can use healing tools to aid other players in battle as well as cause damage over time effects on their enemies. Both soldiers and specialists certainly have their place on the battlefield.
Read the article here.
MMORPG.com's Community Manager Richard Cox had the opportunity recently to speak with Theresa Pudenz (PR), David “Taelorn” Hunt (Senior Designer) and Troy Hewitt (Director of Community Relations) about the unique community experience being fostered by FLying Lab Software for their pirate themed MMO, Piraes of the Burning Sea.
It seems like just yesterday that we last talked to the fine folks at Flying Lab Software about Pirates of the Burning Sea. While it wasn’t THAT recent, it was only a few weeks ago at GenCon, where we sat down and talked to Rusty about update 1.7, changes made since launch and where the game is going in the future. Update 1.7 has since launched and is doing very well. Obviously a few short weeks isn’t enough time for much to have changed in that department, so while at PAX I decided to take a different route in my questions. This time I sat down and talked about the community aspects of the game more than anything.
Probably the biggest community feature about Pirates of the Burning Sea is that it is indeed the one and only Official Video Game for the International Talk like a Pirate holiday. Flying Lab Software has gone all out on incorporating the holiday into the game. Both Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket have been modeled in game from photos taken in real life. They have set up shop in Tortuga and are handing out missions to teach players about Talk like a Pirate Day. They’re also bringing along an in game pet for you to get as part of completing their missions: a parrot wearing an eye patch!
Read the article here.
MMORPG.com and Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment have partnered to bring you an exciting new contest! From Sept 10, 2008 to Sept 19, 2008 @ 9PM EST we will be accepting entries into a random drawing where we will give away 500 beta access slots for Stargate Worlds! Please note that winners will *not* gain immediate access to the beta test upon winning. The exact date winners will gain beta access is unknown at this time and will be determined by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment.
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MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent writes this article giving an overview of the three different Tier 1 scenarios available in Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online.
GATES OF EKRUND
Gates of Ekrund is the Tier 1 Dwarfs vs Greenskins scenario. 12 players on each side may take part in this battle. This is your typical hold an objective and get points scenario. Simply stand near the objective and you’ll notice a bar below your minimap moving to indicate your progress in capturing it. Up to six players can capture a single objective, the more players nearby, the faster you capture it.
Personally, I feel Gates of Ekrund is the best of the Tier 1 scenarios. Taking place inside the walls of, and on top of, the gate, this scenario provides for a fast paced, close quarters battle. The combat is so close in fact that my allies were rarely outside of my shaman’s 100ft heal range. There are three capture points within the gate. One point is on the left and another on the right of the gate and they’re both in small cubbyholes for rooms. The third, and most valuable, point is right in the middle of both of the other points and is rather exposed. There are ledges upon which casters and other ranged combats can rain down destruction while their melee counterparts are in the thick of things on the ground fighting for the objective.
Check it out here.
The folks at Runscape have announced new improvements to the game's Clan Wars minigame.
The popular Wilderness minigame, Clan Wars, has received a colossal update this week.
When you next challenge a player to a clan war, you'll notice a range of new options that better suits your battling tastes; for example, you can choose whether players are able to return to the fray after dying, how long the battle may last, how many kills are required for a victory, and even what combat styles are permitted during the fight.
You might wish to force an end to a battle if either team is reduced to five survivors. This avoids chasing down over-energetic die-hards who just won't stand still. Oh, and if you prefer real penalties for failure, you can choose to make players lose all of their items on death.
Read more here.
Gala-Net has released details about the Lord System which will be added to Flyff with the game's October update. The Lord System will allow a player to be elected as lord of their server for a limited time, gaining access to new skills and gear.
Sunnyvale, California – September 8, 2008 - Gala-Net Inc. will release the next chapter to Flyff: Fly for Fun later this October. The Lord System will play a key role among the many new features to debut in Flyff Version 12 (V.12).
In V.12, the new Lord System will allow eligible players to be voted as the Lord of their server for 2 weeks. In order to qualify as a candidate to become a Lord, players must have obtained Hero or Master status in order to be considered. For a player to be elected as the Lord of their server, 10% of the eligible voting public must participate for a Lord to be chosen, otherwise no Lord will be elected. In order for a player to vote for a candidate, a player must be at least level 60, and must have logged into the game within the last 30 days. In addition, a player may only vote for 1 candidate.
An elected Lord will be given exclusive skills and equipment which includes:
Special Powers, including the ability to start EXP or item drop events on his server
Lords Cheer – EXP and Drop Rates are increased by 10% for 60 minutes.
Lord’s Blessing- boost a player’s Attack or Defense Power by 10%
Lord’s Love- Increases all stats by 15 for 60 minutes
Lord’s Anger- Silences a player from talking for 60 minutes
Lord’s Call- Allows the lord to summon a player to his/her location
A set of fashion clothes to be worn by the current Lord, The Cloak of the Sea God which gives players +20 to all stats, and the Lord’s own Limousine Bike to fly around in!
And so much more!
Read more here.
The folks at Angels Online have provided us with an overview of the game's card collection system.
Today, the AO team was kind enough to take the time to give you a brief introduction about the Card Collection system in the coming new expansion.
Angels Online (http://ao.igg.com/main.php) has been successfully published for almost a year now, and its new expansion “The Lost Atlantis” will be released at the end of September as scheduled. In the new expansion, the four factions will cooperate together to find the lost kingdom of Atlantis. Players will then face a series of challenges on their way to Atlantis.
The highest level in the new expansion is 100. Meanwhile, a new system, Card Collection, will be released soon as well. Players can obtain an extra card by defeating monsters and they can exchange their cards for various rewards. In Angels Online, cards have a star symbol on them. The more stars the card has, the higher the level of the card is. Better cards can be exchanged for better equipment. Players can obtain higher level cards by defeating higher level monsters.
The equipment players obtain from the Card Collection system can be better than that they get from defeating high-level Bosses. Players should be patient and collect a complete set of cards.
Read more here.
The folks at Guild Wars have announce the addition of two new NPC allies, Mox and the Fire Imp, to promote the release of Guild Wars Trilogy and the 2008 Game of the Year Edition.
To celebrate the release of Guild Wars Trilogy and a new 2008 version of Guild Wars Game of the Year Edition, we're adding two new allied NPCs to the mix: M.O.X. the golem hero and the Fire Imp combat ally.
The Fire Imp is a combat ally "leveling buddy" available to players below level 20. He's designed to help newer players level up, so his level matches the player's at the time he is summoned. Once acquired, the Fire Imp can be summoned for 60 minutes at a time using the Igneous Summoning Stone item, but certain restrictions apply: you can have only one Summoning Stone ally in your party at a time, and you can only use the Igneous Summoning Stone once every 60 minutes per instance—so if you whistle up a Fire Imp, send him into combat, and he dies after 10 seconds, you have a 59:50 wait before you can bring him back again. That is, of course, unless another player in your party summons their own Fire Imp after yours dies, in which case your party won't have to wait long at all before replacing the feisty little guy.
Read more here.
Cryptic Studios has posted a profile of Al Rivera, aka Captain Geko, lead designer of Star Trek Online.
Q: What do you do on Star Trek Online?
A: I'm the lead designer. When we first started to work on Star Trek Online, the executive staff and I worked out the key features and the vision of the project. My primary responsibility is to ensure that the team maintains that overall vision. This means writing design documentation, creating systems, implementing assets and managing the design team. It is also my personal responsibility to ensure that the work we do remains true to the IP. But most importantly, it is my job to make sure that the game is fun.
Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?
A: I have been in the industry for more than 10 years now. Before I came to Cryptic, I worked at Sega.com on Dreamcast titles and a little MMO called 10SIX. After that, I worked at Maxis on The Sims Online. I've been at Cryptic for about six years now. I worked on City of Heroes and City of Villains as the lead powers designer, led the combat team for Champions Online for a while, and then I moved over to lead STO when we got the project.
Read more here.