One of the nuisances that always comes with online gaming revolves around names. More often than not, you've got a great name thought up for your character, only to find that someone else has beaten you to it. Not only that, but 9 times out of 10 you feel like whoever has that name hasn't played the game in months. City of Heroes and City of Villains are trying to make life a little less stressful.
Starting 10/24/2005 the City of Heroes® and City of Villains™ character name policy will change. Names for characters under level 35 on game accounts that have been inactive for over 90 days will be changed to unreserved status. This means that those names will become available for new character names if picked by an active player. This policy is being enacted in order to free up character names based on player feedback.
If your game account is inactive for over 90 days and you reactivate your account you will need to log back in to any characters affected by this policy to move them out of unreserved name status. If your old character name has been taken by an active player, the game will prompt you to rename your character. You will be given only one opportunity to rename your character. It is possible that your character name may still be the same if an active player has not chosen to use that character name. Your global handle will not be affected.
All characters in an unreserved name status will be shown in your character selection screen; however, their photo will not be shown, indicating that they are in unreserved name status.
If you do not log into the game with a character in unreserved name status, the character’s name will remain available to any active player until you log that character into the game. Logging into the game with the affected character will change the character’s name status back to reserved.
Any questions about this policy can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info on City of Heroes, click here.
Every so often, we have the pleasure here at MMORPG.com to step outside of the realm of "real-life" game news and try our hand at reporting more fictional "in-game" news. EVE Online has given us that opportunity today.
Core Empire Systems Straining From Traffic
A number of Empire solar systems are straining from the massive traffic running through them in recent months, and severe measures need to be taken to rectify the situation. Local authorities are negotiating with mega-corporations who base their business operations in Rens, Oursulaert and Jita to move some of their assets to nearby solar systems so the load on the core areas may be diverted.
Pilots and corporations based in the Rens, Oursulaert and Jita systems are encouraged to relocate their businesses, and start using their connections with agents in nearby systems. Mega-corporation officials point out that pilots can remain in business with them and advise capsuleers to utilize their agents in lower security systems, where the agent missions and contracts are more lucrative.
A Rens pilot, when asked about the situation, stated that "The go*bleeeep* da*bleep* station manager bast*bleep* had me waiting for 7 minutes before allowing me to undock. I'm going to the nearest 0.6, where you get complimentary bathrobes from agents. Fu*bleep* this *bleeeeep* *bleep*."
An Oursulaert native went on record, saying "They better fix the *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* jump *bleep* gates before I *bleep**bleep**bleep* and then some." He then shouted something incomprehensible at nearby Customs Officials, subtle foam beginning to assemble at the corners of his mouth as he finally became able to jump to the next system.
Similar stories have been reported in systems like Nonni, Sobaseki, Inoue and Isaziwa. Wasona Binge reported that rush hour traffic was approaching "Clusterfu*bleeep* proportions."
For more information on EVE Online, click here.
City of Heroes is giving fair warning to players on US servers. This Wednesday, the American servers will undergo some maintenance and will be shut down for approximately 7 hours.
Please be advised that US City of Heroes servers will be down on Wednesday Oct. 12, 2005, from 3 AM until 10 AM CDT.
This maintenance upgrade will affect all US servers. It should not have any effect on European servers.
Thank you for your patience during this period.
For more information on City of Heroes, click here.
MYTHIC ENTERTAINMENT CELEBRATES 10 YEARS AS LEADER IN ONLINE GAMING
Mythic Looks to The Past And The Future With Dark Age of Camelot and Upcoming Warhammer MMORPG
FAIRFAX, VA - October 10, 2005 - Mythic Entertainment, developer and publisher of the critically acclaimed massively-multiplayer online role-playing game Dark Age of Camelot (R), is celebrating 10 years of being a leading developer of online games. The company is also celebrating four years since the successful release of Dark Age of Camelot. Throughout October, Mythic will be celebrating with in-game events and a prize drawing for the "10-4-10" celebration, 10 days of drawings featuring Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer (R) prizes. To enter players can visit www.mythicentertainment.com/10-4-10/.
The origins of the company go back even further than 1995. Mythic Entertainment was created with the merger of two early online game developers, Adventures Unlimited Software Inc. (AUSI) and Interesting Systems Inc. (ISI) AUSI was founded by Mythic's CEO and President, Mark Jacobs who had designed and developed the pioneering Dragon's Gate, a text-based multi-user role-playing game starting in 1986. ISI was co-founded in 1990 by Rob Denton, now the company COO. In the last 10 years the company created 15 online games both independently and with various partners including Abandon Entertainment, Vivendi Universal, France Telecom and America Online. This work ultimately lead to the creation of Dark Age of Camelot in 2001, the fantasy MMORPG based on Arthurian, Celtic and Nordic legends and featuring Realm vs. Realm (TM) combat, Mythic's unique implementation of PvP play. Since then over 1 million players world wide have discovered the world that Mythic created in seven languages.
Growing early to a team of 13, the company now employs over 170 designers, programmers and artists making it one of the leading independent online game developers and building Dark Age of Camelot into one of the most successful MMORPG franchises in the world. Many of that same talented team is now hard at work creating an all new MMORPG based on the Warhammer fantasy world created by Games Workshop and due in 2007.
"We've come a long way in the 10 years since we founded the company," said Mark Jacobs, president and CEO of Mythic Entertainment. "As one of the earliest pioneers in online gaming we have been part of and important to the birth and amazing growth of this industry. It has been a very difficult and long road but we've succeeded when others failed and that success comes from having a great partnership between Rob and myself, a talented and dedicated team, great partners and a willingness to risk everything in order to succeed."
For a brief history of the company including product logos, photographs of the team over the years and screen shots of the early works of Mythic Entertainment visit www.mythicentertainment.com/history. Additional material is available at www.mythicentertainment.com/presskit.
About Dark Age of Camelot
Dark Age of Camelot is a next generation massively-multiplayer online role-playing game ("MMORPG"), and features Realm vs. RealmT combat, Mythic's unique take on Player vs. Player action, multiple class and race combinations, a robust trade skill system, and the most comprehensive player Guild system in any MMORPG. The world of Dark Age of Camelot features three Realms at war - Midgard, Hibernia and Albion. Based on the mythologies of Viking-era Scandinavia, ancient Ireland, and Arthurian Britain, respectively, the once-peaceful Realms began to battle after the death of King Arthur. Players quest, fight monsters, form guilds and eventually gain enough power to defend their Realm from enemies. Since its release in October 2001, Dark Age of Camelot has received critical acclaim, including Online Game of the Year by Computer Games Magazine and Computer Gaming World, and PC Game of the Year by USA Today and MSNBC. Dark Age of Camelot continues to grow and expand worldwide and has proven to be an enduring success.
For more information about Dark Age of Camelot, visit www.darkageofcamelot.com.
About Mythic Entertainment
Mythic Entertainment is one of the most successful developers and publishers of massively-multiplayer online role-playing games in the world. Credited with 15 online games, including the award winning Dark Age of Camelot, Mythic's success is based in proprietary technology, superior game design and exemplary customer service delivered by a talented staff of more than 160 people. Dark Age of Camelot is played in almost every country in the world, and is available in seven languages. The game was released in Japanese in January 2005 and in March became the first international MMORPG available in Spanish. Mythic is currently developing the Warhammer MMORPG which will be available in 2007.
Dark Solstice has announced the winners of their "Name the Reward" contest. The contest asked fans to come out and suggest gifts or rewards for the 5000 Beta Testers. This contest is consistant with a developer promise to keep players involved with the game's progress and development.
Well the time is finally here. After much deliberation and vacillating, we have come up with a list of winners for the “Name the Reward” contest. There were many great suggestions and I wish we could incorporate most of them as rewards because we really do appreciate the important work that our Beta testers will do. Since we cannot do them all, we have decided on the following rewards.
Grand Prize Winner
Kaithro wins a Lifetime Membership to Dark Solstice
Kaithro offered his suggestion that an appropriate reward would be to allow the Beta tester’s main character to transfer from Beta to the live game.
We agree and we will do so with only a few caveats. One character, the one that occupies the 1st slot on the character selection screen will be transferred to the main game when available. All of the experience, profession levels, and accumulated wealth and items will be moved over. If for whatever reasons, rare items become common because of the exploiting of a game flaw, we will manually remove these items so as not to upset the overall game balance.
As Kaithro wrote “one idea I have is a way to create a starting population of people who can help newcomers on release.” We think that’s a great idea and it has earned him the Grand Prize.
To get the runners up and other info on the contest, click here.
The Horizons website has reported that there are some issues with the game's Military Appreciation Program. The good news is that these issues should all be corrected in Tuesday's update.
Customers participating in the Horizons' Military Program may have trouble creating extra characters if they are already at their max number of created characters. The promotion program provided an extra CD key which allows an extra concurrent login, but did not provide an extra 5 character slots. We will have this fixed after Tuesday's maintenance and apologize for any inconvenience.
For more on Horizons, click here.
The composer for The Chronicles of Spellborn is named Jesper Kyd. Kyd is a Danish-born composer who has previous experience working in both video games and films. Recently, The Chronicles of Spellborn's official website posted an interview with their music-man.
1. Can you tell us how you got involved in the MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn?
I was contacted by the developers of Spellborn about a new, highly crafted game they were working on. They sent me over some details and after reading through this material, it was obvious that these guys were working on something very special. I loved the idea, story and the extremely ambitious game mechanics. I knew I wanted to be a part of this team and the massive effort that has been put into this extraordinary game.
2. How did the selection period go; what was this procedure like?
There were 5 other composers pitching for the project, which Spellborn had approached. After receiving game materials we were asked to collate some music that might fit and send it over.
After listening to the music submissions, 2 composers were asked to write some custom demo tracks for the game. Following more discussion with Spellborn's Matthew Florianz, I had a good idea of what kind of approach and music style would fit the world. I was especially excited by the creative encouragement I got from the team and their willingness to go beyond generic music styles. Creative freedom is not something which happens that often in video games or film soundtracks, but when it does happen I take it and run with it ;)
To read the rest of this interview, click here.
Dark and Light sheds some more light on their game as they introduce us to the somewhat bizarre-looking "Rancho".
BESTIARY #12 by Elhavius
"I mean, look at that beast! You have to be completely nuts if you want to ride one, even the lamest dodo would run faster than that old nag. Looks pretty much like its owner though!" Aridal said as he gave the hay to the animals in the stables.
The rancho, a massive beast about twice the size of a dodo, slowly came forward in order to get its intake.
"Man, that’s ridiculous, its fore legs aren’t even a quarter of the size of its hind legs!"
"If I were you, I wouldn’t laugh too loud...", said his work mate. "I know the owner, he’s a ranger, he’s famous around the place, and far from shabby, I heard. The last guy who made fun of his rancho must still be coughing dirt out of his lungs somewhere. He even gave it a name, Mormire he called it, that means dark jewel in the long ears’ language, I think.
To have a look at the complete Bestiary entry, click here.
Turbine and Dungeons and Dragons Online have released the thrid in their series of Alpha Journals, where players give us their impressions of the game's Alpha test. This week's journal takes a more informative and less fictional approach, at least partially alleviating concerns that these journals would provide nothing more than a story (albeit an interesting one).
Neah's partial walking-tour of Stormreach.
To date, every new arrival starts out in an introductory area of Stormreach we are loosely referring to as the Dock. It's a fairly small, somewhat linear area designed to get folks used to the game concepts and controls. Its principle features are the Wavecrest Tavern and a rakish rogue by the name of Lord Gerald Goodblade. It's Lord Gerald who gets players started on their life of adventure by requesting a few 'favors' the player might perform for him to win their way out of the Harbor. It seems the harbor gates are sealed and guarded 'to keep out the riff-raff' and the only way for a newcomer to pass them is with the recommendation of one of the local residents. At least, that's what Lord Gerald tells you. But if you know Lord Gerald like I do, you know his assertions are not always 100% trustworthy.
Once you've either worked your way out of the Dock by doing Lord Gerald a favor (or three) - or figured out the alternative to running his errands for him-you arrive in another transitional area called (again, loosely) the Harbor.
To read the rest of this journal, click here.
They're still at it! Blizzard has added yet another attraction to their ever growing BlizzCon lineup. This time, it's actor / comedian Christian Finnegan. Once again, it seems that Blizzard is trying to outdo itself.
Blizzard is happy to announce that New York-based comedian, writer, and actor Christian Finnegan will be performing at BlizzCon at the closing night concert. Mr. Finnegan is a regular on VH1's Best Week Ever, had his own special on the standup series Comedy Central Presents, and had a featured role on Chappelle's Show as "Chad" in the Mad Real World. We're excited that he'll be lending his talent for the event, and we're looking forward to putting on a great show for all of BlizzCon's attendees. Visit the official BlizzCon site to learn more about our upcoming gaming convention, scheduled for October 28 and 29 in Anaheim, CA.
For more on World of Warcraft, click here.
Minsoo Lee, the head of development team one for Ragnarok Online, pens this month's developer journal. In this third-person issue he discusses localization, the life of the developer and how they ensure this game ties into various real cultures.
| Minsoo Lee is head of development team 1 where all future Ragnarok game plans and management decisions are made. He has been working in the department since 2002 and his goal in 2005 is expanding the world of Ragnarok Online starting with the Schwaltzwald Republic update.
Ragnarok Online is an MMORPG which became instantly popular with cute, anime-like characters and a unique community system. Since its original creation in South Korea three years ago, Ragnarok has been introduced to a total of 39 countries. Currently the development team is focusing on the world expansion, which is based on the original story of Ragnarok Online, and also reflects the main trend of user community, which should keep users interested in the game.
You may read the entire article here.
The folks at Alchemic Dream, the community support company for Dark and Light, have provided us with two more exclusive images of their game as our weekly sneak peek series continues.
Thanks again for making this series possible. Check back next week for more images and more Q&A.
MMORPG IRTH ONLINE ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATE AND PRICING STRATEGY
DEDHAM, MA – OCTOBER 9, 2005 – Magic Hat Software, developer of fantasy MMORPG Irth Online, has announced the game’s official launch date is set for Tuesday, November 1, 2005. Pricing and distribution strategies were also announced.
"Our November 1st release date is firm," says Alan Chipura, Lead Game Designer. "The many suggestions provided by our avid and loyal Beta testers were so valuable that we absolutely had to incorporate them, even though it caused a slight delay in the launch date to November 1st."
At launch, Irth Online will be priced at $29.95 and the monthly subscription fee will be $13.95. Discounted pricing will be available in a Pre-Launch Special Offer to be announced in a few days.
Irth Online will only be available for purchase online. "Two years ago, in the early stages of development, we made the decision to distribute exclusively online and haven’t pursued any publishing deals," says Mr. Chipura. "It made more economic sense for us to self-publish."
Although no retail boxes are being produced for sale in retail stores, players who also want the game on disc may purchase Irth Online on DVD or CD-ROM for an additional $9.95 plus applicable shipping fees. Orders may be placed at www.irthonline.com and will be fulfilled immediately after the game is released.
The Irth Online Story
Irth Online’s virtual world is populated by three distinct PvP civilizations -- The Arcadians in the snowy north, The Morbus in the southeastern swamps, and The Mezoteks in the tropical southwest – which have a thousand-year history of battling to capture the resources of the others to ensure survival. This persistent state of war inspired peace-loving pilgrims from all three civilizations to form their own civilization, and this fourth civilization in Irth Online is non-PvP, and survives via commerce in lieu of combat. Players join Irth’s history at a period when a fragile truce exists, and will determine the course of history of each civilization.
Gamers are encouraged to visit the official Irth Online website at www.irthonline.com to get all the latest news updates and game details.
About Magic Hat Software
Magic Hat Software (www.magichatsoftware.com) was established in July 2003 in Massachusetts. The team is committed to the idea of creating a virtual world without artificial limits on player behaviour or play style, and trusting players to determine their own game experiences. Irth Online is Magic Hat Software’s first commercial MMORPG.
Turbine's Asheron's Call is certainly getting into the season this year with these ghoulish pieces of news. One warns of a danger in the Glenden Wood, the other tells us about an upcoming seasonal event.
It seems that it is just about that time of year. The time when the barrier between the living and the dead is lifted and spirits roam the land once more. Granted the Undead roam Dereth on a daily basis, however this year seems to be a bit... different.
Ghosts, wisps and other supernatural creatures seem to be flocking to area of Glenden Wood. It is as if they know something we don't. There is one in this group of raging specters that seems to scream out for blood. It can happen at anytime, day or night. So beware and be safe because in Dereth there is always something going bump in the night. Bwahahaha!
As the festival season approaches, some interesting changes are coming to Dereth. The town of Glenden Wood is gearing up for a big celebration this year. They are really in the holiday spirit and there are rumors that one of Dereth's most famous personalities may pay them a visit! The farmers have also been gearing up for the holiday season. While getting their pumpkins ready, there have been some strange reports coming out of the pumpkin patches. It would be great if the people of Dereth can figure out what is going on!
The Town Criers will also be getting into the festival spirit this year. They have been picking out their masks, as well as some costumes. You never know what they might be dressed as when you get into town! Don't forget to chat with them; they are going to have a lot to talk about this season.
There have also been some Viamontian sightings recently. It appears they may be doing some digging. What could they be looking for? What will they find? And does this have anything to do with the season?
Finally, after much anticipation it’s here!! The first MMORPG ever to feature 7 unique planets. Put simply….
GamesRouter Welcomes YOU to Open Beta!!
Rose fans can now register for the game at https://www.gamesrouter.com/register and get Added Bonus Experience during the Open Beta stages!
Get ready to explore rich and lush sceneries, fight the hundreds of cute beasts in game, and get into those carts to race your friends! Take part in huge wars in which the fate of an entire planet is at stake!
You can now take part in Open Beta and download the client from Bit torrent, please click on the following link: http://www.gamesrouter.com:6969
You can also download the current client via FTP from the following link: http://www.opticalgaming.com/matt/rose_100_100_eu.exe
Don’t waste any more time. The game you have been waiting for is finally here, with so much to explore, get downloading now and get ready to kick some butt!
See you in-game!
EverQuest II is offering us an exciting look at even more of their desert region with "Dungeons in the Desert":
There are many new areas to explore within the Desert of Flames. Within, you will find information on a few of the dungeons within the desert. Keep in mind that the lore here is speculative, and is based on the beliefs of some, but not all, Norrathians.
The Clefts of Rujark
Home to the Rujarkian orcs. Found off the Sinking Sands and Pillars of Flame, the Clefts are a natural fortress built by the orcs as a defense from harpies and as a staging ground for their conquests of surrounding lands. The Clefts of Rujark are the new primary home for the Rujarkian orcs. The clefts were once a natural rift in the earth carved by the Lifefire river, now only existing in the bottom as a sandy, dry riverbed.
The orcs are starting to use this area as the basis for building their new empire. They have ripped through the layers of sandstone and have begun creating a natural fortress for their long-term plans on Norrath. The largest quarry on Ro exists here and the orcs are pulling raw chunks of stone for use in constructing fortress Rujark and their eventual war effort. Other needed materials are being shipped in from the Isle of Zek by the Deathfist orcs. There is an abundance of wood and lumber from these shipments and this is reflected by use in the bridges, furniture, ballista, and the more elaborate interior walls for the entire structure.
The Living Tombs
The ancient city of Ahket Aken pulled underground by the power of the gods still flows with the tainted undead, creating water that both blesses and curses the Sinking Sands.
The Living Tombs represent the main body of the city of Ahket Aken. The city is relatively intact, but it is threatened by a dome of sand. In fact, the majority of the buildings are partially or completely trapped within the surrounding sand. Only the main area is free enough to allow easy movement on the spillway streets. The original inhabitants were completely submerged beneath the sand. Only when they arose in undeath were they able to being to clear the area. Using their clawed hands, the smothered citizens of Ahket Aken removed the sand from the main streets and aqueducts, hoping to restore the flow of the fountain. While the flow of the fountain was restored in some places, many of the buildings in the city remain half-buried beneath huge banks of still-shifting sand.
To read the rest of "Dungeons in the Desert", click here.
Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot has released another test version, 1.80h and along with a new version comes the informative adventure of release notes!
NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES
To get the whole scoop, click here.
With the launch of their new-look website, you had to know that Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online was about to start an aggressive advertising campaign. Now we know for sure.
Turbine has officially started our marketing campaign for Dungeons & Dragons Online! We are kicking off the campaign with a teaser ad in the latest issues of Computer Gaming World (on sale now - check out page 4!), Computer Games Magazine, and PC Gamer. The next teaser ad will appear in November, so be on the lookout!
For more on Dungeons and Dragons Online, click here.
For all of you who have been reading new item after news item regarding BlizzCon, wishing that you could attend, Blizzard is offering some consolation...
While we wish every player could attend this year's BlizzCon, we understand that a large number of players will be unable to make the trip. But there is still hope! Blizzard is pleased to announce that WoW Radio will be offering live video feeds of some of the different events at BlizzCon. You can look forward to watching some of the Q&A panels, the costume contest, interviews with Blizzard employees, and several other big events live from your computer. As we head into the last few weeks before the convention begins, please keep checking WoW Radio's BlizzCon website, for more information.
WoW Radio also airs Shoutcast "Radio Shows" every day that you can listen to from your computer. These talk shows cover the latest news and community discussions about World of Warcraft. Check out their website for running schedules and downloads of their archived shows
For more on World fo Warcraft, click here.
On Wednesday I was in San Francisco to attend NCSoft's premiere party for City of Villains. The event, which took place on Alcatraz Island, showed off the upcoming sequel/expansion to City of Heroes.
| In one example, the Warbird Zone, players must compete to rescue scientists from a dungeon and gather the launch code. This is a non-instanced quest, which means many players can try to do it from all sides and fight along the way. Ultimately, the group that finishes it launches a missile that goes into orbit. The player can then call it down whenever they see fit – ideally Shane notes as a base-buster in base raids. He also noted that there are many ways to complete it. For example, a group might simply chose to hang back, let someone else rescue the scientists and then ambush them as they exit – stealing the launch codes.
Another neat innovation Shane spoke of is the implementation of an in-game newspaper, a clever piece of subterfuge for a mission terminal. Players can grab newspapers and when opened, they give you some random generated articles for you to grab quests. In a fictional framework, it is justified as you having different interests than the player beside you. Thus, you cannot see the whole paper, only those articles that caught your character’s eye. See an article about a shipment of gold to a local bank? Perhaps it is time to pay them a visit and relieve them of their burden.
You can read the entire report here.