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World of Warcraft : Brewfest

Posted Sep 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced details of Brewfest, a new in-game event that will begin in certain cities across Azeroth starting in early October.

Celebrated by both the Horde and the Alliance, the Brewfest is a time to enjoy the fermented fruits of the harvest: pretzels, cheese, and booze! The competing breweries Thunderbrew, Barleybrew, and the Ogres, all come together outside of all the major cities in a bid to outdo each other with their special ales, meads, and beers. Brave adventurers are invited to sit back, take a pull, and sample the finest wares these brewers have to offer!

Type: Brewfest
Date: 2-16 October
Location: Main Event: Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Beer gardens will also be set up outside of Silvermoon City, Darnassus, Undercity, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, the Exodar, and Shattrath.

Read more about Brewfest here.

Force of Arms : An Interview with Wardog Studios

Posted Sep 26, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, Staff Writer Joe Iuliani had the opportunity to sit down and ask ten questions of the guys down at Wardog Studios, the company that's making the Mech-based MMORPG, Force of Arms. Patrick Hamilton and Jeff Newcomb take the time to provide the answers.

What level of cooperative play will there be in FOA?

Jeff “Tex-Mechs” Newcomb:

Phase I of Force of Arms is being developed mostly as a PvP system, and as with most PvP, even if a game isn’t explicitly designed for cooperative play, we recognized early on that players will normally band together to defeat the other side.  We don’t plan to shackle players together (like in WoW or FotR, to name a few).  Instead, we’ll give them some fairly powerful tools to implement the most effective strategy for themselves.  There should be target links, playcards, command overview, satellite recon, and few more that we’d like to talk about, but then we’d have to lock you in a trunk until we release…

Read the whole interview here.

Zu Online : Main Scene Preview

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released a series of breif overviews of the five zones of Zu Mountain: Sky, Ground, Mountain, Sea, and Ice.

  Zu-online---, an IGG published game, has been warmly welcomed by a vast amount of players due to its’ unique theme and traditional Chinese features. All the fantastic and fabulous in-game scenes are based on the original descriptions set out in the novel and the movie. The misty clouds, the long mountain ranges, the floating megaliths and the majestic buildings are totally different from the realistic scenery of many MMORPG games.
  Actually “Zu Mountain” is not the name of a certain place, instead it stands for the universe where human beings, Demons, and Gods reside. Zu Mountain can be divided into 5 zones including Sky, Ground, Mountain, Sea, and Ice.
   Sky------Heavenly Palace
   Heaven Palace is the most holy place in Zu-mountain, only mighty beings can claim to have spent time here. No one knew when the holy buildings of Heaven Palace had been constructed, or whose hand had held the hammer and chisel. Another lingering mystery is the exotic architecture. People who reside here are those who have exalted status and extraordinary wisdom. As for the war between Justice and Evil, they simply watched it quietly. Few people could get there so people knew little of their world. People who had been there were not willing to talk about it either.  
  Ground-----Desert City
   Like the name, Desert City is a totally barren continent with no life. However, you can see exotic scenery everywhere: the reversed megalith, the refluent river, and the weird red clouds that make the sky look as though it has burst into flames………………The Summoners reside there, they are very talented and usually immerse themselves in research of various spells and unique magic. Maybe someone will ask why the place is so desolate. The reason is that “Desert City” is situated at the border between Justice Territory and Evil territory; at the west of Desert city is the entrance to the Evil territory, Death World. Various monsters and diseased animals have come out of this entrance, and gradually Desert city has turned into a barren continent. Although the Summoners are relatively mighty, along with the increased number of monsters they are gradually becoming weaker while the monsters have gradually become stronger then, the Sun Warriors have been asked to help the Summoners with the trouble.

Read more about Zu Online here.

Read the full article here.

General : Garriott to Deliver Keynote at IGC

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross

Rounding out today's hat trick of Richard Garriott news, Mr. Garriott will be delivering the keynote presentation at the Independent Game Conference in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas, September 26, 2007 - The Independent Game Conference is delighted to announce that Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima Online and Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa®, has agreed to make a Keynote presentation at the event.

Garriott blazed a trail in the computer gaming industry by co-founding Origin Systems with brother Robert and producing one of the most successful, longest-running game series of all time, Ultima. In 1992, Origin was acquired by Electronic Arts. Richard stayed with Origin until April of 2000, when he started a new company called Destination Games™. Destination Games became a part of NCsoft® Corporation in 2001. Richard is launching his first title for NCsoft, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, October 19, 2007.

“We’re thrilled to have Richard speaking at IGC this year.” said Mark Chuberka, Director for ICG Austin, “As one of the preeminent independent thinkers in the game industry, he has been able to push the envelope in game development and create successful companies as well as highly evolved games. His experience heading up independent studios as well as his success in developing his own world-renowned brands will let the conference participants gain insight into how independent developers can be successful in this industry.”

“I’ve been in the shoes of independent game developers a couple times, so I’m looking forward to speaking to this group,” said Garriott. “Though the games industry has become a huge business, there are still plenty of opportunities for independent game makers to make a name for themselves and to create successful, innovative titles today, especially in the online space. The Independent Game Conference is a great place for those developers and designers to learn the steps to success.”

Read more about the Independant Game Conference here.

Ultima Online : 10th Anniversary

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross

EA has announced that they will be holding several events in Ultima Online to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary and Kingdom Reborn, the recent update to UO.

A Decade of Groundbreaking MMO Gaming Celebrated with In-Game Activities, Special Items and "Return to Britannia" Campaign for Past Players

Redwood City, CA, September 25, 2007 - Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment company, today celebrated the 10th anniversary of the classic massively-multiplayer online game (MMO), Ultima Online(TM). Launched on September 25, 1997, Ultima Online broke new ground in the multiplayer game space and ushered in the modern MMO era. Anniversary celebrations include special in-game activities and rewards, plus a new amnesty program that invites former players back to experience the major game update, Ultima Online Kingdom Reborn, for free.

"Ultima Online has thrived for 10 years and achieved the status of an MMO classic, thanks in large part to the devoted player community," said Mark Jacobs, VP and general manager, EA Mythic. "We are very excited to celebrate this special anniversary with players."

In celebration of the 10th anniversary, EA is kicking off the "Return to Brittania" campaign, an amnesty program that welcomes former players to discover the gameplay and graphics upgrades implemented in Kingdom Reborn. Past subscribers in good standing will be able to play for free through October 9, 2007 by visiting, downloading Ultima Online Kingdom Reborn and logging in using their former account name and password.

During the in-game 10th anniversary celebration, players will be able to take part in a monster hunt with special prizes including an ankh pendant necklace, map of Brittania, Ultima Online commemorative sculpture and virtue armor set. Additionally, all players will receive 10 décor tokens and a wand of fireworks in their characters' inventory.

Read more about the 10th anniversary here.

General : NCsoft Meet and Greet

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross


NCsoft recently held a meet and greet in Austin where fans had the chance to meet the developers and iconic characters from several of their games, including Ghost Widow from City of Villains, Jarrett Crippen AKA the Defuser, and Richard Garriott in his General British persona.

Austin, TX, Sept. 22–NCsoft® held a fan meet-and-greet event in Austin where gaming legend Richard Garriott met with hundreds of fans as well as with The Defuser, AKA Jarrett Crippen, the City of Heroes® devotee who won Sci-Fi Channel’s “Who Wants To Be A Superhero” reality show.

Garriott, who is developing the soon-to-be-released Tabula Rasa™, appearing as “General British” in full uniform was joined by the Ghost Widow, one of the signature characters from City of Villains™. The event also included representatives from other NCsoft titles including Dungeon Runners™, Guild Wars®, Lineage® and Lineage® II, as well as City of Heroes and City of Villains, who signed autographs and provided insight into their respective games.

Crippen appeared along with the City of Heroes representatives and gave autographs to an enthusiastic crowd. Crippen was also promoting a non-profit organization, “Scare for a Cure,” an Austin-based Halloween haunted house that raises money for breast cancer research.

Read more here.

General : Beyond the MMORPG

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week in Beyond the MMORPG, Jon Wood takes a look at Guitar Hero 2, a simple game that offers great challenges.

After kicking off our Beyond the MMORPG column last week, I have been wracking my brain to come up with the next game to highlight. Some of the obvious choices sprung to mind… I could have talked about Neverwinter Nights 2. That’s a game that resembles an MMO. I could have talked about Halo 3, after all, it launched at midnight last night.

This week though, I wanted to take a look at a game that has had, for me, the same addictive quality that you get from a good MMO. It’s a game that I’ve spent entire days playing and even more impressively, it’s a game that I’ve spent numerous hours on my feet playing. Any game that can get me standing up for hours on end deserves a little bit of attention.

The game I’m talking about is Guitar Hero 2 for the Xbox 360. Yup, that’s right, we’re talking about a console game here at (although we should probably all get used to that, as it’s the wave of the future).

Read the whole thing here.

Lord of the Rings Online : The Whitfurrows

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online official site has been updated with another edition of their Exploring Middle Earth article series.  The week they take a look at the Whitfurrows.

As the Great East Road makes its way into the Eastfarthing of the Shire and joins with the road from Scary coming down from the north, travelers will pass through the rather quiet and charming village of Whitfurrows. This small farming town is a pleasant place to meet and share tales of comings and goings to and from the Shire, for few pass into the grassy hills and pleasant lands of the Hobbits without being seen by the watchful eyes of the Shire-folk who call Whitfurrows their home.

The village of Whitfurrows is only mentioned briefly in the text of The Lord of the Rings, and actually only figures prominently in the tale near the end of the final book, when the village is overtaken by evil and unsavory folk as a hub for information gathering and message delivery. As such, there were few clues to go by when creating the village for LOTRO, which makes for an interesting challenge. Drawing first from the word origins, presuming that ‘Whitfurrows’ refers to bright farmland (“whit” meaning “white” and ‘furrows’ meaning plowed ground), the designers began by envisioning the Whitfurrows region of the Shire as a pleasant farming village, perhaps more level and suitable for farming than the hilly terrain that makes up more familiar areas of the Shire. The village was also known for its post service, which stands to reason because of its proximity on the major road to most other regions of the Shire. In these days before the coming of the evil agents of shadow, it is only fitting that Whitfurrows be a place where players can meet and take advantage of the keen eyes and ears of the citizens, as well as learn a thing or two about the strange happenings and even more strange creatures that have recently been seen in this region.

Read about the Whitfurrows here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : The Boarding Party

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross


Flying Lab Software has announced the formation of the Boarding Party, a Pirates of the Burning Sea community organization founded to perform a number of activities to improve the community and make the game better..

As many of you know, both Theresa and I have been dropping hints about a super-secret community announcement for some time. We’ve mentioned it on our forums, we dropped hints during our IRC developer chats and you’ve been clamoring for more information ever since.

Now it’s time we pulled back the curtain to reveal our master plan…

The Boarding Party!

The Boarding Party is an exclusive opportunity for Pirates of the Burning Sea fans across the globe to join together to help Flying Lab Software make Pirates of the Burning Sea the best game (and community) ever!

What Can Boarding Party Members Do?
The real question is: What can’t they do? Boarding Party members might organize exclusive Pirates of the Burning Sea gatherings (we love a Party!), or help spread the word about new and interesting information about the game. Some Boarding Party members might even join Flying Lab Software staff at conventions and events, while other members will be selected to join special interest groups organized to provide direct feedback to our developers regarding Pirates of the Burning Sea game features, during the beta test, and beyond! Like to help other people? That’s what the Pirates of the Burning Sea Boarding Party is all about!

Read more about the Boarding Party here.

World of Warcraft : Movie Making in WoW

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has launched a new site in an effort to help aide the artistic community in the production of World of Warcraft videos.  To start things off they have posted a Guide for Fair-Use video creation.

Since World of Warcraft launched in 2004, the staff at Blizzard has watched enthusiastically as the community pushed movie making in Azeroth from an unexplored, unproven experiment to a broadly utilized and intricate craft, producing thousands of videos ranging across every type and genre. Opportunities such as BlizzCon and other movie contests challenged community artists to push the limits, and time and time again, players stepped up to the plate and delivered memorable works that turned heads not just in the Blizzard community, but in the digital filmmaking community as a whole.

Short films produced using World of Warcraft have been shown at film festivals internationally, winning awards, garnering recognition, and reinforcing the notion that filmmaking in our virtual worlds is heading toward mainstream audiences. To nurture the advancement and growth of this young artistic community, this site has been established toprovide resources and insight helpful to the ongoing development of cutting edge videos crafted from the World of Warcraft experience, and to say with resounding clarity: Blizzard is a fan of your works.

Read more here.

Gods and Heroes : City Profile Video: Rome Part Two

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Jon Wood

An interview with Art Director Mike Hines about the details they put into the great city of Rome for their upcoming MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.

Video Interview Rome City Profile, Part Two
An interview with Art Director Mike Hines about the details they put into the great city of Rome for their upcoming MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.

Read more here.

Gods and Heroes : City Profile, Rome Part Two

Posted Sep 25, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Perpetual Entertainment have provided us with this second part of an introduction to the gloried city of Rome, a focal point in their upcoming MMORPG, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.

Roma is the center of the civilized world, the greatest metropolis known to mankind, and the seat of the eminent Republic that is spreading law and order throughout the land. Its teeming streets, diverse multitudes, inspiring architecture, and stunning public artworks make it not only the Republic’s capital but also quite possibly its most impressive achievement.

It being such a big city, we’re covering the city of Roma in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™ (G&H) in three installments. This week, we’re focusing on the character class quarters and the majestic Olympian temples of Roma.

Each Hero class in G&H can choose from two gods with whom to align themselves, thus each class quarter in Roma is the site of two Olympian Temples, one for each of that class’s gods. The Olympian Temples are awe-inspiring structures with soaring marble columns and a finely sculpted statue of the god to whom the structure is dedicated. The Flamen of each temple can be found in a subterranean chapel directly beneath the temple; these are the holiest personages in all of the city, and should be regularly consulted by any true Hero eager to serve the Olympians and heap ever-more glory on Roma and her gods.

Read the whole article here.

Fury : New Trailer

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Ben Krueger is pleased to present this new trailer for Auran's upcoming PvP-based MMORPG, Fury.

New Trailer New Fury Trailer
Check out this new trailer for the upcoming PvP MMORPG, Fury.

Watch more videos here.

Tabula Rasa : Sniper and Spy Screenshots

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

Six new images depicting Snipers and Spies have been added to our Tabula Rasa screenshot gallery.

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

Tabula Rasa : Snipers and Spies

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has released an informantion sheet on two of the classes in Tabula Rasa, the Sniper and the Spy.

Welcome to the AFS Soldier.  It’s about time you started thinking about your military career.  Yeah sure, you have a lot of training ahead of you, and you can always start a new path if your career isn’t exactly shaping up the way you wanted it to.  But the AFS needs well trained soldiers, so it’s never too early to look into what division you’re going to be aiming for.  That being said, here are some of the career choices that will be available to you in the AFS.

Ranger Class, Spy Division

This expert of subterfuge excels in moving into enemy territory undetected, and wreaking havoc through deception and misdirection. While still an expert with a gun, this class specializes in the stealthy aspects of war. Any soldier who wants to learn how to move unseen, how to gather vital enemy information, as well as how to silently eliminate threats should look to train as a Spy.

The Spy uses weapons and abilities that rely heavily on LOGOS power to help deceive, misdirect, influence or avoid enemies. The spy prefers sneaking in sight unseen to achieve their goals rather than taking the direct approach.

You will begin your training as a soldier, and advance to the rank of Ranger before being accepted into the Spy Division.  Some of the LOGOS abilities you will learn as a Spy are:

In order to infiltrate sensitive locations, a Spy will learn the art of disguise.  Using the power of LOGOS, you will be able to take on the appearance of an enemy unit and will be seen as “friendly” by enemy forces.  

A Spy is also trained to turn an enemy against his own allies through LOGOS. This obviously creates a certain amount of chaos, as the enemy forces shift their attention to eliminating the "traitor."

Cloak Wave
This is a Spy’s Signature Ability.  You will learn to harness LOGOS powers to set up a zone at you’re location that will grant any allies within the zone a 75% Stealth bonus.  

A spy has a variety of specialized weapons at his disposal.  You will receive specialized training in Chain Guns and Net Guns.  Due to the importance of silent infiltration, you will also be trained to use an AFS Filament Blade, giving you the ability to sneak up behind your enemies and take them out efficiently and quietly, as well as allowing you to defend yourself in the unlikely chance you are discovered.  

Ranger Class, Sniper Division

This military marksman is master of the Torque Shell Guns, long range warfare, and striking from cover. Delivering devastating surprise attacks on hostiles, these weapon experts are the scourge of the enemy. Any soldier looking forward to picking off as many enemies as possible before openly engaging them in combat should seek out training as a Sniper.

The Sniper uses LOGOS powers to fire at long range and from concealed locations.  Snipers thrive as the phantom killer on the battlefield, secretly delivering deadly attacks to influence the course of battle in their favor.

You will start your training as a soldier and advance to the rank of Ranger before the Sniper Division will accept you.  Some of the LOGOS abilities you will learn as a Sniper are:
Called Shot
This LOGOS ability allows the Sniper to target a particular body part on a humanoid opponent. Advanced training allows the Sniper to more accurately target additional body parts, each delivering different types of damage depending on the type of called shot used.

Shredder Rounds
A Sniper is able to coat their current weapon magazine with a substance that adds damage to each shot.  Though it only works on rifles, pistols, and Torque shell guns, the damage inflicted by these specialized rounds can be very substantial.

Crit Wave
This is a Sniper’s Signature Ability. You will learn to set up a 25m zone around your location that does not move with you, but can encompass an entire squad.  The aim of all allies within the zone is increased so they have a greater chance to critically hit their target.

In order to best prepare for deployment as a Sniper, you will receive training in multiple weapons including Chain Guns and Net Guns.  Because much of your attacks on the enemy will be from a distance, you will also receive specialized training in the use of AFS Torque Shell Guns, which fire self-propelled rounds that are capable of delivering substantial damage at great distances as they accelerate and build up kinetic energy.  These specialized guns are also highly accurate and quiet, eliminating loud shots that could give away a Sniper’s position.  

Read more about Tabula Rasa here.

Age of Armor : Space War

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Age of Armor official site has been updated with a look at the Space War high level PvP Area.

It is the time to conquer the Space now!

Age of Armor 2nd Close Beta test has been running very smoothly, and thanks to those Mech fans, thanks for their in time bug reports and their suggestions, they are really doing us a big favor. To show our thanks for their help, we are going to open the high leveled PvP area—Space War. This is a special PvP area, as it is not only for the opposite site, but also for the one side civil war, that is to say, it is a free for all area, the kill mode is auto activated as one enter the area, the last one wins. However, if one just want to slay the monsters there for high level equipment, they can turn of the killing mode, but it only can keep one from civil fight, it have no effect on opposite sides.

The Space war consist of several areas, each area spawns some unique monsters, those monsters are of high level many of them are belong to enforced type and the bring high ranked armor parts, to collect those rank 17+ armor parts, one need to prove his courage and wisdom, as he is not just slaying the Monsters, he is fighting with other players who have the same aim. Wits contest would be the most interesting things for an MMO RPG..

Space War, opens in next week, for the most challenging game style, you won’t miss it anyway!

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Developer Profile

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

The EverQuest II official site has been updated with a developer profile on Aaron "Gnobrin" Bisnett of the EQ2 community team.

You have worked with the EQII community for a little over a month, what are your first impressions?
The community is outstanding and really outspoken! With the immense depth of EQII, the players get very in-tuned with their characters, classes, races and lore and are very knowledgeable in what they do. I've thankfully met some of our players at this recent Fan Faire as well as past Fan Faires and conventions, and they're all golden.

What is your favorite part of EQII?
As mentioned earlier, the depth. I enjoy that there's so much to do, even in regards to Tradeskills. You can be that adventurer that finds the corners of Norrath and slays all that they find for the best items, you can be that tradeskill person that equips those that throw themselves in front of the gods, you can even choose to be a harvester and run the length and breadth of Norrath for the ever elusive "shinies". It's a rare instance (Heh.. Puns ahoy!) that you're hedged in with a specific start and end to an adventure, to find anything truly linear in design is really rare. If you want the "Start story, adventure, save the princess, end of story" kind of game, this isn't for you.

Read more here.

Immortals : Added to List

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross would like to announce that we have listed the upcoming MMORPG, Immortals USA on our Game List.

"5,000 years of Chinese mythology, all in one game. There is possibly no other MMORPG matching the breadth and scope of Immortals in putting together the time-honoured deities, heroes, creatures and demons from 5000 years of Chinese mythology."

Learn more about the game here.

Hype the game here.

StarQuest Online : Launched

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

On September 21st, StarQuest Online announced that their beta phase had ended and that new players would begin paying the $9.99 monthly fee. The game is available for free download.

After a lot of discussion around here, and the loss of our main developer because of it, the open beta test phase of StarQuest Online is over as of 5:00 pm CST today, September 21 2007

All the bugs and issues are not fixed, and they never will be in a constantly growing and evolving game

Now hopefully a decision made in anger can be reconsidered (you know who I'm talking to )


More on StarQuest Online here.

Fury : Challenge Prize List

Posted Sep 24, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Auran Games have release the full prize list for the Fury Challenge, now offering $2 million in prizes.

The full prize list for the Fury Challenge has been posted on the Fury Challenge website today. Clans will be battling over GeForce 8600 graphics cards, while individual players can aspire to winning one of three Dell computers. Make sure you check out all the other great prizes on offer as well, such as G15 keyboards and G5 mice from Logitech and Merc gaming keyboards from Ideazon. Place well enough on all the ladders and you can even start Fury on launch day with a haul of in-game gold that would make a dragon proud!

More on Fury here.

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