Recently, Auto Assault held their E3 Elimination Tournament. Today, they're pleased to announce the winners, who will be going to compete at E3.
We had a blast on Saturday and would like to thank everyone who participated in The E3 Elimination Tournament. We'd like to congratulate the team consisting of Ophidias, GTA, Pr0 and AgnusDei from the Breakdown server for winning the 1st Place Prize - they're going to E3!
For more info on Auto Assault, click here.
The makers of Project Entropia have announced that players will now have access to real-world ATM cards that will allow easier conversion between virtual coin and cold, hard, cash.
CENTER>Revolutionary ATM System Allows Players to Use Any Versatel Machine Around the World to Convert Virtual Funds to Real Cash
(Gothenburg, SWEDEN) – Entropia Universe, the fastest growing virtual world utilizing a real cash economy, today announces the introduction of an ATM card system that connects directly with real-world Versatel machines internationally, for easy access to the conversion between virtual and physical currency. This groundbreaking development allows Entropia members to conveniently access virtual PED (Project Entropia dollars) and transfer it into “real” cash. The implementation of the system is just another benefit of the built-in “real cash economy” of Entropia Universe.
An Entropia Universe participant can acquire the ATM card from MindArk, the developer of Entropia Universe. The card is associated with the participants’ Entropia Universe account (similar to a bank account), allowing one to efficiently and securely access funds to make a withdrawal of virtual money (Project Entropia Dollars) in real life currency using any Versatel machine around the world. All of the features of transferring, withdrawing, depositing, viewing account balances and more are available with this virtual ATM system. This innovative service for Entropia Universe members provides true economic freedom and puts them one step closer to bridging the gap between the virtual and real world.
“The ATM system is a crucial and significant element in the true monetization of virtual currency, by supporting instant and convenient conversion to real cash,” says Jan Welter, CEO of MindArk, developer of Entropia Universe. “MindArk is changing the online gaming and virtual community landscape by introducing a real cash economy that offers validity and secure monitoring of one’s funds. We aim to become unique forerunners of online virtual entertainment, and with the ATM technology and economic stability of our universe, we are creating the next level of the online experience.”
Entropia Universe is the only virtual gaming community that actively supports sales of virtual products with actual cash value within its real economy system. The economy offers the user a secure and safe way to make purchases, sales and exchange real-life currency into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and back again into real money, at a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar. PED allows members to invest in personal development and growth through the acquisition of goods, buildings, and land in the virtual universe. In 2005, the Entropia Universe turnover was an estimated $165,000,000 million US dollars.
“I think the ATM card is the Holy Grail of Massive Multiplayer Gaming that everyone has been looking for,” says Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs, recent winner of the Virtual Space Resort in Entropia Universe. “It is incredible to now think that it is possible to manufacture and sell a virtual item one minute and then go out and buy a real dinner the next minute, with the same funds!”
The heart of Entropia Universe lies in a distant planet named Calypso, encompassing two continents with large expanding cities that offer a variety of entertainment and social interaction for its citizens. Members of Entropia can create their own persona (avatar) via a character generation system, then having the option of choosing a suitable life and virtual existence for their avatar. Characters are able to enter the evolving world full of unexplored and uncultivated lands where they can join a community or even create a civilization of their own. Entropia Universe offers a new way for individuals to pursue dreams and fantasies through an adventurous virtual experience.
In December 2004, Entropia Universe set a world record, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, when it sold a virtual Treasure Island for $26,500 USD as the largest virtual dollar amount spent, to 22-year old Australian David Storey, a.k.a. "Deathifier." The recent sale of the Space Resort for $100,000 USD to famed gamer, Jon ‘NEVERDIE’ Jacobs, sets a new record for the most valuable virtual item.
Quest Online has announced a brand new MMORPG, titled "Crusade". The game is being developed by David Allen, the man originally responsible for the design of Horizons, as well as the creation of "Mordor and "Demise".
Arizona online entertainment production company Quest Online, Inc. has announced its entry into the industry with a new upcoming Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) title called "Crusade". Created by industry visionary David Allen, creator of "Mordor", "Demise", and the original design of "Horizons", Crusade promises to be a major fantasy-based playing experience in the ever-expanding online marketplace.
Quest Online (QOL) has already begun work on Crusade and has launched a dedicated website (http://crusade.qol.com) featuring numerous details on their upcoming title.
"As a group of dedicated gamers, we feel that the design of Crusade marks the direction we would like to see the industry go," said David Allen, co-founder and CEO of QOL. "The MMOG subscriber base is growing at a rate that the current quality of products cannot keep up with. We must raise our vision of what is held as innovative and learn from what has been successful. Stay grounded while reaching for the stars. That is what Crusade is about - taking MMORPGs to the next level." David continued, "we are also working to establish a strong player-developer relationship that allows the player base to actively participate in the ongoing development of the game by interacting with our team members to provide detailed feedback on what is important to gamers. Evolving the core concept and design of Crusade during development based on player feedback is key to developing a successful product."
For more info, click here.
Turbine has announced that they will be bringing on Keith Baker, the original creator of the Eberron campaign setting, to work on Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Bkaer, who originally won a contest to design the new campaign setting, will be writing "all-new stories" for the game:
LYON, FRANCE – 2 May 2006 – Atari and Turbine announced today that Keith Baker, the original creator of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Eberron® campaign setting, will pen additional storylines and works of fiction for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™. The game is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) roleplaying game based upon the iconic world of D&D®. Developed by Turbine, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE: Stormreach is published in Europe by Atari and operated by Codemasters Online Gaming. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro.
“Keith Baker is the creative genius behind Eberron, the setting for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE: Stormreach. His fiction is sure to engage and entertain our players in the months to come,” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “We are delighted to be working with him.”
A long-time fantasy devotee and game designer, Keith Baker’s breakthrough occurred when he entered a contest in 2002 held by Wizards of the Coast, maker of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS roleplaying game and a subsidiary of Hasbro. The contest sought an innovative concept for a new world in which fans could play DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Chosen from more than 11,000 submissions, Baker’s Eberron world won the contest and became Wizards of the Coast's setting for the third edition of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, as well as the setting for DDO. Baker also published his first novel, City of Towers, which released in February 2005, to critical acclaim.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE: Stormreach brings the essence of the classic pen-and-paper roleplaying experience - with an emphasis on small party-based dungeon crawling adventures - to the PC. Authentic features in the game include customisable characters; dungeons filled with devious traps; monsters and stories from the Eberron campaign setting; an on-screen d20 (20-sided die) and a dungeon master. The unique online world of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE represents a new paradigm for the MMO genre with unique features including party-based quests, integrated voice chat, real-time action combat, and award-winning graphics.
For more on DDO, click here.
Runestone Game Development has announced the official launch of their new MMORPG, Seed. Runestone calls this game genre-shattering. Why? Because it's a sci-fi game with no combat. Instead, "In Seed players use their intellect rather than brute force to get the job done, interact with believable NPCs with their own behaviors and agendas, and truly decide the fate of the colony, whether it thrives or fails, and have the power to change the world around them."
We have now officially promoted the game to "launched" in our games list, which means that you can now hype there game, here.
Aarhus, Denmark – May 2, 2006 - Runestone Game Development is pleased to announce the launch of their premier genre-shattering massively multiplayer game Seed. The free client is available now at the official web site www.seedthegame.com, along with a 14-day trial.
On an alien world in the far future, desperate human settlers must work together to ensure the survival of their colony and the whole human race.
In Seed players use their intellect rather than brute force to get the job done, interact with believable NPCs with their own behaviors and agendas, and truly decide the fate of the colony, whether it thrives or fails, and have the power to change the world around them.
"The launch of Seed is only the beginning," said Lars Kroll Kristensen, CEO of Runestone Game Development. “The players’ control of the world will ensure an ever-changing interactive player experience.”
With groundbreaking gameplay powered by next-generation artificial intelligence poured into a rich, comic-book-style 3D world, Seed is like nothing else on Earth.
For more information about Seed and to start your own free 14-day trial, please visit www.seedthegame.com.
For more on Seed, click here.
City of Villains has released 10 brand new screenshots featuring their new "Mayhem Missions" that will be a part of the upcoming Issue 7 "Destiny Manifest". They have also released a movie to go along with the screenshots, which you can see here.
For more info on CoV, click here.
The Legend of Ares has just completed their first closed beta, which ended on April 30th. They will begin their second closed beta on May 3rd and it will run until May 7th:
The End of 1st Closed Beta
Thank you very much for participating in our first Closed Beta for The Legend of Ares. We have received many suggestions, bug reports, and comments during the past week, and we are very thankful for them as they have proved very helpful and useful.
We are working hard to implement many changes from our user input and look forward to hear what they have to say during the second Closed Beta.
The second Closed Beta will begin on May 3rd and end on May 7th.
We are hoping for a great turnout for this event as more and more of The Legend of Ares will be revealed.
Player characters from the first Close Beta will persist through the second Closed Beta meaning no changes will be made.
If there are any comments or suggestions users have from the Beta events please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on The Legend of Ares, click here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released a new Weekly Forum Roundup. This feature highlights various threads in the official game forums that the developers thought might be helpful or positive.
Every Monday we will highlight certain threads from our forums. These threads will be helpful or generally positive threads started by our team or by the members of our community from the previous week. They will be fun items we wish to highlight, or good discussions that we feel the players would benefit from reading.
Read the feature, here.
Guild Wars has released a warning that the grace period for people who have bother a Prophecies and a Factions key is almost up. This refers to an offer whewre a user who has both of these things is able to create a 5th or 6th character.
The grace period mentioned in an earlier news post will end at 11:59 p.m. PDT on May 8. During the 10-day grace period, if you have a Prophecies account and have added a Factions pre-order key, you can create a 5th or 6th character. After the 10-day grace period, if you have not added a Factions (retail) key to your account, you will not be able to create a 5th or 6th character. We will not delete your new characters, items, or skill unlocks after the 10-day grace period. However, you will need to add a Factions (retail) key to your account in order to play with any Canthan characters after the end of the Extended Head Start Event.
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
Andrew Tepper drops in to answer our questions for our latest Q&A. This interview focuses on the third installment of his social-Egyptian MMORPG. Unlike most games, A Tale in the Desert begins anew with fresh challenges once the players solve the goals of the previous tale. Recently, A Tale II came to an end, sending this game back into beta.
| MMORPG.com: What would you say are the major distinguishing features between ATITD3 and ATITD2?
Andrew Tepper: In ATITD 1 and 2, we had a very good retention rate – 50% - through the point when a player becomes a Citizen. Typically that is 5 or 6 hours. And the game was very good about letting you know a good first goal – the path to Citizenship was laid out as a checklist that could be accomplished in any order.
Once a player became a citizen, the game branched enormously, and provided no “snack-sized” goals. Only the most self-directed, focused players did well in that post-citizenship phase, and that was a huge flaw in the game design.
In ATITD 3, we've introduced the concept of Levels. All the main goals (the Tests) post-citizenship have checklists associated with them. Complete a checklist, and you have completed “Principles of (the Test)”, and advance by one level. So for example, the Test of the Obelisk challenges you to build the tallest Obelisk in your region. Principles of the Obelisk requires you to build a 14 cubit-high Obelisk. While Tests sometimes have goals like “the biggest”, “the most highly rated”, or “the most complete”, Principles all have fixed goals.
You can read the Q&A here.
Final Fantasy XI has released some new information concerning monsters, claiming monsters, and enmity. This article expands on information from a news release back on April 17th:
In the version update news released on April 17, there was a brief explanation of the changes made to claiming monsters. We would now like to expand upon that explanation to give players a concrete idea of how the process of claiming monsters has been altered.
To state things clearly, only the conditions for “claiming” a monster have been changed--the process through which a monster chooses a target based on enmity remains the same.
Read it all, here.
Age of Conan has released some more detailed information on Prestige classes as well as their guild system. We've only given you a small piece of hte information pie, if you'd like to read more, follow the link below:
This week we take a deeper look at the Prestige class and guild systems in Age of Conan
First up a word from Game Director Gaute Godager on the subject of guilds and the Prestige classes on all the interest shown amongst the community.
"I thought I would write a section for you about the balance between guild- and solo play. This has generated a lot of heated debate on the forums, which is something we really do appreciate, honestly, and it does inspire us to make sure we get this balance right.
The core of the question is: can we give any advantage to social gameplay without affecting negatively some peoples’ perception of solo gameplay? I guess that is impossible. The problem is, I want to reward people for being social, without alienating the true image of Conan as a truly solo friendly game. I have thus decided on making a compromise for the social classes, the Prestige Classes as we call them. The compromise is to let all abilities be available for your social class, but simply in a somewhat weaker form. You are barred from nothing, but you can not reach your full potential.
Now then, the remaining question is: how much more powerful will the abilities be in a Guild? Is it 5%, 10% or 50%. To be honest, I don’t know yet. This is something we will find out during beta. There will be a difference though. Now on to the important parts..."
Read it all, here.
This past weekend, Sanya Thomas released a brand new grab bag for Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. As usual, we provide a sample of the bag, to get the whole thing, click the link below:
Here we go again on my own, rolling down the only road I've ever known:
Q: There is so much lag on Agramon. What are you doing about it?
A: We strive to make optimizing tweaks in every patch. The first thing we do, of course, is run around the target zone with a variety of hardware setups at a variety of times. Your man in PQ reminded me that performance in windowed mode is significantly worse. Even though we are planning to make some tweaks in 1.84, you may find that the convenience of windowed mode isn't worth the performance cost.
Q: Now that Valkyries are able to use large shields, is there currently any way to trade medium versions of Aten's Shield and Cyclops Eye Shield for the large versions?
A: The Cyclops Eye is only available in the small and medium sizes. We will do our best to get an exchange policy for the Aten's Shield into the next patch for you.
Q: Does a Heal Over Time spell add the caster to the mob's hate list?
A: Nope, says our lead programmer.
Before you ask about Frigg's, it's just different by design. Whether or not we change that design will depend on the discussions we have when we look at the shaman again.
Read it all, here.
John "Rev" Tynes, the Producer of Pirates of the Burning Sea, has released a brand new "milestone update", letting us know some of the upcoming milestones for the game.
Pirates of the Burning Sea is an ever-growing world. To build it we structure our work in milestones, which are blocks of work six to eight weeks long. Each milestone focuses on specific objectives in development, art, and world-building. As we create the game, we’ll tell you what we’re working on in the current milestone and what we’ve got planned for the next, so you can see all the cool new features that are coming down the pipeline and get an inside look at the creation of a new MMORPG.
Current Milestone Goals
For more information, click here.
Nathan Knaack's weekly column is back with a look at alternative social structures in MMORPGs. Every Monday, this former Rapid Reality developer pens a design-themed column for MMORPG.com.
|We’ve seen many forms of social interaction in MMORPGs over the years, from loose-knit and temporary groups of people who come together with blind invitations to multiple game-spanning guilds composed of hundreds, even thousands of dedicated members. The internet will soon have more websites dedicated to MMORPG guilds than porn, it seems. It’s also no secret that game developers are starting to design content specifically for groups of 40 or more players, fully realizing that this puts most of that content beyond the scope of individuals, even those who might be willing to work with other strangers. In most games, it’s tough to keep a group of eight players together before someone crashes, leaves to do their own thing, or has to log off for some reason. In a game like WoW, where most of the high-end content requires a good-sized guild to conquer, there is a growing population of casual players, people with lacking social skills, or individuals that just prefer to play solo that are being left out.
What I believe MMORPGs could use are some additional social structures, different systems in place to give those people the option of getting involved in larger groups without having to wait in long cues, harass existing members, brown-nose their way into an elite guild. Some readers are already formulating their “don’t force anything on me” rebuttals, so I’ll remind them of the key word in this paragraph: “additional.” I’m not talking about changing or eliminating the faction/guild/clan/corporation structure of existing MMORPGs, but adding more optional structures that would provide more dynamic character interaction. I’ve spoken of this tactic before, referring to it as “tricking people into role-playing.” In this case, perhaps a more accurate description is “tempting” them into it.
You can read the full column here.
Candace and Jim Miller of GirlzGameToo were recently interviewed by Brian Perry Jr. The duo have set up a community website for female gamers and are running a very unique event in celebration.
|Mayday is an event envisioned by Vyktor, the webmaster over at girlzgametoo.com. While the site is a community for female gamers (or men to better understand female gamers), it’s not some feminist society for the removal of men. Actually, it’s just a site thrown together to celebrate female gamers, much like the Mayday event. However the Mayday event really is more than a just some random celebration, it’s actually a well planned out gathering to make a statement.
The main purpose behind Mayday is to celebrate being a gamer. With all the negative publicity gamers have endured recently, from the Jack Thompson slandering of gamers as a whole to the now ancient “Hot Coffee” mod controversy, gamers really haven’t had anything positive to celebrate. This bothered everyone over at GGT, including Vyktor, so he started making plans to host a huge event across many different games to reach out to as large of a group of gamers as possible.
You can read the interview and see the full preview here.
Gods and Heroes, the MMORPG currently in development by Perpetual Studios, have announced the launch of their brand new community website. The new website can be found at: http://community.godsandheroes.com/
Global Goonzu Online has announced the offical launch of their new open beta test, which began on April 20th, 2006.
Global Goonzu Online- Official launch of NEW OPEN BETA
NDOORS Corporation, the PC and console (PSP, PS2) game developing and publishing specialist, has officially announced the launch of its MMORPG, Global GoonZu New Open Beta Version, on April 20, 2006. Global GoonZu Online provides improved graphics and additional game features along with more character choices. (Download – http://global.goonzu.com)
NDOORS Corp is currently planning to introduce the game in Electronic Entertainment Expo, simply knows as E3, to grab the global players attentions. With its successful commercial launching experience in Korea and in Japan, NDOORS Corp is aggressively seeking its opportunities to take the fast growing online game market by satisfying the global users’ tastes. Goonzu Online, the popular Korean MMORPG, has now more than 3 million members.
Cute and simple animation style graphics and low system requirements are the distinctive features of this game, and the easy game control and comprehensive game interface allows the new MMORPG users to play the game with ease and helps to shorten the learning curve. Goonzu Online distinguishes itself from the rest of traditional battle focused MMORPGs by simulating the real world social aspects like politics, real-time trading, stock exchanges, and resident voting system.
NDOORS Corp has development teams which consist of highly experienced developers (more than 15 years of experience) in both areas of PC and console game development and Tae-Gon Kim, the R&D director of NDOORS Corp, is recognized as one of the top three star developers in Korea.
For more on this game, click here.
TQ Digital, the company behind the released MMORPG, Conquer Online, has announced a new title that will soon be hitting their alpha stage shortly. The game, which had been orginally titled "Realm of Chaos", will be called "Eudemons Online".
TQ Digital Entertainment today changed its fantasy MMORPG Realm of Chaos into Eudemons Online. In this mythic world, you can choose to become a warrior, Mage or Psychic, command your heroes and challenge the most powerful and evil boss.
In Eudemons Online, you can raise some pets to guard you and destroy your enemies. This is Eudemons Online's exclusive and distinctive features differs form other MMORPGs. The system has provided 8 kinds of pets for you to choose: explosive, mutative, reflecting, possessing, dynamic, magical, agile and defensive. These pets possess their own unique combat skills. Some can self-destruct themselves or possess enemies’ spirit to impair and destroy.
Meanwhile, TQ Digital announced that close alpha test would begin on May 8th in Las Vegas server. Close test will last about 1-2 months and all data be removed after that. By beta accounts, they said the ways of getting thest accounts would soon release, you can visit Eudemons Online official site for more info.
To visit the site, click here.
The Horizons development team has posted a development update on their community site. It runs through what the team has planned in the next while.
|Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Two design previews in a row! There is so much to talk about that we just couldn't wait to get another typed up and posted for you all to read. So, without any further delays...
May is going to be a busy month for us. We have some content on Blight that will be (barring unforseen developments) patching to the live servers. This content will include the next event titled "The Offensive Continues" as well as the beginning of the New Trismus overhaul. The invasion of the Withered Aegis towards Harro heats up and your beloved war-hero, Jatell, continues to predict the movements and actions of the invading forces with uncanny skill and accuracy. On New Trismus, six new quests for both Warrior and Mage are available and we hope new players enjoy them. Quests for Clerics and Scouts as well as the other three base schools (Monk, Spiritist, and Druid) will be coming in time, but we aren't yet done with Warrior and Mage. We have an additional five quests for each that will be added in the near future, including a four-part story quest.
You can read the full update here.