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Red Stone : Six New Screenshots

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Keith Cross

Six new images have been added to our Red Stone screen shot Gallery.

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

Myth War : Constellation Pet Give Away Event

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they will be holding a weekend event starting July 22nd, where players will have the chance to win a constellation pet.

You may still remember those awesome Constellation Pet Packs (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) which were released two weeks ago to celebrate Myth War 1st Anniversary. Already forgotten? Please check it out here

This weekend, Myth War official team plan to host one special activity to promote Constellation Pet Packs. Winners even have the chance to obtain a constellation pet for free!

Time: The event will commence at 4:00 PM Server Time, July 22

Location: All servers

Rewards:

One first prize winner per server;

The winner will receive a constellation pet;

Four active participants in each server will receive: 1 Dragon bone and 1 Dragon eye.

Get more details here.

MU Online : Interview with GMO-Sol

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, our own Donna Desborough had the opportunity to ask a few questions of GMO-Sol from Global Mu Online.

MMORPG.com:

You're expanding on the PvP with the SD Shield. Can you explain more about the SD Shield?

GMO-Sol:

The SD shield is a brand-new concept that completely changes the face of PvP combat. Everyone knows that while DPS, healing, and mitigation are important parts of PvP, ultimately the fight between any two players is over once one or the other of them has had their health points reduced to zero. In MU, players receive a number of stat points when they level, and may distribute them among their stats as they wish. Just one stat, Vitality, governs the amount of health a player has, and it behooves certain characters of certain builds to somewhat forsake that stat in favor of other stats that help them to be more deadly or more helpful in other ways. Unfortunately, this means that some characters, while they might be great at dealing damage or healing, might not survive long enough in PvP combat to effectively use their class's abilities. It's kind of a raw deal, and it's something players (especially healers) have had to simply put up with in most MMORPGs for a long time.

Well, the SD shield changes all that. This mechanic constructs a barrier around your character that has its own hit points, and these hit points only respond to player-delivered damage (meaning that a mob would deal damage directly to your health points, but a player would have to break through your shield's hit points before getting to your health points). The important part, though, is that this shield generates its hit points based on the sum total of all the stat points your character has accrued and spent. This means that any level 300 character has the same shield as any other level 300 character, regardless of how many points the two characters have spent in buffing their health points. We're confident that this mechanic will pave the way for a more balanced playing field in PvP, allowing players to freely distribute their points according to their wishes rather than feeling "forced" to spend stat points on their health points.

Read the whole interview here.

Tales of Pirates : New Region and Two New Servers

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that tales of Pirates will be getting a new region dubbed Mystic Ocean, and two new servers, Aegean Sea and Black Sea. To celebrate, they will be holding several events including double experience days, and a leveling competition.

In just half a year, Tales of Pirates (http://top.igg.com) has developed into a matured game with hundreds of thousands of fans. After its first region launched on the 29th March, ToP has 8 servers now. To ensure a joyful and smooth gaming experience, IGG is pleased to announce that the second region of ToP --- Mystic Ocean will be launched on EST 0:00AM July 20th after the weekly maintenance. With the debut of the second region, two new servers, Aegean Sea and Black Sea will be opened to players.

As a celebration for the launch of the new region, a series of events are to be held in Aegean Sea and Black Sea servers.

Double Experience Event

Server: Aegean Sea and Black Sea

It will last 3 days from EST 12:00AM July 20th to EST 12:00PM July 23rd

Server: Old servers

It will last 1 day from EST 12:00AM July 20th to EST 12:00AM July 22nd

Heroes

The highest level player from the six afterlife vocations, total 6 winners, will be honored as a "Hero" and given a set of Navy Royal Suit. The event will last from EST 12:00AM July 20th to EST 2:00PM August 1st

Leveling Up Competition

The event will commence from EST 12:00AM July 20th to EST 2:00PM August 1st in the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea. The 25 highest level players at EST 2:00PM, July 8th will be the final winners.

Prizes:

  • The First Prize (one in total): a suit of pirate dress plus 5 million coins
  • The Second Prizes (three in total): a suit of pirate dress plus 3 million coins for each
  • The Third Prizes (five in total): a suit of pirate dress plus 1 million coins for each
  • Honorable Mentions: (sixteen in total): 500 thousand coins for each

In addition, the lucky players who rank 100, 200, 300...1000 respectively at that moment in the two new sever will be awarded 200,000 coins each.

Get all the details here.

General : Station.com Redesign

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Keith Cross

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that they have redesigned their web portal Station.com, and will now include more than 20 free games.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - July 18, 2007 - Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online gaming industry, announced today the redesigned company web site, www.station.com, will host more than twenty free games, a new look and improved functionality. Station.com is the user-friendly main portal for SOE's games, communities and information. The newly revamped site will host free trials of the majority of SOE's MMOs; casual games such as PopCap's Bejeweled® 2, Jeopardy! ® and Wheel of Fortune®; and mobile games such as Q*Bert™, Snoop Dogg Cruisin', and the recently released God of War™: Betrayal. In addition, the Station Pass has transitioned into a free online game service available to all players.

"As SOE continues to grow its business and acquire a wider variety of titles, it was only appropriate that the Station.com website be redesigned to offer a more user-friendly and immersive experience to our diverse player base," said Torrie Dorrell, SVP Global Sales & Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Players from around the world will be able to obtain news and information surrounding upcoming and live games, visit community sites, download a casual game or two and even check out SOE's latest offerings for the PLAYSTATION® Store. The site is launching simultaneously in English, French, German and Japanese, with plans to roll out more languages, services and games in the coming months."

Players can obtain a Station.com account for free by simply registering on the homepage. From there they will have access to free online games and trials of SOE's live games in addition to access to community discussion forums, podcasts and more.

Simultaneously, the Station Pass games have become free. The Station Pass consisted of the full versions of the three casual, online action-based strategy games: Tanarus®, Cosmic Rift™ Online and Infantry Online™. Each of these games has consistently maintained a steady fanbase for the more than five years they have been live, and this transition to a free service will allow new and current players to experience these titles.

For more, visit www.station.sony.com.

EverQuest II : E3 Update

Posted Jul 19, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Writer Carolyn Koh took the time to drop by this year's E3. While there, she looked at a numnber of different games. Today, we present her report on a conversation with Scott Hartsman, the Producer of SOE's EverQuest II.

"Look! Ocean Spray!" Exclaimed Scott Hartsmann, Sr. Producer of SoE's EverQuest II. I watched the ocean rise and swell in the Timorous Deep, the Sarnak starting area, smash once again into the outlying rock, spraying water droplets across the screen and turned a skeptical eye on his shiny pate. "Yeah? And what did that do to your frame rate?" He laughed, "Absolutely nothing! We're just running on regular Dell XPS machines." He did allow that they made sure that the machines had 2 gig of RAM. Scott looked for and showed me the frame rate. "Look. We've got 52 FPS at this resolution." He waved a hand at the wide-screen, then took the last bite into his lunch and excused himself. I hopped onto his stool and opened up options. True enough. Max graphics and lighting resolution, at 1680 x 1060, with 80% rendering distance. No graphics lag.

"Oh look! She's checking on me!" Of course I am. "That's been our greatest hurdle to overcome," Scott allows, "The initial impressions," he started late with the EverQuest II project, only getting on board about a year before launch, and he was in Engineering. "By then many decisions were made and EverQuest II already had the reputation of being a dog to drive, and launch didn't make it any better." They have since been diligently working in the background to optimize the graphical requirements of the game, polishing all the details that made the game look slip-shod.

Read the whole article here.

City of Heroes : Character Tranfer and Character Rename

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has announced that the new features of Character Transfer and Character Rename are now on the Training Room Test Server.

Starting on Tuesday, July 17th, the Training Room Test Server will have two new game features enabled for testing: Character Transfer and Character Rename. Character Transfer will allow customers to move characters from one server to another. Character Rename will allow customers to rename a selected character. Both of these features are not part of Issue 10: Invasion. Although we are beginning to test them, we anticipate that they will not be enabled on the live service until after the launch of Issue 10.

We estimate that both features, Character Transfer and Character Rename, will carry a transaction fee of $9.99 each per use (there will be no fee for transfers to or renames on the Training Room). Should a Character Transfer have a name conflict on the destination server, a free Character Rename will be made available to resolve the conflict and rename the moving character.

These new features exemplify our commitment to improve the quality of the City of Heroes experience. We feel the price of these features is enough to prevent potential abuse, but also reasonable enough to not be prohibitive for those who want to improve their gaming experience by moving servers or changing a character name.

Get all the details here.

D&D Online : Update 4.2 Searing Heights Release Notes

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has published the release notes for Update 4.2: Searing Heights with content focusing on an all-new CR 4 landscape and the plots of the fiery Sulatar Drow.

The fiery Sulatar drow lay claim to a volcano on the outskirts of Stormreach. Can you stop the Sulatar from unleashing a burning apocalypse on the heroes of Xen'drik?

  • Discover new secrets and enemies in newly revamped Menechtarun desert landscape and the Waterworks adventure area.
  • Wage war against the Sulatar firebinders on an all-new CR 4 landscape.
  • New spells, abilities, and enhancements including Holy Sword and Warchanter.

In the past month, sightings near the Searing Heights volcano of a mysterious drow tribe have increased tenfold. While their intent is still unknown, many of the Marketplace's residents have been victims of sleepless nights, kept awake by tribal chanting and thunderous drums. Those who have seen members of this tribe, report their face covered with distinctive markings. Scholars say these facial tattoos are unique to the long extinct Sulatar tribe, territorial dark elves that have an unnatural infatuation with all things flame and fire. One can only wonder what secrets are to be found within the depths of Searing Height's slumbering volcano.

Read the full release notes here.

General : July 20th, Pre-Registration Last Day

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

SOE has posted a reminder that Friday, July 20th is the last day for Fane Faire pre-registration. Players who pre-register will receive a special in-game item. For EverQuest 2 players this means receiving a cloak with the symbol of the Iksar Empire. For Vanguard Players it's a Gnomish Dancing Crystal.

Still deciding on whether or not to attend this years' Fan Faire in Vegas? Friday, July 20th, is your last chance to take advantage of online pre-registration! As if bragging rights weren't enough, those who pre-register will receive a unique in-game item designed exclusively for Fan Faire attendees!

For players of EverQuest II that means you will receive a cloak with the symbol of the Iksar Empire!

Walk up registration will still be available at the event, but you won't be able to take advantage of the guild group discount. Don't hesitate to take advantage of everything Fan Faire has to offer! Register at the SOE Fan Faire website today!

All attendees are encouraged to mingle with their respective dev team members. The following people from the EverQuest II team will be in attendance, and look forward to mingling with you!

EverQuest II players can read more here.

Vanguard Players can read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies players can read more here.

Vanguard : E3 Update

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Writer Carolyn Koh attended this year's, modified, E3. Now that she's back, she's filing this report on her conversation with the SOE team now working on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and catching up on what's going on now that SOE has control.

At the Barker Hanger in E3 this year, I found Bill Fisher, Senior Game Designer and Adventuring Content Lead at a single lonesome demo station. Bill Fisher came to Vanguard from EQ, has been with Vanguard since day one and stayed with Vanguard. I simply asked him to tell me what was happening at Vanguard.

"We are improving and polishing the game," he said, telling me about the optimizing that has taken and is still taking place. "Players have reported as much as a 20% improvement in frame rate." He went on to list the things they had done. Increasing dedicated Quality Assurance staff, to be sure nothing falls through at patches, and a dedicated Bug Team were two. "We fixed 1,200 bugs in the first 1 ½ weeks after SoE took over the game. Game updates are scheduled for approximately every six weeks, and the ability to construct Guild Halls will come on live very soon."

Read the whole report here.

Godswar : Equipment System

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released information on how the equipment system in Godswar works.

As we all know, equipment attributes have a direct impact on the pace of leveling-up, so the equipment system is very important in the game. The random equipment generation system of GodsWar Online (http://gw.igg.com) is a major feature. Dazzling equipment modeling and unique equipment attracts the attention of many players. Creating his or her own weapon from a rare item, I think it is the wish of every player.

Players can obtain a wide range of equipment in the course of adventure. It is almost impossible to find two identical equipments in Gods War Online. Equipment collection is the core system of the game. Every character has up to 10 blanks for equipment. Players can choose various equipments for their own; some equipment with outstanding capabilities can bring all kinds of dazzling effects, making the player's appearance become extremely eye-catching.

There are four color (red, blue, green and yellow) stones in the game which players can purchase. Corresponding stones can upgrade equipment attributes. If the player has enough high-quality stones and uses them to strengthen equipment, it is certainly to strengthen an ordinary equipment to be a unique and super one.

The random equipment generation system greatly strengthens the gameplay of Gods War Online, Players cannot only upgrade various equipment freely, but also create your individual equipment by yourself. Want to have unique equipment? Gods War Online will give you an unexpected surprise!

For more on Godswar, visit http://gw.igg.com.

Voyage Century Online : Comic Contest Event

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that the Voyage Century Online comic contest is now a permanent event on their forums.

IGG (http://www.igg.com) announced that a comic contest was added as a permanent event in Voyage Century (http://vc.igg.com) Forum. Draw some comic strips of interesting stories in VCO.

Location: Event Zone in VCO Forum

Rules:

  1. All the works should be related to VCO games.
  2. All the works should be original. Plagiarism is prohibited. Entries should be posted to the Event Zone in VCO Forum. You are considered to be participants as long as you set up your post with a subject such as: VCO+ comic strips or the entry will be considered invalid.
  3. Any off-topic post is prohibited. Once found, this post will be deleted directly. Officials will permanently close the player's account if you frequently flood the screen.
  4. One player is allowed to join with one main ID. If someone is found to use many IDs to post, officials will cancel the player's qualification.
  5. VCO officials will field an Event Committee to judge the submitted works. No judge is allowed to join the event.
  6. All works submitted are reserved by IGG.

Rewards: Every round will come out with 2 or 3 splendid works which are probably to be published on our official site and other renowned websites First Round from July,15th to July, 30th: Rewards: Aress Necklace

Read more here.

Tales of Pirates : Summer Carnival Kick-off

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced a series of event to kick off their two month long summer carnival event.

IGG announces that a new large regular summer carnival will start in Tales of Pirates (http://top.igg.com) from July 16, which will lasts for two months, not only to meet our players' need but also to create a wonderful summer holiday for them. Events are varied everyday during this holiday. We will summon more monsters, give away more Top coins and design more new interesting events for you all.

The first round of the events from 16th to 22nd is revealed as bellow:

  • Monday - Mission: Convoy GM
  • Tuesday - Monsters Commotion
  • Wednesday - Life Skill Test
  • Thursday - May Day Card Surprise Exchange
  • Friday - All servers: Double Exp
  • Weekend - Monsters attack

To learn more about all of the events, visit http://top.igg.com.

General : Forum Spotlight: Instancing

Posted Jul 18, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a thread from our forums that discusses instancing in MMORPGs.

This week on the forums, poster Elikal brings up a hot topic in the MMO world - Instances: Taboo or Holy Grail? Citing several games that either embrace instances or avoid them, Elikal poses his question and his own opinion to the MMORPG.com community.

"My first MMO was SWG," states Elikal, "which is quite devoid of instances, which shaped my understanding of a MMO greatly. Then I move to EQ2, which uses instances, but only sparsely. The only game I played which uses a lot of instances was CoH, since all your missions are instances, but as CoH is shaped, you just cant make those missions otherwise, so it wasn't a big deal either."

Read more of this column here.

General : Cryptic Hires John Layman

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios, the makers of the City of Heroes and Villains games as well as the developers of the upcomming Marvel Universe, have announced that they have hired veteran comic book writer John Layman.

California-based MMO developer Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes, Marvel Universe Online) has announced the hiring of veteran comic book and video game writer John Layman as the company's new design writer.

Layman joined the company on June 25, and is currently working on Cryptic Studios' previously announced Marvel Universe Online, a new MMO set in the Marvel Comics universe. The game is currently in development for both the PC and Xbox 360.

Primarily a writer for Marvel Comics on titles such as Gambit, House of M: Fantastic Four, and Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness, Layman has also written for more independent studios such as Image Comics and Oni Press (Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen of Alpha Squad 7). Beyond his comic book credits, Layman also contributed writing to Nintendo's Metroid Prime: Hunters for the Nintendo DS, and Konami's Marvel Trading Card Game for the PSP.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Galactic Senate

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with the announcement of the names of the newly chose Galactic Senate.

Congratulations to the newly appointed Galactic Senate! Over 800 nominations were sent in, and all positions are now filled. Here the community leaders who will serve in the Galactic Senate as a voice for all players..

  • Legacy Senator: Martokk
  • Legacy Senator: BadgerSmaker
  • Legacy Senator: Elyssa
  • Beast Master Senator: KrackenOne
  • Bounty Hunter Senator: TuCheck
  • Commando Senator: MasterCosmo
  • Entertainer Senator: Boscohark
  • Jedi Senator: ArkonPhoenix
  • Medic Senator: PhiberOptic

Thank you to everyone who sent in a nomination! The Senate will begin its business in short order.

View the full list of Senators here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-earth: Gramsfoot

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar official site has been updated with another look at some of the unique locations that have been created by the LotRO development team. This time the focus is on the fortress of Gramsfoot, a major stronghold of the army of Angmar, and the starting location for monster play.

Mount Gram, nestled at the northwestern edge of the Ettenmoors in the Misty Mountains, has long been an abode of goblins, though their greatest king, Golfimbul, was defeated and slain by Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took at the Battle of the Greenfields hundreds of years ago. Lying at the border of Angmar, Mount Gram has again become a fortress-kingdom of terrible power. Orcs, wargs, goblins, trolls, and other evil creatures now muster there to begin an invasion of Eriador.

The fortress of Gramsfoot is a heavily guarded stronghold at the base of Mount Gram, nearly invulnerable to attack. As the army of Angmar presses southward under the command of War-tyrant Akúlhun, it is here that the power of Angmar can be felt the strongest in the Ettenmoors. Cruel Akúlhun is prepared to sweep through the Ettenmoors and Trollshaws and raze Rivendell to the ground . . . if he can defy the Power that resides in the Hidden Valley.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : New Server-Side Spam Filtering

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at EverQuest 2 have announced that they have added a new server-side spam filtering tool to help reduce the number of spam messages that players receive while they play.

The EQII live servers were hot fixed with a new server-side spam filtering tool today. The purpose of this filter is, predictably, to reduce the number of spam messages you receive while playing the game. To ensure that there is no confusion about the new filtering tool, we would like to share some information about how it will affect your gameplay.

The new system will review messages sent, at the server level, and flag the messages that have been identified as spam. These messages will be contained and will not go through to the recipient in their initial form.

Get all the details here.

Guild Wars : Eye of the North Prerelease July 20th

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet and NCsoft have released new details about the release date and features of the prerelease bonus pack for Guild Wars: Eye of the North, including access to the sneak peek weekend in August, and access to special weapons.

Bellevue, WA., July 17, 2007--NCsoft® and ArenaNet® announced today that the prerelease bonus pack for Guild Wars: Eye of the NorthTM is set to arrive on retailer's shelves on July 20 and will include a host of compelling features, including exclusive in-game items and access to the Guild Wars: Eye of the North Sneak Peek Weekend set for later this summer.

The Guild Wars: Eye of the North prerelease bonus pack will be available from retailers in North America and Europe as well as at the NCsoft store at PlayNC.com and via the Official Guild Wars online store.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North is the first ever expansion to the subscription-free Guild Wars franchise of fantasy online roleplaying games, which will be released to the public on August 31, 2007. This expansion will provide new content accessible to players who have any of the previously released Guild Wars campaigns (Guild Wars, Guild Wars: FactionsTM, or Guild Wars: NightfallTM).

Players who pre-order Guild Wars: Eye of the North will gain access to the Sneak Peek Weekend, August 24-26, 2007, where they will be able to log into the game for a first look at Eye of the North. Players will be able to explore the Far Shiverpeaks region of the world, home of the barbaric Norn. Everything players obtain during the Sneak Peek Weekend, including items, XP, Heroes, and loot, will be permanent and available when the expansion goes live.

Read the full release here.

Aion : E3 Update

Posted Jul 17, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Writer Carolyn Koh took the time to drop by this year's E3 in California. Today, she brings us a report on NCsoft's Aion.

"No photos pleas," we were told, then reminded again as we sat down. This was NCSoft's 20 minute Aion presentation. Pronounced "Ion" not "A-on" we had Brian Knox, QA Lead speaking and Yong-Taek Bae, International Business Liaison running the demo. Aion is an original MMORPG developed in conjunction by both the Korea US studios of NCSoft. We got a glimpse of it at E3 2006 and the graphics were impressive - stunning even, but it was not far along enough to qualify for a vote as we were not sure if the movie shown was in-game footage or generated for marketing. What I saw was indeed beautiful.

The world of Aion resembles a globe that has been torn in half. The lower half is the world of the Elyos, a lush green world as it receives the benefit of sunlight. The upper half is the world of the Asmodians. Dark, cold and arid. In Eons past, the two halves were joined vertically by the Tower of Eternity and the Elyos and Asmodians were one people, but when the tower was destroyed in the 1000 year war, the factions turned on each other and blamed the other for its destruction. The PvP happens between the Dark (Asmodians) and the Light (Elyos). That is not to say Evil against Good, but we humans are simplistic creatures and that's what it will devolve to in most player's minds.

Read the whole report here.

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