The Auction System in Voyage Century is nearing completion and IGG has announced that they are looking for volunteers to help test the system.
The VCO auction system program is being written according to our schedule, and we are expected to have it completed in late February. We are now recruiting voluntary testers for the upcoming auction system. We welcome all players to sign up for it. (If you miss the period below for signing up, you still have the chance to sign up for testing the system before the auction begins.)
Sign up period: 2008/2/1-2008/2/15
Sign up place: forum of VCO website
Sign up requirements:
Players who meet any one of the requirements below are eligible to sign up to test the auction system:
- 30000 Mall Credits or above
- 1500 Forum Karma or above
Read more here.
Today, NetDevil's Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer submoits this new developer journal looking at the user interface in the upcoming Jumpgate Evolution.
Most developers are well aware that user interface can break a product. Sadly, it doesn't usually "make" a product. Players don't often think, "Wow. This UI is really well-executed!" If the UI is really well-executed, it's most likely that players hardly notice it at all. The trouble happens when the interface gets in the players' way, or is found inadequate. A game can be beautiful and have great features, but if the interface annoys, irritated players tend to simply pick something else to play.
Obviously, user interface has to be taken very seriously during development, which can require quite a significant investment of time and effort. Every feature needs a good interface, but there's a seeming infinity of presentation methods. How should we as developers decide how to build each interface component? There's certainly more than one way to approach the problem, but for Jumpgate Evolution, our team has elected where possible to let the players themselves guide us.
For a game that hasn't been released, such a pronouncement might sound ridiculous, but we're working to accomplish this very goal from three different directions. First of all, we're driven by the need to make the displays and controls very accessible and easy to use. Information must be available where and when the player needs it. Key choices must be practically self-evident. Frustration must be minimized, especially in the first fifteen minutes of play, when the new player is deciding whether the game is interesting or not. To learn how to do this, we test very frequently, in focused sessions lasting about fifteen minutes, using someone who has never seen the game before. We watch everything they do, asking them to tell us what they are thinking about as they do it. This teaches us what they are trying to do, where they are looking, and what they are, astonishingly enough, not seeing. We have found repeatedly that even though the information a player needs may be there, placed in a very obvious way from the designer's point of view, the player still may completely miss it. As UI designers, watching these tests can be brutal, agonizing, even maddening. Our response to the input that comes from the tests, though, is really simple. When the tests show us that things are being missed, we change those things. In this manner, many parts of our user interface are being adjusted every week, as we strive to make sure that needed information is clear and noticeable, and that it ceases to be intrusive when it's not needed. We’ve already gone through three major design iterations as well as scores, possibly even hundreds, of minor adjustments and it's not finished yet. Nearly every day we change some part of the UI again, little by little moving closer to our stringent accessibility goals.
Read it here.
Gala-Net has announced the release of the open beta client for Vesion 11 of Flyff, which will see the return of the PvP System and Guild Siege, and the addition of the Collector System, Item Awakening, a new continent, and more.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Jan. 24, 2008 - Flyff Version 11, "The Awakening", revisits many elements from previous versions of Flyff in addition to implementing a wealth of exciting new content. Some elements from Flyff's past that veteran players will quickly remember and gravitate towards are the reinstatement of the PVP System and Guild Siege. Players can finally determine who is truly the best of the best. Some of the content new to V11 includes the Collector System, Item Awakening, a new continent, and many subtle and obvious modifications to the world of Madrigal. The new collecting system will attract both players with "collector" mentalities and those that love treasure hunting. Item Awakening, another new feature to V11, provides players a means to awaken the dormant potential of an item; allowing for a diverse array of armor and weaponry to enter the game. The new continent, Azria, is accessible by way of a special pass. It is home to several new creatures, level 70 and up, and provides the player a bonus to experience points gained.
Flyff's producer Yoon Im had this to say about V11, "We've been steadily keeping an ear to our player base. The official Flyff forums provided us a candid look into our players' various perspectives, and we took the criticism to heart. We worked hand-in-hand with our developers to bring you V11, the best and most complete version of Flyff to date."
V11 "The Awakening" has an abundance of material for the whole Flyff community. New comers can enjoy the vast world of Madrigal and experience all the content from Flyff's previous versions while veteran players can explore V11's wealth of rich, new content and participate in the many new activities and events. Furthermore, players both old and new will benefit from the diverse, new set of items being introduced into the economy. Many of the new sets can either be farmed or purchased in-game with rewards earned from events. Users will be able to download the beta client starting today from http://flyff.gpotato.com/?m=version11&a=index.
Read more here.
Seven new images have been added to out Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar screenshot gallery.
To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.
NCsoft has released the extensive patch notes for the most recent Tabula Rasa patch.
- Cloning now resets your attribute points as well as your skill points.
- The maximum number of concurrent auctions for a character is now 30.
- Several items that had lower-than-normal stats were changed to reflect the proper item rarity. This may have resulted in a change in your character’s armor appearance. For example, if you had a purple item with lower stats then a blue item, then the purple item will now have proper stats and a new look!
- Health has now been upped for all characters.
- Added new Operation: Sanctus Grotto. This Operation will be available 1/25/08 on the Test Server.
- The option to show/hide the helmet on all of your characters has been added to the options under game->appearance.
- Torden Plains TOO kill 100 nitroglazers has been changed to kill 50 nitroglazers. For the next patch, 1.5 it will be changed to 50 Shield Drones instead.
Read it all here.
Codemasters has announced several employment opportunities for English, French or German speaking Game Masters for their support site in Dusseldorf, Germany.
We're looking for more GMs!
Do you want an exciting career working in online gaming? If you have bags of gaming experience with strong customer service skills then this could be the job for you! We're expanding our GM team and are looking for good people to join our team.
We need people who:
• Have excellent customer service skills
• Have strong online gaming experience
• Are fluent in English, German or French (preferably a native speaker)
• Have the desire to join a fast-paced, exciting and highly dynamic team
Codemasters Online is currently recruiting English, French or German speaking Game Masters to work at our Germany-based support site in Dusseldorf.
Read more here.
IGG has announced that the Totem Skirmish, a form of PvP, has been opened for players in Angels Online.
The Angels Online (ao.igg.com) Totem Skirmish has been opened to players, now the Totem Battle will be coming soon. During the Totem Battle, players will fight for their league and glory. IGG’s AO team will make a detailed introduction about the League involved in the Totem Battle.
In the Totem Battle, every league will defend their totem, which stands for their power, against others need to seize the totem. Along with growing of the league, more players will be attracted to join. Meanwhile the league safe box will be open to players, and players can donate resources to the safe box so as to improve the league’s reputation.
Speaking of reputation, players who choose production as their class play a significant role in improving the leagues reputation, because only they can collect resources. So the more these players are in a league, the quicker this league’s reputation will be improved. Players who choose to fight and wield magic as their class play a pivotal role in PVP during the Totem Battle.
When players’ contributions reach level 3, they can found their own leagues by finding the League Clerk (NPC) in each city and paying him 80,000 coins.
Read more here.
NetDevil has announced that they have partnered with Codmasters to publish Jumpgate Evlolution in Europe and North America.
Codemasters Online have today unveiled their next generation MMORPG set for release in 2008, Jumpgate. Developed by the US-based experienced MMOG developer NetDevil, Jumpgate is a space-based MMO incorporating all-new action style gameplay like never seen before in any previous online game.
‘We are very pleased to be working with NetDevil to release this exciting project across North America & Europe. Jumpgate brings something new and fresh to the online persistent space,” commented David Solari, Vice President, Codemasters Online. “The all-action approach and thrilling, twitch-based space combat really sets it apart from other MMOs in the market and we are very much looking forward to releasing this space epic in late 2008.”
Read more here.
The Delving of Frór is a new area that will be introduced to the Ettenmoors of Lord of the Rings Online with Book 12: The Ashen Wastes. To help familiarize players with this new area, Turbine has published an introduction to this new region.
In ages long past, dwarves delved throughout the Misty Mountains and there drew forth precious ore from the land. At the foot of those mountains, beneath the shadow of what is now called Mount Gram, is one such delving - The Delving of Frór.
Long before the Men of Rhudaur made the land now called the Ettenmoors their home, the dwarves who lived there carved deep beneath the mountains. The Delving of Frór was mined to exhaustion and abandoned for many years until the Men of Rhudaur arrived and themselves discovered its depths. The Men of Rhudaur eventually fell under the sway of the Witch-king, and Angmar demanded that they build subterranean holdings meant to serve as defenses against the forces of Cardolan and Arthedain. The Rhudauran complied, and built small holdings in the abandoned mines.
Read more here.
News Manager Keith Cross recently had the opportunity to take an early look at Module 6: The Thirteenth Eclipse for Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Today, he files this report on the new module as well as a quick look at the game since launch.
My journey through the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online began with a picture book tour of the game as it stands right now, up to module 5. I was briefly teleported to a number of different regions to see a snapshot of what each previous module added to the game, and how the game has evolved into its current incarnation. When DDO first launched, there were several things that seemed like they were missing. The game had plenty of dungeons, but where were the dragons? ‘Dragons’ is right there in the title, so one would think they should be there. And there’s an ampersand in the title too but I didn’t see any of those running around in the game either.
My guides explained the reasoning for the lack of dragons at first. Dragons are tough. They’re not really a fair challenge to lower level characters unless you water them down a bit. But watering down wasn’t an option for Turbine because they had decided to go with the 3rd Edition D&D philosophy that dragons were special. You won’t meet a dragon in a random encounter, and each dragon is unique, with their own name and powers. Their name is in the title after all, so it makes sense that they’re among the fiercest foes in the game. The first dragons that players could battle were added with module 4. A trio of young chromatic dragons that looked like they’d jumped straight from the pages of the Monster Manual.
Capturing the look and flavor of 3rd Edition D&D is something Turbine has done very well. During the initial tour we ran into several other classic D&D opponents, such as the Marilith and a Beholder with a spectral template, and they each looked exactly like pen and paper counterparts. The artistic devotion to D&D’s core books continues in Module 6, and I was excited to see Gnolls (a personal favorite) and a variety of Devils done in a style so true to the original sources.
Read the whole thing here.
Today, the folks at Tabula Rasa released a video highlighting the new hybrid races that are coming to the action-packed MMORPG, along with a Q&A from Lead Designer Paul Sage.
Can you explain how the concept of hybrids came about? What made you decide to put them in the game?
Community feedback had a lot to do with this. Richard felt strongly that the story of Tabula Rasa was a human story. Throughout the history of his games, it has been about the player actually being in the world. So it seemed natural that at launch we told the human story. The internal and external community feedback was that they wanted to play alien races as well. So now it is time to tell the story, still human, but with a twist, or a splice, if you prefer, of alien DNA.
NCsoft has released this video featuring the new hybrid race system.
Check it all out here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
My question is, I have tested this against another character, how come I have not seen an elemental proc? I have however, been getting random debuffs on the bot (ABS, Constitution, Strength, Dexterity, etc) but it is not listed as a delve proc. Is the delve information wrong? Or is the coding for the correct proc on the weapon wrong?
A. The Bearded Wonder looked into this for us, and here's what he discovered: The debuffs are courtesy of the (invisible) Elemental that is summoned. You don't actually see the spirit elemental as it exists on a plane outside of ours, but you can see the effect it has on your target.
Q. How exactly does Camouflage work, and does it totally negate the effects of Mastery of Stealth when it is up towards other archers?
A. Yes, Camouflage blocks the detection range bonus from 'Mastery of Stealth'. Assassins and Archers will rely on innate detection range against an Archer using camouflage. The Balancinator has spoken.
Read more here.
Funcom recorded a Q&A session at a recent press event in Oslo and they have made the video available on the Age of Conan official site.
As you may have heard, we did a press event last week and invited selected sites from the community and press to join us here in our headquarters in Oslo.Part of this event was a long (roughly 2 hours!) Q&A with the developers on Friday and, for this Friday, we’re pleased to release the first installment. This 25 minute video covers stealth, spellweaving and other magical goodies, female characters, and the always touchy subject of loot, answering several of the most-frequently-asked questions from our forums.
Keep in mind, this is just the first installment, and we’ll be releasing more next week, so stay tuned!
Find out more here.
Vanguard is getting ready to celebrate it's first anniversary, and they have announced gifts for the inhabitants of Telon.
On January 30th, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is celebrating its one year anniversary! For those of you who have been traveling the world of Telon, you'll be in for a special treat!
All players will be able to choose one of three bags, representing each sphere of the game. Choose wisely, as you will only be able to claim a single bag per account.
Avarem's Messenger Bag
This is the bag of Avarem, famed messenger of Telon. His swift feet made him a legend in the realm of delivery.
Equipping this bag will increase your run speed.
Silius' Enchanted Utility Pouch
A bag used by the master crafter Silius. Said to be a sadist, Silius' insatiable hunger for crafting made him a legend in the world of Telon. Some even say this bag is made from the skin of crafters which is why it seems to enhance the base attributes of the person wearing it.
Equipping this pouch will increase your crafting attributes.
Read more here.
A look at what's on the way for EverQuest II's Game Update 42 has been posted on the EQ2 official site.
Game Update 42 is looming, and I'm really quite excited about the amount of content that will be released. This is a large chunk of new stuff, and I know you'll find it just as engaging as I do. Here are some of the highlights:
1) We have the deities returning with renewed strength, and additional members…The Tribunal, Karana, and Bertoxxolous. You will find these encounters even more challenging than ever!
2) Also coming in this update are the new mannequins, which will allow you to show off your armor and weapons inside your house. If you're anxious to get one of these, be sure to touch base with your local crafting expert, who will be filling orders soon.
3) Searching for items that you care about on the broker will become much easier, as we have implemented the ability to search for items by the effect name on the item.
4) We've added a new Pet Options window to allow you to set your pet name, hide status and how they'll act around you.
Read more here.
ArenaNet has announced that the Bonus Mission Pack is now available.
With the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack, you play through four pivotal moments in Guild Wars history and earn rare weapon rewards—some of the best-looking gear in the game!
- Gather unique rewards as you play a key figure in the Battle of Jahai and go up against Palawa Joko and his undead army.
- Experience Cantha's turbulent past when you bear witness to events in the violent Tengu Wars.
- Learn firsthand how the White Mantle rose to power in Kryta.
- And, finally, discover what became of Gwen after the Charr invaded her home, and the Searing destroyed everything she'd ever known.
Read more here.
The developers responsible for Battleground Europe: World War II Online have released the patch notes for the version 22.214.171.124 update that went live on January 22nd.
Unity 1.5 Graphics Engine Update:
- Frame rate and stutter performance are dramatically improved in this release.
- Improved terrain loading
- Reduced memory footprint
- Improved collision code
- Improved OpenGL state handling
- Vehicle hulks now queue for loading
- All ground and air vehicles now have historical looking markings
- These markings are per brigade
- Each player will also have an identifying mark based on their game name (these are not globally unique)
- For a complete list see the WWIIOL Wiki
Check out all of the notes here.