Dan Fortier returns this week for a special Friday edition of MMOWTF. This time around, Dan tackles the idea of player created mods and the possibilities for MMORPG gaming.
Once again that evil taskmaster Stradden has tasked me to continue my attempts at a coherent article. When he wasn't looking, I crumpled up the draft he approved and snuck this into the "Throughly proofread and Sanitized" bin. Only time will tell if this makes it to your monitor though. What kind of vile and horrific material would be worth the horrible beating with Canadian Bacon I will no doubt take for releasing it to you? Use your scroll wheel to find out if you dare!
Read the whole column here.
In advance of the third birthday of City of Heroes, NCsoft has released a press release reminding everyone of the celebration and bringing us some interesting statistics about the game.
This weekend gaming fans are celebrating the third birthday of City of Heroes, the massively multiplayer game that continues to be one of the most successful comic book-based PC games on the market.
City of Heroes, developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCsoft, was released on April 28, 2004, and since then, the game has expanded substantially by building a loyal and growing player base while adding huge chunks of free content to subscribers. In the coming weeks, NCsoft will release another major, free expansion to City of Heroes, marking the ninth such expansion along with the release of the companion game, City of Villains. City of Heroes has set new standards for MMOGs with a break from the traditional medieval fantasy setting and providing character customization that is unmatched in the gaming industry.
During the first three years of the game, more than 24 million characters have been created in City of Heroes and City of Villains with more than 102,000 of those characters reaching level 50, the game's top tier. The game is also renowned for its ease of cooperative role-playing, resulting in the creation of more than 654,000 super groups, and the building of more than 66,000 super group bases.
Additionally, NCsoft has determined that of the 24 million characters created:
27 percent of the hero characters created were blasters, making it the most popular hero archetype.
26 percent of the villain characters created were Masterminds, making it the most popular villain.
32 percent of the characters with travel powers chose flight, followed by super jump at 28 percent, super speed at 25 percent and teleport at 14 percent.
Fueling the game's economy is the more than 3 trillion influence (the game's currency) in circulation, which will play an important part of the new crafting system and auction houses being added with the upcoming release of "Issue 9: Breakthrough," the game's next content expansion.
NCsoft has recently released a new retail game pack, the "Good Versus Evil Edition" which includes both City of Hereos and City of Villains and is now available at retailers across North America.
For more on City of Heroes click here.
MMORPG.com's Community Manager, Laura Genender, writes this editorial exploring the world of guilds and game content in MMORPGs.
The massively multiplayer online world is not geared toward the solo player. To a certain extent, it's logical: time is progress and multiple players can contribute more time; the tougher encounters have greater rewards, but take more power to conquer. And why have thousands of players congregated in a world if they aren't going to spend time together?
Read the whole article here.
Dungeons and Dragons Online will be holding a series of in game events based on a traditional Halfling game called "Hide and Seek" starting tonight on Mabar and Aundair and heading on to other servers over the course of the next week.
A common misconception is that Hide & Seek is a child's game. In actuality, Hide & Seek originated as a training method in the Halfling tribes in the Talenta Plains. One warrior would hide while others would hunt for them in a test designed to hone skills, sharpen senses, and make everyone who participated a better hunter.
Recently the Coin Lords summoned Sir Lawrence and lamented the fact that many of the new heroes arriving in Stormreach have lost much of their training since the Last War ended. To help keep the new heroes' skills properly honed, Sir Lawrence has decided to bring back the old Halfling training game to Stormreach! Sir Lawrence will use a teleport stone to travel to any public location available to the citizens of Stormreach. Work as a team or on your own - if you find him, you (and your team) will receive a Scepter of Siberys!
Get all the details here.
SOE has announced that they have updated the Fan Faire Website with information and details about the event, including a schedule of events, and details about reduced admission fees and guild rates.
The SOE Fan Faire website has been updated with new information and details! If you haven't visited the updated website yet, now is the perfect time to head on over and see what's new.
This years Fan Faire will be held in Los Vegas from August 2 - 5. If you have yet to attend a Fan Faire and are on the fence, you can check out the links to prior Fan Faire's and see what you've been missing. It's going to be a good time, so check out all the new information.
Visit the SOE Fan Faire website here.
SEGA has announced in a press release that they will be launching an expansion to Phantasy Star Universe. The new expansion is titled Ambition of the Illuminus and will be available for download and in stores in the autumn of 2007.
SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (April 26, 2007) - SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that Phantasy Star™ Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus, will be available for download on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and in stores for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and PCs in Fall 2007. Phantasy Star™ Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus is the expansion to the epic sci-fi action role-playing game, Phantasy Star Universe. Gamers can now experience the wonders of the Gurhal System through the eyes of a personalized avatar - whether tackling quests online with a party of up to six adventurers, or fighting through the next chapters of the exciting story missions that started its single player experience in the original Phantasy Star Universe.
Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus allows gamers to experience an even richer and more varied Phantasy Star experience. Players will explore exciting new levels, such as the Ruins of Old Rozenom City and the subterranean Granigs Mines, where they will encounter new and more powerful enemy types and bosses, and master additional versatile class types.
The expansion further enriches the online Phantasy Star Universe experience with newly created and enhanced gameplay and customization features. Players can commune in new and expanded lobby areas filled with colorful decorations and music, including the new Casino Voloyal where roulette and slots can earn players special casino-only items. Character and weapon customization is even deeper with the introduction of a slew of new weapon types, armor, Photon Arts, and clothing. Also, each Guardian's individual Room is upgraded with far greater options for customization. A new grid system allows players to decorate the walls and place new interactive items and furniture anywhere they want in the Room.
Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus continues the exciting single player action-RPG storyline as a new Human Fundamentalist group, known as the Illuminus, disrupts the peaceful Gurhal System throwing the Gurhal Government into chaos. Using their custom-made Guardian, players investigate a series of single-player missions where they will meet familiar characters like Ethan Waber from Episode 1, and other new characters including GUARDIAN instructor, Laia Martinez.
Since its introduction in 1988, Phantasy Star has revolutionized the RPG genre by creating new standards through innovative gameplay as well as being the first console RPG to offer an online experience in Phantasy Star Online. This new installment also expands the popular online adventure of its predecessor and continues the quest for peace in the Gurhal System.
Read more here.
On the 23rd of April, Carolyn Koh attended one of five launch parties being held across the United States to celebrate the launch of Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. The party was held, appropriately, at GameStop.
Monday April 23rd, 2007. The launch of Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO) was due at midnight for the 24th and Turbine was hosting a launch party at the GameStop here in Bellevue Square, Bellevue Washington as well as in four other cities across the USA.
The festivities started earlier with a dinner for fans organized by IGN and some showed up in costume for the launch event. For midnight on a Monday night, the fan turnout was gratifying for the staff of both Turbine and GameStop.
"This is awesome!" exclaimed Meghan Rodberg, Community Manager for LotRO. "This is a great turnout for the middle of the night on a Monday," as she surveyed the crowd milling around, talking and examining the bags of swag they received with their receipts of for the game.
Read the whole report here.
Due to a series of miscommunications as a result of my recent business trip to Europe (from which I have just returned), The MMORPG.com editorial staff feels that the launch-day review of Lord of the Rings Online was categorized incorrectly. As a result, while we will not be removing the article, we will be removing the associated scores and will be changing the name to "European First Look", which more accurately reflects the article in question.
MMORPG.com will be posting a new review for Lord of the Rings Online within the next month, after the reviewer has had more ample opportunities to explore Middle Earth in its launched form. For those who may be wondering, this was an internal editorial decision and was not requested or suggested by any sources outside of MMORPG.com and its members.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Jon "Stradden" Wood
Managing Editor, MMORPG.com
The Vanguard official site has update with information on the Riftway, a series of portals linking the remote corners of Telon.
A forgotten power has returned to Telon. Ancient riftstones have come to life with their potent magic having been lost since the days of the Cataclysm. Channeling great energies from altars scattered across the world travelers are now able to venture forth via interlinking networks spanning all of Telon... Welcome to the Riftway!
The Riftway is divided into three separate networks; these networks are connected through riftstones located at altars all around the world. Not all altars have active riftstones, however.
In order to use the Riftway you must have a riftway shard in your inventory, these shards can be found on any general goods vendor and are relatively inexpensive.
Once you have purchased a shard you must establish a link between at least two riftstones on the same network. In order to activate a riftstone for future use you must travel to its location and click on it. Once you have at least two riftstones active you may travel between them, each time you travel you lose one riftway shard.
Read about the history of the Riftway and how to use it here.
EA Mythic has announced in the Warhammer Online Newsletter the opening of the Warhammer Online Guild Beta Application page.
Are you passionate? Are you ready for WAR? Are you prepared to play in a version of the Warhammer world that needs your help to be the best that it can be?
Then talk amongst yourselves, choose your leaders, and wish them the best as they fill out your guild's application by the May 4th deadline. We'll post the chosen guilds in the June newsletter. Filling out this application does not guarantee a spot in the beta. Instead, we're going to use the applications to choose a wide range of guilds. From the biggest armies to the closest clans, from the all-night raiders to the once-a-weekers, we are looking for the most passionate guilds on the internet to help us test and refine WAR.
This application is for guild participation only. We'll have more information about the WAR Beta and general sign-ups in next month's newsletter.
Good luck to all who apply!
Read more and apply here.
Eudemons Online has announced that they will hold an event to give players free EPs through monster hunting starting on April 27th until the 29th.
Eudemons Points (EPs)
Want to purchase a rare item, but cannot afford the required Eps? Need more Eps for free?
Here is another precious chance for you to obtain free Eps. All monsters may drop Eps this weekend. The more monsters you kill, the more Eps you may obtain. Do not miss this chance to obtain free EPs as many as possible.
Bring your family and friends! It will be much more fun to play with them. Enjoy a nice weekend and many Eps!
Get all the details here.
GuildCafe and Uberguilds Gaming Network have announced in a recent press release that they will be joining forces.
GuildCafe, the social networking site for gamers, by gamers, today announced its partnership with the Uberguilds Gaming Network. Uberguilds is an online host for leading guilds and fansites across the MMO community. GuildCafe will be the social networking engine for the Uberguilds network, which boasts well-known guilds including Silky Venom, Fires of Heaven, and Death and Taxes, and receives more than 20 million page views every month within its member sites.
"The Uberguilds Gaming Network is home to some of the most dedicated MMO fans around, and as a newer online community, GuildCafe is proud to be selected as Uberguilds' partner in an effort to serve those fans even better," said Jon Radoff, CEO of GuildCafe Entertainment Inc. "We hope to offer all guilds tools to empower their members to meet the social, administrative and communication demands of running organizations that span hundreds of people, many of whom have never met and are located around the globe."
Using input from some of the largest guilds in the world, the companies will create content and software that enriches the online gaming experience for all players. Already, gamers may use GuildCafe to locate the highest-rated gaming content from the network as well as from the Internet, such as strategy guides and videos of raid bosses vanquished by member guilds. As the community evolves, members can expect to interact with veteran online gamers and guilds and use their knowledge and experience to enhance their own successful gaming groups.
For more information, click here.
EA Mythic announced in the Warhammer Online Newsletter that they have decided to delay the release of the game until the first quarter of 2008.
It's been an interesting year for us at EA Mythic, a year filled with new challenges, new opportunities and of course, a year filled with WAR! We have watched Warhammer Online become one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs in the world as it garners praise from the press, earns kudos from the community and receives enthusiastic support from our partners and friends at Games Workshop. I'm happy to say that the task of bringing WAR to life is going well here at EA Mythic. However, we have important news to share and as always, we want you, the WAR community, to be the first to know.
We have made the decision to move our ship date for the US and Europe to the first quarter of 2008. (Release dates for Asia will be announced at a later date.) Since our acquisition by EA, we have been afforded many wonderful development opportunities and we plan to take full advantage of everything that is available. This includes taking several additional months to make the best MMORPG possible.
At this time we have completed most of the work on our first racial pairing - Dwarfs and Greenskins - and the team is now building Empire and Chaos. These new zones really kick butt and the team did a fantastic job of incorporating the feel of war and Warhammer into these areas. This racial pairing is the embodiment of all that I hoped for when we made the decision to partner with GW.
However, when we looked back at our work on the Dwarf and Greenskin pairing, we could not say the same thing. While these areas were good, they were not great and glorious. We have always said that WAR was going to be great and we will not settle for anything less. So the team has gone back to our initial pairing and conducted an intense review of their work. They have implemented new ideas and applied all that they have learned over the past nine months. What has already emerged from this dedicated time of focused polish is nothing short of spectacular. In the Dwarf and Greenskin zones there is now more war, more Warhammer, and more of what makes WAR great.
By extending our development time, we'll be able to do these in-depth reviews several times prior to launch to ensure all areas of WAR benefit from the experience of ongoing development. EA is totally supportive of our decision and are behind us 100%. We all believe WAR will be the next great MMORPG and being part of EA affords us the time we need to make it so. It is EA's ongoing commitment to quality that will allow us, and other EA studios, to deliver great games, now and in the future.
This change to our ship date is probably not the news you were hoping to hear. In the end, we'll be able to reward your patience with a truly next-generation MMORPG that will make GW proud, all of us at EA thrilled and most importantly, you, the players, as happy as a Black Orc in battle. We only get one chance at a successful launch, and we plan to catapult this one over the walls of Altdorf.
Read more about Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning click here.
On April 27th City of Heroes turns three years old and in honor of the occasion they're throwing a party, giving fans a chance to celebrate with the NCsoft Community and Cryptic Development Teams.
Three years ago City of Heroes exploded into the Online Gaming scene! Countless hours and many thousands of players later it is still going strong!
To commemorate this milestone, we invite you to join us on the Training Room test server April 27th to party with the NCsoft Community and Cryptic Development Teams.
Here are the details:
What: Official 3rd Year City of Heroes Anniversary Party
When: April 27th, 4pm to 8pm Pacific (7pm to 11pm Eastern)
Where: Training Room Test Server - for details to connect, See this post!
Costume Theme: 'Secret Identity' - Dress like your alter ego!
Read more about the celebration here.
Final Fantasy XI has announced on their official site that they have banned 3,400 accounts and suspended 500 more for using cheats and real money trading.
We would like to report the termination today of multiple accounts held by players involved in the usage of third-party tools or cheats, or engaged in RMT (Real Money Trading) activities.
We would like to remind players that as well as adversely affecting game balance, the use of third-party tools or cheats can also have consequences that are not immediately obvious, such as introducing damaging viruses, and comprising the security of private account details. Usage of third-party tools will not be tolerated within FINAL FANTASY XI, and we will continue to severely penalize any players found to be in violation of the PlayOnline Member Agreement.
As we continue to ensure a fun and balanced environment for FINAL FANTASY XI, we hope that our players enjoy the game as it was intended and take care to avoid involvement in activities that violate the PlayOnline Member Agreement.
Read the full story here.
Every now and then, we like to take a look at an RPG that has some kind of multiplayer function. Even though they may not be classified as true MMORPGs, they can sometimes provide a fun and interesting diversion. In this article, Hasani Davis takes a look at Two Worlds, a new RPG out of Germany.
I had the opportunity to stop by the studio and see an Alpha run of South Peak Games TWO WORLDS. As always, I will cut to the chase, this game is 100% next generation RPG. The game world has very high end graphics as well as world effects. It is still in Alpha and already, in my opinion, this game has set the pace for the pack and is the new "ten" standard to measure all other RPGs against.
Two Worlds is created by Thought Pump, a gaming company based out of Poland who created games such as Earth 2160. They are making the jump to the RPG market on both the XBox and PC with Two Worlds. The game will cater to most player desires. You can play a single player story mode with a highly reactive world that changes according to what decisions you make in the game. Or you can play in a group setting linking up with 8 people for Xbox. If you are running it on the PC, you can open the MMO feature up to hundreds of friends and foes alike. So far, only the human race is the story mode race, but there are many races you can choose from. Orcs, dwarves, Groms (think barbarian trolls), Elves, and serpent men which move around on just tails and have no legs!
Check out the entire article here.
Guild Wars is turning 2 and Guild wars factions is turning 1, and to honor the occasion they're throwing a party. There will be games of chance and tests of skill, and of course it wouldn't be a birthday party without cake.
April 28 marks the two-year anniversary of Guild Wars (original Prophecies campaign) as well as the one-year anniversary of Guild Wars Factions, and what an exciting two years it has been! With three campaigns available and an expansion on the way, Guild Wars has developed into a successful game enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide.
We owe that success to you--our fans. Your loyal support over the last two years has made Guild Wars what it is today, and we'd like to thank you by holding a special birthday celebration in your honor!
The event will take place over the weekend of April 27 to April 29, and will be open to characters from all three campaigns. Come celebrate with us and enjoy a weekend of games, special treats, and birthday surprises!
Join the party here.
K2 Network has announced that they will be adding a Battle Soccer League to MU Online. Sports in MMOs sounds like a fun idea, and takes advantage of the massively multiplayer element of the medium, which begs the question, why aren't in-game sporting leagues more common in MMOs?
IRVINE, Calif. - (April 25, 2007) - MUtizens Prepare! K2 Network, Inc. (www.k2network.net), an online game publisher, today announced that the Battle Soccer League, a unique Global MU Online event, will kick-off on May 1st, 2007. Players' guilds will be able register on the official site www.globalmuonline.com starting this week to participate in the tournament.
To participate in the Battle Soccer League, players must be part of a guild and above level 50. Each team will comprise five players, captained by their Guild Master. All games will take place in the Battle Soccer Arena with the winning team determined by the first to score 100 points. One point is awarded for killing a player, two for a Guild Master and twenty for a goal. The winning team will be awarded with an exclusive Chaos Weapon for each team player, with the runner-up team being rewarded with a Jewel set for each player.
"Soccer is the world's most popular global sport, so we felt it was only fair that it was represented in the world of Global MU Online," said producer Ricardo Mendoza. "The Battle Soccer League is a unique event that will allow Mutizens to compete against rival guilds' to win some great prizes, in a battle to the death."
Read all about it here.
BBC News has run an interesting story about World of Warcraft, discussing virtual trading and gold selling, and the controversy surrounding the issue.
World of Warcraft is a gaming phenomenon, with more than eight million people playing around the world and tens of millions of pounds being earned in revenue each month. But for some this is more business opportunity than leisure pursuit.
The game has its own version of eBay in which players can buy or sell weapons and armour to make their characters more powerful. But just like eBay you need money to buy things - in this case the game's currency is gold.
That gold can be earned by doing jobs like mining or collecting herbs. These jobs aren't difficult but can take a very long time. And that means the game's players are split - between those who can play a lot and generate their own cash, and those who work and don't have the same time to devote to the game.
People who work full time can feel penalised by the system, since it's harder for them to compete. But there is a solution - they can buy their gold for real money.
Read the full article here.