Managing Editor Jon Wood recently had a gaming experience that left a bad taste in his mouth, and he has chosen to share that flavor with us in this week's Beyond the MMORPG.
This week in Beyond the MMORPG, I wanted to take a quick look at what I consider to be the single worst game that I've ever played for a console, and how that might effect the production of an upcoming MMORPG. Don't think it's possible? You just wait and see.
Okay, the game in question, I should say, is the first and only game that I have ever, ever played for only two hours and then took back to EB Games. I couldn't get a full refund on it, but I did trade it in. The game was so bad, in fact, that I didn't wait until there was something out that I wanted, and I currently have a gift card for EB with the price of the trade-in on it.
After a lead up like that, I suppose I should just out and tell you the name of the game. It's Star Trek: Legacy. On the surface (and from the boc), this game looked like it was going to be a winner. It billed itself as "The quintessential Trek experience", included storylines written by Trek mainstay D.C. Fontana and used the voices of all five captains.
Read the full article here.
The Lord of the Rings Online official site has been updated with another look at some of the creatures that populate Middle Earth. This time around it's everyone's favourite fire breathing lizard: the Salamander. Well, maybe second favourite. They're definitely in the top 5.
Since the days of the Great Dragons – such as Ancalagon the Black, Scatha the Worm, or even Smaug the Golden – dragon-kind has been in a deep decline, spawning weaker and simpler breeds. Drakes are strong and semi-intelligent, while worms are nearly mindless and lack the physical might of their elders. Salamanders, however, while not nearly as intelligent as drakes or as stupid as worms, still hold some vestige of the old fire within their bellies.
These beasts, also called efts by some of the more learned, are fearsome and share their forebears’ lust for treasure. Fortunately, they are also not very proliferative and are only found in out-of-the-way places, such as the nearly uninhabited region of Evendim. Regardless, adventurers would do well to beware their breath.
In keeping with J.R.R. Tolkien’s devices, the concept for the salamanders was drawn from English folklore. While the original salamanders were classical in origin, the draconic version presented in the game is an English adaptation, as is the alternate name “eft.”
Read more here.
EA Mythic has announced that they will be closing down the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning beta servers for two months, starting October 10th. They say the reason for the shut down is so they can make major improvements to the game and to add polish and new content. The beta will return in early December.
Recently, all WAR Beta participants received a letter stating our plan to end this phase of the closed beta test this Wednesday, October 10th. We periodically close Beta, our last closure being in March of this year, to focus on major improvements and polish. The next phase of Beta will reopen in early December with plenty of new and improved content, art and systems for our beta-testers.
We are very proud to have reached this point in development. Beta has been going very well and the testing community is extremely active. Excitement around the game continues to grow and the team is looking forward to enhancing many features already in the game as well as continuing to add new features to an already great game.
Based on player feedback, our own observations and our current schedule, we have set the following major development goals:
- Improve open field skirmishes and battlefield objectives with major enhancements.
- Provide players with even more options to customize their character both through their abilities and visual appearance.
- Continue to enhance Public Quests and the PQ System.
- Prepare the elves for their release into the world!
When the beta reopens, we look forward to welcoming back all of our current testers, as well as many new faces. Shortly after re-opening the doors, we will be inviting the first wave of guilds into the beta to really get things rolling.
- The Warhammer: Age of Reckoning Team
Read more here.
Aeria Games has announced that the open beta for their racing MMO Project Torque has begun. As an added bonus, they'll give 32 players the chance to duke it out for $1000 and other prizes.
California, U.S.A. (October 8, 2007) - Aeria Games announced today that the open beta for Project Torque has begun! Project Torque is one of the first MMORGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Racing Game) to hit North America. This game embodies the essence of competition and delivers all the fun of casual gaming. Tune your car, personalize it, and then show it off and race everyone at the track.
$1000 Cash Contest - In November, Aeria Games will randomly pick 32 people from our highest level players in Project Torque. These finalists will test their skills, luck, and mettle against each other in an all-out battle for the $1000 grand prize, a Philips amBX system, Logitech gaming equipment, and ultimate bragging rights!
Read more about Project Torque here.
Today NCsoft sent out a new dev diary written by Mission Designer Rebekah Tran. They also included a short video showcasing the area of Tabula Rasa, Torcastra Prison.
In Tabula Rasa there are many steps involved in creating the rich story line of the world. First of all, we’ve amassed an overarching story which includes lots of detailed back-story the player may never see and branches far out into plot twists and turns that we’ll touch on in future expansions. Next, that fiction is trimmed down leaving the content that the player will visit in game. This is then split amongst all the overland maps (the persistent maps that are shared amongst all players) in the game world. Each overland map then links to about three or four instance maps that provide more unique content for individual parties. It is here that we can more intimately progress the story for each overland map.
Torcastra Prison Video
NCsoft has provided us with this video featuring one of the areas in their upcoming MMO, Torcastra Prison.
Read the entire dev diary and watch the video here.
The Ultima Online official site has been updated with another edition of their Five on Friday series, where they answer a variety of questions form the UO community.
"Why is Sudiva (the dragon from the Candle of Love event) still around?"
She's grown quite fond of her lair, and no one has been able to persuade her to leave. Besides, she's taken an interest in the lives of the crunchy little beings who sometimes visit her - you may see her get involved in future adventures.
"The Helm from the Virtue Armor set is showing negative resists - what do I do?"
There was an issue with the set bonus where it was getting removed incorrectly - and excessively - if the set was broken. We patched out a fix, but the only way for the fix to be applied to the armor is if it is either locked down in your house or in your bank box during a server reset. So take your helmet off next time you log out for the evening and stick it in your bank box - that should fix it.
Get your questions answered here.
Each week, Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at one of the MMORPG.com blogs. This week, she looks as a mock-ad about Restless Finger Syndrome.
While browsing the blogs this week, I came across Jesad’s entry in his popular blog “In My Understanding.” While Jesad has often featured a great sense of humor, I felt that this week’s blog entry took it to a whole new level. Hats off to you, Jesad.This week’s entry was written in a serious tone – it’s an advertisement for the Zen of Standing Still, a cure to the Restless Fingers Syndrome. “Do your fingers bother you?” The mock ad begins, “Do you find it hard to keep from pressing the movement keys? Maybe you just can’t help yourself when that stray mob passes by while you are supposed to be waiting for the rest of your group to assemble to enter a dungeon. If you have ever experienced any of these symptoms you may be suffering from Restless Finger Syndrome.”
Following the introduction is a mock player testimonial given by Newton and Hardcore, the two personas Jesad uses to express his points in his blog.
Read it all here.
Recently, Community Manager Laura Genender attended a press event for Sony Online Entertainment. While there, she had a hands-on demonstration of EQ's latest expansion, Secrets of Faydwer.
Last Thursday at the SOE “Step into Fall” event, I spoke with EverQuest’s senior game designer Ryan Barker about the upcoming EQ expansion, Secrets of Faydwer. This expansion brings 30 new raids, 5 new levels, new areas, and so much more to the massive world of Norrath.
The expansion is based in Faydwer, where an evil gnomish necromancer named Meldrath the Malignant has shattered the earth by raising his air fortress Mechanotus. Players can visit the floating fortress itself – or delve into the newly exposed areas of Faydwer.
To start the interview, Ryan gave me a tour of these areas. Our first stop was Mechanotus, the floating city – and to get there, we had to take a catapult! Clicking on the catapult launched our character into the air and into a zoneline – though by the scattering of bodies on the far wall, I could see a few unlucky players had not made the zone in time!
Read the whole thing here.
The official site for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has been updated with a look at some of the new quests in the Ksaravi Gulch region, where players can expect to find new monsters carrying rare treasures.
Everyone is really excited about the arrival of raiding in Vanguard via the Ancient Port Warehouse, but level 50's aren't the only ones getting to have all the fun. There's a lot more in store for Game Update 3, including the beefing up of some areas in Telon that many of you may already be familiar with! Game Update 3 - Phase 1 is bringing a few new and exciting quest lines to the game!
"In the war between Khal and the Ksaravi, it has become apparent to both sides that force of arms is not enough. To this end, the Ksaravi have turned to the creation of vile magical toxins and diseases with which they plan to afflict the good people of Khal.
In the aftermath, they intend to claim the city as their own. In order to put an end to the Ksaravi taint, you will need the aid of Curate Sabha and Brumdul Svat, priests of the White Coronaria, a sect that worships Sahari Jeddai, the Qaliathari aspect of Gloriann."
Read more here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
Q. On the classic cluster, Druids that do the Dragonslayer armor quest now are receiving the ToA version of the chest. Was this intended as a change after 1.90, and are other classes also getting access to the ToA chest pieces on classic? Thank you.
A. Actually this wasn’t by design, it was a bug that we already fixed earlier this week: - Because some Druids on the Classic ruleset might have been able to receive the chestpiece reward for the Normal ruleset, we need to remove the reward that is specific to the Normal Ruleset. This needs to be done as that reward has bonuses introduced with the Trials of Atlantis (TOA) expansion that should not be available on the Classic ruleset. Players with the Normal ruleset reward on the Classic ruleset will find that the item in question will delete itself from their inventory when they login and be replaced by the proper Classic ruleset version of the item.
Q. I have been using the Arcanium Astral Plaguebringer for about 2 weeks constantly in RvR but not once has the elemental proc gone off for me. I've seen this proc go off for other people using ml10 weapons with this proc is this specific weapon just bugged or stubborn.
A. Nothing appears patently wrong with the item upon cursory examination. There don't appear to be any weapons that share the same exact proc either. If you feel it is not working, feel free to send in a bug report and add data to support your claim and we'll have our QA folks test it out. If you want to include the exact item name and proc name of the item you say that is similar, that would be helpful as well. Thanks, Bearded Wonder.
Read the Grab Bag here.
We are proud to present you a bonus feature this Sunday. Our own Laura Genender has returned from a trip to SOE headquarters to bring you a special preview of the new EQ2 expansion: Rise of Kunark.
Yesterday I attended SOE's "Step into Fall" event in San Francisco, where I got to meet and speak with Akil "Lyndro" Hooper, lead designer of EverQuest II and one of the minds behind upcoming expansion Rise of Kunark.
If you're an EverQuest player, the name "Kunark" is familiar; Kunark previously appeared in EverQuest I, both as the first expansion (Ruins of Kunark) and the 4th continent. The EQII Kunark is home to many familiar zones and raid targets, but much of it is changed by the effects of the cataclysm and time.
Read the full preview at this link.
IGG has released new information describing the Gear System and detailing what kind of gear a player can expect to find in their Greek mythology inspired MMO, Godswar Online.
The automatically-generated gear system of GodsWar Online http://gw.igg.com
is its major feature. The players can obtain a wide range of gears in the course of adventure and upgrade them with various stones. As the complement and support to the Gear system, there is also strong Avatar clothes-transfer system. However, it is not easy to get a senior gear. You need spend more time and energy on continuous gaming and even you need luck sometimes.
Gears are not only used for changing the characters’ appearance, but also add all kinds of attributes, special effects and functions to the characters, which will strengthen the power of characters and bring more fun to the players. They individualize the characters and present the feature of the game.
There are many ways to obtain the gears. You can get them through completing quests, killing monsters and manufacturing etc. Some gears have level limitation and class division. You can choose your beloved gear according to the class you belonged and your current level. Also the gears applied to all classes are available.
Divisions of Gear
Since there are varieties of gears in GodsWar Online, according to their different functions, they can be divided into two categories: offensive gears and defensive gears
Offensive gears: Sword, Axe, Hammer, Spear, Javelin, Bow and Wand etc.
Defensive gears: Heavy and light Armor, Helm, Gloves, Boots, Shields, Masks and Rings etc.
Attributes of Gear
In addition to the basic attributes such as attack, defense, immunes, level, and stamina, there are more additional attributes to enhance your character.
GodsWar Online provides a variety of items and more details about them will be coming in next section.
Visit the Godswar official site here.
Perpetual Entertainment has announced that they are giving out a limited number of beta codes as they will need more people to conduct stability testing over the weekend.
We are going to put up a limited number of beta codes on our distribution page to help push for stability testing this weekend. You'll find the beta key distribution page here: http://community.godsandheroes.com/closedbetacodes/.
Please note that you'll need to have either registered for closed beta or have a forum account to receive a beta key. You can register for beta here: http://community.godsandheroes.com/betasignup/.
There are a limited number of keys so get yours soon!
Find out more here.
The Age of Conan official site has been updated with a developer profile on Elliot Kingdon, one of their Quest Designer and Lore Master.
Where can they be found? Is it true they roam dusty, forgotten libraries in search of forgotten manuscripts? Meet Elliot Kingdon, a Quest Designer and Lore Master for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do for Funcom?
I’m an Information Systems graduate from the UK and Quest Designer and Lore Master for the Conan project.
My Dungeons and Dragons experience helped get me my job here at Funcom. I’ve been running D&D games for twenty-five years and I currently run a 3.5 campaign here at Funcom.
I started playing computer games on a 16K ZX Spectrum, then the 48K version and then a Commodore 64. I’m one of those guys who still talks about Elite. I got my first PC just so I could play X-Wing and I still love playing computer games.
Read more here.
The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with a player profile on CeigeMaraj, who has been playing the game since beta 3.
Forum Handle: CeigeMaraj
Main Character Name: Ceige
Player Association: The Protectorate
Where in the real life world do you live? I live in the United States.
How long have you played Star Wars Galaxies? I have been playing since beta 3.
What other MMOs have you played? I have played Earth & Beyond, PlanetSide, EVE Online, and Final Fantasy XI Online. Star Wars Galaxies is the only MMO I have played continuously.
What type of work do you do? Technical.
How long is your typical gaming session when playing Star Wars Galaxies? A typical session lasts about 3-4 hours.
What does a typical Star Wars Galaxies day consist of for you? Restocking my vendor, checking e-mails, setting up or checking on harvesters. I’m a mayor of a city, and spend time week to week space mining, maintaining GCW rank, and helping friends with their adventures.
Read more here.
Blizzard has announced that they will be holding their 4th annual pumpkin-carving contest, where the creators of the most original, creative, and well-designed pumpkins from Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo could win the top prize of a Logitech 51 Surround Sound Speaker System. So put all of that sword play you've learned in WoW to good use and get carving.
The Royal Photographic Society of Azeroth is renewing its competition in celebration of Halloween. In a longstanding Blizzard tradition, this year we are proud to announce our fifth annual pumpkin-carving contest.
Between 12:00 a.m. PDT on October 5 and 12:00 a.m. PDT on October 29, the RPSA will be accepting submissions for the World of Warcraft Pumpkin Contest. The shutterbugs who submit the most outstanding photos of their work will have their pictures proudly displayed on WorldofWarcraft.com and Blizzard.com on Halloween. In addition, the ten most interesting, original, and well-carved pumpkin designs will be recognized for their merits with a pair of Logitech 51 Surround Sound Speaker System designed specifically for gamers. Special thanks go out to Logitech for these prizes!
If you want to view some past pumpkin-carving contest winners, you can see them here: , , , . Check out the contest page for additional details, including the official rules and submission form. Good luck!
Get the contest details here.
Tony Hilliam, CEO of Auran, has announced that they will soon be making significant changes to game-play in Fury as a result of player feedback. The changes are intended to make the game more fun and accessible, ant to relieve the imbalance between new and experienced players.
An even game is a fun game
We have watched, we have played, we have listened, and we've decided to make some changes - some BIG changes. Our whole design mantra has been that evenly matched battles are more fun, yet Fury Challenge has shown us that 2 in 3 players who try Fury do not even make it to the fun stage. We believe the biggest issue has been the imbalance between new players and experienced players and the difficulty in getting to grips with a new combat system. Throughout beta we have tweaked things and modified things. The time has come to be brave and make some far reaching changes to ensure Fury is fun all players.
In a nutshell, the core essence of Fury is player skill. To truly recognize this, we're making changes to emphasize this aspect out even more. We've decided to start everyone with 1,000 Equip points and offer a UAA option from Day One. In addition, we're bringing everyone onto a single Realm and teaching the Matchmaker to understand that Premades don't like playing against PUGs. We're also giving new players a Training Ground where they can learn the game against other new players and bots. In addition to all this, we're continuing to listen to the community regarding balance changes and fix bugs that impact your enjoyment of the game.
Read more about the changes here.