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Lineage 2 : New Weapons

Posted Sep 11, 2006 by Jon Wood

Here's a press release that slipped through my fingers when I was travelling on Friday. As has been reported, Lineage II released Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood. Within that release are some new weapons. Enjoy!

 

Friday 8th September/...Lineage® II: The Chaotic Chronicle offers a wide range of weapons for every class type. The choice of weapon can affect how hard you hit if you’re a fighter, or, if you’re a spellcaster, how much damage your spells do. Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood offers even more weapons and a new twist: a blood-stained sword designed especially for Player vs. Player combat.

New Weapons

In Lineage II, items are sorted by grade. Players can wield weapons and armour of certain grades depending on their level; the higher level, the higher grade they can equip. From highest to lowest, the item grades are S, A, B, C, D, and no grade. The highest level players aspire to obtain S Grade weapons and armour.

Chronicle 5 adds a number of new weapons, ranging from A Grade to D Grade. New swords, staffs, axes, and hammers are up for grabs in Chronicle 5. These weapons can also be imbued with special abilities depending on the weapon. Some of these weapon abilities can increase a player’s spell casting speed, increase the player’s health, and more.

The most unique weapon in the game, the Demonic Sword Zariche, is also new to Chronicle 5.

The Demonic Sword

A weapon of slaughter known as the Demonic Sword Zariche brings even more mayhem and chaos to Player vs. Player combat.

All monsters in the world have the chance to drop the Zariche sword. Only one exists in the entire world, and the ground shakes to announce its ominous arrival.

The character that acquires Zariche instantly turns into a player killer. The player’s health and magic points are fully recovered and his or her combat points are enhanced. This makes the player carrying Zariche very difficult to kill, and players who encounter this deadly foe will need to team up to have a chance against Zariche’s power.

In normal Player vs. Player combat, there are penalties for death, such as the loss of experience points. However, these penalties do not apply to either side of a one-on-one battle when a player wielding Zariche is involved. If the Zariche strikes a player down, that player suffers no ill effects upon death. He or she simply appears in the nearest village, finally safe from the bloodthirsty sword.

A player who wields Zariche faces some limitations to their new power. He or she cannot attack or be attacked by players level 20 or below, cannot join a party, and cannot receive heals or buffs from other players.

Zariche is too powerful and ambitious to stay with one person for long, so it will leave its owner after a certain period of time. A lucky hunter who manages to kill the player who carries Zariche has a chance to pick it up and use it for themselves. Whoever brandishes Zariche will lead a solitary life, hunted by all who want a chance to wield its incredible power. Will you be the next player to wreak havoc on the world of Lineage II?

For more on Lineage II click here.

Kaos War : Tech Demo Released

Posted Sep 10, 2006 by Craig McGregor

We very recently added a new MMORPG to our list - Kaos War.  They have just released a new tech demo video that shows their game engine moving through one of their small environments.  You can view the video below:

For more information about Kaos War you can visit their official site at http://www.kaoswar.com

General : Game/On

Posted Sep 10, 2006 by Ben Krueger

MMORPG.com is pleased to release Game/On fresh from the AGC here are some of the details from this episode of the show:

 

This week's Game/On comes to you hot on the heels of the Austin Game Conference. On top of giving a preview of some of the exciting articles from the conference that will be coming to MMORPG.com, Jon Wood also caught up with Tracy Spaight, a Vice President at Rapid Reality as well as the Lead Designer of Africa, their upcoming MMORPG based on the history and lore of that continent.

You can listen to the podcast here.

General : Panel Report: Third Party Sites

Posted Sep 09, 2006 by Dana Massey

This year's AGC gave me (Dana Massey, Senior Editor) a unique chance to talk on the panels I normally cover. I sat on a panel that discussed the role of third party community sites and their interaction with game developers. Today, I give you my summary of the panel and some additional thoughts on the topic.

Later, in response to a question from Bruce Woodcock, I got to get my prepared rant out there. I’d written it out in advance, and while the actual delivery strayed a bit, I’m putting my originally intended version here:

“We [third party community and news sites] are the trusted impendent sources, but only if you [developers] let us be .It sounds like a contradiction, but when companies try to control factual negative press we [game press] must make a choice. Do we cave and cease to become a reliable independent source or do we risk no longer being a source at all? It hurts games over time more than us. If you never let anyone say bad things, the good things – earned or not – become meaningless. The only way to control your press is to make good games!”

The rant above stems from a not uncommon practice of companies who complain bitterly or – worse – cut off communication after an unflattering editorial or review. It happens, it has happened on MMORPG.com and our policy has always been to let them react that way if they want. To be clear though, this only applies to factual or fair negative press. We have a responsibility as well and should expect to loose our relationships if we unabashedly and unjustifiably attack a game simply because we were in a bad mood.

You can read more here.

ArchLord : Our New Contest - 10 Retail Games

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com is pleased to bring you yet another contest in the month of September!  We have partnered with Codemasters to give away 10 pre-order packs of Archlord which will also include the retail version of the game when it releases.  This contest will run from today until October 8th at 9PM EDT.

You can get details on the pre-order package at this link: http://www.archlordgame.com/preorder.php

As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the greater your chances of winning! (see official rules for details).

Ready to enter?  CLICK HERE!

General : AGC Panel: PR Strategies

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

It sounded boring on paper, but it was a blast. At AGC we sat in as Susan Bohle of The Bohle Company, Sean Kauppinen of Kohnke Communications (Moderator), Chris Kramer of Sony Online Entertainment, and Jason Wonacott of Webzen chatted about "Emerging PR Strategies in MMORPGs".

The panelists agreed that there is a great fragmentation of the industry in the current market place with the ease of setting up website and blogs on the internet. There has been a explosion of sites on the internet and the panelists also agreed that more and more time is required to get their message out.

“Your ROI [return on investment] on small sites can be as much or even more than the traditional large news sites,” said Chris Kramer. Jason Wonacott agreed. “You have to have something really sexy or different to get noticed.” With Susan Bohle concluding that it’s “harder to get your message across and through all the noise.”

You can read more here.

General : AGC Panel: Running Your Own MMO

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

Jon Wood sat in on a panel about "Runing Your Own MMORPG" with several independent developers. Here is what was said:

Independent companies making MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that we all talk about and we all want to see happen. For one, it’s always nice to feel like gamers are giving our money to a small company and not some giant faceless corporation, people also like the level of interaction you get from small-studio devs that you can’t always get from the big guys. The panel discussion I attended today focused on just that niche, small independent studios who make MMORPGs.

The aptly named “The Joy of Running Your Very Own MMO” panel consisted of moderator Bill Money of Iron Will Games (Ashen Empires), and panelists David Reese who is also a part of Iron Will, Brian Green of Near Death Studios (Meridian 59) and Adam Ghetti of Rapid Reality (The Chronicle, Africa). In the case of Near Death and Iron Will, very small teams run and maintain their respective games with small subscriberships, while Rapid Reality, with a development team of 45 was by far the largest although neither of their in-development games has hit store shelves.

Jon's report is here.

General : Schilling, MacFarlane and Salvatore

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

For the last few days, speculation about a new online gaming company has been making its way around AGC. Today, we got confirmation that Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has teamed up with comic-book giant Todd MacFarlane (Spawn) and popular fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore (Forgotten Realms) to for Green Monster Games.

 

CURT SCHILLING ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF GREEN MONSTER GAMES, LLC, NEW GAME STUDIO, FOUNDED IN BOSTON AREA

Maynard, MA. - September 8, 2006 - Green Monster Games, LLC (GMG) announces the formation of a new company dedicated to producing innovative and genre-defining massively multiplayer online games. Founded in the Boston area by Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Green Monster Games first title will feature the artistic vision of Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn, www.spawn.com) as Art Director and celebrated author R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizzt, one of modern fantasy's most memorable characters) as Creative Director. Together with a growing team of experienced industry professionals, Green Monster Games is now in pre-production on their premier title.

A longtime MMO player, Schilling is dedicated to entering the gaming industry with the same drive and commitment to success he has demonstrated in his baseball career. "I've had a passion for gaming as long as I can remember and I've always known this was something I wanted to do one day, and today is that day. My goal is to not just enter the marketplace but to reach the apex."

For Schilling, the chance to work with McFarlane and Salvatore is the culmination of years of planning. "Publishing great games has more to do with the people you have on board than it does with the cash and ideas you bring to the table. With that in mind, I conceived a plan years ago in which I envisioned a 'dream team' of talent. If I was going to create the funniest, coolest, and best game I could, who would I want from a creative standpoint? At the top of my list were Todd McFarlane and R.A. Salvatore, and it's a dream come true that they have agreed to join Green Monster Games in the production of our first title."

GMG will be a collaboration based on the combined strengths of every employee. Says Schilling: "The great thing about our approach is that we each understand what we bring to the table. We have begun to assemble a team of the smartest, brightest, and most creative design people in the world, made up of both veterans and those new to the industry. Our character and commitment will be tangible in every facet of the company, from art, design, audio, and programming to the appreciation we show to our customers."

Schilling says GMG is dedicated to raising the bar in the world of online gaming. "The challenge is not simply in publishing a game, but in publishing a game that changes the landscape of the online marketplace. Our company motto is 'If you can't do it better than it's ever been done before, work for someone else."

GMG is currently looking for talented, driven, accountable, and responsible people with a passion to create games better than anyone has ever done it before. Green Monster Games will release more details on their first project in the near future. Their upcoming company website [http://www.greenmonstergames.net] will be the first step in establishing GMG's presence in the online gaming world.

"We are excited about the future of the industry and even more excited that we will be a part of it, and help shape it for years to come," says Schilling. "We look forward to proving that to every gamer on the planet."

For more on Green Monster click here.

General : AGC Blog: Aaron's Day Two

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

The newbie makes us look bad by keeping up with his blogs. Aaron Roxby tells some tales from the second day of AGC.

So, forsaking the patch that plagued me yesterday (traded it for Nicorette), today was, as Cube would say, “A Good Day”. I arrived at the exhibit hall just in time for the grand opening of the showroom. Now, as has been expressed, I am the noob in these proceedings. As such a noob, I must confess that I loved AGCs constraint. I entered the showroom floor and encountered not a booth babe, not some mind-blowing light show but rather a series of tasteful green-clad tables.

Aaron's blog continues here.

EVE Online : Big Honking Computer Cluster

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

CCP, the company behind the popular Sci-Fi MMORPG, EVE Online, has announced that they have the "largest supercomputer cluster in the history of the gaming industry". For details, read below:

 

EVE ONLINE® LAUNCHES LARGEST SUPERCOMPUTER IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY RUNNING ON IBM SERVER TECHNOLOGY

Austin Game Conference - September 8, 2006 - CCP Games announced today the largest supercomputer cluster in the history of the gaming industry for EVE Online, one of the leading science fiction Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG). The upgraded server cluster features dual-processor 64-bit AMD Opteron-based IBM BladeCenter LS20 blade servers, as well additional enhancements to the clusters internet backbone.

"The sharp growth rate of EVE Online was pushing the limits of the technology we replaced," said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. "Our goal was to implement a scalable solution that could accommodate the influx of new subscribers and gracefully manage the steadily increasing demand put on our infrastructure. IBM provided us with optimized hardware that improved overall game performance and increased capacity, especially during peak server usage timeframes."

The EVE Online supercomputer cluster manages over 150 million database transactions per day on a 64-bit hardware architecture from IBM. The database servers don't use traditional hard drives but instead Solid State Disks (SSD) which are recognize as the worlds fastest storage devices with over 400,000 random I/Os per second. The recent world record of over 30,000 concurrent users on a single shard is a testament to the clusters capabilities and CCP is looking forward to support at least 50,000 concurrent users.

"CCP has really innovated traditional MMOG design," said David Laux, IBM Global Executive, Games & Interactive Entertainment. "IBM is proud to provide the powerful technology that will bring new excitement to the EVE community and help CCP continue to be successful."

For more on EVE Online click here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Beta

Posted Sep 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, has jumped its way into the beta phase of its production:

 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ GOES BETA!

Nearly 200,000 Players Have Signed-up Worldwide

WESTWOOD, MA – SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 – Turbine and Midway announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ (LOTRO) has officially entered Beta in North America. Codemasters Online Gaming is pleased to announce the simultaneous launch of Pre-Beta in Europe.

This Beta is by invitation only and over time more and more players will be invited. Fans can continue to register to join the Beta Program by visiting http://www.lotro.com/betasignup for North America and http://www.lotro-europe.com for the European program.

“The response to LOTRO Alpha was overwhelming. Player enthusiasm continues to exceed our expectations at every milestone,” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “The Alpha was oversubscribed and the Beta Program is on a record-setting pace with nearly 200,000 players already registered. LOTRO is building toward one of the largest beta communities in the industry.”

The first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Online™ allows players to write their own stories in Middle-earth™, the most famous fantasy world of all time.

David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online Gaming, said “It’s great to reach the Beta for such an exciting game. We look forward to seeing players bring the incredible world of Middle-earth to life and making it their own.”

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar lets players join in an epic adventure -- exploring a massive online world while defending the lands of Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. Players of all levels will explore incredibly detailed realms and join familiar characters in an evolving and persistent re-creation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved world. They will face the dangers Frodo and the Fellowship left behind when they began their epic journey to destroy the One Ring. Gamers can adventure solo or choose from thousands of players online to forge their own fellowships. Players, solo and fellowships alike, will be challenged by hideous monsters and minions of evil as they fight epic battles to defend Middle-earth. LOTRO will deliver on the opportunity to allow players to immerse themselves in the greatest adventure of our time.

LOTRO is co-published by Turbine and Midway in North America and Codemasters Online Gaming in Europe.

For more on LOTRO click here.

Lineage 2 : Chronicle 5 Released

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCsoft has announced that they have released Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood. Stay tuned to MMORPG.com for more info on Lineage II from Austin, Texas and the AGC.

 

NCsoft Releases Another Lineage II Expansion with Player-Inspired Content

Highly anticipated Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood brings game full-circle with concentrated feature enhancements and unparalleled challenges suggested by players

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 7, 2006—NCsoft® has released Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood to Lineage® II: The Chaotic Chronicletm, the market’s premier player-versus-player (PvP) massively multiplayer online PC game, in North America and Europe. The expansion is free to all Lineage II subscribers.

Chronicle 5 offers players both playable content and refinements of existing systems that make gameplay at every level more exciting. The Chronicle 5 content includes new hunting grounds, castles, clan halls and monsters. The changes to existing features are a result of feedback from Lineage II players, which Studio E&Gtm has used to revitalize multiple systems to appeal to new players and enrich the experience of veterans.

The sweeping systems changes mean that new and lower level players will progress faster. New items and other enhancements have been added to make the game more rewarding at those levels without sacrificing the challenge that Lineage II is known for. Additionally, the new Academy in the game’s clan system helps clan members rapidly train up and become powerful members much more quickly than before.

Highlighting the challenges for mid- and upper-level players is the addition of Rune and Schuttgart castles, plus several contestable clan halls that are ripe for the taking. In addition, there are many powerful beasts, like the maniacal Prince Frintezza, who controls an insanely scary monster called Scarlet von Halisha by playing an ornate organ in his lair, and the formidable Benom, who lurks in the depths of Rune castle.

In addition, revitalized PvP systems and an increased level cap give players of all classes the ability to be successful and even more to aspire to.

“I’m very excited about Chronicle 5 because it makes Lineage II easier to get into and overcoming later obstacles even more rewarding,” said Adam Davidson, the North American producer of Lineage II. “The changes in this expansion are major in terms of how you experience the game. Studio E&G has really been open to our community’s feedback and we’re pleased to be able to offer both tons of new content and these fundamental changes that make the game more accessible, while still holding great challenge for the elite players.”

Lineage II is currently available in a game time card package that includes a 60-day pre-paid Lineage II game time card and a game pack with the previous content expansions: Chronicle 1: Harbingers of Wartm; Chronicle 2: Age of Splendortm and Chronicle 3: Rise of Darknesstm and Chronicle 4: Scions of Destinytm. Stay tuned to http://www.plaync.com for an upcoming announcement about a new retail package for the Lineage II series.

The Lineage II 60-day game time card packages are available at North American retailers and at the NCsoft online store for an estimated street price of US$29.99. To purchase the game or other Lineage II merchandise, go to the NCsoft store at: https://store.plaync.com .

For more information about Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle, go to: http://www.lineage2.com.

The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

For more on Lineage II, click here.

General : Richard Vogel Talk: MMO Betas

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Richard Vogel, the Co-Studio Director of BioWare Austin, gave a talk on MMO Betas. Vogel has also worked on Ultima Online.

We’ve all beta’d a game. It’s that special golden age, where actions don’t matter, money isn’t an issue, and players are actually encouraged to find bugs. It’s that period of time where communities are small and selective (closed betas), or overflowing with penniless teens, unable to purchase a subscription to a live game (open betas). They are our golden years, our memories of the beginning.

But what’s it like to be on the other side of the coin, to run a beta period for a game instead of play in it? This year at the Austin Gaming Conference Richard Vogel, Co-Studio Director of BioWare Austin, gives us a unique view on his world.

Rich himself has run about 4 separate betas, each of which were unique. The beta experience, he said, has changed over the years; players participating in betas used to be hardcore gamers who wanted to test the game, give feedback, and help discover bugs. Today’s beta testers have more selfish goals: we seek to gain advantage by learning the layout of the game and the UI and to try the game before we buy it.

You can read more here.

General : AGC Writer Keynote

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Aaron Roxby has been peeking into the Game Writer Conference at AGC and comes back with this keynote report.

The Game Initiative’s Game Writers Conference is a fascinating series of lectures, being presented at this year’s Austin Game Conference. These special dissertations focus on the unique challenges faced by writers in the relatively new and constantly changing world of interactive entertainment. The keynote speech was given by Mark Terrano, a game designer and specialist consultant for the Xbox Advanced Technology Group. Terrano is a seasoned industry veteran, who has had the opportunity to visit game design studios around the world.

The presentation itself took the form of a fast paced and humorous PowerPoint presentation. Terrano is a relatively unassuming looking man. Bespectacled and not too tall, he probably looks exactly like what you think of when you think the words “Game Designer”. Despite his unassuming look, Terrano has a fast, energetic and engaging way of speaking.

You can read here.

World of Warcraft : AGC Keynote: Rob Pardo

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Rob Pardo, the VP of Game Design for Blizzard, spoke to the assembled audience at AGC for the keynote. Carolyn Koh reports.

Rob Pardo gave an interesting keynote speech, describing the Blizzard game design philosophy which seemed like a “no-brainer” to a business major like me. But that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s hard to practice what you preach unless this philosophy is embraced by everyone in the company. The simplest plans always seem to be the hardest to pull through.

They set their core target. Not the hard core gamers with bleeding edge technology in their gaming machines, but a wider, more general audience. They then set the system specs and designed for those specs accordingly. Wonder why the art of WoW is so stylized? That’s why. They designed for a look which would look cool and yet would not date quickly. They designed the art for longevity rather than what’s hot now. Art that wouldn’t take a computer with cutting edge components to run.

More can be found here.

General : AGC Blogs: Aaron, Laura and Carolyn

Posted Sep 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Our day one blogs come at you with three new ones. Jon, Laura and Aaron provide us with their opinions of what went on on the first day.

Phew! Day 1 at the Austin Game Conference is behind me. I’ll tell ya, I really love these conferences. It’s one of the reasons I’m doing this job instead of using that very expensive degree in Education that I’m still paying for. There’s something about the atmosphere of a small (well, compared to the gigantic E3 anyway) conference. Today was spent in two ways for me. The first was attending panels. Four in all today, two you’ll hear about on the site as a part of our AGC coverage. The other two I went to just for me, so I’ll share them with you now.

Jon's blog is here.

Aaron's blog is here.

Laura's blog is here.

General : dPVS Middleware Acquired by Umbra

Posted Sep 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

It's not always game news that come out of conferences like AGC. Sometimes, it's the technology behind the games, as dPVS middleware was today acquired by Umbra Software from Hybrid Graphics Ltd:

 

Umbra Software Ltd. Completes Acquisition of Hybrid Graphics’ dPVS Middleware

Austin Game Conference, Texas, September 6th, 2006 — Umbra Software Ltd. announced that it has completed the acquisition of the dPVS middleware from Hybrid Graphics Ltd. dPVS is the market leading visibility optimization middleware for Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs).

Under the terms of the agreement, Umbra Software will be the sole owner and licensor of dPVS and all future support and services for existing customers will be handled by Umbra Software Ltd.

The game development middleware dPVS was pioneered at Hybrid Graphics to be the cutting edge visibility tool used by heavy-hitting game developers, such as SOE and NCSoft.

With the acquisition of Hybrid Graphics by NVIDIA Corporation earlier this year, Hybrid sharpened its focus by deciding to sell the PC and game console development middleware.

“We are tickled pink to see dPVS going to a good home where the future development of the software will be in capable hands”, says Mr. Ville Miettinen, CTO of Hybrid Graphics.

Umbra Software’s new CTO Mr. Otso Mäkinen, who has had 8 years of experience with dPVS while at Hybrid Graphics adds “At Umbra Software our goal is to build on dPVS and develop the next generation version, modernizing it for high end gaming platforms”. Umbra Software is currently developing new version of dPVS, Umbra, which will fully utilize the modern graphics hardware. Umbra targets the Xbox 360™, PlayStation®3, and PC platforms.

Entropia : Player Paying for Sister's College

Posted Sep 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

In a world where it seems like we're constantly reporting about cheaters being banned and players scamming other players, it was a nice surprise to see this story gracing my inbox.

 

One of Entroipa Universe's players is using money that he has earned by playing the game to help fund his sister's college education. Check it out!

 

Virtual Gaming Income – Now a Scholarship Program?

US university tuitions have dramatically increased in the past five years leaving many college graduates thousands of dollars in debt. Other countries around the world are not far behind, with 2006 reports indicating education costs rising 6.5 percent from 2003-4 in the UK and 3.2 percent in Canada. As students struggle to make ends meet by combining income from multiple jobs with scholarships and loans, others are turning to creative alternatives to pay for a higher education.

Meet Mike, aka. Ogulak Da Basher, an 17-year-old from Durango, Colorado who has accumulated enough funds playing inside an online virtual gaming community, Entropia Universe, to pay for his siblings’ college tuitions. “I began playing Entropia as a form of entertainment with my mother; however after 3 years of fostering relationships, building businesses, and developing my hunting and mining skills, I have raked in over $35,000, $12,000 of which will go towards helping my brother and sister attend college.”

Entropia Universe is a rapidly growing virtual world that actively supports sales of virtual products with actual cash value within its real economy system. The economy offers players a secure and safe way to make purchases, sales and exchange real-life currency into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and back again into real money, at a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar. PED allows members to invest in personal development and growth through the acquisition of goods, buildings, and land in the virtual universe.

Ogulak Da Basher is a captain in the Entropian hunting society, “ck Coat Killers.” He has cultivated his mining and hunting skills, obtaining precious minerals and materials that are then sold at a premium price. From his virtual profession as a hunter/miner he has also mastered the crafting of weapon/mining attachments resulting in a completely new business model that has the potential for increased revenue growth. “What I like best about Entropia Universe is the ability to pick any profession. I have tried other virtual communities and MMORPG’s that allow members to play only one class, while EU creates unlimited goals and endless room for opportunity with a free economic structure.”

“While many claim that online and console games have a negative impact on a teenager’s mental and physical development, our observations are different,” says Marco Behrmann, CIO of MindArk, game developer of Entropia Universe. “In Entropia we are seeing a positive outcome from our online gaming community. Members not only building social skills through global interaction, but are even learning the business tools to succeed in the real world”

For more on Entropia Universe click here.

ArchLord : Beta 3.0

Posted Sep 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Codemasters and ArchLord have announced that they are now heading into the 3.0 point in their Beta Phase. The announcement means that pre-order gamers will now be invited to join in the beta excitement.

 

The game is slated for a September Launch:

 

Green Light for ArchLord BETA Phase 3.0!

Codemasters Online Gaming prepare for battle as the ArchLord BETA expands into its final stages.

Codemasters Online Gaming is pleased to announce that the ArchLord™ BETA test has progressed to phase 3.0 as the title prepares to launch at the end of September.

ArchLord BETA phase 3.0 further expands the game service and enables the thousands of pre-order customers to now enter the epic battle to become the mighty ArchLord.

Phase 3.0 adds a new game features including the opportunity to embark on a number of incredible in-game events specially hosted by Codemasters Online Gaming.

Ed Relf, Director of Marketing at Codemasters Online Gaming, commented:
“It’s a great achievement to have reached this next important phase for ArchLord. Phase 3.0 marks an important milestone in the game’s development as we open the gates for our pre-order customers to test the game in preparation for launch."

Further to the commencement of phase 3.0 Codemasters Online Gaming have also released details on the commencement of an exclusive BETA movie competition where players within the ArchLord BETA can capture their own in-game movies for a chance to win up to $1500! For more details on the Grand BETA Movie Competition visit http://www.archlordgame.com

There are a still a limited number of places remaining for the final stages of the ArchLord BETA test and gamers can guarantee a slot now by pre-ordering the game at www.archlordgame.com/preorder

For more on Archlord, click here.

General : AGC Blog: Carolyn's Day 0

Posted Sep 06, 2006 by Dana Massey

There are five of us here at AGC (The Austin Game Conference) this year. Carolyn Koh kicks things off with her first blog entry, written last night. Expect more, as well as panel reports and game specific interviews as we take part in this exciting conference.

Where the Developers go, the press will follow. The Austin Game Conference opens this week with some nice weather as a cold front moved into Austin the night before. It may still heat up with all the hot air that just arrived… but here’s hoping! ;)

At the Airport shuttle counter, I ran into Richard “Jonric” Aoishi of RPGVault. Walking to the Austin Convention Center which was a nifty whole entire city block away from the hotel – yay! Kudos, Mr. Travel Guy! – I met a couple from GamersInfo. After picking up my Press Badge and goodie bag, I met the developer of Morph Vox which is voice altering software that’s targeted towards gamers.

You can read more here.

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