Flying Lab Software has published a new devlog which introduces players to Bey's Retreat, a near impenetrable fortress used by the Corsairs of the Main, and a large group mission in Pirates of the Burning Sea.
Welcome to Bey’s Retreat
Bey’s Retreat is the unapproachable stronghold to which the Corsairs of the Main escape when the national navies and Brethren pirates chase them down. It is a series of powerful fortresses built into a small island near Caracas, watched over by the most ruthless and dangerous Corsairs in the Caribbean. The Spanish have attacked it. The Brethren of the Coast have laid siege to it. But the defenses of Bey’s Retreat and the massive Corsair fleet that protects it have repelled every incursion.
As players prepare to enter Bey’s Retreat, those defenses have just shattered yet another major attack and the Corsairs of the Main are in pursuit of their routed enemies, leaving the fortresses defended by a minimal force. It could be years before another opportunity like this one presents itself, but even so, the Corsair bastion is hardly helpless. The Corsair fleet’s most dangerous captain still patrols the local waters and under the command of Aga Irena Ballesteros, the land-based defenses can easily reduce even a powerful ship to splinters.
Read more here.
The Question of the week has been answered in the official Earthrise Forums. This week's answer informs players of how one goes about gaining (and losing) their faction affiliation.
How will the player choose his/her faction? Will we be birthed to a faction of our choosing (i.e. at character creation) or will the player be able to choose at a later time. Will we be able to go turncoat?
This week we will answer Carnun's question regarding Faction affiliation for new players. It's a very interesting question because unlike other games on the market, choice of affiliation is not forced on the player from the very beginning of the game. Players can change their affiliation from Continoma and Noir at any time as long as it serves their needs and they can live up with the consequences of such betrayal.
When a new player leaves the crystomatic databanks containing his DNA and saved memories and sets his foot on the island of Enterra, he has no affiliation with any faction. Despite being utopian but ultimately corrupted society, the Continoma-ruled city of Sal Vitas believes that citizenship should be a natural choice for its new citizens. At this point players can make a choice - accept to join Continoma and reap the benefits of its new and bold society - with security and economic opportunities abound - or directly walk away into the wild and risky locations where they can meet with the Noir rebels, either NPCs or Noir characters who might embrace and protect them (unlike Continoma, Noir protection will depend slightly less on NPCs and more on the player's collaborative actions). While such choice will be very risky for newly created characters that have yet to hone their skills, they can do it - and if they pull it off, such actions might even be recognized later on. This allows new players who have yet to taste the world of Enterra make the natural choice of serving Continoma and be allowed to develop with acceptable level of security and support, while experienced players who enjoy challenges can immediately affiliate with Noir early on.
Read more here.
The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with a look at Bob and Nob, the pair of Hobbits employed at the Prancing Pony.
The Prancing Pony Inn in Bree is run by the perpetually absent-minded and harried Barliman Butterbur, a good and honest sort but prone to forgetting which way is up. As a result, Butterbur relies heavily upon his two hobbit assistants, Bob and Nob.
Nob spends most of his time at the Pony in the kitchen, serving guests, or running errands for old Butterbur, while Bob, as well as working in the kitchen, tends the Pony’s stables. Bob is also a family-hobbit and has to keep a constant eye out for his precocious daughter, Lalia. Barliman chides them both constantly, calling them woolly-pated slowcoaches, but it is a friendly sort of scolding. All three know that the Pony would cease to function without their constant minding to the details that slip by Barliman.
Read more here.
The citizens of Stormreach will be celebrating the the rebirth of Stormreach on Sunday March 2nd, as part of Dungeons & Dragons Online's anniversary festivities.
Greetings Citizens of Stormreach!
I am pleased to announce there will be a festive gathering, held to honor the anniversary of our fair city of Stormreach!
The Coin Lords wish to join with all citizens to celebrate and give thanks to the Dragonmarked Houses and Kingdom of Galifar. For through their gifts, in the year 802 of the Galifar Calendar, the rebirth of Stormreach from a mere outpost in the wilderness to a thriving city was made possible. Stormreach has seen many changes, and faced many dangers, but our city still stands, and our citizens enjoy a life of prosperity! We invite all citizens to attend a gathering to honor our beloved city on Sul, the second day of Therendor (Sunday, March 2nd) in the Marketplace.
Read more here.
NCsoft and ArenaNet have announced that Guild Wars sales have topped five million in the North American, Asian, and European markets.
Bellevue, WA. February 26, 2008—NCsoft® and ArenaNet® have announced that the Guild Wars® franchise of online roleplaying games has surpassed five million units sold in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Published by NCsoft and developed by ArenaNet, the Guild Wars franchise consists of the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions®, Guild Wars Nightfall®, and the recently released expansion, Guild Wars: Eye of the NorthTM. The Guild Wars games have been commercial and critical successes since the release of the original campaign in April of 2005. Its award-winning content and innovative subscription-free business model have created a large and loyal following that is highly anticipating Guild Wars 2TM.
"Guild Wars is a proven success and has set a new standard for online RPG games with its unique business model and superior playability," said NCsoft CEO Taek Jin Kim. "ArenaNet is dedicated to creating games that expand the market and provide great new content to our loyal player base. This success has built a great foundation from which the next generation of Guild Wars games will grow."
Read more here.
While at the Game Developer's Conference, Jon Wood moderated a panel called "The Future of MMOs" populated by some of the biggest names in the MMO industry. Today, he presents his impressions of the panel's answer to the question of whether or not future developers will need to worry about both a PC and a console version of their games.
In this, the second part of the report on The Future of MMOs panel, I ask the gathered developers if consoles are the way of the future for MMOs, and whether or not future MMOs will have to be developed cross-platform in order to be successful.
As a reminder to the readers, the panel was made up of developers much more knowledgeable than I: Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios, Matt Miller from NCsoft, Ray Muzyka from Bioware, Min Kim from Nexon and Rob Pardo from Blizzard.
The thought process behind this question, I felt, was fairly obvious. While up until now, it has been fairly easy to think about MMORPGs as a PC – only genre (they aren’t, games like Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star have been running on consoles for a while now), the upcoming launch of the PC version of Funcom’s Age of Conan and the pending Xbox 360 release of that same game, as well as SOE’s The Agency, are making more and more people question whether consoles will become the medium of choice for MMO developers.
Read it all here.
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In the Weekend Wrap-Up on the Tabula Rasa community site, NCsoft reveals a new contest, a place to find help on your quest to fight the Bane, and a recap of weekly activities.
Attention All Personnel: The Base Announcement Contest has begun!
For your chance to win some truly Tabula Rasa-esque prizes, be sure to check our latest contest that has only just started today, Monday, February 25th!
The Base Announcement Contest will allow you to pick your brain and use your wits in order to devise an announcement that could make it into the game and be heard in one of the AFS bases by thousands of other soldiers!
Need some inspiration? You can listen to the Foreas Base Announcments!
Read the Official Contest Rules and be on your way to creating the most enthralling announcement in the history of announcements!
Read more here.
Blizzard has announced that they have reduced Paid Character Transfer and Paid Name Change cooldown time.
We have made changes to the Paid Character Transfer and Paid Name Change cooldown times, and have lowered them from three months to one month. The cooldown refers to the length of time between when a character first uses one of these services and the next time it can be used. These two services do not share a cooldown.
When the paid transfers originally opened back in June of 2006, they included a six month cooldown. This was rather high as we had no statistics or data that would show us what effect the transfers would have on the game as a whole. It was rather conservative for a new feature. After analyzing any possible security risks, impact on the economy, and effect on in-game communities, the cooldown was reduced to three months in October of 2006.
Since that time we have released eight major content patches and the Burning Crusade expansion, and as the game has evolved we have continued monitoring the impact these services have, who's using them, and purpose for their use. We're now confident that a cooldown reduction to one month will not increase an already minor impact these services have.
Read more here.
The folks at Star Wars Galaxies have posted information about Exar Kun, a Sith Lord who will be the focus of an heroic encounter in Chapter 9.
Exar Kun began his Jedi training under Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Clashes with his fellow students on Dantooine ended in a violent confrontation, showing hints of the dark side influencing Exar Kun's emotions even at this early stage in his training. Kun also studied the history of the Sith, Force-wielders devoted to the dark side.
Kun's impatience to learn more about the Force took him away from his studies on Dantooine. As he traveled the galaxy, he encountered the spirit of the Dark Jedi Freedon Nadd.
The spirit of Nadd exerted his influence and Exar Kun turned to the Sith and the dark side of the Force.
Read more here.
Blizzard has posted a statement reminding players of the negative consequences of buying gold and using power-leveling services.
We would like to make a clear statement here about the negative impact of buying gold and using power-leveling services. Every day, we encounter players who have been negatively affected and targeted by companies offering these services. So, we hope to raise awareness about the practices they engage in and the detrimental effects they have on all players, including their own customers, as well as on the game environment as a whole.
What many people don't realize when buying gold is the large impact it has on the game economy, and also how the companies selling gold obtain it. Our developers, in-game support, and anti-hack teams work diligently to stop the exploits these companies use and help players who have become victims of their services. We regularly track the source of the gold these companies sell, and find that an alarmingly high amount comes from hacked accounts. These are the friends, relatives, and guildmates you may know who have gone through the experience of having characters, gold, and items stripped from them after visiting a website or opening a file containing a trojan virus. Our teams work to educate players and assist them in avoiding account compromise, but the fact remains that the players themselves are often these companies' largest target as a source for gold, which the companies then turn around and sell to other players.
Through our normal support processes and the assistance of players, we also find that many accounts that have been shared with power-leveling services are then hacked into months later, and all of the items on the account are stripped and sold off. Basically, players have paid money to these companies, sometimes large amounts, and they're then targeted by these same companies down the road. We come across stories every week of the aftereffects of players using these services, and some players now have to deal with long-term repercussions -- in addition to consequences such as possible account suspension or closure, in many cases the companies they paid use their personal information to perpetrate identity theft and credit card fraud. These are long-lasting effects on players' personal lives that can take years to recover from.
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. I have an LGM Spellcrafter and I have been trying to figure out the Mystic Essence gems, which are for power. I know my power pool cap is very high yet I never see a change in my power pool when I imbue a Mystic Essence to a piece of equipment. Can you please explain how these affect the power pool when there is no visible change?
A. I ran to the Balancinator for this one: It increases your total power by the amount listed, but not by a percentage. For example, we will go under the assumption that a caster has 400 power points. This is the power pool. A bonus that is Power: 10% of power pool will increase your pool by 40 points up to 440. This is a noticeable difference because you have added another spell’s worth of power into your pool. The mystical essence jewels provides a flat benefit. Therefore, the bonus from it will be, Power: 10. This means that your power pool would only increase by 10 and your total power would be 410. In most cases, the bonus will not increase your power pool enough to cast an extra spell when you attempt to exhaust your power pool.
Read more here.
Flying Lab has posted a dev journal detailing the upcoming changes to Captain skills in the 1.2 patch for Pirates of the Burning Sea.
There’s a whole batch of captain skill changes in 1.2. Offhand, I’d estimate half of the captain skills changed in one way or another. The vast majority of these changes are improvements to existing skills, and thus it impacts all careers.
First, there were a few global changes.
Speed Debuffs: Straight speed debuff skills can no longer be stacked. In many cases, they already couldn’t stack, but we still let you fire off the skill and it didn’t have any effect – so you just wasted the Morale points and got nothing for it. Now we don’t let you use the skill unless it’ll actually do something.
Crew Recovery: Many skills now add or reduce crew recovery rates. For example, the skills that increase the level of your boarding party all provide a passive crew recovery rate increase.
Read more here.
At the Game Developer's Conference, the folks from The Chronicles of Spellborn unveiled a new trailer showing off Slywood, an area in TCoS.
The Developers of The Chronicles of Spellborn have unveiled this new Slywood trailer.
MMORPG.com visited with the folks from Nexon at this year's Game Developer's COnference. There, they provided us with these seven new screenshots from their upcoming MMORPG Mabinogi.
While at GDC, the team from MMORPG.com picked up with video from Nexon's Mabinogi
Check out all seven here.
While at the Game Developer's Conference, the team from Turbine sat down to talk with the team from MMORPG.com about the company and the games that they make.
While at the Game Developer’s conference in San Francisco, the MMORPG.com team had the opportunity to sit down with the folks from Turbine to talk about the company as a whole and even a little bit about the game. Joining us there were: Craig Alexander, the Vice President of Product Development for the company, along with Jeffrey Steefel Lord of the Rings Online’s Producer and Adam Mersky, the Director of Public Relations.
We began by talking to Craig about Turbine as a whole. He told us that the plan for Turbine and its games is evolutionary as they continue to build on what’s already in place to grow both the business and the games that Turbine produces.
These days, we were told, there are really four themes that Turbine follows:
Going Global – While many of us here in North America tend to look at the games industry from the perspective of the western market, Turbine is looking beyond that. The launch of Lord of the Rings Online in China and Korea are playing a large role in the company’s expansion.
Read it all here.
While at GDC, Larua Genender had the opportunity to sit down with Kate Paiz, the Senior Producer on Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach.
On February 28th, this upcoming Thursday, Turbine and thousands of DDO players celebrate the two year anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons Online. This past Thursday at the Game Developer’s Conference I had a chance to talk with Kate Paiz, Senior Producer of DDO. Not only did I get the dirt on the upcoming update 7, but we discussed the events planned to celebrate the game’s birthday.
First up in the line of birthday presents is a “price and lock” – users can purchase a 6 month subscription at the price of $9.99 per month, a total price of $59.94. This is almost $18 less than the normal monthly fee! This offer is available to past, present, and future subscribers, as long as they purchase during the anniversary celebration.
Read the whole article here.
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Flying Lab has announced the Australian Ambassador program, which provides Australian players the chance to play Pirates of the burning Sea free for a year.
I’m excited to announce a pretty amazing program designed for our Australian community members: the Australian Ambassador program!
This is an unprecedented opportunity for current Pirates of the Burning Sea customers residing in Australia to apply for a chance play our game for free for one whole year!
That’s right, one entire year of Pirates of the Burning Sea for free, and all you have to do is apply!
For more specific information and your chance to apply, click this link!
Read more here.