The associated press is reporting on a recent study performed by a psychology professor at Syracuse University which examined how captivating different forms of video game entertainment are in comparison to one another. Although the scope of the study is too small in participants and the number of games played to draw any concrete conclusions, it does raise some points that may be of interest to MMO players.
NEW YORK (AP) — Role-playing games with an Internet element are so much more captivating than equivalent electronic games that they change users' lives, cutting into their sleep and boosting the time they spend playing, a new study shows.
So-called massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, have become a huge phenomenon in the game world in the last five years. The largest, "World of Warcraft," has more than 9 million players.
The study by Joshua Smyth, a Syracuse University psychology professor, says one reason for their success is they really suck in players.
Smyth divided 100 student volunteers randomly into four groups. One got tokens to play at a local arcade, a second played the adventure game "Gauntlet: Dark Legacy" on a Sony Corp. PlayStation 2 console and the third played role-playing game "Diablo II" on computers.
Read the full article here.
IGG has released information about some of the new monsters that were added to the game with the implementation of its most recent version.
Tales of Pirates has added many new advanced monsters into its new version.
Players probably haven’t ever come across this cuddly little guy before. The cursed Ice Dragon has only bones instead of flesh and blood, and the magic curse that holds it together has made the dragon ruthless and terribly cunning.
Coming across this sinister beauty is both frightening and strangely alluring. She is the sister of the Goddess, but not as mild as her. The Soul of the Goddess is half angel and half demon, so she is very mobile and easily irritated. Don’t bother her unless you absolutely have to.
In addition, there are still many more powerful monsters , such as the Cursed Corpse?Wandering Mermaid?Horrible Yeti… and they all reside in the ToP world and often attack innocent villagers. Warriors! Wait no longer. For glory and honor players must find these monsters and kill them all!
Read more about Tales of Pirates here.
NCONY Enterprise has announced that their upcoming MMO, Pi Story, will enter it's second round of closed beta on October 26th.
Seoul , Korea - October 20, 2007 - After 2 months of additional development and upgrades, NCONY Enterprise is proud to announce the reopening of the Pi Story (www.pistory.gamengame.com) game server for a second round of closed beta tests. Closed Beta Test 2 will begin at 6 p.m. on October 26th and close at 7 a.m. on November 2nd. The servers are open 13 hours a day, from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. GMT.
Major bugs reported by players from the last closed beta round have been tested and fixed for a smoother game play. The server's performance has also been improved for less network issues. New additions to the game include more maps, a new class, and enhanced battle skills for a better game experience.
Players who participated in the Closed Beta Test 1 in September will receive a special game item as a thank you for playing the last test round. In addition, to celebrate Halloween, the developers of Pi Story have also created limited edition Halloween avatar items so that players can spice up there characters look and celebrate the Halloween event as they play! These items will be only be offered during Closed Beta Test 2.
Read more about Pi Story here.
NCsoft has announced that they will be holding several special events to mark the end of the Tabula Rasa Beta, including a challenge to take on General British himself. Tabula Rasa is set to launch next week on November 2nd.
In anticipation of next week's launch of Tabula Rasa we would like to invite you to join us in our end of beta event. The Tabula Rasa team will be playing and challenging you to take on General British himself on Friday, October 26, 2007 from 10:00 PM to 11:59 PM Central Time. If you haven't had the opportunity to play the beta, sign up with FilePlanet now! There will be other surprises, so make sure to log-in during our last week in Beta. Beta keys are available through FilePlanet.
Read more here.
IGG has posted a preview of some of the NPCs that players will be able to meet in Godswar Online. The game's ambiguous timeline allows for an amusingly anachronistic assortment of characters from Greek legend.
GodsWar Online is set in the Demigod Age of Greek mythology and most of the NPCs are also from that same age, with each NPC representing a particular culture. NPC, which is short for Non Player Character, is an indispensable component of any game.
Many heroes of Greek mythology are NPCs for GodsWar Online. Because the game doesn't focus on a specific year, some famous Greek heroes of different eras are able to get together in the mythological world. These notable NPCs include Heracles, the Athenian King Theseus, Jason and his wife Medea, and also some famous characters from the Trojan War including Helen, Agamemnon, Achilles, and Odysseus. These characters are in different cities throughout the game. Players can meet them in each city while traveling the world and learn all kinds of skills and magic from them.
The number of NPCs is countless. There are service NPCs, special NPCs, monsters and so on. Meeting and greeting these NPCs will be a lot of fun! This is only a brief introduction of the NPCs within GodsWar, more exciting details will be released as they become available.
Read more here.
The folks over at Dark Age of Camelot have posted a list of events that will be taking place in the game in honor of Halloween, including the cryptic statement, "Something strange has happened to all of the puppies."
October is the month when frightening phantoms, restless revenants, and spooky spirits roam the streets and countryside. Here are some of the crazy things you will see during this time of year.
The Ghostly Harvest Quest offers players level 45 and up a dangerous adventure in the frontiers. Speak with John Tobin on the Cotswold Bridge, Foa Muldisson outside the Jordheim North Gates, or Nera by the road in Mag Mell to begin the quest.
Treat sellers have been spotted selling sugary confections inside Meath, Erikstaad, and Caerwent.
The consignment merchants would like to show you their Halloween spirit! Pick up the merchant and place it back down on your house porch and he will change into a Halloween outfit for you!
Be aware adventurers! Ghosts haunt the streets of your capital cities as the pumpkin moon rises!
The horses you once rode have joined the spirit realm. (This affects stable and merchant horses only - not player controlled horses.)
Something strange has happened to all of the puppies.
Read more here.
Turbine has published the full release notes for Lord of the Rings Online: Book 11 Defenders of Eriador, the latest free content expansion that is set to be released on Wednesday October 24th.
High level world content
- Tâl Bruinen (in Trollshaws)
- Northern High Pass (in Misty Mountains)
- Southern High Pass (in Misty Mountains)
- Goblin-town (in Misty Mountains)
And... introducing a new level 50 epic 12-player raid: in The Rift of (Nûrz Ghâshu)
- In the far northeast corner of Angmar, the Angmarim in their desperation have opened a long-sealed door and begun mining for obsidian and iron in a place simply known as The Rift. They have uncovered long since forgotten tales and evils. The Rangers of Gath Forthnír, led by the Elf-lord Iorelen, are now keeping tabs on this expedition and need your help!
- This new area features:
- 7 new Rift Class Armour sets
- 7 new Rift Class-restricted weapons
- And 7 new monsters!
Read the full Release Notes 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 heard an in-game rumor that there are plans to remove stealth from all the archers in the game, is that true and if so why?
A. I have a funny story about this question. The Balancinator got me good when I forwarded it to him. He messaged me and said, “How did people find this out already?! Hardly anyone knows about it!” I was halfway through a panic-stricken letter to the Producer when I was reassured: Missy, I was joking. We have no plans to remove stealth from the game. It reminds me of that old proverb. Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.
Q. I used to be able to use tinderboxes in Darkness Falls, but now it says I can't. I've talked to many who remember using them there. Is there a bug or did you change it?
A. The Bearded Wonder explained this one for me: The tinderboxes were designed to not work in RVR related zones and Darkness Falls is in that category. If they were usable there for some time, this would have been the bug. So as you describe them now, they’re working the way they were designed to work.
Read more here.
SOE has posted messages across it's family of sites informing players that there will be limited customer support today, Monday October 22nd, on account of wildfires in the San Diego area.
Technical, In-Game and Account support will be in limited operation on Monday, October 22nd 2007 due to wildfires in the San Diego area. During this time, support will be available but response time may be delayed. We will keep you updated with any changes in the situation.
For your convenience our Self-help knowledgebase is also available at www.station.sony.com/kb with answers to your questions. E-mail support is also available any time at www.station.sony.com/kb.
Read more here.
In this week's Community Blog Spotlight, Community Manager Laura Genender highlights two blogs with opposing viewpoints about PvE and the competitive nature of MMOs.
This week’s blog spotlight is a head to head debate between poster Vajuras, author of I Have a Dream; and poster NetSapiens, the mind behind Family Man Gamer. These two bloggers take differing standpoints on the competitive nature of gamers even in PvE: parsers, braggarts, and the optimal build.
In his blog, NetSapiens states that “people in a competitive environment will want to optimize their characters, in order to compete. You can’t compete in a game of Tennis if one guy brings a tennis racket and the other brings a gun and a basket of oranges.” For NetSapiens, gear analysis and DPS data makes perfect sense when it’s PvP.
Read the whole column here.
Michael Fiegel, a former writer and content designer for Perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes, pens this article from a developer's perspective, about the indefinite hold that has been put on the game and his own reactions to it.
You will never meet the young lady in the sewers. You will never discover why she's down there, or what she's looking for, or how that involves a disembodied spirit with a short temper.
You will never meet the man who -- mimicking a myth he had once heard -- tied his infant daughter to a spear and hurled her into a river, assuming the gods would save her. You will never learn if he was right.
You will never meet the daughter of the goddess of vengeance. You will never hear her warning about the weather, never hear her funny quips and wry observations. You will never learn where the West Wind went.
The reason you will never meet these people is that the game they were a part of, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, was put on "indefinite hold" on October 9. For six months prior to that date, I was a writer and content designer for the game, and the individuals mentioned above were but a few of the hundreds of personalities, quests and stories I created during that time, alongside a team of other writers, implementors and designers.
Read the whole article here.
CCP's Chief Operating Officer issues a statement about today's EVE Online downtime and security breach. According to Hörðdal, no account or billing information was compromised and the servers are back up and being closely monitored.
EVE Online service restored after unexpected downtime
CCP Chief Operating Officer Jón Hörðdal has issued the following statement regarding the unexpected interruption of service for EVE Online and its website on Friday, October 19.
At 10:25 GMT today we discovered an anomaly in the EVE Online Database indicating a potential exploit. Our policy in such cases is to mobilize a taskforce of internal and external experts to evaluate the situation. At 12:57 that group concluded that our best course of action was to go completely dark while an exhaustive scan of our entire infrastructure was executed.
What we discovered was an indication that one of our databases was being accessed through a security breach. While some may feel that such a drastic reaction was not warranted, it is always our approach to err on the side of caution in order to protect the players.
We of course understand the effect and disruption this has had for our players and apologize for not having been able to explain to the community what was going on. In these cases it can often be counterproductive to containment to give out information while we are in the process of evaluating the scope of the problem.
Our taskforce quickly found the security breach and prevented that from being used. We subsequently found three cases of database actions being performed through the security breach but none of those affected other users than the one doing the actions. We can also confirm that no personal details such as users’ credentials or credit card numbers were exposed through this incident.
The servers were brought back online at 22:00 GMT and we will of course continue to monitor the situation closely over the weekend and the following week.
Again we sincerely apologize for this disruption.
Chief Operating Officer, CCP
Read more here.
The Gods and Heroes official site has been updated with a brief message telling people who pre-ordered the game how to receive a refund.
Pre-Order Return Information
If you Pre-Ordered Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, please contact the retailer where you purchased the pre-order. They should give you a full refund.
Read more here.
Eight new images depicting scenes from Wrath of the Lich King have been added to our World of Warcraft screenshot gallery.
To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.
The folks over at Lineage II have created a preview site detailing all of the content additions for the next major free expansion, The Chaotic Throne: The Kamael.
Learn more about The Chaotic Throne: The Kamael update by browsing through the preview site! Take a look at the Kamael and their classes, new items, Fortress Battles, new account services, and the new areas to get a taste of what’s coming in The Chaotic Throne: The Kamael!
Visit the preview site here.
The Age of Conan official site has been updated with a look at the role of women in Age of Conan and the differences between the game's view and the 1930's view of the original Conan Lore.
The women of Hyboria have long been a lively debated topic among the Age of Conan community, even to the extent where many of you doubted their very existence in the game.
Suffice to say Hyboria will be FILLED with women of all kinds, from the “to be expected” female prostitutes to the extremely able female fighters.
As some of you may have picked up during our development, we have chosen a somewhat updated view on women compared to the works of Robert E. Howard. The world circa-2007 is very different, in most places, than the 1930’s in which the original Conan stories came around. Early on in our development, we therefore made a very clear and conscious choice: Namely that any female player in Hyboria should be just as strong and able as any man! The strong, fierce and independent female is perfectly in line with the lore of Howard, however, we have expanded it to include ALL the female players. And seriously guys, you wouldn’t want anything else, now would you? (let the discussions start!)
Read more here.
NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES
- The style 'Heel Clip' has been added to the Shield specialization line at level 49. 'Heel Clip' is a low damage and high fatigue rear positional melee Cone Area of Effect (CAoE) snare.
- The Mauler Champion Weapons will no longer lose durability when repaired. Because of this change, these items can no longer be repaired by players. Any lost durability on these items can now be repaired along with lost condition at a NPC Smith.
- The Personal Bind Recall stone, Guild-house Recall stone, and Personal House Recall stone now have the proper self-only widgets.
- The volume has been decreased on the introductory game sound (Mythic.wav) by 50%.
CLASS CHANGES AND FIXES
- The level 15 sword style 'Aurora' is now a 14 damage bleed that lasts for 20 seconds and ticks every 4 seconds.
- The level 50 sword style 'Ragnarok' now has a 40% snare for a duration of 23 seconds.
- The level 4 Left Axe style 'Doubler' is now a front positional attack with an 8 damage per tick bleed.
- The level 18 Left Axe style 'Comeback' now has a style effect of an Armor Factor (AF) debuff.
- The level 21 Left Axe style 'Scathing Blade' now chains off of 'Doubler'.
- The level 29 Left Axe style 'Snowsquall' now has a spell effect of a 19 second snare.
- The level 44 Left Axe style 'Icy Brilliance' now has a spell effect of a 30% weapon speed debuff.
Read more here.
SOE has announced that they will be holding Legends of Norrath Tournaments on Saturday, October 27th where participating players will receive their choice of one of two loot cards, and a special promotional card illustrated by Jim Lee.
Legends of Norrath tournaments are scheduled to go live Saturday, October 27th 2007. SOE is set to host large scale tournament events where players can win extraordinary in-game loot rewards! All weekend long players can jump into one of the "Loot Tournament Weekend" event queues which will start when all slots have filled. Each player that participates in one of these tournaments will have their account flagged to receive a Lucan D'Lere, Ruthless Tactician (1P3) promotional card (illustrated by Jim Lee) and a choice of either an EverQuest® Scale of Rodcet Nife or EverQuest® II Bottled Breath loot card! Please note that participation is limited to U.S. residents only.
Read more here.
In this short-but-sweet edition of MMOWTF, Dan Fortier takes a swing at what he calls "kiddie MMOs", friendship meters, decorating contests and the like.
That’s right...I said it. Happy Games make me want to kill. If that isn’t clear enough let me put a finer point on it: Games that involve cartoon characters, emasculated male avatars, sparkly music and non-violent ways to compete with fellow players send me into a murderous rage that typically involves turning green and huffing paint. There is just something about really big eyes and a small mouth that gets my adrenaline pumping and makes me want to inflict serious virtual damage on people and property. This week, I take my impotent aggression out on kiddie MMOs and the adults who keep them profitable. Yar!
It seems that a month doesn’t go by in which an MMO that caters to kids (and the people that stalk them) is released. A fair portion of these titles are imported from counties that literally crank out these games in a non-stop stream. The ones that make it to our side of the pond are usually poorly translated and virtually carbon copies of each other minus a title and a quickly assembled backstory pasted haphazardly onto the genre of choice. Is this some kind of payback for something we did wrong in a past life?
Read it all here.
Blizzard has announced a host of Hallow's End festivities taking place across Azeroth. Players will be able to talk to innkeepers for tricks or treats, bob for apples, help sick orphans, or do battle with the Headless Horseman.
Trick or Treat!
Every year during Hallow's End, adventurers celebrate the time when the Forsaken broke away from the Scourge. Heroes for the Horde and Alliance can speak with any innkeeper and get a Treat Bag with a fun surprise inside! Open it as soon as you get it or else it will fade away. Be wary, though. The innkeepers are just as likely to trick you, changing your perspective on life.
In addition to the innkeepers with their tricks and their Treat Bags, adventurers can purchase sweets from vendors in Orgrimmar and Ironforge. If candy isn't quite your thing, no problem! Every inn has a tub prepared for a game of Bobbing for Apples. Also, Jesper, an orphan in Stormwind, and Spoops, an orphan in Orgrimmar, are both sick and can't join in the Hallow's End festivities themselves. Brave adventurers can make these two children feel better by speaking with certain innkeepers and bringing the treats they give you back to the orphans as a gift.
The Wickerman Festival, which takes place outside the Undercity every evening, promises fun for the Horde and the Alliance! For those interested more in tricks than treats, Darkcaller Yanka wants members of the Horde to throw stink bombs at the Alliance town of Southshore. Sergeant Hartman in Southshore encourages members of the Alliance to do their best to stop the Horde lest they be stuck cleaning up the stink! To get back at the Horde, he'll also ask you to crash the Wickerman Festival outside of the Undercity. Everyone is advised to sharpen their blades, tighten their girths, and prepare for battle!
Read more about World of Warcraft's Halloween activities here.