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Star Trek Online (Perpetual) : The Future of Star Trek Online

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

The future of the upcoming MMORPG Star Trek Online has been in question in many minds ever since the "indefinite hold" that was placed on Gods & Heroes. Yesterday, it was reported that P2 had lost the license and that it would be taken up by another company. Managing Editor Jon Wood explores at least one possibility for the game's future.

It seems like ages ago that Perpetual Entertainment announced the “indefinite hold” that had been placed on their historically-based MMORPG, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, leading many to question the future of the company’s other project, Star Trek Online.

When the original announcement hit that Perpetual’s original IP MMORPG would not see store shelves, the reason given by the company’s President Chris McKibbon was that the company would be focusing its efforts entirely upon their proprietary engine and on the development of Star Trek Online:

“Moving forward, we're shifting our collective focus, resources and development efforts to Perpetual's Platform Services division and Star Trek Online, thereby ensuring that the game lives up to the high level of expectation set by the dedicated Star Trek fan base.”

Read more here.

General : John Rhys-Davies Talks Games and Film

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

Actor John Rhys-Davies, known for his roles in the Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings films, was recently interviewed by Game Daily on his role in In the Name of the King.  In the interview he responds to questions about the film and why he took on the role quite candidly, and when he's asked to share his thoughts on Hollywood's current interest in so many video game IPs, his candor continues.  With the number of MMOs based on movies, and movies based on MMOs, including a Warcraft movie in the works, his words may be of interest to MMO gamers.

BIZ: In the Name of the King is one 40 movies based on video games in development in Hollywood. What are your thoughts about Hollywood's infatuation with games?

You really want me to answer that? It's a disaster. It's a disaster. One or two may succeed, and I hope this is one of them, but the structure of a game is completely unlike the structure of a film. And it shows the despair of the studios and producers that these movies even get a look at. If we had good writing, it would not happen. I think that right at the moment, the film industry in Hollywood is in a crisis because we have successfully excluded young and able talent for so long that now there is nothing left. There are only remakes and adaptations. There's this mentality of "oh my god. lets try to find another genre and see if we can invigorative that." When you look at the fact that only one in 10 films makes its money back, or makes enough money to keep the rest going, of these 40-odd films from games, are you going to see four successes out of that? I doubt it. If you see one or two, that will be good. It's dumb. It's stupid. But then who ever said the film industry was being controlled by smart people?

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 12: Week of the Champion

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

Book 12: The Ashen Wastes, the upcoming free expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, will make major changes and add new powers to the Guardian and the Burglar classes. But Guardians and Burglars aren't the only classes that will be getting a little love and attention, as Book 12 will also see smaller scale changes for the Champion as well.

Although the Champion was one of the first classes to undergo the "Month of" design process shortly after LOTRO's launch, we didn't yet have the wealth of feedback we've since received. In Book 12, we're taking the opportunity to address some of the issues that have been voiced since LOTRO went live. Since this is the second time we're looking at Champions, the update won't be as involved as the full-on "Month of" updates that Guardians and Burglars are receiving, but we hope to address most of the issues brought up by the Champion community as well as giving them the tools necessary to fulfill their class roles in LOTRO.


Currently, Fervour is the only choice of stance for most levels. The Book 12 Champion update will include a new stance, available at low levels. It won't be as all-out offensive as Fervour, but it will include in-combat power regeneration as well as allowing the Champion to Block, Parry and Evade, though at some penalty. In addition to the new stance, Glory is going to get a small boost in effectiveness and will be available at mid-levels.

These two changes should give Champions a good choice of trade-offs in their stance selection between offense and defense.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Blog Update -Questions and More

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

Jason Stone, a developer at Funcom, updates his Age of Conan blog here at This time around, Jason talks about Cheetah 2, Open Beta and even takes some time to answer a number of questions from readers.

First I want to thank all of you for the great feedback and excitement of those who have stopped by to read the new blog. Second, even if it is re-hashing what many of you already know I want to re-quote/link to the Open Beta message clarification posted by our Community Manager Pharamond:

Read the whole entry here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Chapter 8 Publish notes

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with the publish notes for Chapter 8: The Nova Orion Crisis.

Nova Orion Station:

  • Nova Orion Industries, a starship research and development company, is based out of a space station located in Ord Mantell space. Created by Jonas Nova and Garrick Orion, the company has grown from its humble origins to become a galactic level producer of starships. The Nova Orion space station is a hub for new space quests in Chapter 8.

Star Destroyer Heroic Encounter:

  • An Imperial captain has gone rogue and taken his Star Destroyer with him. A group of adventurers who want to take back the ship may recruit a pilot to smuggle them aboard. Solo flight options remain available; however, groups will earn bonuses in the instance if they enter via a POB ship. Your journey to the Star Destroyer begins in the Aurilia Adventurer's guildhall.
  • Added space-based collection system.
  • Added new ground collections.
  • Collection reward quests should now properly display the reward icons in the quest journal and the reward acceptance windows.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : State of the Game

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet has posted another installment of their state of the Game article series which examines PvP in Guild Wars.  This week they take a look back at 2007.

Happy New Year! With another Wintersday coming to an end, let's take a look back at 2007 and the multitude of changes that occurred in Guild Wars PvP.

Automated Tournaments and the last ladder reset

The beginning of 2007 saw the very last ladder reset, with rating and rank meant to measure tournament performance more than measuring ladder grind. The K-value of ladder matches dropped considerably to make them more of a training ground for the Automated Tournaments and to discourage "smurf" and "pug" guilds. Unfortunately, the complete AT system didn't debut for another few months and many players and guilds lost interest. However, ArenaNet has since reduced the membership requirements for tournament rosters and implemented a single-elimination format for the top guilds in monthly championships. And while smurfs and pugs persist due to the excessively long wait for matches at the top of the ladder, they at least have a reduced impact on ladder standing.

Automated Tournaments eventually led to changes in Victory or Death. Victory or Death itself now occurs at 18:00 and the Guild Lord marches at 20:00. NPCs also began marching to the stand at different intervals. Both of these changes made matches resolve faster without precluding strong split tactics.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : CES Update

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

When the Pirates of the Caribbean MMORPG launched before anyone knew what was happening, no one knew what to expect from the Disney game. Today, Carolyn Koh follows up on her first look at the game with a CES Progress Report.


The Disney group. What does that name convey? A higher bar than expected in others? I rather think so. “People expect big things from Disney,” said Katie Gerber, Communications Manager of the Walt Disney Internet Group, as we walked to their suite. Mike Goslin, Vice President, Virtual Reality Studio and Joe Shochet, Creative Director were there to speak about their game and answer what questions I had. We started off just chatting about the game, the changes they’ve implemented since release and their plans for the future.

PotCO was shipped with little fanfare. They had planned to ship with the opening of the 3rd movie, but that was just not to be, as the game just wasn’t ready at that point, Mike imparted. Their targeted audience is the wider non-game playing public. Such a diverse number of people is a hard group to target, but that is what Disney movies – especially their animated movies - target. Fun for the kids, with some adult humor built in to amuse the adults – take Aladdin with funny guy Robin Williams cast as the voice for the genie for example.

As an experienced MMOG player, I had some expectations. PotCO’s controls was quite different. But as I had mentioned before, if I could formulate a set of “standard” commands for MMOGs and get every development house to follow them, I would be a happy camper. Each time I played a different MMOG, I also had to figure out how to /tell or /whisper a friend, or trade an item – right click? Left click? Drag item over character? PotCO builds upon ToonTown, Disney’s first MMOG offering, so of course those who have played ToonTown will find the controls similar. Children ready to move onto a higher level game than ToonTown maybe?


Read the whole thing here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Countdown to Launch Screen - 7 Days

Posted Jan 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

Flying Lab Software is launching Pirates of the Burning Sea 7 days from now on January 22nd. To celebrate this, the company has provided us with an exclusive screenshot for each of the days remaining before launch.





More on PotBS here.

Age of Conan : AoC Blog Debuts!

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

Jason Stone, a designer on Age of Conan, has just kicked off a new Age of Conan blog here at In this first entry, Jason introduces himself and the Age of Conan blog where he hopes to "ghlight the goings on in the Age of Conan community, respond to community questions and feedback, give you sneak peeks into my own Beta experiences, and share tidbits from my life as a lucky sap who ended up with every nerdy gamers dream job."

Welcome to the first Age of Conan developer’s blog here on For the time being I will be the only contributor but as time goes on we hope some of the other dev team members get time to participate. Who am I you ask? Well that’s the very first questions I would like to answer. My name is Jason Stone, I am also known as “Athelan” both on these forums, in interviews and on the official forums. For the past three and a half years I have worked as a designer on Age of Conan. Some of my areas of responsibility have been with combat and PvP and being heavily involved in the design and iteration of those areas. Now I am only one designer out of many designers with different specialties and responsibilities and it takes all of us to produce a great game.

Read it here.

Age of Conan : Age of Conan Will Have Open Beta

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Age of Conan Community Manager Shannon  Drake has posted a clarification in the AoC forums, about whether or not Age of Conan will have an open beta, as there were several reports out of CES last week stating the contrary.  Age of Conan will indeed have an open beta, but the beta won't be wide open, as there will be an application process.

Looks like there was a miscommunication/misunderstanding at the show.

We are planning to have an open beta for the game as we get closer to launch, however, it will be through specific partners and require an application/registration process, much like most of the other betas for most other games.

We will be limiting the number of keys we release to a manageable number at any given time, rather than subjecting people to queues and loading screens and so on. By "a manageable number," we mean tens of thousands, not just a handful.

We’re also ramping up some of our tech test betas, and, of course, we’ll be doing key giveaways, inviting forum veterans, and inviting more people to the current, closed stage of beta as we ramp up for launch.

So, yes, there will be a wider-scale open beta, but it will require an application/registration process and won’t be as simple as “press button, get key,” which is what we wanted to say.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Patch Notes Published

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab Software has posted the patch notes for build of Pirates of the Burning Sea, which will see several changes made to low level missions, some sound problems fixed, stability issues addressed, and more.


  • Stability: This patch includes several client graphics fixes that will improve performance, remove glitches for some ATI video cards, and stop crashes. We also fixed a crash in the sound manager and several server crashes.
  • Sound Fixes: We fixed a client bug many of you encountered where your framerate in towns would slow down temporarily while music was playing. This is now gone. If you turned your Music volume slider down to avoid this problem, turn it back up again!
  • Low-level mission revamp: The Open Beta taught us that there were too many missions in the low-level towns and that they were even lower level than they should be. We have made many changes here so that the number and level of missions better matches your leveling rate. This change means you will have missions closer to your level more often. That means the missions will be less boring (fewer “minor” ships!) and will also give better XP and doubloon rewards because they’ll be higher level. Details are below.
  • Black Point: We also fixed the problem with ship deed turn-in at Black Point.

Read more here.

General : New Game from Codemasters

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Codmasters has announced that they will be unveiling their latest contribution to the world of MMOs at the Connect 2008 online gaming event.  The new MMO will be fully playable at the event, and is currently set for a late 2008 release.

January 14th, 10am GMT - Codemasters Online announced today that the company's new blockbuster MMO game, scheduled for release in late 2008, will be unveiled at the forthcoming Connect 2008 online gaming event. The new MMO will be fully playable for the first time at Connect 2008 in a world exclusive for the event!

Ed Relf, Director of Marketing, Codemasters Online commented "This is just one of many exclusives we are lining up for lucky visitors to Codemasters Online Connect this year! The support for Connect 2008 is growing rapidly since its announcement this week and we look forward to unveiling both this and further exclusives during this 2-day gaming festival.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : PvP Predictors Wanted

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Guild Wars are looking for PvP predictors, people who are brave enough to attempt to predict the outcomes of each monthly tournament and have their guesses posted on the Guild Wars site.

You've seen the Xunlai predictions our writers have made for past tournaments. Now we want to give you the opportunity to show off your own prowess at prognostication. We are looking for interesting "PvP Predictors" (as we're calling them) to forecast winners for each monthly tournament.

We'll then select several guest guessers each month and publish their predictions on the website. If we like the results or analysis of a particular predictor, we may even ask that person to return for further predictions and even more detailed analyses in the future.

Interested? Please read the rules below carefully. Have fun, and good luck!

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Weekend Wrapup

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Tabula Rasa official site has been updated with the Weekend Wrapup, which puts a few player events in the spotlight, and provides a preview of the notes for the next patch.

In this week's Weekend Wrapup we showcase 2 player events and share a couple patch note previews from 1.4.

Patch Note Preview

  • Ammo Costs – Expensive to use weapons such as Machine Guns, Leech Guns, Polarity Guns, and Propellant Guns now take lower quality ammunition at higher levels.
  • Players will now have a chance to stop and take a breather with the /sit and /laydown commands.

Friday Night Fights

Player Iwamoto dominated this week's Friday Night Fights. He bravely battled several competitors and won a chance to fight the Mystery Fighter - Mooch from Irendas Penal Colony! In the end, Iwamoto won the challenge to be declared this week's winner.

Read more here.

Star Trek Online (Perpetual) : P2 No Longer STO Developer

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

WarCry is reporting that Star Trek Online will no longer be developed by P2 Entertainment.  The Star Trek Online license and content, but not the code, has passed on to another un-named developer in the San Francisco area.  While P2 remains in business, and plan to focus their efforts on their Perpetual Platform and on casual games.  It is unclear at this time what this means for Star Trek Online's development and release schedule.

P2 Entertainment - formerly Perpetual Entertainment - has ceased development on Star Trek Online, according to multiple sources at the San Francisco based developer. The news does not, however, mean that the game is canceled. The license, as well as the game's content - but not the code - have been transferred to another Bay Area development studio where work will continue. It is not entirely clear at this time what this means for the individual developers who worked on the project at P2.

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.

Q. There is a mob named Behemoth in Darkness Falls. He hits for 2-3k per hit, basically one-shotting 99% of people. As far as I know, the only way to get to him is to be randomly teleported by the Legion mob. I can't seem to find anyone that has killed him. My question is: Is this mob killable? If so, what does he drop? Also, is there another means to get to him besides the random teleport? Thanks!

A. Bearded Wonder: This mob is not killable. It has no loot. You have to be sent there. Can’t get a straighter reply than that. I hear Behemoth is rather lonely this time of year, you know, right after the holidays and all. Maybe if you ask Legion really nicely, you can go pay him a visit?

Q. What's the deal with disease and spreadheal? Does disease affect spreadheal the same way as it affects single-target and group heals?

A. From the Balancinator: The deal with disease is that it reduces the effectiveness of healing spells. The deal with spreadheal is that it heals the most damaged members of the group. A spreadheal is affected by disease and will be less effective because of it.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Countdown to Launch Screen - 8 Days

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

Flying Lab Software is launching Pirates of the Burning Sea 8 days from now on January 22nd. To celebrate this, the company has provided us with an exclusive screenshot for each of the days remaining before launch.





Check out more on PotBS here.

Spellborn : Dev Chat Summary

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

On Sunday, the team from The Chronicles of Spellborn stopped by do participate in a developer chat about the game's world and story. Today, Laura Genender summarizes some of the important information that came out during the chat.

Yesterday afternoon, Chronicles of Spellborn's Pierre-Yves Deslandes (PR Manager), Wlfriend Papillon (German Community Manager), Aurelia (English Community Manager), El Drijver (Combat and Game Designer), and Michael Wolf (Lead Content Designer) joined us in the chatroom for a special dev chat event. When we last spoke with the TCoS team, our focus was the game's unqiue combat system; today's topic, though, was the lore and world of Spellborn.


With Michael Wolf at our disposal, many of last night's questions concerned the story and storyline of TCoS. One of the most interesting topics to me was the TCoS method of allowing users a permanent change on the world.

"There will be events that have an impact on the game." Wolf told us. In fact, these effects will be permanent - things can be altered in ways that are never undone. The players and guilds who first complete these tasks are rewarded sometimes with monuments to them: "We've already told everyone that we will have the Statues there for certain guild events and such...and those will be unique...there will be unique things for players and guilds to have...and people will look at that statue going 'Damn, they beat us to it!'"

Read the whole thing here.

The Agency : CES Screenshots

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

At CES, Carolyn Koh was given these five screenshots from SOE's upcoming spy-thirller MMORPG, The Agency.



Check 'em out here.

The Agency : CES Update on The Agency

Posted Jan 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh, who traveled last week to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show has returned and today files this report on SOE's upcoming spy-based MMORPG, The Agency.

Designer Hal Milton, Studio Manager Matt Wilson and Art Director Corey Dangel were all present in Vegas and showing off The Agency, but Hal was doing all the talking. He was on a caffeine high (I understood they actually let him have a double latte) and the other guys were letting him talk. Nineteen to the dozen, spewing out facts faster than machine gun fire, his passion for The Agency evident in every wave of his hands, he talked while we watched the trailer and took disjointed notes as quickly as we could write.

James Bond, Modesty Blaise, Man from Uncle, Mission Impossible, those are the worlds that The Agency epitomizes. Suave sophistication, high espionage mixed up with fast action, high-risk missions. It’s about cool gadgetry and plain old fire power. You choose your style. Do you prefer the suave, sophisticated Bruce Wayne, silent, utility-belt-nifty method of gaining entrance into a locked facility? Then you would probably join U.N.I.T.E. (United Nations Intelligence and Tactical Experts). If you identify with the down and dirty Frank Castle fire-power jeep and bazooka method of entry, you might prefer ParaGON, the Paramilitary Global Operations Network.

We listened to the main Agency theme as the trailer rolled and Hal talked, praising the composition by Tom Salta – the composer for music for games such as Red Steel, Ghost Recon2 and for NBC’s 2006 Winter Olympics. “It really gets you going! You think you know the theme. It’s so familiar you feel like you know it,” and it is. The main theme is Get Smart, Mission Impossible and James Bond, but it’s not – and yet, that will give readers an idea of the excitement the music elicits in listeners.

Read all about it here.

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