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Warhammer Online : Press Conference Coverage

Posted May 02, 2008 by Jon Wood

 On Wednesday evening, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood attended a press conference for Ea Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Today, he recaps the information for us in this article.

On Wednesday, a number of press outlets were invited to take part in a telephone press conference with the guys from EA Mythic who were there to talk about their progress to this point in development.

While a lot of what was said was information that we have reported on in the past (there were a number of outlets there that have not had the same opportunities to cover the game as we have had), but there were some gems in there on subjects like the lorebook, sieges, updates and more!

Within minutes of joining the call, I could tell that this was going to be another typical Warhammer event, making best use of the controlled madness that is the Warhammer promotional team of Paul Barnett, Jeff Hickman, and Josh Drescher. This time, they were joined by Adam Gershowitz and Destin Bales.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Earthrise Newsletter #1

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

Masthead Studios has published the very first issue of the Earthrise Newsletter, which brings a flood of information about all things Earthrise.

Welcome to the first Earthrise newsletter,

   In the three months since Earthrise was announced, we have turned the heads of MMO fans and Sci-Fi enthusiasts alike landing on many lists of games to watch for 2009. Now, it is a pleasure for us to announce the start of the monthly Earthrise newsletter that will be fans official source for the latest in exclusive information relating to our upcoming post-apocalyptic MMORPG – Earthrise.

   In each month's issue readers can expect to find features on the development team at Masthead Studios, the latest in Earthrise development news, a message from Moll, the Community Manager, spotlights on fan sites and Earthrise fan artwork, and yes, exclusive screenshots!

   Moll, the forums Community Manager, delves into hot topics in the Earthrise forums, the popular Question of the Week feature, and more. And to start things off right, we have included several screenshots to satisfy your visual hunger.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Point-a-Pitre Makeover

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab Software has posted a devlog detailing the work they are doing to improve play in Point-a-Pitre in Pirates of the Burning Sea.

We’ve been waiting a long time to send Point-à-Pitre into the live game. The towns in our game are great, but we see so much more possibility in them. This is why we made Tortuga and Point-à-Pitre. Sometimes though, we let our enthusiasm for the cool things our art and content teams can do eclipse the best possible game design. When that happens we listen to our players and make changes based on their feedback, which is what we’re going to do now.

What we’ve heard from players about both towns and the feedback is pretty similar:

• Stuff you need to do is too far away from the coxswain.
• Too hard to find your way around—“mazelike” is the word, I think.
• It’s too big.
• Maps are hard to read because of all the stairs / 3D areas.
• Tunnels are repetitive and boring.

To address these issues, we’re going to do a number of things. First, we’re going to move important locations and NPCs in Point-à-Pitre to be closer to the coxswain and easier to get to. Check out the map below. Very soon, all of the places you’d need to go for missions, etc., will be within the yellow outline there. That should make it a lot faster and easier to navigate to what you need.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : Internal Interview and Screenshots

Posted May 02, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks at Disney Online have provided us with this new, internal Q&A with Pirates of the Caribbean Online Game Developer Jason Yeung on the game and what's coming. They have also provided us with six new screenshots!

Q: So what’s the deal with Davy Jones and the Kraken? Do you have plans to add them to the game? Any hints on when that might happen?

A: Yes, we are definitely planning on adding Davy Jones and the Kraken to the game, and along with them will be all new Quests. Stay tuned for more details!

Q: Is it possible to solo your way through the game, or do you need to join a Crew and/or Guild? Which would you recommend?

A: It is possible to solo, but a core part of our game is the ability for players to assemble a crew of friends. Crews and Guilds are both useful in different ways. Joining a Crew is like playing a pickup basketball game, where you play with different people every time. Crews work together and treasure is split according to the Pirate Code. Joining a Guild is more like playing in a league – you play with the same people every time.

Read it all here.

Stargate Worlds : Beta Registration Hits 65k in One Day

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Stargate Worlds have sent word that only one day after the announcement that they were accepting registration for the SGW Beta, the number of people who have signed up has swelled to 65,000.

Only a day since the official announcement, the beta list for Stargate Worlds is already pushing 65,000 sign-ups! "We are extremely excited and overwhelmed by the positive response by fans to get a chance to beta test," said Senior Community Manager Katie Postma. " It gives the dev team a feeling of support and encouragement to know that so many people want to share this game with us, and work with us to make it better and better!"

Remember that the beta process has just begun, so please be patient if you have not been accepted yet. Testers will be added slowly over time, ramping up with much larger numbers in the coming months.

If you have yet to register for beta, do so now!

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Privateer Skill Changes

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Pirates of the Burning Sea official site has been updated with another installment of their devlog series which looks at skill changes in version 1.4 of the game.  Today's target is the Privateer.

If you havent read about the general skill changes, check the start of the first devlog in this series. You can find it here.

One of the common complaints about Privateers is that they have skill options they want to take, but they are forced to invest in paths they dislike to get a specific skill. Sanctioned Piracy is the usual culprit. Now, Sanctioned Piracy is a free skill that Privateers receive at level 15. Weve also done some restructuring and adjustments to make more chains viable.

In the process, we removed the following skills from Privateers: Grease the Wheels, All or Nothing Shot 1, No Quarter, Stealth 1, Hide Crew, Maneuver 1 and Defense 1. Here are some of the new Privateer skills to replace the old ones:

 Sturdy Rigging – Tier 3 Agility: Provides a passive boost to mast integrity. ~12.5% mast integrity
 Agile Tactician – Tier 4 Agility: A group buff similar to Battle Doctrine. 1% resist, turn, damage, accel

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Hyborian Leveling Contest

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that US Conan fans that are currently playing in the Fileplanet beta for Age of Conan can take part in a leveling contest for the chance to win prizes.

Great prizes to be won for U.S. players on Fileplanet. Who levels up the fastest?

The 'Beta Leveling Contest' has started on Fileplanet. Players who level two (2) class types to the maximum level 13 in the LEAST amount of time will be declared potential winner and get a chance to win great prizes like Signed Collector's Editions, In-Game Virtual items and much more.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Children's Week

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced the return of Children's week, the annual holiday where adventurers take wee ones under their wing and show them how to adventure in Azeroth.

Children's Week is celebrated once a year in Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and Shattrath City. The week-long celebration is a time to give back to the innocents of war: the orphans! Learn more about this special in-game event and its new rewards on our updated Children's Week information page.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Game Update 45 Sneak Peek

Posted May 02, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has published a sneek peak at Game Update 45 for EverQuest II, which features changes to Coercers and Priest classes, more bank slots for players, and more.

There are a great many changes coming with Game Update 45! There's interesting changes coming for some casting and healing classes (Coercers and Priest classes, mainly), new world events, ways to get achievement experience from quests far under your level, bank additions, tradeskill revamps, and even a little more breathing room for the bigger encounters you may come across in your adventures! You had better get ready, there's a good chance that regardless of what you do across Norrath, you'll be affected by this Game Update in a very positive way!

  • Coercers will see a great amount of changes in this Game Update to help in possessing the essences of others as well as many other changes to your abilities! The "possession" spells of Coercers will see changes to harness your pet's essence for better control. In other magical news, Thought stones, Essences of Anguish and Nil Crystals are finally obsolete! Thanks to the respective magical guilds of Qeynos and Freeport, Coercers and Necromancers and Warlocks will no longer have to deal with spell components. There's far more then this that's mentioned here for our casting friends, so if you're a caster and your class hasn't been mentioned yet, you may yet see some changes too!
  • Priest classes, you're nowhere near left out of this Update! Cures for Inquisitors and Templars will see a huge change to help stem the feeling of "whack-a-mole" when you're dealing with diseases, physical ailments, magical afflictions and elemental scourges. Coming with Update 45, all four of the priest single-target cure spells will be funneled to one all-purpose cure that'll deal with what's afflicting you (or whomever you're helping). Again, this change only affects those of the priestly classes, so magical cures from casters won't see this change.

Read more here.

Wonderland Online : Over $600 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Posted May 01, 2008 by Craig McGregor

We are hosting a new contest with Wonderland Online where we are giving away over $600 in gift cards for Amazon.com along with game points for Wonderland!

The prize breakdown is:

  • (1) $100 Amazon.com gift card + 500 Wonderland Points
  • (5) $50 Amazon.com gift card + 500 Wonderland Points
  • (10) $30 Amazon.com gift card + 200 Wonderland Points
  • (20) 200 Wonderland Points

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

Are you ready to enter?  JUST CLICK HERE!

Age of Conan : Beta Preview... Preview

Posted May 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

On this first day of un-embargoed goodness for Funcom's Age of Conan, Managing Editor Jon Wood shares his initial impressions of the very early stages of the game.

About a week ago, I finally got myself into the Age of Conan beta. With the embargo lifting today for us reporters, I thought I'd share my very early impressions of the game. There will be a full beta report coming in the next week or so, but even though I haven't had a chance to play a great deal, the game as already made some initial impressions on me that I can share.

As a result, this beta preview preview will talk about character creation and the newbie experience. A lot of the time we, as more hardcore players, underestimate the importance of those first few levels. In the rush that many peope have to reach endgame content, we forget that most people will live or die on their first few hours of gameplay, deciding whether their subscriptions will last more than a month or whether this game will be just another box lining their shelves.

Read the whole preview here.

The Sims Online : Game to End

Posted May 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

A sad day for fans of The Sims Online as EA announces the game's closure on August 1st, 2008.

It is with mixed emotions that today we are announcing the EA-Land experiment will soon draw to a close. Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world.

Below are some facts about how the site and service will be closed. Please see also a special message from the team that maintained EA-Land, to the community that played it.

Key Facts:

  • On August 1, 2008, the game EA-Land / TSO will no longer be in service and EA will focus these resources on future games
  • Your subscription billing will end now, so that at least 60 days of your EA-Land experience will be at no cost to you
  • You may cancel your account and subscription at any time by contacting customer service or by managing your EA account online. To do this, you must log on to EA-Land / TSO to cancel within the game
  • Starting immediately PayPal cash-in will not be available anymore
  • EA Customer Support at support.ea.com is available to help answer any questions you might have regarding your account

If you are a paying subscriber as of April 29th 2008, EA would like to offer you one of the following two gifts as a token of our appreciation:

  • Three months of Club POGO(tm) Subscription Time

Paying subscribers please insure your email contact information is up to date as details of this offer will be sent out to you within 30 days.

Again, thanks you to all of you.

Electronic Arts

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Craig Alexander on Book 13 and Moria

Posted May 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com News Manager Keith Cross recently spoke with Turbine's VP of Product Development, Craig Alexander about the future of Lord of the Rings Online.

On the last day of the 2008 New York Comic Con, Craig Alexander, Turbine’s Vice President of Product Development and Kate Paiz, Senior Producer on Dungeons and Dragons Online updated the assembled fans and press about the current state of their products.  After the panel I had the opportunity to sit down with Craig Alexander to chat about Lord of the Rings Online and the current state of the MMO business. 

As he had just finished a panel where he talked a bout Lord of the Rings Online for half an hour, LotRO is where the conversation began.  The big news for LotRO lately has been Book 13: Doom of the Last King, which went live last week, and their upcoming paid expansion that will take players through the Mines of Moria and beyond. 

Read more here.

General : State of the MMO

Posted May 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today, Warcry published their final article from former MMORPG.com editor Dana Massey as he leaves to pursue other opportunities. The article samples a number of MMO professionals about the state of the MMO industry today.

Titled "State of the MMO: Industry Luminaries On The Genre, Its Future", the article touches on everything from innovation to business models.

The MMO industry has grown from a two-horse race at the turn of the century to one of the largest segments of the gaming industry and perhaps the last true foothold games have on the PC. Yet, during this same period, there have been innumerable failures, and many questions remain wide open. Can MMOs truly be global? Is the subscription model in decline? To what extent should developers innovate or evolve gameplay? What role should established IP play? Have these games gotten too expensive to make?

To answer these questions, we spoke to cross section of people from around the industry to get a handle on the true "State of the MMO". We spoke to SOE President John Smedley, ZeniMax Online Studios General Manager Matt Firor, Themis Group CEO Alexander Macris, GamerDNA.com Director of Community Sanya Weathers, EVE Online Game Designer Chantel Zuurmond, IGN PC Executive Editor Steve Butts and the former Executive Producer of Star Trek Online Daron Stinnett to get their thoughts on all these issues and much more.

Read the article here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Harassment Rules: "Don't Be a Jerk"

Posted May 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab has posted a document outlining and clarifying the Pirates of the Burning Sea harassment policies.

Recently, we’ve participated in several discussions asking us to clarify our policies on harassment, or griefing, and how that policy is enforced both on our forums, and in our game world. In a perfect world, we could distill the expectations we have of our customers to one simple statement: “Don’t be a jerk”.

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that.

So, we’ve created the following document that outlines our expectations as it relates to customer behavior. Please note that these policies are in effect both immediately and retroactively. Reports of harassment will be taken seriously, and violators risk permanent removal from Pirates of the Burning Sea.

But wait! Before you read on, there are some things every player needs to remember when filing support tickets. First, when providing information on a negative experience youve had in game, whether it be a bug or a case of harassment, you must be sure you are providing as much information as possible.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Lorebook Update: Adso's Camp

Posted May 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with a look at Adso's camp, which should be a familiar site for those who travel frequently between Bree and the Shire.

Adso Haybank, a hobbit of the Shire, long desired to open an inn but most of the Shire-towns already played host to one or more. He heard that the Brandybucks of Buckland often traveled to The Prancing Pony in Bree to have a drink now and again. After hearing tales of Big Folk coming up the Greenway in great numbers, Adso came up with an idea: he would open a hunting lodge on the Great East Road! The Brandybucks would no longer need to travel so far for a pint, and the Big Folk hunters could have a place from which to engage in their sport.

Materials and labor were more than poor Adso could afford, however, so he was forced to seek aid from amongst his friends, including Barliman Butterbur, proprietor of The Prancing Pony. Unfortunately for Adso, his financial troubles left him with a substandard work-force and a debt to Bill Ferny, a strong-arm for a brigand named Sharkey.

Adso’s Camp can be found between Bree and Buckland on the Great East Road,.The lodge is far from complete, but it is said there are still some unusual travelers encamped there. Adso and his lodge were created by Turbine as a location from which to quest in the Barrow-downs and the Old Forest, both of which lie threateningly near the camp.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Naval Officer Changes

Posted May 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab Software has posted the second devlog in a six part series which examines balance changes in version 1.4 of Pirates of the Burning Sea.  Today's devlog looks at changes to the Naval Officer.

Welcome to the second of six devlogs about the 1.4 skill revamp. If you havent already seen the first devlog, you may want to read about some of the general changes here. Keep in mind that the details contained here are subject to change based on feedback and ongoing internal testing, and the final result will almost certainly differ from this devlog.

Removing all of the tiered skills has major ramifications for Navy because they have so many in 1.3. All of these skills are going the way of the dodo: Requisition Berth, Defender 1, Desperate Shot 1, For God & Country 1, Perfect Discipline, Fortress 1, Thundering Broadside 1, Speed Increase 1, Reload Discipline 1 and Military Intelligence 1.

That means Naval Officers are getting numerous new skills. Expect to see changes / renames / etc. before these go live. Once this update hits, there arent any other major changes planned for skills. Upcoming changes will be adjustments based on how these changes play. Here are some of the new skills, and again, the details are subject to change:

 Rapid Shot – Tier 2 Career: This replaces Requisition Berth and moves Final Defense to tier 3. An attack skill that increases the rate at which your guns reload for your next attack (~50%). 3 minute reset timer.

Read more here.

Vanguard : The Tale of Trengal Keep

Posted May 01, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Vanguard official site has been updated with a look at the story behind what are now called the Ruins of Trengal Keep.

The expansive ruins dwelling on the Thestran continent known as Trengal Keep have not always been in shambles. There was time not too long ago when the human kings of Thestra called the magnificent castle their home.

From a realm of stone and corrupted crystal, came a mist-enshrouded demigod which called itself Koth Teros. This menace came to Telon seeking power and destruction. It sought out a being with great power, in order to possess their mind and body to conjure chaos and despair throughout the lands.

In this time of great turmoil, the people of Telon turned to a powerful sorcerer known as Derekin. The demigod sought him as well, as a conduit for corruption. The combined powers of Derekin and Koth Teros could create uncontrollable havoc, and with this in mind, the demigod attempted to possess the great sorcerer. An epic struggle ensued before Derekin was able to condense his profound magical abilities in order to trap Koth Teros on Telon, by imprisoning the being inside a shrine.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Slight Beta Time Delay

Posted May 01, 2008 by Jon Wood

Funcom has announced that in order to get a new patch out for the Fileplanet Beta they are delaying the launch until 20:00 GMT.

To add an extra patch to improve the gaming experience and quality of gameplay, the official start time of the IGN Open Beta now is:

20:00 GMT (8 pm GMT)
(to check the current GMT time please refer to http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/)

We wanted to add the extra update prior to launching the servers rather than to fix it shortly after the start of the Open Beta.

Users who have registered for the Open Beta will also receive an information e-mail about this in their inboxes shortly.

Thanks for your understanding.

Official word here.

Age of Conan : Enter To Win 1 of 300 Beta Keys!

Posted May 01, 2008 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com and FunCom bring you an exciting new contest!  From now until May 4 we will take entries into a contest where we will give out 300 direct access beta keys!

Unlike our last contest for beta access, these keys will give you direct access to the beta key, issued by MMORPG.com and a download link for the client.

As with all of our contests, the more days you login to the site during the contest - the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details)

What in the heck are you waiting for?  CLICK HERE TO ENTER NOW!

Note: Members who won our first FilePlanet contest will be immediately disqualified from this contest on the date of drawing.

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