Carolyn Koh is keeping busy down in Las Vegas for CES, today, she's talking to Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna from Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
With their marketing collaboration with SoE, Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna of Sigil Games showed Vanguard: Saga of Heroes at CES 2007 at invited press appointments. After introductions, we chatted about our gaming history and when Paul asked if I were familiar with Brad, my answer was tongue in cheek as I replied that I was familiar with Aradune, a wood-elf ranger in EverQuest who wore green splint mail and implied that he hacked Soulfire - the Paladin epic weapon so he could wield it.
We waited to connect to the server and I asked Brad, "Who's idea was it to put Aradune is stinky! Graffiti in the Qeynos sewers?" Bill Trost was the answer - one of the original team of developers of EverQuest. We digressed into how quickly screenshots of Aradune corpses made their way around the internet. "So I forgot to put up enduring breath in Kedge Keep." Brad said laughingly, but enough of old EverQuest anecdotes and toward Vanguard:Saga of Heroes.
Read the whole article here.
Voyage Century Online Releases Land And Sea Battle Rules!
Nothing can match the challenge and sheer excitement of a raging battle at sea -- unless it's a hand-to-hand fight to the death on land! Voyage Century Online, the 16th century nautical online game, releases rules for both styles of battles. Wherever your tastes and talents lie, you can find your place in Voyage Century!
Are you in love with the smell of salt water and the distant cry of the gulls? Protect yourself from pirates and smugglers by upgrading your vessel to a military ship! (Or, if you want to take what should be rightfully yours, throw a few cannon onto your pirate ship and blast away!) Learn the skills for Cannon Fight, Ramming and Grappling, and rule the seas!
Or, if you're the landlubber type, fear not! Opportunities for glory abound everywhere. There are five skills in Land Battle: Falchion-playing, Sword-playing, Axe-playing, Shooting, and Medicine. Become an expert in any of these, and you will rule the battlefield. Not only can you fight individually, but there are even rules for team fighting!
In short, Voyage Century Online offers every type of experience for all gamers -- experienced or newbie, land or sea, honest merchant, intrepid officer or thieving pirate. With rules for battles, guilds, trading and exploring, players will find a world of adventure to experience! For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit: http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/beta/.
Read more about Voyage Century here.
World of Warcraft passes 8 million player mark worldwide. Read the official press release here.
Player population in North America now exceeds 2 million, while Europe and China pass the 1.5 million player and 3.5 million player marks, respectively.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is now played by more than 8 million gamers around the world. World of Warcraft has also achieved new regional subscriber milestones, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.
"We're ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment®. "This milestone wouldn't have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players. With the release of our expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade™, coming next week, we're looking forward to welcoming more players to Azeroth and offering even more quality content for our community to enjoy."
Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. Today, World of Warcraft is available in seven different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
World of Warcraft will soon see the launch of its first expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which will be available in North America and Europe on January 16, 2007. The expansion will be available in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand the same week, with availability in mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau to be announced at a later date. The Burning Crusade will add a tremendous amount of new content to the game, including an entire new continent to explore; an increase in the level cap up to 70, complete with new talents and abilities; flying mounts; new quests, creatures, and items; new dungeons; two new playable races; a new profession; and more.
Read more about World of Warcraft here.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes to hit store shelves on January 30th.
Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced that the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be released to retail outlets across North America and Europe on January 30, 2007, for the suggested retail price of US$49.99. A limited edition is also available for a suggested retail price of US$89.99.
Currently in beta, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes features vibrant environments reminiscent of oil paintings, a robust character customization tool and three distinct spheres of advancement in a seamless world without zoning or instancing. The immersive fantasy world is comprised of three massive, uniquely-themed continents for players to discover new creatures, new items and unlimited adventure. Players have complete freedom to roam the world whether flying dragons to islands in the sky or riding swift steeds to exotic lands.
"We are excited about delivering an MMO with immersive gameplay features that bring new depth and fun to the genre," said Brad McQuaid, CEO, Sigil Games Online. "Vanguard gives players the chance to live in a breathtaking world and try new things such as our diplomacy system and our unique approach to crafting. We're proud to be delivering this level of great gameplay for years to come."
"SOE is pleased to be working with Sigil to bring the eagerly anticipated Vanguard to fruition," said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment, "Vanguard not only broadens our product portfolio in the online space, but will also be a welcomed addition to our already value packed all-in-one Station Access subscription line-up."
Players can pre-order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes now through a variety of methods including digitally and at retail, and by doing so, obtain an invitation to entrance into the live beta and, with purchase, access to the live servers up to three days prior to the official release. In addition, players that pre-order and purchase at retail will receive an exclusive in-game scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account). For more information or to order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes visit www.joinvanguard.com/buy/
Read more about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes here.
Lord of the Rings Online gives us some new screenshots of locations throughout Middle Earth.
Visit our Screenshots Gallery for 3 new screenshots featuring a variety of locations from LOTRO!
Read more here.
DDO offers us a new Monster Profile of the Warforged Titan. The following is just a sample, read the full description here.
Stories have come and gone over the years of massive mechanized menaces, gigantic warforged creations capable of leveling a house in a matter of seconds. Until recently I believed there were none of these metal monstrosities near Stormreach. That belief has sadly been proven wrong as reports of adventuring parties obliterated by a titan flow into the city now on a fairly regular basis. There is a Warforged Titan near Stormreach after all. Luckily, the reports seem to confirm that the behemoth is confined to a specific facility of some kind and so is unable to make a direct assault on Stormreach proper, at least for now.
Read more about Dungeons & Dragons Online here.
Entropia Universe Offers Virtual Entrepreneurs the Opportunity to Become Real Bankers in Cyberspace.
MindArk PE AB, creators of Entropia Universe -- the original virtual universe with a real cash economy, today announced the auction of five virtual banking licenses which will integrate real world banking systems into the virtual world. These two-year exclusive licenses will be available through the public auction within Entropia Universe and will be open for bids beginning mid January 2007.
Entropia Universe is the only virtual universe on the internet whose currency has a fixed exchange rate with the US Dollar. Its currency can easily be moved between Entropia Universe and the real world using an ATM card. The Entropia ATM card can be used to instantly withdraw real cash from over 1 million ATM machines worldwide.
Giving the slogan 'more than a game' a whole new meaning, the virtual Entropia Universe banks will work in much the same way as real world banks, being initially provided with secure systems enabling them to:
Lend money to Entropia Universe citizens and collect interest for this service
Partake in the design and naming of their own virtual bank building(s)
Utilize the extensive advertising opportunities available within the Entropia Universe
Make their own personnel available through avatars that can interact with and provide service to other avatars
With over 500,000 registered accounts and a 2005 turnover of over 160 million dollars, MindArk PE AB's CEO Jan Welter Timkrans describes how: "The prospect of this entirely novel aspect of banking has generated considerable interest amongst many of the top brand names in banking. We are very excited to see the value of the world's first virtual banking license, and equally interested in soon finding out which banks, companies or private persons with the gift of foresight, we will have the pleasure of cooperating with in the exciting years to come."
Read more here.
Steve Wilson birngs back his Casual Play column and takes a good, hard look at roleplaying form an outsider's point of view.
Read the whole article here.
To most players roleplaying is, frankly, a little bit weird.
In all honesty, the current state of roleplaying and its supporters are both odd and useless. The first and most obvious sign of this is that there is no benefit to roleplaying whatsoever, except for the warm fuzzy feelings it produces. While a player pounding out text chat in a close approximation of a Scottish/Dwarvish baroque can be amusing in small doses, too much of it produces an awkwardness that can kill the enjoyment of the game for most others. The worst part about roleplaying currently is that some roleplayers are so self righteous in their belief that they actually do represent some sort of superior playstyle. To the masses of casual players, however, there is no benefit to roleplaying other than looking and sounding silly. That alone is enough to turn off most of the uninitiated. What tactile benefit does roleplaying provide in a game other than some feeling of smugness?
At this year's CES, Carolyn Koh sits down at EverQuest II Senior Producer Scott Hartsman about their new "Estate of Unrest" zone.
The Sony contingent was once again CES in Las Vegas - I think it has to be because it's in Las Vegas - and I caught up with Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer of EverQuestII who was there to do the show and tell on Echoes of Faydwer.
Now, Scott... I think our readers here at MMORPG are pretty familiar with the Echoes of Faydwer expansion by now... what's new? What's hot? What's to come? After a little joking around with Scott doing some flexing and me doing a little poking, we settled down for the goods.
Fools must seldom differ as he and I segued from catching up with each other, right into the Estate of Unrest zone that did not make it into the Echoes of Faydwer launch. "Wasn't me! Someone must have gotten hold of an old zone list!" Happily enough, the Estate of Unrest will be a zone provided free in the next update scheduled for February, so we settled right into what's there from the old EverQuest.
You can read the whole article here.
You can view new EQII screenshots in our gallery here.
New screenshots continue to be released just before the Burning Crusade launches.
We've updated our screenshot gallery for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade with eight new shots from the current closed beta test of the upcoming expansion.
Read more here.
Tibia celebrates its tenth anniversary with its players.
Tibia and its players are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the successful MMORPG.
Tibia is one of the oldest and most successful online role playing games from Europe. The game is completely free of charge and as of this moment, more than 250,000 players from all around the world inhabit the medieval world of Tibia. The game design grants all players a great amount of liberty and offers multiple possibilities to interact on communicative, diplomatic or martial levels. Thus, each of the 72 separate game worlds represents an individual society which is strongly formed and influenced by the community itself.
To be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary together with our players is a great pleasure for all of us. It is an acknowledgement for past efforts and at the same time a possibility to thank our amazing community for their loyalty and passion over the last years. says Guido Lübke, co-founder of CipSoft GmbH and product manager for Tibia. Among other things, the birthday celebrations include various in-game events and the give-away of 1000 free Premium Accounts. Everybody can take part in this lottery by simply signing up on the completely redesigned website, which will be launched that day as well.
The idea to create an online role playing game with a graphical user interface was already born in the autumn of 1995. Unlike other text-based multi user dungeons, which were common in those days, Tibia should give its players a more lively impression of the world they live in. 10 years ago and at that time still being a student project, the first permanent public game server went online on January 7th, 1997. With a permanently growing number of players Tibia had to be put on a more professional basis. Hence, in June 2001, the CipSoft GmbH was founded by today's Executive Officers, Stephan Börzsönyi, Guido Lübke, Ulrich Schlott and Stephan Vogler. Since the beginning, Tibia has improved continuously and the number of players has never ceased growing.
Read more about Tibia here.
Gods & Heroes gives us a look at some new screenshots and video.
Check out the latest video and screenshots of Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising! We have posted a gameplay only video that we created for CES in Vegas as well as 13 new screenshots showing off different aspects of G&H.
Watch the video below:
And head over to the official site to view the screenshots
Read more about Gods & Heroes here.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes plans to close official forums upon launch.
On January 16th, 2007 the Official Vanguard Forums will close. We're excited to provide this opportunity before launch for the community and our Affiliated Sites to adjust and familiarize themselves with one another. The Affiliated Fansites are dedicated to serving the community and its needs and will be the primary source for information and discussion about Vanguard; while the program will change and grow this goal will remain the same.
We will provide a seamless network that promotes an active community without the hassle of finding information when you need it. The center of this community will be the Vanguard Community Site, www.vanguardsoh.com; this site will continue to provide constant updates and links to the discussion on the sites that concern the community. In addition to updating the site with links and news we will provide the community with tools to find the Fansite that is right for them. To view a list of our Affiliated Fansites please visit www.vanguardsoh.com/fansite.php.
We understand there will be questions and concerns, and invite the community to share them with us here and we will be happy to answer as many as we can.
Thank you everyone, we look forward to seeing you in Telon and on the Affiliated Fansites!
The Vanguard Team
*Please note that the Beta Forums will remain open, and those that have yet to receive access will. Thank you for your patience.
Read more anout Vanguard: Saga of Heroes here.
Lord of the Rings Online new Beta journal explores the Guardian class. The following is just a sample. You can read more here.
For today's Beta Journal, we asked our Beta Program participants to talk about the experience of playing the Guardian class.
Coming out of the intro in Archet, my Guardian made his way to Combe for his next step in vanquishing evil from Middle-earth. After picking up all of the available quests in the area he ventured into the Chetwood. The area was ripe with enemies that the Guardian skills were very valuable against, and the blocks and the parries opened up other skills with great effect.
Read more anout Lord of the Rings Online here.
Myth War and Curse-gaming.com co-sponsor a new contest.
So you think you know Myth War, huh? You've been all around Myth World, and there isn't an adventure you haven't had or a pet you can't identify? Now is your chance to show the world your Myth War knowledge, and win a cool prize too!
The IGG Myth War Group and Curse-gaming have teamed up to sponsor the most exciting contest of the new year! Answer nine easy questions (yeah, right ? real easy!), and win a prize! Compete for rewards such as rare pets, dragon eyes, howling beasts, super power packs, or even a set of Creative I-Trigue 2200 speakers! Fear not if you're a newbie to Myth World. You can easily find the answers to all the questions by visiting http://www.mythwaronline.com/
Read more about Myth War here.
New Community Manager Laura Genender takes over the Community Spotlight, and highlights the kinds of responses that beta tests can provoke on the forums.
The forums are overflowing with talk of Vanguard. There are the avid followers, who have nothing but good to say of the game; there are the posters who predict its immediate failure and demise. "The trolls have a point," one thread argues, while another reminds posters: "It's in beta testing...DUH!"
Of course, these are just the extremes. There were more conservative users, those who favored the game for the uniqueness of the classes or the scope of the world but understood it still had it's faults, and those who fault the developers for releasing too early but admit that the game has potential. In a thread titled No Immersion forum posters got a bit off topic and began to discuss the state of the game's release date - Poster dukelouie pointed out that some of the immersion issues were due to missing animations, and that the product was far from complete.
Read the whole column here.
John Scott Tynes, the Producer for Flying Lab Software's upcoming nautical game, Pirates of the Burning Sea returns to MMORPG.com to offer a new Developer Journal focusing on the highs and lows of a beta.
Operating an MMO beta is fantastic. You get all the fun of interacting with real players who are really playing your game, but you're still below the radar enough that the pressure isn't overwhelming. It's a great opportunity to learn what it's going to be like to run a live service.
We started our beta program a year ago, in late 2005. Players who tried the game back then and then tried it again more recently are amazed at how much has changed. But that's what a year of development gets you! The game has come a long, long way in that year and is much better than ever before.
You can read the whole journal here.
Dungeons and Dragons Online plans to open Risia for a second weekend to preview a newer version of the Litany of the Dead Part 2.
Two weekends in a row! Risia will be open once again this weekend! We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to download the Risia client since Risia will be open again to preview a newer version of Litany of the Dead Part 2. To see a complete Risia schedule for this weekend please click here.
Read more about Dungeons & Dragons Online here.
Guild Wars plans double experience weekend.
This coming weekend, you will receive twice the normal number of Experience Points for every Elite Skill that you capture in Tyria, Cantha, and Elona. So join us this weekend--with existing characters or perhaps with a new one--and double up on the XP! The event starts at Noon PST on Friday, January 12 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, January 14.
Read more about Guild Wars here.
World of Warcraft plans midnight launch for The Burning Crusade.
The Burning Legion isn't waiting until the morning - its assault on Azeroth begins at the stroke of midnight, January 16th! Various retailers across the country are hosting midnight release parties to commemorate the event. In addition, members of the World of Warcraft team will be on hand to celebrate while signing copies of the game at four California retail locations. Check here for more details!
Read more here.