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General : Stargate Worlds Dev Journal

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

Another new Developer Journal has popped up over at Cheyenne Mountain Entertianment, the company responsible for the development of the new MMORPG, Stargate Worlds:

 

"Well, I'm Mike Whiting, and I am one of the game artists for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. I'm 25 years old, and my wife just had our second baby in December of 2005. I have been playing video games since I was in Kindergarten, when my best friend got an NES console for his birthday, and I haven't stopped since really. I just started the online gaming scene last year with Diablo II (battlenet) and then I jumped into MMORPG's last year with World of Warcraft.

"I am a really big sports fan, and also an avid follower of the Phoenix Suns. I played varsity volleyball for my high school for 2 years, which is also my favorite sport. I had a few opportunities to play some college ball, but chose to go on a service mission for my church, and ended up living in Spain for 2 years. When I got back from Europe in 2002, I dated a girl I knew from high school and we ended up getting married in 2003. She basically couldn't resist me.

"I also really enjoy music, and I started playing the guitar my sophomore year in high school - I have a black Epiphone Les Paul that I try and play as often as I can. My favorite music is punk rock, and my favorite band is probably Lagwagon. I have a million close 2nd places though.

"I also absolutely love movies. Several summers ago, I had a record 42 rentals from Blockbuster in one month. My wife also really enjoys movies and we watch them whenever we can. We also like to watch Friends together, and we are on our 3rd time through all 10 season.

"As an artist, I have been drawing my whole life. I got into computer art about 3 years ago, and I enjoy it just as much as traditional art. I really love being a game artist here at Cheyenne Mountain, it is an awesome company!"

~ Mike Whiting

For more on Stargate Worlds, click here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Devlog

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's a new Devlog up over at Pirates of the Burning Sea. This one comes from developer, Brendan Walker. Brendan tells us about himself, his projects, and more! For more Pirates of the Burning Sea, click here.

New dev guy intro / fun with flags and indicators

My name is Brendan Walker and I just joined Flying Lab in the beginning of Feburary. It's been an exciting month or so getting familiar with the game, the code base, the company, and the community.

Before coming to Flying Lab I worked at Oberon Games and before that Ares Interactive (I'm willing to bet you've heard of neither of those companies). Oberon does puzzle and other "casual" games. While there I worked on subcontract to remake all of the inbox games (Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc) as well as a new game for Windows Vista. Ares Interactive was a small game company a few friends and myself started after college. We completed one game ("Barnyard Invasion") and then went bankrupt.

[ expand article ]

D&D Online : Free Trial and New Trailer

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has announced that they are currently running a 7 day free trial. Also on the DDO site, is a trailer for the first module, Dragon's Vault, so check out the link below!

 

Battle the evil lurking below the dangerous city of Stormreach™ when you DOWNLOAD THE 7 DAY FREE TRIAL! Begin your journey into the online world of a roleplaying classic, joining a community of adventurers to explore the exciting mysteries of Eberron® for seven days at no cost!

Read more about the 7 day free trial

For more DDO, click here.

Guild Wars : New Character Slots to be For Sale

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has announced a new way to get characters into the game. It seems as though this summer, you will be able to purchase a new character slot for the game that will allow you to have an extra, alternate character:

 

We are happy to announce that you will be able purchase additional character slots for your Guild Wars account beginning this summer for $9.99 U.S. (or equivalent). Each new slot will enable you to add a new character to your account with full access to all of the content your current characters enjoy. We'll have more details to share soon!

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : Profession Guide Update

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has updated its World of WarCraft site with brand new updates to their Profession Guide page. Enjoy!

 

We've updated the Profession Guides page with links to new player-made guides. This page features direct links to guides created by World of Warcraft players. Click here to check them out! If you have a profession guide that you want to submit for review, click here.

For more on WoW, click here.

The Myth of Soma : Retraction

Posted Apr 21, 2006 by Jon Wood

Earlier today, we reported a story regarding The Myth of Soma. Obviously, that article was an error. Their official website remains: www.mythofsoma.net.

We appologise for any inconvenience or confusion that this may have caused.

Guild Wars Factions : Zboard Keyboard to be Available

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

It seems as though our friends over at Guild Wars Factions have partnered with Ideazon Inc to bring a special Guild Wars Factions version of their Zboard keyboards:

Ideazon Inc.: Gamers Do Battle with Classic New Keyset from Zboard

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(MARKET WIRE)--Apr 20, 2006 -- Guild Wars Factions Limited Edition Keyset Available Now

Ideazon Inc., designer and developer of the Zboard(TM), the world's first keyboard designed for PC gamers, today announced its new Guild Wars Factions(TM) Limited Edition Keyset for Zboard. Designed specifically for the highly-anticipated ArenaNet® title Guild Wars Factions, slated for release April 28, 2006, clans, communities and gamers from around the world will be able to enjoy the ultimate experience in custom gaming.

The partnership with online game developer and publisher NCsoft® has enabled Ideazon to take gamers to a whole different level of game customization and will enhance the Guild Wars Factions gaming experience. Ideazon's Guild Wars Factions keyset lets players choose sides in the battle and master the game's playing environment using a dedicated control layout that is simple to learn and easy to use.

"The Guild Wars Factions Limited Edition Keyset is tailored to meet every player's needs within the stunning and visually immersive world that ArenaNet has created," says Chris Rathgeber, president of Ideazon Inc. "We worked closely with NCsoft and our ZCommunity members to create the gaming weapon of choice."

"This Keyset is an exciting development for Guild Wars® fans and will help new players master the game quickly," says Dorothy Ferguson, vice president of sales and marketing for NCsoft's North American business. "From incorporating the game's visuals to the thoughtfully laid out command keys, Ideazon takes the Guild Wars Factions experience to new heights."

The Guild Wars Factions Limited Edition Keyset for Zboard gives gamers:

[ expand article ]

Seed : Hands-On Preview

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Dana Massey

SEED: The Human Condition is due for online release on May 2nd, 2006. Recently, Staff Writer Garrett Fuller spent a lot of time in their world and filed this hands-on preview of the game. Check back after launch for a complete review.

“Seed: The Human Condition” is set for release in May. I was lucky enough to get a preview of the game and spend some time running around in Da Vinci to get a feel for the environment. Seed is a very different MMO indeed. There is no hack and slash speed style like Warcraft. There is no long level grinding like Everquest. Seed is a science fiction game that allows players to work together, hold elections, explore, engineer, and most of all solve the problems of living in a very rough environment. The game functions on many different intellectual levels. The most striking feature of Seed is the game makes you think and work towards a better community.

The game is set in an off world colony. A ship has crash landed into a hostile planet and sustained some damages. The ship’s computer Tau has woken up the crew to make repairs and maintain the stable environment. Players who are part of the Da Vinci colony need to begin their journey by boosting skill sets to help repair and maintain parts of the tower (or ship). Not only do players have the chance to simply fix things, they also have the ability to develop blue prints, build new systems, and begin exploring the planet for the possibility to terra form the surface making it livable for colony members. The story of the colony and the efforts made to keep Da Vinci stable will be the central part of the game. Developers have stated that the game content will be player driven. If you want to build a better life support system, work out the blue prints and begin the process.

To read the full preview, click here.

General : ZBoard MERC Review

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Dana Massey

Jeremy Starley took on the latest creation from ZBoard, "The MERC", and filed this report based on how he found it in his MMORPG experiences.

The right side of the Merc is a combination number pad/arrow key area. Ideazon took the Home key and all of its friends and put them directly on the number pad, so switching between using the numerical and using the functions requires a simple push of the Num Lock key. The arrow keys are at the bottom of the number pad now, and they only function as arrow keys, which is quite convenient. Ideazon also added some common windows functions to some of the other keys, like the + and * key, so you can cut, paste, copy, and minimize with ease now.

The whole keyboard is done in an attractive black plastic, with a stylized silver strip along the top that contains a large Zboard icon. All of the keys are grey or black, labeled with easy to see white letters, except for the number keys which are labeled in an easy to read light blue. The butterfly movement keys are the only color exception, being the same deep red color that they were on other Zboard keysets. The whole thing is slightly longer than your average keyboard, even with the combined keys on the left hand side, so be aware of this if desk/tray space is an issue for you. Overall, the whole Merc Gaming Keyboard is a rather attractive addition to your gaming peripherals.

You can read the review here.

City of Heroes : NCSoft Meet and Greet

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCSoft, the people behind such games as Auto Assault, City of Heroes / Villains, Guild Wars and Lineage II, are having a meet and greet in Orange County on May 13th:

 

NCsoft Meet & Greet in Orange County May 13

Come out to our second ever player gathering in Orange County to meet your favorite NCsoft Community Relations representatives, try out various NCsoft games, get a free Monster drink, and maybe even win a door prize! Join the fun at Orange County’s Howie’s Game Shack on Saturday, May 13th.

There will be plenty of games, a live DJ, drinks, and a few surprises. Check out all our games including City of Heroes, City of Villains, Guild Wars, and Lineage II. Give Auto Assault and some of our other brand new games a spin!

Anyone can come and best of all, if you are on the VIP list, attendance is free! Here are some further details:

  • NCsoft personnel will be in attendance from 7pm – 2am
  • A special “NCsoft pass” will be available from 11am until 10pm for the discounted price of $5 to allow attendees to play NCsoft games in the LAN Center (a free Monster energy drink is included!)
  • For those on the VIP list, the exclusive, totally free play of NCsoft games begins at 10pm and lasts to 2am!

Space on the VIP list is limited, so RSVP by sending an email with your name and the names of accompanying attendees to meetup@ncsoft.com. Come on down after 10pm to enjoy great games with great company! Please note: if you arrive before 10pm you will need to purchase the special NCsoft pass for admittance.

We’ll have further updates on this event over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Details:
Date: Saturday, May 13th
Time: 11am-10pm for “NCsoft Pass” players, 10pm-2am for NCsoft “VIP’s”
Place: Howie’s Game Shack (http://www.howies.com)

Address: Kaleidoscope
Mission Viejo, CA
Crown Valley exit and 5 freeway
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Phone: 949-367-0019

The Matrix Online : New Website Look

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Matrix Online has given their official website a new look. Gone are the bright greens that had the look of the computer code from The Matrix movies, to be replaced by a sleek new, darker website with easy navigation.

Take a look!

Dark Age of Camelot : Servers Down Until 5:00 PM

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dark Age of Camelot has announced that their servers will be down today, April 20th, until 5:00 PM to fix some issues. 

 

Sorry, everyone. We're going to have to take the servers down at 11:00 to fix some issues, the most important of which is the Consignment Merchant item issue we posted about last night. We expect to be back up by 5:00 PM. Thanks so much for your patience, and watch this space for updates.

For more on DAoC, click here.

Auto Assault : Patch Notes and More

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

There's lots going on over at the official webpage for the recently released MMORPG, Auto Assault. Hotfixes, articles and clans abound. Have a look by clicking the link below:

 

We published a small hotfix today to the game servers, which among other things - you can check out all the fixes in our Patch Notes page. Due to a couple of corruption issues characters have been rolled back prior to application of the hotfix (to 2PM EST).

For more on AA, click here.

Guild Wars Factions : Battle Reports

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has done something interesting. They have gathered about a half a dozen freelance game reporters and have them covering the game from the perspective of the competitive play in the game. The first couple are "battle reports" from the recent GW Factions Championship Playoffs:

 

We have brought on about half a dozen freelance "game reporters" to help cover Guild Wars from the viewpoint of competitive play. The first two of their articles describe matches that took place during last weekend's Guild Wars Factions Championship Seasonal Playoffs. Catch the battle reports linked from this page.

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : Test Realms, WarCraft Weekly, and More

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

World of WarCraft has announced that the public test realms are now live with patch 1.10.2. They have also released a brand new WarCraft Weekly for your viewing pleasure. They have also announced the availability of a new World of WarCraft "Behind the Scenes" DVD.

 

The public test realms (PTRs) are now live featuring the changes coming in patch 1.10.2, which you can read about in the patch notes. We have seen a profound benefit with offering major patches on the PTRs, and although this is a minor patch, we believe the benefits will apply to it as well. You can copy your character and help us test the upcoming changes by visiting the Public Test Realm Page. Character transfers to the test realm are available from 3:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific Time Monday through Friday, for accounts that were active as of 12:01 PM Pacific Time on Monday, April 17. The test realm game client, which can be downloaded at the same Public Test Realm Page, is available for both PC and Mac.

Please be aware that the test realms are designed to allow us to test patches before they go public. Therefore, some changes may be introduced to the public test realms during the testing phase, before a patch goes live, and some changes may be introduced to the patch after the test realms have closed. To read more about the test realms, please review the Test Realm FAQ. We truly appreciate our players taking the time to help us test the latest changes to the game; thank you!

For more on WoW, click here.

Fantasy Worlds : Screenshots

Posted Apr 20, 2006 by Jon Wood

We have added seven new screen shots to our Fantasy Worlds: Rhynn collection. The screenshots can be found in our Fantasy Worlds: Rhynn screenshot gallery:

 




For more on Fantast Worlds: Rhynn, click here.

The Legend of Ares : New Lore

Posted Apr 19, 2006 by Jon Wood

Our Friends at MGame USA have provided us with more exciting content from The Legend of Ares. They have given us the backstory of their MMORPG!

The game, which goes into closed beta on 4/24/06, can be found at http://www.legendofares.com/.

Ares' domain, Olympus

Even in the lofty heights of Mount Olympus, nothing was deeper than Ares' anger and spite towards his godly colleagues. Always scheming and manipulating against him, how else should he feel towards his oppressors? If only he had more power, he could show those arrogant fools the extent of his rage and vengeance! But how? As it stands, all the Greek city-states are already at war, and all avenues of worship are at their maximum. Nothing save creating new nations to go into war would increase his power; but if he were to even attempt that, the other gods would, of course, rally together to thwart him. There is also the option of expanding his influence to other nations, but the problem of encountering and fighting other gods still exists, which could be troublesome. The ideal situation to increase his power would be to infiltrate a land where the gods are weak, and the people are strong. But where would such a place exist?

Imperial Chamber, The Holy Empire of Arabic

With eyebrows furrowed, and fist to his face, the young emperor, Damion, darkly brooded on his imperial throne. The people of the empire expected great things from the son of the Drakor the Great, but what was there to give them? The borders of the empire are set due to tentative peace treaties with the Alliance, and the soldiers are well equipped to contain the monster threat. The treasury coffers are full, and all roads are well-kept. Times are at their best, but the people are still getting restless. Will his reign be one of complacency and peace? No, something must be done¡¦soon, but beyond killing a few nefarious beasts, what avenue of glory could there be?

Chamber of the Council, The Religious Alliance of Arabic

Emanating strength of spirit and will, Abner looked at the other members of The Council. It is he who first proposed peace with the Empire five years ago, and it is he who upholds it to this day. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of his people, especially Aleria, and he'll be damned if anyone, be it Empire or Alliance, jeopardizes it. It's rumored that this young emperor, Damion, is eager to make a name for himself, which is fine by Abner as long as he keeps to his own borders. But if this Damion character steps out of line¡¦or rather¡¦over the line even once, he better be prepared for a fight! He'll take that boy of an emperor by the throat and gut him like every other nefarious beast he's defeated. Even if it means taking over the entire continent, nothing will endanger the future of his people, nothing!

Somewhere in the heavens above Arabic

Things are getting out of hand amongst the Arabic nations. Shaking his head, Kulam paced back and forth, occasionally peering into the minds of his waning worshippers. More and more the people of Arabic were forsaking their gods for more "modern" paganistic views. Where is the gratitude for their prosperity and safety? Why is it that they turn so quickly away from the beliefs of their forefathers, whom he has nurtured generation by generation? What will the future hold for the people of Arabic as his power wanes?

[ expand article ]

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Art Evolution Journal

Posted Apr 19, 2006 by Dana Massey

In their latest developer journal, FlyingLab Software Lead Artist Bruce Sharp pens an article on the evolution of their MMORPG's art. The game's graphics are compared between last year and this year, both in pictures and words. You can also see just the new images here.

When I started my first day at Flying Lab Software, I’d seen the game in screenshots on the web and once during my interview. The course was clear in terms of what was missing from the game’s artistic direction: Romance! The game looked antiseptic in its art style, as if a lot of technical issues had been solved but few artistic issues had yet been explored, at least not the big, sweeping broad strokes that ultimately define the style or “voice” of the game’s imagery. As an artist I’m a true believer in the idea that the simple but abstract parts of an image, like the color palette (derived in our 3d space from the color of the ocean, sky, ship textures, direct light, ambient light, and distance fog), are where the image’s true power is; once established in an appropriate (and hopefully exciting) way, the image can then be populated with detail and content successfully. At the school where I’ve been teaching art since the early 90’s, I’ve noticed that a lot of students have this notion exactly backwards – most think that an image’s power comes from the details, which is where they put almost all of their energy, while ignoring the larger strokes like color, contrast, soft and hard edges, etc. Sadly a lot of game companies practice this same philosophy.

To read the full log, with before/after images, click here.

General : New Rules of Conduct

Posted Apr 19, 2006 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com is pleased to announce another phase in our site's changes and upgrades. Many of you have noticed that the new servers are doing their jobs and the site is easier to navigate than ever. Also, our forums have been updated to get rid of those pesky double post issues that people had been having.

Today, MMORPG.com launched our new "Rules of Conduct". Please take a moment to review the new rules, which can be found by clicking the "Rules of Conduct"  tab at the bottom of your screen.

We hope that these new rules will make MMORPG.com an even more entertaining and enjoyable place to visit!

Istaria : New Lore: Prologue

Posted Apr 19, 2006 by Jon Wood

Horizons has released a brand new lore series. The new series is slated to run on their website every tuesday. This week, they give us the story's prologue. To read the whole thing, click the link below:

 

Book the First - Storm Rise

There is a Hall of Mirrors at Heart's Ease, Sonea Finder's plot, in Mia's Edge. Where did the Hall come from? From Sonea's building, mayhap. Or mayhap it is always with us, in this place or in that, in many places and it may be in no place at all save our hearts…

Whence came TaleSpinner? From the mountains, as draku do… from the Hall, or the Hall from her… who knows? Mayhap not Spinner herself.

And the Tale? Ah, the Tale…

Tales do not begin. Tales do not end. They wake, they sleep, they…. dance. And those who hear are as much a part as those who dance within. And now ye that gather these words… ye too are part of the Tale. The Long Tale of the Long Road.

What was Thunder? Who was Lightning? Why care?

There was a storm… and it rose.

To read the whole prologue, click here.

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