Michael Hampden previews Pirates of the Burning Sea based on the conversations he had with the team at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last week.
|On day two of E3 we caught up with Flying Lab team, developers of the upcoming naval-themed MMO: Pirates of the Burning Sea. Much of our conversation focused on combat – this is one area where PotBS is unique amongst MMOs. In PotBS, combat takes place in instanced zones. Players enter these zones after encountering an enemy on a larger world map. The instance in which I played involved me squaring off against a number of small ships, while I piloted a large gunship, complete with cannons mounted on three sides. My ship had loads of firepower, but it was a challenge for me to hit the smaller, faster ships as they darted about. Successful attacking is dependant on your direction and position in PotBS. It’s not as simple as targeting an enemy, and letting auto-attack do your work. Instead, I had to maneuver my ship, in order to bring the enemy into the range of my guns. Once in range, I had to maneuver my ship so that my guns pointed towards the enemy. The range and direction of your guns is denoted by a display in the combat U/I, which conveniently also displays the position of enemy ships. When an enemy ship is within you guns arc of fire in the U/I, you know its time to fire. This is done with a simple left-click.|
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We interviewed Destination Games Producer Starr Long about the progress of Tabula Rasa, their planned PvP system and much more. Find out how the game has come along since last E3.
| One of our writers jokingly suggested that we award Tabula Rasa the “most times at E3” award. It is no secret that this NCSoft product has gone through a series of trials, redesigns, staffs and visual overhauls during it’s development cycle. Now, with a hardcore action RPG design, it finally seems as if Tabula Rasa is a reality.
Starr Long, the longtime right-hand man of Richard Garriott and Producer of Tabula Rasa, met with us to talk about player vs. player combat, the development of the game and more.
Tabula Rasa is a futuristic action MMORPG where players fight NPC enemies for control of planets. The game combines FPS and RPG mechanics seamlessly. At this stage, the team is all but done with the first planet Foreas. They’ve also begun on their second planet, a more hellish environment named Arieki.
You can read the full article here.
Garrett Fuller spoke to the folks behind Dreamlords, an MMORPG-RTS that has a different take on what you can expect from an online game.
| Dreamlords takes a different approach to the MMO genre with a real-time strategy style. According to developers the game is much more than just an online RTS. Players will have depth to their avatars and a close relationship with the islands they command. The player begins the game as a deity of the island and controls the population, resources, and armies. Once you have built up the island it is time to go to war against other factions and opponents. The games will take place over a three month era in which each island and Dreamlord grow in strength and abilities. Once the era has ended the Dreamlord continues and a new era begins.
Each Dreamlord has three races at his or her disposal, the Thul, Mihilim and Covenant.Players populate their island with one of the groups and begin setting up resources for their towns, cities and armies. The race chosen by the player can be changed after each era ends. Up to fifteen players can form a group to pool resources. One Dreamlord can focus on gathering while another works on making weapons and so on. These players have the chance to do battle across the game world against all foes.
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A correction. Last week, we promoted our K2 Network E3 Look Forward. However, we failed to actually enable the article. You can read about what K2 Network has planned here.
Our apologies to K2 and their fans for the mishap.
We've added the latest game from Auran, an Australian development studio, to our game list. This MMORPG puts players in close combat, with stunning graphics. The game should appeal to fans of Guild Wars is remarkable as a fully PvP, but fully character skill based game.
Recently, Carolyn Koh spoke to them at E3.
There's a new event in town over at RF Online. This one's called "Professor Saldash's Thunderdome", and promises to be a good time. Check it out for more information!
Professor Saldash's Thunderdome is a 1 on 1 PvP Event that will be taking place on the weekend of May 20th-21st.
Sharpen your weapons and polish your armor, as your greatest personal challenge is about to unfold!
For further information, and application details, see the following thread.
For more on RF Online, click here.
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has released a brand new Forum Roundup in an attempt to meet our knowledge needs:
Every Monday we will highlight certain threads from our forums. These threads will be helpful or generally positive threads started by our team or by the members of our community from the previous week. They will be fun items we wish to highlight, or good discussions that we feel the players would benefit from reading.
To read the roundup, click here.
Guild Wars has announced that the second season of the Guild Wars Factions Championship ended:
The second season of the Guild Wars Factions Championship ended at 1:01 a.m. this morning. Exciting new details are provided in our GWFC Section where we are pleased to announced the prize for this season and to provide details on the playoff schedule, as well.
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
Redcently, MMORPG.com gave away a number of ID Codes for Dragon Raja. Today, the company announced that they had run out. They have also sent us some new screenshots, which can be seen in our gallery, here.
The Dragon Raja Identification Codes are now gone. During the weekend, a few thousand codes have been made available. In almost no time at all, the codes have all been taken by players wanting to make a Dragon Raja account. These Identification Codes are used to create a Dragon Raja beta test account. The Dragon Raja beta test will start on May 15th , 9:00PM EST (GMT-5). For those who couldn't get an Identification Code, please keep your eyes out for more surprises.
For more on Dragon Raja, click here.
Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg, the Community Manager for Shadowbane, who recently guest wrote for us at E3, has provided an update on the future of Shadowbane over on their official website. Wolfpack Studios ceased to exist today, but it seems there is hope in store for players of the game.
|I am not at liberty to say much at this moment. There is currently an official announcement in the works that will explain things at greater length and detail. At the same time, we know the community has many questions and we do not wish to just ignore the situation. What I can say at this point is that come tomorrow, Shadowbane will still be running and you'll still have Sachant and myself here to do what we do best. You will also see Jinx, who is new to the Shadowbane Team but an old member of the community itself.
Let me dispel any rumors before they begin. Today Wolfpack Studios has been dissolved and is no more. With that said, members of Wolfpack are reforming under a new group. This group will be working with Ubisoft to help usher in the next era of Shadowbane.
In other words, do not go anywhere! The Saga that is Shadowbane has many more chapters to be written and read!
Keep checking back as we follow this story.
Mythic's dynamic duo of Sanya Thomas and Walt Yarbrough gave us a few tips on what to expect from the next expansion, which will soon be announced. One new race, one new class... but not tied to any realm. Read on.
|Dark Age of Camelot was one of the few games not to make big waves in advance of E3. They want the post-E3 lull all to themselves.
What they would say is that the new expansion, which will be officially announced soon, has one new race and one new class. Anyone, from any realm, can unlock the class on an account by account basis and then make characters using it. The race comes free with the expansion.
To read on, click here.
As expected, Richard Vogel and Gordon Walton of BioWare Austin could not tell us specifically what they were working on. Nonetheless, the two were very forthcoming about what they see in the industry, their high level goals and more.
|“[We] can’t discuss what we’re doing,” said Richard Vogel, BioWare Austin’s Studio Director of Operations.
It was a glum beginning to an engaging interview. The setting, style and gameplay mechanics remain shrouded in mystery and will be there until the folks at BioWare decide to pull back the curtain. That said, we were able to talk to Vogel and Gordon Walton, Studio Director of Technology, about the company’s culture, their high-level goals and more.
“[There is] nothing like working for a company that’s all about quality,” explained Walton. The biggest thing they could stress was that no matter what, they are well funded, well organized and will be given all the time required to make their game the way they wanted to. BioWare, like Blizzard, does not rush things.
You can read the article here.
In our E3 preview, Garrett Fuller learns about Squig Herders, Chaos divinities, combat and more. Mythic showed off their new game in the West Hall and despite being only eight months old, Garrett also had some time to play it. Here is his preview:
|Warhammer Online has only been in full scale development for eight months, but the excitement surrounding the game cannot be ignored. The people at Mythic showed us some of the combat system, quest, PvP elements and much more.
Much of what Mythic had to say was covered in our pre-E3 hands-on preview, but during our demo with the team, we caught a glimpse of a more focused scenario.
Warhammer is a dark world with grim storylines, but most of all it does not take itself seriously and adds great humor to the game. With a strong IP on their hands, Mythic has the chance to create an MMO that will capture the brutal silliness of the tabletop game.
You can read the full article here.
Turbine has announced that they have officially started to take in beta applications for their highly anticipated MMORPG adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.
WESTWOOD, Mass. -- MAY 10, 2006 -- Turbine, Inc. has officially started taking Beta player registrations for the highly-anticipated The Lord of the Rings Online(tm): Shadows of Angmar(tm), the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
To sign up for their chance to be selected for The Lord of the Rings Online(tm) Beta, players should head to http://beta.turbine.com/signup. The Beta Program will launch later this summer.
"If you have ever read the books or seen the movies, you have wanted to be a part of Tolkien's epic adventure," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "Players everywhere will finally get the chance with this MMORPG; we are excited about bringing players into Middle-earth." The Lord of the Rings Online will be showcased at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world's biggest trade event exclusively dedicated to showcasing the best in interactive entertainment and software, where players can play as one of four characters in the game as they are sent by a Ranger to reclaim Weathertop from a party of Orcs. Players who complete the mission successfully will win a slot into the Beta.
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar allows players to explore the most famous fantasy world of all time, fight the evil minions of the Dark Lord Sauron, and advance their heroes by adventuring through the vast reaches of Middle-earth(tm). Fans of The Lord of the Rings are also encouraged to register for the Beta at the official web site, http://www.thelordoftheringsonline.com
For more on this game, click here.
Carolyn Koh looks at the third adventure pack, "The Fallen Dynasty", and the second expansion, "Echoes of Faydwer". These two upcoming releases were announced just before E3 and on display in the SOE booth at the show.
|The 3rd expansion, and the first with content for beginners to players in the end game (levels 1 through 70). This expansion has been compared to the “Kunark” expansion in scope, as it contains an entire continent with over 20 zones and a new race with associated starting city, quests and newbie hunting areas.
Release is slated for November 2006, so I received few details other than what was provided and many “Yet to be decided / determined type answers.”
Can the Fae fly? “We don’t know yet.”
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SOE is winding back the EverQuest clock with their new progression server. Here, players can start again and move forward with the slightly sped up evolution of this classic.
|My biggest gamer regret is that I never had the chance to play EverQuest. I remember picking it up once, years ago, and scoffing when I read the package. Who would pay a monthly fee to play a game? Oh, how wrong I was.
Luckily, the EverQuest team is giving gamers another chance to play EverQuest. Starting sometime in late June, the EverQuest progression server will be opening up. Today I spoke with EverQuest lead designer Travis McGeathy about the progression server, as well as some other updates coming to the regular EverQuest.
To read, click here.