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Warhammer Online : Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett: Games Day

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Joe Iuliani and Anthony Love attended the recent Games Day for Games Workshop's Warhammer. Of course, EA Mythic had a presence, and Joe and Anythony were able to catch up with that team's dynamic duo Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett for an interview. Today, we present Part One, come back tomorrow to read part two!

Paul:

What's great about this place is that it's Games Day. So what you got is our game with all the other people who are obsessed about the Warhammer idea. Some people are here because obsessed because they have read the novels and really like the background. A lot of people here because they are obsessed about the miniatures and the realization of the IP, but there are TON of people who are obsessed about our computer game.

Joe:

I know, I saw the line all the way around your booth.

Jeff:

Oh yeah, it's crazy.

Paul:

and what it shows is just how strong and wondrous the idea of Warhammer is that you can do it as table top game, as a novel as a comic, you can also do it as a computer MMO and that's because we are making a hobby. We're not making a computer game, this isn't a wash, rinse, repeat out the door, forget. This is a community; we just had Games Workshop in our building.

Read the whole interview here.

General : Community Spotlight: Death Penalties

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at what is being said on our forums about Death Penalties in MMORPGs.

This week on the forums, poster ASmith84 posed the community a question: "Why Death Penalty?"

"Why do people want a death penalty?" He started the discussion, "What is so great about losing XP? It just makes you play the game longer which makes you pay more. Why do people like this?"

Poster Ghostleader replies, "I don't know about most people but I like death penalties because of the feeling that if I lose I'll actually lose which makes me play better and actually gives me a bit of a rush when PvP as opposed to other games where I lose nothing so there's no reason for me to feel like I need to stay alive."

Read the whole column here.

Age of Conan : Developer Profile Q&A

Posted Jun 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, we continue our series of Developer Profile Q&As where we take a more in-depth look at one of the people working on Funcom's Age of Conan. This week, we're talking to Orjan "Mathis" Tvedt, the Service & Quality Assurance Senior Manager for AoC.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?

Orjan "Mathis" Tvedt:

School had probably very little to do with me choosing to become a part of the video game community. I come from a small city on the west coast of Norway called Bergen. At least its small compared to cities you find in countries such as England, France or USA. It was a very good gaming community in this city and I got a job in one of the internet stores. We had some high profiled Quake and Star Craft players coming from this store and it was during the days of Everquest that I got my job in Funcom. While playing Everquest I decided to give the gaming industry a try.

Read the whole interview here.

Guild Wars : Eye of the North FAQ

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Guild Wars official site has been updated with an FAQ focused on answering questions about the upcoming expansion Guild Wars: Eye of the North.

What is Guild Wars: Eye of the North?

Guild Wars: Eye of the North, also called GW:EN, is the first Guild Wars expansion. It follows the original Guild Wars campaign as well as the Guild Wars Factions and Guild Wars Nightfall campaigns. GW:EN takes place in heretofore unexplored lands of Tyria, including the Far Shiverpeak Mountains, the Charr homelands, the shores of the Tarnished Coast, and even deep within dungeons that plumb the subterranean depths.


What will GW:EN offer me?

  • All-new content designed exclusively for your existing Guild Wars characters
  • 18 huge, multi-level dungeons to explore
  • Monuments commemorating your Guild Wars achievements that give access to special items and titles in Guild Wars 2
  • 150 new skills (50 of which are special, roleplaying-only skills) to use against your foes
  • 10 new Heroes to help in your adventures
  • 40 new armor sets suitable for the great heroes of the land
  • A first look at some of the exciting, playable races in Guild Wars 2
  • Numerous new items, weapons, and titles

What is the release date of GW:EN?

Guild Wars: Eye of the North will be released in the third quarter of 2007.

Read the FAQ here.

Anarchy Online : New Point System

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that they have added a point system to Anarchy Online. Players can buy these points and use them to buy virtual items, services, and content.

Durham, USA - June 27, 2007 - Funcom is proud to announce the introduction of a additional business model for Anarchy Online, exactly six years after the launch of the world's first sci-fi MMO. Set to launch this summer, Funcom now introduces a point-based system where players can purchase selected virtual items, as well as new content and services. The new approach comes as an addition to Anarchy Online's existing business models, and it is a current Funcom focus to only introduce items which do not affect gameplay balance.

The first virtual items to kick off the program will be the introduction of jetbikes and hover boards, giving players the chance to cruise around Rubi-Ka in an all new fashion. In addition Funcom will offer previously released scout-mechs, luxury apartments, Leet pets and various sets of social clothing. By using points the players can also get access to previous and upcoming expansion and booster packs, as well as new services like changing in-game names or moving to another server.

"Funcom has long been a pioneer on new MMO business models, and with the introduction of virtual item sales we are once again moving our game in an exciting new direction," said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. "Selling virtual items and smaller content upgrades is now a prevalent MMO business model in Asia. This has yet to be fully explored in the west, but we believe that the time is now right to test a limited version of such a model. At the same time we remain committed to the overall evolution of the game, making sure that Anarchy Online will be a success for many years to come."

"Celebrating six years is a fantastic milestone for Anarchy Online, and we are genuinely honored to still entertain so many people," said Craig Morrison, Producer and Director on Anarchy Online. "As we now introduce a new addition to Anarchy Online we have ensured that our paying customers get certain privileges. At the same time we also want to show our commitment to taking the overall gameplay experience forward. I am therefore glad to announce that we are developing a new graphics engine for the game, replacing our entire server farm, as well as developing exciting booster packs which include new playfields and more."

Read the full release here.

For more on Anarchy Online, visit http://www.anarchy-online.com.

Voyage Century Online : New Screenshots

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Four new Images have been added to our Voyage Century screenshot gallery.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Granado Espada Online : Public Beta

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

K2 Network has announced that Sword of the New World has entered open beta, and is now open to the public.

IRVINE, Calif. - June 27, 2007 - K2 Network, Inc. (www.k2network.net), an online game publisher, announced today that the beta for its epic MMORPG, Sword of the New World: Granado Espada is now live and open to the public.

"The growing Sword of The New World community has been waiting for this day and it's finally here," said Grantley Day, Vice President of Development at K2 Network. "Until now gamers could only read about the unique and exciting experience that is Sword of The New World; but now they can experience this truly exceptional game firsthand."

Gamers who are interested in being part of the open beta which is now live and continues through until early July should visit http://www.swordofthenewworld.com/register-beta.php to sign up and start playing. In the beta, players will have access to 4 worlds while experiencing the game's extensive costume selection feature and unique multi-character control system, while testing out the deep and compelling character classes.

Licensed to K2 Network by Hanbitsoft, Sword of the New World is developed by imcGAMES. imcGAMES is headed by CEO Hakkyu Kim, the creator of Ragnarok Online, one of the world's most popular MMO's with more than 25 million subscribers. A fantasy MMORPG whose story is modeled after Europe's exploration of the New World, this gorgeous, original title allows players to create and simultaneously control a family of characters utilizing the excusive Multiple Character Control (MCC) system.

This innovative fantasy adventure lavishly unfolds its luscious graphical style through a rich and compelling story comprised of thrilling missions and quests. Swept by an exotic New World fever in the 17th century, this fictional yet profoundly historical exploration of the new found continent includes features that are all-new and exclusive to the U.S. and European versions of the game.

To sign up for the beta, click here.

For more on Sword of the New World, visit www.k2network.net

EVE Online : CCP Hires Economist

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced in a press release that they have brought a real world economist onto the EVE Online team. Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson plans to publish quarterly reports on the EVE Online economy, and evaluate various economic indicators on an ongoing basis.

Reykjavik, Iceland - June 27, 2007 - CCP Games, one of the world's largest independent game developers, today announced the appointment of a in-world lead economist for EVE Online. This is the first time an MMOG has commissioned a dedicated real world economist to operate at this level of economic monitoring and research for a virtual world. The appointment is a real testament to the growing intricacy and strength of EVE Online's thriving virtual economy.

Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson brings over 15 years' experience in economic studies and research, and joins CCP directly from the University of Akureyri, Iceland, where he among several teaching positions held the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Science. Prior to that he was a research associate at the University of Rhode Island's Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics where he also completed his PhD. He has authored or co-authored 15 publications. Dr. Guðmundsson's first blog on EVE Online economics is at http://myeve.eve-online.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=481.


Dr. Guðmundsson will publish quarterly reports on the state of the EVE Online economy as well as ongoing analysis of other economic indicators, such as inflation, economic growth and price trends. His research is designed to provide players with information necessary to make strategic decisions, but is also expected to have an impact on future development of the game. Dr. Guðmundsson will also be responsible for coordinating research initiatives with academic institutions.

"EVE Online may be set in the future, but the skills needed to play are rooted in the real world of today. Players operate vast corporations whose shares are traded in-game among players so economic strength and agility is key to their success. Just as entrepreneurs and executives rely on real-world economic indicators, EVE Online players need timely information and analysis of the in-game economy," said Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. "That's why we created this important position and we're delighted to have someone of Eyjólfur's caliber and expertise fill the role."

"Virtual worlds and MMOGs are emerging as one of the most interesting areas of experimental economics. Since becoming involved with EVE Online, I have been exploring the game and growing more fascinated with the community, its complexities and the unlimited potential of it all. I can see that CCP has understood that the social structures in EVE Online are far beyond those of other games," said Eyjólfur Guðmundsson. "Economic information is the lifeblood of the game and I believe that, by ensuring everyone has access to the same data, we will enhance the player experience and facilitate economic stability in EVE."

Visit the EVE Online official site at http://www.eve-online.com.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Chat report

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

Last night, Flying Lab Software held a developer chat to discuss the SOE publishing announcement, and answer some questions from the public. Adele Caelia was on hand at the event and files this report.

Recently the announcement was made that Flying Lab Software would be teaming up with Sony Online Entertainment to publish and distribute Pirates of the Burning Sea. In light of this news the developers from Pirates of the Burning Sea held a chat session to answer questions from fans, and try to ease their worries.

Flying Lab said that they are firm in their decision to team up with Sony, and they do plan on sticking with SOE for the long run. CEO Rusty Williams said, "We have our responsibilities and they have theirs. Good fences make good neighbors."

SOE will be handling billing, marketing, and distribution. This means that customers will need a Station Account to play, but they are now in the process of figuring out how they will link up a player's current PotBS accounts with their existing or new Station Account. PotBS will be included in the Station Pass, which is great for current SOE gamers who are looking to try out the new swashbuckling game, and is also great for those who plan on playing PotBS, and want to try a game or two in SOE's current line-up. One other added perk to this deal is that players will also now find PotBS at the upcoming SOE Fan Faire, and the developers have said that many of them plan on attending.

FLS also stated that they would be handling their own customer service working with Playerbase Solutions in the U.S. and with Alchemic Dream in Europe. They are not interested in outsourcing customer service overseas.

"It's a little cheaper to do it that way, but I think it makes for a much worse support experience," said Williams.

Read the whole article here.

Eudemons : Patch Details

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Eudemons Online have released details of their most recent patch which will add two new daily quests to the game.

We are happy to announce that two daily quests reported before will be added after this Wednesday`s maintenance.

New Hatchers

Do you think that there are not enough hatchers to hatch eudemon eggs? Well, the fifth and sixth hatchers will be available for you to activate in Patch 1064.

Cronus Snipe

Look forward to doing new quest? Then it`s good news that Cronus Snipe is waiting for you. If you are between levels 80-131, please visit Sam (Cronus 181,383) and get ready to fight the monsters.

Read more the new patch here.

Gods and Heroes : Exclusive Screenshot, Week One

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, we kick off a series that will see the publication of one new, exclusive screenshot from the upcoming MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.

Learn more about Gods and Heroes here.

Jumpgate Evolution : New Screenshots

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Yesterday we reported that Jumpgate was getting a major facelift. To illustrate the changes to the game's graphics, 12 images showing off the new look have been added to our screenshot gallery. Take a look and compare the new to the old; the difference is substantial.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Zu Online : Class Features

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released new information about the classes available in Zu Online, including the SunWarrior, Moonmaiden, Swordsman, and more.

Class Features of Zu Online

SunWarrior

Sun Warrior, with their strong wills and iron bodies, is one of the strongest clans in the secondary world. If you engage in a fight against them, you'd better keep the distance for no one escapes from the fight unharmed.

Moonmaiden

Moonmaiden is quick and skillful in the secondary world. They can gain the initiatives using special magic abilities, such as trapping enemies and turning invisible to sneak up on their enemies.

Swordsman

Swordsman is one of the largest clans in the secondary world. They are good at long distance fighting. With the help of the Bead Fairy, they are able to take the most advantage of their swordfighting skills to fight against the enemies.

Bead Fairy

Bead Fairy belongs to a peaceful clan. They are very popular in the secondary world because of their ability to cure the injured and put enemies in a coma to defeat them without fighting.

Summoner

Summoner is a different species in the secondary world. They are able to summon the ghosts from hell to fight for them and torture the enemies by poison and magic scroll.

For more on Zu Online, visit http://zu.igg.com.

D&D Online : The Festival of Olladra

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced the festival of Olladra, a festival in the name of the god of feast and fortune, and an in-game event in Dungeons and Dragons Online where players will have the chance to win an interesting dagger.

The Festival of Olladra

Olladra, the goddess of Feast and Fortune, can be both playful and fickle. As tribute to this mercurial goddess, the Coin Lords will be celebrating the Festival of Olladra on 4 Lharvion* by giving away several Intimidating Daggers of Paralyzing Acid! This exclusive event item also has a lower tiered version called the Intimidating Dagger of Acid. The Coin Lords have a limited number of both daggers and will be giving them to a lucky few.

The Overview:

Between the dates of 25 Nymm and 1 Lharvion*, send a message to Sir Lawrence d'Deneith via the Sivis Messaging Boards. The subject of this letter should contain four numbers of your choice (each between 1-20), your name, and home world. Sir Lawrence will disqualify any letters which vary from this format, he will also disallow any letters which arrive before or after the specified dates.

Get all the details about the Festival of Olladra here.

EverQuest II : Game Update 36 Peek and Screenshots

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at EverQuest 2 have provided a sneak peek at some of the content that will be available in Game Update 36 including The Throne of New Tunaria. Four new images have been uploaded to our screenshot gallery depicting this new raid area.

Game Update 36 is headed to the live servers this coming Thursday, the 28th of June. As noted in the Game Update Preview, there are a great number of things coming with this next GU, and today we are going to take a peek into one of those new content items: The Throne of New Tunaria.




The Felwithe Throne is now available for raid parties to discover and explore. The raid will provide quite a challenge and require strong coordination from the raid groups who visit it. In the meantime, we can all enjoy these restive and peaceful looks behind the doors to the Felwithe Throne, as the people going inside aren't likely to have many reflective moments.

As you can see, the Felwithe Throne is an impressive continuation of the beautiful themes explored in New Tunaria. We are very excited to have this new opportunity for raiders in the Echoes of Faydwer expansion area. How excited are you to give it a shot?

Read more about Game Update 36 here.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Cross-Subject Q&A

Posted Jun 27, 2007 by Jon Wood

Pirates of the Burning Sea Producer, John Scott Tynes, answers out questions about Sony Online Entertainment, beta, distribution and more!

MMORPG.com:

Your letter to your community announcing the deal with SOE mentioned that it was to be "platform published", making it different from SOE's internally developed games. The last title that SOE published in this way resulted in SOE's acquisition of that company (Sigil) as well as the game (Vanguard). What can you say to fans who fear the same fate for Flying Lab?

John Scott Tynes:

Sigil's troubles with Vanguard have been very publicly documented by Brad McQuaid himself and they had nothing to do with SOE. People who blame SOE for what happened to Sigil are either grossly misinformed or willfully blind for the sake of hating.

This is a hard industry for an independent developer. Sigil is in no way an exception - indie studios close all the time. If you look at console games, you'll see a long record of studios shipping a title and then firing everyone because they don't have their next project financed. That's the business. It sucks but it happens all the time.

Flying Lab is self-financed. We're not running out of money. We are definitely eager to stop spending our money and start making some, but we're launching the game because it's ready, not because we can't make payroll. That's the biggest difference between where we're at where Sigil was at when they were finishing Vanguard.

Some of us had friends at Sigil and what happened there is really sad. They definitely had a vision for what they wanted to achieve but making (and financing) an MMO is a gigantic challenge. SOE is going to keep Vanguard alive and will gradually address its major problems. It'll have a home there for as long as fans want to keep playing it.

Read the whole interview here.

D&D Online : New Spells

Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has released a list of new spells and enhancements that they are working on for Dungeons and Dragons Online Update 4.2.

Spells for Wizards

Spawn Screen

  • Necromancy
  • Level: Clr 2, Sor/Wiz 2
  • Components: V, S, DF
  • Target: One Ally/level
  • Duration: 1 minute/level

Protects you and your allies from rising as spawns of common undead after death. Certain very rare, exceptionally powerful creatures (with purple names) may be able to bypass this ward.

Nightshield

  • Abjuration
  • Level: Clr 1, Sor/Wiz 1
  • Components: V, S
  • Range: Personal
  • Duration: 1 minute/level

Grants a +1 resistance bonus to saves; this resistance bonus increases to +2 at caster level 6th and +3 at caster level 9th. In addition, this spell negates Magic Missile and Force Missile attacks directed at you.

Ooze Puppet

Transmutation
  • Level: Sor/Wiz 2
  • Components: V, S
  • Target: One Ooze
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

You telekinetically take control of the targeted ooze, manipulating it and forcing it to move and attack as you see fit. Oozes dominated by this spell are slowed, and once a minute receive an additional save to attempt to free themselves. If the controlled ooze splits, you lose control of the resultant oozes.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : PvP Test Server Reset

Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that the PvP test server will be reset on June 27th.

PvP Test Server - Character Reset on Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On Wednesday, June 27, 2007, the EQII PvP Test Server will be reset following the release of GU36 . After the reset, players from existing PvP servers will again be able to use the '/testcopy add' command while playing their live character to have it copied over to the PvP Test server. Due to the temporary nature of the PvP Test server, do expect us to regularly reset this server, but we will continue to do our best to give you advance notice. The dev team would like to thank everyone who has participated in the PvP testing to date!

Read the announcement here.

CABAL Online : Re-Launch

Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

Last may Games-Masters.com announced that Cabal Online would be switching to a free-to-play business model which includes a cash shop and premium services. They have now announced the re-launch of Cabal with their new payment system.

Games-Masters.com have today announced the re-launch of CABAL Online. Replacing the monthly fee with a cash shop and premium service system, CABAL now offers better value for money than ever before. Players are able to enter the world of Nevareth for free (yes that is right, no charge!), taking advantage of the unique chance to join a battle of epic proportions. Based in Nevareth, a world depleted by war and the mythical natural forces, CABAL offers users a fast-paced and action packed experience, now for the first time with no costs attached. By simply downloading the client and registering on the CABAL website, players can join the battle within minutes and are soon transported to a parallel world, full of danger, excitement and opportunity.

With the removal of a monthly fee, a brand new cash shop has been implemented to the game. Providing items for sale, ranging from a hi-tech flying board to in-game potions, Games-Masters.com have stated that this service will offer convenience without ruining the economy of the game. Players will also be able to upgrade their free account, giving access to unique features such as a GPS map system, higher levels of experience points and dedicated servers. These benefits are however not at the cost of the free players, with brand new servers operational to handle the surge of new players. Already over 40,000 new adventurers have begun their journey in Nevareth and this number continues to rise.

So, what have you got to lose? Join today and enter a world full of opportunities and challenges, FOR FREE, at cabalonline.com . With thousands of other players to interact with, CABAL Online offers a truly fantastic experience for both old and new players. The lands of Nevareth await!

Read more about Cabal Online at http://www.cabalonline.com.

Guild Wars : Non-Exclusive Quest Diary

Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks working on the newest addition to the Guild Wars franchise, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, have provided this developer diary, from Ben Miller, on questing in the upcoing release. While this feature isn't exclusive to MMORPG.com, we thought it was something that was worth reading.

In designing Eye of the North, our first true expansion for the Guild Wars online RPG, we wanted to improve on what worked well in the past, throw out those quest types that gamers routinely hate, design new quests and new quest types that players had never seen before, and give people more options so they could play the game in many different ways, instead of forcing all players down the same path. In short, when it came to quests, we wanted, in the immortal words of Graham Chapman, "to seek the holy grail."

Going into GW:EN we knew we were creating an expansion geared for max level characters, which meant we could design a game with no newbie area and avoid having to teach new players how to play the game. This gave us the opportunity to create quests that really push the envelope. With this in mind, we committed all of our questing resources to making sure that each and every quest provided players with something insanely cool, or new, or different, or, better yet, all three.

Read the whole article here.

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