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EverQuest II : New Players Site

Posted Nov 14, 2006 by Jon Wood

Sony Online Entertainment has announced the re-launch of a new and improved EverQuest II Players website. The new website comes with brand new features as well as a 2 week free trial.





Sony Online Entertainment today announced the re-launch of their EverQuest II players website,


Since its introduction in 2004, has been the source for the EQ2 player community to list and view their characters’ achievements in the rich fantasy world of EverQuest II. This site redesign will unveil a new look that will provide players with more detailed and extensive leader boards, as well as more detailed character and item info. A new feature has also been added; for the first time dynamic spell lists will now be available for all player classes, so when player characters level up and acquire new spells, these listings will be automatically updated on the site.

As part of this exciting new redesign, will offer all of its services for a free two week trial.


The updated site is expected to go live at 5PM Pacific time on Monday, November 13, 2006.


For more on EQ II click here.

EverQuest II : Echoes of Faydwer Preview

Posted Nov 14, 2006 by Dana Massey

It hits the servers today and we have our preview. Carolyn Koh has played the beta extensively and lets us know what's new, what's good and what's bad in the new expansion to EverQuest II.

The Fae are a good race and as such, players wanting to create a Fae may only play the good and neutral classes. The smallest of the player races available, the Fae glide above the ground, propelled by their fluttering wings as a winged humanoid creature would. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, however, as the customization allows a player to create Faes ranging from pink and blonde Princess goodness to Diablo dark fallen angels. So despite the fun I've made of them, I enjoyed creating several Fae characters just to see the range of customization available.

Since Echoes of Faydwer brings back the ancestral homeland of the Wood Elves, High Elves, Gnomes and Dwarves. Players creating any one of these races including the Half Elf and the Fae, can choose Kelethin as their starting city.

The full preview is here.

General : Column: Politics, Hypocrites and Twits

Posted Nov 14, 2006 by Dana Massey

Dave Bonnewell digs into the vicious video game politics that plays itself out in the mass media of America. "Behind the Online" is a weekly column Bonnewell writes for

Last month also marked the one year anniversary of one of Jack Thompson's most duplicitous and malicious measures. On October 10, 2005, Jack Thompson sent an open letter titled "A Modest Video Game Proposal" to members of the press and to Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein. Mr. Lowenstein, by the way, was the focus of personal attacks by Thompson in a CBS interview in which Thompson compared Mr. Lowenstein to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, knowing full well that Mr. Lowenstein happens to be Jewish. Anyway, back to the letter. In this letter he proposed that if someone could "create, manufacture, distribute, and sell a video game in 2006" that allows players to play the scenario he has written, he would write a check for ten grand to the charity of Take-Two's chairman Paul Eibeler's choosing. Now, here's where things really get interesting. The premise is a Grand Theft Auto-style game in which the focus of brutality is not on police officers and civilians, but rather on the industry leaders responsible for marketing violent video games, such as Take-Two CEO Eibeler and his family.

The whole editorial is here.

City of Heroes : Video: Safeguard Missions

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

NCSoft is anticipating the launch of Issue 8 soon. They released the following video that highlights "Safeguard Missions", something Heroes in the realms should enjoy.

9Dragons : Interview with Steve Altman

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

The best-selling author and Lead Writer for 9Dragons talks about the game and his task of adapting the world to a Western audience. How historically accurate will 9Dragons be? What liberties will be taken to keep 9Dragons a long running MMO?

Steven-Elliot Altman: Good question, Garrett. As far as visuals go, our Korean design team was given a mandate: If it didn't exist in China during the Ming Dynasty, it doesn't exist in 9Dragons. That speaks to the design of the cities, the wardrobe, and even the available weapons. You won't find Shuriken (throwing stars) for example, because they were yet to be introduced during that period in China's history.

As far as the writing goes, I researched each of the Clans to the best of my ability (Shaolin and Wu-Tang Clan had the most available literature of course) and hopefully no one will observe any serious anachronisms. That being said, we have ancient Chinese wisdom being offered in English, so we have to allow for the cultural bias first, and then flavor as we go. I think it's the correct flavor we all strive to experience, not dead on accuracy. Believe me, that would be boring. The process is very similar to writing and then shooting a historically based movie. You have to balance familiar storytelling elements with historically accurate visuals and tune the language as close as you can without losing too much in translation. The only element that keeps me from total immersion in the time period is the fact that I have a mouse in my hand. As far as liberties go... without giving away too much... there just may be an invasion from a foreign land brewing in a not-too-distant expansion event... and we may be compressing time a wee bit.

The whole interview is here.

General : MMOWTF: Don't Hate the Player...

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

Dan Fortier, our Monday columnist on, returns to talk about PvP in MMORPGs and people's reactions to what goes on. He believes, blame for bad PvP experiences should be placed on the game, not the players.

I find that the real joy in PvP games isn't in simply beating your opponent, but in humiliating them afterwards by dancing, yelling and generally acting like a four year old with too much sugar after you tell him 'No'. There are few things in life as great as zerging a non-combat specialized player with twice as many people and camping their corpse for a several hours afterward just to get them even more upset. Victory over a helpless opponent is all the more sweet when they send you hate mail and threaten to do horrible things if they ever find out where you live in real life.

The whole article is here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dark Age of Camelot has released their newest Grab Bag. As uaul, we don't have space to print the whole thing, but if you follow the link below, you can take a look.


Q: (insert question about double xp)

EDITED 11/13/06

A: We are talking about a bunch of things regarding this bonus. As many players have pointed out, just leaving it would eventually make the thrill wear off and the cookies become stale. As MORE players have pointed out, hunting in the old zones is actually more fun than hunting alone in TDs all day, and the double exp makes them feel good about their choice to have fun. So! While it's unlikely that we'll make DOUBLE exp a permanent thing, we are discussing making some form of bonus exp a feature of the game - and, according to Walt, the Moderately Evil Overlord, "While we continue our discussions, we will move the double xp. bonus to Shrouded Isles."

EDIT: I don't know WHEN this happy day will come. Soon (TM).

Q: With the Mauler class unlocking quest: Is it per realm, or per cluster where all three realms get trainers whenever *any* realm unlocks the mauler on that cluster?

A: As per the Moderately Evil Overlord, Walt: “Per realm per cluster. In other words, Hib Palo can unlock it for all Hibernians on the entire cluster.”

Read it all here.

D&D Online : Death Penalty Change

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine has announced that Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach will be adjusting the curve that defines the game's death penalty.


Samera announced on the Forums today that changes to the Death Penalty System are imminent.

"For the next update we are adjusting the curve that defines the death penalty. You should see a much smoother progression from now on, and there shouldn't be any radical jumps in the death penalty as you level."

To read the complete announcement please click here .

For more on DDO click here.

Guild Wars : State of the Game

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released a new State of the Game article for our reading enjoyment.


Taking an early look at the impact of the Dervish and Paragon on the Guild Wars metagame, this week's competitive article reviews the ways in which both of the new characters are being incorporated, with excellent effect, into competitive play. Read of the professions' contributions, and a few effective countermeasures, in the new State of the Game article.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

World of Warcraft : Expansion Battleground Info

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has released a new profile on the Eye of The Storm, the new battleground that will become available with WoW's expansion, The Burning Crusade.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will feature a brand-new battleground called Eye of the Storm, set in the Outland zone of Netherstorm. In this battleground, capture-and-hold gameplay is spiced up with capture-the-flag objectives, creating intense 15-versus-15-player battles among the floating remains of the Netherstorm’s ruined landscape. Learn more about the Eye of the Storm battleground here.

For more on WoW click here.

Anarchy Online : Lost Eden Campaign Begins

Posted Nov 13, 2006 by Jon Wood

Funcom has launched the pre-order campaign for their upcoming expansion, "Lost Eden".


Funcom launches ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’ pre-order campaign
-Get free virtual Battle-Mech and unleash havoc in all-out PvP war -
- All the award-winning AO expansions included for those who pre-order -

Durham, USA – November 13, 2006 - Funcom announces the launch of the battle-mech pre-order campaign for ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’, the upcoming expansion pack to the hugely successful sci-fi MMO. In an offer not to be missed by any ‘Anarchy Online’ player, Funcom gives everyone who pre-orders an opportunity to control the ultimate mechanized death-dealing machines.* Designed and engineered exclusively for those who pre-order, players on the Rubi-Ka battlefields can now wage player-versus-player war with devastating new powers!

“Just like fine wine, some games mature, grow and improve through the years, and ‘Anarchy Online’ has proven itself to be exactly like that. It is now one of the deepest and most engaging MMOs available, and with ‘Lost Eden’ we’re expanding the experience for veteran players at the same time as we’re including all the previous expansions in the offer for new players. We’re confident ‘Anarchy Online’ will continue to excite people”, said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom.

The new expansion pack brings an awesome new range of features to ‘Anarchy Online’, created with love, attention to quality and with player feedback and wellbeing in mind. The expansion delivers content to all level ranges in the game, offering countless more hours of action to the citizens of Rubi-Ka. When purchasing ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’ you will also automatically receive the two previous expansion packs, ‘Shadowlands’ and ‘Alien Invasion’, as well as the booster pack ‘Notum Wars’. This gives you the opportunity to explore years of great content!


  • Fight the epic battle for control of Rubi-ka in space! All-new orbital battle stations take player-versus-player combat between Clan and Omni players to new heights.
  • Enter the heart of the organic alien mothership. Unleash your powers inside their terrifying invasion fleet while exploring mysterious and challenging in-door environments.
  • Go to war with missile launchers, gun turrets and call upon devastating air strikes! It’s time to fight for Notum tower control in a whole new way, and you’re in control!
  • Make the war count! Add your experience points to planetwide research and gain terrible weapons of war, such as the powerful orbit-to-ground laser cannon attacks.
  • Master and operate devastating new battle-mechs! Unleash their potential for death on massive player-versus-player battlefields, in space and on the ground.
  • Conquer a whole new range of weapons and armor as you battle across Rubi-ka in its darkest hour! ‘Lost Eden’ brings you on a journey ever closer to Armageddon.

‘Anarchy Online - Lost Eden’ is slated for a December 13th release, and will only be available digitally. The price is set to 29.95 USD / EUR. More information about Lost Eden can be found on the Anarchy Online website:

*The personal battle-mech is only available as a pre-order bonus for ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’ purchases made before the 12th of December 2006. There will be additional battle-mechs in the expansion which can be gained through gameplay. Existing customers can log onto and follow the pre-order instructions. New customers can preorder from the Funcom shop

For more on AO click here.

General : The Return of the Saturday Debate

Posted Nov 11, 2006 by Jon Wood

The debates get back under way with a new one on the ethics of open PvP servers from Dave Bonnewell and Dan Fortier. Check back Saturdays for new debates and please, if you have anything you want discussed, let us know in the comment thread!

Dave Bonnewell: In the words of the late great writer/philosopher George Santayana, Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is with this very reasoning in mind that we wish to revisit an event which sent shock waves throughout the online gaming community. It was six months ago in World of Warcraft's PvP Winterspring server that an in game virtual funeral being held for the real life death of a young WoW fan. This serene memorial was interrupted by a mass ganking of all 50 or so attendees by a less than serene 20 player Alliance guild calling them selves 'Serenity Now'.

The whole debate is here.

EVE Online : CCP and White Wolf Merge

Posted Nov 11, 2006 by Jon Wood

CCP Games and White Wolf have announced their plans to merge companies. The creators of the MMORPG, EVE Online and the people responsible for such pen and paper games as Vampire: The Masquerade are coming together.


The new, combined company will be releasing new games in both online and offline form. will continue to follow this story as it develops.


Gaming Industry Innovators CCP and White Wolf to Merge

Combined company to deliver next-generation gaming products online and offline

Reykjavik, Iceland and Atlanta, GA, USA - November 11, 2006 - CCP hf. and White Wolf Publishing, Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. The creators of the single largest persistent online role-playing world and the world's second-largest developer of offline role-playing, strategy and collectable card games will create the industry's largest independent Virtual World developer. CCP is the publisher and developer of EVE Online, the world's largest virtual gaming universe. White Wolf is the creator of some of the world's most recognized role-playing titles including: World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage) and Exalted. The combined company will introduce new online and offline gaming products across the science-fiction, horror, and fantasy genres.

The merged company will enable CCP to integrate White Wolf's leading expertise in offline gaming development to enhance and create physical products for its MMOG, EVE Online. Products to be introduced in 2007 will include strategy guides, enhanced collectable card games, role-playing systems, and novels all based on EVE Online. White Wolf will leverage CCP's industry-leading technologies to bring its offline role-playing titles online. Conceptualization and early development has begun to bring White Wolf's World of Darkness, one of the world's strongest gaming properties, into the online world.

"White Wolf possesses the RPG industry's leading offline gaming talent and some of the most recognizable roleplaying properties in the world," said Hilmar Petursson, CCP's Chief Executive Officer. " Virtual worlds are a new form of entertainment, separate from traditional computer games. By combining forces, we will create a company unsurpassed in quality, innovation, and scope which will keep us at the forefront of this emerging trend."

The combined company will continue to operate under their respective names. White Wolf will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCP. Hilmar Petursson, Chief Executive Officer of CCP, will be CEO of the combined company. Mike Tinney, President of White Wolf, will continue as President of the independent subsidiary. Further, White Wolf will continue development and enhancement of their entire portfolio of gaming products.

"CCP brings industry-leading technical expertise and online game development experience to us," said Mike Tinney, White Wolf's President. "Together, we will create the industry's most innovative games leveraging both online and offline systems."

Dark Age of Camelot : 1.81L Notes

Posted Nov 10, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dark Age of Camelot has released the notes for 1.86L. As usual you can read it all by following the link below.



Performance Related Fixes (Catacombs Client)

  • Some elements of the sky dome were not properly being freed from memory upon zoning. This has been fixed.
  • Fixed two memory leaks relating to trees and tree shaders.
  • Fixed an issue where memory was not being released properly after using the Social window.

Note: The Catacombs client affects people who play Catacombs, Darkness Rising, or Labyrinth.

Read it all here.

D&D Online : Weekend Event

Posted Nov 10, 2006 by Jon Wood

Dungeons and Dragons Online has announced an event that will be taking place on the 11th and 12th of this month.


Sir Lawrence D'Deneith is visiting Stormreach again, with another challenge for adventurers!

"Located throughout Smuggler's Rest and Stormreach's various wards (Harbor, Marketplace, Houses Deneith, Phiarlan, Kundarak and Jorasco as well as the Cemetary), I have hidden rare collectibles in obscure corners, bushes and waters located throughout the city. My challenge to you is to find them!"

Read all about it here.

Guild Wars : PvP Primer

Posted Nov 10, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has announced a special edition of their PvP Primer Feature.


In a bonus edition of the PvP Primer, we offer a Nightfall-related special feature that provides training on playing Paragons and Dervishes in the Random Arenas. Get the tips on skills, equipment, and tactics to help you score big in Arena combat!

For more on Guild Wars click here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Exclusive Screens #29

Posted Nov 10, 2006 by Jon Wood

Once again, some far off shots of ships at sea near picture-perfect islands. Every Friday, Flying Lab Software shares with us two images from their upcoming swashbuckling MMOG, Pirates of the Burning Sea. You can view the images here.

EverQuest II : Q&A: Scott Hartsman

Posted Nov 10, 2006 by Jon Wood

Scott Hartsman is the Senior Producer on Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II. As we begin to wind down our bi-weekly EverQuest II Q&As, we talk to him about some key components of the Echoes of Faydwer expansion due out very soon. Check back soon for a full expansion preview. Subclassing AAs. Can you expand on that? How will it work to improve your current skills?

Scott Hartsman: AA? What's an AA? Wait. You mean Achievements? :P

The initial release of Achievements had twelve trees, with two classes sharing each tree. This time, there are unique abilities for all 24 classes.

The ability lines are named and themed together. For instance, one line of abilities might make you a better tank, another might make you better at doing damage. It's all about giving people interesting decisions to make regarding the direction they wish to develop their characters, taken to the next level.

The entire interview is here.

Gods and Heroes : Soldier Feat Tree

Posted Nov 09, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks at Perpetual Entertainment have given us the latest feat tree from their upcoming Roman myth-based MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. The Solider class is their tank class and this journal speaks of them, then shows us what they can learn.

Soldiers' offensive capabilities are truly overwhelming in their breadth and lethality. The "Triarius Strike" is the basic attack move that Soldiers can perform to inflict extra damage on their enemies. When you're hoping to inflict massive damage, however, the "Soldier Combo" is what you need to queue up--the animation alone is worth it. "Charge" allows your Soldier to move rapidly into battle, while "Knockdown" sends your opponent sprawling in the dirt. "Nerve Strike" is another particularly devastating attack that Soldiers can learn fairly early; it reduces an enemy's combat abilities for a short time, in addition to inflicting initial damage. Soldiers who have reached level 20 can perform "Silencing Strike," an assault move that, in addition to being quite powerful, also has the ability to disrupt spellcasting. "Plumbatae," which is part of the "Shields" feat tree, allows Soldiers to throw several small projectiles at their adversary. "Armor Breaking" is part of the "2-Handed Weapons" feat tree and is such a powerful attack that it reduces your opponent's armor rating.

The whole feature is here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Beta Journal

Posted Nov 09, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has released their newest Beta Journal.


When I log onto my minstrel, I feel very comfortable with him. Minstrels are the main healing class, therefore it is very easy to make friends and find a group. The minstrel, in my eyes, is one of the backbones of any fellowship.

Grouping with a minstrel is quite fun. You cannot just sit in the back and spam heals. This will draw plenty of aggro to yourself and you'll die quickly in your light armor. You have to heal only when necessary and use your de-taunt whenever it's available. There are also several party buffs like raising melee attack power, and situational skills like protection from fire, that play an important role in tough battles. It can be stressful when times get rough, but if you come out on top, you feel great pride in having kept your fellowship alive.

Soloing as a minstrel is quite different. You don't have to worry about healing so much, just about maximizing your attack power. You can be a much better soloer if you plan what skills you are going to use in a certain order. If you get aggro from a few nearby monsters, it is absolutely necessary that you do certain skills at certain times. It keeps you on your toes. Soloing is not where a minstrel shines, however, it is always better to be in a group.

My favorite skill would have to be Triumphant Spirit. It instantly renews the morale of all your fellowship, but draws a large amount of aggro to yourself. It's important to use the de-taunt skill right before or after Triumphant Spirit. It has saved me from near death on several occasions. It also has a 15 minute refresh timer, so you should only use it in emergencies.

For more on LOTRO click here.

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