At GDC, Jon Wood attended a roundtable led by Daimon Schubert from BioWare Austin.
Yesterday was another great day at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) for MMORPG.com. Not only did the show floor actually open today, but it also kicked off a number of game development seminars. One that caught my interest that I thought folks might be interested in was called Beyond Men in Tights. The session was led by Daimon Schubert from BioWare Austin (I asked, they're still not giving any information about what they're making).
At last year's GDC, Daimon ran a seminar by the same name where he talked about the reasons that the fantasy genre was king in the MMORPG realm. This year, the topic was the same, but the format was different. Instead of standing at the front of the room and talking for an hour, Schubert chose to open the discussion up to a room full of developers. The question was simple. Why fantasy?
Read it all here.
Garrett Fuller had the chance to catch up with the folks from Icarus Studios, the makers of Fallen Earth, for a talk about their upcoming MMORPG.
Here at GDC this week we got to see a lot of games. One of them is a unique MMO that has been on the radar for a while and plans to offer players something new in genre. That game is Fallen Earth. For those who have not seen the game, it is a post apocalyptic world where the earth has fallen prey to disease, nuclear war, and general devastation. The remaining human survivors have formed into groups who live in the area of the Grand Canyon. These factions each have ways of believing that they are the ones to save humanity. From the savage to those who believe in law and order the six factions of Fallen Earth eventually fight it out for control. Think of a world with the look and feel of The Road Warrior and game mechanics that cater to player tastes and you've got Fallen Earth.
Read the whole article here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have another exciting contest for you in March! From now until April 7, 2007 you can enter to win a Zboard bundle prize including the main Zboard keyboard and 4 keysets (WoW, WoW:BC, EQ2 and Guild Wars).
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details)
If you are ready to enter to win, just click here!
Blizzard Entertainment announces the third annual Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, SOuth Korea, on May 19th and 20th.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans to hold its third Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea on May 19 and 20. The Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals are public events that allow the company to connect with gamers in a celebration of the Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes and competitive Blizzard Entertainment® gaming. This year's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will be held at the Olympic Gymnastics and Fencing Stadiums in Seoul.
The event will be open to gamers of all ages and feature a number of exciting e-sports tournaments, including the regional finals for both Warcraft III Battle.net® Season 5 and the first season of World of Warcraft®'s Arena Tournament. Invitational StarCraft and Warcraft III tournaments will also pit some of Korea's finest players against tough international challengers.
"With a wide variety of themed activities and competitions to participate in, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals are a great way for us to show our appreciation to our players," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're looking forward to creating another memorable show for them this year as well."
Outside of the e-sports realm, unique panel discussions will be held by Blizzard developers on various topics, and several hands-on attractions will add to the fun. Further details on the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will be released in the weeks ahead.
Read more here.
Blizzard announced today that World of Warcraft: The Burning Cruade has reached a new milestone in PC Game Sales: 3.5 million copies sold within one month!
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusade™ sold through approximately 3.5 million copies within one month following its mid-January launch in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.* This includes more than 1.9 million sold in regions that play on North American realms, including more than 100,000 copies in Australasia, and nearly 1.6 million in Europe. World of Warcraft's worldwide subscriber base now numbers more than 8.5 million and is continuing to grow as new and returning players join existing players in the game.
Blizzard previously announced that this first expansion set for World of Warcraft sold through nearly 2.4 million copies worldwide in its first 24 hours -- more than any other PC game in history had sold within an entire first month of availability.* With approximately 3.5 million copies sold through, The Burning Crusade has now established the new one-month record for PC-game sales.
"We're thrilled about the overwhelming response that we've received for The Burning Crusade," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "We have worked hard to build upon nearly every aspect of World of Warcraft with this expansion, and it's gratifying to see that players and reviewers are enjoying the new content."
Amazon.com® reported that it received more preorders for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade than for any other PC or console game ever, and Wal-Mart® also recorded similar record-breaking numbers for The Burning Crusade. According to Gary Severson, senior vice president and general manager at Wal-Mart, "Not only was The Burning Crusade the top-selling item in our electronics department the day it released; it had the best day-one sales of any PC-game launch in our company's history."
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is Blizzard Entertainment®'s first expansion for its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. It adds an extensive amount of new content to the game, including an increase in the level cap, complete with new spells, abilities, and talents for players to acquire as they advance their characters; huge new outdoor zones and dungeons for players to explore after they journey through the Dark Portal into the shattered world of Outland; two new playable races; flying mounts; a new character profession: jewelcrafting; and much more.
Following the initial launch of the expansion on January 16, Blizzard held a highly successful open beta test in Korea and then commercially released The Burning Crusade for players there on February 12. The company is currently working with its partners to localize the content into Simplified and Traditional Chinese for mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau and release the expansion in those regions as soon as possible. For further information on World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade, please visit www.worldofwarcraft.com.
Read more here.
Infinity extends a warm welcome to Richard Woods, their new Community Manager!
I would like to wish a warm welcome to Richard Woods ( aka Crayfish ) as our new community manager. Rich will answer basic e-mails, players questions/support, contact websites for promotional purposes and generally, handle PR ( public relationships ). His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, but if you send your e-mails to email@example.com as before, I will forward them to him if he can answer them directly.
Read more here.
Eudemons introduces an inventive solution to account and item theft: in-game passlocked warehouses.
Have once been hacked by the evil scammers, or being afraid that your characters/items might be scammed one day?
Do not worry any more. Amy (market 287,465) can ensure the security of your characters and items. Find her to set a warehouse password for free of charge. With this type of password, your characters and items will be well protected. Nobody can access your warehouse or do anything on your items even if he/she knows your account ID and password.
Read more here
The WarriorLulu and MageDodo are currently owned by only one player. Starting on March 9th, you too can have a shot at one of these rare creatures!
You must have viewed the cool WarriorLuLu and MageDoDo from the recent announcements. At present only one player owns them by winning the Valentine themed screenshot contest. They are so rare that you have little chance to see them in game.
Want to be their first master in your server? Here is a chance for you. It is said that Lily is going to sell them at Shopping Mall (Market 281,470). Go to have a look on March 09, 2007. By then, you can purchase one at the price of 3999 EPs. This special offer will only run from March 09, 2007 till March 31, 2007. Do not miss your chance to buy them. First come, first served.
Read more here
RuneScape's made a bunch of new changes to their music! With changes to the underlying technology and individual hand-tunings for every song in the game, you should notice a difference when logging in today.
Firstly, we've changed the underlying technology used to play the music. We've completely rewritten the music player from scratch, so it now uses a bank of instruments built into the game itself rather than using whatever your soundcard happens to have. This has the advantage that the music sounds the same regardless of your computer, rather than varying from machine to machine. This in turn allows us to fine-tune the music exactly, instead of having to try to get something which generally works. Our new music technology should also be more compatible, meaning the music works correctly on more operating systems and soundcards than before!
Secondly, we've gone through every single song in the game, (a huge undertaking: there are nearly 500 songs), and hand-tuned each one to sound optimal with our new instrument set! As a result, many of the songs are sounding better than ever before, and you can finally hear them as we intended them to sound.
You may also notice the shiny new button on the log-in page. This lets you turn off the log-in music to preserve your speakers while you pop off to get a snack or take a break, all without interfering with your music settings in-game.
So, if you've been put off listening to the music for one reason or another, now's the time to turn it on and enjoy the ambient delights!
We're still planning some more tweaks to the system to improve your auditory experience, so keep checking the front page for news.
In other news...
In addition to the big soundbank update today, we've added 'equip sounds' to armour and weapons.
Read more here
Tomorrow (March 8th) marks the release of the new Final Fantasy XI update, including new areas, changes to the battle system, new items, and more.
New Aht Urhgan missions have been added.
The following changes have been made to Besieged:
- Level 7 Besieged has now been released. Accordingly, the maximum value for enemy forces has increased to 170.
- New Notorious Monsters and Level 7 units comprised of new creatures will now appear during Besieged.
- The variety of temporary items distributed at the beginning of every Besieged has been expanded. The availability of these items will depend on which NPCs have been taken captive and the overall condition of the Imperial defense.
- The Serpent Generals have each received unique new combat abilities to use during Besieged.
The following changes have been made to the Chocobo Hot and Cold Game:
- There are now new chocograph areas available in which to play the Chocobo Hot and Cold Game.
*To obtain the new chocographs, players must first succeed a number of times in discovering treasure in the existing areas.
*Players will find the number of times they can dig in the new chocograph areas will be less than existing areas.
- When digging with a tired chocobo in a location where treasure is buried, there is a chance that you will "hit the jackpot." If this happens, it will be possible to discover the treasure chest in your next digging attempt.
*After "hitting the jackpot," the subsequent digging attempt does not count towards the maximum number allowed.
- Items obtainable in the prairie chocograph and bush chocograph areas have been adjusted.
- Your chocobo's general digging ability will now be improved when successfully discovering treasure.
*The amount the ability improves varies with the chocograph area.
*The exact value of the ability increase will not be displayed.
For full update notes, read more here
While Final Fantasy's World Pass system has maintained a fairly even population on the various servers, Square Enix has announced that, starting tomorrow (March 8th), players will be able to choose their starting server at the character selection screen.
Starting March 8, 2007, players will be able to create new characters on the World of their choice. Up until now, Worlds would be randomly assigned to characters upon their creation, while only players with World Passes could join their friends. However, with this new adjustment, all players, even ones without World Passes, will have the option to select their realm at the character selection screen.
Originally, the World Pass system was introduced to maintain a balance among all the Worlds and prevent overpopulation. However, with the continued stablization of each World's adventurer community and recent technical advances in server technology, it has been determined that allowing players to create new characters on Worlds of their choice would not greatly affect the current population balance.
In conjunction with this change, we have updated the character creation screen to include a new pull-down window from which players can select the World of their choice. Also, additional characters added to an account will no longer be automatically assigned to the same World as the first character. Players will be free to choose where they wish that new character to reside, be it the same World, or a completely different one.
Finally, the development team is continuing their work on World selection by making preparations for a new service that will allow players to move their characters to different Worlds. Please keep a close watch on the Topics page for further updates on this exciting feature.
*While all World Passes will become void after March 8, 2007, Gold World Passes will continue to be distributed to players who wish to purchase them. Any adventurers who would like to invite their friends to Vana'diel can still utilize the Gold World Pass feature and take advantage of the special benefits this unique system has to offer.
Read more here.
A call to artis, and EQOA fans everywhere! EQOA is looking for fan art, feel free to send in your best!
Do you have some fantastic fan art that you would like to show off to the world? If the answer is yes then we'd love to see it!
If you would like to submit your fan art, please send an 800x600 pixel copy to SOEFanArt@soe.sony.com. Please be sure include the following with your email:
Email Subject: EQOA Art Submission
Image Title: Provide a title for your image - (what do you call it, what is the theme?)
Artist Name: Choose to submit your community forum handle or character name (full character name is fine).
To help prevent any misunderstandings, please read Section 5. Submissions, Fan Fiction and Artwork, and Photographs in our Terms of Service.
Read more here.
Another great trailer from GDC. This time out it's a new trailer for this upcoming scifi MMORPG.
From the GDC here's a new official movie featuring some very exciting gameplay footage from this upcoming scifi MMORPG!
You can view all of the videos here
NCSoft has released this new movie giving us a visual glimpse of the changes upcoming in Issue #9
|Issue 9 Official Movie
Straight from the GDC here is a movie featuring a visual overview of changes upcoming in Issue 9 including the new Invention System.
You can view all of the videos here
This morning, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes implemented Game Update #1.
On Wednesday, March 7th at 5AM PST all servers will be brought down for Game Update #1. The estimated downtime is 3 hours. Please expect a longer download time.
With Game Update #1 Customer Support now has an upgraded petition system to better assist players. As a result of the changes made to the petition system all open petitions have been closed. If you still have an issue that you need assistance with please re-petition the issue when you log into the game.
For more information about Game Update #1 please view the Game Updates Page!
- The Vanguard Team
Read more here.
Lord of the Rings Online's latest Beta Journal gives us more information on the crafting system.
I've been a big fan of crafting, ever since the tradeskills in Asheron's Call. Crafting in AC2 occupied my time for hours on end, both before and after the big changes! I was looking forward to crafting in LOTRO.
Looking over the crafting charts, I decided to give the Historian profession a shot. One of the parts I've focused on the past few weeks has been farming, and what I've found is...farming is fun. Fun, but expensive (at least for now). There's nothing like planting seeds and reaping the crop that you personally planted! Instead of questing one day, I spent the entire play session in the fields, growing potatoes, onions, and so on. One of the nice aspects of farming is that even if you fail to grow a good crop, you can turn your failed crop into seeds, and plant a new crop, essentially feeding the process all by itself! The farmer is just a supplier though - she can't provide a finished product. So, basically, I sell all my crops to cooks, who then turn it into finished product for people to use.
The other part of the Historian that I've tried is the Scholar skills. Scholars can make lore, both battle and crafting. The hard part of this particular skill is the ingredients are all loot drops. That makes it a LOT harder to craft battle buffs or crafting buffs on your own. You need to get out and kill things, or rely on others to get the components you need to make these things. The things that can be made are actually useful - they're just going to be rare.
I haven't played much with the Weaponsmith skill yet. I expect that it will be along the same lines as Scholar - get parts from other folks, and make weapons.
The mechanics of crafting are pretty simple - get your components, head to a crafting place, and craft. I'm very used to that from AC2, so this is a very smooth transition for me. All in all, crafting looks to be shaping up pretty well. I expect that when we go live, I'll be bugging my kinship to no end, for all the bits and bobs to go into making the lore buffs, and I'll be spending a lot of time 'down on the farm', supplying the cooks with fresh produce!
Read more here.
This spring, a number of magazines in North America and Europe will be offering a unique oppertunity: get your chance at a new, exclusive miniture, the Asura.
Players will get the opportunity to adopt a brand new, exclusive miniature, the Asura, by purchasing a copy of selected game magazines in North America and Europe. We've managed to capture an image of one of these elusive little creatures, and you can check it out here. The list of regional publications that will offer the miniature Asura, and the shelf date for the issue that will offer it, is available here. Several of our media partners will be running more than one feature about Guild Wars, so we will expand the regional publication list to provide lists of features and other articles as other dates become available.
Read more here.
Help your recruits and heroes out this weekend with double XP!
Bring your Heroes or recruit new ones this weekend, for they will get double XP while they are below you in level. Plus, you will have double the chance of acquiring Hero armor upgrade pieces in Dajkah Inlet, Remains of Sahlahja, The Shadow Nexus, and Gate of Anguish. The event will run from Noon on Friday, March 9 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 11
Read more here.
If a MMO and trading cards weren't enough to sate your World of Warcraft appetite, this year's New York American International Toy Fair will introduce new World of Warcraft action figures based on the diverse heroes of World of Warcraft.
DC Unlimited, the new toy and collectible brand of DC Comics, is unleashing a line of action figures based on the diverse heroes of World of Warcraft. These amazingly detailed figures -- shown for the first time at New York's American International Toy Fair -- have already garnered a high level of interest among World of Warcraft players, collectible enthusiasts, and the media. The initial set of figures will include a blood elf rogue, orc shaman, undead warlock, and dwarf warrior, fully decked out with the latest armor and weapons from the game.
You can view the figures now at DC Unlimited's World of Warcraft site. Check back often for updates and new product announcements.
Read more here.
As the people behind Voyage Century Online, IGG knows their pirates. And in case one piratey game wasn't enough, IGG is proud t announce that Tales of Pirates, an IGG game which has been successfully operated in Southest Asia, will be hitting the North American market soon.
IGG, an online game operator in North American, is best known for the good quality of its online mmorpg Myth War Online and Voyage Century Online which has successfully been operated in North American for a long time and is popular among fantastic and marine time fonder. Moreover, with the motto of "Top Game, Top Service", IGG bring new blood into America online game industry, which is welcomed by our players and brings them a more enjoyable and relaxed game experience.
After these successes, IGG bring its new MMORPG to the Northern American players - Tales of Pirates. Tales of Pirates is a matured game which has been successfully operated in Southeast Asia and has been fully tested for a long time which is sure to bring you a joyful and sound game experience. The official website of Tales of Pirates will be released soon and the game will be open for beta by the end of March.
The relaxed and colorful graphic and the humorous character design resemble the romantic feature of the game. Ground on the ancient European seafaring time, Tales of Pirates present fantastic world full of numerous cities and unprecedented great scenes in front of the players where players can players reside in, experience the mystery of the endless seas, and feel the romantic and interesting life of a pirate. It is the one and only unique world for pirates to be in!
Tales of Pirates also has a full gaming mechanism for the players. Diverse job and profession system, Revolutionary Sea Battle System, Intricate Land Battle Design, New Island Battle and Island Development System, all these enable Tales of Pirates a different and unique pirate game worthy of playing.
The closed beta-tests of TOP will start later of March, 2007. The recruiting campaign for the beta-testers will be launched within the next week.