Recently, MMORPG.com writer Carolyn Koh sits down for a conversation with Hermann Peterscheck about the recently announced Jumpgate: Evolution that will see the six-year-old space MMO updated for 2007 with new graphics, new AI and more.
In 2001, a space MMOG was released with little fanfare but a small, yet strong fan base. Did you hear about it? It was before EVE Online, before Planetside or Earth and Beyond. It was named Jumpgate and distinguished itself from the MMORPGs that were launching all around them, by billing themselves as NOT an MMORPG, but an MMO space flight and combat game. A game of skill, not gear and levels - a game best controlled with a joystick.
That was Jumpgate. It drew inspiration from older single-player, free-form spaceflight games from the 1980's and 1990's such as Elite, Elite II, and Wing Commander: Privateer. Developed by a small indie-group known as NetDevil, it outlived Earth and Beyond, which was published by Electronics Arts. It survived losing its publisher not three months after it launched, it was developed and run by the smallest team known to man (six), but yet it survived - not unloved, but relatively unknown - for six years.
Read the whole article here.
Whenever the folks at Flying Lab Software wipe the Pirates of the Burning Sea beta, they hold a 25 players versus 25 developers Battle Royale. The games official site now has an interesting report up, detailing the developer's previous loss to the players and their plans for revenge.
When it comes time to wipe the beta for a major build, we hold a 25 players versus 25 developers Battle Royale. As you may know, we hosted our first Battle Royale a few months ago. The testers dealt a devastating defeat to the developers - we lost all 25 ships and only sank one. I personally sank twice due to bugs (fixed!), but I saw neither death because I was staring at my desktop. Most of the developers suffered a similar fate, as we completely overloaded our internal net connection and we all crashed. In all honesty, that had little impact on the fight - the testers were going to crush us regardless. We were scattered around the battlefield like ants after someone stepped on their hill, and the only tester we sank was probably link dead.
Now we're ready for another beta wipe, which means Battle Royale II took place on Saturday, June 23. In the first battle, we all picked our ships, setup our characters and just fell into the battle where ever we wanted. After suffering such a humiliating defeat, it was obvious we were outmatched and we needed to take a different approach for the second battle.
The people coordinating the battle drafted me to serve as our fleet's admiral. The fact that we had to draft an admiral says everything you need to know about our fleet's organization. So, I spent the next two weeks preparing for battle in addition to my usual design responsibilities.
Read the full article here.
Last month, the folks over at Vanguard promised to keep their community informed about what work that is being done to improve the game. Now, the Vanguard official site has been updated with two reports. One report details the milestones that they've reached and the other previews their goals for the next update.
Here is the long awaited Milestone 1 wrap-up. Overall we made some pretty good progress. It was our first time with our new scheduling process and while we had a few hiccups, most things worked out fairly well. We will continue to tune the process to become more efficient as well as getting the post Milestones goals out to the community sooner than we did this time. Some of these features will be included in game Update 2. The contents for Game Update 2 will be announced as soon as it's pushed to QA.
Read the Milestone 1 Wrap up here.
Read the Milestone 2 Preview here.
All Star Wars Galaxies U.S. and European servers will be down on Tuesday, July 10th 7:00 AM EDT while they are updated with the latest chapter update.
On Tuesday, July 10th at 4:00 AM PDT all U.S. and European galaxies will be taken down for server maintenance and a live update.
When the update is complete, all galaxies will be live but unavailable while we complete final testing. All galaxies will be made available after that time.
4:00 AM PDT (Los Angeles) / 6:00 AM CDT (Austin) / 7:00 AM EDT (New York) 12:00 PM GMT (London) / 1:00 PM CET (Berlin) / 8:00 PM (Tokyo)
Vendor Pack Up:
- Fixed various issues with unpacking vendors
Read the release notes here.
The Pirates of the Burning Sea official site has been updated with an introduction to Flying Lab Software's new user experience person, Janice.
People, especially Aether, keep asking me who I am, so I figured now would be a good time to stop lurking and say hello officially. Hello! I'm Janice, the new user experience / usability lab rat here at Flying Lab Software. Having a UX person on staff is a pretty pioneering thing for a small game company to do, so I thought I'd start by telling you how I got here.
There I was, almost done with the Technical Communication Masters program at the University of Washington. Between discussing contextual inquiry methods, teaching undergraduate engineers how to write, and waxing scientific about software, I was approached by some of the FLS folks to observe a playtest they were running. They knew how important it was to get the game in front of real users as soon as possible, but at that point it meant pulling time and resources away from other teams, which wasn't the most efficient option.
So, they asked me to come in and add a little bit of rigor to the process. I'm a big fan of the game (and they bought me a lot of coffee), so I was happy to help while I finished up at school. A few months later, Rusty stopped me in the hall and asked when I was starting full time... and here I am. Since then, we've set up an honest-to-goodness usability lab, complete with viewing windows, audio recorders and a pirate chest full of "incentives." Some video cameras and one-way mirror film are in the works.
Read the full article here.
The Star Wars anniversary events have come to a close and the Star Wars Galaxies official site has been updated with a wrap-up and summary of the festivities.
The Anniversary Bash has come to an end, but the memories of this special occasion will last forever. A poster commemorating Star Wars™: Episode IV A New Hope™ , special anniversary goggles, a poster immortalizing the party at Nym's Stronghold, punch, cake, fireworks, and more were given out to players who joined in the celebration. Players on every galaxy partied with Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes and even threw a party or two of their own!
Darshad Rincoti of Chimaera arrived at the party at Nym's Stronghold and was immediately surprised by the explosive spectacle.
On Intrepid, a galaxy-wide war spilled over to the celebration at the Stronghold and a massive battle took place right in front of the band. Dwee, an entertainer on Intrepid, stood witness as the associations -CoN-, SOA, -HoR-, and -DMM- celebrated with a good fight.
Other partyers enjoyed gathering outside of the starports with other revelers and busting a few dance moves. Eunoe of the Flurry server reports that he and his friends showed people how to kick it old school in front of the Mos Eisley starport. Nym's Quartermaster watched in awe.
Some player associations decided to create their own party to celebrate the anniversaries of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars Galaxies™!
Bluetuft2007 of Bloodfin created the "Bloodfin Sights of the Galaxy Camping Tour" on May 26 to commemorate the occasion. This well-planned shindig was thrown at the Lars Homestead, childhood home of Luke Skywalker, and included souvenirs created especially for the event. Attendees could also participate in a costume contest to dress up as their favorite character from the Star Wars universe.
Read the full article here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions about Dark Age of Camelot.
Q) If quality doesn't matter on spellcrafting gems. Can you just remove it all together or allow them to be stackable?
A) There is much debate on this issue. On the one hand making the items stackable would be convenient to some but would hamper others, because of the need to unstack them to use them.
Q) Do masterpiece player crafted items offer any sort of bonus over a 99% quality item anymore?
A) Indeed. As noted in another recent Grab Bag, quality affects the number of charges an item can hold if an Alchemist adds a charge tincture to it. Quality also has an impact on the effective DPS or AF of an item, as the base is multiplied by the quality, along with condition, to reach the final value used in combat. The only aspect of quality that has recently changed is its effect on spellcrafting. All other effects remain the same.
Q) I remember hearing once about a quest that you could only get once you have 10 bubbles of post level 50 experience. I've done tons of research, asked different people and I just can't seem to find anything on it. Am I going crazy or does this quest really exist, hidden some place beyond me?
A) There is no such quest. The closest thing would be specific quests that require higher champion levels to obtain and complete, however there isn't one that requires a full bar of normal experience at 50. Fifty is the highest level, and any normal experience beyond that has no added benefits - thought it's always been a valuable source of bragging rights.
Read the Grab Bag here.
The Dungeons and Dragons Online official site has been updated with a Monster Profile on the Razorcat.
"A Summoned Guardian: Razorcats"
As I raced through the crowd and darted into the woods behind a tavern, I ripped off the disguise that made look as silly as my brother. I don't know why I let him talk me into these shenanigans. The little thief will get what he deserves now that he's been caught.
But he's my brother. Perhaps I should find Daine and attempt a jailbreak.
I ran until I could not run any longer, and stopped to catch my breath. I found myself in a large clearing in the woods and on the other side of the clearing lay several razorcats sunning themselves in the sun. I had stumbled onto their territory. I was in grave danger if they noticed me.
I backed away slowly and silently, hoping to avoid the attention of the cats. I had almost reached the edge of the clearing when there came a snap from under my feet as I stepped on a twig. Immediately, each cat was standing at attention and staring me directly in the eyes. We stood staring each other down for what felt like eternity until they sprang forward in unison, quickly closing the gap between us. I had to think fast. I closed my eyes and whispered a little chant.
Read more about the Razorcat here.
Congratulations to the folks over at CCP, who announced today that EVE: Revelation has been nominated for 3 Golden Joystick awards.
EVE nominated for three Golden Joystick Awards
Nominations for the 25th Annual Golden Joystick Awards were announced July 4th. EVE Online: The Path to Kali (also known as EVE: Revelations) was among the nominees in three categories: Online Game of the Year, PC Game of the Year and Ultimate Game of the Year. Voting is currently underway and finalists will be announced August 1st. The awards ceremony will take place October 26th at London's Park Lane Hilton.
Read more here.
The folks over at Conquer Online are looking for your opinions on how they can improve their game, and they have created a questionnaire to aide in this task.
This survey aims to collect the opinions of our players so that we can improve the services in the future. Therefore, we earnestly expect you to complete the questionnaire carefully. For best results, please answer as truthfully as possible, and it only takes you about 2 minutes.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation.
Fill out the questionnaire here.
Lockpick Entertainment has announced that Dreamlords, their RTS MMO, will be free to play for a ten day trial starting this week.
What can be better than spending a summer week with Dreamlords, the acclaimed online game (8/10 - GamersHell, 8/10 - Stratics, 4/5 - TenTonHammer, 7.6 - MMORPG)!?
Well, how about playing it 10 days completely for free!
Whether you're experiencing a heat wave or your summer is floating away in never ending rains, staying inside is not such a bad idea. And of course, Dreamlords has the perfect answer to the eternal question: ?What shall I do? I'm so booooored!?
Beginning today Dreamlords will be available for a completely free 10 day trial. No strings attached, no credit card required and open for everyone. We just want to let you all try it out for yourselves. Trust us, we're the good guys.
For more about Dreamlords and the 20 day trial visit www.dreamlords.com.
Every Week, Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at one or more of the entries being created in our MMORPG.com blogs. This week, she looks at someone who is using the blog system to create an interesting MMORPG design document.
Our forums have always played host to a slew of MMO development ideas: players saying what they want to see in the next hit game. With our new blog system, though, blogger Artermis is presenting a full game design document.
The game, called Riftwalkers, is still in the early stages of presentation - so it's hard to tell whether it will all come together - but some unique ideas and idea combinations have been presented. For example, Artermis suggests that players will control multiple characters, a new fad idea that seems like it will be a big hit with the long-time players. Gamers love to multitask, and playing hybrids, such as paladins or shadow knights, are being turned down in favor of multiple characters: a warrior, a cleric, and a necromancer can achieve more than any single hybrid.
Some of the systems that Artermis suggests, while ideal and awesome, I'm not sure if they'd work in a functioning MMO. One example of this is having "no NPCs besides MOBs". While player created economies are awesome, and as Artermis says, "static content is not what we are trying to achieve, dynamic and player created content is the aim," this presents a severe issue for late night/early morning players, and for newbie zones as players level past newbie content.
Read the whole column here.
NCsoft has given us exclusive access to this new video from Aion. It features character clothing in different scenarios of the game.
Check out the video:
Aion: Clothing Video
MMORPG.com is pleased to present this video from Aion, the upcoming MMORPG from NCsoft.
See more videos at MMORPG.com here.
NCsoft has released this new developer diary talking about the upcoming Issue 10: Invasion that will see the game's storyline advanced.
When the design team sits down to discuss what is going to be in the next issue for the "City Of" games, we generally have some high level goals that we want to accomplish in that issue. With Issue 8 it was bringing more parity to the games of City of Heroes and City of Villains with Safeguard missions, and Issue 9 was adding a brand new far-reaching system with the Invention System.
With Issue 10 we decided to advance the storyline. Like any ongoing game we have many unresolved plot threads and each is a great opportunity for introducing new game content. Our first thought for Issue 10 was to bring back the 5th Column, a villain group that disappeared when the Council was introduced in Issue 3. But in the end we decided to focus on one of the greatest threats to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, the aliens known as the Rikti. We had revealed a lot about the Rikti in the past, but there was always the looming specter of a second Rikti War. There were already plenty of missions that involve shutting down attempts by stranded Rikti to contact their homeworld. For current players, Rikti are a familiar enemy and remain a giant pain in the butt.
Read the whole article here.
The Latest edition of Game/On, MMORPG.com's weekly podcast, is now available for your listening pleasure.
This week on Game/On co-hosts Jon Wood and Keith Cross talk about Keith's recent trip to San Francisco to attend Hero Camp, an event hosted by Perpetual Entertainment where he had the chance to sit down for a hands on preview of Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.
YOu can listen to the podcast here.
Eudemons Online will be holding a weekend flower card event starting on Saturday and running until Sunday.
Duration: July 7-8, 2007
Rewards: Flower Cards
Do you have any plan this weekend? What about doing a favor to the Myth Angel (Cronus 300,400) who lost the clovers of the saint garden?
During this weekend, all monsters will drop six colors of clovers: red, orange, blue, cyan, violet and yellow.
The Myth Angel is looking for these clovers. Please hunt monsters for clovers and exchange them with her for a flower card.
Read more about the event here.
News Manager Keith Cross recently attended an event hosted by perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. While there, he had an opportunity to get some hands-on play time with the game and today he shares his impressions with us.
I recently had the opportunity to fly out to San Francisco to attend Hero Camp, an event organized by Perpetual Entertainment to show of their upcoming mythology based title: Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. Between refreshments and social gaffes, I had the chance to get a hands-on preview of the game along with a number of my fellow journalists.
My overall impressions of the game are good. The only problems I found with the game were the types of problems that are to be expected from a game still in closed beta, a floating bush here, some pathfinding issues there. There are still some kinks that need to be worked out and some polishing to do but the game appears to be on track.
The overall look of the game is beautiful. The dynamic environmental effects add not only a level of beauty to the game, but also bring about other useful consequences. Dynamic shadows that move across the ground as the sun moves across the sky are more than just pretty, they allow for objects of the era such as working sundials that will tell you the time of day in game.
Read the whole article here.
G4Box has announced that they will be giving their players the chance to win an iPod Shuffle by being the highest level hero.
Highest Level Event - Event 1
Players stay tuned, special events are approaching soon. Here is your chance to fully understand Metin2's capabilities and experience an eye-popping and heart thumbing MMORPG. G4Box is pleased to announce the "Highest Level Event". This is event will take place from now until July 25th 2007. Therefore, players may begin their quest into the Metin2 world at anytime within the above lifespan.
The winners are determined according to the following specification. The player who has acquired the highest level in the hero list will be announced as the top winner. If there is more than one player with the same level who is also a winner, then experience points will be taken into consideration as a next qualification. The first 5 winners (ranking 1-5) will be rewarded with an iPod Shuffle. The next 5 winners (ranking 6-10) will receive $50.00 worth of Metin points. Finally, the last 40 winners (ranking 11-50) will get $20.00 worth of Metin points. Do not miss out on this great opportunity as there are great prizes to be won.
For more on Metin 2 visit http://www.metin-2.com.