Travis McGeathy (Lead Designer) and Jose Araiza (Project Manager) team up to take on a round of questions from Staff Writer Carolyn Koh in our latest EverQuest Q&A.
| MMORPG.com: Would you say the game has grown more complex since say...the Luclin Era?
Jose Araiza: Yes and no. EQ obviously has tons of content and features, but a lot of these are more like parallel progression paths. They are all integrated well with the game, so you do get exposed to them in some way, but we never force you to lets say, become the 'Master of the Monster Missions' in order to enjoy the game. I think instead of saying it's more complex, I would say it's got a good amount of different things you can do. You could say we have something for every RPG play style out there.
The full interview is here.
EA Mythic, the company behind the upcoming MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, has released information and pictures on two new classes, the Orc Choppa and the Dwarf Runepriest.
For more on WAR click here.
The Choppa! Those who’ve followed the development of this career will know it by any number of other names (Berserker, Iron Claw, etc.), but by whatever name, we’ve known what we wanted out of this guy for quite a while now. The visuals were there – dangerous, well armed, and insanely violent as are the Orc’s stock in trade. So was the play style. We wanted a career which down and dirty berserker who fights with little regard for his own safety, relying on choppa power to carry the day.
Dwarf runes gave us compelling visuals and a chance to add unique powers to the Dwarf ability set. They gave us magic, with a nice Dwarfish twist, and we wanted to capture that notion. The Runepriest would not be a mage in Dwarf’s clothing or a priest in the traditional sense, but rather an adept of the runes so steeped in their lore that his reverence for them approached religion. Through the power of the runes he would be able to create or destroy, repair and enhance, and convey their abilities to others by marking objects and creatures.
Careers – Orc Choppa
“Wuz betta den one choppa? Two choppas! Two choppas is one more… is one times da… is lots more fun! Waaagh!”
Even the most stable Orc is only a hairs breadth from coming completely unglued in the heat of battle. It is to the great relief of their opponents and allies alike that most of them manage to keep it together. There are some Orcs, however, that just can’t be bothered with that sort of thing. These are simple creatures – simply violent, simply well armed, simply a bloody nightmare to keep from running blindly into the fray – and they are among the most deadly of opponents one will ever face in the heat of a melee. These are Choppas, named for their weapon, and their weapon named for them, and their frenzy is to be feared.
At the heart of the Choppa is a deadly warrior, but his true power begins to shine only as he lets himself be carried away by the frenzy of battle. As his morale rises, the Choppa quickly works himself into a frothing rage. The more he fights the more berserk he becomes, his attacks bombarding the enemy in a ceaseless onslaught. His frenzy makes the Choppa bold, opening up new possibilities for attack which would be far too dangerous or difficult to attempt otherwise. These moves further enhance his power and capabilities, opening even more potential attacks as the fight unfolds.
Playing As a Choppa
Playing a Choppa is straight forward. Get in the fight, and stay there as long as you can without getting yourself killed. The longer you’re in a fight, the more your morale builds and the more berserk you become. This makes your attacks more powerful and unlocks new devastating abilities. However, the use of these abilities depletes your morale and thus reduces your combat strength. You must decide whether it’s more important to maintain your berserker frenzy or unleash a powerful attack upon your foe. You must also remember that you are less well armored than your Black Orc cousins, and generally less durable. The fighting itself may be simple, but strategy is required to reach and maintain your peak effectiveness.
The Choppa takes time to ramp up to full effectiveness, so it is best to eliminate him early in the battle. If that is not immediately possible, you’ll need to reduce or impede the Choppa’s ability to gain morale and keep him from flying into a berserk frenzy. Using anti-morale attacks will slow his climb to power, giving you the opportunity to take him out before he sends you home hurting.
The Choppa Look
Careers – Dwarf Runepriest
“This is the las’ time I’m goin’ to say this – runes are NO’ magic! Magic is fer silly buggers in robes and poin’y ‘ats! Do you see a poin’y ‘at on me lad?”
Dwarfs don’t go in for magic. Like so many things embraced by humans and their allies it’s just much too new-fangled and unreliable, at least from the Dwarfen point of view. Now runes on the other hand, that’s a whole different story. Runes have an old power. Their carving is a ritual so refined that the results are as expected as rocks rolling down hill. The keepers of this art are the Runepriests, adepts and sages who spend their lives learning the language of runes. With their craft they can create effects of stunning power, accosting their foes with the power of the earth itself. They can also harden their allies against the most damaging of attacks, and heal their wounds.
In a world where magic is common place, it may seem that the Runepriest’s powers are unremarkable. However, his runes offer something unique and powerful – the ability to bind a rune to an object or creature to await a trigger which will unleash its power. A rune-marked blade burns as it strikes, a rune-marked breastplate hardens against a killing blow, and rune-marked flesh awaits only a word of command before releasing its healing energies. By marking his allies prior to battle, the Runepriest is free to join the fight where and when he is needed, be it shaping further runes of power, or entering the thick of the fight with rune staff in hand. It is important to note that runes retain their power even after the Runepriest expires.
Playing As a Runepriest
Preparation is critical to your success as a Runepriest, as is developing a keen sense of timing and coordination. You can use your runes to protect your friends and enhance their powers (even placing some of the runes’ effects under the subject’s control), but their strength wanes quickly upon use and you must be ready to reinforce them as needed. Advance preparation makes it easier for you to split your attention between supporting your friends, and assaulting your foes. This division of duty is absolutely necessary in battle. Focusing purely on offense will leave your group mates without support after a short time. Conversely, playing purely a support role will rob your group of a rune-enhanced warrior of significant power.
A Runepriest can be a difficult foe to defeat. The powerful runes he can lay on himself and his equipment can make him a mighty warrior who is exceptionally difficult to slay. However, his abilities are primarily defensive or supporting in nature. In a group environment, it is wiser to leave the Runepriest for later and go after the heavy damage dealers or tanks first. They pose a more direct threat and, if ignored, are likely to tear you apart before you are able to work through the Runepriest’s defenses and healing powers.
Rune Priest Look
The MMOG Xiah, a martial arts MMORPG originally released in the Asian market, has made its way into North America as it announced its Grand Opening.
For more on Xiah click here.
San Jose, CA November 1st, 2006 – OnNet USA today proudly announced the launch of Xiah, the free-to-play epic Asian martial arts massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). This fantasy-themed MMORPG has been well-received in Korea and now fans around the world are able to enjoy it. The unique elements of Xiah compared to other MMORPGs include Asian-based environments and characters, realistic Asian-style scenery and graphics, and an easy-to-play design for beginners.
Players can choose from four different characters as they advance through a variety of levels and environments. Xiah gives players the unique option to use either a keyboard or a controller when playing the game. The controller provides the user with greater real-time in-game character control. A central element of Xiah is the community aspect. Five distinct types of communities (Guild, Party, Relationship Party, Lover, and Teacher/Student) exist within the game allowing players to choose whichever format works best for each individual. Providing this variety of options encourages players to become more active in this community and fosters a greater sense of unity.
Xiah is part of GamesCampus.com, an online website that features games created and/or distributed by OnNet USA, Inc. Currently, GamesCampus.com is host to Shot-Online, a 3-D Golf MMORPG and Xiah. OnNet will be adding several more titles in the near future.
“We are extremely excited to be able to offer Xiah globally. Xiah has had a great following in Korea and now players around the world are able to enjoy it as well”, said Kevin Kim, CEO of OnNet USA.
** Make sure you need to create your character and guild after 11/1 10 AM PST US for winning this event **
Dear Xiah users.
Event 2 – Be the first player to reach level 30!
Event 3 – Create the Best Guild! The Guildmaster who has the most players and highest level players in his/her guild will receive 500,000,000 Jeon! The best guild will be calculated by the amount of guildmembers plus their levels. For example, if a Guild A has 5 members, with levels 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25; Guild A would be calculated as [5 + (5, 10, 15, 20, 25)] = 80. If Guild B has 10 members, with levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10; Guild B would be calculated as [10 + (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10)] = 65. Although Guild B has more members, Guild A would rank higher because they have higher level players. In the event of a tie, priority will be given to the guild that has the highest level player. Prize: game money (500,000,000Jeon)
**Mission event** Event 4 – Complete the most quests!
We are very excited to announce that concept Artist Bjorn has just published the third update to our exclusive Dreamlords Monster Design Blog! Don't miss the new update and opportunity to help forge this beast!
If you would like to view the blog entries that led to the latest design or even participate yourself, just follow this link!
Dark Age of Camelot has announced that a bug that saw the armor of characters who were copied onto Pendragon disappear, has been fixed.
For those of you who have recently tried to copy a character to Pendragon and wondered where on earth your armor went, I'm pleased to announce that a slight bug in the character copier has been fixed. The Charcopier has been reset just in time for tonight's event. Hope to see you there!
To learn how to copy a character to Pendragon, click More.
For more on DAoC click here.
Guild Wars has released another edition of "The Scribe". This 21st issue looks back on the visit from the Mad King, as well as a "list recognizing kind and generous citizens from throughout the three regions".
This week's news scroll covers the passage to Elona (with notes of interest concerning dye drops) and reviews the recent visit of The Mad King. It also offers a lengthy list recognizing kind and generous citizens from throughout the three regions. Find Issue #21 here.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea, the upcoming pirate-themed MMOG from Flying Labs Software, has released some details on development milestone 22.
(Flying Lab Software) October 30th, 2006 – The developers of Pirates of the Burning Sea, a new massively multiplayer online game set in the age of sail, Flying Lab Software, have updated their website with detailed information on their current development benchmark, Milestone 22, which you can find by visiting http://www.flyinglab.com/pirates/status.php.
Content creation is getting an extra-special twist in this milestone. When creating content for levels 15-30 a while back, each Mission Designer was given the responsibility for creating all the content for a single port in the game. This time around, Content Lead Jess Lebow (formerly the Guild Wars World Designer) has assigned every Mission Designer a nemesis – another member of the department – and asked each opposing pair of Mission Designers to create dramatic tension by developing competing storylines for the level 31-50 content. Every story will have two distinct sides as Flying Lab pits Mission Designer against Mission Designer as dueling partners in creating intriguing storylines for high-level players.
Some additional highlights from Milestone 22 include the following:
Highlights for Milestone 22
For more on PotBS click here.
Ken Johnston, the CEO of Persistent Worlds, pens the latest 9Dragons Developer Journal. Today, we learn about the items of 9Dragons. We also have ten new and exclusive screenshots for you to enjoy.
| Emerald Jade... rare, beautiful, translucent. The most precious material that could be found in ancient China. A perfectly crafted jade item would pit trader against trader, warrior against warrior and thief against thief... could even spark the imagination of The Imperial Emperor himself. For to own such a treasure may offer one a certain power... and makes that one a target for all those who would seize it...
This is an introduction to the type of items you will find in 9Dragons, the first authentic martial arts MMORPG that's coming soon to America through Acclaim Games and to Europe through Persistent Worlds.
The folks over at EverQuest II have released a new Dev Chest. The Dev Chest points players toward interesting posts made by the game's developers on the official forums.
Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Dev Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts from the developers that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Dev Chest!
For more on EQII click here.
There's a new Dev Log over at Pirates of the Burning Sea. This one comes from their newest team member, Junior Designer, Drew Clowery. You can read the full article by clicking the link below.
Hi there, I’m the new guy. My name is Drew Clowery, and I’m the newest (and only) Junior Designer here at Flying Lab. I’ve been working here for just over a week now, so unfortunately there’s not a lot I can tell you guys about the game you don’t already know. Instead I’m going to talk about something that you likely know nothing about: how I got here. I’m sure that some of you will be less than interested, and I promise I’ll actually talk about the game in future DevLogs.
I started in the game industry in December of 2001 when I took a job doing customer service for Mythic Entertainment on Dark Age of Camelot. At the time I applied for the job because I really needed a job, and they were local and hiring. I was playing Dark Age, and I liked it, but I didn’t have any real thoughts of a career. I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, but I had bills to pay, and I wanted to avoid any further work in retail.
Working at Mythic turned out to be a great job (the best I have had until this one), and generally a great experience for me. Customer service is a high stress position; you’re getting yelled at all day long for things that are generally outside of your control. The nature of CS is such that you are always going to be talking to the players who are having a problem (or are causing a problem), and that can be pretty draining. Even so I loved working at Mythic. Being a part of making games, even a very minor part, was a fantastic experience, and I wanted more. After working at Mythic for a little more than a year I left to go back to school. I spent about a year in community college taking classes without a real clear direction before finding out about a school in Orlando called Full Sail: School of Film, Art, Design, Music & Media Production.
Read the whole log, here.
Blizzard Entertainment the company behind the wildly successful MMORPG, World of Warcraft, has released a list of realms that will be coming down in a planned hardware upgrade on November 7th.
In our continued plans to upgrade hardware for all of our realms for the upcoming expansion, we are conducting another phase of database maintenance. We will be migrating data onto a new database storage solution which will comprise the majority of this extended maintenance. Please check the general forums for the list of realms which will be affected. Thanks for your patience as we work to improve the service and stability of the game.
Listing of affected realms can be found here.
For more on WoW click here.
Runescape has announced that they will now offer SMS. Text Message payment for their MMORPG. They are hoping that this gives non-credit card using players the opportunity to get into their "members game".
We are pleased to announce the launch of payment by SMS/Text Message in the United States!
This service is in addition to the existing Pay by Phone option and allows a quick and easy way to get our optional "members game" for those without a credit card.
Payment by SMS/Text Message in the United States costs $9.99 for one month of membership. The higher cost of this payment method covers the additional costs we incur running the convenience of this service. Please note: Our other existing payment methods are still the same price as before. e.g. subscription via credit-card in the US is still only USD$5.00 a month.
Also please note that boost, T-mobile and Verizon Mobile Phone Companies do not currently support the PaybySMS option in the United States.
All US customers who wish to subscribe using PayBySMS/Text can now do so by clicking the 'Start a new subscription' link from our front page. For more information about Payment by SMS/Text message, please click here.
We are constantly looking to make our PayByPhone and PayBySMS/Text Message payment option available for more countries. If these payment options are not yet available in your country, be sure to check the latest news and announcements regularly.
For more on Runescape click here.
The folks over at Final Fantasy XI have compiled a list of fansites that will be of help to players who want to step foor into the world of Vana'diel for the first time.
Are you a new adventurer setting foot in the world of Vana'diel for the first time? Looking to find a few websites to help you get started on your path to glory? Then you'll definitely want to check out these community sites to help you on your way! We hope that our current players welcome the influx of new adventurers in Vana'diel!
Click here for details.
For more on FFXI click here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that from now until Dec 1, 2006 we will be taking entries into our new 2Moons Beta Contest! Enter to win one of 200 beta testing accounts for Acclaim's new ultra-violent MMORPG 2Moons!
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the greater your chances of winning a prize! (see official contest rules for details)
Are you ready to enter? CLICK HERE!
Aaron Roxby returns to MMORPG.com with a new editorial. Today, Roxby explores the concepts of Lore and Storytelling in an article called "Lore Almighty".
|We all know the story of Superman. Kal-L, son of Jor-L is rocketed away from an un-named planet, just before its tragic demise. On Earth, he is adopted by kindly motorists John and Mary Kent. As he matures, he learns that he has three special powers. He can deflect bullets, is very strong and can jump really high in the air. When his adopted parents are killed, he moves to Metropolis and gets a job at the Daily Star, under Chief Editor George Taylor. He takes on a secret identity, makes his own costume, and becomes Superman. He proceeds to fight real life injustices, such as munitions manufacturers and dangerous mining conditions.|
The whole editorial is here.
Jon Wood traveled to San Diego to take part in an event hosted by Sigil Online and SOE. There, he got some hands on time with the game and files this First Look Preview.
| The quests in this game seem well designed and well put together. My only real complaints are in some of the little housekeeping issues. The first is the game's use of "leading quests", which take a player from one area to another in order to continue the story. Some of the leading quests that were in place at that stage of the beta (you have to assume that there will be changes before launch) were transparent. "Lead this camel down this hill," might teach some of the skills needed to work in the game's caravan system, but it really doesn't make sense as a full-blown quest. These quests are not the majority, but rather just something I noticed in my travels.
After each quest that a player completes within the game, a screen will come up asking beta testers to rate the quest and give in their feedback. This approach is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above the "hope they come to the beta boards" approach that I've seen from companies in the past. This method, right there and in your face, prompts you to take a few seconds and make a comment and indicates to me that Sigil is actually interested in what players have to say about the game and ways to improve it.
You can read more here.
There's a new Beta Journal posted over at the official website for Turbine's upcoming MMOG, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. You can read the entire journal by following the link below.
Today was my first time fighting with a fellowship in an instance. Up until this point I had been struggling with the usefulness of my captain. He "wasn't the best solo dps" or "his buffs and heals didn't feel that effective." Part of this was because I was still in my lower levels. Well today that all changed.
I was exploring the town of Bree when it dawned upon me to try and find the prancing pony. I found the building and entered (the interior lighting of this game is amazing). After exploring a few rooms, I was getting ready to leave and a thought popped in to my head, "I wonder if I can find Aragorn here?" I went upstairs looking for the guest rooms and walked into a room with a man standing in the corner. I clicked on him and as stupid as it may sound, seeing his name pop up was really exciting. What was more exciting is that he wanted to give me a quest. I was to go and help him and other rangers find a man that had been corrupted by the wraiths. I decided it would be fun to do with a group and so I invited a couple people to join me.
To read it all click here.
EVE Online has announced that there will be 24 hours of downtime today as the Tranquility server and other services are being upgraded.
Tranquility and other services are being upgraded today Wednesday November 1st during a 24 hours downtime. Upgrades include adding IBM LS-21 AMD Opteron blades, solid-state RAMSAN disks, adding network providers and general maintenance.
for more on EVE click here.
EA Mythic has announced that the Non Disclosure Agreement concerning testing of the upcoming expansion, "The Labyrinth of the Minotaur" has been lifted. Labyrinth is the newest expansion to the long-running MMO Dark Age of Camelot.
As of November, 1, 2006, we are dropping the Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur NDA. Beta Testers may now speak to the public about the expansion (and as per the earlier restriction lift, post screenshots of the expansion).
For more on Dark Age of Camelot click here.
Decide Online had to cancel their Halloween event this year due to a pre existing rollback problem which say some of their most recent updates erased.
Hello, everyone. This is Deicide Administration Team.
Due to our recent problem, unfortunately we were not able to prepare proper update and event for this Halloween period.
We are very sorry about this big disappointment, however there are several recently updated contents which have been erased after rolling back our game datas.
We are currently checking these contents in order to get Deicide back on the track. Please understand that it is necessary to set game back to normal before upgrading the game.
There will be more notice on this event matter, please wait for our process.
For more on Decide Online click here.