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Ryzom : Contest Reminder

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Saga of Ryzom today sent out a reminder of their "Best Postcard" contest where the developers have asked the players to create... yes, you guessed it. A postcard. The contest runs for another two weeks!


I am just reminding you that the Best Postcard contest is still running! And also that you have 2 weeks left to send us one (or more) card (until Monday, March 20). That time goes fast. That there are (not so) dusty goodies & artworks waiting to be won here. That the cards can be addressed to the whole Nevrax team, the devs, a CSR, Jena... And that the subject is free, have fun! :)

Here's the address where to send the card:

Attn: (eg. Marjo)
104 rue du Faubourg St Antoine
75012 Paris

For more on The Saga of Ryzom, click here.

Auto Assault : Limited Edition Retail Package

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

NCsoft has announced that there will be a "Limited Edition Retail Package" available for their MMORPG, Auto Assault. This package is set to include a headset and will retail at only $10 above the regular price of the game:


NCsoft Reveals Auto Assault Limited Edition Retail Package

DVD game pack, which includes head set for game’s voice chat system, proves to be excellent value at only $10 more than standard edition

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2006—NCsoft® North America today revealed the contents for the Auto Assault® Limited Edition retail game pack that will be released to stores in North America when the game launches this spring.

Auto Assault, developed by NetDevil®, LTD and published by NCsoft, is the first massively multiplayer role-playing (MMORPG) game featuring post apocalyptic car combat in a fully destructible world. Highlighting the Auto Assault Limited Edition package is the HS-150 headset by Creative to use with the game’s built-in voice chat system, and an Auto Assault soundtrack CD featuring music specially created for the game by electronic music pioneer Richard Dekkard.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will also contain the game client, access to an exclusive in-game remote control car (pet), and all three starter packs for the Auto Assault Online Trading Card Game from Worlds Apart. Also included in the package is a 14-day trial code players can give to friends that do not already have an Auto Assault account.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will sell at an anticipated price of US$59.99, a tremendous value compared to other similar game offerings. Auto Assault preorder purchases can be applied to the Limited Edition or standard edition of the Auto Assault game. Subscription pricing for the game will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about Auto Assault, and its upcoming open beta event to begin March 17, go to

For more on Auto Assault, click here.

Guild Wars : Backstage Pass Contest Over

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has announced that they have picked the winners of the Guild Wars Backstage Pass Contest. Apparently, the submission level for this contest was great, with the developers receiving entries from across North America.


Thanks to all who entered the Guild Wars Backstage Pass Contest. Entries arrived from all over Washington and Oregon, and from Texas, Canada, New York, and Colorado, too. We will be sending out the invitations later today, and look forward to meeting the lucky winners at this Thursday's event!

For more on Guild Wars, click here.

World of Warcraft : WarCraft Weekly

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has released yet another top notch WarCraft Weekly, where the developers of World of WarCraft provide you direct links to threads that the community team created and / or responded to:


Take a moment to read through the information provided in the latest Warcraft Weekly, which provides direct links to threads created and responded to by the World of Warcraft community team. This weekly news archive is a great source of information and a wonderful alternative for those who wish to stay current on all the latest and greatest topics but don't necessarily have time to sift through the forums each day. Check it out here.

For more on WoW, click here.

9Dragons : 17 Exclusive Screenshots

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood is thrilled to bring you a total of seventeen exculsive screenshots for a game that debuted on our games list just last night!These are the very first screenshots from 9 Dragons since Acclaim announced that they were bringing the martial arts MMORPG to North America.

View all of the screenshots, here.

9Dragons : 9 Dragons Q&A

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Jon Wood

Today, is pleased to bring you an interesting introductory interivew with Howard Marks, the CEO of Acclaim, publishers of the new martial arts MMORPG, 9 Dragons. Marks is interviewed by our own Lead Content Editor, Dana Massey and the two talk about everything from Acclaim's recent rebirth to the game's progression system.

9 Dragons is new to our games list, so check out the game's overview and maybe even take the time to enter your opinions into our hype meter! 9 Dragons is new to our readers. Can you briefly introduce the game and its core defining features?

Howard Marks: I fell in love with 9Dragons because of its poetic atmosphere combined with outstanding graphics. I have always been a fan of martial arts since the days of Bruce Lee. When I saw this game, I was dying to get play it because it was so close in style to the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I always wanted to be a martial arts hero.

9 Dragons is a MMORPG that is placed in the historic times of the Ming Dynasty. The story in this game is part historical and part fantasy. I love this mix because it draws on a rich past with chivalry and honor while you have creative license to make the game fun.

This game’s strength is the use of martial arts combat in the gameplay and how your character grows in skills from novice to master during the game. The 9 Dragons are each a unique clan and you need to become a Dragon in order to save the future of China. The game takes the standard MMORPG gameplay and adds some cool and innovative features such the way a player evolves its fighting skills through training and experience.

Read the interview, here.

Spellborn : Third Trailer Released!

Posted Mar 07, 2006 by Craig McGregor

The Chronicles of Spellborn, by new developer Spellborn International, will bring gamers to a fantasy world rife with hidden secrets and adventures. This MMORPG's distinctive art style is powered by the Unreal 2.5 engine.

The third official trailer for The Chronicles of Spellborn can be downloaded at:

Windows Media File format:

(320 x 240, 19.1 Mb) --- (640 x 480, 45.3 Mb) --- (1024 x 576, 121.5 Mb)

Quicktime format:

(320 x 177, 25.1 Mb) --- (640 x 354, 68.0 Mb) --- (1024 x 576, 154.9 Mb)


General : New Podcast Is Now Live

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood is pleased to announced the release of their latest "February" Podcast. This time around, Jon and Mike discuss Star Trek Online, Stargate Worlds and the merits of IP Games. Dana Massey sits down for an interview with EverQuest II's Community Manager, Ryan Shwayder.


Game/On is the official podcast of, bringing you the best and latest information and talk within the MMO genre! Michael Hampden and’s own Jon Wood host this monthly podcast which you can subscribe to via RSS feed, iTunes, iPodder, or Michael & Jon will discuss a variety of topics each month, as well as recapping the news from the latest games. They will also sit down one-on-one with big names from the gaming world to talk about their projects!

Get the Podcast, here.

General : Outside the Box: Character Advancement

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Dana Massey

Nathan's Monday articles return today with a look at Character Advancement in MMORPGs. Each week, Nathan puts forth his comments on the industry in the column we've dubbed "outside the box". Here is a sample from this week's article:

Everyone would probably agree that one of the main attractions to the MMORPG genre is the idea of advancing a character through varying degrees of rank, skill, equipment, and accomplishments. People enjoy the fact that most of the tasks they undertake, successful or not, will add at least a minor enhancement to their character’s abilities, something lasting that they’ll be able to use for the next challenge and/or the next time they log in. On the flip side, the most complained about aspect of MMORPGs is the “grind,” or the lengthy, tedious, often repetitive processes most games put their players through in order to achieve those goals. So then the topic of this week’s Outside the Box discussion is: How can an MMORPG allow players to advance in various areas, yet somehow not make them feel like they’re grinding?

You can read the full article here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Dev Log

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Flying Lab and Pirates of the Burning Sea have released a brand new Dev Log. This one comes from Bruce Sharp, and talks about the times and trials of town creation. As usual, we have presented a part of the log, and if you want to read the rest, you can click the link below:


Greetings from Flying Lab’s art department! There have been a lot of Artco developments of late, we’ve staffed up a bit, hired some of our interns, and hammered out our process for town production. I'd like to share a bit about our progress thus far, and talk a bit, if I may, about towns in general.

National Identity
It’s important to us to make sure that the towns of each nation in our game has a visual identity that will please our history fans while having visual flair and interest enough (bending the truth a little at times) to ensure an entertaining and immersive experience.

The styles for the European colonies that populate our Caribbean are a mixture of the research we found from actual European towns and their Caribbean counterparts. We’ve leaned more in the direction of Europe (especially with the French) than we have toward the actual colonies of the time. Historically, the colonies tended to be more anonymous in their identity and were often an eclectic cacophony of architectural styles, with few exceptions. However, we wanted harmony, identity, and a feeling of familiarity in our towns and cities: if you sign up to be British, we want you to feel like you are a part of that culture. As most of you know, the nations represented in our game are French, Spanish, British, and Pirate.

Read it all, here.

World of Warcraft : Gadgetzan Times

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard's World of WarCraft has announced the release of the Gadgetzan Times, "the most informative and entertaining magazine in all of Azerothian history". Give a read... enjoy!


Hitting newstands around Azeroth once again is the latest, most informative and entertaining magazine in all of Azerothian history: the Gadgetzan Times! This month, Gadgetzan Times takes its readers into the mysterious world of the magi. Often confounding, frequently amusing, and always informative, the brave goblin reporters of the Gadgetzan Times bring you the latest and most comprehensive coverage of magi and magic!

Pick up your copy of the Gadgetzan Times today!

For more info on WoW, click here.

City of Heroes : Player Events Calendar

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

City of Heroes / City of Villains have released a brand new Player Events Calendar. This newest calendar is good from March 3rd, to March 10th:


Check out our weekly calendar of player run events! We will update this weekly to let you know what’s going on. Now you will know where to go for the hottest dance party, the biggest costume contest, or any other fabulous events goin down in the cities of Heroes and Villains!

If you would like to submit an event, please see this thread for instructions. Don’t forget to send us an email so we can update this calendar!


When: 3/7/06 at 8:00 pm CST
Where: Champion, The IP Gate in Kings Row
What: A Meet & Greet followed by a Bash & Smash
Welcoming any and ALL tankers, regardless of security level!
Click here for details.

When: 3/7/06 at 10:00 pm EST
Where: Champion, grassy area near the Atlas gate in Steel Canyon
What: MEGA-Gauntlet Race of Death
Click here for details.

For more CoH, click here.

EverQuest II : A Week In The Life of PvP

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Now that they're well and into the groundbreaking introduction of PvP into the EverQuest II game, the developers have released a list of changes that have been made tot he system in order to keep it running smoothly.


A Week in the Life of EQII PvP

We'd like to start off by thanking everyone who's taken a chance to roll up a character on one of the EverQuest II PvP-ruleset servers; the response has been overwhelming to say the least! We're just as excited to be playing on the new servers as we hope all of you are. Chances are, over the last week or so you've grouped with one of us or taken part in killing us… over and over and over again.

Due to some of the things we've encountered while playing alongside you, as well as some of the feedback we've received in-game and on the forums, a few changes have been implemented over the past several days. Check out what's changed recently in EverQuest II Player-versus-Player Combat!

For more on EQII, click here.

Jumpgate : New Q&A

Posted Mar 06, 2006 by Jon Wood

Today, we release a brand new Q&A with the good people from Jumpgate. This time around, we talk to Steve Hartmeyer, one of the game's developers. To read the whole thing, just follow the link below!


Recently, we ran a developer journal written by Steve Hartmeyer, a developer on Jumpgate who may be better known as Istvan. It looked to the past. Now we compliment that with an interview that looks to the future of this space-flight MMORPG from the developers of Auto Assault. Jumpgate has been around for some time. For those who never tried the game, can you tell us about the basic themes behind it?

Steve Hartmeyer: Jumpgate is an online spaceflight simulator, set in a far-future milieu where a spacefaring civilization is being rebuilt amid conflicts among the successor states and corporations. Gameplay is reminiscent of Elite or Privateer, in which players can choose combat or profit to make their mark, but unlike those single-player games, every ship in Jumpgate is another player.

Read it all, here.

The Matrix Online : Through The Looking Glass

Posted Mar 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

The Matrix Online has released their latest "Through the Looking Glass" feature. This time around, they talk about the upcoming Update 42, and the inclusion of the Combat Revision 2.0 in that update. We only include a sample of the article here, but just follow the link below to get the whole scoop.


A Change in Plans
Originally, we were going to post an article by HCFrog talking about balancing the NPCs in Combat Revision 2.0 today. However, due to some important announcements, we'll post that article next week.

We are planning to release Combat Revision 2.0 as part of Update 42. As I said before, features have been locked down and the team is working on polishing the system and fixing bugs in order to release. While there are a number of issues to be completed, we're preparing to ship CR2.0 in Update 42.

Yes, you've heard that before. However, we've never been as close to finishing the update as we are now and other tasks await our attention. It's time for CR2.0 to get off our plates and into the Live game.

Normally, we release updates in the second week of the month. However, we're gathering some additional QA resources to help finish up and are going to take an extra week on Update 42. Update 42 is scheduled to release during the week beginning Monday, March 20. We'll keep you up-to-date on our progress as that week approaches.

The other main item in Update 42 is the Anniversary Event. Given the extra week we're spending before release, we are also going to push the Anniversary Event back by one week. I know many of you have already marked the event on your calandars and I'm sorry to make this change now. However, we never like running events on the weekend after a new update has been published. Beginning the event on Friday, March 31 gives us an extra week to resolve any issues that may occur after Update 42 goes live.

So, The Matrix Online First Anniversary Event will run from Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2, 2006. No, the irony of having our event over the April Fools Day weekend is not lost on us.

Get it all, here.

General : NeverDie to be Published Bi-Weekly

Posted Mar 05, 2006 by Jon Wood has announced that the serialized novel, "Neverdie" will now be posted every second Sunday, moving from a weekly schedule to a bi-weekly schedule. In doing this, we hope to provide you with a better, richer story as it progresses.

Neverdie is a general fantasy story, and is not affiliated with any existing MMORPG. It is a story of good against evil, where a fallen angel seeks to re-capture the world of Terria through an ancient and foreboding prophecy.


If you haven't had a chance to check out the story so far, click here.

General : Stargate Worlds Announces Platform

Posted Mar 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

Stargate Worlds has announced that they will be using BigWorld Technology Suite as the platform for their recently announced game.


Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment Selects BigWorld Technology Suite for Stargate Worlds MMORPG

(Mesa, ARIZONA) - Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, a rising game development company, today announced that they have chosen the BigWorld Technology Suite as the platform for their ground-breaking new MMORPG, Stargate Worlds. This officially licensed MGM property is the first massively multiplayer game based on the Stargate series, and promises to deliver all of the SG-1 & Atlantis exploration, conflict and excitement to players around the world.

"We evaluated many client server solutions to aid us in creating a truly breakthrough next-generation MMO", said Joe Ybarra, Vice President of Product Development at Cheyenne Mountain. "But by far the best overall solution for us is BigWorld's powerful client/server engine and streamlined production toolset. We are excited to be teaming up with them on this project."

The BigWorld Technology Suite is an integrated set of tools, software and systems that provides all of the underlying technology and content development tools required to produce an MMOG. "The Stargate universe has evolved to be one of the most recognized Sci-fi brands in recent times," said Gavin Longhurst, Director of Business Development for BigWorld, "We are thrilled to see such an experienced and talented team as Cheyenne Mountain using BigWorld Technology to bring this visually stunning universe into the highly interactive, compelling online experience that fans and gamers want".

BigWorld Technology Suite provides operators and studios with a lower total time-to-build and cost of ownership through several innovations. The BigWorld Server architecture allows operators to run several games on a single server cluster, dramatically reducing the cost of running the game, while the enhanced Content Creation Pipeline reduces the time and cost of building and filling out the complex worlds required in next-generation games.

For more on Stargate Worlds, click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Mar 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

Well, it's the weekend, and what does that mean? It means another wonderful grab bag from Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. As usual, we present you a sampling here, you can view the rest by following the link below:


Q: What brought on the voice chat poll?

A: We knew anecdotally that many of our users were already using voice chat. It's not something we have endorsed because it creates problems for us in CS, and has an impact on gameplay that we're none too comfortable with, among many other reasons. In order to make good decisions about our future plans, we needed more facts. The poll will tell us how many people are really using it, as opposed to just griping on message boards about it. The feedback you all have been sending will tell us to some extent how you feel about it. The message board threads have been very interesting, and we appreciate your being part of these discussions. I especially thank those who have taken the time to send in a feedback form.

Q: Why can't European guilds enter your website contest?

A: For the same reason North American players cannot enter GOA's contests - our partners take care of European server denizens, and we focus on those playing on our servers.

That is not to say that I don't love seeing websites written by our players around the world. One of my all time favorite sites is by the famous Valmerwolf - There's lots of great information there. Magnifico! Sure, much of this page is in Italian. But I found his various charts and tables to be very good. And since I hope to travel to Italy someday, it's a good excuse to learn some language skills. How do you say nerfbat in Italian?

To read it all, click here.

World of Warcraft : Public Test Realms Now Live

Posted Mar 05, 2006 by Jon Wood

Blizzard and World of WarCraft have announced that their public test realms are now live. You can get involved through creating a character, using a pre-made character or copying a character over:


The public test realms are now live! Players can now try out all the changes and additions coming in content patch 1.10. The highlights of this patch include Priest class improvements, new dungeon armor sets, weather effects, and a host of other exciting features. View the 1.10 test realm patch notes here to learn more.

Players can participate in the test realms by creating a character, using a pre-made level 60 character, or copying their characters from existing realms to the test realms. To copy a pre-made character, visit our Test Realm Character Copy page. Character transfers to the test realm are available from 3:00 AM to 3:00 PM PST Monday through Friday. The test realm game client, which can be downloaded at the same page, is available for both PC and Mac.

Please be aware that the test realms are designed to allow us to test major content patches before they go public. Therefore, some changes may be introduced to the public test realms during the testing phase, before a patch goes live, and some changes may be introduced to the patch after the test realms have closed. To read more about the test realms, please review the Test Realm FAQ. We truly appreciate our players taking the time to help us test the latest changes to the game; thank you all!

For more on WoW, click here.

Dark and Light : Interview #10

Posted Mar 03, 2006 by Dana Massey

We try to get to the bottom of some issues in this new interview with the developers of Dark & Light. Garrett Fuller and Dana Massey ask some tough questions and the team answers. Settlers of Ganareth has simply let a lot of people down. You’ve fallen from top hyped game to #32. In the last Q&A you mentioned people were expecting Dark & Light when you were giving them Settlers of Ganareth. The response was less than positive. Do you have any other theories why so many people are disappointed?

Dark & Light Team: The first point is that most people think that SoG is a beta test of DnL. We certainly did a bad job of communicating once we reached this stage. SoG is a specific game event, totally independent from the DnL beta.

Second point, we had a lot of server troubles at the SOG launch, with lots of lag. We quickly patched the game after its release with two important patches. These patches were key for us, but really disappointing for our players as they didn’t bring real improvements to the game. Now our servers are much more stable and we encourage our registered players to come back and try again.

The third point is that players were disappointed by their first impression of SoG which included many bugs, content troubles and a not-very-intuitive interface. It took too much time to fix it, with patches that were too large.

These points did contribute to give a negative image of the game to our fans who’ve been waiting for DnL for a long time now. We sincerely apologize for these problems.

But if the starting of SoG was difficult, it didn’t impede players from conquering the first territories of Ganareth. All the 90 baronies of SoG are taken now, and fans are still playing to win a fight in these occupied baronies. We can only recommend that players to come back in SoG; even if the balance and content are not at the level of DnL, the recovered server stability promises many fun moments in Ganareth.

You can read the entire Q&A here.

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