Roma Victor has sent us a press release to announce that they have sold 5,000 account keys. Roma Victor is not a subscription based game. Instead, players who don't want to have to earn the in-game currnecy the hard way will have to pay for it:
20th September 2006, Brighton - Independent UK developer RedBedlam Ltd is pleased to announce the public launch of its highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role playing game, Roma Victor ® (www.roma-victor.com). Based in Roman Europe around the Year 180, the game gives players an opportunity to immerse themselves in an historically authentic virtual world with thousands of other players.
Last week download sales of Roma Victor reached 5,000, after a successful commercial test period, during which Roma Victor achieved cult status amongst a growing band of committed regular players, and the Limited Edition public launch on July 16th 2006.
RedBedlam Managing Director, Kerry Fraser-Robinson said, “We didn’t announce the July launch to the public as we’ve always held with the idea that the best way to grow an online community is slowly but surely. We already had a great deal of interest from our community: a limit of 500 downloads per day was set and for the first few days this limit was reached within a couple of hours.”
Roma Victor also brings a new no-subscription pricing model to the MMORPG field. After purchasing an Account Key, it’s free to play the game as much as you like for as long as you like, but if players want to obtain some in-game currency (Sesterces) without having to earn it the hard way, they can simply buy it online using real money. Sesterces can be used by players to trade goods and services in the game, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn currency without having to buy it.
“With no monthly subscription fee to worry about, it's the players that decide how much they pay and when they pay. It's a much fairer model overall and is much better value for the customer.”
Players enter the world as either barbarian or Roman slave. While barbarians enjoy total freedom but are forced to live outside the law, slaves can earn the right to become a free Roman citizen by working hard, fighting their way to the top in the army or even as a gladiator competing in the arena. Roman slaves and citizens live under the yoke of Emperor Commodus, but enjoy a relatively safe existence under the protection of the Imperial legions. Outside the safety of Roman settlements there is no such codified law or order, and barbarians are free to live as they choose - unless their lands happen to catch the eye of the ever-expanding Empire…
The content of the game world itself is full scale, based on accurate real-world terrain data and as faithful to the archaeological record as possible. The Roma Victor community, which includes a broad range of specialists including academics and professional historians, has gone to great lengths to ensure unprecedented levels of historical authenticity.
Fraser-Robinson added, “there are plenty of fantasy and science fiction MMORPGs out there already; we wanted to give players the chance to transport themselves back in time to a classic period in real human history that rivals any fictional setting for excitement, intensity and truly epic action.”
For more on Roma Victor, click here.
MMORPG.com is pleased to present a new Dev Profile as we shine the spotlight on EA Mythic Server Programmer, Matt Kidder:
MMORPG.com: Various influences can have a major part in games. What influences outside of game-play bring life to your work? Any ideas that you get from Books, Movies, Comics, Real-Life Stories, Art would be great here.
Matt Kidder: My third grade teacher read us The Hobbit and encouraged us to read The Lord of the Rings, which I did and loved them all. I also remember reading many stories and books by Isaac Asimov and other Science Fiction writers. I still love to read Fantasy and Science Fiction books as well as History.
Read the article here.
Today, MMORPG.com is pleased to bring you a review of the first sequel to the very popular MMORPG Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions. MMORPG.com writer Cari Davidson took the time to look at the game and brings you her opinions.
If you’re not already familiar with Guild Wars, go read up on it. It’s a fantastic game well worth its price, if only for the art, music, and single-player experience. Of course, you’ll get so much more – cooperative and competitive missions, a story that is easy to get into, and maybe you’ll even make some new online friends.
Guild Wars Factions, the first of presumably many sequels, takes that same recipe for success and expands on it by adding new classes and an entirely new storyline. This time, the story takes place on Cantha, a far away continent with an Asian theme, and instead of a completely linear story, you will have to choose a side in an endless war between the Kurzicks and the Luxons, battling it out for control of land, power, and fame.
You canr ead the whole article here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have partnered with Codemasters to bring you the first free trial for RF Online! For the next week MMORPG.com will be the exclusive place to get this 7 day trial offer.
Ready to get in the action? Click here to start your free 7 day trial!
NOTE: This free trial will require a credit card or PayPal account. Unless you decide to cancel your account you will be automatically billed after the 7 day trial period.
NCsoft and Cryptic Studios will be offering a Veteran Rewards program in conjunction with the release of the upcoming Issue 8: To Protect and Serve. This program will offer rewards to players for each increment of three months with an active account, allowing them to unlock special in-game items:
In conjunction with the release of Issue 8: To Protect and Serve, NCsoft® and Cryptic Studios™ will launch the official City of Heroes® Veteran Rewards program. This program rewards our fans for their time spent supporting and playing City of Heroes® and City of Villains®.
Specifically, for each increment of three months with an active account*, players will unlock valuable in-game “items” which will come in the form of costumes, powers, badges, and more! The program is retroactive by player account and rewards will be applicable to all characters within each respective account.
Rewards have been determined for the first three years of play and will continue to expand indefinitely. Stay tuned for updates as we reveal the full list of rewards!
Veteran Rewards Program FAQ
Veteran Reward Item: Wings!
For more on City of Heroes, click here.
EverQuest II has released a new Dev Chest. The dev chest looks at the EQII forums and pulls out interesting threads and posts made by the game's developers:
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.
Dark Age of Camelot has a new login poll for players to consider, as they plan to merge their Japanese server with an existing cluster and want your opinions on it:
We had a sad announcement to make to the players of our Japanese server, Akatsuki. For too many reasons to go into here, we believe that the best thing for those customers is to put an English language version of Akatsuki with an existing cluster.
We are not talking about a lot of people, and their peak play time is half a day different from the bulk of you guys anyway. Before we decide on the right cluster for these players, we wanted to get everyone's two cents. Therefore, there's a log in poll about to come up, and I thank you for giving us your opinion.
For more DAoC click here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea has released a new Dev log. This one is the first from Marc Overney, the Lead Animator over at Flying Lab Software. Below, you will find only the first part of the log, you can read it all by following the link below:
Hi and hello, my name is Marc Overney and I am the Lead Animator at Flying Lab Software. I recently moved up here to Seattle with my family from the San Francisco area. Seattle is an absolutely beautiful place to live. And I'm very glad to be here now -- California was just getting too crowded, man.
Prior to arriving here, I was freelancing as an animator on both film projects and game work, most notably on the first Bone game - Out from Boneville by Telltale Games. Before that I worked at LucasArts for just over ten years as a Senior Animator. I was also the Lead Animator on the last two Monkey Island games: Curse of Monkey Island and Escape from Monkey Island. And yes, I worked on a number of Star Wars games too.
Before that, and this is going waaaayyy back now, I was a traditional animator working around various studios and projects up in Toronto for two years. Mostly Saturday morning cartoon shows that no one will ever see again. And that's probably a good thing ;O) I did get to work briefly on a Disney feature called A Goofy Movie way back in 1993, I think it was. As what used to be known as an in-betweener and clean-up artist. I also got to work with a great NFB animation director named Derek Lamb for a summer, which was a wonderful experience. It was all a great training ground for me and tough as it was, I sometimes long for those "good ol'days" again. But then I come back to my senses and realize that it was just really, really hard work drawing all day and often late into the night. CGI saved my life! No, that's not really true - but it is a lot of fun too.
Read the whole log, here.
Yesterday, SOE made the announcement that The Serpent's Spine, the staggering twelfth expansion for the popular MMORPG, EverQuest, is now live. The new expansion will sell for $29.99 USD, and adds a number of new and exciting features, read on:
Latest Expansion Boasts First New Player Race in Three Years, Along With Content For Players of All Levels
SAN DIEGO, CA – September 19, 2006 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced EverQuest® The Serpent’s Spine™, the twelfth expansion for the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMOPRG), EverQuest, is live. EverQuest The Serpent’s Spine is only available via digital download at www.everquest.com for the price of U.S. $29.99.
“The Serpent’s Spine will give new and veteran players alike the opportunity to experience EverQuest from the beginning as a Drakkin, the first new player race since the Frogloks were introduced three years ago,” said Christopher E. Sturr, Senior Global Brand Manager, Sony Online Entertainment. “Our ongoing efforts year in and year out to deliver new expansions, content and innovative product features for our loyal EverQuest players is testament to SOE’s commitment to the success and longevity of EverQuest. No other massively-multiplayer online role-playing game has enjoyed this level of success for this long.”
In keeping with the desire to continuously update the world of EverQuest, the popular zones High Pass Hold and Commonlands have been completely redesigned with fresh content and new graphics. Players will also be able to explore a new starting city, Crescent Reach, which contains merchants, quests and combat as well as new dynamic features such as auras, traps and destructible terrain. Additionally, players will be able to reach level 75 with all new spells, raids and abilities.
About EverQuest The Serpent’s Spine
Nestled in a great ravine in the Serpent Spine Mountains is an ancient abandoned ogre city now called Crescent Reach, which is home to a new race born to protect the future of dragon kind, the Drakkin. Six dragons defied the council of the ancient dragons of the Nest and chose to create a new race to protect their future. The Drakkin are borne of humans touched by a dragon's blood and their colors and appearance represent the dragon that created them. Rapidly aging and reaching maturity in only months, the Drakkin forget their human beginnings and make their pilgrimage to Crescent Reach, the home of their dragon creators and the rest of their kind. EverQuest The Serpent’s Spine features the following:
The EverQuest base game is required to play this expansion. For more information on EverQuest The Serpent’s Spine, please visit: http://www.everquest.com
For more on EQ click here.
Vivox has entered into an agreement with Illusion factory to provide voice services for the company's new island in Second Life. Illusion Factory is in the entertainment marketing business, and has worked on some pretty high-profile shows:
Framingham, Mass. – September 19, 2006 – Vivox Inc., an innovator in integrated online voice communications, today announced that it has secured an exclusive deal with Illusion Factory to supply voice communications to its online community within Second Life.
Illusion Factory has been a leader in entertainment marketing for 27 years and has produced the promotional campaigns for more than $5 billion dollars in Filmed, Televised and Live Entertainment including such high profile programs as Friends, ER, West Wing, The OC, and The Sopranos. Illusion Factory is entering the Second Life space with a state-of-the-art island that will be used for a wide range of commercial and consumer marketing, educational and entertainment applications. IF Virtual and the coming IF Virtual Properties will offer virtual classes, live concerts, retail opportunities and entertainment centers, all fashioned with Illusion Factory’s signature blend of creativity and cutting edge innovations.
“We reviewed all of our options for the inclusion of high quality voice communications that are in pace with the new means of learning, entertaining and promoting that we are implementing into Second Life,” said Illusion Factory CEO, Brian Weiner. “Vivox was the natural choice for quality and its advanced managed service. Vivox offers the most innovative communications solution, the only one of its kind, which will enable Second Life Avatar’s to speak to one another on IF Island.”
“We are very excited to help Illusion Factory make its vision of community within Second Life reality,” said Rob Seaver, CEO of Vivox. “Illusion Factory is the clear leader in new media and marketing, and its implementation of our voice services further validates our belief that virtual worlds become real communities when enriched with high quality communication solutions.”
The Vivox Network and Precision Studio™ make it simple and easy for developers to integrate communications into their online communities to allow individuals to communicate dynamically in groups or privately one-on-one. Robust IP communication tools such as voice chat and IM are implemented from the Precision Studio and delivered via the Vivox Network, a carrier-grade managed service supported by a team of experienced communication specialists 24x7x365. Unlike third-party applications, Vivox communication services are fully integrated and tailored to the community. Real-time communications are clear and massively scalable, allowing the communities to grow without concern for communications support. And because all communication is done through the Vivox Network, there is no impact on the virtual world servers and minimal drain to CPU resources.
Today's partnership with Illusion Factory follows Vivox's new partnerships with Icarus Studios and BigWorld Technology recently announced at the Austin Game Conference.
For more on Second Life click here.
Our friends over at Myth War have released the following news statement. Basically, the game is adding in four new "Saint Pets". For more information on Myth War's Saint Pets, take a look at the info below:
Are you waiting for more exciting things to happen in the Myth War World? Are you fond of embracing more astonishing pets? Thanks to the MWO planners and designers, with their intelligence and hard work, 4 Saint Pets who bear ancient history are now approaching us!
What is so special about the 4 new comers, how on hell could they be titled as "Saint Beasts"? OK, just read the outpost release underneath please:
Features of the Saint Beasts
Stunning cool in appearance!
Deep connection with the ancient Myth War history!!
Terrifically powerful in battle!!!
Extremely rare in existence!!!!
Not for sale!!!!!
Alright, then who will have the honor to possess them? The answer is: only players who make respectable contribution to the Myth War World deserve to receive the noble assistants!!
Well, everyone, we know now you must be eager to find out more about the still mysterious new comers. Please be patient, a complete topic story about the Saint Beasts will come very soon, just keep a close watch to our latter announcements!
For more on Myth War click here.
MMORPG.com is pleased to present a new editorial from Hasani Davis, Give a read as Hasani talks about the ethics and issues surrounding the idea of player created modifications, or mods:
The encyclopedia defines cheating in online computer games as; a broad category of activities, all of which are generally regarded as modifying the game experience in a way that gives a player an unfair advantage over the other players.
This sounds like a Mod to me. So if Moding online has the same definition as cheating online, why is it that we have taken them to such an extent as we do in our PvP games?
I think back to when I first started gaming and Mods were simply viewed as wrong. By changing or adding files you make the game play easier to fit your own style. But as time passed and more games came out the lines began to blur as to what was considered an acceptable UI or Mod. It did not take long before Moding got out of control in second generation games either, with Diablo 2 and Anarchy Online respectively. In AO, player tampering of pre-set controls was called cheating and became so rampant it led to the game’s demise. In Diablo 2 the program was kept on the client side so players were able to adjust their own characters to what ever advantage they could desired.
Read the whole article here.
John Scott Tynes, the Porducer for Pirates of the Burning Sea, takes some time to tell us about the Austin Games Conference from the other side of the table, from a developer's perspective:
The AGC is very different from E3 -- or at least, from the E3 That Was. It really is a conference, meaning it's nothing but panels, roundtables, and lectures. There is a small exhibit hall but it's full of companies selling middleware and services to developers and studios. No one is in the exhibit hall showing off games in any real way. In fact, the only booth I saw where you could pick up a joystick and play was the Microsoft Casual Games booth, so if you want to fly to Austin to play Geometry Wars, go for it!
Read the whole article here.
At AGC, Carolyn Koh visited two middleware companies, BigWorld Technology and Hero Engine. Today, she returns to tell us all about them:
These days MMOG middleware has grown up, filled out, put on make-up and rings and things and buttons and bows. Complete solutions are available and I visited two of them at the AGC; Bigworld Technology and Hero Engine.
What do companies like these mean for the online gamer? Two things mainly:
You can read the article here.
Turbine has released five new screenshots for their upcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. These screens and others can be found in our LOTRO gallery, here.
For more on LOTRO click here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released a new In-Testing feature, this time focusing on Auction Houses:
The Third Module: The Demon Sands will be the largest update to DDO yet. As part of this big update, Auction Houses will be opened throughout Stormreach that will allow players to buy and sell their items with each other.
The Coin Lords are pleased to announce that they have teamed with House Kundarak and House Orien to open several auction houses in Stormreach.
Auction Houses in Stormreach will allow you to both put items you no longer want up for sale and purchase items you desire. Sellers will be able to set an opening bid and an optional buyout price for their items, and will also be allowed to cancel an auction if they see fit. Buyers will be able to browse through items using the Auction House user interface and place bids on items that they wish to purchase. Please note: you will not be allowed to cancel a bid so make sure you really want the item before bidding. Bids on items will be accepted right up until the auction expires. The item will then be sent via mail to the highest bidder and the money will be sent via mail to the seller. In short, auction houses will function in a manner to which most players are accustomed to.
Read the whole article here.
Today marks the launch of the product information page for the upcoming release of Guild Wars Nightfall. This new page will allow players to learn about various aspects of the new title:
You can learn details about the newest game in the Guild Wars saga with today's publication of the Nightfall product information page. Find out more about the new Hero system, characters and skills, and gameplay options for both roleplaying and PvP players. On the same page, check out the contents lists for the Standard Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Nightfall Prerelease Bonus Pack, which is on shelves now.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
The following press release has been sent out by Disney, and carries the disclaimer that it is intended for "UK and European residents only. It seems that Toontown Online is getting a little bit bigger with the addition of a free gardening expansion:
London – 19 September 2006 - The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) today announced the introduction of Gardening, an exciting expansion of Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Toontown Online, the critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for kids and families. Gardening introduces new game play that allows players to grow and care for flowers and trees and to customise their own Toon estates. Gardening appeals to all players both young and old.
Since the game’s launch in 2004, tens of thousands of people have passed through the virtual gates of Toontown, exploring an amazing world full of hilarious adventures, challenging quests and classic Disney magic. In Toontown, everyone gets to create their very own cartoon character, and interact and unite with other players online in a quest to defeat the Cogs, evil humourless robots intent on turning Toontown into a boring corporate metropolis. Toons must use cartoon-style gags such as squirting flowers and falling anvils to make the Cogs laugh and banish them from Toontown.
All Toons have their own homes on a shared estate. It’s a place for Toons to relax and unwind, playing fun games or looking after their virtual pet Doodle. Toons can also change their outfits and decorate their house with furnishings in many unique styles. The Gardening update allows Toons to grow and nurture various types of flowers and trees and even place statues in their Estate grounds. Toons can use new tools such as shovels and watering cans, as well as time, to allow the Toon garden to grow. Green-fingered Toons who truly care for their gardens can even earn jellybeans, trophies and Laff Point boosts.
“Toontown appeals to a broad spectrum of gamers,” commented Myles MacBean, vice president, technology and operations, the Walt Disney Internet Group Europe. “Being both fun and safe for children to play it also appeals to adults thanks to its intuitive game play, bright and colourful storyline and the social aspects of interacting with other players.”
Disney's Toontown Online is the first MMO game for kids and families. Anyone can try Toontown free for three days at www.disney.co.uk/toontown. Three subscription options are available (monthly, six-monthly and annually) and subscribers receive a welcome pack and a quarterly magazine*.
Gardening is the most recent expansion for Disney's Toontown Online following the introduction of the popular Lawbot HQ in April 2006. Unlike most MMO games, players of Toontown are not charged for expansions as they are included in the standard subscription fee. More information about Gardening is available at www.disney.co.uk/toontown/.
* UK and European residents only
For more on ToonTown Online click here.
Carolyn Koh pens the first of a two part story on the sale of Horizons from Tulga Games to EI Interactive. In this one, she sits down with David Bowman, Tulga's former CEO and Kelly Heckman, the former Community Manager for Horizons:
Then the burning question I had: Were you asked to prepare the community for the transition or not to?
“Due to the terms of the sale, I was not allowed to make any official statement to the community,” Heckman told me. GiN’s contract ended the moment the deal was inked and although she offered EI a 30 day transitional contract, the offer was not accepted.
You can read the whole article here.