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Tactica Online : New Skills Explained

Posted Sep 11, 2005 by Jon Wood

The developers over at Tactica Online have once again given us the opportunity to have a look at some of the skills as they highlight them on their website. This time around, they take a look at a number of different skill categories:

Mixing utility, buff, and damage skills, this week sees Poison skill completing the Poison cycle; Savage Strike allows you to trade defense for damage (just don't get hit with a Disable attack the next turn!); Cursed Shot offers a way to deal with all those annoying effects; Divine Favor is a powerful multi-purpose buff; Burning Shroud can make attacking the weakest foe a dangerous proposition; and Disruption ensures that there's a high price to pay for putting all those juicy effects into place.

For more on these skills, click here

Lord of the Rings Online : New Developer Diary

Posted Sep 11, 2005 by Jon Wood

Lord of the Rings Online has released a new developer Diary. This one comes to us from Chris "NobOrBob" Foster and takes a look at the sometimes perilous life of a developer whose job it is to populate a gaming world with quests.

Perilous Quests

With several dozen quests created, we had a solid body of content to review. The gameplay they provided was solid – well, perhaps for the one quest, which I wrote early on and for which I take full responsibility, where players help the Mayor of Haysend complete the yearly Driving of the Toads out of Haysend Hall, which involved collecting toad-skins to replace the bellows on something suspiciously like bagpipes – anyway, the gameplay was solid, but the process we went through to create them was cumbersome.

To explain: the quest file was the file that defined the structure of a quest, and it consisted of listing of the steps the player must accomplish to complete the quest, such as:

  • Step 1: Speak to Fred.
  • Step 2: Kill the Great Evil Bad Thing, Because It Is Evil, and Collect its Monogrammed Handkerchief.
  • Step 3: Return to Fred and Give Fred the Handkerchief.

That sounds simple enough, but the quest file contained only those steps – just the descriptions of each phase of the quest, and the order in which they occurred. The quest file did not tell Fred what to say, or even that he was part of the quest. The quest file did not tell G.E.B.T. to advance the quest when he was killed, or to have a Handkerchief on hand when he died. In order to build the quest, the designer had to edit or create all of the relevant files individually: the monster, Fred, Fred's AI tables, the Handkerchief, a special "death effect" file that told the monster to advance the quest, and a treasure profile that told the monster to drop the Handkerchief, in addition to any other treasure.

In practice, this system worked perfectly fine, but it was time-consuming. The system also made it hard to have a single NPC or monster involved in multiple quests – and in a world where someone like Barliman Butterbur is likely to know a little about a lot of things, this is a frustrating limitation.

To read more of this Developer Diary, click here.  

Ryzom : R² Developer Diary #2

Posted Sep 10, 2005 by Dana Massey

We continue the series of Ryzom Ring diaries here on with issue #2 from Nevrax. As noted, these have previously been posted on the official website, but will become limited time exclusives after Diary #3.

Before I begin, I'm going to talk vocabulary for a moment. It's really, really hard to find good names to use in design work. When you find a word that you like for something and you start to use it, you invariably find that some large part of your audience use the same word for something else. As a result, I'm going to start by laying down a couple of terms that I'll use throughout this article and continue to use in the future.

The first term is COMPONENT. We're using this term to describe a large, grouped piece of a scenario a player might build, such as a group of NPCs with a boss/leader or a bandit camp. We previously used the term 'feature', which still figures on the screenshots that I've included here. Unfortunately, 'feature' just leads to far too much confusion :(

Take a moment to read the whole article here.

Necron : PvP Server Neptune Now Active

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

As of today, Neocron 2's new PvP server, "Neptune" is active.

Reakktor is pleased to announce that they launched the new PvP Server Neptune for Neocron 2 today. This server offers much faster characterleveling, less restrictive PvP looting and an abscence of safe zones. Thisserver will provide players with the ultimate Neocron PvP experience, withmany fast-paced and large scale PvP conflicts.

The server Neptune is international, has two character slots and the official language is English.

For more on Neocron 2 and "Neptune", click here

Dragon Raja Online : The Cursed of Dragon Lord

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

A new piece of lore has been released from Dragon Raja. This very short tale tells the story of "The Cursed of Dragon Lord".

A great war once raged on this beautiful land; it came to be known as the Dragonraja Campaign. Dragon Lord has become to powerful, enslaving not only humans but other races as well. Over time, humans could no longer tolerate slavery.
Under the guidance of King Lutanius and the Legendary 8 heroes, the humans fought a war to end all. King Lutanius and the Legendary 8 warriors fought to bring back peace and equality to a land gone awry.
Wizard Handrake, with a taste of revenge still in his mouth for being betrayed by King Lutanius is out to seek revenge and conquer the world. He has conjured a cursed spell to weaken the humans. The spell will weaken all armory and weaponry.
A wizard by the name of Tepheri who once engaged in the brutal war has step up to ease the trouble. Due to his old age, he could only minimized the effect from being destroyed from the curse. Thus, he created the Tepheri's anti-curse book as a temporary solution.
Will you be able to bring balance and order to a world full of despair and chaos? The future lies in your hands as the journey continues in Dragonraja 1.4

For more on Dragon Raja, click here

Dark Age of Camelot : Job Opening and Release Notes

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

Lots going on as usual over at Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot. First and foremost, they are looking to fill a call centre position!

Are you the video card whisperer? Join us!

Description: This position will serve as first-level support within the Call Center for DAoC. Job duties include answering telephone calls and email in a timely, efficient, and polite manner to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues.

Requirements: The ideal applicant will have exemplary customer service and communication skills, as well as a solid technical background. Applicants should have a general understanding of video cards, sound cards, network cards, modems, all windows operating systems and all relevant drivers. Hours will be 11am to 8pm, Monday through Friday.

Please send résumé's in word or text format to Sean Gallagher, Call Center Supervisor at: sgallagher AT mythicentertainment DOT com 

Secondly, yesterday, DAoC announced a number of bug fixes and the like in Test Version 1.79c's Release Notes.


  • Items with additional information attached to them (such as artifact scrolls) now display it when delved to the chat window.
  • Passive combat abilities that do not have delve information no longer display a blank delve window.
  • Object delves have been changed so that the reuse timer ("Can use again in XX") display is now accurate in all instances.
  • Item-based AF bonuses now actually increase your AF, block damage, and report as such on your character sheet.
  • Base AF buffs now are capped after durability/quality checks, not before.
  • Pet-casted spells (such as the Necromancer's Facilitate Painworking spell) which are removed from the pet's queue due to flooding now reset the timer of the spell so that the player can attempt to cast it again.
  • Characters on accounts which have been flagged as "veteran" will now have the optional title "Archon" in their /title list. Any accounts created before November 10, 2001 are flagged as veteran accounts.



  • Claw spells will now have relative delve information regarding damage, type, effect, etc.

Thane and Valkyrie

  • The ability "Call of a Thousand Storms" has been adjusted in the following manner: Duration is now 2 minutes and the recast timer is now 3 minutes. The bonus this ability grants vs. mobs level 65 and up has been increased.

For the rest of the release notes, click here.

Conquer Online : Beginner's Guide

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

The Conquer Online website has a new feature to offer to new players. It is called the "Beginner's Guide" and actually offers players an extremely basic tutorial on how to get around in their game world. This is especially useful for new MMORPG players who might want to judge how firendly a game is to inexperienced players.

To have a look at this innovative website feature, click here

Guild Wars : New Wallpaper

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

Guild Wars has released another stunning wallpaper. Like most things coming out of Guild Wars these days, this one is themed aruond their new "Sorrow's Furnace" expansion. Not that that is a bad thing as this expansion has provided us with enough new information to make it appealing, even to non players.

This week's wallpaper shows a blending of concepts for the fiery depths of Sorrow's Furnace. Find your choice of wallpaper sizes and aspect ratios, and decorate your desktop with something befitting of the latest Guild Wars update, right here!

For more on Guild Wars and "Sorrow's Furnace", click here.

D&D Online : Q&A #5

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Dana Massey

Turbine's Victor Watcher returns with five more answers to the questions posed by Staff Writer Jon Wood as we continue to examine the setting and underlying mechanics of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons Online. A few of our readers were wondering if you were planning on including any planar baddies in the game. Anything, for example, from the Abyss?

Victor Watcher: Eberron has its own cosmology that is different from the planes of other campaign settings. And we have monsters that come from several of them. The ice flenser, the fire reaver and the flesh render are Turbine creations that come from the planes. The Ice Flenser comes from Risia, the Plane of Ice. The Fire Reaver comes from Fernia, the Sea of Fire. The Flesh Render comes from Shavarath, the Battleground. From Risia and Fernia come the ice and fire mephits, respectively, elemental imps. The Marut inevitable is a planar guardian from Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead.

You can read the full Q&A here.

World of Warcraft : Movie Contest

Posted Sep 09, 2005 by Jon Wood

Blizzard Entertainment announces another exciting contest relating to their upcoming event "Blizzcon". This time out, they are looking for submissions for a movie contest. Just bring together some in-game footage, add some music from their past games (which they helpfully provide) and you are on your way to winning a number of interesting prizes.

We're proud to announce our official BlizzCon World of Warcraft Movie Competition, sponsored by NVIDIA! To enter, all you need to do is create a movie using in-game footage and combine it with music from any of our past games. We're accepting submissions beginning Thursday, September 8, which means you have plenty of time to create movie-magic! Five winners will receive an NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 Ultra, two tickets to BlizzCon, and much more. Details on how to submit your World of Warcraft movie will be announced when we begin accepting submissions. Good luck!

  • Accepted File Formats: wmv, avi, mpg, mpeg, qt, mov
  • Max filesize: 25megs

5 winners each will receive:

  • NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 Ultra
  • 2 Tickets to BlizzCon
  • Free Year of World of Warcraft
  • World of Warcraft Cinematic Poster
  • World of Warcraft Baseball Cap
  • World of Warcraft Action Figures  

For more World of Warcraft, click here.

City of Villains : Collector's Edition Retail Package

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

NCsoft Reveals City of Villains Collector’s Edition Retail Package

DVD game pack to include seven HeroClix figures, art book, collectible card game preview and exclusive in-game items

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 8, 2005—NCsoft® North America has revealed the contents for the City of Villains™ Collector’s Edition retail game pack that will be released to stores in North America when the game launches later this fall.

City of Villains, developed by Cryptic Studios™ and published by NCsoft, is the stand-alone sequel to the hit game, City of Heroes®, and allows players to create a villainous persona and build a virtual criminal empire. Highlighting the City of Villains Collector’s Edition package is a set of seven limited-edition HeroClix® figures from WizKids®, composed of three hero figures and four villain figures, including an exclusive Lord Recluse™ HeroClix.

The City of Villains Collector’s Edition will also contain a DVD version of the game, giving players access to an exclusive in-game cape and chest emblem from Arachnos™, the game’s top villain group. Also included in the package is a map of The Rogue Isles™, the chain of islands that makes up City of Villains.

The Collector’s Edition also includes a book featuring art from City of Villains and City of Heroes, a preview deck of the City of Heroes collectible card game designed by the Alderac Entertainment Group™ as well as a single limited edition City of Heroes foil collector’s card.

The City of Villains Collector’s Edition will sell at an anticipated price of US$79.99. City of Villains preorder purchases can be applied to the Collector’s Edition or regular edition of the City of Villains game. Subscription pricing for the game will be announced in the fall.

For more information about City of Villains, go to

[ expand press release ]

Dark Age of Camelot : D&D Co-Creator Speaking at Fan Gathering

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

Dave Arneson, Co-Designer of the Original D&D Game, to Address the History and Future of Role-Playing Games

FAIRFAX, VA - September 8, 2005 - Mythic Entertainment, developer and publisher of the critically acclaimed massively-multiplayer online role-playing game Dark Age of CamelotR, today announced that Dave Arneson, co-designer of the original DUNGEONS & DRAGONS role-playing game, will give the opening keynote address at the upcoming Dark Age of Camelot Roundtable Fan Gathering. As the "Father of Role-Playing," Mr. Arneson will offer a unique perspective on the history and future of role-playing games and their impact on the computer game industry. The annual West Coast Roundtable Fan Gathering will be held on September 23rd and 24th at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit

"Dave Arneson is truly an originator in the area of role-playing games, and his work laid the foundation for RPG's - including Dark Age of Camelot - as we know them today," said Eugene Evans, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Mythic Entertainment. "We're thrilled to give the Roundtable Fan Gathering attendees a chance to meet Dave and hear his perspective on the history of role-playing games, and insight into what the future holds."

This is the fourth Dark Age of Camelot Roundtable gathering since the release of the game in October 2001. Players from around the world are invited to meet fellow players and the game's developers, as well as hear about the exciting advancements in store for Dark Age of Camelot in the coming months. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Dark Age of Camelot-themed activities to compete for prizes from event sponsors, including NVIDIA, Intel, NEC, Prima Games, Microsoft Games Studio, Thread Impressions, Crucial Technology, Bawls and Wiley Publishing.

This year's paid attendees receive a free copy of the upcoming expansion pack, Dark Age of Camelot: Darkness Rising , and an exclusive in-game item. Registration will close at 5:00 PM EST on Friday, September 9, 2005. To purchase tickets, please go to

[ expand press release ]

Shadowbane : Introduction to the Lore

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

Shadowbane developers have made it THAT much easier to get to the story behind the game. Often, Lore can be the item that makes or breaks a game, especially for the more hardcore roleplaying gamers. Knowing what is going on and has gone on in the world is key to creating and exploring a rich character.

Interested in learning the lore behind Aerynth and the legendary blade known as Shadowbane but don't have the time to comb through the hundreds of pages and thousands of years or lore in the various Race, Class, Discipline descriptions and other documents? Look no further! We are proud to announce a new addition to the Lexicon called "Introduction to the Lore" that is in not only html format but also in portable document format (PDF)! You can also find a wealth of knowledge by reading the Legend of Shadowbane (also available in a PDF file), an overview of the Aerynthian Pantheon, and by visiting the Library of Aerynthian Historical documents.

For more on "Introduction to the Lore", click here.

MagiKnights : Update info

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

MajiKnights has announced that they are currently working internally on a brand new website! They are also working on a "major update" which will deter hackers, player trading and questing. Like any update, they expect to fix a few bug while they're at it.

OK a few things going on at the moment.

1. im creating a new magiknights website, with the help of King Korn (graphics), and Dek/DC with content. Well DC just acts like hes doing something important lol :P

2. chased is working on a major update to magiknights which includes data encryption to deter any wannabe hackers, player trading and questing. No doubt bug fixes too.

The new website is expected to be launched real soon :) 


For more information on MajiKnights, click here.

Nexus : Update Notes and Beta News

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Nexus have released the notes on their most recent update. This owuld appear to be a fairly standard update with small additions and minor corrections having been made.  

The Nexus servers were reset with the following changes:

Fixed all offline processes, such as clan and subpath demote/remove, board title/admin rights, etc.
New Muse spell added.
New Barbarian spell added.

Map Updates:
Map update for Enigma clan.
Map update for Oceana clan.

Minor Fixes:
Minor fixes for Elendhirin clan.
Minor fixes for Lost Kingdom clan.
Minor fixes for Enigma clan.
Minor fixes for Oceana clan.

It doesn't end there! The developers have also announced an upcoming beta test on their upgraded client. The testing phase will being next Wednesday, September 14th and will be free for all to download.

Feature list for the new Nexus 6.5 client:

  • Group tab that displays the health percentage of the members in your party.
  • Expandable spell and inventory windows that are scrollable and allow for drag-and-drop reorganizing.
  • Helmets and accessories that show up on your character.
  • 3 new equipment slots.
  • Aether countdown/duration window.
  • In-game maps for important locations.
  • Ability to adjust the size and transparency of the chat window.
  • When interacting with other players in whisper and exchange, their class is displayed behind their name. (Example: "Wony (Game Master)").
  • New faces and hair allowing for greater customization.
  • Experience bar that will progress towards the next level or the maximum experience for those that are level 99.
  • Ability to right-click players to see how you can interact with them.
  • New simple-click option allows for one-click casting and item use.
  • Toggleable pathfinding with left-click, for an easier to use interface. Will pick up items or attack if you click an item on the ground or a monster.
  • Graphics upgraded to high-resoultion.

For more information on Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, click here.

Auto Assault : Tocado: City Profile

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

Auto Assault's "Recon" brings us a new and detailed look at one of the fastest growing cities of the Central Wastelands. Tocado, a Mutant city is "quickly eclipsing" The Citadel in size and importance. It is no wonder that the developers want to give our readers a more in-depth look at this urban center.

Of the Mutant cities that have thrived, The Citadel was the first and is the most famous – it's the current capital of the Tribes of the Changed, and remains the first bastion of the Mutant struggle for freedom from Humanity. Other Mutant towns are known for their particular emphasis on disciplines: Shamans flock to Omphala; Avengers (known as Sentinels) reside in Borderton and defend sacred Temple Mountain. However, the city that's growing the fastest, both in size and influence – is Tocado.

Now beginning its third generation, Tocado is currently the most popular source of the Tribes' newest warriors. Many return here, fresh from the nearby proving grounds, to exhibit their worth to the leaders, dignitaries, and other inhabitants of the town – especially Archon Davon. As a Prime Archon and governor of Tocado, Archon Davon embodies the principles of the Spirit Tribe. Not only is he a member of the powerful Davon family, a logician, and a theologian of the highest order, but Davon himself is famous for negotiating the Zendig protectorate treaty that makes trade with the Zendigs possible. Mutants who have joined the warrior caste and exhibit potential may find themselves in regular discussions with the Archon.
With its proximity to other locations of Mutant knowledge and spirituality, Tocado is second only to The Citadel in political power - despite its young age. In addition, Tocado's importance is growing due to the ever-increasing influence of its younger generations on the Tribes at large. Many traders and merchants operate out of Tocado, where everything essential to a young warrior is offered – for a price. OCD even operates a facility there for sporting and entertainment purposes.

Simply put, Tocado is the wave of the future for the Mutant race.

For more on Auto Assault, click here.

Guild Wars : Sorrow's Furnace Update

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

The Sorrow's Furnace update is now available for players of the popular title "Guild Wars". Along with this release, the good people behind the game have released buckets of information about their newest addition. New monsters, new quests, new items, new collectors, new weapons... the list seems to go on and on. As to what exactly "Sorrow's Furnace" is: it is a new update to Guild Wars that is designed to appeal to Ascended characters (meaning characers above 20th level) with the new content geared toward those players. Best of all, it is free, players need only log in to Guild Wars to recieve the new content.

And of course, what fun would an update be without some interesting update notes to have a look through:

  • Sorrow's Furnace consists of two new, large and challenging explorable regions located deep in the Shiverpeak Mountains between Spearhead Peak and Snake Dance. These areas contain the following:
    • Seventeen new quests, most of them fully repeatable and offering high XP rewards
    • Four new cinematics
    • A variety of new monsters, including new Stone Summit Dwarves that are the strongest in the Shiverpeak Mountains, and entirely new types of creatures that are being introduced to the game for the first time
    • Boss monsters named after the contest winning entries
  • Boss monsters in the new Sorrow's Furnace regions drop newly-introduced green "unique" weapons that are named after the boss. 

For the complete update notes, click here.

For more information on Sorrow's Furnace, click here.

Necron : PvP Server News

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Jon Wood

Neocron's new PvP server, "Neptune" will replace the old french language server "Pandore". Neocron has been kind enough to "lay down the law" so to speak as they introduce us to the rules for this new server. These rules do a great job of letting players know EXACTLY how this new server will be run.

PvP Server Rules

  • If a character dies, one randomly chosen item from the Inventory or Quickbelt will be placed into the dropped belt and can be looted (no hacking needed) by other players. Characters with a LE chip will not be able to loot belts.
  • The Safeslot option will be deactivated, but essential items like Epic items or keys will never drop.
  • All safezones will be deactivated. Faction headquarters will be transformed into “Warzones”
  • The rate of experience points gained by killing monsters has been greatly increased.
  • The regeneration of synaptic impairment after using a Genereplicator or after death has been greatly increased.
  • The rate of automatic Soullight regeneration has been greatly increased.
  • The chances of getting modification slots when crafting items have been greatly increased.
  • The Law Enforcer remains untouched to give crafters the possibility to ensure the supply of crafted game items.

The need to hack belts has been removed from the initially planned ruleset, as well as the reduced Soullight penalties. In return, the regeneration rates of Soullight and synaptic impairment have been greatly increased. The XP gain rate from killing mobs has also been boosted by a lot.

The PvP server Neptune will go live at the end of this week. 

To read more about Neptune, including information on character transfers, click here.

Spellborn : Exclusive Interview, Part Two

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Dana Massey

In the second half of this two part Q&A, Barry Hoffman discusses PvP, Housing and other key aspects of their upcoming MMORPG. You can read part one from last week, then move on to the brand new second half. Could you explain the relationships between the Guild System and the five Houses of Spellborn? Also, will the guild system be a player organized guild system or a pre-existing guild system in the game that players can join?

Barry Hoffman: Some games have two camps, in our world five Houses coexist in a world that is trying to survive with the resources the known shards provide. Presentday the known “civilization” is called the Enclave of the Five Sacrifices. Players will be part of one of the five Houses. For more explanation on each of the five Houses we invite you to read one of our interactive Spellborn Scrolls called First Journey ( ).

Within each of these Houses players can be individuals or part of guilds. These guilds will be player organized guilds.

Achievements within the game can be made on individual level(statues, leveling), guild level (shop ownership, guild trophies) and house level(conquer new shards, solve part of the mystery).

You may click here for part two.

RYL: Unforgiven Wars : Troubles Times Interview

Posted Sep 08, 2005 by Dana Massey

Mark Politi of Planetwide Games answers a few of our questions as their company hits a rough patch. Their $1,000,000 tournament has been suspended, some key staff have left and the reviews are not great. What's the gameplan? Find out: Recently, you announced that your core draw - the $1,000,000 tournament - has been suspended. Can you go into the unethical activity vaguely described in the release and why you felt it had to be suspended?

Mark Politi: We found that the integrity and fairness of the Tournament was compromised to the detriment of fair and honest Tournament game play by other players. We took these breaches of Tournament rules and regulations very seriously and took action to suspend the Tournament pending evaluation of these breaches. We also believe the core draw of the game was and still remains the compelling battle system, customizable weaponry, and challenging game play.

You can read it all here.

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