The Saga of Ryzom has announced that they will be making some pretty huge changes to their official website. As usual, we present you with but a fraction of the artcle, so follow the link below for full details.
We are currently working on an engine update of the Ryzom.com website. This will bring a number of new features, which I discuss below. Most of it is still work in progress, but at least you'll know where we are aiming at.
Read it all, here.
SOE has released another Dev Chest for our knowledge consumption. The Dev Chest points to specific threads within the EQII forums that the developers have made or commented upon:
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.
With the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event over and finished, the developers have released a brand new gameplay movie that gives us some of the highlights from the event:
Some of our fondest memories of the Factions Preview Event are preserved forever in the newest Factions gameplay movie, featuring combat, and dancing, and dragons, oh my! Find the movie, in your choice of three resolutions, in our Gallery. Or head directly to this page.
For more Guild Wars, click here.
Blizzard's World of WarCraft has released their newest update, the notes are available here. They have also announced the update of the Cenarion Circle reputations page:
The Cenarion Circle reputations page has been updated with more rewards of superior and epic quality! Check out the reputation rewards for the Silithus field duty quests and the new recipes that the vendors of Cenarion Hold have in store for those who have proven their dedication to the Cenarion Circle's fight against the silithid. Click here to see what items await you!
For more on WoW, click here.
Disney Online has announced that they will have the very first playable version of their MMORPG, Pirates of the Carribean Online, available at E3 for public consumption. MMORPG.com will follow this story and continue to bring you updates.
Disney Online will unveil the first images and a playable version of the never-before-seen Pirates of the Caribbean Online game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 10-12th in booth #1024, South Hall. This massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), slated for release in 2007, is based on the popular film franchise and will allow players to experience the world captured on screen. In the game, players will interact with Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann and other characters made popular in the movie franchise, as they embark on exciting quests in search of treasure and notoriety.
Capturing the high seas and swashbuckling adventures found in both “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” players embark on quests for adventure and treasure in an effort to become the Caribbean’s most legendary pirate. Featuring hundreds of customization options, players create and customize their own pirate, form a crew, and set sail on the high seas. Along the way they learn skills and tactics from the notorious Jack Sparrow, helping them forge alliances, hunt for buried treasure, battle evil undead forces and face off against known enemies from the movie franchise.
Pirates of the Caribbean Online is in development by the Walt Disney Internet Group’s VR Studio, creators of the critically acclaimed Disney’s Toontown Online, the industry’s first MMORPG designed for kids and families. The game is being developed to appeal to a broad audience from teens to adults and will be available for a monthly subscription fee. Additional game information can be found at www.pirateslegend.com.
For more on this game, click here.
Nevrax has announced that the Ryzom Ring is now looking for testers to try out the first expansion for the MMORPG, The Saga of Ryzom.
The final phase of alpha testing is approaching for Ryzom Ring, The Saga of Ryzom’s first expansion. To help in the testing of the Ring, Nevrax is now accepting applications for players to participate in the alpha testing phase.
For more on The Saga of Ryzom, click here.
Final Fantasy XI has announced the debut of a new trailer for the XBox 360 version of The Treasures of Aht Urghan. The FFXI site is also carrying news on their online store and "appraisers", a new type of item.
The Treasures of Aht Urhgan trailer has debuted as a free download in Xbox Live Marketplace! Xbox Live users can download it now for a sneak peek at what's in store when FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360 ships on April 18th. Also, a FINAL FANTASY XI Picture Pack containing four gamer pictures is now available in Marketplace for 80 Microsoft Points. Check them out today!
For more on FFXI, click here.
On Thursday, NCSoft finally delivers Auto Assault to store shelves. In anticipation, we bring you our hands-on, first-hand look at the game based on weeks of beta experience. Andrew Cranston goes through the systems and delivers his impressions in this last look before launch.
| Auto Assault combines many gameplay elements that have never been seen before in an MMORPG with a host of familiar features. The combination is user-friendly, straight forward, and entertaining.
Auto Assault is based on a post-apocalyptic world that has been divided into three races: Humans, who are generally responsible for this apocalypse, Mutants, who have been transformed as a result of the apocalypse and have come together to help “transform the planet”, and Biomek, a group of humans who have embraced biotechnology and cybernetics to survive the unforgiving landscape. Each of these three races starts the game on their own part of the map, and each has their own story to follow.
To read the full preview click here.
RF Online, back on the 7th, made this cryptic announcement:
Early next week a newsletter will be filtering into your inboxes heralding some interesting news with regard to a special event we have planned.
The plan is to shake the servers up a little and help out the guys currently being bullied by the other races. You will of course need the help of a few friends but I don't want to give the surprise away of what's to come.
Stay tuned for more details... the reward will be worth it
What will it be? We shouldn't have to wait too much longer to find out, this now being "early next week".
For more RF Online, click here.
There's a new Dev Log over at Pirates of the Burning Sea. This time around, we're hearing from Jess Lebow. As usual, we're giving you a small taste of the whole thing, so click on the link below to get it all.
I've just come aboard Flying Lab from ArenaNet, where I was the World and Story Designer for Guild Wars and Guild Wars Factions. I'm also a working novelist with four titles to my credit: Wind of War, Return of the Damned, The Darksteel Eye, and most recently Master of Chains. There's nothing I like better than telling stories, and that's just what I'm going to be doing here.
PotBS is a great game. It's a very, well, hard game at the moment, and I've watched the splinters of my ruined ship slip silently beneath the waves on many, many occasions. Still, I've have a blast, even during missions when I've been killed, which I believe is the mark of a good game.
The last few weeks have been exceptionally positive. Maybe it's logging into the game and finding the sunshine and beautiful beaches of the Caribbean—so far playing a pirate is a lot like being on vacation, only without the margaritas. Or maybe it's the new environment, and the creative challenges that come along with it. Whatever it is, coming to Flying Lab has been like putting my finger in the creative light socket. My hair is standing on end, and the stories are coming faster than I can get them down on paper. This is a great place to be.
Read it, here.
New writer Donna Desborough pens her first editorial for the site and dismisses the sometimes popular belief that girls do not play games. They do and Donna looks at what they like to do and how they differ from their male counterparts.
| Females and gaming, it happens you know.
We aren't creatures of myth. Female gamers have existed for a lot longer than people think. It's not something that's new, but it is something that games developers are trying to tap.
What do girls want out of a game? Now that is the eternal question, to which there is no simple answer. Well, really there is, but it's not as simple as it seems. Female gamers want the same kind of things male gamers want. So, let's go over a few things that female gamers might want from a game, especially an MMO.
To read her full column click here.
Dark Age of Camelot, Mythic's flagship MMORPG, has put out another five and a half megs of prepatch that will include new crafting tools art files.
Greetings on this lovely Monday. We've got five and a half megs of goodness for your prepatching pleasure, and that applies to all clients.
I am told that the most immediate effect of these files will be visible as soon as you log in - new crafting tools art files! Only in the housing zones at this time, BTW.
For more info on DAoC, click here.
Blizzard's World of WarCraft has lots of goodies for our visual consumption today. So much so, that we're going to give you bullets and links to all of the WoW madness:
For more WoW, click here.
We have added 8 brand new screenshots to our Soul of the Ultimate Nation (SUN) gallery. If you're interested in this game, or if you're cutious, go take a look!
Thanks for the people at Webzen for providing these shots.
Codemasters has released a new movie for their MMORPG, ArchLord. This new movie will give viewers an idea of a crucial point in the game's lore. That important piece revolves around the Archons:
New York (April 10, 2006) – Codemasters today reveals the legend behind the sacred Archons that, when secured, will give ultimate power to players in the upcoming MMO masterpiece, ArchLord.
A new ArchLord trailer movie, ‘The Legend of Chantra: Episode II,’ which explores the legend is now available online at http://www.archlordgame.com . The trailer movie reveals the importance of the Archons, the holy relics that players must unite in order to become the one supreme ruler of the game’s world of Chantra.
The legend, which forms the back-story to ArchLord, tells of an ancient time when two mighty heroes from different races jointly held the Archons, using their power to unite the races. Fearing that the untold power of the Archons may bring death and disaster if they fell into the wrong hands, the heroes kept them safe and hidden. Now, one hundred years later, the legend of the two heroes has faded and the Archons are there to be claimed – if they can be found…
Featuring four minutes of stunning cinematic action, ‘The Legend of Chantra: Episode II’ movie expands on the legend, the struggle for supremacy that brought death and decay to a once peaceful land and the resurrection of the ArchLord legacy.
ArchLord will be published, exclusively for Windows PC, in North America and Europe by Codemasters Online Gaming in Q3 2006. To see the movie and more, visit the official website today at www.archlordgame.com.
For more on ArchLord, click here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have partnered with NCSoft to bring you the first ever free trial offer for City of Villains! This trial is exclusive to MMORPG.com and only available to our registered members. This free trial entails no obligations. It does not require your credit card information.
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A scheduling quirk means you get a double dose of instancing opinion today. Nathan Knaack's weekly column turns his eye to this most solitary of activities with "For Instance". Outside the Box is a weekly column from Knaack, a former Rapid Reality developer.
|The biggest concern that has been voiced regarding instancing is the lack of a worldwide, coherent community, simply because it’s difficult to build and maintain a society when everyone is off in their own, personal pocket dimension instead of interacting and forming the relationships necessary to do so. How do you reinforce a player-driven economy when the best goods come from repeated raids through instances instead of from player craftspeople? How do you get leaders to wage epic wars over contested territory if they’re too busy getting the best advancement (experience points, etc) from the high-end monsters in instances? How do you influence people to play their characters, or role-play, when they’re each in a secluded, walled-off section of the world instead of interacting with each other? It’s like the difference between watching a soccer game at home or at the stadium. Either way, there are thousands of people watching the same thing, but where do you feel more connected to society, at the live event or sitting on your couch?|
You can read the column here.
In the second act of our husband and wife editorial duel, Danielle "Sachant" Vanderlip joins the site with her first opinion piece. In her debut article, Danielle examines instancing.
| Casual players rarely get to see upper end content of games. It is argued that if they don’t have the time to put in they won’t miss the upper content. In many cases, this may be true. In many others it isn’t. Some games are created to allow for casual gamers to at least work as a crafter or be quickly piggybacked onto a higher player’s experience runs and level right along with them. In these games the pinch of upper end content isn’t as painful. For those that take part in games that are not only unfriendly to solo players but offer little to nothing for the solo player at the upper end, the last level they can achieve is the end of the road. At best what they have to look forward to is creating another character.
While it’s painful for an individual, it can be traumatic for guilds. Rifts are created between the casual and ‘hardcore’ players. The upper end players don’t want to repeat content they have found boring or have repeated countless times for others and so those that are more casual are left behind. Guild leaders must decide what is best for the guild. Go forward? Or wait? Neither is an easy choice and inevitably if a game is not flexible enough to allow for a compromise, guilds will and do fracture or even collapse completely under the strain. Even worse is when a small guild is unable to accomplish tasks alone. They either must give up on the idea of upper end content or they must join with another guild to cooperate. Given the nature of MMOs and the communities in them this can either be a way of bonding and creating a larger guild than originally intended or it can lead to drama with a capital ‘D’.
To read her full opinion, click here.
Ray Vanderlip thinks PvP has become an afterthought. In this new editorial, Ray looks at the issues that surround one of the hardest issues to tackle in MMORPGs.
| Players that live and die by PvP conflict find themselves faced with promises of satisfaction at the hands of competent teams of developers that swear that they will deliver. What those players find instead is often a watered down version of what they had hoped for and that’s IF their favorite game gets PvP at all. In many cases it is cut out completely in favor of PvE (Player versus Environment) conflict instead. The watered down version is often a surprise and is like going to take a sip of your favorite drink and instead finding that someone’s slipped in some seltzer water to make it look like the drink you ordered but it certainly doesn’t taste much like it.
There are reasons that PvE and PvP are in conflict with each other more than just whether or not players want to take part in one or the other more. There are balance issues involved. What may be balanced for a PvE encounter may not be balanced for a PvP encounter. Players must make judgments based on what they need or want most and make sacrifices based on those judgments. A character designed for PvE will not do well in a PvP encounter. A character designed solely for PvP will not do well in a PvE encounter. These are generally true statements. What skill can be used on a mob may not be fair to use on a player. Incapacitating spells such as roots, snares etcetera are especially suspect in instances involving PvP and even more so the question of thievery in PvP situations comes up as a point of contention for rogue lovers no matter the game. Balancing abilities and skills for use in PvP and in PvE is difficult and inevitably someone suffers for it.
You can read the full editorial here.
Jon Wood files another report from the road as the SOE Fan Faire comes to a close. Tomorrow he'll have one final update. So, enjoy part three:
|SOE had taken over the entire lower level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, filling it with a number of things. When you first walked in the doors, you had the standard information booth, beyond that, there was a table displaying artwork. The first thing that I saw was EverQuest art, nothing very surprising there. Then I took a look at some of the other pieces that the artist had displayed, and noticed some very familiar novel cover art. It was about then that I started to make the connection between EverQuest and the Dungeons and Dragons original Dragonlance novel covers. Sitting behind that particular table was Larry Elmore whose art I and many gamers had grown up seeing. Needless to say, it was a thrill to meet the man who was very friendly took time to talk with anyone who came by.|
You can read his full report here.