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Guild Wars : Fan Site Friday @ MMORPGItalia

Posted Mar 25, 2005 by Craig McGregor has just hosted the 38th "Fan Site Friday".  A preview of the interview is below:

In the last BWE we heard a voice telling us the story of Ascalon. Will we hear these voices in the most important missions? Will they be localized in the various languages?

I’m happy to say that yes, the voices in Guild Wars will be localized into the language options offered in the game itself: English, French, German, Italian, Korean, and Spanish. I would imagine that as we localize the game in other areas of the world – for example in China or Japan – then the voice acting for those versions will also be localized.

In the last BWE we noticed the absence of the charm vendor. Now the only way to acquire a skill is to buy or capture it, there are plans of a change in the way we can learn them?

A significant change has taken place in how a player gains new skills, this is very true. At one point, in addition to standard methods of gaining skills, you could acquire one via a skill charm given through the generosity of a friend or guild member, or you could purchase a charm from a vendor or a willing seller in town. But we made some changes to the entire skill system that made it advisable to remove skill charms. The most principle change was the ability for you to gain skills and abilities for your PvP-only characters through the completion of missions and quests. PvP’ers are ecstatic about the opportunity, but that ability means that we have had to make some other basic changes, such as the removal of skill charms.

To read it all, click here.

Irth Worlds : Dev Chat

Posted Mar 24, 2005 by Tom Fletcher

On Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm EST, the "Irth Online" dev team will be holding a dev chat and will also be giving out 100 beta keys.

The Irth Online dev team will be holding a developer chat on Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time. An assortment of members of the IO dev team will be on hand to answer your questions.

That evening we will also be giving away one hundred (that's "100"!) game keys for beta!

Where do I go for the chat? Using your favorite IRC (internet relay chat) client, log on to and join the channel #irthonline.

IRC client? Where do I get one of those? A simple shareware one is mIRC ( Make sure to go into your options and select the server Once you connect, type /join #irthonline. That's it! 

You can find more information about "Irth Online" at the official website.

Vanguard : New Lore : Hardigan #3

Posted Mar 24, 2005 by Craig McGregor

The official site has added some new lore today - Hardigan McCrane - "Strange Discovery".  A preview is below:

I saw the coast for the first time today. It was from a high vantage point, but nonetheless, was crystal clear. My wagon has fared much better than I thought it would on the repaired axle. Fortunately, there have been no further delays.

I have taken up hunting in the evening with Adian and Tursik before I settle into camp for the night. Already I've brought in some very high quality pelts. The same game I trap around the village, but bigger with much healthier fur. The hounds seemed somewhat taken aback by how much of a fight a single deer puts up here. They did manage to finally bring it down though, and it should be enough to feed us for the rest of the week.

To read the full article, click here.

Trials of Ascension : New 'Monument Design' Contest

Posted Mar 24, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Shadowpool Studios has started a new contest for fans of Trials of Ascension.  They are taking submissions for designs on an in-game monument.  The winner will get their design featured in the game.  Details below:

Prepare yourselves for a monumental undertaking, because that's exactly what you have the chance to create! Whether it's a wonder of the TerVaran world or something more humble, put on your engineering and architectural thinking caps and design a monument to a person, place, or event in TerVaran history. If you win, your monument will be recreated in the world of TerVarus for all to see! Submissions will be accepted until 5:00pm PST on April 15, 2005. The staff of Shadowpool Studios will then vote to choose the winner, which will be announced on April 22, 2005. Be sure to read the contest instructions below:

    Submitting Your Entry:
    Email your submission to us at no later than 5:00pm PST of April 15, 2005. All entries must contain the following:
  • Your name (first and last)
  • Your Shadowpool Studios forum name
  • Your age
  • An artistic representation of your monument
    -Maximum height: 600px
    -Maximum width: 600px
    -Maximum file size: 200KB (200000 bytes)
    -File format: JPG or GIF only please
  • A written description or what your monument represents (1000 characters or less, including spaces)

    Terms & Conditions:
    By submitting your entry you acknowledge that you have read and accept the contest rules as listed on the Contest Rules page.

    What the judges will be looking for, in no particular order:
    Quality - It doesn't need to be a masterpiece, but we need to be able to tell what it is we're looking at with enough detail that we can implement it into the game.
    Creativity - Either the monument or its backstory should be reasonably original and/or include some twist that makes it stand out from other monuments of its type.
    Feasibility - The monument should be something that we can incorporate into the game world without too much trouble, so avoid anything that would require drastic changes to the landscape or involve inordinate amounts of programming to get it to work.
    Theme - The monument should definitely fit into ToA's official theme, setting, and history. This is probably the most important one, since we're not likely to pick something that would be out of place in TerVarus. 

Crystal Atatrium : Lots of Concept Art

Posted Mar 24, 2005 by Craig McGregor

The Developers of Crystal Atatrium have made an announcement of the release of several new images, including, maps, landscape, monsters, races, and job concept art.  Links to all these are below:

Atriarch : Alpha Testing begins in July

Posted Mar 23, 2005 by Reed Hubbard

The developers of Atriarch have announced that alpha testing for the game will commence in July.  Calling it their "Worst-First" test, they plan to start with a small core group of testers and expand from there.  Here's the text from the post on their website:

Worst-First (Alpha) Testing Begins in July: We will begin with a small outside testing group with Atriarch in July. The closest industry term for this phase of testing is alpha. However, a shirt I saw at Game Developer's Conference (GDC) last week captured the essence of early testing phases more accurately. Lucent Technologist and AI Programmer, Neil Kirby, was wearing a project shirt that read "Worst-First Testing Team". I think the phrase speaks for itself, and I decided to adopt the philosophy for Atriarch testing :-)

Of course, don't let the fact that we are calling it worst-first testing fool you. We are eager and excited to get the ball rolling again on testing. The sooner we get this into your hands, the faster we get your feedback and know if we are on the right track. While technical aspects of the game need testing, the fun factor is also very important to validate. Woo Atriarch Fun!!!

Many of you know that we had a brief flirtation with testing quite awhile ago. It was suspended while we worked out some issues. Now finally, the flirtation has turned into a date ;-) Of course, the original group of testers will still be included in testing, but will be phased in when it comes time for beta. We still have everyone's info and will update you as the schedule moves forward.

To read more about Atriarch, visit the official web site at this link.

WWII Online: Battleground Europe : Our Preview of 1.19 Patch

Posted Mar 23, 2005 by Craig McGregor has just put together a preview of the upcoming 1.19 patch for World War II Online.  It features an overview of the changes as well as screen shots of 3 new weapons:

So what can players expect in this release? Chris was happy to share info on the new features. “Well our goal for the box release centers around reducing the barriers to game entry and improving the look and feel of some major elements,” he said. “The troopers are getting a redo of the first person models and weapons, the smoothing code and predictor for the infantry is getting a re-visit as well, and these efforts will bring some real solid feel to infantry play. But the real huge move is the new user interface. We've looked over a lot of the feedback for WWIIOL over the years, and we've taken a lot of time to fashion a new flow and navigation to the UI that allows for newbies to get in the game much quicker, and insures that they will be with a group of players, on a mission, the very first time out. We've put a lot of the more complex functionality out of the critical path so that entry into the game is smooth and fast.”

To read the full preview, click here.

Asheron's Call 2 : EU Distributor Announced

Posted Mar 23, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Turbine Entertainment announced today that they have selected Codemasters to handle their European distribution of Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 as well as the upcoming expansions for these titles.  Their press release is below:

WESTWOOD, Mass. – March 23, 2005 – Turbine, Inc., a premier publisher of online subscription entertainment, announced today that it has granted Codemasters, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment products, the European distribution rights for the next instalments of the popular Asheron’s Call® franchise, Asheron’s Call: Throne of Destiny™ and Asheron’s Call 2: Legions™.

“Continued commitment to our customers and our services is a top priority of Turbine,” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO, Turbine. “We take great pains in selecting great partners and we feel Codemasters has the same commitment and drive as Turbine does to provide gamers with truly great experiences.”

Throne of Destiny is the third instalment in the original 3D massively multiplayer online role playing game series Asheron’s Call, first launched to critical acclaim in November 1999. In the new expansion pack, players will enjoy a graphics upgrade, a new playable race, the Viamontians, and a challenge to experienced gamers with a new high-level play system that rewards players with skill credits.

Legions is the first follow-up to the graphically ground-breaking MMORPG Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings®. Legions will provide players with an ambitious new storyline complete with an extensive array of new content for hours and hours of additional online adventuring. The expansion provides players with a new playable race, the mystical Empyreans, a massive new continent shrouded in mystery and an innovative new hero system.

Codemasters will bring both Asheron’s Call: Throne of Destiny and Asheron’s Call 2: Legions to European gamers in May. Produced by Turbine the titles carry a RRP of £19.99 each and include the original game, the expansion, and one month’s free subscription.

Lord of the Rings Online : Turbine Takes Over Licensing

Posted Mar 23, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Turbine Entertainment announced today that they have acquired the licensing rights for all MMO gaming based on J.R.R. Tolkien works.  Their official press release is below:

WESTWOOD, Mass. – March 22, 2005 – Turbine, Inc., a leading publisher of online subscription entertainment, announced today that it has finalized a deal with Tolkien Enterprises and Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) that grants Turbine the exclusive right to develop and publish massively multiplayer online worlds based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit literary works. As part of the agreement, Turbine will own all of the game assets to the upcoming, highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) The Lord of the Rings™: Middle-Earth™ Online. All publishing responsibilities previously assumed by VU Games for the online license have been transitioned to Turbine effective immediately.

“As the exclusive publisher, Turbine looks forward to bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s vibrant worlds to online gamers around the globe,” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO, Turbine, Inc. “Turbine has been instrumental in the direction and production of Middle-Earth Online, its service and the community since day one. Together with Tolkien Enterprises, we intend to produce the best possible representation of these outstanding literary works and ensure a long and exciting future for Middle-Earth Online.”

Acquiring the license to produce massively multiplayer online games based on Tolkien’s world-renowned The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books is the latest in a series of aggressive business moves by Turbine – the once small contractor that transformed itself into the largest privately-held online game studio in North America. Turbine now directly owns or holds significant interest in each of the games and services that it produces. The company purchased the Asheron’s Call® franchise from Microsoft in early 2004 and is building out the first and only MMORPG based on the iconic fantasy franchise Dungeons & Dragons®, which Turbine is self-funding.

“We are pleased to be working with Turbine,” said Albert M. Bendich, Executive Vice President of The Saul Zaentz Company, which does business as Tolkien Enterprises. “We are confident that, under Turbine’s development, Middle-Earth Online will faithfully bring-to-life the realms of Middle-earth for Tolkien fans everywhere to explore and enjoy.”

With their new relationship, Turbine and Tolkien Enterprises are committed to doing what's best for Middle-Earth Online and the community (, which has already swelled to about 100,000 registered fans. As a result of this commitment, Turbine’s production team is considering changes to make the game even better than before. Turbine will launch Middle-Earth Online in 2006. Specific details and dates regarding the game’s development will be announced in the near future.

Turbine also is currently in negotiations with a few key strategic partners for a worldwide launch, including China, Japan, Korea, Europe and the U.S.

Entropia : New Version 7.2

Posted Mar 23, 2005 by Craig McGregor

MindArk Entertainment made a press release today regarding their latest version for their real cash economy MMORPG "Project Entropia".  Details below:

(Gothenburg, Sweden March 23, 2005) — Project Entropia, a rapidly growing virtual world utilizing a real cash economy, today announces that they applied the 7.2 version update to the live servers.

“The 7.2 update is a key upgrade, as with it we supply thousands of homes for the Project Entropia participants. To have a secure place to call home is vital in the virtual experience”, Director of Concept Development Marco Behrmann says.

Some 2000 apartments were put up for sale on the Project Entropia auction in this phase, ranging from small, medium to large sized apartments. In a few hours time a third of these were sold, and just 24h after launch only some 30% of the stock remains in the auction.

The Project Entropia participants’ option to buy a home is a sought-after feature, especially as the cost for the apartments equals just $25, $35, and $45 respectively. Others have utilized their entrepreneurial skills and become estate brokers, seeking out attractive apartments with nice views and well-respected neighbors, and brokered these to other participants.

Other features in the 7.2 update include new cities, unique items and a horde of new object to be crafted and made. The full content list for the release can be found at

WWII Online: Battleground Europe : Exclusive 14 Day Trial!

Posted Mar 22, 2005 by Craig McGregor is proud to announce that we have teamed up with Cornered Rat Software to bring our members a very special 14 trial for World War II Online.  Our members can take advantage of this offer between March 22 and April 1, 2005.

As an added bonus, those of you that decide to play the game after the trial will get 50% off the normal retail price!  This will cost $9.99 and include the next 30 days of gameplay.

This will be the last free trial offer for World War II Online goes back on the retail don't miss out!

Ready to play?  Click here!

EverQuest II : "Bloodlines" Expansion Is Live

Posted Mar 22, 2005 by Craig McGregor

The EQII team is pleased to announce the launch of the first Adventure Pack, EverQuest II: The Bloodline Chronicles. It's available via digital download at the Station Store.

Intended for characters that are levels 30 to 45, The Bloodline Chronicles offers new zones along with new weapons, armor, spells, and combat arts. Note that subscribers who choose not to purchase the Bloodline Chronicles can download a new zone, the Tombs of Night, at no additional charge.

The Matrix Online : Game Launches Today!

Posted Mar 22, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and SEGA are pleased to announce that the highly anticipated continuation to The Matrix film trilogy, The Matrix Online, launched today. Hundreds of thousands of players can now jack into The Matrix Online, a massively multi-player online game (MMOG), to participate in the continuing saga of The Matrix franchise.  More info in the press release below:


Massively Multi-player Online Game Goes Live - Putting The Future of The Matrix in Gamers' Hands

San Francisco & Burbank, Calif. - March 22, 2005 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and SEGA are pleased to announce that today, hundreds of thousands of players can now jack into The Matrix Online, a massively multi-player online game (MMOG), to participate in the continuing saga of The Matrix franchise. Developed by Monolith Productions, directed by the Wachowski Brothers and co-published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and SEGA, The Matrix Online is launching for the PC today in North America and April 8, 2005 in Europe.

The Matrix Online's story continues after the third film, The Matrix Revolutions, ended with Zion and the Machines in an uneasy truce. Capturing the authenticity of the films, Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus), Monica Bellucci (Persephone), Mary Alice (The Oracle), Lambert Wilson (The Merovingian), Harold Perrineau, Jr. (Link), Harry Lennix (Lock), Nona Gaye (Zee), Collin Chou (Seraph) and Tanveer Atwal (Sati) have provided voice-over and character likenesses to the game. Don Davis, the film composer for The Matrix trilogy, is also providing the score for The Matrix Online.

"The Matrix Online takes massively multi-player online games to a new level by giving players the chance to directly participate and make history within the Matrix's continuing, intriguing story," said Jason Hall, Senior Vice President for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "In The Matrix Online, gamers can create their ideal character for combat and socialization within an incredibly expansive urban environment and then interact with actual characters from the Matrix films."

"The Matrix Online is a fast-paced, action-driven MMOG that combines the excitement of wire-fu combat and bullet time with an engaging, persistent world directed by the creators of the world-famous franchise," said Simon Jeffery, President and COO of SEGA of America, Inc. "SEGA expects The Matrix Online to satisfy hardcore gamers while remaining extremely accessible to newcomers and fans of the Matrix universe."

In an unprecedented move, a specialized role-playing live events team at Monolith will assume the roles of the actual Matrix characters and support the continuation of the game's storyline through choreographed interaction.

Players will meet, battle and eventually team up with the familiar characters on high-profile missions or at player-organized events.

The Matrix Online's interlock combat system offers gamers special martial arts moves based on "wire-fu" and "bullet time" effects popularized in the films. An MMOG with the most intense combat set in a contemporary urban environment, The Matrix Online is designed to be a compelling experience for players of all types, ability levels and interests with extensive character creation, dynamic social experiences, and a high-level fashion component.

The Matrix Online will be sold through all major game retailers for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $49.99. Gamers can either subscribe online for a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 or purchase pre-paid game cards with 60 days worth of playtime for $29.99.

For more information on The Matrix Online, please visit the official website:

Guild Wars : Our BWE #5 Coverage - Day 3

Posted Mar 22, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Reed Hubbard has concluded his coverage of the Guild Wars Beta Weekend Event.  A preview of his last article is below:

A weekend is too short. This is not a criticism as much as a compliment. I have played Guild Wars for most of the day and I’m left wanting more. Even with the partial implementation of features and the abbreviated functionality, I’m loving the game and I’m hating that tonight is the end, at least temporarily.

As I mentioned earlier, you can create a scratch character at level 1, or a PvP only character that starts at level 20. I still think the high-level PvP character option is a great idea and I hope it finds its way into the final release, but by giving players the option to start out at the top, some of the weakness of the game design are exposed. Certain types of characters are much better suited for the PvP arena, such as warrior/monks (arguably the strongest PvP hybrid). Mesmers and necros are at a distinct disadvantage. I played on a team full of elementalist hybrids and we had our hash slung over and over.

To read this full feature, click here.

General : Mourning Removed

Posted Mar 21, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Today has made the difficult decision to remove the game "Mourning" from our list of MMORPG's as well as shut down our Mourning specific forums.

We would like to clarify that this decision was not based on the actions of any community members at - rather our core feelings about the company publishing and funding this project, and the way they treat us and their community.

As always, we would like to encourage our community to comment on this news post and let us know how you feel.

Thanks to all of our members you for your continued support of

Guild Wars : Our BWE #5 Coverage - Day 2

Posted Mar 20, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Reed Hubbard has just turned in his report from Day 2 of the fifth Guild Wars Beta Weekend Event.  A preview is below:

Previous Guild Wars events, at least the ones I in which I have participated, have been all about showing off new technology and showcasing the game. The beta weekends, particularly this one, are about getting the game in shape to go live, or so it seems. Don’t get me wrong, that’s what a beta test is supposed to be, so I understand the lockups, the quirks, etc. I just hope the other players do, because I’m hearing more complaints this time around. Folks, remember that the game isn’t finished yet. It’s to be expected that everything isn’t perfect.

Regardless, Guild Wars is in a great state. Some games have shipped with less polish (sad, but true). The game’s storyline is more complete this time around. You start out at the end of Ascalon’s glory days. The Charr are invading and you are called to arms to defend your homeland. The first three or so levels you spend in a charming countryside with lush vegetation and quaint towns. After you hit level 3, you can enter the Academy for training, which is a PVP area that gives you a shot at what is the strongest part of Guild Wars – the player vs. player game.

To read the full preview complete with screen here!

Guild Wars : Our BWE #5 Coverage - Day 1

Posted Mar 19, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Reed Hubbard will be playing the Guild Wars "Beta Weekend Event #5" this entire weekend and reporting his adventures here at  He has completed his first entry which we have posted.  A preview is below:

The last time I played Guild Wars was in October at the World Preview Event. Since then so much has happened and I’ve had other priorities and I just haven’t gotten around to pre-ordering the game and getting in on the beta weekend events.

So I got off my duff and rectified that. Best Buy loves me.

Tonight I logged into Guild Wars and it was like hearing a really good remake of a favorite old song – you recognize the tune and all that made it good, but the new performer gives it a great new twist. Such is the case with Guild Wars. The basic game is the same from last time, but there are enough changes to keep you guessing. It’s the same game, but it ain’t even close to the same game.

To read it all click here.

Istaria : Mithril Giveaway

Posted Mar 19, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Tulga Games announced today that they will be holding a new contest for Horizons.  Players that login between March 19, 2005 and April 19, 2005 will be eligible to win one of 25 prizes.  Details below:

TEMPE, AZ –– 19 March, 2005 –– Tulga Games, LLC announced today its Mithril Giveaway Promotion.

Log in to Horizons: Empire of Istaria between March 19th and April 19th 2005 and be entered for a chance to win in-game coin,© Gift cards or one of five Apple iPod Minis!©.

As a thank you to our loyal Horizons fans and all the dedicated citizens of Istaria, Tulga Games announces the Horizons Mithril Giveaway.

What is it?
An opportunity for individuals who log in to Horizons: Empire of Istaria between 19 March 2005 and 19 April 2005 to be provided a chance to win some specific prizes (see below).

Who is eligible to enter the Giveaway?
Anyone who enters or “logs in” to Horizons: Empire of Istaria between 19 March 2005 and 19 April 2005. This includes new subscribers, past/returning subscribers, and current subscribers.

Can I enter multiple times with multiple characters?
We are tracking account activity, not individual character activity. Say you have 3 active accounts and the maximum of 15 characters (5 characters per account). Even though you may enter the game twice per each of your 15 characters between 19 March 2005 and 19 April 2005, you will have entered the Mithril Giveaway a total of 3 times.

What can I win?

5 Mithril Grand Prizes:

Five Apple iPod Mini’s (Five Winners) OR purses of one (1) in-game gold coin. (five winners).

4 Platinum Prizes:

4 (four) $100 gift cards OR purses of 500 in-game silver coins (four winners).

3 Gold Prizes:

3 (three) $75 gift cards OR purses of 250 in-game silver coins (three winners)

3 Silver Prizes:

3 (three) $50 gift cards OR purses of 100 in-game silver coins (three winners).

10 Bronze Prizes:

10 (ten) Horizons: Empire of Istaria Original Release Posters OR purses of 50 in-game silver coins (ten winners).

For more information, click here.

Asheron's Call 2 : Legions Pre-Order Update

Posted Mar 18, 2005 by Craig McGregor

Turbine has posted some more updates related to the pre-order for the highly anticipated "Legions" expansion.  A quote from their boards:

As I hinted last night, you'll have the opportunity to reserve your Drudges sooner than was originally expected. :) Pre-order Packs should start showing up on the shelves at Electronics Boutique, EB Canada, and GameStop locations nationwide next week, as early as Monday (3/21) and be available for immediate purchase. Feel free to pre-order from either company’s website since those shops will be fulfilling web orders with the Pre-order Packs.

To read more click here.  You might also want to check out the new FAQ for Legions.

Adellion : Updates From Devs

Posted Mar 18, 2005 by Craig McGregor

The Adellion website has been updated with a letter to the community including several screenshots from the Alpha version (which is running right now) and characters' artworks. A snippet from their news is below along with the new screenshots which we have added to our gallery:

Once again I get the enviable pleasure of telling all our loyal fans about many of the cool things we have been doing in the past few months.

Things have been very quiet on the Adellion website for a while, but the situation in the development of the Adellion game has been the exact opposite.

First, there was the admission of our first group of testers. They got a chance to look at our Alpha 1 or “environmental” version. This is a special version of a single two square mile game tile that we use to test many of the environmental aspects of the game. Our testers got to take a character and run around on the game world, checking the game to see if it ran on their own home hardware.

There were a few interesting bugs uncovered, and more than a few interesting discussions and suggestion on what they saw. In general, the reaction was very positive and we got quite a bit of material from them to think about.

To read more, click here to visit the official site.

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