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General : Win A LapWorks Gamers Desk!

Posted Dec 05, 2009 by Craig McGregor and LapWorks have teamed up to bring you a very cool contest offer where we are giving away ten (10) LapWorks Futura Gamer's Desks! These unique items will allow you to comfortably operate a keyboard and mouse from anywhere on your lap!


LapWorks has given us a very special coupon code that will allow you to get 20% off anything in their online store! Just enter the coupon code
MMORPG-GamersDesk to your cart to get the discount.


WonderKing : Closed Beta IV: Fiesta!

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Ndoors Interactive has announced that WonderKing has now entered its fourth phase of beta! In order to celebrate the occasion, Ndoors Interactive is kicking off the beta with a "Fiesta Event" where each player is to receive a special gift. In addition, for the first 24 hours of the event players will also be able to acquire "Heart Face Tags".

To sweeten the deal even further, Ndoors will be running special bonus experience events throughout the duration of the closed beta phase.

You can find out more about WonderKing or sign up for the beta here.

Ndoors Interacitve also sent over a trio of new screenshots, which you can view in our WonderKing gallery.

World of Warcraft : Health & Healing Changes in Cataclysm

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Blizzard's Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street recently chimed in on an ongoing discussion about health and healing in World of Warcraft in order to shed some light on the changes Blizzard plans for those two aspects of the game come Cataclysm:

"Health pools will be much larger in Cataclysm and healing will be lower. That should help address some of the overly binary feel of PvP and PvE encounters. You'll still be able to kill people as well as be able to heal them. The pace will just be a little slower and both healing and killing should require more than 1-2 buttons."

Responding a player later on in the discussion who raised concern that these changes could cause tanks to get "2 shot" by bosses, Ghostcrawler said:

You missed the part where I said health pools will be higher. Imagine a boss that takes say 3-4 hits to kill a tank, but it also takes a healer 3-4 heals to top her back off. Now efficiency of a healing spell can be as much of a consideration as direct throughput, since the tank is unlikely to die in your next GCD. Now coordination among healers can be a bigger deal since efficiency will matter. Now maximum health on the tank classes will matter less because the question of how long you can survive without a heal landing is largely academic. Now avoidance on a tank can matter a little more because saving healer mana becomes as important as being table to take the next hit.

As an aside, healers will actually need enough healing tools and enough distinction among them so that they are really choosing the big, expensive heal vs. the small, cheap heal vs. the fast, expensive heal, to name just a few examples.

For more information on the Cataclysm expansion, check out the expansion site here.

What do you think about the changes coming to health and healing in Cataclysm? Let us know in the comments below!

Age of Conan : Thoth-Amon's Stronghold in Update 6

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Additional details on Age of Conan Update 6 were revealed in a recent preview at IncGamers. According to the preview, Update 6 is slated to be one of the biggest updates to Age of Conan yet, introducing a number of new features including the Guild Renown system, PvP Arenas, and tier three raid content, including a dungeon taking place in the stronghold of Thoth-Amon himself.

The tier three raid content will mark the culmination of Age of Conan's main storyline, pitting players against the enemies that were responsible for them ending up on Tortage. Players will also be able to fight alongside Conan in Update 6, though further details are currently unavailable.

Read the full preview and check out several new screenshots of Update 6 over at IncGamers.

Star Wars: The Old Republic : Jedi Consular HoloNet Update

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The recently revealed Jedi Consular class has been added to the HoloNet section of the game's official website as part of today's Friday Update. Only one class remains to be added to the HoloNet: the Sith Inquisitor, which we assume will be added next week.

As always, the HoloNet entry provides additional lore and background information on the class, which you can read below:

Visionary, Ambassador, Seeker of Jedi Wisdom

For more than 20,000 years, the Jedi Order has worked to promote peace and balance in the Galactic Republic, but each new day brings with it a new threat, promising to rip the Jedi and the entire galaxy apart. If the Republic is to survive, it needs leaders and visionaries; it needs the Jedi Consular.

Jedi Consulars channel the power of the Force for strength in combat and wisdom in diplomacy. Years of arduous training and meditation have sharpened Consulars’ minds to cut to the truth as cleanly as their Lightsabers cut through their foes. Whether unlocking long forgotten mysteries of the Jedi, raising armies to fight for the Republic or engaging in mortal combat with Dark Lords of the Sith, the Consulars’ deep attunement to the Force gives them all the power they need to rise to the occasion with poise and balance.

Intimate attunement with the deepest Force mysteries gives Jedi Consulars the insight and empathy to deftly handle charged conflicts that confound even the most cunning Senators and governors—but Consulars know when it’s time to talk and when it’s time to fight. When negotiations turn aggressive, Consulars demonstrate their gifts of foresight—anticipating and deflecting enemy attacks with fluid strikes from their dual-bladed Lightsaber.

Facing the Darkness Within

Jedi Consulars always seek to grow their knowledge of the galaxy, in understanding of themselves, and in comprehension of the Force that binds it all together. The commitment to this pursuit gives Consulars an unrivaled capacity for clarity in situations otherwise shrouded in darkness. However, this same dedication can also prove to be extremely perilous—inviting Consulars to explore paths that are better left untraveled. Some of the Jedi Order’s greatest minds have been seduced to the dark side through purely academic inquiries. The Consular knows the pain of this temptation as a battle-hardened warrior knows the throbbing of an old wound.

Before they can dispel the darkness in the galaxy, Jedi Consulars know they must first come to terms with the darkness within. There’s no avoiding the temptation to take shortcuts or even to use their knowledge for personal power; Consulars must constantly check their own motives. When tempted to step onto the path leading to darkness, Consulars must remember the tormented fate of the Jedi who have passed that way before. This is the only way they can unite the Jedi Order and the Republic and rally the troops to rescue the galaxy from the menacing darkness.

A few new screenshots are available at the Jedi Consular HoloNet entry, as well as concept artwork depicting some more traditional Jedi styles. So, those of you out there who aren't digging the Luminara-esque garb, you can now be at ease!

As usual, there are also three brief clips of the class in action, one revealing the Consular's expert use of the saber staff, a second appears to be a kind of PBAOE Force Repulse, and the third closely resembles the Gravity Controller power "Lift" from City of Heroes.

Check out the HoloNet for the full class details.

Star Trek Online : Collector's Edition to Include Communicator Badge

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

According to GameStop's product listing, customers who purchase the Collector's Edition of Star Trek Online are in for a few treats!

The Collector's Edition of the game will come packaged in "deluxe packaging" consisting of futuristic "3DX holography" with a brushed aluminum finish, and will contain a number of goodies, including, a hardbound manual, art book, and disc case, three buddy passes, a "Red Matter Capacitor" exclusive in-game item, exclusive The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine uniforms, and lastly the crown jewel of the package: a fully 3D sculpted (and wearable!), cast metal Communicator badge fashioned after the in-game badge model.

Star Trek Online is scheduled to launch on February 2nd, 2010.

Pre-order the Collector's Edition here!

General : 2009's Most Interesting Stories, Part 1

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Jon Wood

With December in full swing and the New year nearly upon us, contributor Shannon Drake writes this look back at some of the most interesting stories of 2009.

2009 was a year of adjustment, which is a polite way of saying that the economy crashed into the sea, all the would-be World of Warcraft killers couldn't leave a dent in the beast, and a significant numbers of us wound up looking for jobs at one point or another, your humble correspondent included.

On the other hand, there were launches, shutdowns, announcements, pushbacks, and all the other usual causes for celebration and Internet Drama in the MMO space, and there were other interesting stories that came and went, maybe noticed at the time, but quickly forgotten as the latest story came to the fore.

Read 2009's Most Interesting Stories, Part 1.

Earthrise: First Impact : Exclusive Screens From The Borderlands

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team from Earthrise has provided us with these three, new, screnshots taken in The Borderlands of Earthrise.

Check out the Exclusive Screens From The Borderlands.

Guild Wars 2 : Races of Tyria Trailer and Q&A

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Michael Bitton

This latest trailer for Guild Wars 2 explores the world of Tyria through the eyes of the five playable races in the game: the resilient Humans, the war-mongering Charr, the inventors known as the Asura, the shapeshifting Norn, and an entirely new nature spirit race, the Sylvari.

Watch the trailer here.

Check out the internal NCSoft Q&A giving more information about the video, here.

World of Warcraft : Glory of a Hero, Part Two

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Jon Wood World fo Warcraft Correspondent James Wood pens this quickie guide to the achievements from the heroic five man dungeons necessary to snag a Red Proto-Drake mount. He continues his article by looking at: Drak’tharon Keep, Violet Hold and Gundrak.

Drak'tharon Keep

Consumption Junction

Defeat Trollgore on Heroic difficulty before Consume reaches ten stacks.

Trollgore casts Consume every 15 seconds. That's 15 seconds for the tank to position Trollgore in a niche or hallway that gives time for the DPS and healer to run out of Trollgore's line-of-sight.

Position an off-tank or melee DPS at the top of the stairs to deal with the adds that show up while the rest of the team takes to the fight downstairs.

Tank him in the hallway that you used to enter the room, with the DPS and healer standing behind either column. Every 10 seconds, everyone but the tank should hide before Trollgore casts consume.

Read Glory of a Hero, Part Two.

General : Player Perspectives - Love Gone Sour

Posted Dec 04, 2009 by Jon Wood columnist Jaime Skelton writes this week about relationships born in MMORPGs and how they can be disruptive not only to the couple involved, but to the people around them as well.

Jaime Skelton

With Christmas a few weeks away, it's time we started dusting off the hearts in our chest to look for those warm, fuzzy feelings. Yes, Valentine's Day is a few months away, but I think it's time I turned away from looking at the, us versus them mentality of customers versus the MMO companies, and took a look at a more interesting aspect of gaming: us versus us.

There are a lot of schisms that can happen between players in an MMO environment, but there are none so strange or uncomfortable as those that come from relationships - and not just from break ups. If online dating wasn't awkward enough, imagine doing so in the public presence of hundreds or thousands. Sure, your real face may be on a dating site - but your relationship isn't up to public scrutiny, and when you're done dating one person on a dating site, you can move on to the next without your last haunting you (normally, at least).

Read Love Gone Sour: MMO Relationships.

Face of Mankind : Open Beta Begins December 5th!

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The Open Beta start date for Face of Mankind has been announced today on the official Face of Mankind forums.

Duplex Systems' Managing Director cautions that while the game may not be perfectly balanced, or contain all the features that Closed Beta testers were eager to see, that the game would never be able to attain "perfection" without widespread testing, and so the game will be open for testing to anyone interested come Saturday, December 5th 2009.

"Most things" will be wiped in the transition from closed to open beta, though the faction leader structure will remain in place to ensure a smoother transition.

A new comprehensive tutorial will also make its debut with the beginning of the open beta program. Which, according to Duplex Systems, is encouraged even for those of you who played Face of Mankind in its previous incarnation due to the myriad changes the game has undergone since then.

Read the original announcement here.

Age of Conan : Rise of the Godslayer Live Stream on XFire

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Head on over to XFire on December 7th at noon PST to get a glimpse of Funcom's upcoming Age of Conan expansion, Rise of the Godslayer, in an exclusive live stream preview event.

Age of Conan Game Director Craig Morrison will be on hand to demo the expansion, which is scheduled to run for an hour in length.

Read below for a brief rundown of the Rise of the Godslayer expansion's features:

  • All New Character Race - Khitan
  • New Content for players of all level ranges
  • Countless new monsters and rewards
  • Hundreds of new quests
  • Two new mounts - the Wolf and the Tiger
  • Choose a side in the war of Khitan!

Find out more over at XFire.

Star Trek Online : Fleet Actions Trailer

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Senior Game Designer Zeke Sparkes and Producer Daniel Stahl walk us through "Fleet Actions" in this latest trailer available over at IGN.

Fleet Actions are basically large scale events taking place in specific sectors of the universe that players are alerted to as needing attention as they travel through space. These events span multiple tiers and will require the cooperation of numerous captains to succeed. This might be a stretch, but think Champions Online "Open Missions" or Warhammer Online "Public Quests" in space.

Watch the trailer here.

World of Warcraft : Anniversary Mini-site Features "Battlecry Mosaic"

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Blizzard has opened up an anniversary "mini-site" in order to celebrate 5 years of World of Warcraft, and 15 years of the Warcraft series in general. Recently, the mini-site has been updated with the first piece of a new "Battlecry Mosaic", which is basically a mosaic comprised of real life photos of players holding up the insignia of their characters' particular faction (Horde or Alliance).

Check out the Battlecry Mosaic here.

Star Wars: The Old Republic : Hands-On Preview

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Jon Wood's Dana Massey had the chance recently to get some hands-on time with the upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. In this report, he discusses the two newly revealed classes and gives his impressions of the game.

Last month, LucasArts and Bioware showed off the final two classes to be added to Star Wars: The Old Republic during a demonstration in San Francisco. There, we had the chance to get hands-on with the Sith Inquisitor, take a good long look at the Jedi Consular and talk to the team that put them together.

"[We wanted to] make sure we fulfill the fantasy first," they told us during a presentation on a massive movie screen inside the LucasArts compound. Many MMOs take the basic RPG roles that a game needs and designs classes that fit those roles. With Star Wars, the team felt it important to deliver that authentic Star Wars experience first. While they made sure everyone has a role to play, they didn't want to be trapped by MMO archetypes and miss something Star Wars fans really wanted.

Read the Hands-On Preview.

General : Community Spotlight: Seeking Adventure? Join “The Path Ahead”!

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

This week’s spotlight focuses on a thread started by forum user Goronian entitled, “Having an ‘adventure’ again?” Goronian is looking to tap into the community and start a guild from within so that you can all meet up and adventure together in an as-of-yet undetermined MMOG to be selected by participating community members.

This is what Goronian had  to say on the topic:

I see a lot of people on these forums are disappointed by the community in modern games, in the lacking grouping and the fact, that most modern MMOs are shallow, while there is no one to play older ones with.

Why don't we use the forums creatively?

Let's make our own little clique, find an older or a less-popular game and explore it together? Come on, there are quite a few of us, we could make this work! Find common ground, and things like that. Who's with me?

Read this week's Community Spotlight here.

Allods Online : New Exclusive Screenshots

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team from Gala-net's Allods Online has provided us with these four new screenshots from the upcoming MMO.

Allods Online 

Check out all four screenshots, here.

General : Rebooting or Re-Imagining the Genre

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Jon Wood's Jon Wood uses his column this week to talk about the idea of completely re-imagining the way that MMORPGs are constructed.

Jon Wood

It's difficult to argue that there isn't at least a little bit of stagnation in the MMO industry right now. There are a lot of theories as to why this might be. Some point to the growing trend toward item shop revenue models and the perceived greed of companies that makes these games. Others point at Blizzard's behemoth World of Warcraft as the source of all of the genre's woes, suggesting that because of its success all games that come after it are copies.

Whatever the specific reason, it is difficult to argue that the MMORPG genre isn't in some kind of decline. The last few years of releases haven't exactly lived up to their hype and scepticism about each and every game that is announced seems to climb as games move closer and closer to launch.

Read Rebooting or Re-Imagining the Genre.

Star Wars: The Old Republic : New Force Users & Companions Screenshots

Posted Dec 03, 2009 by Michael Bitton

It's official Star Wars: The Old Republic blow out day today at, and we're kicking things off with a batch of new screenshots depicting the recently revealed Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor classes, as well as the previously revealed Jedi Knight and Imperial Agent classes.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Star Wars: The Old Republic

Also included in today's batch are a number of screenshots of some of the companion characters you'll be able to pick up in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Check out the new shots here

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