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Dana Massey Posted:
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A look forward to what you can expect from MMORPG.com this week

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3!) is the most exciting time of year for the gaming industry. Each year, developers and journalists gather in Los Angeles to see what is coming. It sets the tone for the year to follow. For E3 2006, MMORPG.com is bringing you unparalleled coverage of the MMORPG genre starting Monday.

Eight of us will be in Los Angeles next week. We’ll hit the ground running on Monday with blog entries and meeting reports from Acclaim, Darkfall Online and more. Tuesday, you’ll hear about the Legend of Ares, Fallen Earth and the blog entries promise an interesting twist as the parties get under way.

The real show kicks off on Wednesday when E3 2006 officially opens its doors. We have dozens of appointments each day, but some highlights include:

  • Vanguard: What does the SOE announcement mean?
  • Hero’s Journey: Can our E3 2005 Game of the Show defend its title?
  • NCSoft Whirlwind: Tabula Rasa, Guild Wars, City of Villains, Auto Assault, Dungeon Runners and more.
  • Stargate Worlds: The latest mega-license shows off.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online: …speaking of mega licenses.
These are just a few of the highlights from Wednesday. We will also have audio interviews, news from the floor, blogs and editorials.

Thursday promises just as much in terms of excitement. Here are the Thursday highlights:

  • Age of Conan: Can Funcom pull it off?
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea: It won best graphics last year.
  • World of Warcraft: A demo of the Burning Crusade and time with a designer.
  • EVE Online: Expansion information!
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Another huge license.
  • Parties: NCSoft, Themis Group, Perpetual and more.
By Friday, we’ll all be cranky, tired and our feet will hurt. I’m sure you’ll note a shift in tone from the blogs. But we will not let that stop us finishing up in style:
  • Webzen: Huxley, SUN and more.
  • Warhammer Online: Can Mythic strike gold twice?
  • Bioware: They probably won’t tell us what they’re doing in Austin, but we can ask!
  • SOE: In a stroke of insanity, we’re planning to take over their booth and get you the info on every single one of their titles: including EQII, SWG and Gods & Heroes.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be announcements, pleasant surprises and a bunch of appointments I do not have the space to mention.

As mentioned, we’re sending eight poor souls to Los Angeles. All of them have written for the site in the past, and most have even worked on the other side of the fence. In addition to the regular slew of game articles you’ve come to expect, we’ll also feature a blog that carries tales of adventure, non-MMORPG related observations, photographs and more. In addition to myself and Jon Wood, our staff includes: Michael Hampden (Game/On Co-Host), Carolyn Koh (formerly of Stratics developer relations), Danielle and Ray Vanderlip (Danielle is the former Assistant Community Manager for Shadowbane), Garrett Fuller (a former financial reporter for Bloomberg) and Laura Genender (long-time MMORPG.com writer, also a strategy guide contributor). Also, do not be surprised if Sean “Ashen Temper” Dahlberg, of Shadowbane fame, shows up.

So what will we do once we’ve seen all the goodies? Give out hardware of course! The MMORPG.com E3 2006 Awards have expanded slightly. Here are our categories:

  • Game of the Show: Hands down, the best MMORPG we see. This will be an unreleased title that looks like it will provide the best all-around experience to its future players.
  • Expansion of the Show: At E3, the launched games try and sell their expansions. We’ll tell you which one is most exciting.
  • Best Graphics: This award requires a playable demo. For it, we consider both technical excellence and art direction.
  • Most Innovative: We may not give this away, but if we do, a game needs to blow us away by trying something entirely different within the realm of MMORPG.
  • Best Use of an IP: The licensed games are taking over. Not to be confused with Best Game, the Best Use of an IP is the game that we feel best honors the fans of the intellectual property they’re using.
  • Best Original IP: Again, not to be confused with Best Game, this award honors the game that creates the most complete and best incorporated original fiction to go with their game.
  • Best Booth: The who gave us the most free stuff award! Kidding. Seriously, who put on the best show to support their product.
Starting Monday, keep checking MMORPG.com. We have a large and knowledgeable staff ready to go. We hope you’ll join us for the ride!

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Dana Massey