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Issue 276, March 14, 2011
In the news
BioWare released a 16-minute whopper of a video at this year's PAX East, providing us with a detailed walkthrough of Star Wars: The Old Republic's Taral V Flashpoint.

Read more here.
ArenaNet recently revealed details on Guild Wars 2's crafting features.

Read more here.
The Secret World got a little less secret this week as Funcom treated fans to a brand new gameplay trailer.

Read more here.
Get more news on our site here!
Aion: Assault on Balaurea Re-Review
Originally released in 2009, Aion was cast as a mold-breaking MMO by NCSoft. It didn't, however, measure up to its hype. In the years since then, the dev team has worked quite hard to make Aion into the game it should have been on release. With the Assault on Balaurea expansion, did the team reach its goal? Find out in Lead Writer Bill Murphy's re-review of Aion in the post Assault on Balaurea era.

Back on September 7th of 2010, Assault on Balaurea launched as a massive free expansion to Aion. Its aim was to give more life to the high level experience, as well as flatten out the curve and grind that turned off many western gamers shortly after the title's original launch. A host of other features came bundled in and recent patches have further addressed many issues players once found off-putting. The result is an Aion of today that is much more approachable by western gaming standards. It's a traditionally molded fantasy MMORPG with an Eastern artistic flare, and if you haven't yet tried the game now would be a great time to do so.

You can read the full review here.

More reviews can be found on our site here.
The Secret World: GDC 2011: Getting a Little Less Secret
In more of our first major coverage of Funcom's The Secret World, Managing Editor Jon Wood has a report about what he learned during last week's GDC. He's got information about the four pillars of the game, what he saw during the live demo, PvP, the skill system, events and guilds.

The first subject that was discussed were the four pillars of The Secret World.

First, you have the modern day setting, which has informed the team's design choices in everything from the quests that you get to the itemization, the locations that you visit. The developers aim to have built a totally modern MMO, and not a fantasy game with modern wrapping.

Second is character progression. The game defines itself as different by letting players build their own characters from a large skill wheel, allowing players the "freedom to define themselves".

Third is the conflict. Not only are players in the game world battling against the darkness that rises, but they're also battling against each other by way of the three factions, or secret societies.

Finally, you have the story, which informs everything. A great world story is unfolding around the characters and the game is designed to enhance that feeling.

Check out the preview here.

Visit our boards today!

This week's Game of the Week is one of the most frequently brought up games on our forums. Its launch propelled the name of an independent Virginia based development studio into the eye of the entire MMO industry.

If you haven't guessed by now, this week's Game of the Week is Dark age of Camelot, originally launched by Mythic Entertainment back in 2001. The game defined the now-trademarked Realm vs. Realm game design, and gave players a taste of what a game designed around faction based PvP could really be like.

Since the release of this game, Mythic as a studio has produced one and a half other titles. The first, a space-based alternate reality MMO called Imperator, was cancelled on the design room floor and the second, Warhammer Online, struggles to remain relevant among today's active MMO field.

Neither of those two titles managed to capture the practical and critical acclaim reached by the company's first title, but some still hold out hope that so long as EA keeps their Mythic branded studio alive that a Dark Age of Camelot 2 might be in the works, brining what is considered a classic game up to date with more recent titles.

Learn more about DAoC here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, March 7
Guild Wars 2: GDC 2011: Presentation Report

Tuesday, March 8
World of Warcraft: GDC 2011: Cataclysm Post Mortem

Wednesday, March 9
World of Warcraft: GDC 2011: J. Allen Brack Interview

Thursday, March 10
The Secret World: Shedding the Secrets

Friday, March 11
Player Perspectives: Secretly Hyped
Did You Know?
The network is looking for experienced and / or enthusiastic freelance writers as we get set to launch our new site: As the name implies, RTSGuru will operate in much the same way as does, but with a focus on the Real Time Strategy genre.
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