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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 10, January 23rd, 2006
In the News Visit Library
On January 18th (Wednesday), Codemasters and RF Online announced that their game had become available for pre-order in stores in the UK. The director of Codemasters had this to say: “Seeing the RF Online pre-order packs hit retail is an amazing sight and something we've been looking forward to. We're excited to see the impact these packs have on the beta test and hope that everyone who purchases them will exercise their exclusive right to enter the beta". here.

Also on January 18th, Turbine announced that the founding fathers of Dungeons and Dragons would be lending their voices to their MMORPG, Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the creators of the pen and paper game, will be providing voice-overs as “Dungeon Masters”. click here.

On January 20th (Friday), Blizzard Entertainment announced that they had reached the 1,000,000 subscriber mark in Europe,for their hugely popular MMORPG, World of WarCraft, bringing their total number of subscribers to about 5.5 million, worldwide.click here.
Also on January 20th, Cryptic Studios, NCSoft and Alderac Entertainment Group , the makers of City of Heroes, announced that they had released the first set of a new collectable card game based on the successful MMORPG, City of Heroes. click here.

From the Editor More Reviews

Dear MMORPG.com Readers,

As you may or may not be aware, as I write this, Canadians are headed out to polling stations for a federal election. By the time that many of you read this, Canada will probably have named a Prime Minister. It is on days like these that I think about just how important voting is and how interesting it can make things. Recently, MMORPG.com held elections of a sort as well. Our 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards were a success, with winners being named in every category based on your votes. Along with everyone else, I sat and waited for the results. There were a few surprises, and EVE really came out on top, winning in 4 categories.

We here at MMORPG.com are always looking for ways to improve the time that you choose to spend with us and our community. By offering features like the Reader’s Choice Awards, we encourage you to take a part in shaping our community and the MMORPG community in general. It may not be the same as a federal election that chooses a new leader for your country, but now the MMORPG developer community knows how our readers feel and the kinds of games that we would like to see in the future.

Jon Wood, News Manager

To View the Awards, Click here
Feel like saying a few words about it? Click here

Off the Boards... Visit Boards

On Saturday, January 21st, two of our staff writers, Garrett Fuller and Frank Mignone, debated the value and use of instancing in MMORPGs. This issue has been hotly contested for some time in the MMORPG community as a whole. Our forums have seemed to reflect a few strong opinions. One school of thought thinks that instancing as a whole is bad, and should not be used. Others take a more positive stance, saying that some instancing in a game is a good thing, but that it should not be over-used. Still others feel that it is something that benefits MMORPGs. Read on below for a sample of what awaits you in our forums:

  • I believe instances create a more complete game. –Zorgo
  • I am all for instancing, and think it is truly the next evolution in online gaming. Like anything else, it can be implemented well, or poorly. – Delateur
  • Used moderately Instancing can enhance my gaming experience but overused it detracts from it.- PlanetNiles
  • I prefer little or no instancing, it does take away from the community and the feel of a seamless world IMO. but I'm not against a little instancing either in certain situations, but when you get to the point where you are "farming" instances...it starts to damage the community. –angerr
  • Instances are for carebears. The point of playing online is to interact, to face other people. – hogosha8
  • Instancing is a bane of modern MMORPG. –Rattrap
  • I believe instances are great as part of the game like in Wow and Eve. I do not like a game that is totally instanced like Guild Wars. I think GW is a beautiful game, but I hate not being able to meet other players out in the field. For me, in GW all you do is stand around in towns, join a pug and then follow the person that has done the quest before. It's just not fun. Personnaly, I have quit GW and Wow and gone back to Eve. It's a real alternate universe that I can live in. The only problem is lag. I'm sure thats why devs are moving towards instancing. It does git rid of lag, but it alienates most of the players. - Ugottawantit

This is the second debate in our new weekly writer debate feature. The first debate took a look at Death Penalties in MMORPGs.

What do you think about this subject? Let everyone know by joining us in our discussion forum by clicking here.

Game of the Week

Game of the week
This week’s Game of the Week tops our most anticipated list as of Monday, January 23rd with a hype rating of 7.4, a full 0.3 above the competition. The game is RF Online, and back in November, our News Manager, Jon Wood had a chance to sit down with Michael “Zzeno” Rowland, to talk about the game in a two-part Q&A.

The game bills itself as “RF Online is an epic mix of traditional fantasy MMOG mixed with unique futuristic sci-fi action to bring an entirely new and original take on the existing MMORPG genre. Set in a deep space galaxy known as Novus, take your pick from three all-powerful warring factions leading your character into the final battle for total control over the entire Novus galaxy. Chose from either the Bellato Union, taking control of individual robot battle units like never seen before within any MMOG, Holy Alliance Cora, the mystical and fantasy orientated race utilising the power of magic and finally the mighty Accretia Empire, a futuristic alien race intent on spreading destruction across the entire sector with their advanced weaponry systems.”

What do you think?
Take a look at the two part Q&A, here, and here.

More Games
The Week That Was
16 Monday
MMORPG.com: Reader's Choice Award Winners
17 Tuesday
Hero's journey Q&A # 14
18 Wednesday
Seed Interview
19 Thursday
EverQuest II: CES Trailer
20 Friday
Vanguard Interview
Now Showing...

Recently, our own Darren Bridle had a chance to sit down with Brad McQuaid, the head of Sigil, the makers of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes for a Q&A session. Below, you will find a sample question from the Q&A. If you’re interested, click on the link below to read it all!

MMORPG.com: What will your company’s “expansion policies” be? Does Sigil have similar plans for small amounts of free content to be packaged, bundled and sold (such as Sony’s Adventure Packs), or do you plan retail expansions, free expansions or some combination of the above?

Brad McQuaid: A combination of the above, really. There will be an Expansion Team post-launch that will be tasked with working on major new content that will likely be sold separately in stores as has been done traditionally with other MMOGs. We also like the idea of smaller ‘adventure packs’, although the details have yet to be worked out. Lastly, the Live Team will be responsible for adding and revising content in the existing world, with these updates coming for free and part of the regular patching process.

View the whole Q&A, here!

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