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Issue 107, December 24, 2007
In the news
Scott Hartsman, the long-time Senior Producer of Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II, said his farewell on Monday on the EQII forums as he leaves SOE.

Read more here., an RMT site, sent out a press release announcing a partnership with several big name MMO developers, including SOE and Funcom, which raised a few eyebrows last week. Although the release was vague on the subject, Funcom and SOE assured their fans that the site was not affiliated with any of their current triple A titles.

Read more here.
SOE announced last week that they would be reactivating inactive Vanguard accounts for the holiday season, from now until January 20th.

Read more here.
Get more news on our site here!
Blog Spotlight

Over-powered skills and abilities in games are often referred to as "crutches". Recently, Laura Genender took a look at an blog that brings the idea of "the crutch" into question.

I'm a hardcore MMORPG player, but I spend some time in the other game genres, too - RTSes, offline RPGs, and FPSes. Up until the recent release of Team Fortress 2, my favorite online FPS was Halo 1. I liked the ability to jump into a quick game and tear through some red (or blue) guys. advertisement

Yet for all the fun I had in Halo, the community found one of my hitherto unknown pet peeves: the crutch concept. When I dive-bombed a team of blue guys and slammed them into death with my Banshee, the last thing I wanted was to hear "Shee sucks, get some skill!" I could play without the Shee just fine - hell, I was even an expert at shooting down enemy Banshees with a pistol and a shotgun. But when presented with a weapon that easily confused, demoralized, and outright massacred my enemies, why wouldn't I use it?

This week in the blogs user tonyd brings up this very question as it pertains to MMOs. "The term crutch seems used and abused when it comes to game mechanics that people don't like," he states. He then gives the basic formula for this common statement: "____ ability is a crutch." Fear is a crutch, stealth is a crutch, your super high DPS nuke is a crutch.

You can read the full article here.
More blogs can be found on our site here
Featured Article

When sent out a press release last week announcing that they had partnered with numerous MMO companies including SOE and Funcom, it raised a number of questions about the nature of that relationship that Managing Editor Jon Wood tries to answer.

Live Gamer RMT Sales Partner With SOE, Funcom and Others

This quote, and the announced partnership in general, could easily give rise to speculation that Funcom's Age of Conan, one of the MMORPG world's most anticipated 2008 releases, might be setting to sanction RMT sales. When reached for direct comment however, Funcom set the record straight:

"The LiveGamer deal is intended for a casual MMO that we have not yet announced," said Community Manager Shannon Drake. "There are no current plans to bring it into our lineup of existing and announced titles (Anarchy Online, The Secret World, and Age of Conan). We know this is a passionate and contentious issue, and we would listen to our players before we even thought of bringing it into Age of Conan, The Secret World, or Anarchy Online."

Read the full article here.

Visit our boards today!

Adele Caelia has had an opportunity to explore the new EverQuest II expansion, Rise of Kunark and she shared her impressions of the add-on with us last week.

In this expansion it seems the developers have created fewer zones, but made the playable zones a great deal larger.

The Sarnak could easily be the best looking evil race in the game, especially for those who have a fondness for Dragons. They look more Dragon than Iksar, with hunched over bodies and huge hulking Dragon-like heads.

Most of the quests that are found within the expansion are solo, and can be done all on one's own. This does not remove the fun for those who enjoy grouping like one would think it would. The mobs themselves actually give very little experience, and it is the quest turn-ins themselves that are most profitable.

Read the full review, here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, December 17
The Chronicles of Spellborn Developer: Chat Summary

Tuesday, December 18
Pirates of the Burning Sea: Hands-On Tour Report

Wednesday, December 19
EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark Expansion Review

Thursday, December 20
EVE Online: WebWars

Friday, December 21
EverQuest II: Legends of Norrath Expansion Update
Holiday Greeting
It's the holiday season in many parts of the world, and many inhabitants of this world will find themselves celebrating a holiday or two in their virtual realms of choice this year. So whether you're celebrating The Feast of Winter Veil, Frostfell, Wintersday, Wookiee Life Day, or just a day off from work, wishes you a safe and happy holiday.
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