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Issue 164, Jaunary 26, 2009
In the news
Mythic confirmed rumors of layoffs in the customer service and QA departments at their studio following the announcement that EA would be laying off 10 percent of their workforce.

Read more here.
Aventurine announced that they have sent out the first round of invites to test Darkfall, as they promised would happen when they announced the previous week that the game would be delayed by one month.

Read more here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea reached its first birthday last week, having launched on January 22nd of 2008.

Read more here.
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Featured Article: Where is The Secret World Managing Editor Jon Wood writes this editorial focusing on Funcom's little talked-about upcoming MMORPG The Secret World.

Back in May of 2007, we learned about a new project coming from Funcom. This new project would be called 'The Secret World' and would be "inspired by history and mythology, modern conspiracy theories and ancient mysteries." The game Is supposed to be releasing for both the PC and the Xbox.

Funcom has two major MMO releases on the market, Anarchy Online, and Age of Conan. AO is an MMO based on a sci-fi future, while Age of Conan reckons back to the past. The Secret World, one must assume in the interest of cosmic and genre balance, is based in today's world. There is, of course, a catch.

You can read the full article here.

On-Site: Another Look at Moria, Part One writer Matt McLean writes this new look at the Mines of Moria expansion for Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online, outlining some of the new areas introduced by the expansion.

Many people have lauded the release of Moria as a great addition to the LotRO world, and that couldn't be a truer statement. The developers at Turbine have really outdone themselves. That being said, there are a few bugs here and there that pop up from time to time. They mostly fall in the category of "annoying" more than anything (disappearing and reappearing grodbogs in the Redhorn Lodes for one), but there are a few things that can be taken care of with a few patches. Overall, it's been an exceptionally smooth release.

You can read the full article here.

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This Week's Game of the Week is Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Pirates of the Burning Sea is a nautically themed MMO set at the height of the age of sail in the 18th century, where pirates and imperial navies clashed over trade, colonial dominance, and good ol' pirate booty. And all of this is made possible by their detailed and visually impressive ship combat system, which is widely considered the best handling of ocean vessels in any MMO to date.

This game of adventure on the high seas is relatively young in MMO terms, having just launched one year ago. But since launch the development team at Flying Lab Software has been keeping up a rigorous pace in terms of improving the game with better game systems and new content, producing an average of one robust update per month.

Launch didn't exactly go smoothly for Pirates of the Burning Sea, with many who played the game in it's earliest days complaining that the game didn't seem complete. In a perfect world the only factor which determines a game's launch date would be whether or not the game is finished. Unfortunately, PotBS was a victim of living in an imperfect world, but fortunately for players, the development team worked through the problems and now a year later few can argue that the game is missing any fundamentals.

Learn more about Pirates of the Burning Sea, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, January 19
DC Universe - A New Look at DC Universe Online

Tuesday, January 20
Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning - Discussion on 6v6 RvR

Wednesday, January 21
Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning - EA / Mythic Layoffs and Some Response

Thursday, January 22
Earthrise - The Year Before and the Year Ahead

Friday, January 23
Lord of the Rings Online - Mines of Moria Review
Did You Know?
Did you know that today we posted the second part to Matt McLean's look at Moria? You can find it here along with several sets of screenshots. (Set One, Set Two)
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