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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 35, July 17th, 2006
In the News Visit Library
Early this week, rumor began to spread across our forums and the forums of other gaming sites, that John Smedley, the CEO of Sony Online Entertainment, had either been fired or left his job. The rumor was met with a great deal of speculation, and from some posters on our forums, apparent elation. MMORPG.com quickly put the rumor to rest, as Sony Online Entertainment. According to the SOE Director of Corporate Communications Chris Kramer "John Smedley is still SOE president," Kramer told MMORPG.com. "[The] rumors are completely unfounded."

Read the news item, here.

On July 13th, MMORPG.com released the information that Mythic Entertainment Executive Producer Matt Firor had parted ways with the company. All eyes are focused squarely on the company that had recently announced that it would be acquired by EA Games in 2007. Sanya Thomas, the Director of Community Relations, did not mention the merger in her comments about the move, instead sighting personal commitments and reasons for his leaving.

You can read the release here.

On July 12th, Turbine released the second module for their game, Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. The module (think big update) makes a number of different additions and changes. Perhaps the most anticipated of those changes is the addition of the player-race "Drow". In Dungeons and Dragons lore, Drow are evil dark elves who live beneath the surface of the world. Now you can play the popular race in DDO.

You can read about it, here.

MMORPG.com Reviews More Reviews

Star Wars Galaxies: NGE Review

Back in November of 2005, Rob Himan sat down and penned a review of the Star Wars Galazies New Game Experience, infamously known as the SWG: NGE. To say that players have been unhappy with the game’s change in direction would be an understatement. Even today, long after the changes were made, many Star Wars Galaxies veterans are still trying to warn potential players away from this “new game experience”. Our reviewer was given a difficult task, to pen a review of the unpopular change, without being effected by either of the very opinionated sides.

Overall, Hinman gave the NGE a score of 6.3. Agree or disagree, Hinman made an effort to call this one as he saw it. Here’s some of what he had to say:

  • Due to the massive changes recently implemented within the Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) Mmorpg, we felt it was necessary to update our review to reflect the changes brought out by the New Game Experience (NGE).
  • Star Wars Galaxies still provides us with the same good graphics they have always provided us since release.
  • However, if you are a crafter, be prepared for silence. It seems that the music is only present during the open sequences of the game, when you enter a major city, when you fight, when the sun sets or rises or when it rains.
  • Role-playing has always suffered in SWG.
  • …the NGE hasn’t quite delivered on the value aspect of the game.
  • After the NGE, I logged on with my CL 80 Bounty Hunter and found it to be no fun whatsoever.
  • It will grow SWG back to its formal glory or it will destroy the game.
    Only time will tell.

The NGE, whether you agree or disagree with it, is one of the most controversial changes to have ever been made by an MMORPG company to an already existing game. The effets are still being felt on many forums across the internet as veterans and non-players alike have weigned in with their opinions on the controversial decision.

You can read the full review, here.

On-Site. Visit Boards

Game/On, Mid-Month Double Show

Normally Game/On, MMORPG,.com’s official podcast, presents either a commentary or interview podcast on a weekly basis, with a double show featuring both appearing at the end of the month. Due to holidays and work travel, we didn’t get one for the month of July. That’s why we present a double show for our listeners this week.

Co-Hosts Jon Wood and Garrett Fuller discuss John Romero, Blizzard, and the new statistics put out by MMOGChart.

Interview and Senior Editor Dana Massey sits down for an audio one-on-one with the current CEO of Mythic Entertainment, Mark Jacobs. Jacobs answers questions about the upcoming acquisition of the company by games giant, EA Games. What effect will it have on Warhammer Online, the game currently in development that some are touting as a WoW killer? How will it effect Dark Age of Camelot, a game that has been popular for many years?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in this week’s episode of Game/On.

Remember to check the Game/On Homepage every Friday for new content!

Game of the Week

Game of the week

When the average games player thinks of Sony Online Entertainment, they often think of games like EverQuest, EverQuest II, Star Wars Galaxies, and the like. Often forgotten by many is an SOE game called PlanetSide..

The game touts itself as a game where “thousands of players wage war on a planetary scale.” If the name wasn’t enough of a hint, this game falls into the science fiction genre of MMORPG, something that some would consider a refreshing change from the multitudes of classical fantasy style games.

PlanetSide also boasts that it has something to show to both RPG and FPS players, claiming that “It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid RPG gamer or a fanatical FPS player, you’ll find something in PlaetSide that’s just right for you!”

PlanetSide was given an average mark of 7.4 from our MMORPG.com reviewer, while our readers are ranking this game at an 8.1.

You can read more about PlanetSide, click here.

More Games
The Week That Was
10 Monday
Hero Online: Hands on Preview
11 Tuesday
Hero's Journey: Dev Journal
12 Wednesday
Editorial: Evolution of Classes
13 Thursday
Mythic: Interview with Mark Jacobs
14 Friday
Game/On Podcast
15 Saturday
Debate: EA Mythic Roundtable
16 Sunday
From the Editor

Ok, there’s a little extra space in the ‘ol newsletter this week, and I thought I’d use it to say a few words of my own. That’s just one of the perks you get when you’re the editor.

Recently, we’ve all seen a number of large happenings in the world of MMORPGs, from the announcement of EA Mythic, to the layoffs over at NCSoft, to the formation of a new company, Stray Bullet Games, to look after Shadowbane, a game that many of us thought was doomed.

I guess the reason that I wanted to bring all of this to your attention, is because I’m curious. What do you guys think has been the biggest story over the last little while? Mythic? NCSoft? Something else, or maybe even something that we’ve missed. So there it is my good readers. That is the question that I pose to you today. What is the biggest story in the MMO World today?

Let us know in this forum thread. Debate and discuss. What’s the story that everyone SHOULD be talking about?

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