Anonymous Your donations keep RPGWatch running!

MMOWatch - All News

Show news in a year(yyyy), month(yyyy/mm) or day:
Show news of type:
Monday - January 12, 2009
Friday - January 09, 2009
Saturday - March 15, 2008
Friday - February 29, 2008
Wednesday - January 10, 2007
Tuesday - January 09, 2007
Wednesday - October 04, 2006
Tuesday - October 03, 2006
Sunday - October 01, 2006
Wednesday - September 27, 2006
Thursday - September 21, 2006
Wednesday - September 20, 2006
Monday - September 18, 2006
Thursday - September 14, 2006
Wednesday - September 13, 2006
Saturday - September 09, 2006
Friday - September 08, 2006
Thursday - September 07, 2006
Wednesday - September 06, 2006
Tuesday - September 05, 2006
Wednesday - August 30, 2006
Monday - August 28, 2006
Thursday - August 24, 2006
Tuesday - August 22, 2006
Saturday - August 19, 2006
Friday - August 18, 2006
Wednesday - August 16, 2006
Monday - August 14, 2006
Sunday - August 13, 2006
Thursday - August 10, 2006
Wednesday - August 09, 2006
Tuesday - August 08, 2006
Sunday - August 06, 2006
Thursday - August 03, 2006
Saturday - July 29, 2006
Thursday - July 27, 2006
Wednesday - July 26, 2006
Friday - July 21, 2006
Wednesday - July 19, 2006
Monday - July 17, 2006
Saturday - July 15, 2006
Friday - July 14, 2006
Tuesday - July 11, 2006
Monday - July 10, 2006
Saturday - July 08, 2006
Friday - July 07, 2006
Monday - July 03, 2006
Saturday - July 01, 2006
Wednesday - June 28, 2006
Tuesday - June 27, 2006
Sunday - June 25, 2006
Friday - June 23, 2006
Thursday - June 22, 2006
Sunday - June 18, 2006
Friday - June 16, 2006
Wednesday - June 14, 2006
Tuesday - June 13, 2006
Saturday - June 10, 2006
Friday - June 09, 2006
Thursday - June 08, 2006
Wednesday - June 07, 2006
Monday - June 05, 2006
Sunday - June 04, 2006
Friday - June 02, 2006
Thursday - June 01, 2006
Wednesday - May 31, 2006
Tuesday - May 30, 2006
Monday - May 29, 2006
Saturday - May 27, 2006

Monday - January 12, 2009

RPGWatch 2008 Game of the Year - Most Promising MMORPG

by Myrthos, 12:09

The second question in our Game of the Year awards was about the most promising MMORPG that is to be relesed in 2009. Many of you voted and the results can be found here.

The most promising RPGs can be found on RPGWatch.

Friday - January 09, 2009

RPGWatch 2008 Game of the Year - Best MMORPG

by Myrthos, 10:20

You as visitors had the opportunity the last two weeks of last year to vote for the best MMORPG that was released in 2008. Many of you took the opportunity to cast your vote resuklting in a top 3 that should not be that surprising. Read all about it right here.

If you are interested in the Best RPGs of 2008, you can find those on our RPGWatch site.

Saturday - March 15, 2008

MMOWatch - Database Entries Updated

by Asbjoern, 17:07

We've begun work on updating the MMORPG database entries to show updated information, descriptions, screenshots etc. The games that have been updated so far are:

Expect to see more of these newsbits showing the progression of our work. If there are any flaws or you would like to help write the descriptions then please write a PM or e-mail to me (Can be found on my forum profile). Screenshots are highly welcome too.

Friday - February 29, 2008

MMOWatch - Inauro Retires - Newsposters Needed

by Dhruin, 23:51

If you read our MMO news section you will have noticed a lack of updates over the last couple of weeks, for which we apologise.

Our incredibly hard-working MMO editor, Inauro, has decided to retire after two years basically running the site single-handedly.  First, I'd like to thank Inauro for everything and wish him well for the future. :salute:

Second, we need new staff for MMOWatch to get the site up and running again.  We'll probably put up a formal recruitment page soon but in the meantime, if any readers are interested in volunteering to help, drop me a line at dhruin at rpg-you-know-where.  We'll need both newsposters and article writers, so get in touch no matter what your interest and we can discuss it.

As always, our door is open for contributions to RPGWatch as well - additional help is always welcome for news or feature articles.  If you have a burning opinion buried somewhere inside and have some talent with a turn of phrase, perhaps we can provide a platform for your thoughts?

Wednesday - January 10, 2007

MMOWatch - MMORPG's of 2007, Part 2 @ Gamebunny

by Dhruin, 12:03

Gamebunny let us know Part 2 of their 2007 MMORPG preview is online, covering seven titles from Age of Conan to SUN.  Here's the Conan blurb:

Age of Conan is set in the Conan universe as created by Robert E Howard. The first sections of the game will be played just like a single player title as you develop your character through an involving storyline, as you prepare for even greater adventures beyond. The world that Howard created was a dark and gritty place and we certainly aim to very true to that feeling and atmosphere.

The gameplay will be very action orientated, and while you will find the standard RPG skill sets in there, from thieves with nimble fingers to pick the stoutest locks to Demonologists torturing the souls of their enemies, the system itself will be very much based around fast reaction gaming.

Tuesday - January 09, 2007

MMOWatch - MMORPG's of 2007 Feature at GameBunny

by Txa1265, 14:26

GameBunny has posted Part 1 of their feature 'MMO's of 2007', looking at some of the games launching in the upcoming year:

2007 is here and a wide range of brand new MMOs are set to release within the year. Something for every taste is promised, from massively multiplayer basketball to sci fi warfare and PvP-based battlers. If you’re fed up with WoW or burnt out on Guild Wars – you’re sure to find something new and exciting to devote your game-life to in 2007.

Note: Game release dates are gathered from official FAQs and/or a bit of general knowledge and a healthy dash of speculation. As always, be prepared for delays and outright cancellations.

  Part 2 is promised for tomorrow!

 

Wednesday - October 04, 2006

Crusade: Peek #6 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:51
The sixth in RPG Vault's series of Crusade preview articles takes a closer look at tradeskills.
Crusade tradeskills come in three flavors - gathering skills, refining skills and building skills.

Our goal with the Crusade tradeskills is to make them useful, easy to start, and fun. We began by examining some of the problems with existing MMOG tradeskill systems. We found that some issues included things like the costs to build up skills, difficulty in making a profit, difficulty in finding many resources, tediousness associated with leveling up skills, and complexity. Our goal is to address these issues and take MMOG tradeskills to the next level.

While Crusade will support all of the traditional materials such as wood, ore, skins, cloth and herbs, we also introduce organ harvesting for the Necromancy skill. This creates a unique use for each type of slain creature, and a very active market for their organs, which can be converted to reagents or used raw for specific Necromancy practices.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - October 03, 2006

Jack Emmert to Keynote Serious Games Summit

by Dhruin, 22:38
News via TickerTech.com that Cryptic's Jack Emmert will keynote the Serious Games Summit:
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Jack Emmert, co-founder of Cryptic Studios and critically acclaimed game designer, will detail specific approaches game creators utilize in the MMO game space to foster collaborative and behavioral patterns in a keynote address at this year's Serious Games Summit D.C. (SGS D.C.). Emmert, currently spearheading development of Marvel Universe Online, the highly-anticipated MMO game based on Marvel Comics' superheroes, has long been a video game and comic book aficionado.

Whether the focus is on collaboration, leadership, or peer-to-peer education, researchers everywhere are documenting and discussing the social phenomenon of online games. Emmert's session, titled "Designing for Behavior in Massive Multiplayer Games," will explore many of the fascinating aspects of these games, including the user behaviors that take place inside hugely social online worlds. Emmert will offer audience members a better understanding of how game designers approach the social aspects of player-to-player interaction and production. He will also provide insight into the potential MMO environments have beyond entertainment, if the best ideas developed in commercial games are applied to the challenges faced in the outside world.

Sunday - October 01, 2006

Marvel Universe Online: Q&A @ Kotaku

by Inauro, 00:22
Kotaku speaks with Frank Pape, senior director of business development for Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios' Jack Emmert and Vice President of Marvel Interactive, Ames Kirshen, about their upcoming MMORPG, Marvel Universe Online.

Source: Kotaku

Wednesday - September 27, 2006

Marvel Universe Online Announced

by Inauro, 22:43
Marvel Entertainment and Cryptic Studios have announced the development of a Marvel-themed MMORPG.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL - News) announced further details around its eagerly awaited project based on the Marvel universe of Super Heroes. Marvel Entertainment confirmed that Cryptic Studios has been named the developer of "Marvel Universe Online," the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) video game exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows Vista and to be published by Microsoft Game Studios.

"The huge Marvel fan base has been eagerly awaiting new information on our massive multiplayer online game," said David Maisel, Executive Vice President, Office of the Chief Executive, Marvel Entertainment. We are proud to have a premiere developer such as Cryptic Studios who has had such incredible success in the online gaming world developing this game. Marvel, Microsoft and Cryptic are committed to creating the definitive interactive Marvel universe experience via this massive multiplayer online game."

"The vision behind the alliance of Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel is to expand the MMO genre and create an epic gaming experience exclusively for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista gamers to experience together online," said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. "Cryptic Studios is widely respected for their established track record of innovation and understanding of the MMO space, and they are a perfect fit for the creation of the best possible experience in 'Marvel Universe Online.'"

"As an independent developer, Cryptic Studios has the freedom to make games and forge partnerships that we are truly passionate about," said Michael Lewis, president of Cryptic Studios. "Cryptic Studios and Microsoft Game Studios share a common vision for online gaming and commitment to quality titles. Together with Marvel we will create a new exciting game that captures the uniqueness of the Marvel IP."

Cryptic Studios brings a history of excellence in MMO design and best-of-breed community support to the development of "Marvel Universe Online." "Marvel Universe Online" will unite gamers in a cross-platform experience, allowing for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista users to play alongside one another.

Marvel's repertoire of Super Heroes have evolved from the pages of comic books to become driving forces in entertainment, from the silver screen to television shows and best-selling video games, including "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "The Hulk" franchises. As part of an MMO gaming experience, "Marvel Universe Online" players will be able to interact simultaneously in a truly unique atmosphere featuring all their favorite Marvel characters, creatures and villains.

Source: Yahoo Business

Crusade: Peek #5 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:39
RPG Vault series of Crusade previews continues with a closer look at parties, battalions and legions.
While Crusade has been designed to support solo play, we have put additional focus on not only general party play, but expanding the scope of large-scale party play currently existing in other MMOGs. Our answer to this is to create a new system that supports larger groups called Battalions and Legions. These groups feature a unique set of communication tools, and truly empower the leaders to issue orders, define locations on the battlefield and more.

When the overall concept of Crusades was created, we knew that this opened the door for massive and epic battles, and that we had to come up with an advanced system to manage all of the participants in the battle experience.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Jack Emmert AGC Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 01:31
A delayed AGC interview at MMORPG.com sees an article-format <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/906/AGCJackEmmert.html" target="_blank">conversation with Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios</a> on their future projects:<blockquote><em>Currently, Cryptic is staffing up on a cross-platform (PC and unspecified next-generation consoles) massively-multi-player game. While Emmert was not yet able to give us much details, he did tell me specifically that the company is not worried about potential DC Comics and Marvel MMORPGs in development at Sony and Microsoft and wont avoid the genre that made them famous out of fear of being crowded out. He pointed out that there are hundreds of fantasy games and they view superhero games as a genre unto themselves. Does that mean their next-gen MMO is a superhero game? No, but it doesna "!t rule it out either.</em></blockquote>

PvP Combat Editorial @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 01:28
MMORPG.com has an <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/907/PlayervsPlayerCombat.html" target="_blank">editorial on PvP combat</a> described as a "musing":<blockquote><em>When the MMO market adds features such as PvP, the genre of the game changes from a single purpose to a multifaceted game. The classes and balancing of the game also dramatically change and adapt to the player verse player style of combat. Thus the communities of PvPers are exposed to the greatest enemy of combat, the a Snurf.a ? To a Snurfa ? something is to take away from its original build or suppress or detract from the character. For example, a thief in a game can obtain a backstab technique that allows him or her to hit for an extra 100% damage on a sitting target. A player vocally expresses their concern that this is overpowered. This is followed by and outcry of other players expressing their discontent with this power as well. The developers hear the cry and thus adjust the class accordingly. Though this is a long process and not as quick as I have explained, still the basic formula is there. The troubling aspect of PvP comes when a development team fails to balance out all the classes to being with. Though nothing can ever be perfect the rebalancing of classes for adjustment of PvP is a hard and daunting task that many games have failed at before. With close inspection one can see that both aspects of the debate on PvP have many truths to them.</em></blockquote>

Thursday - September 21, 2006

Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name

by Dhruin, 22:35
An academic collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign titled Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name:
Online Games as "Third Places"
looks ta two different studies to examine the impact of replacing traditional media with online games:
Media scholars have become increasingly concerned with the possible negative social and civic impacts brought on by the diffusion of both traditional media like television and cable and new media such as videogames and the Internet. This concern is perhaps best known as the "bowling alone" hypothesis (Putnam, 2000), which suggests that media are displacing crucial civic and social institutions. According to Putnam, time spent with relatively passive and disengaging media has come at the expense of time spent on vital community-building activities. While few dispute Putnam's richly detailed evidence of the general decline of civic and social life in America during the rise of television, some scholars have argued that online, Internet-based media are exceptions. The evidence to date is mixed (Smith & Kollock, 1999), with some scholars arguing that the Internet's capacity for connecting people across time and space fosters the formation of social networks and personal communities (Wellman & Gullia, 1999) and bridges class and racial gaps (Mehra, Merkel, & Bishop, 2004), and other scholars arguing that the Internet functions as a displacer (Nie & Erbring, 2002; Nie & Hillygus, 2002) enabling little more than "pseudo communities" (Beniger, 1987; Postman, 1992).

Source: Blue's

Wednesday - September 20, 2006

Crusade: Peek #4 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:33
RPG Vault takes a closer look at the family system in Quest Online's upcoming MMORPG, Crusade.
Families

In creating Crusade, we wanted to enhance the community experience beyond what current MMOGs offer. People enjoy sharing their accomplishments, experiences and knowledge with others by playing a number of ways such as a mentor, a party member, a weaponsmith or just a loaner who occasionally chats with their friends. All of these roles and more play their parts in the grand scheme of things.

We asked ourselves what could make the existing MMOG worlds even more community-based. How can we bring real-world relations and community empowerment to the players in the areas of social interaction and networking while building on the fun factor and enjoyment of the online experience? How can we create a welcoming environment for new players who instantly have access to more experienced, helpful ones?
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Monday - September 18, 2006

AGC Interviews @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 22:41
MMORPG.com continues its stellar AGC coverage with a series of interviews on a range of MMORPGs including, Star Trek Online, Webzen (SUN, APB and Huxley) and Vivox (on bringing voice tools to EVE Online, Second Life and Fallen Earth).

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - September 14, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Interview @ MMOSite

by Dhruin, 01:55
Loud Ant let us know about a new Thrones of Chaos interview at MMOSite.com:
MMOsite.com: We know PvP plays a very important part role in this game, can players PvP anywhere? And is there any penalty when players lose in PvP?

A: Players have the availability to PvP anywhere in game, yes, but there could be penalties for killing a live player that is just starting on their journey throughout our great world, or for killing in your most friendly factions area. While if you lose in PvP, you will lose ranks, along with some skills on your player, and your armor if you die to often.

Wednesday - September 13, 2006

Crusade: Peek #3 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:54
RPG Vault takes a closer look at Quest Online's Crusade.
Deities and Crusades

Deities and crusades are two of the foundational features of Crusade. Deities play an important part in the history and the character's interaction with the game by imparting special training, powers and rewards to those who follow them. Crusades are massive missions assigned to the followers of certain deities, often involving epic storylines and difficult assignments.

As a character grows in the world of Andarus, it will have the option to pledge allegiance to a deity, choosing one among the many that will be in the world. Those who decide not to ally themselves with a particular deity are free to roam the world as "agnostic" individuals. While this may be advantageous in certain areas, such players will never experience enhancements from any of the deities in many of the realms, nor the epic crusades that take place.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Raph Koster Interview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 02:52
GameSpot has interviewed Raph Koster following the recent Austin Game Developers Conference, covering a range of industry issues and his own future:
GS: Now, when you left Sony, they said that your strategic goals didn't match theirs, and I'm wondering if you can give me the capsule version of how they differed.

RK: The things I'm really interested in doing, and for that matter the things that the startup are going to be centered around, are essentially not really things that fit into the standard publisher model at all. So I'm interested in doing things that go more mass market--significantly more mass market than what we tend to even think of as mass-market games. And I'm just not really in the mindset of making MMORPGs anymore. I'm still interested in making online worlds, but I'm really interested in making very different kinds of worlds than just MMORPGs.

Saturday - September 09, 2006

AGC Coverage @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 00:43
MMORPG.com has an impressive amount of coverage of the Austin Game Conference in the form of blogs from the show floor. Head on over for a glimpse of the goings on at the following panels:

Emerging PR Strategies for MMORPGs
Running Your Own MMORPG

For more general coverage of day two of the conference check out Aaron Roxby's Austin Game Conference Blog: Day Two.

Source: MMORPG.com

Dreamlords: Interview @ Strategy Informer

by Inauro, 00:36
Strategy Informer <a href="http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/dreamlords/interview.html" target="_blank">talks with</a> Marcus Andrews, one of the Game Designers working on Lockpick Entertainment's upcoming MMORPG, <a href="http://www.dreamlords.com/actionServlet?action=home&type=news&item=17" target="_blank">Dreamlords</a>.<blockquote><em><B>Strategy Informer: Firstly, could you introduce yourself to our readers?</B><br><br><B>Marcus Andrews</B>: My name is Marcus Andrews and I am one of the Game Designers working on Dreamlords.<br><br><B>Strategy Informer: Where did the idea of creating Dreamlords come about?</B><br><br><B>Marcus Andrews</B>: I personally wasna "!t really involved in the initial idea process. Dreamlords came about when we had an internal week long workshop at Lockpick on what game to produce. We choose Dreamlords before many other interesting concepts mainly because of the originality and the possibility to publish it through digital distribution.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/dreamlords/interview.html" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Strategy Informer

Friday - September 08, 2006

Online Worlds Roundtable #12, Parts 2-4 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:56
RPG Vault has kicked up Parts 2, 3 and 4 of their latest MMORPG Roundtable discussion in quick succession. The subject remains the complexity of MMOGs and here's a clip from the latest, with Jeff Butler from Sigil Games explaining why complexity isn't all bad:
In asking the question "Are online worlds too complex?", the assumption is made that complexity is a negative thing. In that context, I would say online worlds are in fact compelling and entertaining because of complexity - much of which the player never directly sees. As engaging shared interactive entertainment, the right amount of complexity is key to the enjoyment of gameplay.

Thursday - September 07, 2006

Raph Koster on MMOs @ Gamespot

by Inauro, 22:48
Gamespot reports on Raph Koster's address at the recent Austin Game Conference. Koster pulled no punches when he advised the industry to evolve or die.
AUSTIN, TX--For his session at the Austin Game Conference, Raph Koster used dinosaurs (and their eventual extinction) as a metaphor for today's game industry. He warned that a shakeout is coming, and it will select only those who evolve to suit the changing market.

Right off the bat, the former chief creative officer of Sony Online Entertainment noted that he wasn't suggesting that evolution and adaptation are inherently positive. He used his own business-casual wardrobe as an example that drew laughs from the crowd.
More...

Source: Gamespot

Wednesday - September 06, 2006

BigWorld and Umbra Team Up

by Inauro, 22:44
BigWorld and Umbra Software have announced a new partnership to deliver a package of technologies to MMO developers.<blockquote><em><br>BigWorld, a leading games middleware company and producers of the industry-leading MMOG development platform today announced that they have partnered with Umbra Software, a global provider of visibility optimization solutions designed for games with large and dynamic 3D worlds. Developers using BigWorlda "!s comprehensive development suite will now have the benefits of dPVSa "! effective blend of cutting edge visibility technologies. Umbra Softwarea "!s dPVS computes visibility databases in real time, enabling BigWorlda "!s licensees the creation of truly interactive and modifiable 3D worlds.<br><br>a SWe are delighted to announce the implementation of Umbra Softwarea "!s dPVS in our BigWorld solution,a ? said Gavin Longhurst, Director of Business Development for BigWorld. a SThis is a crucial component for sophisticated scene creation and its dynamic approach is ideally suited to the free-form visibility and camera systems used in games. More complex scenes are therefore possible, with fewer constraints and less rendering overhead.<br><br>a SWe are thrilled to be integrated with the BigWorld Technology Suite, a gold standard in the MMOG industrya ? said Farhad Taherazer, VP of Marketing for Umbra Software. a SBigWorlda "!s global presence provides us access to MMOG developers that we could not otherwise achieve.a ?<br><br>BigWorld Technology Suite provides operators and studios with a lower total cost of ownership through a seamless, integrated development pipeline that is optimized for the development of next-generation MMOGs. The BigWorld Server architecture allows operators to run several games on a single server cluster, dramatically reducing the cost of running the game, while the enhanced Content Creation Pipeline reduces the cost of building and filling out the complex worlds required in next-generation games.<br>Umbra Software Ltd.<br><br>Umbra Software Ltd. is the expert in 3D visibility optimization solution for PC and game consoles. Umbra Softwarea "!s dPVS uses instantaneous occlusion computations to speed up the development cycle; It allows for truly alive, interactive worlds with more objects and characters with new levels of realism; it increases freedom in MMO game worlds, enabling modification of worlds by players on the fly. Umbra Software is currently developing a ?Umbraa ? which is targeted towards next-generation consoles and high end PCs. Umbra Software solutions are currently used by several high-profile massively multiplayer online games and 3D game engines. For more information see www.umbra.fi</em></blockquote>

Source: Games Press

Tuesday - September 05, 2006

Online Worlds Roundtable #12, Pt. 1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:39
Quite some time since the last, RPG Vault has published their latest Online Worlds Roundtable, with Stieg Hedlund, Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg, Magnus Bergsson from CCP, Mike Goslin from Disney VR Studio and Claus Grovdal from Aventurine all offering comments on "whether current games in the category are too complex". Here's a bit from Stieg:
I think it would be pretty hard to "over-design" something; the more thought and care put into reinforcement and affordance (game designer jargon that means presenting the opportunities and the support for particular types of gameplay) of the player experience, including supporting different play styles and areas of interest, the more fulfilling and entertaining that work should become. However, I think I can guess what is meant by this idea, that more attention is paid to creating complex, highly detailed systems without an eye toward the way they are consumed by the player or how they stand in relationship to the experience as a whole, which I would agree, is a big problem. However, instead of diagnosing this as over-designed, I'd say there hasn't been enough design... at least not the right kind.

Wednesday - August 30, 2006

Crusade: Peek #1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:48
The first of a new Peek series at RPG Vault looks at 'Crusade' and covers "the character progression system in Quest Online's persistent state world":
Crusade's character progression system is based on the principles of action; this means how a character is built depends upon how it is played within the game. Supporting this is a real-time system in which a player assigns a specific "study" for a character to learn. Studies are conducted in the background, and are allowed to continue even while the player is not online. This allows a player to set a character to train in a particular study that may take two real days to learn, and to know it will be completed at that time, regardless of actually being logged into the game or not.

Monday - August 28, 2006

2Moons: Interview #2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:20
The second part of RPG Vault's interview with David Perry on '2Moons' is now up:
Jonric: What would you like to tell us at this time about PvP in 2Moons, how it will function, and how you plan to address the issues that can be associated with it?

David Perry: As I've spent a lot of time playing the game alone (I have my own server), I've not really spent enough time experimenting with the PvP system. It's set up so you get thrown in jail if you cross the line, but overall, PvP is an option when in PvP territory. We also have duels, which are fun with similar level players as it becomes all about strategy.

I should note that I'm not looking for regular beta testers for this game; I'm looking for those with designer DNA. I want real feedback. They will have direct contact to me, and I will apply pressure to get changes made in Korea. That's how the final balancing will occur.
Hmm...

Thursday - August 24, 2006

Global Mu Online: Peek #1 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:55
RPG Vault sits down with K2 Network, the North American publisher of Webzen's Mu Online, for a closer look at the game.
Things are already heating up in Global MU Online, as K2 Network has presented gamers new special events this summer, Battle Soccer Tournament and Devil's Square. The highly anticipated Castle Siege will make its way onto the continent of MU near the end of summer. Both Devil's Square and Castle Siege also feature the debut appearances of two new maps, as well as new monsters for the players to conquer.

Battle Soccer Tournament follows in the spirit of the World Cup by pitting two opposing teams on a soccer field in a match. The rules are simple; whichever team reaches 100 points first wins the match. Each team composed of five players who can earn points by killing opposing team members, killing the opposing team's Guild Master or by scoring a goal with the giant soccer ball. The teams vying for the championship title are made up of players from all over the world. As the competitors engage each other on the field, the arena is packed with MUtizen spectators, cheering and taunting the soccer players as they compete - just like the real World Cup.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - August 22, 2006

2Moons: David Perry Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 02:52
RPG Vault has an interview with ex-Shiny David Perry on his Korean MMOG collaboration, 2Moons:
Jonric: To begin by introducing 2Moons, what kind of online world will it be, what forms of gameplay will if offer, and what's the target launch date?

David Perry: 2Moons is targeted for early 2007 and has a pretty epic story. Hehe, I guess we should make it lead up to the sequel, 3Moons! :) The story is being written by a guy called Henry Jones, based in Hollywood (however he's actually cool and doesn't wear sunglasses in meetings), and he's been given enormous freedom that many MMO writers might not normally be given - the main one being that this is a 'mature' title, so there's no problem with profanity, innuendo or strange goings-on.

The twist is that the world doesn't need 10 World of Warcraft clones. So - to be really clear - I'm not heading in that direction at all.
My goal has been to try to balance the game with four main components... that would be fighting, quests, exploration, and hanging out, with some trading. We expect people to spend a majority of their time seeing how far out into the world they can penetrate. You start from one of two cities, and work from there; unless you work for the developer, at some point, you'll be handed your ass, and that's when it's time to join a party or guild. Then, with good backup support and a passionate need to return the favor, you will start to reach deep into some of the 20+ lands this game has.

Saturday - August 19, 2006

David Perry Interview @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 02:00
GameSpy talks with David Perry, creator of the Earthworm Jim series of console platform games, about his upcoming foray into the MMORPG sphere.
GameSpy: What compelled you to give the MMO thing a go, let alone involve yourself with something as non-traditional as 2Moons?

David Perry: Well, there are plenty of business models for games, but the trend is towards charging more (when we really should be charging the price of movie tickets or maybe a DVD). Then there's a trend towards adding more revenue streams (like advertising) without considering the consumer first. I think this is a mistake.

Then again, everyone has opinions, so I guess my task has been to put my money where my mouth is, and I plan to be one of the people that put the consumer first. Sounds noble, but in fact I think it will be good business too.
More...

Source: GameSpy

Friday - August 18, 2006

Jumpgate: Interview @ MMO Portal

by Dhruin, 22:21
MMO Portal ha kicked up an interview with 'Istvan' from NetDevil on their space combat MMOG, Jumpgate:
MMO Portal: Jumpgate was released in 2001 to critical acclaim and is regarded by your players as the best thing since sliced bread. Can you give us an overview of the game and the unique niche it fills?

Istvan: Jumpgate is novel because it is one of extremely few MMOG flight sims out there. We tend to get thrown in with MMORPGs, but Jumpgate really wasn't designed as one. Rather than having an avatar that you have to "level up" or "skill up" to gain capability or access different parts of the game, Jumpgate is solely based on player skill. You don't point and click and passively watch your ship fight: you have to fly the ship yourself, hands-on, usually with a joystick. That's what seems to excite people the most. The learning curve is fairly fierce, but it's quite possible for a new player who has a feel for flying to defeat in combat a veteran player who's been in the game for years. There's also plenty to do in the game besides fighting, although the flight model and combat are perhaps Jumpgate's most characteristic elements.

Wednesday - August 16, 2006

Matt Firor Interview @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 22:33
Ex-Mythic Matt Firor has popped up at FiringSquad for an <a href="http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=11705" target="_blank">interview</a> on the industry and Ultra Mega Games:<blockquote><em><b>FiringSquad: The PC has been the almost sole platform for MMORPGs but it looks like this upcoming generation of consoles will make some in-roads to releasing successful MMORPGs. Do you think that the PC will be left behind as more and more games in their genre head to consoles?</b><br><br>Matt Firor: I don't think the PC will be a Sleft behinda ?, but more and more MMOs will come out for consoles. The jury is still a  far a  out on whenter MMOs can be the moneymakers on consoles that they are on PCs (for anyone other than the console manufacturers!). I just don't see a reason for developing an MMO title for consoles right now, unless you are a Sony or Xbox developer. I'm giving a presentation at the GC Developers Conference in Leipzig on this very topic in a couple of weeks.</em></blockquote>

Ding! @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 05:55
An editorial titled <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/809" target="_blank">Ding!</a> is up at MMORPG.com:<blockquote><em>DING! For anyone who has spent any amount of time in a virtual world, those four letters carry great significance. Even typing them into MS Word gives a bit of a tingle, a slight sense of accomplishment. In fact, I am going to type it again. DING! That feels good. In this context, there is little meaning behind it. In an online game, however those four letters mean that you just leveled and that is, of course, why we play online games. To level. To press a series of buttons that make a little bar fill up, which in turn will usually make a satisfying little sound (or in EverQuest, a nerve-scraping clang) and a little number will go up by one. Truly exciting stuff, and well worth the massive amounts of time and money that it can take to get there. I cana "!t help myselfa DING!</em></blockquote>

Thrones of Chaos: Interview @ Shacknews

by Dhruin, 00:45
Loud Ant Producer for 'Thrones of Chaos' has been interviewed at Shacknews. Here's one of several quite direct answers:
Shack: Incorporating PvP as a core focus sounds cool, but as with most RPGs, story can be important. Are there any inherently evil races? Please explain.

Colton Burgess: I disagree. Story doesn't always need to drive everything. This is a hardcore, guild up and go to war or stay home and craft me a new helmet so I can replace the one I lost in battle with those filthy Orcs game.

The players will inevitably decide what reasons they have for battling each other. There can be many reasons or there might be no reason at all but I would guess the main gameplay related reasons would have to do with territory and resource control.

Monday - August 14, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Racial Media @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:34
Loud Ant dropped us a line to point out a screen and animation clip for humans in 'Thrones of Chaos'.

Sunday - August 13, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Engine Info & Pricing Model @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:26
The Thrones of Chaos site has a detailed bullet-pointed overview of their Chaos Engine, as well as pricing information for licensing the engine.

Thursday - August 10, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Interview @ TenTonHammer

by Dhruin, 00:35
TenTonHammer talks to Loud Ant about 'Thrones of Chaos':
Jeff Woleslagle, Ten Ton Hammer: I nearly fell off my imaginary throne when I read that Thrones of Chaos will have a family / aging process. This is something MMO gamers have been hankering for ever since Horizons: Empire of Istaria was a twinkle in David Allen's eye (where it mostly remained). How will it work? Does this mean death is permanent?

Colton Burgess, Loud Ant Studios: No, I do not think we will be using permanent death associated with the family system. We may use it in some capacity associated with combat but it won't be extremely invasive or cause the players too much grief. We plan on having a family system. However, it will be another month or two until we have all the logistics and details worked out. Part of the system is already done but we are not sure what direction we are going to take it at this time.

Wednesday - August 09, 2006

Job Opening at Slipgate Ironworks @ Planet Rome.ro

by Inauro, 23:03
Industry stalwart John Romero is seeking a level designer to work on his new MMO project.
I have a special affinity for level designers seeing as I've been one myself for many years. And for my project there's a special kind of level designer that I'm looking for. You see, even though I'm doing an MMOG I'm looking for a real, true-blue serious FPS level designer. The kind of person whose life is making sure the FPS meter is high, the polycount in the FOV is balanced, the design is tight and visually grand, and who has a deep love for all things level-related.

Check out my new job listing on Slipgate or Gamasutra.

Source: Planet Rome.ro

View From the Bottom #5 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:56
Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software (makers of Avernum 4) offers some advice based on his time spent playing MMORPGs.
Once, I played a lot of EverQuest. A lot, a lot. Since then, I have matured. Now I play a lot of World of Warcraft. Now, as then, it is this hideous nightmare hole into which I pour hour after hour of my precious and irreplaceable youth, pissing away time that I could spend writing, or being with my family, or being involved with the community, or just - you know - doing something.

The only difference between World of Warcraft and EverQuest is that, when I raided in the latter for many hours, I was the only person I knew who did it. I was the lone misfit, spending hour after hour raiding, while friends and family looked on... and shook their heads sadly. But with World of Warcraft, everyone around me has been sucked in. People, male and female, who looked at my addiction with sympathy and mockery, are now playing more hardcore than I do. The sensible person I am married to is raiding several nights a week now. This is not a sign that humanity is headed in the right direction!
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Dreamlords: Screenshots @ MMO Portal

by Inauro, 22:53
MMO Portal were kind enough to let us know that they have just posted four new 4 screenshots of Lockpick's upcoming MMORPG/RTS, Dreamlords.

Source: MMO Portal

2Moons Revealed, Interview & Screens @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 01:35
MMORPG.com is the first to unveil a new MMOG from Acclaim, with (ex-Shiny) David Perry at the helm and backed by a Korean developer:<blockquote><em> Acclaim has teamed up with legendary designer David Perry to build a brand new and entirely free MMORPG.<br>advertisement<br><br>a SThe game is going to probably be the most violent MMO on the market,a ? explained Perry a  the founder of Shiny Entertainment - whose resume includes Earthworm Jim and Enter the Matrix.<br><br>2Moons is a fantasy MMORPG that relies on advertising to make money. All advertising will be in the UI a  not the world a  and most surprising is that it will also be entirely optional for the player.<br><br>a SIt will be like on television, you get to see a pay-per-view Mike Tyson fight that would normally cost you forty bucks,a ? explained Perry, a Sbut you turn on a single image in the bottom right hand corner you get to watch it for free.a ?<br><br>The model allows gamers to completely turn off all advertising at no cost to them. The only incentive is experience and gameplay bonuses to gamers who choose to allow the advertising in the UI.<br><br>a SCan we make a game that woulda introduce new people to MMOs so that they can have fun,a ? Perry told MMORPG.com in our exclusive audio interview, a Sbut that would also entertain and provide something new to people who are really hardcore.a ?<br><br>2Moons is not for kids and Perry was very upfront to state that the game will carry an M rating.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/267/setView/features/loadFeature/799" target="_blank">Read it here...</a>

Tuesday - August 08, 2006

Matt Firor Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 08:18
Former Mythic developer Matt Firor has been <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm?loadFeature=797&bhcp=1" target="_blank">interviewed</a> at MMORPG.com on his time at Mythic, his new company and the industry:<blockquote><em><b>MMORPG.com: What to you is the biggest mistake you see MMORPG companies/investors making?</b><br><br>Matt Firor: Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc. It just has to be fun and make people want to log in and experience it. Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.<br><br>I appreciate a good esoteric discussion, but honestly, I think that MMOs are mostly severely over-intellectualized and over designed. Almost every player of these games just wants to experience another world, explore, and enjoy the community. There's enough design problems tied up right there to make designing and producing an MMO extremely difficult. The grand majority of players of these games a  and I'm talking like 99% - don't care about most of the problems that get ranted about daily on MMO-related message boards a  both player AND developer oriented ones. Simplicity a  especially in the first 20 hours of gameplay, is critical to the success of any new MMO.</em></blockquote>

Sunday - August 06, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Media & Updates

by Dhruin, 22:47
Loud Ant sent us a note about a new batch of updates for Thrones of Chaos. First up, there's new <a href="http://www.thronesofchaos.com/community/showthread.php?t=171" target="_blank">elf media displaying various facial variations</a>, <a href="http://www.thronesofchaos.com/community/showthread.php?t=148" target="_blank">a new animation and images showing off a newly created male Dwarf</a> and a <a href="http://www.thronesofchaos.com/community/showthread.php?t=135" target="_blank">new status update</a>:<blockquote><em>Hi all!<br><br>I just wanted to give everyone a quick update and let you know whata "!s been going on behind the scenes lately. We have spent time last week setting up our SVN server to make it easier to update and implement the different features in the game. There are lots of good things showing up all over the place form the design department, new character models, new animations, new character features. We have new servers being installed this week and we plan to jump right into testing and debugging. Many of the problems with the dynamic loading are being fixed. This part of the code is the most crucial to getting the game running smoothly. A closed test should be coming soon.<br><br>thanks</em></blockquote>

Thursday - August 03, 2006

The Potential of MMOGs for Advertisers @ Biz Community

by Dhruin, 23:15
Exciting news:
MMOGs are computer games that enable thousands of players to interact simultaneously in a game world connected via the Internet. According to global Jupiter research, MMOGs generate roughly US$350 billion a year and is the fastest growing entertainment segment in the world. The typical MMOG user is male, aged between 18 and 34, and spends an average of nine hours a week playing PC games. Wired magazine says that 'in-game advertising' is worth US$60 million, set to grow to half a billion by 2009.

Minions of Mirth: v1.02 Patch @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:09
The Prairie Games website has word that the Minions of Mirth v1.02 patch is now available for download. Head on over and catch the patch notes.

Source: Prairie Games

RPG E-Sports - The Wave of the Future @ Gamasutra

by Dhruin, 22:57
Gamasutra takes a look the Korean penchant for crowd-pulling events and TV programs featuring StarCraft or Lineage competitions and wonders whether this can gather momentum in the west, particularly with games such as Guild Wars:
E-Sports seem to still to be struggling to take off in the West. There are sporadic outbreaks here and there, but the idea of games-as-spectator events is still limited to physical sports, and maybe chess. Compared to Korea, where TV stations regularly broadcast Starcraft and even Lineage match-ups (and where I stood in a room with fifty teenage girls who screamed in anticipation of a particularly ruthless Zerg gambit), Western gaming audiences seem a bit nonchalant. The audience that wants to watch the gaming elite slug it out for glory and sponsorship dollars is limited.
More...

Saturday - July 29, 2006

MMOs by the Numbers @ Bluesnews

by Dhruin, 23:43
I'm going to rip this straight from Blue's because they take an MMOG subscriber chart from MMOGChart and reference a couple of blogs and other articles:
The MMOG pie chart (thanks Mike Martinez) offers a breakdown on the market shares of the various MMOGs out there in the metaverse, formatted for the PowerPoint generation. The o-blog-itory commentary on Wonderland (where the chart was spotted) remarks upon the preponderance of fantasy games in the mix, a point echoed by Fantasy Trumps Sci-Fi For MMOs, a /. thread referencing a Gamasutra feature chatting with Mythic's Mark Jacobs where he opines on why this is the case.

Thursday - July 27, 2006

PvP vs PvE @ GCC

by Dhruin, 01:02
More acronyms than you can poke a stick at...GCC has tossed up a short editorial on the subject of PvE vs PvP arguments:
Here lies the proverbial rub - the two genres of PVP and PVE are actually two different communities when you peel away the facades that mask both sides. There will be a minority that proclaims enjoyment of both, like myself, but held to make a definitive choice - they would choose one over the other. The one thing they both share: money.

Cryptic hiring for multiple new MMOs

by Dhruin, 00:54
FiringSquad has news that Cryptic Studios is hiring for multiple new MMO titles they expect to announce later this year:
Cryptic Studios' PR folks sent out a press release announcing that they are recruiting new team members to work on upcoming projects. The team behind the super hero MMORPGs City of Heroes and City of Villians said in the statement, "With projects in the works on console and PC platforms, Cryptic has partnered with top publishers and is planning to announce multiple new massively multiplayer titles later this year."

Wednesday - July 26, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: More Racial Media @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 09:07
Loud Ant Software dropped us a line about new media for Thrones of Chaos: there's a couple of .avi's and screenshot for human males and updated orc media.

20 Million Dollar Failure @ The Escapist

by Dhruin, 01:21
Also at The Escapist is a look at The Sims Online, with the article dubbed 20 Million Dollar Failure:
The Sims Online should have been a sure thing. The premise reads like a gaming executive's dream sheet. A popular, long-lived franchise loved by casual and hardcore gamers alike; a game that sells at Wal-Mart as well as it does at EB Games and developed by Will Wright, one of the most famous names in game design. The launch window picked was close to perfect: December 17, 2002, just in time for Christmas, virtually assuring millions of sales. In-house predictions called for an ongoing active subscriber base of up to 1 million people, but The Sims Online launched out of the gate and promptly fell flat. Six months after launch, Wired reported 125,000 retail copies sold and 97,000 active subscribers - not bad, but not enough to justify the game's $20 million budget. By April, 2004, their subscription rate peaked at around 55,000, and has now stagnated near 35,000.

Raph Koster on Fire @ The Escapist

by Dhruin, 01:19
The Escapist turns its attention to "a few, brave souls in the game industry who, for better or worse, decided that they were destined to make their dreams a reality" - including Raph Koster. Topics covered incluide his books on game systems, UO and SWG:
Fundamentally, SWG was launched too early from a game design point of view. It may not have been from a financial point of view - there's considerations like how much had been spent, how soon it would earn back the investment, that sort of thing - but most systems in there were first-pass at best. The place where that was most obvious was in the relative lack of content at launch. The tools simply came on too late to make the volume of content needed, and even though a heroic final push tried to populate the game with distinctive content, it just wasn't anywhere near enough.

Friday - July 21, 2006

An Improved Faction System @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 22:39
An Improved Faction System is the latest editorial at MMORPG.com:
One of the best features in my mind about an MMORPG is the ability to join factions. When one joins a faction, they no longer specifically game for their own purposes, but for the benefit not just of a guild, but for a collection of guilds all under the same banner. However, I also believe that the majority of MMOs do nothing to support the faction system.

As it stands in most games, people are free to join whatever faction they may desire. They can bring dishonor towards the faction, but there is nothing that can be done against them. Factions are also almost entirely PvP orientated. Unless you want to go around killing other players, there really is no benefit or contribution one can make towards certain factions. There also is very little benefit to actually controlling different regions for one faction, unless more PvP is viewed a benefit. Can such a system be changed? I believe it can be done, by incorporating a few systems.

Wednesday - July 19, 2006

The Small Dev Team Myth - Editorial @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:05
MMORPG.com's Dan Fortier takes a closer look at what small development teams mean for MMORPGs.
Recently there has been some debate as to what gamers should expect from MMOs produced by lower budget development teams. With the recent release of games like SEED and Dark and Light this topic seems more interesting than ever. Should we excuse incomplete products and poor game performance because they lack the resources of the big boys?
advertisement

To get the answer we are going to have to go back in time a bit to the late 1990's when bunch of guys from two smaller companies formed a company called Mythic Entertainment and with a small, but hard working crew of designers, created Dark Age of Camelot. To this day many gamers still hold it up as one of the top PvP titles for its creative use of Realm vs Realm combat. Although they recently were bought out by EA they still have made an indelible mark on the genre.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Cartoon Network to Develop MMOG

by Dhruin, 22:33
Everyone is jumping on the MMOG bandwagon with the Carton Network announcing an MMOG development deal with Korean Grigon Entertainment:
First Partnership Between U.S. Entertainment Company and a Korean Game Developer

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 19, 2006--Cartoon Network announced today that it is developing its first massively multi-player online game (MMOG) in an unprecedented partnership with a leading MMOG developer, Seoul-based Grigon Entertainment. Cartoon Network New Media, already a leader in online entertainment and gaming, will debut the game in the United States. This is the first-ever partnership between a U.S. entertainment company and a Korean developer to create an MMOG for the global marketplace.

The Cartoon Network MMOG will launch in spring 2008 and target the growing and sophisticated kids' interactive gaming market. The game will be free to download, with subscription and micro-transactions available to players to enhance the gaming experience. New areas for exploration and play are planned and will be added regularly over a span of several years. The game brings Cartoon Network's beloved characters and sensibility to the fast-growing online gaming realm with an "East-meets-West" creative approach. Grigon Entertainment is best known for successfully developing and launching several online games in Asia, including Seal Online, a light-hearted role-playing game (RPG) that took the online gaming world by surprise. Localized versions are available in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

Source: Blue's

Monday - July 17, 2006

RAN Online: Q&A @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:07
MMORPG.com talks with PB Kim, the lead designer of RAN Online.
MMORPG.com: How have the in-game events been working out for the players of RAN Online?

PB Kim: We are providing various types of event, such as Double EXP, Double Item Drop Rate sort of events you may generally seen from other MMORPG. Moreover we provide unique events, for instance, a localized event which includes mythic heroes or animals in the game by each local festive day schedule. Recently we have arranged a server for Battle Loyal Type competition event and finished testing. We are continuously looking for more joyful events to satisfy our users. Please give us your cool ideas for new events.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Thrones of Chaos: New Racial Media @ Official Forums

by Dhruin, 13:33
The folk from Thrones of Chaos again let us know about new racial media - a a movie and screenshot of orcs.

Saturday - July 15, 2006

Crusade: Interview Part 2 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 02:50
David Allen, CEO of Quest Online, answers a few more of RPG Vault's questions about his company's upcoming MMO, Crusade. The first part of the interview can be found here.
Jonric: Given the propensity of many online gamers to collect items, how are you approaching this aspect of Crusade? Will there be many different types? Do you plan on any usage restrictions?

David Allen: I personally love items and the ability to craft, enhance and manipulate them; our team feels the same way, so we will be placing a lot of emphasis on items in Crusade. Not just crafting or acquiring them, but the ability to modify and enhance them as the character grows more powerful.

Crusade will feature different types of items, such as a basic sword versus an ancient weapon of power, or a unique item from a deity. Certain ones will require a specific amount of skill to use efficiently, and we're also considering adding actions specific to items (a vorpal blade may have a behead action, for example), but we're still working on the core item-based system.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Friday - July 14, 2006

The Evolution of Player Classes @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:53
MMORPG.com's Thomas Moretensen takes a closer look at the evolution (or lack thereof) of player classes in MMORPGs.
The MMORPG genre has changed a lot since the early days of Meridian 59 and Ultima Online, but the games still relies on the basic classes introduced back then. Most MMORPG still use the Fighter, a heavily armoured close combat character that can take lots of damage. Having to rely on short-range weapons and relative low damage his fights may last long. Thus he will need the healer, whose job is to heal the party and make sure they stay alive. A second role of the healer is to buff the party by adding temporary enchantments, which make the party stronger, faster or more resilient. The mage is the most fragile character, but he can deliver large amounts of ranged damage through arcane magic. Though the games do not always use the same names for the character classes they are always build on one of these arch classes or a mix of two of them through hybrids like the Bard, Paladin or Battlemage.

This mix is tried and proven in MMORPGs through the past ten years. The fighter takes the damage, the healer keeps him alive and the mage deals the damage. But will these three classes keep being the blood of MMORPGs in the years ahead?
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Tuesday - July 11, 2006

Thrones of Chaos: Racial Info & Media @ Official Forums

by Dhruin, 13:20
While we're on the subject of Thrones of Chaos, Loud Ant dropped us a line to point out some screens and a video on player character textures and animation in this thread.

Thrones of Chaos: Q&A @ About.com

by Dhruin, 13:13
About.com has interviewed Colton Burgess, Head of Operations for Loud Ant Software, about Thrones of Chaos - their MMORPG in development from the remnants purchased of Mourning, aka Realms of Torment:
I understand that Thrones of Chaos will make use of assets from at least one MMORPG that is no longer in development. Can you give us a little background on the project?

CB: We procured a few different assets from numerous areas to help us get a functioning MMORPG title on the market in a very short time period. Either way, we have all the tools and experienced team members needed to put together an interesting MMOG experience in a timely manner.

Crusade: Interview @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 04:04
RPG Vault talks with David Allen of Quest Online about his company's upcoming MMO Crusade.
Jonric: How would you introduce Crusade? What is its underlying premise, what kind of game are you aiming to create, and do you have a target launch date at this time?

David Allen: Crusade is a new MMOG in development that takes place in a unique fantasy world where the player chooses a racial and class combination that represents one of two diametrically opposite sides, both fighting each other for domination. Deities also play a critical role in the game, as players can become patrons, and receive boons that empower or dis-empower their characters. Realms within the world are also controlled by specific deities, so as players travel the lands, they may encounter strategic beneficial or detrimental areas based on their patronage.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Monday - July 10, 2006

Job Openings at Slipgate Ironworks

by Inauro, 03:17
Thanks to Bluesnews for directing our attention to the Slipgate Ironworks site where John Romero's newly founded MMO development company is now hiring for an as yet unannounced project.

Source: Slipgate Ironworks

Saturday - July 08, 2006

Martial Heroes: Alex Jones Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:45
MMORPG.com speaks with Alex Jones of CRSpace about his company's plans to bring Martial Heroes to the North American market.
MMORPG.com: Explain the Events that Martial Heroes has been hosting for its players in recent months. How often do the battles occur?

Alex Jones: In Episode 2(which was introduced in Febuary), we added a new map called Red Castle and implemented a Horse System in game. The Red Castle map contained a lot of new monsters and provided a new fun experience for players.The Horse System was a wonderful addition to Martial Heroes and with it the players could move faster than using the turbo skill that all classes have. The Horse System also allowed players to attack and PVP while riding the horses.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Friday - July 07, 2006

Raph Koster Interview @ MMPlay

by Dhruin, 23:04
MMPlay has an interview with the one and only Raph Koster. Let's start with an intro:
mmplay.de: Hello Raph and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I don't think I need to introduce you, I'm sure most MMORPG players know you and your work on games like Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies from the past. However, you have been an admin of a MUD server before you started to work professional in the business - well, or what was once to become a business back in these times. How did you first start? How did you get to MUDs and later on to Ultima Online?

I have been making games as long as I can remember; I used to make board games to take into school so we could play them during recess. A lot of them were ports of arcade games like "Pengo." My brother and I were given an Atari 8 bit computer around 1982 maybe, and that's where I really started making games. I also learned on an Osborne 1 running CP/M. We used to make games to sell in ziploc baggies; we sold exactly one copy, and I am pretty sure we sold it at a loss.

I drifted away from games for a while, but came back to them during college. After college, I went on to grad school, but stayed in touch with friends who. were still there. One of them turned me on to MUDs, and suggested they were a cool way to stay in touch. This was in 1992; you did everything with text back then, Mosaic wasn't out yet and there was no web.

I started playing on several muds, and ended up focusing on Worlds of Carnage, where I met a bunch of folks who turned out to be important to the history of MMORPGs: Damion Schubert would later go on to be involved with Meridian 59 and Shadowbane, and Rick Delashmit was the main programmer for UOUltima Online von Electronic Arts. and later on worked on several other MMORPGs. Rick was also the main implementor of LegendMUD, which my wife and I both worked on for a long time.

Rick was hired by Origin to work on UO, and he recommended my wife and I for designer roles, and that's how we landed there.

Monday - July 03, 2006

Win a Year of Your MMO @ MMO Portal

by Inauro, 09:17
The good folk at MMO Portal are holding another "Win a Year of Your MMO" contest in which you can, oddly enough, win a year's subscription to the MMO of your choice. Some conditions do apply so head on over to MMO Portal for the details.

Source: MMO Portal

Saturday - July 01, 2006

CABAL Online: Beta Applications @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:58
Applications to join the closed beta for the English version of CABAL Online can now be submitted at the game's official site.

Source: CABAL Online

MMOGChart.com Updated

by Inauro, 02:45
<a href="http://www.MMOGChart.com" target="_blank">MMOGChart.com</a> has been updated to version number 21.0.<blockquote><em>Version 21.0 is now available! This version has updated subscriber numbers for several games, most notably World of Warcraft, several of SOEa "!s titles, and the recently launched Auto Assault. Ia "!ve also expanded the mid-range chart a bit; eventually Ia "!m going to have to implement a dynamic graphing system.</em></blockquote>

Source: MMOGChart.com

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Huxley & APB to Feature In-Game Ads

by Dhruin, 01:58
Rejoice, for Webzen and Massive/Microsoft have come to terms for in-game ads in Huxlley and All Points Bulletin. From VoodooExtreme:
South Korean video game company Webzen Inc. on Tuesday said it struck a deal in which Microsoft Corp.'s newly acquired Massive Inc. advertising unit will place promotions in two of its upcoming titles.

The ad deal, which is a first for online game maker Webzen, marks Massive's entry into the Asian market, the companies said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Games included in the deal are "Huxley," set for release next year, and "All Points Bulletin," due in 2008. Those titles, which are set in virtual urban environments, are so-called massively multiplayer online games that can support thousands of players at once.

Tuesday - June 27, 2006

I Bought Gold @ GamersInfo

by Dhruin, 02:40
art off broke. You begin to level up. As you do, you make some money. If the player is careful, he at least breaks even on money. If hea "!s, perhaps, slower about leveling a  say, fighting enemies below him a lot, or careful about who he fights a  he may make more money. Still, the money (typically) scales with the character, at least until he hits the upper levels.<br><br>Then the economy blows out of proportion. Sure, a level 60 in WoW(World of Warcraft) or a level 50 in DAoC(Dark Age of Camelot) will have bigger expenses than a character at half that level. Therea "!s always new gear and repairs, therea "!s crafting supplies, therea "!s potions, all that good stuff.<br><br>But, inevitably, the accumulation of wealth creeps upwards. After all, therea "!s a limit to how much you can spend, at least for most people. Use WoW for an example. You level to 60. You level your crafting skills a  your two primary and your three secondary a  to 300. You buy your epic mount. If you raid, you pay for repairs and potions on a regular basis.</em></blockquote>

Sunday - June 25, 2006

Developers: Big vs Small @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:44
MMORPG.com's Dan Mann and Garrett Fuller debate the merits of big and small developers.
Dan Mann: A lot has been made of the MMO industry being given over to the big time, ultra-rich, power hungry studios that care more for the almighty dollar then daring to stray from the mold of its predecessors and providing a game that provides more than a level treadmill. Can small companies compete with giants like EA and Sony who can throw dozens of devs and millions of dollars at a project?

Garrett Fuller: The problem with small studios is one thing, money. Games cost money and no matter how much passion or time you put into them there is always the dollar to contend with. There are many games about to launch onto the market right now that do not have the huge financial backing. It seems like the video game industry is moving in the same direction as movies. You have a bunch of people out there trying to make games in the hopes that one of the major publishers will pick up the game and run with it. The problem is, once a publisher gets their hands on a game, they can change it and tweak it the way they want.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Do MMORPG's Cause People to Buy Less at Retail?

by Inauro, 02:31
Grimwell Online takes a look at the effect of MMORPGs on retailing purchasing.
According to information at MMOGChart, there are over 12 million MMORPG players in the world. To put that number in perspective, games that sell a million or more copies are few and far between these days -- so 12 million players is more than a few peanuts. MMORPG's tend to retain players longer than a traditional game as people will often play a single MMORPG obsessively for months, or years in some cases! If you are the company benefitting from the monthly subscription for the game, this is a very big draw -- to the point that many MMORPG's have built in time sinks to ensure that players have reason to play for months on end.

What if you aren't the MMOG company, though? What impact is there on the bottom line of other companies in the gaming industry? Do MMORPG's benefit the industry by bringing in more actively involved gamers? Or do they bleed money away from other companies in the industry as MMORPG players spend their money on subscriptions and skip out on trying other games that hit the shelf because they already have something to go home to?

Could MMORPG's be bad for the industry?
More...

Source: Grimwell Online

Friday - June 23, 2006

Innovation in MMOs - Editorial @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 03:28
MMORPG.com's Robert Fitzgerald goes looking for innovation in MMORPGs in an article entitled "MM Oh My Gosh!".
Have you ever gone to a school dance, a dance club or even a wedding reception and heard a song that really moves you. A song that starts your feet tapping and your leg shaking ? Yet, you stand there on the sidelines staring at the empty dance floor because you don't want to be the first person to step out and shake your groove thing. After all, there's a fifty-fifty chance if you jump on the dance floor first, people will stare and giggle at your Fergie-esque tail wiggle, making you the center of attention you don't want. Unless, you're made up of the stuff few people are and you just don't care, you will find a way to dance yourself right into a crowd of spectators and disappear. Now, theres another scenario to this way out in left field analogy. Theres a chance you hop onto the floor, get your groove on, and a crowd joins in with you, leading to a great time had by all. The question is are you brave enough to throw yourself into the spotlight.

What the heck am I talking about ? It's alright, you can say it out loud. The MMO market has become much the same as the empty dance floor. Everyday we are flooded with new and "innovative" ideas with which we can get our grooves on and we don't take the chance. We find ourselves heading to the crowded dance floors of the tried and true titles such as World of Warcraft and Everquest II. While these games offer few new features (server queues are not a feature) and stay the course of time tested formulas. It's like dancing to re-mixes of the same old songs over and over again. Sitting on the fringe are titles that have truly taken a step in a different direction and attempt to offer features never before attempted in MMO's. The life of these titles is shorter than a Dixie Chicks concert in Texas, over before it starts.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - June 22, 2006

Win a Year of Your MMO @ MMO Portal

by Dhruin, 22:44
MMO Portal dropped us a line a couple of days ago to point out their sixth Win a Year of Your MMO giveaway. Hit the link for details.

Stratics Wants You @ Stratics

by Inauro, 05:51
Stratics is looking for new Portal Managers, Moderators, Editorialists, and News Reporters. If you'd like to join the Stratics team, now's your chance.

Source: Stratics

Kaos War Interview @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 00:52
I haven't heard of this project but apparently it combines making an MMORPG and a "reality TV" video series at the same time. FiringSquad has an interview and here's the intro to explain:
Creating an MMORPG with an all volunteer team is hard enough. Having to create it while a camera crew is following your every move would seem to add on to the challenges. However that's exactly what Damon Grow decided to do with his company Shattered Reality Interactive. He and his time are trying to make their MMORPG Kaos War under the cameras for Creating Kaos, a new web video reality series that launched its first episode on Games.net last Friday and will continue on a weekly basis. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with Grow about both Kaos War and Creating Kaos.

Sunday - June 18, 2006

MMO DB Launched

by Inauro, 07:33
<a href="http://www.mmodb.com" target="_blank">MMO DB</a> send word that they have launched with Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest 2, and Guild Wars databases with more to follow shortly.<blockquote><em>SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA a  August 18, 2006 a  MMO DB is happy to announce the official launch of its database resource website for the MMORPG community. It has launched databases for 3 of the most popular online games today: Guild Wars, Everquest 2 and Dungeons & Dragons Online. <br> <br>After many months of hard work, MMO DBa "!s databases are live full of useful data and resources for every MMORPG gamer. The Dungeons & Dragons Online database contains the latest detailed information on Monsters, Items, NPCs, Quests, Skills, Spells, Zones and Maps. The EverQuest 2 Database contains all the data on the most recently released Adventure Pack: Fallen Dynasty and the Expansion Pack: Kingdom of Sky. The EQ2 Database contains Mobs, Factions, Items, Quests, Skills, Zones and Maps. MMO DBa "!s Guild Wars Database contains all necessary information for Armor, Monsters, Items, Missions, NPCs, Quests, Skills, Weapons, Zones and Maps. <br> <br>MMO DBa "!s content is updated daily to keep up with changes in the various games and to give players the most accurate information available. It is in the process of developing databases for World of Warcraft, Lineage 2, Final Fantasy XI, and Star Wars Galaxies.<br><br>To see all what our databases have to offer, visit our URLs:<br><br>Dungeons & Dragons Online Database - <a href="http://ddo.mmodb.com/" target="_blank">http://ddo.mmodb.com/</a><br> EverQuest 2 Database - <a href="http://eq2.mmodb.com/" target="_blank">http://eq2.mmodb.com/</a><br> Guild Wars Database - <a href="http://gw.mmodb.com/" target="_blank">http://gw.mmodb.com/</a></em></blockquote>

Source: MMO DB

Friday - June 16, 2006

Fury: Hands-On Preview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 07:34
MMORPG.com takes a hands-on <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?setview=features&gameID=252&loadFeature=716/&bhcp=1" target="_blank">look</a> at Auran's 'Fury':<blockquote><em>Fury is unique in that it combines the thrill of a First Person Shooter with the strategy of building a character and sense of attachment and community that only an MMORPG can deliver. PvP in MMOs dona "!t deliver the same thrill a player gets when they sit down for a good old fashioned blood orgy only provided by the Unreal or Quake series. However, Carpenter insist that even after a year as lead designer of Fury that he still gets a thrill every time he sits down to play.</em></blockquote>

Wednesday - June 14, 2006

Raid your way to love @ Wall Street Journal

by Dhruin, 08:22
The Wall Street Journal takes a break from the wheeling and dealing to report on finding love in MMOGs. Here's a snip from To Find a Mate, Raid a Dungeon Or Speak Like an Elf:
Nick Yee, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at Stanford University who studies online games, found in a survey earlier this year that 29% of women players and 8% of men said they had gone on to date someone they met in a game. He says the games are filled with scenarios that shed light on players' personalities. A risky raid on a dungeon, for example, can reveal whether someone is a team player. "These are trust-building exercises," he says. Players "are constantly having to make decisions like, 'Do I run out and save myself or help the others survive?' " Situations that reveal so much about someone's character are less common in the real world, he thinks.

Source: ActionTrip

Cabal Online: Euro Beta Plans @ GGMania

by Dhruin, 00:41
GameGuru Mania dropped us a line a few days ago to point out a press release for the Euro beta of the Asian MMOG, Cabal Online. Closed beta starts June 26th so hit one of the links for details.

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

Myth War Online: First Impressions @ Eurogamer

by Inauro, 08:08
Eurogamer takes a look at Myth War Online and shares some first impressions of this rather different MMO offering.
Myth War is something else. Not like Eve Online, Second Life or A Tale In The Desert, in that they're a complete step outside what everyone else is doing, but very much an attempt to find its own place in the shelves. Spending a few hours running around its currently running Beta, both as a fresh new character and a level-50 pre-prepared character, we managed to gather a few first impressions of how it works.

Firstly, there's the whole aesthetic look. For those who've been missing the days of bitmaps, rather than using polygons Mythwar prefers to use an isometric sprite-based characters which gives an atmosphere not unlike Baldur's Gate or Diablo II (will Blizzard not stay out of a preview for at least a paragraph? This is getting silly). The character designs have a certain degree of eastern-flavour, weighted towards the more realistic end of the spectrum - though we have hyperactive icons released in the chat window to provide a little more life.
More...

Source: Eurogamer

Saturday - June 10, 2006

Wherea "!s the RPG in MMORPG? @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 07:07
from MMORPG.com - <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm?loadFeature=705&bhcp=1" target="_blank">Wherea "!s the RPG in MMORPG?</a>:<blockquote><em>If you are reading this article, youa "!re probably familiar with the term MMORPG. The MMO part,a ? Massively Multiplayer Onlinea ? was coined somewhere to describe games like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Eve-Online, and City of Heroes. At any given time, there could be hundreds, or even thousands, of players online simultaneously. I suppose thata "!s what makes the multiplayer part a Smassivea ?. I can accept that. Then therea "!s the RPG a  Role Playing Game a  part of the acronym. When I think of an RPG, I think of Dungeons and Dragons. The Dungeon Master always tells a story and brings the character on an adventure, the kind of adventure that inspires poetry, and somehow they involve YOU and make you feel as though you have just personally saved kingdoms and planets alike! When was the last time you remember an MMORPG making you feel like that? Is there something about it being multiplayer that detracts from the story?</em></blockquote>

Friday - June 09, 2006

Wurm Online goes Gold

by Dhruin, 09:09
We haven't been covering this to date but Rune Kjølaas sent a note about Wurm Online going Gold. Here's the description from the official site for background:
Wurm Online will be a community-centric fantasy MMORPG fully developed in Java. Gameplay will be free at first, but when you wish to develop your character beyond basic skills, you're going to have to pay a monthly fee.

The world will have a real economy with a fixed pool of money and resources, and almost all items in the world will be created by other players. When the game is first launched, it will pretty much just only be a huge forest, and it will be up to the players to build the towns and create the items needed for both everyday use and more exotic practices.
Wurm Online will neither have levels nor hitpoints. Instead, you have a set of skills that define your character, and a list of any unhealed wounds the character has.

Gameplay is expected to be very down to earth and community-based for most players, with each town serving as a small community. Towns will also remain safe as long as the computer controlled guards are alive. You won't be able to attack other players or perform any other illegal activity inside the town without first killing all the guards. Outside the towns, however, you can do anything you want, but performing illegal activities will lower your status in the nearby villages.

Making virtual worlds more lifelike @ News.com

by Dhruin, 08:15
News.com serves up details of new research from the famed Palo Alto Research Centre:
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Ever played an online game like "World of Warcraft" or "EverQuest" and wished the expressions on your avatar's face looked more realistic or that it was easier to communicate with other players?

If so, then a team of researchers from the famed Palo Alto Research Center might be your heroes.

The PARC team--Bob Moore, Nicolas Ducheneaut and Eric Nickell, plus Stanford's Nick Yee--have spent the better part of three years studying the social dimensions of so-called massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) to better understand the design challenges behind creating satisfying face-to-face avatar and other interactions in such environments.

Source: FiringSquad

Thursday - June 08, 2006

MMO Surveillance Questionnaire @ Selectparks

by Inauro, 08:21
Boing Boing <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/07/questionnaire_on_pri.html" target="_blank">points us in the direction</a> of a Selectparks questionnaire on surveillance in MMOs.<blockquote><em>I'm conducting an investigation into surveillance within massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft and SecondLife. The questionnaire will take between 2 and 20 minutes to complete depending on how much information you're willing to supply. I'm interested in stories and observations so feel free to ramble. <br> <br>Read more on my research below, or <a href="http://www.iconinc.com.au/christo/surveillance" target="_blank">jump right to the questionnaire.</a> <br> <br>Many players are unaware of surveillance being conducted by game administrators, often justified as a means to enhance game play and control cheating. Players within some MMOs are also tracking and recording other playera "!s movements, and conversely, creating methods to protect the privacy of their own digital personas. The rise of surveillance (and counter-surveillance) techniques and technologies within these virtual worlds is an extension of the pervasive monitoring of individuals in real-world environments. Many real-world technologies (such as bugging, video recording and location tracking) are being reproduced in virtual worlds and can be classified as a form simulated surveillance.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.selectparks.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=496" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Boing Boing

Onlife #41 @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 04:47
GameSpy's Miguel Lopez delivers an E3 post mortem that focuses on a number of MMOs. Here's a snippet from the piece about Age of Conan.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for Funcom, and an even softer one for Conan. As such, it's pretty difficult for me to be objective about this game at this juncture, but I'll do my best. Now, I've never read any of Robert E. Howard's novels. I've only seen the Conan films. Hell, when I was little, I even thought that Conan the Destroyer was a good movie. But even given that shallow level of familiarity with the lore behind it, I really dig the world. I think I "get" it. And from where I'm standing, it's clear that Funcom gets it too. Conan's world is rife with brutality, and judging from the demo that I saw at E3, this MMO's gameworld will reflect that. The villages are populated by crude buildings and even cruder inhabitants, and the combat system is probably the most savage I've ever seen in an MMO.
More...

Source: GameSpy

Wednesday - June 07, 2006

Network Neutrality - Article @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 03:01
If you've been following the recent network neutrality debate (Wikipedia, Slashdot, Boing Boing, BBC) you may find Li C. Kuo's latest article at GameSpy of interest.
It doesn't take a genius to see how this issue could potentially affect gamers. "The gaming community, also the businesses that provide services to the gaming community are at a significant risk," warns Karr. Kurtz voices similar concerns. "Smaller game companies could have a hard time getting fast traffic for their online games. The fan sites, mod communities could be affected."

If your favorite MMO doesn't pony up cash for premium service, you could be out of luck. Or, if the ISP you use runs on a connection owned by a company that has decided to give game servers low priority, your days of lag-free gaming could be at an end, no matter how fast your own connection to the web is. Another scenario has web content providers deferring the charges for high-speed service to you, the web user, turning the Internet into something like cable TV where you have to pay for access to specific sites, much like how you have to pay to get HBO.
More...

Source: GameSpy

Monday - June 05, 2006

Game On - Stargate and Warhammer Podcast @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 07:25
MMORPG.com's latest podcast, Game On, features interviews on Stargate Worlds and Warhammer:
This week on Game/On's first interview show of June, we present you with two great interviews from E3. In this first interview, Jon Wood sits down for a very brief chat with David "Zeb" Cook, the Lead Systems Designer for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment's Stargate Worlds. The second interview takes Garrett Fuller and Dana Massey to the Mythic Entertainment booth for a long chat with Greg Grimsby (Art Director) and Jeremy Dale (Lead Animator), about the ins and outs of their newest property, Warhammer Online.

Sunday - June 04, 2006

Tradeskills & Female Gamers @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:04
Carolyn Koh and Laura Genender debate the correlation of tradeskills and female gamers.
Laura Genender: One thing I've always hated in MMOs is when people assume that, just because I'm a female gamer, I should be really into the tradeskills and crafting aspect of the game. Personally, I've always avoided crafting skills like the plague; even in craft-centric games like A Tale in the Desert I spent more of my time working with flower genetics and exploring the desert than I did at the loom or the kitchen.

Carolyn Koh: One thing I have found in playing MMOs for the past 8 years is that many female gamers enjoy the tradeskill and crafting aspect of the game. I myself do. It's a challenge outside of just blowing things up, and that is, in of itself, an aspect of an MMO that is more attractive to female gamers than to males.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Friday - June 02, 2006

Jesper Kyd Interview @ GameDaily.biz

by Inauro, 08:24
GameDaily.biz talks with Jasper Kyd about his work as a music composer in the computer gaming industry.
GameDaily BIZ: When you sit down to write music, what gets you motivated, puts you in the right mood to produce game music?

Jesper Kyd: I am excited about how I can enhance the game experience and how the music piece I am writing is going to enhance the situation I am writing it for. There is so much that can be done with music. There are no limits anymore since technical limitations are not a huge concern these days. And with music budgets for most games now the size of independent films, sometimes even larger, there are so many creative things we could be doing. We have only just scratched the surface and pushing things forward is also a huge inspiration for me.
More...

Source: GameDaily.biz

Thursday - June 01, 2006

MMO Burnout - Editorial @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 06:48
MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller examines MMO burnout and asks the question, when does an MMORPG become too much?<blockquote><em>Many of the readers on this Web Site have been playing MMOs for several years now. From the dawn of Ultima Online through the success of World of Warcraft, we are almost reaching the ten year point in the MMO history of gaming. The next generation of MMOs is offering a lot of options to players; they are also offering a lot of promises. In this editorial I want to try to find out when you finally reach burn out on a game. I definitely am an older player when it comes to video games. I have seen it all, from Atari 2600a "!s Adventure to The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I have played many RPGs. I played my first D&D character at age seven, he was a dwarf fighter. At thirty-three, how many more dwarf fighters do you think I really want to play? None! Variety in games is what many players I know are always looking for. It is that variety that drives us to new ideas in game play. MMOs are always under fire for being very linear and boring. That style of game eventually leads to burn out. How long can you play your Night Elf Hunter until you are sick of him/her? My point with this editorial is to try to find out when players finally reach burn out on a game.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/694/page/1" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: MMORPG.com

Computec Launching Buffed.de

by Inauro, 02:59
Computec has announced plans to launch <a href="http://www.buffed.de" target="_blank">www.buffed.de</a> to coincide with the Games Convention in Leipzig on 24 August 2006.<blockquote><em>Computec Media is launching www.buffed.de the internet-destination for all online-gamers on the 24th August 2006 at the Games Convention in Leipzig.<br><br>A wide range of services and the largest German World of Warcraft databank will position the service as a universal contact point for the community.<br><br>Online gamers invest on average 200 Euro a year in their hobby and play on average 18 to 26 hours a week. Online games, along with mobile games, are the largest growth motors in the games market. In Western Europe and North America alone, a sales volume of 1.8 billion Euros is predicted up to 2007 (Source: Screen Digest/Goldmedia). All market research institutes see Europe in particular as a growth market. According to Informa the six billion US-Dollar mark will be reached in 2010 on the international market.<br><br>www.buffed.de offers this rapidly growing target group a unique full service package and competent editorial coverage:<br><br>A- News, tests and market overviews for all online-games<br><br>A- Online shops with target group oriented products and services<br><br>A- Communication platforms and chatrooms<br><br>A- Voice over IP and website solution services<br><br>A- Comprehensive databank search engine<br><br>A- Instant game access<br><br>A- User meetings and community event management<br><br>The centrepiece of www.buffed.de is BLASC, the largest German databank for World of Warcraft, the most successful online role playing game in the world. Under the address www.blasc.de this service currently gets more than 50 million page impressions a month. The acquisition of BLASC by Computec Media AG emphasises the service-orientated character of the website. The founders of BLASC helped create www.buffed.de along with the databank, in the future they will be employees of Computec Media.<br><br>Christian Bigge will take over management/chief editorship of www.buffed.de in addition to his position as manager/chief editor of the PC games magazine PC Action. a SComputec Media is the first publishing house in the world with its own website in this future orientated market. www.buffed.de will increase Computecsa "! previous page impressions fourfold right from the start.a ?<br><br>a SWith the launch of www.buffed.de on the 24th August, Computec Media is realising a major project, which we announced at the start of the yeara ?, said Johannes Sevket Gzalan, Chief Executive of Computec Media AG. a SThe destination for all nline-gamers will set new standards for this lucrative growth market.a ?<br><br>The media company Computec Media is based in F1/4rth and reaches an audience of millions around the world of electronic entertainment every month through its magazines and digital media (DVD/Online). Computec Media offers its readers expert information about the complex topics of digital lifestyle, PC and video games, hardware, cinema/DVD and kids. The company currently has around 150 employees. Computec Media AG is an affiliate of Marquard Media AG, Zug/Switzerland. The publisher is J1/4rg Marquard.</em></blockquote>

Source: Games Press

Fury: Joseph Hewitt Interview @ MPOGL

by Inauro, 02:45
The crew at Multi-Player Online Games List send word that they have an interview with Joseph Hewitt, a Senior Designer at Auran Games, who is currently hard at work on Fury.<blockquote><em><b>MPOGL</b>: 2) Can you give us a brief over-view of the game for our readers that may not know what a SFurya ? is?<br><br><B>Hewitt</b>: Fury is an online, team-based, competitive, action-based, arena combat game. Translating those adjectives to normal English you get a MMO game with character development, trials (quests) and loot. You are competing directly against other players in fast paced PvP combat. It has been described as MMORPG style combat and character development with FPS style game types, ladders and arenas.Fury is built completely around competitive game play in such a way that you will still have a good time and progress your character even if you lose the match.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.mpogl.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=925&Itemid=42" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: MPOGL

Wednesday - May 31, 2006

Ultimate Baseball Online: Interview @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 04:11
Netamin's Gabriel Law talks to RPG Vault about the company's Ultimate Baseball Online.
Jonric: To introduce Ultimate Baseball Online, what kind of game is it? What kind of audience do you feel it can attract, and do you think it will appeal to online world players?

Gabriel Law: Ultimate Baseball Online (UBO) is the first massively multiplayer online sports game (MMOSG) in the world. Each position on the field can be manned by a real player. Players can pitch, bat, field, steal bases and do everything as in a real-life game. Moreover, players start their career with basic characters, and their statistics are recorded in these categories: AB, H, HR, ERA, SO, Outs and so many more. Points are awarded in accordance to players' performance, and players can grow their characters to specialize in any of the seven performance parameters, such as speed or power batting. Furthermore, players can form their own teams and even leagues, sometimes for organized and prize-laden competition.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

GameCenterGroup Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 04:09
MMORPG.com speaks with D. Scott Mattson of GameCenterGroup about the services the company offers to MMO developers.
MMORPG.com: For those who may not be familiar with Game Center Group, could you quickly summarize what kind of services you provide?

D. Scott Mattson: GCG provides companies that are considering an MMO, consulting services specifically related to Customer Support. We also offer a turn key solution to host the entire support side of the house if the client wants to avoid the management headaches of the support organization. Launch readiness on people, process and tools is really where we shine. For existing MMOs we provide an assessment and recommendation on their CS model and provide direct ROI in terms of customer satisfaction.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Fury: E3 Preview @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 03:58
RPG Vault takes a closer look at Auran's Fury as seen at E3 2006.
Rather than a character class system, the team has incorporated incarnations, which are different combinations of abilities and equipment. Together with every avatar being able to learn any skill and wear any item, this should make it easy to switch among a variety of play styles as you deem appropriate. The advancement scheme is also unusual and interesting. You gain power by recovering lost memories. Doing so requires completing related quest-like tasks within the PvP scenarios. Rank is based on the number unlocked, not on levels gained by accumulating experience points. Combat includes a meta-layer based on building up elemental charges that should enhance the strategic element. There will be four modes ranging from solo free for alls to small-, medium- and large-scale group encounters. The pace is on the quick side but seems manageable for most players. The graphics appear to be very competitive.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

E3 Previews @ Stratics

by Inauro, 03:56
Stratics has a trio of E3 previews available.<br><br><a href="http://www.stratics.com/#newsitem1149040342,25899," target="_blank">Dark and Light</a>.<blockquote><em>When I met with Stephane Quilichini the lead game designer for Dark and Light I wasna "!t entirely sure what to expect, however shortly after sitting down it quickly became apparent to me that Dark and Light was much more than I had ever expected. I was still somewhat awe struck with the whole of E3 however in a meeting room at the Kentia hall of the Los Angeles Convention center I was shown something truly amazing.<br><br>Dark and Light is billed as a SThe largest MMORPG ever seena ? and it is just that. The Dark and Light world is absolutely monumental in scale, Mr. Quilchini had the ability to pop in and out of any place on the DnL map anyplace that he desired and after looking at the world map fully zoomed out and then seeing the tiny microscopic spec of land on the map become a mountain range before my eyes was simply awe inspiring.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.stratics.com/#newsitem1149040494,5457," target="_blank">Archlord</a>.<blockquote><em>Archlord has a very important question to ask of all its potential players. Do you have what it takes to become the Archlord? When I stepped into the Code Masters meeting room I was entirely too impressed with my surroundings, everything was very nice and I was surrounded by well-dressed businessmen in suits. I looked completely out of place to say the least however we were all there on business, and I was there to see the Archlord.<br><br>My posh surroundings aside I found myself sitting learning about Archlord for the first time and Ia "!ve got to say I was impressed with what I saw. Archlord is based on the concept of the Archlord system in which players vie for control over the entire server. The Archlord system is one where a single player can gain control through a battle for supremacy. The Archlord himself is just a man, a man supported by his guild who has helped him to become the servera "!s number one power.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.stratics.com/#newsitem1149040711,8778," target="_blank">Huxley</a>.<blockquote><em>While at E3 I had the pleasure of meeting with Webzen, the creators of the upcoming game Huxley. Huxley is a MMOFPS (Massively Multi-Player First Person Shooter). Huxley is a science fiction styled game in which 3 races battle it out in a futuristic world.<br><br>I had the pleasure of watching several people play the game and I personally think that this game will bring a unique atmosphere to the MMORPG community. Huxley is unlike any other game out on the market due to its futuristic backdrop and massive first person shooter theme.</em></blockquote>

Source: Stratics

MMOGChart.com Updated

by Inauro, 02:23
<a href="http://www.mmogchart.com" target="_blank">MMOGChart.com</a> has been updated to version 20.0. For those unfamiliar with MMOGChart, the site tracks the population growth of MMOGs and publishes the results in an easy to understand format. Here's the official word on the latest version:<blockquote><em>Version 20.0 is now available! This is a major update, with updated numbers for many games, most notably World of Warcraft, Eve Online, RuneScape, and most of NCSofta "!s titles. Ia "!ve also added three new MMOGs to the tracking data: Tibia, The Matrix Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Ia "!ve also removed the old subscriber data for Ragnarok Online in Japan, and unified the various total subscriptions charts. Also new to this update is preliminary market data for Asian MMOGs (including Ragnarok Online) that are commonly reported in terms of Peak Concurrent Users and Average Concurrent Users. Given the differences in pricing models, many of these games are not subscription-based, so a direct comparison with subscription MMOGs cannot be made. There are literally dozens more Asian MMOGs that are not included; Ia "!ve tried to chart the ones that are the most well known and for which I could get multiple data points. In the future, I hope to get more data on these games directly from the companies involved, so my data can be updated on a more frequent basis. My thanks to everyone who helped with this update, and thanks to those of you who waited patiently for this update!</em></blockquote>

Source: MMOGChart.com

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean Online: Preview @ GamersInfo

by Dhruin, 06:59
GamersInfo has a <a href="http://www.gamersinfo.net/index.php?art/id:1119" target="_blank">look</a> at Pirates of the Caribbean Online from E3:<blockquote><em>Few would disagree that Disney has a hit on its hands with ToonTown Online. It took a few years of learning and tweaking but they captured the youngest of audiences and brought them into the MMO market in a way most parents felt safe and confident with. With Pirates of the Caribbean Online Disney is ready to reach for the next step up a  the E10+ crowd. The little we saw looks as if theya "!ve got off to a good start.<br><br>The first thing to understand is this is not an adult game and is not drawn in an adult style. Neither is it in a wholly cartoon-style as ToonTown is a  it lies somewhere pleasantly in the middle. You will be playing in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean but not as the characters from the movie (or the ride). Ita "!s a rather fun, caricatured presentation of Spanish, English and a SShantya ? style pirate worlds.</em></blockquote>

Hero Online: Interview @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 06:16
RPG Vault speaks with Jack Stanley, the Lead Game Designer for Hero Online.
Jonric: As an introductory overview, what kind of online world is Hero Online? What is its underlying premise or concept?

Jack Stanley: Hero Online is an incredibly innovative MMORPG that integrates the excitement and wonder of Asian martial arts folklore into an immersive online world where players can experience the rush of martial arts movements without having to invest years of actual training time. Maneuvers like running with incredible speed or jumping incredibly tall heights are all basic skills that players will have the opportunity to master in addition to learning combat with skills in both unarmed and weapon forms. Think Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets MMORPG, and you'll probably have a general idea of what Hero Online is like.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Monday - May 29, 2006

Hero Online: Dev Journal @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 01:27
MGame reveals a few details of its next project to be brought to the North American (and presumably, world) MMO market, Hero Online.
Imagine for one moment, all sound fading away as light dims into complete darkness. You are alone and there is nothing else besides your self. Gradually, a light begins to form and sound begins to return. At first, they return so slowly you hardly notice, but soon you are flooded with sensory information that all say one thing: You are no longer where you once were. Looking around you realize that you are in the middle of a bamboo forest with green sunlight shining through a canopy of Bamboo leaves. The bamboo stalks serenely sway as you feel the wind breeze easily through the forest. The forest floor is soft and cushiony as you walk around trying to get a bearing of where you are. For every step you make you hear the soft rustle of leaves and smell an indescribable aroma that warms the heart. The sound of birds chirping seems to come from everywhere and nowhere in particular. It is neither loud nor quiet, but perfectly resonated to match the quiet atmosphere of the bamboo forest. Despite not knowing where you are, this place induces an inescapable sense of peace.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Saturday - May 27, 2006

Hero Online: Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:15
MMORPG.com has seven exclusive screenshots of MGame's Hero Online. MGame, you may recall, are the team behind The Legend of Ares.

Source: MMORPG.com

Information about

MMOWatch

Homepage
Country: Internet