MMORPG General News - All News
Monday - June 12, 2017
Habitat - World's First MMO is Back
Alrik spotted that the world's first commercial MMO Habitat, has been brought online again by the people of the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE).
31 years after Lucasafilm Games launched a beta version of its groundbreaking massively-multiplayer online game Habitat, the game is being brought back online by the folks at the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in Oakland, California.
This is a big deal because when Lucasfilm launched it on the Commodore 64 in 1986, Habitat (seen below) was basically the world's first commercial graphical MMORPG.
MADE founder Alex Handy and the rest of the restoration team have been working for years to rebuilt Habitat, ever since Handy (in the course of preparing an exhibit about the historical value of the game) unexpectedly received the game's source code (which has since been publicly released) from Habitat lead Chip Morningstar in 2014.
Friday - January 20, 2017
MMORPG News - Shards Online
PCGamer takes a long look at Shards Online and finds it a relic, in a good way.
Shards Online immediately feels like a relic from a different era—and I don't mean that to be an insult. I discovered this when first trying to purchase a potion from a merchant and realized that there's no shopkeeper interface to work with. Instead, his stock is spread out on a table before him. By picking up an item, he'll tell me how much it costs. At first, it felt frustrating to add these extra steps to the process, like stepping into a McDonalds and having to order my 2 am shame nuggets from a human instead of zipping through the drive-through. But that old timey traditionalism is everywhere.
Once I adjusted to the pace at which Shards moves, I started to enjoy playing in a world where not everything is convenient. My backpack physically displays items in it so I'm reminded that even in videogames my life is a cluttered mess. Quests aren't marked with glowing exclamation marks above people's heads. And even figuring out how a skill or system works can require trial and error. If it wasn't for Derek Brinkmann, CEO of Shards' developer Citadel Studios, guiding me around for a bit, I'd probably be ghoul food by now.
For someone who has spent the last few months slaying demons in World of Warcraft, those differences almost feel alienating. Modern MMOs try to be such a smooth ride it's like slathering myself in butter before diving headfirst into a water slide. Shards, however, is content to let me feel every bump and knock on my way to figuring out what the hell I'm doing. Even a simple quest to check in on a gravekeeper became an hour-long affair because I was so used to having arrows mark every step of the way.loading...
Tuesday - January 10, 2017
Tibia - Celebrating 20 years of existence
@PCGamer they take a look at Tibia. An MMO which has been going for 20 years and is still in active development.
"I'm happy and grateful that our student project has grown into such an MMO hit, supported by a very dedicated team and, most of all, by our wonderful players," says co-founder Stephan Vogler. "Even after 20 years we're not running out of ideas for Tibia-I'm sure the game will keep attracting players for years to come."loading...
Monday - November 28, 2016
MMORPG News - Project Genom returns to Steam
@RockPaperShotgun Project Genom is an early access science fiction MMO which was removed from Steam due to a disagreement with a programmer. However everything looks to have been resolved with the game now available on Steam again.
"All questions regarding disagreements on intellectual property rights have been legally resolved in the pretrial order," said developers NeuronHaze.
The disagreement began shortly after the game's release on early access in October, Stekhnovskii was fired from the project. He claimed this was because the developer didn't want to pay him the agreed 10% of sales from the launch month, which he claimed "exceeds by far" anything the game had made before. Meanwhile, NeuronHaze said they had fired the programmer for not doing enough work in previous months.
Whatever the case, it looks like the problem has now been fixed without any prolonged and debilitating court cases. That's probably for the best. The developer also says that work is still continuing on the game, despite worries among players caused by the recent legal troubles.
Friday - March 18, 2016
Camelot Unchained - Interview @ MMORPG
MMORPG interviews Mark Jacobs about the development of Camelot Unchained, focussing on the crunch mode the team is in now, in order to get ready for beta.
MMORPG: How are the first days of Beta crunch going?
MJ: Great so far. No blood has been spilled, lots of good food has been prepared by Lady J (as I type this, she is headed here with carnitas, tacos, lots of fun side dishes), and the code and art assets continue to fly out of the studio. Hopefully, we’ll be able to lasso those and get them into the game before they fly away and we can’t use them in Beta!
In all seriousness, everything is going fine. Important elements of the game are being added, and it’s nice to see us be able to begin to shift our focus away from just making a great engine to making a great game. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to really focus most of the team on making game assets, rather than having a real split between engine assets and game assets.
MMORPG: Alpha seems to have been the foundational tech testing phase, which a little bird told me CU absolutely excelled at! Beta sounds like it will be the first phase where CU starts to mechanically and physically resemble the game it will become, is the team as excited as the backers are to see that to come to fruition?
MJ: Oh yeah. We want to start putting in more game stuff just as much as our Backers want to see us putting in more game stuff. It really is a two-way street, as most of us are gamers and MMORPGers as well. On a personal level, I’m happy that we are going to have the first bits of crafting in the game in time for Beta 1. I’ve been working on the spreadsheets for quite a while, and it’s nice to be able to see it in the game, even in a very rudimentary form. And again, as most of the team are gamers, and some are hard-core MMORPGers, it’s great to be able to see some of the things we’ve talked about wanting to have in an MMORPG in our own game.
Friday - September 19, 2014
RPGWatch Feature - In Defense of the Subscription-Based MMO
Aubrielle has written an opinion editorial about why she feels subscription-based MMOs have a lot going for them compared to F2P MMOs.
When the dragon appears, we charge out of the gates and into the blinding snow. A horde of names and robes and armor surge north, ready to destroy the malicious creature for its XP. There's no goofing around, nobody jumping up and down like an idiot. There's no immersion breaking screen names like "xXPwnN00bsXx", no teenage boys awkwardly trying to gain the approval of their peers by spamming chat with hate and slurs. It's just us - the serious players and the mobs. The mobs don't stand a chance, because the players are working as a team.
It just flows like that. Nobody needs to point it out or ask for it to happen. We're all on the same wavelength. As one of the few healers around, I look for players taking a lot of damage, and I hone in on an archer. They're dealing a lot of damage, but they're also taking a lot, and it's not because they're being foolish. It's just a hard fight. I keep them in my sights, healing as needed, and they take time out of the busy, dangerous battle to thank me. After our horde triumphantly slays the dragon, we disperse. Most will remain together, headed south as a set of teams to look for more events to grind. The archer I looked after asks if they can follow me south, joining me to grind those events. We don't talk all that much, but when we do, there's grammar and politeness. I log off that night with a new friend on my list, and so it goes.
Thursday - June 26, 2014
Das Tal - Secures Funds for Development
This info on the MMO Das Tal popped up in our mailbox.
PvP Sandbox MMO 'Das Tal' Secures $130,000 to Fund Early Development - First Alpha Test Set for July
Fairytale Distillery, creators of the PvP Sandox MMORPG ‘Das Tal', just announced that they have successfully secured €100,000 ($130,000) funding for their early development phase. The money has been granted primarily by the Bavarian Games Fund (FFF Bayern), and is supplemented by a local angel investor. This budget will speed up the development of Das Tal, and give the team the ability to bring in new team members to start work on important areas such as character animation, interface design, skill effects and sound design.
Most importantly, it means a basic playable build will be available for public testing in July. This is the first chance to try out the game since the gameplay prototype tests in 2013, and new testers will be added to the current pool. You can sign up for the alpha tester waiting list over on their web site.
The game web site has been completely re-designed to match the new art style of the game itself. This brings us a host of new concept art posted in their media section and a new developer video that gives us an introduction to the game's core features and what they endeavor to create.
Fairytale Distillery also have set their sights on a July Steam Greenlight submission. That means that fans will be able to show their support on the Greenlight page and help the game become available on Steam Early Access in the near future. Make sure you sign up to their mailing list or follow them on Twitter / Facebook to be alerted when Das Tal takes the leap.
About Das Tal
Das Tal takes place in a fast-paced Sandbox MMORPG environment that focuses on player interaction. Full Loot and Open PvP creates a game of "risk vs. reward" where players weigh up their options before engaging others. Incentives will encourage a variety of playstyles, and players will decide how to interact with those around them. Each world is unique in its feature set and geography - and players pick those features! Time-boxed servers create winners and losers and offers the chance to regularly start anew. A class-less character system allows the shaping of characters to fit a range of playstyles. Fight for resources to craft equipment and construct a settlement, and defend it against enemies. PvP combat is 100% skill-based, frequent and easily encountered. Both small-scale raids and large-scale sieges are available for all players at any time.
About Fairytale Distillery
FD is a small, independent games startup located in Munich, Germany. It has been founded by Alexander Zacherl & Sebastian Dorda who originally met in one of the earliest local game jams. The two then worked together at Zacherl's first Games Studio - Bit Barons - and decided to spin out and bootstrap FD to finally make the game of their dreams: Das Tal. The two are being joined by a distributed team of specialists, with their art department (centered around Art Director Michail Mamaschew) located in Berlin and their Communications HQ (David Wells) in far-away Australia.
Here is a video they ave made available:
Tuesday - June 04, 2013
MMORPG Gaming - The Ultimate Nerd Expression?
Fluent writes in with his personal opinion on why an MMO is better in certain areas than a single player RPG.
First, let's talk about the amount of content that an MMORPG has. MMORPGs in general have a ton of content. Quest content, things to do, places to see. Let's look at one MMORPG that I'm playing right now, Lord of the Rings Online. This game has a grand total of 21 huge zones which you can explore, with well over 2000 (!) quests to be found in these zones. Not only is that a ridiculous amount of content, more content is added all the time through expansions (of which there are 4 of at the moment) and updates. That's enough content to keep any RPG fan busy for a long time.
Exposition of lore. One thing I find great about RPGs is how they build a coherent game world using fantasy lore. In a game like Lord of the Rings Online, the lore is expounded upon to a very high degree. Every quest you find is weaving some small story in the world of Middle Earth, and you are learning more and more about the world you're in with every task that you complete. This also goes hand in hand with the amount of content. Since there are more quests around, there is more chance to expand upon the lore in every situation. Being a lore junkie myself, this aspect of MMORPGs is most satisfying. Single-player games have this as well, but usually the worlds are not quite as filled out as the MMORPG counterparts, mainly due to the sheer scope and size of an MMORPG being greater than that of a single-player RPG.
Do you agree or do you see things from a different perspective?
Thursday - May 02, 2013
Camelot Unchained - About Fans and Spamming
Penny Arcade has written an article on how fans of Camelot Unchained made sure the press would not touch it, by sending out several mails to news sites about the campaign. We've received quite a lot of mails on Camelot Unchained as well, urging us to write about it, but as we aren't really focusing on MMO Kickstarters, I've tried to ignore them.
This isn't promotion, it's harassment
This is what it looks like from our end: dozens, if not hundreds of e-mails that all say the same thing, urging coverage of the Kickstarter. In many cases the exact same wording is used. This is what spam looks like, and it takes a decent amount of time to clean it out of your tip section. I've spoken to multiple editors about this issue, and they all expressed annoyance at the Camelot Unchained spam, and this has led most of us to not cover the game. No one likes spam, and coverage sends the message that harassment campaigns work.
I've complained about this a few times on Twitter, and finally a fan of the game contacted me to explain the situation. "One of the guys involved with another successful Kickstarter suggested that we email the same places they emailed and ask for some media coverage," backer Justin Majeroni explained. "This turned into someone coming up with a pretty good email and posting it in the comments along with the list and asking for a few people to hit up all these media outlets."
During my one-on-one conversations over e-mail it’s clear that they didn't mean to become spammers, but that was the end result. Their efforts had the opposite intended reaction; the press is actively annoyed due to the flood of spam, and bombing forums with information about the game is likely to turn other communities against Camelot Unchained as well.
It’s a fine line. Our readers often point us towards interesting Kickstarter campaigns, but we’ve complained about spam in the past, and organized attempts by large numbers of people to cover a campaign usually backfire. This is especially true if they’re simply repeating some or all of what amounts to a chain letter.
After the story the fans flocked to Penny Arcade with the result of the comments thread being clopsed now.
Friday - September 11, 2009
MMORPG News - Wrap Up @ Incgamers
Recent news on many MMOs @ Incgamers.
If you're not too familiar with Massively Multiplayer Online Games then, yes, there is more to the genre than World of Warcraft. In fact, new MMOs spring up every day, but only a handful manage to stay the course. So with no further ado, welcome to this week's MMO wrap-up. It's a compilation of all the big announcements about existing and upcoming games in one place, and this week we talk about WoW, Champions Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Darkfall, Funcom's new project 'The Secret World', Star Trek Online, Aion, Lord of the Rings Online and EVE.
Monday - August 24, 2009
MMORPG News - Selling Accounts
Massively bring up the issue of selling MMO accounts you can check out their debate here.
The debate over whether or not players should be allowed to sell their MMO accounts is almost as old as the genre itself. Most end-user license agreements prohibit players from lawfully selling their accounts and even eBay wants nothing to do with virtual items anymore. We thought it might be poignant to bring it back up again given a couple recent evolutions in MMOs and gaming in general.
First is the rise of the Free-2-Play sub-genre of MMOs. When a game costs nothing to download and nothing to play, what sort of effect do you think this should have on the argument? Does this mean that players are even less entitled to "ownership" of their accounts than before when they at least paid to play? On the flip side, there's the increasing popularity of trade-ins and used game reselling (from GameStop to Wal-Mart). If players are entitled to some kind of value for their previously owned console games, why not MMOs and their associated accounts? Let the debate begin (again)!
Wednesday - July 01, 2009
MMORPG News - Best of E3 Awards @ Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer has a list up covering what in their eyes are the best MMORPGs at E3. There are different categories but the best of the show was....
Best of Show - Star Wars: The Old Republic
Maybe it was the absolutely phenomenal trailer that BioWare led off with (which many at E3 were calling the best Star Wars cinema in 30 odd years), or the retro-styled booth where they were doing the demo of the highly convincing bounty hunter and smuggler classes or the revelation that a game can go full voiceover without obstructing gameplay. SWTOR is still a long way away and we have much, much, much more to see, but not only did Bioware bring the full package to this year's premier games event, the core of the game looks very compelling and so far, worthy of the hype.
Tuesday - June 30, 2009
MMORPG News - China bans Goldfarming
Goldfarmers packing bags and moving shop.
Virtual currency, as defined by Chinese authorities, includes "prepaid cards of cyber-games," according to a joint release issued by China's Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Commerce on Friday.
"The virtual currency, which is converted into real money at a certain exchange rate, will only be allowed to trade in virtual goods and services provided by its issuer, not real goods and services," the Ministries said.
The Chinese government estimates that trade in virtual currency exceeded several billion yuan last year, a figure that it claims has been growing at a rate of 20% annually. One billion yuan is currently equal to about $146 million.
The ruling is likely to affect many of the more than 300 million Internet users in China, as well as those in other countries involved in virtual currency trading. In the context of online role playing games like World of Warcraft, virtual currency trading is often called gold farming.
Tuesday - June 16, 2009
MMORPG News - Massive Growth of Virtual Worlds Expected
In a report from Strategy Analytics that the number of virtual worlds players will rise from 186 million now to 640 million in 2015.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics today released its forecast for growth within the virtual worlds sector and to say it sees growth would be an understatement. Overall, the firm said it sees the global population of virtual world users growing from 186 million today to almost 640 million by 2015 -- that's almost one hundred million new players a year, a nearly 25 percent compounded annual growth rate. The fastest growing demographic is kids between the ages of 5 and 9 which the company predicts will grow 27 percent; the current largest segment of virtual worlds players, tweens and teens, should grow by some 21 percent, according to the company.
When it comes to revenue growth, the key drivers, the company says, will be microtransactions, subscriptions, and advertising/sponsorships, with microtransactions expected to grow from slightly over $1 billion in 2008 to $17.3 billion in 2015. Microtransactions will account for approximately 86 percent of all revenue generated by virtual worlds.
Here's how the company sees growth over the next six years:
Adult: 11.5 32.5
Tween/Teen 125 395.6
Kids 50 209.9
Total 186.5 638
Monday - June 08, 2009
MMORPG News - Blue's News E3 Wrap Up
Blue's News has a nice wrap up of all PC things E3.
Saturday - May 30, 2009
MMORPG News - Making MMOs Massively
Rob Fahey over at Gameindustry.biz has an interesting article on how to co-exist with World of Warcraft instead of trying to beat it.
Many companies have tried to clone the success of Blizzard's game, with extremely limited success. Others have attempted to appeal to the hardcore audience who, some argue, are marginalised by the mass-appeal of WoW - a generally doomed endeavour, since that audience may be noisy online but it's actually extremely small in size and not hugely lucrative. Others still have tried genuinely new approaches, but have failed to learn WoW's vital lessons about accessibility and progression, and have paid the price.
Sony Online Entertainment is one of the companies which has struggled to get the questions right. From being the largest operator of massively multiplayer games in the western world, thanks to the success of the Everquest franchise, SOE has seen its fortunes decline as Blizzard's star has risen. Everquest maintains a legacy audience, but new launches such as Vanguard have badly misjudged the marketplace and failed to attract significant subscriber numbers.
This week, however, SOE is the darling of the online gaming world, thanks to the launch of its much-trumpeted free to play MMOG, Free Realms. Just a month after its arrival, Free Realms has signed up two million users - and that's on the PC client alone, with the PS3 version still in the pipeline.
Free Realms is exactly the kind of departure from the WoW formula which is likely to succeed in the market. It's aimed at a different market segment, with a focus on appealing to young teenagers - and particularly girls, who make up a third of the player base at present. It's built on a radically different business model, with the game being free to play but expandable with the purchase of in-game items or upgrades. Those purchases are supported by the sale of Station Cash cards at a widespread retail network of big brand names like Blockbuster, Best Buy and 7-Eleven.
MMORPG News - Top 20 People in MMOs
For what it is worth Beckett Massive Online Gamer magazine has released its annual list of the most influential people in massively multiplayer online games for 2008. The first place is taken by Blizzard's Rob Pardo.
The complete list of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the MMO Industry:
- 1. Rob Pardo
- 2. Hilmar Pétursson
- 3. John Smedley
- 4. Jack Emmert
- 5. Mark Jacobs
- 6. Todd Coleman
- 7. Jim Crowley
- 8. Andrew Gower
- 9. Chris Cheung
- 10. Michael Capps
- 11. Raph Koster
- 12. Rob Seaver
- 13. Jeffrey Steefel
- 14. Russell Williams
- 15. Gaute Godager
- 16. Richard Garriott
- 17. Min Kim
- 18. Gordon Walton
- 19. David Perry
- 20. Jeff Hickman & Paul Barnett
Tuesday - May 19, 2009
MMORPG News - Designing a Single Server MMORPG @ GameSetWatch
GameSetWatch have a piece from designer and Divide by Zero Games founder James Portnow who explains the advantages of having a single shard MMO server, which has a lot of advantages and a big disadvantage as far as development cost is concerned.
We won’t be able to provide meaningful stories in MMOs until we can allow the players to affect the world they play in. Currently, this is impossible because of the nature of “shards”, “mirrored worlds”, or, as they are best known, “servers” (though this last term is somewhat inaccurate).
The reason for this is: If players on Server A can make choices that differ from those made by players on Server B and those choices actually impact the game world, on the development side you soon end up with a fracturing storyline and so much content to develop that you’ll be fast on your way to learning a lot about bankruptcy court.
There are many ways to solve this problem, my favorite of which is a largely instantiated world tied together with an overarching story structure (I know that’s a dense sentence – come to one of my talks, you’ll find out exactly what I mean by it – but, as it doesn’t really affect the rest of the article, I’m not going to steal more of your valuable time by parsing it).
Tuesday - March 24, 2009
MMORPG News - Dirty Sexy Money
RPS have an article on the top grossing MMOs when looking at entire player spending. It's all here.
What’s interesting is that it isn’t ordered by subscriber/user numbers, but by player spending. It is, in hindsight, a sensible and obvious way to look at the market, but it changes what we thought we knew quite a bit. Games that we often consider to be dwindinling (e.g. Conan, City of Heroes, Everquest II…) are, when squinted at like this, actually doing pretty well by dint of their fairly highly monthly subscription fees. £9/$9 times a couple of hundred thousand is, after all, pretty good money, so long as the server and staffing costs don’t eat it it all. Here’s the run-down, pop-pickers:
1) World of Warcraft
2) Club Penguin
4) Eve Online
5) Final Fantasy XI
6) The Lord of the Rings Online
8) Age of Conan
9) City of Heroes
10) EverQuest II
Friday - March 06, 2009
MMORPG News - Au Farming
The Guardian has some pretty sad figures on Gold Farming.
Li Hua makes a living playing computer games. Working from a cramped office in the heart of Changsha, China, he slays dragons and loots virtual gold in 10-hour shifts. Next to him, rows of other young workers do the same. "It is just like working in a factory, the only difference is that this is the virtual world," says Li. "The working conditions are hard. We don't get weekends off and I only have one day free a month. But compared to other jobs it is good. I have no other skills and I enjoy playing sometimes."
Li is just one of more than 100 workers employed by Wow7gold, an internet-based company that makes more than £1m a year selling in-game advantages to World of Warcraft (WoW) players. Customers may ask for their avatar's skill level to be increased ("power levelling"), or for a virtual magic sword or precious ore to be obtained. As one player put it: "Where there's a demand, China will supply it."
Division of playbour
For thousands of Chinese workers such as Li, "gold farming" is a way of life. Workers can expect to earn between £80-£120 a month which, given the long hours and night shifts, can amount to as little as 30p an hour. After completing his shift, Li is given a basic meal of rice, meat and vegetables and falls into a bunk bed in a room that eight other gold farmers share. His wages may be low, but food and accommodation are included.
These virtual industries sound surreal, but they are fast entering the mainstream. According to a report by Richard Heeks at Manchester University, an estimated 400,000 Asian workers are now employed in gold farming in a trade worth up to £700m a year. With so many gamers now online, these industries are estimated to have a consumer base of five million to 10 million, and numbers are expected to grow with widening internet access.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - February 17, 2009
MMORPG News - Roleplaying and the MMO
An editorial about how roleplaying fits intro MMOs (or actually how it doesn't fit) can be found on Warcry.
For starters, in an MMO you can't be the hero. One of the foundational ideas of an RPG is that events swirl around you. Sure, you may start as a group of peons and you may never rise much above that, but there almost always is the sense that you can be so much more. There is the idea that if the game goes on long enough (and provided your character survives), you may just make a name for yourself. You and your fellow gamers ARE the story. MMOs, on the other hand, are played by thousands of people and you can have thousands of heroes. Sure RPGs have their stock adventure sets which thousands of people play, but they all occur in separate worlds distinctive to each group of players.
Monday - February 02, 2009
MMORPG News - 10 Ways to Fix MMOs
Tim writes about a piece at Trembling Hand titled 10 Ways to Fix MMOs and inspired by Tom Chick's recent (and controverisal) 5 Reasons MMOs Are Broken. Number #1 is making the worlds more engaging:
MMOs tend to come in one of two flavours: theme park or sandbox. But theme parks, like WoW, have come to the fore in recent years, probably because of the grand success of its exemplar. However, theme parks must be done well in order to be convincing, and WoW does do it well. Others don't.
In fact, Warhamme Online is an interesting case in point. You'd think Warhammer would have the ideal pretext for a theme park: a world that doesn't need to change significantly because it's always in a state of war, and no one side can win outright. But it fails, with many on the forums (myself included) finding the static nature of the world to be hollow and unfulfilling - it doesn't take long before you really feel as though your character can make virtually no impact on the world. Which is odd, because in WoW you also know you can't make much impact on the world, but the illusion that you can is more convincing.
Thursday - January 29, 2009
MMORPG News - Five Reasons MMOs Are Broken @ Fidgit
Tom Chick writes at his blogsite Fidgit Five Reasons Why MMOs Are Broken. Subscription fees, button lock, static worlds and social issues all come in for examination. Here's a bit on aggro:
There is no analog for this in real videogames. It's a clunky contrivance, presumably created to keep life interesting for the poor schmucks who get stuck playing the cleric. But this awkward concept is the source of many of the gameplay tropes that keep MMOs from being interesting. Consider how the classes for an MMO are designed around the concept of a tank holding aggro while a DPS class attacks the target, a mezzer holds back adds, and a healer heals the tank, all while the players manage some invisible under-the-hood aggro values that determine which player gets attacked. None of this was in Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, or Ladyhawke with Matthew Broderick? Why is this the starting point for every single MMO battle?
This artifice plays a large part in building game worlds. How often have you sidled through some enemy camp hoping to skirt the aggro radius for a monster? If you weren't so conditioned to navigating aggro, you'd feel pretty stupid walking around, hidden in plain sight, while orcs shuffle through their idle animations twenty feet to your right and left. Remember when you were unsullied enough that it occurred to you how retarded this was? Those were the days.
Thursday - January 22, 2009
MMORPG News - Embrace Gold Selling
Says the founder of virtual worlds developer RedBedlam.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Fraser-Robinson explained that gold farming would always exist so long as it offered the path of least resistance and that it has the potential to ruin games unless action was taken against it.
"It's going to happen whether you like it or not," he said. "People will always find the path of least resistance, if you stop them buying your gold then they'll buy that gold from somebody else who is gold farming."
"If you don't build that into your system then you're not going to be able to compete with the gold farmers and that will ruin your in-game economy, which will in turn ruin your game. At the very least having the recognition that virtual economics is a discipline and is a very important integral part to being a virtual world," he added.
Tuesday - January 20, 2009
Chinese Online Market Grows to 2.67 Billion Dollars
Softpedia has an article on the online games market in China that shows the amount of money generated by the online gaming industry of the Communist state will reach 18.21 RMB or 2.67 billion dollars sometime in 2010. In 2008 it was already 1.86 billion dollars.
That is a clear no from China as far as the question of whether or not PC Gaming is dead is concerned.
Friday - January 16, 2009
MMORPG News - Zork Returns as an MMO
Jolt sent over this press release announcing Legends of Zork:
Jolt Online Gaming Announce Legends of Zork TM Browser Game
Dublin, Ireland. 14th January 2009. Jolt Online Gaming today announced that it will be publishing Legends of Zork TM, which will give players the chance to once again take up the mantle of Zork TM, this time via an Internet browser.
The Great Underground Empire has recently fallen and the land is in disarray. The Royal Treasury has been sacked. The stock market has collapsed, leading even mighty FrobozzCo International to fire employees from throughout its subsidiaries. A craze of treasure-hunting has swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire. The New Zork Times reports that trolls, kobolds and other dangerous creatures are venturing far from their lairs. Adventurers and monsters are increasingly coming into conflict over areas rich with loot. It's a dangerous time to be a newly-unemployed traveling salesman, but it's also a great time to try a bit of adventuring.
LegendsofZork.com will provide online gamers with a persistent online adventure, playable from any Internet browser. Players take up the role of a recently laid-off salesman and part-time loot-gatherer, as he explores the Great Underground Empire. Designed to provide gamers with a casual MMO game they can play on their laptop, desktop or Apple iPhone (in school, work or on the bus), there’s nothing to download, just go to www.legendsofzork.com.
“As a complete Zork geek, I’m very proud to be releasing this title”, stated Dylan Collins, CEO of Jolt Online gaming. “Anyone who plays MMOs will definitely like to spend some time with Legends of Zork while they’re taking a break or browsing around the web. It’s very addictive”.
For more information, beta-registration, and game announcements please go to www.legendsofzork.com.
Jolt Online Gaming is one of the leading browser games publishers in the world with millions of players across its titles.
Friday - January 09, 2009
MMORPG News - The Watch List of 2009
We could have invented the title, but IGN Vault did. They made a rather lengthy overview of MMOs to watch in 2009, such as Darkfall Online, Aion and The Chronicles of Spellborn to name a few. For the complete overview go here.
Sunday - January 04, 2009
MMORPG News - Top 5 Things to Learn
Massively has a list covering the 5 most important things that MMOs should learn in the new year. Here is a piece of the number 1 on the list:
#1 -- "Kill/Quest, Level" concept is a dead horse, get on with it already!
Yes! Get on with it! This is, without a doubt, in my mind, the biggest failure of the industry today. We're following along a solved formula, and it's shooting this industry in the foot. Player needs to level, player completes quests and kills monsters, player reaches next level, player gets new abilities, player uses abilities to go complete quests and kill monsters, et cetera.
We keep asking the question, "Why don't these new games seem like they're as good?" And then we begin this in-depth analysis and begin checking every aspect of the game to find out why this feels like we've done it all before. The answer is taking a step back, looking at the model and exclaiming aloud, "Holy heck in a handwoven handkerchief, we have done this before!"
The reason we keep playing single player games is because each one has it's own twist on the core formula. Couple that with the story and personal experience, and you get a great game. Our MMO industry needs to learn this fact this year -- not next year. The quest/kill, level, quest/kill model has been done and overdone. Gameplay needs to expand past this. Even reputation grinding is nothing more than the quest/kill to level system.
Thursday - January 01, 2009
MMORPG News - Top 10 MMO Machinima Movies of 2008
In this time of lists IGN Vault has another one covering the top 10 of game movies. World of Warcraft is the big winner, with several entries, including the first position with a movie named: Snacky's Journal 4: Doubtful About Dating
This film excels in all areas. While it was a very close call, Snacky's Journal is well made and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. This movie was also the winner of the Drama/Romance Category in the BlizzCon 2008 Machinima Contest, as well as the Grand Prize winner.
MMORPG News - Richard Garriot and his Next Medieval MMO?
Wired has the news that Richard Garriot is considering doing a new MMO in a medieval fantasy style.
"I've got a really strong affinity for the type of game that is represented by Ultima Online," Garriott told me. "No one has gone back and followed up on that. Most MMOs since then have become more combat-oriented, and less of a virtual world; a place where you live. There's good odds you'll see me encourage the team to go that route."
Tuesday - December 02, 2008
MMORPG News - Dungeon Keeper Online
According to gamesindustry.biz a China-based developer acquired the license to make an online version of Dungeon Keeper online, which is intended to be launched in the Asian market, but could potentially make the leap to "other regions".
hina-based NetDragon Websoft has announced that it has acquired the Dungeon Keeper license from Electronic Arts with a view to developing an MMO based on the franchise.
The game, to be called Dungeon Keeper Online, will be operated by NetDragon throughout China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, but may also make the leap to other regions as well, according to the company's chairman Liu Dejian.
"We are delighted to enter into an agreement with EA in the development of our first 3D MMOG," he said. "Our partnership with this internationally renowned game developer is proof of our capabilities in game operations and development as well as a reflection of our market reputation.
"Capitalising our strength to create a strong gaming experience, powerful operating platform and unmatched expertise within China's online game market, we are confident that Dungeon Keeper Online will not only become successful in the Greater China region but also achieve remarkable results overseas."
And EA Asia Pacific president Jon Niermann - interviewed recently by GamesIndustry.biz - added: "The partnership marks a significant milestone for EA as it will enhance our intellectual property and extend our product reach throughout the Greater China region. It will also further enhance our intellectual property with differentiated, high-quality games, particularly in the field of MMOGs."
No predicted launch date for the game, for which the original was an RTS designed by Peter Molyneux's Bullfrog back in 1999, was released.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - November 05, 2008
Trukz - Giant Robot Giveaway
The folks behind Trukz asked us to put up this PR...I'm not sure how much this intersects with our readership but, hey, it's a giant robot we're talking about here:
Trukz.com Giving Away the Most Awesome, Giant 8FT Robot In the World
30th October 2008
OMAC Industries, the collective mad people behind Trukz.com, have managed to get their hands on one of the biggest all-metal robots in the world. This giant robot (which is modeled on one that transforms into a long haul truck, hence the connection), stands at about 8ft tall (that’s taller than Yao Ming) and is made from scrap metal collected from vehicle junkyards. Being of a rather generous nature (it’s possible we were drunk when we decided this), we’ve agreed to give it away to the Trukz.com community. At this stage you should see the attached photos to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of this competition.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, Trukz.com is the web’s leading online trucking game. It’s often described as a “trucking RPG”. You can read more at the bottom of the release.
Why would you want a giant robot, we hear you ask? How could you NOT want one?!? Useful for warding off burglars, wolves and Decepticons, these guys are the 21st century equivalent of elastic bands. Just don’t try flicking them because you’ll probably break your hand.
To have a chance to win this, all you have to do is drive 10,000 miles (in-game, obviously) between now and November 30th, 3008. If you’re not already in the game, just head on over to www.trukz.com and register. It’s all completely free so you’ve really no excuse whatsoever.
Our draw will take place on Monday 1st December 2008 and the winner will be announced on Trukz.com
Your browser may not support display of this image.
Trukz.com allows you to play the role of a truck driver, working for companies or independently delivering cargo between cities across North America and Europe. Delivering cargo on time earns you in-game currency which can be redeemed against new trucks and equipment to make your journey more successful, while avoiding speed traps, police checking your hours of service and accidents along the way.
The game features dozens of routes and different types of cargo for you to haul. The game also features hundreds of companies for you to join, giving you access to additional cargo, repair and fuel discounts, and exclusive routes to work.
With over a third of active players involved in the trucking industry, we are uniquely placed to offer players a comprehensive trucking experience, both as an independent driver or affiliated to one of the many in-game trucking companies. All this is available free to play in your browser.
With over 1.5 billion in-game miles logged since the game launched in April 2007, isn’t it time you got trucking with Trukz.com ?
Saturday - November 01, 2008
Global Agenda - In-Game Footage @ WarCry
Hi-Rez Studios' spy-themed, sci-fi MMO Global Agenda sees its first in-game footage revealed.
Sunday - September 28, 2008
Sho Online - Player Event and Giveaway
Time for a catchup.
MMOsmart sends word of an event for the Chinese semi-historical fanstasy MMO, Sho Online:
MMOSMART AND LIZARD INTERACTIVE LAUNCH ITEM SHOP GIVEAWAY EVENT FOR NEW PLAYERS OF ITS MMORPG SHO ONLINE
Now Through October 6th, New Registrants Get 200 Free Item Shop Points For Valuable In-game Items
San Jose, Calif.—September 24, 2008—Online Game Operation specialist, MMOsmart and game developer and publisher, Lizard Interactive announced today that they are hosting an event for new registered players of their popular fantasy MMORPG, Sho Online (www.shoonline.net). As part of the event, new registered users who sign up anytime starting today until October 6, 2008 will receive a free 200 points in Sho Online Item Shop points to purchase valuable in-game items from accessories like masks and hats, to talisman’s and items to restore chi (health) and much more. To qualify, new registrants must reach level 10. For more information on the event visit The Sho Online Forums!
“The Sho Online community is growing in leaps and bounds,” said David Markowitz, producer of Sho Online at MMOsmart. “With this event we wanted to show new players our appreciation as they join this great community. They have a lot of great content to look forward to in Sho Online.”
Created by Lizard Interactive, Sho Online is an intense lore-driven MMORPG that is based on one of the four Chinese tales in a novel called the Fengshen Yanyi. Written in the Ming Dynasty and based on real historical events, Sho Online merges the account of the conflict between the Yin and Zhou era in the Fengshen Yanyi with the beautiful imaginary world of Taoism.
Sho Online brings fast game play, beautiful graphics, and realistic war environments to each and every player of the game. Slaying intelligent monsters, assisting fellow dynasty members and NPCs, and participating in endless war between the two nations bent on expanding their territories are how most players spend their time in the world of Sho Online.
New players can visit www.shoonline.net to register for the game and download the client.
Thursday - September 25, 2008
Atlantica Online - Open Beta Registrations
NDOORS is about to open the doors of Atlantica Online, with the open beta underway or thereabouts:
The road to open beta is just about clear, ready for the traffic of all you travelers out there on your journey to Atlantis!
The Atlantica Online open beta commences Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Saving Time (PDT). We can’t wait to see you all in the Atlantica world.For people who took part in the closed beta, you must first ready your computer by removing all previous Atlantica program files on your hard drive, prior to downloading and installing the updated client. Click here for more on these details.Once you begin playing in the open beta, you will have to start anew your quest for the fabled lost civilization of Atlantis and your plans for global domination via your guilds. There was a wipe at the conclusion of closed beta - except for the benefits promised earlier to closed beta participants. You can see those benefits in detail in a previous announcement by clicking here.But once you renew your travels in Atlantica, you can continue unabated, without fear of having to start all over again, because there will be no wipe after open beta. You will be able to continue on in your adventures right where you left off when Atlantica officially launches.New players just need to download the updated client from one of our sources (which are listed here) to start making your own mark in the Atlantica world.And during open beta. there will be more to enjoy than just the action and thrills Atlantica has to offer. More than $30,000 in cash and prizes will be handed out to players who participate in the Free Leagues. Find out more about these opportunities here.So let the journey begin. The road to action and glory begins with the first step - downloading the new client!
Source: Blues News
Friday - September 19, 2008
Top 10 Things We Want in a KotOR MMO @ IGN
Yeah, a bit of a silly, speculative article but what the heck. IGN lists the 10 features they'd really like to see in the hypothetical Knights of the Old Republic MMO:
10. Player-Run Territories/Stations/Planets
A guild-owned planet might be a little too extreme, but being able to claim a territory or a station for your guild is an enticing prospect that might make it easier to hold together online allegiances. As a guild increased in rank through group PvP encounters, and by pooling individual achievements both PvP and PvE, it could acquire a territory. If that went well and the guild managed to stay together, manage their property well, etc., they could move onto a moon and, eventually, a planet. In this way the high-ranking players could act sort of like a corporate government, except those at the top would eventually be governing a planet, not just a group of players.
Wednesday - September 17, 2008
What's Wrong with Questing? @ Edge Online
Former Guild Wars writer Jess Lebow, currently with Carbine Studios with Tim Cain, has addressed a GDC audience on the topic of improving quest delivery:
For the first clip, Lebow talked about the quest delivery system in Grand Theft Auto 4 and contrasted it with the traditional MMO quest delivery system of clicking on a NPC and reading a block of text. With GTA4, the cell phone used in the quest delivery system enabled the player to be anywhere and also, fit the world better. Audience members offered suggestions such as delivery owls a la Harry Potter, communicators a la Star Trek, and the Seer Stones in The Lord of the Rings Online.
Friday - September 05, 2008
I Hate Fishing @ Gamer's Creed
Garrett has let us know, that he has written a commentary about fishing in MMOs for his website Gamer's Creed:
Years later, I decided to give World of Warcaft a try. Of course, they *had* to have fishing, too, apparently since it's such a laugh riot to do it. This time, though, I had a plan. I figured that I would just ignore it and concentrate on the rest of the game's content. Wrong. I made the fatal mistake of choosing Alchemy as one of my professions, and sure enough, I raised my skill to the point where I learned a recipe that required a FISH to make the potion. The dreaded Oily Blackmouth fish. Unfortunately, since I'd ignored fishing up to that point, I had to first level up my Fishing SkillzTM before I could even attempt to catch the damn fish. This, of course, took forever, so by the time I could attempt to catch the fish, my character level had advanced to the point where the potion I wanted to create was practically useless (deep cleansing breath).
Monday - August 25, 2008
Lego Universe - "Behind the Scenes" Video
Saturday - August 23, 2008
MMORPG News - Looking for Free-to-Play, Anime, Casual MMOs?
We've had two people writing to us about two different casual, anime and free-to-play MMORPGs, and I might aswell accumulate them in one newsbit.
Founded in 2003, Gaia Online has become the fastest-growing hangout on the web. Millions of people come to Gaia every month to play games, make friends, and participate in the world's most active online community.
Gaia provides a fun, social environment that inspires individuality and creativity. With everything from art contests and poetry forums to fully customizable profiles and digital characters, Gaia is a place where users can create their own space and express their individual style.
- Online Hangout: Millions of people spend hours a day on Gaia, exploring, chatting and just hanging out. Whether they're posting on our forums, participating in special events, or playing our multiplayer mini-games, there's always something fun to do.
- Endless Customization: Gaia revolves around creative customization. Every member can create their own virtual character and dress it up with over five thousand items: clothes, accessories, pets, masks and just about anything else imaginable.
- Thriving Community: Gaia Online boasts one of the most active forum communities in the world with over one billion posts to date. Members can chat in our online games, post messages on our forums, or send each other private messages.
- Gaia Gold Marketplace: Gaia Online is free to join, and members earn free Gaia Gold for everything they do on the site- posting, playing games, or just hanging out. Members can buy thousands of items in our virtual stores, or they can set up their own shops. Our virtual auction house lets members buy, sell and trade their items-- over 50,000 auctions are completed every day!
- Fun and Games: Members can interact, have fun, and earn Gaia Gold with our quick and casual online games. They can also go head-to-head in our Avatar Arena to see who can make the coolest virtual outfit, or test their talents in the Art Arena, where thousands of members vote on the best original artwork.
Thanks Raoul Duke!
Second is the MMORPG Monato Esprit which has begun open beta testing. Here's the official press release:
Reality GapTM has announced that its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Monato EspritTM, will begin open beta today, August 11th. Monato EspritTM is a fantasy game in which players must save the dream world from an invasion by nightmares. Instead of the usual subscription model, Monato EspritTM uses the MetaTIXTM ticket system, which allows players to use tickets to enjoy in-game features and otherwise play for free. Players can buy tickets or earn tickets by trading with other players.
“We are delighted to invite players to enjoy the world of Monato EspritTM,” said Tom Eberspecher, Director of Customer Relations for Reality Gap, Inc. “Monato EspritTM is a rich, 3D game with a deep story and features that show off the power of having a completely player-based economy. Players will enjoy forming parties and going on quests as well as trading with one-another using MetaTIXTM.”
The beta can be downloaded here.
Thanks Jack Everitt!
Thursday - August 21, 2008
7Million - Revealed
The publisher Deep Silver and developer Team Vienna have announced the glamour, thieves MMO 7Million. You can watch a teaser for the MMO at the official website, and below is a brief description that accompanies the teaser:
Ladies and Gentlethieves!
Welcome to 7Million – the game that never sleeps!
7Million is a free to play massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) in the exciting world of spectacular heists, daring thieves and glamorous lady larcenists.
7Million offers something for every type of player: Action filled puzzle games, cool, fully customizable characters and challenging missions – delivered in true style, of course.
Any aspiring crook will find the latest news, pictures and game information here, so be sure to drop in for a visit.
Whether there is reason for MMOWatch coverage is yet to be seen, but we wanted to give you the heads-up for this MMO anyway.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - August 20, 2008
The Secret World - Interview with Ragnar Toernquist @ RPS
Storyteller and game designer Ragnar Tørnquist, known for the adventure game series The Longest Journey, has been interviewed by Rock, Paper, Shotgun and during the interview he touches slightly on the development of Funcom's next big MMO The Secret World:
RPS: And that presumably is your focus for TSW?
Ragnar: For The Secret World, our background is in adventure games, so… we’re building an immensely detailed world, and we’re going to spread that over a number of years. We’re not necessarily going to have a set storyline that spreads over a number of expansion packs, but we are going to have a story that involves the players. I think that’s something that people really want – they want meaning when they go into these games. Even if it’s a game where you spend 80% of your time killing monsters, they’re still looking for that meaning – what am I doing here? Even on a spiritual level – I think people seek that always. Not everybody’s going to care about it, but if one out of five people – if that’s important for them – well it’s there, and you can dig into it and spend years living inside this world and finding new stuff all the time. That’s the great things about MMOs – it’s not finite, there’s always going to be more, places that you haven’t seen, lore you haven’t learned. And we’re definitely going to build on that.
Wednesday - July 30, 2008
Lego Universe - Status & Footage @ Kotaku
Lego Universe might not be RPG related but many are eagerly awaiting news about this MMO, so here is a small up-date on the game's status by Kotaku.
Lego Universe developer NetDevil has given us an, the massive multiplayer online game where you can use bricks to collaboratively "build in real time", having adventures through maps that span across all Lego themes: from Space to City to Pirates to Ninjas to Underwater, everything will be in there. After creating the game tools, the game is now in the world design stage, where advanced Lego users are helping NetDevil to create the actual worlds.
Kotaku also published a video showing artwork and some footage of the game's development.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - July 08, 2008
Runes of Magic - Interview @ RPG Vault
Jonric of RPG Vault has interviewed Axel Schmidt from Frogster Entertainment who is the publisher of the in-development MMORPG Runes of Magic by Runewaker Entertainment. The interview touches a number of elements in the game and is therefore a good introduction to this rather unknown game.
The interview includes five exclusive screenshots.
Jonric: Is your core target audience defined by particular play preferences or demographics? And how will you appeal to such individuals?
Axel Schmidt: With Runes of Magic, we want to appeal to MMORPG fans who appreciate a complete, wide-ranging gameplay concept. It will be great for those who like following deep-rooted, thoughtful background stories, and enjoy having opportunities to undertake short quests, explore the world for half an hour, enter into PvP combat, dive into the ample crafting system... or join a difficult raid with their buddies for several hours. All this will be possible without constraints. Thus, the game combines the best features and strengths of many others on the market.
Every MMORPG player has his first love and nostalgically remembers his first minutes in its world. We want to bring back that feeling, and give them a new home in Taborea, where Runes of Magic takes place. We know this has been promised many times before, but we really want to make players feel at home with the atmosphere, controls and features. And it will be easy for users to see it's the right game for them, because the client will be free to download, and there won't be subscription fees.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - June 17, 2008
Pay to Play: Is it Worth the Money? @ About.com
Dave Spohn of about.com asks the question if regular subscription fees are worth paying for in comparison to other leisures such as singleplayer games, movies, television and going to the bar. He thinks it is, and readers also get a clear idea how he thinks about those who doesn't feel the same way. Below is his prologue:
Although the number of people subscribed to games that charge monthly fees for access continues to grow, we've all heard protests from those that refuse to pay any kind of regular fees to play a video game. Many are accustomed to the traditional retail offerings: buy the box, take it home, and play it forever, or until you get bored of it. By comparison, the $10-$15 per month a lot of MMOGs charge may look rather steep, but are they really a rip-off, or are they good value for your entertainment dollars?
Sunday - June 15, 2008
Crusades - Interview @ gamebunny
What are the intriguing and exciting standout features of the game?
• Seamless ‘planetary-to-space and beyond’ Travel.
• Open ended Leveling System.
• Versatile “Be What You Want To Be” Role Playing with an open ended Storyline.
• Vast Array of Conquest and Immersion potential in a persistently expanding Universe.
• Spherical (non-linear) World Maps.
• Player-built and run Outposts, Cities, and Planets.
• 8 Races, with 6 combat classes, 5 support classes, and 15 professions (subject to change).
• PvE anywhere, and PvP on specific continents and out of Homeworld Solar Systems.
• Unlimited Exploration Potential.
• Extensive Crafting System.
• 13 vehicle Classes, ranging from Anti-Grav Boards to Battle-Cruisers and Carriers.
• “Pay to Play” Standard & Enhanced Subscription Tiers.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - June 03, 2008
Huxley - To be Published in the West
NHN USA have sent out a press release announcing they have secured the rights to publish Webzen's sci-fi MMOFPS Huxley in Western countries. The game is to be published on their gaming platform ijji.com in late 2008:
IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s official. NHN USA, a subsidiary of NHN (KOSDAQ:035420), the largest Korean Internet company, announced today that it has secured the rights to publish the long-awaited Huxley in North America and Western Europe. Bringing online gamers everywhere closer to the chance to exercise their fragging skills against thousands of other players in the first twitch-action massively multiplayer online first-person shooting (FPS) game Huxley, the online shooter is slated to arrive on the PC via ijji.com in late 2008.
“Huxley is one of the most anticipated online games currently in development, and we are very excited to bring the triple-A title to Western audiences,” said Whon Namkoong, CEO, NHN USA, Inc. “Huxley provides gamers with a unique and compelling experience that gamers everywhere are sure to enjoy. The revolutionary online shooter is a welcome addition to ijji.com, the site where millions of fans can play it later this year.”
Huxley is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game to combine the twitch-based fast-action gameplay of a first person shooter (FPS) with the cerebral character development of an MMO to deliver an intense and exciting online entertainment experience of a complete MMOFPS. Players will be drawn into the genre-bending game play, riveting cinematic graphics and intricate setting of Huxley, where they will choose between two races, Sapiens or Alternatives and struggle to obtain a powerful energy source while fighting endless battles against the Hybrids, a mysterious third group born of the two races.
Developed by Webzen, Huxley will be released by NHN USA for the PC and be available to play on the publisher’s renowned gaming portal ijji.com in late 2008. More information will be available shortly at www.ijji.com.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - April 29, 2008
Love - Preview @ 1UP
A preview of Eskil Steenberg's one-man MMO project, Love, has been released at 1UP:
Steenberg works in the realm of procedural game design, a technique you've already seen at work in the likes of Spore, wherein the game itself (not the game's maker) builds worlds, creates creatures, and defines the way they behave. Think of it like this: In a normal game, if a designer wants an oak tree in the world, he has an artist create every inch of it, from root to leaf, by hand. In a procedural game, the designer creates just the seed of that tree, and all the tiny details of its existence, from the way light reflects off its bark to what happens when you drive a car into it, are defined by that seed. The double-sided benefit of such a technique is that game designers can create a huge amount of content in little time, and the objects and possibilities procedural programs produce can be far more varied and numerous than any big-budget army of developers could create the old-fashioned way.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - April 15, 2008
MMORPG News - DicingDangers Open Beta Begins
This is hardly within the normal range of our coverage, but Nicolai wrote to tell us that his browser MMORPG DicingDangers has commenced open beta. Here's what he wrote us:
I thought you might be interested in DicingDangers.com. It is picking up a geed few players and with its quirky graphics and friendly community it is a fun game.
The blurb that followed:
DicingDangers is a new browser based MMORPG. It is a high fantasy graphical/text based realm where you take on the role of one or two characters. The tone is light and fun yet an attempt is made to give it a certain depth. As a characters you start in the City of Nerlan where you are asked to go on a simple introductory quest. This quest involves fishing and rat catching. It gets you right into the key areas of the game; resource collection, exploration and combat. The game is level based, so your character gains levels as he improves. There are many areas to explore and each area is designed for certain levels. Levels are gained by earning experience points when exploring, fishing, making potions etc. Item collection is proving a popular pastime for current players. There are hundreds of items in game, and players enjoy showing off their latest finds. Encounters sometimes drop special items and these can then be seen by other players. A recent introduction to the game is potion making. There is a small quest that leads to the ability to produce healing potions. Combat is obviously a large part of the game. This is split into two varieties. Player versus Player and Player versus Monster. They both work the same and the result is calculated immediately by the game engine. The player however is given tactical options with the ability to set rules for combat. These rules are when to flee, when to use a potion etc and can be based of the amount of life the character has left, or the battle round or even how much gold the character is carrying. Both close combat weapons and ranged weapons are used. Ranged weapons are used for the first 3 rounds of combat. If the enemy does not have a ranged weapon then the attacker gets 3 free attacks. The game is played using action points (ap) to perform key actions. You are given a generous amount, but the idea is to limit game play to a couple of hours twice a day. The reason for this is partly ethical but mostly in order to give those who can only spend a couple of hours a day the chance to keep up with others. This may appeal to older players who have less time to spend gaming. At present there are a few skills such as close combat, ranged combat, alchemy, exploring and fishing. More are on the way, and an important note is that the game is live and thriving, but still in beta mode and being updated daily. For example new lands are opening up all the time. Alchemy is but a precursor to a full magic system. Guilds are to come. There is a lot to do already and hundreds are doing right now, but there is so much to come.
MMORPG News - CrimeCraft MMO Announced
Rock, Paper, shotgun brings news that a new MMO entitled CrimeCraft has been announced:
“Players will take part in the political, economical and social life of a big city. They will run businesses, engage in commerce, and suffer the consequences of confrontations with criminal groups and shadowy law enforcement figures. Powerful AI will support the constantly changing atmosphere of the streets and enable players to feel the live pulse of the Megapolis.”
Official website of CrimeCraft.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Friday - March 28, 2008
MMORPG News - New UE3 MMO Teaser Website
The Swedish company Star Vault has opened a teaser website for their upcoming MMO utilizing Unreal Engine 3. The teaser website features a timer counting down from 11 days and 17½ hours at the time of publication of this newsbit.
The MMO is called "NOW". It might just be a working title. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Friday - March 21, 2008
MMORPG News - Tom Clancy MMO In the Works
Gamasutra reports that a Tom Clancy MMO is in development at Ubisoft. This news comes after it has been revealed today that Ubisoft has bought the rights to the Tom Clancy IP:
Guillemot revealed that the company had considered developing an MMO for some time, but had been held back by the royalty fees they will no longer have to pay.
"On the MMO, the investment is generally high, so you need to maximize the revenue. And with the royalties we had [been paying], it was another barrier not to create the game, because the return on investment was diminished by that," he said.
Continued Guillemot, "Having no royalties, it's going to help us to have a full return, so we are ready and decide now to go for an MMO on the Clancy name -- which is big, because you have on one side Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher, the Rainbow [Sixes] the GRAW and all the other new creations that we have. So this will make that product [a] really big product."
This might be out of our normal scope, so we are probably not going to cover this game continuously unless of course the game turns out to have RPG mechanisms.
Friday - March 14, 2008
Global Agenda - First Screenshots Released
Nine new screenshots of the upcoming sci-fi/espionage MMORPG Global Agenda have been released by Hi-Rez Studios.
Wednesday - February 13, 2008
MMORPG News - Jumpgate Evolution - Interview @ PlayTM
PlayTM talks to Hermann Petersheck about Jumpgate Evolution.
Jumpgate promises a new twist on action, compared to other MMO titles, what can you tell us about how the title will differ?
What we want to do is bring back the experience of Wing Commander, Privateer and X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter and then add to it the depth and fun of an MMO experience. That’s really the vision. We feel that this kind of experience is not around in the mainstream MMO arena and we’re hoping to change that. Having said that, the game will have many familiar things that have come to be staples of MMOs: a player driven economy, loot, multiple advancement paths, social features, quests, “crafting” and things of that sort. Fundamentally, however, it’s a space flight game and that’s where most people will be spending their time.
Friday - February 08, 2008
MMORPG News - Richard Garriott Interview @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra chats to Richard Garriott as part of their ongoing series of interviews asking whether games can be considered art.
Are you tired of talking about MMOs?Richard Garriott: No, because I'm actually still excited about the MMO space. As you've probably heard me say before, the MMO genre -- even though it's ten years old, the most anybody's ever made is two, because the retool cycle is so long. I think the industry is still in it's infancy. I'm still quite excited about it. So no, I'm not tired of talking about it yet.
Earthrise - Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Masthead Studios' CEO Atanas Atanasov and Lead Game Designer Apostol Apostolov about Earthrise, their upcoming MMO.
Jonric: To begin at the introductory level, what kind of game are you aiming for Earthrise to be? What's it about, and how did you come up with the name?
Atanas Atanasov: Earthrise is a post-apocalyptic science fiction MMORPG set in the distant future. After the Third World War, mankind is on the verge of extinction; the only survivors are those who were lucky enough to become part of the Continoma project, which started before the conflict, and enabled the cloning of humans and the preservation of their consciousness. However, when the new society is being formed after the end of the war, its leaders were tempted by the power of the technology, and decided to play God on Earth. This led to social unrest, and a rebellion under a shadow government, Noir. This is the time when people will enter the game and decide the fate of mankind.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - February 06, 2008
Jumpgate Evolution - Interview @ Vault Network
The Vault Hub chats to Hermann Petersheck, Producer of Jumpgate Evolution, about this upcoming space-based MMO.
What sets this game aside from other space games on the market today?
Hermann: Jumpgate is different from other Sci-Fi genre MMOs in that is has a free-form combat system. The game supports both joystick as well as mouse and keyboard combinations; so that we support as many control configurations as possible. We're relying on the skill of the player rather than a dice roll to determine how combat is going to be played out.
Similar to other games, we have a very detailed universe. Our writer Keith Baker (of Ebberon fame) has spent a great deal of time creating a rich and compelling world. There are three major nations and many factions within each nation that help bring the player into the story.
We're also focusing on the fact that this is YOU flying this ship; as opposed to a click to move kind of game. We want the player to feel completely immersed in a game that he or she is the primary component.
Tuesday - February 05, 2008
Cabal Online - Interview @ RPG Vault
Part two of RPG Vault's interview with the Cabal Online team is now available.
Jonric: How would you describe the overall nature of Cabal Online's combat system? How actively does it involve the players? What forms of PvP are supported?
David Hoffman: It's two-fold, really. We have a system where players click on icons and their characters will auto-attack and defend. Personally, I am more hands-on, and the Cabal developers took players like me on into account and developed a system where you can turn this off and have complete control over your attacks and defense. In order to make this more in-depth, we designed a combo system that rewards the player for performing a series of moves upon enemies.
Source: RPG Vault
Sunday - February 03, 2008
Jumpgate Evolution Dev Log @ Official Site
The official Jumpgate Evolution site has been updated with a new developer log looking at the history of the game.
When we started Netdevil 10 years ago to create Jumpgate Classic, we were just a handful of people. Most of us were still working fulltime jobs, but every free minute we had was spent developing the game. For us it was the game that we always wanted to play. At the time the most popular space games were Elite and Wing Commander and those games were our inspiration.
Jumpgate Classic was a true labor of love and because of it we have some great stories to tell. It really shaped us as developers and we gained a lot of experience from it. We often joke that the game was finished on passion alone. Well, passion and a lot of Pizza…
Knowing what we know today and being in possession of much better resources then we were 10 years ago, we felt very confident that we could make a much better game that was based in the Jumpgate universe. A game that would be really special. Thus, the decision was made and Jumpgate Evolution was born.
Friday - February 01, 2008
Jumpgate Evolution - Interview @ Gry.02.pl
Hermann Peterscheck talks to Gry.o2.pl about Jumpgate Evolution.
Andrzej "Klecha" Klimczuk (Gry.o2.pl): Welcome. To start with tell us what kind of online world will Jumpgate Evolution be? What is the underlying concept of this title?
Hermann Peterscheck (NetDevil): Jumpgate Evolution is an action-based space combat MMO. The basic concept is to create a fun and compelling universe that players can lose themselves in.
Thursday - January 31, 2008
Free Realms - Preview @ WarCry
WarCry previews Free Realms, the upcoming browser-based MMO from Sony Online Entertainment.
SOE has grown to be one of the biggest sources of traditional AAA MMORPGs, but with the upcoming FreeRealms, they're trying something new. It's a browser-based, casual MMORPG aimed not only at young people, but at young girls.
Along with their turn towards a crowd to whom they've traditionally not offered games, SOE has gone out of their way to make sure FreeRealms is as accessible as possible. The browser-based client can be emailed and the game itself is free to play. Non-subscribers see advertisements in their UI. For example, in one loading screen, a trailer for a Sony film played. There are also subscription options planned, as well as microtransactions.
Wednesday - January 30, 2008
MMORPG News - Zyon Announces Two Games
Independent game company Zyon Games has announced it is will be publishing two new MMOs this year.
January 30, 2008 San Jose, CA – Zyon Games, an Independent publisher of Free to Play MMORPGS envisioned not just by an industry insider, but by a fan of the genre, is busy at work getting ready to bring its first two titles to the US & European Markets the first part of 2008.
Zyon Games will publish the much anticipated Secret Online in the US early this spring, closely followed by the casual MMORPG Childhood.
“It is really exciting for me to be in this industry at this time, “says Steve Wade, CEO of Zyon Games. “Since it is still early for the free to play space, no one really has a set formula for success; so you see a bunch of companies popping up every month or so all trying to figure it out.”
The company organized in late 2007 by former 24 year old Aeria Games & New Game World veteran Steven Wade says their strategy is “a couple of guys who are passionate about games just fulfilling their dream by doing what they love.”
Secret Online is a full 3D MMORPG full of ancient mystery deeply involved in technology, martial arts, intriguing sociology, and politics. Secret Online allows players to be fully immersed into the fighting experiences with the excellent Hr3D game engine. The Developer has provided a flexible system for players to choose their own unique play style. What's more, with over 200 quest released during open beta, players can look forward to a never ending series of interesting mob kills and quests completions.
Childhood is the only Cute 3D turned based Hardcore casual MMORPG masterpiece in the US targeted at Children from 6 -92. The game play is fast to jump into and fun to play with a very fun and humorous story line to keep players anxiously anticipating their next quest.
Visit ZyonGames.com for future updates!
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
Cabal Online - Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault talks to Executive Producer David Hoffman and colleague Sean Mackay about Cabal Online.
Jonric: What kind of massively multiplayer game Cabal Online? What is its underlying premise, and what are its key points of differentiation in an increasingly crowded market?
David Hoffman: Cabal is a world that begins in the traditional realm of adventure MMORPGs; however, players will quickly discover a world that combines modern day technology with magic. Not only do the environments shift to reflect this, but as your character levels up, skills will be learned to allow use of the technology in forms of weapons and buffs.
Source: RPG Vault
Kingdom Under Fire - MMO Announced @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has word that the RTS franchise Kingdom Under Fire is heading the way of so many others and is slated to become an MMO.
Korean developer Blueside is teaming up with Phantagram to create a Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders sequel.
It will take the series back to its tactical roots after upcoming action RPG spin-off Circle of Doom, and will be a self-confessed pioneer of the MMOARTS genre (massively multiplayer online action real-time strategy).
This, ambitiously, means you and thousands of others can siege castles and wage war online, as any one of three factions: Human Alliance, Dark Kingdom and mysterious new addition.
Jumpgate Evolution - Codemasters to Publish
Codemasters Online has announced it will be publishing Jumpgate Evolution in North America and Europe.
29th January (2pm GMT) – Codemasters Online have today unveiled their next generation MMORPG set for release in 2008, Jumpgate. Developed by the US-based experienced MMOG developer NetDevil, Jumpgate is a space-based MMO incorporating all-new action style gameplay like never seen before in any previous online game.
‘We are very pleased to be working with NetDevil to release this exciting project across North America & Europe. Jumpgate brings something new and fresh to the online persistent space,” commented David Solari, Vice President, Codemasters Online. “The all-action approach and thrilling, twitch-based space combat really sets it apart from other MMOs in the market and we are very much looking forward to releasing this space epic in late 2008.”
Jumpgate is the definitive space combat MMO allowing players to choose from one of three playable nations and engage in an intense action-packed universe. Embarking on an immersive and accessible space adventure players can trade valuable commodities, take part in dangerous outer-space raids, meet and play with friends and live out the dream to become an elite hero or infamous space pirate. The game features both a rich and varied universe to explore and has been designed for experienced and novice MMO players alike.
“We’re really excited about this relationship. Codemasters has already established themselves as a premium game developer and publisher; as well as one of the most successful MMO operators in the business. Very few companies have those kinds of credentials.” commented Scott Brown, President of NetDevil. “This combination of experience and dedication is a perfect fit for NetDevil and we are thrilled to be working with such a great partner.”
Codemasters Online have confirmed that they will be the exclusive publisher / operator of this next generation MMO across Europe and will be working along with NetDevil to bring the game to the North American market.
For more information on Jumpgate visit www.jumpgateevolution.com
Monday - January 28, 2008
Flyff - Interview @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com chats to Joon Kim, Producer of Flyff, about upcoming changes to the game.
MMORPG.com: It appears that you are reset from level 120 back to level 60, what was the rationale behind this?
Joon Kim: To clarify, it is only Mastery that reduces one’s level back to 60, Heroism does not. As to why we did this? There are several reasons as to why, but one of the most significant reasons was to preserve the party system for Masters and Heroes. Benefits of the party system include group buffs and a bonus to EXP; aspects critical for leveling and battles. If a Master or Hero started maintained their 120 status, they would progressively find themselves with less and less leveling partners, thus denying them a substantial aspect of the game.
Friday - January 25, 2008
Earthrise - Interview @ WarCry
WarCry catches up with Masthead Studios CEO Atanas Atanasov to discuss Earthrise.
WarCry: Obviously, as a skill based, classless MMO, you're not out to clone WoW. What were your major inspirations in the design of Earthrise?
Atanas Atanasov: Our team has played a lot of different MMO games including all major titles released up to date as well as some free to play Asian games. During the design stage of Earthrise we wanted to focus on getting the best out of the existing titles and at the same time to implement some new ideas not seen in other MMOs.
If I have to name some game titles UO, EVE in terms of gameplay and Crysis and Gears of War in terms of visuals were major inspiration for us.
In terms of philosophy that stands behind Earthrise, movies such as Equilibrium and Aeon Flux inspired our writers and game designers.
This does not mean that the game will resemble some of the titles mentioned. We will present our interpretation of a futuristic sci-fi world in a post-apocalyptic setting. However, don't expect to see just the typical dark, devastated environment, there are many different places to explore in Earthrise.
Thursday - January 24, 2008
MMORPG News - Perpetual & Kohnke Settle Lawsuit
Shacknews has word that Perpetual Entertainment and Kohnke have resolved their dispute.
Shacknews has confirmed that PR firm Kohnke Communication's lawsuit against former Star Trek Online developer Perpetual Entertainment has been dropped following a mutual resolution.
"The latest development is that the parties have resolved their dispute," a source told Shacknews. "The dismissal of the case was filed with the Court this afternoon."
A representative of Kohnke confirmed the suit's dismissal this afternoon. "The parties have reached an agreement, but we can't detail any further than that," Kohnke told Shacknews. "Part of the agreement was that we would not detail."
Source: Shack News
Wednesday - January 23, 2008
MMORPG News - Earthrise MMO @ WarCry
WarCry is carrying an announcement from Masthead Studios regarding Earthrise, the company's newly revealed post-apocalyptic sci-fi MMO project.
January 23, 2008 - Sofia, Bulgaria - Masthead Studios, the innovative independent game development studio based in Bulgaria, is proud to announce its debut MMO Earthrise, a post-apocalyptic science fiction title slated to release in 2009.
In the aftermath of a catastrophic third world war, Earth lies in ruin, and mankind is all but extinct. In a small corner of the world a new society has risen in the years following, populated mostly by the clones of those stored in a massive DNA database compiled at the end of the war. A corporate government has created a seemingly Utopian civilization, but its heavy-handed control over society, its resources, and even life itself has forced a substantial opposition. These rival factions accuse the government of crimes against humanity in its rampant willingness to abuse the cloning process to its own gain. It is at this crossroads that players will find themselves: fight as a champion of the new world order, or take up arms with Noir, the shadow government sworn to overthrow the totalitarian rule.
Wednesday - January 16, 2008
MMORPG News - Raph Koster Interview @ RPS
Raph Koster talks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the current state of the MMO industry.
RPS: You’ve been saying for a while that you think the games industry isn’t using the web well, and that the influences for new online gaming will have to come from outside the industry. Why do you think that?
Koster: I wish I had a good, sound-bitey answer to that. One of the things is that our influences in the game industry are fairly narrow. Bioshock is one of the big hits of the year, and everyone is impressed by its core narrative influences. It’s a critique of Ayn Rand and Objectivism and all of that stuff. But if you think about it, Objectivism is common currency for game developers, it’s a nerd kind of thing. So we’re not referencing anything too far afield there, a little further afield, but not a lot. A lot of the common cultural currency is not all that diverse, and that was really hammered home for me by watching the Xbox Live trailers for the new year. I sat with my wife and she said that if she hadn’t been told that they were all different games, she would not have been able to tell them apart. They were all so similar.
Tuesday - January 15, 2008
MMORPG News - Jumpgate Evolution Interview @ RPG Vault
Part two of RPG Vault's Jumpgate Evolution interview with Producer Hermann Peterscheck is now online.
Jonric: What major choices will the players have to make when they start Jumpgate Evolution? Will they get avatars as well as ships? To what extent will they be customizable?
Hermann Peterscheck: Currently in Jumpgate Evolution, you will choose your nation and name your pilot. We don't have avatars in the sense of a 3D character running around a station interior. My feeling is that a danger in game development is trying to do too much all at the same time. We want to focus on making the space flight and space experience the best we can, and we don't want to get too distracted by all kinds of other things that the game could do.
Source: RPG Vault
MMORPG News - Codemasters Announced New MMO @ WarCry
WarCry covers the recent announcement of a new 'blockbuster' MMO in the works at Codemasters. I'm not quite sure how you can call a game a blockbuster before its launch, but there you have it.
Codemasters Online announced today that the company's new blockbuster MMO game, scheduled for release in late 2008, will be unveiled at the forthcoming Connect 2008 online gaming event. The new MMO will be fully playable for the first time at Connect 2008 in a world exclusive for the event!
Ed Relf, Director of Marketing, Codemasters Online commented "This is just one of many exclusives we are lining up for lucky visitors to Codemasters Online Connect this year! The support for Connect 2008 is growing rapidly since its announcement this week and we look forward to unveiling both this and further exclusives during this 2-day gaming festival.
Taking place on March 14th / 15th, Connect 2008 is Codemasters Online's premier gaming event spanning all of Codemasters Online's gaming titles including The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, ArchLord, RF Online, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS™ ONLINE: Stormreach™ and much much more!
MMORPG News - Ice Age Online @ Bluesnews
Bluesnews, via Gamers Hell, has discovered an SEC document detailing an agreement between Gravity (makers of Ragnarok Online) and 20th Century Fox to produce an MMO based on the movie Ice Age.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — January 14, 2008 — Gravity, Co., Ltd. (NasdaqGM: GRVY, the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a licensing agreement with 20th Century FOX Licensing & Merchandising for an exclusive seven-year worldwide right to develop and publish “Ice Age Online”, an online game based on FOX’s “Ice Age” motion picture franchise. The game will include elements from both blockbuster films — “Ice Age” and “Ice Age: The Meltdown”.“We are thrilled to be embarking on this Ice Age project,” commented Mr. Il-Young Ryu, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gravity. “FOX is one of the world’s most renowned entertainment companies and we’re excited to develop an online game based on one of its leading intellectual properties. It is our aim to produce a great online game that will meet the expectations of all game users and “Ice Age” fans throughout the world. In addition, Gravity has been pursuing detailed discussions with FOX to publish additional online game titles in the future.”Ellie Dekel, Executive Vice President of Licensing and Merchandising for 20th Century FOX Licensing & Merchandising added, “It’s important for us to have a committed online presence for the Ice Age brand. This agreement will ensure that a top-notch Ice Age gaming experience will be available to fans online for years to come.”“Ice Age Online” is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2009.
Thursday - January 10, 2008
MMORPG News - Zu Online Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault catches up with IGG's Likeice Han to discuss Zu Online.
Jonric: What are the primary background factors that inspired Zu Online, and how are they reflected in the basic concept, main themes and gameplay?
Likeice Han: The main inspiration behind the design of Zu Online came from a Hong Kong movie called Zu Mountain, which was created by the renowned director Xu Ke in 2001, and released in North America in 2004. It depicted a legendary group of mountains in Szechwan, China that became the training place for many kung-fu masters.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - January 09, 2008
MMORPG News - Jumpgate Evolution Dev Journal @ MMORPG.com
NetDevil Programmer Steve Hartmeyerd talks about flight dynamics in Jumpgate Evolution.
Jumpgate Evolution owes the basis of its flight engine to NetDevil's first product, Jumpgate. Arguably a unique feature, the Jumpgate flight engine allowed the game to be distinguished as an online spaceflight simulator, rather than a run-of-the-mill MMORPG, which were only then (in 2001) beginning to be churned out by a nascent industry. Jumpgate's distinguishing element was that, as in prior spaceflight and combat games such as Elite, the Wing Commander series, the X-Wing series, Freespace, and Alliegiance, the player directly pilots their ship, often with a joystick instead of a mouse.
MMORPG News - The Year the Subscription Model Died @ WarCry
WarCry takes a thought provoking look at the current state of the MMO genre and the shadow cast by World of Warcraft.
All the evidence suggests that World of Warcraft is not the harbinger of an expanded marketplace, but an aberration, a lightning strike at the right moment. Among Western audiences - as it was among Eastern audiences years ago - the subscription based MMORPG is at best on life support and more than likely on its way out the door.
The one-two punch of WoW and Guild Wars in 2004 has delivered a significant blow to the prospects of any company that has the audacity to charge their subscribers a monthly fee. Guild Wars showed that a high quality experience can be free and WoW redefined what people expect for that $14.95 a month.
Monday - January 07, 2008
MMORPG News - Jumpgate Evolution Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Hermann Peterschreck, Producer of Jumpgate Evolution, about the state of the game.
Jonric: To give the readers some background, how did the original Jumpgate come about? What kind of game is it, and why do you feel it has been able to run since 2001?
Hermann Peterscheck: The original Jumpgate came about because of the desire of NetDevil's founders to recreate epic space battle experiences seen in movies like Star Wars. They were also big Elite, Privateer and Wing Commander fans, and wanted to create that feeling, but with tons of other people playing. This idea originated in the mid-1990s before the concept of an MMO actually existed. There were things like MUDs and games like Air Warrior, which were sort of prequels to MMOs, and as such, the game had to go through all the pains associated with development in the category during its early stage.
Source: RPG Vault
MMORPG News - CES Panel @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra recaps the recent CES panel, Virtual Worlds and the MMO Explosion, in which industry luminaries discuss the state of the genre.
At the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a panel titled "Virtual Worlds and the Massively Multiplayer Gaming Explosion" reviewed one of the year's largest and most burgeoning trends, examining issues from competition with console gaming to socialization, in-game ads and monetization. Is the shrink-wrapped box dead? What's left after WoW? Where will future innovation come from?
Trion World Network CEO Dr. Lars Buttler; Bob Ferrari, executive director of business development and sales for Turbine; AMD senior product manager Ian McNaughton; Stormfront Studios president and CEO Don Daglow; Flagship Studios' business development director and general counsel Steve Goldstein; Akamai product line director Kris Alexander and business development and international operations VP David Christensen of Sony Online Entertainment all participated in the panel, which was moderated by Michael Rowe, manager of the 3D Internet and Intraverse Department at IBM's Research Group.
Friday - January 04, 2008
MMORPG News - Requiem: Bloodymare Announced
Gravity Interactive, the makers of Ragnarok Online, have announced a new horror-themed MMO entitled Requiem: Bloodymare.
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- Jan. 3, 2007 -- Gravity Interactive, developer and publisher of a wide variety of online games including both casual and hardcore MMOs, is bringing the bloody horror of Requiem: Bloodymare to the United States in early 2008. The title introduces a world where the misuse of science and magic has warped the natural world into a twisted vision of death.
Set in the world of Ethegia, players take on the role of the Temperions, beings created through genetic engineering and arcane rites to engage in bloody combat with the walking nightmares stalking the land.
Using the Havok engine, Requiem: Bloodymare brings to life a visually stunning realm where fallout from generations of scientific and mystical warfare has polluted the natural world and given birth to horribly mutated monsters. The battles between players and these grotesque creatures are rendered with intense sequences of bloody and gory graphics.
"We've dedicated more than four years of intense development to be sure Requiem: Bloodymare really brings something unique in the MMO market." Peter Kang, CEO, Gravity Interactive, said. "We very consciously decided when we started the project that we wanted to diversify our offering to include much more than the cute, anime inspired gameplay of our previous hits. Requiem isn't a game for kids; this is for mature players that are looking for hardcore content that conjures up their deepest nightmares and fears."
Requiem: Bloodymare also brings several game mechanics that set it apart from the rest of the MMO market. The time of day will be an extremely important factor for players under the Nightmare System with incredibly powerful creatures awakening to terrorize the world at night. To defeat these challenges players will be able to draw upon the DNA System and the Beast Possession System. Players will use genetic engineering to modify their DNA to obtain characteristics and abilities nature never intended. The mystic arts will enable players to possess and transform into different bestial beings with extraordinary abilities.
More information about the Requiem: Bloodymare can be found at http://www.playrequiem.com.
Wednesday - January 02, 2008
MMORPG News - OGDC Rebranded
The conference formerly known as the Online Game Developers Conference (OGDC) has been rebranded for the new year.
SEATTLE, Washington, January 2, 2008 – With the start of a fresh new year, Evergreen Events announces the new ION Game Conference identity for the game industry conference formerly known as “OGDC”. Empowered with a new name, logo and website, the identity and schedule for ION is not only on track but infused with an even stronger focus. The ION Game Conference will take place at the well-appointed Seattle Waterfront Marriott Hotel in the picturesque waterfront district, from May 13 to May 15, 2008. The ION Game Conference will feature a broad array of expert-level lectures and panels, networking events and an expo area exhibiting cutting-edge technology and games for 2008 and beyond.
The new ION Game Conference identity and logo reinforces the global reach of a game industry event that remains focused on top-quality networking and online game development. Last year, the conference drew nearly 20% of attendees outside the United States, such as from Korea, Germany, Japan and Australia.
“At Evergreen Events, we wanted a new identity that represented what we offer with our conference: unsurpassed networking opportunities and unique sessions and panels you cannot find anywhere else, among hundreds of like-minded online game industry veterans from around the world,” declared Peter Freese, Conference Director for the ION Game Conference. “’ION’ best symbolizes these qualities.”
Wednesday - December 26, 2007
Merry or happy [insert name of religious or commercial holiday of your choice here] to you all.
I figure in today's climate of nanny states and political watchdogs that's about as close as i can come to satisfying everyone.
But seriously, i just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to you all for staying tuned to the Watch channel. It's you guys and your comments that make it all worthwhile.
Take care, and we'll see you in 2008.
Tuesday - December 18, 2007
MMORPG News - S.T.A.L.K.E.R MMO @ GSC Gameworld
In a recent community Q&A session at GSC Gameworld, GSC made mention of the fact that they are "seriously considering" the possibility of a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. MMO.
2. Will there be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Online?
We do not quite understand what you mean by "online". If it is the cooperative mode, then no, there will be none. Even at the time of development of the first part of the game we said that a cooperative mode is impossible, since Life Simulation would be different at each computer. Synchronizing it would be practically not doable. If you mean an MMOG, then we are seriously considering it.
Friday - December 14, 2007
MMORPG News - HoMM MMO @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra brings word of an upcoming Heroes of Might and Magic MMO.
Officials from French publisher and developer Ubisoft have announced that the company is planning to release the Web-based game Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms worldwide in spring 2008, in a co-development with Chinese developer TQ Digital.
Wednesday - December 12, 2007
MMORPG News - Zu Online Open Beta Announced
IGG has announced that Zu Online will enter open beta at the end of this week.
IGG is announcing the start of Open Beta testing for Zu Online(http://zu.igg.com/), a Chinese Kung-fu Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). The Open Beta testing will start at 8:00 pm EST (GMT-5) on December 14th 2007.
Open Beta Test client and Register System will also be released soon, please stay tuned to official Zu Online website for the latest information.
For more information please visit the official website:
Monday - December 10, 2007
MMORPG News - Zu Online Interview @ MMORPG.com
The Zu Online team answers a few questions over at MMORPG.com.
MMORPG.com: What level of character personalization will there be?
ZU Online Team: The five classes in Zu Online have totally different skills and combat modes. Every class feature is irreplaceable in the game. In addition, we added talent systems, which means that the same classes will have different directions to develop.
MMORPG.com: Will the casual gamer be able to stay competitive in Zu Online?
ZU Online Team: The time when players needed to be online for long periods of time to stay competitive in a game has past, and instead they only need to participate in various interesting activities we’ll be holding, which will enable them to have gain a lot of experience and rewards easily. Online games should be entertaining instead of tiring.
Thursday - December 06, 2007
MMORPG News - Aion Interview @ Games32
Games32 presents an interview with Kyoung Won Choi, Senior Game Designer on Aion: Tower of Eternity.
1. How extensive will Aion character customization be?
In the game client, which was being showed at the Games Convention Leipzig ‘07, the player had the ability to choose between several different hairstyles, colours, shapes of their face, skin colours, character height and voice. It is also possible to alter eye colours and to add tattoos to the character face. A character build feature is currently being planned, which will affect the size of the character, ranging from skinny to big.
MMORPG News - Maple Story Q&A @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Min Kim, Director of Game Operations for MapleStory, about the decision to feature in-game brand advertising.
Jonric: While incorporating retail brands into online games is new here, has Nexon done anything similar in Korea? What companies are participating, and how prominent is the placement?
Min Kim: I do not believe Korea has integrated a retailer into MapleStory the way we have. Although we have done extremely successful product placement deals in Korea with brands like Coca Cola and Mini Cooper across several of our games, a retailer placement of this form is something very new. The retail stores have already launched in-game in the North American service of the game... in perfect time for the holidays.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - December 03, 2007
MMORPG News - Activision-Blizzard Merger Update
Blizzard has released an update on its recently announced merger with Activision in the form of a Q&A at the company's official site.
Q: What are the details of the deal?
A: Under the terms of an agreement with Vivendi, Blizzard and the other companies that make up Vivendi Games will combine with Activision to form a new public company called Activision Blizzard. We do not anticipate any difference in Blizzard's operations as a result of the combination. Joining forces with Activision will create a stronger and more diversified company that we anticipate will benefit and strengthen both brands.
Q: What will happen to the Blizzard brand name?
A: The Blizzard brand name will stay the same as it's always been: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Sunday - December 02, 2007
MMORPG News - Activision & Blizzard Merger Announced
BBC News reports that Activtision and Blizzard have announced a merger between the two companies.
Blizzard is the biggest player in online gaming and Warcraft is the global market leader of what are known as massively multi-player online role-playing games, or MMORPGs.
It is currently owned by the French media group Vivendi.
As part of the merger plan, Blizzard will invest $2bn in the new company, while Activision is putting up $1bn.
The merged business will be called Activision Blizzard and its chief executive will be Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick. Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.
Sunday - November 25, 2007
MMORPG News - Charity Calendar @ MMOPortal
Please let your readers know through the news or forums that our 2nd annual MMO Calendar is on sale through Nov. 27th.
As always, 100% of the proceeds go directly to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in support of the amazing things they do for ill children every day.
The format is the same as the '07 calendar and the original artwork we've received from the developers this year is outstanding.
Orders can be made at http://calendar.mmoportal.com
Friday - November 16, 2007
MMORPG News - Shaiya Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Producer Eron Garcia and Localisation Lead Scott Sizemore about the NA release of Shaiya: Light and Darkness.
Jonric: At the level of its basic premise or concept, what kind of massively multiplayer game is Shaiya: Light and Darkness, and what sets it apart?
Eron Garcia: Shaiya is a traditional fantasy MMOG, stripped down to its core and built back up again. When most people think about the traditional fantasy setting, images of shining armor, dragons, elves and mystical creatures come to mind. And while Shaiya has all of that, its Shaiya lies in the conflict of Light versus Darkness.
Source: RPG Vault
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
MMORPG News - Huxley Music Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault talks to composer Kevin Reipl about his work on the score for Huxley.
Jonric: Before we discuss Huxley in particular, how long have you been composing for games, and what are the highlights of your career so far? Have you also worked in other media?
Kevin Riepl: Hey everyone, my name is Kevin Riepl, and I've been creating music for games for about seven years. I have provided additional music on many, including Twisted Metal Black, Dead to Rights, and Shrek 2. My most noted work, I suppose, was on Epic's Unreal Tournament series, and most recently, the company's hit, Gears of War, which was a major highlight of my career, as it was my first project where the budget allowed the score to be performed and recorded by a live orchestra. Recording for Huxley was another as it was the first time I was able to work with the Hollywood Studio Symphony here in Los Angeles.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - November 07, 2007
MMORPG News - Angels Online Website Launched
IGG has announced the launch of the official Angels Online website.
Angels Online, which prides itself on its vivid storylines and cute characters, has formed its own unique game genre. Players can join 1 of 4 factions, Aurora which is famous for its brave chevaliers, Shadow which is the most mysterious faction, Steel well known for its technical expertise, and Beast is confused by reform or traditions. Eden in game is composed of many gorgeous scenes, including sweeping plains, pleasant valley vistas, daunting deserts, vast oceans, ghastly crypts, majestic forests, eerie swamps, lifeless wastelands, and beautiful lakes just to name a few. Of course, monsters are indispensable part of any game, and there are various monsters to face, from little cute monsters to huge ferocious monsters. Truly this is a game with something for everyone
Please check out the official website and forum for more information:: http://ao.igg.com, http://ao.igg.com/forum
Thursday - November 01, 2007
MMORPG News - Zu Online Screens @ MMORPG.com
Head on over to MMORPG.com for 10 exclusive Zu Online screenshots.
Thursday - October 25, 2007
MMORPG News - Angels Online Info
IGG has released some background information on its free-to-play MMO, Angels Online.
Long long ago, there was no difference between the heaven and human world… Every corner was filled with happiness until one day something unexpected happened. The archangel Lucifer fell in love with a girl; however this girl was already in love with another angel. Lucifer lost his mind and transmuted this girl into dew and the angel into starlight in order to separate the two lovers forever.
Lucifer knew he would be punished sooner or later, so he gathered a rebellious army and attempted to overthrow the rein of Jupiter. Afterwards, Lucifer and his rebel army failed and were expelled to Hell. Ever since Lucifer was expelled to hell, he has been planning his revenge. He is expanding his evil forces now, and has founded a demon-training camp, with the purpose being to destroy the Garden of Eden, and what’s worse, Lucifer believes it’s the right time to take his revenge on Jupiter.
Character: Classes & Skills
Listed below are some of the classes. Players can change the types of skills so as to create a unique class by themselves.
Committing themselves to studying chaos spells; good at using destructive spells. They can wear cloth armor.
Spells: Chaos, Curse, Meditate, Magic Transfer, Staff Hit, Cloth Armor
Committing themselves to studying earth spells that contain temptation and transmutability magic; possessing relatively strong melee combat abilities too. They can wear cloth armors.
Spells: Earth, Curse, Meditate, Magic Transfer, Staff Hit, Cloth Armor
Good at defending himself with a shield; the best tank in battle. They can wear plate armors.
Spells: Melee Attack, Enhance, Grapple, Shield, Reserve, Plate Armor.
Good at using an axe to deal an excellent amount of damage. They can wear plate armors.
Spells: Melee Attack, Enhance, Grapple, Reserve, Finesse, Plate Armor
Feature-The Unique Robot System
These special cute robots can not only benefit your gathering, but also can help you fight against loathsome monsters. The fat cat and the doggie appearances of the robots are very eye-catching and unique, and, in addition, there are cute penguin robots and teddy bear robots. Don’t miss the special Robot System if you like cute robots.
Wednesday - October 24, 2007
MMORPG News - Carbine Studios Interview @ Troika Chronicles
Michael from Troika Chronicles dropped us a line about an interview they did with Jeremy Gaffney and Tim Cain on Carbine Studios' unnamed MMORPG project:
When can we expect to see the first screenshots and videos of your announced MMOG?
Jeremy: Here’s where we are in the development process – we’ve been working for several years in a “R&D” mode experimenting with different systems and building the framework of the game. Now comes the fun part – using that framework to expand from a few hours of content to a few hundred hours of content. Because we iterate a lot as part of the way we develop games, we are intentionally not talking too much yet about the game itself or our timeframes because we’re more than willing to change what doesn’t work and take the time to do it right.
Saturday - October 20, 2007
MMORPG News - Reducing MMO Lag @ Slashdot
Slashdot has picked up a couple of articles on efforts to reduce lag in MMOs.
"Time lag can cause some very strange behavior in massively multiplayer online games when players' actions onscreen become slow and jerky. New techniques are on the way to reduce the problem of lag time in MMOGs when a player's computer can't keep up with changes in a shared online world. Games like Quake use a technique called dead reckoning and while traditional dead-reckoning systems that assume that a game character will maintain the velocity and direction that it has at the moment an update is sent to all other participating computers; dead reckoning works best for movement and shooting and less well for erratic actions such as interacting with objects or with other players. Read the abstract of new technique called 'neuro-reckoning' that may improve the predictive process by installing a neural network in each player's computer to predict fast, jerky actions."
Thursday - October 18, 2007
MMORPG News - Game & Game World Championship Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Kwon Taek Min, Vice President of Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency, about it's sponsorshiop of the Game and Gameworld Championship 2007.
Jonric: To introduce the Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency, when was it established, and what is its purpose or mission?
Kwon Taek Min: The Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA) was established in 1998 by the Ministry of Information and Communication as a non-profit organization. Our goals are:
- to contribute to the globalization of the Korean IT industry as its representative,
- to promote international cooperation on behalf of Korea,
- to support start-up software companies,
- to invigorate Korea's digital contents industry,
- to develop promotion policies for the IT industry, and
- to improve the quality of Korea's software the industry's productivity through process improvement efforts (CMM, SPICE, etc.)
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - October 17, 2007
MMORPG News - CCP/White Wolf Visit @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's managing editor Jon Wood visits Stone Mountain, GA to attend the opening of the new CCP/White Wolf offices.
“This office serves three functions,” Tinney told us. The first, and probably the most obvious to anyone entering the building is that this is where White Wolf publishing is being housed. Second, the Atlanta office provides support for EVE. Having customer support located on three continents goes a long way to alleviating the need to have people at work in Iceland at crazy hours. The third, and probably most interesting of the three is the fact that this is where the content development for the upcoming World of Darkness MMO will take place (tech will likely be handed out of Iceland).
Monday - October 15, 2007
MMORPG News - Cartoon Network Universe Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Chris Waldron, Producer of Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, about this newcomer to the MMO space.
Jonric: What are the basics you'd like to state about Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall? What's it about, and to what does the title refer?
Chris Waldron: Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall is a massively multiplayer game set in a re-imagined, slightly futuristic Cartoon Network universe. You play as a kid in this world to defend against an attack by Planet Fusion, which is a giant mass of planets that travels the universe absorbing other planets into it. Of course, it's descending on our world, and you have to jump in to help. The event or moment that Planet Fusion comes to our world is considered to be FusionFall, hence the name.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - October 10, 2007
MMORPG News - Open Borders for MMOs @ Yahoo! News
Yahoo! News has an article on recent efforts by IBM and Linden Labs to allow people to use a single avatar in multiple virtual worlds.
MMORPG News - SOE Media Event Report @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault reports back from the recent SOE Media Event which featured upcoming releases such as, Pirates of the Burning Sea, EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark and EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer.
Source: RPG Vault
Tuesday - October 09, 2007
MMORPG News - Red Stone Interview @ MPOGD
MPOGD chats to Marvic Ambata, producer at K2 Network, about the companys free-to-play MMO, Red Stone.
Greg: About What percentage PVP/PVE is there in the game?
Marvic: I’d say it’s probably in the range of 30% PVP and 70% PVE. Both aspects of the game have deep and involving features. While the PVE aspect of Red Stone offers a rich and engaging storyline and quest series, there are massive PVP conflicts raging endlessly in the form of guild vs. guild battles and castle sieges to conquer enemy territory.
Greg: Will players be able to pick the two classes they will be able to transform between? Or will the two be more dependant, for instance, all squires transform into knights?
Marvic: The transformations will be dependant upon your parent class. For instance, magicians can only transform into werewolves and the fallen angles can only transform into priests. There will be no demons transforming into fallen angels!
MMORPG News - Lunia Diary #4 @ RPG Vault
The fourth installment of RPG Vault's Lunia diary is now online.
Quite often in the past, the sound production for games would use extracted sounds from sources that are called libraries. Therefore, there were frequently problems with a lack of realism. That is why many games, including Record of Lunia War, have switched to acquiring sounds by recording the voices of staff members who are directly involved in development, or by use dubbing artists. Then, they modulate the voices to produce sounds that are suitable for the particular characters and monsters.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - October 03, 2007
MMORPG News - Empire of Sports Football
I must admit I just didn't get this news offering when Joshua wrote in with it...French site Jeux Online has rumours of Empire of Sports: Euro 2008 - apparently bringing MMORPG-like design to football. It's in French but an interesting idea nonetheless.
Monday - October 01, 2007
MMORPG News - Earth Eternal Interview @ MPOGD
MPOGD talks to Matt Mihaly, CEO and Creative Director of Iron Realms, about Earth Eternal.
Michael: Excellent, on to the game itself. Could you give us an overview of the game world as well as a brief overview of the storyline you are developing.
Matt: The game world is a very loosely-inspired version of Earth. We take cues from all sorts of mythologies and stories (Norse, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Chinese, Indian, American Indian, Nubian, Egyptian, etc) and weave them together into a story that combines traditional mythologies with high-fantasy.
Friday - September 28, 2007
MMORPG News - Life After Warcraft @ Yahoo Games
Yahoo Game speculates on what might be the next big thing in the MMORPG space.
Characterized by vast online worlds, player-driven economies, and life-demolishing addictiveness, the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) went from geeky fringe pursuit to the most popular PC game genre with the release of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft in 2004. But players of World of Warcraft, who currently number some two million in North America alone, are sure to be looking for their next fix at some point. Find out which upcoming games are vying for a chunk of Warcraft's action.
Thursday - September 27, 2007
MMORPG News - Lunia Diary #3 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault hosts a third Lunia: Record of Lunia War diary. This episode takes a look at character design and creation.
Deciding the scale of the characters was the primary issue at an early stage, and there was a great diversity of opinion about it since it was very important to determine the visual style of the game, as just mentioned earlier. It took quite a long time to understand the highest visual sense of the production planning team, which wanted to conquer not just Korea but the world, because we were still at the stage of deciding the initial design concept.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - September 26, 2007
MMORPG News - GodsWar Online Quest Info
IGG has released some additional information about the quest system in its MMO, GodsWar Online.
In GodsWar, players can experience the Greek Mythology world through a primary quest and given quests.
It tells the story of a Titan Conspiracy; the players of Athens and Sparta will go through two epic stories differently. The two stories have many joints that let players of different factions realize Titan Conspiracy from different perspectives.
Players can obtain money, experience and reputation by completing the given quests and uncovering the mystery gradually. Furthermore, players can also complete the given quests in the form of a team. Most given quests are based on the famous stories of Greek Mythology. While playing, players can get a further understanding of Greek Mythology and enjoy GodsWar Online better as well.
All kinds of quests will help players understand the game worldview, learn the operations and improve themselves. Want to know more, please pay close attention to our official site at
Tuesday - September 25, 2007
MMORPG News - Fiesta Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to Daniel Chang from Outspark (regional developers for OnsOn Soft) about bringing Fiesta to the world market.
Jonric: To begin by offering our readers an introductory overview of Fiesta, what kind of game is it, and what are its distinctive features and elements? What's the derivation of the name?
Daniel Chang: Fiesta is a colorful, community-driven, full-featured MMORPG set in a detailed game world offering plenty of quests, character professions, fun emotes, and even PvP content. The game is completely free to play and download, and characters are fully customizable via thousands of in game items. For even more personalization, premium items will be available for sale in the Fiesta Store, which is coming soon.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - September 24, 2007
MMORPG News - DOMO Coming to US Market
Aeria Games has announced it will be bringing its free-to-play MMO Dream of Mirror Online to the North American market.
California, U.S.A. (September 21, 2007) – Aeria Games announced today the addition of DOMO (Dream of Mirror Online) to its extensive offerings of FREE-TO-PLAY massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). Aeria Games plans to announce the date for the Closed Beta test of DOMO in the near future.
DOMO is a social massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) themed around the ancient Oriental myth of the Kunlun Mirror. Players enter an anime-inspired world to socialize and form friendships, learn crafting skills and level up, all within the quest of trying to solve the riddle of the ancient myth.
“We are thrilled at the opportunities that DOMO offers,” said JT Nguyen, Chief Marketing Officer, “In the realm of massive online games, DOMO stands out as unique. We’re excited and can’t wait to show our players the new experiences that await them.”
DOMO offers players rich interactive features, a robust crafting system, extensive quests, and many fun skills. Other features include:
- Extensive Customization – Players can choose from a wide variety of hairstyles, costumes, and features for each character, allowing each player to show his or her uniqueness.
- Robust Crafting System – Players can choose from 6 skills – meditation, mining, animal breeding, farming and forestry.
- Rich Social Features – DOMO promotes interactions among players. Players have special bonds with others, such as master/disciple, lovers and friends.
- Realistic Pet System – Players have the ability to nurture and earn the loyalty of various pets. Loyal pets can help their masters in battle and life; disgruntled ones can quickly desert their owners.
DOMO joins the four previously announced Free-to-Play games in Aeria Games’ stable of massively multiplayer online titles.
Thursday - September 20, 2007
MMORPG News - Twelve Sky Beta Launched
Aeria Games dropped us a line to say Twelve Sky has reached closed beta and players are encouraged to sign up:
Twelve Sky will be launched by Aeria Games for a closed beta test in North America starting on September 18.
Twelve Sky is an oriental style, martial arts based Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). Located in ancient China, Twelve Sky puts players in the middle of an age old conflict between three warring factions.
The beta test phase will give players access to a world consisting of hundreds of maps, and contains hundreds of different monsters and quests, and over a thousand unique items. Other features include:
Realistic Martial Arts Weapons and Moves: Acquire many different authentic martial arts weapons and train in a variety of martial arts moves as your character levels up. Upgrade weapons to make them even more powerful!
Robust PVP System: An advanced Player vs. Player combat system allowing players to join a side to participate in massive battles. As characters get stronger they will learn new moves allowing them to move faster and even jump on top of buildings!
Sacred Animal System: Pets provide benefits to players.
Mini Games: Explore various mini games such as the Nangi Track and Hexahedron.
Players are encouraged to sign up for closed beta on the Twelve Sky website.
MMORPG News - Lunia Diary #2 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has posted a second Lunia: Record of Lunia War developer diary.
As a new developer, we wanted to start making our game from a whole new concept. We discussed a lot of possibilities. In the summer of 2003, we hit upon the idea of a real action game that reacts from moment to moment - "When you get hit, it hurts, and when you're attacked, then you need to avoid instantly", which is a very interactive format for an online game. This action arcade characteristic is what we want to realize online.
Source: RPG Vault
MMORPG News - MapleStory Skill Reset
NEXON has announced that players of MapleStory will now be able to reset misspent ability and skill points.
Thursday 20th September/... Players who have wrongly allocated Ability Points (AP) and Skill Points (SP) can now easily rectify their mistakes in MapleStory Europe, the hugely successful, free to play MMORPG from world-leading innovator and publisher of online games, NEXON, thanks to ‘SP reset’ and ‘AP reset’ tokens available to purchase in the Cash Shop.
For every token bought in the cash shop players can reallocate one point in-game which allows them to reallocate any points that have been misspent when building up their character.
MapleStory is a unique 2D, side-scrolling, massively multiplayer online role-playing game, featuring charming, hand-drawn graphics and simple, yet impressively deep gameplay mechanics. Players in MapleStory can look forward to facing exciting quests and fearsome – not to mention cute! – monsters as they journey through a colourful and lively world, bursting with the best elements from both popular online RPGs and classic 2D platform games.
In the past, once a character's AP were assigned, it was permanent. With AP Reset, a character's AP can be reassigned to suit their needs. AP Reset is now available (as of Tuesday 18th September) in the Cash Shop for 3,100 NEXON Cash Points - A small price to pay for perfection.
Re-assigning AP is simple. Double click the AP reset item in the item inventory to bring up the ‘Resetting AP’ window. Select the SP you want to reset, select from list where you want to put your returned AP and confirm the change.
As MapleStory players know only too well, once SP are applied their effects are permanent, so users are always advised to take care in choosing their skills. As of Thursday 27th September, however, subscribers to MapleStory Europe hoping to refocus their skills will be able to redistribute SP using a special SP Reset to redistribute their skill points to suit their characters’ needs.
The process of adjustment is easy. Players simply double click the SP Reset item in their item inventory to bring up the ‘Resetting SP’ window. Then they should select the SP they want to reset, select from the list where they want to put their returned SP and confirm the change.
“It’s easy to make mistakes when allocating new skills and abilities to your character in any MMORPG – particularly a game like MapleStory that offers so much variety,” said Calvin Yoo, Director of International Business Development at NEXON Europe. “That’s why we have introduced the ability for players to re-focus their characters’ abilities. In just a few clicks players can now re-assign their Skill and Ability Points for a nominal cost at the Cash Shop.”
For further information on MapleStory Europe, and how specifically to use AP reset and SP reset tokens, please visit www.mapleeurope.com.
Wednesday - September 19, 2007
MMORPG News - Lunia Interview @ MPOGD
MPOGD talks to Young-Gook Kim, Director of Lunia: Record of Lunia War about what the currently in beta MMO has to offer.
MPOGD: Just how open is the character growth? What kind of things will you be able to do to make your character unique and grow with the player as they progress?
The basic structure of Lunia's skill system is not very different from other MMORPGs. Players can grow the skill point what they want. With specializing the skills in some types such as damage or speed, players can choose the way how they make their own character as a damage-oriented character with one big skill or as a speed-oriented character with short combo skills.
Wednesday - September 12, 2007
MMORPG News - The Agency Interview @ MPOGD
MPOGD talks to Hal Milton, the Lead Designer for The Agency, Sony's espionage-themed MMO.
MPOGD: Is the choice between ParaGON and UNITE a stylistic one, or are there significant differences to the way they play and the equipment they use? I don't mean just adding new art to the same weapon and calling it something else, but rather this faction can use "x", while the other cannot, but get to use "y" instead.
Astute question! There will be differences between UNITE and ParaGON beyond the distinct aesthetics of each side. The story arcs are different between the two sides and there will be items, Operatives and more that will be exclusive to one side versus the other.
Tuesday - September 11, 2007
MMORPG News - Age of Armor Interview @ RPG Vault
SnailGame chats to RPG Vault about its upcoming MMO, Age of Armor.
Jonric: Assuming most readers aren't familiar with Age of Armor, what would you like to tell them first about the game, its distinctive elements, and the core target audience?
SnailGame: Age of Armor brings us a virtual world that is dominated by armors. We're trying to create a human world in a future where nature was spoiled, a new human race emerged, and people began to emigrate to Mars. All of these contributed to the emergence of and age of armor. At this time, the Mars and Earth residents are rivals; there are intense wars and conflicts between them.
Source: RPG Vault
Saturday - September 08, 2007
MMORPG News - Online Worlds Roundtable @ RPG Vault
Part three of RPG Vault's Online Worlds Roundtable is now online. The topic of discussion is whether western publishers, developers, gaming media and gamers sufficiently aware of what's happening in the global massively multiplayer space.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - September 05, 2007
MMORPG News - Online Worlds Roundtable @ RPG Vault
Part two of RPG Vault's fifteenth roundtable discussion with MMO developers is now online.
Topic: Global markets and trends: are we paying enough attention?
A question of substantial and still increasing significance in the online worlds sector is whether western publishers, developers, gaming media and gamers sufficiently aware of what's happening in the global massively multiplayer space. This topic includes but isn't limited to whether "we" need to be more conscious of international markets, and of segments and trends ranging from advanced casual to social network and web-based games, and of the major barriers to success in unfamiliar regions and how to overcome them.
Source: RPG Vault
Tuesday - September 04, 2007
MMORPG News - Agency Promo Clip @ MMORPG.com
Also at MMORPG.com today, a promotional video from the team behind SOE's upcoming spy-themed MMO, The Agency.
Sunday - September 02, 2007
MMORPG News - Games Convention Report @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault reports back from the recent Leipzig Games Convention and touches on a few MMO titles that we've been covering.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
EA Mythic used Games Conference as an occasion to show the previously announced High Elf and Dark Elf races for the first time and to reveal two of the four careers for each, the Swordmaster and Archmage, and Black Guard and Witch Elf respectively. Everything was suitably stylish and impressive, reflecting yet again the team's intent to be faithful to the underlying property, which has been evident ever since the project was unveiled. Now that I've seen all six armies, albeit the last pair incompletely, I'm look forward to the beta more than ever.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - August 27, 2007
MMORPG News - Aion Preview @ Game32
Game32 previews Aion: Tower of Eternity.
Aion is based on antagonistic relations between the demons and angels, between "The Chosen" and "The Fallen". The core of the Aion universe is Atrea, a world who's fractured in two. On the surface, like a giant shell, lies Elyos, the world of angels while on the interior of the sphere lies the Abyss, who's inhabitants are still unknown, except their name: Asmondiands. The only link between the two worlds is the Tower of Eternity.
Monday - August 20, 2007
MMORPG News - Zu Online Website Launched
IGG has announced the launch of the official Zu Online website. Head on over and take a look.
Tuesday - August 14, 2007
MMORPG News - GodsWar Online Dual Class System
IGG and Skyunion have released details about GodsWar's dual class system.
To choose a class is the first issue when people start the game. In GodsWar（http://gw.igg.com） each class has its own characteristic progress with thorough occupational planning. In addition, there is also a dual-class system. Apart from the current class there is another optional class for players who still have spare energy. Or say two classes of skills focus in one character. Players can use these two classes in turn and they will complement each other.
In the previous text we have already talked about job transfers. In this section we will continue introducing the job transfer ability of the Dual Class system. With this system players can possess two classes simultaneously: Warriors and Mages. Players can transfer a job only when both classes of the character reach a certain level and get the required items for a job transfer. The Dual Class system endows players with the merits of both classes and makes a big difference when in use in the game.
1. Second job transfer for Dual Classes
Battle Mage: They can also fight targets in short distance and have multiple resistance compared with normal mages. They are called as scholars at war or Books in the fire.
Druid: They are close to nature and master all kinds of animal languages. Druids hold the secret of nature’s power.
Defender: They have supreme defense and an iron will. Usually, they are somewhat willful.
Guard: They are always alert to their surroundings and protecting their comrades-in-arms. It is said that in a Greek Phalanx, soldiers used their shield to defend the comrade-in-arms to his left.
2. Third job transfer for Dual Classes
Spellbinder: They are wise scholars, living on their eloquence. There are many spellbinders who are philosophers as well.
Thane: They have good balance in each attribute. They are competent as a leader in war.
Spellbreaker: They are highly immune to spells; they can even convert the power of spells into their own.
Ranger: They hide themselves in the woods or just keep wandering as a paladin. They are yearning for freedom. Nobody can impact their pursuit.
3. Fourth job transfer for Dual Classes
Soothsayer: They are scholars who can clearly review the past, the situation right now and predict future precisely. They are called prolocutors of deities.
Troubadour: They are travelers who love poems and travel around the Mediterranean. They are often called history’s witness.
Paladin: They are the combination of cavalier and cleric. They can both attack and defend well while fighting from a short distance. They can give hard blows to the target while actively protecting other members of the group.
Guardian: The best bodyguard in the team. With their help the team can focus on an attack or a retreat.
As one of the featured system in GodsWar Online, Dual Classes make the game much more fun. For more information please visit the following link:
Monday - August 06, 2007
MMORPG News - Endgames @ RPG Vault
Jeff Vogel, head of independent studio Spiderweb Software, shares a few thoughts on the endgame in online worlds.
We've started to let our five-year old daughter Cordelia play World of Warcraft. She runs her cow-person around the starting town, hits birds and pretends that everyone she sees is her friend. We don't have to pay attention to her. Win-win all around.
The other day, I asked her if she was winning. She said, "Daddy! This is not a winning game! You can't win!"
Then I asked her what you do in the game instead. After some thought, she said, "Nothing."
Sometimes children are wise beyond their years.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - August 02, 2007
MMORPG News - Maple Story European Summer Events
Nexon Europe has announced a schedule of summer events for players of MapleStory.
Thursday 2nd August/... NEXON, the world-leading developer and publisher of online games, is pleased to announce a busy schedule of Summer special events for its hugely popular and free to play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, MapleStory.
Following the unprecedented success of MapleStory Europe’s recent French Revolution event, in which players fought a demonic Bastille wall to win a magical tricolour hat, NEXON Europe is stepping up its schedule of special events, with yet more culturally-themed promotions throughout August and beyond.
Planned festivities will kick off with an event based on Spain’s famed La Tomatina celebration. The event, which is set to take place for two weeks from August 16th, will pay homage to the manic and world-famous tomato-fight that occurs every year in the Spanish town of Buñol, Valencia. In MapleStory Europe’s La Tomatina event, players will, among other tasks, have to band together to save themselves from the fearsome onslaught of a powerful tomato-shaped monster!
All players need to do to take part is speak to the relevant in-game NPC to start the event. Details on where and when these characters can be found, along with other surprise events, will be revealed on the MapleStory Europe homepage, www.mapleeurope.com, over the coming weeks. Further MapleStory Europe-specific events currently planned include exciting takes on both Germany’s traditional Oktoberfest beer festival and the British celebration of Guy Fawkes Day.
MMORPG News - Magic Ages Launch Details
A new free-to-play MMORPG will be made available to North American players this September.
Pasadena, CA - July 25th, 2007 - VestGame Entertainment has announced that 'Magic Ages', its first fantasy MMORPG, will be ready for its North America release by the end of September. The company will soon also reveal the launch date for its closed beta testing.
Set against the backdrop of an enchanted land and seeped in Norse and religious mythology, 'Magic Ages' is an immersive 2.5D MMORPG which has been in development for over one year. On the eve of Lucifer's escape from hell, the game plunges its players into an ancient war between two rival human kingdoms torn apart by hatred and on the verge of destruction. Having been tested and proven in the Asian market for eight months, the game's developers feel confident that Magic Ages will provide a compelling alternative to existing free MMOs. With its appealing graphics, rich plotline and variety of game options, 'Magic Ages' is expected to become a landmark for free MMORPGs. Along with its strong guild system which enables players to collaborate and compete with each other, Magic Ages also enhances the interactive experience by integrating an innovative audio and video chat system into the game environment.
Zenimax Forms MMO Division
This might have implications for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout in the future...Pete Hines let us know Bethsoft's parent company Zenimax has formed an MMO division under the leadership of Matt Firor (ex Mythic):
ZeniMax Media Announces Establishment of OnlineGaming Division – ZeniMax Online Studios
Subsidiary to be headed by noted MMO veteran
August 1, 2007 (Rockville, MD) – ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of Bethesda Softworks, announced today the creation of ZeniMax Online Studios. The division will be headed by Matt Firor, a well-known expert in the field of online gaming, and will focus on the Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) market segment.
Firor was one of the founders of Mythic Entertainment, where he worked for over 10 years on MMO titles. At Mythic he was the producer of the worldwide #1 smash hit Dark Age of Camelot, a MMORPG considered one of the most influential online games of all time. When he left Mythic in 2006, Firor was responsible for all development projects at the company. For the past year, he has been a consultant in the online gaming industry, advising leading publishers interested in entering the online market.
“This could not be a more perfect opportunity for me,” said Matt. “I am extremely impressed with ZeniMax and Bethesda Softworks management – their development philosophy closely matches my own, with an emphasis on quality, innovation, and craftsmanship. I am eager to get back to what I love – the development of cutting edge MMOG titles.”
“We are excited about the opportunities we have in the online gaming space and felt that Matt is the perfect person to lead this effort,” said James Leder, COO of ZeniMax Media. There are relatively few people who have the actual experience and knowledge that comes from having created a successful MMO, and Matt is the real deal. We feel fortunate to have him join our group.”
Firor is a graduate of George Washington University and has worked in the gaming industry for 17 years. He has lectured at the University of Virginia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on game development topics, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Firor has written articles for Game Developer Magazine and was a regular columnist covering online game development for the Korean gaming magazine “Onplayer”.
For more information on ZeniMax Online Studios, visit www.zenimaxonline.com.
Tuesday - July 31, 2007
MMORPG News - Gen Con Indy @ RPG Vault
With Gen Con Indy just around the corner, a number of developers drop by RPG Vault to let us know what they'll be showing this year.
Senior Global Brand Manager
Sony Online Entertainment - booth #929
The MMORPG is distinguishable from all other games by one simple fact. They're massive. They're about groups of people coming together to have fun saving worlds. We're at Gen Con because we know that the folks attending share the same definition of fun that we do. It's all about joining with others, socializing and having fun in a virtual or real world. SOE will be showing the MMOs Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising, Pirates of the Burning Sea, EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer (expansion), and EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark (expansion).
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - July 25, 2007
MMORPG News - Aion Screenshots @ Gameplay Monthly
Gameplay Monthly steps up with a fine selection of new Aion images.
MMORPG News - E3 Previews @ MPOGD
Saturday - July 14, 2007
MMORPG News - Aion Preview @ IGN
IGN takes a closer look at NCSoft's upcoming MMO, Aion.
Though we didn't get to see character creation today, players will begin their journey's across Atriea by picking a class and completing basic quests up through level 10 at which point players will be able to choose a secondary class based on their first choice and become one of the Daeva. These Daeva are the upper class of Atriea affording them access to better areas of the world and also granting them wings.
One of the interesting aspects of Aion is that players will have the opportunity to fly from place to place, battle foes in the sky, and explore vertically unlike any MMO aside from City of Heroes. Wings can only be used for a short period at a time (right now it's around a minute), but it's still plenty of time to reach new places, especially in the magical Abyss.
Wednesday - June 27, 2007
MMORPG News - Dreamlords Interview @ MPOGD
Multiplayer Online Games Directory discusses Dreamlords with Dan Thronström, a producer with Lockpick Entertainment.
Mark: With a name like Dreamlords, it implies dreaming is involved. The shots look sort of surrealistic. Is this the general look of the game?Dan: In some quests, called spirit quests, you are able to fight with your powerful dreamlord. These quests usually play an important role in the story and we wanted these events to be special. We wanted the game experience in these quests to be different from other quests, and we felt that a more dreamy setting would do the trick. The setting in the other quests does not have surrealistic settings, but aims to show a more realistic setting of your patria.
Saturday - June 23, 2007
MMORPG News - CABAL Online Open Beta
The official CABAL Online site has word that the closed beta has finished and the open beta is now ready for custom.
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
MMORPG News - Phylon goes Live
Word from the Phylon site that they have gone Live:
Following the successful Beta testing phase, Rapid Reality Studios announces the commercial release of their first MMO, Phylon. The game is now available for purchase on the newly redesigned website, http://phylon-online.com.
Tracy Spaight, Rapid Reality's COO stated, "We are excited to release Phylon as it represents a lot of work from our team and from gamers who provided tremendous feedback during the beta testing phase. We hope that players will enjoy the game, in particular, the battle arenas." He also stated, "Through focused surveys and general feedback in our forums, we will continue to tap into the creativity of the gaming community to help shape the game and its future expansions."
Phylon combines the fast-paced action of a traditional shooter with the persistence and depth of an MMO. Join players from around the world as part of the Bloblic Imperium, the Amphibian resistance, or the Terran colonists in their struggle for control of the planet Anura. Crush your enemies in instanced battle arenas, including Deathmatch and Domination. Advance in skill and unlock access to hundreds of unique items, including jet packs, energy shields, power-ups, and weapons.
The new Phylon website features a sleek new look, new video trailers, top player leader boards, in-game and game art showcases, forums and much more.
Founded in May 2005, Rapid Reality Studios is a video game developer located in Marietta, Georgia. The team of programmers, artists, and designers is dedicated to producing next generation online games. Their passion and mission is to make the kind of games you want to play. "There are no suits at Rapid Reality: we're gamers."
Monday - June 04, 2007
MMORPG News - Dreamlords Interview @ The MMO Gamer
The MMO Gamer talks with David Rosén, the CEO of Lockpick Entertainment, about the company's MMO, Dreamlords.
TMMOG: By today’s standards, Lockpick is a rather small studio. How many people worked on Dreamlords and how much did the development cost?DR: We have been quite a few people involved over the years, somewhere around 25-30 but many of them to a very small extent. The core team has been around 15 people and we have spent close to a million USD. The low cost is due to the fact that we basically worked for no pay during the first two years and supported ourselves elsewhere.
Thursday - May 31, 2007
MMORPG News - I.G.G Announces Gods War
GamesIndusty.biz has word of a new Hellenistic (that's Greek for those without a classical education) MMO in development at I.G.G.
Today, I.G.G. (Internet Gaming Gate) has announced a new 3D Hellenistic MMORPG called Gods War （http://gw.igg.com）. This excellent game which I.G.G. has made painstaking effort on remained shrouded in secrecy until now.
The various systems, fascinating plots, esthetical scenes, customized character development, exciting combat mode and lively community…Gods War includes all the features that you are expecting from a good MMORPG and will certainly bring you best experience in the joyful virtual game world.
Tuesday - May 29, 2007
MMORPG News - Voyage Century Online Player Types
A new press release from the Voyage Century Online team takes a look at different types of players.
As one of the well-received MMORPG, more and more game fans join into Voyage Century (http://vc.igg.com). With a little care, it is interesting to find the four categories of VCO players, from which we can see the rich game content VCO includes.
Players for leisure
They are fond of fishing and mining, or choose to see the sunset along the sea bank or put on the cool clothes to tour around…It is also very relaxing to visit the specific island or to explore the unknown area when in glum. All of these you can only find in the Voyage Century which set its background featured by European style at the Great Geographical Discovery of the 16th century.
Players of enthusiastic
Players can have up to four kinds of land-battle and sea-battle skills, and more professions with the upper limit of level 120. Supported by strong system, these skills and professions have unique functions which can be put together to more powerful combination. Also you have up to 10 careers to choose from ranging from explorer, captain to merchant…you are sure to find your favorite career.
Players of combative
Are you eager for violent sea battle in the form of 16 century or another land-battle with tens of magnificent cannons to fire simultaneously? VCO makes all these fictions reality. There are some mighty guilds to fight for the control of ports in siege war held fixedly. You can give a sneak attack to opposed guild, or snipe their leader, or attack their headquarters. Want to accomplish? Now the battlefield is set in VCO.
Players with dream to be millionaire
Someone wants to be daring warriors, someone wants to be superior equipment enchanter, but no doubt that to work as a wealthy merchant is most people’s dream earnestly long for. You can easy to be an equipment enchanter, but be merchant is another case. In addition to initial capital accumulation, what is important is smart business head. Anyway acts speak louder than words. You’d better do it in game first.
As vast and deep as ocean, Voyage Century holds far more than you can imagine. Come on and join us, start your own specific VCO.
Monday - May 28, 2007
MMORPG News - Colony Studios Interview @ The MMO Gamer
The MMO Gamer chats to Mike Wallis of Colony Studios.
The MMO Gamer: There has been a lot of talk about the vast experience in MMO design and development that the core team in Colony Studios has from working on solid titles such as World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Dark Age of Camelot, City of Heroes and the recently released The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. But what about experience in running a company? What experience do you bring as the CEO of Colony Studios?
Mike Wallis: Good question. I bring a wealth of experience in actual project planning and scheduling, as well as budget accountability. For administration and operation of the studio, I fortunately have an experienced management team, people who have run departments and cross functional teams before, including operations management and financial accountability. Finally, where needed, we will work with our investment team to help guide the studio in the proper direction. Game development is always a learning experience, but that’s why I’m working with some of the best and most talented developers in the industry-it takes some of the guess work out of the day-to-day process.
Monday - May 21, 2007
MMORPG News - Colony Interview @ Play.tm
Play.tm talks to CEO Mike Wallis about Colony Studios' promise to do something different with their upcoming MMO.
With new MMO's almost ten a penny these days your promise to do something new to the genre certainly grabs attention at the very least. What can we expect to see different in the first Colony Studios game that we've not seen before?
One thing that sets us apart from most MMOs is our scale of play. Players can terraform worlds as well as destroy them. Players can own businesses that span the galaxy as well as be a part of massive fleet battles. It's really exciting what we are planning on letting players do.
Thursday - May 10, 2007
MMORPG News - CABAL Online Free to Play
Following on from the recent announcement that CABAL Online will be removing all fees, the official site has details on how to go about canceling monthly payments.
Thursday - April 26, 2007
MMORPG News - Global Agenda Announced
Not quite sure how we missed this one, but thanks to Bluesnews and others for pointing it out.
ATLANTA, Georgia –March 1, 2007 – Hi-Rez Studios™, an independent developer of online entertainment, announced today that their debut title will be a mission-based action MMORPG using Unreal® Engine 3, set in a near future world of espionage and tactical covert operations. Global Agenda™ has been in development for over two years by a team of industry veterans. It features fast-paced ranged and close combat, RPG-style character progression, solo or cooperative team missions, and competitive play on a massive scale between player-created agencies.
A departure from the traditional online settings of high fantasy, outer space, or military, Global Agenda is set on 22nd century Earth. An invisible war is fought not with armies, but with elite teams of highly trained and well-equipped special agents, where technology is a race, knowledge is power, and everyone has an agenda.
“We want to provide players an engaging, next-generation tactical combat experience, but within the context of a single, evolving, massively multiplayer online world where actions have consequences”, says Todd Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios. “Player-created agencies, with the right strategy and skill, can have a very real impact on each other and the world itself.”
Key Planned Features
About Hi-Rez Studios
- Create, extensively customize, and develop an agent character that is unique within the world. Protect your secret identity through covert activity while increasing your skills and influence.
- Join a player-created agency, compete in a technology race for advanced weaponry, and advance your own agenda.
- Engage in solo, co-op, and team objective-based missions against non-player and other player-created agencies.
- Experience a dynamic world of espionage and intrigue, where in-game events and locations are influenced by the actions of players and agencies.
Hi-Rez Studios, Inc. was established in 2005 to create exceptional online interactive entertainment and is located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.hirezstudios.com.
Sunday - April 15, 2007
MMORPG News - Class or Skill @ Ten Ton Hammer
Also at Ten Ton Hammer is a roundtable on class vs skill systems from IMGDC:
In the round table discussion room, even before the particular topic was introduced and convened, the battle lines were being drawn.
“I am a big fan of the Asheron's Call system,” I heard one participant whisper to another. “Skills are the way to go.”
“But classes and that system are so…comfortable,” another participant said. It was obvious that people had there favorites, but everyone was eager to draw out the relationship between the two systems and what it meant for the development and end-product of MMO-genre game and the livlihood of indie MMO developers.
MMORPG News - The Price of Freedom @ Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer has a piece titled The Price of Freedom that discusses the challenges of indie MMO development, based on a keynote speech from IMGDC:
What comprises an independent game, much less an independent MMO? According to Williams, the issue is simply a matter of who has their say in the development process. "With an independent game, creative control rests with the developer rather than in the hands of a publisher or distribution partner." Williams intimated that too often, money is quite literally the currency of control, and that attempts to fund a development process-intensive game like an MMO can seriously impinge upon a independent developer's ability to realize his or her original vision for a game. Using a distribution platform like Valve Steam is an option, but Williams noted that indies often get disadvantageous terms, surrendering a hefty chunk of the post-launch revenues for money received up front. He went on to delineate the somewhat unpleasant fiscal alternatives: 1) bootstrapping - working from savings accounts and etiolated credit cards to design a game in the developer's spare time, 2) loans - extremely hard to get for a high-risk entrepreneur like a game developer, 3) investors who are willing to pony up money in support of the design (and without a will to push their own ideas), 4) (suggested by the audience) working through a university or educational institution, offering up much of the design process as a teaching tool.
Saturday - April 14, 2007
MMORPG News - Meridian 59 Interview @ GamersInfo
GamersInfo talks to Brian Green about the management of the classic MMO, Meridian 59.
Gamersinfo.net: Who are you and why should anyone listen to you?
Brian Green: My name is Brian Green, known online as "Psychochild". I've run a small development company operating the classic online game Meridian 59. We successfully licensed the game to a Germany company and made a significant amount of income from it. I thought other people might like to know what I learned from the experience.
Thursday - April 12, 2007
MMORPG News - (ex-) Sunflowers Bosses about to Open New MMO Studio
Yesterday several news sites reported Ubisoft swallows the German RTS specialist Sunflowers, the driving force behind Germany´s best selling Anno /A.D. franchise. Here´s the PR found on Blues:
SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 11, 2007 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers announced that it has concluded an agreement to acquire SunFlowers, owner of the Anno brand, one of the most successful strategy games with five million units sold worldwide and one of the best-selling games in the German market.
"With the acquisition of Anno, Ubisoft reinforces its position in the real-time strategy market. Anno, along with Ubisoft's The Settlers, is one of the most well known franchises in Germany, reaching a wide audience that includes not only traditional gamers, but also women and families. We are proud to add another top-quality brand to our rich portfolio and we are looking forward to bringing the brand to an even wider audience," said Yves Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft.
Through the transaction, Ubisoft will acquire a 30 percent stake in Related Designs, which developed Anno 1701, the latest entry in the Anno series and is currently working on a future Anno title.
Mr. Adi Boiko, cofounder of SunFlowers stated "I'm glad to confide Anno to Ubisoft, a company known for the innovation and creativity of its development teams. The brand will benefit from Ubisoft's global strength, allowing new audiences to discover the pleasure of empire building through new Anno games."
The agreement between the two companies is subject to normal closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to close in Ubisoft's fiscal year 2007-08 first quarter.
Today GamePorts.de received confirmation by Ubi that the Sunflowers founders Adi Boiko and Wilhelm Hamrozi will open a new studio "dealing with MMORPGs". Some of the current Sunflowers staff will move on to the new company.
Source: PC Games
Wednesday - April 11, 2007
MMORPG News - Dofus UK Launched
Ankama Games has announced the launch of a free UK version of their MMO DOFUS .
Ankama Games releases a unique and free UK dedicated version of their Massively Multiplayer Online Game DOFUS on the 10th of April, and looks forward developing to a strong community in the UK after attracting nearly 3 million players worldwide.
On the 10th of April, Ankama Games will release a new version of their game dedicated to UK gamers. This version will include a unique and innovative update system, based on the regular release of episodes outlining a brand new storyline created exclusively for the UK. A revamped tutorial has also been created to make sure players get the best out of the game within minutes.
This new version will be free and will give players the opportunity to enjoy the game to its full potential. Additional servers will be created for UK players, who will progressively witness the evolution of a colourful and oneiric world revolving around their characters, as new parts of the DOFUS universe and gameplay functionalities are added regularly after the game’s launch.
The new tutorial zone is called Incarnam and will allow players to evolve much faster by meeting appropriate new monsters until they reach level 15. Additional advice and guidance will be available and players will be able to try out different crafting and harvesting jobs, while kept safe from any harm from more advanced players.
At first, the accessible world in DOFUS will be restricted to Astrub, the original massive village along with several dungeons. Then, depending on the evolution of players and growth of the community, more dungeons and zones will be added, as well as new functionalities such as pets and new classes. We believe that this is the best way to offer UK gamers an immersive experience, while encouraging the development of a strong sense of community within DOFUS.
This launch is a surprise which has been carefully prepared specifically for UK gamers, and Ankama Games is proud to introduce the fantastic universe of DOFUS to players all around the UK.
Monday - March 26, 2007
MMORPG News - Herb Sutter Speaking at OGDC
Microsoft's Herb Sutter will give the keynote address at this year's Online Game Development Conference.
SEATTLE, Wash. - March 26, 2007 - The 2007 Online Game Development Conference (OGDC) underscores its credentialed support for hardcore game developers with the inclusion of Herb Sutter, software architect for Microsoft Corp. Herb will be keynoting the OGDC conference which is focused on the game development community on the first day, May 10th. Mr. Sutter is one of the most well-respected and knowledgeable C++ language experts, with a unique insight into cutting-edge programming techniques.
Herb Sutter is a software architect at Microsoft. He is the lead architect of C++/CLI, chair of the ISO C++ standards committee, and the author of four books and hundreds of technical papers and articles on software development topics, including the widely-referenced article The Free Lunch Is Over which coined the term "concurrency revolution."
"To be involved in a developer-centric event such as OGDC is a pleasure and an honor for me," said Herb Sutter, software architect, Microsoft Corp. "In my mind, OGDC represents the ideals of what the development community has to offer the game industry."
"To have Herb Sutter on board as a keynote is incredible, both to me as a programmer and as someone involved in a conference like OGDC," proclaimed Peter Freese, the conference chair for OGDC. "His past experience and forward-thinking vision is just about unmatched in the programming field."
OGDC is tailored to offer game developers forward-thinking, in-depth answers to the challenges facing the fast-growing, rapidly evolving online segment of the game development industry. OGDC will be held on May 10-11, 2007 at the elegant Fairmont Olympic in downtown Seattle. Visit the official website http://www.ogdc2007.com for the latest news and information, including registration, agenda, complete list of speakers, and more.
Tuesday - March 20, 2007
MMORPG News - MMOs Set to Grow @ IGN
IGN comments on a report predicting further growth in the MMO market.
A report released today by media analyst Screen Digest suggests that massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are here to stay and are going to become even more popular over the next several years. Titled "Western World MMOG Market: 2006 Review and Forecasts to 2011," the report finds that the MMO market in North America and Europe hit one billion for the first time in 2006.
Tuesday - March 13, 2007
MMORPG News - Sword of the New World Preview @ RPG LAND
A hands on preview of imcGames' Sword of the New World is available at RPG LAND.
Granado Espada is a Korean MMORPG from IMC Entertainment. K2 Network will be bringing Granado Espada to our shores in the Summer of 2007 with a new name, Sword of the New World. American gamers got a glimpse of this unique MMORPG during closed beta testing, and RPGLAND was there.
Wednesday - February 21, 2007
MMORPG News - Massively Addictive @ Yahoo! Games
It seems everything needs a medical diagnosis these days and it's way past time for MMORPG's to join in...at least, so says an article at Yahoo! Games:
Closer to home, more traditional avenues of support are available to those who feel their MMO habits are getting the better of them. Maressa Hecht Orzack, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and Director of the Computer Addiction Study Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, hears from six or seven people a day seeking treatment for gaming addictions. "Look at the fact that World of Warcraft now has eight million people playing it. Even if there are just five or 10 percent who can't stop, that's a large percentage, and I hear from a lot of them."
Dr. Orzack sees similarities between MMO addiction and more traditional behavior disorders such as compulsive gambling. "The same reward center in the brain is tapped -- the dopamine system. Gambling has all the components that go with these games," she explains, citing Solitaire as a simpler example of a game that can also lead to compulsive behavior.
Thursday - February 08, 2007
MMORPG News - Voyage Century Valentine's Event
Voyage Century is holding an in-game matchmaking event for Valentine's Day.
Do you still live a single life? Do you feel lonely in the Valentine’s Day? Found the other half to spend the romantic and sweet Valentine’s Day in Voyage Century now.
Join the Voyage Century Quick Match Event (http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/love), a small photo will give you a chance to find you love in Voyage Century.
To participate in this event, all players could upload their photo here - http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/love/photo_in.php - and attach your love declaration and personal information in Voyage Century Valentine’s Day Event page.
When you find your lover, you could take a screenshot of you and your love in game as the proof of your love. Voyage Century Team will evaluate your screenshots and love declaration. There will be three pairs of winners, each pair of them will be rewarded a suit of in-game costume.
Farewell to your boring single life, here is the chance, Voyage Century Valentine’s Day Event.
MMORPG News - War Rock Launched
War Rock, an MMOFPS by K2 Network, has launched in the North American market.
IRVINE, Calif. – (February 8, 2007) – K2 Network, Inc. (www.k2network.net), an online game publisher, today announced that its online first-person shooter PC title, War Rock, is now available as a commercial download from www.warrock.net. Designed to appeal to new recruits as well as veterans of online FPS games, War Rock is available via K2 Network’s Free2Play™ model, as well as a premium edition which is now available from retailers.
“Gamers now have the opportunity to experience the intensity of modern day warfare through the online battlegrounds of War Rock,” commented Producer Matt Norton, “We look forward to building the War Rock community with tournaments and new content that will make War Rock one of the premier gaming destinations online”.
War Rock is an online, military, tactical, first-person-shooter featuring state of the art weapons, team or solo based play and unbelievable missions and maps. With five different character classes to master, gamers can play individually or in a team. Players can participate in three modes of gameplay including Close Quarters Combat, Urban Ops and Battlegroup. War Rock will be available to play via K2 Network’s Free2Play™ model. Players will also have the choice of signing up for one of War Rock’s premium bronze, silver or gold online subscription packages ($5.95, $9.95 and $14.95 respectively). All premium accounts include priority login, extra Dinar (in-game currency), new maps and weapons, a fifth weapon slot, exciting new battle modes and extended online stats that will enhance the War Rock experience. For more information on the specific packages, visit www.warrock.net.
Thursday - February 01, 2007
MMORPG News - AFK Magazine Issue #2
Issue #2 of AFK Magazine has hit the...newstands. Here's the official announcement.
JANUARY 31ST 2007 - Karmik Studios are pleased to announce that the second issue of AFK Magazine, the digital publication aimed at MMORPG players, has now officially been released and is available for viewing in our enhanced magazine browser.
Following on from the success of our debut issue; the lastest edition mixes all of the biggest news, reviews and exclusives from the world of MMORPGs, general gaming and entertainment, with interviews from key industry figures and big name musicians, a wide range of exclusive contests and much more.
Featured in the latest issue:
-Exclusive cover feature on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes – including 2 developer interviews, never-before-seen artwork and a contest to win retail copies of the game
-Extensive interviews for Pirates of the Burning Sea, Stargate Worlds and RF Online
-Reviews for games including World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade, Vanguard, Star Trek Legacy and Lost Planet
-An exclusive interview with Jesper Kyd, legendary game score composer; and much more.
The magazine is available to read at http://www.afkmagazine.com
Tuesday - January 16, 2007
MMORPG News - Bounty Bay Online
Frogster Interactive Pictures has revealed further details of its plans to bring Bounty Bay Online to the wider world.
Berlin, 16th January 07: “Boney was a warrior, way, hey ya” – and in Bounty Bay Online, he could also be a pirate, a fisherman, a trader or whatever he wants to be. Starting in the 2nd Quarter 2007, computer players charter a place on the virtual decks of the MMOG role playing game, make historic discoveries and fight great battles – either as a sea cruising solo adventurer or together with other gamers under the flag of their own guild.
On the newly opened, official webpage www.bountybayonline.com adventurers will now find lots of infos, screenshots, an overview about the historic frame of the game, a comprehensive FAQ, a preview of the world as well as interactive movies showing off the gameplay mechanics.
Starting immediately, gamers can sign in for the free open beta phase. Following the sign-in, there’s the opportunity for dedicated gamers to apply for the exclusive early closed beta phase which will start in February 2007.
Bounty Bay Online puts gamers in the heyday of sailing ships. With their own boat, they can explore the known world and visit 60 harbour cities in America, Australia, Africa and Asia, but they can also set course towards European cities like London. There, players can drop anchor and walk into the British capitol with its typical look in 3rd person perspective.
Gamers can choose their path to fame and fortune. They can act as a blood thirsty pirate, or as a peaceful fisherman. And even if they don´t like the water, they could become a farmer, a blacksmith or a lumberjack.
Also, a career as a trader is a possibility – thanks to the trading system that calculates all the prices based on supply and demand. The political situation also has an influence on how business runs – if the situation between Britain and Portugal is somewhat strained, then it will be difficult to sell one’s products in Lisbon. Additionally, some trading skills also influence if all the effort was worth the price.
If one prefers sabre over silver, then the way of the skull might be the preferred choice. Pirates can attack and conquer cities, fight sea battles and capture other ships. They can collect goods from sunken ships, and sell them in the next best harbour, if there’s no price on their head yet or if they bribed the city guards – otherwise, they might have to sail to special pirate nests instead.
Every member of the Bounty Bay Online world has its own ships. Right after start, they have a simple boat, but while playing they gain access to lots of better ships, for example, a beautiful frigates with a hand-picked crew. With those vessels, one can even explore the more dangerous waters. And there is a lot to explore – from the pyramids of Gizeh to the Chinese Wall. Findings, as such, are put – automatically – into the logbook, so that every gamer writes his own book of fame and adventure.
Bounty Bay Online has already gotten many awards. For its blend of fiction and history it was named “Most Innovative Online Game” by “Beareyes Online Game Channel”. Also, on the “Chinajoy” it was given the award of “Best Original Online Game”, the most important award for an online game in China.
Friday - January 12, 2007
MMORPG News - Ragnarok Online 2 in Development
Yahoo Business reveals that development of a sequel to Ragnarok Online may already be underway.
SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gravity, Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq:GRVY - News; the "Company"), an online game developer and publisher, announced that it has entered into license and distribution agreements for Ragnarok Online 2(TM) (or RO2) in China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.
The agreement for China has recently been entered into with a subsidiary of The9 Limited in China, which is effective for four years from the commercial service date. The agreement for the licensing of RO2 for Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong was entered into on November 13, 2006 and the licensee with Gamania Digital Entertainment Co, Ltd., and the term of the agreement is for three years from the commercial service date of the game.
Wednesday - January 10, 2007
MMORPG News - Gamers with Jobs Conference Call
The latest Gamers with Jobs Conference Call is offering a number of MMOG-related items including the Vanguard beta, Age of Conan and "the missing 3rd generation of MMORPGs".
Tuesday - January 09, 2007
MMORPG News - Voyage Century Online Rules
ICG/SkyUnion have released some details about combat in their nautical MMORPG, Voyage Century Online.
Nothing can match the challenge and sheer excitement of a raging battle at sea — unless it’s a hand-to-hand fight to the death on land! Voyage Century Online, http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/beta, the 16th century nautical online game, releases rules for both styles of battles. Wherever your tastes and talents lie, you can find your place in Voyage Century!
Are you in love with the smell of salt water and the distant cry of the gulls? Protect yourself from pirates and smugglers by upgrading your vessel to a military ship! (Or, if you want to take what should be rightfully yours, throw a few cannon onto your pirate ship and blast away!) Learn the skills for Cannon Fight, Ramming and Grappling, and rule the seas!
Or, if you’re the landlubber type, fear not! Opportunities for glory abound everywhere. There are five skills in Land Battle: Falchion-playing, Sword-playing, Axe-playing, Shooting, and Medicine. Become an expert in any of these, and you will rule the battlefield. Not only can you fight individually, but there are even rules for team fighting!
In short, Voyage Century Online offers every type of experience for all gamers — experienced or newbie, land or sea, honest merchant, intrepid officer or thieving pirate. With rules for battles, guilds, trading and exploring, players will find a world of adventure to experience! For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit: http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/beta.
Thursday - December 21, 2006
MMORPG News - Voyage Century Online Launch Date
Another nautical MMO hits the high seas as SkyUnion and Levelup Communications announce the release date for their upcoming game, Voyage Century Online.
(Sunnyvale, CA – December 21, 2006) –Grab your calendar and mark the date in red! Voyage Century Online, the innovative 16th century nautical online game from Internet Gaming Gate (IGG), announces its official launch date: December 22nd at 12:00 p.m. EST.
And as if this isn’t good news enough, Voyage Century Online promises all beta accounts and characters will not be deleted. In fact, if you want a jump on everyone, you can still sign up as a beta tester here: http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/beta/
Voyage Century Online will be forever free, and will feature a live support team 24/7. This means gamers will be able to contact GMs directly. So come explore the world, fight epic battles, pit your wits against traders and pirates, and experience the adventure of 16th century sailing!
Voyage Century Online is a ground-breaking massively multiplayer online nautical game. Featuring visually powerful, intense combat and adventure on land and sea, Voyage Century Online is a dream game for armchair captains everywhere. Trade, craft, wage war around the world, even search for buried treasure —Voyage Century offers just about everything imaginable from the 16th century seafaring era. For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com.
Wednesday - December 13, 2006
MMORPG News - Fallout MMO Plan Officially Announced @ TVG
According to Total Video Game, Interplay, the nearly extinct development company responsible for the genre-bending CRPG mega-hits Fallout and Baldur's Gate, does in fact fully plan to enter the dog-eat-dog MMO market by producing a Fallout MMO as was long speculated. Interplay may be down, but they're not quite out, and they appear to be literally throwing all they can muster into the ambitious new project.
Despite financial issues the report alleges that development will begin during January 2007 with a planned release in July 2010, allocating $5 million to pre-production; $40 million to production and $30 million as a launch budget - exactly where Interplay have discovered these funds is currently unclear, perhaps Eric Caen won the Euro Lottery recently...
Detailing the assumptions of the project, Interplay hopes to achieve one million subscribers during its first year - something that only three titles (Lineage, Lineage 2 and World of Warcraft) have managed to attain as of July 2006. The projections continue with the hope to make a profit in the second year, generating revenue of $160 million per year after the first, with a return on investment occurring during the third year of operation.
Sunday - December 10, 2006
MMORPG News - Voyage Century - Alpha Testing Has Begun @ Official Site
Alpha testing for Voyage Century started yesterday. To celebrate, trial keys will be sent out to a lucky 1,000 people who e-mail a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voyage Century is the first 3D nautical online game which owns an integrate world chart and based on the real world of 15th and 16th century. It reappears the great geography discovery of the navigation age. The players will begin with a small boat, accumulate wealth by trading, recruit sailors and finally own strong ocean-going fleet of their own or shuttle through all over the world, control the golden sea rout of trading and even become a mysterious pirate steering their own Black Pearl.
Friday - December 08, 2006
MMORPG News - A Firefly MMO TBA @ Wired News
Though canceled after only 11 episodes, the Fox sci-fi series Firefly has managed a cult following which refuses to be ignored. Well, fansof the show may soon have the opportunity to play in a Firefly MMORPG universe according to Wired News:
Like Capt. Mal Reynolds stumbling in after a bar fight, the short-lived but much beloved sci-fi series Firefly will soon make an unexpected return, not as a TV show, but as a massively multiplayer online game.
Now that's shiny.
Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, plans to announce Friday morning that it's struck a deal with Fox Licensing to turn the show into an MMORPG in the fashion of Star Wars Galaxies or Eve Online.
MMORPG News - Dawnspire: Prelude Free Demo @ GameSpot
The game is a team-based online action-rpg set in a fantasy setting. The game focuses on teamplay, tactics and player skill. It features four different playable classes, persistent characters, the original game mode Relic Conquest, a soundtrack featuring live orchestral instruments, global character rankings, full guild support, and more. The game will also be continously evolving with new maps, skills, classes and game modes being added.
Wednesday - December 06, 2006
MMORPG News - Editorials @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has two new editorials online that may be of interest.
Girl Gamers: Are They Real? by Carolyn Koh
Girl Gamers: Are they real? If you have to ask that, I'll have ask you... what underground bomb shelter have you been living in for the past ten years? So... like... you know? Women can vote and drive cars and operate PCs. If we can vote, we can be politicians. If we can drive cars, we can race. If we can operate PCs, we can game.
The Secondary Market and MMORPGs a Debate
Brad McQuaid: The secondary market can be good for the average gamer if they want to purchase items or characters as opposed to earning them in-game. Many people want to have these items or characters but either do not have the time to earn them and/or the desire to put the time in necessary to earn them. By using the secondary market, they can get around the otherwise necessary time invested. That said, given that these games are about communities and not single player games, the actions of a single player can and does affect other players - the adage 'no man is an island' applies. Therefore, if the game wasn't designed for purchase of in-game goods or characters via outside means (in other words, buying them from the secondary market), they are doing something that harms that game as a whole. Their action in and of itself may not have immediately apparent negative effects on the game, but over time the more people who take part in the secondary market, the more the game is harmed as a whole.
Roger Kipe: The Secondary Market is good for the average gamer and is the only way many of the average gamers can participate on an even footing with gamer zealots. It also allows the same zealots to earn some extra cash by selling off the items that they have earned through their time spent in game. The argument that "no man is an island" that some apply to this question is made useless when you take into account that more and more games are adapting themselves into having ways to give their customer bases a safe and secure method of selling or buying the items they have earned in game. If this activity was as harmful to the game or the community then surely the developers of the game would not willing introduce this destructive action into the game themselves?
Monday - December 04, 2006
MMORPG News - Online Taxation Inevitable @ News.com
News.com is running a piece headlined IRS taxation of online game virtual assets inevitable:
NEW YORK--If you are a hard-core player of virtual worlds like World of Warcraft, Second Life, EverQuest or There, IRS form 1099 may someday soon take on a new meaning for you.
That's because game publishers may well in the not-too-distant future have to send the forms--which individuals receive when earning nonemployee income from companies or institutions--to virtual world players engaging in transactions for valuable items like Ultima Online castles, EverQuest weapons or Second Life currency, even when those players don't convert the assets into cash.
Sunday - December 03, 2006
MMORPG News - Who Governs Virtual Worlds?
As games like World of Warcraft, Second Life and EverQuest grow and develop more sophisticated communities, that question will become more and more important. So much so that a group of experts appearing Friday at the fourth annual State of Play/Terra Nova symposium at New York Law School here spent nearly two hours putting the subject in context.
MMORPG News - Napster Founder Sets Sights On MMO Community
The first MMO to experience the omnipresence of Rapture will be World of Warcraft. It is reported that this concept came about as a result of Fanning’s own communication woes with fellow WoW players. Supposedly, with the aid of Rapture, gamers will be able to IM others while in WoW, organize play times, and even track their guild’s progress. Rapture’s revenue is expected to emanate from - what else? - ads and the extraction of community members “real life“ interests.
MMORPG News - Herve Caen's FOOL Plan
No Mutants Allowed has picked up on an Interplay SEC filing that outlines Herve Caen's plans to raise $75M in capital for Fallout Online. Here's a small snip:
- LAUNCH OF FALLOUT MMO Q3 2010
- REACH 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS DURING THE FIRST YEAR
- PROFITABLE YEAR 2
- REVENUE OF 160M$ PER YEAR AFTER FIRST
- NET INCOME OF OVER 50M$ PER YEAR STARTING YEAR 3
Sign me up. Head over for the full post and links to the original filing.
MMORPG News - Herve Caen's FOOL Plan
No Mutants Allowed has picked up on an Interplay SEC filing that outlines Herve Caen's plans to raise $75M in capital for Fallout Online. Here's a small snip:
- LAUNCH OF FALLOUT MMO Q3 2010
- REACH 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS DURING THE FIRST YEAR
- PROFITABLE YEAR 2
- REVENUE OF 160M$ PER YEAR AFTER FIRST
- NET INCOME OF OVER 50M$ PER YEAR STARTING YEAR 3
Sign me up. Head over for the full post and links to the original filing.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Friday - December 01, 2006
MMORPG News - Maple Story Review @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault takes a quick look at MapleStory.
The game is highly accessible, with a solid tutorial, a gentle learning curve, easily understood systems for attributes and advancement, and undemanding hardware requirements. The art direction is charmingly familiar, with a large, colorful, platform-style world containing varied locations to explore plus a diverse range of monsters to fight. There are lots of quests, which allows for a continuous sense of direction and purpose, and helps to support short play sessions. The four base character classes, called jobs, are Warrior, Magician, Bowman and Thief. They reflect the most popular play styles, and each offers either two or three possible specializations. If you decide to shop, you'll find the virtual shelves stocked with many different choices.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - November 30, 2006
MMORPG News - AFK Magazine Launched
The official Age of Conan site directs our attention to the launch of AFK Magazine, the first issue of which includes coverage of Age of Conan, Tabula Rasa and World of Warcraft. The online magazine is very flash heavy, so be prepared to wait.
MMORPG News - Casual Players @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's Steve Wilson considers the definition of casual players in his latest column.
I consider myself a casual gamer.
The reaction I get is always the same, I can't be one, after all I'm too invested too be a casual gamer. Its true, I visit websites about games, talk about meta gaming, discuss game mechanics, write about games, and play games more than I probably should, yet I still consider myself a casual gamer. So why do I, and other casual hardcore players, define our play style as casual?
Tuesday - November 28, 2006
MMORPG News - Relic Developing a MMOG?
Relic Entertainment, award winning developers of Homeworld, Dawn of War and the highest rated RTS of all time, Company of Heroes, is looking for an experienced and motivated Senior Designer to join our MM team.
There's also a separate listing for an RPG project, so this looks like an interesting change of focus for the studio.
MMORPG News - Myst Online Interview @ IGN
IGN talks with Rand Miller of Cyan Worlds about the plan to take Myst online.
IGNPC: In some ways it seems like the adventure game format works well in the MMO. In other ways it seems completely impossible. MMOs typically emphasize non-linear experiences, for instance. How can you fit this game into an MMO?
Rand Miller: You're right. We have two problems approaching MMO development with the Myst series. One is that when people explore in an adventure, they don't necessarily like the M part of MMO. If I'm working out puzzles and doing things in these Ages and leaving lights on and doors open and elevators up or down, I don't want thousands of other people coming in and doing it at the same time. The essence of what we've built on Uru is that it's MMO by default -- the servers have thousands of people but as far as you're concerned, it can be a very solitary experience.
Monday - November 27, 2006
MMORPG News - Bioware Interview @ 1UP
1UP talks with BioWare Austin about the company's MMORPG project.
James Ohlen, creative director, BioWare Austin: We've got a lot designed -- we've got the GDD [game design document] done, we've finished more than three quarters of the detail design documents. We've got a couple prototypes up.
We've licensed [Simultronics'] HeroEngine. It's a very good engine, and we're very impressed with it so far.
And we can talk about the high-level goals: We basically want to bring what BioWare's famous for to the online space, and one of the things BioWare's famous for is storytelling ... and it's something that pretty well doesn't exist in the online space right now. Most "storytelling" in MMORPGs is just FedEx quests -- you know, you have to go get some eggs -- and it's presented in a format that's just a bunch of text thrown at you in paragraph for ... and that's not so exciting. We want to bring a level of storytelling that's equal to the single-player box games that BioWare has done. I think we can do that. One of the big challenges will be making our storytelling work in an environment that has multiple players.
Wednesday - November 22, 2006
MMORPG News - Sexism in MMORPGs @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's Jon Wood takes a closer look at the depiction of women in MMORPGs.
"The portrayal of women in video games is disgusting."
That's a quotation I've heard many times, from both men and women alike. The truth is that they have a point. Most of the time, female avatars are portrayed with large breasts, small waistlines and finely toned bodies all around. Commonly, the blame for this is put on the fact that "sex sells" and game development is a male dominated industry.
Tuesday - November 21, 2006
MMORPG News - Along Came a Merger @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's Dan Fortier takes a look at corporate mergers in his latest MMOWTF column.
How could I pass up an opportunity like this? While mergers are becoming more and more common as we spiral toward Cyberpunk, the most recent amalgamation between Crowd Control Productions (CCP, creators of EVE Online) and White Wolf Publishing (the second largest pen and paper RPG maker) made me stop and think. What other companies who might want a slice of a related industry would be looking to join forces with (or swallow whole) another company with a strong history and tools in the field? This week in MMOWTF I'm going to dig up some details behind this deal and speculate on the next big corporate fusion.
Monday - November 20, 2006
MMORPG News - Green Monster Games Interview @ FiringSquad
Kurt Schilliing, pro baseballer and Green Monster Games co-founder, speaks with FiringSquad about their plans:
FiringSquad: How did the idea for Green Monster Games come about?
Curt Schilling: About a decade ago, when I thought my career would be coming to a close, I began to look at, and think about, life after baseball. I had no interest in just opening a business, I saw no challenge in that. I had serious interest in trying to become ‘something’ in an industry I had no real education in. However the only criteria I had was that whatever it ended up being it had to be something I had a deep seated passion for. Computer gaming, and more specifically MMO’s, has always had my attention and passion.
Friday - November 17, 2006
MMORPG News - Release Dates @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller considers release dates in his latest editorial entitled, MMO Release Dates: Timing the Market.
It is November, holiday time, shopping time. How many MMOs are coming out before the end of the year? Has anyone seen ads for them? Why don't companies plan their game launches to fit into this popular time frame. Is it because of the Wii and PS3? Sure lots of kids and adults will be getting those big items as gifts, as well as games to go with those items. Still, PC gamers have little on the horizon over the next few weeks and it is a prime time for selling games. Not just because of the holidays, but because of the winter season. Most players in the North half of the world are stuck in doors during the months of December, January, and February. There is little to do each night at 5 pm when it gets dark. My feeling on this is to light up those screens!! Get the games in the hands of the players so those dark hours of the winter don't go unused. I know some games are released during the summer and have success in that area too due to the lack of school. Still, people go outside over the summer. Will your player base be strong during those months? I don't think it will be as strong as the winter when players want to stay inside.
MMORPG News - Elite MMO Possible @ CVG
Braben told us, "There are two project designs that we've got now. One is a multiplayer game, the other is a single-player, still allowing multiplayer, but not massive multiplayer, which we do plan to do and that will follow on from The Outsider and use some of the technologies that that employs. That's the way they fit together."
Monday - November 13, 2006
MMORPG News - Scions of Fate Interview @ RPG Vault
Jonric: How combat-oriented is Scions of Fate, and within this element, what notable or unusual features would you like to mention?
Samuel Kim: By combat-oriented, I'm wondering if you mean PvP vs. PvE. Scions of Fate is a game designed to help build and make online communities so, of course, there is PvP AND PvE. But if you were to ask which of the two the game is more focused on, I would have to respond by saying the party system. Partying up is absolutely key in Scions of Fate, whether it be for PvP OR PvE, the game is much simpler when you're not alone.
Source: RPG Vault
MMORPG News - White Wolf Interview @ FiringSquad
FiringSquad has been quick off the mark producing an interview with White Wolf's Kelley Barnes-Herrmann on the merger with CCP:
FiringSquad: Why does White Wolf believe that this deal will help both companies?
Kelley Barnes-Herrmann: We see the diversity in experience and product focus as a natural fit. Each company brought assets into the merger that will fill a development need in the other company. For Example - White Wolf will produce the RPG for EVE, the strategy guides for the online game and fiction novels set in the world of EVE. The established brand that is White Wolf's World of Darkness will be brought to 'virtual life' by the innovative team of programmers and developers at CCP's Iceland headquarters.
Saturday - November 11, 2006
MMORPG News - Online Worlds Roundtable #13, Pt. 4 @ RPG Vault
The final part of RPG Vault's Online Roundtable on what studios from the East and West can learn from each other is online. Here's a sample:
Coming from a small country, it is crystal clear to me that only by learning, understanding, respecting and somewhat also adapting to other cultures, may you truly succeed as a global player. This is especially true for MMO games as they require and offer so much more than just the core gameplay experience. Even though the game itself can transcend all cultures, there are precious few examples of anyone who can said to have had global MMO success.
MMORPG News - CCP & White Wolf to Merge
In what can only be described as a surprising move, Icelandic MMORPG developer CCP (EVE Online) will merge with PnP gaming company White Wolf (creators of World of Darkess products such as Vampire and Werewolf), signalling the intent to create MMOG versions of World of Darkness games. Here's the press release:
Gaming Industry Innovators CCP and White Wolf to Merge
Combined company to deliver next-generation gaming products online and offline
Reykjavik, Iceland and Atlanta, GA, USA - November 11, 2006 - CCP hf. and White Wolf Publishing, Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. The creators of the single largest persistent online role-playing world and the world's second-largest developer of offline role-playing, strategy and collectable card games will create the industry's largest independent Virtual World developer. CCP is the publisher and developer of EVE Online, the world's largest virtual gaming universe. White Wolf is the creator of some of the world's most recognized role-playing titles including: World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage) and Exalted. The combined company will introduce new online and offline gaming products across the science-fiction, horror, and fantasy genres.
The merged company will enable CCP to integrate White Wolf's leading expertise in offline gaming development to enhance and create physical products for its MMOG, EVE Online. Products to be introduced in 2007 will include strategy guides, enhanced collectable card games, role-playing systems, and novels all based on EVE Online. White Wolf will leverage CCP's industry-leading technologies to bring its offline role-playing titles online. Conceptualization and early development has begun to bring White Wolf's World of Darkness, one of the world's strongest gaming properties, into the online world.
"White Wolf possesses the RPG industry's leading offline gaming talent and some of the most recognizable roleplaying properties in the world," said Hilmar Petursson, CCP's Chief Executive Officer. " Virtual worlds are a new form of entertainment, separate from traditional computer games. By combining forces, we will create a company unsurpassed in quality, innovation, and scope which will keep us at the forefront of this emerging trend."
The combined company will continue to operate under their respective names. White Wolf will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCP. Hilmar Petursson, Chief Executive Officer of CCP, will be CEO of the combined company. Mike Tinney, President of White Wolf, will continue as President of the independent subsidiary. Further, White Wolf will continue development and enhancement of their entire portfolio of gaming products.
"CCP brings industry-leading technical expertise and online game development experience to us," said Mike Tinney, White Wolf's President. "Together, we will create the industry's most innovative games leveraging both online and offline systems."
Friday - November 10, 2006
MMORPG General News - Online Worlds Roundtable #13, Pt. 3 @ RPG Vault
Five more MMOG developers join RPG Vault for the third part of their latest roundtable. The topic at hand is what Eastern and Western developers can learn from each other, and here's part of the first response:
President & CEO, Turbine
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar et al
I have been fascinated with the Asian gaming culture from my first trip several years ago. Like many, I was instantly awe-struck with the PC café culture and Asian gamers' unquenchable thirst for anything related to experience points. Yet, in many ways, the similarities between the main Asian markets begin and end with this passion for online gaming. Just as Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines have their own distinct flavors, I find it difficult to ascribe a single profile to the Eastern developer. Rather, I see them as three very distinct markets, with different audiences, backgrounds and cultures; and, in fact, it is these similarities and differences that make it challenging for American developers to understand Asia as a region and not a place.
Wednesday - November 08, 2006
MMORPG General News - Online Worlds Roundtable #13 @ RPG Vault
Topic: What can Far Eastern and Western online world developers learn from each other?
Given that the Far Eastern and Western markets for persistent state games have evolved differently, it's logical to assume that developers in the two hemispheres can learn from each other. With hundreds of titles being shown at Korea's GSTAR show this week, it seemed like the perfect time to present points of view from representatives of various studios, project teams and publishers involved in the category.
Source: RPG Vault
Tuesday - November 07, 2006
MMORPG General News - Child's Play 2006
Child's Play 2006 is underway, so dig out those old games and open up the wallets. For further information about Child's Play, for those of you not already familiar with the charity set up by Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade fame, head on over to the Child's Play homepage.
Wednesday - November 01, 2006
MMORPG General News - Scions of Fate Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault speaks with Samuel Kim, MGame USA's Manager of Game Services, about the company's latest endeavours in the MMORPG space.
Jonric: To begin with an introductory overview, what kind of online world is Scions of Fate, and what is its basic underlying premise or concept?
Samuel Kim: Scions of Fate is a casual action MMORPG based on the conflicts between the two major factions of Central Valley, The Order and Chaos. In the story, Central Valley was originally a place where aspiring warriors and adventurers gathered to gain both strength and ability; it was a time of peaceful learning and devout training. But as time passed, the warriors of Central Valley began to create philosophy and ideology behind their teachings, which led to disorder and unease amongst the ranks.
Source: RPG Vault
Saturday - October 28, 2006
MMORPG General News - Free MMORPGs
Bluesnews directs our attention to this list of free online games.
Wednesday - October 25, 2006
MMORPG General News - World, Interrupted @ The Escapist
The Escapist has an article titled World, Interrupted that looks at the difficulty handling MMOGs in gaming journalism:
In the past few years, PC game journalism has been dominated by one thing: the sheer amount of time it takes to play massively multiplayer online games. Of course, you can go off and hide in a corner, pretend to be an expert in one of the many other genres that make up the great messy corpus of PC gaming, but you'd be kidding yourself that it was going to work out for you in the long term. Editors, sub-editors, writers, readers: They all want to know what is going on with MMOGs. Hell, they may not even care to play them, but they want reviews, anecdotes and flavors to be delivered by someone. They want to see inside and get reports from those virtual places. These internet explorations make interesting times for games, and even if you're not there to see it all, you certainly expect someone else to be. That someone has, for the last three years, been me.
Thursday - October 19, 2006
MMORPG General News - Vivox Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault talks with Rob Seaver, CEO of Vivox, about bringing voice communication to MMORPGs.
Jonric: In overview, how would you introduce your technology, the way it works, the major benefits it offers users, and the hardware and Internet connection requirements?
Rob Seaver: We provide in-game voice services that allow players to talk to each other while they are playing - one to one and in groups, character to character, avatar to avatar, within their guild, gang or corporation. Generally, we can create a voice chat channel to correspond to any traditional game text chat channel. Being able to talk to other characters makes the game experience better because it improves tactical command and control, strategy and social interaction.
Source: RPG Vault
MMORPG General News - Virtual Economies and Real-World Tax
Reuters has an article titled Virtual economies attract real-world tax atention:
LONDON (Reuters) - Users of online worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft transact millions of dollars worth of virtual goods and services every day, and these virtual economies are beginning to draw the attention of real-world authorities.
"Right now we're at the preliminary stages of looking at the issue and what kind of public policy questions virtual economies raise -- taxes, barter exchanges, property and wealth," said Dan Miller, senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.
"You could argue that to a certain degree the law has fallen (behind) because you can have a virtual asset and virtual capital gains, but there's no mechanism by which you're taxed on this stuff," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Source: Evil Avatar
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