Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Conan set to rule on Xbox 360


MMO given green-light by Microsoft

Source: Conan set to rule on Xbox 360
Originally published on Tue, 12 Dec 2006 16:19:24 GMT

Second Life is growing


I stared stupidly at these graphs for approximately 30 minutes and I finally came to a definite conclusion. Second Life is growing at a steady pace and in all the right places. The numbers are rising, from the number of Premium Residents to Economic Activity.
im not much of an numbers personAccording to the first one (just click on the graphs to view them in their full glory), the number of Premium Residents has steadily increased from 5,000 at the start of 2005 to over 36,000 by the end of November 2006. Net growth in Premium accounts is up from 10 to 30 each month since 2005. Also, 90,000 unique Residents have been reported to have bought currency from the exchange, so basically, Premium Residents aren't the sole contributors to the economy.
i'm starting to get a headacheAnother thing shooting up is the regions of land owned by Residents. First, to be able to own virtual land, Residents need a Premium Account. Second, Residents, who already own land, pay a monthly maintenance fee. Landowners increase, therefore Linden Lab's revenues increase. Do the math. According to zeelinden, "In 2006, I expect that 70 of Linden Lab s revenue will come from land sales and maintenance fees."
all those hours spentUser hours and concurrent users in-world have also increased dramatically. In November 2006 alone, Residents collectively spent more than 6.4 million hours in-world. Users used up around 30 of user hours building and scripting content in-world. Women are estimated to make up about half of the total user hours each month. User hours contributed by new sign ups from outside the U.S. and by non-U.S. Residents show the fastest growth.
money, money, moneyThe LindeX is the in game virtual currency market. Residents can buy and sell Linden Dollars (L ) in exchange for real cash, virtual or real goods and services. They can even sell their Lindens on the exchange and use the resulting profit to pay the maintenance fees on their land. Since its launch in October 2005, more than US 15 million dollars worth of Lindens have been traded. Reportedly, many Residents earn enough money from in-game businesses and trading that Second Life becomes their sole source income.
The last graph is for those who monitor the economic activity of the Second Life. As far as I can tell, it shows that the in-game economy is steady despite growth; as a result, predictions regarding growth is accurate since the numbers are consistent.

Source: Second Life is growing
Originally published on Thu, 14 Dec 2006 03:54:47 GMT by Rio S.

Fallout MMO In The Pipeline?


This Prospectus proposes sale of Interplay Entertainment Corp common stock which will be admitted to trade on one of the Euronext exchanges. Proceeds will be used for the production of a Massively Multiplayer On Line Game based on Interplay's Intellectual Property: Fallout (the "Fallout MMOG")
The Fallout MMOG will be developed in the highly recognized Fallout post Nuclear Apocalyptic world giving consumers an ongoing virtual experience of today's life as if the cold war, which lasted for the best part of the second half of last century, had led to a nuclear disaster
The budget for the Fallout MMOG totals $75,000,000 and will be funded by Interplay, its development and distribution partners.

-- Fallout MMORPG in the Works? [Inside Mac Games]
Those juicy tidbits are withn an SEC report which, oddly, makes for some interesting reading. I wouldn't go getting too excited here - this is what one might refer to as a "pre pre-production" phase. We have more details about the Firefly MMO deal right now ... and we don't have any details about the Firefly MMO right now.
Still, one can dream. Fallout screams for an MMO - although I don't know about how it much sense it makes to have an overcrowded wasteland. Actually, I'd think the Guild Wars formula would make the most sense here. You could have towns and hatches for gathering areas and mission based instance zones. It would make it easier to keep some of the feel from the original game while building on the MMO model.
Ah, dare to dream. Dare to dream.
Update: Don't hold your breath. I mean literally, apparently the launch is stated here to be around 2010 and you can't hold your breath that long. Plus by then, World of Warcraft will have consumed all other franchises in the Great MMO War of 2008.

Source: Fallout MMO In The Pipeline?
Originally published on Tue, 12 Dec 2006 20:27:31 GMT by Josh

Around Azeroth: The Ruins of Eldarath


Raven sent in this shot of the Ruins of Eldarath in Azshara. If WoWWiki is to be trusted, very little is known of this ancient city, the remaining ruins of which are inhabited by Naga. Oddly enough, the Naga do not seem terribly fond of visitors...
Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

Source: Around Azeroth: The Ruins of Eldarath
Originally published on Wed, 13 Dec 2006 10:00:00 GMT by Elizabeth Harper

Return of the addons to Azeroth


My guild headed back to raiding last night (seems a lot of guilds are taking a vacation lately, with the patch and the expansion giving a one-two punch to the PVE game), and while BWL wasn't quite ready for us-- the Razorgore orb was bugged, and our MT couldn't see a pet bar for him-- we finally got back in the groove in MC. We'd been at a loss with new specs and a lack of our usual mods, but tonight, with various means and instruments, we were able to finally down some of our old farm targets and pick up some epic gear.
Decursive, as I said last week, was the big one. Apparently it was number one on the devs' hitlist, and for good reason, because it definitely took a lot of work out of cleansing decurses (like the one Lucifron throws out). But we've found alternatives that are "good enough." One of our mages now swears by Grid, an addon that works with 2.0.1 (I haven't tried it, but it comes highly recommended). And even more people benefited from this macro, posted in the Forums. It seems that if you create a macro that says "/cast [target=mouseover] Remove Lesser Magic" (or whatever decursing spell you want to use), you can then run your mouse over players or their raid icons while spamming the macro button, and you've got a reasonable facsimile of what Decursive used to do. In fact, this is even better-- Shaman (like myself) can create a mouseover Purge macro, run your mouse across a group of enemies in PVP while spamming the button, and never have to put up with a buff or renew spell ever again.
Speaking of my Shaman, when I asked for help last week, you all gracefully answered. I was extremely frustrated with the changes to addons (I lived by all the extra info redHeart gave me), but when I finally tried out and used Clique, I finally felt back at home. It's simple to set up and use, and makes things almost as easy as they were pre-2.0 (the author even has a video up showing how simple it is to use). Finally, the brand new version of CTRaid, 1.621 (I think that's the third version they've released since the patch) finally gets rid of that extremely annoying "clicking" noise the patch added to raids. A few things are still bugged in a few raid instances, but finally, raiding is getting back to normal.

Flickr tags:

Source: Return of the addons to Azeroth
Originally published on Wed, 13 Dec 2006 12:21:00 GMT by Mike Schramm

Second Life child is homeless, peniless

Second Life child is homeless, peniless
from Game Addicts by Edwin
Don’t you just find it strange to see many people pouring real-world time and money into a game called Second Life, doing their best and giving their all to build up a character in the virtual world surrounded by a virtual environment, only to find that their actual life is tethering on the brink of destruction? Online games have become so addictive that real world priorities have been pushed back to accommodate the next raid, a trend which is highly disturbing. With the Second Life game mirroring many aspects of the real world, I guess it is also a matter of time before real world situations spill over into the game, as with the case of avatar MensajerosDeLaPaz Jubilee.

From December 4th onwards, MensajerosDeLaPaz Jubilee is more than ready to accept donations in Linden dollars for a real life cause. This homeless online avatar does not have any land nor property, and lives very much like his real life street boys who have some newspaper to keep him warm at night and a cardboard box to take shelter in the event of rain. He even has a sign in front of him that says, “Help a child have a second opportunity in his First Life.” Created by an organization called Mensajeros de la Paz, it is hoped that this drive will be able to receive enough online donations to create fully functional homes for abandoned and abused children in developing countries across South America and Africa.
This is one of the better ways that an online game could be used to add value back in the real life. Since Christmas is around the corner and you have quite a lot of Linden dollars left over, why not drop a few notes into his coinbox? Hopefully this initiative will not see imitators with an evil intention to spring up overnight. I wonder if Anshe Chung, the first virtual millionaire in Second Life, will be able to form a virtual philanthropist club for causes such as these?
Source: GayGamer