Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vanguard: End of Beta Date Set


With Vanguard's beta programme about to end, Sigil have announced a date for the end of the beta and what they plan to do with the accounts of the players who have worked and played so hard to get the game to where it is now. The Vanguard: Saga of Heroes open beta will close just before midnight on 23rd January according to Sigil Games Online and publishing partners Koch Media and Sony Online Entertainment....

Source: Vanguard: End of Beta Date Set
Originally published on Fri, 19 Jan 2007 11:58:00 GMT

VoIP Deal for Eve and Second Life


Eve and Second Life have signed a deal with VoIP provider Vivox to bring voice communication to the world MMOs. Course, players have been using Teamspeak and Skype for ages but now this technology will be included in games. Voice chat in gaming is something that's come a long way over the last few years....

Source: VoIP Deal for Eve and Second Life
Originally published on Fri, 19 Jan 2007 12:07:00 GMT

Ryzom - Monday is Patch Day


The official Ryzom website are reporting of a new patch for the game to go live on Monday the 22nd. On Monday the 22th we will apply a small patch to the live shards. As a result, they will be closed from 8 am to 11 am GMT. This patch is currently on the ATS and is accessible to all subscribers....

Source: Ryzom - Monday is Patch Day
Originally published on Sat, 20 Jan 2007 07:34:00 GMT

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stray Bullet working on new MMO


New massively multiplayer online game on the way from Stray Bullet Games.

Source: Stray Bullet working on new MMO
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 09:42:10 GMT

WoW - Attack of the Dongle Planned?


An interesting story/rumour this one. Over at World of there is talk of a planned security dongle for use with World of Warcraft following a recent survey from Blizzard. This evening Blizzard sent out an email to WoW subscribers which encouraged them to take part in a general survey....

Source: WoW - Attack of the Dongle Planned?
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:22:00 GMT

Creating alarmist press release for marketing purposes



GamePolitics was on the ball when they noticed this attention grabing headline about video games screaming, "First Violence, Then Sex, and Now Drugs in Video Games." The funny thing is that the headline, and accompanying text, is actually a marketing maneuver being implemented by sexually-themed MMO Red Light Center to get press. So, in essence, it's a sensational press release, by a fringe company, to gain attention from the mainstream press. According to GamePolitics, TV news sites in North Carolina and Canada have already picked up the story.
The best part of the release is this quote by Psychologist David Walsh, spokesman for the National Institute on Family and the Media, "Games are interactive and psychologically powerful. Now we have a game that glorifies drug use. Where do we draw the line?" As GamePolitics points out this statement was actually made in 2005 about NARC, not Red Light Center like the release implies.
It was only a matter of time before we saw this level of manipulation. Using the anti-games advocates that get a lot of press to hype games is a brilliant move and Red Light Center's marketing team deserves serious golf claps for the maneuver. In a situation like this, all we can do is try to show those that will be manipulated by this information that they are being used, and hopefully they'll find it out before they go off the handle and give press to something that doesn't deserve it. Time to wait and see if this goes mainstream -- after all, it is a slow newsday in the states.


Source: Creating alarmist press release for marketing purposes
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:45:00 GMT

A few reminders regarding SL's teleport issues


Just a reminderWe've previously reported that the hardworking people from Linden Lab have finally isolated the problems bugging Second Life users for quite some time now. And while this is excellent news, it can't be avoided that there are still some minor glitches that'll appear every now and then. Good thing Linden's on top of things 24/7.
In case some of you are still experiencing difficulties with teleporting, Linden suggests that you try reducing your attachment load. These are just minor things like HUD, bling, or even your avatar's prim hair. This should do the trick... according to the devs.
Furthermore, Linden mentioned that to be able to fix the problem and improve the performance of teleports across the grid, they re-balanced their bandwidth to some simulators in their co-location facilities - all 164 regions.
We should expect everything to be A-Ok now for all of you happy Second Life residents, and we should also try to look at the bright side as these up-keeps only mean that the the game's bound to get better everyday.

Source: A few reminders regarding SL's teleport issues
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 15:17:57 GMT

WoW SongWatch: Rapwing Lair, the best song ever made



On this, the last day before Burning Crusade, I feel the need to share with you the best piece of WoW media I've ever seen. Better than Leeroy Jenkins, better than 50 DKP MINUS, better even than Subudai ... I present Rapwing Lair, done by Shaunconnery of Advent on the Tichondrius server. To listen to the two parts of the song, click the purple buttons next to "Rapwing Lair Part 1" and "Part 2" on the right side of the screen.

Shaunconnery's explanation and lyrics follow behind the cut, but you really have to listen to appreciate the true genius of Tichondrius.

"3 months ago, I started a rhyme project titled "Rapwing Lair" which was a rhythmic story of how to do every boss in BWL. It was really just a joke at first, but it evolved into a multitude of styles, impersonations, humor, and rap narration. A bunch of people said I couldn't flow from earlier raps that I've posted, but Rapwing Lair is like a potluck of Rap Genres all over America. Hopefully, you'll find the style that fits with you. I impersonate old/new/westcoast/south/eastcoast/midwest to give "dynamicity" to a rhyme representation of what used to be Blizzard's most dynamic instance. We can all recall learning BWL for our first times around, and I hoped to pay tribute with this song. I enjoyed writing, making, and recording this song from start to finish and I hope you guys enjoy the time I put into it as well. After posting this on Tich for a few days, I'm going to re-edit the song to be less Tichondrius-oriented and less personal so I can submit it to Community Watch and hopefully have Blizzard put all of us and this song on the map. Enjoy guys! I know I did." - Shaunconnery

Introduction: Alright men, we've done it. We've beaten Ragnaros, and now we stand at the doorstep of Blackwing Lair. Does any man have any idea how to do this instance? None, whatsoever? (What about you Shaun Connery, do you know?) Well then, shall I lead the charge? It's time to call on my masterful techniques of rhythmic explanation, also known as Hip Hop.

Tichondrius Server Operational, Commence Rapwing Lair."

Rapwing Lair
Razorgore (Underground Hardcore)
Blackwing Lair, zoned in as we phased through
40-man crew, with 8 classes in the raid group
So we know whats in store, MT controllin the orb
Breaking the eggs to bring him out to phase 2
Lets get it happenin, Hunters kitin dragonkin
Running up and jumping down ramps for the fake route
With the last egg down, Razorgore gonna break through
The MC, MT settin the pace to
DPS him down, Line of sight the fireballs
Stay behind in spite before it bakes you
So Off-Tank, stand at your 90-degree angle
So when he breaths, it doesnt conflagrate you
Slow and steady, Razorgore givin his paid dues
Tier 2 bracers from his grave loot
Then we line up, 40-man raid group
To move to Vaels room, BWL Take 2

Vaelastrasz the Corrupt - (Midwest Story-Telling)
Now hold up hold up, Im rememberin
We need to kill some goblins for looting elementium
Odd groups to the left, even groups to the right
Attack the goblin mobs, dont lose them in sight
Aight, Good Job, with a standing ovation
Now line up on Vaels right in battle formation
Tank 1s in front of the big 3
Tank 4s got an FR of 315
Vaelastrasz making one hell of a big scene
Hes 30% life, do you wonder what this means?
Everyone ready? Lemme do a head count
Aight, start the encounter, essence of the red now
Tank 1 in line gotta agro manage
A healer for every class, theres no bandage
Tank 1 BA, max out on the low damage
Ok everyone stop, Rogues Vanish
Hunters feign, lemme see the priests fade
Cant no one OT when we move to each phase
Tank 1s dead, tank 2 face him to the east
Tank 2 watch where you placing the beast
20% and hes getting hostile
Mage BA, so move to the tail and start throwin out frost bolts
Vaelastrasz gives out some of the better loot
So Warrior DPS it, lets see some executes
45 seconds, somebody check the time
Tank 2 BA, tank 3 youre next in line
Tank down, tank 3 make him turn around
Aight hes got aggro, everybody burn him down
Ah geez, stop having a laugh
Paladins keep your groups up! Stop casting the hammers of wrath!
Vael down, we all here did well
Now we can loot the body for our tier 2 belts
Aight everybody line up, matta fact
Our next agenda is the next 2 death talon packs

Broodlord Lashlayer - (Tupac Shakur Impersonation)
Aight MT you ready? Lets get this thang started

Aight now MT move to the middle, it aint a riddle
Son, you gotta get the hatcher situated and settled
Uh, Need that AoE on the whelps too
Mages do it, Paladin bops are finna help you
Once every pack is down, move to the corner
Quiet on ventrilo son, we need order
Nobody can die, healers take it personal
Aight we done here, take it out the first floor
Lets move to the second, we be wrecking
Warrior sweeping strikes and blade flurries with weapons uh
Move in and counterspell the healing prayer
Gather your lifesavers, its Broodlord Lashlayer
Now we at the corner before him, priests get out forts and
Shield after mortal strike, thats important
Warriors charge him, you got heals, no stressin
Rogues heres your lesson, get on the suppression
AoE Knockback, aint no way to stop that
Broodlord on a new tank, Druids get them HoTs back
Mages and locks, youre the cloth pack
The tanks at 30%, lemme get a healer to top that
Do what the raid leader says
If we get a warrior down, we need a druid wit a battle rez
I pulled aggro, looking like he wants to kill me
I'll move to the tanks so some of y'all betta heal me
Broodlord at 5 percent, pierce him through
With everything you got for our tier 2 boots
and DPS zerg him, and hes at dead rest
Random 1000 if you need him for yo head quest
Everyone line up
We finna clear the trash mobs in front of Firemaw before the times up

Firemaw - (Dirty South - West Coast)
MT, best be holdin' still
gripping tight with a sword and shield, gotta keep it real, 9K AC with the plated steel
gonna roll with Firemaw, how we gonna keep the fire off?
the first warrior gonna need more than 315 FR
Now listen here dude, priests gonna heal you
and after shadow flame, priests gon shield you
Now I'mma say it plenty times up in plenty rhymes
That Fire Buffet stacks up way up over twenty times
Name of the game is LOS, if you hit, call an SOS
Here's the test for Firemaw, y'all gotta be the best of the best
MT's in the corner, step up to the border
so you don't get hit by the fire buffet, keep that order
and go slower, on the dps so you don't pull
and let me take a dura hit to make myself po'er
let's get it on tonight, and stay organized
when firemaw's beginning to cast wing buffet, then y'all taunt him right
Offtanks get on Firemaw, cuz he deaggroes
Now give him back to the main tank, I'm calling "DPS GO!"
Let's make it happen, push to the front and y'all start casting
But remember to move to the back when the fire buffet begins to stack 10
We right in the action, He's at 5% let's drop this dragon
And no homeboy, killing Firemaw does not increase faction
Finishing blow, now we gon hear wassup
Somebody link the loot, let's see them tier 2 gloves
Done with that boss, y'all be like "that's all?"
Nah dawg, now we finna clear some trash mobs

Trash Mob Packs - (East Coast - New School)
Aight y'all cats in da raid group, y'all need to be with me
And every warrior to the front, ready to assist me
We ain't gonna stop till every boss in this place is gone
So everyone take a breath, and put yo game faces on
MT 1, 2 you're both on a warlock
We'll DPS those first, assist using the fourth box
I want a Hunter in the front that's armed with a full clip
5,4,3,2,1, alright pull it
MT 3, 5 you're on spellbinders, here's the reminder
for MT 6, your mission is technicians
The orc locks gotta die first, their AoE is savage
Enraged Felguards, gimme a banish
So keep the dps fast, and the heals competent
Melee on Spellbinders, the rest ta kill goblins
There's an overseer that's still wobblin
So let's dps him down, and now the real problem is
Not enough MT healing, throw a shield on to them
Kill the last technician, and now I feel confident
We can move on to the packs of wyrmguards
Y'all need to keep in mind that each one of these things hurt hard
Clearing this trash can take close to one hour
So we need a off tank that's ready for bronze power
Another backup for green, get up a network
of healing for the tanks, and we're dropping the red first
Once the wyrmguards are down, it's all rinse and repeat
Ebonroc and Flamegor gon be seeing defeat...

Ebonroc (Underground Hardcore)

Check, Check, Check.

Raid Group with 20 killers, armed with 20 healers
Locked down with a strategy that's proven to be plenty iller
So get them buffs out, hunters with them guns out
MT run down, and put him between any pillars
Yeah I'm talking about that Drake Ebonroc, dawg
Don't make me scream at you until I got lock jaw
I ain't got a repair bot y'all, so drop yours
Everyone repair, no excuses because you're not poor
We must use warriors plated from the knees up
to please taunt every single shadow debuff
In WoW, we trust, Ebonroc will drop some neat stuff
to suck all of your DKP up
So MT, put your back to the wall
Before he puts a crack in your jaw, when wing buffet happens you need to be fast with the call
Everyone who's playing bad with a flaw
Your occupation is slaying dragons and all, not practicing law
So be professional, this boss is the biggest of jokes
And the strategy's fine, we ain't gonna fix what ain't broke
Ebonroc is easy but before you think it's a hoax
there's a rogue down, why? he ain't wearin' his Onyxia cloak
So keep the Mortal Strike on him
Warriors might taunt him? Nah, do it right before I make it my problem
5 percent, dps til he's reduced to nada
Loot the gold, that's enough to buy you out some gucci prada
There's a mage afk, so I'm gonna boot him outta
the raid to go to Flamegor, a.k.a. The Loot Pinata

Flamegor - (Snoop Dogg Impersonation)
now when we step in the corner, it's real breezy
Blizzard made Flamegor to be too easy
We need a pally that can stay ooc
so he can rez shaun dogg
every dps in for the onslaught
I'mma just watch cuz I'm a pimp, call me Shaun Dogg
Tanks gotta taunt the wing buffet
Then we can get ourselves a chicken wing buffet
Or is it wing buffet, put the plates away
cuz y'all smooth cats can't be afk
and y'all zoom out, this ain't a fps
Need the dps with the hps
y'all healing cats, check the LoS
So use that LoH, and the NS
if the main dude starts droppin' HP
Top him off using all up that MP
single target damage, no AoE
just instant attacks and some DoT's
you can front like a balla in RP
Or PvP to PvE
But y'all cats need to listen up tho
Cuz if you be pullin' a g g r o
run to flamegor, or it won't be funny
Gotta take him down so we can make that money
So y'all hunter cats, bust a tranq cap
Loot that gold to make the guild bank phat
celebrate, like what the hell
pass that bread and the roasted quail
we ain't sippin on the gin n juice y'all
naw, we sippin' on da thunderbrew dawg

yayuh, that's how a pimp do it...

Chromaggus - (Jurassic 5 Impersonation)

This one's a big dog, have you heard of him man?
I heard you gotta tank him facing down the circular ramp
He looks nasty, make you blow a turd in your pants
But we gotta down Chromaggus, cuz we yearn to advance
I'm a knight like Lancelot, exotic like Bangkok
sword and shield armed, with a rifle that's hand-cocked
So before this damn dog chews through me like ham hocks
Every hunter gotta shoot him with tranq shots
Hold the DPS, wait for first breath
Healers LoS me when I take the first step
Incinerate, but it ain't gonna hurt yet
Wait for next breath, then we'll pass the verdict
Perfect, it's frost breath, DPS in
Run in, Run out, repeat it again
I'm bleeding my friend, please make the healing ascend
Watch the seconds rogues, y'all best be leaving at 10
If you die, don't run, you'll encounter a locked door
Just sit tight and play around with a mock sword
Druids pass the innervates if you got more
mana, then you need to be decursing the top floor
Do it clean with the encores
and our repair bill gon be cheaper than a Counterstrike awp !@!#&
Chromaggus down, someone check if he dropped hoards
of loot that would make every one of us flock towards
Take the gold, stash that in the sock drawer
Pull my broadsword blacksmithed from a hot forge
Nefarian is the number one boss for
This instance, and we're making the top score

He's C, H, R, O, M, A, double G, U, S
You gotta be the best ever yet
If you want to beat him, you're gonna catch wreck
Put on a kevlar vest, this dog will set you to the test

Nefarian - (NYC Gangsta-ish)

Readied up in front of Nefarius with a Big Crew
40 main raid turned into split groups
20-man part moved into tight form
Warriors plugging up left and right doors
Locks set up blood pact, all because that
We need the buff, hunters move, set up frost traps
Lemme lay down some ground rules, keep your eyes glued
Even heal the even, Odd heal the odd groups
Ready up the swords, shields, staves, and guns y'all
Nefarius said the game has begun y'all
Y'all dps follow this system
Each side has a main rogue, just assist him
Popping off shots with an automatic burst
Colors 2nd, we finna dead chromatics first
If it's green, no problem
If it's blue, every single caster move away from the bottom
If it's bronze y'all, that's just a joke too
Intercept that, a chromatic just broke through
Don't get too cozy, yo matta fact
Paladins turn on FR, for red and black
MT get ready for the take down
How many drakonids dead? 38 count
Nefarian lands, here we go to phase 2
MT back to the wall, you betta have him face you
Finish both gates off or we might die
When we done, casters stack on the right side
Cut him down, buckin' shots till you're empty
Dwarf Priests, fear ward on the mt
Everyone stand by for the class call
Paladin phase, dps take your hands off
Let it run out, druids get them hots up
Priests if you heal during your call, you'll get locked up
You'll put the wrong dots up, Sit in the back row
Hunter class call, use deequip macros
DPS go, drop him real fast
make him feel that, buckin' shots from mah steel gat
Druid class call got us on the reverse
I'mma say 3 words, mages please decurse
Warrior call, don't make start me cursin' man
Every overheal now, MT's in berserker stance
Mage call got me nervous with a tense grip
Every healer in the raid group gotta cleanse it
druids gotta mend swift, when the tank's hurtin
Rogue Class Call, MT gotta turn him
Swerve him, Hurt him, now and it's payday
Warlock Call, drop infernals with the melee
20% percent health, Nef will take a clean death
Zerg incoming, caster stack gotta reset
Every warrior gotta keep it real y'all
Stand with the caster stack, keep the spread real small
Challenging Shout the zerg with a Shield Wall
Cuz they'll run to the stack from the heals y'all
Zerg over, spam with an execute
Damn don't forget it dude, hand in the better loot
Hang Nef in Stormwind when we run out
BWL Clear, the instance is done now


Source: WoW SongWatch: Rapwing Lair, the best song ever made
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 15:30:00 GMT

New Second Life beta - 1.13.2(7) on beta grid


1.13.2(7) on the beta gridThe latest beta is up on the test grid. Remember, we've got an update going ahead on Wednesday January 17 (in case you'd forgotten). The latest beta is 1.13.2(7).
If you're a Mac user you'll spot pretty quickly that the viewer crashes whenever you cross a sim border. Apparently that's being worked on, and is not actually considered to be a final feature for Wednesday's release.
This is a last chance to spot any show-stoppers before Wednesday's update. Do yourself a favor and make the most of it. The download is in the usual place, and the release notes will be here, when someone remembers to update them.


Source: New Second Life beta - 1.13.2(7) on beta grid
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:01:00 GMT

Broken CE pet for EU players, but Blizzard makes up for it double


Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Burning Crusade

So Burning Crusade is now live on the European servers, and one mistake has already been made. It's also been fixed, however, and the fix is pretty darn sweet.
A few players opened up their expansion packs to find that their code for the Netherwhelp pet didn't work, and they weren't able to get their pet ingame. But Blizzard wasted no time in fixing things: they put up new instructions to get the pet, and they compensated players with not only the Netherwhelp pet, but another pet named Lurky the Murloc (brother, we assume, to Murky, the Murloc pet available at Blizzcon, and Gurky, the pet Blizzard has been giving away in a few places). In addition, they gave 2 free days of play to people affected.
On one hand, I'm impressed that Blizzard fixed things so quickly, and was so generous in doing so. But on the other hand, I'm wondering: maybe my expansion could be broken somehow? Please?



Source: Broken CE pet for EU players, but Blizzard makes up for it double
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:16:00 GMT

Burn the house down in DANCE! Online closed beta test canned heat in my heels tonight, oh baby...Swing it, shake it , move it, make it, who do you think you are? The Spice Girls didn't know jack about dancing, and how confident are you that you can really bust a groove? It's your turn to take the stage and prove that you can really burn the house down. (Burn, baby! Burn!)
Of course, Acclaim Games' DANCE! Online isn't just going to be all about dancing because although it is quite a novel factor in a game, it's still, believe it or not, an MMORPG. Yeah, think of the Draenei dancing their way to the top against other players.
You have to keep in sync with the beat and perfect your dance skills that will encompass a full range of different styles - from smooth ballroom to hardcore breakdancing.
More so, why not try it yourself? Acclaim Games just launched the Closed Beta Test program. All you've got to do is waltz over to the official website (check the "Read" link below) and register. Registry and getting to play the game is absolutely free, but note that slots for the Beta tests are limited. Shake and bake, baby!


Source: Burn the house down in DANCE! Online closed beta test
Originally published on Tue, 16 Jan 2007 00:29:01 GMT

Clip: Age of Conan DX10


This clip shows a taste of Age of Conan as played in DirectX 10. The game's environments seem incredibly lush. Have I mentioned that I can't wait until this massively multiplayer online game hits?

My favorite part of the pitch is when the guy says the game uses magic realism. Borges must be spinning in his grave. Brian Crecente


Source: Clip: Age of Conan DX10
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:00:32 GMT

Grab Bag: Bonedancer (and Mentalist?) changes, and more


ye olde Grab Bag...Sanya's latest Grab Bag for Dark Age of Camelot is bulging with gameplay-related questions and answers. What's going in in the Camelot Herald? Development news, changes, bugs, clarifications... mostly to do with version 1.87d. Here's a couple that caught our attention:

  • Confirmation that the battleground level changes have been undone. Feedback from players was largely negative about the level changes, so the team reverted the level ranges back to their original values.
  • Bugs keep popping up in the Labyrinth (Labyrinth of the Minotaur). An example is having an ambient Maggot uncovering your stealth even though you've got 50 base stealth. These are bugs (they're not meant to happen), so please report them as bugs.
The big news: spec changes for Bonedancers. And Mentalists are next!

Up until now, the vast majority (well above 90 ) of Bonedancers were specced with a high amount of suppression. The reasons for this were twofold. One, Suppression was an incredibly powerful spec. Two, Bone Army and Darkness were incredibly weak specs.

Our goal was to change the class to have at least two, and hopefully three wholly viable spec lines, instead of one overly dominant spec line. This thought process will eventually be applied to every class with a severely lacking spell line (I'm looking at YOU Mentalism Mentalists).

Changes can be painful. But since EA Mythic's team is always open to feedback and are usually quick with fixing bugs, there's not too much to worry about, right?

Source: Grab Bag: Bonedancer (and Mentalist?) changes, and more
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:12:21 GMT

Peek inside the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Collector's Edition box


Filed under: Culture, PC, Action, Adventure, RPGs, MMO

Unless you were lucky enough to have snagged an early copy off of the shelves at a Wal-Mart, then you probably haven't seen the insides of a World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Collector's Edition yet. If you don't want to wait until midnight tonight, then here's your chance for a sneak peek.
Unfortunately, this Collector's Edition appears to be sold out everywhere, including the Blizzard store. We're hoping to find a copy somewhere tonight, although it sounds like we'd have a better chance surviving as an icecube in the Molten Core. You can still snag a copy on Amazon ... to the tune of $200 and up. Hardly surprising, since folks are selling the original WoW collector's edition for over $500. Is an exclusive pet worth that much, we ask you?
The highly anticipated expansion for WoW will be selling in stores at the stroke of midnight tonight. In fact, they're having midnight launches for it, and Joystiq will be braving the cold and freezing our butts off to bring you some coverage.


Source: Peek inside the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - Collector's Edition box
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:15:00 GMT

News: New WoW classes coming


"It's a question of when we're going to decide to do it", Blizzard tells CVG.
Blizzard has revealed that new character class additions for World of Warcraft are "definitely in our big list" of features, in an interview with CVG this afternoon.
Click here to read the full article

Source: News: New WoW classes coming
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 17:25:00 GMT

LOTRO: The Duilond trailer


LOTROIt looks like both development and marketing for upcoming MMO title The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar are in full swing now. Just a couple of days ago, we mentioned that the Beta and Stress tests for the game officially went live for Europe. This time, publisher Turbine Inc. released a new game trailer.
While you won't be seeing some Elves and Nazgul action here, the video is still a good watch as it reveals the game's rather breathtaking cinematics of Duilond. According to Turbine, the trailer is composed of actual gameplay shots, and boy, they are looking sweet. We honestly found ourselves momentarily stunned by what we saw.
In case you want to see it for yourself, we made the video available for download below. Now where is that music track that fits well with this one...
Download: [LOTRO: Duilond Trailer

Source: LOTRO: The Duilond trailer
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 19:01:14 GMT

New MMO From Shadowbane Creators


straybulletconcept.jpgStray Bullet Games, a game development studio founded by key developers from Shadowbane creators Wolfpack Studios, has announced that they are working on a brand new massively multiplayer online game. They will be using an undisclosed 3rd party game engine to create the as-of-yet unnamed game, which will feature a completely original setting and theme.

Mike Madden, the Creative Director, had more to say about the design process for the new project. "We have two guiding principles: Rely upon the familiar and Be bold . . . In setting, systems and game play, we want to build on a firm foundation of features that are familiar and comfortable to MMO players, making the game as inviting and accessible as possible. We see no need to innovate in areas MMOs already do well."

I'm all for incorporating successful aspects of other games, as long as the setting is rich, immersive, and contains as many of those giant monkey things from the concept art above as will fit on the server. I also have to respect the ballsiness of any company that openly admits being responsible for Shadowbane. Michael Fahey

Taking Aim at the Future! [Stray Bullet Games via Eurogamer]


Source: New MMO From Shadowbane Creators
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:40:55 GMT

The Buried Sea Expansion For EverQuest Announced



Sony Online Entertainment LLC, a global leader in the online games industry, has announced EverQuest The Buried Sea, a new expansion for the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), EverQuest. EverQuest The Buried Sea will only be available via digital download beginning February 13th, for the suggested retail price of U.S. $29.99.

“As the new producer on EverQuest I am very excited to have this tremendous opportunity to work on such a storied franchise, as well as be part of a development team that has delivered successful expansions time and time again over the past eight years for our many loyal EQ players,” said Clint Worley, Producer, Sony Online Entertainment. “As the thirteenth expansion for EverQuest, The Buried Sea will continue to challenge players with two new worlds to explore, ship-to-ship combat on the open seas against swashbuckling pirates, and a variety of new missions created especially for this expansion.”

“The success of EverQuest is both a tribute to our devoted player base and our very committed development team,” said Christopher E. Sturr, Senior Global Brand Manager, Sony Online Entertainment. “EverQuest continues to deliver innovation, new features and challenging new content, which will be evident in The Buried Sea.”

The Buried Sea will also feature the ability for guilds to create a unique Guild Banner from a large selection of symbols and colors. The banner becomes the mark of the guild and when enough guild members are in the same zone, the guild leaders or officers can plant the banner in the ground. Once the banner is placed, members of that guild are able to teleport directly to that banner. In addition to the banners, players will have the ability to acquire Energeian items, utilizing ancient Combine technology; they can gain access to a new inventory slot that can be fitted with an Energeian power source and armor that can tap into the energy held within.

About EverQuest The Buried Sea
Throngs of undead trample the earth both night and day as Norrath’s sun withers. With each passing hour, the growing numbers of creatures of the night rising from crypts and graves seem part of a grand design to overwhelm the lands. Trouble also lurks deep beneath the Buried Sea off the coast of Odus in a city named Katta Castrum, which has remained undiscovered for millennia. It is a city built to sustain the beloved leader of the Combine Empire who was poisoned. Generations of Combine Loyalists have tried to cure and awaken him while they house threatened populations of Kedge, Shissar, and Sphinx. But in recent times, the artifact that powers and protects their city has weakened. Without it, the city will be crushed under the pressure of the sea. Only the most intrepid Norrathians have the power to save them.

EverQuest The Buried Sea Features

  • Ship-to-Ship Combat - Cross the plank and fight for your life on the open seas as you raid pirate vessels!
  • Two Paths of Advancement - Battle pirates on the open seas or dive deep beneath the sea to Katta Castrum, lost stronghold of the Combine Empire.
  • New Missions - Take your group through more than 60 challenging new missions ranging from defending merchant vessels against marauding pirates to uncovering the secrets behind the combine city and the danger that threatens it!
  • Guild Banners - Design a guild emblem and display it with pride! Upgrade your banner to grant your guild special abilities and plant it on the field of battle so your fellow guild members can teleport directly to it!
  • Fellowships - Get together with a group of your closest friends and start your own fellowship! You can join in a common chat channel, gain the ability to create a campfire that can help you in your adventures, and get a token that will let you quickly travel to your other fellowship members.
  • Energeian Items - Utilizing ancient Combine technology, gain access to a new inventory slot that can be fitted with an Energeian power source and armor that can tap into the energy held within! The armor gains power based on the type of energy in the power source, so you can quickly customize the effects of your armor by changing the power source!

Tags: everquest, buried sea, expansion, norrath, combine

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Source: The Buried Sea Expansion For EverQuest Announced
Originally published on Mon, 15 Jan 2007 21:51:12 GMT

No World Of Warcraft For You, Consoles!


Just before the World of Warcraft expansion launch (that's tonight, by the way, in case you missed it), the kids at Pro-G spoke with Blizzard designer Jonathan LeCraft to discuss the future of WoW and their stable of franchises. On WoW for consoles:

You really do need a keyboard to play WoW. I've seen some mods where people have hooked up WoW to their Wii. When I saw that I was like, well, that's got to be pretty easy to PVP against, honestly. It's not something we're looking at right now.

That's non-committal enough, I suppose. But when discussing the next Blizzard franchise to get the MMO-treatment, LeCraft is typically even more vague. When asked about the other hot Blizzard properties, he said: "I think we have the capacity for another [MMO]."

I know they're licenses to print money, but can we please just get another Starcraft, sans monthly fee? And please, no more attempts at console stealth games, k? Much appreciated. Michael McWhertor

World of Warcraft unlikely for consoles [Pro-G]


Source: No World Of Warcraft For You, Consoles!
Originally published on Tue, 16 Jan 2007 00:20:42 GMT

Thursday, January 11, 2007

World Of Warcraft Reaches 8 Million Subscribers

While some massively multiplayer games (Second Life) try to cook their player numbers, this press release from Blizzard reveals that their huge fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft has now hit the 8 million subscriber mark. More than 2 million of that number are in the US while 1.5 million are in Europe while 3.5 million WoW players are in China. In related news, GameStop and EBGames retail stores plan to hold midnight openings for the launch of the long awaited expansion pack Burning Crusade on January 16. You can go to the EBGames web site for a list of the participating stores, some of which will hold "costume contests, card game tournaments, screen-shot character judging, and more!

DDO creature feature: Warforged Titan


Warforged Titans are basically classified as a "living construct" - an oxymoron when you think about it. They are half construct and half living creature. These Warforged are extremely dangerous as they can deal massive damage and take massive damage as well.
They are armed (literally, since they don't have hands and their arms end in weapons) with a giant maul and a three-bladed weapon. Warforged Titans are capable of doing massive melee attacks using their built in weapons and their special attacks are Ground Shake and Energy Weapon.
Good thing is they have a weakness common to giant lumbering tank monsters. They aren't very bright, all they want is to crush you so they won't have a strategy other than hack and slash. So players would do good to use this to their advantage. Exploit the terrain and environment, and practice excellent party tactics.
Warforged Titans can be found near Stormreach, brave adventurers can check them out on Dungeons and Dragons Online.

Source: DDO creature feature: Warforged Titan
Originally published on Fri, 12 Jan 2007 01:55:09 GMT

Monday, January 01, 2007

WoW Comedy Gold collection


To end the year in a good light (or start it, depending on where you're reading this from), as well as to spread happiness, cheer, and maybe a giggle or two, we decided to put together some of the WoW videos that have been floating around the internet for the past year. These videos have been selected under the requirement of you-really-should-watch-it-at-least-once, and so we present to you some of our favorite picks which we can look back on and truly smile about.

The Ballad of the Noob
For those who haven't seen this classic piece of WoW fan-made goodness...where have you been? Seriously though, since we're just trying to add a bit of fun into everyone's lives, since it's the Holidays after all, here's something which was originally created by the people from Stone Falcon Productions.
This video is still worth the laughs despite its age, and it teaches an invaluable lesson to both the noobs and the ubers: ubers should remember to take the phone off the hook should they decide to let anyone hit them for any reason, and noobs should remember to not get too cocky as not everyone has got an ex-wife who loves talking on the phone.
"... and so he boldly left town even though he was only level 1."

South Park: Make Love, Not Warcraft
Now, who could have ever resisted something like this? After all, it's two of the things we love, all rolled into one. Not only do we love this particular "South Park" episode because of its ties with WoW, but we love it for the fact that it does show a lot of real-life situations for WoW players... plus the fact that the guys at Blizzard may have made the Sword of a Thousand Truths into a real item...

Avenue Q, WoW-style: The internet is for Porn

'Nuff said.

The Atkins Switcher
You gotta love Machinima, if only for results like this. Anyway, the vid pretty much shows that no, your local priestess is not a vending machine and she's got feelings, too. Also, we're hoping that after this vid...well... always politely accept all bread offered to you, okay? Oh, and yeah, the macarena opening made this thing a shoe-in.

The Anti-Elf Anthem
Again... 'nuff said.

Inventing Swear Words 2
The second episode of a series, this pretty much demonstrate that the Horde is actually more educated (and sociable) than we may ever even imagine. So, can you still tell your swear word nouns, adjectives, and adverbs? And of course, there's also some very important marketing tips included here which advertisers should most probably pay attention to.

So there you go. There are, of course, thousands of other videos out there which would probably make you laugh harder, but we're just hoping that if you've never played World of Warcraft before, that seeing these clips would at least make you start wanting to.

Now, go and start the year with a laugh!

Source: WoW Comedy Gold collection
Originally published on Mon, 01 Jan 2007 14:34:13 GMT

Newly Formed Flagship Seattle To Release Casual RPG Mythos In 2007


Flagship Studios today announced that it has expanded operations with the formation of a new development studio: Flagship Seattle. Flagship Studios is already one of the most respected independent video game developers in North America. The creation of Flagship Seattle plays an integral part in the company’s development plans.

The studio is led by Travis Baldree, Project Director. Baldree previously worked at Wild Tangent as the Lead Designer on the popular free-to-play role-playing game Fate. Flagship Seattle has a diverse history of game development. Other team members have worked on titles including Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege and SWAT 3.

Flagship Seattle is currently working on Mythos, an online role-playing game that will be used to test the networking technology behind the multiplayer component of the highly-anticipated action role-playing game Hellgate: London. Mythos will be digitally distributed by Flagship Studios subsidiary Ping0, LLC in North America and Europe in 2007. HanbitSoft, Flagship Studios’ partner in Ping0, will be responsible for distributing Mythos in Asia.

“We were very impressed with the work of Travis from when we were first shown Wild Tangent’s Fate at E3 2005,” said Phil Shenk, Creative Director of Mythos and founding member of Flagship Studios. “Both he and the Flagship Seattle team have an exceptional pedigree in games development. Their skills and expertise make them real assets.”

“To be involved in the formation of Flagship Seattle is an honor,” said Travis Baldree, Project Director of Flagship Seattle. “We are sure that Mythos will put Flagship Seattle on the map, and in turn will become an integral part of the Flagship Studios experience.”

Source: Newly Formed Flagship Seattle To Release Casual RPG Mythos In 2007
Originally published on Fri, 15 Dec 2006 09:04:40 GMT

MMO Portal Launches Sale Of Calendar To Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


MMO Portal is proud to announce that MMO Calendar 2007 is now on sale!

This unique 12-month calendar features the original artwork of some of today’s hottest and most anticipated upcoming MMOs, each dedicated to its own month. As if that is not exciting enough, the artwork has been signed by the developers of your favorite games as well!

Included in MMO Calendar 2007:

  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
  • Eve Online
  • EverQuest II
  • Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
  • Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
  • The Chronicles of SpellBorn
  • Ultima Online
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
  • World of Warcraft

It is also with great pride that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this amazing calendar go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, helping them in the battle to save the lives of children all over the world! Discoveries made through research at St. Jude have completely changed how children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases are treated, giving them hope they did not have before. Is there a better cause to support than helping make ill children better? We don’t think so either!

All of the development teams have been simply amazing to work with in putting this together and fully support the incredible work St. Jude does every day. Join us in the fight to save our children and get your MMO Calendar today!

Source: MMO Portal Launches Sale Of Calendar To Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Originally published on Thu, 28 Dec 2006 23:50:06 GMT

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Goes Golden!


Yes, it has begun. The end of 7+ million lives will continue, for on January 16th, 2007, the highly anticipated (and loathed) expansion to World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade will launch. I know I hear a collective groaning from some of you, but hey, near 8 million people can't be wrong - right? According to a post on the official Blizzard forums by some dude named Tseric, The Burning Crusade has indeed gone gold and will be shipping out to stores in time for the retail launch date of January 16th, 2007.
So get ready to kiss your family members, friends, and husbands and wives goodbye. The world is coming to an end, and it will end on January 16th, 2007. Be prepared for it. Stock up on potato chips and soda. Get out the fireworks!
Link: Official WoW Forums
View: Original Story @ IGN
P.S. Happy New Year from me to all my fellow Neowin gaming comrades. I wish you all a safe and happy New Year, and a terrific 2007 for gaming.
Read full story...

Source: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Goes Golden!
Originally published on Sun, 31 Dec 2006 19:25:45 GMT