Game News

General news about specific MassMOGs and the like.

Sony's MMOs to be available in one package

Now this is a great trend... well, I hope it becomes a trend.  Sony Online has announced their plans to sell ALL their online games in a single package (Joystiq).  Very nice!  I know that won't help a lot of people who already bought much of that stuff at full retail price, but it's an interesting move.  Sony already has their Station Pass, where you can subscribe to all their games with one monthly fee that's far lower than separate payments.  I figure this retail pack is a logical step along those same lines.

Actually, if it weren't for the Station Pass, this would only be a great sampler platter for most folks.  If you like even two of these games, the value is quite nice for that sucker.

Maybe I need to throw an email at Turbine about this one, not that they're missing this news, I'm sure.  I would be more likely to pay for a "Turbine Pass" of sorts, to play Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Middle Earth Online, if there was a single, lesser fee.  I actually wanted to try AC2 again, and an all-Turbine-access ticket really might have brought me onboard that train!  I wonder if AC2 would have had more success if the gates had been opened to all the AC1 players a little more invitingly??

I can't justify $13/month for AC1 but I really want to play it again... bad. [edit: ..but if I could play AC1 and DDO for something less than DDO+AC1, I'd really be interested.]

Bah.. just a thought. 

Auto Assault Q&A at GameSpot

I saw a blurb over at Blue's News pointing to an Auto Assault Q&A at GameSpot.  Although the interview with President of NetDevil, Scott Brown, talks about a lot of tweaking, polishing and balancing being done by the team to finish up Auto Assault for launch, I find myself compelled by the same bit that Blue posted:...[read more]

Linden Lab Announces Fellowship Opportunity in Second Life

"Now Accepting Applications for a Semester Abroad in the Virtual World" is the tagline in a press release from Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life... hmmm.  They have announced their "first visual and performing arts fellowship to support creative innovation in Second Life."  They're looking to provide someone $4,000 to explore the game/virtual world/thing as a creative medium.  You can get more info about eligibility and fill out the application at www.secondlife.com/education. If you're interested in the fellowship, I'd think the rest of that Eduction section of their site will also interest you a great deal.  Linden Lab has made a lot of progress over the years in finding unique ways to utilize their system.  Nice.

Subscription-free Planetside Access

Sony Online's Planetside is a big first-person shooter MMOG (or, "MMOFPS" as they like to call it.)  If you're into FPS games and you'd like to play in an MMO setting... this is a great intro to the concept for ya!  I haven't played in a long while, but it is a very fun game.  They're preparing a "Subscription Free" program that's summarized in this clip from an official Planetside forums post.

Subscription Free - "Fodder Program"
New Players will be able to create a new account and and play for free for a period of 12 months. The new account will have limitations on the BattleRank (+ or - BR8) and the CommandRank (+ or - CR2). Essentially, new players will be able to have access to any part of the game but they will be limited on the diversity of their arsenal. Time Frame – We are shooting for February 14th for Launch.

New Player Training
Simultaneously to be launched with the Subscription Free service, we will be changing the UI for all new characters. One of the complaints that we receive frequently is that when you enter the game, there isn’t an easy learning curve and transition into battle. We’re going to change that in hopes of getting new players/characters into battle within a couple minutes of entering the game at the same time teaching them how to play. You may or may have not noticed that we have implemented 2 new saved favorites just recently to equip new players with a load-out much quicker.

Blast into PlanetSide Promotion
I’m sure you have all noticed the increase of population the past week. The main reason is that we opened over 300,000 closed accounts and granted 30 days of free play if they log into the account before February 28, 2006. So contact your old squad members and find out what is holding them up if they’re dragging their feet.

Dungeons & Dragons Online stress test

Turbine's running a stress test of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach.  It's a quick one, so get over there now if you're interested so you have the client yoinked to be ready to play.  Also, remember this isn't a "demo" but a "stress test", which my memory is urging me to recall irritating stress events of other games in the past... it might really suck if their servers have a seizure.  That's not stopping me from trying it out, mind you.  I just want to raise the issue.

[update/edit: The test is actually live now.. you don't have to wait 'til Friday like I had been reading.  I just logged out from a bit of hacking and it's pretty fun!  I'm anxious to spend more time in there.  I really dig the DM narration as you move through dungeons.  I got a bit giddy remembering old D&D sessions with the DM trying to set the mood or point out stuff you needed to check out.  It feels pretty good to me so far.]

Ragnarok 2 thread

Writing about ROSE Online a bit ago got me remembering there's a thread in the forums talking about Ragnarok 2 information and sites.  I figured the easy way out of having to do actual work would be pointing to this Ragnarok 2 thread.  Sorry, can't be bothered to do much more than that at the moment!  :P

Oh yeah.. I know these new forums aren't too impressive yet, but looky there: a little gem for ya already!  I swear someday I'll get the old forum posts moved over or something.  I just don't know what to make the forums do for us.  Forums can be such a pain in the rearendicus. 

ROSE Online is on line

Sorry I'm a bit late on this, but I had hoped to get in and play this sucker before posting about it... of course, the alignment of stars isn't in my favor as far as game playing time goes.  However, I just can't put off this notice any longer since I'm already a week past the launch date. 

I'm talking about the launch of ROSE Online, made by the Korean folks behind Ragnarok Online, of which many of you are well aware.  The artistic style of this game is enough to attract me for starters, but the premise of the game looks very interesting as well.  Read this bit and then go snag your free client download if you want to play it.  You'll get "7 days or 35 hours of access to fun and adventure" to try it out.  Let me know what you think, if you would... I'll give it a whirl as soon as I can.

Geared to the teen and tween player, ROSE Online caters to an audience largely untapped by other persistent world games.  The game provides a safe, family-friendly game world for today's youth looking for an atypical MMORPG option.

ROSE will thrust players into a deep storyline and involve them immediately, encouraging building community.  Players will have the option to form groups, or guilds, to compete for dominion over the seven planets within the ROSE galaxy.  The title will focus on epic battles with catastrophic implications, rather than small-scale confrontations.  Instead of losing control of a castle, guilds will have to contend with losing control of their world.
 
Kings will emerge, and kingdoms will be created as players begin  to maneuver their way through a social, political and economic labyrinth within the game.  The one who can put all seven planets under their control will become the most powerful force in the universe.  

"We wanted to create a vibrant forum for our players to interact in a way that is compelling yet non-threatening," Peter Kang, Executive Director of Gravity Interactive, said.  "A game of grand proportions requires a large playground; we chose a solar system."

Chronicles of Spellborn Launch Closed Beta Testing

[Thanks to b00mer, who sends in this: ]

Spellborn International has launched International Closed Beta Test applications for The Chronicles of Spellborn. The application can be reached via http://www.khaeon.nl/beta/beta.php. Spellborn will be moving into the Beta testing with a limited number of applicants, and growing our testing base gradually over time. In Q1 2006 we plan to hold a large-scale open beta/stress test period in which the majority of applicants will be able to take part in testing. The company is also creating a series of stories that will introduce the public to the world of Spellborn. I've pasted below the introduction that accompanies the beta test. More information on the game can be found at http://www.tcos.com.

[The beta intro story referred to above got munged a bit, and since it's pretty long, I just made the call to go find the story andlink to it here.  You can find "Ill Omen, Part I" and even Part II if you'd like.  Just visit the Chronicles of Spellborn News page and scroll around a bit.  -- Hoza]

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