• Because Sorrow doesn't need air conditioning in September... has announced that "Sorrow's Furnace," the free, major summer expansion for Guild Wars, is set for digital release on September 7th:

    "ArenaNet®, creators of the #1 selling competitive online roleplaying game, Guild Wars®, announces the release of the much-anticipated Guild Wars update: Sorrow’s Furnace. To be released on September 7, 2005, the update will be available free to all Guild Wars account holders and will stream to them live at game log-in.
    Sorrow's Furnace offers two large, explorable regions: Grenth's Footprint and Sorrow's Furnace. These regions will provide exciting new high-level content to Guild Wars players, and will offer new quests, new monsters, new items, and more. For characters who have completed their ascension in Guild Wars, these areas will provide new opportunities for exploration and reward."

    Read the Guild Wars official press release, then check out the TTH Guild Wars site for more great information on Guild Wars builds, competitive tactics, news, and much more!

    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
  • Outraged Chinese citizens sign petition against the government, build anti-tank perimeter around World of Warcraft Internet cafe.
    Interfax is reporting that outraged Chinese MMOG players have started signing a petition to protest Chinese government plans to limit gamers to three hours of consecutive play-time. Our calls and letters to the players who signed the petition were returned with "No Person Exist. You Head Asplode" messages, oh and this:

    "As of August 29, more than 1,000 Chinese gamers had signed the petition opposing implementation of the new time limits. Chinese authorities said last week they planned to implement a new system that would deduct from the ability levels of online game characters after an individual had played a game for more than three consecutive hours. The system was designed to prevent online game addiction. The online petition is currently on
    Although many of the gamers expressed outrage at the plan to set time limits on game play, it remained unclear if the petition would be sent to government officials. In addition, gamers have signed the Internet petition with their online names and not their legal names. The petition is hosted on the "World of Warcraft" Chinese portal, run by The9, which also operates the "World of Warcraft" game in China.
    In addition to the petition, gamers have also begun discussing counter measures to circumvent the impact of the new time limits. The most popular countermeasure suggested has been to open several accounts, so when the new timing system kicks-in for one account, players can then switch to another account and continue play. In fact, such a tactic would be beneficial for online game operators, an official with a leading Chinese online gaming firm, who asked to remain anonymous, told Interfax."

    You can read the entire Chinese Protest Three-Hour Game Limit at Interfax.

    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
  • Virtual killing is wrong, unless it's of virtual Japanese, so says China.
    Interfax is reporting that the Chinese government
    has ordered Object Software to remove rewards for killing player characters. How this affects the government funded Anti-Japan War Online remains unclear. Our calls to the Chinese government regarding tank driving as an Olympic demonstration sport remain unanswered:

    " Furthermore, the MOC also announced punishments for six other Chinese developed online games that failed to gain relevant approval before beginning testing in China. The six titles included "Earth Civilization Online" operated by Mingnuo Dongfang, "Meteor Academy" operated by R4S, "7Hero" operated by PowerNet, "Space Jiayuan" operated by Fenteng Interactive, "Huaxia Online" operated by Shenzhen Domain Network, and "Sheng Zhan" operated by The MOC did not specify what the punishments for these games would be. "

    You can read the entire China Bans Virtual Game Killing Story at Interfax.

    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
  • Vin Diesel was born with a tail, but removed it himself with a buck-knife when he was three-years old. In other news, we have an Op/Ed that includes the word "tail" and doesn't discuss sex in games.
    Joystiq, one of those sites that so humorously confuses us all by spelling their name in l33tSp3ak, has posted an Opinion / Editorial titled, The short and long tails of Massively Multiplayer Games. They propose that MMOGs do not have lasting revenue power, unlike a media like music, because of the cost of keeping a MMOG running with a low player base. We're nearly positive that they wrote something that looked disturbingly like this:

    " Long after certain consumer products are popular, they continue to sell and can, over the long run, ring up sales volumes that rival the biggest blockbuster products. Music, for instance, sells well for years after that music topped the Billboard pop charts. Some games also have a long tail: witness Atari’s launch of retro gaming systems this summer and last summer. "

    You can read The short and long tails of Massively Multiplayer Games at Joystiq.
    Related Links:

    Mon, Aug 29, 2005
  • Face of Mankind Gets a Facelift
    The motion capturing studio is a staple of modern gaming development, and the folks at Duplex Systems are kind enough to show us how the modelling and character animations are being redone for the coming sci-fi MMOG. Interesting stuff!

    "Here you can see the capture studio. The red glowing devices are some of the

    special high speed cameras mounted at the ceiling. The motions of the actress

    are recorded by a total of 18 cameras that pick up the positions of the highly

    reflective balls attached to the capture suit. For the capture session the light

    had to be dimmed and no flash photography was allowed while recording, which

    explains why the pictures are dark and a bit grainy. "

    Face it! This sounds interesting, so get yourself registered at the Duplex Systems site and take at how they do the voodoo that they do on Face of Mankind!

    Sun, Aug 28, 2005
  • Take a tour and punt a gnome!

    Cogglesworth's Tour of Norrath, Part 3 examines the zones that surround the two warring cities in EQ2. Included are some screenshots taken at such a high resolution that I could almost hear the computer cry out in pain over in San Diego.

    Professor Cogglesworth is a gnome sage of some renown. While he is well-known for cataloging a compendium of legendary figures, he has also compiled a journal detailing the lands he and others have visited. The professor has gone to great lengths to compile accurate information, but it should be noted that some entries within this journal may not be entirely factual. Cogglesworth is an exceptionally intelligent scholar, but history and lore are sometimes a matter of perspective.

    We continue today with two entries from Professor Cogglesworth's journal: Antonica and The Commonlands.

    Take a look at the continuing Everquest 2 zone pictorial at the official site!

    Sat, Aug 27, 2005
  • Asheron finally ends the call

    Jeffrey Anderson, not to be confused with the lead character in theMatrix series, just announced that Turbine will be mercifully taking AC2 out back, and when the kids aren't watching, shoot the now-lame MMOG in the head on 12/30/05. Anderson cited a dwindling player base (less than 14,000 at the last unofficial count) as the chief reason:

    Dear AC2 subscribers,

    In spite of our hard work and the launch of Legions, AC2 has reached the point where it no longer makes sense to continue the service. We will be officially closing the Asheron's Call 2 service on 12/30/05. Until then, we plan to run live events, but we will not be adding any content or features.

    We deeply appreciate the many dedicated fans of AC2 who have stood by us over the years. You have our sincerest gratitude.

    Best regards,

    Jeffrey Anderson
    CEO, Turbine

    Head to the Asheron's Call 2: Legions official site to get the news from the dragon's mouth, and to discuss the closing in the official forums.

    Sat, Aug 27, 2005
  • Virtualy Lucrative
    CNet is reporting that Sony Online Entertainment has scored big with Station Exchange. Wall Street traders were too busy selling Paladins to talk to us, so we'll pretend that they said this:

    " And judging by the results of Station Exchange's first 30 days of operation, during which the system saw more than $180,000 in transactions, quite a number of EQ2 players have cashed in on the exchange, which allows gamers to trade real cash for virtual items used in the game. "

    You can read the entire Sony Scores With Station Exchange Article at CNet.

    Fri, Aug 26, 2005
  • Talk while you play, but no cell phones in the stands please.
    Voodoo Extreme is reporting that Skype, the free Internet telephony company is moving into the MMOG industry. The Jeffersons were Movin On Up, but not into MMOGs, so they probably didn't have the following in their theme song:

    " Skype will soon announce the integration of their software with as-of-yet unknown MMOs according to a new Reuters report: "

    You can read the entire Skype Enters MMOG Market Article on Voodoo Extreme.

    Thu, Aug 25, 2005
  • What does a d20 and a chat log have in common?
    Stratics has a dev chat log posted, detailing some of the finer points of class characteristics, stealth, food/drink issues, and a whole lot more!

    Brannoc - *DiploMooz* Hi! I had the good fortune to play the DDO E3 build recently. I was particularly fond of stealthing around with the rogue. It seemed somehow more interesting than the binary "can the mob see me or not" of previous games. Can you expound upon the features planned for stealthing in ddo?

    EckelberryDDO - I can try! Stealth is little more complicated than the you are detected or not sort of things. Of course we represent D&D in comparing your Hide Skill and Move Silently and the monster's Listen and Spot score. It also combines how long you dare to stay near the monster trying to detect you, and the level of lighting around your character, which can either give you a bonus or penalty to your skill check, and it can determin

    EckelberryDDO - how often the monster "looks" for you\

    JustinQuimby - Just as a side note, we've put a ton more stuff into the game and polished a lot of features in the game since the E3 build. I'm very excited about the upcoming Alpha prop.

    The rest of the Dungeons & Dragons Online Developer Chat Log is posted at Stratics.

    Wed, Aug 24, 2005
RSS feed

Have a hot news tip?  E-mail Ten Ton Hammer

News from around the 'Net