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Star Wars: The Old Republic + Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited + Auto Assault + Wheel of Time Online + Tabula Rasa + Alganon + City of Villains + EverQuest + Anarchy Online + World of Warcraft + Star Wars Galaxies + Guild Wars + Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning + Lord of the Rings Online + City of Heroes + Ultima Online + The Secret World + Copernicus + Global Agenda

  • We Told Ya Ralsu Likes Bard Builds

    Ralsu, on our Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach community site, has already shown us how to build a crowd control expert and a melee bard. With his second bard Custom Build in two days, Ralsu presents the healing specialist bard--the Singing Sawbones:

    The finished product of the Singing Sawbones is a bard who focuses on healing above all else. Training three levels as a cleric does not reduce your BAB, and you wind up with the benefits of learning your first two healing spells automatically. This means you can use those precious bard spell slots on a few crowd control spells to keep your party healthy longer. Feats and Enhancements are almost entirely geared toward increasing your pool of spell points or the effectiveness of your healing magic. The resulting high number of spell points enables the Singing Sawbones to use the Empower Healing Spell Feat liberally. The Feat also gives you the potential you to be more effective and efficient than a pure bard with access to Cure Critical Wounds.

    Read Singing Sawbones at DDO - TenTonHammer to see the full build in our new, more detailed format!

    Thu, May 04, 2006
    Ethec
  • Auto Assault delay evident in NCSoft earnings drop

    Posting a 49% drop from projected Q1 earnings and a 45% drop in operating profits from Q4 2005, NCSoft now has investor confidence and nasty gadfly lawsuits to worry about.

    South Korea's largest publisher of online games, announced today its first-quarter earnings had dropped by almost half due to the absence of new products. In the January-March period, net income reached 6.8 billion won (US$7.3 million), down 49 per cent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

    If Auto Assault had released on schedule in late 2005, maybe NCSoft's earnings would have been a little more steady. No crying over spilled milk, though. Hopefully the April release of Auto Assault and Guild Wars Faction will get NCSoft's bottom line back on track.

    Check out the NCSoft earnings alert at TMCNet.

    News
    Thu, May 04, 2006
    Ethec
  • Blizzard gets specific with planned hardware improvements

    It seems attention from Cnet and InformationWeek has paid off, and normally tight-lipped World of Warcraft Lead Producer Shane Dabiri goes to pains to list all the hardware changes in store to improve login and in-game performance. Also in the latest "Battle Plan" posted on the WoW official forums: new options for fee-based character transfers across realms and between accounts (but only if the accounts in question are in the same household).

    We recently brought a new World of Warcraft site online in North America -- the 5th one in this region. This not only allowed us to open new realms -- each site can hold approximately 40 -- it also allowed us to migrate existing realms over to the new, top-of-the-line hardware we used to build the site. As with previous migrations, this relieved pressure on our shared-database backend infrastructure, resulting in noticeable improvements in loot, auction house, mail, and instance lag and general realm stability for the players who we're moved to the new realms as well those who remained at the original site.

    Beyond this 5th World of Warcraft site, we are preparing to bring up a 6th site before the end of May, and we have plans to build additional sites in order to handle any increase in population we experience after the release of The Burning Crusade. All of our future sites will be built using the latest hardware and will give us the capacity to support new players and perform additional migrations and character transfers as needed.

    (...)

    On top of our efforts to evenly disperse our player population through coordinated realm transfers and migrations, we've begun testing our paid character-transfer feature. Scheduled to go live this summer, this feature will allow players to move their characters, within certain restrictions, to a realm of their choosing. This means that player's will now be able to join their friends on other realms without the need to wait for a pre-set mass realm transfer. In addition, this will also contribute to a balancing of the player load from realm to realm, which again is a specific way for us to reduce realm queues and lag. We know that many player's are eager for this service to be implemented, so we'll share further details as soon as more information becomes available.

    Battleplan Vol. 3 (at the WoW official forums) is one of the most detailed posts we've seen from the Blizzard crew in the nigh year and a half the blockbuster game's been live. Lots of answers, and more than a few new questions. Hopefully we'll be able to find out more from Blizzard next week at E3.

    News
    Thu, May 04, 2006
    Ethec
  • The battle lines are drawn!

    One of the neat aspects of Guild Wars Factions is the on-going war between the Kurzicks and the Luxons. As players, we don't have to sit back and watch the fight—we get to jump right in and make a mark. To play Factions, you'll have to pick a side. Not sure whether the dark Kurzicks or the pirate Luxons are more your style?

    The side you choose will have an effect on your game play. Some of the differences are minor—the Luxon quests have different henchmen than the Kurzick quests. The armor sets available for each clan look different, though the stats are the same.

    Read on for help with Choosing Sides, at Guild Wars - TenTonHammer.

    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Ethec
  • Prelude to a beatin'!

    Ralsu loves bard builds. The versatility of the bard means that each player can make his bard different. Some bards revel in the use of magic. Some specialize in crowd control. A few are most concerned about healing. In this Custom Build, Ralsu shows us how a bard can focus almost entirely on melee damage while still using his Bardic Music to great effect:

    A true elven warrior, the Deadly Troubadour wields two longswords with great skill. His Enhancements all focus on damage, giving him greater results with a longsword and permitting him to use Bardic Music more often and for far higher damage than normal. His Feats grant him the chance to move around during combat with a bonus to armor class and no penalty to BAB...Charm Person and Suggestion can turn foes against each other to produce more damage for the party.

    Read Deadly Troubadour build at DDO - TenTonHammer to learn more!

    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Ethec
  • Corporate gay bashing, or simply an appropriate response to WoW player complaints?

    Sara Andrews, the lesbian who caused quite a furor when she began recruiting openly for a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgendered) guild, furthered her grandstanding campaign when CGW / 1UP published a feature describing her herculean struggle with big bad Blizzard.

    Blizzard stood firm. Another account admin named "Gorido" responded, "GLBT is a known abbreviation for Gay Bi Lesbian Transsexual... please review the harassment policy."

    Andrews shot back, "I refuse to recruit any other way, because there are WAY too many people on WOW that use REAL antigay terms, and I do not want those people in my guild." The simmering e-mails continued, until Blizzard at last invoked its terms of use, stipulating that players may not "transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard Entertainment, is deemed to be offensive," the operative phrase being "sole and absolute discretion," essentially claiming for Blizzard the right of final semantic arbitration.

    I'm a fairly live and let live kind of guy, but sexual references (straight or gay, and whether they be about the act or a lifestyle) really have no place in World of Warcraft or any online game.

    It happens, yes, and as long as Blizzard is treating all instances of offensive conduct with equal approbation, if Blizzard's treating all these reported "anti-gay" expressions with like diligence, I don't see any problem with their handling of the situation. Just because you're "here and queer" doesn't mean you get a golden ticket excusing you from felt harassment on the part of other players. In a US workplace, you have a legitimate claim of harassment against a coworker if you can prove you asked them to stop their offensive conduct (no matter what it is: it could be staring or throwing pickles at you) and they don't comply.

    In any case, I have to laugh at the subtitle: "Sanitizing Expression in Brave New Worlds". The Huxley reference supports their thesis, but unless something's dirty, it doesn't need sanitized, right?

    Just my 2 copper, as always. What's your take on the "Sounds of Silence" feature at 1Up.com? Let us know in our forums!

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Ethec
  • A "fair and balanced" review of Auto Assault

    FOX News gave Auto Assault 3 stars out of 4, which, if we extrapolate, comes out to 7.5 stars out of 10. IGN's score was 7.5 out of 10. Copycats!

    Compared to some other online games I've played, the game world was rather devoid of other people to group up or chat with. Those few I did meet, however, were generally mature and helpful.

    I also had some technical glitches: Certain sound effects would annoyingly repeat like a skipping CD, and often my frantic key presses and mouse clicks didn't respond until a precious few seconds later.

    So far, I'm enjoying this road trip. Anyone looking for an online game that's more Mad Max than Gandalf might want to take "Auto Assault" out for a spin.

    Read FOX News' entire review of Auto Assault, then catch the latest in vehicular destruction at our Auto Assault - TenTonHammer community site.

    Reviews
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Ethec
  • Want to see some Recluse beating the holy mother lovin out of the Heroes? You're in luck! NCSoft has released a Recluse Victory Movie. See some wicked PVP action.

    More City of Heroes news.
    More City of Villains news.

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • IGN has a review of the latest fare from Netdevil - Auto Assault. The skinny is that they gave the game a 7.5 out of 10. Not a bad score.

    While faction choice mostly means the same game with three different sets of clothing, there is still a ton of game to be found no matter which group you choose to call your own. You'll be doing a load of collection, delivery, killing, and some recon quests, which you'll either find pleasingly accessible or frustratingly shallow and repetitive, depending on your tastes. If you're the type who likes to sit down for several hours and go questing, you'll probably be under whelmed. If you prefer something you can play for an hour, maybe two, without having to get committed to a particular activity to the point where you can't even risk getting up to answer your front door, then you might find AA more satisfying than World of Warcraft or EverQuest. Like WoW, quests can be managed solo for quite a while before you need to start grouping — which is a good thing, because there aren't a whole lot of people playing. You can run around by yourself, picking up loot and shooting stuff, which is pretty fun as long as you don't go for more than a couple hours.

    Check out our Auto Assault Community.
    More Auto Assault News.

    On a side note... Take a week or so and try this game out. The road rage outlet alone is worth the cash. Blow up that soccer mom that always seems to swerve in front of you and then slows down. Just... makes.. me...so.. freakin.. mad...

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • All your passwords are belong to HaXX0rs.
    A virus that is spread by email, pop-up advertisement and other common methods is stealing World of Warcraft passwords.

    " A new password-stealing Trojan targeting players of the popular online game "World of Warcraft" hopes to make money off secondary sales of gamer goods, a security company warned Tuesday.
    MicroWorld, an Indian-based anti-virus and security software maker with offices in the U.S., Germany, and Malaysia, said that the PWS.Win32.WOW.x Trojan horse was spreading fast, and attacking World of Warcraft players.
    If the attacker managed to hijack a password, he could transfer in-game goods -- personal items, including weapons -- that the player had accumulated to his own account, then later sell them for real-world cash on "gray market" Web sites. Unlike some rival multiplayer online games, Warcraft's publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, bans the practice of trading virtual items for real cash."

    You can read the entire World of Warcraft Trojan article at Information Week.

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Boomjack
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