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FusionFall + World of Warcraft + Pirates of the Burning Sea + Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning + Lord of the Rings Online + Age of Conan: Unchained Features, Guides, and more

  • Blizzard Boasts Battleplan
    Shane Dabiri, the Lead Producer on World of Warcraft has posted the World of Warcraft Battleplan Vol. 2 on the official forums. 2,579 undead rogues immediately ganked the battleplan and announced:

    " Since the last World of Warcraft Battle Plan, much has happened in the Warcraft universe. We’ve launched Blackwing Lair, the highest level dungeon in the game, we launched World of Warcraft in China and Singapore with great success, and work continues on adding even more content for our players.



    BlizzCon is quickly approaching, and we're preparing the lineup of programs, dev chats, and the concert to be held at our inaugural event. I’m very happy to announce that we'll have the first public showing of the expansion for World of Warcraft at BlizzCon. Attendees will be able to view the work that is going into the project and hear some of the eagerly awaited details. To those of you who won’t be able to make it to the show, please keep an eye out for the game magazines that will be hitting newsstands right around BlizzCon, because some of them will feature in-depth articles on the expansion with plenty of information about how World of Warcraft will be evolving.



    For this Battle Plan, we want to take the opportunity to look ahead to what our players can expect in the coming months leading up to BlizzCon and the expansion announcement.
    "

    You can read the entire World of Warcraft Battleplan Volume 2 at The Official Site.
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    News
    Thu, Sep 08, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Patience and PAX

    Patience of the LotRO dev team posted her reflections on her side of the Turbine team's experience at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). We like Turbine, they hand out lots of free stuff!

    As a special treat for PAX, we also showed a couple of things we didn't show at E3, even though they existed in the E3 build. We teleported to a prototype area of the Shire, with what might be a very familiar-looking windmill, horses, and clothesline to some of you who pay attention to the screenshots on the LOTRO site, and also to the Old Forest, to pay a visit to a sleeping Old Man Willow. This wasn't in the plan, but we just couldn't resist showing off a little bit more of the game. What was even more gratifying was being able to tell people who were blown away by the environments that the build is 5 months old; it looks even better these days, since the engine and a lot of the art has been updated (I was looking at the current build this afternoon in the QA pit and was pretty blown away myself by how beautiful it is, after being in the "old" build all weekend!).

    More on LotRO's trip to Washington in the Lord of the Rings Online PAX Roundup!

    News
    Tue, Sep 06, 2005
    Ethec
  • World of Warcraft, the 800 pound gorilla of games.
    The N.Y. Times has posted an article discussing whether the huge success of World of Warcraft has helped or hurt the overall industry. LIVE from New York, it's an article we like:

    " The online game World of Warcraft has become such a success that it is now prompting a debate about whether it is helping or hurting the overall industry. "

    You can read the entire Conquerer in a War of Virtual Worlds article at the N.Y. Times. [Registration Required]
     

    News
    Tue, Sep 06, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Meet up with Captain Morgan, without the nasty after-effects!

    Pirates of the Burning Sea (PotBS) has garnered a number of previews since the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX); excitement appears to be building for this age of sail-themed MMORPG. The latest early look comes from Gamecloud:

    We were shown and got to play the two main aspects of the game during PAX. One of them is your chosen character (which can be either male or female with a lot of customisation planned) walking around one of the game's island towns. These towns are where you can get various missions from the NPCs. While it won't be in the first public release of Pirates Of The Burning Sea we were told that plans are to give your avatars more to do in town in later releases, including sword combat with other characters and players.

    Then we got to play the other major aspect of the title; sailing ship travel and combat. You will start out with a small ship at first and then as you move onto various missions you can gain loot and have access to buy and/or board and steal other bigger ships. You can even have acccess to AI driven escort ships in higher levels of the game. And yes Player vs Player features are planned. During our PAX demo we got a lesson in the game's ship sailing and combat. Combat is handled in real time and having the biggest ship with the most guns is, as we soon found out, not a lock on winning battles.

    The rest of the Gamecloud Pirates of the Burning Sea preview right here, buddy.

    Features, Previews
    Fri, Sep 02, 2005
    Ethec
  • WoW's new honors ranking page is simply gank-o-tastic!

    Yep, now you can check on your pwn-age and show it off to your friends on other servers. Like you really needed any encouragement!

    We're pleased to bring you a new dynamic web section titled Player vs. Player rankings. You can now look up the rankings for your realm and your faction (Horde or Alliance) on the web site. These listings are updated weekly. We hope this new feature makes your player vs. player experience more enjoyable. Look for more upcoming dynamic web features in the future.

    Check out the new World of Warcraft PvP Ranking page.

    News
    Thu, Sep 01, 2005
    Ethec
  • Neither pot, nor BS... it's a pirate & privateer MMOG!

    Idle Thumbs probes (heh) the upcoming Flying Labs title "Pirates of the Burning Sea." Their expert twiddlers came back from PAX with some positive impressions.

    Because combat is between large ships rather than light mobile units, the pace of battles is much slower than normal. Reloading a cannon takes time, and sailing ships definitely do not turn on a dime. The pacing means that battles have plenty of time for planning strategy. You're perfectly welcome to try to fire our port cannons, then come about for a shot from the starboard, but while you're turning you also expose yourself for a broadside shot from another enemy ship. It is, in fact, one of the very few games I've seen where the physical shape of your combat unit comes into play during the battle. Larger ships present more surface area to hit, but are also better armed and better armored. Light ships are hard to hit, but lack the stronger firepower.

    See what all the pirate's parrots are squawking about: take a look at the Idle Thumbs preview of Pirates of the Burning Sea!

    Features, Previews
    Thu, Sep 01, 2005
    Ethec
  • Gilbert and Sullivan have nothing on these pirates

    Flying Labs developers carried some of the questions about the end-of-year maritime MMOG "Pirates of the Burning Sea" home with them from PAX, and posted a Q&A thread along with new screens:

    And now that people are coming back from PAX and writing about their experiences, there are lots of great questions and comments showing up on our forums that we wanted to take a moment to address. Most of these were questions, but there were a couple misunderstandings we wanted to clear up as well.

    Get your very own PotBS Q&A, and your new PotBS screenshots too.

    News
    Wed, Aug 31, 2005
    Ethec
  • 4 million subscribers just can't be all wrong...
    Shawn Carnes, Blizzard Game Developer, speaks to subscriber retention and sheds light on Blizzard's vision for World of Warcraft. Apparently, the new trend is toward MMOG localization rather than content expansion. But can WoW continue to please its current 9-monthers without an expansion for another whole year while adapting the game for the Koreans? After all, a year in gamer years is like a century. Also, will Korea have a new race modeled after Vin Diesel?

    "Grimwell: With WoW as a clear success, an expansion is a no-brainer to follow up on the success. What are the plans for this?



    Shawn: An expansion is planned, not in 2005, possibly in late 2006 barring unforeseen chaos. Work is already going on for the expansion, and it's going good. What to look for? Blizzard is good at polishing what we do well. The WoW expansion will be like other game expansions in that there will be new characters, items, spells, etc. but it will have the Blizzard twist. "

    Read the World of Warcraft Interview at GamerGod, then hone your WoW talents (no pun intended) at wow.tentonhammer.com!
     

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
    Ethec
  • Our Alterac Valley tip is don't die.
    Blizzard has posted a page of World of Warcraft tips for Alterac Valley. Our calls to Vin Diesel were sent to voice-mail. Strangely, the voice-mail message was this:

    " Here are some tips that we hope will give you a better experience in Alterac Valley. This is a very involved Battleground and it can take time to learn how everything works. If you have any questions, be sure to read the various Aterac Valley information pages we have created. "

    You can read entire World of Warcraft Tips For Alterac Valley at The Official Site.
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    News
    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
    Boomjack
  • WoW announces 4 Million subscribers just a month after announcing 3.5 Million.
    Blizzard has issued a press release announcing 4 Million paying subscribers. Our attempts to contact all 4 million paying subscribers were in vain. We were only able to track down 3.8 Million. Nonetheless, each and every one of them had this to say:

    "IRVINE, California - August 29, 2005 - Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has reached more than one million paying customers in North America. This brings the total population for Blizzard's critically acclaimed game, the largest MMORPG in the world, to more than four million paying customers. "It's very rewarding to see so many new and returning players logging in to play World of Warcraft daily," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "With the continued support of our retail partners, World of Warcraft has reached more than one million paying customers in North America well before its one-year anniversary in November. We would like to express our appreciation to both the players and our retail and license partners for helping us make World of Warcraft one of the most popular online games in the world." To support World of Warcraft's expanding population, Blizzard Entertainment continues to release content updates on a regular basis. These updates continually evolve the game, rewarding subscribers with new experiences and enticing prospective players to join in on an ever-growing number of adventures. World of Warcraft has been the #1-selling MMORPG in North America since it launched in November 2004. Reaching the one million customer milestone in North America further solidifies World of Warcraft's position as the biggest and most popular online RPG by far in the region. Since its North America debut, World of Warcraft has steadily grown in popularity around the world. Following launches in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Europe, World of Warcraft recently released in China on June 7, 2005 and quickly garnered over 1.5 million paying customers in its first month. Shortly after the China launch, World of Warcraft made its debut in Singapore. The game is currently scheduled to launch in the region of Taiwan later this year. For more information on World of Warcraft, please visit the game's official website at www.worldofwarcraft.com. World of Warcraft's Paying Customer Definition



    World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players having accessed the game over the last seven days are also counted as customers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or canceled subscriptions, and expired pre-paid cards. Customers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.
    About Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc.

    Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment® Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes nine #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service, Battle.net , reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users. "

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    Tue, Aug 30, 2005
    Boomjack
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