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  • The right woman for the job

    MMORPG gets to know Jessica Mulligan, who is currently working with developerNevrax on "Saga of Ryzom." We get some insight into the Ryzom "Ring" too, the client-side content development tools that Nevrax promises will take MMO gaming into the next generation.

    While all that has been going on, our CTO, Daniel Miller, has been heading up the expansion pack team to create The Ryzom Ring, our set of tools that will allow players to take game maps and construct adventures, personal spaces or Guild spaces, using the objects, NPCs, monsters and terrain libraries of Ryzom.

    When you think about it, the Ring is the next step in the evolution of MMOs, giving the players access to libraries and tools to let them build onto the game itself. How long have gamers wanted an MMO that let them use a point-and-click interface to place buildings NPCs, alter NPC speech, set up an adventure… then have a whole separate set of tools that allow them to be dungeon masters and guide a group on that adventure? Or maybe, instead of just buying a small house for the guild, having an entire map in which to custom build a Guild space?

    Read more from MMORPG's interview with Ryzom producer Jessica Mulligan.

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Oct 25, 2005
    Ethec
  • Raw meat and potatoes.

    GamersInfo sits down with Rick Simmons, Chief Technology Officer for Horizons: Empire of Istaria. We learn that Rick prefers to eat "animal flesh whole" from teenage work experience in an abattoir (/shudder) and that Horizons might just find a competitive niche as a smaller MMO.

    I think the current environment favors the smaller product. When raising money, your chances of success are higher to pitch a niche product with 10k to 20k subscribers that has a low-cost product development design and a marketing approach that builds upon a tight community. Compare that to making a pitch where you're trying to raise money to compete for the same customer as some of the bigger names. Besides requiring a great design and a big development budget, an ultra superb $$$$ marketing effort is also required. I do think that each unique product to the market attracts new players, but there is still some shifting of players between products - everyone wants to try what's new. All of the big players in the MMP space are not going to stand idle while some new-comer tries to corner in on their space.

    Read more from Horizons CTO Rick Simmons interview.

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Oct 25, 2005
    Ethec
  • Spellborn? Story-born, more like.

    Gamona poses some questions for Spellborn Community Manager "Corwynn" (apparently they're roleplayers). If you were wondering what makes Spellborn different from the gaggle of fantasy MMOs already on the market, you might find a roundabout answer here, maybe. I think it has something to do with being totally story-driven, but I'm still confused. Perplexed is my natural state, though!

    Whats the difference between Spellborn and other MMORPGs?

    As I said above, it's a bit complex at times to explain given our design. Our setting is very different in terms of the opportunities it gives people for play. While other games allow you to perhaps mold the course of events, we link the exploration of the past with the struggle in the present. The two combined determine the course of the future. Within Spellborn you will see differences between the various servers based upon the conduct of the players.

    Read up on Spellborn via the Community Manager interview at Gamona.
    (In English, however there's a German translation if you want to try out your akzent).

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Your French lesson for today...

    Ogaming is reporting that French Vanguard fansite "Mondes Persistants" has two new beta 0 screenshots posted. These might be about a week old; all the Vansites got some double screenshot lovin' from Sygil a little while ago. But since I don't speak French, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Ed. note- In lieu of screenshot descriptions, we offer you the following prices for games (which is the only thing on the page we could understand): Asheron's Call 2 (presumably priced to sell fast)- 20 Euros, Horizons - 8,50 Euros, City of Heroes deluxe - 20 Euros. There ya go!

    Two new(?) Vanguard screenshots at Mondes-Persistants!

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Vanguard Community Site- All the Vanguard news and features you could possibly need!
Images, Media
Mon, Oct 24, 2005
Ethec
  • It was the weekend of EverQuest 2 "Desert of Flames" Reviews!

    Boomshack liked everything about the September expansion for the MMO genre's distant silver medallist except the quirky encounter-lock game mechanic. Creating a huge, gaping exploit is one way to keep the low- to mid-level game interesting I suppose.

    Well I don't want to get bogged down in criticism as I really like Desert of Flames but the new mob lock system really doesn't work. It means that a guy can attack a mob, but the mob isn't locked to him, so all outsiders can then attack it. It means a level 35 can complete quests and will get credit for it just for hitting the mob the one time. For raid mobs it will be locked permanently, but not for solo heroic mobs. In my view this is a pretty bad decision by the developer.

    Boomshack tries out EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - More fun than a barrel of desert spectres!
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
  • Reviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Thank you sir, may I have another?

    Gamespy likes "Desert of Flames" but wants more low-end content. Nah, it's good business sense to develop content solely for the top 25% of your playerbase, right?

    This is certainly good news for the game's most hardcore players, many of whom feel that they've been stagnating at the endgame. The newly-added Isle of Ro will provide more than enough fodder to last them several months. This focus on high-level content, though, came at a cost, as frankly, there isn't a whole lot here for low-to-mid level characters. Oh well. At least they get adventure packs.

    Gamespy takes a shot at EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - The most you'll find written anywhere about a desert.
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
  • Reviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • And another!

    Gamespot digs EverQuest 2's new desert turf, but is disheartened by incomplete PvP implementation and content exclusively designed for high-level players. Of course, to complain about the latter means you'll have to put yourself at loggerheads with every MMO expansion ever made.

    Desert of Flames has the most to offer EverQuest II players of advanced level, but the new PvP trappings and the combat revamp mean that there's something new to see for just about anyone. The player-versus-player combat still doesn't feel like a fully realized diversion just yet, but the act of exploring Ro and getting your character to level 60 should nicely fill the time you don't use waiting around for an arena game, provided you're of a high enough level to actually do those things. Existing players who are nearing the level of expansion country should check out Desert of Flames, and if you've let your account sit fallow for a bit, the changes to the combat system are worth sampling.

    Read all about EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames (again) at Gamespot.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • The TTH Desert of Flames section - A section, because a review alone just wouldn't do!
  • Past EverQuest 2 News
  • Reviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • If you ever wanted to play anime...

    RF Online is for you. You can see why at IGN, but first, here's some background on the game. No cute voiceovers or out-of-place sound effects yet, I'm afraid... you'll have to wait to next year to get the full manga experience.

    CCR's RF Online is a persistent state world offering three diverse playable factions. The expansion-minded Accretian Empire is an autocratic regime with citizens who are completely devoted to the welfare of the collective. Comprising numerous jurisdictions, the Cora people's Holy Alliance has fought many wars, invariably in furtherance of its deeply held spiritual convictions. The Bellato Union is constantly searching for new resources it can exploit, by force if necessary, in pursuit of its ambitious primary goal, economic domination of the cosmos.

    Codemasters has announced that it will launch the title next year in the North American and UK markets.

    Click here to see new RF Online screenshots at IGN.com.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • Past RF Online news.
  • Images, Media
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Lord Recluse becomes a little more... outgoing?

    City of Villains is set for release later this month, and the leader of the villainous forces is preparing his cadre of evil for an all-out Heroes assault. And my thoughts drift to the end of every old James Bond movie, when the amalgam of British/American/good-guy forces arrive to fight all the evil underlings while 007 and the girl chase the mastermind. Cue the flute, timpani, and brass section!

    Attention, villains of the Rogue Isles! This is your leader, Lord Recluse. I address you, my mighty comrades, to warn you of a dastardly plot hatched by the contemptible Statesman.

    Arachnos technicians have intercepted a Longbow transmission detailing a massive assault on the Rogue Isles! Statesman and his lackeys, the Freedom Phalanx, plan to coordinate their efforts with Longbow in a pathetic attempt to destroy us.

    If they want war…they shall have it.

    Muhahaha... see for yourself! New City of Villains lore at the CoV official site.

    Other links you might enjoy:

  • Past City of Villains news.
  • Dress for success - Because it's hard to fight crime if your tights are too tight.
  • News
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Captain's Blog, AD 1805

    This is a novelty, a Western game whose devs are talking about localizing for the Asian market before launch across the Pacific and in Europe. Executive Producer Russell Williams (not Russell Crowe) also gives insight into what's going on lately with the MMO all the pirates are aarrrrr'ing about.

    It's good news, Flying Lab has been quietly sailing away with no new announcements for a while now. In my experience, such lulls are either a really good or a really bad thing. Usually a bad thing- meaning big core concept or team changes.

    In other news, we’ve finally had an opportunity to start filling in some obvious holes. Some of them are small (our walk animation is a bit languid), and some are kind of big (our camera controls were developer friendly, user hostile). While we’ve had some big areas we’ve been implementing, a lot of these pieces are relatively small tasks (2-4 days) but have a huge payoff (mmmm, smooth camera controls!). This is the insanely fun part of a project.

    At the beginning, your team spends weeks putting together the architecture for some feature, and at the end, an excited dev calls you over to show you some tiny checkbox that comes up when he runs some debug command. “See? See?!” he asks, waiting for your tears of joy. “Uh, yeah, that’s great. So when I can I see a cannon go boom?” you ask. It’s not a happy time. But now I hear that we’re about ready to start some long awaited big feature, and less than a week later, it’s in. It’s very, very fun to start seeing the features roll in fast and furious, which is really good because we have a LOT of features that we’d like to do.

    Browse Russell Williams' Dev Journal at MMORPG.com.

    Other links you might enjoy:

    News
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
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