Chronicles of Spellborn Receives European Window I A Taste of Candy Corn and WoW Patch 2.3
EQII Pleads for Players to Return I Sword of the New World Features Unrequited Love

Issue #88 Sword of the New Love
October 18, 2007

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

Here we are again, prancing about the expansive wilderness that is the MMO community. First, your news:

  Chronicles of Spellborn Receives European Window

I got a surprise in my inbox a few days ago in the way of a release date for The Chronicles of Spellborn. The game is a European MMO developed by Spellborn International out of The Hague, Netherlands.

The game has been in development since 2004 and has a european launch window of Q1 2008. Frogster Studios is publishing it in Europe and Japan, but I haven't found any info on a stateside release yet.

In a bit of extra news, Community Manager Banshee has released a bit of lore on the heroes and villains of TCoS. He's made it in the form of a forum post in the community over at the official site.

  A Taste of Candy Corn and WoW Patch 2.3

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

In the World of Warcraft community this week, the Public Test Realms have been patched with the next major content patch (2.3). The patch will add the new high-end 10-man instance Zul'Aman and guild banks to the game.

There's a long list of changes overall to several classes as most have been tweaked as promised at Blizzcon earlier this year. Among the most notable: items with +healing will also give 1/3rd of +healing as +spell damage, the new stat called weapon expertise, the leveling curve is made easier with increased quest XP and lowered XP required to level.

The patch is still a ways off. I predict it'll hit in three weeks, after we've all experienced Hallow's End, which goes live tomorrow. The broomstick mount, headless horseman event, and all-around festivities will keep most players content until then.

For more information on Hallow's End or the PTR, click this or that, respectively.

  EQII Pleads for Players to Return

Everquest II

For the last few months, former Everquest II customers have been receiving e-mails from Sony asking them to come back. Everquest II is now offering free service for those that return until November 4, 2007.

If you haven't received this e-mail and are a former EQII player, attempt to log into the game for a pleasant surprise. They even offer you a download in case you've uninstalled. The service includes all expansions to date for free until the fourth, which is a pretty sweet deal and a nice way to get hooked to the game before Rise of Kunark hits.

  Sword of the New World Features Unrequited Love

Sword of the New World

Anna Marie Neufeld, our wonderful Paws, sent me an e-mail earlier this week about an event in Sword of the New World. I don't have any experience in the MMO, but Paws reports that it "by far, has the most AM participation and reaction than I've seen in any other MMORPG."

The event is based on the story of the love of Roderick Sharffenberger and Adelaide Rosecraft. Sir Lyndon alerts players to threat of the now undead lover. Captain Sharffenberger comes ashore and begins to kill everything in sight in search of Adelaide. Clearly, he must be stopped.

The event takes place three times a day on every world, allowing people of different level ranges to participate. After the undead captain is downed, he drops costumes for participants.

I'll admit Sword was outside of my radar for a long time, but hearing this story, I'm going to give it a second look.

  Letters From Beyond!

Harvest Moon MMORPGs for Free

Hey Jake,

Thought I'd share you my tastes of MMO's, as that's what you asked! :)

I only play Guild Wars, as it's free... (I am Dutch, it's a national trait) I enjoy it for the most part but it's not the MMO I always dreamed of. I actually enjoyed Ultima Online better... Those 30 free trial days that is! :D


I love freebies! I've played free trials for tons of games, though I haven't quite found one to subscribe to (other than WoW) yet. I've tried Guild Wars, but it just didn't feel massive enough for me.

You want to know what kind of MMO I would like to see? Here comes!

One where the player is one of many pioneers in a new land... And where every player is responsible for building up new cities and towns. Cities will grow if many players decide to set up residence in said city, but players are welcome to go out and explore the new land. If they find a really cool spot, they could build up a new frontier town, but it won't be easy to keep it from falling prey to the many wondrous monsters that inhabit the untamed parts. Players would have to decide on 2 professions. One will be their Adventure profession (Warrior, Ranger and the likes), the other their Trade (Farmer, Blacksmith, Innkeeper etc.)... The players will create the economy. Only Blacksmiths will be able to set up a Blacksmith in a town, only a Farmer can start a small farm in towns... This will be their income. Once they have a house and livelyhood set up, things will go automatically of course... No one wants to go online and have their characters throw seeds on the soil... NPC's will take over their shops when they're out adventuring. Offline will have your character automatically defend his or her town should it come under attack. Of course you can build your house the way you like and upgrade it, buy new furniture, all that fun stuff!

New players, new towns and new guilds have to wait to be accepted by the developers/moderators, as this game will not allow people to enter in extremely lame names... I so hate having to run into Dark Knight666 accompanied by his friend Sephiroth Ownzorzz... Call me a purist and see if I care. Players have to think about their character and town names.

At a certain point it would be possible for different guilds or even cities to fight eachother... Yes, you could lose your home that way, but hey, it keeps you on edge don't it? And you can always build a new one! Stop being such a crybaby!! Imagine running into an abandoned and burnt out village on your adventuring? Yeah, awesome!

I don't really care about the setting... Could be High Fantasy or Sci-Fi. The developers could even have different standalone expansions (such as what Guild Wars has) for different settings, though characters would obviously not be able to migrate.

Of course it would be free!! Hahaha, no I am just kidding. A game like this I would DEFINITLY not mind having to pay a monthly fee for.

Oh well... I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed brainstorming about it. Hope it wasn't too long! :D I tend to get exited about stuff like this.

Cheers, and keep up the fun stuff on MMORPGAMER,
Daniel Brouwer


Well Daniel, you have a huge concept in this dream MMO of yours. I'm not a programmer, but something tells me that this game would be a huge endeavor for any company.

With that said, I would love to see it happen. This type of Harvest Moon meets Risk game would definitely grab my interest. It would allow a large player base that includes those who like to customize their meta-lives and those who like to smash said customized things.

All the time we see new reports from sociologists on how one MMO or another mimics life, and I feel as if this would have the promise to show how people band together or fall apart when faced with limited security for their valuables.

The only drawback to your design idea is the automated protection for your items. I don't see any way around it, but I know I would hate having a bad day and logging in only to find that my house had been destroyed and my pet chicken stolen.

An Epic Tale of MMORPG History

As for the latest generation, and the upcoming MMO's, people need only to look at the developers that are making them and the cycles that run the industry.

Sure, if you look at paper statistic, Brad McQuaid looked like a sure winner to anyone that had never played his MMORPG. Everquest was the defacto game back in the day only because it was the best at the time. Alot of the quests NEVER worked, and there was no way of telling if your current quest was completable or not. If you ever petitioned a GM to help out with a quest that doesn't work, you got the old "we're researching the problem, thank you for your assistance" and the big FU when it came to getting your items back. The artwork was terrible, no one had any themes that came together when it came to armor and cultures. If you played his game, you knew what to expect: a half done game with artificial locks placed on content so that he could finish the game AFTER you payed for it. That is exactly what Vanguard was. They threw millions of dollars freely to McQuaid and said "do your thing" and oh boy did he ever do his thing. The same old thing.


Working backwards, Vanguard ran awfully on my computer, and apparently played awfully. Let's leave it at that.

Only in hindsight can we see how bad Everquest was. For its time, though, people loved it and poured days of their lives into it without blinking. I fully appreciate what EQ did because it broke ground. I see your points, but I feel as if EQ deserves a bit more credit for being the first popular MMORPG out of the gate.

Well, Warhammer Online is brought to you by the guys that did Dark Ages of Camelot. It truly is basically a DAOC 2 when you look at it. Its realm vs. realm warfare, and people are talking as if its something new. Its not new, you just didn't play an MMO before WoW. Does anyone ever talk about the shortcomings of having a 6 way battle? In DAOC the 3 way battle was hardly realized as often times one of the realms was completely void of anyone wanting to defend their kingdom. Split the group 6 ways and now you have to populate 6 whole Kingdoms. Lets not forget the servers where two groups decided to band together and make the third faction a living hell. What about an expansion they made that was SO terrible and game breaking that their most popular servers were servers made specifically to exclude that expansion.


Three-way battles are a bad concept, so six would be hellish. Thank goodness that Warhammer Online does not feature six. It features the two armies: Order and Destruction. Each has three different nations in it, but the allegiances make it more of a one on one fight than DAoC was.

My lack of experience with DAoC does not mean that I'm excited for Warhammer in error. Trust me, I've played games that aren't WoW.

End rant.

The whole industry hasn't broken from the same stuff they were putting out in the late 90's. WoW is still ultimately an Everquest that actually works, in the end being about endgame content that only 8% of the players ever get to see. The all out PVP games that are actually innovative, such as Age of Conan, are postponed time after time just like Shadowbane was due to the developers not being able to actually accomplish what they had hyped up.

If one good thing ever happened to the industry because of WoW, its that no one tolerates a half assed game anymore. When WoW was released, all the big wigs stepped back and looked at their games and asked "why doesn't ours play like that?". There were alot of MMO's cancelled in those first 3 months of WoW, and after looking at the news about Gods and Heroes, its still having that effect. How many times have we read about Lucas being upset that Star Wars, one of the biggest brands in all fandom, has a comparatively smaller subscription base? They redid the entire playing system as a last ditch effort to bring people in.

The worst thing WoW did was spawn the "WoW-killers". The buzz word that everyone uses as their MMO slogan. It was the same with Everquest. Every game was set to blow EQ away and it took the developers killing their own game for anyone to step up and overtake them. There was alot of famous EQ players taking part in making WoW what it was, if EQ had kepts its quality higher, maybe WoW wouldn't have had the help it did.

Companies need to realize that not every MMO can be the 9 million+ subscriber winners that WoW is. The players just do not jump ship that easily to the next big game. It takes years for a game to degrade and become something that people are prepared to leave. They need to form a basis on having a loyal subscription rate of around 300,000 to have a successful game. That is what was realistic before WoW, and I think that is probably the most cost effective business model. Until the goal is 10-15 DIFFERENT games with smaller subscription bases, the industry will suffer from having one 9 million winner and 14 wastes of money.


I agree with both of these comments about WoW. Maybe the lack of the term "WoW-killer" in a game's promotion would help. In that case the game wouldn't be hyped to destroy a game and instead to create its own experience.

I'd like to add my own good and bad points about WoW briefly.

  • Good: It has brought more players to the MMO genre than ever before, and it may even be safe to say that it has been an introduction to gaming at large for many people who wouldn't have played video games at all if WoW hadn't been such a phenomenon.
  • Bad: Before WoW, the industry would thrive on the idea that players would play a game until they were bored, and then they would move to another until the first was refreshed, expanded upon, or caught the player's interest again. This brought a sense of community to the MMORPG community at large, but WoW has cornered the market, eliminating this positive element of MMORPGaming.

  • P.S. I know that's alot, if one particular point seems like something you'd like to write about, feel free to paraphrase my points.


    Don't worry about the length. I've included the whole thing without editing it. I'd like to thank Rick for the letter. Your love of these games is very clear in your points and in the way you talk about these games.

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    It really caught me off guard when Rick made what seemed to be a negative commment about WoW players. It's important for the WoW lover and the WoW hater to realize that they're both gamers. So don't trash each other in real life, get in there and stunlock them!

    Thanks for the letters, Daniel and Rick. They're greatly appreciated.

    Next Week's topic: Your favorite event. Paws sent hers in to me from Sword of the New World, and I'd like to hear from you. Was Brewfest the best MMO experience you'd ever had? Have you killed Captain Sharffenberger twelve times in the past four days? Let me know what events in MMORPGs have grabbed you, and why you like them so much.

    As for me, I'm looking forward to the headless horseman in WoW.

    Happy Hallow's End,
    Jake Miller (mail me)

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