Guild Wars Holiday Treats I Lunia Headed to America
L5 Sprouts From Blizzard's Forehead I EVE Sees Trouble
Fury to Be Free | Blizzard Working On New MMO

Issue #96 Holiday Treats
December 13, 2007

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

Another Christmas season is upon us MMORPGamers, and there are many treats to be had this time around. There haven't been many spectacular new MMOs as expected, but some of the current MMOs are releasing fun incentives to keep playing.

Personally, my Blood Elf Priest has been trudging through the unhappy thirties. I'm not yet high enough to experience Mudsprocket, but I'm excited for the new content in WoW. The 30-40 range really needed some help.

Here's your news:

  Guild Wars Holiday Treats

Guild Wars: Eye of the North

This winter sees a treat for Guild Wars: Eye of the North players. The folks over at NCSoft are allowing a free five hour trial for those who have yet to own the expansion.

Five hours is simply not long enough, but the second part of the deal is great: the level requirement for the expansion has been lowered from 20 to 10. Anybody entering below 20 will receive a buff to help them travel through the North.

Any publishers hoping to get more expansions out the door should follow NCSoft's example and lower level requirements like this. I'd stick with 14 or 30-day trials, though. Five hours? Come on.

  Lunia Headed to America

The Korean-based Lunia Online will be stateside this spring according to a press release from CDC Games. The game features a simplified control system which makes it more like an action arcade RPG than the point-and-click action RPG like Diablo.

According to the press release, there's a focus on button combos in the game to create a more interactive experience akin to arcade games. Also notable: the game uses few characters through an instanced world much like Guild Wars, in which the world is instanced and the major towns are not.

As long as this game stays free to play when it hits our shores, I'll try it out. I still can't quite assume the massive quality of a game where such worlds are instanced. What's the difference between that and just inviting a friend over to play co-op? I like my worlds truly massive, thank you very much.

  L5 Sprouts From Blizzard's Forehead

Gravity Interactive, the company behind Ragnarok Online, announced this week that it's formed a new studio in San Mateo, California called L5 Games. The majority of the employees at the new subsidiary of Gravity hail from Blizzard North, the company behind World of Warcraft and many other Blizzard properties.

L5 hasn't released anything regarding the type of games that it will be developing, but I'll have my eye on this newborn company in high hopes that whatever it is will be gold.

  EVE Sees Trouble

EVE Online

EVE Online's release of the revamped graphics engine last week included one major problem. The new release was deleting the boot.ini file which is required for a PC to boot. Oops.

CCP released a fix and an apology on the official site, and the fix seems to be pretty easy as long as you know your way around Windows. I don't understand how CCP missed this, but I'm glad that they were able to turn it around so fast.

  Fury to Be Free

The MMOFPSRPG Fury is now free to play, with a few drawbacks such as slower character advancement and slower gold gain. Players that pay nothing will also be prohibited from trading with other players. There are options to upgrade your account for a price or buy gold at the site should you need to advance faster.

Otherwise the game is the same, and I think the deal isn't that bad. I haven't played the game, but if Fury is as dependent on skill as it boasts to be--armor and advancement shouldn't be too much of a problem. Also, I've heard through the grapevine that the game is far from the best.

  Blizzard Working On New MMO

World of Warcraft

Last week, Drysc from the World of Warcraft forums posted a tasty tidbit regarding the recent hiring calls from Blizzard for MMO developers. According to the Blizzard poster, the calls have been in anticipation of a "Next-Gen MMO" and not an expansion for WoW.

Immediately the trolls got to work on this information and Drysc got quiet, but the announcement is still simple and exciting. Although not entirely unexpected, the news that Blizzard isn't sitting by while their cash cow rakes in the money means a good future for the company and its IPs. Now we all wonder, if not an expansion or WoW II, then what?

  WoW + GW = WHO?

Mmmmm... Steampunk...

Hey Jake,

Well well... The next big MMO... You know, I'm not a big fan of WoW... Come to think of it, I'm not really all that much an MMO gamer to begin with... I know what you're thinking now... Why the heck is this guy emailing me all the time about MMO's if he really isn't all that into them? I don't know either... O_o

Then again, I do have my thoughts on them. I think the next big game is going to be Warhammer Online. I don't think it is going to throw WoW off the throne though... I think Blizzard puts in some kind of brainwashing frequency in their game so people will be playing it till the end of time... It does have its charms though.

Warhammer Online to me feels like it's right in between WoW and Guild Wars, in terms of graphics. I love Guild Wars' graphics, but the cartoony feel of WoW has its charms as well... Warhammer Online seems to perfectly mix those two. I also love the whole background story of Warhammer. It won't come as a surprise that I am one of those Warhammer geeks. The whole Realm versus Realm system looks really promising too. I probably won't start playing it... I'd rather spend my money on their plastic counterparts, but the game does look really pretty though, and the game system looks like it's going to be refreshing and innovative. If enough of my mates start playing it I might pick it up.

I just hope more companies decide to come up with something original. Honestly, none of the other MMO's recently released or in development look very appealing. Most are just grindfests... Sword of the New World does look really nice. I might give that game a try sometimes... And I'm still bummed True Fantasy Live Online got canned. That game looked so cute! Oh well, it probably wasn't very original in terms of gameplay anyways...

I think you're right about the future of MMO's. High Fantasy has seen enough attention. New games should look for other settings. Steampunk hasn't been done much yet, that could be interesting...

Anyways, I guess my rant is big enough now... I look forward to your next invitation to rant! Do keep us posted on MMO news... Who knows, maybe one day I will find out about a game I would love to play!


Steampunk! Why didn't I think of that. I'd love to see some steampunk. That might even be the halfway point that later leads to sci-fi as the new hit genre.

I hope that Warhammer Online will be able to run on my windows drive so I can test it out. It looks great, but I agree with you; it won't dethrone WoW. I don't think a new game trying to be hit will win by just out-WoWing the previous one. Originality is sorely needed in the current MMO climate. Grindfests suck.

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Tons of news today and one letter. I think the balance ended up working out well enough.

This week's column featured Fury, the new MMORPGFPS PvP-fest that boggled my mind when I first tried to consider how a game like this would work. I prefer to PvE, with very little PvP on the side. I know I'm smarter than the game, and I know that there are many players that are smarter than me.

That's why I PvE. For next week, I'd like to hear from you about which side your on: PvP or PvE and why?

Until then,
Jake Miller (mail me)

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