Growing With Archlord I Ryzom Goes German
The Crusade Draws Near I Preparing for the Crusade
 Screenshots of Fun

Issue #69 Burning Adventures
January 09, 2007

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Welcome to 2007, a very busy year for MMOs, new and old ones alike. It all starts this month with the launch of the first expansion for a certain game. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about so no need to mentions its name just yet.

Sorry if today's column seems rushed, my laptop has been having overheating issues lately. It's time to invest in a cooling fan for it. It's time to put my employee discount into overuse.

So with that, let's get started.

  Growing With Archlord

Codemasters and Archlord

In early December, Codemasters announced that Archlord would become a free to play game. Similar to Guild Wars, the only purchase necessary is the box. Buy the box, install, patch, create an account and start playing. Of course you knew that already. But what's the point of this if it was announced last month? Since becoming free to play at the beginning of January, Archlord has doubled its player base. At around $30 for the game, it's not a surprise, or a bad deal.

To continue with the wave of free stuff, Codemasters announced the next expansion for Archlord. Titled Episode 2: Season of Siege, Codemasters intend to introduce new new features, just like most other expansions. The main feature for this announcement is the ability to command your guild to fight for control over player run guild castles. You might want to brush up on those world PvP tactics if you haven't done so in awhile.

  Ryzom Goes German

The Saga of Ryzom

If you hadn't noticed, I'd taken a liking to news surrounding The Saga of Ryzom and its change of developers. Since the announcement by Nevrax of its liquidation in late November and later hearing about part of the Ryzom community coming together to try to buy the game to make it free, it's been an interesting story for me. When it comes to MMORPGs, it's all about the community; the community can make or break the game. It was good to see a part of the community get together to try to purchase the source material for a game they loved to play.

Of course, all stories have an end (except for The Neverending Story maybe). Just before Christmas, the final judgment on Ryzom's new owner was passed and the community didn't win. Gameforge, a German developer, is now in charge of Ryzom. Development will continue to be based in Paris under the new name of Gameforge SARL and will be the first international branch for the company.

Although the community itself didn't get the rights to develop, it still won. New developers mean new ideas and new ideas aren't always a bad thing. It will be interesting to see how Ryzom grows and changes. I wish good luck to Gameforge and hope they know how to keep a community happy.

  The Crusade Draws Near

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

It's Tuesday, January 9th, 2007. In one week, a big year for MMORPGs kicks off with the launch of the first World of Warcraft expansion: The Burning Crusade. Blizzard released the newest patch for World of Warcraft properly named The Burning Crusade. Even though this weeks patch is named after the expansion does not mean everything will be in working order come next week. It's the first expansion for a highly popular game and things are bound to go wrong with millions of players downloading any last minute updates and trying to log on simultaneously. Hopefully an early patch means less hassle.

Today's patch is quite a big one. The Dark Portal is now open, so players with The Burning Crusade installed (shame on you if it isn't a beta version) can enter the Outland through the Dark Portal after reaching the level requirement of 58. Druid and Rogue talents also underwent major changes and have thus been refunded their talent points to respec as needed. The other classes also underwent slight changes to talents and skills. Let's not forget another important point for those penny-pinchers. The price for the Journeyman Riding skill, needed to ride an Epic Mount, has been reduced to 600 gold from its previous 800 gold price. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned.

For the full rundown of the patch notes for today, check it out here if you haven't already.

 Prepare for the Crusade

World of Warcraft

All good expansions need some type of world event to lead into it and some preparation for an increase in players, new and old. Blizzard has done both.

The patch for today opened the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. Demonic forces now come through the portal attacking Azeroth. What's the world to do? Get a quest, use area of effect spells to monopolize the mobs and kill anyone of the opposing faction. It's quite simple, don't you agree? Of course the former guardian, Lord Kazzak, has fled through the portal and leaves someone else in his place to cause confusion. Enter Highlord Kruul, a wandering boss mob that has been sighted near major cities and other outdoor zones. Good luck finding and fighting Kruul if he isn't already dead.

In continuing the preparation for the expansion, Blizzard has opened 10 new realms in the Emberstone Battlegroup in the last week. Six realms were opened on January 4th and divided into two sets of three, a PST set and an EST set (both have two PvE realms and one PvP realm). On January 8th, Blizzard opened four CST realms comprised of three PvE realms and one RP realm. To go along with these 10 realms, more will be opened on January 16th when The Burning Crusade goes live.

I am now taking bets on how many realms will be opened next Tuesday. I'm thinking at least five on Tuesday if not more.

 Screenshots of Fun

Well, time to start off the newly restored player screenshot section. None were sent in, so you must suffer with some old EverQuest screenshots. I'll be showing off my raiding screenshots from two Elemental god fights in the Planes of Power expansion.

  • First up is a shot of Xegony, Queen of Air, myself (the red-head Druid), some Clerics, a bard and the Main Tank and a Shaman off in the distance. Not pictured are the 60 other raid members holding off waves of guards that spawn at certain percentages in the fight. It's all about crowd control.
  • Second is a picture of half (the stunnable and mezable half) of the Rathe Council fight and most of the raid in the Plane of Earth. An interesting and long fight, the Rathe Council is made of 12 mobs that quickly respawn if killed. In order to win, all 12 must be killed before they respawn to make the Avatar of Earth pop.
  • Lastly is a picture of lots of corpses at the Plane of Earth graveyard after a wipe on some random boss mob. Corpse recovery was really fun sometimes. Funnest /say chats ever.

    Save yourself from more of my mundane screenshots. Submit a screenshot yourself!

 Log Out

It's a very World of Warcraft week this week. It will probably continue into next week too. I'm sure everyone can feel the love between Alliance and Horde on the PvP servers right now. I've resigned myself from rushing to 60 in time for the expansion, I won't have time and don't want to devote the time needed to grind 19 levels less than a week. That doesn't mean I won't try to get close. I've gotta love my Frost Mage AoE grinding setup.

For now, I am calling it a night. My laptop will probably burn soon if I don't turn it off.

Peace out.

Travis Templet

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