LOTRO Expansion Announced I Blizzard Invitational Details I Final Fantasy XI Updates
Dragon Raja's Democratic Process I O RLY? YA RLY! I Media Grotto

Issue #110 Sanrio Pickaxes
March 20, 2008

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

The mass exodus to sunny beaches is over. Everyone that's taking a luxurious break is enjoying it while everyone who isn't hates them for it. I'm counted among the latter. I've got to admit that rest and relaxation is still enjoyable, no matter the climate.

This week's been a great time to get back into my favorite MMO. That's right, the WoW bug has bit me again. I'm currently trying to play endgame with my priest. It's an enjoyable struggle.

This week's news is tangible in the greatest way. Nothing's better than new updates on actual game content. No politics or dumb executives outside of O RLY! YA RLY! this week.

Up, up, and away!

  LOTRO Expansion Announced

Lord of the Rings Online

Codemasters Connect 2008 was a great success last Friday. The company released juicy details on the first expansion of The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria. The expansion brings players deep into the abandoned dwarven mines to confront unknown evils, as well as the Balrog itself.

The expansion will raise the level cap to 60 and enable players to obtain weapons that are enhanced via experience and Deeds. Also included will be more instances, a new PvMP area, new lighting effects, and horrifically advanced AI within the mines. The official site has yet to unveil its secrets. The games on the site that unlock information about the Mines of Moria don't start until the end of this month. Until then, we'll just have to gaze longingly at the nifty pictures there.

Mines of Moria will feature mostly endgame content, though the two new classes, the Warden and Runekeeper, should mean fun for newcomers and veterans alike. The expansion is due by the end of the year, the first in an annual expansion plan for LOTRO.

  Blizzard Invitational Details

World of Warcraft

This week, Blizzard announced the details of its worldwide invitational this summer. Held in Paris, the invitational will be on June 28 and 29. The event has all the trappings of a Blizzard festival, including developer discussions, contests, and art signings.

The lucky players who can attend will have the opportunity to play Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II. All of this paired with sweet merchandise and musical performances makes it an awesome deal. For 70€ ($109), tickets are pretty cheap.

I'm going to go out on a rather short limb here and say that I think the trailer for WotLK will premiere here. This would mirror the schedule for The Burning Crusade, which featured a trailer the summer before release.

  Final Fantasy XI Updates

Final Fantasy

This week saw a content update for Final Fantasy XI. In the update, new quests have been added to past Vana'diel as well as areas in the new expansion. New quests have also been added for the newest jobs, the Scholar and Dancer. These grant characters new attire and the ability to level up to 75 with the rest of the world.

Campaign Ops has been updated in numerous ways, including increased functionality in the UI, new siege weapons, and new freelance characters. Fellows have also received a great improvement, with shorter recovery times, more equipment available, and some strengthened abilities. All considered, the update brings needed and welcome advantages that players have been waiting for.

  Dragon Raja's Democratic Process

Dragon Raja

Dragon Raja's Vyseus, Zypern, and Yilse nations need a new king. The game has an extensive election process for would-be kings, allowing all players to participate. The process begins with applications for players who would like to be king.

After applicants fill out their questionnaires, a large battle takes place. After the battle, players will be able to vote only once for candidates within their nation. Each new king will serve their nation for two to three months before another election is held.

This feature is a great way for veteran players to control their gameplay experience and new players to learn the ropes. Along with helping out the community at large, kings are responsible for helping new players get into the game.

Gaia Costs $25 Million

Gaia Online is not an MMORPG, but it is a massive hang out area for preteens, teens, and every other adult who MMOs. Though I'm not sure "MMO" is a verb, I am sure that Gaia costs one pretty penny. While you're busy fishing and playing cards, enjoy this fun fact: Gaia costs $25 million to maintain each year. put that in your pipe and smoke it, along with the gem that brands spend $100,000 to $500,000 to sponsor the game for only a month.

  Media Grotto
Mines of Moria Screens

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

New art came along with the announcement of Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria.

Bucket Gets In

Hey Jake, remember a few weeks ago when I wrote in griping about Hello Kitty Online's rather unique way of choosing its closed beta players? I got in, thanks to my collection of Japanese & American Hello Kitty merchandise, experience in freelancing, and some music from the Yakitate! Japan soundtrack. (Want to see? See it here. [Embedded below.]) I will patiently wait for my starter package to arrive and keep you posted.

- Bucket


I'm so thrilled that you were able to get in. Congratulations. I hope to hear from you soon regarding your starter package and your fun with it, presuming you won't be under a crazy NDA.

Your video looks great. I love the use of your Hello Kitty swag. I've embedded the video below for any and all to view.

Otaku Nick

ok been a number of weeks and seeing as last issue had no rants or raves or questions or anything i decided to offload my personal opinion on the state of mmo's and why i basically only play guild wars ran online and rf online. that reason simply being i'd play games like tabula rasa, and wow, and.. well.. just about anything if they didn't have the fatal flaw of having to pay X amount of duchettes each month for a game i just paid upwards of 50 dollars buying a license to. i mean why do they do this? yeah i know stupid question "cause they want money" but if they'd make the games free to play and like limit you to having 1 character or something like that so that for say 5 dollars a month you get some special things.. you can do this with dungeon runners, and others i play but i stick to the free versions because i'm a cheap punk. mostly because i have a job with a famous home electronics company that is not to be named here.. but it starts with an S and ends with a Y and has on in the middle, and they don't pay me.. really need a better job.. but i digress i just wanted to say that they need to do these changes to all mmo's.. i'm willing to pay for the game license initially to play. i'm just not willing to pay out money to play a game i bought. i mean overall that's a stupid idea. who would willingly want to pay.. to play say umm.. persona 3. or lost odysey, would these be such good games if every month it took you to beat it you had to shell out another 15 dollars?

otaku nick.. getting things off his chest


The subscription model seems to be nearing the end of its life cycle when it comes to games other than the highest on the totem poll. The merits have been many, and I've never worried about paying a subscription. I justify it to myself by considering the new content that is added to MMOs and the large community I'm allowed membership in.

However, such subscriptions limit my own ability to play as many games as I'd like. This leads me to switch between LOTRO and WoW instead of just playing both. Comparing console single-player games to MMOs just doesn't work when talking money. The community makes a world of difference. Would anyone honestly play any current MMO if there weren't a community attached?

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This week was a great combination of letters, info, and concept art. If you're in a hotel beachside, then get out and enjoy the sun. If you aren't, take a moment and imagine you are before going back to work.

Now, I'm off to start some spring cleaning. Relaxation just isn't the same if it can't be done in a clean home. I'm beginning to sound like my parents. That's scary.

Jake Miller (mail me)

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