City of Advertising I In Russia, Sea Burns You I Warhammer Delay Details
Dell's New Loot Price I Red Stone Makes WCG
O RLY? YA RLY! 1,000,000 BETAZ? I Media Grotto: Champions' Wallpaper

Issue #112 Rainy Thursday
April 3, 2008

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

Now that the Shattered Sun Offensive is officially well on its way through phase 2, I feel like I can take a short break to share some news with you. The last week's been great, with sunny weather and a quick tornado or two. With such excitement, who wouldn't want to live in a predictable online world? I'd like my excitement to be planned, thanks.

I'm a fan of spontaneity. I just don't think tornado sirens at two in the morning are the fun type of spontaneous. I'm just thankful they're all gone. Before I bore you out of your mind, grab some news and log in.

  City of Advertising

World of Warcraft

Today, NCSoft announced a new feature for City of Heroes: in-game advertising. Of course, the average MMO player is probably already pulling their hair out. NCSoft predicted this and made the feature optional. On billboards that are already in the game, the developers will place ads for products that are "contextually relevant" and fit the ESRB's T rating. These requirements soothe even the most wary heart.

NCSoft is intelligent to walk on such eggshells, as in-game advertising has always been a perilous subject. However, the devs seem to be doing their best to get players to embrace it. They've even started a contest for new billboard content created by players. Interested applicants should visit the contest's site.

The feature seems to be a legitimate, safe way for NCSoft to make a little extra cash from players who are willing to enable this feature. This change rolls out some time this summer. Until then, we'll just have to stick to RL billboards for reminders that we need the latest hero drink.

  In Russia, Sea Burns You

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Pirates of the Burning Sea is shaping up to be a worldwide presence. The game has successfully launched in the US, UK, Germany, France, and Australia. Flying Lab Software is working with companies in Australia, Asia, and Russia to bring the experience to a wider audience.

Though Australia has already seen a release of the game, the mainstream Aussie audience has been wary. Australia's ISPs have metered bandwidth, which means that each person pays for a certain amount of bandwidth and speed. If you go over your bandwidth, the internet turns from a speeding highway into a straw filled with molasses. This causes natural problems with MMORPGamers that Flying Lab is hoping to fix. Telstra and Bigpond (two major ISPs) are offering to not count any PotBS data transferred against users' bandwidth limit. This great step, along with 20,000 copies of the game shipping with magazines, should mean a surge in Australian players.

Pirates of the Burning Sea in Russia will be called Corsairs Online. The translation is still in progress, but advertising is already in full force. In the last Russian gaming event, a huge sailing ship did the advertising. A new commercial will hit with the release, as well. One of the best features of the Russian translation is an adult version that features a ton of swearing to make the piracy more immersive. That's simply amazing.

  Warhammer Delay Details

Warhammer Online

Mark Jacobs of Warhammer Online fame posted on the game's forums regarding the recent release delay. He answered a few questions in order to ease the minds and hearts of gamers everywhere.

Jacobs mentions that, although the beta is going well, the release date of Fall 2008 is still only "stuck in mud" as every date before this one has been. He's still planning on a simultaneous Europe and US release, though. The Mythic team feels great about releasing a game when it's ready, which is something we've all heard from Blizzard. Jacobs has even mentioned Blizzard when stating that he wants the game to be great on release and not simply "good."

Overall, the post seems to add some credibility to this game that has been repeatedly pushed back. EA is reportedly supportive in the date's move, and the team, Jacobs included, look forward to releasing at a time when video games are a cash crop. Let's just hope they don't get knocked out of the water by their competition.

  Dell's New Loot Price

World of Warcraft

A few months back, Dell released a laptop emblazoned with the Blizzard seal of approval. The price then was $5,000. Now, Dell has been able to cut the price down to $3,000 without removing any of the actual laptop specs.

Reports vary as to the whether the package contains more than the laptop, its case, and a mousepad now. Before this price drop, it included beta keys, full games, novels, and more swag. The Dell website still shows all of that within, but don't be surprised if all you get for $3,000 is the powerhouse laptop.

Personally, I'm excited that this laptop has been pushed down in price nearly half as much as at release. Though I already have a laptop that works fine, I like to dream of having a shiny one like this. I'm not sure I could handle the cover engraving, though.

  Red Stone Makes WCG

Red Stone

This year's World Cyber Games will only feature one MMORPG: Red Stone. In this year's games, players will engage in 4 on 4 team battles.

WCG '08 will be in Cologne, Germany with a wide variety of games for competition. The tournament brings together over 700 players from about 74 countries.

This is a great accomplishment for this free MMORPG. Who says 2D games are dead? Not me.

1,000,000 BETAZ?

Warhammer Online

Mark Jacobs had more to say in another forum post regarding Warhammer Online. With the continuation of the beta and release date pushed back, forum posters have speculated that beta signups may reach the 1 million mark. Jacobs stepped in to say that he felt sure of such a milestone.

He was quick to say that EA Mythic would be most likely to reach a million once Asia catches on. However, he still felt confident in UK and US signups to surge past 750,000 in the coming months. I can't say I disagree with him on the second idea, but a million is one hardy beta.

  Media Grotto
Champions Wallpapers

Champions Online

Champions Online continues to stay on the radar, with two wallpapers now available at the official site.

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While I may not have my own WoW laptop, I do have my faithful MacBook to keep me company. Now that I've faithfully kept up my end of the bargain, maybe its framerates will improve just a little bit. Otherwise, it's a pretty one sided relationship.

This week's a great column, though the letters have all dried up recently. Keep 'em coming, no matter what they are. I'm open to rants, raves, random statements of stupidity or intelligence.

Jake Miller (mail me)

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