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NC soft, BlizzardPull Fast Ones I MU Getting Patchy, Competitive I Vana'diel Wants Your Back I Matrix Online Updates I PSO: Blue Burst Gets New Quest Action I Readers Speak I Freakin' Hot Rena Tanaka Picture of the Week
MMORPGAMER
Issue #26 For the Sake of a Good Ricecake April 2, 2005


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So I'm sitting in the RPGamer office, in my cubicle, unable to think of a column title. Ed walks in, and I'm like "Ed, MMO, column title, go now!" He had nothing more than I had. So I sit back down in my cube and turn on Super Milk Chan, which I should have done earlier anyway. "Quiet, Tetsuko," I hear. "It's all for the sake of a good ricecake."

Side note: it snowed here today. It's April...this is not supposed to happen. Because of this, Rena still has to wear a coat in this week's picture. When will this end? Who do I have to sacrifice to get some weather that makes sense?



 NC soft, Blizzard, Others Pull Fast Ones
Lineage II

Yesterday being April Fools Day, many websites played jokes on their visitors. The two best MMO jokes I saw came from Blizzard and NC soft pertaining to World of Warcraft and Lineage II respectively. In Blizzard's case, a feature similar to EverQuest II's /pizza command was announced. After Sony introduced that feature, I noticed many MMO message board members around the internet declaring they would rather have more food options than just pizza--most commonly, Chinese food. Catering to this common request, Blizzard launched a spoof of the /pizza command by introducing "/panda."

The official page, viewable here, claimed that a player typing "/panda" would result in a GM taking a food order and sending a delivery boy to that player's door. The official logo of this promotion is even similar in design to the now-famous picture of Lucan offering a Pizza Hut pizza to EverQuest II players. Check out this comically fake announcement here.

NC soft took a look forward to April 15th, and incorporated the US tax deadline into its prank. The company posted the announcement of a "Tax Day" that would entail a 33% reduction in item drop rates, money rewards, and experience. During the time of the event, players could collect special stamps to reduce the tax to as little as 15%. Check out this joke here.

If you know of other jokes played by MMO developers, email me about them.




 MU Getting Patchy, Competitive
MU

March 29th saw a substantial MU Online patch. Players are advised that if too many people are trying to download it at once, they may receive error messages, and should not be discouraged. The message from WebZen about this new patch is located here.

In other MU news, WebZen has just started a contest for its players. During the current carnival event, players should take screen shots of the special things going on during this time period: things like fighting the special monsters or scenery shots of "Atlans." The prize for each winner is 10 "Blesses." Entries are to be submitted by 10:00 am Korean Standard Time (GMT +9:00), and photoshop is the mark of the beast. Full rules and submission details here.

Failing your winning of prizes, you can send your screens to me so that we can all enjoy them....




 Vana'diel Wants You Back
Final Fantasy XI

"Return Home to Vana'diel," says Square Enix to former Final Fantasy XI subscribers. Part one of a two-part comeback campaign will launch April 14 and end July 13. The big incentive to return is 30 free days of Final Fantasy XI play, and those who do choose to return will find their old characters just the way they left them. Apparently the threat Square Enix makes to players that declares their data will be deleted in 90 days is not an entirely valid threat, seeing as the offer says nothing of how long a player may have been unsubscribed.

Part one is also only available to those who have not only deserted Final Fantasy XI, but have left PlayOnline entirely. A second "Return Home to Vana'diel" campaign for players who only left the game and not PlayOnline is planned to start in early June. Full details of this campaign can be found at PlayOnline.




 Matrix Online Updates

Matrix Online

This column two weeks ago described the "live events team" that would be appearing in The Matrix Online. One "Aether" recently posted a letter with further details. An excerpt reads:

"Regardless of your affiliations with the Machines, the Merovingian, or the Zionites, everyone has the chance to interact with the story elements of The Matrix Online. Your guarantee of involvement is showing active interest in the storyline (I promise, it really is that simple). Although, applying ingenuity and creativity in your dealings amongst yourselves, and any key storyline figures, wouldn't hurt your chances either.

"... Certain aspects of the storyline will take place in-game, but there will be many different ways that a player can gather key pieces of the storyline and other features integrated into our game is AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger. Using that service, players may be able to chat with storyline characters that cannot be seen in-game (Tyndall was born in Zion, Link as well). In addition to chat, there are rumors that some players have already begun receiving urgent requests for assistance from Morpheus and directives from the Merovingian via email.

"Players will have the opportunity not only to witness events, but they will actually have the chance to drive the plot. The thing to remember is that The Matrix Online is truly the fourth installment of the celebrated Matrix Saga- only this time around you are the star, working in concert with (and sometimes directly opposed to) thousands of other people, from all over the world."

Matrix Online news doesn't stop there. The developers have gone live with version 7.3063 (yeah, I didn't even know they came with that many digits), which features improvements and changes to several areas of the game. Interface, AI, camera, controls, and other updates have made their way into the game. Read the extensive list of upgrades as well at the previously-quoted letter at Data Node One.




 PSO: Blue Burst Gets New Quest Action
EverQuest

On March 31, the two quests for the Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst, Episode IV were added. These missions involve finding a piece of the meteor that created the Crater, which is the stage for all of PSOBB, and tracking down a character that may have gone mad. Pictures are below.


Source: Impress Game Watch




  Readers Speak

A pair of letters came in on the same topic started last week.

International Communities Y Tu


Hey Heath;

Your topic of the week intruiged me, so I figured I would write in and comment about it.

As a bilingual citizen of a (somewhat) bilingual nation, the idea of having multiple languages in a game is fine by me. I'm actually quite frustrated by the lack of french practice I'll get online; I get to flex my knowledge occasionally by popping over to jeuxfrance.com, but as I no longer have time to roleplay online in french I feel like I'm getting rusty :P

I have plenty of friends from Europe and Asia, and the majority of them speak multiple languages - in fact, most don't even speak english as a first language. Considering some of the rabble I've met on WoW (sum1 bring me 2 stromwing!), I often wish Blizzard had included all the servers together a la FFXI.

So I guess in conclusion I'm all for mixing in MMOs, no matter what the language they speak. As long as companies remember that translators are every player's friend.

-Paws =^^=
Reviewer
paws@rpgamer.com


HEATH

That's pretty much how I feel about it as well. Even if I can't understand any of what's being said by certain others, the whole experience just feels better when its international and multilingual. Perhaps the way to go with this is have mixed servers set aside for this, like an international server, and then regional servers as other options. It could work.

Thanks for the letter.


That old guy down the street who's kinda racist


The Japanese players in FFXI have gave me nothing but problems ever since picking it up. It's not just because I don't understand the language it's also because they just don't like Americans. They think they're so hot cause the game came out over there first and they're Japanese and therefore they own the game industry or something. Whatever good riddance to them once the game ends some day. I don't really want a mix in my community. Not because of languages but because of other countries thinking they just rule.

Randy


HEATH

When I was 14, I had a paper route. One day, while handing the Wednesday afternoon print to an old couple, the woman made it a point to her husband that she was offended by an inter-racial marriage that had taken place on one of her daytime TV shows. I just kinda didn't say anything and kept walking. I dunno...I just felt like relaying that story.


 Log Out

So did anyone notice The Prseident had a PS3 on his desk in this episode? If that's been there before, I haven't seen it. Funny stuff, that show.

About the column, sorry no media place this week. Next week it will be back up. Make its return beautiful with screens of your own!

Well, all that April Fools junk on Friday and into today wore me out. I'm gonna go sleep for about three days. See you! Eat ricecakes!


That's right. Heath Hindman is most definitely the president


rage@rpgamer.com



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