What's the Vana'deal? I ArenaNet Factions Up I Director Discusses Anarchy Online: Lost Eden I EVE Online Freezes Up I Ragnarok Transcends I Short Stories I Freakin' Hot Rena Tanaka Picture of the Week
Issue #40 40 July 9, 2005

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MMORPGamer has just turned 40. Not 40 years old, but 40 columns have now been posted. Good times. In celebration, I give you this awesome World of Warcraft Coke commercial, straight from China!

So crack open another 40, make sure coke is involved, and let's make this a trip.

 What's the Vana'deal?

An awful lot of stuff involving Final Fantasy XI decided to happen all at once, so here I am with a recap type thing. Here's a big list of all kinds of things that have been going on in Vana'diel.

Music Man:
"|Play| that |fun||key||music||White Mage|" indeed. As RPGamer reported here, a Final Fantasy XI arranged album is in production. In addition to reading the news at that last link, Square-Heaven's got a link to stream some of the music and a bunch of people talking about FFXI stuff that you can check out here. The whole stream is very long and if you speak Japanese, probably interesting to watch.

Don't Call it a Comeback:
The two different "Return Home to Vana'diel" campaigns are near over, and they seem to have worked. Within the game, I recently encountered a party which had multiple returners within it. Oddly enough, none of them were playing their restored characters, which is the big lure to come back in the first place. Only one of the three returning players within the group got his/her data back, though I'm sure this percentage is much lower than the actual restoration rate in the game.

What's in this Box?:
You've probably heard about the game spreading to Xbox 360, with plans currently having the game ready at system's launch. Being the reporter I am, I decided to ask the players in a party I joined if anyone would switch to Xbox 360 some time down the road. I expected nothing but hate, but I got two positive responses. Of the six in our party, three people were using PC and three were PS2 players. The two who said they'd switch to Xbox 360 were split, one from each platform. Again, the percentage here probably doesn't hold throughout the whole game, but I was taken back a bit to find two people in the same group who were already planning to switch to Xbox 360.

Changes minor and major happen all the time in virtually all MMORPGs, but Final Fantasy XI has been going through quite a few in a short period of time (perhaps to help keep those who left and have come back). The one most likely to cause a stir is the ease put on the level grind. The "to next level" EXP amounts for all levels over 50 have been decreased, for one thing, and the EXP for many "Easy Prey" and "Decent Challenge" monsters will be increased in the next version update.

The Vana'diel Tribune II is up to Eight volumes now, and I must say it's way better than the old one. Yeah, I'm not going anywhere with that. I just figured I'd mention it somewhere.

What's Next?
So I wondered lately, what would be best for FFXI's future? I asked some people in our IRC channel what needs to happen in the game's future, particularly with the next expansion. I unfortunately didn't get any answers on the expansion pack, but the general consesus was that more gil sellers be banned. Other answers included "Aeris revival code."

We don't know much at this point, but I think new job classes could be the best feature of the next expansion; I don't mean that in terms of "fun" or anything, I mean it will most help the general game. New areas and all that jazz are always nice, but the high, highend players are saying the endgame areas are getting mighty crowded. New job classes give people a reason to start fresh, which should put an ease on that problem. And maybe...just maybe...maybe FFXI is due for a new race? Eh? Thoughts? Don't be afraid to tell me what you think by emailing

 ArenaNet Factions Up

ArenaNet is all set to update Guild Wars in a big way with the "Faction System." This will allow an account owner's relationship with any of the various gods to carry over into all characters of the account. For example, factioning with the god of war, a PvP kinda guy, will score players PvP rewards.

"Guild Wars has always aimed to provide an equal footing for the PvP action and the co-operative role playing action," said Stephen Reid, Content and Community Manager, NCsoft Europe. "Including the option to start a PvP-only character at the maximum level has proven to be an excellent way to circumvent many of the issues that prevent casual players from even taking part in a fight against a dedicated player. The new faction system evolves ths PvP/Role Play balance a step further and gives players more freedom than ever to enjoy Guild Wars in the fashion that they like best."

 Director Discusses Anarchy Online: Lost Eden

Funcom's Morten Byom just spoke with IGN about Anarchy Online's next expansion, entitled Lost Eden. The whole three-page interview can be read here, while a small sample is below.

IGN: "What are your main goals for Lost Eden? How will this expansion tie in with, build upon and enhance what exists now?"
Morten Byom: "The main goal is to provide an expansion that will entertain people for the years to come. This will be done through both a varied PvP environment and the addition of new dungeons for the players to explore and gather resources.

"There are strong ties to previous expansions like Notum Wars and Alien Invasion. Several of the new features in Lost Eden can be utilized in Notum Wars combat. There will be more buildings added for the AI cities allowing players to harness some of the power that the battle stations will provide. There will also be new ways for players to combat the Aliens and continue the struggle to ensure the humans survival not only on Rubi-ka but across the entire universe."

Source: IGN

 EVE Online Freezes Up
EVE Online

The next bit is a modified version of the posting on An exciting content update for EVE Online was deployed on July 5. This massive update, over seven months in the making, includes such features as new capital ships, outposts, skills, modules, tech and much more.

The update can be downloaded via http here, or if that's no good, this forum thread links to alternative mirrors.

 Ragnarok Transcends

Ragnarok Online saw the "Transcendent Classes" update just days ago. Players can now transcend the current limit of 99 character powers to attain additional abilities just newly introduced the game.

Previously, players who achieved level 99 were the top-ranked characters and possessed the greatest set of skills offered in the land of Ragnarok. The new update will restart these players at level 1, where they will begin to acquire new powers far greater in scale than before. Essentially, players will be given a new utility belt with many more compartments to hold much more power.

Those curios about Ragnarok Online can hit up a free trial here.

 Short Stories

Dark Age of Camelot's Catacombs expansion is about to become available in Korea. Check out a trailer here.


The Lord of the Rings Online's Thursday Insider has updated. You can tell the gang was just coming off a holiday week, as the topic was the ever-generic "What do you like best about working on The Lord of the Rings Online?" Read the answers here.


Ultima Online was subject to an emergency update in which, ironically enough, Evil Items had to be deleted. Just yesterday, Origins posted the update schedule and said, "...we will begin bringing down the shards to implement an Emergency Publish that will Delete all Evil Items from the shards. We will let you know when you can begin using your Evil Item claim codes again. Until that time, please do not page a GM or contact customer service about the Evil Items."

Partial Source: Game Meca

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40 columns behind us. Neat.

This particular column wasn't as much of a trip as some others, but the whole collection has still been a fun ride for Heath Hindman, and hopefully you too

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