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A Moment of Silence I Entropia Space Station I Dress Up As a Villian I Burning Crusade I Settling Down on Garaneth I Happy Birthday, EverQuest II I New Plans for SW Galaxies I Media Place
MMORPGAMER
Issue #52 November Rain November 4, 2005

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Did you all have a good Halloween? I never did get that warp staff, but since I'm a Black Mage, it's not a major issue for me. I did waste a lot of cookies though, and had a lot of fun. That's what it's all about, right?

I know you've all been eagerly awaiting the latest issue of MMORPGamer. We've had some discussion about the abundance of columns RPGamer has to offer, and in order to spread them out a little, all the MMO news will be posted on Thursday. This will give everyone ample time to read up before a weekend of hardcore gaming. No need to thank us.


 A Moment of Silence

World of Warcraft We all know that MMORPG's can become addicting. The worlds are engrossing, and the community of friends we build make it so we never want to leave. Many games now warn about hardcore gaming messing up lives, so the fault isn't always on the game, but the gamers. Like all addictions, if you have a problem, please seek help before it's too late.

... Unfortunately, some people take it too far. Sadly, a girl in China passed away after playing World of Warcraft for days on end during a national holiday. An online funeral was held for her and her character, Snowly. The scene was described as eerie, as seen on the left. Shockingly, news of a second death quickly followed, one named "Nan Ren Gu Shi".

Many game companies are looking at ways to curb the trend of extreme overplaying, but many gamers feel it's "my life and I can do what I want." This is true, but remember that all your friends want to see you not only the next day, but also next year. It's just a game, and it's okay to take a break. Don't push yourself too hard. MMORPG's are made to last for years, so take your time.


 Entropia Space Station Finds a Sponsor

Project Entropia In the theme of going too far, Project Entropia recently sold a virtual space station. The game is built on the premise that players can buy and sell items with real currency. The buyer, Jon Jacobs, decided that money was no object, putting down $100,000 for the yet-to-be created space station.

Now this is just shocking to me. I want to know if this is some kind of investment, or if the person just won Powerball and is going slightly insane. I know a lot of people in other MMORPGs hate Real Money Traders (RMT). Like me, they can't fathom that an entire game where this is not only common place, but almost required, can actually work. I would think that greed would run rampant, but is that any different from other games? Let me know what you think.


 Dress Up As a Villian

NCSoft Just in time for Halloween night, NCSoft released City of Villians this past Monday. The game is designed as a stand-alone sequel to the hit City of Heroes. As with many PC games, there are two editions to buy: a standard edition for $49.99, and a collector's DVD edition for $79.99. A monthly fee of $14.99 applies, but players of City of Heroes will pay the single monthly fee and be able to play both titles. Not a bad deal.


 Blizzard Announces Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft Blizzard finished their own personal convention recently, and used it to announce the first expansion to the worldwide hit, World of Warcraft. Titled Burning Crusade, the expansion continues to broaden the online world. New lands, new quests, and new monsters are typical things to expect in an expansion.

Burning Crusade ups the ante with even more. First and foremost, the level cap will be raised from 60 to 70. In the new lands, labeled the Outland, players will be able to use flying mounts. Last but not least, two new races will be added, though only the Blood Elves have currently been revealed.

Full details can be found on Blizzard's new expansion page, including a trailer that I am going to have to call a "must see." Not just by World of Warcraft fans, either.


 Settling Down on Ganareth

Dark & Light Dark & Light is still slated for next year, but have announced their beta program, Settlers of Ganareth. This is the first time the world, Ganareth, will be open to the general public. One of the things that interests me personally is the ability to tame a dragon. Now that's traveling in style.

The Dark & Light beta is available in five different languages. Learn more and sign up here.


 Happy Birthday, EverQuest II!

EverQuest II Sony Online is throwing a birthday party for EverQuest II, which will be one year old this Wednesday, November 9th. Multiple presents will be given out based on how long the account has been active. For the most dedicated players, a suffix of 'the Loyal' will be added. Other prizes include XP potions, house decorations, and fireworks. A complete list of gifts can be found on the EverQuest II site.


 New Plans for Star Wars Galaxies

Star Wars Galaxies Julio Torress, producer for Star Wars Galaxies, recently posted a letter about upcoming changes to the game. All-in-all, it was a bit vague, so I will share the important part verbatum.

We are introducing a series of game enhancements to Star Wars Galaxies this month that include both significant enhancements to the live game as well as a completely redesigned experience for new players. The primary areas of focus include combat and profession and character development. The combat depicted in the Star Wars films, fiction, and canon that we have all come to know and love is fast-paced, action-packed, and visually intense. In order to stay true to the Star Wars fiction as well as to make the combat system more engaging, we have shifted the turn-based paradigm towards a much more engaging fast-action combat system where you control every move!

One complaint I've had with many RPGs has been a slow battle system, so I think this is a good change. Of course, I'm not sure I could think as fast as a true Jedi. This was one of the reasons I took a desk job instead of exploring the ways of the Force. Well, that and my profession pays better.


 Media Place

FFXI El Webmonkey sent pictures of the Final Fantasy XI Halloween event. He says, "After getting out pitchforks (which took a surprising amount of effort) we decided to attack a sheep with it. Turns out the sheep had friends..."

It looks like Pebe and Mort had a good time. I hope they made it out of that mass of mobs. On the bright side, Tarutaru are always cute, even when they are dead.

As always, send pictures of your adventures. This week was Halloween only, but there's no restrictions on next week. Send them to mmo@rpgamer.com.


 Log Out

A nice bundle of news, but only a couple emails, so I am unsure if there needs to be a separate Q&A section for the column. We already have a Q&A section, and the hosts ask around when they don't know something. I would like to see people write in and share their opinions. This column is for all of us who love MMORPGs after all. If I get a nice batch of emails, I'll continue the Q&A portion. Otherwise, I can leave that to the boards and private email responses. Your call.

Have fun, but not too much,
Mikel Tidwell


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