||June 2, 2006
I was working on some dev stuff on my usual column nights. I'll also be honest, I've always considered deadlines as more of a recommendation than anything else.
Having said that, my current back-end dev work is nearly finished. The change is primarily visible to staff members.
Things haven't gone well during my WoW guild's merger with another guild. People who were in The Endless have been leaving Defilers of Light left and right, including The Endless's former guild master. I can't resist throwing him a big "I told you so." (See: Drama Llama)
In case you missed it, we have an article on Final Fantasy XI's Chocobo Raising this week.
Other than that, it's been another post-E3 news week. In other words, slow. Here's what I've got this week, though.
Since my last column, Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar has gained two new racial profiles. OK, so it's not really racial profiling in the way the title suggests, but I can't resist a bad pun.
To be exact, the following profiles are new.
With the introduction of the Necropolis Naxxramus to World of Warcraft in patch 1.11, a new World Event will be taking place. This world event, called The Scourge Invasion, has multiple parts.
Scourge agents have appeared in several dungeons across the land. It's not clear why they are there, but eliminate them anyway.
- Eastern Kingdoms
- Scarlet Monestary, Tirisfal Glades
- Scholomance, Western Plaguelands
- Shadowfang Keep, Silverpine Forest
- Stratholme, Eastern Plaguelands
- Dire Maul, Feralas
- Razorfen Downs, The Barrens
A flying necropolis has been spotted in several zones around the world. Agents of the Argent Dawn can tell you where help is needed to get rid of the undead camps that appear near the necropolis, but they will always be in one or more of the following zones.
- Eastern Kingdoms
- Blasted Lands
- Burning Steppes
- Eastern Plaguelands
Last, but not least, a necropolis has been spotted near some of the major capitals. At certain times, the gates of these cities may be attacked by the Scourge. The Argent Dawn has set up camps inside these cities to help with their defense.
- Stormwind City, Eastern Kingdoms
- Undercity, Eastern Kingdoms
Enemies will drop Necrotic Runes, which you may turn in to the Argent Dawn for items. Gloves from the new Undead slaying armor sets are some of the rewards. The sets are Regalia of Undead Cleansing (Cloth), Undead Slayer's Armor (Leather), Garb of the Undead Slayer (Mail), and Battlegear of Undead Slaying (Plate).
It is unknown to me if the Argent Dawn Commission, Seal of the Argent Dawn, or Rune of the Dawn trinkets are needed to collect Necrotic Runes.
MMOGChart.com, the somewhat well-known comparison chart of MMO subscriptions, has been updated to version 20.0. A few new games have been added to the chart, as well as having updated numbers for the other games.
It should be noted that Guild Wars is intentionally not on the chart, as it does not have monthly subscriptions.
If want to see a brief history of MMOs and their sizes, check out the Analysis and Conclusions section of MMOGChart.
During a conversation I recently had, a person I know in the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta made the comment that Vanguard's content is being geared towards hardcore players.
If you haven't done so, go to the MMOGChart mentioned above and see which game is number one. Actually, don't bother, I'll just tell you it's World of Warcraft.
Apparently WoW's lessons are lost on other developers. Aiming at the hardcore player market limits your market share tremendously. WoW actually has the opposite problem. All its hardcore sections are stuck at the end of the game, making it a grind for hardcore players. However, by placing them all at the end, WoW attracts more casual players.
The non-RPG MMO A Tale in the Desert is preparing to launch its third version. This game is an MMO focused primarily on crafting. While it is not part of our normal coverage, I have extra space in the column this week, so I figured "Why not?"
So, it looks like some of my friends are already looking past Vanguard to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
While a few have returned to WoW for the time being, we are currently split up among guilds. I'm taking this period in time to try out some of the free trials that have been popping up.
The first one I installed was Everquest II's trial. I wanted to see if the game had improved since I last played it.
Two words: Big Mistake. The download is a 20MB installer for Sony's EQ2 updater. After you activate your trial account, the updater downloads the entire 6GB+ game. I cancelled it not even 10 minutes into the 4+ hours it was estimating to download over my 2Mb/s connection.
Ross "Downloads are forever" Bemrose