Sword of the New World Reaches One-Year Anniversary I Wrath of the Lich King to Add Achievements to WoW
Flagship Studios Still Operating, If Only Just Barely I Warhammer Online Cuts Classes, Cities; Plenty Left to Choose From

Issue #118 New World Order
July 22, 2008

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Welcome once again to the most thrilling collection of MMO news this side of Blizzcon, MMORPGamer.

I'm your new guy in the driver's seat, Justin A. Harwood, and I'm an avid WoW player at least six months out of every year. The other six? Hardcore dance rave master. No, wait, I lied. The other six months out of the year I'm engrossed in console games or just plain broke. Anyhow, you're here for the delicious news, so let's get to that already!

  Sword of the New World Reaches One-Year Anniversary

Yes, Sword of the New World is having its paper anniversary this month, which might not sound like a long time, but few MMOs can even make it a whole year these days, so these guys deserve a little celebration. While you munch on your delicious cake (available in the lobby from 3:30-4:00 today), how about taking a look at these upcoming patch notes?

* Update Patch 2 (July '08)
o This will include:
+ New Bazaar items
+ Some UPC guy named Baek Ho
* Update Patch 3 (August '08)
o This will include
+ New Bazaar Items
* Update Patch 4 (September '08)
o This will include
+ Calypso
+ A host of fixes and changes (including the Faction War revamp)
+ A TON of new costumes
+ A new online Bazaar

In addition to all this, K2 says that a big Halloween event and a winter holiday event are in the works, to be followed by the big time 3.0 update in early 2009. Sounds like players will have a lot to keep them busy for this MMO's sophmore year.

  Wrath of the Lich King to Add Achievements to WoW

World of Warcraft

Blizzard announced this week that the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King WoW expansion will introduce a wholly new feature to the world of Azeroth - achievements! Yes, the new in-game achievements will keep track of your accomplishments in WoW; everything from learning First Aid to decking your character out with that sweet epic loot will now be assigned a numerical value and give you achievement points. You'll also be able to see how many points other players have, meaning that a small group of people farming cooking supplies to increase their overall score is all but assured.

For those of you wanting to continue blissfully unaware of how mundane tasks like fishing or cooking work, don't worry. The achievements are mostly their own reward, without any loot or gold being awarded for the completion of these tasks. At least one amusing achievement, "Tuskarmaggedon" rewarded players for killing low-level baby seal creatures wandering the shores of Northrend, but only with a non-combat pet. Besides, what would you rather have? A cute baby seal following you around, or the knowledge that you didn't waste an afternoon killing creatures that offer no gold or experience? Ah, who am I kidding? People will be farming the baby seal pet on launch day.

  Flagship Studios Still Operating, If Only Just Barely

Some sad news to report here. Flagship Studios, the folks behind Hellgate: London have had to make drastic cuts, resulting in almost all staff being let go as of last week. Hellgate: London never quite caught on with the public or critics, and rumors of Flaship's demise began to surface before long. That rumor intensified in recent weeks with reports of employees leaving in droves, followed by stories citing forum postings by newly ex-Flagship employees stating the company had gone bottom-up.

This led CEO Bill Roeper to make a post on the official Hellgate: London website, stating that Flagship was still open, despite rumors to the contrary. Roeper admits that they have had to let "most" of their employees go, and says that the company unfortunately could no longer sustain a large number of employees. Reading between the lines a bit, what we know for sure is that Bill Roeper still has a job, but anyone else working for Flagship was either let go or is desperately phoning Blizzard to see if they need any help with Diablo III. Don't think too harshly of Roeper, though. Reports are that the departing employeees were given 30 days pay from his pockets, and he may soon be in the wholly unenviable position of being the guy who has to turn off the lights at the studio he created.

  Warhammer Online Cuts Classes, Cities; Plenty Left to Choose From

Warhammer Online, the eagerly anticipated game from Mythic, announced last week it was making several cuts in its lineup. The biggest change is that instead of having a capital city for each race in the game, Mythic has cut that intended offering of six cities down to just two; a single city will now serve as the hub for each of the game's two warring factions. Since one of the signifigant ways Warhammer Online hopes to distance itself from the competition is its factional PvP combat by which one faction can ultimately destroy (for a time) the other's home city, this cut has the potential to drastically affect gameplay.

Mythic has also chosen to trim 4 classes from the game. While this may sound like a lot to veterans of World of Warcraft, it bears noting that the game will retain 20 different classes, 10 for each faction. Mythic states that this is because of balance testing in the ongoing closed beta, but let's not kid ourselves: it's also so that this game might actually come out before the end of the decade.

For those interested, the retained capital cities will be Altdorf (Empire) and Inevitable City (Chaos). The classes cut from the game are Choppa (Greenskin), Hammerer (Dwarf), Blackguard (Dark Elf) and Knight of the Blazing Sun (Empire).

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Well, that's it for this week folks! Let me know what you think, and I'll try to print the best of your letters and respond to them here on a semi-regular basis! In the meantime, I've got a level 47 undead rogue who could easily hit 70 before the expansion hits, so until next week, remember: If your bank alt isn't naked, how will everyone else know it's a bank alt?

Justin A. Harwood (Send me mail!)

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