Warhammer Online To Launch September 18th I Star Trek Online Back In Spacedock
Olympic Fever Hits Azeroth, City of AuchI Everquest, EQ II To Expand AgainI MMO Tidbits

Issue #121 Space Orc Triathlon
August 18, 2008

Power Up

Welcome once again to MMORPGamer, the best collection of MMO News around, now with 70% less sodium! I do apologize for the column being missing last week (technical difficulties which have since been remedied), but don't you worry, this week's MMORPGamer is double stuffed like an Oreo of MMO gaming goodness!

  Warhammer Online To Launch September 18th

Warhammer Online

A mere two weeks ago, I reported the rumor that Warhammer Online was going to launch on September 27. As it turns out, Warhammer Online is going to be launching nine days earlier on September 18. In a first for MMO launches, the servers will go live simultaneously that day in North America, Europe, and Oceania. Subscription pricing was also announced, and the pricing structure of $14.99 a month, $41.97 ($13.99 a month) for three months, and $77.94 ($12.99 a month) for six months will seem immediately familiar to World of Warcraft players.

In addition to dates and pricing, the pre-order bonuses for Warhammer Online were also detailed. These include a key for admission to the open beta, as well as access to the "Head Start" program which will give players a few days on the regular game servers before the official launch. Pre-orders will also come with a number of bonus in-game items (the exact items were not specified), and a special Universal Fighting System card game deck based on Warhammer Online. A number of retailers were involved in the pre-order program, but it was unclear as to which of these bonuses would be available from which retailer, and if you're considering a pre-order you may want to call your local retailers or poke around online before tossing your $50 on the table.

  Star Trek Online Back In Spacedock

Although it had theoretically been in development for some time, Star Trek Online found itself quietly canceled last year when developer Perpetual Entertainment, well, stopped being so perpetual. Permanently. The license has now been picked up by Cryptic Studios, well known for their work on City of Heroes and the upcoming Champions Online. In an interview with the Associated Press, Cryptic's chief creative officer Jack Emmert talked about acquiring the license, noting that the game would be constructed from the ground up without any assets from Perpetual, largely because "there was nothing to be had, to be honest."

Besides confirming that Perpetual's "development" of Star Trek Online was, as thought by many, pure smoke and mirrors, Emmert also gave some details about what players will be doing in the game. Star Trek Online will be set in 2409, a good 30 years after the last Star Trek film, 2002's Nemesis. The focus will be on exploration, and characters can be created from existing races, or new user-created ones. Emmert stresses that while there may indeed a ship bearing the name Enterprise present in the game, "it's probably not the same ship anymore."

  Olympic Fever Hits Azeroth, City of Auch

World of Warcraft

With the Beijing Olympics in full swing, people all over the world are watching the Olympic coverage and cheering their nation on. However, if the 400 meter dash ain't your thing, how about going for the gold in World of Warcraft? In the new "The Spirit of Competition" event, players who enter a battleground between August 8 and August 24 will receive a special tabard marked with the Olympic Rings. Furthermore, every battleground you win will give you a chance to win a gold medal which can be redeemed for a special dragon pet.

Meanwhile in the City of Auch, Sword of the New World players have a different Olympic opportunity available. Any players who make a purchase of 1,000 or more gold (not the in-game currency, called vis, but a special currency used for buying potions, temporary buffs and other paid content) between now and August 24 will receive five ring boxes containing random stat-enhancing rings. Please do note that players cannot receive more than 20 ring boxes in this manner.

  EverQuest, EQ II To Expand Again


Nine years is a lifetime and a half in video games, but somehow EverQuest refuses to shuffle off to the retirement home like a proper old game. Instead, EverQuest is set to receive its 15th expansion in the form of EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction, set to launch on October 21. This new expansion will increase the level cap to 85, include 20 new zones, and introduce Mercenaries into the game. Mercenaries are player-controlled NPCs that will scale to the appropriate level and act with limited player input, thus allowing a solo player to more easily put together a group to take on some of the game's tougher challenges. Additionally, the purchase of EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction will give the player access to the content of all 14 previous expansions.

Not to be outdone by its predecessor, EverQuest II will release a fifth expansion pack on November 18. Titled EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey, the new expansion will feature another 20 new zones and new dungeon adventures based on classic dungeons and encounters found in the original EverQuest, as well as a new 200 point cap to achievement levels and a new reward system based around gathering mysterious "void shards". As with EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction, the purchase of EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey will give the player access to the content of all five previous expansions.

  MMO Tidbits: Bite-Sized News for Massive Games
  • FFXI Alters Sandworm, Teases Summit
    A recent update to Final Fantasy XI has changed the encounter with the Sandworm enemy, a Notorious Monster (a difficult-to-kill rare spawn). This enemy now has the ability Doomvoid, which will warp the entire party to a special dungeon to fight other Notorious Monsters, thus making the entire encounter far more difficult, but of course increasing the reward as well. In addition to this, Square-Enix has announced plans for unveiling the new Mythic Weapons through a program called "Summit 2008" which will be a sort of partnership between Square-Enix and the fan sites they have designated premier sites. More information can be found here.

  • Bring a Friend, Get a Mount
    World of Warcraft has retooled their Recruit-A-Friend program, and the big addition is a Zhevra mount. Yes, get a friend to pay for at least 60 days of game time, and you get a mount. Seemingly unnecessary for a game of WoW's popularity, but certainly bound to entice active players. There are other benefits as well, and the full details can be found here.

  • Mythos Team Becomes Runic
    As we talked about last week and the week before that, the fallout from the Flagship Studios layoffs has continued to reveal a larger picture of a company slowly falling apart. In the latest bit of news, the studio previously known as Flagship Studios Seattle, and the creators of Mythos, have reformed into Runic Games. This new company "intends to continue to use their expertise in the Action-RPG MMO genre to create the best games in this market" and promises announcements about the projects they are working on "in the coming days."

  • Knight Online World Championship
    Knight Online World will be holding a tournament to determine its best player in the world. The Knight Online World Championship will pit players from Knight Online Japan, Knight Online Korea, and the English-speaking Knight Online World servers in a series of ranked matches beginning on August 25. Players can register until August 19 at the Knight Online World website, and the top 20 Nation Point holders from each server will be entered automatically into the tournament. More information on the tournament can be found at the official website.

  •  Power Down

    Another week, another exciting selection of MMO news. What's exciting you this week gentle reader? What would you like to know more about? As ever, feedback is greatly appreciated. Look forward to more interviews, previews, and other in-depth coverage in the coming weeks, and know that I won't stop until our MMO coverage is the best around! Until next week, remember, just because the gnomes don't have a home city doesn't mean you have to let them hang out in Ironforge.

    Justin A. Harwood (mail me)

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