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Shadowbane Reset I Fan Faire Details to Be Decided by Fans
Lila to Dream in Late 2008 I Pirates Released to Typical Reviews
O RLY? YA RLY! I Media Grotto

MMORPGAMER
Issue #103 Dreams of Pirate Shadows
January 31, 2008

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Welcome to MMORPGamer.

The wintry weather outside has me cuddled close to the pets, blankets, and MMORPGs. While my Gnome mage is able to start his own fires, I'm afraid nothing real around me is quite as warm. Hopefully, all this news will be able to keep everyone warm. In the meantime, it's time for me to order pizza.


  Shadowbane Reset

Shadowbane

The devs behind Shadowbane have decided to purge everyone and everything from the world. With no Noah or ark, players will log in after Patch 22 with none of their former characters or items.

The community has mixed opinions on the decision, but the devs are certain that it's the best step to rebalance the game. The official statement says that the patch will combine a "fragmented" community, remove certain items that have broken the balance of the game, and allow them to implement changes to the game on a clean reboot rather than changes to existing data.

As I said before, the community is up and down on the forums. Those that will stick with the game and have been with the game the longest seem to see the reasoning behind the reset. These core players will likely stay, while the complaining players look to be on the out.

Good luck to Shadowbane. It's been out for a while. Certain games pick up a great following that is as dedicated as anyone working on it. This is one such game. I don't foresee the game tanking because of this, but anything can happen.

[Thanks to Ross Bemrose for the tip.]


  Fan Faire Details to Be Decided by Fans

Sony Online Entertainment has recently posted on its forums that the fans will be able to decide where Fan Faire 2008 will be held and for what price. Voting takes place here.

Las Vegas seems to be leading with a $115 per night price tag. If you don't like the idea of being caught in the desert on September 4-7, make sure to sign in. The complete list stands like this at time of posting:

  • June 19 - 22 : Orlando : $149 per night : 20% [271 votes]
  • June 26 - 29 : San Diego : $125 per night : 18% [240]
  • September 4 - 7 : Las Vegas : $115 per night : 47% [620]
  • June 26 - 29 : Orlando : $149 per night : 15% [201]

    I love this idea. Why shouldn't the massive community of an MMO be able to decide democratically where the biggest event of their game's year will be held? Though hopes are slim for the three June options, latecomers can always swing the vote.


  •   Lila to Dream in Late 2008

    Lila Dreams, an upcoming indie MMORPG, is set inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl. Complete with mood changes, the world exists between her ears and characters will play on gray matter. Though the interior is most likely not going to be biologically correct, this MMO catches the eye because it's different.

    The game is still in early production with a beta coming in a few months. The devs say on the production blog that the game will feature two unique aspects in its "juicy, 2d platforming combat with RPG-like mechanics" and in gardening. The former sounds like something we've all heard before in shooters and other action titles like Devil May Cry, which features character stats or some other RPG staple with little else but the other genre's gameplay. The latter makes the game sound like a Harvest Moon set in a little girl's mind.

    However, the art direction is unique compared to current MMOs and the vision sounds remarkable, possessing warring factions tied to Lila's moods and plants that are "not just plants." I'm not exactly sure how the both will be implemented, but I'm hopeful to see how this turns out.


      Pirates Released to Typical Reviews

    Pirates of the Burning Sea

    With such a large and loud community, MMORPGs are often both hit and miss when first released. Pirates of the Burning Sea is no exception.

    Released on January 22nd, the overall consensus in the online community is that it's good, but the learning curve is horribly steep. The tutorials are not nearly involved enough, and the interface for anything but ship battles is difficult to deal with. The ship battles save the game, though, offering a fun time after a fair amount of learning.

    Only time will tell how this game does. The current trend for MMOs has been that most games don't play as the devs intended until months after the release, like Tabula Rasa, which had many errors on release that ended up being patched out shortly thereafter.


      O RLY? YA RLY!
    10 Million for WoW?

    World of Warcraft

    According to Blizzard, World of Warcraft has reached 10 million subscribers worldwide. Just when I was thinking of WoW reaching saturation, Blizzard jumps out with this press release.

    This amount of players is tremendous compared to the many other MMOs that could use some love. Food for thought: The population of Azeroth rivals the population of Moscow and Shanghai, and beats a ton of the most populous cities of the world. WoW would stand as the fifth, beating Seoul in ranking. Wow.


      Media Grotto
    Dreamy Concept Art

    The Lila Dreams blog features the following concept images to excite future players. Check out the funky art direction. That's the best and only word to describe it, especially compared to current popular MMOs.


      Letters

    Brazilian Response

    Hello, Jake. As a Brazilian citizen, I would like to share a small amount of information about one of the stories presented in the last MMORPGamer section. The court decision that defined EverQuest and Counter-Strike as improper retail products does not extend to the entire country; it is restricted to two states, out of twenty-six. The products have been removed from store shelves, but the ban does not reach software installed upon computers. In other words, it determines forbiddance of their sales, but the copies already present in computers are theoretically free of its effect. This was not being respected as of late by organs responsible for their removal, who requested them to be uninstalled from computers in cyber cafes and the sort, and that will surely lead to more legal goodness. Unfortunately, a witch-hunt is not entirely out of the question.

    I will not go into the merit of discussing the actual resolution, but I seriously doubt killing whatever fantasy monsters there are in EverQuest has affected anyone's mental health, much less constituted an "attack against the democratic state". Besides, one would think our courts would be more up-to-date with the newest gaming generation, but their representatives seem to be too busy living in the past millennium to consider issuing a ban against Manhunt, just to mention the current trend in the European law system. Discussing the uselessness of such legal conclusions is likely to be trite to most readers, considering you Americans have far more experience in that regard (think Thompson). I just thought clearing that up would be informative for you and anyone reading this column. Keep up the good work. Athos

    Jake

    Thanks so much for writing in, Athos. I'm glad to hear that the ban isn't across the entire country or against software already installed on computers. The idea of a witch hunt is scary, especially against a game that's not nearly as violent as some.

    Yeah, Americans are more than experienced with vacant leaders when it comes to video games and other entertainment forms. Thanks for clearing this up and sending in the letter.



     Log Out

    The pizza has arrived. It's time for me to go. Thanks to Athos for writing in, and I hope that you've all enjoyed this slice of the latest MMO news.

    Stay warm,
    Jake Miller (mail me)


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