Hail and well met, half-orcs and hobgoblins! Let’s open the door on last week’s MMO news and see how many skeletons fall out.
“Golden Guardian” Blizzard is really gunning its World of Warcaft engines as it ramps up for BlizzCon (Oct. 21-22.) Mega-Patch 4.3 is being whipped into shape on Public Test Realms and when it’s ready for release, players will finally have the chance to destroy Cataclysmic villain Deathwing.
Blizzard is also set to offer up an in-game Guardian Cub pet for sale that doesn’t bind-on-pick-up for purchasers and can be put up for sale in the WoW Auction House. Yes, Blizzard is allowing for the exchange of real world money for in-game gold in a roundabout way. The company will finally get a cut of the virtual gold exchange market for themselves. Smart move or the beginning of a real cataclysm? I can’t decide. Blizz says “We’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services.”
Blizzard is also auctioning off old, retired HP WoW servers with 100% of the proceeds after auction expenses being donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Now, that’s a transaction I can firmly support without sweating the details. Lastly, Blizz says it won’t unveil the in-development “Titan” MMO at BlizzCon but the company may still reveal the next WoW expansion just in time to steal some thunder from the launch of SWTOR. We’ll know soon enough.
“Global Strike” EA is out in “Force” (yeah, yeah) at New York Comic-Con this weekend showing off Star Wars: The Old Republic. For the last North American convention of 2011, BioWare Austin announced a “Global” release date for all launch territories of December 20th (no more two-day delay for the EU.) Additionally, it was revealed that a total of 15 Flashpoints (major dungeons) will be in the game at launch and that making “severe” Darkside or Lightside choices will alter the appearance of player characters. If players are consistently evil enough perhaps they might end up looking as pale, hideous, and twisted as the Emperor. Yes, please!
“’Quest voted ‘Best’” Withered and ancient (12-year-old) MMO, EverQuest, has been inducted into the Game Developers Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame. SOE’s fantasy classic is the second inductee (joining Ultima Online) and has been recognized “for its contribution to the long-term advancement of online gaming, pioneering major shifts in the medium's development and video games as a whole.” EQ is also credited with “introducing the concepts of guilds and raiding within an online world.” Yep, you have them to love/blame.
“Free Fallen” The free-to-play conversion for post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth is complete and live on servers as of last Wednesday. Players ready to rumble in the radioactive Grand Canyon wastes of 2156 can download the game from GamersFirst and get right to crafting 95% of the usable items in the game and capturing towns and territories. Rest assured, you can hit the game Marketplace and spend real world money on “Chupacabra Perfume” if you so desire.
“Laying down the L.A.W” Speaking of post-apocalyptic persistence, Nitrozen has unveiled their upcoming title, L.A.W. (Living After War). A peek at the teaser site says the game will let players “Command and take direct control over ground and airborne units to battle your enemies for rare resources.” The game’s launch is planned for Q1 2012 and Closed Beta applications are being accepted. I guess we’ll call this one a PARTS (Post-Apocalyptic Real-Time-Strategy) MMO.
“Prime time” Extremely successful UK dev house, Jagex, makers of Runscape, has begun showing off its upcoming Transformers Universe MMO. Details are still a bit thin but the game will be set in the Transformers Prime universe, be F2P, and run in a browser with only a small client download required. You can spy a teaser trailer at the official site and prime yourself for the planned 2012 release.
“II good to be true?” It looks like NCsoft’s eight-year-old MMO, Lineage II, is next in line to join the free-to-play crowd. A “hybrid” business model has been promised for the near future (much like NCsoft’s City of Heroes.). All this month LII is holding an “October Bonanza” with rewards available for “loyal” subscribers and Halloween events planned. The “largest ever” LII update, “Goddess of Destruction,” is also imminent and will bring an increased level cap of 99, new classes and 60 new raid bosses. Bloody good!
OK, you angry dwarven drunkards, that’s going to wrap up another week in MMO news. Have a funshine day and keep it logged in.
David Moore co-runs torwars.com, a site focused on all things Star Wars: The Old Republic, and has run the site gamebunny.com for the past ten years.
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