MMO-APB Beta Applications being accepted

14 08 2009

Head on over to the APB site and sign for their beta now. This one looks fun!


MMORPG-AION Closed Beta This Friday

11 08 2009

Aion fans in the closed beta can look forward to the upcoming sixth and final closed beta event for the much anticipated upcoming MMO. For the final closed beta the level limit will remain the same as the previous event, so the level cap will be 30 for both Elyos and Asmodians. To end beta on a high note, NCsoft will be arranging story-driven in-game events. More info on that is coming soon. The final closed beta will start this Friday, August 14 at Noon PT, and will run through Monday.

MMORPG-WOW New Races Rumor!

11 08 2009

The normally reliable has added its weight to rumors that the next World of Warcraft expansion will feature two new playable races.

“Multiple sources close to the situation” confirmed to that Goblins and Worgen would join the Horde and Alliance respectively.

Worgen are WOW’s werewolves, and a seemingly unlikely choice to join the whitebread Alliance. The ubiquitous, currently neutral Goblins mucking in with the Horde seems more feasible.

Rumours began to swirl around the two races a few weeks ago, when they appeared as new Halloween masks – normally reserved for playable races – on a test server update.

The next WOW expansion is likely to be revealed in some form at the BlizzCon fan convention next week. It may be called Cataclysm, following a Blizzard trademark. Many speculate that it will deal with the Maelstrom, a storm in the centre of Warcraft’s world, and have a maritime theme.

In a recent interview with, lead designer Tom Chilton noted that “we don’t feel that we can support the pace of adding a new class with every single expansion” (last expansion Wrath of the Lich King featured the Death Knight class) and said it was “less likely” this time around – making new races are more realistic prospect.

He also noted that any new playable races would have to be well-represented in the game world already, unlike the Burning Crusade’s Draenei who “it was harder for players to get… because they kind of came out of nowhere”. Goblins are everywhere in WOW, and Worgen appeared as enemies in the early levels of the original game as well as being revisited in Lich King.

We’ll almost certainly find out more next week. The opening ceremony of BlizzCon, traditionally home to the big announcements, takes place on Friday 21st in the evening, UK time.

It Seems the Goblin for the Horde side and Worgen (werewolf creature) for the alliance side. Playing a Goblin has been something I think alot of us have wanted to do since the launch of the game. At least this turtle has! Stay tuned for more info.

MMORPG-WOW 3.2 Patch-Call of the Crusade

1 08 2009

After a number of patch 3.2 content previews, nearly a full round of our class Q&A series, and weeks of public testing for this patch, we’d like to provide you with a convenient, comprehensive list of the information we’ve been sharing. Let’s enjoy a walk together down memory lane as we wait to sink our teeth into patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade.

3.2 Under Development
Whether you seek information about the Crusaders’ Coliseum, Isle of Conquest, Argent Tournament updates, or our developers’ take on the future of Battlegrounds, or you want to peek at the new cat and bear looks for druids, search no further than our updated Under Development page.

Call of the Crusade Q&A
Still have questions about the Isle of Conquest or the Crusaders’ Coliseum? Well members of our development staff were kind enough to take some time to answer frequently-asked questions submitted by players on our forums worldwide. Read on.

Class Q&A Series
We’ve just about wrapped up our Class Q&A Series where we answered some of the most common questions asked by the community. We’ve received a great amount of feedback thus far about the Q&As we’ve posted. If you have yet to take a look, you can find answers to a great many questions about death knights, druids, hunters, mages, paladins, shamans, warlocks and warriors. Stay tuned for the priest and rogue Q&As coming next week and, don’t be afraid to head over to our Class and Class Role forums to discuss all of the class information we’ve been sharing.

Glory of the Ulduar Raider
Many players have been asking about whether or not they’ll still have a shot at obtaining the special mounts offered through the normal and Heroic Glory of the Ulduar Raider meta-achievements when patch 3.2 rears its head. We have your answer.

Instance Locks: Pace Yourself
We’re making a change to the way instance locks work to allow players to progress through content at a pace more of their choosing. Read about it here.

Upcoming Emblem System Changes
We’re revamping the emblem system a great deal in patch 3.2 to give players more incentive to continue plunging through the raids and dungeons Wrath of the Lich King has to offer. Read on.

Smells Like… Victory
Patch 3.2 introduces ambitious new means through which players can now gain experience by participating in Battlegrounds. While this is covered in our Q&A, we welcome players to join in on the discussion on our forums here.

Mount System Revised
With World of Warcraft ever-expanding, level 60 just isn’t what it used to be. For this reason we’ve eased the burden of obtaining mounts and are giving players at lower levels a chance for some sweet rides. Read on.

Epic Gems Have Come to Northrend
It’s time to take professions to the next level, beginning with epic gems. Read more about it all here.

New Shaman Totem Bar
Shamans will have a few new tricks up their sleeves when it comes to dropping totems come patch 3.2. Check out the new interface and spell functionality surrounding totems. Read on.

Druids: Cats and Bears, Oh My!
Now that you’ve had a chance to check out the complete overhaul given to cat and bear forms, along with the five different color options available, you’re probably wondering how to go about selecting the set of cat and bear forms that best suits you. Whether you’re a tauren or a night elf, a simple visit to the barber shop will do the trick, and we have a breakdown of color associations here.

PTR Patch 3.2.0 Notes
The testing taking place on our public test realms is invaluable. If you haven’t checked out some of the information being shared on the Test Realm forum, you may want to have a look. We’ve also sent our 3.2.0 PTR patch notes through several revisions. You can review the notes and a summarized history of the changes made to them here.

Boxing-Gatti found Dead!

11 07 2009

I know I dont write a boxing blog but I felt the need to write a few words for one of my heroes.  Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti was found dead in Brazil at the age of 37. Police say it is too early to tell what the cause was. I am heartbroken by the number of deaths of known people lately but this one effects me more than all the others. Gatti was a legend for his one punch knockout power and his uncanny ability to come back from the brink of defeat and pull out a win. He fell to lesser fighters late in his career but by then the many legendary wars had caught up with him. His 3 fights with ‘Irish’ Micky Ward are known as one of the greatest trilogies in the history of Boxing. Gatti had the biggest heart of any fighter I have ever watched. Time after time,fight after fight he laid his whole heart his whole body his whole being on the line and fought with everything he had. He never ever gave up even when fighting foes who obviously outclassed him. Gatti was a humble man who had no idea the effect he had on his fans. Arturo, you were one of the people who showed the world what it was to be a man. You fought like a real man. You won like a real man.You losted like a real man. You inspired, this man. Rest in Peace’ Thunder’ You were loved and you are missed.


MMO-Champions Online Interview

11 07 2009

Ask Cryptic: July 10th, 2009

Posted by Daeke

It’s everyone’s favorite time again! Ask Cryptic is the column where you ask questions, and we answer them! Thanks to Bill Roper, Brian Urbanek, Kate Bankson, John Hopler, Chris Chamberlain, Noah Holmes, and Randy Mosiondz for their help with this column. Want to ask your questions? Check out the next edition’s thread right here!

Do we get to choose the glowy costume options at creation, or is there a level requirement for that? – Shaolinwind

At creation!

Will there be a kind of “danger room” simulation to learn to fight bosses and help build teamwork for players? Like set up certain simulations and run them with your super team. – Cute

We don’t have an area where players can set up specific fights, but we do have a training area called the Power House. When your hero levels up and has a new power slot available, you can go to the Power House to train up. This area has a number of rooms where you can test your new power and try out different combinations of power colors and emanation points in safety. If you decide the new power is not for you, you can easily retcon it and try a new one.

You discussed briefly on Ten Ton Hammer about balancing ranged vs. melee powers in PvP. However, how is the use of travel powers being factored into this? Whatever bonuses are given to the melee player, he/she still has to chase down the ranged player before attacking, which would be extremely difficult if the ranged player was faster, and impossible if he/she used flight or superjump against a melee player whose travel power is strictly horizontal. What, if anything, is being done to preclude this situation? – The_Dark_Lord

It is absolutely possible for a player to generate an extremely powerful melee combatant, and for that player to eschew any ranged power or disabling power and just focus on damage, damage, and more damage with a smattering of resilience. The whole point to a classless system is to let you, the players, make choices, and for all of those choices to be viable and work in general, but to always have consequences.

That being said, we’re going to crazy lengths to make sure that players have every tool we can think of available to them to balance the scales. Lots of power sets have travel power disables, or lunges, or roots, or stuns, or some other mechanism that aids melee characters in dealing with speedy or ranged opponents. Additionally, there’s thrown objects. Hitting a flying guy with a flung park bench or a truck or something tends to disrupt any and all travel powers for a few seconds. Finally, there’s teamwork. If you really want to be melee master we suggest you get some friends who can balance your weaknesses vs. their strengths.

Do missions scale with the level and numbers of Heroes in the group? – Rendel

Most of the persistent world missions have a fixed difficulty, but villains in combat with three or more heroes often send one of their number to get reinforcements and even up the battle. The opposition on many of the instanced maps does scale in number and power to the size of your team.

Reading through the details about the end-game Omega System, this little snippet caught my attention: “Defeating your Nemesis is one thing, but do you have the mettle to fill out your Nemesis Gallery with numerous deadly enemies?” Does this mean we can have more than one primary Nemesis gunning for us? – TheChimpy

Currently, no. That doesn’t mean that your various Nemeses can’t work together at some point in the future however…

Will we be able to retcon/respec our characters back to square one, essentially making retconning as powerful as rerolling? Or will we, instead, be limited in how far back we can retcon changes? – LordVance

“Retcon (or “retroactive continuity”) has a progressive cost based on how far back you want to roll back your character. If you don’t like a power you just bought, it’s relatively easy to retcon. Changing powers that were established earlier on in your character’s history gets more expensive. Of course if we make changes to powers we plan on providing full or partial retcons to characters with those powers.

How much would we be able to see of people, places or things (nouns!) on the maps? Will there be waypoints, markers or some kind of sign or arrow to show us the way? Or will we have to seek and find (great for those who have the time to do so and like to explore in the process, but not everyone has the time or inclination for that sort of thing)? – Captain_Intrepid

We actually have a fairly detailed icon and area waypoint system in the game which we tried to balance between convenience and immersion. Large icons are used to denote landmarks and points of interest. Smaller icons are used to denote important contacts, commonly used services, game functions, etc. Area waypoints are used to designate the general area to investigate for mission objectives.

Will there be an open beta? – DaveNX01

We’ll definitely have an open beta, and we’re planning for it to launch sometime in August. Keep an eye on our website for an exact date once we get a little closer.

Will there be destructible environments? Can I throw someone through a wall and watch the building/wall collapse? Will things like bullets and fireballs leave a mark? – monkeyguy331

There is a mix of destructible and non-destructible environments. There are a number of destructible objects in every environment that you can use to pick up and smash people (the higher your Strength, the more objects are available) or that simply get blown up in the course of a battle between super-powered heroes and villains. We also use a “splat” system when powers are used to leave marks on the ground, scorch marks, etc.

What’s the deal with auras and the like? I’ve seen screenshots of characters “bathed” in fire or surrounded with coloured energy fields – does this mean we can make our heroes look as though they’re made of pure fire, or pure ice, or pure electricity and the like? – Sammu

These are power FX, which can happen several ways. It might be something like fire flight, where your character engulfs themselves in flames to fly around and thwart evil, or it might be that once your energy bar hits max level as an electricity user, your body changes into an entire being of electricity!

In general, Auras only turn on when you’re actually in combat, and automatically turn off when you’ve been out for a few seconds. Additionally, Auras, like almost all our powers, have Master Ranks. Generally at Rank 1, the aura is transparent effect that is mostly visible at the edge of your character (this is called a Fresnel Effect). At higher ranks, the Aura becomes more saturated and full.

Will power descriptions all show clearly the numbers behind them? Or will this data be completely hidden from players when building their characters? – astewart

As a point of policy, we don’t believe in obscuring or obfuscating the numbers that drive our powers. That being said, we need to hide a lot of the depth in our interface, because the actual complexity of what’s going on “under the hood” is absurdly complicated. We’ve tried exposing the totality of the mechanics in the tooltips, and the result was a twisted mass that has broken the sanity and will of our testers and has not once but twice nearly allowed the great old ones to break into our world by riding a stream of shattered minds and hollowed out souls. So, yeah. The best answer we can give is “we’re working on it.”

Will crafted travel powers (hover disk, flying carpet, etc) be actual travel powers or just power replacers (like only Flight characters can use the hover disk)? – Yoshinori

Any crafted items that grant travel abilities will be useable by anyone that own the upgrade. That means that your character doesn’t need to have flight as a core travel power to be able to use an upgrade that has a flight-based travel ability.

Do we have to go to a trainer and level, or can we do this anywhere? – Wild9ride

Characters can go to any of the conveniently located entrances to the Power House. This facility is designed to allow heroes to try out their new-found powers in a test environment loaded with specialized equipment. What this means to players is that they can try out powers before they become an ongoing part of their character. There are stationary and mobile targets, and different levels of offensive weaponry to test defensive powers against.

What’s been the biggest challenge recently concerning development of the game? While it’s good to listen to feedback from beta testers how does Cryptic handle “false positives” concerning (sometimes a large) group of people asking for a change to a mechanic or power? – Wild9ride

The real challenge is to properly correlate the data from different sources into usable data points: beta boards, beta bugs, beta surveys, internal quality assurance testing, generated data logs, etc. Once we identify that there is significant problem with the associated mechanic or power it comes down to reproducing the case in point internally through QA and design team testing, identifying if it is truly a problem or just a symptom of a problem, then addressing it by coming up with various solutions that work within our time budget and available resources.

Will there be any kind of journal that records your super/hero/villain adventures (Number of kills, stories completed etc)? – Fhuzzy

Yes! In Champions we call these Perks, and they are recorded in a special tab of a player’s journal. Perks are records of heroic deeds and accomplishments that a character has done such as defeating a large number of VIPER agents or bringing a Super-Villain, like Talisman, to justice. They’re called Perks because as a result of their heroism, player heroes are awarded benefits including titles and Perk points. Perk points can be spent at a special vendor who sells capes, costume pieces and even some special gear items.

What will be the currency in CO? – Digipass

Resources are available on the local, national, and global level. This currency is an abstract that represents personal wealth, charisma, influence, favors owed, etc. There are also special currencies based around specific factions in the game.

MMO-Runes of Magic: Druid and Warden Classes Revealed!

8 07 2009


Druids take on the function of priests in Elven society. They are the custodians of the knowledge which the Elves have gathered about the forces of nature. By means of this knowledge druids have abilities which resemble those of the mage. Among female druids, those who are most complete in their knowledge of the forces of nature rise up to join the circle of possible wives of the king. Only the queen herself can be appointed as the high priestess.

In order to apply their abilities, druids use the dormant powers within them and use these to build up ‘Nature’s Power’. They can then use this to increase the action of their abilities, or to add effects to them. The amount of ‘Nature’s Power’ that the druid builds up is dependent upon which ability they use. They also have to consider most exactly the sequence in which they use their abilities in order to achieve the best possible effects.

In the use of their power, the druids can choose whether or not they wish to concentrate on supporting and healing their allies, or on directing the devastating force of nature at their enemy. And so in the course of their life-long education, they decide whether they wish to dedicate their powers more strongly toward healing and supportive functions, or more towards the destructive. Whereas the healing powers of the druids often achieve rapid effects, the damage that they can cause works over a longer period. As in nature the druid’s power unfolds slowly but enduringly.


The Wardens serve as guardians of nature. In times of peace it is their responsibility to ensure that the rules are abided to which in turn preserve the forests of Taborea, the Elves’ natural habitat. Over time the wardens have learned to communicate with the plants in their surroundings and have entered into a kind of symbiosis with them. While they protect the plants and teach them how to specialise, the plants make their powers and abilities available to them. The intimate relationship with nature allows the wardens to summon nature spirits, which then accompany them on their way through the forests and protect them in combat. In the course of their lives wardens receive different companions, their appearance and abilities are dependent on the warden’s experience and competence.

The wardens have a further duty upon them which is to defend the Elven folk from any danger which may threaten them. For this reason every warden passes through an excellent schooling in the use of various close combat weapons. In addition, wardens also have powers which strengthen both them and their comrades-in-arms and form a useful support in combined battles.

It is not uncommon that the tide of combat has been turned to the Elves’ advantage by the wardens and when in large numbers, there’s been barely an enemy which has not been put to flight as a consequence of the combat skill of the wardens and the natural force of their companions.