Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 23 (week 14, 2011) - News - Network News Posted by: Danny on 04-12-2011 @ 05:56
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Here it is the 23rd version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more - some of this has been included below including lots of trailers and videos. This week includes a few big modifications including two Stargate ones, as well as modifications for Company of Heros and the Commodore 64 (well its a PC - saying that though I wonder if someone would make an Atari ST version! - Danny)
Also of course there is the news from the Network Sites not as much as the main site but still just as important! Lots more news can be found from Gamefront News - Here
We would love to hear any suggestions that you have; if you see something that you would like to be added to the Weekly Network Update, or you have any suggestions that you think may improve the Network Update then simply drop me an email at Danny[at]filefront[dot]com (please put "Network Update" as the subject though ).
Also If you like the Network Update please feel free write a comment as I would love to hear any critism, or support (constructive though please as this is the only way that I know how good or bad the insider is and it would help me to improve this further).
G A M E F R O N T N E W S
Gamefront News: The Commodore 64 is Coming Back
Remember the Commodore 64? First released in early 1982, the C64 was an 8-bit home computer that featured 64kb of memory and sounds and graphics that surpassed the IBM-PCs of the day. (Full disclosure: I had one.) Just when you thought the C64 was a relic of the past, it’s coming back.
Over on the official Commodore site, you can order yours. The basic model has some decent specs, sporting all of these goodies:
Cherry brand key switches
mini-ITX PC motherboard
1.8ghz dual-core Intel Atom D525 CPU
Nvidia Ion2 graphics chipset w/ Dedicated DDR3 512MB graphics memory onboard
2GB of DDR3 memory (available upgrade to 4GB)
PureVideo™ Full 1080p HD video and Blu-ray playback
2 Internal SATA2 3.0Gb/s port with RAID 0, 1, JBOD
Realtek ALC662 6-CH HD Audio and Nvidia L-PCM digital audio (HDMI 1.3) can support 7.1 output with external decoder
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating system included on disk
Funcom has released a rather cryptic Age of Conan trailer showcasing the latest content update added to this fantasy MMORPG. Refuge of the Apostate is the first of three new solo experiences coming up over the next few updates that will add in some new options that players can tackle alone.
The Refuge of the Apostate is a new level 80 solo instance that can be found in Kara Korum. The villain? Tian-Bai, an illusionist that has built something of a labyrinth in the refuge. Part of the challenge revolves around the wicked maze itself that Tian-Bai has carved out amongst the stone soldiers that he intends to animate and command. Players will have to keep their wits about them as they try to negotiate their way through this twisted and mind-bending labyrinth.
Playable once per day, the dungeon offers some new items, esteem tokens, and up to a dozen Marks of Acclaim, and the final boss rewards players with a Rare trophy each time he is defeated… and there is a small bonus chance of a second Trophy.
IKA players better clear up their schedules, because five major events will take place during the month of April, and premium-items will be available at the in-game mall. Students, be ready to fail your upcoming exams.
April Fools’ Day? How about April Fools’ Month? In this event that lasts throughout April, GMs will summon mysterious monsters in various locations, and it’s up to Elters to reveal the truth of the GM’s tricks. Discover and fight against these monsters to earn special prizes and rewards.
The Alchemist Challenge
This weekly challenge, running from April 4th to 30th, requires participants to enchant their level 16+ weapons to +9. The first to achieve these upgrades within the event period will be rewarded with any one of the Burning Forest accessories or 10 Gold coins.
To join this race, players must create a new character with the first name “ASB”, reach level 10, and become listed to a nation. The race will start in Regenshein and end in Parote’s Stone Coffin (Cave of Altar) in Lump of Ashwood. During the race, monsters will be summoned to slow Elters, and players must decide whether to fight or run and hope to make it to the finish line alive. The first three Elters to reach the goal line will win special prizes.
Warning: Here there be spoilers. Skip this review and head back to the Back to the Future Episode 1 review if you haven’t played any BttF yet (go download the first episode, which is now free). I’ll try to keep the story spoilers to a minimum for those up to speed.
It’s the middle of the Back to the Future: The Game season. Last time, in Episode 2, Marty and Doc Brown repaired the damage to the timeline that threatened to cause Marty to cease to exist — but as Marty and Doc headed back to 1986, things didn’t go exactly according to plan.
Needless to say, the story is still on-going, so this second return to 1986 from the past has left the timeline altered — again. Doc’s missing, Marty’s alone and Hill Valley has been fundamentally altered. The whole city has a wall around it, and is run by some kind of alternate Doc known as First Citizen Brown.
Finishing Back to the Future’s second episode, which has been my favorite of the series so far, I was extremely excited for the possibilities of Episode 3 (titled “Citizen Brown”). The preview suggested a deviant 1984-like 1986 as a police state created by the twisting of the good intentions and inventions of Doc Brown — but the result is far less cool.
The other day, Ron speculated about a “major confrontation” between Battlefield 3 and this year’s Call of Duty after rumors broke that BF3 would hit November 2, which comes a week before the increasingly traditional Call of Duty release window. It turns out Ron was right on the money, and EA boss John Riccitiello warn’t afeard to say it at his Ad Age Digital Conference keynote this week. First, he does confirm that it’s coming in November (without giving a specific date), and then he says this:
This game is designed to take that game [Call of Duty] down. If you’re looking for a battle of titans, a Red Sox vs. Yankees, if you’re trying to understand whether it’s Microsoft or Google, and what the tip-off point is for this holiday season: this is it. There’ll be a couple hundred million dollars of marketing against the two products going head to head, with similar designs. We think we’ve got the better product. It’s gonna be a blast.
After weeks of beta-testing, Blizzard has officially released three StarCraft 2 mods, available in-game through battle.net. Though distinct in gameplay, they all share on thing in common: they are parodies of other companies’ intellectual property.
Ah, the protoss homeworld of Aiur. It just hasn’t been the same since it was reduced to a smoking ball of ash and corpses. Fortunately, the planet’s culture lives on: through its cuisine. Supporting up to eight players, Aiur Chef sends culinary enthusiasts on scavenger hunts for ingredients to complete recipes in round-based challenges. Mixing inventory management, tactical ability deployment, and raw speed, this mod blends skill and strategy into a tasty stew of psionic fun.
StarCraft meets Bejeweled: players match jewels to generate resources–and spend them to attack with StarCraft II units, countering enemy forces and destroying their base. Supporting solo vs. A.I., co-op vs A.I., and player vs. player, this mod, for up to four players, improves upon the well-known Bejeweled game by introducing StarCraft elements. StarCraft makes every game 200% more betterer.
Left 2 Die
A cooperative mod that pits players against waves of zerg infested, Left 2 Die is akin to a multiplayer version of the Outbreak mission from the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign. During the night, players must protect their bases against infested terran hordes, including “special” infested like the kaboomer–sound familiar, Left 4 Dead players? During the day, players take the offensive to eradicate infested settlements and win the game.
The four-week period between April 19 and May 17 was looking pretty weird on the calendar, because not a single major release was hitting shelves in that period (I don’t think Virtua Tennis 4 counts, maybe). I say “was,” because that’s changed now; Bethesda has bumped up Brink from a May 17 release, when it would go up against LA Noire and The Witcher 2, to May 10. Not a bad plan, since those games are single-player affairs and Brink decidedly is not.
But by moving it up to May 10, Brink will have an entire week to itself. It’s too bad they couldn’t push it all the way up to May 3 to fill the void left by Duke Nukem Forever; that’d have been very profitable, I’m sure.
Either way, now you don’t have to make a choice between quality online action and quality offline action. How thoughtful of Bethesda.
Black Ops is getting a new map pack, and it’s called Escalation (interesting philosophical assertion), and it’s coming exclusively (for a few weeks, at least) to Xbox Live on May 3. This bitch will contain four new competitive maps and a single new zombies map, just like First Strike.
Of course, none of this is news, since the announcement is just confirmation of last week’s leak. Yay! We weren’t wrong! Anyway, I’m stupid; this must be why Bethesda moved Brink up to May 10 instead of May 3.
C&C: ShockWave is an enhancement mod for C&C Generals: Zero Hour with both single- and multiplayer support.
The authors intended to make Zero Hour a more interesting game with greater diversity between the generals, more strategic freedom and more meaningful options for players–all while keeping the spirit and design direction of the original Generals game and storyline.
- 3 new Generals
- Over 100 new units
- New structures, upgrades, and maps
- Gameplay tweaks
- Custom sound effects and music
- New in-game weapon effects and visuals
- Bug fixes
- Improved battlefield overview with a higher viewpoint
The authors plan to continue developing this mod, intending to create challenge maps for the three new generals, as well as voices, taunts, and personalities.
Europe at War is a realism mod for Company of Heroes that adds a variety of new abilities, units, vehicles and weapons. This mod allows players to battle across Europe, from the beaches of Normandy to the Dutch Tulip fields.
Weapon damage has been adjusted to be more realistic, the quality of tanks is more important than quantity, and large-scale bombings with tens of Halifax heavy bombers soaring through the air are now possible.
This mod is compatible with the single-player campaigns, including the CoH: Joint operations cooperative missions, and is also playable in online multiplayer, featuring a 2vs2 map representing Omaha beach during D-Day.
In development for three years, Eastern Front is a mod for Company of Heroes that adds a full Soviet faction packed with unique and exciting units to the existing armies.
The authors plan to introduce new campaigns, new reward units, further game mechanics and an overall better experience, as well as the rugged Ostheer–a unique new Axis faction who will be designed from the ground up to counter the Soviets.
These are the new Russian units and upgrades that Eastern Front offers:
- Command Squad
- Red Guard
- Sharpshooter Team
- PTRD Tank Hunter Team
- Heavy Mortar Unit
- ZIS-2 Unit
- ML-20 Firebase
Back in 1996, Remedy Entertainment hit the game development scene with Death Rally, a top-down PC racer with guns. It was a good time, and Remedy went on to do more cool things because of its success: namely, Max Payne.
It has been 15 years, and Remedy has returned missile launchers to the sides of Death Rally cars, only this time, it’s on a different platform. The company has re-relased Death Rally on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, with updated graphics that support the former’s Retina display, touch controls, and support from Apple’s online Game Center network. The whole experience is solid and a lot of fun, although on the whole, Death Rally gets a little bit repetitive after about 10 minutes.
Controls in Death Rally are beautifully simple. You pick your car at the outset — starting with a quick but thinly armored offering — then choose a race, all of which have an outlined difficulty. Then you’re racing; Death Rally’s events all load ludicrously quickly, kicking you into a six-racer event within seconds.
If there is one thing that keeps the world (and us gamers) going round-n-round it is boobies. Appeartly Duke is affected by this as well and is “Bringing sexy back.” This video shows off some of the hot pussy cats you can encounter in Duke Nukem Forever.
There’s no denying that Angry Birds is a huge success. Just look at how many talk show hosts like to drop references to the game in order to appear trendy and reflective of the cultural zeitgeist. The news that it recently became the biggest selling game on the PlayStation Network, despite being the most expensive version of a title available on almost every modern phone worldwide, solidifies the fact that Angry Birds is a cultural phenomenon. enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike.
Naturally, this means it sucks, right?
Angry Birds backlash has swept the gamer community like a tidal wave. You can get a decent example of some of the hatred (with, admittedly, some spirited defense of the game) in the comment section of this Destructoid article on the PSN sales. As you can see, while some people attempt to present genuine criticism of the game, there are yet more who simply respond with blind, unjustified hatred. I’m willing to bet that a lot of people don’t even know why they hate Angry Birds, as evidenced by the sheer lack of thought that’s gone into some of the posts slamming it. The message seems to be that it is popular and it is not like a “normal” videogame, therefore something is wrong with it. As one commenter put it, the success of Angry Birds is enough to make one “lost faith” in humanity. Yes, Angry Birds is humanity’s lowest ebb.
Trading commodities while sneaking past hostile forces, racing the best pilots in the area, mining for diamonds, negotiating for survival, spying for a curious energy company, cleaning dirty solar arrays, transporting an impatient passenger… and that’s just on a Monday. The life of an independent mercenary is rarely without excitement. At times, you may choose to work under contract, while at others, you may want to take matters into your own hands in a quest to build your reputation and fortune. Your spacecraft awaits. Your adventure begins in the Sapphire solar system.
In Evochron Mercenary, you are free to seek your fortune as an independent mercenary in an adventure directed by your choices, abilities, and accomplishments. Each player can bring their unique skills and interests to the game, forming clans for cooperative goals or remaining solo to complete objectives on their own in true freeform space-sim gameplay.
At yesterday’s MI6 game marketing conference in San Francisco, EA Sports president Peter Moore revealed what’s coming soon from EA Sports: persistent gamer profiles.
Moore said that EA hopes to have EA Sports titles in the future become, “connected experiences that recognize users and reward them for playing multiple games.”
This is something that EA has done a little bit of in the past, as many of the 2004 versions of their sports games recognized if you were playing other EA Sports titles and unlocked tidbits if you were. Unlike this past implementation, what Moore’s discussing sounds like it would carry from year to year and game to game. Explaining on, he said,
We recognize [players] — that’s the persistence — and their presence there gets its achievements and carries them from iteration to iteration. It’s no longer ‘buy Madden 11 and then buy Madden 12 and start from scratch,’ it is ‘take everything that you’ve done and migrate it and move it along.
This is of particular interest to the artistically inclined–especially those into 3D modeling. Watch character artist Christopher Atkins create the model for Lord Yelinak, a dragon boss NPC for Destiny of Velious, EverQuest II’s latest expansion, in this time-lapse video that condenses six days of work into a seven-minute video.
The project started with a request from one of EverQuest II’s game designers for an elderly dragon. He and Christopher Atkins then collaborated on defining what animations and actions would be required. From there, they had to decide to either create a new skeleton with new animations, or use an existing skeleton and then add new animations to it as needed. In this case they built on an existing skeleton which helped define the general shape of the creature. The team started with a few concept sketches, eventually settling on an approved concept and starting the modeling process.
On April 1, the Xperia Play, Sony Ericsson’s Playstation Phone, launched in 11 countries — including the UK, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden and Austria.
Not on that list is the U.S., but despite not arriving in our market until “spring” sometime, Gameloft is already reporting that the Play is one of the top Android devices on which people are playing its games.
Gameloft entered into a deal with Sony before the Play’s launch to supply it with games, including a few that come preloaded on the machine, and since then, Gameloft has been releasing titles for Google’s Android operating system that start out as exclusives on the Play. After about a month, they get opened up to the general Android-owning population.
Even in 11 countries for a little more than a week and despite not having launched in the U.S. yet, Gameloft is seeing really strong sales on the Play, it seems. It also seems to suggest that the Play has been selling pretty well, even though supplies are limited because of the recent natural disasters in Japan.
One of those things happened where a game developer released a bunch of juicy info about a game exclusively to one outlet. This outlet in question is Game Informer, and the game in question is Mass Effect 3. This is by far the biggest amount of information released about the game at one time to date, and I doubt there’s going to be another info haul this large until the game comes out, so beware of spoilers. I’ll start off with gameplay stuff and then unleash some massive spoiler tags so you’ll know when to stop reading if you’re sensitive to this kind of stuff. If you are, know that this Mass Effect nerd thinks some of this info sounds promising, and some of it isn’t so promising. Either way, I’m having a hard time getting excited about this stuff because I ordered a badass new TV on Thursday and can’t focus on real-world-ish things. But without further ado…
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of just-won’t-die franchise Resident Evil, Capcom has rolled out a little online gift store with things like a smokin’ hot foot-tall Ada Wong figure, t-shirts, a pair of massive soundtrack box sets and even replica items like STARS fingerless gloves and and airsoft version of Chris Redfield’s pistol.
Say whaaaaaaaaa- You can have it for less than 22,000 yen, and it’ll give your drunken dorm airsoft battles a whole hell of a lot more gravitas. This’d also be a great companion on your shelf to the Stacking dolls.
Seeing as this is, in fact, a year, Ubisoft has plans to bring something new with the Assassin’s Creed logo to market.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told MCV that there will ”something interesting around the Assassin’s brand” this year, although he didn’t elaborate as to what exactly it would be. The last time we had an Assassin’s Creed go-round on the major consoles, it was Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, which functioned as a sort of Assassin’s Creed 2.5.
Guillemot said in the same interview that Ubisoft is now the No. 3 video game company in the world, and it’s working to over take EA and Activision. Probably by releasing more Assassin’s Creed games until there’s no more shelf-space for anyone else’s titles.
Precursor has hit the modding scene with a splash, bringing with it the professionalism and polish of an indie game release. With quality voice acting and its own soundtrack, it’s no surprise that this mod is quickly becoming a fan favorite amongst Half-Life 2: Episode 2 players.
Re-enter the Half Life Universe and revisit City 17 in the time before Freeman, in this fan made single-player mod. The Resistance is threatened by a decisive Combine assault, and as a wanted Resistance member you will need to fight to escape from the Combine’s clutch. At the same time, a mysterious force is working towards ends unknown…
Here’s the trailer. Note the wicked physics at 0:42.
In inFAMOUS 2, Cole travels South to New Marais to trace a path to the man behind the Ray Sphere technology, Dr. Sebastian Wolfe. Zeke returns to the adventure riding shotgun, they set off to find the key to the next step in Cole’s evolution and a new level of power– powers that will be necessary if Cole hopes to survive the upcoming battle.
When Cole and Zeke eventually track down Dr. Wolfe, he explains that over years of experimenting, he had isolated the specific type of energy responsible for all genetic mutations. Dr. Wolfe’s technology—like the Ray Sphere—was all created to concentrate and manipulate this energy. To most people a dose of this mutative energy is fatal—but for a small fraction, the energy unlocks their untapped potential. These rare individuals are called Conduits, and of course Cole is one of them.
I haven’t played LA Noire at all yet, and it’s already annoying me. It’s one thing for a game to have an extra outfit or shotgun as a store-specific pre-order incentive, and it another, far more horrible thing entirely to have actual game missions be available to people who buy the game at one store or another. LA Noire does this, and it makes me angry. However: like Red Dead Redemptions bonuses, these will be available for everyone to purchase some time after launch day.
How long after is the question. With Red Dead, one particular pack of pre-order items (Deadly Assassin outfit, War Horse and Gold Guns pack) is going to be available for download next week for the first time by people whose copies didn’t come with a download code. At the end of Rockstar’s announcement about that content becoming available was this note about LA Noire bonuses:
Apologies to everyone for having to wait so long to get these available as DLC as there were some unanticipated technical delays – for those of you inquiring about the expected availability of the L.A. Noire preorder bonuses as DLC after game release, those should become available as DLC much, much sooner.
The Hollywood Reporter has a pretty great interview with Rockstar co-head man Dan Houser about LA Noire‘s out-of-left-field selection to the Tribeca Film Festival; he talks at length about the cinematic game, but I won’t be a total content thief by running through the whole thing. Instead, I’ve chosen a thesis (Why There Are No Actual Movies Based on Rockstar’s Games) and will highlight that portion of the interview, and if you want more you can just head over to THR. So, yeah, here’s Houser’s very respectable and logical answer to the question of why nobody’s made a movie out of a Rockstar property.
We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie. We love movies, but we also love games and that is what we remain focused on. If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms. But doing that takes time, and making games properly takes a lot of time. So, we may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet.
After almost a year of fierce competition, Riot Games is happy to announce that the Season One of League of Legends will have its grand finale during Dreamhack Summer 2011 in June, with a $100,000 cash prize for the winning team.
What is Dreamhack?
DreamHack is the world’s largest digital festival, holding the official record as the world’s largest LAN party in the Guinness Book of Records. DreamHack Summer is a four-day, 24/7, all-ages event focusing on gaming, communication, programming, design, music creation and performance, and more. DreamHack is a recognized eSports destination, with an extensive schedule of tournaments for gamers of all skill levels – from casual to professional – and noteworthy cash prizes for winners.
Third Age – Total War is a total conversion modification for Medieval II: Total War – Kingdoms Expansion that brings you into the world of Middle-earth. The Production has been going since March 2008 and the mod is still well under development.
This mod has been a huge success, boasting over a million downloads, and has piqued my interest enough that I’ll be getting my hands on Medieval II: Total War – Kingdoms just to play this mod.
- Play epic and strategically demanding battles with the armies of Middle-earth and their respective heroes
- An extensive playable campaign map of Middle Earth featuring locations taken straight from Middle Earth Lore
- 14 unique factions, including Gondor, Rohan, High and Silvan elves, Dwarves, Eriador, Dale, Arnor, Isengard, Mordor, Rhun, Harad, the Orcs of Gundabad and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains
- Improved AI, new sounds, music, movies, custom artwork, and more
You may have been too busy playing Minecraft to notice, but Minecraft is still in beta. Although people have been playing the game for years already — and we have plenty of crazy stories — Minecraft has never actually been “released” in the traditional sense. It’s spiritual siblings with Playstation Home in that sense. Markus Persson and co. had a meeting and decided to give the game a “release date,” and it appears as if they made a purely aesthetic choice: 11/11/11. Blog:
It’s a bit tricky to really do a release for Minecraft as we keep updating it all the time. For one, the version we deem as the “full version” won’t be very different at all from what the game was like a week ago, and we’ll keep adding features after the release as well, so it’s really more of a milestone when we finally get rid of the Beta label, and some kind of goal for us to work towards. The plan is to be open with this and try to get people to cheer us on as much as possible, but to be open with the fact that the game won’t change much at the actual release day. (It’s more a progress up until that point)
Kinect is setting records all over the place, apparently, and being recognized as the fastest-selling electronic device ever in most parts of the world. But there’s one place it isn’t catch on: Japan.
Microsoft and the Xbox haven’t gained much ground in the Japan, and it shows in the sales of Kinect — Japanese gamers have picked up about 90,000 Kinect units, while the Playstation Move has sold nearly double the units with about 170,000.
Everywhere else, though, it appears that Kinect is doing pretty well. Meanwhile, Sony refuses to release figures on the sales of the Move. Draw from that what conclusions you will.
Hey, remember that Deadliest Warrior game on PSN and Xbox Live? I assume some of you do, since it sold 400,000 copies. Those sales numbers were good enough that MTV has set up a new games studio to make another one, along with more games based on Spike TV properties — and Comedy Central properties as well. The new studio, 345 Games, already has in the pipeline Deadliest Warrior: Legends and Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon, which I guess is based on a Comedy Central show — I’m not too hip to TV because I only watch sports, Community and whatever shows are on AMC.
The new Deadliest Warriors game will be like the old Deadliest Warriors game (fighting game), and the Ugly Americans game will be a co-op side-scrolling shooter featuring talent from the show. Both will be 800 MS points/$10 when they become available later this year.
This trend of racing games being so customizable that you can have an arcade and/or simulation experience in the same game is absurd and brilliant. Folks will probably remember it best for allowing any random asshole to enjoy Gran Turismo 5, but this feature is at its best in a game like NASCAR 2011: The Game. The people who played GT5 are the same people who played all the other Gran Turismo games, and even though GT5 was different from its predecessors in this very important aspect, nobody cared because they all thought they already knew exactly what kind of game it was.
Not so with NASCAR 2011. It’s been almost three years since we last had a NASCAR video game, and so the target purchaser demo has refreshed itself from whatever it was before 2008 to anyone who has a modern game console and likes NASCAR, which is a lot of people running the full gamut of racing game skill. The beauty of NASCAR 2011 is not just that it’s an awesome game — which it is — but also that anyone in that target demo can pick it up and have a good time with it. Know that you’ll need a good racing wheel if you wanna go all out simulation, unless you have an improbably steady hand.
Though I’ve already called this game “awesome,” that qualification does come with a few caveats. While the core of the game does provide an excellent experience, there are cracks around the edges, most notably with driver AI. Mostly, it feels like everybody is on rails, not unlike in GT5, while you’re the anomaly, doing your own thing. The biggest effect you’re going to have on the other drivers is, if you screw up without causing a pileup, slowing down some folks enough so that one pack of cars gets a second or two ahead of the rest. That situation is easily rectified, though, by doing something hilarious/stupid to get a restart on the caution.
There are two types of MMORPG players: those who immerse themselves in the world’s lore, devouring every word an NPC says, and those who frantically click past everything.
If you fall into the latter category, look away, now. Oh, who am I kidding; you aren’t reading this, anyway.
Trion Worlds has released a delicious lore nugget for their popular MMO Rift, in the form of a flash fiction story. Take heed and bear witness to the military prowess and indefatigable determination of Commander Frederic Kain as he foils a Defiant ambush on a caravan carrying a dark secret–a secret that may spell Kain’s undoing.
This is what I have for you
“VENGEANCE! VENGEANCE FOR KEENBLADE MILL!” shouted Kaspar Massi as his raiding party fell upon the Guardian caravan.
The sixty handpicked fighters charged with weapons held high, Kelari and Bahmi copying the ululating cry of their nomadic Eth cohorts. Massi himself came from nomad stock and howled long and loud as his scimitar ended a caravan guard’s attempt to call a rally.
As a long-time Stargate fan, the cancellation of the latest series to bear the name has left me concerned about the franchise’s future–or lack thereof. But the recent rise in popularity of Stargate mods has me hopeful that the franchise will at least live on in the hearts of its fans.
Stargate: War Begins is a total conversion for the tactical fleet simulator Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. The creators intend to recreate the feeling of the hit Sci-fi TV shows Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Their goal is to implement all of the ships seen in the series and the original Stargate movie, and to release a full single player campaign, with configurable ships and all the opportunities Nexus can provide.
This cinematography in the trailer manages to make this 7-year-old game look spectacular:
Due to continuing complications in the development of the NGP as a result of the recent major earthquakes that hit Japan, Sony may not be prepared to give the handheld a simultaneous worldwide release this fall. SCEA prez Jack Tretton says they may be forced to start off with a release in just one region, and which lucky region that would be is up in the air. It’d be Europe, North America or Japan, whichever would be most financially feasible. Japan seems like the natural choice, being as that’s how it’s always been done; however, here are far fewer people in that country than in either Europe or NA, and Europe actually probably has the best track record for buying Sony handhelds in wild droves.
Meanwhile, Jack Tretton is also also seemingly trying to get people ready to pay out the ass for the thing, saying that folks see a new platform as an investment that pays off over many years and that they’re totally willing to drop a few hundred bucks on a handheld device if it’s cool. And that’s true, if it’s an Apple device. Everything else, maybe not. Here’s an actual quote, followed by a video of him saying that quote and more. (Everything comes from Fast Company, where you can find more videos.)
People are used to spending several hundreds of dollars to get a portable device. I think in the long run, when you look at that total investment in a platform, the amount of money you spend on the hardware is a relatively small percentage of the total investment. It’s not to say the price of the platform isn’t a consideration, but I don’t think price makes or kills a platform. Something that’s lousy, that’s very inexpensive, is not going to be successful, and something that’s pricey will ultimately find its audience if there’s enough value there..
The new Operation Flashpoint: Red River “Co-op Search and Rescue” video focuses on one of four standalone Fireteam Engagement modes, in which up to four players come together to complete objectives on their own initiative online.
If you’re a PC gamer looking forward to Dungeon Siege 3, Valve and Square Enix have gotten together to sweeten the deal for you.
Head over to Dungeon Siege 3′s Steam page and pre-order the game, and you’ll instantly receive digital copies of both Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege 2.
The announcement also details the full integration of Steamworks into Dungeon Siege 3, bringing auto-updating, Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud support, downloadable content and more to the upcoming action-RPG. David Hoffman, executive producer of Dungeon Siege 3, said,
Providing DUNGEON SIEGE I and DUNGEON SIEGE II free of charge through Steamworks is Square Enix’s way of showing appreciation to the fans of the DUNGEON SIEGE franchise. Selecting Steamworks to be integrated into the upcoming DUNGEON SIEGE III title made perfect sense as we wanted to provide the best possible gameplay experience for PC gamers and long-standing fans of the series.
Half a century after the Red Faction resistance freed Mars, the red planet again becomes a battleground. Colonists struggle for survival in the underground mines after the surface is rendered uninhabitable. When Darius Mason, grandson of revolution heroes Alec Mason and Samanya, unknowingly releases a long-dormant evil, Armageddon is unleashed on Mars. As settlements are torn asunder, only Darius and the Red Faction can save mankind. The battle will take them to the core of the storm-blasted planet through ice caves and lava flows until they are face to face against the unspeakable threat.
IGN is reporting that it has heard “from a trusted source” that Xbox Live will be getting free-to-play games starting next year.
The new model will allow developers to create free games that can be downloaded through the service, but will include “microtransactions” throughout — like being able to purchase weapons or levels beyond what’s available for free. The same model is used in games like Farmville on Facebook and with free mobile games, as well as in lots of massively multiplayer online games.
That’s about all there is as far as details so far. “Freemium,” as the free-to-play model is often called in the mobile sphere, has been pretty lucrative. And of course, Farmville, Mafia Wars and CityVille make tons of money for Zynga — so there might be something to the model on Xbox Live.
Today, the developers of the hit MMORPG Rift held an impromptu interview on their IRC channel. Content Designer Larry Boles, Systems Designer Andrew Krausnick, and Rift Events Lead William Cook fielded questions from fans regarding tomorrow’s–and future–Rift World events.
Here’s the transcript.
Will Phase 2 start tomorrow morning, or tonight at midnight?
Rift team: Tomorrow noon, PST. On EU servers, the event starts at noon, GMT. I would recommend being there on time; this phase will take a different form than the current one.
Can we expect any more items to be added to the World Event vendor?
Rift team: What you see is what will be there. We won’t want to surprise anyone who has planned out their acquisition rate. We’ll most likely be adding ‘burn’ items in the future (consumed items of some kind) for people who collect additional currency.
Do you feel that the sourcestones, and the major invasions to earn them, are being enjoyed by an appropriately large amount of players?
Rift team: I’m assuming this question is referring to the major zone events and the epic sourcestones. We definitely want more of these to happen than have been, we made some changes in 1.1 and are continuing to adjust. These are major events which require large numbers of players in a zone to play at the level we want them to–part of the issue is messaging, only players in that zone will know about it.
Will River of Souls or even a 20 man Rift event be added tomorrow?
Rift team: We’re going to be working to improve messaging so you’ll know they’re happening when they’re happening, if you’re interested.
We’re getting dangerously close to the beginning of the next chapter of the GLaDOS story in Portal 2, what with the game coming out in less than two weeks, but you might be wondering, what happened between this new game and the last? Why is there jungle all over the place? Didn’t large portions of the Aperture Science facility explode?
Seeing as we only have the bits and pieces of information about Portal 2′s story from articles that have come out since its announcement, Valve has deemed it necessary to bridge the gap using — wait for it — a comic book. How original.
But seriously, it’s a free Portal 2 comic (called Portal 2: Lab Rat) and it debuts Friday on IGN Comics. Valve produced it in-house and it sounds like they actually put some work, effort, money and talent into it. Hopefully that means it does a better job of bridging the gap than the Mass Effect prequel comic did for Playstation 3 players of Mass Effect 2.
A Sins of a Solar Empire mod with a rich back story, Sins of the Fallen introduces two new custom races, the Nephelim and the Plague, with unique units and structures.
While the TEC, Advent and Vasari are embroiled in their own struggles for survival a new threat has emerged, intent on spreading it’s infectious plague throughout the universe. The sickening ruthlessness in which entire populations are infected or destroyed is alarming to the TEC, Advent and Vasari alike. If the Plague wasn’t enough they were immediately followed by yet another race calling themselves the Nephilim. The initial encounter with the “Nephilim” held promise they would unite in defeating the Plague. However, initial attempts at diplomacy have failed as the Nephilim seem single-purposed in their pursuit of the Plague.
- Adds two new custom races balanced to the three built-in races.
- Adds custom models for ships and structures.
- Adds custom technology trees.
- Adds custom abilities.
- Adds custom icons for ships, research, abilities and structures.
- Adds limited custom effects.
A mod for Sins of a Solar Empire, Stargate Invasion is a total conversion based on the Stargate franchise. Engage in epic space battles in the Pegasus galaxy with familiar races like the Wraith and the Asurans.
Originally released in November 2010, Stargate Invasion made it into Mod DB’s top 100 mods of the year, and the authors have recently released an update to coincide with Stardock’s 1.2 Diplomacy patch for Sins of a Solar Empire.
-Custom models for ships, stations, and more
-New planet types
-New particle files
-New loading screens and custom icons
-New custom menus and in-game dashboards
-New starship class destroyer
-New types of raids, from the Pirates to Travelers, to a rogue branch of Wraith and Asurans
Here is some footage of the new Stargate vessels in motion:
Normally I don’t get excited about racing sims. I feel too many of these games decide to sacrifice fun for the sake of “realism.” That being said, I feel that Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed has safely sidestepped that pitfall to create a thrilling, realistic and even fun racing sim.
Attention to detail is the key to success for Shift 2. The reflection of buildings shimmer in a Porshe’s silver paint, flash bulbs go off in the darkened stands of a raceway at midnight, and you can hear debris from the track being kicked up around every skidded turn. Shift 2 is a game utterly committed to making the driving experience as true to life as possible. During dusk races, the sun becomes a danger as light pours through your windshield and threatens to blind you just before a hairpin curve. And heaven help you if you damage your headlights during a night race.
Perhaps Shift 2′s greatest achievement in realism is the helmet cam. No game has captured a driver’s perspective quite as provocatively as this new camera view. The driver’s head turns to look out the side window during the apex of turns. Your vision shakes and blurs with each nudge from an opponent or brush with a wall. At high speeds your rear view mirror becomes blurry. When you hear your crew chief tell you to be careful around the next turn you might just forget that you’re wearing headphones and not a helmet.
Shooter MMO Global Agenda will soon be available to all for free with an expansion dubbed “Free Agent” expected to go live in mid-April. The Free Agent update will support free play across all character classes through level 50, with no purchase or subscription fee required.
This update also introduces a new Dome Defense Raid as high-level player content, a CTF-style Mercenary PvP game-mode with pilotable robots, revised skill-trees across all four character classes, and other changes and content.
For an optional one-time purchase of $19.99 USD, players may upgrade to Elite Agent status, which will accelerate the rate of earning character levels, gear, and currency and also grant access to premium features such as the login priority, auction house and in-game mail. All players that have previously purchased Global Agenda will be automatically upgraded to Elite Agent status.
Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios COO, had this to say:
Global Agenda has never required a monthly subscription to play and, for a while now, we have offered a generous free trial for the game. Our experience with the limited free trial has demonstrated to us the great demand among free-to-play gamers for a AAA-quality Shooter MMO like Global Agenda. We believe this latest change will further broaden the game’s popularity and appeal.
Look, I’ve dicked around with the creation tools in LittleBigPlanet2 my fair share, but I’m still consistently surprised by what can me created with them. Case in point: this close-to-perfect build of the first level of the Game Boy’s launch Mario title, Super Mario Land. I must have played this level a hundred times when I was a wee child, since I sucked too much to make it past level world 4; I just played until I lost all my lives over and over and over and over and over again. Anyway, that means I’ve played that first level more times than any other level in any other video game, and so it’s ingrained in my memory even though it’s probably been fifteen years since I’ve touched that game.
And THAT means that I was more than a little disconcerted when I started up JUNKVXXL’s “Mario Land World 1-1 Gameboy graphics 1989″ in LittleBigPlanet 2 to find that it really is a pretty accurate representation of that level. It isn’t perfect, of course; it’s missing the growth shrooms, and you can’t go down the pipe at the beginning of the level, but it’s as close as one could come with LBP2′s tools. Don’t believe me? Video proof:
Details are slim but SEGA and the Sonic Team have released the first teaser trailer for the next Sonic the Hedgehog title to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary. This new trailer shows how both classic and modern aspects of the franchise will be incorporated in the next high-speed Sonic title.
We’ve been following the battle between Sony and George “GeoHot” Hotz as it’s meandered through the courts. Today, Sony announced that the case has been settled.
According to a post on the PlayStation Blog, the parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction. Sony’s legal counsel, Riley Russell, had this to say about the settlement:
Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us. Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers. We believe this settlement and the permanent injunction achieve this goal.
Hotz’s quote was short and sweet, saying simply, “It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.”
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but at least this will let us all stop watching the court case like it’s a new episode of Law & Order. If we learn the terms, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Sony USA CEO Jack Tretton has some rather pointed comments about Sony’s competitors. In an interview with CNN, he weighed in on Sony’s technical superiority to Xbox 360 and Wii and crowed about what Sony is claiming is their best year ever, but all anyone is going to talk about it how royally he just dissed the hell out of Nintendo’s handhelds.
Despite the fact that sales-wise, Nintendo has bestrode the current generation of consoles (not to mention the entire history of handheld gaming) like a god, Tretton argued that they make inferior products, use outdated tech and worse, their handhelds are, like, totally for lamers and dorks:
When it comes to the Playstation Portable, Tretton doesn’t necessarily view Nintendo’s DS handheld family, which he calls the “Game Boy experience,” as competition.
“Our view of the ‘Game Boy experience’ is that it’s a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those,” he says. “He’s too old for that.”
Left 2 Die is a cooperative take on the Outbreak mission from the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign that supports up to two players. Similar to Outbreak, the action takes place in a terran colony that has been overrun by a zerg infestation. The game shifts between two phases: a night phase and a day phase.
At night, players must protect their base against waves of infested terran, including special zerg units including the kaboomer and stank. During the day, the attacks on player bases cease, allowing players to venture out to destroy infested terran settlements scattered across the map. In order to achieve victory in Left 2 Die, players need to eradicate all traces of the zerg virus.
A new startup from some of the guys behind Digg aims to give gamers something tangible for their achievements.
The new service will work in targeted advertising to certain games that are tailored to the particular players. Mobile games on Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android operating system both receive achievements through services like Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint.
The seven-month-old service, Kiip (pronounced “keep”), works with partners like Carls Jr., Popchips, Sephora and Dr. Pepper to provide coupons and free stuff when gamers snag certain achievements. Kiip is keeping secret which 15 games and it’s working with because it wants players to find their free stuff naturally, but all told there are about 12 million active users privy to its new ad network.
Encountered any free stuff for mobile game achievements? Let us know in the comments.
The PSP-3000 has been sitting at a shiny new low price point in the US since February, but Europeans (only those who live in places that use euro), those most dedicated of PSP buyers, have been stuck at the old, not-shiny price. But that all changes today!
Sony has announced that the PSP-300 is finally getting a price drop in that region as well — it’ll go from 170 euro down to 129 euro, sorta like in the US except for the fact that the euro is worth like 40% re than the US dollar right now, and that 129 euro translates to about $185, which is more than the PSP-3000 cost here before the price drop. I’m only laughing on the inside, Europe. We may not have a working government in my country, but we do have a cheaper PSP.
Japan has been besieged by ruthless attacks from Earth’s tectonic plates. In the wake of the news earlier today that Japan suffered yet another strong quake offshore from where they’ve already been walloped by tsunami and nuclear meltdown, it was looking for a while that the effects might include the cancellation of this year’s Tokyo Game Show (official site). Fortunately, today comes news via Adriasang that conference organizer CESA confirms it will proceed as scheduled.
Sure, it’s just an industry trade show, but Tokyo Game Show is the biggest in Asia. And unlike E3, which is open only to accredited industry professionals and approved media, it’s open to the general public. E3 gets maybe 60,000 people and it’s always a huge economy booster. The Tokyo Game Show averages something like 200,000 people. That’s a lot of people buying stuff, renting hotel rooms and generally pumping a lot of money into the local economy. Just thing for a nation still feeling severe economic after effects – it might cost the nation more than 10 Billion to fully recover – from the recent disasters.
If you’re a fan of golf games, the one thing you’ve never been able to do is play an official version of Augusta National. EA Sports scored a huge coup this year, bringing the home of The Masters to virtual golfers everywhere in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters.
It’s obvious that the bulk of EA’s time went into recreating Augusta National down to the last blade of grass, and it shows. If you’ve ever seen the Masters on TV, that’s what you can expect to see in the game. It’s that accurate. Once they finished modeling the course, they went about integrating it into the game.
The integration of the Masters into the game is total, as even the career mode revolves around it. Renamed ‘Road to the Masters,’ the career mode tasks your golfer with starting out as an amatuer and working his way through the Nationwide Tour, Q School, the PGA Tour, and once you’ve qualified, The Masters itself.
There are a number of tournaments to participate in, and each one features a pre-tournament head-to-head match, as well as a sponsor challenge. Completing the sponsor challenge unlocks new equipment for your golfer to use. All in all, the career mode is very enjoyable and very solid, with one caveat. The DLC integration is atrocious.
Following up on their major update, CJ E&M today launched a new tournament for their seafaring MMO Uncharted Waters Online. Dubbed the World Race Challenge, this event pays tribute to Magellan’s historic journey across the world with a massive race around the Uncharted Waters game world, with big prizes on the line and rewards for every player.
After players activate the quest, races are independently managed. The top 20 fastest explorers will be rewarded with awesome prizes (and bragging rights to boot).
World Race Challenge details:
• Application Period: April 8th – April 15th, 2011
• Race Period: April 15th – May 9th, 2011
• Winners Announced: May 16th, 2011
Uncharted Waters Online is known for its historical content and methodical, strategic gameplay. The new World Tour race provides a shot of adrenaline, letting players discover a new way to enjoy the game.
UDK is Unreal Engine 3 is a complete professional development framework. All the tools you need to create great games, advanced visualizations and detailed 3D simulations on the PC and iOS. The best tools in the industry are in your hands.
Unreal Content Browser now has an option to generate private collections containing the resources a specific asset references.
We’ve added a new tool for quickly previewing the player’s height while editing your level. Just hold down the backslash key (“”) while moving the mouse over a perspective viewport to instantly visualize a predefined mesh right in your level.”
Organize your favorite properties any way you want using the up and down arrows.
It is now possible to view each channel individually in the texture viewer.
There are new buttons to toggle desaturation and the checkerboard pattern for transparent textures.
Previewer padding is now adjustable as well.
The new particle collision module, CollisionActor, lets you pick specific actors to collide against.
A new option to particle ‘LocationSkelVertSurface’ module allows for optionally specifying materials that limit spawning.
A new option enables converting particle modules to their seeded equivalents if available.
Cascade now has an optional display of approximate memory the particle system will use.
‘Template’ is the memory the particle system template uses.
‘Instance’ is the memory the modules use.
THQ has released a developer diary for its upcoming title, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, slated for launch in August 2011.
Game Director Raphael van Lierop, Relic Studio GM Jonathan Dowdeswell, Campaign Lead Matthew Berger, Producer Andy Lang, and James McDermott of Studio Marketing provide insight about the original chainsaw-wielding supersoldier and the world he inhabits.
We really have taken the (Warhammer 40k) IP to heart, and we don’t want to sell short any of the action and violence.
You’re sent down to an industrialized planet designed to manufacture weapons of war. The orcs are there to get their hands on the warlord-class Titan–a gargantuan beast of metal bristling with weapons that can level whole cities.
Space Marine has such an interesting, compelling setting–the architecture, with the sort of futuristic gothic feeling, the epic scale of everything–everything is immense; everything is larger than life. There’s a sort of beauty in the world–there’s also so much darkness, death and destruction. And those contrasts create such an interesting canvas to paint on.
I’m not the biggest racing games fan on earth, but I love electronic dance music and I love San Francisco. And the new trailer for Cargasm has both in abundance. Candella Software and Saga Wonderworks’ upcoming racer features scarily accurate recreations of major world cities. The trailer below gives a good idea of how accurate with the excellent recreation of San Francisco. Prepare to be impressed:
I totally played White Knight Chronicles… for about three hours. Once I realized that the game’s main character was NOT the little dude I had painstakingly creating with the game’s character editor, I was done. Unfortunate, considering it wasn’t bad, really. Anyway, D3 Publishing has picked up North American distribution rights for the Level-5′s White Knight Chronicles II, and they’re bringing it over in the summer. How exciting! No, really, I’m happy about this because it means I’ll have a new JRPG to try this summer aside from stupid Record of Agarest War Zero, a game I won’t dare touch after the other Agarest War game molested my will to live. (Just so we’re clear: Record of Agarest War is EASILY the worst JRPG I’ve ever played.)
Even though White Knight Chronicles II includes a full copy of the first game (although apparently the North American version won’t force you to beat it before playing the sequel), I think I’d probably better dive back in sooner rather than later, because it’s just too much to ask any sane person to play them both in a row.
So your video game franchise is doing pretty well, huh. But do you have a movie?
For some reason, big game franchises need tie-in films of some kind. And if they can’t spawn a god-awful live-action adaptation, well, there damn well better be an animated movie. For examples, see: Halo, Dead Space, Xenosaga and now:
EA just announced via press release that it has teamed with FUNimation Entertainment to create a Mass Effect anime film. Why anime, you ask? Apparently Mass Effect is a bigger deal in Japan than I originally assumed, according to this Kotaku story. Also: fanboys love anime for some reason.
From the press release, it sounds like we can expect the movie to expand on side information and widen the Mass Effect universe without really encroaching on the primary story found in the games.
CnC Generals: Zero Hour Reborn Site Is Back Up & Update 3!
For those of you who didn't know, the Zero Hour Reborn site has been down for a month now due to a problem updating the forum. There's 3 new templates, plus Reborn update #3!
Quote:Starting with Towne's new defences:
General Townes' pride and joy, the "Apollo" laser turret is the first ever compact high powered laser weapon developed for the US military. It is the first ever laser weapon powerful enough to pierce through the thickest armor plating, and yet small enough to be used anywhere on the battlefield. Townes plans to make the design even more compact to be used in vehicles and even ground infantry.
So I gave the laser turret a shiny new model and skin, while still maintaining EA's overall design. I dunno what it is about that "water squirter" but I likes it.
Here are some comparison pics:
The number 8 has always been important to China. It is a sign of good luck and prosperity. Armed with 8 omni-directional missile launchers, the Spider Tank is ready to "spread it's wealth" among the masses.
The Spider is Leang's primary anti armor vehicle. After launching a missile, the turret will turn counter clockwise to align the next launcher to the target and fire again. To put it simply, the Spider Tank works like a "gattling" missile launcher.
When faced with a large group of enemies, the Spider Tank can quickly launch all it's missiles, regardless of where it's facing, into a single area to create a devastating barrage. It's sophisticated guidance system can keep it's full clip of 32 micro rockets on target regardless of launch position and direction.
To view the full post, click here.
Read: Zero Hour Reborn Site Is Back Up & Update 3!
More CnC Generals News: FileFront's CnC Generals Files Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse - Post 1.62.5
A patch (1.62.51) public release will be coming soon. Mod version post 1.62.5 is not sleeping and the progress is coming along ever so swiftly. The mod unfortunately for the fans will be released in a long time from now and I'm talking next year perhaps. Don't get me wrong though as the mod is being worked on A LOT and the full team is making much effort.
The reasons why the mod is not going to be released until next year is because I'm working on something totally new, making a new race called Daemons, all placeholders (18) will be removed and finally all races will be perfect code wise and art wise. That's right, I'm talking all hotkeys will be valid and corrected for every unit, upgrade, structure, ability and research along with correct ui help indexes and more. All bugs will be terminated and we will make a functional campaign.
So I hope the wait will be worth it as the mod will be owning even mod version 1.62.5.
Read: Ultimate Apocalypse - Post 1.62.5
More Dawn of War: Soulstorm News: FileFront's Dawn of War: Soulstorm Files Lord of the Rings Online: Turbine's own 1-30 leveling guide
In their latest patch for Lord of the Rings Online, things have changed in Middle Earth, and a massive change which will be affecting new and mid-level players alike (including myself) is the change to Evendim. The area itself has had an uplift regarding its new focus on attracting lower level players but also ranging to higher levels, making this area a 'retreat' to those who are finding other areas difficult. One can then simply pop over to Evendim and do the first tier easy quests, level up and go back to the area that you were originally in, most probably the late stages of Esteldin quest.
They firstly give a few tips in levelling up to 30, before you reach Evendim, although you can enter Evendim earlier than that if you wish:
Quote:Tips for Leveling
There are several (optional) methods to increase the rate of your XP gain, especially in ways that aren't immediately obvious.
• Quests = XP Points The most efficient (and fun!) way to level through the content in LOTRO is to pick up multiple quests and complete several at once. Then, once you've finished four or five quests – or more if you're feeling plucky – you should return to the non-player characters (NPCs) you received your quests from.
• Quest Guide! When in doubt, press the "M" key on your keyboard to open the in-game map. Here, you'll find the super-handy-can't-live-without-it Quest Guide. This baby is loaded with information about nearly all quest types in LOTRO, and will help direct you along the correct path.
You can check out their full guide to levelling here
Read: Turbine's own 1-30 leveling guide
More Lord of the Rings Online News: FileFront's Lord of the Rings Online Files Lord of the Rings Online: LotrO Producers Letter to the Community
Kate Paiz has sent her letter to the LotrO community regarding the latest update to Evendim and also the new updates coming up later in May and also later in the year which include arguably the most awaited updated; The Rise of Isengard.
Below she outlines some of the upcoming changes in the next book, which include 2 new mid-level instances 2 new skirmishes, while including new Store options to reset the skirmish marks you've spent on your skirmish traits.
You can see the full letter below:
I hope you all have been enjoying the new Book 3 content and changes! We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the new Instance Cluster for Eriador and Enedwaith, as well as on the changes to Evendim and the new additions to the LOTRO Store. I’ve been particularly enjoying the Northcotton Farm instance (who doesn’t love saving hobbits from poison pies?) and the Gorthoron Raid (thank goodness the wings stay unlocked once finished – I just can’t quite hack those all night raids anymore). The improved Morale potions and Battle potions of Restoration have also found permanent places on my hot bar, as have my new milestones.
Of course, along with the good things that we introduce with an update, we inevitably manage to release a few issues as well. Thanks to all who have been troubled by those issues for your patience and understanding – we’ll be doing a bug-fix patch in a week or so to get most of those resolved. As a reminder – if you ever run across something you think is a bug, please use the reporting tool in-game to let us know what happened so we can be sure to look into and get it resolved.
So you all know about Isengard coming in the fall, but a bunch of folks have been asking “what else is coming up?” The Spring festival is underway right now, so if you haven’t headed over to Breeland to check it out, you should make sure to! Lovely flower patches have sprung up, and it is clear that spring is in the air!
Once spring has been properly welcomed once again, we’ll be introducing a new Anniversary Festival, for players to enjoy as we celebrate our 4th birthday in April! I’ll be talking more with you then about what to expect in the Rise of Isengard release this fall. To answer one question about Isengard: some of you have been asking about the other raid we have in development – it’s going to be an amazing experience, as it has a monstrous dragon boss with custom voice-over and lip-syncing animation, but it’s also been challenging to get all those pieces intertwined so we’re going to keep working on it and it will now be a part of the Isengard release this fall.
We’re also working on Update 3, currently scheduled for late May, with 2 new mid-level instances and 2 new Skirmishes, all of which support scaling to level 65. We’ll also be introducing a new item to the LOTRO store that allows characters to reset the Skirmish Marks spent on Skirmish Traits. After that, we’ll be introducing a new festival-like event where players will get a chance to spend a few days frantically searching for buried treasure. It’ll have some cool in-game rewards, and will likely be open for play periodically over the year.
It’s been great to see so many new faces in Breeland and Ered Luin, and wonderful to see so many old friends throughout Eriador playing the new cluster! As always, please let us know how you are enjoying the new content and systems changes that have come in Book 3, and let us know what you’d like to see more of in the coming months and years ahead. Talk to you again soon!
Executive Producer, The Lord of the Rings Online
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