The Fate of Ryzom I 9Dragons Gets Six
Updates and Bans for Vana'diel I The Crusade Heads Toward China
 Holiday Boredom

Issue #68 Winter-December
December 20, 2006

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Sorry for the day late column, but I have had very little time to myself. My work hours increased and I've gone home and passed out after. Plus I still have a bit of Christmas shopping to do.

Working in retail for the first time during the holiday season reinforces my dislike for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love gift giving and all that fun stuff, but everything prior to that I hate. One person can only take so much of Christmas music before they snap. I won't even get started on the people, that's a full rant in itself. I've memorized a speech to use when people ask if my store has any Nintendo DS systems in stock.

This holiday season isn't so bad. One of my good friends delivered her first child, a baby girl, earlier this morning. During her pregnancy, I teased her telling her she should name the baby Winter-December since it's being born in December which is during the winter season. If the baby had been a boy, I would have nicknamed it Turbo Dog. I can't wait to be a (somewhat) bad influence on little Winter-December.

  The Fate of Ryzom

The Saga of Ryzom

The timeframe for the handover of The Saga of Ryzom decision has come and gone. The result of weeks of no news on the Ryzom situation is: the decision has been delayed. I suspect typical government delays. Someone probably got a hangnail while reading the documents and had to call in sick to work.

The fate of Ryzom is still in the air for a few more days. It's unknown whether the delay is a long or short one. The final word will hopefully be announced before the New Year arrives.

  9Dragons Gets Six


Closed Beta for 9Dragons ended last week with the pre-Open Beta intended to start around December 18th. However, player debate over whether Acclaim should include all six basic clans or the planned four for Open Beta has caused the developers to stop and think. Think they did and a decision they made. When the Open Beta begins with the pre-Open Beta stage, players will be able to join one of the six initial clans. This decision has caused a delay in starting the pre-Open Beta.

9Dragons is a Martial Arts MMORPG set in China during the Ming Dynasty. Once in the game, players will be able to join one of six clans to begin their journey as they master their path of Kung Fu. As players advance, the final three advanced clans will be available to join. All nine clans are based around actual historical clans from the time period.

Pre-Open Beta will begin with invitations sent to Closed Beta testers to test the current game and patches. After those invites are sent, more invitations will be sent to registered users until the Open Beta becomes open to the public in the beginning of January. With the initial start being delayed, the dates for the public joining have also likely been delayed.

  Updates and Bans for Vana'diel

Final Fantasy XI: Online

Monday's patch for Final Fantasy XI introduced a number of changes and additions to the game. Several jobs received updates that had been announced a couple of weeks beforehand. The update also added several new activities for Chocobo Raising, the biggest additions being Kamp Kweh and Chocobo Hot and Cold. Kamp Kweh is an activity a player can bring their chocobo to and allow it to interact with other player's birds and to view the stats of others participating in Kamp Kweh. Similar to Chocobo Hot and Cold in Final Fantasy IX, this game will allow players to take their chocobos out to find treasure with the help of a Chocograph.

A new Alliance event, Salvage, for the four remnant zones surrounding the Alzadaal Undersea Ruins was implemented. Salvage can be thought of as similar to Dynamis and Limbus (to an extent- Limbus is somewhat soloable by a few jobs), but different due to a few gimmicks that Square Enix has thought of. To participate in Salvage, an adventurer must be level 65, completed some of the early missions for Treasures of Aht Urhgan, and have 2000 Assault points in any Assault to receive a remnant permit pass. Once inside one of the Salvage zones, players will be under effect of equipment, stat, job ability (includes weapon skills), magic and subjob locks known as Pathos. This basically means players will be entering the event unequipped, reduced stats and no abilities of any sort available; luckily early floor mobs are easy and drop the items needed to begin removing the Pathos. Materials for the newly introduced equipment sets can also be dropped by mobs in Salvage. The Pathos removing items and materials used for the new equipment is dropped in similar fashions to Dynamis currency and the Relic Armor.

More information on the update and Salvage can be found here.

In other Final Fantasy XI news, Square Enix has banned over 7,450 accounts that have violated the Terms of Service Agreement. These accounts were found to be using third party tools to increase movement, giving an advantage in Notorious Monster claiming, using illegal ways to obtain items or having RMT connections. Today's account bans have resulted in the removal of over 6 billion gil from the game. That's a lot of money.

Square Enix seems to be on the ball with the amount of accounts being banned in recent months. Server economies seem to be feeling the effects of the gil removal with prices for many items dropping by large amounts. Compared to the same time last year, prices were outrageously high for many items. Hopefully they can keep this up to continue bringing the game economy back in balance.

 The Crusade Heads Toward China

World of Warcraft

Blizzard has signed an agreement with Soft-World International Corporation to spread The Burning Crusade to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Translation of the expansion into traditional Chinese has started and both companies hope to have the expansion released soon after the initial release in mid-January. Blizzard is still in talks with a company for a mainland China release of The Burning Crusade and intends to bring news in the near future.

What's an update without more World of Warcraft news?

In case you missed it on the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards (or chose to not watch it) or missed it when it was on YouTube a day early, Blizzard has released the official introduction cinematic to The Burning Crusade for download on the official website. By now, most everyone has seen it, whether they play World of Warcraft or not.

And finally, Blizzard has introduced four new realms: two standard PvE realms (Misha and Bladefist), one Roleplay PvP realm (Ravenholdt) and one standard PvP realm (Maiev). This brings the realm count to 186, a rather large number of servers. I have to wonder if all these servers really have as many people online as you would expect. I have a suspicion that there are a few servers that are pretty barren.

 Holiday Boredom

Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle

Holiday boredom is going to set in soon, once all the shopping and gift giving (and receiving) is done. The question remains: What to do when all you got for Christmas is underwear and socks and your game is down for server maintenance? Download free trials of other games to expand your gaming base. You might find something you like.

The latest free trial is for Lineage II from NCsoft. Members of FilePlanet can download a seven day trial of Lineage II until January 2007. If Lineage II doesn't do it for you, there are other games to try out. Everquest II has two freebies: Trial of the Isle and Play the Fae. World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies and others have free trials to, well, try out.

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No screenshots got sent to me this week and I didn't have time to hunt down some old EverQuest screenshots, so I was screenshotless. The holiday shopping season will be winding down with Christmas less than a week away, so I will have some more time to dig up my old screenshots. In the meantime, why not send one, two, three, or more in?

Depending on what I do with my family and friends for Christmas, there may or may not be a column. So be safe during the holidays and have fun seeing relatives. We all know how fun that can be.

Peace out and happy holidays.

Travis Templet

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