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This time, it's WAR I A Brave New World
Got Stones? I Banhammer Acquires Nice Suit, Briefcase
Weekly Web Updates

MMORPGAMER
Issue #77 Everything is Fine
May 31, 2007

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Back again, it's the man with the master plan. I think you had better recognize.

While developers everywhere were busy soaking up some sun this holiday weekend -- enjoying a cookout or two, perhaps playing horseshoes -- those of us scouring the scene for news were left by the wayside. Here's hoping they are good and rested, because the time for the final push to release for many games is ahead, and this past weekend may just be the last sunlight they see for a while.

What this week's column lacks in content is made up for with a smug sense of satisfaction. They'll get their comeuppance. Just you wait.


  This Time, it's WAR

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

To arms! The moment has come at last! Both the North American and European versions of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) are going to be entering beta soon. EA Mythic is now accepting apllications.

Eagerly anticipated and being touted as a "World of Warcraft killer" by fans, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning takes place in Games Workshop's tabletop role playing game universe of the same name. Players are able to pick notable races from Warhammer lore and choose sides in a massive Realm-vs.-Realm conflict.

Naturally, space is limited during the closed beta test and EA Mythic is being picky about which applicants will be invited to join first. Preference will be given based on activity within the WAR community, subscription to their newsletter (which is required in order to receive your account key), and system specifications. The FAQ on their website states that preference will also be given to Dark Age of Camelot players. Also noteworthy is the fact that participation in the closed beta test is contingent upon being 18 years of age or older.

Though no official date for when the closed beta test will proceed has been given at the time of this writing, sometime in June is a reasonable estimate. Players who are ready to let slip the hounds of WAR are strongly urged to sign up for either the North American or European versions as soon as possible.


  A Brave New World

Sword of the New World: Granado Espada

Also entering beta testing soon is Elephant Entertainment and K2 Network's Sword of the New World: Granado Espada, the North American version of the critically acclaimed 2006 MMORPG from IMC Entertainment. Granado Espada distinguishes itself from other games of the genre by allowing players to control a team of three characters as they explore a world inspired by early seventeenth century exploration into the Americas.

This beta test is being handled in two distinct waves. Beginning on June 4, a special closed beta test will commence for customers who have preordered the game, members of the press, and Flileplanet subscribers. On the 15th, the beta test will open to the public.

Those who do not fit the criteria for the special closed beta can sign up for the open beta test here.


  Got Stones?

K2 Network has been busy this week.

Earlier this week, K2 Network announced a new game in its arsenal, Red Stone. Originally produced by L & K Logic Korea, Red Stone is a two-dimensional isometric MMORPG that will be released episodically. The game will be free to play when it launches in five territories, including North America, this year.

In the game, players choose one of eight distinct classes and set off on a quest to repair the game's namesake, the Red Stone. Characters are not stuck on a linear class progression path; every class has the ability to transform into a more powerful class, altering its skill and weapon set as needed. Also, in place of traditional magic points, Red Stone uses a charge system, appropriately named charge points.

Along with the game's announcement, K2 also let slip that players would be rewarded for achieving in-game goals, and not just their character, either. Along with rare in-game items, players will also have a chance to receive some nice real world goodies, including complete PC packages. Also, there are in-game fortune boxes, which give players the opportunity to get some rare items.

The game's official website provided a few screenshots at its launch, which MMORPGamer has unceremoniously stolen and provided for you here:


  Banhammer Acquires Nice Suit, Briefcase

Blizzard Entertainment

Anyone who has played World of Warcraft recently most likely knows who P3ons4hire (pronounced "peons for hire") are. It's terribly difficult not to, considering how they spam you every five minutes offering to sell gold and powerl eveling services. Players are sick of them and so, apparently, is Blizzard.

Taking initiative in the situation, Blizzard recently leveled a lawsuit against the organization. Per Community Manager Eyonix, via the World of Warcraft official forums:

"[We feel that it is] important to share... just how serious we are in our efforts to combat this type of abuse. Blizzard has filed a federal lawsuit against the operators of Peons4hire, a popular gold-selling organization [that] many of you have no doubt seen advertised. As part of the lawsuit, the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control. If this organization refuses to act accordingly, further legal action will be taken."

This is a victory for Blizzard and for players of World of Warcraft. P3ons4hrie's spam is incredibly annoying, not to mention aiding in the destruction of the in-game economy. Farmers and exploiters everywhere, watch out! Big brother Blizzard is watching you.


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Lots of beta tests, including some of the big guns, are in the near future. As a general rule, I try to participate in as many beta tests as possible. If I'm able to get aboard some betas this summer, and providing there aren't many strict non-disclosure agreements attached, I might just add a section to the column where I can provide beta impressions or answer questions about how a game plays for people who weren't able to get in.

Does that sound like something you might be interested in reading? Let me know, or respond in the forums. I want to provide what you want to read, so speak up! Help me to help you.

Have a nice weekend,
Matt Blake


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