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Red Stone Added to WCG I Blizzard in Court to Stop Bots
HanbitSoft Assumes Control of Hellgate, Mythos I MU Online to Hold Squad Wars

MMORPGAMER
Issue #120 Player vs Lawyer
August 04, 2008

Power Up

Welcome once again to MMORPGamer, the best collection of MMO News this side of moving to Korea.

Every time I think I'm out of World of Warcraft, they pull me back in! The desire to gear up a little more before the expansion hits has once again sent me to the battlegrounds of Azeroth, valiantly raiding the same structures over and over (and over and...you get the idea) in that endless quest for honor, glory and more gear! Anyhow, it's a column time (break it down!).


  Red Stone Added to WCG

Red Stone

Red Stone, an MMO in the Korean style which was brought to North America by publisher K2 Network, has been added to the World Cyber Games, or WCG, as a late entry for competition. Players competing in 2-man teams will have the chance to qualify during a tournament to be held between August 25 and September 5, with the top 4 teams earning the chance to compete at the WCG National Finals to be held October 3-5 in Los Angeles, California. The winner of the finals will then be eligable to join the USA team for the WCG Grand Final in Germany this November.

As another entry into the ever-expanding market of competitive gaming, Red Stone will now have the opportunity to be seen by quite a lot of gamers. Events such as the WCG present an excellent opportunity for smaller free-to-play MMOs like Red Stone to demonstrate why they've garnered such interest worldwide. Interested parties can investigate Red Stone on the official site, and sign-ups for the WCG tournament can be found here.


  Blizzard in Court to Stop Bots

Blizzard

Blizzard has asked a U.S. District Court in Arizona to grant a permanent injunction against MDY Industries, LLC., the makers of MMO Glider, a programmable "bot" which can be used to play World of Warcraft without an actual human player controlling it. This follows a summary judgement by the court which ruled that Glider indeed infringed upon Blizzard's copyright by providing an alternative game client which clearly violated World of Warcraft's Terms of Use agreement (yes, that long bit you skim past and click accept on before you get to play WoW; it says you can't do a lot of things, including this specific behavior exactly).

The injunction, if granted, would prevent MDY from "marketing, selling, supporting, or developing Glider or similar software for use with WoW." In order to make sure MDY cannot circumvent that more broad injunction, Blizzard is also asking for a number of specific prohibitions on MDY, including that they shut down the authentication server for Glider (thus rendering it useless) and also that they be prevented from making the code for Glider open-source (or freely available to the public) so that no copycat programs could be made using Glider's code. While this is certainly good news for WoW players, the suggestion that MDY be unable to release their code freely is an unorthodox measure that may or may not pass muster with the courts. In any case, MDY plans to appeal the initial summary judgement against them, so expect this to drag on in court a little longer before the injuction is even ruled on.


  HanbitSoft Assumes Control of Hellgate, Mythos?

Hellgate

The long strange story of the fallout over Flagship Studios' Hellgate: London and its sister game Mythos may be headed to a conclusion. Korean company T3, who recently acquired the majority of the stock in HanbitSoft (what's known as a "controlling stake"), has posted a job listing seeking programs to "continue development of Hellgate: London and Mythos, along with other new games, which are being published by HanbitSoft, Inc." Interestingly, this new studio will be located in San Fransisco, California, USA, and not in their native Korea.

There are two important questions that this new development brings. First, is T3 jumping the gun a bit, or has HanbitSoft indeed finalized a deal giving them control over the Hellgate: London and Mythos IPs? Second, would the placement of the studio in San Fransisco mean that the remaining staff at Flagship would be involved in this new venture? Expect answers to these questions in the weeks ahead, as the intruiging saga of Flagship Studios continues to unfold.


  MU Online to Hold Squad Wars

MU Online

In news from yet another K2 Network published Korean-style MMO, MU Online has announced an upcoming War Squad event. This unique style of PvP match will have players partnering with the Game Masters as part of a squad in squad vs squad combat matches. The realm's GM functions as a tactical squad commander whose death is the victory condition for the opposing side. The squads themselves consist of 80 players total, divided between the Battle Master, Attack Lancers, Death Scouts and Royal Guards to attack the opposing GM and protect their own squad's GM.

K2 Network has stated that the first person to sign up on each realm will be given the special position of Assistant GM, and that prizes will be awarded to the players and their realms based upon their performance. The event will take place from August 10-23, with matches occuring daily at the same time every day until an overall winner is chosen. More information on this unique PvP event is available on the MU Online website.


 Power Down

And so once again we come to the end of another exciting week of MMO News. I don't know about you guys, but I plan on spending a good chunk of my time this week grinding a new piece of chest armor. Let me know how you organize your time online, and what goals excite you most in the MMOs you play. If you need me, I'll be in Alterac Valley.

/respec,
Justin A. Harwood (mail me)


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