Oh Yeah, I Totally Didn't See That Coming I Next They'll Want My Imaginary Friend
I Barely Got Any Time in the Seventh Circle... I And I Think To Myself
Hell Hath No Fury I Patches, Events, and Trials
Free-To-Play MMO Quickies I MMORPG Travel Log: Rappelz

Issue #124 Your Computer is Possessed
October 29, 2008


Does anyone else find October to be a generally weird month? But one good thing about it is all the stupid horror movies on T.V. I'm just waiting for that one about the killer pinata to come back on. Anyway, today's column has its own bits of oddness. Continue on to see.

  Oh Yeah, I Totally Didn't See That Coming

Okay, let's just get this first one out of the way, seeing as how it's one of the most talked about news items lately. LucasArts and BioWare finally stopped dangling the string over our noses and announced the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. The game takes place thousands of years before Darth Vader's time and about 300 years after the events of Knights of the Old Republic, during the war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire. Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., (that's a mouth-full) says that in Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare is going to add an element of excellent storytelling to the standard MMORPG formula of leveling, fighting, and exploring. The press release can be read here.

After the Star Wars license being dragged behind wild horses for so long, I try reserve any enthusiasm I may have as wary but hopeful optimism. Best of luck for the finished product.

  Next They'll Want My Imaginary Friend

Over in Amsterdam, Netherlands, a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old were convicted of stealing items in an MMORPG game world. The two coerced a 13-year-old into transferring a RuneScape in-game amulet and in-game mask to their game accounts. According to Dutch law, "virtual goods are goods," so the crime is just as serious as real theft. Both culprits have been sentenced to community service. Full story at the link.

Kids bullying each other for things that aren't even tangible? Wonderful (sarcasm here).

  I Barely Got Any Time in the Seventh Circle...

Hellgate: London's time has swiftly and unfortunately come to an end. Namco Bandai Games America Inc., the game's publisher, has announced that servers will be shut down on January 1st, 2009. Subscribers will be allowed to play the game for free up until that time. The official announcement can be found on the game's website.

That's a nice gesture on the part of Namco for fans of the game. It's a good two months to say goodbye, if you happen to be playing.

  And I Think To Myself

In Tabula Rasa's storyline, the planet Earth was destroyed by a race called the Bane. Only a small portion of the population was able to escape to other worlds to continue the fight. But recently, it has been revealed that we may have been misinformed about what really happened to our home. In the upcoming Development 15 for Tabula Rasa, players will be able to return to Earth. The Bane are still occupying the humanity's home, while the people who have managed to survive all this time are doing their best to fight with what resources they have left. This update will introduce new armor sets, monsters, areas, and more.

This seems like an interesting take on introducing a new area to an MMORPG, and it's cool how it's really closely tied into the overall story.

  Hell Hath No Fury

Oh, this one still makes me laugh. In Tokyo, Japan, a 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of "illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data." Not such a big deal at first glance. But here's where it gets interesting. This woman played MapleStory, and her character was virtually married to another character. While they were married, the man gave the woman access to his login information. Well, later, her on-line hubby decided he wanted to break up and suddenly virtually divorced her. This upset the woman so much that she used his login information to virtually kill his character. The woman apparently hadn't planned to take any kind of physical revenge, but when the man found out his character was dead, he complained to the police and they arrested her.

An overreaction? Or strangely specific but righteous revenge? You decide. The full story can be found here.

  Patches, Events, and Trials

  • Pirates of the Burning Sea has released build Lots of bugs relating to missions were fixed, and there are skill and ship adjustments as well.
  • For several days now, World of Warcraft players have been besieged by a zombie plague that has quickly spread through the lands of Azeroth. This is no mere Halloween event, but a precursor to the newest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. The plague began with the appearance of items called "conspicuous crates" in the neutral faction city of Booty Bay. When an unassuming player would examine one of these crates, they would be infected by a mysterious disease. After ten minutes had passed, or if the player was killed, they would turn into a zombie and could help spread the infection (and why wouldn't you?). The WoW storyline says that this is part of a larger plan by the Lich King to raise an undead army and wipe humanity from Azeroth. But most seasoned players of WoW probably already know that. More details can be found at the official website.

  •   Free-To-Play MMO Quickies

  • Jagex appoints new head of RuneScape. Story here.
  • European English version of Fiesta now available.
  • Zu Online version 1.5.06 released.
  • 4Story open beta test started.
  • GodsWar Online Alpha test to begin in November.

  •   MMORPG Travel Log: Rappelz

    Awhile back, I had planned to write an editorial having something to do with MMORPGs. It was to that end that I started playing MMOs to begin with. I was pretty curious about all the free-to-play MMOs I kept seeing advertised everywhere. Rappelz was one of the more graphically attractive ones I had seen, so it became the first MMORPG I ever played.

    I started playing Rappelz right when the game at just gotten on its feet, but not a terrible amount has changed from the beta stage. From what I remember of the overall story, there were two gods that watched over the world. They found that humanity was too primative to be able to develop into a strong civilization. So the gods sent two new races to assist the humans; the Deva, the beings of light, and the Asura, the beings of darkness. The Gaia, as humans were called, thrived with this assistance. Then a woman called "The Witch" appeared and began causing rifts in the Gaia. She claimed that the Asura and Deva were not descended from the gods, and the three races should not co-exist together. She caused such chaos in the world with her words and her evil magic that the Gaia, Asura, and the Deva banded together to defeat her. Now, (as most of these games go) The Witch is rumored to have returned, and the three races have separated from each other and have their own issues to deal with. So you're dropped into the mix to do your part.

    I was intially disappointed with the small number of races, but you can choose from 15 classes within each race. Also, there's a good amount of hair, eye, and facial varieties to choose from. I actually could create up to six characters, but I ended up only ever using my first creation. I made an Asura female stepper, a class that could later evolve into an assassin. Most players like me are duel sword users, but I prefer to keep one sword and a shield. You're stuck on Trainee Island for the first part of the game, which was pretty boring; I hope that has been changed in some way. The main game world is beautiful, albeit prerendered. There are so many interesting landmarks and ornate buildings I would love to be able to interact with, but so far they all just seem to be for show. I have a pet Lynx that is still in its basic stage, but he's helpful in fights.

    Overall, I don't find Rappelz to be as compelling as 9Dragons has been lately, but it's a perfectly competent MMORPG. I have yet to hit upon anything relating to the main story yet; I'm still just grinding on the normal quests like always. But I'm proud about how far my character has come, and the scenery and music is always nice. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into the game.

     Back to Title

    I don't plan to do much this upcoming Halloween, but I hope everyone else has a fun time, whatever you all decide to do. I'll be back again with more MMOs and news next time.

    /not LFG,
    Sarah Williams (Feed me mail!)

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