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Posts with tag free-realms

Happy Halloween from WoW.com and Massively

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Today's the day, the spookiest day of the year! In the real world, prepare yourself to sit through hours and hours of random children in costumes ringing your doorbell begging for treats from strangers. In Azeroth, you only have two days left to finish your various Hallow's End achievements, everything disappears into the aether on November 2nd it ends tonight! Whoa!

Halloween is being celebrated in worlds beyond Azeroth and our own, too. All month long, our sister site Massively has been covering the numerous celebrations going on in the various ongoing MMOs, from Free Realms' Spooky Spectacular to Aion's Harvest Revel. If you're interested in any of those, head on over to Massively's Halloween roundup to check out their coverage, as well as a screenshot gallery of some holiday eye candy from those many games. Some of the events were quite cool, so I highly recommend taking a look. Guild Wars still has some pretty fantastic aesthetics.

As long as you're all here, I'm curious: Are you dressing up today? If so, what's your costume? If it's something WoW-related, we would love pictures! And are you taking anybody Trick or Treating, or will you be giving out candy? Personally, I'm dressing up as a chubby computer nerd (it's a classic) and handing out Dum Dums by the handful.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff

China's gold farming ban not really a ban

The other day, we reported on China's recent ban on trading real currency for virtual goods, and it was hailed as the end of gold selling in the MMO world. Unfortunately, it may not actually play out that way. While this would put a stop to some gold selling, it won't stop all of it thanks to a convenient little loophole.

That loophole is the fact that their law has no jurisdiction over foreign transactions. While it absolutely can put a stop to these transactions on Chinese soil using Chinese servers and Chinese currency, Chinese goldfarmers can still happily (well, probably not happily) scrounge up gold on American realms and sell it to American players. Most likely, this new law won't have an impact on the gold selling industry whatsoever. The people being impacted are those crafting their games on a model of microtransactions rather than a subscription model. Developers, not gold farmers, will be harmed by this. A game like Free Realms is no longer a feasible option in China.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Economy

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
A World of Warcraft player's guide to Free Realms
Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into? Comparing one of the largest and most popular MMOs with the current fastest-growing MMO? Do I have a deathwish? Well, it turns out World of Warcraft and Free Realms actually do have a few things in common, but a straight comparison isn't the point of this article. We at Massively have decided to compile a guide for World of Warcraft players who may be interested in checking out what Free Realms has to offer. Even better, for those WoW players out there with children, this guide could be valuable for some alternatives to your usual family gaming choices.
DDO goes F2P: An interview with Turbine
As the news hit yesterday concerning Dungeons and Dragons Online going free-to-play, many MMO gamers collectively rejoiced, while others didn't. The idea of this hybrid business model is wonderful for those who have yet to experience DDO, as it now gives them a chance to play the game as long as they'd like, with no level cap restrictions for absolutely no cost. This means no credit card info changing hands, no commitments to a monthly fee and the implied need to "get your money's worth" and no real need to quit the game if you can't afford it. But it can't be that easy, can it? Well, there's a slight catch.
Free Realms breaks the 3 million mark
Sony Online Entertainment has just announced today that their kid-friendly free-to-play mega-hit Free Realms has hit the 3 millions registered user mark. This news comes less than seven weeks after the game's launch, and only two weeks after their last milestone of two million registered users.
Should MMOs have sequels?
From movies and books to computer games, the concept of the sequel is firmly embedded in the entertainment industry. It's usually a much safer bet to make a new part to an existing successful intellectual property than it is to back an untested product. In the games industry, sequels are a great way to make more money from the same game concept but as usual MMOs have proven to be something of a different animal.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

A WoW player's guide to Free Realms


Our good friends at Massively have written up a post just for you WoW players about the new hotness in MMOs lately, a game called Free Realms. I haven't gotten a chance to play it, but it's all the team over there can talk about, and the game itself just hit a whopping three million players. It's a free-to-play game (with more premium memberships getting more features -- the minimum is about $5 a month) put out by Sony Online Entertainment that aims towards a more casual audience, with extra content placed in for more hardcore gamers. The questing and leveling itself is very forgiving -- you have a dotted green line leading you to quest targets, and combat only takes place in instanced areas. But the crafting and other various minigames (in order to do mining, you actually play a Bejewelled-style matching game, and there's even a "Kart Driver" profession) can get pretty hard. Just like WoW, those who want to collect pets or build skills can do that, while those who are more interested in dungeon crawling have that option as well.

I've been meaning to pick up the game and check it out (on the free level, of course -- with my WoW subscription running, I'm not made of MMO money), and Massively's guide is an excellent first overview to how the game relates to our favorite MMO. If you're getting a little bored in Azeroth waiting for the next expansion announcement and are looking for something else to try, Free Realms might just be it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Instances, Quests, Leveling, Classes

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
First official confirmation that new Blizzard MMO is original IP
In a post on the official World of Warcraft forums, Blizzard community manager Zarhym came out and said the new MMO was in fact an original IP, saying, "We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it's a shell of a game thus far. We've already stated it'll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It's an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this."
Runes of Magic reaches 1 million registered users
Here we are, not even two full months after the release of Frogster's Runes of Magic, and they're already announcing that they've hit the one million registered user milestone. Not only has this announcement come so soon after launch, but the EU and NA public hasn't even known about the game for a year yet, according to the Berlin-based publisher.
Free Realms destroys the 1 million account speed record
We've known it was going to be a strong contender since the first time we laid eyes on Free Realms. Once we stepped into the world last month and started playing the game, we knew it was going to be even bigger than we'd previously thought. Sure enough, we were right. News has come out this morning, courtesy of John Smedley on Twitter, that Free Realms crossed the 1 million account mark in just eighteen days since launch.
Massively introduces: Betawatch!
Welcome to Betawatch, Massively's newest weekly report on the state of MMO betas. In each installment, we'll report everything from the latest open betas, closed betas and even alphas in one convenient place. Plus, we'll make sure to include as much info on each game's current status, including projected release dates (if known) and links to the sign-up forms to get yourself into that beta you've been seeking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Champions Online Press NDA lifts: See our impressions
This last weekend, press had the opportunity to spend my time within the Champions Online beta. After playing more than I would safely recommend, I bring you my personal takeaway in an effort to get out as much crunchy information goodness on the upcoming MMO as possible.
Five free to play MMOs that are ahead of the class
Times are tough, the wallet is tight, and you still need a game to play. But what free games can you wrap your hands around that just don't suck, right? That seems to be the trouble with free to play games -- many selections all with very low quality. But the market is not as bad as you might think. There are certainly some gems out there in the free to play market, just waiting for you to wrap your hands around them and play. Finding them however, hasn't always been easy, until now.
Massively's post-launch interview with Free Realms
Free Realms has launched, the floodgates have been opened and the servers have multiplied like little fluffy bunnies. Despite a slight delay, the launch's feedback has been predominantly positive. Not only is this rare for an MMO launch these days, considering the factors, but it's also a testament to the team involved.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Free Realms launches today
According to a post on the Free Realms forums from Jason "Pex" Ryan, Community Manager, the servers will be going down this morning at approximately 8:00 AM Pacific, and will remain offline all day today while they push their final patches and run internal tests. They note that they will also be deleting all beta Free Realms characters as well.
Guild Wars hits the 6 million milestone
Just in time for their fourth anniversary celebrations, ArenaNet have announced that Guild Wars has sold over six million copies. Coincidence? We think not but it's still a remarkable milestone for this popular MMO. Remember that market leader World of Warcraft has 11.5 million players worldwide and is subscription based. Guild Wars meanwhile, is free-to-play (plus box costs) and only a few months younger than WoW.
LotRO two-year anniversary: Book 8 details announced
As our LotRO 2nd anniversary coverage continues, we're pleased to bring you some of the latest news from a recent conference call we had with Turbine. This call involved Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of LotRO, Harry Teasley, Art Director for LotRO and Adam Mersky, Director of Communications for Turbine to provide us with a rundown of the last two years with the game and what the future holds.
Champions Online dated for release on July 14th
During an event in the UK today, Cryptic's Bill Roper revealed that Champions Online will officially launch on July 14th 2009 in both the United State and Europe. The launch date, while a tiny bit further than expected, is probably for the better since Jumgpate Evolution is releasing in the middle of June anyhow. If both of these games hit in the same month, we'd probably lose our minds.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.

Face-capturing tech to be "in-game soon" for Age of Conan
Lopping off heads in Age of Conan might soon be taken very personally, as ShackNews has reported that some fancy face-importing technology is being prepared for use in-game -- you're bound to be just a tad more put out when you see your actual face rolling away on a decapitated noggin. The technology itself comes from a company called Big Stage Entertainment, and you can already get a feel for how it works at their website by registering an account and creating your own 3D "@ctor".
SOE storms the internet with Free Realms beta promotions
This weekend saw one of the largest beta key giveaways in MMO history with tens of thousands of special codes being handed out at once by several different outlets. Aside from the normal MMO news and fan sites, the Free Realms Twitter account has been giving away a thousand keys at a time.
A rocky start for Warhammer's 1.21 patch
Patch day in an MMO is always hit or miss, but according to a number of sources, Mythic's 1.21 patch for Warhammer Online broke many core components of the game that still haven't been fixed several days later. A public acknowledgment appeared on the WAR Herald this past weekend, but some players are still furious.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

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