Unusual Pricing Model For All Points Bulletin; Release Date & Pre-Order Incentives Inside

Posted by on May 3, 2010 - 3 Comments »

In the early days of the Internet nerds were actually charged per hour for access to the tubes.  Some of you were probably still having your diapers changed when this occurred (looking at you, Heartbourne).  Me, well, I was beginning to realize that girls don’t have cooties!  I digress.  A paradigm shift in Internet monetization happened thanks companies like CompuServe and AOL.  These start-ups began offering a bajillion free hours of usage as incentive.  Finally, the numbers were trashed and the service became unlimited, but with a monthly cost.  This is the same format that many MMOGs have used since the ‘internet’ stopped being a capitalized word.

Everyone (in the West) was happy with a subscription model initially.  Then more publishers and developers began paying attention to the lucrative genre.  As time has rolled on, additional companies have attempted to make a mark, from AAA endeavors to niche games with dedicated fans.  Us consumers began having to make hard choices.  Do we subscribe to MMOG A or MMOG B?  Both?  But then we run the risk of not getting our “worth” from the subscription fees.  What to do…

Electronic Arts and Realtime Worlds is taking the high ground for All Points Bulletin.  Subscription-minded players can do just that for only $9.99 a month (discounts for three and six month packages).  Interested in making APB your second, or third MMOG?  Then the pay-as-you-go method is for you.  Additional 20 hours chunks will run players $6.99.

APB will not offer 30 days of free play.  Realtime Worlds changes the payment game again by including 50 hours of “action game time” as part of the initial purchase.  That’d be your questing, maiming, murdering and bounty-hunting time.  Taking a page out of Global Agenda’s book, the customization and social aspects described in the PAX East preview are free, forever. It looks like we’re finally seeing a divergence arise in payment structures for mass-market MMOG, niche and AAA alike.

APB will be available June 29. Early adopters receive a bonus ten hours of action play, access to pre-launch events and exclusives emotes, decals, clothing, even a vehicle.  Beta sign-ups are still open.  APB is available for pre-order at Amazon now.

Tempted by having options and the segregation of content?

For the Hoard 4.1 – Culling of the Bronze Drake

Posted by on May 1, 2010 - 4 Comments »

It’s one of the quickest ways to upgrade your fresh level 80′s flying mount to something much, much cooler: the Bronze Drake.

Yes, this drake is probably the most common one found in game, but that doesn’t take away from its beauty. Many alts and recent level-capped players will find amazement and excitement when they win a roll for the bronze drake. Join me on this episode of For the Hoard for a speed run through the Culling of Stratholme as I celebrate my first dragon mount.

EDIT – After some temporary downtime to fix the audio in this video, it is now back up and ready to be viewed. You should now be able to hear my “Pixie” voice :)

Dungeon Fighter Online Update: Guild System and eight new Awakening classes

Posted by on May 1, 2010 - No Comments »

Dungeon Fighter Online’s latest update includes a guild system and eight new Awakening classes.

For a short time, players have the ability to create a guild for half-price. The Guild Initiation Fee is 150,000 gold.

The first five guilds to reach Guild Level 5 will receive the Smoking Guild Gift Box, which includes the following:

  • 10 Noble Warrior Potions
  • 3 Monster Suit Potions.

Nexon America intends to announce the winning guilds on May 26.

The eight subclasses that awaken during this update are the following:

  • Asura
  • Battle Mage
  • Berserker
  • Elementalist
  • Launcher
  • Nen Master
  • Spitfire
  • Striker

Dungeon Fighter Online is currently in beta testing and is scheduled to launch in June. Registered players will retain the created characters and inventory when the final game releases.

For more information on Dungeon Fighter Online, head on over to the official website.

Two More Cataclysm Screens

Posted by on May 1, 2010 - 2 Comments »

I love the internet. No information is sacred, from new iPhones to as-yet-unreleased screenshots of the next World of Warcraft expansion. The following two images were found by enterprising fans using a simple URL swap to discover upcoming additions to Blizzard’s Screenshot Of The Day Program. Why only two? My guess is that they were uploaded today in order to cover entries over the weekend (assuming the gallery uses an automatic script to pull specifically-numbered photos from the server).

The first may look like a completely new area, but I promise that it’s somewhere you’ve been before, especially as a beginning Undead player. Notice the huge zeppelin tower in the background? That’s right, it’s Brill! It looks like it’s been updated with the same kind of architecture used for Undead settlements in Northrend, replacing the old “decrepit human” building motif the old world has relied upon thus far.

Considering that other parts of the game are getting similarly resbuilt (for instance, Orgrimmar being outfitted with Dark Iron a la Warsong Hold), I wouldn’t be surprised to see these new structures make their way to other familiar spots like Tarren Mill and the Sepulcher.

The second of the screenshots comes from the Swamp of Sorrows region. It looks a little less… “gloomy,” but aside from that it doesn’t seem like a whole lot has changed. Maybe we’ll see if this has any influence on the new look of parts of the Blasted Lands (which you can find a few posts down):

Interface Exposé Episode 2: Market Watcher

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - No Comments »

Hot on the heels of episode 1, here is episode 2 of Interface Exposé, showing off the great addon Market Watcher.

Get Market Watcher (WoWInterface/Curse)

If you want to analyse Auction House data, Market Watcher is a great tool.

Click through to see some example charts!
Read more…

Interface Exposé Episode 1: Shadowed Unit Frames

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - No Comments »

On this edition of Interface Exposé, we take a look at Shadowed Unit Frames.

Get Shadowed Unit Frames (WoWInterface/Curse)

Shadowed Unit Frames is an amazing unit frame addon. It is highly configurable and lightweight. You can make it appear however you like and give you only the information you are interested in. I highly recommend it.

Screenshot Of The Day: 4/30/10

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Update: Much to my surprise, this screenshot is not of Gilneas. According to Bornakk this is actually a portion of the new Blasted Lands. While I know the changes to certain zones are extensive, this particular zone likes virtually unrecognizable! Of course, some people are speculating this is from the Tainted Scar area of the zone, so the whole of the Blasted Lands may not end up looking like this. Wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was being reclaimed by the nearby swamplands, though…

Today’s screenshot comes to us from what I can only assume is the macabre homeland of the Worgen. If Blizzard and Tim Burton had a baby, it’d probably end up looking a lot like Gilneas (and considering the clothing partnerships of both, expect to see expensive t-shirts sold at Hot Topic). Despite my joking cynicism, I think this is a pretty classy image. It takes the best of the game’s graphical updates and just mashes ‘em right together. The shadowing adds a lot of atmosphere, and every time I see those new water effects, I continue to be amazed.

Blizzard’s always had the ability to create something visually and artistically attractive, even when working with aging engines like the one World of Warcraft runs on. As usual, you can see a larger version of the screenshot simply by clicking on the thumbnail below, or view all of the updates right from the official gallery.

Boy Scouts of America Honor Video Games With Badges

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - 6 Comments »

I’ll admit that upon receiving the announcement from a pooh-poohing friend, I thought it odd.  But I implore you to not join the derision.  Stop scoffing at the headline.  While you’re at it, unroll those eyes and retract that snicker.  Before you get all high and mighty about the Boy Scouts trying to become hip, or attempting to remain relevant in today’s connected age, let’s look at the badge itself.

Earning the belt loop (tier 1 gear) is fairly straightforward.  The institution wants its pupils to be responsible.  Belt jockeys need to do the following: Only play games geared toward their age group (as determined by the ESRB), schedule game time after chores and homework have been completed, and then tackle an approved video game.

Tier 10 loot isn’t something that can be done on a rainy afternoon.  No welfare epics for the Boy Scouts of America, you’ve gotta grind the Academic Pin out.  To score the scholarly achievement  – the real mark of a boyscout – the tiger cub, (bear) cub, or webelo must take planning to the next level.  Five separate tasks have to be performed, such as shopping around for the best deal on a title, hooking up a game system, coordinating a family video game tournament, sharing and teaching a game to someone, or playing a game that can promote real-life skills (math = WoW spreadsheets, reading = BioWare’s space opera, etc).  It’s nothing to sneeze at.

Read more…