Aika Online Closed Beta Key Giveaway!

Posted by on February 5, 2010 - No Comments »

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Today we are proud to offer our readers a chance to get into the closed beta of Aika Online in our latest beta key giveaway.   For those of you unfamiliar with Aika Online it is an upcoming fantasy MMORPG from Gala-net.  Designed to re-imagine the “massively” in MMORPG,  Aika presents three major PvP modes which run the gamut from small skirmishes to 1000 vs. 1000 warfare.  Seeing how most of todays MMOs become lag fests after a few hundred players in a battle, it will be very interesting to see if Gala-net can deliver on its promise of 1000 vs 1000 combat.

If you want to try it out for yourself, just head over to our Aika Online closed beta key giveaway page.  We only have 25 beta keys, so they will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

Pirates of the Burning Sea Closes Servers

Posted by on February 5, 2010 - No Comments »

Pirates of the Burning SeaPirates of the Burning Sea is closing servers, three to be exact, in the next month. Flying Lab Software is closing the Blackbeard, Defiant and Rackham servers; the remaining servers will be Roberts and Antigua. Players can freely transfer three characters from the closing servers at any time, and players on the remaining servers can freely transfer two characters until the beginning of March. The transfer can be done online at the POTBS website. Accounts which were inactivated between January 22nd, 2008 and January 15th, 2010 are free to play until March 5th. Characters and their items will be transferred; however, your society and friends list will not. This is not the first time servers have been closed for this game; Pirates of the Burning Sea originally launched with 11 servers.

Zodiac Online Open Beta

Posted by on February 5, 2010 - No Comments »

Are you into MMO’s but wish the pace would slow down a bit? If so, Zodiac Online may be what you’re looking for. The games mantra is to relax as much as possible and truly avoid the rush to completion. Unlike most real-time games, Zodiac players can take their sweet old time plotting their next move in-battle via turn-based strategy. Sound good so far? The game incorporates full-on Chinese cultural elements such as playing envoys sent by the Jade Emperor. The main plot focus of the game is on the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Environments are adorned with colorful, cute graphics in order to attract audiences of all ages and genders.  Zodiac Online’s open beta begins February 10 so if you are liking what you hear so far, sign up here, it’s free.

World First Lich King Kill

Posted by on February 4, 2010 - No Comments »

LichKingParagon For those of us who have played World of Warcraft or even the original Warcraft series, the Lich King should be a familiar character to us. On Tuesday Blizzard released the final wing of Icecrown Citadel which also contains the frozen throne where the Lich King resides.Even though the new wing has been out for roughly three days a guild has already defeated the Lich King on 25 man. Congrats to Paragon for getting the official world first “Fall of the Lich King” achievement.

With that all said and done I’d like to add that the world first kill came with a little drama. The guild known as Ensidia originally had the world first kill but apparently they unknowingly used an exploit to make the encounter easier. Blizzard has issued a 72 hour ban on the Ensidia raid members that were present for the kill and all achievements, emblems and loot that they received has been taken away.

Global Agenda Preview (beta)

Posted by on February 3, 2010 - No Comments »

Global Agenda Mission hub" src="http://www.lorehound.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/globalagenda-2010-01-22-10-25-02-37-12-300x224.jpg" alt="The Global Agenda Mission hub" width="300" height="224" />

In the past I have been lucky enough to participate in the beta testing for City of Villains and Auto Assault.  So when I got a chance to try out the beta of Global Agenda I jumped at it.  What I find great about the whole beta testing process is getting a glimpse into a game before the final version gets released to the public.   Even thought the game is already out, I haven’t had a chance to go get it yet, so this is my Global Agenda preview of the beta.

The game is set in a futuristic world where you have a choice of 4 archetypes to play with in recon, assault, medic and robotics.  Each caters to different types of game play and has their own advantages and disadvantages.  Missions are gained from a hub where you join a team of players to either complete a PvE or PvP mission.  I was disappointed that there did not seem to be any solo play options.  Character customization is initially limited to just changing the look of the face and hair, unlike games like City of Heroes or Villains which offer a wider range of appearance options.  Any further changes in appearance comes at a price, from changing the paint color and armor upgrades that can be purchased later.

The archetype you choose to play really depends on your game style.  With Assault you get a fair amount of weapon power with a chain gun, heightened armor and health regeneration abilities.  While it was fun to blast away at your opponents I found it limiting and nothing that I have not played before.  The only time I found the type truly effective was having a medic nearby to keep healing me as I dealt out the damage.

With a medic you are essentially the healer of the party, throwing off heal bombs and firing a gelatinous heal ray at your teammates.  Low on offense power, this is great for anyone who likes to be the support member of the party.  I found that if the medic is doing his/her job in the mission the chances of keeping a good tight team from constantly having to re-spawn members goes up considerably.   Even though every player gets a jetpack, having to make your way back through the mission map to your team can be tiresome.

The recon class uses steath and speed to make it’s mark in the game.  Essentially functioning  as a scout you can use invisibility mode which looks great on screen but to me was not very useful when I used it.  I am sure if I were to get into that type of game play it might be more interesting in later levels,  but early on it did not catch my interest.

Of all of the classes I found robotics the most interesting.  It offers the most variety of the four classes, offering both offensive and defensive abilities to the team.  The ablity to create a shield or auto turret on the fly were fun and gave me something more to do than just shooting the heck out of enemy robots.   It is definately a class I would be tempted to play more and see what could be done in higher levels.

Overall the key to playing this game seems to be teamwork.  As long as you keep your party in a tight group and each class/archetype does their job the survival rate really remains high.  Most times by playing this way you can finish in time with very little re-spawning.  While you will do most of your fighting with range weapons,  there are melee weapons for each class that seem to be more useful in the Player VS. Player Environment.

In addition to Player Vs. Environment play I also got a chance to try out Player Vs Player mode.  In this mode it is basically a free for all in an arena where you just shoot at the enemy color and try and survive.  For the most part I kept getting punked by the opposition as soon as I entered the zone. Playing the assault class I found the only way to survive was to find someone else on the same side to team up with on the fly, preferably a medic.  While PVP mode has never been my favorite aspect of any MMO, I can see where this part of the game would appeal to some people.

So after trying the beta will I be tempted to pay to play the game, the answer is more than likely yes.  Despite some flaws such as getting stuck in the tutorial with a non-functioning jet-pack (which you can skip through thankfully) and very awkward looking leg movements, which I am sure will be solved in the final product.  The game works great as a futuristic third-person shooter with some interesting RPG elements and plenty to keep you coming back to it.

Allods Online First Impressions

Posted by on February 3, 2010 - No Comments »

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If you never played Allods Online and were to see an in-game video or screenshot, you would most likely call the game, yet another WoW-clone. And you would be right, partially. Truth be told, Allods does “borrow” several gaming mechanics and concepts from Blizzard’s hit MMORPG, but the game is more of a mix-and-match than a complete rip-off. And, last but not least, Allods introduces several brand new features. The game is a free-to-play MMO by Russian developer Astrum Nival, the guys behind Heroes of Might and Magic V, Rage of Mages and Etherlords. Gpotato are responsible for porting it to North America and Europe. The developers have taken their job more than seriously, pouring the outstanding 12 million dollars into the production of Allods. So it’s no wonder the game became one of the best known free MMO’s to date, long before its release. Let’s get on with my first impressions of Allods Online

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Gameplay

Allods_01The controls and interface of Allods are pretty standard. Keyboard movement, but there is also a click-to-move option included. The interface won’t give you much trouble, except the lack of a decent minimap and the quest tracker. The game does have a compass, but that doesn’t help much. Once you’re used to constantly opening and closing the map panel, you will forget about that too. As for the quest tracker, the problem is there is no way for you to disable tracking for just one quest, meaning you will either have to track all your quests at once, or hide the entire tracker. One thing that really helps are the small overhead icons for NPC’s, who, unlike other MMORPG’s, are visible at all times, even when you’re not looking at that particular NPC. Those icons will be displayed on the edge of your screen, and will constantly cycle around you. Point one with the mouse and a small text message will show up, giving a bit of information, including available quests and NPC function. Allods_04Speaking of quests, they are also pretty standard. Most of them revolve around killing a number of mobs or talking to a certain NPC, but most tasks are very quick and simple, you won’t have to spend more then 15 minutes on most quests. The leveling itself is fast at first and after level 5 leveling becomes much more of a challenge. This is where the fatigue system comes in handy. In addition to normal experience, you also gain bonus experience referred to as fatigue. Fatigue can be used by talking to one of the many innkeepers across the world. Fatigue has a limit, though, so don’t rely on it too much.

Combat

Allods_02Combat is fairly slow in Allods, being a pain at the start, but once you get the hang of your class you won’t have much problems with it. In my 15 hours of closed beta gameplay I had the chance to test out two classes, a Kanian Champion(human warrior), which I got to level 6, for the League and Arisen Summoner for the Empire, whom I leveled up to 9. I enjoyed my experience as a summoner much more than as a champion, partly because I prefer the mage as my class of choice. As a champion the gameplay was standard enough: charge at a distance(aimed shot if it’s cooling down) and then I just spammed skills in a row(whichever was available). The champion has a combat advantage bar that most skills use. You gain combat advantage by fighting, so yeah, it’s like the warrior rage in WoW. The Summoner, on the other hand, uses his summoned pet as a tank and casts from a safe distance in the meantime. Until the enemy decides to attack him, or his pet dies, that is. Than he has to make a run for it. I haven’t had enough party gameplay or PvP to comment on either of those yet, but I plan to fix that once the open beta rolls in.

Visuals and sound

Allods_05Allods’ soundtrack was composed by the professional musicians Mark Morgan(who has also composed for television series such as One Tree Hill, Kojak and Killer Instincts, and video games such as Fallout and Planescape: Torment) and Vladislav Isaev. And it’s pretty easy to guess that. From the amazing main theme to simple background noises, everything finds its place perfectly and doesn’t get in the way much.

Allods_06As for the game’s graphics, Allods will impress you, that’s for sure. The graphics are not only polished and have amazing design, but they also have a particular style, a mix of comic and fantasy. Yes, I mean it, Allods is practically flawless in the technical department. It’s had a stable closed beta so far, with just bit of lag, nothing serious.

Conclusion

My first impressions of Allods online are more than positive: a polished free MMORPG with great graphics, solid gameplay and amazing soundtrack. Put in the giant fanbase and great support and you’ve got yourself a winning MMO formula.

Dragon Oath Expansion Kicks Off

Posted by on February 3, 2010 - No Comments »

ChangYou have announced that their martial arts themed MMORPG Dragon Oath launches its first expansion: Age of Destiny. The new features include:

New Mount:
Introducing „Bladewind”, a giant dragon with extraordinary looks and formidable strength. Bladewind increases your speed by 70%, has the power to create a dust storm, and is big enough to fit you and one of your in-game friends.

New Weapons:
Age of Destiny features a set of new weapons, including Melting Falchion, Traceless Sword, Winds in Stone Fan and Blue Silver Circle.

New Areas:
Yan Tomb – a mysterious tomb filled with treasures.
Swallow’s Dock – a large scale battle meant to test your reflexes, as well as your skills.
Ice Space – an ice dungeon, where you can earn experience just by resting.

New Pets:
The expansion also introduces two new pets – Fire Rat and Pegasus. Powerful companions with just one purpose – to help you improve.

New Quests:
With a new set of quests, including the Bloody Soldiers and a number of new Heroic Quests, Age of Destiny will challenge your character’s existence!

We have some new Dragon Oath screen below for you to enjoy.

Final Fantasy XIV Beta Within Reach

Posted by on February 2, 2010 - No Comments »

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Since its announcement in June 2009 Final Fantasy XIV has been somewhat of a mystery to gamers. However with the beta signup now open for the PC version you could have a chance to find out before the big release just what the new Final Fantasy Online installment is going to be all about. The only requirements in order to submit an application are that you have a Square Enix account and are at least 18 years old. Navigate to Final Fantasy XIV Online Beta Signup while you still have a chance because you aren’t the only one who wants to get their hands on perhaps one of the most anticipated MMO’s yet. Sign up here.