Ubisoft Pushes Heroes of Might & Magic Online To Beta

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - No Comments »

Ubisoft is finally joining the rest of the big boys.  The company announced today that Heroes of Might & Magic Online will be heading to beta in “early May.”

HoMMO is to be the first major push in the MMOG market for the French company.  The browser-based game was originally designed for the Chinese market by TQ digital, and released in 2008.  It’s taken over two years for Ubisoft to bring the free-to-play game to the North American market.

Heroes of Might & Magic Online’s gameplay is based upon HoMM III – often described as the best HoMM – with graphical prowess of HoMM V.  HoMMO players will interact in realtime, unlike the staple turn-based battles of Heroes of Might & Magic.

Interested parties can head here to register for beta access.  Goodluck!

*Note: As with many new beta announcements, the flood of perspective players has caused the registration applet to crash.  It’ll probably be up and down throughout the day.

Random Matchmaking and Egotism

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - 2 Comments »

The new random battleground feature is quite enjoyable. I’ve been playing a lot more battlegrounds and PvP as a whole since its implementation. However, there are some times when the whole “work as a team” mechanic breaks down.

You see, I had just picked up a Corroded Skeleton Key for my PvP set. For Rogues, especially in arena comps that don’t have a healer, this trinket is invaluable. Popping it before Vanish fixes many of the Vanish “bugs”, such as being knocked out by pets that don’t properly disengage, autoattacks, etc. Not to mention, it allows me to Vanish when I have DoTs or when someone may be able to still target me and quickly reopen. Its really a great Rogue PvP trinket with a shorter cooldown than the Battlemaster’s trinkets. The only advantages to using a Battlemaster Trinket are having additional offensive stats as opposed to stamina, and the additional health you gain from a Battlemaster Trinket lasts the entire duration even if its damaged through (so a healer could essentially “restore” the bonus by healing the extra health back). Regardless, its a great trinket in many situations, and many skilled Rogues use it.

Regardless, I use this trinket all of the time to get off “clean” vanishes. However, some people may not agree.

Read more…

Beach Volleyball Closed Beta Begins

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - No Comments »

Casual gamers and Volleyball fans will be glad to hear that Bleach Volleyball, the first volleyball-based MMORPG has now entered closed beta. But that doesn’t mean it’s limited to playing volleyball – you can also swim, explore, visit a nightclub, make friends, and all that other stuff you dream about while playing World of WarCraft. The game looks to be shaping up nice, nothing to scream about but nothing to be scared of, either. More information is available here.

Mytheon Coming To iPhone This Spring

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - No Comments »

True Games have announced plans to release Mytheon: Assault of Gaia, a spin-off to its upcoming MMORPG. The price of this application will be 2.99$ and will be released in North America first and Europe, China and Korea afterwards. The iPhone version of Mytheon is a tower-defense styled adventure where players have to protect the temple of Gaia from Skeletons, Cyclops, Minotaurs and all other kinds of mythological creatures. The game offers three settings: Kraken, which is set within temple ruins; Hades, a lava-filled underworld; and the Greek Parthenon. Thumbs up for True Games!

Earthrise Set For A New Release Date – Q3 2010

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - No Comments »

Earlier this week, we told you that Earthrise is delayed and will not appear on its initial release date. Now we have the new Earthrise release date – Q3 2010. Ever since the announcement about the game being delayed there have been numerous speculations about the reason the game was pushed back. Some people jumped to quick conclusions such as the key people of the Earthrise team being fired, the quality of the game not meeting to their expectations and many more. We still have to hear an official explanation on why the game is being delayed, so stay tuned.

For the Hoard 3: The Brand New Celestial Steed Mount

Posted by on April 16, 2010 - 3 Comments »

I did it. I took the plunge. Whether you agree with the politics of it or not, the Celestial Steed Mount is here to stay. And being the mount hoarder that I am, I had to have it.

This brand new mount that Blizzard introduced in its store Thursday (along with the adorable, albeit loud L’il XT) scales with your riding proficiency, and is both a ground and flying mount, scaling up to 310 percent speed — if you have a mount that goes that fast already, that is. Plus, it’s a sparkly Pegasus. I couldn’t pass this up! But is it worth the $25 pricetag? Join me as I buy this new mount and take it for a test drive, and judge for yourself.

AND make sure to watch to the end of the video for a sneak-peek into Lore Hound’s next contest. With a video on the Celestial Steed mount, just what kind of in-game loot could we possibly be giving away as a contest prize!? And how do you enter?! We’ll make a post with the full details soon. But until then, watch to the end of the episode for info on how to win!

Cataclysm Zones: New Vashj’ir Details

Posted by on April 15, 2010 - 1 Comment »

The hits just keep on coming! Blizzard released a preliminary preview of their second high-level Cataclysm zone today: the sunken city of Vashj’ir (and the rest, I presume, can’t be very far behind). Once counted amongst the most beautiful Night Elf cities, it was long ago dragged underneath the waves by the violent churning of the Maelstrom. Now its illustrious ruins hide dark secrets and serve as the breeding ground of a fearful new Naga plot.

So what else makes this new zone unique? Well, first of all, it’s the game’s very first completely underwater zone (though there will be areas of pocketed air to romp around in). And considering how much we all hate the snail’s pace of existing underwater quests, Blizzard is giving us a few new means of transportation. Exact details are light, but we can expect faction naval vessels and submarines — of the Gnomish and Goblin variety, no doubt — to help us get around.

Vashj’ir will provide questing opportunities for Level 78-82 characters, as well as two 5-man dungeons: Throne of the Tides and the Abyssal Maw, the latter of which has already had a small preview.

Once a great Highborne city housing some of the most revered night elves of Kalimdor, Vashj’ir was swallowed by the Great Sea in the Sundering and thought to be lost forever. Queen Azshara, formerly a beloved leader of the Highborne, escaped death in the depths of the sea when the Well of Eternity imploded. Such salvation came at a great cost, as the queen and many of her fellow Highborne were forever transformed into the monstrous naga, doomed to wander the seas for thousands of years. Their existence mostly remains a mystery to the peoples of modern Azeroth, though the Earthen Ring has learned of Azshara’s naga seizing Vashj’ir for an unknown purpose as the cries of the elements echo across Azeroth from the Abyss.

The rest of the preview, including a short piece of lore detailing the account of a captured Alliance soldier and several new screenshots follows the break. Read more…

Blizzard & The Evolution of WoW’s Microtranactions

Posted by on April 15, 2010 - 7 Comments »

Believe it or not, Blizzard Entertainment has run a “hybrid” business model – subscriptions and microtransactions – for World of Warcraft for years.  The company hasn’t been incredibly forthcoming about discussing it, let alone promoting the fact, but it’s made a non-negligible amount of extra money from this side business.  I am speaking of the services it provides to players that are not happy with their current situation.  Services include name changes, server transfers and now faction alterations and can range from a $10 to $25 charge.  Blizzard charges players for these services to essentially penalize those that attempt to name change or move servers very often.  A reasonable, if self-serving excuse.

Shortly before the new year, Blizzard altered its hybrid model policy by including the sale of in-game content.  Yes, the in-game pets are frivilous items, offering no gameplay advantage, but it was the company’s first step towards paid content.  Blizzard claimed that so much development time went into Lil’ KT and the Pandaren Monk that it had no choice but to charge for their creation.  In truth, the companion pets are some of the most complex non-combat pets in the game, with multiple animations and, in the case of the Pandaren Monk, a unique skin and animations (and possibly model).  To smooth over the transition from paid services to paid in-game items, Blizzard promised to donate half of the Pandaren Monk’s proceeds to Make-A-Wish.  The sum ended up being a donation of a cool $1.1 million a few months later.  That means 220,000 monks were sold at $10 a pop.

Read the rest of the editorial after the break. Read more…