Thoughts On Fallen Earth’s April State of the Game

Posted by on April 12, 2010 - No Comments »

The little independent MMOG that could just debuted its latest State of the Game address.  You can read it here before diving into my thoughts.

The address started off exactly where it needed to, with Lee Hammock’s departure from the Lead Game Designer position.  To my knowledge, his replacement has not been named.  The official address made no mention to a successor, interim or permanent.  That was fairly shocking to me.  Many players view Lee Hammock as the heart and soul of Fallen Earth, reasonable or not.  Without “The Beard Man,” the company has no public face – shrouded behind a thick face mane, mind you – and subscribers may start to get worried.

No Fallen Earth, LLC, my fears have not been assuaged.  The pathetic attempt to distract me with information on the upcoming patch will not work!  I am strong.  Stop dangling those shiny things in front of me!  Wait, Clan Wars you say?

Hit the jump to see if iTZKooPA can regain his train of thought. Read more…

New Futuristic MMO Under Development by Age of Empires Producer

Posted by on April 12, 2010 - No Comments »

Windstorm Studios have just made it public that they are developing a brand new futuristic MMORPG. Not much is know about this Unknown Sci-Fi MMO, except it’s set in a futuristic world where players will have a full set of futuristic weapons and equipment at their disposal. The new-born studios is headed by Dusty Monk, ex Age of Empires producer and one of the key people at Ensemble Studios, best known for the Age of Empires/Age of Mythology series and the hit console RTS Halo Wars. That is, until the studio was disbanded on September 9, 2008.

Dragon's Call to Launch New Server

Posted by on April 12, 2010 - No Comments »

In order to make current and future experiences with Dragon’s Call a bit more pleasant, the EverDream team is preparing to launch a new game server. The New Dragon’s Call server is launching tomorrow, April 13th, 2010, at EST 21:00. In addition, the EverDream team is also holding a series of captivating game events, such as a leveling contest, refining tournament and guild war.

In addition, the new instanced dungeon for the game is now up – the Sandwalker’s Den is awaiting brave adventurers to venture inside and discover its treasures, glory and dangers.

2Moons – "Action 6: Good Day To Die!" Update Released

Posted by on April 12, 2010 - No Comments »

Acclaim games have announced the release of “Action 6: Good Day To Die!,” the latest update for their hit fantasy MMORPG 2Moons. Some of the new features include: “The Dead Lands,” a new battle event map(happens three times a day) where the object is to kill 300 “Overpowered Pitborn” within 30 minutes. Complete it successfully and you will claim the “Sign of Destruction,” a powerful item that will let you summon your personal instanced dungeon. Another new feature is the DK Square System – an exciting new PvP system that will let you battle against players from other servers for server-based rewards such as double exp. That’s not all - a revised party system, new auto-targeting system, updates to the deadly Crespo Abyss, new monsters, additional warp stones, new armor classes, new weapons and a series of deadly new quests! Enough blabbering, visit the official website for more information.

The Lore Hound MMOcast: Episode 2

Posted by on April 11, 2010 - No Comments »

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Join iTZKooPA, Amatera, and Juggynaut this week as we cover some MMO news from the week. This episode covers Battle of the ImmortalsFinal Fantasy XIVChampions Online, DDO, and more.

Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, or subscribe via RSS, and leave a comment to let us know how you liked it!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Class Previews – Rounds Two & Three

Posted by on April 11, 2010 - No Comments »

In short order after releasing the first round of previews, Blizzard has released the second and third, each chock full of information on the expected Cataclysm class changes. Represented now are nine of the ten classes – all but the lonely Paladins now have small smoulderings of information to keep them warm through the cold nights of anticipation. What have the holy knights done to earn such disdain from the gods of World of Warcraft? A mystery indeed, but for now let’s content ourselves with the rest – as before I have only plucked the new abilities from the previews and included links for the full articles due to their length.

New Warrior Abilities:

Inner Rage (Level 81): Whenever the character reaches a full 100 Rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time. This is a passive ability so it won’t need to be activated by the player. The goal for this ability is to provide a benefit for hitting max Rage instead of it feeling like a penalty. However, we also don’t want warriors to feel like they’re supposed to pool Rage and do nothing until they hit 100, so we’ll be closely monitoring how this plays out during the beta testing, and making adjustments as needed.

Gushing Wound (Level 83): This ability will apply a bleed effect to the target. If the target moves, the bleed gains an extra stack and refreshes its duration, up to a maximum of three stacks. The ability is currently planned to have no cooldown, cost 10 Rage, and have a 9-second duration. Gushing Wound is designed to be weaker than Rend with one stack, but better with three stacks, which will be reached when fighting a moving target.

Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. The cooldown for this ability might be longer than the Charge ability, but it will also apply a stun effect so you can make sure the target will still be there when you land.

New Death Knight Abilities:

Outbreak (level 81): Outbreak infects the target with both Frost Fever and Blood Plague at no rune cost. This ability allows death knights to apply diseases quickly when they are switching targets or when their diseases have been dispelled.

Necrotic Strike (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the death knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike — the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health.

This ability is meant to bring back some of the old flavor from when death knights could dispel heal-over-time (HoT) effects. It also gives the class a bit more PvP utility without simply replicating a Mortal Strike-style effect.

Dark Simulacrum (level 85): The death knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the death knight to copy the opponent’s next spell cast and unleash it. Unlike Spell Reflection, Dark Simulacrum does not cancel the incoming spell. In general, if you can’t reflect an ability, you won’t be able to copy it either.

New Rogue Abilities:

Redirect (available at level 81): Rogues will be getting a new ability to help them deal with changing targets. Redirect will transfer any active combo points to the rogue’s current target, helping to ensure combo points aren’t wasted when swapping targets or when targets die. In addition, self-buff abilities like Slice and Dice will no longer require a target, so rogues can spend extra combo points on those types of abilities (more on this below). Redirect will have a 1-minute cooldown and no other costs.

Combat Readiness (level 83): Combat Readiness is a new ability that we intend rogues to trigger defensively. While this ability is active, whenever the rogue is struck by a melee or ranged attack, he or she will gain a stacking buff called Combat Insight that results in a 10% reduction in damage taken. Combat Insight will stack up to 5 times and the timer will be refreshed whenever a new stack is applied. Our goal is to make rogues better equipped to go toe-to-toe with other melee classes when Evasion or stuns are not in play. This ability lasts 6 seconds and has a 2-minute cooldown.

Smoke Bomb (level 85): The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. In PvP, this will open up new dimensions of tactical positional gameplay, as the ability offers a variety of offensive and defensive uses. In PvE, Smoke Cloud can serve to shield your group from hostile ranged attacks, while also drawing enemies closer without the need to rely on conventional line-of-sight obstructions. Smoke Cloud lasts 10 seconds and has a 3-minute cooldown.

New Hunter Abilities:

Cobra Shot (level 81): A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will share a cooldown with Steady Shot. This will give hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot.

Trap Launcher (level 83): When used, the next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current ability Freezing Arrow. 1-minute cooldown. No global cooldown.

Camouflage (level 85): The hunter enters an obscured state that prevents him or her from taking ranged damage. The character would still be subject to melee or area-of-effect attacks, and dealing or taking damage will break the Camouflage effect. The hunter can move and set traps when under Camouflage, and will receive a damage bonus when attacking while under Camouflage (which will then break the effect).

New Druid Abilities:

Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.

Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.

Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.

New Mage Abilites:

Flame Orb (available at level 81): Inspired by Prince Taldaram’s abilities in Ahn’kahet and Icecrown Citadel, this spell allows the mage to cast a flaming orb that travels in front in a straight line, sending beams that cause fire damage to passing targets. Once it’s cast, the mage is free to begin casting other spells as the Flame Orb travels. While the spell will be useful to any spec, Fire mages will have talents that improve it, possibly causing the Flame Orb to explode when it reaches its destination.

Time Warp (level 83): Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage’s own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can’t benefit from both if you’ve got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.

Wall of Fog (level 85): Creates a line of frost in front of the mage, 30 yards from end to end. Enemies who cross the line are snared and take damage. The mana cost will be designed to make Wall of Fog efficient against groups, not individuals. This spell is intended to give mages a way to help control the battlefield, whether the mage is damaging incoming enemies (Blizzard can be channeled on top of Wall of Fog) or protecting a flag in a Battleground. 10-second duration. 30-second cooldown.

Cataclysm Class Updates: Mage

Posted by on April 10, 2010 - 3 Comments »

Prince Taldaram lends his signature attack to the Mage class.

The final class update has arrived (well, except for Paladins, which are next week), and if you ask me, Mages are getting some rather powerful new abilities. As opposed to those of most other classes, every one of them seems useful.

Flame Orb is introduced at Level 81, and it’s a spell you’re probably already familiar with if you’ve gone toe-to-toe with Prince Taldaram. His signature ability is now the Mage’s to command and it functions very much in the same way. The combustible sphere travels forward in a straight line, lashing out at targets as it passes by them. Talents may also allow the orb to explode upon contacting the target.

Few abilities seem as raid-essential as good old Bloodlust, but the new spell Time Warp adds a similar buff to the Mage’s arsenal. Using it boosts your group’s Haste rating, while also increasing the caster’s personal movement speed. As both (and other) spells cause Exhaustion, they cannot be used simultaneously. However, on long fights, there is the potential to cast them at different times.

Finally, the Mage gets a great new utility spell called Wall of Fog. Maintaining some sort of distance between you and the enemy seems like a key theme in many of the abilities we’ve seen introduced over the past few days, and this is no different. Casting Wall of Fog will erect a barrier of frost 30-feet-long in front of the caster. Any foe who passes over it takes damage and becomes ensnared for a short amount of time. The benefits of such a spell, especially in PvP, should be obvious.

There are a couple of mechanical changes to be aware of: Arcane Missiles will be a proc-based spell instead of a channeled one, making it no longer spammable, many extraneous spells such as Amplify/Dampen Magic will be removed, and you will not get access to created food until probably around Level 40 (low-level Mages will have other ways to deal with mana shortages).

Everything else is behind the cut! Read more…

Cataclysm Class Updates: Druid

Posted by on April 10, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Boomkins. Now with more "boom."

Boomkins. Now with more "boom."

We’re hitting the home stretch on class updates, folks. But that doesn’t make the last few classes any less important. In fact, I think the Druid changes might be the best set so far. Sure, there are no major mechanical changes for the class that is already sort of the “master of everything,” and Resto is getting no new spells at this point, but the other specs have a few interesting spells to mess about with.

Thrash is a new AoE tanking ability intended to add a little bit more depth to Bear form. It causes all melee-range targets to bleed every 2 seconds for a duration of 6, and the fact that talents can cause it to buff other powerful abilities such as Swipe should ensure Druids a role as a strong multi-target tanking choice.

Stampeding Roar is a utility spell that can be used in either Bear or Cat form, which buffs allies in melee range with 40% extra movement speed for eight seconds. Think of it like a Sprint you can give to your friends, which should be helpful on fights where everyone needs to suddenly run away from the boss.

The last is the most interesting as it poses a new strategic element for Balance Druid combat. Wild Mushroom allows you to place a magical toadstool on the field that disappears after four seconds. When an enemy runs past it or the Druid activates it, the fungus explodes, dealing either AoE damage to all baddies in the area or massive damage to a single foe. Maybe I’ve just been playing too much Modern Warfare 2/Bad Company 2 lately, but that sounds cool as hell to me.

Once again, there are no new abilities for Resto Druids because Blizzard thinks they’re already versatile enough (and going by those healing numbers I always see in Recount, I’d have to agree). But for everything else, hit the jump. Read more…