Turbine Recalls “Offer Wall”

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - No Comments »

Have I informed you about the undead pirates yet? Because this one has an undead rat buddy to prove his swashbucklin' status.

Apparently, when a community of people unites behind one voice they really can make an impact.  Turbine is axing the “Offer Wall” after the community spit acid and security concerns were discovered.

“Recently, we opened an Offer Wall with a selection of ads that got a strong negative response. There were also technical issues that raised valid questions about security. Overall it was a poor user experience that was not up to our standards, and for this we apologize.

Based on your feedback, we’re stepping away from the ‘Offer’ category for now. We’ll keep exploring alternate ways for players who want points to get them. We’ll also continue to innovate in pricing and accessibility because that’s who we are. As of today, the Offer Wall is coming down. We’ll collect all the feedback we’ve received over the last few days and will use it to guide future decisions.”

Trashing the project was the quickest and safest way to address the situation in a reasonable manner.  Turbine’s tact and speed addressing (valid) community concerns is a shining example of how to deal with a PR gaffe in the MMOG industry.  Are you following this Cryptic?

Read the full backpedal by Marketroid on the forum.

A Look Back at BlizzCon 2009′s N00bz Display: Figures Now on Sale

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - No Comments »

You can paint them to be virtually anything you want them to be from the WoW-Warcraft-Starcraft universe. Or wherever. At BlizzCon 2009′s artwork showcase area, we saw our first glimpse of the cute little figures known as “N00bz.” Leading up to the convention, Blizzard handed out 225+ of these neat little figurines as complete blanks to select employees to see what their creative little brains could come up with. As it turns out, many of them turned out pretty damn cool, and a handful wound up on display at BlizzCon.

Those of us who were lucky enough to attend BlizzCon also got our own exclusive StarCraft II “Raynor” figure as part of the swag bag. And now, many months later, several different versions of these collectible figurines now are available for purchase in the Blizzard store. You can get pre-personalized versions of Ragnaros, a Ghoul or a very mean looking murloc, for $30 a pop. Or, even better yet, buy a blank figure (for $5 less) and create your own N00bz figure.

Can you beat out some of these versions that I captured video of at BlizzCon? Let us know what you would like to make your n00bz, if you were to get one. And check the video for your own inspiration.

Think of the possibilities before you click through to see the pre-painted versions!
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Instance Gratification: DDO Episode 1 – The Beginning (of the rat invasion)

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - 5 Comments »

Before the PR disaster that is the “Offer Wall” I teamed up with a few community members for some dungeon goodness.  The trio of Warforged characters tore apart the opening dungeons.  We chewed through our purchased XP items and absorbed the XP bonus until each of us had hit level 2.  After some laughs, deaths, near wipes – the dungeon mobs can hit really hard in the higher difficulties – we called it a day.

Sure, there was only three members, but we have to start somewhere.  Episode 2 will once again happen on Sunday, and is currently scheduled for an 11:00 AM EST start time on the Khyber server.  Please be sure to complete the tutorial area and dungeon before go time.  Level 2 would be nice, but is not required.  Supplies of DDO Point cards are still available to those that attend!

Prospective attendees should drop a line below so we can gauge the expected attendance.  Include your class if you’ve already decided upon one.  I currently have a warforged cleric (iTZKooPA) and a halfling bard (iTZKHuPA).

World of WarCraft: Cataclysm – New Dungeon Unveiled

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - No Comments »

The latest dungeon in World of WarCraft: Cataclysm was unveiled and boy is it a big one. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - Mount Hyjal. This otherwise gorgeous slice of WarCraft lore was cut off from previous WoW expansions, but a W.I.P. version of it was present since the launch of the official game, all those years ago. The new elite raid dungeon is meant for players around level 80 and will give us all a much needed lesson in WarCraft lore. More information about the new dungeon – here.

Craft of Gods to Launch on May 27th

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - No Comments »

Kalicanthus Entertainment have announced the release date for Craft of Gods, the brand new 3D Fantasy MMORPG – May 27th. In the meantime, you can pre-order the game here. The official servers will be open from 2.30 PM CET on launch day. The languages available at launch will be English, Russian, German and Italian.

The dev team have also planned two more open beta events: one from April 29th to May 6th and a second one from May 20th to May 26th. Great news, since Craft of Gods looks like a great MMORPG with a classic RPG feel to it. Anyways, you can read more about it here.

Earthrise Delayed.. Again!

Posted by on April 14, 2010 - No Comments »

Masthead Studios have announced that their debut game – Earthrise is delayed once again. The folks over at Masthead have decided to present this to us in the form of some sort of joke.. It seems the Earthrise team was completely eradicated by some sort of evil machine, or “Jaberwokie” as they refer to it. Whatever the true reason behind all this is the fact is – Earthrise is delayed once again, and will presumably be released way after the official release date(Q2 2010). Nice work, Masthead, now try to act like a proper developer. You can read the whole thing here.

Paladin Preview Moves Up

Posted by on April 13, 2010 - No Comments »

Undoubtedly, some Paladin players out there felt left out in the cold when they realized their class preview would be coming last, and about a week later than the rest of them. Of course, since when has Blizzard ever let their favorite class go unappreciated? And besides that, if they were so “deep into development” they couldn’t release information last week, has all that much changed since then?

Well, whether they’re better prepared to give us the goods than they thought or they’re willing to throw Paladins a bone, Blizzard’s given us a new date for the final preview: tomorrow. Yes, April 14th, a full two days ahead of schedule! Don’t believe me? Just listen to Wryxian:

We appreciate all of our pink champions waiting just a bit longer to get their preview. While we had initially announced that we were planning to post the Paladin preview on Friday, April 16 we’re unfortunately not going to be able to release the preview on that date.

Instead it will be posted Wednesday, April 14!

Since it’s the only class preview of the day, we’re not sure precisely at what time it will appear, but all bets seem to be placing it at a reasonable time for the Western hemisphere. Whenever it pops, Lore Hound will keep you posted.

Cataclysm Zones: New Mount Hyjal Details

Posted by on April 13, 2010 - 8 Comments »

It’s been a long, nearly eight months since we first learned that Mount Hyjal would become a playable zone back at BlizzCon 2009, and now we’re finally starting to hear some of the juicy details. Today, Blizzard released a new informational page on the zone detailing some of the zone’s lore, areas within the level 78-82 phased zone, and a teaser on Firelands, an “all-new level-85 raid dungeon” in the zone.

Here’s the basics:

For years, Mount Hyjal and the wounded World Tree, Nordrassil, have remained cut off from the rest of Azeroth. Sealed away within a protective field of dense foliage by Malfurion Stormrage, Nordrassil has been slowly recovering from the devastation of the Third War, when Malfurion called upon the tree’s power to destroy the archdemon Archimonde and repel the forces of the Burning Legion and Scourge. Now, with the impending cataclysm, the World Tree’s well-being is threatened once more. From the Firelands within the Elemental Plane, Ragnaros and his minions prepare to burst into Hyjal and set Nordrassil ablaze — and the conflagration would endanger all life on Azeroth.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, players will have the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Mount Hyjal as Azeroth’s heroes, with the help of Ysera, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem, are called upon to push back the armies of the Firelord, banish Ragnaros to the Elemental Plane and lay waste to the twilight dragon stronghold in nearby Darkwhisper Gorge. This all-new level 78-82 zone will feature multiple quest hubs, phased terrain and quest lines, portals to micro-zones within the Firelands, an all-new raid dungeon, and much more.

Read on for the full details, a brief analysis and another screenshot.

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