15 March 2012
| | Mike
NCSoft today announced that the free-to-play version of Aion will be launching on April 11th. Aion will be truely F2P, with no content restrictions or account tiers. The highly anticipated update 3.0, called Aion: Ascension will bring with it two new systems, C.U.B.E and the Atreian Atlas.
C.U.B.E, which stands for Customizable User Bundling Experience, is just a fancy way of saying you’ll be able to make your own item-store bundles to purchase from the Aion Store. How it works is that players purchase the Cube from the Black Cloud Marketplace, then can place as many store-items into it as they can fit. There will be different size Cubes, at different price-points, depending how many items you want to buy. Pretty clever idea by not allowing players to buy just one item, instead only allowing bundles; which obviously costs a lot more.
The second major feature is the Atreian Atlas; which acts as a guide for players throughout the game. The system will provide players with quest details on past completed quests, upcoming ones including: quest difficulty, minimal suggested level, related quests, maps, videos, guides, boss info, etc. Pretty much everything you need to know in order to complete any quest, aside from the Atlas actually completing it for you.
Along with those two new features, update 3.0 will also raise the level cap to 60 (from 55), introduce two new zones, 6 new instances, and add more housing and mount choices.
Below you can watch the Aion: Ascension trailer.
24 February 2012
| | Mike
In just over 48 hrs, ArenaNet received 1 million beta signup to its closed beta testing phase. It is quite the milestone, but does that really mean anything anymore?
Over the last few years, just about every triple A title has hit the million beta signup mark including: Age of Conan, SWTOR, Warhammer Online, Aion, RIFT, and others, I’m sure. So does the fact that GW2 hit 1 million really mean anything?
I’d like to think that it still does; that players are excited for what GW2 is bringing to the genre, and that the era of theme-park MMO’s is fading away; but then again, SWTOR easily had a million beta signups as well. While there’s no doubt players are excited for Guild Wars 2, this whole beta signup bragging thing is a bit meaningless these days.
While hitting 1 millions signups might no longer be as big of a deal as it was years ago, not hitting it would have been. Then again, it’s GW2, of course they were going to hit the million mark.
23 February 2012
| | Mike
Today, Gameforge revealed that the EU version of Aion will be going free-to-play on February 28th. Subscriptions will cease, and players will need to download a new client if they wish to continue playing after that date. Players with active subscription’s lasting past Feb 28th will received premium currency as compensation.
Update 3.0, however, will not be released until this spring.
For North American players, they’ll have to wait until this spring for both the 3.0 update and the F2P conversion.
20 May 2011
| | Ronix
“A thousand devs of the NCsoft empire descend upon you. Their nerfs will blot out the sun.”
“Then we shall QQ in the shade.”
It has been recently announced that the long-awaited Aion 2.5 patch has arrived on the Player Test Server. The new patch will bring additional content in the form of PvE instances, a graphics overhaul, optimization of existing systems, such as crafting and enchanting, and the introduction of new ones, such as the Helper system. Legion features will be further improved, character customization will receive an expansion and there will also be several tweaks and fixes to gameplay.
Having avoided logging in to the game since the end of 2009, I find myself strangely curious about the news. The urge to give this game another try seems to be getting worse, like an annoying itch that you can’t quite shake off. Instead of giving in, I decided to resist the temptation because I generally don’t go back to games that have burned me once. I’m just spiteful like that. Instead, I’m writing up this diary entry that will serve as a visual depiction of some of the entertaining things I still remember about the title. Follow along and remember to click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.
All RvR games start with a rivalry. Having amassed a huge community on the forums before launch, all that Aion-related threads needed was one spark, one short reply and everything was engulfed in the holy fire of a flame-war. Both Asmodians and Elyos would call each other names and comment on the looks of their opponents. The picture presented above is a good example.
18 March 2011
| | iTZKooPA
Normally, Lore Hound doesn’t act as a PR siren. We strive to start discussions, highlight the highs and lows of the industry, ask tough questions, showcase upcoming escapist activities and entertain. Even posts on general MMOG news come with Op-Ed tropes. But what happened in Japan last week is anything but normal.
To that effect, we’re here to inform you that Hi-Rez Studios, the new owners of the Tribes intellectual property, is donating all of its sales for Global Agenda to the American Red Cross relief fund for the next few days. The charity goes both ways though, as Hi-Rez has slashed GA’s price by 66%, down to a paltry $9.99. This makes it a great time to buy the enjoyable shooter if you’ve neglected it so far, or purchase a copy for a friend. Or hell, just buy a second copy. It’s a more enjoyable alternative to texting ‘Japan’ to some faceless entity – Skynet – that runs our cellular networks.
The deal ends on Sunday, March 20 and applies to all regions where Global Agenda is available. Hit the link at the top of the page to purchase and then head to the official relief page for the full details.
The structure of the donation means you won’t have to have this conversation with your self-satisfying friends.
In related news, NCSoft, developer of Aion and Guild Wars (among others), also is donating a huge heap of cash to the relief efforts. NCsoft announced today that it will donate 500 million Yen (approx 4.5 million Euros/3.9 million GBP/6.3 million USD) to restoration of damages in the region. They’re definitely going all out — Even a tenth of that amount would be considered huge.
Let’s keep showing the world that gamers also can make a big difference — here’s hoping that other game companies who have the means to give, do, and that Hi-Rez’s special pricing drive is a huge success.
We don’t plan to document all the charitable efforts made by the companies we generally cover, but these two definitely stand out as a good start.
4 February 2011
| | iTZKooPA
MMORPG gamers have two important four letter words that they’re becoming intimately familiar with. No, STFU, it’s not those. The two “words” are Rift and TERA, fantasy MMORPGs set for release during 2011. Same genre, business model (subscription) and release year are bad enough, but when you add in the fact that both titles are coming from little-known publishers/developers with their own intellectual properties, the confusion enters another level. To confound us one step further, each title started beta invitations around the same time.
But we’re humans, easily defeated by Jeopardy machines. These baffling similarities have even stupefied the infallible Amazon. The seller of anything and everything is returning Rift: Collector’s Edition as the top hit for a search of TERA. Or chips.
As we continue to cover these titles to their impeding launch you’ll learn the nitty gritty of each. Until then, here’s a cheat sheet.
- Both games will be released in 2011, using the standard subscription model.
- Fantasy settings with your typical WoW/EverQuest UI but in original universes.
- Scantily clad, really hot female characters in “armor.”
- Gorgeous graphics, architecture and landscapes.
- Telara, the land in which you play Rift, is sounds a bit like TERA. Especially when you can’t speak. Continue Reading
4 September 2010
| | Mordil
For those who cannot survive without PAX Prime content: Never fear. Mordil has saved the day by living near PAX, and having nothing better to do but upload photos after a day at the convention.
Some of you may not follow iTZKooPA on twitter, but apparently there were some difficulties with getting the videos posted ASAP. I, however, was invited to tag along and snap a few photos. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, AION, Force Unleashed II, HALO: Reach, Back to the Future (great scott, Telltale Games, great scott), and much more await you past the jump!
Do note that this is only a portion of what I took, and that the rest will be used as we continue our coverage of PAX 10.
I will not be there, unfortunately, to take photos on Day 3. Hope you guys enjoy the sights! I know I did. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our extensive video coverage of the event once, you know, all the kinks get sorted out! Continue Reading
20 August 2010
| | Ronix
After a gentle nudge from iTZKooPA, I figured it’s about time to properly introduce myself to the Lore Hound community. As a fellow gamer and an avid disciple of the MMO genre, I am excited to have this opportunity to share my views and experiences with a wide range of opinionated people. I often find reading the comments on web columns just as interesting (if not more) as the articles themselves. Here’s to future banter and discussions! *toasts
Without further ado, I bring to you…
Subject #46231593 Profile
Description: Gamer, Writer, Commercial avatar editor
Even before being committed to the institution, the patient has displayed a strong affinity for video games. This is likely to stem from the fact that he enjoyed reading books from a young age, fantasy being the preferred genre. To Ronix [Note: Alias, see above], video games revealed the promise of interactive worlds where the player himself was a key driver of events. Ever since being introduced to the media by a game called Doom, rapid degradation was only a matter of time.
The allure of gaming grew more powerful when the subject discovered a particular subgenre – Massive Multiplayer Online Games (Note: MMOGs as referred to by other contaminated). Continue Reading