Sunday, August 19, 2007

Codemasters : Archlord is now 100% free to download and play...

In a twist of fate, Codemaster's newest commercial offering is now a 100% "Free-to-play" "Free-to-download" title. While this is terrible news for all of you who purchased it it does work out quite well for those of us who passed on it due to other various MMO titles.

Sources from various forums put this decision as one based on monthly subscriber rates not being what Codemasters had hoped for. Instead they have decided to adopt a marketing strategy much along the line of acclaims with 9 Dragons and 2 Moons.

Codemasters Online Announce Huge MMORPG Free Game Giveaway!

Codemasters Online announces ArchLord free game giveaway across Europe & N.America

Codemasters Online is pleased to announce that ArchLord is now completely free-to-play with the full game now available for FREE download with no monthly subscription and an all new FREE expansion, Episode 2: Season of Siege. This epic fantasy is one of the few premium MMORPGs that offers a 100% fee-free gaming experience.

It’s time to raise an army and compete to rule the world as players from around the globe rise from pretender to contender and fight to become the games first all-ruling, all-conquering ArchLord. The first ArchLord will not only rule the world for a month, but they will control the lives of thousands of players and also win a full suit of real ArchLord armor*, designed and developed exclusively by Codemasters Online.

Ed Relf, Director of Marketing, Codemasters Online commented “We are ecstatic to be in a position now to release ArchLord as an entirely FREE MMORPG and this marks a milestone in the games ongoing development. Since its release, ArchLord has grown consistently and we are excited to throw open the doors to players across North America and Europe looking to play a premium 100% FREE MMORPG. Players are now only a download away from entering one of the most rich and rewarding PvP experiences in MMO gaming!”

To download ArchLord for FREE and take part in the race to become the games first ArchLord* visit

*Full terms and conditions for the ArchLord competition can be found at

Friday, May 4, 2007

So you say I can get an EPIC mount with my VISA reward points....

Not that this is "News" per say but I felt it worth mention that Blizzard Entertainment has now gone completely capitalistic and made a deal with the(Edited for Content), oops I meant First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha to produce World of Warcraft credit cards in an attempt to squeeze out a few more dollars from it's 8 million active subscribers.

And with a game play transfer rate of 1% for every dollar, why that's almost as good as getting back a whole buck for every hundred I spend so really as long as you spend $140.00 a month you'll be able to play for free. Geez, if that doesn't sound like a super deal I don''t know what would.

But wait there's more, tell 'em what they've won Johnny. For being a complete noob, oops slip of the tongue. I meant very fiscally sound minded individual, yeah that's it, sound minded. Anyways, as an added bonus you'll get a full month of gameplay free. You also get a free month of game play with each copy of WoW you purchase so you might as well save yourself $90.00 a month and just by a new copy on the first of the month. Plus, if your late picking up your new copy you don't need to worry about your local Gamestop, BestBuy or EB charging you a late fee and jacking the rate up to 30%.

My only questions is in regards to the "Travel Assistance Services will cover you with a comprehensive array of emergency services that will allow you to rapidly receive help while traveling ", does that cover trips to the Outland?

Sorry folks, at the time of this article there were no plans to offer special flying carpets modeled after WoW credit cards as EPIC in game mounts, but stay tuned as I'm sure you might see more corporate branding on your server real soon.

Where do I sign up you ask? Visit for more information.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Forgotten Legends - Q&A with Andrew Harrison of Doomsberg Entertainment

Recently I had a opportunity to do a Q&A with Andrew Harrison, the founder and lead modeler for Doomsberg Entertainment about "Forgotten Legends", an up and coming MMORPG.

Forgotten Legends takes place on the Planet of Pagon, after a war erupted in the wake of a severe meteor storm. Players will spend time engaged in the war and exploring the different effects the meteor storm has had on the races and the land. As players complete quests and missions a second and more sinister plot will begin to emerge, creating a PvE storyline that will satisfy those who like a more traditional role-playing game story.

MMORPG Informer : What and/or whom is Doomsberg Entertainment?

Andrew : Doomsberg Entertainment is a small indie game development team with a strong passion for creating online games.

MMORPG Informer : Is this the first project being done by Doomsberg entertainment and yourself, or have there been other projects along the way?

Andrew : This is the first project by both Doomsberg Entertainment and myself.

MMORPG Informer : Why did you decide to build Forgotten Legends upon the Multiverse client platform?

Andrew : Before coming across Multiverse I had looked at numerous other engines which we could use, however the majority of them lacked certain features that we needed for the game. Multiverse not only planned to support those features, but their level of support to the users of their platform was very good and they charged no upfront fee. They have also been very helpful with the promotional side of things having shown a video of our game at the AGC last year and hosting a playable demo of our world at the GDC this year. Overall the platform supports everything we need and the team goes that extra step in helping us fulfill our dream.

MMORPG Informer : With so many MMO's out there, both "Free to Play" and subscription based, what is it that Forgotten Legends will bring to the plate to help it stand apart from the pack?

Andrew : Forgotten Legends will be taking the best elements from many of the games that already exist to create a game that is easy to play and has the freedom that many gamers are after. From the moment players log in,the game will use familiar systems so players can start enjoying the game straight away. As the game progresses they will find themselves in
will be a great PvP section of the game with huge open battlegrounds and the opportunity to attack enemy towns. Players will even be able to turn against their faction and join either the enemy or even the side of evil in the world. Basically, players will have more freedom and variety along with an easy to learn core all in one game.

MMORPG Informer : Speaking of "Free to play" any ideas about the subscription service for Forgotten Legends or are you looking into alternative methods such as"Real world currency shops"?

Andrew : The current plan is to have a monthly fee. We may look into alternative methods such as using advertising to make the game free for those who don't want to pay, but there is no current plans to allow real-world money to be used for in-game items or anything along those lines.

MMORPG Informer : Will there be different selectable races and character classes in Forgotten Legends?

Andrew : There will be 6 races to choose from and 12 different classes. Players will be able to change and level up different classes all with the same character, so players wont need to make multiple characters just to tryout each class. The 6 races will be broken into 2 warring factions.

MMORPG Informer : What will the in game economy/crafting system be like, if any?

Andrew : There will be a thriving economy and crafting system with both playing a major part in the game. The majority of the best items in the game will be crafted using a range of common items and special items from PvP and PvE rewards. Our aim is to try and move away from using a basic currency to buy most items so there will be less gold buying/selling in the game. Instead the better items needed for crafting will have to be collected by the player and will not be tradeable.

MMORPG Informer : At this time, how far off from Alpha/Beta testing are you with Forgotten Legends?

Andrew : We have currently planned to start alpha testing around September. After the alpha testing has started we will decide on when to start beta testing.

MMORPG Informer : After Forgotten Legends, what is next for Doomsberg or are you not looking that far ahead just yet?

Andrew : We haven't looked that far ahead yet. We expect it to take a few years to complete Forgotten Legends and even after release we will be focusing on supporting and updating Forgotten Legends.

I wish you and everyone at Doomsberg Entertainment much success with this and future endeavors. I myself am looking forward to see how this project progresses.

To find out more about "Forgotten Legends" and Doomsberg Entertainment visit them at

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Legend of Ares - So you want to go toe-to-toe with the God of War..

Recently while making my rounds for MMORPG news I stumbled upon another gem of a "Free to Play" MMO. The Legend of Ares by MGame/Netgame is an MMO with an epic tale of Gods and men. After watching the cinematic and some game-play footage I decided to delve a bit further into it and see what it was all about.

In order to play the game you must first register for an account online with Netgame. This was a simple process that took all of about 1 min and was relatively routine in questions. Upon completion of the account it was time to download the game client. The entire download took approx 30 mins, as the client file is just over 600meg.

Once the client was done and installed it was time to begin. At the time of this article there were 3 servers online to choose from, Poseidon, Demeter, and Phoenix. There were no indications on the server selections screen to indicate current populations except for a notation that Phoenix was a "NEW" server so I opted for that one.

For me, character creation is always a big part of any MMO as I feel the more you can customize them the more interesting they become. Sadly with Legend of Ares,the characters are very cookie-cutter in that there are only 5 choices for hair styles and faces and no customization for anything else. The result of this limited availability for additional changes show in the gaming world as you will undoubtedly encounter several other people in the first few minutes of the game that look exactly like you. Within the Character creation screen you will also choose your faction, either you will fight along side with the Holy Empire or join ranks with theReligious Alliance.

You will also choose one of four character classes from here, Knight, Spearman, Archer, or Priest. The limited choice in initial classes is offset by the customizable weapons and skills you will acquire as you progress through the game. Items of suitable condition and level have socket slots and can be enchanted. The characters skill tree is also well established allowing you to customize your abilities by spending points inv arious areas such as defensive or offensive capabilities.Having successfully created your character it is time to take on the worldand enter the game.

The UI in the game is very clean and well laid out. Character movement is accomplished through different means, either 'wasd' keys or point-click movement. Enemy encounters as well as NPC interaction is accomplished through a simple click of the mouse. Camera angles are controllable using the "Page" keys as well as the arrow keys. This helps greatly as at times there are enourmous crowds of people gathered around and it can become difficult to navigate your way through the mob of player "Shops" to a NPC stuck snuggly in the middle.

All in all the game was a good find. The graphics are on par with other Free to play games, the PVP warfare element is enjoyable and the Ranking system is great. As an added bonus it's FREE.

Monday, April 9, 2007

9 Dragons - for those who arent still playing WoW

Well while I wait for the highly anticipated release of 2Moons by GameHi/Acclaim I figured I would go ahead say a few words about another of Acclaims "Free" MMORPG offerings.

9 Dragons, by Indy21/Acclaim is an MMO inspired by classic chineese themes with bits of fable and fantasy intertwined. While it is not going to be the game that helps ease people off of their World of Warcraft addictions, it is still a great offering into the MMO category.

Initially you need to register with Acclaim to use their services and any of the various games hosted by them. Once you do that you simply download the client program, install, and your ready to go.

Character creation for 9 Dragons is a bit on the simple side with only a hand full of hair/facial/clothing options to customize. As you progress along in the game obviously your attire will change but it would be a nice addition to have had a greater selection of attributes to change. With that in mind be prepare to encounter several of your twin brothers/sisters floating around the world as you venture forth.

Once you've created you character it's time to pick a clan and thus a starting location for your journey. Whether you have always wanted to be a member of the Wu-tang Clan, join the League of Beggars, or swing the big sword with the Heavenly Demons there is a clan for you.

Gameplay itself is very straight forward. Interaction as well as movement is done on a point-click basis. While I would have preferred the inclusion of the 'wasd' movement keys, it is an issue soon discarded as you become more familiar with your surroundings and UI panel. Quest NPC's are marked on the Mini-map and are marked as well in person. This make it easy to see who has quests available for you or who is waiting for you to turn one in.

Early on in the introductory levels(1-5) of the game you acquire skills such as meditation, eating and drink. These are the basics of all the skills but will be invaluable along the way in your journey. You will also begin to learn basic Kung-fu from trainers and ultimately begin the long road to becoming a master though advancement within your chosen clan.

All in all the game itself is really interesting with it's unique approach to the MMO category. The graphics and the detail to the world around are impressive as is the attention to detail to the characters, clothing, weapons and various fighting styles present in the game. With various updates to quests, and locations there is more than enough to see, explore and interact with.

All in all an overall fun experience with monthly cost requirements makes 9 Dragons a no brainer.