What a weekend. First, if you’re an Arsenal F.C. fan like myself, I can’t believe we lost! Second… OMG, Disney bought Marvel! It’s such an out of the blue story I had to double and triple check my sources! It’s true though, apparently the deal went through for 4bn Aion Kinah, er I mean dollars. Four Billion Dollars. My gut reaction to this news is “oh dear”, but on second thought, Disney does seem to have turned a corner since purchasing Pixar and bringing veteran Pixar exec, John Lasseter on board as a guiding light. In fact, the partnership has been remarkably beneficial to Pixar, the increased financial stability afforded by having Disney as papa bear has allowed them to venture into some risky territory, look no further than the unconventional Wall-e, or the even less conventional (but no less brilliant) UP! Let’s hope the same happens with Marvel.
As Ross Geller would say, “anyway”, let’s move on to matters more game-centric, if not less comic-centric, shall we?
The guys and gals at SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) have released a slew of dynamic new screenshots of their in-development MMO, DC Universe Online. Just click this link and then click the screenshots tab to have a look. I’m still kind of torn, on the one hand I think it’s awesome we’ll be able to run around an official virtual representation of the DC Universe, on the other, the game still looks a bit wonky (technical term) and frankly, who wants to play as generic superguy X? I want to play as The Man of Steel!
Speaking of SOE, I hope they’ll forgive me for thinking Vanguard Online had closed down, it kind of gets looked over by its bigger, better, more successful older brother, EQ2. Anyway, someone must still be playing because SOE have highlighted a bunch of new weapon types for the Druid, Necro and Sorcerer classes, see? Ah, yes. I see all three of you are really excited about that.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Aion: Tower of Eternity is now available for download *squeal!* You can get the client from Fileplanet here, it’s a monstrous 9GB though, so prepare for a bit of a wait.
More Aion news up next, we’ve got official confirmation via a forum post by a member of the development team that Aion’s North American servers will be located on the East Coast. We’re assured though, that anyone who lives a fair distance away will not suffer from latency;
It is correct that our North American servers are located on the US east coast, and the game servers for many of our other games have been for a long time as well. If any Oceanic players present here have participated in our closed beta stages, I do think that most of you will be able to vouch for that is added distance does not constitute a major problem when it comes to latency.
Our servers are well optimised and Aion is in its very core designed to tackle challenging client-server distances. Aion might not be launching with explicitly designated Oceanic Aion servers from day one, but we will carefully monitor the situation and if we see a large number of players experiencing issues as a result from their long distance to our game servers we’ll nake sure to take action; to do our best to prevent any such issues from continuing.
We’ll be holding you to your promise Ayase!
Eurogamer were lucky enough to get their hands on the latest playable build of Star Trek Online, currently in development at Cryptic Studios of City of Heroes/Villains and Champions Online fame. It’s a carefully worded preview but they do seem rather impressed so far, however, as a Trekkie I take offense at this statement;
Star Trek Online is the stuff of dreams, not only for fans of the series who’ve dreamed of piloting their own starship since they were six, all tucked up tight in their Next Generation bedsheets, but for the developers at Cryptic.
My bedsheets are The Original Series, not Next Generation. Ahem, anyway, there are a bunch of really nice looking screenshots at the link as well and based on this preview, it all seems to be coming together rather well. They also talk about the initially somewhat controversial decision to make everyone who plays the game a starship captain right at the start:
Cryptic: We didn’t think it would be very interesting to sit down in the transporter room and press a button for twenty hours to level up, and then maybe get to work in engineering for a while. What everyone’s really interested in is the captain expereince, the command experience.
And they touch on the balance between ground and space combat.
The game is approximately equal parts space combat, interstellar travel and on-planet missions As with the TV series (the original one anyway), the action ensures that you’re never in the same place for very long, constantly moving between planet surfaces, boarding ships, spacestations and satellites, zipping between systems at warp-speed in search of where no man has ever gone before.
Yeah, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was just announced, but you’ve got to pay for it to play it. Psh! Whatever! CCP have just announced their eleventh free expansion for Eve Online, called Dominion, beat that Blizzard! Dominion looks to focus more on territorial control (as the name would suggest) and sees players vying for control of various sectors of space. It doesn’t take a genius to make the leap and guess this will probably help tie “EveClassic” into its forthcoming console shooter spinoff, Dust 514 (please rename this).
Would you like to know more? Consider purchasing a ticket to CCP’s Eve Fanfest next month… yes, another gaming convention.
On the subject of World of Warcraft and Cataclysm in particular, seems Blizzard have no plans to extend current heirlooms past level 80. They are however, considering adding new heirlooms to fill the gap, did anyone really expect otherwise?
In even more thrilling WoW news, the aptly named barrons.com has done a piece that looks at Activision Blizzard’s financial future. Suffice to say that Bobby Kotick will be in no shortage of wow gold for the foreseeable future. Kotick also mentioned that he sees videogames as “having the potential to eclipse film and television”. Bold words, but the man runs a $4bn a year company so he’s probably right.
Meanwhile it looks like Spanish site todowow.com (best URL ever?) got a bit naughty at Blizzcon last week, shooting off pictures of things they really shouldn’t. Blizzard’s loss is our gain, feast your eyes on the very first images of the Worgen and Goblin starting zones:
Are you excited yet?
Well that about rounds things off methinks, but before I go I thought you might like to have a look at this interesting piece over at MMORPG.com. It’s an article discussing when the time is right for developers and publishers to just cut their losses and kill off an MMO. Any MMO’s you folks think should sink?
Anyway, that’s enough from me, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to see if I can find a Manchester United fan to pummel, then I have a date with my DVD player and a copy of Beastmaster starring Marc Singer.
See ya Friday folks, and Excelsior!