A Shantotto Ascension, Reaching Aion Level 50, and The Icecrown Citadel

If you read my post last week, you know some mangy codfish tried to pilfer all my real life WoW Gold by pinching my debit card. As soon as the red flags went up my bank put a hold on my card so no fraudulent charges could be made, meaning that no charges can be made period, until I get a brand new card. The end effect of all this of course, is that I am unable to renew subscriptions to any MMO’s I was playing until I get my new card in the mail (hopefully in the next day or two). It’s been nine days since I last logged into WoW, and I’m starting to feel a little… tetchy. Bleedin’ pilferers.

Anyway, best not to dwell I suppose. Good thing this first ever Dust 514 gameplay video is here to take my mind off things (third video on the list under the flash player). For the uninformed, Dust 514 is the somewhat esoteric name for the massively multiplayer first person shooter that Eve Online developer, CCP is currently er, developing. Graphically speaking it looks pretty solid if a little sparse, and I’ve no doubt that the legion of Eve Online fans are quietly awaiting its console and PC release.

CCP have stated that Dust 514 (I really hate typing that name) won’t have a monthly fee, meaning it joins the increasing ranks of quality looking free to play MMO’s. They’ve also mentioned that though it will will work with Eve Online via some variation of phasing technology in certain areas, you won’t need one to play the other. The possibilities for interaction within both games is certainly interesting, and Lord knows CCP have the guts and creativity to try out the more exotic options, but for now things still seem to be shrouded in mystery.

Congrats to Almisaela and Drno, the first two players on Aion’s Western servers to reach the big five-oh, level 50. It’s frankly more than a little humbling, especially since my main is still just a level 28 in World of Warcraft. The champagne’s in the mail guys, but what we really want to know, is who was first. I mean surely they couldn’t have hit 50 at exactly the same time right? I propose a duel to the death to decide upon a winner.

Anyway, the guys and gals at Massively wrangled Aion Producer, Brian Knox, and forced, yes, forced him to answer their questions. It’s a fairly interesting interview too, Massively don’t shy away from the tough questions, asking about Balaur AI, the possibility that players will forgo PvP in an attempt to get “easy” Abyss Points from the AI controlled Balaur in PvE, and quality and polish at launch time. It’s a short read, but well worth a look.

Meanwhile, Square Enix have put together a pretty unique contest to celebrate the upcoming Final Fantasy XI add-on, A Shantotto Ascension. To win, all you need to do is find a pen and paper and will yourself into developing some artistic ability, no joke, it’s a fan art contest, and entrants will have to render Doctor Shantotto herself! To get the details on how to enter, what to do, what not to do etc, just click here.

Okay, so the steady stream of information coming from Cryptic on Star Trek Online continues, and if I’m honest I’m starting to get more and more excited. Last week we were treated to an overview of the Federation Ships of the Line, this week we get a neat look at STO’s crew and bridge officers and how everything works together in a gameplay environment.

On Crews:

The size of a crew is dependent on the ship. Small ships can have as few as 50 crewmen, whereas large cruisers can boast a compliment of 1,000. Since crews repair damaged subsystems and hulls as well as affect other areas of gameplay, ships with larger crews can repair themselves much faster and more confidently launch boarding parties than ships with a smaller compliment.

On Bridge Officers:

Bridge officers play a key role in how any ship performs. The player can assign his Officers to a specific station on a given ship. These stations can be Science, Tactical or Engineering stations, and ships of d different type favor stations of a specific type as well. Science ships focus their stations on Science, Escort ships on Tactical, and Cruisers on Engineering. The more advanced the ship, the larger number of Bridge Officer stations there are (generally).

Hopefully the fact that we seem to be getting more and more information from Cryptic means development is moving along smoothly and we can expect the game to hit its March 2010 release date. Also, a transcript of the latest Dev Chat is now available, you can read it here.

Hot on the heels of Warhammer Online’s reveal of their revamped armor sets, the guys at Blizzard have put up a sneak peek of some of the Tier 10 armor sets you’ll be able to snag once the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon goes live in WoW Patch 3.3. Have a look.

If you’re scratching your head wondering what on earth The Icecrown Citadel is all about, get with the program! You can catch up by having a gander at the official preview page for the update here. For more background info on two of the more important characters set to feature in the update, have a look at the new official bios that Blizzard put up for Sylvanas Windrunner and Jaina Proudmore.

And with that, I’m spent. I shall retreat now into the bottom of a hearty bowl of manly chicken soup, for I feel the first damp touches of a cold coming on.


– Robot girl sings the blues. Okay, so it’s not actually the blues, and you may be wondering about the context… trust me, not important. If you’ve ever heard Microsoft Sam try to hobble together a decent sounding sentence you’ll know how cool this is. I wonder if she does Jay Z.

Tonight we wage war on the moon! Not really, but we do fire an empty rocket at the surface to check for signs of water! If you’ve got a small telescope, you can watch!