A Shantotto Ascension, Free Realms, and EA Mythic Layoffs

It’s the wee hours of the morning (8:30 is still the wee hours right?) and I’m exhausted. You see, I got Uncharted 2: Among Thieves last night and made the mistake of popping the disc in for “a quick run”. Seven hours later, bleary eyed I take a glance at outside and the sun’s up… what gives? Now I’m at a moral crossroads, I feel obligated to take this amazing game in to EpicToon HQ and let the guys in the office have a go, but I just know they won’t let me take it back home tonight, and I’ll need my fix. Decisions, decisions.

Public Service Announcement: My birthday is February the 2nd. I am a huge, no, massive Trekkie. Cryptic have just announced that Star Trek Online will be released on February 2nd, 2010, no doubt in an attempt to make absolutely certain I somehow get a copy. If it so happens that I’m too broke to pick up a copy, you should feel absolutely free to go ahead and get me a copy. Thanks. Oh yeah, if you live in Europland, be aware that the released date is on the 5th of February, because, as usual, you get the short end from publishers.

What you won’t have to wait any longer for is the latest Final Fantasy XI add-on,  A Shantotto Ascension, which is now live, so get to downloadin’ folks! To pass the time, feel free to peruse the patch notes here.

If you like your fantasy less final and more er… Tolkienesque, then look no further than these spanin’ new LotRO: Siege of Mirkwood screenshots, there are only a few, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Okay, PSA for real now. If you’re a World of Wacrafter, and you haven’t yet done what Blizzard have asked and signed up for Battle.net, what the heck is wrong with you? Do you like trouble? No, I thought not. Get to the choppa! Do it naow! If you don’t, you won’t be able to log into WoW starting um… tomorrow.

If the Battle.net news is er, news to you, then it’s probably likely you haven’t been keeping up on the WoW patch 3.3 info either, never fear, because the latest edition of Shop Talk is up on the ActiBlizz forums to help you catch up on all you’ve missed.

It looks like Mythic Entertainment is in trouble. When the news first hit that they would be lending a hand to Bioware on Star Wars The Old Republic, I worried. I’m not sure why, but I did. We also all know that the launch of Wrath of the Lich King last year was not kind to Mythic’s Warhammer Online (or any other MMO not named World of Warcraft for that matter). Now we’re hearing news via Gamasutra that layoffs have hit a number of EA’s internal studios, including Tiburon (Madden), Black Box (Need for Speed) EA Redwood Shores (The Sims, Dead Space) , and the aforementioned Mythic, who in addition to helping out on on SW:TOR, were also working on Ultima Online. The immediate thought is to wonder what’s going to happen to support for Ultima Online and Warhammer Online especially, but spare a thought for the folks who got laid off (by all accounts no small number).

Massively asks the question, “how do you feel about Aion’s patch 1.5.1?” After doing some quick research (scanning the Aion Patch Note forums) they come up with the answer; “meh”. Fact of the matter is that Aion’s already a great game, and while it’s not without its faults, folks are just gonna have to be a little patient with the dev team and give them some time to sort things out. Given the overwhelming positive reaction to the game, it’s understandable that NCsoft weren’t looking to shake things up dramatically in their first patch, so let’s give them some time to make the changes instead of getting on their backs the way we did with Age of Conan mmmkay?

In the mean time, go ahead and sign up for Free Realms, now’s probably the perfect time to give the game a go since it’s recently been announced that free players will be able to take on jobs that were previously only available to paying members… for the first five levels at least. To kick this off SOE are holding a Job Sampling Week, during which you’ll be able to meet with SOE reps in-game to answer any questions you might have… well, one’s relating to Free Realms anyway.

And with that, I’m off. Maybe I have time enough to get an hour in on Uncharted 2…


The Picard Song, it’s an oldie but a goodie, and a celebration of the STO release date.