Star Trek Online, Champions Online, LotRO, Aion reviewed and more

After a week of fiddling and cursing, I finally got my GTX 260 functioning the way it should be (-ish), and to celebrate I bought Crysis off Steam, and after a glowing recommendation from some of the folks here at EpicToon HQ, also added Dragon Age: Origins for an ISP-hand-wringing total of 17GB of digitally downloaded goodness in one week. Life is good :)

Well, it’s good as long as you aren’t Funcom, whose revenues have fallen 69% year on year… ouch. Why aren’t you lot playing Age of Conan more eh?

Still, at least they’ve still got thirty odd million dollars in reserve, and the aforementioned Age of Conan is launching in Korea next year (along with Rise of the Godslayer) not to mention that work seems to be progressing quite nicely on The Secret World.

Remember how the Star Trek Online official website was down for a while earlier this week? Well it’s back, and even better, it’s all shiny and fancy now. If only I had some wow gold for every day there was a spurt of new STO media and information, including screenshots and interviews on ground combat, however, probably the most exciting STO news is that the open beta dates have been announced. According to the STO website, we’re looking at a nearly two week period from January 12th – January 26th, set phasers to fun!

You can tell we’re getting closer to launch as we’re starting to get the first tutorialish videos complete with user interface that give us an idea of what tactical ship combat will be like in game. I just wish they’d show some non-combat stuff too. I’ve said it before, and I know it’s not sexy, but I can’t help but wonder what else there is to the game besides flying around engaging in border skirmishes. At least this new bridge gameplay trailer makes it look like there might be some variety.

From one Cryptic MMO to another, we’ve got an announcement for the first Champions Online lair, The Nemesis Confrontation;

Champions Online is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of our first new lair! The Nemesis Confrontation will test the limits of the strongest heroes, as their Nemeses team up with a darker foe to bring chaos and destruction to the world!

Beginning November 24th, all UNITY heroes will be able to access this new 5 man lair and attempt to defeat your Nemesis as well as your teammates’ Nemeses, culminating in a final showdown against Shadow Destroyer himself.

Get the lowdown on Nemesis Confrontation here.

All this reminds me that it’s been a little bit since we last heard anything from SOE about DC Universe Online. Also, that’s a lot of Nemeses…ses

Massively also has a few new “epic story moments” screenshots from Siege of Mirkwood, these are probably the best I’ve seen so far, hopefully we”ll get some more like this before the game’s December launch.

FYI, there will be some combat changes made to gameplay once Siege of Mirkwood hits, primarily in the area of weapon speed and damage, which have both been standardised across various classes of weaponry, there have also been changes made to combat effectiveness, pacing, and weapon responsiveness, for a full run down, look no further.

FYI-I, the NDA on Siege of Mirkwood has now officially been lifted, you can now spoil the game for everyone! (Dumbledore dies!)

Remember a while back when we heard Square Enix was planning on making some changes to the Final Fantasy XI marriage system to make it easier to well, get married? Looks like the update is finally live. If you’ve been waiting a month to get married, now’s your chance, just remember to save some FFXI gil to spring for a decent band.

It’s true it’s been about two months since Aion was released in the West, but I’m a firm believer in reviewers giving MMO’s a decent amount of time before reviewing them, it gives the developer some time to iron out launch period kinks and the community some to settle. As such I was pleased to see Gamespy finally post their review, one that seems carefully considered and measured, ignoring the game’s massive hype and initial server queue problems. While it’s not a glowing review, it’s a pretty good one, and the guys reckon you could do much worse really, one thing they kept coming back to was how wonderfully polished the whole game was. Fingers crossed that we see a trial some time soon.

Alright, that’s all for me this week, I’m off to get lost in Dragon Age.


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