General Gaming Article

General Gaming Article

PC Pr0n: 25 New, Kick-Ass Case Mods

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:01 PM PDT

A kick-ass case mod makes for a kick-ass PC. It's that simple. No matter whether you're rocking a Sandy Bridge-E or a Celeron, a water-cooled, LED-lit, hand-tailored and custom milled chassis stops traffic and sets lips a-whistlin' like nobody's business, proverbs about books and their covers be damned.

The past six months have seen a flood of truly outstanding case mods hit the Interwebz. So we decided to take the time to showcase the best of the best in recent memory -- with a little extra help from master modder Bill Owen of MNPCTech, Case Mod Blog, Mod Men and Maximum PC Star Trek PC fame.  Because who knows the cream of the crop better than one of the cream of the crop?

The first 10 mods come hand-picked from Bill himself, while we rounded out the rest of the gallery with even more eye-catching case mods, including six that were chronicled in our very own Maximum PC Modder's Workshop forum. Click on a pic to get an expanded view of it, or hit the links underneath the images to see in-progress work logs of the builds. Enjoy the eye candy!

Native Steam For Linux Client Seen At Valve HQ, Could Be Coming Soon

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 10:53 AM PDT

Love gaming on Linux but don't have a taste for Wine? Look for a nice hot helping of Steam-brewed titles to come to the rescue sometime in the future. After a couple of years of rumors -- and denials -- that Valve was working on a Linux port of its blockbuster Steam service, it looks like the project is actually happening. Valve recently invited Mike Larabel, the man behind the Phoronix website for Linux lovers, out to the company's offices to give him a glimpse of the Steam for Linux in action.

Larabel's reporting of the experience is getting hammered and is only available intermittently, but here it is in a nutshell: Larabel was able to boot up an early, working version of Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 on Ubuntu while he was visiting Valve. The game loaded natively with the AMD Catalyst Linux driver -- no Wine conversion necessary. Larabel reports the company plans on porting other Valve titles to run natively on Linux and is bugging the developers of other Steam-offered games into doing the same, but the initial public beta version of Steam for Linux -- which Larabel says "is not too far out" -- could be limited to L4D2 alone.

Apparently, Gabe Newell himself has taken the lead on the Linux project to get it up off the ground, and he's been screening and hiring Linux OpenGL devs recommended by Larabel. The upcoming release of Windows 8 may be hastening matters; Larabel says that Newell's negativity for Windows 8 is "stunning."

Could we really see a basic version of Steam for Linux later this year? Valve has yet to comment on the report. Larabel and Phoronix have stellar reputations, though, so we're crossing our fingers and holding out hope.

Image credit: Phoronix/Mike Larabel

Almost Half Of All Used Hard Drives Contain Info From Previous Owners

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 10:26 AM PDT

Getting to know your neighbors better used to involve a lot of legwork: heading next door for dinner, chatting over the fence, signing up for the Neighborhood watch, et cetera. The times, they are a-changin', though, and a new study commissioned by Britain's Information Commissioner's Office suggests that these days, all you have to do to understand your fellow man is buy a used hard drive.  Almost half of all used hard drives tested by the organization still contained information from their previous owners.

By "almost half," we mean a whopping 48 percent. A full 11 percent of the hard drives contained personal information, while 3 percent of the 200 drives tested contained really, really personal information, including copies of passports, resumes, tax info, birth certificates, driver's licenses, health information and full bank details. Some of drives originally came from businesses; everyday folks weren't just scanning birth certificates into PCs.

"At least two of the hard drives contained enough information to enable someone to steal the former owner's identity," the ICO press release noted starkly. The agency also released a report of their findings. [PDF]

Of the 52 percent of drives that didn't contain information from the previous owner, only 38 percent of them were actually wiped; the other 14 percent were damaged and unreadable, highlighting one of the major risks of buying used technology.

"We live in a world where personal and company information is a highly valuable commodity," says ICO Commissioner Christopher Graham. "It is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands."

You know what? We agree. Wipe your hard drives when you're done with them, folks. Check out this handy-dandy article to see how to completely erase your hard drives, SSDs and thumb drives.

New PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 Is The First Radeon 7870 To Support Six Screens

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 10:05 AM PDT

For a lot of Maximum PCers, a single monitor just won't cut it. But if fragging n00bs and juggling spreadsheets is better on two screens, wouldn't it be even better on three? Now imagine how mind-blowing gaming would be on six screens. Actually, don't imagine it -- do it! TUL's new PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 is the first 7870 Radeon graphics card capable of pulling of a sextuplet of screens.

Of course, some six-display Radeon 7900 series cards have already hit the streets -- *cough* -- but the PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 is the first current-generation midrange AMD card to pull off a half-dozen screens. Then again, if you're plopping down the cash for six monitors, the extra $50 to $150 bucks for a Radeon 7900 might be money well spent for higher frame rates if you plan on getting into gaming.

The card uses six DisplayPort connections to pull off the feat. Spec-wise, the PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 sticks to stock reference speeds, so it rocks a 1GHz GPU and 2GB of GDDR5 memory tootling along at 1,200MHz (4,800MHz effective). No word on pricing or availability, but most Radeon 7870 cards fall in the $330 to $380 price range.

Proposed CISPA Amendment Would Give DHS Unprecedented Access to Web Traffic

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 07:33 AM PDT

If you haven't been paying attention to CISPA, or Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, it's time you started doing so. It's a bill that, according to many, is every bit as controversial as SOPA and PIPA were, and that was before a proposed amendment written by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) upped the ante by giving the Department of Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano a scary amount of authority to "intercept" online communications.

Here's the part you need to digest:

"In receiving information authorized to be shared with the Federal Government under this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to acquire, intercept, retain, use, and disclose communications and other system traffic transiting to or from or stored on Federal systems and to deploy countermeasures with regard to such communications and system traffic for cybersecurity purposes..."

As CNet points out, this would give DHS authority to snoop all networks owned by the federal government or operated on its behalf, such as AT&T and Verizon. Networks operated by the FBI and even the White House are all fair game. So are your IRS tax returns.

In order to tap into such networks, DHS would have to deem that it's "reasonably necessary" to do so, which privacy advocates undoubtedly will find a bit too broad in scope. The same applies to pre-amended versions of CISPA -- it's just too broad and vague.

Nevertheless, CISPA's authors are confident the bill will pass when it's put up for a vote this Friday, according to Mashable.

"We've gone through most of the privacy concerns expressed by privacy and civil liberties communities and by technology companies like Facebook," said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), according to Mashable. "They have been very good working with us on language to get the bill to a point that helps them protect users and protect their civil liberties."

You can read the amendment in its entirety here (PDF).

Image Credit: Flickr (DonkeyHotey)

Hewlett-Packard Rolls Out Half a Dozen Updated Ivy Bridge Desktops Starting at $700

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:48 AM PDT

It's funny to think that Hewlett-Packard came within an inch of selling off or otherwise severing its PC division until Meg Whitman replaced Léo Apotheker as CEO -- who, as BusinessInsider once reported, had "totally lost control of HP" -- and quickly restored order. Had Mr. Apotheker held onto his job, HP would be focusing on software and printers (probably in that order) and wouldn't be rolling out half a dozen new and updated PCs built around Intel's impressive Ivy Bridge architecture.

In the end, HP decided it would be crazy to walk away from PCs, and to help maintain its lead in the worldwide market place, HP added six updated models to its consumer desktop portfolio, each one powered by Intel's 3rd generation Core processor line.

Going in order of price, it starts with the HP Pavilion HPE h8t, a stand-alone desktop that sells for $700. Sitting one peg up is the HPE h8xt for $800. Both the TouchSmart 520xt and Omni 220qd all-in-one desktops start at a grand, the latter with Beats Audio baked in. The HP Pavilion HPE Phoneix h9t ($1,150 and up) and HP Omni 27qd all-in-one PC ($1,200 and up) with a 27-inch display round out the list.

Image Credit: Hewlett-Packard

Shh! Firefox 12 Brings Silent Updates

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:33 AM PDT

On Tuesday, Firefox 12 became the latest stable version of Mozilla's flagship browser. As is typical in this age of short development cycles, Firefox 12 does not contain a whole lot of new functionality, but just the odd feature or two worth writing home about. Hit the jump for more.

Mozilla spent the development period leading up to this release mainly on improving the Firefox update experience. As a result, Firefox now has the ability to update itself automatically and silently. This is not only significant from the point of user experience, but is also aimed at remedying the fragmentation that mars Firefox's install base. In case you want to turn off this feature, it's easy to do so from Options > Advanced > Updates.

"We put a lot of work into making the Firefox update experience easier," Mozilla said in a blog post yesterday. "Firefox simplifies the update process for Windows users by removing the user account control dialog (UAC) pop-up while maintaining the security of your system. Once a user gives explicit permission to Firefox on their first installation, they will not be prompted again for subsequent releases."

If you are a developer, there's plenty to look forward to as Mozilla has made over 85 improvements to the browser's built-in developer tools.

Lenovo Expands Recall of ThinkCentre All-in-One Desktops to 13,000 Additional PCs

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:20 AM PDT

Don't you hate it when your PC literally goes up in smoke? If that's never happened to you, then congratulations, you've either been wise and insisted on purchasing quality, name brand power supplies, a little bit lucky, or both. A shoddy power supply can fry itself on a whim. We've seen it happen, and lest there be any doubt that it can still pose a problem, Lenovo has decided to expand its voluntary recall of ThinkCentre desktops due to a faulty power supply that can overheat and pose a fire hazard.

Lenovo recalled 50,500 ThinkCentre all-in-one (AIO) desktops last month and is adding another 13,000 PCs to the list. There have been two separate reports of smoldering PSUs among the recalled models to date, including one report of a "fire incident" and another one that went up in smoke. Injuries were not reported in either case.

Affected models include M70z and M90z all-in-one desktops with the following date codes:

  • 1001 to 1012
  • 1101 to 1112
  • 1201 to 1203
  • 001 to 012
  • 101 to 112
  • 201 to 203

Potentially faulty ThinkCentre desktops were sold online at Lenovo's websites, by telephone, and via direct sales through authorized distributors across the U.S. from May 2012 through March 2012. All of them were manufactured in Mexico.

If you think your system is on the list, Lenovo recommends unplugging the PC and contacting the company at (855) 248-2194 or visiting to get a replacement PSU. If you contacted Lenovo regarding the March 2012 recall, the company recommends checking back to see if your system is among the expanded models.

Image Credit:

Boisterous HTC Starts 2012 in a Slump

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:02 AM PDT

HTC was once the life of the party in the Android camp. By jumping on the open source train early on, HTC rode off into the sunset in a position seemingly more lucrative than being in the business of printing money. And now? Well, for HTC's sake, let's hope the first quarter of 2012 isn't a sign of things to come. Amid increasing competition from Apple and Samsung, HTC on Tuesday reported a 70 percent decline in first quarter profit. For those of you keeping count, it's the second consecutive time HTC posted a sequential drop.

Revenue for the first quarter slipped to NT$67.79 billion (~US$2.3 billion), down more than a third -- 34.3 percent -- sequentially and 34.9 percent from one year ago. Time to hit the panic button? Not if you're HTC.

Looking ahead, HTC said it expects to fully recover and pull NT$105 billion (~$3.5 billion) in the second quarter of 2012, a bold prediction but one that isn't far off from projections by industry analysts. Whether or not HTC gets there, however, rests on the success of the HTC One, which company CEO Peter Chou is banking on being a fan favorite in the U.S. market.

Source: HTC 1Q 2012 Business Review (PDF)

Image Credit: HTC

MMO News

MMO News

Requiem now available in your browser

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 04:10 PM PDT

Gravity Interactive has announced the launch of a browser-based version of Requiem.

Using Kalydo’s service (like Runes of Magic and Soul Captor), Requiem will now be available to play through the browser with a streaming, content-on-demand service. Recently, Requiem also introduced its Korean player base to the North American version.

Requiem also has several events currently running, including a sale on GoCash, multiple sweepstakes, in-game activities, and regularly scheduled PvP matches.

Gravity Interactive also publishes Ragnarok and ROSE Online.

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Requiem Gameplay Screenshot



Survive The Night In A World Of Encroaching Darkness With The New Browser Version Of The Popular Dark Fantasy Title

Marina del Re y, California – April 25, 2012 – Gravity Interactive, a publisher of exciting massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), today announced the launch of the browser version of their popular dark-fantasy MMO title, Requiem. Through the magic of the Kalydo service (, players can choose between downloading the traditional client or playing via web browser. Now log into your favorite game faster, with no client to download, and have the same experience as the full downloadable client! Players can head over to the official website at to sign up and jump straight into their existing characters, or to begin a new adventure!

Requiem was originally launched in 2008 to rave reviews as one of the only “mature” MMOs available on the market. From its roots as a humble title, Requiem has established itself as a rich dark fantasy world where players choose a life fraught with danger within one of the four remaining races. Take up the cause of all humanoids within a total of 24 classes as they combat mutant creatures and the mysterious Dark Creatures which have begun to appear after the sun sets.

Boasting a monster spawn mechanic that changes what a player faces depending on the time: the safer Daytime Monsters roam from 5am to 7pm, and should present a level-appropriate challenge one-on-one, but beware! During the dead of night, from 11pm to 3am the dreaded Nightmare Monsters appear. These terrifying creatures are marked with a blood red eye, and it will take a full party of 8 characters to challenge these monstrosities. A full 24 hour Requiem day passes over the course of two “real world” hours.

April has several ongoing events, including a GoCash sale, regularly scheduled PVP matches, Web Client Launch Event, Hosted In-game activities, multiple sweepstakes with a chance to win Amazon eGift Cards, and a 5% conversion bonus for WP Energy! Players can follow the official news for Requiem on Facebook at

Trickster Online and Grand Chase line up new content

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 03:26 PM PDT

SG Interactive has revealed new content and events for players of Trickster Online and Grand Chase.

Trickster Online has updated its Techichi Volcano map, adding 37 new quests and 28 new items to expand on the Don Cavalier story. Players will also find several events, including $70 in-game prize packs welcoming back players who have not logged in this year and 200% boosts to TM and EXP between 4 and 7pm Pacific (100% boosts during other hours) until May 23. Until May 9, players can also work toward playtime milestones to unlock individual prizes, with Time Attack Events being held on Friday April 27 (5-6pm Pacific), Saturday April 28 (1-2pm Pacific), and Sunday April 29 (10-11am Pacific).

In Grand Chase, the new Monster Train 301 dungeon has been released. Players will earn three passenger tickets for the train each day they log on – the only way to access the dungeon. Monster Train 301 comes in four difficulties (Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Hell, which makes its debut on May 9). Players who clear the dungeon will find unique loot including Monster Train Attendant Uniform Chests and Pet Casey Bones Cards. This special train event will only last until May 22.

51031  420x310 trickster online techichi

Trickster Online Gameplay Screenshot


SG Interactive Brings Prize-Filled Player Events And Much-Anticipated Content for Grand Chase: Heroes and Trickster Online

Irvine, Calif.April 25, 2012 – Massive in-game prizes await players in the new updates for SG Interactive's action massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) Trickster Online and Grand Chase: Heroes. Players in Trickster Online will have brand new quests to help them find Don Cavalier's treasure with the revamping of the Techichi Volcano with new maps, non-playable characters (NPCs), monsters, quests and items. For Grand Chase: Heroes, the new challenge dungeon Monster Train 301 arrives bringing along powerful new loot for gamers. Interested players can register for free to try out the new content available now in both games.


Trickster Online

In Trickster Online, the updated Techichi Volcano map has entirely new quests and content for high-level players to test their skills. Players will find 28 new items to help them hunt new monsters and complete 37 new quests and storylines to unravel the mystery of Don Cavalier's treasure.


Starting today, several new events are available to Trickster Online players:

  • · Welcome Back Event: Through Wednesday, May 23, players who have not logged in this year will receive $70 worth of items when they return, including the Mature Compound item set and Gacha coins that unlock prizes at random.
  • · TM & EXP Bonus Happy Hour: Through Wednesday, May 23, players will receive bonus 200 percent in TM and EXP from 4 to 7 p.m. PDT, and bonus 100 percent in TM and EXP all other hours.
  • · Playtime and Time Attack Event: Players will unlock individual prizes by hitting playtime milestones between today and Wednesday, May 9. Hardcore players can reap the ultimate rewards during the Time Attack Event by being in game or logging on during these specific hours:

◦ Friday April 27, 5 to 6 p.m. PDT

◦ Saturday April 28, 1 to 2 p.m. PDT

◦ Sunday April 29, 10 to 11 a.m. PDT


The new content is the next step in helping Trickster Online players find the hidden fortune of the bourgeois billionaire Don Cavalier, founder and former leader of the Megalo Company – the world’s biggest and best game company. Adventurers must dig for the lost treasure in the form of magical card in Caballa Island, a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To join the epic adventure in Caballa Island, players can register for free at


Grand Chase: Heroes

Grand Chase: Heroes is giving players a new challenge with the release of the much-anticipated Monster Train 301 dungeon. Every day they log in, players will receive three Monster Train 301 Passenger Tickets, which is the only way to access the new dungeon. The dungeon will come in four difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Hell Mode. The ultra-challenging last level of difficulty, Hell Mode, will be introduced for play on May 9. With each increased level of difficulty come increased rewards. Clearing the Monster Train 301 dungeon will give players random loot which includes Monster Train Attendant Uniform Chests and the Pet Casey Bones Cards. The event ends on Tuesday, May 22.



Grand Chase: Heroes is a side-scrolling action MMORPG that allows up to six players to battle monsters in dungeons, or face off against other gamers in combat. Adventurers can engage in team battle and survival modes of gameplay, with each type supporting both tag and item matches. For more information and to play the game for free, visit


KingsIsle reveals Pirate101

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 02:07 PM PDT

KingsIsle has revealed a new online game today: Pirate101.

In the same style as Wizard101 (but with new design and gameplay mechanics), Pirate101 will let players take control of their own flying pirate ships and enjoy a swashbuckling epic adventure. The game will offer five classes (Buccaneer, Witchdoctor, Privateer, Swashbuckler, and Musketeer), hundreds of quests, Pirate Crews, customizable ships, and fully-voiced characters. Like Wizard101, the game will be free-to-play and free to download, with optional monthly subscriptions or purchased area unlocks.

Pirate101 Trailer:



KingsIsle Entertainment Proudly Unveils Pirate101 more info…


KingsIsle Entertainment Proudly Announces Pirate101. (PRNewsFoto/KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.)


Apr 25, 2012 11:30 America/Denver
KingsIsle Entertainment Proudly Unveils Pirate101


LOS ANGELES, April 25, 2012  — Today, KingsIsle Entertainment formally revealed the exciting online world of Pirate101. The new game delivers heart-pounding, swashbuckling excitement as players take the helm of their very own pirate ships and pursue a storyline of epic adventure filled with intrigue and mystery.


With approximately 14 million unique visitors to each month, KingsIsle Entertainment’s hit game Wizard101 has grown to become the most popular online game for kids and families in the country. With the announcement of Pirate101, KingsIsle extends its leadership in the online family entertainment space by giving players a vast, pirate-inspired universe to explore, from breathtaking cloud-top skyways, to ancient ruins filled with lost treasure.


“Pirate101′s announcement is a seminal milestone for KingsIsle’s already strong growth trajectory,” said Elie Akilian, Chairman and CEO of KingsIsle Entertainment. “We believe, based on early indications, Pirate101′s appeal will further strengthen KingsIsle’s leading position as the online family entertainment company. With the huge success of Wizard101, the introduction of Pirate101, and with multiple other projects already in progress, KingsIsle is a creative force poised for accelerated growth.”


“We’ve created a world of treacherous pirates, faithful companions, tactical battles and gorgeous environments,” said Todd Coleman, vice president and creative director of KingsIsle Entertainment. “Pirate101 fuses the key lessons we’ve learned from Wizard101 with entirely new design, setting and gameplay mechanics. We’ve succeeded in creating a game that is very different from Wizard101, but remains comfortable and familiar.”




Experience adventures as a Buccaneer, Witchdoctor, Privateer, Swashbuckler or Musketeer! Find lost treasure, battle the villainous Armada, and search for El Dorado, the legendary City of Gold!

Visit far-away lands such as Skull Island, Cool Ranch, and Valencia while undertaking hundreds of quests along the way.

Captain your own flying Pirate Galleon and explore the Spiral across dozens of fantastic skyways. Each ship has customizable sails, figureheads, cannons and more!

Adventure with friends and family. Collect a rogue’s gallery of scallywags and cutthroats to form your own Pirate Crew!

Encounter hundreds of whimsical, fully-voiced characters in your quest to free the Spiral from the yoke of tyranny.


Pricing and Availability

Pirate101 is currently in closed Alpha testing. The game will launch later this year as a free-to-play download at As with KingsIsle’s other major title, Wizard101, players will be able to access premium areas of the game by purchasing a monthly subscription or using Crowns, KingsIsle’s popular virtual currency.


Additional information about the game is available at

Lagoonia introduces new building system

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 01:33 PM PDT

InnoGames has introduced a new building update for Lagoonia.

The update introduces multiplayer building, where players can interact and help each other. There are three structures players can work together to build: weather gods that can determine the gender of incoming characters, foliage statues that return rare resources, and a notice board that sends characters out automatically to collect energy. The update also launches a Russian language version of the game.

InnoGames also publishes Forge of Empires and Tribal Wars.

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Lagoonia Gameplay Screenshot


Lagoonia Furthers Friendships with Multiplayer Features


Hamburg, April 25, 2012. New browser game Lagoonia was upgraded today with a multiplayer building system to allow for even further emphasis on player interaction. InnoGames is confident this update will enhance engagement and satisfaction for users, as friendships and in-game support systems are formed. “Lagoonia players join to connect with others,” explains game designer Kathleen Kunze, “the more ways we can facilitate this in-game, the better.”

The just-released multiplayer building system includes three types of structures to build with friends: male and female weather gods which allow players to determine the gender of incoming characters, foliage statues that give back important rare resources, and a notice board that sends characters to collect energy throughout the island automatically.

These structures can be found in the building menu, under the “special buildings” tab, and can only be constructed once in the game. With this update, a Russian language version of the title has also been launched.

The focus of Lagoonia is on the relationships between characters and players. One can plan and create many things that make the island livable and fun: from a warm fire and a cozy shelter, to useful fish nets, and later in the game lighthouses and waterslides. The game is free and no download is required – the only technical requirements are a browser and an internet connection. The game is currently featured in the Google Chrome Store.
With about 75 million registered players, InnoGames is one of the world’s leading developers and providers of online games. The Hamburg-based company has scored major successes with games such as Tribal Wars, The Westand Grepolis.

Soul Captor will offer browser version

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 12:32 PM PDT

Gamania (beanfun!) has announced an agreement with Kalydo to bring Soul Captor to the browser.

Soul Captor will be available through a downloaded client or instantly through a browser plug-in when it arrives on the beanfun! portal later this summer. Kalydo’s technology allows players to stream the game’s client as they are required for players, rather than downloading the entire game at once, saving time and hard drive space. Kalydo has also been used to bring Runes of Magic to the browser.

Gamania also publishes Lucent Heart and Bright Shadow.

Soul Captor Trailer



Soul Captor to Get In-Browser Kalydo Powered Streaming

IRVINE, Calif. – April 25, 2012 – Gamania Digital Entertainment announced today that it has signed Kalydo to bring its revolutionary streaming technology to its upcoming free-to-play MMORPG, Soul Captor. Using Kalydo, players will be able to choose between playing Soul Captor via a downloaded client or streaming the same game within a browser – without sacrificing performance.


Kalydo's streaming technology makes high-end game engines instantly playable from within a browser after only downloading a light plugin. Depending on what the player is doing, the intelligent Kalydo technology detects and seamlessly loads the parts of the game that are required. For beanfun! members, this means that after signing up, players will be able to quickly jump in and play without waiting for a large download to complete or wasting valuable hard drive space – offering a hassle free, on-demand gaming experience.


"We're excited to work with Gamania on Soul Captor and possible future titles as they have a great product pipeline," said Chris van der Linden, VP Integrations Worldwide/Co-founder at Kalydo. "With our technology the user experience for these already amazing games will be even better. In addition, the developer and publisher will enjoy the benefits of easier global game operation and full spectrum metrics to drive their game."


"Soul Captor is a key title for us this year and Kalydo offers us a secondary way to distribute the game to our player base. It also enables us to cut costs on player acquisition by decreasing the barriers to entry," said Spencer Chi, director of New Game Development at Gamania. "We are very much looking forward to seeing the first results after the launch of Soul Captor using Kalydo technology, and we are confident that it will help to achieve our goals this year."


Soul Captor is scheduled for release this summer on Gamania's beanfun! platform. Players who want to participate in the forthcoming closed beta test can do so by visiting the Soul Captor teaser website


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Put Down the Gun and Pick Some Flowers

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 11:55 AM PDT

By, M. Hauschel 

Do you ever get tired of shooting people in the head, or slashing monsters with swords?  I sure do.  Don't get me wrong; those genres of game are entertaining and exciting.  It's just sometimes I'd like a play a game that doesn't involve any sort of violence.   Sure, I could play Bejeweled until my face falls off.  But I'd really like to see developers make non-violent MMOs, and especially non-violent MMORPGs.


I grew up playing console platform games, with my favorite being Dr. Mario.  I enjoyed the game for its' simplicity and addictive nature.  Later on in life I spent a great amount of time playing the Age of Empires series, and Ragnorok Online.  But the one game that really took up most of my adolescence life was Neopets.  The concept of having a game without violence being the focal point rocked my world.  I was able to create a shop with a lively marketplace.  Explore the different worlds and see different creatures.  Play a variety of mini-games to generate income.  Having the option to have a variety of pets and being able to decorate them made my 11-year-old self squeal with glee.  Technically, it's not a non-violent game, because there is a battle arena option.  Asides from that, you could enjoy the Neopets' world without ever having to step into the arena.  The idea of having a game that didn't focus on violence as a means to gain levels was not a popular notion at the time.  And still is not one.


There are few successful titles in the video game genre that are considered non-violent, such as Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing.  That might have to do with gender-based purchases of these games.  According to the book Grand Theft Childhood, nine out of ten of the most popular games played by girls are non-violent. (Compared to boys favoring violent games in their top ten.)  Is the lack of non-violent games being produced due to the fact that females are the ones purchasing them? Perhaps.

editorial picture

Playing non violent video games doesn’t come natural to many gamers.


In a Hartmann's study, Gender and Computer Games: Exploring Females' Dislikes, 52% of males between the ages of 12-19 find interest in videogames, while females were only 15%.  The research suggests the lack of interest in video games is due to the nature of games being designed for the male audience.  The lack of social interaction and stereotypical sexual objectification of characters were among the biggest complaints of why females lack interest in video games.  Games like The Sims become a top selling game mainly to its' attractiveness to female players.  While females make up 44% of online gamers, the market has not been creating games that satisfy their tendency to play non-violent games.


There might be a glimmering hope for those of us wanting to experience a MMO without the violence. Flickr founder, Stewart Butterfield, with the studio Tiny Speck, has recently developed Glitch.  A game based on living on a planet that exists in the mind of eleven imaginative giants.  In order to save the future, players travel back in time and shape the creation myth.  Sharing the world with other players, every action you and other people take evolves and develops the world.


While the notion of creating a MMORPG without violence creates obstacles for developers, is also create unique innovation.  Hopefully, in the future we'll see more titles that explore this genre, and enter a market virtually untouched by most developers.  Until then, I'll continue stabbing creatures in the face.

Roll n Rock

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 12:58 PM PDT

Roll n Rock is a multiplayer puzzle game you can play right in your browser. Feel free to customize your character with hundreds of items for a unique look. With plenty of maps and games to choose from, compete with up to eight other players to come out on top. Engage in various quests, craft your own items, and team up in a guild with others!

51026  320x240 roll n rock roulette

Publisher: Aeria Games
Playerbase: ??
Graphics: Medium
Type: MMO
EXP Rate: ??
PvP: N/A
Filesize: N/A

Pros: +Customization options. +Friendly competition. +Various puzzles and games.

Cons: -Can take some time for a match to start. -Not much information available.

official site


Roll n Rock Overview

Roll n Rock provides players several different puzzle maps to play against up to eight others on. In addition, players may craft various items to customize their character. The game features a dating and marriage system for interested players. The game features simple controls, and various power-ups during a match will have several different effects, some even turning the map to the side or upside down.

Roll n Rock Screenshots

Full Review

Roll n Rock Full Review

Coming Soon…


Roll n Rock Screenshots

Coming Soon…


Roll n Rock Videos

Coming Soon. . .


Roll n Rock Links

Official Game Page

System Requirements

Roll n Rock System Requirements

Coming soon. . .


Celebrate Arbor Day in Elsword

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 12:29 PM PDT

Elsword players can get eco-friendly with new Arbor Day events that will run until May 8.

Players can help restore Elrios to beauty by helping to plant trees and defending the new “Tears of Ruben” forest dungeon, which features different bosses each time a player enters. New gear will include permanent Mandrasil Weapon Costumes and Monster Masks, and rewards for efforts will include Enchantement Stones and El Shards. Keep an eye out for descendants of Mandrasil in villages, who will offer new quests for players.

Elsword is published by Kill3rCombo.

50947  420x310 elsword masks arborday

Elsword Monster Masks


Online Beat-'em-up Elsword Goes Green with In-Game Arbor Day Activities

IRVINE, Calif. – March 24, 2012 – Kill3rCombo is now offering Elsword  players the chance to get eco-friendly the virtual way during the Elarbor in-game event. Starting tomorrow through Tuesday, May 8, fans of the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game will be tasked with obliterating menacing forces that threaten to destroy the forest. By planting trees to curb the affects of evil adversaries, players can overcome rivals and restore Elrios to beauty.

Features of the Elarbor festivities include:

·         New event dungeon – In addition to erecting trees and warding off enemies, players will also be able to experience the special "Tears of Ruben" forest dungeon. In this area, gamers will encounter different bosses each time they enter, increasing difficulty and adding a challenging twist.
·         Quests and rewards – Along with protecting the forest, players will be able to receive plenty of rewards, such as Enhancement Stones and El Shards. Additionally, gamers are encouraged to watch out for the descendants of Mandrasil, who will appear in villages to provide new quests and rewards.
·         Upgraded gear – Players can also go incognito to defeat opponents by crafting permanent Mandrasil Weapon Costumes and donning Monster Masks.

In Elsword, gamers can choose from five specialized and customizable characters as they explore immersive maps and battle to complete dynamic quests. As players progress through the game, they can evolve their fighting styles by upgrading to new job classes and watch as their chosen character matures and gains more fierce abilities and combos. With intuitive and straightforward controls, Elsword offers players of all skill levels the chance to defeat enemies and deal damage, either on a solo mission or cooperatively in a party of up to four players. For those who welcome a challenge, Elsword also delivers action-packed player-versus-player (PvP) combat.

MMO Updates

MMO Updates

Wizard101 creator announces new game: Pirate101

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 10:30 AM PDT

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Ahoy maties, put down your wands and grab the nearest parrot, for you're about to head out onto the high seas with KingsIsle! The makers of the hit Wizard101 have announced their next project: the swashbuckling world of Pirate101.

Using a similar business model, full voice-over, same universe and same art style as Wizard101, KingsIsle is fashioning a unique pirate game with its second MMO. Players get to choose one of five classes for their piratey career: Buccaneer, Witchdoctor, Privateer, Swashbuckler, or Musketeer. No matter what they pick, players will captain their own flying (yes, flying) ships and take off for adventure in fantastic environments such as skyways, lost cities of gold, and ancient ruins. There will also be companions to pick up along the way for use in combat, and players can naturally join forces to complete quests and battle the oppressing force threatening the world.

Creative Director Todd Coleman thinks that this free-to-play title stretches the studio's imagination and reach: "We've created a world of treacherous pirates, faithful companions, tactical battles and gorgeous environments. Pirate101 fuses the key lessons we've learned from Wizard101 with entirely new design, setting and gameplay mechanics. We've succeeded in creating a game that is very different from Wizard101, but remains comfortable and familiar."

Pirate101 is currently in alpha and will be released in 2012. Watch for our upcoming interview with KingsIsle coming soon!

Gallery: Pirate101

[Source: KingsIsle Entertainment press release]

MassivelyWizard101 creator announces new game: Pirate101 originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Choose My Adventure: Next stop, City of Heroes

    Posted: 25 Apr 2012 10:00 AM PDT

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    Choose My Adventure
    I hope your vote wasn't born from a desire to see me in tights!

    Although road trips can be just as fun when you just jump in the car and take off with no predetermined destination, at some point you have to end up somewhere. And it looks like we now know our destination. While I was safely strapped in my seat and watching the scenery, you readers have taken the City of Heroes exit. So it looks like a cape and superpowers will be on order for the next few weeks in Choose my Adventure. (Unless you nix the cape, of course.)

    Surprisingly, this time around I actually managed to sit back and enjoy the ride without checking the poll results every 20 minutes of every day; I managed to restrain myself to just once a day! Maybe it was because I've let you have the keys before and knew that I really would enjoy the experience no matter where you took me. After all, you didn't get us in a wreck last time, did you? And Justin survived (relatively) unscathed, so what was there to worry about?

    Perhaps on another trip we will be able to explore other exotic destinations, such as Anarchy Online, Star Trek Online, Asheron's Call, or even World of Tanks. I'll admit that I wistfully entertained images of visiting each of these destinations while I was glancing periodically at the polls, but for now, our course is set, and we will be arriving shortly. The first order of business before jumping into City of Heroes is a shot pitstop to develop our character. Be sure to get your vote in before Saturday, April 18th, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. EDT!

    Continue reading Choose My Adventure: Next stop, City of Heroes

    MassivelyChoose My Adventure: Next stop, City of Heroes originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      See Eveningstar under siege in new DDO expansion screenshots

      Posted: 25 Apr 2012 09:30 AM PDT

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      Dungeons and Dragons Online - Eveningstar under siege
      Another week, another set of screenshots for Dungeons and Dragons Online's new Menace of the Underdark expansion. This time around, we've got two new areas to explore: the town of Eveningstar (and some night battles set therein), and the Ruins of Temple Mystra.

      DDO players can check these areas out after leaving Eberron behind and stepping into Turbine's version of the beloved Forgotten Realms campaign setting. The expansion, DDO's first, is slated for June 25th. Head to the official website for more, but not before you peruse our screenshot gallery below.

      [Source: Turbine press release]

      MassivelySee Eveningstar under siege in new DDO expansion screenshots originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Enter at Your Own Rift: Handy tips for fishing and survival in Telara

        Posted: 25 Apr 2012 09:00 AM PDT

        Filed under: , , , , ,

        rift fishing
        In my last column about RIFT, I looked at a few highlights that were coming with Update 1.8, but because of the buzz surrounding the two new skills of fishing and survival, I wanted to delve into both a little more closely and perhaps even give a few tips I picked up so far that might be helpful if you're thinking of giving it a try.

        Whether you're an old salt or a greenhorn, and if you're curious about what exactly it takes to fish in Telara or what you need to build yourself a nice camp and a warm meal, this week's Enter at Your Own Rift might help!

        Continue reading Enter at Your Own Rift: Handy tips for fishing and survival in Telara

        MassivelyEnter at Your Own Rift: Handy tips for fishing and survival in Telara originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          Seven Souls' 1.1 patch raises level cap, adds new dungeons and gear

          Posted: 25 Apr 2012 08:30 AM PDT

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          Seven Souls Online - man vs. pig
          If you've grown bored in Seven Souls Online, the 1.1 patch is reason to celebrate. Neowiz is raising the level cap to 50 and adding plenty of new items and gear to match.

          The sci-fantasy adventure also boasts new dungeons that include the Hall of Resurrection (levels 39 to 43) and Purgatorium (levels 45 and up). Both of these gauntlets will dole out "fantastic rewards" upon completion. Finally, gamers can look forward to the new Western Mikan Plains zone, as well a huge number of new quests and items to loot and trade. If you're still looking for something to do after you've conquered all the new content, Neowiz is hosting a Lineage of the Sky guild PvP tournament.

          Further details on Seven Souls' 1.1 patch, and the PvP event, are available at the game's official web destination.

          [Source: Neowiz press release]

          MassivelySeven Souls' 1.1 patch raises level cap, adds new dungeons and gear originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            End of Nations Liberation Front info and trailer

            Posted: 25 Apr 2012 08:00 AM PDT

            Filed under: , , , , , , , , , ,

            End of Nations - Liberation Front trailer
            Trion's End of Nations MMORTS features two playable factions. One of them is the heroic Liberation Front, which is featured in the company's latest video release. The Front boasts two classes: the hard-hitting Spartan, who drives tanks and "other infantry units with high defenses and high damage output," and the Patriot, who specializes in multi-role support units.

            Both classes, as well as a number of selectable (and customizable) units, are highlighted in the new trailer, so take a look past the break and get a leg up on building your battle-ready company.

            End of Nations is a free-to-play strategy title that is currently in alpha testing.

            [Source: Trion press release]

            Continue reading End of Nations Liberation Front info and trailer

            MassivelyEnd of Nations Liberation Front info and trailer originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              Guild Wars 2 Facebook milestone brings new art, more to come

              Posted: 25 Apr 2012 07:00 AM PDT

              Filed under: , , , , , ,

              Guild Wars 2 - golem boss concept
              Anticipation for Guild Wars 2 is reaching a fever pitch thanks to beta invite emails. ArenaNet's publicity machine is capitalizing on the mania, too, especially on Facebook. The game recently topped the 470,000 "likes" milestone, and fans were rewarded with a new piece of concept art. As you can see above, it's a huge golem boss in the Maguuma Jungle. Also note the tiny asura in the foreground that gives a sense of the creature's enormous scale.

              ArenaNet is dangling another carrot in the form of the 480,000 "like" plateau. Once it's reached, players will be rewarded with another piece of art. There's even a teaser of the upcoming image on the GW2 Facebook page.

              MassivelyGuild Wars 2 Facebook milestone brings new art, more to come originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              The Daily Grind: How do you keep track of your passwords?

              Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:00 AM PDT

              Filed under: , , ,

              It's a hazard of the job that we accumulate scores of passwords while writing at Massively. It makes sense: Every new MMO tried means a new account, and because I'm not stupid, a new password. Unfortunately, the numbers began to pile up on me and I began to realize that there was no way I was going to remember all of these for when I'd go back to a game months after the fact.

              My old system used a common theme (say, names of Pokemon) that allowed for different passwords while giving me a chance at guessing them if I forgot. My new system is a $0.99 notebook that I desperately hope my kids don't discover and chew up. It's a slight improvement but not perfect.

              So I'm curious: How do you keep track of your passwords? Do you memorize them, write them down in a notebook, have a text file on your computer, or use a password manager program?

              Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

              MassivelyThe Daily Grind: How do you keep track of your passwords? originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                ArenaNet reveals world transfer details for Guild Wars 2

                Posted: 24 Apr 2012 08:30 PM PDT

                Filed under: , , , ,

                To wrap up what's been a very exciting day for Guild Wars 2 beta weekend participants, ArenaNet has published a blog post detailing world choice and the mechanics of transferring worlds.

                Upon first logging into the game, players will be able to pick any home world server available, including those in a different region from where they purchased the game. All characters thereafter are created on that home world. World transfers are possible, but have both a time and gem cost. A player can change home worlds only once every seven days and must shell out 1,800 gems to do so. Once the game goes live, however, a "guesting" feature will be available to allow players to join friends on any world, although players won't be able to participate in WvW for their temporary host server.

                Guesting won't be in for the beta weekend event, but players will be able to test out transferring worlds. Each account will be able to unlock 2,000 free gems for the BWE, which will cover the cost of a transfer and a little more.

                A complete server list for the upcoming beta weekend event is available in ArenaNet's blog post.

                MassivelyArenaNet reveals world transfer details for Guild Wars 2 originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                Hyperspace Beacon: Advice from a master

                Posted: 24 Apr 2012 07:00 PM PDT

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                Hyperspace Beacon: Advice from a master
                I had the pleasure of playing Star Wars Galaxies with Brian "OddjobXL" Rucker for at least five years before his unfortunate passing last week. We never met in person, but he was a great influence on my life despite my having only recently found out what he looked like. One of the great things about the internet is that personality really shines through when you don't have a preconceived notion of who someone is based on how he looks. Brian was one of those people whose personality stood out from the rest of the community because of the stories he created and wisdom he imparted to others.

                When he played SWG, he posted quite a bit as Mandash Grim on the Starsider Galaxy roleplay website; when a good chunk of those players decided to give Star Wars: The Old Republic a go, he moved with them to SWTOR-RP. On this forum, he talked about how SWTOR influenced RP, even though it was not exactly the way he envisioned it.

                It's hard to summarize in a thousand words his gaming philosophies, which had such an influence on me, but I'd like to highlight a few key things he wrote that I believe summarize his feelings on something everyone reading this column probably loves: Star Wars MMO storytelling.

                Continue reading Hyperspace Beacon: Advice from a master

                MassivelyHyperspace Beacon: Advice from a master originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  New preview available for Final Fantasy XIV's Garuda fight

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 06:00 PM PDT

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                  Many-winged angel.
                  The primals are among the greatest forces within Eorzea, something that Final Fantasy XIV players are no doubt acutely aware of after the clash with Ifrit. The second primal battle is coming, pitting players against Garuda, deity of the Ixali. That means another pitched battle against a superior foe in the Howling Eye, a battle which the official site has just recently previewed with a video of the fight in hard mode and a video preview of the new weapon rewards.

                  According to the lore, the Ixali revere Garuda as the Empress of Birds, a soaring deity who maintains an appetite for the flesh of land-dwelling creatures. She is the incarnate strength of the bird-men as well as a source of great terror. But just as with Ifrit, players who defeat her can expect to have a variety of fantastic weapons, as illustrated in the video just past the break. Just be careful -- if you aren't on the ball when you fight her, you could find yourself completely blown away.

                  [Thanks to Alex for the tip!]

                  Continue reading New preview available for Final Fantasy XIV's Garuda fight

                  MassivelyNew preview available for Final Fantasy XIV's Garuda fight originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  SWTOR increases Sniper damage, fixes bugs, and cures the Rakghoul plague

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 05:00 PM PDT

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                  SWTOR: Imperial Agent Sniper
                  Snipers and Gunslingers should be happy about the changes to Star Wars: The Old Republic this morning. Five of their most prominent abilities have received a 5% increase in damage output. With the latest patch 1.2.1, abilities like Snipe, Charged Burst, Aim Shot, and Ambush now have a measurable difference in damage output.

                  Although Snipers and Gunslingers were the only classes to receive a bonus to damage, many other minor and why-is-this-an-issue bugs have been fixed with the introduction of this patch. For instance, each player can add other players to his friends list even if those other players are offline. And that persistent and annoying jet-engine sound heard on Carrick and Vaiken station has been fixed.

                  On a sad note, the Rakghoul plague has come to and end (or is that good news?). Either way, the announcements on the stations have stopped, and the crash site has been fully cleaned up, including the jawa vendor. But chin up, event-fans: Lead Designer Daniel Erickson mentioned on Mos Eisley Radio that although BioWare does not have plans to revive this specific event, there is a whole team specifically dedicated to creating future live events.

                  MassivelySWTOR increases Sniper damage, fixes bugs, and cures the Rakghoul plague originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  ArenaNet prepares fans for Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 04:30 PM PDT

                  Filed under: , , , ,

                  the writhing hordes are ready
                  ArenaNet has followed up its recent beta weekend event blogpost with a short video going through the details of the upcoming Guild Wars 2 BWE. The team has also confirmed that emails are being sent out to get BWE participants the information they need to download the beta client and be ready for the weekend.

                  The event, which runs from Friday the 27th at 3:00pm EDT to 3:00am on Monday the 30th, will introduce players to the Charr, Human, and Norn early zones as well as allowing players to get into epic WvW battles and hotjoinable PvP. Lion's Arch, a huge city that's undergone massive changes since the original Guild Wars, will be explorable for the first time. Check out what Martin Kerstein and Mike Zadorojny have to say about it in the video after the cut.

                  Continue reading ArenaNet prepares fans for Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event

                  MassivelyArenaNet prepares fans for Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  Frogster responds to community uproar over European TERA changes

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 04:00 PM PDT

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                  Screenshot -- TERA
                  European TERA fans have been up in arms lately due to decisions on behalf of the game's European publisher, Frogster, to remove a notable amount of the game's mature content in hopes of receiving a PEGI 12 rating. Today, the game's lead community manager, Raven, took to the forums to explain the logic behind some of these decisions and to elaborate on what players can expect moving forward.

                  The post begins with an apology for the lack of transparency in the matter of removing the blood effect slider from the game without mention; it goes on to promise that "the gore slider will be back with the original three different graduations and blood will still be spread on the ground during combat," though it's important to note that the feature will be patched back in shortly after launch. Raven also clarifies the reasons behind some of the changes made to the childlike Elin, stating that the changes were made "not to comply with a demand from any official board, but because those characters in particular could have attracted to the game a population of unsavoury users, and it is part of [Frogster's] responsibility to protect [TERA's] younger audiences from them."

                  As far as the changes made to other character models (such as the reduction of female breast size and some changes that made certain pieces of armor less revealing) are concerned, Raven points out that those changes are present in all versions of the game, including the Korean version, so it's not a case of the game's being censored purely for Western audiences. To get the full details and put forth your tuppence on the matter, just head on over to the official TERA EU forums.

                  MassivelyFrogster responds to community uproar over European TERA changes originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  Guild Wars celebrates its 7th anniversary [Updated]

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 03:00 PM PDT

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                  Guild Wars
                  It's that special time of year again! Despite the amount of effort that has got to be getting poured into the upcoming Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event, ArenaNet isn't neglecting the baby game's elder sibling. The Guild Wars site has been updated with some information about festivities for the in-game celebration.

                  From April 24th through May 8th, players will be able to enjoy the time-honored traditions of Guild Wars' birthday celebrations: Players can stroll down the Shing Jea Boardwalk for some festival games, race Rollerbeetles, unlock birthday hats, and collect some sweet, sweet treats. In addition, a new pet is being made available. The Hound of Balthazar can be unlocked for free by visiting Ceira, Sworn to Fire in Embark Beach and then traveling to the Zaishen Menagerie and tracking down the fiery beastie. After the anniversary has drawn to a close, the Hound will still be unlockable, but at the cost of 100,000 Balthazar Faction or 20 golden zaishen coins and 100 gold -- so maybe don't dawdle if you're interested in a shiny new pet. The updated page also promises "drops and activities never before seen in anniversary celebration," so join in the fun to find out what's new!

                  [Update: According to a Gamebreaker TV special, all of the normal weekend events observed in Guild Wars will be running simultaneously for the anniversary celebration!]

                  MassivelyGuild Wars celebrates its 7th anniversary [Updated] originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  The Soapbox: The grind is good

                  Posted: 24 Apr 2012 02:00 PM PDT

                  Filed under: , ,

                  Disclaimer: The Soapbox column is entirely the opinion of this week's writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Massively as a whole. If you're afraid of opinions other than your own, you might want to skip this column.

                  Like many of you, I have fond memories of several important video games that carried me through my childhood and teenage years. Some were deep, some were obscure, some were landmark moments in the genre, and some were Chrono Trigger. It's weird, then, with all that variety, that I have strong fondness for a game that had so little going on in the story or progression department as to be a step away from playing marbles or jacks in the street.

                  It was a game that I'd sit down to night after night, not to go on any grand adventures or to raise my level 1 fighter up into the ranks of godhood but to just unwind. It was a game that required such a zen-like concentration that it pushed the thinking portion of my brain out and soothed me with its repetitive gameplay and simplistic motions.

                  That game was, of course, Tetris, a game that was grind personified. It was minimalistic puzzle-solving repeated over and over again, and some days that's all I needed. When my mind was wiped, or when I just wanted to sit back in my chair instead of forward in it, I turned to these silly blocks. When I needed it and wanted it, the grind was better for me than the most complex and innovative video games of the time.

                  The grind is good, especially when you have the option to do it or ignore it, and I feel that this has gotten such a bad reputation in MMOs that its positive aspects are overlooked. Time to remedy that!

                  Continue reading The Soapbox: The grind is good

                  MassivelyThe Soapbox: The grind is good originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                    Flameseeker Chronicles: Dreaming of green knights

                    Posted: 24 Apr 2012 01:00 PM PDT

                    Filed under: , , , ,

                    Guild Wars 2
                    April's had some exciting moments, has it not? The month is going to end on a high note for many Guild Wars 2 fans. Even if you're not one of the many many people who'll be in the upcoming beta weekend event, the lack of a non-disclosure agreement for participants of this round means that anyone can stream, post, and chat about her experience. That means a new level of transparency and insight, hopefully, so that's cool.

                    You know what won't be available in the beta? The Sylvari and the Asura, once again. ArenaNet's included Lion's Arch in this newest beta build, but that's about all that's new. I've gone on record as saying that I'm perfectly content to wait 'til launch for the Asura and Sylvari so that they're all pristine and new and ready to be explored, but I've got to say that that contentedness gets a little more strained each time we hear or see new stuff about the Sylvari. That's been true for months upon months, but it just keeps getting better.

                    Continue reading Flameseeker Chronicles: Dreaming of green knights

                    MassivelyFlameseeker Chronicles: Dreaming of green knights originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                      Massively Speaking Episode 198: Open beta madness!

                      Posted: 24 Apr 2012 12:00 PM PDT

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                      Guild Wars 2
                      Massively Speaking Episode 198 is pumped up about open beta season, as games like Guild Wars 2, TERA, and Diablo III promote their wares through shameless stress test weekends. Does it whet the appetite or serve as a potent first dose of a drug that will drag us down into the gutters of addiction and achievement-hunting? Who cares! Jack us in to the Matrix, baby!

                      Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to We may just read your email on the air!

                      Get the podcast:
                      [iTunes] Subscribe to Massively Speaking directly in iTunes.
                      [RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
                      [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
                      Listen here on the page:

                      Read below the cut for the full show notes.

                      Continue reading Massively Speaking Episode 198: Open beta madness!

                      MassivelyMassively Speaking Episode 198: Open beta madness! originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                        The Game Archaeologist: Are graphical updates worth the hassle?

                        Posted: 24 Apr 2012 11:30 AM PDT

                        Filed under: , , , ,

                        Ultima Online
                        "I'd play this game again if the graphics were updated."

                        "If they re-released this game with modern graphics, it would be way more popular."

                        "The Game Archaeologist is my hero, and I will name my progeny in his honor."

                        How many times have we heard the above statements? From my perspective as someone who tries to keep tabs on classic MMOs, I see these claims quite a lot. Such sentiments pop up in nearly every other post Massively does about older games: "This title is rock-solid except for its aging visuals. Update those, and it would recapture its former glory and then some."

                        This has gotten me thinking whether such logic would pan out or not. With Anarchy Online's much-hyped graphics overhaul on the way, this discussion seems to crop up more often. Is the power of a graphics conversion or overhaul strong enough to pull back in previous players and fresh blood? Or is it merely slathering on new paint over a rusting hulk?

                        Continue reading The Game Archaeologist: Are graphical updates worth the hassle?

                        MassivelyThe Game Archaeologist: Are graphical updates worth the hassle? originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                          Play Runes of Magic in your browser (if you're in Europe)

                          Posted: 24 Apr 2012 11:00 AM PDT

                          Filed under: , , , , ,

                          Runes of Magic - spellcaster and pet
                          Want to play Runes of Magic in your browser? Now you can, thanks to the fruits of a partnership between Frogster and Kalydo. Frogster tells us that "game quality is not compromised in the new version, and Runes of Magic can now be played on any PC that meets the technical requirements without having to download the full client."

                          It usually takes about 30 seconds of streaming to reach RoM's main menu and character creation interface. Also of note is the fact that the browser version runs on the same servers as the client version, so you'll still have access to all of your friends and familiars.

                          The bad news is that the browser version is only available in Europe as of today. We'll update you as soon as we hear about Frogster's plans for additional markets.

                          [Source: Frogster press release]

                          MassivelyPlay Runes of Magic in your browser (if you're in Europe) originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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