MMORPG Weekly News Roundup: December 8th – December 15th
By Joshua Temblett (Dontkillmydreams), OnRPG Journalist
World of Warcraft: Patch 3.3
The new patch for World of Warcraft has been released! The new update, entitled Fall of the Lich King, brings a host of improvements to this already well-established game whilst giving eager players new content to explore and enjoy. Here’s the official release:
“At last. In the Fall of the Lich King content update (3.3), the great doors of IceCrown Citadel will be forced open. The mightiest heroes of the Horde and Alliance will confront and finally defeat Arthas, the Lich King — but the lord of the Scourge will not easily part with his sword, his life, or his frozen kingdom.
This update includes an all-new raid and winged five-player dungeon; numerous interface improvements, including detailed quest tracking and instant cross-realm dungeons; scores of new quests and achievements; the epic tier-10 armor sets, and numerous class and system updates. You can find specific info, patch notes, and extensive details on all of the additions below.
The price of victory in Northrend grows higher with each passing day. Charge the gates, and bring an end to the wrath of the Lich King!”
If you visit the World of Warcraft Profile Page you can find an epic trailer for this epic patch.
After intensely browsing through the patch notes, I’ve noticed several import things of interest.
Getting Started and Quest Tracking
“A number of changes have been made to World of Warcraft’s introductory experience, including updated character and class information at the character-selection screen, more robust tooltips with images, improved health and mana regeneration at lower levels, and adjustments to various classes designed to make it easier for players to get started. In addition, all-new quest-tracking features have been added to assist players in finding objectives, including new interface functionality in the quest log, the map (“M” key), and the Objectives pane.”
It seems that the game just keeps on getting easier and easier for new players. If you have yet to play the game, then there’s no time like the present especially with the addition of the quest tracking features. Changes have also been made to the Interface:
“Many of the default Interface Options settings have been changed for greater ease of use by new players. Existing players who create new characters may want to review the Interface Options in the event that the default settings feel different.”
If you’re already an existing player then make sure you familiarise yourself with the new Interface Options.
The new Dungeon Finder feature has been added recently to accompany the new patch. This new system replaces the old Looking For Group tool and is available for all five player dungeons. Here’s some really interesting changes you can read about the New Dungeon Finder tool.
A few players have complained about this new feature removing the fun from finding your own party and that they don’t feel as immersed in the game and less connected with their team mates. What’s your opinion?
New Dungeons and Raids
What would a World of Warcraft patch be without new places to explore? Two new dungeons have been added, a five player dungeon and a raid dungeon:
“Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls: Looming over the stark wastes of Northrend, Icecrown Citadel awaits those who would see the Lich King and his Scourge brought low and the threat they pose wiped from the face of Azeroth. The heroes who venture within will face some of the greatest horrors yet seen. But before you burst into the front gate of the citadel, an alternate means of entry beckons. Journey through three separate wings of the new five-player dungeon, Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls, and follow Jaina Proudmoore or Sylvanas Windrunner into the Lich King’s domain.
Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne: All across Northrend, many battles have been fought against the vile Scourge. Countless lives have been lost since the Alliance and the Horde first reached these frozen wastes, but the champions of Azeroth continue to march forward — and Icecrown Citadel, the cornerstone of the Scourge’s power and the home base of the Lich King, is their final target. Tirion Fordring and the Argent Crusade have forged an accord with Darion Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade to form the Ashen Verdict. This coalition’s strongest combatants, along with the champions of the Alliance and the Horde, will lead the charge against the citadel. In the new Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon, Azeroth’s mightiest will face terrifying challenges before ascending to the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King and his runeblade, Frostmourne, await to deliver the heroes to their deaths….”
Of course there has also been a huge amount of class balancing, so make sure you check the patch notes, before entering the game and getting a big surprise.
Quake Live: Hit Box Updates
On the 8th of December a few changes were made to player hit boxes: “Tonight’s update brings great improvements to the hit registration, thanks to increased server framerates, new cylindrical player hitboxes, and player position extrapolation fixes. These changes should help reduce occurrences where you actually miss an enemies body with a shot, but actually register a hit (because the “hitbox” was larger than the body itself). In addition to these changes we have also included several new smaller features such as the impactSparks, that further assist in detecting when and where you’ve hit your enemy.”
Tibia: A Year’s Retrospective
In Tibia’s last feature article of the year the developers, CipSoft, talk about the year and some of their most challenging and exciting moments.
Wizard 101: For Charity!
“We are proud to give our players and their friends a unique way to support children this holiday season. The purchase of an in-game mount, the “Meowmodon”, will benefit the Austin Children’s Shelter and Child’s Play. The Austin Children’s Shelter provides emergency shelter and care for abused and neglected children and Child’s Play is a game industry charity dedicated to providing games and toys to children in hospitals worldwide.
The black and white Meowmodon resembles a large tiger and sells for 7,500 in-game Crowns per mount. For each Meowmodon mount sold, KingsIsle will donate the full amount (a retail value of approximately $15) to the two charities, divided equally. The Meowmodon is available for purchase through the in-game Crown Shop from December 14, 2009 through January 5, 2010.
“We have an opportunity to give back by tapping into the power of our Wizard101 community – our 5 million players can make a real difference to deserving children,” said Elie Akilian, CEO of KingsIsle Entertainment. “We chose these organizations because we wanted to support the communities that we are a part of – one located in the same city as our design studio and another with global reach, just like Wizard101.””
This is one of the many reasons why I love KingsIsle, for their compassion. No other gaming company is giving such a big donation to charity. I will definitely be buying one of these mounts, now I just need to find my wallet. Keep up the great work KingIsle!
Atlantica Online: New Content!
New content for Atlantica has popped up just in time for Christmas. This new patch, was released on the 9th December and features some great new content such as:
– New Mercenary: Druid
– New Dungeon: Grand Canyon
– New System: Squads
– Squad Dungeon: Coyote’s Valley
– New Competition: Colosseum League
And much more!
Non- MMORPG News
Team Fortress 2: WAR!
“So: how is the War update different from our other class updates?
In many ways, it’s not. Like any other class update, the War update will reveal three new weapons each for the Demoman and Soldier throughout the week, as well as some maps, achievements, and surprises, right up until the day of release, when everything we’ve been teasing goes live.
Where the War update differs from other class updates is that we’ve decided to mix things up a little with, as the Administrator would say, “a healthy competition.” A secret, exclusive seventh weapon has also been developed by the TF2 team. In other words, either the Soldier or the Demo (but NOT both) is walking out of this update with one more weapon than the other. If you want your class to have it, you’re going to have to fight for it. The more Demomen you kill as the Soldier class will help ensure the Soldier gets the weapon at the end of the week. The more Soldiers you kill as the Demo will help the Demo class get the exclusive seventh weapon. Check back daily to see how your class is doing at the War hubpage – this is also where you’ll see links to all the leaked previews of the weapons, maps, and surprises releasing soon with this update.”
Looks like it’s time to boot up Team Fortress 2 again…
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
If you own a Nintendo DS then make sure you pick up this brand new Zelda game (or at least get it for Christmas!). Following on from The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hour Glass, this new title has a better story, better gameplay and better puzzles! It’s definitely worth a purchase!
That’s a wrap! Join us next week for a roundup of Christmas events and much more MMORPG gaming news! Have a great time putting up your Christmas decorations and wrapping up those presents for your loved ones! I’ll see you next time!