MMORPG Weekly News Roundup: December 22nd – December 29th
By Joshua Temblett (Dontkillmydreams), OnRPG Journalist
As expected, this week was rather barren with regards to MMORPG news. Luckily enough Square Enix gave us a surprise by giving us a plethora of new information. I hope you’re still enjoying your Christmas break and that you’re having a nice time relaxing and preparing for New Year!
Final Fantasy XIV: Character Customisation!
This week a ton of news was released regarding Final Fantasy XIV. Let’s dive in and see what new facts were announced!
Among the news this week were screen shots and a little bit of information regarding the character creatior in Final Fantasy XIV. The newly released screen shots are designed to show how advanced the character creation tools are, especially in comparison to Final Fantasy XI. Once again this information was revealed through Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (and translated by FFXIVCore.com), before being posted on the game’s main website. I still find this procedure of announcing information to the Japanese audience first, before telling the rest of the world, incredibly interesting. Are they aiming at the Japanese market too much? I digress; here are some of the images we’ve gotten of the new character creator:
Now there are two things that are shown off here, one is the degree to which you can customise your character’s face and skin colour, the other to show off the power of the new Crystal Tools engine. Allow me to explain the latter point. Each of the girls in the picture above has the same revealing costume on. Correct? However what’s different is that each girl’s clothing is made of a different fabric. Let’s take a closer look:
Now as you can see in the image to the left the character’s clothes are made up of a leather like material which is shiny and wraps itself tightly around the wearer’s body, where as in the image to the right the character’s costume is made up of a wool like material which appears looser and softer. It also looks as if it’s knitted by hand. If this is a true showing of the engines power, these images look like they were taken using the in-game engine, then we can expect a truly beautiful game. There were also a host of other images released:
You can find many more images at the North American official FFXIV website. FFXIVCore.com also translated an interview with Yaeko Satou, who is in charge of Final Fantasy XIV’s storyline, in which a Santa Claus sack full of information regarding the game and its story is revealed. I think that’s enough information on Final Fantasy XIV for the time being. I now leave you with the game’s newly released prologue:
“It is nigh on ten years since the fearsome beings known as the primals first appeared in these lands. Ten years since they were summoned forth by the destructive ambition of the beast tribes. Ten years, and still those tribes, drunk on the power granted them by the primals, continue to wreak havoc upon the free peoples of Eorzea. To the northeast, the Garlean Empire stirs, casting an ominous shadow across the realm. Seeking dominion over the continent of Aldenard, the Garleans set out on a campaign of conquest, smiting all opposition with their superior technology and overwhelming military might. In a relentless drive to the south and west, they lay ruin to the once flourishing city-state of Ala Mhigo. It is in the midst of this embattled Eorzea that a mysterious power surfaces. Known simply as the Echo, it is said to cause the souls of those touched by it to resonate with others. And of this is born the ability to relive their past experiences–to see and feel them as though they were one’s own.
Can these seeds of the past somehow serve to sow hope for the future? What is the origin of this eldritch power? Is it a deific gift of righteousness? Or the deception of some sinister sorcery? To what end has it been given? The search for the answers to such questions falls to you. So go forth. Seek out and join your brethren. And together claim your place among the legends in the annals of time.”
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Designing the Dark Side
“Inspired by notorious characters such as Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, the Sith Inquisitor and Sith Warrior take different approaches to their rise to power. The Sith Warrior achieves victory through pure aggression and might while the Sith Inquisitor excels by cunning ambition and Force manipulation. From storyline, to art style, to combat tactics, each design decision was made to support the dark side themes of power, domination, and destruction.Watch Developer Dispatch: Designing the Dark Side, and learn how Star Wars: The Old Republic developers created this dominating force.”
Allods Online: Closed Beta Test #3
Just a quick reminder to everyone about the next closed Beta for Allods Online. The next beta phase will be from December 29th to January 11th and will begin at 11am (PST). Some of the latest content to test include the Corridors of Tensess Temple, which is rumored that only a few can enter it. Another dungeon is the Darkblood Citadel, a dark place filled with vampires, spiders and bats. If you’re not scared enough, perhaps Lab Thirteen would be enough to rattle your bones among the undead and the ghastly demons. Make sure you check out the preview page for this beta test to see what other interesting things are being added!
A beta for the MMO Love is coming soon! Love is an amazing MMORPG which is currently being developed by one man, Eskil Steenberg. The Beta will be featuring 26 new things, some of which will be major additions to the game, others not. It is hoped that the beta will be launched soon. You can play the Alpha build right now (although you have to pay a small fee to get access to it) and get a taste of what this much anticipated game is like.
Final Fantasy XI: Don’t Use Third Party Programs
On Christmas Eve Square Enix decided to post a little reminder in which they told their users not to use third party programs and informed us that they would hunt anyone down if they did such a thing. They write the following: “The tools were utilized by players and gil farmers to gain an unfair advantage over other players in a variety of ways. As a result of our investigation, we have taken appropriate action against the individual, have halted distribution of the programs and have disabled the servers used to run them.
We are in the process of investigating other third party tools originating in the U.S. and abroad and will take similar action against the creators and their customers when we are ready to do so. We have a zero-tolerance policy against any attempts to artificially manipulate FINAL FANTASY XI gameplay or the PlayOnline service. Usage of third-party tools will not be tolerated within the FINAL FANTASY XI community, and we will continue to ban user accounts for consumers of these products and will potentially take legal actions against those who create the tools.” Not exactly a heart warming Christmas message.
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Crossbow Training
Eiji Aonuma, the master of all things Zelda, wanted to make a sequel to the Wii Zapper game, Link’s Crossbow training: “”To tell you the truth, I actually wanted to create Link’s Crossbow Training 2. I thought that we should do something more and better in the field of the first person shooter, based on our experience of the first game”. Unfortunately Nintendo would have none of it and told him to make a new Legend of Zelda game instead.
Sony: Cutting Costs
What may have seemed like a wonderful year for the PS3, what with the launch of several block buster video games and the PS3 Slim, the company still made a loss this year (I blame the PSP Go) and because of this will be cutting costs. Sony will also be merging the Sony Computer Entertainment distribution arm to the rest of the company; don’t ask me why it wasn’t that way before. That’s another round up of MMORPG news! Come back next week as I’ll be doing an overview of all of the biggest news this year. Have wonderful New Year and I hope you enjoy the celebrations!! Happy New Year everyone!