Monthly Archives: May 2009

zOmg Preview: It’s zOMG-licious!

By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), Onrpg Journalist
zOMG is a browser-based MMO from the people behind the anime-themed forum Gaia Online. zOMG centers around the attack of the “animated”,  they are monsters that have sprang life and have been attacking Gaians left and life. They are impervious to any kinds of physical attacks all except attacks that originated from the mysterious power rings you would eventually get to use later in the game.
 

Game Features

Characters in zOMG are made through the avatar creation of Gaia Online. You are given the choice to determine the gender, faces expression, eye color, hair color and skin color of your avatar. GAIA Online gives you some free clothes at the beginning of your Gaia adventure. However, the clothes do not have actual use in zOMG because it’s the rings that matter in your adventures in the game.
 
The rings have special attributes and their use varies depending on what kind of ring you get. There are rings that enhance your speed, luck or attack power. Some rings even create swrods that fight for you, project force fields and enhance the armor of your allies.
 
Besides the usual ring powers you get on games set with an MMO-ish feel, zOMG wouldn’t be zOMG without the crazy skills of rings like, wrapping an opponent in duct tape or throwing an angry hornet’s nest like a grenade.
 
Unlike in most MMOs where the attributes are gained by leveling your character, in zOMG you get your attributes from the rings you have, the level of your rings determines the attributes your character has. In zOMG, your rings determine how strong you are.
 
You get to increase the strength of your rings by using them. Your rings earn “G’hi” or the zOMG version of life force and when your ring reaches a certain “G’hi” amount requirement it would level up. Another thing about the rings is that the rings go hand in hand, to maximize the strength of the rings the rings would have to have the similar power rating.
 
Another feature of zOMG is that your avatar in Gaia would then be used as your character in the game. How your avatar looks in the forums is exactly copied into zOMG. Your character moves like a cut-out version in the game with its legs running anime-ish like.
 

The World of Gaia

The world of zOMG is lifted from the world GAIA Online has created therefore everything is familiar for someone who has spent time interacting in GAIA Online. You start of in Barton Town, the center of all trade in Gaia. Everything you see in zOMG is the manifestation of the shops, NPCs and characters you get to meet in the Gaia Online. 
 
zOMG’s problems root out from once inanimate objects suddenly having life, therefore monsters you get to face in zOMG are inanimate objects like the pink flamingo and the garden gnome, you even get to face a monster that was once a rubber boot.  Though one thing is certain in zOMG is that the cuteness of the monsters is the constant factor for all of them. Don’t let the cuteness fool you though. These monsters already downed a lof of your fellow Gaians so what makes you different.
 
As you continue your exploration of the zOMG world, you would eventually get materials that seem to be useless trash. The thing is, there are certain loots that you get in zOMG that you an exchange or create wearable items, as long as you meet the amount needed to make one.
 

Conclusion

zOMG is one of those rare MMOs that to fully enjoy everything the game has to offer you must immerse yourself first to the community rather than the game itself. Almost half of the game would be meaningless lifeless sprites because the game, outside of the community is so generic.
 
You have the shops, the NPCs, the quests and all and that they are also found in other games as well. The thing is, zOMG’s strength is not in the game play or in the graphics engine but rather in the social interaction, the use of your personalized avatars and the story that unfolds in the game.
 
It may be nice to see your avatars, as personalized as they are roaming the worlds of zOMG, but in terms of usability they fail. Still, the whole point of letting your avatars be used as your character is more of the personalized feel rather than being usable. Adding this element into the gameplay system makes players feel that they are part of the whole tale, which is zOMG is practically all about.
 
zOMG is an MMO that is not centering itself as a game that’s running head-to-head with other big MMOs in the market. zOMG centers around the people, the users and makes them feel that  they’re not just observers but also part of the whole action as well.
 
That’s what exactly zOMG is about, it’s more of a fanservice game for users of Gaia Online that seeks to bring those who are subscribers to the forums into a more universal coherent world that seems to be lacking the game specially for those first time users.
 
The game is fun, quirky and is an exact duplicate of the source of zOMG’s material, Gaia. There is no other game out there that gives you this much freedom in making your character even in P2P games, you can practically make a character at the back of your head and you could immediately see it spring to life in zOMG.
 
You can’t separate the fact that zOMG relies heavily on your Gaian account. To be able to truly enjoy the game and be part of the whole zOMG experience would mean that it would take more time and effort than your usual MMO.
 
With the game still in beta it would seem that there are still a lot of things in store for people when zOMG 1.0 comes live, there are lots of things you can look forward to when that happens.

Lineage II The Chaotic Throne: Gracia Final

Dev Diary # 5: New Items, Weapons, Armor, Capes/Cloaks in Gracia Final
Written by: The Lineage II NCsoft West Team
New Items in Gracia Final
 
The new Lineage II expansion, Gracia Final has introduced players to a myriad of new items, including weapons and armor, which have never been seen in the lands of Aden. Players can also enjoy other fantastic additions, such as Cloaks, Sigils, and Attribute Crystals, if they are willing to lend themselves to the new fight for good in the Seeds of Destruction and Infinity.
Brave warriors who conquer raid bosses deep within the Seed of Destruction and Seed of Infinity may find themselves owners of brand new Vesper armor. These pieces have been added as the new S84 armor grade. Vesper can also be upgraded to Vesper Noble armor by venturing back to the seeds where Vesper Noble Enhance Stones can be earned. As the path to this reward is paved with danger and uncertainty, only the most stalwart will survive in their quest to obtain this illustrious armor.
In addition to astonishing new armor sets, Cloaks and Sigil’s are also included with this latest update. As cloaks have never been available in-game, this is a milestone for Lineage II characters who wish to complete their physical appearance. Ancient Cloaks are awarded to those who brave the battlefields of Territory War, Knight’s Cloaks are available to those who have achieved high ranks within their clan, and Holy Spirit’s Cloaks are rewards for those who conquer major raid bosses, including those in the Seed of Destruction and Seed of Infinity. Sigil’s are newly added shield-type armor pieces that benefit magic using classes. While shields have offered simple protection, these smaller, wrist shield pieces equip in the shield slot and add varying statistics to specific magic using classes.
Stylish armor isn’t the only new draw to these battles. New Vesper weapons and Dual Daggers are waiting to be awarded to champions. The different Vesper weapon types are high level rewards for raid bosses in the Seed of Destruction and Seed of Infinity, just as Vesper armor pieces are. Various dagger weapons can now be combined to create a Dynasty Dual Dagger, an Icarus Dual Dagger, and a Vesper Dual Dagger. These Dual Daggers can be manufactured by the Blacksmith of Mammon or Master Ishuma and can be wielded by characters who have reached level 81.
Finally, players who are fans of elemental attributes will be thrilled to hear about new Attribute Crystals. This upgrade to the attribute items allows players to double the amount of elemental effects that can be added to their weapons and armor. Those who seek out the materials for Attribute Crystals in Gracia will be richly rewarded with this customization to their weapons and armor. 
Vesper armor, Icarus weapons, Dual Daggers, Sigil’s, Cloaks, and Attribute Crystals; these are only  a small part of the massive update that is Gracia Final. Explore new terrain, brave new dungeons, and soar into the atmosphere in a grand effort to obtain the latest and greatest items available in Lineage II.

Runes Of Magic Goes To Russia

Runes of Magic is also available in Russian language now. Frogster’s commercial partner Game Factory Interactive (GFI) has launched the open beta of the Russian version. So now anyone in Eastern Europe who is interested in a free to play game access can set this up on the Russian website www.rm-online.ru/. The full version of the free to play title is also available for free download. As has already been the case with the German and English versions, GFI won’t be deleting any characters after the open beta closes. They will be able to be carried over without any restriction into the official game launch.
 
“With the launch of the Russian version, we are broadening the target group for Runes of Magic by hundreds of thousands of potential players in the Eastern European markets. And in Game factory Interactive we have found the ideal partner for the territory.” commented Andreas Weidenhaupt, Chief Licensing Officer of Frogster Interactive Pictures AG and CEO of Frogster Online Gaming GmbH.
 
“The launch of the Russian version of Runes of Magic is a great event. We thank the company Frogster Online Gaming for their confidence in us and assure that this game will be a great success among thousands of Russian MMO players.” Commented Slava Plotnikov, Chief Executive Officer of Game Factory Interactive.
Solely with the German and English versions, Frogster just hit the one million registered players mark in Europe and North America. The announced Korean and two further language versions are already in development by the Berlin based publisher and should be published later this year.

Tales of Pirates: TOP Film Festival

Tales of Pirates is a vast world filled with shady characters that would feel right at home on the big screen. If you’ve been bit by the acting bug or just have a camcorder and a lot of free time, then ToP is the place for you to be.
 
The ToP team is holding their always popular TOP video event, and this time their players will be competing for the mysteriously powerful Death Armor. Player can form groups of up to 3, or go it alone. They’re also pulling out all the usual requirements and giving players free rein this time, except for one rule. The video must be related TOP. Although this may sound restrictive, they explain that this still leaves a lot of room for players to express themselves. They can give the world a peek behind the scenes of their guild, shoot a documentary on a high level player, or expose the dark underbelly of pet fighting rings; whatever inspires the artists within TOP is what they want to see.
 
The TOP film Festival will last from June 1st until June 20th. After the event the TOP team will select the best videos and then announce the winners.
 
1st Prize (1) – Death Armor
2nd Prize (1) – Death Weapon
3rd Prize (2) – Black Dragon Gem
Honorable Mentions (5) – Kal Runestone

Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent Charges Into Open Beta

Full steam ahead! Atlus Online’s fantasy-steampunk massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent, kicks off its open beta today. Anyone who registers before June 8 will have an opportunity to jump in for an early glimpse at the game, and to reward players for their dedication, all beta characters will automatically roll over to permanent accounts at the game’s commercial launch. All that hard work and hours spent customizing your character will not be in vain!
“Building a strong, happy community is our priority, and the open beta of Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent is our chance to cater to our members, show them the great progress we’ve made with the game, and continue to take their much-appreciated feedback,” says Tyler Kim, Head of the Online Division, Atlus U.S.A., Inc. “In the remaining weeks before the game’s official launch, we encourage players to take a look at Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent and contribute to the blossoming community.”
 
The Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent open beta will culminate with an exciting special gift, a pair of steampunk-inspired goggles handmade by an artisan specifically for one lucky fan. Atlus Online, a daily destination for community-focused gaming and interactive entertainment, will also continue to run various promotions beyond commercial launch, giving away prizes and exclusive in-game items.
 
Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent, Atlus Online’s first MMORPG, transports players to a world where two nations battle over a precious resource called Neo Steam. From the onset, customization is key to each player’s experience, where they can choose which nation to join and select from a number of specialized classes. As players battle to expand their nation’s resources and protect their borders from invasion, they must learn to harness steam technology to upgrade their equipment, learn new abilities, and progress in their chosen class. Adding to the immersive aspect of the fantasy-steampunk world, the game also features various forms of steam-based machines and vehicles for faster in-game traveling.

Galaxy Online Europe

Galaxy Online is more than a strategy MMO game. Somehow, playing Galaxy Online is just like giving you the idea of playing the I-go or Chess with your all the players online.
 
Features:
 
1. Free Development Space
In the game, you can lead thousands of fellow players attempting to conquer the universe. You may do business or even act as a common worker to exploit resources diligently and offer supplies to your faction.
 
2. Six Available Factions Extremely Intense Competition
There are six factions available for players in the game. Each faction is allowed to attack hostile factions at will. In addition, there is one computer controlled faction – Galactic Pirates – which adds a random element to the intense faction competition. You may lead your allies to attack hostile factions, or you may be attacked by several hostile factions at the same time. Whatever the situation, the perfect faction design will give birth to never before seen intensity in an online game.
 
3. Design Warships and Fleets Yourself
Warships are the most important part of the game. They are not simply machines of war, but a means of transportation, leadership and protection. With various warships, you can found fleets with different functions. You can form fleets to carry goods, colonize unclaimed planets, attack and defend. The design of fleets and warships is in your control.
 
4. Strategy Overcome Controls
As a strategic game, Galaxy Online attaches importance to players’ strategy and tactics but not controls. Early when you begin to develop your first planet, you should consider carefully what should be done first, what should be done next, as well as every action you may take in the future. How should you gather resources the fastest? How can you develop a galaxy quickly? How can you form a strong fleet? Above all, you need careful planning and consideration. If you study the game again and again, only then can you become an expert Galaxy Online gamer.
 
5. Leisure Gameplay Not Wasting Time Meaninglessly
Once you have a perfect plan, you won’t need to spend much time in developing your planets. When you deploy your resources, you may even activate the Planet Trusteeship service and the server will help develop your planets even when you are not online. If you do not have much time to play the game, you can spend a few Mall Points to ensure you have a rich game experience, even if your time online is limited. So just make a plan to develop your planets and you will become strong in time.