Monthly Archives: January 2010

Star Trek Online Preview: Set Phasers to Fun?

Star Trek Online Preview: Set Phasers to Fun?
By Gabriele Giorgi (Darak), OnRPG Journalist


Note: This review was written before the Level Cap was introduced in STO.


After a long and troubled development, the awaited Star Trek Online is about to hit the shelves. The MMORPG is based on the most famous sci-fi TV series, which boasts several movies and various  TV incarnations in more than 40 years. Cryptic acquired the rights for the IP and is about to launch the game at the beginning of February. The Open Beta, of course, is still up and running: we had a glimpse.


The Sky As A Limit

Cryptic is always being renowned for customisation, and this Star Trek Online confirms it: starting with the character creation, we will have the opportunity to choose up to the last detail of our avatar, including the option to create a brand new race. You can modify your physical features, uniform, innate abilities (some of them, as you may guess, are related only to a particular race, like for example the Vulcan nerve pinch). But it’s not limited to this: the customisation extends to the ship, even if we will have to wait to enter the proper game for that. Every detail of our vessel (deflector dish, warp nacelles, saucer section, etc.) may be modified at will, in order to make any starship class unique in its appearance.


Klingon Warship Star Trek Online

Klingon Warbird


Moreover, we will have different bridge officers for our departments, since we will impersonate the captain of our starship; they will be customisable as well, although to a lesser degree: they will be assigned to our command with a name, a role and a race, but it will be up to us to develop their abilities and even promote them. The officers will act as “additional skills” in space combat, but in away team missions they will be NPC with an AI that will reduce our intervention to a minimum. In space, though, they will really “make the difference” with all those manoeuvres (really helpful in game terms) that we’ve seen ordered by the different captains in the TV episodes.


Let’s start our officer’s career

Since it’s a tutorial and our character has just graduated from the Academy, we were expecting a fine Kobayashi Maru (for the non-trekkers out there, it’s the final simulation the cadets have to undergo as their final exam)… but we found ourselves thrown in the middle of a crisis instead: Borgs are everywhere, and they are both attacking and boarding our ships. As soon as the situation is taken care of, we are awarded a brand new ship for our efforts: an unprecedented occurence… or maybe not: it happened just once, some time ago, to one James T. Kirk. When the introduction is over, we can start to boldly go where no one has gone before.




Passing the Tests


There Are More Things Between Heaven And Earth…

STO is basically divided in two parts: outer space and away team missions. In the first case, we will be controlling our ship, while on the surface we will see our captain in flesh and bones, accompanied by one or more bridge officers or crew members.


The ship movement, like space combat, is really painstaking in its various aspects. First of all, we can move in a three-dimensional way (or almost like it): you can modify heading and bearing, even if it’s not possible to go upside down or to loop the loop. The weapons are carefully conceived about their range and effects. Space battles are surely exciting, even with some minor flaws: for example, when an enemy vessel explodes, you have to stay away in order to avoid damage… but when you bump into an asteroid or a space structure, you just bounce back… power of the deflector dish! Anyway, the underlying frame of space combat is quite solid, and it’s likely that these little flaws will be smoothed over in time.


On the other hand, ground combat is one of the real Achilles’ heels of this game (and it’s not really “trek,” but more about this later on). It’s good to have multiple characters and let the AI manage the NPC, but fights are extremely repetitive, with groups of enemy attacking you while you cycle through the primary attack of you weapon and the secondary one, more powerful but less frequent… and that’s it. True, you can also replenish your personal shield or recover your health, but doing it or not does not change much. The only innovation worthy to be mentioned is the opportunity to pause the instance for 45 seconds, a really helpful feature, for example when the phone rings.


Laser Fight

Space Battles (pew pew pew)


Having described the combat, it’s natural to speak about the missions: yes, because space or ground fight are an essential part of them. Even with some small variations from time to time, a good deal of missions will involve going to a certain sector of space and thwart the umpteenth assault of the bad guys. Even those missions apparently labeled as exploration (like going to an unmapped sector and examine some of its systems) will result in the same pattern. And when you have to scan or use a terminal, just get close and press F, and the deal is done. Similar to many other MMORPGs, you might think: maybe… but from a game labeled Star Trek we would expect something deeper.


Let’s add also that, as described, ground combat is resolved using always the same skills and that the opponents have the habit too spawn much too frequently and we’ll have a game that is just a keypresser.


To Be or Not To Be (taH pagh, taHbe’)… Trek

That makes this Star Trek Online an ideal sequel for the TV series? Few things, in fact. It may be pleasing to the eye, true: looking at nebulas, asteroid belts, gas giants certainly makes an impression; sounds effects are good as well, and the main theme recalls the music of the episodes (even if, during battle scenes there are some annoying choirs that do not fit quite well with Star Trek).


But the biggest flaw is that Star Trek Online is, in fact, a “skin” of Champions Online, a recent superheroes MMORPG always by Cryptic. Everything in STO reminds of CO: maps, inventory, crafting, currency (even if this is quite appropriate for a moneyless setting like Star Trek), the “open instance” system. Even the chat is in common with CO, and it’s linked to your account, so you can chat with your fellow guild members while some are playing CO and others STO. Maybe someone might like it, but surely there was no need of it.


You might appreciate Champions Online or not, but Star Trek Online, for the mere importance of its IP, would have deserved a development of its own, without leaning on a preexisting architecture… or maybe Cryptic wants to launch a series of games all alike? We hope not.


STO Battle

The Genuine Star Trek Feel


We have to acknowledge that the lore in STO is excellent: all throughout the game, we encounter not only well-known races and planets, but even the characters of the series (or their descendants); the development of the timeline, the justification for a renewed conflict between the Federation and the Klingon, the way old and new races were handled… it all fits.


The “spirit”, though, is completely wrong. The heart of the TV series has always been exploration, discovery, interaction. Instead what we’ve got here is something like: enlist, get to know new life forms and civilizations… then kill them! Non that Star Trek is without conflicts, of course… and nobody is asking a MMORPG to be free of them. It’s a matter of dosage: less fights, but more intense, would have represented a good compromise between respect for the IP and playability. If this is what we are getting even in the future, Cryptic could have saved the money for the rights and call this game with another name.



This Beta is puzzling for many a reason, and this is true for both Star Trek fans and MMORPG lovers in general. There are positive sides, but they seriously risk to be obscured by the negative, mostly because Cryptic didn’t try to make something different from their own patterns. In these days they are launching offers for lifetime and yearly subscription, but before making such a big step it would be wise to grab a Beta key, if you can, and judge with your very eyes.


Excellent lore
– Scenarios visually appealing
– Exciting space combat


Not faithful to Star Trek’s spirit
– It’s a facsimile of Champions Online
– Disappointing ground combat.

Star Trek Online Introduces Skill Cap Last Minute

Star Trek Online Introduces Skill Cap Last Minute

Contrary to what Cryptic has been telling Star Trek Online fans until now it has implemented a skill cap.
It’s interesting to note that this issue wasn’t announced during the months of closed and open beta and as recent as October of last year Cryptic confirmed that STO would feature a classless and open character development system:

“You can max out every skill eventually. We plan to keep adding skills to keep ahead of people, and by the time you’ve progressed through the endgame content, you’ll only have about half of the total skills you can acquire anyway.”
Source: Ask Cryptic Sept. 09 (May load a splash page first but the Ask Cryptic article is hidden behind it)

“In terms of how progression works, once you reach Admiral in Star Trek Online, we don’t expect you to have more than half of your skills maxed. You’ll continue to add to your skills. The additional skills don’t necessarily make you more powerful on a linear scale; it’s more about increasing your options and flexibility within the game.”
Source: Ask Cryptic Oct. 09 (May load a splash page first but the Ask Cryptic article is hidden behind it)
Star Trek Online Community Manager StormShade has addressed the issue on the official forums:
“I know quite a few of you are upset over this, so let me try and explain this change to you.

We have plans to release more content in the future, and at some point we’d like to raise the skill point cap, in the same way other titles have raised their level cap. The skill point cap is in place to ensure that we can not only add more content later on, but also to make sure that we can balance that content to provide you with a suitable challenge. With a skill point cap in place, we know what you’re capable of, and we can balance the challenges in new content to provide you a suitable challenge. With no skill point cap, you’ll not only be able to max out every skill in the game, but eventually, when we release new content, it will become trivial to you immediately. When we raise the level cap, you’d be max level right away. In the end, not having a skill point cap hurts the game, and consequently the amount of fun you guys can have.

Star Trek Online is also unique in that your Captain isn’t the end of your avatar. You’ve got Bridge Officers to tinker with, who gain skills on their own. You’ve also got a great number of ships available to you, and all sorts of weapons, consoles and devices to discover and utilize. So even though we made the decision to cap your Captain’s skill gain, it doesn’t mean there’s not more to achieve in the Star Trek Online universe at max level. In fact, we’ve got all sorts of stuff planned, from raid-style Episodes to more Fleet Actions to more Star Clusters. We’ll be talking more about what’s coming post-launch soon.

So yes, much like other MMOs, there is a cap as to how far you can advance your character at launch. Much like other titles, there are also other incentives to keep players invested in the game once they reach that cap. Endgame content is going to have some pretty cool rewards that players will need in order to actually “max out” their characters, everything from more Kits for your captain, to new equipment for your ship, and there’s also some really cool powerful Bridge Officers to find out there as well.”
Source: Star Trek Online Official Forums

While the decision itself seems pretty sound, the whole situation is perhaps a tad too simular to what Cryptic pulled in September of last year with Champions Online when it applied a giant nerf-patch in the release period of that MMO.

“Here, folks, is a cautionary tale of what not to do when launching a new MMO: nerf a majority of the key powers in the game without warning, without patch notes and without testing, all on day one.”

Getting people excited about a game during beta and then majorly changing it as soon as it releases, who knows it could be THE new marketing trick for MMO companies in 2010!

Star Trek Online - Skill Points are now capped

Allods Europe Enters its Final Beta Phase

We are glad to inform you that the final phase of the Allods Online Closed Beta Test starts today, the 26th of January, in the mid-afternoon.

In this final CBT phase gPotato have increased the level cap to 40 so players can complete quests to build their own Astral ships.

Simply gather a party and set sail into Astral space to explore and discover new allods, enjoy ship versus ship battles, and raid Astral demons and/or the opposing faction.

In order to celebrate the final phase of testing, the experience gain has been doubled until Open Beta starts. Additionally, the construction time for Astral ships has been tremendously reduced so that players can enjoy and test them during this phase.



Allods Europe - Broken Ship is Broken

Operation 7 Interview: Not For the Kids

Operation 7 Interview: Not For the Kids
Questions by Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Writer
Answered by  Mgame USA Head GM- Sun Kim


Operation 7 is a free to play online FPS game that is aimed towards the hardcore adults. GooL mentions this game is not for the casual gamers because of the difficulty. There are many unique features in this game such as the ability to fully customize your weapon and the maps are all based on real world places!


Please ignore some small grammar mistakes in the answers. I have slightly changed a few words to make it a bit easier to read, but the meaning was not changed.


OnRPG: Hello, it’s Abubakr from OnRPG here. If you don’t mind I’d like to ask some questions about Operation 7. First of all, can you introduce yourself?
Hello, OnRPG readers! My name is Sun Kim A.K.A GooL, [Netgame PM/Manager], I have been working at Mgame USA for 3 years now. My position states PM/Manager, However, I am in charge of Managing the Translation Team, and the Game Master Team too. Nice to meet you all! 😀


OnRPG: What features make Operation 7 stand out from the rest of the free FPS games?
Operation7 provides huge variations for Gun customizing, therefore, users may customize and idealize their battle style by managing their guns with mods. All players have different styles while they play the game and our advanced customization will help all players to play how they want. Another, outstanding feature about Operation7 is many maps from Operation7 are based on real places all over the world, for examples, Alcatraz(US), Rockfellers Street(US), Shibuya(JP), Yong-San Station(KR), Kwang-An Bridge(KR). Have you ever gone somewhere and think, “Oh!.. That is a great sniping spot.” Or, “That would be a great camping spot!”  I bet all FPS players have thought that at least once. The final outstanding feature in Operation7 is that it is a realistic and fast paced game. Operation7’s slogan, “Aim First, Kills First” pretty much explains it.


OnRPG: What type of gamers does Operation 7 target? (Casual, Hardcore, Age Group, etc.)
Our target is Hardcore FPS Adult Gamers, Operation7 is very fast paced game so new comers for FPS will have some issues with the difficulties. We have many pro players in game.


OnRPG: Operation 7 has this unique feature which allows players to build their own weapons. How much control do players have when it comes to weapon building/customizing?
Players can set up everything of the guns same as real guns. 6 Parts can be customized and if you add ammunitions to it, then it sums up to 8 parts total customizable system. The 6 parts are the Body, Barrel, Barrel Cover, Sight, Butt Plate, and Magazine, plus to that, you may select an ammo for your gun and if your gun can shoot grenades you may customize the grenades too.



Rifle Customization Operation 7

A lot of options to customize your weapon.


OnRPG: As everyone knows, Operation 7 has many maps to choose between. Where do you get the ideas to design these maps?
I think I answered a little bit for this question already but I’ll go detail this time. When  we release new maps, we choose some places that are unique and the places that are symbolizing the country of where we are targeting, and those places must be the place that makes us think, “What if an army start combat here what will happen?” that’s how we choose what map to make. After that we go to that place and take some pictures so we can make as real as possible. If we can’t go then we collect as much data as possible for those places. These days, there are many players from Brazil so we are planning to make one map from Brazil and one map for Forest type according to our Website Poll result. For the Brazil map, we are thinking about “Rio De Janeiro” however, one thing is just bugging us. Is it appropriate to have combat at front of a Jesus Statue..? Hmm…


OnRPG: What do you do to try and keep Operation 7 hacker free?
Like most online FPS games, Operation7 also keeps on the lookout for hackers. Therefore, we are monitoring the game as long as possible and we are continuously updating our Security Program. Also, we are going to add a new technology that can identify the user, so after we ban any hackers, those hackers will not be able to connect to the game again. This system is very complicate so we are having long period of preparation for this system and we are almost there so please wait patientlyJ


OnRPG: Do the users who use Ncash to purchase weapons gain a huge advantage over free users? Would free users still be able to ‘own’ cashshop users?
We did not want balance breaking between Premium users and Non Premium users, therefore, there’s no significant advantage for Premium users right now. Most of the premium shop items are related to the appearance of the player’s character. In certain maps, some costumes provide players really huge advantage but there is no advantage on stat wise. However we are planning to release some high demand guns for Premium Shop users only, but we will make sure balance does not get screwed because of it. Our first concern is balance in game.



10 Combo Operation 7

Ten Kill Shot Combo!


OnRPG: Are there any new features/updates planned for Operation 7 that users should know about?
Many new guns and new maps are on the way, I’ve already mentioned about new maps before. New systems that can provide another fun in the game is on development, however I cannot really make it public yet. GM Team will make sure we let you guys know when everything is ready.


OnRPG: Players want to play a game that has an active GM team. How often do GM’s hold events for players?
When GM Team have time, GM Team is holding small events however there was no huge events yet. We were waiting for the clan system to be implemented and it is in now so we are going to have some events soon.


Talking about active GM Team, actually, GM Team is online 8 hours a day. However, we are not online with our GM ID so players will not see us that often. GM Team only logs in with known GM accounts when we are holding some events. All other time we are on with our undercover ID. Some GMs are in popular clans to play with players. Although, we cannot monitor every room 24/7 at same time so please understand that if you feel absence of GMs.


OnRPG: Are there any plans for a more ‘friendly’ version of Operation 7 which will allow gamers under the age of 18?
Operation7 has an option for under age of 18. No blood and etc. so currently, we do not have any plan for providing another client for underage. It is kind of opposite answer to the question but… we do want to make it more hardcore. Is that bad?



One Man Team Op7

Bloody Mess!


Onrpg: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Well, thank you OnRPG Team for having interest in Operation7, it was very pleasant time answering your question and all those questions made me think once more about how to make Operation7 better than now. I deeply thanks to OnRPG.


Only thing I want to add more is that I have a message for all users in Operation7!

We always feel sorry for everyone that we cannot stay in game enough and listen to all the brilliant ideas everyone got. When someone comes to us and tells us they have some issues, we really want to help you guys all out ASAP but unfortunately, there are too many things to do and it takes some times. At the same time we truly thank you all your patience. I want all players to know that all Netgame Staffs are trying their best to provide better experience in game and assist you to enjoy the game. According to our data from website poll, many of you want some “Dual Katana” and “Chainsaw” for the secondary weapon. We promise that we will get you some Dual Katana and Chainsaw! Feel free to slice your enemies in game! (PS: I personally wanted Chicken leg and Spork)


OnRPG:  Well, thank you for your time!
Thank you for all the questions.

Eternal Lands Review: Beauty with a Bite

Eternal Lands Review: Beauty with a Bite
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist


Eternal Lands is an MMORPG set in a medieval platform that matches the likes of World of Warcraft and Runescape. The game entered its beta stages back then in 2003. What’s weird is that, the game just launched its version 1.8 patch last year. This means that it’s been in beta ever since 2003 (my, my… that’s one long beta phase).


Even with tons of competitors spawning out of the shadows, nothing seems to stop Eternal Lands from getting their share of players. It’s no surprise that gamers are still interested in playing this old MMO, since most of its features are hard to find in other MMOs (will be discussed further). The game is surprisingly good for an old game (or a half baked beta game). You would think that by now these fossils would be long dead and buried, but not Eternal Lands (because it’s still inside its mother’s womb). Today I will brush you through these epitomic walls, judging the game’s features bit by bit in order to see if the game justifies its undying fame.


Best Of Its Kind?

When I saw the game, I was utterly speechless at how beautiful it looked compared to other games back then in 2003. There are times when the graphics become a bit dull with monochromic color schemes that trigger upon the area’s diversity; however, when you reach a place that caters an amount of colors, you just can’t help but be dazzled at how beautiful this MMO looks.


Idaloran City

City of Idaloran


Starting Up

You will be able to choose your race, gender, and your characters appearance upon starting the game. The races are as follows: Human, Dwarf, Elves, Orchan (supposed to be some half orc), Gnomes, and Draegoni (dragon people). Aside from the name of their race, nothing really separates these races from one another. They have neither racial abilities nor any other form of racial specialty. It does get bothersome since you know that picking races are basically trivial, but at least it distinguishes your character’s looks. One really big No-No would be the fact that you have to pay in order to use the other three races, namely: Gnomes, Orchan and Draegoni. So if you’re in the mood for F2P goodness, I don’t think you’ll enjoy having only three races to choose from.


The appearance tab is slightly premade, so you might find a lot of stronger looking clones as you work your way towards certain areas. As silly as it may seem, the game does NOT have any form of class option, which means that everyone is basically the same upon starting their journey. This on the other hand makes it more interesting as players would most likely have the freedom to customize their character in various ways, experimenting on different builds in order to achieve their desired character. You will also get your profession and other character specialties later in the game. Don’t worry about trying certain ones because you can reset these features anytime you wish (lenient game isn’t it?). Character customization has never been this good, and the best part is that you don’t have to keep making characters in order to try different builds.


Things To Do

Skills are mostly leveled by how much you grind for it. There are twelve (formerly six) different productive skills that will aid you in your journey: Harvesting, Engineering, Summoning, Potion-Making, Alchemy, Ranging, Crafting, Tailoring, Manufacturing, Magic, Attack and Defense. These skills are pretty much self-explanatory and may aid you and your team in various occasions. The way these specializations differ is just exquisite as these things distinguish how powerful or wealthy you may become inside the game. It’s also a good thing since specializations often distinguish you from your party (and from the rest of the game world).



There’s no doubt that this game is an all out grinding game. You’ll be hunting creatures for money and of course for experience. It’s all about preferences and this game does make grinding a bit more interesting than just buying potions and going back to the field. The game however has been trying to reach perfection for quite some time now. You would think that they would have had more features since they did start early 2003.




Grinding in the Desert



The game encourages role-playing but simply putting a chat log for everyone to talk does not quite cut it for me. I was honestly expecting some new role-playing features, but the game just brought it down to nothing but fighting and chatting. You can act all medieval like and request for items like “Greetings kind sir! Could you please spare me some flowers?”, but that’s something that can be achieved in almost every game.


There are lots of diverse areas throughout the game which would aid you as you act all medieval-like, but the awesome effects would only last until you’ve seen everything. Of course everyone will be at awe once they enter a slightly different part of the map, but once you’ve seen all of it, you’ll probably go like “Hmm… such a strange place” and just walk further. As far as role playing is concerned, this game does not have enough claims to support it.


Sedicolis Eternal Lands

Role-Playing Opportunities


The Verdict

For a game that keeps updating for quite some time now, I must say that it’s not that bad, but not too impressive as well. The graphics are really nice, but my appreciation for this type of pixelation died four years ago. For a Free to Play game, it has a lot of Pay to Play traps. Just charging you for extra races is horrible. It would be ok if those races had anything that made them special aside from the fact that they look less human, but it doesn’t feel like the payment adds anything.


The game’s area is diverse and lets you scroll from world to world via ship. The game has a lot of armor sets but lacks the ability to display them. Some items tend to look the same, making it less exciting to try out new gear. There’s still a lot of players playing this game, but if you consider the word “lot” as something above 300 players, then you’re better off with another game.


The good:
– Diverse and broad areas
– Character customization
– Lots of Races
– Skill build up is good.


The bad:
– Required payment for extra characters
– Dated graphics
– Not too many features
– Lacks substance for a game that’s been developing itself for more than 6 years.

Alganon Developer Blog: Discusses Upcoming Class Changes

Alganon Developer Blog: Discusses Upcoming Class Changes

Dawning Class Changes Preview
By Josef “Minuvo” Shindler, Alganon Systems & Data Designer

Greetings heroes! We’ve been preparing a massive class update to coincide with the completion of the Dawning and instances and wanted to give everyone a preview of the changes to come. We know all of you are preparing for the challenges ahead and we want to make sure you’re ready when they arrive.

I’ll make this quick. We’re going to reduce the benefit focus regeneration gets from soul. We think it would be more fun overall if base soul regen was lower so we could give classes that use focus different mechanics to retain their casting power. Think of how ranger presences work. We won’t be reducing soul based regen until we can implement changes for casting classes to compensate.


Right now healers are sitting in a fairly good spot. Their core role is solidly defined and they have a good deal of damage capability they can specialize into. They tend to be one dimensional in either regard however – healing isn’t as challenging as we’d like and damage is good or bad based on how resistant your target is to wrath damage. We’re looking at ways for healers to control their momentum better and offer a better variety of choices in combat.

Magi are doing great. Ability specializations of all kinds are being used and the class as a whole is very healthy. Magi suffer from the same one-dimensionality that spirit mastery healers do however; if your target is particularly strong against your specialization then you tend to suffer. Prior to instances launching you’ll be seeing ability changes that allow you to split your damage between your elemental types without greatly impacting your damage.

Alganon - Upcoming Class Changes - Ranger


There’s been a lot of flurry about rangers on the forums. We are listening to your concerns and agree some changes need to be made. One of the first things on our list is to alter how abilities affect your ranged damage. The Predation tree is going to see some huge changes but the overall feel is going to be the same. Additionally you’re going to see some higher definition done on group synchronization. We want rangers to be much, much stronger in groups.

Alganon - Upcoming Class Changes - Ranger


The recent soldier changes are the first step in an effort to develop different play styles for each specialization. We didn’t like how anger was really weak at low levels. We didn’t like how you could almost ignore it at high levels. The normalization is the first step and you’ll be seeing future changes that will make anger generation a strategy of choice instead of necessity.

Kung Foo!: Grab your chance to win 50 bucks!

Kung Foo!: Grab your chance to win 50 bucks!

Perfect World Entertainment will be kicking off the Kung Foo! Closed Beta Phase 2 with some cold, hard cash you can win to go with the new cool gear and high level characters.

The servers will open at 4pm PT on Tuesday, January 26 and the GM hide-and-sneak preview contest starts at 5pm PT.

If you don’t have your Kung Foo! Closed Beta Key yet we still have some left right here on OnRPG!

Starting Time: 5pm PT on Tuesday, January 26
What Game?: Kung Foo!
Which Realm?: Realm 4


Instructions on how to be a Winner!
1) Log into Realm 4 with your character
2) Check back on the Perfect World blog for the screenshot hint of where the GM will be hiding
4) Be the first person to message the GM
5) Open up your wallet to $50 ka-chings of Zen!



Kung Foo! Where the FOO is the GM!