OnRPG Weekly News Roundup: January 11 – January 18

Weekly News Roundup: 11th January – 18th January
By Joshua Temblett (Dontkillmydreams), OnRPG Journalist





This week’s issue of the News Roundup is totally revamped for more efficient reading and improved interaction. I felt that the previous setup was not very organized and didn’t allow for personal opinions.  Feel free to use the content table to check out this week’s news!



1. Introduction to the Weekly News
2. MMORPG News Roundup
3. Featured News Piece
4. MMOs that support aid for Haiti
5. Non-MMORPG News
6. Conclusion


1. Introduction to the Weekly News

Last week was pretty slow with regards to MMORPG news however this week has been slightly better especially with some fairly interesting news stories. Let’s hope that next week we’ll get a bit more new information, as hopefully the MMORPG developers will have gotten back into the rhythm of creating new content after their long and relaxing New Years break.


2. MMORPG News Roundup

Star Trek Online: Open Beta!

Do you want to try Star Trek Online before you buy? Well tough luck, as the open beta is only available to those who pre-order the game. You might be able to get a Beta Key from any one of the websites listed on the official open beta page; however the majority of the websites listed require subscribing to their service before you can get the beta key. In short…it’s not really an Open Beta.


Star Trek Open Beta

Star Trek Open Beta


Star Trek Online: Lifetime Subscription

Yet another piece of Star Trek Online news, this time with regards to exclusive subscriptions. A lifetime subscription will set you back $239.99. You can also get a discounted, 12 month annual subscription for $119.99 per year. Make sure you try the game before purchase any of these offers, which expire on the 1st February.


Korea: Supreme Court Rules Virtual Currency Convertible

Yes you correctly read the headline; now in Korea you can convert in-game money into real life money. The one catch, you can’t trade the in-game currency if it’s been unlawfully obtained (through hacking, bots etc). Read more about converting in Korea.


Allods Online Europe: Next beta stage!

The next closed beta phase is now upon us! You can now level up to level 34, which means much more new content will be available to the players! In this closed beta there’s also going to be the “ultimate” stress test, entitled The Slaughter Feast Challenge! Here’s some information:


“The armies of the League and Empire are amassing their numbers! Will you answer the call of your allies and enter in what will forever be known as Slaughter Week? Slaughter week begins on Monday the 18th of January and will last until Monday the 25th of January. That’s a whole week’s worth of open play, with possible in-game surprises! What will players have to do in Slaughter week? Easy, get as many as their friends online and cause havoc all around the allods. Groups might even run into some unexpected enemies in the most unlikely of places…but you’ll have to log into Allods Online to see for yourself. We want to saturate each shard with players, so make sure you have registered your interest to take part in this glorious week-long event!”


Just a side note, if you’re already in the closed beta you won’t have to re-download the client to play; instead you’ll just have to download a patch.


World of Warcraft: Updated Armory!

The 3D character viewer is now fully integrated into the Armoury! Some of the features are:

* Character Model Viewer: The character model viewer displays a character as he or she appears in-game. You can pan and zoom the camera, play animations, and save a default pose for everyone who visits your profile to see.

* Activity Feeds: See a character’s most recent in-game actions, including achievements, boss kills, loot acquisitions, and more. You can customize your character feed and export it as an RSS feed, too.

* Calendar Feeds: Export in-game player calendar data to online calendars such as Google Calendar, and automatically sync with your characters’ in-game calendars.


3. Feature News Story

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Bioware Confirms Spring 2011 Release Date


Well this was certainly a surprise. I think one of the main assumptions that surrounded Star Wars: The Old Republic was that it would be released in 2010, among the sea of a lot of other MMORPGs (however there were rumours about its 2011 release) I’m not too sure whether or not this piece of news is one that should be greeted with open arms and optimism, or that it should be pushed away with neglect. 

Star Wars moved 2011

Of course a pushed back release date is a good thing because it gives the developers much more time to polish their product and make it truly amazing. This news is also great for the barrage of MMORPGs that are supposed to be coming out this year, more specially Final Fantasy XIV. Although I have to admit that it would have been very interesting to see which MMORPG would have won in the popularity contest.


Star Wars: The Old Republic is shaping up to be a mighty fine game and I really can’t wait for its release. Even if that means waiting for another year, I’m sure that it’ll be totally worth it and I personally still can’t wait to play it. If you’re really desperate to play it, you could just sign up for the Star Wars beta test.


4. MMOs that support aid for Haiti

A few companies have already set up various collection programs to help the survivors of the massive earthquake in Haiti. Thousands of people have died and many more are currently homeless. Due to the destruction of the air strips and harbors it’s very difficult to offer help, and getting the rescue works into motion is a slow process. If you play any of these games, see how you can let your hobby benefit the people on Haiti who need help. You only need to play the games you already know, or try out any other game that may share its proceeds with charity foundations. 


* MMO publisher Outspark will donate the proceeds of different bundles to Haiti Aid

* Everquest II organized a Haiti Relief Charity Drive.

* Rohan Online works together with Blue Light Charity for Doctors without Borders.

* Fallen Earth set up direct Red Cross donations.

* Even Hello Kitty Online is sharing proceed through their Foods for Friends 2 mini-game.

* Gaia Online has set up a Haiti Disaster Relief event for the Red Cross.

* (Non-MMO) Halo has asked their community to buy T-Shirts to support the Red Cross as well.

* (Non-MMO) PopCap has arranged an event last weekend as well, to support Partners in Health



5. Non-MMORPG News

Rockstar: Wives of Developers Band Together

A Gameasutra Blog, entitled “Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees have collected themselves”, talks about the horrible working conditions that their husbands have had to put up with. We’re talking about constant crunch time, working nearly every day from the early morning to the late evening. The blog claims that these problems are caused by mismanagement and issues with the higher ups making the wrong choices. Check out the Wives of Rockstar blog.


Battlefield Bad Company 2: Dedicated Servers

There seems to be a problem of miscommunication with regard to the Dedicated Server situation. Many console based websites, such as Kotaku, have been reporting that Battlefield Bad Company 2 will not be releasing Public Server Files and have been labelling this as a problem. This means that if you build your own server you won’t be able to host the game on said server. Instead you’ll have to rent a private server from one of the MANY server providers.


Battlefield Bad Company


I just wanted to confirm something, the servers you rent aren’t owned by EA, they’re owned by individual companies. The only way you can host a ranked server is by renting from one of these companies. This is how it has always been for the Battlefield series. You can also customise your server, with your clan name, server rules etc. There is a LOT of freedom given to those who rent servers.


In Battlefield 2 and 2142, this was the way things were and in Bad Company 2 it’s obvious this is the way things will remain. So there is no change to the dedicated server set up! I just wanted to sort out the confusion which was created by misinformation reported by journalists who don’t know any better.


6. Conclusion

That’s a wrap everyone!!! I hope you enjoy the new format! Hopefully next week will be more jam packed with news. Make sure you come back every week on Tuesday for a weekly news roundup! I’ll see you guys next Tuesday!

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