Senin, 28 Februari 2011

ESTsoft's Latest: Howling Sword

Howling Sword is the first game published by ESTsoft, developed by a third party. ESTsoft will provide the Action RPG game with the experience and know-how gained from servicing CABAL Online. The game offers various series of linked skills that are unique to each characters, allowing the gamers to experience fancy and superb actions. It is also a game with easy control that anyone can enjoy. There also is the fabulous transformation system which adds more color to this fun game.

Howling sword focuses on providing enjoyable gaming experience even for low-end computers, and has kept the interface as simple as possible to make it accessible to everyone. The adorable characters and monsters in the game will attract all the gamers regardless of gender or age. Also, the story of the game is elaborated by cut scenes throughout the game – a storytelling mechanism used by package games that helps players to be deeply immersed into his/her characters.

About Howling Sword

The greedy and chaotic nature of mankind has at last revived the forbidden ancient civilization; the axis of destruction. To stop this, the light from Gaia awakes new powers of the heroes. The player has to become one of the heroes and defeat the Reyments that have been resurrected by the powers of ancient civilization, and has to defend the peace of the continent from chaos.

Howling Sword features a uniquely character-centric quest. Scenario Quest follows one of the four main characters: Alfonso, Chris, Merlin and Ruinell. The game heavily focuses on battle action that specialized with Combo Skill and Transformation System.

Its easy-to-use Combo Skill allows a low level player only to push specific keys other than maneuvering a complex combination in a certain order. Charge Skill that enhances power offers a twist in a gameplay.

Howling Sword offers a non-targeting combat system that sweeps off multiple monsters. The system enables a new player to fully enjoy the game with a simple Combo Skill.

Howling Sword promises a non-stop fun till you can take no more. “We are confident to move up the OBT,” said Young Hwan Min at ESTsoft. “We will deliver as they did with our first RPG game, Cabal Online.”

ESTsoft began its OBT earlier than planned after two successful closed beta tests (CBT) last January. User feedbacks from two CBTs were all positive about optimized check environment & stable service.

The Seoul-based program & game publisher announced an open beta testing (OBT) for its second free-to-play role-playing game (RPG) Howling Sword. The OBT began at 2 pm last February 22nd.


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Howling Sword Review

Howling Sword is another freaking awesome non targeting MMORPG developed by Estsoft with pretty anime-styled characters. Basically, this game is on the list of the next-gen non-target MMORPGs and is one of this new year's best MMORPG. To some extent, the target MMORPG age is over (or at least there are new modes of playing). So for those who want to try an MMORPG different to the usual Howling Sword is a good option.

The Characters in Howling Sword

They don't have character customization and they are gender locked. Therefore, if your PC is 3-4 years old, you can enjoy the insane action of Howling Sword.

The Berserk : With a huge 2-handed sword, the berserk can destroy everything in their way! They can cause much more damage than the other classes and have a good combo style.

The Swordmaster: They use an Stilleto saber to flashcut the enemies and they are pretty fast and strong. Their combo could make a pretty good damage.

The Gunslinger: The gunslingers have got dual pistols, which allows them to attack from far distances. They have pretty nice critical hits as the swordmasters, but they deal minor damage because they attack from long distance.

The Mage: They used to be the support class. With a two-handed staff, they can deal insane damages too. So be aware of them, they now have powerful magic!

The gameplay:

The game is basically party based, so if you don't have a party it will be difficult to handle a dungeon alone, unless that you play in a low difficulty.

The game has a Stamina Bar that doesn't allow you to level up fast. When the Stamina bar is over, that means you can't enter any other dungeons. It's like a level limiter.

When you die in the dungeons, you are not truly dead. You can "buy" lives to resurrect and continue killing the monsters because lives are cash item. If you have money, you can even buy more lives to explore the dungeons or you can just continue with the common amount of lives per day.

The skill animation is good enough for a game like that. It doesn't have "super graphics" but they are OK. As you can see in the screenshot below, the graphic is not so good or real, but at least it's better than other old MMORPGs (Depends on what you are comparing with).

The battle style is the better part of the game. You will never see two players playing with the same combos, which makes it a very different experience than the repetitive attacks from other targeting MMORPGs.

Credits: MMOsite

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Runes of Magic Goes Browser

Frogster's successful fantasy-MMORPG Runes of Magic will be entirely playable in a browser window and on Facebook starting in Q2/2011. The international publisher has closed a cooperation agreement with technology partner Kalydo. The Dutch middleware provider will realize the browser integration with a browser plug-in and a scalable server platform running on cloud computing that they developed. Using the so-called Kalydo Player, the originally client-based MMORPG can then be enjoyed through any browser on practically every Windows PC without any constraints.

The initial focus of the partnership will be Facebook integration. For the registration, the partners will use the social network's user-friendly single-opt-in function, allowing every Facebook user to dive straight into the virtual world without having to complete any additional registration procedures. Once inside the social network, Runes of Magic can be played in either full screen or window mode without limiting any of the game's functionality. The Kalydo team has already started with the technical implementation of the browser version. Frogster will show a first test version to selected media partners at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco from 28th of February until 4th of March. The publisher can be found on a common booth with Gameforge in the North Hall of the Moscone Center, booth No. 702.

"We are expecting to see a marked increase in the numbers of players for Runes of Magic through this cooperation with Kalydo. Powered by the impressive Kalydo technology the browser version will enable us to attract new target groups who previously have found the download, installation and registration process too complicated", commented Andreas Weidenhaupt, Chief Licensing Officer of Frogster Interactive Pictures AG on the signing of the contract.

Doki Tops, CEO of Kalydo agrees with him: "This is the future of gaming. Players enter the game with a single click of the mouse instead of spending hours on a download and installation and get the exact same experience. We praise Frogster for recognizing this potential and taking a leading role with us in pioneering this massive new style of gaming."

Kalydo has already incorporated the 3D role-playing game GodsWar into Facebook, which has gone from strength to strength.

Credits: MMOsite

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TERA Opens Battlefield System

TERA, a hot online game published by NHN's game portal Hangame, has recently made open its "battlefield system" officially in an effort to give players brand-new fighting fun.

The cross-server PvP "battlefield system" in TERA empowers players on the same server to team up and fight against those on other servers, and makes available 5 vs. 5 and 10 vs. 10 combats.

On the 5 vs. 5 "Battlefield of Militance", players can receive points once defeating opponents, and the team that receives points first and earns more points within a given time will be regarded as the winner; on the 10 vs. 10 "Battlefield of Honor", players struggle for strongholds, and the team that occupies all the 3 strongholds first will be the winner.

Additionally, the team leader will get the title - "Battlefield Commander", and can use special "commander skills" like "position tracing" (to locate their own team or the opponent team's position) and "fireball bursting" (to attack in a designated place) and take advantage of special systems like the "commander dialog system" (to issue orders more clearly), for the sake of enjoying the combats filling up with strategies and tactics.

Each member of the winning team can be granted a "Kungfu Badge", which can be exchanged for special items usable in PvP combats, as well as other decent rewards.

Credits: MMOsite

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Noise-making MMOs in GDC 2011

GDC 2011 will open its door and begin to receive attendees worldwide today. Although the convention is called Game Developers Conference, it's not merely a summit for videogame developers, it's also a festival for fans that are willing to see and try the games they love. Now all the exhibitors have been announced and some of them are MMO developers/publishers. To warm you up for the big conference, I'd like to introduce you 5 MMOs that could make a big noise in the following few days.

The Secret World

What to see: new gameplay trailer
What to expect: more gameplay and beta info

It's been about 5 years since the game was announced and about 9 years since the game's development started, but TSW and many of its systems are still covered by mist. Generally, you will join one of three secret societies and fight against the evil(PvE) and the other two secret societies(PvP). You can travel between Tokyo, London, and New York and even visit the underground world beneath those cities. No class system, fast-paced combat, and perhaps, a little bit thrilling are the features of the game.


What to see: new demo, new information and features
What to expect: beta info

Tera has been launched in Korea with some problems(BOT, bugs). Hopefully those problems will be fixed as soon as possible and won't affect the game's oversea plan. In the official letter from early this month, En Masse revealed their plan(including beta) in the next few months. Currently En Masse's working on server and hardware configuration and test, and then(a couple of months later) they will invite a large group of people to test the server and account system. At last you will enjoy the beta time, probably in this summer.

Now it's time to introduce you 3 new friends that will be officially displayed to the public for the first time, they are Digimon Masters Online, NED, and UnDead Online.

Digimon Masters Online

What to see: reveal of gameplay features
What to expect: open beta and release announcements

Completely different to Digimon Battle's turn-based combat mechanics, Digimon Masters Online features 3D real time combat. What's more, Digimon Masters provides better graphics and more complex gameplay systems. The game will be a must-play title for all anime fans in 2011. So how exactly does the game look like? You should come and check out our report during GDC 2011.

NED: The New Era of Fantasy

What to see: new info of the game
What to expect: announcement of oversea operation plan

Wemade's NED is a very new game, even in Korea, so it's unlikely to go to oversea market within this year. Since the game will be brought to a western gaming show, there's still the possibility to have some surprises from WeMade. At a glance, you will say that the game is like Aion, but if you go deep into the gameplay, you will find that the combat of NED is more interesting. You can fight on mounts, in the sky. And you have to watch out for the complex environment because the lava and water round will also kill you.

UnDead online

What to see: game announcement
What to expect: gameplay video, systems, etc

Cartoon style zombie game, hmmm, it's funny. According to the developer JumpCore, the game will be a first person shooter and features episodic storytelling. Each episode of the game series will tell the story of a character that exemplifies one of the character classes in the MMO game. Player will experience that character's journey from his or her previous existence into the post-Apocalyptic world brought to life in the UnDead Online MMO, while exploring the unique game play aspects of that character's class along the way. Take a look at the teaser video below to feel the horror in advance.

Credits: MMOsite

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Minggu, 27 Februari 2011

Allods Online: Beginners Guide to the Empire

Unlike the League in Allods Online, the Empire doesn’t have several waypoints before reaching a mainland allod. Players will partake in a tutorial after creating a character for the Empire and then they are instantly thrust into the pre-modern city where most of the quests leading up to level 15 will take place.

The good part about the Empire is that it’s extremely easy to level when partied with other people and given that all the quests are primarily stationed in one map it makes it extremely convenient to get things done. However, the downside is that if players aren’t partied up for most of the time then it will be tough to complete some of the quests quickly or in a timely fashion. Hence, this starter guide will help direct new players on where to go and what to do in the starting points of the game when playing on the side of the Empire.

After completing the tutorial involving an epic battle with an astral demon on two fighting astral ships, players get teleported to the sewers where they’re introduced to many of the basic elements of progressing through the game, including the first set of grind-heavy quests.

Some of the quests in the sewers include pummeling on League prisoners, sewer rats and slugs. The prisoners are located in a sewer access directly to the left of the starting point within the sewer. Simply run through the open corridor and pick off the handful of League prisoners to complete the quest. The following quests within the sewers are easy enough and simply require grinding on rats and slugs leading up to the surface.

By the time the rats and slugs quest are completed be sure to turn in the quest with the appropriate NPC and then head topside to speak with the city council NPCs right in front of the city council building.

The Five Pilgrimages Part 1

One of the early quests in the game includes completing the five pilgrimages along with a repeatable quest of laying down flowers at each of the memorials associated with the pilgrimages. These quests can be easy or hard depending on if you’re in a party so it’s best to buddy up with another newbie because two or more players can breeze through the quests quite easily.

After talking with the NPCs and accepting the Pilgrimage be sure to talk with the first Pilgrimage NPC standing in front of the first memorial you’ll encounter in the game on the side of the Empire. Alternatively, you can just check your map and if you have the Pilgrimage quest in tow the quest location should easily show up.

One of the best things to do (to save on time and spare yourself the heartache of running back and forth) is put the flowers down at the memorial after talking with the NPC at the respective memorial. Now some players had a tough time finding out where to put the flowers, but it’s quite easy. Simply look for a statue with reefs or a memorial plaque on the ground and that’s where you place the flowers. To do so go into your inventory and right click the flowers.

The Five Pilgrimages Part 2

The quests for the Pilgrimages are quite easy but usually finding the right NPC is what throws off a lot of players. After completing the first Pilgrimage it’s best to work the map from right to left, heading over either to the Bort or Hadron Quarter to partake in the next set of quests. In Bort, the Pilgrimage will definitely require a party, especially if you’re planning on doing any of the included secondary-sewer quests associated with the Bort Pilgrimage. Also, while you’re there don’t forget to plant the flowers in the memorial.

Accessing the second sewer isn’t too tough as it’s located inside a large warehouse. The stairwell for the sewer is on the left side of the structure and leads downward. With at least three other people the quest can be completed rather quickly. It would also be best to have any other quests located within the second sewer queued up so you can knock those out of the way while you’re working on the Pilgrimage.

The Five Pilgrimages Part 3

Rummaging through an Empire homeThe hardest of the Pilgrimages would probably be associated with the tombs and Xaes. Pilgrimage parts three and four can be easy to complete when in a group and the NPCs are simple to find. Now the quest involving the tombs can be tricky if you solo because of the way the monsters spawn and if you’re level 8 or under it can be difficult to complete. However, there are usually a lot of other players within the vicinity trying to complete the same quest. As usual, be sure to invite them to the party or request to party with them to knock the quest out together. Otherwise, trying to complete the tombs quests alone can be very time consuming.

While you’re working on grinding out some of the baddies in the excavation area, don’t forget that if you have the cleansing tomb quest to press ‘T’ in order to spot out which tombs need cleansing. With a little stealth and cunning it’s possible to avoid engaging in a lot of mob battles by running around a lot of the tomb guardians.

The fifth Pilgrimage is located in Victory Park and will require players to travel inside Xaes in order to complete it. This quest is best done after level 8 and with a handful of party members. While in Victory Park it would probably be best to knock out a few of the quests offered by the Janitor NPC and a few others to earn some extra experience and cash.

Empire Starting Quests in Allods Online MMORPG Are Like One Big Family

Just remember that most of the quests involving the Empire when you start off usually revolve around the Pilgrimages. When you take up a Pilgrimage and you want to earn new equipment and items just complete any of the quests handed out by the NPCs within the surrounding area. Most of them are level-based and a few will require party members. In some cases it will involve using ‘T’ to spot out operable items, such as placing the bugs in the houses. For anyone who gets stumped on the quest just go into the buildings where it’s located on the map and press ‘T’ to spot the stools/chairs where the bugs must be placed.

Another quest that usually had new players stumped was finding the goblin hideouts. It’s an early quest and quite easy to complete. Just behind the city council building are two construction sites with goblins. On the map it they should show up as one being above the other in fenced in areas. Simply run in and around both sites and it should count as completing the quests.


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Sabtu, 26 Februari 2011

The Dark Side of MMO Gaming

It often happens that the games we enjoy the most are the same ones that we complain about the most. This seems to be particularly true when it comes to massively multiplayer online roleplaying games such as EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, and World of Warcraft. We've all heard people claim that they no longer really enjoy the game, but continue to play only because they already have so much time invested, and they are, allegedly, "addicted."

Having thousands of players in a world that is constantly evolving has created a number of problems that single-player games don't have. Given how popular MMORPGs are becoming, it's worth taking a closer look at these issues.

Paying the Price
Running a persistent online world is a fairly expensive proposition, and this cost is typically passed on to the consumer in the form of a monthly fee. Added to the price of the game CD and expansion packs, it's not hard to spend a couple hundred dollars a year playing a premium online game. This may seem like a bargain to some, but considering that one can purchase four or five computer games that have no subscription fee for a similar price, MMORPGs are still a tough sell.

Lag and Computer Crashes
These are things that have always plagued online gamers, but in a MMORPG they can be considerably more frustrating. Persistent world servers always seem to go down just before you complete a huge quest that you had been working toward for hours on end. If you're fighting your way through an instance, this can result in the loss of an entire game session. Similarly, if your own system crashes, your Net connection goes dead, or you get a bad dose of lag, gameplay can deteriorate rapidly. While simply switching servers can solve a lot of problems when playing an online action game like Counter-Strike, this is usually not an option with MMORPGs. Even if a MMORPG offers numerous servers to play on, moving a character from one server to another is never a simple matter, assuming it's allowed at all.

Customer Support
Or lack thereof, could be the most widespread complaint that people have with MMORPGs. No game is without problems, and when people are paying to play, they want mechanisms in place to resolve disputes and deal with issues promptly. The more popular the game is, however, the more difficult this task becomes. Although developers who can afford it inevitably respond by hiring more support staff, it's rarely enough to satisfy the entire game community. It may be that gamers are very demanding in this regard, but it is also likely that developers need to pursue more efficient ways of providing customer support.

The Time Requirement

Most MMORPGs do not lend themselves well to a casual hour or two of gameplay. In a lot of games it can take that long just to find a group and get to where the action is. By their very nature, MMORPGs essentially go on forever and you can never really win. The abilities your game character has are almost always determined by how much time you have spent playing. Someone who can only put a few hours per week into the game will not progress at anywhere near the rate of someone playing a few hours per day. Worse yet, certain quests and missions seem to serve little purpose other than to slow down player progress.

Given that many consider it a good thing if a game demands a lot of time, it's always difficult to judge a game based on the amount of time it requires, but MMORPGs are unique in that when players lose interest, the money stops flowing. It's no accident that some of these titles are so time consuming - after all, they do want to keep people in the game, and hardcore players, as they race through every corner of the world, are continually demanding more content.

Rules That Constantly Change
Although patches and expansion packs are a way of life in the gaming industry, in a MMORPG they can have particularly profound consequences. Players constantly complain about having had classes, abilities, and items "nerfed," referring to when an update has changed the attributes of something in the game. A persistent online world is a work in progress, so players have to get used to the idea that the rules are going to change as they go, often with little or no explanation. On occasion these changes turn out to be mistakes and will have to be changed back. Perhaps worse, retail expansion packs frequently add new, more powerful gear to the game which makes it very difficult for anyone without the expansion to compete. An optional expansion for a game with no subscription fee is one thing, but a "must have" expansion when you're already paying to play is quite another.

Rotten Apples
It's a well-documented fact that people can become a bunch of douchebags when playing an online game. There are always those that will go to great lengths to cheat, exploit, harrass, or simply inconvenience other players any way they can. While this is a concern in all multiplayer games, having thousands of people sharing an online world definitely exacerbates the problem. These game disrupting activities include everything from camping valuable item drops to "training" large groups of monsters into other players. Efforts are sometimes made to deal with these problems as they arise, as no developer could have imagined how many ways people would find to bend and abuse the rules to the detriment of the game.

Game Life Span
When a MMORPG no longer has enough players to make it profitable, the world goes offline and the game ceases to exist. They tend to scale their operations to fit their player base, and we've already seen a number of them disappear completely. Single-player games, on the other hand, can often be reinstalled and enjoyed years after they have fallen out of favor.

Finding Solutions
Despite these issues, there is little argument that MMORPGs have improved dramatically since pioneering projects like Ultima Online and EverQuest launched in the late 90s. Game developers are aware of the problems and they've gone a long way toward addressing them, or least minimizing their impact on gameplay. The technology has also gotten a lot better over the years, allowing developers to offer innovative features that make massively multiplayer gaming less persevering. Let's not forget that if MMORPGs get too good, it will become all but impossible to get out and cut the lawn, study for exams, or hold down a steady job.


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Blade & Soul to Launch OBT in Taiwan Next Summer

With the release date of Blade & Soul coming closer, Korea-based NCsoft reached Taiwan again to keep abreast of local customs. The company also took a Taiwanese medium's interview, and disclosed to the eagerly-waiting players Blade & Soul's current development status as well as its Taiwanese version's release schedule. As Blade & Soul's release dates in the areas excluding South Korea are still unannounced, the development director Pae Chae-Hyön this time declared that the game was to kick off OBT in summer next year (2012), which is undoubtedly good news for players. That is to say, Taiwanese players will be able to enjoy NCsoft's fourth blockbuster through its CBT early next year.

In addition to the exciting news, Pae Chae-Hyon and Kim Hyung Tae also disclosed many details related to Blade & Soul's development, including the development status, creative gameplay content, racial settings, and skill rendering modes. Just read on if you are a fan of Blade & Soul!

Only 60% Finished?

If careful enough, you can find that NCsoft usually makes great improvements in its games' content from the game announcement to official release. For example, it can be seen that Aion's officially-released version made a breakthrough progress in its graphics compared to its originally-announced version. Blade & Soul is no exception. Pae Chae-Hyön always answered "around 50% finished" when being asked about the game's development status no matter two or three years ago, and even this year, his answer was just "nearly 60% finished". However, based on Blade & Soul's trial version released at last year's G-Star, both the media and players fancy that the game has been developed fully enough to enter the market.

Next Time's Game Info Release Will Relate to CBT

As Blade & Soul is reported without stop by the media, when will the official company formally release relevant game info again? Mr. Pae expressed that the next game info release would be about the game's CBT in South Korea. As NCsoft's 2010 financial statement shows, Blade & Soul is set to start its CBT in the first half of 2011.

Blade & Soul Will Challenge the Game Market and Even Push the Limits of RPGs

As for the comprehensive creativity that WoW brought to the market at the very beginning, Mr. Pae confessed that WoW did catch players' eyes upon its debut thanks to its groundbreaking design like the relatively simple quests and newly-added instance mode, which later became necessary gameplay content in MMORPGs. Things are the same in Blade & Soul. Players may think the game was very fresh and novel in the early days after its release, but may later insist that RPGs should be made in this way, forming a fixed notion.

However, Mr. Pae used to express his confidence in Blade & Soul's ability to give players who have been accustomed to the old gaming mode a different feel upon its release. He believed that Blade & Soul would break away from the existing MMORPG settings, e.g. ideas concerning tanks and healers would no more be reflected in Blade & Soul, and the buff/de-buff effects considered necessary in the past would be minimized, too. In the absence of such things, can the games still be called RPGs? Pae wishes to prove to players that they can!

Blade & Soul's Advantage over Guild Wars 2 Lies in the Sound Storyline

Regardless of the previous projects, Guild Wars 2, NCsoft's another masterpiece, and Blade & Soul both lead players to interact with the gaming world. So, what's the difference between the two in essence?

According to Pae Chae-Hyön, it's true that NCsoft internally would share its different products' development content. At the sight of Guild Wars 2's dynamic events system, Pae thought it very creative, and once even had a desire to introduce it into Blade & Soul. But the desire was subdued on account of the game development situation. Blade & Soul boasts sound storyline, and makes you feel as if you were watching an American movie that goes logically and smoothly, which is also Blade & Soul's absolute advantage.

As Players Can Conquer a Game Very Swiftly, Is the Prepared Storyline Sufficient Till the Next Update?

As Pae said, besides the main storyline, different side events will happen ceaselessly depending on characters' growth and experiences, and even the interaction and conflicts among players can give birth to new content. For example, if a character runs into another one on the road to revenge, their respective stories will react on each other and more side stories will then be triggered, which is very likely to lead characters to the immortal, demon or spirit world. Players will eventually find that the Blade & Soul world is actually very complicated.

Different Endings Are Worth Expecting

What will the avenger do after succeeding in the vengeance? From Pae's point of view, each character is a distinct individual and has his/her own story. So, when being asked whether Blade & Soul would present different endings like ACGs, or even encourage players to create a new character for the sake of a different result, Pae answered "it is supposed so" with a touch of mystery.

Familiar Scenes Will Show Up

When being asked whether Blade & Soul hoped to transmit a concept different from that in the previous games, Kim Hyung Tae said that in the past, they had only wished to embody their ideas to the utmost and break some bottlenecks while drawing, and that he wanted to do the same in Blade & Soul and shock players again and again during gameplay. As Kim expressed, even when he didn't take charge of drawing any more later, he still hoped to retain Blade & Soul's visual enjoyments. At this point, Kim undertook to make continuous efforts.

Can Characters Be Customized?

Kim Hyung Tae was still loath to disclose whether the character customization feature would be available as he had been, but he promised that things would go further than expected.

Taiwanese Elements Integrated

As to whether many countries and regions' colorful styles were taken as reference in the aspect of Blade & Soul's art style and settings, Kim confessed that there're indeed many, including South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Mainland China. He said that he was deeply impressed by the buildings in Taipei City and the temples in different places during his last visit to Taiwan, and had taken thousands of pictures of things like the large number of celebrative decorations inside Taiwanese temples and the sceneries in the Taroko National Park, which were detailed in Blade & Soul to some extent.

Though it's impossible to render such things as real as they are, players should still be able to recognize them as sceneries in Taiwan when reaching them.

Credits: MMOsite

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Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

DOTA MMO Rise of Immortals Closed Date Signs-up Available

It is an exciting news for players who prefer Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games: Sign-ups for the Rise of Immortals Closed Beta test are open for those interested in trying its first MOBA game!

Rise of Immortals is an online, free-to-play PC game that expands on the hit MOBA genre with new, innovative features designed to appeal to both core and casual players.

Rise of Immortals is set in the world of Graxia, 300 years after the events of 'Guardians of Graxia' Petroglyph’s fantasy-based PC game released last year. Rise of Immortals features the popular action-strategy gameplay of traditional MOBA games, but adds enhanced socialization features, along with persistent character progression – a first for the MOBA genre. Instead of an account- based leveling system, players can advance their Immortals through a diverse, persistent skill tree, customizing and upgrading the characters to unlock unique abilities that persist from match to match.


* 12 unique Immortals at launch with additional characters released monthly
* Character-based progression through a diverse skill tree
* Persistent artifacts for stat enhancements
* Player versus Environment maps with unique achievements
* Gain persistent experience and levels through play in PvP and PvE maps
* Collectible pets for combat and vanity
* Account and Immortal statistics tracking
* Avatar-based player hub for socialization

Immortals of ROI

There are only three immortals available until now. They are: Strength, Agility, and Intelligence.


Agility Immortals are usually your fighters and assassins. They mostly use single target attacks and focus on killing their enemies quickly, relying on their attack damage as their primary source of damage.


These are the brute force champions. This is where your typical tank champions would be classified under. Their combination of spells and attack damage make strength champions moderate damage dealers throughout the whole game.


Intelligence Immortals are the primary "magic casters", giving them the widest array of abilities of the three archetypes. A huge percentage of their damage output comes from their spells.

Credits: MMOsite

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Will TERA Become F2P?

Korean media have recently said that TERA will confront another great test today, i.e. today will play a key part in checking whether the game can go on with its current profitable trend.

Since TERA adopts the monthly and quarterly subscription modes, and January is TERA's first month of commercial service, so most players chose to start off with the monthly subscription.

Experts in the industry said that today would be an important divide that bears on TERA's success or failure, because South Korean players are usually hard to return to a game once leaving it.

To stimulate the market, NHN has recently held an event that gives LED monitors and will last till March.

Meanwhile, in order to detain the players inclined to quit, TERA has also conducted a relatively large-scale update, e.g. balancing some of Lancer's abnormal skills, opening the cross-server battlefields, and making available the 5 vs. 5 and 10 vs. 10 combats.

As NHN disclosed, TERA will bring its political system online in the middle of March, and players can then vote for the mayor who has many privileges that'll do good to players. This just serves as TERA's future core content.

According to the one in charge of NHN, TERA's monthly settlement today will directly reflect players' liking for TERA, and players will also decide whether to recharge their accounts for further gameplay. The updated battlefield system and upcoming politic system are the game highlights that TERA now focuses on for the sake of growth.

Credits: MMOsite

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Aika Global Events for March

Aika Global marches into the action-packed month of March with an arsenal of events that will surely blow away Elters.

Credits: Aika Global

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Rabu, 23 Februari 2011

Online Gaming Law: When Will It Ever Happen?

Computer security has always had a law enforcement aspect, but the law consistently lags behind the technical cutting edge. Recent advancements in software design and the advent of geographically distributed applications puts the law even further behind than usual. The time has come to rethink computer security law in light of advances in software architecture.

Game's creators say hackers aid online cheating

Two Mt. Lebanon computer experts who have altered the balance of power in an imaginary world called Evony are now the subject of a lawsuit that could bring online empire-building to a federal courtroom.

New York City-based Evony LLC and Regan Mercantile, which created and ran the copyrighted game Evony, said in a complaint filed Tuesday that Philip and Jimmy Holland, of Xandium Studios, have corrupted their world using tip maps, programs called bots, and even an alternative universe that snatches players. Rather than being an imaginary world in which hard work, strategy -- and occasional payments to the world's creator -- are the keys to success, Evony now unwillingly hosts cheaters that can develop forts and towns with superhuman speed.

"Exploration of the Evony Game environment, gathering of resources, construction of buildings and expansion of power is a time consuming commitment for players," said the complaint filed in the Western District of U.S. District Court by Downtown attorney Eric G. Soller. "The gaming experience of legitimate Evony Game players is unfortunately compromised by cheaters and hackers who seek to exploit the Evony Game for their own illegitimate goals."

Evony claims 18 million players, who navigate a Medieval-type landscape, finding resources like gold, wood and stone, and building forts and towns. Its once-ubiquitous online ads, many featuring buxom maidens, cost $12 million since 2009, the complaint said.

Playing is free, but if you want quicker results, you pay.

Evony "was extremely popular for a time," peaking in mid-2009, according to George Vanous, president and CEO of TGN Game Communities Inc., which runs a gaming site at "It hasn't maintained its popularity, but it's still one of the most successful games," with probably 1 million to 2 million active users, he said.

That may well be enough to make the game profitable, he said. And to those users, the game world is a community.

"A lot of people, once you get involved in the game, you make friends, you create alliances, you join up with other players to do something as a team," Mr. Vanous said.

Artifice in an artificial world, he said, can be deeply upsetting. Gamers get mad when automated "bots" perform actions that players are supposed to do manually, or when some players benefit from maps and other data mined by hackers from a game's servers. Game companies try to prevent such intrusions, and shut down the accounts of users who cheat, he said -- but suing alleged hackers is unusual.

Evony claims that Xandium Studios has created an alternative called "Evony Second Opinion" that copies their world. It said their intelligence gathering program "clogs" the Evony servers, slowing the game down. And it said Xandium charges $3 to $100 a month for its various Evony-related products.

Neither Xandium Studios nor Evony could be reached for comment.

The lawsuit said that Evony's creators have, for a year, tried to get Xandium and its website host to take down It was still up Wednesday, and it acknowledged Evony's latest demands, but noted that "Evony's not going to stop us."

Breaking the rules of a game, it added, "is not a violation of the law."

Exploiting Online Games Is Legal?

At the eCrime Researcher's Summit 2007, academics and law enforcement gathered in Pittsburgh to discuss spam, phishing, and massively distributed applications.

One interesting aspect of online games is the legal limbo they inhabit when it comes to security. Put simply, the state of computer law regarding cheating in online games is murky at best. Nobody is sure what is legal and, more importantly, what is not.

The problem is that it's possible to convert hacking skills into money by conjuring up virtual items in a game, either by exploiting a bug or by creating and using a bot. These exploits can then be sold in a burgeoning online market.

Malicious hackers have flocked to the online game domain because there is money to be made. Due to the sheer size of the middle market, the U.S. Secret Service acknowledges that online games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft have been used to launder money.

In addition, it is possible to cheat by manipulating the parts of a massively distributed online game that exist on your own PC. That is, the game client program on a gamer's PC interacts with the central game servers over the Internet, and cheating can be accomplished without any network security shenanigans by focusing attacks on the client software.

By attaching a debugger to the game program on the PC, or by manipulating the game program by poking memory values directly on the PC, a gamer can cheat... on his or her own PC.

Think about the old game hacking chestnut that involved editing a high score file on your PC to make your Tetris score seemingly untouchable. There's nothing illegal about that! The question is where to draw the legal line when it comes to manipulating things on your own PC. If parts of a massively distributed online game reside on a PC, can you change them? What's at stake is virtual property – and lots of money. The whole notion of virtual property rights in online games is a tricky one. Games such as Ultima Online, Second Life, and World of Warcraft have their own virtual economies that involve licensing and developing virtual property. Middle market companies like IGE can convert virtual wealth into hard currency.

Property rights in Second Life have already led to interesting legal entanglements. Marc Bragg, a Pennsylvania lawyer, discovered and exploited a bug in Second Life program allowing him to bid on virtual real estate that wasn't yet open for auction. By URL parameter tampering, Bragg became a virtual real estate baron. Linden Labs, the game company behind Second Life, took a dim view of this approach and canceled his account.

In a pending lawsuit, Bragg argues that Linden Labs unfairly confiscated $8,000 worth of his virtual land holdings by shutting down his account. But Linden Labs and some Second Life players counter that Bragg was hacking their systems. (Bragg made money by renting his virtual land to other Second Life players.) Who is right? To me, the law is not very clear.

When Linden Labs first started, they used to say that users owned property in Second Life. Now they say that users own licenses to the property, legally similar to software licenses in the real world. That's a subtle but important change in perspective – and it doesn't make the legal situation any clearer.

That brings us to the infamous End User License Agreement (EULA). The DMCA and the EULA are the two main legal weapons in the game companies' anti-cheating arsenal. However, EULAs have a spotty track record when it comes to the law. In many cases, EULA terms "agreed to" by software users have not held up in court.

Some people believe the idea of EULAs has not been appropriately tested in court, thus the EULAs can't be valid. This is a misunderstanding of contract law. The only way EULAs have been challenged successfully in the past is by objecting to the contract terms. In some cases, only certain terms are found objectionable. As a result, EULAs sometimes hold up in court – and sometimes don’t.

Ultimately, the state of the law and its application to online game security is unclear. Because of the amount of money involved in online games, this legal limbo is a bad situation.

The Law Must Evolve

If you believe, as I do, that online games are a harbinger of computer security attacks that may evolve along with SOA, software as a service, and Web 2.0 architectures, you can see the legal problem that we're creating for ourselves. (See Online Games to Cause Software Security Issues.)

The kinds of legal tangles we see today in online games are the same kinds of legal tangles we're likely to encounter in other domains. If a system includes critical functionality that runs on machines that belong to others (including potential attackers), it is not at all obvious how the law is to be applied or when. The law is once again in catch up mode when it comes to computer security.

Credits: DarkReading, Post Gazette

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Terror in TERA

Many Korean TERA Players Quit Because of Overflowing Illegal Programs

Since TERA's OBT in January, the cheating programs have always been one of the major problems both players and media lash out at. Last February 10, the official company banned 3,331 accounts at a time, seeming to crack down on the cheating deeds. Nevertheless, the number of players who use the third-party software increased after 12 days. While overseas players still hold out hope for TERA, lots of Korean players have chosen to quit the game.

Process of using the third-party program

As 80% areas of Cannibals' Cave Floor -3 and Dividing Strip teem with monsters that have low HP & attack and can respawn quickly, it is convenient for players to use illegal programs all day and night for the sake of leveling up and gathering materials. Additionally, if players keep watch on their cheating programs, they can farm materials in any place or directly challenge the outdoor bosses alone, as long as they take enough potions.

It seems reasonable to solve this problem by law, but cheating programs are developed based on in-game bugs and systems. Thus, the cheaters' chances of being punished is almost zero after the case is filed. Even if they impose punishment, they will get off with just a slap on the wrist.

Currently, it is certain that more than half of the players don't use those illegal programs. However, for a subscription-based game, is it fair for common players who grow up step by step in the game, while others can easily level up and earn money with the use of illegal programs?

If such a situation goes on, the in-game economic system will collapse and the game will face the peril of termination subsequently.

For TERA, the cheating problem is a sharp weapon that will hurt it and shorten its lifespan. If NHN doesn't tackle this problem as soon as possible, TERA will keep bleeding until it dies.

Credits: MMOsite

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Minggu, 20 Februari 2011

Legend of Martial Arts PH CBT Announcement

The much anticipated Closed Beta Testing (CBT) phase for Legends of Martial Arts Philippines (LOMA PH) will start on February 28, 2011 and will end on March 16, 2011.

Our forums are now open! Interact with fellow Masters as you prepare for a grand adventure. Head on over:

Our game client is now up and available for downloading! Hop over to:

Please remember that the client will only function and be open during the Closed Beta Testing phase (February 28 to March 16).

See you in the world of Prism soon!

Credits: LOMA PH

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Sabtu, 19 Februari 2011

Video Game Addiction Can Ruin Relationships

Addiction to any number of things can ruin relationships but gaming addiction seems to go about doing it in a rather interesting and underhanded way. First of all, when an individual becomes addicted to a game whether it be a console game, a PC game or an online game, one of the first things those around the game addict will notice is that he/she becomes so interested in the game that it effects every part of their life beginning with the social aspect.

Video games are increasingly becoming a factor in the crumbling of relationships. So says a Daily Mail reported survey by, anyway. The survey polled 1500 gamers and their partners – and the conclusion is that video games break hearts.

On out of 10 respondents claimed they’d skipped a date or rejected sex in favour of playing video games. I don’t know about you, but for me? Boobs win out over digital guns any day of the week. 5% said games had cost them their relationship, while a much larger 70% said their partners become regularly annoyed at the amount of time played.

Roughly half of the women polled were jealous of the time their partners spent playing games. ‘It seems like a games console often means there are three people in a relationship.” Said a spokesperson. ‘It’s a bit sad if the virtual world is taking precedence over the real world.’

Here’s the compiled list of games that are likely to destroy relationships :

1. Call of Duty
2. Football Manager
3. Grand Theft Auto
5. Medal of Honor
6. Halo
7. Super Mario Brothers
8. Gran Turismo
9. Mario Kart
10. Guitar Hero
11. Assassins Creed
12. Pro Evo Soccer
13. Resident Evil
14. World of Warcraft
15. F1
16. Red Dead Redemption
17. Need for Speed
18. Fallout
19. Gears of War
20. Angry Birds

I was surprised to see World of Warcraft so low on that list, until I remembered that for most World of Warcraft players significant others’ to leave would require them sawing off their own right hands. Because it’s for nerds. On a more serious note, I definitely see video games causing untoward friction in households. I won’t lie if I say it’s caused issues in my own home – but not for the reasons stated above. No, she wants to play Fable and I want to play Fallout – and with just the one big screen TV you can see how it’s a problem. Of course, she has boobs – and that means that Fallout’s wastelands are going unexplored.

Gaming addictions can curse anyone of any age, gender or race. It particularly puts a strain on relationships because of the anti-social behavior it encourages. A game addict will become so engaged in whatever game it is that holds their attention that they begin to lose sight of other things in life that matter, the first usually being their family and others in the household. This process usually begins gradually and progresses from a few hours a day playing games to several hours a day sitting in front of the PC or TV.

Game addicts lose the will to take care of themselves, eat, maintain personal hygeine and take needed breaks from their game. They will sit in front of their games until well past the point of being uncomfortable. They may even develop back or neck problems as a result of their immobility. These individuals often ignore others in the household whether it be their spouse, children or other relatives to the point that they totally isolate themselves to their game.

A majority of the time, these gaming addictions reach a point where they become serious enough to cause intervention by a spouse or another family member. When this point in time arrives, the addict will most likely be unwilling to spend any time whatsoever away from the game, they will become angry with anyone who attempts to get them to spend time away from their object of addiction and may even employ the use of a headset to further isolate themselves. They will constantly think about the game and perhaps not bother to prepare nutritious meals for themselves because they are too caught up in whatever game they happen to be playing and might miss something that would happen in a role playing game if they step away from the computer to eat.

When someone is addicted to gaming, they will often lie about how much time they spend playing the game, they will have intense feelings of pleasure or guilt that may seem uncontrolled, social withdraw to the point that it causes extreme disruptions in work and home life, experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression, possibly even anger during times when they are not able to game, addicts may also spend large sums of money on games, gaming items or computer upgrades, and may often think or talk about playing games while they are involved in other mandatory daily tasks such as their job or other family activity.

One of the first people who will usually notice that a person has an addiction or problem with gaming is their spouse. This can affect a relationship in many different ways and can even become so severe that it leads to divorce. When one spouse becomes addicted to gaming, it usually takes up a majority of their time away from work or other mandatory activities. In some cases, it may even cost them their job because they are not performing due to lack of sleep from gaming all night. Gaming alone will begin to quickly take its toll on a husband and wife's relationship.

When one spouse is gaming, it takes up a lot of time and leaves the other spouse holding the proverbial bag. The effected spouse will often try to talk about the problem with the addicted spouse with no avail. Usually the addicted spouse will deny that there's a problem or refuse to discuss it period in which case the problem will only get worse. Addicted individuals sometimes become very upset when confronted with this issue just as drug and alcohol addicts become irate when their item of addiction is removed during an intervention.

It is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional if you or a loved one are experiencing gaming addiction.

Credits: Lazy Gamer, Helium, MMOsite

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Kamis, 17 Februari 2011

AIKA GLOBAL welcomes NA Players Today

AIKA Global has gone fully international as T3fun officially landed in North America on February 17, 2011. To jazz up the welcoming of the influx of the American crowd, AIKA Global organized a double EXP event scheduled for the month of February.

AIKA Global has been extended to the North American region due to extreme public demand. Formerly under IP restriction since AIKA Global’s release, North American gamers can now play and enjoy the game together with the rest of the world. AIKA Global, a game directly handled by its developer, pride itself with its smooth and hassle-free game play, world-class service and dynamic community composed of players all over the globe. Hundreds of NA gamers are expected to march into the game where the global gamers are waiting. It’s definitely a battle like never before!

Double EXP Event

Welcoming our upcoming friends in North America/Canada, AIKA Global will be organizing a Double experience modification event on the following dates: February 17-18, 2011 - 00:00 - 23:59 EDT for levels 1 – 60 and February 19-20, 2011 - 00:00 - 23:59 EDT for levels 1 - 70.

AIKA Global community welcomes all the North American gamers with a world class bang! Get ready to experience the global battle now! To know more, visit

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Rabu, 16 Februari 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 3 Beginner's Guide

MvC3 can be complicated to newbies, here's a quick run down of the basics

It's finally here! Capcom's excellent sequel to the legendary MvC2 has arrived, and it's time to get down to business. After you're done mashing buttons and watching your favorite characters make loud noises and bright colors, you might want to consider taking the game a bit more seriously so you can actually win a match or two.

That's where this guide comes in; here we'll take a quick look at the basics of MvC3 so you can quickly make the transition from hopeless scrub to slightly less hopeless scrub.

Normal Moves

Note: This is a general overlay of most characters moves, some characters’ individual moves may deviate from these descriptions, particularly in regards to the S attack.

Light (L): Normally a fast, low damage attack with short range

Medium (M): Slightly slower but does more damage, increased range over L

Heavy (H): Longest reach, most damage and stun, also the slowest attack.

Special (S): Varies from character to character, but is usually a slow, large radius attack like H.

More importantly, most characters’ standing or crouching S attack will launch the opponent into the air, allowing the player to perform air combos on them. This attack is sometimes called a Universal Launcher.


Unlike Street Fighter, MvC3 is based almost entirely around combos, especially combos that involve more than just your active character. The basic idea behind a combo is that the player is stringing together a set of moves that are timed in a way as to be unblockable once the first hit has occurred. This is possible because every successful attack cause Stun, an animation where the opponent reels or winces after being hit. Any attacks chained together within this window, including assist attacks, are considered combos.

Basic combos in MvC3 are not difficult, L L M H S works with virtually all characters in the game, while more complicated combos involve juggling opponents in the air, multiple assist attacks, Hyper Combos and even multiple character changes.

Assists And Active Characters

Another big change between traditional fighting games and MvC3 is assist attacks. Only one of your characters may be “active” at a time, but your 2 other characters may perform assist attacks to help. During character selection the player must chose one of 3 assist type attacks for each of their characters. Figuring out which assist attacks work best for your team is an incredibly important part of MvC3, and even mediocre characters can be extremely useful if their assist attack is good enough.

Assist attacks are useful because they create special opportunities to extend combos or patch up holes in a character’s offense or defense. For example, a slow, heavy-hitter like Hagar might benefit from a projectile based assist, as he has few long range options. After an assist attack is used it must be given a few seconds to recharge before it can be used again. It’s important not to spam assists wantonly though, as assist characters can be hit and damaged while they’re on the screen.

Aerial Exchange

COMMAND: When performing an aerial combo, press FORWARD OR BACKWARD and S

Using the S attack and no direction on an airborne opponent will slam them into the ground, while pressing left or right plus S will cause you to perform an Aerial Exchange. This quickly tags in one of your other characters midair, and allows them to continue and extend your air combo. It is an extremely useful, and almost totally safe way to change characters. It also builds an extremely large amount of Hyper Meter, making it even better.

Hyper Meter Basics

Your Hyper Meter is the meter at the bottom of the screen. You gain Hyper Meter by connecting attacks on your opponent and by being hit by attacks. You may have up to 5 levels of Hyper Meter. Hyper Meter is used primarily for executing Hyper Combo attacks, but it can also be used to quickly switch out a character while blocking via a move called a Crossover Counter.

Crossover Counter

COMMAND: Press forward and an assist button while blocking to perform a Crossover Counter. (Consumes one bar of Hyper Meter)

The Crossover Counter is an alternate way to tag in a teammate. While not as safe as an Aerial Exchange, a Crossover Counter is slightly faster than simply holding down the assist button. As soon as it's performed your blocking character will jump out and your new character will switch in with their assist attack. Crossover Counters can still be unsafe as the characters switching in are not invulnerable and can be hit as usual. Characters switching in can immediately Hyper Combo though, so this move should be limited to characters whose assist moves or Hyper Combos have invulnerability properties.

Snapback Attack

COMMAND: Quarter circle forward (fireball motion) and an assist button

The Snapback Attack forcibly switches the opponent’s current character out with one of his reserve characters depending on which assist button you use. This is useful as it allows the player to draw out a character with low health and prevent them from regaining health (the red bar) while they’re tagged out. It also allows the player to pick a more favorable match up depending on their character’s strengths and weaknesses.

Advancing Guard

COMMAND: Press two attack buttons while blocking an attack

Advancing Guard, also known as a "push block", is a variation of blocking that, if performed correctly, pushes the attacking player away from the defender. The advantage of this is that by pushing the attacker back, it makes it more difficult for them to put pressure on the opponent as they have to make up for lost space. Important for projectile characters or characters with poor close quarters options like Dormammu.

X-Factor Abilities

COMMAND: To activate the X-Factor , simultaneously press L M H and S.

The X-Factor is an interesting ability that can be used for a number of strategies. When activated, the X-Factor ability increases the speed and strength of your character while simultaneously regenerating their red health bar back to regular yellow health. The speed/damage bonus that the X-Factor ability grants is based on the number of remaining characters you have:

All 3 characters = X-Factor lasts 10 seconds

2 Characters = X-Factor lasts 15 seconds

1 Character = X-Factor lasts 20 seconds and provides the biggest damage/speed boost

Even more interesting, X-Factor can also be activated during a move or hyper combo to automatically cancel the move, allowing for special combos or setups that usually wouldn’t be possible. Also note that while X-Factor is active, the character is immune to chip damage from special moves, though blocking them will temporarily prevent the character’s health from regenerating.

Credits: Games Radar

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Warning: New Trojans!

Note: This applies to all online games, not just Cabal

There are several new trojans around which are specialized in gathering account information for popular online games.

Those trojans gather also account information about Cabal online accounts. All our client and patch downloads are clean, but please be even more suspicious about unofficial sources now.

They are usually distributed with illegal software such as cracked games and clients for private server of MMOs.

There might be also other trojans, but so far Kaspersky considers "Trojan-GameThief.Win32.Magania.dbtv" the most severe of them.

In most cases they are used by various Alz Selling companies that use the information to gain unauthorised access to accounts and sell the items.

They are working extremely fast, one of the cases we managed to prevent ( because the player was online and managed to change his passwords from a second secure PC) it took them under 5 hours after the software (trojan) was downloaded until they made an attempt to enter the account.

In recent months both these rankings have shown a marked increase in the use of exploits by cybercriminals. Their goal remains the same – the theft of confidential user data – but the propagation techniques and methods that prevent the analysis and detection of malware have varied.

One entry of note in the end-user Top Twenty malware list is a Trojan that steals account logins and passwords for popular online games.

You can find more information and the full article here.

Credits: GM Reeves of Cabal EU

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Teenager Murdered His Mother for Confiscating His PlayStation

Reported by Philadelphia media, a teenager called Kendall Anderson has confessed that he murdered his sleeping mother who had confiscated his PlayStation. You may have heard some of this before but this one is the most terrible and brutal one and you can find out the details below.

Kendall Anderson beat his mother to death with a chair leg and then hid the body behind his house. What's intolerable is that the young criminal confessed that he'd tried to kill his mother twice before. The first time he tried to kill her mom by using a hammer and the second time he tried to cremate her in the kitchen oven, all failed. It's unimaginable and unforgivable that he tried the third time, and he of course would regret doing that.

The 16-year-old said in the trial:

If I could, I would not do it again. I really miss my mom . . . she was the only person who cared for me.

Video Games: A Cause of Violence and Aggression

There is a huge hype surrounding the launch of every new game system - Game Cube, XBox, and Sony Playstation 2 being just few of the latest. Affecting children age 4 all the way to 45 year-old adults, these video games have called for concern in our society regarding issues such as addiction, depression, and even aggression related to the playing of video games. A recent study of children in their early teens found that almost a third played video games daily, and that 7% played for at least 30 hours a week. What is more, some of these games being played like Mortal Combat, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Doom are very interactive in the violence of slaughtering the opponent. The video game industries even put signs like "Real-life violence" and "Violence level - not recommended for children under age of 12" on their box covers, arcade fronts, and even on the game CDs themselves.

In the modern popular game Goldeneye 007 bad guys no longer disappear in a cloud of smoke when killed. Instead they perform an elaborate maneuver when killed. For example, those shot in the neck fall to their knees and then face while clutching at their throats. Other games such as Unreal Tournament and Half-Life are gorier. In these games when characters get shot a large spray of blood covers the walls and floor near the character, and on the occasions when explosives are used, the characters burst into small but recognizable body parts. In spite of the violence, the violent video games are also the more popular games on the market. When video games first came out, indeed they were addictive. However, there seems to be a strong correlation now between the violent nature of games these days and the aggressive tendencies in game players.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold launched an assault on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, murdering 13 and wounding 23 before turning the guns on themselves. Although nothing is for certain as to why these boys did what they did, we do know that Harris and Klebold both enjoyed playing the bloody, shoot-'em-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.S. military to train soldiers to effectively kill. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris' web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two shooters, each with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. For a class project, Harris and Klebold made a videotape that was similar to their customized version of Doom. In the video, Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed school athletes. They acted out their videotaped performance in real life less than a year later.

Everyone deals with stress and frustrations differently. However when action is taken upon the frustration and stress, and the action is taken out in anger and aggression, the results may be very harmful to both the aggressor and the person being aggressed against, mentally, emotionally, and even physically. Aggression is action, i.e. attacking someone or a group with an intent to harm someone. It can be a verbal attack--insults, threats, sarcasm, or attributing nasty motives to them--or a physical punishment or restriction. Direct behavioral signs include being overly critical, fault finding, name-calling, accusing someone of having immoral or despicable traits or motives, nagging, whining, sarcasm, prejudice, and/or flashes of temper. The crime and abuse rate in the United States has soared in the past decade. More and more children suffer from and are being treated for anger management than ever before. Now, one can't help but to wonder if these violent video games are even playing a slight part in the current statistics. I believe they do.

Calvert and Tan compared the effects of playing versus observing violent video games on young adults' arousal levels, hostile feelings, and aggressive thoughts. Results indicated that college students who had played a violent virtual reality game had a higher heart rate, reported more dizziness and nausea, and exhibited more aggressive thoughts in a post-test than those who had played a nonviolent game do. A study by Irwin and Gross sought to identify effects of playing an "aggressive" versus "non-aggressive" video game on second-grade boys identified as impulsive or reflective. Boys who had played the aggressive game, compared to those who had played the non-aggressive game, displayed more verbal and physical aggression to inanimate objects and playmates during a subsequent free play session. Moreover, these differences were not related to the boys' impulsive or reflective traits. Thirdly, Kirsh also investigated the effects of playing a violent versus a nonviolent video game. After playing these games, third- and fourth-graders were asked questions about a hypothetical story. On three of six questions, the children who had played the violent game responded more negatively about the harmful actions of a story character than did the other children. These results suggest that playing violent video games may make children more likely to attribute hostile intentions to others.

In another study by Karen E. Dill, Ph.D. & Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., violent video games were considered to be more harmful in increasing aggression than violent movies or television shows due to their interactive and engrossing nature. The two studies showed that aggressive young men were especially vulnerable to violent games and that even brief exposure to violent games can temporarily increase aggressive behavior in all types of participants.

The first study was conducted with 227 college students with aggressive behavior records in the past and who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness. They were also reported to have habits of playing video games. It was found that students, who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school, engaged in more aggressive behavior. In addition, the time spent playing video games in the past were associated with lower academic grades in college, which is a source of frustration for many students, a potential cause for anger and aggression as discussed in the previous paragraph.

In the second study, 210 college students were allowed to play Wolfenstein 3D, an extremely violent game, or Myst, a nonviolent game. After a short time, it was found that the students who played the violent game punished an opponent for a longer period of time compared to the students who played the non violent game. Dr. Anderson concluded by saying, "Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations. It the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts." Despite the fact that this study was for a short term effect, longer term effects are likely to be possible as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for the real-life conflict that may arise.

The U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once claimed that arcade and home video games are among the top three causes of family. Although there have been studies that have found video game violence to have little negative effects on their players, there are also many studies that have found a positive correlation between negative behavior, such as aggression, and video and computer game violence. Thus, in order to totally assess the effects of game violence on its users, the limiting conditions under which there are effects must be taken into account, which include age, gender, and class/level of education. However, violent games do affect children, as the studies show, especially early teens, and I feel that there needs to be a stricter regulation regarding the availability of these games to young children.

Video Games And Violence: Are Studies Biased?

Does playing violent video games make players aggressive? It is a question that has taxed researchers, sociologists, and regulators ever since the first console was plugged into a TV and the first shots fired in a shoot ‘em up game.

Writing today in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England, suggests that there is scant scientific evidence that video games are anything but harmless and do not lead to real world aggression. Moreover, his research shows that previous work is biased towards the opposite conclusion.

Video games have come a long way since the simplistic ping-pong and cascade games of the early 1970s, the later space-age Asteroids and Space Invaders, and the esoteric Pac-man. Today, severed limbs, drive-by shootings, and decapitated bodies captivate a new generation of gamers and gruesome scenes of violence and exploitation are common.

Award-winning video games, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, thrive on murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level, explains Kierkegaard, and gamers boost their chances of winning the game by a virtual visit to a prostitute with subsequent violent mugging and recovery of monies exchanged while games such as World of Warcraft and Doom are obviously unrelated to the art of crochet or gentle country walks.

Media stories about gamers obsessed with violent games and many research reports that claim to back up the idea that virtual violence breeds real violence would seem to suggest so.

However, Kierkegaard studied a range of research papers, several of which have concluded since the early 1980s that video games can lead to juvenile delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior. Evidence from brain scans carried out while gamers play also seem to support a connection between playing video games and activation of regions of the brain associated with aggression.

However, Kierkegaard explains, there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games. Despite several high profile incidents in US academic institutions, "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before.

"With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined."

Research is inconclusive, emphasizes Kierkegaard. It is possible that certain types of video game could affect emotions, views, behaviour, and attitudes, however, so can books, which can lead to violent behaviour on those already predisposed to violence. The inherent biases in many of the research studies examined by Kierkegaard point to a need for a more detailed study of video games and their psychological effects.

Credits: MMOsite, and

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Sabtu, 12 Februari 2011

Blade and Soul CBT Date

The long wait is finally over. NCSoft is set to launch their CBT of Blade & Soul around the end of April. OBT is scheduled to happen around August to October. NCSoft is hoping the announcement of the CBT for Blade & Soul will pull some attention away from its rival, TERA. However, most online gaming media has recognized that Blade & Soul has been causing quite a stir and the reactions and feedback from players at the recent G-Star event speaks for itself. Blade & Soul has had incredible amounts of feedback and very positive reactions from the gaming community. Many foresee NCSoft retaking a solid grip on the industry after the success of Aion and the now imminent MMO giant, Blade & Soul.

According to the rumor around the industry, TERA is a target of NCSoft and potentially their main rival. Not because TERA has a lot of subscribers and players that endanger Aion’s success but because TERA was made by those critical members once involved in the development of Lineage 3. Because of this, many thought Blade & Soul’s CBT was going to happen around the same time as TERA’s launch. However, that assumption proved false after several delays. The good news from this is that recently NCSoft had made a statement, unofficially, that Blade & Soul’s CBT is to happen around late April or early May.

The scheduled Blade & Soul CBT happens to fall right when TERA’s 3 month subscription ends. Most speculate that this is to bring the TERA players to Blade & Soul instead of them re-subscribing to TERA. Many say that Blade & Soul’s rivalry against TERA will start to begin around April. It is uncertain whether or not Blade & Soul’s CBT will affect the traffic of TERA and it is true that Hangame did its part in the success of TERA. Hangame will definitely not just stand by while NCSofts tries to lure away TERA players.

Blade & Soul’s launch is scheduled around August to October. Most speculate that NCSoft’s strategy is to bring some of the crowd away from TERA after 90 days of launch and then bring additional players by launching the game after three months of closed beta testing.

NCSoft’s primary services are all centered around the Q3 and Q4 sections of this year with the launch of Guildwars 2 and big updates to Lienage 1 as well as Aion’s 3.0 patch. The second half of 2011 is going to be a critical time for NCSoft. Will Blade & Soul successfully overshadow TERA? Only time will tell.

Credits: Digital Daily,, MMosite

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Tencent Likely to Publish Blade & Soul and Lineage Titles

According to TIG, an authoritative South Korean game portal, Tencent is expected to obtain the publishing rights of Blade & Soul, Lineage and Lineage 2 in Mainland China. Once released, the news drew great attention from the insiders and South Korean net users.

At the recent 2010 financial conference held by NCsoft, developer of Blade & Soul, Aion and the Lineage series, NCsoft was asked whether it wished to get the Lineage series published by Tencent instead of Shanda in Mainland China. In this respect, NCsoft's CFO Lee Jae Ho said that they're negotiating with many Chinese game publishers on relevant publishing affairs.

The Lineage series being operated by Shanda in Mainland China doesn't seem to enjoy satisfying marketing feedback there. Particularly in 2009, Lineage 2 which's influenced by private servers had no choice but to launch the business model of micro-transaction. China's game industry does pay much attention to the Lineage series' publisher change, because the association between Tencent and NCsoft will definitely bring a great impact on the Chinese online game market. Moreover, once establishing a cooperative relationship with NCsoft formally, Tencent is very likely to act as the publisher of Blade & Soul, whose Korean version is slated for OBT this year. This will surely improve the overall strength of Tencent, which obtained the publishing rights of Arche Age with over 40 million US dollars last year.

As Lee Jae Ho expressed, according to the Chinese government's policies, foreign enterprises are not allowed to operate online games independently in Mainland China. To have the Lineage series reach success in China, they're now negotiating with many a Chinese game publisher, but more details just cannot be disclosed for the moment. An insider from China said that Tencent had always been unable to make good achievements in the MMORPG circle, so its cooperation with the South Korean MMORPG tycoon NCsoft would benefit both parties tremendously.

Tencent is now operating many blockbusters, like League of Legend, C9 and Arche Age.

Credits: MMosite,

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