MMORPG.com – The Design Philosophy of EverQuest Next with Dave Georgeson – PAX East 2013

Garrett Fuller of MMORPG.com caught up with SOE’s Dave Georgeson to talk the past, present, and future of the Everquest franchise: specifically the design philosophy behind creating.

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Dragon’s Prophet – Will It Be A Great Free To Play Fantasy MMO ?

FAQ What is Dragon’s Prophet? Dragon’s Prophet is a free to play fantasy MMO that tells the story of the relationship between humans and dragons. Set in the world of Auratia, explore the vast land as you attempt to fight, … Continue reading

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EverQuest II Chains of Eternity Zone Preview

This is the 9th expansion of the revolutionary EverQuest II franchise. This expansion contains must-have features such as level increases, prestige abilities and new game items only available with this expansion, such as adornments that become more powerful with your character. Also, explore new content in two overlands in the spirit realm, and experience adventure with new dungeons and quests. Put right the imbalance in the Ethernere!

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH FIRST ‘WIKIA OFFICIAL COMMUNITY’ FOR UPCOMING MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEO GAME PLANETSIDE 2

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Powered by the Fans, New Official Wiki Takes Community Collaboration to New Level with Tools that Support and Empower Players

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Oct. 10, 2012 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, has joined forces with Wikia, the collaborative media company, home to some of the largest fan communities on the Web, to launch the first-ever ‘Wikia Official Community’ for the highly-anticipated MMO first-person-shooter (FPS) PlanetSide®2. Under the new partnership, SOE and Wikia will collaborate with the player base through official Wikia communities to empower players to help each other succeed in games, and offer them another direct line of communication and support to SOE’s Community and Development teams. PlanetSide 2 players and Wikia users will also be offered a wide range of exclusive and unique official content, such as videos, interviews, chats, game guides, and more.

“Teaming up with Wikia was the natural next step for us in providing the necessary tools to further embrace and empower our players,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “This new partnership is truly about community collaboration, and Wikia’s reputation and respect for its dedicated global network of players offered the ideal platform for SOE to further support its players and the community. We are excited and looking forward to the creative and compelling ways fans will utilize this custom channel to expand community engagement outside of the game.”

By publishing official and community driven content alongside actual game development, SOE is forging new territory by endorsing fan communities to create, engage and collaborate around their favorite game with the developers throughout production. SOE and Wikia are working together to develop and design the official PlanetSide 2 wiki that will allow fans and gaming enthusiasts to contribute unique and valuable content on a regular basis to be seen by the community at large. The partnership and official fan wiki will allow both companies to embrace and further empower their communities by creating a meaningful two-way flow of valuable information.

“We are thrilled that SOE, which understands the power of the community, is launching their first of many official communities amidst our very enthusiastic and knowledgeable network of fans,” said Craig Palmer, CEO for Wikia. “As our lifestyle, gaming and entertainment communities continue to grow and populate, we look forward to an active PlanetSide 2 community as a model for the best user generated collaborative content on the web.”

As part of its dedication to supporting existing community efforts, SOE has also designated EQ2i, one of the longest-running and well-populated Wikia sites, as its official Wiki for the popular MMO EverQuest® II.

“We want to work with vibrant, existing Wikia communities at the grass-roots level,” said Linda Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations, Sony Online Entertainment. “Partnering with sites such as EQ2i serves to recognize and support the efforts of thousands of dedicated fans on Wikia, be they individuals, guilds or fan-sites. It’s about time, and we can hardly wait to get started!”

The Official Communities will complement Wikia’s already recognized 250,000+ wikis on the site, ranging in subjects from pop culture, fashion, TV to sports. Wikia Video Games is the leading source of global video game content on the Web today and is home to some of the largest video game communities, accounting for over 50,000 gaming wikis and 2.48 million pages of gaming content, averaging over 25,000 user edits each day. The Wikia Official Community will utilize new curation features, while continuing to engage players in traditional wiki formats around large-scale and social video gaming.

EverQuest II – Chains of Eternity

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Death is rampant across Norrath. Citizens are suddenly falling dead as their spirits are torn from their bodies. No one on Norrath seems to understand why the souls are being pulled from the mortal plane, but all signs point to a massive disturbance within Ethernere, the realm of the dead. The heroes of the world must travel to Ethernere to find the cause of the unbalance in the Grey Wastes, and discover what has become of its caretaker – the mysterious being known as Drinal. If the heroes can return balance to Ethernere, the siphoning of souls may be halted. Should they fail, both the living and the dead will suffer a dismal fate.

Introducing EverQuest II: Chains of Eternity! This is the 9th expansion of the revolutionary EverQuest II franchise. This expansion contains must-have features such as level increases, prestige abilities and new game items only available with this expansion, such as adornments that become more powerful with your character. Also, explore new content in two spirit-realm versions of familiar lands, and experience adventure with new dungeons and quests. Put right the imbalance in the Ethernere!

Features:

Prestige Abilities – Each subclass will get access to new Prestige Abilities!

Prestige Tradeskills – Your crafting will shine like never before with Prestige Tradeskills.

Organic Adornments – New adornments that gain experience with you and grow in power.

Guild Level Cap Raised to 95.

Adventure to Level 95.

Tradeskill to Level 95.

New Content:

Obol Plains – Discover the realm of Ethernere and the mysterious Obol Plains where an imbalance in the realm of the afterlife is apparent in all the surroundings and its inhabitants.

The Eidolon Jungle – Every area of Norrath has its own home in Ethernere. Adventure through the amazing, transformed lands of the Feerrott as it exists in the afterlife.

9 New Instanced Dungeons – All new dungeons with unique, exciting encounters…and loot!

All New Quest Lines – Experience the story of this unique realm in any play style you choose. There is plenty for everyone!

EverQuest II – Expansions.

Over 100 Classic PlayStation Titles Explode onto PlayStation Vita – to enhance the ultimate games collection with games priced from only £0.99

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PlayStation Vita

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PlayStation® One Classics are coming to PS Vita to complete the ultimate digital games line-up including PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable), “minis” and exclusive PS Vita games

London, August 29th. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has today announced an extensive list of over 100 PlayStation® one Classics from the console that changed the face of gaming, now available for PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita), bringing quality, variety and heritage to the groundbreaking portable entertainment system.

Available from 29 August 2012, PS Vita users will have access to a large number of exciting PS one Classics to complement the great range of PSP and “minis” games already available for PS Vita to enhance the ultimate digital games line-up. PS one Classics coming to PS Vita include titles that gamers have loved for over a decade with all-time favourites such as Metal Gear Solid, Crash Bandicoot® and Final Fantasy® VII all available to download from  PlayStation®Store (PS Store).

With PS Vita System Software update ver. 1.80, PS Vita owners will be able to experience unadulterated nostalgia and play some of their favourite PS one Classics on the portable device. For gamers who have grown up with PlayStation® this is a chance for them to experience their favourite games on the ultimate portable entertainment system. Additionally, PlayStation®3 and PSP owners who have previously purchased PS one Classics from PS Store will be able to download and play them on their PS Vita system at no extra charge.

Not only will there be an outstanding variety of content available, there will also be great value. With games available from PS Store from just £0.99, PS Vita owners will be able to get their hands on an amazing range of titles without breaking the bank.

A full list of titles can be found at eu.playstation.com, but highlights from the range include:
PS one Classics –

  • Tekken 2 (SCEE) Fan favourite of the popular fighting series Tekken
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus(GT Interactive) Quirky platformer starring the unusual, but iconic Abe
  • Tomb Raider II Starring Lara Croft (Rebellion) – Hugely popular sequel to the genre-defining  action / adventure game Tomb Raider
  • Crash Bandicoot®(SCEE) – Classic platforming action from Naughty Dog, creators of Uncharted and The Last of Us
  • SILENT HILL (Konami) – Debut chapter in the terrifying survival horror game series that has been haunting dreams since 1999
  • Vagrant Story™ (Square Enix) – Square Soft developed action / adventure role playing game that focuses on weapon creation and modification, as well as elements of puzzle-solving and strategy
  • WipEout®(SCEE) – First in the series of futuristic racing games set in the year 2025
  • GRANDIA (Ubisoft)– Role-playing game set in a fantasy world of emerging technology and exploration
  • Ridge Racer Type 4 (Namco Bandai Europe) – Arcade racing at its finest

PSP –

  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Konami) Third person action game widely considered as one of the best titles to come to PSP
  • Dissidia®012™ Final Fantasy® (Square Enix)   Prequel to Dissidia Final Fantasy, 012 revolves around the twelfth cycle of the eternal conflict between the gods Cosmos and Chaos
  • Final Fantasy®IV Complete Collection (Square Enix)   Ultimate compilation of the FF IV saga and its sequel The After Years
  • TACTICS OGRE™: Let Us Cling Together™ (Square Enix)   Tactical role-playing game regularly included on “all-time favourites” lists
  • Valkyria Chronicles™ II (SEGA) – Epic adventure game set in fictitious 1930s Europe

minis –

  • OMG-Z! (Laughing Jackal Ltd) A  favourite from the minis range, OMG-Z is a zombie-themed action puzzle
  • Blast Off (Half Brick Studios) Take control of your rocket ship and rescue lost astronauts by navigating 45 levels of planets and asteroids
  • Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) Popular tower defence game with the  goal of stamping out waves of enemies before they make it across a themed battlefield map and escape
  • Angry Birds (Rovio and Abstraction Games) Launch them birds, smash those pigs! Fire your squawking birds into the enemy fortresses and shatter them

PS Vita introduces new ways to play, delivering immersive gameplay experiences that have never been offered on any other handheld gaming device. Equipped with dual analog sticks, a vibrant 5-inch OLED touchscreen, a unique Rear Touch Pad, powerful quad core processor, six-axis motion sensing system, built-in microphone, front and rear cameras and apps including YouTube, Facebook and Skype, PS Vita is the ultimate portable entertainment system. In addition to the ultimate portable gaming experience, PS Vita provides consmers with access to music, videos, PlayStation®Network trophies, photos, web browser and more.
The World is in Play. Visit eu.playstation.com/psvita to find out more.

EverQuest II update for May 2012

We made it! Whew! The Skyshrine Game Update went live and was well tested thanks to the community at large as well as the internal teams. We are all really proud of it and it seems like a good bunch of you are enjoying it too.

While we are still watching Skyshrine and responding to any issues that come up, we are obviously marching onward to our next big projects. Also, as we’ve said many times, we are looking at the existing game and how to make improvements to what we have. We’ve jotted down a few things below that are in progress this month to give you an idea of just some of what we’re working on right now. We hope to release them in May but won’t until they are ready:

  • Remember in December 2011 on Test server we offered the ability to play as your character in Dungeon Maker? We took a look at the results and it was pretty clear we needed to make some significant improvements. Our team of engineers took to doing some research and experimentation and has come up with a great solution that we feel will have other applications as well. We are calling it “Level Agnostic” game play. What it means is that no matter what your level, you will be able to go into Dungeon Maker as your character and be effective. While that’s a bit of a no brainer, this goes for groups in Dungeon Maker too. We have already done early tests of groups of level 90s with level 50s and lower and it’s really fun! There’s a bit of tuning we need to do here and there, but there are definitely other ways we can use this. We are still in testing and want to get this one right, so we are going to do a lot of testing before we go live. And of course we’ll have it on the Test server when we feel it’s ready.
  • On a more practical side, the team has been looking at low-impact solutions to improve the game experience for everyone. One of them was to be able to target an NPC and have an indication of what quest they might update. The engineering team already has this working for simple quests. The challenge now is to make sure we get every quest in the game flagged appropriately. That’s going to take some time, but the functionality is already there and it’s been great to see it working in game. We are hoping to get the first phase of this out to the Test server soon.
  • Another challenge the team faces is being responsive during testing during our Beta periods. It’s very frustrating for designers and engineers to be testing raids and group content and have to stop due to a bug or difficulty and have to wait a day for another build. Not anymore! The engineers are already well into developing a testing tool that allows developers to make changes on the fly in real time. This is HUGE news for us and those players who help us test certainly will recognize the value. We certainly hope to start using this during testing for our next update.
  • We are also starting to push through a list of historical bugs and prioritizing those and we’ll give updates on those as we go forward.

So from all of us, to all of you, thank you for the amazing support and playing the best MMORPG around!

EverQuest II – Community News.

THE JOKER RETURNS TO WREAK HAVOC IN DC UNIVERSE ONLINE

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – May 8, 2012 – The battle between heroes and villains in DC Universe™ Online (DCUO) continues as Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that The Last Laugh,  the fourth downloadable content (DLC) pack for DCUO, will be available in June for download on the PC and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The Last Laugh will pit players against each other in high-intensity multiplayer brawls, feature an all-new weapon, and introduce new Light-Powered Legends PvP characters.

“We created this DLC purely for the players that like to take the fight to each other in DCUO’s amazing PvP combat,” said Jens Andersen, creative director on DC Universe Online. “Our community has continuously asked for more multiplayer action in DCUO, and we wanted to deliver content that fully meets their expectations and pushes PvP to another level. The Last Laugh is the first DLC that we’ve created that focuses almost entirely on player versus player battles, and it adds an exciting new element as some of DC’s greatest heroes and villains join to fight alongside you. Players will have even more opportunities to prove to the world whether heroes or villains will be triumphant.”
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The Last Laugh will include an all-new weapon, hours of multiplayer gameplay in the Safe Houses and Headquarters, and new Legends PvP characters:

  • The Shield – Players can unleash this vicious new weapon to bash their opponents, or hurl it to take them down from a distance.
  • Safe House Battles –No one is safe now that heroes and villains can invade each other’s Safe Houses in these four on four battles.
    • Graviton Technology Recovery – Players will be tasked with unscrambling teleporter codes that The Joker has mixed into fragments. Located at the Watchtower or Hall of Doom, players must retrieve eight code fragments to successfully rebuild useable teleporter codes.
    • The Rescue – Heroes must rescue hostages, while Villains will be freeing arrested criminals from opposing Safe Houses.
    • Bomb Disposal – Thanks to The Joker, the encryption on the Email terminals has changed and can only be bypassed by the robot he provided. Players must gain control of the robot and either upload the data to their HQ or add new encryption to keep their enemies and The Joker away from it.
  • Headquarter Battles – In this two-part crusade, 16 players – eight heroes and eight villains – will face off for the ultimate player reward. At the request of Superman, heroes must take over the Hall of Doom, while villains, egged on by The Joker, will breach the Watchtower in order to create chaos.
  • Legends Characters – Combat illuminates with the introduction of the first light-powered Legends for multiplayer combat. Players will soon have access to Kilowog, a Green Lantern, and Amon Sur, a member of the Sinestro Corps.

DCUO’s The Last Laugh DLC pack will be accessible for free for the game’s Legendary members and available for purchase for Free and Premium players via the PlayStation®Network in-game Marketplace, and on the PC via the DCUniverseOnline.com website.

DCUO is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Entertainment. For more information about DCUO, visit www.DCUniverseOnline.com.

THE DESTINY OF VELIOUS SAGA CONTINUES IN LATEST EVERQUEST II GAME UPDATE – SKYSHRINE

Sony Online Entertainment

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WHAT: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest® II (EQII) brings players Skyshrine! In the latest game update, players are introduced to the huge citadel of Skyshrine and the vast Withered Lands. Skyshrine arrives with a ton of new content and many other additions for fans of its most recent expansions – Destiny of Velious and Age of Discovery.

For players that have the Destiny of Velious expansion, Skyshrine is packed with content updates including a level cap raised to 92, an outdoor zone in Withered Lands that includes more than 100 quests, solo, small groups, and raid content, and epic storyline events with Heroic Group and Raid endgame instances. Players can now experience an all new Drake mount, new tradeskill quests and new items that have been woven into the story arc.

Players with the Age of Discovery expansion will be treated to new additions including a Poet’s Palace Dungeon Maker theme and items, new Dungeon Maker adventurers, Tradeskill apprentices with new recipes including an Elite recipe, new creatures to tame for Beastlords, and for the first time, three new quested mercenaries, including an Elite mercenary.

For more information on Skyshrine for EverQuest II, visit: http://everquest2.com/.

WHEN: Skyshrine is now available.

Skyshrine Lore:
The Destiny of Velious saga continues as adventurers breach the barriers of the Withered Lands seeking entrance to Skyshrine, the glorious ancient dragon city.

The great citadel of Skyshrine has long housed the Claws of Veeshan dragons behind its massive walls and arcane protections.  Now, the unthinkable has happened — it has become besieged by powerful forces. Players must battle and befriend dragons and their wurmkin in the forbidden city of Dracur, and explore the past to unravel mysterious events that transformed the formidable draconic city into a battlefield full of daunting challenges, fearful foes and unimaginable treasures!

Far below Skyshrine a different battle rages on. The Withered Lands, once known as the Wakening Land, was a majestic Plane of Growth-touched valley. Today it is oddly overgrown and overrun by a sickly magic. This strange corruption has touched and twisted many of the creatures that thrived here, including the legendary caretakers of the forest. Players must find a way to preserve the heart of the forest against corruption and rally the heart of the once Wakening Lands.

About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games.  Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest®  II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, and DC UniverseOnline, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms.  SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages.  To learn more, visit www.soe.com.

SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest, Champions of Norrath, Free Realms and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

EVERQUEST II IS NOW FREE-TO-PLAY !

EverQuest II box art.

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Age of Discovery Expansion Pack Also Now Available for Online Purchase

SAN DIEGO – December 6, 2011 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest®II(EQII) is now free-to-play. Beginning today, all PC users will be able to freely download, install and launch the game without charge. Available free content includes the base game and all expansions up to and including EverQuest II Sentinel’s Fate ® as well as the brand new Freeport Reborn game update. The game’s eighth overall expansion – Age of Discovery – is also now available for purchase as a digital download, and introduces the fan-favorite Beastlord class and Dungeon Maker feature!

“Since EverQuest II’s introduction in 2004, our team’s mission has been to deliver a continuous flow of rich content that is both engaging and accessible,” said Dave Georgeson, executive producer of the EverQuest franchise. “The new membership system, game update and expansion are a direct response to our community interaction, and we’re confident that this will take EverQuest II in an exciting new direction.”

For EverQuest II players, there are now three membership levels: Free, Silver and Gold. Existing Platinum memberships will continue until they expire.

EVERQUEST II NEW MEMBERSHIP BREAKDOWN:

  • Free – All new players or “Bronze” level members from EverQuest II Extended will have two character slots to max out at level 90. Some game features will be restricted, including available races, bag slots, spell tiers, equipment grades and more.
  • Silver – Any player who purchases the Silver Upgrade token for 500 Station Cash (or $5 USD) will have fewer restrictions than “free” users. This level does not expire and includes all of the Free membership features plus additional features including character slots, bag slots, spell tiers, unlimited chat options and more.
  • Gold – Gold membership is available for $14.99 USD per month and provides access to 16 classes, 15 races, seven character slots, six bag slots per character, access to Legendary and Fabled equipment, and more.

A matrix detailing the three new EQII membership levels is available here: http://everquest2.com/free_to_play/game_overview.

The new membership system coincides with the launch of EverQuest II’s 62nd overall game update – Freeport Reborn. Available for free to all players, the new game update follows an aftermath of violence and disorder in Freeport. Here, citizens are called to action by the returning Overlord Lucan D’Lere to help eliminate those who betrayed him, consolidate his hold on the city, and restore Freeport to its rightful place as Norrath’s center of power. Transformed into a single zone with a convenient central commerce hub by the docks, the revamped Freeport features new quests at different levels that allow all players to assist the local citizens and learn more about the Freeport story.

Additionally today, Age of Discovery, EQII’s eighth expansion is now available for purchase. Age of Discovery allows players to make their mark in-game with the Dungeon Maker feature, play as the EverQuest fan-favorite Beastlord class, and hire Mercenaries for help in their heroic battles. For more information on the Age of Discovery expansion pack, please visit: http://everquest2.com/.

Rated T for Teen by the ESRB with the content descriptors for suggestive themes and the use of alcohol and violence, EverQuest II: Age of Discovery is now available worldwide via digital download purchase on PC at the suggested price of $39.99 USD. The Collector’s Edition, which includes several in-game bonus items, is available for $89.99 USD. EverQuest II: Age of Discovery is available for online purchase in North America at Amazon, GameStop, DL Gamer, Direct to Drive and additional participating video game retailers.

The previous expansion, EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious ®,is also available separately for purchase.

For more information about EverQuest II, visit http://everquest2.com/.

EverQuest II – New LaunchPad FAQ

EverQuest II

New LaunchPad FAQQ. Will the New LaunchPad require me to reinstall the game?

A. No, you will not have to reinstall the entire game to use the new LaunchPad. The new LaunchPad will update itself automatically to the newest version without the need to reinstall the whole game.

Q. What if I don’t want to upgrade to the new LaunchPad?

A. The new LaunchPad is necessary to access the game. It will not impede the quality of the game and will actually improve connectivity and data transfer speeds for many people.

Q. What if I try to use the old LaunchPad without upgrading?

A. You will connect to the new LaunchPad and upgrade automatically. This will replace your old launcher with the new one.

Q. What are the benefits of upgrading to the new LaunchPad?

A. The new LaunchPad will no longer require a Flash installation, it will have a much faster patching speed*, it patches smarter** and has a general aesthetic upgrade.

Q. How do I upgrade to the new LaunchPad?

A. It will automatically upgrade from your old LaunchPad. For a complete walk-through on how to do this, click here.

Q. When will upgrades for the new LaunchPad start?

A. Upgrades to the new LaunchPad will begin on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.

*As much as 10x faster than the original Station Launcher.
**Smarter differentials between versions.

EverQuest II Destiny of Velious

DC Universe Online’s Game Update 6: The Deadly Double Cross Now Available!

DC UNIVERSE™ ONLINE’S GAME UPDATE 6: THE DEADLY DOUBLE CROSS NOW AVAILABLE

WHAT: The battle in the Arctic rages on as Sony Online Entertainment releases the third and final chapter of the DC Universe™ Online (DCUO)Fortress of Solitude raid series.
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At the end of Game Update 5: The Fate of the Fortress, players had defeated Brainiac’s invasion only to be betrayed by their former Kryptonian ally General Zod. The Deadly Double Cross will begin where players left off – trapped in the The Fortress of Solitude: Sunstone Matrix where General Zod has seized control of the Sun Crystal Matrix Chamber.
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In the latest update, players will once again join forces with Superman and Lex Luthor in a heated battle to defeat double-crossing General Zodfor control over the Fortress of Solitude. Heroes and villains alike must team up to face the militant General Zod and his Kryptonian supervillain companions Non and Ursa.

In addition to the new raid chapter, Game Update 6 will add great new weapons and gear for players to earn in battle, including powerful new Kryptonian Military weapons forged from the Sunstone crystals themselves.

Game Update 6: The Deadly Double Cross Features:
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§  Intense new Eight-Man Group Combat Raid – The Fortress of Solitude: Sunstone Matrix: Fight with Superman and Lex Luthor in their mission to take down General Zod and win back control of the Fortress of Solitude.
§  New Gear & Weapons: Players can battle for new weapons and armor, including powerful new Kryptonian Military weapons and the final pieces of the Avatar style set.

WHEN: The game update is now available as a free download for players at all three access levels: Free, Premium and Legendary.
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DC Universe Online is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Entertainment. For more information about DC Universe Online, visit www.DCUniverseOnline.com.
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EVERQUEST: VEIL OF ALARIS EXPANSION NOW AVAILABLE!

EverQuest was Verant Interactive's breakthroug...

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EVERQUEST®: VEIL OF ALARIS EXPANSION NOW AVAILABLE

SAN DIEGO – November 15, 2011 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that EverQuest®: Veil of Alaris – the 18th overall expansion for the highly influential massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest (EQ) – is now available at retailers worldwide. Taking off from the storyline set in 2010’s House of Thule, players are invited to journey to the continent of Alaris – a long hidden land of magic where even the Gods are under threat – and witness a side of Norrath they have never seen.

“Having continued for well over a decade, we are very aware of EverQuest’s place of importance not only in the video game world, but also with pop culture in general,” said Thom Terrazas, lead producer of EverQuest. “As the EQ epic continues to expand through new journeys, storyline twists and in-game features with Veil of Alaris, we find it more and more important to keep the content and on-going saga as rich and compelling as possible while also holding true to the expectations of our incredibly loyal community.”

With the defeat of Cazic Thule and subsequent loss of his powers behind Alaris’ veil, Norrathian God Morell beckons the heroes of Norrath to journey to Alaris and aid in obtaining Cazic’s former powers. Through 13 raids, 20 missions and over 110 quests, players are challenged to navigate a course filled with new unique Alarin characters and creatures while also taking advantage of hundreds of new spells and alternate advancements.

EXPANSION FEATURES:

  • Go from 90 to 95 – Achieve a new max level of 95 and set a new standard of gameplay
  • New Environments – Visit all spectrums through new environments including Argath (Bastion of Illdaera), Erillion (City of Bronze), Rubak Oseka (Temple of the Sea), Sarith (City of Tides) and the visually spectacular Resplendent Temple.
  • New Guild Halls – Take guild halls to new heights with new customizable guild-based features including multiple exteriors and interiors and an integration of tools and functionality derived from EverQuest‘s robust housing system
  • New Guild Rank-Based Permission System – Personalize your guilds with nameable ranks and customizable permissions
  • Improved Hotbars – Have better control of your characters experience with a revamp of the Hotbar system
  • Parcel & Coin Delivery System – Share profits from your adventures with your friends while they are offline
  • New Guild Trophies – Including varying bonuses!
  • More than 800 AAs – Elevate your power and abilities beyond the norm
  • 13 Raids – Collect valuable rewards from all new adventures
  • 12 Zones – Be the first to discover untouched lands of Norrath
  • 500+ Spells – Exponentially add to your spell arsenal
  • 20 Missions – Experience intriguing lore and immersive missions
  • 110+ Quests – Challenge your skills and gather useful loot
  • Legends of Norrath™ – Five (5) digital booster packs

Honored at this year’s Game Developers Choice Online Awards, EverQuest was selected as the second overall inductee into the GDC Online Hall of Fame for its contribution to the long-term advancement of online gaming and as a pioneer in major shifts in video game development as a whole.

EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is now available worldwide on PC at the suggested retail price of $39.99 USD for an all-in-one package, including all previous EverQuest expansion packs and in-game items such as a Desert Kangon Saddle, Traveler’s Rucksack and Veil of Alaris painting. The Collector’s Edition is available for $89.99 USD and includes several in-game bonus items:

COLLECTOR’S EDITION BONUS ITEMS:

  • Journeyman’s Pocketed Rucksack
  • Forest Kangon Saddle
  • Swinetor Contract
  • Concept Art Painting #1
  • Concept Art Painting #2
  • Sentry Stone Replica

One 30-day game subscription is included with each purchase of the game for new subscribers, with monthly subscriptions available thereafter starting at $14.99 USD, with discounts for longer durations.

EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is rated T for Teen by the ESRB with the content descriptors for suggestive themes and the use of alcohol and violence. EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is available for online purchase in North America at Amazon, GameStop, DL Gamer, Direct to Drive and additional participating video game retailers.

For more information about EverQuest, visit http://everquest.com/everquest.vm.

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE REGISTERS 1 MILLION NEW PLAYERS WITH FREE-TO-PLAY TRANSITION

DC Universe Online

Image via Wikipedia

DC Universe Online‘s transition to free-to-play has been welcomed by the community and gamers with heroic enthusiasm. In just one week alone, 1 million new players have joined DCUO with a 50/50 split between PC and PS3,” said Lorin Jameson, Executive Director of Development, SOE Austin. “DCUO now joins the ranks of SOE’s other successful free-to-play titles, including Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.”

Jameson added, “Our business model philosophy of Free to Play Your Way makes DCUO accessible to every type of player so they can choose to play the game in a way that suits them best. We have a lot of exciting things coming up for players to enjoy in the game and are thrilled at the initial enthusiasm for the game’s free-to-play transition.”

EverQuest II Destiny of Velious – Going FTP soon !

EverQuest II Free-to-Play FAQ1. When will I be able to play EverQuest II for free?

We do not have an exact date at this time, but we are anticipating releasing EverQuest II as Free-to-Play early December 2011.

2. How much does EverQuest II cost to play?

Basic access in EverQuest II is free! This includes access to a large portion of the game. However, there are also paid memberships that grant access to different content that are also available. Free membership gets access to seven years worth of gameplay and diverse zones released from EverQuest II‘s launch through EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate. Free members will not have access to the most recent expansion packs EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious and EverQuest II: Age of Discovery. However, both Destiny of Velious and Age of Discovery are available for purchase.

You can play all the way up to level 90, the highest level available in the game. You have access to the game’s eight character classes, and four of the most popular races in the game from which to create your character. Additional choices can be purchased both a la carte and with memberships.

3. What are the differences between Free, Silver, and Gold memberships?

The features and benefits of Free, Silver, and Gold memberships are detailed on the EverQuest II membership matrix page (click here).

4. What is included with the Free membership?

Free players have access to a lot of content in the world of Norrath. You’ll have tons of gameplay at your fingertips. Additional content, features and services are unlocked through individual purchases or by upgrading your membership to another tier (view matrix).
– Create characters in any of eight classes
– Choose from four different races
– Advance up to the current level cap

5. What is included with the Silver membership?

With your one-time purchase of a Silver membership for 500 Station Cash, you are permanently raised to that membership level. There is no recurring fee for this membership (view matrix).
– Two additional character slots (four in total)
– In additional bag slot for your inventory (three in total)
– More chat options (/shout, /auction, /level)
– Extra inventory capacity
– Increased quest journal limit
– The ability to create guilds… and more!

6. What is included with the Gold membership?

A Gold membership is $14.99 per month. Gold members can choose either a recurring or non-recurring payment method (view matrix).
– Seven character slots, full access to all races
– Ability to equip Legendary and Fabled items
– Full access to Master character skills/spells
– Six bag slots for your inventory (instead of only two or four)
– Unlimited coin limits
– Access to the “Broker,” our huge in-game player-to-player marketplace so that you can buy and sell with other players for in-game coins
– Actively hold up to 75 quests in your quest journal

7. Why should I upgrade my account to a Silver or Gold membership?

Quite simply, better features! Buying a Silver membership is a one-time purchase of only 500 Station Cash that adds two extra character slots, two backpack slots, a larger character coin limit, unlimited chat access, and the ability to collect more active quests.

Upgrading to the monthly Gold membership lets you use some of the game’s most powerful items (such as Legendary and Fabled items), upgrade to the most powerful spells and skills, gives you access to all 24 classes in the game (up from the original eight offered at Free and Silver), seven character slots, access to six backpack slots, no per character coin limit, access to the player-controlled Broker system, in-game mailing privileges, and more!

8. I used to play as an EverQuest II subscriber before it became Free-to-Play. What does this change mean for me?

If you are currently paying for an active monthly subscription in either EverQuest II or EverQuest II: Extended, you will automatically be rolled into a Gold membership, with full perks and privileges. This conversion will be seamless and no change will need to be made by the player. Membership will continue to recur as originally specified by the subscription.

Previous EverQuest II subscribers who did not have an active subscription during the Free-to-Play conversion will automatically be converted to a Silver membership. Certain restrictions are placed on this membership level. (Click here to find out more.)

9. Will there be Priority Queuing for Gold members?

Yes! Gold (and grandfathered-in Platinum) members will get priority if we experience queues when logging into the game.

10. I have an All Access membership. What does this mean for EverQuest II?

Being an All Access member you will receive the premium Gold level membership. However, Gold access is only available while you have an active All Access subscription.

11. Will I need a credit card to play the game?

A credit card is not required to play EverQuest II as a free member. You can log into the game without entering any payment information. If you do decide to purchase a Silver or Gold membership or buy items from the Marketplace, you will need to fund your Station Cash wallet through one of the available methods of payment (including using a credit card, a Station Cash card – available at most large retailers, or SMS).

12. Do I need to have a recurring membership in order to take advantage of a Gold Membership in EverQuest II?

Based on player feedback, at the launch of Free-to-Play, you will have the option of choosing between recurring and non-recurring memberships. You can also use Station Cash to purchase non-recurring subscriptions, but there are some benefits to setting up a recurring membership. It’s completely up to you.

13. Can I buy a subscription with Station Cash?

Yes, you can purchase non-recurring subscriptions with with Station Cash. There are however, benefits to purchasing a recurring subscription.

14. I have previously purchased EverQuest II expansion packs. Will I still have access to that content?

Yes! Any EverQuest II expansion that you previously purchased will continue to be available to you, subject to your current EverQuest II membership limitations. Free members will be able to access all previous content up to and including the “Sentinel’s Fate” expansion. “Destiny of Velious” and “Age of Discovery” are both available for purchase.

15. Will development efforts continue to be focused on EverQuest II?

Yes! Development efforts will definitely continue to be focused on EverQuest II. Click here to read more.

16. Will I have to re-download EverQuest II or EverQuest II: Extended when everything goes Free-to-Play?

No, you will not need to re-download the game. Other than patching, it will be a seamless transition when EverQuest II goes Free-to-Play.

17. What if I already had a Platinum membership in EverQuest II Extended?

We will no longer be offering a Platinum membership plan. Current Platinum members can continue to retain their Platinum membership status for as long as they continue to pay their subscription. If there is a lapse in payment, a new membership tier must be selected (view matrix).
A Platinum membership included everything in Gold plus the following:
– Full access to the game, including the “Destiny of Velious” expansion
– Ten character slots
– 500 Station Cash per month

18. What if I currently have both an EQII subscription and EQ2X memberships?

If you currently have both an EQII subscription and EQ2X Gold or Platinum membership, these accounts will be combined at the time of the Free-to-Play switch (early December 2011). Any unused game time will be credited to your account.

19. Do I get anything in-game for playing EverQuest II?

Yes! All current, returning and new players will receive a Welcome Pack for each character on their account. Players can use the /claim command in game to receive the Welcome Pack, which contains non-tradable items:
– A Bag to store your goodies in
– Experience Potions
– Vitality Potions
– And much, much more!

20. Will I be able to sell or gift items that I purchased in the EverQuest II Marketplace?

Marketplace items are usually labeled as “NO-TRADE” (can’t be traded to anyone) or “HEIRLOOM” (can only be traded to other characters on your account). To be eligible for Gifting, you must have been a Gold member for 30 or more days.

21. What happened to Live Gamer?

After careful consideration and review, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and Live Gamer (LG) have mutually made the decision to discontinue auction services currently available in EverQuest II (EQII), Free Realms and Vanguard. Beginning on December 7, 2011, SOE will suspend exchange services for all three games. For EQII, SOE will merge the LG exchange-based servers with its existing game servers, specifically Vox will merge with Nagafen and The Bazaar with Freeport. LG continues to be a valuable partner to SOE for a variety of e-commerce services. SOE and LG will be updating the FAQs from time-to-time to help answer questions you have regarding the discontinuance of the auction services.

Below is a timeline of the changes to Live Gamer:

– November 21, 2011: Last day to transfer items from game to your LG holding area.
– November 22, 2011: Players will no longer be able to post items, characters, or coin to Live Gamer Exchange in EQII
– December 13, 2011: This is the final day for players to return or claim any items, characters, or coin to their accounts
– December 14, 2011: Live Gamer Exchange is suspended in EQII

We anticipate the merges will occur on or about December 15, 2011. We will keep you updated on dates and details via the EverQuest II forums!

22. What will happen to my characters when I have to transfer from the Live Gamer servers?

The Bazaar server will be merging with Freeport and Vox will be merging with Nagafen. In some cases, this may mean that your character totals are more than what is included in your membership plan. To avoid any problems, you will want to log in as your favorite characters right before the server merges so that they are at the top of your character queue list. If you want more character slots, you will need to purchase them in the Marketplace.

23. Why can’t I copy my characters to EQ2X anymore?

Due to the upcoming Free-to-Play transition, we have disabled free character copies from the Live servers to go to EQ2X.

24. What is happening to the 14-day Trial?

When we go live with the new EQII service, the 14-day Trial will end. All current and previous trial members will be converted to the Free membership status after this date, so even if you had a free trial months ago, your characters will be waiting for you (subject to restrictions based on your membership level).

25. What is happening to the Recruit-a-Friend program?

As of November 10, 2011, you can no longer recruit using the Recruit-a-Friend program. In order to receive the Recruit-a-Friend bonuses, players you have recruited will need to subscribe by November 22, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST. We will offer a new Refer-a-Friend program in the future, so stay tuned.

26. With Free and Silver memberships there are character coin limitations. What happens to the coin I earn once I reach the limit?

Any coin earned beyond your current coin limit is lost. You can continue to earn items and experience, but coin will no longer be accumulated. The only way to increase the amount of coin you can collect is to upgrade your membership. If you are a Free or Silver member who comes back after the Free-to-Play transition, your coins will be locked as per your current subscription plan, but not gone.

27. What chat, in-game mail and Broker restrictions do Free and Silver players have?

Silver and Gold members have access to all chat channels. Free and Silver players can receive in-game email, but can’t send any until they upgrade to Gold. Broker access is restricted to Gold members only. Free members can’t use any of the “broadcast” channels, such as /auction, /level, /shout, or any other chat option that broadcasts to a large amount of other players.

28. If I decide to downgrade from the Gold to Silver or Free membership, what will happen to the Gold perks I had with that membership?

You don’t lose anything permanently, but Gold membership content will become inaccessible to you until you repurchase a Gold membership. Letting a membership lapse is similar to allowing a subscription on the regular EverQuest II subscription service to lapse, where you become unable to access the features of that service until you renew your subscription.
– Character Coin Limits: The amount of coin you have is unaltered when you lapse your Gold membership. However, you’ll be unable to gain any more coin until you reduce your current coin total below the Silver or Free per character limit.
– Backpack and Bank limits: Any bags or bank slots that are not available in Free or Silver are still present when you downgrade from Gold. However, you can only move items from those slots to other locations. You can’t use items while they are in those disallowed slots, and you can’t add anything to those slots until you upgrade back to Gold.
– Quest Limits: If you already have more quests in your Journal than are allowed at Silver or Free, those quests still exist, but you’ll be unable to add new ones until you reduce your quest count to below those limits.
– Character Slots: When you downgrade from Gold, your maximum character slots are reduced. If you had more characters than are currently allowed, the extra characters become unavailable. However, they are not deleted. They are still available if you upgrade back to Gold status or purchase additional character slots.
– Broker: If you had items for sale on the Broker when you downgrade from Gold, those items will stay on the Broker, but you will not have access to the Broker. If the items sell, the coin will stay in the Broker account until you upgrade back to Gold and can open the Broker interface again.
– Items: Any Legendary or Fabled items are automatically removed from your character and placed in your inventory when you downgrade from Gold. You can use them again when you renew your Gold membership.
– Spell/Skill Tiers: Any spells/skills upgraded to above Adept/Expert level are unchanged when you downgrade from Gold. However, you’ll be unable to scribe any further upgrades beyond your Silver or Free limit until you upgrade to Gold again.

Special Cases

1. I have active, paid accounts in EverQuest II (EQII) and EverQuest II Extended (EQIIX), how will they be combined?

The vast majority of our player base will not notice a thing as we convert to the new EverQuest II service. We wanted to outline a few of the “edge cases” that may occur with the conversion if you have accounts in both EQII and EQIIX. This listing is meant as a guide to some issues you may see but will not be able to cover all potential issues.

After the conversion takes place, if you have any concerns about your account, membership, billing or time credited, please contact our Customer Service reps. We will happily navigate the numbers with you: http://www.soe.com/en/support/

If you are currently paying for a 1 month EQIIX Gold membership AND you do not have a current EQII subscription:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will set you up with 1 month recurring Gold Membership for the new service and your next billing date will remain the same as it was for your previous EQIIX Gold Membership.

If you are currently paying for a 1 month EQIIX Gold membership AND you are also paying for a 1 month EQII subscription:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will add the remaining time from your 1 month EQIIX Membership over to your EQII Subscription time and convert that subscription to a recurring Gold Membership for the new EQII service. Your next billing date will occur at the end of the combined gameplay time and will be set as a 1 month recurring Gold Membership.

If you are currently paying for a 1 month EQIIX Gold membership AND you are also paying for a 3 month EQII subscription:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will add the remaining time from your 1 month EQIIX Membership time over to your EQII Subscription time and convert that subscription to a recurring Gold Membership for the new EQII service. Your next billing date will occur at the end of the combined gameplay time and will be set as a 3 month recurring Gold Membership.

If you currently have a multi-month subscription in EQII that you have canceled but still have remaining gameplay time AND you are currently paying for a 1 month EQIIX Gold membership:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will add the remaining time from your 1 month EQIIX Membership time over to the remaining time on your multi-month EQII Subscription time and convert that subscription to a recurring Gold Membership for the new EQII service. Your next billing date will occur at the end of the combined gameplay time and will be set as a 1 month Gold recurring Membership.

If you currently have a multi-month subscription in EQII that you have canceled but still have remaining gameplay time AND you have a cancelled 1 month EQIIX Gold membership but still have remaining gameplay time:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will add the remaining time from your EQIIX Membership time over to your EQII Subscription time and convert that subscription to a non-recurring Gold Membership for the new EQII service. At the end of this combined period of gameplay time, you would no longer have access to your Gold Membership plan.

If you currently have a Platinum Membership in EQIIX that you have not canceled:

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will set you up with all of the Platinum Membership benefits. You will retain these benefits as long as you remain on that recurring Membership plan. If you cancel from that plan, you no longer have the option of reinstating a Platinum level Membership as that level is being eliminated. Your next billing date will occur at the end of the combined gameplay time and will be set as a 12 month recurring Membership with Platinum benefits.

If you currently have a Platinum Membership in EQIIX that you have canceled but still have game play time remaining.

  • At the launch of the new EQII service, SOE will set you up with all of the Platinum Membership benefits. You will retain these benefits for the duration of your current Platinum Membership plan. Since you have canceled this Membership, once you reach the end of your 12 month membership you will no longer have access to your Platinum Membership benefits.

2. My game account was suspended or banned at the time of the conversion – what happens now?

If your game account is banned or suspended at the time of the conversion, please contact SOE Customer Service for information: http://www.soe.com/en/support/
Note: forum bans and suspensions do not affect the status of a game account, merely your ability to post on the official forums.

EverQuest II Destiny of Velious – Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game.

DC Universe Online population spikes 1,000% on free-to-play switch

Lee's depiction of DC Comics' Superman and Batman.

Image via Wikipedia

DC Universe Online launched in January as Sony Online Entertainment’s fastest-selling game to date. The game is also attracting swaths of gamers in its new free-to-play form, according to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley.

On Saturday, the SOE executive took to his Twitter feed to reveal that user-base numbers were up 900 percent over pre-free-to-play numbers since the new business model was introduced on November 1. Since then, the figure has ballooned to 1,000 percent. Smedley did not provide a breakdown of which platform new users are flocking to.

The player influx hasn’t come without a cost, however. The massive influx of users has resulted in users reporting long waits to get into the game, and various other issues. The latest update from Smedley is that the team is aware of the issues and is “on it.” Servers are being added to the DCUO infrastructure, and subscribers are being pushed to the front of log-in queues.

DC Universe Online lets players create their crime fighter or villain and is set in such locales as Superman’s Metropolis and Batman’s Gotham City. Also, a range of heroes and villains from the comic book publisher’s immense stable lend their presence to the game.

The game also benefits from heralded comic artist Jim Lee and scribe Marv Wolfman, who contributed to the project. Monthly subscriber perks include access to all the downloadable content packs, more than 15 character slots, 80 inventory slots, and the ability to form player leagues of any size.

News at GameSpot.

DC Universe Online: A Note from Deadmeat to USPC Players 11/04

DC Universe Online

Image via Wikipedia

I am sorry for the quick taking down of the USPC Server tonight.  We have hit amazing player levels the last couple of days and have fixed a number of issues that were impacting server stability at very high populations.  We quickly identified the issue and will be deploying out a fix and bringing the servers back up as quickly as possible. The good news is that we identified a major bug that had been causing us a lot of issues the last couple of days. Though I know this is difficult on you the players, your patience and continued support have allowed us to make great strides in our goal to create the most unique experience in massive online gaming.

Lorin Jameson

“DeadMeat”

Executive Producer, DC Universe Online

A Note from Deadmeat to USPC Players 11/04.

DC Universe Online – 120k New Users & Server Issues

DC Universe Online

Image via Wikipedia

This amazing number of new users has put US game servers under a tremendous burden and they were brought down late last night to address some recurrent issues.

As of 9 hours ago, this was the latest from the DCUO team:

Update from DCUO Exec. Producer: “We will be reopening the server soon. Although we do not have a fix yet for this problem we have added additional code to try and catch and diagnose the problem. I apologize in advance if we crash again, but know that the information we get will help to make sure we solve this problem as quickly as possible.”