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MMO News Wrap-Up

So it’s time for another complication of all the big MMO updates, gossip and general goings-on from the past week, which this time includes news on City of Heroes, Runes of Magic, Aion, World of Warcraft, Dungeon Fighter Online, Battle of the Immortals, TERA, Dungeons and Dragons Online and TLBB.

Possibly the most intriguing bit of info this week was that NCsoft has registered the trademark for City of Heroes 2. The current version of the game is six years old, just a few months older then Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, and NCsoft is still adding new content and features to it regularly. However, the registration indicates NCsoft’s interest in extending the franchise, and while it may not be definitive proof of a sequel to CoH in the works, it looks promising for fans of the game. We contacted NCsoft for a comment but, unsurprisingly, the rep wouldn’t give us any clues. He did take the opportunity to remind us that the City of Heroes expansion, Going Rogue, is due out in July though. If you haven’t seen the trailer, put a couple of minutes aside to do so.

En Masse Entertainment released a comprehensive FAQ about the upcoming second Focus Test Group for its highly anticipated MMO, TERA. Anyone hoping to take part in what is essentially a closed beta test still has time, the invites will be sent out from Monday, so be sure to check your inboxes and spam folders if you’re hoping to try out this action-packed good looking MMO.

Dungeons and Dragons Online received Update 4 on Wednesday, adding heaps of new content to the game. The new adventure pack ‘Sentinels’ sees blood-thirsty pirates appear from the seas and, if that wasn’t bad enough, these pirates can come back as zombies once you’ve taken care of them the first time. Players must battle this new threat in various ways; fight them on their ships, assault their lair, identify pirate spies and finally kill off the pirate leader himself, Captain Tew. You can check out the full patch notes, which also list several bug fixes and other small additions, here.

From one free to play MMO to another; We were lucky enough to get some time out with Jörg Koonen, the English Community Manager for Runes of Magic, who answered a bunch of questions we had about next month’s Chapter III. Jörg was very keen to tell us all about the update which opens up the Kingdom of Dalanis, the new zone layout, the new skill system, guilds and their siege weapons and the new marriage feature, along with the introduction of instance difficulty levels. Be sure to check out the interview, which not only gives you a good idea of what to expect in the update, but gives you just a hint of how massive and intricate this game actually is. For a free to download game that costs nothing to play, Runes of Magic is quite remarkable.

Another double XP weekend in Aion starts from today (Friday) through until Monday morning, so if you’ve got a character or two that needs levelling, now’s the time to plough in those extra hours. Find out the exact start times on the various servers in our earlier article.

{PAGE TITLE=MMO Wrap-Up Page 2}There’s been a lot of talk over the last year or so about subscription numbers on MMOs and what’s needed to keep a game afloat. World of Warcraft leads the pack with somewhere over 11 million paying players each month, so clearly Blizzard has nothing to worry about financially. Games like Age of Conan and Warhammer Online are thought to have up to 300,000 subscribers, and it was recently announced that Star Trek Online is getting by with 100,000. When you look at numbers like these to get some perspective, this week’s news about Dungeon Fighter Online is quite astonishing; So far, 197 million people have registered to play Nexon’s 2.5D side-scroller fighter game, which was launched in South Korea in 2005 but is in open beta in North America right now.

The large numbers are no doubt due to the game’s huge success in Asia, where it not only holds a world record of two million concurrent players in China, but has Anime and Manga based on the characters. It will be interesting to see if the game’s popularity catches on in the west as well, but with 197 million people interested in it, Dungeon Fighter Online is probably well worth a look.

Although it’s sitting pretty with all those subscribers, things have been fairly quiet on the World of Warcraft front in the last few weeks. Many players have slain Arthas and are sitting around waiting for the next expansion, which feels a little bit closer this week following Blizzard’s class previews for Cataclysm. Almost every class in the game is getting a massive overhaul in WoW’s third major expansion, and the revelations are being greedily devoured by the fans as they are announced. At the time of writing, around half of the classes have been covered by Blizzard (you can see the full coverage of the news on our WoW channel), and it’s stirring up the community as they begin to gear up for Cataclysm.

If the previews weren’t enough to get the players riled up, there’s news of Blizzard contacting people to make sure they have a Battle.net account in preparation for the beta test. My guess, based on previous expansion release times, is that we’ll see Cataclysm sometime in September/October, which means the beta should be starting within the next few weeks. But more on that when it happens.

If you’re into your eastern-themed MMOs, you’ll be pleased to hear that the closed beta for Perfect World’s Battle of the Immortals has been dated. If you’d like to get a chance to try that one out once it starts next week, you’re in luck – we have a stack of beta keys to give a href=”/News/218ih lfck -ewd/hav69/battle-of-the-immortals-beta-key-giveaway”>news article to take part and to check out the latest trailer. If you like this game, you may also be interested in ChangYou’s TLBB, which has also just entered open beta.

That’s all I can squeeze in this week. Happy gaming people, until next time.

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