Wizardry Online: Underground Dragoon Ruins

Screenshot

Spooky is one word to describe the Underground Dragoon Ruins featured in the latest glimpse of Wizardry Online. With the game due to launch on January 30, SOE has released some screenshots and the video below to give a glimpse of this high level dungeon.

SOE Official Podcast #85 is Live

The "PodSide Cast" (Official SOE Podcast #85) is live! This exciting episode includes:

  • An interview with EQII Senior Producer Dave Georgeson
  • The Agency: Covert Ops
  • PoxNora’s 13th expansion, Maljaran Shores
  • PlanetSide’s 7th anniversary

So tune in! You can get your Podcast from the official Podcast site or the  iTunes store (type SOE into the search box and click “subscribe”).  Your feedback is always welcome on the Station forums or via email.                       

NYCC 2009 Recap

As you've probably noticed, we had quite the adventure in New York last week during the 2009 Comic Con. Now that our coverage is complete we wanted to give everyone a recap just in case you missed anything.

Champions Online: Welcome to Monster Island - We met with Champions Online Design Director Bill Roper to get the inside scoop on Champions Online. We weren't exactly thrilled with what we saw, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

Star Trek Online: Live Long and Prosper - Even though we've already talked with Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich about Star Trek Online, we covered new ground at NYCC. We still haven't played the game, but from what we've seen, we're excited.

Jumpgate Evolution: Jumpgate Innovation - It's been a long time since we've seen an MMO with such a fresh, unexplored concept. Many will argue JGE offers nothing new, but we think differently.

DC Universe Online: Prepare to Fight - DCUO continues to be the most impressive game at conventions. Everytime we see the game we fall a little more in love. With the addition of legendary comic writer Marv Wolfman, can this game fail?

SOE - Account Deactivation and Global Collect

Christie "Kiara" Renzetti, EQII Community Manager, posted:

There was an issue over the weekend with our customers who pay via Global Collect having their accounts closed.

We've tracked down the issue and the team is working on getting it fixed and everyone's accounts straightened out.

Please make sure that you have a CS ticket about the issue, as that will help us to expedite getting your account back on track.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Source:  EQII Official Forums

John Smedley Talks About Microtransactions

Readers may recall our interview with John Smedley, where we talked about SOE's controversial decision to implement Station Cash into EQ and EQ2. During that interview, Smedley justified SOE's choice, but he only briefly touched on their goals with microtransaction payments.

Recently, Virtual Goods News had the opportunity to clarify SOE’s aspirations in another interview with John Smedley. Smedley notes that SOE has “been intrigued watching the Asian free-to-play model,” however, he also clearly states that they won’t be making EQ and EQ2 free to play as a result of introducing station cash:

The reason for the Station Cash store is very simple. It’s an additional revenue stream that gives customers something they want. The evidence of that is the sales numbers we’re seeing. We aren’t going away from subscriptions, this just gives us another avenue. I believe virtual goods sales are an ancillary revenue stream.  In fact, I think in World of Warcraft and in our games, there’s a strong sense that people understand that subscription model. I don’t see it going away any time soon.

Station Launcher Beta 1.0.7 launches Monday

Dan Kinney posted on the Station Community Forums :

First of all, I’d like to thank every player in the Station Community who’s downloaded Station Launcher, tried it out, and has taken the time to leave us impressions of what’s working well and what needs improvement.  We’ve combed through every piece of feedback and have worked hard to implement much of it to improve your overall experience and satisfaction. The daily usage levels indicate that more and more of you are adopting Station Launcher as your everyday launchpad for your game updates, to launch your games, and to connect with friends and guild mates online.  I also hope that the increased usage indicates that we’re doing the right things on our side to bring you that better Station Launcher experience.  As always, please keep sending in your constructive feedback.

A new release update of Station Launcher will be deployed on Monday, February 9th. It features improvements based heavily on feedback from the Station Launcher forum - especially for the functionality around the Friends network.

Dan and his staff have been extremely responsive to players posting on the Station Launcher forum.  If you aren't using the Station Launcher, give it a try!

Look below the jump for beta patch notes.

Pirates of the Burning Sea Now One Year Old

It's official: Pirates of the Burning Sea, released on January 22nd, 2008 is now a year old. Celebrations are occurring not only in the offices of game developer Flying Lab Software, but server-side as well.

"To celebrate our anniversary, we will be giving all of our players access to a new Anniversary Coat, which will be available in the tailor shop. Each nation’s coat is different!"

Additionally, tomorrow marks the occasion where the Dread Saints fill the Caribbean with their woe and despair. All of this gets topped-off with a promise of new content and features. A chest-full of features is coming out of Flying Lab, so let it be known that it is time to set sail and maybe even enjoy another year of excitement and piracy.

Source: Pirates of the Burning Sea Online

SOE Network Issues

Christie "Kiara" Renzetti, EQII Community Manager, just let us know that SOE is having network issues.  This is affecting login servers, forums, chat, and 'most everything. 

It's being worked on and will be resolved at fast as possible.

UPDATE:   Craig "Grimwell" Dalrymple tells me the the problems are now resolved.

FURTHER UPDATE:   Kirstie posted on the official forums that the login servers are still having issues, but they've isolated the problem and are working on it.

SOE Acquires PoxNora from Octopi

Sony Online Entertainment has unleashed a tidal wave of a development on everyone. Seems that over the weekend, they decided to purchase PoxNora, an online collectible strategy game.

"Our strategy and trading card games have been successful beyond our wildest dreams," said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "Expanding with a great product like PoxNora and the outstanding development team from Octopi gives us a chance to extend our strategy game offerings and enhance the ones we already field."

Hopefully, they will be able to put out some interesting releases with the help of the new studio. Sony could always use more clout. We hope they enjoy the Tucson weather. Read the full press release after the jump.

SOE Titles Available on Steam

If you're like me you might enjoy playing non MMO titles such as Left 4 Dead, Bioshock and Team Fortress 2. I find it extremely convienent to buy said games through Steam, which I can then download, and play through the Steam client. Well, imagine my surprise when I loaded Steam this morning to find some new products available for purchase: EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea and Vanguard! This is great news for existing players because you can most certainly count on an influx of players giving your favorite MMO a try!

"We are always looking for additional ways to introduce our great catalog of games to new audiences. It's hard to think of a larger group of PC gamers interested in multiplayer games than those connecting to Steam," said John Smedley, president of SOE. "We've long been a leader in MMOs and this agreement will help bring our exciting content to millions of additional online gamers around the world."

While Sony left out a title that I think would do great on Steam *cough* Planetside *cough*, I'm sure they will add more titles down the road. For now, the products available on Steam are listed below.

For more details, visit the Steam Store.