The MMO Report: January 9

Welcome to the very first MMO Report. This week on the report we talk about Age of Conan and EverQuest server mergers, soloing in Lord of the Rings Online to level 20, server lag fixes for World of Warcraft zones, and the announcement of a new Eve Online expansion.

Age Of Conan

Age of Conan

This week was the first of the Age of Conan merger, which saw the "Hyberborea" and "Bloodspire" server join together (as tend to happens in a server merger). I’m assuming there are more mergers to come in the near future. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean AoC is coming to an end soon. I defiantly had fun with the game during the month or two I played it.

Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online

In LotRO news, the team has posted a guide for soloing their content to level 20. These guides will run all the way to level 60, which is the new level cap implemented by the recent Mines of Moria expansion. Although the guide doesn’t give you any actual quest help it seems like a good read for players new to the game or MMOs in general.

EverQuest

Everquest

Can you believe EQ is still alive and has a dedicated fan base 10 years after being released. The most recent expansion, Seeds of Destruction, includes all the previous expansions for about forty bucks. It’s a nice deal if you’re willing to discover what the MMO genre was like before World of Warcraft.

The big news out of EQ this week is the impending server merger between "The Combine" and "Druzzil Ro" servers, and that a new server will be added in March. The new server is part of SOE’s plans for celebrating 10 years of EQ, and the company plans to let users vote on what type of server it will be.

A few other changes for people being affected by the server merge is the priority of their character names being determined by when the character was first created. The same goes for guild names. If your character name has been taken then you can just type "/change name" and input your new one, while guilds will have to "/petition" for a name change.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Having trouble staying connected while in outdoor zones of Northrend or the raid instance Naxxramas? Blizzard employees (referred to a "blues" by the hardcore because they post in blue on the forums) say a fix is incoming, hopefully in the next patch:

For the last several weeks, our players have been experiencing periodic latency in both outdoor Northrend areas and Naxxramas, and we wanted to provide you with several updates on what we’re doing to resolve these issues. As many players have discovered, the outdoor Northrend latency has been tied to activity in Wintergrasp. We are actively working on a server-side fix that should address the high latency experienced in the outdoor world when Wintergrasp is active. This fix is currently in testing on internal test realms and we anticipate that we’ll be able to push it to live realms in the near future. Concerning Naxxramas, optimizations are being made that will address both the latency and disconnection issues affecting players while in that zone. These optimizations will be included with the next minor content patch.

We appreciate your patience as we work to address these issues.

EVE Online

EVE Online

Lastly, the most hardcore MMO of them all, EVE Online, has announced its tenth free expansion to be released on March 10th, 2009 — the same time that the boxed product will hit store shelves. Since I have never actually played EVE it is best that I just let the press release tell you what is going on:

Reykjavik, Iceland January 8, 2009- CCP, one of the world’s leading independent game developers, today announced the launch of the tenth free expansion for EVE Online, its popular science-fiction massively multi-player online game (MMOG). EVE Online: Apocrypha is the most ambitious EVE expansion in the game’s over five year history and it coincides with the March 10th, 2009 release of EVE Online as a boxed product through a partnership with Atari.

The fabric of space itself will be transformed as vast, unpredictable wormholes open to connect previously unexplored regions of the universe to the stars of New Eden. The seeds of advanced new technology await inside of these cosmic anomalies for those brave enough to explore them. This infusion of technology will enable production of the most dynamic vessels ever – Tech 3 modular ships with an astounding amount of customizability that can fill any role from skirmish muscle to industrial support.

Furthermore, NPC agents in EVE Online: Apocrypha will be authorized to assign Epic Mission Arcs to the pilots of New Eden. These branching, far-reaching mission strings are full of meaningful stories and more intelligent and deadly adversaries.

In addition, we are offering an entirely reworked New Player Experience for those joining (or rejoining) the game – giving them better insight into how to thrive in a truly limitless universe. We’ve already launched EVElopedia—a great repository for information on all things EVE where our players are also building their own living history of the previous five years of Alliance warfare, political intrigue and nostalgic recollection

"Just this past week we broke our concurrent user record with 45,186 people flying unbound in the same game world at the same time—a huge percentage of our quarter of a million current subscribers and a true testament to EVE in our sixth year of operation," said EVE Online Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson. "Today is an unprecedented time to start playing, as you can get ahead of the curve before Apocrypha releases in stores and our hard work hits the server cluster. It’ll be easier than ever to get ’lost in the wormhole’ that is EVE with what we have planned for the future of our expanding universe."

Leading up to the release of EVE Online: Apocrypha and the boxed version of EVE Online in stores, we’ll be revealing more features on www.eveonline.com.

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