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News From the Wider MMO World: September 23, 2008

The MMO genre is more than World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. Here's what's going on in the rest of the world.

Secret of the Solstice
gets new patch with new content

Outspark's Secret of the Solstice, the free-to-play fantasy MMO, has updated its client with a new patch. Available for both new players and veterans alike is a brand-new zone featuring new quests and a lush jungle landscape. Furthering the overarching storyline is a new initiative to pursue GM Alastor across the Emperonie Plateau and the Aserphel, Cretino, and Turmeit deserts. Finally, players can now view all of an NPC's available quests at the same time and choose which mission to undertake. Download the new patch at the SotS website.

New Warlock class available to Grand Chase players

KOG and Ntreev, publisher of Grand Chase, the side-scrolling fantasy brawler, has announced an update to the character class known as Arme. Arme, in addition to her Mage and Combat Alchemist jobs, now has access to a third: Warlock. The abilities of the Warlock job include summoning the spirits of earth, wind, fire, and water, to produce spectacular effects and fight with greater power than ever before. Before deciding if you want to switch jobs to the Warlock class, make sure to check up on the job's requirements on the Grand Chase website.

Asheron's Call lists changes in its 101st free update

Turbine has released the notes for content available in Asheron's Call's upcoming September update release, its 101st. Standout items include: The Drop rate on mana shards has been increased substantially; players should now find these with more ease. New PvP-oriented weapons in the Black Market known as Blighted weapons, whose increased stats decay after 24 hours. The drop rate on the Pyre Skeletons has been increased so that players can complete their tasks more easily. Vendors and archmages in society halls have had their speech fixed.

For the full list, visit the AC website.

Chronicles of Spellborn gets European release date
According to Frogster, publisher of the upcoming Chronicles of Spellborn, European players can expect a release date of November 27th, in English, French, and German languages. Additionally, the closed beta received a content update on the 17th. American publishers Acclaim say that an American release date is to come soon.

Disney Online Studios president discusses Pirates of the Caribbean Online

Mike Goslin, president of Disney Online Studios, spoke at the recent Austin Game Developers Conference about the lessons the studio has learned during the life of their Pirates of the Caribbean Online MMO. According to Goslin, among the challenges they faced was modifying the initial art style away from the aesthetic of the Disneyland ride, and more toward the look of the film trilogy. "If you're a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean now, you're thinking of the movie first. The number of people who think of the ride is very small."

Other issues include making sure that everyone can run the client, and making the distinction between free-to-play content and subscription fees. Read more of Goslin's thoughts in the referring article.

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