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Massively week in Review


Joystiq's sister site has all the news you'll need about MMOs. Here's the best, brightest, and most interesting stuff from the last week, all in one convenient place for your MMO minute.
EA licenses Dungeon Keeper MMO, for China
Electronic Arts has licensed out the Dungeon Keeper property as an MMO to Chinese-based developer NetDragon Websoft with the intent to eventually bring it overseas.
Warhammer Online 1.0.6 patch adds new classes, tidal wave of updates
Today, Mythic brings us Black Guards and Knights of the Blazing Sun! For those who didn't finish the full Heavy Metal event, don't worry, the classes will become available to everyone next week.
DC Universe probably coming early 2010/late 2009, says comics writer
Most intriguing was his up-front information on the game's launch window. According to Johns, the developers are aiming to release the game in "early 2010, it could be late 2009." Read on into the brief interview for the goods.
Richard Bartle responds to "torture quest" issue
A few days ago we ran a report on Richard Bartle's take on a torture quest in World of Warcraft, the Art of Persuasion. Since then, the discussion has exploded and some have taken Bartle's quotes out of context. Because of this, Bartle has created a follow-up post to clarify some of the points that may have been misinterpreted.
NCsoft clarifies its rationale for closing Tabula Rasa
Last week we spoke very briefly with NCsoft's Director of Public Relations David Swofford about the company's decision to close Tabula Rasa. He reiterated the basic statement we heard from several sources surrounding the call: this was all about the bottom line.

Mark Jacobs on changes to WAR's open RvR
Mythic Entertainment's Mark Jacobs posted a Warhammer Online dev blog today, titled "Open RvR Update" which maps out the future of open realm-vs-realm in the game. Jacobs writes that the coming months will bring some changes and additions to WAR.
World of Warcraft Molten Core raid for ATARI becomes reality
Earlier this year, Blizzard won the prank wars with Molten Core, a faux ATARI game based on World of Warcraft's Molten Core raid complete with eight directions of movement, glorious 2D graphics and, yes, sound. We bet you thought that was just a joke, and that everyone would have forgotten about it after a week had gone by, but guess what? It's back, and this time it's real!
Know Your LotRO Lore: Khazad-dum and the origins of Moria
Long ago, the Dwarves were numerous and mighty. This was an age when the Elves, Men and Dwarves lived in harmony, the mithril was plentiful and the Orcs were driven back to Sauron's lair. This was the end of the Second Age: the age of Khazad-dûm. To first understand Khazad-dûm, we must start at the very beginning.
Know Your LotRO Lore: The Rings of Power
You may realize that the essential plot for the Lord of the Rings books has something to do with a ring, or at least we'd hope you do. Perhaps you know that there is this one ring that keeps making Hobbits invisible, and a bunch of Orcs want it really, really badly. But other than that, you're lost to the origins and impact that this ring has in relation to the grand scheme of things.
Anti-Aliased: You've been Auto-Assaulted
So, NCsoft, how does it feel to absolutely lie through your teeth to players and staff about Tabula Rasa?
EVE Evolved: Exploring New Eden
A common theme in popular MMOs today is the idea of exploration. For a surprisingly large number of players, their reason for playing an MMO is to experience new content and explore new lands. Each new MMO or expansion becomes a new country to explore with its own set of features and game mechanics. Limits such as levels, raid progression and quest chains are used to ensure we don't burn through all the game's content too quickly.
The Digital Continuum: Moria or Wrath?
The question kept repeating in my head, "Do I buy Wrath, or Moria?" The financially devoid part of my brain enthusiastically yelled, "Both!" while the logical part reminded me that my time was already stretched fairly thin and that trying to dive into two new expansions would probably not be a wise move.
Ask Massively: Requiem for a Clean Slate
I'm sure that you've heard by now that Tabula Rasa is going to shut down early next year. What now? It seems like only last week that the game was making so much money that Richard Garriott was taking trips into space. What about those of us who still enjoy this game? Don't we count for something?
Understanding Aurora Feint: The Arena
I am no stranger to the iPhone and the addictive game that dominates said iPhone, Aurora Feint. When we had an email come along letting us know that a follow up was being released, I put my iPhone down and picked up a normal phone (it had buttons on it - it freaked me out!) and spoke with Danielle, Peter and Jason, the people behind the smash hit iPhone app Aurora Feint: The Arena, follow up to Aurora Feint: The Beginning, and asked a few questions about this platform defining MMO experience.
Comparing the expansion launches for WoW, EQ2, and LotRO
The important question is, what sort of impact did Lich King have on the WoW playerbase? What kind of impact did the expansions for EverQuest 2 (The Shadow Odyssey) and Lord of the Rings Online (Mines of Moria) have on those communities? Thankfully, GamerDNA is doing its level best to answer these sort of weighty questions by datamining the heck out of their userbase. We have some hard-and-fast metrics, as a result, exploring these exact issues.

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