Eve Online Gears up for Biggest War It’s Ever Seen

Players of MMORPG Eve Online might have thought they had witnessed the greatest battle the game had ever seen following 2014’s battle at B-R5RB – a 20-hour firefight, during which 10,000 people vied for victory – which saw The Imperium rise to the prominence it still holds today, but trouble is brewing yet again in New Eden, and when tensions inevitably boil over, the ensuing battle is sure to make the Battle of B-R5RB look like handbags at dawn.

Resentment has been building ever since The Mittani – a prominent member of The Imperium – tried (and failed) to Kickstart a book on the Battle of B-R5RB, which triggered a number of aggressions within the community, and is predicted to end in the most bloody battle ever staged in Eve Online.

Eve Online subreddit user TheRealMartini has written a handy primer on the preamble to war:

  • “CCP [Eve Online’s developer] introduced a new system for capturing sovereignty – The new system now allows guerilla-like tactics to be used. Meaning sovereignty is no longer decided by who brings the biggest ships.”
  • “The Mittani’s failed Kickstarter – The Mittani (leader of The Imperium) attempted to get a book published about The Fountain War. This was met with a huge backlash from the rest of the EVE community, esp, /r/Eve, who felt he was trying to monetize his alliance members. After this, Imperium members were encouraged not to use /r/Eve, thus closing themselves off.”
  • “High Profile Imperium members defect – Not liking the direction the Imperium was taking a number of former high profile FC’s and spies leave the Imperium and join rival alliances.”
  • “The ‘I want isk’ financial backing for war – The Final piece. The website ‘i want isk’ (think Iron bank) begins paying alliances to go to war with the Imperium after coalition member SMA fails to pay a bill and accuses IWI of illegal activity.”

Anti-Imperium rebel group the Moneybadgers has already launched its first successful offensive against The Imperium, but the current dominant force in New Eden is expected to respond in kind. This means war. Get the popcorn.

Sword Art Online VR MMO Isn’t Coming Afterall

Last week the internet was awash with news that the popular series, Sword Art Online would be getting a VR MMO. We even reported on it here at eTeknix, but sadly it seems like the internet was once again a little too quick to come to terms with the news and instead spread a huge misunderstanding.

IBM is looking to advertise their new SoftLayer cloud service, something which would, of course, require marketing and in order to do this the creation of a Sword Art Online prototype was developed to demo at their latest marketing event. Sadly this means that you won’t be able to experience the game’s fictional world come alive and will instead have to settle for the 20-minute demo that is designed to be just that.

So it looks like Sword Art Online: The Beginning will be nothing more than a fancy tech demo to advertise the new service from IBM. Sadly there are no plans to make a full Sword Art Online MMO I have no doubt that people all over the world will be upset by this news and surely the outcry and support for a project (even if it was just a misunderstanding) would encourage a company to maybe follow up on the concept and bring it to live.

IBM To Create MMORPG Based On Sword Art Online

There are many kinds of people in the world, some who will finish the day with a drink, some will finish it with a movie, some even a game but for some there is nothing like losing yourself in a good anime. One of the largest animes in 2015 was created from a light novel written in Japan, titled Sword Art Online. The game follows a series of players who become trapped in a video game, with their very lives at risk from the monsters and players that gamers shrug off with each respawn in games. Now it would seem that the game has attracted the attention of IBM, who want to create an online game from the series.

MMORPG’s (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) were made famous by the likes of World Of Warcraft and have been featured in a range of manga and anime’s in recent years. The name that is currently being thrown about by IBM’s Japanese branch is Sword Art Online: The Beginning and will be (much like in the series) a virtual reality game.

While many will be thinking that this is clearly a gimmick to create a game based on a game from a manga, the game has already titled at least one unique feature. The twist that is currently being advertised is that players will be scanned to create a 3D model that will become their avatars in-game, talk about putting yourself in the action!

Alongside a VR headset, the game looks to include motion capture technology to drag players into the battles. The promotional video for the game so far shows more design elements from the game and clips from the anime but you can see where they are going with the video.

If that wasn’t enough for you, the game is starting a closed beta in Japan for 208 lucky gamers next month and will be powered by none other than Watson, IMB’s natural language, and machine learning platform.

DirectX 12 Update Coming to ESO

Elder Scrolls Online is a great MMORPG, mixing together many of the iconic landscapes and the rich lore that we’ve come to know and from the many entries in the Elder Scrolls gaming series, but with the ability to share your experiences and battles with hundreds of gamers at once, take on raid bosses and so much more. The only issue with MMORPG’s is that the games can often slow down quite a lot when there’s a huge amount of on-screen action, and while Elder Scrolls Online does a great job of keeping the pace going quite well, even this game suffers from slowdown when there’s a lot of players and enemies on-screen.

There’s no doubt that it’s already one of the best looking MMORPG’s out there, so the fact it keeps up the pace as well as it does it pretty darn impressive. However, the developers at Zenimax Online Studios know it can be even better, which is why they’re now working on upgrading the game’s engine to DirectX 12. during their recent live stream, they revealed that there’s no ETA for this update, but that they are working on it, and with DX12 being able to handle a greatly increased number of draw calls, we can no doubt expect big performance boosts in the future.

“Yes, we are planning on a DX12 upgrade and expect that this will give us a number of graphics performance improvements. We cannot provide an ETA at this time, but it is something we’re working towards.”

They’re also working on improving fog/limited draw distance issues but revealed that it’s not as high a priority as the DX12 improvements. Console gamers aren’t going to lose out either, as they said they’ll be working with the recently unlocked core on the PlayStation 4 to improve performance and while nothing was said, the DX12 upgrade will likely bring some improvements for the Xbox One release of the game too.

You Can Now Do Real Science in Eve Online

EVE Online is one of the most popular MMORPG games around, set 21,000 years into the future as human colonize deep space and compete for resources. The games got a long history behind it, rich with lore and a huge player base to get involved with. However, all that exploring and colonizing just isn’t enough these days, as the games explorers, skirmishers, industrialists and colonizers can now take a more scientific route.

EVE Online has announced that it has joined forces with a Swiss startup called Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), as well as students at Reykjavik University. The team is bringing real-world science projects to the game in the form of mini-games. The completion of these mini-games pays out in-game currencies, allowing you to help the real world research teams while earning yourself some extra digital pocket-money.

The mini-games revolve around classifying beautiful images from the Human Protein Atlas, a project to map out the protein distribution in the human body. This research is aiming to discover a huge amount of information about the human body, illnesses, cancer and more.

“This new feature brings the opportunity for EVE players to help solve real world science problems through their in-game activity,” say organizers.

Star Citizen Goes Live For Alpha Backers

Star Citizen was originally designed as a crowd-funded game. This means that after some initial work all the funds for the project are raised by people ‘pledging’ money in order to help Chris Roberts finish his dream video game which will see players flying around a universe with their friends in the same or in separate ships, boarding stations and engaging in dogfights that would make science fiction fans chuckle in joy. The game has now passed a whopping one million backers, making the project the most popular crowdfunded project of all time and as a result players are being rewarded.

Previously access was granted by pre-ordering ships and with them early access passes. Now if you’ve backed Star Citizen you have been granted full access to everything that has been released, from the Star Marine (the first person shooter element of the game) and even future releases such as the Alpha 2.0 build that they are currently working on that will not only contain playable missions and quadrillions of cubic kilometres for players to fly around in but also a taste of their persistent universe.

If you already owned an Alpha Access package you will gain 10,000 United Earth Credits to help fund your expeditions into space, and soon you could find yourselves flying amongst the stars of a £60-million crowd-funded game.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Roberts Space Industries.

World of Warcraft Subscriptions Falling at Record Speed

World of Warcraft has been exceptionally popular over the years and instantly recognisable, even to people without any MMO experience. However, reports from the latest quarter indicates a sharp decline in the game’s popularity and now only has 5.6 million subscribers, the lowest figure such 2006. This comes after a recent surge surrounding the release of Warlords of Draenor which increased the player base to 10 million. More specifically, the latest results signify a 44% drop within a 6 month period. Since 2011, World of Warcraft has struggled to retain its fairly large community and that was to be expected.

Players have either become bored with the experience or moved onto other alternatives. There’s so much choice nowadays when it comes to MMOs including The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, TERA, Wildstar, Final Fantasy XIV and lots more! Realistically, Blizzard expected this and their current subscription base still accounts for a significant revenue stream. Obviously, a 44% decline in 6 months is rather drastic, but with future content updates, this could easily be reversed.

Another reason why Blizzard isn’t panicking, is the success of other products like Hearthstone and Starcraft II. Perhaps, they see World of Warcraft as a niche outlet but with people prepared to spend much more than the average consumer. As time progresses, it’s a cogent strategy to alter their business model to reflect the times. Will it ever become free-to-play? Only time will tell.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Square Enix Pulls Plug on OS X Final Fantasy 14

Pulling game sales after a failed launch seems to be a more common occurrence. Square Enix has announced that they will be pulling the Mac version of Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn after a launch riddled with poor performance. In addition to stopping sales, Square Enix is facilitating refunds for customers interested. In the meanwhile, Square Enix plans to work on the Mac version of the game until performance is up to par. Square Enix has admitted the game was accidentally released too early before all the bugs were fixed.

Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida noted that Square Enix had made a number of serious mistakes. First, the Mac system requirements were inadequately communicated and released incorrect system requirements, meaning those some bought the game thinking it would play fine on their system when it couldn’t. Yoshida admitted that if accurate system requirements had been communicated, many might not have purchased the game.

One major source of the low performance was blamed on OpenGL. Square Enix turned to TransGaming to provide a WINE based middleware to let the DirectX native game work on OS X. A native port was not possible due to development cost concerns and relatively low demand. According to Yoshida, coding a version to OpenGL would be sub-optimal due to a 30% performance deficit compared to DirectX for FFXIV specifically. While work continues on the OpenGL version, hopes are that Apple’s new Metal API will kick in to improve performance in the future.

When creating cross-platform games, creating a native version of each platform can be a pain and getting a good OpenGL port out can be problematic as most devs are focused on DirectX. However, this is where cross-platform game engines like Unity Unreal Engine 4 and Cryengine come in, moving the responsibility for managing multiple APIs to the engine developers. Big devs can and do create their own engines to run their game. In these cases, enough attention has to be given to the secondary platforms, something that Square Enix did not seem to do.

Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited Sees Console Release

For all you console owning, Elder Scrolls fans out there, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited has been released for Ps4 and Xbox One.

After poor reception and player numbers a lot lower than expected, Bethesda dropped the monthly subscription to their MMORPG and released The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited for PC back in mid-March. Now the good news for all you current generation console owners, you can wreak as much havoc upon Tamriel as you want. After you have purchased TEO:TU there is no more fees to pay.

The console version has a new, controller friendly user interface as well as a custom voice chat system that makes meeting other players a lot easier. It is a shame that cross-platform play isn’t an option, if only Sony and Microsoft could work out their company policies and let everyone play nicely together. The only glimmer of hope for this is when Windows 10 goes live it should have the ability to play with Xbox One players, but if this was to happen things would have to be rebalanced as the PC controls would be a huge advantage over a controller.

If you are new to The Elder Scrolls franchise you may want to jump straight into this MMO, but if you feel like you want to be a little less social I still highly recommend Skyrim as a perfect introduction to the series. Even though it was released at the end of 2011, it is still up there as one of the best RPGs and with the myriad of mods available there will be no shortage of content.

If you are unaware of what this game is, then check out this new trailer below:

Elder Scrolls Online Now Free-to-Play

As of 17th March, MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online no longer requires a monthly subscription to play. As Bethesda had previously announced, the game has become The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited, and requires only a purchase of the game, with no further subscription fees required.

Any gamers who have an existing subscription will be given the opportunity to upgrade to Plus membership as well as being gifted a 10% progression boost and a monthly allotment of 1,500 crowns.

The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited is due for release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in June.

Source: VG24/7

World of Warcraft Moving Closer to Free-to-Play Model

Blizzard is introducing “WoW tokens” to its MMORPG World of Warcraft that can be bought from other players using in-game gold or from Blizzard directly for real money. The tokens can be exchanged for 30 days of game time. A token will cost £9.99 from the Battle.net store, or £8.69 each if purchased in bulk.

Since WoW tokens can be bought using in-game currency, it is conceivable that hardcore players who raise a lot of gold can now play the game for free, using in-game earnings to sustain their monthly subscriptions.

“The WoW Token was created to give players with lots of extra gold the option to use it to help cover their subscription cost, and give those who want to purchase gold a way to do so from fellow players through a secure, easy-to-use system. The Token will be making its début in an upcoming patch.” Reads the Blizzard website.

Blizzard hopes that the move will encourage new players who don’t want to part with money to play the game to sign up, and even to attract previous players back. Though still massively popular, World of Warcraft subscriptions have been on the decline for a number of years. The game hit highs of 12 million subscribers back in 2010, but in five years that number has nearly halved to 6.8 million.

Source: The Guardian

Shanghai Man Coughs Blood and Dies After 19-Hour World of Warcraft Binge

A 24-year-old Chinese man coughed up blood and died after playing World of Warcraft for 19 hours straight in a Shanghai internet cafe. Wu Tai continued to play after expelling blood from his mouth, but other patrons in the cafe noticed and called an ambulance. By the time paramedics arrived, Wu was collapsed in his chair, dead after a further, more violent coughing attack.

CCTV footage shows Wu going from playing happily to lurching into a coughing fit.

The gamers next to Wu are on their feet after calling for help, but it is too late. He is slumped back, motionless.

Paramedics arrived to find Wu dead in his chair.

Hsin Lo, 20, a fellow gamer who was sat nearby, said, ”I suddenly heard him groan and when I turned to see what had happened he was very pale and looked uncomfortable. ‘He was dabbing his mouth with a hankie which had blood on it […] I asked him if he was OK and he said he’d felt better and that he would be OK.”

“I called for an ambulance while my friend went to get some help from staff. But while we waited he just died in front of us, and was nothing for the staff to do,” Hsin added.

“An autopsy will determine the cause of death but there seems little doubt his playing on the computer for 19 hours instead of resting contributed to his death,” a police spokesperson said.

Source: Daily Mail

World of Warcraft 6.1 Update Features Racing Minigame

The upcoming World of Warcraft 6.1 patch will introduce a host of frivolous additional content – the best kind of additional content – to the world’s favourite MMORPG. Amongst the additions is a WoW S.E.L.F.I.E. camera for level 100 players and a race event on Darkmoon Faire Island.

The race is a timed event, asking the player to steer through checkpoints in a special racing mount as fast as they can. Obstacles include electrical wires that can slow racers, but pick-ups such as sprint boots, landing gear, and ‘jump to banner’ keys give players unique advantages.

Source: PC Games N

World of Warcraft Community Helps Dad Mourn his Gamer Son

Yesterday, a father who lost his son posted to reddit, asking readers to help him understand his deceased son’s favourite game, Blizzard’s MMORPG, World of Warcraft.

total noob. no clue what i’m doing.

So im older (late 50’s) and my son used to play lots of WOW while he was recovering after getting hit by a mortar in iraq. Recently he passed away and I decided that I wanted to connect with areas of my sons life I never understood. WOW is one of those areas. I am totally overwhelmed right now. I watched a youtube video and decided instances looked like a lot of fun. I “ran” 2 dungeons this weekend. Whatever druid kept resurrecting me – thanks. I had a lot of fun. I know what clicked with son and it clicked with me. I want to keep playing but right now I feel like a drain on any groups unfortunate enough to get stuck with me. Are there any guides on how not to suck? I’m playing a destruction warlock. I’ve poked around on google but ABP goes nuts whenever I click on a link so I am a bit gun shy. Where the hell do I even start?

Cue condolences, compassion, and help from an engaged WoW community:

The emotional father was understandably overwhelmed:

I got back from work last night and logged into reddit to see if any more responses had come in. I am in shock. The outpouring of support and condolences boggles my mind. I would like to thank all you individually for your support and kindness. That total strangers would extend their sympathies to me and that a game was the catalyst is something amazing. Since my son passed I have struggled tremendously coming to terms with the new reality I am part of. I am humbled at the collective love and kindness shown to me – a total stranger – by the members of this community. It’s been challenging to respond because I am overwhelmed.

The father left with a greater understanding of why his son loved World of Warcraft so much. “One of the biggest regrets I have was not doing more to meet my son in his world,” he wrote in a follow-up reddit post. “I can clearly see what was so engrossing about the game. Thank you so very much. This means so much to me I can’t accurately describe it.”

Source: Kotaku

Dragon’s Dogma Online to be Free-to-Play for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3

Details on Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma Online have emerged, thanks to Japanese video game magazine Famitsu. The MMORPG will be free-to-play, but rely on microtransactions in lieu of a monthly fee, à la World of Warcraft. Produced by Minae Matsukawa, directed by Kent Kinoshita, and executive produced by Hiroyuki Kobayashi, it will be released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC.

You will play as an Awakened, exploring the land of Lestaria in four-player parties, made up of either AI pawns or real players. A “quick-matching” feature is available, and socialising takes place in huge town lobbies that can hold up to 100 players at a time. In-game jobs include Fighter, Hunter, Priest, and Shield Sage, and roles can be switched, player and pawns alike, at any time.

Dragon’s Dogma Online is entirely open-world, with regular updates planned to expand the playing area incrementally, and raiding parties of eight players is to be another future introduction. Four NPC characters – Fighters Vanessa (voiced by Atsuko Tanaka) and Leo (Koichi Yamadera), Hunter Iris (Marina Inoue), and Fabio (Yoshimasa Hosoya) – are to be introduced, as members of the White Winged Buddha Corps.

Dragon’s Dogma Online is set for release in Japan later this year.

Source: Gematsu

Final Fantasy XIV Gamers Stage Vigil For Dying Player

As Codex Vahlda, a 29-year-old Final Fantasy XIV player, lay braindead in the hospital, friends and strangers held a vigil within the game to pay their respects to the dying gamer.

Codex, a level 50 bard, suffered complications from renal failure and was being kept alive on life support so that his family and friends could say their goodbyes. A real-life friend of Codex, reddit user Pattmyn, revealed the sad news on the FFXIV subreddit, saying, “The odds were one in a million something like this could have happened; Everything was otherwise under control and a donor was lined up already (his brother).”

Compassionate FFXIV players on the Gilgamesh server, the one same Codex occupied, rallied together to commemorate their fallen brother. Imgur user Aenemius, member of the same Free Company clan as Codex, took screen captures of the vigil as players joined it. It grew from a couple of avatars to dozens:

Players even staged a spectacular light show to spell out Codex’s name on the beach near the Free Company house, livestreamed by Twitch user Spicule:

Separate vigils were held across the Balmung, Excalibur, Hyperion, and Brynhildr servers. Streams from the vigil were even screened in Codex’s hospital room. This outpouring of compassion did not go unnoticed by his friends and family.

Pattmyn confirmed that Codex’s life support was turned off on Sunday and that he had subsequently passed away.

Rest in peace, Codex Vahlda.

Source: Kotaku

ArcheAge Launch Date and Open Beta Announced

The highly anticipated open-end MMORPG build on cryteks engine, ArcheAge, has gotten it’s official release date announced during PAX. Trion also announced an open beta period for everyone to test out the new world and go on an adventure. The open beta will start on Thursday, September 4 at 10:00 AM PDT and run to the same time on the 8th.

To all of Erenor’s intrepid adventurers, be you fierce warriors, brave explorers, fearsome pirates, or skilled crafters: we welcome you as a member of ArcheAge’s launch community! Revealed this evening in Seattle at PAX Prime 2014 to an audience of your fellow players, Trion Worlds and XLGAMES are proud to officially announce that ArcheAge will launch on Tuesday, September 16

There is no invitation needed and the ones lucky enough to play the closed beta can return to their characters as they were including taxes and crops. The characters will however be wiped for the official launch, or rather 4 days prior. Early adopters and founders get a four day head-start into the game.

Alpha testers will be rewarded as well, but with what is unknown. The statement reads, “Starting this Saturday at 6:00 PM PDT, our diligent Alpha testers should check their in-game mail, keep a weather eye on the horizon, and be ready for anything…”

The game isn’t the traditional 3 class mmorpg, but allows you to build unique characters, to a certain degree, out of a long list of skills and abilities. There are four different races to chose from, six primary skillsets and four more support skillsets that can be combined into more then 100 classes.

The economy is player-driven. Gatherers, crafters and traders are the engine that drives ArcheAge and the economy within. With the skills you’ll master you can raft goods and homes or galleons and castles. You can also transport and trade materials across the realm where you’ll of course need to protect it.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou9gN8uaV7U[/youtube]

The game of course, like any, has a rich player versus player action. It has normal raids and pvp action as well as sabotage and piracy. Trion calls it a world-changing PvP, but how much of it actually is new is to be seen. The game also has a vast uncharted ocean that separate the continents. Of course there is an ideal new battle arena in that and the game features Naval combat on the high seas. Amass your fame and fortune by trading and pirating.

The video below is a 20 minute introduction into the game and can have spoilers for those who want to experience it themselves first hand.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzB4Q42fyCQ[/youtube]

Thank you Trion for providing us with this information.

Images and video courtesy of Trion and mmohuts.

 

The Elder Scrolls Online European Megaserver Migration Happening Tomorrow

The long-awaited migration of the European Megaserver in Elder Scrolls Online is happening tomorrow the 30th of July and will begin at 8:00AM EDT (1:00PM BST) and is expected to last until 5:00PM EDT (10:00PM BST). So if you’re a player on that server you better plan something else to do during that time frame. Only the European server will be unavailable during the time; if you got your character on the North American server you won’t be affected and can game on as usual.

There won’t be any change to any characters or progress nor any patch to download. It is purely a physical location change of the servers to Frankfurt, Germany. Bethesda also said that it won’t be possible to move a character created on the North American Megaserver to the new European server, but the phrasing could hint a possibility for this in the future.

Moving everything to a new data center is a complex operation and is the reasoning for them to do the move during prime-time. “A server move like this involves a large amount of engineers and support staff in both Europe and North America that need to be awake and ready.”

Thank you Elder Scrolls Online for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Elder Scrolls Online.

World of Warcraft, Still Worth $1b A Year, Despite Decline In Subscribers

There have been many attempts to throw World of Warcraft from the #1 spot over the years, in fact, WoW has been out for so long now that I haven’t even heard about it in almost two years, having done my best to avoid it after my own little attempt at the massively popular MMORPG, which only lasted about ten hours playtime. I knew the game had always been big, but I honestly believed it had declined greatly over the last couple of years, falling into obscurity… I was wrong.

A new set of figures from SuperData Research shows that while subscriptions to online MMOs has declined over the years, WoW is still king with a 36% share of the market. Its closest competitor, Lineage 1, only has a 9% market share. WoW is still pulling in over $1 billion a year, an impressive figure compared to Lineage 1 which only draws in around $253 million.

Numbers may be dropping periodically, but steady updates and content packages have proven to keep people flocking back and while rumours of the games demise over the years have been plentiful, with many gamers that I know having long left the series, it’s clearly far from dead from a profit point of view. It’s certainly unlikely that the developers will be turning off the servers any time soon.

It seems this $1 billion is why we are yet to see anything of Blizzards Project Titan, their new subscription based MMO that was a potential replacement for World of Warcraft. Why on earth would they want to replace their own game when they’re raking in so much money… it would be financial suicide and until WoW becomes a waste of money for Blizzard, we’ll likely never see anything new from them.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

EIZO Anounces the 6mm Ultra-Slim Frame 23.8″ FORIS FS2434 Gaming Monitor

EIZO has just announced its latest addition to its gaming monitor series, the FORIS FS2434, featuring a 6 mm Ultra-Slim frame, vivid display colours and EIZO’s “Smart” technologies for a more delightful gaming experience, having the monitor said to be ideal for RTS, MOBA and MMORPG genres in terms of PC gaming, as well as all genre types in terms of console gaming.

The 6 mm frame is said to consist of a 2 mm bezel and 4 mm border at the LCD panel edges, creating a smooth viewing when in a multi-monitor working environment, as well as providing an immersive gaming experience. Also, the FORIS FS2434’s IPS LCD panel along with its wide 178 degrees viewing angle is said to provide vibrant colors with few contrast changes, while the extremely low 0.05 frames input lag is said to provide no delay between signal input and image display on the screen.

Being a FORIS FS monitor, the 23.8″ 6 mm frame FS 2434 display also comes with three of EIZO’s own Smart technologies in order to improve visibility and clarity during gameplay. The first is Smart Insight 2, available in the “Game” preset mode, having it identify and enhance dark areas of an image by increasing the brightness in order to make it easier to see enemies. The FS2434 also adds an extra feature to the Smart Insight 2, having it enhance saturation in addition to brightness in order to bring greater contrast between characters and the background in a game.

The second technology is Smart Resolution, having it analyse an image for noise and blur in order to correct the blur without accentuating the noise, having to adjust only the areas where it is most needed. The third is Smart Detection, where the technology identifies the designated area on the screen where a video or game is played and applies the Smart Ironsight 2 or Smart Resolution whenever required.

Other technologies included in the FORIS FS2434 consist of the LED backlit, having it be controlled by a hybrid direct current and high-frequency pulse-width modulation in order to grant a flicker-free viewing at all brightness levels, as well as having a remote control and the company’s G-Ignition utility software. The G-Ignition is said to grand gamers access tp download presets created by professional gamers from gaming.eizo.com or export the user’s own customised colour modes to other gamers who also own a similar display. The software can also be used to assign hotkeys in order to quickly turn the monitor’s power and mute to ON/OFF, adjust the colour mode and aspect ratio.

In terms of connectivity, the FORIS FS2434 comes with two HDMI and one DVI-D ports, having it be compatible with PCs, consoles, Blu-Ray players and cameras. In addition, a USB 3.0 hub featuring one upstream and two downstream ports grant users the ability to connect to USB 3.0 storage devices or even connect their keyboard and mouse directly to the monitor. Also, the line-out jack allows for external speakers to be connected directly to the monitor as well, while the headphone jack grants further audio functionality.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

Bounty Offered To Aid Search For DDoS Attackers

MMORPG “Wurm” was hit by a DDoS attack this week, for those of you who don’t know what that is, a DDoS attack effectively forces a website or server offline by overloading the site’s servers with huge amounts of junk traffic, giving it more data than it can process and effectively making it shut down in self defence.

The games operators have decided to take a minor strike back at their attackers by offering up a bounty of 10,000 Euros, which is roughly £8200 / $13750.  The bounty is being offered for any “tips leading to a conviction”, and while we’re sure they’ll get plenty of tips, I highly doubt that they’ll actually locate the people behind the attack as there is a good chance it was random or unprovoked.

Posting on the games official website, one of the games creators said; “We were the target of a DDoS attack and our hosting provider had to pull us off the grid for now. We will be back as soon as possible, but things are out of our hands since their other customers are affected. We can offer 10,000 euros for any tips or evidence leading to a conviction of the person responsible for this attack.”

DDoS attacks are fairly common place, and it could even be that the attack was on their provider, rather than the game its self, we may never know. Wurm was due to move to better servers in the near future, but the developers have said that this recent attack has motivated them to do is much sooner rather than later in a bid to avoid further attacks.

Players were reassured that any progress they had made before the attack would not be lost.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

Destiny Said To Be Activision’s ‘Billion Dollar’ Franchise

Since its unveil last year, there have been a lot of talks about Activision’s next bet, as stated by CEO Bobby Kotick, on the upcoming ‘billion dollar’ franchise, Destiny.

The title is a big step in terms of combining the amazing science-fiction FPS gameplay in a MMORPG shell, making a sweet gameplay and experience, at least from what the trailer revealed. And most importantly, releasing it on next-gen consoles, as well as the old ones, will attract a big mass of players to its alluring and mysterious ways.

Even Activision is praising Bungie’s title every change it gets, having Kotick looking at a big future for Destiny, the one that might go as big as a ‘billion dollar’ franchise.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIp7vZuYzoA#t=0[/youtube]

“We expect Bungie’s Destiny, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing’s next billion dollar franchise.” stated Kotick.

He also mentioned big plans for Activision this year, having new entrants in the Skylanders title and Call of Duty series. They have also mentioned taking an interest in the free-to-play sphere, with titles such as Hearthstone and Call of Duty Online.

Activision really has some big plans set out for them this year, though their main focus still remains Destiny, which is set to release on September the 9th for Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of VR-Zone

Square Enix & Nvidia Reveal Limited GeForce GTX 650 + A Realm Reborn Bundle

Square Enix, Inc. have just revealed that they have joined forces with Nvidia in their latest promotion for their flagship online RPG, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The new deal will see a 30-day free trial of the subscription based MMORPG being bundled along side the new GeForce GTX 650 / 650 Ti /650 Ti Boost graphics cards from Nvidia. While not the most powerful card on the market it does still pack plenty of performance to muscle through the online worlds of the new Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

Of course it isn’t a big deal only getting a 30-day sub, but it still reflects a saving of around $15 on a months membership for the game and on a graphics card that costs anywhere between $130 – $150, any return on investment can only be a good thing.

Available for a limited time, these bundled graphics cards will allow players to upgrade their system to enjoy HD graphics in the latest Square Enix title, in what is rapidly becoming one of this generations greatest MMORPG’s. The limited GeForce GTX 650 / Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn bundles are available today for the GeForce GTX 650, 650 Ti, and 650 Ti Boost at North American retailers NCIX, Amazon, Newegg, and Tiger Direct.

Additional information on the bundles, and accessing A Realm Reborn, can be found here.

Thank you Final Fantasy for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Final Fantasy.

3rd Expansion Part 3 Released For Continent Of The Ninth Seal

Webzen have just announced their fourth expansion for the dungeon-based MMORPG, Continent of the Ninth Seal (C9), Rakhdan’s Counterattack. Starting January 15, 2014 (Global Server Time), the Guardian’s Tower will increase 20 levels up to the 40th floor. Players will have a chance to battle new monsters who are invading the newly-updated floors within the Guardian’s Tower in Raebin , the Sixth Continent of Glenheim.

Among the new monsters appearing on 20th to 40th floor of the Guardian’s Tower will be the boss monsters originating from the First to Fifth Continents, such as Ixion from the Fourth Continent, Orc Kayl from the Third Continent, and more. Moreover, there will be new quests available for each newly added floor.

“The evil Nefer and his army have invaded the Guardian’s Tower in Raebin to find Tertis’ Heart, a special power protected by the water dragon, Artesia. To save Glenheim from destruction, C9 players must battle their way through each level of the tower, while fighting off Nefer’s powerful forces.” Said Webzen in a recent press release

Also, Last month saw C9 release a new character, the Mystic – wielding a deadly hammer and powerful magical attacks. The Mystic also possesses a Gust Wind attack, which allows her to swing her hammer violently at her opponents, while remaining completely still. Most of the character’s offensive attacks are airborne, which allows players to focus on skill combination, instead of worrying about which enemies to target.

The mixture of FPS style controls, and an ever growing level of content make this one of the hottest MMORPGS out there at the moment, the ones that will really stand the test of time are defined by how proactive the development team are at keeping the game up to date and fresh and C9 is certainly making a good effort.

Thank you C9 for providing us with this information.

New Malware Is Reported To Be Affecting World Of Warcraft Gamers

World of Warcraft gamers and other MMORPG players are subject to hacks and exploits that attempt to steal their user names and passwords, after which the hackers will either rob the character of all their gold, or maybe even sell it off. For those of you out there who are still playing World of Warcraft, Blizzard has recently identified a new malware that poses as a client for a popular World of Warcraft add-on site.

It has been classified as a trojan horse and it looks and functions exactly the same as the Curse Client, in which gamers use to download World of Warcraft add-ons and tweaks. Furthermore, when attempting to search for “curse client”, a listing of the fake website pops up and will look exactly the same as the official one, so for those who weren’t paying attention, you might have inadvertently downloaded a malware onto your computer.

Blizzard suggests that those who have downloaded the client to delete it and perform a scan on their computer to ensure that there are no traces of it left, using programs such as Malwarebytes. Blizzard has also provided instructions to those who might have been infected as well. Either way, Blizzard advices those who are downloading the Curse Client for the first time to double check and make sure it is from the official site based on its URL.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Patch 2.1 Released

Square Enix, Inc. have released the Patch 2.1 update for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and it is now available for players to download. Dubbed A Realm Awoken, the Patch 2.1 update offers exciting new gameplay content, including:

  • The Crystal Tower: Reaching to the heavens, this massive monolith, long thought to be a legend from eras past, has been unearthed in the wake of the Calamity. What could be the purpose of this crystalline construct, and what forgotten relics now stir within its walls? Those who would unravel these mysteries must first win their way through the Labyrinth of the Ancients, the perilous maze that leads to the entrance of the tower proper.
  • The Wolves’ Den: Named after a crew of Roegadyn Sea Wolves that first discovered this odd crucible-shaped island off the shores of Limsa Lominsa, this PvP Arena will soon open to all the Grand Companies of Eorzea, in the hope that the staged battles held here will raise the realm’s defences.
  • Housing: The Lavender Beds (Gridania), the Goblet (Ul’dah) and Mist (Limsa Lominsa) are the three distinctive residential districts of each of the city-states. Enjoy creating a unique base of operations for your free company members to call home. Purchase a plot of land and then start your build, with customizable fixtures for the house, as well as interior and exterior decorations and furnishings.
  • Thornmarch: The Moogles are trying to resurrect their legendary leader, Good King Moggle Mog XII. Will the return of this mythical being pose a threat for the Warriors of Light?
  • Beast Tribe Quests: Learn about the beast tribes of Eorzea in these daily quests.
  • Hildibrand, Agent of Enquiry: Nashu Mhakarraca, Hildibrand’s faithful assistant will need to muster up all her powers of deduction to unravel the many mysteries that beleaguer Eorzea. Unusual zombie activity in Ul’dah, you say? This smells like a case!
  • Pharos Sirius: This abandoned lighthouse, strikingly pierced by corrupted crystals, has been made the domain of the siren of Umbra. Adventurers must venture within and defeat the seductress and her legion of undead minions if this beacon of civilization is to shine once more.
  • Duty Roulette: The Duty Roulette allows players to enter instanced dungeons, trials and guildhests at random. There are four roulette categories, each of which can be selected once per day and adventurers can reap some great bonus rewards.
  • New extreme battles against three primals: Garuda, Titan and Ifrit.
  • The Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane Test yourself against the Ultima Weapon once more in this new hard-mode boss battle.
  • Main Scenario Quests: Where there is light, there will always be darkness. The beast tribes persist in their efforts to summon the primals. The once defeated Garlean forces resurface, harbouring renewed ambitions of conquest. And the baleful Ascians lurk in the shadows, their presence rousing dark forces long since forgotten.

Overall a pretty huge update and it’s great to see how quick Square Enix have been to keep the game ticking over nicely, adding and tweaking new features and basically working hard to keep the fans happy. For a game that had such a terrible start in life it really has been amazing to see it turn its self around so well.

Thank you FFXIV for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of  FFXIV.

NSA and GCHQ Agencies Allegedly Spying On Online Games

There is no escaping the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) from spying you, not even in games it appears. The NSA and GCHQ have “MMORPG Agents” infiltrated in World of Warcraft and Second Life. Why you may ask? To put a stop to terrorism (if any) that might go through the mentioned vast online multiplayer game worlds.

The The New York Times and the Guardian have detailed NSA’s and GCHQ’s point of view regarding online games as a potentially rich source of information, according to documents leaked by NSA’s Edward Snowden. The exact number of agents involved is unknown, along with the means through which they gathered information and the results gained, whether successful or not. The fact still remains that the World of Warcraft and Second life games were monitored, along with the Xbox Live.

But Xbox Live is a huge online service with a lot of personal information, IM features and even VoIP capabilities. We can only assume that, by monitoring Xbox Live, the agencies had access to personal data, private chats and “interesting” conversations. On top of all that, Microsoft did cooperate with NSA in the past.

The document’s main point of view is that the NSA and GCHQ, along with other agencies such as FBI and the CIA, turned eyes towards online gaming as an “opportunity” for potential terrorists to “hide in plain sight.” Blizzard denied in a statement made to Times and The Guardian about giving the agencies permission to spy on their users, while Microsoft and the developer of Second Life, Linden Realms, did not comment on the matter at hand.

The agencies however show no signs of interest in Sony’s PSN, though it is said that the most reasonable explanation for this is that Blizzard, Linden Realms and Microsoft are American companies, whilst Sony is a Japanese company.

Thank you Tom’s Guide for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of planetivy.com and nvate.com/