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9Dragons roundhouse-kicks into North American launch

Fantasy, 9Dragons, Events (In-Game), Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play

I am the Count. They call me the Count because I love to count things!
It's been a long, winding road for martial arts MMO 9Dragons. The game was dropped by GamersFirst, then picked up once more by GamesCampus. Then, GamersFirst pulled something miraculous and brought players' old characters back to life in time for the transition. Now, after some trials and tribulations, the game has gone live.

According to a press release from GamesCampus, the game is officially launched and all account transfers initiated prior to 9 p.m. PDT on Tuesday are finalized. Other players who wish to transfer their previous accounts can do so at any time, and those transfers will be finalized with the next Tuesday evening's maintenance.

To celebrate the game's launch, the game is hosting a series of events beginning now and lasting until October 13th. All 9Dragons players, be they new or old, will receive a premium gift package that includes a Hat Trading Card and a Special Epithet. There are also a few in-game events, such as a special game-wide buff and a quest that will reward players with event-only prizes.

To get in on all the House of Flying Daggers-style action, just head over to the 9Dragons official site and sign up.

[Source: GamesCampus press release]

GamesCampus to take over 9Dragons in September

Fantasy, Historical, 9Dragons, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Screenshot -- 9Dragons
Free-to-play MMO publisher GamesCampus announced today that it will be taking control of martial arts MMO 9Dragons' North American operation. The game is currently provided by GamersFirst, but GamesCampus will begin its run with the game on September 20th.

GamesCampus has stated that it will allow any player with an account in good standing to transfer his or her character, complete with any purchased items, as long as players opt-in by September 15th. The GamesCampus launch of 9Dragons will introduce the new region of Tibet, which will include additional content for each faction. So remember, 9Dragons players, if you want to keep your precious accounts intact, opt-in with GamesCampus prior to September 15th, and be ready to jump into Tibet on the 20th.

One Shots: Self-improvement

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, 9Dragons, Free-to-Play, One Shots

Our One Shots image today comes to us from Allan, a 9Dragons fan. 9Dragons isn't a game we hear a lot from, but it's still going strong, and as you can see from today's image, it has a lot worth appreciating visually:
In this screenshot, you see my character performing a self-buff ability, while in the background, the statue of Da Yu lies peacefully.
Are you ready to show off your favorite free-to-play title? Even better, are you looking forward to hearing about next week's theme? Beginning next Monday we'll be focusing on player housing, so start showing off your character's digs!

We've still got room for more free-to-play screenshots as well as player housing, so send a screenshot to us at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game, and a description of what we're seeing. We'll show it off here on One Shots and give you the thanks!

GamersFirst's predictions for the video games industry in 2011

9Dragons, News Items, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, All Points Bulletin

While end-of-the-year predictions are quite commonplace amongst game industry bloggers and journalists, it's a bit rarer to see prognostications coming from game-makers and executives. GamersFirst bucks that trend with a press release outlining its forecast for online gaming in 2011. Unsurprisingly, the free-to-play publisher sees its preferred business model "taking over the video game market," as well as a massive shift to mobile gaming and digital distribution.

Closer to home, GamersFirst senior vice president Rahul Sandil says that 2011 will be a banner year for the company that recently acquired 9Dragons and APB. "We are poised to make noteworthy contributions to the future of F2P online games. We look forward to expanding client-based and web browser F2P MMOs throughout Turkey, Europe, South and North America," he says.

Check out the full list of GamersFirst industry predictions after the break.

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GamersFirst rezzes Acclaim 9Dragons characters

Fantasy, 9Dragons, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Where's a good cleric when you need one? Apparently they're at the GamersFirst offices, performing the herculean task of reanimating thousands of 9Dragons characters left for dead when Acclaim (the title's original publisher) pulled the plug on the martial arts MMORPG this past summer.

If you're a former 9Dragons player and you submitted a character request earlier this year, you can now claim your rebuilt level 80 avatar at the official GamersFirst website. "We are excited to finally be able to offer character restoration options for the 9Dragons community. We want players to know that we appreciate their support during our transition. We have spent a large amount of time and effort processing and improving the template characters to get players back into the game without having to redo all their hard work from before," said David Demers, 9Dragons Associate Producer.

GamesCampus announces Legend of Edda beta and 9Dragons European publishing acquisition

Fantasy, 9Dragons, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Free-to-play publisher GamesCampus has had a busy week, first with its announcement of the closed beta test for the forthcoming Legend of Edda MMORPG, and most recently with its acquisition of 9Dragons for the European market.

Legend of Edda, loosely based on the Greek mythology surrounding Olympus and the Titans, boasts a dynamic storyline that centers around factional conflict as well as PvP and RvR combat. GamesCampus describes Legend of Edda as a title with "hardcore PvP, endless customization, an art style all its own, and much more." The initial closed beta phase will run from September 30th through October 11th.

Speaking of PvP, 9Dragons, recently orphaned by the demise of its publisher Acclaim, has been targeted by GamesCampus for a European release. The kung fu fighting MMORPG, set during the Ming dynasty and featuring clan-based PvP as well as extensive PvE options, will be published in Germany and France beginning in November. News of the European launch comes shortly after GamersFirst announced its intention to publish 9Dragons in America.

Be sure to check out the Legend of Edda teaser trailer after the jump.

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GamersFirst acquires 9Dragons from Acclaim

Fantasy, 9Dragons, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Acclaim currently holds the license to publish free-to-play MMO 9Dragons, but that will be changing very soon. The license expires in September, and GamersFirst has stepped in to pick it up.

The core game will remain familiar to players, but GamersFirst will be adding some new features and content for players of all levels. There will be a dedicated tutorial map for new players, a new high-level dungeon, new Kung Fu patterns, and more for players to explore on both the PvE and PvP sides.

GamersFirst is working to make the transition a smooth one, and current players will find all of their characters and items unaffected by the change. The GamersFirst site will have a launch date for this move very soon. For now, follow along after the jump for a look at two brand-new trailers for 9Dragons.

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Playdom acquires Acclaim Games

2Moons, 9Dragons, MMO Industry, News Items, Chronicles of Spellborn, Legal

If there was any doubt that the world of Facebook social games and traditional MMOs are becoming further intertwined, this should hopefully silence it. Playdom, well-known as one of the three major powers in Facebook gaming (alongside Zynga and Playfish), has acquired Acclaim Games, owner of several free-to-play MMOs including Chronicles of Spellborn, 9Dragons, and 2Moons. Unfortunately for the business mavens in the audience, the exact details of the acquisition including price were not disclosed.

In terms of management, there's going to be little changing on the ground for Acclaim Games, as previous CEO Howard Marks will continue to run the studio for Playdom. Playdom itself has been purchasing several smaller developers and studios, especially those focusing on Facebook development. No word on whether this will affect management of any of Acclaim's existing games, although it seems unlikely given the circumstances. What is certain is that it's another installment in the distance between social gaming and MMOs being shortened.

[ Thanks to Animagnum for the tip! ]

Patch report for Age of Conan's July 10th update

Fantasy, 9Dragons, Age of Conan, Bugs, Classes, Forums, Game Mechanics, Patches

The never-ending quest and struggle to improve Age of Conan continues. Yesterday's patch introduced a multitude of changes including partial remedies to the female avatar DPS bug. Age of Conan players are well aware that not every patch goes according to plan. In fact, after a new patch goes live, players create and maintain a thread detailing the undocumented changes and also report on its aftermath. This is a great service performed by Age of Conan players, and it keeps everyone informed of the unintended changes and mishaps.

The latest dissection is underway and on the surface it's not looking very good for Funcom. There are two threads representing the latest changes and issues on both the US player forums and the EU player forums. The patch builds are identical thus the results from each report mirror each other. Listed below are some of the more significant items present. It's important to note that both lists are continuously updated as more changes, bugs, and yes even fixes not listed in the official patch notes are uncovered.

  • Invisible walls everywhere
  • Mapping keys seems to no longer work. [Example: Can't change W to Y]
  • Stances getting stuck
  • Stamina regeneration decreased
  • Rare resource drops increased

The European connection in 9Dragons

Fantasy, Historical, 9Dragons, News Items, Free-to-Play

Acclaim's martial arts MMORPG 9Dragons is about to gain some more European fans, with the launch of Bardo Euro -- their new European server. Bardo Euro promises to offer the European playerbase an improved game experience with better connections all around.

Apparently the players have been calling for a European 9Dragons server for some time; Acclaim is delivering on their promises to improve the game and is holding a number of special events to celebrate the launch:

  • 30% off sale: All items in the 9Dragons Item Mall will be 30% off for 3 days only. June 6-8.
  • Bonus exp rate events: Earn 2 times experience points by playing on the Bardo server. June 3-9.
  • Monster spawn event: High level monsters will invade Bardo. June 3-5, 6, 8-9.
  • VGM/GM PvP event: Test your martial arts skills battling against Acclaim VGM and GM staff. June 3-6, 8-9.
  • Fireworks in Bardo: To celebrate the official launch of the European server, fireworks will light up the sky at random times from May 30 to June 8 on the Bardo server.
If you're in Europe, why not give 9Dragons a shot? Roll yourself a Shaolin or Wu-Tang badass and see if you can take down a GM or two in martial arts combat.

Via Warcry

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