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Dragon's Prophet

Halloween makes the rounds in SOE's line-up

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

eq2
'Tis the season for spookies and crawlies, and SOE is not above appropriating Halloween for its own ghoulish ends. Pretty much every one of its MMOs is hosting Halloween festivities this month with events, prizes, and macabre decorations.

DC Universe Online is bringing back the Witching Hour and Midnight Masquerade with a few new rewards, Landmark is hosting a spooky building contest, Dragon's Prophet is reprising its Styx Festival, and both EverQuest and EverQuest II are reprising their infamous Nights of the Dead.

Out of the bunch, PlanetSide 2 is the only one with a truly new holiday: Nanite of the Living Dead. With this event, players will be scouring the planet for "space pumpkins" to destroy for fun and profit.

Dragon's Prophet kicks off anniversary events in Europe

Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries, Dragon's Prophet

Dragons absolutely love rocks suspended by magical beams.  It's like a moth to a flame.
Those of you who remember the distant and far-off past of 2013 may recall that Dragon's Prophet launched last year. Those of you still playing the game a year later are probably very aware of that anniversary. The game launched on September 18th in Europe and September 23rd in the US, so there's still a day until the anniversary hits on these shores. But the anniversary celebrations have already begun on the European servers, possibly offering a taste of what US players can look forward to shortly.

You can see a new video celebrating the game just past the break, and there are two major events running as part of the anniversary. Players can take part in the Creation Night event, which includes a variety of rewards as well as a chance at taming the Illusion Night dragon. Meanwhile, the monsters in Wynnadia and Porthis have taken to celebrating themselves, and they've gotten bigger and meaner than usual. It's unclear yet whether US players will be getting the exact same celebration events, but EU players still have time to jump in on the festivities.

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Perfect Ten: Terrible, terrible MMO names

EverQuest, Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Dragon's Prophet, Elite: Dangerous, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

ever jane
A catchy, vivid title is essential to getting your game noticed and establishing a strong brand. Yes, we as gamers will get used to pretty much any dumb name (unless it's Daikatana), but a great one allows us to mention it in polite society without getting spat on or rejected for dates.

The best MMO names in my opinion are single words that sound cool or conjure up a strong association. I'm less fond of ALL CAPS ACRONYMS and any game that can't be more inventive with its title than to put "Online" after it. For the most part, MMOs play it safe and boring with titles, with only a few outliers in the awesome or terrible fringes. Today, we're going to examine the latter.

I want to make a couple of quick qualifiers here. I'm not judging these games by their names; an MMO can be good or bad independent of how silly its name is. And while I know that some of these names make more sense in context, I generally feel that if I have to have it explained to me, then it's a fail.

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SOE Live 2014: Dragon's Prophet to join All Access, add hatching system

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dragon's Prophet

While much of the SOE Live attention has been on other titles, Dragon's Prophet was on hand with some announcements of its own. The two biggest pieces of news are the upcoming hatchling system and the addition of the game to SOE's All Access pass, and Producer Todd Carson shared the details with us as well as gave the heads up on a couple other upcoming changes.

The new hatching system will allow players to find and raise their own dragons. Carson explained that how long it takes the egg to hatch depends on what activities players do to care for their eggs. Additionally, the stats of the dragons will be influneced by the egg's care. More specifics on that system will be coming soon.

The other really big (and welcome news) is the addition of Dragon's Prophet to the All Access plan. Carson noted that it has taken time to work out the details because of the unique differences of the game since it is made by Runewaker. Within the next month or so players will be able to become a part of the system that gives special monthly bonuses in all SOE games, 500 station cash, and a 10% discount on all items in the store. Dragon's Prophet players will receive a nine in-game items every month worth $50, including a 30-day repair hammer, teleportation, revive tokens, and more.

Carson also described the recent renovation of the starter experience and the change to the class masteries that give them more defined roles in combat that await new players who try the game out thanks to the All Access changes. He gave us a heads up that a new zone expansion is coming at the end of the year and special roaming merchants that will be added to the territory islands. Another new feature will be the ability to pay to have your house packed up and moved to a different island. Carson is also taking into consideration panel attendees' requests to add Vanguard dragons into the game.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Expansions, MMO Industry, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Dragon's Prophet, H1Z1

Are you looking forward to getting a hint of what's to come for your favorite SOE games this next year? SOE Live's Thursday keynote has just kicked off, and SOE notables like John Smedley are taking the stage to give fans a hint of the announcements coming over the course of the weekend. We're here live to give you the scoop directly from the devs, and we'll be keeping this post updated as it progresses. You can also can watch the presentation streamed live below.
  • Keynote announcements on Friday have all the juicy details, so don't miss them!
  • Four awards for Player Studio: Highest creator - BeastBuster with over $25,000 to date; Most Prolific creator - Rollen; Most Improved Creator - Jerry "Rawl" Dechant; and Most inspirational - Neko Zero.
  • Player Direct awards -- you can see all full-length film on the official site.
  • H1Z1 is coming out on the PS4.
  • The Play it Forward initiative is gamers helping others, in game or in life.
  • Tournaments: Prize money on the line for participants.
  • Dragon's Prophet is introducing a new system where you find and raise dragon hatchlings.
  • EverQuest is introducing a new category to Player Studio.
  • EQ working on a new advanced looting feature.
  • EQ's next expansion is The Darkened Sea.
  • EverQuest II's 10th anniversary in November, the 11th expansion Alter of Malice is launching on 11/11.
  • New classes for EverQuest Next will be announced tomorrow.
  • A touching video tribute to EQII's Ribbitribbit was presented.
  • SOE encouraged support for AbleGamers, Gamers4Life, and Military Gamers.

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SOE compensates players for All Access issues

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, Giveaways, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
Acknowledging that the recent switchover to the new All Access program has been "frustrating," SOE announced today that it will be compensating its playerbase for these issues.

The studio will be handing out 50 replay badges to DCUO players, adding an additional week to seven-day Landmark closed beta keys, and triggering double XP weekends for Dragon's Prophet, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2.

"The implementation of this new membership plan across SOE's game portfolio has been one of the most complicated updates to our billing system to date," SOE apologized in a post. "As fellow gamers, we know that this has been frustrating and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this has caused."

Dragon's Prophet EU introduces the Column of the Prophet content update

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Dragon's Prophet

Dragons Prophet
Dragon's Prophet has announced the release of the Column of the Prophet content update today. This new challenge features a tower that reaches 100 stories into the sky with monsters that increase in difficulty with each level of the tower. Three sources can be called upon to aid your character whether solo or in a group: a medic, Skyhammer guards, or a war dragon.

Right now, this update is only for European players of the game handled by Infernum, not SOE. A North American update schedule has not been announced.

[Source: Infernum press release]

SOE All Access changes go into place on April 23rd

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Business Models, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet

All Access
After a couple of delays in rolling out the revamped All Access plan, SOE has targeted "on or about" April 23rd as the go date for the changes.

According to the revised FAQ, the new membership plan will include "top-tier" access to SOE's entire library, a monthly stipend of 500 Station Cash, a 10% discount on marketplace purchases, and other promotions. The cost will be $14.99 a month with discounts for multi-month packages. SOE said that all current memberships will be automatically transitioned into the new All Access plan and that details concerning Dragon's Prophet benefits are forthcoming.

SOE Live 2014 begins registration, offers early bird deals

EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlanetSide, Events (Real-World), DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet

SOE Live
The registration for this summer's SOE Live is now open for business! The convention, which will take place from August 14th through 17th in Las Vegas, will feature panels, parties, contests, and more.

If you register before May 12th, you'll be eligible for the early bird deal of $129 for the premium pass. Evening passes are $99, day passes are $49, and kids under 12 may attend the convention for free. There are also options to pay more for a Sunday brunch with the developers and reserve an entire table for a group.

SOE will mail badges to folks who register by May 12th and has made a deal with Planet Hollywood Hotel to offer discounted room rates.

Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #20-11

Age of Conan, Darkfall, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Allods Online, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, Jukebox Heroes, Dragon's Prophet, Music

SWG
We're growing ever closer to my top picks for MMO theme songs, but we're not quite at the end yet. This week we are on to the third part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game. I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31 and #30-21. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Dragon's Prophet patch adds arenas, evolution, and compendium

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Dragon's Prophet

Dragon's Prophet
Three is a good number, especially when it comes to the number of big new features in a patch. If you want triple your patching value, then head over to Dragon's Prophet, where the team added three significant systems this past week.

First on the docket for the patch are dragon arenas, where players can form a team of three dragons to fight others' teams. Next is the new evolution system, which allows for dragons to learn an additional skill. Finally, the compendium compiles all of the information and statistics related to dragons captured and those still untamed.

The patch contains plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, so give the notes a read for the full scoop.

Dragon's Prophet EU creating player council [Updated]

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dragon's Prophet

Dragon's Prophet players in Europe will soon have a new way to influence their game: the Osiran Council. This player-elected body will give the community more influence over Dragon's Prophet EU's future development. Those who want a seat on this council in order to weigh in on game-relevant decisions, assist in the development and publishing process, and submit suggestions and criticisms directly need to send an email to community@dragonspropheteurope.com with the following information:
  • Character name and server
  • Forum name
  • Spoken languages (English skills should be present)
  • Level of the highest character,
  • Previous MMO experience
  • Values and expertise
  • Reasons why you want the candidacy
Today's patch also introduced the Dragon Compendium for the European community. This feature contains valuable information on all dragons that can be captured as well as resources to upgrade your dragon with other elite skills. SOE also announced a new zone, Olandra, as well as updates to the treasure hunt, mounted combat, and class systems.

[Source: Infernum Productions/SOE press releases]

Massive mounted combat update rides into Dragon's Prophet EU

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Dragon's Prophet

European players not only fight along side their dragons in Dragon's Prophet, they can now battle atop them as well! Thanks to the massive mounted combat update, dragons now have a trio of healing, tanking, and damage skills available that can aid their riders in PvE. But that's not all that Infernum Productions has rolled out with this update: Players can dive (literally) into a new high-level, completely submerged dungeon called Shrine of Handras and fight five new bosses along with a host of other water monsters and dangerous whirlpools. Additionally, players can participate in random mini events throughout Auratia as well as earn XP while resting in their personal houses (how much depends on amount and type of Marketplace furniture in the dwelling).

Get a taste of the mounted combat skills and tour through Shrine of Handras in the two trailers below. And for more details about the update, check out the official patch notes.

[Source: Infernum Productions press release]

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Smedley expounds on benefits blunder and SOE's philosophy

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet

When SOE first announced the membership changes coming to some of its titles, the company stirred up a storm that was completely unexpected, according to CEO John Smedley. After listening to the community, the studio reversed parts of the proposal and unveiled an extra benefit: a $14.99 All-Access pass.

But even after a few extra posts explaining the changes and the reasoning behind them, there were still some unanswered questions and remnants of confusion from the quick succession of announcements. Why were some titles in SOE's arsenal listed part of the pass but others aren't? Which membership gift is actually the one going forward? When will these changes take place? And what about the European players? I sat down with Smedley to answer these questions and get some added clarity on these changes,

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SOE considering an one-subscription-covers-all plan for $14.99 a month

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Economy, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Free Realms, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Wizardry Online, Subscription

EQN
SOE President John Smedley took to Reddit today to address the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" that's been swirling about regarding the subscription changes made to its games, most notably PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest II. While he lists several reasons why the studio is doing this, the main reason is a big change in the works: SOE is considering implementing a one-subscription-covers-all plan moving forward.

"We are considering (and are likely going to move forward with) a plan that means if you subscribe to one of our games you are a subscriber to all our games (this applies to PC titles only, by the way) all for the current $14.99 a month," Smedley wrote. "That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games. The goal would be to let you pick an item in each game you play."

He implied that this plan will also cover EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next. Other reasons for the subscription change include helping players buy larger items on the marketplace, internal issues regarding people stockpiling Station Cash, and disparity between computer and console promotions.

For a more in-depth look at the subscription plan changes, read our recent Norrathian Notebook column.

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