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Rise and Shiny revisit: Alganon's new expansion

Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Alganon, Rise and Shiny, Livestream

Alganon screenshot
It's been quite a while since I dived into Alganon, the indie MMO by Quest Online. The game has had a bit of an up and down development cycle, but I always found it to be a pretty unique game with a nice mix of mechanics. Granted, according to many readers, the game is nothing but a World of Warcraft ripoff thanks to its similar avatar graphics, but the game is only as similar to World of Warcraft as most other themepark titles are. There are quests, skill trees, and other things in Alganon that you'll find in a score of titles, but Alganon also offers a few things that together make for a pretty unique combination of gameplay in spite of superficial similarities to other games.

The game is still rough around the edges, however, and needs some patching and tweaking in order to be nearly as polished as many other titles. The team is small, and I tend to forgive small teams for the these oversights as long as the game runs smoothly for the most part. Alganon does run smoothly and offers quite a few interesting and immersive systems.

Let's go over what was added with this expansion as well as what's still missing.

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The Stream Team: Alganon's new expansion with Beau and the devs

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Alganon, Livestream, The Stream Team

Alganon screenshot
Join Beau Hindman and members of the Alganon team as they explore some of the features of the brand-new and long-awaited expansion. Come ask questions, or if you've never seen it before, check out the gameplay during our livestream!

Game: Alganon
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Free for All: The second annual Frindie Awards

Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Asheron's Call, Contests, Culture, PvP, Ryzom, The Matrix Online, Wurm Online, PvE, Opinion, Second Life, Vanguard, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Casual, Virtual Worlds, Mabinogi, Kids, Alganon, Free for All, Family, Miscellaneous, Enter at Your Own Rift, Sandbox

Frindie Awards logo
It's time once again for the Frindie Awards, my attempt to shine some light on the best indie, browser-based, free-to-play, and unusual MMOs that are all-too-often ignored by press -- and players. This one is for the little guys! Well, mostly. It's also for those games that seem to have passed under the collective radar of Massively readers or that seem to be very misunderstood.

Picking the winners this year is just as hard as it was last year, maybe even harder. 2012 was an incredible year for MMOs, so I would rather have just put together an article that highlights every single favorite. In the end, it's more helpful to make myself pick out a winner. It's a rare thing for some of these games to even receive a nod on a major website, something I still can't figure out. Either way, it's best to think of all of the MMOs on this list as my favorites from 2012.

Anyway, let's get to the awards!

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Alganon delays expansion, plans double-XP weekend

Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Free-to-Play, Alganon

Citing "unforseen circumstances," the team at QOL has announced that Alganon's Rise of the Ourobani expansion will be delayed until the fourth quarter of this year. "After evaluation of the project, it was decided that more time was needed in order to do some critical bug fixes as well as to spend more time on certain areas and features of the expansion in order to do the best work possible," the devs wrote in the April newsletter.

Rise of the Ourobani will feature the playable titular race, a brand-new continent to explore, a Warden combat companion, PvP, and flying mounts. To soften the blow of the expansion's delay, QOL has released several sneak peek pictures and videos.

Even though the expansion is a ways away, players have a reason to log in now, as Alganon is preparing a double-XP weekend from April 20 through the 23rd.

You can watch Rise of the Ourobani flying mounts in action after the break.

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Alganon opens European servers

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Alganon

Quest Online announced today that its free-to-play MMORPG Alganon is expanding! The game's reach grows just a wee bit longer with the launch of the Aeon server, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Players on either continent can choose to play on either server, so there's nothing stopping North American players from throwing down with their friends across the pond.

As a result of this new addition to the Alganon family, players will have a week (until July 19th) to transfer to the Aeon server free of charge. To do so, all you have to do is log into the Alganon website, choose the My Account option, and click My Transfers. Voila! The new server also comes just in time for the upcoming GM vs. Player battles taking place on July 16th and 17th. For more information, head to the official Alganon site.

Rise of the Ourobani coming to Alganon this winter

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Alganon

Alganon has come a long way since its launch, with the conversion to free-to-play and several updates helping to improve the game's feel and engine immensely. Now it's time for the game to move on to its next big step of development -- its first expansion. Yes, that's right, the game is expanding with Rise of the Ourobani, introducing a new race and class to the game along with several other new features.

The eponymous Ourobani are a race in service to a god long thought lost, with the Asharr and Kujix both attempting to seize the Ourobani's power for their own ends. Players will also get access to the game's first pet class in the form of the Warden. In addition, the game is promising both player and guild housing, flying mounts, and a new continent called Aeon, on which players can enjoy a whole new leveling experience. If your opinion of Alganon hasn't been updated since the game's original development, it might be a good time to start looking at the game with new eyes -- there's a lot on the expansion plate, especially for a free-to-play game.

Free for All: Gaming with Game of Thrones

Fantasy, Horror, Culture, Ryzom, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Humor, Alganon, Free for All, Vindictus

I have really been enjoying the new series Game of Thrones over on the HBO network. In fact, when I recently changed to a faster internet provider, I deliberately added on the exclusive channel just for the series. Even though I have never read the books, a 15-minute preview of the show was enough to convince me to watch it. While I am truly enjoying the break from fantasy that is chock-full of smart-alec modern-day references (all delivered by smirking hipsters with swords), I admit to still being a little afraid that the series will take a turn for the goofy or overly dramatic. If a single vampire shows up in this one, I am going to turn it all off and go on a long vacation.

So far, though, it's been a delightful romp into a cold, realistic world. After I watch a new episode, I avoid the internet for fear of random spoilers or the temptation to look at character bios. I simply do not want to know what's going to happen, so please do not tell me. Since the series has started, I have begun to notice how I enjoy the same basic entertainment in my gaming.

I want political intrigue, amazing landscapes, and the occasional epic, bloody fight. Join me past the cut and let's look at some games that provide those three things.

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Free for All: A week of scheduled playtimes

EverQuest II, Culture, Ryzom, Wurm Online, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Casual, Humor, Mabinogi, Alganon, Free for All

After a loose week of playing scheduled games, I can say that I have a lot of work to do to perfect my system. Once again, Tim and Jon from the Van Hemlock podcast are my inspiration. They are both dedicated to the art of playing games, to "finishing" games, almost to the point of obsession. It's certainly not for everyone, but they seem to maintain a real balance while skipping around. Perhaps the podcast they host helps them with this balance? I've hosted several podcasts over the years, so maybe putting my weekly gaming thoughts into audio form is necessary to keeping my sanity?

In reality, what I need to do is just stick it out and stay the course. I am not sure of many things in this world, but I am positive that repetition and scheduling are more powerful than almost any plan. Humans are habitual creatures, even with their gaming. Especially with their gaming. Over this last week, I started to settle into the role of a scheduled player and even looked forward to it each night.

Click past the cut and I'll let you know how it went.

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Alganon patches Phase III PvP update

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Alganon

Destruction, terror, and mayhem came to Alganon this past November with the arrival of the game's first PvP patch. This week, the free-to-play fantasy MMORPG is tweaking the functionality with Phase III of its planned PvP rollout which includes a couple of noteworthy additions.

First up is the new tower mechanic. In a nutshell, the towers are PvP-enabled zones that automatically flag players for conflict five seconds after they've entered. Temporary promotions will be in effect for characters from levels 10 to 49, and statistics and action levels will be raised to level 50 for the duration of a player's time in the tower zone. The towers can also be captured, which brings bonuses to every member of your faction in the zone. The Quest devs have also added local and world defense chat channels to facilitate battlefield communication.

Finally, the new patch has also increased the renown level cap to 10 and there is new PvP gear for sale at various capital city quartermaster NPCs. Read all the details on Alganon's 2.5.2 patch at the official website.

Alganon dev blog talks character models, more PvP

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Alganon

If you've been following the long and indie road of Quest Online's Alganon, you'd know that development has picked up over the last several months. PvP was released in a recent patch, despite warnings that it might not fit into a game that was meant solely for PvE. Well, PvP fans can rejoice as a "PvP phase III" will be rolling out soon. This means that players will be able to interact with towers while murdering each other. "Capturing all three Towers in a particular area provides a benefit to your entire faction while adventuring and defending that zone," stated a recent blog post.

Concerns for adding PvP were always high. At one point, Derek Smart even told the team that, "I think this would be asking for trouble because we would have the PvP players in a world primarily designed for PvE. It could be a can of worms that I'm not sure we want to deal with." However, according to the official blog, PvP has gone off pretty well.

New character models are coming, as well. The much-anticipated addition will be rolled out in the "early part of this year" according to the latest entry. While the before and after shots could be more dramatic -- something Smart admits in the blog -- he goes on to honestly explain the thinking behind the development process.

You can check the official blog out here, and find out more information about Alganon on their main site.

One Shots: Tilting at windmills

Fantasy, Screenshots, Free-to-Play, One Shots, Alganon

It's been a while since we've had an Alganon sent in by a player, but with today's One Shots from Niklas, we break that streak. As a small free-to-play fantasy MMO, Alganon has certainly had its share of trials and tribulations, but that isn't stopping players from enjoying the game or stopping to check out the scenery like we see in today's image. Niklas writes in to share his thoughts: "When I was walking around in the world of Alganon, a beautiful free-to-play MMORPG (which some of you hate), I stopped for a moment just to listen to the music. Then after a couple of seconds, I looked up in the sky where the moon was shining brightly on me. I could only hear the sound from the forest and I got a warm feeling. It is strange how a game can make you so emotional!"

If we haven't seen a screenshot of your favorite MMO here for some time, why not take a moment to snap a picture and send it in to us. It's easy to do. Email it in to oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game, and a description of what we're seeing in the image. Please make sure the image is at least 1024 pixels wide and has no visible UI elements. If chosen, we'll post it out here on Massively for everyone to enjoy and give you the credit for sending it in!

The Perfect Ten: Most controversial MMO stories of 2010

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Alganon, Allods Online, Perfect Ten

Well, this is it, folks. The end of the year. A time of reflection, of massive weight gain and of lists. Man, we like our lists, do we not? Fortunately, at Perfect Ten Industries, we've been excelling in lists for months now. Frankly, we're just getting warmed up!

While 2010 may not have been much to write home about in terms of newly launched MMOs, there was more than enough controversy to keep the discussion brewing for months. MMOs are big business, and when every move you make is closely scrutinized by millions of gamers, there's no room to slip up unless you like forum hyenas pouncing all over you, snapping and snarling at your faulty flesh.

So let's take a jaunt down our top 10 list of the most controversial stories of 2010 on Massively, keeping in mind that it was devilishly hard just to keep this list to 10 at all. What's a week without being riled up about pixels and polygons, after all?

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Free for All: An insight on indie from Alganon

Fantasy, Screenshots, Interviews, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Casual, Alganon, Free for All

Recently I decided that I wanted to ask different indie developers how their world revolves and what it's like to exist within that world. Development is a funny thing and often much more difficult than many of us will ever know. In my experience, the budget doesn't change the basic goings-on in the development studio, but it can effect what developers are willing to talk about. I would never expect certain mainstream developers to ever open up to certain questions, while many indie developers seem more than willing.

Last time, I asked the developers of Istaria what they thought, which you can read here. This time, I decided to send some questions to Quest Online, the maker of Alganon. I received my answers from Derek Smart, president of QOL. Alganon has been one of my surprise favorites of the last year, so I was eager to ask some questions -- after all, he says exactly what's on his mind.

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Alganon adding PvP functionality

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Alganon

Despite its checkered history, free-to-play fantasy MMORPG Alganon soldiers on. In its recently released November newsletter, Quest Online details the latest feature set added to the game in the form of PvP combat. The upgrade is scheduled to proceed in stages, with phase one consisting of both dueling and open world PvP, both of which are already available on the live servers.

Phase two of the PvP integration is currently slotted for a December release and looks to add an objective system to the open-world PvP mechanics in the form of conquerable towers. Said towers will provide adventuring benefits to factional members located in the zone. Quest is also working on PvP armor sets and accessories for characters between levels 10 and 50. Keeps will be making an appearance in phase two as well and will represent stepping stones along the path to being able to enter the enemy capitol and slay the factional leader for fun and profit.

Finally, phase three of the PvP master plan will bring battlegrounds to the world of Alganon. These self-contained PvP instances will feature team objectives and function similarly to the maps found in traditional FPS titles. Quest is also prepping a renown system that will feature weapons, armor, and assorted gear, as well as a resource-control mechanic. Battlegrounds are scheduled to go live sometime in 2011.

Check out the official Alganon newsletter for more details.

Free for All: Thirteen spooky free-to-play Halloween events

Fantasy, Horror, Flyff, MapleStory, Contests, Culture, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Casual, Global Agenda, Humor, Free Realms, Mabinogi, Kids, Alganon, Allods Online, Free for All, Vindictus, Family

Ah, Halloween. The dark Xmas. Around our house, Halloween is king. Despite the fact that we have no kids to dress up and parade around the neighborhood, we will still hand out tons of candy to all the trick-or-treaters. Until that spooky night, however, we love to spend the time exploring different Halloween events in our favorite MMORPGs.

MMOs are perfect for such events -- they have the players to fill them out, the ability to host whatever kind of event they want, and a lot of optional blood and gore. Some of the events fit perfectly in their game-world, and some stick out like a stock broker on D&D night. Either way, there is always a lot of fun to be had, and sometimes very cool loot to snag! (Like that sweet ride pictured above -- got it on my first try.)

Read on for some of my favorite events -- none of them costing a dime.

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