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Anarchy Online

Halloween goes live in Anarchy Online

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

ao
Halloween is officially a "go!" for Anarchy Online, which brings back the seasonal festivities as well as the sinister Uncle Pumpkin Head.

In an October development update posted today, Gameplay Designer Henry Senger confirmed the start of the holiday. Senger said that there will be many varieties of returning Pumpkin Heads in the game, as well as an assault by the Entvined on Enigma Grove. Players can get cool loot not only by defeating these mobs but by merely logging in to claim several free items including a pumpkin helmet.

Anarchy Online recently installed a quality of life patch and confirms that testing is ongoing for the 18.7 update. "Once the Inferno Missions have been patched to Live, the majority of focus will shift back to 18.7, which includes, but is not limited to, the NPE and profession rebalance," Senger said.

Anarchy Online steels itself for inferno missions

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

ao
A new type of mission is coming to Anarchy Online, and if its name is any indication, inferno missions will be hot in more ways than one.

Funcom Gameplay Designer Henry Senger wrote a monthly development update in which he focused on the upcoming inferno missions for players levels 170 and over: "These missions will involve protecting NPCs from waves of assaulting creatures. The difficulty of the mission will determine how many waves will appear, level of the assaulting monsters, as well as the mission reward. The assaults will end early if all the targets that need to be protected are killed."

Other fun things coming with the 18.6.15 patch are the return of battlestation daily missions, quality of life improvements, bug fixes, and convenient mission exits.

New leadership steps up to fill Anarchy Online vacancy

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

anarchy online
Following the loss of two of Anarchy Online's developers late last month, Funcom has promoted Henry "Michizure" Senger to fill the role of gameplay designer. Senger was a former member of the AO team who is now thrilled to be back: "It is a great honor and privilege to be able to focus all of my effort on Anarchy Online once again, and I greatly look forward to what we will accomplish."

Senger updated the playerbase on what's been going on with the upcoming patches. As previously announced, patch 18.7 was delayed due to feedback. The team will be focused on putting in the new Inferno mission in the meantime. Past 18.7, patch 18.8 will feature the new graphic engine.

"The new engine beta is still active, and the resulting feedback has been very helpful in identifying all the growing pains this process has presented. I look forward to having more tangible news to present in an upcoming developer update," Senger said.

Funcom's revenues decrease in Q2

Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous

It's still a better business model than Orochi.
Funcom has released its second-quarter financial results for the year, and it's not a glowing success story. Revenue dropped roughly $600,000 compared to Q1, a drop attributed to weaker in-game item sales over the quarter. Despite this, the report indicates that the company remains on-track as a whole, with the overall pattern of expenses not significantly changed. All of the major MMOs in the studio's portfolio are stated to be cash-flow positive, which is good news for fans.

While the company launched several marketing attempts to draw more players into its titles, The Secret World was the most successful at bringing in more players via its most recent major update. The company projects good results for LEGO Minifigures Online when it releases in October. Interested players can look at the full report, which is less overwhelmingly positive than might be ideal but hardly paints a picture of doom.

Anarchy Online's graphics engine upgrade suffers delays

Betas, Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

Anarchy Online
Funcom has announced that two Anarchy Online developers, Genele and Macrosun, are leaving the studio and "relocating back to their homelands in Scandinavia." That's bad news for MMO gamers patiently awaiting the game's promised new graphics engine, as the devs' departures mean delays for both the upgrade and the next patch. Creative Director Joel "Nusquam" Bylos explained the situation to players on the official forum:
[L]osing competent and knowledgeable people does have some impact on our development schedule, so we've had to rearrange some things and tune our schedules to make sure we can deliver on our vision for the game. Originally we were planning to patch 18.7 to live this month. We have now delayed it until we have had the chance to give it a thorough going over with the new designers. It is a large and complex patch and we want to be a hundred percent certain that we understand all of the intricacies of the patch before we make it live.

Additionally, because Macrosun was the technical coordinator on the new engine, it causes some challenges on the code side. It will take our live coders some time to get themselves acquainted with the engine and all that it entails. The beta will remain up and running and we hope to get past beta status as soon as we can.
Nusquam noted that Henry "Michizure" Senger will take over for Genele and that the existing live team was organized with "competence sharing" across the studio's games to minimize the impact of personnel shifts. Funcom earlier this week tweeted about new job openings in its Durham, North Carolina, location.

[Thanks to tipster Divalicious Diva. Image credit: Azzura.]

Anarchy Online introduces tradable subscription item

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Business Models, Free-to-Play

ao
Anarchy Online has added a new subscription option into this 13-year-old game, allowing players to buy and sell game time in addition to its free-to-play and standard subscription packages.

Patch 18.6.14 added GRACE (Grid Access Credit Extension), which is a $14.95 item that can be purchased and sold on the in-game market. When used, GRACE adds 30 days of subscription game time to a player's account. Unlike other items on the market, GRACE cannot be taken out and mailed separately. Also, since free players can't access the market, they'll be unable to purchase GRACE from other players.

Funcom has a FAQ covering the ins and outs of this new system.

One Shots: Regrets, I've had a few

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Anarchy Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

ffxiv
Staring at a sunset is a perfectly legitimate time to look back at one's day (and one's life) to muse upon victories won and defeats suffered. The regrets are then cast upon the sinking sun to be taken into the void of yesterday. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is a clean slate of possibilities.

Reader Dynatos submitted this warm and fuzzy Final Fantasy XIV picture. "Here's another sunset, this time in Thanalan with my tanky Carbuncle. I kinda miss him after he was replaced."

Regrets? We've all had a few. And if you don't read the rest of this column, you will regret it. That's friendly advice, not a threat.

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Anarchy Online turns 13, celebrates with Desert Nomads event and member offers

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Anniversaries

If you're a former Anarchy Online player, you may have gotten an email touting the long-running sci-fi MMO's 13th anniversary as well as a trio of membership offers that Funcom hopes will lure you back to Rubi-Ka.

The devs have also added an in-game event called Desert Nomads that kicks off today and runs through July 11th. If you didn't get the email, full details are available via the AO website.

Anarchy Online prepares 'huge' fall patch

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

AO
Funcom's Joel Bylos posted a producer's letter today for Anarchy Online, promising a major patch for the game later this year.

Among other features, Patch 18.7 will include changes to the Martial Artist and the Trader classes and will begin to automate seasonal events. "In the 18.7 branch, we have placed out all seasonal spawns in the game world and we will start testing on the closed beta in the upcoming weeks to ensure the automated system works as intended," Bylos reported.

The "huge" patch will be put on the test server this summer with a release date sometime before Halloween.

Perfect Ten: The MMOs that influenced me greatly

World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, City of Heroes, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Fallen Earth, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

DDO
Every one of us has an "MMO resume": a list of titles that we've played, whether briefly or extensively. Some of those are just games, casual flings that meant nothing. But others can take a more meaningful role in our lives, influencing how we experience and view MMOs.

I would scarcely say that my resume is one of the most robust you'll ever see; I'm sure plenty of you have played more than I. However, I like to think that I've had a journey over the course of a decade or so that's shaped who I am as a gamer. Since it's my birthday today, I'm going to share 10 of those influential MMOs with you and what they've done for me. You're going to get me cake.

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Anarchy Online and Age of Conan players vote on new content

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Anniversaries

Anarchy Online
Newsletters for Anarchy Online and Age of Conan were posted yesterday, and both of them had a common theme: an intiative by Funcom to let players vote on what new content they want to see developed.

Anarchy Online players voted for a new Shadowlands mission, which is currently being made for the Inferno zone. AO is also getting ready to show off the 18.7 patch, which contains a new ICC headquarters, the new player experience, and shop changes.

As for the Age of Conan community, players voted to see Conall's Valley and the Wild Lands of Zelata included with PvP events. The studio has scheduled a world boss event for May 7th, the sixth anniversary event for May 20th, and Patch 4.2 for some time this month.

Funcom's financials take a sharp blow

Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Business Models, MMO Industry, The Secret World, Legal, Miscellaneous

Funcom
The earnings report for Funcom's fourth quarter 2013 is in -- and it doesn't look pretty.

The studio reported that revenues are down both year over year and quarter over quarter due to deferred billings with The Secret World and increased competition. However, Funcom said that a better business model and new marketing programs are resulting in a stronger first quarter for 2014 and that its MMOs are "cash-flow positive and will remain so in the foreseeable future."

Funcom said that it is taking steps to turn around the business with a new strategy to focus on more mid-core online games with smaller budgets and shorter development time. It's also continuing to invest in LEGO Minifigures Online and the Dreamworld technology. The latter is important so that the studio can release games across multiple platforms including Android and iOS tablets. LEGO Minifigures Online is scheduled for open beta testing this summer.

The Økokrim charges regarding possible market manipulation between August 2011 and August 2012 were mentioned. Funcom said that no employees have been charged, and the company is cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.

One Shots: Off the Grid

Screenshots, Anarchy Online, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Vindictus, Miscellaneous

AO
As a former Anarchy Online player, I was always curious what the Grid looked like for the Fixer class, but I never was so curious that I rolled one up. Fortunately, reader Azzura was able to satisfy my curiosity this week with this awesome-looking structure.

"This is one of my favorite screenies I have, inside the Grid," he submitted. "You would click a machine and get digitized in to this area filled with exits to all over the game. Funcom seems to like this method of travel as you can tell by popping into Agartha in The Secret World.

We have sights and wonders the likes of which will make your ocular cavities gush forward in unabashed emotion after the break. Frankly, I wouldn't risk it; your eyes might not be able to take the strain.

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Anarchy Online rolls out in-game holiday events and deals

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Subscription

Maybe a long coat would have been more sensible.
The holiday season is well and truly upon us now, and that means celebrations in your games as well as the real world. Anarchy Online is kicking off a multi-tiered event that features as many leets as players can cope with, starting with the arrival of Santaleet and his missions to aid his armies of Elfleets against the evil Grin'Cha. Rewards include a number of previous holiday event rewards, which adds extra incentive for players to take part in the Elfleet rescue.

There's also a new tree-themed dress, a free Gift-wrapped leet morph for everyone, a Gingerleet pet for members, and yes, even promotions for people getting into the game. Until January 2nd, purchasing six months of membership will reward you with an extra two months, while 12-month purchases award an additional four months. Both deals include experience boosts, and 12-month packages even throw in a special helping of Victory Points. If you're going to be running around saving leets anyway, it's a nice extra present to leave under your own tree.

One Shots: Darkness Falls

Screenshots, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, TERA, Miscellaneous

One Shots Darkness Falls
Going through the One Shots email account is a little like peeking into strangers' photo albums, complete with their private stories and embarrassing toilet shots. Seriously, folks, what is it with you people sending in toilet pictures? OK, it's a little funny, so keep 'em coming.

I was particularly drawn to Callie's photo from Dark Age of Camelot circa 2003 this past week: "My fiance and I loved going into the dungeon of Darkness Falls so much that we would frequently go down and fight the Prince, just the two of us, on our Warrior duo. I know newer games have come and gone, but nothing beats dungeon exploring and fighting a difficult boss with the one you love. Still one of my favorite MMO memories."

One can only assume that your characters discovered the lavatory behind the boss room and took many, many pictures as well. Speaking of tawdry screenshots, we've got a few more for you behind the break!

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