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Anarchy Online

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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Anarchy Online opens beta testing for new graphics engine

Betas, Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play

That ray of doom encroaching on us sure is lovely.
A new graphical engine can make an old game feel new again. Anarchy Online has had a new engine in the works for what feels like forever now, with one delay or another pushing back implementation repeatedly. But fans of the game can rejoice, as the end is in sight -- the new graphical engine is open for beta testing, with all of the same content as the existing game and a much prettier way to look at it.

The team at Funcom is starting in closed beta, with players asked to create new characters rather than copy over existing ones to test out the included new player experience. Those interested in testing will need to sign up, with invitations coming in waves until the NDA is dropped and open testing is put into place. And there are some improvements to social items and the like, but what most players are going to be focusing on is the facelift.

[Thanks to zendadaist for the tip!]

The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in August

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, Lineage 2, PlanetSide, The Matrix Online, News Items, Opinion, Ultima Online, Vanguard, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in August
How few players do you need to have before operating an MMO becomes ridiculously unprofitable and in need of closing? In the case of The Matrix Online, we found out that the magic number was 500. I wouldn't have even guessed that so few people were in that game when its shutdown was announced, especially considering the vocal anguish that arose when SOE lowered the boom.

I guess it goes to show that we're often quite clueless what goes on behind the curtain. There's always this balance between the number-crunchers (who need players and money to justify continued operations) and the passionate creators (who are often developers putting in the effort because they simply love the game and its community). If nothing else, it reinforced my belief that SOE does bend over backwards to keep these games running as long as possible, much longer than some other studios would in a similar situation.

So what other news regarding classic MMOs happened this past month? It's time for another one of my patented roundups, complete with archaeological commentary!

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in July

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
It's been over a month since our last round-up of news, events, and community features covering the classic MMOs we know and love. You wouldn't think that a lazy summer month would contain a lot of new information regarding these older titles, but these past few weeks have been absolutely hopping.

We've had several anniversaries, patches, player celebrations, mobile adaptations, and more. I'm constantly encouraged to see how players keep the memories of deceased games and the spirit of currently running ones alive throughout the blogging community as well, so we'll look into that today too.

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Free for All: MMOs will never be the same again

Screenshots, Anarchy Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Free for All

Zentia screenshot
Most of the arguments I make in this article come down to basic science. Once something is created, it can only be copied. The original is just what it is. Some of the MMOs that started me off on this journey across hundreds of worlds are closed now, but many still remain open and active. I can go back to those older games and enjoy them, but in most cases I go back and find that I'm glad I moved on. I have changed, and so has the internet and how I access it. All of these things factor into my changing opinion and the fact that MMOs as I remember them will probably always remain relics of the past.

Don't worry; I'm not here to tell you how incredible older titles like were. Those were some good times, but it's depressing to think that I would constantly be stuck in the past, never moving forward. Still, it's nice to think that those titles might be copied but never replaced. After all, gamers have moved on and so has design. As both should.

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Anarchy Online turns 12 on June 27, Funcom plans events and giveaways

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

Anarchy Online turns 12 on June 27th
Guess who's turning 12 on June 27th? If you said Anarchy Online, you're pretty smart. Or you read the title of this article, whichever.

In any case, Funcom is celebrating the milestone by hosting in-game events and handing out free gifts including the Ganimedes jet pack. If you're an AO member, you'll also receive rare balloons and a celebratory social pet. As always, full details are available at the game's official website.

The Game Archaeologist: Anarchy Online turns 12

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Free-to-Play, The Game Archaeologist, Anniversaries

The Game Archaeologist Anarchy Online turns 12
Most MMOs rolling into their 12th year (what few of them there are) live pretty quiet lives. Sure, there's the odd EverQuest expansion here and there, but for the most part the development has simmered down, the team trimmed to a handful of folks, and the best hope for the future is maintaining the status quo.

Anarchy Online, however, is not angling to molder in some nursing home. As the 2001 sci-fi MMO turns 12 this month, it's looking back at a year full of exciting developments, scary moments, and hopeful visions. It might be the smallest arrow in Funcom's quiver right now, but I see it as a scrappy underdog that isn't willing to lie down and be ignored.

So what happened this past year and what do Anarchy Online players have to look forward to? Glad you asked!

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