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RuneScape's sub fee hike goes into effect March 1st

Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Sandbox

RuneScape
Jagex announced a sub rate hike for long-running sandbox RuneScape back in November, and this week, the studio has declared that the new fees will go into effect beginning March 1st. While the game is still free-to-play, the optional sub will increase from $8 US to $9.49 US; the official site includes a conversion chart for the international community and multi-month subbers. For existing Premier Club customers, Jagex posted a reminder about grandfathering in the old rates as long as the sub is maintained:
Don't forget - as long as you're a member and don't lapse out for more than 14 days, you're eligible to keep your current rate of membership. Subscribe now to secure access to all of RuneScape's members' content at current prices.
The studio is also talking up its inbound ports expansion; there's a fresh trailer on the mechanic after the cut.

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RuneScape debates auction halls on retro servers

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

Doing it like it used to be, but it's not.
The old school servers for RuneScape are something of a community experiment. Yes, the servers are meant to keep a classic feeling alive alongside the modern game, but they're also meant to be fun for the players. This is why the developers have opened up a thread for discussing whether or not to bring the Grand Exchange on to the old school servers, with a detailed explanation of the potential benefits and drawbacks.

Some of the features available in the Grand Exchange on the "main" version of the game would not necessarily be available on the old school site due to technical limitations. It would, however, replace the Trading Post while still leaving the game's normal trade interface untouched. If you're an old school gamer who wants to sound off on the matter, take a look at the thread and figure out what would best serve the community. That's why it's up for discussion, after all.

Eleven alpha tester: Game is 'identical to Glitch'

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, Browser, Casual

eleven
"Incredible! I didn't expect it to be identical to Glitch, which it is."

So sayeth one of Eleven's select few alpha testers, some of whom posted testimonials on the site about their experience. While a second tester cited "overwhelming" nostalgia, others were more critical of bugs, reloads, and generic visuals.

The fan remake of Glitch has more than doubled its alpha test pool, from 13 to 31 players, and continues to advance the project as a whole. "This has been a great success, with many improvements being made to help improve the stability and experience while some other work is ongoing in order to bring over some more features," the devs said.

RuneScape player raises over $1200 for a pizza delivery tip

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

Hey, good news is good news.
Charlie McCormick wasn't having a particularly good holiday season. For starters, he was a pizza delivery driver, which isn't a grand ball of fun at any point of the year. His mother had also recently passed away after a prolonged illness, meaning that even if he had somehow felt festive, there wasn't money to be festive with. At least, not until he made a delivery to Joey DeGrandis and was given a $1,230 tip for his service.

DeGrandis is an avid RuneScape streamer who wanted to do something nice for a deserving delivery driver, as he feels the job isn't particularly respected for its hard work. Over the course of an 18-hour streaming marathon, his viewers raised the money for McCormick's tip while DeGrandis played, with more donations coming in even after McCormick got his initial tip. Sure, it plays into the stereotype that MMO players all sit at home and eat delivered pizza constantly, but if that stereotype includes being exceptionally charitable tippers, we can probably live with it.

City of Steam is merging EU servers on December 22nd

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Subscription

And then everyone just burns forever.  I think.  I don't know how merges work.
If you've played City of Steam in the EU and thought to yourself, "Man, there are just too many servers for this game right now," the developers agree with you, which is why the server list is being consolidated down to a single server as of December 22nd. Characters will be automatically transferred, with character names getting server tags to make sure naming issues sorted out before they arise.

Players on the current EU3 server will be receiving a compensation package that includes a 90-day subscription and a variety of other materials for character advancement. The five-characters-per-server limit will be enforced with prejudice; the staff is simply deleting the oldest or least-played characters on an account if the merge puts someone over five characters on the final server. So take care of that issue before it arises on the 22nd.

Space strategy MMO AD2460 launches on December 29th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Browser, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Subscription

AD2460
After two months in open beta, space strategy MMO AD2460 has announced its official launch for December 29th. The spiritual sequel to 2000's Planetarion, AD2460 is playable in-browser, meaning it works on mobile too. Players will be spending their time developing alliances and empires and fleets, and once the game is out of beta, they can expect to pay $1 a week in sub fees.

Fifth Season's Christian Lassem dropped by our comment section earlier this fall to dispel confusion about the game and show off a slice of combat via video, which we've included below.

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Hear the Glitch soundtrack in concert

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Miscellaneous, Music

Whether Glitch was brilliant or not is a debate I am not interested in having.  Ever.  Yes, I heard you, you miss it.  Please do not flood my inbox.
How many of you like to talk about Glitch? Wow, that many? That's great, but please quiet down for right now; there's time to talk in the comments. It's not a question you need to answer out loud. Besides, if you're super enthusiastic about the memory of the game, you have an opportunity to experience a slice of it for yourself in concert.

To celebrate the release of Glitch's soundtrack, a concert is being held on January 24th, 2015, in Toronto. Tickets are $20, and all proceeds go directly to the musicians taking part in the concert. As of this writing, the planned attendance isn't high, but we're pretty sure that will change as more people get wind of the concert.

Can't make it to Canada in the middle of January? The Glitch website still offers free downloads for many of its music tracks.

Stormthrone strikes open alpha tomorrow

Betas, Fantasy, Lore, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
Get ready, get set, and go right into open alpha with Stormthrone tomorrow!

R2Games recently announced that the isometric browser-based MMO will transition into open alpha testing on Wednesday, November 19th. The official Stormthrone website had been running a series of minigames leading up to the alpha release through which players could earn in-game loot.

Stormthrone also released a new lore diary today about the birth of Aeos and the war that ensued between the gods.

[Source: R2Games press release]

Elvenar brings city building to a fantasy world

Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Browser, MMORTS

elvenar
Pristine worlds and virgin landscapes are an affront to sentient sensibilities, which is why the call is going out to colonize the world of Elvenar. Today, InnoGames announced that it is working on a new city building game, this one to be set in a fantasy world.

Players in Elvenar will get to choose between Elves and Humans, after which they will get cracking on building a city to honor that race. Like other InnoGames titles, Elvenar will have not only a building component, but trade and battle ones as well.

Elvenar is planning on a January 2015 closed beta test for the PC. Mobile editions of the game are also planned, although they will be coming later. Players can pre-register on the official site right now.

[Source: InnoGames press release]

ZergID, an MMO social network, enters public beta today

Betas, Culture, News Items, Browser, Miscellaneous

It's exactly what someone thought you wanted.
Have you ever found yourself wishing specifically to have a social network meant to support you as an MMO player while also delivering piping-hot pastrami sandwiches right to your front door? Good because that's what ZergID is here for. Except for the pastrami sandwich part; you need to make your own sandwiches. But it is a newly announced social network designed for MMO players, with built-in support for the things that you need whilst playing multiple MMOs.

The site features profile support for multiple characters and guilds across several games, play session scheduling across games (with reminders for those who miss raid night or PvP night or hot dog night or whatever), and all of the usual bits and bobs you'd expect from a social network. If that sounds like just what you want from social networking, you can try it out now, as the site is entering its public beta today.

[Source: ZergID press release]

See Stormthrone's first gameplay teaser

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
Hearing is one thing, seeing is another. Today we're no longer just hearing about R2Games' Stormthrone but getting our very first glimpse at actual gameplay (as measured in nanoseconds of video).

The studio released a teaser trailer that highlights the game's PvP battles, co-op mode, and loot system. Currently the game is accepting alpha signups, although the official site has some minigames for fans to earn in-game goodies for their future characters. You can check out the teaser after the break!

[Source: R2Games press release]

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Space strategy title AD2460 jumps into open beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Browser, Mobile, Subscription

ad2460
The stars and beyond are the limit for AD2460, a new science-fiction strategy MMO that just went into open beta this past week.

AD2460 places players in charge of a homeworld and space-faring fleets in an effort to research technology, conquer worlds, and form alliances. This so-called "WMMO" ("W" stands for "web-based") is playable in a PC browser as well as on tablets and capable smartphones. While developer Fifth Season welcomes any and all players into the open beta, it urged participants to log bug reports to help the title become more polished.

When it goes live, AD2460 will offer a 14-day trial followed by a subscription model of $1 a week. AD2460 is the spiritual successor to Fifth Season's Planetarion, and if you're interested, you can check out the story trailer after the break.

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City of Steam is merging US servers on October 21st

Fantasy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

The first moments on a merged server are always weird.
City of Steam's US servers are coming back together. On October 21st, the US servers for the game will be merged into a single server for everyone in the US. Players on the US2 and US3 servers affected by the merges will be getting a bit of an extra benefit out of this change; not only will they get to play with a larger population, but a consolation package is being offered to players for the delay in starting the other servers in the first place.

The packages consist of subscription time, Metal, Alloy, Revamp Gems, Vehicle Parts, and Lucky Scrolls; US3 characters get more of these things, but the core contents are identical. There's also an offer to European players to obtain a similar package by emailing the support department, as those servers are already merged. Read up on the details, and get ready for the world to become a bit smaller but more populated.

RuneScape announces Hearthstone-like card game

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Trading Card Games

runescape
Hearthstone's success is hard to ignore in the industry, and it doesn't take much effort to connect the dots between that title's growth and Jagex's decision to develop an in-game card battler for RuneScape. The UK-based studio announced that it's making Chronicle: RuneScape Legends to be played inside of its popular MMO.

Chronicle takes place inside a "magical book" that challenges players to use deck-building to create quests that can be completed through PvE and PvP card battles. "Your opponent will be creating quests in parallel with you, but watch out as they might try to steal your weapons or gold," the website states. "At the end of your quests you do battle, with the last person standing the victor!"

According to Eurogamer, Jagex has been working on Chronicle since the beginning of the year to be released sometime in 2015 for the PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Chronicle is currently accepting beta sign-ups.

Stormthrone debuts and offers alpha signups

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
It's Thursday in MMOland, and you know what that means: It's time for a new fantasy game announcement! Today R2Games unveiled its latest offering, Stormthrone: Aeos Rising, along with a teaser site and alpha signups.

Stormthrone is a browser-based fantasy MMO that calls heroes to "discover the ancient world of Aeos, a world besieged by demons." Players will get their pick of six classes: Knight, Rogue, Priest, Warrior, Sniper, or Mage.

Right now the website has bare-bones information, a link to sign up to the alpha test, and the promise of more information coming soons.

[Source: R2Games press release]

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