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Chronicles of Spellborn

Four cheers for Tipa's Spellborn gallery

Fantasy, Screenshots, Chronicles of Spellborn

You've got to admit it - Chronicles of Spellborn has some seriously amazing graphics. And to prove that's true, Tipa at West Karana has posted a great selection of screenies. They include some of the High Houses, cityscapes, temples, and yes, the gratuitous undressed character shot.

As if having Within Temptation do the music for it wasn't enough to tempt you (pun fully intended) into the game, these screen shots provide the additional visual stimulus needed to point you to the beta sign-up. If you're in the EU, you can download the client for free. So hop over, take a look, and commence the ooh-ing... and eagerly awaiting launch day in the States.

The Chronicles of Spellborn's open beta impressions

Betas, Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Hands-On, Chronicles of Spellborn

Since the launch of open beta in Europe and removal of the NDA this weekend, The Chronicles of Spellborn has now entered the public eye on a much larger scale. MMORPG has been providing some in-depth coverage of the game recently, including one of the first extensive looks at the character creation process.

However, sometimes it's good to get a "regular-guy" perspective on these first impressions, so we're particularly interested in a recent run-down from the A Ding World blog. In this thorough look at the current state of open beta, Sente runs through character creation, control, user interface, questing and much more. It's a great read if you're interested in learning more about this upcoming MMO, set to launch on November 27th in Europe and in January for the US.

Spellborn's American launch pushed back, closed beta starts the 27th

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Chronicles of Spellborn

So we heard a couple months ago that The Chronicles of Spellborn would be released in North America and the United Kingdom on November 27th, coinciding with the continental European launch. Turns out it's been pushed back -- kinda. The European launch will still commence on the 27th, but the North American closed beta will begin on that day, with the actual, final launch occurring sometime in January.

Sure, we're a bit disappointed, but chances are we'll still get to play the game soon. Acclaim, the game's publisher in the region, went out of its way in the press release it sent us to stress the "Freemium" business model -- a newbie trial area will be available to all players, who can reach level seven before they have to upgrade to a premium subscription at the usual $15/month rate.

The idea of an unlimited free trial area with a level cap isn't fresh -- both Meridian 59 and EverQuest II have done that, but it's not a bad way to sample a game to decide if you want to invest your hard-earned cash in it. Might be worth trying just for Jesper Kyd's soundtrack

News from the Wider MMO World: September 30th, 2008

At a glance, Fantasy, Dofus, Knight Online, MMO Industry, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, News Items, Free-to-Play, Chronicles of Spellborn, Dream of Mirror Online

The MMO genre is more than World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. Here's what's going on in the rest of the world.

Ankama Games launches new Dofus Heroic Server; includes permadeath
As of September 23rd, there's a new server dedicated to Ankama Games' Dofus. Called the Heroic Server, its most notable feature is permanent death for all characters. Once dead, the player's opponent is allowed to take the character's items, and the deceased becomes interred in the Cemetery of Heroes, a worldwide ranking that can be consulted via a dedicated website. To offset the permadeath penalty, all skill and professions leveling will be much easier, allowing players to rise in rank much more quickly. To the brave and the bold: the Heroic Server calls!

Atlantica Online begins open beta; offers prizes
For their open beta launch, Atlantica Online's NDOORS is offering players of its Free Leagues -- the PvP system -- a variety of prizes, including a Nintendo Wii, an iPod Nano, or $10,000 in cash. Interestingly, these prizes become available only once the player population hits certain landmarks: 5,000; 10,000; 20,000; and 30,000. "NDOORS created something unique in the MMO world when we designed the deep turn-based, strategic world of Atlantica Online. So we decided we needed something just as original for our open beta," said Peter Kang, CEO, NDOORS Interactive. "This is going to be unlike anything anyone has seen before."

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The Chronicles of Spellborn: Not free to play, proclaims Acclaim

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Chronicles of Spellborn

In fact, the PR Manager for The Chronicles of Spellborn is quite insistent on the that point. 'TCoS is NOT a Free2Play game,' says PR manager, Mirage. And then again, only in ALL CAPS. Mirage is correct, of course. The Chronicles of Spellborn basically has a starting zone that you can play in for free. Think of it as a free trial, if you like. If you want to play the rest of this MMOG, you'll need to upgrade your free account for the regular subscription kind.

'Second, there are NO item malls, there is NO item selling,' adds Mirage. By the time we got halfway through we had to fan the air a little, as the stench of those nasty free-to-play models had pervaded the corners of the room. We hear that a box of sodium bicarbonate left open behind the sofa will eliminate those nasty odors.

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The Chronicles of Spellborn launches November 27th in North America

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Chronicles of Spellborn

Publisher Acclaim Games has finally announced the North American release date of developer Spellborn International's action-oriented MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn. The game will go live in the United States and Canada on the 27th of November -- exactly the same day as the European release. Why Acclaim and European publisher Frogster didn't announce for all regions at once, we're not quite sure!

In the press release we received, Acclaim promised that a North American closed beta will begin soon, and directed would-be players to sign up at the official site. Expect fairly standard MMO gameplay, except for combat, which is a little different. You'll actually have to aim your attacks like you would in a third person shooter game.

Spellborn runs on "Unreal Engine 2.5" and features music by respected video game composer Jesper Kyd, who has contributed scoring to games like Assassin's Creed, Gears of War, and Unreal Tournament 3.

News From the Wider MMO World: September 23, 2008

At a glance, Fantasy, Asheron's Call, MMO Industry, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, News Items, Free-to-Play, Chronicles of Spellborn, Grand Chase, Secret of the Solstice

The MMO genre is more than World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. Here's what's going on in the rest of the world.

Secret of the Solstice
gets new patch with new content

Outspark's Secret of the Solstice, the free-to-play fantasy MMO, has updated its client with a new patch. Available for both new players and veterans alike is a brand-new zone featuring new quests and a lush jungle landscape. Furthering the overarching storyline is a new initiative to pursue GM Alastor across the Emperonie Plateau and the Aserphel, Cretino, and Turmeit deserts. Finally, players can now view all of an NPC's available quests at the same time and choose which mission to undertake. Download the new patch at the SotS website.

New Warlock class available to Grand Chase players

KOG and Ntreev, publisher of Grand Chase, the side-scrolling fantasy brawler, has announced an update to the character class known as Arme. Arme, in addition to her Mage and Combat Alchemist jobs, now has access to a third: Warlock. The abilities of the Warlock job include summoning the spirits of earth, wind, fire, and water, to produce spectacular effects and fight with greater power than ever before. Before deciding if you want to switch jobs to the Warlock class, make sure to check up on the job's requirements on the Grand Chase website.

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Release date announced for The Chronicles of Spellborn

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Chronicles of Spellborn

The Chronicles of Spellborn developers Spellborn NV and publisher Frogster have just announced that the eagerly-awaited fantasy MMO will be hit retail release on November 27th, 2008 in Europe. This includes the German, English and French versions of the game. In preparation for this release date, Spellborn has entered into the next phase of closed beta and introduced a large content patch on this last Wednesday, September 17th.

If you've not been following The Chronicles of Spellborn, this would be a good time to see what the game has to offer. Set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, the game uses the Unreal Engine to create an "authentic living world" for players to enjoy. Check out their forums for information on the beta and more details on the game's upcoming launch.

PVP details revealed for The Chronicles of Spellborn

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Chronicles of Spellborn

The Chronicles of Spellborn is approaching its release date and we have a bit of news regarding how the PvP servers will work, and the Fame system they have in place. As noted by a recent press release, all regions will be enabled for PvP except Hawksmouth, Aldenvault and the major cities. There will also be special PvP caves within the safe zones on all servers for low level PvP.

The Fame system will work much like experience in other MMOs. You can not only gain it by questing or aiding others in their quests, but the amount of Fame your character is awarded from killing enemies has increased. They decided to make this change so that players don't need to rely solely on questing to level their characters.

Acclaim to publish The Chronicles of Spellborn in North America

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Chronicles of Spellborn

Action-oriented MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn has found a publisher in Acclaim Games, the MMO-focused reincarnation of now-defunct Acclaim Entertainment. The company was founded by former Activision CEO Howard Marks, who bought the brand name from the original Acclaim after it crashed and burned in 2004.

David Perry -- Chief Creative Officer of Acclaim Games -- published a letter to the Spellborn community announcing the deal. In it, he talks up the game and the dev team behind it, saying that they immediately stood out to him and the other folks at Acclaim. We'll assume that Acclaim was the company that wrote the letter of intent way back in April, but who can say for sure?

Spellborn had already landed a publishing deal for Europe and Asia with Frogster Interactive. Last we heard the game was due out by the end of 2008, but we're not super-confident about it. Spellborn is still in its closed beta testing phase at the moment.

Peruse the history of the Chronicles of Spellborn

Fantasy, Screenshots, Culture, Lore, New Titles, Chronicles of Spellborn

Following on the heels of the first part of the timeline, this second chapter in the history of the Chronicles of Spellborn brings things further into the present. Known as "Death's Dream", the period following "The Great Collapse", this era is delineated by the fragments of the Ancestor World:

"To most scholars it is unknown what has happened in this period. Some of them are not even convinced it lasted a full 500 years. What is known is that the remnants of the world - the various Shards and Fragments - are covered in Undying Ice during this period and that all survivors of the Great Collapse are frozen in time, trapped within a deep slumber."

And what's further known is that the Chronicles of Spellborn just keeps looking better and better the more we learn of it.

[Thanks, Katrina!]

Frogster will drown you in new MMOs ... if you live in Europe

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Real-Life, Sports, Galleries, Expansions, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Chronicles of Spellborn, Casual, Stone Age 2, Bounty Bay Online, Runes of Magic

Frogster, noted European and Asian MMO publisher, has released a flying voidship-load of information about their upcoming MMOs for the European market.

Long awaited fantasy MMO The Chronicles of Spellborn is still due out late this year, with open beta to begin in October. We've been following this game closely for some time, but it looks like the rumored US publisher (given their prior relationship, perhaps Aeria Games) is not yet ready to announce North American release dates for the game. The World of Warcraft-ish Asian Import Runes of Magic, newly rescored and tuned toward Western tastes, will enter closed beta in September, for a European release about two months later. Isometric pet-raising, caveman-themed MMO StoneAge 2, already in open beta in North America, will be entering European closed beta in August ahead of a fall release. Next week, Frogster will release more information on its latest MMO, soccer-themed Kickster (formerly Kick Off). And they want us to keep an eye out for an expansion to the Bounty Bay Online pirate MMO.

Assuming you live in Europe, which ones should you particularly keep your eye on? If you bought a Gameboy just to play Pokemon, you might really enjoy StoneAge 2. If a subscription fee is keeping you from playing World of Warcraft, Runes of Magic might just be different enough to get you interested, and it will be free to play. If you liked Age of Conan's innovative combat system but couldn't get into the world of Hyboria, Spellborn's unique setting and combat system combined with its lush visuals might sell you.

Check out screenshots from each of these games in the gallery below.

More beta screenshots from Chronicles of Spellborn

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Chronicles of Spellborn

The team at Spellborn NV continues to entice with its latest screenshots from its closed beta for The Chronicles of Spellborn. These depict various cities and other places on the Shards of Parliament and Quarterstone, as well as some of the creatures who will be more than glad to help you test your skill at bleeding. After looking at the new screenshots, forum regulars wondered if the landscapes are too empty and flat when compared to World of Warcraft's lush richness.

Spellborn NV recently showed the game at the RPC Münster role-playing convention, where players reportedly loved the character creation system and combat systems best. Similarly to NCSoft's City of Heroes, the gear and outfits worn by Spellborn characters don't affect the gameplay -- you can look however you wish and still fight at your best. The Spellborn combat system is similar to first person shooters and Age of Conan in that you don't target anything specifically; if something is in range of your attacks, it will be hit. It also is uniquely based on a grid on which you arrange your possible attacks that moves to allow you to use different sets of all your abilities as the fight moves on, adding a "deck building" element to battle.

No news on the identity of the publisher with whom they signed a letter of intent to publish the game in North America, or whether we will still see The Chronicles of Spellborn this year. In a year that has seen Age of Conan and will likely see Warhammer Online and the next World of Warcraft expansion, Spellborn will have to work doubly hard to get a share of gamers' time and money.

Of the Spellborn PC, personal experience points, and adventure!

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, New Titles, Chronicles of Spellborn

There's been a lot of talk recently about special collector's editions. Are they really worth the money? Chronicles of Spellborn may have just made the ultimate deal here. For about 1200 Teuros (about two grand in US dollars), they've teamed up with Ultraforce to sell you a game and the custom gaming rig on which to play it. You just can't beat a deal like this. A highly anticipated MMO and a speedy Core2 Duo processor, twin GeForce 9600s SLI on an nForce 750i motherboard and custom Spellborn case art... No idea whether it comes with a three day head start, though, and we can hope those aren't the minimum system specs to play the game.

We've been seeing a lot of beta screen shots out of Spellborn, but there's been too many shots showing static scenes with perhaps a person standing in them but precious little action. The beta testers finally came through for us with a dozen adventuring screen shots and there is plenty of action to be seen. The screen shot above showcases how different the characters you create can look -- the woman in front is gray-haired and chunky but still looks good in her steel-and-silk bikini. She doesn't have to run fast; just faster than the doomed, thin girl lagging behind.

Spellborn is currently due to release world-wide in Q4 2008. They'll have some tough competition. The Spellborn devs just (like, a minute ago) put up a new beta video showing off their Personal Experience Point system. The PEPs are gained through PvE and grant permanent buffs to your character ... provided you don't die. Good stuff, and you can be one of the first to see it! Click on through to watch the video below the cut.

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Chronicles of Spellborn gets US Publisher

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Chronicles of Spellborn

Seems like just yesterday we were wondering if The Chronicles of Spellborn would ever see US shores. Some kind spirit must have heard us, for today comes news that a US publisher has signed a letter of intent to publish this rather unique fantasy MMO on this side of the Atlantic. Spellborn International and its European/Asian publisher, Frogster, have decided to push the release date of the game from Q2 '08 (ie, Real Soon) to Q3 '08 (ie, when Warhammer Online and the new World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, ship). The reason given for the delay is polish and time for the US publisher to work on marketing the game. Polish. That used to be such a kind word. Polished games are nice, but "fun" is an even better one.

Given the rather empty looking world they have been showing us, this extra time should certainly allow them to jam it full of goodness. With any luck at all, we'll be flying through the Deadspell Storm in our golden shardships, on our way to represent our Houses in Parliament. Now that it appears we'll be seeing this game in North America after all, what better time to learn more about the world of Spellborn through the Spellborn Scrolls? The Scrolls are an interactive text adventure that introduces you to the people and places of the game and is a pretty darn unique way to get the feel for the lore.

[Thanks, Garold!]

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