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Neocron 2

One Shots: ???

Screenshots, EverQuest, Neocron 2, Star Wars Galaxies, One Shots, Miscellaneous

One Shots
There's a lot going on in our lead picture here. There are question marks, a fungus person, a pointedly staring frog, and enough colors to give Crayola a run for its money. But what is it about? What does it mean?

Reader Stacy helps clear things up: "That's mah frog. This was around April Fool's last year (those question marks are fireworks from that in-game event and are amazing in motion). This was my first house; I got it for free from the EverQuest in-game card game, so I did not have much decoration. I bought a bunch of pets from a man down the street and set them loose, then set off all my fireworks and partied the night away with frog and friends."

See, if we did most of these activities in real life, we'd be in jail. Aren't MMOs grand?

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The Game Archaeologist: When sequels attack!

Asheron's Call, Darkfall, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage 2, Neocron 2, PlanetSide, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Global Agenda, Final Fantasy XIV, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2

The Game Archaeologist When sequels attack!
Sequels are both the bane of and a fact of life for movies and video games. Well, "bane" is a strong word, and you're probably thinking of Batman right now anyway, but personally, I'm always willing to give the benefit of doubt to any continuation of a favorite franchise. While we don't see sequels pop up as often in MMOs, they do exist and have significant effects upon the original title that bears the same name.

It's here that MMOs diverge from movies and other video games. With those, the original is not in any sort of danger, other than the perception of having its legacy dragged down into the muck (Caddyshack II, anyone?) and perhaps overstaying its welcome. An MMO sequel, on the other hand, can cause serious consequences to its ancestor.

Here at Game Archaeologist, we look at classic games that have often seen their time come and go. But what happens to one of these titles when a sequel attacks? Almost anything, it turns out.

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The Game Archaeologist: Neocron and Neocron 2

Sci-Fi, Neocron 2, MMO Industry, The Game Archaeologist

The Game Archaeologist Neocron
It's the distant future. The high-tech battle armor you wear sharply contrasts with the ruins of civilization that you traverse. You spot an enemy and raise your pulse rifle, firing off shots as you strafe to cover. Technology hasn't solved the issue of war; it's just made it that much more bloody.

PlanetSide 2? Nope -- this is Neocron, the quite-forgettable MMOFPS from the way-back era. I like to call it "that game with the most regrettable cover art in the history of video games," but that isn't quite as snappy.

Going into this article, I have to admit that I previously knew absolutely nothing about Neocron other than the fact that it was a sci-fi MMO that vaguely reminded me of Anarchy Online. Oh, also the fact that nobody I know or perhaps ever will know played it. Is it just a myth? A practical joke to make us believe in a MMO phantom? Only sifting through layers of dust and grime would produce results, so I rolled up my sleeves and started digging.

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The Perfect Ten: Sequelitis

EverQuest II, Lineage 2, Neocron 2, Sword of the New World, Guild Wars 2, Everquest Online Adventures, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Vindictus, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

As a long-time movie buff, I've always been fascinated by sequels. I know, they have a terrible reputation and everyone gets this face like he's digesting a porcupine when discussing them, but there's something fun about them as well. I think we always want a good story to continue, to see what happens next, and to answer the question, "What would the first film be like if it were put in the hands of a complete boob?" It would be an entertaining trainwreck, that's what.

Even though the MMORPG genre is in its toddler stage, it's seen a number of sequels, prequels and spin-offs, just the same as other types of entertainment. Video game sequels for hit titles are safer financial investments than striking out into new territory, so it makes sense that MMO studios would follow this pattern as well.

Right now there are loads of MMO sequels and spin-offs in the works -- including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide Next, Guild Wars 2, Mabinogi 2, MapleStory 2, Phantasy Star Online 2, Dust 514, and even a possible Ultima Online sequel -- so it's safe to say that the trend won't be dying down anytime soon. However, today I want to look at 10 sequels that already made it to release and briefly examine how they stacked up to their predecessors. Oh yes, there will be blood after the jump -- and I will drink your milkshake!

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News from the Wider MMO World: August 26, 2008

At a glance, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Dreamlords, Jumpgate Evolution, Neocron 2, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mabinogi, Requiem: Bloodymare, Fiesta

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.

Mabinogi welcomes Generation 3
The MMO that bills itself as "your fantasy life" has gotten its next upgrade with Generation 3. Now Mabinogi players will have the ability to marry each other, complete with license and wedding attire for both genders. An overarching quest will require warriors to recover dungeon seals to prevent the Fomor from entering the world. And finally, the pet system gets an overhaul, with new interactions, behaviors, and controls. The removal of the combat cap, increased UI options, and new items all await players in Generation 3.

Neocron 2 developer declares insolvency
10Tacle Studios AG, parent company of Reakktor Media GmbH, developers of Neocron 2, declared insolvency on August 6th. They are awaiting an insolvency administrator to determine what will happen with the game servers. In a later update to the original forum post, Kirk Lenke, CEO of Reakktor Media announced that the insolvency will not affect business operation of Neocron 2, and that they are still in development for upcoming title Black Prophecy.

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E308: Black Prophecy debuts with trailer, closed beta registration

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Neocron 2, New Titles, News Items, MMOFPS, Black Prophecy

Reakktor Media, the brains behind the cyberpunk MMO shooters Neocron and Neocron 2, have recently recently a brand new movie-esque trailer for their new game, Black Prophecy.

The game is a futuristic space combat game, a la Jumpgate, in design. By the look of the trailer, there's going to be dogfights, explosions, pretty planets, huge ships, and pretty much everything else you could expect. The game world has also been penned by Michael Marrak, a German science-fiction author, so we can also expect a full plotline and deep world. If the text in the trailer is to be believed, it looks like all of life might be nearing a universal apocalypse?

More importantly, Reakktor has also opened the registration for the Black Prophecy closed beta on their website, so if you're interested in flying around and blowing stuff up, you might want to stop over and drop your name in the hat. There's currently no word as to when the closed beta will start up, but we'll keep our ears to the ground for you and will post up the information as we receive it.

But while you're drooling, waiting for the beta, you can also look at the trailer on the Black Prophecy website, plus a couple of screenshots, to keep you guessing until the game falls into your hands. Or, maybe go check out Reakktor's other work, Neocron 2, perhaps?

Seven days sans Neocron 2

Neocron 2, Server downtime, News Items, MMOFPS

Usually when a game's server goes down, it's the world shard server that everyone knows and thinks about. After a couple of minutes, the development team sends the server through a reboot and everything is back up without much fuss, except a few people who complain how they lost that ten whole minutes of farming.

But the Neocron 2 community got to find out what happens when the multiple hard drives of the login server simultaneously fail, sending the account data and character data into the land of infinity. The result was seven days without Neocron 2, forcing the community into the standard MMO withdrawal syndrome as their favorite game was unaccessible.

The servers were finally available again yesterday, and everyone once again piled into Neocron for their cyberpunk first-person shooter experience.

Reakktor Media, the operators of Neocron 2, will not be providing current subscribers with free game time for the server outage. Instead, they are preparing a special in-game present to everyone who had a trial account or full account during the outage.

When reached for further comment, Reakktor Media declined to provide further information, stating what was on the forums was all the information they were willing to release regarding this matter.

[Thanks, Mike!]

(Edit: Corrected photo caption. - Colin)

The future of the MMO pet class

Sci-Fi, Neocron 2, Classes, Game Mechanics

Almost every MMO has them; the typical pet class. Whether it's charming a beast of nature, raising one from the corpse of a fallen enemy or creating one from scratch, the mechanics of the pet classes are always intriguing to players. Over at Van Hemlock's blog, he tears down the basics of the pet class and shares his experiences with his favorites on various online games he's played through the years.

His feature example is from 10tacle Studios' Neocron 2: Beyond Dome of York. In this game, there's a Rigger class which enables a drone as it's pet of sorts. Van Hemlock goes on to describe exactly how this drone works and why it intrigues him so much in spite of the fact that the game is several years old, and there are so many other online games out there with similar classes.

[Via VirginWorlds]

Why Fantasy, and not Science Fiction, Part Eleventy-Billion

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Neocron 2, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Tabula Rasa

As my compadre Eli writes here, there is reasoning available that Fantasy MMOs have flourished due to there being a greater preponderance of Fantasy titles, in various media, upon which to draw inspiration to sustain an MMO. The lack of substantive Science Fiction titles of the time, therefore, leads to the correlating dearth of such MMOs. However, this argument only mentions in passing what I think is the more crucial element, which is this:

Fantasy titles are about the Hero's Journey, or the Epic. Science Fiction titles are about exploration of ideas. One of these story types makes for better adaptation to immersive gameplay. Guess which?

Now, I will back up a bit and acknowledge that as a blanket statement, what I said does not (and should not be considered to) cover every Fantasy or Science Fiction title everywhere. Clearly, Star Wars is the most well-known Epic SF story, but then again, Lucas based the plot almost entirely on Joseph Campbell's monomyth, which was itself formulated around the epic myths and stories of history. And perhaps one of the finest Fantasy titles ever written, John Crowley's Little, Big, uses Fantasy tropes to examine the idea of the complexity of human relationships, rather than one character's journey to overcome evil. But having made those concessions, let me make my case.

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