7 days around the MMO world (June 28)

It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere of the world, bringing us excessive heat, Wimbledon and beach goers tanning their skin with ocean breezes caressing their faces. The summer also brings in winds of change as well as summer events galore. Generosity also fills our friends as Turbine has invited us to participate in the new Dungeons & Dragons Online closed beta to test out the new free-to-play game mechanics. Right now we’re under NDA so we cannot talk about our experiences there but be sure that once we can we will be bringing you our perspective from the D&D virtual world.

World of Warcraft’s mid-summer festival started this week offering up an array of achievements to be achieved as well as the Flame Warden title among other fun goodies. The seasonal boss Ahune is available again to be destroyed offering up prizes to the victors like a rare Scorchling vanity pet. If you’re out to get all the achievements you’ll also find that it’s a good way to make some quick and easy gold. It’s one of the more easy event achievement sets in the game so if you want a quick and easy new title, this would be the event to get it in.

In related news, Warhammer Online has also started its summer festivities. War’s festivities don’t have as much to do as WoW’s does but it can be argued that War’s is more substantial. From now until July 7 players will get 10% more XP and Renown gain. On top of that any player or NPC enemy that falls to you will drop fireworks for the player to celebrate with. The event is meant to mark both the United State’s Fourth of July celebration as well as marking the opening of the summer around the world.

Speaking of Warhammer Online earlier this week we brought you news of the BioWare and Mythic merger brought on by their parent company EA. While no additional news as come about what the new group will be called or the fate of all their projects, the recently departed Mark Jacobs spoke up about his dismissal, “Early in May, Electronic Arts let me know that they wanted to make some changes within the Games Label and as a result of those changes I have been out of the office (and out of touch with the team, game, etc.) since that day.

“However, if you are looking or expecting me to damn EA or anyone there, you will be sorely disappointed. Over my 23 years of making games professionally I have refrained from attacking the competition, former and/or current partners, other game developers, etc. except on a few very rare instances. I have no intention of breaking with tradition at the present time and I hope my track record in this regard remains unchanged for the rest of my career.”

I see Mr. Jacobs, taking the high road are we? What the future holds for Mark Jacobs is unknown at this time but we’re sure there are a number of developers out there who would love to have a seasoned industry person be added to their ranks despite his recent fall from grace.

The hype around Aion continues to heat up and this video does a great job of getting even us excited. The video shows the North American based team talking about the game’s lore and features while showing off tons of beautiful in-game footage. We learn that Aion is a god who created the world in which the three factions live. The world has been torn in half and now hanging by the Tower of Eternity whose apex is destroyed in a bloody battle. The game seems to be enriched with a deep and well thought out story which is something MMOs tend to lack. Needless to say, Aion shaping up to be one hell of an MMO and we cannot wait to get our hands on it.

In other MMO news:

  • Speaking of Aion, it will be released in the US on Sept 22 and Sept 25 in Europe.
  • The Book 8 update launches for Lord of the Rings Online.
  • APB developer announced they are working on an ambitious second MMO project.
  • Champions Online open beta coming in mid-august, so if you have not been lucky to get into the closed beta *cough* us *cough* then this would be a time to get a taste of the game.
  • Second Life celebrates it’s sixth year.