7 days around the MMO world / January 10

It seems that no matter how hard one tries it’s nearly impossible to escape the clutches of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. This week is no different as there was a plethora of news about or closely related to the fantasy MMO mega-hit. Last week we told you a little story about a fugitive on the run in Canada being caught because of his WoW activity, this week is no less scandalous.

MMORPG’s are inherently social games and it’s not uncommon for people to become acquaintances or even friends though grouping and taking out challenges. Some people however can take things a bit too far and in the case of 16-year-old Andrew Kane of Barrie in Ontario, Canada, “far” is both literal and figurative. Kane had sparked up a romantic relationship with Lauri Price from Texas, aged 42 years, while playing WoW. Over the holidays Price had taken a trip up to Canada to meet Kane and when he asked for a ride from his parents to a nearby hotel to meet Price he was met with a sharp “No.” However Kane wasn’t going to take that answer sitting down so he casted Stealth, walked along the wall and used Distract on his parent to sneak out at at 2am, his finger was ready to hit Vanish if necessary.

Kane was then missing for two days until a tip from the public came in and authorities found the pair in Orilla, Ontario on Dec 31, 2009. Apparently Kane lied about his age saying he was 20 years old which in Canada wouldn’t necessarily matter being that the age of consent is only 16. No charges were brought on Price and she was free to return to the US, however it does raise the question why a 42 year old woman would have interest in a 16-year-old boy when she’s old enough to be his mother, but I digress.

In other WoW related news, this week the second wing of Arthas’ crib, Icecrown Citadel, was opened. The new wing called Plagueworks features two very ugly abominations called Rotface and Futstergut. The wing also features the abomination’s creator Professor Putricide which is loaded with references to Futurama. The end date for Arena season 7 was announced for as soon Jan 19 and the start of season 8 to start two weeks after. As with every season, new gear will be available and all of your Arena points and ratings will be wiped at the start of the new season.

While not related to World of Warcraft per-say there is a big unconfirmed rumor that Blizzard’s next MMO is an MMOFPS. As with any rumor take the information with a grain of salt as said information is definitely unconfirmed. The French gaming site NoFrag is reporting that the new MMO will feature a FPS section with a social interaction section separate from each other. This sounds a lot like the way both Huxley and Crimecraft are currently set up. We here at TVGB can’t help but wonder if this is legit because this method breaks immersion and currently is very successful in the games mentioned.

We do know that the new MMO is a brand new IP and a lot of speculation believe it to be of the Sci-Fi genre being that Blizzard already has fantasy on lock down. We don’t disagree with that particular speculation but we have a hard time swallowing Blizzard making an MMOFPS considering their FPS Starcraft Ghost never saw the light of day. If it turns out that Blizzard is in fact making an MMOFPS we’re hoping that it’s cross-platform so that we can finally unite all PC’s and consoles in a common game. If anyone could do that and do it well, it would be Blizzard.

The post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth got a very interesting update recently that overhauled the game’s graphics and the results are impressive. Traditionally MMOs don’t receive updates like this through simple patches as they’re usually reserved for full expansions and sometimes games never see updates like this at all. Hence our surprise that Fallen Earth receive an update like this only months after the game’s release. The updates affect mainly the ground, foliage and skies giving them a much needed face lift. We suggest you take a look at the before and after screenshots and if you were on the fence about the game, now would be a good time to give it a test drive.

When it comes to the Dark Age of Camelot in Europe, Mythic hired a third-party to operate the game overseas, much like Blizzard hiring NetEase to run its game in China. GOA was the operator for DAoC in Europe and now Mythic has decided to take up the operation of its game on its own. Mythic made the announcement a few days ago, “We are currently working with GOA to take over operation of the game and its European community, and will soon be providing details about pressing player questions such as existing subscriptions, character transfers, game versions, localization, and more.”

Hopefully the transition of the game’s operators in Europe will prove to be much smoother than WoW’s in China where the game was offline completely for weeks. There was no specific reason given for the switch other than the contract simply expiring.

In other MMO news: