7 days around the MMO world / January 24

Another week has passed by and that brings us another week filled with juicy MMO news updates. The news this week comes from all ranges of the spectrum: big studios, little studios, fantasy and sci-fi. But enough with the formal introductions, it’s about time we were on with it.

The MMO that’s sitting at the top of our anticipation list is Hi-Rez Studio’s Global Agenda with its sci-fi — or as others might call it “spy-fi” — setting. This week the early start and pre-order bonuses were revealed to fans’ and beta testers’ certain delight.

For those that pre-ordered the game prior to Jan 28 will be able to jump in, reserve their name, grab special head flair items, level to 10 and start their Agency aka Guild. Players will have from Jan 28 through Jan 31 to participate in the early start event, otherwise you’ll simply have to wait until the official launch. Beta testers also have the option of keeping their name from beta when moving to the live game, however the items and levels are reset.

Sticking with the whole sci-fi theme for a bit, we have patch details for EVE Online’s upcoming Dominion 1.1 update. There is obviously too much to detail here in a couple of paragraphs without the unnecessary abuse of bullet points, so we’ll just highlight a couple key changes.

Probably the change with the most impact is coming from the shift to Supercarriers from Motherships. While for the most part Supercarriers are virtually identical to Motherships, they now have more hp and can carry Fighter Bombers, hence the name. Fighter Bombers are the next big change coming in the 1.1 patch. This new ship type is directly controlled by the Carrier’s pilot and are tougher versions of Fighters with more hp and compact citadel torpedoes.

Those are the two most significant changes coming in the Dominion 1.1 update, but there are many more listed over at the official patch notes page.

One of the many things that separates MMOs and regular games is the issue of account security. This is a problem that plagues damn near every MMO in existence today and it’s something Aion developer NCSoft takes very seriously.

In an effort to keep players safe from account theft, NCSoft’s Game Surveillance Unit has launched a campaign to educate players how to keep themselves safe from the dangers lurking in the shadows of the internet. NCSoft’s Scott Jennings addressed the Aion community recently discussing what’s at stake and how to help prevent security issues.

He started off by describing how the Real Money Trading industry (RMT) is a 2 billion dollar industry that is stolen off the backs of players and the developers of the game alike. He likens the situation to that of war, it’s us versus them, the thieves. Jennings also referenced the recent cyber attacks on Google and how it was sobering for NCSoft.

“The news from Google regarding a serious, high-level attack by hackers on the most secure technology companies in the world is sobering. We continue to refine our systems to counter the various attacks that these RMT companies employ. We have a team of security professionals with years of experience in massively multiplayer games and online security in Seoul, Seattle, Austin, and Brighton that is striving to make our servers as secure as they can be. Any vulnerability that is discovered is addressed and fixed,” explained Jennings.

At the end of the address he gave some pointers on how player can protect themselves from cyber theft and told experienced players that they’re wrong if they think they’ll never get hacked.

Jennings proclaimed, “You’re wrong. I know this because I know many people who thought they knew better—people who work in the gaming industry, and have done so for years, and still tried to log in one day and found their password changed and someone else logged into their account cleaning out their inventory.”

He goes on listing off things that you shouldn’t do and things to look out for to keep yourself save. There is too much to list here, but some are obvious like, don’t share your password with anyone type of thing. Regardless, his advice and suggestions are sound so we encourage everyone who plays MMOs to go give it a read and practice what is preached.

In other MMO news: