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We were given the chance to beta test NCSoft’s AION this weekend. The live event went from July 31st – August 3rd and focused on Elyos and Asmodian Levels 1-30. While we didn’t make it all the way to 30 we did get the chance to check out the game up to level 10. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of this game just because of NCSoft’s history of repeating content in games. I also was not a big fan of Guild Wars once it got into full swing but was very interested when it was in its early development. I hope that won’t be the case with AION.

From first impressions I can tell you that AION is a mix between Guild Wars and Lineage II. Even if you have a less than adequate PC you can still run AION with all low settings and it’s still gorgeous. On full settings the graphics are even more amazing and most top end machines don’t even hiccup when playing. So the beauty of the game definitely caught my attention but I was more interested in the questing and crafting systems. I doubted I’d even get to see any type of crafting since the focus of the event was simply leveling so I hunkered down and went in search of those who needed help.

Like most any other MMO you’ll find that locating quests is pretty easy. NPC’s have a blue triangle above their head and require that you perform certain tasks in order to gain experience. While the system isn’t much different the story line certainly is. Much of the translation needs to be fixed because certain words, I think, need to be changed. Without giving away too much of the story I can tell you that your first 10 levels are rich with story about how you got to be where you are. You’re also not stuck in the “noobie” zone for that long. You will move very quickly from the starter area to the more advanced area quite quickly.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this game are, obviously, the wings you get once you ascend. I like that there are no bags and you get a default “cube” that can be expanded by purchasing new cube slots. Another interesting thing that I think holds a lot of potential is death penalties. Of all the systems I’ve seen for death penalties I think I like AION’s the best. You can buy back any lost experience from a Spirit Healer. The more you lose and the higher your level will increase the cost greatly. Lastly, I love the fact that priests get to wear chain mail armor with a mace and shield. There’s nothing better than a battle cleric who can take a beating, no more of this cloth crap.

Now let’s look at some of the downsides to the game, which so far there aren’t many. The UI needs quite a bit of work because customization is pretty much nonexistent. Certain game functions could also do with customization like not being able to zoom in and out on your character without a mouse wheel. If you don’t have a mouse wheel than you’re pretty much stuck with whatever view they give you, which makes it hard to see. Spells and skill get “chain” effects which means upon using one another may appear. The only problem with this is you can’t queue up spells and abilities that don’t have chains. Lastly I think the flight system could also use a bit of work because there is a glide feature that frankly doesn’t glide all that well. I found myself dive bombing towards the ground more than I was gliding gracefully.

So far this game has done extremely well in closed beta. I’ve beta tested many popular MMORPG’s and this is by far one of the best weekend events I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Things ran pretty smooth and as for the player base you could tell there were quite a lot of experienced people on. This made it much more enjoyable and worth putting time into. I see this game being able to rival many of the top MMO’s out at the moment and I’m hoping it does.

We’d like to share some of our experience in closed beta with you the fans. Here are a handful of screenshots we took for your viewing pleasure:

Champions Online Play Shot

We’ve all been waiting for it, Champion Online open beta! For all of us that didn’t get the chance to test in closed, our chance is coming on August 17th. According to  a blog post on VG247 the open beta will go on 24 hours a day 7 days a week until it’s completed. Closed beta testers will see more game time in the form of full weekend play and extended regular hours.

Pre-World of Warcraft days, there weren’t many people that participated in open betas and even less that got the chance to do closed beta testing. Now that MMORPG’s have become so popular open beta testing is more for the gamer than the development staff. Gamers get the chance to play the game for free for a certain amount of time before its release date. This gives gamers the chance to decide if they want to pay-to-play or not. Take advantage of this opportunity to check out a new MMORPG.

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Not that it comes as any surprise to us Blizzard has decided that along with all the other services they make you pay more for, they’re going to add a faction transfer. While the idea sounds great I can see quite a bit going wrong with it. Just like being able to change your name, complete appearance, realm and now faction. This is leaving a lot of room for scammers, farmers and spammers. Here’s the official post about what they’re discussing as far as changes go.

We wanted to give everyone a very early heads-up that, in response to player requests, we’re developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. There’s still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we’re pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it.

As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the faction-change service in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience on the realms, and there will be some rules involved with when and how the service can be used. The number of variables involved increases the complexity of implementing this service, but we plan to take the time needed to ensure that it lives up to expectations before officially rolling it out. We’ll go into much more detail on all of this here at http://www.wow-europe.com as development progresses. In the meantime, we wanted to let you know that because this type of functionality requires extensive internal testing well in advance of release, you may be seeing bits and pieces of the service in the test builds we use for the public test realms moving forward.


I’m very happy to see Star Wars: The Old Republic class release of the Smuggler. This was by far my most favorite character/class in all the Star Wars games. The idea of being free to roam the galaxy and answer to no one just appeals to me. Even though some people see them as ruffians with no sense of self worth, they have limits.

SWTOR Smuggler was officially announced yesterday on the website. Here is the description given by the developers. Don’t forget to check the website and see the videos of the Smuggler in action.


Quick, Clever, Answers to No One

Sometimes luck is more important than skill, but it never hurts to have both.

Lawlessness has become common in the wake of the devastating war between the Republic and Empire. Shifting political allegiances and marauding pirates have made independent space travel a dangerous enterprise. Cut off from traditional supply routes, entire star systems waver on the verge of collapse. An adventurous spirit who’s not afraid to break a few rules can make a handsome profit hauling cargo to these hotspots, but it requires fast reflexes, fast wits and a fast draw with a blaster. Even then, the life of a Smuggler is always a gamble.

Stacking up enemies as fast as they stack up credits, Smugglers only survive in this galaxy by being slick, sneaky and street-smart. Whether sweet-talking an attractive alien or bargaining with a hardened criminal contact, the Smuggler’s charm is a notorious asset, and often the ticket to turning around a deteriorating situation. If circumstances get too complicated, though, count on a Smuggler to always have an escape plan. Experienced in flying under the radar, Smugglers are amazingly elusive. Yet when backed into a corner, they quickly become cunning and often deadly combatants.

Above all else, Smugglers make their own destinies. Despite their affinity for credits, Smugglers have been known to turn down lucrative opportunities when the clients have demanded too much control. Some Smugglers are even more discriminating—refusing to work with slavers and representatives of the Sith Empire. It’s a business where one is always looking for trustworthy allies, but they are often few and far between. Whether running an Imperial blockade or shooting down a double-crossing gangster, Smugglers are always flying by the seat of their pants. Every deal carries the chance for wealth beyond their wildest dreams… or an anonymous death in the harsh void of space.

Relations with the Republic

Faced with choosing an allegiance in these uncertain times, Smugglers have been forced to consider the implications of trying to operate under the tight controls imposed by the Sith Empire. Though never the most patriotic members of Republic society, many Smugglers have decided that siding with the Republic is siding with freedom, and of course, freedom is everything.

The Republic has never indulged a systematic prejudice against Smugglers. Generally speaking, they have more commonly tangled with laws and law enforcement measures from specific star systems, not the greater Republic. Thus, it has not been overly difficult for the Jedi and the Republic military to accept Smugglers as allies in resisting the growing dominance of the Sith Empire.

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One of the things that new players have a hard time with is how to make money in World of Warcraft. Many of these newer players don’t have enough gold to even train their skills when they level up. Not knowing how to make money in WoW shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the game to its fullest.

The easiest and fastest way to make gold in WoW is to sell all of the stuff you don’t need. You might be wondering what exactly you can and can’t use. Figuring this out is as simple as understanding what item colors mean. There are seven different types of item colors in World of Warcraft:

  1. Poor – Grey
  2. Common – White
  3. Uncommon – Green
  4. Rare – Blue
  5. Epic – Purple
  6. Legendary – Orange
  7. Heirloom – Tan

Most players when they first start out will only deal with the first four item colors. Poor quality items can be sold to any vendor for a little bit of money. Common items, such as cloth, can be used by other players. These items should be sold on the Auction House to other players. Uncommon and rare items should also be sold on the Auction House and generally bring in more money than the common items.

What to Sell and What to Keep

Now that you know what types of items there are you’ll want to determine what items you want to keep and what items you want to sell. Almost all poor quality items need to be sold to the vendor since they have no use. The only reason to keep them is for novelty reasons.

Common items are the hardest to determine if you should keep them or not. Cloth items like wool, silk, and mageweave can not only be used by Tailors but by anyone that has First Aid. If you have First Aid it might be a good idea to hold on to your cloth. If you don’t have a use for it though just sell it.

Uncommon and rare items are easier to determine if you need to keep them or not. These items will either be something you can use or something you can’t. If you’re a Mage and you find a rare two-handed sword you’re not able to use it and should sell it someone who can. This will become easier as you level more in World of Warcraft.

Knowing how to make money in World of Warcraft will really help you to get the most out of your gaming experience. Take time to learn the basics and how items can work for you to make gold. There are also plenty of mods for World of Warcraft that can give you additional information on items. Some of these mods will give you sales prices for the Auction House and how much it will sell to the vendor. Remember that not making enough gold in WoW shouldn’t keep you from having fun.

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Now that Valve has reintroduced milestones as a way of unlocking weapons we’ve updated our guide so that you can get your Sniper and Spy weapons in about 30 minutes. We know people want their weapons and they want them now.

If you haven’t got all of your weapons yet we can help you do that. We’ll show you how you and a friend can get all the acheivement weapons without being on an achievement farming server. It’s much easier to get your friend to help you than some random stranger.

Here’s a sample of our guide and what you’ll get:

Sniper Sample page

You can find the full guide for all six of the class releases so far on our website. LiTi-4’s TF2 Achievement Guide will help you and your friends get all your achievement weapons fast and easy. Thanks for your continued support and we’ll be fragin’ you soon!

SWTOR trooper

A new class has been revealed for SWTOR, the Trooper. This is the type of class I would personally prefer to play. They’re very well rounded and have access to almost all the weapons and armor in the game.

I’m very excited to see what else they release for the classes. This is the official description of the Trooper and can be found here.

“Honor, Duty, Defense of the Republic

Not all heroes carry Lightsabers. Some just have the will to fight.

For decades, the armed forces of the Galactic Republic defended their civilization against the seemingly unstoppable Sith Empire. Despite countless setbacks, the men and women of the Republic military never backed down until the Senate ordered them to do so. These brave souls remain ready and willing to lay their lives on the line today.

In the wake of the Treaty of Coruscant, the Republic military has begun recruiting from within its own ranks, creating cutting-edge Special Forces squads for the inevitable day when the war with the Sith Empire begins anew. These advanced strike teams are comprised of only the most talented and disciplined soldiers—a new breed of elite Republic Troopers.

These Troopers are the embodiment of the Republic military’s highest aspirations—the most advanced fighting force in the galaxy. They are equipped to face any foe in any environment, but it’s not their gear that makes them tough—it’s their guts. The Troopers’ greatest weapons are their indomitable spirit, their unwavering sense of duty and their undying loyalty to each other and to the ideals that the Republic represents. In this age, the stakes have never been higher. The Republic must win or face extinction. The fate of the galaxy rests upon ordinary men becoming extraordinary heroes. This is the path of the Republic Trooper.

Relations with the Jedi

The Knights of the Jedi Order have defended the Republic for generations, but they have not fought alone. A host of unsung heroes have marched at the Jedi’s side—common men courageous enough to enlist and face the same risks as their Jedi comrades despite not having access to the Jedi powers of protection. These heroes have not gone unappreciated by the Jedi. The men and women of the Republic military are accorded complete respect and admiration by the Order and by the Republic’s political leaders.

In the years since the Treaty of Coruscant, the Jedi have withdrawn in significant numbers to their homeworld of Tython. Their presence in the Republic military, though still significant, is not what it was during the war. In many ways, the Republic’s newly-trained elite Troopers have stepped up to take charge of the Republic’s defenses. When Troopers are partnered with the Jedi, they are a force to be reckoned with on any battlefield.”

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The first WotLK 70-80 Alliance Leveling Guide designed for couples is here. LiTi-4’s 70-80 Alliance Leveling guide takes you through Northrend like you’ve never been before.

If you have a level 70 and want to reach the new level cap to start participating in the new content our guide can help you do that. Whether you level solo or you group up with multiple people, you can benefit from what our guide has to offer.

Typical guides simply tell you to go from one place to another without really helping you get there or with the quest once you’ve arrived. Our guide features seven full size maps of the areas you’ll be leveling in. Each map contains mob locations, quest turn in points and allows you to go from step one to done by just using the map.

borean-map1This guide is meant to help the beginner and the veteran. We will take you step by step from 70 all the way to 80. In our book you will cover over 15 zones. Each zone has a detailed break down of what to do as well as special interests in the zone.

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Unlike other guides we have links inside our book that will allow you to check out what Allahkazam.com has to say about certain quests. Their easy to use navigation tools is harmonous with our guides easy to use step-by-step instructions.

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Ever since I started playing World of Warcraft five years ago, I’ve heard debate after debate about class balance. Originally almost every class was only good for one role in a group. The “Hybrid” classes didn’t really need to perform more than one role.

It wasn’t until the release of Molten Core where the “Hybrids” really came into the light. Trying to get 40 people together with the right class balance was very difficult. Having classes that could perform multiple roles was extremely useful.

While the “Pure” classes still had their places they were a lot more common since most of these classes were nothing more than DPS. This made it very hard to get a spot in raids even if they didn’t have a full 40 they still couldn’t take you because more often than not they were full on DPS classes.

Once The Burning Crusade came out Blizzard really tried to balance the classes more but still fell pretty sort of their goal. It wasn’t until a year later when they released Wrath of the Lich King that they really made a good move.

As of patch 3.1.1 characters can now keep two talent trees saved and switch without having to pay multiple fees. For the “Pure” classes it might not seem like a big deal but for the “Hybrids” it’s a wonderful thing. The “Pure” classes still gain something from this new system because Blizzard has attempted to give every class at least one tree that could be beneficial in a raid. So these DPS classes can be good for more than just DPS.

Here’s what Jon Wood over at MMORPG.com has to say about this:

“If you participate in any kind of PvE in WoW then you’ve probably heard, if not taken a part in it yourself, of the Hybrid vs Pure debate. Sticky situations between Hybrids and Pures are not new to WoW, or even the RPG genre. In most games, there’s always one class that’s more powerful than another just because it is so hard to strike a perfect balance. While the debate is not new, the current incarnation is. It all began when Blizzard unveiled their new plans for balancing classes in WotLK. They summed it up with an easy to remember phrase, “bring the player, not the class.” In other words, the idea is that you aren’t forced to stack specific classes in your raid just because you need that class’s buffs.

The argument stems from the difference between a Hybrid class and a Pure class. Hybrid classes are those that can perform multiple roles in a raid setting. There are only three roles in the game according to Blizzard: Tanking, Healing, DPS’ing. Pure classes on the other hand can only perform one of the three roles. So with that in mind, the only Pure classes are Warlocks, Rogues, Mages, and Hunters. Everyone else is a Hybrid.”

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Let’s face it; City of Heroes has been struggling for years now. Even with hardcore fans that play all day its sill going down hill. It has been going down hill since about six months after its release.

City of Villains was their attempt to fix the boredom that overcame players. One of the biggest complaints is the grind and the content being the same. There wasn’t a sense of real story line to either of the super hero games.

Even though when you hit 20 you had seen all the content maps they made for the game you’d still want to play. Both CoH and CoV were great games. The concepts were amazing. The delivery and updating lacked what players were looking for.

With NCsoft’s release of Mission Architect for CoH players are given the chance to make their own content. Make your own maps, stories, dialog and more. They are handing over the development to the players themselves.

While this sounds great and wonderful it also could be too late in the game to do this. I think this issue is about 2 years to late. Even if past players do come back they’ll easily be able to level to the maximum by having friends build up easy missions to farm.

I think the concept was good. NCsoft had an amazing customization layout for character creation on both games. Mission Architect is no different. Making missions is highly customizable. Unfortunately giving this power to player’s means some will exploit it and that’s going to make things much worse for the community that is playing.

If you’re interested in seeing what Mission Architect features check out the video below. Happy gaming and enjoy!