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MMORPGLand 7: Cherry Pirate Banks

By Heath | April 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Got time to read all the MMORPG news going around? Neither do I. But I did find this cool stuff:

Sakura Matsuri
We’re just coming out of Sakura (Cherry Blossom) season here in Japan. Atlantica Online developer Ndoors saw fit to recently gussy up the game with some nice cherry blossoms. Until May 20 (much longer than the real Sakura season), players can craft cherry trees. Unlike the Japanese trees, these ones will actually produce fruit, which gives a 10% EXP boost for two hours after eating. Oddly, one must pay some money to pick the fruit from the tree. Money may not grow on trees, but trees apparently do accept it as a medium of exchange. Learn more about Atlantica Online at its official website.  In my “American Gamer in Japan” column, perhaps I’ll post some of my own pictures for comparison’s sake.

Death and Taxes
Tax day is upon the US, and the day brings interesting news for fans of Cryptic MMOs. Champions Online and the more recently released Star Trek Online are both having some “Tax Day” sales. They’re knocking 25% of the sale of items in both games, April 15-19. Full details on the forums. In other Cryptic news, City of Heroes Issue 17 is about to go into beta testing. Hit the link if you wanna check it out.

Bank Error…Not Quite in Your Favor
What’s less cool around tax time is to have your bank account or credit card balance totally go bonkers. This next story is making the Monopoly Guy roll in his grave. A glitch in EA’s billing system caused many Warhammer Online subscribers to be billed multiple times for one month’s subscription — some more than 20 times (costing hundreds of dollars). The very first post in the WAR “Billing Error” thread has the poster declaring, “(M)y sub from was billed today for over 500 dollars in 16 dollar increments. The account was overdrawn and with fees and overbilling it was 562.73 total.”

This was several days ago, and the storm is still in the process of blowing over today. Poster Bunduki says,

“I called and spoke with John today spoke about what happened. The funds have been returned to my credit card. I work for a large company as a billing manager and can tell you Mythic has done a very good job of coming forward with information, corrections and attempting to make this as right as is possible in the short term.”

But Yuckman is less satisfied, saying,

“At this stage my account still has 26 charges none of which have been refunded. My bank does not see any pending refunds. I REFUSE to incur long distance charges to call your support department, particularly considering from all the statements here they are simply going to tell me to wait more. REFUND MY MONEY. I have been patient to this point, my patience is now gone. Fix this problem and do it now.”

I’ll keep an eye on this and see how it all goes down. In more positive news for WAR, an update is in development. It sounds nice, but community manager Andy is quick to keep billing comments out of the thread dedicated to the update, saying right away, “We ask that you please remain on topic for feedback regarding this thread.” Check out the notes on this RvR-driven update here.

MMORPGs Creeping onto the iPhone
Pocket Legends aims to please iPhone owners who just happen to like MMORPGs and furthermore enjoy the idea of playing them on their pretentious handhelds.  Using 2G, 3G , Wifi, and EDGE networks, Spacetime Studios has made a fully 3D MMORPG that has been creating somewhat of a buzz among i-thing owners (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).  Now in the App Store, players can interact across Apple’s various devices, use either keyboard chat or built-in macros, and play without paying for download or subscription, as the game runs on sales of in-app items and campaigns.  Some screenshots blow:
pocketlegends.jpgpocketlegends.jpgpocketlegends.jpg

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AVAST!
Develop Online has reported an interesting story of MMO devs taking advantage of game pirates…sort of. Free MMOG Football Superstars saw a big boost in download numbers and registered players simply by playing the psychology card, making players think they were playing illegally. The company simulated a “leak” and posted torrents of its game on popular tracking sites. Kind of like that time 50 Cent was “mad” about some “leaked” tracks from an album he produced. It was all part of the plan. Read his book, by the way.

And Speaking of Pirates…
The new version of Pirates of the Burning Sea is live. This update includes an update of British starting port Jenna Bay, a pair of new skirmish rooms, PvP Bounty titles, longer times on item audctions, and the token bug fixes which come with basically every MMORPG patch. The game will be expanding in the summer, and those swashbucklers who wanna test out the expansion before it goes live can investigate here.

We’ll close with some Final Fantasy XIV Alpha Test screenshots:
finalfantasyxivalphatest.jpgfinalfantasyxivalphatest.jpgfinalfantasyxivalphatest.jpg

finalfantasyxivalphatest.jpgfinalfantasyxivalphatest.jpgfinalfantasyxivalphatest.jpg
[Via Scrawlfx]

Thanks so much for reading! See you next time~

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Topics: Atlantica Online, Champions Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Freakin' iPhone, MMORPGLand, News, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pocket Legends, Star Trek Online