Lord of the Rings Online: The Breaking of Isengard

On Monday, Lord of the Rings Online released Update 13: The Breaking of Isengard. Owners of the Helm's Deep expansion can embark on a quest to discover what has happened to Saruman after the sacking of Isengard. Additional features include a new mail system, UI customization and size upgrades for inventories, new items in Lalia's market and more!

The recent Producer's Letter also mentioned that the next class to be introduced in LotRO will be the Beorning! You can read the entire letter on the official forums.

EverQuest II Producer's Letter: Lots to Come!

This morning, Holly "Windstalker" Longdale released a Producer's Letter titled "Lots to Come!" It details the All Access transition occuring next week, what benefits are available to EverQuest II subscribers and what content we can expect in the near future.


All Access Transition: SOE will be consolidating all games into a singular subscription model around April 23, 2014. Current subscriptions will be converted automatically. Those with special pricing should have their rates grandfathered, but please contact SOE Customer Support if you want to look more into the conversion. The entire FAQ for this transition is available here.

EQ2 Membership Benefits: Subscribers to EverQuest II receive the following benefits...

  • Base amount of 7 character slots
  • Permanent 15% coin loot and 10% mount speed
  • Permanent double alternate currencies
  • Member-only Loyalty Tokens
  • Unrestricted access to broker, chat channels, ability tiers and in-game mail
  • Early access to content and promotions: Receive access to new content, such as next week's Contested High Keep, before non-subscribers

Upcoming Content: Several things are lined up "for the weeks following April 23, 2014", including: a Prestige Guild Hall (seen here), new loyalty merchant items, the release of the Darklight Palace prestige home, a new Temple of Veeshan raid zone, the Tunaria Battleground and the conversion of old currencies, such as Obol and Void Shards, into Tinkering and Transmuting components. On deck next week is the release of Contested High Keep and the Bloody Shank HQ.


The entire Producer's Letter is available after the jump.

Eorzea Examiner #12: Jobs

Hello and welcome to the twelfth edition of the Eorzea Examiner, ZAMs column on Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. For this weeks column, rather than looking into one of FFXIV’s gameplay systems or their design philosophy, were delving back into one of the aspects of FFXIV I like the most, the Armoury System. In particular, well be talking about Jobs for existing Classes. With the exception of the Arcanist, the rest of the Disciples of Magic and all of the Disciples of War have but a single Job available to them. While these new Jobs do give new abilities to their base Classes and they change the gameplay to an extent, you cant really claim that they provide the player with options to make their character unique when theres one path available and you cut down the cross-class skill options for all Jobs. This is a modern MMO, after all – were used to the idea of multiple specializations for our classes and being able to fill multiple roles with most base classes. Lets see if we can come up with some potential choices for our favorite classes, shall we?

FFXIV Launches on the PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has now launched on the PlayStation 4! Both digital and retail copies are available for either the standard or collector's editions. Those who purchase the CE can also enjoy these additional features:

  • Exclusive Box
  • Art Book – The Art of Eorzea: A Realm Reimagined
  • Special Soundtrack – The Sounds of Eorzea
  • Art Card Set
  • Themed Security Token
  • Seventh Umbral Era Special Movie Content Disc – The Waning of the Sixth Sun
  • In-Game Items – Fat Chocobo Mount, Coeurl Mount, Behemoth Barding, Wind-up Moogle, Baby Behemoth, Helm of Light

Continue after the jump for more details!

FFXIV to Launch on PlayStation 4 on April 14th

On Monday, April 14th, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will officially launch on the PlayStation 4. We have some information for those looking to dive into the console version of the game!

FFXIV PC Collector's Edition Giveaway Contest!

The contest has ended, the winner has been chosen!
Congrats to Shadowduet!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is still going strong on the PC and we're here to celebrate that! Enter for a chance to win a NA region copy of the PC Collector's Edition, signed by Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida! Here's how!

Eligibility

  • No purchase necessary, but you need to register for a free account with ZAM if you haven't yet
  • Most US or Canadian residents qualify; some restrictions apply
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for all eligibility requirements

The contest begins at 12:01am (midnight) ET on Monday, April 7, 2014 and will end at 11:59pm EDT on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Winner must be able to provide valid shipping information to receive their prize.

How to Enter

  • Log in to your ZAM account (registering is free!)
  • Post a comment to this article stating what you love about FFXIV!
  • Deadline for entries is 11:59pm EDT on Friday, April 11, 2014
  • Only one entry per person, please!
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for all entry details

How We Judge

  • All entries that meet the above guidelines will be entered into a random blind drawing
  • The random drawing will take place on or about April 12, 2014
  • Read the Official Contest Rules for the full description of How to Win

That's everything... good luck!

SOE Live 2014 Registration Opens

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that early registration for SOE Live 2014 is now open! This year’s event will be at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, A‌ugust 1‌4-1‌7.

There are three pricing levels available: the Day Pass, Evening Pass, and the all-encompassing Premium Pass. The Premium Pass has Early Bird pricing of $129 if you buy one before the May 12, 2014 cutoff. Kids 12 and under are free this year, but they need a badge so be sure to include them in your registration.

There are also two optional upgrades: Priority Grand Banquet and Welcome Seating, where you can buy a 12-seat table for $60 at the big events (each reservation requires a separate purchase), and the Sunday Dev Brunch, which costs $59 and requires a Premium Pass.

Check out the in-game items after the jump.

The Elder Scrolls Online Prize Pack Sweepstakes

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. The winner has been chosen. Congrats to Petard!

The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to PC and Mac on April 4th! Celebrate with a chance to win an awesome ESO prize pack!

The Prize Pack (valued approximately at $350USD) contains:

Eorzea Examiner #11: The Competition Appears

Hello and welcome to the eleventh edition of the Eorzea Examiner, ZAMs column on Square Enixs Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. For this column we'll be talking about FFXIV's competition. For those of us playing on the PC, we're well aware of the other fantasy MMO offerings available: World of Warcraft, the EverQuest series, Lord of the Rings Online, etc. We have to remember however that FFXIV exists not only on the PC, but on consoles as well. As I talked about in one of our previous columns, the PlayStation 4 client is a perfectly viable way to enjoy FFXIV. Of course it also helps that there's no fantasy MMO alternative for console players other than FFXIV and its predecessor on the PS3, Final Fantasy XI… for now. This Friday marks the PC and Mac release of Zenimax Online's new MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online, with the PS4 and Xbox One versions not too far behind, due out this June.

PC players will have both games available to choose between right on launch day, but those wishing to play a fantasy MMO on their PS4 will have to wait even longer; the PS4 client for FFXIV won’t be out until April 14th and TESO’s console versions won’t be released until June. That leaves those players (and potential newcomers) with some time on their hands and a decision to make. Do they stick with the Eorzea they know or do they see what Zenimax has to offer in the world of Tamriel? How does their gameplay compare to that of FFXIV? Given that I'm ZAM's FFXIV columnist as well as the person who wrote our preview for TESO, I'm probably the best equipped here to compare the two for any undecided players.

A Farewell to Free Realms

Free Realms will shut down forever at 6pm PT (9pm ET) on Monday, March 31, 2014.

I spent the past month trying to come up with how I wanted to write this article. Should I reflect on all the changes and updates to the game? Ponder the reasoning behind the game shutting its doors? Be angry, be happy, be sad? I still don't know, to be honest.

I've seen plenty of friends be affected by other game closures, but this is the first one to hit home. My entire household of five has played, or still plays, Free Realms. My youngest two children are playing as I write this, with my six year old (whose first video game was Free Realms, starting at the age of 2.5) alternating between happiness at the various things he's accomplishing, and grief at losing his beloved characters forever.

I can't blame him one bit. His sadness is mine.

Free Realms was the first MMO where I actually felt part of a community. Starting even in the beta, players banded together in friendships that still remain. Guilds like Gone Postal, Mystic Mayhem, FR Insider and Bunny Foo Foo made an indelible mark on many people. Even as the older crowd moved on as the game aged, many of us still kept in touch, checked in on the game, and so on.

Continue after the jump for the full article.