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Weekly MMO news round-up: Massive update for Mabinogi, Darkfall review, Star Trek collisions


Loads of goings on in the world of MMOs, as usual. Let us make sense of it for you.

This week's had its fair share of content updates, a closed beta, character testing, teaser screens, and an MMO set near the Grand Canyon, in the future, after a plague. Honestly.

Read on after the jump.

  • Age of Conan won the Best Original Score award at the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA), beating out such luminaries as Afrika, Gears of War 2, Mercenaries 2 and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
  • Lord of the Rings Online got two new developer diaries this week. One is all about the scary Old Forest, which is infested with spiders and murderous trees. The other explores lore behind Cerin Amroth -- if you are unfamiliar with Middle Earth's backdrop, be prepared for a sad tale.
  • Mabinog has a massive expansion in store for players on February 26, called Pioneers of Iria. The added content is four times the size of a normal continent in the game; players will be able to sign up as rival factions (elf and giant) and go PvP wild; new skillsets for player have been added as well as ones for monsters; an all new rebirth system is included; and tons more. Check out Massively for a really pretty trailer for the game and loads more info.
  • Reviews are starting to pour in for Darkfall, and it looks as though players are in for hardcore PvP action similar to Ultima Online. Like a more relaxed PvE game with optional PvP? This may not the game for you -- judge for yourself.
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea will introduce the Skirmish feature when patch 1.14 goes live. Skirmish allows players the chance to learn PvP in a risk-free environment. Great way to learn the system without the consequences.
  • Free-to-play Turf Battles and FileFront are giving away keys to a closed beta of the game. Once in, you create a character and go straight into constant PvP. Join tribes, capture turfs -- obviously -- to farm for gems and other valuable items, then defend your spoils against other players wanting the same thing.
  • EVE's first retail expansion, Apocrypha, has simplified the game for beginners by removing some of the character customization stuff. Newbies will be able to pick ancestry, bloodline, career, school and other specializations down the road. Should make it a little less daunting, perhaps. More through here.
  • Champions Online got three new pics over the week, and while we already posted a link to them -- old ones were mixed in the bunch. We'll help you out and send you over to the official website where all three pics of Lemuria are right up top.
  • Atlantica Online players should get patched next time they log in, but just in case you don't, here's a link. Extensive patch notes are on the main site, along with interesting information on the addition of an Alcatraz dungeon, two new player classes -- the Musician and the Maniac -- and Pocahontas. Yes, THE Pocahontas.
  • Cryptic's dev blog's confirmed that Star Trek Online will have collision detection, you'll be able to set your warp factor in-ship, as well as answering endless other questions. The basic Q&A was between the devs and major Star Trek fans.
  • An interview with Lee Hammock, leader designer for upcoming sci-fi MMO Fallen Earth, is over on GameSource. The game takes place near the Grand Canyon in 2156 after a plague wipes out most of the human race. It has six factions, a classless advancement system and crafting features allowing players to make over 95 percent of in-game items. The MMO has FPS elements, and over 70 towns to explore in a real-time settings with a balanced mix of PvP and PvE.

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