Asheron's Call Producer Outlines 2011 Updates

Turbine just unveiled a new Twitter page for Asheron's Call, which kicked things off by pointing players to the 2011 Producer's Letter from Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini. After looking back at the 2010 updates, Ciccolini dives into the team's plans for this year.

Ciccolini says that the major focus of 2011 will be on content, storyline and improved playability. The first big update will come in May, and here's what players can expect to see in the patch:

"This update focuses on new adventuring areas where characters can continue experiencing the storyline. It will also provide more direction for characters to find quests as they level from 50 to 100. We also want some interface improvements to make their appearance in May such as making an alternate examination window that doesn’t cover your backpack when you open it. There’s even a chance that the May update could also include the next playable race."

The team plans to add more armor, more character options and other new interface features during the monthly updates. Ciccolini also hints that the final race could be released in October.

Asheron's Call Update Adds Playable Race and More

The latest content update for Asheron's Call is now live, and this one adds the playable Empyrean race to the game. The Empyreans are actually the fourth new playable race added to the game this year. And if you've ever wanted to play as an evil bug, here's some good news: you can now jump into the PvP action as an Olthoi Soldier or a winged Spitter.

In addition to the Emyreans and Olthoi, Turbine has introduced the new Luminance end-game mechanic to Asheron's Call. Players over level 200 can now increase their abilities even more, from Critical Hit success to crafting. The update also adds Void Magic and a new level 200+ hunting area to the 11-year-old fantasy MMO.

Head over to our screenshots gallery to catch a glimpse of what the update has added to the game.

Asheron's Call is Having a Wedding

Way to go, Asheron's Call. When everyone else if focused on zombie pirates and cataclysms, you decide to blaze a new trail and center your may update around something we can all relate to: a wedding. Important and recognizable characters Hoshino Kei and Borelean Strathelar will be getting hitched this spring by none other than Asheron himself and you're invited.

The quests and tasks for Asheron's Call players are based around preparations for the wedding itself. The developers have been hard at work creating the appropriate outdoor setting for the wedding and organizing people to play the NPC's during the ceremony. Their developers diary talks about how planning an MMO wedding is strikingly similar to planning a real one and everyone at developer Turbine, including those who work on Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online, were putting in their opinions on what the wedding colors and decorations should be.

For more about the celebrations, check out the Asheron's Call update page.

New Playable Race and more comes to Asheron's Call

A new playable race, new magic, new hairstyles and barbers, and multi-slot armor... Oh my! Asheron's Call players will be mighty pleased today to see some neat stuff coming down the line, including a brand new playable race, the Shadow! In addition to this new playable race, Turbine has also added a nifty new type of magic, called "Aetheria," which appears to be centered on the accumulation of powerful sigils to make your character stronger.

Finally, the really big news of the day is really the addition of more aesthetic options in Asheron's Call, including a Barber system for players to change their hairstyles at whim, and a new "Multi-Slot" armor that allows adventurers to have a little more control over the look of their armor.

Asheron's Call Celebrates 10th Anniversary Today

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Asheron's Call, and Turbine has special in-game live events planned throughout the day to celebrate the milestone. Here's the description straight from the patch notes: "Asheron has discovered that the portals of Dereth have become unstable after being open for 10 years. This is causing portals from the past to open in the present. Creatures from the past 10 years are suddenly going to appear all over Dereth. Asheron, Elysa, Borelean and others will need players help to contain this 'invasion' from the past."

In addition to fighting enemies from the past decade, players have been sharing their favorite memories since the launch of Asheron's Call in this thread on the official forums. How about you? What are your favorite Asheron's Call memories?

Asheron's Call Approaches 10th Anniversary

Asheron's Call will turn 10 years old on Nov. 2, and Turbine has been releasing bits and pieces of what players can expect to see in the anniversary update. WarCry has been keeping track of all the updates so far, and they include new augmentations, trinkets, and the reset of all Temples of Forgetfulness and Enlightenment quest timers.

There is also a near skill called Gearcrafting. According to the developers, "This skill (cost is 2/-) allows a character to imbue trinkets with a variety of enchantments. ... In addition, Gearcraft can be used to create special geared items that will make some of the less used skills more, well, useful." For more 10th anniversary updates, follow the dev tracker on the official forums.

Asheron's Call Celebrates 9th Anniversary

Asheron's Call was released on Nov. 2, 1999. Turbine and the AC community just celebrated the ninth anniversary of the game, which is an amazing milestone to reach.

This thread on the official AC forums demonstrates the MMORPG still has a dedicated following after nine years. Turbine had announced in the October release notes that "On Nov. 2, Asheron’s Call will celebrate its 9th anniversary. Make sure you are around that day for some special fun!" While many players expected a live event from that note, the evening instead consisted of the usual fireworks, disco opening and dispersal of anniversary shirts.

I am certain that Turbine is proud of the the game's ninth anniversary. In fact, AC community relations poster Frelorn states it in the thread. On the other hand, I can understand why players may have been disappointed with the in-game birthday celebration. In any case, congratulations to Asheron's Call, Turbine and the players for this momentous occasion. Frelorn's responses in the thread are copied below.

Turbine's Asheron's Call at Gen Con

Released by Turbine on November 2nd 1999, Asheron's Call (AC), one of the longest running MMOs, is coming up on its 100th update, more than any other game on the market. The team has been focusing on a expansion worth of content free, to celebrate! Community Manager and Assistant Producer Anthony "Frelorn" Cataldo spoke with me at Gen Con and showed me what players can expect to see.

Andy has worked with the AC team for almost five years, working his way up from customer service to his current position. His passion and dedication to the player base are instantly recognizable and he laughs about his wife catching him playing at 5am, asking to come to bed, and then figuring it would be easier to stay up than sleep for an hour. We've all been there, right?

This dedication is mirrored in the entire team, and they wanted to bring to their players an update worthy of the anniversary, and so they asked players what they'd most like to see put into the game. They took these suggestions and built them into this update, an extension of Turbine's commitment to giving players the service they're paying for and deserve.

Since a free update patch has been released by the AC team almost every month, and is a staple of the service Turbine delivers, continuing that tradition with this patch should be no surprise. Scheduled to release next month, the update includes Player versus Player (PvP) land control features and introduces a faction system to the game.

100th Update to Asheron's Call, New Screenshots

Turbine announced today the 100th (!!!) update to Asheron's Call , now in it's ninth year of gaming goodness. The new features are pretty sweet, and include societies, PVP land control, new loot, and new areas. You can check out the full release notes here to get all the details.

To go along with the announcement, Turbine has released a bunch of art and screenshots. They're posted on our Asheron's Call screenies page , but here are a couple to preview.