Weekly News Recap: March 29, 2009

It's time again to look back at our features and most noteworthy news articles of the week on ZAM.com. Keep reading below and after the jump for links to stories on everything from our list of the top 10 MMOs we'd like to see to our IRC chat logs with EverQuest II developers.

ZAM Features

Exploring LOTRO with Turbine: Part II: We continue our discussion of of Lord of the Rings Online and Book 7 with members of the Turbine team. Check out part 1 first if you missed it.

Courtesy in MMOs: Dead, or Just Hiding?: Editor Sam "azerian" Maxted discusses courtesy in MMOs and how he has no time for beggars.

EverQuest Inspired by D&D Campaign: We uncover an EverQuest lore secret by talking to Tony "Vhalen" Garcia about his work on EverQuest, EverQuest II and all the things in between.

Age of Conan: What They Did Wrong: Editor Christopher "Pwyff" Tom follows up his interview with Age of Conan's Producer/Director Craig Morrison to discuss Funcom's mistakes.

Lord of the Amazon Vouchers

There are days when it is difficult to pull yourself away from shopping online. Be it shopping for the next computer that you have to have or the television you ultimately have to upgrade. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is a difficult, costly and time-consuming hobby. Lord of the Rings Online has done just that: they are now offering European users who refer their friends a £5 or 5 € voucher to Amazon.com. This is not available for the Americas, yet, although it may be in due time if this proves to be a successful promotion.

"This new programme allows LOTRO subscribers to receive an Amazon voucher for each friend that they successfully refer ( subject to terms and conditions )."

Lord of the Rings Online has already received awards, has numerous promotions currently active and on top of all of that, is picking up more-and-more steam against all of the other massively multiplayer games. With this, they can only hope to get larger, and that means more fun to be had by all. There is nothing more enticing than getting your friend to play, so stop dilly-dallying and get everyone you know to play with you, already!

Lord of the Rings Online Starts Promo Season

Everyone likes free things. "Free" generally means "something you might not want to pay for anyway" but Lord of the Rings Online will give you ten free days of play. Starting recently, they have opened their servers up for those who want to try out one of the hottest massively multiplayer games on the market. If that was not enough, then try on their promotion with the gaming communication program Xfire, to offer numerous and awesome prizes to those who play at least a certain amount of hours. The more you play, the more likely you are to win, so if nothing else, give it a try and see how the time flies!

Weekly News Recap: Jan. 24, 2009

It's about that time again for another weekly recap. We have a ton of exclusives to share with you, so let's jump right in! Keep reading after the jump for even more links to some of our most noteworthy news stories of the week, as well as editorials on casual MMOs, professional gaming and machinima by members of the Allakhazam staff.

Allakhazam Features

Interview with Mia Rose : Editor-in-Chief Andrew "Tamat" Beegle got the chance to meet up with Mia Rose at the Consumer Electronics Show this month and she discussed all things WoW, including her thoughts on WotLK.

'Free Expansion' on the Horizon : Tamat talks with Vanguard's lead designer, Salim "Silius" Grant, about all of the new expansion-like content coming soon to the game.

Fasaria World Beta Giveaway : The Fasaria World team gave us 500 beta keys to give out to Allakhazam members. If you'd like to participate, we suggest you hurry before they're gone!

TwelveSky 2: Our First Look : Our friends at MAYN sent us 10 exclusive screenshots of this upcoming MMO set in ancient China. Check them out to see the style of the game.

Mines of Moria To Be Updated Thursday

Yet another patch coming your way, Lord of the Rings Online players. Looks like you'll be getting a small update on Thursday; nothing too major, just some small things of note. This one looks to be a bug-fix release for the most part. There will be some moderate downtime associated with the update server-side, so prepare for a little wait. At least they are keeping up with the Jones'. We'll keep playing if you keep patching!

Souce: Lord of the Rings Online Forums

Lord of the Online Community Votes

Lord of the Rings Online keeps sweeping everyone off of their feet. Their next victim would be 1UP, where they just got voted number one in the massively multiplayer community! World of Warcraft got a close second place, with 35% of the vote. Regardless, an interesting development. That makes them winners of two large community driven contests so far. We shall see what else they shall reap!

Lord of the Solos

Looking for a challenge and play Lord of the Rings Online? Well, fret not! The official site has just the thing for you if you are looking to level from level 40 to level 60 fast and alone. If you aren't quite there yet, don't sweat it: They have a leveling guide for you, too. Check it out and make some awesome characters, already.

Source: Lord of the Rings Online

LotRO Wins Best MMO @ MMORPG.com

Turbine took the competition by storm when they released Lord of the Rings Online and it shows – Not only did it get “Best Overall Game,” but it also received “Best Expansion” and they were voted “Favorite MMO Studio” on MMORPG.com's Reader's Choice Awards, securing their place in MMO history.

"We are honored that our studio has received this special recognition and we want to thank the readers of MMORPG.com," said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "Given the competitive launches that took place this year, we are especially grateful for the awards they extended to The Lord of the Rings Online which has firmly established itself as one of the world’s premium MMOs. While we accomplished a lot in 2008 we have a lot more in store for 2009 that we look forward to sharing with players."

Lord of the Rings, one of everyone's favorite fantasy series, was originally released in paperback in 1954. Ever since Peter Jackson's theatrical release of Lord of the Rings, we have seen nothing but good things come out of that universe, from the textures to the story. Many have played and loved this game, and hopefully, they will keep up the good work and continue to blow our minds with quality and quantiy of releases.

Source: Lord of the Rings Online

Turbine, MoM Win Big in MMORPG.com Awards

Readers of MMORPG.com have spoken, and they named Mines of Moria the best expansion of 2008 in the site's Reader's Choice Awards. According to MMORPG.com, 3,627 votes were cast, and Mines of Moria earned 48.3% of them. Wrath of the Lich King came in second with 25%. Rounding out the category were EVE Online: Empyrean Age with 16.3%, EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey with 8% and EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction with 2.5%.

Turbine also earned the favorite MMO studio of 2008 title with a whopping 46.7% of the 4,334 votes cast. Blizzard came in a distant second with 14.7%. CCP and NCsoft came close to Blizzard with 13.2% and 12.4%, respectively. Mythic Entertainment received 10.2% and Funcom garnered 2.8%.

Congratulations to Turbine for its victories. What do you think about the results?

Solo Play Outlined to Level 20

Even though MMOs are a social game by nature, sometimes you just want to venture out on your own without any distractions. The Lord of the Rings Online team has created a guide to help solo players on their journey to level 20.

This guide seems to be targeted toward new players, which makes sense since the release of Mines of Moria coupled with the holiday season brought some new faces to the game.

Future articles will focus on soloing up to level 60. If you're a seasoned expert, this series of articles may not be required reading, but they could offer some handy tips. You can read the first one here or after the jump.