WoW almost ruins marriage but helps apprehend crook


After ending the year with the highly successful Road to Domination 4 event, E-games opens 2010 with a bang as it began the much awaited open beta testing of Runes of Magic (ROM). The ROM servers formally opened on January 8, and unlocked more areas for players to roam around, explore and capitalize on the increased number of available areas to reach ROM’s character level cap, now set at 35.

Among the new areas are Howling Mountain, Silverspring, Aslan Valley, Ystra Highland, Sascilia Steppes and Dragonfang Ridge. OBT also allowed gamers to access Instanced Dungeons such as Fungus Garden; Cavern of Trails, Barren Caves, Windmill Basement Bloody Gallery, Forsaken Abbey, Ystra Labyrinth—Revivers’ Corridor and the General’s Room, the Arcane Chamber of Sathkur and the Ruins of the Ice Dwarf Kingdom. Instanced Dungeons allow gamers to have their own dungeon adventures sharing it only with their parties and friends.

In addition, OB also opens the ROM item shop. Players can expect to find important in-game items to be on hand at the item shop, like the experience and skill potions that increase the experience and skill acquisition of a character by 50 percent. The ROM Item shop will also sell the Golden Repair Hammer that increases the durability of an item and adds bonus attributes.
Armors, weapons, and crafting items will also be on sale at the item shop. Players will also get to purchase mounts such as the Night Lion King, Flame Wartiger, and Blood Ostrich. Mounts offer players, greater speeds during their virtual travels.

To coincide with the OBT, e-Games is also launching the ROM Gaming PC Raffle that gives gamers a chance to win a brand new, top-of-the-line gaming PC. Players automatically receive a raffle entry once his character reaches level 10. Then every after five levels, the player will get more raffle entries. The in-game promo will run from January 8 to February 8.

“The CBT was a success because we were able to look deeper into the product, identify and fix errors, and tweak the game to fit the gamers’ taste. The players did their share and reported bugs during gameplay. Their feedback is invaluable and has made the game even better.,” said Runes of Magic product manager Lee Corbilla. “With the OBT, we want to firmly establish Runes of Magic as the game that everyone must play.”

Corbilla also expects to grow the Runes of Magic community. He further said that the community would play a vital role in the success of Runes of Magic. Hence, Corbilla asks players to be active once the online forum launches by creating their own factions, submitting fan arts and even their own in-game story.

“Runes of Magic will stay true to its tagline as the game that is going to change the way we play online games,” Vice President for MMORPG Heidi Mendita-Garayblas said. “Remember, this is just the OBT. The game has many things that are still in store to rouse the players’ enthusiasm.”

Recently, Runes of Magic garnered almost all of the top awards in the 2009 Readers and Staff Choice Awards of Massively.com, a leading online game review website. Among the plums that Runes of Magic won were the Best Free-to-Play MMO, Overall Best New MMO, and Best Capacity for Role-play.

For more information, log onto www.runesofmagic.com.ph

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Having to choose between an orc and your wife might be the weirdest predicament to get into, but that is exactly where Robert Cushnie found himself in because of his addiction to World of Warcraft.

In a report by the Scottish Sun, 42-year-old Cushnie and his wife Dee almost called it quits because of an issue with an orc—a 6-foot statue of the Warcraft character. Dee said she was tired of sharing her life with a menacing monster, and issued an ultimatum: get rid of the orc, or watch me move back to Canada—alone.

“She said there wasn’t any room for him in our life,” Cushnie said in an interview. “I’ve had him for six years but Dee means more to me, so he had to go.”

Cushnie acquired the statue when a local toy store shut down six years ago. He said figure now belongs to an elderly couple who claim their grandkids “love him.” It remains to be seen, however, whether the orc will again be part of a controversy once the old folks decide who gets it in their will.

The Cushnie’s relationship, however, isn’t the first relationship threatened by WoW addiction. As millions of gamers log on to WoW, more and more are also blaming it for ruining their relationships.

Stories of women becoming part of a fast-growing legion of “Warcraft widows,” are surfacing, as they lose their partners to an all-consuming game obsession. One woman from London recounts that they had to enter into some heavy negotiation to work out the nights and weekends because when her husband is locked into a group he’ll only take a few minute breaks to eat and visit the bathroom. Academic research estimates that WoW gamers play an average of 25 hours a week although some reports say it may in fact be more than 40 hours.

Relationships, however, aren’t the only things threatened by the massive influence of WoW, as a wanted criminal realized after he was traced through the online game.

Alfred Hightower successfully fled the US to avoid being nabbed for dealing drugs and had been in hiding since 2007, but thanks to his habit of playing Warcraft, authorities were able to track him in Canada and arrest him. According to the reports, authorities came upon the Warcraft connection during their investigation into his background. Investigators then sent a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment after they realized that Hightower was into WoW, which they initially referred to as some “warlock and witches game.” Blizzard eventually gave up Hightower’s account history, IP address, screen name, billing address and preferred game server. One Google Earth search later, and Canadian authorities apprehended Hightower in Ottowa, Ontario.

This isn’t the first time online gaming helped authorities in their war against crime. Several weeks ago, police tracked down a New York thief by tracing his online gaming on a stolen Xbox while Federal officials are using Sony’s Playstation 3 to crack passwords used by child pornographers.

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