Free Realms: Pirates!!!

This screenshot was just posted up on Twitter. What does it mean?

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The Free Realms Pirate Treasure Hunting minigame!

It means that Pirates are coming to Free Realms! No longer will those pesky Ninja get to rule the roost, for their nemesis is upon them. I think I just found a new favourite career.

There had been rumours that the scurvy swabs might be incoming, ever since a sharp-eyed dataminer found piratical content in some of the gamefiles. Now we know for sure.

There’s no real details as yet beyond that screenshot, but it matters not one jot, for you see, as I’ve said before, Pirates make everything better!

Update: The Free Realms blog just put up a little bit more information, and some more pictures.

You may have seen some of the mysterious pictures that “leaked” earlier this week on our forums, twitter and Facebook pages. And, while we are still trying to figure out who the sneaky mole is, I can announce that “Pirate’s Plunder” is the next 3-D mini-game that will be out later this week! In addition to the launch of this extremely cool game there are also new pirate-oriented clothing and housing items available, new characters around the world, and just generally awesome pirate-ish-ness going on. (You know you need a pirate ship outside your house, right? Yarr!) – David Georgeson

I’m still unclear as to whether Pirate is going to be a new job or not, but either way I’m looking forward to setting sail when Pirates come to Free Realms!

UPDATE: More information! Pirate’s Plunder will be arriving this very Friday. I’ll start polishing me cutlass. Avast ye!

Mount Envy

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Bitey the Armoured Highland Stalker mount from EQ2's Sentinel's Fate

This is Bitey, Maltheas’ new Armoured Highland Stalker mount that came with the Sentinel’s Fate collector’s edition that I won. It’s very nice, with a 65% speed boost, and a realistic feline run animation that is so bouncy that if I use it for too long I get motion sickness. For looking cool, though, it’s top of the heap of EQ2 mounts at the moment.

EQ2 has a fair variety of mounts. There’s a vast range of horses, bears, and rhinos. Even some flying carpets and magical platforms. As there is a definite progression of mount speeds and buffs, often you outgrow them, but recently we gained the ability to turn unused mounts into house items, so we can still take care of our loyal friends. Here is a family photo of Maltheas’ mounts.

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The Many Mounts of Maltheas

From the left, we have a pack unicorn which grants bonuses to harvesting. The Armoured Pinto, which gives bonuses to xp gained while mentored. The Armoured Highland Stalker is my fastest steed at the moment, but has no other bonuses. Finally the Ykeshan bear, who came with Shadow Odyssey. The bear is a bit of an oddball, as it grows with you as you level, starting off as just a pet that follows you, then becoming an ever faster mount. At the moment he’s the slowest of the gang, but one day he’ll outstrip most of them.

They’re all great members of Team Shadowsqueak, but deep down, Maltheas wants another mount entirely. This one:

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Flying 2 feet above the ground is the only way to travel!

Curse you, Free Realms, for having the most awesome mounts ever!!! Sure, they cost 500 Station Cash each, but who would be able to resist their own flying dragon mount, in six delicious colours? I wonder if there is any way they could be reused (with a less cartoony skin) over in EQ2?

Seaside Summer Splash! – Free Realms Update for the 2nd of July

Looks like these Free Realms Summer themed quests are only going to be available for a while, so catch ‘em while you can!

Quests, Collections & New Content:

Sizzlebottom has drawn quite a crowd near the inn at Seaside. To celebrate his booming business, this Robgoblin has decided to kick-off a special holiday called Seaside Summer Splash! Join in the fun and find these celebrants and take on their challenges:

* Tarisa Teaspoon is trying to host a cooking competition…

* Heddy Heathcliff needs help making more fireworks…

* Shelly Sandishoes lost her stuff to a bunch of kids playing “Treasure Hunter”…

* Grekel is open to a friendly game of cards…

* …and Sizzlebottom is trading pinwheel fireworks. Check it out!

General

* Several Guild fixes

* A new camera controller has been added. You can turn it on and off from your game options menu.

Marketplace

There are new items added for the Seaside Summer Splash Holiday celebration!

* Uncle Sam Outfit

* Sand Castle

* Hula Outfit

* Ducky Floaty

* Palm Tree Island Shirt

Visit Seaside for the Summer Splash Events!

Seaside is the place for Free Realms summer fun! Complete quests and earn Seaside Stickers that you can redeem for special fireworks, fun wearables and other cool items!

Card Duelists have a chance to challenge Grekel to a special scenario. Winners receive the exclusive Star Shot Candle firework!

These activities are only available for a limited time, so log in and visit Seaside today.

Special Bonus for Members Only

Members receive the exclusive Summer Sparkler Bundle!* Light up the night with a special blur and green sparkler set.

*Members must log in and claim this bundle by 11:59 PM PDT on 7/12/2009

Free Realms news from Fan Faire

Some very cool info from Pex about what is coming up soon. I’m particularly looking forward to the driving jobs. They’re one of the most fun things to do in Free Realms, but are woefully underused due to not giving much in the way of rewards. When I can find other players to race against, it’ll “kick drive shaft”, as Jazz would say.

It’s late, so I’ll just bullet-point what was said tonight in the approximate order of when things will be released:

* Demo Derby and Race Car driver will be able to advance to level 20!
* Each job will have 40 missions along the progression path.
* Players will be able to customize thier cars in a garage
* Soccer Star (not sure if that is the final name, or a description) will be a new job!
* Guilds will be able to have matching uniforms for soccer.
* We showed a new desert region that will be the home of the dwarves.
* A new Druid job will come will be part of this region.
* TCG – There will be a feature where you can have your character portrait added to a physical card. You can buy a bunch of cards and give them to friends who can use a digital code to add your card to their digital deck.

There should be more detailed information along in the next few days. The Druid job sounds interesting, though I’m not so much into the combat classes. If it has similar attributes to other games, we might be looking at shape-shifting, or combat pets being a part of that job.

Free Realms June 22nd Update notes.

I don’t see me joining a guild in Free Realms, but it is still the feature that marks yesterdays patch as one to notice.

Mysterious incidents are happening across the land. Help out any of these people, and jump in the middle of the adventure:

* A Royal Courier is in trouble in Greenwood Forest
* Impress Sal Monella at Blackspore, and see where the next adventure takes you
* Henry Farnum has trouble with the local hooligans
* If you rescue Starshine’s child, she will have another task for a hero like you
* Help Sorin out near the Bat Caves, and see where he’ll send you to, or
* Complete Ceard Bauchlog’s task for further instructions
* (If you have already helped them out, return to them for another task!)

Quests & Collections & New Content

* Guilds! Gather your friends and be one of the first to start a guild! Talk to players in your guild using /gu

Pets

* Watch how your Pets react to wandering encounters differently based on their disposition

Marketplace

* When viewing Pets in the Marketplace you’ll be able to read about their personality before you purchase them
* Check out the new tool tips in the Claim Window of the Marketplace

Guild system incoming for Free Realms

Fresh news from the depths of the Free Realms twitter feed. The first iteration of guilds will be arriving “very very soon”. Not much information at the moment, beyond a 32 character limit for guild names. It’s a pretty big deal though, as it is a basic MMO feature that Free Realms has been sorely missing.

In the picture below, we can see a guild tab has been added to the chat window, and there is a guild panel on the far right.

Free Realms Guild system

Free Realms June 4th / 5th Update notes.

Only got highlights info so far. I’ll update when and if full patch notes appear.

With patches coming on a weekly basis at the moment, I’ve been very satisfied with the amount of goodness in them. Of course, we are in the early phase of a game wherein the new content is mostly stuff that ideally would have been in at release, but wasn’t quite finished in time. Thus it is hard to judge accurately what the future flow of new things will be like, once the reserve of goodies is exhausted. Time, as they say, will tell. For now, I’m off to go play the Tower Defence quests in Snowhill, so I can dress up like a penguin!

Members Only – Quests

* * Four Tower Defense Strategists are offering special rewards for those that can master their favorite minigame!
* * Find Napoleon in Sanctuary, Houston at Farnum’s Farm, General Spattonug in Bristlewood, and Arci Joan in Snowhill for the different challenges

Items – Marketplace

* * Sprint Concert ’09 t-shirts now available in the marketplace for a limited time

User Interface

* * Chat channels have been added! Player area, trade and “LFG” (looking for group) are now available (Note – Chat range of standard chat has been reduced to allow for area chat)
* * Pet wearables can now be previewed in the Merchant window
* * Players can now view the duration of a spell in the tool tip icon of the player portrait
* * Collection categories have been added to help organize collection.

Pets

* * Added more pet names to the name wheel