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Shadowbane Now Free As In Beer 50

Gamaustra reports on the decision by Shadowbane developer Wolfpack to make their PvP MMOG title free for the taking. From the article: "Despite the growing acceptance of [the no monthly fee] revenue model, it's not yet certain that it's the one Ubisoft has chosen for Shadowbane; the announcement makes no reference to any alternate form of revenue for the title. In-game advertising has also been an option for allowing free play in titles including Funcom's Anarchy Online, but Shadowbane's fantasy setting may preclude contemporary ads. The company indicated that a more detailed explanation of the free-to-play scheme will follow shortly."
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Shadowbane Now Free As In Beer

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  • PC and Mac Supported (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zibara ( 910310 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:59PM (#14937914)
    According to [], Shadowbane supports both Mac and PC. I'm going to have to check this out. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a Linux version.
  • ShadowBug (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thedeviluno ( 903528 )
    Best PvP game evar as long as you dont mind LAg from hell and GM sanctioned cheats ,hacks, exploits galore. I always said I would go back to this game when they made it free to play. But the last trial I took was so buggy it was near unplayable and then Guild Wars came out.
  • Source Code? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They need to release the source code for the client so that we can clean up the UI and fix that damn click to move. Not to mention the stability issues.

    • THe UI and click to move were fine. THe problem was stability, balance, and sieges/land control burning out guilds.
      • The solution to burn out (esp of guild leaders): Reduce the number of players allowed per realm?

        Less people = less sieges.

        True, defenders would have fewer players on their side as well.
        But you need a certain number of attackers to really mount a significant attack, whereas defending is easier.

        Less people would probably mean reduced siege frequency.

        It would also put increased importance on forming alliances with other clans, and recruiting.

        I think a release of the source code would be awesome.
        Could they (in
        • Every script kiddie with a compiler would be hacking the game. You've seen how messy online games can get when they're closed-source, and you're suggesting they open up an MMO?
          Crazy talk.
          • Every script kiddie with a compiler would be hacking the game.

            Duh? Let them hack the client if they want, if you know anything about coding you'll secure the server as well, and the "script kiddies" will have some trouble "hacking" the server since you are running it, not them.

            • Yea, they couldn't do anything like make walls transparent or display mini-Map data (like loot, monsters, hostile players, etc) or make an auto-aim bot or macro up a farming bot.. Since you know, your "super secure magical" server renders all the graphics and then pipes it to the client and since you got massive fat network pipes (and all player also!) you don't have to send all the map data, but just keep refreshing only the players line of view. You can detect macros by sending a .jpg image (of text)
              • make walls transparent

                We're talking about an RPG here, not a FPS, this is not much of an issue. Much less than in, say, CS.

                display mini-Map data (like loot, monsters, hostile players, etc)

                How about not sending the data in the first place? You look like you want to code an EQ-like client: trusted, send everything to it and it'll hide what should be hidden... Flash news, we've known for like 5 years now that THIS DOESN'T WORK. It's security through obscurity, and it's stupid. If you don't want the clie

    • Re:Source Code? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ravatar ( 891374 )
      Are you kidding me? Do you know what kinda problems that would cause in a MMO environment? Cheating is bad enough as it is, don't make it any easier.
      • Much less than it would cause in an FPS environment. As MMORPGs are seldom as latency-critical as FPSs, I don't see anything except heavy macroing representing a problem, but then that's really a problem with the whole game genre even macros aside, gameplay ought not to be unchallenging enough to be possible to perform automate. Anyway, MUDs have been dealing with an open environment.
        • MUDs are also usually less trusting of the clients that connect to them. Sadly, many modern MMOs still rely on information that the client sends them, in good faith. Until that practics stops, clients must always be counted as high-risk, and given as little access as possible to the inner workings of the protocol and interface.
  • Place to download (Score:5, Informative)

    by DiscoNick ( 743960 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:32PM (#14938112) Homepage
    Yea its a semi-shameless post, but you can download it here free, no subscription, no lines, no bullshit: []
  • Are there any other MMOPG (i know this is off topic a little) that are like elite (other than eve online), and that are preferably free? I was told once that there was one, open source too, yet never found it! nevermind
    • I believe it's PlaneShift you're looking for. []. The domain is .it but the site is in English and most players in game have standardized on English too.
      • When he said 'like Elite' I think he meant a space trading/fighting game, where you fly around in spaceships.

        Planeshift is a joke, it's been around for years and years and is nothing more than a tech demo. There is no game in it. The designers only care that it works like it was specified in technical terms. The complaint that it's no fun to play is usually greeted with comments like 'stfu loser' and 'it's free so you have no right to complain'. Every detail of the game just feels wrong, starting with the

        • Talk about a rant!
          Well, my bad for suggesting PlaneShift, especially since I misunderstood what the genre had to be. But really, don't you think you're exaggerating the thing a bit? Yeah PS sucks, I've tried it at least 3 times in the last year or so and I did not find it of an adequate quality: but it's a bloody BETA! You say "When others can play it, it IS the game", well no, MMORPGs tend to have long beta periods where the game is not finalized. "What use is it to work on a game for 10 years and then fi
          • I dont think planeshift will ever make it out of beta. I remember seeing an elite based game, with space trading, etc, but also the ability to walk around the space stations, but I really cant remember what it was called. Certainly if none of us can remember it, it probably doesnt exist anymore. Real shame.
  • ... all four people who still play the game.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    On my server one guild destroyed every major guild on the server and most of the small ones. They seiged and burnt most guild towns to the ground. A lot of people quit after seeing months of work go up in smoke. I was in a 500 man pvp guild and we couldn't stop them. When I left the server was dead... only 3 to 4 months after the release date.
    • Fun fun times :) I was quitting and coming back ,each time though come back was shorter and shorter. I think most of the fun times were in the beta and first few months . Broken client ,broken servers and fubared game mechanics .
    • Which proves once again that when given the opportunity of free thought, free will and free action, people will immediately start acting like sheep.

      Sounds like it was a big bandwagon effect. They started rolling and all the excluded anti-socials joined in to be part of the "winning" team.

      I can't remember if I beta tested Shadowbane or not. I'm fairly sure the PvP-only aspect would have kept me away. I've yet to ever see a positive aspect of PvP. Someone always goes away mad.

  • Wow, i had a buttload of +40 runes laying in the bank of my farmerdruid when I quit playing that game, I too said i would consider going back when it was free, maybe I should do just that and see if my stash is intact. :)
  • by Churla ( 936633 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:34PM (#14939139)
    They start paying you to play it. As it is , being free still costs too much for that game as I remember it.
  • I've been bouncing around MMORPG's recently to build up experience with them, and I still haven't found one (Besides Puzzle Pirates) that seems worth sticking with.

    Is Shadowbane worth playing? Is the start-up investment of time in the character low enough that it is worth trying, or is it one that you need to invest a million hours in the game before the actual game starts?

    What about Legend of Mir II? Any free or pay MMORPG's that people would recommend as must-trys?

    • The thing most carebears... WoW players hate about this game is that everything you own can be taken away from you by assholes. But after realizing that you can also take everything away from the assholes, too, it becomes fun. There is really nothing else out there like it, and even better, if you become familiar with your character, and have even decent weapons, you can kill higher level players -- and we're talking about 30's taking on 55-60's, not 47's killing 52's. There was a lot of lag. But if you h
      • Time to endgame competency really depends on if you can find a good group/guild or not. the guild i was in had many ties to other guilds who would let us PL with them. i could have a character to 65 in 2 nights, 75 on the 3rd . and if you did tell Arkhubar to "lol, stop peekaying me in the desert" he would call you a dirty firk and then track you down and kill you again. he was one of my favorite Virakar members. RR4L
        • I've been playing it in the weekend, and left the beginner island at level 21. The problem I have is that there seems to be absolutely nothing outside of the new town (aeldreth). I've walked outside it for an hour, and it's just empty. There's nothing to fight there. The beginner island looks small on the map, but it's big, it also takes ages to run from A to B there. As an amateur game programmer I know that heightmaps are cheap and easy to program, but just terrain with no content is just boring. And eve
  • Ubisoft, publisher of the Wolfpack Studios-developed MMORPG Shadowbane, has announced, via the site's official news page, that the title is now available to play for free without subscription fees

    Wait a minute. What official news page? I don't see this announcement anywhere but gamasutra. There's no link. [] - Flash page, the only link for news leads to: [] - looks like they're preparing for new & returning players and there's a community announcement abou

  • This is too much fun:

    From a discussion of free Shadowbane on BluesNews []:

    Some dude: "My question still stands, have you guys eradicated the sb.exe crash bug?"
    Wolfpack community manager: "No, we have not... [but] we have drastically reduced the number of client crashes. I play Shadowbane nightly and haven't had one for well over a week."

    A whole week? AMAZING! Imagining their code... I giggle.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire