Monthly Archives: March 2012

Community ftw!

I see Blizzard is teasing about announcing the launch of Diablo 3 any day now. Interesting timing.

SOE remains silent in the face of all requests for information except – there’s that didactic article on Massively. About how community relations work
of all the …!

It’s now 3 weeks since their players were promised “news on Monday”, the General Discussion forum thread on the Prosiebensat/Sony deal is at 211 – thats pages, not posts, and hasn’t left the front page. No word from SOE at all – so seeing one of the SOE staff doing a panel about community relations almost caused another tea snorting event.

The weekend’s activities on Guk show what the community is made of anyway, and it’s amazing stuff. Well done to everyone that did this lovely thing. In brief, people pooled together to create a digital wonderland for a very sick little boy – and you know what? It’s pretty much Sony’s loss if any of these people walk. What a very, very odd company. I see a few official Sony people appeared at the Guk event. But they weren’t responsible for it happening. The community organised this and pushed it through. Some of the tale as it unfolds here:  and many EQ2 sites and blogs have posted pictures. The pictures say it all. An amazing effort. By Zam this:

A Scrapbook for Ribbitribbit

not a dry eye this house

Categories: EQ2, Things In General, Uncategorized

I’m just going out to…err buy a potato

don’t bother to cook dinner for me…

I don’t think I’ve ever ragequit a game – do people still do that? Seems a bit last year to me – from the era when you played one MMO and one only. Like a marriage it was. Or monogamy anyway. Maybe people still play that way, I kind of hope so – there’s something endearing about it, and trusting.

Anyhoo what I do usually when the purveyors/devs/publishers of a game get up my nose is go and do something else or play something else, taking my cash with me needless to say. I thought it was like, just saying goodbye to a friend for a while, but I suppose its more like going out to buy what used to be “a packet of cigarettes” and not returning. They need us you see. Players I mean. I wonder how many they need…. I love the idea of a server in a cupboard somewhere providing a world for a few die-hards at not much cost. No idea – will get to investigate all that sometime.

So, yes I know my thought processes are somewhat odd – it serves me well, so… they need us, we don’t need them (need as in cannot survive without) – bit like the man used to be in relationships, when they used to be breadearners ooooo way back when. I’m not a man, but my goodness it must have been tempting to go out to buy something and never return. Actually my thought processes are odder than usual today. I got to thinking about this relationship we end up with – they provide the game, we provide the dosh. The power would seem to lie with us the players, yet it rarely feels that way. How strange.

Brainwashing via Eula and TOS aside, it’s probably because they make up the rules as they go along. That feels a lot more like power than paying the bills does. I tend to look at my gaming relationship partner, the devs/purveyors/publishers, in a critical light. And it is sort of a relationship light. I was mildly irritated at Ghostcrawler patting himself and team on the head for all the things in Cataclysm I personally disliked – enough to snort up some of my cup of tea anyway. Can’t recommend doing that btw. If WoW (easier to just refer to an entity) really thinks that stuff is successful this relationship is going nowhere so to speak, I’m out of it! Ha, this gets easier as you go (not the tea-snorting).

Keeping cup of tea well away from nose I considered EQ2. Sooo attractive, but soo strange. Now, the silent treatment. Do I do silent treatments? Do I heck. Who wants any relationship with someone who doesn’t communicate? It’s potato time for sure.

Those two games … well don’t keep dinner warm, chances are I wont be home.

Oh dear I seem to be something of a flirt. There’s that bandit with the charming smile and flashy dark eyes, Startrek Online, Wurm of the suburban wastes and basic necessities whatta hunk,  featherheady Rift, Free Realms who might sell my grandma or sell me a grandma, whichever made the most cash, Guild Wars the steady – maybe consider something more long term with that one, Skyrim of the cramped interiors (nonono I don’t do nurse), Eden Eternal is really cute!, Forsaken World the plush – how did they get it so plush and runs well too?,  Fallen Earth the wild and mean and also…. alas a bit hicky to run on my machine (all that hard living I daresay), Anarchy Online the unexplored.

I think it was one of my earliest lessons in life that – when a voluntary relationship goes bad beit employer, spouse, friend, it’s time to look around and see what else there is to do. If it ever edges towards abusive it’s most definitely time to withdraw. Some of what goes on with games does remind me of abusive stuff – hey I’m old, I have many t-shirts. Denigration (solo players are antisocial), humiliation (non subscribers are second class), silence (PSS1 deal, still not a word on it 206pg thread now) – is it my imagination or do we players even sometimes feel punished (not paying a sub, not getting any good stuff !!!!)? Or we suspect there’s a mind-game going on (triple rng grind archaeology anyone) ? Classically, abusively, I would now be told I was nuts and all alone in my thinking. A blow would finally fall, there would be shock (on both sides), disbelief, then fine promises…I would keep thinking things might get better….

However. – errr doesn’t matter if I’m nuts or all alone in what I think – I’m off to go buy a potato. Or to be more specific the USS Potato heh. Star Trekking… Amg the skills, what is this thing! Nvm it looks good and runs well and, doesn’t annoy me.

It’s a pretty fun game to spend half an hour musing on relationships with MMO’s – but in the end the publishers/devs/purveyors are just making a poor business decision by being out of touch with their players to the point of losing them.  I’ll look in on the two unfavoured some time for sure, keep the lights sparkling you guys and don’t mess with the playerbase too much!

Categories: EQ2, Uncategorized, WoW

Wurm Online (my) update Feb

There’s customer relations, and there is flannel. SOE do flannel (see other post).

I should be safe in here.

My go-to game does Customer Relations. Although I still suffer from flickery ui, the flickering has slowed update by update to the point where I can farm and craft without getting a migraine. That’s not why I’m staying. At the same time one of the client devs is working with me patiently, week after week, to try and work out what is causing the strobing ui.

That’s why I’m staying.

I’m not going to name him/her by name. I’m not going to detail all the lengths to which they have gone to help, but believe me its a long way from the usual generic “yer computer is rubbish” nonsense one is usually dealt. (Yeah no-good computer mysteriously runs anything with a cash shop in it. Hahaha. Pull other one.)

My good neighbour Faldan took me aside and patiently explained all the ways he knows to deal with decay. I’m beyond reason on the subject as I warned him, poor thing – but a lot of it sank in and will be tried out. That’s why I’m staying.

If I cannot do anything but craft and farm I’m welcome to live with a friend who will pay for everything I need and allow me to use all his resources without fetter or hindrance. That’s why I’m staying.

And of course, there’s that time me and the other neighbour took 8 hours and more than 20 (lost count) deaths each to rescue his corpse from a huge cliff down to water fighting mobs every step of the way… I’m staying for epic jaunts like that too 🙂

So the news is… I’m staying.


In other news: after many months of trying my blue deer had a blue fawn, statuesque and striking!

I’ve decided to fold one deed I own, giving it back to it’s previous owner who spent so much time and effort building it. This feels right. It’s a magnificent deed, which I enjoyed lording it over – with plans to rebuild over time. It’s no huge act of generous – I was going to shrink and fold anyway due to the ui. I’d never have been able to work on it enough with the way things are. But I like giving it back to the person who (burned out on it?) built it. I am glad it happened that I kept the walls standing until he reappeared. It gave him an option he wouldn’t otherwise have had, to keep going with it or not. That part is up to him but at least it hasn’t decayed (ugh) to nothingness. There are some fabulous playermade things on Wurm – slowly rotting…. (ok I’ll be quiet)

And… I think I’ll do another guide – with stuff I wish I had found out sooner than I did maybe. A guide for the middle – everyone always ignores the middle in guides. Actually – a guide for before the middle. For that bit where you’ve found your feet and suddenly realise how deep the game is one moment before a crocodile gets you.

I know I’d also like to do a guide on cooking, but that’s partly because I still have stuff to discover about Wurm Cuisine. Might do something in a different format than a guide.  Not sure – a format that would allow me to experiment and report would be best.

And my screenshots are still rahhhhhbish!!

Categories: Game Design and Creation, Life On Wurm

ProSiebensat1 and EQ2 – Ominous Silence.

Thursday dawns. It dawned a while ago here and is yet to dawn in the US. The thread on the EQ2 forums is now 192 pages long and “and rising” as they say in Hitchikers Guide. From Sony 3 or 4 very small pieces of fluff only in response – amounting to “hi guys” from someone that moved/joined … whatever… and “it will be ok, promise.”

At the same time Everquest Online Adventures is closing. I’m inclining more these days to the view that there’s some financial problem happening in thar somewhere, and SOE needs a rapid cash injection. Mind you I’m also inclining to the view that their hold on reality is dangerously tenuous. If they were my next door neighbours I’d be calling the white van and checking the trash for needles. A Station Cash sale that amounts to an extra 20% (One Day Only! Buy Buy Buy!) scaling to 40% seems to have nothing much to do with anything much either. Even if they were in everyone’s good books it wouldn’t be tempting.

The sad thing is, had they taken the trouble to be open, and built a reputation for fairness, their very loyal veteran playerbase would have been behind them and helping out.

Ducking, diving, weaving, wheeling, dealing and grabbing quick-cash-then-run requires mobility. MMO’s are soooo not mobile! Grab quick cash and still be there tomorrow doesn’t work – ooops.  It takes time to build a playerbase. MMOs do better by building good relations, doing right by people – being seen as FAIR. A sizeable section of humanity is only capable of short-termism however, and this is the fruits. If such people later need help, its not much use turning to the people that they have left feeling cheated, betrayed, left in the dark. Oh dear, oh dear.

Lastly – this sense of ownership. by Eula! by Tos! by the Gods of … MMO! we are bludgeoned to think we are only guests in these things. But a lot of people don’t feel that way – really they don’t. I object to SWG being lost to humanity as a whole (plus I never got to play it). Time and effort put into any game I play  makes it feel like I’m part of it. Being part of something runs near to feeling it’s part of me too.

It will be interesting if it ever occurs to anyone to formalise this (naughty! you’re just a guest!) sense we have that we do, in fact, in some sense, own some tiny part of the games we play. Share ownership by players?  That’d be a good way to raise cash, with the added bonus that the shareholders are likely to protect the game from all sorts of baaaaaad stuff. But if you’re too busy grabbing evrithing for meeeee, sharing just isn’t on the radar I guess – like fairness isn’t up there with the desirable stuff, or openness, or heck, even honesty. If you can get away with a lie it’s ok?

S’pose so…. so long Sony                                     … yeah I’ll drop by and say hello to EQ2…. um……sometime.

Categories: EQ2, Game Design and Creation, Things In General, Uncategorized

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