Jul. 16th, 2014

DDoS site

Watch DDoS attacks across the interwebs in near real time!

*sigh* I wasted so much time staring at this site.


(Obtained from the GW2 reddit. Because NCSofts servers have been steadily targeted by DDoS attacks recently. Leading to lag and general unplayability. The sad thing is, the target is more Wildstar, by the same publisher, and GW is just getting splashed in the collateral.)

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Feb. 14th, 2014

Revamped tutorials

Was sort of just browsing through youtube and I came across this. Wow. This is a *big* change from the original tutorial I played on STO when it first went F2P. It hits all of the right buttons - almost every core mechanic got blatantly shoved in your face (that's a good thing, really), and it kept the general "flavor" of Trek (even the dumb parts, like the 'newly graduated cadet taking over as captain when the real captain dies' that probably got borrowed from the reboot Trek).

Makes me want to replay the STO tutorial again. Also, it seems they've introduced the Romulan faction too. (With Sela.) Mmmmmarrrrgh......

I did a little more digging and found that the revamped tutorial was released in Nov. 2013. So almost 2 years from when it went F2P... and like 4 years after it was first released.

Gives me hope that GW2 will eventually gain a decent tutorial as well in a couple of years. =P

EDIT: Oh wow, prophetic!

"To prepare the game for its eastern release, we’re building a new comprehensive “level zero” optional tutorial that teaches the core basics of the game. We’re also adding new story steps at levels 5 and 10 to help better teach core mechanics as players grow. We will also be adding a much better hints system, and a new level-up messaging system all to better teach the game.
All of these systems will be added to the game not just in the east, but to help future new players in the west as well."

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Mar. 13th, 2012

This is why we can't have nice things

Why hardcore gamers are part of the problem, not the solution. =(

Feb. 20th, 2012

Playerbase quality

You know, say what you will about GW's playerbase, but I have noticed that they are generally quite... anally hardcore? :-p Yeah, even...especially the PvE folks.

I don't know how other pay-to-play games like WoW has it, but I've been reading some general whining on the PWI/STO forums about grab bag items and how the players demand transparency from the devs on the percentages of certain rewards.

And I can't just help but compare it to the Guild Wars fan base, which instead of demanding hard numbers...start tallying up the #'s themselves across large numbers of people, and then estimate a drop rate/spawn rate/etc. from there which then gets posted to the wiki or wiki discussion page. Now, yes, I do get that there is a difference here in that the GW players are crunching numbers on largely non-purchased stuff (drop rates, spawn rates, holiday mystery box rates, etc.) But given how fast the grab boxes in STO/PWI sell (only the keys need to be purchased with $$), I don't think there are any less sources of datapoints there either; just no one getting together to crunch some numbers.

Even in general, the GW wiki (and related wikis like PvX) is a pretty awe-inspiring place. Quick updates, complete records of every bit of minutae in the game, strategy suggestions that get updated according to game/skill balance, statistical analysis of all sorts of stuff...

They're all free-to-play games. But what's so unique about the GW crop of players?

Star Trek Online review

So I've passed the halfway mark, level-wise, on STO, and I figure I'd write down some of my thoughts on the game so far. This makes the... 3rd? online MMO I've played (4th if you count Gaia Online's zOMG, I guess), so some comparisons with Perfect World International and Guild Wars are probably inevitable.

Also, I feel we need to note that Cryptic Studios, which makes STO, was bought by Perfect World Entertainment, which changed the business model of the game from subscription to free-to-play early this year.

And also note - while the game has PvP (mostly Fed. vs Klingons), I don't play PvP, so this review is focused exclusively on the PvE stuff. It helps that the game is designed primarily for PvE with PvP being the "afterthought"... (kinda the opposite of GW:Prophecies).

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In Summary:
Great big authenticity stamp with regards to the franchise. Wonderful storytelling and promising RP potential. Some unique mechanics and stuff. Not much of a multiplayer game, but that's not a big issue for people like me who prefer to play in single-player mode. Still a little rough around the edges, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt due to its relatively "young" age.

Feb. 10th, 2012

Minor update on...stuff...

Ah, AT&T, how you make me run around and have to call customer support again and again to get one little thing resolved, and then demand my money like you're entitled or something. Blah. >.< Damn bloodsuckers.

In lighter news - GW1's Winds of Change is finally done. I don't quite find any of the Imperial Weapons skins pretty enough to be worth my effort to do the quest chain though. Not even for the oddball greens (staff-skinned wands & scythes, sword-skinned wands, focus-skinned wands... o_O). New hero is an assassin which...I don't see the need to have 3 of. >.> And a panda pet, which I may or may not get using Zcoins instead (verging on 10 gc atm)...dangit I wanted to get the large EQ pack. :(

Did get three celestial dragons over Canthan New Years. Sold one for 80k. One went into my HoM. The other will go into Aoki's HoM when I get a chance to log both accounts.

Oh! And I got a new computer last weekend. Yeah, yeah, mainly cuz I wanted to try out Star Trek Online and it was complaining about the old computer being too...old. STO is ok, I guess. I've been playing pretty causally my Vulcan Engineer on board the Spark of Genius. Still a Lt. (Jr. grade?) at the moment. Not a very demanding game, and really I'm just in it for the geek factor.

EDIT: Reference for self, potential ship names - kinda like Opaque/Fuzzy Logic, Statistical Anomaly/Outlier, Common Sense

Aug. 5th, 2008

北京欢迎你 - MMO version

Because China is one big MMO farming community, amirite?

WOW Welcomes You


Also, more panda pics

Jul. 16th, 2008

Western aesthetics in fantasy/gaming

Idealizing Fantasy Bodies is an interesting article on the most popular/successful western style MMO and how it reflects western aethetics and gamer psychology.

I would love to see a similar study done for eastern games/aesthetics, and then compare the differences.

May. 7th, 2008

Article on a typical Asian MMOs

Or, to be more precise, a western viewpoint to an Asian type MMO. It would be interesting to read the original Chinese and see how much of the tone matches up, I think.

I actually found some of the comments more interesting (and less biased :p)... Eg. "An MMO such as ZT Online is no different than countless other MMO's like World of Warcraft or EVE Online. They all seek to exploit superficial aspects of Human Nature."

Feb. 22nd, 2008

Future of gaming?

Interesting article on virtual transactions based online gaming - actually, interview transcription. It's dated July 07, so fairly recent in terms of the technology.

Speakers are:
John Blakely of Sony, who as far as I can tell, owns the only ingame selling/buying service that didn't go defunk for a popular MMO (see Station Exchange for EQ2, though I hear they're closing that in favor of a third party deal...)
Mark Jacobs (VP EA, Studio GM EA Mythic) - no idea who he is
Raph Koster (President Areae) - no idea who he is
Erik Bethke (CEO GoPets)
Matt Firor (moderator)

I have to admit though I that I find it hard to follow who's saying what and has what opinion. But I do get the impression there's several conflicting opinions in there. @_@

Jul. 1st, 2005

Psidai RPG

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