Archive for September, 2008

Jeff Freeman, You Will Be Missed

Posted in Gaming, MMORPG, SWG, UO with tags , , on 09/30/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

I may be a new blogger, but I am not a new blog reader, and by far not a new gamer. There are a few blogs that I read almost every time they’re updated, and Jeff Freeman’s was one of them. I’m not going to go on and on here, but I will echo the rest of the gaming community in saying the following:

Jeff, your words and wisdom were a big influence on the gaming world. You will be truly missed.

Related Links:

Broken Toys Blog

Raph Koster’s Tribute

Cuppycake

(Some) Pixels Are People, Too!

Posted in Gaming, MMO, MMORPG, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 09/29/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, after a long day at work, I decided to get on and play some WoW, in hopes of closing that long gap to 70. I’m on a PvP server, mind you, but the mentality that some people have while in-game still ceases to amaze me. I was camped for over an hour and a half by a single person who apparently had nothing better to do with their time. All I wanted to do was finish off a couple quests in W. Plaguelands, but to no avail.

I could go on ranting, but I felt the need to repost (in part, it is slightly updated) an article I wrote for NotAddicted.com a couple months ago. Thank to Julie at VirginWorlds (she runs the PodCast No Prisoners, No Mercy) for originally sparking the idea for this article in my head. I look forward to feedback.

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How “brave” and cold some can be behind the shield of anonymity.

I was listening to the “No Prisoners, No Mercy” Podcast over at Virginworlds.com and Julie, the show’s host, brought up a very good discussion topic that really got me thinking.

How many times have you had a really bad day, and just wanted to log into your favorite MMO and let loose, only to have a run-in with an in-game asshat? I know I can speak for most of you when I say it’s happened much more than once. Why is this though?

While I truly believe that the ability to remain anonymous is one of the root causes, it is not the whole reason. I think back to reading a little book called “Lord of the Flies” and can see a definite parallel.

A bunch of children (players) are stranded on a desert island (log into game) and are left to their own devices. There is no true governing body to lead them on a moral path, so they are left to choose their own. While GMs do get involved sometimes, they do not have a direct relation to how one player treats another.

Humans are fallable. We all make mistakes from time to time, it’s just a fact of life.

In the book “Lord of the Flies”, Piggy, one of the main characters, is killed because a few of the other children get so mixed into their own little world, that they forget that their actions may have dire consequences for others. We can see this happening every day in our MMOs.

No, no one is killed by the game, but feelings are hurt and friendships are broken. Groups are destroyed, and Guilds are decimated. I truly believe that sometimes we get so drawn into our own little fantasy world while playing a game, that we forget the reality that there are other living, breathing human beings behind the other pixels on our screens.

I’m not saying that getting drawn into the game is a bad thing. Hell, I for one love to Roleplay. But what I am saying is that — and I’m just as guilty of this — we tend to treat others as less than human, and this gets even worse as we see players push towards end game and grow an even bigger e-penis. And this leads us back to the whole anonymity aspect of the MMO world.

While I tend to feel that the ability to be anonymous plays a major role, it is not the only cause of this online nonsense. What do you guys think? Does it all stem from the anonymity? Or is there another underlying cause? Where does all of this Ass-Hattery come from? Inquiring minds like mine want to know!

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Discuss away!

Laying Down the Ban(k)hammer

Posted in MMORPG, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , on 09/27/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Kind of a sequal of sorts to my last post, I was reading this interesting blog post today at KillTenRats and now I’m curious…

If in a little over a week, Mythic has raked in an extra $200,000+ in revenue from banning gold farmers who turn around and buy another account…how much has Blizzard made in the last few years? At that rate, my guestimate would be well over $100 million. Who knows, maybe $1 billion?

I’m in the wrong line of work…

We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here!

Posted in MMORPG, Uncategorized, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , on 09/24/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

As most people who know me in game will vouch, I’m not one who cares what others do. By that I mean, I don’t care if the botters bot, if the gankers gank, or if the gold buyers and sellers buy and sell, as long as they’re not interfering with other’s gameplay. To each his own.

Trust me when I say that I know there are plenty of opposing points of view on this topic. Some will say that any of these activities hurt the game in a negative way. You’re right, in their own ways they do. But they don’t truly interfere with me having fun in the game, therefore I don’t care. I play the games I play in order to have fun, not to stress out more over what others may, or may not, be doing.

If your biggest annoyance in an MMO is Gold Sellers, then Warhammer Online may be the game for you. Mark Jacobs over at Mythic has taken a firm stance on Gold Sellers, and let it be known that they are not welcome in the lands of WAR. I must say that it threw me off a bit to read that blog post.

I understand full well why Mark Jacobs and Mythic would take that stance. In fact, I actually find the world emotes funny. The only thing that worries me is the public humiliation that may happen if someone were to be falsly accused of Gold Buying or Selling. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. What if that mistake was a false accusation of one of your players, and paying customers, being involved in a bannable offense that they never commited.

The reason I bring this up is because on of my WoW guildmates was, in fact, falsly accused of “Exploiting the server economy” on our server and was given a 72 hour suspension, with the possibility of being banned. Problem was, he didn’t do anything. He just has a lot of gold because he’s max level and already has his Epic Mount. I’m not exactly sure what kind of transaction he took part it, but it had something to do with gearing up one of his alts and buying a lot of supplies for their tradeskills. He also donated 5000 gold to the guild bank. Within two hours of this he was kicked offline and suspended.

Upon contacting Blizzard, who “further investigated the incident,” they apologized and gave him a day of free gametime for the trouble. Well, if this had happened in WAR, his name would have been broadcast to the server as well, so everyone would think he was a Gold Seller. Now, I doubt that this has happened yet in WAR, as it’s still a VERY young game. But if they do continue to publicly announce the bans, mark my words, it IS going to happen. I can only imagine the can of worms that mistake will open.

On the upside, I must say I am glad to see that Mark Jacobs publicly spoke out on how some of the Gold Sellers tried to pay him, and Mythic, off and he told them to “Go To Hell.” I did get a good chuckle out of that one.

WoW Costumes…

Posted in MMORPG, Retail, Uncategorized, WoW with tags , , , on 09/22/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

What will they think of next?

Wait…

Something’s missing…

Oh, I got it…

They’re missing a “Human” mask! (Come on, you KNOW someone would buy it!)

Just another way to milk more money out of consumers. Apparently Blizzard must be doing something right.

How Long Will It Live?

Posted in MMORPG, WoW with tags , , on 09/21/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, I was reading an intersting article at Massively today and it got me thinking…how long until WoW dies?

I’ve been an EQer since beta. EQ capped at about 500k subscribers. It’s been almost 10 years now and EQ is still going strong. While not as strong as 5 years ago, but Sony recently said that there are about 200k subscribers. Not too shabby for a game that started up a decade ago. By going by math like that though, it would appear that WoW’s 12million+ subscribers could easily carry the game past the 20 year mark.

Yes, that’s a very bold statement, but think about it. After 10 years, Everquest is still profitable, as is Ultima Online which started almost two years before EQ. Blizzard blew their subscription numbers out of the water. So, this brings two major questions to mind that I would like to see everyone’s opinion on:

1. How long will WoW really go and how long will it be #1?

2. Will there every truly be a game that is a “WoW Killer” or something that will steal an actually substantial number of WoW’s subscriptions?

Computer Issues

Posted in PC, Tech with tags , on 09/18/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, I was hoping to really start blogging soon, as I feel it could be something I really enjoy, but my first post isn’t going to be about Games at all, but about the furstrations I’m having with my PC at the moment. Here’s my problem:

When I go to turn on my computer, 90% of the time it restarts right as it gets to the Windows XP login screen. So far, I haven’t entirely been able to figure out why. Then tonight, I got fed up and decided to get online on my PS3 instead. Well, it couldn’t find a connection to my wireless router. I decided maybe I’d try and restart the router, so I did. On a hunch, I also decided that since the router was restarting (and I had been without internet all night apparently because it had bugged up) that I would try to turn on my computer again. Low and behold, it worked.

So, I’m wondering if anyone out there knows if this could be the issue with my computer restarting. I have a wireless card installed and that’s how I access the internet. Until I went back to using my wireless instead of a wired connection (updated a bad Firmware version on my wireless router and got my PS3, so I wanted to go wireless again) I never had any issues. Now, I’m guessing that if there’s no connection, the computer won’t turn on, and if there is, it will. Anyone else experienced this before and know how to fix it? Any help would be appreciated.

~Jmo