Monday, November 28, 2005

How To : The key to the World of Warcraft Auction House

This is a cut'n'paste of my response on Tobold's MMORPG blog about the World of Warcraft auction house. Find the article here.

Controlling the market is key. I have the items I watch and I will buyout and low sellers and undercutters. Then I will repost at my price. I usually can bully out the undercutters because they are usually aren't dedicated AH watchers. They got some cash and that's all they cared about.

My keys to AH riches while still playing the game are as follows...

1. Pick your poison and stick with it. Don't switch back and forth between multiple items unless you really want to waste hours in the AH. If you are a disenchanter... stick with it. If you are a miner... stick with it.

2. Own the market every login. Take the few minutes to buyout every undercutter. This is tough at first because you probably will take losses on some purchases, but you are ensuring your future market.

Don't be afraid the mail people if they constantly undercut you. Don't be mad at them! Explain to them that you would like to purchase at a set price and see if they will stop using the AH. It is MORE profitable for them to sell lower to you because they are NOT losing money on AH fees.

3. Don't flood the market.
You have bank space... SO USE IT! If you find the market empty and a demand for your goods you will have the "stock" in the bank to fill up the market... and usually you can charge a bit extra.

30 minutes a day can make you 100 gold a week easily and I've proven it time and again. Just the question of what to buy/sell... I'll let you figure that part out.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

After T-day update!

I am back home from Texas and all my T-day happenings and here is the update of what happened while I was gone. Lets begin:

What sort of gaming did I get done in Texas? Not much that is for sure. The CZee, AT&T gaming/net cafe, was poorly managed and I will write up; Mouthing Off 5 - Piss poor net cafes

Whats in my gaming future?

1. Battlefield 2 : Special Forces - Initial impressions are good, but I'll have to dig into the expansion, so expect a better impressions post on this $30 expansion to an already good game.

2. Call of Duty 2 - I was getting good before I left for Texas and I hope to return to prominence. Sadly, I can't dedicate the time I wish I could. I also plan to knock out some more of the single-player campaign.

3. Counter Strike : Source - Renewed interest to get some CSS in, but not too much.

4. The Hidden - A half life 2 MOD that my boys at are playing, so we shall play and we shall gank some newbs.

5. Day of Defeat : Source - Not only Call of Duty 2, but DoD : Source! I paid for it so mine as well get at least 50 hours of gaming out of it.

Update: 12 May, 2009 - Edited post, removed broken links, and applied labels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I'm in the big state of Texas from the 14th until the 24th and I just so happen to have found some internet access.

During my down time away from training I am reading the book Smartbomb, a very good read for any gamer, and I'll have a review when I get back to normalville.

Update: 10 Nov, 2006 - Edited post and applied labels.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Poll shows Star Wars Galaxies NGE plans not popular

Star Wars Galaxies NGE seems to be taking a beating not only on the message boards, but in random internet polls. Discount the validity of such polls and pass it off as just "whiners who haven't tried it yet", but there is a lot of people talking.

People are sick of changing with no promise that when and if things get better in Star Wars Galaxies that they won't just up and change it again. No amount of bribing or promising from the Star Wars Galaxies development team can sell this vocal crowd.

It is human nature to despise change and Broken Toys has a good discussion why.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Smedley spins the Star Wars Galaxies NGE

Next Gen has an article/interview up with SOE head honcho, John Smedley. (bad link, removed)
" 'We got a lot of feedback about what was wrong and what wasn't. We saw early on that people weren't satisfied with the combat, so we decided to try something pretty radical.' "
Hold on here... the MULTIPLE complaints from BETA TESTERS didn't give you a clue before you launched the game? Chalk one up for not caring about the feedback from beta testers. Another reason professional beta testers should be used to initially test an MMO. If you are paying them I would sure as hell hope you were listening to them.
"The original design of the game was very much influenced by the Richard Garriot (Ultima Online) and Brad McQuaid (early EverQuest) schools of MMOG design. That is to say that the very best experiences in the game would come from massive time investment, trial and error and endurance of hardship. The rewards that come from that are significant but highly exclusive."
I was around on day one and early on they were staying as far away from the EQ model as possible and stealing only the skill idea from UO. Massive time investment, trial and error and endurance of hardship... three keys to avoiding making EQ2 (oops).
"Along those lines, it was incredibly difficult to become a Jedi. In fact, the mechanism for which it is accomplished (which was secret for a long time) is that a character has to master five specific professions (out of more than 20), and those professions were selected for that character secretly by the game at the moment of creation. The player never knew which specific five would unlock the Jedi path. It was an incredible time sink, to say the least."
Bad decision to have Jedi in the game as playable in the first place. You don't decide to place the game in the "old" movie timeline and then destroy the immersion with a thousand Jedi running around. Jedi should of always been NPC only... or even better... special event characters. The new "force sensitive" class is going to be overplayed... welcome to Star Wars Jedi Online!
" 'It's mixed. It's very positive [feedback] from the people who are actually playing it. And we also have the expected push back from the people who haven't actually logged in to try it," says Smedley. "Once people get in there, it's overwhelmingly positive. It's the "the sky is falling" crowd on the forums that's still going to take some converting. I understand that. These are big changes.' "
Maybe... just maybe... people are sick of you redesigning the game they've invested so much time into. Not to say these changes aren't needed, but not understanding why that vocal minority is RIGHTFULLY pissed is a sure shot to alienate even more players.
"There's a quote about the original design of Galaxies that says it was too much like living the life of Uncle Owen (the moisture farmer) and not enough like the life of Luke or Han Solo. We want to deliver more of the heroic Star Wars experience."
Actually early on Star Wars Galaxies was all about being Stormtrooper #245 or a moisture farmer. Not everyone wanted to be a hero... they wanted to live among heros. Sadly most players want to "change the world" when they are playing an MMO. Unfortunately this is not possible and making classes that stand out in the movies detracts from the immersion factor. Not everyone in Star Wars is a bounty hunter or Jedi, but in Star Wars Galaxies NGE it will be quite the opposite.

My suggestion for Digg is a great tool. It takes control of the news and puts it in the hands of the users. Everything on the site is controlled by the users. Submissions only make the front page through the repeated "digging" of the user base. Comments on storues are moderated and sorted by the voting of other users.

The problem is that many features of Digg are lost on the new Digg users. Many only use the site for quick links to news articles or spam the submission queue with every story they find. This is fine because of the very nature of Digg, but so much can be done to educate the many new users and make it a better site!

My suggestion comes from and is inspired by countless video games. The idea of a "newbie tutorial" that must be completed before a users sign up is complete and their account is activated.

The tutorial would walk the new user through the following...
  • What items to look for in a story before submitting it. Is the story recent? Is the story related to the category it is being submitted under? Is the link direct to the source or is it through another website? Many other questions could be asked of course.
  • Next it would walk users through the actual "digging" for stories. It would need to explain how to look past the front page and get into the many submissions and explain how stories get to the front page.
  • Finally the tutorial would walk the new user through how to moderate and rate comments. This is by far the most overlooked area of Digg currently. The tutorial would provide examples of good and bad comments and the user would have the chance to rate each comment in order to receive an activated account.
This tutorial could also be available for anyone that has signed up within the last 6 months; which has been Digg's greatest period of growth. I understand that not every Digg user comments, submits, or even "diggs". A lot probably come just for the quick links, but an account is not required to do this. If they sign up for an account they should understand how to use the site. Lack of knowledge or lack of initiative... a tutorial would help.

Update: 6 Nov, 2006 - Updated post and applied labels.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Star Wars Galaxies NGE video

OK back to gaming for a bit. There is this video floating around showing off some of the new combat in Star Wars Galaxies New Gamer Experience. What I gained from the video.

1. Collision detection does not exist for projectiles.
2. You can not dodge incoming fire as it tracks directly to you after being fired.
3. Click... click... click... my wrist is hurting already.
4. "Hide behind the boxes kid"... ROFL... and get shot over and over. The illusion of using your surroundings is almost there.


People jumped way off the deep end when they got their hands on this thing at AGC and heard the rumors. Hype is a bad thing that is starting to kill this announcement. I still feel its what the game needs, but they need to refine it more.

I could possibly have all these systems wrong with no hands on experience, but I like to stir the pot.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Gone for the weekend... Clemson football!

No gaming for me this weekend because I will be out of town heading off to the Clemson football game. Not sure who they are playing, but it is where my woman went to college so I promised her I would go. Maybe someday I'll drag her to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay WI for a Packers game!

But do not fear I am leaving you with plenty of reading to get done. Carnival of Gamers #8 has made its stop at Aeropause, but sadly I failed (more like forgot) to submit my article for publish. Would have been a re-posting of my MMO beta article.

Update: 10 Nov, 2006 - Applied labels.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The rebuild of Star Wars Galaxies

Initially I caught onto the fact that Star Wars Galaxies was planning a MAJOR rebuild of their game via Kill Ten Rats. also has a good discussion going on.

The quote that really caught my attention...

"Basically they went through, ripped out 80% of the classes, left in the following: Force Sensitive, Bounty Hunter, Officer, Smuggler, Commando, Spy, Trader (all the tradeskills - 4 base sets now - Domestics, Structures, Munitions, Engineering), Medic and Entertainer. Here’s the deal. Right click shoots - you have to aim. Left click fires off a special ability.

No more auto attack.
No more hotkey combat.

Once collision detection goes in, this will probably be the game I play. There’s actual skill involved now. You can run from people and they can’t just autohit you."
It seems that they are merging the concepts of Planetside with SWG which is something many people have called since SWG was in beta. Star Wars combat has always been about the lasers and SWG was quickly pushing the EQ formula into Star Wars.

All these MAJOR changes come on the heels of their first combat revamp... which I doomcast on message boards well before it ever hit. These new changes are what I consdier a REVAMP. They are truly migrating the game to simpler, yet more skill based combat system.

Do I think these changes are going to save the game?

Possibly, but I'm not going to Vegas anytime soon to drop my life savings on it. It will hopefully be 6+ months before we see the changes. Otherwise they will be rushed, buggy, and do more harm than good.

These are good changes for the game! However, the number of complete rebuilds of entire game systems for SWG has destroyed all faith in SOE developers that I may possibly of had left. Sorry Raph.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blizzcon info regarding World of Warcraft battlegrounds

Link to the article.

My comments.
Following the success of the "lunchtime battleground," Warsong Gulch, which featured a PVP standard, Capture the Flag, Blizzard looked at using another PVP staple, single-elimination Deathmatch play. The battleground, Gurubashi Catacombs, was to be located beneath the Gurubashi Arena, in pens where dangeous animals were once kept.
But the 5 versus 5 single elimination match invariably turned into melee classes killing spellcasters immediately, which was great fun for the melee classes, but absolutely no fun for the casters: "Of course you're going to kill the guy in the dress."
The issue could not be resolved, the designers felt, without a fundemental class revision that would make every class equally able to survive an attack by any other class.
The battleground was scrapped, but group duels might be made a feature of the game independent of battlegrounds at some point in the future instead.
- Admitting your game is broken is the first step to recovery.

Learning from the mistakes of their past, Blizzard has plans for future and present battlegrounds:

* They are lookin at a variety of ways to get battlegrounds to the critical mass needed to start a battleground more easily.
- Maybe start by preventing the uber groups from rolling pick up groups as previously mentioned here.
* They are looking into ways that, when possible, the game will automatically match up opponents more evenly.
- Sorry ranks don’t determine how good a player is and its more an indicator of how much time they spend in game. Until they fix the ranks this is a mute point.
* They will attempt to even out the honor gained per hour in each of the battlegrounds, so that people will choose a battleground based on what they enjoy, rather on where they will get the most honor.
- Won’t work until the uber groups aren’t allowed to roll the pick up groups.
* Battlegrounds will begin to have some sort of impact on the world outside of the zone.
- Great! It’s about time the battlegrounds meant something other than just free honor to the uber groups. Now we all get to reap the rewards of the uber groups... maybe. Not sure if this blends well with the idea of cross server battlegrounds... or if they have scrapped that all together.
* More improvements to the queueing system will be coming.
- Really? Like what… listening to the continuous complaints against uber groups farming pick up groups?
* Groups will automatically form when players enter a battleground.
- Great… possibly a hint that they are removing the “join as group” button? We could only hope so!

* Siege weapons are currently not being worked on, since they couldn't be made cool enough, but will be worked on again in the future.
- Believe it when we see it.
* General PVP changes will be coming later, with announcements to follow.
- Has me interested because PvP needs a lot of "general" changes.

* And in the 1.9 patch, multiple battleground queues can be joined at once time, and those who /AFK out early will be assessed a penalty on their times for the next queues.
- About damn time! This has only been requested and has only made complete sense since battlegrounds were introduced.

It seems Blizzard spent more time finding out that Alterac Valley was a bad idea than they did developing Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. In the end the World of Warcraft PvP crowd is given a time investment system that Blizzard is failing miserably to change or unfortunately may be unwilling to change.