Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Warhammer Blows

Mythic, attempting to fight another forest fire for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, have come up with the the Winds of Change.
The goal of this system is to ensure the best Open Realm vs. Realm experience for as many people as possible and to prevent server crashes. Overall, this system will only take effect in the most extreme server load situations, and will only happen as a last measure before the zone would actually crash.

In order to accomplish this goal "The Winds of Change" will now teleport a small number of players in Realm vs. Realm lakes to the closest "safe point" when crowds are large enough to threaten the stability of the server. This will generally be the nearest Warcamp, however, it may also be a Chapter Hub within the zone depending on where performance is being impacted the most.
Interesting solution, but any solution that doesn't address the root of a problem is going to face criticism.

Server stability is a fundamental of an MMOG. When there are issues, development needs to come to a screeching halt and all resources need to be redirected to evaluate the stability/performance issues. Mythic has continually shown the opposite, opting to steamroll develop new content in the face of continually worsening performance.

Maybe, Mythic does have all cylinders firing on the problem, but what little they tell the community shows no signs of it and in the case of announcing something like the Winds of Change, one has to wonder if Mythic is taking the problem seriously.

Personally, if this system stays in the game, it nails the door shut on any chances that I would play WAR again.

Update: 29 April, 2009 - As Werit pointed out in the comments, the Winds of Change have been retracted.
After reviewing the metrics and community feedback Mythic have removed the Winds of Change feature from Dark Crag. - Nilax, English Community Manager

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heartless_ Gamer's New Look

I have uploaded my new template for the world to see.

Thanks go out to lawnydesigns for the great base template to build from and the frivolousmotion blog for the tag cloud code.

Please report any bugs to the proper authorities (preferably with browser name and version # if possible).

And my blog roll disappeared into thin air, so stay tuned for a newerish version.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Because I Can!

I am changing my blog layout.

Why? Because I can! And I want to play with some stuff; like a tag cloud!

Watch my progress here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Book News: Wheel of Time, A Dance With Dragons, and Crichton writes from the Grave

Boy has there been some big news in the book world lately.

First, the final chapter of the Wheel of Time has grown from one book into three. The final books of the series are being penned by Brandon Sanderson.
This morning Tor-Forge announced that A Memory of Light, the conclusion volume of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, will begin publishing in November 2009. That’s the good news!

The bad news? A Memory of Light is going to be broken into three separate books released one year apart each, the first of which is titled The Gathering Storm.
I'm still on Book 4, The Shadow Rising, so this gives me a reason to procrastinate. I'll still catch up before the last book is published.

Secondly, George RR Martin has delayed A Dance With Dragons, book 5 in his Song of Ice and Fire series. The most important thing I can do in regards to the delays is have everyone read this: In Defense of George RR Martin.
This long article is about author George R. R. Martin and, more importantly, the misgivings and negativity some of his more vocal fans have concerning the lateness of his forthcoming book, A Dance With Dragons.
Trust me, it is worth the read. Personally, I can wait. The end product will be worth it.

Lastly, Michael Crichton, recently deceased, will have a couple novels published posthumously.
New York, NY (April 6, 2009) - HarperCollins is proud to announce the global publication of two posthumous Michael Crichton novels. The first, Pirate Latitudes, will be published on November 24, 2009; the second, as yet untitled, will be published in Fall 2010.
Crichton's Lost World was the first "real" book I read in my youth and I can not thank him enough for the road that reading has lead me down. Ironically, that is the only book of his that I have ever read.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mythic Does Get It

Mythic does get it. Need proof? Read about WAR's upcoming Keep Upgrade System.

The real question is, why has it taken them so long to "get it"? They had these sort of features figured out with Dark Ages of Camelot years ago, but completely dropped them off the face of the earth for WAR. Sad, truly sad.

Dungeon Party Open Beta

Ahoy there! More free MMO gaming ahead!

Dungeon Party has gone into Open Beta.

1. Register here.
2. Download here.
3. Play.
4. ???
5. Profit!

Free games are flowing faster than I can write reviews (or maybe free games are finally to a point where they are fun to play for more than 10 minutes and therefore I don't have time to write reviews)!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Path

Just a quick note, Eurogamer has their review of The Path posted.

Very few Indie games intrigue me, but The Path has intrigued me enough to spend $8 on it. Yes, it sounds that good IMHO.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

This Title Has Nothing To Do With This Post

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is introducing a token system.
The RvR Quartermasters are "Barter" merchants who will trade players special items and equipment in exchange for specific items earned in RvR. These Quartermasters offer players an alternative way of obtaining items in RvR such as the item sets normally obtained via Keep PQ bags. In addition the RvR Quartermasters will offer exclusive items and rewards not obtainable elsewhere.
Under System Goals, Mythic lists the following:
Help offset "Bad Luck", allowing players to obtain items they may not have gotten out of PQ's due to unlucky rolls.
Personally, I've never understood why MMOs shifted so far towards rewarding luck instead of rewarding investment and smart play.

Anyways, Mythic may just have a game worth returning to come the Tomb Kings content expansion.

Update: The title for this post was from an old draft. I have changed the title to reflect that it has nothing to do with this actual post.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Something That Every MMO Needs: The Aggregator

Runes of Magic has introduced The Aggregator.
Using this Aggregator item you can transfer statistics from items that belong to you to similar, new items.

You can e.g. transfer the stats of your new and better but not so-good-looking robe, to your trusty and well fitting robe immediately.

So you can still look cool and do not have to go without your beloved bonuses!
Are Blizzard and Mythic listening? They should be, because this is an absolute brilliant idea.

I'm still on the fence for micro-transactions in MMOs, but Runes of Magic and items like The Aggregator are slowly changing my opinion. This micro-transaction stuff can work with solid design principles behind it.

With that said, I'm still a bit bummed that the PvP server for RoM requires a massive cash investment to be competitive on. So, kudos for The Aggregator RoM, but -50 DKP for the PvP server (which is in really bad shape).

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One More Hour

One more hour and I can start using the Internet again. No, your April Fools jokes are not funny.