So my laptop died yesterday. I am back on it, so the tech guys were able to fully restore the factory version that came with the Gateway machine. (I know, don’t judge me, it was a moment of weakness.)
With the re-installation of Windows comes the incredibly arduous task of updating every driver and installing the plethora of programs, plug-ins, utilities and other assorted goodies I am used to having on my machine. So if there is some discrepancy in the frequency of posts, my sincerest apologies in advance.
Here goes nothing!
They Said Whaaaat?: “Derek Not-So-Smart” or “Will Someone Shoot This MMO in the Face Already?” – Part III
Who gives a tit.
Keep up the good work Alganon.
I guess you will have fanboys for anything these days!
But since the team at Quest Online has decided that there is no end to their virtual stupidity, the conclusion to this was this forum post. I encourage you to click that and go read the first few lines by Derek Smart, the laughing stock of the MMO community.
In said forum post, Derek Smart manages to:
- Belittle Kill Ten Rats for being a ‘little known blog site’
- Call Massively.com an ‘unprofessional’ website that writes (/sarcasm on) ‘news’ (/sarcasm off)
- Claim this is mere accusation, not fact
- … and shrug off the blame to his PR company anyway, claiming they made the mistake and he just ‘looked it over’
Is there no end to his madness?
The fact the new grand poobah over at Quest Online, ‘creators’ of Alganon, is called Derek Smart is irony personified. After his senseless tussles with the previous head-honcho, David Allen and bloated talks of revamping Alganon to move away from the ‘WoW-clone’ mentality, you’d think Derek would smarten up. But that is probably asking for too much. The honorable Mr. Smart has outdone himself by publishing a press release that copies, word for word, a two-year-old press release from BioWare to promote Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Here is an excerpt that is of particular interest from his press release, dated Wednesday, April 28, 2010:
“Traditionally, massively multiplier online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars – combat, exploration and character progression,’ Derek Smart continued. ‘In Alganon, in addition to these we’ve added the fourth pillar to the equation; a story. We delivered a fun, immersive adventure that gamers expect in a top quality massively multiplayer online game. To top it all off, we’re not done yet.”
Nearly two years, BioWare released the same document, and I personally remember it because of the ‘fourth pillar’ argument below, dated October 21, 2008:
“Traditionally, massively multiplayer online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars – combat, exploration and character progression,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., “In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we’re fusing BioWare’s heritage of critically-acclaimed storytelling with the amazing pedigree of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, and adding a brand-new fourth pillar to the equation – story. At the same time, we will still deliver all the fun features and activities that fans have come to expect in a AAA massively multiplayer online game.”
For shame Mr. Smart, for shame!
Head on over to Explicit|Gamer where I just put up a short-but-sweet preview for EVE Online‘s upcoming expansion Tyrannis. Tyrannisfinally allows players to interact with planets, setting up industrial structures directly on the surfaces of the game’s 60,000 unique planets, thereby setting the stage for DUST 514, their upcoming MMOFPS that is centered around ground combat on said planets.
EDIT (June 11, 2010): Those keys ran out months ago fellas. But you can find some more here.
Head on over to Eurogamer if you want your APB Beta key. Hurry! They are running out fast!
A close friend of mine recently got invited to the StarCraft II Beta. He is a Blizzard fan to an extent, but does not hold the developer in a particularly high regard or another. He believes they make good video games, and enjoys their work as much as the next guy. He used to play World of Warcraft up until 2005, and it is currently the only game he own on his Battle.Net account.
Let me rephrase. A guy who has owned only one of Blizzard’s many fine products, which he last subscribed to five years ago, got a beta invite to StarCraft II.
I know players, including myself, who have played WoW for nearly six years now, paid our dues, and bought out every game and expansion pack Blizzard has released since Orcs & Humans. Yet none of us have ever received a beta invite, and then there is this guy, no interest in anything Blizzard currently has to offer, and he gets to boast about his shiny new StarCraft II Beta invite key.
Milamber, a guildmate of almost 6 years, also remarked on the trend. He has been playing WoW, without taking a break in subscription, since November 2004. It is now May 2010. He has yet to get into a Blizzard beta. I understand his exasperation, and quite frankly I sympathize with it. It is utterly ridiculous that some who has paid $50 for the original game, than $40 each for the two subsequent expansions, and then yet another $15 x 65 months, for a whopping total of $1,105 can’t even get a beta key thrown in his general direction.
The way I feel, if you have had a continuous subscription for over 5 years of WoW, you should get some sort of incentive for being such a loyal customer. Not too mention if they have also purchased SC1 (and will buy SC2), Diablo 1 and 2, and regular Warcraft.
I really like when companies give stuff to older customer, like in TF2 I have a platinum medal for preordering and playing from the start. It doesn’t give me an unfair advantage, it’s just there to show how long I’ve played.
And shouldn’t those who have been around the longest play beta? I more than anyone know how this game functions and I think I’d be a very helpful tester.
His opinion on the subject has a lot of merit, not only from the point of view of incentivizing games for loyal customers, but also in that players who have been playing your games the longest are likely to be their best critics. Why Blizzard doesn’t have a policy in place for giving betas to their oldest, most loyal customers, is quite franly beyond me.
Courtesy of MMO-Champion, several zone maps from the upcoming third expansion of World of Warcraft, Cataclysm, are now available. They show both old zones ravaged by the cataclysmic event, and newer, never-before seen zones. I am particularly impressed by the way they have taken elements from the old world, and left them as vestiges in the revamped zones. If I wasn’t excited about Cataclysm before, I sure as hell am now.
World of Warcraft is an expansive universe… and perhaps due to its sheer scale, it can be a little strange. It is a world where the primary means of fighting are with swords and maces and axes and daggers and wands and… guns? it is a world where you travel by horses and bears and griffins and proto-drakes and… choppers? It is a fantasy universe of might and magic and arcanum and ancient prophecies and… spacecrafts? The point is, although the level of anachronism WoW is capable of can be confusing at times, there are elements in the game that go beyond time and space irregularities.
Take the world events for instance. These days it is Children’s Week, where you sponsor an orphan and take him around to see the world and accomplish various (ridiculous) achievements. But there are a few things that throw me off.
First, isn’t it just a little offensive to call your orphan using a whistle, like you would with a pet? Here boy! Come and get it! And as the item description suggests itself, you have agreed to look after that orphan. So shouldn’t you keep the kid in your sight at all times? Why do you have to constantly use a whistle to gain the kid’s attention? Maybe the kid has some serious ADD issues?
Second, how come my orphan can offer me oodles of gold for the plethora of quests (between 6-7 quests, depending on which orphan you got), as a reward for every location I take him to. How does he have access to so much gold? Where does he even keep all this gold? Is this orphanage some sort of elaborate scam? Sucker you in with the promise of some achievements, only to con you out of all your savings, forcing you to mortgage your house, sell your time-share and trade in that Prius for a 10-year old Subaru? Are the kids really not orphans? What the hell is going on man?
Third, as is the case with most companion pets, my orphan can run at the blazing speed of my 120% speed land mount (Crusader Aura: na-na-nana-na!) That is an incredible skill! Where we regular mortals need ground mounts to achieve that sort of speed, these little guys can muster enough energy our of their legs to accomplish the same feat. And if the kid is so agile and dexterous now, how much more powerful will he be once he grows up?
I enjoy world events. Noblegarde, Hallow’s End, Children’s Week, you name it and I am there to participate in the festivities!
These days, Children’s Week is the flavor of the world events. As an Alliance character, you go to one of the Matrons in Stormwind, Shattrath City or Dalaran, and receive a whistle that calls an orphan. It is then your job to take this orphan sight-seeing around the world. (You can do quests for all three orphans if you wanted).
The Dranei orphan you are entrusted with in Shattrath City, Dorna, wants you to take her to go see Zaladormu in the Caverns of Time. When you go to Caverns of Time, you either take the portal from Dalaran. Or you get to Gadgetzan in Tanaris, and ride on over. I was in Theramore prior to this quest, so I decided to take the flight path in. Once at the Caverns of Time, well, cavern, you normally talk to the Stewad of Time (pictured below) who puts you on a Bronze Drake and you fly on down to the instances, paying no attention to the path.
This time, however, I decided for no particular reason, so just ride down on my newly acquired War Bear mount. On the way down I ran past an open door and an NPC standing inside, something I had never noticed before. I doubled back and found Alexston Chrome.
This fellow is the proud owner of a bar in the middle of the flight path called Tavern of Time. If you interact with him, he will even sell you booze like Bottle of Pinot Noir, Flask of Port and Skin of Dwarven Stout. It is little touches like these that make WoW a great game. I doubt 99% of the player population is even aware of Mr. Chrome. But he is there, manning his little corner of the world, waiting to be discovered!
Very cool Blizzard, very cool!