Oh boy. So, yes, I did actually play some Ultima Online. Or I tried to play some Ultima Online, at least. I’m not sure that most of what I did was actually something that I would call “playing,” although it involved me being in the game and ostensibly interacting with it. And it’s times like this that I particularly dislike my job, because this puts me in something less than a comfortable position. I don’t know how many of you reading this right now are fans of UO, and as I established in my first column, I don’t really feel as if I’m equipped to critique the game as a whole because this is where everything started. This is the original of the species. It’s like that gag in Dr. McNinja wherein Ben Franklin is mentioning that inventing things during his original lifespan was easy because all you had to do was pay the slightest bit of attention. But that was then and this is now. And honestly, as I have discussed, I have to evaluate … [Read more...] about Choose My Adventure: And now, Ultima Online, sooner or later
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Above is not yet the official logo of Years Behind, the retro raiding project, but one of the ones being considered by Wargallow our fearless project leader. I call it a project and not a guild because in essence, this is an experiment. We don’t yet know how successful raiding the old world content will be, and each of us are very much active in the leadership of our respective classic guilds. However all things seem to be rolling along nicely, with the guild finally getting a few bank tabs and a tabard depicting representing Hogger… the FIRST raid boss. Right now we are pooling resources and gathering up as many old world trappings as we can find. I’ve donated my collection of Zul’Gurub Voodoo Dolls, as well as some various faction and quest items. Getting ready for the retro raid has become one of my driving focuses while in game. I’ve prepared many times for an impending patch, but never quite in this fashion. … [Read more...] about Time Capsule Tanking
Play EVE Online for freeEVE Online is not known for being a happy place. It’s shown even in mass media as a cutthroat world of war and theft. Dealing with exploits is key to making sure that this world ripe for unfairness is, well, as fair as possible, mechanically speaking. If abuse happens, traditional developer wisdom seems to be “shoot first, ask questions later,” and as players, we’re often fine with this. We don’t want to play with cheaters, right? But what happens if the cheating is unintentional? What happens when the bug is so ingrained into the system that even casual, lapsed players accidentally took advantage of it just by returning to the game? How would you react if, shortly after resubscribing to a game, you had items or experience points taken and had your account suspended or banned? These are the things CCP Games’ Senior Project Lead of Player Experience David Einarsson had to deal with when tackling the ghost training … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: How to get exploiters to happily surrender in EVE Online
The British Board of Blog Classification (Game Plot Revelation Committee) has classified this post as Spoiler Free for the single player story of ‘Mass Effect 3’. Please refrain from any revelations in the comments, especially about that bit where that thing happens. I mean I was all totally like “NO WAY!”, and the game was all totally like “WAY!”, and then when the thing turned out not to be that thing but the other thing? Definitely don’t tell anyone about that. Though I was a bit disappointed when it all turned out to be a dream. Like much of the rest of the galaxy I’ve been desperately fighting off the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, but I haven’t got terribly far in the story yet, so there really won’t be any spoilers. If you’d manage to insulate yourself from ME3 information so completely that “fighting off the Reapers” is a surprise, I apologise for ruining the first 17 seconds of the introduction. One … [Read more...] about I like to play blackjack. I’m not addicted to gambling, I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle.
The day is finally arriving: Shroud of the Avatar is formally launching next week. It’s been a long journey. The path to this new old-school MMO started back on Kickstarter on March 8th, 2013. Now, five years almost to the day, SOTA is emerging. On March 27th, release #52 will be the official launch of episode 1. And fans didn’t have to wait until the end of the month to celebrate; Portalarium hosted a launch party this past week in Austin, Texas. Besides hanging out with devs and fans at the shindig, I visited the studio’s offices for a tour and interview with Richard Garriott and Starr Long. There, I got to see memorabilia from the very beginnings of Garriott’s game-making career as well as a sneak peek of the events that will occur at SOTA’s launch. After that, it was celebration time at the awesome From Pong to Pokemon exhibit at the The Bullock Texas State History Museum (which happened to have a display of some of Garriott’s early gaming … [Read more...] about Shroud of the Avatar: Partying with Portalarium, countering pay-to-win, and the state of the game