Prison Server… ::Facepalm::

This one wreaks of a PR stunt that five people came up with in the conference room on their lunch breaks. A prison server? Really?

We get told all the time how operating servers costs this company so much money.  We have to fight tooth and nail for a server PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO PLAY ON, and they create one to house cheaters and rule breakers. Makes sense.

“Drunder will get no customer service support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play.”

So… just like the live servers?

This is a server our Customer Service Game Masters have requested over the years in order to manage disruptive players. They will determine who goes there.

“Unlimited Power!” – Palpatine The one CSR left after the great purge.

…players can use our /petition system and ask to join Drunder.

So in order to alleviate the CSRs of their hefty work load, we allow people to petition to join a server that exists to punish the bad people. Yep that sums it up.

Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

Okay, now this is hilarious and absolutely off-the-wall “WTF”: Crowfall Executive Producer Gordon Walton says, “NGE was my fault.”

Having read that post this morning I just laughed. Summary: “Hey guys NGE is my fault because I proposed a game that wasn’t made that was like totally awesome and it didn’t happen but they messed up SWG instead so like my game idea that was awesome totally means I came up with the idea that made them ruin SWG.”

I don’t know which is better — his attempt at falling on his own sword for attention or the comments that follow in that post. The “+1 for standing tall” and “thank you for the closure” replies made me spill my morning Diet Coke.

Seriously, my intention here is not to be a complete ass, but does it get any better than this? Drumming up the SWG community, telling us about a game that wasn’t made, showing us how great you are for being insubordinate when your idea wasn’t chosen, then falling on your sword using hindsight data… really?

Let’s see if I can come up with a line as good as his… okay, I think I got it. ::Puts on his flame-retardant gear:: Here we go…  NGE wasn’t your fault, Gordon. Crowfall will be.  ::bows::

TERA’s F2P Conversion Full of Misinformation

I’m going to rant for a few minutes.  I watched the video announcing that TERA is going free to play, and I heard Brian Knox (on behalf of En Masse Entertainment) make a statement that completely contradicts their situation and the reality of this industry.   Brian says that the reason TERA is going F2P is because the MMO industry has changed for the better.  Those two things are simply not true.

TERA is not going free to play because the MMO industry is changing.  TERA is going free to play because no one is playing, and they are not making enough money to pay their bills.  There is no reason to change things up, risk damaging the public’s perception of their product, all because the “mmo industry is changing.”  They’re going F2P because they don’t have another option to survive.

Stating that the MMO industry has changed for the better is asinine.  En Masse’s own product can’t stay above water and has to make a huge change to the game’s design philosophy in order to survive in this “better” landscape.  Instead of relying on a model designed to prosper when players are successfully enticed to keep playing, they change to a highly exploitative business model with  high burn and churn rates. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, not playing MMOs, or happen to be one of the few people who love what’s happening in the market, most games are having to do what TERA is doing, and that is usually followed by a ton of layoffs. But the industry has changed for the better, right?

Obviously they’re not going to speak poorly of their own product and they’re going to say how going F2P is only going to improve their game and not change it in any way.  Obviously they have to somehow make the best out of a situation where they change or die.  Just don’t believe for a second that they’re changing because things are going really well for them.  I can’t stand when devs spin a change to F2P in a way that misinforms people.  You can watch their ridiculous announcement trailer after the break. [Read more…]

Seeking info: No Loot Containers in SWTOR?

I just received some startling news today.  According to multiple sources, the loot container system, as announced by the developers (in a forum thread that disappeared), did not make it into the game.

In normal mode raids, loot is automatically assigned to a random person that can use the item.  It doesn’t matter if the item is an upgrade or if the person already has said item, it randomly goes to them.  This can not be turned off.

Hardmode and Nightmare modes allow this feature to be turned off, making the loot system identical to WoW.

What the #!$% happened to the loot container system we were told about?  If it was subject to change, I never read anywhere that they weren’t being implemented.  What happened to everyone in attendance getting a bag, and in that bag you could find a piece of loot or some tokens?  What happened to the idea that everyone putting in the time and showing up has something to show for it?  The current system is GARBAGE and I can not believe that we haven’t seen more outrage over a system that randomly passes out loot to people.

Loot containers were one of the reasons I was sold on SWTOR.  I thought the idea was a major step forward in promoting the enjoyment of raids.  Now I’m completely uninterested in raiding and will likely cancel my account if all I have to look forward to are raids that are no better than WoW’s.  What’s the point?

If I sound pissed off it’s because I am. I was looking forward to something this whole time just to learn at the end (when I’m level 50) it isn’t true.  I don’t like feeling deceived.  I don’t like idiotic design decisions.

Can anyone provide me information on the SWTOR raid (operation) loot system?  Do I have my details wrong?

When addons go way too far

I’m not a fan of addons and I’ve never shied away from saying I wish they would all be banned and the default UI’s improved.  Among the many problems they cause, I didn’t give much thought to how they could sink to a whole new level of awful.  I’ve always been appalled by the prolific use of the Gearscore addon in WoW.  It assigns a number to you based upon what you are wearing.   Based upon that number, people judge you.  That’s it.  That’s all they have to go on.  You were a number to everyone around you.  Oh, you’re a 4,000?  Sorry… we really need a 4200+.  It became so widespread that I even downloaded it and used it because it was -required- to give people your number (which they would check) just to do anything.  On one hand it’s nice having a quick way to see where you’re at gear-wise as a benchmarking tool, but on the other it leads to bigger problems like those that follow…

Gearscore is now known as “PlayerScore” and it’s owned by  I equate TTH to the slimy used car salesman of websites.  For a while they were one of the “trusted” sites in the MMO community.  I actually watched the site grow from nothing to what it is today.  Now I won’t even allow them in my Firefox Noscript — that should say a lot.  They go out of their way to make their website a miserable experience to all but those who pay them money via this “premium membership”.  They throw ads at you left and right and withhold content and exclusives that other websites give for free to all but those who are paying them a subscription.  Users of “PlayerScore” are called “customers” by the folks at TTH — It’s right on their website in their FAQ.  They then entice you to become a premium member.  It’s disgusting (This tool’s comments say it all).  They’re attempting to monetize on their newly acquired addon (illegal) in such a way that skirts the line so that they’re not shut down.

Aside from my personal distaste for the new owners, let me point out why this addon is taking it way too far.  You can now rate other players with a thumbs up or thumbs down system.  Don’t like them? Rate them down.  Lose a piece of gear to them? Rate them down.  Just feel like arbitrarily rating people down?  Go for it!  Feel like boosting your rating?  Have your guild boost you!  It’s the most rediculous system I have ever heard of and it’s catching on.  Soon it will be, if it isn’t already,  “What’s your score?  7500?  Okay cool.  Let me check your feedback online.  Give me one moment. … … .. I see you have sixteen negative ratings.  Sorry, we’re full.”  Don’t think it will happen?  Don’t kid yourself.  It’s taken even further than that.  The addon scores you on its own based on how you do in PvE and PvP.  It gives you a score for those.  It also scores your guild and gives it a rating based on various criteria.

This addon does nothing but pass judgment and provide players with the opportunity to once again degrade the game by assuming an addon has the ability to actually reflect the player and their abilities.  “Who is best at raiding in your guild” or “Who is best at X in your Y”… awful.  Players should still be capable of determining these things on their own.  This is, after all, one of the few things that games like WoW still have… the ability for you to interact with others to perform the repetitive tasks of raiding and grouping.  Gone are the days of interacting with others by getting to know them, but we’re not so far gone that we can’t think for ourselves.

I’m issuing a call to action to Blizzard and any other company facing similar abuse:  Ban this UI addon (and others like it) and investigate Ten Ton Hammer’s participation in your addon community.  Blizzard already expanded their own item level (iLvl) default system in-game.  Expand it a little bit more to reflect some character statistics and we’re set.  We don’t need any more of these horrible addons and their shady owners making things worse.

I won’t use this addon for myself or my guild.  I’ve already encouraged several friends and guild members not to use it and some have already uninstalled it.  I suggest you do the same.