Well it is officially showing signs of summer here in oklahoma. When I came in from work today there were two partially constructed “mud-dauber” nests in the overhang of the front porch. I will have to get out my special knocking-down stick and remove them when the wasp isn’t looking. Otherwise we will spend an entire summer of trying to keep them from flying inside the house.
Gotta Drink Blue Milk
I had to share this one. For those who have been under a rock, this is an amazingly geeky parody of bane of the internet… Friday by Rebecca Black. The video has reached a level of infamy that I have not seen since the Star Wars Kid. I’ve seen ninja-linking it has replaced rickrolling on many forums I use. Folks have dubbed it “black-rolling”. Anyways, the above video is without a doubt the best of the many Friday parody videos.
Waiting Patiently In Line
Syp over at BioBreak posted today about a phenomena on their server. For the defiant, a number of the corrupted coin spawns in meridian are non-functioning. As a result, Syp’s server has taking to queuing in a line as players patiently wait to get their 5 from one of the few working ones. Later in the day MMO Gamer Chick, posted that the same phenomena was happening on her server as well (above image is MMO Gamer Chick’s, to illustrate the point).
While the fact that there is a bug at all, is highly frustrating, it highlights something I have noticed in the general Rift player base. The players who appear to be staying in game, and thriving, represent a slightly higher cut of the MMO gamer crowd. It seems like most of the players who are now populating the servers, are from the mmo-veteran camp.
They come from an experience set that has seen multiple games come and go, and as a result seem to have a wider patience than what I was used to over in wow. In wow randoms, if anyone made a signifiant mistake the group would evaporate in a matter of moments. However in Rift I have seen players stick through wipe after wipe as tanks and healers learn the ropes, willing to keep pushing forward until we win.
As I roam through Telara, I am constantly finding a player hopping in to help out when I have blindly charged into a pack of way more mobs than I should have. I think that the open grouping system helps this a lot, but I also think that the average Rift player seems to be more of a community player than is true these days in wow. It is one of the many reasons why I enjoy this game, players are genuinely helpful.
Gaming Breaking Point
Over on Games and Geekery, today Stillwater posted an interesting topic entitled “My Secret Gaming Breaking Point”. I find it especially interesting considering the number of times I have reached the point of burnout in various games.
Basically for me, if a game doesn’t really catch my attention within an hour of playtime, I am pretty much done with it. I have a post a brewing over the game Fallen Earth. Basically I played it in beta, and keep hearing so many good things about it. I really really want to like it. The thought of a Fallout-like MMO is so appealing, considering the hundreds of hours that I have spent roaming around the wasteland. But I just can’t get past several things with the game, so each time I try and play it I only last a little bit.
As far as burnout goes, I seem to go through these periods where I jump from game to game regularly. Basically the games I played for really long periods of time were Everquest and World of Warcraft. Other than that, I rarely lasted more than six months in any one game. There would always be greener pastures on the horizon. The period between EQ and WoW was dotted with a line of minor games.
Other games like Everquest II, I have returned to play 3 or 4 different times. I am extremely nostalgic about the world of Norrath. Combine that with my love of how intricate Everquest II is, keeps me returning over and over. The key problem is, I always end up at exactly the same point. I hate the EQ2 combat system with a passion. During my last time playing it, I leveled a Dirge from 1-65 and I cannot honestly tell you the name of a single class ability I had. I simply hit the heroic qualifier and mashed the next button that completed the chain, so in many ways it was pretty whack-a-mole.
Ultimately I am hoping that Rift will be my new wow, and instead of being a wow tourist going off to play other games, I will be a Rift tourist. I cannot say with any certainty that this will be the case. It definitely is for the time being, but in my “post-wow” era I am definitely more open minded about various games. I am really enjoying not feeling chained to down to raid nights and leadership duties. I am enjoying approaching gaming from a very chill perspective.
Anyways, the post is a good read, and there are several good comments afterwards. If you don’t have Games and Geekery in your RSS reader I would highly suggest adding it. Some great posts up there, and header image is among my favorite of all the blogs I read. Seriously… how can you not be in love with an 8-bit inspired image that incorporates Super Mario Bros, Contra, Zelda, Castlevania, and Mega Man. I modded my PSP entirely to be able to play these games on the go.
Have No Fear, Hartsman is Here
One of the big hot button topics for players on Role-playing servers like I am on, is the recent announcement that the name policy would be updated to omit a few key rules.
9. Comprised of partial or complete sentence (e.g., "Getpwned", "Luvtodance", etc);
10. Comprised of gibberish (e.g., "Qwerty", "Asdfasdf", "Xyzpdq");
11. Referring to pop culture icons or personas (e.g. "McLovin", "Kyle Broflovski", "Catwoman");
12. That utilizes "Leet" or "Dudespeak" (e.g., "Roflmao", "Roxxurboxx", "Lolzumad"); or
13. That incorporates titles. For purposes of this subsection, "titles" shall include without limitation ‘rank’ titles (e.g., "General Chow," or “Captain Kangaroo”), monarchist or fantasy titles (e.g., "KingLoko", "LordPauleyC"), and religious titles (e.g., "ThePope," or "Reverend Run").
As you can imagine this caused an uproar namely from the Roleplaying community as it basically cuts the legs out of anyone trying to report names that just should not be on the server at all. Basically I had faith that within a few days, we would get a clarification. Today Scott Hartsman posted a full statement to clear things up.
Just got caught up and read through all of the excitement on the above subjects from the last couple days, and wanted to share some thoughts as well as let you know what we’ll be doing from here forward.
1) It’s a great idea to give people a direct line to share feedback on CS performance. That’s something we should definitely keep doing. The only way we can constantly be improving is when people let us know about their experiences, both good and bad. I’d like to repost the original request that started all of this, to make sure people still have it available:
In response to some recent postings, we have created a new e-mail address which can be used to submit GM feedback. The e-mail address is GM_Feedback@trionworlds.com. If you feel as though your issue was mis-handled or that you have received exceptional service then please let us know. Our goal is to set the standard by which other MMOs are judged. If we are falling short of that then we would like to know.
That is the company that we have a whole lot of people working incredibly hard to try to be.
2) On naming policies and Roleplay servers. The conversation really went south here. On behalf of all of us, I apologize for that. That definitely shouldn’t have happened.
I don’t want to take up your time recapping what’s in plenty of other threads, instead let’s talk goals and what we’ll do from here.
Naming policy is a tricky subject for any MMO company — Our end goal is to apply sanity and reason, as best as we can, to this inherently subjective topic that’s as much about opinions as it is about facts.
Companies create policies to make sure that our end goals are expressed as objectively and consistently as they possibly can be. Names are one of the trickiest topics around. With many different expectations even inside of individual communities, and many billions of potential names, there’s always going to be room for interpretation.
More potential for interpretation increases the time it takes to resolve issues, as well as increases the potential for inconsistent applications of the rules. That’s much of why people try to avoid it.
Along with consistency, so comes expediency. The trick is, as you all know, issues need to be responded to in a satisfactory way, otherwise the better speed isn’t a win for anyone.
We understand that 100% consistency and the corresponding ultra-speed efficiency isn’t ever going to be possible with some types of reports (those that involve subjective calls – like names), but at the same time we understand that we need to have something in place that serves the needs of the communities they’re supposed to.
All that said – Where to from here?
We will be implementing a modified version of the original rules to the naming policy for Roleplay Servers only.
The goal is to keep the rules in line with the intent of what a roleplay server is supposed to feel like, while trying to improve the amount of clarity they provide.
For example: A person reporting a bad name every now and again – Thank you. We love it, and we truly do want to help. People who report batches of actual violations — Again, great, and we’re truly thankful when dedicated players do this.
On the other hand – Reporting dozens or hundreds of perfectly fine names a person just doesn’t care for, when there are only a handful of actual violations — that ends up hurting everyone. The people receiving those reports are GMs who are having to spend time on non-violations, when they should be helping customers.
Here’s the intent: Names should fit in this world in some explainable way, while individual creativity is still being fostered.
We want to make sure people are able to be clever and express themselves. If they’ve taken reasonable steps to create a name that does fit the world, they shouldn’t need to worry about having it taken from them.
Here are the rules that will be returning for RP servers, with some extra clarification:
9. Comprised of partial or complete sentences that are obviously out of place (e.g., "Getpwned", "Luvtodance", etc), though compound names that are fitting of RIFT, its people, the actions taken therein, and its setting are acceptable. Compound names are an important and valid part of every fiction, and ours is no different.
11. Names that refer to pop culture icons or personas (e.g. "McLovin", "Kylebroflovski", "Catwoman") may be found in violation if they do not also have a corresponding basis in RIFT, its people, its history, its characters, or its setting. While we would strongly like the RP experience in RIFT to be more fictionally pure than not, the fictional purity of Rift is not entirely humorless, and we do not expect every customer to have perfect knowledge of every fiction that exists outside of the game.
12. That utilizes "Leet" or "Dudespeak" (e.g., "Roflmao", "Roxxurboxx", "Lolzumad"); or
13. That incorporates titles in a way that is obviously out of place in Telara. For purposes of this subsection, "titles" shall include without limitation ‘rank’ titles (e.g., "Generalchow," or “Captkangaroo”), monarchist or fantasy titles (e.g., "Kingloko", "Lordpauleyc"), and religious titles (e.g., "Thepope," or "Reverendrun").
We definitely are interested in hearing your continued feedback on this, as we try to find the right balance between speed/quality of report handling, and the desire to provide a quality RP server experience.
Please do feel free to let us know your thoughts here – Thanks very much,
– Scott Hartsman
Exec Producer, RIFT
So basically… all is safe for role-players. A revised version of the rules will be out there for RP environments only. This is a step in the right direction, and in the grand scheme of things should be business as usual. Here is hoping that no longer restricting names on non-rp servers will free up resources to do other things.