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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Lost Land of Kalidar

The minimap and 3D map wireframe matches, but the rest looks like a different version of Darnassus, you decide...

Update:
"I'm currently working on a program, however, to reconvert the WoW Alpha WDTs into current-WoW ADTs + WDTs. This will hopefully bring back the "Kalidar" Battleground and the two islands west of westfall."
-DG, wowmapview community

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The demon and the ninja

I've progressed soo far right now, that I can't really reveal many pictures anymore from the project I'm working on, and I don't know how long it will take until I'll reveal it, but I'm quite sure it will take a very long time until then...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

God Jul

It's christmas today, and I just wanted to be all like "Yo, merry X to you mofo!".

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

WoW - The most beautiful failure ever

"Hi all,

Having played this game for a year now, I’d have to say that it’s one of the best games of all time. It is a huge, well-deserved success and a great money-maker for its creators. However, Blizzard is showing its FPS and action RPG roots, because the game’s staying power flags considerably as you continue to play. WoW, as it currently stands, does not have MMO longevity. It does provide hundreds of hours of play time, yes. But as it progresses, it actually alienates its player-base, by failing to deliver on its original premise of an ever-evolving world. The game is, in short, the most beautiful failure of all time.

Following is a list of what I feel are the top 10 game-killing problems in this game. I am listing them not to complain, but rather to point out why people are angry and why many are leaving. Hopefully this will engender some productive discussion, and make it more apparent to the Blizzard staff exactly what it threatening the longevity of their product.

The 10 knives in the heart of WoW:

[Knife #10] The 60 wall. This has been explained to death; basically the game’s philosophy changes drastically at level 60. The inherent problem is that after a player has invested hundreds of hours in a character – perhaps playing this game longer than any other, and loving it – they’re faced with a drastic, mandatory change in mentality if they want to keep progressing as they had. Alternate methods of advancement need to be instituted, and soon.

[Knife #9] Broken promises. We know this game was supposed to have no timesinks, revolutionary mechanics, and up to 60, arguably, it succeeds. But what then? And where are the hero classes we were promised years ago?

[Knife #8] Delayed response. Part of this problem is that the nature of the development cycle ensures that things won’t be added when they are needed, but much later. The problems that exist now are not being fixed now; instead, they’re barely showing up on the radar, and getting thrown into the already-overburdened development queue. Notice the CMs telling the community, “The raid game was lacking at launch, so we’re adding AQ.” Then note that the game was launched 13 months ago (!), and they’re still addressing a perceived lack of raid content now, when they should be working on the current problems! A suggestion: Pull developers out of content development if they’re fixing last year’s problems. Get them on today’s problems, now. Customer resentment is only going to increase if you keep defending yourselves for not delivering what people want, by saying that you’re working on something else.

[Knife #7] No world events, no player impact. You can raid a city … and be punished for it. You can slaughter a thousand demons … and no demon lord will rise to avenge his brethren and invade your city. You can kill Ragnaros a hundred times, and every time he will dutifully fall over dead like a scripted event in a Disney ride. Nothing changes, nothing exciting happens. GMs don’t control dragons and make them wander the world. Mass migrations of monsters don’t take place – the elemental events are pale shadows of what they could be. In short, there’s no reason to shake up the world as a player, because no matter how hard you shake, Azeroth will not move.

[Knife #6] Failure to police gold farmers. Players are told to give evidence to Blizzard reps, so that they can act upon it. But then there is no follow-up. No player ever knows if his good deeds are ever acknowledged and acted upon. In fact, discussion of such things is considered bad form. Why do people buy gold? Because they can. Why can they? Because Blizzard doesn’t act against the farmers in a way that encourages people to keep reporting them. Why don’t they? You tell me.

[Knife #5] Non-randomized itemization. This is shocking to me, the boring itemization from the company that created Diablo II. Items should drop from multiple sources, and randomized rares should be more powerful than “uniques.” Everyone should be different. Set items should have variables in armor level, stat bonus ranges, and maybe even occasional “cast on hit” or other specials thrown in. Cookie cutter characters are boring. Give your player base the power to customize. Jewelcrafting looks promising, but it’s only a band-aid on the actual problem: Your items have fixed drop centers, and when they do drop, they are always exactly the same.

[Knife #4] The death of world PvP. The world does not encourage players to go out into it. All of the high-level action now takes place in instances and instanced battlegrounds. The beautiful world you created is now just an unpopulated wasteland seen from a flight path’s vantage. Give us keeps and towers to fight for! And for God’s sake, get rid of dishonorable kills. If you must, make civilians immortal so that questing is uninterrupted. But get rid of them, now.

[Knife #3] The battleground honor grind. Your battleground system is going to die very soon – why? Because the top rewards are about to be eclipsed by your raid itemization, beginning in the next patch. People don’t fight for fun anymore, they fight for gear. And your proportional system with honor decay is making “high warlords” out of two kinds of people. One, those who drop out of real life for two months and risk their health to do nothing but battlegrounds. Two, those who break the terms of service and cheat by sharing their account with others. A fixed PvP system with fixed honor levels per rank needs to be adopted to fix these problems. You might complain, “But then everyone will be grand marshal, that’s not realistic!” So? Everyone is currently level 60, the top of hero-dom. That’s not realistic either. Progression in a game for those who deserve it is natural; stop fighting it. Change the rank names if you have to, so that 14 is merely “Thrall’s Honor Guard” or whatever. But recognize that your system as it stands is broken.

[Knife #2] Blindness to the customer’s needs. When people tell you what they want, even if they are rude, listen to them. Don’t tell them they’re wrong, or that they don’t really want what they think they do. Don’t tell them to adopt a tone that’s more pleasing to you, the paid employee. Listen. Copy and paste. Report your customers’ desires to your superiors. Constructive criticism is golden, but even negative criticism has its place, because it tells you not only what your customers want, but also that they are unhappy. Unhappy customers are bad for business.

Drum roll …

[Knife #1] Factionalization of the player base. No, I don’t mean Alliance vs. Horde. That’s great. Rather, it’s casual vs. hardcore, or raider vs. non-raider, or whatever you want to call it. Your game design paradigm shift at 60 is pulling apart the community you’re striving so hard to create. Players are at each other’s throats; not only because they don’t understand or care for the needs of the other side, but also because you’re doing nothing to heal the divide between them. Give raiders top-end gear for PvE. Give non-raiders access to gear equivalent to raid-gear, provided they put in the time and effort. Equal rewards for equal effort. The key problem, actually, isn’t that casuals are jealous; it’s that raiders vs. non-raiders is breaking the PvP system, making gear more important than skill. My proposed solution to this problem would be to “rate” each player according to the magnitude of their gear. A fully-epic’ed character might rate 100, one in tier 0 blues might rate 50. Then, total the rating of each side when they meet in battlegrounds. If, for example, a rating 1500 group and a rating 750 group meet in Arathi Basin, then change the goals so that the 1500s have to gather 2000 resources to win, but the 750s only have to gather 1000. Study ladder systems such as in chess, professional sports, heck even Battle.net, and apply proportional goals that consider each player’s gear before assigning objective difficulty.

Whew.

As you can see, a lot of these problems are fixable and inter-related. I love this game, I’m going to stick with it for awhile, but when your fanatics from way back see this many game-breaking problems … it’s time to address the issues."
-Frostclaw, 12/16/2005

Alright, you'd like my comments? First of all, calling World of Warcraft a failure on our boards and making references to knives in your heart is insulting, no matter what other words you've chosen to convey your thoughts. The first real statement you made indicated that we're revealing some limitation in designing a massively multiplayer game due to our "action role playing" and "first person shooter" roots. This statement confused me. I didn't know that this was simply a text error - you'd be surprised how many people contact our support departments because they had questions concerning "our games" Command and Conquer", "Doom II" and if I remember the conversations I've had on this subject with the technicians, a Mary Kate and Ashley game boy title.

But I digress...

The 60 wall

It's intended that the game changes once level cap is met. Your main focus for progressing your character is now no longer a necessity or possibility. Without getting into the specifics here as to what is suitable content for you and what is suitable content for the next person at level 60, the fact remains, each patch we are adding more content for players at cap to participate in, and when the expansion releases, players will have a chance to progress as they had previously.

Broken Promises

To be blunt, more adequately phrased - broken misconceptions. We never stated that there wouldn't be timesinks, nor have we ever stated our mechanics are revolutionary. We are very proud of our game and what we've been able to accomplish through the course of its development. Hero classes were something we wanted in the game earlier on. The system is a massive undertaking, and still being developed.

Delayed Responses

What you describe here is very subjective. Everyone has there individual thoughts on what our game's "biggest problems" are and could probably list them in order of what's most game breaking to them. The fact is, we're able to view this game as a whole, take in feedback and determine based upon our own production what's the best series of issues to tackle and what content should receive the most focus at a given time. We do our best, and unfortunately resources aren't unlimited.

No World Events

There is a world event next patch, and our world event's team has been working on content which will serve players in similar ways to what you've described. Unfortunately, implementing world events that all players can take advantage of is much more difficult than you might imagine, however we are very pleased with the progress we're making.

Failure to Police Gold Farmers

We battle this each and every day. The fact of the matter is, releasing the specifics of our efforts would undermine what we were attempting to accomplish. More specifically addressing your thoughts, we have an obligation to protect our player base. We can never tell a player, "alright that player you reported, we've banned him, thanks for the report". In addition, most gold buying and selling occurs outside of the game and our investigations cannot always provide us with the proper evidence. I'm sorry, being one hundred percent certain someone is a gold farmer selling gold on the internet isn't enough, we must catch them doing it and be able to prove such. Our efforts in this battle are much larger than you might realize, but this isn't something that is going to go away overnight.

Non-Randomized Itemization

It's funny you accuse us of failing because our action role playing roots show, yet you fault us for not creating a system found in a standard multiplayer game. The itemization you describe doesn't work the same in an MMO. Although you may be happy to hear the expansion will allow for socketed items. We agree, cookie cutter builds aren't very cool and we takes steps every day to ensure that players have many, many options.

The Death of World PvP

We're actually working on bringing PvP back into this outside world as we speak. I cannot comment on the specifics, but we agree that outdoor PvP is fun and we'd like to incentivize players to participate.

The Battleground Honor Grind

We've stated a number of time that we're going to be making major improvements to the Honor System. This will take time, for now we'll address each issue as we can and make adjustments where we're able.

Blindness to the Customer's Needs

I am not even going to get into how much of this game has evolved directly based upon player feedback. Please read through all of our patch notes, and reflect upon the kind of demands which have hit the boards. Unfortunately, our memories are often short so when players are suggesting a very specific change, by the time it's implemented they've moved onto something else, and when the change is announced you get the traditional "OMG BLIZZ NO ONE IS ASKING FOR THIS" feedback.

Second, these forums are not a place to receive customer support or assistance and we're not customer service representatives. We represent Blizzard Entertainment and each of us have invested a great deal of time learning this game, understanding our players and working intimately with the design team so that we're more effective at what we're seeking to accomplish. Much of what we do is very behind the scenes. I will disagree with a player when I believe they are being unreasonable, or are wrong.

Factionalization of the Player Base

We've discussed this in a number of other threads and are preparing a more encompassing statement soon. Anything I state here will digress every other topic which you've mentioned and I've touched upon.

Eyonix Closes

These are my thoughts on the matter. I am not attempting to argue with you, or state that your thoughts aren't valid. The fact is, I personally love World of Warcraft and enjoy playing the game. I'm excited at what we have in-store for players through content updates and expansion. Please feel free to accuse me of bias, it simply isn't true.

Is the game perfect?

No.

Which is why we continue to make changes and improvements and have dedicated the largest portion of our staff into focusing on making this the greatest game possible. We read your feedback and it's appreciated.
-Eyonix, 12/16/2005

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I've lost my demon wings...

8bit Xmas Music

A very 8bit Xmas
1) It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como
2) Carol Of The Bells - Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych
3) Russian Dance (Trepak) - Tchaikovsky
4) Silver Bells - Bing Crosby
5) You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
6) Let it Snow - Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
7) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause
8) It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Eddie Pola and George Wyle
9) What's This? - Danny Elfman
10) Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
11) Christmas Don't Be Late - Dave Seville
12) Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano
13) The Twelve Days of Christmas (speed mix)
14) Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
15) Winter Wonderland - Felix Bernard
16) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine
A very 8bit Xmas (rar)


The 8bits of Christmas
01. Yerzmyey - Jesus Holy, Born So Lowly
02. Nullsleep - Silent Night
03. Vim - When A Child Is Bored
04. Paul Slocum - Up On The Housetop
05. Bit Shifter - Let It Snow
06. Goto80 - Last Christmas Hot Digi Rmx
07. Dma-Sc - The First Blip Blop Noel
08. Hally - Xmas Songs Arcade Punk Mix


Axel F
01. Mesu Kasumai - Foley Hearty
02. Sabastian Boaz - Foul Mouthed? ...
03. Twilight Electric - BH Robocop
04. Nullsleep - Beverly Hills NOP
05. Ten and Tracer - The Heat is On
06. Yuppster - The Sid is On
B1. Nullsleep in .NSF format
B2. Yuppster in .SID format

The Art of Gold Farming

I spent many hours on this after talking to a good friend about my past employment. It's for friends to understand more of my life and learn from my experiences.

I worked for a company Called IGE not too long ago for 4 months, before I went into college.

www.ige.com -- IGE, a diversified service provider and market maker, operates the world’s largest secure network of buying and selling sites for massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) virtual currency and assets on the Internet. IGE currently offers exchange services for many of the world’s most popular MMOGs, including both direct buying and selling services as well as a trading platform.

Tomo worked with me.. Our job was simple, we were given 2 well written pdf files , each one with over 50-60 exploits in World of Warcraft's system. We used 2 computers , decent specs windowsxp home , they only had basic programs with windows xp ( internet explorer , notepad etc. ) and World of Warcraft in the system.

We ran on lowest quality everything we were given 2 accounts one for each of us. These accounts contained 1 horde rogue lvl60 and 1 alliance rogue lvl60 on one of the most popular PvP servers.

We both did everything from teleport exploits , instant zone ins , tracking exploits etc. Just basic stuff at first. Within our first month Tomo and I wrote up 4-6 different scripts for IGE which they passed to the "24/7" gold farmers we had not known much at the time the conditions those people were working in so we had not put much thought into what we were doing. Each script offered us around 200-400 USD each. It really did not take much programming knowledge to write them , they gave us a basic macro program and told us to specify a script for a different part of a certain zone ( namely everyones favorite "Tyrs Hand" ).

After working for them about 2 months making a decent amount of money for a part-time job, They "promoted" us to a different level of gold farming.

Since one of the main "managers" was a good friend of ours he had explained to us one of the biggest ways IGE makes gold is not by having a couple hundred chinese boys and girls farming 24/7 for pennies on the dollar, but beleive it or not was through "fixed" epic drops off certain mobs ESPECIALLY when the server had an established economy. Every week we were given a note with a fixed location / time / and mob name that would drop a certain epic item , one example which I remember is a Carrion Grub in Eastern Plaguelands dropping an epic Glowing brightwood staff 2 times in one day one for Tomo an Alliance rogue and one for me a Horde rogue .. basically one for each market.

Our friend never told us how this process worked , someone could have cracked the drop rate code / corrupt Blizzard employees etc. I won't go accusing Blizzard to be totally involved in the business but it is possible.

Tomo and I had met a $2000.00 quota in 2 weeks , I remember us both walking into the office to get the check but this day was the day that made us both quit.

As referenced here in my blog and as many of you already know , IGE is a slavedriving sweatshop business..But of course they don't admit it , They pay children (16 years ) China/Japan/Korea and other poor countries to sit in warehouses to play 12 hours a day for 1$ an hour. Tomo and I had walked by a room with over 20 over worked / tired and miserable adults and teenagers sitting in front of computers playing World of Warcraft. We were both sick , we had written scripts so that they could sit in front of computers all day to make no where near enough money to get by.

Yes it is their decision they are not slaves but they are being taken advantage of and everyone who buys gold ( I'm sure most of WoW's player base ) supports it. We walked into that office took the check , and reported the building to authorities. It was shut down and moved I am sure to a different place within a week.

Read this , all true as I have experienced it all myself.

http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=0&cId=3141815

I hope everyone that has read this has learned something , think before you buy that 2k gold from IGE or e-bay sure your getting that uber-l33t EPIC MOUNT ! or that purple you have always wanted but your also supporting a corrupt business.

This is all my experience with IGE in a 4 month period make comments if you want but don't e-mail me about it.. and I did not link this on World of Warcrafts forums this was meant for my friends not for every single person who plays the game.

Ayuka, 10 December 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Arthas one hit critted Illidan

I haven't had much time to post anything lately, I've been completly within the works on my "secret project" (with nothing better to name it). This is just something to show the progress made. And don't fuck with Chuck!

www.chucknorris.com

Update: Added the reference picture for the sword shown above.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chuck Norris stole your WoW account

Still working on my secret project, and it will take a long time before it reaches completion, but as you can see on these pictures above, I'm really making some progress.

Update:
Geek33 is going to make a movie with the quotes from top facts about Chuck Norris, with the Chuck Norris textures. He has already released a preview for you to behold.

Chuck Norris Preview
Top Thirty Facts About Chuck Norris

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

Preview of secret project

This is some screenshots of the secret project I'm working on, and I just got Motig on the team. Once this is complete it will be really awsome, I can't say more about it for now, just enjoy the pictures.

Stormwind into future Stormwind winter by Dopefish

Azhara testing for fun by Dopefish

Dun Morogh to Elvish style by Motig
Note: Neither of these changes are near completion yet, and much stuff is just testing for fun

Shreep's world