EVE Online Client Source Code Leaked

According to TechSpot, as well as several other sources, the source code for the EVEOnline client program has been leaked and is merrily making its way around the torrents right now. This, by itself, would be pretty big news. Even more interesting, however, are allegations that CCP, understanding that a bell can’t be unrung, is instead seeding torrents themselves, then taking a banhammer to any IP address that they find downloading the source.

Behavioral Economics in MMOs, Part 1

Lately, I’ve been reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, a book on the relatively new science of behavioral economics. Classical economics states that, given all necessary information, people and therefore markets will behave rationally and in their own best interests. However, behavioral economics states that people will very often behave irrationally, and that we must modify economic theory based on that irrationality. The most interesting point, to me, and the one that the book takes its name from, is that, while people may behave irrationally in regards to economic choices, they do so in a predictable fashion. Okay, it’s interesting, but what does it have to do with MMOs? A lot, as it turns out.
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Exit Marvel, Enter Champions

This is actually sort of old news, but I wanted to wait until there was more useful information to post. Microsoft officially canceled the Marvel MMO that Cryptic had been developing for them. Cryptic has turned around and partnered with Hero Games, creators of the Champions tabletop RPG and retooled what was going to be the Marvel game to be a Champions Universe game. There’s now a website for the game, and it looks pretty spiffy. Their feature list and dev blogs read like the Requested Features section of the CoH forums, with things like power customization, AT-separate power picks (but not an entire lack of ATs, which is odd), loot (which apparently doesn’t obscure your costume), more action-based gameplay, etc. Amusingly, the game won’t be based directly off of the tabletop system, but after the MMO is released, there’s a plan to release either a conversion kit or something similar to port characters from the MMO back to the tabletop RPG.  It’ll be interesting to see what they actually manage to pull off and what’s pie-in-the-sky.  Regardless, good luck to them.

The Future of MMOs

We’re coming up on the new year, so this seems as good a time as any to ask:  what do you think the future holds for MMOs? More to the point, what do you hope it does? I’m not talking about The Future where we’re jacking into the cyberspace and hacking the Gibson, I’m talking in the next few years. What are you hoping we’ll see in the near term future for MMOs?
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Optional EVE Patch Eats Windows

According to these threads on the EVE Online boards, a flaw in an optional EVE:Trinity patch sometimes erases the boot.ini in the Windows directory instead of in the EVE Online directory. Unfortunately, c:\boot.ini is one of the main files used during the boot process of windows, and without a proper boot.ini file, Windows simply won’t start. The file is only used in the boot process, so it will run fine until it’s rebooted, at which point, getting the machine up and running again requires some fun tech support-type work.

Putting aside the obvious question, “How did this get past QA,” why would you ever name a file the same thing as an essential part of the OS? That’s just begging for trouble.

NCSoft Buys “City Of” Franchise

According to the press release, NCSoft has acquired 100% of the rights to the CoX franchise from Cryptic. According to Ex Libris, one of the CoH forum moderators, the CoX dev team are now working as NCSoft employees. There are several more press releases linked off of that one, including one that mention soon-to-be-announced expansions and sequels.

Ultima Online, Mythic Layoffs

According to Destructoid, members of the UO dev team as well as some developers at Mythic have been laid off and the rest of team has been moved from the Redwood Shores, CA studio to Mythic’s Fairfax, VA. UO, Dark Age Of Camelot and Warhammer Online will continue but more layoffs are expected throughout these and other Electronic Arts studios.