The Perfect Game

A bloke I met in Midmotheringhay
Was half an orc and half…can’t say
A cask he tapped and our flagons filled
And singing proud his mead we swilled!

A lad met I last Mostmotheringrath
Was half an orc and orc by half
A cask he stove and our flagons topped
And singing loud his mead we quaffed!

Progress Quest

My character is currently a level 54 Half Halfling Mage Illusioner. With his +37 Dancing Serrated Halberd and +40 Custom Banded Tower Shield, he is a killing machine.

World of Warcraft Beta Test is Now Over

The World of Warcraft open beta test has now come to a close. During the beta test, over 500,000 players adventured through the lands of Azeroth and helped World of Warcraft on its way to becoming one of the largest massively multiplayer online games in the U.S.! The beta test community has been a tremendous source of information and feedback for the development teams, and we wish to thank our beta testers for participating in the beta test process. When the final version of World of Warcraft hits stores on November 23rd, you’ll see the culmination of your hard work. The entire World of Warcraft team is now focusing on a smooth launch, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts about the game. Thank you again for your continued support with this project; we look forward to seeing you on in Azeroth.

End of beta was good fun, fighting all the named mobs and dieing a lot. What a treat. Can’t wait for retail. Nice work Blizzard.

WoW Open Beta Ending Soon

In preparation for the upcoming retail launch of World of Warcraft, we will be taking the North American open beta servers offline on Thursday, November 18. While this will mark the end of the open beta test, there will still be some work left for us to do. To provide the best experience possible at launch, we will be making numerous final optimizations to our hardware based on the data we’ve acquired during the open beta test.

During our closed and open beta test phases, thousands of improvements were made to World of Warcraft. Those changes were made through game-client patches and updates to the game’s server and database infrastructure.

As we moved closer to retail, we continued to make changes and optimize all of the code that makes up World of Warcraft until we reached the point where we felt we could create a gold master — the version of the game that’s currently being pressed onto the discs which will be available for purchase at retail.

Likewise, these processes must also take place on the server side to ensure that no out-of-date code, which could corrupt the retail version of the game, still exists. Before the retail version of the code can be installed, the current hardware must be wiped clean. This also includes the information on current accounts and characters that are being played on our test servers. So that all World of Warcraft players will be able to make a fresh start on our community site at launch, the same procedure will be taking place for the North American beta forums when the open beta test ends.

We realize that you’ve grown attached to your characters, and we’re sorry that the end of the open beta test will require you to part ways with them. However, with the retail launch of World of Warcraft on November 23 comes the opportunity to begin a new adventure in Azeroth on fresh, untouched servers. Along with that, you’ll have the knowledge that you played an instrumental role in the creation of a game of epic proportions that players will enjoy for many years to come.

We greatly appreciate all the time you’ve spent with us testing World of Warcraft, and we look forward to seeing you in-game!

Finally, a beta test that ends with me feeling like the game is ready for prime time.

Cryptic Responds To Marvel

I wrote earlier about the lawsuit Marvel is bringing against Cryptic Studios. Cryptic has issued their response:

As reported by The Associated Press, Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Marvel Characters, Inc. have sued NCsoft Corporation and Cryptic Studios. The complaint is meritless. Cryptic Studios is confident that the District Court will reject all of Marvel’s claims and fully vindicate Cryptic Studios in all respects.

Do I Know You?

A computer game addict got a taste of the real world when he was reported to police Thursday for allegedly playing an online game nonstop for 438 hours and 38 minutes at an Internet cafe without paying for it. The 22-year-old man, identified only as Mr. Jin, began playing Lineage 2, a new online role-playing game, on Nov. 29 at an Internet cafe near his home in Seoul, and remained there for 18 days. While he was at the Internet cafe, he ate instant noodles that were sold there 24 hours a day or ordered Chinese noodles from an outside restaurant when he was hungry, and only slept for a short time when he was tired, while the game was still running, police said. The Internet cafe’s owner filed a complaint with police when Mr. Jin allegedly refused to pay for playing the game and for the food he ate there. He owed 452,500 won ($380). Police said Mr. Jin never set foot outside the Internet cafe and went to the bathroom as little as possible, never washing himself. “He smelled so bad it was difficult to investigate him,” said a police officer. “I wanted to play Internet games so much. I wish I could just play games without having to think of anything else,” Mr. Jin told police.

‘Nuff Said

“This past Monday we launched the World of Warcraft open beta test, and by the following day, we had already reached a total of more than 500,000 signups! To everyone who signed up, we’d like to say thanks again for helping us make this the most extensive beta test ever for a Blizzard game. We take this as a strong indication that the gaming community is as excited about World of Warcraft’s upcoming release as we are.”

Marvel Sues City Of Heroes

In yet another boneheaded move, the clueless suits over at Marvel have decided to sue City of Heroes.

In its lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Marvel argues that the game’s character creation engine easily allows players to design characters that are virtual copies of its own superheros, including “The Incredible Hulk.”

The company singles out a game feature for creating “a gigantic, green, ‘science-based tanker’-type hero that moves and behaves nearly identically” to the “Hulk.” Players can also create a “mutant-based” hero powers and a costume nearly identical to Marvel’s “Wolverine,” according to the suit.

The New York-based company also took issue with the ability of players to go so far as to name their superhero creations after Marvel comic book characters.

So a bunch of fans of the Incredible Hulk, who like him so much they decided to try to make a character similar to him, will now be slapped in the face. And this is all Cryptic‘s fault? It’s my understanding that Cryptic requested a list of trademarked names from all the major comic book companies, and they banned the use of all the names on those lists. So that makes their point about names moot in my opinion.

When will companies learn that it is possible to protect your trademarks without being an asshole? What’s next, suing the makers of Sharpie markers because someone drew a picture of Wonder Woman with one?

Interesting CoH Dev Comment

I found this quote from one of the City of Heroes devs to be very interesting:

GG: What have you done to prevent cheating online?

CoH: I’m not really sure what “cheating” means, to be honest. I’ll assume the question refers to “exploiting” — which means that a player is obtaining experience points or other rewards in a manner that the designer did not foresee and doesn’t want. I actually don’t mind that at all. If a player can “trick” our game, more power to him. What I focus on, however, is those tricks that incentivize “unfun” behavior. If doing something incredibly monotonous and boring nets more reward than doing something fun and risky, then I’ve done something wrong as a designer. So I need to dis-incentivize the boring activity to steer the player back towards the fun stuff.