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10001  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: October 07, 2008, 09:02:47 PM
Turbine posted some dev diaries on advancement from 50 to 60 with 3 of the classes (burglar, hunter, lore-master):
10002  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: WoW joins the dustbin... on: October 07, 2008, 05:31:52 PM
I too learned the hard way not to commit to 3- or 6-month subscriptions unless I was truly hooked (I was, with City of Heroes, about 2004-2007). Even though I'm re-hooked on LOTRO at the moment, I'm sticking with month-to-month for now.

So when did you play WWII Online? I never knew anyone who actually played it for any period of time. I was curious about it (I'm a military shooter junkie though I think I've finally faded in my interest in that genre).
10003  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 07, 2008, 12:25:53 PM
Episode 2's up at Hulu, here's ze link:

#2: Chuck Versus The Seduction

Stumbled on another fan site that's updated fairly often:
10004  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 07, 2008, 03:24:34 AM
This NBC "red carpet" video has a spoiler-ish reveal (at about the 1:16 mark) about the actors playing Captain Awesome's parents in a later episode:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Bruce Boxleitner and Morgan Fairchild apparently play his parents.  icon_smile
10005  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 07, 2008, 01:28:29 AM
Tonight's episode was a blast, although Casey (Adam Baldwin) had little to do. I guess they've got so many characters running around, it's hard to find time for everybody. Larroquette was a lot of fun, and bounced pretty well off Levi. I read he might get a return appearance or two down the road (it's a long season afterall).

I don't know if people noticed in the credits, but Robert Duncan McNeil (best known as Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager, but now focused on directing a variety of TV stuff), who directed some Season 1 episodes, including appropriately enough "Chuck vs. The Sandworm," is listed as one of the producers on the show. icon_smile

I had a long day at work, and the best thing I can say about the show is I always feel better after watching it.  icon_smile I don't think #2 has hit the various sites (, NBC's site etc.) just yet.
10006  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO Free Welcome Back Weekend Oct 2-6 on: October 07, 2008, 01:22:09 AM
I guess, in retrospect, the "estimated minutes" is really way off but there's no way they can read peoples' minds -- meaning a big clump of people logging off at the same time gets  you through the que real fast.  icon_cool I'm almost inclined to say they skip the whole "estimated minutes" thing because "<5 minutes" often means 30 seconds.  icon_razz

What annoys me is if it takes more than maybe 2 minutes, it just kicks me out altogether instead of starting up the game, which it just did now. It looks like it may be another Sacred 2 demo night.  disgust

My Hunter sort of took advantage of the 25% bonus by just grinding off deeds, the Hillmen one that gives a welcome Morale Boost skill in particular. I definitely felt like I was progressing pretty fast.
10007  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: October 06, 2008, 09:09:48 PM
MSI announced a deal for Best Buy to start carrying the 3-cell, XP version of the 10" MSI Wind, at $399:
The Wind sporting a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, Windows XP, a 120GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and a 3-cell battery will be available for $399 at Best Buy in the coming weeks.
This is both online and in stores.
10008  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: October 06, 2008, 07:34:47 PM
I kept thinking the character was going to show up and when the character did, I squealed with nerdish delight.
Is it Spock? Singing the "Bilbo song"? icon_lol

I gotta say, the one quest with "look" in bright red letters still needs a "LOTRO for Dummies" explanation (maybe a pop-up explanation when you hover your mouse on the "look" in the quest description) to use the /look emote. I musta spent 15 minutes trying to "visually" look up where it says to look (because I misinterpeted the directions), before I pulled up an LOTRO database site on my Acer Aspire One and some helpful comments posters explained what to do.

I've enjoyed the quests there (more so than in Forochel off Evindem, fwiw). And the one involving the two NPCs and their "battle" over soup ingredients is pretty funny, with pretty nice quest rewards.
10009  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Back-up Solution on: October 06, 2008, 06:10:11 PM
Chuck (from the NBC TV show) would be proud. You get the Nerd Herd award.  icon_cool

I used some Acronis software a few years back for moving for migrating one hard drive to a new one, and was pretty pleased with it.
10010  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: October 06, 2008, 06:07:39 PM
Laptopmag tested an interesting new 8.9" MSI Wind variant, though it appears to be hamstring by the Linux version it uses (SUSE) and the usual 3-call battery wimpiness:

Apparently it uses the same chasis as the 10" model so the keyboard is the same size. I assume though mainly the model is an attempt to get down into the Acer Aspire one's price range (this is about $369) and weight (about 2.4 lbs. in this case).
10011  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: October 06, 2008, 12:58:08 PM had a pretty cool dev tour of the new areas both above-ground (in Eregion, off the Trollshaws) and Moria itself, including about 43 images.

If you prefer a sense of discovery when you actually play it, you may want to not view it.  icon_neutral I found it useful as far as knowing how to reach the new areas, among other things.

Since I had been away from the game so long, when I stumbled into some of the content/places/quests the Book 10 update added way back when (off Evindem, and in the Trollshaws) for roughly 40-45 content, it was a really pleasant surprise - I hadn't read about any of it.
10012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: In honor of Star Trek Online...I present on: October 05, 2008, 06:13:00 PM
Well, you can get the same feeling if you replace "Bilbo" with "Dildo" in the Nimoy video.  eek
10013  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 Gone Gold on: October 05, 2008, 05:36:47 PM
I'm sure someone in the UK is exporting that version. I guess Gogamer isn't bothering since the North American version's due next month (I bough the UK version of Sacred and its expansion from them, quite a few months before a US version finally released).
10014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 Gone Gold on: October 05, 2008, 01:32:29 PM
A few more pics from the other day:

Quest List

I can't say the demo quests are all that interesting, but few are of the "hunt 15, hunt 30" MMO variety at least. And there's certainly no shortage of them.

A little less skimpy...

With friends

One quest eventually has you leading 3 NPC soldiers around for a while.

Active shield aura

This is one of the skills you slot in the lower right hand thingie. While active, it repels (or absorbs? icon_confused) attacks.

10015  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 05, 2008, 01:47:48 AM
Couple new clips from episode #2:

I don't know how Levi managed to memorize his continuous seduction speech in the first clip.  icon_lol John Laroquette's going to teach him the "art of seduction."  icon_razz I was reading in EW Laroquette's a big fan of the show.

I had missed this "Chuck: A Look at Season Two" montage put together for Comic-Con fans, including a pretty funny into by Adam Baldwin.
A lot's from the premiere, but much of it's from episodes 2 and later. I think I read about 6-7 episodes are "in the can" as they say.

There's about a zillion different interviews, promos and "fan mishmash videos" (There's almost as many about "Chuck and Sarah" as there are about "Jim and Pam" from The Office) at You Tube, if you're into that. I'm unashamedly into that, and I've got a few dozen in my favorites now. The cast comes across as genuinely charming off screen as on, and Levi really is a videogame/gadget freak.

His best story, in an interview from New Zealand where he and Yvonne Strahovski visited for some promo photography, is that he cut his right hand playing Wii Tennis -- he tried to do an overhead smash and smashed his hand right into the ceiling-mounted light fixture.  icon_eek Perhaps they'll write that into a script some day.

Strahovski's (Sarah) Australian, and always does interviews in her normal Aussie accent. It's a little jarring to hear in the interview videos. I think I've only seen one where she's asked to "speak in her American accent" and it's fun to hear her shift between the two so seamlessly.  icon_smile

Thought I'd take a break from my Nielsen ratings worrying to just be a fanboy.  icon_cool

10016  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO Free Welcome Back Weekend Oct 2-6 on: October 04, 2008, 03:46:40 AM
Holy crap, I'm in a 5 minute wait on Elendilmir sever myself.  crybaby

I might have to stick with the Sacred 2 demo tonight.  icon_razz
10017  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 03, 2008, 10:09:32 PM
Although it's more of a Zachary Levi Lovefest site than a Chuck site per se, I've found is a good "aggregator" site of all things (including gobs of videos) Chuck that ever mention or pertain to Levi.  icon_cool The guy is just remarkably nice and "normal" whether in interviews, signing autographs or goofing off at Comic-Con.

What should be comforting for Chuck fans ratings wise is that Fox's heavily hyped Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, which airs opposite it, is floundering far worse in the ratings and many TV columnists expect it not to survive through this season. And I noticed the far more hyped Pushing Daisies on ABC (it airs on a different day) premiered to far, far worse ratings than Chuck did. So there's that.

A lot of year-to-year comparisons right now are a little screwy because they're comparing to last season's "Pre writers strike" premieres. And more and more people right now are watching things via iTunes, Hulu, Web sites or DVRs, none of which Nielsen ratings have found a way to include yet. I dread the ratings getting too much fixation from network execs -- because then we'll get nothing but knockoffs of American Idol, CSI, Law & Order and diva soaps.  disgust

I think from what I've read, while the Intersect will be a common "background arc" through the season, it won't likely be dominating each episode the way it did in the premiere. Bryce is supposed to return at some point, too.
10018  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: October 03, 2008, 06:47:53 PM
If $329 and $349 netbooks have brutal margins for retailers, how about a $69.29 one?  icon_razz

Microsoft installs XP, Office on cheap Portuguese laptops
Portugal started rolling out the "Magellan" computer at schools last month. It aims to hand out a total 500,000 of the laptops, which cost just 50 euros ($69.29) for school children, at home and export it to countries in Latin America and Africa.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the software package called "Magellan Learning Suite" to go with the laptops, which will include Windows XP and Office in addition to development applications, free email and instant messaging.
I'm not sure of the size, but judging by the photos of people trying Magellan, it seems to be in this category.

If you click through the photos, I don't think the Chavez one is going to make Microsoft's marketing department very happy.  icon_eek But his country's presumably one of the ones Portugal wants to export this to.
10019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: In honor of Star Trek Online...I present on: October 03, 2008, 03:51:36 PM
That was hysterical btw. It took me a good 20 minutes to get that tune out of my head.  icon_razz
10020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 Gone Gold on: October 03, 2008, 03:05:28 PM
It's a European game, yes.  nod Yes, Seraphim (demo) and Dryad (seems to wear a ragged bikini) are not exactly clad for battle. The High Elf female warrior seemed (at least from the little portrait pic) to wear a bit more. There are specific armor pieces available for each class, and you can probably be as scantily or un-scantily clad as you want later on.  icon_razz
10021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 Gone Gold on: October 03, 2008, 01:27:27 PM
Couple tips:
-The default inventory key is a baffling "F" so I changed that to the more traditional "I". I guess they had "I" set for a potion key.
-I couldn't seem to find a way to reconfigure keys without save/exiting to the opening menu. Maybe there's a way, I just haven't found it.  icon_confused
-If I'm remembering the original game correctly, as you level, you eventually get additional "circles" slots in the lower middle, so that you can quickly change between weapon sets and combat arts sets. Early on, it's frustrating cause you only have one slot of each.
10022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: In honor of Star Trek Online...I present on: October 03, 2008, 01:23:50 PM
So you're saying...
Spoiler for Hiden:
Turbine was a more logical choice for Star Trek Online?  icon_lol
10023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 - Hmmm? Did it actually come out? on: October 03, 2008, 01:17:46 PM
Aye, I belatedly realized CDV when I loaded the demo up (splash screen). I'm tossing some screenies from the demo into the "gone gold" thread, fwiw.
10024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 Gone Gold on: October 03, 2008, 12:21:37 PM
Finally put some time in on the US demo. Looks sharp, runs pretty smoothly. While some menus will seem familiar to Sacred players, they seem to have done a better job of organizing things, and every screen has a '?' help button you can click. Although it's Diablo-style, I was able to play pretty well using more typical MMO movement keys (w,a,s,d) too, and I might have to, to avoid any recurring wrist tendinitis troubles. smile

Here's a few screenshots (these are at Medium, which it installed as by default):


The combat feels crisper to me than in the first game. It won't remove any Diablo II memories, but it just feels less "loose" to me than Sacred did.

Character Selection

While the demo limits you to Seraphim, you can at least rollover the other types. I think the "Dryad" might appeal to me.

The "God" power, you get more as you go, seems something of a long cooldown, "use it when you think you're screwed" kind of power.  icon_cool


You can stick a pin in the map, but only one at a time. Quest areas tend to be marked clearly on the map, so if you prefer LOTRO's purposefully vague quest directions, you're out of luck.  icon_razz

Arts/Skills Selection/Distribution:

I got this when hitting level 2 and distributing for a new skill. Gives an idea of the variety.
10025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sacred 2 - Hmmm? Did it actually come out? on: October 03, 2008, 01:50:49 AM
fwiw, GoGamer lists Nov. 12 as their U.S. release date:

afik it has released everywhere *but* North America, which may be good, as a patch has already come out for it.  Roll Eyes

I'm not even sure if they have a U.S. publisher for it. EB, Best Buy, Circuit City don't list Sacred 2 at all (maybe they want to wait for the console version to release). But GoGamer's listing doesn't specify it as a UK import. So I just don't know.  icon_confused

I am finally downloading the U.S. demo now though. And I'd figure if they're bothering with a "U.S." demo, they must have some sort of U.S. distribution plans.

I ordered the original Sacred and its expansion in UK import form from GoGamer way back when. Although Ascaron did finally arrange U.S. publishing of the game it was several months after Sacred launched in Europe (I didn't have the patience).
10026  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: October 03, 2008, 01:38:37 AM
SlashGear has an interesting look at a user-modded touchscreen Acer Aspire One:
10027  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO Free Welcome Back Weekend Oct 2-6 on: October 02, 2008, 09:27:37 PM
From what I read, I don't think this particular "return to LOTRO weekend" is bringing back the $9.99 option. Back in May when they celebrated their one year anniversary they sort of brought that back but the catch was it required a 90-day or longer payment option.

Back then they also brought back the $199 lifetime option (which I wish I had gotten back in the beginning but I still haven't subscribed long enough that it would've saved me money, to this point), which is now a heftier $299.

While it wouldn't surprise me if they brought those options back ($9.99, $199 lifetime) for people who buy the Moria expansion, I just haven't so far been able to find anything along those lines yet for the North American retail version.
10028  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: October 02, 2008, 06:17:06 PM
Some retailers got the XP version price drop memo early (Micro Center dropped the XP model price just about the day after Acer's announcement), some got it late, and I think some still aren't reflecting the drop at all. That's my only guess.  icon_neutral I dunno, it is in the end a "Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Price" as they say, so I guess it's up to the retailer to learn about it, and then to decide if they want to sell it at the price or higher. Margins are supposedly razor thin in that price range.
10029  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO Free Welcome Back Weekend Oct 2-6 on: October 02, 2008, 06:11:32 PM
They clarified that the 25% exp boost *only* applies to mob kills, *not* to exp earned when you turn a quest in. Also, that the 25% boost stacks on top of the "rested character bonus" you get when you haven't played in a while and log back in. So, I guess this would be a good weekend to work on hunt quests, or to just mindlessly grind away at everything in sight (or on Deeds/Traits).  icon_neutral
10030  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes Issue 13: Architect (mission creator; day jobs) on: October 02, 2008, 06:07:54 PM
They announced much of the PvE balance changes - most seem aimed at making underperforming and/or unpopular sets more palable/useful.

One pretty big change affects (positively) every non-offensive player toggle in the game:
Toggle Powers
One important additional piece of development to mention, that is especially relevant to Kheldians and their toggle powers is: in Issue 13, Toggles are no longer shut off due to Hold, Sleep or Disorient effects. This is a major gameplay change, and it is not restricted to Kheldians, but instead applies to all non-offensive player toggles. As part of changes in Issue 13, when a player is affected by a hold, sleep or stun, any toggle power they are running will continue and will still draw endurance from the character. However, some or all of its effects may be suppressed until such time as the hold, sleep or stun is removed.
10031  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dead Space confirmed for PC(IGN hands on 9/8) on: October 02, 2008, 01:09:19 PM
This Gameplanet (New Zealand) interview with the game's Producer in Charge of Scripted Events and Other Story Elements for Dead Space has some brief mention of the PC version (I guess that version hasn't gone gold yet?):
GP: Is the PC version optimized well for the mouse and keyboard users amongst us, or is Dead Space really something that only suits the controller crowd?

Rich Briggs: We spent a lot of time making sure the PC version had the best control scheme possible. We tested various configurations and implemented what we felt worked best for the mouse and keyboard. In addition, the keyboard controls are able to be remapped by the player.
EB seems to indicate the PC version pre-orders ship a bit later (10/20 rather than 10/14) and costs $10 less ($49.99) fwiw.
10032  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Back to the Future... 2, or 3? on: October 01, 2008, 08:22:25 PM
imho, the second movie is nasty, needlessly violent, lacks Crispin Glover's bizarre presence (having some generic actor play his shrunken role seemed a big mistake, though I understand Glover apparently asked for some astronomical amount of money to reprise his role) and leaves you hanging at the end. You could sorta of say that about the original film but that one tied up its loose ends, and then ended with a teaser.

I also found it a mistake to give Biff (a little bit of a nasty, repellent character like that goes a long way) so much screen time. It had great set pieces, and a lot of gee-whiz technical gimmickry. Zemeckis seems to feel about Part II the way Spielberg does now about The Temple of Doom -- that they just got a little too carried away trying to make a second movie "darker."

I remember seeing it in theaters (it was much anticipated in 1988), but it's kinda clear it didn't have the same charm as the first movie. My recollection is it made a mint its first week but box office dropped steeply after that once people realized it was a darker, less enjoyable film.

I remember a lot of reviews at the time remarked that it's a lot more fun to go back into a past the viewing audience knows, and stage a "fish out of water" storyline there, than it is to go into a future that nobody knows or can really truly anticipate (in 1988 I sure as heck had no thoughts about the Internet, Web pages, or spending so much of my life on message boards online). That's presumably why III went back to the Wild, Wild West.

For me, BthF3 had a little more of the first movie's charm, but it just seemed like a relatively pointless exercise. Although I did buy the trilogy on DVD a few years ago, I think in retrospect the first movie is where they should have just ended it. Like ET, it was a fairly magical experience if you got into it (I know plenty of people who don't like ET or Back to the Future) but it told a nice little self-contained story and it's maybe a shame they felt the need to milk it to death. I think Back to the Future's "DeLorean into the future" ending promised more than the sequel could ever deliver.

Postscript, some months ago here in Virginia, I saw a Delorean (!), still driven, in a shopping center parking lot. I wish I had had my camera with me.  icon_cool
10033  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: October 01, 2008, 06:38:38 PM
Saw a Taiwan news item that HP thinks the netbook rage is mostly a "back to school" blip, and that they plan to focus on more traditional notebooks (HP Mini Note notwithstanding):

Hewlett-Packard narrows focus to notebook market
“The competition in the netbook sphere is extremely intense. There’s very little margin in that category, and we at HP believe the recent netbook frenzy is due to the back-to-school season, when kids are buying laptops for school,” Clair Chang (張淑雯), manager of HP Taiwan’s product marketing department, said at a media briefing.

“As the market normalizes, we see more and more consumers going back to quality traditional notebooks. And traditional notebooks will be our company focus going forward,” Chang said yesterday as the company introduced a suite of Elitebook-brand models targeted at business users.
Though I have to say, at that busy Acer Aspire One fan forum I frequent, I get the impression few of the people crowding in there are college students. To be fair, he may well just be talking about the Taiwan market though.

It also briefly mentioned new Mini-Note models due down the road:
HP plans to release its second generation of Mini-Note models before the end of the year. The company declined to say how many models it expects to ship or what the specifications of the new generation would be.
10034  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO Free Welcome Back Weekend Oct 2-6 on: October 01, 2008, 06:31:04 PM
All my characters are on Elendilmir (did I finally spell it right? icon_razz), at levels 5 (burglar), 7 (lore master), 22 (guardian), 38 (hunter) and 48 (captain). So holler if you're returning and want some help or company.  icon_smile
10035  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: October 01, 2008, 12:35:39 PM
I guess I won't hyperventilate about the ratings (I loved the premiere, but TV columnists indicate it's the lowest rated/least watched episode of the show so far, even given the post writers'-strike recovery blues). I dug up some stuff about execs ordering a full second season back during the summer. As long as someone in upper management believes in the show, it should survive.  icon_smile

Getting back to this episode - as a gamer, you have to love a show where the hero recites his buddy's Call of Duty 4 strategy to get out of a dangerous pickle.  icon_cool
10036  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: October 01, 2008, 03:52:32 AM
This Aussie item seems to support the idea that there's still a 6-cell battery manufacturing shortage, and Acer doesn't expect to be able to offer 6-cell AA1s until early 2009 at the earliest.  crybaby

Longer battery life and 3G to replace cashback for Aspire One netbook
The six-cell battery is already offered as a cost-extra option for $110. However Henry Lee, Senior Product Manager for Acer Computer Australia, says that the company’s initial intentions to roll out this upgrade “as of October or even earlier” have been scotched due to short supply of the six cell batteries. Lee now predicts the battery boost to “in early 2009”, although the netbook’s price will remain the same despite the larger battery.
10037  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: September 30, 2008, 11:42:10 PM
I liked the show last year, and then sort of trailered off (Reaper was my other favorite new show last year, and has similar ratings challenges). *but* I bought the DVD set the other day, and I watched the entire 13 episodes over the weekend and fell in love with it.  icon_cool

Apparently ratings weren't so hot for any of NBC's MOnday shows yesterday but I am pulling for Chuck with all I can muster.  icon_smile

I actually stayed up way too late watching the premiere a second time at NBC's site, and then a lengthy Comic-Con panel discussion with the show's cast and crew (and they all seem about as fun and funny as you would guess).
10038  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC server merge coming on: September 30, 2008, 11:23:56 PM
AoC is staggering no doubt, but I would keep in mind that they added a bunch of servers *after* the game launched due to probably the usual underestimating of the capacity they needed. When I first started playing, I recalled seeing "new server available" messages when I logged in, almost every day. So they may well just end up getting back to the number of servers they had at launch.

I think what it does reflect is their obvious "churn rate" since launch and that they're officially no longer in "growth" mode - I know that's "duh"  retard but this helps make that concrete. It's obviously not a hot new game people grab off the shelf anymore (it's Warhammer's 15 minutes of fame now, and soon the LOTRO and WoW expansions), so their mission is probably more of retention and survival than anything else.

Usually DOOMMM!!! is called for, imho, if there is an Auto Assault style "mass server consolidation." Netdevil/NCSoft merged about 8 or 12 servers (I forget the number, but it was about the same as City of Heroes has) into one giant server called "Nexus," if I remember it right, and you knew that was pretty much a portent of doom, and it was.
10039  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: September 30, 2008, 02:38:59 AM
Although the new game director has progress on many fronts to report in his latest letter at the forums, the truth is, all anyone is going to read about and pay attention to is... THEY'RE MERGING SERVERS! DOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! Which conveniently is in the 2nd part of his letter...
Another aspect which has popped up in the forums recently is whether we are going to do a server merge or not, and I can today confirm that we are actively working on an approach to merge servers, both in Europe and North America. It’s important for us to ensure the best gameplay experience for you all, and more healthy populations on each and every server will make sure we maintain healthy communities for the game in the future. Still, there are many complexities involved in this, and we want to ensure that everything happens as fair and streamlined as possible. That work has now started, and we are naturally making sure that guilds and players can get to new servers in the best possible way. We will come back with more info on this, but I hope that this will serve as a positive injection to the social scene in the game.
That aside, there are some promising things, but the new Ymir's Pass (55-60ish) zone still seems weeks if not months away.
10040  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - Welcome Back to LOTRO Weekend on: September 30, 2008, 02:27:08 AM
Welcome Back to LOTRO Weekend with Bonus XP!
Make sure you're ready to take advantage of everything that Mines of Moria™ has to offer by participating in a Welcome Back Weekend which includes bonus experience for all!

From October 2-6, 2008, we're offering free LOTRO access to our former players, and +25% bonus experience gain for everyone who logs in and plays. Returning players are invited to patch up, jump in, and start playing on their old characters to get them ready for Moria!

Prepare your characters for the wonder and dread of Moria by taking advantage of these bonus XP days! Tell your friends to log in and play, level your mains and alts, and get ready to Conquer the World Beneath™!
There, I've told my friends. You guys are my friends, right? Oh don't answer that question.  drool retard

Note: The 25% bonus experience is for everybody, as they say, and not just returning players.  icon_cool
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