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September 27, 2005

World of Warcraft, part 5

Joi's been playing quite a bit of WoW and has posted some of his observations.

As you may have noticed, my blogging has been a bit light these days. This is partially due to the rigor in which I have taken on my research into the World of Warcraft (WoW). I'm still level 36 (out of a maximum of 60) so I am still a "newbie" but I thought I might share some of my observations. [Joi Ito's Web]

It's fun watching others find various fun things in the game. Things that really don't do anything besides add atmosphere. Pets you can buy for yourself. Recipes for food that turn you into a ninja or a pirate. Potions that shrink you down to mini size.

I've actually been limiting my WoW time a bit. I used to be on quite a bit, now I try not to log in before 3 in the afternoon and not stay up late just to play. Though I have been having more fun again because I've been adventuring with friends more.

Posted by snooze at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

Blizzard Bans Users Who Break Terms of Use

Joystiq and Game Girl Advance both reported on Blizzard banning accounts that were used for "Gold Farming" over the weekend. For those of you not familiar with the world of MMORPGs, Gold Farming is big business. People go around, and just kill monsters for high priced items and sell it off to make in-game money. They then sell the in-game money on places like ebay for real money. This is also done with rare magic items. The practice has been going on for ages. I remember hearing about people doing the same with Ultima Online and Evercrack.

The thing I'm finding baffling about both the posts on this is they seem to be coming down hard on Blizzard. Joystiq asks:

So, you pay for the game, pay your monthly subscription, only for Blizzard to say "you did something we don't want you to do, goodbye", and they kill your account. That's $50 wasted since, as was reported a while back, you can't transfer the serial number. Once it's used, it's used. Where should the line be drawn on what you can and can't do in a game you pay for initially, and continue to pay for every month? If people are stupid enough to buy a game's currency for hard cash, why shouldn't that be a legitimate activity? [Joystiq]

The answer is simple. You are breaking the policies that Blizzard has set forth for how they will run their game. This was not some secret policy that nobody knew of. On the World of Warcraft Policy Page it's right at the top of the announcements link. They even say what they will do to people they catch doing it (Of course, this gets to an even larger rant I have about how people don't read any of the game policies when playing). If this had come out of the blue I'd be able to understand complaints, but it didn't.

What do people think? If you are providing a service, should you be able to set the rules for the use of it? Does it matter if it is a game or something like an ISP? Or should having paid money immediately mean you can do what you want with that service, regardless of any Terms of Use?

Posted by snooze at 12:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Turtles on Parade


Hosted on Flickr
I decided that I'll try and post a World of Warcraft screenshot every few days as I get ones I like. This one was found while wandering around deep inside one of the instances.

Posted by snooze at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2005

Mac Mini

I've been a little quiet lately. Doing a bunch of reading and playing World of Warcraft. Somewhere in there Apple released the Mac Mini. I seriously want one. I've got an old B&W G3 it would replace just perfectly. I'd probably want the $599 one though. I kind of wish they offered a higher end one with the SuperDrive that wasn't a custom build though.

One thing I've found is that this has many numerous people I know who had been trying to avoid getting a mac finally take the plunge. Bout time Apple made a move like this. Btw, if you're getting one, bump the memory up to at least 512MB if not a full gig. You'll be happy you did.

Posted by snooze at 06:52 PM | Comments (1)

December 09, 2004

World of Warcraft, First Impressions

World of WarcraftSo I finally gave into the whole MMORPG craze. I'd played a bit of Asheron's Call back when it was in Beta and enjoyed it. And even played a tiny bit when it was released, but it never really sucked me in that much. But I have a good number of friends playing World of Warcraft, and it's one of the few games I can play on the Mac and still be able to play with them.

First off. Big high-5 to Blizzard for releasing a game that runs on both Mac and PC beautifully. More companies need to do this. I have no idea how much extra effort it requires on their part but they really do a great job. Thank you for giving me something cool to play while all my friends are off playing CoH.

So, about the game. It's beautiful. I took some screenshots that are okay, but nothing as nice as some of the ones shown on the World of Warcraft site. The colors are vivid and for the first hour or so that I played the game i just kept looking all around me. I can't wait to explore more and see what kinds of places I can find.

World of Warcraft - screenshot 2 Next, gameplay. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this game was easy to learn. I saw the manual that came with the the game and was a little nervous at first. It's not huge, but it just looked like there was so much to learn. So, in proper geek form I just dove right into the game. After about 10 min I created my character and was on my first quest.

So far, I love the game. As I play a bit more and get a little deeper into it I'll report back with more details. The screenshots are hosted at Flickr, and there is one other up there.

Posted by snooze at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004

Why Popcap.com Sucks Now

The other day #!/usr/bin/girl posted about Bejeweled 2 over at Popcap.com. Having liked the original I hopped on over and tried to play. I click on the 'Click to Play' link and the familiar Popcap game window pops up with the instructions and no game. I hit reload a few times with the same result. I closed out the window and clicked on Bookworm, then original Bejeweled to see if they worked. Both played just fine (and wasted a good bit of my time).

So I fired off an email to their customer support asking for help. This morning I got back the following response.

Which Internet Browser are you using? Zuma, Insanaquarium, Bejeweled 2, and Astropop will only work in Internet Explorer on a Windows machine because they use Active X. ActiveX is a code that defines MicrosoftÂ’s interaction between web servers, clients, add-ins and Microsoft Office applications. ActiveX is MicrosoftÂ’s answer to Java technology from Sun Microsystems.

So, if you're a Popcap fan, forget running any new games from them for the moment. They seem to have ditched any support for other browsers/oses. The thing I find more annoying is that Insanaquarium used to run just fine on OS X, so I'm not quite sure when they made the switch. Bastards.

And yes, I know IE is still the most popular browser out there (Though it sounds like those numbers are being slowly chipped away at by things like Firefox). But the other thing that irks me is that I think these games are written in Java, at least that is what their web site indicates. Anyone know for sure? Oh yes, and Popcap support? ActiveX is not M$'s answer to Java. C# maybe, but not ActiveX.

Posted by snooze at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)