The Internet is all Clogged Up

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Guildwars 2 | 0 comments

Guildwars 2 beta download has begun. Of course nobody can really log into the forum servers to find instructions, since everybody and his neighbor is trying to download. Estimates are at about 1 mio pre-purchased copies. Here’s to hoping that download’s actually a torrent.

© Disclaimer: Guildwars 2
© 2011 ArenaNet, Inc. All rights reserved. NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, ArenaNet,, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Aion Truly Free, a Short Status

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Aion, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Maybe I am on a short fuse with Aion, but I can’t help it. I ended up downloading and reinstalling the client. I had been playing the game perhaps for two month after the game went live. If a AAA title goes free to play, it certainly deserves a chance to get revisited. Besides, the beauty of free to play is the fact that you can live and die by your whims. One death to many on Everquest or Vanguard, lets see what’s going on elsewhere. Feed your ADD.

Not so fast. NCsoft games are often under hacking attacks and the security the company has build up is unusual and annoying. You’ll end up with a password for your NCsoft account, for your AION acount within NCsoft and with a PIN you’ve defined for yourself. The pin is entered on a popup numerical keyboard, which gets scrambled with every login. I finally managed to login and see my characters. At least their heads and their legs. The midsection is a shadow behind some ghost image of waterfalls.

The screen is in a similar bad shape after I log into one of my characters. The waterfall is still there. I played around with some of the graphics settings but no luck. The forums don’t yield much in that direction, a few mentions of similar problems, but no solutions. In the meantime, the first “Kinah” / gold sellers start spamming. That hasn’t changed since the game started. And that does it for me for now.

See you again in four weeks or so, Aion. At least I got the fansite kit downloaded and get to put a pretty picture into this post.

© Disclaimer: Aion
AION game content and materials are trademarks and copyrights of NCsoft Corporation and its Licensors and used with permission. All rights reserved.

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Social Media Tilt

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Guildwars 2 | 3 comments

A couple of minutes ago, this tweet shows up, sent by @Guildwars2:

Participating in the Beta Weekend Event?@Ravious over at @KillTenRats wrote a nice guide, check it out: Post at KillTenRats

Woohoo ! Where’s the announcement? I check Twitter and find nothing, except the usual stream of messages, not even when selecting for @Guildwars2. Facebook doesn’t have much either. The flood of messages on facebook is actually modest, since I have an account just for MMO related things. The Arenanet RSS feed hasn’t been updated since April 10th. And my email inbox has no GW2 related messages. Steam’s coming out of my ears.

After my third visit at Kill Ten Rats I finally notice a link to the original @Guildwars2 tweet ! A tweet 7 hours old. And there it is, a Facebook post as well, 7 hours old, too. But there’s still no RSS update, no blog post. nor is there any email.

And there I was, thinking I was set up well to keep tabs on my MMO environment: My RSS reader is subscribed to the feeds I am interested in, a couple of aggregator and news websites like ZAM or MMORPG, plus a lengthy list of blogs I like. Then there is Twitter and Facebook, both on isolated accounts, keeping the Foursquare Check-Ins and the sharing of cat pictures separate in my personal account. I am also subscribed to the newsletters of various games and gaming companies, which are filtered and labelled on, you guessed it, another separate email account.

This is serious information overload, and in the cases of Twitter, Facebook and the News sites, things get lost, since the news items are published in sequential order without any further options to filter by source. Things get, because often enough, the announcement of a “Game of Thrones” MMO is scrolled off screen by the competing babbling coming from @RandomGame and @UpcomingGame. And if that’s not enough, there’s a Zombie trivia  event by @YetAnotherGame going on as well.

What I am saying is this: News and Information is drowned out by the noise coming from social media. This is not being helped by the availability of multiple channels like Facebook and Twitter. The creators of news end up feeding all channels. Leave it to the recipient to filter out what he needs. But I don’t have a tool that can filter the news in a way I can process it. I know there are some efforts out there trying to make life easier, but those tools want to be found, and worst of all, need to be configured.

Until then, no “Game of Thrones” for me.


© Disclaimer: Guildwars 2
© 2011 ArenaNet, Inc. All rights reserved. NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, ArenaNet,, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Excuse our Dust

Posted by on Apr 15, 2012 in Blog | 4 comments

This blog has gone through some changes in its appearance since I started it, somehow indicating its change in content. So why stop now? I am an able programmer, know the basics and some of the inner workings of WordPress and I am having fun working with web site designs and layouts. Oh, and it might get a business started, or at least it might get me a job.

I am not much of an artist or graphics designer, but it’s fascinating anyway. Ever since I joined Google+ and saw their changing layout, I’ve been trying to recreate the style, but wasn’t very successful. Look at this website for my first attempt: It’s all white, and that’s about it. But now more and more sites have popped up using and improving the theme, Guildwars 2 among them. The style is called “Minimalist” which strives to reduce a design to only elements that are needed for the object to function. Among the websites on my blogroll, Milady’s Hypercriticism has a perfect Minimalist design. I’ve been looking at the layout of that website with envy ever since I noticed it. Of course, I have been staring even more intense at that web page over the past weekend when I finally made up my mind about a new layout.

I’ve been experimenting with various WordPress themes over time, some of them premium themes (Gabfire Themes, Elegant Themes), and some of them free like Arras and Suffusion. I wasn’t much of a friend of Elegant Themes, since they don’t handle ads in a way I like it. But the more I looked at their Aggregate and Minimal themes the more I wanted to use them, until I finally caved in and added my own coding to support ads. I also made some other changes while I was at it.

What you see here now is the result of a couple of hours work this weekend. I have a few more things to change and move around, but the basic layout is there already. Hope you’ll like it.

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Vanguard and I

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Blog, Featured, Vanguard | 4 comments

I feel the itch. Now that free-to-play has been announced for the game, it looks like a couple of former players are already returning, in hoping the community will grow quickly. There’s been some activity among the bloggers regarding Vanguard, too: Ardwulf’s Lair has a couple of articles and Bhagpuss @ Inventory Full has some honorable mentions as well.

I have to say, I’d like to return, too. A few days ago, I signed up for another Vanguard trial. This screen shot is the result of 2 hours of playing a bard. Vanguard is one of the MMO’s I regularly go back to, when other games turn sour on me. I just love some of the games mechanisms: You’ll eventually have to decide if you want to skill up one weapon over the other: long- or short sword, piercer or a mace. At some point you won’t have enough skill points to keep them all maxed. My bard can “compose” his own songs. In combat there are skill combos and situational abilities I need to act on.

I am usually not much of a trade skill kind of guy, but I often do the basics and come back to it every now and then. The trade skill sphere has some interesting concepts. Your trade skill level is independent from your adventuring level. You can only advance through work orders, which will not produce any usable goods. You can make usable items, but they won’t advance your skills. You have your won set of trade skill gear and tools. The same is true for harvesting.

The game has a third sphere, diplomacy. To make it short, I’ve never been using it much, but it does have its own rewards.

The world of Telon is huge. Three massive continents offer enough room for content, cities, dungeons and places to just go Ooooh and Aaaah. You can have flying mounts and you can build your own ship to travel oceans and rivers.

Vanguard is certainly old school (now without corpse runs), but you will respawn elsewhere and have to run back, if you want to continue working on your current goal. Mobs will respawn on your way, if you don’t hurry or if you were in way to deep into a dangerous area. Grouping is often recommended.

There’s more to the game, like nice race and class selections or meaningful NPC factions. But I’ll leave that for another time, to be discovered as I get further into the game.



© Disclaimer: Vanguard

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Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Blog, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 0 comments

Back in October when I got an invitation for one of the beta events for Star Wars, it was all fun and lightsabers. The game had great classes, a good story, interesting combat mechanisms, a selection of companions and it looked like a great game overall. Turns out, there were plenty of gaping holes in the game. Boring race selections, not so well thought out crew skills, a poorly implemented Galactic Trade Network. And worst of all, an inconsistent game world, with Republic and Empire sharing the same map, holding identical positions on it. The quest lines on a single planet were to long and lead you in general along a rail, without many options to stray from the path. I don’t think you have the option of just skipping a planet or a segment of your characters story.

I did play for a while together with my wife until we hit Taris on the Republic side, but her initial interest was a straw fire, and my fun was gone shortly thereafter as well. Maybe I had to wait for patch 1.2 for to long, but there is no excitement in me to wait for it.

I did unsubscribe on Sunday, but have a couple of days left to take a screenshot or two. I don’t want to start a lengthy goodbye rant, like it usually happens on the SWTOR forum. I had fun playing and I bear no ill will toward the game or the players I leave behind. It’s just not my game anymore. I will stay in contact with the SWTOR blogs around me. The people there are fun and have interesting things to say. I don’t want to give up that.

So long, SWTOR. Let me know if you want to have my stuff…

© Disclaimer: Star Wars: The Old Republic
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