Hackers, Developers, and Forums. Oh my!


There has been a whole lot going on of late in the world surrounding everyone’s favorite sandbox, EVE. It seems like real life is imitating art; stretches of relative quiet followed by moments of intense activity and drama. And we all get a front.row seat.

By now, I’m sure you have heard of the DDoS attacks on EVE, by the same group that have allegedly hit (to date), sites like League of Legends, CIA, Sony, and Facebook. I see them as a worthless group of hoodlums, striving for attention. The world will be better off when they are eventually caught and prosecuted. I won’t go any further than that commentary.

On the brighter side, CCP is putting out the beta of their new-again forums. They claim to have made tweak to both its usability as well as its security. Both things were clambered for in the previous iteration. I hope they last this time, as I actually enjoyed their previous life, sans the safety holes. In large part, I just want the current awful mess called a forum to go the way of the buffalo.

Lastly, CCP has made an intriguing move on the market of third party app developers. A lot of games have these fans who create tools to help alleviate perceived defects in game or meta-game functionality. Different studios support them to various degrees, and also respect then to differing levels. CCP is going to allow developers a commercial distribution licence, that if they choose to do so, will allow then to charge users/make money (read: ads) from their creation. HOWEVER, before you and I get our panties in a twist, a free non-commercial licence will also be available. It’s something that I am torn all over the place about, and in the end, I don’t think we will really know how it plays out until the reality is tangible in front of us.

Either way, with all this, and Incarna coming to the table in a week, New Eden is seeing some major upheaval. Exciting times.

Forums go BOOM

Yeah, EVE’s new shiny went tits-up.

The problem was actually pretty severe, and provided a pretty big hole for people to use. At the core of the issue, the forums were essentially letting users inject HTML, Java, CSS, and maybe even more browser-read code into their signature blocks. Doing this, with a combination of some cookie editing, was able to let savvy internet-users post as anyone they wanted, including moderators, and to actual alter the way any thread on the forum looked.

I’m pretty sure that somewhere, it’s an important rule to not let the user screw with your product. Especially in live, shared environment.

Seems like it was a bad-weekend all around for the games I play this weekend, as LoL was facing bad lag and temperamental up-times itself. Oh well, it gave me time to do that yard-work.

Kick the tires, and light the fires

Playing SC2. I’m not Korean, but don’t be surprised if my posts drift substantially away from WAR. I’ve been playing Blizzard RTSs since they came out, and have loved every one. Okay, well, Warcraft 3 did nothing good other than bring us DotA, but I love it for that. Initial impression: it’s damn good. It’s the original Stacraft, only better. If you were expecting something more, you will be disappointed. Personally, I wanted exactly what I got, and couldn’t be happier (well, other than all three races campaign released simultaneously, greedy Blizzard ass-hats).

Oh, also, WARs forums officially folded into BioWare Social Network. People are not happy (all on the first page of the “General Discussion” forum, most in the top 10). I’m not particularly keen on the new forums yet. Specifically, I miss two things. Character representation (who’s post is this that I’m reading), and secondly, the “new post” link on each thread. I lived by that link. One think I expressly dislike about this forum: it’s part of a “social network”, which means every Tom, Dick and Harry who buys a BioWare game can come in and post. By opening up the community, it lost its unique flavor and appeal. If I want a social network, that what I have Facebook for.

I’ll give these forums a fair shake, and I’ll of course still use them. But I hope that there are some serious changes coming to how Warhammer is specifically handled as part of this “Network”.

Tales of hate, entry 9

Today is June 21, and I will be posting this on July 15, 2010.

It was an interesting weekend for my Blackguard. I got to play a bit here or there, and even do a city siege. As I said from the get-go, I’ve been keeping mostly on the down-low about my character, but not being overtly sneaky about him. If people found out who I was, so be it. I wouldn’t lie, and outside of my forum signature on the Alliance forums, I don’t advertise my identity on him. That said, if you’ll reach back in your memory banks, you’ll remember a post (a couple of weeks ago for you) where I talked about some awesome drama and an ex-guildie. Luck would have it, that I ended up in a city siege with him. Within minutes of his guilds arrival, I got chatter asking if it was me.

I confirmed.

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GW brings the law

I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t understand the fullness of this.

What it boils down to from other people’s reports, is that Games Workshop is bring a suit against Curse, Inc. as it relates to their Warhammer Alliance site. I’ve been a long time member of WHA (December 2006), but I admit, as things go in regards to legality, I have no idea what all of this about.

If anyone out there is more inclined to read and interpret this, then report back, that’d be aces. All I know is that GW is opposed to the website for domain camping, and being difficult to get a hold of.

I <3 Bandy Belfords

I shit you not, "Bandy" is a sport. Similar to ice hockey.

This will be the final set of questions from my Q&A with the Careers and Items people, Nate, Steve, and Sean (i.e. “Item Guy” or “The young one”), that I might have left over from my live blogging that took place on-site. As well as an interview with Andy Belford, the last of our interviews while there.

I’ll start with this absolute GEM of a quote from Nate Levy. We were talking about add-ons in general, and how it relates to class/game balance. I’m a huge fan of add-ons as anyone here should know, and have a perverse pleasure when participating in the numerous threads that pop up every week to “Ban nerfed buttons and auto-focus, zomg!”

“If there is something an add-on does that is grievously bad for the game, then we can just stop the add-on from being able to do it. Not rebalance the game for it.”  Read more of this post

Thar’ be trolls!

Every server in WAR is its own community. Each one is full of personalities, ideas, concepts, friendships, rivalries, and all the other wonderful interactions that can be found in any gathering of different people. Of course, this being the internet, the staple of the typical communication of those communities (forums) is the troll. The troll is an interesting creature, and many a blog post, article, thread, and scientific endeavors* have been done to find out more about them. Yet, the still remain a mystery to most of us. What drives these enigmatic creatures? What pushes them to continue along their misguided path? Are they self-aware? There are so many questions that most rational people have when they find themselves face to face with a troll.

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Patience, I no longer has it

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent too much time in gaming communities. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the same conversations rehashed ad nauseum that I have worn out any patience. Maybe I’m just tired from my daughter keeping me up nights, so I’m more on edge. Maybe because I haven’t been able to play hardly at all the last three weeks, I need some “decompress” time. Or maybe, just maybe, the person on the other side of forum really is just a moron.

Not too long ago, I wouldn’t feel frustrated by people who are completely unable to read and comprehend the logical talking points of a discussion. I wouldn’t feel the need to later deconstruct the same argument down into its various segmented components in trying to clarify in perfect simplicity why their counter-points do not apply. It the not-so-distant past, I would never have boggled at the complete ineptitude of other people to understand conceptual intent and implementation into a live system. The old me would never have pulled his hair out at the seemingly aggressive ignorance people present when faced with point-by-point comparisons that negates their earlier assertions.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding myself far less likely to let absurd comments go unchecked. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet. On one hand, it feels great to see someone else resort to ad-hominem attacks, and unsubstantiated claims. On the other hand, I don’t truly achieve anything.

Oh well.

Forum WARrior

A champion in text.Blog title theme’s for the win!

I’ve been rockin’ out on the various forums for WAR the last couple of days. Talking about a whole slew of things, getting into discussions, heated and casual about everything from Nerfed Buttons, the viability of a Shadow Warrior in a duel against a DoK, the necessity of a shield for a tank in RvR, or what the best specialization is for aKnight of the Blazing Sun in a bomb group. I’m all over the place, and if you frequent any WAR forums, you’ve probably run into me there.

It’s probably obvious, but I love to be a part of a game’s community, and forums are a big part of that experience. I spend a lot of time on the forums. More than I will ever admit to my employer! I’m used to the flames, the trolls, the arguments, the senseless hyperbole and terrible, terrible logic people employee to back up their claims. I often use crazy analogies, or even hyperbole in an obvious juxtaposed way to highlight flaws in another person’s claims, statements, or arguments.

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Stepford or Beaver

leave-it-to-beaverAll communities have the quirks and foibles. Whether it’s your physical neighborhood, your poker buddies, or the group of players across the network of computers we call the internet. Any gathering of people is going to have it’s cliques, and Karen’s. As communities get larger, the divisions of groups do as well. We learn this behavior from an early age, just look to high school. My school experience was actually fairly clique free (or maybe just I was), but there were still obvious groups of people who shared a similar attitude. We had jocks, and preps, nerds, beautiful people, everything in between, and everything outside of it. My experience showed that many people crossed groups frequently, and we all cohabited in relative peace and happiness. I would say that is a good measure of a healthy community. People from different segments are still able to venture into “foreign” territory, and still find enjoyable and welcoming environments. The problems arise when this type of cross-over does not result in a welcome reception.

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