In December 2017, Blizzard released details of their Game Wide Level Scaling and I was able to play it in the Public Test Realm [PTR]. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t articulate just why, but it seemed to be a betrayal of the nature of the game for me.
Now I understand better why I felt that way after watching a talk from the recent Game Developer Conference on Youtube. Here is that talk:
In this classic 2012 GDC talk, Naughty Dog’s Kaitlyn Burnell explore games that break autonomy, competence and relatedness in powerful ways to inspire developers to think outside the box.
This talk covers the importance of game players feeling Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness as they play the game and how the game design in these areas greatly effects the engagement that the players have with the game.
A company called GameForge is the publisher of Tera in Europe. Oddly, they are going through a server merge too. I guess the the Tera population is collapsing worldwide. And they are screwing their users too. Apparently even worse than Enmasse here in NA.
Notice how they talk about character slots. Empty slots on the least populated- by your characters / slots – servers are just tossed out. So, apparently if you have server toons / slots as follows:
5 characters and Open 3 slots on Bahaar, 6 characters and Open 2 slots on Mystel, then you LOSE 3 characters and 3 Open slots.
And Unlike Enmasse, Gameforge did not give you a gift of 8 free slots to make up for some of your loss. Not sure where Enmasse came up with 8, maybe that’s the total number of GIFT slots that have been given over the years as new classes were introduced.
Like I said in the previous post, Tera has figured out a way, in laziness to just mess over almost every player. And it’s even worse and more unnecessary than is first apparent. This Server Merge is a big mess and it’s self inflicted.
Let’s look at what happens to characters. And then we’ll look at the implications for bank storage.
I thought it might be nice to start with some nostalgia from way back in 2014. Remember those server selection and character selection screens? Those were the days. Right? Remember the Island of Dawn? The Old start up area? Sigh.
Enmasse, agent in US and Europe for Tera, among other games, has figured out a new way to Screw their player base. This time it’s a “Server Merge”. Before we get into that, let’s remember the two ways that Enmasse has screwed it’s player base before:
- In September of 2016, Enmasse changed the rules for guilds. You had to maintain a certain status of guild accomplishments over time to be allowed to have a Guild Bank. Obviously a Guild Bank is useful to allow players to share loot among different accounts, on the same server.
- Some time, before this as I recall, they changed the number of accounts that could log in from the same IP address, in 24 hours, from 10 to 6. This allows you to have only SIX family members playing the game, or only Six friends over at a time for a TERA Lan Party night or whatever, but maybe those are corner cases. So for some reason, they were trying to limit the number of these “Alternative Accounts” as they call them. Correction: Testing indicates a max of 5 Alternate Accounts accessed in 24 hours, not 6.
Ok. So as you’ll read below, maybe this server merge is not a complete Screw Job, but it’s not as nice as it could be and it’s work for all the players that are still playing the game.
So, as you know if you watch things here, I’m a big MMO fan, and recently it’s Final Fantasy XIV. I just remembered that I had purchased a BluRay a while ago of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and wondered if I could play that. Not an MMO, but just a single player RPG. So I looked it up.
I tried to install the demo. Figured I’d check it out. I had three choices to get it:
- Microsoft Store
- Origins [whatever that is, but the site looks like a steam wanabee.]
First I tried the Microsoft Store. – FAIL. I tried to sign in with my Microsoft account to do that, but I got dumped to a page that said it failed. No real help there.
Try steam. No problem, at first. Program downloaded and installed. Then hung after a few clicks to set it up.
Just hung there forever like it was trying to reach some website. Although why would it by saving stuff online? It’s a single player RPG.
While upgrading the KVM switch to Displayport, there were some problems with cables. After sending a cable back that didn’t work, the replacement finally arrived. The new cable didn’t seat properly into the GTX 1050 Card in the Cooler Master NS200 case either.
After looking at a cable that worked – 6 ft- and then at the cable needed – 10 ft – the issue was discovered. The case has a bump next to the card interface that interferes with one of the cables and not the other. The 6 ft cable is slightly flatter where the bump is and so clears it to seat properly into the graphics card.
The top left pictures shows the CM NS200 case detail next to the graphics card. The Mini-ITX card does not allow another position for the graphics card. The top left picture shows a Displayport connector that works. The bottom left shows the before and after – the two ends – of the cable that does not work. The right connector has been shaved with an Exacto knife to allow it to fit past the bump and seat properly. The bottom right picture shows a detail of the modification of the cable.
Looks like not every one agrees on the clearance required for displayport cables. So beware if you rig doesn’t work as expected.
Ever the experimenter, I recently got a Samsung 40″ Class MU6300 4K UHD TV. As you can see from the price, I didn’t choose MSRP. I was just checking what prices were doing on UHD TVs and came across a deal on a refurbished model at almost 50% off.
The first one arrived broken. But I didn’t despair . After calling Walmart customer service, they agreed to ship me another and emailed a return label for the broken one.
Apparently, the first one had been dropped before it was packed since it was in some serious bubble wrap and there was no mark on the box. Oh well. The pictures above were taken when it was plugged in and the damage was not evident when the TV was not plugged in.
Engadget with Ghostery
I use an Ad Blocker – Ghostery – in FireFox. There are several reasons for this:
- To keep down the tracking. I know that ad-blocking doesn’t really stop tracking. Of course I disable 3rd Party cookies and enable “Tracking Protection”. But I don’t expect that this really stops tracking since there are so many ways around Ad Blockers and Tracking Protection.
- To help prevent Malware infections. There have been many cases of malicious advertisers leaking their malware through ads into systems. Advertisers, including even Google, have been the source of malware attacks since they do not sufficiently vet their advertisers.
- To increase the performance of page loading, since all that Ad Ware and Tracking nonsense is often many times the size of the page itself.
Most of my web experience with Ghostery Enabled is just fine. I can purchase items online on Amazon, Newegg and many other sites. I can read most news sites just fine. Slashdot and many other sites show ads in a way that Ghostery does not block, but that is not intrusive or objectionable.
When installing Linux Mint 19, which is recently been released, into a VirtualBox Virtual Machine, the video went to snow, as shown below. I asked about this problem in the forums and didn’t get an answer so I posted a bug to the bug database on GitHub.
I was flying around the Dravinian Hinterlands completing my exploration of the map and came on a view of Idyllshire. It occurred to me that Gravity is not so much a Law in Eorzea as just sort of a Suggestion, really. The other picture is of the Floating City of Nym.