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.
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.
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.
I called Dyson recently to get some attachments for my Ancient DC 44 portable vacuum, and they offered me a special price on a Dyson V7. Now I get why. And I’m not unhappy, but also not surprised. The latest model is V10, so they want to dump those old V7’s they still have in the warehouse, apparently. My DC 44 is old enough that someday I’ll need a new battery and those are expensive, so I was hedging my bets by taking the V7 deal.
The V7 has some new attachments and a more convenient latch for them. Instead of having to use two hands, you can remove the attachments with one hand. How cool, and how obvious.
I got the V7 “Motorhead” which came with a wide floor motorized brush, straight extension, combo brush and crevice tool. In addition, a few days later a package arrived with the “Up Top” bending tool, the angle brush and the extension hose, probably due to having done automatic registration or something.
Anyway, the V7 is very cool. Easier to empty, with even more cyclone thingies and more powerful suction.
I have allergies, and Dyson’s allow me to clean the house without sneezing since nothing gets by those cyclones. I have an old pre-ball model for the floors and portables for dusting. No rags for me to dust. If you have allergies, you might like to try a Dyson.
If you had a choice in a Fantasy Life, would you choose to be Ugly?
Would you choose to grow old and die of old age? In a few years?
Well, if that’s your dream, you may soon will be able to do that.
Today I tripped across a character creation video posted by the developers of this game on Youtube. See below. I think they missed the memo that says that “This is a fantasy world where you can be the way you want to be, rather than putting up with Real-Life.”
Maybe this idea will get traction, but no other popular MMO that I’m aware of makes this choice. All other MMOs that I’ve played have made it easy to be attractive. Yes, there is usually a race or two that are, shall we say, Dramatic in their appearance, But they are usually not designed to be ugly. Apparently all the tribes of Elyria are designed to be, what I’ll call here, Dramatic, and all look similarly so. That is, all the Races, or Tribes, look like variations on a single or two similar looks. For me this is a turn off. An interesting take, but still a turn off. Here are some choices that they showcased in the character creation video. I don’t mind a dramatic choice, but there don’t look like there are any “Attractive” or “Fantasy” choices.
I’m not into “Body Shaming” or criticizing folks looks. Personally, I’m not that handsome. But I don’t seek out ways to identify myself with an Avatar that looks worse than I do. At least not all the time.
I admit that there is novelty here. But I’m not clear that this is going to be popular, especially since these are the Only Choices in the game. Looks like a turn off and bad choice for the game. This is a screenshot of the Concept Art from the website. Is this the fantasy life you would choose?
Mobile Phone as a Utility? To Every home? Too Expensive you say? Really? While we pay an average of $71 / month in 2012.
In one survey, 46% of Americans with mobile phones said their monthly bill was $100 or more, and 13% said their monthly bill topped $200 per month. The average individual’s cell phone bill was $71 per month last year, a 31% increase since 2009, according to J.D. Power & Associates.Oct 18, 2012
So don’t we think that is enough income to allow mobile phone providers to provide coverage at every home and business?
In this age of Mobile Phones, or Smart Phones, and the Internet and Cord Cutters, we are tempted to think of Mobile Phones as a Utility. But they are not, primarily because they are not regulated to be so. Shouldn’t this service be a Utility?
These are crowd-sourced coverage maps for AT&T 4G from Sensorly. Does this look like a utility to you? To me, this looks like the Provider has decided that coverage is important on main roads, and not in residences or minor roads. So don’t get stuck or have an Emergency on anything except a major road. Don’t use your mobile phone from home, use it from your business.
What if the electrical grid or land line phone service was done this way? What does this say about folks – an increasing majority of us – who only have a cell phone and no land line?