03.18.05
WoW Server Emulator

I'm Probably a bit late on this, but we figured it would only be a matter of time until someone put forth the effort to build a server emulator for World of Warcraft. (http://sourceforge.net/projects/wows/)

Every other MMOG has had them, why not this game? The difference is, I don't think any of them came out as quickly as this one... let alone there are multiple variations of emulators and it would appear there are even several servers already running.

I can see it now, top 100 player run shards... errr... servers! Well that's if Blizzard doesn't have anything to say. Considering their rather strong stance on protecting their product, I've already heard some rumblings about this type of activity stopping real quickly. I suppose that's why you see the majority of the player supported servers residing overseas.

Get the code while you can, it may come in handy when we learn about the new WoW leather dye bug. Oh yea, no bug talk here. (ps. There is no leather dye bug, this was a sarcastic statement).

What do you think?

- Dr.Twister

03.15.05
Movies: Troy

Was it just me or did the bad guys actually win in this movie? Ok, so maybe I'm a bit late on reviewing this one, but considering I just watched it, I thought I would share some thoughts.

In short, the movie was actually not too bad. I tend to not pay much attention to what people are saying around me, and will watch anything just for entertainment purpose. After spending a few hours at work in front of my laptop watching Troy, I ended up being rather pleasantly surprised.

What I just can't get my hands around is why they made the Greeks out to be the bad guys if we knew from the start they would defeat Troy. Throughout the movie the city of Troy was reflected as the city of love, compassion and even vaguely honor. It took the King of Troy himself to teach the meaning of dignity to Achillies (Brad Pitt) who was made out to be a ruthless warrior and killer. I knew at some point Achillies would have to fight his inner demons, but I did not expect the movie to continue out on the path of evil for the Greeks of Sparta who solely wanted to destroy and conquer another country. It basically left me with feeling the movie was missing something at the end.

This all could have been a rather simple fix. By placing more negative emphasis on Troy and a more peaceful and positive spin on the Greeks, I would have easily walked away completely appreciating this movie. The actual historical value of the battle is known. The sub-plots of love and jealously could have been swayed to the other side allowing the audience to root for the Greeks and not feel torn at the end with uncertainty of who actually gained something when it was all over.

(Edited 3:17/05 - Been getting multiple reports of problems with how I worded my synopsis above, so to clarify I'll leave it simply to the city names. The evil city of Sparta (the Greeks) beat up on the peaceful city of Troy (the Trojans). Both of these kingdoms were in Ancient Greece.

What would you do?
- Dr.Twister


03.11.05

Stupid Lawmakers

I guess it was only a matter of time before some stupid lawmaker decided to go after the Video Game stores as opposed to the Video Game makers. Now I'll be honest, I've been mixed on this topic for awhile, and maybe this is the best way to go. The topic is on video game violence and a potential new law brewing in Illinois on fining video game stores who sell violent or sexually explicit games to minors. It's time to pull out your ID ala alcohol and cigarettes, why not games?

Well one problem is the bill being considered is way too vague. It imposes the decision on what deems a video game to be violent on the stores. Forget the GTA’s and Leisure Suit Larry’s of the world, heck NFL 2005 is a violent video game.

The bill also requires stores to put a black “18” sticker on the cover of the games. I’m not sure if you have been into an EBGames lately, but a friend of mine who worked for them complained once about how he spent an entire day in a meeting debating on where to standardize sticker placement on games. They have stickers for everything and the meeting discussed how every corner would have another damn sticker. Freaking get out the brown panels and create an adult section in each store instead of putting stupid stickers all over my game box.

I mentioned earlier I’m mixed on this topic. The reality is the people who are to blame the most in buying video games are the parents. I’m sure I’ve just pissed a few of you who are parents, heck I’m a parent. The fact is I’ve seen it first hand far too many times. We have this same debate when it comes to R rated movies. Parents still purchase this stuff. They don’t know what it is, nor do half of them care. I’ve seen parents go in to a store, their kid hand them GTA: San Andreas and a parent not even give second glance to the synopsis on the back or rating specifically stating M for Mature when the kid is obviously 12. At a movie theatre I’ve seen parents bring their kids and be annoyed because they had to get out of their car to buy tickets because the box office wouldn’t sell their 13 year old tickets to “Scream” and get even more annoyed when the box office demands they must accompany the child in the theatre. Parents need to get a clue. The real solution, fine the parents $5,000. if they buy a violent video game for their children. And if my kid ever brought home a game I didn’t want them to play, I’d take a 12-gauge to their PS2, teach them the real meaning of violence and video games.

Of course, that’s only me… what do you think?
- Dr.Twister

03.10.05
Remember... Who?

Damn, it's been too long since I last posted to a site publicly. For those who remember the stuff NH posted below, congrats, you're a dying breed. For others who may be new to the site, don't expect to find bugs here. What you can come to expect is the same hard hitting ranting and raving you've grown to love on WTF. I'm sure I'll occassionally take a trip down memory lane if nothing more than to enlighten you, but for this brief intro, it's going to be less OSI Sucks and more a look at how things should be done. It's fun starting over, let's see who I can piss off this time around.

- Dr.Twister

Remember... Dr.Twister?

Back in the glory days of Ultima Online there were plenty of bugs to report. Christ almighty they were fucking everywhere. Either they were abused by the few and kept secret or they were laid out before the masses which forced the dev team to act. DrTwister started up a site that Ron and I immediately plugged from our then-separate sites for being the premier bug reporter. Turned out the guy played on the same server as us and while he had to keep a pretty low profile, we became fast friends. Hell, the guy pissed off OSI so much that they actually SUED him and his wife. I thought I was a thorn in their side when they offered to pay me hundreds of dollars and eventually gave me an in-game keep for keeping a lid on their GM Darwin scandal, but I never got the type of attention from OSI that this guy did.

Hell, to this day I still have a comic saved from back then about Twisty :

After that long backstory, I finally get to the point. Our good friend DrTwister has been given and accepted an invitation to become a WTFMan. It will be good to see what he has to say about gaming and various other shit nowadays. He currently plays WoW and is in JoV with Grey and I, so I'm sure that will come up at some point too.

Anyhow, Twist, good to have you onboard.

- Nighthawk

03.08.05
Lack of Sense in MMORPGs

I'm semi-glad to see that some things never change. At least people are consistently stupid.

So, I'm out leveling my character in WoW. I find some other guy at the place I'm going to do a quest at and we group up to share the boss mob we both have to kill. We get to the end of the area where the boss spawns and see some guy running out. Another guy in there (about 5 levels higher than us) is in there and tells us "this is my spawn so back off". After I snickered to myself I mention to him that if he groups with us we can all get credit for the kill and no one has to wait around for a second spawning. He ignores me.

I have no issue with being ignored, nor do I mind my extraordinarily sound logic going unheeded, but what I do mind is someone thinking they can ignore me at the same time expecting me to give a fuck about what they say. So lemme get this straight... I should listen to you while being ignored by you. Yeah... right.

Naturally I ignore his claim of "mine" to the spawn and drop an instant-cast spell on the monster when it spawns so our new friend has no hope of getting credit. First damage = owner, no matter what happens thereafter. Of course, we get kill rights and the guy is furiously pissed the HE is the one that will have to wait. I explained that I offered to share and was declined. More crying, my mother is this and that, etc... all left behind as I strolled off with my quest item.

Sometimes you don't even have to be looking for someone to grief. They just fall right in your lap and beg for it.

- Nighthawk

03.1.05
How I spent my weekend...

Gasoline for a road trip to a Kentucky car show, $180

A cheap motel for the weekend, $100

Money for strippers and beer while in Kentucky, $850

Making a stadium full of rednecks stare in astonishment and say "holee shit Bubba, did you see that thang take off!?" when making a 6800lb hearse get airborn? Priceless.

For some things, there's Mastercard For everything else, there's Kentucky. - Greybeard

02.23.05
Barry Bonds

I don't give a rat's ass about baseball. I played it when I was a kid, but I don't get any enjoyment out of watching the sport as an adult. Going to a game in person is one thing, but watching it on TV is mindnumbing. Anyhow, that being said I read about Barry Bond's statements from last night and I have a thought or two to share.

Apparently Barry has been using steroids to enhance his performance but "didn't know that's what they were". I for one am SHOCKED. Ok, I don't really care too much aside from the fact that he is obviously going to break both Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's home run records. If you're going to surpass people that have held longtime records but you have to cheat to do it, you deserve the * by your record.

Now, good ole Barry said during the press conference, "I don't believe steroids can help your eye-hand coordination, technically hit a baseball." No shit Barry, but I got a question for you... do you see other players have the hand-eye coordination to hit the ball? Absolutely. Hitting a baseball thrown by a professional pitcher is hard, granted. However, plenty of other players in the league do it. Now, do you see them hitting 50+ home runs a year every year? Fuck no, because they're not juiced.

That's sorta the point.

On a side note, you get a bonus post below this so don't freak out because I posted twice in one day. No charge.

- Nighthawk

Driving Tips

All of us hate other drivers. The problem is that we're all "other drivers" to other people, so basically every one of us pisses off other drivers. I've been thinking about some simple suggestions morons can use to be less annoying. Please do take these to heart :

1> Just because you put on your turn signal, doesn't mean that people have to yield to you. Find a hole and then go. Also see #2.

2> When merging, turning, etc... if you are pulling in front of someone and they have to slow down AT ALL, you should have waited. It's simple, if you want to get in front of me by all means do so... just speed up to my speed or wait for me to go by then get in my lane. The exception of course is in stopped or nearly-stopped traffic.

3> Your car will slow down if you let off the gas. Christ almighty this is a pet peeve of mine. People who slam on their brakes to slow down 2-3 mph drive me apeshit. In traffic this causes a chain reaction as far as the eye can see.

4> Ok, this one isn't for we commuters, but it still it annoys me so I'm going to mention it. Construction should never be ongoing during the day unless it's a weekend (and even then it's questionable). Well, if there is an emergency repair that needs to be done, I understand it, but other than that NEVER during the day. You construction workers should have to suck up having to work at night. That's their punishment for not having an education.

5> Pay attention. Simple shit can save you and everyone around you a lot of time. Like when turning right onto a road, if you are turning into a lane that is just starting.... FUCKING GO. It's yours so use it!

6> If you're going the same speed as the traffic to your right and there's someone coming up behind you... get over to let them pass. I like to go faster than most people, but thankfully I live in a town that has 4-8 lanes in the direction I'm heading on every highway. If you want to go the speed limit, stay the fuck out of the fast lane. There are plenty of lanes you could be in that don't impede other drivers.

*breathes*

There, now I feel better. And you got two updates in one day from me... note your calendar.

- Nighthawk

01.08.05
Joe's Drunken Ramblings

The JoV gathering is this weekend and as per usual the glass jaw of the crew in our favorite drinking game is Joe (see linked picture for example from previous gathering). Tonight our good friend Joe was in rare form. In one of his many gems during the evening he discussed his plan to revive IPY without "Asseroth". After I casually informed him that UO was indeed dead his new plan was even more frightening.

His plan was to create from the ground up a new game. This game was to be called "I r0xx0r j00" with it being a realm vs realm game. The two sides would naturally be the r0xx0rs and the j00's. The j00s would have all the money, but the r0xx0rs would have all the good weapons.... made of clay and r0x. As the r0xx0rs got to level 30 they were even allowed to use boulders ala Lugians in Asheron's Call. Apparently, the j00s were oppressing the r0xx0rs which is why they got to be so strong. Joe suggested that the Blood monarchy from Darktide would be j00s, but they would be part of an anti-semitic j00 sect.

Basically, Joe needs to lay off the Captain and Sprite. I assure you, at 3am after playing Zoom for many an hour - it was hilarious to hear such an asinine plan. Especially to hear the further development plan going on 20 minutes later.

Beta applications will probably be accepted soon. Email Joe if you're interested.

- Nighthawk

12.29.04
Something new on the horizon?

Somehow I dont think I am the only "junkie" out there that has never been able to completely recapture the original "MMORPG High" that I had during the glory days of UO. Once it went to shit, everything thereafter (EQ/AC/DaoC/AO/SB/CoH/WoW) have been little more than carbon copies of one another that offered little more than days, or at best a few months of inspired gameplay. I was recently sent this link from an old UO asshat pal o' mine (Tristan) that looks promising (umm, like we havent thought that before) I found it particularly interesting because it specefically mentions learning from some of the lessons of UO, and possibly serve to bring the "grind" of the modern day MMORPG to an end. Beta accounts still seem to be available, so I'd reccomend you give Wish a look and see what you think. Though I will admit it makes my stomach a bit queasy to envision 10,000 people all screaming "VENDOR BUY ME SOME BANK GUARDS RECDU RECSU" on my screen all at the same time... - Greybeard

12.21.04
World of Warcraft Impressions

I've been playing WoW on the Bleeding Hollow pvp server since Thanksgiving week and naturally I have formed a couple of opinions. I know... what a shock. Since I'm sure you're dying to know what they are, let's get right to it.

Things I Don't Like

I'm starting off with things I don't like for a couple of reasons, but mainly that my overall impression of the game is very positive so I don't want to end on a negative note. Also note that 100% of my dislikes are pvp related, so if that isn't your thing that you can skip to what I like.

Corpse camping. This is basically like res killing back in the UO days. When you are killed you are taken to your nearest spirit point (no idea what it's actually called) and have to run back to your corpse as a ghost to res without penalties. If you want, you can res at the spirit point with 10 minutes of reduced stats and a 25% hit to your equipment which costs you money to repair. Since people know that you don't want to take the penalty, they will camp your corpse and res kill you since you res with no buffs and minimal health/mana. Pretty gay. Then again, it does make a little bit of sense to do it to a point because of my next point.

Death Means Little. As I said above, when you die you pretty much run back to your corpse and res. Unless someone is camping it, the only thing it costs you is 1-5 minutes of running time and a minute to heal/buff back up. That's it. That may be all well and good for non-pvp kills, but when a player kills you it's my opinion that you should be warped out of the contested zone to the nearest zone owned by your empire. People would almost always res with penalties since it would save the extremely long run back and it removes them from being a threat for more than a couple of minutes.

Take this example. A lvl 40 is in a lowbie (high teens) level/quest area killing everyone without any chance of dying. Lame to begin with, right? Well, let's factor in that if some help is found and the lvl 40 is killed, he can just run right back and keep on doing it with no penalty and virtually no downtime. Having to repair 25% of his equip every time and maybe even take a flight back would probably impede such activity.

Paladins are overpowered. That pretty much says it all, but I'll expand on it a little bit. I was fighting a lvl 41 paladin last night (on my level 34) in a group fight and he was basically unkillable even if 4 of us targeted him. This naturally allowed his friends to take us down with little issue. The pally was able to go immune to damage when he was around 15-20% health and then heal back up to 75% or so by the time the immunity wore off. I was told this was a couple of different special abilities for the paladin that are on very long timers. Yanno what, I don't give a damn. Anything that makes you unkillable for an entire fight needs to be looked at.

No pvp benefit. There is no looting of any type. There are no realm points. Hell, as I mentioned above, there isn't even the satisfaction of knowing you ended the guy's time in the area for more than a minute. There needs to be some type of perk. Anything.

 Things I Like

I'll be somewhat less specific on this part since picking out individual things I like is a lot harder than the things I don't. Basically, I like everything in the game aside from what I mentioned above. The leveling is not monotonous at all and you can actually do quest after quest and level that way. The game is easy to understand as far as equipment, leveling, spells, npcs, and monsters go. The quests basically walk you through the game and show you appropriate areas for you as you progress. The game is huge and very well done, so exploring is also not out of the question.

The game has various IRC-like chat rooms that you are automatically in when you enter a zone (trade, defense, etc) and they are equally easy to leave if they become annoying. Guild member tracking and communication couldn't be easier as you can list who is in the guild entirely, who's online, sort them by level and of course talk to them through a guild-only chat channel. An amazingly handy feature is when in a group you can find any member on the map no matter where in the world they are. Brings the oh so common "so where are you" type questions to non-existence.

The pvp quality is high. Fights don't last forever, but skill is definitely involved. Granted, if someone heavily out-levels you then you probably have no hope, but by end game that won't be a factor since there is a hard level cap at 60. Each class has its advantages and it all depends on who plays their advantages and weaknesses the best.

The game does have a couple of pvp problems, but I'm hoping that Blizzard will make adjustments to that as the game moves forward. Until then, it's still a damn good game.

- Nighthawk

12.07.04
Happy Holidays

Being that we are now approaching the Christmas season, I wanted to take a moment and extend to you, my friends, a special holiday message from the heart...Fuck all you bitches. On saturday I am boarding a plane to Hawaii for 10 days so winter, snow, the shopping malls and their overloaded parking lots can all kiss my ass.

And a special thank you to Discount Hawaii Rentals who will be providing me my Ferarri F355 Spider to drive around the island with as I go from one beach to the next sipping on happy little umbrella drinks. Merry fucking Christmas! - Greybeard

11.26.04
Hilarious Video

This video I found on CJ is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen :

Skier Miscalculation

Good lord, I am still laughing. That's good stuff.

- Nighthawk

11.24.04
WoW Release

The much anticipated World of Warcraft was finally released yesterday. I don't know any MMORPG player that wasn't looking forward to this. Good looking game, casual gamer friendly, and good pvp. Something for everyone. I don't know firsthand since I only became interested in it last week so I didn't play in any of the beta phases, but I have heard endless good things about it and very little bad.

So far though, the release has been less than stellar. I've seen some rough releases but the overwhelming player response seems to have really kicked Blizzard's ass. I'm not trying to judge these guys so early, but there have been a couple of things that have bothered me so far :

  • They know how many game copies were sent out to stores, so one would think they would have expected a huge turnout.

  • Having queues to log into servers is a fucking horrible idea. It was this bad.... really. Ok, maybe not that bad (that I saw anyhow). I hope that is a spoof instead of a direct FRAPS capture. It sure felt that bad though. =P

  • Thanks to their terrible peer-to-peer patching setup, it took me almost an hour just to download a 19.4MB patch last night. About 50 minutes of that was on the last 7%.

  • Not allowing spaces or caps aside from the first letter (IE : NighthawkJoV) is annoying as hell. As if everyone wants to use a one-word character name.

It's hard for me to judge anything else since most servers are down now. As I said, a rocky start but I will try to remain positive.

Here's hoping we have a solid new game for us all to play. Would certainly make for more posting... in theory. ;)

- Nighthawk

11.21.04
IPY Gone

As you can read over at the IPY site, the server has now closed. I'm both happy and sad that it happened. I'm sad because even though I was no longer apart of the server, I had put enough into it that I wanted it to succeed even with its flaws. Then again, I'm quite happy knowing that the huge reason behind IPY closing was something that I would have been able to prevent had I still been on staff. I'll explain.

You see, they apparently had a save corruption issue. By default RunUO only keeps the most recent 3 backups. If those go the way of the dodo, then you're fucked. ANY admin worth his salt yanks a backup off of the server frequently just in case and most likely a full file backup every patch. I know I did and I'm betting Greybeard and Cript did the same before they were run off by the child. Not saying that Az was a terrible admin, but that certainly doing stuff like that doesn't qualify as doing the minimum - which means he'd never do it. Ok, so maybe I am saying he was a terrible admin. ;)

Pretty surprised about a couple of things about the way that Az is ending this. First, I'm utterly shocked that in his thank you's that he didn't mention at least WTFMan.com because without this site IPY would never have blossomed like it did. WTFMan gave it the huge influx of players to start with which in turn brought in more and more people because who doesn't want to play on a fully populated server? I can live without him thanking crucial people in IPY's history like me, Grey and Cript, but not mentioning the site is flat out insulting.

I am a little concerned about Az suggesting that he be able to keep the donation money that was leftover after he decided to give up. I can understand not wanting to deal with it anymore, but to suggest being able to keep money that was given to him for a specific and unmet purpose? Pfft. It would take 10 minutes to PayPal that money back to the donors.

Anyhow, I guess the players won't trust Az after the Rixus-wipe last year and the sudden closing of the server this year. I would definitely suggest any players who want a pre-UOR Ultima Online experience to go try out Rebirth. It's run and coded by 5 of the people who created and maintain the RunUO emulator software, so you can't ask for better coding support than that - period. One of the many things IPY was always lacking... =(

- Nighthawk

11.03.04
Trick or Treat Motherfucker

Ok, so you are bored and dont really have anything to do for Halloween. Here are some suggestions on how to bring some joy to your neighbors.

Step one, buy a hearse

Step two, install an elaborate hydraulic system that allows the car to do all sort of unnatural things such as doing bunny hops, riding on 3 wheels and dragging the bumper.

Step three, install a insanely loud sound system that can be heard from a 1/4 mile away.

Step four, hit your local novelty store and stock up on Scream masks, skulls, fake blood and other Halloween goodies.

Step 5, drive around in your hearse with a friend while each wearing Scream masks listening to Rob Zombie and AC/DC at very high volume. Be sure to silenty sneak up next to minivans full of unsuspecting soccer moms and their kids before hitting the sounds and making the car jump in the air to the tune of "Dragula" or some other appropriate music. If the mask and loud music doesnt make them shit their pants, the flying hearse will.

And in conclusion, when your neighbors across the street are trying to sell their house and their realtor is having an "open house", be sure to drop the ass end of the car emitting a shower of sparks and drive past their house repeatedly and yelling "Welcome to the neighborhood fuckers!" everytime a prospective buyer pulls into the driveway. That will teach them to let their dog shit in your yard. So how was YOUR Halloween?.- Greybeard