Daily Blogroll 2/15 — Death of Sleep edition

Busybusybusy mandatory overtime, working at home each night, crunch time blahblahblah but you know what, I have a good job and I like what I do. It cuts into the game playing and into the game writing, though.

But I couldn’t pass up today’s excitement! EverQuest today opens its new progression server, Fippy Darkpaw, and Trion sends their MMO, Rift, into Open Beta! I haven’t been playing in any of the recent Rift betas and I have been studiously ignoring any news about the game to preserve at least a little of the sense of wonder of experiencing a new game fresh.

But, you know, well… I’ve been playing EQ2 lately, spending the Fortune League prizes, and the general chat was all about the Rift.

So, after the fold — news about these stories and many others.

Ultima Online-ville

Richard Garriott is back from decompression with news about what his company, Portalarium, has been producing in a lake house he wasn’t really using for much. After the epic smash success of his poker and blackjack games, Portalarium has developed the infrastructure to build something a little closer to our hearts. Garriott gives us a hint in an interview in GameIndustry.biz:

As soon as we have a game where you can have an avatar with a house and a room to display the cool things you’ve collected we can ship it. And then tomorrow you can fight monsters, and a month after than you can have some weapons and armour, and a month after that you can build swords… That will still allow us to come out with a full in-depth Lord British experience, but begin the journey as light as makes a confident, interactive game.

Social game… housing to display cool things… fighting monsters… weapons and armor… OMG, he’s inventing Maple Story! I really hate to be the wet blanket around here, but making browser-based social spaces with custom avatars, housing and so on has been a staple of web gaming since Neopets and Habbo Hotel. Not to mention the several fully featured MMOs already on Facebook.

Just sounds to me like this is a boat that has already sailed, but I wish him well. I do love me some isometric pixellated ganking.

EverQuest’s Fippy Darkpaw server

The server named after one of EverQuest’s most enduring folk heroes, Fippy Darkpaw, opens today. And like every great folk hero, there’s a song about him, courtesy of Jethal Silverwing of Kithicor.org. I kinda wondered where the lyric about moss snakes that kick was…

With Rift coming up, I can’t really devote a lot of time to leveling up a new character in EverQuest, but I’m sure I’ll stop by, if only to check out the people in their full rubicite. If the server is anything like Fippy, everything will work fine for half an hour, then the server will start to whine and crash into a wall.

Or maybe not. Arkenor of Ark’s Ark has the full details on what to expect when you play on the newest server. I was disappointed to read that the new uglified zones will remain in place.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

The story rebounded off Twitter yesterday about Bioware sending scary letters to SWTOR fansite owners warning them that Bioware could not make them an “official” fan site if they ran ads or in any other way made money from the site.

Now, apparently the fan sites that applied for official status had agreed not to make money from their sites up front, but you know, none of these fansite operators are getting rich off the deal. David at SWTOR fansite TOROZ was kinda upset about losing his official fansite status, but did manage to get in touch with someone at Bioware who explained the situation.

Personally, I feel if someone wants to monetize their fansite, they should go right ahead and make as much money as they can. Unless they signed a binding legal contract not to do so with Bioware.

World of Warcraft

Tobold once felt that WoW raiding had become little more than Simon Says adventures with some brainless button mashing. Cataclysm brought back the strategy and tactics behind knowing which buttons to press when, but kept the Simon Says mechanic, so now you have to watch what you’re doing and also know where to stand and when.

It astonishes me just how far raiding has come from its roots. It started out as a storybook kind of adventure. Now it’s… well, I guess it’s like Dragon’s Lair. In fact it’s EXACTLY like Dragon’s Lair.

It isn’t just WoW. All the games are like that now. Step here, step there, press that, cast this, learn your part, play your role, you are a cog in a machine and there are no heroes any more.


I find it hard to believe the designers of Perpetuum were not EVE Online players. Just look at this latest controversy surrounding the robot world game — insurance fraud. Making robots and then blowing them up for the insurance money. This is ILLEGAL in perpetuum? I think they teach insurance fraud in the EVE Online tutorial now.

Video Killed the Radio Star

Gordon at We Fly Spitfires wonders if today’s MMO mega hits like World of Warcraft killed off single player games. Meh, I think the Internet killed off single player games, if you can even consider them killed off. Or single player. Sure, Dragon Age: Origins was a single player RPG, but I played it with friends on Twitter just the same.

The idea that someone would play a game, any game, and not want to share it with friends seems so foreign now.

Well, there were a zillion other things happening since last I wrote a blogroll, and that’s a mixed blessing since that makes them take so long to write! I’m going to end this one here. If I can manage to bring them in under an hour, I can do them… I think.

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Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.