Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wizard 101 - Brief glimpse

As I mentioned in yesterday's post Tipa over at West Karana got me wanting to try Wizard 101. I've only got a brief chance to play it today, but that was really enough for me to break out laughing at times. I got some VERY interesting pictures that I think you'll appreciate. I would put them up now, however I'm at a friend's house and don't have access to my computer.

I'm being so very anti-social at the moment. However I wanted to give a few updates so you realize I'm still alive and breathing. I can say that so far Wizard 101 is very entertaining. I'm going to sit down and play it for a few hours once I get home and then talk about my initial thoughts upon this unique MMOG Card game. If you've ever heard of Magic: The Gathering, you'll have a small idea of the game...except it's an MMO.

Still no word with I'm tapping my foot with a small twitch upon my brow. Anyway I better split. People are glaring at me and starting to find sharp objects. As I need my organs..I'll post later tonight.

Kick gnomes.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Recession, World of Warcraft,, and Hackzor!

Have you ever woke up one day and the world seemed like it wanted to trip you and take your lunch money? Just curious, I'll not go into my days of elementary school. That never happened to me. Seriously. Why won't you believe me?!


A very interesting post made by the divine like being Tobold(He has his own cult now, dont'cha know? I'm the Unofficial High Priest) got me thinking today. With the recent financial troubles, how will this affect us as MMO players? While a number of comments generated by his post are under the flag " We are not really concerned as it's just $15 " I'm beginning to more and more disagree with them. What about the people with multiple subscriptions due to...

A. Playing more than one game

B. Paying for Spouse

C. A+B


My god the subscriptions can add up people! If you're in a situation (like my own) where you have to pay bills, pay a mortgage, car payments and such, those extra dollars can help. While I DO agree an MMO game will usually give you more bang for your buck unlike buying a brand new console game for $60. Especially in today's market where all the games are under 10 hours in game play time. (Or so it seems, I will say I just finished Metal Gear Solid 4 and it was thankfully filled with length....that sounded wrong. Still, A fantastic game..I recommend it.) So what's the solution?

F2P and Micro-Transactions.

Now before you send me hate mail, flame comments, and start to chant my name while uttering words from the Dark Speech of Mordor, hear me out. These games don't cost anything to play monthly. $15+ (Or MUCH more if your THIS guy.) can help out more than most people realize. However if you DO happen to have some extra change, you can always buy some cosmetic fluff items.(No matter how much support I throw toward MT systems, I will never be a fan of spending real cash for actual "gear".)

However this particular comment I made over at Tobold's post got me thinking..

Something to note, though it is not LEGAL per say is there is some advantages to having an account to a popular MMORPG. I'm not approving this, nor advertising for it, but I have known people in my guild who have sold their accounts when times got really rough. While you do put in*usually* more money then you'll get out, it's interesting to see how some players will use their *as an example* World of Warcraft account as a quick fix in case something occurred to throw their financial stability out of whack.

Again, not legal by any means, but an interesting aspect to the whole recession business that I just realized. How many people will sell their accounts to help get some money for more important(no such thing!)matters?

Is this an option that players currently under rough times may be considering? It was several years ago that I was offered by my parental units(IE my folks, whatnot) to get a high school class ring for the SOLE purpose of reselling it to a pawn shop later in life in case times got rough. While I declined (Blast me to the Abyss!), character accounts to popular MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft, are and probably have been used in the same manner. Would YOU sell your account if that meant the difference of getting an important bill paid or getting enough groceries to last you until you were more financially stable?

Selling accounts is highly illegal, and against so many Blizzard policies and other MMORPG developer's policies that it's not funny. Hypothetically speaking if you were in said scenario what would you do? Post a comment about your opinion in this matter as I'm curious about how people feel about what could potentially be a hot subject.

Maybe not "Hot like Lava", which is my battle cry as I TRY to cook dinner. I generally fail and you can probably guess where the use of my battle cry comes into effect. It hurts.

Some site updates - I've switched my visitor counter to SiteMeter. People using plugins with FireFox that prevents ads( I understand there are sites with ads that make the page look horrid, but mine don't..and that's how I make cash...turn em off..please ;_;...You're making Danshir cry) also messes with the site tracker, so I may be getting a ton of hits and not seeing that on my reports. I think SiteMeter doesn't have these evil problems. has still yet to respond to the rest of the interview questions involving their lawsuit toward NCSoft. I'm beginning to get restless so I'm sure those who have been eager to read it are as well. The beatings shall continue until morale improves. Hopefully I'll get a response from Thom this weekend so we can have The MMO Experience's first exclusive. The title " Video game Journalist " sounds a lot cooler than CSR.(Customer Service Representative)

Tipa over at West Karana has convinced me to try out Wizard 101. I have no earthly idea how this game is played except from what I've read about on her website. I fully intend to make an evil incarnation of Danshir or perhaps a more sinister character of mine, Ceallac Dru'Riden.(Ceallac is both the name of my Rogue on World of Warcraft, and a character I made some years ago in Dungeons&Dragons. Yes I'm a nerd, get over it. I rolled a 1 on my..anti nerd check?)

Unless answers me tomorrow, I think tomorrow's post will be me ranting about World of Warcraft addictions, some of my favorite times in "Edge of Dawn"(The only guild ever to have a host of awesome people that put up with my stupidity...thanks guys.), and other World of Warcraft related topics. I may even link some of the more popular WoW "blogs", such as BigRedKitty, SkeletonJack, and Critical QQ.

Kick a gnome.

Here is my Night Elf Fury Warrior btw. I still don't have Wrath of the Lich King. Leave me alone about it ;_;. You can't really see it, but my off-hand is Mounting Vengeance. Yes I know it's not a GREAT fury weapon. Also my helm is the Helm of the Illidari Shatterer.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gnome + Deathknight = Deathgnome?

I would love to say I had an witty anecdote that involved this post's title. That would be a lie however. I normally think of interesting things to write about while at my horribly boring day job.(Sadly, this ISN'T my day job. Maybe...some day..) However today I played slacker in that regard. I had assumed would finish sending me the rest of their answers.

So far all I've got answered was the nice introduction question that is basically " Here is some free shameless self-advertisement " that you hear about in any interview. However the more important questions such as..

Question 2. If you would explain the two patents that are both the source of the lawsuit and of most of the anger toward

Question 3. No sense in ignoring the huge elephant in the room so let's discuss your lawsuit with NCSoft. A question on a lot of gamers minds are why is starting the lawsuit now. The two patents that have been infringed upon, if I'm reading them correctly, have been for several years by different companies. Yet it wasn't until near the end of 2008 that took legal action. Why?

Question 4. Another question I'm hearing on blogs, forums, and news websites are why NCSoft? Was there something in particular that made choose that company over other companies?

Question 5. I know you may not be able to discuss it, but is planning on taking any legal action against other MMO companies such as SOE?

Question 6. A good number of people are labeling as a "patent troll". That both patents were intentionally made ONLY to file lawsuit in the future. What are you thoughts on these opinions and what would you say to the online community to try to placate their, for lack of a better word, rage?

..are left unanswered. These are just a few of the questions I gave to Thom. I would also (more than likely) have additional comments after reading his answers. I can only assume that the people over at are quite busy.

Outside of that, I've been quite busy making a little World of Warcraft comic that was inspired by something I did once during a guild raid for laughs. I'll be using in-game pics so you won't have to see my horrible artistic skills.(Tipa's Spellborn comic was somewhat an inspiration to do this. You can see that over at West Karana.)

A friend of mine who DOES have artistic skill is currently hard at work making a new header for me. He estimates it to be done sometime this weekend, so hopefully I can show that off soon and end the ugly header we currently use. I have no idea who made that..but they should be shot. (Coughs)

Simple n Complex , the blog owned by OpenEdge1, gives some further proof of my prophecy that Micro-Transactions will invade the West. (You can read my post about it here.)

So a slow blog day I must say. I could list a ton of reasons of why I'm not writing an article or reviewing a game, but frankly there is only one that would ever make sense. I love writing about MMOs, however

I'm playing them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Gnomish Revolution

First to explain where there is no transcript between myself and Yesterday Thom Kidrin and myself discussed several issues back and forth with emails. Due to some complications I had to send most of my questions to him where I had hoped he would have responded to by now. Since I haven't heard back from them, the posting of the interview sadly has to wait.

But not all is a lost! The second battle on the polls begins as does a brief little story of how the Gnomes saved Christma...I mean...defeated the Drunken Wizard. Enjoy. Or don't.

" Thiiiiiirsha manugk phah! "

Seabos growled. Once more his gaoler had been twisting together his favorite obsessions. Torturing his people and imbibing his favorite liquor. Quickly slipping into the shadows amidst the menagerie of exotic artifacts, ghastly jars filled with the gods know what, and other objects of the arcane as he left the upper levels of his master's tower.

It had been this way for years, to the point where he could barely recall the concept of freedom. Was it 10 years? Or 20? He couldn't remember. Days seemed to melt together into a lump of misery and pain. Yet today shifted away from that glob.

Today was special.


" Whhhhyy ishh you already dead, nome? " the Wizard slurred, spittle spraying out from between his lips. He gestured, wand in one hand the bottle in the other, toward the poor gnome. What was left of the poor creature at least. The only evidence of it's existence being a fine powder of ash that was quickly being blown out of the window.

The Wizard chuckled as he ran his fingertips through the pile of ash, writing arcane symbols with a long delicate digit. He only needed a few more phrases in the arcane tongue and one command word. Then another one of his slaves would serve him in an existence after death.

He took one more swig, finishing the brandy. Tossing the now useless glass to the floor, he began the final incantations to the spell as the glass shattered.


The glass shattered as gnome after gnome swung from the top of tower to emerge screaming with blood lust and rage, 3 feet of pure terror as they crashed through the stained glass windows in the Wizard's laboratory.

" Whhhhhat ish thissh?! " The Wizard cried, horror struck as he fell backwards. With a loud whoosh all the air left his lungs as he landed upon the hard stone floor. His gasps quickly turned to horror as he saw gnome after gnome run into the room. Each held a strange box that made a most curious ticking noise.

One of the gnomes came up to the Wizard and placed his tiny foot hard upon the human's chest.

Seabos Daergel could only glare down at the human in silence. The rage that built within his heart had no words. There was only one way his people could feel at peace, only one way they could mourn. With a swift kick to the face the Wizard slumped into blissful slumber.


Minutes later..

The Wizard groaned. He had a most fascinating dream where his charges had risen against his might. As his cheek rested against the cold stone floor, he contemplating how he might torture a few extra today. Yet his thoughts couldn't focus. There was such a cacophony of tickin...

The tower of the Wizard exploded into a huge pillar of prismatic colors that reached high into the skies. Like ghosts violently tearing away from the earth in exultation of their freedom. The shock wave from the blast shook the caravan of gnomes as they headed back toward their ancestral homes.

Seabos smiled.

The End. Gnomes Win.


That's it for the first match. A bit more serious then I had intended. I promise the next match the army of gnomes are in will be more silly than anything. Forgive me also for the horrible parody of an actual fantasy novel-ish. The next poll is up so go ahead and vote!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Interview with is Official

Some of you may not have noticed in my update to a previous post. has accepted the invitation to be interviewed by The MMO Experience. I'll be honest and say I was a little shocked they accepted. So during most of the day Thom Kidrin at and myself have been discussion several issues. While the interview isn't finished,(Thus why you're not reading it) it should be up tomorrow.

However I did ask if I could post his initial email to me stating that he wouldn't mind sitting down and chatting. I'll try to get the full transcript of our interview up on this website and as soon as possible. So here is the email, hopefully it will appease your appetites. Also this is our 100th post! Huzzah!


Thank you for your considerate offer.

Due to the ongoing legal situation and under advisement of our lawyers I must limit my comments on this matter but am open to have a discussion with you..

I will say that there is clearly a rush to judgment and a lynch mob mindset on the blogs without any substantive analysis. Most of the comments I have received are uninformed, inaccurate and childlike in their simplicity and vulgarity.

A patent abstract is a general overview not the very specific claims granted, most postings and emails I have reviewed mischaracterize and generalize the abstract as the patent drawing the incorrect conclusion that the patent is a general catch all for virtual worlds and was applied for and granted in 2007.

The simple facts are that Worlds filed for a provisional patent on November 13, 1995 and a full submission was made on November 12, 1996.

Patent 6219045 was issued on April 17, 2001. This is a continuance patent which allows for further claims to be filed as refinements to the parent patent.

US patent office link:,219,045.PN.&OS=PN/6,219,045&RS=PN/6,219,045

Our continuance patent claims were filed on August 3, 2000 resulting in the issuance of Patent 7,181,690 on Feb 20, 2007. The cover of the patent clearly states the continuance status and relationship to Parent patent 6,219,045.

US Patent Office link:,181,690.PN.&OS=PN/7,181,690&RS=PN/7,181,690

Below are a few online posts that have a reasonable perspective on this matter:

Posted by: Tommyd | December 30, 2008 at 09:20 AM

Their claim is not a patent on MMORPGs but on a method for scaling them to handle the massive number of people using them. Let's face it, some of the early MUDs on Telnet and Compuserve were not handling nearly the kind of traffic or complexity of interaction successful modern day virtual worlds do.

If they came up with a novel way to handle that scaling, it might be worthy of a patent. Don't dismiss every patent just because it sounds silly after the news media has dumbed it down into a sound bite.

That said, I haven't read the patent or complaint. It could be completely stupid, but I'm not going to judge just based on a story.

Posted by: Hamilton | December 30, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Research revels that this company,, has been around for a long time (<95) and were one of the founders of multi-user graphic online domains. I couldn't find much in the way of financials but I would imagine based on my experience working in start up companies that maybe 10s of millions have been invested to develop this particular flavor of a virtual online player/browser.

If one accepts these facts, it seems a bit more valid that several (or many) of the multi-million dollar corporations profiting from client-server architecture patented more than a decade previously should be accountable. After all, Its not the case that many of these companies (ie Blizzard, Sony, Mythic) are giving their software away either.

The intricacies of the patent will be argued by very brilliant legal minds at a later date (if it goes to trial). From what I've heard from lawyers over the years regarding patent law it is one of the most complex and challenging divisions of law. IMHO, this particular case doesn't seem to be the proverbial "Patent Troll" as the company has been around forever.

Posted by: Hamilton | December 30, 2008 at 04:27 PM

With all due respect, citing prior art is not sufficient to dispute the nuances of a software patent of this type. In fact, my observations were mainly directed towards the apparent emotional uproar this thread contains as opposed to any debate over the legalese which would quickly reveal my ignorance in such matters.

I am certainly not an evangelist for corporate power brokers but my interpretation (after digging around a bit) yielded a rather polar conclusion to some of the more 'flamey' posts in that:
1. Worlds seems to be a pioneer in the industry.
2. They have been in this for the long haul.
3. They are a small company seeking their due from the titans in the industry.

Thats all...

I trust this covers a portion of what you are interested in my clarifying.

Let me know what time and date you would like to schedule a call and I will get back to you to confirm.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Earthrise - Beta Sign-ups Begin

Thanks to for giving out some good news so early into the year. The MMORPG Earthrise has started to take beta invites. You may recall I've mentioned this sci-fi game before.(If you don't recall, you can read the story here.) Before you go rushing like madmen to sign up, go read up on Earthrise's forums for a little bit of Q&A(A link to their forums here. You're welcome hehe.)

This should be of interest to some blogger I know.(I'm looking at you Edge.) I can't vouch for the rest of you, but a decently looking sci-fi MMORPG would be refreshing after the swarm of fantasy games. At least it should tide me over until Star Wars:The Old Republic.

I hope.

EarthRise Beta Sign-up Page.

Playing World of Warcraft For Free

I mentioned the other day a private server that I play on, WoWScape. I talked about briefly on how it is somewhat like a Micro-Transaction model.(Though a bit to the extreme in terms of regular gear and gear you can buy, to read the full post go here.) Other then that though I realized today that most gamers are pretty much in the dark about what a private server is. So today I'll go into it and make a few generic updates to other subjects at the end.

Private servers are where another organization will host the game instead of a public server. The servers you play on all the time in World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Warhammer, and other games are public servers. You pay a fee, they keep the servers running nicely and give you customer support, and so on. Since you're here at The MMO Experience I doubt I have to go into details about what these games provide.

Private servers are a bit different. While they keep their servers running, give customer support, and fix glitches (Though on a much smaller scale due to a smaller staff) there are a few difference. WoWScape for example you are not required to pay a monthly subscription fee. They fund themselves for server upkeep by donations from the community.(Which, depending on what server they are playing on, receives some items). Another key difference is, again using WoWScape, the different server options. WoWScape offers 4 different servers, catering to different needs. One for example offers a huge increase in experience gain(I can't understate this, A HUGE INCREASE) and making monsters drop nearly every item on their loot table. There is also a server that is "Blizz-like" meaning it tries to match Blizzard's official servers exactly in terms of experience and loot.

While Private servers seem like the real deal, there are a few things to note that will push you back to the public servers. Not all private servers are up to date with expansions/patches. Some don't have Wrath of the Lich King enabled or other instances. Others have a few(or a lot) of abilities that either don't work or partially work.(IE: Whirlwind only hitting with one weapon instead of two) However for someone wanting to simply goof off, try a class out here before trying it on the public servers to make sure they like it end-game, or to try out raids that you would not be able to on public servers then a private server is a blast. If you decide to give one a try, you can occasionally find me in WoWScape being goofy. Until then!

As I mentioned, there are a few site updates I need to make known. If you are having weird "glitches" in terms of the post background being black instead of blue, or the link buttons not having the neat little them no mind. I suspect it's from my purchase of my own domain.(Isn't more spiffy?) It should go away shortly.

Also, time is almost over to vote between The Army of Gnomes and the Drunken Wizard! Vote now so you can pick your favorite. Afterwards I'll post a small fictional story of the great conflict. The next round is between a Peg-legged Fury Warrior and a Lagging Enchanter.(I'm's OK.)

Finally I have given up hope on answering my interview challenge.(You can read about it here.) So in my efforts to get some type of interview going I've emailed one of the admins over at WoWScape to talk about their server and private servers. Just something to chat about. Hopefully I'll get a yes from them.

The End.

Update - has answered my email. I'm currently talking with them about the details of the interview. However, obviously, some information will be limited due to that thing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NCSoft Responds To Lawsuit

After announcing lawsuit toward NCSoft a few days ago, I've been quite eager to find a response from NCSoft. I was thankfully answered by KoreaTimes. According to an NCSoft spokesman they have yet to receive the lawsuit papers nor have they analyzed the patent. They also spoke about how used the ideal place(East Texas) for the lawsuit.

NCSoft is concerned about the location and the juries being biased toward American plaintiffs. However I do like how in the KoreaTimes article the quote..

A Seoul-based patent lawyer said is apparently a ``patent troll,'' or an opportunistic company that enforces its patents on those who infringe aggressively despite lacking the intention to manufacture and market the product.

`` is likely to be more interested in getting paid in a huge settlement than shutting down NCsoft's games,'' he said.
I'll end with a nice quote found on VirtualWorldNews when speaking to an NCSoft rep...

"We can't comment on potential litigation except to say that NCsoft takes all legal action seriously -- even if the company believes a lawsuit has no merit," a representative told me via email. "We intend to defend ourselves vigorously."

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