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Building The Secret World: An interview with Ragnar Tornquist {Massively}

Feb 15th 2010 7:08AM I admit that this game has potential - however, after the clusterfuzz that was Conan, a good portion of the potential subscriber base is going to be extremely cautious before ever touching a Funcom game.

Here's my list of pros / cons for the game. Take it with a shaker of salt.

Pros
-----------------------------
- Non fantasy game
- No classes / levels
- PVP and PVE featured
- "Next Gen Graphics"
- Ragnar has an awesome name and seems to have a good idea what to do

Cons
----------------------------
- It's made by Funcom, which means:
-- "Next Gen Graphics" could mean "time to upgrade your PC in order to play me"
-- Promised 'features' possibly not in the game at launch
-- Skill / talent balance will most likely be nonsensical
-- More money will be spent marketing the game than improving or maintaining it
-- Possible console / 360 port
Lastly, depending on when the Star Wars MMO is out, Secret World will most likely be 'rushed' to go live 4-6 months before.

Yes, Funcom deserves our skepticism. ;)

The Fringe: The Dos and Don'ts of Facebook games {Massively}

Feb 15th 2010 6:52AM Fringe, baby, fringe.

I think you tottered on the edge and then fell off.

The madness must stop.

CrimeCraft trailer gives a brief glimpse into the urban crime MMO {Massively}

Mar 25th 2009 11:55AM This MMO title is a crime(craft) against humanity.

Seriously, worst game name ever. :)

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 19th 2009 3:47AM We had a lengthy discussion on this on my blog. I've never said "it's not cheating".

To sum it up, I consider botting in WoW like cheating in a single player game. You know, ones that auto-level you or give you X amount of gold.

I don't consider botting like "AIMbot" in FPS. Botting does not allow you to play better than a person - it just allows you to automate or bypass a good portion of the boring, repetitive tasks in the game.

Anyway, it's all subjective.

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 18th 2009 6:36AM I enjoy a good debate as well. ;)

Your example of going into an area to kill something is a good one. However, let me explain how a bot works - more specifically, my bot.

Bot is grinding azure whelps in Wintergrasp from 9AM to 5Pm.

SarahtheGnome gets in range of the bot. The bot detects Sarah and adds her to a temporary list - called a "Friend" - but it's more like a list of who's in the area. If you leave, you get removed.

If you are in the vicinity of the Bot for X amount of time, the Bot will invoke a certain task. In the old days it used to be "Bot would stop and go AFK eventually and log out". In my setup, I had the bot go and vendor stuff, mail stuff, etc. Took about 10 minutes depending the location. It would then head back to the previous "grind spot". If SarahtheGnome was there still, it would either go to another spot (using group task files - basically going to an alternate "grind spot") or it would sit down and go afk. Once you left for more than X amount of time, it would resume.

Most botters work like this. They don't want people around them, because people = chance of reporting = chance of ban. They're made to be unobtrusive. They aren't there to try and pretend to be a player, they are there to be out of the way, running in a big circle where hopefully no one goes. If people are there, you get less kills / xp / loot per hour, and it therefor becomes inefficient. So, while the botters personal goals are the reason for it, the side affect is that botters stay off the grid.

Question for you (or anyone):

Remember Caverns of Time? Black Morass. Portals, dragons, swamps, whatever. This is an interesting instance for botters. Remember all of the animals / creatures you had to clear before getting to the elites? Those animals have loot and are skinnable. It was common for some botters - who wanted to lowest risk botting ever - to bot there. Enter instance, kill 100 animals, go out, reset instance, rinse - repeat.

How do you feel about them? They have their own private instance. No possible way someone could see them botting there - they're all alone. So, while I won't argue that the money / leather they get there is "tainted" - would they be ok? Are their actions acceptable from your point of view? How big is their "ripple" in the great sea of things?

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 18th 2009 6:03AM I counter your Wall-of-Text with yet another!

You bring up morality (and hell, not sure what that's about - WWJD? I think he'd bot up a Paladin, honestly) -- and imply that I need to justify what I do because I know it's wrong. I disagree. While my "Confession" might seem like a justification - that wasn't the point. The point was really to tell why I did it so other people would perhaps get another point of view. People have a lot of prejudices against botting, many based on ignorance. I had hoped to at least broaden their views if nothing else.

I can't see botting as inherently bad or evil because we're talking about a video game - a MMO. It's all about entertainment, right? Yet, this very MMO we so vehemently defend has characteristics that I would deem more bad and evil than botting, by far. World of Warcraft is addicting. It caters to a large audience and is supposed to be pure entertainment, yet it has addictive properties that a lot of people can't overcome. We've all read about how it can destroy lives - ok, these are the extreme cases - but it's still a fact. I see botting as a counter to this. Read the comments on my site or take a gander at the MMO Glider forums. Read the success stories. It takes people out of the game, and that, to me, is a good thing.

I don't want this to be a rant about the evil WoW or how MMO's are addicting - but I really believe that they are. WoW is just the tip of the spear due to it's large audience. That doesn't mean WoW can't be fun - but everything in moderation.

I guess I just always saw Glider and botting as the "nicotine patch" for MMO addiction. It can really do wonders, especially for people that are obsessed with leveling alts or "completing" every aspect of their characters. It can become a full time job - playing a game. Sure, we can argue that priorities need to be established and "lol quit the game naab" - but most people understand that it's hard to do sometime.

I admit to being a bit selfish. I prioritized my personal life above all and used Glider to achieve (often) unnecessary things in WoW. For that - I'm a cheater. I'm ok with that, though. I'm happy with my kids remembering their youth with a father who wasn't in front of the computer all of the time. My weakness (which was playing WoW) was less visible because of this. For that, I'm eternally grateful.

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 18th 2009 5:49AM I understand your point of view completely. I can see how generic "botting" can take away from the game - really, I understand that. I'm not trying to shirk that responsibility. I said I never felt ashamed - and I still don't - but I understand that by botting, I was perhaps affecting the game negatively to other players. It is still a video game, though - and we have to use reason to determine if the affect on other players is really that bad. In my experiences - it was not.

As I argued on my site, though - do botters bring anything back into the world? Are they a necessary evil in the normal WoW economy? I'm not even talking about gold buying or anything like that - just normal server AH mechanics. As many people have said, certain items on the AH would skyrocket in price if it wasn't for botters. Leather, cloth, enchanting reagents - all of these are the bread and butter for making money as a botter. Take the botters away and you'd drastically affect the market environment (would vary per server, of course) - it could even double or triple the price of these for normal people.

A stack of Heavy Borean selling for 400 instead of 200 is double the price. That means you, the buyer, need 200 more gold to buy something just because there are no botters. That's roughly 15-20 daily quests, which is roughly 2 or 3 hours.

Anyway, this isn't an exclusive study. Maybe my numbers are wrong. Maybe botters are driving up some prices (though I don't see how - they deal in sheer time and not min/maxing on the AH).

I've tried to minimize my impact on the servers I've botted on. I try to be a nice botter that - as I said - yields to real people. While that doesn't make it right - it's still a video game. I chose to play the way I did with as little impact on people as I could. That might make me a cheater or a "bad guy" in some peoples eyes - but it's a manageable risk. You can't please everyone.

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 18th 2009 5:24AM Perhaps I didn't express that view enough or very concisely, but I think I understand it from other people.

The thing about botting is that, by its very nature, it needs to be unobtrusive. Sure, you can bot and glide in a high traffic, great area to farm - but you'll get reported. It's like playing with fire.

Botting is mainly used (and works at its best) when it does stuff people don't want to. It goes to places people don't want to go. When's the last time the average player has been to Azshara? 2 reasons: seasonal events and "The Explorer" title. Same for most of TBC. Now that Wrath is out, botters have to be especially careful about botting in Northrend. There are already "desert" areas in Northrend like Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord that people just don't go.

I agree that not everyone is/was a "nice botter" like me. Sure, you have people that are very inconsiderate. I understand that botters in general might not be the most selfless or caring people in the world - but does that make botting itself inherently evil or bad? I'd argue no. Sure, it's against "the rules" - but that's not the core of the problem.

The core of the problem is the game isn't fun all of the time. That's a bit hard to do in a game like WoW - but I've always believed that I should spend my time doing what I want in the game and not spending the majority of it doing tedious tasks in order to compete at the "fun" parts. It does come down to laziness at a point. I can't deny that. Given the choice of grinding 1000 of the same creature by hand, or letting a bot do it - well, I choose the latter. It's more of a practicality than pure laziness.

WoW botter tells all part 2 {WoW}

Feb 18th 2009 5:11AM Just wanted to chime in and say that people that are bringing my morals and ethics into this, especially with regards to my family - that's uncalled for.

It's sadly humorous that we have people in here calling someone a douchebag and telling him his kids are going to be fucked up - I mean really, what point of your life did you determine it was ok to do that? I know normal person + internet = asshole and all - but really? You're criticizing me on my moral compass by cheating in a video game meanwhile you condemn my morality and fatherhood by making ignorant statements?

Uncouth. Grow up.

For the majority of other commenters (pro and anti-bot the same) - thanks for your words. I like that we can agree to disagree on a subject and not get violent about it. I've never said botting wasn't cheating, and I can understand a harsh approach to botting in general - hell, I was that way once as well. It's a difficult subject for some people.

Anyway, thanks again.