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All Posts by LumTheMad

All Posts by LumTheMad

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29 posts found
Originally posted by Vestas

Um, just to correct Mr. Jennings, it was not a server programmer that discovered that bug. It was a player of DAOC, a class lead in particular, who argued strongly for weeks with math proofs that there was a bug/problem with "Left Axe". 

I am fairly certain the server programmer in question discovered the bug independently. 

I have also never been shy about admitting that theorycrafting players generally know more about game mechanics then the people who wrote the actual code, and when on DAOC would often rely on those players (including the one you refer to, if he's who I'm thinking of) to sanity check conclusions drawn from examining code.

Originally posted by gotha

You should link you blog entry about how to make PvP in a game work.

I tried! Unfortunately my word processor choked on the links at the last moment and I missed that one.

Originally posted by Zerackus

I would love to address these comments. Shadow Bane as a PVP game was a complete success. Yes, it was a horrible launch with bugs, lag and really just a beta, but as a PvP game it did "Crush". there has been nothing like it, build an empire, defend it, make alliances, use politics or watch your Keeps fall.

Leveling was simple, easy, and fast, I have no clue where "tedious" leveling came from, being a vet of the game, it was days to reach max level. The character combos and templates and flavors of the month chars, were awesome. Something new always answered the "it" build.


If Shadow Bane was launched right, polished, and run and supported correctly, we would still be playing the game this very day. It truely was the only PvP game since UO for us PvPers!


I think we're in basic agreement. Shadowbane was a fun game for the people that grokked it and wanted free-form PvP - as I said, the basic design was sound. Where it fell down was in execution - players simply weren't willing to put up with the level of bugs and lack of polish. The game never was able to recover from its launch. And by "tedious levelling" - the game was very much not built around PvE, yet required PvE levelling. Monsters in the game were generic, boring bags of semi-mobile XP with little rhyme  or reason. Hardcore players didn't care because they got in guild groups and AFK-botted their way to max level. Players not as hardcore got bored and frustrated and left. Thus you had a game with few players, little profitability, and eventual closure.

Originally posted by firithnorm

With LotRO being one of the more popular titles on MMORPG, I would've liked to hear Jennings thoughts about it.

I've played it and enjoyed it. Like EQ2 it doesn't do a lot that's revolutionary but it does bring a high degree of polish. I haven't played it enough to really comment much more than that (not really being able to compare before/after newbie zone revamps and the like, for example) :)

Well, this has certainly been an active discussion, and very little of what I could add has not already been addressed. So a few minor points:

Re: chargebacks: they do happen. They are a huge problem (they make customer support even more of a cost than it already is) and yes, they should be handled better. And yes, CC providers have expressed displeasure with MMO companies over their relative frequency compared to other services.

Re: just making an economy public: very few people would be OK with this, I suspect. There's some privacy implications there. It's also sort of a burning down the village to find the crook sort of solution... it may work but the collateral damage would be pretty painful.

Re: RMT as a vice where the demand drives the suppy - this is a point I make frequently, and the demand must be addressed (whether through enforcement, or changing the design that drives that market) much like any other vice that is suppressed.

And finally, as is probably obvious given my new job, I absolutely can't comment about anything specific re: NCsoft, Aion or any huge ban wave that may or may not have taken place this morning. :)


Originally posted by Gyrus
But you want that Credit Card transaction to go through - Fraudulent Card?  GOOD.
Credit Card companies have more power and international reach than many law enforcement agencies.  (Simply by acting through local offices rather than having to go through international legal complications).
Who cares if the Credit Card Companies are unhappy?  That is their problem.  That's why they charge extortionate fees.  If their security is not up to a sufficient standard then how is that an MMO companies problem?   That's an issue for them.

Most of the fees for credit card fraud (instant chargebacks, service fees, etc) are charged to the MMO provider, not the credit card company.


Originally posted by dterry


1.) No trading between characters/accounts at all. You sell or give your item (acquired by crafting or looting) to an NPC or an NPC auction house and they resell it to another player at a fixed rate(or variable based on in game availablity of the item at the time of sale) - and then send you back the money.


As I wrote in an article I linked, the F2P game I was working on at NCsoft had specifically that feature (blind auctions). We were also considering allowing for some dual-currency model involving RMT (similar to how Puzzle Pirates handles it) and having the for-pay to earned-in-game transactions between players handled via blind auction, so that players themselves would assign a floating value to the in-game currency.

It was an ambitious plan and I'm not at all sure it would have survived into implementation, but plenty of folks including myself are thinking in those terms.


Originally posted by dterry

2.) Force antivirus on the client - same as business VPN solutions - if your not running AV or it is not up to date,  then you fail the logon.


Windows tends to not recognize the AV software I use... I can only imagine the support headaches if game companies had to try the same. :)


Originally posted by dterry

4.) Ban people caught in RMT based on IP/MAC/credit card information.


CC information is already used to detect and remove banned accounts in many instances (not all). IP addresses are too prone to false positives to provide any real identification beyond the most basic.


Originally posted by Mirandel

Ncsoft does something like this but presence of the same bots for days (and on the same spots) sais otherwise.


Yep. Leaving lawbreakers out in the open for everyone to see is a big problem. It's the "broken windows" theory of law enforcement - as long as you see blatant decay and disdain for order, you'll continue to encourage a culture of impunity.


Originally posted by xTFV

If you EVER had even been close to a real RMT group, in-game, playing with them, hacking with them, exploiting with them, talking to gm's with them, you wouldn't have made some --assumptions-- you made, never ever. About enraging. Whatever your may have exprieced, your 100% claim doesn't fly. We're sorry. GMs got banned before as well, you know.
But I guess you still miss that experience. Probably always will as well.


Not sure what exactly you're trying to imply, but I have first-hand knowledge of CSRs who have been fired for working with gold farmers and exploiters, and every MMO developer's policy is to fire any CSR caught in such shenanigans immediately. Does this mean some do anyway? Of course. Blizzard has thousands and thousands of CSRs (just as an example) and the laws of averages dictate some will be ill-behaved. But game companies keep logs and track CSR actions specifically to detect and remove such bad actors.

But when I mentioned being enraged by such a "MMO companies are in collusion with gold farmers" question, I assure you, I know my own feelings on the subject well and need to make no assumptions. :)


Originally posted by Shava

This is a solved problem. SOE and others have papers discussing how to implement it out on the open web.


Got a link? I'd be interested in reading that.


Originally posted by hogscraper

Decent article, but I liked the link to 'how to stop gold farming' article better.


Well, I *did* write both :)


There were a few who didn't, and I would ask about their game of choice (which was usually either City of Heroes or Guild Wars). There were some who didn't play any at all of course, but they weren't applying for design positions - a familiarity with the MMO marketplace is pretty much a nonnegotiable requirement there.

Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone.

LordDMaster: Sanya is one of my favorite columnists as well (and a close and dear friend from our time working together), and I can certainly handle coming in second in your list. :)

Ravenshroud: Desolace got an improvement pass a while back, but it's still pretty, well, desolate (and the centaur faction quest is still as grindalicious as ever). And sorry, Austin, not Dallas. There's some game companies in Dallas but mostly first person shooters (iD software and its various descendants).

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