Monthly Archives: August 2007

The Two Client Blue-Screen Blues

This week I spent some time trying to run two EVE Online clients on my machine at home.

I dug around a bit on the forums and came across a few threads with the same basic advice: Just install another copy of the client and everything should be fine.

So I did that.

And things did work fine… for a little while.

The problems seems to be that the threads I read on the subject were a bit out of date.  They are from a time when EVE Online’s settings were stored in a directory relative to the executable.

That, of course, changed somewhere along the path to Revelations II.

You know this if you have tried to find a screenshot from the game.

CCP has taken a few sips of the Microsoft Kool-Aid.  The whole support of Windows Vista and DX10 has forced them to adhere to some of the Microsoft standard practices.

For example, all settings and such are now stored under the “My Documents” directory.

So about 10-15 minutes into running two clients Windows puts up a blue screen.  Not the blue screen of death.  No, this was more the blue screen of “something crazy was happening so we took down your system for your protection.”

Scanning through the data it throws up (pun intended) on the screen, it looks like both EVE clients were trying to write data to the same file.

So I am back to running one account on my laptop and one on my desktop until I find a solution for this.

Has anybody seen some up-to-date information about running two clients on a single box?

Rocket Elf!

Selirus is now a level 42 Ranger, which means he gets to wear his Journeyman’s Boots!

Mistrunners? Nightmares? Spirit Steeds? Hover Platforms?  I now wave at them all as I pass, for look how fast I am:

rocketelf.png

Seriously, my ranger looks comically fast as he passes some guy on his flying carpet.  56%!  Wheee!

That is almost too fast for the lag-fest of Qeynos Harbor though.  I have already ended up in the water by overshooting the turn to the vendor who sells the tickets to Thundering Steppes and Nek forest.

Having hit 42, I also made Selirus a full set (minus boots) of ebon chain armor, matching imbued ebon weapons, a nice new imbued cedar longbow, and a full set of rhodium jewelry.  I just need a new cloak and he will be set for the next 10 levels.

Of course, the gear and speed upgrade made me cocky.  I managed to get myself killed in Feerrott almost immediately by trying to just run through a lot more mobs than I should have. I have stealth.  I could have just used that to sneak by them.  But no, I was high on the 56% speed boost.

Feerrott is my current questing area.  I managed to blow right past Feer with Blintz.  By the time I remembered to bring him there, almost all of the quests had gone grey.  This time I won’t make that mistake.  And that is the great thing about alts, you can do better the second… or third… or fifth… time around.

Also, Selirus has no heritage quests done as yet.  Since Gaff has appeared back in Norrath again (so I had best change that disparaging guild MOTD) and is running up one of his alts, we should be able to knock out a few of those and get the guild on its way to level 40.

And did I mention how fast Selirus is?

Avatar Fashion?

Having a bit of an MMO mind-set, I was a intruiged when I saw this on Yahoo’s main page:

avatar-fashions.png

I thought that this might be some sort of SecondLife related item and that it must be a slow news day if that is what Yahoo is putting up on the front page.

But when I followed the “More Avatar Fashions” link I found out that it wasn’t a slow news day, but a big pay day, at least for Yahoo.

Usually “The Pulse” is a list of the top items for a given topic that people are using Yahoo to find.  This entry, however, is just a big ad for EA’s new Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway.

And here I thought for a moment that I was seeing virtual worlds becoming more mainstream.

Five Coming Signs That WoW is Mainstream

This is my guess at five signs that will indicate that World of Warcraft is truly accepted as part of the mainstream culture, at least here in the United States.

Frankly, I think WoW is closing in on this.  An episode of South Park is still pretty much a left field effort, but getting mentioned on The Office was closer to the mark.  If these five things come to pass, we will be there.

Tabloids –  Being a headline item in every grocery store in America is a sure sign that you have arrived.  When the crazy stories of parental neglect, addiction, and sordid cross-border/cross-generation love affairs begin to compete with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for tabloid headline space, you’ll not only know that massively online gaming has arrived, but that it is here to stay… and that it is being controlled by UFOs. (Farewell Weekly World News!)
 
Gameshows – Another meso-American staple, when questions about Azeroth become fair game, you will know we are there.  And, no, I’m not talking about “Teen Jeopardy” or what ever they call it, where they are pandering to the youth audience in an attempt to get the age demographic down into the 60s.  It will be when “Wheel of Fortune” has “Stormwind” as a word or when Alex Trebek reads off the categories to three sober adult trivia nuts and one of those categories is something like “Azeroth,” “For The Horde,” or “The Defias.”
 
Halloween – Cheap, non-flammable, children’s Halloween costumes on the shelf at Walgreen’s and featuring characters and creatures from World of Warcraft will be a sure sign that the time has come.  Nothing says “We own you” like having to buy one of those awful costumes for you kid.  Still, I look forward to the day when I hear, “Trick or treat… for the Horde!”  I will not, however, allow my house to be camped until kids get the drop they are looking for.

Monopoly – Like a rite of passage, you know you are part of the culture when you have your own Monopoly set.  The Simpsons, Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, James Bond, Peanuts, The Powerpuff Girls, and just about any aspiring metropolitan population center has had an edition dedicated to it.  You think I’m kidding?  Look here.  As long as those crazy Parker Brothers felt they could make a dime, they went with it.  So a WoW version will certainly come about if the other four items on this list do.  The real question is: Will there be just a single edition, or will there be separate Horde and Alliance versions?

A Cartoon – For me, this is the key item.  Yes, there is talk of a World of Warcraft movie, but it would have to be a spectacular box office success, something on the order of… well… World of Warcraft in MMO gaming, to secure a cultural foothold.  And that just isn’t going to happen even if they put Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on the ship to Booty Bay and sink it half way there.  Any WoW movie will suck unless it has the necessary groundwork laid before it.

And that groundwork can only be laid by a successful kids cartoon based in Azeroth.

I will go so far as to say that this is a prerequisite for all of the above.  When millions of kids, with their trivia absorbing minds, watch your cartoon, you have gained the foothold to accomplish great things.  WoW could achieve life beyond gaming.  A successful cartoon series would allow them to shut the game off (not that they would) and continue to rake in the money.  Furthermore, it is a revenue stream without end.  Just when the shine begins to fade, the nostalgia bug for it will hit and the cash will roll in again.  And since the game already looks like a cartoon, Blizzard could be on the cusp of becoming the biggest property in the Vivendi portfolio.

More?

Those are the things that have been rolling around in my mind, the items that I think will herald universal mainstream cultural acceptance of World of Warcraft.  What else would indicate the coming of WoW and massive gaming?

Beware of “Free” Cans

Put this under the heading of “Just Plain Mean.”

I had docked at the School of Applied Knowledge in the Todaki system after picking up a few skills the other night.  Friday night I undocked to head back to headquarters and was greeted with this in my overview.

justplainmean.png

Todaki is, of course, noob central.  If you are Caldari, you end up here for skills and tutorial missions.

And a noob will be unlikely to know that a yellow colored cargo container belongs to somebody else, especially if that somebody else has taken the time to rename it something like “Free items! Take it!”

Of course, if you steal from somebody elses cargo container… regardless of what it is named… you get flagged red to that individual and he can kill you without any repercussions. 

So somebody was out for a Friday night game of “smack the noobs.”  You can see a couple of wrecked Ibis frigates on the overview as well, so targets were available.  Zyionix needed a couple of lessons in “don’t touch the yellow cans” I guess.

That is just the nature of a wide open game like EVE Online.

I am just surprised that there is no EVE version of Three Card Monte going on in Todaki or Jita.

Tabula Rasa Beta Forum Access!

Yes, they seem to have resolved the issue that resulted in the error:

500 Server closed connection without sending any data back

every time you tried to create a new user account on the Tabula Rasa Beta.

Still, I had an odd time getting logged in.  You get access to the board by logging in with your PlayNC account.  You are then asked to enter a forum name and password.  But when it comes time to actually log into the forums, you use your PlayNC account name, but the forum password.

That seemed a bit odd, or at least counter-intuitive to me. 

I would expect to either log into the forums with a separate account, as Turbine requires with Lord of the Rings Online, or log in with my PlayNC account and just have a forum name that was different from my login name, as it is done on the SOE forums.  Instead, there was a third, mixed path.

Still, I figured it out and I am in.

Play On: Guild Name Generator

Over at Play On Quadratic Foundry, they have found through the research of data from World of Warcraft that 90% of guild names follow a specific set of patterns.  This has allowed them to create a Guild Name Generator that uses a weighted dictionary based on WoW guild names.  If you go to the page linked, it will create 10 guild names for you.  Hit refresh to see 10 more.

Some detail about how the name generator functions is on the Play On Quadratic Foundry site here.

The names generated certainly “feel” like WoW guild names.  I wonder how many of them end up being the names of actual guilds.

For now, I am going to run out and check on “Twinks of Samurai Tea Guard.”

Addendum Sep. 19, 2018: This article has been updated to point to the guild name generator’s new home at Quadratic Foundry.

Corporate Mismanagement

I created a corporation in EVE Online about a week and a half back.

If you are not familiar with EVE Online, a corporation is, in a very basic sense, the equivalent of a guild in most other MMOs.

But no MMO I have played has ever had a guild structure like EVE Online.  EVE Corporations make the relatively deep guild functionality in EverQuest II seem stone simple.  And World of Warcraft guilds?  It does not seem to be on the same continuum of complexity relative to EVE.

Unlike other MMOs, you do not need to line up 6 of your friends at the registrars office or get 10 people to sign you petition.  In EVE you just need to have the skill Corporation Management and the ISK to pay the start up fee. 

I happened to have already trained the skill.  You need Corporation Management in order to train Anchoring, which is what allows you to deal with containers in space and which I apparently felt I might need at some point.

And I had the 1.6 million ISK for the fee.

I clicked the corporation button on the neocon (the button bar on the left side of the window) and clicked the button to create a new corporation.

And thus was the Twilight Cadre (ticker: tcxx) born again, this time in space. 

tcxx.png

First home: School of Applied Knowledge at Todaki VI

Of course I did not know what I was doing.  But I like to dig around in the games I play, and since corporations are a very big part of EVE, I thought I might experiment with one.

Corporations are complicated.  No, really, compared to a lot of the interface elements of EVE Online, the corporation interface is not intuitive. 

Did I mention I have no idea what I am doing?  Well, the corporation interface isn’t helping me much.

And neither is the EVE Online Player’s Guide entry on corporations.  The guide starts off saying, “The technical aspect of managing a corporation of any size is a walk in the park after a quick familiarization.”

If only it actually offered that “quick familiarization” which promises to make corporation management easy.  Instead, the guide tells you how to start a corp (which I figured out on my own), defines a few terms, then jumps off into wars, alliances, and standings.

Sure, wars, alliances, and standings are the fun bits, but the guide does not really go into depth about things like “now I have created a corp, what should I do next?”

I figured that renting office space would be a good next step.  As I understand it, that rented space allows your corporation to have shared hangers, thus making it easy to shift equipment and raw materials back and forth among players.  I suppose there are easier ways to do this, but all I could figure out was the new(ish) contracts method, which is more complicated than I want, and costs money for each transaction as well.

Office space in Todaki was running at 16 million ISK a month.  That seemed like a lot to me.  I know I could make up that amount of cash mining, but I would rather save some of that money for other things.

I had been flying missions out of Hageken for a bit, since I found a high quality agent there.  So headed out to check the price of office space.  I am not sure how pricing is calculated (pure supply/demand, security rating of the system, proximity to Jita), but in Hageken office space was under 2 million ISK a month.  I have since demonstrated that I can make that much money in about 30 minutes, so it seemed like a deal.

New Home: Hageken V – Moon 2 – Caldari Navy Assembly Plant

As it turned out, Hageken is a good location for mining as well.  My previous posts on mining have all taken place in the Hageken system.

To rent that office though, I had to figure out how to put money in the corporate account.  That took a few minutes.

The corporation has a wallet, or several wallets really, just like you do as an individual.  When you start a corporation, your wallet gets a tab on it that gives you access to the corporate wallet.  There is a button in the corporation wallet labeled “give money” that lets you put money into the corp.

Of course, if you are looking in the corporation window, the location of that button might not be obvious.

Eventually I figured this out, put money in the corp, and rented some office space.

Of course, then I had to get my new guy out to Hageken to apply to join the corp.  Once in, I made him a director, which seemed to give him access to just about everything.  Of course, Hageken turned out to be ideal for mining and once I dragged flew the Osprey out there I settled him in for a long stay.

I also conned Potshot out to the 0.5 security perils of Hageken and made him a director as well.  I will have to figure out ranks and access works before I invite anybody I do not know well into the corp.  Directors can just pick up all the corp assets and walk away with them.

So Twilight Cadre has some hangar space out in a nice mining location.  Now I have to figure out what else I should be doing with the corp.

Fortunately, Warp Drive Active #7 showed up on iTunes last night.  The show summary lists the following:

We wanted to do a noob guide for starting a corporation, but frankly we know nothing about how to. Thankfully Crovan is on hand to give all the details.

So in a case of excellent timing, I may get answers to some of my corporation questions. 

I started listening to the show, but the ride into the office today was pretty short, so all I heard was that my WDA T-shirt is on the way and that Urban Mongral has been recommeding Goonswarm to people who crave immediate PVP action in EVE.

[And I also ran across this page on starting up a corp in EVE just this afternoon.]

Level 40 Ranger

This just never gets old.

selirus40.png

This is my 4th tier 5 character.  No level 70s yet, but four characters over level 40. 

I am getting the hang of playing a ranger again, but the biggest help I had was Ogrebear’s mini-guide to poisons.  I did not know you could have 3 poisons active at once.

If you play a scout class in EverQuest II, take a look at it here.

(And if you look at the characters page, you’ll see my scout is already past level 40.  I am having one of those weeks where I have too many topics and not enough time.)

A Rumor of Sarnak!

Qeynos Harbor is buzzing with rumors that Sarnak have been spotted on the high seas and that they attacked the QSS Leaky Drake!  Those on the QSS Starfish who witnessed the attack have brought the news back.

sarnak02.png

Of course not everybody is convinced.

sarnak03.png

If you are in Qeynos Harbor, you should ask Theyeurn Farael what is going on.  Sarnak indeed!