Daily Archives: July 9, 2010

PLEX! PLEX for Piracy!

Oh, I’ve been waiting for this one.  This has drama, rage quit, and QQ written all over it.

CCP has announced that they will be removing the restrictions on PLEX.

I’ve written about PLEX before.

PLEX, or 30 day Pilot License EXtensions are in-game items that can be bought or sold and which extend your game subscription by 30 days.  You buy them for real money and get them in-game.

However, up to this point, there have been some draconian restrictions on PLEX.  Basically, you cannot move it.  It sits in the space station in which you purchased it.  You can sell it to somebody else at that station, but it is stuck there until somebody uses it.

Soon, however, new rules will apply.  From their post:

  • We will remove the restriction on undocking from a station with a PLEX in your cargo hold
  • We will remove the restriction that PLEX cannot be put into courier contracts
  • We will remove the restriction that items (including PLEX) can only be redeemed into NPC stations
  • We will remove the restriction that items (including PLEX) can only be reverse-redeemed from NPC stations
  • We will remove the restriction that ETC can only be converted into PLEX while inside an NPC station

PLEX will be set free.  You can carry it around.  You can sell people contracts to carry it for you.

And, of course, people can take it away from you.

And that is where the fun begins.  Somebody scans your cargo, sees you’re carrying game time, and you are suddenly a high priority target.

This goes live Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

I cannot wait to see how this unfolds.  I want to read tales of PLEX piracy.

This is soooo EVE Online.

Oh Crap, We Won. What Do We Complain About Now?

Cyanbane just pointed me to this post over at Kotaku, the meat of which is this quote from Blizzard:

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

And I was just really getting warmed up on the subject.  There was a conspiracy to be uncovered.  I was just about to implicate Eurogamer and Halliburton in the whole thing.

I guess it is back to griping about gear score and dungeon finder groups.

The Biggest Lie About Real ID

Sometimes we get mired into arguing about minutia and miss the real point.  I’ve been going back and forth about the symptoms and ignoring the reality.  What forest, all I see are a bunch of trees.

Blizzard is not imposing Real ID on the WoW forums to clear out trolls or to make us responsible for our posts or to save money on forum moderation.  That is a load of crap. An excuse.  A smoke screen.  The post that set off nearly 2500 pages of responses (so far, including one from me) is just a side show, a distraction.

Seriously, are you telling me that after more than five years, suddenly Blizzard can’t take it any more?  Did Mike Morhaime suddenly crack and shout, “I’ve had it up to here with you damn trolls!  I’m taking you all down!” and start hurling murlocs around his giant office?

Not likely.

A big change like this, which is really a change in the way they do business, a change in the way they want to relate to their customers, always comes with a corporate press release.

So I went looking for one.

There is no corporate Blizzard press release out there about cleaning up the forums.

This is not the purpose of their grand stroke.

These are not the forum trolls you are looking for.

The people at Blizzard know that the forums are unlikely to get more civil.  And they also know that support issues diverted from the forums to email and the phones are likely to cost them more money, not save them any.

No, the only press release out there related to Real ID, and it doesn’t even mention it by name, is the announcement that StarCraft II will be integrated with Facebook.

Real ID is the result of that integration.

Because to integrate with Facebook, you have to use your real name.  So say the terms of service.

So if Blizzard wants to come play with Facebook, or is being told they have to go play with Facebook because somebody mentioned to Bobby Kotick that Facebook is where the money is, they have to go in with their subscribers real names in full view of the world.

Getting in bed with Facebook requires full disclosure.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “That press release only mentions StarCraft II!  We’re talking about the World of Warcraft forums!”

That is merely because we haven’t seen the right press release yet.

Prediction: New Cataclysm feature to be announce, Facebook integration with World of Warcraft.

I’m going to stick with that one until proven wrong.

You’re welcome for that blinding flash of the obvious.

You probably beat me to it by a few days.  I just haven’t made it to a post yet that laid it out quite like that.

What that means to World of Warcraft and the Cataclysm expansion… well… I think I’ll quote Robert Heinlein:

When in danger or in doubt
Run in circles, scream and shout!

You may now begin to panic.

If you wish to defer panic for a few minutes, go read this, laugh, sigh, and smile for a moment.

Then begin to panic.

We’re in the Summer News Doldrums Now…

When this is the main Yahoo headline, get ready for just about anything to show up in the news.

Octopus picks winner for World Cup!

Parakeet begs to differ!

I’ll spoil it for you, the mollusk picked Spain while the bird went for the Netherlands.  If you want the arcana on how they choose, you’ll have to read the articles.  Both of these animals have picked winners correctly in the past, but now one of them will have their reputation destroyed, while the other will appear with Jay Leno in an attempt to help him get the Tonight Show ratings back up.

Sure, yesterday Yahoo sank down to the whole Real ID thing with their usual eye for accuracy.  For example, spot at least two errors in this boilerplate at the end of the article.

World of Warcraft, which was launched in 2004, is the most popular multiplayer online role-playing game with more than 11 million monthly subscribers.

But today?

Today animals predict the outcome of a soccer game!

Meanwhile, NASA is looking into the balls being used for World Cup play.

Hey, NASA, if you want to look into something about soccer, how about figuring out a way to break a tie without that whole crappy penalty shoot-off.  Or just suggest some technologies that FIFA could look into to help them make a few less egregiously bad official calls.

Or, hey, here’s a novel idea… do something related to outer space.  The “S” in NASA stands for “Space,” not “soccer.”

Still, if you feel you have to ride along on the World Cup’s coat tails, at least tells us about what kind of reception they get in the International Space Station or throw out some theories to explain the apparent fascination cephalopods and psittacines have for the game.

(There are your vocabulary words for the day.)

What will tomorrow bring?

This Always Happens When Nobody is Around…

So there I am bouncing along in the North Downs when I see something strange coming towards me.

Roaming Bleakwind

A rare elite master mob!  Whatever that means.

Well, killing Bleakwind had to be worthwhile.  Maybe not as exciting as Keen getting to tank the Lich King, but we take our adventure where we can find it.

And he was even my level.

The hit point differential was a bit worrying.

Hit points

1,624 hit points for Terentia compared to 8,434 for Bleakwind.  Unbalanced, but worth an attempt.  I mean, just look at the shiny effects around his icon!  That is like having a sign that says, “Epic Loot – This Way.”

Unfortunately, Bleakwind’s attack is proportionate to his hit points.  Terentia had to retreat or face defeat.

If I’d had a minstrel along, it might have happened.  But it was late on a weeknight and nobody was close to hand.

Ah well, next time Bleakwind… next time.

More Real ID Links Than You Really Want To See…

Dee over at a Azeroth.me has compiled, with quotes, one helluva long list of links to various sources discussing Blizzards Real ID.

You can find it here.

It covers a wide spectrum of opinions from a diverse group of sources, everything from bloggers to blue names to gamer sites to mainstream media.

If you want to immerse yourself in the discussion, look no further.  A lot of work went into that post.