Daily Archives: February 24, 2011

Who is Going to GDC 2011 in San Francisco?

The Game Developers Conference up in San Francisco is NEXT WEEK!

(SF is up on the map relative to me, your relative direction may vary.)

I will be able to attend the Expo and recruiting part of the event thanks to the fine people at FileCatalyst who provided me with two Expo passes this year.

And it is a good thing too, since Expo passes are up to $200 this year.

I will be sure to visit them at booth #2030 on the Expo floor to say thank you and to see what they have to offer.  Their booth usually has comfy chairs!

Unlike last year, there is not (as yet) any planned group/blogger/podcaster meet-up.

But I will be on the Expo floor on Thursday, March 3rd and I am trying to get Potshot to take the day off and show up as well.

So if you are a reader and will be around GDC and want to say “Hi,” drop me a note.  My email address is on the “about” page for the site.

Oh, and to make people from out of town feel at home, we’ve turned down the thermostat here in the SF Bay Area.

Look at that weather forecast.  A chance of snow!  It hasn’t really snowed down at sea level around here since February 5, 1976.  We get confused when the rains start here in the Fall, imagine us in the snow!

World of Tanks Sets a Record, I Look for the Definition of “Server”

I received this press release from Wargaming.net, the makers of World of Tanks.

I get a press release of some sort from them about once a week and they vary in quality.  But today’s had me… asking questions.

Here is what they said:

World of Tanks Sets World Record

London (24th February, 2011) Wargaming.net is glad to announce that its free-to-play action-MMO game World of Tanks has set up a Guinness World Record™ in the category of Most Players Online Simultaneously on One MMO Server.

The record was registered on January 23rd, 2011 when the number of players on the game’s Russian server totaled 91,311.

“We are excited to see so many people playing World of Tanks and the new record is an important achievement for us,” said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming.net. “However, with the population of the game growing steadily another week or two would let us report a more impressive record as the current PCCU number surpasses 120,000 players”.

Wargaming.net wants to thank all World of Tanks fans that made this record possible.

Join the beta at: http://game.worldoftanks.com/registration/ (NA server)
Join the beta at:
http://game.worldoftanks.eu/registration/ (EU server)

For more information on World of Tanks, visit http://www.worldoftanks.com/.

This confuses me a bit, since I do not understand what they mean by “One MMO Server.”

Not to bash Wargaming.net or anything, but there isn’t a lot of shared space in the game.  At the most you are involved with 31 other players you can see and otherwise you are in your own private garage or in the queue to get into a battle.  So it isn’t exactly like 91,311 people shared an experience together.

Plus, is under 100,000 really the high point for what we define as a server, shard, or realm?

Surely some game like Guild Wars has already been there, done that.

Or a game that plays like World of Tanks… like, say, StarCraft II?  If you can call WoT an MMO at the moment then the door seems open for StarCraft II, doesn’t it?

So unless they can prove that all 91,311 people were logged into the same single server in their data center rack, I’m not sure this record is very well defined.

What do you think?  Record? No Record? Poor definitions?

And Then I Was Mistakenly Declared “Influential”

Say Media yesterday opened up their Say 100 page which is, well… I guess I will let them describe it, from the top of their About The Say 100 page:

The SAY 100 is a collection of authentic and knowledgeable online voices that create engaging content, drive conversation and shape opinion. At SAY Media we believe the power to shape opinion is shifting from the faceless editorial voice of mainstream media to individuals, many of whom are taking advantage of simple technology to create their own properties and build their own media brands. And the best way to highlight that change is to show you who we’re talking about.

They went to 10 different experts, each in a different field and had them pick 10 influential voices in those areas.

The Say 100 Home Page

The areas listed and experts picked were:

Of course, I am bringing this up for a (selfish) reason.  This site, and my Wilhelm Arcturus persona, was one of those picked by the luminaries listed above.

And as much as I wish it was for Thought Leadership, or maybe Parenting, it was, of course for the Games category.


My daughter was looking over my shoulder when I first opened up the site and her first words were, “You’re no expert!”

No, but I am old.  I know how escrow works!

And they even grabbed a picture with my biggest mustache ever, appropriately taken at just a couple of years after the dawn of my online gaming career.  Full disclosure with the full picture.

Wilhelm, circa 1988

Geek Cred points of interest: Time-Con T-Shirt (complete with Face on Mars graphic), G-1 US Naval aviator’s jacket (which I still have, though it seems to have shrunk over the years), a name patch from the 1988 Air Warrior convention in Dayton, Ohio where I got to meet, among others, Kelton Flinn and Bill Louden (the big man at GEnie), and a freakin’ real, live baby kangaroo.  Good times.

Anyway, Jeff Katz has apparently been here and read stuff and still wrote these very kind (and charitable) words:

Don’t take the name too seriously, Wilhelm Arcturus is no noob. With 20+ years of experience in online gaming, Wilhelm publishes one of the most thorough MMO websites online. He is the definition of hardcore and has been playing since before the world “massive” could even apply. A fun mix of gaming news and updates on his own online adventures.

Hardcore, for specific definitions of the word I suppose.  The time expended on playing and writing keeps me out of the casual category I guess, but many of my posts should demonstrate how I approach gaming, often blithely ignorant of basic facts and depending on my intrepid readers to point me in the right direction when I am blundering about.  Sort of the Jerry Pournelle/Chaos Manor methodology. (Is anybody here old enough to get that reference?)

Also honored with a place on the list were Keen & Graev (Yay!) who were described thus:

Two brothers and hardcore gamers who mix industry analysis, gaming reviews and their personal exploits to enjoyable effect. Their site offers a really deep experience and covers both consoles and computer gaming with equal skill. These guys are literally all-consuming gamers and it shows. A fun and informative site with a breezy feel. I highly recommend it.

Then there was Jim Rossignol of hella impressive Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

Rossignol’s site is PC gaming obsessed and PC gaming only and the staff own it to an almost amusingly militant level. He’s also smart and insightful and knows the space inside and out. While you’re at it check out his book, “This Gaming Life,” a look at the cultural impact and evolution of gaming.

And the much esteemed Tony Rice of Button Mashing was also among the bloggers on the list:

I actually stumbled onto Tony’s site when I was searching for available URL’s in the gaming space and now go back often. They always have clean and concise release schedules for new games, which is a plus in my book these days. A good site for gamers that tend to lean towards XBOX360, which is generally my go-to console. I like the site enough to forgive Tony his Ohio State fandom. ;)

For the sake of posterity, I took a screen grab of the list as it stands now.

The Say 100 Games List

I have to imagine that it will change over time, especially when somebody reads my stuff and realizes how rather introverted it all is. But for now, there I am!

Anyway, a big thank you to Jeff Katz for the recognition and to Michael Sippey of Say Media who is a driving force behind the whole thing.

I encourage you to go take a look at who else is in the other categories.  The site is all hooked up into RSS, Twitter, and Facebook so you can follow your favorites from the list (or whole segments) with relative digital ease.

Anyway, now to get back to work on my own media brand.

EverQuest Denied!

Ah well, somebody hit the switch at SOE and the free play time is finally over for EverQuest.

Subscription Required

However, 24 hours later, I haven’t heard anything about my support ticket and when I try to go to the subscriptions page for my Station Account, all I get is an error.

We will not take your money

I’ve been “trying again later” since Tuesday morning.  That doesn’t seem to do the trick.

And I got a tweet from Stargrace today that said she had the same problem in the past and that it took SOE two weeks to deal with it.

So there may be a considerable interruption in my EverQuest posts while SOE decides whether or not they want to take my money.  My past experience with SOE support does not make me optimistic.