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SOE Joins PlayStation Network Hacking Woes May 2, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Sony Online Entertainment, Vanguard SOH.
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I thought I was safe, not having given my credit card to Sony on the PlayStation Network.

Then Sony Online Entertainment brought down all their servers this morning, purportedly for “an investigation into an intrusion.”

And now it seems there was a reason for it.

While the shut down has been covered around the webKotaku is now reporting that hackers may have stolen more than 12,700 credit card numbers from Sony Online Entertainment players.

That is a small-ish percentage of the players of SOE games such as EverQuest II, and considerably fewer credit card numbers than were obtained through the hacking of the PlayStation Network (last count, 10 million!), but it is still a disturbing reminder of the problems Sony is currently having with network security.  And who knows what the final numbers will be.

No word on how to tell if your credit card has been compromised, though SOE Community Manager Amnerys encourages you to call SOE customer service if you have concerns.

Good luck getting through!

You might as well read the alarming security update from SOE.

I guess I picked a bad week to quit WoW.

Addendum: Sony says this was not a second attack, which I guess means they still haven’t figured out how bad the attack nearly two weeks ago really was.

Addendum 2:  Per ZAM, SOE is granting customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down.  No word on how long the system will be down.

(SOE Offline graphic from the Kotaku story.)

Look at Me – This is Still Creepy Almost Seven Years Later May 2, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest II, MMO Design, Sony Online Entertainment.
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With EverQuest II, somebody at SOE thought that one way to make the world feel more real was to have the characters in game look at each other.  So when you interact with an NPC, that NPC turns its head to look at your character.  And, likewise, your character looks at that NPC.

Not a bad idea, really.  In some ways, this is better than the state of affairs in EverQuest or World of Warcraft, where you can interact with the back of an NPC’s head.

The problem is, characters do not look at each other only when they interact.  They stare at just about anybody in range given a chance, whether you are speaking to them or not.

Can we help you?

It can be creepy.  The eyes truly do follow you… and then some.

This staring algorithm can lead to some ludicrous moments of attempted eye contact.

Everybody Stare At Someone!

And don’t get me started on how annoying it is to set up a group picture when one character seems to be obsessed with starting at another character.

Look at the camera, not my butt

It is one of those features that is uniquely part of EverQuest II.

I just can’t shake that feeling that everybody really is watching me.

How about you?