Friday Bullet Points on a Chilly Spring Saturday

[This was supposed to be yesterday’s post, but then I woke up to a big news event, so it is a day late.]

It is cold out, considering it is spring here in California.  It has even rained here in the last 24 hours.  I am wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, which isn’t exactly the gear of arctic explorers, but by this late in April I have generally been well into the “I will wear shorts every day until I have finished off the Halloween candy” state of affairs that working from home forever has brought me to.

Not that the weather has anything to do with the rest of this post, but I needed a headline and the weather will serve when nothing else comes to mind.  So on with another bullet points post or items I thought worth noting but which weren’t worth a whole post on their own.

Enad Global 7

  • EG7 Dropping Russia

On the trend with western companies bailing from Russia after its brutal invasion of Ukraine, Enad Global 7 has announced that they will selling off their Innova subsidiary to the management of the team for a total of 32 million Euros, quite a haircut for the company considering they shelled out 109 million Euros for the company when they closed the deal for it a little over a year ago.  Innova was primarily acquired because they held the license to run a number of MMOs in the EU and Russia.  The current state of the Ukraine conflict puts Innova in a tough spot.

Meanwhile EG7 also announced that they would Toadman Interactive, another acquired studio, would be relocated from its current location in Russia to somewhere in the EU.

Database evolution

  • EVE Online Database History

CCP has posted another of the dev blogs that makes them a standout on the communications front in the industry.  Every time I think that they could do better, I have to remind myself how poorly the industry handles this sort of thing.

New database server upgrades have arrived and that has prompted the team to write a history of the databases of EVE Online, spanning from the early days when they had to solve lag problems with people just warping across systems, to being able to cope with 100 vs 100 fights, to the monster servers that they have today which make the original 2003 game look as powerful as a digital watch by comparison. (Though I still think digital watches wee a pretty neat idea.)

Anyway, if this is your sort of thing… and I am all over these sorts of posts… you can find the whole thing on CCPs news site here.

A new drama generator

  • RimWorld is Legal in Australia Again

It was noted previously that, after the Ideology expansion for RimWorld landed, it seemed like maybe the thought of feminist nudist cannibals was too much for the faint hearts in Canberra.

And that could have been it, though the whole thing came up due to the fact that there was a console version of the game on the horizon, which was what got the Classification Review Board taking a look at RimWorld again.  And they didn’t like what they saw, so flagged it as “Refused Classification” which made it unsalable down under.

That was undone earlier this week… on 4/20 if you think there is any significance in that… allowing the people of Australian to once again purchase RimWorld or redeem Steam keys for the game.

And, speaking of console support, RimWorld also announced that the game now has full support for Steam Deck, so perhaps that was what triggered the whole thing.

The return of the classic

  • Diablo II Resurrected Gets Ladders and more

Diablo II Resurrected has gotten its 2.4 patch, which is the biggest update the game has received in a long long time.

The lead story for the update is the unlock of the ladder seasons for those who want a competitive Diablo II experience, but there is so much more in the update such as class updates, mercenary fixes, new rune words, new Horadric Cube recipes, quality of life updates, and even some new levels of legacy graphics emulation for those who play with the old school look.

The great thing is that Blizzard has gone all in on this 22 year old game to make it better and fix things that has been problems for decades.  The sad thing is that this might be the peak of Diablo news this year unless Diablo Immortal is a lot better than I suspect it will be.

Playable Worlds

  • Playable Worlds gets $25 Million in Funding

Finally, news got out this week that Playable Worlds, Raph Koster’s sandbox cloud MMO venture, managed to pick up $25 million in financing for the project from a group that includes Korean video game publisher Kakao Games Corp.

That got Raph Koster to speak a bit more about the vision for the title:

“It’s about having environments that are more alive,” Koster said. “Players can affect things that evolve and change rather than being static. Most games build their maps out of static meshes. Ours are dynamic and come down on the fly from the server. It’s about enabling worlds to feel more alive. That’s really what it comes down to.”

“Offering truly and fully persistent shared environments and massive scale is something else that is really important to us,” Koster said. “These aren’t just theme parks that you ride through, right? Where the developers are the ones who are in control. Giving full persistence also unlocks the ability for players to have far more impact. If you chop down a tree, it is permanently gone from the world for everybody.”

Specifics about the project were not forthcoming.

And we have heard a vision like this before, with the EverQuest Next project, which was eventually shelved by Daybreak, in part because of the processing requirements such a dynamic and player changeable world entailed.

3 thoughts on “Friday Bullet Points on a Chilly Spring Saturday

  1. PCRedbeard

    Well, we’ve 80s this weekend in my little corner of the Midwest and then right back into the 50s on Monday. I’d like to get to work on getting some raised beds for vegetables put together, but with the constant threat of rain when the weather is in the 50s, it kind of sucks to work on clay soil.

    Like

  2. bhagpuss

    I have heard that “If you chop down a tree, it is permanently gone from the world for everybody” line so many times from so many developers and every time I find myself thinking not “how amazing” or even “how can you possibly achieve that?” but “Who the hell ever thought that would be anything anyone would want?”

    Seriously, why would allowing players to permanently alter the playing field for other players without their consent ever be a good idea? For it to be acceptable in a shared environement, change either has to be trivial to the point of meaninglessness or it has to be temporary and reversible. In the former case, what’s the point and in the latter, it’s the same as we already have. If it really does mean permanent, irreversible change then I for one am not going to be playing that game.

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @PCRedbeard – It has at least warmed up a bit today, so I was able to break out the shorts. We’ll see if it holds.

    @Bhagpuss – It is one of those things that, to me at least, betrays Raph’s roots in MUDs in the 90s, where communities were very small and you could exert social pressure to keep people in line, or, in some cases, the admins of the MUD could just kick people for not playing the game right. That is the lasting impression that he seems to have kept.

    It is the sort of thing that works in a small shared world. In Valheim if one of us goes and chops down some trees, anybody else who shows up will see the stumps and no trees. No big deal. We’re a small enough group that we can exert social pressure (I always clean up my stumps now at least) and there aren’t enough of us to make a huge dent in the world, there being no upside to it in any case.

    But in a larger, commercial context social pressure won’t work and the people running the show won’t ban paying customers for anything but the most egregious actions, so you will get somebody who will just cut down whole forests just to make life miserable for anybody else who needs some wood. And heaven forbid that wood might have some market value, because then it will be clear cut everywhere.

    This was one of the repeated lessons learned from Ultima Online, where they devised this biodiversity algorithm so that food sources for prey animals and predators would affect their populations and some care would need to be taken… all of which fell off the back of the wagon because players just clear cut the woods and slaughtered all the animals because they dropped useful things.

    The moment there is anything of value that can be extracted from a shared resource it is the tragedy of the commons played out once again.

    Liked by 1 person

Voice your opinion... but be nice about it...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s