Tag Archives: zoso

Thought for the day.

Worgen Druids: the snooty over-achievers of werewolf school.

“Simpkins! Pay attention at the back, you think you have time to sit around and daydream? You can’t even turn into half a wolf and Jennings here can already turn into a bear, a cat, a hawk, an owlbear, a cheetah, and some sort of hideous monstrosity with flippers that I never want to see again in my life ever… understood Jennings? Jennings!”

<Neigh!>

Have I Got MMOnews For You

Host: This week, teams, news that videogames can make you more successful in your career. “‘We’re finding that the younger people coming into the teams who have had experience playing online games are the highest-level performers because they are constantly motivated to seek out the next challenge and grab on to performance metrics,’ says John Hagel III, co-chairman of a tech-oriented strategy center for Deloitte. Elliot Noss, chief executive of domain name provider Tucows, spends six to seven hours a week playing online games and believes World of Warcraft trains him to become a better leader.”

Melmoth: “Some orientation is required when they transfer into corporate life, however” said Mr Hagel III, “before which we find it’s best to avoid telling them that five high level bosses reside on the top floor of the corporate tower. Forty young graduates throwing paper darts at the CEO while trying to steal the contents of his briefcase can cause unwanted flak for the HR department.”

Zoso: “Well, they’re motivated for the first couple of months, at least;” said John Hagel III, “after which they generally start complaining about the grind, then turn up in other departments claiming they’re alts, before heading back to WoW. We call them Job Tourists.”

Melmoth: “Elliot Noss, chief executive of domain name provider Tucows, spends six to seven hours a week playing online games and believes World of Warcraft trains him to become a better leader” he told our reporter, while simultaneously screaming “Minus Fifty Domain Name Points!” down the phone at one of his minions, followed by a stream of expletives, then throwing the phone across his office and rage-deleting several major DNS blocks.”

Zoso:“… and his salary scheme has drawn heavy criticism from 24 of his 25 employees; the other one, who won the ‘Need’ roll for that month’s payroll, believes it to be an excellent system.”

Melmoth:“Working for Noss is a strange experience” said a hypothetical Tucows employee, “frankly there’s a lot less server maintenance in my job than I imagined, and far more hunting boars for their spleens”.

Host: Goodnight!

Studio lights dim, theme tune plays.

All Paths Blocked.

DJ: “You’re listening to All Points Bulletin on 107.5 San Paro FM, headshotting you with explosive tunes twenty four seven! Traffic and Travel now, and we’ve got large queues backed-up on the I3, I7 and I8a. The I8b, I9 interchange, I12, and I14. The I15… pretty much all of the city really. Over to Tom in our Eye in the Sky for more details.”

Tom: “Thanks Bob. Well, since you started the report there have also been incidents on the I2 and I4 leaving them partially blocked, and at this very moment I can see four armed men have jumped out of a car on the I6, abandoning the car in the middle of the road and backing up the traffic there… and it’s just been rammed by a second car, which is now being machine gunned, and a security van has ploughed into the middle of everything, and someone’s got a rocket-propelled grenade laun-ARGHH, EVASIVE ACTION FRANK!”

DJ: “I’m sorry, we seem to have lost Tom there, some technical gremlins by the sound of it; hopefully we’ll be able to get back to him before too long. In the meantime, news just in: I’m getting reports of a helicopter crash on the I13 which is causing serious tailbacks. So that’s accidents on the I2, I3… on the I1, I2, I3, I4… Actually, here are the roads where there aren’t major incidents: I16. I’m… I’m just getting a report in that there’s a two car pile-up on the I16… a three car pile-up… three cars, and an ambulance trying to get to the wounded… nine cars, several ambulances, a fire truck, and an ice cream van being used as a mobile gun platform.

So that’s your traffic and travel news for this quiet balmy Monday lunchtime, we’ll have more travel in your area during the busy rush hour. Whoooof, looks like it’ll be slow going out there for a while folks, so here’s a little something to cheer-up all those of you trying to make your way across the city right now.”

♫ I like driving in my car, it don’t look much but I’ve been far ♫
♫ I like driving in my car, even with a flat tyre ♫
♫ I like driving in my car, it’s not quite a Jaguar ♫
♫ I like driving in my car, I’m satisfied I’ve got this far ♫

KiaSA Leaks.

Our industry insider has once again infiltrated the inner sanctum of an MMO developer and has sent us here at KiaSA Towers the lowdown on some top secret features that will probably never make it into production. This time its from the Cryptic Studios’ Star Trek Online design board:

Shatner’s Girdle: They just couldn’t find a graphics processor powerful enough to hold all those pixels in such a densely compacted space.

Malfunctioning inertial dampening: No matter how hard they tried to coax their physics engine to do it, it simply refused to throw the player characters in the opposite direction to each other and, more importantly, the ship.

Personal inventory: Have you ever seen a Star Trek officer with pockets?

Alternate (sic) dimensions: They couldn’t run the risk of you running into someone from another version of the game where players didn’t have to grind the same tedious missions over and over. Besides, they’d need to have space on the server to store an entire secondary set of your crew with pointy beards. And the female avatars looked really weird with beards.

Replicators: “One of every top tier epic equipment item in the game, please.”

Expanded range of phaser settings:Oven left on at home‘ setting proved to be overpowered.

Tailoring: an early beta included a crafting skill that allowed players to produce cloth items with a machine on ship, but a number of problems prevented it ever working properly resulting in a slew of bug reports demanding the developers “Make it sew!”

Holodeck: This feature was going to allow players to create their own game content that other players could access through their ship’s holodeck. It was all going well, with various mini-games based upon Westerns, Nazi occupied France and fencing, until someone created a mini-game where your ship’s captain played a gamer who was playing STO on his computer. Alas this ripped a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum here in the real world, and Cryptic had to send a rerouted tachyon pulse through the game’s central database server in order to close that timeline down and set us off on our current timeline. Alas, in this timeline it appears that Tabula Rasa and Vanguard were utter failures, and Richard Garriot and Brad McQuaid are not the happily married benevolent rulers of Earth that they were.

The Computer:

“Computer”
*beedle*
“Run an analysis on this game’s data and make me a good game based on that data that isn’t entirely reliant on fans of the IP.
*beedle* “Estimated time to completion, three minutes, forty two seconds.”
“Send the result to my PC.”

Voice commands: Unfortunately players would just pick the mouse up and start talking into it, before moving on to shouting ‘Hello!’ in various and progressively louder ways. Alas, it was later discovered that Cryptic’s system ONLY… managed… to … pick up on… STRANGELY… intonated SENtences with pauses… IN… all the… wrong places entirely.

Rock Climbing skill: Players complained when the Vulcan science officer kept using crafted rocket boots to beat them to the summit.

Q: The first raid boss of the game was removed after an exploit was found whereupon he could be easily defeated with a simple script if your starship captain was a small bald Yorkshireman pretending to be a Frenchman. Later, after a fix was issued, a trans-dimensional bug caused him to issue players with weird gadgets like a shoe containing a radio transmitter and a watch that turned into a hedgehog.

Boldly: This was removed from the game when testers found that, due to a bug in the language, no players were able to boldly.

Valhalla, I am coming!

Ever wondered what makes bloggers tick? What makes podcasters pod? Why are we here? What’s life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well the answer to all these questions, apart from the last three, can be found at Grinding to Valhalla, where Randolph Carter is assembling a mighty array of interviews with writers, MMO bloggers and podcasters. And me n’ Melmoth. So if you’re interested in the grind of blogging, the transition to podcasting and 30 litres of custard and a feather duster, take a look at my One Shot. And if you want to understand just how bloggers will destroy the world, Melmoth explains all in his interview.

Kiasacast Episode 5

For those of you who are not monitoring our podcast RSS feed or stalking us on the Twitterverse, brace your main hats and hang on to your sails, because we’re pleased to announce that it’s time for Kiasacast episode 5: The burnout yo-yo!

This episode of the podcast includes:

– Introduction and news

– Reader mail – where we find out that we’re still cursed after tigerears bit us under the light of a full moon

– This month (maybe longer) in KiaSA, including::

     – Everquest 2

     – Jumpgate

     – Lord of the Rings Online

     – Star Wars: The Old Republic

     – And more…

– Book Club

– Twitter questions

– MUSIC BLAAAAST FROM THE GAMING PAAAAAST!

     – Last episode’s tune: Wing Commander theme tune

Download Kiasacast Episode Five

Kiasacast Episode 4

For those of you who are not monitoring our podcast RSS feed or stalking us on the Twitterverse, brace your main hats and hang on to your sails, because we’re pleased to announce that it’s time for Kiasacast episode 4: E3 special!

This episode of the podcast includes:

– An admission

– E3, including:

     – Beatles rock

     – Alan Wake plans

     – Project Natal hurts

     – Sony Wands massage

     – Molyneux hypes

     – Barnett entertains

     – APB impresses

     – The Old Republic juices

     – Jumpgate delays

– Search term of the period of time since the last podcast

– MUSIC BLAAAAST FROM THE GAMING PAAAAAST!

     – Can you identify the music from the end of this episode’s show?
        Answers on an aldis lamp, and then email an MPEG of the lamp to us.

     – Last episode’s tune: Magic Pockets, intro from the Amiga version,
        outro Betty Boo – Doin’ the Do

Download Kiasacast Episode Four

Kiasacast Episode 3

For those of you who are not monitoring our podcast RSS feed or stalking us on the Twitterverse, brace your main hats and hang on to your sails, because we’re pleased to announce that it’s time for Kiasacast episode 3: The Kiasacast Strikes Back!

This episode of the podcast includes:

– Listener’s mail

– Second Opinion: a Darkfall re-review

– This (Three) Month(s) In KiaSA: Don’t Believe the Hype

– What We’re Playing

– Book Corner, including:

     – Child 44

     – Fly by Night

– The brand new and incredibly innovative Listener’s Twitter Questions

– Search Sewage

– MUSIC BLAAAAST FROM THE GAMING PAAAAAST!

     – Can you identify the music from this episode’s show?
       Answers on an aldis lamp, and then email an MPEG of the lamp to us.

     – Last episode’s tune: Xenon II Megablast, intro from the Amiga version, outro remix by daXX

Download Kiasacast Episode Three

Aural pleasure.

In case any readers are interested in listening to us blather for forty minutes or so in our so called ‘posh’ English accents (Zoso is exceedingly posh, I border on “Gor blimey Mahewy Poppins”), we were kindly allowed to intrude on the most recent episode of the VanHemlock podcast.

As an added bonus there’s also interactive audience input from our good friend PJ from pjh.clu.org.uk

With limited power comes limited applicability.

As its final release draws ever nearer m’colleague and I are allowing ourselves to become ever so slightly interested in Champions Online. Picture, if you will, Champions Online resting on the corner of the metaphorical office desk of our collective mind, with Zoso and myself seated on swivelling office chairs that represent our interest in the game. We would both now, perhaps, be twisted ever so slightly towards the game, with our hands still firmly on our computer keyboards and our faces directed straight at our monitors, but we are definitely now able to observe the vague form of the game’s packaging from out of the corner of our eye. One foot might be placed firmly to the side of the chair, poised and ready to launch us in a squeaky wobbly trajectory towards the game should its pull prove too much for us to resist.

As such we decided to engage the services of our industry mole to go behind the scenes at Cryptic Studios and dish the dirt. As moles are wont to do. He returned with a hastily snapped picture of a development board which listed many and varied powers. Some of the super variety, some less so. We present to you here the ones that were crossed out and therefore, we assume, will not make it into the final release of the game:

  • The power to undo really tight knots in shoelaces.
  • The supernatural ability to avoid damp sticky patches on the floor in the kitchen at night when barefoot.
  • The ability to lick your own elbow.
  • The travel power ‘Scooting backwards on an office chair propelled by one foot’.
  • The mutant ability: levitate birds.
  • The power to know immediately which is the right way round for a plain t-shirt with no label in the neck.
  • The ability to never ladder tights.
  • Supernatural resistance to semolina pudding.
  • The ability to summon fifty starfish at will.
  • The mutant ability: gigantic growth when in a confined space.
  • The inhuman ability to sneeze with your eyes open.
  • The power to cross one eye at a time
  • The travel power ‘Running behind a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel and then pushing yourself up on the handlebar and free wheeling until you crash sideways into a large display of baked bean tins’.
  • The power to toast bread at will.
  • The mutant ability: launch a destructive beam of red laser fire from your genitals when you expose them.
  • The ability to produce a really good paella out of thin air.
  • The power to transform any person into Beryl Reid.
  • The mutant ability: rapid fingernail regeneration.
  • The ability to see clearly at night during the daytime.
  • The uncanny talent to not smack your lips in disgust after licking a postage stamp or envelope.
  • The power to walk up the down escalator.
  • The mutant ability: spontaneously combust at will.
  • The power to be faster than a tall building and able to leap speeding bullets in a single bound.
  • The ability to breathe beer.
  • The mutant ability: super speed when on slippery surfaces.
  • The power to give everyone in a fifty foot radius the power to give everyone in a fifty foot radius the power to give everyone in a fifty foot radius etc.
  • The preternatural ability to predict when somebody is on the other side of a solid door so that you don’t reach to open it only to have them open it first and you grab your chest and go “bwah!”.
  • The mutant ability: indestructible body hair.
  • The ability to eat soup that’s slightly too hot.
  • The astonishing power to wear skin-tight latex with breasts smaller than watermelons.
  • The power to shout incredibly quietly.
  • Supernatural resistance to itchy underpants elastic.
  • The ability to quote the average county score of any Middlesex batsman from 1952 to 1986.
  • The mutant ability: prehensile penis.
  • The group travel power ‘Running around in a snaking line of people to the tune of Yakety Sax’.
  • The inhuman strength to open a really tight jar lid, but only if someone else has loosened it a bit first.