ORIGIN EMPLOYEE FIRED FOR BEING IN THE MILITARY, JUST IN TIME FOR MEMORIAL DAY [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

Strangers to this domain may not know who Mindtrip is, or was as the case now stands. Years ago, he was a counselor who quickly earned nothing but the highest levels of respect from the players and was instrumental in introducing some of the best members of the volunteer program to the population of Ultima Online. I had the honor of meeting him at the UO Faire last Autumn and found him to be an intelligent and warm-hearted man who absolutely loved Ultima Online like it was his child. He eventually graduated out of the volunteer squad to become a member of the Quality Assurance team. I know what you are thinking, but take my word for it – Mindtrip did one hell of a job. It took no time at all to earn the respect of the dev team at Origin. I am honored to consider him a friend.

Fast forward to the middle of last week, when I get an email entitled, “Mindtrip let go” in my mailbox. The email was a gracious and noble farewell that read like something you’d hear from a defeated political candidate, bitter and frustrated at the loss but bowing out with grace and dignity. I was sad to hear that it was the opinion of Origin Systems that Mindtrip was something that Ultima Online did not need and his services were inadequate as a member of the QA staff.

Sad, until I read the following:

When I asked what the reason was for dismissing me to my supervisor, I was told it was because I was in the military.

Right now, every single person employed at Origin Systems should hang their heads in shame. Not out of guilt or contribution to this, but out of mere association with any business that would be so arrogantly dick-faced.

Let me back-track just a bit and give you the entire story in Mindtrip’s own words:

My day on Tuesday the 22nd was just like any other one for me, until catastrophe broke. I showed up early in IRC because I wanted to take on more testing work. They were not handing out a lot of tasks lately to me so I had taken the week off from work to make a double vacation/uo test-time effort. I was also going to update my supervisor on the latest changes to my military schedule since it had cleaned up very nice for the next year.

So, I logged in and asked for tests to do and said hello to my friends. I then private messaged my supervisor hello. At that moment, my inbox received the letter from OSI to dismiss me.

Let me interrupt the retelling here just to point out something: In all the years, after all the embarrasments of mis-management, Origin Systems still employs and promotes people with absolutely NO FUCKING MANAGEMENT TALENTS WHATSOEVER. All you have to do is have thick BJ lips and record a few quasi-erotic squeals into a microphone and you can FUCKING BE IN CHARGE OF THE ENTIRE PROJECT. I’m still waiting for the day when Origin learns how to fire someone WITHOUT BEING ASSHOLES. Hint: If you hire people with business degrees, they tend to act like professionals. STOP HIRING PEOPLE FROM AUSTIN SENIOR HIGH.

Jesus H Christ. Anyway, back to the story…

I confronted this and, of course, it was clarified that I was let go due to military deployments scheduled in September and in December (I had said either/or not both). However, some very key information was missed where I had mentioned my intentions to move into a stable job and that all military deployments are only tentative and that I have full internet access at one of the locations. It was very clear they knew nothing about the military community I serve in. I pushed the fact that I had just been moved to a stable job and no trips were scheduled for the next year at all. At this point things just got out of hand and confrontational. I know I was seeing red in the face. At this point, I knew my supervisor’s hands were tied. I have respect for this person and just debating was hurtful. This was something neither of us wanted to face I am sure. So, I took it on up the chain directly to OSI. In the end, when I pushed my military hours as not being a factor, other reasons were brought up that were never conveyed to me nor were the reasons more beyond the last 3 weeks. The short of it all was that recently I was not putting in the time needed and because of that I was not fulfilling my end of the deal.

Well, I have been testing as a volunteer and then as a consultant for over 18 months. I am sorry, but we all need breaks from time to time and good leaders know when to cut someone loose to take it easy. Even when I asked for a week off a month ago, it was like pulling teeth. In the end, I never took a week off and worked roughly 20 hours. After that, it was just hard to get anything meaningful to do. I could just hear the nails being driven into my coffin at that point on. I would ask for work to do and there was hardly any to give.

In the end, I find it horribly ironic that I am now in a desk job working 7 to 4 and coming home with nothing to do. I would love to be testing but what can I do? Nothing. I was told I was eligible to return but when I asked what I needed to do to be eligible to return I was told I had to fulfill my contract 100% and then I was asked if I was still thinking of getting out of the military in a year. Pardon me, but isn’t this a two way street? Shouldn’t leaders take care of their followers? Shouldn’t followers be helpful subordinates by keeping their supervisors informed? In the end, my integrity was used to dismiss me. My revelations of possible military duties were used in a negative fashion without informing me. If I knew that being a helpful follower was going to hurt me, I would have not been kind and shared those things. If I had just kept my military life to myself, I would be a tester today.

Okay so here’s what we know now: After pushing hard against the issue of being in the military, Mindtrip is cited “additional factors” that in my opinion, add up to a little pile of BULLSHIT and BACKPEDDALING. Usul, if you’re going to be a GIANT DICKFACE, for CHRISTS SAKE DONT PUSSY OUT WHEN CONFRONTED WITH IT. BE A FUCKING MAN AND STICK TO YOUR GUNS (If you need suggestions where you can stick said guns, I’ll be happy to suggest a few places. UP YOUR ASS immediately comes to mind).

And if you are not completely and totally FLOORED by this story, what do you think of this: When Mindtrip asks what his chances are for returning to work with THE COMPANY THAT JUST SHOVED A BOWLING PIN UP HIS ASSHOLE, he is told, “all you have to do is quit the Air Force.”

FUCK YOU USUL. FUCK YOU WITH A LIT STICK OF DYNAMITE.

In the end, I am moving on and seeking new things to do at home. But, I know one thing: As a leader myself, my primary goal is always to look out for my followers, to do anything I possibly can to ensure their best interests are met, and be the buffer between them and the big brass high up. If I had to, I would lay my career down to protect them and I have already done this once. I just wish someone had jumped in the crossfire for me this time. I needed help and never got it.

I’ll tell you what you didn’t get – respect. Oh, and you also didn’t get to work for a professional. You got to work for someone who got his first taste of authority and turned into a little dictator. Quit the military? As much as UO is a cluster-fuck without you, don’t you even consider it unless it is your own decision. Unlike Usul and Mesanna, there are people who respect and appreciate your service to our country.

I have no fight left in me. But, when there were times when I was picking up the people around me, now they are doing this for me. This is all that really matters to me now.

In the end, I should have never been so open about my life. There is a lesson to be had here: Never, ever, share your personal life to your civilian employers. You never know when that information can be used against you.

Mindtrip is completely justified for being angry and for lashing out and for calling names (I on the other hand, may not be. Usul you mother-fucker, you can hate me all you want, girlfriend). Mindtrip has every right to be bitter and to call down the fires of Gohmorrah onto Origin Systems. Keep that in mind when you read his “parting words” to those who are still playing Ultima Online:

If some of you people think that what you say at the message boards is a waste of time, it is not. I personally tested hundreds of reports that players have made and documented them for submittal. I never posted a reply, never said a word, I just took down the info and tested. I would bounce message board to message board looking for information and run conclusive tests upon them. Several have resulted in patches. The rest? Like I said, I can only hope the Development Team can work fast enough. But, never doubt that the information is documented. I have great faith in my peers that remain. I know they are doing the same things I was–being flies on the wall, listening, watching, documenting. So please, if you have issues, please be outspoken about it.

The guy was just fired, and what does he do? He lobbies for his former co-workers while offering one last pat on the back to the players he was eager and happy to serve for over a year and a half. This is the measure of the man that is Mindtrip. This is why the players who met him, liked him. This is why so many people at Origin respected him. Even in the face of injust mistreatment, he was gracious and kind-hearted.

I allow you to draw your own conclusions, but here are a few facts to help you do that:

1. Usul is a motherfucker

2. Usul has absolutely no respect for people

3. Usul is the embodiment of every Dilbert cartoon ever penned

Usul and Messana both deserve to be fired. Not for offending me. At Origin, that earns you a Bronze Star. Not for firing someone they felt did not meet their secret back-office standards for QA. We already know the standards are pathetically low. They should be fired for displaying what stands today as the worst story of poor management that most of you have ever heard.

If anybody at Origin has any sense at all, Usul will be fired before the day is out. He is a giant dick and while that might make him a perfect fit for the giant vagina called OSI, he shouldn’t be a manager until he FUCKING LEARNS HOW. Messana gets ONLY A SLIM BREAK as she may or may not have been uncomfortably stuck with the “Bearer of bad news” in this case. But you know what? She had her moment of transcendance when Usul proposed this dismissal, and she bent like a thistle in a windstorm. For that, she can eat a bag of hell.

The both of you obviously have no clue. Maybe if your fathers had been able-bodied enough to serve our country, you’d have a little more understanding for the overwhelming demands that such duty can place upon someone. This is why we have a MEMORIAL DAY. But I’m guessin the two of you were sitting in lawn chairs sucking down beers and hot dogs. Mean while two thirds of this entire planet are littered with the scattered bones of our American Military. Our countrysides are pockmarked with boxes in holes and white stone tiles that stretch as far as the eye can see – like a somber mosaic of death and sacrifice. Am I being holier-than-thou? You bet your FUCKING ASS I AM. On Monday, I was standing in the grass at Arlington, in front of one of those little marble tiles, sticking tiny flags into the wet grass. A father? A brother? A friend? no. I have no idea who any of those bones belonged to. AND THAT IS THE ENTIRE GODDAM POINT OF MEMORIAL DAY. Acres upon acres of rotting caskets, filled with the dead; people who didn’t know who the hell I was either.

Maybe both of you should think about that. I don’t know if your fathers are still alive to see what kind of people you have become, but I’ll tell you what – if they aren’t here to see this, I’ll be ashamed of you for them.

SITEPOWERDOWN [Author: Lum the Mad]

SitePowerUp, a popular provider of free message bases for many guilds and others in the MMO community, are closing as of Friday. According to Jim “Vor the Admin” Townshend,

I regret to inform you that SitePowerUP.com and its services will be shutting down permanently on June 1, 2001. The only exception to this is email. Users who have @sitepowerup.com accounts are welcome to keep them. Since 1997 we have provided services for over 50,000 web sites and have logged almost a half billion pageviews from our users. Those of you with paid service will be refunded a prorated percentage of your current payment after the first week of June.

As a service to those in the MMO community hit by this move, here are some providers of free message board services.

If you host your own web server, you can also set up your own message board. This has the advantage of not inflicting annoying pop-up ad banners and such on your users. However they can be a drain on your web server and require some (in some cases quite a bit of) knowledge in setting up web applications. Novices are recommended to start with Ultimate BB as that system has a simple step-by-step tutorial and works with almost every web server. In repeated (*sigh*) testing we’ve found that WWWThreads holds up the best under high-stress conditions.

  • Ultimate BB ($249, requires Perl on web server)
  • WWWThreads ($100, requires Perl or PHP and MySQL on web server)
  • VBulletin ($85, requires PHP and MySQL on web server)
  • Snitz Forums (free, requires NT web server and Access or MS-SQL)

OUR YEARLY POSITIVE EVERQUEST STORY [Author: Lums Other Half]

You’re still here? All righty then.

EQ has been out a couple years now, and I’ve crafted since day 1. My husband asked me often why I was doing that – since crafts were pretty pointless. My answer always was – well, some day this will be a good skill to have.

And so it’s starting to shape up to be just that. Tailoring recently received a boost in the arm (although these COULD have been in game – we think it’s a pretty new addition) for stubborn skill gain between 100ish and 200ish. Wu’s fighting armor – and it’s not cheap to make, but compared to what was available prior to this, it’s downright thrifty.

Most EQ players are at least passingly familiar with Wu’s Fighting Gauntlets. Now – we have a nice set that is a step up from cured silk for monks. Trivials range between about 128 and 158. I know those numbers mean nothing to the average person or even the average EQ player – it means a LOT to an EQ tailor.

Basically – this armor is about 1 AC better per piece than cured,

each piece also carries a small agility bonus (important for monks). The clothes themselves are nice looking, of note the pants are a golden color, and the bracers are black. For monks who basically look identical to every other monk their entire playing career, this is more important then you might think.

Stats – courtesy of the great recipe list at EQ Traders

All are weight 0.1, and magic items:

mask AC 3, AGI 3

mantle AC 4, AGI 3

sash AC 4, AGI 2

wristband AC 4, AGI 1

gorget AC 4, AGI 2

slippers AC 5, AGI 2

cap AC 5, AGI 3

cloak AC 5, AGI 4

sleeves AC 5,AGI 3

pantaloons AC 6, AGI 4

shirt AC 9, AGI 4

This should go a long way to helping tailors along the skill gain curve that is going to be necessary to get into viable range of Velious leathers.

So, for all the folks that think we never ever have anything nice to say – t’aint so McGee – we do when there is something nice we can say.

There also has been many changes in the last few patches to the world of cuisine. No longer is food and drink just an afterthought. Although I am not as thrilled with this change – it is nice for food and drink to have some small nods to gameplay. My baker always cooked for the fun factor – but adding mechanics that affect stats is a nice touch.

Here are a couple examples – granted, the better ones.

Pickled Dragon – STR 3, STA 3, DEX 3, CHA 3, WIS 3, INT 3,

AGI 3

Pickled Wurm – STR 1, DEX 1, STA 1, WIS 1, INT 1,CHA 1, AGI 1

In the old world recipes – most of the racial dishes have small stat bonuses – myself – I always make smoked wood elf just to give that hungry ogre I’d meet. Ummm ummm good – just like momma used to make.

Dwarf chops – STR 2, STA 2

Elven veal – DEX 1, WIS 1, AGI 1, INT 1

Gnome kabob – DEX 2, INT 2

Hot & spicy toelings – DEX 2, AGI 2

Smoked wood elf – WIS 2, AGI 2

It would appear some work is being done in the drink categories as well – with the researchers at EQ traders reporting two brewable drinks so far (nonalcoholic) with small bonuses.

Karana brown tea: +1 sv poison

Sylvan berry juice: AGI 1

These recipes are going to rock no one’s world, however they might open the eyes of the muffin and milk set. It certainly won’t HURT to have food do more than it traditionally has – and it’s a good thing to give bakers and brewers more of an opening when talking about their wares. Have you hugged your local baker today?

INTERVIEW WITH JAKE SONG OF NCSOFT AT RPGVAULT [Author: Lum the Mad]

As NCSoft spent last month buying out companies, people started noticing Lineage, otherwise known as the game with approximately 12 trillion subscribers, give or take 12 trillion. RPGVault got an interview with Jake Song, Lineage’s designer. It’s an interesting discussion with someone who, whatever else you may believe, is definitely about to be a much greater influence in the MMO genre.

Korean-made MMOGs are more goal-oriented in play style and more PvP-oriented than US games. I think it’s due to the fact that the mood of society itself is toward high competition because the country is still under development compared to western worlds, which are more stable. I think a MUD style game is a mirror of the society on which it is based.

This means, of course, that Wolfpack is really based in Israel.

E3: DARK AGE OF CAMELOT INTERVIEW [Author: Lum the Mad]

Lum: How are these entered from the outside world? Portals or doorways or something of that sort?

Matt Firor: There will actually be, this is a dungeon under Stonehenge, so in the middle of Stonehenge will be kind of a ramp down, you would go down the ramp and zone in through there.

Mark Jacobs: And you see, we go from a very nicely laid out area to a very rough hewn cave.

Matt: The backstory behind this dungeon is that this is Uther Pendragon’s burial chamber. Underneath the actual burial chamber is an older cavern which is inhabited by Celtic [reavers?] which predate the Romans, so there’s a mid level and a higher level on top, and then down below, it will be pretty varied. It’s the kind of thing where you have to go down a narrow staircase, you see a couple of different levels.

Lum: Do you have a set level range for this dungeon?

Matt: This one, I think, is 12 to 15 on the upper level, then, like, 13 or 14 to 17 on the middle level and 20 plus on the bottom. And as Mark was saying, what we really need right now is object lighting, dynamic object lighting, torches, things like that. We don’t have that yet.

[The character navigates to a huge chamber with a tomb in the middle and a huge statue of a dragon in the rear.]

Matt: This is Uther’s burial chamber. The detail here is pretty impressive, especially on the statue. We have two tapestries here, one on each side.

Lum: I assume once this goes live you won’t be able to take such a leisurely stroll through the area.

Matt: [laughs] Oh no, there will be quite a few creatures here. Actually, though, the quest and the story that goes along with this, some of the monsters are good, actually. Uther is not evil. They will actually help you, that’s part of the quest.

Lum: You’ve been starting to work on the PvP system a little, how are you planning on balancing the transition from players doing dungeon crawls such as this to basic PvP interaction?

Matt: Basically, we’re actually pretty happy with the PvP system we have now. Essentially, based on our calculations, we’re actually in the right ballpark, nothing is crazily out of whack. There’s a couple of things we need to fix, we know that some spells are overly powerful, we know that paladins are a bit overpowered in PvP. Those are just specific cases.

Lum: Have you been doing any testing of realm points yet?

Matt: No. That will probably come with Hibernia. The way we set up monsters is interesting. We take a monster that’s 20th level, and they have exactly the same power and hit points as a player of that level. So basically players have been testing the PvP system as they go up in levels. That’s kind of the underlying baseline for everything. Of course the monsters don’t use spells as intelligently as players do. There are no paladin monsters. So that’s the experience we’re working with, that some things are a bit over-powerful…

Lum: I’ve heard that one problem is that only one nation has minstrels, which enhance the speed of their group, so that basically anyone from that nation with a minstrel can run away at will.

Matt: Yes, we haven’t put in Skalds for Midgard yet. That’s coming. We’re putting him and the Friar in in the next few weeks.

Lum: What about trade skills, have you done any work on that?

Dave Rickey: Trade skills will be implemented using a tree-based system. They will actually be time-based, not usage-based. We’ll be looking to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lum: So you’ll start doing something, and it will be a timer before it’s finished?

Mark: You’ll still have to sit there. It won’t be something that you do and then put it in your backpack and move on. But it will be geared not to thousands of repetitions to get up to the next level, but we’re trying to make it so that it is something that you can do, between the time that you create something special, we’re not going to say OK, to build an arrow it will take so long. That would be unplayable.

Lum: What sort of things will players be able to build?

Mark: Pretty much anything. You’re going to be working on arrows, you’re going to be working on your armor, working on weapons. We want to seperate out the repair skills from the creation skills. Most people don’t really want to become crafters. But almost everyone wants to be able to fix their own stuff. So we wanted to implement something that would not necessarily be the same as creation.

Lum: Are there things going in that would allow players to create items that would better personalize them in the world?

Mark: Absolutely.

Lum: Clothing, etc..

Mark: We would definitely like to go there.

Matt: We can do things like if a blacksmith makes a sword, you can right click on it and it will say “Mark Jacobs’ sword”.

Lum: I was thinking more in terms of actual appearance.

Matt: Right, dyeing, making things different colors, special kind of sword models that only comes from player crafting, we will be doing all that.

Mark: It’s a question of how much time we have before release to get in all the very unique and special weapon textures, clothing textures, colors, et cetera.

Lum: Are you planning on implementing any mechanics for assisting players selling items to other players?

Mark: Oh, absolutely.

Matt: We don’t have the trade window in yet, obviously.

Lum: I meant things beyond that. Like marketplaces, that kind of thing.

Matt: We’ve been looking at something similar to the “Looking For Group” system, not like in Everquest with the auctions, but “Looking for Items” list, where you can check a list of everything people in your area are selling.

Lum: So that would be like zone-wide classified ads, I guess?

Matt: Yeah, actually, very much like that.

Lum: How persistent would that be, would you have to be logged on…

Matt: Only in your immediate zone. That’s just what we’ve discussed so far, since it would be easy to fit our “Looking For Group” system to that. We could do that pretty easily. Another thing about the skill system that’s pretty cool is that you don’t have to go up in player levels. Like Mark was saying, it’s time based. You could actually not kill any monsters, and actually be a very good smith. That’s what is good about being time based as opposed to experience point based. For example, you could go up in player level by killing things, and that uses the skill system that we have, a number of points per level that you trade in. This one will work the more you work, the better you get at it. A totally different set of skills not combat-related.

Lum: Is there a hard cap to those?

Mark: There will probably be one. We haven’t gone into enough detail yet. I assume there will be a hard cap. How high will that cap be? We don’t know yet.

Lum: Going back to PvP, you have special zones set up for testing that currently. When do you plan to begin testing invasions, where players can go and start hitting other realms?

Matt: Later on in the summer. Basically we have to put in the filter zones. Hibernia will come first, and then the middle zones.

Lum: So it will be like an interim realm?

Matt: The frontier zones. They will actually be contiguous, and you will have to go through them to get to an opposing realm.

Lum: I take it you don’t plan on testing the Realm Point system until after Hibernia, then?

Matt: The Realm Point system is actually a lot of status. There’s not a lot of game enhancement.

Lum: But I thought that that was why people were fighting, you would kill your enemies and then get realm points that you would spend on things.

Mark: A lot of advantages are coming down the road. Things like horses. Housing. That sort of thing will be tied into the realm point system.

Matt: Titles. Special titles.

Mark: We wanted to stay away from realm points being something that would in turn be very unbalancing to the game. More houses or titles. Eventually you get better treatment from shopkeepers. You would actually be more well known within the realm. Would something like that be unbalancing? We don’t know yet.

Matt: It’s a status thing. You get better chat commands. You can lead multiple groups. You can have “Sir Whatever” over your name.

Lum: Are you planning on implementing a guild system over and beyond the three realms?

Dave: Yes, the player associations.

Matt: We’ll have that and it will work very similar to the other games of this type. Player associations will have a leader, and will show what association they are with, and you will have a guild symbol on the back of your cloak, from a library that you can select from. The cool thing about this is that, this is definitely planned, housing. We’ll have prebuilt housing and associations can rent out a house. If they rent it out the guild symbol will appear on the awning as well.

Mark: We believe in urban development. [laughs] Zoning. We will have areas with housing, and we will have other structures within major areas. But we wanted it to be very controlled, we don’t want the kind of chaos you saw in other games with player housing.

Lum: One thing that’s impressed me a lot is the melee styles you have implemented, that makes melee classes a lot more interesing compared to other games, are you planning other little benefits like those for other classes?

Matt: Well, it kind of boils down to a class is either a spellcaster or a fighter. Spellcasters of course have spells, and they have abilities, intrisically different to combat styles. Some classes have all combat styles, some classes have all spells, and some are a blend of the two.

Lum: The skills are kind of linear right now, are you planning on introducing any skill trees like you mentioned for trade skills?

Matt: Probably not, not short term. We want to get in the most of the ones we have, and branch out later. We don’t have enough diversity in skills right now. We have to make a wizard who specializes in air different from a wizard who specializes in fire. We actually want to make them work differently.

Mark: A skill tree is much more difficult to implement. A linear skill system is much easier to implement and balance. One of the things we’ve been working on the past few months is to give more skills to the players, and they still want more, more, more. It’s hard to balance.

Lum: Let’s talk about quests for a bit. You’ve got some in right now. Do you plan on having any way of players introducing any?

Mark: That is a whooole big kettle of…

Lum: Yes, it’s a big question.

Mark: That is a big question. Realistically, the answer is no. Would we like to have something where players can have some greater effect using the quest system? Possibly. Nothing overly ambitious. That can create more problems than it’s worth. Would we have something potentially down the world where players need specific items, and it could be done within the concept of Dave’s economy, so that whatever quest the player introduces for an item. For something. What he gets in return can’t be used for cheating. “If you do this quest I’ll give you a million gold!” Would we like to do something like that, that doesn’t introduce more problems? Sure, we’d love to.

Lum: I was thinking more in terms of a way to draw players into the story. I guess tools for automating that.

Matt: That.. we’d have to look hard at the possibility of exploiting that.

Lum: Oh, you’re not planning on launching with any exploits, are you?

Matt: Only five or six. [laughs]

Dave: One problem with our implementing player-built quests is that the tools that we use are not designed for the end user. We’d have to design new tools for the players to use to implement this.

Matt: The biggest problems with quests right now is that we have a whole lot of quests and no one knows where they are.

Lum: There’s no spoiler sites out yet.

Matt: Well, yeah. [laughs] We’ll have town criers and wandering people that actually talk to you about it.

Lum: I haven’t had a chance to log into the beta recently, but wasn’t there implemented bars where you could go listen to rumors of quests and things like that?

Matt: Yeah, you go up to a town crier or a barkeep and you click on them and they actually give you more direction or something to do. Some direction or lists out a bunch of different places for the player to go, actually how to get there. Another big complaint right now is that no one knows how to get anywhere.

Lum: Mapping is a big problem.

Matt: Yeah. The adventure one, it looks at your level and says “here’s 4 quests, talk to this guy or this guy”. You could give new players, or even mid-level players some idea of where to go.

Lum: You’ve got a really interesting system of item decay in place, where things will decay a lot more so than other games. Have you been seeing any problems with that? Any complaints?

Matt: We haven’t heard one complaint about it in six months. People have gotten used to it. We haven’t actually looked at it lately.

Lum: How close are you to releasing Hibernia to the beta testers?

Matt: July. Close to the end of July.

Lietgardis: Is there any reason for players to fight monsters on the surface as opposed to in dungeons?

Matt: Right now, because there are no dungeons yet.

Mark: Down the road, there’ll be reasons to fight in both. On the surface, players don’t feel claustrophobic, they’ll have a good idea of what they face, they’ll have a wider field of vision, will know nothing is coming up behind them. So for certain times it’s nice just to whack something in a field or outside the guild hall. But we also have dungeons, basements…

Matt: We’re actually planning a newbie dungeon under Camelot. To actually give the city some life. Go down, kill some things in lower levels, get used to the idea of an enclosed space…

Lum: Send your noobs into the sewers!

Matt: Yeah. [laughs]

Mark: We want there to be places to go. Newbie dungeons, newbie… obviously right now everything is newbie.

Lum: What about the ability to solo, have you looked at that yet?

Dave: I think we’ve shown that we’re committed to solo ability in general.

Mark: We have to be. I love to solo.

Matt: As far as soloing in the dungeons versus soloing in the outdoors, dungeons tend to be a little more dangerous place. As always, when you solo you’ve got no margin for error, so you make a mistake, you die. You will probably make more mistakes in dungeons.

Lum: Any plans for beyond Camelot, are you working on other games at the moment?

Mark: (brightly) Why, ye…

Matt and Dave in unison: NO! NO! We are currently working on CAMELOT! NOTHING ELSE!

Mark: (somewhat abashed) *Right now* our plans are to get Camelot out the door.

O.o [Author: Lum the Mad]

Darktide News Network has word of an ambitious attempt by a guild leader to bring an end to Gear speedhacking on Darktide. Almost every guild said “sure!” The lone holdout?

Sorry man… You have us confused with some other monarchs.. We\’e2\’80\’99re all about exploting, cheating and winning at all costs… If you don\’e2\’80\’99t like the way we fight, go play on an o.O server.. So i guess that is a \’e2\’80\’98no\’e2\’80\’99 from us..

Zeke – Blood[KoC]

Without a level playing field, PvP is worthless. Without the knowledge it was gained honestly, victory is worthless.

I don’t know about you, but I pity KoC. To be proud of their part in destroying what they’ve put so much time into — that takes a special kind of stupidity.