All your base are belong to us: Developers busily working on the next generation of virtual worlds can stop now – someone patented the concept, and, presumably, will demand royalties for anyone else infringing on their ingenious invention of this wacky online thingy.

The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system. A plurality of users can interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user.

What a stunningly original idea!

Two ships enter! One ship leaves!: Speaking of stunningly original ideas, G. Bob of Netdevil, formerly of Origin Systems, formerly of LtM, formerly of Usenet and points west, introduced the THUNDERDOME! to Jumpgate.

T.R.I. has now legalized honor duels.

How does this work? Any pilot may “call out” and challenge another pilot for an honor duel. This Friday night, if there are any brave enough to participate, the first honor duel will occur. The winner will be awarded 100,000 credits and a medal to celebrate their victory. The loser? The loser receives the ultimate penalty. Death. In game terms, they shall lose everything. Their experience. Their money. Everything they have worked for.

Only a truly sick mind would have thought of this.

I know… it’s only blocky elves and we like it… like it, like it, no we don’t: Speaking of truly sick minds, the now certified PK-free Shadows of Luclin expansion site is open, complete with new in-game renders of everyone’s favorite fan fair mascot. Check out the big polys on Firiona!

The new models will have a greater number of face options available. For those who already have characters, we will be creating faces for the new models that closely resemble the ones you chose for your old models. We may also allow players with existing characters a one-time choice of a new face for each character, but that’s not guaranteed at the moment.

That was a cool movie, wasn’t it?

A game publisher without a clue? Never thought that would happen: And finally this morning, here’s a little tidbit from the Sierra-MM3D suit over Middle Earth Online. In the VoodooExtreme thread on the story an apparent former MEO developer has a few unkind words to say about Sierra’s (mis)management.

Sierra didn’t understand limited elf populations (you would have to voted in by several other elves to become one, so you wouldn’t have every square block packed with elves). They didn’t like limited magic. They wanted players to be able to gain spells on a whim. The also thought hobbits were boring. More muscle! (or something obscene like that).

Perm. death was never favorable to them. It was going to VERY hard to kill yourself, but there was still a chance. A character psychology was going to be in the background — if you wanted your character to KILL someone, you had to start small and work your way up to being evil. A newbie couldn’t jump in and kill right away.

Rumor mill: We hired a new producer, who came from company X, then when the focus groups proved the team was going in the wrong direction, they were laid off. The producer then takes the project to company X to sub-develop off-site.

What it ultimately came down was that Sierra was afraid of being innovative and original.

Of course, according to patent #US06219045, there really is nothing new under the sun.