Meet with approval – a tool for arranging meetings and events. Frantic back-and-forth calling isn’t ideal, i suppose we can all agree on that. Finding an elegant solution for this interesting problem is intriguing. Unfortunately, on first impression, meet with approval seems neither elegant nor particularly effective, especially for arranging meetings on relatively short notice. Where’s integration with cellphones? I’m not talking wap, but something more pushy like sms. Come to think of it, im-integration on the desktop would probably make sense as well. I’ll have to take a closer look at this, especially how they handle negotiation of dates. (via plasticbag)
Blogtalk returns to vienna in october 2006. What could be better than a nice conference right in your hometown? I don’t quite remember how i managed to miss blogtalk 2.0 in 2004, but i still kinda regret it, so this time round i’ll throw my money in their direction as soon as registration opens.
In the meantime: lift in february perhaps? 93 seats remaining, we’ll see. Lift is totally off the table after some kneejerk comments on Jan’s weblog by one of their organizers. It’s nice that they offer student discounts, but this makes it look like this isn’t the right conference for lowly students.
Asheron’s call 2, a mmorpg, is about to end on dec. 30. It couldn’t garner enough players, so turbine decided to shut it down. How to end a world, asks terra nova. Unfortunately in this case not with a bang but a whimper, writes Clive Thompson for wired news.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit about archival and preservation of digital goods in general and games in particular over the last few months. One particularly impressive example of digital preservation can be found in the game emulation scene, imho. The fervor, expertise and comprehensive coverage found in what is essentially a grassroots movement operating in a legal grey area is truly astounding. People are into this for various reasons (piracy, an obsession with collecting, the technical challenges of reverse-engineering and coding efficient emulators,…) but overall it seems to work surprisingly well. Just google rom+set+torrent and you’ll see what i mean.
Preserving mmogs isn’t quite as simple, of course. Typically only the client software sees wide distribution, while server software remains a guarded treasure. As with anything worth pirating though, efforts of reverse-engineering and emulating the servers are bound to succeed sooner or later and there are server emulators for many successful mmogs available. These obviously stand on shaky legal grounds however.
Even if you get your own servers up and running, you’re still missing all the character data and player-generated content. You can’t quite expect a game publisher to release database dumps upon closing shop, no? And how would you go about migrating your existing player base to a new server without official support? It’s one thing to keep a game in a playable state, but something different to keep your persistent virtual world going. The difference probably lacks significance in games where players can hardly make a lasting dent in their virtual surroundings (like world of warcraft), but a game like second life (where a majority of in-game content is player-generated) wouldn’t be the same if you just “keep it playable”, starting afresh.
Ultimately any attempt to preserve a dying mmog is futile – perhaps you can save the game, but you can’t save the world. So the question remains: how to end a world? I’d hope in dignity and with memorable grandeur, but business interests probably render this wishful thinking.
How the nintendo revolution works – me want!
The wordpress 2.0 release candidate has been up for grabs for a few days and the final release should be tomorrow.
Did an upgrade for local testing. All plugins and themes seem to be working fine (including my own heat map plugin – no update work necessary, yay!). The admin interface has been revamped, it now looks a lot like the wordpress.com backend. Lots of ajaxy pixie dust sprinkled all over. But what do i care, i hardly ever use the wordpress backend anyway thanks to marsedit.
Yesterday i participated in a ragnaros kill for the first time. Incidentally it was also my first molten core run.
Ragnaros is the last boss in one of wow’s more difficult dungeons, the molten core. You typically need a group of 40 experienced players knowing their roles and the different strategies for the bosses. This is definitely something you can’t achieve with a pick-up-group.
The whole mc-run was rather spontaneous and we hardly mustered 40 players for ragnaros, but on third try he finally went down. On first and second try the sons phase didn’t work out quite as expected, with one or more sons still zerging around when ragnaros reappeared. Before our third try a bunch of people had to hearth back to orgrimmar to pick up some dreamfoil in the auction house for new firepots, so that’s what i mean by “spontaneous”… On our third try my rogue went down in phase 1 after three knockbacks into the lava, but the surviving players managed to deal some good damage (rag down to ~40%) before the sons appeared. The sons phase worked perfectly and most if not all melee damage dealers where back on their positions when rag reappeared. One of our druids was kind enough to give me a combat rezz in phase 3 and i got back to what i do best, damage dealing. Soon afterwards ragnaros went down. A combat rezz for a rogue, can you believe that?!
Student ethnographies of world of warcraft (via boingboing)
PlayOn starts doing gender scraping for their census data – i’ve been waiting for this for a long time and the first results are already rolling in: gender, race, and class. Good thing.
Bonus links (for good measure): terra nova, daedalus project.
Yahoo acquires the whole friggin’ internet around me; whatever i sign up for, yahoo buys it – rocketmail, geocities, flickr, upcoming and now del.icio.us. Told you so back in march.
Later: last.fm should be next.
Five paradoxes of the web, mmorpgs compared to the web as a platform.
A bit silly, really. Still, mmorpgs seem like a close approximation of the original cyberpunkish notion of cyberspace to me. Immersive 3d virtual environment, avatars, these kinda things.