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Van Hemlock Episode 34
Mon, 5 Jan 2009 02:58:00 GMT [download/play]



It's the first show of the new year and we're back with news and ramblings about what we're playing.

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes, it's a great way of getting us noticed by more people, and without more people we can't take over the world.

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Episode 34 Discussion Thread

'5 in a row... oh and Home' by poozle
Submitted on 2009-01-05 05:15:54 CST
Just listened to 5 of your shows in a row (backlog + all nighter...) and just thought I'd let you know that the movies it refers to (as far as I can tell) is the movie download service available in the US, and I agree, home is truly useless, I'm just glad I got all the "paid for" content for free for being in the closed beta :)


'Johnathan Creek' by Token
Submitted on 2009-01-05 06:33:55 CST
I'm going to use points because it's too late to figure out sentences
-Gratz on your strongest show to date, this episode really worked
-That bathtub death tank was undeniably very cool
-Where are you two and the Limited edition team based?



' happy new year both' by welshtroll
Submitted on 2009-01-05 12:25:26 CST
nice show. we use the wii web browser great for youtube/iplayer viewing in full screen,annoying you have to buy it, but it gets updates so all good. Oh thought i'd add about the on screen keyboard that has the option to function like a mobile phone system, if you prefer that kind of system. Wii has hd on most games but you need a hd connector and like the ps3 this is sadly not supplied by default. Failed the quiz only 3 points total i think.


'Happy New Year' by TheBigFreak
Submitted on 2009-01-05 12:32:17 CST
Just been listening to the show and you have made me want to get back into lotro, what server do you play on and room for 1 more :)



'Good show' by Sente
Submitted on 2009-01-05 18:41:09 CST
Happy new year to you!

Interesting that you do not see any PS3 ads in UK. Here in Sweden I see PS3 ads fairly regularly on TV. I have no idea how it is doing here compared to the other consoles, but in some store the shelf space seem to be about equivalent of the 360.

I really hope that the patent debacle will in some way result in that the patent will be withdrawn. It would very much hurt smaller games or any open source efforts (such as the Ryzom engine). However, the patent may only be valid for the US though so perhaps it will/can be worked around by operating outside the US, if anyone wants to avoid it. At least until worlds.com tries to get the patent valid in other places also.

What might happen also if worlds.com is successful against NCSoft is that some bigger player simply buys worlds.com.. Whether they in turn try to enforce the patent or just let it drop is another matter though.




'Why More People Might be Playing Sims 1 vs. Sims 2' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-01-06 01:53:49 CST
The Sims releases expansions at a rate faster than even Sony does for EQ/EQ2. These expansion are only good for that version of the game. So if you purchased them all for The Sims and Sims 2 comes along, not only do you have to buy TS2 but you have to repurchase all of the related expansions and with NO discount or upgrade type program applied.

I want to play The Sims 3 in February. However, if none of the features from the existing TS2 expansions come as base features in TS3 they can kiss my butt. I'm not purchasing the 7 to 10 expansions again like I did times three players in our household. The only way I'd do it is if there was some multi-player features which I've heard EA claim players don't want. I find that hilarious since it's all my family and our Sims friends have wanted for years!

The other factor is that TS2 required significantly better hardware to play the game than TS1. I have friends who purchased TS2 but it was barely playable so they went back to TS1. Those same folks who don't play any other games arent willing to upgrade just for TS so they aren't even considering TS3.



'PS3 Adverts' by poozle
Submitted on 2009-01-06 15:10:59 CST
I can only think of one PS3 advert from recent times and that was for LBP (one of the best adverts ever, http://www.psu.com/First-Euro-LittleBigPlanet-TV-spot-revealed-News--a0005283-p0.php). Just dropped into home again and it was as bad as I remembered, won't be in it again for another couple of months.


'Tabula Rasa ISP issues' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-01-06 15:24:27 CST
Interest factoid about Tabula Rasa and its connection issues. I know several people who used Pipex who couldn't stay connected to TR they swapped and they were fine. On investigation and phone calls with high level support it turns out that TR uses the same ports that most P2P file sharing applications use for torrents for example.

These get throttled in the UK and therefore were causing the drop outs



'I don't understand this whole worlds company suing NCSoft?' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-07 00:04:58 CST
but at least you guys and others are putting this important news out there so thanks for that.

All the MMO's look different and it does not look like anyone stole any code.

Do people owe money to Apple or Microsoft if they make any kind of operating system? I don't think so.

I thought they only owe money to someone if I copy their product pretty much exactly I thought.

I like the point about the 1st 3D shooter? Does everyone owe them money?

And it is upsetting to me because I like mmo's and I would hope this does not mess them up in any way.

Thanks for being one of the best at the news, I hope this turns out on the side of the actual mmo companies putting out a great product and not on the side of worlds who don't seem to know how to make their own money.



'It's a dumb system, until you need it to protect an idea' by Jon
Submitted on 2009-01-07 00:24:08 CST
@farspace The problem with these patents is that they're for the concept of how all of the MMOs actually work internally. It doesn't come down to code but to ideas, it's designed to protect the people who do all the hard work from just having it copied by everybody. In reality of course it comes down to whether a concept or idea is considered blatantly obvious to anybody working in the field

The legal fights between Apple and Microsoft over graphical UIs on OSs are a thing of the past, but if you consider things like why GIF was ditched and PNG created, the whole Marching Cubes faff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marching_cubes) and the reason why the PS3 launched without rumble in it's controllers then you'll be shocked about the number of things that are considered obvious that are covered by some patent or another. Personally I think the courts need to have something like the ACM on staff to explain the technical stuff to the non-technical judges, but that'll not happen any time soon.

We've got an update for this story in the next show, assuming I can work out what it really means as it's rather dumb. :)



'o/ :) @ Jon' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-07 07:13:50 CST
Thanks Jon, you have been really helpful. I'll be looking forword to any info you will have on it in th future.


'I just hope...' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-07 07:27:07 CST
I just hope this thing doesn't mess up mmo's in the future and or make it hard for new ones to come along by small companies or whatever.

I personaly do not think the idea of a 3D area with characters able to send tells to eachother is owed to one group of people.

even MUD's were around 1st and the only difference is the 3D,

and the "world.com" people did not invent 3D graphic characters running around and talking to eachother, I remember Death matches in Doom and Duke Nukem 3D way before world.com did anything.

Anyways that's about all i'll say on the topic for now, thanks for the opertunity to give my comments on it :)



'History of the 1st mmo's from Wiki' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-01-07 08:14:28 CST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massively_multiplayer_online_game#History

The debuts of The Realm Online, Meridian 59 (the first 3D MMOG), Ultima Online, Underlight and EverQuest in the late 1990s...

"The first graphical MMOG, and a major milestone in the creation of the genre, was the multi-player flight combat simulation game Air Warrior by Kesmai on the GEnie online service, which first appeared in 1987."

What bout Never Winter Nights in 1991? and others...
Commercial MMORPGs gained early acceptance in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The genre was pioneered by the GemStone series on GEnie, also created by Kesmai, and Neverwinter Nights, the first such game to include graphics, which debuted on AOL in 1991

I hope NCSoft kicks their buts in court for all to see. :)





'AW!' by Talyn
Submitted on 2009-01-07 15:09:54 CST
Ah, Air Warrior! That brings back memories...

Paying *hourly* sucked but the game was so cool, and it embraced user-content as well -- we had monthly campaigns designed by players to recreate historic WW2 battles. And despite the emphasis on being a WW2 combat flight simulator, it did have ground vehicles as well so the teams could go all-out organizing their battles. Good times...



'US Patent Office does it again ...' by Elsyth
Submitted on 2009-01-08 18:18:03 CST
I think this whole situation will end with the patents being judged invalid. For a start why has it taken 12 years for one of the Patents to be approved, while the other filing that took 7 years for approval, has prior art that proceeds the initial filing by at least 5 years. This seem to be just the latest clerical screw up by the Patent Office which seem to be passing the most rediculous things. Maybe one day the US Govement will get round to sorting it out.