Bait Expectations
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 March 2015, 6:18 am

I've written a lot about how, as consumers, it's important to manage our expectations in order to avoid disappointment: You buy a game expecting it to have flaws, and you will yourself to have a good time with it. You'd be surprised how often that works.

What about the other side of the coin, though? Expectations aren't formed in a vacuum. Expectations, rather, are a combination of two things: preconceptions and communications. Each party has control over only one of those factors.

As customers, we have experiences which color how we view the world. Everything we've seen, everything we've heard, everything we've done affects who we are in this moment. Also this moment.

Yep. This one too.

Yes, I'm very clever. Yes, it's working out quite well for me.

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New Game+! 3/19/15
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 7:42 pm

Posted in DDO News ReFeedSyndicated

New Game + is a brand new show on DDOstream every Thursday starting at 8:00 PM Eastern! Thank you for watching. -- Watch live at

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Temple of Elemental Evil Preview!
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 5:21 pm

Posted in OurDDOSyndicated

Severlin, Steelstar, Knockback, and Cordovan did a brief preview two quests in the Temple of Elemental Evil then answered a few questions. I’m really looking forward to this module. A few months ago when the DDO servers went down for maintenance on my day off, I pulled out the old Atari/Troika PC game and installed it...

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Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 3/25/2015
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 3:04 pm

Omega Squad Teemo

Champion Changes


  • Explosive Charge [E] - Bonus damage based on Critical Strike Change removed (returned to live values)
  • Rapid Fire [Q] - Now reduces Explosive Charge's cooldown by 0.5 seconds each time Tristana basic attacks an enemy when her Rapid Fire is active (doubled effect against champions)

Item Changes


  • Item Cost now 2250 (up from 2200). Recipe cost is 400 (up from 350)

Skyrim Modding Interview – Pirates of Skyrim’s BigBizkit
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 2:26 pm
Yar really going to like our newest modding interview. This week we talk to BigBizkit, responsible for the popular Pirates of Skyrim mod. What you do for a living? Pirating. What pirate fiction would you say most influenced your project? Well, it is not so much fiction per se but I really like to think […]

Card Crawl
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 10:00 am

Card Crawl is a diamond in the rough.  By rough... I mean the Apple App store and by diamond... I mean a good game.

Card Crawl is kind of like playing through a tactical solo dungeon crawl... with cards.  It's also a little bit like solitaire?  I feel like I'm not doing a good job here.  Stick with me, the game is good.

What happens is you are dealt a hand of four cards and you have to manage them.  They're in the middle area which represents the dungeon.  There are six types of cards in the dungeon and a few ways to deal with them.  The card types are shield, sword, coin, potion, special ability, and monster.  All of the card types can be dragged down into the section around your character, but the catch is that you only have two hands and one backpack.  This means only three items can fit on your character at any time.  Monsters, on the other hand, can be attacked with swords, get hit by special abilities, be defended against with shields, or dragged directly onto the character to deal damage.

As soon as you clear three of the four cards out of the dungeon area you will be dealt three new cards to fill up the empty spaces.  The goal is to work your way through the entire dungeon deck without having your character reach 0 health.

It's super fun.  It plays really quickly.  And it's a little bit addicting... in a good way.

I highly recommend it.  Especially since it's only $2 in the App Store and doesn't have any of the F2P/In App Purchase bullshit attached.

What Is Wrong With This Picture?
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 7:18 am

Posted in OurDDOSyndicated

They don't exist - you can't wear one, you can't buy one, you can't see one, they do not exist.

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The Favorites of Selune - Trollhaunt - Session 3
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 8:44 am
In the previous session the Favorites of Selune fought their way into the troll warrens. This session started with them deciding to take a long rest, as they tend to do after every remotely challenging fight to recover their daily spells. Note to self: I need to have a mechanic like a time limit for every dungeon in the future to prevent this; respawning trolls would be another option, but then they'd just rest again. At least in this case they had found a good location for the rest, a neighboring cave in which human prisoners from Moonstairs and the prince's expedition were held. The prisoners were in no condition to fight, but were willing to keep guard while the group rested, in exchange for being freed and led out of the troll warren the next day.

Having entered the warrens via the river flowing out, I would have thought that the group might continue further into the warrens that way, which would have been an option. But they decided to do the more conventional thing and followed the tunnels instead. That led them to a cave where an elderly troll shaman was circling a mound of skulls on an elevated platform, with a giant bear pet at the foot of the stairs. Their first concern curiously was to find out whether the bear was actually a bear or a transformed troll druid. Nice idea, but in this case it really was just a bear. While observing the bear they were seen by it, but the bear was content gnawing some bones and didn't attack. A further incursion into the cave likewise didn't result in an attack, neither by the troll nor the bear. And one of the two exits was thus clearly possible to reach without a fight. That caused some discussion, with the rogue being in favor of leaving no troll alive, while the rest of the group preferred to preserve their strength.

The next cave was empty except for a portal with runes on it. The runes apparently were relatively fresh, and in the script that both dwarves and giant-kind uses. With a comprehend languages ritual the priest deciphered it as announcing this door to lead towards the troll king Skalmad, "nobody escapes his eye". The door had a lock, and the rogue was able to pick it, so the group could continue this way.

The next large cave was illuminated by patches of luminescent mushrooms, with an old woman tending a patch of those mushrooms in the middle of the room. From the ceiling hung cages containing troll skeletons. After their experience with the non-hostile troll, the group approached the women with little worry. Which was a mistake, because she transformed into her real form, a briar hag. There was a second hag in the back of the cave, and from the cages descended five troll skeletons and attacked.

As the group had advanced into the cave, and not kept rank, the fight didn't have a clear frontline, and there were skeletons or hags all around and between the characters. While that has obvious tactical disadvantages, at least it made the area effect of the briar hags, who grew patches of briar to entangle the adventurers, less effective. Being right in the middle the cleric used a great combination of turn undead after an area effect spell which allowed him a total of 10 attacks where he needed only to roll a 10 or more on a d20. To general amusement he managed to miss 9 of those attacks. After this bad start the fight was a rather tough one, with lots of healing and use of daily powers needed to survive. The troll skeletons hit hard, and the hags had ranged spells to immobilize adventurers. With the adventurers being dispersed and hindered in movement, they were unable to concentrate their attacks well, which led to several rounds of combat with no monster dying. But then the skeletons started to fall, and so did the first hag. The second hag tried to get to the door to the next room, but was slowed down by some attack, and never made it.

After the fight the group found some treasure, and we ended the session there.
Tobold's Blog

GWJ Conference Call Episode 441
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2015, 12:08 am

Episode 441 - March 25th, 2015
Captain Forever Remix, Battlefield Hardline, Cities: Skylines Mods, Majora's Mask 3DS, Dean Tate on Indie Developin', Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(A Fantastic 46 MBs, 1:20:24)

This week Julian, Cory, Allen and Sean Sands are joined by Captain Forever Remix dev Dean Tate!

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The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 11:17 pm
Remember when I mentioned there was a rumor that budding megahit Heroes’ Charge was getting some angry attention from a company that claimed that they stole the design from them, complete with art?  Stuff has happened since then.  In particular, Ucool has been sued by the makers of the original game, which goes by the name Soul […]

Followup on the Monetization Talk
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 11:23 pm
As a followup to my GDC talk, sat down with me for an extended interview.

Server Maintenance: Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Posted by Lineage II [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 7:22 pm
All game servers will be down for maintenance on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015, at 5:00am PDT / 7:00am CDT / 8:00am EDT / 12:00pm UTC/GMT and will end at 9:30am PDT / 11:30am CDT / 12:30pm EDT / 4:30pm UTC/GMT.  Estimated downtime...

DDOCast 375 – Ask the Devs: Update 25
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 8:35 pm

Posted in Ask the DevsDDOcast PodcastDDOCast Site News

Play Audio

This week we Ask the Devs about the upcoming Update 25 & Temple of Elemental Evil!  Steelstar, Knockback, Severlin, No Worries & Cordovan give us a tour and answer some questions! Production Note: Due to some unfortunate video issues, most of the footage you will see is in fact myself wandering through the Temple of […]

Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 3/24/2015
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 8:14 pm

*Guardian of the Sands Xerath, Guardian of the Sands Skarner, Guardian of the Sands Rammus and Arclight Vayne

Guardian of the Sands Rammus

Guardian of the Sands Xerath

Arclight Vayne

Guardian of the Sands Skarner

Champion Changes


  • Riftwalk [R] - Grace period between stacks reduced to 15 seconds (down from 20)


  • Shrapnel Charge [E] - Damage is increased by a % of Tristana's Critical Strike Chance

Item Changes


  • Health reduced to 300 (down from 350)

Hunter's Machete

  • Health gain lowered to 6 (down from 7)
  • The amount of Health gained per second increases to 12 while below 50% Health

March 18th, 2015 – a busted Chuck
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 March 2015, 4:23 pm

3/19/2015 – YUM
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 March 2015, 4:24 pm

War Changes A Yordle
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 3:57 pm

War Changes A Yordle

NOTE: It's a new Teemo (yes, Teemo) skin promo. Name is most likely the Omega Squad Teemo, legendary tier. Click the quotes to hear them out (skin VO, from the site). The green helmet on left from helmet bro one is Teemo's.

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

I used to live by a code.

I've done things I'm not proud of.

Turns out, I got proficiency in killing.

Patch 5.6 Notes
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 4:13 pm

Patch 5.6 Notes

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Greetings, Summoners.

Welcome to patch 5.6.

Toot toot.

What's that? That's the sound of the second 2015 buff barge, departing from... buff island? Look, we don't know where the buff barge actually stays in its off season. All we do know is that Sometimes this thing docks somewhere, takes on a bunch of friends, and then sails off for the high seas.

Anyway. What this actually means is that we've got a lot of changes aimed at champions who have received less attention in the past few months (or dozen months). Mind you, we're not going to be making a habit of this (power creep is a deep rabbit hole, but the summary is that constantly buffing weak champions means we're just throwing out a lot of power without a functional direction) and we're not in the business of just buffing for the sake of buffing, but felt we could at least give these girls (and guys and Bards) something directionally correct.

The Consequence is Coming in April
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 10:04 am
If you’ve already completed part 1 of Juli Kidman’s adventure and are dying to know what happens next… and we’re happy to inform you won’t have to wait long to see her story through. The Consequence will release on Tuesday, April 21st on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC (Note: European […]

Players to backers ratio
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 11:11 am
The Crowfall Kickstarter is coming to an end this week, having reached its goal. Around 15,000 backers funded the project to the tune of 1.5 million dollars, about $100 average per backer. One of the advantages of crowdfunding frequently mentioned is that it allows to demonstrate public interest in a project. Which leads me to the question of how many backers would be sufficient for that.

In today's market a MMORPG with 15,000 players would be considered incredibly niche. But we have to assume that the number of people willing to buy a game is larger than the number of Kickstarter backers. After all, spending $100 on a game that hasn't been developed yet is obviously a risky proposition and a lot of people would rather wait for the game to be out before making a purchase decision. On the other hand the MMORPG genre is full of "tourists", people who are quite willing to buy a new game and try it for a while, but who tend to be gone after a month or three, and who don't contribute to the long-term health of a game.

We don't have a lot of data on the players to backers ratio of kickstarted MMORPGs for the simple reason that we don't have many successfully kickstarted MMORPGs. Crowfall has about the same number of backers as for example Camelot Unchained, but less than Shroud of the Avatar, and only about half of the number of backers of Star Citizen. The obvious problem is that the development time for MMORPGs tends be rather long, so none of these games have come out yet. We don't even know *if* they will all come out.

The other fundamental problem is that a Kickstarter backer is essentially buying a dream, while a player who buys the game after release is buying a more or less finished product. Between public beta tests, YouTube videos, and game reviews the person waiting for release is far better informed about the actual quality of the final game than the Kickstarter backer. Godus, which technically is still in beta and also got over 15,000 backers, presumably would have a hard time to attract a lot of new players if it ever gets "released". While theoretically a company could be better at making a game than a pitching it on Kickstarter, the general tendency is for actual products not living up to all the dreams and promises.

In the end I have a hard time imaging a players to backers ratio of higher than 10 on release, less after the tourists came and went. I don't think any of the MMORPGs on Kickstarter will reach a million players. The Double Fine Adventure Broken Age sold 70,947 copies in the first three months, which isn't all that much compared to the 87,142 backers, suggesting a players to backers ratio of around 2 for the second most successful Kickstarter game ever. What do you think?
Tobold's Blog

[NA] Server Maintenance: Patch 5.6

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

On 03/25/15, starting at, 01:30 Pacific time (09:30 UTC), ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 5.6. At 03:00 Pacific time (11:00 UTC), the servers will be shut down and all games currently in progress will end in a draw and stats will not be recorded. We estimate the battlegrounds will be unavailable for 3 hours.


Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

On 25/03/15, starting at 04:30 UK Time (04:30 UTC), ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 5.6. At 06:00 UK Time (06:00 UTC), the servers will be shut down and all games currently in progress will end in a draw and stats will not be recorded. We estimate the battlegrounds will be unavailable for 3 hours.

Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 10:00 am

This was a Star Wars New Canon Universe Novel.  I still don't know what the official terminology is for that.  I know that the old Expanded Universe is now called Legends... but I don't think the new books, comics, and games have an official classification.  I'll keep an eye out for it.

Anyway, this novel takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  It happens to be the same time period that all the new comic books are in right now.  It wasn't ever explored very much in the Legends universe so it seems like they're finally taking a chance to flesh out more of what happens in the middle of the rebellion.

While the novel is about the rebellion, it's much more of a character piece about Luke Skywalker.  He's the main character and he's given most of the focus in the book.

Luke is just starting to understand the basics of the force and get experience in the wider galaxy.  He's breaking out of his farm boy roots and is excited to explore.  He's been left without guidance after Obi-Wan was killed and he's unsure about what to do next.  Generally, he feels adrift and he's trying to figure out what he should do to expand his Jedi skills.

Luke seizes on a chance to do a new mission for the rebellion and it kicks off the story.

Most of the main cast is absent, except for R2D2 and a small appearance by Leia.  On the other hand there are characters introduced specifically for this novel all of which are interesting and fit in well.  I don't anticipate any of them carrying over into future novels, but that's ok.  Everything is written in a way to keep the focus on Luke and, in this case, it works.

It's a good book, I liked it a lot, but I'm having trouble adjusting my worldview to accommodate the new canon novels.  I already know the Legends books so well.  Now I need to hold two universes in my head, with two different and overlapping timelines.

Despite that, I really enjoyed the book.  I would recommend it to Star Wars fans that are interested in easing into the new canon universe that Disney is creating.  It's a great point to jump in.  I recommend this over the other two books already in the universe, Tarkin and New Dawn.  It's definitely better than them and it's more relevant to the main characters in the Star Wars series.

Like many of the novels I read now, this one was partially read by me on my Kindle and partially listened to on Audible.  I still can't get over how well they sync, it's amazing.  The audio book production quality was fantastic with it's ambient sound design, sound effects, and music.  I wish all audio books had this kind of treatment.  You can happily pick up either format.

This is the first book in the canon universe that I can give two thumbs up and recommend to anyone.  All you need is a passing familiarity with Star Wars and you'll be able to enjoy the book.

Onto World Two
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 8:17 am

When I was a child, at an age still in the single digits, I had a tendency to restart games from the beginning. I'd play the first world of Super Mario Bros. and then shut the game off. After defeating Bebop and Rocksteady in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, I would power down the Nintendo and go searching for something else to do. I'd go no further than reaching Elfland in Final Fantasy, and I'd leave the rest of the solar system to the monsters from Planet X after completing the Earth level in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters. Each of these scenarios could have happened in a single day, bouncing from game to game only to stop myself when I reached a point that I assumed would be too difficult. The only time I would play further in a game – when I'd try to see it to completion – was when I was playing with my older brother.

I just assumed that I wasn't good enough to play through the entire game. I was just a kid, after all, and some of those early jumps gave me trouble. That first Labyrinth in The Legend of Zelda? Yeah, I could do that one fine. Maybe even the second! Anything after that, however, was best left to older and more experienced players.

Two months ago, I started my first real job. It's not a temporary contract, and it doesn't just have me copy-pasting into text fields and XML documents. It's a salaried job, and one where I'll be expected to put my knowledge of web development to some use. This is it: the real deal. A real job with real pay and real expectations.

All I could think during my first week on the job was how ill prepared I was. I wanted to hit reset and just jump right back to World One.

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Inside the Mind of a Producer
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 7:58 am

Posted in OurDDOSyndicated

There is no chance that Fernando would ever come up with a post that included clear and direct bullet points.

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A different kind of permadeath
Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 March 2015, 11:05 pm

Posted in OurDDOSyndicated

Raid bosses seem to have it all – high DR, massive amounts of hit points, devastating attacks, teeming minions to beat on you while you’re trying to beat on the big guy (or girl). But I’m not so sure they rank overly high in intelligence or wisdom. There are two things you see at the […]

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