Shenmue Online Suffering I Sweet Editorial About Hackers I DAoC Hides, Seeks I New City of Villains Dudes I Community Buzz I Media Place I Readers Speak I Freakin' Hot Rena Tanaka Picture of the Week
Issue #44 Failure August 6, 2005

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I am typing this intro with one eye open. Heaven have mercy on the poor staff member that proofs this thing.

But I'm not going one-eyed because I'm a pirate--which I am, but can't wear my eyepatch right now--I'm doing so because yesterday I went in for some lasik eye surgery. While there, I was told my corneas are of "borderline" thickness, meaning they're probably too thin to do the operation. Since there was still a decent chance, we decided to cut one eye open and take a look. It was concluded that yes, my corneas are too thin for lasik. So now I must go through the healing process with no reward at the end of it. Oh well. At least we only cut one eye.

 Shenmue Online Suffering

Hey, remember when Shenmue III was announced, then it was cancelled, then it was announced again, and that creator guy even did interviews about it, but then it went dead again? Well, it seems like Shenmue Online might be headed down the same path. Ready for some serious he-said-she said? Okay.
IGN cites Japanese PC gaming site 4Gamer, which talks about sources in Korea, which mention JC Entertainment saying, "Hey, Sega, you can have Shenmue Online back." Apparently JC Entertainment stopped developing the game in May, and now Sega Shanghai Software will tackle the project. There's still no release date in sight. This column reported quite a few details here.

These Shenmue games just can't get off the ground anymore, eh?

Partial Source: IGN

 Sweet Editorial About Hackers

My main man lioncourt has written an in-depth look at hackers in MMOs, readable at this page of Gamergod. I'm pretty sure I've read hacking editorials before (though I don't remember exactly. Maybe I was hacking into, that doesn't even make sense), but this one is different, because the author takes it from the angle of someone who quietly ignored cheating for the better part of his gaming life. He describes his blissful ignorance, saying, "I knew people hacked and cracked games to make them free, to copy and steal them, and to gain an advantage through cheating. I knew, but it didn't bother me." Then he talks about stumbling into the fact that this problem is very real, and bigger than one may think.

He then goes hands-on with hacking research, even posting a snippet of a conversation from a hacking forum, the content of which may come as a shock to honest gamers everywhere. lioncourt takes a look a few hacking programs (though doesn't name or use them) too, but advises against this practice, saying, "I have also found hundreds of links to supposed hack programs and the like, that in reality are no more than ways of trying to get the people surfing these sites to give out account information and passwords, or are outright virus spreaders." I highly recommend you take a look at it, right here.

Source: Gamergod

 DAoC Hides, Seeks

Dark Age of Camelot devs recently had a hide-and-seek event on the new island in Pendragon. What sort of prizes were handed out, you ask? Beta invites for the upcoming Dark Age of Camelot expansion, Darkness Rising, that's what.

This is how it all went down: Players of all levels started on their own realm's bridge to the island, either solo or in groups of no larger than eight. Players that started any further than in the bridge were treated to swift kicks to the ass, as well as the knowledge that they had been disqualified from the event. Once a signal was given, players were charged with the task of finding Missy or Kunou, two members of the Camelot Herald team. Missy or Kunou had the ability to bend the rules a bit, though, as they could disguise themselves, and disappear and reappear on a whim. The first player or group to find Missy or Kunou and take a swing at them were rewarded with a Darkness Rising Beta 3 invitation.

It was promised that the names of the winners would be posted today at the Camelot Herald, but as of 7 PM, only a "Sorry about not getting the Hide and Seek winners' names up today - we need to verify a few details before we do so." was posted. Keep an eye on that site if you're curious to see who the lucky winners were.

 New City of Villains Dudes

IGN recently became privy to a good deal of information concerning a new signature villain in NCsoft's upcoming MMORPG and City of Heroes spin-off, City of Villains. Specifically, they ran a feature on a villain named Gideon Ray, who later went on to be known as Mako, a moniker given to him by the crew on a modern-day pirate ship he spent a sizable amount of time on. On this ship, Mako rose to the position of First Mate within a few months thanks to his viciousness, and shortly after became captain of the ship, the Black Powder, after its previous captain had met his demise in an accident, and went on to be known as Captain Mako following this event.

Backtracking for a moment, Captain Mako was born with the same sort of gills and teeth you would expect to se on a shark. Not surprisingly, his parents were rather taken aback by this, and ended up leaving him in the care of the Paragon City orphanage. Kids in fictional stories are no less cruel than they can be in real life, thus, Captain Mako ended up becoming the target of ridicule, which ended up resulting in several deaths and Captain Mako's departure from the orphanage. Captain Mako did a good job of disappearing, but he didn't do it perfectly, as rumors of sightings of a shark-like creature near the docks at Independence Point were abound.

Later on in life, Captain Mako and his crew on the Black Powder engaged in a conflict with the villain Arachnos when he arrived on the Rogue Isles. They ended up avoiding capture long enough to annoy Lord Recluse, who eventually ended up succeeding in capturing the crew. Captain Mako ended up becoming one of Recluse's personal enforcers, and was charged with hunting down enemies of the state all around the isles. Thanks to his efforts, he was given Sharkhead to do with as he saw fit, and ended up spending a good deal of time exploring this place, which served as an indicator that he was searching for something specific in that area.

Following this, a female villain known as Barracuda appeared in Captain Mako's life. The only thing known about Barracuda is that she is of a race that seems to be part human, who are called "Coralax" by Arachnos.

Expect more details on more CoV villains soon.

Source: IGN

 Community Buzz

Shadowbane community folk have set up a new website centering around the game's lore, viewable here. From the looks of things, this move has been extremely community-pleasing, with the official forums yielding comments such as, "A website like this has been needed for some time," and "Another good resource, nice to see."

Formerly Known as Middle Earth Online

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online crew is going to be reaching out to prospective community members on both coasts with fan gatherings. There will be a lunch party on August 13 in Providence, RI, and a festive weekend in Bellvue (which is a fancy way of saying "Seattle"), WA on August 26-28. According to community manager Meghan Rodberg, the company is "very excited to meet the community on both coasts and [we] are looking forward to demo'ing the game in the Turbine booth at PAX."

In the Thursday insider, developers took time to answer stupid questions from boardies like "How many Balrogs does it take to change a lightbulb?" I'm not joking. WoW

On August 1, it was announced on the World of Warcraft fourms that players on certain servers would be able to transfer their characters over to certain other servers. At first, only three servers were eligible, but since then two more transfers have become available. Keep an eye on this thread for the latest updates to the character transfer.

 Media Place
I found these FFXI screens in my inbox. Some are pretty funny.

Be a role model for American youth and Send Screens.

  Readers Speak

Last week's letter was about sexual harassment in MMORPGs. This week's are similar, but one is more outside of games.

Continued From Last Week

Dear Rage:

I mentioned me actually discussing why I'm not too peachy-keen with MMORPGs, but I decided to talk about something else that is a bit of a trifle, because I just want to get off of my shoulders. I'm a female gamer, and I'm sick and tired of men exclaiming "ROFFLE LOLZ U DONT KNOW WHAT A FF IS!" Or something else along the lines of "OMG UR RARE LOLZ I WANNA DEIGHT U." Are men that prone to being momentarily infatuated with a female simply because she just has ONE SINGLE interest in common with him? I mean seriously, I hear everyone exclaiming that female gamers are too far and between, but that's not really true. I witness many gamers, females in particular, walk into a Best Buy and ask me what games are out and so forth. Maybe the male gamers are just not looking hard enough . . but, geez. They're ready to dry-hump anything with an analog controller and an average video game collection. I do like the representation of women at this site though. It's pretty cool.

It's just, the next guy who walks up to me in an arcade and says "Hay bebe, u liek MVC2?" or gets severely pissed when I kick his arse in a random fighter game (preferably, DDR), I'm going to end up socking them in their nose.

Hm... I can say a little bit more. I'm sure most who are actually reading this letter think I'm either overexaggerating or overreacting - but I'm not. Let's see how you respond when guys say the same thing for the past 10 years of your life (when I was 7 . . I was into Barbie :P ). That, and the fact that I'm Black. But let's not go there, haha.. because that'll only make me more angry (no, it doesn't have anything to do with stereotypes). Just think about hearing: "OMG UR A BLACK GIRL WHO PLAYZ GAMES, I DONT SEE THAT EVERYDAY! MARRY ME!)

Congratulations, you've encountered males. That's just what we do--it's our thing. Truth be told, we don't care if you actually like the video games. The fact is, you were over there, all by your lonesome, and therefore walked right into our trap. At the same time, any common interest is like a green light for dudes. Speaking of which, hey, I noticed you like games. Wanna like...hang out some time?

I've been ranting about something you probably couldn't respond to without laughing or saying "Uh... you're crazy." So, I guess I'll talk about video gaming in general. I mean, I'm sure how everyone just loves the period during Fall/Winter where a load of games are released, sometimes within a two week difference of each other. The game I'm looking most forward to at the moment would be Magna Carta. If Langrisser III had a FALL/WINTER 05 Release Date, I'd scream "Hallelujah!" But it doesn't. . so boo. I AM pretty agitated at seeing the fact that Square is porting FFIII to the DS and PSP. How lame is that? Aren't two major consoles enough? I always thought it should have been left on SNES. . .

1) I've only heard DS. Where'd you hear PSP?
2) Don't they mean the real FF3? As in, the one that never came here?

I'll e-mail you for your next week's column about MMORPGs and why I'm not too fond of them . . I wrote this is 8 minutes and . . . 36 SECONDS AND COUNTING, so omagad. . . it's a little haywire and awkward to be responding to. But, that's just me. To make it a little easier on you to respond to, what console RPGs are you looking forward to this Fall/Winter?
~Mailbag Lady, Idun~ ALLRPG


No worries; this was surprisingly on-topic, as last week, we talked about sexual harassment in MMORPGs.

Console RPGs this Fall and Winter? Digital Devil Saga 2 and Radiata Stories. I'd say Wild Arms Alter Code F, but it seems that game is pulling an FFXII on us with all its delays, so I'll just hold my tongue there.

Continued From Last Week

Well the story from the last time reminds me that FFXI has a nifty blacklist feature but I've yet to be annoyed to the point that I really wanted to use it on someone specfic(one annoying player in particular). Now there are those casino people who stand around and spam everyone's ears off and I do keep blacklisting them.(so annoying...and lazy too since Gill is not that hard to make in FFXI) I think I've added more than 60 casino operators to my blacklist...and I heard some people have even more XD

Well I'm now done moving into my new hose so hopefully I can get back to being a silly FFXI thief...see ya later ^^

Shadowneko(server: Midgardsormr)
Lvl 63 THF|lvl 27 WAR|lvl 17 RNG|lvl 11 MNK|lvl 14 WHM|lvl 20 Summoner|lvl 37 NIN|lvl 5 BLM
Jon Davies


Since my return to the game a few months ago, I've had scant problems with casino spammers, really. Of course, I really don't play the game as often as most do, so I'll assume that this problem is more prevalent than I've witnessed. I blacklisted many a casino spammer when I first started the game as a hume Red Mage in Bastok, though.

Anyways, I don't even think I have anyone on my black list on my new character Shae, other than this one jerkoff I blacklisted the other night. This guy went AFK to eat dinner, while still grouped, and proceeded to sit there and leech EXP for the better part of 15 minutes. Eventually, we got sick of him and kicked him the Hell out of the group. Coincidentally, he came back about a minute or so after his kickage, and made haste in cussing at us and just generally being a big jerk because he got kicked out. People need to have a bit more courtesy. Valkurm is bad enough before considering that 55% of the people you party with there get in a party, then go AFK for 15 minutes after 3 fights.

So about ease of making Gil, yeah, I can agree with you there when you say it's pretty easy to make. Soloing to 10 can probably net you about 20k or so if you sell stacks of crap you gank off monsters. Personally, I'm now sitting on 100k gil at a pretty low level thanks to the lucrative practice that is working on leathercraft in San d'Oria.

 Log Out

Phil Clayton here, just giving you a heads up that I penned "DAoC Hides, Seeks," "New City of Villains Dudes," the last bit of info in Community Buzz, and the response to Jon's letter, due to the fact that Heath is currently enjoying Valium-induced sleepy time, and was generally unable to complete the rest of the column by his lonesome today. So anyways, this whole "women in MMORPGaming/gaming" topic has proved to be interesting, so let's write some more letters about that, eh? Of course, you're not only limited to that. Are freakin' Shamans in World of Warcraft overpowered? Send your rants right here. Tired of the grind that is Final Fantasy XI? Bam, right here. Someone steal your freakin' cloudsong in Dark Age of Camelot and want to rant? You know what to do.

In any event, look forward to Heath flying this column solo next week.

Been playing Irth Online? Neither has Heath Hindman

Phillip Clayton goes "lalala"

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