Boardgame Night – Friday 13th May

It has been awhile since I had a board-game night and as such I’ve decided to have one this coming Friday should anyone fancy braving the horrors of north of the north-side up in Drogheda.

It’s a slightly later kick-off than normal since it’s an after-work affair; so a start of around 7.30pm is on the cards. The plan this time is to play “The season of the witch” an expansion for Mansions of Madness which seems the sort of game to play on Friday 13th.

A bright young Miskatonic University student has disappeared, having checked in to an infamous Arkham boarding house to study its reported supernatural properties. Now, as the celebration of Walpurgis Eve approaches, you and your fellow investigators are tasked with venturing into the decaying Witch House and solving a mystery that has plagued Arkham for generations. But are you prepared to face the horrors that await you?

So if any of you are feeling brave come join us…

Blizzard responds to calls for ‘vanilla’ servers.

So Blizzard have released a response on the calls for ‘vanilla’ servers, while it smacks of PR speech such that nothing is committed to its also not an out right rejection which seemed to be the previous stance.

We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.

Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.

We have been discussing classic servers for years – it’s a topic every BlizzCon – and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated. Some of our current thoughts:

Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.

We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.

So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.

One other note – we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks.

You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening.

J. Allen Brack

— http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20743584206#1

Legacy server among World of Warcraft community

Since we’re all a bit long in the tooth around these parts, its not unfair to assume that most of us have played World of Warcraft either at launch or soon there after. It’s this version of the game, along with the initial expansion “The Burning Crusade” some claim represents the World of Warcraft at its height in terms of game-play. 

So while subsequent expansions may have added new content and features some would argue that social aspects and challenge offered by the game where greatly diminished.

The following video illustrates the problems which arose reasonably well. 

 

Its from tapping into this mindset that the recently Nostalrius server had managed to maintain an active player base of 150,000 players. But with such a large active player base it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Blizzard forced the shuttering of such a server infringing on their IP.

But it does show that an appetite for such a service exists and with that in mind a change.org petition (link below) has started to try to encourage Blizzard to rethink their stance on legacy servers. Either by working with third-party community servers (unlikely) or by providing their own “legacy” server(s).

Change.org – Legacy server among World of Warcraft community

As an additional side note if 200k signatures are reached, then Mark Kern the team lead on the initial World of Warcraft release has promised to personally deliver the petition.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Battlefleet Gothic is one of those Games Workshop games that I always meant to pick up for myself but never did. I’d sunk enough of my time and money into an ever escalating battle with the Butcher Of Nog and his Ork hordes such that my war funds could never cover the cost of an arms race in space against him as well 🙂

So as you can imagine I’m a happy chappy to find that getting my capital ship kicks is a whole lot more affordable now that the aforementioned Battlefleet is available for pre-purchase on Steam (and for around €3 less on the Humble Bundle if you’ve got the monthly subscription).

I’ve not played much, but what I have I’ve liked to date. It’s rather reminiscent of those old tall ship battles you see in movies with ships looking to gain a broadside against their enemies while they jostle for position. 

Here’s a video of the first level (tutorial) for the games campaign which gives you a feel for the game-play.

Eck where’s the site gone !

It’s time for a change here at Darkkeep and in particular to a new hosting solution.

For quite some time I’ve been thinking that the old forum based software which was employed had long ago reached its best by date and without the necessity for forum posts to house the PBEM games a move to something other than vBulletin was called for.

Hence the wasteland that you see before you, devoid of signs of life bar this at present solitary post.