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Magister Lajciak

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Everything posted by Magister Lajciak

  1. There are piles upon piles of simple PnP systems. Talislanta is ten times better than DnD and you could learn all the relevant rules in one afternoon. And you only need one book. D&D is fundamentally very simple. Throw a d20 and add a modifier. If it exceeds a target number you succeed and if it doesn't you fail. The core mechanic cannot really get much simpler than that, but there are many options, which may create perceived difficulty. I have checked your Talislanta links in the other thread - I will be downloading the huge library of materials that the authors have gracefully made available for free. I will likely stick with heavily modified D&D, but I might draw some inspiration from it if it proves to be good.
  2. Well, it might take 1 and a half hours to create characters if you have never done it before or perhaps if you have all of the optional books and search them all for character options, but using the core rulebooks (say in Pathfinder or 3E) it should take no more than half an hour to create a character (excluding the background story, which you may make as short or as long as you like and as is appropriate in the group/setting and with the DM). The only math involved, really, is addition and subtraction. It may seem more complex than that to begin with, but it really isn't. Once you take a deeper look at the system, you realize that there is only one basic type of roll: you roll a d20 die and add a modifier (be it to attack, or to use a skill or to do something else entirely). If it beats the target number (Armor Class, DC, etc.) you succeed and if it fails, you do not succeed. There are only two exceptions I can think of in standard 3.5E D&D: 1) d10 die is used for stabilization when dying 2) Various dice can be used for damage It may be described in a more complex way, but that's really all there is to it. Do not let the perceived difficulty discourage you - it really is much easier than it seems!
  3. Wow, that's a lot of stuff! I will download it just to take a look.
  4. Actually, pretty much yes! It is meant to leave out DRM such as serial keys or disc checks. The PC market is larger than it ever was if we ignore the decline due to the recession. It's just that the console market has grown (again, ignoring the recession) much faster than the PC one and is much bigger still. Also, games cost more to produce these days than in the past, so the investment requires a larger market to support. Hence, the PC market has declined in relative terms. However, I think a revival in the relative importance of the PC market may be in the offing. Both Intel and AMD are beginning to integrate GPUs on their processors, which in the space of a few years promises to greatly expand the base of computers capable of relatively advanced graphics that games require.
  5. What, while typing? Being, erm, girlfriend-free, erm, I guess I fit the stereotype of a gamer more closely than you. Still, I have difficulty seeing how people could want that 'service'.
  6. Bear in mind that they didn't state and cannot know the reason for the response. Perhaps some people came to the site to assess it for discussions like this one, others might even go there to laugh at it. The percentage of genuine 'customers' may be difficult to tell. As to my opinion of this 'service', I find it above all... weird. I can understand that people can be lonely, but I don't really see how this would help them overcome their loneliness. Sure, they might have no girlfriend and no friends, but surely they can still talk to somebody for free - either offline or online.
  7. I still cannot find any sales data for Assassin's Creed II or the other games from the new DDRM crop. The only thing I have found that might be remotely indicative is a chart of players on Steam: The table is from about 6pm EST 29 March 2010. The bolding in the table is mine - I bolded both Ubisoft games with this DDRM - Assassin's Creed II and Settler's 7. Another Ubisoft game with the DDRM is Silent Hunter 5, but it does not appear in the top 75 games played today. I have also bolded Command and Conquer 4, which is a DDRM game by EA also requiring an always online connection. I would say the numbers are rather unspectacular, given that Assassin's Creed 2 was released about 3 weeks ago, Settler's 7 was released 6 days ago in North America and 3 days ago in Europe. Silent Hunter 5, I believe, was released about 1 month ago. EA's Command & Conquer 4 was released on 16 March 2010, so just under two weeks ago. However, this is only an indication that sales might not be stellar for a game release of that magnitude - it does not act as a confirmation by any stretch. For that we will have to wait for some sales numbers and those can be hard to come by (and can be interpreted in different ways).
  8. Another Ubisoft game with the DDRM has been released. It is called Settlers 7. The servers appear to be malfunctioning again and there is no Ubisoft response: http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6.../4821038448/p/1
  9. Wow, those Norwegians think of everything don't they? The Scene: The Norwegian High Court "Hey, Thorvald, are you done writing up those legal statues yet?" "No, Knut, I'm still considering the jurisprudence concerning the viability of single-player computer games vis-a-vis persistent internet connections." "Coolio, it's all about detail." --- Here is a link to the article: http://www.vg.no/spill/artikkel.php?artid=579754 As I said, I don't speak any Norwegian, so I cannot verify it. The link was posted by Kalah, the Norwegian administrator of the Heroes of Might and Magic fansite called Celestial Heavens: www.celestialheavens.com Perhaps somebody here speaks Norwegian and can fill us in about the details of the article and whether Kalah interpreted it correctly? They are not claiming that it is illegal, only that the consumer watch dog organisation will put it on this years agenda for them to investigate in regards to consumer rights (not literally translated, mind you). Cool, Kalah mentioned that they will investigate and that it 'may not be legal' rather than outright stating it is illegal. I tried to make that apparent in my message.
  10. Wow, those Norwegians think of everything don't they? The Scene: The Norwegian High Court "Hey, Thorvald, are you done writing up those legal statues yet?" "No, Knut, I'm still considering the jurisprudence concerning the viability of single-player computer games vis-a-vis persistent internet connections." "Coolio, it's all about detail." --- Here is a link to the article: http://www.vg.no/spill/artikkel.php?artid=579754 As I said, I don't speak any Norwegian, so I cannot verify it. The link was posted by Kalah, the Norwegian administrator of the Heroes of Might and Magic fansite called Celestial Heavens: www.celestialheavens.com Perhaps somebody here speaks Norwegian and can fill us in about the details of the article and whether Kalah interpreted it correctly?
  11. No real updates. The servers are apparently working in some regions and/or for some users, but not working in other regions and/or for other users. I am not sure why there is this sort of difference. Here is a semi-update on the situation: According to some people on the boards of some Might & Magic fansites (Might & Magic is the only franchise in Ubisoft's possession that I am really, really interested in, so I sometimes I visit those boards), the Norwegian consumer agency has begun investigating the DRM and there is a possibility that requiring an internet connection in case of single player games may not be legal under Norwegian law. They did post an article on the matter, but it was in Norwegian, so I cannot verify it. But it was the site administrator posting it, so maybe it has some validity. I guess it is not much of an update if we cannot verify it - more a rumor. Hmm, what else could be said about it. Well, I guess Amazon has a slew of one star reviews for the PC version of the game. We don't have figures the sales of the game yet and even when we will do, it will be difficult to judge how many have not purchased the game because of the DDRM. I am not sure whether this has been mentioned yet, but Ubisoft claims that the DRM has not been fully cracked yet. The company claims that playable cracks do exist, but that they do not provide the complete game. I am not sure what that means, whether the DLC is missing or whether some things from the core game are missing or if it is marketing speak and it is merely the DRM that is missing (lol). I have thought about it and it is possible, in my eyes, that the game is essentially a single-player MMOG (SPOG/SPO? [single-player online game?]) - that it basically provides an incomplete game in the box and connects to the servers to access only those parts of the game that the player tries to access. That would make it difficult to crack for sure (it would take a long time - unless, of course, the servers were hacked and the relevant material downloaded, but I am not sure how difficult that could be - potentially it could be very hard for the hackers to do that) and would explain the need for a constant connection to their servers to play the game. Of course, effective though it might be at preventing piracy, I have no interest in in playing SPOGs/SPOs, so I hope this does not stick. I guess we will see based on Ubisoft's analysis of costs versus benefits as time goes on. I could also be wrong and it might not be an SPOG/SPO...
  12. Yes, apparently many are still down. Not all of them are down, but the connection problems remain and keep on recurring for many players. I recall hearing or reading somewhere that console piracy is now bigger than PC piracy, but I don't remember the source, so I don't want to be stating it unequivocally. Of course, assuming that's true, as a ratio to sales it is still much smaller. Yes, it is definitely effective at that. Supposedly, there are now software cracks for consoles, but I am not sure how much truth there is to that. Anyway, console games are generally assumed to be bigger earners. This is probably true even if digital downloads and MMOs are included as part of the PC market, but including those would make the disparity smaller than it appears to be going by retail sales alone.
  13. I guess.... but one would have thought they could at least make their explanation consistent. The PR department should be able to at least coordinate a single explanation, no matter how BS it is, unless of course all three explanations are true, which seems rather unlikely.
  14. It has been 3 days and Ubisoft's DDRM servers are STILL not working properly! What's even more interesting is that Ubisoft cannot get the story right. It provides conflicting explanations for why the servers are not working. The first explanation was on the boards, where Ubisoft representatives posted that the servers have problems due to unexpected 'exceptional demand'. The second explanation on Twitter (and picked up by some gaming media) said that the servers are not working properly due to a denial of service attack. The third explanation appearing now is responses from customer support to angry customers, which say that servers are down because of maintenance. It's pretty ridiculous! Only one thing is clear. Ubisoft has tried to create a single-player online game (he, he maybe SOG as a single-player counterpart to MMO) and merely managed to anger a lot of people and not make it work properly...
  15. They will eventually fix the servers, there will be other smaller issues, but after a week or so people will be able to play AC2 normally and everyone will forget about it. Until the next time it's used, at least. As for the long-term future, I don't really know Ubisoft's goals for this, so it's hard to predict whether they will keep using it or not. Yeah, I agree that the short term server problem must be fixed soon. I did mean long term predictions as to how this will pan out, but I agree that is difficult to predict.
  16. I should really become a future psychic, my powers are beyond comprehension. You did call it! Given your powers of prediction, what do you think will happen next in the story Ubisoft's DDRM? Meanwhile, the saga of Ubisoft DDRM continues and Ubisoft's servers are still strained: http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5...66/m/7541043838 So much for Ubisoft being able to assign servers according to demand, as they promise in their FAQ... Pirates are merrily playing the game, while many honest customers cannot, due to the DDRM - isn't that great? I would sure be angry if I were their customer! Not to mention the fact that they don't mention the need for their servers to be up to play the game, they merely mention that you need an active internet connection, which, as we can see, is slightly deceptive. Ubisoft says: "Due to exceptional demand, we are currently experiencing difficulties with the Online Service Platform. This does not affect customers who are currently playing, but customers attempting to start a game may experience difficulty in accessing our servers. We are currently working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience." Some customer responses: "Wow, here we are going on 8 hours or more into this mess and it's STILL not fixed." "This service has been down for like 10 hours, there is really no way to justify this." "Soon you won't have to worry about "exceptional demand"." "Got three words for you [Edit]: Class. Action. Lawsuit." [Edited by moderators to remove swear words] Oh, and here is a response by a non-customer to the travails of legitimate users: "Not at all! My pirated version works perfectly!" Given DDRM's general ineffectiveness against piracy, it is likely aimed at least as much against reselling games as it is against piracy. Against piracy it is about as effective as any other DRM, even customers friendly types - that is it might or might not stop pre-release and zero-day/first-day piracy, which helps if it does, but not longer-term piracy. For that, however, they could just have disk-checks and CD-keys without angering and hurting their customers. So it seems they want to attack the second-hand market. I don't buy or sell games second hand, so it wouldn't affect me, but the methods they are choosing (all the online rubbish) do affect me...
  17. Hmm, effects of Ubisoft DDRM on honest customers... server problems: http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5...24/m/1601001838 So, while many customers cannot play the game because of this, pirates can play it without interruptions, as they have gotten rid of the DDRM through cracks.
  18. There is a general progression in terms of fight toughness between areas, but the fights are randomized and there will be some in the initial areas/first continent that you will be unable to beat until later in the game.
  19. King's Bounty: The Legend was an excellent game. You will have lots of fun with it! I have not yet bought the Armored Princess and thus cannot judge how the expansion lives up to the legacy of the main game. I believe it is only available through digital distribution at the moment and I will wait for a disc-based version.
  20. Interestingly enough, the petition for Starcraft 2 to have LAN is nearing 250,000 signatures: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?LANSC2 Although it may not make much difference, that is still pretty amazing. Anyway, if Starcraft 2 does not have an offline multiplayer mode, I will evaluate it as a single-player game only lacking any multiplayer functionality for the purposes of my purchasing decision and the same applies to Diablo 3. Unless, of course, there is a way to bypass the need for online presence to play multiplayer, perhaps through the setting up of virtual servers through LAN - I guess will have to educate myself on that as I am not sure how that works.
  21. It appears business analysts agree with us that the online-based DRM schemes are designed primarily to fight second-hand sales (as opposed to fighting piracy): http://www.cnbc.com/id/35526147/site/14081...C&par=yahoo Nothing we didn't really know already, just that it's directly echoed by by the business people. Anyway, I am not pleased at what Ubisoft is doing, but am considering short-selling their stock or buying put options on them. Thus far I have not engaged in short-selling, but I am figuring that I might as well make some money out of their self-induced misery. That said, what makes me hesitant is that their stock is near historic lows already ($9.42 as of close today, down from over $70 in 2008)... so their stupidity might already be priced into the stock.
  22. Here is an article from the point of view of the retailers: http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/21751.cfm They have their own interests and I just thought it might be interesting to also hear their perspective, since usually we only hear those of the publishers/developers and of gamers like us. Note: The article is not directly related to the Ubisoft DRM system, just to the online-based DRM systems in general.
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