One AO to pwn them all…

That’s right, we toned down the number of AOs going on. Why did we increase them in the first place? Because people wanted to do their own thing. They did it, they got bored, and they slowly drifted away anyway.

The rest of us were left asking “Hey, where’s the fight?”.

But one of the game’s selling points for many people has always been the sandbox element. With small numbers of AOs, we are catering to the broader audience of people who actually want to spend their time in combat with the enemy over the people who want to win through bigger-picture machinations. At least those who want to do it on a short term scale, which covers things like “soft caps” and “sneak attacks”.

I’ve been having a lot more fun playing (on my seekrit toon) during the concentrated AO times – the people playing are largely people who want to see action, and aren’t afraid to stick it out, so the less aggressive doling out of AOs is a real boon.

That leaves a group of people who are instead saying “but I don’t want to go there”.

Someone’s been busy…

be131img be131img2

Of course, I can’t take credit for any of the eye candy, but the new capture buildings threw us a curve ball and we felt that the risk of delaying release was worth the effort of getting around to change the way capture works. I have had a burning desire to replace table-bumping with something constructive for a long time.

If the eye candy caught your eye, though, and you want to read more about it, see more screenshots and maybe a few videos… Rafter’s 1.31 preview is right here.

Where I come in right now, though, is those capture changes

The Old Republic

LucasArts just released the first cinematic trailer for the KOTOR. Emphasis cinematic. I’ve been making something of an effort not to get sucked into any hype-tornado that might build up prior to the release, not wanting to set myself up for a brutal fantasy-gone-south bashing. I would have loved to work with SWG, with the original team! I didn’t know if I would have wanted to work on the KOTOR MMO (although I know I’d be proud as heck to work with their team, well – aside from a certain crazy German).

1.29 Open Beta is out

Oh, it’s been a fun day. It turns out, for instance that 0 + 1 is not 0 (++counter; assert( counter == 0 ); no worky)

Anyway, with a little tweaking and figuring out of who had what checked in or not checked in and we finally got it stable. Gophur is uploading a client patch with the first wave of fixes as I type but Open Beta is available for download right now.

Open Beta Announcement (Battleground Europe subscription required, sorry)

Breda: The pounding will continue

The last year or so of rule changes have really changed big city fights, and in our game world, Breda is a big city.

I wound up working most of the night last night and since I had to be in-game, I spent a fair amount of time in/at/watching Breda which is turning out to be a 3 day series of epic battles. Little bit of that Olympic spirit going on, maybe?

Remembering the fallen

 We concluded our 7th anniversary celebration by remembering those who fought for us in World War II and the players who are no-longer with us in a 10 minute Cease Fire on the Dinant Bridge. The earlier, 2pm, ceremony was a little unruly. However, there was a touching degree of reverance shown at the 8pm ceremony. (People on both sides will no doubt feel the other side failed to behave, but remember, you only reserve 4 or 10 slots for friendly units when your vis list gets full)

Over 600 people were standing on the bridge at the peak of the 8pm ceremony.

Ah, next year, I need a slightly less drastic way to despawn everyone at the end of the ceremony…

System text from the ceremonies:

Vanguard night 4

Once you start to get a handle on the bugs, there’s a glimmer of gold itching to be free. Early on, Granik and I formed a “brotherhood”. It’s not a guild, its not a group; members send their experience to the ‘hood and it is then shared out amongst all members. The result for us has been that we’ve remained in levelling lock step despite going off and doing our own things or playing different hours. We level within a kill or two of each other.

The quest line in Kojan dries up suddenly and harshly. Only Thestra and Qalia were available during beta so they are polished and nice and well rounded. Kojan is more of a Vanguard pro/conniseurs zone, IMHO. But it also has some of the more exquisite architecture and scenery.

View from the Asylum

Vanguard night 3

Granik and I are, somehow, still playing Vanguard. We were fairly close to ditching it with the stupid Ra’Jin roof jumping till we stumbled on some ways to game it and having put a good 3-4 hours into attempting to do it properly we just wanted it over.

The trick with frame rate seems to be to select the “Best Performance” item from the drop down, exit the game completely, log back in, select “Highest Quality”, disable Hardware Occlusion (which doesn’t work right, after a while everything starts to flicker in/out) and HDR (which doesn’t work right), then relog again. Give it upto a minute after you enter the game to finish loading stuff up and normalize its memory usage.

If you have a quad core, bring up task manager and after the launchpad starts the game and the splash-window is up, set affinity to just 2 CPUs and you get much better performance.

Lastly, you may need to turn normal mapping down to 0%. It runs fine with 100% normal mapping for me until it doesn’t, and once it doesn’t… relogging, rebooting, nothing will give me good FPS till I remove normal mapping.

The game itself…

Roermond: Part 2

As requested, with voice narration – which might completely ruin it for you :)

I decided to run with the bulk of the remaining footage – runs at around 44 minutes. I had some footage of different vis levels and such but I mistook it for out-takes when I was freeing up some disk space for rendering :(

Roermond: Part 1

The first hour of the big Roermond fight from Monday. This is “buzzard footage” – not the static bunker watch of the last movie, but it’s still not Spielberg and its certainly not a promo movie. I wound up trimming the first hour down to 15 minutes but avid WWIIers – especially those who’ve fought in Roermond lately – especially Monday :)