Monday, May 18, 2015

What’s Happening In High Fidelity?


By DrFran Babcock

   If you haven’t yet heard, High Fidelity, or HiFi, is a virtual world that was started a little over a year ago by Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life and Linden Lab. I have been an Alpha tester since about a month into the opening for Alpha, and in this time there has been a lot of change.

Why Another Virtual World?

There is an answer, in case you were asking yourself this very question. HiFi is Philip’s dream for creating a world that has few of the main problems that dogged SL. The first of these is scaling. I can recall, back in 2006, when SL was the darling of the media. I remember getting my Nissan car in world, and being courted by IBM. Coke, etc. Why aren’t all these companies still in SL? It seems as if it would be a good place to market. However, consider that one video of a cat singing gets more hits than SL could ever muster. You see, each sim in SL can only hold about 50 maximum before performance starts to dip, and that’s not the kind of numbers that attract business. With High Fidelity, each resident can manage their own domain—essentially, a server (it can be your own computer) that runs a world. The size of this world is enormous, and it doesn’t put a stress on any central space that is going to have to bear the stress. Each of us can be the masters of our own worlds, and the scaling is infinite.

   The second issue that has always been a goal for Philip Rosedale is to reduce latency. In SL, performers always have to deal with a lag if they are playing together, so that group work suffers timing problems. The goal of HiFi is to create a place where a resident in California can jam live with a resident in the UK…without any delay in the sound reaching the listener. 

   I have been to concerts in HiFi where this is happening, and it’s a completely jaw-dropping experience. In addition, the sound is spatial. As you move around the level changes based on where you are—just like in first life. There have been times when a few people jammed, and I felt as if I was in a concert hall.

But, Can I Look Pretty?

   When I try to “recruit” people for HiFi, my girlfriends often ask: “When can I look pretty?” The avatars at this point, are still quite primitive, as you can see in the picture of me here. However, what’s amazing, is that everything that is coming is being built to accommodate immersive movement. Facial expressions and body and hand movements all add to the feeling that “you are there.” As HiFi Alpha Tester @Judas says: “You haven’t experienced a virtual world until you have reached out and touched someone and they smiled back at you. It really, for me, is a game changer.” 

   The pretty is coming. It’s important to remember that this is still alpha.

Interested In Joining?

Come see what’s happening in High Fidelity Alpha. The sign up page can be found here: https://highfidelity.com/
 
  Some basic info:
·  There is no money system yet.
·  There is a marketplace, and everything is free.
·  The scripting is done in JavaScript.
·  It’s Alpha; it’s going to be crude.

·  I will keep letting you know about High Fidelity, and you can join when you are ready.

See you there.

  --
Fran

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gaming News: Steam Suddenly Ending Modder Payment System, WoW Numbers Drop, A Cheater's Public End


By Bixyl Shuftan

There were a couple notable stories this week in the world of Massive Multiplayer Games. The  news about World of Warcraft's numbers revealed that the boost provided by their latest expansion is now over. When "Warlords of Draenor" came out, the response was electric, subscriptions going from less than 7 million in June 2014 to more than ten in November. The latest statistics released show that by March 2015, numbers had plummeted as fast as they had risen, down to 7.1 million.


So why the plunge? Different players will give different answers. One heard more than once was that once a player reached Level 100, maxed out the Garrison, and witnessed Garosh Hellscream's end, there wasn't that much to do. But even with this drop, World of Warcraft remains the top MMO.

Links: MMO Champion, Gamespot, Nasdaq, IGN

In another MMO, a cheater was delt with in a very public way. Over a few weeks, players gathered evidence of a JT Darkside using exploits  to dominate other characters in Player versus player combat, teleporting away, dealing massive damage, etc., "with these programs running, the character could travel around the map at extraordinary speeds, teleport inside structures to take them from opposing factions, and apparently both hit hard as well as be hard to kill."

As youtube videos were the big evidence against him, in a fitting end to Darkside, his fate was shown in a youtube video on a post by security cheif Chris Cleary in the Guildwars forum. The video showed Darkside being stripped of his clothes down to his underwear, giving the viewer a friendly wave, then plummeting off a ledge to his death. The character, and one other belonging to the player, were deleted. When someone asked about his account, Clearly posted, "We don't need to see it (evidence) in-game. Sometimes good video evidence is good enough for me to track down who it was. In this case, the video was enough for me to findout who it was and take action. Thanks for the video, and to accompany your video, I give you this video of his account's last moments. Oh yah, he's also banned."

The response was a number of cheers from gamers, "Perfect way to embarrass these idiots who seem to find it fun cheating."

Links: Guild Wars 2 Forums, Eurogamer, BBC News, Massively OP,

Late last month was a move by Steam that got quite a bit of attention. They announced a new system that would allow the makers of game mods to sell them on Steam Workshop, starting with Skyrim, which has among the most mods of any game on the market. While the move excited some people whom felt this would encourage new content, others reacted badly, feeling they'd have to pay for what they were getting for free.

The system didn't remain up for long. After only four days, Steam announced the system was being taken down. In a statement, Steam explained than in the past their efforts to allow "community creators to receive a share of the rewards" had been "in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different." They had been taken off guard by the numbers of those complaining.

There was one other issue, though it didn't get as much buzz as people having to pay for mods. The question was also raised about how much the modders themselves would make. Only a 25% would go to the modder. The rest was split with Steam's owner Valve and Skyrim's owner Bethesda, 30-45 respectively. Hamlet Au blasted this decision to give modders such a small percentage, "it suggests that Bethesda looked at it's sales data, noticed the financial success of it's most talented, dedicated, grassroots developer fans, and decided that was a bad thing. I'm not even finished with how bad this is: It suggests that talented independent gamers do not deserve great success, despite countless hours of free work, risked on the great likelihood that they would earn little or no revenue for their plans. It suggests that only professional game developers deserve to be reasonable compensated for game development. It suggests that Bethesda thinks it puts more value into Skyrim than the hundreds of thousands of it's most passionate fans who make and use Skyrim mods."

Hamlet Au compared Bethesda's apparent attitude to modders to Linden Lab's feelings to content creators making more money than the Lindens themselves, "They brag about it." He brought up a speech by then CTO Cory Ondrejka in which he mentioned one businesswoman, " 'She makes more money than me,' said Cory. And he was proud of that."

Both Bethesda's attitude and the sudden removal of the mod sale system "has deeply hurt the long term value of Skyrim," Hamlet Au thought. He felt the game, now four years old, could have "easily thrived for a decade or more."

In the meantime, those modders hoping to get at least some money for Skyrim mods will have to look elsewhere. Perhaps some will hear about the successes of Second Life's content creators and come here.

Links: New World Notes, Steam CommunityArs Technia, Kotaku, Bethblog, Steamed,

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Gaming News: WoW Tokens, Star Wars Galaxies Jedi Hunt Idea, and Antilia No Longer an MMO


By Bixyl Shuftan

While the Newser and Second Life blogs have covered lots of events in Second Life, there's been no shortage of things going on with some of the games we like.

"World of Warcraft" has continued to develop, with a new Blackrock Dungeon. But what's gotten more chatter is the release of something new: the WoW token. The tokens are intended as "an in-game item that allows players to simply and securely exchange gold and game time between each other." In other words, an alternative to buying WoW gold from third party services, which has always been against the rules and could get players suspended or banned.

WoW tokens are purchased from the ingame store for $20 US dollars ($25 Australian Dollars), up to a total of ten over a 30 day period. They can then be sold on the auction house for gold. Once bought from the auction house, they can be redeemed for 30 days of game time.

The tokens were first up for sale on April 6. They were initially valued at the Auction House for 30,000 gold. Demand caused the price to rise for the first few hours. Then the value plummeted to 22,405 gold, a drop of more then 25%. People wondered if it would continue, but the slide halted, going through smaller rises and declines. There was a limit to the number of tokens which could be purchased from the Auction House, but Blizzard soon raised it.

Sources: PC Gamer, Blizzard,

For fans of Star Wars, the MMO aimed at them is "The Old Republic." Before that, there was "Star Wars Galaxies," which was released in 2003 and continued to December 2011. Among those involved in the design was Ralph Koster. In his blog, he recently talked about one of the challenges in the game: jedi characters. Jedi have access to all kinds of powers, but the trouble is "by comparison, everyone else sucks." There was also another issue, in the time perios of the movies, the Empire was hunting down anyone with the potential to be one. So Ralph had a "crazy idea." If people wanted to have the potential to be a Jedi, let them, but there would be a catch. 

You see, the moment you used Force powers within view of anything or anyone Imperial, or indeed any player, they could report you to the Empire. To Darth Vader’s Death Squadron in fact. And that generated someone to come after you. After first, just lowly Stormtroopers. Eventually, cooler characters, such as some of the bounty hunters like IG-88. Eventually, really cool ones like Boba Fett or fan favorite Mara Jade.

These would be brutal fights. Odds are you’d just die. So hiding and training very carefully would be essential. But it wouldn’t matter, of course. As you advanced, your powers would get “noisier” and cooler. You wouldn’t be able to resist using Force Lightning in a crowd, or equipping your lightsaber in view of some Imperials. And eventually, after Boba Fett and Mara Jade and everyone else had failed, well, that would be when Darth Vader himself bestirred himself to take care of the little problem.

And you would die. It would be rigged.

And you didn't just die. You'd have to start over with a new Level 1 character, as the old was was permanently dead, aka "permadeath."

Another idea was how these players would develop their Jedi powers, what Koster called "security through obscurity." When created, a different set of actions was determined for what it would take for them to progress. Anyone could become a Jedi, but how to become one would be less than clear. The intention was to limit the number of players whom would actually finish these quests to become a Jedi, making them rare but powerful, like they were in the stories.

But as it turned out, neither plan left the drawing board. The idea of  "permadeath" made the designers nervous, and there just wasn't enough time. The game was to be released in June 2003, and so they just didn't have the time to develop this idea.

Hat Tip: Hamlet Au

A few readers have mentioned Antilia, a fantasy MMO in development with all furred races. Despite some Kickstarters, efforts to raise cash to help develop the game have been less than successful. So after some years of the game still in alpha, the team has decided to bite the bullet. It was announced that they will not be making the game an MORPG, at least for now.

"We've come to the conclusion that we really want to get something out there with Antillia. What we're going to have to do to make that happen is find a way to make the project simpler. ... The easiest way to do that is to cut out the massive multiplayer online portion." (video link)

The good news, there will still be a multiplayer option. And they haven't completely given up on the idea of an MMO. They'll just have to wait until they have the money, and resources, to develop Antilia to that.

Source: Antilia 

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Raglan Shire to Close InWorldz Location


By Bixyl Shuftan

Among the groups in Second Life that made a presence in the InWorldz grid was Raglan Shire, it's most noted community of fans of tiny avatars or "tinies." In June 2010, they got a sim in the virtual world and built what they called the Great Tree. For five years, the place stood, called an example of what could be done with InWorldz. Then on April 9 came some sad news from Zayn Till, the founder of Raglan.

This afternoon I logged in to Inworldz to make the announcement that Raglan Shire IW is going to be closed. The sim will remain on the grid for another 5 weeks & then be shut down (May 15th-ish). This will give everyone enough time to take up any no - copy items or builds (or anything really) if necessary.

While very sad, the sim really hasn't been utilized & I'd rather not continue to accept donations just to make tier if this is the case. I have nothing but respect for the Inworldz grid. The founders & ppl behind the scene make Inworldz fantastic. They deserve a big thank you for all the hard work they did for us. Especially in the beginning. They are the best.

Special thank-you's as well to Etheria, Oceanoz, Liandras, Teal, Caleb & all the folken who helped bring the tree to life as well as maintain it. You are all amazing. It was glorious.


On the InWorldz forum, he posted the following.

It is quite sad for me as well & I can appreciate the questions and everything regarding the closing of the Sim and the end of the Great Tree. In a nutshell, The sim really hasn't been used as I had hoped it would be. This has always been about growing and moving forward as a community. The last few years it has felt like a lonely museum with the occasional visitor or activity. This is probably my fault for not being involved the last few years. For those that did try to have interesting things to do on the sim you have my thanks.

I have always felt in any world, that if growth and moving forward ever came to a standstill that I would no longer be interested in carrying it forward.

I would like to be clear that the Tree was a collaborative work of incredibly talented people. The first 4 months was a flurry of activity as Etheria, Oceanoz, Dagmar, Teal and myself tirelessly worked to construct the tree with help from Inworldz residents and the founders. If you want to thank anyone for all the hard work, thank these people as they/you are the ones that deserve it.

I am glad folks appreciated the build and what we tried to accomplish and my best to the Founders of Inworldz who have always been nothing but kind and helpful.



In Second Life, I ran into Zayn, and he and I talked about the matter, "I just was talking to someone. This is pretty much what I wrote them: The sim was intended as a place of social gathering and activity but somewhere along the way became a lonely empty place with only the occasional visitor. It was never supposed to be a mall with only the odd activity/event every few months if that.

"In the nearly 5 years I kept this sim on the Inworldz grid, I watched as the initial concurrent log ins which started at around 125 when I purchased the sim in June of 2010 grow to about 275 log ins concurrently at the current date.

"That's just not growth.

"As reference, Second Life which has been dwindling, still has concurrent log ins between 35,000 & 60,000 at any given time although I am no fan of Linden Lab. For me it is about moving forward and growing as people and as a community. I have always said if I felt that it is no longer growing and is merely lingering, that I would no longer be interested in carrying it forward.

"This has  happened in InWorldz, and may be happening in SL Raglan Shire. Perhaps this will serve as a reminder that nothing should be taken for granted."



Going on, he added, "I'm pretty wordy, but yeah, been down, really loved that tree. ... actually hoping the closing of Raglan Shire in InWorldz may give folks an idea that things never should be taken for granted." I asked, "Were there any notable events that took place there?" He answered, "Some, but much too far and in between. IW is so small in comparison to SL. not a lot of folks. It generated a lot of interest the first few years. 2 years ago IW named it Sim of the year. But really, people & activities were to far and few in between. Plus a lot of folks that did kinda embrace what we do were doing it all off sim, so I  thought it was time."


I asked, "Has interest fallen off since the content creator controversy died down?" "In InWorldz?" Zayn answered, "There's just no real growth sadly. Five years ago, concurrent logins were around 125. It was not unusual for Raglan to have more then half the entire grid population on the sim the first year or two during concets and stuff. Five years later, concurrent logins are around 250ish."

And so, InWorldz will soon be losing one of it's favorite sims.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BHljaBmOAIY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(Click here if the video fails to play)

Bixyl Shuftan


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Game Review - Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor


By Nydia Tungsten and Brandi Streusel Tungsten


This game starts off darker than any game I have ever played before. You get to see your wife and child sacrificed by getting their throats cut right before your eyes, then yours is cut as well after the first bloody battle at the gate, then each mission is one bloody fight after another. I have recorded the opening and first mission.
WARNING! : These videos is graphic and not to be viewed by young gamers!
 
This is the opening of the game. Like I said before, this is the darkest I have ever played.
This is the play through to just after the first mission. I die twice in it.
One of the interesting twist about this game is if you have friends that play it and they are killed, you are given the option to avenge them on YOUR game. My friends that play have probably got a lot of practice avenging me.
You have plenty of zones with plenty of missions in each one and with a wide variety of side mission to play through. Then you have the DLC's as well. There is a LOT of action, a LOT of blood and a LOT of dark memories to go along with them. We even get to meet the one that murmurs, “My Precious”. Yes, you get to meet Galum and interact with him throughout the story line as you try and find memory pieces. The elf that is stuck within you can remember how to break your curse and free both of you.
As you progress through the missions, you will have to take down and kill certain main NPC's. As you kill them, you gain in power, but if they kill YOU, then THEY are the ones that will gain in strength. So plan your battles carefully and remember to RUN if you need to, or you will get swarmed over in a hurry.
This game is for a more mature audience and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the age of 17 due to the graphic nature of the game. My son is in the Army and I would still rather he avoided this one until he is 30 just because of the darkness of the opening. I know that isn't reasonable for everyone and wouldn't expect it to be. And no, I would not enforce that on him, just giving the tenderer of souls a warning. But for all you black hearted buggers, you'll ferkin LOVE it! (snickers)
Once it played past the opening, I started to enjoy the game a bit. I am not one to shy away from a violent game, and I gave it my best shot. Even though I have played it a few times, it is not one of my favorite games, but not the worst in my library.
So, for its “keep your heart racing” action, I give it a big thumbs up!
And for the way it messes with your emotions right out of the gate, I will have to give it a big thumbs up for the story line. The writers draw you into the story immediately with this. I know I am not consistent, but I am honest about it.
So for most of you, I would recommend this game. It has a lot of action and requires some puzzle solving skills as well. But if blood and violence isn't your style, even if you are a fan of the stories and movies, you should avoid this one.
So a mixed recommendation, but an honest one, and until next time,
GOOD GAMING TO YOU!
 Nydia Tungsten

Friday, January 23, 2015

Game Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel



by Nydia Tungsten & Brandi Streusel

Let’s start this out honestly, “I LOVE the Borderlands series.” With that in mind, let’s just say I was not disappointed in one of latest chapters they released. I did a couple of play through from introduction to getting to your operating area. As in Borderlands 2, you meet characters from the previous games, but the twist with this one is you can play as those characters in this one.
 
 Here are the links from the play through. I would recommend trying the Youtube links first unless they get blocked for third party content in your part of the world (the music from the game), a pet peeve of mine and I will save it for another rant for another time.

As with a lot of the stories with the Borderlands series, this one has a lot of tongue in cheek humor to give it a bit of a lighter side to make it more enjoyable to play. You will hear a few examples in the play-throughs. Like the rest of my reviews, I will not go too in depth with the story line because it's always better to find out on your own.

The game play is smooth, like we have come to expect from the Borderlands games and no big changes in the UI like between the first and second games. So everything is there where you know it is to be.
But there are a few, in this story you can play as Clap Trap, and if you watch the links, they even made THAT funny just trying to choose him.

I will also show you the beginning with Athena here:

You will notice there are some interactions specifically designed for each character you play, which I feel gives it more depth and making it more enjoyable to play. It is important to note that since the second one was banned in Australia, the third one was MADE there. I don't know if this was some type of peace offering from Gearbox and 2K Game or not, but you can see and hear the Ozzy side of the production as soon as you get to your operations site and meet the first of your mission givers “Jannie” that they refer to as a “Black marketeer with a heart of gold.”
 
I WILL put a warning on this review; IF you are offended by sexual innuendo, inter-organic relationships and/or same sex partnerships...prepare to get butt hurt. There are no sexual or visual references in video form what so ever. So, if you read this and start to want the game for pervy reasons, sorry to disappoint, but I know just the thought is enough to push some people over the edge to a bible thumping fury and I can say “It's just a game, get over yourself”

I have one character up to level 30 and I play it with my son and youngest daughter. We all love it, so with that in mind and if you remember what I said in the beginning, it should be no surprise that I am giving this two thumbs up and a high recommendation to play.

Buy it twice and share it with a close friend. Play with each other and not just play with yourself.
Until next time...GOOD GAMING TO YOU!!

 Nydia Tungsten

Editor's Note. Of the humor, a couple of lines of dialouge include, "everything's just fine. Just, uh, one of the CL4P-TP units tried to french kiss a light socket, Sir." and "Your busy? That's cool, I'll just bleed over here internally for a while. Don't mind me, I'm just the guy who hired you." And then there are some of the objectives, such as when Jack asks, "Kill that a**hole," the objective "Kill That A**hole" pops up.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gaming Review: A Look At Eve Online


By Bixyl Shuftan

Eve Online is not a new Multiplayer Online Game, but has been around since 2003, slightly older than Second Life and a year older than World of Warcraft. Unlike some other MMOs, it was able to stay somewhat in the gamming public eye as unlike most it's a science-fiction space game. It has made news time to time due to the money and time some players are willing to invest in the larger ships, in addition when one of the US personel who died in an attack on a diplomatic building happened to be not just a player but one of the top men in one of the game's factions.

Eve Online has once been described as "Second Life's Evil Twin," and not without reason. Every ship beyond the newcomer vessels players use was made by other players. Unlike the more cooperative culture that predominates the virtual world in which people are not supposed to bother one another, what would be called "griefing" by SLers is often rewarded in Eve. Although some areas are protected by local security forces, some are places where anyone is fair game to anyone else's guns. And those whom venture in such places are subject to being blown apart and the surviving parts and cargo plundered. But it's not just for resources some commit such acts for. Aparently there's a concept that one called "yummy tears," players taking joy at the misery of others. For other gamers, they would just simply prefer fewer rules rather than worry about being banned for an activity they didn't know was wrong.

Players band together in groups, the largest ones being corporations. And often these corporations band together in temporary alliances. And when they fight, the result can be battles involving hundreds, even over a thousand players. No other game can boast this kind of Player Versus Player combat! Probably the most noteworthy battle took place a year ago on January 25, 2013, which saw the destruction of 90 Titan ships alone, a gargantuan vessel needing $7600 US Dollars worth of game currency to build.

Although the fleets of ships created by these corporations can be quite a force, nothing is certain. Espianoge and backstabbing is always a possibility, and corporations have been done in because a trusted member turned out to be a mole whom once in the right place at the right time was able to transfer all or a great deal of the financial and material assets to an enemy.

With this in mind, perhaps an older gamer like myself who knew no one in the game would have been wiser to look elsewhere. but When an opportunity came to give it a try for a month for a fraction of the usual price, I was willing to give it a chance. So I downloaded it and gave it a try. And if it was worth playing, maybe I'd keep on by paying the monthly fee ($15 to $12 a month, or 10 to 7.50 Pounds) depending on how much time you pay for).

The plot of the game is that far in the future, humanity came across a wormhole that led to another part of the Milky Way galaxy. Thousands settled on the other side in what came to be known as New Eden. Then the wormhole collapsed and society on the other side fell into a dark age and high technology forgotten. Thousands of years later, the humans on several of these worlds would discover space travel again, and eventually form five interstellar states, four of which are playable.

After creating an account, one chooses how one's avatar looks. This is currently a cosmetic feature that does not affect gameplay, as players interact only in messages and group chats, besides acting upon each others ships. After that, one is directed to fly one's pod to their first ship, where an AI will begin helping the new pilot learn basic techniques. After that, the player is contacted by five people from five different fields, business, combat, advanced combat, industry, and exploration. These people offer some begining missions with gear and sometimes ships, in addition to credits for rewards.

Although ships can be flown manually, most players usually just point and click, giving the ship commands and let the automatic pilot turn the ship. One can't be damaged just by bumping into another object, so no worries about scraping space stations, asteroids, or other ships. Maybe it was just the quirks of my system, but lag seemed to be less of a problem then on some other games, including Star trek Online. I was never disconnected. Although the scenery was limited to space scenes, the ones I saw were done very well, with good use of lighting to produce picturesque scenes of stars and nebulae.

One of the features in Eve is Skills, the knowledge your character has to perform certain actions and operate certain pieces of equipment, such as repairs and operating certain types of weapons. Without certain skills, you will not be able to operate the equipment they need, or the actions required by them. They are learned in real-life, and progress continues even when the player is not logged on. They are either bought from the market or awarded for completing a mission. But just because you get a skill book doesn't mean you can start learning it. Sometimes you need the prerequisite skill. to learn certain skills.

When trying out these first newcomer missions just after the AI training, I soon began running into trouble. First a cargo bay expansion I needed to do one mission couldn't be installed because I lacked to particular skill to install it. Frustrated, I went to another that required me to scout an area. But I couldn't complete the mission without finishing off a pirate, and I found my weapon was somehow useless! I had the idea of buying another on the market. But as it turned out, I lacked the required skill to use it. Being blocked from doing all of the second group of newcomer quests, well, my desire to play any longer was pretty much killed for the day.

I talked to a few others whom had played the game in the past, and was persuaded to give it another go. One had to tell me that it wasn't enough to just carry the ammunition, like one could carry probes when one had a probe launcher, but one had to click and drag it to over your weapon. I was also told not all of the skills I would be needed would be rewarded from quests, but would have to be bought from the Marketplace and then learned. Fortunately one can queue a number of skills to be learned later, up to fifty, so one can still be learning when not playing for a few days.

Since then, I've continued to make slow progress, running more missions for rewards. I've also made contact with one other player from Second Life, so it seems I won't be alone here after all. Another friend told me she had also given it a try, but also lost interest quickly due to it's steep learning curve. Another told me this wasn't a game that one could just play for fun for a month, but that it was one a player could spend months trying to figure out, "it's a lifetime game."

One told me even in the safe areas piracy can be a problem as there are some willing to make "suicide attacks" on ships in which the pilot seems to be Away From Keyboard, such as mining vessels in an asteroid belt, if they think the rewards from the debris to be recovered later outweigh the police forces quickly arriving on the scene and blowing them up. While there was a way to turn the tables, she requested that her technique not be published in case she goes back to pirate raiding.

I'll be continuing to play the game for the remainder of the free month at least. So my verdict on the game, it has a higher learning curve than other space games such as Star Trek Online, so it requires more patience to figure out. On the other hand, there seemed to be less of a problem with lag. While one doesn't have to be a "gaming god" whom enjoys blowing people up "for the luz" to play, one has to take precautions when going into zero security areas or risk getting blown up. If you're a casual gamer whom would rather spend just a little time learning the ropes and going in alone, you' may want to skip the wild world of Eve Online. But there are devoted players whom have spent years there, amassing wealth and power, so there is the possibility of gaining some powerful allies.If you already know people here, even better. So if you don't mind taking a little time to get the hang of the game, who doesn't mind the lack of rules, and you already have friends playing the game here, you may want to consider at least giving the free trial period a try.

Links: Wikipedia, eveonline.com , "Eve Online Beginners Guide (Youtube)"

Bixyl Shuftan