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  • Fozee 19:05 on 20/09/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    In Finality 

    I started as a volunteer moderator for Warhammer Online in May 2010. We started out on a Lithium-based forum software which was cut about 1 month after I started. Looking back on this, mid-2010 really was the beginning of an end. That month, they’d cut the forum software and every paid moderator would follow shortly after. This is really where the EA cuts stopped and the Mythic cuts began.

    We moved to the BioWare Social Network, because Mythic was part of BioWare at the time. The BioWare merger was reported as a move to allow the two companies to work together on their projects and benefit from the expertise of both teams. I am not aware of this ever happening, and never saw BioWare put any interest in Mythic’s assets. Several of the management positions at Mythic moved over to BioWare and are still there today. From the few I know of, we certainly never lost anything of value. I would like to note that I to this day have not heard of the “BioWare Doctors” putting any level of interest or enthusiasm into Mythic. If you were to ask me, it was a way to siphon assets without breaking contracts.

    This is about where EA-Louse came into play. I am unable to say that he was actually wrong about anything. I stayed quiet about it at the time, and we were told to hush any forum threads about it. He said a lot relevant to the BioWare-Mythic relations which I think are true and relevant. He also said a lot about EA itself which I won’t comment on or validate.

    From here on, development was incredibly slow and getting even slower, and employment changes were constant. We lost Andy Belford, followed in 2011 by the loss of James Nichols. The next guy that came in, Kai Schober, was terribly overworked and spread out over every Mythic project. He eventually quit on his own terms, to move on with his life. Replacing Kai was Tim Chappell. Tim was wildly overworked as well though I got to have a slightly closer relationship with him. Tim was laid off in April 2013 and was not replaced. My repeated requests for the hiring of new volunteer moderators spanned from 2011-2013 and were never answered.

    WAR’s community management was never great, but it wasn’t horrible either. I know a lot of these guys were simply overworked and spread across more products than what I’d call industry standard. If you really want a measure of how people are affected by working at Mythic, just take a look at the CMs. Andy Belford was, I’ll be honest, a bit of a dick. I never liked the guy. He moved onto communities who love him now. James Nichols always, to me, seemed a bit depressed… certainly not cheery. A vast difference compared to what I see in him these days.

    I want to touch a little bit on Keaven Freeman. Although severely limited in his capacities due to the development setup of WAR, he was a damn hard worker. Sometimes I feel sorry for how much time and heart he poured into the game, only to get shit on in the end. He’d spend more time with the community than our CMs were able to manage, by far. He’d be on IRC every day interacting with the Core Testers and moderators. He was given so little to work with, but certainly gave us as much as he could, and maybe more than he should have. In the end I’m not sure if Keaven was laid off or quit. I’m glad he’s in a better place now (not dead).

    Over my 3 years volunteering for Mythic, I was never in contact with any management personnel. I honestly can’t say many poor things about them because I just was never afforded that sort of contact with my own superiors. Even when they were my next in superiority while between CMs, they never got in contact with me and I still have no contacts for them. I wanted to make one thing clear, though: Carrie Gouskos is in no way affiliated with Warhammer Online. I’ve never spoken to her, I’ve never heard of any commands coming from her office, and she abandoned us long ago for other projects. She has had a continuing snarky attitude towards our community over the years, publicly laughing about any negative feedback on her performance. I had her removed from the list of moderators months ago because she was no longer on the project, and now she has the nerve to write WAR’s community a goodbye letter as though she’s been here the whole time? I can’t properly express how upsetting that was.

     

    As the news came in this week of the closure of Warhammer Online, I made it known that I was going to be leaving my position as Lead Moderator. Not even 2 days later, every volunteer moderator had their privileges removed. Even the ones who had not given their statement of resignation. Our forums are now sitting there, without moderators, filling up with violent hardcore pornography. I guess that’s no longer our problem.

    I don’t regret my time spent as a moderator for WAR. I don’t even really dislike Mythic, and I enjoyed having EA above my head, they treated us well. I hope to have shed some light on why Warhammer Online didn’t make it. It wasn’t lack of player interest, it wasn’t unskilled developers. I firmly believe it was mismanaged to the highest degree possible. I really hope the gaming media will take notice of that.

    –Fozee

     
    • Fez 19:29 on 20/09/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for all your efforts Fozee – shame it all came to nothing – good luck in the future; look after yourself :)

  • Fozee 13:11 on 10/08/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Mythic’s New CM? Not Fozee! 

    I should clarify first that I have not been invited to the Community Management position for Warhammer Online. That’s actually where the problem lies. 

    My initial campaign for CM started 12 weeks ago, and I got a response almost immediately! Great! I was told that I’d hear back about it within 4-6 weeks. Well… it’s 12 weeks later now. I haven’t heard a peep from anyone. Maybe it’s my personality and my standards for business relations, but that’s unacceptable and it’s incredibly rude. I hate to use the word “unprofessional”, but it totally fits this time. 

    You know, I volunteer for good reasons. I’ve never been in it for the (very rare) occasional rewards, and I’ve definitely not been in it for any level of fame. I just wanted to see the future of the game I love be bright and supported to the fullest extent possible. Under all of that lies a very strong morality, a certainly radical set of values. I’m a volunteer and not a slave, I am to be respected by my superiors for the time and money I’ve saved the company by working for free where they otherwise would have needed to hire someone. I’d say the WAR volunteers did a very kick-ass job with the little we were given to work with. 

     

    This act of (perhaps forgetful) disrespect is where I draw the line. As of now, I retract any offers to volunteer for further roles within Mythic Entertainment or Electronic Arts, and will swiftly refuse any future offers of such. I will carry on my current duties for Warhammer Online’s official forums, though I am open to offers from other studios and publishers. 

     
  • Fozee 16:32 on 05/08/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Why I gave a big “fuck you!” to Reddit’s /r/socialism 

    I used to enjoy this subreddit, I really did. It used to be full of well-read Leftists of all types and even a few decently intelligent members of the Right. It was a place of intelligent discussion and debate sprinkled with relevant news posts. Not anymore.

    Now, /r/socialism is down to being a majority of news posts. Many of them are irrelevant criticisms of the United States, plenty are news about how worker’s rights are being shredded in Britain. Indeed, the front page posts span from irrelevance to “no shit”. The worst, however, are the comments.

    /r/socialism has gained this feminist viewpoint lately, it’s fucking sickening. Listen, shitbag, we’re trying to discuss and formulate the IDEAL Socialist world. That includes absolute equality, meaning there’s no requirement for discussion on the rights of women, or LGBT. Your gender and sexual orientation are completely irrelevant in a perfect or near-perfect Socialist society, nobody is going to be oppressing you. The only way you could further the comfort of these types of people in this ideal society would be to silence any “oppressive” speech, and that’s fucking fascistic. I commend your work to bring equality to this non-Socialist world, really I do. But you have NO place in discussion of a world in which YOU are the new oppressor.

    Socialists need to be prepared to discuss killing. War. Revolution. All in the name of Socialism! If we can’t have someone say “bitch” in the comments of /r/socialism, then that subreddit has no fucking business existing. I know you feel like you need to be special and extra protected because of whatever your reasons. But your religion, birth gender, chosen gender, unchosen non-birth gender, sexual orientation and hair color have no weight in a discussion of absolute equality. It doesn’t MATTER.

    So fuck you, /r/socialism, you bunch of whiny fascistic swine.

     
  • Fozee 22:34 on 16/03/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DRM, EA, , , hack, maxis, offline, simcity,   

    SimCity Hack Does NOT Let Users Destroy Anyone’s Online City Thanks To Always-On DRM 

    There is a story going around the gaming journalism news reblogging world right now about the ability to “hack” SimCity and destroy other players’ cities. The articles are spinning it as a major issue, something which it would seem to be if you spent zero time at all actually investigating. Let me do the journalism that you click-baiting morons were too slow to actually do.

    If you watch the video, which I won’t link here, you’ll know that syncing to the servers is turned off. The game is not being played online during this video, so any changes that he does are irrelevant to everyone else. You cannot go into someone else’s city and destroy it because it won’t sync and save. The only thing you’re editing or destroying is some city that you’ve loaded into memory. I can do more real-world damage by swatting a fly.

    How do I know it doesn’t sync over to the servers? I know this because the person who actually came out with these client mods posted it himself:

    “I did not try to “spoof” the owner ID’s when doing this , so while I *CAN* “Take over” any city I like and run the simulation as if it was my own, place buildings, change taxes, play for hours, or destroy it – It *WON’T* be synced to the server at all, so no permanent changes are ever made to another player’s cities. It’s good fun though, and you can make entertaining videos with it. Spoofing owner ID’s may be a dangerous possibility to save the edits to server – but EA servers may have checks to prevent this already.”

    There are fair points being made from every perspective  about the always-online aspect of SimCity. However, a lot of the arguments have come down to ridiculous anti-EA moaning and it has started spilling over into half-assed propaganda campaigns. EA surely had some say in whether or not SimCity had these features, but it was Maxis who had the ultimate power over the game. It was Maxis who had every right and ability to make it offline-capable, but they didn’t. Don’t just blame EA just because you dislike EA for whatever reason. I guarantee that if this were an indie developer, far fewer people would be pissed off about the same game and the same situation.

    To clarify where my profiteering media friends do not, I DO have an EA-bestowed title, and I do technically do work for several of their studios. I am however a volunteer and owe nothing to Electronic Arts – if anything, they still owe me for some of the hard and unending work I’ve put in over the years. My ideals and opinions are not swayed by EA or any subsidiary of theirs, and I promise you they wouldn’t even like half of my ideals and opinions.  I am not a fan of always-on DRM, but I am a fan of rational thought.

    
    	
     
  • Fozee 22:43 on 15/03/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Review: Champions of Regnum 

    I first noticed Champions of Regnum a few years ago. I had noticed that a 3-sided RvR game had been made which, I think, blatantly copies a mixture of DAoC and WAR. I noticed they also used the then-copyrighted (is it still? Can’t find the info) “RvR” terminology and wondered why the hell they hadn’t been sued yet. Maybe they were just never a threat. Now that it’s on the front page of Steam and the Steam forums are filled with ecstatic, euphoric reviews I thought I’d give it a try.

    The download size is decently small, so it didn’t take long. The launcher is just not good. Aside from the launcher displaying no news (it literally says “no_news”), even the tooltips when mousing over things was in the wrong place. Maybe it only matters to me when a launcher is sloppy, but it does.

    After finding out that the clearly-labeled Beta 64-bit client doesn’t work at all, I finally got into the game using the 32-bit client. I’m immediately hit with a choice between 3 Realms. Like F2P, 3-sided PvP is not necessarily a guaranteed good idea so I don’t really care about this enough to give them good marks for it. After picking one, I was confronted with a choice of poor character models to choose from. It’s not that they were bad, it’s that they’re REALLY amateur. It doesn’t FEEL like an art style, rather it feels that it’s the best someone could do. So I picked some Asura-looking thing, fiddled with the handful of bland character choices and logged in as a mage.

    After restarting the client in order to turn the graphics settings all the way up, I was ready to play. I guess.

    The first thing I notice is that the graphics don’t seem terrible, so that’s good. I can’t say the same about the UI. Pressing Tab for example hides the entire UI. Who the shit put this together and thought it was a reasonable product? It’s clunky, it’s somewhat ugly, and it’s miserably outdated. The absolute worst part about the bad UI is that it’s one of the easiest things you can possibly change in a game and there’s no good excuse for poor execution. After my first really tough battle with the questing UI, I was set off to click some crates and run out of mana in 3 casts on some little goblin guys that I 1-shot. Completing that, I was sent to some other guy, who sent me to some other guy, who made me kill some wolves and then sent me to a final guy that dropped me off the questing chain entirely to figure it out for myself.

    Along the way to being absolutely patronized by the quests and music, I couldn’t help but bitch about the graphics. The terrain resolution must be set to “potato” in whatever engine they’re using, and whoever is in charge of design must be some sort of sea monster, because I can’t think of anything that could do a reasonably worse job at it. I’m not just whining here, you can seriously count the polygons in the ground and buildings while moving. It all made my character fit into the environment even less, cheapening my experience a great deal.

     

    I’ll be totally honest, that’s as far as I got. I didn’t try the PvP, I didn’t try the RvR. I couldn’t bring myself to wade through this mess and get that far. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, as the game should be able to actually get me there before it disgusts me thoroughly. My final opinion is that Champions of Regnum is without reasonable design when it comes to art, GUI, basic game design, or even the sound. I can’t help but to believe that the euphoric reviews of the game on the Steam Community forum are actually from the development studio, because I can’t think of anyone who would legitimately enjoy this experience.

     
  • Fozee 08:31 on 07/03/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amd cpu, amd cpu drivers, dungeon defenders, intel   

    Fix: Dungeon Defenders Trying to Install AMD CPU Driver 

    So, you just got Dungeon Defenders as part of the latest Humble Indie Bundle or Steam sale and you’re attempting to install it on an Intel PC. Stop right there, pal. That’s as far as you’re going to get, since you absolutely don’t want to install AMD CPU drivers. Here’s the solution!

     

    In Regedit (Start/Run -> regedit.exe) navigate to:

    32bit: 

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TrendyEntertainment\DungeonDefenders

    64bit:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\TrendyEntertainment\DungeonDefenders

     

    Add a new DWORD32 value called “InstalledUE3Redist” and set its value to “1″.

     

    If you’re not comfortable editing the Windows registry for yourself, here’s the .reg file:

    DungeonDefendersIntel32bit.reg

    DungeonDefendersIntel64bit.reg

     

     

    Your game is now ready to play!

     
  • Fozee 22:44 on 21/02/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fascism, feminism, , Gender equality, PS4, sexism, , Sony, The Verge   

    PS4 Event Had Zero Women 

    Not a single fuck should be given. Nobody would complain if the presenters were 100% female and men were not represented. I haven’t seen anyone complaining that several races went unrepresented. It’s simply not an issue, and it’s disgusting that our society has gotten to this point. This isn’t a presentation by the UN, this is a presentation given by Sony, and I guarantee nobody made a conscious decision to not include women.

    The biggest problem with the international reporting on this non-issue is the ridiculous levels of hypocrisy. The Verge reported on this, yet The Verge is only 7% female with exactly 0% of their 18 leadership positions being filled by women. This is how much of the news media industry is today. I won’t call it an industry of journalism because it’s plagued by shit like this.

    If equality is to be achieved, we must actually treat the sexes as equal. Don’t bitch about under-representation of women at a gaming presentation as if women are somehow more important than men. Don’t shoot down their accomplishments because they fail to contain ovaries. If the sexes are truly equal then it doesn’t fucking matter which ones were on that stage.

    I openly challenge anyone to respond without making a single sexist comment or assuming which gender I am, which is not public information.

     
  • Fozee 00:19 on 24/01/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Responding to Reddit’s Ridiculous Libertarian-Anarchist AMA 

    I’d have to say that Reddit is currently one of the best things about the internet. Reddit is a center of discussion for many communities which otherwise had none, and that’s great. Unfortunately, this free and open discussion which anyone can join is naturally littered with issues. This is no different than anywhere else on the internet, ridiculous bullshit is everywhere and largely not moderated. It’s part of what makes the internet great, actually.

    I was browsing Reddit as usual and came across this AMA: I am Stephan Kinsella, a patent attorney and Austrian economics and anarchist libertarian writer who thinks patent and copyright should be abolished. AMA

    Reading through the OP’s replies to questions, I was completely astonished that the majority had not called this man out for his bullshit. Now, I’m all for your freedom to have any beliefs you want. I may not respect your beliefs, but I’m ecstatic that you can freely have them. I really like how Reddit can pick what’s great and democratically vote things up to the top so that the majority is more exposed to certain things that people like. Unfortunately, it has a chance of making absolute ridiculousness seem legitimate.

    As an educated person, I feel the absolute need to respond to some of the things Mr. Stephan Kinsella said.

     

    First of all, allow me to momentarily address the title of his post. He claims to be an anarchist and libertarian writer who is against patents and copyrights. This makes it especially hard to understand why this AMA was relevant at all. Of course you want patents and copyrights to be abolished, you’re an ANARCHIST. You want the entire government to be abolished, it’s right there in the core of your publicly expressed beliefs. Even on the libertarian side, this sort of thing is obvious. Libertarians would have the governing body shrunk to the point of open and unrestricted oppression by profit-seeking private entities, and this demands the removal of restrictions like patents and copyrights.

    The rest of the AMA drags on an on with the OP answering basically every question with typical anarchist/libertarian buzz words. It sounds like a poorly written punk album from 1994. We get it, OP, you want the state gone. You want patents removed because they protect one entity from the exploitation of another entity. Yeah, western patent processes are kinda screwed up right now, but that doesn’t apply to the entire world and it can be reformed without absolute anarchy. It’s almost as if, in anarchy, you couldn’t protect your inventions by just murdering competition.

    A major point is missed here. The quote “state agencies are incompetent, inept, and enforcing arbitrary, vague unjust laws”, yet the OP is currently under a “statist” system that is fully allowing him to express his views and is open and willing to accept copyright/patent reforms. The current system is largely democratic and the OP is in a serious power position as part of that system (read: patent attorney). This isn’t good enough, apparently, and we must tear down the entire thing so that the elite can have their way without litigation and restriction. This isn’t a legitimate political stance, this is a power grab for those who would gladly give us absolute dystopia on the grounds of serving the elite their platters of wealth.

     

    I’m saddened that the OP has posed as a serious and legitimate spokesperson of anarchy and fascist libertarianism and that Reddit has deemed this worthwhile. While it’s great that we all have different views, that doesn’t make everyone a reasonable and intelligent source of political opinion. While we all deserve a voice, not everyone’s voice deserves to be broadcast to the masses or knocked up to the front page alongside constructive discourse.

     
  • Fozee 21:53 on 17/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: computer, , ows 8, , technology, ui elements, windows 8, windows8   

    Windows 8 Part 2: Fozee Can Talk A Lot About Task Manager 

    As I said last time, after insulting your intelligence, I’m now going to cover some updated UI elements that I believe make Windows 8 great. First on the list is Task Manager. It’s a boring subject for most, but everyone is going to be diving into the Task Manager at some point whether you like it or not. Pictured directly below is the basic Task Manager as most users are going to see it. Remember how you were saying this is going to be too complex for the average person? I don’t think so. Let’s press More details since we’re adults. 

    (More …)

     
  • Fozee 23:09 on 16/10/2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Windows 8 (or: Fozee Shows Why Your Bashing Is Ignorance) 

    Alright, god dammit people. Around the internets I see plenty of people treating Windows 8 like they treated Windows Vista. If you actually used Vista you’d know that their complaints were overblown ignorance. It’s no different here, let me show you!

    Look at this desktop. Looks like a cleaner Windows 7 to me. I have my desktop icons turned off for the sake of not having to delete icons to protect sensitive information. Ignore the lack of icons. If you’ll shut the hell up, we’ll continue. Good.

    See that red mouse cursor I created? Cool. Let’s move that mouse into the bottom left corner, where we’d expect to find our start menu.

     

     

    WHOA there’s that start menu button, in case you couldn’t hit the Windows key like an adult. What happens when you move the mouse upwards from here? Let me show you, stop asking questions before I get to that point, what is wrong with you? Moving on.

     

    Whoa, a task switcher?! This makes it so that I can switch between the desktop and the Start apps. It’s a feature leftover from tablets, but it does take several clicks out of your operations. That was directed at you, people complaining about extra operations do to anything. You know who you are.

    Let’s do the same thing on the right side of the screen and see wha-

     

    WHOA did you see that? Look at that screenshot again. Now look back here and tell me how difficult that was. Easy, right? Here’s another start button, and multiple buttons that are intended to unify settings menus across the entire OS. That sounds pretty goddamn simplistic to me. Press that Settings button and see what happens, I’m on the edge of my goddamn seat.

     

    Well damn, look at that. All the settings I could possibly want to quickly reach are all right there, one click away from within every part of the OS. Let’s summarize.

     

    Windows 8 is not only simple to use, to me it’s a pleasure. Thanks to those incredibly simple operations detailed above, you now know how to operate the entire OS. It took you less time than you take to read your celebrity gossip magazine, and you actually are now a somewhat useful human being for gaining knowledge. All of this talk about more clicks to get things done are bullshit. It’s that simple. Bullshit. For many operations, it’s actually fewer clicks and a much more user-friendly UI. Yeah, you’re going to need to spend 3 minutes teaching grandma to use it, but look how many hours it took that woman to figure out the mouse.

    I’m not being paid by Microsoft to say any of this, and I’m still paying full price for the OS when it releases in 9 days. I’m simply a fan of it, and I think you’re being unreasonable for not being one.

    Soon we’ll take a look at some massively improved desktop elements.

     

     
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