Okay. There's a few things I need to talk about. Let's start with the most interesting.
I had heard about emulators for WoW before. Kofi's RL friend told me about it over TS one time. I didn't think it was anything a "normal user" could run. And I half expected it to require fucking up the client program some, to make it connect to the proper server, etc.
Well ... it's actually pretty damn simple.
The vast majority of the time it took to setup was from DLing the one maps file, and the 1.8.4 full patch for the client. It seems the emulator I tried doesn't work with client versions past 1.8.xx, so I had to revert my client and re-patch. Anyway, the server files are massively small and I was able to run both the server and client on my machine at the same time.
It took some looking to find a list of all the Admin commands, but once that was done, my Paladin was decked out in full Lightforge gear, galloping away on his Epic charger. It was pretty easy.
There are some serious bugs with the server though. Some of the mobs I saw didn't move around at all (ones in the area where the Green Dragon spawns), and the instances don't seem to work at all. They load, but there's nothing in them. I don't know if I'm missing a certain file or what, or if they never work with this client. It seems that /all/ the enemy spawns work, even if they shouldn't (ie. single spawn quest mobs). So I found odd mobs in places they shouldn't be.
There are some very handy commands though, like /turbo, /godmode, and /go. The last one TPs you to wherever you type. Like /go Ironforge. I just had fun running around exploring. Looks like I can use it when I'm bored and go see the sights I missed before. But this time I don't have to pay for it, nor do I have to endure the pain of leveling to the appropriate level before going.
It did give me ideas on how you could almost use it as almost a GMed game for your friends. Invite some people over to LAN it up, or simply connect over the Net. One person can have Admin rights and generate spawns with the built in commands and such. They couldn't talk as the creatures, but it'd still might be cool. It looks like some of the other emulators might be better though. One boasts being compatible with 1.11, and others say they have the new expansion areas opened.
Interesting stuff ... but I'll probably just use it to see those areas I missed. Fulfill the explorer in me.
Along similar lines, I watched a few videos on Google about a guy named Dopefish from WoW. He made a bunch of vids about "wallwalking" and the places you could get with it and liberal use of the Noggenfogger drink. Him and a friend made it into /tons/ of places you shouldn't be able to. Things like on top of Zeppelins, floating through walls to end up in front of Warchief Thrall, or any of the other Leader NPCs. Crossing the Great Sea on horse by speeding up and using waterwalking. He showed all the new areas for the expansion, and showed the current stuff (like AQ, Deathwing Lair, etc.) way before they were active.
Not only did he show some cool stuff, but his editing and choices for music were good too. He threw in some of the CGI Warcraft movies into his movie.
It was all cool stuff. Some of the movies were about 45 mins, but using Google made it easy to watch.
Nevrax decided to limit their "unlimited trial" to maximum level 21 in the 4 skill trees. Now 21 levels does sound pretty high. But not when the first 10 can be done in less than a half hour. A person who has at least some idea what they are doing can hit the cap in all skills in a day or two. They can't even continue with the missions on the newbie island, as many of them require you to be over level 30.
There have been mixed feelings on this by the existing players. Some of the "newer-ish" players have said that they weren't ready to subscribe until they had hit the mid 20's to 30s in their skills, as it showed them how higher lvl skills had access to abilities that made some tasks (like Harvesting) /much easier/. Some of the vets are all like, "Well ... 21 lvls is lots to get to know the game. Just subscribe and play the game." I don't think they quite understand that the game is quite hard to grasp, and a lot of new people might not quite like it at first. I didn't particularly like the game the first time I tried it, and I think I hit lvl 30+ in melee and magic in a few days. Had I been limited, I probably would have simply uninstalled the game and not looked back.
It's similar to EVE in a way. EVE's 14 day trial is nowhere near long enough for people to get to know the game in any detail. Most people play, and only see the tedious aspects, thus they don't choose to subscribe. EVE is only doing better cause of SWG "demise" and the fact that there are very few Sci-Fi games for the SWG Refugees to flock to.
Anyway, I think Nevrax is shooting itself in the foot on this one. They're putting out more ads for the game and the Ring, but I don't think that's going to give them that many more players. The Ring is still missing a few very key features and thus people aren't bothering to even use it. They might be fiddling with it, but hosted scenarios are almost nonexistent.
I'm not even playing the trial now anyway. I don't think I've even logged in other than to send an in-game mail to a former CoX player I know. Hopefully he find what he's looking for in Ryzom.
I played a CounterStrike: Source mod the other day, cause Kofi was bugging me to try it. I'm not sure of it's actual name, but we call it "Zombie mod". It has custom maps and player models (for the zombies). The round starts out with everyone being Humans (ie. Counter-terrorists). After like a minute or 30 seconds, 1 player at random is turned into a zombie. The zombies have a faster running speed, stupid amounts of hit points, nightvision, a fish-eye point of view and a knife. If they hit someone with their knife attack, that person turns into a zombie.
The point of the game is for the Humans to kill all the zombies (or stay alive till the round ends), or the Zombies to turn all the humans in to zombies too. There's no respawning, and you have to buy your weapons at the beginning like normal CS. In the first bit, before anyone becomes a zombie, the humans can shoot objects in the game to make blockades or get on top of defensible positions.
For example, Kofi and I would shoot the one pop machine over and shoot it so it would end up beside an overturned truck. We'd then use it to get on top of the truck, and then shoot it away so that the zombies couldn't use it. The zombies had to boost each other up to get on the truck, but when they get shot, if they take too much damage they go backwards.
There are a few maps, and all of them have good spots to keep away from the zombies. But all it takes is one guy getting clipped with the zombie knife and Bam!, the whole thing falls apart. Kofi and I had a few hilarious moments when we'd be shooting some zombies trying to get on the truck and we'd turn to see 20 more zombies streaming our way. Even though it's just a game and stuff, we were still both like, "Oh shit!"
We had a few other funny moments with Zombie mod. but for the most part, we stick to rounds of FEAR. Mainly cause it's easier to find people playing it.
I watched the entire first season of Deadwood this week. I watched most of it in one day for Pete's sake! Kofi lent it to me and was totally surprised when I gave it back to him the other day. He laughed at me when I said I watched most of it on my one night off.
Anyway, it's a /really good show/. Very gritty, very realistic, and most of all /filled to the FUCKING BRIM with cursing/. The one character, Al Swearingen (note his name), is a fountain of cursing. He swears more than I did when I RPed my one CoX character. He even uses the uber-offensive "C-word". You know ... the one you /never/ say to woman lest you want her to kick you in the balls.
The show started out with a lot of the characters being unsure about each other's intentions and such. It's evolved, and they seem to be making friendships and alliances against each other. For a western, there is an obvious lack of a lot of gunfights. Perhaps that's why most of the US people don't like it. It's received top awards from the critics, but that's cause the critics are usually more interested in "thought evoking" shows than the fucking dullard shit the majority of the US stations put out.
If you haven't seen Deadwood yet, go watch it. You won't be disappointed.
I'm trying to think if I've missed anything, but it doesn't seem so. Now let's see if this damn thing loses my post or not.