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7:03 AM on 04.10.2010

EA destroys lives, sends families into irrecoverable debt.


As was reported yesterday, EA Mythic is currently at the center of a billing fiasco where past and present subscribers of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and Dark Age of Camelot are being spammed with credit and bank charges related to the games. These totals are now being reported upwards of $500, with a common endpoint of $2,500. However, there have also been reports trickling in of charges and overdraft fees amounting to $890,000 USD stacking up on accounts. Furthermore it is reported that banks are refusing to refund overdraft fees, which would mean it would be up to EA to fully reimburse and cover those affected.

These events have left people financially devastated, unable to pay bills or purchase food due to being locked out of funds that no longer officially exist. Official statements have thanked customers for their continued support and guaranteed the situation will be fixed with no information as to how. The question is currently what will happen to the thousands if not millions affected by this, and what it means for MMO gaming at large.

Update (8:33AM EST): Apparently, EA Mythic is still billing people and stacking charges. I'm continuing to find reports ever-more recent, leading me to believe that EA may not have control over the situation as they have asserted.

Update (11:26AM EST): One unfortunate is now up to $1,700,000 in debt. Good job EA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsNlJhq6bjs   read


11:12 PM on 11.23.2009

Gearbox and 2k send a clear message to PC gamers.



I was among those that planned my Thanksgiving around the release of the first module of DLC for Gearbox Software's Borderlands. As a PC gamer, I was dismayed to learn that while the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 get the DLC tomorrow, November 24th, the PC has had absolutely no details or comments beyond that it will not be getting the DLC on said date. I have not heard anything definitive in crawling through the Gearbox forums, and my paranoia has begun to lead me to believe this is a situation where PC gamers are yet again being fully screwed. The week delay on Borderlands between console and PC releases wasn't something fun for me, and it lowered my opinion of 2k as a publisher substantially. The fact that this is now happening yet again with the DLC isn't surprising, yet now it's really affecting me. Where I would have had the chance to enjoy the new content on the Thanksgiving break, now it will come out amidst the onslaught of college finals. To say PC gamers are getting a raw deal these days is an understatement.   read


6:51 PM on 08.19.2009

WCRadio.com brings BlizzCon to YOU!

Hey guys, just giving a heads up for those of you who want to get the inside scoop on BlizzCon, but didn't have the ability or the desire to fly and buy tickets or to pay $40 for the "luxury" of third-rate coverage from DirecTV. WoW Radio has been giving the best coverage to issues regarding Blizzard for the past 5 years or so, and this year they are going to once more bring the best coverage to those who tune in, regardless of what hurdles DirecTV has put in their way.

Tune in at www.wcradio.com, and I hope to see you guys on the IRC at irc.mmoirc.com:6667 #wowradio.

P.S. Today (8/19/2009) at 8pm PT (GMT -8) there's a special variety show going on with hosts Gnomewise, Octale, and Eriyanna live from Anaheim where they will be going over the year in review in celebration of WoW Radio's 5th anniversary.   read


3:38 PM on 08.11.2009

Blizzard forsakes community in favor of DirectTV

News has just come out that the ability of fansites to make audio recordings of BlizzCon panels has now been taken away by Blizzard due to DirectTV demanding video and audio exclusivity. I have heard no evidence of Blizzard trying to contest this, and we're now at a point where the decision being handed down a mere 10 days from the convention has likely cost fansites a high amount of money that had been spent on recording equipment and the means to transport that equipment. Where prior it had just been a five minute video restriction, now all recording of events during BlizzCon 2009 by participants has been banned in entirety.

Note to Blizzard: You can still make this right. I'm not trying to stir up any trouble. I just find it in bad taste what has occurred.

Source: http://wcradio.com   read


5:12 PM on 11.09.2008

Radeon HD 4850 Overheating Fix


Decided to bring this over from the Bethesda forums where I originally posted it.

NOTE: The fan fix more widely known of for the Radeon HD 4850 is not an adequate solution to the issue hereby addressed. This issue is one where the basic plastic cover on most single-slot models of the 4850 actually serves to trap dust against the heat sink until all cooling value is lost and the card begins to overheat drastically to the point of damaging the card itself.

NOTE: The following is not advisable if you don't know what you're doing or if you have what is more colloquially known as "butterfingers". This is not advisable if you value any manufacturer's warranty you may have, and I hereby take no responsibility for you destroying your expensive graphics card by mucking this up.

***THIS TECHNICALLY VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY***
***THIS IS NOT TO BE ATTEMPTED BY THE INEXPERIENCED***
***DO NOT CRY IF YOU SCREW UP***
***KEEP ALL PARTS SAFELY STORED TO REASSEMBLE IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG, AND PRAY YOU CAN GET BY THE MANUFACTURER***

The easiest way to fix a stock single-slot 4850: Remove the plastic cover.
The plastic cover on the 4850 is nice and pretty and all, but it serves as a trap for large amounts of dust which accumulates in a short period of time. After an alcoholic beverage, I became bold enough to say to hell with things and decided to dissect my videocard. Removing the heatsink by (WITH POWER OFF) unplugging the card fan and unscrewing all the screws on the bottom of the card with a small NON-MAGNETIC screwdriver. With the heat sink in hand, I noticed that the plastic cover was easily attached with a separate set of small screws. Taking these out, some of which were hidden just under the corners of the cushioning tabs on the heat sink, and storing them safely in a small pill bottle, I removed the plastic cover. With it removed, I noticed it had caused a vast quantity of dust to accumulate against the heat sink, and screwing up the airflow. I cleaned it out, CAREFULLY aligned it back with the card, and screwed the heatsink back onto the card. Reconnecting the power to the card, I plugged my PSU back in and hit the switch. Since removing the cover, I went from ~75*C at 100% fan speed to ~50* at 50% fan speed.

If you attempt to try this, good luck, and be steady. Hope this helps you. :)   read


12:46 AM on 10.12.2008

StarCraft 2 in December: REVISED

Here's a little breadcrumb trail for you guys.

June:
http://www.destructoid.com/no-starcraft-ii-this-year-92878.phtml

October:
http://www.destructoid.com/starcraft-2-trilogy-announced-starcraft-fans-change-pants-simultaneously-107231.phtml

Now, to revise...

"According to Pardo, Blizzard is only “about a third of the way through” the single player campaign and is currently focusing on the story and all those pretty cinematics that keep us entertained between battles."

"The highly anticipated RTS Starcraft 2 will be split into three distinct stand-alone titles, each featuring a different race in order to keep the “epic” scale of Starcraft 2’s storyline intact."

"Pardo does mention that Blizzard will have something nice to satiate StarCraft deprived gamers at the end of this year."

Game a third of the way through back in June...
Three title release...
Something nice in December...

</end>   read


5:27 PM on 10.05.2008

Technicolor Butterfly: A Microsoft Op-Ed.



With the past few years, things haven't particularly looked to be going well for Microsoft. The release of Windows Vista and the subsequent failure of it to find any real market, the structural flaws in the X-Box 360 that led to multi-billion dollar firefighting efforts by the Redmond giant, as well as the economic crisis that only now seems to really be boiling over and will likely continue to hurt their business by postponing business systems upgrades to the point where they're deemed an absolute necessity. All this and more has seen fit to stack up into a truly formidable obstacle for Microsoft to overcome.

Yet these obstacles haven't entirely been out of Microsoft's control. Windows Vista was the product of a development cycle that was smacked around and readjusted several times, and which heavily suffered from the 2003-2004 worm outbreak which forced developers to be focused on closing exploitable areas within Windows XP which had taken the brunt of the beating. As well, the issues with the X-Box 360 were entirely the result of Microsoft attempting to cut costs of hardware tests by undercutting the normal levels of product evaluation. The issues with systems overheating en masse was entirely of their fault, and I feel they did well to grit their teeth and act in the interests of their customers.

So the question of which I'm curious is if Steve Ballmer can bring Microsoft out of their current situation. With no offense meant to the man, his war-room style strategies have seemed to only make Microsoft as a company out to be more a brute strength conglomerate megalith (though the factual nature of it being exactly that is a given by the way of business itself) rather than serving to improve upon public perceptions. He has come off as a rather unstable and angry chief executive due to things which have leaked out regarding his opinions of Google and Linux, regardless of whether these evaluations of character are correct. Yet such is the nature of the media beast, and it cannot be helped but by proof contrary. As such, Microsoft is left in a position where it had until very recently yet to really reach out to improve the view of itself as a whole. Where you have had branch projects like the X-Box 360 and the Zune working so hard to convey some sense of community, Microsoft at its core has remained rather gray and stalwart compared to its competitors such as Apple.

Yet recently there has been some activity out of Redmond in this regard. While the Mojave Experiment sort of buzzed the tower in terms of its effectiveness, the 'I'm a PC' advertisement that brings people together has been vastly more effectively. Whether authentic or artificial, it seems like there might be a bit of humanity returning to Microsoft's appearance, even if just a minute sparkle in the eye. While there is still a long way to go in this regard, which could honestly be helped ENORMOUSLY by them redesigning their sites to be more user-friendly versus the typical navigational Hell that seems almost to be a Microsoft trademark at this point, there seems to be at least the prospect in mind of them getting back a portion of their former glory, though this is something which could easily vanish like dust in the wind.

Through the year, bits and pieces of information have been coming out regarding the next pillar release in the Windows family. Windows 7 as it so creatively named has been discussed as being a turnaround from the relative disappointment of Vista, attempting to bring forth and focus upon resource management, stability, and compatibility; all things which were and continue to be frequent complaints in respect to Windows Vista. The authenticity of these claims is yet unknown due to the limited exposure to the currently alpha-stage product, yet there are whispers among the woodwork that there may be a beta for the new operating system as soon as this mid-December. I for one would be delighted if I could gain access into the beta, as I'm really looking forward to seeing if Microsoft has managed the turn-around they so desperately need.

Engineering Windows 7:
http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/   read


9:19 AM on 09.29.2008

The Information that would kill SecuROM?


Now, a lot has been said recently regarding SecuROM, Sony's little DRM software they saw to recycle after their previous brilliant idea in the market, XCP, was ruled as being completely and utterly illegal. Yet there's something not commonly known which I feel could very well crush, kill, or cripple Sony's DRM, and thereby render it in the same way as XCP from the legal front. It's something Microsoft knows quite a bit about, and something which intimately involves Microsoft via the effect.

The information? Sony's DRM software cripples Microsoft's Zune MP3 player software.

Now, you're going to ask me how this info could kill SecuROM, I know you are. Well, it just so happens that Sony has their own line of music players, and so are a competing company directly to Microsoft in that regard. So by SecuROM attacking and disabling features of the Zune software, it's actually acting in what could be construed legally as a rather /bad/ business practice.

The question is: Does Microsoft know about it, or would they act if they did?   read


12:15 AM on 07.02.2008

Fans try to save Diablo 3 from the fans trying to save Diablo 3!


Just thought I'd toss this up before as something to end my lack of posting. There was a petition out today that was for darkening the environments of Diablo 3 to make them take on a more gothic tone. It gained well over 7000 signatures. In response, Sol Invictus of http://www.blizzardguru.com has created a petition to preserve Diablo 3 to its original artistic vision had by Blizzard and to prevent changes from being made before we actually get to see more of the game.

http://www.petitiononline.com/d3color/petition.html   read


1:56 AM on 06.26.2008

The Lord Of Terror... Returns?


The 4th day of the teaser, and now you can see those eyes gazing towards you... The spite, the malice... prepare.

Update: Alright, now it's time for a fact rolldown in regards to what's currently going on.


-The numbers being outlaid by the 'purple puzzle image' are being outlaid by the Valenzetti Equation from LOST(I've never watched, just relating the info), which apparently has something to do with apocalyptic prophecy. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. Blizzard is being rather fan-based/cryptic even with this, and it's speculated over if there's any bigger meaning behind it.

-Recently, it was noticed the Diablo 3 General Discussion forum exists on www.battle.net, but is down awaiting activation. This is important because it /is/ there, due to an active message reporting the boards are down if you attempt the address, while a boff address will redirect you to battle.net's main page.

-It was noticed last night that www.diablo3.fr redirects to Blizzard.com, which marks it as the first known active site bearing the official Diablo 3 stamp. Further, the WWI coming up is taking place in Paris, so it seems eerily suspicious.


-On a more speculative note, this area of the image has been unchanged through each of the 4 advancing versions so far, and to me looks like it could be a 'D3' with the D rather brilliantly concealed in the slant beside the 3.



Image Links:
http://us.media.blizzard.com/232309/_images/ice1.jpg
http://us.media.blizzard.com/232309/_images/ice2.jpg
http://us.media.blizzard.com/232309/_images/ice3.jpg
http://us.media.blizzard.com/232309/_images/ice4.jpg

Other Links:
http://www.blizzard.com
http://www.diablofans.com

Uncredible but cool:

-Overlaying the Diablo 2 box image on the 'face' with parameters seems to line up, but don't hold that to be any definite proof.

-Someone else shopped up this cool little image.   read


7:38 AM on 06.25.2008

Diablo 3 Update: Woo!


Yesterday I posted my predictions on the meaning of the appearing runes on the new Blizzard teaser, and I have to say that I'm rather ecstatic to have been at least correct in the design. It would seem that each rune stands for a different Blizzard game, leading up to a new announcement as intense heat swelters through the ice.

The first rune is a symbol from Frostmourne, which would make it seem WoW-related.
The second rune is the Hel rune from Diablo 2.
The third rune is the symbol of the Protoss in StarCraft 2.

So, we have symbols of past Blizzard games following a rather familiar configuration... Wait... isn't that the configuration I suggested yesterday?


Yes, they're taking on the positions of sigils that would appear a the points of a pentagram, a symbol synonymous with the more... Diabolic side of things. I just got the execution wrong.


Update: Apparently, the Diablo 3 General forum exists on www.battle.net. It just says its down rather than redirecting to the mainpage like a bad address would. (Thanks to kdymkle from the Diablofans D3 mIRC.)
http://www.battle.net/forums/board.aspx?ForumName=d3-general   read


3:23 PM on 06.24.2008

Followup: D3 Rumor and Speculation


As a followup to my previous(and first) post on the potential nature of the new Blizzard tease up and the proven identification of Diablo 2 runes in the image, I decided to get into a bit of what the Diablo fandom holds a rather firm grasp of. So it's time for a bit of rumor and speculation. :)

Now, with the image only holding 2 symbols, there is already a lot abuzz in terms of speculation on what the final image will look like. Well, my guess from appearances is that they're posting runes that will make up the intersigils of an inverted pentagram, as seen below and merged in the title image of this mini-article. Each rune makes up one letter of Big D's name or so it would seem in the speculation, and the final sigil will most likely be set in place in the center which will when glow and slow off the pentagram and direct you to Diablo3.com. Now, this is just wild speculation, but if I am at least partially correct, it should be well and apparent tomorrow. :)



NefOrtElEldSolHel, friends.   read


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