There is but one man which Arkenor of Britain calleth “Liege”. He who called out across Britannia for virtue to be sought above all else, and ushered in an age of peace and learning. There were those who sought to bring us low. The Shadowlords. Blackthorne the usurper. The Guardian in all his guile. But none proved equal to the good people of Britannia, strengthened by our dedication to the Virtues, lead by our wise monarch, Lord British.
Now our Lord calls out once more. I know not to what ends, but it is a call I have never refused. I shall wend my way to that special spot, down the lane beneath my house, where the Moongate shall be waiting. Whither shall it take me? It matters not, for adventure and injustice may be found throughout creation, and I go willingly where I am needed.
But not yet. The time is not *quite* right. When our lonely moon is in just the right place, then, and only then, shall the Moongate open.
There is but one clue. This picture:
By mine eyes it is a stone circle of kind betwixt I hath stepped so many times, but eyes may deceive. I shall prepare for all eventualities. Runestones must be polished and recharged, and my sword sharpened. I had best also reconfigure my old power armour and plasma-rifle, for the paradigm of our destination is unknown.
The Raven see. The Raven saw. And in the corn he sayeth “Cah!”.
We ,too, shall watch, and see. Here.
If I was the leader of a political party, or the leader of anything at all, and I heard “general non-specific allegations” of serious misconduct about a member, they would not remain general and non-specific for very long. They would either become very specific indeed, and dealt with accordingly, or they would be disproven. Those are the only two acceptable results.
While my current ire is directed against Nick Clegg, leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, for his attempts to weasel out of responsibility for what Lord Rennard has been getting up to under his leadership, it’s something we’ve been seeing recently in every part of society, from the well-paid chairmen of global banks, to the leaders of the Catholic Church. When evil-doing is going on within the organisation that you supposedly lead, you don’t get to shirk that by saying “That is an ecumenical matter”.
We’re all part of various organisations or groups, be it as employees, industry representatives, or guildmembers. Our first responsibility is for our own actions, of course, for those are the only one we have complete control over. However, to the extent that we have any agency in the matter, the actions of the groups we are part of reflect directly upon us.
This is one reason why I very seldom join MMO guilds these days. It has become increasingly difficult to find gaming guilds which do not tolerate some degree of bigotry against some group or another. While there are often perfectly nice people even in the worst of guilds, I am unable to perform the necessary ethical gymnastics to stay part of such a guild while still believing my hands to be clean. If nothing else, the presence of hateful behaviour can have a poisonous effect upon the soul. Manners of thinking can be as contagious as any bacteria, particularly when they are supercharged by the opiate of group-belonging, and it is a matter of self-preservation to not bathe yourself in the thoughts of those who hold bigoted ideas in those conditions.
While it is nice to think that it might be possible to stop hateful behaviour within a guild once it has become established, in practise it is almost impossible. The existing members have already come to accept it, and a new member who complains is far more likely to be told to get a sense of humour than to achieve anything useful. No, the only way I have ever seen succeed is for the guild to start off with no tolerance for bigotry, and then for it to guard against it ever-on. And guard you must, for it is all too easy, especially if you care about growing, for new members to start to try to push the boundaries, and for it to be tolerated for fear of causing trouble or driving them out. Once the cancer has found a hold, it will grow roots and metastatise, and you end up with just one more casually misogynistic guild. At that point the only real option is for the non-bigots to leave and try again with a freshly made guild.
Being a leader is not about being popular all the time. It’s about standing up for the ideals of your organisation, whether it is popular or not, and sometimes this will mean that you have to tell a member that they need to stop what they’re doing. Nick Clegg and the other leaders I mentioned earlier have failed because they did not take responsibility for the actions of their members. Turning a blind eye is never leadership, whether you’re a bishop, a managing editor, a pro-gamer team leader, or a guildmaster.
I received the following email yesterday. SOE is increasing European prices for a variety of currencies, claiming currency fluctuations.
I am not convinced. Seeing as my podcast co-host, Petter, is Swedish, let’s see how he’ll be treated under the new pricing. A month of an SOE game will now cost 130 Swedish Krona. According to current exchange rates, that’s £13.03 in UK money, or $20.31 in US dollars. The same digital product costs $14.99 in the US. To the naked eye this looks like nothing more than price-gouging. The Swedes were already paying far more than either the Americans or British.
The monthly pricing (before tax) for the named countries will now be as follows:
Denmark : $19.72
United Kingdom: $14.06 (Yes, we’re actually cheaper than the US, before tax.)
We’re going to be talking about this on The Three MMOsketeers tomorrow, so I’d love to know what everyone thinks.
As a result of Sony Online Entertainment LLC’s ongoing commitment to our players to review global pricing and remain in line with exchange rate fluctuations, it is necessary for us to make adjustments to Membership pricing as outlined below.
In addition to Membership pricing, some Station Cash® prices will also be adjusted.
We are writing to notify you that these price changes will take effect on March 14th, 2013.
We truly appreciate your understanding in this matter.
When I first saw this video, I thought it was satire, or some sort of very early April Fool joke. But no, it is quite genuine, in all its cheesy infomercial glory. Your friends will be SO JEALOUS when they see you’ve decided to buy the Heroes of the North pack!
Only Heroes of the North will receive exclusive access to the MENZOBERRANZAN RENEGADE.
a unique playable race armed with the “Faerie Fire” racial ability and tattoo cosmetic option. Like the legendary ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, explore the realm of Faerûn as a Drow exiled from the Dark Elf stronghold of Menzoberranzan, City of Intrigue.
Oh my giddy aunt, I don’t know where to start! Since the dawn of MMOs it has been apparent that, if you give your players the ability to look like a dark elf, or even if you don’t, at least 10% of your world’s population will consist of Drizzts. A drizzle of Drizzts. Here, Cryptic have cleverly harnessed that primal desire, packaged it up with a panther pet (of course!), an armoured spider mount (If Drizzt didn’t own one of those, we can be sure he wanted one) and other gubbins, and will sell you the whole thing for $199.
$199.99, but don’t worry! The VALUE of all the items in the pack is $549. Quite a bargain, as long as you forget that that $549 is a completely arbitrary amount that has been scribbled on a sticker, then stuck on the side of the items. At least the hefty pricetag should keep Drizzts mercifully rare.
This, I guess, is what you do when you really want the big early lumps of cash from selling lifetime subs, but your game is starting F2P, rather than turning F2P. That’s certainly far more honest and ethical than switching out what Lifetimers get 6 months after launch.
Buying the Heroes of the North pack also appears to be the only way of getting into the first beta. This is unfortunate, because I would strongly advise anybody within hearing range that they should try an MMO before they drop two Benjamins on it. It may well be worth it, but I’m not one for high-stakes gambling.
There is a lesser Founder’s pack, The Guardian of Neverwinter, which is going for $59.99. For those who have managed to resist the siren call of becoming a Drizzt, it’s probably a more reasonable option. You can see the full line-up of pre-order offerings at Cryptic’s official site.
Then again, as Neverwinter is going to be F2P, do I really need a Founder’s Pack at all? While I’m happy to spend money on games I like, I could just wait for it to launch, or better yet, for it to invite me into a beta that I do not have to pay to be in.
Addendum: True story. In Ultima Online, where more than one person could have the same name, I was (briefly) in a guild with two Drizzts and three Gandalfs. This guild only had about a dozen members. I was neither a Drizzt or a Gandalf, I hasten to add. These days, players must instead resort to ever more outlandish spellings of their hero’s name.
Planetside 2 just released its Roadmap site. It’s quite a nifty idea, allowing players to vote for which game features they want to see implemented. There’s a lot of very promising game ideas there that make me quite hopeful for the future of Planetside 2. Given how much time I spend at spawnpoints, I’m particularly pleased that farming spawn-points will be becoming less optimal.
However, it is also true that SOE is notorious for launching terrible game-changes on players without warning, so anything that allows us to head the awful stuff off at the pass is a wonderful thing, and I hope to see a similar system implemented for other SOE games.
We’d like to add the ability to display a taunt on your target’s killscreen and play a taunt animation on demand with your avatar.
Ideally we might want the ability to customize a killscreen that allows you to display even more stuff, like a short message and a custom background to go along with the taunt animation
No. What on earth, SOE??
I have heard that Planetside 2 wants to be considered an e-sport, and to attract pro-gamers. Judging by how many pro-gamers League of Legends has had to ban recently for disgustingly unpleasant behaviour, pro-gamers do have pretty strict requirements for having systems in place for abusing opponents and team-mates. I am sure many pro-gamers would appreciate the ease with which they could use the proposed Planetside 2 system to rapidly abuse far more people than they could do by hand.
The pro-gamer culture appears to be a completely toxic one. But as long as companies are lining up to sponsor the pro-gamer teams, without also demanding a good standard of behaviour, pro-gaming will continue to be a foul-mouthed misogynistic, racist, homophobic example to the rest of the gaming community. A proud symbol of everything that is wrong with gaming culture.
You don’t need to go there, Planetside 2. If you want to be an e-sport, start by displaying some sportsmanship. A fallen opponent should be respected. That’s the attitude you should be encouraging. That attitude leads to a better community, happier players, and less CSR calls.
Today I noticed a couple of completed achievements in Maltheas’ log that I had no recollection of getting. “A Rose By Any Other Name…” and “Make That A Bouquet”. After a little rummaging, it looks like these were received for my rose-throwing efforts in the Erollisi “My Romantic Reputation” quest over the past few years. I gained the achievements automatically when I logged in after the patch on the 17th, and just didn’t notice. Hurrah for achieving things without even realising, and that new achievement track has company! There are now a range of Erollisi achievements. At least I *think* they’re new. I don’t remember them, and the web has no mention of them to be found. I’ll feel quite silly if they’re from last year..
Winter may still hold Norrath (and Norwich) in its icy grip, but the joys of Spring are not far away, and soon the thoughts of Adventurers everywhere will turn to love. For Maltheas, that will be love for whatever new quests and recipes come in as part of the Erollisi Day event! He has taken part in every step of the Erollisi saga, through her many years of absence, to her triumphant (and tragic) return. He’ll try to find the time to complete some of these new Erollisi Day achievements though.
Three of these new achievements give furniture rewards, though the rewards themselves have apparently not yet been patched in, and I couldn’t view them.
Bake up a batch of Erollisi cookies
Bake up a batch of Erollisi cupcakes
Bake up a batch of Marssipan (their spelling)
Cook up some taffy
Craft a box of assorted white chocolates
Assemble a basket of perfect pomegranates
Reward : Bow Mounted Red Rose Garland
Craft an Erollisi Day bed
Craft an Erollisi Day chair
Craft an Erollisi Day tapestry
Craft an Erollisi Day couch
Craft an Erollisi Day rug
Craft an Erollisi Day table
Reward : Heart Mounted Purple Rose Garland
Craft ten Erollisi Day decorations featuring roses
I love Star Trek Online’s Duty Officer system. Recently however, to my fright, I discovered that some of my fleet buddies didn’t know how to get their hands on a great crew, and it occurred to me that they might not be the only ones. And so I present my little guide to getting your hands on “The Finest Crew in Starfleet”. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to assume you know the basics of DOFFing.
The basic recruitment missions used to be randomly found in the zones around Stardock or Qo’nos. That changed at some point, and now you can pick them up at any time from NPCs at your faction’s Academy. The Personnel Officer has most of them, but there are also race specific ones for Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite, from NPCs of those races. If you’re on Team Klingon it all works much the same, with Orion, Gorn, and Nausican-specific recruitment being on offer. For most of these missions you simply get given some DOFFs, but the general recruitment one will grant you a pack of DOFFs to open, trade, or store instead. The General Recruitment mission is the only one that costs 1000 Dilithium. The others are simply free officers, though they do have a long duration and cooldown. I generally leave them to my alts, freeing Arkturos Reh to deal with the more lucrative tasks.
Exploration Cluster missions are the core, from which many wonderful things will follow. Each cluster has a series of 7 DOFF missions which follow on from eachother. You can recognise these because they will be marked as being part of a chain by ending with 3/7, or whichever stage of the series they belong to.
The next step in the series will not always be available. However, as I discovered with glee, you can double your chances of finding them by clicking on the “Department Heads” tab, and seeing what your Operations officer is offering. Nevertheless, it’s going to take a fair amount of time, and many visits, to get to the end of the chain.
The final (seventh) one will award a unique blue DOFF that you will only ever get one of. Welcome them to your crew, where I am sure they shall serve with distinction, but they are not our end goal.
Having completed the mission chain for the cluster, you will now have unlocked the cluster’s Support mission. For this mission you want to get your critical chance as high as possible, for it is only on a critical that you will get that cluster’s unique purple DOFF. Don’t worry though, for a regular success will still gain you a refugee, which we’ll be needing later. The Support mission can be repeated, when available, as much as you like, and you can have multiple copies of the purple DOFF. Some are more useful than others, but they’re all worth having.
Eventually, you may end up with so many copies of a cluster’s purple DOFF that you can’t make good use of them all. They’re bound to you, so you can’t sell them, but you can trade them in to the Personnel Officer at the Academy for three random unbound blue DOFFS. What you get may or may not be useful to you, but at least they’ll be different!
If, like me, you’re working on Fleet Projects, you need a good supply of low-end officers to feed to them. When you end up with any blues you don’t want, you can trade those in for 3 greens, which can each be turned into 3 commons. Thus one purple can be turned into 9 greens, or 27 commons.
You should be getting a refugee every time you attempt a Cluster’s Support mission. You may also get the occasional refugee from other recruitment missions at Starfleet Academy. These will be your currency for the Asylum Missions.
There are Asylum missions in quite a few locations, but they all work in the same way. They will either appear in your “Current Map” section, or under the jurisdiction of your ever-helpful Operations officer. The Asylum mission is for a specific race, Vulcan for example. The Vulcans will grant one of your refugees asylum in return for you taking one of their officers under your wing. You can offer up any of your collection of refugees, but depending on the race of the host, there will be certain favoured traits. Like any DOFF mission, you want to pick the candidate who matches as many of those as possible to raise your success chances.
The mission will remove the refugee from your roster, and you’ll receive a new officer of the relevent race, with the quality depending on your success result. Some races have rather difficult to fill trait requirements, but it’s still worth having a go even if you don’t have any refugees that fit them. If you’re doing Cluster Support missions regularly, you’ll have enough refugees to throw at every asylum mission you encounter.
There’s a lot of them, though they’re somewhat rare and have a cooldown. Here’s where you can find them:
Andorians : Sirius Sector, Andoria
Vulcans : Sirius Sector, Vulcan
Humans : Sirius Sector, Sol
Betazoids, Tellarite, and Rigellian: Sirius Sector
Caitian and Saurian : Alpha Centauri Sector
Bolians: Iota Pavonis Sector
Trill and Benzarite : Beta Ursae Sector
Bajorans, Cardassians, Karemmans and Paradan : Throughout “Cardassian Space” (Alpha Trianguli, Beta Ursae, and Zeta Andromedae)
These are four similar small mission chains within Cardassian space (including the associated exploration clusters). One for each of the Bajorans, Cardassians, Paradans, and Karemmans. Once you complete the chain, you will sometimes encounter a repeatable “Officer Exchange” mission. These are a little similar to Asylum missions, in that you will lose the officer that you use for the mission, but they use regular officers rather than refugees. I tend to only use common DOFFs for this, though you might want to plug a green into it for a better chance at a higher quality result, if you happen to have spare greens with the right traits.
In the picture below, I sorted my DOFFs to only show common officers with the required traits of Honourable and Teamwork, and happened to have a candidate with both. That gives me a 14% chance of a purple and a 44% chance at a blue Karemman officer. Otherwise, I get a green, and that’s still an upgrade. I’ll take those odds today.
A few other DOFF sources
The above are my main sources of good officers, but there are a few other missions which will provide new members for your crew. The list below is not an exhaustive one, and new methods tend to come in with every update.
There is a long mission chain over in Cardassian Space called “Ghosts of the Jem’Hadar”, that rewards a one-off purple Cardassian at the end. Once you’ve completed that chain, you’ll unlock a repeatable mission called “Provide Sanctuary to Anti-Dominion Cardassian Agent”. On a critical success, that’ll award a Cardassian of random quality.
There’s a pretty rare mission you may come across called “Instigate Defection”. That’ll award a blue officer on a success, or a purple on a crit. The best thing about this mission is that you’re getting officers from the opposing team’s races, meaning they’ll often have very different trait selections to what you can usually get your hands on.
Right, hopefully that’s enough to get anyone who was not on the path to purple DOFFs well underway. If you have any questions about finding DOFFS, DOFFING in general, or anything else to do with Star Trek Online, I’ll be happy to try to answer in the comments, or update this post accordingly.