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Botting allowed as long as you're there?
15 January 2016
Posted in Lineage II

The Innova L2C forums have been buzzing this morning about a twitch streamer that's clearly botting, or at least having his gameplay automated. I immediately reported this 'player' to Amarantha and DeepBlue (who both have certain GM powers in game as well), and here's the reply I had from Amarantha:

 photo Screenshot 2016-01-15 10.43.42_zpsttpizyhs.png

As you can imagine, I was furious about this answer and I dropped this screenshot in the buzzing topic with the comment "So botting is allowed as long as you're at the keyboard", followed by a comment that I'll request a refund because Innova clearly can't keep their end of the bargain of the EULA (and thus according to EU law the contract can be canceled).

It might not come as a surprise, but dropping this screenshot got me banned on the forums till the end of March (long live my own domains and infinite forum accounts ) ad the message was deleted. Oddly enough, Amarantha did come up with some weird reply...

 photo Screenshot 2016-01-15 12.48.54_zpso50vhjqp.png

I'm not sure, but I don't think they were AFK at the momen. I suspect that the revolting player on the forum did kinda push her to take this action, and indeed, on the steam I saw them disconnect one by one.

Now the odd parts of this all...
1. This dude is as dumb as dumb can be - he kept streaming an other hour after he got his D/C with all of his toons...
2. This dude is from Russia, made a ticket and did get support, while according to Innova's own policy, those not living within the supported area (2.9 from the EULA that I posted earlier) will not get support. GMDoctor told him his character (not account ) was suspended for 7 days. Okay, his stream showed he has 6 days of sub left, but IMO he should be banned permanently. Later in that ticket he also admitted to have been banned from Grand Kain (L2C RU) and there he promised not to bot anymore - PERM BAN FOR SURE!
3. During the time he kept streaming I've seen lots of info (and recorded it - 94 minutes of a cheater at work ). Amongst the info I saw was also his WebPay account, where it became clear he's one of the adenasellers on the server. Of course, this part of the recordings I've uploaded and shared with Amarantha & DeepBlue...

But I ask you... Why on earth is botting (or in this dude's case automated gameplay - he didn't use a 3rd party program) allowed when you're still around at the keyboard. Eventhough I doubt he's been at the keyboard the whole 10 hours of his stream, IMO automated gameplay IN ANY FORM should be an INSTANT and PERMANENT BAN, regardless if you're using 3rd party software, your programmable keyboard or even have some keys pressed by weights. You are automating gameplay FFS!

Well, at least this guy got banned. Hopefully all of the characters played from his IP address and in his party will be banned as well now that the adenaselling has become clear. But none the less, I have filed the refund request anyway, becuse this whole debacle just shows how bad Innova actually is at enforcing their EULA...

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Find me a game!
13 January 2016
Posted in MMORPGs

So, L2Classic is the biggest failure of 2016 already with bots and RMTers flooding the server and GMs not doing their jobs. So it's time for me to look for a new game to play and here's the list of things I'm looking for...

1. I must have the feeling of accomplishment when I get something and not get things handed down on a silver platter. This does not initially mean 'grind' but I don't want to hit maximum level in a couple of weeks and I don't want to get my characters gear easily, but instead I have to work for it.
2. The game MUST HAVE crafting and I prefer deep crafting where materials need to be processed and combined into new materials before you can actually use them. I know this is also somewhat linked to the above requirement
3. OPEN WORLD! I'm not looking for a game where you have lots of instances (dungeons). The game is allowed to have multiple instances of the world where you're free to hope from one to the other to meet the people you party with, but that's as far as instancing goes (though I rather not have this at all...)
4. No forced PvP and no battlegrounds/arenas. And by this already the fixed faction MMOs are a no-go. I want to determine WHEN I want to PvP, and I don't want to be forced into PvP because I see someone from an other faction. Forced PvP in certain areas (like high level resources) are okay, and with that, I'd like my PvP to have meaning in general...
5. Good story/lore that's part of the game. With this I don't mind a 'themepark' game like Lord of the Rings online or a more loose sandbox like Lineage II, as long as the story/lore is an integrated part of the game that I play. I don't want a background story that's not used at all (like a lot of those cheap MMOs have)
6. Class progression. Though this is a fuzzy one, I want to see my character grow in skills. I don't mind if the game has no pre-defined classless or fixed ones, as long as I see some progression in the class while playing it I'm okay.
7. Free2Play or Buy2Play, but certainly no subscription because Black Desert online is around the corner. Also, no Pay2Win cash shop in the game...

Then a couple of no-go's for me, which is more the genre it's set in...
1. Sci-Fi, even though I'm a HUGE SF fan, for MMOs I still have to find a good one so I pass for it...
2. Horror - it's mostly blood & gore and ...meh... Real horror should be watched on TV and then even in the form of a psychological thriller
3. Full drop PvP. Call me a carebear, but I don't see the fun in dropping the stuff you worked so hard for and some shithead griever then takes from you. A small chance of dropping items upon death is okay though.
4. ACTIVE STAFF. I've seen too many gameswith an abundent amount of goldsellers and bots and I DON'T WANT THAT IN A GAME (or at least as minimum as possible...)

Similar to what I'm looking for and have already played:
The Secret World - The mechanics of the skill wheel are awesome and there's a lot of very well done quests. Sadly it's more horror than conspiracy theory and I can't stand the zombies anymore
EVE online - I like it a lot. Skill system is awesome, though it now will take me weeks to get a new skill on my characters (by which time BDO might be released already). Also it's a subscription game and if I REALLY do my best and mine my ass off, I might play for free, but IMO that's too much effort...
Perpetuum - Much like EVE online, but then with robots on the ground. I do own the game already and might give it an other try...
ArcheAge - Gotta mention it... I liked the game a lot during alpha, but as it is now and the somewhat forced subscription to use land (and with that gathering/crafting) is a big no-no.
Lineage II - Last on the list. Love the game until the Goddess of Destruction release, after that it went downhill fast for me. And as I started, the new L2Classic is what I'm looking for, but the RMT/botting is such a problem that I'm giiving up on it.

Sooo... Any advice on a MMORPG that I might like is welcome!

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One fucking botfest!
12 January 2016
Posted in Lineage II

I know L2Classic gave us the promise of the old Lineage II feeling, but I didn't know Innova would take it THIS litterally...

The Skelth server is invested with (mostly) Russian bots that are there for only one thing: MAKE REAL MONEY (not sure if the Russian Ruble is real money though ). This while the EU server has a strickt list of countries that are allowd to play on the server, and Russia is not one of them!
2.9. “Territory” means the territory of Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican City, and only Users located within the indicated territory shall have the right to participate therein unless otherwise stated by Innova.
                                          (taken from Innova's EULA)

Like I've showed two days ago, the RMT in L2C is just BAD, there's no other word for it. In every town there are at least 2 bots yelling to sell adena (picture below taken when I just left Gludio) and making it unable to see the legit players chat there. Heck, if you're in clan it's even impossible to see your clan mates chat so much spam is there from the adenaselling bots

 photo l2 2016-01-11 07-16-58-73_zpsyxaemwr3.jpg

Then there's the botting. Though Innova states that they investigate EVERYONE reported, I highly doubt that. There are bots that I've reported 2-3 weeks ago and they're still running around 24/7 doing their scripted stuff (like the 2 in Moon armor in the movie below). And with bot scripts having become more and more sophisticated, it's now actually harder to spot a bot, but experienced players (like me) still pick them out like rotten apples in a fruitbasket (oh yeah, pun intended there...)

In the above movie (and I've made one alike on the same spot for 2 other spoiler bots), the 1st one (BlackGnom) is the most obvious one. Stun (or even hit) it and it'll force log to relogin exactly 30 seconds later.
The second one (Alchemik) doesn't bother when I TRY to stun him. Where every normal player would at least ask a 'WTF?' but most likely return the favor of stunning, he just keeps going. Not to mention, have you EVER seen a player with a stun resist like he has? Like 4 hist and he just keeps going, this while there's a lot of QQ on the Innova forums about the 99% landrate of the dwarf and orc stun attacks...
The last 2 (Fedylaeva and DreamCast, the ones in Moon armor) have clearly been deleveled. They were there 2 weeks ago already when I was leveling DemiGoth and Reizla (WS/SE combo) and have clearly been leveling AFK a lot, to be deleveled afterward by the bot owner. What's not recorded is that I stunned Fedylaeva later on, and much like Alchemik the bot just kept going and didn't bother at all.

...but things can get worst... Here's a great video by an old friend of mine from Nania (socketka)...

Things are not (yet) THIS bad on Skelth, but the way Innova is handling the bot & RMT problem, it sure might be something that WILL happen...

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L2Classic? A fucking mess!
10 January 2016
Posted in Lineage II

Skelth, our EUROPEAN Lineage II Classic server, run by Innova who's known for keeping their server free or rmt and botting and enforces the EULA. Well, none of it at all! This 'European server' is a fucking joke (and I was afraid it would happen).

This server is TOTALLY NOT an European server, and it's far from the legit server Innova was hoping to achieve. The 'top clans' are all Russian who're either botting 24/7 OR sharing accounts. Both not according to EULA, but since Innova is a Russian company nothing much is done. Heck, alll those 'top clans' took the 1st and 2nd waves of clanhalls easily (10M/20M adena each - how on earth did they do that?) and they're also level 4 or 5 clans as well (you need 1K proofs for level 4 and 10K for level 5, not even mentioning the amount of SP needed).

Along with these 'top clans' and bottings comes an other problem - real money trading (RMT). In every town you see more 'players' yelling for one or an other rmt site than I've seen on the NCWest servers - chat is pretty much unreadeble because of all those rmt yells Not ot mention the amount of PMs I get, even on characters that have just entered the server (how do they know those toons?) advertising for the rmt/powerleveling service along with a 'sorry for spam' in it  I report each & every one of those RMT names I come across, and all that's done is a chat ban on those toons and they're flagged for later ban (why not immediately?)

 photo l2 2016-01-09 09-51-11-57_zpsjvzsyvv1.jpg

And these cheaters know nothing much is done and are becoming bolder and bolder. Just look at the shop I've marked on the image above. WTF? $30 for a top-D weapon and advertising like it in the open? Luckily this dude has been 'imprisoned' and looses all his stuff while waiting for the ban, but still - this is only the tip of the iceberg...

Russian 'top clans' that are already level 4/5 and have people in their ranks that are level 55 already? It's just impossible to get your character at this level with the XP curve L2Classic has if you're playing legit. One of our clannies is close to level 40 and he's playing already 8-10 hours a day, having a pretty easy class to level. SO how on earth can thse Russian clans have level 55 players in their midst, other than botting/account sharing?

One thing is clear for me. When the 3 months are over, I'm not gonne resub to this mess. Like I started, NCWest servers are even 'cleaner' than this one, and those are already a fest of botters and cheaters...

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A lot of trust
06 January 2016
Posted in Lineage II

While playing L2Classic I've already made a couple of friends. One of them (a spoiler) is around my level and we've partied a lot already. And now that we're around the same level we'd have to party a lot more. I mean, what is better than a party of an Artisan, a Scavenger and a (boxed) Shillien Oracle?

Too bad though, the player had to go on holiday for 5 weeks (well too bad for me and our clan, not for him), and he was afraid to fall behind too much. He put trust in me and handed over his account data so that I could still play his character that he'd not get behind too much...

 photo Screenshot 2016-01-06 14.27.44_zpsweygspsr.jpg

First things first... On my Shillien Oracle, I've placed a lot of macros, and that allows me to play both my Aritsan and the Oracle at the same time (L2 macros are quite powerfull...). Now I had to do the same for the Scavenger and see which skills I really need to use. Well that's not much... Only spoil, because on my character I can sweep the spoiled monsters and get the stuff from it.

It was a bit of getting used to to play with 3 boxes in total, but after a rough start (no deaths, but a lot of tweeking), I had it all working perfectly. Oddly enough, with me controlling the Scavenger, my Shillien Oracle has less mana problems than when my buddy was playing it...

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L2Classic is as hardcore as it gets
29 December 2015
Posted in Lineage II

I know I said I wouldn't play Lineage II Classic, but I've had so many people asking me to play that even after the refund I decided to pre-purchase the game again. And honestly I'm pretty glad I did it!

As I've said in this blogpost's title, L2Classic is as hardcore as it gets. And a clanmate stated that "L2Classic is Chronicle 1 with the knowledge of the game today", and he's quite right about that. L2C throws us back to the old-school grind and gives us NOTHING AT ALL for free. It's not like Lineage II is today where you level 1-20 in like 30 minutes and you get adena and gear thrown at you for every quest you complete and every level you reach.
It's quite the opposite actually. You can do a (mid-level NG) weapon quest that's already pretty hard at level 10 and at level 25 (I'm pretty close to it) you can do a quest for mid-level D-grade armor without any additional stats (kinda sucky for mages I'd say). The rest of the gear you have to get yourself by playing the game, hope to be lucky for a full item drop or craft after having collected 100s of materials (or stun players and hope the monster they fight kills them and they drop something ).

For my dwarfie the game is going pretty nicely. Around Dwarf Village there are monsters that drop quite a lot of mid-level NG armor and I've had quite a lot of lucky drops of them. This gave me a lot of money and a full set of Wooden armor as well, which I still wear now that I'm close to level 24 With all the money that I've had from the item drops (aside from the armor set parts, I've also had lots of boots, gloves and shields that I've vendored to the NPC stores) I managed to get myself a cheap (only 140K while the top-NG blunt is 220K) top-NG pole that I'm still using.

I also would like to compliment Innova for their efforts to keep the server free of cheaters. If this was a NCWest server, you'd see bots everywhere and adena-sellers would PM you 24/7. But on this server that's limited to a minimum. There are some bots here and there, but when they've had 2 reports (long live boxed playing ) the GMs will pick investigate it. They also punish people that have bots in their parties, so when seeing a bot-party, just reports 1 and the whole party is under investigation.
About adena selling I can be quick. I've had a couple of PMs the first 3 days that the server was running. But the community manager on the forum said you could PM her and she'd let these 'players' (they're bots for sure when looking at the 4-line text they pump at you) be banned immediately. And the last 2 days I haven't had any PMs from adena sellers at all.

In general I can say that L2Classic is an awesome experience to be played and I'm more than happy that I am playing it. It's really back to the old days where you have the feeling of achievement for everything you reach (even the next level...)

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CBT1 is over
22 December 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

I'm kinda sad that this morning at 7 the CBT1 week was over. I would have loved to play some more and learn more about the game, but a week is a week

I think the most important thing I've learned during this event are the game mechanics when it comes to crafting. And while I didn't really make anything useful (aside from a couple of fishing rods), the exprience of the how & what has been very valuable!

During the CBT1 I've also played two classes for a bit. Well, the tamer class I played as 'main' during the week (reached only level 16) and the wizard class I gave a short try up to level 8. And while tamer seems to be fun, I think wizard will be more my class. That while I generally don't like mage classes
And now I'm talking about classes... Take good heed what skills you learn. The game pops up with lots of skills you can get, but examine them before picking one. because of the key-combos the game uses, it's handy to see which combo you need for it AND how much mana it uses to activate.

In general, I've had a blast the last week. Eventhough I played only 48 hours total, I've had one of the best MMO gaming experiences so far!

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At lot of mechanics at work
17 December 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

I remember when starting to play EVE online and being overwhelmed by the number of game mechanics at work there. And so far, EVE online has been the only game that overwhelmed by the sheer number of game mechanics thrown at you at the start of the game. By now I've played Black Desert for 12 hours or so and I feel that I'm only starting to see the surface of all the mechanics at work in the game. Though not as overwhelming as what EVE online throws at you, there's a lot of things to learn the moment you set foot in the game.

For starters, there are about a dozen XP bars running on your character. A lot are there for the different kind of crafting, but there are also 4 XP bars on the UI showing your characters main progress. Though not overly difficult, they are linked to a lot of other stuff in the game that you need to keep track of. Two are prety generic - Character level XP and Skill level XP. The other two however are more important...

Energy points (3rd bar) are used for all crafting and gathering your character does and they regenerate with 1 point every 3 minutes. Energy points are not used as intesively as ArcheAge's (I do have to name the abomination here) crafting points. Oh yes, at times you wish you had more Energy points, but you can do with the small amount you have (39 at my current level 11).

The 4th bar is Contribution Points. This one is a bit odd and needs close attention. XP for it is gained through quests (kinda odd for a sandbox game), but comes in very small amounts. Usage of contribution is somethingto keep an eye on because it's used for housing. And it's the housing where things become interesting... You need it for extra storage (in a town ), can make different work spaces of it or just a residence (you can have 5 across the world). The work spaces need to be manned (bought, much like slaves IMO) by workers who can then craft the stuff you need (and thus save Evergy points, not to mention the work spaces are more efficient than you).

Then there is territory control for guilds. No clue yet on that, because creating a guild costs 80K silvers (or 100K when upgrading the free clan). But as single player you can make routes from node to node (working on that at the moment) by doing quests (again, it's a sandbox FFS!). From a movie I've seen these routes are needed to get stuff from a gathering spot back to your houses. Sadly though, I was busy on those routes, but the server went down for maintenance

IN all, 12 hours down the road and there's still so much to learn of the game. It has so many things you can do that it's overwhelming (and fun!). And from the looks of it I think that Black Desert will be my main MMORPG when it's released...

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I have a CBT1 key
11 December 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

OMG some games are so popular that getting a free (closed beta) key for is close to impossible. had a couple of keys (3x 1.000 keys) to give away the last few days, but they were gone in no-time and each and every time I was too late (even after 15 minutes ;;)). In the last CBT key give-away thread on someone linked to an otehr site giving away 2500 keys (gone already as well so not linking it anymore) and there I was lucky and got one.

But one thing really bugs me... Those people staling the keys are actually selling them on eBay (and prolly other sites as well) for around $15. This is illegal activity according to the eBay guidelines and I am keeping an eye out to report them all - death to bots!

And then there are also asses like kadespyson (handle on taking a dozen keys at once. He's not sharing them from the looks of it and (most likely) will be selling them as well.

I know Black Desert is the next coming of Jesus, but man the way keys are handled on sites and the (illegal) trade of them really makes me wonder how badly things can go. On the other side, the (illegal) trade of CBT keys also shows how popular the game already is and how badly people are willing to play it...

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Wildstar F2P - still kinda ...meh...
10 December 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

I know I've written that Wildstar is somewhat okay, and I think it still is. But the points of concern I pointed out back then (replay value as most important one) are still valid I think...

With Wildstar having gone Free2Play, and my account being 'veteran status' I figured to give it an other try. Well, truth been told, graphics are still fun, and same for the humor used in the game. But there's something missing for me, and by that I don't mean lots of players running around (which I expected for the game being F2P now). It's rather that one X-factor that's missing for me, or perhaps the way too eacy 'kid holding hand' feeling the game overall gives.

I made a new character to give the game a new go (and also because I had no clue what I was doing with my old one ), and the content was litterally the same as I've already played before. Even with it being over 18 months ago, I remembered precicely what to do - yups zero replay value there Okay, I could make a character for the 'other side', but after having played one character there, the replay value for that side would be zero again. And though it's Free2Play, I do want to feel some sense to make a new character, other than just a new class...

And then the MMO feeling, or rather lack of it... Yeah, still the same shit on a different day and different game. Wildstar is yet an other MMORPG where you play SOLO till the end and from that moment on it becomes a HUB game where you'll be on waiting lists for raids (not 100% sure, but up to 20 it's fully a solo project so far). And if I wanted to play a solo game where I could team up on higher (capped?) levels, I'd much rather install Lord of the Rings online again (lifetime subscription) or even take a subscription to World of Warcraft...

In general I think Wildstar once again fails to provide and even as Free2Play the server is pretty empty. I honestly fear that this game won't be around for too long unless something REALLY WEIRD happens and hordes of new players start to play it. On the other side, it's a free World of Warcraft clone so why not play it (if you're into that kind of MMO - I'm clearly not...)

[UPDATE] When uninstalling Wildstar, I saw that it also installed the crapware Akamai NetSession Interface on my PC. I did not give permission for this piece of shit to be installed on my system and it's one more reason NOT TO PLAY Wildstar. Akamai is known to eat a lot of (background) internet bandwidth because it keeps streaming the game to other players who still need to download it

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