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Archive for August, 2006

Slashdot weighs in with this question. The intent of the question is “can any game maker outdo Blizzard’s success in World of Warcraft?” but it can just as easily be read in a couple of other ways. The feedback is insightful.

Slashdot | Can Anyone Beat WoW?

I played WoW for several months. Three months on, two months off, two months on. It was long enough to know that I am addicted to the game, and can’t go back. Bad things will happen (again) to my personal life if I do. The gift was originally a gift from the wife and kids – so they tolerated and enjoyed the time I spent playing. After the initial free month, I bought a sixty-day card, and played it out. I could tell that Tracie wasn’t happy with the time I was spending, and in the end, I could tell that I wasn’t happy with it either. I was sucked in.

After several months, I got a gift card from Tracie for another sixty days. A blessing and a curse. I played fiercely for sixty days, then told everyone to never buy me another subscription. I uninstalled the game, and deleted my character data. Residing on Blizzard servers somewhere are several mid-20’s characters, a bunch of low-level alts, and about 300gp. I was a successful trader…

The discussion on Slashdot got me to thinking about an improvement to the game – something that could beat WoW.

A Time Quota!

One of the things that most annoyed me about WoW was the thought that I was always lagging behind everyone else, because they could spend more time in-game. There were a number of players that I would run into from time to time, and we’d help each other out. A week would go by, and I’d have advanced from 12 to 14, while the other player was now at 25. I felt like I was cheating my character out of advancement opportunity.

A time quota would fix this, for me, and make me want to (and able to) play again. Here’s how it would work:

  1. Designate some servers as “casual” servers, with time quotas
  2. On those servers, only allow play for a maximum of twelve hours/week
  3. Charge half-price for monthly service fees
  4. Voila! Problem solved!

Blizzard wins, because the “casual” players use significantly less server time. More players per server.

Casual players win, because they have a game in which to spend limited amounts of time, without getting “behind” the competition. Battlegrounds would be MUCH more interesting with this time limitation.

A mandatory time-lock would not allow players to go over on their time. I could see an exception made for players in an instance – the server would not boot a player while in an instance if the timer runs out. There could be a requirement, however, that at least two hours is available before being allowed to enter an instance.

If Blizzard made this available, I’d be back. If everyone in my world played by the 12-hour/week rule, the game could be fun again. Until then, I’m sticking to Forex.

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How do you move a giraffe?

The family is at the zoo today, and called me with a question. Apparently, this is the end of a summer diplay of African animals at the Minnesota Zoo. On Tuesday, they go back to other zoos, from which they were here on loan.

Kelty asked, “How do they move the giraffes?”

I’ve always wanted to know that, as well. So, Tracie called and left the question for me. here’s what I found:

So, how do you transport a giraffe?

In a trailer similar to one transporting horses, though it has an extendable roof. The giraffe will be guided in and stand until the roof slowly is lowered.

“They don’t like anything touching their heads so she’ll eventually lay down,” said Fleshman.

There are periodic stops on longer trips during which the roof is cranked up to give the giraffe, like a human, a chance to stretch.

Zoo finds new giraffe

I’ve always wanted to know that! I’ve had a horrific mental image in my mind since I was a kid of a giraffe in a truck, passing under an overpass, and the giraffe bonks his head into the bridge… I just knew that couldn’t be how they actually did it.

So now you know.

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