Archive for September, 2007

Steppe’in Out

Posted: September 29, 2007 by zobek in Everquest 2

The Thundering Steppes!

See the vast expanse of sky, plain, and ocean! Take a deep breath of that air! Catch a whiff of…. centaur manure?!?

Oh, the Thundering Steppes – they hold a special place in my memory, above all the other overland zones. They were where I joined my first guild, completed my first Heritage Quest, ran my first dungeon, and killed my first named. It was the first new zone I fully explored after becoming an illusionist under the old archetype tree system, and had more than enough content to keep me going for many levels – from levels 19 to 30, 6 of my 12 dings occurred there.

Yes, the Steppes were a great place to play in the earlier days of EverQuest II, but are they still?



Weekly Review Challenge: Thundering Steppes

Posted: September 26, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

Per Kytherea, this week’s review challenge will be the Thundering Steppes

For this particular challenge, I’m picking on:

In addition to the four names I’ve specifically called out, I’m looking to see if we can’t get the entire lot of us in on this challenge this week.  Consider this an open call to all fansites, blogs, and would-be armchair designers. 

Just link back and let’s see how many different reviews we can complete by this time Sunday.

The Commonlands, a Nostalgic Review

Posted: September 26, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

Sergeant Slate says, ‘Time to die Kendricke”. 

In late 2000, I made the late leap to Everquest, then in the process of releasing  its third expansion already – the Shadows of Luclin.  I’d already been leading my online gaming guild for over 3 years at that point, and for various reasons, we’d decided to open a new chapter in Norrath.  Knowing that I had roughly 30 or so Legionnaires on the way, I picked up the game.

Without really having too much of an idea what to expect, I recreated Kendricke as a human cleric in the city of Freeport.  I spent my first confusing minutes just inside the Commonlands gate, wondering what to do.  I killed my first rat.  I killed my first bat.  I was kicked by a snake.  I saw my first deathfist pawn and just about ran back to the guards.

After a hour or so of exploring the areas within and immediately surrounding Freeport, I zoned into East Commonlands for the first time…


Servers are Coming Back

Posted: September 25, 2007 by zobek in SOE

Looks like SOE’s game servers are coming back, 45 minutes ahead of the last projection, even.


Updated at 2:16pm PDT on 9/25/07

Here is our latest information on a game by game basis:

  • EverQuest – All servers are up
  • EverQuest II – All servers are up save for the French and German servers.
  • Star Wars Galaxies – All servers are up save for the European servers.
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes – All servers are up
  • The Matrix Online – All servers are up.
  • CSG’s (Stargate Online, Starchamber, Pirates Online and Legends of Norrath)– All games are up.
  • PlanetSide – All servers are up.
  • EverQuest Online Adventures – All servers are up.
  • CSG’s (Legends of Norrath, Star Chamber, etc.) – All games are up.
  • The Station Store and Legends of Norrath Store are both down.

Again, thank you for your patience during the account management system upgrade. We will provide updates on this website as information becomes available, and transition to the Players websites as they come online.

Customer service, chat and support will also be unavailable at this time. Phone support will still be accessible.

A Follow-Up on “Customers Speak”

Posted: September 25, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2


Just hours after I posted “When Customers Speak, Who Listens?“, a guildmate posted the following story within our private guild forums:

I had an issue since last LU that made it so no cloak at all was shown for me. After trying alot of things, I filed a petition, in case there was some obscure option somewhere…


White Hat Hackers?

Posted: September 25, 2007 by zobek in General Game Concepts, Interesting, The Gaming Industry

I was browsing the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble the other day when I came upon this:

Cover of Exploiting Online Games

(Full details at, opens in a new window)

Yes, your eyes aren’t fooling you. That’s the cover of a book titled “Exploiting Online Games: Cheating Massively Distributed Systems”. Perhaps you’ve heard of it already, though perhaps not. It was published in July of this year as part of the Addison-Wesley Software Security Series, but as far as I can tell, received very little coverage apart from mentions on a few security blogs. The only gaming coverage I could find at all was a review at Ten Ton Hammer.

Now, I’m one of the first to advocate transparency when it comes to security issues. I agree that make knowledge of vulnerabilities known is a good thing. I even agree with the philosophy of white hat hackers who find system flaws in order to make improvements.

Even so, I’m not sure how I feel about a book such as this.


Downtime Update!

Posted: September 25, 2007 by zobek in SOE

According to SOE’s status page, the total blackout has been extended, at least for the forums & other websites…. the upside of which is you may just get back into game yet this evening!


Updated at 10:36 am PDT on 9/25/07

While we had certainly hoped to complete the upgrade operations within a fourteen hour window, things can change fast in an operation of this scale. Our current estimates are that the game servers will come back up at approximately 2:00 PM PDT, and all SOE websites will return by approximately 5:00 PM PDT.

We will update this page hourly to keep you fully informed of our progress, and would like to thank you for your patience during the upgrades.

Customer service, chat and support will also be unavailable at this time. Phone support will still be accessible.