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Monday, February 20, 2012

Everquest Mac, Now With Eight Lives
Everquest Planes of Power

It is ironic that just a few weeks after I wrote about Everquest for the Mac, Sony officially announced that they are shutting down the server forever. Needless to say, the small cadre of loyal Macintosh players were quite upset.

Rumor was that Sony has decided that it cost too much to pay their support people to keep the old server running, especially since much of the anti-cheating code that was long ago written into the PC servers did not exist. To make matters worse, there was basically only one person who knew how to keep the client up and running, an unacceptable situation for any publicly available game platform.

The player base, in a desperate push to save the server, started a letter-writing drive. Soon after, the president of Sony Online Entertainment, the infamous John Smedley, responded with a personal apology and hints of the option of porting the current PC client to the Macintosh, allowing the Macintosh server to survive in an upgraded form.

Then the truly amazing happened: just a mere fourteen days after the initial shutdown announcement, John Smedley personally announces that the Mac server will be converted to free to play and kept up indefinitely.

It is not clear what changed this decision, but I doubt it was the passionate pleas of the player base alone. I imagine that someone decided that, perhaps, it might be worthwhile porting one or more Sony online games to the Macintosh, and that these loyal Macintosh players might be invaluable in any public relations push.

Posted at: 2:02 PM
Categories: Gaming

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Game Server that Refused to Die

By all accounts, Everquest for the Mac was a failure. Released in 2003 and originally planned to expand into multiple servers, the gamed ended up serving only a small population on a single server (Al`Kabor). Oddly enough, though, this one, unique Everquest server has remained up and running ever since, serving a small but fiercely loyal Macintosh fan base. Meanwhile, the PC version of Everquest (which was always incompatible with the Mac version) has received multiple expansions and a completely rewritten client.

The Mac client, originally written for Mac OS 8 and the PPC processor, received only one update early in its life. It continued to run, however, on Mac OS X, and, later, on intel processor, thanks to the Carbon and Rosette compatibility environments provided by Apple. That is, it ran fine until Rosette was discontinued in the latest version of Mac OS.

Finally, eight years after it's release, Everquest on the Mac no longer ran on new Macintosh computers. It seemed that the game was doomed.

But then something very odd happened. Someone high up at Sony Online Entertainment decided the game was worth saving, despite its tiny player base. So, after eight years of neglect, a new port was approved. In a era when online games collapse and fail in an eye blink, one odd, strange, and somewhat exclusive online game manages to hold on to life.

Posted at: 11:10 PM
Categories: Gaming

Sunday, August 27, 2006

More on lost iPod

Apparently slashdot has picked up on this story. Fortunately, the WoW forums can probably handle the load.

Posted at: 7:43 PM
Categories: Diary, Gaming

Friday, August 25, 2006

Man loses iPod on plane, becomes terrorist suspect

Well, you can't believe everything (or most of anything) on the web, but this story sounds quite real. I suppose it is comforting in a way knowing that Canada's security is as messed up as ours.

Posted at: 11:56 PM
Categories: Diary, Gaming

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Major in computer game design

The San Jose Mercury News has a story about a new university major now being offered by my prior employer UC Santa Cruz in computing game design. The university is quite serious it seems. I imagine people will begin calling this a degree in "gaming" for short, although I don't know if the computer science department will resist the moniker.

Here is the story directly from UCSC.

Posted at: 2:51 PM
Categories: Gaming