I make apps for other people

Posts from September, 2005


Posted by Chris Jones
On September 14th, 2005 at 11:04

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Posted in Design Journal, Java, Tech

When I’ve had some spare moments, I’ve been working on a small multi-player framework. While this doesn’t do too much that’s interesting yet, there are some things here that might help people interested in writing world servers.

Download Jackal if you’re interested in a small Java server that is (in theory) capable of handling a couple-hundred users (hardware permitting). This is a minimally threaded design, using Java NIO to support asynchronous connections.

Please let me know if you find this useful.

Undoing locked workspaces in WSAD 5.1

Posted by Chris Jones
On September 13th, 2005 at 15:20

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Posted in Tech

At work, one of my co-workers accidentally set his WebSphere Studio installation to use a default workspace. WSAD stores this value in the registry, under the hive:

My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IBM\Websphere Studio\Workspace

Change wsappdev510 to the path of the default workspace. (This can be overridden and changed when you start WSAD.) Set wsappdev510_status to Enable to allow the user to choose (and/or lock) a different workspace on startup, Disable to lock the user into a single workspace.

We use multiple workspaces to support multiple ClearCase views.

In Eclipse 3.1, you can also set a workspace path as the default. To change this, open the configuration settings file, found at eclipse\configuration\.settings. Change the SHOW_WORKSPACE_SELECTION_DIALOG preference to true to display the workspace dialog on startup.

Patch day times two

Posted by Chris Jones
On September 13th, 2005 at 13:08

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Posted in Games

My wife reports that Warcraft is slouching its way to a 1.7.0 patch (all my mods are going to break). DAOC is being patched as well (but should be up by the time of this posting). And that she’s not going to play Guild Wars today.

It looks like I didn’t get a Master Fisherman in time to participate in the WoW fishing contest. 🙂 I think my highest has, um, 16 or 20 points. My wife is looking forward to the Hunter respec, having tested it on the US PvE Test server and finding the changes revitalized her Hunters.

I’m going to miss using Power Word: Shield on my priest to jump from the zepplins.


Update 2:
I can’t get WoW’s patcher to respond in a timely manner. I’m downloading my copy of the patch from Allakhazam.

What were you thinking, Mythic?

Posted by Chris Jones
On September 13th, 2005 at 12:36

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Posted in Games

We played DAOC last night for the first time in months–long enough that there were some unwelcome changes waiting for us. Some of the few, good things were like the Hunters getting Evade 3, and being able to purchase single-line respecs.

Wasting time in the housing zone
To pay for the needed respecs, we ventured into Darkness Falls to farm seals for trinketing (always a good way to waste a perfectly good evening). 30 minutes netted one and a half plat, which took nearly two hours to turn into cash–remind me how standing at the forge, watching a green bar crawl across a dialog is fun, please. Crafting in DAOC, although richly detailed and well considered has always been an exercise in patience, and has resulted in me watching our entire DVD collection twice, with weaponcrafting still in the low 800s.

What Guild Wars did right and wrong

Posted by Chris Jones
On September 12th, 2005 at 14:27

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Posted in Design Journal, Games

A week of Guild Wars has given me a good idea of what I think was done right, and what was done wrong.

The Right

  • Map Travel
    This may be the single best feature of GW. Common in single-player games, but avoided in most MMOs (’cause it supposedly breaks immersion), I’ve found that I can’t stand waiting for boats or taking flights in WoW anymore. DAOC has map travel in the Frontier, although I haven’t personally used this feature. CoH has a limited form of map travel, where from a train station your character can be transported to any other station on that line. EQ has group teleports to limited locations, although this ability is limited to the Druid and Wizard classes. Opening map travel to all characters, at all times, makes travelling to town or completing some quests refreshingly easy.
  • (more…)

Guild Wars: Surprisingly fun

Posted by Chris Jones
On September 8th, 2005 at 15:54

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Posted in Games

I’ve PvPed in GW twice, each time as part of moving out of Pre-Searing Ascalon. As I’ve done more research into the game, I’m beginning to see some of the design decisions that were made to balance PvP and provide a competitive player skill environment. (One of the most interesting to my mind is that hitting auto-attack and not paying attention to a fight against a much lower-level mob may well kill the PC, except in the most trivial encounters.)

It’s harder for me to spend time in WoW unless I’m playing with other people: grouping, doing an instance, or at least playing with my wife. In GW, I’m still enjoying the solo experience, especially because I can grab henchmen to do the dirty work for me.

I haven’t settled down on a character template yet, but I’m getting ideas about what I’d like to play. The four character limit really hasn’t hit me yet (I did fill all my slots), though it may have started to impact my wife.


Posted by Chris Jones
On September 6th, 2005 at 09:13

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Posted in Games

We’re not heavy PvPers. I daresay, we avoid PvP with a few exceptions:

  • in DAOC, the Battlegrounds were pretty fun (until we ran into the rogue with a deathwish who loved to play suicidal assassin),
  • in WoW, we’ll kill someone who’s flagged and griefing lowbie quest mobs, or attacking a home city,
  • and I’ll accept duels, especially while waiting for boats/blimps in WoW.

That’s why it was something of a shock when my wife agreed to try GuildWars–of course, that may have had something to do with my emphasis on the PvE aspects.

I’ve rolled four characters, and finally got a Necromancer/Monk to the post-Searing part of the game. My wife has two characters post-searing, one up to 12 (the last time I checked). She was surprised to hear that the game caps at level 20 (expecting a longer grind, I expect), but did let her know that there’s plenty of end-game content (unlike WoW).