Brain Clutter

November 26, 2007

The Greenskin has Launched – Webcomicy goodness

Filed under: blogging, contest, gaming, MMORPG, Warhammer Online — Tags: — brainclutter @ 10:02 am

Howdy folks,

I finally ironed out the bugs and officially launched my Warhammer Online blog, called The Greenskin last week. If you click on this comic, it will take you to my contest page, explaining how you could win an MMO Calendar and WAR beta key.

The Greenskin webcomic - Orcish Bullies

Cheers!

November 7, 2007

My New Warhammer Online Blog

Filed under: blogging, MMORPG, Warhammer Online — Tags: , , , — brainclutter @ 3:42 pm

The Greenskin - A Warhammer Online Blog

I recently created a new blog (almost live… pesky technical glitches) dedicated to EA Mythic’s upcoming MMORPG Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning! Please take a moment to stop by and have a look around! 🙂

Find the latest Warhammer Online news, advice, opinions, and webcomics at The Greenskin!

I have the stories penned for at least 12 weeks worth of The Greenskin webcomic, but I’m a terrible drawer, so it may take a week or so before I start getting them up for everyone to enjoy! 😛

June 6, 2007

A little computer pricing experiment…

Filed under: computers, gaming, personal, tech, Warhammer Online — brainclutter @ 8:18 am

I plan to chart the cost of building a computer for myself over a six-month period, around about when Warhammer Online will be released (as it’s the only game I’m currently looking forward to).

I’m not ready to buy a new machine yet, but I was interested in running a cost comparison between a computer that can play the latest and greatest games today with the same build six months from now when I will likely build myself a new system.

I don’t foresee many changes in the next six months in terms of rising game requirements, but to be safe I have chosen to build the system with a DirectX 10 compatible video card along with Vista Home Premium (rumour has it, MS doesn’t plan on releasing dx10 for WinXP). Also, the motherboard supports SLI because it’s nice to have that expandability in the future.

Here’s what my NCIX shopping cart rings up if I were to buy the system today:

Here’s a breakdown and links to the individual components.

The total price for this system, less tax, is $1667.93 CAD (as of June 06, 2007) with free shipping promo and $20.00 in mail-in-rebates.

Beyond building this machine for gaming, I also want it to run quietly; hence it is using the most reasonably priced, “silent” components available. Also, I am shopping at NCIX because I’ve had wonderful experiences with them in the past and they are a Canadian company (based in Vancouver, BC). I could probably save a few bucks by shopping at Newegg, but they are prejudiced against Canadians or something, ie., they won’t sell to us.

I’ll post an update every two months with charts to show the price decreases (at least you’d hope there would be a decrease). Hopefully, this little experiment will further prove that patience reaps savings, in terms of technology at least, and beyond that, I’m not too sure. Maybe I’m simply trying to justify making an informed decision to myself rather than submitting to my Id (me want shiny toy NOW!).

Check back in a couple months!

May 7, 2007

An awesome WAR review by Nazgum

Filed under: gaming, reviews, Warhammer Online — brainclutter @ 2:08 pm

I’ma have to give link-props to Nazgum, who put together an excellent early beta review of Warhammer Online from his Gamesday experiences in Toronto last weekend.  Unfortunately, I live about 18 hours away, so a road trip was slightly out of the question or I’d have been there myself! The post has videos, so be sure to check ’em out!

Congratulate him for winning a beta invite while you’re over there!

January 4, 2007

MMO Guildsites // 3 Awesome Updates

Hola, you might have read my earlier review of the new MMORPG guild website hosting service, MMO Guildsites here: https://brainclutter.wordpress.com/2006/12/21/hosting-an-mmorpg-guild-website/.

Well, in the past few weeks they’ve made 3 awesome updates that just amped-up the service:

  1. Community page added (http://mmoguildsites.com/blog/show/17)
  2. Image upload policy change (http://mmoguildsites.com/blog/show/15)
  3. Google AdSense side-block (http://mmoguildsites.com/blog/show/16)

Firstly, the new Community page, is an excellent social, value-added element to their main website.  This is the page you go to if you want to see what guilds are currently signed up with MMO Guildsites.  It only displays “paid” accounts — trial sites are still hidden.  You can sort guilds by name, date created, and game (WoW, EQ, etc.).  You can also search by keyword.  As an extra feature, you can also click the “members” tab and it will list the profiles of all “players” from all guilds.  You can sort members by name and date added as well as search by keyword.

Community page screenshot

At the time of review, MMO Guildsites had 26 guilds and 644 members.

Secondly, they’ve updated their image policy.  The original policy only allowed users to upload a certain number of megabytes per month per payment plan (Standard – 100MB, Pro – 250MB, Premier – 500MB).  Their new policy elimintates the monthly cap and introduces a TOTAL cap for your guild site:

  • Standard – 1000MB (1GB)
  • Pro – 2000MB (2GB)
  • Premium – 5000MB (5GB)

These new caps should be more than sufficient for guilds of any size.  For instance, you can upload a total of ~10,000 x 100KB images in the Standard plan.  To augment this new image/gallery policy, they’ve also added a new sideblock feature that will display a random image from your guild’s gallery every 10 seconds (think: Ajax slideshow).

Image gallery sideblock

 A sideblock is a drag/drop feature you can place into your guild’s website to display information to site visitors.

Finally, they also added a Google AdSense sideblock feature as a direct result of a user feature-request.  The coolest part about this?  All revenue from the sideblock will go directly to the guild!  The settings allow users to enter their personal AdSense information and all income generated from usage skips MMO Guildsites and goes directly into the user’s pockets.  The site management makes it clear that guild members not be encouraged to click their own links because Google keeps a keen eye out for improper use of AdSense and will promptly ban exploiters.

Google AdSense sideblock

Depending on the amount of traffic your guild page sees, this sideblock could potentially supplement the monthly fee of hosting your site with MMO Guildsites – but don’t cheat… you’ll get caught!

What feature would I like to see next?  A Google Map API that displays all guild members as points on a world map.  It’s a bit fluffy, but I think it would add another “social” element to their site.

Oh, and again, if you want to read my original review of their site, click HERE!

Cheers.

December 21, 2006

Hosting an MMORPG guild website

MMO Guildsites banner

I HAVE AN UPDATED REVIEW OF 3 NEW FEATURES HERE! Please note that there has been a policy change for their billing system, which I cover in my newest review.

This is not a paid advertisement – it’s a “friend”ly promotion! 😉

A couple good friends of mine from 8tasp.com finally put together their first major website — a service aimed to help host your MMORPG guild website. If you’re not interested in reading my review and would rather dive in to see for yourself, feel free to create a FREE trial or take their mini-tour.

On with the show…

As stated above, MMOGuildsites.com is a very easy way to build a website for your guild. You could compare it to Guildportal.com in theory except that the former is taking a fresh, Web 2.0 approach to the idea, while the latter is still stuck in the 90’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Guildportal; I think they’ve helped tens of thousands of people make a home for their guild on the web but to be honest their technology is limited and their style is dated. You want to attract guild members right?! At their cores, both services share the same vision — Easy guild management and communication — except MMOGuildsites does it with style.

Features

I’ll highlight some key features of MMOGuildsites in this review but you can view the entire list here.

  • Admin Panel (You get to sit in the big chair) – A very intuitive, simple, Ajax-enabled admin panel gives you full control of your guild’s website. You can create and assign ranks (linked to permission if you desire), modify your site’s layout (2-column, 3-column, fixed or liquid, etc.) with drag-and-drop functionality, maintain your billing options, and much more.
  • Theming (Pick up that paint brush and create… or trace) – So, you’ve got a great vision for how you want your site to look but you don’t know how to code HTML or CSS. No problem! They’ve built a fantastic visual themeing tool that makes customizing the look and feel of your site a breeze. Think: “paint by numbers.” You can save themes privately or publicly. To view a list of community-submitted themes, click here. Here’s one I created by using Wikipedia.com as an inspiration: Guild Wiki. If you just can’t find inspiration from within, you can actually take one of the public themes and modify it to suit your needs (kind of like tracing)!
  • Components (drag ’em and drop ’em) – Here’s a quick list of just SOME of the components you can drop into your guild’s website through the admin panel: Shout Box (real-time chat between all logged-in members), Forums (customize your own subforums for guild discussion), Guild Applications (potentials can apply for membership directly from your guild page — great for recruiting purposes), Events Calendar (plan raids, guild meetings, or simply let people know about upcoming birthdays), Image Galleries (guild members can upload images into their own personal gallery), and a DKP System (custom-made DKP system for raiding guilds – links with Allakhazam‘s item database).

Payment Options

MMOGuildsites has 4 subscriptions:

  1. FREE 7-day trial (a great way to “try before you buy”)
  2. $8.99/month (gallery upload of 100MB/month)
  3. $12.99/month (gallery upload of 200MB/month)
  4. $16.99/month (gallery upload of 500MB/month)

Aside from the upload limits, all plans are able to use the same set of components and features and when you actually think about it, the rates are pretty reasonable. Hosting a personal site with a commercial web host/server will cost you around $10.00/month alone and you’ll still need to do all the coding and database administration. Also, MMOGuildsites uses PayPal as their payment method. What’s stopping you from having each member of your guild deposit $1.00/month by PayPal to help offset the cost of site maintenance? Additionally, you could rotate who pays for the site on a monthly basis to keep things “fair.”

Conclusion

MMOGuildsites is a tool that will help you manage your guild and enhance communication between members. While the service is extremely new (launched in early December) there are already a number of guilds using it (Enmity, Avalorien, and Mayhem just to name a few). The service is targeted at guilds from any MMORPG (Everquest, World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Guild Wars, etc.) and new features are being added all the time to compliment individual games. It puts web design into the hands of the non-programmers — though programmers will enjoy having powerful tools at their fingertips without actually having to lift a finger to “code” them.

But hey, don’t take my word for it; create a free trial and experience it for yourself.

Naked orcs unite!

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