Friday, November 21, 2014

"The Chaos" at LEA21


Gemma Cleanslate recently attended the opening of a new art exhibit in the Linden Endowment of the Arts sims, "The Chaos." Designed by Giovanna Cerise, the large exhibit allows one different perspectives by teleporting to different spots on it. Much like it's namesake, Chaos isn't easily defined.

Read Gemma's article in Design.

World of Warcraft Numbers Soar to Over Ten Million




Over time, "World of Warcraft," the world's most popular Multiplayer Online Game, has declined in numbers since it's peak of twelve million in 2010. It's numbers would briefly climb after an expansion, then fall again. While still the envy of other game companies, by June 2014 numbers had fallen to 6.8 million, about half of it's peak.

It was known that the latest expansion "Warlords of Draenor" was providing some boost, as 600,000 gamers signed up ahead of time. As it turns out, far more did. On November 19, Blizzard announced that the number of people subscribing to their game had passed ten million. "Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of the first 24 hours of the expansion’s availability, more than 3.3 million copies had sold-through and the game’s global subscriber base had passed 10 million, with growth across all major regions." Blizzard had not seen these numbers since early 2012.

Mike Fulter of Game Informer commented, "I strongly suspected WoW would rebound, but not by this much. Whether Blizzard can hold onto these returned players in the long-term remains to be seen. Even if numbers start to trail off once more, it shows that there is still great interest in new content for the decade-old MMO." The magazine also mentioned that day that Activision, which is part of the same corporation as Blizzard but exists as a separate entity, settled a lawsuit concerning a buyout a year ago.

The opening day of the fifth expansion of the game was plagued with technical problems, blamed in part due to a Denial of Service attack traced to China. The size of the numbers of people signing up suggests that the problems were at least somewhat less due to hackers, and somewhat more about the expansion being a bigger success than Blizzard expected.

Sources: PC Gamer, Game Informer, Blizzard 

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Skye Silverweb Talks About Burn2


The Burn2 art and music festival was about a month ago, a busy time in Second Life in which there were a number of other events happening about the same time. During this time, Second Life Newser talked to Burn2 volunteer iSkye Silverweb about the event and some of the builds there. There was quite a bit to discuss.

Read more in People.

Scenes From the Toys 4 Tots Drive



The Toys 4 Tots Breedables Expo, mentioned ahead of time last week, is currently going on. This is the sixth year in a row the children's charity has run an event in Second Life.


The Christmas-themed event had a number of exhibits. The event started on November 15, and will be going on until November 30.


Toys For Tots mentioned they raised a total of 1,600,000 Lindens last year, and already they have exceeded that. As of the writing of this article, their total is about 1,732,000, or about $7,000 US dollars.

Check out the event for yourself at Ponie Wonderland I (128/218/21).

For more information, check the SL Toys For Tots blog: http://www.sl-t4t.org/ .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cartoon of the Day



Coeles Tentigo dances for the ladies, whom are probably thinking a lot more than they're saying.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Pocket Metaverse


Communicating with your Second Life friends inworld is easy enough when you are at your computer or laptop. But what about when you're not logged in Second Life and not at your computer/laptop, and you want to send an IM to a friend who is in-world? 

Don't worry, if you have an iPhone, there's an app for that.

Read Wesley's article in Design

Pictures of the Fall Fishing Festival


Last weekend was the twice a year fishing festival by the makers of the popular 7Seas fishing game. The event was fairly straightforward, fish, fish, and fish some more. But there was no shortage of builds. So Gemma, along with Bixyl Shuftan, took a number of pictures.

See Gemma's pictures in Events.

Blizzard Apologizes For "Warlords of Draenor" Launch Problems, Gives Free Time to Subscribers


By Bixyl Shuftan

When Blizzard released "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor,"the latest expansion for the worlds most popular Multiplayer Online RolePlaying game, about a week ago on Thursday November 13, they ran into trouble. Besides so many players trying to get on at once, they were hit with a huge Denial of Service attack. The result was players often having to wait in long queues to play.

It was yesterday November 18 in which Executive Producer Allen Brack offered an official statement about the troubles.

I know how much everyone was looking forward to this expansion ... all the comments I've seen indicate that this is one of our best yet. But the quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that. The first two days of the expansion were not a great experience, with many of you facing high queues or significant gameplay problems. We worked around the clock to tackle the demand issues and technical challenges, and fortunately things started looking better on Saturday. While millions of you were able to get in and play over the weekend ... others still ran into very lengthy queues, particularly on the highest-population realms.

Brack stated Blizzard was expanding server capacity, "which should greatly reduce queue times for most realms if not eliminate queues altogether." They were also giving it's players some additional time free of charge.

In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we're adding five days’ worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14.

Brack also offered his thanks to the devoted core of Warcraft fans whom have stuck with the game.

I also hope you'll accept my apology and keep your faith in us. The support voiced by many of you as we worked through the challenges was immensely appreciated. We're extremely grateful to be part of such a passionate community. We love World of Warcraft, and we're very proud of this expansion, so stumbling out of the gates like this was very disappointing for all of us.

Over fifty pages of replies followed the announcement in the thread, the peaks at a random few showing some players not having received their free time yet, but mostly people saying "Thank you."

Sources: battle.net, PC Gamer 

Bixyl Shuftan


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Estates



The Sunweaver clubs have a new week of events.

See the list in Events this Week.

Iron Maiden Tribute Concert at Primal Passions



Sunday November 16 had an Iron Maiden tribute concert in Second Life. The event took place just outside the Primal Passions club at 12 Noon SL time in the Zoxen sim. The performance was done by Rockshoppe Concerts.


For those that Like Iron Maiden there is a live tribute band about to start ... "Primal Passions is proud to present Rockshop Productions as they will be performing a live Iron Maiden tribute concert playing live at 12 Noon SLT and you are invited to join us live as it happens. But there's so much more waiting for you once the concert's over. Afterwards, join us in the club for a little downtime and indulge in pleasures that you have yet to experience..." The question is, do you accept?


Jimbo Neximus, Jamie Geraln, Black Nefarious, Dagger1 Dagger, and Dawn Lectar performed for the crowd as they danced to the tunes. There was quite a mix of avatars over, from furs to nekos, to normal human, and being a heavy metal concert a few avatars that looked a bit more sinister. A few joked that hopefully the latter were in a good mood or someone might end up lunch.

Thanks to the band's performance, they were, and no one did. It was a fun event for all.

Bixyl Shuftan

Meeting of the Minds Tonight


Please join us on Tues Nov. 18th at 6:30 pm SLT for a talk on the pathogens that have plagued human kind over the ages.  Everyone is invited, although you will need to access the Meeting of the Minds group (you will get an invite when you TP to the sim). 

Robust discussions will follow!

For more information, please contact Blue Myanamotu. 

Meeting of the Minds - The Welcome Center, Dreamworld Sea (10, 62, 25)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Geo Roulette: A Game of Random Explorations


Ever feel like just exploring new places? A few years ago Xymbers Slade wrote about doing so using the system of Stargates then. But suppose you have no idea where to find one? DrFran found a new way to visit locations at random and made a game out of it: Geo Roulette. In her article today, she explains the rules and a few locations she found while playing.

Read DrFran's article in Places.

Club Bed


In his latest article, Wesley writes about being in bed with a group of over a dozen .. Club Bed that is. In this unusually designed club, Wesley writes about what he saw and found. His experience was a bit different.

Read Wesley's article in Design.

Release of "Warlords of Draenor" Marred by Denial of Service Attack


For months, fans of "World of Warcraft," the most subscribed to MORPG, looked forward to it's latest expansion, "Warlords of Draenor." Due on Thursday November 13, a number who had let their subscriptions expire signed back on. In October, Blizzard announced membership of the game had climbed to 7.4 million, a 600,000 increase over it's June total of 6.8 million. So on the day of the release, people got their copies in game stores or downloaded them straight from Blizzard, and logged on ...

And for many, they found out they couldn't get in!

The most populated of the servers were locked. At times *all* of them were locked. This mean that anyone trying to get in would instead be placed in a queue and made to wait until enough players who were already in had logged off. This could sometimes take an hour or longer to the chagrin of players.

So what happened? Part of the problem was so many players trying to log on at once, as has been the case with each expansion release which has seen some troubles. But as it turned out there was another element. Blizzard's World of Warcraft servers were the target of a huge  Denial of Service attack. According to WoWInsider, the attacks were traced to China. The assault reportedly continued into the early morning the next day.

In no way is Blizzard responsible for the server outages on this scale - responsibility rests with the script kiddies and bot net controllers. It's hard to know just how big this attack is, but with the sustained issues it's causing and the severity of response from Blizzard, it's safe to assume that it's BIG. Battle.net is a hardened Internet service that has withstood onslaughts like this before. For it to fail at such a critical juncture is nothing but catastrophic for the short term, and could have long term implications.

Among Blizzard's actions were lowering the maximum populations allowed on high population servers, which meant high waiting times for players there. The lower levels continued for the weekend. Saturday saw queues for a number of servers still, and Sunday saw at least one having to limit the people coming in part of the time.

There was no shortage of complaints in the thread about the launch update delays. While a few of the complaints were directed at the source of the attack, most in the first dozen pages were directed at Blizzard, many blaming not an attack by hackers but by bad planning,  "You are not prepared, Blizzard." "We're paying customers and can't even access our characters to play. We're being cheated out of our money!" "Microsoft's XBox Live service makes you look like rookies." There were a few wondering if the hacks were a made up cover story by Blizzard to excuse their problems. Some people joked about it, such as the "Hallowed Gaming" gaming satire website doing a parody article about Blizzard charging a fee to avoid the queues.

For those whom made it in, they still weren't completely in the clear. Many reported bugs and glitches, notably around the garrisons, one for the Alliance and one for the Horde, which players kept having to go to.

Blizzard has dealt with technical snafus before, notably the "plague" early in it's history in which high level players hit traveled to population centers and spread it to lower level players whom quickly succumbed in large numbers.

It's difficult to say exactly what the long-range consequences of the launch day hack attack will be. World of Warcraft has had huge numbers of devoted fans which have kept it going for the past ten years. But over time it has declined from the double digit millions it once had. While it was expected that people would drop out after a while after some time of exploring Draenor and other new content, it's possible the weekend of long server queues will stick to the minds of many who will let their game time expire earlier than planned, resulting in the number of players declining sooner and to lower numbers than it otherwise would have.

Sources: Geek.com, WoW Insider, WoW Forums 

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cartoon of the Day



Taken with the help of my neighbor ShadowRene Ivanova. A real mouse in this position would be in quite a pickle. With anthro mice and naga however, well some of the latter love to tease. ;-)

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meanwhile, Back in Azeroth (or Draenor)



And so it begins. After months of anticipation, "Warlords of Draenor," the latest expansion for the popular "World of Warcraft" Multiplayer Online Game, was finally available for sale Thursday November 13. And yours truly was among those getting it.

While there is much good to say about the game, unfortunately there was one major snag. It seems Blizzard was the subject of a major Denial Of Service attack originating from China. The result's been huge queues  for players waiting to log in, and a lot of complaints.

So stay tuned for more information while I try to get my Worgen, pictured above just moments after he stepped through the portal, about this world familiar to this WoW veteran, yet so new as well.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Second Lives - Alayne Wartell "




(Click here if the video fails to play)

"A short documentary about Alayne Wartell (SL: Fallingwater Cellardoor). Alayne runs a successful business in the virtual world Second Life, where she also met her husband Chris Edwards."

On a sad note, Chris Edwards (Eddie Escher) passed away earlier this year, and word of his death only recently having made it's way to Second Life.