December 1999

SALON ON “SHEYLA” [Author: lum]

Today’s Salon has an article on the EQ suicide hoax and the fallout that resulted from it.

A week later, however, it’s beginning to appear that there was, in fact, no suicide — and that there may not even have been a real Sheyla. Since Verant has refused to discuss the situation, Everquest community members have initiated their own investigation of the “suicide,” turning up some perplexing information. Their research has unearthed a hidden drama behind a character that many Everquest players thought they knew well, but apparently didn’t know at all.

AGE OF TWINKS [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

“The sad truth is that the Internet is full of people that love to ruin the online experiences of others. They get off on it. A great many cheaters use hacks, trainers, bots, and whatnot in order to win games. But while some openly try to wreak havoc, many really want to dominate and crush opponents, trying to make other players think they are gods at the game — not the cheaters they are. The only thing that seems to bother them is getting caught. Beyond that, no ethical dilemmas seem to concern them.” – Matt Pritchard

To quote another well read internet pontificate, these people are simply “broken.” I was raised by a father who had only one rule. Abide by that rule, and your world was Nirvana. Break that rule, and you would suffer never-ending labor and toil. That rule: respect others. That’s all, just respect others. It is a short, simple, and basic rule; but one that far too many parents fail to teach. In order to “scam”, or “cheat” in any competition, you must first convince yourself that “victory at any cost” is justified. Second, you must have no respect for the person you are in direct competition against, and no respect for the rules of competition. Twenty years ago, it was a tremendous scandal when a Canadian Olympic track champion was stripped of his gold medal and sent home in shame. It set the sporting world on it’s ear. In Sidney, you could have filled entire airline flights with Olympians who were disqualified due to cheating, and it was marginally newsworthy.

In the #lummies IRC channel, Delusion said something that I think exposes the cheaters and exploiters and all-around “grief players” in proper perspective. To them, in a game of chess, it is perfectly acceptable to take an opponent’s bishop and throw it across the room, and then when he is completely void of any playing pieces, to leap onto the table and dance an Irish jig. There are no specific rules in any chess manual that state you cannot reach across the table and punch your opponent in the mouth, and nothing restricts “post game dancing” on the chessboard. To the exploiting cheater, because these actions are not specifically disallowed, they are perfectly acceptable tactics. Nevermind the fact that he has no idea what “castling” is, or what “en passant” means. He found a winning tactic, and victory is the only important thing. When the “World Series of Chess” was held around the turn of the last century, the winner would stand, and embrace the loser, and they would shake hands. In many cases, they were long time friends who would likely share a pint of ale after the big match. There was no stigmatism attached to being the loser, and there was no shame in having fought an honest match, and been found wanting. When did we stop teaching little league teams that the winners are the one’s who play their best? When did we stop instructing our children that it is better to play fair and lose, than to cheat your way to victory?

My father taught that, and not only to his sons, but to the teams he coached, to the troops he trained, and by his actions, to everyone who met him. Victory cannot be taken; it must be earned. Honor cannot be won; it must be earned. Respect cannot be reaped; it must be earned. I learned that lesson many times over, and I suffered the penalties when I failed to respect others in my words as well as my actions. In hindsight, I’m grateful to him that his form of punishment was to copy a book to paper, or to memorize a page of vocabulary words.

It is a shame that they have failed to learn what most of us consider to be “basic human respect”. It is a shame they had such weak and vacant fathers.

Gamasutra article on Cheating, by Matt Pritchard.


As an update to the story earlier on a guide on Terris-Thule summoning folks to certain death in Veeshan’s Peak, Alan “Absor” VanCouvering commented on EQ’s official boards today.

It seems that one of the Guides on the Terris-Thule server summoned several players into Veeshan’s Peak and bound them there. This caused them to die and respawn in the same spot. This could have caused them to die several times.

We have logs of the incident, and we can verify those that were affected. We will be using those logs to help us straighten this out. Of course we will be doing everything we can to rectify the situation to the satisfaction of those that were involved. We are sorry that this happened.

We do our best to accept guides that, well, won’t do this sort of thing. For the most part I think the Guides are a wonderful group of people, and we are all very pleased and grateful for the effort they give on behalf of their fellow players. I certainly hope that this one incident doesn’t give anyone a bad impression of the Guide program or its members.


On Siege, the shard is already trying to deal with the removal of RoT and the addition of people who hated RoT but also hated stat loss (somee like to call these people either “grief PKers” or “old school PvPers”, depending on what side of the inevitable fence you fall on). In the middle of all this, dropping the Faction System into the mix didn’t help matters. From the temporary BV-SP board comes these comments:

The problem is that SP’s population is still so low that the shard can’t really support two distinct PvP systems. As “faction Siege” grows, finding action in “old Siege” will become more and more difficult. This will in turn force more people to join factions in order to get in on the action.

If the vast majority of SP’s PvP conflict ends up being focused in the faction system then there will be very little to distinguish it from any of the normal shards.

All the newbies will be tired of being trapped in town. What should stop reds from hunting Factions members.

I killed a True Brits in my woods, who was yelling, Please don’t attack me.

I do agree that it is splitting siege but Im not sure that “everyone” will decide to go factions. I tried them out extensively on the test centers and to tell you the truth I think that either pking or hunting pks is more fun. In factions the lag is horrible and you are open for attack no matter where you go. There are no safe places and only guild members can help or heal you making a trip to the dungeon with your old (non faction) buds a pain in the ass if you die.

I’m still red, so I ghosted Brit last night for about 2 hours to see what it was like on SP. In two hours I think I saw a total of 10-12 factioners. The opposing factions could walk into the castle because there was not a True Brit in town. There were plenty of new peep not in factions with names like “PvP bitch” hanging around the fighting to steal and loot the fallen factioners.

Seems much more motivating and fun to fight those you “hate” like Turtle/Wrath or BiH/VoG (depending on your tastes), than to be fighting for artificial territory alongside them.

According to some factions are seeing limited participation on Sonoma as well. Here’s a post by Greven on CoB reviewing the action he saw.

I don’t know who all has been playing but I can assure you it is a bad idea to go Brits =]

Man I really did not think res killing would be that much of a problem but sheezus people are lame.

Currently EVERY night I have logged in the Council of Mages is present in Brit. I have killed a few loners and even had several great 2 vs me’s that I have won.

However I end up running from a group of 4+ 90% of the time. I had hoped those that joined brit would stay active but I have only encountered 3 fellow brits and each one I have never seen again once they tried to res at the healers.

I have to find a wandering healer, res the hide. Log in mule drop off stuff behind tree and resume the stat loss that leaves when it dam well wants to. I have had it from 10 to nearly two hours. /bugged/

Perhaps I am logging in at the wrong time that most my fellow brits are on, but I also noticed Mages are the only ones to own any towns. Also the last brit simply stated he was quiting and joining Mages (sissy! btw, I hope you can’t, and thus can’t be in facitons at all.)

I have also travelled around the mages with my mule, they travell from town to town ganking one possibly two people at a time. (in a 4+ group then say lol or newb, go figure..idiots).

From what I have seen it has a very low participation. I also know sonoma is dead as far as PvP goes, (thus the reason my other chars are on Pac and “was” on SP until ROT was removed.)

So mabey a bad test bed for factions? Or I am logging in at the wrong time all the time?


…about UO3D, anyway. The latest comes from Stratics as the dev team holds a UOHoC chat about the biggest thing to come to UO since fourzors hally hits.

*ArcadianDelSol* Question: Much is being said about the current graphics in Third Dawn – some criticisms with some of the creatures specifically. Some players are commenting “remember this is only an Alpha.” Is the current art “done”, or will it be refined during the beta phase?

Runesabre – This is very much pre-alpha at this stage so nothing is final. Once we get enough feedback with players who have the actual client to play with then we will be better prepared to evaluate what direction we need to go.

WEIRDER THAN FICTION: EQ SUICIDE HOAX REVEALED [Author: lum] is reporting what, for the moment, seems to be the last word on the “I was fired from the guide program and KILLED MYSELF” story.

But “Sheyla Morrison” never existed in the real world. A couple shared the EQ account; the woman played ‘Tolena’, who was thought to be Sheyla’s sister; the man played both ‘Sheyla’ and ‘Leza’. When they broke up, the boyfriend staged Sheyla’s suicide right down to posing as a grieving spouse and stepmother.

The man points a finger at his former girlfriend. She insists the Sheyla and Leza characters were his. Conversations with family members, comparisons of email and IP addresses, and talks with the couple themselves point the evidence in her favor. Meanwhile, he plans to bring the story into court as proof of her instability and to gain custody of their daughter.

Moral of the story: That cute little wood elf you play with? Not only is she not really an elf, chances are good she’s not really a she.

PERFECT GAME, ACT TWO [Author: Lietgardis]

While at a friends house this weekend who actually got me started playing AC, said that he wanted to dupe items. I said that I was pretty sure its impossible but we decided to try everything we could think of. Surprisingly, after 20 minutes we had duped our first item and after 1 hour we had perfected the art of duping. We just handed out 5 sets of GSA in DT newbie towns because AC is now officially dead. … So anyways, just to give everyone fair warning, duping items is wicked easy and everyone should be forewarned. AC Vault Boards

Go out and dupe all you can, kids! Because bugs in the code aren’t your fault and it would be unethical for you to be banned for exploiting them!

Disclaimer: does not condone the use of game exploits. With this information, you should realize that any content advocating the use of said exploits is stated with irony. Even if you won’t get banned for using them.