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Topics - Zeron
« on: November 01, 2009, 10:33:59 PM »
Everyone, hurry and celebrate the creation of Thrawn's Revenge's one thousandth topic!
Please leave comments on how long you expected the mod to last when you first joined, and think back on some topics you may remember as especially good.
« on: July 03, 2007, 12:51:19 PM »
The Automated Online Role-Player
It's indistinguishable from live humans!
By Dave "Fargo" Kosak | August 22, 2003
Sure, I love Star Wars Galaxies, the massively multiplayer RPG. I've written about it on several occasions. But I'm past that point where I can dedicate my life to a single game. I'm a very important businessman who does very important business with very important people at very important social engagements, such as watching softcore anime with the dudes in the apartment across from mine.
But, I still want to keep playing. And I want to WIN. I know, I know, the hardcore among you are saying, "But Fargo, you can't 'win' an online RPG. That defeats the purpose." To which I respond: I LIVE to defeat purposes.
And besides, like it or not, people do try to "win" massively multiplayer RPGs. The rules of engagement are something like this:
* If there is a status bar, make it grow bigger
* If there is a number, make it higher
* If it moves, either get a mission from it or kill it
Which got me to thinking: What if I were to unload the boring parts of an MMOG off to someone else? For instance, I love running a business in Star Wars Galaxies, but it's hard to find the time or the patience to work on my combat skillz. What if someone ELSE played that part of the game for me?
My first impulse -- to use a room full of small Korean children -- turned out to be a real nightmare. They kept whining and crying and pointing to their mouths or empty bellies. Who knows what they wanted? I don't speak Korean. Similarly, they didn't understand me when I pointed to the computer monitor and said "Lewt! LEWT!" no matter how loud I shouted it. Clearly I needed a new plan.
Introducing the Autocamp 2000
And so I turned my attention toward robots! Longtime readers may remember when I subtly and successfully used a robot to write my column while I camped in a mall waiting for Diablo II to come out. A similar process could easily play online games for me. After all, I minored in computer science at a prestigious Liberal Arts institution. The hardest part of any project such as this is figuring out the algorithm, but here it is, in its entirety:
The Autocamp 2000 Plays Online RPGs with the following rules:
1. Join any group that invites you
2. When in a group, follow behind the leader
3. Attack any monster you see
4. Accept all trade requests from other players, then give them a melon
Well, that takes care of 90% of online play. All I would need to do is stick my character -- Farglik the Mon Calamari -- in a cantina with a backpack full of melons (ah, sweet delicious fruit!). When I checked on him a week later he'd be what they call "