Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Gamer's Bill of Rights: should there be a corresponding one for MMO gamers?

Source: Brad Wardell at

A Bill of Rights for console and PC gamers? Now that there's quite an interesting idea, the more so when you tool your perspective around for a bit and think about turning this Bill of Rights into a springboard toward putting together something similar for Massively Multiplayer Online Games.

Let's look at the Gamer's Bill of Rights in some detail. I believe that item Three should have the most application to the MMO environment.

Gamer's Bill of Rights, Three: Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.

When this is applied to MMOs I believe that there will be a number of implications that should be taken into consideration by the developer of an MMO game.

MMO updates should have some frequency, since no one likes to be stuck at the endgame when there is clearly room for expansion.

The updates should include fixes for any bugs and problems in-game, and should be applied in timely fashion in order to keep the game running properly.

The content of such updates should be balanced between the needs of the newbies - since there are always newbies in MMOs - and the high-level players.

And the updates should definitely include constant beefing up against illegal and third-party programs [RMT-bots-broad-spammers, I rest my case].

If you were to make suggestions for an MMO Gamer's Bill of Rights, what would
you consider as an inviolable right? Let's talk about it! Share your views in the comments!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Today's Linkage: Discussion from around the Web; NineMoons's New Blogs

More commentary on the issue of The9 bidding for development rights to cGE: the MMOtaku, occasional GE pioneer, comments on The9.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the quote that says:

“Although Granado Espada is considered a content-rich game, Chinese players are unable to feel it because the content is too deep for them.”

Holy effin' hell WHAT? "Too deep"? So maybe I should get angry, after all. If The9 intends to actually dumb down Granado Espada - I say we all take to the barricades. Viva Granado Espada!


Budding gaming journalist Lance Ong has started a blog called Gaming Matters! His tagline is "Because gaming is definitely serious business". I believe he intends for the blog to become a general catch-all for news in all sorts of gaming ventures: all consoles, hand-helds, PCs, etc.

He's recently started off his "Featured Blogger/Blog of the Day" posts, and I'm happy to say that he picked me as the first target:
Featured Blogger/Blog of the Day: August 28, 2008. Thank you, Lance.


I've opened a new blog under the NineMoons aegis, as implied in Lance's write-up. It's called A Spoonful of English.

Basically, this blog is where I put forward one of my advocacies: the teaching and maintenance of the correct usage of the English language in all venues - and particularly in online communication. Make no mistake, I've got nothing against the types of informal usage now in circulation, but I'm just trying to make people, especially those who have been living nearly exclusively online, that they have to pick up the standard forms and styles too.

And I intend to do it painlessly, by talking about a favorite subject the world over: food!

For an introduction, please read the very first post: Welcome to A Spoonful of English! I've put up a series of posts since then on my favorite delectable readables - so I hope you can check it out!


[And now, I must finish my week's work....]

Thursday, August 28, 2008


After the indignity and utter confusion of suddenly finding out that the Granado Espada PH community was going to get a change in CMs - without any official notice, at that, just insipid wittering from the outgoing - we FINALLY find out who's taking over the position.

Welcome GE PH Community Manager
Aethrin! Contact details here. Here's the avatar he's using right now:

Nice costume on the fighter there! We have great hopes for you, sir...and we hope to meet you soon!

kGE Welcomes Third Civilization with a Special Event!

The portion of the poster below comes from the original newsflash at

In order to celebrate the recent release of Granado Espada Version 3.0 in South Korea, an event called Open the premium costume treasure warehouse! has been laid on. Essentially, players with a set amount of "cash" can enter a premium "warehouse" and stand a chance to grab the loot shown in the poster - from the new Fighter and Elementalist wigs to the new costumes for Clare, Emilia the Sage, Grace Bernelli, male Wizard, and female Fighter!

[Unfortunately, the basic translation I could find for the article was not clear on what "cash" meant in the context. Are we talking about the premium points? The Feso?]

Anyway, let's take a closer look at each of the wigs and costumes available for this event!

First comes the female Fighter's Ponytail wig. I've talked about it before, and here it is again.

Next, the female Elementalist's Fairy Bob wig. Cute, eh?

For the cute cannon-toting socketing assistant Clare, her alternate costume, Fraulein.

Fans of Emilia the Sage can hope for her alternate costume, Cinneraria Sage.

[And yes, I stand corrected. I'd earlier said that the costume was for the original Emilia RNPC - it's really for the Sage version. Mea culpa.]

For the fans of the markswoman Grace Bernelli, a new alternate costume, White Event.

The male Wizard gets a new outfit called Blackness Rose.

The final costume is for the female Fighter, a sexy number called Rose Camellia.

The rest of the items up for grabs seem to range from premium dungeon entry passes to certain types of potions and miscellaneous items. The original newsflash even showed a sort of bar graph that seemed to be talking about the probability of getting the items in the premium warehouse!

Something pretty to look at during maintenance ^^

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The9 Bids for Development Rights to cGE - Implications?

Original inspiration for this entry from DeSanggria's Rumors on cGE

Original news piece, as quoted in the blog post, from RedlineChina's Rumors of The9 Attempting to Attain Development Rights to Granado Espada

Okay, let's quote that news article in full, since it's no more than a few sentences long.

"According to insider sources from The9, the company has agreed engaged in talks with Hanbitsoft and Granada Espada IMC to attain developing rights to Granada Espada. The9 is hoping to improve upon Granada Espada and alter the game to fit Chinese tastes if it acquires the development rights."

Aside from quibbling with the content of the report - how much does it take to write the game's very title properly? - I'm with DeSanggria on this one: there are several questions arising from this report, and from The9's efforts. Let's talk about just the stuff that appears in that article.

1. Define "attain developing rights". Does this mean that The9 alone will have the ability to modify Granado Espada to the tastes of Chinese gamers? Will there be no more oversight from Hanbitsoft and IMC Games?

A related big question might be: What does Kim Hakkyu think of this? Remember, he had been CEO of Gravity Co., Limited, and was the mastermind behind
Ragnarok Online - but he left in a storm of internal political conflicts that had to do with other Gravity people tampering with his baby. I hope he talks about these plans considering that he's put a lot more effort into GE.

2. Define "improve". Does this mean modifying the game according to the players' tastes and requests, or according to what the company thinks will make more money? The first option is commendable but understandably far-fetched; the second is probably just my cynicism talking but is more likely to be true.

3. Define "alter the game to fit Chinese tastes". What happens if, in coming expansions, GE runs afoul of the Chinese censors? Are The9 really going to step in and dilute the game just to pass muster?

Just remember, The9 has already bent over backward to appease the censors with one of its other games - you know, the one that just happens to be the most massive MMORPG on the planet right now? There was such a flap last year when The9 actually changed the appearance of the Undead race in
World of Warcraft: the Undead used to be part flesh, part skeleton, with bones sticking out, but in order to get around a censorship review, The9 modified the Undead models to show no more skeleton.

The move, predictably, infuriated the Chinese WoW community, the more so because it was such a sop to Chinese president Hu Jintao's statement about "[purifying] the internet of anything that might affect 'national cultural information security' or undermine [attempts] to promote a 'harmonious society'".

Read more about this flap here and here.

So, I myself am looking at this piece of news with apprehension because wow, way to dilute the game much? And to one of the largest potential GE audiences in the world ever at that? What happens if The9 screw up? Scary, scary thoughts.

Discuss this!

EDITED TO ADD 29 AUG: Oh, look, more commentary on the issue! The MMOtaku, occasional GE pioneer, comments on The9.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the quote that says:

“Although Granado Espada is considered a content-rich game, Chinese players are unable to feel it because the content is too deep for them.”

Holy effin' hell WHAT? "Too deep"? So maybe I should get angry, after all. If The9 intends to actually dumb down Granado Espada - I say we all take to the barricades. Viva Granado Espada!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catching the Scourge of the New World

What with the recent reports of the "Report Botters" function in SEA / ANZ Granado Espada going bonkers yet again, I am just left in more confusion with these two pictures that I captured over the past 24 hours.

[The last two links in the above paragraph require a SEA / ANZ GE account and forum access to view.]

Backtrack a little: due to issues of lag and an odd problem with Alt-Tabbing out of GE to work during the daytime, I shifted back to a nocturnal schedule in order to make the most of generally better net connections after midnight or so.

So last night, I was questing in Ustiur Zona Uno. Yeah, wrong move, right? Zona Uno, one of the favorite haunts of the two-Summoners-and-a-Scout botter teams. It looks like this month all the bot scouts are wearing Rescue Suits, what the hell is up with that?

Anyway, I attempted to report a bot family that was poaching on my spot. Several minutes passed after I reported the team, and then THIS was the answer I got from the system:

WTF, right? Logging out DURING the bot check? Might as well carry a sign over your head that screams
I'm a bot! I'm a bot! I'm just glad the system DID send this one to jail.

[Mind, with the current MAJOR problem of the bot report function itself being so wonky as to be nearly useless - Korean characters? How are we supposed to answer THAT kind of CAPTCHA check? - the time is NOW for IAHGames to look into this!]

Next: there's been a recent onslaught in the Carracci broads about "Selling Items, Please Check Profile": usually it's a long list, or there are various types of items to be sold, or there are additional messages such as negotiation details or allowable trades and what-not. But this one takes the cake: an RMT operator using the same tactic.

How can you be at Family Level
1 and yet have an entire stable of Expert characters? And then there's the dead giveaway in the last sentence. I've taken the liberty of editing out the offender's family name; you'll find it out soon enough if you regularly keep a weather eye on the broads like I do.

So, calling the attention of IAHGames!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to RCM Hrin!


[I missed my chance last year - better believe I'm doing this one right ^^]

The NineMoons families in Cervantes and Carracci get together for a very rare photo-op, in order to send birthday greetings and best wishes to the hardest-working woman in SEA / ANZ Granado Espada: RCM Hrin!

Happy birthday, ma'am!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Selva Norte: Armor Recipe


Previous Selva Norte posts:
Introducing Selva Norte
Selva Norte dossier: stances, skills, and armor
Selva Norte preliminary quest guide
Selva Norte's backstory and the evolution of her left arm


Taking a break from the deluge of Third Civilization posts, let's return to discussing one more detail of the elusive but much-sought-after RNPC, she of the rapier and the honkin' large cyborg arm, Selva Norte.

And in fact, there's a point to me saying she has a honkin' large cyborg arm. From an update at, here's the recipe for Selva's exclusive left-arm armor:

1 x Chain Bracer - the folks at are not quite sure which one is being referred to, as there is a Lv40 version as well as a Lv80 version. Best to get both.

20 x Composite Steel

20 x Cast Iron

20 x Solvent

So far, so good. All of these items are easy to find, buy, or, in the case of the Composite Steel and Cast Iron, forge in Cite de Reboldoeux. Click the link for the recipes.

Here's the final ingredient. Even makes the comment that while Selva herself is a storyline RNPC and does not require the use of premium items to acquire, her armor puts her in the category of "pay" characters simply because she can't really achieve her full potential or use without it.

The last ingredient:

50 x Mystery Powders

[Cue groans and cries of "Waaah, I need to top up my G-Points again!"]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Third Civilization: High Level Armors

In this update, just a few of the lovely new armors upcoming in Granado Espada Third Civilization:

This first one you're already familiar with, as it was one of the original teaser images / concept art for Version 3.0. Lovely colors and artwork. Here's what some of those armors look like in actual renders:

The first part of this quick teaser trailer shows many of the costumes as they look on the actual in-game stock characters.

Actual art now being used at the kGE official website.

We still don't know what this primary-colors armor series is called, though.

This next set of armors we DO know about. In kGE and [upcoming] jGE, these following armors constitute the
Cinderella Leblanc series.






Lovely eye-candy for you to dream about during maintenance ^^

NEWSFLASH: Straight from the RCM: Hrin says that the tentative schedule for upload of Third Civilization to SEA / ANZ Granado Espada is by December 2008. Proof! [Scroll down to the comments.]

Picture of concept art for first set of costumes from
Third Civilization teaser trailer video from YouTube user
Scout/Wizard/Elementalist picture from
Cinderella Leblanc screenshots from

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Third Civilization: The Official Trailer

All credits go to this update page.

With guest appearances by the new RNPCs Ania and Nur and Leonardo Expreso on his trusty cart. Also watch out for the Expert stances in the second half of the video!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Third Civilization: Granado Espada Version 3.0 Details Revealed!

Previous Posts
Original post, hinting at the new armors, the new maps, and the pets - includes videos
Changes to the world map, plus a link to another blog which discussed the upcoming Expert stances
The Constellation weapons, plus one of the two new RNPCs rumored to appear in Third Civilization

All photos and information sourced from the latest Third Civilization updates from

And now, here are the official details on Granado Espada Version 3.0.6,
Third Civilization!

And it turns out Third Civilization actually went live yesterday! Who'd have expected it to come to kGE so quickly???

This banner features the two new soldier RNPCs who will be featured in Third Civilization. The girl is Ania [quite possibly Anya?], and the guy is Nur.

One of the original concept illustrations for new armors to be released in Third Civilization.

It looks like this new area will be called something like "Eraku" [possibly derived from Iraq?]. There will be the deserted town/spawn area, at least two temple maps - Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon - and the dungeon, "Okuruta".

The Constellation Weapons and the Expert Stances will be major features of Third Civilization.

And now that kGE's venturing into Third Civilization - I wonder when we will?

Monday, August 18, 2008

[Fanfic] Way of the Warrior - Feng Ling and Bai Hu send letters

[Pictures of the costumes from; mention of Bai Hu's alternative costume from this thread in the forums; very rough translations from Yahoo! Babel Fish.

The costumes inspired the fanfic.]

Feng Ling

Dearest Father,

Since coming to this New World of Granado Espada it seems that I have finally mastered the last lesson you set me: a warrior's first virtue is humility. That it has taken me so long to understand shames me; that I have received its enlightenment humbles me even more.

I have been taken in by the NineMoons family. Their name makes me long for the old legends of our great nation of Katai, for the tales of the Rabbit in the Moon and the Archer who shot down the Suns. One of their members, the quiet Shandre, has taken me under her wing, helping me gain greater strength.

There is a sadness around her eyes. I asked her about her past, once. She said only that she had been through much in her life, that the past has not treated her kindly.

I think Shandre is trying to forget her past by getting others ready for the future. I am fortunate that she has decided to help me.

Recently she has taken on a few other apprentices. I think she most easily relates to Anthy, who is a musketeer like her, but has an entirely different personality. Anthy is reckless and a little clumsy, but is always ready with a kind word or a joke.

And now there is the boy from Coria, who says he is on a journey of repentance. He says his name is Garet, but will say no more. I thought him brash and boorish when he was new-come, but he is just as quiet as my new mentor - and seems to be so involved in his search for forgiveness that I hardly have the heart to ask why he is looking for it in the first place.

I will write again soon. I miss home, but I miss you and Mother most.

Your daughter Siuan

Bai Hu

To my master White Tiger, my humble salutations.

My head remains bowed in shame from my encounter with the villain Viscount Montoro. I was used to hurt other people, and it was only through the intervention of Master Fritz that I realized my mistakes.

I am now serving out the penance that he has meted to me: I must ask to be taken into a pioneer family's service in order to learn the ways of the New World. He has arranged for me to become an apprentice with the NineMoons family.

I thought that I would be asked to remain safe in the family holdings while they explored Granado Espada; instead, one of the family's leaders, the stern Shandre, has devoted her time and energy to helping me on my journey.

I am not Shandre's only student, however; she divides her seemingly endless energies between me, a musketeer named Anthy, and a girl from Katai named Siuan. Shandre says she is training us three as her successors.

Anthy is always happy and smiling; she says that training with Shandre may be hard, but it is helping her realize her dreams. Siuan says she has been set a lesson to learn and must master it; until she learns humility, she says, she cannot be a great warrior.

I am learning much on this journey of repentance. The days and nights of training are difficult, but I will continue in order to redeem myself.

Master Fritz sends his greetings.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weapons from the Heavens + A New Soldier RNPC

If you ever wanted a serious motivation to grind to Expert level, maybe you might need to check out one of the latest updates at

[All photos from that post; translations via Yahoo! Babel Fish.]

That post talks about the Expert-rank weapons, called the Constellation series.

Here's the projected range of Constellation Weapons.

First row, left to right: what looks like a crossbow, then a sword, then something I'm pretty sure is a bracelet. I don't know what the fourth item is. Then a rifle.

Second row, left to right: I have no idea what the first item is. The rest are a hammer-type polearm, a dagger, and a pistol.

Third row, left to right: a double-headed ax-type polearm. I have no idea what the second item is. Then what is probably a saber, and a shield.

At least four more weapons remain unrevealed.

Let's take a look at the individual weapons:

Tempest of Aquarius, a bayonet. Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the Zodiac.

Passion of Regulus, a great sword. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the fifth sign of the Zodiac.

Driving Force of Algedi, a dagger, and Driving Force of Aldebaran, a rapier. Algedi is an optical double star in the constellation Capricornus a/k/a Capricorn, the tenth sign of the Zodiac. Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, the second sign of the Zodiac.

Knowing that "Driving Force" is not as dramatic as "Passion" or "Tempest", expect more dynamic names for these two weapons when they are localized.

The following weapons have not yet been named:
On the fighter's back is a javelin; Alejandro is carrying a double-headed ax-type polearm; the wizard is holding either a rod or a staff.

What do you use to enchant these items? Rumor has it that the Constellation weapons will only take one kind of enchantment chip:

EnchantChipVeteran says that these chips might be obtained from failed socketing attempts. [Remember, the same thing happens to socketing as to enchanting: you fail, you lose your item, but you get chips back in return.]

And finally, have a look at a new soldier RNPC. This one is exclusively female, and she carries her own weapons: paired tonfa-type weapons.


Here's her stance. No idea what it's called, though.

"Psychic" is likely to be her personal skill.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My first GE fanart

I'd been thinking of joining the Diego's Art Nouveau Loading Screen Contest for a bit, but had been rather stuck for ideas.

And then I got my Bai Hu.

So after looking through the Week One winners, inspiration finally struck, and here's the result:


Yeah, I crack myself up ^^ But seriously, I really am glad I got around to joining a contest like this. I'm quite happy with this entry; I may try to make more.

Besides, now I've got my Granado Espada dream couple, I can't wait to make more fanart of them... Feng Ling+Bai Hu for the win!

[Even though in this fanart it looks like he just got his keister kicked around the block, eh? XD]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Martial Arts Madness!

[Movie and book in-jokes galore - sorry, I just couldn't resist XD]


Welcome Granado Espada's White Dragon, Bai Hu!

Field notes:

The first quest you do with him, "A Gross Misunderstanding", is a textbook example of You Can't Win / Failure is the Only Option. Nothing you can do will change the outcome: the kid kicks your ass. He has weird notions of Vespanola being ruled by King Fritz, too. All explanations will come in due time.

Then you're made to meet all the martial artists. Good thing they're all easily reachable! In order: run up the street to meet Jean-Pierre, then warp to Bahia to see Feng Ling, then to Coimbra to visit Irawan and Gracielo.

The final step in getting a Bai Hu card is to go back to Auch and then get dropped into a cutscene: Bai Hu kicks Jean's, Feng's, and Irawan's asses. The final challenger is Gracielo. Exchange of blows, and then the REAL Fritz shows up, saying that it was he who sent a letter to Bai Hu's mentor White Dragon, asking for a new disciple to train.

You then find out that Viscount Montoro generally messed with Bai Hu's head something fierce, and that he has kicked around the other martial artists while under false assumptions. So to make amends, he decides to go pioneering - and the 50 Mysterious Powders? Peace offerings to the other martial artists.

[So much for the joke about MPs being the "crack of the New World" XD]


I named my Feng Ling Siuan, after an Aes Sedai character in the late Robert Jordan's
Wheel of Time books. Siuan has a ... weird ... relationship with a guy named Gareth Bryne, but the two of them are tied together by destiny. So my Bai Hu is named Garet.

And if you saw
Hero - then you'll get the joke about them being Flying Snow [Feng] and Broken Sword [Bai].

50K Hits Contest: THE WINNERS!

[Warning, image-heavy post - but you knew that already ^^]

NineMoons's 50,000 Hits Screenshot Prompt Contest - FINALE

Six prompt screenshots, six amazing and wonderful responses. You guys are great!

Week One

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 01
The first prompt. Screenshot of NineMoons family members in Cervantes.

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 01 - WINNER
The first winning entry comes from Scarlette!

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 02
The second prompt. Screenshot of my Cervantes Angie and Feng Ling.

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 02 - WINNER
The second winning entry comes from Xei!

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 03
The third prompt. My main Cervantes team.

50K Hits Contest Week 1 - 03 - WINNER
The third winning entry comes, again, from Scarlette!

Week Two

50K Hits Contest Week 2 - 01
The fourth prompt. Another screenshot of my Angie and Feng Ling in Cervantes.

50K Hits Contest Week 2 - 01 - WINNER
The fourth winning entry comes from DeSanggria!

50K Hits Contest Week 2 - 02
The fifth prompt. Another shot of NineMoons family members in Cervantes.


Week Three

50K Hits Contest Week 3 - 01
The sixth prompt. Until recently, this was my main NineMoons Family in Carracci.

50K Hits Contest Week 2 - 01 - WINNER
The sixth winning entry comes from, once again, Scarlette!

Congratulations to all the winners! Please comment with your email addresses so that I can send you your prize codes!

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

50K Hits Contest: Final Reminder!

Reminder: this contest series closes at 2359 Singapore time tonight! This is your final chance to win an awesome in-game prize PLUS an actual real-life prize from me!

Here's the screenshot to respond to again:

50K Hits Final
My main team in Carracci server: Radhanon the wizard, Shandre the Grace Bernelli, and Furyk the scout.

Submit your final entries TODAY!

The winners of all three weeks, and the prizes they've won, will be posted during SEA / ANZ Granado Espada's maintenance period tomorrow.