Five on Friday - August 4, 2006

1. How is the Punkbuster testing coming? Do you have an ETA on when we could expect to be able to try it out?
Darkscribe: PunkBuster public beta testing should begin in August. We are almost set to go. We’ve been testing it in-house and have made some improvements that should make it extremely easy to install and use. Keep in mind, as I’ve promised, if it doesn’t work as well as we’d like, or if it causes problems for regular, honest players, we will delay its full launch or not use it at all.

2. When will the 9th Anniversary Edition come out? Has there been a date set yet?
Darkscribe: We are planning on October. We are finalizing the contents and adding a surprise or two. Look for an announcement soon.

3. What’s up with looting rights on Ophidian Berserkers?
Draconi: The Ophidian Berserkers absorb damage much differently than the other Ophidians. It seems the original version, while still letting incremental damage build up, wasn’t adding players to the loot table unless they managed significant damage. So if someone walked in and hit it last, they received the loot rights by default. We’ve fixed this by ensuring at least 5% of your damage is applied directly to the Berserker, however, the Berserkers have become slightly stronger to deal with their now weakened shielding.

4. How exactly do Power, Vanquishing, and Mystic weapons help against Berserkers, and to what extent?
Draconi: The Power, Vanquishing, and Mystic weapons cut directly through the Berserker’s magical shielding to deal a certain percentage of the damage you would’ve done normally to it. Power does the least percentage, and Mystics do the highest. The damage numbers you see when dealing damage to Berserkers is the 5% mentioned above, and doesn't include the extra damage the magical weapon has included as well.

5. How come Liane had to die?
Draconi: I think we were all shocked by just how vicious the Berserkers truly are. Even the normal Ophidians fear them, and the higher ranks have weapons made specifically to deal with any that get loose. Intelligence indicates that the Berserkers are only loyal to the Ophidian females – to the point of even murdering their own troops.

Beyond that, I think it’s been an eye-opener that the Royal Council has done virtually nothing to aid Papua or Vesper during this crisis, instead relying on the local militias, guilds, and mercenaries who’ve been doing their best to stem the tide. I don’t feel that Liane did have to die…

Editor's Note: Speaking of dying, after Draconi so graciously answered these questions, he mysteriously disappeared. An hour or so later, EA Security called to let us know they needed the services of a healer once again, and that we'd need to send someone down to clean up the mess. The odd twist to this story is that Draconi's ghost apparently has an affinity for photography, as once he was rezzed, he emailed this... um... self portrait. Click here to see it.

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