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News Archive - Sept 2003

Fri., Sept 19, 2003

New Virus out in the wild

There is a new virus that takes advantage of a recent problem discovered with certain version of Microsoft Windows. More information can be found here: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.swen.a@mm.html . It dupes users into thinking they are installing a security update, when in fact it isn't. See screenshot: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/graphics/w32.swen.a@mm.3.gif. If you haven't updated your system, please do so at http://www.windowsupdate.com

If you opened the attachment, it attempts to disable various anti-virus programs (like Norton Anti-Virus) as well as various firewalls (like ZoneAlarm). It will try to intercept your email username, password, and mail server settings, thus using your ISP's mail server to spread itself. It will attempt to send itself to everyone on your address book through email, as well as attempt to spread through KaZaA, shared directories, IRC, and newsgroups. It will modify your registry, add files to your computer. In short, your computer and possibly your ISP access will be thoroughly screwed by the time the worm is done installing itself on your computer, so it'll be best if you avoid getting infected so you don't have to deal with the resulting mess.

As always, don't open email attachments from people you don't know, even if it claims to be from Microsoft.
Thurs., Sept 18, 2003

Ahoy Mateys! Tis that day again!

Avast lubbers, and turn yer ears ta me, or I be cuttin them off.

Friday, the 19th day of the nineth month in the year of Our Lord Two t'ousand an T'ree be Talk like a Pirate Day once again. So be signing aboard for yer Pirate Name and be showing yer colors - black that is - or mayhap our own Cherub Jolly Roger be havin you walk Deadman's Plank.

An far those of you who hail from the Queen's domain beyond the pond, be visitin the offical British hideout for the poop on the Glorius Day's happenings there. ARRR!

Sun., Sept 7, 2003

Birthday Party

Hear Ye, Hear Ye:

Ye Olde Sheriff wishes to make it known to all and sundry that Monday, 08-Sept-03, shall be the first anniversary of the opening of the Prancing Pony Inn and Tavern thread in the Hall of Wonders - HeavenGame's recently merged Fantasy Role Playing and Creative Writing Forum.

In celebration of this fact, he offers free ale and donuts for all visitors on that day. A splendid selection of the latter in all [non mind-altering] varieties has been stolen procured from the BTOOIC Restaurant. Come introduce yourselves, meet the regulars there, and perhaps stay around to participate in the fun.
Fri., Sept 5, 2003

The Emperor Speaks

Triumph developer Josh AoW, taking time out from what his busy job, graced the forums with a response to the question Any news on the first real patch?
v1.2 is being worked on, we've addressed a number of issues that have been found, as well as making a few balance tweaks and enhancements to the game. There is no ETA, since whatever date I guessed would invariably be wrong. We want to make sure we've addressed every known significant & reproducible issue, and tested the patch thoroughly, before releasing it into the wild. The goal is to make sure there doesn't need to be a v1.3...
Among other issues the devs are known to have addressed are re-introduction of the red targeting indicator for Round Attack, a fix to correct the population growth bonus of structures such as Shrine of Nature and Great Garden, and a disable option for the hotly debated Auto Surrender feature. Of the latter, in reference to the player's option to surrender in Tactical Combat, Josh has added
The Surrender option will only affect the global surrender system, not manually surrendered TCs. They are unrelated, and forcing someone to finish a fight they don't want to is not fun.

Elsewhere in a discussion of "What is the AI like in aow:sm?" our erstwhile and ever modest (HA!) Emperor of the Comfy Chair reminds us once again that
Umm, Josh isn't the only one working on these games (just the most vocal), so he doesn't deserve all of the credit for the things you love, or all of the blame for the things you don't love.
and for perhaps the umpteenth time points out that there are sound reasons why it was impractical to use the full TC map AI to simulate FC, and results will therefore never be exactly the same.
As for FC/TC AI, they actually do share the majority of their decision-making code. The differences come because FC is an abstraction, so it will never exactly match a full TC. The advantage is that FC is calculated in about 1/1000th the time it would take to simulate a TC. Since there can be multiple FCs simulated in the background w/o you knowing about them, each and every turn, it's best that they take less than a second each (and on most systems, you probably never even notice them, they're so fast), instead of a minute or more each

FC is still many times more detailed than combat in many TBS games, and with a little time, players will find the results can be very predictable. They just won't match TC exactly, so you need to learn the differences to gain an advantage over other players.
Not to mention of course that very few people use the "Automatic" mode for both sides TC to resolve conflicts, so speculations about how the results might differ if it did use that model are moot.

Now, let's all rise to give Josh and the unamed "other guy" who did the Global AI and "is also responsible for around 50% of the game's programming" a hand, plump up their cushions, and let them get back to the work on getting that patch out.
Tues., Sept 2, 2003

First Ever SM Monthly Challenge Competition

The first ever Monthly Challenge competition for Age of Wonders Shadow Magic is now available for your delectation!

You have to try to complete the map in as few turns as possible, and compete against your fellow forum members to see who can do it fastest

Head over to the Competitions & Tournaments forum at aow.heavengames.com NOW, to discover more - your life may never be the same again!

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