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THE DARWIN FILES
At your fingertips, more information about the latest scandal out of OSI than you ever, ever wanted to know.

07/09/99 6:30 PM STRATICS CAN ALWAYS BORROW MY COPYRIGHT LAWYER, KEVIN MURPHY OF THE MUSHROOM

Not going to be many updates this weekend as I take a well-deserved break from online zaniness while I wait patiently, *oh* so patiently on my new PC to be shipped. (PIII 450 Bay-beeeeee! Now I many actually be able to run Everquest.) So I'll be spending most of the weekend PC time instead playing Might & Magic 7, which my feeble P200 can actually run. (It's a lot like Everquest, only with not nearly as much killstealing.)

Wanted to touch on this latest Sooper D00per Dr. TwisTer ExpoSe with Stratics. Stratics are the Army of Light, as far as I'm concerned. They know more about UO then, well, UO does (I recall a UOHoC Chat where DD said, incredulously, "you mean archers can drink potions with bows equipped?"). If you are a number cruncher, a powergamer, or just wanted to know how many years it would take to make GM Smith, you probably have Stratics on your bookmark list. Unfortunately, it now seems that they also like lawyers.

Dr. TwisTer seems to have discovered that Stratics doesn't like to publish information that reflects negatively on OSI. Well golly gee, Mr. Bill, whatever gave you that clue. I guess the fact that they resolutely refuse to ever mention the words "Dr. TwisTer" never gave you a clue. (They also refuse to acknowledge I exist either, but hey, I can live with this. I'm a reasonably well adjusted web guy. Hell, I can always e-mail Neve Campbell if I get lonely. SHE admits that I exist. So NYAH, Stratics.)

I will say that the good folks at Stratics, who I ordinarily have the greatest respect for even if they won't acknowledge my existence, are acting with all the good sense of crazed hyenas here. Obviously, they didn't want to publish this interview. They also, as is standard among journalists, gave their interviewee a copy of the interview, before said decision was made. Both of which make sense. However, when the interviewee publishes that interview, Stratics doesn't have a whole hell of a lot of room to bitch. While they can go on about copyright law and the like, there were two parties in the room when that interview went down, and one of them put it on his web site. While I will freely admit to not being a lawyer (I bow to the journalistic acumen of my betters on that), it does seem that their continuing to throw their weight around in such a heavy-handed fashion is not only counter-productive, but throws more raw meat TwisTer's way. The smartest thing for UOSS, Inc. (my god, is there such a thing...?) to do is to, um, shut up and let it die.

But no one ever does that. And what do I know? I just run this silly rant site.

07/08/99 12:00 PM JUST SPELL MY DAMNED NAME RIGHT!

Your friend in space (well, MY friend in space, anyway), Dr. TwisTer, writes:

Someone from that guild must have wrote you a letter. The story as you relay it is what they said happened, but is not what really happened.

I did say I hacked into their server. That was not the case. I thought it was funny at the time, but what had really happened was a member of the guild was copying the text and sending it to me. Never did I hack the server.

Then when I made that comment on line, they said that they went to my ISP in an attempt to get me banned. That never happened. That was a story they had made up to try and make me look bad.

At the time that this story played out, I was already with GameHut. They had asked me to come on board way before this situation, and this particular guild actually contacted GameHut (supposedly) to get rid of me. GameHut laughed at them.

Of course if you want the real stories behind the lies that this guild states, then you should read some more of my page later on when some key members of the guild left, and uncovered some of the stuff they have gotten away with in the game. I believe I have a full story posted somewhere, I'm sure you would have no problem finding it.

Otherwise... thanks for the plugs. :)

Well, he is correct in that I am the Web Search Ninja, and the entry he speaks of is here, as the first entry on January 22, 1999, still pissed over not being Most Popular Boy In The Class.

07/08/99 11:00 AM BAN THEM ALL! WHY? UM, I HAX0RED THEIR WEB SITE AND GOT CAUGHT

I found it interesting that Your Friend in Space, Dr. TwisTer, seems to not like The Syndicate (LLTS) very much. On the face of it, this would seem to be your basic exploiting PK vs. play-by-the-rules NPK bitchfest. But, like some of you who emailed me, I smelled the scent of something a bit deeper in all this. Made some inquiries.

Remember in January, when TwisTy moved to Gamehut? Got his own domain name and everything. According to Internic, that was January 14. (Everything else on his InterNIC entry is a lie, according to him, but not that.)

In early January, he posted these entries :

January 1, 1999 

Vote For Me - There is a poll that has been going on for a while that features the most famous people of UO. Please, go here and vote for me if you would be so kind. I should be on the list somewhere. Vote here at the Poll

January 2, 1999 

Vote For Me - After looking over the poll that is being done right now a little closer, it does appear that it is kinda strange. Obviously someone started the poll from Sonoma, considering the top 10 individuals are from Sonoma. Also, some of the great people of the UO world have just STARTED to appear. For instance, ImaNewbie is now located on the poll after I posted this information yesterday. Could it be that Ima reads my site? If so, GREAT, I love ImaNewbie. I don't know HOW many times I laughed out loud from the comics. Trully, Ima is one of the Greats of UO. If you haven't read his comics click here. Anyways, the reason I'm spending some time on this subject is actually for another reason. Yes, you can still vote for me, please do, and it does appear that you get a vote a day, so why not stuff the box with extra votes...after all we are cheaters. But the real reason you want to do this, is because of the members that are already at the top of the list. Despite my friends CrAsHeR & SmAsHeR and their Real Audio Show, the other top 10s are Role Players. Now hear my cry, it's not me you are voting for, but what I stand for. We MUST work together and beat out these Role Players. How fitting would our work be to see Exploiters beat out the Role Players. So I urge you, one and all, Vote for me, for a better UO world. Vote here at the Poll.

January 8, 1999 

Best of the Best - Recently, there have been some messages appearing on my board, claiming to be better than me, claiming to be in first place in a recent poll for the most famous players in UO. I was kinda curious however to find out just WHO was in first place. I never heard of him, I mean, ImaNewbie is more famous to me then this guy. All in all My opinion, who cares. Until I read this. You must have forgotten who you are messing with - The best of the best & ....a hacker. I ran accross an interesting note while searching through the Syndicate's private forum section for their guild members. How - you may ask did I get into it? Figure it out yourself.

4) Vote: Please spend 5 seconds voting at:
https://www.freevote.com/votingbooth?uobestofbest We are in 1st place now by 156 votes HOWEVER the #2 person continues to rise. Fortunatley despite his cheating we are winning and extending our lead by playing by the RULES. Funny how that seems to work out We play by the rules in all things and still come out on top I appreciate everyones voting efforts. A day or two more and ill stop harassing you so much :P ill still mention it but the push wont be as big to pull out ahead as we will have secured a comfortable lead and enough will keep voting everyday to keep us there. But for now, we NEED you to vote for a couple days more.

On another day I found this posted - Which is totally false.

2) Voting: We added bout 120 new votes yesterday. We soared into the lead by 70 votes. However, the #3 person, Twister, is using an IP cloaker (so Ive been "hinted at by the siteop) and added 90 for himself. Thats pretty cheesy dont you think? We have actual real people voting. He has a program cloaking himself. LAME!!

Just because I run a bug site, doesn't mean that I am cheating in this poll. If anyone is cheating it would be the #1 person, who is clearly above the #2 person by 200 votes. I've said it once and I will say it again...what is the point in cheating in a poll that means nothing. If I really wanted to cheat, you wouldn't even have a chance. Just look at how easy it was to get into your private message board. Now, I have never been one to start a major debate between boards. I even started this site because of all of the whining that UOShack and Xsploitz was doing with each other. None the less, I give up. You win. You are #1, and better than I will ever be. Wow...that was a really super neat o poll. Thanks to all for playing. Now back to reality and information that trully effects our lives.

Now, we all know how pathetic Dr. TwisTer is about popularity polls. I mean, he's been pimping "the Internet Web Top 100", which is basically a scam to get easily manipulated webmasters such as himself to command their loyal userbase to vote early and often, so that the "pollsters" get more ad banner impressions. (If you really want a popularity poll, try ones the actual web industry uses, like hot100 or Media Metrix.)

This is where it gets interesting. According to a source of mine, this "l33t hax0ring" was not recieved too well by the folks who run their web site. They went to TwisTer's ISP. TwisTer then moved his site. Now, I used to work at an ISP, and generally we did bust the little scallywags who caused us to actually expend time and effort responding to people's bitching about their activities. However, we didn't let them keep an account. @home did. Unless he got a new one in the interim, which I doubt. Still, the timing is interesting -- a week after he posted that, he moved the site.

You think he's STILL pissed about not being number one in that poll?

07/08/99 6:30 AM HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS, INFLUENCE PEOPLE, AND BE A FORCE FOR GOOD IN YOUR COMMUNITY

The latest breathless expose on Dr TwisTer's Bug Alert has, it will shock you to note, nothing much to do with either bugs or alerts, but is a link to an interview of some folks involved in an argument with SRC Boots over on Chesapeake.

What is of note is that Stratics apparently found out about it, and urged TwisTer not to publicize it. Apparently the good folks at Stratics REALLY wanted TwisTer to publish this story, since that is probably the quickest way I can think of to urge him to do it. What is funny is that the story involves those awful roleplayers! Yes, TwisTer actually rolled up his pants legs and waded into that psychotic murk that is the UO Role Player.

I look forward to further stories from TwisTer covering this community. In my personal experience on Great Lakes, hardcore roleplayers are ...interesting folks. They tend to be very passionate about the game, very intolerant of anyone who doesn't behave precisely as they would like them to, and - this is probably the one thing on which they all agree - they all, to a letter, despise Dr. TwisTer. Good luck on your new gig, man.

Oh, and SRCs are unpopular. Now THERE'S a news flash.

07/07/99 6:00 PM NO MORE NC17 UPDATES FOR YOU!

According to the stats, someone came to this page doing an Altavista search for "penis length".

Dear God in heaven, end this pain now.

07/07/99 4:30 PM AT LEAST IT DOESN'T RECOMMEND STICKING YOUR TONGUE INTO THE MOUTH OF A TOTAL DRUNKEN STRANGER

It has come to my attention that not only are many of you virgins, you have been trying oh, so much to lose that cherished status. Well, help is on the way, oh my brothers. While grazing on some ancient text files back from when I was a er33t war3Z d00d, I found this stunning guide. It works on so many levels. Masterfully written. Brilliantly thought out. Utterly original in use of spelling and grammar.

With no further ado - The Complete Guide Of Laying A Girl v1.1. (Women reading this are advised not to follow those instructions, unless they want to, which, um, is OK, I guess.)

(The scary thing was, when I was 15 years old, I was going to great lengths to collect these files.)

07/07/99 3:30 PM MORE UNEDUCATED AND SHALLOW OPINIONS ABOUT ASHERON'S CALL

Mushashi has posted his views of Asheron's Call. (He likes it, but hopes none of you ever log on.)

07/07/99 1:00 PM WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES, WE SHALL FIGHT THEM IN THE STREETS, WE SHALL EVEN, IF NECESSARY, RESORT TO SPASTIC WHITE-BOY DANCING

The Gamespy Network, the largest, most hideous and evil network of gaming sites on this small planet we like to call Earth, the network that makes Vault Network look like a bunch of amateur pikers, just lauched a new pod...

RPG Planet.

Look upon thy works, Ozymandius, and despair!

07/07/99 8:45 AM BUT YOU KNOW, YOU CAN NEVER BUY TRUE LOVE. YOU CAN ONLY RENT IT.

Delusion writes:

I think you missed something, namely, the most irresistable part of the now-adequately-beaten GM Darwin story.

Shocking as it may seem, it actually doesn't involve Darwin directly.

Let me present the scenario, a bit out-of-order...

GM Darwin gets busted for abuse of power...

...because he created a bunch of loot to sell on e-bay...

...which came to the attention of OSI and the UO community via the investigation by Nighthawk...

...who had just lost his tower in a suspicious incident following a banning that OSI had decided to make temporary even before his lame 'protest'...

...and was now shopping for UO real estate.

In other words, all that crap that he would NEVER EVER USE is so important to him, that spending $800+ to get a place to put more crap seems to be a logical endeavor.

In his own words:

---

Thursday June 17, 1999
Still no tower

OSI has potentially cost me a lot of money. Not silly UO money, I mean actual cash. Since I haven't gotten my tower back and I have several roommates, I may have to shell out rl cash to get the tower back (since it was my banning that left them homeless).

As you casn tell by this EBay auction, that would end up costing me over $700 if I wanted to buy one. I mean, it's unheard of to punish me in this mannor for saying the word "jap". Lets be honest, they admitted they made an error with the banning by reversing it. I would think they'd replace the tower since obviously it shouldn't have been removed to begin with.

---

Anyone willing to pay $700 for a UO house really needs his or her priorities checked. Let alone these people who pay $2000 or more for the really jacked up accounts.

Ultimately, it's a lot like paying money for someone else's saved game. I can see it now in a 1989-meets-1999 flashback...

Item#: 98482
Item: "BARD'S TALE III SAVE GAME - 50TH+ LEVEL PARTY, 500K GOLD, INC. GEOMANCER, ARCHMAGE, CHRONOMANCER, BARD, HUNTER, PALADIN - SEASONED PARTY WITH 9 MONTHS OF PLAYTIME, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED"
Price: $750
Bids: 12
Ends: 07/06/89 23:09

With that in mind, I think I'll go try to auction off some of my Baldur's Gate saves. Hell, I should get on the wife's Linux box, and grab a fat core file, and maybe throw in a 64 meg W98 user.dmp file, I'm sure that will rake in the big bucks.

07/07/99 12:00 AM AT LAST, WE REVEAL OURSELVES TO THE JEDI

For reasons that would no doubt scare me if I knew what they were, the cute little icons by every news story have attracted more attention than anything else I've ever done, including the Darwin files. (Well, OK, the icons come in a close second.) Fear of BattleVortex, no doubt knowing I would thus shamelessly plug his new show featuring Dr. TwisTer, sent in this Obi-Lum Kenobi icon. I'm not sure under what circumstances I would use it, since most agree I've already given in to the Dark Side. But I like the light saber. It... completes me.

07/06/99 7:00 PM HEY VERANT! NOW YOU TOO CAN GET YOUR EQ BUGS FROM THE SAME PLACE AS DR. TWISTER!

An intrepid stalker of the TwisTy one let me know this tidbit... check out Dr. Twister's latest entry on problems in Permafrost, posted July 5. Now check this EQVault post, posted July 3.

Not that I'm having you draw conclusions or anything.

07/06/99 5:30 PM AS PROMISED, UNEDUCATED AND SHALLOW OPINIONS ABOUT ASHERON'S CALL

I haven't devoted a whole lot of time to Asheron's Call, but I have dabbled in it a bit. Here's what I've picked up on. Note that these are the impressions of a confirmed newbie and are all probably wrong as hell.

The interface is professionally done; it beats UO hands down, and it is literally painful to go back to EQ afterwards. Your health, mana and stamina bars are shown at the top of the screen, the chat screen (a la EQ) is on the bottom, and in between is a 3D view of your environment, again similar to EQ. You can call up a control panel on the right third of your screen, which displays all the information you need, such as your paperdoll, your skills, your spells, a help system, etc, in a nice tabbed window. Unlike EQ, there is ZERO delay in calling up your control panel. It is all seamless and FAST. While I can barely run EQ in 640x480 mode on my P200, I can run AC in 800x600 mode comfortably.

The graphics are kind of bland. This is less the fault of the engine, which is capable enough, than of the artists. I'm spoiled by EQ here; after wandering around the claustrophobic alleyways of Qeynos and the marble spires of Erudin, the towns of Dereth (Asheron Call's world) are just blah. This is something that sorely needs attention -- the best engine in the world won't save it without creativity behind it.

However, I freely note that there may be hugely dramatic vistas in game - I couldn't find them. In my 6 or 7 hours of play I went through the newbie dungeon (a ritual familiar to those veterans of text-based muds) and whacked at rats outside. That's about all I could find to do. A real dungeon would have been nice, or even a wandering orc tribe or something. Dereth is BIG and there's no sign posts pointing "THIS WAY TO CERTAIN DEATH".

Character creation - this is how EQ SHOULD have been done. You can customize your character to the Nth degree, down to the color and cut of his/her newbie clothing. No 5-archetypes-to-choose-from-per-race here. (The races, by the way, are human races, not fantasy ones. Thinly disguised Europeans, Arabs and Japanese; although you can freely set your skin tone to whatever you wish, the facial features you can choose from - and there are a lot - remain those of your ethnicity.)

Character advancement is a canny blend of the best of EQ and UO. While you advance in levels, those levels are more guide markers than anything else (although they do allow you eventually to designate more skills that your character specializes in.) What is really neat is that you can use the experience points you earn by spending them on skill gain. This would be akin to going out and killing a few balrons in UO so that you can finally make GM Blacksmith. Of course, there are no trade skills in AC yet; those are Promised For Later.

The magic system looks hideously complex and I hadn't even touched it yet. Basically, from what I read, you can build your own spells, and their expense and effectiveness depend on what other player mages are doing with their spells. Raph Koster would love this magic system. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, though.

The coolest part of the game is the guild/fealty system. Basically, you can recruit other players to be your vassals and they earn experience for you, even while you're offline. So if you want to just be a full time Pimp Lord and can convince 16 other people to do your heavy lifting for you, the game can do that. You can even construct your own medieval version of the pyramid scheme, where your vassals can recruit their vassals and everyone kicks in a little to the Man aka you. This is going to make guildmasters very, very happy.

Overall - it's a very complex game system, more so than UO and definitely more so than EQ. Not for beginners, I'd wager. However, the folks at Turbine have been taking notes, and AC does deliver the best of both worlds. If they can carry it off and fix a couple of key things (such as newbie accessibility, graphics and noncombat skills), when the game launches you will see me there full time.

07/06/99 5:30 PM NOTE TO SELF - DO NOT SPEND SIXTEEN HUNDRED HOURS OF MY LIFE CREATING A USELESS CHARACTER

Some classes in EQ are considered broken because they cannot be Tank Mages. This includes Warriors, who actually have a valid beef, since at higher levels they fight no better than Rangers and Paladins who have Other Neat Things, and Rogues. My first EQ character was a rogue; I figured out rapidly that it was a pretty futile exercise. It took this guy a lot longer.

By the way, one of the few people you hear bitching about their classes are Shamen. This is of course, because I play a Shaman, and everyone wants, subconsciously, to be as cool as I.

07/06/99 2:30 PM AT LAST, AN UPDATE THAT DOESN'T INVOLVE SOME SORT OF PORNOGRAPHY

Evil Avatar is mad as hell, and he's not taking it any more.

Fed up with this Housing shortage after hearing horror stories from friends who have been waiting as long as a YEAR to place a castle they purchased and slapped in the face by the account of an Origin employee who was selling Housing to the higest bidder on Ebay, I decided to organize a mini Revolt. I decided to start a one man war on Ultima Online, encouraging people to quit the game and play Sony's Everquest. But, alas... all is not lost. I contacted Origin about this housing problem and they have been very supportive. "Give us 30 days to fix the problem, they asked." This is your thirty day warning, OSI. Today is July 5th... you have until August 5th to solve this problem. Fix the housing problem NOW while you still can. I know I'm just one user, but I think I represent a great deal of unhappy people. Like everyone else, I vote with my pocketbook and I'll be packing up my characters and moving to the world of Norrath soon and leaving the Ultima Online Ghost Town forever.

07/06/99 2:00 PM ANOTHER CHAT TRANSCRIPT, ANOTHER UO PLAYER GOING TO HELL

Saw this one on UOEvil. Apparently not only are people having cybersex in UO with people they know are probably the same gender, they are having cybersex outside of UO with people that have admitted they are the same gender. There's some issues here.

Anyway, continuing in our latest tradition of linking to perversion, if you're over 18, follow this link.

07/06/99 11:30 AM HE DIDN'T LISTEN... AND NOW HE'S GOING TO HELL

I found a new work of Seanbaby webmastery today. Apparently God's A-Team is after him, and he fought back in the only way he knew how - gratuitous female nudity. Here is the strange and shocking saga. Warning - there is female nudity, but it's wholly unnecessary.

Those of you unfamiliary with Seanbaby should know that he is, unquestionably, the funniest person on the planet. If you go to his website, you should budget at least 12 hours or so, and be prepared to change your underwear several times. Here is a good place to start.

07/06/99 7:00 AM AWW, LOOK AT ALL DA PWETTY PICKCHURS

As an effort to cater to those of you who want to read no more of this awful website than you absolutely positively have to, we at LumCentral ("Developing libellous websites since 1999!") have developed a system of unique pictograms in each news header, useable even by the functionally illiterate, to designate at a glance whether or not you actually want to read a news update. Perfect for the busy executive on the go!

This symbol, which I like to call Mini-Me, shows you that the news update is another useless news update of use only to myself and maybe three or four other people that I know. Mini-Me ...completes me.


This symbol indicates that the news story is related to Ultima Online. Ultima Online is a game. You have fun in Ultima Online. Really!

 

This symbol indicates that the news story is related to Everquest. Everquest is a game that everyone, including me but not including every other reader of this page, is currently playing.


This symbol, which probably is making most of you go "What the hell is that thing? It looks like some kind of satanic witch thing" actually indicates that the news story relates to Asheron's Call, which I am allowed to talk about now. Before, if I wanted to post about Asheron's Call, Murm would threaten to kick my ass. Murm is scary.


This picture of Keanu Reeves, the world's greatest and smartest actor, indicates that the story is about Dr. TwisTer, Ultima Online's and now Everquest's noble benefactor and protector of truth and goodness.


This picture of Neve Campbell indicates that the story is about LadyMOI, the Official Online Community Manager of this website. And of yours, too!


This picture of Jake Lloyd, who plays young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars - The Phantom Menace, shows that the story is about the UO GMs, many of whom stood in line to watch The Phantom Menace.


Brought to you as a service by Lum the Mad, the only web site on massively multiplayer online gaming that you don't actually have to learn to read to use.

07/03/99 10:30 PM FOLLOW THIS LINK, GO TO HELL... IT'S JUST THAT SIMPLE

Banstyle sent this posting of the finest in UO roleplaying. Warning... reading this page will send you to hell. Really. Also, it's very NC-17, like that ever stops you kiddies.

07/03/99 4:00 AM DR. TWISTER - HE'S JUST HERE TO HELP

Battlevortex 35 has been released, with a long interview with your Friend in Space. While you listen to Twister field the softballs, you may want to see how the good Doctor's claims to legitimacy square with his original manifesto.

Or you can just macro your ass off in UO while listening.

(Don't feel bad, Dr. TwisTer, Stratics doesn't believe I exist, either.)

07/02/99 8:00 PM EHH, ALL GMS LOOK ALIKE TO ME

Got this note:

Hello Lum,

I am the Gm who goes by the alias of Gm Gabriel. I am writing this to ask that you remove my picture from your webpage. Gm Darwin never went to the player luncheon that the picture was taken from. I was one of the "8 GMs, all in various stages of body piercing, none of which were old enough to order drinks legally, stared morosely at each other, radiating waves of "they-told-me-to-be-here-they-didn't-tell-me-to-like-it-goddamit". " When you take down my picture, could you please leave a note that there was a mistake made. I don't wish to be accosted outside of the Origin building by anyone thinking I am Gm Darwin. Thank you.

GM Gabriel

Guess my chances of hanging out in the el33t OSI IRC channels just dwindled even further...

 

All material © 1999 Lum the Mad. Even the parts owned by Sony, Verant, OSI, and North Korea. ESPECIALLY those parts. If you re-use my content without my consent, I'll get my lawyer, Kevin Murphy, Journalist At Large, to get medieval on your ass.