Attack of the Ewoks!

I had a dream.  I dreamed of sneaking up behind an imperial storm trooper, and cutting off his ankles with my mighty Ewok Dark Jedi Master.   I had a dream of tripping every wookiee in the galaxy. I even dreamed of looking Yoda in the eye without having to pick him up.

That dream has been crushed.

The makers of Star Wars Galaxies have spoken.  There shall be no Ewoks in Star Wars Galaxies.

This is, for lack of a better word, a god damn travesty.

No Ewoks?  Star Wars, with no Ewoks??  If it weren’t for Ewoks, where would the rebels be now?  Dead, that’s where.  Without the Ewoks, Leah, Han Solo, and the rest of them would have fallen at the hands of the Empire.

Ewoks allowed them the precious time they needed to bust into the compound and do right what once went wrong.  Or something like that.

My friends, this is not what Luke would have wanted.

Now, I know that many people hated the Ewoks.  They screamed that they were the dumbest thing to have ever happened to Star Wars.

I have only one thing to say to these people.   “Meesa Jar Jar Binks!”

Thankfully, Sony Online Entertainment has decided that the Gungan will also not be a playable race.  They will however be an NPC race.   I can only pray that they’ll be a killable NPC race.

And if I had my Jedi Ewok, I’d make it a point to hunt down each and every single Gungan in the universe and bust out their kneecaps.

I’d strike in the night.  I’d chop off their toes, and skin their shins.  Jar Jar would know true fear.  They’d whisper my name, and shiver from the sound of it.

All would learn to fear Yub Yub the Dread.

But noooooooooooooooooo.  Sony decided that Ewoks weren’t important enough to be a playable race.

According to the Star Wars Galaxies FAQ page:

3.18 Why are Jawas not a playable species?

With very few EU exceptions, we’ve never really seen Jawas away from Tatooine, so it would be disconcerting to see large numbers of them on other worlds. Also, we simply couldn’t make every species playable. We selected eight because that was an achievable number that still offered great variety. None of this prevents us from including Jawas as playable later, though, if the demand is there.

The same could be applied to Ewoks, I imagine, but personally, I don’t care.

Let me be an Ewok.

If you want to stay true to the movie lore, fine.  I don’t care.  I’ll stay on Endor.  I’ll live there through the entire game.

I’ll build the biggest, baddest tree village the galaxy has ever seen!  And I’d have booby traps everywhere!  Storm Troopers would cry at the mere thought of going to Endor!  Big swinging trees on ropes, slingshots armed with rocks, trip lines for speeder bikes…  You name it, I’d have it!  Even the Emperor himself wouldn’t dare visit MY moon!  His fancy schmancy Jedi lightning ain’t gonna help him much against a tree trunk to the face!

Boo-ya!

Also taken from the Star Wars Galaxies FAQ:

3.20 If I customize my character to be fat or thin, will it adversely affect my abilities or gameplay?

No, visual customization of your character during creation will not affect you statistics or hinder your gameplay.

Can I make him short, stubby, and covered in fur with a tattered cloak? 

Then who cares?

3.22 Can male characters grow beards?

You can select facial hair as part of the character customization process. Beards won’t “grow” over time, though.

Will the beard make me look like an Ewok?  No?  

Then who cares?

3.26 Will we be able to write bios for our characters?

Yes, you’ll be able to compose a short backstory for your character, if you wish. You can display the bio to other characters if you feel so inclined.

“Yub Yub was rather tall for an Ewok.  He’d been in a terrible accident when he was a child, and was burned across his entire body, preventing hair from ever growing there again.  People often mistook him for a human, since he ISN’T ALLOWED TO PLAY AS AN EWOK!”

4.23 Will SWG have skills for taming and training creatures?

Yes, we have designed a range of skills in the Creature Handling profession that allow players to tame, control, train and care for their creatures. Every creature has its own properties in each of these categories and as a result some will be more or less difficult to handle than others. A successful animal handler will discover the most desirable creatures that also have the best handling traits.

I’m so getting me a pet Ewok.  In fact, I’ll get two.  Then I’ll stuff the fuckers full of viagra and breed a billion little Ewoks and drop em off all across the universe.  Then I’ll enroll them all in school so they can learn to build tie fighters and light sabers and anything else they wanted, and then Sony Online Entertainment can’t tell me anymore that Ewoks aren’t smart enough to get off the planet!!!

3.31 Can I do things like hug, kiss, and dance in the game?

Yes, there will be lots of animated emotes.

That would come in really handy when you’re partying down with your fellow Ewoks in their treetop village during their big party.

Oh…  wait, no…  guess we won’t be able to do that…

3.32 Are you planning to include “badges”?

Yes, players can earn “badges” for various achievements in the game. Players can also choose which badges they display to other players. Some example badges include: Missions Completed; Bounties Collected; Areas Explored; NPCs Killed; Items Sold; and Resources Discovered. We’ll also have some “out of character” badges, such as: “Months Subscribed” and “Total Game Time.” Finally, if we can, we’d love to support some player-granted badges, such as “Best Role-Player” and a “Badge of Self-Sacrifice.”

“Best Immitation Ewok.  Since You Can’t Actually BE An Ewok.”

3.34 Can Twi’leks decide how to “lay” their lekku?

Yes, during character creation you can pick a “head tail” style.

Gay.

4.03 Will I be able to become a stormtrooper?

Unfortunately, the constraints of the Imperial hierarchy prohibit us from allowing players to actually become stormtroopers in the initial launch product. Service in the Empire would be very difficult to enforce; if we did allow stormtroopers, players would constantly be AWOL as they explored other aspects of the game. Rest assured, however, that players will be able to serve the Empire in many other ways.

Imagine how cool it would be to see an Ewok Storm Trooper.

Not that it matters.  No Ewoks.  No Storm Troopers.

4.17 Is there going to be an apprentice system in the game?

Yes. In fact, some professions will even require that players train an apprentice in lower-tier skills before progressing in certain higher-tier skills. We’re using this system to encourage interaction between experienced and novice players. We also hope that it will foster long-lasting relationships between players, strengthening the community.

Now THIS is a good idea.  See, now I could have Jedi’s come visit Endor and teach my little Yub Yub the ancient arts of space travel.

Obviously, Sony Online Entertainment hates Ewoks.

I mean, they made the damned Bothan a playable race, but not the Ewoks.  The Bothan weren’t even IN the movies.

And Wookiees?  Psh.  Cheap ewok ripoffs.   How’s a Wookiee supposed to sneak up on anyone?  They’re too big.  And in a laserblaster fight, they’re a HUGE target.

Besides, how’s a Wookiee supposed to use the Jedi Mind trick on anyone?

Look, I’m not asking for much.

Just to be able to play a shorter version of a Wookie.

Is that so bad?

Well, and to be able to build miniture Death Stars that fling huge rocks at any moon in the galaxy leaving it barren and covered in craters.

That’d roxor.

ACPL, Ho! Er, I mean like “Land, ho” – not…oh, never mind.

I still haven’t made up my mind.

Truth is, if it were just up to me, I’d already have been thrown out of three hotels in Boston while I practiced my hijinks for the ACPL. Last time I almost got kicked out before the Death Tank party got up to full force; if it weren’t for the fact that I convinced the Hotel Manager that Jason Booth was the Second Coming, I think we would’ve been on the road for sure. I’d like to brush up a bit on the hijinks for this year, just in case the hotel manager is an agnostic or something.

Money’s tight this year. We’ve got a wedding coming up and all that. Blah. If you don’t believe me, just ask our raffle winners – I still haven’t shipped out their prizes (uh, sorry guys – they’re coming, honestly!). I keep trying to talk Kwipette into eloping, but she keeps countering with a pre-nuptial, so I think we’re at a stalemate on that front.

But I’m really excited about this ACPL. I have it on good authority that K80 will be table dancing (urmmm…Devilmouse told me that, K80, honest – take it up with him). I mean, hello – last year, we got to see the big preview for AC:DM. I get light-headed just thinking about what we’ll see of AC2. And not only that, but there’ll be giveaways for AC2 beta accounts! Good grief, could you make me salivate any more? Like, Gillian Anderson will be there wearing a thong and passing out free pints of Ben & Jerry’s? Woah, think I just burst a blood vessel there, lemme rest for a second…

I dunno. I think that we just might say the hell with it and go. Last year we had so much fun, we had to be sedated. And this year I’m going to bring TWO blenders. But contrary to popular mindset, no way in hell will I be partaking of any Milktini’s. Nectar of the Gods or not, I shan’t contaminate my body with any of that wicked concoction. No, I’ll stick to the Tangerine Dreams, baby! Woot!

Oh, and this year, I’ve also been told there will be no touching of Kwipette’s butt. Apparently the “Touch Kwipette’s Butt for a Dollar” fund raiser was a whopping success, but it seems I was supposed to have mentioned it to Kwipette before taking donations. I dunno.

You know what I’d really like to see? Some more of those in-game videos. Last year they had an awesome one with the Defense of the Shard or whatever it was called. it was pretty awesome. But why stop there? I mean, last week I had a great run from about a dozen Bloods. For some reason they couldn’t catch me. Well, at least not until I hit the key that made me lie down, right in the middle of the chase. However, it seems that this caught them completely by surprise, because they ran RIGHT by me! All of the sudden this turned into some crazy Smokey and the Bandit movie or something. Granted, I don’t think any of the Smokey and the Bandit flicks ended with a war mage blowing the crap out of the Bandit, but it was pretty close to that. Well, minus the race car. And the CB. But aside from that, it was JUST like it!

So anyway, we still haven’t made up our minds. Kwipette and I will continue to kick it around, and hopefully we’ll soon decide. Hopefully there’ll still be open spots, too! I’m really curious as to what the ‘swag bags’ will contain. My luck, they’ll all be different stuff. And I’ll get the one with the 8×10’s of Jeff Anderson in a thong. Hrmph.

When AC Mad Scientists Go Bad…

Okay, let’s get one thing straight: I do not, do not, do NOT approve of malicious 3rd party apps. But with all this stink being thrown around about Vengeance, it reminded me of a very funny little application built by one of the #acdev vunderkids, Elph. It was a rather sophisticated little macro. A macro known as…

INSULT-A-BOT

Now, the premise of this is not that writing a bot that goes around insulting people is funny. It is, in some ways, pretty clever. But the true beauty of Insult-A-Bot truly rests in the reactions of those around it. Specifically, Pennywise. For whatever reason, Pennywise just couldn’t believe that our little IAB (Insult-A-Bot) was, in fact, a bot. Granted, there was someone at the controls to take pics. But the rest was an act of some clever coding, good luck…and of course, the true star of this sitcom, Pennywise. Observe:

Pennywise is in NO MOOD (mod?) to deal with IAB. And it’s obvious the IAB just doesn’t knwo when to stop. Just read on!

Pennywise has decided that the only way to defeat IAB is to reason with it. Failing that, he now resorts to threats:

See, this wouldn’t be so funny, except for the fact that Pennywise is taking it SO seriously, and threatening IAB. Well, IAB shall not be moved by your threats!

I’m not sure how the “You’re so dumb, you think a bigamist is Italian fog” can be construed as a racial insult; but the staff of NeenerNeener.Net would like to apologize for any Italian weather patterns the IAB may have offended.

I wonder if Pennywise is going to report his own profanity when he reports the IAB?

After a time, this gets painful. I laughed so hard, I think I ruptured something.

I love that Pennywise has taken the time to actually form theories as to how the IAB functions.

…I’m not exactly sure how you tell which advocates are on duty, Pennywise. Especially since they were removed, oh…over a year ago?

Uh. Okay, Pennywise knew there were no more advocates. Apparently, he was just tricking us. D’oh! And it worked! He fooled us all!

Hee. Finally, they resorted to luring critters up to attack IAB. Unfortunately, we don’t have the SS’s for the next part – but IAB isn’t your common bot. Nosireebob. IAB would get killed – then run back to the Sub, where she would loot her body and continue on her duty.

Insult-A-Bot. Protecting humanity. How…well, we don’t know yet. But at least it’ll do the dreary work of insulting everyone around it for you.

Kwip; Champion of the Little People (no, not the Kobolds)

I’m ALL ABOUT helping people. Especially da kiddies! After all, who’s going to be changing my diapers and pushing me around in my wheelchair when I’m an old man? Kids. That’s right, the future of our…something something something.

Plus, they’re easy to make fun of.

So here it is, another day, another character. That’s right; I’ve hung Kwip up. I now have a new and powerful character! The mighty Bottom, Theurgist of Great Reknown! No, you simpletons, his name has nothing to do with anatomy. It has to do with Shakespeare. Sheesh. Look it up.

Anyway, since it’s a well known fact that few are brave enough to group with me…
Death says, “Yeah, funny how people get about dying.”
You say, “Quiet, slut!”
Where was I… Oh, yes – see, everyone’s afraid to group with me. Some sniveling nonsense about getting everybody killed or something. Hey man, it’s not MY fault you can’t handle all the bad guys that come! Well, I mean, yeah, I know you say we’re supposed to only draw one at a time, but hey – if there’s five of us, let’s be fair and bring five of them! Right? Sheesh. You guys are such cheaters. I should report you or something.

Oh, right. So anyway, I made a new character, Bottom. He’s a theurg, as I believe I stated. My guildmate Callico thinks I should get he last name of “Zup” – something to do with what position I always wind up in, but I’m not sure what she means by that. Doesn’t everyone have over 500 deaths by the time they’re fifth level? Oh, yeah, I’m sure it’s just me. Nice try.

Anyway, I LOVE my little theurg. In a way that’s not healthy, know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink! He can solo oranges with relative ease! Why, this one time, I took out an orange AND a yellow! Well, perhaps I should qualify – I took out the orange, and his yellow friend came and pounded the snot out of me with the corpse of one of my earth elementals. But after I got back from the bindstone, I’ll tell you what! I walked right up to that guy and LET HIM HAVE IT! My grave, I mean. The next time I went back, I sent a few elementals at him instead.

So I’m doing my thing, be-bopping around, at peace with the world, when the town crier in Cotswold tells me of a small child, Frip, that needs my help! Oh my gosh! This looks like a job for SUPER THEURG.

So I’m off. First, I have to figure out how the heck to get there. Basically, this involves wandering into a stupid bandit camp, letting them chase me back to town where the guards WATCH THEM BEAT ME TO DEATH (yeah, I’m REAL fond of our might “Realm Defenders,” let me tell you). Here’s how that little encounter goes: I run into town, a stream of bandits hot on my tail. I see a guard, and I figure I’m saved! I run right at him. He stops, turns and looks at me. The bandits run up to me, form a circle, and commence to pound the holy hell out of me. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I heard the guard giggle. Then, once I’m a bloody pulp, the bandits turn to leave, casual as anything. Well, now suddenly this realm guard is Dudley Friggin Doright, and he leaps to attack the bandits – now that they’ve been kind enough to put their backs to him. Sigh.

I wake back up at the bindstone and decide I can’t do this myself. I call on Yates, whom I think I’ve explained is actually Yellow Rat Bastard.

You send, “Hey, where the hell is Frip?” to Yates.
Yates sends, “Who?”
You send, “Frip” to Yates.
Yates sends, “What are you talking about?”
You send, “WHERE THE HELL IS FRIP?!?!?” to Yates.
Yates sends, “Is that the kid by the bridge?”
You send, “HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW! THAT’S WHY I’M ASKING YOU!!!!”
Yates sends, “Yeah. He’s by the bridge.”

Right. By the bridge. Now, I’ve hunted around Cotswold, I know where the bridge is. I don’t remember ever seeing a kid hanging out there, but I’ve been known to not be the most observant soul in the world…

Death says, “Hey, remember that time you walked out of the house without pants? Twice?”
You sigh.

Anyway, I trot over to the bridge. I don’t see him, but maybe he’s closer to the shore. I’ll just go down and have a SWEET MOTHER OF GOD GET THEM OFF ME! AIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!

Death says, “Oooo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Look at ‘em go! Get him, goblins, get him!”
You say, “AAaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!”

Well, one quick trip to the bindstone, and I’ve verified that there is no small child at the bridge.

You send, “You lying bastich!” to Yates.
Yates sends, “Try the other side of the bridge, jerk.”

Oh. Right. The OTHER side of the bridge. Well, that’s pretty clever. So off I go, making sure I stay in the MIDDLE of the bridge as I cross – with my luck one of those bastich goblins is down there with a bow playing Robin Hood or something.

But I get over to the other side with no problem. Upon my arrival there, I see some guards standing around, talking to another adventurer. I decide to kick a little Role Playing rap on them…

You say, “What, ho, fellow adventurers! Verily I hath come seeking the wee tiny lad known as Frip! Pray tell, mightest thou tell me of hith..er..his location?”

Right at that moment, about a hundred bandits come screaming out of the woods. The guards holler something about defending the Realm, but screw them, that’s why they get paid the big bucks. I do the smart thing and try to run off, but instead charge straight into the attacking bandits.

Where they promptly kick the crap out of me, and send me back to the bindstone.

Death says, “Hooo-hoo-hoo, stop it, ha ha ha, you’re KILLING me!”

I hate my life.

You send, “You lying jerk-off goombah! That stupid brat’s nowhere’s near the bridge!” to Yates.
Yates sends, “Yes he is, doofus. He’s on the same side as the bindstone!”
You send, “Ah-HA! Caught you lying! There IS no bindstone at the bridge!”
Yates sends, “…”
Yates sends, “You’re at the wrong bridge, dumbass.”

Oh. Well, that makes sense. Finally I get this all figured out, and someone (who is NOT a Yellow Rat Bastard, thank you very much) actually directs me to the right horse route and everything! Yeay me!

So I make it to this bridge. Sure enough, there’s little Frip, doing this little thing. Well, basically just standing there, looking pathetic. I approach him, and he whines…er…tells me about his father being lost. Well, no problem there! I shall go find his dad! And it turns out I’m in luck – no sooner have I agreed to help the little basti…er…child, then someone says something about his dad being off to the East along the river in some old ruins. Excellent! I’m off like a prom dress, in pursuit of my prey!

Well, of course nothing’s that easy. I get there, and there’s all these stupid Bloody Bones and dumb zombies wandering around. I figure, hey, no problem – I send in a couple of my earthen buddies to take out the Bloody Bones. Their friends get a bit feisty, well, I whip out the ol’ Field of Frost. Which hits. Every single thing within about a 300 mile radius. Every single one of which then resist its effect.

In turn, they all descend upon me.

Sigh. I don’t even get a quickcast off before I’m ripped limb from limb.

This time, I’m a bit more careful coming in. I scout the territory out, go AROUND the Bloody Bones & Co., and approach from the rear. As I get near the tower, out of some ruins comes charging Hugrath, whom I’m supposed to be looking for.

Except now he’s a zombie. A zombie with friends. And they ALL want a piece of my sweet, sweet brain.

So. I’m back at the bindstone.

Death says, “again”

Thank you. I’m back at the bindstone AGAIN. Sigh.

But this time, I know where he is, who he’s with, and what to expect. So VERY CAREFULLY, I make my way back. There he is, hiding in what I previously mistook for an empty ruin. I find a nice, distant spot from which I can launch my assault.

And a demon comes walking around the corner and eats my ass.

His tag says he’s a weakened demon. Right. Weakened enough to tear through my sorry butt in about three hits.

Now I’m back at the bindstone, weeping inconsolably. I attempt to throw myself in front of several passing horses, all to no avail.

Okay. Fine. I will go back. ONE MORE TIME.

And you know what? I killed him. Pretty easily, in fact. An ice creature to draw him out, then four earth critters to pound the snot of him. His spirit tried to tell me something to pass on to his son as it departed its vile host, but I was too busy crapping on its carcass to notice. Ah, well.

I make my way back to Frip, his eyes all aflutter with excitement. Kids.

You say, “Hey Frip, sorry man, but your dad was a zombie from hell. I sent a couple of my boys over to sodomize him to death. But don’t worry. He said he LOVED it.”

Frip says, “No! Not my daddy! No!”

And then he ran off! Not even a ‘Thank you for risking life and limb!’ or anything! Hrmph. Kids. Ungrateful bastiches, the lot of ‘em.