Lazy Mothers

Well, I got bored playing Bottom. No, that’s not entirely true – he’s still fun and all, but Yellow Rat Bastard and I are trying to figure out what we want to play when Mordred opens up. I mean, it’s probably not gonna make much of a difference – I’ll still die in like one hit, the only difference will be what I’m wearing when I die, I suspect.

But to this end, YRB and I moved over to Merlin and started out in the Midgard realm. This was a pretty new thing for us; normally we play humans, because – well, that’s all there is in Albion. But now we were presented with a veritable CORNUCOPIA of choices! A PLETHORA, even!

And of course, we both settled on dwarves. I suppose it has something to do with our perceptions of ourselves as little, angry and spiteful men. Well, -I’m- a man. That freak chose to be a women (and what that says about his perception of himself, I shudder to think!). Yeah – so if you happen across Kwipster and Yellowrat and you start flirting with Yellowrat and you see Kwipster begin puking; well, now you know why.

Anyway, YRB wants to play a Skald.  I don’t know anything about any of the races, but I figure I like playing support characters so I’ll give a Healer a try. YRB’s had some time to level, so he’s up to like 7th already. He gets me to his town, Fort Atla, and then tells me to start trying to level. His advice? Quests. Okay, I’m game for that – they usually are fun, and will hopefully teach me a bit about the lay of this wacky land.

So the first thing my trainer tells me to do is see this chick, Amora (or something like that). Yeah, okay, helping the damsel in distress! I’m all about that! I charge my stubby little legs over to their house. There’s Amora, and her daughter, Magnild. Now, I’m not the greatest Healer in the world, I’ll admit; but it seems to me if this girl was so sick, she should be lying down in bed!

You say, “Hey, you should be lying down in bed!”
Magnild says, “I don’t feel so well.”
You say, “Well no crap you don’t feel so well! Lie down!”
Magnild says, “I don’t feel so well.”
You say, “Uh, right. Lie down? Please?”
Magnild says, “I don’t feel so well.”
You say, “Right, so you’re not really -sick-, per se; more like stupid, eh?”

Well, let’s see what the mother has to say…

Amora says, “Oh, please help me Kwipster! My daughter’s been poisoned by the bite of the water snakes outside of town! The healer tells me he can prepare an antidote, but she needs the venom of five of the snakes! Will you help me?”
You say, “Uh…”
You say, “You know, I’m not sure snake venom’s gonna make your daughter any less stupid.”
Amora says, “Will you help me?”
You say, “Hello? Snake venom? Versus stupid? Not much help?”
Amora says, “Will you help me?”
You say, “Right, double dose, coming right up.”

Sigh. So off I go to get some snake venom (stupid juice). I’m not really confident this stuff is gonna do much good. Again, novice healer that I am, it always seemed to me that helping stupid people involved doing things like putting their hands in fire and screaming ‘BAD’ in their ears repeatedly until they stopped playing with the damn lighter. Then again, making them drink poison sounded awfully appealing to me. This is, after all, the dark ages. Maybe this was something like leeching. For those of you that don’t know, in medieval times healers used to put leeches on the bodies of the ill people. This didn’t really help the ill people, but they pretty quickly learned to stop going on sick call for every friggin’ bang and bellyache they suffered. That’s why there grew to be such a problem with gangreen back then.

“Bob, your arm’s rotting off! Go see the healer and let him put some leeches on your face and genitals!”
“Nah, thanks, I’ll just wait a bit till it falls off, thanks.”

Back to our story…I run out front of the fort, and sure enough, there’s lots of those little snakes out here. I mean, like all OVER the place. And they’re about as easy to kill as… as…

You have died!

Well, as me, it turns out.

But after a bit of trickery, I manage to get five snakes to give up their juice. It involved some cigarettes and some dirty magazines. If you’ve never seen snake pr0n, count yourself lucky.

I trudge happily back in town to get the antidote, but dig this: our master Healer bimbo has to brew this stuff up! Oh, okay, fine. Just throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds and we’re set, right? Wrong.

IT TOOK FOUR DAYS.

FOUR…DAYS.

Yeah, I pretty much got up to level five while I’m waiting for this stupid stuff to be finished. And you can BET I didn’t do any more quests for the idjit’s in this place. I was sure my next task was going to be trimming someone’s toenails or something equally enjoyable.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe there’s like my quests, and everyone else gets something else.

“Oh, my son got his head stuck in the railing! We need the toenail from a hobgoblin to craft a Hammer of Freeing to pound his head out from between the rail…oh, sorry, thought you were Kwip. Here, could you run this bag over to the armorer? I’ll give you phat xp and whatever I can convince Kwip to give me.”

Focus Group Self VII

Look, let’s get one thing straight: if you’re going to talk about AC, then nobody knows more than ME.

Death says, “Except for Maggie.”

Right, except for Maggie.

Death says, “And anyone at CoD.”

Oh, yeah, CoD. Them too.

Death says, “And Eldreth.”

Well, yeah, Eldreth, too.

Death says, “And the entire population of players.”

Uh, yeah, okay, them too. But BESIDES them, NOBODY knows more about this game then ME. Got it? So it is utterly ridiculous to announce that you’re going to be holding ‘focus groups’ and NOT including ME! Well, I’ve never been one to sit idly by when an injustice is being done! Er…well, that is, I’ve certainly CAUSED some in my day, but I usually participate in them, rather than sit by and watch…oh, never mind. The point is, I’ve got to get me into that focus group.

Now, those who don’t know would attempt to start their infilitration at the top – with Jeff Anderson. However, those people are stupid. I know from first-hand experience that approaching him results in Jeff ripping your tongue out and then grilling it up to serve to the rest of the Turbine employees in a bizarre, but no doubt Satanic, bonding ceremony. Don’t believe me? Just take a look:


Jeff Anderson, CEO and Tongue-Chef

No, it’s a much better (and safer) route to persue someone that has no cannibalistic tendacies. And no grill.

So, being the life-long pal of Ken that I am, I gave him a buzz.

“Turbine Entertainment Software, how may I help you?”
“Yes, hello, this is Kwip. May I speak to Ken Troop please?”
“I’m sorry, who is this?”
“Kwip.”
“Kwip who?”
“Wha…what the hell do you mean, ‘Kwip who’? Kwip! Greatest AC fan ever! God of the Lifestones! Hel-lo! Does ‘Kwipetian Vision’ ring any bells?”
“Oh. You’re a… fan.”
“-A- fan? Lady, I am THE fan. I put the ‘fan’ in ‘fanatic’! I put the ‘ac’ in ‘FANTASTIC’!”
“There’s no ‘AC’ in fantastic!”
“What?”
“There’s no ‘AC’ in ‘fantastic’. It is spelled F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C.”
“There’s an ‘a’ and ‘c’ in there!”
“Yes, but they’re not right next to each other. Normally, when one makes a comparison such as this, it is common for the shorter word, letters or phrase to actually compose part of the longer phrase.”
“…”
“Still with me, Mr. Kwip?”
“Uh…right. Is Ken there, please?”
“No, I’m sorry, he just stepped out.”
“What? How do you know that?!”
“He just walked past my desk on the way out.”
“WHAT? Why the hell didn’t you stop him?”
“Would you like to leave a message?”
“D’oh! No! I’ll call him back!”

Hrmph. Thwarted by the inane chatter of a receptionist. Well, this obviously calls for more drastic measures. I shall have to pay Ken a visit in person.

Death says, “Heh. That’ll go over REALLY good. Remember that little restraining order thing?”

Yeah, but THIS time I won’t touch him! Well, I mean, like, maybe a LITTLE bit of touching. But not in any of the bad places!

So off I go. See, the secret to being a really good stalker is not to send them any part of your anatomy in the mail, and don’t write them love letters promising to kill any presidents. Unless you think it’ll get you in a Focus Group.

You yell, “Ken! Over here! Ken!”
Ken groans.
Ken says, “Kwip, you’re not allowed on the property. Go away or I’ll call the police!”
You say, “Ken, ol’ buddy, ha, that’s funny. Listen, what do I have to do to get in that focus group? Money? Here; take this.”
Ken says, “That’s a five dollar bill.”
You say, “YES IT IS, BIG SPENDER! And there’s MORE where that came from!”
Ken says, “Go away.”
You say, “Alright, not money – what else. Want me to kill someone for you? Name it! I’ll do it! I’ll show my love! What about presidents? Want me to kill Lincoln for you?”
Ken says, “Abe Lincoln?”
You say, “Yup; say the word, that bizatch is outtie.”
Ken says, “He’s already dead!”
You say, “Yeah, see? I’m good for my word!”

Right about now the security people started noticing me. They tried to talk tough, but I wasn’t leaving there! Not until I was in the focus group! Or they maced and beat the hell out of me, which turned out to be their preference.

On the ride to the hospital, it struck me – of COURSE Ken wasn’t going to promise me anything! Not while I was confronting him on Turbine property! It would smack of favoritism! I had to find him AWAY from the grounds of Turbine! AND away from their mace-laden security force…

I tried camping out the local pubs, but it turns out Ken’s married (which probably also explains why my plans to seduce him went so poorly). And I had to look casual in them, so I’d have a few drinks…anyway, after I got released from the drunk-tank, I decided they were a dead end. So I didn’t have much luck there. Then I tried local computer stores, but I think the Boston area has more damn computer stores than it does Irish pubs! I thought about flinging a spidey-tracker on him and using my danger sense to follow him. But then I remembered I wasn’t Spider Man. So that plan was right out. Finally I just followed him home from work.

*knock knock*
“Ken! Buddy! Open the door! It’s Kwip!”
“Hello? Ken! Hellow!”
*knock knock knock*
“I figured you guys would be having dinner right now, so I brought along some wine! Well, actually, it’s grape juice, but we could let it sit around for a while!”

It turns out that Ken has a couple of really big dogs. And they obviously have no appreciation of the greatest AC player ever…

Death snickers.

So anyway, another trip to the ER. Do you know that if you get bit by a dog, they require you to get 14 very LARGE, very PAINFUL shots? In the stomach, even! Take my word for it – it’s not fun.

Well, obviously the only thing to do now was…

*ring ring*

Huh? My cell phone? I pick it up, only to hear a raspy voice…

“The group is out there, Kwip.”
“Who is this?”
“A friend.”
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“It’s not about what I want, Kwip. It’s what you want. You want to know how to get into something.”
“Yes! I want to know how to get into a Fo…”
“Don’t say it! This isn’t a secure line!”
“Uh…right…let’s just say I’m FOCUSED on getting into a GROUP of something!”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Hey! Who is this, anyway?”
“Call me Deep Sho.”
“Uh, right. What can you tell me, Deep Sho? Where should I look?”
“Seek the one called…Eric. Mwuah-ha-ha! Hey guys, he totally fell for it! What a dumbass!”
“Uh, Deep Sho, I can still hear you.”
“Whoops!”
*click*

Finally! A clue! I must seek out…ERIC!

Which turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. I just waited until the next day and stood outside the office. As each person left, I just hollored out “ERIC!” At first, they all kept turning to look at me, so I put the megaphone away and just tried to call it out loud enough for them to hear me. Finally, someone came out of the office that turned when I called.

“Eric!”
“Huh?”
“Ah, hello! Kwip’s the name, AC’s the game! I understand you’re the person I’m supposed to speak to concerning being placed in the Focus Group?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Getting in the Focus Group! Try to keep up with me, son…”
“Who are you?”
“Oh, geeze, do I have to draw cue cards for you? Look, I’m the greatest AC player in the world, and it would be a CRIME if you were to have a Focus Group and NOT include me!”
“Hey – you’re that guy security’s been warning everyone about!”
“Uh, no, that’s the OTHER Kwip. That guy’s a bastard.”
“What? Go away!”
“Don’t make me angry, Eric. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…”

I’m not really sure what happened next, but a lot of it seemed to involve my head and Eric’s boot. Seems that those Turbine guys play rough! Ha! They’re such kidders! So I’m sure that I’ll get the invite to the Focus Groups now. I’m just hoping that my bail gets posted before then. I’ll tell you. This state’s so TOUCHY about people violating restraint orders! Honestly! It’s not like I set anything on fire or anything!

Death says, “Well, you did scorch ‘KWIP RULEZ’ in their front lawn.”

Well, yeah, but grass grows back!

Sigh. Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress. I know you guys are all pulling for me to get into the Focus Groups, and that makes it ALL worthwhile! Even shower time with my cellmate, Bubba…*shudder*