An Intellectual Pursuit…

It starts off innocently enough:

“You’re not so smart! I could beat you at anything!”
“Oh really? How about a nice game of chess?”
“You’re on!…wait…is chess the one with the round things? Red and black?”

See, A’ and I were having a little “professional disagreement.” I felt that as his vassal, it was my job to ensure that the rest of his vassals were up to snuff.

He took offense at my suggestion that they all break from him and pledge to me.

Hey look man, I’m here to save lives. You got that? I’m not a politician! I shoot from the hip! I’m an outsider to Washington! I, uh…

Death says, “Woah, are you quoting Gee Dubyah? I’m really going to have to kill you now…”

No no no, you see, what I’m trying to say here is that you know, sometimes a leaders’ decisions get called into question. And sometimes he needs a, what’s the word, counselor? Advisor? Aide?

Death says, “Scapegoat?”

Yes! Er, no! My offer was just to help A’ get his rowdy bunch of hooligans under control. The 50% tax on all phat lewt was really more of a guideline, not necessarily a rule, mind you. But oh, no – everyone had to get offended. Everyone’s all in an uproar because I suggested changing their official titles to “Dill Hole” or “Tater Butt” or even the noble “Unbelievable Jackass Bastich.” Those are like, Roman titles or something. I’m pretty sure I saw them on the Discovery Channel.

But now here we were. The gauntlet has been thrown down, and it’s not like me to not accept!

Death says, “No, it’s more like you to be three miles away in terror before the gauntlet even leaves the other guys’ hand…”

Exactly. Unfortunately, A’ had some of his thugs blocking my egress (dirty look at Kaigon). So I was left with no choice but to engage in the ancient contest of wills, of military strategy, of forethought and planning, of deviousness and… erm… moving… and… uh… pieces…

Death says, “You have no idea how to play this game, do you?”

Of course I do! It’s basically a fancy version of checkers! And I’m TOTALLY awesome at checkers – even Chinese checkers! Although I’m not playing that right now – SARS and all that, you know. But look, they play the game on the same boards – and if anything, chess has MORE pieces to it than checkers, so that’s even MORE chances for me to get kinged!

Death giggles.

Quiet, slut! Now then: as any great strategist will tell you, the key to victory in any conflict is properly motivating your troops. Unfortunately, there was a bit of confusion at first, as nobody warned me what the pieces were going to look like. So my ‘army’ spawns, and I’m screaming bloody murder about a drudge invasion and trying to knock an arrow to my bow whilst running about. I manage to impale half of my army and myself before someone bothers to explain what’s going on. Hrmph. Cheaters.

So we manage to get the fires on my army put out (I swear I didn’t start all of them – I really think A’ set off a few fireballs while no one was looking). Now if there’s ever been a man born to lead soldiers, it’s none other than R. Lee Emery. So I prepare to address my troops…

Death says, “Uh, Kwip…”
You say, “Quiet, I’m doing something! Ah-hem. Now then: YOU MISERABLE LITTLE MAGGOTS! YOU SCUM-SUCKING HORNY-TOAD COMMUNIST PUKES DO NOT IMPRESS ME! WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION DRUDGE QUEEN? DIDN’T MOMMY GIVE YOU ENOUGH ATTEN…Hey – put down that sword! It’s not combat time yet! Aiiieeeee!”

Drudge Queen smites you so hard the lifestone flinches!
Death says, “I was going to mention that Gunny Sgt. Emery gets killed, too, but I see you figured it out. Hrmm…does this count as a loss?”

It bloody well does NOT! I just have to make my way back to the chess…
Skeleton Bone Knight smites you so hard your ancestors feel it!
(You know, that always makes me wonder – when that happens, is the Kwip in AC2 flinching? ‘Cause, you know, he’s my ancestor and all…)

Okay, I make it back – but if I lose, it’s TOTALLY because of vitae!

A’ says, “lol, sure, sure…”

I think he’s mocking me… But finally, the game is afoot! Our soldiers line up on opposing sides, facing off in grim determination as each side makes ready to defend its’ views and beliefs unto death! And suddenly it strikes me:

I have no idea how the hell to play chess…

I mean, I know that if I click a piece and click somewhere on the board, he’ll go there if it’s a legal move. So that’s pretty much what my strategy boils down to. Well, that and threatening my pieces if they don’t win this match for me. That and a few potshots at A’s pieces, and I figure the game’s as good as mine.

Of course then a bunch of people show up to watch. And it strikes me that if I humiliate A’ by defeating him as soundly as I obviously can, he’ll probably resent that and stop doing things like giving me phat lewt, buffing me, powerleveling me – oh, and posing for my comics.

We can’t have that. So yes, A’, you win THIS round! But I have a secret plan: and as soon as I figure out how to patch Deep Fritz through Decal, it’s all over, A’!

28 May 2003

Okay, the Bandies Just Downright Scare Me…

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’ve been out of the loop for a bit. But when exactly did they put in the patch that turned all the Banderling Guards into rejects from the Ziegfried and Roy show?

I mean, guys, really – purple leotards? Who made this decision? What, are we trying for the Vegas angle now in marketing? Why not just give them silicon implants and butt tucks and get it over with?

Look, I want my monster to terrify me because it looks like it’s going to kill me. I want it to be an intimidating foe, that conjures images of the flesh being torn from my bones if I should fall in combat against it. I don’t want to picture my monsters trying to give me a makeover.

That’s from a totally unrelated set of nightmares, mmkay?

I understand that the Banderling Army has recently instituted a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in their recruitment. I have no problem with that. The lifestyles that adult Banderlings choose is entirely up to them, and I’ll support it. But what really concerns me is the flamboyancey of these latest recruits. I mean, last night one of them attacked me, and his mace had sequins on it, for Gord’s sake! And he kept saying things to me like, “How do you know it’s no fun if you won’t even try it?”

And these are just the little Banderlings. Now I’m terrified of going out to the Dires, because those Bandies were a terror and I can’t take them on when they’re just trying to kill me, never mind when they’re trying to teach me how to dance the Macarena.

I’m afraid I’ll go out there, one of them will offer to take me ‘clubbing,’ and next thing you know I’ll wake up the following morning in some cave or something, wearing makeup, a feather boa, and some sort of lingerie thingy.

Death says, “What are you complaining about? That’s exactly how you woke up the day after your birthday!”
You say, “Right! So I know what I’m talking about, don’t I!”

26 May 2003

English! Do You Speak It?

Let’s just get one thing straight here: I can’t speak English correctly, and it’s my native tongue. In fact, I’d be so bold to say if it weren’t for the handy spell-check feature included in word processors, these little rants of mine would be about as comprehensible as wall paintings. By a blind caveman.

So if you attempt to not only write something in a foreign tongue – and that ‘something’ happens to be a game – you have my respect. It is amazing that you are brilliant enough to not only do this in your native tongue, but then go on to try your hand at it in another language… Well, I don’t have a hat on, but if I did, I would take it off to you right now, because I am in awe of your smerts.

Now, having said that…

What the HELL were you guys smoking? I mean, look, I’m probably one-half as clever as you folks. Call it one-third without Kwipette around. But if I was attempting to put something out into the German market, for example, I would call up some german-sounding names in the phone book and say, “Guttentagen! How do you crazy foreign devils say, ‘This allows you to carry more.’ in that made-up lingua of yours?” It might take a while to get a solid answer, but I feel pretty confident that somewhere along the line I might come up with a passable German phrase.

The creators of Ragnarok Online apparently couldn’t do that. I’m not sure if it’s because they ran out of time, or maybe the budget was cut so badly that the only part of the phone book they could afford were the 600 pages that listed everyone with the last names of “Chin” to “Chun.” Or maybe even they have some crazy laws over there against making obnoxious phone calls. Hey man, they beat your ass if you spray paint on a wall – I don’t want to think what penalty their crazy legal system comes up with for making rude phone calls. They probably staple your tongue to your testicles for a week or something. So, uh, I guess I can understand them avoiding that option.

But really – look at the bajillion of us Gaijin gamers out here. Some of us speak passable English, and most of us would be willing to do something as difficult as speaking normally for very low wages. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that you could have had clear, mostly legible English included in this game for the low, low price of “including my name in the credits” and maybe even a few eggrolls on the side. (Yeah, I know, eggrolls are Chinese, forgive my American ignorance.)

So when you show me a game that you’re proposing to market to the unwashed masses that are Americans… I have to ask…Uh, what? Did you even try to get this thing translated? It looks like you took an English dictionary, set it on fire, and then threw it in the air. Whatever words were left when it landed were put into the game as dialogue. Like this:

“It is not my intention, I don’t mean to be nice to you!!”

Uh….yes. Yes, please apologize for being nice to me! What the hell were you thinking?

You have to wonder, though. I think this game is a great representative of how Americans are perceived overseas. They probably think we’re looking for excuses to bomb people now.  I’m sure to your average non-American being overly nice to one of us is probably almost as bad as hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Don’t believe me? Just ask a French person! You think they’re being rude to us because they’re jerks? Heck no, man – they’re sure that if they’re nice to us, we’ll bomb them back to the Stone Age.

Truth is, the developers of RO probably speak better English than I do. They probably went to Yale and such. The other language versions of the game are probably flawless. They just did this to mess with us. You know, drive us insane. Uh, I mean, more insane.

23 May 2003

Girth & Beyond!

So I’ve gotten a bit bored with most of the MOGs I’ve been playing lately. This usually results in me spending hours upon hours fighting evul Axis forces in BF1942 (and sometimes Opposition Forces!), but tonight I decided to try something a little different. A little, as they say in my country, “on the WILD side.”

Earth & Beyond.

Yes, yes, I’ve heard all of the horror stories about it. I know several of my friends tried it, only to quit shortly afterwards out of boredom. I get that. However, the truth is that the list of new games that I’m interested in is frighteningly small. Those that I am interested in, also, mostly consist of games that would not only not run on my current system, but break it down, melt it into scrap metal, and then urinate on the pile of scrap.

So I decided to try out Earth and Beyond.

I get the basic premise of the game. I mean, let’s face it – it’s not like they’re pioneering new grounds here. You explore, you mine, or you fight. Or some combination thereof. This is something I got used to playing that ancient game known as Jumpgate. Only the combat interface now consists of clicking buttons and waiting for the results.

You know, like every other game out there right now…

However, you DID do something a little different in this game than in many other games – you actually get out of your ship! Oooooooh! And I’m pretty pleased to note that my character is a GIANT of a man! I’m a hulking, lumbering nightmare of Frakenstienian proportions! When I run down the halls of a space station, their gravity generator shudders!

Of course…this presented a problem. In most MOGs, I get to rely on the fact that bigger = stronger, tougher, generally bad-ass-er. So I’m a bit conditioned after all of my previous experience. When I come across someone smaller than me trying to tell me what to do, YEARS of tradition steps in, and I try and step on that person.

I’m not mean, I’m not a bully – it’s just conditioning, I tell you! Look, in Camelot, when I’m running around as my troll – if a lurikeen shows up in front of me bouncing up and down, my job in that relationship is to try and step on their head as fast as possible. Their job is to make a satisfying ‘crunch’ noise when I accomplish same. That doesn’t make me a bad guy, any more than it makes them an innocent victim, right? It’s simply a matter of – you know – physics.

So now I’m playing this game where I get to really customize my character’s look. So, expecting to never see him again once I start the game, I make him a giant. What the hey, I figure. It’s not like I’ll ever be getting out of my ship, right?

Wrong!

Five minutes into the game, and I’m out of the ship in some space station looking for someone or another to tell me what to do.

Hey man, let’s get something straight here: I don’t need you. I might’ve thought I did, back when I assumed this game was about, you know, spaceships and such. But now that I know that I can get out of my ship and not only run around, but run around with other people, this game takes on a new depth. No longer will I have to concern myself with trying to fly that awkward ship and figuring out how the hell to earn enough to buy a Wave-Motion (TM) cannon! Nosireebob, from now on, I’m going to introduce residents of this galaxy to a little game I like to call, “Gimme your lunch money or I’ll pop your head like a zit!”

As soon as I can figure out which button makes me punch people in the throat, that is. Or maybe I’ll just rip the laser gun off the side of my ship and carry that sucker around the base.

I’m going to pioneer a whole new breed of space pirates in this game, I swear…

19 May 2003

This Is A Sick Joke, Right?

Um…

Don’t get me wrong.

I like the game.

I absolutely ADORE my fellow players. Yes, YOU, you big snuffleumpagus! *HUG*

Okay, that’s getting a bit carried away. I certainly do like going and getting Quix good and drunk so I can take funny pics of him.

But…a LARP? What the hell was someone thinking?

If by “Larp” you mean “sit around drinking, eating and telling outrageous stories about each other,” then by all means, sign my tubby ass up! However, if you’re implying that we, I dunno, dress up – in costumes – and pretend that we are our alter-egos from Asheron’s Call… What, you don’t have ENOUGH things to make fun of the fans from last year? You have to stoop to this – to inventing embarrassing scenes for us? Oh, the improv’s not bad enough, eh? Now we have to get even worse?

For those of you that don’t know, Larp is a “Live Action Role-Playing.” Basically, you dress up and behave like your character. It’s not an insane concept, in and of itself. I had some very good times playing a crazed Malkavian. But that involved a lot of riddles, mysteries – that sort of thing. Ask Mr. Pants about it sometime; I used to get involved in a lot of his Larps. And they were fun, because there were all sorts of puzzles and manipulations to think your way through.

Sorry, but AC is not that sort of game. I mean, come on, the greatest thinking you’ve ever had to do in AC involved remembering a sequence of levers to pull. Can you really imagine trying to turn AC into a game based on social skills? Think about your average denizen of the Marketplace. Would you really want to meet that ‘character’ somewhere where you weren’t allowed to hit them?

Riiiiiiight… I love Tim and all, but this guy dressed up like that when there was no incentive. Do you have any idea what he’s going to dress up as NOW? Good grief, won’t someone please think of the children? I mean, come on people. I am going to be so busy mocking I’ll barely have time to draw a breath here!

I talked about this with Wi. We decided that he’s going to dress up in a bunny suit with a taser – he’ll be Pookie. I’m just going to eat a ton of real garlicky pizza and run around as a mountain rat. Get a load of THIS breath weapon, puny human!

Wait, I know! I’m going to get a pair of elevator pumps, black tights and face paint and be Gene Simmons! Yeah, I know, he’s not in AC. But the Devs HAVE said that there are things nobody’s found yet! Think about it….

14 May 2003

…Failure to Communicate!

Okay, I’m going to upset a lot of people here, so brace yourselves…

Ready?

ROLEPLAYERS ANNOY THE HELL OUT OF ME. (Not just the idiots that appealed Bottom, I mean.)

Okay, okay, not every roleplayer. You want to roleplay that you’re Duncan McDoofus of the Wanker line of wizardry, hey, more power to you! I like playing with normal roleplayers. But the people that really, really annoy me are the SUPER roleplayers. Know these guys? They’re the ones that are SO into their character, they have to type in an accent. And not just any accent, either!

A SUPER UNINTELLIGIBLE ACCENT THAT WOULD MAKE MICKEY O’ NEIL CONFUSED!

Look, I’m all for throwing in some accent to ‘get into the mood.’ Saying things like “Aye, lass” and “I canna’ imagine such a thang” are fine. Even “She canna take much more o’ this, cap’n!” That’s understandable, not confusing, and pretty clear what you’re communicating. Let’s take a look at an example, shall we?

“Blast! I’m afraid we canna get ta tha keep in time, lad. Ye’ll have ta hold ’em off yerselves!”

Now, from this statement, we can understand the following:

  1. The speaker is speaking with what appears to be a Scottish accent.
  2. She is telling us her party cannot get to the keep to help with the defense in a timely fashion.
  3. The defense of said keep will fall upon those of us that are there.

Not too confusing, right?

Now let’s take a look at some… accented… speaking I heard tonite:

“Ach! Dis n gun do. Sure n us’n keen fin a wey tru dem devendurs. Ye’s gun haf ta hol dem walls yeself.”

From this statement, we can understand the following:

  1. Jack
  2. Shit

And I’m not so sure I understood the Jack part.

Hey, you want to roleplay the part of a barbaric… brain-damaged… um… confused… did I say brain-damaged?… stupid… umm… (some nationality that probably perished when one of their members tried to tell the others that his feet hurt and resulted in the rest of them thinking he said the Lord told him they should all throw themselves off of a cliff)… person. That is your right. Feel free!

However, you need to understand that everyone around you does not speak Idiot. Some of us are barely fluent in English, and although they may share the same linguistic origins, I assure you, the two have parted long, long ago (except for “inflammable” – that word’s still left over from Idiot). So if you begin to ask everyone around you for help speaking Idiot, or attempt to organize a raid speaking Idiot, or even mention to someone in Idiot that you are currently on fire, and would they, if they could, be so kind as to put you out? – don’t be surprised if everyone ignores you. Or simply piles kindling on the flames.

I mean, come on – back in the real world where your mother’s basement is your Lair of Doom and you routinely post to message boards that the correct pronunciation is “KEL-tic, not SEL-tic,” surely some part of you must be aware that the natural reaction of humans when faced with someone speaking a foreign tongue is to a) see if you can trick them into saying dirty words in your language, or b) see if they’ll teach you dirty words in their language. An interesting footnote here: I once had the ambition to learn how to say, “I didn’t do it!” in as many languages as possible. So far, I can only manage to say it in English and Klingon. Honest.

I appreciate your character was raised by wolves and barely grasped the concept of walking upright, let alone doing this crazy thing called “cooking your food” and not urinating on your bed to mark your territory. That’s swell. I admire your creativity. Hell, I applaud your dedication. But you have to keep in mind that part of role-playing is the PLAYING part. You have to give some leeway to the people around you – if it’s that important to you, hey, speak however you want. Grunt and thump your chest for all I care. But if you’re trying to tell someone something important, like “Hey, there’s 500 Mids over the next hill asking to borrow a cup of sugar,” a smart idea would be to suspend the heavy accent, communicate your message in clear, concise tones, and then get back to your picking flees from your pelt or rolling in the mud or humping a tree or whatever is important to your character.

Everyone around you will be very grateful to you. They might even take pity on you and role-play the part of the benevolent master that takes you under their wing to teach you the finer skills like bathing, walking upright and why fire bad!

09 May 2003

Shadow, Shmadow, Looks Bright Enough To Me!

This event has blown my mind.

I actually knew about the Shadow Worlds MANY moons ago – like back in the Sentinels and Advocates days. They existed back then. Sometimes one of the admins would get a little crazy and do something wacky like make everyone 20th level.

But now… Now, there are SOOOO many different little things going on in the Shadow World that news pages have a tough time keeping up with all the wackiness!

What do I think of it?

It’s brilliance. Sheer brilliance. I’d LOVE to see some statistics put out on how many people re-activated their accounts this month just to play there. I know of at least 5 people that did so.

“Bah!” you say. “Those people will only stick around until they’re bored!”

…So? They’re not there at ALL now, so what are they hurting? They’ve come back, and at least two of them made characters on ‘real’ servers just so they could explore some of the stuff they missed on Shadowclaim. That, as my mother likes to say, is a good thing.

I don’t know what it would take and if it would be harmful to the regular updates and awesome work in the rest of the worlds the current live team is doing. But I sure would like to see this as a regular thang. Once a month, for one week, open up Shadowclaim and let folks go hog wild. Not just the players, either – you can’t tell me there weren’t some Turbies having a great time!

So I think this was a GREAT idea, and I really, really hope it gets repeated.

Now that I’ve said all that… Why can’t we kill Elyssa? C’mon, that chicks’ had it coming for YEARS now! Tell me I’m the only one that wanted to pop her in her royal pie hole! Wouldn’t that be fun? We could have had server-wide hunts for her! Set her lose in one of the dungeons and tell her if she makes it back inside some keep or something (that can’t be portaled to!), she’ll be allowed to live.

Until the next night.

And this levelling business: c’mon, was there ANYONE not at level 126? I mean, besides me? Yeah, I made it to like level 5 before getting bored trying to level and instead chased Bael around, pestering him.

You say to your monarch, “OMG HI HIH HI HI!”
Your monarch Bael’Zharon tells you, “Okay, who the heck let Kwip in the monarchy?”
You say to your monarch, “OMG POWAH LVL PREESE”
Your monarch, Bael’Zharon, tells you, “No, go away!”

You say, “Bael! HI HI HI! OMG HI! u r ma friend 4 evah!”
Bael’Zharon says, “If I kill you, will that stop you?”
You say, “RAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRR! BZ FO EVAH!”
Bael’Zharon attacks you and misses!
Bael’Zharon says, “…”
You say, “Woah…you missed me. Man, do YOU suck. I don’t wanna be your vassal anymore!”
Bael’Zharon says, “It was a bug!”
You say, “Yeah, right, suckwad. HEY, ANYONE NEED A VASSAL!”
Asheron says, “Yes, I do! Pledge to me!”
You have broken your allegiance to Bael’Zharon.
Asheron has accepted your oath of loyalty.
Bael’Zharon says, “Nooooooooooooo!!!! Not to HIM!”

The Admins need to have MORE power, I say. I want to see things like Ben and Jerry’s raining down from the sky! And a special “Ben & Jerry’s Smite” that’s like a level ten spell that causes frozen pints of B&J to smash into your opponent’s head for a BAZILLION points of damage!

It’s funny how all the officials were saying things like, “We’re just, ah, testing the servers. Yes. Testing them. This is not, I repeat, not our chance to really get out here and smack the crap out of the lot of you whining girlies like you so richly deserve!”

I mean, come on, if you could drive a Tremendous Monogua around, would you waste your time trying to fit into the Disco? ‘Course not. You’d be busy seeing just how many players fit under your size 12,000 Nikes.

07 May 2003

They Kill People For That, Don’t They? Please?

We’ve all met someone like him.

Sometimes he’s on your side, sometimes, the enemies. Doesn’t really matter. It’s annoying no matter WHOSE side he’s on.

He had nothing to do with you getting killed, was nowhere NEAR you when you got killed, didn’t even see you GET killed… but he’s the first one to charge over, laugh at your corpse, and then sit on your head.

Doesn’t matter that you’ve killed him fifty times in a row prior to this, of course. Doesn’t even matter that he’s twenty levels beneath you and couldn’t even touch you in a fight, let alone kill you.

Because here he is, giving your corpse an asshat, and in his tiny little pea of a mind, that makes him cool.

It’s one thing if you get killed by someone in a good fight, one or even two on one, a nice give and take. Or when you get zerged, and are left lying in a broken heap by a vastly outnumbering and out-gunning opponent, but they merely roll on.

But…

When you’ve just been steamrolled by a dozen uber ninjas that diced you into a dozen pieces before you could say, “Hrmm, I wonder what’s causing all this lag…” and then out pops Doofus T. Goombah in all his idiot glory. Running around, surveying the corpses of you and your fellow defenders like a neurotic buzzard before finally deciding whose face to settle on first. But not right away, of course. First you have to endure him taking half an hour to line up the ‘perfect’ screen shot that he’s obviously going to completely screw up before he posts it to message boards with such witty titles as “HA HA OMG!!!1!1! THES GUYZ R KILT N DED HAR HAR!!” or “HAY MID WAHT HAPENZ WEHN WE CATHC U ON R TURPH” or even “Here’s My Effort to Make Up for Years of Having to Share the Showers in Gym Class With Boys That Were WAY More Developed Than Me.”

And that’s bad. But even worse is when this goombah’s on YOUR side. If he’s on the enemy realm’s team, well, then he’s just one of their idiots, and aren’t they all like that, really? But when he’s on YOUR team…

Honestly, you just want to kill him yourself. See, that’s one thing I like about the PvP servers. The ability, nay, the very moral imperative, to punch someone in the throat if said person’s acting like a dolt. And usually you rank quite above that person, so it’s perfectly fine to do so. Not to mention fun.

So there you are, victorious after a good, clean fight (not counting your SC gear, of course), and Dufus D. Schmutz saunters up and begins sitting on your honorable foes’ corpse. It’s times like these that you really need a “Disband Goombah From Our Realm” button. If someone gets five votes in the space of ten minutes, they’re removed from all realms and anyone can not only kill them, but then gets not just xp or bounty points, but their entire corpse as a trophy, with which they can decorate their new home, drap from a keep flagpole, or just stuff with straw and create a rude puppet show with.

Never mind the muppets. Here comes the Goompets!

02 May 2003

Shelters Are a GOOD Thing, It Would Seem…

Remember when everyone was saying that AC2 wasn’t going to have NPCs?

There was a reason for that, as it turns out. It seems that while the rest of us hid deep underground in safe, armored and magicked bunkers, the race of people that were to become NPCs stayed above ground, where they were bombarded by dangerous radiation. It’s just like Omega Man. Except instead of being surrounded by homicidial zombie-esque maniacs, I’m surrounded by brain-damaged goombahs whose idea of fun is standing in a field telling anyone that’ll listen to go get their lost notebook. And instead of my being some brilliant scientist that’s survived due to an experimental vaccine, I’m the last practitioner of the forbidden art of ‘logic’. And brother, they are ALL out to get me.

Never mind this whole concept of doing a quest that serves a purpose; oh no, these irradiated maniacs have no time for that. Instead, I have to do such important things like kill drudges! Gee, THAT’s a new one!

Here’s the problem: drudges are invading! And we can’t have that…they’ve been known to stand around in the same place for hours at a time!

Honestly people, these guys aren’t a menace. They’re vagrants. What are they doing that’s so bad? Standing in the road? C’mon, lay off the drudges. It’s not like they’re macroing or anything! Oh, sure – it starts out innocently enough. Today we’re clearing the road of an ‘incursion.’ Tomorrow, maybe we’ll wipe out an annoying Drudge Warlord in his chamber. Next week? Let’s put the Tumeroks in work camps!

What kind of facist goombahs have we let run things above the surface? I mean, who was the genius that was the first one out of our safe caves who said, “Hey, see those guys over there trying to crack the trunk of the tree with their foreheads? I’ve got an idea! Let’s put THEM in charge!”

What were you thinking?

I’ll tell you what we need to do: first, wipe out anyone with that symbol above their head. You know what that symbol is? That’s right, a question mark. Know who else was fond of them?


This guy.

You want to sign on board with that dork? Go right ahead; me and the rest of the Super Friends will be sitting over here laughing at your dumb butt. Riddle me this, goombah: who’s stupid enough to listen to the brain-damaged guy who stands in the same place and gets mugged about fifty times a day? You know what that question mark really means? It means, “Help – I’m so stupid that breathing just seems like too great a challenge! Would you go risk your life to get back my sketchbook please? I drew some really rad pictures of a unicorn! Maybe I’ll show them to you if you get it!”

30 Apr 2003

You Have To Admit, It Would Explain a Lot…

I think I’m getting old.

No, no, it’s true. Suddenly it seems like I’m a cranky, difficult-to-please grumpy jerk.

I suppose I first noticed it when the whole ‘Bottom’ fiasco was going on. But now… now, I find myself dissatisfied with the quality of a game. For the first time, I’m going to stop playing a game because the bugs bother me too much.

And this is me we’re talking about. I may not like things, but rarely do I out and out criticize them… okay, okay, that’s a lie. But in the words of the great philosopher and famous mariner Popeye: “I’ve had alls I can stands and I can’t stands no more!”

I think the problem is that I really love the game! That’s what’s bugging me. I am enjoying the heck out of it. It’s got me all excited about calculating the perfect template again, and researching things on the web, and scanning message boards looking for advice – stuff I haven’t done since AC!

Yup, I’m totally into the game. Problem is, I can’t get into the game – no, literally! I have trouble because the login servers are always down. And if they’re not down, then the lag on the server is completely unplayable. Bungee-cording might be cool off a bridge, but in the middle of a fight, it’s a pain in the nether regions.

What really has been bugging me too is that the few times I’ve talked to people that claim to be UBI employees (or CSRs or whatever you call them), they keep denying that the problem is on their end.

“Are your settings properly configured?”
“Yes – I have everything set at it’s lowest possible configuration.”
“Ah. That’s probably the problem then.”
“…”
“You see, sometimes your computer can get jammed up trying to turn down the textures…”
“You’re just making this up, aren’t you?”
“I’m afraid so, sir.”

It’s like some demented version of the Parrot Sketch in Monty Python. I don’t know who these people are that claim they can help me, but every one of them I talk to keeps trying to tell me it’s my system, or my cable modem, or my ISP, or sun spots, or evil hate beams being sent to me from orbiting alien death ships that want to ruin my life.

It really makes me wonder where they get these CSRs.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to put a game like this together. I mean, if I have to match a pair of socks in my drawer, I’m breaking out in a cold sweat. And this game has some of the coolest, most original designs I’ve ever seen in a MOG. Some of the features – the guild cities, for example – are so cool, they make me hawt with lust.

Of course, I’d be lot hawter if they would actually allow me to partake of said hawtness instead of rebooting the servers, lagging all to hell, and just generally not working.

Then again, maybe that’s exactly why they released the game as buggy as it is. My hawtness has been known to intimidate a lot of people…

But really, this is a good game. There’s some great ideas here. Shadowbane is like the Pinocchio of MOGs. It has the possibility to become real.

But so far, it’s just running around, nose getting bigger, and slowly turning into an donkey. And you know what another word for donkey is, don’t you?

That’s right: burro.

25 Apr 2003