How I Imagine Subjective Discussions on MMOs Happen in Real-Time, Using Robots

My friend @FoxSynergy¬†posted that tweet I just linked, which essentially starts a comparison between GoLion and Voltron, two robots that are essentially the same, just edited for different audiences’ sensibilities.

This made me imagine the following scenario, in which new commenters bring up with what they think are better robots than the offering previous. After I thought about it, it seemed like an interesting parallel to MMO discussions.

——

Voltron < GoLion (the anime Voltron lions was based on) < Leopardon (Japanese live-action Spiderman) < Tauburn (Star Driver)¬†< Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar < Every Mobile Suit Gundam known to man, save for the G-Gundam series because that was the black sheep of Gundam < G-Gundam, because G-Gundam was the BEST HOTBLOODED anime in its time period. < Doraemon + his noncanonical dramatic ending due to the death of the mangaka who made Doraemon (technically a Robot) < Aquarion < Aquarion Evol¬†< Evangelion mecha < Every Super Sentai Robot known to man < Every Power Rangers¬†Zord and Megazord known to man (which is essentially the Super Sentai Robots, but fewer due to less seasons and with different names ) < The Daleks < The Cylons¬†< Peebo from Bioman (justified since people are starting to mention smaller bots) < CL4P-TP¬†< nanobots¬†< The Mighty Orbots¬†< Someone rereads the discussion from the end to the beginning and realizes people have diverged severely, and posits SDF-1 Macross as a response < argument ensues over the definition of “robot” versus “transforming ship” ¬†< random passerby mentions Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh¬†< CHOU TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE?¬†< I come in and talk about how my mom beats all of them because she hugs me and supports me and tells me she loves me. < Everyone sheds a tear and leaves to hug their mom.

Because Massively’s Commenting System Borked for Me…

Over on Massively, they recently asked about our favorite fluff items.

This was supposed to be my response:

Well… if you had to ask me about a few of my favorite fluff things…

*music is cued*

 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on  kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Pillows with chocobo feathers and string…

These are a few of my favorite fluff things!

Head of Onyxia and jump jet boot thrusters
Gygax Dice, Golems, and Tauren-made mustard
Golden guns, Furniture, Scepters of Kings

These are a few of my favorite fluff things!

When the dogs bite, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad…
I simply remember my favorite fluff things,
Then I don’t feel so bad!

Get Creative at Green Man Gaming to Win the Skyrim Expansion Dawnguard

Over on the official blog for Digital Content Provider Green Man Gaming, there’s a contest where folks can win a copy of the Dawnguard expansion for Skyrim if they can prove themselves creative enough to earn one.

They’ve set up a scenario that you must face armed with a bunch of random objects, and it’s up to you to creatively get out of a castle or hilariously die trying.

THE SCENARIO!

You are deep within the dark depths of a castle. This castle is inhabited by a Vampire Lord. By sheer dumb luck, mysticism and/or divine intervention (or Daedric if they were bored and wanted to see you squirm). You find yourself cornered in one room, crouched down behind some barrels, with the Vampire Lord nearby. He’s not seen you yet but if you try to sneak or run away he’ll spot you.

Within reach you find the following things (chosen by the workers of GMG with no knowledge of what they’re for) :

A Smurf
A Penrose Triangle
My Beard (it is bristly to the touch, and for the sake of the scenario, assume it’s not attached to my face)
A Flamingo (a living one, not a lawn ornament)
A Star-Nosed Mole
Some Mince Meat
A Batarang Lockpick
A Zombie Tooth
A Flatwhite
A Beach Ball (because Arun is going on holiday)

My submission to the contest:

“I am trapped, and I have all this to aid me?” I asked myself silently while shaking my head. “The Powers that be must truly want me dead.”

Crouched behind a stack of barrels, I know my end is coming near. A Vampire Lord seems to be laughing, as if he can sense life, but is playing with the thought of eating me. The smurf, mole, and flamingo begin to stir from a deep sleep, and so I must reason quickly and risk death in the attempt.

Seeing a bloody beard that appears to have come from a rugged fellow, I slathered the smurf in the blood, blinding him and quieting his protestations by gagging his mouth with the beard. I push him out into view, and watch him nearly trip over himself.

The vampire lord seemed amused at the flailing smurf.. “A bloodied, little blue man,” he mutters, as he picks the smurf up, “is the source of all that life? Amusing…” He spins around, admiring the smurf in light of a fire. “No matter, food is food.”

With his back turned to me, I found myself even luckier than I anticipated. I pushed the flamingo out into the open, and heard it cry as it ran in terror of me to an opposing corner of the room. The Lord turned around at the sound, perplexed at the creature, a miniature leg dangling from its mouth

It was time for the mole.

I stood up and threw the mole at the Vampire Lord’s face. The mole connected, struggling for something to hold on to while scratching the Lord’s face in the process. The Lord was distracted, grabbing the mole and hurling it at a stone wall.

With all my might and speed, I ran to the Lord and tackled it to the ground.

Raising the impossible Triangle of Penrose above my head, I set to work gouging the monster’s eye out with the impossibly swirling, sharp tip of the Triangle. The dead smurf caught in its mouth muffled the screams he made as I mercilessly robbed him of sight. With my would-be attacker incapacitated, I stabbed him in the heart, hoping the legends were true. The monster flails as I rend his undead flesh and sunder bone.

His heart, beating yet unliving all the same, required more force than a triangle could muster. I reached in, ripped it from the creature’s body, and crushed it with the flat end of the Triangle.

The Vampire Lord lay dead in front of me.

I was free to head for the door.

The startled flamingo kept its distance from me as I walked to the door. I grasped the handle and attempted to turn it.

The handle would not budge.

I felt for the lone lockpick in pocket, and took it out. “I wish I knew how to use these blasted things,” I said to myself, putting the lockpick back in my pocket.

Walking back to the barrels, I took stock of my new possessions. I took a swig of the flat white and lured the flamingo back to my corner with some minced meat. Petting my new friend, I rolled the beach ball at him, and he pushed it towards the wall playfully.

“It is going to be a long wait for an adventurer to come along,” I thought.

The ball, the flamingo and I were going to be fast friends indeed.

The Best LULZ can Sometimes be Found in the Worst Places

Insert statement about game forums generally being a Star Wars Quote about scum and villainy and hives.

Counter written introduction in order to place emphasis on important point of post.

Post point about the coolest forum threads being meta, and how Rift now has its own meta-thread about negativity and doomsaying from players.

Post link to said thread.

Mention that the Dev Tracker subcategory has a lot of mentions from amused members of Trion staff.

Smile.

Post the written post hoping that people will find this very short, meaningless post interesting and worthy of comments and love.

Feel lonely about the fact that time is spent writing such a post which has no inherent value other than self-referential and self-deprecating humor.

Cry in bed.

Slee…. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

10 Minutes with Angry Birds: Some Impressions

I spent ten minutes earlier playing Angry Birds on the iPod Touch of a friend. The game is available for play on the iPhone or iPod Touch, provided that your device has the proper updates required to play the game.

Angry Birds is a game starring a bunch of differently colored birds who are angry… angry at pigs who apparently have done something wrong. I do not know what these pigs did (probably mass genocide of birds?), but the introductory cutscene-type deal seemed unappealing and cartoony so I skipped it.

Most of the ten minutes I spent playing Angry Birds was actually comprised of listening to my friends tell me about the controls. Apparently, these furious fowl are willing to jump on a slingshot and have someone finger them into position to be released all cannon-like in order to obliterate some pigs. This smacks of many MMORPG tropes, such as the suicide mission trope and the band of heroic fowl trope. By comparison, World of Warcraft and LOTRO both have chickens in them, and I assume they are also rather angry at the misrepresentation of their species as a fowl race.

Much like other MMORPG’s before it, Angry Birds is actually quite the intriguing multiplayer game, but for a different reason entirely. It involves a system of gaming known as “sharing,” which is commonly unheard of in many MMORPG’s as it requires people to relinquish control of the game in order to allow other people equal time in completing or failing objectives. That said, the addition of a sort of ranking system to determine who should best be set in the sharing roster may become an intriguing development for the game, should its developers decide to implement it, as it opens up an entirely new metagame that can enthrall its sizable fanbase into playing.

With that, it can be said that Angry Birds is one of the most innovative MMORPG’s I’ve had the experience of playing. Despite its lack of a crafting system and its rather lackluster quest implementation, Angry Birds serves as the immutable metaphor for the human spirit, as man, like an Angry Bird, must learn to overcome obstacles together in order to succeed in killing people who want to do other things which you disagree with.

 

EDIT: For the record, I do not take money from Rovio. They have not paid me to say anything. But I would like some money, so if you could send some my way, that’d be nice, Rovio. :)

Thrift: Prize of the Compliant NDA Released by SquickyLeak

This NDA is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to non-disclosure agreements, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Also, this was inspired by True Events. Truly.

 

Dear User,

Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the beta testing process for Thrift: Prize of the Compliant.

In order to participate in the pre-release testing of Thrift: Prize of the Compliant, you must read, UNDERSTAND (we cannot stress this enough, dear user), and accept the following Terms of Use, License Information, and Non-Disclosure Agreement below. Don’t just skip to the end and press “Accept” (especially since we did not put an Accept button at the end of this thing). If you are already itching to scroll at the bottom, feel free to ignore this warning at the cost of your soul. By clicking the “Agree” button below, you agree to be legally bound by the terms of this agreement.

TERMS OF USE, LICENSING INFORMATION AND NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT FOR THE TESTING OF A PRE-RELEASE GAME

Three Ton Birds Corp. (henceforth known as “The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements”) has developed and designed the pre-release version of Thrift: Prize of the Compliant (henceforth known as “the game”) to allow a set number of people to test the feature set, capabilities, and performance of the game, as well as the ability of individuals to resist bringing up their sense of entitlement on beta forums. By clicking on the “Agree” button below,

1. You promise that you are at least 18 years of age, hopefully mature and sensible enough to understand the legal and long-term repercussions of your actions, are not a principal or employee of The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements, and are doing this on a voluntary basis, without expecting remuneration, compensation, or gratitude from the gaming public at large. If you are not, you should not have attempted to enter the beta to begin with.

2. You accept that The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements has the power to accept or revoke your access at any time for whatever reason they see fit, and y0u cannot throw a bitch fit on the forums or your personal blog as a result of such. If you are accepted, you also agree this agreement is a binding contract between you and The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements.

3. You acknowledge that your participation on the beta will require some access on the part of The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements to your computer specifications and DXDiag information, and will not throw a bitch fit at the fact that the pre-release program is a complex piece of technological work that cannot be tested by one single company on every computer specification setup known to man.

4. You acknowledge that The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements may, at its discretion, choose to charge a fee to acquire the beta software and/or gain access into the pre-release testing program. Again, you also agree to not throw a bitch fit if such a thing, rare as it is, happens in the future.

5. You accept that The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements may choose to move the pre-release testing dates to better facilitate the remedy of any issues that have come up as a result of internal and prior beta testing, and will not throw a bitch fit if such a thing does occur during the pre-release testing phase.

6. You will not throw a bitch fit if something doesn’t work because HELLO… It’s a freaking beta.

7. You agree to the terms of the agreement as indicated below.

AGREEMENT

Licensing Information.

You have a license to use this software, but The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements made it, so it’s The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements’ intellectual property. Don’t steal our stuff, and we won’t sue you.

You also agree to indemnify (not hold us responsible) for any losses you may incur as a result of losing this software. This includes sleep you may give up, family you may neglect, and money you may gamble on our future e-sport venture based on the game.

You hereby agree to test the shit out of this pre-release version. Break anything you can in-game, spot every spelling and grammar mistake available, and point out any other screwups The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements¬† has made, and make sure you note these either in-game through the bug report system or through the beta forums. Just please, for the love of everything good in this world, don’t simply complain about it. Make your beta issue report as detailed as possible in order for us to determine how to best replicate the bug and fix it on our end.

Confidentiality

Much like Fight Club, the only rule of our confidentiality agreement is that you don’t talk about beta, at all, except on our beta forums. Not on Twitter, Facebook, the game’s regular forums… NOWHERE ELSE EXCEPT THE BETA FORUMS or in a court of law as mandated by your respective governmental body. When we drop the NDA, then you can talk all you want, but not before.

Warranty (actually, the lack thereof)

You acknowledge that the game is a beta version, and will not throw a bitch fit if something doesn’t work. Yes, this is the second time this has been mentioned, because no one wants added stress from dealing with idiocy on a daily basis. If something doesn’t work, tell The Company who wishes you would read, understand, and comply with the following statements through the proper channels mentioned above.

Miscellaneous

Break anything in the agreement above, and we will find you and make you pay… Oh, will we make you pay. Mwahahahaha!

[Agree] [Disagree]

Another Definition of Fun: The Troubled Life of Blackrod LeDouche

The title of this piece is off-putting, I know. Bear with me though because I’m not telling the story of my character. I’m telling the tale of how my cousin found fun in New Vegas with an hour and thirty minute time limit.

You see, my teenaged cousin (who wishes to not be named) spent an evening here at my house recently, and I observed him while he played Fallout: New Vegas on the PC. It was his first time to play New Vegas, and he only had an hour and a half to go before he had to go to sleep (long story), so he basically did everything I was not expecting out of a gamer.

He set out to create a character so unlike any other I’ve ever met. Strangely enough though, during my watch of his playthrough, I kept thinking that his character looked a lot like the Hispanic porn star from the movie Boogie Nights (Luis Guzman, pictured here). Of course, all my cousin heard was that he looked like a porn star, and so, Blackrod Ledouche was born.

Blackrod Ledouche: the man, the legend

My cousin quipped that Blackrod was now an amnesiac former pornstar who took part in the straight-to-video release of Ghouls Gone Wild 6. That statement has absolutely no bearing on the play session, but seemed fitting for the setting and took note of it.

Of course, Blackrod’s first order of business upon leaving Doc Mitchell’s House was to relieve Easy Pete of his revolver and dynamite, and does so by shooting the old man in the head. After doing so, he takes the starting quest for the Gecko killing mission, and pickpockets a live stick of dynamite into Sunny Smiles’ pants. He then follows this up by taking the newly acquired Leather armor off of Sunny Smiles and goes back into town, taking down Trudy and a random settler.

Moving into the next door general store, he performs a sneak critical on Chet, the shopkeeper, who has his head blown off. Remembering his roots (and perhaps what it feels like to have his head blown off, wink wink nudge nudge), Blackrod proceeds to mount Chet onto the countertop, where he promptly begins mounting him again.

Blackrod Ledouche Relives a Sliver of the Past

I forgot to mention this earlier, but Blackrod also teabagged the corpse of Sunny Smiles before taking her armor off, which was a bit weird.

The intrepid amnesiac ended his playtime with a jaunt to Primm, where he promptly stole some Power Ganger outfits, killed NCR soldiers, and finally, realizing the futility of it all, took a frag mine, activated and stood on top of it, and promptly fired into the ground, setting the mine off, and killing his crippled Blackrod body.

 

While I would never play a game in such a manner, I think it’s nice that someone can actually do that sort of thing in a game. Sure it may be weird or unsightly, but the alternative to this sort of¬† “fun” might be to experiment with real people, and I could never live in such a world.

Double Hyper Video Cast Off: Monster Forest (or I Wish I was a Drinking Man)

A bit of a backgrounder: I found these videos on Rock, Paper, Shotgun and basically, it’s an informational-advert/softcore cosplay porn video for a free-to-play Online Game, featuring a Singaporean model named Kanny. The game is essentially online Pokemon, and the ad is quite… informative, if not weird.

A better description of Kanny from FivePlayers’ Emily:

You may know Kanny from such Channel 8 hits as Nanny Daddy or ‚Äúthose pictures on your harddrive‚ÄĚ. She‚Äôs a D-cup Singapore model that looks a bit like a combination of an 8 year old sucked out of Spirited Away and an 18 year old in some kind of Spirited Away-themed straight-to-video gravure title. She‚Äôs been hired on as the game‚Äôs celebrity GM.

A quick Google search reveals that she also has a public Facebook page and spends way too much time with Monster Forest’s mascot.

Anyway, some videos of Kanny and Monster Forest:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_sOL98X-Zs]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnrZK7Ngl9Q]