Thursday, July 31, 2008

Occasionally, people ask me if I ever participate in Ballista.

It seems some people want to challenge me without me using my GM powers.

That sounds really stupid. Why would I fight anyone without using my GM powers?

That's why I have them.

You don't see a professional boxer saying "Hey, it'd be fun to try fighting without using my hands."

No. They just punch people in the face.

I used to enjoy Ballista. Nothing like logging in and killing all the people I hate (read: everyone).

And they show up for it. Hell, they rush right on out for it.

That's incredibly convenient. It saves me so much time as now I don't have to chase them down before I murder them in the face.

However, you'll notice I said I USED to like Ballista.

I showed up one fine morning and noticed another Dragoon by the name of "Psylex" on the opposite team.

Now I usually don't duel other Dragoons. I play Dragoon and I really don't like killing one of my own.

We stick together. We're like a family.

Plus, I really hate watching wyverns die.

It doesn't make me cry, I swear.

Since I usually try not to bother (read: annihilate) other Dragoons, I started to keep my distance.

Then something weird happened.

This guy respectfully requested a one on one with me.


How do you respectfully request a fight like that?

"Please, sir. Could you be so kind as to kick my ass?"

Still, I agreed since he seemed like a semi-intelligent person.

We head off to a secluded spot where we won't be interrupted by retards actually trying to score petras.

People who play by keeping score make me sick.

Anyway, we /bow, draw our weapons, and commence.

3 seconds later I'm in the dirt.

Psylex>> You should try getting some more practice in. You were kinda slow with the macros there.
[GM]Dave>> *grumble*

I get up, re-summon my wyvern and head back over to make him pay.

Oh, how he would pay. I was already imagining the terrible things I was going to make Jormy do to him after the match.

I'm kidding. I am a good sport about losing as long as I'm not the one doing it.

I'm kidding again. I'm never a good sport.

He would have to pay...

Round 2: This time I last 8 seconds.

I think because his High Jump timer wasn't up yet.

Psylex>> Not bad, man. Go again?

Round 3 doesn't go any better.

Nor do rounds 4 through 7.

Time to bring out the big guns. And by "the big guns", I mean my big purple dragon. And by "bring out", I mean feed.

As I drag over Susan's computer and log onto my GM character I get hit by an idea. Why bring out another dragon when there is already one flying over his head?

Yes, my brilliance amazes even me sometimes.

Psylex>> Hey, no hard feelings, right?
[GM]Dave>> ... Right...
[GM]Dave>> You sure did kick my ass.
Psylex>> Yeah, Nanaja and I make a good team.
Psylex>> We fight almost like one single entity.
[GM]Dave>> Are you a fan of irony?
Psylex>> What do you mean?

Nanaja hits Psylex for 10,946 points of damage.
Psylex was defeated by Nanaja.

[GM]Dave>> Now you really ARE one entity. Enjoy being digested.
[GM]Dave>> We should do this again sometime.

Screw family. The winner of any fight is the one who doesn't get eaten.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twist and Shout

After my last post, a few readers asked me what exactly constitutes a "stupid" Whitegate shout.

We're gonna need a bigger blog.

Something about Whitegate (and, by extension, Al Zahbi) just brings out the worst in people. Players who are usually more reserved with their outbursts just seem to lose their minds in such a busy city.

It's really kind of sad.

Now, I might not generally mind the shouting in Whitegate if it wasn't utterly retarded.

That's a mighty big if.

Thus, I give you:

[GM]Dave's Top Three Dumbest Whitegate Shouts

1) The "I don 't have any friends" shout

This is one a lot of people are guilty of. You've probably also seen it on a daily (or even hourly) basis.

Player>> (Insert name of incredibly difficult mission/quest) (( Do you need it? )) 1/18

This shout is telling the entire zone that you cannot collect enough friends together to actually run an event so now you're stuck trying to form an entire alliance out of thin air.

Hey, this event usually involves having a highly organized, well tuned HNMLS with a proven strategy for winning! Maybe I can duplicate this success with people chosen randomly!

Step 1) Shout.
Step 2) Shout some more
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Profit!

It's just that simple.

Also, saying 1/18 is just plain stupid. We know you're going.

You're the guy shouting.


2) The "This is ebay, right?" shout

I get the thrill of the deal. That moment when you buy something great for much less than it's actually worth is incredible.

For example, I like to bid low on AH items in hopes that I might find a huge bargain.

That's cool.

But every day, I see morons who just expect to have deals like this fall into their laps.

Player>> (Insert name of incredibly expensive item) (( Can I have it? )) (Insert insanely low price)

Do you think people are just going to give you things? Do you think people stand around hoping to trade their items for retardedly low prices?

Wouldn't they just put them on the AH?

Stop shouting. Not only will you not find a good deal this way, now everyone in the zone knows you're an idiot.

They probably shouldn't figure that out until they party with you.

While we appreciate the advance notice of your stupidity, please just shut up.


3) The "Anything said right before a Besieged ever in the history of the world ever" shout

Hey, the beastmen are about to attack our city. We have to fight them off and protect Al Zahbi.

What should we do first?

That's it! Let's shout bad internet memes and popular cultures references at them!

You're a freakin' genius!

There are too many of these shouts to name, but here is a small sampling.


Player>> GO JOE!

Player>> FOR FRODO!

If you have ever said any of these things ever, please do me the small favor of dying in a fire.

Feel free to shout stupid things while you do.

We get it, okay? There's bad guys coming. We have to fight them.

That's enough for us. We don't need you screaming quotes from Ghostbusters.

Seriously. When Besieged is about to start, just walk away from your computer. You can come back when it's time to fight.


I hope this has been educational for you. I hope you have either:

a) appreciated my perspective on shouts you also hate

b) learned that these shouts are not acceptable


c) died in a fire

Learning is fun.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Me And The Dust Bunnies

Damn. Did anyone happen to get the license number of the truck that just hit me?

Seriously, this has been a seriously messed up weekend. I couldn't even begin to explain what happened.

It all started Friday evening when Susan decided to invent a new drinking game. It's called "drink whenever someone shouts something stupid in Whitegate".

I think I almost died.

This morning, I woke up behind my couch.

Not on it. Behind it.

Do you know what it's like to wake up behind a couch?

I hope not.

It is not pleasant.

On the bright side, I did find the iPod that I lost a month ago.

So, if I had promised anything to anyone that would be done this weekend... Yeah... Not exactly going to happen.

My goal for the day is not to throw up, pass out, and wake up behind furniture.

I'm pacing myself.

Man, weekends are awesome.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Okay, time for me to rant. You may want to sit down for this one.

Who am I kidding? We're all sitting down. Half of us haven't gotten up in the past five hours.

So, Susan asked me if I wanted to go to the mall with her.

Then she told me the answer was yes.

This struck me as kind of funny since I was pretty sure my answer should have been no, but who am I to make my own decisions?

That's what wives are for.

(Author's note: I hope you laughed at that because I'm going to be sleeping on the couch)

Anyway, as we walked around the mall, something caught my eye. A mother was walking through the mall with her son who looked to be about 3 years old.

Why was this worth discussing you might ask?

Because she had the child on a f--king leash!

A leash. As in a length of rope attached to her child.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Seriously, is this something we're doing now? Did I miss the memo where it was okay to treat children like pets?

Sure, it helps keep your child safe in a crowded area. It keeps them from getting lost.

Do you know what else keeps that from happening?


All you have to do is watch the kid. Just watch them.

Do you see your child?

If you said yes, then your child is fine.

If you said no, then go find your damned child.

But why even bother to watch your child when you can just reel them in any time you feel like it.

Who needs good parenting when you have a harness and a length of rope?

Uh oh, Billy went out of sight. Better reel that fat bastard in.

Speaking of which, given the current epidemic of childhood obesity, what the hell is a leash going to do?

You can pull as hard as you like. Your buffalo of a child ain't coming.

I guess you could just follow the leash until you find them. They probably didn't get far.

Hurray! The leash triumphs over actually taking care of your kids again.

Let's not even consider what wearing a harness and leash in public is doing to your child's development.

Do you know what happens to kids who wear harnesses when they're children?

The become the teenagers that wear leashes.

Yeah... Them.

Good parenting there, mom.

The part that really bothered me about the whole thing was the harness itself. The whole thing was designed to look like a teddy bear wrapped around their kid.

Do they think this is fooling anyone?

Oh, that's not an act of terrible child neglect. That just cute is what it is.

Putting a teddy bear on the harness doesn't make it any less demeaning.

Actually, it makes it a little more demeaning because now you're suggesting your kid is too retarded to figure out they're wearing a leash.

Kid>> Wow. This sure is an awesome teddy bear.
Kid>> Strapped to my back...
Kid>> And attached to twenty feet of rope...
Kid>> Nope. Nothing wrong there.

Listen, we all know it's a leash. You can call it a harness or a safety restraint or whatever. You can wrap it in teddy bears or Hello Kitty or whatever other bullshit you think is a-goddamn-dorable.

It's a leash.

You have your child on a leash.

Screw it. Let's just go the whole way with it. Forget the leash. I say we start using choke chains.

One good yank and it'll be easy to find your kid.

He'll be the huge lump lying on the floor gasping for air.

Now, that's parenting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Think I'm Paranoid

I'm not sure what it is about FFXI, and MMORPGs in general, that makes people so damned paranoid.

Anyone who has played FFXI for any serious amount of time knows what I'm talking about. You get so fixated on what you're doing that you start to assume every other player is trying to stop you.

Something just seems to break when people log in. All logical thought just evaporates and suddenly everyone is out to get you.

Oh hey! You're camping an NM.

See that guy? That guy that just ran past you?

He's trying to steal your NM.

Oh, it doesn't matter that he didn't stop. He's just being sneaky.

It doesn't even occur to you that he might not even want the thing that you want.

I mean, you want it. It is a thing worth wanting.

Therefore, everyone else must want it as well.

Those bastards.

Now, before you start trying to explain how you're not like that and that you're not paranoid at all, think about the last time you were camping an NM.

Think about how your finger began to shake as it hovered over your macro key the very second you saw another player.

Sure, you're bound to be right some of the time. If you're in Maze of Shakrami, in a big empty room and five guys are standing in a circle staring at one spot, you can be pretty sure they're not there for the scenery.

Guy1>> Holy shit!
Guy1>> Do you see that rock?
Guy2>> Which one?
Guy1>> The brown one.
Guy2>> They're all brown.
Guy1>> Yeah, but the really cool brown one.
Guy2>> Where is it?
Guy1>> Do you see where we've been looking for the past 7 hours?
Guy2>> Yeah...
Guy1>> Right there.
Guy2>> Oh...
Guy2>> That is pretty awesome.

But that doesn't mean everyone is out to dick you over.


Paranoia just seems to be one of those things that comes along with MMORPGs. You spend so much of your in game time trying to obtain things that are difficult to get.

Because they are so either helpful/valuable, these items are highly desirable to all players.

Therefore, anything you want, everyone else wants.

Now, it's you versus a server.

Good freakin' luck.

The funny part is most of the time no one is trying to beat you. Most of the time, you're just sitting in the zone alone going crazy waiting for someone to show up.

But they're all busy trying to screw over other people.

And it doesn't have to be an NM. Being paranoid while NM camping is at least a little understandable. They drop some pretty good items and can be highly sought after.

Most of us get paranoid when we're doing ANYTHING.

Farming silk threads? Hope you brought medication.

Any time you're farming, every player you see becomes your worst enemy. It could be one of the most highly trafficked areas in the game and you're still paranoid as shit that someone is going to take your mobs.

How dare they even be in your f--king zone?

We all do it. We try and act all cool like it doesn't bother us, but every time we see someone near our mobs, we get angry.

And it's not like there's not enough to go around. There are a bajillion of the things running all over the place. You can't through a pebble and not hit one.

But that shit doesn't matter. They're stealing your mobs.

Those bastards.

Now, you might be saying to yourself that I admit doing it, too. I get upset just like everyone else.

Do you know what I don't do, though?


Be paranoid all you freaking like. Have fun.

We'll start a facebook group.

But stop making GM calls about every other idiot who happens to be in the same zone as you.

They're not doing anything wrong. They're allowed in the zone, too.

This isn't FFXIbetternotseeanotherdamnedpersoninmygame.

It wouldn't fit on the box.

Every day, every single day, I get GM calls from absolute morons reporting people for doing nothing other than being in the same zone as them.

And lord forbid they're farming the same things.

One guy suggested we nuke an entire country.

I'll let you guess which one.

I'll give you a hint: they really, really like Chinese food there. But they just call it food.

I realize that I, too, am given to my bouts of anger.

You're shocked. I can tell.

But even I have to question bombing an entire country because one guy happened to be in Gusgen Mines with you.

Find another way to vent your anger.

Start a blog or something.

Today, I was at work. I say "at work" because I was only there. I wasn't actually doing any work.

Doing work is for suckers.

Instead, I was playing a game of [GM]Dave's beer pong with myself.

The game is very similar to regular beer pong, but instead of beer, you use Jack Daniel's and instead of pong, you just drink a whole freaking lot.

I hear they're working on a Wii game.

So, I'm up 15-12 against myself, when he game was called on account of stupid.



GM Call Description: botter in Gusgen Mines.

I immediately knew I was not going to be happy about this. Over the years, I've developed a sort of sixth sense about these things.

*whispers* I see retarded people.

But, since it was close to intermission in my game, I decided I might as well answer one call today.

That's what they pay me for.

I think.

[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> I understand you reported a bot.
Player>> That's right.
[GM]Dave>> Okay. Before we begin, I have to ask a few questions.
[GM]Dave>> It helps us ascertain the type of bot we're dealing with.
Player>> Okay.
[GM]Dave>> Did the bot, at any time, make any wise cracks?
Player>> Wise... cracks?
[GM]Dave>> Just answer the question.
[GM]Dave>> Did he make any wise cracks?
[GM]Dave>> Make any comments about "no disassemble"?
[GM]Dave>> Dance in a circle with Ally Sheedy?
Player>> ... No.
[GM]Dave>> Okay...
[GM]Dave>> Did he shoot a gun several times without reloading?
[GM]Dave>> Maybe say "Come with me if you want to live"?
Player>> No.
[GM]Dave>> Damn.
[GM]Dave>> That would have been awesome.
Player>> I don't really see wha...
[GM]Dave>> It's procedure.
[GM]Dave>> Oh, was he traveling with an astrodroid?
Player>> No.
[GM]Dave>> I guess these aren't the droids I'm looking for.
[GM]Dave>> See, that's funny because...
Player>> Yeah.
Player>> I get it.
Player>> Listen. He was a hume ninja.
Player>> He looked to be around level 55 or so.
[GM]Dave>> Wait... A hume?
[GM]Dave>> You reported a bot.
Player>> Well, he's botting.
[GM]Dave>> Botting?
[GM]Dave>> We're just making up verbs now?
Player>> No. Botting.
Player>> Everyone knows the word "botting".
[GM]Dave>> Wait... Is that that dance where you act like a robot.
[GM]Dave>> I love that dance.
Player>> No, that's not...
[GM]Dave>> So you want to report a player for dancing?
Player>> No. I want to report him for botting.
[GM]Dave>> I'm confused.
[GM]Dave>> Was he botting or dancing?
Player>> He was botting.
[GM]Dave>> Why didn't you say that?
[GM]Dave>> Why'd you start talking about dancing?
Player>> I didn't.
[GM]Dave>> Didn't what?
Player>> Talk about dancing.
[GM]Dave>> So he was dancing?
Player>> NO!
[GM]Dave>> Not dancing?
[GM]Dave>> Then why did you report him for dancing?
Player>> I DIDN'T!
[GM]Dave>> I'm not familiar with the term "botting".
Player>> ... Well, the other player was botting...
[GM]Dave>> Wait... Is that that dance where you act like a robot?
[GM]Dave>> I love that dance.
[GM]Dave>> Who said anything about dancing?
[GM]Dave>> Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down.
[GM]Dave>> I do that.
[GM]Dave>> Can you describe what he was doing?
Player>> Fine...
Player>> Every time I ran for a mining point, he was already there.
Player>> I checked every point I could reach and he got them all.
Player>> He's obviously botting.
[GM]Dave>> That seems awfully complicated.
Player>> Well, those botting programs can be really sophisticated.
[GM]Dave>> So... He was mining the same points you were mining...
[GM]Dave>> And that means he's a bot?
Player>> Obviously.
[GM]Dave>> He couldn't just be better than you?
[GM]Dave>> He must be a bot.
Player>> He has to be.
Player>> He went to every point I went to.
[GM]Dave>> Okay, funny question...
[GM]Dave>> Wouldn't that mean you're a bot?
Player>> Of course not.
Player>> Would a bot make a GM call?
[GM]Dave>> Well, those botting programs can be really sophisticated.
Player>> I'm not a bot!
[GM]Dave>> I assume that's what they'd program a bot to say.
[GM]Dave>> Who'd make a bot that says "I'm totally a bot"?
[GM]Dave>> That would be stupid.
[GM]Dave>> Calm down, calm down.
[GM]Dave>> You'll blow a chip or something.
Player>> I'M NOT A BOT!
[GM]Dave>> Do not worry.
[GM]Dave>> We have a simple test to determine if you are a bot.
Player>> Thank God!
Player>> for a second there, I thought you were going...


Area: Mordion Gaol.

Player>> Oh no...

Jormungand hits Player for 16,709 points of damage.
Player was defeated by Jormungand.

[GM]Dave>> Good news.
[GM]Dave>> He says you're too squishy to be a bot.
[GM]Dave>> I'm sorry.
[GM]Dave>> Seems we have a problem with filing a false report.
[GM]Dave>> Let me read this over...
[GM]Dave>> Something about dancing...

I'm pretty sure he shot himself.

I mean, I have no way of knowing that, but that's how it ends in my head.

It's funnier that way.

See, guys, not everyone is out to get you.

Just me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Before we get started, I should give you a little warning. This is the product of an actual conversation between a friend and I while we were drinking. Heavily.

Though the material discussed is of a fairly adult nature, I'm going to try and distill down the major points so the post should remain work safe. I am going to be using a few words that might throw up some flags so proceed at your own risk.

Also, though the material deals with the nature of sexuality, our discussion was purely theoretical and should not be taken as judgmental. I'm cool with everybody.

There. I think that covers all my bases.

Oh yeah... Don't do drugs.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

So last night, I went out drinking with my friend Brad.

Yes, the same Brad from my review of the movie Wanted.

I decided to continue being friends with Brad because:

a) very few people can actually stand my ranting

b) I routinely make poor decisions.

Anyway, we're drinking pretty heavy. I'm not sure exactly how much we drank, but this morning I found a note from my liver telling me to go screw myself.


As seems to be a pattern to nights when Brad and I go drinking together, the conversation just starts getting stranger and stranger as the night went on. We had some rousing discussions on movies and also debated the finer points of the donkey punch.

Don't Google that.

So, it's getting particularly late and we're both pretty much gone. We're at that point where you're actually trying to decide if it might just be easier to die rather than moving.

That's when Brad started talking about lesbians.

That happens a lot.

Suddenly, an epiphany occurred to me. A thought that had never once occurred to me in all my many years.

[GM]Dave>> How do lesbians know when they're done having sex?

My mind was blown.

The following is an exact transcript of the actual conversation that occurred:

Brad>> What do you mean?
[GM]Dave>> When lesbians are having sex...
[GM]Dave>> How do they know when it's time to stop?
Brad>> Holy shit!
Brad>> How do they know?
[GM]Dave>> When a guy's involved there's a definite sign.
[GM]Dave>> It's like nature gave us a flare gun.
[GM]Dave>> "That's it, folks. Show's over. Nothing to see here."
Brad>> Some shows are shorter than others.
[GM]Dave>> Is that why your girlfriend looks so despressed all the time?
Brad>> ...
Brad>> ... Yeah.
[GM]Dave>> Ouch.
Brad>> Maybe they have a signal or something.
[GM]Dave>> Like what?
Brad>> I don't know.
Brad>> Like a hand signal.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> Let's just move on from that idea, shall we?
Brad>> That's probably a good idea.
[GM]Dave>> Maybe they just get bored.
[GM]Dave>> You know, they do their thing and then it just peters out.
Brad>> Maybe they get tired.
Brad>> It's all hot and bothered, and eventually just turns awkward.
[GM]Dave>> Directing lesbian porn must be extremely difficult.
[GM]Dave>> They just roll camera until they run out of tape.
[GM]Dave>> Or someone gets dehydrated.
Brad>> What if they both want to stop, but are afraid to say anything.
[GM]Dave>> Damn.
[GM]Dave>> They don't want to spoil the mood so they roll with it.
Brad>> They'd never stop.
[GM]Dave>> See, men at least have a nice bookend to the whole thing.
[GM]Dave>> There's very little confusion involved.
Brad>> Lesbians don't have that.
Brad>> They could just keep going and going...
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> We have the best conversations.
Brad>> I know.
Brad>> ...
Brad>> Did you see that new Batman movie yet?

I really wish I made this up.

I also wish this was the weirdest conversation Brad and I have ever had.

Sigh... I need new friends.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fan Packs GO!

The packs are sent!

And it's still Wednesday!

Barely, I know, but it is.

Hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, Calm The Hell Down

Yes, yes, yes. We all heard the news.

FFXIII is heading to the Xbox 360.

This is big news, huge news, EPIC NEWS!

Do you know what this isn't?

This isn't a bad thing.

I know, I know. You figured you'd hit the blog and I'd be ranting and raving about loyalty and heritage and how the Xbox sucks.

I do tend to rant.

But honestly, this isn't that big a deal. No matter how you look at it, this is still a good thing for pretty much everyone involved.

Well... Maybe not Sony.

Still though, FFXIII Versus (the second game to the FFXIII arc) is still a PS3 exclusive. So, SE taps into a new audience, the Xbox360 fan base, and, assuming they get hooked on FFXIII as easily as the Playstation fan base did, many people will cross sides in the console war to get the full experience.

Hence, Sony still wins. The PS3 player base will still purchase FFXIII for the PS3 and they might actually gain a number of people as 360 players come over.

And Microsoft comes out a winner as, for the first time, a single player Final Fantasy game will make its way to the Xbox console. Quite a few people on the fence about purchasing a 360 might be swayed by this announcement.

Of course, the biggest winner of all is Square Enix. They are able to open one of their most powerful and loved series to a whole new segment of the gaming population. They still get to tap into the heavy PS3 rpg fan base while perhaps broadening their horizons.

Am I a little wary? Sure.

Who knows what being on the Xbox 360 could do to a Final Fantasy title? Master Chief riding a Chocobo through Liberty City?

If that actually happens, I am totally not to blame.

Still, at face value, the whole thing sounds like a good move for everybody. I mean, you can feel free to go fanboy crazy and burn your favorite forums to the ground.

But really... This isn't that big a deal.

You know I love a good fight. I'd be right there with you guys, holding my pitchfork aloft and shouting obscenities.

I just don't see it this time.

I really think it's time we got past blind fanboyism and judged games based on merit and not on a misguided sense of loyalty.

On an unrelated note, tomorrow's post will be about how WoW is stupid.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fan Pack Update

Hi, this is [GM]Dave. I'm not here right now because I'm busy preparing the new fan pack.

The pack should be done either tomorrow or Wednesday.

That means Wednesday.

Probably late Wednesday.

I would say Tuesday, but we both know that would be a lie. I know it and you know it, and I'd just be insulting both of us if I said it.

So, Wednesday.

That means anyone who donates by Wednesday will receive this shiny new fan pack delivered to their inbox.

Note: the fan pack is not actually shiny.

And yes, usual rules apply. If you're late donating, don't sweat it. Just drop me an e-mail and I'll be happy to send the pack out to you.

Maybe next Tuesday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dynamis - Life

It's really funny how parts of your life start to resemble FFXI after a while.

I know they say that art imitates life, but honestly, anyone whose played this game at all will tell you how even the most mundane parts of everyday life start to resemble the game.

It's kind of like the Matrix, but without the latex clothing and two bad sequels.

Bah dump psshhhhh.

Yesterday, Susan and I got invited to a birthday party.

Actually, our daughter got invited to a birthday party.

Immediately, my mind filled with dread. Three hours of being chased around by ankle biters while you spend time trying to make sure your own ankle biter isn't off somewhere jamming a fork in an outlet or something.


On the way to the party though, something strange happened. I started to get this weird sense like I've done this all before.

That's when it hit me... Dynamis.

Actually, that's when Susan hit me. Apparently, I tend to let the car swerve into other lanes when I'm thinking.

She looks so cute when she's frightened for her life.

Anyway, we trudge all the way across town to the entry point. A number of individuals were gathering together because it wasn't quite time to enter.

I honestly half expected to see a mother casting Protect IV on her kid or something.

When time finally came, we each had to trade our item, Birthday Gift, to a small table near the door to gain entry.

As I zoned in, I found myself in a large group of parents trying to organize. The parents playing support roles stodd off to one side and the rest of us formed up near the front.

That's when I saw them...

Amongst the cold, lifeless terrain (of the Children's play centre), was a horde of children walking in slow, deliberate circles.

We couldn't spend three hours just staring at the children (despite my opinion that that sounded like the best course of action), so we sent one of the parents ahead to pull a manageable group of kids aside so they could be handled.

Unfortunately, he strayed into the aggro range of another kid and, before we could do anything, we had a massive link on our hands.

It was total chaos. Children running every which way. There were kids running with sticks, attacking people with bats.

It was crazy.

Our group tried to hold them off as best we could, but, in the end, their numbers just proved to be too much. We were overrun and eventually had a full party wipe.

And, from all of this, do you know what I learned?

I learned something very important.

Life might often times remind you of FFXI.

But people still freak out if you punch their kid in the face.

Good lesson that.

Seriously, though. That was one hell of a punch.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Completely Random

I had a very profound thought today and I wanted to share it with you.

I was wandering around the house between gaming sessions today and decided to turn on the television. Now, usually this would be incredibly pointless as television has basically been reduced to celebrities doing stupid things, but I was in the mood for non-interactive entertainment.

For the better part of an hour I watched a show called "Punk'd".

I watched that show because I could not find the remote.

Apparently, this was a show that was cool back when Ashton Kutcher was actually relevant to popular culture.

Man, that was a great two days, wasn't it?

The show basically revolves around Ashton Kutcher setting up famous celebrities in all sorts of crazy situations. Imagine Candid Camera, but with famous people and a douche bag in a trucker hat.

Anyway, as I watched this show, I actually had an epiphany. An idea suddenly occurred to me that put the entire show into context.

The show Punk'd is actually a barometer for your career as a celebrity.

See, the way the show goes is a really famous person gets tricked into acting very, very stupid and then Ashton Kutcher jumps out and he laughs, and the celebrities laugh, and I die a little inside.

But that's not the important part of my epiphany.

Every now and again, Ashton doesn't show up. The celebrity still gets pranked, but then they just say "you done got Punk'd" and they go to commercial.

This actually tells you how important you are as a celebrity.

If someone says "you got Punk'd" and you turn around, but Ashton Kutcher isn't there, then your career is pretty much over.

Instead, you got Punk'd by some guy Ashton Kutcher might have met once. Maybe.

Congratulations. You're not famous anymore.

Really, that should be a wake up call for people who still think they're celebrities. If Ashton Kutcher doesn't think you're even worth talking to for three and a half minutes, then you're not a celebrity.

Now, you're talking to some guy who picks up Ashton Kutcher's dry cleaning.

Give yourself a week and you'll be turning tricks behind a Dairy Queen.

But hey, at least you were on Punk'd. That's something, right?


Man, I need to find that remote.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

FFTA2 - My Impressions

I know I talked about having so many games I haven't played, but I went out and bought FFTA2 anyway. The way I see it, Final Fantasy games do not fall into the same category with other games, so that's all right.

Plus, it helps that I'm a total hypocrite and routinely make poor decisions.

First, a little background.

I loved the original Final Fantasy Tactics. It was my first real foray into the tactics genre and has since become the measuring stick against which I judge all other strategy RPGs.

It had everything. Deep gameplay, enthralling story, memorable characters, a giant robot.


Plus, you could use chocobos as party members. Any game where you can kick someone's ass using a chocobo is okay in my book.

So, when I heard they were making a sequel for the GBA, I immediately went out and bought it.

Even though the story wasn't as deep and complex as the original, I still loved the game. It was obviously a game tailored more towards a younger generation, but it still had enough substance to keep me hooked.

I actually mean hooked. Literally. There were a few times there where I was pretty sure I was physically addicted to that game.

Every spare minute I had that SP in my hand. The thing is probably still warm from my tight little grip.

I honestly thought I'd kicked the addiction. I hadn't played either of the games in almost a year.

Sure, I'd have my bad nights when I'd wake in a drunken stupor only to find my GBA in my hand and the screen still flashing with images of my Bangaa Dragoon.

But I thought I was over the worst of it.

Then... They made a new one.

It was everything I could do not to just tear the package open right there in the store.

Daddy needed a fix.

I. Love. This. Game.

I realize this is like a junky giving you a review of crystal meth, but damn.

Honestly, it's like they managed to find a happy medium between the enthralling political intrigue of the first game and the lighter kid-friendly plot of the second game. You still have that kid lost in a fantasy world theme, but there are a few moments that jump out at you and bring the story to a higher level.

Now, that's not to say everything is perfect. Oh hell no.

Your character is possibly the worst dressed Final Fantasy character of all time. He looks like his clothes were picked out by a group of blind clowns.

After FFXII, I was pretty sure they could never top Vaan's clothes for awkward battle attire.

I was wrong.

Is this what the product of increase cultural exchange has brought? Instead of incredibly ridiculous spiky blond hair, now we're given incredibly ridiculous clothing?

What do Japanese people think of us?

Now, you might be asking what my favorite part of the game is.

I don't care if you're not asking that question because I'm going to answer it anyway.

Why do you have to be difficult?

My favorite part: the Judges.

I know... You're shocked.

The Judges in this game are amazing. They randomly punish the player and make almost any action against the rules.

You can understand why that would amuse me.

Some of the laws make sense.

No fire. Okay, so I can't use fire this time. Not so bad.

No ice. Easy.

Some of them are mean.

No targeting an area. So your Black Mages and White Mages just became utterly useless.

Good luck.

Some of them are just plain cruel.

No missing? What the hell?

Literally, if you miss a target for any reason, you are found guilty of breaking the law.

Could you imagine that law in FFXI? There wouldn't be a Dark Knight left.

Bah dump psshhhh.

I think I'm going to sit down and make a list of all the laws I've seen in the game and then try them out in Vana'diel.

You know, some days this blog just writes itself.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Few Notes

Man, this has been a crazy weekend.

I decided the best way to celebrate Independence Day would be to get as absolutely drunk as possible. I'm not quite sure how that celebrates Independence Day, but it was a hell of a time.

Apparently, if you mix Jack Daniel's and Red Bull you create a beverage that is the liquid equivalent of cocaine.

At one point, I was positive I had gone Super Saiyan. My friend's later told me I stood in one spot for twenty minutes yelling "KAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAYYYYHAAAAAAAAAAA..."

I actually woke up under my bed.

Now, I'm waiting for the acetominophen to either kill my headache or me.

Either way.

Note: Kids, drink responsibly.

Those of you who sent me your wii friend codes may have noticed that I have not been online. I've been really busy lately and then, after my friends left, I noticed my wireless router that used to look like this
Now looks like this

Unfortunately, this means my Wii will be offline until I can actually afford to replace it or until I can find the person who spilled their drink on it and sell their internal organs.

Hopefully, one of those will be very soon.

When I woke up today (and crawled out from under the bed), Susan reminded me that I should probably get working on the fan pack. As usual, she was right. It's been close to three weeks since I sent out the last ones and I'm trying to stick with a four week schedule.

I don't work well with schedules. I think it may have something to do with my attention deficit cats are awesome.

Had to think there for a minute, didn't you?

Anyway, usual fan pack procedure applies. Anyone who donates $5 or more since the last fan pack will become a member of the [GM]Dave fan club.

But that's not all. Act now and receive a free fan pack! Yes, you can be the envy of all of your friends when you receive your very own [GM]Dave fan pack in your inbox.

The pack will contain a mix of items including:

-exclusive stories from [GM]Dave and Susan
-extra stories from GoblinSmithy and Pathfinder
-Volume 2 of the MMORPG survival guide
-movie and game reviews
-various pictures that I find funny
-much, much more*

note: actual amount of more may vary

I'd like to get some feedback on what you'd like to see in the fan pack. When you donate, use the comments to tell me what you'd like to see.

Some possible choices include:

1) all in game stories
2) all out of game stories
3) a nice mix
4) hardcore pornography

That was a joke. Don't pick pornography.

You're on the internet for crying out loud. It's right there.


And, as usual, the person who donates the most will have the opportunity to take part in the blog in some way. You can suggest story ideas, ask questions, receive exclusive, out-of-print fan packs... You name it.

But not porn.

You need to quit that. You're scaring me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

I'd like to take this time to wish everyone a happy independence day.

It is today that we get together with family and friends, and remember a day when people stood up for what is right, for freedom from oppression.

Against insurmountable odds, a dedicated few held strong and risked their lives for what they believed in.

And then Jeff Goldblum hacked into the alien mothership using his macbook.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Lottery

I'm sure many of you have read a classic short story called "The Lottery".

The story revolves around a small American town in which they have an annual town lottery where the head of each family draws lots and then the "winning" family members perform a second draw to determine the lucky "winner".

You know that those quotation marks can't be a good thing.

It seems this lottery has a quirky twist in which instead of receiving a large novelty check from Ed McMahon, the lucky winner gets stoned to death by everyone in the town including their own family.


Can you imagine a group that large organizing a giant lottery designed to select an individual winner only to end up killing that person?

Crazy, huh?

On an unrelated note, the Mog Bonanza numbers are out.

I've discussed the Mog Bonanza before.

I'm not sure what is wrong with people. We come up with a nice, fun event designed to brighten people's spirits and, instead it turns into a huge bitchfest.

I'm actually going to the devs and suggesting we just save time and actually call our next event Bitchfest 2008.

You didn't win. That is entirely the point.

If everyone won, then it wouldn't make much of a lottery, now would it?

This isn't the special olympics. You don't get a ribbon just for participating.

I know, I know. You bought ten marbles (lottery tickets). Then you went and made 15 mules and bought 10 marbles on each of those guys.

After you leveled them up to level 5.

So you spent:

1) $15 extra to actually create those extra 15 mules

2) $15 more to keep those mules active during June

3) possibly $15 more if you forgot to cancel them on June 30th when the winning numbers were announced

4) 160,000 gil buying marbles

5) hours leveling basically useless characters up to level 5

That means you deserve some sort of reward, right?


So very, very wrong.

You chose to do all of that. You chose to make 15 extra characters knowing it would cost you money and time, and you did it to hopefully increase your chances of winning.

That's the same thinking that leads people to spend their rent money on lottery tickets.

Do you know where those people are right now?

Neither do I.

I do know that they're probably not calling the lottery company to complain about their not winning.

That would be stupid.

In order to win the big prize, you had to match all 5 digits of the winning number.

If you are bitching about not winning, then I will assume you're also probably not very good at math, so let me explain odds to you.

The winning number had 5 digits.

Those digits ranged from 0 to 9.

This means that there were 100,000 total possible number combinations from 00000 to 99999.

I know those 16 characters with their 10 marbles seems like a lot. I mean, that's like 160 marbles.

I'm impressed.

Oh... Wait... 160 isn't close to 100,000 at all.

That's right.

I can see how someone would make that mistake.

Even if you went through the trouble of making 15 extra characters and getting the maximum number of marbles on all your characters AND got unique numbers for every marble, you still only had a 0.16 % chance of winning.

That means, again assuming you can't do math very well if you're still complaining, you had a 99.84 % chance of NOT winning.

That's a big number.

Someone with even a rudimentary knowledge of mathematics understand this and realize that it is perfectly logical that they did not win.

And yet, as soon as the winning numbers were announced, the GM Call queue went from this

GM Call Queue: 6 petitions pending across 4 servers.

to this

GM Call Queue: eleventy bajillion petitions pending across 87 servers. Seriously. I think there are people from WoW making GM calls to complain about not winning.

to this

GM Call Queue: just shoot yourself.

I have spent almost every working moment since explaining basic probability to eleventy bajillion people.

Some (read: all) of them may or may not have been fed to a dragon.

But honestly, I was expecting all of that. I was perfectly prepared for the epic bitchfest that would ensue after the winning numbers were announced.

If there's anything that doesn't surprise me, it's the depth of human stupidity.

Then, one last call came in.

I thought I had heard it all. I thought that nothing I could hear that day would catch me off guard.

I was wrong.

[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> What seems to be the problem?
Player>> It's about the Mog Bonanza.
[GM]Dave>> Sigh...
[GM]Dave>> How did you people not learn math?
[GM]Dave>> Were you sick that day?
Player>> I don't know what you mean.
[GM]Dave>> Well, you're making a GM call about losing a lottery.
[GM]Dave>> I can only assume this means you're bad at math.
[GM]Dave>> Or are perhaps retarded.
Player>> That's not it.
[GM]Dave>> It could be both.
[GM]Dave>> You could be retarded AND bad at math.
[GM]Dave>> Maybe you're like one of those idiot savants.
[GM]Dave>> Just minus the savant part.
Player>> I'm not complaining about losing.
[GM]Dave>> ... Oh.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> I think I might need a minute to process this.
[GM]Dave>> A call about the Mog Bonanza where someone isn't bitching about losing.
[GM]Dave>> I'm very sorry, sir. This doesn't happen.
[GM]Dave>> What can I do for you today?
Player>> I want to file a complaint.
[GM]Dave>> But you...
[GM]Dave>> You just said...
[GM]Dave>> You just said you didn't want to complain.
Player>> I said I don't want to file a complaint about losing.
Player>> I won.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> Oh lord.
Player>> I won a rank 1 prize and you guys won't give me my prize.
[GM]Dave>> ...
[GM]Dave>> I think my brain melted.
[GM]Dave>> What do you mean?
Player>> The moogle won't give me my 100,000,000 gil.
[GM]Dave>> Well, we said it would take a few days.
Player>> DAYS?!
Player>> I want my prize now.
Player>> NOW!
[GM]Dave>> Oh, I've got a prize for you.
[GM]Dave>> Have you ever read "The Lottery"?

I'm not sure how many times I fed him to Jormy, but I still don't think it was enough.

I fed his mules to Jormy.

I think I may have fed his sister to Jormy.

Not enough.

I'm right now shopping for airline tickets so I can go to the guy's house and give him his prize in person.

Maybe you guys would know: is a ballpeen hammer against airline regulations?