Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just... Random

On one of my exceedingly rare excursions into the wilderness of the real world, I noticed something very interesting.

I saw a number of bicycles parked near each other and they were chained to various objects to keep people from stealing them.

Makes sense, right?

The problem is with the variety of methods people use to lock them up.

There are two basic methods I've observed:

1) chain through the frame

This is the pretty standard method of chaining up a bike. You simply run your chain lock through the frame and around another object.

Preferably something immovable as that sort of is the point.

Also, preferably something inanimate as people tend to get all upset when you tie your bike to their dog or child.

This is a great method, but has one shortcoming in that people can remove and steal your front tire.

2) chain through the front tire

While less common, this is also an acceptable method for locking up your bike. You run the chain between the spokes so that people are unable to take your front wheel.

Sure, they can steal the frame (including the back wheel), but they won't get your front wheel.

Everyone knows that's the good one, right?

Now, you're probably saying to yourself "Self, this isn't really that interesting."

Here's where the problem arises.

Yes, your bicycle is protected from having one of its vital parts stolen. They are not able to make away with your entire bike.

But what stops somebody from stealing the frame of one bike and the front wheel of the one next to it?

Basically, they just have to commit two crimes instead of one.

Considering they're already in the process of stealing a bike, I don't think their conscience is really going to trouble them over it.

Are you betting on them being so incredibly lazy that they will be deterred by the prospect of removing two bolts?

Thief>> Aha! Free bike!
Thief>> Dammit. They have a chain through the wheel.
Thief>> And that one has a chain through everything except the wheel.
Thief>> Screw this. I'm missing Jeopardy.

Has no one thought of this before?

Am I breaking ground in the field of bicycle security?

Am I possibly losing what little sanity I had left?

Yeah, the answer to that last one is pretty obvious.

Side note: If you're planning on going outside, don't mix Final Fantasy Potion and Jack Daniel's.

That shit will mess you up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Thing... I Swear

Okay, this is the last thing I'm going to say about the whole duping controversy.

Wait... Controversy isn't the right word.

A controversy involves two sides that both have valid points.

What's the word for when one side has a valid point and the other side is a bunch of whiny little bitches?


I wanted to point out one of the dumbest arguments being made.

Then, once I have pointed it out, I'll make fun of it.

You know how this goes.

I don't know how many of you have been following the arguments about the bannings. I guess a lot of it would depend on whether or not you play FFXI.

Or were really, really bored.

I've actually enjoyed reading most of the discussions about it.

It's like watching a car accident. You just can't look away.

This car accident just happens to involve a short bus.

One of the most common points made by the anti-banning (read: whiny bitch) crowd is that SE has basically stolen or destroyed incredibly valuable accounts.

I'll admit, there are sites where you can sell your account for a chunk of cash.

If you think about it that way, I suppose one could think their account has a certain monetary value.

One guy who got banned had pretty much everything.

I mean everything.

No doubt, that account would have been worth a fortune.

I guess they sort of have a point there.

Well... They WOULD have a point.

They would have a point if it wasn't against like seventeen different rules to sell your account.

At the exact second you decided to try and sell your oh so valuable account, it would become entirely worthless.

See, we ban people for trying to sell their accounts for real world money.

We ban people for lots of things.

Though... I guess you already figured that out.


Your character does not have a real money value. It's not worth anything.

Yes, I know you paid a lot of money to play the game over the years.

Yes, I know you put a lot of time into that character.

Still not worth anything.

This isn't some sort of investment you're working on. You're playing a game.



The fees you pay each month are for the experience, for the hours you spend hanging out with friends and going on adventures.

You're paying for time so that you can work on that character.

This isn't a freaking secret or something.

We're not running some bait and switch where you went into this thinking you were creating a product to be sold later.

You bought a game.

You played a game.

Then... You got banned from a game.

Nobody owes you anything.

You got exactly what you paid for.

You got time.

Time's up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can't Talk. Working.

Work continues on fanpack.

First part of fanpack will be sent out tomorrow evening.

I should theoretically be able to sleep on Thursday.


But I'm really liking the fanpack. It's very funny.

It's probably worth all the lost sleep.


Anyway, I'm busy working on the fanpack. I'll let you get back to reading forum posts written by either:

a) whiny people who got banned
b) people making fun of whiny people who got banned

I like group b.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Aftermath

When last we left our hero, [GM]Dave was informed he would spend an entire day dealing with the fallout of the duping exploit related bannings.

He was unhappy.

Then he actually started dealing with customers.

He was VERY unhappy.

What in the sweet Jesus hell is wrong with people?

You know you did something wrong. This isn't a big freaking surprise to you.

You were in a party doing a difficult event. During that event, you did something completely unorthodox that magically made three identical treasure pools.

Are you honestly trying to plead ignorance here?


You must be joking.

Here. I've got a joke for you.

What's got extra Salvage gear, but no account?

950 people.

Bah dump psshhh.

All day long, I had to deal with the most retarded, most asinine excuses for this activity.

Or, my personal favorite, the people who tried to rationalize the cheating and why they shouldn't be banned.

Yeah... That'll work.

Let's take a look at some of my favorite excuses/arguments:

1) I didn't know it was an exploit

I could maybe buy that if it happened once.

Or if you reported it to a GM immediately.

That would make sense. Something unexpected happened and it fell outside the range of normal game mechanics.

You would, of course, stop doing this action and report it, right?

If it was a bad thing, we'd hear about it immediately.

Every other update, when something goes wrong, we get umpteen million calls about one tiny little thing that doesn't work properly.

That shit drives you guys crazy.

But a similar problem turns out to be beneficial for you?

Oh hell no. If you reported it, they might fix it.

So, you do it again and again, and then have the nerve to get upset when you get banned for it.

Funny how that works, huh?

2) I thought it was an intentional game mechanic

Yeah, we put in that thing that gives you triple the rewards for every kill in an event.

And totally didn't mention it.

That sounds totally like us.

Some people have likened this to fighting Odin and having to heal during a high damage move. They try and suggest that it is a less orthodox mechanic and could be mistaken for an intended action.


Let's just completely ignore the fact that one action is designed to mitigate damage and make it easier to defeat a boss, and the other magically gives you triple the drops after the fact.

If we ignore that part, your argument might start to resemble something passing for intelligence.

3) I was just doing what I was told


This is what you're going with?

Well, now we're telling you to stop playing.

Do that.

If you trusted someone else when they told you to do something entirely out of the ordinary and it produced completely insane results, something should have seemed wrong to you.

A little light should have gone off in your brain.

Maybe the light marked "Oh shit..."

You did what you were told and you did something wrong.

That's not an excuse.

4) SE made the mistake, not us

This is one of the big rationalizations people make.

This is also one of the dumbest.

Do you even understand the term "exploit"?

No one is suggesting you used a third party program. No one is suggesting you altered the program.

No one is suggesting you hacked our firewall or whatever.

You literally exploited a flaw in the programming. You found a mistake in a highly complex code and, rather than reporting it and leaving it alone, you took advantage or that flaw for your own gain.

This is the definition of an exploit.

There isn't a gamer on our planet that doesn't understand that exploits are bad and can get you banned.

Sure, someone made the mistake.

I get that.

Have you ever tried to program an MMORPG?

Neither have I, but it looks freaking hard.

People are bound to make mistakes.

As I mentioned before, if that mistake was bad for you, you would have reported it immediately. You'd be screaming at a GM in seconds.

You would expect us to fix that mistake immediately because it had unexpected consequences.

Like if the treasure pool autolotted to nobody.

Every time.

You would lose your mind.

But a similar flaw turns out to give you extra rewards?

Suddenly, that shit is someone else's problem.

And when it comes back to bite you in the ass, you turn around and act like the victim.


5) It's not against the rules

This is perfectly correct.

Except for that rule that says you can get banned for intentionally exploiting any bug or glitch in the game.

The rule you agreed to when you signed up.

Other than that, perfectly correct.

6) This is a disservice to all FFXI players

Give me a minute...

Laughing too hard.

This is not a disservice to all players.

This is a disservice to the people who got banned.

We have literally removed your service.

Everybody else? They're still good.

They all got to log in the next day.

Oh, I know. I know that the boards and forums are filling up with people outraged about the bannings.

I'd guess there are roughly 950 people making very angry posts.

Now, why does that number sound familiar?

Oh... Right.

Just because you are very angry about getting banned, it doesn't mean everyone is angry about it.

Actually, most people seem very pleased with this.

But I guess 950 people making angry posts about how unfair the whole thing is would seem like a lot.

I guess they have nothing better to do.

7) SE just threw away money

Yes, I realize that all the people who got banned paid their fees every month.

Doesn't matter.

Every cheater pays their fees. If they don't, they don't get to play.

Kind of hard to cheat if you don't play in the first place.

Thus, if someone is found to be cheating in the game, you can be pretty sure they have paid their fees.

And yet, they still get banned.


You'd think that SE thinks that the consistency of the game for the majority of the players is more important to them then the fees paid by those who would try and cheat.

Crazy, I know.

8) SE doesn't respect the players

Wait a second... Let's go back one.

SE is throwing away money to ban cheaters.

This suggests that SE puts the happiness of its players above any monetary gain.

They literally sacrificed money to ensure game balance.

For the players.

And then, in the same breath, you're suggesting that SE doesn't care about the players.

That doesn't make any sense.

This is called the "monkey technique".

Basically, they're just throwing shit at the wall and trying to see what sticks.

SE care about the players. They care about the customers.

You're just not a customer anymore.

9) This is going to...

You know what? Screw it.

You cheated.

And you know you cheated.

I know it. You know it.

We all know it.

You can make all the arguments you want. You can scream your excuses from the rooftops.

Just not any rooftops in Vana'diel.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Not much going on in the world today.

No, sir. Not much at all.

Really nothing to talk about.

There's honestly nothing going on in the gaming world. Especially when it comes to FFXI.




Okay... You may have noticed a wee little story about us banning almost a thousand players.

More of a blurb really.

Here's the official story:

In November 2008, we discovered an issue that allowed players to create multiple items for certain treasures and rewards in areas such as Salvage and Assault by exploiting the game system.

The issue was fixed during emergency maintenance on November 26, 2008. However, we discovered that some players had already exploited the issue and used it to gain additional items before it was addressed. We then investigated more than a year's worth of logs throughout all areas.

As a result of the investigation, approximately 400 players were temporarily suspended based on the evidence gathered. Approximately 550 players who committed more serious misconduct had their accounts banned.

We are working hard to ensure that these kinds of issues do not occur again in FINAL FANTASY XI. However, if you discover any problems with the game system, please submit a GM call or fill out the feedback e-mail form to report the problems to us, instead of exploiting or spreading the issue.

We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Here's the short version:

People cheated.

We banned them.


Pretty cut and dry, right? I mean, cheaters get banned.

That's how that shit is supposed to work.

Basically, a bunch of players discovered a bug where they could force the system to create duplicate drops in certain events.

This was, of course, completely against the rules.


So, yesterday, a whole bunch of people went to log in and got a nice little message labeled LM-17.

Something about a door and not letting it hit you in the ass on your way out.

I'm not sure who suggested the LM-17 message.

I suggested we fly to each player's house, kick them in the groin, and set their computer on fire.

Apparently, that just wasn't "cost effective".

Remember when it used to be about the customers?

And the groin kicking?

That was a better time.

No, I get to work and my supervisor comes in.

Supervisor>> People...
Supervisor>> We're banning almost 1,000 accounts today.

A ripple of cheers went though the crowd.

[GM]Someguy>> Why are we banning them?

He's new.

The new guys always need a reason to ban people.


Supervisor>> ...
Supervisor>> The duping exploit.

The cheers broke off suddenly. A grim silence covered the room.

Every head turned to look at Craig.

In November, Craig had been put in charge of reviewing logs for evidence of duping.

Thousands of logs.

Thousands upon thousands of logs.

As the weeks had dragged on, he'd started to fall apart.

Every day. Reading log after log.

The grammar.

Dear God, the grammar.

Sometimes, when the GM floor was quiet, you could hear him talking to himself.

And weeping.

But, as we all turned to look at him, we noticed something different.

He was smiling.

He looked like the old Craig again, like everything was back to normal.

Well... He wasn't wearing pants.

Healing takes time.

Hands flew to keyboards as we all logged into our accounts.

A thousand characters were about to be so much digital ruin.

My hand was already hovering over my Jormy macro when...

Supervisor>> No, no.
Supervisor>> It's been taken care of.

Taken care of?

Funny... I don't remember hearing anyone screaming.

[GM]Dave>> Sir...
[GM]Dave>> What exactly does that mean?
Supervisor>> We closed all of their accounts.
Supervisor>> And sent them letters.




[GM]Dave>> Sir... Another question...
[GM]Dave>> By "letters", do you mean "explosives"?
Supervisor>> No, Dave.
Supervisor>> No explosives.
[GM]Dave>> I don't think I understand...

He said a lot of words after that. Stuff about treating each customer with respect, treating them like people.

I didn't catch a lot of it.

From what I did catch, it amounted to "no killing".

Instead, he informed us that we would be spending the majority of the day dealing with customer service questions relating to the bannings.

Yay. Customer service.

I'm sure I'll regret screaming "BURN HIM!"

Any minute now...

Tomorrow: The Aftermath

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Console Slap Fight

Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on in the console wars?

Honestly, the whole thing is getting a little embarrassing.

Do you remember when the console wars really meant something? Sony was bringing some serious heat, Microsoft was fighting their way into the market, and Nintendo was the kid nobody talked to.

Oh... Hey... You've got a Gamecube.

That's... Nice.

I guess.

That was a freaking war.

You had the champion, the PS2, standing on top of the heap with a huge variety of hits and a stable full of successful franchises.

He was the king.

Then, the Xbox came out and we finally had a worthy contender. Sure, it had a lot of catching up to do, but it had superior graphics and brought some really popular titles with it.

Halo, anyone?

And the Gamecube...

Well, the Gamecube released a game every three or four months.

If you owned a Gamecube (for some reason) and happened to have a handful of money, you may have purchased it.

It was a classic battle. The hardened pro, the dashing rookie...

And a Gamecube.

Okay, I'll give Nintendo the handheld market. Basically, the only handheld system was the Gameboy / Gameboy Advance.

Or the seventy eight other versions of the Gameboy.

That's not exactly a great accomplishment. You won the only category where you had zero competition.

Way to go.

Still, it was beautiful. You had everything you needed to get a nice argument going about which system was the best.

Everything made sense.

Then the Xbox 360 came out.

Holy shit.

That thing was freaking amazing. The graphics were unbelievable.

Sure, there weren't any really great games, but look how good those mediocre games looked.

Here we go. The PS2 was still the champion in the console world, but Microsoft had ushered in the next generation.

And it was good.

Yeah, a few houses burned down and pretty much every 360 ever ends up dying repeatedly if you even look at it.

Still... Next gen.

The future was here.

And it worked occasionally.

Oh, the war was going to heat up now.


Oh, hey. Isn't that cute? Nintendo is coming out with another system.

And they're not focusing on graphics or power.

And they named it after man junk.

... Yeah.

Then the PS3 was released.

Finally! The next gen battle was going to bring us back to the classic days of the last console war. We'd finally see the two major contenders go head-to-head.

At least they would have, if the PS3 didn't cost more than some small European countries.

But... But it still had a stable of great games, right?



It's backwards compatible, though. They couldn't possibly have screwed that up.

Really? They screwed that up?


Then... Then the whole freaking world went insane. The 360 was poised to take over as champion and...

Then the Wii happened.

Apparently, making a console that actually works and actually plays games is more profitable than making a console that looks really, really shiny.

Who would have guessed?

So, now the Wii is the champion, the Xbox360 is still the plucky challenger...

And the PS3 is the guy no one talks to.

Now, this is where it gets weird.

This is the point where anyone with even the remotest grain of sense could figure out a strategy to help their company take control.

The Wii could focus on their major franchises and on bringing new and strong titles to their system.

You know, really set that foothold.

The Xbox 360 could focus on being the "hardcore" console. They could quit worrying about the Wii and settle on one important demographic.

The PS3...

Well, they could try and figure out what in the hell they're doing.

And what are the companies doing?

Well, the Wii is focusing on releasing as many games as possible while completely ignoring their major franchises.

Oh, let's not forget they're releasing Gamecube games for the Wii.

You know, the Wii that can already play Gamecube games.

No, you read that right. It just doesn't make any sense.

And what are Microsoft and Sony doing?

Well, they're making charts.

I'm not kidding. All of their major announcements recently have involved charts that explain just how awesome their console is and how the other guys suck.

Do you know that people really love?


Oh, who needs video games?

Or entertainment?

Or fun?

You've got freaking charts.

That's the ticket.

This is the time for these guys to be deep in the trenches and fighting for every player. They should be working every minute of every day to make the ultimate console.



Lots of charts.

Apparently, the winner of the console war is Microsoft.

Microsoft Powerpoint.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Time Flies...

I was just looking through the blog today, when I noticed that, as of the 21st, I'll have been back for an entire year.

You know... Since the tiny, little year long break I took.

What? I was sleepy.

This is a really big deal for me for two important reasons:

1) I haven't gotten sick of writing in the past 12 months

2) Apparently, you haven't gotten sick of reading in the past 12 months

I hope that second one is true. It'd be pretty sad if I was talking to myself every other day.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be interesting. I still make myself laugh.

Still, I like knowing that I haven't gone all the way crazy yet.

One of the few things I have left to cling to is that I don't talk to myself.

That and the not eating human flesh.

Though I am a little hungry...

Anyway, I appreciate you guys taking the time to read my ramblings.

And not calling the police.

I really appreciate that part.

You guys are all right.

I was talking to Susan about it earlier and she also pointed out that we're coming up on four weeks and I should probably start working on the fan pack.

This lead to my greatest idea of all time...

Actually... The Twatch was my best idea of all time.

This one is right up there though.

I'm going to do an anniversary fan pack. 1 full year in the life of [GM]Dave.

I'll look back at some of my favorite posts, the moments that made my year, and all of the crazy shit that I never got around to mentioning.

You'll laugh. You'll cry.

You'll probably laugh again.

Then you should probably see a psychiatrist because you're starting to sound a little bipolar.

One week from today (or so), I will be sending out the 1st annual [GM]Dave Anniversary Gift Pack.

I feel there should be a "palooza" at the end of that.

Anyone who donates $5 or more will become a member of the official [GM]Dave fan club and will gain all the exclusive benefits of club membership:

- the fan pack
- my gratitude
- your choice of small European nations to govern when my plan for world domination comes to fruition

I know what you're thinking. This deal couldn't possibly get any better.

You're wrong.

So very, very wrong.

As a limited time offer, if you act immediately, you'll be done much sooner than someone who doesn't act immediately.

I'm practically giving you the gift of time.


And yes, the person who donates the most each month will get a special, unique, incredibly impressive opportunity to take part in the blog in a way of their choosing.

You can pick a story idea.

You can make up your own theme week.

You can ask me to kick a puppy.

The possibilities are limitless.

Warning: possibilities are incredibly limited. No furry porn. Don't make me hurt you.

I would like to point out that the past few top donators have asked me not to do anything special for them. While I am very grateful for their thought and kindness, you can feel free to ask for anything you may like.

After I say no several times, I'm sure we can come to some compromise.

Anything for my loyal readers.

Seriously though. No furry porn.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Media Circus

So, something incredible and amazing has happened.

Something unbelievable.

No, I didn't get a normal GM call.

Not that unbelievable.

Apparently, someone finally killed Pandemonium Warden.

Back in August, Pandemonium Warden was a big news story. A big linkshell made a run at him and, after 18 straight hours of fighting, people started to get sick or die or something.

I may or may not have mentioned it.

It was particularly interesting as you don't often see a specific in-game event making it into the mainstream news.

Sure, the big expansion releases can make the news. That's not that big a feat.

But a bad guy so bad ass that it makes the news... That's a big deal.

People were outraged. How dare they create an enemy that requires a near impossible effort to take down.

It was crazy.

So, now that someone has actually managed to kill him, you know that HAD to make the news, right?



Apparently, if someone doesn't die trying to play a video game, it just isn't worth mentioning.

Now, I wasn't expecting to read articles titled "Whoops! Guess we were wrong" or "Well, I guess we're all retarded".

That would be too much to ask.

But the least they could do is mention the freaking thing. They could at least point out that SE isn't actively trying to kill players.

Just a sidenote or something.

I'm not saying they should interrupt the evening news or anything, but at least mention it in passing.

"Oh, by the way, that huge 18 hour boss in FFXI that caused players to up and die... Yeah, turns out someone beat him. Huh. Now, here's Chuck Smegly with the weather."

C'mon. Chuck will wait.

You owe us that much at least.

No, just like everyone else, all they focus on is the bad news.


They're just like the cops. All they want to talk about is the people I send incendiary devices to.

What about all the people I don't send them too, huh?

Where's my medal for that?

Let's just focus on the negative.

Someone beats Pandemonium Warden and it's not even a blip on the radar. All because no one died this time.

Sure, a couple of guys fell into a coma.

But nobody dies and suddenly you don't mean shit anymore.

This must be what the PGA tour feels like.

Nobody even gives a shit.

Now, if Tiger Woods killed someone with a golf club, that would be all over the place.

That's just bullshit.

Our next major boss will take 3 days to kill and can only be defeated by scanning the death certificates of 5 team members.

Four people die and you don't get a F&%#ING thing.

People dying may not sound like fun to you, but at least we'll make the news.

Isn't that what really counts?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding

You probably know who PETA is. Just in case you don't, it stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

This is not a bad thing. Despite my intense hatred towards the majority of people, I don't really have a problem with animals.

Animals is good people.

So, you'd think I wouldn't have a problem with PETA.

You'd be wrong.

See, as much as their intentions seem good, they fall into the same problem that plagues so many other groups.

They're retarded.

I understand the whole saving the animals thing.

That's okay.

Stopping animal cruelty.


Then they start with the whole vegetarian thing...

I don't think so.

If someone chooses to become a vegetarian, that's fine. It's their life and they can choose what they want to or don't want to eat.

But when someone starts telling me not to eat meat, that ain't right.

If I remove meat from my diet, I'd basically be eating potatoes and...

Well, potatoes.

So, their whole "don't eat meat" thing kind of pisses me off.

Still, that's not really retarded.

A little, but not really.

No, these guys have set a new record for epic levels of retardedness.

Are you ready?

They want to rename fish.

I'm not kidding. They want to rename fish.

Their basic argument is that fish have been given a bad rap and a fresh, new name will help people realize that they are beautiful creatures that should be left alone.

Guess what they want to name them.

Go ahead and try.


Whatever you guessed, it wasn't retarded enough.

They want to rename fish...

Sea kittens.

Yes, sea kittens.

I told you. Retarded.

I know PETA has done some pretty messed up shit before, but this is crazy even for them.

Maybe when they're not eating plants, they're smoking them.

Apparently, if fish had a cute name like Sea kittens, people would be less likely to eat them.

Yeah... Nomenclature is the problem.

We could totally solve all of life's problems. We just have to give everything new names.

Pictured: a Puppy McSnugglebunny

Have Cancer?

Not anymore. Now, you have funny bumps.

Don't you feel better about it?

Or AIDS... Yeah, that name is such a bring down.

We could call it "The Smilies!"

And you have to do jazz hands when you say it.

This is a great idea.

Oh... Wait...

No, it's not.

I don't know about you, but I would totally eat a Sea kitten.

I don't even like fish.

But if they change the name to Sea kittens, I'm going to eat all of them.

I will be at the damned beach with a fork and knife the next day.

Sea kittens. Yum.

I don't know about cute, but it sure makes them sound delicious.

Hell, I'll probably eat a dolphin while I'm at it.

Don't worry though. I'll call it a Sea iguana or something first.

That makes it totally different.

Honestly, I think I just have to stop reading the news. Every time I start to think I couldn't think less of humanity, someone comes along and says "Wanna bet?"

And then we all lose.

Screw it. Tomorrow, I'm going to the aquarium and I'm going to punch a fish in the face.

Wait... Sorry... That was the anger talking.

I'm going to punch a Sea kitten in the face.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best Foot Forward

Given the fact that my performance record is not the best, I decided perhaps I should try and earn some brownie points today.

I'm not going to go into great detail, but my last evaluation involved restraints and a tranquilizer.

Can I help you with anything else today?

Kill a few people and suddenly you're labeled.

No, literally. My file has a big red label on it.

I probably should have been fired by now.

I think they're scared of me.

Anyway, because I have grown accustomed to such luxuries as rent and food, I felt it might be a good idea to at least get a couple of good reports in that file.

Seriously. Big red label.

This morning... This morning, I did something unthinkable.

Something crazy.

I... I went to work and... And...

And I didn't drink.

Did you know it doesn't usually take three tries to log in?


So, I log in and wait for the first GM call. I mean I was hovering over my keyboard waiting.

One of the big things on the GM survey is how quickly a GM responded.

Yes, the GM call queue already had like two hundred calls waiting.

Not my problem.

If the first guy has been waiting for three hours, then that shit gets blamed on me.

Oh, hell no.


Excellent. A new call.

GM Call Description: Velocious Belt Stolen

Oh lord.

Here's the short version: Velocious Belt is Rare/Ex.

Therefore, it cannot be "stolen".

What actually happened was he was in a group and someone else in the group lotted on the belt and won.

Now, he was bitching because he really wanted the belt.

Here's the shorter version: I fed him to Jormy.

Eh, my file is pretty full.

What's one more?

So, I moved on to the next call.

This was going to be the one. I could feel it.

GM Call Description: Ripped off by casino! HELP!

So, I moved on to the next call.

This was going to be the one. I could feel it.

GM Call Description: Overbid on item!

So, I moved...


A lot of people got eaten by Jormy today.

I had to get a good call eventually, right?


Yeah. That was what I was thinking, too.

I was just starting to wonder at exactly what point my file would become a binder, when I say another call pop up in the queue.

GM Call Description: Stuck behind a table. Can't move.

All of this not drinking must have been going to my head.

That looked like an actual GM call.

I pounced on my keyboard. This guy was going to get the best service I had ever provided a player.


The bar wasn't set very high, I know.

[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> I understand you're stuck behind a table.
Player>> Yeah...
Player>> I don't know how it happened.

Don't say "Because you walked behind a freaking table."

Don't say "Because you're retarded."

[GM]Dave>> Oh, I know.
[GM]Dave>> Happens all the time.

Make up some words.

[GM]Dave>> It's a clipping issue.

That sounded good.

Player>> Will it take long to get me out?

Don't say "That's what I told your mom."

This is hard.

[GM]Dave>> Not at all, sir.
[GM]Dave>> It should only take a moment or two.

Quick! Fake sympathy!

[GM]Dave>> I apologize for the inconvenience.
Player>> Oh, it's not your fault.
Player>> I feel so stupid right now.

Don't say "Feel?"

Don't say "Now?"

You know, binders are kind of nice. Very organized.

[GM]Dave>> Don't say that.

You'll notice I didn't say he was wrong.

[GM]Dave>> Okay, your screen will go black for a second.
[GM]Dave>> Then you'll be fine.
Player>> Thank you so much.
Player>> You've been so nice.
[GM]Dave>> I try, I try.

A few button presses later and he was free.

That wasn't so bad. I just had to listen to that little voice that I usually ignore.

It's easier to ignore when it's muffled by a nice layer of alcohol.

You know, I could probably do this more often. He wasn't that bad of a guy and I felt it went really well.

With a new sense of purpose and faith in humanity, I started to log out.

Player>> Oh...
Player>> Oh crap.
Player>> Could you help me again?
[GM]Dave>> Did you have another problem.
Player>> Yeah...
Player>> I'm stuck behind the table again.
[GM]Dave>> The table?
[GM]Dave>> The same table?
Player>> Yeah.
Player>> I wanted to see if it would work again.
Player>> And now I'm stuck.

You know, binders get a bad rap.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I've Always Liked You

Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate you, my readers?

I should mention that more often.

Without you, this whole blog wouldn't be worthwhile. It is you guys that make every word worth writing.

It is you that keeps my ever flickering faith in humanity alive.

Barely, but still.

Given the abuse that faith takes in the run of a general day, the fact I have even the barest sliver at all is incredible.

I have you to thank for that.

I want you to always know how appreciated you are. I consider you all my very good friends.

I know, I know. I'm getting all mushy.

Maybe we should talk about something completely unrelated.

Totally unrelated.

Hey, did you hear that SE is running a customer service survey about GMs?



Oh... That stuff about us being friends?

Yeah, that was totally from the bottom of my heart.

I'm just making small talk about the customer service survey.

I really wouldn't want to influence your responses.

No, sir. Not me.

I want you to be completely honest. At no time should you be concerned that I could trace your IP address and enact a terrible vengeance upon you.

Try not to even think about it.

I mean, I could do that.

It's not even that hard.

But don't let that affect your decisions.

It'd scare the friggin' shit out of me, but just put it out of your mind.

You don't think I'd take out some obscene revenge on you, do you?

We're friends, right?

I wouldn't send an incendiary device to a friend.

Of course, friends don't talk shit about friends on quality assurance surveys either.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


You know, I've always had a feeling I was a little OCD.

It was the little things.

I don't walk on cracks.

I need to keep the volume on a multiple of five.

I alphabetize my porn collection.

But I was never really sure about it.

The funny thing about OCD is you never really know for sure. Maybe you're just interesting or eccentric.

Maybe you're friggin' crazy.

Given my history, you can guess where I was leaning.

Then I found FFXI.

Oh, what a glorious OCD dreamland FFXI is. You start balancing a bunch of interconnected stats trying to max out your damage potential and you might as well start scribbling in notebooks about how you need to turn the lights off seventeen times before you leave the room.

Every FFXI player has probably spent WAY more time than is actually necessary trying to find the perfect gear set up.

That is where I started to suspect my OCD.

Still though... I wasn't sure.

Maybe I just liked kicking ass.

I do so enjoy the ass kicking.

So, I lived on, laboring under the constant suspicion of my obsessive compulsions.


Then we bought a new TV.

Dear God.

I've spent the last twenty four hours changing each and every setting to maximize picture quality.

I don't mean change one setting and then move on.

Oh, no.

I had to change them in carefully constructed patterns to see how each setting would interact with the others.

Wait... The contrast looked way different at 74 than it did at 73.

But it looked better in the cinema display.

Then, after I changed all of those settings, I had to try out different cables.

All of them.

I used every wire in the house.

I think I actually used a strip of copper wire I found in the basement.

Then, of course, I had to check all of the settings with each cable.

By my calculations, I should achieve the perfect television set up very soon.

Three years tops.


I need help.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


A while ago I mentioned a story about a Second Life player cheating on his wife.

In case you don't remember, let me paraphrase:

Guy marries girl
Guy is size of small South American country
Guy plays Second Life
Guy cheats on wife with girl online
[GM]Dave's head explodes

Are we all on board now?


Now, this was a stupid story.

A very stupid story.

Honestly, I'm not even sure how it made the news in the first place.

Fat guy looking for girls online? That's not news.

Hell, even Chris Hansen isn't writing stories about that shit anymore.

That's where guys like that go to find girls. The internet is basically a fat guy online meat market.

See, when you look like that, face-to-face meetings are not your strong suit.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's wrong to be big like that. There are plenty of people out there that are big, but are just plain awesome people.

I've got nothing against fat people.

Please don't eat me.

Kidding, kidding.

It's just that that first meeting rests so much on that moment when they set eyes on you. Sure, people will tell you that it's all about personality or sense of humor, but you have to talk to them first.

That's where the internet comes in.

You get that opportunity to impress the other person without worrying about your physical appearance. You can show them your personality or sense of humor and give them a chance to like you.

Before they find out what you look like.

I'm pretty sure this was the reason the internet was invented.

Well, that and porn.


Okay, so you're probably asking yourself why, if this isn't news, am I talking about it again.

That's a good question.

I wish I had a good answer.

Unfortunately, the only answer I have is to push the story further into the realms of absolute retardedness.


They're making a movie out of it.

No, no. I'm not kidding. They're actually turning this story into a movie.

Here's my question:





How in the hell are they going to turn this stupidity into two hours of compelling cinema?

They couldn't even turn it into two minutes of compelling news.

This is one of those stories that makes you go "huh" before you check your e-mail and completely forget about it.

Who in their right mind would want to make this into a movie?

And who the hell would go and see it?


Then again, that f&%@ing chihuahua movie made money.

That doesn't make the story any better. It just means that people are as retarded as Hollywood.

I really wish I was making this up. I really hate to destroy what little faith in humanity the holiday season has given you.

Here's a bunny to make you feel better.

Not pictured: Caerbannog


He's so cute, you almost forget how friggin' retarded our entire civilization is.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Oh... Oh Lord...

What happened?

Seriously. The last thing I remember was having some Chinese food with Susan on the Eve and then...

Well... Then nothing.

It's all a blank.

From reading the blog and checking my credit card receipts, I apparently spent a great deal of time mixing NOS Energy drinks and Jack Daniel's.

This might also explain why I've been pissing neon green for the past two days.

I don't mean a little. I mean full on neon green.

It looks like I've been beer bonging antifreeze over here.

... I probably didn't do that.


Susan told me she found me yesterday morning in a drunken heap on top of the Wii Fit board.

Did I mention I was naked?

She sure did.

A lot.

It's a really good thing our daughter stayed at a friend's house the other night. We're kind of running out of reasons why Daddy falls asleep on the floor and smells like her painting supplies.

Still, from the messages I've gotten from friends, it appears I had an awesome New Year's Eve.

Which is great.

But... Neon green urine...

Someone probably should have told me to stop drinking the NOS.

If I survive this, never again.

Never, ever again.

Until next year.