Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fan Packs - In Progress

Okay, I'm plugging away at the fan packs. Everyone who has donated SHOULD get their first pack some time tomorrow.


This, of course, is assuming I don't die or get distracted or something.

But what are the chances of that hey something shiny!


What were we talking about?

Oh yeah. The thingys will be sent out tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 7

Movie License Games

Yes, I know money is awesome.

Money is why most of us get up in the morning and it's definitely why any of us bother to work. It allows us to buy what we need and/or want and, though it can't buy love, it can rent it at incredibly affordable prices.

Yay, Capitalism!

But perhaps, PERHAPS, we could maybe, possibly not jump at every opportunity to make a quick buck.

Hey, there's a movie coming out that looks like it might be popular. It's coming out in a month or so, but I wonder if they're going to make a gam...

Really? At Walmart right now?

Yeah, but they obviously put a lot of work...

Slapped together? Seriously?

Well... if it's that bad, then it's probably cheap at leas...

$60?! Are you F&%@ING kidding?!

I could see the movie 3 times and still have enough to buy the DVD when it comes out. The special edition with the artbook and limited edition figurine.

Not that I collect figurines.

Stop looking at me like that. We're talking about bad games here.

There seems to be some weird disconnect between good movies and games based on those movies.

That disconnect, of course, referring to the fact that the game sucks so much ass.

This is not a one way street either. Any time they try to make a movie based on a great video game, it turns out terrible.

The best game-to-movie translation is the Tomb Raider series.

I want you to think about that.

And the worst part is these video game movies and movie video games usually make a metric F&%@ton of money.

That is a lot.

That means they're going to keep making these terrible, terrible games. They're going to keep churning out these affronts to humanity.

Worse, these affronts to gaming.

It's not that I hate them because they are terrible games.

I mean... I do hate them because they are terrible, terrible games. That's just not the only reason.

The biggest reason I hate these games is what they represent.

They represent everything that is wrong with gaming: fast development cycles, annoying cash grabs, quantity over quality...

I could go on and on.

These horrid games represent a deep disrespect on the behalf of developers for the very people they develop games for. They put a deadline and financial reward above creating a great product.

It cheapens the movie it is supposed to support and, worse, it cheapens gaming as a whole. We are left with these shoddy cast offs of better ideas.

Ironically, these big money, theatre-packing movies end up as straight-to-DVD games.

And we pay the price.

Literally and figuratively.

I hate these games out of principle. I hate these games out of my great respect for gamers and my belief that companies should make games to excite us, not just to sell to us.

Also, the controls usually suck.

I hate that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 6

DDR Games

This game/post is probably going to require some sort of asterisk because I really don't hate the game at its most basic level. While I can't say I'm a big fan of the series, I can at least see why someone else might find it fun.

But here comes the asterisk...

I hate this freaking series because of the players.

I know. [GM]Dave hates people? Somebody call Ripley's.

DDR players take all the fun out of actually playing the game. They stand there, faces blank and legs flying haphazardly, watching arrows scroll up the screen and their humanity slowly drain away.

They're the human equivalent of fishing bots.

I have actually seen people at arcades watching these cold robots dance and turn away from the game almost afraid to even try playing it, fearing for their mortal souls.

As they should lest they end up another DDR automaton, a meat puppet dancing to obscure techno music.

I'm sure the game requires a great deal of talent. You probably need an incredible sense of rhythm and timing.

That still doesn't keep people from looking absolutely retarded when they play.

DDR is a fun game. It was meant to be a fun game.

Unfortunately, people do what people always do with shit like this. They take it too damned far.

A game becomes a distraction.

A distraction becomes a hobby.

A hobby becomes an obsession.

An obsession becomes you standing in your living room with your legs flailing like you were Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance memorizing arrow patterns until your eyes bleed.

The worst part is there's really no winning the game. There's nothing to show for your hours and hours of work other than legs the size of tree trunks.

Oh, oh. You got letter grades.

That'll impress people.

There's no career mode, no band. You didn't save a princess or defeat a bunch of other people. You didn't save the world from unfathomable evil or even solve a freaking puzzle. There was no strategy, no technique.

You just stepped on some arrows.

You don't even have some cool snazzy gear to show for it.

I mean, come on.

What's the point? What is the freaking point of this game?

Even Tetris, goddamned Tetris, had a point. At least you had to think and strategize even the smallest amount.

Imagine if you simply had to push down as soon as the block appeared.

That's DDR.

DDR is basically Simon set to bad music.

Red, Blue, Yellow, Red, Red, Green.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 5

Offline Poker Games

I like playing poker.

A lot.

It is a challenging game that requires a great deal of strategy and patience. Each and every hand brings an entirely new set of calculations and judgment calls that take a day to learn and a lifetime to master.

The best, purest form of poker is playing it live, players sat around a table dealing cards and pushing chips.

If that isn't to your liking, you can always play online for money. It offers much the same challenge, but does make it harder to judge the other players.

Still, it is fun.

And hey, if you don't have any money, you can play online for free. You can sit down at the play chips tables and have all of the challenge without any investment.

Still fun.

Plus, the games are free. You can download countless iterations of this software for no money whatsoever.

Wow. They really do have all of their bases covered.

But... What if someone has no access to a live poker game, no money, AND no internet?

This is where I'd say F&%@ 'em, they're Amish.

Apparently, SEVERAL video game makers felt this was such an important market that they have made dozens of offline poker games.

I'm not even kidding. There are dozens of these things.

For pretty much every system.

I just have one question... Who the hell is buying these games?

I realize the internet is a frightening place what with our fascination with girls and cups in a 2 to 1 ratio, but is there really enough people to make this a viable market?

They somehow have the money to purchase a video game system and a game, but somehow don't have internet access?

What the hell is that?

The only people I could even possibly picture in this situation are also people who wouldn't have a shot in hell of owning a console. I really don't think there's some 85 year old who's scared of computers, but is warming up his Xbox 360.

You'd have to be nigh on retarded to fall into this strange subset of gamers.

Now, I'm not saying that these companies are preying on the ignorance of their customers.

That is what they're doing, but I didn't actually say it in those words.

That brings me to my next point...

These companies are preying on the ignorance of their customers.

Despite my fondness for all gamers, owning a console does not actually make you a gamer. There are countless mouth-breathing retards who have a game console simply because it was shiny.


These companies thrive because of people like this. It is because of people like this that shovelware even exists.

Well... Them and that aunt that knows you like the vidjeo games, but has no idea what you'd like.

Basically, just complete wastes of humanity.

Seriously, who could find these games fun? You're playing a card game for no money against no opponents. You can't even practice reading other players because THERE AREN'T ANY.

I swear to God, the fact that these games even exist is evidence of just how stupid our civilization can get.

Playing these games is like masturbating. You're doing it by yourself, but you're imagining someone else was playing with you.

Bah dump pshhh.

Actually... Playing these games is like paying someone else to let you masturbate.

Consumer>> Excuse me.
Consumer>> I'd like to purchase a free product.
Consumer>> But I'd also like it if it was way less useful than the free one.
Consumer>> Maybe a multiplayer game with no other people.
Company>> Do you have $30?
Consumer>> I think so.
Company>> That'll be $30.
Consumer>> I'll take ten please.

If anyone can explain how that is not an eerily accurate depiction of the situation, I'll be surprised.

Of course, anyone who'd own one of these games can't really read this.

Damned Amish people.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 4

Okay... I'm about to piss off a metric F&%@ton of people, so I'm going to say the name of a game and then you can feel free to not continue reading. You can feel entirely free to not have me tear apart a game you love.

Are you ready?

Katamari Damacy.

I'll see you tomorrow.


If you're still reading this, then you are either:

a) willing to hear my opinion


b) just scrolling down so you can start bitching in the comments

Honestly, you can explain whatever you want. You can go on and on about how unique and revolutionary this game is.

I hate this game.



The basic premise of the game didn't seem that terrible. Roll a ball around and collect stuff. Fun.

It would have made a pretty good flash game. You know... Waste twenty minutes of your workday trying to roll some shit up.

Then they decided to put it out for the PS2.

Holy crap. Did you see how much space is on one of those PS2 discs? How the hell were they going to fill that up with a little flash game?

Hey, let's fill the rest of the disc with senseless, mindless poser Japanese bullshit.

Plot? Who needs a freaking plot?

Fine. Tack one on there. Something about remaking stars or something.


Let's get back to the important stuff. Does the game look like someone hit acid and then threw up on a Lite Brite?

People act like this game is the freaking Lord of the Rings of video games or something, as if it was some high art, ultra-deep, intellectual experience.




You're rolling a ball around picking up trash and trees and cows and shit. There is nothing deep about this game.

This game is the opposite of deep.

It is high.

I mean that in every sense of the world because the only way this game is going to transcend into the spiritual is if you are as high as balls and are playing the game before heading to White Castle.

Was it interesting? Sure.

In the same way you'd find a car accident "interesting".

When you get down to it, it was a mildly amusing game with mildly catchy music.

That is freaking it.

I F&%@ING hate this game because everyone acts like it is so much greater than it actually is, like all the neon colors and crazy graphics make it somehow worth my time.

Strip all that superfluous shit away and what do you have?

Not freaking much.

God, that felt good to say.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 3

Superman Games

What is so hard about this really?

He's freaking Superman.

We've got games about people who can fly. We've got games about people who are super strong. We've got games about people who shoot lasers out of their eyes.

Hell, we've got superhero games with people who can fly, are super strong, and can shoot lasers out of their eyes.

This would seem to be a no-brainer.

I could go buy a brand new copy of City of Heroes right this minute and make a character exactly like Superman.

Exactly like him.

And the game would work. I could fly around a generic city and beat up generic villains and have generic adventures.

But it would work.

For some freaking reason, they can't make this work with an actual Superman game.


I'm a big Superman fan. I think it has a lot to do with us being so similar.

Powerful? Check.

Rugged good looks? Check.

Last surviving member of his species? Well, if those guys in R & D can get off their asses...

Wait... Forget I said anything.

Ever since my early days as a gamer, I have waited patiently for a good Superman game. I have watched consoles come and go, catridges give way to discs. And I have seen countless Superman games.

On a scale of one to ten, these games average somewhere between zero and crimes against humanity.

Superman 64.

Dear God, Superman 64.

Playing that game is still a punishment for murder in some countries.

Now, I'll grant you. Past consoles may not have been able to capture the full Superman experience. What with all the flying around and the super speed and the robots with the biting of the metal teeth.


But come on. Give me a flying game where I beat the shit out of some licensed villains.

I don't want to fly through rings.

I don't want the generic "fly around and disarm all the bombs" levels.


Ass kicking.

That's it.

Is that so much to freaking ask?

I mean Batman gets good games. He's got lots of them.

Yes, he's also got games that suck, but they're not even on the same level as the history of Superman games.

That's bullshit. Batman doesn't even have superpowers.

Ooooh, look out! He's got a belt and severe mother issues.

And he's got good games.

What the hell, guys?

Seriously, we need to get some guys on this. We need to get some developers and the DC guys in a room and then point guns at them until they make a game that doesn't make you want to die.

Yes, we will have to shoot some of them.

I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 2


I'm sorry, but I just don't get football games.

I just don't.

This has been an on-going problem ever since I started playing video games. I'd pop in the cartridge/disc, randomly select plays, and then try and run the ball from 87 yards back.

Every time.

As a sport, I can see the challenge of football. I can see the skill involved, the athleticism required. I can see that it is a difficult game with complex strategies.

As a video game...

I don't get it.

Every year, every single year, a new Madden game drops like a nuclear weapon and lays waste to the game sales charts. People line up for that shit.

And it's the same game every year.

Names change.

Occasionally jerseys change.

But it's the same freaking game.

They're not even subtle about it. They don't even try and hide the similarities from us. Hell, they practically revel in it.

And still, the Madden fans eat that shit up.

I'm sure there is a type of person that the Madden games are designed for. I'm sure there is a kind of person who these games speak to on a pseudo-spiritual level.

I'm sure I'm not that type of person.

The menu screens pop up with what I'm sure are very nicely drawn plays, patterns of lines and players, runs and passes. Lots of them, each with their own subtle intricacies and interactions.

I almost feel bad for picking them at random.

Somewhere, on a couch filled with loose change and crushed doritos, a noble football aficionado, a digital grid-iron gladiator sits pouring over those screens making life or death (or second down) choices wearing a tattered football jersey stained not with blood and sweat, but with dried nacho cheese. He deliberates over each choice as if he were actually competing to win a Superbowl ring instead of a few bits in a save file.

Not me.

I pick whichever screen looks like the one where I, the quarterback, run the ball towards their end of the field.

If I ever pass the ball, it means one of two things has happened:

1) I, in my infinite wisdom, have seen my play crumble around me and, as the opposing team rushes in to decapitate me, I throw the ball as one final hail Mary play

2) my finger slipped

I suck at football games.

There. I said it.

But I suck at them because I really don't see the value in getting better at it.

I'm sure I could scour websites and playbooks and slowly become a master of everything football. I could names plays and players. I could tell you who won the Heisman Trophy in 1998.

Ricky Williams, by the way.

I could do all of that.

But that sounds like a lot of freaking work.

I don't like work.

So no.

Madden is a very popular series. Madden is a staple amongst sports game players and practically a retail god.

Madden can kiss my ass.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Games I HATE - Vol. 1

Okay, before we get started, we need to set out some ground rules.

It'd be kind of unfair if I just started talking shit about plain old bad games. I could just log in, write about how Imagine Babiez is freaking retarded and call it a theme week.

You guys deserve a little more effort than that.

Instead, I will be sending the next seven days talking about games that are actually kind of popular that I just can't stand.

You may like these games. Indeed, they may be your favorite games of all time. That is entirely possible.

You are entitled to your opinion.

I'm just here to tell you that you are wrong.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Mario Kart Wii

Yes, I said it.

I F&%@ING hate Mario Kart.

Don't get me wrong. I still play that game. I've unlocked every character, every vehicle, and gotten a double star grade on every course.

I still hate this freaking game.

I know it is basically considered video game blasphemy to speak ill of the house of Mario, but Mario Kart Wii isn't really part of the regular series, so I don't think a Toadstool SWAT team is going to drop from the ceiling and execute me for saying that.



See? Told you so.

Mario Kart embodies everything that is wrong with all of the Mario offshoot games: Freaking stupid randomness.

Games are supposed to be about skill. We play video games because becoming better at them increase our success. This, in turn, makes the game more fun.

That's not true of Mario Kart.

You can be the best player in the freaking world. You can have a thirty second lead on everybody with the finish line in sight.




Your phenomenal skill and racing prowess means exactly squat when you get annihilated by two blue shells and then a red shell.

Then, you get the fun of watching someone you haven't seen since the first lap shoot past you and win the race.

Good for them.

That wasn't cheap at all.

I'll just be over here screaming into this pillow.

I realize this is a Mario racing game and isn't supposed to be an accurate racing simulation. I totally get that.

I'm not retarded.

Shells and stars and mushrooms are par for the freaking course. They're practically staples of the Mario series.

Still, there is a little thing called balance.

The people who designed Mario Kart have no idea what balance is.

I'm not saying don't have the blue shells. The blue shells are hella fun (if you happen to be losing). By all means, blue shell it up.

But give me something.

Give me a black shell that blows up the guy in second. Or give me some sort of missile defense system to stop the freaking blue shells.


No, when you are in the lead, you get either:

a) banana peels
b) trap boxes
c) more freaking banana peels

What the hell, Mario Kart guy?! What the hell is that all about?!

I'm pretty sure the lead designer came in second place in a race once. And now, he takes out all of his frustration on the innocent gamers of the world.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that there's actually a really fun game under there. Under all the random, bullshit, stupid freaking blue shell, goddamned Baby Mario cheap bastard racing past you crap, there is a game I'd probably actually like.

I've played my share of really shitty racing games. I mean games that would make you want to gouge your freaking eyes out.

I owned a PS2.

There is a good racing game under there.

WAY under there.

Near the core of the freaking Earth.

Under a damned, freaking blue shell.


I don't want to hate Mario Kart.

But I do.

I really, really do.


No, it was nothing.

Though, if you hear about someone found dead from being shot with Bullet Bills, you'll know what happened.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Return Home to Bana'diel

See what I did there?

As several readers and my lovely wife have pointed out, we're getting close to another fan pack and we haven't started a theme week yet.

I'd like to say that it's because I've been terribly, terribly busy.

I'd like to say that.

That'd be great.

Unfortunately, that would also be lying.

I've been trying to work out a theme week theme with last month's top donator. We've been going back and forth for almost a week now trying to figure this out.

Now, usually, this is because they can't decide on a theme.

Not this guy.

Oh, no. This guy was incredibly well prepared. He had a laundry list of potential themes ready and waiting for my e-mail.

This list was:

a) incredibly detailed

b) batshit crazy

Holy lord, you should have seen this thing. It looked like he'd been working on it for weeks.

You'd think this would make the process much easier.

I sure did.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

As detailed as the list was, these themes were WAY out of my league.

Here are some of my favorites:

-my thoughts on classic literature
-a seven day look at the economy
-writing in foreign languages
-home renovations projects
-obscure political trivia

I'm not even joking. Those are actual ideas.

As awesome as I am, I feel that perhaps I have given you an unrealistic opinion of my abilities and skills.

Basically, I am able to write about:

-video games
-playing video games
-relatively funny observations
-did I say video games? Crap.
-world domination

I CAN write about other things, but those are my real strengths.

Yes, I'm sure you'd all love to hear my thoughts on impressionist painters, but let's stick to what I'm good at, k?

Luckily, at the end of the list, buried beneath thirty or forty doctorate thesis topics, was a beautiful little gem.

The games I hate the most.

No, it will not be seven days of me saying WoW and hitting publish.

Though that would be awesome.

No, I'll be doing 7 straight days of the games that I despise, the games that make me want to punch a cat in the face.

There'll be ranting and raving, cursing and swearing.

I may or may not use the word retarded.

Who knows?

And at the end of those seven rage-filled days, I will be sending out a fan pack chock full of [GM]Dave goodness.

Chock full.

I don't know what a chock is, but when I do, the fan pack will be filled to that specific level.

Damned metric system.

As usual, anyone who donates $5 or more to the blog during the month will become an automatic member of the [GM]Dave fan club and receive their very own fan pack.

But wait! There's more!

Act now and I'll double the offer! You can get two, TWO, copies of the fan pack for the price of one.

Just cut and paste. It's that easy!

I'm kidding. Calm down already.

Because I notice that some people can't donate every month, I've decided to run a little "Return Home to Bana'diel" campaign. If there's a specific fan pack you've missed, just let me know and I'll send them out shortly after the fan pack.

You know you can't feel complete while there's void in your soul the exact size of a missed fan pack.

It's time to heal.

Oh, and as usual, the person who donates the most will get to choose their very own theme for a week's worth of posts.


Within reason.

I mean, I'll write about anything, but I'd appreciate it if it was something that could actually be funny.

That would help.

Let's keep the "funny" in mildly funny blog.

Am I right?

Anyway, theme week will start on Tuesday and the fan packs will be sent out next Wednesday.


It's cute that I still pretend I can actually follow any sort of schedule.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You Must Be Joking

I will not sully this with a long, rambling description.

This is an actual conversation I had with a player today.


[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> I understand there was a problem with Dynamis.
Player>> You're damned right there was.
[GM]Dave>> Oh... Kay.
[GM]Dave>> Could you describe the problem?
Player>> Of course I can, dammit.
[GM]Dave>> Listen... I appreciate the enthusiasm.
[GM]Dave>> Really do.
[GM]Dave>> But if you don't calm down, something very bad will happen.
[GM]Dave>> Very, very bad.
Player>> Umm... Sorry.
[GM]Dave>> Thought so.
[GM]Dave>> So what happened?
Player>> Okay.
Player>> So, about an hour ago, I was in Dynamis...
[GM]Dave>> I already knew that.
[GM]Dave>> It was the second thing I said to you.
Player>> Oh... Sorry.
Player>> We were in... Uhh...
Player>> Anyway, the armor I wanted dropped.
Player>> And someone else stole it.
[GM]Dave>> You mean he lotted at the last second to take the item?
Player>> No. That's not what happened.
Player>> He lotted when I did.
[GM]Dave>> So you're saying there was a glitch in the lotting system.
Player>> Actually, No.
Player>> Lotting went normally.
[GM]Dave>> But the other guy got the item?
Player>> Exactly.
[GM]Dave>> I'm not sure how that could happen.
[GM]Dave>> I'll have to review the logs.

I get some additional information and go to review the logs.

Five minutes later...

[GM]Dave>> He lotted higher than you.
Player>> Exactly.
Player>> Finally, you get it.
[GM]Dave>> But...
[GM]Dave>> But he lotted higher than you.
Player>> I know that.
Player>> Can I have my armor now?

He said that.

He actually said that.

[GM]Dave>> I don't think you understand.
[GM]Dave>> He lotted higher than you.
[GM]Dave>> so, he gets the armor.
Player>> But it's mine.
[GM]Dave>> How exactly is it "yours"?
Player>> I called dibs.
Player>> When it dropped, I said dibs.
Player>> So, it's mine.

Aneurysms are not enjoyable.

Just FYI.

[GM]Dave>> Dibs?
[GM]Dave>> You called... Dibs?
Player>> And he lotted anyway.
Player>> Damned retard.
[GM]Dave>> That was going to be my next line.
Player>> So, you agree with me, right?
[GM]Dave>> ... Sure.
[GM]Dave>> Let's go with that.
Player>> Can you ban him?
Player>> I really think you should ban him.
[GM]Dave>> Oh, totally.
[GM]Dave>> Lotting using the system as it was intended.
[GM]Dave>> That's just wrong is what it is is what it is.
Player>> Umm...
Player>> Are you being sarcastic?
[GM]Dave>> Nnoooooooooooo.
[GM]Dave>> You totally called dibs. That counts.
[GM]Dave>> Wait... Did he cancel it using "I'm rubber, you're glue"?
Player>> That's not really...
[GM]Dave>> Did he say "LALA CAN'T HEAR YOU"?
[GM]Dave>> Or did he perhaps activate an anti-dibs forcefield?
Player>> You're not taking me seriously.
[GM]Dave>> In my defense, that'd be pretty hard.
Player>> This is ridiculous.
[GM]Dave>> I thought that, but I didn't want to be rude.
[GM]Dave>> Moron.
Player>> This is so unfair.
[GM]Dave>> Look on the bright side...
[GM]Dave>> It could be worse.
Player>> How exactly could this get any worse?


Area: Mordion Gaol

[GM]Dave>> How about now?
[GM]Dave>> Is it worse now?
Player>> You know...
Player>> Forget it.
Player>> I don't really need that armor.
[GM]Dave>> That is about to be very true.
Player>> What do you...

Jormungand hits Player for 12,009 points of damage.
Player was defeated by Jormungand.

[GM]Dave>> Sorry.
[GM]Dave>> He called dibs.

Every time, every single time, I start to think that people couldn't possibly surprise me with new levels of stupidity, someone takes the time to show me how wrong I was.

We can totally stop that now.

I'm good.

Please stop proving me wrong.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Chosen One

MMORPGs are big freaking business right now. Everybody wants to get in on it.

It's a great system for both the company and the consumer. The company gets a monthly fee per player instead of a one time purchase fee and the consumer gets a game with almost unlimited potential instead of a $60, 5 hour crapathon.

Plus, it opens an entirely new interactive world for the player to explore. With the right license, the player could become part of a world they already love.

This is the thing, though. It's hard to find the right license.

I know what you're thinking. MMORPGs are like free money, right? Any license could work.

Not really.

Building an MMORPG from scratch is very dangerous. With such a wide market right now, you really need something that's going to grab their attention.

No, not porn.

Though, a pornstar MMORPG would probably be incredibly successful.

Everyone make a note that I came up with that idea first.

I call dibs.

No, you better be bringing a big name franchise to the table if you want to set yourself apart.

This is where things get funny though. EVERYONE thinks their favorite thing would make an awesome MMORPG.



Harry Potter.

These franchises have two things in common:

1) the are incredibly popular

2) they would make terrible MMORPGs

Yes, you read that right. Terrible, terrible MMORPGs.


What many people seem to forget is that an MMORPG requires players to work together. It requires them to form teams and groups where each member plays an important role.

All of these franchises revolve around a single character being special.

That kind of defeats the whole point of an MMORPG.

Here's a freaking hint: Nobody wants to be Ron Weasley.


Even Ron Weasley hates being Ron Weasley.

The entire idea of a Harry Potter MMORPG breaks down when you realize everyone will want to be HARRY POTTER.

With no variation and no job classes, the multiplayer group can't work. Everyone needs to have a specific, equally important job.

Well... Mostly equal.

Sometimes the only person seeking is a Thief.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

MMORPGs are awesome. We get that.

You like a certain movie/show/comic/game. We get that, too.

It'd still make a terrible MMORPG.

Remember the Matrix Online?


A bunch of people who loved the movies (yes, even the third one) bought the game, went online, and immediately went to create Neo.

You know what's not fun? A world full of Neos.

See, Neo was the one.


The movies were all about him being the one.

A game about an entire world of "ones" doesn't make a lot of freaking sense, does it?

I guess it didn't because the game crashed and burned. It was horrible. Black latex and sunglasses everywhere.

Tens of people were heartbroken.

All because they failed to understand that there's no 'I' in MMORPG.

A well known license is a great thing. It's practically the right to print your own money.

Unfortunately, it's not the ability to make a perfect game.

Not everybody gets to be the hero, the star, the chosen one. MMORPGs are all about coming together and being part of a team and working as a group.

Save that other bullshit for the movies.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Public Service Announcement


I now present a public service announcement on behalf of all crafters.

The Auction House is a wonderous place where you can offer up goods for others to bid upon. You can set the price of any good at any value of your choosing and, should anyone make an offer equal or greater than that amount, the item will be sold.

It is a very efficient system.

You are also able to peruse the recent sales history of any item to estimate an approximate value for your item. This estimate is only a guideline, though, and you are free to set the price at any value you wish.

There is one small addendum to that policy:

If you undercut the price by 50% and destroy the market value of an item, I am going to F&%@ING CUT YOU.

I mean that in all seriousness. I will cut you so bad, you'll wish I didn't cut you so bad.

Should you live in another area, I would be happy to send you a knife in the mail.

I put up with a lot of bullshit as a crafter in FFXI.



Watching a synth worth millions upon millions of gil go kablooey because someone within eleven miles of your character is wearing their Suppanomimi on their right ear is the price we pay to be crafters.

That's just part of the job.

It's like Paladins getting killed or people questioning the sexuality of Bards.

That's just the way it is.

What is not part of our job is watching all of our work crash and burn because you were in too much of a hurry to list your item for a reasonable price.

Congratulations. You got nowhere near what the item was actually worth and you've ruined countless people's hard work.

That is why, when you do this, I am perfectly justified in cutting you.

Really, you brought it on yourself.

Do you think I want to cut you? Do you think that seems like an entertaining idea to me?

... Maybe.

But I'm only cutting you because you deserve to be cut, because you NEED to be cut.

You F&%@ING need it.

I don't care why you did it. I don't care why you were in such a rush.

I will F&%@ING cut you.



Thursday, July 09, 2009

DIY in the hell would anyone do this?

Okay... I'm just going to warn you ahead of time: Today's post is about a news story that could be considered a little... extreme.

If you're squeamish, it might be a good idea not to read it.

Seriously, just pretend I made some funny comments about Mario Kart and come back in a couple days.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


I understand we are in the middle of an economic crisis. The entire world is suffering from this problem.

In order to survive, people have to make sacrifices, they have to do without certain luxuries.

Maybe you don't go out to eat as much.

Maybe you don't buy that new game that just came out.

One area where you probably shouldn't try and save money is when is comes to getting medical help.


Oh, yeah. That's where we're going.

Apparently, in what can only be considered overzealous thriftiness, a man in the United Kingdom decided to save money by performing his own surgery.

Correction... His own circumcision surgery.

In case you're not familiar, that's the one where they remove the skin from around the tip of a man's junk.

He performed that procedure on himself.

Wow. Just... Just wow.

Oh, you haven't even heard the best part yet.

Because there are quite literally no limits to human stupidity, this Darwin award winner decided that the best tool for this job was a pair of nail clippers.

No, you didn't read that wrong.




Warning: Do NOT apply to genitals

What in the hell was this man thinking?

Was there some part of this guy's brain that thought this shit was going to turn out well?

Hell, maybe he just thought he needed a trim.

I realize that our current global economic turmoil is a very complex, hard to understand situation with thousands of mitigating factors and related indicators. As complex as it is, however, I think I've devised a fairly accurate means of determing the effect it has on your own life.

If, at any time, you think the best way to save money is by performing surgery on your own penis, YOU NEED TO RETHINK YOUR MOTHERF&%@ING INVESTMENTS.

Get another job.

Get two jobs.

Get EIGHT jobs.


You don't screw around with that shit.

Performing your own kidney transplant surgery? Go right the hell ahead.

That shit is easy.

But taking a set of nail clippers to the ol' polearm?

I don't think so.

The worst part is that the guy went through all that trouble, performing major surgery and he doesn't even get paid for it.

Well... I did hear that he gave himself a tip.

Bah dump psshhh.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This Is Science?

MMORPG science is big business now. Every other week, a new study about MMORPG players and social networks hits the media and tries to grasp this strange species known as "the gamer".

Personally, I just thought we were having fun playing a really sweet video game, but who am I to question science?

I suppose I kind of get it. It is basically a new population developing its own rules and customs.

We're like zoo, but with less shit throwing.

Though we're working on that for an upcoming patch.

Don't piss off a Ranger. Trust me.

Now, while I can understand the lure of MMORPGs as a setting for scientific studies, I do have to question exactly what some of these studies are trying to prove.

Are they trying to develop ways or reducing obsessive tendencies?

No. That would be too helpful.

Are they trying to understand how different races and cultures interact within a common experience?

No. That could actually help enlighten humanity.

Why the hell would anyone want to do that?

No, the latest scientific study to come out of MMORPG experimentation relates to the study of the observance of possible behaviors as dictated by game construction mechanics without subscribing to accepted social and cultural conventions, and the effect those behaviors would have on player opinion.

Basically, the researcher wanted to see how acting like a complete douchebag would affect other players.


From what I understand, he played City of Heroes and, while not breaking any actual rules, went out of his way to ignore generally game etiquette and piss off other players.


This is science now? Did we run out of random animals to torture and study?

Back in the day, we studied important shit like what happened when you hooked a chimp's brain up to a car battery.

Now, that was science.

This is just cruel.

His study though raises some important points:

1) we had to figure this out?

He went out of his way to annoy people and his conclusion was that people get annoyed when you do that.


He was actually genuinely surprised that acting like a complete and total moron made him unpopular with other players.

I can only assume his next study is trying to figure out why putting food in an oven makes it get hot.

What exactly did he expect to find? Did he think players would thank him for his interesting take on game play?

He was an asshole and people didn't like it.


2) we've got a LOT of freaking scientists out there

Amateur researcher must be the hot, new profession because we don't have any shortage of people acting like assholes in MMORPGs.

Gankers, griefers, scammers...

I didn't realize special ed classes did this kind of research.

I appreciate science. Science has helped us make astounding breakthroughs that have revolutionized our world.

Have you seen the Shamwow? That shit is amazing.

But science should really figure out what the hell they're trying to do in our neighborhood.

By all means, come on in and have a look around. Take a tour and make a few notes.

Just don't come in and make an asshole of yourself.

That's what FPSs were designed for.

Honestly, I think he just didn't have anything better to do. I think he just got bored of being a professor and tried to figure out how to make a career out of playing video games and being an asshole.

Sorry, Doc. I was here first.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Avast, Mateys

It is nearly impossible to be a member of the internet or gaming community and not think about piracy.

We, as a people, are infinitely aware of just how pervasive piracy really is.

Now, while the debate has raged on for a long time, the idea of piracy has come back into focus as possibly the largest torrent site on the net, The Pirate Bay, has been sold to a gaming company.

Oh, it gets better. They're going legit. They plan on changing the site so that people would have to pay for downloads.

Basically, they believe that the massive Pirate Bay user base will follow the site and eagerly sign up to pay reasonable prices to download content.

This is both:

a) incredibly logical

b) doomed to epic failure

Their idea that people would be willing to pay very low prices for such a helpful service makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. People flock to the Pirate Bay every day looking for the latest content.

It only makes sense that those users would be willing to pay a small fee to continue using the site.

Unfortunately, they have failed to realize a fundamental flaw in their plan:

Free > Cheap

That's a big motherf&%@in' flaw.

It doesn't matter how cheap they make their service. They just can't compete with free.

iTunes sells songs for 99 cents each.

99 cents.

That's basically as cheap as anything can be and still cost money.

And yet, if this is such a reasonable price, then why in the hell are there so many mp3 download sites? Why are there so many torrents for music?

The simple answer is "free is better than cheap".

One dollar doesn't mean a hell of a lot to me. One dollar is a price that I would gladly pay for pretty much anything on our planet.

I paid a dollar for the Brady FFXI guide.

That's not a joke.

Hell, even if I lost a dollar, it really wouldn't bother me.

But, if given the choice, I would rather have a song AND still have my dollar.

Here's a quick quiz. Someone offers you:

a) a song

b) a song and a dollar

Which are you going to pick?

If you said 'a', you are a damned liar and you know it.

That's basically what these pay sites are telling you. Yes, those other sites have this shit for free, but we have it for next to free. That's almost as good as free, right?

Not really.

Yes, the service you provide is incredibly helpful. The Pirate Bay is probably one of the most popular sites on the internet.

Unfortunately, there are like seventeen bajillion sites that provide the exact same service.

For free.

Remember Napster? Remember how they tried going legit and charging for downloads?

But they're still totally popular, right?


Not so much.

As revolutionary as Napster was, there were a bunch of less revolutionary, but still free P2P programs standing right behind them.

Again, free wins.

Now, don't bother talking about morality and legality. Neither of those concepts really plays a part in the decision making process here. Everyone knows you're not supposed to download and they do it anyway.

Besides, we the consumers have spent so many years being dicked around by these companies that they really can't start playing the "fair" card now. They ripped us off on CDs, so now we're ripping them off for CDs.

Hell, half the songs you "buy" from these legit sites come packed to the brim with fine print just so they can dick you over all over again.

It's perpetual dicking.

And they make you pay money for it.

Isn't that backwards? Shouldn't the pay sites be easy to use and helpful, and the evil pirates be useless and difficult?

I just think these companies don't quite get it. They keep giving us these long speeches about how wrong piracy is and how they're the good guys. They talk about how piracy helps terrorism and costs people's jobs.

That's all bullshit.

They're mad because they used to make a shitload of money ripping people off and now, people have found a way to not get ripped off.

No more moneys.

They mad.

And that's it.

It's like Understanding Piracy for Dummies.

Piracy costs them money and they like money. Hell, everyone likes money. Since piracy costs them that money, it is bad.

I might at least respect them if they just came out and said that. Just give us the benefit of not assuming we're retarded or something.

There will never be a solution to piracy until they can provide us with a product that is actually worth what they are asking us to pay. $60 games and $20 CDs are bullshit and we all know it. Especially when 95% of them are complete and utter crap anyway.

They're just mad we've finally figured this shit out.

All the lawsuits and trials are just them trying to put the genie back in the bottle. They need to reprogram us to think that they're the good guys.

And that is working out really well so far.

I don't blame the guys who sold the Pirate Bay. They got offered a hell of a lot of money for what basically amounts to a brand name.

I'd have taken it, too.

But we all know it isn't going to work. We all know the NEW and IMPROVED Pirate Bay is going to crash and burn.

And why?

Because someone out there is always going to be giving it away for free.

And we like free.

Friday, July 03, 2009


A lot of readers ask me questions about being a parent. They want to know things like what it's like being a Dad.

I read a lot of books about being a Dad before my daughter was born.

Now, I read those books because Susan threatened to cut off very sensitive, very important body parts if I didn't, but it still counts.

Do you know what I learned from reading those books?

Parenting books are complete and utter bullshit.



They tell you that being a parent is a magical experience that will change your life forever.

They were half right.

People think being a parent is defined by those moments that pull at your heart. Seeing your child sleeping. Teaching them a new skill. Helping them when they are hurt.

That is crap.

Parenthood is not defined by any of that.

Seeing a sleeping child. Anyone would find a moment like that inspiring. Being a parent doesn't suddenly make that experience suddenly more important.

Anyone who tells you different is lying.

Teaching a child a new skill. Well, that's the definition of a teacher, not a parent. While you may feel a sense of accomplishment, it doesn't make you feel more like a parent.

Helping them when they are hurt. That's not being a parent. That's not wanting to get arrested for child neglect.

No, there is one moment that truly defines being a parent, one moment that embodies parenthood.

That moment occurs at 4:17 am.

That moment occurs when you are standing bleary-eyed over your child's bed.

That moment occurs when they tell you they woke you up screaming because someone named Darwin was coming to get them.

At that exact moment, you will want to calmly reassure them that nothing is wrong and gently lull them back to sleep.

By which I mean, you will want to smother them with a pillow.

It's right there.

Right there.

At 4:17 am, this actually seems like a viable option to you. Not just viable, but justified.

Parenthood is defined by that moment where you want to smother them, but don't.

All of that other stuff anyone can do.

That 4:17 am moments... That's what makes a parent.

I know this because at exactly 4:17 am, my daughter started screaming.


I quickly rush to her, staggering about the house, trying to collect my wits. Obviously, screaming like this must mean she is seriously injured or being kidnapped by a European human trafficking ring and I am going to have to kill hundreds of people until I find her.

Exhausted, both mentally and physically, I burst into her room and hurried to her side. I immediately asked her what was wrong.

Through tears and sobs, she said:

Daughter>> There... Was...
Daughter>> Darwin was chasing me.
Daughter>> He was gonna get me.

Oh, a bad dream.

I'm up at 4:17 am because she had a bad dream.

At 8 or 9 am, this isn't such a bad thing. You console her and try and make her feel better.

At 4:17 am though...

That pillow looked like a really good idea.

Parenthood is all about those moments. Those moments when you could, but you don't.

I'm glad to say that this morning, I am still a parent.

For now...