Friday, October 30, 2009

Next On Intervention...

Recently, I've been taking stock of my life. I've been sort of... Auditing my general existence.

In doing so, I have made a huge discovery.

I have an addiction.

Wow. Just saying it makes me feel better. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

This has been going on for a long time. I've tried to deny it and explain it away with reasons and excuses.

Not any more. It's time for me to be honest about this.

I am an addict.

No, no. I don't mean FFXI.

That's not addiction. It's a carefully nurtured and maintained obsession.

Very big difference.


Are you serious?

I'm not addicted to alcohol. That's just plain crazy.

I only need alcohol to function at any point and in any given situation. It helps me wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night, and take the edge off everything in between.

That's not addiction. That's just survival.

Pictured: Daddy's Happy Juice

No, my addiction is much darker, much more frightening.

I'm addicted to hacking game systems.

*ominous roll of thunder*

I'm not sure when it started. Sure, I messed around with Game Genies and Action Replay discs in my time, but they were only passing interests.

You know, youthful experimentation.

Slowly though, a pattern began to emerge. At first, with my PC, it was your basic cracking and whatnot. You know, trying to get around copy protection or unlock full version games.

This was just playing around. I wasn't exactly dialing into WOPR or anything.

Then came the consoles.

As soon as they started putting memory card slots on everything, I started to lose control. The SD card slot on my Wii, the memory stick on my PSP.

They were calling to me, taunting me.

I couldn't resist.

Pretty soon, I was running custom firmware and installing cIOSes all over the place. If it had a memory card of some kind, I was doing everything in my power to pervert its very nature.

My PSP plays Super Mario World.

There is something inherently evil about that concept, but I couldn't help myself.

Why the hell do I need Super Mario World on my PSP?


Hell, I probably own three or four copies.

And yet, I went out of my way to exploit the PSP to make it do things it was never intended to do, things that are just plain wrong.

Seriously. Super Mario World.

And my Wii?

Well... Well, that plays Super Mario World, too.

I have no idea why I need two active consoles with Super Mario World-related capabilities.

I also have no idea why this is apparently the only thing I do with my modified systems.

You'd think I would be doing the downloading with the hey hey and the who now. Most people install CFW and modify their systems to play pirated games.

Or they try and create new multimedia platforms based on homebrew software.

Not me.

Me? Super Mario World.

That's it.

It's an illness. A terrible, disgusting illness.

I need help.

No, seriously. I need help. I'm playing on my PSP right now and I can't remember where the red and green switches are located.

... I'm sick.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Statute of Limitations

I don't mind when people make GM calls to ask questions. We are there at the service of players and to answer any questions they may have no matter how inane.

Shhhhh. Just pretend that's true.

What bothers me though is when people make GM calls to complain about things.

The GM petition system is not a complaints line. This is not a glorified call centre and it is not our job to listen to people bitch.

We do have one guy in charge of handling complaints.

Pictured: Complaints Manager

I don't think you want to talk to him either.

I mean, you can go ahead and try to talk to him, but your question better involve the quickest way to get digested by a large purple lizard.

Despite the fact that we're not here to listen to your retarded bitching, that makes up roughly 80-90% of all GM calls.

Fine. Whatever.

I talk to you for four minutes and then I destroy your character, ban your account, ruin your credit rating, and mail you an incendiary device.

It's a living.

What REALLY bothers me though is when people make GM calls to bitch about shit that we've put aside for YEARS.

There are certain truths to the world of Vana'diel.


Truth 1) There are no male mithras

Quit your freaking bitching already. You are actively making complaints calls because you don't get to pretend you're a cat man.

That is sad on multiple levels. It is the meta-sad.

Truth 2) Elvaans have low dexterity

Elvaans have the dexterity of a blind kid with cerebral palsy. That's not an insult, it's a statement of fact.

Seriously, an Elvaan can throw his hat at the ground and miss.

Truth 3) Galkas have terrible mp

This one... This is the one we get the most complaint calls about. We are deluged on a regular basis with people making emergency GM calls to complain about this obvious imbalance.

You're right. It is obvious.

Just like it was obvious when the first game came out.

The very first players logged in and said "Holy shit! This hairy ape-thing has some retarded mp right here."



I don't give a freaking damn if this is the first time you ever noticed or the first time you decided to complain.


The rest of the community has come to terms with this. While we haven't really agreed with it, we have come to accept it.

Do you know what really helped?





I'm not saying you've got to like it. When your retarded Galka Summoner can only keep his avatar out for three quarters of a second, that's f&%@ed up.

Do you know what it's not?


I got a call today. Yet another in the never ending tide of stupid, retarded, useless calls about shit we've all known for years.

Spoiler: I'm not a fan of these calls.

GM Call Description: Complaint about Galka mp

He didn't even try and hide it. He didn't even bother to get all vague about it in hopes of surprising me with his awesome observational skills.

I had to at least respect his bravery in the face of certain death.

Suddenly, I decide to give him a shot.

No, no. Not shoot him.

You'd think I mistreated players or something.

No, I decided to give him the chance to actually sell me on his complaint. I decided to give him five minutes to convince me that his points are valid and not the same tired shit people have been saying for years.

I have no idea why I decided to do that. Apparently, he caught [GM]Dave in one of his incredibly rare good, non-homicidal moods.

It had to happen eventually.

[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.
[GM]Dave>> I understand you're a time traveler.
Player>> What?
Player>> You mean like a Cavernous Maw thing?
Player>> No, that's not me.
[GM]Dave>> Yeah...
[GM]Dave>> That's what I meant.
[GM]Dave>> Why don't you just tell me your problem?
Player>> Well, I wanted to complain about Galkas.
[GM]Dave>> Is it the ugly?
[GM]Dave>> We tried to warn everyone with the character creator.
[GM]Dave>> There's just no need for that.
Player>> No, no.
Player>> I play a Galka.
[GM]Dave>> I'm sorry.
Player>> I wasn't offended.
[GM]Dave>> No, I'm sorry you have to look at a Galka all day.
Player>> ...
Player>> ... Anyway, I wanted to complain about their mp.
[GM]Dave>> What about it?
Player>> It's too low.
[GM]Dave>> I'm not following.
Player>> Galka mp.
Player>> It's too low.
[GM]Dave>> Sir, the mp status bar is a fixed part of the GUI.
[GM]Dave>> It would be impossible to move it at this time.
Player>> No. That's not what I...
Player>> I mean the amount of mp they get.
[GM]Dave>> What about it?
Player>> It's too low.
[GM]Dave>> What's too low?
Player>> Their mp.
[GM]Dave>> Sir, the mp status bar is a fixed part of the GUI.
[GM]Dave>> It would be impossible to move it at this time.

At this point, I've decided to just screw it and drive him insane.

I don't have the kind of attention span it would take to keep humoring this guy. I might as well get some amusement out of the whole thing.

Everyone needs a hobby.

Player>> NO.
Player>> Galkas don't get enough mp.
[GM]Dave>> For what?
Player>> Pretty much anything.
[GM]Dave>> They can't cast any spells?
Player>> No, they can cast spells.
[GM]Dave>> Then I guess it's good for something.
Player>> Yeah, but...
Player>> But... They can't cast a lot of spells.
[GM]Dave>> Why not?
Player>> Because their mp is too low.
[GM]Dave>> What's too low?
Player>> Their mp.
[GM]Dave>> Sir, the mp status bar is a fixed part of the GUI.
[GM]Dave>> It would be impossible to move it at this time.
Player>> STOP THAT!
[GM]Dave>> Stop what?
Player>> You're driving me insane.
[GM]Dave>> Sir, it wasn't a very far trip.
[GM]Dave>> Engine didn't even get warm.
Player>> I want to file a complaint.
Player>> Galkas don't get enough mp.
Player>> It's not fair.
[GM]Dave>> Really?
[GM]Dave>> They don't get the same amount as everyone else?
Player>> Exactly.
[GM]Dave>> Really?!
Player>> ... Are you ebing sarcastic?
[GM]Dave>> NO!
Player>> This isn't funny.
[GM]Dave>> I'm laughing.
Player>> I want something done about this.
Player>> I DEMAND you do something about this.
[GM]Dave>> Sure, sir. No problem.
[GM]Dave>> I'll just hop in my time machine over here...
[GM]Dave>> And go back to when people actually gave a shit.
Player>> But it's not fair. It's unbalanced.
Player>> The other races are different.
[GM]Dave>> Are you honestly arguing that the different races...
[GM]Dave>> ... Are different?
Player>> Exactly.
[GM]Dave>> Wait...
[GM]Dave>> Was I being sarcastic that time or were you?
[GM]Dave>> It's getting hard to tell.
Player>> Sigh...
Player>> Can I just file a complaint please?
[GM]Dave>> What about?
Player>> About the Galka mp thing.
[GM]Dave>> What about it?
Player>> It's too lo... Go f&%@ yourself.
[GM]Dave>> Would you like me to transfer you to the complaints manager?

Recap for you newcomers:

Complaints Manager

Player>> Yes, please.


Area: Mordion Gaol

Player>> Wait...
Player>> What's going on?

Jormungand hits Player for 12,587 points of damage.
Player was defeated by Jormungand.

[GM]Dave>> Hey, look at that.
[GM]Dave>> Your hp is low, too.

People, it's understandble that there are things about the game that you do not like.

There are things about the game that I don't like.

Players, for instance.

The important thing to remember is to leave that shit in the forum thread you necrobumped from three years ago when people were still worried about this crap.

And not bother me.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best. Name. EVAH.


Sometimes, through the course of human existence, there is a confluence of events so perfect, so spectacular, so incredible that they create a moment of absolute awesomeness.

It was a day like any other.

Actually, it was a Saturday, so it was a day like 1 / 7 th of all the other days.

Anyway, one of the other GMs brought his nephew into the office. I have no idea why he brought his nephew into the office, but I turned around and there was a kid there.

Since my supervisor denied my suggestion that we employ child laborers, I assumed he must belong to one of the other guys.

[GM]Dave>> Umm...
[GM]Dave>> Did anyone lose a person over here?
OtherGM>> Oh, hey.
OtherGM>> He's mine.
OtherGM>> Well, technically, he's my brother's, but he's with me.
[GM]Dave>> Fascinating.
[GM]Dave>> Let me add that to my Wikipedia page.
[GM]Dave>> You know, the one about all the stuff I don't give a shit about.
OtherGM>> ... Sorry.
[GM]Dave>> This'll only take a second.
OtherGM>> You're actually putting this on Wikipedia?
[GM]Dave>> Isn't that what I said?
[GM]Dave>> This used to be a page about Paraguay.
[GM]Dave>> No one has noticed yet.
OtherGM>> Wow. That's interesting.
OtherGM>> Can... Can we go now?
[GM]Dave>> Just a second. I need his name.
OtherGM>> He's named after my brother, Jack.
[GM]Dave>> Okay... Jack.
[GM]Dave>> Last name?
OtherGM>> Daniels.


[GM]Dave>> I'm sorry. It sounded like you said Daniels.
OtherGM>> I did. It's his last name.
OtherGM>> Same as mine.
[GM]Dave>> So his name...
[GM]Dave>> His LEGAL name...
[GM]Dave>> ... Is Jack Daniels?
OtherGM>> Yeah.
OtherGM>> My brother says he didn't even realize when...
[GM]Dave>> OH MY GOD!
OtherGM>> Could you quiet down?
OtherGM>> I think you're kind of scaring him.

I think my yelling did scare him.

I KNOW he was scared when I held him above my head like the freaking Lion King.

Admittedly, I did not realize how close his head got to that fan.

Oh, he was fine. Couple Dora bandaids and he'll be fine. Slap a couple of bandaids, give him a popsicle, and he won't remember a thing.

He can dress up as Harry Potter for Halloween.


In completely unrelated news, we're not allowed to bring kids into the office anymore.

You almost decapitate one kid...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

... In A Box.

There is a movie coming out called "The Box".

No, it's not that kind of movie. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Apparently, it's based on a classic morality question:

You receive a button in a box. If you press the button, you get one million dollars, BUT someone in the world that you don't know dies.

This is both a serious, thought-provoking theoretical situation and an incredibly stupid situation.

I would love for someone to send something like this to me.

Do you have any idea how fast I would press that button? Do they make clocks that measure piccoseconds?

It's a million dollars for me versus death for someone I don't know.

I know me. I like me.

Me would like a million dollars.

Sure, I'd feel bad for getting someone else murdered, but I'm sure that, with time, I could come to terms with that.

Do you know what would help? A yacht.

Besides, it's not really MY fault. Someone else sent me a button in a box.

They wouldn't even have to tell me about the million dollars. It's a button in a box. Who the hell wouldn't press it?

EerieVoice>> If you press the...


EerieVoice>> Wait... Did you just press the button?
[GM]Dave>> Yeah.
[GM]Dave>> It didn't do anything.
[GM]Dave>> Did I do it wrong?


[GM]Dave>> I think it's broken.
EerieVoice>> Now...
EerieVoice>> If you push the button, you will receive one million...


EerieVoice>> You know what? Screw this.
EerieVoice>> I'm going to go kill someone now.


EerieVoice>> You're an asshole.

I'm sorry, but if you're planning some sort of moral dilemma in today's day and age, you have to be ready for people with no moral center. You have to be ready for people without a conscience or a soul.

Basically, you have to be ready for people like me.

I'm not kidding around. Go ahead and donate a million dollars and tell me you're going to kill someone.

You'll get a fan pack.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 7

So what did I save for my last regret?

I've regretted assaulting girls and not assaulting guys. I've regretted bad jobs and etiquette. I've regretted making my mother cry.

And hell, I REALLY regretted the whole threesome thing.

Or lack thereof.

But what could I have left for last?

Well, one of my biggest regrets is just disappearing for a year.

Yeah, I know. Compared to two hot teenage girls, that doesn't sound like much of a regret, but bear with me here.

I love this blog. Writing this blog makes me smile when I'm pissed off and keeps me sane when the world is driving me crazy.

Plus, no one else really listens to me bitch and complain.

Susan pretends to, but I can see this look in her eye when I really start to geek out. I'm going on and on about how Mario should just let Bowser have that high maintenance bitch and her eyes just sort of glaze over like she's just waiting for me to finish.

Not you guys. You guys actually listen to my wild rantings and ravings.

That means a lot to me.

I ended up quitting for a year because I just felt like it was more work than fun and more pointless than funny.

Don't get me wrong. I know I'm not exactly curing Cancer here, but at least my writings had a point. At least they meant something.

Rather than try and find out what the problem was, I just decided to take a break.

See, that's not a way to solve a problem. You don't really solve a problem by ignoring it.

Unless that problem involves a pet. Ignoring a pet will eventually solve the problem. Sure, it might not get solved in a conventional "everyone is still breathing" kind of way, but it is solved.

I walked away because that was just easier.

Then, I popped in once every few months and said "I'M BACK!"

I wasn't back.

There was no back.

That was a pretty F&%@ED up thing to do. A lot of you guys would check the blog for updates in hopes of an end to my retarded hiatus and then I'd be gone again.

It's probably be funny if I was screwing with you on purpose, but I wasn't. I just kept thinking everything was back to normal and then the same old problems would kick me in the face.

And the worst part is how many great stories I missed, how many things happened at work or in the world that I thought would make great posts.

But I didn't post them.

Why the hell didn't I post them?

That was the weird thing about the whole hiatus nonsense. I had so many things that I thought were funny or awesome (or even retarded), but I didn't post them because I didn't want to feel obligated to post again the next day.

Honestly, I think I just went retarded for a while.

Looking back, the whole thing seems really stupid. Just up and quitting like that. But, in the long run, I think it helped me keep things going because it kept me from burning out.

I just wish I could have figured that out without taking a year off.

Man, the next time someone suggests one of these emotional theme weeks, I'm going to have to tell them to die in a fire or something. This shit just isn't right.

I should be ranting about video games or laughing about that time I killed a hooker or something.

[GM]Dave doesn't do emotions.

Except rage.

Yeah, that one I've pretty much got down.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 6

I'm sure we all had one person in high school we just didn't like. You know, that one guy that you just hated more than anything else.

We all did.

I had Neil.

To say I hated Neil would be possibly the greatest understatement in human history. I did not hate him, I loathed him.

He was my nemesis.

I'd say "eternal nemesis" except I kind of stopped caring the second high school ended.

The funny thing is I don't even remember WHY I hated him so much. Nothing stands out in my mind as a defining moment in our relationship that started our war.

It just was.

Perhaps it was a personality conflict. Maybe our two distinct personalities just weren't compatible.

Or maybe it's because he was a complete and utter dick.

You know... One or the other.

Everywhere I went, he was there and he would go out of his way to piss me off. Honestly, you'd think he didn't have anything better to do with his time given all of his being a dick.

It was a full-time job for this guy.

It took a tremendous amount of will power not to beat the living shit out of him. Seriously, I deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for not taking a chainsaw to his face.

They're not hard to use. You just pull a cord and then apply to face.

It's idiot proof.

Also, idiot correcting.

Anyway, one day we were in language class. We were taking some notes on [insert name of story I don't remember].

Neil was drawing big circles all over my book in pen.

I'm not kidding. He was that big of a dick.

But I controlled myself. I clenched my fists and tried not to be bothered. I knew if I let go, I probably wouldn't be able to stop. I sat there and took nice deep breaths.

Then he scraped the pen down my cheek.

I don't mean he drew a line on my face. He slashed the pen down my face so hard I was surprised that he didn't cut me open.

See? Dick.

Despite my previous attempts to ignore his behavior, I felt that this sort of action could not go without being corrected. At the earliest opportunity, I would have to explain to him basic etiquette and how his action might have been considered hostile.

That doesn't sound like me, does it?

Before his pen hit his desk, I had my forearm on his throat. I pushed his desk halfway across the room until he was pinned up against the wall.

Dave>> If you ever touch me again, I'm going to kill you.
Dave>> I really mean that.
Dave>> Do you understand?

And I held him there, my arm applying significant pressure to his trachea. I held him there until he nodded his understanding.

Then I let him go and just walked calmly back to my seat.

Suddenly, I felt much better. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Then I noticed twenty odd other students staring at me with their mouths agape.

Not to mention my teacher.

Once I showed him my face, he understood exactly what had happened. Even the teaching staff were aware of what a douchebag Neil was, so he kind of got where I was coming from.

Neil even got detention for it.

That's justice right there.

Now, you might be thinking I regret the whole incident. You probably think I wish I could go back and keep myself from being so rough.

Not really, no.

My biggest regret about the whole situation is that I didn't beat the living shit out of him. If I could go back, I'd do it all again and then I'd kick his ass after class.


He was that much of a dick.

Friday, October 16, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 5

You know, with all of the sordid, terrible things I've done in my life, I'm actually finding it difficult to come up with regrets.

Oh, I did lots of horrible things. I just don't feel bad about most of them.

This one is not so much something I did as a decision I made.

When I was in university, I had a little trouble making ends meet. Living on my own was turning out to be much more expensive than I had planned and I found myself running low on cash.

This way or may not have been related to the fact that I was completely unable too cook for myself and instead relied on the kind people of McDonald's for my meals.

One day I made the decision to get a part time job.

This isn't the thing I regret. While yes, getting a job like this is obviously going to suck, it is a fairly normal event for a college student to find a job.

Not exactly breaking new ground here, people.

No, my regret is the job I decided to take.

I needed a job that would allow me time for classes. That meant either evening shifts or night shifts.

This is like telling someone that their entree comes with their choice of kick in the balls or kick in the face.

Evening shifts got ruled out because I had some hope of maintaining an actual social life and the possibility I could get stuck with an evening class.

This left night shifts.

So, what job would befit an angry, people-hating man at night?

Strip club DJ?

No, I do not think my phat beats would we appropriate while watching single moms pole dancing.

Strip club bouncer?

While I do have extensive martial arts training, this still didn't seem right for me. Perhaps it was my generally sunny disposition or the fact that I didn't have a neck wider than my own head.

I'm not sure why all my possible career choices centered around strip clubs.

After some exhaustive research and personality testing, I have come to understand there is a very technical, scientific reason behind this:

Boobs are awesome.

Anyway, when all of my strip club-adjacent job choices didn't pan out, I decided to look for other jobs.

That's when I saw the ad.

Wanted: Night shift workers. Good pay, little customer interaction.

It looked too good to be true. Good money AND I didn't have to deal with people all day? Sign me up.

It wasn't until I went to the interview that I learned exactly what the job entailed. Apparently, this was a steam cleaning company that cleaned the exhaust systems above fast food restaurants.

Because I had spent so much money eating at fast food places, I was stucking cleaning fast food places.

No, the irony was not lost on me.

The boss described it as easy money. Shooting hot water into vents, cleaning up excess water.

How hard could it be?

This is the exact moment I started to regret this decision.

Do you know where they keep the ventilation and exhaust systems for restaurants? Yes, that's right. The roof.

Instead of just "shooting hot water into vents", I was stuck on the roof in freezing cold temperatures trying not to fall to my death or die of hypothermia.

Before you say that's not too bad, I should point out that there were nights when I had to get down into the ventilation system.

You know in movies how they show people crawling through ventilation systems and how nice and neat and clean they are?

That's a F&%@ing lie.

Instead, I was ankle deep in grease, little bits of cooked food clinging to my legs.

You have no idea what that feels like.

And then, we get to the worst part of the job.

I know. You're thinking "ankle deep in chicken grease WASN'T THE WORST PART?" I mean, I was standing in a pool of grease and chicken bits. What could be worse than that?

Do you know what happens to the water you shoot into the vents?

That's right. It pours down the ventilation system and someone has to stand there and clean it up.

That was my job for a while. Stand there holding a shop vac with watery chicken grease raining down on me from above.

I think that's one of the seven circles of hell.

It was so bad that at the end of every night, I had to go home and take a shower. And I'd have to use dish liquid to get rid of the grease.

I know I probably learned a whole lot on that job. I probably learned some valuable skills and maybe, a little humbleness and humility.

Screw that. It was raining chicken grease on my head.

Just so you know, that's is not a natural weather condition. It's not sunny with a 20% chance of raining chicken grease.

I've had many jobs over the years, but that is the one I'd like most to forget.

Well, that and my time spent as a pimp.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 4

Okay, yesterday's regret was a little deeper than my usual stories.

It was also significantly less funny.

To make that up to you, I've decided to tell you one of my deepest regrets that, while incredibly painful for me to relive, is more amusing.

I swear on everything I hold dear, this story is entirely 100% true. I am not going to embellish or exaggerate any detail for comedic effect.

You're probably not going to believe that.

To give you some idea why, this story could well have started with "Dear Penthouse..."

Oh yeah.

Bow chikka wow wow.

I was still a teenager. Don't worry though, I was 16 or 17. This isn't some creepy "when I was twelve" type stories.

It was a perfectly normal day. I wasn't in school, so I'm guessing it was a Saturday.

Most of my day was spent playing some SNES. My best friend was out of town, so I was kind of left with nothing else to do. You know, stuck playing video games by myself.

Any other Saturday, I'd have been doing something much more exciting.

Like playing video games with my best friend.

Anyway, later in the afternoon, my neighbor showed up at my house.

More aptly, it was our neighbor's 16 year old daughter.

Bow chikka wow wow.

We had been friends for a while, but not particularly close friends. We'd talk when we ran into each other and we'd hang out from time to time. She was pretty cool.

Also, hot as all hell.

She asked me if I wanted to come over to her place to "hang out."

I use quotation marks because that's the way it sounded. The way she said it suggested "hanging out" was not what she had in mind.

Being a young man, I was VERY interested in finding out what alternate definition she might be using.

I went with her.


So, I'm heading over to my neighbor's house following closely behind his insanely hot daughter.

While I wrote that sentence, I made up my mind that if I ever see a boy trailing closely behind my daughter, I'm going to cut off any part of his body that is too close for my liking.

We get to her place and walk into her kitchen.

Where we find her best friend, Leslie.

Bow chikka wow wow.

I swear I'm not making this up.

She was leaning against the kitchen table and whatever I'd heard in my neighbor's voice was practically dancing in this girl's eyes.

They started with the coy flirting, but they were luckily as subtle as a kick in the face with a steel toed boot.

I say luckily because at this point, certain parts of my brain had started to slowly melt.

This may or may not have been related to the lack of blood in the upper portions of my body.

Pretty soon, they weren't even being subtle about it. They were doing everything in their power to drive me insane.

And it was working.

I was trying to look cool and collected. I like to look back and think I succeeded admirably, but for some reason, I doubt it. Something about being a 16 or 17 year old boy watching two hot chicks flirting just doesn't lend itself to coolness.

Here's where things got really hot. They basically said outright that they wanted to have sex with me.

Both of them.

At the same time.

I know you figured that out and saying that was entirely unnecessary, but I added it for emphasis.

Plus just saying it is awesome.

As a young, verile man, there was really only one thing I could do.

I left.

I swear to God. I made up an excuse and left.

I left.

Just got up and left.

Honestly, I still have no idea why. I have no idea what could possibly have gone through my head, my mind, my brain that made leaving that situation seem like the best course of action.

They could have had guns and I'd have stayed just to see how it played out.

But no. Two hot girls are coming on to me and I decided I should get back to my game of Super Mario World.

To this day, this one event haunts me. I search my mind for some shred of reason as to why I would ever, ever, EVER leave that house.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I swear, if they EVER invent a time machine, I'm going to go back in time and punch myself in the brainpan until I forget algebra.

Actually, I'll go back to that morning, tell myself to man up and THEN punch myself in the brainpan.

I've done some terrible, terrible things in my time. I've done a lot of things that I would later regret.

Do you know what I haven't done?

Two hot chicks.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 3

A lot of people ask me why my mother and I have the relationship that we do.

It's kind of like a love-hate relationship, except I don't actually know if she loves me anymore.

I'm pretty sure that stopped after the third time I banned her.

I think it was the third time.

Well, a lot of that goes back to my childhood. More specifically, one of my biggest regrets from my childhood.

Aren't you glad that I'm doing a whole week of drudging up my emotional baggage for you? I'm going to need months of therapy (electroshock or otherwise) to adequately repress these things again.

I'm not sure how old I was. I know I was fairly young, but I can't put a specific age on the memory.

Here's what I do remember:

1) I wanted some grapes

2) my mother told me no

3) I really wanted some goddamned grapes

Yes, it is an incredibly vibrant detailed memory. I was a random age and I wanted some grapes. Truly, I have painted a mental scene for you.

It's like Lord of the Rings except with less Hobbits and more grapes.

I should also point out that I am going for the Guinness world record for most times using the word 'grape' in a blog post.

Grapes grapes grapes.

So, I'm a young child who desperately wants a bowl of grapes, but has been told he's not allowed to have grapes.

What do I do?

Do I:

a) accept defeat?

b) ask my mother to reconsider?

c) say screw it and get them myself?

Forget that shit. I was getting me some grapes.

Step 1 was get a bowl. The bowls were on a high shelf, so I had to get a chair and climb on top of the counter to get one.

I'm standing on the counter and reaching into the cabinet with the dishes.

Side note: my father had just recently purchased my mother an incredibly beautiful, incredibly expensive tea cup for her birthday.

It was also incredibly fragile.

This will be an important fact.

As I was reaching for the bowl, I remember thinking that I should watch out for the...

And then my elbow hit it.

For a sickening second, it hung in mid-air. It just sort of tilted and I had time to register that it had gone past the tipping point. Then, gravity took over.


My mother had an entire cupboard of stupid, cheap mugs and tea cups. All worth about three and a half cents.

I knocked over the only one that was worth anything.

The only one she loved.

Now, you're probably thinking that it was all an accident, that there is no way a mother could get that angry over a simple tea cup, no matter how beautiful or special it was.

You'd be right. She was sad. She cried a little. But she didn't get that mad at me.

Here's the regret part: As she was knelt down cleaning up the shattered cup, tears still in her eyes, I looked at her and said

"I'm sorry."

Except instead of those words, it came out

"Can you get my some grapes?"

Yeah, that pretty much explains our relationship up to this point.

What? I was young.

And I really wanted some grapes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 2

I really wish my FFXI career was without regret.

I really, really, REALLY wish that.

Unfortunately, if wishes were Utsusemi: Ni, we'd all be freaking Ninjas.

Now, I'm not talking the little regrets here. I'm not talking about that time I tried playing a female character. I'm not talking about the time I accidentally dropped a piece of armor instead of a stack of Earth crystals.

I'm not talking about the time I unlocked DRK.

Man, I really regret that one.

Do you know how hard it is to get off black nail polish?

... Neither do I.

Stop looking at me.

Anyway, fairly early in my FFXI life, long before I became the embodiment of an angry god's wrath, I was a Warrior.

What? You have to level something before you unlock Dragoon. I picked Warrior.

Then, while leveling Dragoon, I'd occasionally drift back to my Warrior just for a change of pace.

All of that jumping really takes it out of you.

Before I knew it, I had trudged my ass through the 50's and had finally hit level 59. As any Warrior at the time would know, this meant only one thing: I had to get a Haubergeon.

This wasn't a question. You hit level 59 as a Warrior and you went and got yourself a Haubergeon. It was as sure as having to take the next breath if you felt like keeping on living.

Plus, it looks Hella awesome.

Now, I could have just bought it off the AH like a regular person. I could have just ponied up the gil and had my Haubergeon. No fuss, no muss.

That's... That's not what I did.

Instead, I, for some reason, thought it would be a much better idea to have someone craft it for me and hope for a HQ.

Anyone who has ever had an item crafted has secretly held out hope for a HQ so they get a WAY more awesome item without spending any extra money.

Also, that white box is pretty sweet.

I should also point out that this thing was incredibly expensive at the time. We didn't have it easy like you kids these days. These things cost million upon millions of gil.

Now, you get them free in a box of cereal.

No, that freaking piece of armor was unbelievably expensive.

I am two things:

a) cheap

b) really cheap

Thus, getting it synthed for me seemed like a great idea.

At the time.

I pooled all of my resources, sold off some older armor, and just barely managed to scrape together enough gil for the materials. I then got the name of a really high level Smither that could synth the armor for me.

Again, this was before I became a GM and could have just made the items and/or money appear in my inventory.

Or the Haubergeon.

Or the Haubergeon +1.

It was also before I had started on the whole crafting thing. This, sadly, meant that I had to find someone else who could perform the synth for me.

This is where things started to go wrong. The guy just never logged on and I couldn't find anyone else willing to do the synth for me.

Things were looking bad.

One evening, a few friends asked me to help with a Shadowlord run. They were having trouble finding people and I was the closest thing they had to a tank.

After hours of prep work and organizing a small group, we set out for Xarcabard.

We made our way up through the castle and we were just outside the Throne Room when I had the sudden urge to check for the synther.

Can you guess what happened?

That's right. He was finally online.

I sent him a quick tell asking him to wait until we were done. I was all but begging him.

Just to prove that my bad luck isn't just a pattern, but is instead an absolute truth, he informed me that he only had about 15 minutes. And that he was going away for a week.

Do you know how like a week is for someone with ADD waiting to get new armor synthed?

I don't know either. I'd sit down and figure it out, BUT I HAVE ADD.

With no other options, I told my group that I had to warp back to town and get the synth done. I promised them I'd be back as soon as I could.

They were very understanding.

The fact that I was the tank and could just tell them to go F&%@ themselves played no part in their decision.

One quick warp later, I was trading the materials that had cost me pretty much everything I had to the crafter.

Then he started the synth.

Pretty shiny colors.

Pretty shiny colors.

And then a small explosion.

Huh. One would think an explosion would be counter-productive to the crafting process.

I must have been mistaken.

The crafter then informed me that I wasn't mistaken. Apparently, that explosion was what happens when everything you own goes kablooie.

If he had been crafting a firework for me, I would have been very happy.

As he had been synthing an INCREDIBLY expensive piece of armor that had cost pretty much EVERYTHING I had, I was much less happy.

I died a little on the inside.

You can think I'm being melodramatic, but if you've ever had this happen, you know how freaking serious I am here. It actually made me physically sick.

Now, you're probably thinking I regret getting the synth done.

You'd be correct.

That isn't the regret I'm writing about though.

After watching my entire accrued wealth go kablam, I wasn't in the mood to play anymore. I immediately logged out and tried valiantly not to puke.

And left my entire group at the zoneline of the mission they needed with no tank.

Yup. I was THAT guy.

I've done a lot of shit that only a serial killer could be proud of, but being that guy was worse than all of it.

You don't leave a group stranded like that. You just don't.

But I did.

Honestly, if someone in a group like that pulled that shit on me today, I'd feed him to Jormy so fast his computer would catch fire.

But one day, I was that guy.

Ugh. I could punch myself in the face just thinking about it.

Actually... I could punch the crafter in the face.

I should go find his name...

Monday, October 12, 2009

[GM]Dave's Regrets - Vol. 1

I'm going to go way back here to one of the first things I remember ever feeling bad about.

Really, really bad.

The funny thing is I feel bad about a really terrible person.

It was grade seven. There was a girl in my class named Randina.

Yes, Randina.

No, I do not know what she did to her parents that made them hate her enough to give her such a retarded name.

What I do know is that Randina was a world class bitch. She was that girl in your class that you'd happily have pushed down a flight of stairs just to see if she bounced at the bottom.

I hated this girl and this was long before I started hating everybody.

Anyway, one day my best friend brings in a photo of me he had taken when we were hanging out. Apparently, that was not one of my better days and this photo was unbelievably embarrassing.

My junior high rep hung in the balance here, people.

As I was carefully placing the picture in my backpack for future destruction, Randina reached out, grabbed it, and ran off down the hallway laughing.

See? Total bitch.

I couldn't, just couldn't let that picture get around. This wasn't getting caught playing Pogs or something. This could be detrimental to my grade seven existence.

I started chasing her down the hall.

She was running pretty fast, but luckily, I was buzzed on a mix of recess pixie sticks, crystal Pepsi, and sudden fear.

I could have given the Flash a run for his money.

Seconds later, I was just a few feet behind her. All I had to do was reach out and grab her.

I stretched out my arm and firmly grasped her shoulder.

Correction: I stretched out my arm and attempted to firmly grasp her shoulder.

To this day, I remember grabbing her shoulder. I remember feeling her shoulder in my hand as I grasped.

Apparently, when you try to grab someone's shoulder when both of you are running, it is entirely possible to miss and grab a hold of their dress.

Only their dress.

You may or may not see where this is going.

Since I thought I had grabbed her in a sufficient manner to keep her from moving, I stopped running.

Since I was wrong, she continued running.

Her dress remained firmly in my hand.

It was kind of like that magic trick where the guy yanks a table cloth off a table, but instead of a table underneath, there was a screaming girl in her underwear.


So, to summarize, I have just chased down and then torn the clothes off of a girl because she took a picture I did not like.

In the middle of a school hallway.

If I did this today, I would probably have gotten shot in the face.

And what does a young man who has found himself in this situation do? Does he apologize profusely? Does he do his best to cover this poor, half-naked girl?


He takes his picture and walks away.

I swear to God, I'm not making that up. I looked at that girl, screaming and crying, and I just took my picture and walked away.

Honestly, I still feel a little bad about not doing more (or anything) to comfort her. I could have at least acknowledged how horrible what I had done was.

Not me. I just took my picture back and left her to sort that shit out for herself.

In my defense, it was a really bad picture.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alright, Already.

I just got an e-mail from last month's top donator.

Apparently, she thought that when we agreed on her chosen topic for a theme week, that would mean I would start on it immediately.

This, as it turned out, would be incorrect.

I don't think I can describe in words just how bad I am at sticking to anything even remotely resembling a schedule. Perhaps it has something to do with my video game obsession or my drinking hobby.

Or those women in my house who insist on me actually spending time with them.

Some strange combination of elements in my life have left me with a wicked case of ADD.

This has an added benefit of incredibly pissing off anyone who actually expects you to do anything.

Just ask Susan.

Still, this kind, generous woman was gracious enough to donate, so I should probably get started on this thing.

Plus me posting this really gives me no more excuses.

I do so love my excuses.

Anyway, when I first contacted her, I explained the general process and asked her for a number of themes she'd like to read. That way, we could work through the list and pick something that would make us both happy.

She had no suggestions.

She had a demand.

Apparently, this poor, poor woman is under the misguided assumption that I have a soul. She thinks that deep, deep (deep, deep, deep) down, there must be some small shred of my humanity left.

There isn't. I've looked.

Still, she wants to hear a week of the things I regret the most. You know, the things I've done that I really feel bad about.

I laughed when I read that part.

There was, however, a time before dealing with the general public had turned my heart into a cold, black vortex of hate. Back in the before time, I was still capable of feeling empathy and remorse.

Thus, I agreed to humor her request and regale you with stories from my sordid past that I would sooner forget.

Starting Monday, I will try to explain the seven things that I really regret.

It'd be kind of like the seven worst things I've ever done, but I enjoyed most of those.

And then, At the end of the week, I will be sending out the new fan pack just filled to the brim with heartfelt emotion.

Or as reasonable a facsimile as I can make up.

As usual, anyone who donated $5 or more this month will receive this awesome fan pack with exclusive stories and articles and reviews and... other... stuff.

I used to include pictures I made, but the nice people at Photoshop sent me a cease and desist letter. Something about "crimes against sight and humanity."

Eh, whatever.

But wait! That's not all! The person who donates the most during the month gets to pick their very own theme for a week's worth of posts.

That's right. Seven days of whatever subject floats your boat.

Maybe you really enjoy hearing someone make snarky comments about video games.

I can do that.

Can you believe it?

Act now and you'll be done before someone else who didn't act now!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and try to remember what a conscience feels like.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

What The Hell Is Wrong With People?

I live my life by a few very simple principles.

1) Everything is better with bacon

2) Every other car on the road is out to kill you

3) Never comment on a woman's weight/hair/clothing for any reason EVER

4) Seriously. Not EVER.

5) Don't complain about free stuff.

It's the last one that really gets me. I just don't understand how people can make such a big deal out of free stuff.

People bitched about how hard it was to get good weapons in FFXI. Oh, you've got to do a quest. Oh, you've got to find this ultra rare drop. Oh, you've got to kill an impossible NM.

I mean, all that only made sense considering these were some kick ass weapons. We can't exactly hand you a relic weapon when you log in.

NPC>> Hail, new adventurer. Welcome to Vana'diel.
NPC>> Here's your God weapon.

Still, players bitched about how hard it was to get these weapons.

Of course, they ignored my plan.

System Message: Go F&%@ Yourselves.

No, someone was kind enough to listen to these concerns and open up new ways to get great weapons.

Not me. Oh hell no. I would have told them to go F&%@ themselves.

That's how I solve most problems.

Or start most problems.

Whatever. It's problem-adjacent.

So, the kindly devs, ever thoughtful of the players' feelings, made new high level weapons that were easier to obtain. They even made several of them craftable so no real questing was required.


Then people started to complain about how expensive a lot of crafted weapons are. Materials were going up in price and the market was rising across the board.

Oh... Kay...

The devs, still mindful of players' feelings, created new quests and event that dropped new weapons into your lap. Hell, you even got to unlock new weaponskills.


Then people started to complain that the quest and events were too hard.

Wait... I think I did this part already.

Oh, my mistake. People were just bitching about the same problem we'd already solved.

Silly me.

Now, there were entire categories of epic, high-level weaponry and armor readily available for anyone willing to either:

a) kill an NM
b) do a quest
c) do an event
d) get it crafted

And people still weren't happy.

What the sweet bacon Jesus?

Yet, the devs did not give up. The devs in their mysterious ways decided to make the process of obtaining near-Godlike impliments of destruction practically idiot-proof.

You get a cheap weapon.

I mean dirt cheap.

Actually, cheaper than dirt.

If you want to purchase a small amount of dirt, you would have to trade several of these weapons.

Then, you run anyone of several small events and a Fairy (I'm not making this up) will augment your weapon to make it even more awesome.

For free.

And if you don't like the augmentation, you can say no and retry up to five more times to get a better augmentation.

That's not all. After you accept an augmentation, you can go buy another cheapass weapon and redo the whole process to get an even better augmentation.

Seriously, this is some epic shit right here. The devs actually created a system where anyone that is even functionally retarded can still obtain one of the best weapons in the game.

And what did the players do?

You guessed it.

They complained.

Now, it was too easy to obtain great weapons and the other weapons that are still just as pointy as they were yesterday, just weren't as awesome anymore.

Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if I died and this is what hell is like for GMs.

My opinion is that we should put a new complaints button in the menu. You click it and then you watch your character get eaten by Jormy and then permabanned.

It would save me SO much time.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Finally Fantasy




They have FINALLY released the original NES version of Final Fantasy for the Wii Virtual Console.

You can go, right now, and download one of the greatest games ever made. And it's only 500 Wii points!

I'm not sure what that is in human money, but I'm very excited about it.

For the first time in 22 years, you can experience the magic, the majesty, the wonder of the game that gave birth to the greatest RPG franchise EVER.

The very first time.

Unless you still have the NES version.

Or an emulator.

Or you bought the Playstation 1 remake.

Or the PSP remake.

Or that Gameboy Advance remake with Final Fantasy I and II on it.

Is there a version for the iPhone yet? There's probably a version for the iPhone.

But if you, despite the overwhelming odds, somehow have not purchased one of these games, then this is the VERY first chance you've had to play it.

Otherwise, it's just a regular Monday.

You know, you COULD just go buy it again. That is an option.

I realize you probably own seventy odd versions of the game, but this is the first one that you can play on your Wii.

Unless you use homebrew. Then you probably have a NES emulator on your Wii.

Still, on the off chance that you don't either own one of those many, many, MANY versions AND you don't have homebrew on your Wii, this is totally awesome.

What are you waiting for? There's a console in your house that doesn't have Final Fantasy I on it.

Can you really live that way? Can you live like an animal?

Only an animal could live with only seventy versions of Final Fantasy I.

Seriously. You'd better hurry the hell up.

I don't care if you don't own a Wii. Go to the store and buy a Wii and then start reading this post from the beginning.

See? Now, there's a console in your house with no Final Fantasy I on it.

Get that Wii shop going and pay good money to buy a digital version of a game you probably own at least three physical copies of.

What? Makes sense to me.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

When World's Collide

Okay, I'm going to level with you here. I'm going to tell you the secret known only to GMs.

Being a GM is not the glamorous job you might think it is.

I know, I know. When you picture the GM offices, you probably think of a huge party, music blasting, and tons of celebrities hanging out.

Surprisingly, that's not actually what it's like.

We spend a great deal of our time just sitting around and waiting. There's not a hell of a lot to do between calls, so for a lot of our day is just getting paid for doing nothing. Either no one is making GM calls or we're too busy ignoring them to care.

Yes, I know my job is more awesome than yours.

No, you can't work here.

So, yesterday, we were sitting around playing a new game I invented called "make the intern answer the fish bot calls until he cries" when one of the guys starts to talk about video games.

Some people might think we were kind of obsessed with video games, but that's only because we are.

Anyway, the conversation eventually gets around to famous video game characters and what job class they'd be in FFXI.

That's some deep shit right there.

Ash Ketchum - Beastmaster, obviously

I mean, the kid catches animals for a living and then forces them to take part in vicious battles against other animals.

That's the definition of a Beastmaster.

Or Michael Vick.

Kirby - Blue Mage

The basic premise behind Kirby is that he can steal and use the powers of his enemies. Once he is exposed to an attacker, he can then use that attacker's abilities.

Blue Mages do the exact same thing.

The only difference is that Kirby does it by ingesting his enemies and absorbing their powers as they die slowly, being digested over a thousand years.

The devs decided to leave that particular animation out of the Blue Mage.

Mario - Dragoon

He jumps on things.

This isn't rocket science, people.

Link - Paladin

I kind of labored over this one. Theoretically, he could be a Warrior. He runs around stabbing things with a sword.

Also, vandalizing lawns and pottery.

But considering he carries a sword and a shield, I'd have to lean towards Link being a Paladin.

What bothers me is that he really doesn't have the best defense. His "armor" basically amounts to a green tunic he's been wearing for over a decade.

Also, his HP is somewhere around 4.

Basically, Link is a bitch Paladin.

Sonic - ... Thief?

I'm stretching here, but only because Sonic is a retarded character.

Yeah, sure. His older games were really good. There's no denying that.

That still doesn't change the fact that he's a blue hedgehog that spins in a circle and collects rings for no apparent reason.

He doesn't even have a weapon.

Still, the speed thing means he has flee. Therefore, Thief.

I didn't say I put a lot of thought into it.

Ironically, the amount of time he spends using Flee seems like a movement hack. If he were actually a player in FFXI, I'd have banned him long ago.

Go hang out with Tails, cheater.

Then... Then someone asked the inevitable question:

Guy>> What job would Cloud Strife be?

Cloud Strife - Take a shot in the dark.

He's skinny, effeminate, and is obviously emo.

He also has a penchant for giant swords.

Gee... I'm going to have to go with White Mage on that one.

As much as it pains me to say it, I'd have to say Cloud Strife was solidly in the Dark Knight column.

He runs around with incredibly large swords (that are totally not at all phallic) while looking sad and listening to Dashboard Confessional.

Until the devs create a new job called Cutter, I'm pretty sure we have to give Cloud to the DRK side.

See what I did there?

Honestly though, that really pisses me off. The DRKs get Cloud and who do the DRGs get from that game?

That's right. Cid.

Hey, we got the third string old guy.


That's totally fair.

Even the Monks got Tifa. Yes, anatomically questionable Tifa was a MNK.

On the bright side, at least we didn't get stuck with that little bitch Yuffie. If Yuffie had been a Dragoon, I'd probably have to kill myself.

I pity the poor job that got stuck with her.

Suck it, Thieves.

Jesus. Thieves got stuck with Sonic and Yuffie. They're one wheelchair away from being a Special Olympics dream team.

We were busy trying to figure out what in the hell class we could put Barrett in when our supervisor came out of his office and told us to get to work or go the hell home for the day.

I hate being told what to do.

On the bright side, LONG WEEKEND! WOO!