Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yeah... I Noticed...

A couple of people have e-mailed me about the fan pack. It's been well over a month since the last one and some people are getting antsy.

I noticed that.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in the fan packs lately. Maybe it's the time of year and money's tight or maybe it's just the economy and whatnot, but interest has definitely dropped off.

Don't get me wrong. I totally get that. Money is super tight here, too.

And Susan just INSISTS on feeding our daughter EVERY DAY. What the hell is that all about?

The thing is that the fan pack is three or four days of solid writing. I usually don't get to sleep until two or three in the morning on fan pack nights.

Yeah, I'm up that late anyway most days, but that's different. That's hunting NMs or something. I usually end up with a some awesome piece of gear or something.

Or a hat.

Who doesn't like a new hat?

I'm going to keep doing the fan packs because... Well, because I like doing them. It's interesting to try and create something a little different than the average blog post.

Plus, I enjoy forcing my opinions about movies and games on you.

You will read them and you will adhere to them, damn you.

But I will probably be adjusting the schedule a bit. If it's a money thing and you can't afford to donate every four weeks, then I can adjust the schedule to make it easier on you.

Plus, I can get more sleep.

Or more hats.


If it's not a money thing, let me know what you'd like to see. Post a comment about what you like and what you don't.

See, the blog itself is about me. I write what I like and you are welcome to read it.

The fan pack is for you guys.

If you have a suggestion or a request, feel free to make it. I'll see what I can do.

No furry porn.

Seriously. No furry porn.

You have no idea how many people ask about Mithra furry porn.

I'm not even kidding.

Those people go on a list. When the revolution happens and I am crowned king and ruler of the Earth, those people will be the first to die.

Them and the entire cast of The Hills.

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow once I finalize plans for a theme week. Last month's top donator has thrown a few good ideas my way, but we haven't narrowed it down yet.

Apparently, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard" just isn't considered constructive criticism.

Damned baby.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh... The Pain...

This happens every year.

Every single year.

I wake up with the best of intentions. I plan an entire day of uninterrupted gaming scheduled around gorging myself on turkey and other turkey-adjacent foods.

A whole day of fun and getting some serious shit done in game. Got to camp a few NMs and maybe do some crafting. Run a few missions in the afternoon.


A whole day just for me.

And then... We eat.

You'd think there would be some part of the human brain that tells you to stop freaking eating because you're about to pass out. That might help you stop before your stomach is distended and you're praying for death.

I was in so much pain after I ate that I honestly thought I was going to die.

It was everything I could do just to eat that slice of pie.

My whole day of gaming ruined. I couldn't drag myself out of my tryptophan-induced coma long enough to grab a controller, let alone be in anyway productive in a game.

Yeah, Mario... You're going to have to save that bitch by yourself. I'mma take a nap over here.

Tell Toadstool that he's an annoying little F&%@er when you see him.

How can anyone be expected to actually sit up and play video games that require focus and concentration when I can feel like I'm about to explode?

Hell, how can anyone be expected to actually sit up?

I have no idea why I do this to myself? There'll still be turkey left tomorrow.

I can eat it in front of the television while watching news reports over someone getting beaten to death for the last Dora the Explorer doll.


But no. I have to eat as much as can physically fit into my torso as quickly as humanly possible.

That's the whole point of Thanksgiving: eating until you are in too much pain to move around.

Yeah, yeah. All that giving thanks bullshit. If you actually believe that, I've got a wonderful bridge I'd like to sell you.

No, Turkey Day is about turkey.

That's it. Vegetarians be damned.

It is my privilege, nay my right to eat enough food to feed a third world family for a month.

There are children starving in India.

And I aim to keep it that way.

Still, you'd think after so many years of being on this planet, I would have learned just the slightest bit of moderation when it comes to Thanksgiving.

I'm not a stupid guy. I learn quickly.

Don't drop babies. See, I learned that after the third time.

Fast learner.

But put me at a table with a near endless supply of turkey and get ready for an afternoon of groaning and bitching.

And napping.

And more eating.

I'm not kidding. I'm here in physical pain and, for some reason I do not understand, I'm sitting here still eating.

And I'm going to keep eating until they have to cut a wall out of my house to drag my lifeless body to the hospital.

Anything less would be incredibly disrespectful to the pilgrims or Mayans or whatever.

Happy Turkey Day, people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Train Derailed...

I was just getting ready to write something when I heard screaming and crying coming from my daughter's room.

I don't mean like regular whimpering or anything. This was screaming and crying like she was getting beaten.

No, Susan was not beating her.

As a father, it is one of my many duties to run headlong toward sounds of danger and distress from my child. Basically, whenever my child screams in mortal terror, I am REQUIRED to run directly toward that sound.

Side note: What the F&%@, Biology? Why the hell am I programmed to go defend my kid?

This is survival of the fittest around here. If she happens to be getting murdered or eaten by a pack of hungry dogs or something, that's just the beautiful circle of life. Who am I to interfere?

Let the kid die.

Anyway, I run full speed to her room expecting the worst. Blood, vomit, severed limbs, whatever. The way she's screaming and crying, it could be anything.

I quote:

Daughter>> I didn't get to finish Handy Manny.

Let me break this down for you: she woke up in the middle of the night and freaked out because she didn't get to finish watching a show like 4 hours ago?

What the hell?

You know, three minutes after we shut off the TV, that makes sense. Feel free to file a complaint.

Daughter>> Daddy... What's that big dragon thing?

No. No. I would not feed my daughter to Jormy.

I'm fairly certain I wouldn't do that.

Still, after four hours, she's kind of lost her right to argue the point. You know, since it is late and she is in bed.

Also, the show has been over for three and a half hours.

And I had to spend ten minutes calming her down and telling her we'd watch it tomorrow. Ten minutes of trying to make her feel better about the thing that took four hours to register.

Man, kids are F&%@ed up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Let's Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves

Last week saw some interesting news on the video game front as the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) announced they will shut their doors at the end of the year.

Apparently, sitting around making up lists about what games kids shouldn't play doesn't make as much money as you'd think.

Now, the reaction on the gamers' side has been mostly positive. A lot of gamers saw those lists as an indictment of gaming as a whole. Do we really need another list of the most violent games of a year?

Gaming isn't all violence. Yes, some games do involve violence, but the majority do not.

Unless you include plumber on turtle violence.

Then... Yeah.

The thing is, this isn't really a reason to celebrate. This isn't a victory any gamer should be happy about.

Yeah, they gave violent games a lot of shit. They created lists to keep parents from buying violent games.

That's not bad.

See, it wasn't censorship exactly. They were actually trying to educate parents about how little Billy maybe shouldn't be allowed to play the game with all the dismembering and the disemboweling and the hey now.

That's a noble ideal.

Sure, how they went about it made gamers a little angry. We tend not to like when anyone suggests that there could be anything wrong with video games whatsoever.

We're a very angry people.

Not at all related to video games, though.

But if you look at it honestly, what they were trying to do wasn't all bad. Behind the big bad list of the evil vidjeo games, there was a message that parents should work to make good choices for their children.

I'm sorry, but your ten year old kid shouldn't be playing Call Of Duty. If you purchased this game for your child, you are a terrible parent.

A lot of parents don't know that. All they know is that Christmas time is coming or it's Billy's birthday and all he wants is that MurderKiller8000 game for his Wiistation 480.

How bad could it be, right? Let's just take your kid's judgment on that one.

People don't end up violent because of video games. They end up violent because of their moron parents.

NIMF tried to change that. They were a cheat sheet for game buying.

I'm sure they did other things, but since they are not related to video games, they have no bearing on my life.

They were trying to help parents understand what games their kids were asking for were really like.

Was that really so bad?

Yeah, we won't have another list to bitch and moan about, but we'll also have entire fields of tech-retarded parents buying their retarded kids whatever games they ask for.

And servers packed deep with their retarded offspring.

Then one of those retarded, neglected children is going to do something stupid and/or violent. And who are they going to blame?

That's right. Video games.

Not the idiot parents who bought the game without finding out what it was about. No, sir.

Seriously, this was a hollow victory and not one to be celebrated.


We did win though.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rage of the Red Mages

You may or may not believe this, but I play FFXI a lot.

I know. You're shocked.

The Thing is I don't think you quite understand how much I play this game. I don't think you, a perfectly reasonable, normal person, can fathom just how much time I spend playing.

A rational brain probably can't even perceive it.

I have leveled so many characters, a countless legion of warriors and mages spread across all of the races.

Okay, maybe not countless. There have been like 16 or 17 of them.

Still, that's a lot of freaking characters.

Some of them started out as crafting mules that I leveled up enough to farm their own materials.

Some of them started out as a flicker of thought in a moment of boredom.

One started out just so I could see what my main would have looked like as a chick.

Answer: hot.

I'm not sure I should be proud of that.

I am proud, but I'm not sure I should be.

Anyway, one of the side effects of this process is that I have spent an exorbitant (spelled that correctly on the second try) amount of time playing most of the jobs available in FFXI.

Most of you know my main job is Dragoon. All of my characters eventually end up spending some part of their career as a Dragoon.

But not their entire career.

No, to add some spice to the mix, I like to mix up my job classes now and again, just to see how the other half lives.

Or the other 95%.

I've dabbled in the magery (totally made that one up) from time to time and I must admit I have spent a hell of a lot of time playing as a Red Mage.

This has everything to do with their versatility and absolutely nothing to do with their awesome freaking pimp hat.

Absolutely nothing.

Nothing at all.

During my time playing Red Mage and leveling several characters as Red Mages, I can come to an interesting conclusion: I am not an expert at being a Red Mage.

Honestly, the job is so freaking complex. It takes a massive attention to timing and detail, and requires a lot of focus.

I love Dragoon, but that's like hit attack, hit jump, go make a sandwich. You come back, thing is dead.

Boom, exp.

Also, boom, sandwich.

When I'm playing Red Mage, I just feel like there's too much shit to do. You're always watching this timer and watching that guy's mp.

Don't get me wrong. I kick freaking ass as a Red Mage. I don't do this shit half-assed. When I'm in the pimp suit, I'm always bringing my A game.

But I still don't conisder myself an expert. Even after so much experience.

Funny story: Do you know who is an expert at being a Red Mage?


Never play Red Mage before? Have a barely passing knowledge of the job mechanics? Have you accidentally visited a Red Mage forum? Did you own a Brady Guide?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are APPARENTLY an freaking expert at being a Red Mage.

I know this because every time I play Red Mage, EVERY FREAKING TIME, I am surrounded by people who want to explain to me how I should play my job.

Oh, you need a refresh now? Thanks for telling me. I have no way of figuring that shit out. They should really put a little bar underneath your hp that could go up when you have refresh on.

I will speak to the devs about that.

You know, after I HOP IN MY TIME MACHINE.

When exactly did the logic train derail and kill everyone on board here? When did it become normal practice to explain to other players how to play their job?

You don't see people giving Paladins helpful F&%@ing hints.

Hey, Dark Knight. You should try missing less.

You don't do that. You join a party and you assume everyone knows how to do their freaking job. You assume the tank is going to keep hate. You assume the healer is going to keep you up. You assume the melees are going to lay down damage.

Oh, wait. There's a Red Mage in your party. You better tell that bastard what to do.

What the hell is that?

Red Mages are an integral part to many party dynamics and provide an important resource to any group.

They are not the retarded kid next door that needs to be reminded to wipe his ass before he gets on the little yellow bus.

We got this. We are well in control of the situation.

If you don't have refresh for three or four seconds, maybe we're busy doing something. Maybe we're doing something else and you can wait.

Hold your breath, too. That helps.

Either you'll calm down or you will pass the F&%@ out and won't be able to type any more.

I was in a party earlier and this one guy, a WAR/NIN, just wouldn't shut the F&%@ up. The whole time we were in a party together, all he did was bitch.


All he did was tell me how to do my own job better. He questioned my timing, my refresh cycle order, everything.

He even questioned my equipment.

WAR>> Why are you wearing that earring?
[GM]Dave>> It's the best earring for my level.
WAR>> No, it's not.
[GM]Dave>> Yes.
[GM]Dave>> Yes, it is.
WAR>> You don't know shit.
WAR>> I'd never wear that earring.
[GM]Dave>> What level is you Red Mage?
WAR>> 23.

This is a level 65-67 party, mind you.

[GM]Dave>> You need to shut up now.
[GM]Dave>> Forever.
WAR>> What a noob.
[GM]Dave>> Psssttt. Hey, leader. We should totally boot the WAR.
WAR>> You moron.
WAR>> You said that in party chat.
[GM]Dave>> I know.
[GM]Dave>> If I whispered, you wouldn't see it.
WAR>> Man, you're a joke.
WAR>> You're the worst Red Mage I've ever seen.
[GM]Dave>> Wait a second...
[GM]Dave>> How about now?
WAR>> A sword?! You equipped a sword now?!
WAR>> What the hell are you going to use a sword for?
[GM]Dave>> Well, if you don't shut up...
[GM]Dave>> I'm going to F&%@ing cut you.

He quieted down after that.

At least, I assume he did. It was hard to tell after I fed him to Jormy, booted him off the server, and then permabanned his account.

I like to imagine that he then took his own life.

I have no way of verifying that, but it makes me smile.

Monday, November 16, 2009



Just... Just wow.

I have sat down at this computer (or a random assemblage of parts made to resemble this computer) and written 600 blog posts.

Assuming you include this one.

If you don't, just read the next post and then come back. That'll be 600.

Either way, that's a lot of freaking mindless rambling.

I have no allusions about my writing. I entirely understand that I'm not writing epic plays that will stand the test of time and will be taught to future school children as examples of remarkable writing.

Probably not.

Still, the fact that some of you have even bothered to read 600 of my rants and ravings is a huge compliment.

Or a testament to having too much spare time.

I'm very glad though that I've managed to make a little part of your day better 600 times.

About 300 of them were probably funny.

Fine... 200.

You don't see me giving you shit about your job, do you?

See, if you think about it 1/3 isn't that bad a ratio. Being funny 1 out of every 3 posts is pretty damned good in the grander scheme of things.

Yes, if I was a doctor, those would be... Less than ideal statistics. I doubt many people would want to end up with a doctor that kills 2 out of 3 patients.

Me? I just write unfunny shit about video games.

Or movies.

Or that cashier at Taco Bell that can't freaking get your order right.

Seriously. You sell tacos and other tacos. What the F&%@?

See? It's witty observations like that that keeps you guys coming back for more.

... Seriously, it'll be funnier. I'm working on stealing some Eddie Murphy material right now. I'm not kidding, this shit is really funny.

It's Hilarious.

Kidding, kidding. I really don't think Eddie Murphy does a routine about video games and/or large dragons.

I am totally not Googling that right now.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Just A Bad Idea

First off, thanks to everyone who suggested ways of fixing my computer after it went kablooie. I actually used a boot CD to roll back my registry and problem solved.

My carefully organized and indexed collection of porn has survived. Huzzah!

I actually had an awesome boot CD, the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, that had everything I needed. That thing has gotten me out of more than one jam and luckily, it came through again.

My baby is humming again.

Now, on to business...

You may or may not have heard that there was a new game released this week called Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2.

Honestly, I don't think it got very much media attention.

This game has me worried.

Don't get me wrong here. I love me some FPS action now and again, and Call of Duty knows how to deliver.

Though haven't we pretty much got this all covered?

While we're at it, why don't we go back and make another Star Wars game that involves the battle on Hoth? You don't see enough of that.

But that's not my reason for concern for this game.

No, my reason for concern is the limited edition, collector's Prestige Edition of the game. This magnificent set comes with:

a) a copy of the game (duh)
b) a beautiful artbook
c) a download coupon for the original Call of Duty
d) night vision goggles

Wait... What was 'd' again?


This is a bad idea.

Actually, that is an understatement. This is a universally, majestically, stellar clusterf&%@ of an idea.

They are selling a violent shooting game with night vision goggles.

FUNCTIONING night vision goggles.

Sure, these aren't exactly military grade, but they still pose a significant threat.

There is no logical reason why your average gamer would need a pair of night vision goggles. Yeah, you can make up a bunch of barely sensible uses, but on a basic level, we all know these things are complete useless.

Unless you're insane.

If you just happen to be insane, the makers of Call of Duty have been nice enough to provide you with proper murdering/stalking equipment.

Have we not seen enough poor decisions that we are now actively equipping people with tools to seriously injure other human beings?

If there is any one thing that humans excel at, it is taking what seems like a perfectly good idea and turning into a country-wide killing spree.

I suppose the Ultimate Prestige Edition comes with night vision goggles, a loaded handgun, and directions to your ex-girlfriend's house.

Two weeks. I give it two weeks before some moron ends up using these goggles to commit a crime and then we've got months and months of listening to other morons tell us how video games are creating killers.

Really, it's not the video game's fault.

It's the video game COMPANY'S fault.


Oh... You can pee at three AM without turning on the light.

That's pretty damned convenient.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Karma Is A Bitch

Just a couple of days ago, I was going on and on about Susan f&%@ing up her laptop.

I should have known better.

Barely an hour after I finished the post, my computer started acting funny. First, it started to slow down and lag. Next, programs wouldn't open.

It wouldn't even shut down properly.

I figured a shut down and restart might be the best option.

The shutdown part went wonderfully. It shut down incredibly quickly and with no problems.

Pulling the power cord does that.

Okay, so shut down part was done.


And then to restart...


Re... Start...

Huh. Look at that. Apparently, I changed my wallpaper to a big black screen.

And removed all of my icons.

And my taskbar.

My mouse was there. That's how I figured out two pieces of information:

1) it's not my monitor

2) it's not my mouse

Aside from that, I didn't know shit. It could have been the freaking dilithium crystals for all I freaking knew.

My harddrive with gigs upon gigs of irreplaceable (and probably not backed up) files could be reduced to cinders and ashes.

But the mouse still works, right? It's all about the little victories, people.

And what do I see when I turn my head?

That's right. Susan's smug grin.

That shit ain't funny.

Oh, yeah. It was the end of the freaking world when her computer was nothing but digital ruin, so much technology done in by a mediocre reality show.

When it's my computer, suddenly the whole thing is freaking hilarious.

Oh, oh, it's just a computer.

That's like saying it's just a lung. Or a kidney.

Not a liver. I'm WAY nicer to my computer than my liver.

And the whole time, she's typing away on her's. Playing Text Twist.

MotherF&%@ing Text Twist.

My computer, my tiny, technological idol, my only connection to my people is broken and she's smiling and playing Text Twist.

Do you know a six letter word for that? BETRAYAL.

I know that's not six letters. I couldn't think of a six letter word that would make sense.

Spelling is hard.

So, now I'm here, using a system cobbled together from random spare parts and duct tape, trying to figure out what the hell happened.

And what's Susan doing?

Still playing Text Twist.



Can't you people just leave shit alone?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shoot. Self.

I was sitting around yesterday thinking about everything I have going on in my life. You know, all of the things that eat away at my day.

Between the wife, the daughter, working, blogging, and playing video games, there's roughly 17 minutes of my day that aren't accounted for.

Some day in the future, I hope to sleep again.

Anyway, having decided I just had WAY too much free time, I decided to get a second job.

Or a third if you include the blogging.

Fourth if you include the fact that I'm a registered sex machine.

Seriously. There's a certificate and everything.

It's laminated.

And what would my new job be? Firefighter? Experimental jet pilot? Mild-mannered news reporter?

Tech support.

Yes, Tech Support.

No, I don't know why I do this to myself.

No, I don't know why I hate myself.

You're probably thinking that they're paying me an ungodly amount of money. That is the only possible reason to put myself through that kind of torment.

Not so much.

My boss isn't actually paying me.

Half of you are confused. The other half know exactly where this is going because it's happened to them too.

This is how my first call went.

[GM]Dave>> Tech Support. Dave speaking.
[GM]Dave>> How can I help you today?
Susan>> There's something wrong with my computer.
[GM]Dave>> Uh huh.
[GM]Dave>> Can you tell me what kind of computer you're using?
Susan>> You're right there.
Susan>> You can see it.
[GM]Dave>> Uh huh.
[GM]Dave>> Have you contacted your system administrator?
Susan>> THAT'S YOU.
[GM]Dave>> Okay...
[GM]Dave>> What seems to be the problem?
Susan>> Why are we pretending we're on the phone?
[GM]Dave>> I didn't catch that, ma'am.
[GM]Dave>> Could you speak directly into the phone?
Susan>> ...
Susan>> Fine. Whatever.
Susan>> It's acting funny.
[GM]Dave>> Is it performing unwanted actions?
[GM]Dave>> Or is it doing impressions?
Susan>> You know what I mean.
[GM]Dave>> Please be more clear, ma'am.
[GM]Dave>> What exactly is it doing?
Susan>> Sigh...
Susan>> I'm getting pop-ups.
Susan>> And some programs aren't working.
[GM]Dave>> Okay... Got it...
[GM]Dave>> Let's reboot the system and see if that helps.
Susan>> That didn't work.
Susan>> You just watched me reboot the thing.
Susan>> Rebooting doesn't help.
[GM]Dave>> Okay...
[GM]Dave>> Let's go ahead and shut it down.
Susan>> Are you getting me to reboot it again?
[GM]Dave>> Go ahead and shut it down.
Susan>> I'm seriously going to hurt you if that's it.
[GM]Dave>> Is it shut down yet?
Susan>> You know it is.
Susan>> You're twelve feet away.
[GM]Dave>> Okay... Let's just wait a minute.
Susan>> If you're just doing a reboot...
Susan>> I swear to God, I will punch you in the trachea.
[GM]Dave>> Just a minute.
Susan>> I'm not kidding.
[GM]Dave>> Okay, go ahead and start her back up.
Susan>> I hate you.
[GM]Dave>> Did that fix the problem?
Susan>> You know it didn't.
[GM]Dave>> Uh huh, uh huh.
[GM]Dave>> What were you doing when you noticed the problem?
Susan>> I was downloading episodes of Project Runway.
[GM]Dave>> What kind of virus scanner were you using?
Susan>> I have no idea.
Susan>> Did you put one on there?
[GM]Dave>> So... You were visiting random websites.
[GM]Dave>> With no actual virus protection?
Susan>> Only a bunch of Chinese ones.
[GM]Dave>> ... Wow.
Susan>> What do I do?
[GM]Dave>> Do you have Windows?
Susan>> Yeah.
[GM]Dave>> Open the nearest and place the computer outside.
[GM]Dave>> It'll be safe now.

She didn't find that part funny.

You know what I didn't find funny? Spending the next six hours trying to fight off the horde of viruses that she had let gangrape her computer.

Oh, and a rootkit. A rootkit that disabled any and all rootkit removal tools.

You'd think that they would mention that on the download site.

Warning: This program doesn't do shit.

A rootkit removal program that fails to remove a rootkit has failed on a fundamental level.

Hours and hours of work trying to save files and pictures only to have to reformat the entire thing and spend ANOTHER six hours downloading and reinstalling everything.

Along with six virus scanners.

Don't worry, computer. I won't let the bad woman hurt you anymore.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Line

Designing a fair and moral MMORPG is a really complex endeavor.

On the one hand, in an ideal world, a game would be entirely free to play offering maximum content to all users without any money changing hands.

On the other hand, money is awesome.

This puts any game designer in a serious bind. It would be really great to offer constantly changing material that is adequately maintained for free, but that model is nowhere near feasible in today's business world.

So, what do they do?

Well, that's where things get interesting. There are several common MMORPG business models.

1) Everything is free

Yay. Everything is free. No money down, no money on delivery, and easy monthly payments of zero dollars.

This sounds like the best system.

On paper.

Or... A blog, as it were.

This seems to be the greatest value/cost model for the player. Since you're not paying any money, receiving any service at all means a great deal of value.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, it's kind of hard to keep a business going with no actual income. You can't have developers and tech crew and the ever important GM staff running 24/7 when you're not willing to pay them.

I mean, I love being a GM, but if they stopped paying me, I'd be out like a scout on a new route.

Oh, and while free content sounds awesome, you usually get what you pay for. Instead of carefully refined events and graphics, you get something that looks like your video card is trying to commit suicide.

Not good.

Sooner or later, this model runs out of steam.

And by "steam" I mean "money".

Then, they are stuck restructuring.

"Restructuring" means they go out of f&%@ing business.

2) Everything is "free"

Pay very careful attention to those quotation marks. They are going to be very important.

Some MMORPGs like to play a little game of semantics. They tell you the game is "free to play", but then include a premium account option.

Basically, you CAN play for free, but someone with a credit card and disposable income is going to totally destroy your ass.

That's an option. Right there in the menu, there's a button that says "kick free players ass".

Those are some damned important quotation marks, am I right?

3) You can buy EVERYTHING

These guys don't even try to be subtle about it. Everything in the game can be purchased with real money.


Need some epic piece of gear? You could:

Step 1) get a group together
Step 2) develop strategy
Step 3) organize group and explain strategy
Step 4) get group to event safely
Step 5) run time intensive event
Step 6) have to repeat event again and again due to terrible drop rates and/or terrible group.


Step 1) get out Visa card
Step 2) done

While this seems like a good system for those willing to spend the money, it's really kind of a dick move. You're basically gouging players for every item AND you're only propagating the real money for virtual items business.

Do I really need to explain how I feel about that part?

4) The subscription model

Here's where FFXI falls. You pay a set monthly fee and that's it. That fee covers the general services provided and allows for development of new content.

You have no problem understanding right where you are. There's no pressure to buy a big item because... Well, because you can't. You need to earn it.

This is hardcore. Your Visa card ain't worth shit over here.

... Except for your monthly fees. You'll totally need a Visa card for that.

Best of all, all players are on equal footing and only skill and commitment will decide who is better. You can't buy an advantage.

For general, all-around player satisfaction, this really is the best model. I really think this is the best.

And that has nothing to do with it being responsible for my paycheck.

Nothing at all.

That's pretty much every...

Wait... There's another business model? What are you talking about?

4) WoW

Haha, bitches. It's another episode of Everything [GM]Dave Hates About WoW.

Today's episode: payment plan

At first glance, WoW seems to follow the same payment model as FFXI. You pay a standard fee each month and that's it.


Not so much.

It started really slowly. They came out with the card game and certain cards gave in-game items like mounts and such. You buy the card and you get a free in-game item.

While this wasn't strictly a real money/virtual item exchange, it was as damned close as you could get.

Basically, they took the real money/virtual item model and jammed the word "card" in the middle.

Still, I could kind of let that go. At least you got a sweet card out of it that did have some benefit in the real world.

I could grudgingly accept that.

At least the weren't directly selling in-game items for real world money, right?

Whoops. Spoke too soon.

This is where WoW officially crossed the line between subscription base to RMT.

Yeah, yeah. It's only a completely original, not-at-all ripped off from a animated movie Panda who just happens to know Kungfu.

And a cat that I don't have a relevant imdb link for.


Sure, it's just two in-game pets, but this is really starting down a slippery slope. First, it's the cute pets, then a new piece of gear.

Pretty soon, kids are maxing out their credit cards buying epic mounts and arena gear.

Tsk, tsk, WoW. I really thought you were better than that.

That's really not true, but at least it gives me one more thing to bitch about.

You know how I do so love the bitching.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Still Valid

I didn't have a chance to read the comments on the last post until today. Things have been very hectic around here the past few days.

Damned Star Road.

Anyway, as I was reading the comments, I noticed that some people mentioned that the post was almost exactly a cut and paste from last year's Halloween post.

My wife suggested I apologize, but I'm not going to. My reasons for not apologizing are threefold:

1) [GM]Dave does not apologize

[GM]Dave is not burdened by such silly things as a conscience or "emotions". I do not feel bad for the things I do.

Yes, ever so rarely, I may analytically understand how something I have said may be construed as "wrong" or "offensive". I may offer up an apology as means of expressing that understanding, but not as an admission of remorse.

2) My points are still entirely valid

Re-reading last year's post, I will acknowledge certain "similarities" to my recent Halloween post.

While this does make the points I made seem less original, it does not make them any less valid.

People not wearing masks or costumes on Halloween immediately places them in the retarded category. This cannot be debated.

While my post may borrow from last year's, since the event that instigated both posts was repeated, my ranting is just as valid as it was when it was first written.

3) ... I kind of forgot I wrote it

Yeah, I totally forgot I wrote that. I was coming down off a SERIOUS sugar high and Susan was sick of listening to me bitch about the morons who came begging for food.

Seriously, one kid showed up wearing a hoodie and a backwards hat. He didn't even say Trick or Treat. He just shoved his pillowcase out and waited for me to put candy in it.

The fact that I did not throttle him shows just how much I've grown as both a person and a person who does not want to get arrested.

Susan, of course, was understanding of my anger.

She suggested I just go blog it out.

So I did.

My fingers still twitching from a near fatal glucose overdose, I sat down and just got my rant on. I just wrote whatever came into my Snicker-addled mind.

There was a moment, ever so brief, where I actually thought this sounded familiar. I'm pretty sure it was around the "organized begging".

I just thought I was stealing from someone else. No big deal.

Apparently, my brain was stealing from myself.

Damned brain.

Honestly, I'm actually a little impressed at how close the two posts were. I hadn't reread it until today, so you have to admit that's pretty impressive.

Sad, but impressive.

I'd never stoop so low as to copy and paste from my own posts. Just the idea of it makes me angry.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go eat tiny little Snickers bars until I calm down.

Monday, November 02, 2009

So Goddamn Simple

What the hell has gone wrong with Trick or Treaters?

I realize kids these days have got the attention span of your average mosquito, but the very least these little bastards can do is put on a freaking costume.

The Halloween relationship is an incredibly simple one. You dress up in a costume, I provide candy.

That's it. This is not some sort of complex interaction.




And yet, I open my door Saturday night and I'm greeted with people wearing jeans and backwards hats.

What the sweet bacon Jesus hell?

Just... Just wear a mask or something. Give me something to work with so that I can at least feel like I'm not just giving food away for no reason.

I'm not asking for a lot. I'm not asking for some intricate play with thought-provoking themes and memorable characters.

I do, however, have some full size snickers bars prepared for just such an occasion.

But give me something, anything.

Just wear... Something.

A mask. A wig. Some make up.


If you're just going around not wearing a costume, then you're not trick or treating. At that point, you're just actively begging for food.

Granted, you're being proactive and going to people's houses to beg. You are the go getter of the homeless panhandler crowd.

Still, you're just begging for food.

Congratulations. You're dressed as a moron.

Next year, and I'm not kidding, I am going to beat the ever-loving shit out of the first kid who shows up at my door without a costume. I am going to go medieval on his ass.

I dare any police officer arresting me to tell me he wouldn't do the same.

I'll be out in less than an hour, sitting outside, eating a freaking bite-sized Kitkat bar, and waiting for the next retard to show up.

That probably won't be a long wait.