Tuesday, 26 May 2015

NBI 2015: Poetry Slam - PIXEL MONEY!

Here is my entry to this year's NBI poetry slam (which you only have a few days left to join in)! The topic this year is "Gold" and I thought this piece rightly shows just what most MMO players (myself included) are actually doing, be it intentional or not. I apologize now for the adult language and non-standard rhyme format. :P


Shiny coins, gold and wealth,
in game its better than health,
cause all life is cheap and free:
You just want that pixel money!

You can buy armor and pots,
home decor, weapons, lots!
Show off your bling if thats your thing!
Make your pixel money sing!

It's also pretty easy to get:
find a mob that ain't a threat,
kill it dead, make your hand red,
you'll get that pixel money yet!

Yup - its not made by a bank,
and it always smells very rank
the truth hits you with each scoop:
you're collecting critter poop!

They have bags you say?
Does that brighten your day?
What about those rats, spiders and bats?
Tentacled aliens or giant gnats?

You've found gold in them too
But have never before gone "Eww",
Cause you want what they've got
and you want awhole lot!


Rob that critter for PIXEL MONEY!
Reach into that corpse for PIXEL MONEY!
Up to your elbows in PIXEL MONEY!
Fill your bags with PIXEL MONEY!
Test it with your teeth! PIXEL MONEY!
Shower your friends with PIXEL MONEY!
Tell everyone about your PIXEL MONEY!

Cause he who has the most wins!


Monday, 25 May 2015

Today I Smiled: Eurovision 2015!

Short post full of  music links in-bound!

One of my guilty pleasures is watching the song contest that is Eurovision, and for those of you who don't know what it is I think this image sums it up nicely. :P

Because fire solves everything!

Yes, that's a guy singing and performing on a flaming piano. As expected there were also hot ladies, angry ladies, a fat lady, and even a bearded lady assisting the hosting since she won lost year.

There was also all sorts of music: from Israeli Club Dance, to Russian messages of peace, to songs that sound similar to something else, and as usual a couple of WTF entries.

My personal favorites of the night were Voltaj from Romania and of course Guy Sebastian from AUSTRALIA (included for the first time ever)! For a country not even in Europe I'm amazed that he did so well. The ultimate winner was Sweden though, and I had no problems with that as I quite liked his song too. You should give it a listen! :)

Saturday, 23 May 2015

NBI Talkback #4: Seven Gaming Sins

I suppose as the silly person who thought up this questionnaire I should be one of the first bloggers to answer it, though it looks like Knifesedge has already got the ball rolling! :)

Lust - Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and "interestingly proportioned" avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars?

While I always prefer to play as my main male character (the same guy in every game), I certainly enjoy the worlds more when they give players the option to run around as under dressed hookers. Key word there is option. If the onus is on the player on how to dress then you can't really blame the designer. The reason I enjoy it is simple: it lets people be however they want to be. I quite dislike the notion that mandates that x type of people can only wear x type of gear. It's all about individuality.

Gluttony - Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless?

Nope. Since I very rarely (closer to never) purchase digital games for myself my backlog is quite under control. I simply get gifted enough games and know that there's a large multitude of free to play titles out there that can keep me entertained for a long time. I do still buy games for other people, but their backlogs aren't my problem. :P

Greed - Do you enjoy hand outs in game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action in game activity because the rewards to yourself were lacking?

Oooh I'm definitely one greedy player. I like getting hand outs sure, who doesn't but the question should be Do I give hand outs? Maybe to friends, or allies or people I decide are "good natured". I don't consider those handouts though - that's more just sharing resources. I absolutely hate in-game beggars.

Real life beggars I can support on occasion, but people asking for pixel gold or pixel gear are simply lazy. Have I ever opted to NOT do an in game activity that isn't rewarding to me? YES. Especially when I'm playing solo! Like most gamers, I look for the path of least resistance, that is the shortest path with the most profit. Why? Because time is valuable, and must be managed efficiently to achieve a balance of fun and progression.

In a party, I don't mind doing non-rewarding activities as usually the party makes the experience more fun. :)

Sloth - Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to?

I never leech or AFK in a party, unless it really is a "down time" moment where everyone is resting. Leechers kinda fall into the lazy pixel beggar category above for me, so I definitely don't want to be one of them. Do I discourage others from attempting things that might be difficult? Hmm. Not really. I'm usually always up for certain death missions "just for the lulz", though I do mention that fact ("we'll probably be caned :D") before undertaking it.

As for helping people that need help it really depends: as I mentioned above I always decide not to help pixel-beggars. People that are getting slammed by monsters though (who I see are actually losing) often prompt me to jump into the fray - even if it just means I get killed too. I'm supposed to be a hero damnit, so of course I should be heroic (though slightly insane)! :P

Wrath - Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums?

Yelling at things: YES! I try not to yell at people though. Not directly. I do quite like to talk & threaten & sing to monsters, NPCs, and myself. This is quite funny when I do it on voice chat as people think I'm crazy.

I've not gone player stalking for many years. Really, the only time I stalked someone out of anger was on a free shard of UO after some PKs ambushed our guild. I suspected that one of the PKs was actually using a game master account to spy on our movements and equipment to know when to hit us, so having a game master account myself I tailed the bastard and sure enough matched his IP to one of the newly recruited GMs.

I also caught him doing it again to another group and got screenshot evidence of the whole matter. Turns out the "mortal" guy also had a hacked ring which made it very hard for him to die. It felt good bringing all of this to the higher ups who then came with me to confront said "corrupt" GM face to face, stripped him of his powers, killed him in a public spot, and banned his account (it's why I quite like that ban hammer GW2 video). Alas the "mortal" only got his cheating ring taken away as punishment. I still took it as a win.

Ohhh yeah, then on another free shard there was another "bad" GM who liked killing players by popping tough monsters on top of their head. I didn't have a game master account there but I simply used all the tricks I had learned from before, figured out who his mortal was and then found proof of him being a scum (setting up his own tournament so that he would win and rewarding "himself" with a legendary weapon). I also found proof that on the previous shard he played on before he was kicked out for cheating. Bad example for one of the eight seats of virtue huh? Got him banned and then one of our guild mates took his place on the council.

Good times, good times. Haven't needed to go through those lengths to cane someone for a long time now though. Maybe I'm just mellowing out in my old age

Envy - Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can't? Do you ever suspect they are hacked or are simply unfair?

Yes and Yes. I am both thrilled and envious when I see those videos of one dude soloing a five man dungeon, but because of all those bad experiences (see Wrath, above) I always, ALWAYS think they are cheating in some way. Maybe not even in an "illegal" way. Perhaps they just pay to win or use out of game voice chat or use more people to their own ends or use ANY form of mod outside of the BASE GAME (for me any who use those ARE cheating - even if its just UI organization, no question about it). Even if it just is a matter of skill I always think they are hacked first. It's just been ingrained in my nature.

Pride - Are you one of those people that demands to party with other "elite" players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under performing?

Nope and Nope. Hell, "elite" players probably wouldn't want to party with me anyway. I'd be on the receiving end of those "kick" votes. As I mentioned before, yes, I like being efficient -when I'm playing solo-. When others are around that's just a bonus for me (as long as they ain't leechers). I don't really care how well or how poorly they do, as long as we are all having fun. I try to remind myself that regardless of the team, the only one I can truly rely on is me so if everyone else dies it's not really their fault. -I- should be better!

Now this changes somewhat if the team actually starts caring about winning. Then I start getting annoyed when they do badly, because they aren't having fun. Which means I am not having fun. What's the point in doing an activity that you do not find fun? Hope it's rewarding? Pixel-rewards kinda suck in the grand scheme of things. Just saying.

Other on-going NBI activities:
Please join the NBI 2015: Poetry Slam!
Murf's Screenshot Safari

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Lego Movie

If you are a lego fan, then everything is awesome! :D

This movie follows how one ordinary lego man becomes "the chosen one", finds love, friends, and learns more about himself and his universe. It's actually almost the same plot as any "chosen one" story but told a hyperactive, non-sensical and funny environment that is Lego, and there are some really impressive CG scenes in there. Especially animated lego water. Awesome.

The film serves as an amazing ad for Lego products too, as it showcases a lot of their range which has grown exponentially since I last played with it, that's for sure. I also quite like that they put the part numbers up on screen as well and the Act III reveal was one I really liked too.

Lego Batman is also awesome!

The problem with the movie is in it's very nature and it crosses into the too nonsensical for a non-lego person. Two of the six audience members when we watched this fell asleep. One claimed it was perhaps the worst movie she has ever seen.

To be fair she hasn't seen Halle Berry's Catwoman, Pineapple Express, or Steven Seagal's Attack Force, but still, that's a pretty strong statement to put out there and one I do take into consideration when scoring it two and a half building blocks out of five.

Personally I thought it was pretty cool, but if a movie puts audience members to sleep so early in the piece then there's definitely something wrong with it. Would I want to watch it again? Oddly - no.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NBI: Screenshot Safari! #NBI2015 #NBI2015Safari #Landscape

I'm putting this screeny in the #Landscape category because I have a feeling most of the others will be awesome, sweeping shots of the horizon so you can see the sky and perhaps get a sun flare effect like in J3w3l's shot.

Well, I thought I'd be different and show the a top-down view of the landscape when you are going 100KM/H off a tall cliff into a deep valley where your objective to "KILL EM ALL!" awaits while riding a rocket powered bike from the future that cannot, in any way, actually fly.

*Turns on blaring rock music*

I tried to live up to the name of the game: Firefall!

The next two screenies are for Jeromai's Nostalgia Trip writing prompt of things in games that no longer exist...

First up we have this little garden and over sized statue in Neverwinter City. As of Elemental Evil, those are no longer there - replaced by the huge and more functional elemental tree of balance.

If you haven't tried get up on to rooftops, you should. It's fun!

And here is a collage from an old Ultima Online shard that let each player hold a large contigent of NPC mercenaries and pets. When my guild took control of Trinsic, we decided to build an army of them (over 200) as city guards - and yes, most of them died in defense of the city.

Dang, I miss my blue warhorse.

I don't think any other shard lets you do that any more. Indeed, the second iteration of that very shard prevented it.

Monday, 18 May 2015

NBI Talkback #3: What made you a Gamer?

I'm pretty sure I can attribute this to my brothers, who got me playing table top D&D (and memorizing the monster manual in case I run into any monsters in real) from a young age. They also encouraged me to watch them play through games like Shadowgate and Castle Wolfenstein. By the time I got a Nintendo family computer I think I already fit right into the "gamer" category. Battle City was one of my favorites, since it offered cooperative play.

Of course I also enjoyed making up games, just as most kids do I imagine. Games on paper, games in real life, games on the bus to school, during recess and lunch and definitely afterwards, etc. I imagine it helped that my best friend at the time was as crazy about games as I was. He was more successful with that background than I though.

Eventually I was introduced to Ultima Online and that started the whole MMO addiction for me. More recently I've rekindled my table top gaming love with board games, which isn't good because they can become way more expensive than the digital variety! Yeah, it's a strange sort of progression, but that's just how I am. Strange. :P

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Today I Smiled: Live Action!

Been awhile since my last "Today I Smiled" entry and there sure are a lot of things for me to smile about. My Neverwinter Online: Vigilance Guide got featured as a "Bag of Tricks" entry on NWO-uncensored. I also quite like that the Wizards of the Coast release content on all mediums simultaneously which means that Elemental Evil is also hitting DDO and the table top game, meaning there are write ups for each of the evil cults.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is also going full swing and this year I'm in charge of the Poetry Slam - looking forward to more entries coming in before the end of the month. Also happy to report I'm now up to 100 links from 59 when the event began. As a fan of the TV series Arrow and the Flash I'm also looking forward to Legends of Tomorrow, and am hoping the live action version of Shingeki no Kyoujin (Attack on Titan) does well. Kinda surprised to see a live action Parasyte there too!

If none of those interest you then perhaps this clip of Guildwars 2 killing, deleting and then banning a cheater will be enough to brighten your day, or if you want a more hands-on experience, try out the first two browser bragging games for this years NBI: the PvP blob consuming game called Agar and the colorful pixel gore of Critical Annihilation. :)