Heading to Old Norrath, or What Did I Get Myself Into?!

I had a couple of choices for title names in my head, which included, “Heavens be damned, I cannot run!” and “How Doth One Respondeth to an NPC?” Ultimately, I decided the simplest two titles would be the best.

Reading about the time-locked progression server for Everquest made me realize something. The very first MMORPG I wanted to play was this game I saw in Inquest Magazine called Everquest, circa 1999-2000, and despite all the expansions that have come for the game, I could actually have the chance to experience the very game that made me want to be an MMO gamer to begin with.

Sadly, I’m not the same person I was in 1999. Hell, I’m not the same person I was in 2009. My preferences have no doubt changed due to the coddling by current-generation MMORPG traits, so I wanted to see the extent of my coddled nature by engaging in the trial for Everquest, called Escape to Norrath.

The first thing I said to myself when I was first able to get into the game world was, “Dagnabbit, what the hell is up with the User Interface?” It was everywhere, covering most of the screen and obscuring my character’s vision severely.

The second thing I noticed was that pressing the WSAD combination of keys did not make my character move.

Eventually, after closing some windows, I realized that I needed to figure out where to go to change my button layout, and I found out that the reason why I couldn’t move was that the game relegated the movement buttons to the right side of my keyboard on the arrow keys. With that fixed, I began my adventure… for all of five minutes.

One of the Escape to Norrath quests had me learning to equip armor. The problem was the quest prompt told me to equip the armor and then respond to the questgiver through main chat. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what to do to get the questgiver to continue the quest, so I quit the game and did some errands and bought McDonald’s food, and wrote this.

This game will definitely take some getting used to, especially for someone who’s used to the luxuries of the current generation of MMO game.

Attempts at Voice Recording, Parts 1 and 2.

I’ll keep this simple and straightforward.

Part of the list of things I want to do in my life is to record a song and to make a podcast… even just a one-shot.

I’m partway through that goal, as I’m learning how to record and use Audacity for my needs.

My problem is that I personally think my voice needs a lot more work for singing, though that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I just can’t hit super high or super low notes very well.

Anyway, below are links to two short songs I’ve recorded.

The first, which has already been listened to by a couple of folks on Twitter, is called Reach Through the Screen and Punch His Lights Out, and is basically a dramatic re-singing (does such a thing exist on the internet?!) of the opening line of Beau Hindman’s write-up on Massively of Star Trek Online.

The second song is actually an excerpt of a four minute song that I have the instrumentals to called Heart Breaker, performed by Maki Ohguro and Koji Kikkawa. It’s been repurposed (for lack of a better term) to talk about bloggers and readers and is now titled Blogger x Reader, though this excerpt is the blogger side of the song. When I improve my recording techniques, I’ll go and release the second half or the whole song on Mediafire.

After the break are the lyrics to Blogger x Reader Part 1. Enjoy! đŸ˜€

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A Nearly Comprehensive List of Things to Look Forward to in 2011 and Beyond

One of my Google searches for upcoming games in 2011 had me stumbling back into the NSFW recesses of Sankaku Complex, where one article they had was a huge 1.2 MB picture of a list of multiplatform and exclusive games to the PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360. While Sankaku Complex said it asserted the dominance of the PS3 over the two other consoles, it seems fairly evident that the PC would be the place to go if you really want a lot of games.

I can’t seem to find the original author of the picture but I’m guessing that this listing is perhaps incomplete to a certain extent as well, seeing as it’s a day or two old and something new must have happened between the posting and now that would require a minor update.

Added to the picture above is a link to a blog by Adrian Werner, who also has another extensive list of PC-specific games to look forward to for 2011 and beyond.

Anyway, the point of this post is that there are a ton of great games to look forward to, and it’s an exciting year for me, for a lot of reasons. I’m hoping 2011 will be much better than the year before it, and I pray that good things happen to all of us, regardless of our gaming preferences.

As Stargrace of MMOQuests would say, “Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!”

Does the Gaming Experience Require a Bell Curve of Play or a Gamer Profile Preamble?

So Elementalistly of Lowered Expectations put up a post a few minutes ago talking about the now-infamous one-hour impression of Rift. In the post, Elementalistly uses Age of Conan as a prime example of how one hour of gameplay does not accurately portray a good impression of a game.

For those of you who haven’t played Age of Conan, let me explain. The first 20 levels are essentially known as the Tortage Experience, in which your first hour defies most of the common traits we tend to ascribe to MMORPG’s. For instance, there is rarely a Question Mark indicating a questgiver, and the action is fast-paced and exciting because you’re trying to escape to the city of Tortage from a shipwreck. The game is voiced well, and it really feels like a polished game.

The problem with that image is that once you’ve completed the Tortage Experience (which takes more than an hour, usually), the game suddenly switches you over to a world where the MMORPG tropes exist in full force. You lose the voice acting, questgivers are everywhere, and a lack of content exists for people who do not want to simply kill ten rats.

Now, as an innocent thought, I told Elementalistly that due to his post, I felt guilty about spending only four or five hours playing FFXIV, most of it spent actually crafting more than anything else. To this, he replies through two tweets:

Should people then need to suffer more than 1 hour of FFXIV and it’s horrid gameplay? OUCH…

FFXIV is perfect proof against my point of spending more than 1 hour in an MMO to understand it and learn it…DAMMIT!

If FFXIV’s current state is a point towards the idea that one shouldn’t force himself to suffer through an uninteresting game, and Age of Conan is an example of how more than a passing glance should be given to games to get a better impression of them, I am left with a question in my head.

Does this mean that there should be “bell curve” to determine the best way to get an impression of a game?

By this bell curve, I am referring to the idea of writers needing a predetermined number of hours or a set point in the game met to achieve what could be considered an acceptable impression.

Obviously this sounds preposterous. While we could, as a cultured and civilized people, institute such a thing, it would have little bearing on the fact that every person is different and thus responds differently to particular stimuli.

Take for instance my earlier coverage of Darkall. Truth be told, I LOVE this game, but I keep stopping myself from playing it because the game brings up too much tension in me.It simply does not agree with my sensibilities despite the fact that I respect the game immensely for being its own sort of awesome.

While we may not need a bell curve of play, what might be better would be some sort of profile of the gamer playing X game and writing about it. For instance, if you’re the type of person who’s allergic to peanuts, and you’re asked to review a peanut butter spread, you’ll probably die right after posting that said peanut butter spread is poison. Sure, people will think it’s poison, and your point will be made because you’re dead, but that’s probably because you have an allergy to the bloody stuff to begin with that they don’t know about.

I’d think that being upfront about your preferences and letting people know that they don’t have to take your word as fact would be helpful in stemming the tide of people being up in arms about a one-hour impression.

Of course, as I said, that’s just my impression. It’s up to you to see if you should heed my words or be up in arms over it.

10 Minutes with Angry Birds: Some Impressions

I spent ten minutes earlier playing Angry Birds on the iPod Touch of a friend. The game is available for play on the iPhone or iPod Touch, provided that your device has the proper updates required to play the game.

Angry Birds is a game starring a bunch of differently colored birds who are angry… angry at pigs who apparently have done something wrong. I do not know what these pigs did (probably mass genocide of birds?), but the introductory cutscene-type deal seemed unappealing and cartoony so I skipped it.

Most of the ten minutes I spent playing Angry Birds was actually comprised of listening to my friends tell me about the controls. Apparently, these furious fowl are willing to jump on a slingshot and have someone finger them into position to be released all cannon-like in order to obliterate some pigs. This smacks of many MMORPG tropes, such as the suicide mission trope and the band of heroic fowl trope. By comparison, World of Warcraft and LOTRO both have chickens in them, and I assume they are also rather angry at the misrepresentation of their species as a fowl race.

Much like other MMORPG’s before it, Angry Birds is actually quite the intriguing multiplayer game, but for a different reason entirely. It involves a system of gaming known as “sharing,” which is commonly unheard of in many MMORPG’s as it requires people to relinquish control of the game in order to allow other people equal time in completing or failing objectives. That said, the addition of a sort of ranking system to determine who should best be set in the sharing roster may become an intriguing development for the game, should its developers decide to implement it, as it opens up an entirely new metagame that can enthrall its sizable fanbase into playing.

With that, it can be said that Angry Birds is one of the most innovative MMORPG’s I’ve had the experience of playing. Despite its lack of a crafting system and its rather lackluster quest implementation, Angry Birds serves as the immutable metaphor for the human spirit, as man, like an Angry Bird, must learn to overcome obstacles together in order to succeed in killing people who want to do other things which you disagree with.


EDIT: For the record, I do not take money from Rovio. They have not paid me to say anything. But I would like some money, so if you could send some my way, that’d be nice, Rovio. đŸ™‚

Hyper Video Cast Off: The Homeless Man With the Golden Voice


Here’s a little dose of awesome for you today, courtesy of the Overly Positive blog. The man in the video above, Ted Williams, used to be a homeless man.

According to this report on the Today Show, it seems someone representing the Cleveland Cavaliers has offered the fellow a job and a house as a result of the above video going viral.

Definitely some good news. đŸ™‚


More Ted Williams coverage-


Full Playlist of the Ted Williams Interview: http://www.youtube.com/user/Bunomous

1000 Words: Stepping into Guild Wars

On the recommendation of Twitter personality Longasc, I went ahead and purchased the Guild Wars games and expansions as my final expenses for 2010. I’m quite impressed by Guild Wars, as I never thought it would actually capture my attention, but then again, I never paid Guild Wars much heed until now.

I started off with a dervish, but found myself getting annoyed with it, so I went ahead and switched the Dervish out for an assassin who will dual-spec into Dervishy goodness in the future. My assassin is currently dual specced as a Ranger, which basically means I’m using my bow more than my knives, but I can do either well enough.

In any event, I’m enjoying the Factions storyline currently, and I’m also looking forward to earning the points required to get goodies for Guild Wars 2. It should prove interesting how all this turns out.

In the meantime, feel free make a caption to the picture of my character above, whom I took a snapshot of while dancing. Cheers!

Games and Geekery’s 2010 in Review!

This is an automatically generated post made by the code masters on WordPress for the benefit of average joes like me who don’t know how to read web statistics and who have no clue regarding the stats behind the Taj Mahal.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterâ„¢ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 323 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 385 posts. There were 49 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 29th with 713 views. The most popular post that day was Mount and Blade + Mount and Blade Warband Steam Sale Gives Wrong Key?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, Google Reader, everquest2.com, biobreak.wordpress.com, and ffxivcore.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ffxiv level cap, dante’s inferno beatrice, arcade gannon, recettear tips, and ffxiv updates.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Mount and Blade + Mount and Blade Warband Steam Sale Gives Wrong Key? November 2010


FFXIV Updates Include Hardware Mouse, Level Cap, and a Video September 2010


Beatrice Portinari is Not the Whore of Babylon January 2010
1 comment


Square Enix: Making Playing FFXIV More of a Hassle Since 5 Minutes Ago August 2010
31 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


FFXIV Updates: Market Wards to get Changes September 2010