No RP in my RPG

One of the things I find distressing in MMORPGs today is the lack of that RP part… you know, Role Playing. I suppose that’s why most articles these days are using just MMOG or seeking out new identifiers.

Mostly, when I play, I tend to RP, at least a little. I try not to talk about sports or real world news, I don’t go on and on about the latest movie that I saw. I’m in a world where I am a hunter, and I have been tasked to kill bears, and while I don’t keep things deadly serious, I try to keep things contextual. Lots of people don’t.

It starts with names. From a hundred yards, when I see you running across the field and I target you and see your name is ‘Meattank’ or ‘Roxxingursoxxorz’, I know immediately that you are not playing your role as defined by the game world. Instead, you are likely grinding exp, loot, money or faction. Grouping with you would be a mistake, because you are likely to spend our time talking about the real world, or worse, DPS numbers and quickest routes of progression, boiling the game down into its simplest form. Of course, some ‘bad’ players still have good names.

I find, as I get older, that I’m less tolerant of people. I’m more apt to just pick up my toys and go home rather than put up with someone insisting that not playing a game at its most minimal and purest form is a waste of time. People who demand that levels and stats be maxed, that can only tell you where things are by looking them up on the latest spoiler site. Mostly though, the lack of role playing goes back to the idea I posted about a couple weeks ago. The min/max play style trumps my role playing style. A player playing the stat and loot game can hear me talk about getting a beer down at the pub and just brush it off, but when a group member breaks out with “Okay, lull that mob and will split the pair, cast x, y and z, if we happen to get the second, I’ll offtank until you guys down the first mob. Stay to the back and sides to avoid the ripostes. Max melee range so you don’t push.” well, it just kills the role play.

There is no solution to this. I’m just venting. I’ll still keep trying to role play, but real role playing is probably going to have to stay at the table top game level.

Stuff on the Net XVI

Over at Critical Hits, you can find an old D&D commercial, circa 1983. I think the worst part of this is not that I owned that version of the game in 1983, or that I still play D&D today… but that I recognize the early acting work of Alan Ruck and Jami Gertz.

Documentary: Spiders on Drugs.

I couple of lightsaber fights: Old favorite, One with more story.

Are you a muslim woman with a desire to surf? Well, now you can without violating muslim law!

Oh… and HBO is going to be making Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire into a TV show. Oh, yeah.

The Holiday

Last night I saw a sneak preview of The Holiday which opens today.

If you like romantic comedies, this is right up your alley. Kate Winslet plays Iris, an English woman who has spent too many years loving a man who doesn’t love her back. Cameron Diaz is Amanda, an American woman who spends all her time on her career and not enough on her relationship. When Iris’s man becomes engaged to another woman and Amanda breaks up with her boyfriend, the two of them, separately, decide to go on holiday, they meet each other through a website and agree to swap houses for two weeks over Christmas.

Both Amanda and Iris end up meeting men (Jude Law and Jack Black, respectively) and learning how to get over the things that are blocking their lives.

Yeah, its a chick flick, but its extremely funny and completely worth the price of admission. Go see it, and take a date.


Avast! Yarrr! Yes, it is once again Talk Like A Pirate Day. And yes, I have installed the annoying Pirate Speech plugin for WordPress, so suffer!

I’ve already managed to make it through one meeting this morning saying things like “Aye” and using as much pirate speech as I can, but luckily there aren’t many meetings scheduled today.

So, enjoy the day, talk like a pirate, and have fun.

Nothing to See Here

Seriously… for some reason today my brain is so horribly scattershot that I’ve been staring at my article entry page for a while and haven’t been able to think of anything to write about. I think it may have to do with the mind numbing task I’ve been doing at work… replacing direct table queries with view based queries. Its a web app, with about 200 pages, and every page uses queries. Ugh.

So, allow me to hit you with some random thoughts…

TV Shows: Its May, which means that just about every show is pulling stunt casting and/or running season finales. I happen to watch alot of TV and my biggest concern is my favorite shows are on either UPN or the WB, neither network will exist in the fall. The CW (the combination of UPN and the WB) will be announcing their line-up on May 18th. Most other networks will be doing so around the same time as its Upfronts week. Veronica Mars and Supernatural had better make the cut and show up in the fall.

Comic Books: I’m really itchin’ for volume 5 of the Walking Dead to come out at the end fo the month…

Books: I actually finished my pirate book and started something else, but I’m too scattered to really review the pirate book. I want to read more undead/zombie books, but I don’t own any.

Houses: Who are the people who are buying these $500k+ homes around Atlanta? and how can I get their jobs? I always thought my salary was fairly decent, but unless these people are really overstretching their budgets and plan on defaulting their loans or flipping their houses for resale, I must be wrong and my pay sucks.

Computer Games: I really need to play more games. I miss it. But new games will require a new PC investment. *sigh* I guess I’ll stick with World of Warcraft, and maybe start playing Puzzle Pirates or something…

… and why is it that the guy at the newsstand laughs at me every time I ask him to sell me a winning lottery ticket?

Stuff on the Net III

Here is a comparison of game graphics 20 years ago versus today (XBOX 360). The sad thing is, even though the graphics are prettier now, I had alot more fun playing the games back then. Many of today’s games have such crappy playability and replayability.

Even I have my limits when it comes to TV… I’d have passed on this one too, 1999’s Heat Vision and Jack.

Want to be a grunt? Plaguelands reports that you can do just that in Sony’s PlanetSide game. You can play up to rank 6 for free, at which point every time you leave the game you’ll be annoyed with a website filled with “subscribe now” propaganda.

Evolution Revolution

Intelligent Design isn’t the stupidest idea to ever be put forward, but its got unique issues of its own. See, the Theory of Evolution that is taught in schools today is not the original theory proposed by Charles Darwin. It bears similarities, but over the year as science has been able to find evidence the theory has been tweaked. Evolution doesn’t deny God. It’s still quite possible that the series of events, of mutations, that we perceive as Evolution is actually a brilliantly designed plan of God that is unfolding over millions of years. There is plenty of room for God in Evolution.

Intelligent Design, on the other hand, holds that some facets of living creatures, like the eye for example, are so complex that they could not have evolved through the course of millions of years of mutation, but had to have been created “as is” by some force outside or greater than the Universe. While Evolution can prove that small mutations occur and can trace genetics through many generations of an animal, Intelligent Design can’t prove that “stuff just happens”… unfortunately, it can’t be disproven either until someone builds a time machine and goes back to see if eyes evolved or if they just showed up.

That is my problem with Intelligent Design… it wants to be science, but because its core theory cannot be in any way proven by the scientific method, its supporters strive to redefine science to allow Intelligent Design to fit. That’s exactly was Kansas did… their school board redefined science to allow for more than just natural and observable phenomenon to be included. The caveat here is that by doing so they have technically opened the door for ghosts, and leviathan elder gods, and more to be considered perfectly good science. Essentially, what they have done is allowed non-falsifiable (things that are impossible to be shown as being false) theories to stand. Part of the scientific method is that your theory has to be either true or false, it has to be defined such that if a given condition arrises, the theory will fail. Intelligent Design doesn’t have that, at least without time machines… If, one day, a new organ appears in an animal that cannot be linked to mutation, then ID is correct. However, if no new organ ever shows up from now until the end of time, ID might still be correct. There is no event that can occur under which the result is that ID is false.

Over at the University of Kansas, a few teachers have decided that enough is enough, and are putting together a new class to study the mythology of Intelligent Design. And its were it belongs… One day Zeus might show up proving that the old Greek myths were correct, but if Zeus never shows up it doesn’t prove them false. That’s what myths are, things believed to be true but utterly unfalsifiable. Intelligent Design belongs in religious study, it belongs at church, until such time as they revise their “theory” to allow for the possibility that its wrong.

Just One of Those Days

Thursday the 35thSee that picture? And yes, you are reading it right. The company I’m currently contracting for prints out a calendar for its employees every year. Its one of those things where they put pictures of some people who work there along with quotes about how great the company is, and generally looks like it was designed by a man who thinks that advertising graphics peaked somewhere in the mid to late 1970’s. One of my coworkers didn’t want his calender and I didn’t have one, so I took it. It’s been fairly reliable all year, days of the week in the right order, Saturday and Sunday next to each other making the weekend and Wednesday smack in the middle, all the holidays on the right days, the 4th of July actually on July 4th and so on.

At least until today…

I got curious and checked a few other people’s calendars, all are the same as mine. So you have to wonder, how exactly something like this makes it past the quality assurance, past the test print, and all the way through the several thousand odd print run without anyone seeing it. Or maybe they did. Perhaps the calendar is correct, perhaps today isn’t November 3rd and instead is Thursday, November 35th, 2005.

I can already tell this image will be stuck in my head forever, and every November I’m going to snicker and giggle and laugh and then embarrassingly have to try to explain it, and no one else will think its funny at all.

Let the hunting begin!

No, this isn’t a review for some game or anything like that. Jodi and I are looking for a house. Well, we’ve been looking… today was the first time we had the real-estate agent actually take us to a house to look at it first hand. It was pretty nice. Good house, nice yard, 1.2 acres… a bit far from work, but hey, I like the bus and there is one out there too.

But the house hunt has officially begun! Cry havok and let split the puppies of peril! (The dogs of war are stuck in Iraq, so its the best I could do.)