Author Archive

It’s hard to come up with something to say about my gameplay in AC final, since I am facing that same powergamer problem that many of us beta testers are having. We left off AC at a certain point, and once we got back into it, our job is to get back to the point we left off as quickly as possible. This is a disadvantage in many regards, since we don’t really necessarily enjoy the leveling back up process… we want it to be over with as soon as possible so we can get on with things (well, for those of us who are really die hard powergamers). Basically, we can comment on how the world is in final, and yeah there are a few things to say about it.

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What to post on a rant page when you have nothing to rant about? Someone else’s rant. I found this one well-written and interesting, and although I have a couple of minor disagreements with some of the specific points, overall I think it’s a good essay. This was sent out a hell of a long time ago, and is being reprinted here because I said I would weeks ago. 8P

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Things had been quiet on the forum for a long time. Many long-standing Freak Squad members were out plying their trades on the WTFMan board, the Lum board, on their own pages, and even (gasp) in real life! Like a unified force they cried out: "We live to fight! The battle is our life! Let our fury descend on the enemy, as it did in the days of the Mushroom War, leaving naught but a barren, scorched landscape behind, inhabited only by those too stupid to realize they had been defeated!" Yet Musashi was silent. A brief opportunity in the form of "Bones" appeared on the forum, but almost instantly was judged too horrible a threat to tolerate, and so quick and decisive black bag action rendered him impotent (figuratively as well as literally), leaving legions of frustrated Freaks, armed to the teeth with no one to kill.

Then, like a gift from the War God, it came. The forces of Game of the Moment, prone to blind worship of their self-styled emperor Mark "Fewlio" Boyko, attacked the lands of the Mu forum with the same sort of reckless, regardless, and clueless abandon that lost them their last battle with the UIX Horizons board. A call to arms was sounded, and Lum the Mad was alerted by a misguided attempt by one of GotM’s few followers to recruit there, unaware that the Lum Cultists would no more stand for an incursion of GotM mongoloids than they would the continued existence of the Mushroom.

Why, then, is the title here "not so great?" Because "team GotM" never had a chance. They had no ability to argue, only slight ability to try and formulate insults, and no idea what they were fighting for… or who they were up against. Let this testament stand as a warning to future generations of bad website fans… stay at home. The world is a dangerous place. Especially if you open your fat idiot mouth.

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I missed the last day of the AC beta. Somehow I wasn’t overly concerned about this, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that “end of beta” usually means “everyone goes red and attacks everyone else, which is fun but means you miss out on whatever the game designers have been putting into the plot”. And, unlike many other end-of-betas, the AC team did change the plot for this one, involving a world-destroying comet, neat critters, Wands of Black Fire for everyone (like this won’t be the case eventually anyway), etc.

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Coming back to AC after vacation was a mildly interesting experience. Somehow having not played for a week gave me a fresh perspective on the effects of the AC team’s balance process, which seems to be (1) identify a balance problem, (2) over-correct it to the point of absurdity, and (3) slowly bring it back. This isn’t a bad plan, and unlike UO fixes, the recent changes to the game do not come with free bizarre bugs that seem somehow unrelated to the problem being addressed. That must be the effect of having a team that actually knows what’s in the code.

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I have seen the proposal that follows before, in various forms, and even (I think) replied to the author on the feasability of one of them. Anyway, since it seems that the proposal is being submitted via the CoD magic forum for mass cut-and-paste spamming, I might as well reply to it here. Okay, I actually replied to it on the forum… and in my character name! Please don’t hate me.

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"This can’t be good," muttered Jin Lee as she watched Kynn’s form materialize near the small outpost, while in the distance the alien laughter of the Virindi echoed in the hills of the Direlands.  This was the second time this had happened in a short span, and so it seemed that Kynn was unsuccessful in recovering his property.  It was a dangerous expedition, to be sure, only Kynn and Zashi Watta against a group of Virindi, but it had seemed feasable enough for the two of them to engage a like number of enemies.  Too bad their dozen or so brethren were hidden just out of sight over a ridge.  No doubt the ensuing magical assault must have been pretty at least.

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Author’s Note

"If you played mu like you wrote him, you’d have a trail of roleplayers following you…"  This is what a friend told me one night, observing how in fact Sashi Mu reads much better than he is.  or, to quote someone in-game, "You know, you guys are less funny in person…"  I take all criticisms to heart, and these comments initiated a long period of self-examination.  Was I, in fact, a roleplayer, or just someone who pretended I was through the time-insensitive medium of the printed word?  I could not honestly say.  And so, Sashi Mu the faux roleplayer was set aside for a new incarnation, a purer avatar of my roleplaying abilities.  He does not powergame.  He does not hunt monsters.  He stays in character, interacting with other players in such a way as to encourage "pure roleplaying" on their parts.  And so, it seems apropos to present this tale in the form of an instructional guide, pointing out how you too can transform your online persona into a representation of pure roleplaying ability.  Prithee, please give a hearty hail and well-met to…

 

Je-Hsi Owens

"Love Machine"

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Okay, some belated news on the last big patch.

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Magic still sucks. Thanks go out to posts like these on lameass message boards…

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