This rambling article started about half a year ago amidst the uprising of countless horrible web sites about gaming in general and MMORPG’s in particular, coupled with the tendency for established sites to steadily drop in quality as they pressed for continual updates without any real reason for doing so, turning from interesting articles about game development and mechanical flaws to rambling sentimentalist crap along the lines of a fifth grade English essay entitled What Community in [GAME X] Means to Me. The only possible explanations for this bizarre turn of events in my mind were (1) a desire to get more ad banner impressions, or (2) a psychotic need to update in order to validate their existences. As the inevitable collapse of the dot com economy has destroyed the possibilities of payoffs from motive (1), I now proceed from the assumption that they are all insane.

Of course, the shoddy nature of this halfassed and unfinished article would tend to prove that I am indeed one of these malcontents. I offer no defense to this as I really don’t give a rat’s ass. I just want some use out of the space this and other unfinished articles are taking up on my host’s RAID arrays.

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Where have I been?  Or more specifically, where have I not been?  The second question is easier to answer… I’ve not been playing AC.

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The level of reading comprehension amongst the gaming public is remarkable in its selectiveness.  I now wish to cut my eyes out with a broken bottle after reading various dev-boardie posts, even if they seem to sorta back my argument in some strange way.  After suffering through some forum posts made by chowderheads on many different forums (cringe), I would like to dispell some myths about the meaning of the rant below.

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Once upon a time in a land we still all live in…all classes were balanced in ability, except for those poor few who selected the templates Turbine cruelly provided for us. There existed a large gap in understanding of how the game worked between the mages, who were familiar with all the available spells, the archers who for the most part looked for places to perch, and the meleers who grabbed a weapon and a shield and whacked away at things paying no attention to the magic system at all. Due to their greater understanding of the game mathematics, the mages quickly learned to master the game. Turbine mistakenly identified this as a game imbalance rather than a knowledge imbalance between the classes. Thus the year of nonstop mage nerfing began. We end the year with all modern meleers/archers having three schools of magic (sometimes life specialized). The only difference between the classes is their starting attributes, war magic, and the ability of melee to do 3-5 times the damage of a mage in the same amount of time. This has lead to a huge influx of meleers on the level 1-80 in a month program due to the speed with which meleers can dispatch tuskers. For anyone that feels my views are biased, I’ve built a level 57 archer, a level 74 mage, a level 80 archer, a level 66 melee, and a dozen other mage/melee/archer hybrids. The level 66 melee can earn experience faster than any of my previous characters, and this is all due to Turbine’s misguided efforts to buff melee while nerfing mages.

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This will no doubt turn out to be one of those long-winded sorta pieces that nobody reads, as opposed to the flash and porno nonsense everyone seems to enjoy, so be warned.  :P

It is my firm belief that the dev team has finally lost touch.

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They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  I find this horribly sexist and would like it removed from the English vernacular, and will make a big fucking deal about it like some losers who get all uptight about a red dress in a video game, as it offends their insecurititties.  It is, in fact, the way to anyone’s heart, especially women’s, and mastery of the culinary arts can get you more in the trim department than a deep pile shag carpet and a provocatively placed cigar in your own private Oval Office.  Observe now as your hero wins over the heart and panties of one of the most powerful dangerous nicest-looking-in-a-red-dress monarchs in Asheron’s Call.

Red Text= Mu, master of seduction and brisket

White Text = Penny, trying hard to control her desire

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Recently I’ve been listening to Myscha’s subway portal spammer rant over and over a lot.  It’s really funny, but the thing I took out of it with the greatest meaning for me is the term, "choad," and its more exclamatory form, "fucking choad".

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A blast of chill, rainy air entered the shop as the door opened, yet nobody seemed to notice. The loiterers stood around aimlessly, occasionally chatting to those next to them. The “mages” stood still in front of the herbalist, staring into space, occasionally mixing a new formula seemingly out of thin air and launching it at someone else (without the latter’s consent), then went back to their staring. And those who were there to purchase goods did so with utmost expedience, running inside at full tilt, roughly barking their orders at the jaded shopkeep while thrusting notes at her, and running off as soon as they had their goods in hand.

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Sometime in the distant past, roundabouts February or something, there was an AC player gathering at that citadel to the fall of western civilization, the Mall of America.  This haven of evil (except for Electronics Boutique, which is almost worth the nausea I suffer every time I approach the Mallo’s infinite Escher-esque parking ramps) is some ten minutes or so from my house.  I didn’t go.

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This is an article I wrote a really long time ago (circa 1997 or so) for the long defunct online publication Sphere. It raised a lot more spiteful flaming when someone reprinted it to usenet than when it was actually on Sphere, which amused me greatly. It’s reprinted here as part of the SFSTG section of the site, and for its commentary on the nature of roleplaying, gamemastering, and those LARP weirdos.

Many thanks to Steve Karstensen, webmaster of Street Fighter Central, for keeping the article up all this time.

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