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11:13 AM on 04.27.2012

GW2: Where do I GO??

While I might sit here for the next 2 hours still deciding what race/class combo to play for the GW2 Beta weekend - there is a looming bigger question haunting my mind - What server do I choose to play on?

Why such a big deal?

Ever since ArenaNet posted their info on server worlds and transferring, I enjoyed the info it provided (especially about the guesting feature), but the reality of the situation has only hit me within the last 24hours. Will these be the same servers ready for launch? Does this mean that the communities thriving through beta events will create the type of communities that'll stick for the long-run?

Something I've realized for myself within the past year or so is that I am tired of PVP realms/servers/shards that force me to engage in World PVP without my consent. Yeah yeah - why the hell would I even bother rolling there if I'm such a care-bear? Well let's face it, I game with a lot of my guy friends, and they're looking for blood.

And as I sit there looking at these server names, my mind realizes that there's no PVP or PVE titles alongside them. What does this mean!? Wait a minute... there are no factions... so all servers are PVE!

So still, what's the problem!?

The more and more I think about this and read info about their large-scale PVP WvW maps - I suddenly realize that we're going back to Server Community / Pride dynamics. You can befriend and team up with anybody on your server, and fight alongside them versus OTHER servers. Community per server will actually be a pretty big deal in the longevity of the game.

Your home world will grant you bonuses based on your War Score. You can form Squads, or hold bases representing your guild, or just run around in a vehicle. [Info] I have a friend who LOVES leading and doing his best in PvP in WoW, and I can already see him as a phenomenal Commander in GW2 when the time comes.

Lack of Factions

Seriously don't know how long it took me to realize it, but the server is not divided amongst themselves. Ever since WoW, many games have followed with Factions - One set of races or ideals versus the other. As someone said in 50s chat on my Rift shard; "Factions divide the server community". I guess I never really appreciated the games before WoW hit the market, or realized just how true that is.

In Warcraft, you can't even communicate with the opposite faction. In Rift, you can communicate but can't really help each other unless you are on a PVE shard. In Aion, you have Asmodians VS Alyos - but both are working against the Baluar as well.

Positive Direction

I think breaking away from factions/divides, and going more towards server family/community is a great step in bringing the MMO attitude back to how it should be: playing together and having fun.   read


9:51 AM on 08.26.2011

First Impressions: League of Legends

Yeah yeah yeah... #1) I haven't written here in forever. #2) What rock have I been under to have ignored a booming game in the past 2 years?

I've been under this rock called WoW, and I've been diillusioned for too long thinking it was the GAME FOR MEH! So now I'm starting to actually try out lots of new games and send my $ elsewhere.

Well I downloaded LoL for the first time last week. I didn't really know what to expect I suppose. I haven't played DOTA or HoN in ages. My HoN friends are way too competitive for my liking and I seriously can't play HoN without foaming at the mouth before I scroll back to base and buy my boots.

Lately I've been insanely curious about LoL - it has a huge fanbase, HoN recently went the same free to play way, and the character art is always so... inviting? Riot must be doing something right.

When you first login you have to choose your SUMMONER name - I was confused and didn't realize it wasn't the same as your login name. My impression was it was there to prevent people from trying to link their names to their logins AKA getting hacked, but also to make a unique identity. It really gives you the impression you are a 'Summoner' starting to learn about this weird game you're participating in.

I went with all the Tutorial mode options since I really had no idea how game play here worked. The tutorial was super easy to understand, and reading the tips along the side was actually helpful as opposed to just redundancy of what the tutorial was telling you. And in the Battle Training one there is "quests" that help you learn the map and creep spawns, which I feel they did a great job with.



But I have to say this right now: OMG. THIS. ANNOUNCER. VOICE. It is so robotic and emotionless, monotone really. It annoys the hell out of me. It's like she has this bullshit concern for the well-being of my champions! STFU! (They seriously need announcer voice options or the ability to shut her up.)



After learning the basics, you can head straight into games VS Bots or other Players. I like the option of playing VS AI/Bots, especially for a beginner or to try out some new heroes. By playing with the Custom map options, you can even play in a game with all teammates and opponents as AI. I can see this as a great start to these types of games. And the AI do actually use skills and make you wonder what they're up to!



Looking through Champions and trying to find one you may like is even easier. They have broken Champs down into multiple categories such as Pusher, Jungler, Carry, Ranged, etc etc Maybe you like to get last hits and Assassinate your foes, or just wanna hang back and Support the team. Whatever play-style you might enjoy, they are definitely all here.



I like this the most personally because since I'm a not-hardcore player of HoN/DOTA anymore I haven't kept up with some of the Heroes and their changes. Is this or that even viable as a 'Carry' anymore? Do we have too many 'Tanks' on a team? By dividing the Champions into several categories, you can easily find a Ranged Support, or a Tank that can also Push.



YES I agree, all of these things make it a lot "easier" to understand the game. But is that really such a bad thing? If someone chose a hero like Madman in HoN CAUSE HE LOOKS SO COOL - and didn't know the best way to build him, or what he's best at in team play - this just causes more hate and rage, at not only the Newbie whose just trying to enjoy themselves, but also resentment at the team who won't even bother to help them. "L2P" is the new mantra across all games, but in MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games that are fast-paced & team based - on the fly decisions can make or break a Victory.



Another thing I enjoy is the visual aspect of most attacks. Whether you are throwing a Spear or a Volley of Arrows, there is a projected texture that shows you the range and area of effect of what's going to be affected. I feel this is fantastic as people can make better decisions and place their attacks better with these textures, as opposed to missing everything even if they have never played that champion before.




Gripes

Okay, i've talked a lot about things I enjoy in LoL thus far, but what really grinds my gears!?

#1 - Would have to be the client/UI itself. The game loads into a new window? Or something. The client seems to use Adobe AIR programming to run, which I don't know why? For a game that's been around awhile, has it always been like this? You don't even have the Video options unless you are inside a game, so when trying to find a good resolution or test things out, you need to either play an AI game, or just leave your team hanging while playing with the options. Only thing you can really play with is the Music options. Which reminds me...

* Music! Or even the lack thereof. Loading into a game is eerily silent, and even the Home screens aren't inviting. I'm not a fan of the Summoner's Rift music either. Just seems way too... passive? I don't know I just don't feel it suits the game at all. I'm never usually one to turn off game music, but I definitely made an exception here. (Also the Announcer voice bugs me as I mentioned already.)

* Loading times. Although it seems things have improved over the latest patch, the Load times for some people are ridiculous! I know that in HoN if you load the first time into a game, it takes some time. But after that, everything is cached and makes getting into the action a lot smoother. Since people usually login to play a few consecutive games, whether with friends or on their own, something like this only makes sense.

* The in-game Shop for champions really bugs me at times. Unless I'm just not sure how to hotkey it or go through everything quickly yet since I'm not sure where everything is, sometimes I feel like I'm wasting time going page by page by page. I'll look at a champion guide, see their item suggestions, but then I have no idea where they are! Although I am getting better at finding things after playing for a bit, I still have a headache trying to find something specific.


Overall I really do enjoy the game so far, it's definitely something I've been having fun with. I'll be honest that one of the major reasons I never played was I got some BAD reviews about it from friends way back when it was being tested/released. But when I look back I can understand why - People (Or maybe just my friends >.>) were looking for the next DOTA and LoL is NOT similar to DOTA, other than genre. However LoL definitely has legs to stand on in the current PC gaming environment. It'll be interesting to see what else to bring to the table and make everyone else step up.



I could probably go into another million reasons on what I enjoy and don't enjoy, but I think I've summed up all my major reasons pretty well. Do you play LoL? What do you hate or love? Looking forward to Dominion?! I know I am now. ;]   read


4:30 AM on 08.03.2009

Aion: First Impressions

Ahh I know, I haven't posted in a long time :( But I'm taking the opportunity now since I got to try out a bit of Aion this weekend :)

Ever since I made my blog and set it up, my header image and Avatar have been some of the concept art for Aion: Tower of Eternity. It's one of those games that many have been looking forward to since FOREVER cause it looks so AWESOME and OMG they have FLYING!! NCSoft makes pretty games and this is no exception.

I got the opportunity to play through a friend with a beta account who is on trip this weekend, I hope hes having a safe trip and all, and credit to him letting my bf and i try it out <3

So first things first: My character is only level 10 at the time I am writing this. My review is based only on the beginning of the game and does not reflect on any endgame that could be amazingly awesomesauce. Also I have currently only completed the Asmodian zone, haven't seen it from Elyos perspective yet.

Overview & Experience

As soon as you login, there are several servers to choose from, and the character customization is very easy to play with and understand. There are a multitude of options - you can change your characters height, width, eye size & shapes, and pick from a variety of colors. There's really a lot more to it, a full guide can be found at their powerwiki here! There are many attractive options and styles for both races and genders, so it shouldn't be too hard to find something everyone can enjoy looking at. :)

Something else I really enjoyed about the creation process is you can preview your character without armor, with beginner armor, and also with advanced armor. Sometimes you might make a game character that might not suit the "look" you were trying to achieve when you start getting new gear, so i found it really refreshing to be able to see my character in different armor looks. However any type of "zoom in" effect is only on the face and you cant zoom in anywhere else on the body.

When you first enter the game, you watch a video that briefs you on your goal, race, and introduces you to the world for the first time. Apparently your character had fainted, and you wake up with your superior a bit worried. No matter, he's ready to start you off on your first few quests anyway! Kill off some annoying pests and the like.

The quests send you quickly to the next spot where you complete a few more quests, and then you are sent off to the first town - which houses your class trainers and various merchants. The impression my boyfriend got was that they had you travel a lot very early - Need to walk a lot within a short amount of time. It's really not a very far distance, but you don't really get acquainted with the first two spots you discover before you need to progress, leaving most of those Spriggs in the dust. But the area beyond the first village is really very beautiful! So I guess it works itself out.



Now you can really get into the game with a lot of quests to deal with inside and outside town. You can also buy your class Skill Manuals and carry them with you - because who wants to get back to town just to train anyway? Also you will start to notice several questlines that are separated from other quests in your quest window. There are "Campaign" quests and "Standard" quests. Campaign progresses your own character's 'story', Standard are just the basic quests that make you somebody's bitch.

When it comes to figuring out quests, it's really not too hard. However there were some dropped quests that were a bit vague - but it forced me to find out an interesting feature. Blue text in the quest and dialogue windows are clickable - brings up an extra window that has a "Locate" button that will mark off your map with the place, person, or mob you need to find. I honestly wish I knew about it sooner, I had a hell of a time trying to find the Daru Spring!

Eventually you move on to another questing area after a major "vision" of character's future is revealed. This is one of several cut scenes that you see in your travels, and honestly one of the only useful ones. (I'll get more into that later.) Eventually you meet an NPC, Munin who is actually a Daeva which was exiled. So he cant really help you from his prison... but he does give a lot of useful advice about dealing with other Daeva, oh - and he's kinda hungry too can you get him something to eat? Kinda stops him from ranting about the bitterness of his life.

When you hit level 9 you gain the quest "Ascension" which begins the final adventure to become a Daeva. You must grab "Cards of Fate" from those who are loyal to Munin, and bring them back to him. He does some abracadabra with the cards, and the earlier vision you experienced makes a sequel. After the scene, you may choose the next path of your class (Every beginning class branches off into 2 separate classes) and start your new life as an awakened Daeva. You may now enter the city of Pandaemonium and have your Ceremony where you are now recognized as a warrior for the Asmodians.

The next quest hub is a Fortress where you can fly freely for the first time. (There are many areas where you cant Fly when you first get your wings) You get a quest that you can complete while flying, and you really start to learn how to manage flight time and getting into the gist of the game.

Various Thoughts

From the start of the game, it's nailed into your head that being a Daeva and a guardian of the Asmodians is the highest honor. You WANT to fight the Elyos, you WANT to be awesome enough to fight in the Abyss, you WANT to be a guardian of your people. When you sprout your wings during your ceremony, it's like the skies have opened for you. They cheer, they love you! Despite you still being a noob anyway. And yet all the NPCs sense you will face a lot of hardship, your road will not be easy. I guess life would be easier if you would stick to being a Raider! What the hell were you thinking?! This all was okay, but it seemed a bit redundant. Hell, only Munin seems to know that living with the other Daeva is tiresome and not really worth the effort. The way he talked, it seemed to hint that you might eventually become loyal to either an Archon or some other Nobility? I have no idea, just speculating on my side.

There are various 5 second cut scenes that might show you a mob or a little bit of an area you need to travel to for a specific quest. I actually found these pretty annoying and useless. They don't really show you much more than a mob or item for a few seconds before you can even absorb exactly where it is, and it's usually accompanied with only one line of text. It's kinda nice-looking, flashy, but really unnecessary.

After fighting for short awhile, I started getting these drops called Manastones. They seemed to give bonus stats somehow. I was confused, especially since they drop so often, just how the hell do they work? Can I resocket something? What do I do with all the useless ones I find? I really hate when there's game functionality and it's not explained with a simple quest or dialogue. I mean - no, it's not hard to figure out at all, but it still peeves me. :/ The only Manastone NPC in the first village only talks about removing the stones, and not much else. (For those curious, they work like a gem you can socket into your gear, which most pieces have a slot for them.)

I liked their idea of a bag system though. You have a "Cube" which is "bigger on the inside than it is outside"! It's a bit more logical than carrying 15 backpacks on your character, and you can easily Upgrade your cube through an NPC. I didn't have a lot of bag troubles for awhile, not til I was about level 7. I only upgraded my Cube once, and not too many grey items drop.

The currency in the game is called Kinah, and its pretty easy to come by. So easy that buying and upgrading things can easily cost almost 500-1,000 each even by level 5! The first flight path available costs 192 each way. It's easy to come by, and easy to spend. Everything costs kinah, including healing your "Soul Sickness" that happens after death and resurrect at the obelisk. Saving to a new Obelisk costs kinah as well. It's pretty overwhelming at first, but when I saw I had over 10k by the time I was a Daeva, it didn't seem so bad. I bought all the vendor gear when I was able to, but it's probably okay to just work off quest upgrades.

The combat system is pretty basic, easy to learn. Combat UI is easy on the eyes, the spell casting bar is probably my favorite - I really love the rune-looking texture. One nice thing they have is Chain Skills - When you use one skill, another skill becomes available immediately after. At first I hotkeyed the extra skill but there is no need - the original skill's button become the new one and lights up to show its available! I thought this was nice, makes it easier to free up keys for other things.
However, just like with manastones there is no explanation of your chain skills anywhere. As someone who honestly hasn't read up that much about the game prior to playing it, I randomly found the "Chains" screen in my skill window that shows you a skill tree dictating what can chain to what. I know people might not like tutorial quests, but I like learning about what a game has different than other games.

The game is absolutely breathtaking! I love the style, textures, and various colors. It's all very realistic and simply gorgeous. The zones are easy on the eyes so far, and the world is alive! Taking a Flight is really an experience, as you take on this transparent bird form to travel. Also, the UI is very fitting for the game and easy to understand. (Although I have read about it's shortcomings when it comes to parties/raids and healing, though I can't speak from experience.)



Music - I love the music a lot. In fact, when you move into various areas the music actually changes and suits that particular area. Even the combat music changes and evolves depending where you are. They suit the scenery very well! *However* the combat music is tied in with your character in its battle/combat stance. This annoyed me all the time, as in order to listen back to the zone music, you need to sheath your weapon/turn off combat stance. I'm not sure why this does not happen automatically - I guess it makes sense if you're simply grinding. However when I was done with an area and started moving to the next I was very confused at first why my combat music kept going.

Conclusion

I like Aion, but I don't love Aion. It's prettylicious and I enjoyed playing, but I'm not sure how endgame is yet, or if I would get bored long-term. I haven't met any elite mobs or bosses or can describe how it is in the Abyss (which is at level 25). So far, the only named mob I had come across I had to fight for his spawn over other groups and players, and when I did get him, I got mobbed by 2 patrols and couldn't survive. :(

Also, I know I've said this a few times already: But I wish there were more tutorial/game information type quests/dialogue! I haven't encountered any and although it's not hard to figure out, I feel sorry for those that may not understand how things work and will eventually spam the chat window for help figuring things out. I know there is an extensive PowerWiki online, but I don't feel it should be necessary to alt tab out of the game to look up stuff. Also wish I could learn more about my stats in my character window when I mouse over them; I wasn't aware that Accuracy didn't do anything for my magic spell hit (Knowledge does that!). But the map system, especially the transparent map is really nice.

Otherwise, I really do need more time and levels with the game to figure out how much I will enjoy it. There was some things I loved, and others I hated. I know this kind of review might be premature, as I might hit level Awesome and be amazed at the Skills and the Challenges. I do think it has a lot of potential, and I can't wait to see what kind of content it will have in the future.

I just wasn't very impressed with it at first glance though.   read


6:48 AM on 04.07.2008

I-Con 27: Short Recap

I-Con 27 finished up yesterday. I didn't get to really go to the panels I wanted to for various reasons, but I did get to stop by the gaming rooms.

The console gaming room had just about everything, including a DDR machine and a huge projector screen where people were playing Mugen. Kenshin totally kicked Trunk's ass. ;)
There was Rock Band setup as well as Brawl. We had been there right before the DDR Tournament started, and it seemed decently organized since they were taking names on the blackboard and working it out with the people there. The room was a bit cramped, but thats because they moved it to a smaller room this year. (They did a lot of weird things this year like having only one working speaker for the cosplay competition - lolwut?) I didn't really get to see the results but watched some people play before we left to do other things.

My friends and I also stopped by the PC Gaming room on Saturday; but we left since there really wasn't much to choose from. One room wasn't even connected to the internet, just for LAN and there was like.. 4 people in there? Didn't even check the other room since they said it was the same game choices. (Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne being the only decent option really.) It was pretty disappointing honestly, and I wish the schedule also had the gaming choices printed instead of walking there for no reason. (The convention is across several buildings on the University campus.)

Nontheless, the rest of the con was pretty fun; it only sucks that I woke up Sunday morning feeling really sick and today I can barely speak, but doing well otherwise. :) I got some nice fantasy prints, some gifts for friends, and looking forward to next year!

It will be at another campus on Long Island, and I've been hearing about a lot of cool changes for next year, but I'm not sure whats fact or fiction yet. I attached some pictures including the Hentai room, which was filled with people heckling the screen at the cheap Samurai XXX animation (or really, lack thereof.) WTF at those flowers, seriously!?

Til I-Con 28~ <3   read


11:22 PM on 04.02.2008

I-Con 27: Anyone going?

I-Con 27 is this weekend, and i'm looking over the con schedule and there is some Gaming Panels and whatnot. Not sure if anyone else from Dtoid is going to them, or might just head to the gaming areas.

some Con stuff includes:

What It Means To Be A Gamer panel
Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament
world of Warcraft panels
Women in Gaming - From players to writers Panel
Open gaming of all consoles.
Guitar Hero 3 Tournament
Computer gaming

Anyone else going or might be interested in a report back of any panels (hopefully i make it to some)?   read


9:04 PM on 03.30.2008

Wii for Women: Post Game



The location I attended this event was at Westbury, NY, on Long Island. The only other NY location was upstate, which kind of surprised me, but that's okay. As I said earlier, when I had called they told me there was a line. This surprised and confused me, and even more so when I entered the store at around 1pm and I saw a huge cluster of people around the customer service area, as well as 2 huge TVs setup with Wiis on display.

I promptly asked someone about the Wii Event, and they said that the huge line was for it, so I figured, huh, alright, and went in back of the line. I saw a table setup with a pad of paper for Raffle entries and I filled one out. It looked like this:



I at least appreciate this part:



I stood on the line, although I was rather confused because people were holding Wii peripherals... I asked the guy at the table about the Event, and he told me there was a Raffle. And that was about all he really knew apparently. He was asking just about anyone on the line if they were interested in joining the raffle (including men, remember this for later). I waited on the line until my boyfriend came to join me after parking the car, and was confused as to what was going on as well. We found someone else to ask them about the event, and he told us to talk to either the Nintendo Rep or the “Dressed up Lady” by the TVs setup with the Wiis, which was a much more open area that wasn't filled with people.

Apparently the line was for buying Wiis, not the actual “event” line. So basically the employees were not properly educated on what's going on in the store today? Hmm, mayhaps.

So I find the Lady, and I honestly never heard/caught her name, so she will be known as Lady for the rest of this. She greeted us warmly, and was obviously filled to the brim with caffeine, because I don't know how she kept up with her peppiness the whole three hours, I gotta give her credit for that. She asked me if I was here for the event, I said “Yes!!” and was promptly given a flower and a candle. Lawl. How cute/girly is that?



The Wii setup was like this, you can see the Candles and Flowers that were given out, here:



I asked if there would be any kind of tournaments or anything, and they pointed out the Wiis, one set up with Wii Sports, and the other set up with Carnival Games and mentioned playing them, so I felt kind of excited, maybe something interesting would be going on.

I basically commandeered a chair near a side table that had papers on it. Papers included an ESRB ratings brochure stack, two large stacks of coupons which I read were for “Event participants”, and some event papers that obviously were theirs that included how to setup their demo, etc.

They gave out small Dasani waters from a mini fridge in the corner to people on the line and playing the Wii games. There were also small bowls on the tables that were filled with various Lindt chocolate truffles, but they were wiped out pretty quick every time. Lady handed out flowers and candles to every woman she saw and approached them about joining the Raffle. I must have not been there in time for the first Raffle at 1pm, but was there for the 1:30, which was a $100 Spafinder gift card. Lady handled the Raffling, but always had another random Best Buy employee pick out the name from the bag.

I pretty much sat down and watched some kids and Moms play the Wii and got pretty bored after awhile. My boyfriend was rather bored and went to rest in the car and get a snack from the hot dog stand outside at some point. The Nintendo Rep guy, his name was Dereck, and was pretty cool. He helped people put on the Wii straps and taught them how to play the games, and helped the kids pick other games and pretty much answered people's questions that had to do with the Wii/it's games/etc.

This reminds me... There was a Casualty!

Oh god. This was fantastic and I had a super front row seat to it. There was this young boy, probably like 11 or something, and he was playing the Skeeball. But he wasn't just playing it, he was PULVERISING it, the way he was “throwing” the balls! Like using drastic movements to play, which he totally didn't need to be so enthusiastic. But it kind of amused me, so I didn't say anything, and Dereck didn't say anything to him either.

But this older woman came over to ask Dereck a question about a game she bought at home and didn't understand why she couldn't get it to play Multiplayer? I honestly didn't hear which game it was, but when the guy asked her if the game box specifically said two or more players, she pretty much had a hesitated “Yes”. Nontheless, the young kid was in front of her, she in front of me, and the kid totally threw his arm back and KNOCKED HER IN SIDE OF THE HEAD.

It was so bad - it was epic.

I felt pretty bad for her though, and we all asked if she was okay, and the kid apologized and moved over, but she said she was alright. Just had a headache now.

Heh.

Anyway, I pretty much spent my time sitting there watching kids play. I could've gotten a turn, but they were so cute and I didn't wanna take a turn away from them. And I've played these games before anyway, so better off giving others a try.



But as I sat by the table and just watched everything, people would just go up to the tables and pick up a candle, a flower, or go by the table next to me and just grab a page of coupons from the stack (not even saying “excuse me” or anything which annoyed me because people were practically breathing on me getting their fucking lame coupons) and would head off to do something else or leave. Rudeness, much? But it wasn't that bad a move I guess, since I never saw either of the people in charge hand out the coupons at all or place the ESRB ratings brochures in a more noticeable spot. I think they could have gone on the big table with the TVs setup – it was filled with Wii promo DVDs. I did see a Mom grab one of them though, so yay for less ignorance.

I pulled out my DS to pass the time waiting for the next few raffles. I eventually approached Dereck and asked him some questions to figure out the point of all this. When I asked him who came up with the event, he pretty much said it was just a collaboration between Best Buy and Nintendo, which they do every now and then when new Wii shipments come in. He said the last one was two months prior and was an “Intro to Wii” sort of event. When I asked him who were they targeting for this event, he honestly said they were targetting the event towards Moms specifically. Anyone was welcome to try out the Wii, play the games, and they wouldn't be turned away, although the event itself was geared towards Moms. We then chatted about gaming related stuff before he had to go do some other things.

With this in mind, I could better understand how the event was handled and figure they did meet their target audience – there were a LOT of women there with their kids or family who entered the Raffles, and heck, they won. But it was also really annoying since they hunted down whoever they could, that if they weren't there in the store when the Raffle was drawn, they eventually had to pick out 3 or 4 names per time until we found someone actually there. It made it very annoying and drew out our patience.

At the Raffle around 2:30 pm (the last raffle before this was really late for some random reason also, I have no idea), they had picked out a man called Victor who had won the Spafinder card. She said he could take it home and give it to his wife, but a group of women got kind of pissy and pointed out the prizes were for women only. Lady had to go through her long list of official rules to find out that yes, you had to be a woman to win the prize. Unfortunately Victor had to forfeit the card and another woman won it, but this kind of annoyed me because it was earlier Best Buy employees that were handing out the raffle papers to everyone and promoting it.

After that happened, a group of employees actually filtered through ALL tickets and took out every guy name in there. There was still quite a large amount of tickets in the bag, but that didn't surprise me since they hunted down people all day.

After the 3pm Raffle, I finally noticed something amazing – another girl playing a Nintendo DS! And it was pink... like mine! I finally found those real life gamers I always hear about. ;( We chatted during the rest of the event, sharing our own game related thoughts/experiences and making jokes, and obviously making the last hour a little more interesting. My boyfriend came back sometime around then and we talked about WoW, FFXII, and other random things. Definitely happy to have found someone else who was interested in the event because it was gaming related.

They gave out a Spafinder $100 gift card every raffle, including the times with the GPS unit and the Wii. (They saved the Wii for last of course, and it took about 5 draws to find someone there. None of us would even give them a chance to announce the name on the store loudspeaker to find them – everyone just wanted it finished, and wanted someone actually interested enough to stand there. If there was no cry of glee someone in the crowd promptly yelled out NEXT!)

I made sure to let people who I spoke to know that I found out of the event from Dtoid, and also brought some Dtoid love to the event by taping the logo on my bag:



Unfortunately nobody I spoke to heard of it, but hopefully got them curious enough to check it out.

Anyhow. Overall? They met the target audience they were aiming for: Mothers. Plenty of women with their kids or by themselves, or their girlfriends were there. They were definitely playing the Wii or watching their kids play it. The prizes and everything handed out were very girly – even the GPS unit was pink. The only remotely gaming related item was the Wii, and of course anyone would have wanted that. I'm very curious to see if anyone else had gone to one in their location because I wonder if most locations were the same, or at least similar in setup and gifts. So I look forward to seeing that within the next few days.

Was it worth it? Eh, yes and no. I would have liked to win the Wii most of all, of course, but I would have been happy with a spa gift certificate. Unfortunately I only left with a Lindt truffle that Lady had found at the end and offered it to me. I also would have liked a more actual gaming related event. But, I got to meet some cool new people I wouldn't have found otherwise and I think that made it worth it in the end.

  read


10:13 AM on 03.30.2008

Wii for Women: A line already!?

I plan on going to the Wii for Women event at Best Buy today, and it's about 11:20 EST now.

I decided to call the store to double check they're hosting it, cause I'd rather not waste the trip out there.

And I'm told there's a line forming outside already. Holy shit. I still need to get dressed LOL.

time to make a quick lunch and head out there. Hopefully it'll be a cool event! =)   read


6:38 PM on 03.26.2008

No, I never Played it. I Watched it! (Did you?)

I'm curious how many of you have ever just watched a friend or significant other play through a game?

Would you let someone watch you play? Having another body in the room does have it's uses.
After all, when you're defeating the last boss of the internet, how else are you gonna get that bag of chips in the kitchen? Or when you tag in a friend to level you up while nature is calling. Having friends over and showing them your new game can be truly... awesome?



So have you or your friends ever "watched" a full game from start to finish? Or maybe just a few levels/chapters? I've "watched" quite a few games. Does this mean I have a valid opinion on the gameplay and story?

I think for story, yes. Watching the story unfold and characters develop does not need the use of the controller. For gameplay, that can probably be debatable depending on the game, I think. You could probably understand the combat in a Kingdom Hearts game rather than the controls in Halo. The game could also just be pretty to watch, but a pain to play.

Friends can also contribute to to whether or not you put the title in your "Complete" pile. Going through puzzles or minigames, sometimes having an extra set of eyes can be a great asset. (I helped someone through the demo of Portal because they were stuck and didn't notice the importance of the moving platform.)

And besides, gaming has always been a social event, despite what the media says. From arcades - watching your friend beat high scores - to MMOs - in watching a large group of people downing a boss. We have LAN parties and Tournaments - even watching finalists battle on a huge screen for all to see. We look forward to events like E3 - where we get our first looks at gameplay and stills from games of the future. (And is this using the same concept as just 'watching from afar'?)


Some Examples:

Age of Empires



I never really played this game, but I saw it played probably a few million dozen times. I had never seen the RTS genre before this game, and it intrigued me. It was interesting how you had to build up your empire through the 'Ages', and thought it was insanely cool.

But I had never actually played it, and it wasn't until I got Age of Mythology that I realized... I really suck at RTS games. :D I play way too defensive/slow in general, and I don't keep up with all the various elements of the games well. (bad micro, hurrr) I was even worse with Warcraft 3, I just suck at paying attention to what to do with all my different peasants and building up an army efficiently.

Of course, with practice I got a lot better, but I never understood the controls or how it worked until I sat down and tried it myself.

FFXII / Final Fantasy 12



I watched this game from start to finish, enjoying the story as it happened. But some of the characters irked me, including the main character, Vaan. I just didn't understand why he was even there half the game. As soon as you have Ashe in your party, your mainly helping her as a lackey and following her around on this grand adventure. You didn't even make that many decisions or shared thoughts in cut scenes, except maybe to make a bad situation more positive, even if Vaan was a bit naive. But for the most part I felt like Vaan was in my shoes - watching stuff happening but not having much part of it.

As far as gameplay, it wasn't too hard to pick up the controller and continue farming some mobs. The gambit system was easy enough, and "seeing monsters on screen" is something familiar from MMOs. But overall, it wasn't that difficult to be 'tagged in' at times.

This is a game I'd like to replay myself sometime though. I do like to replay RPGs even if there isn't much replay value. Whether I wanna do it because I didn't actually play it the first time around or not, I don't know. Might be because while playing Revenant Wings, I'm getting tired of the cutesy sprites. D; But seriously, I think some characters turned out better in Revenant Wings, with some characters having more motivation. But I'd like to see those personalities again before it, because I seriously just didn't see it the first time around.

~

So, does game experience always matter? Or does being the Snack Slave sometimes work?   read


5:24 PM on 03.26.2008

Jinx Clothing Sale

For those that may be interested, Jinx is having a Sale on all Tshirts and Sweatshirts for the next 3 days! :)

Check it out~

They also sell those nifty official World of Warcraft shirts. I have the Women's Priest class shirt - and it has to be the most comfortable T shirt I own!

They have all sorts of geekery shirts, maybe the sun is trying to kill you? Could your choice of weapon be the Intellivision or the D20?

Is it time to reach into the Rainy Day Money to buy Volcano Insurance or some Jinx shirts?! You decide!   read


11:23 AM on 03.25.2008

There's no Air?!

So. Boyfriend left his Warcraft3 open so I decided to hop on and play some TDs and whatnot. It's probably been more than a year since I bad-touched any.

So I eventually find 'Element TD Public Beta 4' - "YES!" I cry out. I love Element TD!

Well, I got my ass handed to me.

Whether it's because I noobed it up or not, I still had a good time, and decided to check out the website posted on the loading screen, since it mentioned the site has strategies, and I needed a little refresher on the towers anyway. (no I didn't forget Water needs Light to turn Ice... cough)

But one thing I did notice was the uselessness of my arrow towers - there was no Air! So while browsing the site, I came across the FAQ... and this...!



WHAT !! D:

You mean they didn't just.. remove it or something!?



Everything I have ever known about Element TD was a lie! :(

PS: Now looking at old maps still on the drive, they were called "Element TD Survivor" but still! trying to relearn everything and I still haven't been able to beat all levels. It is definitely the lack of Air levels. ;(

Edit: just some info for those that may be confused or never played it:

TD = Tower Defense, a type of custom map for WarCraft3. Basically you build towers to kill the mobs that spawn before they "exit" and cause you to lose lives. ElementTD you use Towers with an element theme, like fast fire towers, you eventually get elements and you can combine them, like Fire + water can make Vapor like towers that have special abilities, etc.

ElementTD has been around quite awhile, and apparently I hadn't been playing the "official" version, and I was pretty surprised, since I always saw/joined the maps with the air levels. This is where basically the monsters that spawn are "Flying", and only certain towers could do damage to them.   read


3:44 AM on 03.21.2008

Not My Turning Point Gaming Rig

Prepare thy eyes, for they shall bleed.


Specs:

Name: Konata
(Previous names: Ichigo, Mistress)

AMD Athlon XP 1500+, ~1.34GHz
1 GB RAM
Windows XP SP2
CD Rom drive (ancient)
4x CD Burner
120 GB Hard drive (Western Digital)
GeForce4 MX 420
SoundBlaster Audigy

Any other things I should list? I dunno anything else offhand.
If you're curious about something specific, just ask, and I'll try to find the answer. I'll do my best to give you info/history on the computer or whatever I can remember as I write this.

Backstory:

The computer in this case was put together in 2002. But a lot of it's actual components are from various sources/hand me downs/new at the time. Before this, we had an IBM computer, and it was the Family/Stay-Away-When-Nessie-Is-On-It computer before I got this one. (Well i pretty much commandeered the IBM to my room and my parents eventually got some nobrand comp from my brother)

This computer has traveled between homes (every few weeks), across states (between Maryland and NY), and as much as I hate the stupid thing, there's nothing I freak out over more than when something is wrong with it.

Pictures + etc:



The burner I got when my boyfriend upgraded to a 16X burner back in 2001.

The other CDrom is even more ancient, its from the previous IBM. It's starting to be really bad and not read certain CDs. (actually i couldn't even open it the other day, we had to push the pin in the front to force it open sigh) Pre-2000.

When i had to replace my motherboard, the fucks at Best Buy didn't bother to reconnect the USB ports/LED lights in the front. -.- (I wasn't confident enough to do it myself at the time) and yeah, still not connected due to sheer laziness/uncertainty.



This fan on top is starting to go out. It'll sometimes rev up very strangely or just make a huge racket. After taking out some dust it seems to be running more smoothly, but we haven't been able to find a replacement out of the comp graveyard :(




lolstickers. I don't even remember where I got the Sonic one, i might have got it when I was collecting the comics for awhile. I know I played some sort of Sonic game briefly at a friend's house, but i honestly don't remember which one. There's even a Sailor Moon sticker on the other side. ;(



I got a fantastic new monitor a few years ago for Christmas. it's treated me well, and I loves it. (I have a different monitor at my parent's house, but this is *my* monitor <3)
Also got an Intuos2 tablet that same christmas, that is at my parent's house currently.
PS: love my hello kitty datebook.



Vaio Speakers i stole off my dad's old work PC. I have Radioshack speakers that are awesome, but I lost the AC adapter for them :(



my boyfriend HATES my keyboard - it's way too small for him. I just have tiny hands and I sometimes have trouble with larger keyboards so I got this one off Newegg. only $10 and it's treated me well for almost 2 years. Old mouse, nothing amazing.
I have a better gaming mouse at my parent's house.
Also use a "normal" Logitech keyboard at my parent's house



First look of the insides. The motherboard isn't as old as everything else - I had to replace it when mine just crapped out. That was either in summer 2003 or 2004.

I used to have a 30GB hard drive from Maxtor that just completely died in 2006, it was the OS/Programs/whatever i dump on it Drive. (the cable for it is still loose in there if you can find it) But this 120 has been good, even going through several Windows reinstalls when I had comp troubles in late 2006.

Closer inside looks:




The soundcard I got in 2002 when this computer was being put together initially. I remember going to Best Buy and feeling awesome, especially since it came with games. (Although i never played the damn things lol) It plays sound fine but it warps the voices of some people on Ventrilo. Since I couldn't fix it, i use a USB headset for Vent, and the soundcard for other computer media.

Honestly don't remember when I got the Video card. But what can I say? It's my 5-10 FPS miracle worker. I've had amazing times, as well as a number of amazing game glitches. I was once offered an upgrade from my boyfriend when he upgraded his in January 2005, but I was incredibly stubborn at the time. (It actually had to with the beta to a game - I can't remember the name - it was an MMO where the NPCs were played by people - and I argued I didn't have to upgrade because "Mine could play WoW just fine!" Haha I'm retarded.)

Thanks for watching my epeen shrink as I share this.

I feel violated.   read


8:43 PM on 03.20.2008

Not enough Cube? Craft your own!



Mmm the infamous Companion Cube. If you know how to crochet, or know someone else who does, feel free to use the pattern provided by sprocketfish on Craftser.org.

Here is the thread with more pictures and the pattern itself.

Now you can truly give your Cube the love it deserves.

As for me - I need grey yarn. =(   read





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