Friday, December 22, 2006

Well, let's see what's changed from last post:

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I finished Count Zero and I really liked it. Though the last few pages were a bit confusing at first read. Probably cause I was a little tired when I read them. But the book was a very enjoying read. Love the Cyberpunk.

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I was lucky and my step-sisters and my step-mom emailed me about what I could get everyone. Since they covered each other, I got a good idea of what to get everyone. Except the kids. They were freaking vague about that, or didn't even mention anything. I'll have to phone my step-mom about it and get some ideas. I did my Xmas shopping this afternoon, and managed to get everyone's gifts. It's all gift cards for stocking stuffers, mainly cause that's what everyone wants.

We're oh-so-exciting, aren't we?

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Speaking of Xmas gifts, stupid ass Kofi, my co-worker, got me a gift. Totally by surprise. The idiot. Made me feel like a jerk, since I had no intention of getting him anything. Hell, I've never even given my best friend Inferno anything in the 8 some years I've known him.

Anyway, Kofi likes getting World Cup team jerseys, so he picked me up a Sweden one, as that's my heritage. Gotta say, it's pretty fucking nice. He gave it to me last night, and made me open it (to make sure it fit, and the name was spelled right. He got it personalized. Idiot!). He also gave it to me early cause I lucked out big time and I have 5 nights off for Xmas. Woooo! Needless to say, he wasn't impressed, cause he has to work till the 24th.

But, with my days off I was able to get him a gift too. Mostly out of guilt. Stupid guy. But, I got him something we can both enjoy. Battlefield 2142! I've been stuck on the demo lately. It's much different than FEAR, that's for sure. Much more tactical and such. Vehicles too. I'm not so shit hot with the flying ones though. I let other people fly them and I just man the guns.

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I haven't been playing much of NWN 2 lately, mostly cause I've been freaking tired, and there's been lots of Star Trek (Next Gen and Voyager) on TV for some reason. The one channel is playing 4-5 hours of Voyager in the mornings. I caught a few good episodes, plus a really good 2 parter of Next Gen on the other channel.

The one guy I work with (not Kofi, another guy) has been doing the same damn thing as me with NWN 2. We both start playing new characters and then get the itch to try different class/race combo. We're fucking alt-aholics, that's for sure. He's much farther along than me for sure. But I think he starting another character again. Idiot!

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I got so fed up with the Xmas music at work that I started disconnecting it every night I was at work. Then I'd just plug it back in before the bosses arrived in the morning. And a few days later, it stopped working. Oooops.

I bet it was broken anyway. Either way, it doesn't matter. I probably won't hear it again until next year. Maybe for a day or two next week, but that's not too bad.

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In other news, Nevrax (the makers of Ryzom) has been bought out by Gameforge. Gameforge is some company from Germany that makes browser based games. So I don't know if that bodes well for Ryzom. Though Gameforge is going to keep most of the development team from Nevrax working on the game, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Maybe they can get the old Devs to make some changes to the game, and get it more polished. A few tweaks to the gameplay wouldn't be too bad either. There are a few things that would have to change before I could give it another shot.

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I think that's about it. Maybe I'll update this before Xmas if anything good happens. Otherwise, have a safe Xmas. Don't let the evil robot Santa get you this year.




Laters!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Again, it's been a while. Mostly the same old, same old though.

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I luckily didn't get bronchitis from that cold I picked up. Probably cause I phoned in sick to work two days in a row, and had my 2 days off shortly after to recover. Hopefully I don't get sick after Xmas, like I usually do.

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I haven't been doing much other than playing the computer (NWN 2, for sure ), and reading. Since work was supposed to be utterly boring the other week, as I was filling in for someone else and not working my usual shift, I decided to bring a book to read. Actually, the other lady told me to bring one. She even gave me an extra day off, but we didn't tell the bosses. It's not like I got paid for it. But it was nice to have the extra day off nonetheless.

Anyway, I brought a book my friend lent me an eon ago. I don't know why I never got to reading it, especially since it's only like 400 pages, so it's not like it would take me very long. The book is "Count Zero" by William Gibson. I'm sure you've heard of his one book, "Neuromancer", and of course his short story "Johnny Mnemonic" which was turned into a movie with Keanu Reeves.

It's standard Gibson fare. Cyberpunk setting, a semi-convoluted plot that keeps you wondering what the real story is, and what's going to happen next. I'm really enjoying it. It's made me think about the Cyberpunk genre and setting a whole lot lately.

I was thinking about the old Cyberpunk tabletop game my friends and I played. It was sooo cool, and my Corp character, "Wolf", was a badass. Cybered up to shit. Even paid the premium price to retain most of his Humanity. He wouldn't be much use to a corp if he was a slathering psychopath, now would he?

It also got me thinking about EVE Online, as EVE is /very/ Cyberpunk, and even more gritty and harsh that most Cyberpunk tends to be. It's just set in a similar world, albeit a few hundred years later. Kofi is playing it again, I still don't know why, so he's been telling me about it a bunch. It has tempted me a few times, but then I go play NWN 2 or Most Wanted and the temptation disappears. MMOs are slowly becoming less attractive to me, the more I play quality single-player games. I keep remembering the tediousness of the grinding in MMOs and how so many of them fall flat compared to what I expect them to be.

I've even had ideas how Cyberpunk could be a really good setting for an MMO, as there's a lot of room for PVP, politics, backstabbing, factions,etc. Plus, the setting is close enough to realism for people to easily understand (compared to Orcs and Elves) yet different enough that they should be able to feel "larger than life" while playing it. I've run over ideas how PVP and PVE could dynamically mix with factions (ie. corporations) and it seems like it could be fairly plausible.

Now the only hurdle is to find some suckers who'll pay me a whack of cash to develop the damn game. Sure .... in my dreams.

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Xmas is just around the corner, and I'm fucking whooped for figuring out what to buy people. And I don't even have to get a lot of presents. Just one big gift for my dad, as I got his name in the draw, and stocking stuffers (max $10 worth/ person) for everyone else. You'd think I'd be able to figure out something to get my dad, but noooooooo.

At least my one stepsister and her hubby have told everyone flat out what they want for stuffers. Gift cards for a dept store, so they can buy linens, plates, and stuff. Since they didn't have a wedding with gifts and all. (they eloped, ie. the way it should be )

I sent out an email to my family, listing all the types of gift cards they could get me. I couldn't think of anything concrete they could buy me, as all the stuff I plan to get, or am simply thinking of getting, is easily over $100. I figured they can just give me some cards, and it'll help offset the cost of what I get later on.

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Also, the Xmas music at work is driving me /fucking insane/. If I have to hear "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" or fucking "Jingle Bells" version #128 any more I'm going to go Postal. I really need to bug my friend into giving me a ride to the store, so I can get that mp3 player I want. Then I can listen to something that won't make me want to shove an icepick into my eardrum.

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And lastly, I just wanted to share with you a picture of my two characters from NWN 2. I'm playing the game with 2 different characters, one of them is fairly new, the other one is almost finished Act 1. I know the game story doesn't really make it possible, but I decided that they are brothers. Or half-brothers, I dunno. Either way, both of them are radically different. One's a Lawful Good Monk, the other is a crazy Chaotic Neutral Fighter, or merc in other words. They're both fun cause they're designed as High-damage Melee types. They're not so high on the HPs, but they both can dish out the pain. The Monk is cool cause the animations are /really nice/, and so he does all kinds of spin kicks and stuff. Plus he has like 3 attacks per round at level 10, and can do a Spin Kick if he hits with one, effectively giving him 4. He dishes it out /fast/.

His brother is a dual weapon fighter, and I'm going to have his specialty be Katanas, as he's a slightly different version of a character I had for NWN 1. He can dish out the damage too, and he has a lot more options than the Monk, especially when it comes to gear, so that'll be nice.

Here's a picture of the two of them. The Monk, Aelandethe is on the left. His brother, Dethandriel, is on the right. I think they both look pretty cool.


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That seems about it.
Laters all.
*tips his hat*

Monday, December 4, 2006

I haven't posted here for almost 2 weeks. Ooops.
Not a big deal. There's not too much to tell anyways.

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First off, I 'm currently getting over a nasty head cold that hit me the other day. I went to work and I shouldn't have, but my co-workers would've been /royally screwed/ if I hadn't, so I toughed it out for one night. I called in sick last night to let myself get better. I'm soooo glad I did, otherwise I bet my cold would've turned into a bronchial or sinus infection, like it usually does. It's still lingering so I'm not out of the woods yet. *crosses fingers*

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I played a bunch of San Andreas the last couple days, and I have unlocked the last city in the game. Some of the missions I had to do to unlock it were ridiculously hard. There was one swimming mission where you have to stay underwater otherwise the guys in the boats cap you. But the keyboard+mouse combo doesn't seem to work properly for swimming, so I kept either floating to the surface, or drowning. Fucking annoying.

Other than that, it's been lots of fun. Though I bet I'll finish it before I know it, and then I'll have no real reason to play anymore. I can't be bothered to play to find all the hidden stuff, to get a 100% completion rate. Looking for gang tags on buildings for hours on end isn't my idea of fun. Nor is diving underwater to find all the clams.

Once I finish the main missions, I'll probably just stop playing the game altogether. I've already got a lot of fun out of it, no need to bleed it dry.

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After I finish San Andreas I'll probably go back to finish some more of Most Wanted. I've had fun playing it, but it's fairly linear so I seem to get bored with it quickly. Though it is quite good if I'm looking for some fun in less than 30 mins.

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As for NWN 2, I've been playing around with different characters, and trying them in the tutorial and first part of the game. I got a little frustrated with my Warlock and his NPCs, when I tried to do some of the quests in the city of Neverwinter. The thief alley part was hard enough, but then I have to take on an army of thieves in a warehouse. With them sneak attacking my party all the time, I'm getting cut to ribbons. The Warlock is good when there is a limited amount of enemies, but when I had to fight around 10-12 of them, he got swamped. His Eldritch Blast is only single target (possibly 2 if the Chain effect hits) and it's 4d6. The thieves make their saving throws or something, and so they take less damage. Or something ... I dunno. There's simply too many of them to fight.

Thus, I've tried some more melee orientated characters so that I can have the NPCs be the "squishies", and I can be up front. The Monk I've made is rather good, and his Flurry of Blows (one extra attack / round) mode is very useful. Plus, his Moon Elf high dexterity has helped his armour class a lot. I think right now he has the highest AC of all the party. But that's also cause I gave him all the +AC items I could.

I think I'll see how he plays out some more. He's not bad in melee, and he's different than my Warlock RP-wise. The warlock is Chaotic Good (leaning to Chaotic Neutral) and the monk is Lawful Good. It's fun to play the opposite alignment for a change. Most times I play the selfish, money grubbing mercenary, or the simply outright evil guy. Plus it's interesting to see the effects on different situations, and the overall effect on the NPC teammates. I think I've already got a better rating with the dwarf fighter than my Warlock does.

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Ryzom's future get's decided on the 5th, so we'll see what happens there. One former employee (fired a long time ago due to layoffs/budget cuts) is trying to collect donations from the players to bid to purchase the game content and engine. In an effort to make the game open source.

It's a bold move, and one that I'd personally like to see succeed if no one actually buys the game from Nevrax, but I think it's ultimately futile. The guy doesn't have the people, nor the resources to work with the code, and no one will be able to host the game, except for a few friends/guildies. So it'll be the same as if the game was closed.

My money is on the game closing for good. It doesn't have a name that attracts attention, nor does it have a lot of current subscribers, so any company looking to buy it will most likely be very hesitant to keep it running. They'd most likely just purchase the game resources and use them to develop their own MMO instead. Start fresh instead of starting with all the negative stuff that bogged down Ryzom in the first place.

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I can't think of what else there is, other than the fact that Smallville was a repeat (again!) and I hope Heroes is good tonight. Oh yeah ... I saw an interesting show on the Discovery Channel called "Mythbusters". They played like 3 episodes back to back. It's 5 people who try and prove/disprove a bunch of movie, TV and urban myths.

The episodes I saw had them testing to see if you could cut one sword in half with another one (you couldn't), if an ejector seat in a car was plausible (it was), if you could jump a huge distance in a car and keep going, a la Dukes of Hazzard (you could jump, but the landing was killer and invariably the car was fucked), and a whack of other myths. It was actually pretty cool. The two main guys are big special effects wizards for Hollywood so they build all kinds of weird contraptions.

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That's about it. Now I'm off to sleep so I won't be too out of it for work tonight.
Later.