Weekly Wyrm Oct. 26, 2014: Sex And Crime Edition

rift nightmare tide screenshot goboro reefA few notes before I get to Rift.

In my last post, I mentioned a sort-of sex scandal in an upcoming big-name RPG title. After a few days of reflection, I’ve decided I can’t name and discuss this developer or the possibilities for pushing the edge of RPG romance.

So I’ll only say that a female lead on the writing team in this RPG project is a professional erotica writer, a writer who I’ve worked with in the past. This was in an online writer’s group. She’s also a long-time supporter and former participant in National Masturbation Month, having tweeted about it as recently as this year.

(I took a pass. This kitty is too lazy to ooh-la-la every day.)

She’s completely open about her credentials–as an award-winning fiction writer and professional. Now she’s in the gaming industry, however. Given the current climate of #gamergate and the disgusting current climate of harassment of women in the gaming industry, this is cause for concern.

Felicia Day came out this last week in support of #gamergate commenting on her own experience of harassment, speaking candidly of her own fears and depression. Her Tumblr post has 44000 notes a few days later. To underscore the realness of this issue, Felicia immediately faced the consequences with her personal details being posted online.


Art, Crime, And Consequences


The other highlight of this week (besides the Rift expansion), was a tweet re: an Associated Press article about artistic defacement of rock formations, a story first reported by Casey Schreiner on modernhiker.com, leading to authorities getting involved.

Casey went on to write a followup article on why this is such an important issue.

I’m a big fan of Casey Schreiner from his former show “The MMO Report” on G4. I’m also a big fan of hiking, and it was cool to see him suddenly pop up in the national news, no longer citified and clean shaven–instead with a big bushy hiker guy beard.

My take on this issue is that it’s a symptom of American narcissism. Social media is like addictive candy for the need to be special and get attention.

So it’s ironic that social media is this graffiti artist’s downfall by providing the proof. It wasn’t enough for Nocket to just sneak away and leave her art in the park, content that lots of people would see it. She had to post it.

Whatever Nocket’s psychological needs are, they are too strong to overcome better judgment. And that’s sad. She’s a girl who needs help and better parenting like most criminals, but instead she’ll get a fine and/or a prison sentence.

If there’s a world capital of narcissism, it’s California, and as of yesterday, Nocket’s Tumblr blog is gone, only to be taken over by a California street art group looking for attention and promising copycat crimes.

You dudes are so badass! Spray painting rocks is so cool! Almost as cool as a few other dudes last week shooting up the Canadian parliament and attacking police with hatchets, but no. Not really.


Rift: First Impressions (Mostly Positive)


This week has been a mess. On Thursday I went to play, and there was a bad patch forcing everyone who updated at the wrong time to have to completely re-install the game. Fail. Trion compensated with 750 credits, which was generous.

On Friday, three shards destructed, and the Faeblight shard was the hardest hit with a 24+ hour rollback. People were not pleased. Luckily I was busy and didn’t play much until yesterday. I lost a bunch of artifacts I’d harvested.

On the other hand, last night I was doing an event (shown in the image above), where someone called a guild in with a rally flag, and we had at least two full raids on a road where it passed under a giant natural coral archway.

During the epic battle against the evil, the mermaids in the reef started singing. It was one of those memorable game moments! Wow!

The use of “evil” verbiage to give the impression of an enemy is actually one of my very few objections. Otherwise the expansion writing so far is fantastic, nailing the three most important points–characters, characters, and characters. With a sprinkle of narcissism on top.

Overall, the expansion has been awesome, maybe the best I’ve ever played. More Rift impressions next time. Ciao for now and happy gaming.


Blizzard ~ Going Up Or Going Down

kitty buy listA few days ago I bought stock in Blizzard-Activision. The stock has been crushed in the last month, supposedly due to the initial bad reaction and reviews of Destiny (Activision), and I would assume the cancellation of Titan is also a factor.

I know better with Destiny. I think. Destiny seems to have solid post-launch traction with the Joe and Jane console gamers, and most comments I see are surprisingly positive. So why not take a chance with an industry that I know?

The chart of Blizzard’s stock looks terrifyingly horrible, though. It bounced with the big market bounce in the last week, but it still underperformed, and it’s limping dangerously below its trend lines. I hope I don’t lose too much for comfort before the earnings announcement on 11/4.

That would be a problem.

It would be worse if the stock tanked on earnings, I sold, and then a big announcement came at Blizzcon. That would be this kitty’s luck recently. I don’t recommending pushing chips at Blizzard, but if there’s a surprise of any kind, and I think there could be, there could be big profit.

Raptr from last month shows a strong surge in Diablo 3, and Hearthstone is holding position for Blizzard to dominate the top ten most played PC games. (Destiny is not in PC.) They also have Warcraft the movie coming in 2016, but who knows.

Any opinions on Blizzard? Will they have a big announcement at Blizzcon? They already announced Hearthstone will go to mobile early next year. Hearthstone is an awesome game.

I hope dedicated U.S. kitty readers perked their ears and got some chips in during last week’s panic sell-off over Ebola, Europe, and China. You might have made 5-10% since then. Or maybe things aren’t over yet. I think money coming from Europe and Asia in off-hours has been a big factor in the rally, but I won’t bore readers any further.

This is just a little blurb that I’ve kept short on purpose. I’ve got good writing material for the weekend, including a secret sex scandal in a big upcoming RPG the kitty uncovered this week while pawing through a developer Tumblr. I hope Massively doesn’t scoop me. :3

So go Blizzard! I never thought I’d be cheering for Blizzard, but Trion is a private company. So. I’ll have reactions on Nightmare Tide when I have more of them. Today I’m a wee bit annoyed, but I’ll get over it.


Weekly Wyrm: Oct. 19, 2014

The highlight of this week was complete disgust at the Utah death threat against Anita Sarkeesian. The threat went something like this:

“Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged.”

The local Mormon police seemed conspicuously absent, like “whatevs, we don’t see anything that needs our attention”. Are we living in Afghanistan? Next will it be acid attacks?

Sarkeesian was featured in a live MSNBC interview that was posted today on Youtube, confirming opinions that these threats will only strengthen Sarkeesian’s position.

(direct link)

Angry Joe put up a great, entertaining old-school review of Alien:Isolation this week.

I was thrilled to see a great game with a female protagonist, until I thought longer about why the female protagonist starts the game in her underwear. What male-protagonist game lately has started you off in gratuitous undies?

The Alien:Isolation deshabille actually has an artistic precedent in Alien, the original movie, but this issue is clearly something society takes for granted in games, and it’s fabulous that Anita Sarkeesian and a few brave others are refusing to back down from these threats to their lives and well-being, instead just using them to prove their points.

So I’m still preferring to pay for the well-outfitted lady desert Rangers in Wasteland 2. I purchased it and started playing tonight, despite having already ponied up sub and credits for Rift: Nightmare Tide.

I don’t think I’ve paid full price for a game since Rift, unless you count LotRO expansions. Wasteland 2 has had two solid patches since it launched to widespread positive reviews, which all looks promising on top of the Youtube gameplay sequences I watched.

Not too many people, much less game bloggers, played the original Wasteland game two decades ago. This game has style. It’s time to repair some toasters.


Elf In Real Life: One Week Until The Nightmare

waiting catRift:Nightmare Tide is supposed to release in one week. I haven’t been playing Rift much except for helping newbies in the forums.

Today was my first day back in the stock market, and I made a $12 profit while the market plunged again.

$12 is like a free hamburger in a hurricane, but it’s still a $1.50 raise on my crappy day job. I haven’t gotten an annual raise–no rank and file in my office has–for over 5 years.

I wish I could go out and harvest artifacts in the neighborhood and sell them on EBay. Maybe if I lived in Greece or Ireland and wanted to engage in criminal archaeological activity.

Everything looks bad except for oil prices, which Citigroup is declaring to be a 1 trillion stimulus. Meanwhile, the headline on CNN.com right now says “brace yourselves for financial crash.”

Ironically, anecdotes say that by the time the headlines of major news outlets are declaring a financial crash, the worst is already over. Maybe CNN is saying this on purpose, trying reverse psychology. Or maybe they’re looking to drive prices further down so they can buy.

Important money people are going on CNBC this week, like the CEO of Blackstone, and saying whatever it takes to help their own interests. It’s like a mini-game trying to guess the ulterior motives of everything the people say on CNBC.

I look at the expressions of the nervous-looking Wall Street guys and imagine them wearing burly beards, with the terrified caption “We dug too deep!”

How deep is Trion still dicking with Nightmare Tide? I’d guess it’s still a bit creaky, but we can pray it’s playable. They have one more week to tie on some flippers and send this girl off the deep end.


Weekly Wyrm ~ Oct. 11, 2014

turtle earrings for rift nightmare tideThe positive highlight of the week was purchasing my traditional expansion-themed earrings for Rift. They’re little gold turtles. I made my own earrings for Rohan and Gondor, but they didn’t hold up due to materials issues.

The negative highlight of the week was being called a “nigga bitch” in Rift. I won’t wallow in filth by speculating etymologically what this is supposed to mean. I was playing my rogue, stealing Unstable Artifacts from the big meany Seastonians (the U.S. PvP server).


Artifact Mining On A PvP Server


Eve Online has a similar gameplay scenario with high sec and low sec. Whenever an Unstable Artifact zone event hits Seastone on the cluster-wide event tracker, it’s an opportunity to reap richer rewards for increased risk.

On average I was dying once or twice per event as of last week. This week I adopted a strategy of riding to a safer hunting location before shard hopping, and also going only with my rogue. My mage is a puny stick of 2-shot goo to a well-geared murder machine.

The payoff for my artifact hunting has been 1.5k plat earned in the last few weeks, mainly from a 450 plat Freemarch epic unstable artifact. I’ve invested most of that back into Dreamweaving, and now I can convert arties into dream cloth for even more coin.

So speaking of investing.


THE BEARS = WINNING


This week the 3-year bull market in U.S. securities finally ran out of steam. There’s just no place for them to go with the interest rate increases looming, Europe threatening a recession with decreased oil consumption, and weak earnings being reported by Intel, Samsung, and others partly due to low sales in China.

Not to mention multiple wars and Ebola.

For three years, this kitty has been rooing the days (i.e. jumping up and down with anxiety) when she was hunkered in a cabin writing novels four or five years ago instead of catching the bull market and getting rich. Well, the wait is finally over. It’s bear time.

No, this section isn’t about football.

In other bear news, LotRO’s Beorning class has hit the live servers, and screens are appearing of tough tattooed bear women. I love this.

For years, including in my newbie guide to LotRO, I’ve been lobbying for a native-type race with facial tattoos, and Turbine is doing it.

The LotRO Community boys seem to be making fun of how ugly she is, but Turbine deserves kudos for implementing realistic female figures, much like Blizzard’s healthy femme-panda forms.


Wasteland 2


Wasteland 2 has finally released, the new retro RPG from Brian Fargo, Mike Stackpole, Liz Danforth and the like. I like what I’m seeing on the Youtube videos and the reviews.

Stackpole and Liz Danforth are venerable Tunnels and Trolls developers, and I’ll be pressing the buy button and happily handing them money for this amazing effort. The soundtrack by Mark Morgan, the original Fallout and Planescape Torment composer, is also worth checking out.

I can’t explain why I’m not more excited about Dragon Age 3, which releases in November. Wasteland 2 seems more like an open story where I can make my own roleplay characters. Dragon Age 2 felt like playing a character in a movie, and it got old.

The only reservation I have about Wasteland 2 is that the endgame looks like fighting against robots, which I really didn’t like in the Fallout games. It’s the same formula over again. Robots just aren’t good “bad guys” from a fiction perspective, in general. Terminator had Arnold. I doubt if this game has Arnold.

Until next time, happy gaming! Thanks for reading KKBB.


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