July 2012 Foofery

So, I did some long-overdue pruning of the blogroll. I removed whatever blogs had been officially shut down or were showing entirely in Sanskrit, updated whatever blogs had moved elsewhere, kept a few for nostalgia’s sake, added a couple.

If you should be on there and aren’t, it’s because I’m an elitist cliqueish bitch. Post or mail me and I’ll boot up Nice Ysh 2.0 and (re)add you.

And now a cute animal picture to fill out the required space. Nice Ysh 2.0 must be online.

(EDIT – did I mention I added a TSW Links page? Well, I did. Suggestions for additions welcome.)

Oh, my ego

I probably shouldn’t be posting about this because it’s from the super-seekrit beta forums for TSW (or are they super-seekrit now the NDA is down?), but I’ll take the risk. Also, I want those of you with better memories to correct me if needed.

Someone used the term “content locust” in a thread title and post, and while I’m not sure I actually coined the damn thing (probably not), I do use it relatively often. It was stupidly chuffing to see it mentioned, regardless of the attendant flameage and, you know, actual content of that thread – and regardless of the fact that nobody will ever know or care who did coin it (assuming it doesn’t die the usual internet-term death within the next 6 months).

Except me. I’ll know. Whether I actually coined it or not, I can probably claim co-founder status and in a weird way that’s really satisfying.

I do have an ego, and sometimes it likes to pat itself on the back (yes, my ego has a back. Stop splitting hairs.) – mostly by sharing it with strangers on a blog. We now return you to your regular programming.

The Secret World NDA lifted

Yes, I’m behind the times. As some of you already know I lost my dad last week, so even TSW is taking a back seat right now.


As of today, Closed Beta testers are no longer bound by the non-disclosure agreement. This means that testers may now speak freely about their experiences in the current and future versions of the Closed Beta. Sharing of screenshots and gameplay videos of the current and future versions of the Closed Beta is also allowed.

I’m not in the mood for a long review, but I will say:

- I preordered

- I’m enjoying it, despite far less time to play than I would have liked, RL issues, and hardware issues

- I was even considering going for the lifetime sub but Green Armadillo (one of my blogosphere’s resident cynics and smartypants) reminded me that games are going Free to play faster than you can say “vanishing player-base” these days, so I’m still thinking about that one. Still… part of me wants to do it, not just because you get some fun goodies but also because I’d like to show support for Funcom and for this game in particular.

- I think the game is boss. Not everyone will. In my case however I suspect it will entertain me for quite a while.

- A somewhat more thorough Impressions post may follow, or not, depending on how RL stuff goes. We’re not allowed to talk about previous versions  and I haven’t yet experienced the post-NDA beta, so it also depends on whether I get a chance to play in the post-NDA world before launch.

Short, not sweet

Supposed to refer to this post, but I guess it could refer to me too. I slay me.

1. Hot summer is hot. Where can I find a place that’s 70 degrees (20C) all year round?

On the bright side, it’s so dry here in New Mexico that hot here isn’t nearly as hot as, er, hot in humid places. I should probably work on that sentence a bit more.

2. Bad health sucks. It insinuates tendrils in all parts of your life and makes just about everything more difficult.

I’m not whining (much), just observing. My sympathies to anyone else who’s going through chronic health issues.

3. Work is harder when you’re sick.

Especially if you have a lot of it and feel sick most of the time. Oh, woe is me.

4. Only a month to go to TSW launch if it’s on time. /Snoopydance

I really really want to say more but I can’t so I won’t. I swear, work and health be damned, I’m taking a week off right around July 3rd.


Lack of courtesy or proper assertiveness?

Over the weekend I got a snarky letter from an organization I won’t name, objecting to the use of an image they claim to own. Not here – elsewhere. Draw your own conclusions since I don’t post in that many places on the Intertubes.

Now, I don’t know if it’s even legit, but from what I’ve heard about the organisations and societies relating to this oh-so-seminal author of oh-so-seminal fantasy who shall also remain coyly nameless, it’s that many of them have sticks up their ass and an overblown impression of their own importance to literature, fantasy and the universe in general.

Don’t get me wrong – if the pic was used without permission, apology shall be profferred and retribution made. At least, I’m pretty sure it will. Since I had nothing to do with the selection and/or use of said image, I’ve kicked the demanding email upstairs as is only proper.

I dunno what’s rubbing me the wrong way. Protecting one’s intellectual property is everyone’s right and I would probably exercise mine if people ripped my stuff off with no attribution. But I’m not sure I would go wading in quoting lawyers and legalese and using a generally high-handed tone.

Then again, I’m also patiently waiting for payment on work invoices that have 45-day payment terms (pretty damn generous considering I deliver my work before I even get to invoice for it), long after the 45 days are gone. I’m going to have to do something about that because not being able to pay my rent or organise my trip abroad properly is probably more important than being ever-so nice and understanding of my clients. I need more American in my British makeup, I suspect.

Maybe I need to get some snark of my own when it comes to defending my output, whether it’s attribution or payment.


Skyrim is addictive.

I’ve had far less time to play it than I’d like, work being what it is, but even so I’m hooked like a trout on a humpy. (Yes, I went and looked up fish fly names. That is how much I care for you.)

It’s also made me realise that while I love love love the start of a game, I’m not so hot on the middle bits and I positively dread the end bits. Which presumably makes me something of a freak in MMOs, since these days it’s all about the end game and I’m all about the beginning game. The same seems to hold true in single-player RPGs too.

My first Skyrim character just… didn’t work out (long story), so I rerolled. The second character “fit” much better and I played her like a maniac at every opportunity (sleep is for the weak). She got to level 20 pretty fast, but I got all anxiety-ridden about having too many quests, being werewolfed before we’d even been properly introduced, having too many quests, being caught between the stick-up-their-asses Empire and the stick-up-everyone-else’s-asses Stormcloaks, and having too many quests.

The first time I had NO clue what I was doing and just got sucked up in the current (and gave up around level 3). The second time I thought I knew it all, but I still got sucked up in the current; somehow I ended up with several criminal bounties on my head when I really didn’t think I’d done anything that bad. Mostly I really didn’t think anyone had seen me killing those Thalmor bastards escorting their prisoner out in the wilds; turns out some city guards saw me, and before I knew it (whoops! my axe slipped!) I’d killed them too and only realised what I’d done when the game told me “All the witnesses have been killed.”

Ulp. I don’t think I’ve ever killed witnesses before. I thought they were bad guys, honest guv.

So I re-rerolled.

What’s interesting is that all three experiences have been quite different, at least as much as they can be in the framework of a single-player RPG. It was only with the third character that I noticed a choice in the very first scene, the tutorial scene that basically just lets you walk (which isn’t as easy as it may sound for an old bat used to her arrow keys and playing this on a console). You don’t HAVE to follow the Imperial guy – you can follow the Stormcloak guy! It makes little difference in the grand scheme of things, but it’s illustrative of how Skyrim is as a whole: there’s so much stuff in that game, you could play it a half dozen times and probably still find stuff you’d never noticed before.

The game is giganormous, and the quintillion quests are almost an imposition. If I had my druthers, I’d just wander around exploring stuff and clearing out bandits, which is pretty much what I’ve been doing. In the Elder Scrolls games you really can ignore the story line if you want to, and it seems most obvious of all in this chapter. I’m stuck trying to decide who I hate less, Empire or Stormcloaks, in order to decide whether I want to join one or the other; I could stay neutral, but I’d be missing out on a big plot arc, so sooner or later I’ll make a decision.

In the meantime, I have some ore to mine and some mountain flowers to pick. Also: elk are hard to stalk.

Also: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/11/14 - cue hyena laughter because it’s oh, so true.

Gone Fishin’

RL has recently become a little complicated. I doubt I’ll be posting in a while*. Thanks for coming by these last 2 1/2 years!

* Unless I get a TSW beta spot. And even then, unless I were prepared to face the wrath of the rugosely tentacled NDA Beast.