The Opal Phoenix Nest

Vidya games, roleplaying, animu, and hate. Now with less animu!

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Competitive People Make No Damned Sense

Posted by opalphoenix on April 20, 2012

Well, it’s been almost a year. I guess it’s about time I wrote a new article.

So while League of Legends is undergoing the worst set of patches in gaming history (patches which literally broke the game in numerous ways), something came to my mind about the competitive nature of the game – competitive people are fucking stupid. As I like to do, let’s get right to the point. Here’s some things competitive players do which make no sense to me:

1) Calling someone a “tryhard” – In League of Legends, and likely other games that differentiate “normal” or typical matches from “ranked” ones, people throw this insult everywhere during normal games. For those of you who are so incredibly stupid and can’t figure out what this insult means (or perhaps you are just in denial – yes, people can be this stupid), a “tryhard” is someone who tries to win. That’s all. Because, you know, trying hard to win a competitive game is a stupid thing to do, right? Seriously though, ranked game or not, the game has a winner – why not try to be the winner?

2) Calling someone a noob after they raped your face – Yeah, I just raped your face. A “noob” just raped your face. What does that make you, face-raped guy?

3) LOL – Laugh Out Loud is fine. Spamming Laugh Out Loud is tolerable. Saying “lol” in actual speech gives me an itch. Saying “LOL” when someone corners you in an argument, and you deserve to be face-raped like that noob-caller. If you’ve played a competitive game, especially one of team strategy, then you’ve probably run into something like this:
*Retard dying to other team*
Retard: wtf y u no come help me
Me: You ran into a 1v5 and we all KNEW they were there./There was no way to save you./We wouldn’t have made it in time.
Retard: LOL

Seriously, why do people just cop out with “LOL”? Even if they follow it up with a counterargument, they could have just as easily not said “LOL” at all. My valid points are not laugh-worthy, so you must be laughing at your own defeat. Don’t play denial, kiddies. Don’t LOL. And while you’re at it, don’t LoL either until more hotfixes come out.

4) Insulting in All-Chat – I don’t play a lot of competitive games, so this experience once again comes from League of Legends. The game has a team chat, which is the default channel, but also has an all-chat so one can chat with opponents as well. However, from my experience, all-chat is used much more often for attempting public humiliations of one’s own teammates than actually chatting with opponents. In this scenario, someone will do something stupid, and his teammate just HAS to point out that player’s lack of skill to the enemy team. Why? Maybe it’s for the feel of superiority, or perhaps they feel the loser needs to suffer some humiliation.
*Mundo feeds enemy team like a baws*
Dumbass: lol thismundo/best mundo/gg noob mundo/real [see #5]

5) Using a Pro’s Catchphrases – So, some pro or pros in League of Legends like to use the slang term “real” when something awesome happens during the game. The result?Everyone has a new catchphrase. Being a competitive community, one would think that the lower-ranked players wouldn’t want to copy higher-ranked and well-known players, but they do anyway. Tools.

6) Ignored! – When a player gets really upset with you, he tells you he is going to ignore you (whether he actually does or not is a different matter). Gee, guy, you really got to me there. I mean, what could be more infuriating than being ignored by some loser you don’t want to hear from anyway?

I’m sure those of you with experience in competitive gaming can think of a few other things that piss you off. Feel free to share.


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Posted in Personal, Video Games | Leave a Comment »

Why Vindictus Will Destroy the Genre of MMORPG’s

Posted by opalphoenix on May 31, 2011

That’s right, everyone – I AM STILL ALIVE! [Insert Portal reference here]

Now that we’ve gotten updates out of the way, I’m going to explain why Vindictus is the best MMORPG ever and will inevitably destroy the entire MMORPG market. This will be a long article, in order to make up for lost time and adequately explain why this game is so win. Let’s start out with a default review even though the game is, at this point, old news.

Story – 4/5

Vindictus is a prequel to the story of Mabinogi. In Mabinogi, the setting is Erinn, the land of paradise. In Vindictus, the setting is…some place (hence the 1 lost point in story) and the human race (or at least everyone in the game) is trying to reach that land of paradise. The Goddess Morrighan promised the human race that if they killed every last Fomor (covenant of various races) in the world they would be brought to Erinn, the land of paradise. It is up to the Oracles (an indeterminate number of people who can communicate with divinity) to keep themselves and their race safe in order to keep contact with the Goddess. Honestly, I think it’s just the church’s way of exterminating Fomor, but it’s because of a story which makes the player question the truth that this category gets its score.

The player begins as a mercenary in the Crimson Blades group. In the first mission the player saves the oracle Tieve and is instantly appreciated/loved/hated by the other mercenaries. As the game progresses, the player gets to become more and more important to the central plot, and as far as current English content allows the player can become a captain of the royal army.

There are a lot of side quests which develop each NPC’s story. Unlike a lot of other MMO’s, Vindictus hosts only a handful of NPC’s, and most of them have stories to learn about. Also unlike other games, the NPC’s interact with each other during quest chatter, making the text an actual enjoyable read.

Gameplay – 5/5

The gameplay of Vindictus is incredibly entertaining and, although repetitive, it doesn’t seem to falter over time. Vindictus is an action-based MMORPG, and its physics system is Valve’s Source engine. Despite many small physics glitches, the game is very realistic with object, enemy, and player movements. Hitboxes are evidently used but are for the most part of correct size and shape, and the game hosts three (soon to be four!) very different characters which allow for constant enjoyable gameplay.

Players are able to fight enemies with just about anything – objects, pieces of the map, enemy weapons, enemy corpses – and everyone but the mage class can grab enemies and do stuff like break spines, throw enemies into other enemies, and push victims off ledges to their doom. The character that will be out on June 15th can even grab boss monsters.

Each character involves the use of very different playing styles. Fiona, the user of weapon and shield, acts as a tank, requiring the player to decide how long to attack before having to use the shield to block, counter-attack, or become an immovable force of invulnerability. Fiona can use a sword or hammer as a weapon, and a shield or “large shield” as an off-hand. Each weapon and shield has its own uses that I won’t go into detail here. The second character, Lann, uses dual-weapons to deal immense damage to enemies. Lann can use dual swords or spears (which are actually thrusting swords, not spears), and is well known for using spears for spin2win. The third character, Evie, acts as the mage and wields either a staff or scythe. The two weapons function very differently, but in essence a staff Evie is a destruction mage while a scythe Evie is a necromancer. Again, each weapon serves its own purpose for battle. The game has PvP although I find it unbalanced and not worth my time (although i feel that way about most PvP settings).

The game offers rewards for getting farther through the game, unlike most MMO’s which simply offer more content and more generic abilities. Yes, Vindictus offers more abilities as you level, but rather than giving a bunch of damage numbers to crunch across a million similar skills, the game grants abilities that attack in certain ways and are used in combination to combat in different manners. Like Mabinogi, Vindictus’s skills are more situational rather than damage-dealing combos. Unlike Mabinogi, though, the combat in this game is much more fast paced and characters don’t die in one hit from (most) enemies. More of Vindictus’s rewards include actually entertaining plot progression and content that actually improves as characters go through it, unlike most MMO’s which offer crappier content as the story progresses.

Like some other MMO’s, the economy is player-based and is regulated purely by supply and demand. One player puts a item on the market for a price, and if no one buys the item then they are naturally beaten by another player selling the same item for less. This makes common items cheap and rare items expensive. The economy isn’t as successful in America, though, because Americans are lazy and would rather pay half of their money for one item rather than run a ten minute mission to get it themselves.

Sound – 4/5

The PC’s have sounds when they fight, the monsters roar and screech at you, stuff explodes with decent quality, but the music is only average. I have heard, however, that NPC’s have their own voices in Korea now, so maybe we can look forward to that.

Control – 5/5

The game primarily uses keyboard and mouse to play the game. Your keyboard is used to move and use items, while the mouse is used to look and attack in various ways. The mouse is a two-layer system: In battle, the mouse turns the screen when moved. The user can then hit the ESC key to show the cursor and moving the mouse will move the cursor around the screen. One more hit of ESC and the mouse is back to battle-mode.

For players who hate their mouse for some reason, there is also a full keyboard mode. All keys are customizable and there are toggle options for auto-aim, attacking forward, and other shortcuts.

Replay Value – 5/5

This game has amazing replay value, especially if the player knows what content is ahead of them. With every new episode released, the game seems to get better and better. The dungeons become more complex and entertaining. The monsters become more interesting and variant. The bosses become more awesome.

Overall – 10/10

“Ten out of ten!? But the category scores aren’t perfect!” EAT ME. This game is pure win. I was in love with Mabinogi and when devCat made me ragequit I thought I would hate devCat forever. I love devCat. devCat, thank you for making this game. I heart you. Love, fanboy.

If you are a gamer and have a computer that is halfway decent unlike my sister’s, I implore you to try this game. Even if you don’t like it for some crazy reason, you will have experienced a game unlike any other MMO. It really opens your mind to the possibilities of multiplayer gaming. New content comes out June 15th, so if your excuse is that you hate looking like a noob then you can use the new character when it comes out.

So why is this game so detrimental to MMORPG’s?

You might be sitting there surprised that I didn’t attribute this armageddon to a terrible game. Well, think about this: If a really, really bad game came out, no one would really notice it and therefore no real harm would be done. In fact, some really, really bad MMORPG’s have come out already (Tibia [I was really tempted to put WoW here but I’m being serious]). This game, however, is just too incredible for other MMO’s to handle. Let’s take a look as to how this can be.

1) The Graphics outshine any Free-to-Play MMORPG.

There is a reason why I don’t count graphics as a category in my reviews. The reason is that graphics are not important. However, having good graphics is pretty sweet, and Vindictus basically takes the graphics bar for MMO’s and puts it through the ceiling. Players will never again be impressed with an MMORPG’s graphics. Ever. Go ahead and make an MMO that looks like The Elder Scrolls V, no one will care because we already have this.

And that’s resized-quality, too.

2) Vindictus can be played for 15 minutes or for an entire day.

Games nowadays seem to be either stressing the idea that you have to play for a long time to get anywhere or are punishing gamers for playing too long. Some games even prevent players from playing for an extended time. Vindictus used to use a token system to limit players for the sake of economy, but the limit was raised so high it didn’t really limit anymore and now the system is removed completely. A player can log on and do a mission for 15 minutes or can constantly run missions all day. Players who are of a higher level are indeed much stronger, but there are no centralized community events which make weaker players feel worthless. Each mission has a level requirement and new missions are always readily available all the way until the end of released content, so everyone is and feels important to the success of the mission, even if you’re a level 10 running with a level 70.

3) Vindictus uses sex advertising as a double-advantage.

Vindictus is able to shamelessly place females in “plate” armor which shows cleavage, legs, and panties, but at the same time makes fun of itself for doing it. People love it when others make fun of the norm (and sex advertising is a norm now) and other people like to see almost-naked women. Vindictus can attract both crowds without either one feeling bad about playing the game. How is this accomplished, you ask? Players cannot choose their gender. You might be thinking that this would be a negative for a game this good, but think about it: Why feel ashamed of using a barely-dressed sexy lady if you don’t really have a choice?

4) Vindictus makes Nexon money without game-breaking cash shop items.

Although some newer items are offering some added character potential, players cannot purchase items that would completely destroy free-playing characters in PvP. Instead, Vindictus uses genre-dooming reason number 3 (see above) to make its money. Players can buy “inner armor” for their characters which offer slight bonuses to item drops (via a luck stat) and makes the characters look a LOT better. The basic inner armor for all characters looks stupid, but for a one-time purchase totaling fifteen bucks you can have whatever undies/hair/makeup you want for your character. There are also cash shop items for auto-reviving in battle, insta-health potions, and more recently dye for your equipment. The game stays well-balanced with these available items and I am sure Nexon makes a LOT of money off of sexy undies. As a result of this phenomenon, we move to number 5.

5) Playing for free does not yield insane difficulty.

Even Mabinogi, my previous game-love, could not achieve this. Players who play for free can enjoy the game just as well as anyone who pays. Yes, those who pay do get the advantage of extra-lives and instant potions, but the game’s difficulty is catered to the free player, not the player who buys their way through games. I have only purchased revives a few times in all my time playing this game, and it was because my party of eight was incredibly retarded on a very long and hard mission that I just didn’t want to have to do over.

In a word, Vindictus will be the death of the MMORPG genre because it’s too damn good. Well, I should say that it would be the death of MMORPG’s. You see, people are stupid, and therefore don’t do their research into games. If they don’t do their research into Vindictus, they have prejudgements and may not like it. If they don’t play it, they miss out on the PURE WIN and go off to play WoW or some shit. Therefore, the only reason bad MMORPG’s still come out is because of stupid people. Add that onto the long list of reasons to eliminate the stupid.

Posted in Reviews, Video Games | 7 Comments »

WolfTeam – The Anti-Patch

Posted by opalphoenix on July 21, 2010

If you’re an online gamer like I am, there’s no greater excitement than when a game you play is being updated with new features. You look forward to new things to do, new stuff to buy, maybe some bad stuff fixed. I wonder, though, if you have ever heard of an update to a game that made it worse than it was before – and I don’t just mean the developers screwed something up or unbalanced some classes.

The first time I have ever experienced such a thing occurred only days ago. The developers of WolfTeam decided to update the game. The features of the patch included a new layout for all user interfaces, and some fresh character skins so everyone won’t look the same anymore. The day of the patch, I was excited as my launcher began to download files. When I entered the game, I found a wonderful load of HORSE SHIT!

New Character Skins!

Pre-Patch Appeal: Wow! Four new skins added to Wolfteam. Now everyone doesn’t have to be the same visor-covered John Doe with the five-o-clock shadow. There’s even two women! Knowing Aeria Games, it will probably cost a few points, but it should be worth it!

What We Got: Each character only applies to one team: Red or Blue. If you get the Pedro Gomes skin, for example, you can only use it when you’re on the red team. Each skin gives +30% gold or experience (depending on which you choose), and they have their own sounds and whatnot. As of right now, there are no other features to the characters at all. Still, that’s not so bad.

Oh, I forgot to mention: EACH SKIN COSTS FORTY DOLLARS – and that’s only for half a year! For comparison sake, a Power User package, which gives the bonus that the characters give already as well as a variety of cool features, costs about nine dollars a month, or 54 dollars for half a year. Also, the bonus given from the skins can be purchased alone for about $1.70. What the hell were they thinking!? So far, I have only seen ONE person in the entire game with a skin (and of course it was a female skin), and even that player said it was a stupid idea to buy it. If the price isn’t lowered, then the skins are pretty much worthless.

Another problem – The skins are barely colored to the team they represent. Suppose the skins actually DID sell for a good price and everyone bought them. Now there would be a while bunch of guys and girls in mostly-neutral colors running around chaotically. Instead of looking for red guys to shoot, you’d be looking for people without teammate’s names above their heads! And to spite us further, the developers thought it would be funny to troll us by having one of the males wear a BLUE cap that says RED on the front. Worst of all, he’s the RED TEAM’S SKIN. I’m not joking!

New UI Update!

Pre-Patch Appeal: Update the UI, that’s a good idea! Besides, the lobby/menu areas were looking really cluttered. I see from the preview pictures that the UI looks darker – more fitting to the feel of the game. Cool!

What We Got: More clutter. The developers decided to add MORE buttons at every screen, and switch everything around so no one knew where anything was. The inventory screen is a mess. Before, you would have all your weapons on the left, and your weapon sets on the right – all easy to see and navigate. Now, the weapon sets are on the LEFT and your inventory, wonderfully updated with all sorts of USELESS TABS, is on the RIGHT.

In addition to a whole mess of shit being moved around to where least convenient, the interface itself is actually WORSE than before. Take the room screen, for example. Before, it was easy to see via a change of color between when someone was playing in the game or was sitting in the room like a douche. Now, you have to look for a little “playing” sign next to their name. The rest looks the same as if one was not playing at all.

What’s even worse is the friend list’s new look. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The window is smaller, sleeker, and wouldn’t cover the list of people in the channel you were talking in. So, the developers decided to make that list of people SMALLER so that your friend list would go right over it, blocking it completely. Oh, not stupid enough for you? How about this – the friend list is so small that the channel and room locations of all your friends go past the window’s edge and off the screen. To see where your friends are, you have to drag the friend list window leftward until the text is in view – and every time you close it, it goes back to that right-most spot when you open it again.

Well, it is a PATCH, right?

Pre-Patch Appeal: Well, if they’re going to change the whole game with new characters, sounds, and UI, then maybe they’re going to fix stuff, right?

What We Got: Wrong. Quite the opposite, actually. The game is now WORSE than it was before. Not only are people still glitching through walls left and right because the wall physics are still screwed up, but now the whole game has taken a step backward. The introductory map screen for every level show even less information than before (which is saying something, because it showed little in the first place). All of the wolf kill icons on the kill list are now untranslated. Glitching players are still going free while “pro” players are getting banned because idiots report them for hacking.

All in all, the wonderful patch bestowed unto WolfTeam players has actually made the game WORSE overall. I have never seen anything like it, and I hope I don’t again. But hey, I can always count on Aeria Games to disappoint me!

Posted in Reviews, Video Games | Leave a Comment »

Mabinogi G10 – Goddess of Light

Posted by opalphoenix on June 12, 2010

It’s here! Mabinogi G10 has been released in America along with a few bonuses. Firstly, the patch for G10 includes Season 2 (making it two patches in one), and the new city, Tara, is holding a festival for all citizens and visitors! It all sounds like quite a blessing, but what really lies beyond the advertising? Let’s find out!

Of course of Goddess of Light is sexy, how else could we advertise the new generation-…er…I mean, she’s a goddess! She has to be beautiful! Don’t be fooled by her display, though. From what I’ve seen of her so far, she is quite dismissive, snobby, and is proud to be better than you.

Anyway, let’s get to the content. Mabinogi G10 offers new mainstream quests which deal with the main plot, a new transformation called “Demigod” if you manage to finish the mainstream storyline, a new town, new shadow missions, new side quests, and some very helpful fixes.

Story – 4/5

Mabinogi G10 continues the G9 storyline dealing with the Fomor and the Shadow Realm. It seems that despite efforts by the Expeditionary Force, the Fomor are advancing quite well, and they have in their hands two very powerful artifacts…or something like that. In essense, the storyline involved investigation of the Heart of Courcle, one of the artifacts of the god Irinid, whom the people of Iria believe in. I won’t spoil the story, but the Goddess of Light, Neamhain, is the central figure of the story, however throughout your investigation it is unclear just whose side she is on. It is quite reminiscent of the story in Chapter I, where the goddess Morrighan is the confusing one.

The only problem I had with the story is that throughout the investigation, everyone keeps talking about the “Doom of Tir Na Nog”, which is supposed to mean the end of the world. However, the programmers already named the Fomor-world version of a town by that name, so when I heard that phrase for the first time, I thought they were talking about the Fomor world, so I thought, “Yay, the doom of the Fomor! That’s good, right?”

Gameplay – 3/5

Disregarding the gameplay of the actual game (since that has already been reviewed), I made my rating of gameplay greatly based on content and features that the new generation offers. First, let’s address the one feature that all players are begging to see: The Demigod transformation.


Demigod does not work like other transformations. It is passive, meaning that when you transform, you do not take a new form (except for the translucent aura and wings you gain). You can even use Demigod with your other transformation, so you can even become a Demigod Paladin! The transformation has a whole mess of features, some of which I won’t bother to describe here, but the major ones include rapid regeneration, extra speed, and new skills like Spear of Light and Fury of Light. The Demigod transformation truly is a powerful skill to have.

Demigod does have some major disadvantages, however. Firstly, using any Demigod skill, including the transformation itself, reduces the experience for that skill. Experience for the skills are gained by leveling up. My sources tell me that the cost to use each skill ranges from three to six levels depending on the rank of the skill used, which is quite a cost just to transform and throw a spear. Also, the transformation does not last long.

I have not tested how affordable the skill is because I am simply hesitant to actually use it myself. I have the skill, but I do not want to waste experience using it at all. In essence, I believe that the skills should only be used in emergencies (which is actually quite useful because you only get one chance in shadow missions), and even during such emergencies it may not be enough.

The new city introduced in this generation is Tara, which is apparently a capital city of some kingdom. The city is HUGE – more than twice the size of the next biggest city, and the layout is a complete mess. I recall when Syreniti first explored the streets of Tara, she exclaimed, “Who designed this horrid city?” I wonder the same thing.

(Yeah, that covers about a twentieth of the city)

There are major and minor roads about, but nothing is squared or organized save the shops. Houses are just thrown around to make the city look bigger. Even one of the streets is inaccessible because the walking boundaries are messed up. The worst part of this, however, is that the size and complexity of the city can be problematic for many computers.

Ever since the continent of Iria was released, it seems that Nexon began to completely disregard what computer performance would be required to run the game. Before Iria, there were four towns which were small and had clear, open plains around them. They were easy to load, and the only minor trouble I had was with the biggest city on the water, Emain Macha. With the release of Iria, Nexon decided that it would be a good idea to put a HUGE landscape all on one map, then put the town on the SAME map, then put HUNDREDS of wildlife throughout the landscape.

After doing that same thing over and over again as more parts of Iria were released, Nexon finally returned to the first continent with Chapter III. The first town added, Taillteann, had complex textures, dozens and dozens of individual trees, and the altar to enter shadow missions, all on one map. Since everyone likes to sit around the altar to wait for good missions to come to them, and many even just leave their computer while they are there, the map loads terribly. Tara has the same problem, but at an immense scale.

Tara has dozens upon dozens of buildings, many of different textures, areas with trees outside the town, and ANOTHER altar to enter Tara’s shadow missions, all on the same map. This map loads TERRIBLY for many players. What’s worse is that many shadow missions in Tara, including the ones in the storyline, take place in the Shadow Realm version of – you guessed it – Tara. So, the game unloads one Tara and has to load another. On my computer (granted – it is an old laptop with one GB of memory), I can load Tara/Shadow Tara about three times before I have to quit the game completely and restart, because the game is so terribly coded that the game runs slower as you play more.

(That is all one map – It all pre-loads at once, then details as you move)

Tara offers new shadow missions, and once again Nexon has gone crazy with the experience. before Iria, you would be lucky to run a dungeon and get 300 experience per kill against some challenging monsters. With Iria, one can go out and kill monsters in the plains and get 1500 experience per kill against some much tougher enemies (which became quite easy when shields were buffed). With the first batch of shadow missions, people would run a particular mission that granted about 150 experience per kill, and 30,000 experience at the end of the half-hour mission. Now, there are missions that take about 15 minutes, grant much more experience per kill, and you can get about 16,000 experience per mission. I’m not complaining about this, but there is a concern that there is NO reason to do anything else that Mabinogi offers other than shadow missions because of the great experience gained.

Another addition to the game that comes with this generation is skills. In addition to uncapping the rank limit of some skills, there are some new alchemy skills which unfortunately I have yet to test because I have no idea how to get them. However, I know they are effective, fun to use, and help balance issues with the “which element is better” argument. There is a rain-casting alchemy skill that can be used to help production success percentage, which many people seem eager to use but I think is not too helpful. The combat alchemy skills look awesome, but I have yet to see them in action other than getting hit by them. Hard.

(It’s gonna rain!)

The Goddess of Light expansion also features some fixes to the game. The first notable one is that they made one of the hardest missions in G9, Taillteann Defensive Battle, easier – at least they said so. I did the mission again and didn’t notice a difference in difficulty at all. It may have been a little shorter, but it was still too hard compared to other missions of the same difficulty. The second notable change is that exploration levels are now easier to achieve. In Mabinogi, you gain levels as you do things, but you can also gain exploration levels by doing certain things in Iria. Every five levels, you have to complete a specific quest in order to level up more, up to level 20 (I think). Before G10, if you underwent a rebirth, you would have to do the quests again. Thank goodness they got rid of that.

If you took a good look at the map of Tara, you may have noticed that there is a jousting arena. The game is mostly luck and not very fun, but could be useful if you’re waiting for a friend to arrive and you have some extra time on your hands – That is, if you can get to the arena before your computer gives up hope of ever loading the center of town.

With the release of G10, Tara is hosting a festival in town for a little while. In order to try to get players to forget that hosting a festival in Tara will only cause more loading problems, Tara’s citizens have set-up strength-test and darts mini-games. I had no interest in trying darts, and that is only because when I tried the strength test, I was turned off to the festival completely. The strength test is common “click when the meter hits max” game, except the actual hit is delayed (delayed how much I don’t know – too much lag from the city). In addition, the strength actually put in is completely random. I’ve hit midway on the meter and gotten 47 points, and hit the bottom for 100. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Sound – 5/5

The music included in this generation is awesome. Unlike G9, where they put all of the good music where you would never stay anyway, G10 is full of good music in all the right places. The shadow missions feel more action-packed and Tara itself is much more epic thanks to the music.

Control – 4/5

The only reason my rating for control is imperfect for this review is that the Demigod skill, Fury of Light, doesn’t seem to work correctly for some. If you charge the skill and select an opponent, the character runs directly up to the enemy before firing the charge which is supposed to have some kind of short range.

Replay Value – 4/5

I plan to complete this storyline with all of my characters, so obviously I plan to replay the story numerous times. The game is addicting as ever, and despite the frustration of my computer’s inability to load Tara, I believe it is worth the trouble.

Overall – 9/10

Personally, I believe that while the design of the expansion could have been better, the storyline is interesting, the missions are fun and non-repetitive, and Tara is a beautiful city. If you’ve played Mabinogi before and have yet to try G10, I definitely recommend doing so. Of course, new players are always welcome, so be sure to seek me out on the Mari server if you decide to join the fun!

edit: I forgot the fashion show they included, too. Useless.

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Mabinogi G9 – Alchemist

Posted by opalphoenix on May 5, 2010

Mabinogi is a game that has been around for a few years now, and not so recently have they released the Generation 9 expansion patch entitled “Alchemist”.  Since I’ve never reviewed the game before (though I played when G7 was out) I am going to do a full game review of what is likely my favorite MMORPG ever.

Mabinogi is hosted by Nexon, which is likely one of the worst MMO companies besides TQ Digital (although Nexon is known to actually care about game errors). If you don’t know what Nexon is, they host one of my most hated games ever – Maplestory. The best and worst in one company? Sounds like it will be a fun ride!

Mabinogi has a very impressive character customization picture. They have a lot of colors and styles to choose from. Hair, eyes, mouth, face structure, and skin color are all customizable. You can also choose an age for your character (from 10 – 17 to start) which DOES make a difference in the game.

Mabinogi has three races and no classes whatsoever. At first glance, this is a complete turnoff. However, unlike most other classless games I’ve played, the reason why there are no classes is because your character can have any skills that you want. You can improve any skill available and make up your own tactics for the real-time battle system. Unfortunately, there are very few skills. The battle system is very situational rather than damage-based hack-n-slash, but we’ll get into that later.

Story – 2/5

The story of the game is separated into chapters. Chapter one is G1-G3, and is about the war against the Fomor, a race of demons who live in another world (which is fittingly called Another World). They come in through dungeons, and we, being humans, kill them. Hooray. Then there is the introduction of paladins and dark knights, which offer nothing to the story other than excuses to progress the stories of the main characters, Ruairi, Mari, and Tarlach.

Chapter two is G4-G8, but there is no story whatsoever until G8 itself. G4-G7 introduces a new continent to the game, Iria, and adds Elves and Giants, who are at war with one another. The story of the war never goes in-depth at all. G8 is about dragons and stuff. Nothing happens.

Chapter three is G9-G12(?) and is about the shadow realm. That’s right, Yugi-boy, the shadow realm! The Fomor, losing the war with the humans and being tactical GENIUSES, decide to make a TWO-front war by invading ANOTHER Another World called the Shadow Realm. Some guy named Fallon rises up and leads a lot of victorious battles for the humans, and just after you find out about how great he is, he dies. Way to go, champ. And so, the stupidest general in the ENTIRE WORLD, Andras, sends you and small handfuls of people on shadow missions to fight the gigantic, powerful hordes of shadow fiends and Fomor there. She’s such a bitch.

Gameplay – 5/5

The reason the gameplay score is perfect is because it is very much original. I have a lot to say on this topic. Rather than having your hero being incredibly strong compared to his enemies, he is on par with them (on average). The battle system in Mabinogi does not work as other games do. In many other MMORPG’s, the player runs about killing mobs of enemies over and over again. Standing in front of them and slashing them again and again, using a skill now and then, and then doing it again, in order to fulfill a quest that tells them to kill 200 of those enemies. In Mabinogi, battles are much more situational.

When you hit an enemy, you can combo them with 1-4 hits or so, depending on your weapon, and then they get knocked back. If you don’t ready yourself with a defensive move, the enemy will run back up to you and hit you back, but unlike other games where they might hit you for at most 1/10 of your health, they can kill you as easily as you kill them. So you need to come up with different combinations to fight enemies with. With that, the knowledge of skills are essential. In other games, skills will deal extra damage, or increase attack speed, or some other crap. In Mabinogi, each skill has a function. Counterattack dodges an enemy strike and hits the enemy back. Defense blocks an attack. Smash knocks an enemy back through their Defense. Charge rushes toward an enemy with a shield, knocking them back. Windmill does a spin attack to knock all enemies around the user back. All of these skills have charge time, so they must be executed with correct timing.

There are also magical skills. Icebolt, firebolt, and lightning bolt are the basic ones, and all have different effects. There is a heal spell, which anyone can use of course. There are stronger magics too that are hard to charge and require a wand to use.

In addition, there are life skills. Life skills include production skills like weaving, blacksmithing, and handicraft, as well as hobby skills like fishing. There are also other useful skills like First Aid, which treats wounds (there are wounds AND damage in this game – they are different) and rest, which allows one to sit and recover (because I really have to learn to do that, right?).

Actions are skills as well, but do not need to be trained. You can make faces and gestures as well as do things like sketch stuff, throw rocks, fly paper airplanes, and roll dice.

G9 introduces Alchemy skills, which all require either ovens to make/destroy stuff, or a cylinder to fire crystals (which is not alchemy, really – I call it cannoneering). Alchemy skills allow you to synthesize complex crystals or disassemble items for their core parts. Cannoneering is a form of weapon which allow the use of alchemy crystals to shoot water, knock back with wind, or burn with fire. More complexly, you may also summon golems and use advanced magics with cylinders.

Even though I did give gameplay a perfect score, there are flaws. Firstly, the combat system itself is either wonderful or terrible to players. As a result, people either love this game or hate it. I’ve never met someone in-between. Secondly, the economy is TERRIBLE, and it is not just the fault of the players. Because different qualities of materials are so variant in their rarity, a simple article of clothing sells for 1000 gold while something that is harder to make and looks better (though not better in stats) can sell for 300,000 gold. To make matters worse, many of the productions skills, especially blacksmithing, are very difficult to raise in rank.

One negative aspect that has been removed from the game at this point was the rebirth system. Characters can rebirth to a younger age and start anew at level 1, but keeping the ranks of their skills. This allows characters to become infinitely powerful, and if they are too lazy or busy to play a whole lot, they can rebirth and level quickly at level 1 again. The disadvantage in the beginning was that this had cost money, but now it is free for characters age 20 or higher (and one week is one year in the game). The storyline quests, as well as the paladin and dark knight transformations, are also free now as they were not before. The use of spirit weapons (powerful weapons that must be fed to appease) are free now as well. However, pets, player stores, and some other minor features must be paid for.

Also, there is a dueling system which a lot of people tend to like, but I hate it. Because battles are so action-oriented, it is very easy to be defeated by a player with a bow, shield, and magic. Bows have this glitch(?) called the Shot of God, which allows an automatic hit on the target when the arrow is released at certain time (normally, there is a percentage to hit which increases as the user aims longer). The result is a rapid-fire, always-hitting combo of arrows for the well-trained user. And if the user messes up, they just use lightning bolt and do it again. Also, people like to duel at a 10% damage rate so the fight is longer, but the calculations are all wrong. Because one of the new patches made shields MUCH more effective with defense, anyone dueling at 10% with a shield will take 1 damage from everything, while one without may take 30 or more per hit. If I ever duel, which is quite a rarity, I demand 100% damage or no shield, and no range or magic attacks whatsoever. But then there are super-skills now, such as Final Hit, which allow for infinite combos for a short time. So my demand ends up as something like “10% no shields, magic, range, transformation, or finals”, and no one wants to bother at that point, but that is the only way that duels actually test a person’s skill.

Control – 4/5

The control is nice, because there are a lot of hotkeys, shortcuts, and easy access. The HUD is clear and simple. Lag can be very bad, but players have come up with fixes using registry edits and whatnot which allow for a wonderful and easy gaming experience. There is no auto-move, but you can click on the mini-map to move to that spot, no matter how far it is. The only real issue is that the two hotkey sets, which can be switched by holding down the SHIFT key, sometimes gets stuck and you end up with the wrong skills until you click the hotkey switch button twice manually.

Replay Value – 5/5

Even if I do eventually grow bored of the game, I always find myself coming back. Because of the free rebirth system, the constant additions of features, and the ability to become almost infinitely stronger (though don’t get the wrong idea – the longer you play, the slower you grow stronger), there is really no reason to quite if you enjoy the game. Because the game revolves around dungeon-running rather than grinding (although, granted, the dungeons are terribly simple), there is a better sense of enjoyment and excitement when you fight.

Overall – 10/10

Even if the game doesn’t sound good to you, I implore you to download the game just to give it a try. You may come to hate the battle system and become frustrated with the economy, but that’s okay. You could be one of those people who just have not found their gem of games, and this could very well be it. To me, this is the Valkyrie Profile of MMO’s – no one has heard of it, but those who have, love it.

Until next time, this is OpalPhoenix, 3+ year Mabinogi player and owner of six different characters, signing off.

Feel free to add me on the Mari server if you play. Here are my characters in order of frequent activity:
Morinaye – Morinaye Jemina, my most well-developed character
Katieambrose – Katie Ambrose, ancestor of Lily Ambrose
Syreniti – New character, Syreniti Laigh
Kiliaderse – Kilia Derse, elven archer
CLumere – Crystal Lumere, Succubus slut
Gregard – Gregard Tor, Giant
Anaielle – Anaielle Janicia, Succubus non-slut

Posted in Reviews, Video Games | 3 Comments »

The Character Creation Debate

Posted by opalphoenix on March 25, 2010

Inspired by my sister’s writing blog, which contains within it a wonderful post about tips on creating characters, I have decided to expand some on the actual process of character creation. I love creating characters even more than I like to actually use them, which tends to become a problem for me because I have too many people at once. I have my own way of creating characters, and there are other methods as well. In fact, there is some debate as to which method should be used to make the most original, fair, and realistic characters. And if there isn’t any debate, there is now because I said so.

The Skeleton Method

My preferred method of creating a character is what I call the Skeleton Method. This method involves creating the general idea of what the character is like. Start with a stereotype: peppy, angry, apathetic, cute, etc, and then begin to work to more detailed things. For me, this usually results in an non-stereotypical character, believe it or not. In general, the most important aspects in the Skeleton Method is values, then history, then behavior, and finally appearance. Sometimes there are characters that a user of this method creates that requires a specific trait, and the result in a change of the order in which these aspects are developed.

For example, my character Ayane is a fallen angel, and as a result of her somewhat-incomplete falling she still has wings. Since she lost her memory, there is no need to consider her history in the heavens for her personality. However, it is important to note how her wings have affected her beliefs and attitude. Being forced to hide herself constantly from the world, Ayane became a passive and independent individual, and she greatly dislikes when people hurt others based on their differences. My method for developing Ayane in this case was appearance, then history, then values, then behavior.

The advantages to this method include fair and realistic character traits as well as quick, functional development of every character whether they are important or not. However, this method can easily lead some creators to make characters based on something that they want to have, rather than what a character should have. Such an idea promotes the creation of Mary Sues.

The Historical Method

With this method, the creator installs a history unto the character, and then tries to determine how the character will turn out as a result. Values, beliefs, and even personality stem from the setting that a character was raised, and their current conflicts are generated by the cause and effect relationship of previous events. The general order of development with this method is history, appearance, and then everything else.

My character Valchior Keridan is a prime example of a result of this method. He is a necromancer who grew up in a time when necromancers were hated and hunted. His parents were killed by his own guardian, and he spent most of his childhood learning from the murderer as well as planning revenge on him. As a result, Valchior is generally hateful, apathetic, and trusts no one.

The Historical Method has the greatest ease of creating a character that is wonderfully dimensional, realistic, and absent of Mary Sue qualities. It is also the quickest way to make a character in most conditions. However, the character can easily become an Angst Sue or something along the lines. Also, the history often becomes too general for older characters. A character who is fifty years old, has a greatly-defined childhood, and did nothing special for an entire thirty plus years can be the result of this method.

The Effect-Cause Method

Believe it or not, working on a character backwards is an effective way to develop him or her. However, it is very dangerous. The Effect-Cause Method involves taking a desired result, and then coming up with a way as to how it came about. The general order for this method is establishing behavior first, then values, then appearance, then history, although this method has the greatest leeway of order-changing (though history is usually last).

I don’t have any characters in this realm because I think it too selfish to do so. I feel that to create a person based on exactly what you want them to be is not only begging for Mary Sues, but also an easy way to end up with a contradiction in the character’s history or details. Think of it this way: Self-insertions use this method. Does that really sound attractive to you? If not, I will go further to say that Twilight uses this method.

The advantage of the Effect-Cause Method is that one can make any character that one wants or needs at any time, almost instantly. It is a fine method for NPC’s or minor plot progressors. However, “dream” characters tend to be created by this method, and Mary Sues are a very easy result of using this method, especially unintentionally.

The NPC-PC System

This is not really a method, but it is a point that was brought to my attention by a fellow roleplayer. The NPC-PC System is the idea that PCs (Playable Characters – Those who can be heroes or “main” characters) are too important to simply create as one needs or wants, but such reasons are acceptable for NPCs (Non-Playable Characters – Shopkeepers, plot progressors, etc.).

In essence, this belief states that PC’s are “holy” in a sense and should be given the decency of being created from scratch. This means working from beginning to end, birth to present, raising it like one’s own child meticulously until a real person is developed. Meanwhile, NPC’s can be created by any means, even the Effect-Cause Method, in order to ensure a smooth-running game or story.

While I think the first point about PC development is a great idea, I personally have a problem with this attitude toward NPCs. In my opinion, all characters are equals, whether they are important or not. And should you disagree with that, I will go further by saying that all NPCs can become important characters at any time in a real roleplay, and so all characters should be the result of some kind of decent creation method.

For example, suppose a PC enters a store looking to buy something. Following this idea, we make a quick NPC who is a charming and humble young woman who is working to pay off her college debt. This NPC helps the PC, and the PC, who happens to be a big-shot, suave guy, decides to ask the little lady out on a date. The woman refuses of course, because we don’t want her to have to be important, and we make some comedic sketch involving the PC getting burned. Everyone has a good laugh. Torn of his dignity, the PC decides to go after the girl and try to win her over. The NPC is now an important person in the PCs life, and there will be two results. One, she will eventually fall for him and they will be a couple, in which case she must become a main character. Two, she completely rejects him and becomes the bitter enemy/rival/love-shattering-bitch of the PC, making her a main character. Therefore, the girl is now a main character, but has no significant traits whatsoever to work with. Now, not only must we create a more developed character, but we MUST use the Effect-Cause Method in order to keep her as she is.

I don’t think it is fair to restrict the NPCs ability to become fully-fledged characters. No one can tell what can happen, so it is important to keep all options open for every character, important or not.

Whatever system(s) you use or plan to use, be sure to follow the unspoken codes of conduct for creating characters to be sure everyone has fun and enjoys a good roleplay or story. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and everyone has their own style of roleplaying. What is your preference? Feel free to leave comments with any questions, concerns, or personal thoughts on this subject.

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Aika Online

Posted by opalphoenix on March 21, 2010

Aika Online is hosted by gPotato for English users, and is free to play with no benefits of paying (at least for the moment). The game is mostly progressed by quest completion and dungeon running in parties.

There are six starting classes which are gender-locked, each falling into the three basic categories. For melee, we have the Fighter(m) and the Paladin(f). The Fighter deals melee damage while the Paladin self-buffs and “tanks”. For range, we have the Dual-Gunner(f) and the Rifleman(m). The Dual-Gunner deals damage and evades attacks, while the Rifleman uses longer range and disables enemies. Lastly, the magical classes are the Warlock(m) and the Cleric(f). The Warlock deals great damage to enemies, while the Cleric supports the party.

Story – 4/5

I personally like the story of this game, because it involves a single goddess whom is not perfect. In fact, she is quite the opposite. The goddess Aika created the universe out of nothing and then made a race to enjoy the utopia. However, after three centuries or so the first race got pissed at Aika because they had no direction. Aika tried to fix the problem by making Humans, because we all know Humans are so nice and perfect.

After the Humans basically took over and destroyed everything, Aika decided to keep them in check by making a race of people whom shared her own power. These demi-gods quickly went mad with power and destroyed everything too.

Scared and drained of confidence, Aika went to sleep, and being connected with her the demi-gods slept as well. The surviving Humans rebuilt and thrived. A few centuries later, the Humans’ great expansion began to stir Aika as well as the demi-gods, so the Humans have to fight for survival. Or some shit like that.

The only problem I see with this game is that people still PRAY to Aika as we would to our god(s). They pray to Aika, who created their doom and whose consciousness dooms the Humans to their fate. Let us pray to her. Pray to her with lullabies in hopes that she sleeps. OR DIES.

Gameplay – 4/5

Many MMORPGs have similar gameplay, so with this game and with others I plan to review I have to do a relative rating. I gave the gameplay of this game a 4 out of 5 for several reasons. Firstly, the game is mostly progressed by quests. There isn’t a lot of grinding to do, and the quests aren’t incredibly extensive. A problem, however, is that by level 13 I was forced to do level 18 quests if I didn’t want to grind. And another problem is that I could still do the quests with relative ease. With such confidence, I decided to do the dungeon quests, which deal with parties.

There are two major problems with the dungeon quests. Firstly, the difficulty is very strange. “Normal” mode is incredibly easy, and the last boss was the easiest fight in the dungeon. “Hard” mode is impossible if you have just one stupid member, and you probably will have at least one. I’ve never seen “Hell”, but I’m sure it doesn’t really matter.

There is also an interesting PvP system. people can enable or disable PvP as they wish, however there is a grand-scale nation battling system (1000 vs 1000?). People of different nations (chosen at the beginning of the game) fight to control relics which give permanent bonuses for all citizens such as experience and health.

One great system in this game is the use of Pran. Pran are little, um….things…which act as pets. They follow you around and grant you some small bonuses and minor abilities. The cool thing is, though, that as they level up, they evolve and grow. Pran come in three different elements and have a variety of personalities such as cute, tough, and sassy. They talk to you sometimes and if you are nice to them they will be more devoted. If you ignore them or don’t use them much, they won’t listen to your commands. I think it’s pretty neat.

…What a second. What is a Pran? That wasn’t mentioned in the story! They have no description in the world at all! Hang on a minute, everyone…
Story – 4/5 3/5
There, problem solved. On to the next category.

Sound – 4/5

The music and sounds of the game are very good, however I cannot give a perfect score because the music is repetitive. The game tends to use the same tracks over and over, and when you talk to NPC’s the music suddenly changes to a completely different mood which tends to throw off the experience.

The real reason to give the sound a 4 is because the voice acting is great. All of the voices are in English and actually have some feeling behind them. Every NPC has a voice for their greeting, even if they are unimportant. Also, the Pran have great voice actors and really do get you in the spirit, even if their pep talks are kind of lame.

Control – 5/5

There doesn’t seem to be any problems with the controls. WSAD is static movement, while the arrow keys are not. You can zoom in, zoom out, and rotate the camera in all directions. You collect all loot automatically. You can attack the nearest enemy with a shortcut. All HUD shortcuts are obvious (I for inventory, etc). There’s no auto-move feature, but that isn’t something to penalize for. There are more than twenty skill and item hotkeys. I can’t really find a problem with the controls.

Replay Value – 3/5

I personally don’t think I’ll be playing this game very long. However, I can see how certain audiences could make this their “primary” game of choice to play for a long time to come. I only worry about the cash shop that says “to be implemented”. The way this shop is implemented could greatly ruin the game if the company is not careful.

Overall – 8/10

Aika Online is definitely worth a download even just to try. It stands out among the WoW clones and side-scrollers. Some few may even play this game for a very long time, however I found it a good entertainer for the weekend.

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The Phoenix’s Extensive Review of FFXIII/Twilight/Religion/WoW/D&D/Chu*Blog/Starcraft 2

Posted by opalphoenix on March 9, 2010

Shitsux.

(Not Chu*Blog, though. For real, shit’s good.)

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AAI: Miles Edgeworth

Posted by opalphoenix on March 6, 2010

I decided that my first video game review would be Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, even though I had planned on reviewing mostly online games. Unlike most reviews, I hope to not drag on so much about a bunch of little things and get right to what’s good and what isn’t.

Story – 4/5

Miles Edgeworth is no different from the other Ace Attorney games in that it has a deep storyline with a web of character relations, secrets, and deceit. Unlike the other Ace Attorney games, this one revolves around the prosecutor instead of the defense attorney and investigation rather than court procedure. The story itself is incredible, but it keeps the same fatal flaw that the other games do: The story is introverted. Every single case in the game is connected to the other ones. What does it take to get a normal case in this franchise?

Gameplay – 5/5

This game has an advantage over the other games in my opinion. In the other Ace Attorney games, it made little difference whether you presented evidence in or out of the courtroom. However, in Miles Edgeworth, there are more things to do. Along with investigation and presenting evidence comes the Logic system, where Edgeworth pieces two facts together to reach a new idea, and the Deduce command, which allows Edgeworth to point out a contradictory scene (Eureka!) and come up with a conclusion. With these systems, the case progresses just fast enough to keep you greatly interested, but not too fast where you figure everything out quickly.

Sound – 5/5

The game has the same classic sounds as the other games, and for a DS game those are good sounds. Also, the same music artist who did AA3 did the music for Miles Edgeworth, and this is the best music set yet. I can’t get enough of the extra Testimony song, “Confrontation ~ Presto”.

Control – 4/5

Just as Apollo Justice did, Miles Edgeworth makes good use of the capabilities of the DS. You can shout your objections and look at evidence in a 3D view. The only problem with the control is when you have to point something out in a picture. If you’re slightly off target, it might count you wrong. I know what I’m doing, why do you have to be so picky?

Replay Value – 1/5

Unfortunately, as with the other Ace Attorney games, once you beat the game, it isn’t nearly as exciting to play again because you already know everything. All the suspenseful secrets and twists to the plot are spoiled, so you will likely play this game at most twice and then sell it for the next one. I personally kept all of mine because they are just that great.

Overall – 9/10

Miles Edgeworth is definitely the best game yet. I’ve always held AA3 in very high regard as one of my favorite games, but I have to place it below this game. For $30, like most DS games, this game is absolutely worth it. I consider it a better value than $60 console game .

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A Danger of Roleplaying?

Posted by opalphoenix on March 6, 2010

Before I am a nerd, a teacher, and a student, I am a roleplayer. I love roleplaying games and roleplaying campaigns. I love to make new characters and have them interact with others. Storylines and character interaction are the most enjoyable things to me. It is a relatively unknown world of creativity that only some people have the mind and intelligence for.

I do have a mind for roleplaying. I dare to say I am an expert roleplayer. I have dozens upon dozens of characters, all with their own unique features, attitudes, and histories. Some of them are retired already, some are active, some are major characters, and some are still in development. I have original characters, like the Keridan family of mages. I have adapted characters such as Lenneth from Valkyrie profile and the original Hive from Teen Titans. I have characters young and old, big and small, smart and stupid. I keep track of all of these characters without much of a problem, and all of them are very realistic (even in their fantasy setting). However, I still find it all so mentally taxing.

The reason why my life as a roleplayer is so difficult is because my characters overshadow me. A little less than a year ago I began to notice that my characters, when active, were beginning to do things I would not normally do. It was hard for me to comprehend at first, but as time went on the issue progressed and intensified. Eventually, I came to realize that I wasn’t even there when my characters did these things. I didn’t look back at these times like memories, but like stories I was watching. My first-person perspective of becoming my character was beginning to change to a third-person perspective of my character becoming me. Today, this situation is full force.

Almost every day I roleplay by choice. My best friend and roommate is a roleplayer as well, and our characters interact constantly. We both believe that even if our characters are created and have no physical body, they are people. And as people they have the same rights as he and I. And so, our characters live with us, in our minds and hearts, and in all honesty in our dorm. As a result, while I do roleplay everyday by choice, I also roleplay everyday by force.

At this point, many of my major characters can “take over”, or as I call it, become primary, and do as they like in my body without any restriction. They walk as me, talk as me (with proper inflection of my voice to make it like theirs, so I have been told), and live as me, except with their minds. I have been told that this is a gift. The ability to truly become one’s character can grant a mastery of roleplaying, and grant genuine thought process of the primary character. At this point, I very much disagree.

A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s house and we were roleplaying. One of my evil characters, Alice, who is now dead, was primary, and she decided, in a fit of rage and desperation, to beat up two of my friends’ characters. Unfortunately, she ended up attacking my friends of course. Afterward, according to my friend and roommate who was there, she decided that she was going to take over my existence for real, not allowing anyone else to take primary and get away with whatever she wanted in my body. I don’t remember this, because at this point I am beginning to lose memory of the times my characters are primary. When my friend told me, all I could say was “what” and look at him like he was mad. It was a horrifying feeling, to know that my own body’s ownership is contested by my characters as equally as myself. I am but a character now, only the world we live in happens to match my own history.

Am I a freak? Am I insane? It doesn’t matter much to me really. I am beginning to grow used to waking up in the morning and wondering what happened to yesterday. Most of my time consists of going to class, doing homework, and running errands. All of my free time is no longer mine, as it is only fair to my characters as people to have some time of their own, which they are free to argue over.

Right now, I’m on spring break. For me, it is not only a break from school but also a break from my lost time. I have time to do as I like (at least some of the time because now my characters are playing online with others too) and type up this post for my blog, as well as others. When the week is over, it is back to having my own few hours of work time and not much more.

Whether any readers believe me or not makes little difference to me. It is just nice to write this down and have others see it, no matter how few actually do. I know this post was mostly about myself and my depressing problems, but I promise to have more interesting pieces in the future.

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