Break yourself away from Rift

..for just a few moments and answer me this: How easy is it to level in Rift?

I was looking at some blogs today and I read that some people are already level 40/50???
Are these people the ones who took the whole of last week off and playing 10+ hours a day?


I got my friends hooked on Magic: The Gathering and I wrote this for a friend who needs to rebuild her deck b/c the one made for her was a bit gimped. Her problem was, that she didn't really know much about the game, but when tested against others with pre-made decks, she quickly saw the weakness in hers.

Anyways; if you're interested in getting into Magic and not really sure how to get a deck started, take a look below, I hope it helps :)

Its a long read, but it'll help make your deck better(& totally different). Basically do this: figure out what you want to do (be defensive, be aggressive, counter spells, use mostly creatures, use mostly spells (or be a nice mix/balanced), what abilities[like regenerate or first strike] you want)
So lets create you a deck of your choosing!

There are a few different ways to make a deck:

1. Personal attachment to color values
- I personally used to like blue and black; blue dealing with intelligence, flying creatures and water creatures, while black deal with undead, vampires,

Other colors:
Red - passion, fire, impulsiveness, goblins, dragons, barbarians
Green - earthy-ness, forest creatures, huge monsters, elves
White - goodness, law, soldiers, angels, protection
2. Abilities of the card colors
- i like to counter spells and prevent people from attacking(in two games with leslie i prevented 7 of her monsters from doing anything) which is a staple of blue and white

White - tends to have first strike, vigilance and protection from magic (prevents all types of spells of the specific color)
- creatures will be generally weaker (than others) but together are powerful, quite a few flyers
Blue - generally have cards that allow you to draw more cards, and cards to counter spells or prevent combat, have the ability shroud (prevents spells from being cast on it)
- are generally weak but have special abilites(like being unblockable), and have many fliers
Black - generally have spells to destroy creatures outright (instead of doing say 2/3/4 damage), lifelink (any damage it does, player or creature, you get health), and fear (unblockable except by black creatures)
- are in the middle in regards to power/toughness, mostly ground creatures
Red - haste (no summoning sickness), alot of direct damage spells (that do 2/3/4 damage) which affect creatures and players, spells to destroy artifacts, enchantments, land and equipment
- good power, but lower toughness creatures, usually more powerful in general, a good mix of ground and flying (dragons)creatures
Green - regenerate (duh), trample, quite a few destroy enchantment, artifact cards and cards that allow you to draw more lands, reach (to attack flyers)
- (as you've seen) the biggest and strongest ground-based monsters, very few flyers but use spiders to combat flyers
3. Countering your opponents
- you've seen what people like to use, so now you can go through the cards you have and counter people's strategies/deck:

Poy - black and red deck; alot of creatures with infect (which i need to research), leveling creatures (which get stronger as you pay more mana), a few nasty artifacts

Jaggy - i didn't pay attention much ... sorry lol

Hunter - mostly green deck (i think i saw a few black), his strategy is obviously to use those big creatures and have trample and he wins

Red - white/blue deck, your biggest pro is the banding which allows you to control fights and cards that gain health

Me - white/blue decks, i mostly concentrate on artifacts and artifact creatures which get stronger as long as there are 3 or more of them on the field

Anibas - black/red deck, all about doing damage directly to the player really fast/every turn

As you can see, black is the most used color, so finding something to counter the cards is important.


Weather and Immersion

I hope everyone is enjoying the Rift headstart and its been nice and smooth unlike many other mmo launches. I will wait till the 1st to play; I was able to get my sound card to work and have been trying to get my games to work on Steam. It all seems much smoother and more stable which is great.

I'm VERY disappointed though with the new game Dungeons: it just plain won't work. It constantly says there are critical errors when loading maps; I haven't been able to play one map/scenario yet. I'm currently re-downloading the game and hoping it works after that; otherwise i'll have to contact Steam to remove it and get a refund b/c I don't want to pay for games that are poorly designed.


Anyways, lets talk about weather and it's role in immersion.
Not only weather effects, but having these effects take different forms.

Ie. Heavy Rain
Don't just decrease visibility in a circle around your character, but in a certain moving area. Make there times where you can literally see the rain ahead of you and able to walk in and out of the storm. Being in the storm will decrease visibility or possibly cause a debuff to you or the monsters in the area (or even give them buffs).

That was one thing that was interesting with Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii (that i wished was on the American 360); the game had weather effects of both cold and heat, needed potions to be resistant to it's effects and travel normally. In the dark, it was pitch black without a torch and even then, it wasn't very easy to navigate making it extra tense when monsters were waiting for you.



I was able to upgrade my video card and ram, reformat and upgrade my OS to Windows 7.. but not without incident: my Linksys wireless adapter and soundcard wasn't ready for the jump. I was thankfully able to do a direct connection with a ethernet cable and I still have to download the sound card driver, but the internet is much more important.

I'm about to test a few games on Steam... but for now an entry:


Good news or bad news?

I personally have stock in Activision; at the time it was either that or the other juggernaut, EA. I had thought at the time, though EA had their stable sports franchise cash cows.. Activision had great games like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and had linked with Blizzard and we all know Blizzard's games!

I think its good news b/c per the article, the company was losing money on the game and that the company has enough humility to drop it and not keep making future unsuccessful iterations of it.

Its bad news for stockholders b/c the stock dropped a bit from the news and will need to find a new game franchise to recoup it's losses. That, and the legal battle with Infinity Ward has resulted in job restructuring (see: losses) for 500 people. Hope they find a new job soon!

I just got into the show The Big Bang Theory
and when I saw them playing Guitar Hero/Rock Band, I thought, "how old is that game?" I don't know many people that are still playing that game. I think we're in a transitional period right now people; we're not playing games like Rockband anymore, are slowly getting into wireless/controllerless gaming, converting between normal tv to high definition or 3D tv... between normal games.. to mmo/subscription based/cash shop as new forms of cash flows.. Its an interesting time.


Three Hundred One

I just checked today and I hit 300 posts.

Yay me ;)


Some random thoughts before I get the help from a good friend to upgrade my video card and ram to be able to be ready to play Rift when it comes out:

An infrastructure i'd implement for Warhammer Online in a daily quest/event system that WoW seems to have which causes people to log in every day and stay subscribed:

-have dailies to complete which gives influence
- basic, advanced, elite and super elite rewards based on just completing a daily
- can have multiple goals but don't need to get every single goal to get super elite reward; possibly rewards (titles/medals) for completing all goals each day for a certain time period
- super elite reward is a big fluff item (mount, bag space, sparkly weapon, something) that would require (around)60-70% of the daillies to be complete
- a basic reward would be a choice of a certain gear rare, advanced - epic, elite - set gear
- as the player completes more dialies, he/she can use currency via pvp/public quests to buy additional pieces

ie. past basic; 5 extra dailies completed, can buy 1 piece from the basic set, past basic; 10 extra dailies completed, another piece buyable

- a bonus to influence is gained for consecutive completed dailies and whether all the goals are completed
- each month, the rewards change

I believe something like THAT would get more people excited and playing.


Even though I'm upgrading my computer, I still currently am on the fence on whether i'll get Rift. I feel like I don't want to miss out on what may be a mmo hit title (so I rely on you to convince me to come over to the dark side), but I feel like my heart is set to play Guild Wars 2 and the time and money invested in Rift would be a bit of a waste. I'm not one much to be paying for two mmo's simultaneously, nor wasting time. I hope its a fantastic game, but I don't know whether it'll be better than GW2; it may be different, but different doesn't mean ill forego GW2 to play it.

I tried the recently released Iris Online, a free to play mmo produced by gPotato, to see what my gf constantly talks about and ignores me for. I feel better playing a free game in that i'm not spending money (on an mmo) while waiting for GW2. I'm not so happy b/c its a f2p mmo and all the negative connotations that comes with that.

Let me explain some of those connotations that follow it:First off; it seems kiddie (graphics-wise) and i've heard that its grindey
Second: pvp from the same pool of players (no distinct sides: ie. good vs evil, alliance vs horde)Third: Cash shop

I think the first and second issues are deal breakers for most people; so I just wanted to get that out there before you read further.

Despite it being f2p, gPotato does implement some good ideas that makes the game enjoyable and hopefully will be implemented in future AAA games:

Map function
- the ability to click on an area of the actual map, and your character will run to that area. One would think an issue with that is pathing; with your character getting stuck, but that hasn't happened so far (though I haven't seen what happens if you get incapacitated by pursuing monsters)

- similar but different than the Warhammer map for quest tracking; the map (vs mini map) only takes up a portion of the screen, allowing the player to select a certain quest and the map will show the area in which to complete the quest instead of a map fully in red with quest range overlapping

- being able to see where vendors/npcs are, coupled with being able to click on there to auto travel there (not to be confused with teleporting) make it easy

- aren't bad and are pretty nice in some cases but does remind me of WoW

- nice, easy and skippable for veteran players

Text Gui
- able to select what kind of chat (say, shout, whisper, party, guild) you want it to be normally as well as the normal /s, /g, /p functions
- the quick ability to respond to a specific whisper by pressing up or down


Ask Chuck

I've recently fallen in love with the tv series: The Big Bang Theory and noticed when watching the dvd episodes that at the end there is this white screen that has some funny excerpts from something. Here is one, enjoy:

Dear Chuck,
At a recent dinner party, I found myself in an awkward situation when the host, a devout atheist, sneezed between spoonfuls of his gazpacho. Without thinking, I said, "God bless you." He gave me a withering look and said, as if to a child, "Golly gee, I sure hope he does." The other guests exploded with laughter, while I imploded with humiliation. To avoid future embarassment, what is the correct response when an atheist sneezes?
Trouble with ahchoo

Dear Troubled,
First, a little background information. Saying "God bless you" following a sneeze is thought by some to have originated in the sixth century in order to protect the sneezer from falling ill to the bubonic plague. Another possible origin is that people once believed that the devil entered the body during a sneeze and saying "God bless you" could help ward him off. Since the plague has killed something like two hundred million people and the words "God bless you" have, in all likelihood been said countless times to Glenn Beck, we can safely assume the phrase has no real power against germs or demonic possession. What it does contain is simple human courtesy -- a means by which we express concern for one another. As to how to respond to a sneezing atheist, well, that's easy. Simply say, "Sounds like you're coming down with somethingm, I hope you don't die and rot in a box."


Happy Valentine's Day

Borrowed from Overly Positive =)


This is
exactly how I feel with the new layout of Gawker, Kotaku and the rest of the sites:

Click it. Sorry; Can't get it to fit correctly..


Removed web comic: Goats
- due to lack of updates..


Lastly, a good quote from the end of Fullmetal Alchemist:

People can't gain anything without sacrificing something, after all.
But once you've successfully endured that pain, you gain a heart that is stout enough not to be overcome by anything.
Yeah, a heart of fullmetal.


The Loaded Word

Gordon from We Fly Spitfires writes an article that draws the community's furor on the opinion of whether to pity a hardcore gamer and the lifestyle they choose to obtain gaming greatness.

Here are many thoughts I have on the subject and of people's responses/arguments in the matter:

What are the exclusive differences and mutual ground between one that spends all their time playing their favorite mmo versus say a sport?
-exclusive to sports- there is the exercise factor
-mutual- communicate with others and develop relationships
-mutual- you can make something out of it (sports - pro teams or olympics, gaming - tournaments, professional gaming)
-exclusive to (specifically most)sports- face to communication in person on a daily basis; even with vent, or skype there is no face to face, personal connection; and though there is the arguement that the guild members can and do meet up, they aren't doing that on a daily basis; i would go to argue that both forms of dialogue are important but possibly face to face personal connection is more important until the day we're plugged into machines like The Matrix
-mutual- both processes are creative/productive (to what degree though is a difference)
-exclusive to gaming- special needs; with the stories of people with disorders/handicaps, it gives them an ability to communicate normally with other people
--i can't think of a situation where a person that can't play an mmo would be able to play a sport
-exclusive to sports- verbal control- professional athletes (the result of hardcore dedication to their art) learn to conduct themselves on a higher standard both on and off the field; they do obviously break that and are normally reprimanded for it (say Ben Roethlisberger); this normally corrects the breach and further actions are detrimental to one's career. In gaming, it is up to the community, and company mostly, to control bad behavior, though not normally too effective, hence the many unpleasant gamers encountered online
-exclusive to sports- variety of life- the implied argument that a person that plays soccer for 20 years of his life has done nothing with his life, is wrong. What does that person do when they're done practicing and competing? Spending their money, relaxing, volunteering, etc. That person has the ability to accomplish more than the person who is obsessed with just gaming, simply put. Though that person has spent 20 years on their craft, and it may be to a high degree of time inputted, this isn't something that happens for the whole year; there are breaks in their schedule which allows flexibility that gaming doesn't provide.


that gaming is anti-social, but so can any other form of addiction/hardcoreness.
It has been argued that gaming is actually not anti-social but can be a very social part of the game, and reading all the time can be antisocial.
There will be extremes in both instances.
I would argue that both sides (gaming vs non-gaming hardcore dedication) can be have both social and anti-social aspects. The argument quote: "I know people from my working environment who read for as many hours in a week as this guy plays WoW. " That is their WORK environment, NOT what they do out of work. So it doesn't have much to do with the argument that doing something for too long is a bad things or detrimental.

Argument: addiction/hardcoreness which results in (basic poor time management) lack of sleep is a bad thing.
Sleep is important for good health: fact. Sometimes it needs to be sacrificed to achieve a purpose. I believe proper time management can cause one to achieve any reasonable amount of goals and still get enough sleep a normal person needs.
The question: are there noble goals one should strive for and ones that are not as important?Though not as altruistic as other goals, there can be altruistic contributions from gaining wealth and fame. Not that gaming cannot (ie. Penny Arcade charity events) contribute (and that fact shouldn't diminish it), but it hasn't been proven that it contributes in greater volume.
Another question: does health equal happiness in the end, or does unhealthiness equal happiness too?
People will smoke even if they have lung cancer and know it will kill them. People are aware that being obese is unhealthy, the cause of manyhealth issues, but don't make the effort to change. They don't change, they are happy and they die. Is living longer happiness? The last few years may be incredibly painful in some instances. Pain can be felt by others around that person. Can that kind of pain cause happiness or offset the happiness gained from ignoring the future reprocussions?
Is it necessarily smart to perpetuate something that you know can cause harm to one's health?

that knowledge of the game can be converted into useful contributions to society such as strategy guides.
That is only if the person's job then is related to such an output; I haven't read on what this hardcore player does in that time spent to achieve guild greatness, but not everyone that is putting so much time into a game is adding value for others in the real world.
Devil's advocate - other forms of contributions: there are also bloggers, forum go-ers, online unofficial strategy guides/walkthroughs
Still; how many of the hardcore gamers produce meaningful contributions to society? And then compare it to people of other activities.

pity is a person's opinion, something that is everyone's right that shouldn't impede or cause conflict with the person in question.
I have an opinion on him (Kruf), and so do you. Your opinion is that Gordon shouldn't pity Kruf. Gordon has every right to think that way and shouldn't care what the other person thinks. His opinion doesn't affect Kruf, and if Kruf knew him, his opinion of Gordon probably wouldn't affect him.

a person can excel in their job, and still spend a majority of their (non-working)life playing a game, BUT it is a rare case.
I was going to put in between 'excelling at their job' and gaming part with "rich full life", but find it is a loaded word with many interpretations. The only thing I can say from my own personal experience and from watching others is that gaming to such a high degree doesn't accomplish much in real life other than stress relief and relationships with people in-game. All other areas of life are neglected.
Whether one values those other areas is only determined by the sole individual. Can the same thing be said with other activities with the same time put into it? I can say for sports, would result a stronger body, reading being more knowledgeable, etc. But what benefit is there to gaming that is unique? Its my opinion that life needs balance, too much of anything is normally harmful; gaming is one of those things in particular.


Sieges, Money and Zombies

Action role-playing game Dungeon Siege III hits North American computers, PS3s and Xbox 360s on May 31, according to Square Enix.
As per:

Really looking forward to what Dungeon Siege 3 will bring; previous versions had a good Diablo-like itemization system, a fluid class system (the more you use a weapon, the stronger you became in it), and HUGE parties (8+ a mule).


Fallout: New Vegas expansion Dead Money will be released for PS3 and PC on Feb 22, according to the game's publisher Bethesda. That Xbox exclusivity was temporary. Three more expansions will hit all three platforms simultaneously "in the coming months."
Per Kotaku again:

Good to hear that everyone will be getting the New Vegas expansion as well; even if you have to wait a while. The good thing about a delay in DLC is that you get to hear the reviews of the other (360) and whether it's worth it. Nothing is worse than paying a pretty penny for a bad dlc.


A new zombie game to haunt my 'dreams.' Do you play enough zombie games such as Left 4 Dead that you dream about it? That your gun doesn't work, or theres that Smoker that is just waiting for you to turn the corner? Yeah, i've been there and I don't even play that much (my pc crashes too much) lol


Wallpaper, Fyi and Drinks

Its been a slow couple weeks in regards to gaming. Just waiting for Rift.. if it even works on my pc (should really look at the requirements..).

Some links to some desktop wallpapers:



Just fyi; if you're going to make a face when someone takes a photo of you, don't cry when it makes you look horrible. Test it out infront of a mirror or something first ;)


The walk up pool bar from the Bahamas