Please God, bless some of these people with paralyzed vocal chords. Better yet, go for the famous chords/fingers combo so the typing stops, too. In fact, forget the chords and just chop off their hands. I want to be able to hear the gutteral wailing at the realization that quite a few pleasurable manual exercises will be forever lost to these simps.
My personal motto has lately become "I don't give a damn who you are." There are a lot of reasons for this, but I won't really get into more than I have to. This is, after all, a rant and even rants need some measure of intelligence and brevity.
Since I've been a member of MTGS I've been accused of a lot of things. Being a crazy liberal, throwing my sexuality in people's faces, being largely disagreeable, and most of all not knowing what I'm talking about. I assure you that even if the first three are true, the final accusation is anything but.
I'm almost thirty. Given my age I feel the need to explain something to those people who just don't seem to understand it. Put simply, I really don't care who you are and, in most cases, I don't give a hot damn about your opinions. What you think of my "lifestyle" matters about as much as a fart in a windstorm. Any clever observations concerning my habits or opinions, the company I keep, the places where I choose to spend my time on this site, or anything else concerning me in even a vaguely personal way are simply prattle. The most important thing to remember here, too, is that these observations are usually wrong and never, ever smart.
Something else I find unusual is that most of these hurtful barbs are thrown around from one of two distinct directions. I can't say I'm ever surprised. It isn't as though I'm the only person here undergoing such scrutiny; this just seems to be par for the course for most people on MTGS who aren't male, white, heterosexual (or passing), and part of the "Free KCW" mailing list. Two years, right? Two years I've been here and it's hardly changed. Compared to the rest of the internet this site is a stagnating cesspool of exclusivity. So you came here from News. I'm waiting for the rest of that statement from everyone who's ever made it that's going to cause me to care in the slightest. So you're part of an exclusive clan...a clan. On a Magic website. Granted a popular one, but is it ever going to be showcased on G4 or something? Hell no. Biggest reason why? People like you.
There's a distinct notion of old versus new on MTGS. The grognards who have nothing more of merit to contribute here are constantly gnashing their teeth, like the old junkyard dog trying to scare the newer pups away from his only bone. The hilarious thing about this is that these grogs don't understand how foolish they're making themselves look when they throw temper tantrums about new mod choices and controversial, "undeserved" bannings. They don't understand how idiotic it is for them to "infiltrate" clans like the Coffeehouse and try to sow discord or start fights. What is this, Metal Gear Solid? Do you people think you're the freaking Patriots, come to knock the freedom-haters out there down a peg? Did I miss the part of the site rules that states "obnoxious teenagers with not-so-ironic screen names are allowed to hide in their cave and throw feces at the productive members of the site?" Half the time I can't even understand your grammer-less posts, let alone take your arguments seriously.
Funny thing happened the other day, actually. At E3, the mecca of gaming for Americans, the president of Square-Enix announced that Final Fantasy 13 would be a multi-platform game and no longer a Ps3 exclusive. I was incredibly, profoundly amused to find people crying wolf over this and claiming that S-E had "let them down" and "made a horrible mistake." People immediately began throwing themselves at the proverbial gates of square-enix.com and gathering up signatures for petitions to "stop the insanity." One of my first thoughts when I saw the internet explode this way was "gee, this sounds a lot like how people react when...well, I dunno, when ANYTHING happens on MTGS." Nobody with a brain and eyes to match could tell me that I'm wrong there.
for the love of God, stop taking yourselves so seriously. If it continues this way, all you're really going to be remembered for is providing comic relief during the next Forum Awards. Seriously, in a year or so this site will have another hundred thousand members and your constant clucking and chomping at the bit will be drowned out in the uproarious din of people who aren't so full of themselves.
Until then, keep pretending that we cower in awe when your screen name pops up in the browser window. Keep pretending that this isn't a privately owned gaming site and is in fact Newsnight or Primetime Live and that your posts are editorial gold. Keep pretending that your YTMND bondage girl banners are clever and avant garde and that people ever give them a second look. Keep on pretending that the Americans are dumb and so are the n00bs except the ones good enough to get into that one clan. I mean, whatever gets you off, right?
Today, thank the gods, is the end of the forum awards. Which means that there's only about a week left before everyone finally shuts the hell up about it. I'm counting down for the first "this is a travesty" thread in Speak Your Mind right now.
I hope everyone who deserves their trophy gets one. Other than that I could just take it or leave it. I'd love to be one of those crowd who thinks that being nominated is an honor unto itself, and I used to believe that, but now I just think it's naiveté. If that were the case, people who are nominated but don't win would get some kind of consolation prize. Kind of like Oscar nominated actors get semi-decent scripts delivered to their door. This, however, doesn't happen. I know that considering my nomination and subsequent loss this year this paragraph is more than a little ironic, but I assure you it comes from a different place than that. Even without a trophy my mom still thinks I'm cool.
A lot of people frustrated me this year when it came to the awards. The usual argumentative kids who think shouting over you means they're making a valid point. Ah, teenagers. Of course, worse than that is the jaded crowd. The ones who sit back with their arms crossed and feel free to endlessly reiterate their opinion on how stupid you're being for "omg getting wurked up over teh internetz" and how much you apparently entertain them. Yes yes, you're so clever. And it seems that cleverness comes from your inability to be surprised by anything except, strangely enough, your own cleverness. A perpetual motion humor machine is you. Keep those Family Guy-inspired jokes coming, you GOD you.
Long story short, the forum awards did the same thing for me this year that they did the last. Reminded me how bloody many people in the MTGS community I do not like. Thank god for the "vocal minority" of people I do like and their magical powers of distraction or else I might not be a presence here. Of course, whether or not I AM a presence here is evidently determined by a shadowy cabal of people I've never met or interacted with who make it a point not to frequent the places where I hang out. It's like the Illuminati only with horrible acne and an attraction to Akroma that can only be described as bestial.
Maybe if I got a bondage girl banner and made ignorant comments about gender identity, I too could be a popular kid.
I refuse to expound too much on my last blog entry simply on the grounds that if I did, I'd likely rack up flame warnings faster than a Gutter member in a thread about 9/11. So no. Just have faith in my ability to categorize other gay men by how important they think fashion and/or cynicism is to their everyday life. Rest assured hardly any category is a positive one, even some of the categories I inhabit.
I guess I come off as being very judgmental sometimes. Most people, in the revelry of their humanity, give off an unmistakeable odor of judgment anyway. I'm a lot more laid back than I seem. Sure, when it comes to discussions on console RPGs and the like I become pretty vehement - mostly because I know I'm right - but other than that I can roll with the punches pretty well.
The fact is, it isn't so much that I'm judgmental as I'm jaded. Even though I'm only 26, I've seen a lot of life's little dark spots and lived to tell the tale. Josh regularly comments that my life is a Lifetime movie, and he's pretty much right. Even now, with my life slowing down and adultood truly sinking in, I don't have time to worry about other people's hangups anymore. I'm not really prepared to coddle people or sugarcoat things, but I'm certainly not as euphoric in or proud of my distance as some other forum members.
There are a lot of things about people that I love. Our ability to recover from anything and be happy despite what life throws at us. The constant struggle of personal evolution and the great rewards it can bring. Friendship, companionship, and most of all true love. By the same token there are hundreds of things about people - the ones I've known, at least - that I have no patience for and will walk away from immediately if they're pressured on me.
I wish sometimes that I could write the whole internet a letter. It would say, in no uncertain terms, that things like cynicism and bitterness aren't funny or cool. People who display these attitudes are generally sad and unhappy and dying for some kind of fulfillment, even if they refuse to acknowledge that themselves. I'd also say that it's perfectly alright to be unhappy, even sad or depressed sometimes. The term "emo" would be banned from every mouth in the country if I had my way. It's hurtful, asiniine, and juvenile, especially when spewed from the lip glossed mouths of little girls and gay men.
I would tell college kids to do two very important things for themselves. First, stop talking about college as though it's the only and most important thing that's ever happened to you. Nothing makes you sound more like a snob than refusing to shut up about your next exam in biolinguisitcs for the terminally ill 101. Second, stop trying to put your foot in every door there ever was. It seems like being so busy you can't sleep at night is the only way to have worth in this country anymore. Free time is not to be looked down on. It's to be cherished by everyone who has some, because without it people wither and lose their light.
I guess the most important thing to say to the internet as a whole is this. You aren't the only person in the world whose opinions or experiences matter. Basically...get over yourself. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how many people I've had to bite my tongue and fight off the urge to scream this line at, especially online.
Communicating with people who hold fast to these misguided notions feels like washing my mouth out with peroxde after a route canal. every selfish, immature statement is just another bruise rent open by careless bubbling alcohol and if I'm not entirely mindful of what I'm doing, I find myself forced to swallow it and I'm sick for days. That's how it feels to not care what other people think and yet still care about those people.
It's better to leave your sores open than to brag about your scars.
Lately I've begun playing through Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete again. Though I enjoy it just as much as I always did, it's reminded me of Working Designs and their questionable way of doing business back in their heyday.
For those of you who don't know Working Designs (shame on you, *****es), they were a company that sprang up out of nowhere around 1993, when the CD age of gaming was still in its infancy in the US. CEO Victor Ireland decided that he wanted to give lesser-known RPG franchises a chance to see the light of day in America, and he founded WD to accomplish that goal.
Working Designs seemed to specialize in anime-inspired games with prominent voice acting released for consoles like the Sega CD and PC Engine. Their first release was a little game called Cosmic Fantasy for the Turbo CD. With its unleashing on the US market, people began to clamor for WD's attention to bring their favorite games to native soil.
The Lunar games for Sega CD marked Working Designs' most well-known ventures and a concrete style for translators and voice work. Ireland never used professional voice actors, instead plucking talent from among his co-workers and personal friends. Translation jobs for every WD project were handled...differently, taking a lot of liberties with the original scripts and Americanizing games quite a bit. WD became well known for injecting American humor and pop culture references into their translations. for example, a child in Burg (Lunar: The Slver Star) talks to Alex about eating his Wheaties to grow up strong someday, and Ronfar (Lunar: Eternal Blue) quotes Austin Powers with a "yeah baby!" whenever he uses his Clean Litany spell.
Most critics viewed Working Designs' localization decisions as brilliant. Keep in mind, though, that this was during the infancy of the disc age of gaming, when the Sega CD was the height of technology. US gamers knew nothing about the process of making a game, breaking it down to its base ingredients and putting those all back together for an American audience. We weren't familiar with the nuances of scenario writing, characterization, or musical and graphic artistry in a digital medium like that. We only knew these games were fun to play.
When I was a kid, I played Lunar more than any other game I owned. I'd sit in front of my TV and put "Fighting Through the Darkness" on loop for hours because it was the most awesome thing I'd ever heard. Seeing someone like Jessica DeAlkirk bust out with jokes I understood was a rush compared to something like "I, Garland, will knock you all down!"
But after becoming to embroiled in the industry and knowing as much as I do now, Working Designs and their labors put me in a Flowers for Algernon kind of position. I still love those games, but I can't go back to thinking, for myself, that a translation like that is justifiable. I want to know what the original work was like. I don't want Red Bull jokes covering up what I could easily suspect to be a lazy translation job.
I used to say, when I first bought Lunar and took it home for the first time, that I desparately wanted to work for Working Designs someday. Now...I'm kind of glad they're gone.
A while ago we bought a LOT of games all at once. I'm done with most of them, having had to fight off the urge to play through two of them immediately upon finishing them the first time, they were that entertaining. Since I'm really not using this blog for much else at the moment (i.e. nobody deserves to see my new campaign information =P), I'll run down the newest games we've bought and what my thoughts are.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: Well, I waited an awfully long time for this one and to be sure I wasn't disappointed, but I find that after playing it through and experiencing everything the game has to offer...I am a little disappointed. I know that for the most part the series has always featured high school kids and their struggle against some big bad thing despite their youth. That much I understand - it's written all over Innocent Sin. But I adored Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and I was really hoping to see more of it in P3 than there was. I miss a lot of what made the earlier Persona games so fun - rumormongers, unlocking city districts that are as big as Port City itself, and psychological horror that's really the staple of any Megaten game. I really found none of that in Persona 3, and although I enjoyed the game immensely for what it was, I came away from it thinking "this is by no stretch of the imagination an actual Persona game. It's barely a Megaten game."
Tales of Legendia: Wow. I'd been wanting to play this for some time, but had never been able to score a copy. Recently it fell into my lap during an out of town shopping trip, and I have to say I'm incredibly satisfied by this game. Anyone can see that this is a Tales game made for the older Tales gamer - it hearkens back to classics like Phantasia, Eternia, and Destiny while still holding true to a lot of the newer features in Symphonia and Abyss that make the series so much more fun. I don't mind the Linear Motion battle system - in fact, it keeps the challenge intact whereas Flex Motion took some of it out. This installment in the series has some of the most memorable characters in any RPG I've ever played, and that opinion is only strengthened by the Character Quest side of the game. The breaking up of the story into two "seasons" is brilliant and engaging, and each character's individual story is so emotionally entrancing that it's hard to stop playing. I think this is possibly the best twenty bucks I will EVER have spent.
Wild ARMs 5: Now this is the money right here. Wild ARMs 4 left us all more than a little jaded toward the quality and direction of one of our favorite franchises, but this game turns that all around and shoves it down our throats without apology. Basically, Media Vision pulled out all the stops for the series' tenth anniversary and combined all the best elements of every WA game that's ever been with a new story, compelling characters, and what could be the best soundtrack to come out of an RPG in nearly eight years. WA4 wasn't a bad game; it was just way too short and preachy as hell about its symbolism. WA5 drops all that in favor of what made WA1-3 some of the best games ever - a solid narrative, believable characters and world, and a battle system that keeps you mashing buttons until your fingernails fall off. I love it.
Etrian Odyssey: An old skooler like me finds that a lot of the newer generations of RPGs are simply too easy and hand-holdey to give us a lot of satisfaction. Sure, stories and characters are great, but sometimes we want the monsters to win. Sometimes seeing that Game Over screen is the only thing that will endear a game to us completely. Etrian Odyssey has reminded me that this part of myself is still alive and kickin', and it never lets up in putting the player in their place. It isn't a story-heavy game, nor does it do anything differently from those of its kinds (think Wizardry and Might & Magic), but its style and flair and the immeasurable amount of fun a player has in exploring and mapping out their own dungeons makes up for all that. Add to this a deep and engaging character development system and an artistic presentation that feels as good as it looks and Etrian Odyssey is a winner. Now if only they'd make a sequel so I can use that password feature!
Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits: I'd always wanted to play an AtL game, but whenever I had the opportunity to buy one there was always something more pressing (like Xenosaga!). But Josh found this old fogey used for five bucks and thought why not, and now I'm enjoying it. Arc the Lad 4 is classic RPGs at their finest, sporting a hybrid battle system and well-thought out characters who utilize a unique magic and skill system to mete out the punishment during their quest. I haven't finished it yet, nor have I gotten all that far, but I can say that I now understand the Arc the Lad phenom in Japan. It's a shame the next game in the series ruined that completely >_>;;
So yeah, I've been busy. Whenever I have the time to do it, I think Legendia is going to be my next Underdog. It really deserves the honor.
Oy, I seriously need to change my profile picture. I don't mind that one to be sure, but having to look at it every time I update this blog is going to get tiresome.
So blogs are different now, and it seems they've gotten more popular. Cue me taking the whole "I liked it before it was cool!" stance. I enjoy the new front page for the blog section; it shows the user a lot more of what's going on in this part of the site. I was a little apprehensive at first because I saw a lot of new terms floating around like "report this post" and such, but now I know how everything works for the most part and that it isn't a drastic change, and I'm comfortable with it.
I do need to make new categories, but I was needing to do that anyway. Maybe one for personal entries, one for D&D, one for RPGs and one other for...I dunno. Maybe creative writing, since I gave that a go in the site's section for it and got nothing.
I've found myself working very hard on a new D&D campaign I want to start very soon. It's inspired very heavily by games such as the Tales of series and Legend of Legaia; also to a lesser extent Xenosaga and a few of the SaGa games. It's shaping up pretty well - I have a much more expansive world and flavor for this than I even had for Wasted City up until the very end. It seems I'm becoming a mod junky when it comes to tabletop games. Too bad 4th Edition is going to ruin that for me, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
The campaign is going to feature Incarnum heavily, to the point that it's the main focus of the plot at a lot of points. Each player is going to create their character using the gestalt rules, choosing any class they want for one side of the progression and an Incarnum class (including two customs made by me) for the other. I really want to get some use out of Incarnum before it fades into inevitable obscurity, seeing as how it's my favorite magic system in the entirety of D&D and I've never gotten to really use it before.
My first glimpses of the story followed a very Final Fantasy 3 kind of line; a party of unsuspecting people stumble upon an ancient ruin in an abandoned city near their home and, inside that ruin, they find a huge pool of brilliant blue material. Circumstances force them into the pool and they become infused with Incarnum, gaining powers they never dreamed of. Of course, this idea changed a great deal in the process, but the core concept remains the same. Where this was the only motivation for the party's journey at first, now there's an intricate plot featuring organized religions, a world war, and a history of brutality and animalism in mankind's path.
I found myself, without knowing, injecting a lot of Hindu terms and concepts into the story, much like I did with Broken Mandala, the miserable failure of a brilliant campaign I tried to run in the Inn. When it came time to craft the world in which this story would be set, I created a vast, continent-spanning city named Gandharva that had become the center of world culture and law. Seem familiar? It should. So I buckled down and named the continent Shura, and with that one decision this campaign became a reimagining - a prequel, even - of Broken Mandala. I feel there's some sort of vindication there, heh.
There are some interesting mods I'm planning on using for the campaign. First and foremost are spirit guides - a working title. Each character will be bonded at some point in the story to what they perceive is a spirit. Most of these spirits belonged to the same military organization in life - a central figure in the story. I was incredibly taken with the concept of the Binder and their vestiges in the Tome of Magick, and I took the idea for spirit guides from that. They're basically vestiges with six abilities that are unlocked over the course of the story. The sixth and most potent ability is a melding of sorts between the character and their guide. The character takes on the appearance, personality, and powers of their guide for a short amount of time and can literally wreak havoc on the battlefield.
Another mod is the Karma system. Every character will have a hidden stat that I will keep track of myself and change according to events in the story. Karma will function a lot like Reputation in the d20 Modern system, but with a lot of added mechanics. For example, having too much or too little Karma will eventually change your alignment, or cause certain events to unfold in a wildly unpredictable way. Likewise, characters can "spend" Karma at certain points to make miraculous things happen.
Like all the campaigns that we run in this household, I'm really going for a story-heavy, character development-oriented experience that's as fulfilling as possible for the players involved...which is why I don't want Adam playing because he's a Warhammer addict whose only character details involve eye color. I've worked hard on a wide, colorful supporting cast of characters from all over the world who will both help and hinder the party, ranging from a despicable prelate who sees the monsters of the world as a commodity to a pirate king that recently declared the world's oceans their own country. There's no room for staus quo wizards and warriors in the world I've made, and that's a good thing. There is, though, a lot of room for material from Tome of Magick and Book of Nine Swords, because those supplements are almost as awesome as Incarnum and I'm itching to see them in their full-fledged glory.
Maybe if anyone else on MTGS is interested I'll share some more concerning this campaign, but only if. This is my baby, a salve to heal the wounds the Inn had inflicted on me, and I'm fiercely proud of her.
And of course, just like I always do, I have an entire three-to-four-disc soundtrack laid out already. Lord >_<;;