Wednesday, March 3, 2010

we can't compromise when there's no in-between

Four good reasons why your Guild isn't for you. Only there's some problems with that, and maybe this is why some of us don't fall readily into the WoW demographic. To wit:

4. Divergent Play-schedules.

I grant this is a problem for many people. I even grant it's been a problem for me on occasion, since I'm generally coordinating with other people to go into a game in the first place. But even with that, anyone with half a brain who's dated internationally can do the math--or at least knows enough to ask. If no one is ever on when you need backup for a quest, fine; you are in the wrong Guild. But casual conversation on what times are good for people will resolve this readily.

3. No One Gets You.

No one gets me anyway. It takes a long time to get to know me, and I don't make it especially easy in real life, let alone Second Life, let alone some random MMO I'm spending time in. I have never been so needy of group approval that my humor level would sink from witty and sarcastic to filthy; there's no point to it. Honestly, the mere fact that you're going for the gross-out just to get laughs might be enough to tell you you are not right for that Guild.

2. When You Feel Like a Peon, You Probably Are.

Now, I get that this one's a me thing, because I have been part of Guilds where there is a real sense of community, of sharing, of group actions that benefit the game at large, and not just chip away on quests for points. And that's all well and good, but--that's not what I join a Guild for.

I generally join Guilds so I can chatter to other harvesters, all bored out of our gourds chopping down 380 sticks of chimewood, or tentacle sage, or whatever it is this time. I also join Guilds so I can learn who's higher-level, so that--when they're on, and I need help--I have that Guild banner to fly for when I ask. I try to keep track of newcomers to the Guild and to the game, too--so that I can help them if they need it.

I don't want or need anything else. As I said, maybe it's just me, but I don't care if Lady Altheaa-who-is-actually-Trisha-McNeely is giving birth in two weeks. I don't even want to know if Shamazon-the-Warrior and BabyLoveElf-the-Druid are having relationship problems. And for the love of all gods, don't drag me in between Guildmaster and Guild officer disputes; I've been through too many of those.

I'm in a Guild for three reasons, and only three reasons:

* To give me something to do when harvesting;
* To get help on higher-level Quests (or to help out with lower-level Quests)
* To get occasional nifty toys in the Guild Castle.

That's it. I don't want, need, or expect anything else.

And finally:

1. Hitler Has Teamspeak

I loathe Teamspeak. The sound quality is terrifying, it gives me yet another program open behind my draining-my-comp's-will-to-live, graphics-intensive MMO, and it sounds like I'm talking to a bunch of twelve-year-olds--with the expected twelve-year-old sense of humor.

When I joined Runes of Magic, and finally achieved high enough levels that Guilds were noticing me, I had joined a Guild and had settled in to get to know some people, when the call for Teamspeak went out.

"I don't use Teamspeak," I typed. There was a long pause.

"Why not?" someone finally asked. "Are you a guy?"

I rolled my eyes. "I'm not a guy, and to anticipate the next question, I'm also not nine. You have to be over eighteen to play this game; I'm well within the rules."

Another long pause. It might have been because I used "anticipate" in a sentence. I'm not sure.

After that, of course, it came out that the Guild used Teamspeak to coordinate major battles. Fine; I wasn't in that bracket yet, I was still poking around thirty levels below the power-movers in the Guild. Still, it bothered me, and continued to bother me when, a week down the road, I got "conditional" femininity based upon how I spoke, and the occasional typing of "giggles" in text; because most guys will just laugh, or LOL; and because my breasts weren't flotation devices, and I didn't run around in my underwear.

Gosh, thank you, ever so, for labeling me 'probably a girl' because I wore clothes. Or because I didn't care to jump on Teamspeak and talk to a bunch of people I didn't want to even type to; that makes me feel so much better about being in your Guild. Bah.

Depressed that Lost and Heroes are ending? Sf blog i09 has you covered: their list of eighteen shows to watch is nothing short of genius. The down side? Many of the shows on the list aren't even at the pilot stage yet. Drat.

Tracked down some behind-the-scenes footage from OKgo's latest, This Too Shall Pass. Now, love them or loathe them--I'm one of the people who's loved OKgo since their first hit, Get Over It--but you have to admit it takes a certain level of mad genius to outfit an entire warehouse with everything it took to film four minutes of video. Thirty people it took to reset everything after each take, and there were many, many takes.

Still, it works, after a fashion, and does get its point across, and I love the umbrella symbolism.

Boing Boing throws a mention of the EFF's updating of their Unintended Consequences page; it's well worth a read to anyone concerned about the applications of DMCA and copyright.

And, in a tip-off from Boing Boing, I found Watchismo, and the Automatic Double Axis Tourbillon. Oh, that makes me tingle. Gorgeous pictures, you'll want to take a look.

Also from Boing Boing, I had to mention the new Mark Ryden postcard collection...and again, not so much because Ryden is an amazingly twisted surrealist painter, but because of the comments. My favorite:

I have often found the floating head of Lincoln speaks to me from the stillness of frosty caves while in the presence of frolicking arctic squirrels. A universal theme really.


Androgyny? Exposed brains? Flawlessly styled doublets? If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, you really should either follow Winneganfake on Twitter, or follow his work on his Deviant art page. That, my friends, is the Queen of Circles.

Yes, you heard me, I said Queen. Amazing surreal work.

By way of Peter Stindberg, I found Leysieffer. The site is in German, but they do seem to offer a 99% dark chocolate bar--that would be their Jahrgangsschokolade Noir-intense.

It runs a bit over four Euros, which converts to around $5.75, on average (depending on day). I must speak with my financiers and figure out what shipping is. This must be acquired somehow.

I get what this is a commercial for, but I don't get what this is a commercial for...can anyone tell me? The sidebar at YouTube says it's possibly for a construction doesn't harm the tanuki? Wha? And why do the furs have breasts?

Likely another question for the ages that won't be the meantime, back to hunting. The Twisted Hunt for 2010 has started, officially, and Schnaeppchen did her usual wonderful job of getting pictures of the prizes here, here and here. It's a big gridwide hunt, 162 stores at last count, and all the annoying behavior that crippled our enjoyment last time out is back in spades: even the start location at DV8 has decoys. This sets the stage for intense depression later, when we arrive at the store full of pink flowers and babies that we still can't figure out how they got onto the list, that has twenty-seven decoy boxes and the real one hidden under the land's .raw file.

Gah. This time out, you're hunting down another puzzle box, but bright green and black instead of red and black, or purple and black.

There's also the Chase of the Beast hunt going on, and Schnaeppchen again runs it in style, with images in four parts: one, two, three, four, and bizarrely, five. It's another huge grid-wide hunt. Unfortunately, it's got a lot of really interesting stores involved, so it looks like we're going on at least part of it.


Remember the good old days, when there was one grid-wide hunt a year? I have a revolutionary idea. Hear me out--let's have a hunt where all the prizes are all from one store. And they hide things just in that one store.

What do you think? I think it'll work. I think it's the wave of the FUTURE!


Rhianon Jameson said...

Teamspeak? Like the communications system the members used in The Guild?

I'm starting to understand that much of what makes that show so funny is that the underlying WoW environment they lampoon is itself so absurd. Not that I'm knocking it, or players - after all, fifty million WoW fans can't be wrong, as the album says - but you've reinforced my perception that, for me, this is Something to Avoid.

Emilly Orr said...

Because the players in The Guild feature are accustomed to the WoW environment, they use understandable tech also seen in the game, like Teamspeak. It's a scaleable client that essentially acts as a virtual conference call, for two people, ten people, or two hundred people. (Not kidding; some of the raiding groups in WoW get that big.)