Sunday, September 23, 2012

I can't do well when I think you're gonna leave, but I know I try

[Zone #1] Nevalith@reaperxi: *brofists his homie*..WOOOOO
[Zone #1] Glaive@MrHurin: Ey,bro! Whatcha doin',bro? How are ya,bro? Okay,bro! Bye,bro!
[Zone #1] Nevalith@reaperxi: BTdub
[Zone #1] Glaive@MrHurin: a conversation of modern people.
[Zone #1] Glaive@MrHurin: a.k.a idiots.

To be fair...

[Zone #1] Nevalith@reaperxi: In my my culture they replace bro with the N word..
[Zone #1] Nevalith@reaperxi: *sigh*
[Zone #5] Knightly Grave@Grave-Family: Noob? D=
[Zone #1] Glaive@MrHurin: Not not nothing?
[Zone #2] Skyfire@JonSills: Neville? Neighbor? Nitwit?

But the idiot factor dropped for this part, so okay, people are not completely without redeeming merit.

I'm not in the best space right now, I'll openly admit. I'll take my points of humor where I find them.

The giant hand avatar from 2010 is up again on Marketplace. If you want it, get it now, because it vanishes when October ends.

Here's a list of catgirls in various media from a wide variety of nations. You're welcome?

Fans of Dr. Steel have been dealing with a strange, sidewise loss--I was never a fan, but a friend passed this on to me, which sounds strangely conspiratorial and bizarre. If anyone knows more, leave a comment in, well, the comments, and I'll update. I'll also do my best to run down what actually happened in the meantime.

Here's Sheldon the Tiny Dinosaur in Minecraft, some hysterical Wor'ds Best Father pictures, the 'Ecce Homo' restorer now wants royalties (the hell??), and for anyone interested in quilting, this is the best tutorial I've found so far on the new "quilt as you go" method.

And I found this completely randomly--it's a stupidly charming paean to the joys of the Nether in Minecraft. Well worth the watching.

Also, if you have recently experienced anything with the new "BUG" reporting system (over the actual JIRA system)--good or bad--consider going here and telling the Lindens why.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

the scent of a lemon drips from your eyes


This came out of the blue, when I arrived to Champions to run some casual missions three, four days back.

[Zone #2] Becca@GynoidBecca: Wow... there's some rage.
[Zone #2] Becca@GynoidBecca: Isn't it too early in the day for rage?
[Zone #2] Becca@GynoidBecca: It's 7:38a. Way too early for such rage.

And then, not one minute later:

[Zone #6] Ema@nanayja: NECRON DO U HEAR ME? U NOTHINK

We were all starting to wonder if these messages were meant to go to this "Necron" directly, and Ema just...somehow missed.

So...this one's going to be brief, and I'm sticking it back in the buffer because it's not vital, but...I came close to one of those points of leaving SL.

Well, screw that, I was going to. I'd dropped to logging in maybe once a week again, and--indicative of the general emotional state at present--I'd already made the decision to go. I think it's strong evidence of the fact that the decision, once made, never made it to the blog. I was really going to leave. For multiple reasons, I'd simply had it. I had officially hit that "it's too painful to be here anymore" point.

Then...something entirely unanticipated. Moreso, given that I barely have a Marketplace page, and wholly lack an in-world storefront for the foreseeable future. I got a commission.

I'm still not entirely sure how, mind you, I even got the commission...but it's there. And it's going to be long-term, it's pulling me back into world to force the rusty build skills through their paces, so...yeah. Not dead yet. The love life is still on life support, and I have no clue when or if that's going to resolve, least for building and scavenging for new sculpts...I'm not ready to leave.


In the meantime, I figure, I'm late to it, woefully late, and there will likely be zero giveaways involved, but I'm planning a haunt. (As I'm writing this, it's actually the first of October, not the 22nd of September. Ah, post-dating, biting me in the ass again.)

I have no idea if it will be any good, but I'll post pics and links when I have 'em.

Friday, September 21, 2012

when the diamonds fall, they burn like tears

[Broadcast] Literal Lass: Come for the interdimensional dance party, stay for the damage!
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: All right, dance floor, I give, you have beaten me.
[NPC] War Witch: No comment.

(from the City of Heroes album; the deathing at the D.)

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to adequately explain this. But about three weeks ago--you know, back when I had hope--some of the game developers behind City of Heroes had taken to hanging out in the D. Because they're mourning the loss of the game just as much as we are.

[Broadcast] Achaica: am I just not cool enough to see what's going on? :(
[Broadcast] Taren Knight: sometimes
[Broadcast] Dan the Dangerous: it really is the end of times, all rules have broken down
[Broadcast] Kana Illusory: this is lame
Light the Path has defeated Litany of SiIence
[Broadcast] Achaica: you mispronounced "awesome"
[Broadcast] Litany of SiIence: (( Might I be able to get a team so I don' die? ))

And me responding to another player asking a question (that I didn't save in chat):

[Broadcast] Literal Lass: (( Alexia: Noooo one knooooows. And seriously, that's true. Just mysterious spawning....things....that kill people. Which we can't see. Or defeat. Except occasionally through pets. Maybe. ))

(from the City of Heroes album; the deathing at the D.)

I didn't get a lot of good pictures to explain what was going on, but basically, one of the developers (Tunnel Rat, as it turned out) had dropped by, rezzed a bunch of things that could one-shot kill folks, turned on damage in the D, then left. It took people a bit to figure out what was going on. We had two things on our side:
  • Pets could both see AND injure the random balls of energy;
  • The hospital was just off the dance floor, so no one got booted from the zone if they got killed; and
  • There's no XP loss in the D itself, because there's (supposedly) no deathing; the hospital's in zone because of holiday events. So, no matter how often we died, we didn't get XP debt.
At this point, folks were banding together, trying to find ways to kill things:

[Looking For Group] Celerin: All we have so far is 'Unaffected' though.
[Broadcast] Lucki: It's probably a bluff.
[Broadcast] Achaica: I'd call it "Lord British"
[Broadcast] Achaica: combat log says "poison gas"
[Broadcast] Achaica: it's apparently stronger than all of pocket d
[Broadcast] Lucki: Poison gas and soul burn is whats attacking our pets--but it doesnt say what our pets keep missing
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: I'm seeing Radiance Jump 2 and Light the Path defeating pets and people both
[Broadcast] Lucki: Whatever it is keeps moving around now and then like a person
[Broadcast] Lucki: MAYBE ITS A GHOST.
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: The D is HAUNTED!

(from the City of Heroes album; the deathing at the D.)

Some high-powered healers realized if they got on teams, they could just spam healing and keep people alive that way. It worked--after a fashion.

[Broadcast] Achaica: the DARKNESS
[Broadcast] Jessye Jaymes: Why did you use magic missile?

Ah, fellow geeks who speak my language. Always fun.

[Broadcast] Literal Lass: We're fighting the nothing. How existential.
[Broadcast] Lucki: Neverending stoooreeeee~
[Broadcast] Mind Spike.: Anyone know whats going on in here , i just logged on and pocket D is both on fire and damaging?))
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: One minute, I'm talking to War Witch, the next I'm on the dance floor getting hit by blue flame.

It got chaotic, I won't lie. We weren't exactly used to this.

(from the City of Heroes album; an angel statue in Founders' Falls.)

This is nothing to do with the deaths on the dance floor. This is a random image I'd planned to toss into a future entry. This will now exist as my brief comment on last week's Doctor Who (which is forward from this post, because I post-dated this post, so to be specific, it was "The Angels Take Manhattan").

Which I can't even discuss without major spoilers in ALL directions, but damn. Good, painful, intense, beautifully written, magnificently acted...but I did mention the painful, yeah? Yeah.

[Broadcast] Glacier Sagittarius: I have a feeling it's Dampening Field, the invisiable force that's normally in the corner by the red bar window.
[Broadcast] Glacier Sagittarius: Pets sometimes attacked it
[Broadcast] Achaica: pocket D is already drunk enough. you can tell because we're picking fights with nothing at all.
[Broadcast] Achaica: someone is enjoying omnipotence

(from the City of Heroes album; the unused design for upper-level Nemesis officer warhorse mounts. Steam-powered, of course.)

Another shot that has nothing to do with the deathing, but I have tons of these, and I'm going to toss up more--this was another dev in the D who came in, rezzed out these unused mount designs, and left after partying with us for a few hours. Essentially, these were planned from nearly the first, but, between one thing and another, never got implemented.

(from the City of Heroes album; the unused design for upper-level Nemesis officer warhorse mounts. Steam-powered, of course.)

As can be seen, you could sort of 'cheat' a sit on the back of the mounts by first flying up to about horse shoulder level, then choosing a sit-on-bench or sit-on-chair emote from the list. It mostly worked.

(from the City of Heroes album; another angle.)

The vents in the muzzle vented steam on occasion, and there was an ornate stovepipe 'tail' that spewed smoke, in addition to the flame-jet 'mouths' each warhorse had.

(from the City of Heroes album; another angle.)

And on occasion, people danced on them.

Also, after all that (and the chat captures anyone who's been reading along has already read through), I present to you why Champions Online remains, in my opinion, the lesser experience (on at least a social-game level):

vakarcs@tomika72: ddddddddddddddddddddddddd
the blaack panther@sharrief1: nice boob
the blaack panther@sharrief1: bbboobbas
the blaack panther@sharrief1: i love bboobs
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Ugh.
the blaack panther@sharrief1: i need a girlfriend
the blaack panther@sharrief1: i need a queen
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: And you're looking for one in the Powerhouse??

To explain: the Powerhouse is in the main section of the city, and it's where people go to test out new powers, and see if they want to keep them if they've got choices between two. Mostly, though, it's a noob paradise, because most of the higher-ups just pick their poison and move on to other missions.

the blaack panther@sharrief1: big tiiiittes

Believe me, there was more, but I think those two short passages convince to illustrate the point. From quirky "Neverending Story" and D&D gaming references to..."i love bboobs". Yeah.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

my airplane lands on your soul's runway, without lights

There's a status update for subscribers of City of Heroes. It seems to indicate subscribers will be refunded for time still playable past the closure date of the game. How'ver, there's been some worried rumblings that some initial contactees were offered time in other NCSoft games, over a straight cash-back option. I'm still trying to run down which is accurate.

(In the interim of holding this for publication, we've hit the supposed payout date, with an additional codicil that payments, while transferred, will arrive between seven and ten days from the 26th of Septus. So we're checking again in a week or so, and see if it's actually gone through.)

In the meantime, apparently Linden Lab is converting to an app company. I have no words for how vastly and wholly disappointed I am in this development. I also think it's worth noting that immediately upon release of their "Patterns" video--AKA, "Look, we're better than Minecraft, 'cos we build with TRIANGLES!"--they disabled comments nearly instantaneously after posting, if not as the video was being posted. What is Humble so afraid of, that people might say? Or--potentially worse--what did viewers initially respond with, that made the Lab close down comments so quickly?

To be fair, I also think the Modem World blog's article on the two new LL offerings is on target. And I don't think Linden Lab is diversifying to eradicate SL. What I do believe, though, is that Linden Lab is either uninterested, or incapable, of fixing the Marketplace problems. If the latter, they managed to break code they can't fix, and that's bad, but it does happen. We can all hope for a solution, but at this point things look pretty grim anyway.

How'ver, the first theory is far more damaging if true, and unfortunately, ties into a long-held tin-foil hat theory of my own: that the Lindens are involved, either as an entire company, or just as upper management, in disinvesting the ability of their customer base to sell things. I'm still not entirely sure why they would want to do this, frankly--but with the Marketplace debacle getting close to moving into its third goddamn year of being broken, I feel I can state substantively that that's the single largest cause behind customers closing down their businesses, and/or leaving the grid permanently.

Personally, I'd prefer to just be straight-up told that they're closing down Marketplace and removing user content--as shocking as that would be--than to have them continue the fiction that they're trying to repair what they broke, when it's fairly obvious at this point that they're either unable to...or refusing to. Either way, it's depressing as hell in an already depressing month.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ice and silence and dark skies, as we go 'round another year

[Looking For Group] Apocolyth: so if u could please blame the sh_t hgeads who were designingnthen game that got the funding kut ohhh and the marketing was carp too biut oh well

Please, please please, Apocolyth--you're entitled to your opinion, but for the love of all gods, spell-check exists for a reason.

[Looking For Group] Apocolyth: ok guild wars 2 here i come lol cya chumps

Let me get this straight: not only can you not manage to spell even simple words correctly--single-syllable words like "crap", "but", "cut", and the immortal "you"--but you're also upset with the development team behind City of Heroes, and not NCSoft themselves--the ones who actually cancelled the game. Moreover, you're jumping to Guild Wars 2, which is again owned outright by NCSoft.

Have you lost your tiny little mind?

[Looking For Group] Novamaiden: (there goes a really good reason not to try guild wars 2)
[Looking For Group] Eddie Warren: concurs

I third that conclusion.

[Looking For Group] Particle Force: ((Doubt we would run into him. Takes brains to download the client.))


[Looking For Group] Sizzlestick: I just got a warm fuzzy feeling by the way nobody responded to Apocalyth's trolling =)

Yeah, even I only responded here, not in chat. We must be growing up, or something.

[Looking For Group] Apocolyth: yea the devs totllu screwd up this game

Oh, you're making my fingers twitch with the urge to viciously spell-check you.

So, just to graze on this again...I'm back to watching the "compileTRUTH" analysis videos, one of the ones currently concerning a blogger known only as "M" (and his blog, The Tutorial).

(from the Slender album, because I'm likely going to need one)

Let's talk about that. For those who don't know, a "tulpa" is a created thoughtform that can then act independently of the user's will. While the creation of a tulpa (in Sanskrit, "nirmāṇa" or "nirmita") is considered the act of a sufficiently advanced, and spiritually purified, being, the reality is that anyone who concentrates hard enough on it, with enough fervency and drive, might create one:
"Once the tulpa is endowed with enough vitality to be capable of playing the part of a real being, it tends to free itself from its maker¹s control. This, say Tibetan occultists, happens nearly mechanically, just as the child, when his body is completed and able to live apart, leaves its mother¹s womb. Sometimes the phantom becomes a rebellious son and one hears of uncanny struggles that have taken place between magicians and their creatures, the former being severely hurt or even killed by the latter."
     --Alexandra David-Neel, from 'Magic and Mystery in Tibet', published by University Books Inc., in 1965
That's a quoted extract from a longer work used in support of an experiment conducted by two artists in Los Angeles, on the validity of created thoughtforms. Which is all well and good if you're planning on "creating" a mischievous invisible rabbit, or a housekeeping brownie...but what if what you're concentrating on is dangerous?

What if what you're concentrating on has aspects that can rearrange memories; has the ability to appear and disappear from photographs and film; has not only the will but the ability to injure, terrify, and destroy?

This may be the territory we find ourselves in now. We as humans are incredibly gullible, overall--we believe fervently without rational proof needed. We are loyal because we liked the color tones of something, or the name, or connect that product with a friend or a love. We get confused in virtual worlds because we can see ourselves taking certain actions, and we think we, ourselves, have taken those same actions.

I've already discussed placebo effects on the blog; and in a sense, this is sort of a psychological placebo effect. Enough people believe at least partially in the Slender Man to, perhaps, bring him to some form of reality--even if it's only a reality that's visible in that affected person's head.

I don't believe--as M clearly seems to--that Slender Man is a virus. (Though, there are similar aspects, and as Laurie Anderson said, language is a virus when analyzed with the right tools.) I don't believe he's "catching", I don't believe I can get "infected" just from reading about him, seeing images of him.

But I do think the potential aspects--of Slender Man as a created thoughtform, as a tulpa--bear further exploration.

Finally, I believe courtesy of Mr. Drinkwater, this excellent selection of librarian tattoos (and as a reverse of the images, a gathering of tattooed librarians). I'm all for either. Because librarians are cool.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm not the killing type

Some enterprising gamer put together a list of all the questions so far answered on the City of Heroes AMA. There's a lot of good there, a lot of pain, but it's worth the read even if you don't play--because, yet again, it perfectly demonstrates how active, and interactive, the development team at Paragon Studios was with their community and customers.

Of course, the biggest example I have is from experience with Second Life, where asking a Linden for any form of redress is about as effective as kicking a brick wall. But even jumping over to a near competitor, Champions, the difference is striking. Part of their "Whiteout" adventure pack had several glitched missions. They were all annoying to get through, but part three did us in, and--because the main enemy to fight never spawned--trapped us in the endgame space, where we had to simply log out.

Before we logged out, three of us sent in a support ticket explaining the difficulty. It's now one full week later, we've heard nothing. We likely won't hear anything, either, based on folks who've sent support tickets to Cryptic in the past.

Essentially, we had to log back in, return to the "Whiteout" mission sets, and do section three over again from the very beginning, and hope that the end boss did actually manage to spawn. We did this, but it was two hours we didn't need to spend, on a mission that was still glitchy.

I contrast my experiences in Champions and Second Life (as well as a host of other games) with my experiences in City of Heroes. It was a rare occasion when I didn't hear back within the hour of a support ticket going in. Those rare occasions were generally always on me, having to log out before that first hour wrapped up, and in each of those instances, I was sent email within two hours, at the latest.

I never had an unresolved problem. I never had to wait days, or even weeks, for a reply. And while I have nearly always been a subscriber to City of Heroes, I don't think that's even it, because for over a year now, I've heard back from sim owners--sometimes, even multi-sim owners--in Second Life who send in requests for support and hear nothing back. So it's not a money issue, it's a caring issue.

Meanwhile, I've been on this long and meandering journey (for about three weeks now) investigating various YouTube feeds concerning the Slender Man mythos. I've been concentrating mainly on the MarbleHornets videos, because they're the most comprehensive work so far (at 66 videos to date).

There's been other interesting developments I've discovered along the way. Like YouTube user "totheark" began commenting back on the MarbleHornets videos. While some of the Marblehornets videos are disturbing enough, "totheark" seems to be communicating in some cryptic, unbroken code.

And then there are the ones that just don't seem to sync up with the main storyline: like "Operator":

of the
The description on that one, by the way?
So what does it mean? It took me a week to realize, I was slow on the uptake: the capitalized letters form an independent word: LISTEN. And once I did, I realized that the sounds directly traced back to the missing audio from one of the early MarbleHornets vids.

What's been so fascinating to me in all of this (and, to date, I've watched the total output of MarbleHornets, DarkHarvest00, EverymanHYBRID, and TribeTwelve [with TribeTwelve's videos, so far, being my favorite], as well as about a third of the videos on the compileTRUTH channel), is that the Slender Man is, start to finish, a wholly invented urban legend. Yet, at this point, there are countless blogs devoted to the happenings in the mythos, several video feeds solely dedicated to him, and at least one (though I think fan-produced, not commercially released) actual film devoted to the Slender Man.

I'm fascinated enough to continue watching. There are some really inventive, arcane minds putting these various feeds together, and there's a definite liking for puzzles. Some of the puzzles I get, some take me longer (the bit of coding regarding prime numbers and the sequences from Base 64 notation, for instance, sent me researching for three days before finding out what that one said), but it's still enough to keep me watching. And to keep me unnerved.

T'is the season for unnerved, after all...or at least, it will be soon. I'm just getting the preparations underway a few weeks early.

Monday, September 17, 2012

and morning is broken as you mourn your life

[Zone #6] Spellbinder@mijj: What the hell? Isn't ever mob supposed to drop anniversary stuff? I cannot get them to drop

So, there was an anniversary party going on in Champions. If you killed enemies--or objects--then there was a chance of anniversary presents dropping. You had to be killing enemies around your level, or objects in zones where you hadn't outleveled, to get them to drop at all, though.

[Zone #6] Russian Spetsnaz@weewoozesty: not every mob
[Zone #6] Russian Spetsnaz@weewoozesty: if ur farming mobs for it i feel sorry for u

Trying not to twitch at the use of "ur" and "u", here, too. Then again, it's yet another goddamn game where they refer to their characters as "toons". Gods, I loathe people who do that.

[Zone #3] Celus@macarondebiscuit: you kiding me ?
[Zone #3] Celus@macarondebiscuit: go %$#( your mom

Random hostility, the gift of the internet to we, the fortunate few.

[Zone #6] Russian Spetsnaz@weewoozesty: aaaand you just showed us all that your some 10 year old

To be fair, I'd make the same assumption.

[Zone #7] Bane@TalenaGrimz: looking for ninja based sg to join
[Zone] Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Wau, I put those last two statements together--ten years old, AND looking for a ninja SG :p
[Zone #6] Jewel Lemon@monaahiru6: me too :D

Also, there seems to be far more roleplay supergroups on Champions than there were on City of Heroes. Not sure why.

[Zone] Tristan@CaptainBrumast: Is Sapphire gonna sing again?
[Zone #3] Cat Baptiste@alli210: no idea, I hope not
[Zone #2] Mandate@mlmii: It is my understanding that she sings every hour.
[Zone #1] Manik@embermclain01: yes... one an hour...for the next 10 days
[Zone #1] Manik@embermclain01: the same song
[Zone #3] Cat Baptiste@alli210: OH DEAR GOD
[Zone #6] Vanquish@rap: The rest of the time she's 'back stage' 'entertaining' VIPs
[Zone #3] Cat Baptiste@alli210: FRIDAY FRIDAY GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY *sobs uncontrollably*

[Zone #1] Manik@embermclain01: you seem upset about singing
[Zone #1] Manik@embermclain01: I had no idea the bluenette was a frenchy

See, I've mentioned this before. I think Sapphire's supposed to be Hispanic. Which isn't a problem, except in both her singing voice, and her speaking voice in the loop, her accent is all over the place. Just listening to her, knowing nothing about the character, I'd have guessed Spanish, French, and possibly Malaysian at different points in the recorded loop--and I still don't know what she's supposed to be going for.

[Zone] Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: I swear, I'm putting "I don't duel" in my bio.
[Zone] Tirados@DZPlayer122: Nobody reads bios unless RP is involved...
[Zone] Tirados@DZPlayer122: and even then only rarely.
[Zone] Kage@kagetsuwamono: Won't do you any good, Annika. No one reads bios around here.
[Zone #1] Angry Bear@twg042370: Annika: Hit the O key. Under privacy you can block duels
[Zone] Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Yeah, I persist in the delusion that people read.

I thought this was just random posturing, but I've spent the past several nights running around in Champions checking bios. I'd say--based on the completely spurious, entirely subjective analysis of the people I managed to click on before they flew off--that that's an accurate statement. Forget reading the bios; based on what I saw, only 25% of players seem to have bios at all!

How'ver, back to the Champions anniversary thing--around midnight two nights back, Cryptic did a hot patch, kicking everyone off their servers for about five minutes. When they came back up, the anniversary coding was gone from the game.


(from the Champions album; part of the anniversary concert stage, just hanging around in midair)

This is half the anniversary party stage from the top of the walking ring around the center of New Detroit, or whatever it is they call it in Champions.

(from the Champions album; the concert screens)

A closer look. The stage itself is gone, all the NPCs that populated the stage itself and the dance floor in front of it are gone; the cake's gone, the fireworks are gone (most of the time; ghostly pastel shadows still manifest from time to time if you look up). But the panel screens showing...I guess that's supposed to be Sapphire, screaming at the audience? They're still there.

(from the Champions album; Holo-Sapphire dancing)

And here's one of the hologram Sapphires, dancing on what used to be a holo-display platform at her feet. The platform itself--and the stage it was on--are completely removed.

We're hoping a future patch removes these remnants, as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

tomorrows won't bring anything

(from the loss album; Twisted Gallery's "Acceptance" which was intended as a
companion piece for "The Curse". All Rights Reserved to original artist.)

no walls can keep me protected
no sleep, nothing in between me and the rain
and you can't save me now
I'm in the grip of a hurricane
I'm gonna blow myself away

(from the loss album; "Woman in Anguish" by Abbey Forbes; All Rights Reserved to
original artist.)

I'm going out
I'm gonna drink myself to death
and in the crowd
I see you with someone else
I brace myself 'cos I know it's going to hurt
but I like to think
at least things can't get any worse

(from the loss album; Pedro Roldán's sculpture, "Mater Dolorosa". All Rights Reserved to
original artist.)

no home, I don't want shelter
no calm, nothing to keep me from the storm
and you can't hold me down
'cos I belong to the hurricane
it's gonna blow us all away

(from the loss album; slightly digitally altered image from original photo found on the Aprovécho blog)

I'm going out, I'm gonna drink myself to death
and in the crowd
I see you with someone else
I brace myself, 'cos I know it's going to hurt
but I like to think
at least things can't get any worse

(from the loss album; taken by photographer Rosie Hardy. All Rights Reserved to original artist.)

I hope that you see me
'cos I'm staring at you
but when you look over
you look right through
then you lean and kiss her on the head
and I never felt so alive, and so...dead

(from the loss album; unknown photographer; All Rights Reserved to whomever that would be)

I'm going out, I'm gonna drink myself to death
and in the crowd
I see you with someone else
I brace myself, 'cos I know it's going to hurt
I'm going out

(from the loss album; from another random wallpaper site. All Rights Reserved to original photographer)

I'm going out, I'm gonna drink myself to death
and in the crowd
I see you with someone else
I brace myself, 'cos I know it's going to hurt
I'm going out
I'm going out
I'm going out
I'm going out
I'm going out

(from the loss album; found on yet another random wallpaper site. All Rights Reserved to
original photographer)

(Lyrics from Florence + the Machine's song "Hurricane Drunk".)

Friday, September 14, 2012

hope without hope, and madness

Some interesting viewer developments this week were discovered;

...whoa, how did this thing publish?? Okay, time to revise!

I mentioned the viewer developments, which are worth looking into; I also should bring up the recent changes to the JIRA reporting system. And I quote:

  • All bugs should now be filed in the new BUG project, using the more streamlined submission form.
  • Second Life users will only see their own reported issues. When a Bug reaches the "Been Triaged" status, they will no longer be able to add comments to their issue.
  • Once a Bug reaches the “Accepted” or “Closed” status, it will not be updated. You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.
  • Existing JIRAs will remain publicly visible. We will continue to review and work through these.
There's one problem with that--they're not remaining visible. Now, I've added bolding to the existing statement from the Lab, but seriously, there's more than a few elements of conspiracy theory rising around this one. I'll get to that, but first, I want to reprint some reactions from the SL Universe forums:

From Inhandra:
To be fair, the JIRA was a bit of a hot mess, but it is quite lame that we can no longer check to see if something has already been reported.
I couldn't state it better myself. Why burden the Lindens with thirty-seven bug reports, all for the same issue, when that number can be reduced down to five or six? (Five or six because folks STILL don't bother to read, for the most part, but of those that do, for the most part they append their own report and evidence to the existing JIRA file, over starting a completely new file. How is this progress??

Right below that, she added another insight:
Actually, come to think of it, this looks like an effort to hide any further bugs that go unfinished. Basically, once the current JIRA is worked through, we can no longer link to each other and go, "Look, this one has been open for five years!"
Which I also fully agree with.

From Nika Talaj:
They must be planning to shut down development on SL. I can't imagine rolling out new features with, effectively, no users reporting issues.

Their new wiki entries seem to indicate that the only bugs they are interested in having reported are security exploits.
That's an interesting point, too. In the past six months, there have been more attempts on the software--and more actual security breeches--than we've seen in the past three years, easy. And yet, with all of this behind-the-scenes action, we've only substantively heard about why any of it's happening from the Lindens...once. Yeah, I think just the once.

So why so much focus on SL security of a sudden? (And why the upswing in attempts to hack the game, and the Lab itself?)

From Darien Caldwell:
I don't see the harm in being able to check if something has been reported already, or linking pertinent issues. They should really reconsider that.
That's the most important issue for me, too. Even if there's no commenting allowed, the fact that they're blocking even viewing access for bugs reported seems both suspicious, and--from a purely business standpoint--a detractor for the business under discussion, in this case Linden Lab.

From Qie Niangao:
The Lab has lost a lot of managers, but are there no adults left? This is the work of a petulant pre-schooler, certainly not anybody qualified to make process decisions.
A similar question crossed my mind, as well.

From Hitomi Tiponi:
Helping LL should be a two-way street - now it is one one-way I have to conclude that my input is no longer required.
This seems to be the greatest contingent. We move from feeling abused and never directly communicated with, to being shut out entirely from all communication processes. Somewhere in all of this, there's some Ivory-Tower thinking, and it's not in the Lindens' best interests.

From Lewis Luminos:
This makes me think that they're starting to wind down SL altogether.
From Andromeda Rage:
This, combined with the absolutely asinine way they've handled the bandwidth-flooding server bug (pull your fucking head out of your ass Oskar) makes me believe SL will be gone in a year's time. FFS LL, just pull the plug and get it over with. No need to bleed us to death with paper cuts.
While I don't entirely agree--I see a lot of internal restructuring to shore up places where they're not technologically and financially sturdy, to a more self-sustaining model (or, as RandomCruiser mentioned, making do with less to gain more in the long run), but does part of that restructuring, of necessity, mean they have to cut off all avenues of communication to their user base?

From Brenda Archer:
But if you have a user community, you have to interact with them, and you need a thick skin. Of course if your users annoy you TOO much you can just stop having any...
Is that their end desired result, though?

From Jopsy Pendragon:
No to mention that the SL wiki often points right at the jira as part of the documentation, so that people can know that certain things do NOT work as expected, and keep track of whether or not they're ever going to get fixed.
This brings up another intriguing point--who's going to edit the SL Wiki so that it correctly reflects the new structure? Because from personal experience, I can tell you, there were passages to the present day in the official Wiki that asked folks to go into JIRA and vote (not watch) to generate support interest from the Lab.
From AshaSekayi Ra:
Now, I'm curious. Will they also take away feature request JIRAs?
Considering that the new request JIRA section is part and parcel of the old JIRA section, which is transiting to the BUG reporting system? Yes.

From Cerise:
And, in six months, they will be patting themselves on the back for the reduction in bug reports, misinterpreting it as a reduction in actual problems.

In non-SL news, there's been a lot of extremely disturbing copyright actions over the course of the past few weeks. Not only Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech for the Hugo award, but NASA's own broadcast of the Mars Rover landing, and Michelle Obama's speech at the recent Democratic Convention, were cut short--or never aired in the first place--on mysterious "copyright violation" grounds. In each of these cases, the live streaming broadcasts of these events were being internally generated, and either wholly owned, or operating within full permissions being granted, for the stream. And yet.

We are living in the first years of an ongoing war. It's only going to get worse from here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I want to find some dark cloud to hide in here

[Zone #3] Lady Bacon@dontpanic3: STOP THIS SONG
[Zone #7] Mongoose@Alchemystic: Bahahaha Sapphire can't sing for %(#).
[Zone #3] Lady Bacon@dontpanic3: dammit sapphire
[Zone #3] Lady Bacon@dontpanic3: you suck at singing

Basically, it breaks down like this. Champions is celebrating their third anniversary of operation (it just ended today; I started writing this a week ago). To commemorate this, they recycled the song for their second anniversary of operation...which was also the song from their first anniversary of operation.

How bad is this song? Think of the most overprocessed, bubble-gum poppiest Hatsune Miku song. Record that song. Then give that song to a sixteen-year-old girl with a web-cam to record a cover version of.

It still wouldn't be as bad as Sapphire's version of the "celebration" song.

[Zone #6] Summer@dragonmp93: she sings in spanish?

Near as I can tell, yeah, about a third of the so-called "song" is in another language. I can't bear to listen to enough of it to name which one, though.

[Zone #6] Kira Synth@MCsnipin: T_T my.....ears......they died...she killed them.

We feel your pain.

[Zone #7] WraithHawk@ModernMyth: OH GOD NOT THE SONG

Could be worse. You could watch her dance.

[Zone #1] DarkFire@mattcus1: At least she's better then One direction

Not by much.

(Oh, and if that last video looked familiar? It's because One Direction--or their video director, Declan Whitebloom--was largely imitating the movements of the Monkees in the Monkees' theme song. Cue face of resigned disappointment, here.)

(And Declan Whitebloom's site really explains all you need to know about him, frankly. Lorem ipsum dolor, indeed.)

So, this next little bit I kept getting distracted from posting. It's worth the noting that I was not in a particularly agreeable mood when this exchange took place; but I like to think that at least it resolved in a less confrontational space.

It all started out when someone challenged me to a duel. Red and white costume, typical spandex hero gear, symbol I didn't quite connect to anything across his chest. I said no, in no uncertain terms, and then told him why:

Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Get real, your name is Captain Turkey.
Captain Turkey@Aruza: What?
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: I don't duel. Period.
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Not with you, not with anyone.
Captain Turkey@Aruza: You afraid.
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Of what? You?

Cue audible snort, RL, from the me.

Captain Turkey@Aruza: Yes.
Captain Turkey@Aruza: You afraid from me.
[Zone #2] Vespa@CanisErectus: Yes Power, you have 3 hours (?) Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: You're moderately amusing, but nothing to be afraid of.
Captain Turkey@Aruza: You racist.

I'm...what? Racist. Because I won't duel?? What now?

Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: *laughs* How can I be racist of a cartoon superhero?
Captain Turkey@Aruza explains the battle plan to Annika Ember.
Captain Turkey@Aruza listens to the battle plan for Annika Ember.

I'm going to go out on the limb here and say those are random emotes. Because I certainly wasn't saying anything about battle plans.

Captain Turkey@Aruza: You are racist hero.
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: No. I just don't like duels. I don't do PVP.
Captain Turkey@Aruza: But its not a reason to insult my name.
Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Had I not run across you asking me to fight you, I wouldn't have insulted your name.

Now--while that is true--he also had a point. Mainly, just because I'm in a bad mood, there's no excuse to insult someone based solely on their name. He's right.

It also made me pause a bit, and I extended what I could in the way of apology:

Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: But for the record, if you're talking about the country, not the large flightless bird, then it's a fine name.

Because seriously, I'm being geocentric--I'm an American, we hear "Turkey", we don't think about another nation, we think about the Festival of Overeating.

Captain Turkey@Aruza: Okay okay. Good games.

And he flew off. So, he thinks I'm a jerk, but I'm hoping I at least convinced him I wasn't racist on top of it. I can live with him thinking I'm a jerk.

[Zone] Hung@iteamalot: The nothingness is coming
[Zone] Cerulean@Alchemystic: They look like good, strong hands, don't they?

Random bit of chat from elsewhere. And from tonight's chat insanity:

[Zone #7] Mortimer Blake@NightErrant: I have a plan to deal with Dr. Destroyer! I need 200 yards of frilly pink silk, one ton of tinfoil, and a truck load of makeup in bulk.

I'm for this plan. Who's with me?

And later still:

[Zone] ADRYAN@adytza100: this is unlimited?
[Zone] ADRYAN@adytza100: gingerbread
[Zone] ADRYAN@adytza100: is limited?
[Zone #1] Miss Adventure@FlyingFinn: if you eat it...
[Zone] Annika Ember@EmillyOrr: Gingerbread?
[Zone] ADRYAN@adytza100: trde for this become?

There's a "Become Gingerbread" costume in Champions? I don't understand.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

time has no time for us anymore

[Broadcast] Hostillian: For the record, Lord Recluse was going to conquer Paragon. Just an FYI for all of you.

Well, at least we know.

Skipping from City to random Champions conversation...

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: Would anyone be able to sell me Fire Flight Travel Power?
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: You can't sell travel powers.
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Uh... Fire Flight is a standard power.

So, this is the breakdown for the uninitiated. In Champions Online, there are travel powers, essentially different ways superheroes can use to get around the city. Things like flight, super-jumping, super-fast running...In Champions they get occasionally more arcane: things like traveling around as a puddle of ooze, or dissolving into a stream of black scarab beetles and using their multiple legs to move you places. There's also a fire flight power, which is what it says it is--flight, while on fire.

[Zone #3] Network@-The-Mighty-One: I will sell you that Flight tp, just give me your name, bank details.. credit card.. etc..
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: For gold yes

He still seemed to be missing the point. It's a travel power, it can only be unlocked at a certain level, or purchased from the C-Store with the in-game token currency, the Zen.

[Zone #3] Gloom Beast@misterhammermk1: I"m gold, just got the mission to come here, and it's empty
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: There's no gold in this game.

Now, this was a fairly random comment, with something that doesn't make much sense as a response. But just to differentiate: there are two levels of player, since Champions went free-to-play: silver (which is everyone who doesn't subscribe) and gold (which indicates the subscribers). Gold, obviously, gets more benefits--they get a monthly Zen stipend, they get certain for-pay abilities for free, they have more costume options and more travel powers available.

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: Subscribers
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: There are resources, Questionite, Zen, and recognition.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: holy crap... a technicality nazi, and he still gets the context wrong

He does seem to be, yes. But I'd also point out that beyond the simple subscribers notice, there is gold in the game--of a sort. Beyond the Zen (which has to be purchased with large amounts of Questionite, earned through missions, or from the cash shop, for actual RL currency), there are various forms of "recognition" points--for those who play City of Heroes, that's similar to the various forms of "merits" handed out--as well as Questionite (earned through completing boss-level fights), and the three trade currencies.

[Zone #4] Core@Ashlocke: Gold, Nilver and Loppers

Yeah, that's the somewhat amusing thing. There are three listings for in-game coinage: G coins (which are called gold, and are gold-colored), N coins (which are silver) and L coins (which are copper). Rather than make it something simple and understandable--gold/silver/copper--they went with gold as gold, silver as N coins, and copper as L coins. Hence, gold, nilver and lopper. Well, what else are we to call them?

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: gold as in gold sub, as in NOT silver, was the context
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: So i guess no ones selling me FireFlight
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Because it's not possible.
[Zone #4] Deep Cut@preachmore: u cannot sell travel powers apart dark speed wich is a device

Well...yeah. Because Dark Speed is a device that makes the hero run fast, it's not a travel power, per se; it's a device assist.

But DarkFire still doesn't quite seem to understand.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: I reckon somebody would if they could, but you can't trade powers.
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: i'm trying to get questionite
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: By that response, would seem like you were 100% oblivious to gold being a subscription term, hence the correction would be moot anyway

I suppose that's sort of fair, at least--why bother to separate out what he's trying to say, when what he is saying, understandably, is wrong in the first place?

Still, now it gets even more confusing: he's trying to buy a travel power he'd have to pay Zen or subscribe as a Gold player to get, with gold or Questionite? Really? Does he even know how Questionite is given out in the game?

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: most of the surveys you have to pay for anyway
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Half of them put a nice virus on your computer.
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: I did one free one but didn't get any zen
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: the surveys are a joke
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: yesh

On that, at least, we're in agreement: the current survey structure through Peanut Labs seems to be less than reliable. Think this through: Questionite in game currently goes for between 165 and 180 Questionite, per Zen. It's vastly inflated, which is odd, because Questionite is occasionally annoying to get. One would think there'd be a switch in priorities--more Zen given per Questionite, because Questionite can really only be earned by completing a series of daily missions, most of which require either time or moderately high levels to beat.

Unfortunately, that's not the case, because regardless of how annoying it can be to earn, Zen can only be "earned" by being a Gold subscriber, or by paying actual RL funds to get it. So, Zen becomes the premium acquisition.

Bring this back to Peanut Labs. Peanut Labs goes by the perimeters given by the game. The only other game I've dealt with that uses them was Runes of Magic. And, in Runes, it was fairly clearly stated up-front which offers would give what amounts of diamonds, but I only remember a couple of times where an offer said they'd pay out, and then didn't.

Contrast this with Champions Online, who seem to have given Peanut Labs no controls to operate within. Thus, there's a lot of offers that are bugged--id est, that say they're going to pay out Zen, and never do. There's even more offers that are thinly disguised (and sometimes not so thinly disguised) attempts to gain as much personal information as possible from the player--while still never paying out Zen for the cack-handed attempts. At this point, when the surveys are discussed in world, seasoned players generally advise new players not to do the surveys.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: You have to give them answers they want to be given the zen

True, which is the case with most surveys, but in the case of Peanut Labs, it's not even that. It's still more that the "surveys" offered are actual scams, and they won't get you Zen, they'll simply get you hacked.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Not every offer actually gives you the zen it's supposed to. Which sucks.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: they put it that way so u have to pay...more
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: But they only give you 3-5 zen...
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: 3 zen?
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: still better than no zen
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: For videos, yes.
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: ANd that's worth 3 zen to you? Do you know how many 15 second videos you'd need to buy a costume pack?

Again, let's break this down. A standard speciality costume pack costs 475 Zen. Watching video offers (mostly advertisements for services or commercials for products) gains you 3 to 5 Zen per each video watched--and that's if you get an offer that pays out.

Assume that all video offers pay out that 3 Zen standard. You'd have to watch 158 separate videos (and all videos run between 30 seconds and a minute and a half on average). That works out to, what, about two days of video time?

It's cheaper all the way around just to buy the damned Zen.

[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: play the video, turn the volume down low. (not on mute or it won't count) and play C.O.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: i really don't get why companies are "trolling" for advertising schemes
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: It makes you want to buy points
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: Which they then make money
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: you only watch an ad by choice, for a few coins, and they're the bad guys?

In a limited sense, yes. Because Cryptic/Perfect World Entertainment put no restrictions on the types of offers they wanted to be associated with their game, they get a mish-mash of advertising vids, surveys wherein the survey taker must pony up financial info, or actually purchase something, just to finish the survey, and outright graft for player info.

Peanut Labs is not an ethical company. But they do (reasonably) curtail their obvious bids for player data if told by the hiring firm paying their service fees. So yes, I do think Perfect World is at fault for not specifying these controls.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Okay, wise guy. How many videos are up at a time? 5, maybe 6? A day.

That's the other problem. We can't simply take a day, watch thirty videos, then get on with our lives--pushing aside the simple time sink that would be, they never put that many videos up at one time, because they want to drive players to the payout offers, over the 30-second commercial ones.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: That's 32 days.
Accounting for a standard five videos per day, yeah. Again, it's far cheaper to just buy Zen in the cash shop.

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Yea i sure have the patience and time to watch those stupid videos
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: Because it -WILL NEVER- be fixed. They are focusing on PWE games and they are updating sto.. Why? because STO makes money.
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Hands up anyone in this conversation besides me that was part of the Beta.
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: This game doesn't make as much money as STO. e.g. why they don't really give two craps about this game atm.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Who cares if youve been playing since beta?
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Well, anyone who cares about accuracy in the context of what it was before PWE?

I find this fascinating--remember, these aren't the new players to Champions, these are established players, some subscribers even. Yet while in City of Heroes, there's a built-in respect for people who beta-tested the game, in Champions, that seems to be the set-up for instant contempt on the part of the player base, or at least scattered bits of the player base. Why?

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: CO has has bugs forever, even before PWE took over
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: people just tend to notice the bugs more, because they never get fixed to it's everwhere and not just in few places now

Can anyone say, Second Life? I knew you could.

[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Here's a thought: if you hate it so much, go play DCUO. All you're doing here is polluting bandwidth.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: No one said u have to buy em, duh
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: Well I think our trolling has kept Shen from his delightful game of Fanwankery: The Sony Edition.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: Well i would suggest every player that wants CO improved write a letter and send it a copy to PWI HQ and Cryptic head office, writing a letter still has more impact to date
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: They dont listen, skrcarkden
[Zone] Nicole@sngl8: Wait, what's this "writing" and "letter" thing?
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Well, they certainly don't listen to people complaining in Zone about it.

Rarely if ever.

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Im opening your eyes, not complaining
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: and Im telling you my opinion
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: No, you're suffering from confirmation bias.

It's possible, but it's more likely he's just saying Cryptic and Perfect World are as disconnected as the Lindens are.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: No you're complaining bro.

That too.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: Well just one person sending a letter def won't mean much
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: The freedom of speech, ever heard of it?

Okay, again, for the folks in the cheap seats--it's a privately-operated virtual server running a game. There ARE no "free speech" issues, because there is no free speech preservation for a video game.

Okay? Okay. Moving on.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Nicole, it's an ancient method of transfering data wherein one person scratches graphite onto a piece of paper, and then sends it to another, who reads the scratches.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: but if lots of people do it, they might take more notice

True, which is what we're hoping with City of Heroes. (To that end, more fun news--today, we gave the entirety of the Paragon Studios former staff dinner out. And there's more activities in-game planned for later in the week, and the week after.)

[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: You're free to your opinion. Just like I'm free to point out when you're ignoring everything that contradicts it.
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: Yes the freedom of speech allows all people the right to voice their opinions freely, but you lost your credibility when you started comparing Champs to DCUO.
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Only the truly ancient, or anyone over the age of 20, remembers writing letters.

Well, I guess I fit both at this point--hells, I was ancient at age eleven--but come on, has letter-writing fallen that much out of favor? Why?

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: why? is it bad to compare
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: The reason why CoD and ME's fanbase age average is 12-14 is because they're susceptible to the aggressive advertising. That includes - but isn't limited to - bribing reviewers, hiring employees to -
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: - censor bad comments left on their videos, giving their employees the right to lash out at consumers who complain.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: COD Has a...meh community
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: like idk. its like all the retards are gathered in one game

Well, but that's mostly just the player base. What "Deeplove" is talking about is actual employees that are hired to run interference for Call of Duty's shortcomings.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: In short, they control the media that is centered around their game and effectively lead what they believe is a fanbase.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: That is corruption, my friend

Actually, no, that's closer to aggressive marketing. Corruption would be when they started killing players who spoke out; but it's still possible to say negative things about Call of Duty, or the studio employed to run it.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: HELLO GUYS
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: DO U SPEAK MY LANGUAGE?
[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: No
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: I can't read caps

Brilliantly well put, Dragonstorm. Kudos to you.

[Zone #4] Light cygnus@frodo56140: DO you have any problems?
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: yeah i have a problem
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: yes, a keyboard that cant spell

Eh, I think that's more user error, really. Don't blame the keyboard.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: dragonstorm nobody does da proper engalish in internetz
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: righting proper grammar is for english homewor

"Homewor"? "HOMEWOR"??? You're too lazy even to end words properly??

[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: you don't write grammar, you use it


[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: i dont talk like i type

Thank God.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: fingers and vocal cords not same thing

I give up. Because obviously she's missed the point of the entire conversation BEING WRITTEN DOWN, WITH NO ONE SPEAKING...

[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: who said anything about you talking? when it was all written

HA! I wasn't the only one to notice that!

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: bunch of grammar grandmas

I'm sure you meant that as an insult, dearie, but I take it as a mark of pride.

[Zone #3] Blackjack@Inspektor_Herring: Is there a superhero based on semantics anywhere?
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: wat is semantics
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: alt tab and google it for me
[Zone #2] Reaper@ReaperOxide: This is a chat, not a phone. You can at least try.

Yeah, because at this point, she's sounding almost too lazy to breathe in and out.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: no reaper
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: I won't.
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: No.

So...not just lazy, but actively embracing being stupid? Go her. Proud day for the advancement of feminine intelligence, people.

And then, one day later:

[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: Oh no...shes singing again
[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: someone shoot her
[Zone #2] Storm Hawk@kbit08: She's singing for YOU!
[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: I have the gun if someone has the bullets

I'd insert something in here about how violence against women begets little beyond more violence, even in the virtual sense, but...she's a really, really bad singer. It's hard not to agree.


[Zone #1] Rough and Tumble@Cronicle: It is getting wto wheere a redheaded Cyber girl cna't get a dany descent girl talk in this game!!*pouts*

Well, if that's how you talk normally, I don't imagine so. More from the trenches later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

but yesterdays have no importance, they were devoured by stormy seas

From a Skype conference of friends:

[2:32:57 AM] Emilly Orr: "Aphiel Sielyr Cassielah"
[2:32:59 AM] Emilly Orr: The bio:
[2:33:50 AM] Emilly Orr: "The Physicals:
Height: Seven Feet, Three Inches.
Weight: Two Hundred Thirty Five Pounds.
Hair Color: Ashen Silk with Crimson Tints.
Eye Color: Bright, Sparkling Ruby.
Wing Color: Jet with Crimson Streams.
Bust Class: E."
[2:34:19 AM] Emilly Orr: "Race: Fallen Astral Deva (Erinyes)
Original Home Plane: Celestia.
Current Home Plane: Phlegethos."

Okay, so she definitely wins points for Most Pretentious Character Name. But she didn't stop there. I'd also point out that no woman on the planet would refer to her bust size as a "Bust Class". Period.

[2:36:14 AM] Emilly Orr: "[Face/Head]:
Aphiel's face is composed of sharp features. A deviously knit brow brings a valley between the curves of her forehead. Ashen bangs of strewn silk decorate over the smooth surface almost always. The devil's eyes burned of lasered, ruby fire, and her plump, plush crimson painted lips almost always held a pouty allure of twitchy prowess over her facial expression. Aphiel's mane was long, and very well cared for, and was almost always scented a sweetness that resembled a vanilla hinted rose of sorts."

Okay, let's talk about this "ashen silk" nonsense. Silk is a fabric. It can be a substance. It can definitely be a texture. IT IS NOT A COLOR. "Ashen silk" means NOTHING to anyone with a brain.

Also, she flew off before I could grab a shot of her, but she had black hair. Black hair with red-streaked bangs. So "Crimson Tints", okay, fine, I'll buy, but "ashen silk"? Bite me. You have black hair, deal with it.

[2:38:36 AM] Emilly Orr: "[Waist & Up]:
Aphiel's body was toned, but at the same time her figure was incredibly curvy. Sharp angles dipped downwards into sultry valleys before rising up to crest over tightly curved swells in rolling out into the plumper feminine features. Hips were full, rounded to a honed curve, and softness, but beneath the thin padded layer of smoothness was the mass of her muscled form. The surfaces of her right arm were almost entirely decorated in fiery inklings of red, and orangish yellow flickered licks. Talons were long, incredibly sharp, and painted a bright glossy black. Apheil's back was completely overshadowed in it's prowess by her massive wings. Sixteen foot spread, jet feathered."

Um. So she's muscled yet curvacious, with sharp planes and angles (which are in no way evidence of femininity, just pointing that out) that somehow, manage to land like tsunami waves onto the "plumper" feminine features. Bwuh? Also, she has full lush hips that still manage to reduce to sharp angles? That doesn't work.

And how many "surfaces" did she have on her arms? I think she means, she's got a lot of tattoos, but that's not what she said.

[2:39:39 AM] Emilly Orr: "[Waist & Down]"
Aphiel's waist was slim, curvy, tight, and extremely powerful. The curves of those hips roared out to just slightly overtake the lateral reaches of her bustline above bringing together her hourglassed features. A pair of choice pants that left absolutely nothing to the imagination. Toenails painted red."

If you have a pair of pants that leave nothing to the imagination, and you're female, you're either in a Rob Liefield panel, or you aren't wearing pants. Flat out.

[2:39:50 AM] Emilly Orr: Oh, there is SO much wrong with this, least she had a bio?

Sadly true. People in Champions Online generally don't write bios, and they don't read them. I'm not surprised at this point, I'm just resigned.

Monday, September 10, 2012

in this world, love lives no more

One day in City of Heroes...we heard rumors of oddity in Pocket D:

[Broadcast] Lucki: Whatever it is keeps moving around now and then like a person
[Broadcast] Lucki: MAYBE ITS A GHOST.
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: The D is HAUNTED!

Basically, we were in Pocket D--a cooperative, damage-free environment--getting damaged. Getting damaged a lot. By invisible forces who occasionally manifested toxic smoke clouds, brilliant beams of white light, or burning blue flames.

[Broadcast] Achaica: the DARKNESS
[Broadcast] Jessye Jaymes: Why, did you use magic missile?
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: We're fighting the nothing. How existential.
[Broadcast] Lucki: Neverending stoooreeeee~

I remain amused that someone got the reference.

[Broadcast] Mind Spike.: What's with the burney treats?))
[Broadcast] Dan the Dangerous: (devs forgetting thier toys)

Actually, no. Tunnel Rat came into the D, and just put random damage patches around the dance floor. Also, he rezzed out Mynx and Luminary, two named NPCs, up near DJ Zero.

[Help] Celerin: if you have any skills that are useful, you should get in touch with the Titan network or offer your expertise, Coding, Legal, korean, Advertising, Business or whatever else they need.

It's a good tip--just go to Titan Network's site, and poke about. If you have any of the above skills, and are willing to donate them to the cause, TonyV would be appreciative of the help.

[Looking For Group] OZREAL X: anything is worth a shot. ther is a switch. a game where you save people now has people trying to save it. if nothing else then we have learned what this game is really about. there is a hero in us all.

That's a good thing to remember, too. Win or lose, we came together. Anything we do, we have more power if we don't do it alone.

[Help] Phantom of the Verse: send certified mail to Mr. Taek Jin Kim, CEO
NCsoft Corporation
1501 4th Avenue, Suite 2050
Seattle, WA 98101

Also good to keep in mind.

[Help] Viridian Storm: Be nice
[Help] Viridian Storm: ...or at least polite.

Because, when you're involved in a protest, you should always try to keep your cool.

Then again...

[Zone #3] Frost Ice@alodylis: why think when i can not think

From Champions comes great wisdom.

Maybe I have been thinking too much.

Also, more on Sapphire's singing in Champions:

[Zone] Bliss@PennyDreadful: Oh god...the SONG!
[Zone #5] Ildela@General_Maximus: Disabled game music, having much more fun now. :p
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: its not the song, its her singing
[Zone] Bliss@PennyDreadful: Have mine turned down to 0% and I still hear her...
[Zone #5] Spellbinder@mijj: It will be with you forever
[Zone #5] Neutrox@superkiller10: oh wow she's singing
[Zone] Bliss@PennyDreadful: Kinda reminds me of Jem. But somehow, worse.
[Zone #1] Leo@Avianos: Jem is truly Outragous! TrulyTruly Outragous!
[Zone] Bliss@PennyDreadful: ...I just died a little inside.

So did we all.

[Zone #3] Edy@gh0st0fsm0k3: wth
[Zone] Suicide Queen@doctorvyle: MY EYES
[Zone] Suicide Queen@doctorvyle: MY EARS
[Zone] Suicide Queen@doctorvyle: WHAT IS HAPPENING HELP
[Zone #1] Leo@Avianos: *smooch* Goodnight Everybody!
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: come back and suffer with the rest of us
[Zone #5] Neutrox@superkiller10: TRULY OUTRAGEOUS
[Zone] Suicide Queen@doctorvyle: Sapphire has the exact same accent as Tommy Wiseau. What do I make of this?

So...she's quasi-European in a really, really affected sense?

[Zone #3] Glaive@MrHurin: *packs himself in a box*
[Zone] Bliss@PennyDreadful: The Anniversary Event should conclude with a fight against Sapphire. Winner gets to sew her mouth shut.

I will say for the record, I don't advocate violence against whomever sings for Sapphire. I just want her to stop singing, that's all. And apparently it's not just me.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

we were just getting to the part where the shock sets in

Second day of the third anniversary celebration in Champions Online, and Sapphire's still...performing:

[Zone] Russian Spetsnaz@weewoozesty: note to self dont use headphones during a ingame event
[Zone #2] NightWalker@smartbomb32: that's not much of a show :P haha

To be fair, she's not much of a singer. I did make the decision to turn back on voice acting, seems to be an overall game flaw. Whomever Champions tapped to do their voices...they're not...good.

[Zone #6] Lurimer@CloudsatDawn: phew missed it again
[Zone #6] Lurimer@CloudsatDawn: with her singing thats all you need
[Zone #6] Jaeger@DaedalusMachina: It's the top of the Hour! Time to go to !^&&^!( Lemuria

Yeah, and that's really telling, too: the fact that the player base would rather be anywhere else than within vocal range of the "singer" on stage? That's a handy tip to change your voice actress.

Another clip from Help chat on City of Heroes. This bit dates back to the day after hearing about NCSoft's move.

[Help] Max-inator: There is always CO or DCUO but they are not as good
[Help] Spider Vivi: F*** Those two, Don't ever mention them again
[[Help] Sugar Sparks: once you CoH nothing compares
[Help] Spider Vivi: give city of heroes to someone else, I put so much effort into this game. I can't. I can't accept it.
[Help] Spider Vivi: I f****** CAN'T
[Help] Operative Magnus: The second stage of grief, that is.
[Help] House of Whacks: floating belly up?
[Help] Otaku Assassin: Yeah. But contrary to popular belief, there's not a specific order to those stages of grief, and not all of them can be experienced in each case.

Whether it's mourning the loss of a love, a pet, a shared dream, or a game, grief is pretty much grief all around--some griefs are greater, some lesser, but the experience feels the same. I've noticed, though, that in addition to gamers getting very attached to their games, there's a perception that the loss of a game is somehow more relevant, more intense, more vital to life. If we take everything we know about adaptation and evolution, and rank it logically, gaming comes in pretty close to the bottom of the list. The basic survival needs trump just about anything else: breathing, eating, staying warm enough, staying dry enough, finding ways to keep the lights on and keep food on the table.

The thing about immersive games, though, from a psychological perspective, is that they can feel more real to us than working, than interacting, than getting enough to eat, to drink. Than moving enough to keep our bodies healthy and functioning. It's not just that they're easier to disappear into; but the very experience of walking around as someone else seems to disorient us. Our minds view our creations as ourselves, subconsciously (and on occasion, consciously).

This shouldn't be news to anyone at this point. Parents have let their children die because they wanted in-game experiences more. People have died themselves after multiple hours of gaming with no breaks, no food, no water. Granted, this is not the universal experience, this is the aberrant fringe, but it has happened.

In this light, what happens when our games die--when our virtual alternative selves die--can become, for some people, an emotionally equivalent experience to an actual death. This is key: while it's not the same thing, how it feels is what's important. Emotional resonance creates illogic, because at this point we aren't thinking, we're simply reacting. And we can feel as if we're reacting to a highly charged, intensely emotional event.

[Help] Operative Magnus: It still feels like a nemesis plot, to me.
[Help] Spider Vivi: it still feels like a joke, i can't think of it as anything else
[Help] Operative Magnus: Jokes are funny. This is not.
[Help] A Dumb Snowflake: Took the words right of my mouth, Magnus.
[Help] Screaming Patriot: When a company decides to pull the plug I guess thsi is how it feels. I don't blame the developers of guild wars 2 but I'm just not trusting NC Soft again
[Help] Spider Vivi: How do you make a company like NCsoft change its mind? Are we really that helpless?
[Help] Otaku Assassin: Yup. We are.

Maybe not. There was a lot of press after yesterday's rally. As I mentioned, Massively almost instantly put up their coverage (about an hour's worth, all told), and there's been a lot of mention on the 'almost-CNN' blog post of three days ago. But that's not the biggest news. Several authors and artists have banded together to save the game, with the most notable being the across-the-bow offer by Mercedes Lackey. To wit:
"I am going to make you an offer. I am a multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling fantasy and science fiction author. And I will offer myself and my likeness to endorse and advertise, exclusively, all NCSoft products for a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of ten years, for no compensation or payment, if you will make it possible for the game and Paragon Studios (even in a reduced capacity) to continue to function, either once again under the NCSoft umbrella, or until a new owner comes forward."

"I had in mind something like this: Advertisements with a photo of myself, imposed over a transparent image of one of my more striking characters, both of us in the same pose. Text: 'I am New York Times bestselling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey. Creating fantastic realms is hard work, and when I relax, I like to play in someone else’s world. I play NCSoft Games. Anything else is unimaginable.' The tagline for the ad campaign would be 'NCSoft: anything else is unimaginable.'
Let that sink in for a moment. Lackey has rarely endorsed anything, so the simple fact that this is that important to her speaks volumes about both the game and the community. But she's not just throwing this on the table to endorse City of Heroes. She's offering--for a minimum of five years, not to exceed ten years--of free, uncompensated, total endorsement of all NCSoft products, both those that exist now and any that might be created over the next decade--her power as a bestselling author, and as a gamer.

That's huge. Though we have yet to hear any response from NCSoft.

[Help] Spider Vivi: Protest won't do anything. They fired the team.

This is the down side--NCSoft did fire all Paragon Studios staffers. Some have already found new positions, because staying afloat, in these economically charged times, is generally better than hoping for a distant alternative future job to circle back around. So at this point, even if NCSoft apologizes and hires Paragon Studios again--well, who's going to be left?

And each day that passes makes the likelihood of the devs and the coders and the support staff to be free and available that much less likely, overall.

[Help] Foremost in Battle: the economy is at fault people don't have jobs or money and so some of the things we love are lost

Sad, but ultimately true.

[Help] Ivory Scorpion: I dont know if its the economy. This is pretty cheap entertainment. I mean... REALLY cheap
[Help] Foremost in Battle: I thought this morning what it must be like as a dev to wake up and your last 8-10 years of work is over
[Help] Sugar Sparks: best $15 I ever spent on entertainment!
[Help] Foremost in Battle: it must be very tough
[Help] Screaming Patriot: Yeah I never dropped my sub
[Help] Foremost in Battle: some folks are working in the background to see if the game code can be purchased

As far as I know, the attempt is still ongoing. No word yet on whether it will be successful or not.

[Help] Nina Fury: yesterday was my birthday
[Help] Nina Fury: I got a year sub for christmas


[Help] Sugar Sparks: does this mean we will have to pay by the month until shutdown?

No. When everything was shut down, everything was shut down--points can still be used in the in-game store, but the store outside of the game is gone. I'm still wondering what's going to happen with the rest of my subscription--I had three or four months to go. That's between $45 and $90 of funds I cannot use to play the game, so what happens then?

[Help] Operative Magnus: I paid for a year sub with my tax return last year. Had a few months left, too.
[Help] Sugar Sparks: I'd pay an extra $5 or $10 a month if they'd keep the game going
[Help] Operative Magnus: I felt like something might have been wrong when they opened the euro servers to us. Like a fool, I stayed quiet.
[Help] Screaming Patriot: They didn't need the Free to pay model. The game was surviving on it's on. To me they could've down sized a few of the servers.. that were low pop
[Help] Eve of Gaia: it seems they didn't have enough paying subscribers - they went free to try to attract more ppl in & entice them to pay (content on free is restricted). It didn't work.
[Help] Celerin: The game was making money. Freedom was successful.
[Help] Screaming Patriot: Then what's the problem?

Near as we can figure, Aion. Aion tanked in the second quarter, but, because it still has millions of subscribers, as opposed to City of Heroes' hundreds of thousands, CoH got axed to make up the deficit. I don't think it was the right move, obviously, and that this point NCSoft might be, just might be, reconsidering themselves.

But we have no way to know for sure unless there's a press conference or contact from NCSoft directly, again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

those who couldn't live yesterday (pt. IV)

(Continued from part III.)

[Help] Stormitron: we can do this!
[Help] tweterdfg: well looks like the "Occupy Paragon" movement is in ull wing...
[Help] Beestyle: So just hang out around the steps of City Hall, or if you want to, go to Atlas Park 11 if you can get in, where Massively is recording.
[Help] Figment Malaise: How can we hack the activists to say "Save CoH, Take a Flyer"?
[Help] Liquid Platinum: As a 6 + year vet, could I get a title?

I don't think anyone's left to give out titles, now.

[Help] Tanelorn: ok, what the heck is going on? why are there so many atlas's

There's always one who doesn't read the memo.

[Help] Teide: there was a save cox rally at 5pm est
[Help] Fragdoll: Time to head out. Work tonight. Thank you, all of you, sincerely, for such a strong show of support and for being such an awesome community.
[Help] MainBattleTank: Server flood
[Help] Lady of Broken Toys: there was a rally. there was a huge queue.
[Looking For Group] Electo-nerd: What do we want?
[Looking For Group] Mr Davis: Pizza?

Yeah, okay, I think in the short term, too. Pizza would be nice.

[Looking For Group] Electo-nerd: when do we want it?
[Looking For Group] Mr Davis: Now?

Anytime after now.

[Help] Matt Millionaire: 11 may be full, but contest is just to show support, nobody in 11 gets any prize that somebody else wouldn't. Hang out in some Atlas of your choosing and somebody will be by to look. If they like it, they may opt to hand out some knicknack.
[Help] Teide: There were 33 APs, a 300 queue to join virtue then freedom filled, then onto infinity plus other AP rallies in other servers
[Looking For Group] Electo-nerd: .... close enough [Help] Nephele: If anyone hasn't been involved with Titan Network before and wants to get started, now's the time. IM me if you want help getting plugged in to the Save Paragon City efforts!
[Help] Blood Eidolon: the power of love will save City of Heroes!

No, no it won't. But it's a good thought.

[Help] Lady of Broken Toys: [Help] I dunno, the power of love is usually pretty sticky.

That too.

[Broadcast] O r i g i n: How's the protest coming?
[Broadcast] Literal Lass: Tapering down. But Massively put up their rally coverage already:
[Looking For Group] Surge280: everyone should be dancing on the steps in our native people's dance, the Monkey, till we've saved CoH!
[Help] Socrati: power of love? lol.. more like power of money
[Help] Valdis Verdandi: Apparently Freedom is the same
[Looking For Group] Increbidle Hulk: Hulk like game

Apparently Hulk not like spelling, though. Which is a shame, since Hulk very intelligent, just very angry.

[Looking For Group] Mini Slowa: Yo Dawg, I heard you like city of heroes soundstracks and livestream, so I put the city of heroes soundtrack in my livestream. WHEEEEEEEW
[Looking For Group] War Witch: I heard someone say something about pizza...
[Help] SAVE.COH: just read the recap of TonyV's speech on the main forums. I'm glad to see that our efforts aren't going unnoticed. I'm proud of this community.
[Looking For Group] Moondreams: My controller is rocking the "Last Line of Defense" badge.
[Help] Lord Azazel: apparently we filled up virtue and freedom at the start
[Looking For Group] Sovereign Savior: I'm also last line of defense
[Looking For Group] Trollkin Claws: Credible Hulk appreciates the game for it's diverse character creation tool.
[Help] Teide: Masterpost of how to save Cox what you can do to help
[Looking For Group] Burp: HELL NO WE WONT GO!!! HELL NO WE WONT GO!!!!
[Help] Jenie in a Bottle: FB n Twitter all the way... :)

There was a lot of Facebook and Twitter action today. For one solid hour during the protest, #saveCOH was in the top ten trending topics WORLDWIDE. That's impressive.

[Looking For Group] Mini Slowa: Credible hulk has credibility.
[Help] Agent Naomi: Don't forget to bookmark - Keep in touch with your global friends!

That's what's been so amazing to me about this--most people really aren't going "wah, they're taking away my toys". Instead, they're mourning over the inevitability of friends drifting away (because they're long-distance friends), and astounding each other with how much positive, social good the game has done.

Don't believe me? There are people who went to AA after talking to friends in City of Heroes. There are people who dealt with the deaths of pets, children, siblings, spouses and parents, and got through it because of City. Hundreds of people met their loves, moved in with them, and married them.

Sound familiar? Second Life, anyone? But this goes deeper--there were supergroups devoted solely to having fun and helping people, over just leveling up and PvP. There were folks who played priests and doctors not out of any desire to cyber with other people, but to hear confessions and give medical support. (Not advice, support--things like, "Well, I'm a doctor and I'd start looking on this site" or "here's the number of the Dial-a-Nurse service in your area").

There was at least one supergroup who started because they wanted a place where any female hero was welcome--and they didn't draw the line at beyond-the-screen differences. (I know that, because that was the supergroup I was in.)

Want more? Second Life became a resource center within hours of Hurricane Katrina touching down--but so did City of Heroes. City of Heroes held multi-supergroup gatherings to get people in touch with each other in the Occupy movement. And there were innumerable people who realized the power of playing a hero could transition to other realms, and started getting active in charities locally.

This was not just another MMO.

[Help] Teide: They had 20 APs an hour before the start
[Help] Afro-Fist: Exalted representing
[Looking For Group] Xaladin: Face your death with some courage.
[Looking For Group] Atlas Park Bum: Spare change?
[Help] Temple Divine: I prefer my love in pills. easier to swallow.
[Looking For Group] Vis Viva: Ho-Ho Hey-Hey CoH has got to stay!
[Looking For Group] AmygdaIa: Going to head back to Champion for a server picture. Good luck folks. :)
[Looking For Group] Increbidle Hulk: closing CoH hurt Hulk
[Help] Electric T: Tell me its not true

And this keeps happening. People who just logged in for the first time in a few weeks, or months, even, and suddenly are hit with the game's closing. Some of these people just collapse; we've at least got the luxury of having dealt with it for longer.

[Looking For Group] Savage Protest: Link to TonyV's forum repose please?
[Looking For Group] River Guardian: How we lookin?
[Looking For Group] Xaladin: Lets hope this game stays online
[Looking For Group] Schwarzen Strike:,5017.msg46826.html#msg46826
[Looking For Group] Sparkus Saberus: Tnx for the link
[Looking For Group] Fairfield: We'll fight til the end, either way. Because that's what we do.

Yeah. It is.

[Help] Icy Pop: This was a very successful day even if Freedom did not fill up. Virtue was packed with 33 AP's and 350 in queue
[Looking For Group] Vis Viva: If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die with my cape on!
[Help] Star of Destiny: Amen!
[Help] Blood Eidolon: guys, if you want to really help CoH, send physical letters to NCsoft

Yeah, if you want to support the game, do not send emails. Send actual, physical letters. This is a page of direct NCSoft contact addresses, worldwide. And, if you want to write Nexon, the current major shareholders for NCSoft, and mention this to them, too, here's how to do that.

[Help] Electric T: Why are they shutting it down
[Help] Minde Bender: profits
[Help] O Sheet Lightning: realignment...
[Help] Haze of Fury: It's the "Coming Storm" we were warned about...
[Help] TameDragon: cause Aion and GW2 fail so hard they shutting down the one that actually makes them profit....
[Help] Dev-stiny: unknown reasons. Conjecture is non-income related reasons.
[Looking For Group] Final Alternative: wearing my 7 Year Vet title with pride
[Looking For Group] Smoking Mirrors: This is the world we live in. And these are the hands we're given. Use them and let's start trying. To make it a place worth living in!
[Help] Hell NO WE won't GO: CoX profits were, NCsoft were not
[Help] XIII Mastermind: Aion lost more money and GW was a hit
[Help] Rakuzion: stop the aoe heals the server already crashed once [Help] Literal Lass: Well, and don't forget "we need to shore up Aion, which lost 2 million in sales in three months"
[Looking For Group] Surge280: I'm just gonna say it now, the end of City of Heroes is the end of the world this year. Just saying...

It feels like that, yeah.

[Help] Hell NO WE won't GO: they spend millions on 'Blade and Soul' launch for Korea, development for GW2 and Wildstar.. things that do not show a return investment yet
[Looking For Group] MattPositronMiller: thank you phil collins
[Looking For Group] Cimerian Nova: this is our home not ncsoft s
[Help] Jay Dove: GW2 is doing so well they had to stop online sales for a while because they had no more room to put people on their servers.
[Help] Temple Divine: Radio Noise Zrrrt ." This is Temple Divine . . .I am standing by . .until . . well as long as it takes. As long as we have. There are survivors. Portal Corp has opened a gateway. .Zrrzzzt Radio Noise** ((Shards of Virtue SG Champions))

So far I've heard of two diaspora groups in Champions: "Shards of Virtue", and "Paragon Refugees".

[Help] Hell NO WE won't GO: plus, NCsoft has been showing decline in profit for a while now
[Looking For Group] Socrati: this feels like Armageddon :/
[Looking For Group] Kozzma: Thank you WW and all the Dev's for supporting US in City.
[Looking For Group] Star Ranger 4.0: Nooo... they took away your super dev buttons already ms Bianco??? ting , everyone.
[Looking For Group] War Witch: I know right???? I could have sworn they were RIGHT HERE....

And this bears its own little pain, because admittedly, I'd been looking forward to news of the devs, lurking. Throwing up design ideas in the D that never saw the light of day before now, and never will again past this point. (I'll be posting pics later, of at least the Nemesis Warhorses.)

But now, they have no admin powers. There may be nothing they can do past this point. Not to sound overly fatalistic, but I'm not sure the game's going to survive until November 30th, even, at this point.

[Looking For Group] Blue Gem: Lincoln Davis, NCsoft West director of corporate communications said....
[Looking For Group] Blue Gem: ..... "Both NCsoft and Paragon Studios are incredibly proud of the success of City of Heroes, but ....
[Looking For Group] Blue Gem: .... unfortunately, the continued support of the franchise no longer fits within our long term goals for the company

Yeah. That's depressing as hell, too.

[Looking For Group] Fairfield: Even if it is, we'll go down fighting.
[Help] Electric T: If they do cancel COH they can go out with a bang
[Looking For Group] Finnish: keep it real
[Looking For Group] Nessanthra: Thx to rvryone for coming out today. I hope the peeps at NCsoft are listening :)
[Space Vixens]Neo-Gabi: HI-K4R1 (Hologram 2): We had 318 in queue when I logged in today. O_O
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: Yeah, Freedom became the overflow server, then Defiant or something.
[Space Vixens]Neo-Gabi: HI-K4R1 (Hologram 2): Also people on infinity and champs last I heard.

Wait, people in Champions Online were protesting? ...Okay, that's kind of cool. I'll see if anyone posts about it, if true.

[Space Vixens]Hellslinger: {Stampede Sally}: Hiya Bell!
[Space Vixens]Literal Lass: Is a MIRACLE, I got in. :)
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: Hiya :)
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: I know people were here for this 12 hours ago.
[Space Vixens]ThunderCrest: me too and i wanted to slap them
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: I figured, I'd log on about an hour and a half early, get my cape and costume for Beyonda on blueside soe others can recognize Bell
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: After doing that, with 40 minutes to go, I got in AP 22...
[Broadcast] Witty Librarian: whats next
[Broadcast] Nuclear Gecko: The Cape supports Titan Network, Paragon Studios, and The Players trying to #SaveCOH. Tune in on your media player for a Heroic Soundtrack!
[Broadcast] Proteas: Well, I guess the server load is starting to lighten up a bit, my computer's fan isn't running at full speed and the graphics aren't lagging anymore.
[Broadcast] Witty Librarian: yay
[Broadcast] Witty Librarian: good luck, virtue server!
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: Bellonda: WEll, I'm back.
[Local] Razaar: Hello LIteral ...nice to see you again.

Yeah, I'm schmaltzy, I kept this in even though it's personal. Razaar is the big horned goof who married my wife (he married one of her Minotaur characters in City of Heroes; she's my wife RL).

[Local] Literal Lass: Hello there!
Stampede Sally lights the Afk on fire
Razaar smiles

It meant a lot to me, just to put this down in print, that he stood beside her during the protest. She's been a wreck through this whole thing, and needs all the support she can get. I'm grateful and honored that Razaar understands this.

[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: Bellonda: Ok all, I'm logging off for the day. take care everyone.
[Space Vixens]Forever Zer0: Bellonda: Remember to help out on our Guild Portal Forums with names and such!

A lot of the bigger supergroups are turning over their forums to contact information posts--where people are going, what their names are there, what their RL names/locations are, should they choose to divulge that. The diaspora has begun, but many are pledging to still remain friends and in contact after the game departs. And who knows, they may be right.

[Local] Razaar: Yes i was keeping track....It has been cool to be involved.
[Local] Stampede Sally: Me too
[Local] Razaar: It has been a glorious event.
[Local] Literal Lass: Dunno if it will change anything, but no one can say that over the past few weeks, we haven't TRIED.
[Local] Razaar: I agree....Though I hear Ncsoft is watching.

Let's hope they are. And keep in mind, for a while (at least on Twitter), the world was watching. I still believe that makes a difference.