Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto

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Of course GW2 has great support for parties, but they just don’t feel as necessary as they do in other MMOs, because your interests are always aligned with all other nearby players anyway. When someone kills a monster, not just that player’s party but everyone who was seriously involved in the fight gets 100% of the XP and loot for the kill. When an event is happening in the world – when the bandits are terrorizing a village – everyone in the area has the same motivation, and when the event ends, everyone gets rewarded.

Above is an excerpt from the recently launched Guild Wars 2 blog. Just wanted to take a moment and note that this new social system reminds me of the Public Quests found in Warhammer Online…except that everyone wins.

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Celestial Dreams

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Dreams do come true, in World of Warcraft, thanks to the recent addition of the Celestial Steed flying mount.  Celestial Steed? A new flying mount? Your probably asking what I did to obtain such a elusive piece of the heavens. Well, I can tell you that I did not:

  • Complete an epic quest
  • Slay a 1000 Murlocs
  • Or, visit the Galactic Temple high above Darkshore (surely you’ve been there!)

No, dear readers,  I simply paid $25 for this amazing downloadable addition — I love you Blizzard! –. I honestly think that the starry night sky shines brighter; that the very heavens gleam in approval of my new epic flying mount. Eat your heart out haters!

My horse from the Twisting Nether, Josie.

Still there? Good. I have a confession to make, I really didn’t spend $25 on a virtual horse. Why? Well…

  • $25 is almost as much as paying for a 2 month subscription.
  • You could buy 2 1/2 Pandaren Monks for the price of one girly-looking horse named Sparkle Fairy.

While I understand the want/need for downloadable content (money!), I just cannot bring myself to spend $25 for a virtual horse. For those of you who have, shame on you! You are supporting a practice that developers do not need to get used to. So quit it! NOW! You don’t need Sparkle Fairy. At all. So move along. NOW!

Story Corner – Greensburg

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Welcome to the first edition of Story Corner. Each and every Tuesday you will find a new work of fiction. Some weeks will feature continuations while others will feature all new works of art. If you have a small work of fiction you’d like posted, please feel free to contact JBG in the comments below.

Before we get started this week, I’d like to introduce our first piece, Greensburg. Written in a time long ago (possibly high school), this detective story begins with a hint of ugliness to it. Read on dear readers and feel free to leave some feedback.

.: Greensburg :.

The gasoline pumps have flowed like water, ever since Joey Boca and his boys rolled into town. Greensburg was a dot on the map, an oasis in the great Mohave Desert; a mere rest stop for weary tourists on their way to the Grand Canyon and other glorified holes in the ground. Off historic Highway 56, this blink-of-an-eye town rested. Flashfloods, lightning storms, and other natural disasters Greensburg had weathered. The day Joey Boca had arrived though,  he had brought a disaster that had taken over many major cities, the mob. Quickly the local police had been paid off and the church minister soon after. The town was infested and rotting with blood money. The stench somehow managed to drift all the way to the California coast, right into my office in San Francisco. I was sitting there at my desk when a dame with red hair entered in unannounced.

“Your secretary said you weren’t busy, mind if I sit down?”

For a dame of such bad looks she sure had moxy asking to sit down in front of me. Being a ladies man though, I motioned with my hand for her to sit.

“How may I help you Miss?”

“Honeysuckle, Mrs. Honeysuckle.”

The more I looked at her the more I could imagine how many times she had been hit with the ugly stick.

“So Mrs. Honeysuckle, how may I help you?”

She sat there trying to look pretty, batting those lash-less eyes at me. I felt sorry for her…but then I also felt sorry for dogs on leashes.

“I need help sir, its about my husband Foster Martino.”

Martino? I thought her last name was Honeysuckle! Things were starting to smell rotten, and I didn’t think it was her breath either.

“What’s wrong with your husband?”

“Nothings wrong, I’m just concerned with the people he hangs out with.”

That mole on her right cheek was really starting to get to me. A plastic surgeon would have a field day with this one.

Trying to focus, I replied, “What type of people?”

She leaned in real close-like and whispered through her crooked teeth, “I think he is apart of the mob.”

The mob huh, this wasn’t making sense at all. Guys in the mob usually pick better-looking dames than this. My interest intrigued, I decided to help her out.

“I think I’ll help you out. What is it you want me to do?”

“Go and snoop around Greensburg and find out what Foster has his hands in. I won’t stay married to a man of crime!”

With that passionate exclamation, she went running out of my office, faking a cry no doubt. At least she had some class not wanting to be married to a mobster. That still did not excuse her bad looks though. With my jalopy humming along, I started my journey towards this haven of crime, Greensburg.

More to come next week!

Friday Sing Along!

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Phew. What a long crazy week! As the countdown to summer approaches, I don’t know about you, but spring fever is hitting hardcore. Others around the world must be feeling this as well (even though its not spring everywhere). Below you will find a collection of odds and ends from through out the week. So sing along with JBG…

it's a world of laughter, a world or tears its a world of hopes, its a world of fear theres so much that we share that its time we're aware its a small world after all...

1. Number 1 on our countdown is a delightful story of a little boy with rage issues. You see, his parents took his keyboard away as a disciplinary measure. So, the kid bludgeons his dad with a sledgehammer while he is sleeping. Mom, scared stupid, gives the 14 year old his keyboard back. The kid takes the keyboard and plunges right back into playing games (which is why his keyboard was taken away in the first place). Scary. – For the full story click here.

its a small world after all its a small world after all its a small world after all its a small, small world!

2. Number 2 in the news of the weird this week, a Wii Fit accident leads to sexual addiction. Don’t believe me? Click on over here then for more. If you dare…

There is just one moon and one golden sun And a smile means friendship to everyone. Though the mountains divide And the oceans are wide It's a small small world (repeat chorus)

3. Finally, number 3 on our countdown is a bit of a cheat. The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a curfew for young gamers this week. For more on this click here or here.

It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all

And to answer the person who searched for “why am i paying $15 a month to be harassed by wow players”…I truly don’t know. 🙂

It’s a small world after all, it’s a small small world.

Song stuck in your head? Too bad.

Until next week. Good bye! Adios! Ciao!

Curfew

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South Korea: Known for housing some of the worst video game addicts in the world. Home of news reports regarding parental neglect/ infant death due to the parents being addicted to a popular MMO.

Earlier this week, the war against gaming addiction heated up when the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a new curfew for online games (as reported in The Korea Herald). The ministry is attempting to shoulder the personal responsibility some of its citizens lack. Baby deaths due to obsessive gaming are to be a thing of the past.

Under the ministries new ban, young players will have options to choose between three six hour black-out times. Lame titles such as Maple Story and Mabinogi are being targeted in addition to 17 other titles.

Could this be the end of South Korea as we know it? For a nation that sits on the verge of nuclear annihilation from its northern neighbor, I can understand its citizens wanting an escape. With a mandatory sentence — service! — in the nations military, I think it is only fair to let the young waste their time away. Perhaps the children should even be allowed to play for free?

Desperation

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A good quote from a USA Today article on the US deficit:

Bowles (Erskine) has been in touch with Microsoft‘s Steve Ballmer about creating a deficit-reduction video game that would enable anyone with a computer to take a stab at balancing the budget, much like the 1994 commission did.

Updated for 2010, Kerrey says, such a game could “go viral.”

*Oh yes, the video games will save us and show us the way.

*No sarcasm intended.