Why I love house decoration in Everquest 2

I am pretty sure a lot of  the friends I made in Everquest 2 have been puzzled by my love of house decoration. That or they started thinking it was a good time to back away slowly when I started talking about it. In fact, I even agree to a certain extent that it is pretty sad that nowadays that is my main reason to play Everquest 2. Not so much for my passion for house decoration in a MMORPG, of all places, but because I just don’t enjoy the rest of the game as much. Worse I have yet to find another MMORPG with a more engaging gameplay and house decoration. My hopes right now are on Final Fantasy XIV for that but that seems to be far away in the future…

Anyway, why I love it so much in Everquest 2? To put it simply creativity. If that is so why am I not trying to scratch my creativity itch in another more fulfilling field like… say, writing or painting or something along those lines? Well…. That I don’t know either. I guess this blog does scratch my itch for writing though. I am not sure what kind of itch decoration in a MMORPG scratches.

The next question someone might ask would probably be, why aren’t you doing that in a game whose main purpose is dealing with virtual houses, like The Sims for example. This one is easy. In a MMORPG I am building and decorating a  house for nothing but my own amusement. In a game like The Sims I would have to build to please a virtual twerp so they don’t get sad. In fact I would be spending more  time worrying micro-managing the actions of said virtual twerp so he can get as close to happiness a virtual person can get than about building cool stuff. At least in a MMORPG my biggest worries are with the space I have to work with and the item count.

Of course, none of those answers really, well, answer anything. So I guess we have to dig deeper to see where it all began, what makes it so fun, why more MMORPGs should have decent house systems and why Santa Claus wear red instead of say… purple. Ok, I admit one of those topics won’t be actually covered on this post. But all the others  will!

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Saints with Guns

I am probably one of the few people on earth who was never much of a fan of Grand Theft Auto games or similar titles. I don’t know why. There is just something on it that doesn’t appeal to me. Even though it should considering I like sand-boxish games. But while reading some previews on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about Saints Row: the Third that game just somewhat grew on me. There was a certain charm about a gangster game that not only doesn’t take itself seriously but also try to go as over the top as it can.

So, in a move of pure impulsiveness and pure boredom I decided to buy it. Why did I do that with a game like Saints Row: The Third where there would be a big chance of me not liking it, thus wasting my money, and not with say….. Skyrim, which is much more my alley, with actual good reviews about it? Well, not buying Skyrim is easy to explain. I know Bethesda will eventually release a special edition with all the DLCs. So I figured I might as well wait and save some money. In the mean time I am pretending really hard that the world is suffering from some kind of mass delusion. They think Skyrim was released! But no! I know the truth! It wasn’t released yet! It will only be released when they make some Game of the Year Edition or something like that containing all the DLCs. Yesss…. I am the only sane person in the world! *adjusts his tin-foil hat*

Ah-hem. Please, pardon that small outburst of sanity. Now, to explain why I bought Saints Row: the Third is a bit more complicated… Part of it, as I explained, is because the previews made the game look really charming somehow. The other part is…. I guess I just wanted a non-fantasy game as most of the games on my pile of “To Play” are fantasy. More than that, a game where I can just run and go cause some mayhem without worrying about the morality of my character, the “seriousness” of the world/story or anything like that. Lastly, it is probably because I wanted to stretch a bit my comfort zone and play a game in a genre that, in the past, I didn’t enjoy.

I must admit though that until I got a chance of actually playing the game I did feel some regret. Thoughts about how much of an idiot I was for wasting money in a game I most certainly wouldn’t like, how I should have spent that money on Skyrim instead if I was going to do something stupid, etc. Fortunately, once I got to start playing the game, all those thoughts quickly vanished and I spent some solid fun hours playing the game.

Since just saying that doesn’t make for an interesting post, let me try to tell you what makes this game so good.

Just one caveat though. I am pretty terrible at these kind of  games. If you think that invalidates all my experiences with the game then feel free to stop reading here. Personally I think it just makes a for a better case for the game. It is already pretty hard to make a game that can please a broad range of people with a straightforward game. To do it in a game with activities as diverse as this one then, I would say, it is near impossible. Yet the people at Volition did it pretty well! My virtual hat is off to them!

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Thoughts about Final Fantasy XIV class reforms preview and Letter from the Producer Live II

Seems like there were a couple of news around Final Fantasy XIV while I wasn’t looking. The first one is a preview about the class revisions that should be coming with patch 1.20. You can find it here.  As usual for these kind of things, anything in that post can change before the actual patch hits the game and people can post feedback about it on the official forums.

The second bit of news is the second “Letter from the Producer Live” which is pretty much ye olde webcast from the developers but with a fancy title. You can find it here. The video itself is in japanese without any subtitles. However there is an english translation in the form of text in the same posting.

Both give some interesting preview of what should be coming to the game in the near and long term. A lot of it made me pretty excited too as there are some cool additions being added and more much-needed changes to the game. I won’t be commenting on every and each item as it would take a gigantic post for it. I will just do so with the ones I found more interesting.

I will most likely do a hand-on post about all these topics as soon as the patches come. For now, my thoughts about what we know so far.

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Tokusatsu and me

This is a topic that I’ve been thinking for a long time if I should tackle or not here…. Honestly, it is mostly due to a fear of embarrassment. Yet I get this urges to ramble about some of the tokusatsu series I’ve been watching or  watched from time to time. And although there are good forums specifically to discuss it I’ve been feeling to self-conscious to join them. I’ve finally decided to at least make this post about it though. After all there are far worse things to be ashamed of and tokusatsu is certainly not a bad thing. Plus writing it on my blog means I can write giant blocks of text without feeling guilty! Mwahahaha!

*clears throat* Anyway, putting the melodramatic aside, perhaps an explanation of what  this tokusatsu things is might be in order. To put it in simple terms tokusatsu is a live action show with super-hero like types aimed at children. Think Power Rangers and you are not too far off. In fact Power Rangers is not only based, but also use costumes and concepts, from one of the oldest tokusatsu franchises, the Super Sentai. It is much more broad than the team of super-heroes fighting the monster of the week though. For instance, Ultraman and Godzilla also fall under the tokusatsu genre.

Even though it is aimed at children they usually have themes that can be appreciated by adults too with some even having plots more complex that you would expect in a children’s show. There are also a few tokusatsu shows that have been trying to aim at an adult audiences too with some relative success. Garo is probably the poster child for this type of tokusatsu.

Ok. Definitions out of the way, let me ramble on about how I got into tokusatsu, rediscovered it and why I love the genre.

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Yet more thoughts about Final Fantasy XIV post patch 1.9

After playing Final Fantasy XIV for quite a bit I found my initial impressions about patch 1.9 changes to be inaccurate. Fortunately it wasn’t inaccurate in a bad way, quite the contrary. I am finding myself getting more and more hooked into the game.

Before getting into all that though, allow me a side note (which is getting too common in my posts….):

Massively is doing a “Choose My Adventure” series with Final Fantasy XIV. If you don’t what that means, it is like a “Let’s Play” where instead of just reading about a players experiences as he/she plays through the game, the readers can vote on what should the player should do before the next post. So if you are curious how Final Fantasy XIV is from the eyes of a newbie starting on the game now, you can start reading it here.

Well, ok, technically that is not the start, it is already the 3rd post with this particular author. The first one was to choose the game (which turned out to be Final Fantasy XIV) and the second was to choose the gender, race and starting town for the character. The post I linked is him actually starting to play the game. :p

Alright, with that done, back to my own experiences with the game….

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