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I Should be in Bed

June 11, 2015

Dear Reader,

I really should be in bed, but it’s the last school night, and I just can’t help staying up a little late.

Thought it’s been nearly two weeks, I finally heard back from a custserv rep from Riot who was actually addressing my leaving issue.  You may recall that after leaving a game, I was required to type in “I agree” in a box stating that i would not leave further matches.  While it’s completely unreasonable to care so much about such an unimportant topic… well, really, I don’t.  I’m enjoying Heroes of the Storm well enough; it’s not got the depth I’m used to – and it is real added depth, though I’ve read reviewers who’ve argued it’s not – but I enjoy it well enough.

Anyway, I won’t commit many more posts to this, if any (maybe one more), as I suspect the Riot team’s going to get tired of dealing with me, but I figured I’d let you know how it’s been playing out.

Greetings Summoner,

Sorry it took a while to get back to you.

After reading through your ticket I’m afraid there has been some confusion; let’s see what I can clear up for you.

Firstly I can verify that you were AFK in one game recently that did prompt this warning to occur. It is also true that I cannot remove this lock, I’ve even had to agree with it after the power in my area went out.

As you state, if you are going to continue leaving games in negative situations that I cannot condone that you agree to that prompt, and that it would bring this situation between us to a standstill. I say this because by queuing up for a game you are agreeing to follow the Summoner’s Code and play out each game to the best of your ability regardless of the situation. If you cannot bring yourself to do that then this game may not be for you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions,

<Custserv rep>
Player Behavior and Game Support
“Standing defiant in the face of adversity must be tempered with reasoned judgement” (emphasis mine)

Well, that’s a fair enough response, but the rep’s quote got me thinking, so I responded as follows.

<Custserv rep>,

I certainly understand your stance from both a professional and personal view; leaving a game can negatively affect players who weren’t guilty of the harassment.

Your personal quote, though, speaks of reasoned judgment, and I wonder whether or not it’s reasonable to expect players like me, who refuse to deal with multiple negative players on their team, to honor a code that a majority of my other teammates are not honoring. It seems to me that reason would dictate that if a majority of other players in the match (2 of the other 3, since I’d be playing with my wife as well) were already breaking the summoner’s code by being jerks, that removing myself from the situation would be completely reasonable. Muting one person is bad enough, as it not only potentially affects gameplay but also is the equivalent of sticking one’s head in the sand, but muting two seems very dangerous simply from a gameplay standpoint; not knowing what 2/3rds of the rest of the team is doing – lacking that communication – seems suicidal in a game so heavily team based.

In fact, it seems that blindly following rules whether or not they make sense in a particular situation is the opposite of reasoned judgment; it’s mindless obedience, which I can understand a desire for from your players but don’t really think you expect from such a huge and diverse player base. If I had just done what I’m sure everyone else does and typed “I agree,” even when we both know I didn’t, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. I have no real faith that Riot truly believes that everyone who types that they agree to not leave matches will not do so; in fact, I suspect, and I think you’re well aware, that it’s simply a documentation tool so you can later go after habitual deserters with their own words. I understand.

I have no defense for my actions other than reasoned judgment. I would prefer to be honest with you about what to expect when I face a wave of negativity from multiple teammates. I don’t think forcing people to type in statements that any of them who intentionally left – not due to an electrical outage – don’t really mean is the right response, for while it does provide you with a paper trail later, it only drives a wedge into the player/custserv relationship that already suffers from a credibility gap that goes along with such a statement.

In fact, I wonder what you would reasonably suggest one do in a situation such as that. If I simply ignore it, it empowers the harasser to continue to do so; their behavior is for the audience of the rest of the team, not just to upset other people. If I mute them, then I put my team at a strategic disadvantage that the harasser doesn’t really care about; if they truly cared about winning, then they wouldn’t be attacking their teammates in a harassing fashion. Both of these benefit the jerk and disempower the victim either through having to tolerate being verbally attacked or through having a communications disadvantage. Neither of these is acceptable, so what do you suggest to solve the problem?

If you truly cannot lift it, then so be it. I’m sorry to leave the game, as I’m sure my wife will be. Perhaps sometime in the future when a new customer behavior initiative is tried out and this one may be retired, you can let us know and we can return, but I can’t help feeling that you’re driving away honest and thoughtful players while empowering the jerks that caused them to leave the match in the first place. That’s the environment this initiative is creating, even if it’s only a few players and a little bit at a time.

I hope to hear back from you or others on your team on these troubling topics.

Reasonably yours,

I feel pretty good about this response.  Of course, it mostly refers to a somewhat arbitrary message the rep happened to have in their signature, but he or she opened that door by having it there.  I’m curious to see how they respond.

On other notes, I’ve been playing Heroes of the Storm.  I saved up 10k gold and bought Nova first thing, mostly because I like sniper-like classes and she had a big sniper rifle.  I think I made a pretty good decision, as I’m raking in the kills – bot kills, yes, but that’s all my wife wants to play.  Who am I to argue?

I’ve also continued playing Grim Dawn, a Diablo-style ARPG.  It’s pretty solid, but my buddy and I both had a mid-game hardcore death due to hubris – the greatest killer of heroes.  Don’t be in areas 10 levels higher than you are, no matter how easy the areas 9 levels higher than you seem to be.  My buddy died first, as he always does in hardcore modes, but after a poutfest on his part we dusted ourselves off and jumped back in.

I’m moving through Valkyria Chronicles, which I’m really enjoying; each combat mission comes with a rating, though, and I’m obsessing over my poor scores.  It seems to me that if I finish a mission with no deaths no matter how many turns it takes I shouldn’t be given a D – a “below average” rating.  ZERO DEATHS!  FULL SUCCESS!  How can that be below average?

At any rate, that’s where I am.  Tomorrow’s the last day of this terrible school year!  More on that another time.


Stubborn (a teacher, not a babysitter)

Lie or Quit?

May 31, 2015

Dear Reader,

I’ll be honest up front.  You can add this post to the “Stubborn makes a huge production out of basically nothing” pile, like when I got stuck in a zone in Star Wars and the custserv reps just kept not reading my tickets, but really I only had to wait 18 hours for my fleet pass (Hearthstone) to cool down.  I got pretty upset about that, since it was a waste of time, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t really that big a deal.

This isn’t, either, but I’m still quite irritated.  I could, realistically, type seven keystrokes and be done with all this.  But I don’t want to.

You see, dear reader, I was playing LoL again, apparently because I am a masochist, and was having a really good run of not having any jerks in my games.  I think I played fifteen or twenty games with no jerks, which might be a record.  I suspect this is largely because I played only bot games and no live games, which was my compromise to keep myself cool and composed.

The details aren’t really that important, but in the final game, the jerk game, the jungler came in with no warning and jumped into bot lane right into the two enemy bots and got shredded.  My wife and I had been retreating, getting ready to head to base and buy, but apparently we were at fault because “we didn’t watch the minimap.”  I pointed out a ping could have resolved the issue as well, but that only enraged the jungler, and his apparent ally in the game who started to jump down my and my wife’s throats.  It was the typical abusive nonsense spewed from frustrated children, but also as usual, I wasn’t about to sit there and listen, either.

So I left the game, and my wife did the same.

Yes, I’m one of those people who LEAVES GAMES.  I know that’s against the summoner’s code, but, frankly, I’m not going to sit there and let myself be abused by jerks.  “Just mute them,” you say?  No.  I’ve covered the whole “/ignore” situation before, and I’m not going to act like an ostrich and stick my head in the sand, either, pretending nothing’s wrong.  It was a bad situation, and I left.  I have no regrets whatsoever about it, and it’s not a behavior I’m going to change.

So after a half-hour or so I logged back on with my wife to see what was up, planning to play more likely-uninterrupted games without jerks like we’d had so many of, and found that the only way to continue playing was to sign a placard saying that “I agree” to not leave games anymore.

Well, I don’t agree.  And I will leave games.  So I’m presented with the choice to sign the placard and knowingly lie or just stop playing.  I put in a ticket about it, explaining my point of view, and got back the first-round “I didn’t bother to read your long, drawn-out ticket” response.

Below are the ticket and the response if you’re interested. I put the ticket in as a hijacked account and had to fill out a lot of nonsensical and unimportant information before the actual ticket, which is what the first sentence references:

Dear Sir or Madam,

After having filled all this out, it’s Leavebuster that’s hijacked my account. I refuse to type “I agree” in a statement about not leaving games, as I will leave a game if I am being harassed by multiple negative players. I won’t leave when it’s just one and end up punishing several others, but when being ganged up against, I refuse to stay in such a game. Since I rarely play anything but Intermediate bot games, the so called “punishment” is pretty minimal, since my leaving puts a bot back at base, anyway.

I am a middle-aged adult, not a child. I have more self-esteem and worth than to allow myself to be verbally abused by unmonitored children. It is perfectly reasonable to leave a volatile situation, and nowhere else in the world is one required to stay and put up with abuse. I am sorry to those who get left behind, but since I’m usually playing with my wife, who also leaves, and I’ll only leave if it’s at least 2 other negative players, there can be only one other poor person left behind to deal with the venom, and, frankly, they can leave, too. It’s their choice to stay or not.

I have spent some money on the game; I’m no whale, but I pay my part. I hope that you will remove the leavebuster lock on my account, but if you will not, I will simply migrate to another game, thereby voting with my wallet. I would prefer to continue in League of Legends, but being an avid video game player, I’m sure I can find another option if I look around. So, please consider unlocking my account from the current leavebuster lock. I will not agree to stay in a volatile situation.


Here’s the response:

Hello Lordonion,

LeaverBuster provides a warning the first time it detects a left game or AFK on an account. Intentional or not, the behavior still affected everyone else in your game. For more information on the revamped LeaverBuster system, refer to our FAQ:

We can’t modify or remove leaves. If you don’t regularly leave games, this shouldn’t be anything to worry about. If you believe technical issues are causing this behavior, we can investigate a solution together. In order to do so, follow the instructions in this KB and gather the following information:
PC: A Network Analysis, NetworkInfo log, a Process List, and DxDiag
Mac: A System Report, r3d logs, a Network Analysis, and a Process List

Thank you!

Player Support Specialist
Frost Archer of Freljord

Am I right?  Does it seem like this person even read my ticket?  I guess that really I am at fault; why would I play a game so filled with toxicity, especially on a Saturday afternoon when all the kiddies are playing?

I replied further with this:


Thank you for your response, but frankly, I feel like my ticket wasn’t read carefully, as this response has a lot of unnecessary information, and, if my request was answered, it was done so ambiguously.

Here is why I’m unsure. I asked about having the Leavebuster lock on my account be lifted, and the only quasi-response here was “We can’t modify or remove leaves.”

Well, I’m not sure what that means. Do you mean in my record? I wasn’t asking for that. Does this mean you cannot remove the Leavebuster lock? That would surprise me, but honestly, I can’t tell either way.

All the other information was unrelated to my request, as I never indicated that I didn’t know what Leavebuster is, which I do, nor that I needed help with my connectivity, which I don’t. I suspect, then, that upon seeing a long ticket, that only the keyword “Leavebuster” was responded to.

That said, if there’s no way for you to remove the Leavebuster lock – if that, indeed, is what you’re saying, then that is the answer. I will not agree to not leave games, so if you won’t or can’t remove the Leavebuster lock, then our business here is done. However, I would like a more clear answer that indicates my ticket was actually read.

Thank you for your time, as I know you’re very busy and this issue may not seem like much to you, but I assure you that it is to me.


So I don’t know.  I might just get it over with and knowingly lie, deciding to face whatever “harsher” consequences are later when I do in fact inevitably leave another game.  Or I might finally just stop.  Maybe this small affront to responsible behavior – leaving a bad situation – will be enough.  I really don’t know.



Stubborn (trying to knock down walls with my head again)


May 18, 2015

Dear Reader,

I’m such a sucker for sales.  In case you weren’t aware, Humble Bundle has had its spring sale going on recently, and I’ve bought an absurd number of games.

What’s the matter with me?  I don’t have time for these!  I don’t have time to even write anymore, but I keep buying – and usually playing – games.

Of most immediate interest to me were my purchases of Grim Dawn and Valkyria Chronicles (I actually think the latter was just on a normal sale on Steam, but I’ve bought so many games I CAN’T EVEN BE SURE).  I’ve been playing Grim Dawn with my buddy; it’s a pretty basic Diablo-style game, with a lot of zombie smashing and loot grabbing.  Usually, the D-style games don’t stick with me, but so far, so good.  I’ve liked the complexity of the loot options and character design; you can pick two classes to work with, and the gemming is a mix of stats and abilities, building on games like Path of Exile.

Mostly, though, it’s just a satisfying Diablo-style game.  Valkyria Chronicles, though, which I bought to play on my own, has been spectacular.  I choose that word in particular as the game itself looks almost like a Miyazaki film crossed with a Borderlands cell-art shading.  It’s graphics are beautiful; if you watch the videos for the game, that’s the actual engine the game itself uses.  The story so far is excellent, as well, so the cinematic aspect of it truly makes it a spectacle just to watch.

The gameplay stands on its own, too.  It’s a combination between a turn-based squad strategy game and a real-time shooter; you set up your squad as you can, then give commands to each to take a turn.  On that turn, you then take over control of the squad member and run around, take cover, and shoot, all the while trying avoid accidentally turning a blind corner into a tank or leaving yourself exposed to a sniper on the enemy’s turn.

Both of these games have been thoroughly enjoyable, and of course I have about a million hours of games left to play after.  Now if I just committed some more time to write!


Stubborn (barely blogging)

Endless Entertainment

May 9, 2015

Dear Reader,

Do you remember Black Isle studios?  Or Microprose?  Or even the early incarnation of Bethesda?

Those studios, to me, spoke of a kind of quality that made it safe to buy virtually any game they made.  They knew their niche, knew their strengths, and were good at producing games that we fans enjoyed.

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a strong loyalty to a particular studio.  Perhaps this recent distance is due to the apparent consolidation of small studios under huge corporate roofs; I don’t know.  However, over the past few months, I have noticed a new, recent attachment to a newer gaming studio: Amplitude.

If you’re familiar with Amplitude, it will be from one of their three Endless titles: Endless Space, Dungeon of the Endless, and Endless Legend.  Endless Space and Endless Legend are 4x games; I bought Endless Space years ago and played it quite a lot.  I enjoyed the complexity of the 4x game without the complication that some “grand” strategy games end up with.  I played it for many hours, eventually moving on to newer fare.  The game – and the company behind it – slowly left my awareness.

Until recently.  I had been playing Dungeon of the Endless without realizing its connection to Endless Space.  The resource system is actually the same – industry, food, science, tech – but, honestly, that could be a resource system for any 4x or RTS game.  DotE is an interesting mix of an RTS, a rogue-like, a tower defense, and an RPG.  In it, you play a party of adventurers who’ve crash landed on a strange planet and must escape the underground substructures in which you find yourselves.  To do this, you must explore the dungeon, find the exit, and – and this is the real key – then carry an energy from the first room you’re in to power the elevator exit while being under constant attack by monsters.  It’s a hell of a game, and it’s a lot of fun.

Then Steam offered up Endless Legend for a free weekend and cross-marketed it with Dungeon of the Endless.  Endless Space, which had fallen from memory, was there for sale, too, and it finally struck me: these were from the same company.  I decided to give Endless Legend a try and have found it extremely enjoyable; it seems to have all the strengths of Civ 5 with an added level of city and combat strategy.  The empires you choose to play are also extremely different, moreso than just a bonus to culture or a special building that gives extra faith.  More on that in another post.

How much have I enjoyed it?  Well, I planned to write this post two weeks ago, which was about a week after the free weekend.  Each weekend I’ve opened up WordPress and a few sites I wanted to link to, sat down to write, and loaded up Endless Legend “to play while I write.”

And this is just now getting written.

I think you see my point.

So, if you’re looking for an excellent 4x game or an intriguingly different RTS/RPG/Tower Defense, check out Amplitude Studios’ games.  I think you’ll be impressed!


Stubborn (not Endless at all)

Two Gauntlet-Style Gems

April 11, 2015

Dear Reader,

I’ve recently come across two gems that you might not have tried, and I wanted to share them with you.

As you’re aware, I’ve been leaning more and more heavily towards co-op gameplay.  As a result, I’m often scouring new co-op games for quality, depth, and play time (I’ve got to get my Ed Value!).

Through some blind luck and well-timed bundles and sales, I recently found Full Mojo Rampage and Fight The Dragon, both of which are excellent games that both my buddy and I, in all our scouring, somehow missed.

Full Mojo Rampage is a voodoo-themed Gauntlet-style roguelike in which you play a novice voodoo practitioner trying to help out various voodoo loa like Maman Brigitte, Baron Samedi, and Damballah.  You play through a series of levels, each of which is comprised of connecting boards in which you play with Gauntlet-style combat.  You must complete the entire level to finish each quest, but failing on a board allows you to keep all your progress and resource gains.  To fight, you get three abilities: a main-hand ranged attack and two secondary attacks based on your class.


If that were all, it wouldn’t have been so impressive, but alongside this design is the character development.  As you level up, you get access to new “classes” which have a wide variety of abilities: a tanky class with a shield, a totem class, a bomber-healer class, a wide variety of others that I haven’t tried yet (totem, my first choice, was OP).  Additionally, there’s a Diablo-style loot system with a ton of drops that you can only keep for each level (from board to board), which means you’re constantly adjusting your gameplay to match your best gear drop.  It’s a lot of silly fun for two players.

Fight the Dragon, on the other hand, is for up to four players.  While I haven’t fought the titular dragon just yet (as I’m not sure how devastating death in the game is, if it’s an issue at all), I have played through several boards with my buddy and my wife, and we all had an absolute blast doing so.

By chance, this game is also like Gauntlet, in that it’s a class-based dungeon crawl with a few basic abilities for each class.  However, the real joy of this game is the community involvement; most of the boards past the first few tutorial boards are user-generated content.  The game’s entire system was based around users making the levels, and the community has overwhelmingly responded.  I believe there were already more than 6,000 boards laying around to play last night.

The board sorting system is good, though it could use a few tweaks.  You can search by tags like “story” or “intense,” or by categories like difficulty or authors you’ve liked.  You can also just play the daily, weekly, and monthly “recommended” boards.  Each board, too, is rated with a simple up/neutral/down system.  One improvement I’d like there is a simple percentage of votes for each category, like Steam does, rather than having to figure out if 18 up/4 neutral/5 down is better or worse than 6,700 up / 1423 neutral / 531 down (it’s not).

Regardless, none of the boards my buddy, my wife and I played last night were anything but enjoyable, and they spanned from a Diablo homage with complex barrel-moving puzzles to a terraced desert with a hidden character named Michael Night to a classic Castle Rescue.  Each one was a lot of fun and required varying strategies.

So if you haven’t checked out those titles and are looking for some fun Gauntlet-style games, check these two out!


Stubborn (throwing down the Gauntlet)

Stubborn’s Getting Twisted! and Other News

March 28, 2015

Dear Readers,

I’m extremely pleased to announce that I will be the guest this Sunday on the Twisted Nether Podcast!

Head to at 8:20 PST!

I’ll be visiting the Nether this Sunday, March 29th, at 8:20 p.m. PST (or 11:20 my time).  You should stop by and join the discussion at  I’ll be chatting it up with Hydra and Fimlys on a variety of “surprise” topics (surprise only in that we haven’t discussed what topics yet, not in an “ambush” sense – or so I think!).  I’m happy to answer whatever questions you kind folks might have, and I hope to see you there!

In other news, I decided to move my hunter over to Alliance – DavyOrckett will not make sense as a name anymore, which somewhat defeats the purpose – and give him a try.  My wife’s been playing a lot of different characters and reported to me that hunters were currently the “most fun,” so that’s what decided the issue for me.

I’m proud to say, too, that in Crypt of the Necrodancer I completed my first speed run on one of the secondary characters (Melody) and came in #146 IN THE WORLD.  Of course there may only be a total of 146 people playing, or “somehow only 145” my buddy would say, so who knows how impressive that is.  You guess is as good as mine.

I purchased and finished the first episode of Life is Strange, as well.   I enjoyed it quite a lot.  It delivered exactly what I expected, a kind of Donnie Darko meets My So Called Life story.  I thought I was very thorough, but I apparently completely missed several interactions according to the end-game “decisions” report.  I’m curious if that’s part of the meta, though.  Since the game is about rewinding time to explore different choice options, I wonder if they expect you to miss them and “rewind” all the way back by playing through it again.  We’ll see; I’ll be even more diligent in the second part, which was just released, and let you know.

As for PAX, well.  It’s a bit of a story.  It involves personal experience with Ice Road Truckers, The Vanishing, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.  All of which might have made it interesting, but instead made it kind of exhausting, hence my silence since the event.  Being crazily sick didn’t help, either.  The PAX plague is real.  More another time.


Stubborn (and soon to be twisted!)

(Exit Music Continues) Part 2 of Liebsterization

March 10, 2015

Dear Reader,

Today we’ll continue on with the question and answer portion of the Liebster Awards, for which I was tagged by Dahakha of Star Fired Beef.  In our last correspondence, I broke under pressure and told eleven facts about myself (in which I included my love of grammar; check out how I used “for” in the previous sentence.  Sexy.).

Today, we’ll complete the questionnaire portion of the assignment and add to the forward momentum of this movement by asking eleven questions of my own to a set of bloggers I choose to abuse.

Without further ado, the questions and answers!

1) How often do you go out to a restaurant?

Shamefully often.  Well, sort of.  I eat out and in quite a lot.  Neither my wife nor I particularly like cooking; while I am overweight I don’t really take pleasure in eating and often view it as a sort of mechanical necessity; it’s just once I start doing so I have a hard time stopping if there’s still food in my field of vision.  As a result, we eat out a lot, which, while expensive, helps manage portion control (I can pack half up in a doggy bag before I even start eating).  I’d guess in a normal week where I could eat out, let’s say, eleven meals (7 dinners + breakfast and lunch on the weekend), we likely eat out five or so times.

2) If you could design the next playable race for an MMO (of your choice), what kind of race would it be?

Man, that’s a really good one.  I love the creativity that this question requires.  I would like to see something truly alien in an MMO; I can’t think of a single playable race in a big MMO that isn’t essentially a human in various forms and sizes.  Even the fuzzy trio of thingamajigs (Popori?) in Tera are still, essentially, a team of small humans (though I admire the creativity it took to let them work collaboratively like that).  I’d like to see something truly inhuman, like a gaseous cloud or intelligent cohesive sand.  You could do all sorts of awesome animations with them and it might be a challenge to the player or game designers to figure out how to have them interact with the world.

3) You have to spend the next year in a different culture. Where would you choose to spend it?

New Zealand.  Edoras, here I come.  I have the all-too-popular minimalistic feeling of Americans of my age, wishing I could go be a sheep farmer in a sleepy hamlet Somewhere Else.  Luckily I’m mature enough to realize what a silly fantasy that is, as I know nothing about sheep nor really want to have to birth another one (that story another time, but it’s for realz).

4) What kinds of things make you laugh in games?

I appreciate the well-timed joke, humorous allusion, and even insanely-irritating game breaking bugs (which I often laugh about later, if not at the time.  See all of my Star Wars posts).  It’s hard to do humor in games well simply because you can’t always assure the timing will land or that the player will get the allusion.  In Saints Row 4, a game I played under duress by my blindish buddy, there were many allusions I didn’t get, and he’s only a few years older than I am.  He would be laughing up a storm while I sat clueless.

If I had to pick, and I’m to pretend I do, I’d say the Fallout game series, particularly Fallout 2, probably had the “best” sense of humor for my taste.

5) Is freedom really free?

Where is this freedom to which you allude?

/startrant American freedom is only available to a select few of wealthy individuals.  Everyone else is already a wage slave in an already-existing corporate oligarchy as predicted by numerous science fiction writers of dystopian futures.  I hate to be a bummer, but there’s a reason the government doesn’t curtail the college loan business; people who have large college debt are forced to work jobs beneath their qualifications that may not make them happy to pay that debt off.  In the meantime, they run up credit card debt because they’re paying a percentage of their too-small wage to the previous debt, further enslaving them.  This benefits the businesses by providing a vast work force living in fear of losing their jobs, which benefits the government by the businesses keeping the same individuals in power through campaign donations.

A vast majority of the American population is wage slaves with little control over their lives.  And all that’s without getting into the consumer must-have culture we’re fed from our birth, further indebting ourselves for junk we don’t need. I don’t even have a credit card.   /endrant

6) Name a book that was better than the movie, and a movie that was better than the book.

A) Virtually all of them

B) Lord of the Rings.  THAT’S RIGHT; I SAID IT.  I love Tolkien, but as a linguist, he was obsessed with reading his own writing and WAY overwrote those books.  They’re beautiful, but that beauty can take away from the heroic epic that plays out within its pages.  The movies, while they do drop a few important parts, largely remedy that.

Also, all three of the Hobbit movies sucked, going from about a 3/5 in the first movie to like a 1/5 in the last.  Peter Jackson King-Kong’d it.

7) If you had no access to a computer/tablet/phone for gaming, what would you do instead?

Read.  A lot.  I do even with those devices.  Right now I’m reading the Magic 2.0 series, the Critical Failures series (a lot of potty humor in there, but it’s a nice, light, escapist read), and the Connie WIllis Oxford time travel series (The first was the best so far, but I’ve liked the others.  Seriously, if you haven’t read The Doomsday Book by Willis, go read it now).

8) What is the best pizza topping?

Pepperoni.  Sorry for the basic answer, but it’s something most people can agree upon, and it’s delicious.

9) Do you think raiding is a net positive or a net negative for MMO games?

Net positive without a doubt.  I think the insistence that “elite” raiding must be honed to perfect executions is a negative, and I think many games’ focus on efficiency is a negative.  I think both of those foci create a lot of tension for guilds and raid leaders, and I think it takes a pretty masterful leader not to slip into imbalance when faced with “personal” versus “professional” choices in what amounts to most of us as a hobby.  However, without an end-game raiding environment, there wouldn’t be MMOs.

10) Favourite alcoholic (or faux-holic) beverage?

So I don’t talk about this a lot, as it makes people weirdly uncomfortable, but I don’t drink any alcohol, nor does my wife.  I don’t have any problem whatsoever with others doing so; it’s not a religious or moral thing, I just suspect that I’m a control freak and don’t want to give up any of that control.  Caffeine and sugar are my vices, and they meet in soda, which is slowly killing me.

11) What is the one feature you would love to see in your game of choice that isn’t currently there?

Well, I’m going to politic this answer and not really answer what you asked.  I think originality is the most lacking feature in games as a whole at this moment.  As game devs are centralized under huge corporate entities, the demand for reproduction of previous successes has sapped the will to create from a lot of devs.  That’s why when I look for a new game what I’m most after is originality.

But it is  there.  I’ve written plenty on those three recent games that I lucked out and played back to back: Transistor, This War of Mine, and Crypt of the Necrodancer.  Each one has a wholly unique portion, whether it’s gameplay, world building, or ethical challenges.  Without a doubt the originality is out there, we just need to cultivate it as much as we can.

Okay, my turn.  Here’s eleven questions, or short writing assignments, since I am, after all, an English teacher.

1) Describe in detail something that makes you very happy.

2) Which blogger(s) did you find most influential when you started.  Have you contacted them recently?  Why or why not?

3) Do you have pets?  What are they?  How did you choose them?  Or if not, why not?

4) What game has influenced you the most over your gaming years?  How so?

5) Did you like school?  Why or why not?

6) On the same note, did you have a teacher who meant a lot to you?  If so, have you contacted them recently?  Why or why not?  And if not, why do you think you didn’t?

7) If you feel comfortable talking about it, what’s your biggest vice?

8) To balance that out, what’s your biggest virtue?

9) What movie / TV series / book / or music (or all of the above) do you wish more people had been exposed to?

10) What’s the most important lesson kids should learn when growing up?  Why?

11) Do you vote?  Why or why not?

For this interrogative session, I’m tagging

I hope I’ve chosen people who haven’t been asked to do it yet, as I found a few I wanted to tag who had.  Here’s looking for your responses!


Stubborn (interrogator)


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