Friday, June 20, 2008

Exposition through dialogue

I am getting hits on my site from people who searched for this. Kids, exposition through dialogue is, for the most part, tacky. Don't do it.

FFXI interview

1UP has a FFXI interview up. My first impression is: Nomad Moogle in Selbina! w00t! If only I still played.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Concerto Gate

Square has released a new trailer for its upcoming MMO. I have no infor yet other than what is in this trailer, which contains no gameplay information. I loved FFXI, so I am excited about this one.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Funniest MMO Death

Massively has a blog entry up asking what your funniest MMO death is. Mine goes back to FFXI in the Valkurm Dunes shortly after launch. We were pulling goblins and flies to fight in the oasis out in the middle of the zone. I really had no idea what I was doing, it was OK because neither did anyone else. I was a Taru Warrior with no subclass, I had come to the Dunes after I accidently took a wrong turn on my way back from a Maze Maker party (we used to do those back in the day) and wound up running in terror across the length of Buburimu Peninsula to zone a Gob in Mhaura. While I was there I found the ferry to the Selbina, and hopped aboard for adventure.
The ferry ride was a nightmare. Someone fished up some tentacled horror from the dark depths of the ocean and we all had to cower below deck in the hold. Much to our surprise it came downstairs and OPENED THE DOOR! Luckily it ate a catgirl red mage who panicked and left me alone.
You have to understand that at this point I was a FFXI badass. I had made it all the way to like level 14 and a group of friends and I had partied up in Tahrongi Canyon and brought down one of the awesome Dhalmels, which we though looked a little bit like dragons.
I had spent the last few levels killing worms and running from ghouls in a tunnel, mostly it was running from ghouls. The funny thing is that due to the way the starting zones are set up I had only seen other Taru and Mithra. I had seen like two humans and a Galka. I had not even seen an Elvaan yet. This all changed when I got to the Dunes, the crossroads of FFXI. There were people everywhere. I spent a few levels killing crabs (this is the thing to do in FFXI, they are like Murlocks in numbers) and a group of mine headed to the oasis.
Mobs have different levels of behavior in FFXI. Some aggro under different conditions, some are passive, some LINK. There are a number of Leeches hopping around the oasis happily, they do not aggro. However, it turns out, they do link. They link like a chain factory on speed.
It is actually pretty easy to target the wrong thing in FFXI if you are not paying attention. We were fighting a crab when we picked up a Gob add on our White Mage. As I was the tank I quickly targeted the Gob and 'voked it. Except I pushed over one too many times and 'voked the Leech instead. The results looked like a Muppet lynch mob. I went down fast, but not quite fast enough. You see in FFXI a passive mob will not go on to target the rest of your group if they do not attack it or heal you while you are fighting it. Sadly our White Mage had just enough time to 2HR with Benediction (a massive group heal that hurts the WHM and heals the group). The Red Mage saw our WHM's life drop and started healing him, it was all over in seconds.
One of the coolest things about FFXI was you played with the Japanese players. You could communicate through the autotranslate function and through the emotes. The Japanese players had been playing for quite a while when the game was released in America. This was usually good for us because they were happy to share and help. I am not sure how many Japanese players were running by when I 'voked the Leech but there was an amusing number of /slap emotes thrown my way by people with funny names.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Drinking and driving

This post on got me thinking about the legal drinking age and driving drunk. According to the article 32% of all driver fatalities are due to drunk driving. 32%! Evidently this is down from 1984 when 45% were due to drunk driving. These are staggering numbers. But what do they mean?
I could only find readily available data back to 1994 but we can still take a look at it (source). In 2006 38,588 people were killed in accidents. 17,602 people were killed in alcohol related car crashes. In 1994 17,308 were killed in alcohol related car crashes out of 36,254 total fatalities.
How does this stack up with other ways to die? There have been 4092 U.S. deaths in Iraq so far and there were 822 in 2006. In 2006 gang related killings totaled 983 according to the FBI . Roughly 1 million people die of heart related incidents each year in America. 392 people died in 2006 from an unknown robber.
This means your chances of dying in a drunk driving accident are far higher than your chances of being killed in a random home invasion. 44 time higher! Yet we waste a lot of money on burgler alarms and still have no requirement for a device that keeps you from driving drunk.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indy IV: A scene I would do different

I saw Indy IV again with my wife this weekend. While watching it I was thinking about the first scene and what would have made me like it more. First when the Russians give the description of the box I would have made sure that they said nothing that could not be the box we saw at the end of Raiders. I would leave out the mummy bit.
Second, I would leave out the floating gunpowder. The compass he asks for would work much better here and not have that "Hey look I have a computer" feel.
I would leave out the scene where they open the box. Let the audience, and Indy think it has the Ark in it. He could even make a "Top men" reference.
I would leave out the rocket sled. It is just too Loony Tunes. This could be replaced with a Raiders style convoy scene with Indy trying to steal the crate back. He could get pushed off the truck in the fake town.
I thought about saying that the bomb shouldn't even happen but I only wanted to change the feel of the scene not too much of the content. Instead I would change the way he survives it. Let's face it, a modern audience realizes there is no way to survive an atomic weapon. But, a '50s audience did not know this. That's why I would have had him Duck and Cover. I would have had him survive it by getting under a desk. Still makes no sense but in the warped '50s Cold War logic it worked.

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