Saturday, August 13, 2011

Celebrating One Hundred Posts!

My blog has just reached one hundred posts! Let's celebrate! So, let's get this party started!

Click the play button if you want to hear music.


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My MMORPG experimentation

So for the past week or so I've been playing MMORPG's again (I hadn't played them in years). Here's an overview of what I've played and my opinions of them:

World of Warcraft: Starter Edition

So because I was curious as to what WoW was like, I decided to try my luck and give it a shot. The version I'm playing is the Starter Edition, in which you are limited to leveling your characters up to level 20, limited in communication with other players, cannot start raids or make teams (to my knowledge), and so on. I ended up making a level 5 (now level 6) Blood Elf Mage named Lunafilia. Luna is Latin for "Moon" and filia is Latin for "daughter", so the name literally means "Moon daughter" or "Daughter of the Moon". I also made a level 2 Draenei Shaman named Nataya, whose name was inspired by the name Nadia (Nadia wasn't available, so I made up something similar-sounding. Lol).

Sometime after making Lunafilia, part of me thought that maybe I should've made a Blood Elf modeled and/or named after Kalus from Kameo: Elements of Power (pictured below).

WoW isn't too much different game-wise from past MMORPG's I had played. You start out by making your character and then start out at level 1. Though the character creator seemed very limited in customization. You could select their hairstyle, preset hair color, preset face, and preset skin color, but that was it. Everyone of the same class wears (or at least starts out with) the same costume. After your character is finished and you initiate them into the game, you receive some tutorial pop-ups for a while and you have to do some simple first missions, such as kill 5, 10, or whatever amount of a certain enemy and then report back. As your character levels up, you unlock more abilities for them to learn and use. You use your abilities by clicking on icons in a row of slots while having a valid target selected. Though unlike the other MMORPG's I had played (I didn't play many), you're able to loot the corpses of the enemies you killed for items, both ones needed for quests and others simply for your own benefit. Another nifty thing that's different about it is that when your character runs out of health, they die and their spirit gets sent to a graveyard. You control their ghost and have the option to go find your corpse on your own, or talk to the nearby Spirit Healer (who's level 60 and looks like an Angel of Death) who will resurrect you right then and there (though it said that if your character is over level 10, there would be some sort of penalty). When controlling the ghost, the environment is very ethereal and pale-looking. If you get to water (as a ghost), your character doesn't sink but instead can stand, walk, and run on it. When you find your corpse, you have the option to either "resurrect now" or do it later. I also like the fantastical and surreal art design of the environments. Though back to my characters. The Blood Elf server lagged a bit (but not very badly), but the Draenei server lagged so much it was annoying. Ugh. I haven't become a WoW addict (yet, lol), but overall I'd say that it's a pretty good MMORPG with some nifty things, despite the lagging I experienced (though I still don't quite like the idea of paying $11-15 per month for the full version, lol, but that's how a lot of these MMORPG companies make their money needed to maintain and operate their servers and expand and update the game).

Champions Online: Free-to-Play

Playing WoW prompted me to try out some other free (and free versions of subscription) MMORPG's. Since playing it also made me miss playing City of Heroes (a superhero-themed MMORPG), I decided to go look for a free one. I ended up running across Champions Online (which I at first thought was free in general, being that I was brought to the Free-to-Play page). I downloaded the Free-to-Play version and started playing. I made two characters: a character named Hunter Hood, who was a character I made on CoH who was based off of B.B. (Baby Bonnie) Hood from Darkstalkers, and Ulala, who was based off of Ulala from Space Channel 5.

sLet me describe B.B.Hood and Ulala. B.B.Hood is from the Darkstalkers video game series. She looks like Little Red Riding Hood and oh-so innocent, but in reality she's an assassin who acquires blood money. She uses a variety of weapons, including machine guns, daggers, bombs, missiles, and so on. As for Ulala, she's is from the Space Channel 5 video game series. She's a 22-year-old report for Channel 5 News and saves the galaxy by imitating her foes' dance moves and saving hostages. She kills enemies and saves the hostages by using two blue ray guns. In the first game, she had to fight against the Morolians (an alien race), who were actually being brainwashed by Chief Blank, the head of Channel 5, who did it to get more viewer ratings. In the sequel, Ulala has to fight the Rhythm Rogues, who are lead by Purge, an insane genius who wants to take over the galaxy and force everyone to dance for him. 

When I first started the game, it asked me whether I wanted to play with lowered settings or standard settings, saying that my computer hardware/software wasn't sufficient enough to do standard. I ended up doing the lowered settings. After that, it told me to adjust the brightness slider, and I set it too high. Lol Then I made my first character, Hunter Hood. The character creator allows you to highly customize your character, from everything to the design of their costume, to which side accessories go on, facial structure, and so on. You even get to decide what expression they have on their face and what way they stand in the game. Upon my character entering the game, the graphics were lowered automatically and they looked kind of crappy, but not too bad. Like other MMORPG's, you get tutorial pop-ups and have to do some simple missions first. You get more abilities as you level up and said abilities are confined to a row of slots. Though unlike any other MMORPG I've played, you can actually attack while moving. O_O There are a set of hotkeys (F1, F2, etc.) that correspond with each slot that aids in this function. You also get to choose from a variety of travel powers. They have simple ones such as flight, transportation, super jump, super speed, etc., but they also havevery nifty ones, such as jet/rocket boots, magic carpet, ice surfing (or      whatever it's called), and rainbow trail (leaving behind a rainbow trail as you fly through the air). Awesome. I can see someone making a superhero version of Nyan Cat. Lol (Maybe I should do that...) Though the downside is that in the free version, most of the travel powers and a considerable amount of the accessories in character creation have to be purchased with real money in order to use. In the subscription version, most of these features are readily available, except for some that are designated to be exclusively purchased. What's also interesting about this MMORPG is that it seems to follow a more noticeable storyline (at least at the beginning). The city is battling the Qularr alien race who invaded it. After your character is assigned to go into a certain building that's like a kind of headquarters or base, you find out that the invasion was a forced coverup/distraction for something even more diabolical. After you turn off the signal devices that were driving the Qularr crazy, you then exit the building and celebrate your victory. You run down a series of steps, lined on both sides with police officers and other people of both genders who say "Atten-HUT!", until you reach the mayor, who thanks you and gives you the key to the city. It was actually pretty cool. Lol You didn't defeat the Qularr single-handedly though, as you had help in the building from a more experienced superhero called the Defender. I also like the art design, as it looks very comic booky. Even the pop-ups and dialogue look like they're written in talk bubbles and in Comic Sans. Very appropriate. I also updated my graphics card to try and play it in standard mode. When I did that and started the game, it took a while for anything to show. It would first go through the Cryptic and Atari logos, then go to a Champions Online loading screen with heroes fighting villains. But after I tried this after updated my graphics card software, the loading screen wouldn't appear. It was just black with a regular cursor. Either after waiting a while and/or switching the tabs back and forth, I finally got the brightness selection screen to appear. Upon getting to the character menu, everything was messed up. It looked fragmented and somewhat fuzzy/grainy. It looked the same in-game, but seemed to run smoothly without lagging. I could also tell that the colors and lighting were better, even though a major problem was going on with the graphics. I even tried uninstalling reinstalling the game to make things normal, which didn't work. Before actually getting into the game with the updated software, I tried entering it on my old graphics card software in the lowered settings. Then I set the graphic settings to higher settings, chose one of my characters, and clicked "Play!" The graphics had much richer color, better lighting, and looked more realistic, but the game lagged horribly. I'll see what I can do (or what my dad can do) to fix the whole graphics issue. Overall, Champions Online is a fun MMORPG with nifty features and an appropriate art design, despite the bad luck I had graphics-wise.

Perfect World

I got the idea to play Perfect World when I saw a clip of it on YouTube of a character levitating in midair while crouching/surfing on a sword, which in a "10 best free MMORPG's" video, or something with a similar title. I downloaded it and ended up making an Untamed named DuchessQ. I based her off of Duchess Quagmire, one of my most favorite sims. "Duchess" was already taken, so I went with DuchessQ. Lol It didn't allow spaces, so I had to put it together as one word.

And now for the Sims 3 version of Duchess.

See the resemblance?

Anyway, let me tell you my frustration of trying to log into the game first. It let me download the game, install it, and start it up without making an account. When I got to the log-in screen, I realized "Oh, I don't have an account. Lemme go make one..." So I made my account and then tried to log in. It said that it was incorrect. I kept trying and it kept saying the same thing. I forget the order that everything happened in, but what mainly happened was I kept telling it to send me emails to tell me my account name and password. They were as I made them. I also kept trying to log into they official website, and it kept denying me entry, being that it kept saying my log-in was incorrect. I was very frustrated and I was saying obscenities at my computer monitor. Lol When you register your account, it automatically makes everything you typed lowercase (at least your username anyway). I kept changing my password and it my log-ins kept failing, even though I confirmed that I was typing them and my username correctly. I finally thought and/or noticed that maybe there was a character limit in the password, and there was. My passwords went over the character limit. After I made one within the limit, I was able to log-in. I was so happy. Lol Though another interesting thing that happened ont he site was that a pop-up offered me free ZEN coins for doing something or other. I clicked on it or "Ok" and got something like "No noobs allowed -- Sorry/Uh-oh, you are not old enough to access this feature. Come back after you aged/leveled your character more." I was like "Did that seriously just call me a 'noob'?" and I laughed. I know I'm technically a "noob" to the game, but I've just never been called that before, let alone by an official game site.

I started out by making DuchessQ in the character creator. You can customize a lot of things, such as facial structure, hairstyle, hair color, skin color, etc., except for the costumes and accessories. Some of the classes are gender locked, such as the two that are in Untamed in which only males can be Barbarians and only females can be Venomancers. After I started Duchess's journey, I noticed that the camera was far behind her, so I had to figure out fix it. I ended up holding down the right mouse key and scrolling the mouse wheel. Like other MMORPG's, you start out with some tutorial pop-ups and simple missions to complete. You also attack by clicking the abilities in the row of slots. Though there are some features of the game that I'm not sure if I understand, but will probably as I progress through the game. I also like the game's fantastical art design and its theme. It's heavily based upon Chinese mythology (the game was even developed in China) and takes place int he mythical world of Pangu. Another unexpected thing I received was a genie that I was able to level up. Ok, so we have genies that we can train, and we have pets that we can ride? What kind of crazy MMORPG is this? Lol The only reason I can think of of why there may be genies in the game is the fact that I read that the original version of the Aladdin and the Magic Lamp tale supposedly takes place in China. The source said that it subsequently became popular to make it take place in Middle Eastern countries and was included in the 1001 Arabian Nights tales. Anyway, the art style and graphics are beautiful and (I think so anyway) captures being in a Chinese mythological world very well. The environment makes me feel like I'm in a Chinese forest (even though I've never been to China, lol). One of Duchess's missions was to go kill, like, 10 ghost lanterns or whatever (it was night time) and dawn broke before I finished the mission. I could see the sunrise over the hill/mountain and near trees. That paired with the lens flare effect made it a beautiful sight to see. It really does feel like you're in a world of enchantment. Anyway, when I first tried to exit I had a difficult time finding the exit button. I couldn't find it anywhere. o_O I had to look it up online, and found that I had to click some button in the lower right of the screen to make a second row of buttons appear, which included log out and exit. Overall, this MMORPG is curious, interesting, and has a good atmosphere, though some things about it were confusing to me at first and I still need to learn more about it. Lol

I also tried downloading the free version Everquest II. I had played the subscription version of Everquest II for a few days or less back in 2005, but then abandoned it. Anyway, after I downloaded and installed the free version, I entered it. I was disappointed in the lack of content you had to chose from. The free version only let you choose a few of the neutral races and some of the classes, while everything else was literally locked off from you playing unless you purchased it with real money. I was like "The heck with this" and I exited out. The character designs of the available races didn't look so pretty to me either. Seriously, this is something I could imagine EA doing. Lol

Though there is still one MMORPG I've played that was like no other one I had ever played: The Sims Online. Though the character creator was limited to selecting from a variety of preset bodies, heads, and three skin tones, I still had a blast playing TSO. It was like The Sims 1, but just formated for online play with added features. I remember the first time I played it. I ended up making a white lady with long purple hair (the hairstyle was similar to Bella Goth's in TS2) who wore a purple sweater, a skirt, and sandles who was named Tina Tart. I chose to include "tart" in her name because I thought it sounded catchy and sweet (sweet as in candy). I didn't find out the other meaning for tart until 9th grade (after I stopped playing TSO) when my class read Of Mice and Men, so older players probably thought that "tart" meant something else. Lol When I made her and entered the game, I bought her a plot of land and built her a house. After that, I went to some romance/dating service lot, in which I semi-ruined a wedding. Lol I had Tina  boo at and/or slap the bride while she flirted with and/or tried to kiss the  groom. Needless to say, I was kicked out. Lol I also remember the time I made Shannon Doherty, put her in Test Center, and had her make the Deathmatch Arena. I was inspired to make it by the T.V. show Celebrity Deathmatch. I remember that once some guy was standing in the middle of the ring, so I moved a cannon in front of him and had Shannon fire it at him. The cannon ball hit him and he peed in his pants (literally, there was a puddle on the floor). He immediately left after it happened. Lol I think I also made a list of alter egos for Shannon, though the only one I can remember is Pile Driving Tina. I would have her pile drive other people's sims. Lol I also remember that they eventually introduced the feature for sims to get official jobs at a restaurant and at a factory. You had to act as a waiter/waitress at the diner. You had to take NPC customers' orders and send them to the cooks, who would then make them. Then you would take the orders to the customers. When they finished, they would leave you tips (if they got good service). If you gave them the wrong dish, they would complain (from what I remember). You worked in shifts, each lasting for a few minutes I think (or at least less than ten minutes). You couldn't enter during a shift, but rather had to wait until after it was over. A lot of things happened in TSO with many different characters of mine, but I'd probably be going on and on about it. Lol But Oh Em Gee, TSO was awesome. It's too bad they shut it down on August 1, 2008. There is the TSO Restoration Project, which is a group effort by a group of people in an attempt to recreate TSO and let people play it for free, though who knows how long it'll take them to complete that and whether they'll have copyright issues with EA. Oh well, I guess I'll see what The Sims Social is like when it comes out, being that that's the closest we'll likely ever get to TSO.

Thank you for reading my long and mainly non-Sims-related post. Lol

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Referral fail

At least twice now people have been refered to my blog through a foreign porn site. o_O I meant to post this soon after I took the screenshot (within a few weeks ago), but I ended up not doing that. Lol But now I did.

I censored part of the URL in case someone got the idea to go there. All you need to see is the XXX to know what kind of site it is. Lol But the question is, how did people get referred to my blog from a porn site? Lol This reminds me of the the time I read on Paco's blog that he got sent emails about male enhancement pills and the time I read on SR's blog that when he was Googling the name of his blog (SR's Deep Thoughts), autocomplete listed "srs deepthroats" as a suggestion. :P For these accounts, click here for Paco's and click here for SR's (scroll down to "I Made A Blog" on SR's).

O hai again

Hey everyone. I haven't updated my blog with Sims stuff for a while because of lack of motivation and personal things, but I plan to start posting more often again. Yes, I know I've said that before, but this time I will (or at least resolve to) stick to my resolution. Yes, I resolve to stick to my resolution. Lol

Furthermore, I noticed that a good amount of the pictures in my oldest blog posts have disappeared. The reason for this is because I officially deleted my old WordPress blog, but didn't expect the images linked from it to be deleted on my Blogger blog. Wait, I think the ones that disappeared may have been ones that I uploaded onto my former blog there, so that would explain it (if that's the case).

Anyway, I also still plan to give my blog a makeover. It may or may not have the hag/witch theme that was voted on by my readers, but whether or not it is at least it'll look nicer. When I do, I'll also replace the blank pictures with working links again, and perhaps spice them up with some theme music? :-O We'll see. Lol Though I can't do this today, because I have a project for my college class that's due tomorrow. It's a group project in which I and two other team members have to report on three current news stories (so one for each of us) and analyze how four different mediums presented the information. Besides that, we have to analyze how the mediums used social media (if any) for reporting and the articles and such. Tomorrow is actually my last day of class (yay! and the day right before my birthday, too lol), and my fall semester starts August 22. Not much of a vacation, but it's still a break. :P This coming semester I'll be taking another art history class, moving on to English 101, and taking a P.E. class (required for the degree, grrr).

Anyway, I look forward to updating my blog more often again. Happy Simming!