Not Being A Fangirl

Meeting a celebrity is hard. Either you fangirl out at them and you just become another one of the fans or you keep that fangirling to yourself and treat them like a human being and hopefully you can go on to become friends with them. So last week when I was faced with the prospect of meeting one of my favorite people in the gaming industry who had up until that point eluded me by being in California while I was in Ireland I was nervous. I didn’t want to be another fangirl. I didn’t want to geek out and scare him away. I’ve always thought that celebs of any sort need people who just treat them like people. They are after all just people.

Of course developers aren’t celebrities on the same scale as actors but that didn’t keep me from my glee. After watching him online doing broadcasts for City of Heroes I finally got to meet Andy Belford. Thankfully I managed to keep my cool. He even helped us get into the EA behind closed doors area when the people at the front desk had never heard of Dawngate. Seriously, we got asked if we meant to go to the Activision booth by the ladies controlling the front desk. They had never even heard of Dawngate, which I will just point out is most certainly an EA game.

So one of my three missions of Gamescom was a complete success.

Achievement Unlocked: Meet Andy Belford

Achievement Unlocked: Meet Andy Belford

 

This is me, posting twice in one day as I catch up on Blaugust because of Gamescom.

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It Was Too Much

Gamescom was fantastic. We got home super late last night and I’m still feeling like I could sleep for a week. Sadly Gamescom was just too crazy to try to keep up with blogging. The Wargaming party was what really killed it. We didn’t leave until 2 in the morning. After that I just stopped trying to keep up. But! Now that I’m home you can expect to see lots of thoughts on Gamescom, images, and amusing stories of running into bastards who didn’t see the wheelchair coming straight for them. I might even post an image of all my sweet loot in one place. I got some pretty awesome loot this year.

Be sure to keep looking back at the blog twice a day while I catch up on Blaugust. I may not have been able to keep up while I was gone but I’m not going to fail the challenge.

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It has been a long day so I’m keeping it short this time. Had a fantastic first day. Saw lots of friends old and new. I also saw Guild Wars 2, Destiny, and many more. Still, I cannot wait to start day 2. I have a few images but they have to wait for now. Check back for them tomorrow.The hotel WiFi is so painfully slow. But tomorrow is a big day. Take care!

Handicap Travel

I’d like to start off by saying, yay! We made it to Cologne! So far the weather hasn’t been able to decide what to do. We’ve had heat, cold and rain. This was my first time ever traveling as someone in a wheelchair, so I’d like to talk about those experiences. We arrived in Dublin airport bright and early for our flight.  If you live in Dublin I highly recommend airporttaxi.ie. Its just a normal taxi but flat rates depending on where you’re at. It was €30 from Blackrock which is a total steal. Dropping off the luggage was fantastic. There was a line set aside for the handicapped so we sped right through. There were however two ladies who decided that my line was for them. Basically they cut in line and that pisses me off.

After that it was on to security which was a breeze. I got a quick pat down which was much less a violation of my body than the American pat down. Then it was time to board the plane. Because the plane wasn’t actually pulled up to a building I had to experience the box. Basically its a giant elevator on wheels. And for some afraid of heights it is hell. This was of course my first time in one and to say the guy fucked it up would be a huge undrstatement. First he lifted us too high and the plane door wouldn’t open. So he tried to lower us. Nothing worked. He tried for ages with no luck. Jonathan repeatedly suggested closing the door to see if that worked. Finally he did it. And got too low. So once again the door opened and he couldn’t get anything to work. Eventually I just had to do it. There was a huge gap between the platform and the plane. Two air hostesses pulled while Jonathan pushed and I was aboard. Somehow the guy never connected the dots. And the next woman who needed the box got a new box because the idiot thought mine was broken. The flight was hard. Anxiety and pain are the names of the game. Dusseldorf airport was great. They wouldn’t allow Jonathan to push me, some sort of regulations.

We later ran into the lady from the plane in Cologne. She’s here taking her kids to Gamescom. We helped each other navigate the confusing train system and even got to chat a bit about pain and things. I do hope I run into her again. Oh, and one final thing. If someone is in a wheelchair and your job is to help them get off the train, don’t let them get off at a station that has no elevator. Yep, this happened to me. And now food has arrived so I escape!

 

Blaugust for me will continue from Cologne for the rest of the week.

The Night Before

I’ve spent most of my day today packing and panicking over the thought that I’ve forgotten something. Even though I’ve been through everything with Jonathan time and time again I still feel like something is missing. Business cards, tickets, schedule, clothes, medicines, its all there. Yet I can’t shake the feeling. On the other hand if I felt confident that I had everything I needed and wanted then I would be sure to forget something important. So I suppose nature is doing me a favor by making me paranoid.

Annabelle Cattery

Annabelle, my sweet adorable fuzzybutt kitty went into a cattery today. It’s the first time I’ve ever used one and I realized that I have terrible separation issues. Even though she’s going to be well taken care of I felt so guilty all day about taking her away from her home, away from us. But we’ll get her back on Monday and everything will be fine. Jonathan went alone to drop her off, it’s just easier than trying to drag me all over the place. While there he met some very nice cat ladies who have inspired us to consider getting a fancy cat. They also think we should show Annabelle. I’m really not sure about how she would handle that. She’s a beautiful cat of course but her temperament doesn’t really scream show cat to me. But who knows!

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I’ll be live tweeting Gamescom on the MMOGames account, so if you want to see what I see follow me! Of course I’ll also be posting daily blogs here to continue blaugust. But those won’t be until late, possibly even after midnight in some cases. Hopefully they’ll still count. It isn’t my fault Wargaming has such awesome parties! Anyway, going to keep it short and sweet today. Tomorrow I’ll be blogging from my hotel room in the lovely Cologne, Germany!

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Plants and Zombies, Oh My!

Nearly a month after it was announced I learned that the little Plants vs Zombies Facebook game is being shut down in October. I played it for a little while back when it first launched, much as I do many games I come across on Facebook. Sadly it just didn’t live up to the Plants vs Zombies name for me and I quickly left. And my total reaction to the closure was, “Meh.” But at least it inspired this blog post so I suppose it did something positive. I’ve played almost every Plants vs Zombies game that has been released.

Plants vs Zombies

I actually resisted playing PvZ for a long time. I’d heard of it and knew that everyone was playing it. That naturally made me not want to play it because I’m difficult like that. Of course once I did play it I was immediately in love. I quickly played through the story and jumped into mini games. Even now I still log in from time to time to play.

Plants vs Zombies Adventures

This was the little Facebook game that is being shut down. I was excited for it because it was the first PvZ game we had seen in ages. So when it launched I jumped right in. It was…well, it suffered from the same things all Facebook games do for early adopters. There weren’t enough people to complete the tasks. So I eventually reached a point where I couldn’t continue because not enough of my friends played. It is clever, make it so you need friends to succeed and in theory you’ll recruit friends. But I think this method backfires far more often than it succeeds. So in the end they have to change the game or die. I would say most of them die. And even the Plants vs Zombies name isn’t enough to keep this one alive.

Plants vs Zombies 2

I’ve found Plants vs Zombies 2 to be a bit of a disappointment. Not only is it incredibly easy but also it feels like the soul of the game has been removed to make room for the business model. In my mind PvZ2 is more like Adventures than it is the original game. And that makes me a bit sad. It also leaves me uninterested in playing further.

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

From the first moment I saw PvZ GW announced I knew I wanted to play. It feels like they went back to their roots (pardon the garden pun) with this game. What amazes me even more is that it’s a shooter and tower defense game. Two types of games I am very much not known for enjoying or playing. But I bought it. In fact it actually counted as a pre-order. I got it just a few hours before the pre-order ended. Unfortunately it was only afterwards that I realized my computer couldn’t run it. Not on a 64 bit system yet. Which is totally my fault. I can’t wait to play it though.

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This is another blog entry in the Blaugust blogging initiative. We’ve been at it for 10 days now, though it hardly feels like it.

A Roleplayer’s Dilemma: Old Character, New Game

Here I go, still backing out of the idea of blogging about things other than games. This is happening mostly because 1. This idea was given to me by a friend. and 2. I don’t have any other ideas at the moment. My good friend Seph asked me a few days ago about my thoughts on taking an old character with you to a new game. This is really only a roleplayer issue. But it is one I face every time I start playing a new MMO. And of course there are several different ways to do it. So, before I get into my thoughts on the matter lets take a look at the different ways it can be done.

 

Character Moved To A New City

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This is exactly what it sounds like. You keep the exact character you had in a previous game, same personality, same history, same everything. This really only works in modern MMOs as fantasy settings tend to be wildly different from each other and be an entire world. There is often a problem matching up abilities however. Characters often have to learn new skills in this new town because their old ones aren’t available elsewhere. Imagine trying to take an Earth Controller from City of Heroes into The Secret World. You couldn’t. On the other hand though, if you have a beloved character it is good to know they live on even though you don’t play the game where you originally created them.

 

Same Idea, New Character

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Maybe you made a really awesome catboy in The Elder Scrolls Online and you want to take him with you to Guild Wars 2. The Charr and Khajiit aren’t exactly the best fit. Yes, they’re both cats but that is about all they have in common. Still, you could make a Charr who is considered particularly odd. In this case, unlike the first one you can cross settings, genres, and all sorts of boundaries with relative ease. The difference between this method and the first is that your character has no history in the old place they’re from. They’re effectively a brand new person like any other you roll up. This is by far the most common way of bringing characters from one game to the next. It is also widely used by non-roleplayers. The people who are Amazonian Babes no matter what game they’re playing.

 

Same Name, Obeys Lore

Lorkal

This one is only very slightly different to the one above. But the general idea is that while the character may look the same and have the same name as the previous version they’re a better fit for the lore of the new MMO. This requires that small changes are made to the character to make them fit. Making a Bahmi from Rift into a Norn in Guild Wars 2 for example. Racially speaking they’re sort of close. The big difference is that instead of trying to force your idea into the established world you change your character slightly to make them fit in. A Bahmi turned Norn would be louder and more boastful for example.

 

Where Do I Fall?

That leaves us with the final question, what are my thoughts on it? Personally, I hate it. In all forms I hate it. As City of Heroes was my favorite MMO it will serve as an example. I once had a friend in CoH who went on to play Champions Online when it launched. He played it as the first type. His character had just moved to a new town. That effectively meant, once City of Heroes went free to play that he could (and did) bounce between the two games on the same characters. This wasn’t too bad. The two games were close enough to each other in a lot of ways that it could be excused. Even though these two were obviously in two different universes. But the whole time I played with this friend I couldn’t help but wonder why he moved his characters from one game to another when he was clearly happy playing them both.

But for me the real issue is with lore. Before I start playing an MMO I dive into wikis, I read up on everything I can so that when it comes time for me to make a character they have a deep connection to the lore of the game. I also never play an MMO I didn’t beta test. I make a character who may or may not make it to live and I get a chance to learn a little bit more about the world that way. So I wouldn’t be able to take my Eth from Rift and put her into ESO as a Redguard. They just wouldn’t work despite the fact that both would be from desert dwelling people and back from the dead.

In the end I suppose the answer is, as with so many views I have, that it is ok for other people to do it but I would never do it myself. Sadly that means that all of my City of Heroes characters are lost to me. I won’t ever play them anywhere else. While that does make me sad, it isn’t something I’m willing to change. Instead I will be happy with the knowledge that they continue on in Paragon City, fighting crime and living life as they always have.

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This is day 9 of the Blaugust blogathon! If you don’t already know about it check it out out here.