Sunday, 11 May 2008

fluidity sucks, sometimes.

strangely enough, i expected things to just stay still. if life's supposed to be like running water, time and tide and all those cliched overused metaphors, i guess it's almost reasonable to assume runescape's going to be one of those things that's not like that. as if, i can leave it alone for a few weeks, months, and every time i log in out of habit in those times in between, i'll just pick up the loose ends and play on. an attitude that extends to this blog.

except there isn't really anything like that, is there, that stands still for you. it's like going back to a book and realising you wouldn't have finished reading it now, but you did then, and for that you're grateful.

except every time i'm about to blog about something trivial while doing something repetitive, i realise there's so much i need to catch up with. f2p last year seemed so starved of updates in comparison. unless it's just about the amount of time spent playing. there's this sense that there's no point saying anything unless you know enough, especially since i'm not used to not knowing about anything f2p. after all, there's precious little to know. there's things like summoning, which has nothing to do with me but which i simply would like to have some idea of. and little little changes, in lieu of everything else - a stronghold of something else, some gnome setup cum advertising gimmick, perhaps. ge database, new combat minigame. oh yeah, and the new graphics.

all things i don't actually know anything about. pfft. and i do find i can't actually be bothered to find out. it builds up into this massive backlog reminiscent of secondary school two-subject-credits maths, massive by my standards, anyhow, so i can't actually really be bothered with runescape. much. it doesn't help that it's not easy to throw away something i've put so much time into, even if it's only pixels. i can't seem to make a clear cut decision, because 'i quit' implies i wasted the past two years or so, and not quitting seems hypocritical. lacks closure, and fading out of existence is cowardly and annoying.

real life helps a lot. mainly because real life is slightly screwed. slightly in context of everything else. today's mother's day, today's the global day of prayer. there was a cyclone in myanmar. another term's ending. everything seems massively out of context, and none more so than rs.

it would be nice if rs could sit still and just be a game. simple game. brainless, not time consuming. not fluid. except (most) simple games don't have blogs written about them, or articles, or sites dedicated to their dissection. ergo i wouldn't be surprised if this is my last post, even though i didn't plan for it to be, but like i said, lack of closure annoys me, and i need a pseudo last post for peace of mind, if nothing else. the way i didn't mean for the last february post to be left hanging so long, but it just, y'know, did.

anyway, all i meant to say, before this turned into a rambling mess, was that it's irritatingly ironic that fluidity, the one thing i needed to keep me tied to the game this time last year, is the one thing that's pushing me away from it now. lack of fluidity (in f2p at least) pushed me to start this blog, to convince myself that there's something more to a game than changeability, that boredom's a conquerable enemy, and i'm bigger than monotony.

turns out - turns out i'm my own worst enemy. so thanks for dropping by, and for everything else past, because it being past doesn't wish it out of existence. and i'd also like to apologise for unfufilled expectations, up to and including unkept promises, unfinished sentences.

this seems easy, too easy. almost like it isn't fair, because real life issues never could be this easily... disposed of. (and i just now realised maybe fluidity isn't the most apt of words, but what they hey, last few sentences.) but then, in all it's ambiguity, that's what fluidity essentially is, hein?

Saturday, 2 February 2008


in today's news, i have worked out a strategy, slightly belated though it may be. henceforth my (new) skiller shall carry for a weapon a bow that is the definition of non-confrontational. a curved stick makes for a bloody useless weapon if "there is no ammo [left] in your quiver." i get offers of arrows from kind donors and not so kind 'the noob is economically ignorant' wannabe merchants, but that by far beats accidentally clicking on barbarians and farmer fred's rams for a one way, express trip to lumby, the castle of.

i am ignoring my main.

said skiller has also commenced the morbid task of part time bone collecting, which has proved to be a surprisingly profitable enterprise. market rates are at a high of 77gp, and with minimal initial capital (a subject that needs burying, a random player's cb xp), all contributed by various generous investors, even a causal run yields 100% profit. after scounting locations, the research assistants would like to report that the goblins in front of the al kharid toll gate, the cow field just north of there, and lumby courtyard on a busy world are prime sites for activities. the only observed downside is that of contributors not receiving due dividends, but unless you're a goblin, chicken or a cow, the company shall endeavour not to pick up and sell your bones. the upper management concludes that this is a time-consuming but surefire money making method for the impoverished skiller, and therefore has decided to discontinue bone collecting for the indefinite future.

dogbert says dance like it hurts, love like you need money, work when people are watching.

i haven't seen non sequitur in the longest time.

Friday, 1 February 2008

shove off, saradomin - when runescape meets religion. rl religion.

don't actually come across this very often, but still. it's so messy.

an erstwhile nameless player makes his way through the packed lumby courtyard of a world just full enough that you'd need to refresh the page a few times at least before you got in. he walks up the steps, stops, and starts speaking. above the din of the gathered crowd, you hear "Jesus loves you!" he manages a few more lines unmolested. then he starts damning people to hell.

and that's where the trouble starts.

he's attracted a few 'you're so right's and about thrice that number of dissentors. every comment's pure flame bait, and for some reason people can't just ignore him and go on with their account selling and cybering. as they perhaps would an ad bot. then again, he's a mid leveled account with enough typos to be a real person. the difference is he just ploughs on, regardless of any and every legitimate debateable point people throw at him. he's not an ad bot, but he might as well be one, but because he isn't one, people can't just leave him alone and treat him like one, like a little blip on the radar you annihilate by clicking 'add ignore'.

it's not strictly muteable, it's almost reportable, but there isn't exactly a rule of the thumb for this sorta thing, no? it'd be intolerant if there was. so forget the report bit, for now.

joining in the fray isn't absolutely out of the question, but how dyou join in without being perceived as taking a side by the overly sensitive?

in the end, pm seems the best option. results in a short conversation, briefer explanation, abrupt logging out, and relocation to a considerably less populated lumby where he actually has what almost resembles a theological discussion with the only spectator. i got lucky.

but even so, it's volatile, and it's messy. so so messy.

i'm not against religious discussions, it's a topic you just have to broach if you've got a friend who can make intelligent conversation, but preaching's another thing altogether. in a way, i've no idea why he does it. was all about intimidation, threatening people with 'if you don't listen to me you'll go to hell' over and over. and i just got this sense, it's all he knew to say. either he's a child who hasn't a clear enough grasp of what he wants/ought to do, or he's got too poor a grasp of the language to know how to say anything more.

not that the exclamation marks and random capital letters helped any. or the name either. watching u *number* doesn't exactly inspire trust, or confidence.

and it's sweet of him to believe so strongly in what he does, but it's simply a flawed way of going about it. intimidation usually spawns defiance, forcing opinions and judgment on people isn't the same as persuading and debating with them. acting as if the other party doesn't exist by having what's in essence a one-sided conversation's just going to annoy. going to do more harm than good.

further complicated by the fact that i agree with him. more or less, on the salient points. salient points that nonetheless aren't half the picture, aren't telling it all. discussion goes round in circles, but because we're christian too, there's this pervading element of guilt. as if you're silencing something that matters.

not exactly the best of situations to be in.

there was this point raised about religion not belonging in runescape. about real life, the problems of real life not belonging in a game. not an argument that really works, considering that religion's a lifestyle, and for some of us, runescape isn't so much a game as a medium for communication, such controversy being a defensive measure against that 'i can't remember what happened eight minutes ago' syndrome. even if it isn't, it does seem pretty stupid to compartmentalise your life that way.

so religion crops up often enough, and when it does, i'm-a-guthix-worshipper type humour seems to be more of a cop out. is why i'm more wary about using it, but more to the point, i don't actually care for any of the rs gods. or demigods. or in between entities.

on an almost related note, i don't know why, but i always had this impression that christianity's a more common religion in western countries. uk, usa, europe, generally. as if all the catholic/protestant conflicts and declaration of independance automatically renders christianity the majority religion. then i go into a game that seems to have an even smaller percentage of christians than statistics say about real life. puts you vaguely off balance.

but then again, that's what arguments do.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

leading up to quitting.

hmm. haven't blogged in the longest time, or it seems that way. somehow i didn't quite expect runescape to change very much. not that i expected the game to remain stagnant while i was away, but (and especially after the wildy fiasco and all) i honestly didn't see what was coming.

and by that i don't mean summoning.

then again, i've transferred all that incoherent stuff to the previous post, so this is more... real. more solid, in case you find reading posts like my previous one nauseating and downright infuriating. grasping for straws you know you don't have. i know i would. hence the editing.

in short. i quit. i've resigned modship, and i won't in all likelihood be playing rs very much in the future. distant or otherwise.

take note? i'm only doing and saying it now because of recent developments. emphasis on the recent developments. or what you shall read would've remained there, not even articulated as thoughts.

looking back it's as if everything these past few months lead up to quitting. this post is for telling it as it is, putting down my thoughts as of november last year, before events responded to in the previous post. saying things you will likely understand, instead of be flummoxed by. so this mayn't seem reason enough to you, but when viewed in the context of aforementioned developments, to me, it is.

i accidentally trained mage on my skiller and raised the combat level i was so dedicated to keeping. i reached 777 total level on my main, a nice milestone of a number, by my standards. (academic) results weren't catastrophically bad, but still worse than they've ever been since secondary school.

plus i've been trying to keep off rs during weekdays for the last few months. and failing miserably at it.

i wouldn't have been able to quit if i'd tried. and that thought existed, but i wouldn't have considered just not playing if i hadn't been persuaded in a way only jagex could. and since they took the first step, i've been thinking.

if i want to go to grad school, i'll need a scholarship. i won't survive (and won't be allowed to stay) on a more or less minor scholarship like the one i'm on now. which i'm not actually in danger of losing, but it's not as if i wouldn't like to do marginally better. and while rs isn't exactly dragging me down, it's not helping much either.

so jagex offers a way out that leaves hardly any chance of me ever coming back to rs again once i've decided to leave it alone. y'see, f2p's an intensely boring place, and i didn't and don't become a member for fear of being even more addicted than i already am, which is already scaring me. i don't define myself as a mod, but that's the only thing that keeps me playing. i would be enormously relieved and a bit less stressed if i were not, but i would've quit sometime in april last year if i hadn't been modded.

conclusion: the best way to ensure i stay away is to be voluntarily demodded.

nothing new, that theory. but i've been running away from that action for almost half a year. as i write this, i'm trying to convince myself.

it's as if, you pour one to four years of your life into something, for me there was english, track, writing, skating, fanfic, and in a really different way, runescape. only lasting loves/obsessions - God, my religion. then in a sense, english, learning it, speaking it, getting to the point when i'm completely comfortable thinking and functioning in the language; and skating, because it's one of those things i can honestly say i'm passionate about.

other side, it's really sad when you put so much into something, and find you don't actually actively like it anymore, but you're just stuck with it. like track. and in a way, runescape. at the start it was addiction-stuck. then there's the queue mentality, after a while i didn't think about levels because past a point, consciously deciding to level in f2p is suicide, but i didn't want to let go. still don't wanna.

but i think, have been thinking i need to, and now i find i can. it's almost liberating.

this blog still lives for the time being, and i was thinking of letting it die when it does. because i may in name have said i quit, but it'll take longer to pull away, especially from my new skiller (complete waste). and i'll be blogging for some time yet. in the meantime, toodles. a two day break isn't long enough for two plane flights. happy lunar new year.

just for me to sort things out.


i logged in last week to find myself with one foot out of the door, and apparently put there by jagex. following a conversation i'm very glad i had when i did, i decided to move the other foot, too.

road to hell is paved with good intentions, that lead to things like overkill. and purely accidental betrayal of trust.

end of story.

- because i'm sorry, really i am, but i'm lousy with euphermisms, and i make for a sucky diplomat, and that's the best way i can say things.

quote of the week. "always tell the truth. that way you don't have to remember what you said."

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

impromtu post. (yes that's what it is.)

I wasn't actually going to post. Up till yesterday I hadn't thought there was time, nor a point. Last post details the result of that theory.

I don't know to what extent having only 42k people online right now isn't so much a result of dissatisfied players quitting as the absence of bots.

I'd plastered a big fat WRONG on RWT even before stopping to think why. It's that glaringly obvious. There isn't any need to wonder whether the answer might possibly be counter intuitive, it's one of those conclusions that comes so naturally, so rightly that a different, correct answer just doesn't exist. If you're a sentient human being, I'd thought, you'd realise that, or at least the reasons why I do.

That's why the players who tell me "Jagex is jealous of the real world traders because they earn more than they do" simply blow my mind. To let this go without talking about RWT, much as a waste of words it is, seems impossible. It's wrong because it cheapens the game. It undermines the time and effort of countless players. It's cheating, pure and simple, being textbook exploitation of an unfair, undeserved advantage. More than that though, not only is the act of buying wrong, along with intentions on both sides, the goods are tainted. They were attained by unfair means, by people majority of which have the sole intention of material gain, and a pragmatic worldview that places value on money, items, and leaves space for nothing else.

By supporting RWT, you're agreeing that you're one of those people. You're renouncing the concept of "morals" and "ideals". I believe I've made my opinions clear.

Onto the recent slew of updates. In all honesty this is exactly what's been begged for for months by some of the only players who've ever given me any reason to respect them: drastic (underline drastic) action that rids Glienor of the material flotsam of the real world. It didn't quite take the form we expected, but hey, any improvement's a good improvement, right?

Right. Especially when it incites comments, mere observations of which are as follows:

Jagex is considerate enough to time their updates for non peak, meaning I always seem to catch the updates right as they come out. Meaning I had a shot at Bounty Hunter before the clans swarmed in. Thought it was too good a chance to be missed, but my main just happens to be cb 61, and in the 55-100 med level crater, didn't hardly stand a chance anyway. And when you're aggro'd within 30 seconds, whether it's by a rogue or a legitimate hunter, you learn to go in empty handed and let them kill you for the xp. By the time I worked up the courage to go in to actually fight, my default-clothes-clothed main found herself at the bottom of a five person pileup. (Why they don't allow robes is beyond me. What, mage in your birthday suit?) I forgot Protect Items and lost the fire staff of great sentimental value. Spent the next ten minutes searching for the killers, with the vague idea that I'd awkwardly offer them 20k for it, until I figured they'd just write me off as some crackpot loon, and that I was indeed acting like some crackpot loon.

But seeing as I'm both "1 of he noobs that don't like the wildy and always die" and "the kind who are an so called lvl 3 skiller", I just shrugged and went back to the chaos dwarves, getting caught by some revenants I didn't even bother to catch a glimpse of in return, them hitting 15s on me and all.

Still, Bounty Hunter has to have some toggling multi combat on/off element. Then clan wars can transport itself over there with the money aspect intact. Speaking of the money aspect, perhaps pking was an excellent moneymaking opportunity. I wouldn't know, I never went there. I always did find the thought of death duels for the sake of money barbaric and mercenary in the extreme. Philistines.

Well, at best you could see the 3k cap as an attempt at reeducation. If you're into fighting for the sake and beauty (wtf?) of it, there's still dueling, there's still Bounty Hunting, Clan Wars, so on. As for the wilderness, while the revenants pose a deadly enough threat, it's simply not deadly enough. They need to be more widespread, perhaps level-specific, more common, to be dangerous. If the wilderness is to live up to it's name, it's got to be more dangerous than that. I'm grateful dishonourable pkers're a no show, isolated as they are in that little pen of theirs, but it's still too easy.

Grand Exchange, it's been out so long it's old news, all I've got to say's the same as anyone else. Too fixed, too inflexible, I've managed to earn 150k on my skiller while getting rid of junk, but even being desperate to get rid of things and selling them at the lowest prices, it's still hard to find a buyer. That aside, it's a feature I can get used to. Not that I don't appreciate the trading, but at least now I can trade...

Saving the best for last, unbalanced trades. I've yet to find anyone who actually agrees with this little beauty, that's a little bit more logically than emotionally sound, but not by that much. Only argument for it, it reinstates that idea of self-sufficiency. Not that I'm not more or less for self-sufficiency (die begging die), but gifts are just ... gifts. Sort of not seeing the forest for the trees, suppressing that spirit of generosity and putting a damper on Christmas cheer, all for the sake of ridding the game of nasty cheating... I can see where they're coming from, but all I see is it puts you at a loss, somewhere, in that game of human relations.

The money I've got saved fluctuates between 450k and 570k, but I'm going to have to make that change. There's so much giving that needs to be done, a particular instance of which is a cause for incense as much as anything else, but that's for later. I mean, money you can earn, and to think, scrambling to give away gifts one last time... that's vaguely pathetic. Why force us to be that way?

Sometimes, especially times like this, it feels like the only people who're half decent who actually play this game are friends who happen to be offline, oh, maybe because they don't agree with the new updates. At times like this a return to newbness on my skiller invites regular reminders of the humanity of runescapers I don't even happen to know. I get offers of 10k from someone on their way to triple digits, offers of 2k from an almost mid-leveled player who obviously can't afford it, and is in that awkward stage of bothering even to give a reason for their kindness (you don't have any numbers in your name), offers that I try to gush over before turning down, and reciprocating via my main. It's what makes the world go round. What, does Jagex think they're the exception to even that?

At this point, I'm almost glad to be away. I appreciate talking as much as the next person, but too much of this, in particular, it's not exactly a blessing. Players are alternately scandalised and victorious when I agree with them on choice points. Whatever they might think, mods don't sell their individuality and opinions to Jagex for the crown, and it's not as if the changes aren't about to anger mods less than anyone else. But somehow, it just seems plain wrong not to say something else, somehow. Something that softens the blow, something that gives Jagex a little more than the credit they're due.

Sometimes I just lose words in a normal conversation, I know what I mean, but I can't say it that way. I've learnt to listen in on conversations, that's one great thing about clan chat. That way I've got the politically correct answers phrased in an acceptable way on hand if I need them. Yet when I hear mods and experienced, mature, intelligent players lash out at Jagex, it seems almost like a betrayal. Of sorts. There's such a thing as loyalty, and even if something went a little wrong, somewhere, it's not as if they meant ill, so cut them some slack, and stand behind them when they need someone to. I don't know if it's too much to expect, but I feel as though I owe it to those I know personally, if not Jagex, to defend them more than I otherwise would have. Criticism is one thing, but abuse takes it into a whole new ballpark.

That said, Jagex does owe players an explanation. A long list of FAQs, written in the right tone, phrased half professionally, half genuinely. It's not that they aren't capable of it, I know that for a fact, but I don't understand why they won't just do it. It's like town criers. Players are trying to decide, to figure things out, and for those just puzzled, they need something, preferably official, to push them over, or at least get them off others' backs.

Crap's being deflected off onto the plates of mods who really had nothing to do with game development. When we also don't entirely agree with what's been done, it's hard not to react. My point about mods also lashing out wasn't to say that they should be hypocritical, and show a small measure of support for Jagex, whatever they choose to do. It's all about self control. Much as the think they want to, hearing a mod agree with and rant alongside them is the last thing these kids need. They're kids who don't want to listen to reason. It's about remaining professional, not detached, but in control.

I let myself go the last post, being completely sick of reigning everything in ingame. As a buffer I've got my imitation of a sounding board down, but the calming presence bit still needs work. I'm not yet able to let it come naturally, not to be disgusted by people and not let it show because that's not what they need to know, not yet. But I'm trying, and besides some mods many quietly watch, the examples I look to are certain Jagex curators. That's how I know the company can't be all bad. They've got some terrific employees. They've also got some players that continually disgust me, and reach greater heights with that pursuit every so often. Players that I'm embarrassed of.

For all intents and purposes, anyhow, it's a game. It's not as if people can't adapt (think, response to f2p team capes: "selling member cape 1k!"), accept it, or choose to have membershps terminated if they don't believe Jagex delivered. As for the future of RWT, everyone seems to assume it'll go away. It appears gold farmers're making a new proposition - let us hack your account for a price. You can trust us because we've delivered in the past, haven't we? Almost sad that they haven't given up, but that seems like it'll receive considerably less takers, and anyway, it's another problem for another day.

But whatever the consequences, I do believe the intentions were pure, because the corporation not withstanding, I know the people, I know they're good people, devoted, moral, diligent people. Good people. Whether it proves to be a mistake or no, what matters is they tried. They exceeded expectations that've sunk progressively over this past year, and that I can admire, can finally, finally respect.

On a totally related note, since I couldn't be bothered to fit this in snugly, it's off to China for a week and a half, then home just in time for Christmas. I'll be back next year, or near the end of this, if I manage to find a computer. Merry Christmas y'all, and like the song says, have a Happy New Year, updates and all. Can't be that hard to live with, right? (Wait, on second thoughts, you'd better not answer...)

Litany of Complaints.

I am completely and utterly pissed off. Oh, not with Jagex. With the immature ungrateful little buggers who choose to flood me with their incessant whining. If it's one thing I absolutely cannot stand, it's whingeing. Yes I am about to embark on a short rant. Allow me this luxury and I'll be coherently reasonable in the next post.

If you define yourself as

1. a merchant
2. a pker

Congragulations, you belong to the two groups of people I often cannot stand to fraternise with. Nonetheless, I am human enough to understand that 1. you are pissed. 2. you aren't overly fond of Jagex at the moment. But quite, quite frankly, I do not give a damn about the complaints about the updates apart from praising Jagex for ridding the game of bots, real world trading and general unpleasantness and cheating AND giving f2p capes AND bank space AND the duel arena. In short I had absolutely nothing to complain about, and I especially do not want to give a damn about it solely on your behalf.

I don't for one second believe Jagex will "change it back" just for you morally destitute excuses for players and you know what? That thought gladdens me. Furthermore I have no intention at all of "telling Jagex" that they "suck" seeing as they, well, don't. I am also not an extension of Jagex and while I feel for them, with all the abuse they're getting, abusing me isn't going to do a thing, thank you very much. In fact I would be fully ecstatic if you would just quit already, "FOREVER".

So piss. Off.