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How to Play EVE Online

How to Play EVE Online published on 2 Comments on How to Play EVE Online

1) Do the tutorial mission!

2) Do the first three career-path mission sets! They will be easy and will give you the same items over and over! You can sell the extras?

2a) At the end they will recommend you someone to visit next! That’s good, because there are seventy billion star systems in this game, and ones that are level-appropriate are right next to ones that are for ninjas piloting the Death Star!

3) Do the advanced military career-path mission set! All the battles will be easy, and on the second-to-last one you will get an awesome new spaceship!

4) The last battle will be really hard and your awesome new spaceship will be destroyed.

5) Maybe you can beat the last tutorial mission if you train some new abilities?

5a) (Abilities are trained in real-time. It will take at least another twenty-four hours for your character to learn the relevant ones.)

6) In the meantime, you can go visit the person the other tutorial agents mentioned in 2a!

6a) Wait, the game did not save that person’s name to your address book, and it’s not like you wrote it down.

6b) it’s not in the wiki either wtf

7) Set your character to spend the night training “Complain On Blog” to level 4.

Still snowing!

Still snowing! published on

I want to go out in the snow, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid because there’s a small swimming pool out in the yard somewhere… and I can’t tell exactly where.

Someone stop me from playing EVE Online and watching Soul Eater all day. I think it likely that neither one is a good idea on its own, but they’re particularly unharmonious in combination. I’m going to name a spaceship something like “SYMMETRY!,” and then someone named NeMeSiN will destroy it and send me a misogynistic message explaining why they did so. And I’ll want to apologize to Death the Kid for letting the symmetry get destroyed again.

Death the Kid is my favorite character. His voice was giving me weird signals, so I looked it up, and he’s Tamaki from Ouran. Things somehow make more sense now that I know that. I just looked up Black ★ Star, and he’s Excel, which is obviously also good.

It’s bad decision time again!

It’s bad decision time again! published on

Three small bets I just made with myself:

1) I bet the City of Heroes website is red or blue. (I won – both.)

2) I bet the EVE Online website is black. (I lost, it’s brown.)

3) I bet the Star Trek Online website is dark blue. (I won.)

I didn’t think to make a bet about Star Wars, but it’s also blue.

What is it with “serious” game websites and light text on dark backgrounds, though? Are they scared of being taken for a flash game portal? If so, so are some of the flash game portals.

(Bad decision time is when I decide I’m going to play an MMO.)

Warning: Ill-natured post.

Warning: Ill-natured post. published on

So I’ve been looking at the message board for a Facebook game.

I know that I yelled at my cold cream the other day, and I made libelous remarks about Octavia Butler due to my displeasure at her having gotten Serious all over me, and I suggested that Lois McMaster Bujold’s latest series might have been the result of a stroke or head injury. And I may have threatened Nalini Singh’s pets.

But… I’m not serious about these things? I think I would feel kind of embarrassed if people thought I was truly distraught about my cold cream, or seriously angry at writers for not meeting all of my expectations. Yet I think these people on Facebook are seriously angry at the programmers of the little farm game.

Continue reading Warning: Ill-natured post.

I beat Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box yesterday.

I beat Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box yesterday. published on

Do you guys want to know how it ends? Okay, this is how it ends.

They wake up and it was all a dream, except for the parts that weren’t a dream.

I hear the next one’s going to be called “Professor Layton and Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

The sorts of problems I have.

The sorts of problems I have. published on

The drawback of naming your Pokemon after Georgette Heyer protagonists is that you end up splitting up couples, what with leaving Sophy in the box all the time once you get a better ground-type, while Stephen remains a useful grass-type until very late in the game.

Vidal and Mary are still together, though.

Fizzle fft

Fizzle fft published on

I played Yume Nikki for fifteen minutes before dinner, and I still feel weird.

In between then and now I reread Fire Logic. This book is very convinced of itself and its own aesthetic and moral completeness, so it’s usually good for the purpose of frightening off stubborn bits of other systems of internal logic. Unfortunately, Yume Nikki seems to be too tough for it. I had a few moments of panic around midnight upon glancing up and, noticing that my bedroom door was closed, realizing that I had no way of determining whether I was awake or asleep.

I got an invite for a Google Voice account a few minutes ago, which I think means I have voicemail for the first time since my answering machine in college. It’s an alarming prospect.

I don’t care what Mom says, my hair looks fine.

I don’t care what Mom says, my hair looks fine. published on

In last night’s dream the demon biologist who was driving me to the session of the Dark Congress pulled over so she could look at the hummingbirds. They were the size of swans, flying in repetitive formation over a small suburban house. They were constructed from bits of old brooms, with no legs and long sharpened beaks. Their wings whirred steadily, except for one that thumped sometimes from something broken.

The pattern in which they flew and the way they turned was extremely unsettling in the dream. I wonder if this is something I could reproduce in Maya, or if it’s one of those dream-things that exists without real pictorial form, only the impression of eeriness that it left on me.

The rest of it was a Disgaea dream. Apparently I ship Laharl/Flonne, which is possibly wrong-headed of me. While they were blushing and stammering at each other, Etna found the higher-level version of herself with the different color scheme and beat her down.

There are kids on my LAWN.

There are kids on my LAWN. published on

So there’s anime and video game merchandise and advertising all over Japan, like you’d expect, and a lot of it I recognize. There’s Pokemon, Fullmetal Alchemist, D. Grey Man, Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Gundam 00, Evangelion, Naruto, and Final Fantasy stuff all over the place. There’s a fair amount of Moyashimon, Phoenix Wright, and Naoki Urasawa stuff, which surprised me for some reason – I’d somehow thought those would be more niche concerns. Apparently Beyblade still exists in the public consciousness here. I haven’t seen many Vampire Knight keychains and stuff, but the new volumes and issues of its magazine are always prominently displayed.

Still, most of the stuff I’m really majorly obsessed with – say, Claymore and Kaoru Mori and Moyoco Anno – does not get out much. Today I saw a girl on the train reading Otomen, and was startled because I actually knew what that was.

Continue reading There are kids on my LAWN.

I’m a bad person.

I’m a bad person. published on

Apparently there have been leaks about the next WoW expansion?

I can tell I’m not really invested in the canonical WoW storyline because:

1) It didn’t even occur to me not to read the spoilers. It didn’t even occur to me to consider them spoilers. I guess that on some level, I do not feel a story is being told here.

2) My big reaction to the Big Major Spoiler that totally shifts the sociopolitical balance of the game’s society was not “wow, that totally shifts the sociopolitical balance of the game’s society!” but rather “man, that totally screws up my awesome fanfic.”

The exciting plot news is that…

Continue reading I’m a bad person.

I might be playing WoW again.

I might be playing WoW again. published on

So we’ve got Varian Wrynn who leads the humans, and Thrall who leads the orcs. And Thrall is the nice one who reads books and sincerely regrets the necessity of ripping your legs off, and Varian is the angry one who yells “traitor!” a lot and whose ten-year-old* keeps having to talk him down.** And they’ve got to have their angsty backstory to explain how they turned out like this, of course.

But why is it the same backstory? Is being enslaved and forced to become a gladiator just some kind of rite of passage in Azeroth?

* I think the endgame plan is probably that Thrall and Prince Anduin get married.

** If the description of their personalities sounds intriguing to you, please just like… imagine the story you want to go there. You do not want to try and read the books. I promise.


Stuff published on

Successfully acquired rice cooker off Craigslist for 1000 yen. (Not from the guy before, from another guy.) The rice is soaking, and shortly I shall test it.

Went to Koishikawa Kourakuen. In January, during my assault on Tokyo’s Important Landscape Gardens, I went to Rikugien, Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu, Hama-Rikyu, and Kyu-Yasuda. I thought Rikugien was the prettiest of those. But Koishikawa Kourakuen? Has magical powers. I will post pictures later – I killed my phone’s battery taking too many (which was almost a problem because I was meeting the guy with the rice-cooker after). I’m beginning to regret my failure to replace my old Canon camera. My cell camera is not up to such things.

Every single person on the train who had a DS was playing Dragon Quest IX. McDonalds here have a WiFi connection for DS use, and if you go in one, you will invariably see a bunch of middle-aged guys sitting around with a small drink and their DS out, playing Dragon Quest. Some of them will have white DSi’s they’ve put decals of the Apple logo on.

From what I understand, the game’s aim is to be WoW for the DS. I can’t be allowed to have it; the combination of short quest-based gameplay and Toriyama art would cause me to cease to be. I’ve been engaging in douch-y power-leveling in Disgaea instead. (Though I kind of feel as if I should dig out my Pokemon Pearl game and beat it already. To get into the spirit of things for the Arceus movie! You know!)

At the grocery, I saw a woman letting her daughter, who was too big for it, sit in a stroller-cart. They were both giggling madly. The mother said, “Beebi-mitai na [something] ne!” The meaning of this is roughly, “Aw, you’re just like a baby!” But this is how I know I’m not fluent in Japanese – I heard all of the sentence but the [something], and I know pretty much what it means, but I can’t figure out what the “[something]” should have been. My brain cannot extrapolate.

(The girl looked a lot like Mr. K and Princess, which made me kinda sad. Mr. K’s class should have started about fifteen minutes ago… I hope he’s being good.)

Persistence of location

Persistence of location published on

There used to be an empty lot I had to go through on my way to the mall. One morning at the end of March or beginning of April, still sleepy, I was walking to the mall, and found that there was suddenly construction in that lot. Cement had been poured, and the ground was higher than it had been. This seemed unlikely to me; for a moment I wasn’t sure if I was in the real world or in a video game. I tried to check my inventory.

Continue reading Persistence of location

Oh, *yeah*, Square Enix?

Oh, *yeah*, Square Enix? published on


I’m being serious. My reaction to that was to get even more inspired about MY BRILLIANT THING. I looked at the screenshots and thought, “you know, I should probably look around and see if people have posted example game files using Ruby, to get an idea how flexible that is,” and also had an idea about the sprite problem. I might be able to use Magus’s glide animation! I suffer from persistent self-destructive behavioral patterns!

See, the thing I don’t get is why they don’t care about normal fanfic. Okay, so there are two things I do not get, because I also don’t understand why they care at all – but given that they clearly do, I don’t see why it shouldn’t extend to all forms of derivative creative works.

Or, rather: maybe I do see why they care, in the abstract. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I’ve read that Square Enix rewrote the ending of the DS port of Chrono Trigger to make it more consistent with the sequel, Chrono Cross. This was not popular with a lot of the more old-school fans, who frequently prefer to think of the events of Chrono Cross as being non-Chrono Trigger-canonical. (Spoilers: Chrono Cross puts Lucca in a refrigerator.)

The impression this gives me is that someone on the Square Enix creative team is one of those people who identifies so strongly with the story they want to tell that they feel a literal sense of trespass when other people play around in it.* (See: Jo Walton**.) They feel that they have suffered an injury; and the present state of copyright law appears to validate them in this. So, they use it to attack the people whom they perceive as having hurt them.

The feeling is not invalid. When I first heard about that Chrono Cross spoiler, I thought I’d been punched in the stomach. I felt literally betrayed; I think I still do.*** A lot of people say that, after seeing the Lord of the Rings movies, when they reread the books, they could no longer locate some of the things they’d found there before. The experience of watching the movies had obscured or destroyed things they needed to find in the books, and this is a kind of loss. Adaptation gets personal. In fandom we sometimes talk about striking things from our personal canon. But the fact is that emotionally, when a story takes on personal meaning for you (and in the fiction that I prefer, that is defined as when a story succeeds) that sort of compartmentalization isn’t always possible.**** It can hurt.

It can hurt. But you don’t have the right to $150,000 in damages because someone hurt your feelings. You idiot.

Yeah, this is where my sympathy runs out.

You also don’t have the right to stop people from talking to each other because they might say something that upsets you. But whatever. (Yes, I’m aware that legally that depends where you live, but morally I think I’m on pretty firm ground with that assertion.)

Anyway, I would speculate that the video game adaptations matter more to the Square Enix creative team than do fanfiction and doujinshi because video games are the medium they work in – it has a greater immediacy, and thus a greater sense of violation. Probably the same thing applies to writers like Anne McCaffrey and Anne Rice, who are disgusted by fanfic, but don’t have a problem with video game or movie adaptations of their work.

* Which is a FASCINATING position to take when the canon in question is 1) a video game, with 2) a plot predicated on the existence of alternate realities. Okay, guys. I’ll be over here ON THE INTERNET

(my Squeenix love is so very conflicted)

** I can’t link to the original comment because I’ve kind of, uh, blocked Making Light in my HOSTS file. So I’m sometimes capable of fighting off the self-destructive impulses, when artificial aids are available.

*** I suspect that I might even be more sympathetic to all this if I didn’t have some deep-rooted, stubborn conviction of Square Enix’s own creative dishonesty, because they did something with their story that seemed wrong to me.

**** I wonder to what extent the evolution of fanfic in its current form coincided with the evolution of franchise television and comics. (Were radio dramas usually written by a bunch of different people, or was there usually just one writer?) The way people relate to fanfiction seems to me something that couldn’t have developed in a time when you weren’t exposed to narratives that both 1) had a clear and inaccessible source and provenance (aka, the TV station or publisher), and 2) changed hands.