Sunday, December 31 gave rise to...

Update On Those Tasks I Was Talking About:

Regarding the tasks I blogged about more than a week ago; accomplished all of them, sort of. I use rTorrent as my main bittorrent client now. I got XFCE working the way I wanted to, but it doesn't really matter since I just SSH into the box and use rTorrent for my torrents, which is really the only thing I worry about on that PC at this point.

Maybe I'll play Okami some more tomorrow. I don't plan on going out for New Year's, anyway. There's nothing exciting going on locally.

I learned some good new things by committing myself to these tasks. It's nice to learn things, like how to use screen.

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Saturday, December 30 gave rise to...

I'm Absolutely Befuddled By A Google Reader Feature. And Other Things of Interest.

Saddam Hussein is dead. You can almost feel the national security threat level going down.

Anyway, I have a few things to talk about. The first of these is an issue with a feature on Google Reader. You're supposed to be able to add your recent shared RSS items to a webpage / blog with something they call a clip. Here is what it should like:

You can see an actual working version of this at Dids' Blog, which is where I got the idea from. Thanks, Dids.

This works really well with the new version of Blogger oh

wait, it doesn't. No, it doesn't work at all. And I can't figure out why. The first problem that Blogger had with it was that the code I was given by Google Reader to paste into my page was poorly formed. Something about a delimiter being needed in the code. This was no big deal, I found out what I needed and where it had to go, and added it. After this, I no longer got the error message telling me that the code was poorly formed. This time, instead, the additional content just didn't show up on my page at all. I have no idea why this is happening, but I'm going to scour the Internet to try and figure this out. Soon enough, I'll have my fucking shared Google Reader items on the sidebar for you, I swear it. If anyone knows how to fix this issue, please leave a comment here.

^^^January 01 2007: I solved the problem described above^^^
Here's how.

The next topic of interest is the image in my header. This is a picture that I took on December 18, 2006. It's of a little statue that sits in my room. Something that I'd like to do is take similar nice pictures of the other foo dog statues in my room, and use one of those PHP scripts to change that background image randomly. The only real issue with this is I guess I need to find a place that'll host the PHP script, for free.

My brain hurts today. Have a happy New Year.

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Thursday, December 28 gave rise to...

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).

I watched it so you don't have to.

But maybe, just maybe, you should. I'm glad I did.

More after the pictures.

My friend let me borrow this movie nearly a week ago.

Holy shit, what a movie.

Apparently, critics hated it! It was nominated for a bunch of Razzies. And Marlon Brando won the Razzie for worst supporting actor. Superb!

I didn't think it was bad enough to turn off. And if you can take away nothing else, I'm sure you'll appreciate the awesome makeup, and this guy.

The movie descends into madness almost immediately, and it sinks lower and lower as the scenes progress. We start at scene on a life raft where three men a trying to kill each other for some water. Two of the three men are eaten by sharks. Shortly thereafter the surviving man, who is the film's protagonist, decides to leave the ship that saves him to join Val Kilmer on a mysterious island, because the captain of the ship would like nothing more than to make him his bitch. After that, we get animal men, Marlon Brano as Dr. Moreau, and this guy.

The doctor is eaten by his children, Val Kilmer abuses drugs and incites an orgy, the animals get guns and set fire to most of the shit on the island and,

Actually I was kind of hoping they'd just kill the hero and end the movie right there. That's what would happen if this happened in real life anyway.

Anyway, after that, somehow shit turns around for the better and the remaining animal-men are left to their island, where they presumably live in relative peace and harmony for the rest of their weird lives. Maybe there were more orgies, I don't know.

Brando is (unintentionally?) hilarious as Dr. Moreau, a man so calm in the face of such monstrosities, you wonder if he might be on quaaludes!

Kilmer was hilarious too. The other guy, David Thewlis, was not really believable as the protagonist. If I was him, I would probably have killed myself three or four times during the course of the film. I'd have killed something when I saw the female goat-woman give birth.

Fairuza Balk was the female love-interest type of the movie. I'd let her use my genes to create horrifying man-beasts any day!

I think the best way to approach the movie is to think of it as commentary about society, but not in the same way as you would Apocalypto. This movie is more focused on the subject of the breakdown of a society built on the fear of punishment, and the struggle between law and anarchy when the tables are suddenly turned. That, and the horrors of Hollywood gene-splicing.

First and foremost though, just appreciate the great makeup and the absurdity at various points throughout the movie. If you decide to see this, I'd recommend the director's cut on DVD. From what I've read about the differences between this and the original theatrical release, there are things that have been left out of the movie that make certain scenes harder to understand. Oh, and there is more gore in the director's cut.

It wasn't a terrible movie.

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Monday, December 25 gave rise to...

Merry Christmas. James Brown Has Died. James Brown YouTube Videos In This Post.

James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul', Dies at 73 - New York Times Article

Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73 - Associated Press Article

Now, I'm sure many of you have seen the following video. It's James Brown in an interview after being arrested for beating his wife. He says and does some really hilarious things. What makes this worth watching is that it's an extended version; I had not seen this version until...five minutes ago.

Here's another video of The Godfather of Soul, getting funky. One of the tags on the video was "cocaine".

There's a lot of really good live footage of James Brown on YouTube that shows what a dynamic performer he was through all of his years. Really, his age in the videos has quite a wide range. Many of the samples in rap music that we hear are from James Brown songs.

It's really weird hearing that James Brown has died. I almost expect him to rise from his grave in three days, dancing and singing incoherently. As I mentioned to Useff earlier today, I think James Brown should be "picked up by his clan and taken to a planet where the hunt is better" instead of perishing as men do.

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Friday, December 22 gave rise to...

Reflecting on Apocalypto

Where do I start?

Last night I saw Apocalypto. I thought it was great. I don't usually go to the movies. Useff convinced me to go; this was his second time seeing it.

As I said, I don't usually go to the movies. The last time I went to the movies was to see The Prestige in October. Before that, it was The Black Dahlia. These days, I don't normally make a decision to go to the movies; I go because my friends ask me to tag along. I should also mention that I'm not the biggest Mel Gibson fan in the world, especially after his drunken stunt earlier this year. I don't think I've ever seen any of his movies. Wait, I saw some of the beginning of Braveheart many years ago.

The movie was really good. I was surprised to learn that there was so much controversy surrounding it! I thought that people were just upset that Mel Gibson was directing another movie after The Passion of the Christ, or they were mad about the anti-semitic comments he made when he got arrested for that DUI. According to Wikipedia (careful, there's a REALLY long and detailed plot summary there), there's a pretty good list of things that people don't like about Apocalypto. These include historical inaccuracies, racism, misrepresentation of Mayan culture, and other bitchy things. For instance, people are upset that there are metal javelin blades displayed in the movie, when such things didn't exist in that civilization back then.

Ladies, gentlemen, this is a movie, designed first and foremost to entertain. It's production is sponsored by a major motion picture studio, not a historical society. Major motion picture studios are in the business of making money, not getting facts straight. They make money by entertaining you and I, and trying to help us justify spending $10 or more at the fucking box office. Why are people mad about this? Furthermore, I'm no historian or anthropologist, but I didn't feel like there was any racism or misrepresentation of the peoples represented in the film. Sure, there was some savagery, but it didn't leave me with the impression that these were a bunch of cavemen killing each other for no reason; I don't want to ruin the film, but believe me, there was clearly a reason behind the violence portrayed in this film. And those sacrifice scenes? What's wrong with that? The Mayans performed sacrifices. Often. I don't see what more people want from this movie.

Did you want a dead-on accurate representation of Mayan culture? Oh, you wanted it in two hours? Sorry, not really feasible. Did anyone complain that Gladiator showed an inaccurate representation of Roman civilization?

I walked away thinking nothing AT ALL negative about Mayan civilization, except that it was a fairly advanced "civilization", and civilizations generally shit on people in one way or another; just look at our system.


Basically what I took away from the movie was just a really intense experience. There was a lot of action, a ton of suspense, and a very vast and amazing looking world was presented in the film. I'd argue that the movie is as visually impressive as Gladiator. Now, I've never seen any of Mel Gibson's other movies, and I am really skeptical about his values after the anti-semitism debacle, but after seeing the movie I feel like he's an extremely talented filmmaker.

If you can tolerate violence, and appreciate a lot of suspense and beautiful environments in your movies, I suggest you check out Apocalypto and don't let the hype phase you too much; form your own opinion.

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Thursday, December 21 gave rise to...

Public List Of Tasks I Hope To Accomplish In Coming Days

I finally registered for Winter session and now I'm in attack/perform mode. This is what I hope to do:

  • Learn to use rTorrent - because it seems like a good thing. Using a command line interface for a filesharing program is very foreign to me, though. Once I can figure it out, I'll be able to just place .torrent files in a directory, and rTorrent should do the rest of the work for me. Furthermore, I just want more experience doing things from the command line.
  • Switch my "darknet" box to XFCE - mainly a performance thing. XFCE is less resource-intensive than GNOME.
  • Play Okami - I'm putting this on my PS2 hard drive right now! I thought I got it a long time ago. I had about 99% of it. I got the final 1% today.

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Monday, December 18 gave rise to...

"Wait, That Analogy Makes No Fucking Sense."

"No, I don't like Guitar Hero. I fucking hate it. [Why?] Why? Because Guitar Hero is for fakers. You have a guitar, right? [Uhh, yeah.] Can you play most of the basic chords? [Uhh, yeah.] Well, that's pretty much the same as playing Guitar Hero, right? [Well, yeah. I guess it is. You know how much I like games. I guess the novelty of being able to play the "guitar" as a game just struck me.] You got caught up in that shit. Like I said, Guitar Hero is for fakers. It's like being a porn star with fake tits.

Wait, that analogy makes no fucking sense.

It's like being a famous actress with fake tits."

This was me discussing Guitar Hero with a friend last night, 12/16/2006. I'm in the brackets. He's kind of right. The only reason I stopped fucking around with the guitar was those damned barre chords. That, and I have no real desire to get formal training on the instrument. I do not want to take lessons. If a friend wants to teach me shit, that's fine. But lessons I cannot really get into. I don't want to pay money to get lessons on something I'm not really serious about, when most of the information is out there anyway and I'm pretty sure that I can self-teach myself to a comfortable level; I've already made significant progress.

I played Guitar Hero for the first time last night.

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Monday, December 11 gave rise to...

Hey! Blogger is almost out of Beta!

According to the official Blogger Blog, the new version of Blogger is almost out of beta. They've been kind enough to allow me to put my old blog on the new version of the software. They say they're going to allow merging of blogs, but I don't see that feature yet. Besides, it's not like anyone wants to read my old blog posts anyway.

Oh wait, there was that one famous "how-to" blog post I made. As far as I know, this really helped to spread the word about the potential for a hard drive in your PS2. Now I didn't invent the technique; no way, but at the time (February 2005), there was no single place that had all of the necessary information properly organized, and no easy step-by-step format for figuring out what to do.

When I was trying to gather all of the information for my own purposes, I was relegated to a bunch of horrible forums where, simply because of the nature of the forum (the PS2 scene attracts a lot of...fine folks), every other post was trash, and every worthwhile thread had about 3 paragraphs of information spread out over 18 pages. Everything else in a given worthwhile thread was some asshole asking how he can run Final Fantasy X from his computer. These days, you can almost do that successfully, by the way.

So yeah: provided that they release the tool that will allow me to merge my blogs, that is on my blogging agenda. Also on my blogging agenda is cleaning up the post I made on the PS3 a few days ago. It was sloppy. I took it down. I'll put it back up in a form that is less sloppy, some day soon.

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Friday, December 8 gave rise to...

Please See This~

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Thursday, December 7 gave rise to...

Many Think The PS3 Sucks. But Will Sony Really Lose The "Console War?"

Ok, so as far as the "blogosphere" is concerned, the PS3 is just a bad choice on Sony's part; a complete mistake. The biggest problem is the price, $599, for the version of the console with all of the bells and whistles. This is $200 more expensive than the "premium" version of the XBOX 360, and $250 more than Nintendo's Wii. Speaking of the Wii, another problem that people have with it is the system's big "innovation;" Sony pretty much jacked the core idea of the Wiimote and put it in their SIXAXIS controller.

But I don't want to talk about why the system might be a failure.

I want to talk about the reasons why I now believe that it's going to be a success.

Think about how many people are buying the PS3 on eBay. Think about how much they are selling for on eBay. Consider that the demand must be outrageous to push the prices so high. I've heard that people have bought these systems for $2000 or more. People are getting shot and killed for this system.

Why would people be so excited about this system? There are two reasons I can think of. One is brand loyalty. People liked Sony. People liked the original Playstation. People liked what they had in the PS2. I mean obviously they did, as there are more PS2 games out there than there have ever been for any other system in gaming history. (There are over 8,00 titles available for the PS2. [source] According to Microsoft, there are about 800 titles available for the original Xbox.)

I don't expect people to buy a system because it has a lot of games, though. Nor do I expect customers to be loyal to any given brand, which I'll discuss in a bit.

The PS2 has had some REALLY AMAZING intellectual properties. A lot of these carried over from Sony's original Playstation. Things like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear, both of which are going to make an appearance on the PS3.

Actually you know what, those are the only two really good IPs that come to mind right now.

But the thing is, they're both slotted for sequels to be released exclusively on the PS3. Personally, Metal Gear Solid 4 is the only game I would buy a PS3 for at this point in time. Other games previewed have looked nice:FFXIII, Level 5's White Knight project, the new Gran Turismo Project all look great - but MGS4 is the only one that I would play no matter what.

So I'm pretty sure that there are other people out there like me who bought the PS3 in anticipation of future games. It's difficult to tell how the future of a system is going to be from the launch game lineup, anyway. But the prospect of BIG NAME future games from BIG NAME developers is going to get people to buy the systems, just for these games. I'd love to see the number of sales that the PS3 gets that are attached to games like MGS4 and FFXIII. Also, I'd love to see how many Xbox 360's sell when Halo 3 comes out, how many Wii's sell when the new Smash Bros. game or Mario games come out, and so on.

But this isn't about the 360 or the Wii, this is about the PS3.

On a more devious note, let's return to the overwhelming demand for the PS3. Let's assume that everyone who wants one (and it sure seems like a lot of people) is eventually going to get one. When they get it, they'll have Blu-Ray player in their living room / bedroom. They'll want some Blu-Ray movies to go with that - the people who bought the PS3 at launch got Will Ferrell's most recent movie, Talladega Nights free with their players, so their collection has already started.

Did I mention that Sony is a MAJOR stakeholder in the Blu-Ray format? They're actually on the board of directors.

So yeah, right now the game is all about getting as many units into people's homes as possible. Sony is doing this pretty damned well the way the PS3s are selling right now, and they'll continue to do it when their flagship titles come out. Microsoft's whole business right now is based on them selling games. Sony has marketed the PS3 as more of a multimedia center kind of product, so while it plays games, it can do other things too, like play Blu-Ray. Once people have these systems in their homes, they'll probably buy a lot more Blu-Ray titles, and Sony will make money from this.

I don't think people's reasons for buying the PS3 are wise, but in a way they do make sense from the standpoint of these consumers, and Sony.


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Wednesday, December 6 gave rise to...

Black Eyes - Drums

Drums is one of my favorite songs from Black Eyes' second album, Cough, released in 2004. If you like it, it's probably better to buy it directly from Dischord, Black Eyes' record label, for many reasons. The most easily understood of these reasons is that it's cheaper than Amazon, which is where I bought it before I even thought to go to Dischord's website. Moral of the story: check with the record label's site first!

Download it here.

fire on the sea and in the tides
fire on every hill and every mountain side
and all day we hear the
singing out of the heavy heavy rhythm of war
i know the sound and smell of
gunshots gunshots
around corners i have nothing to compare you to
a tool for which i found i have no use
my years of yout end up split into twos
forget touching in homes we touch in bathrooms
back rooms and hallways all eyes and conversations
i would hope this event has no contradiction
if i could purge my tongue of all condescension
if only i wasnt so so so so

(Next two parts overlap, with each singer singing his own part.)

blood in the sea and in the tides
blood on every hill and every mountain side
and all day we fail to see the strength of
the heavy, sweet,
choked hands we choose to hold
some people think that the womb is a galaxy of bright stars
some people think the womb is a
garden planted in the rich earth
from which to pick a bouquet
but i smell blood
and when our hands touch it has the force of

eating off each other with
hands and mouths
i don't need any forks with my
father and my mother
coughing when we should be
laughing are we doing
whatever it is we should be doing?
walking through washington dc at night
there are so many ways
i could finish this rhyme
how could i?
i don't even know what to think
no less what to do when i read of.....

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Monday, December 4 gave rise to...

Lazy Blogging: An AIM Conversation.

So I have a paper or two to write, and there has been a blog post I've wanted to make for a while.

I'm not going to be making that post today, so instead, here's a current events-related AIM conversation from a few minutes ago.

My away message at this point was simply, "The frontier". Here is where the conversation begins, with my friend Zach addressing the away message:

(04:29:01 PM) Zach: the final frontier?
(04:29:11 PM) Noah: There is no final frontier
(04:29:22 PM) Noah: Man can find or create new frontiers
(04:29:23 PM) Zach: I once heard it was space
(04:29:26 PM) Noah: yeah
(04:29:33 PM) Noah: but think of virtual frontiers, like MMO games
(04:29:42 PM) Noah: In many respects they really are a lawless kind of frontierland
(04:29:46 PM) Noah: chew on this
(04:30:01 PM) Noah: they have recently started the ball rolling on taxing virtual worlds
(04:30:05 PM) Zach: that's true to an extent, but then you venture into the question of what is real
(04:30:08 PM) Zach: what?
(04:30:08 PM) Noah: because people make millions of dollars in them
(04:30:10 PM) Noah: yes
(04:30:14 PM) Zach: how
(04:30:20 PM) Zach: how is that possible
(04:30:21 PM) Noah: I made a few hundred in Everquest you know
(04:30:30 PM) Noah: People start businesses. Selling in game currency, or other stuff
(04:30:34 PM) Noah: Second Life is probably the best example
(04:30:59 PM) Noah: It's not really a game so much as it is a virtual world, but it's got this scripting language that allows you to do pretty much anything. You can create objects, sell real estate, build a house, etc
(04:31:19 PM) Noah: recently someone made this thing that allowed them to duplicate any item in the world...this caused a lot of trouble in the game
(04:31:31 PM) Zach: is it the government taxing it or the games developers
(04:31:35 PM) Noah: gov't
(04:31:39 PM) Zach: Second life is out of control
(04:31:43 PM) Noah: let me try to find a link
(04:31:57 PM) Noah:
(04:31:59 PM) Noah: that'll do
(04:32:00 PM) Zach: I guess I don't see how the government has the authority to tax a virtual world
(04:32:22 PM) Zach: that is pretty fucked I say
(04:32:31 PM) Noah: it's just an example of how the world is changing
(04:32:49 PM) Noah: the world we live in always grows in new and unexpected ways, Zach
(04:33:25 PM) Zach: yeah
(04:33:34 PM) Zach: this was very unexpected to me
(04:33:47 PM) Zach: I need to up my propheseying game
(04:34:00 PM) Noah: But yeah, this whole conversation is basically what I'm getting at in my cryptic and two word long away message
(04:34:04 PM) Noah: There will ALWAYS be a new frontier
(04:34:54 PM) Zach: dude
(04:35:06 PM) Zach: this is the most thought provoking away message
(04:35:18 PM) Zach: i have read
(04:35:20 PM) Zach: in many a day
(04:35:23 PM) Noah: 8-)

After this, Zach went away, with a new away message.

"space ain't what it used to be"

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Friday, December 1 gave rise to...

Macroing (Automation) In RPGs, How Square Got It Right With Final Fantasy XII, And What MMOs Can Learn:

Final Fantasy XII is not a Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO). But the battle system is very similar to one, in that it's not turn-based like a traditional RPG. All characters and enemies act on the same time table - when you want to select a command, the game pauses so that you can effectively create the illusion of all of your three characters acting on their own. Commands do not execute immediately - it takes about a second for the action meter to build up for the command to be executed successfully. If you decide to cancel the command in the middle and do something else, like, for instance if you're in the process of casting a spell, and you see that a teammate is injured and needs healing, your action timer will reset and start from the beginning with the healing command. If the pauses and menus were not there, it might look like a real-time fight. I repeat, there are no turns. You can cancel commands in the middle of an action, you can do these commands in any order, and the enemies you fight will all attack at once, attacking whomever the AI decides is the best target at the time. The AI probably does this the way an MMO AI does it, by calculating the level of threat a character produces, which is usually based on how much damage they're doing combined with how much they are sustaining / improving the health and abilities of their teammates.

So far, this just sounds like the fighting system one might encounter in an MMO if you had the option to pause whenever you wanted to execute a command. And of course, if there was only one person controlling the whole team.

What's important is the presence of gambits in FF:XII.

A gambit is almost the equivalent of a macro in a MMO.

It allows you to automate tasks if certain criteria are met. If you want a character to cast a powerful group heal spell every time a teammate's health goes below 40%, you can set that up to happen, every time, as long as they have enough magic points / mana to cast the spell. If you want to cast a spell that removes all enhancement "buffs" from an enemy every time an enemy is encountered that has a certain attack power buff on it, you can set that up. When you set up a gambit, you can stop it at any time and do whatever else you want - after you do the manual command, your character will go back to his list of gambits and start using those again. This is necessary for boss fights which, are EXTREMELY challenging in FF:XII and you have to do a lot of unique things to win.

This is a lot of fun to figure out in FF:XII, where you have control of three characters at once - it can be very time-consuming and mentally challenging to try to get them all to do the right thing to win a battle. Moreover, if the battle isn't particularly hard, it can be tedious to tell them to attack over and over and over again. Many people have been turned off by RPGs because of this very fact - it sucks to have to tell a character to attack over and over again ad nauseum until the monster dies.

There are limits to this system in FF:XII. You can only have up to 12 different gambits, so each of your characters may automate only 12 different tasks. Furthermore, you have a limited choice of what you can do. The game decides what is and isn't possible to automate. For instance, I can tell my party's leader to attack the nearest enemy. I can't link this to other commands - I can't tell my party's leader to attack the nearest enemy, and then cast a fire spell on it. I can't link this to other commands with my other party members - I can't tell another party member to heal the party leader every 30 seconds once he has initiated combat using the attack nearest enemy gambit described above.

The system works very well. Final Fantasy XII is the most fun I've ever had with an RPG. I don't mean that it has the best story with the greatest plot twists (not to say that the story isn't compelling), or the coolest effects (not to say that the game isn't great to look at), but it is the most fun. There isn't much in the game at all that has that tedious, grinding feeling of playing an RPG. Not until you try to get the best items or fight all of the really difficult optional bosses, anyway.

The use of such systems in MMO games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest is considered a bannable offense. The use of such systems is not allowed.

In these games, the systems are created by third parties who usually have good intentions - that's been my experience with the Everquest Macroquest project anyway. Such third party programs are developed over a long period of time. They "plug in" to the game and allow you to do things you wouldn't normally be able to do. The main problem with these programs is that by their nature, they kind of discover everything about how the game works, how it's put together, and how to break the rules. There aren't any of the limits that you will find in Final Fantasy XII's gambit system. If you want to do that kind of stuff, sure, you can, and in my experience, it will make your gaming experience richer, and it's really the only way to effectively play multiple characters. On the other hand, if you want to do all kinds of cheap, unintended stuff like teleporting around the game world, equipping weapons in face armor slots, and many other really interesting things, you can do those too. The developers of Macroquest don't condone this, but it hasn't stopped people from doing it. "Bad" Macroing is rampant in MMO games.

There are cases where macros could be a good thing in an MMO. If you wanted to play a few different characters at once because none of your friends were online, it would be nice. In a game like Everquest, once you reach the end-game level of gameplay, you can't do anything without a solid group of at least four people. If you're playing in the middle of the day, play on an underpopulated server, or, have been playing in the past few years (Since the population of the game dropped off with the release of games like World of Warcraft) without a large and capable guild, you can't just play whenever you want, because of this. You're restricted to doing things that aren't fun, or aren't challenging.

There are plenty of reasons why MMO developers don't want macros in their games, aside from the immense damage that cheating and hacking cause to a persistent online world. Whether or not these reasons are legitimate and valid, is the subject of a lot of debate.

Some say that a MMO's goal is to get people to spend as much time in their online universe as possible. These people say that the developers will do this intentionally, by any means possible. They say that this is the reason why we see bosses that take an hour to kill, but are unexciting to fight in any way. A good example that supports this case is the final dungeon in the Everquest expansion Shadows of Luclin, which came out a few years ago. This dungeon, called Vex Thal, had monsters that had millions upon millions of hitpoints, and such high AC that weapons did minimal damage to them. There were a lot of "trash mobs" in the zone, along with the "boss mobs" that everyone wanted to fight for their great loot. As I recall, it would take up to an hour of fighting trash mobs to get to some boss mobs, and the boss mob fights took as long as an hour each. Back in the day when this was the best zone to go to, you could expect to spend a full eight hour day fighting in this zone. This isn't the only example, but it's the first one that comes to mind. If people used macros to fight most of the monsters in the zone, who usually had VERY predictable patterns, the time wouldn't go away, but most of the work would be automated. You could probably sit back and watch the action. You wouldn't have to waste an entire day doing fighting that is mostly fruitless and has no reward, with monsters who are placed between the bosses for no reason other than to waste your time.

I'm going to cut to the chase: I think that if a system like the gambit system were implemented in an MMO, it would make it a lot more fun. Most of these games have excessive amounts of tedious "work" involved with advancement and success in their universes. Some of these games require you to play with a group of people any time you want to have fun, which in my mind, doesn't work unless there is ALWAYS a large pool of fun players to select from; the only way this could happen is if people lived their lives in the game...and sadly, some do. If a macroing system was created by the game developers and had a bunch of limits set on what a player could do, how would that really hurt things? The way these games play, it's almost as if they're designed to be automated anyway. In my experience, people generally don't use macros because they love cheating, they do it because the games aren't fun often enough to justify all of the time they're spending on them. Stop banning people and start thinking about how to incorporate this stuff into your games and making the automation system fun and challenging.

I'm nearly 70 hours into Final Fantasy XII. I've only had it for two and a half weeks. Every moment has been fun, and has only made me want to play the game more, because it's just enjoyable. Who can say that for the 70 hours they might spend in one week on their MMO game of choice?

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