The Art of Trolling

As a player who appreciates teamwork and a gentlemanly attitude (you too ladies) from fellow players, trolls are pretty much my least favorite gamers to encounter. They are the bane of the online multiplayer world, and I suspect we will never be rid of them.

As a general rule, I try not to get ragey during these encounters. Instead I choose one of several viable responses. A) correct all spelling and grammatical mistakes, B) troll back, or my favorite, C) nice them to death. While not the simplest of tasks, politeness can hopefully lead to improved play. At the least, it generally ticks of the troll since they are not accomplishing what they set out to do.

Last night, however, I was unable to employ any of these options, and simply gawked in awe as every troll-esque action that could happen, did.

Thus I present to you, lovely readers, the Art of Trolling, as shown by my most recent game of League of Legends:

Step 1:
During choosing phase, do not call a lane, do not communicate with team. On third pick, choose Karthus, even though mid has been picked and the only lane not called is Top. When teammates question choice, do not respond.

Step 2:
Enter game. Do not go to the one open lane. Instead go the bot lane, which has a viable duo team. Do not leave lane when asked. Force support to top lane.

Step 3:
Hug tower and be mostly unhelpful.

Step 4:
Finally engage in communication, but only blame teammates for why the game is going poorly.

Step 5:
Spend majority of game at base or sitting between towers AFK. Occasionally ping the jungle incessantly to drive teammates insane.

Step 6:
End game with zero kills and few assists. Blame teammates for losing and being terrible. Flame your heart out.   Accept no blame. Talk about teammates’ mom.

Step 7:
Mission accomplished; you ruined somebody’s night.

To be fair, trolls are not always all bad. Sometimes they are hilarious. Occasionally they carry. If they aren’t doing it in ranked games, I could care less. But the above case has already ruined my first series since returning from my long hiatus as well as ruined what was an otherwise lovely evening. I could care less that you think it is fun to troll. Go play normals, because nobody cares about those.

Last but not least, maybe you could just act like a decent human being? I’m sorry you have issues and nothing better to do, but don’t take it out on me and my team.  Kthxbai.

Sincerely,
Clawing my way up the ladder

Disclaimer: Before it comes up, I wholly understand that one player does not win or lose a game. As a team, we could have adapted better and potentially pushed back. It is not the loss of the game I am complaining about, but the attitude of the player. Even a lost game doesn’t have to leave you miserable at the end.

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A Community of Love

Just yesterday I posted something relating to MLP: Friendship is Magic. At that time I was simply commenting on a fan product. Today I will comment on the Community that product resulted from.

But first, the reason why I feel a commentary is necessary. Today while traipsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post from The Hub, the network which hosts My Little Pony. That post was as follows:

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First seeing this, I was extremely confused as it offered no real details on the situation. My first thought was that perhaps it was one of the voice actors for the show that had fallen ill or passed away.

Curious, I googled the name to find out what exactly was going on. This was what I was greeted with:

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Micheal Morones is an 11 year old boy who loves My Little Pony. His favorite character is Pinkie Pie. He loves the music of Lindsey Sterling and Pentatonix. He sounds like a great addition to the nerd community. Unfortunately, he has been bullied by his schoolmates for his Brony interests. The result is…. well, you can read the story here.

While this is a terribly tragic situation which saddens my heart to hear about I am truly amazed by how much the MLP community, and others, have stepped up. Carla Goldman helped to raise awareness of the situation and bullying by writing about it in her blog. Through her I learned that the actress who voices Pinkie Pie as well as other members of the cast have been sending Michael messages of inspiration from our Ponyville friends in hopes of helping him get better. Which I think is absolutely wonderful. Hasbro has offered their condolences and support. A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help with Michael’s medical bills. Bronies around the world are sending their love.

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All in all, I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of love and support the community has offered to Michael and his family and I hope that his story will be beneficial in the fight against bullying. The results lead me to believe  there may still be some hope for humanity after all.

To the Bronies I say good work and keep at it! The world may not accept you and your Pegasisters, but take stock in the fact that you are doing good. Thank you for taking a stance and making a difference. Know that I love you and the things you are doing. Rock on Bronies.

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FlufflePuff is Most Important

Whether you’re a brony, a pegasister, a person who doesn’t classify, or even someone who doesn’t normally like My Little Pony, I believe this is something that can provide excessive amounts of entertainment and smiles.

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I was introduced to FlufflePuff by a friend who thought it would motivate me to blog more. He left this video on my Facebook (thanks again, Ian). Well, I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was only proper that I write a blog about it, because it did indeed make me smile. Several weeks later I was able to use FlufflePuff to help another friend smile.

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Turns out that there are various FlufflePuff videos and it seemas she originated on a Tumblr Ask Account. Which I am now enjoying thoroughly.

So if you find yourself in need of a laugh and a smile, stroll over to Fluffle’s place and pffftftpfpfffttff for a while.

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The Pros and Cons of Fan Fiction

Admit it. At one time or another you have probably found the time to read some fan made article regarding your favorite anime, game, or television show.

Whether it’s Doctor Who, Sailor Moon, or Kingdom Hearts, there is most likely some fan made fiction based on it somewhere in the great abyss of the internet.

I must confess that fan fiction has been my guilty pleasure for many a year. Between reading and writing it, I have had my fair share of both good and extremely horrifying experiences.

I believe fanfiction to be one of the greatest tributes a fan can offer. That being said, the final product has no guarantee of being a promising piece of art.

The idea that we as watchers/readers/gamers can immerse ourselves so much in the art that we love is a wonderful one. Being able to expand on the stories we are offered can be a great way to truly lose ourselves in these fictions. For example, after the completion of the Mass Effect series, one of the many ways fans coped was by writing new endings which better suited their Commander Shepard. By sharing those, other fans were able to find a certain amount of solace.

Yet fanfiction can also open up a nasty can of worms. Many fans are not what you might call great writers. From poor grammer and syntax to conclusions that don’t remotely fall in line with the original work to the weirdest crossovers known to man, there is plenty people have found to complain about. And the fanbase is not always a kind community.

My final opinion is this: fanfiction is one of several outlets we can use to express fondness for our favorite stories. If you want to criticize, be constructive. If you can’t find written work that fills the need you’re hoping to satisfy, try writing it yourself! Most importantly, if you don’t like it, just don’t read it.

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A Mile in Your Fur: Part 2

My name is Shadow. I am a cat.

Master is calling. She is my favorite. I run to her when she calls. If I am quick she praises me. Sometimes I get treats. Always I get pats.

I hear a noise. Is that a bug? Chase the bug. What’s that?! A shadow?! Chase the shadow. What’s that?! Chase!!  Oh, that’s my tail.

I see the Small One. Let’s wrestle! Pounce! She growls. Why are you growling? Don’t you want to play? Play! Wrestle! What’s that?! Mouse toy!!

I hear a noise. What’s that?! Scary! Run away! Oh, it’s just the door. Oh it’s Large Human. Hello Large Human! Pet me. Don’t pet me. Pet me. Don’t pet me. Pet me. Oooh, a toy!

Master is in the food room. She puts something on the floor. I smell it. Hmm. Doesn’t look like my food. Doesn’t smell like my food. Small One eats it. I walk away. Bug! Chase! Oh, just a shadow.

I sit in my seat to take a break. This is my favorite spot.  Large Human rocks the seat.  Play?! Flip! Play with mouse! Chase tail! I love this seat.

Scary Cat hisses at me. I got too close. Play? She bats her paw at me. I bat back. No play. Master calls. Run! Treats! Master!

Master lays in bed. I lay next to Master. This is my pillow. This is my favorite spot. Master nuzzles me and pets me and hugs me. I love this spot. I love Master.

My name is Shadow. I am a cat.

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Shadow is a lot simpler. All he knows is love, play, and occasionally terror when something makes an unexpected loud noise. He is my derpy cat and I love him dearly, even if he sometimes acts more like a dog than a cat.

Persona 3: Japan at it’s Finest

Atlus is one of my most favorite game companies of all times. I have been playing their games since the ripe age of 14, but they were producing LONG before that.

Some of the better known series probably include Disgaea, Growlanser, and Shin Megumi Tensei. Some of my favorite Atlus games include the enticing Catherine, the whimsical Dokapon Kingdom, and the alluring Odin Sphere. A full list of games can be found at Wiki: List of Atlus Games.

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Above all, however, Persona 3 is my absolute favorite. When P3 came out, I was 16 years old. I had probably read about the game in PSM (PlayStation Magazine) and was highly anticipating it. At that time I had done enough research to know I was not old enough to purchase it at the Mature rating. I also knew there was no way my parents would purchase it for me, due to the nature of the game. Yet I was determined. The fresh new collectors edition with art book and limited soundtrack had come out and by George I wanted it. I had just gotten my license that summer, so when the GameStop clerk asked for mutt idea I stood tall and handed it over with a smile. To this day I don’t know I’d he did the math wrong or if he took pity on me. Either way, I got out of the store that day with the game I wanted and was absolutely ecstatic.

There was a reason why Persona was rated M. It was scary and mysterious, the dungeons were covered in a blood like substance, the themes were awfully adult, and most of all was the gun shaped Evokers for which your party would use to summon their personas. By “shooting” themselves in the head the surge of adrenaline would bring out their inner strength.

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The uniqueness of the game aside (thanks Japan), I was immediately hooked. A long time fan of RPGs, the contrast of dungeon clearing at night while attending high school and making friends during the day left me constantly wanting more. I will admit,  the social link aspect with a dating sim feel was my favorite part. Overall, the 70-100 hours of gameplay kept me busy for a long time.

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Then came the next version, FES, which I of course had to have. With added features, new personas, and an all new story line to tack on to the end. I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t completed this. The only available mode is that of “really freaking difficult” and the lack of social link importance was a bit of a turn off, as I didn’t like mindlessly grinding through the dungeon. Like I said before the relationship aspect was my favorite part.

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Finally came Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. In this version you have the option to play as a female protagonist. I was totally psyched for this version, but wasn’t ready to spend the money on a third copy of the game. This past Christmas I was lucky enough to finally receive a copy, and I am once again absorbed in the P3 universe. When you start a new game you receive a disclaimer saying the lady protagonist is not just for girls, but meant for seasoned players looking for a renewed experience. With many different social link options and entirely different outcomes, it allows old players a new experience. Personally, I love it for the newness AND that I get to play as a kickass lady fighter.

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If you’ve never played the game than I’d certainly recommend it as well as other Atlus games.  If you have then props to you! I’d love to know what your impression was. Thanks for reading!

Remember Me – Mnemception

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Release in June 2013, Remember Me is a game made by Capcom for PC, PS4, and Xbox 360. There was a lot of hype for this game, and some disappointed reviews after it was released. I waited a while to purchase it due to the negative reaction and because I’m a stickler for value and wanted it at a lower price. That lowest price can currently be found at Amazon.

My initial impressions led me to believe that this would be a very powerful experience. The characters and images were vivid and my expectations were high. I had a feeling it was going to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Nilin, the main character and heroine of our game, is a powerful female figure. Nilin is a) pretty kickass b) has unique abilities that others like her cannot begin to fathom and c) has a certain presence that often sent chills up my spine. Nilin makes me think of a futuristic Lara Croft. I often felt as though I was in the Animus, and certain scenes remind me of those in Mirror’s Edge. Nilin is one ferocious lady and she’s out for blood.

As a woman, I often hold games with female protagonists in high regard, because they relate to me better than male characters. I love the “girl power” feeling that comes from kicking everybody’s ass as Nilin. That being said, I do worry that the male consumer base will not find such a connection with our hero. I would not characterize Nilin as overtly feminine; she’s a fighter and a rebel, so I believe you can find at least a few aspects in which to relate to her.

The combat aspect of the game can be a little tricky. I have heard several complaints about the combat system being repetitive and dull. While it is repetitive (you complete the same combos over and over), I would not necessarily find it dull. My first play of the game was on “normal” mode, and even still I had to replay certain fights multiple times. The most difficult thing for me was when you would encounter mobs of enemies and had to use Nilin’s dodge while still attempting to complete a combo. This is one of the aspects that kept me on edge throughout the game. Just because the combat combos may become “dull” over time, that doesn’t mean the combat itself does, as new foes are introduced and strategies must be redesigned throughout the game.

Overall, I was quite pleased with Remember Me and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would certainly suggest that it may not have been worth its introductory price, and therefore I am glad that I waited for it to go down in cost before purchasing. I enjoyed the graphics and futuristic scenery. There were occasional puzzles that the player must deal with that I frustrated over and was proud to complete. I was surprised by the twist at the end of the game and was pleased with the final outcome. The one thing that I was truly disappointed by was the length of the game. In some ways it feels more like a prologue, like this should be only the beginning, and I wish that there were more so that I could continue enjoying the world that I had worked so hard to heal.

If I had to give it a rating, I would give it a 7/10. All in all, it was definitely worth the play.