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The Gaming Rant 12

This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.

WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.

Contains strong language, drug references and sexual references. This article is satire and does not reflect the views of TheSixthAxis or myself. Death to vuvuzelas and all who own one.

Now, I know you’re probably expecting me to rant about E3 this week. As a professional gaming guru, it is of course my job to sit up at 1am watching boring presentations and taking notes over copious amounts of coffee. UN-fortunately, my expert attention has sort of been, ehm, a bit shall we say ‘diverted to other purposes’ this week. That’s a euphemism for saying pretty girls are more important than real work. Although, maintaining Norwegian girls is probably a full-time job in itself – not that I’m complaining, but I wouldn’t know anyway because I’m rubbish at things like that. As a result, I have completely missed almost everything at E3 for the first time in about 12 years.

I have to admit, it’s been a struggle to be grumpy on demand lately. This week has been exceptionally difficult: it’s hard to be angry when you’ve got an interesting new friend constantly casting mood buffs on you. But if we leave aside DJ Hero 2 and Microsoft’s utterly shambolic E3 performance (which I was unlucky enough to have to sit through), there are a few matters of personal bane to attend to.


I know, it’s not video game-related, but it is topical, and although I like to pretend I don’t know the offside rule and have never heard of the World Cup, let’s cut through the smoke and mirrors: I own FIFA 10 World Cup and I’ve watched most of the matches. Please don’t tell anyone, I’ll be the butt of their jokes for months and years to come.

I was rather glad EA didn’t patch vuvuzelas into FIFA 10 World Cup for “added realism”, because right now I would like to ram these devices created purely for the irritation of non-paying TV viewers like myself right down their owners’ throats.

I have heard American comedians who are actually less irritating than vuvuzelas. Every time I settle down with a frosty beer to watch a nice bit of football, my ears are assaulted with the sound of hundreds of angry beehives all stuffed into my living room and peppered in tobasco sauce, then released. It is bloody HIDEOUS. If Satan took a dump out of my speakers, I suspect this is what it might sound like.

So FIFA had a meeting on Monday and announced that vuvuzelas are part of South African culture and will not be banned during the championship. Let’s not worry about the fact the players can’t hear their instructions properly, that the commentators can’t hear themselves and that millions of TV viewers are getting a freaking headache for 4.5 hours per day. I read in the newspaper this morning that the volume of the vuvuzelas in the first match with South Africa was 140dB – that’s 20dB louder than a jumbo jet plane taking off – and were right next to the commentators’ box, constantly, for 90 minutes. Why are we not seeing blood spattering on the camera lens as these poor guys’ ears explode into pieces?

You can’t even get away from it when you turn the TV off. Some shitfaced bunch of c*cks decided they would start blowing vuvuzelas in the street outside my house today. It went on for an hour, and that’s a sound I can’t turn off. It really is amazingly loud. I wanted to walk outside, go up to one of them and shove a tennis ball into the end of it with maximum force, hopefully smashing the little shit’s teeth in at the same time.

For God’s sake TV sound engineer people, please filter that bloody sound out before I lose my mind and have to be sectioned. Psychiatric wards around the world are currently filling up with people who have spun into uncontrolled rage and smashed anything nearby that looks like a horn or musical instrument over the head of the nearest human being.

Replace it with singing from Euro 2008. Replace it with drums. Hell, play Samba de Janeiro when someone scores a goal if you really must, but for Christ’s sake, please filter out those f*cking vuvuzelas.

Sony Ericsson’s Retard Testing Button

So who here has a W995 or other SE phone with threaded SMS? Am I the only person who goes back over an SMS they just wrote to re-read it? Can someone please tell me why the hell ‘View’ and ‘Cancel’ are on the same button on these stupid phones?

I’ll admit I’m a Nokia smartphone fangirl. The phones are as slow as a ZX81 with its tape drive stuffed full of marijuana – taking a photo can take a full 10 minutes if you have the audacity to try and use the pre-focus – but the interface is good.

There are few things I regret in my rather colourful life history, but oh how I wish I could turn back time to the fateful day I ordered that W995 and order an iPhone instead… sorry *slap* What was I thinking.. I meant I wish I had ordered an Android phone instead. Slip of the tongue.

So, about 1 in 3 SMSs, you go back to read it and hit Cancel before it’s sent. Then, in true technological fashion, resending fails repeatedly until you finally coax it into behaving itself with threatening looks. The phone has a freaking cancel button, how about using it to, oh I don’t know, cancel the SMS? I know, it’s radical creative thinking to assign a button function to be the same as the icon painted on it, but I like to think outside the box.

Anyway, Mr. Sony Ericsson Fanboi, my friend Thomas – who owns a Nokia N73 that I bought him 3 years ago and not a Sony Ericsson phone – says the View/Cancel button is a test of your level of retardedness, and I apparently fail that test. Yes, that’s like saying I can’t operate a phone with a gay user interface, so I must be heterosexual. I’m guessing the people who programmed the interface on the Sony Ericsson were the same criminal masterminds who came up with the Xbox 360 NXE, another utterly useless and unnecessarily cluttered interface that reminds you of that time you had to wade through a field of cow pat while drunk to get were you were going.

The Wii is Cool

Such heinous words, when uttered in my house, usually constitute a crime worthy of the most inhumane forms of capital punishment. We’re talking bear traps on timers screwed into your face and set to snap open when the timer runs out. Real Saw 1 stuff. Not video game stuff I might add, because no video games are actually that violent. Funny thing that.

Apart from putting Wii Sports boxing down and actually getting into a physical fight with my ex, Super Mario Galaxy was easily the most fun I ever had on my now extremely dusty Wii, which until recently was functioning as an excellent doorstop. There are sawmills with less dust flying around than the awesome collection of dead skin, insects and bacteria I’ve collected on my Wii.

Imagine then, if you will, the feelings of self-loathing that pervaded my body as I played through the first couple of hours of Super Mario Galaxy 2 over the weekend, shook my head with resignation and said “Man, this game is epic.”

And then I remembered: the Wii is actually really fun. Most of the games are fun, not just Mario. The problem is, you just have to actually be bothered to turn the thing on. And change the batteries in the Wiimote of course, because they have a life span somewhat resembling that of plankton. The only problem with it is that although you can wave your Wiimote around as much as you like, you can’t wave your d*ck around with all the trophies and achievements you collected, because there aren’t any. And there’s no online. And there’s no hard disk. And there’s no streaming media. And it doesn’t play DVDs or Blurays. And it only outputs at 480p. Oh who are we kidding, the Wii is a piece of shit.

World’s Deadliest Catch

(If you aren’t familiar with World of Warcraft lingo, I suggest Google Translate – not that that’ll be any help)

Last week I wrote about some fairly high level questing in the Norwegian grocery store Kiwi – let’s call it the Kiwi Auction House or AH for short. For the sake of creative license, let’s stay the story’s protagonist is called Kat and the pick-up group (PUG) member is called Kirsty-Ann. *looks around* Ahem, yeah.

So, Kat picked up Kirsty-Ann in the Kiwi AH last week by doing a recruitment spam in trade chat. In the days that followed, Kirsty-Ann and Kat slowly turned in reputation points for each other and she quickly became a trialist. Many of you know the reputation branch goes neutral, liked, honored, revered, exalted. They are past neutral already, but as it takes weeks of grinding, delivering reputation points and doing daily quests to reach exalted level, they are currently only somewhere between liked and honored.

As a trialist for Kat’s new guild, Kat and Kirsty-Ann did a few quests together – mostly simple gathering and farming quests for low-grade coffee and high-grade cigarettes interspersed with large amounts of cut scene dialogue. Kirsty-Ann was pleased with the Taunt Box of Variation (TV) and Boxes of Ultimate Sound Emission in Kat’s dungeon.

The Green Tabard Kirsty-Ann is forced to wear as part of the Kiwi AH’s dress code is highly misleading. In reality, Kirsty-Ann’s avatar is extremely well-designed – especially her smile which causes an instant area-of-effect resistance debuff on Kat every time she casts that spell. It’s an extremely potent high-level spell with a very low re-use timer, giving Kat a +10 happiness buff within a 40 yard range, unless there are line-of-sight issues of course. It’s clearly imbalanced, but hopefully the scheduled patch and downtime won’t fix the issue or it will create massive lag and ruin the entire gameplay experience.

Kat was also happy to see that Kirsty-Ann had spec’d her personality as well as her avatar, with little to disagree about. Kat was thrilled to learn that Kirsty-Ann is also a geek, but to speak out of character for a moment, no Kirsty-Ann, the Xbox 360 controller is NOT better than the PS3 controller. For fuck’s sake get a grip on reality woman. Apart from that near deal-breaker, the trialist seemed like everything Kat could want in a guild officer.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Kirsty-Ann was already in another guild: a newly appointed officer of <Platekompaniet>, one of the highest ranking guilds on the server and headed by none other than the feared Bluray loot king GM Sargent Disc. Kat was particularly dismayed to learn that Kirsty-Ann had been guildless on their first encounter in the Kiwi AH trade chat two months prior.

Kat asked the new trialist about her existing guild and, although not a judgmental character, felt some slight unease about the way the guild is run, based on her own past guild experiences. Their guild hasn’t been formed for that long but it seems like they haven’t set up a Teamspeak or Ventrilo server yet, which occasionally makes officer meetings (where important things are discussed) difficult. Also, while the GM is not very good at doing courier quests between the Kiwi AH and Kirsty-Ann’s dungeon, he also frowns upon his officer being couriered by others, especially Kat. Confused by this, Kat consulted with a couple of wise old mages in long-standing guilds about appropriate guild etiquette, and they confirmed that 3rd party courier quests are not usually problematic if the guild is running smoothly to start with.

Achievement whoring is another issue. For example, while the GM would like to obtain the Marriage Achievement and Children Achievement, neither Kirsty-Ann nor Kat are particularly excited about that grinding path right now. The Children Achievement would turn Kirsty-Ann from a druid into a hunter, with a pet that constantly needs attention, making costly mistakes, wiping raids and making any normal raiding schedule impossible; whereas the Marriage Achievement ties you down to only participate in guild raids, disallowing PUG-ing.

Kat of course feels that Kirsty-Ann’s current guild should be disbanded and that she should sign a charter with Kat to create a new guild, <Wiitard Button>. It is possible that Kirsty-Ann could form this guild with Kat using an alt and stay in her current one with her main, but that would of course be frowned upon by her existing GM as it is against guild etiquette, and Kat wouldn’t recommend that. When preparing for the guild spec’ing Kat will start doing some daily cleaning and cooking quests to get her kitchen rep up, then ensure she is regularly farming materials for food buffs.

Of course, reputation gain with one faction sometimes leads to reputation loss with at least one other faction, but Kat got lucky at the Kiwi AH. On Monday she completed a simple coffee gathering quest and delivered it to the AH at closing time. This low-level quest awarded more reputation points than expected, and several group members cast Smile when Kat arrived, triumphantly held up the inventory and proclaimed “I BRING COFFEE!” across the entire AH. However, she now dreads the weekly PvP quest: gathering “game reagents” in the Platekompaniet Arena Stage, as she has surely gone to hated there and doesn’t particularly want to spend gold on a PvP re-spec to deal with Sargent Disc.

Kat was fortunate to get unexpected loot from the world server (tax office) this week, although to be honest they had hacked her account then decided to just give her the gold back. As this gold refund came in Kat saw the opportunity to invite Kirsty-Ann to two scheduled raids: the first a 2-man instance taking place in Restaurant, followed up by the fearsome 300-man strong Cinema instance – a PUG-able encounter where you buy in with “tickets” to enter a long cut scene. This might seem like a waste of time but it gives a good intelligence buff and builds reputation points. Unfortunately their raiding schedules have thus far proved incompatible.

Kirsty-Ann – being a geek – is in fact a TSA reader and believe me, the amount of back-pedalling Kat did over last week’s article significantly dented her agility index, although amazingly it also raised her charisma. Readers are therefore strongly urged to provide Kirsty-Ann with feedback on the best choice of guild in the comments below. Because you guys aren’t biased at all!


A thought for Steve Pope. Kirsty-Ann has an 18 year brother, of whom she said the following in passing: “It’s funny, my brother has been playing FPSs for years, but he’d never pick up a gun in real life.”. How odd.

I wish you all a good weekend. Get your barbecues out.

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