Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jacking In...

The title is misleading. In truth, I'm about to play Guild Wars to my heart's content for the first time. No time limit. No rushing. Just full-on exploration of the vast world presented in the game.

On Tuesday afternoon, I called up my local EB Games to inquire on the availability of the game. It doesn't surprise me that the store had it in stock with my copy waiting. In my rush to get the game, I forgot my Pre-Order slip that would have simplified the process of getting my copy. Well, the purchase was made and my identity proven using my driver's license. And there the box sits for a few minutes, waiting to be opened. In order to purge what leftover content that remains from the previous betas, I've uninstalled the game and installed straight from the CD. As I type this out, O&O Defrag is currently defragmenting my partition. Another 40 minutes to go and I'll dive right in. Signs of addiction? I hope not. In all honesty, I just hope that it doesn't pull me in too much like Phantasy Star Online.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Start : Run...

After hitting that snag and doing additional research, the transition to the new design is finally completed. But there are still things needed to be tested before I can be sure that it works fully. Hopefully, the template works as it should and that there'll be no weird surprises as time moves on.

On other parts, Guild Wars has finally gone gold. And given from the time frame it went gold up until store date, it should arrive on time to meet the April 28th date w/o much delay. I guess I'll be ... 'absent' during those times.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Well, it seems my goal of completely customizing the blogger template hit a major snag. I just finished the template design only to hit a major roadblock due to a certain template tag that's being used. Unfortunately changing it over will have to wait another day or two, maybe 3. After a quick look at the help system, I find that it's possible to simply use individual elements to display what I wanted or need. I was pretty close to completing this, only to have this roadblock hit my face. Well, the change will still be smooth, albeit slow.

Looking forward

And so the last beta weekend event for Guild Wars has come to a close. For a late entry that is nearly a week after it started, I had to process a few screenshots so that I can post it up here.

The ending to the final event turned out to be one amazing show. But no show is complete without some amusing entertainment and chaos. ArenaNet provided that for those able to participate and witness it. I'll let the screenshot speak for themselves.

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5

Anxiously waiting for April 28, I hope to have the game on hand to get started.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sleep? Nah...

After running around in Guild Wars for a few hours, I'd like to put up some blurbs here for those to read. So... here goes...

The April (final) Beta Weekend Event started off as normal, seemingly starting at the 12AM PST mark as I checked half-hour past it. However, one thing that I am feeling disappointed in is the consistant lag issues I've been getting. While I firmly believe the issue is not with my connection nor my router, certain doubts made me think that perhaps it's time to reboot the router. But at what cost? The router has yet to run into any form of problem and I've just created a new updated kernel for it to use. All that's left is to let it reboot if I am forced to reboot.

Internet performance with the router standing at over 30 days of uptime show that I have yet to find a flaw that indicates the problem is the router. All bandwidth tests I've ran turn out normal and is within specifications as advertised by the ISP (screw you, Comcast). My computer has been clean of virus, spyware, and any other junk that may possibly infiltrated into my system. It's gone through a mishap reboot before and it was very recent. All in all, I just can't seem to narrow down exactly where the problem lies. Can it be distance? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, I've no way of fixing it.

So what is this particular issue? It's the plain and simple... lag...

Starting from the February beta event, I have been noticing a lot of warpings stemming from what looks to be lag. But how can such a thing be possible? Nothing is eating up download stream and nothing is even uploading either. Up until now, it seems to be getting worse or just as bad as before. I wish I could figure it out exactly where the problem lies. Alas, I'm at a loss.

Other than this issue, things are running great. The new user interface is vastly different and is taking some getting used to. Along with that is another revision to the inventory system. Not only is it possible to view individual containers but one can open all of them in a single window. Along with this improvement, there's a new 'vault' that stores items across characters. The only downside is the 100 or more gold fees associated with it. Nonetheless, it's a welcome addition to the game.

Item drops are interesting now with color variations with certain item types. But I am still finding it a little difficult to make enough gold to craft new items. Hopefully I'll rake in enough to buy new armors for future journeys.

But therein lies a problem... time and effort. Surely enough, the characters will be reset and one-time guests accounts wiped. It's fun to play around in. But then by release day (or the day before), we'll be all back to square one once more. Is it worth running around completing quests? One has to wonder. I love exploring MMO worlds. But maybe that's why I like World of Warcraft. And with a vast environment, it'll be interesting to see how much Guild Wars will keep me in. Come release day, I'll be able to finally play at my own pace and not worry about having to wait for a month for the next shot to play. Here's to hoping I don't create another Phantasy Star Online fiasco...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This isn't going to hurt a bit...

Hacking a little bit on the template, I am slowly morphing it one bit at a time to a style that I prefer. The sans style that's inherit in the template just wasn't cutting it. Maybe it's just me but I prefer the sans-serif style more. The blog isn't meant to be newspaper-like but I think it's better this way instead. Eventually I'll be rearranging the layout and making it more customized to my needs. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish this without breaking too much into this.

Maybe I'm looking into this too much. Instead of hacking the available template, perhaps I should just design the blog from scratch. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up doing just that. But that means having to spend a lot of time relearning what I've not done in so long. My personal homepage has been using the same old style for the longest time since the style worked so well. I'll have to consider just how much of a change I'll be making into this and hopefully present it in full working order.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Learn some what???

Anyone who has played the game of TRIBES in any iteration, shape, or form will know what I speak of. If not, it's probably of no use in knowing what I'm talking about, so skip on by.

I've been absent during the majority of days of TRIBES 2. The constant patching and framerate issues I had is just not working out for me. As a result, I ended up going AWOL on the clan that I have been with for a while. It was then that upon the announcement of TRIBES: Vengeance I'd try it out once more, given I am confident that I can play the game without issues. Sure enough, this was true.

As a player, I experiment with varying armor types, weapons, and setups, trying to find that formula that'll work best for me. As a result, I became versatile in a variety of position depending on map. And my strongest point was playing a Light Defensive position, or LD for short. Because of the skills I possess, I have accumilated 5 accusations of cheating, of which they can never prove as I don't waste my time with such things.

On a server out there, the map called Junk came into play. Knowing that it's a public server, I realize that one of two things can happen. After failing to make the first cap, I fell back into defensive position and attempted in repairing the base. After dying countless time, it became quite annoying that the same individual would come in, tear up the place, and never leave it alone for a single minute. I have tried to explain that it's getting tiresome to die so frequently without having a chance to set up a proper defense but they fall upon either deaf ears or a mind incapable of input and ethical values. I was then told to "learn to do some LD." How amusing that, as one of the primary LDs for my clan, that I would be told to learn to do the same thing I have been doing for a while now. But that individual's mind won't change. He wouldn't hear it nor would he understand. It's these kind of people that makes playing the game not fun.

It's difficult having to deal with these kind of people. How I wish for such ability to rid myself of his attitude. But alas, I do not have such authority. So I endure it all. At least, until he left. Others have said nothing except for a few, who wish for the arguing to stop. But I push forth. Alas, often I wonder just why people fall back to using swears and such in their argument. Wait, can that be called an argument then when it comes to that? Isn't there such a 'law' that says when a person begins to use foul language or name-calling that the person who has yet to degrade to doing such thing automatically wins the argument? If there is, I'd like to know it.

I play Light Defense. I snipe any incoming enemies down. I chaingun the enemy flag carrier. If you believe that I am good in doing those things, I am appreciative of it. If you don't believe it, then I respect your opinion of it. They always say that if you got nothing good to say about another person, it's best to not say anything at all.

Good night...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Across the ocean blue...

I've recently gotten an email stating that my order is on its way. I expect it to arrive in two weeks due to the slow nature of non-express shipping. It's a sacrifice I have to pay to save a little on shipping. The currency rate for the yen is horrendous and was not like that before. But needless to say, the old conversion concept is back and it's easy to calculate a rough estimate of a product in US dollars. Hopefully the American economy will get better, since it's been quite a pain to endure the poor performance.

I expect Exillion to exeed my expectation due to the very slick design of the vehicle. For a car of its design, it appears to be the most realistic since it can very well be a design to be used not too far off in the future.

Nitro Convoy will always be vaguely similar to Speed Racer's Mach5. I do not know why but it just does. It could be the coloring or the design of it. Either way, it'll be a very nice addition to the family.

Lastly, Fang Wolf will add a beastly air with the Beast Wars figures that stand tall... real tall.

Live Convoy is still set on my radar. But maybe I should just settle on preordering it. The snag I mentioned in the previous entry is actually something I encountered when I tried to order from Fan2Fan. While it's nothing, I do not like it when I'm being faced with additional charges upon trying to confirm an order. It would have been a nice deal but alas, the deal is just not there anymore. Perhaps it's all due to the way how PayPal works -- I dunno. But it's a sad result that I won't be preordering from Fan2Fan any time soon.

As a result of this, I am leaning to using Hobby Link Japan as my primary source of all things Transformers. Not only is this the cheapest, but it is perhaps the best way to get import figures than through other good stores such as Big Bad Toy Store, which, by the way, just recently bumped their flat rate shipping to 7 dollars.

With more import Transformers figures to go, I wonder just how long it will take before the total outnumbers my Hasbro versions. Needless to say, I've a bunch to go. But considering the difference between my old Generation 1 and my "current" (Beast Wars by Mainframe and beyond) generation, the gap between the current and my imports is slowly diminishing. And it won't be long before I have more Takara than Hasbro. But it's quite sad in retrospect. It would not have been this way had Hasbro been smart about all of this. The disappointing changes are what made me so angry at them that they are no longer worth a company I'd support wholeheartedly. That reminds me. I need to make a separate entry regarding a certain software publisher.

I've my own reasons to support Takara over Hasbro. But the single biggest reason is this: consistancy. Over the years, Hasbro has been lacking in consistancy that sometimes things don't make sense at all. The color, mold, mechanics, and name changes are what separates the original from the carbon copy. Takara has been consistant when it comes to getting customers. Repaints, die-cast metal, and original color schemes are what drives the hardcore collectors to preferring theirs over Hasbro's domestic copy. For instance, Hasbro's 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime "features" a shortened smokestack, which is a change from the original both in character and in release. Takara's version featured the original high smokestacks such that it's more true to the character and franchise it's dedicated to. So while there are reasons behind shortening the smokestacks, it doesn't hurt to keep its length anyway, as such price, weight, and complexity makes it not for most children. The marking "AGES 5+" on the box pretty much sums it up.

There are other rantings behind this that could very well occupy this space, but I'll leave that for later. For now, I'm anxious to get my hands on these figures and I hope they come very soon. But I should not think about it so much.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

More than meets the eye

The collection continues to grow. However, one is hitting a snag. Thus far, Galaxy Convoy, Master Megatron, and Starscream are in current possession. To be added to the list are Exillion, Nitro Convoy, and Fang Wolf. A die-cast 12cm tall version of Galaxy Convoy is on preorder and will be an exceptional addition to the "family." Live Convoy is currently in need of ordering, which I mentioned ran into a snag.

I need to find some materials to use as backdrops for photographing my collection. The details are amazing and I'm liking this particular series very much. It's almost like Car Robots all over again, as I've collected two versions of Fire Convoy and God Magnus. One has to wonder where I'll place this now that I'm expanding even more. Then again... I do have a room to clean out badly. I guess I better figure out how I'll arrange my room.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I Pity Da Foo...

April 1st, also known as April Fool's Day... for me, it's a day I can hardly forget having lived in the suburbs of Boston. Some years ago, a snow storm hit Boston on April 1st. It caused much hell for me having to shovel the damn snow. I still hate the snow to this day even tho they are nice to have. Having to shovel the snow is no fun at all. Alas, the snow received this season seem to be okay and average, even though there are times I wonder when the hell it'll stop.

And so today shall come and go like any other day. But one has to wonder what kind of pranks one can pull on this very day. Alas, I do not know if I'll be in the mood for a laugh this year around. Not without a sense of humor, I just find it a bit depressing coincidentally this time around. Details are known somewhere... but I won't post here. At least... not yet...