1 Hour Review of: Your Life

After an hour, I still couldn’t pick you out from the other babies. Wrinkled, wet, head shaped weird, crying… I’d seen it before.

I’m thinking this whole baby nonsense has run its course. There’s plenty of adults around that can drive cars, climb trees, and feed themselves. I can’t really see what a baby that can do none of these things brings to the table.

Other parents are telling me to give you some time, you’ll grow into something unique and special. But frankly, I’m not buying it. It’s been an hour and I’m bored with you already.

You’re just the same as every other damn baby out there.

A Parent’s Guide to MMO Gaming

Someone needs to tell the truth about MMOs. I guess it falls to me to explain to parents about the games their children are playing online with people whose idea of a good conversation opener is “I AM SO HIGH.”

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm by Activision Blizzard.

In the original World of Warcraft, children could take the role of a virtuous human fighting on the side of the Church against the evil Horde. The Burning Crusade expansion revealed that the enemy Horde came from Hell itself, and the humans took the fight against the villainous Orcs and other demons to the lower realms.

Blizzard’s game took a decided turn for the worse with Wrath of the Lich King, where human players were encouraged to become Death Knights, soulless minions of Satan. This trend continues with the Cataclysm, when Hell comes to Earth, and the good players become bloodthirsty werewolves. Expect your children to call one another “bitches”, because, hey, they are playing female dogs in heat, and you’re paying for the privilege.

Hello Kitty Online by Sanrio, Inc.

In his novel “Rising Sun“, Dr. Michael Crichton exposed the cruel designs Japanese megacorporations had for the trusting citizens of the United States. This lesson has been forgotten even as Japan has come to dominate the electronics and auto industries. Now they are coming for our children in the guise of a game where children help cheerful cartoon animals with household tasks — tasks such as the mindless slaughter of cartoon creatures.

As innocent as this may first appear, Sanrio’s real game is to replace your children with soulless androids, programmed to obey the orders of their Japanese masters.

Don’t underestimate this threat. Ask your daughter to tell you about the bishonen boys in her hentai manga. And don’t take “ee-ay” for an answer.

TERA Online by Bluehole Studio

Do we even want to know what a “bluehole” is in Korean? I sure don’t. Your kids may learn when they play South Korea’s “TERA Online”, a softcore pornography simulator coming to your son’s bedroom later this year.

In TERA, your son controls scantily clad lingerie models who undress for his pleasure. Don’t worry — TERA understands if your son would rather see boys disrobe; chiseled male models cater to any sort of preference. There’s even animal characters for especially disturbed children. Players may group into sex parties and have drunken orgies in a wide variety of adult fantasy locations.

If you’ve been putting off having “the talk” with your son, but he plays TERA Online, your work is done. He already knows.

APB: All Points Bulletin by Realtime Worlds

You might expect that Asia would have little use for our “outdated” sense of Western morality, but you might be surprised to find that Great Britain hopes to lead our children into the criminal life with their gang simulator, APB: All Points Bulletin.

Children can experiment to see how they would look with tattoos, piercings and high powered weaponry as they take to city streets to drive irresponsibly, spray graffiti on public buildings, take drugs, become prostitutes, and kill policemen. An important portion of the game lets your kids design their own piercings and tattoos, and then have it done to them for real.

Remember, parents, we trounced Britain in 1776 and 1812, and they’ve never forgiven us for beating them back, cowering, to their side of the Atlantic. Their greatest dream would be to push our children into anarchy.

The Bible Online by FIAA

Surely a MMO based on the Holy Bible would be a safe haven for children? Not so fast. German developers FIAA GmbH, known for their adult fantasy KALOS Adventure and their war simulator Operation7 (where you may “bare (sic) your own unique gun“) have turned the struggles of the Tribes of Abraham into a game of resource control.

In The Bible Online, FIAA GmbH brings together the Torah and Microsoft’s Age of Empires in a way that manages to cheapen them both. Have the Tribes of Abraham battle each other in exciting, bloody battles on their way to claim the Holy Land for the victor.

We all look forward to the inevitable sequel, when heavily armored Christians arrive to take it all back.

Fallen Earth by Icarus Studios

In Fallen Earth, Icarus Studios has created a near-future utopia where the basic rights of Americans are preserved — the right to bear arms, the right to defend ourselves, the right to our own happiness no matter the cost, and the right to free speech (especially when coated in armor-piercing titanium). In a land where pathetically clueless liberals mouth words they can repeat but never understand, only those with the strength and determination to make their perfect America out of whatever land they can defend will thrive.

Don’t like your neighbor? Kill him. Don’t like your neighbor’s dog? Kill it. Like your neighbor’s house? Take it. When someone tells you to stop, don’t retreat. Reload.

The only America worth having is the one patriots will die for.

This post is satirical in nature. If you take offense from any part of it, take a deep breath, then take a step back, and try to look at the games we play as an alarmed non-player might.

Five Better Concepts for EverQuest Next?

It’s not wrong to be nostalgic. A lot of us old EverQuesters (as opposed to EverQuesties; we hate them!) have warm feelings toward what was, for many of us, our first MMO. Sure, the graphics were crude and the leveling was brutal, but there was the same sort of camaraderie based on shared suffering that you get in wars and natural disasters.

It’s not just the players that get nostalgic; SOE has gotten a little nostalgic as well for the time when EverQuest was the industry leader and set the bar that all other MMOs had to cross. “If only…” they might say, “if only we could return to 1999 and do it all over again!”

Thus will someday be born EverQuest Next, a marriage of World of Warcraft graphics with Norrathian lore, a game that can be both (circa 2004-ish) modern and (circa 1999-ish) nostalgic at the same time.

What if SOE, instead of looking backward, looked forward? SOE has already dabbled in other sorts of non-MMO EQ games. The RTS Lords of EverQuest tried and failed to compete with Blizzard’s Warcraft a year before World of… arrived, and Champions of Norrath tried and somewhat succeeded in applying the tropes of Blizzard’s Diablo series to the world of EverQuest.

Seems SOE really has this thing for competing with Blizzard on their turf. Well, it’s time to stop looking backward — or looking north to Irvine — and start looking into the future. I humbly present five more forward-looking concepts for EverQuest Next….

1. NorrathVille

Ever want to farm jumjum on the edge of Misty Thicket? Interested in exploring dark caves hidden in the depths behind the Third Gate? Have a hankering to teach moss snakes to kick in Jaggedpine Forest? Why not come down to NorrathVille and make your mark on the world? Stake out your claim to Norrath and defend your home from a world that wants to take it from you. As you gain levels, you rise in the hierarchy of your race and eventually become a lord or lady of your land, powerful enough to move your home into the Planes themselves. Play alone or with thousands of your fellow Norrathians!

2. Grand Theft Freeport

On the waterfront, your name means nothing; your race even less. All that matters is what you are; a wharf rat, scrabbling for any action you can get from the ships that survive the crossing of the Ocean of Tears and the pirate-infested Timorous Deep. Or maybe you’re a Freeport Guard, sworn to keep the city safe for the rabble that infest it. Or are you one of Sir Lucan’s Knights, spreading blight through the city under the guise of saving it? No matter how you do it, one thing is for sure: Freeport is YOUR city. And everyone else had better fall in behind you or get out of your way.

3. Team EverQuest

You never know what you’ll be facing, when you step through the portal. One day, a legion of dwarfs. The next, a flight of dragons. The only people you can depend upon are your buds. You signed on as an Elite Vermiculated Elven Ranger Quester for the gold, but now, it’s much more than that. Now, it’s personal. Using the industry’s most advanced matchmaking lobby, E.V.E.R. Questers form up and move out to some of the most thrilling and tactically challenging situations to be found in Norrath. Where regular raid forces fail, Questers succeed. And when squads of Questers face each other in training — well, may the best team win, and may the other guys have good luck finding rezzes.

4. EverQuest Party!

Fighting can be fun, but everyone knows the REAL hardcore challenge for a seasoned adventurer is looking good in the guild lobby. Anyone can slay a mindworm, but can anyone pull off a Starmetal Ruby-Encrusted Greatsword strapped to the back of a suit of Pearlescent Voidtouched Armor? With a velvet cloak emblazoned with your guild insignia? No? Then bust out some killer moves on the dance floor and show them who is the real Master of Motion. In EverQuest Party!, fashion is king. Earn Cred through street challenges and dance competitions, and spend it on armor never seen on a mortal since Veeshan first claimed Norrath as her own with a sweep of her claw. Outshine the gods themselves, and help new players learn the tricks of the trade — because the more followers you have, the more cred you command.

5. Qeynos Qarts

You may have seen kart racing games before, but never like this! In Qeynos Qarts, the tech from Modnation Racers and EverQuest’s lore combines to make a racing experience unmatched. Ride griffons, pegasi, roboboars, dinosaurs, balloons and ogres through some of the most amazing tracks since Pod Racers. Is that a cyclops coming over the hill? Will you steer around him — or try to capture? It’s your choice — it’s your track — but it’s OUR world, now!

Straight Talk Warhammer: The Warrior Priest

Do you remember what life was like before Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning? I sure can’t. Well, sometimes it comes in little bits and pieces… a world where to do a raid or join a group, you had to talk to people, and sometimes, make friends. Brrr. We’re all pretty glad THOSE days are over! The exciting new Public Quests and Open Groups and Scenarios keep things nice and anonymous — just like watching porn in a movie theater! And that is the mastery AND mystery of Mythic’s groundbreakingly innovative new MMO that will forever change what we think of, when we think of MMOs — Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

The is the AGE where we will be RECKONED. And who will perform the Reckoning?

None other than the Empire’s shining light, the Warrior Priest.

Simulated Warhammer screenshot

Take your hands off the character creator. You’re not GOOD enough to be a Warrior Priest. Just go ahead and log in with your dwarf engineer or whatever and go about your business. When you join a group with a Warrior Priest in it, don’t think you’re getting any heals, ‘cuz you’re not. The whopping you take will be ATONEMENT. And you should thank him for not letting you suffer life as the insignificant worm you are.

Life for a Warrior Priest is simple. You are either a SMOTER or a SMOTEE. And you know the WP heals might as well be self only.

Okay, now you went and did it, you didn’t listen and you rolled up a Warrior Priest. Fine. If you’re gonna be one, start shouting “FOR SIGNA!” at appropriate times. Like, on a bus. In the bathroom. While stapling papers. It’s okay. “FOR SIGNA!” <staple><staple> “LET THE PURIFYING LIGHT” <staple> “CLEANSE THIS FAX” <fold>.

Sit up. Actually, stand up. Chin up in the air, 45 degrees (pi/4 radians if you’re Canadian). Eyes forward. Take your sword and start swinging it wildly, with great force. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see what you’re swinging at with your chin up like that. Friends would know to get out of the way. Enemies will either run or perish. Because you’re one bad priest, and the complete loss of peripheral vision is a small price to pay for being RIGHT. All the time.

“The enemy approaches!” whispers the forward scout. The hunting party looks to the Warrior Priest, who silently, but with great strength, shakes his head. “No enemies,” he rumbles.

“No, it’s a whole bunch of orcs and goblins and even a Dark Elf Witch!”

“You lie,” grumbles the Warrior Priest. “I think you are the enemy. I think it time you die.” The WP stands up, lifts his mighty hammer, sticks his chin up in the air at a 45 degree angle, and begins to smite the scout. Except the black-feathered arrow from a Chaos bow kills the scout first. The WP quickly kills the rest of his team to build up healing power, gets some good heals going on himself, and runs off, once again, the lone survivor.

Warrior Priests are the lone survivors of battles with disturbing frequency.

OMG! Six issues of Straight Talk Warhammer, and you’re still here! We hope you have enjoyed this latest entry in the only Warhammer guide that dares tell the truth about life and adventure in the Lord of the World of Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning. Come back tomorrow, when we reveal what the Dwarf Engineers are building in that locked room they never let you into. The astonishing truth will shock you.