Fandom Fandom

I had somewhat less than Wilhelm-level hardware problems and was mostly offline for a couple of weeks. Or at least away from a PC worth using for gaming. I felt surprisingly good about this. It forced me to keep to that intentional gaming plan I was having trouble with. And what did I miss? Almost nothing. I haven’t had the urge to re-install much.

I did browse around other parts of the internet. I found that I really enjoyed seeing people really enjoy themselves. Like how I was enjoying the cosplay at the summer gaming cons, it has been nice to see people simply enjoying their hobbies. You know, playing without thinking about game balance or playing a walking spreadsheet.

So that’s been cheering and enjoyable, but it has not given me much to say in an online gaming blog. I’ll check in sometime.

: Zubon

Blogroll of the Fallen

I haven’t inventoried the KTR blogroll in a while to check for defunct/moved blogs. I know many are in a tentative, “I don’t really have much to talk about” state, but many of us have been hovering in that state in a weak year for MMOs (advantage: group blog). If you know any to be dead/moved, please mention in the comments.

My personal RSS is a mix of highly active and completely dead blogs. There are a couple of literal deaths on that list, but I have not had the heart to remove them while the blogs are still online.

Jeff Freeman’s old blog is still available via the Internet Archive.

: Zubon

Customer Service

When you support an online application, you are supporting the entire computer. This past week, I have troubleshot network connections through VPNs, pop-up blockers in Internet Explorer, and file problems caused by the latest update for MS Office for Macs. Anything that keeps the user from using your system is a problem for you to solve.

: Zubon

I still don’t have a solution on that last one, but I have a workaround.

Shadow of Mordor Impressions

I like these open world games, like Assassin’s Creed (AC), where I am constantly being pulled away from the main story. They feel most MMO like to me, and I like that. I’ve noticed that in the last two AC games I’ve played (AC3 and AC4), I’ve burnt out mid-way. It seems that the glow of all the objectives is too strong, and it feels like I start pixel-bitching instead of playing. Run, run, run get the objective ad infinitum. The core of the AC games is either story missions or parkour “exploration”. There are some side missions too, of course, but when I am not in a story mission it feels like I’m just running around to the next glowy point.

The core of Shadow of Mordor (SoM) is much different. SoM definitely owes tribute to AC, and it does have a few glowy point objectives (herb gathering). However, my choices do not seem to be gathering herbs or doing story missions. The brilliance of SoM comes in the orcs. Continue reading Shadow of Mordor Impressions

When You Buy Counterfeit Fashion, You Are Paying to Spam Our Site

After the spam deluge, Ethic applied a stronger spam filter that automatically sent more things to “spam” rather than “pending.” The effect is similar except that the site no longer e-mails me 50 times per day to ask if the comment by “Buy Cheap Louis Vitton” is legit. A blogger buddy asked me to check the spam filter, and yep, there were some false positives, so we fished some folks out.

Of the 500 spam comments I reviewed, 3 were internal links from our site, 4 were legitimate comments, 1 was from a gold-selling site, and all the rest were fashion sites trying to get more links for search engine optimization. These are the people who make your favorite websites’ operators work harder. Remember never to buy from some fly by night site selling knock-off sunglasses, shoes, or whatnot, or you’re just as bad as people who buy gold and fund the guys who hack players’ accounts.

This public service message has been brought to you by the numbers 5 and 0 and the letter S.

: Zubon

Tinker Gearcoins

I don’t think we mentioned that our dear friend Tesh has a Kickstarter winding down: Tinker Gearcoins. These are a bit like the Tinker Gearchips he did at the start of the year, but with more art, different sizes, and a design that lets you use them as cogs if you want to get extra steampunk. It is past 700% of its goal and about to hit its last stretch goal (adding an extra gearcoin to the rewards), there are multiple options for shiny finishes, and all the previous campaigns’ items are available as add-ons. I gave a friend a Tinker Deck, because who doesn’t need a deck of cards with Ada Lovelace as a queen, so I need to replace that.

Hmm, too many links there. Let me point out the current campaign: Tinker Gearcoins.

It’s more money than you probably need to spend on fun, decorative coins, but less than you’ve probably spent on a night at the bar, and afterwards you’ll have fun, decorative coins rather than a hangover.

: Zubon