Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Month: June 2004 Page 1 of 3

The More Things Change

So yesterday, the dev team released a big patch for City of Heroes. To read the message boards, you’d think the world was ending.

“They broke this!” “Blah used to do X, and now it does Y.” “They ruined my favourite class/power/whatever.” “This sucks, I may as well just quit!”

All of the complaints tended to boil down to the same sentiment: “The developers hate the players and only do this to f**k with us.”

While it’s all very tedious, it’s also a bit bemusing. See, I’ve been a member of the admin of a text-adventure mud, Jedimud, for the last 12 years. Every time something changes, whether for positive or negative, there will be a vocal minority of players who scream bloody murder and insist the sky is falling.

At least half of the time, what they’re complaining about is some bug or exploit they were using to their advantage being repaired, or some feature which was seriously out of step with the rest of the game that had been scaled back. (A smaller amount of the time, they’ll complain because something a class they don’t play has got better, and now they’ll be less prestigious.)

I’ve often wondered what people who do this actually get out of gaming? Despite the fact that I’ve been playing games of some sort or another my entire life, and I identify myself as a “gamer” as a part of my overall fannishness, I’ve never been a hardcore gamer. I don’t live, eat, and breathe the games I play. They’re diversions, distractions….it’s entertainment. I’ve never quite managed to wrap my head around the hyper-competitiveness that some people bring to the table.

The other common refrain amongst the complainers is that the developers are “smug and superior” and don’t understand the players. Having been a part of a game development team, I know perfectly well that the dev team doesn’t always know “better” than the players. Quite often, though, they know more than the players, and generally the decisions that they make are not arbitrary. If something got altered, there was probably a pretty good reason for it being done. (JediMUD has over 60,000 lines of code, and it’s several orders of magnitude less complicated that something like CoH. Trust me when I say that the developers aren’t going to touch any piece of code they don’t have some compelling reason to touch. It ain’t worth it.)

Of course, all the whining is isolated to the boards and not in the game itself, which does at least make it marginally better than on Jedi after a big game update. It’s easier to ignore all the noise when it’s not going on inside the game. 🙂

Weekend Part Three: Atlanta Pride March

We had originally planned on attending the Atlanta Pride Festival on Saturday afternoon before going to the local housefilk, but our new addiction scuttled those plans. We had, however, RSVPed to march with the Human Rights Campaign folks, so Sunday morning we got up early and drove down to the North Springs Marta station to take the train down to Civic Center, where the parade was to start.

Weekend Part Two: Welcome To The New Addiction

I want to preface this post by placing blame, where it is appropriate. First, blame must be given to bedlamhouse , whose glowing praise — and the promise of an occasional companion on the journey — was what finally overcame my last objections. Some amount of blame must be laid at the feet of my boss, Scott, whose descriptions of it had also intrigued me, and who had addressed my most common objections to this sort of thing. But most of all, blame must be give to the lovely eloren , who has tempted me for four years and finally seen my will crumble like powder before her.

Weekend Part One: Birthday!

Despite the fact that Friday was my birthday, I had not arranged to take the day off, as had been my habit once upon a time. In all honesty, I just had too much to do at work to spare the time. All in all, it’s probably best that I didn’t, as it would have complicated my sweetie’s plans for me.

kitanzi had requested a half-day two months ago, without telling me. She used this time to be ready for me when I got home, where I found a dozen roses in a vase on my desk, along with a card and a rather tasty key lime cake from Harry’s Farmer’s Market. It was one of the nicer surprises I could have imagined.

We left the cake for later, and headed off to have a nice romantic dinner. We chose Casa Nuova, a marvelous family-owned Italian restaurant in Alpharetta Casa Nuovoa falls into the category of “hidden treasures” — to see it from the outside, you’d never guess it was worth visiting. The interior, however, is cozy and the service is impeccable. The food is authentic Italian fare, rather than the more common American-Italian, and the difference is worth seeking out. kitanzi had the seafood casserole, one of the nightly specials, and I had the Scampi Alla Casa Nuova, which was very tasty as well (though I think Kit got the better entree — hers was exceptional, whereas mine was merely very very good). For an appetizer, we had what may be the best Calamari Fritto I have ever had anywhere.

We skipped dessert (since we had the cake waiting) and returned home to snuggle on the couch and watch the DVD of “Eddie Izzard: Dress To Kill”. I had heard this performance before, but never seen the video. The video makes what was already funny even better; Izzard is a very visual performer. About halfway through, we started getting tired, and left the second half of the performance for another night and went to bed.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend the evening of my birthday. Thanks to everyone for the good birthday wishes here on LJ, and on #filkhaven, and wherever else you sent them to me. (And a special thanks to annonynous and his wife L., for the only physical birthday card I got aside from kitanzi and my mom!)

Something to Ponder

Repeatedly today, I’ve been getting this error message when trying to surf LiveJournal.

“The document contains no data.”

It just occurred to me….If it contains no data, can it, by definition, really be considered a document?

Just something to think about while they get the servers fixed up. 🙂

Songs I Won’t Be Writing

So, eloren and I were discussing children’s books over lunch.

eloren: We’ve got Goodnight Moon, and Pat The Bunny, and The Runaway Bunny
autographedcat: You need to get Harold And The Purple Crayon.
eloren: I don’t know that one.
autographedcat: Oh, it’s marvelous. I also like The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.
eloren: Pretty soon, I guess I’ll have to get Everybody Poops.
autographedcat‘s brain: whirrrrrr-click You know, that scans to “Everybody Hurts” by REM.
autographedcat: (outloud) No! No, I will not! No. (pause) No!
eloren: (curiously) Are you ok?

Weekend: Swimming, Harry Potter, and Lots of Phone Calls

So, although most of our weekend was spent calling friends and sweeties and relatives to tell them our news, we did manage to accomplish some other things over the weekend as well.

Saturday we went swimming, and then went out to Asia Garden for a lunch of Chinese food. I really like the food there, and they have the added bonus of delivering to our apartment when we want takeout. (And are, amusingly, faster to deliver than the place that’s right across the street). We then did some necessary shopping and came home to watch TV, hang out on #filkhaven, and call everyone we needed to call.

Sunday was more swimming, after which we ordered some pizza and then went down to Medlock Crossing to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Evolving plans

So, since we announced our marriage plans on Saturday, we’ve been overwhlmed with all the wonderful well-wishes. Thank you all again so much.

To that end, we’ve been thinking a lot about the actual logistics of getting folks together to celebrate this (oh, my head…) and the realization that too many of the people we love are just too scattered for one celebration to be enough. Since we’re hardly traditionalists, we’ve decided that rather than one big blow-out in Atlanta, we’ll have a series of celebrations. instead.

The actual civil ceremony will take place somewhere between August 6th and August 17th, while maedbh7 is visiting. (I really wish that tigerbright could be here too. Where ARE those teleporters?). This will probably be a mostly private affair.

The “Nuptialooza Tour” is shaping up as follows, so far:

  • Boston, MA – Sometime during Worldcon weekend
  • Atlanta, GA – Some weekend in September (to coincide with kitanzi‘s mom’s visit)
  • Columbus, OH – Late October during OVFF weekend (OVFF is the anniversary of when we got together in the first place, and we don’t want to lose the significance of that!)

In addition to that, we desperately want to add the following:

  • United Kingdom – February (to coincide with the UK filkcon)

I have to admit that at this point, the last one is going to be hostage to our finances, but we really do want to be able to be with our British family as well as our American one, so I hope we’ll find a way to make it over there in February!

We’re hoping that this will let us get the biggest possible number of the people who are important to us (which is to say: all of you!) while at the same time not completely breaking our budget (since we’re folding the out of town parties with trips we were already planning.)

We are also planning on sending out formal announcements via proper mail, so if I don’t already have contact information for you, please send it along to me when you can. 🙂

I’ll post more as the dust settles. 🙂 This is still (obviously) a work in progress!

Forthright, decisive, and above all, positive!

I’ll tell thee what, prince; a college of witcrackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No; if a man will be beaten with brains, a’ shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.
–William Shakespeare

I had made a comment the other day that I had some personal stuff going on that we weren’t ready to talk about in public, but now we are. kitanzi posted this a bit ago, so you may have already heard this news, but for the portion of our friends that don’t overlap:

We haven’t set a date yet, but some time in August, kitanzi and I will be getting married. The actual wedding will likely be a small civil ceremony at a justice of the peace, but we’re figuring on having some sort of party or shindig shortly afterwards for people who would like to celebrate. Details will be sent out whenever we get them hammered out, and it will be in GA, but any of our friends who would like to come for this will be welcome and should please consider themselves invited!

The Weekly Reader

Well, i haven’t gotten back into my daily habits yet, but I have managed to at least pick up a book more often than in the previous few weeks.

  • The Legion of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 5 (DC Comics)

    Continuing to work though the LSH archives, I found the stories trying to pick up a bit as we get firmly into the Jim Shooter era. Shooter is, of course, one of those legendary success stories that all of us dream about: he sold his first story to DC when he was thirteen and made such an impression that he was invited to write for the book regularly afterwards. The biggest improvement of his writing over previous LSH fare was his ability to write a group of teenager who actually sound like teenagers of their day.

    The plots are still silly, but I started seeing a little bit more variety here, and started to see a bit more of the spark of “early legion” that everyone talks about when they rhapsodize about this era of the title. Very enjoyable.

  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

    I absolutely adore Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, and have been idly recollecting them as I happen across them. deidrecorwyn handed this one back to me along with a small stack of books of mine she had unearthed from her recent move that she was sure belonged to me, so I picked it off the shelf to re-read.

    To be honest, I adore this one a little less than the other two that I still have in my collection, though I don’t think the fault is really Jansson’s. Elizabeth Portch translated this one, and the other two were translated by Thomas Warburton, who has a better ear for Jansson’s whimsical characters, and has a lighter touch with phrasing that really makes them dance. Portch does an adequate job, but it doesn’t sparkle as much as some of the other Moomin stories.

    Having said that, what a delightful read! I neither have nor intend to have children of my own, and I have very few regrets about that decision, but one of the few I have is that I won’t have as many opportunities to read these stories outloud to a young person hearing them for the first time. I think I must remember to take them with me the next time we visit Don and Dina, or better yet, find a set of them that I can take and leave with little Kailyn and Connor.

    If you love good, whimsical children’s literature, and have never read the Moomin books, do yourself a favour and go grab one now. My personal favourite is “Moominpappa’s Memoirs” (which I read originally under the title “The Adventures of Moominpappa”).

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