Number Games I "Oh Yeah?" Says Guild Wars I EVE Online: "We're Still Here, Too" I What About EverQuest II? I Short Stories I Media Place I Readers Speak I Freakin' Hot Rena Tanaka Picture of the Week
Issue #48 A Night at St. Rahab's September 24, 2005

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So I was watching this one McDonald's commercial today, in which the star says, "Lately I've been thinking a lot about McDonald's double chesseburgers." Now, if the commercial was supposed to be funny, that'd be cool, but McDonald's commercials are never funny, so I immediately punched my roommate in the throat when I heard that. The guy in the commercial then goes into this deep analysis of the burger, even going so far as to compare it to his girlfriend. Wow, I have to think she'd be mighty pissed to hear she only meant as much to him as a freaking burger. But seriously, who sits and thinks about a cheeseburger "a lot?" I can just see him at work, zoning out at his desk, then his boss coming around and being like "Peter, you forgot the cover sheets on your TPS reports," then him responding "Oh crap, sorry. It's just I've been thinking about these double chessburgers lately." Then he'd get fired because wow, that guy shouldn't have money.

To me, the only funny commercial involving McDonald's was actually a Burger King commercial. It was the one where Ronald McDonald was standing outside the restaurant, swatting people on the ass as they walked in. Then everyone would turn around and look at him weird, but just move on in disbelief at what happened. Then a narrator said, "Another reason to go to Burger King instead." Oh wait, nevermind, that commercial only exists in my mind.

I'd explain my column title here, but then I'd have nothing to say in my outro....

 Number Games

IGN did some digging, and grabbed up some numbers in a gigantic report called "Get Hooked on MMOs: Inside the phenomenon of Massively Multiplayer Online games." Surveying 5,634 MMORPG players who visit IGN's network of websites, the survey showed the following:
- A typical MMO gamer is male and between the ages of 13 and 34, with an average age of 27.
- Although MMO gamers indicated that they try multiple MMO titles, in general they play only one MMO title at a time.
- The most highly anticipated unreleased titles are Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach and The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.
- Above all other features, MMO gamers indicated that character customization is the most important, even higher than character progression.
- Gamers find a shortage of new content, lack of balance, and too many bugs to be the most frustrating aspects of MMOs.
- As for what keeps a gamer from jumping to a new game once they have reached the end-game of the MMO they are playing, most said that their community connections were their reason for staying.

Unfortunately, the press release I got about this didn't contain a link. Oh well. You got the meat of it here anyway.

Source: IGN

 "Oh Yeah?" Says Guild Wars

There are more stats here this week, as NCsoft just reported that Guild Wars has officially hit a million players in North America and Europe. In celebration of its commercial and critical success, NCsoft Europe has today announced upcoming release of a Guild Wars Special Edition. Containing both physical and digital goodies, this bumper pack will be available on October 21 throughout Europe. In addition to an exclusive brand-new exquisite 72-page book filled with never-before-seen artwork, a map of the game world, combined manual and story book, and 30 minutes of new music written exclusively for this release, the Special Edition will also include a key that provides the player with a limited number of skill and item unlocks, which can be applied to an existing account or act as a fast-start package for a beginner.

Geoff Heath, CEO of NCsoft Europe, whose last name works better as a first name, says, "Without a doubt, Guild Wars has been our most successful title in Europe to date. We are delighted to be able to reward European players with this exciting special edition, and we look forward to seeing Guild Wars stay in the top five for the foreseeable future. "

"We are extremely pleased the game has been so well received in such a short amount of time," said ArenaNet co-founder Michael O'Brien. "Our commitment to our players is to consistently provide high-level support for the game through frequent gameplay and content updates and we believe that's a big reason why we have so many people playing the game today."

An old friend of mine reviewed this game once. Read his thoughts here.

 EVE Online: "We're Still Here, Too"

EVE Online has been making progress too. Specifically, the game has surpassed the 15,000 peak concurrent user record and smashed through the 70,000 active subscriber mark. "Despite the increasingly competitive environment following the launch of big-name titles this year, EVE Online has demonstrated consistent growth," says Hilmar Veigar Petursson, CEO of CCP Games. "We regard this as a real testament of the game's appeal and longevity, and was clearly demonstrated when we released the latest EVE video. The video was downloaded more than 100.000 times in 48 hours, and following that we have had a surge of new players, which still continues. Another important factor in our growth is that it is never too late for a new player to join EVE, as there is a place and role for everyone in the EVE universe."

Nick Riviera then added, "The most rewarding part is when the players give us their money." Oh wait, that was a blended Simpsons quote. Sorry.

 What About EverQuest II?

Yay, new EverQuest II lore and stuff. The EQ2 site has updated with new screens and info about Maj'Dul. Now I'll throw two paragraphs of biased propaganda at you. Duck, sucka! "The desert of Ro is a harsh and unyielding place. The only major city remaining after the Shattering is Maj'Dul--the seat of the Dervish empire. Maj'Dul was originally a fortress for Ahkari, the first Dervish sultan. As he gathered the various tribes of Dervin under his banner, Maj'Dul slowly became the center of Dervin activity and, consequently, a city full of intrigue and danger.

"It is rumored that Ahkari went insane and leapt from the palace walls to his death. Akhari's death was the event that led to the formation of the Courts and to the decline and instability of the Dervish empire. After his death, Ahkari's sons could not agree on who should lead the empire, so they formed the Courts of Maj'Dul and ruled their own individual followers." Read the rest of this report and view screens of the place here.

 Short Stories

Here's a nice update for Lord of the Rings Online fans. It's a big ol' wrapup of the East coast fan event for those excited about the game. "On behalf of Turbine and the LOTRO team, a big thank you to everyone who made LOTROG I: East happen and everyone who traveled from near and far to attend. It was truly a pleasure to meet so many of our community members, and share our excitement about LOTRO with them," it starts. Check that out and new concept art at the official website.


Whooa Shiz, I got a head rush! The other thing I've got is a fat update on Ryzom Ring, the upcoming expansion to the Saga of Ryzom. There's a tiny bit of info complimented by a community-teasing trailer on this page of the official site.


Signups for FFXI's Ballista Royale end Monday, the 26th. So if you're planning on getting your Ballista on, perferably in a royale-like fashion, this bud's for you.

 Media Place

Razzmatazz broke the cold streak with these World of Warcraft screens, while saying, "Heard there weren't too many screens last time, so I figured I'd post some. I've taken more than 250 screens throughout my journey, so maybe I'll post some more later :)"

In the traditional order of left to right, top to bottom (like a book), the following captions were included:

Screen 1: Thank the lord for the invention of neutral NPCs! This guy would've crushed me hadn't he been neutral...
Screen 2: This is a good example of the excellent art in WoW. Sometimes when I'm atop a high cliff I just look around for a couple of minutes and take some screenies, it's that pretty.
Screen 3: Told you mine was bigger! I just got my kodo here, and I was so overjoyed I was just running around laughing at those poor noobs who hadn't gotten their mounts yet. Poor poor noobs...
Screen 4: Oh how I love the hunter's Eye of the Eagle. It lets you see all these wonderful things you can't and shouldn't see otherwise :).
Screen 5: I used magic to do this :). Don't even try to do it without the hunter's 'pwn teh w0lffs' spell. Got it from a DM. Quite useful.
Screen 6: Ah the great Ürrmürrmür (yes, that is his name...). He's an orcish warlock who apparently likes the open sky. He also worships a prairie dog because he thinks it is the reincarnation of an ancient god. Had some nice conversations with that guy :).

Send me something I can use, clowns.

  Readers Speak

I like when random fans send in rants and stuff. It gets me thinking. In this case, I don't feel like talking, but I sure did think about it. And in the end, that doesn't count for anything. So like, here's the letter....

Rantin' and Ravin'

Online games play more like MUDs and offline RPGs, I think. Basically, the overall 'world' was created by the developers, or Game Masters, and it's free for anyone to explore. Your characters are whatever you make them out to be and the only boundaries you have are the ones you, and the developer (your GM), set.

It's more like working together to make a great game, rather than watching one unfold before you. That's why so many older players who aren't big on the modern videogame RPG craze love them. It's also why so many people who are big on the offline RPGs are apprehensive to play.

I don't think they take more imagination. Or that they're somehow better than offline games. It's just a completely different feel playing a game you can beat all by yourself in a week, than sitting down with a bunch of friends once or twice a week for months (or even years) leveling up and exploring huge, alien landscapes with nothing but a map, some dice, and a few numbers on a piece of paper.

Online gaming is more like the latter. Optimally, you log on, find a few friends, and go explore some vast new area with them. Maybe you wipe a few times. Maybe somebody leaves in a huff. But all-in-all it's a lot of fun. Most importantly, just because something seems like it takes more effort doesn't make it any less rewarding or fun. Afterall, you're with real friend. Not just a bunch pf pre-programmed characters (however cool and slick those characters may be).

Both types of gaming have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's really hard to say one is better or worse. They just appeal to different people. That's probably the best way to think about it...


And there we go. Thanks for the mini-editorial, yo.

If you also have a seemingly random rant to send in, fire an email to

 Log Out

In many a college, it's customary to name your house if you live off campus. My gang is made up of students, and we live just off the BYU campus here (as we all go there or UVSC), so we were faced with this. The previous name of "The Yellow Sub" just didn't fly with us; we had to come up with a new name...
First: It had to be a good Catholic name. That's where the "St" part comes in.
Second: We didn't want to use an old Saint. We wanted to make a new Saint. We thumbed through our Old Testaments and found Rahab. We mutally concluded this woman needed Sainthood.
And here we are, living in "St. Rahab's." We batted around "Stay at Rahabs" to better go with her story, but we couldn't drop the Sainthood and "Stay at St. Rahab's" just didn't role off the tounge well.

Till next issue!

-Heath Hindman only wears seatbelts to protect him from airbags

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