Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 May 2015, 3:37 pm
A few months ago, I lost all the content on my old blog site. I’m not even sure how it happened, but I think I was hit with a virus and I have a feeling that I haven’t quite got … Continue reading

Hello world!
Posted by Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 May 2015, 12:35 pm
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Sample Page
Posted by Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 May 2015, 12:35 pm
This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to … Continue reading

Capturing Video From Your IOS Device
Posted by female-gamer blogs [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2013, 1:00 pm
After about five hours of game time on my shiny new Plants vs Zombies game (fittingly subtitled “It’s About Time”), I was ready to sit down and write a review. I had taken a few screenshots while playing, but I was a bit annoyed that I couldn’t capture the game in action. But wait a […]

New Plants vs. Zombies is Free!
Posted by female-gamer blogs [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2013, 10:16 pm
Plants vs. Zombies 2 just came out on the Apple App Store, and it’s free to play! I have to admit, I was a bit leery when I saw that it was free, having been burned on many a “free” game that turned out to be nothing but a micro-transaction trap. However, it looks like […]

Blogs blogs blogs
Posted by female-gamer blogs [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2013, 2:42 pm
Welcome to what feels like the 100th incarnation of this website! The old blogs still exist somewhere in my back-up files and the jury is still out on whether or not they get resurrected this time. I’m inclined to say no. The useful information (aka guides) are safe, as you ay have discovered if you […]

Hello world!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2013, 12:22 pm
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Sample Page
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2013, 12:22 pm
This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this: Hi there! I’m a bike messenger […]

Going to E3!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 July 2008, 2:17 pm
I finally got my invitation to E3 so you know where to find me next week! It’s not my first E3 but the event has undergone quite a bit of transformation since I was last there in 2003. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to expect and I don’t have my writing assignments from IGN [...]

Coming Soon: Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 July 2008, 10:23 am
I recently got an invitation on Facebook that I would like to share with you all. It’s a very special treat given to us interweb nerds by Joss Whedon of Firefly, Buffy et al fame. Starting on July 15, a series that was produced for the internet will be streamed live from their website [...]

So I’ve been playing WoW again…
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 July 2008, 10:31 am
I’ve been getting flak from my friends for letting the tumbleweed grow on this blog so here I am! And yes, the unthinkable has happened - I’m back in the land of Azeroth. But this time around, I’m taking it easy. No more hardcore raiding stuff, just playing solo, working on quests, taking the scenic route [...]

I Got A Lightsaber!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 April 2008, 12:00 am
A few months ago, when I first returned to the galaxies, my friend Mel and I both started Jedi characters, just because we could and heck I’ll admit it - I’ve always wanted to play with a lightsaber. Well, Mel has since deserted me for his shooter games and Tabula Rasa, and I grew [...]

Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 April 2008, 8:55 am
If you like puzzles and a good story, you’ll love this one. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is classified as an “adventure story” developed for the Nintendo DS by Level-5 but I think it’s really more of a puzzle game. The professor and his assistant, a young boy named Luke, are called in to help [...]

Barrens Chat, Chuck Norris, and Yer Mom
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 April 2008, 10:31 am
Having been away from the Vault Network for over a month, I was trying to get caught up on VN activity this morning when I came across PallyDog’s latest blog post , PallyDog being the site manager for the WoW Vault fansite. She writes her blog from the perspective of a gamer mom having to [...]

EA Land Is No More
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 April 2008, 5:04 pm
Someone linked this announcement on the EA Land Website to me today, and I’m still in mourning so let me just quote it in part. It is with mixed emotions that today we are announcing the EA-Land experiment will soon draw to a close. Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of [...]

Watch The Guild
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 May 2008, 12:51 pm
Once in a while I get interesting links from non-gamer friends. They see something related to gaming and immediately think of me. I’m not complaining though, far from it, and this particular website called The Guild hosts a rather funny web video series about a fictitious gaming guild and its crossover into the real [...]

Under Attack
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 April 2008, 10:12 am

I just got an email from Google basically informing me that some pages on my site contain spam. Upon investigation, I discovered that a couple of my Wordpress template files had indeed been hacked and I have no clue how. Rather than shutting up the site, I have reverted to my old template and will try to rebuild and tighten up site security today.

Just thought I’d share this piece of news, especially with other bloggers out there who may be exposed to the same kind of thing. If you have any tips or information you’d like to share on this, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Hoping to be back on track by tomorrow…

Games Roundup
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 April 2008, 9:05 am

I was going to try and restart my blogging machine again yesterday but since it was April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d skip it and start today instead. It’s been a month since I last wrote something and I didn’t want anyone thinking (if anyone is indeed still reading this) that it was just another one of my false starts. I have been busy the past month doing stuff that I can’t really talk about because I signed a non-disclosure agreement and although that didn’t prevent me from writing about other things, it kinda restricted my scope and discouraged me from writing at all. Now that it’s over, I’m free again!

On the gaming front, I feel like I’ve been playing musical chairs with my MMOs (Musical MMOs?). My main one is still Pirates of the Burning Sea, but I have also reactivated three old subscriptions for various reasons: 1) Star Wars Galaxies because some of my PotBS buddies are playing on my old server Gorath, 2) The Sims Online (or rather EA Land) because I want to make sure I get my old Simmy back, and 3) World of Warcraft because I had a terrible moment of weakness and boredom one night a couple of weeks ago. On top of that, I do have a lifetime subscription to Lord of the Rings Online so I play it occasionally, and I still harbor hopes of someday finishing the role-playing story arc on Guild Wars.

On the DS, having played Zelda and the Phantom Hourglass four or five times over, I finally decided it was time to start a new game. I got Assassin’s Creed, but the DS version isn’t as good as the console one so that quickly went to my games-I-wished-I-didn’t-buy collection. I am now on my second game of Professor Layton and the Curious Village, this time trying to unlock all the puzzles and bonuses.

So many games, so little time! Of course, the good thing about having such a line-up of games to play is that I will definitely have a lot to write about! I am not going to make any promises or vows this time but I am certainly looking forward to blogging again. :)

What games are YOU guys playing?

A Second Life for The Sims Online
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Sun, 02 Mar 2008 22:46:27 +0000

Many years ago, in 2002 to be exact, a friend of mine sent me a link to the open beta announcement for The Sims Online, thus starting me on an irreversible path to online gaming. I can’t believe it’s been six years, and while I’ve played most MMORPGs our there since then, I’ve never forgotten my TSO roots, nor the incredible online community I discovered there.

A week ago, someone I hadn’t spoken to since I quit TSO but who has remained on my Yahoo buddy list, posted a link to on her Yahoo IM status message. Clickety-click and to my surprise, I found out that since March 2007, the old Maxis developers have been working on a re-engineered version of the game. Based on the announcement at their website, it looked like they had just retired the old game and were now migrating all the old cities - Alphaville, Interhogan, Calvin’s Creek, etc. - into one giant world called EA Land. There was also a special offer to old subscribers that caught my eye:

Former Members Of The Sims Online: You can come back for FREE right now by just downloading the game and REACTIVATING your account. If you do so before March 2008, you will get your earned ‘account based’ privileges back (gifts, skill locks etc…) when we run our ‘amnesty’ program. So make sure you are in game before that event!

Well, I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but I happen to be rather fond of my “Simmy”. It’s a rather innocuous-looking decoration piece that looks somewhat like a lamppost but nevertheless means a lot to some of us. It was given to all TSO beta testers when the game was first launched. [NOTE: For some reason, I happen to have a copy of this precious video made by a fellow founder (I only knew her by her sim name Jade Blue Afterglow) who didn’t immediately get her founder’s icon due to a bug. I would have asked for permission to post it but I have lost contact with her, so I hope she doesn’t mind me displaying it here.]

Download Simmy Song by Jade Blue Afterglow

In any case, I wanted to make sure my Simmy would survive the move so I clicked on the REACTIVATE link and downloaded the (new and improved) client program.

Not having played the game for at least 4 years now, it’s a wonder I even managed to remember my account name and password. Well technically, I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t written all my old gaming account names neatly at the back of an old notebook. Sometimes it pays to be an organization freak.

So what’s the new TSO like?

Culture Shock Number One: My old sims are gone! I fully expected to see all my old sims on character selection, so the blank screen came as a surprise. Unfortunately, I think I was about a week too late to save my Arwens (yes, all my sims were named Arwen something-or-other). The last train had left Interhogan, and my Arwens and all their worldly possessions were gone. Now, I’m not sure how the amnesty program is going to work but I certainly hope it means I get the silly old icon back if nothing else. Anyway, in spite of the initial disappointment, I still wanted to see what EA Land has to offer so I created a new sim, Trinity Divine.

Culture Shock Number Two: Trinity didn’t have a simoleon to her name! Well, making money in TSO was never too hard so thinking it was going to be the same here, I brought up the list of “money houses” and tried to get into one so I could start building my fortune all over again.

Culture Shock Number Three: You can’t get into a money or skill house if you’re not a paid subscriber! Ok, now I’m beginning to understand what they’ve done. After a little bit of digging (reading ddidn’t hurt either), I found out that although the monthly fee ($9.99) is optional, there are severe restrictions on free accounts. 1) You are restricted to a lot size 0 (6×6 grid) should you decide to buy property; 2) you can’t enter skill and money lots; and 3) you cannot earn money from money objects or jobs. On the other hand, if there’s any great advantage to being a subscriber, I certainly haven’t found it yet.

Culture Shock Number Four: It’s MUCH much harder to make money even as a paying subscriber. Payouts from jobs and money objects have been greatly reduced. Also, in TSO, homeowners used to get an occupancy bonus based on how many hours other sims visited their lots, but that bonus has been taken away, which means those who run establishments other than stores now have to depend on visitors’ tips to survive.

Culture Shock Number Five: Buying simoleons with real money is okay. Well, after experiencing all of the above, this didn’t really come as a surprise. All players, subscribers and non-subs alike, can now buy simoleons (the game currency) from EA by withdrawing money from an ingame ATM machine. Eventually, the plan is to also allow players to cash out their simoleons. Quite apparently, EA is slowly but surely moving towards the business model adopted by Linden Labs with Second Life.

Apart from the economy-related changes, the game now lets you install widgets to your Google and Yahoo pages that allow people to see which of your sims/lots are online. It even has a Facebook counterpart called AvatarBook - social networking for your sims! Also, players now have the tools to upload custom content to decorate their homes with. I have yet to experiment with this myself, but I’ve seen quite a few paintings and sculptures being sold ingame and it really opens up a lot of possibilities. While the custom content is purely decorative, combined with the right interactive objects, you could potentially create very interesting themed lots. I think the biggest hurdle will be getting people to see the potential and believe in it enough to invest real money.

While the changes are welcome in a lot of ways, and perhaps sorely needed in this online game that never became as popular as its offline counterpart, I’m not so sure how the new economy will work out. Not having had an active subscription for years now, I may be out touch but as far as I can remember, the “economic freedom” we used to enjoy helped us to be more creative. All the rich sims from TSO got to keep their possessions and their lots but not their money so basically, the game is starting over with a clean economic slate.

There’s no reason why it can’t be as successful as Second Life has been, but I think initially, EA has to loosen the purse-strings and allow the new players to build the fun stuff - art galleries, zoos, themed restaurants, ball parks (yes! sim-ball!).

If you don’t build them, no one will come… ;)

Rick Rolled!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Thu, 28 Feb 2008 22:33:15 +0000

For about a whole week last week, I kept waking up with Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up” stuck in my head. The reason? I kept getting “rick-rolled”! If you’ve never been rick rolled before, here’s how it works. Pranksters will send you an innocent looking linky that turns out to be… a You Tube video of Rick Astley!

So anyway, having been rick-rolled a few times, I swore to myself never to click on another You Tube link again, no matter how innocent-looking, especially if its sender has a dubious reputation. Thankfully, my strategy seemed to work and I had almost forgotten Rick when someone sent me this pie-chart link!

So what does this have to do with games and gaming? Nothing really, except perhaps that I’ve been getting most of the rick-rolling from the PotBS forums and IRC channel.

Speaking of which, I have quit as site manager of PotBS Vault but I’m still very much into the game. Since none of my gaming buddies are playing it with me, I’ve joined a pirate society on the Rackham server and I’m trying to set up my character with a ship provisioning business. It’s the first time I’m playing a pirate since closed beta and I’m really having fun with it. I find it refreshing that I don’t have to worry about saving money or trying to get a shipbuilding operation going. Need ship? Capture one! It suits my playing style and I don’t know why I never thought of doing it before. Granted I am still a lowbie so I can’t relate to the “pirates have no end game” complaints I see everyday but at the rate I’m going, I’m not going to have that problem for a long time anyway.

For all ye land lubbers, here’s an awesome PotBS ship battle video so you’ll see what you’re missing. :)

We Are Community!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Wed, 06 Feb 2008 07:14:25 +0000

Gamer Girl Giveaway #5: Your favorite fantasy is XI.

The number one reason that I play MMO games can be summed up in one word: community.

Community is the reason that I flew to Oklahoma to meet up with some Dark Age of Camelot players and have some good old fasioned bar-b-que. Community is the reason that fan sites exist and community managers exist. Community is what separates the MMO from the single player games out there and what makes them unique.

From my experience, there are two kinds of MMO game developers. Those who embrace their communities and those who say “my way or the highway”. With increased competition and more developers springing up who want to make the “next (well you know the title of the game that goes here)” the playing field is getting more and more crowded. Those companies that look to their communities and make them a part of the development process will see their games leap ahead of their less interactive competitiors.

I wouldn’t specifically call out the developers of the swashbuckling game “Pirates of the Burning Sea”, Flying Lab Software (oh wait..yes I would), but this is a company that incorporates their community into their design process and welcomes their input. They *actually* consider player concerns when evaluating whether or not to make adjustments to improve the overall gaming experience. Their presence on their official forums is flat out UNHEARD of when compared to other official forums that I’ve experienced. The serious posts talking about game related issues to the playful banters that are just plain silliness reflect that these people enjoy what they do. Interacting with the community that plays their game.

Had the chance to look at the Pirates of the Burning Sea box? Inside you will find a “Ship’s Guide” complete with images of ships that were designed by players during the beta process. I have NEVER seen a company use player made items in a guide that was published on release of their game.

Flying Lab Software..I give you a 10 on the community involvement scale.
We are your community.

Hear us roar!

Read more about my thoughts on Flying Lab Software here.

Thank You, ?Trash?!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Mon, 04 Feb 2008 04:16:47 +0000

I’ve been meaning to change the website’s banner for a long time now but haven’t been able to find someone who could design one for me. A few days ago, I was browsing the Off-Topic forums on the POTBS official site and came across this thread where people were talking about someone’s avatars on the board. True enough her artwork was awesome, so I told her about wanting to redesign my banner, and offered to advertise her work in return. Within two hours, the site had a smashing new look, and she refuses any sort of advertisement. In fact, I don’t even know her real name and can only refer to her by her forum name.

In any case, I just wanted to say, THANK YOU “TRASH”. You’re the best. :)

I Am Annoy!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Thu, 31 Jan 2008 21:32:50 +0000

The gold sellers have invaded the Burning Sea! Over a week ago, FLS Community Director Troy Hewitt (Aether) issued this announcement, to the delight of many:

This evening, Flying Lab Software staff issued a series of permanent bans as a result of gold selling activities by players of Pirates of the Burning Sea. Additionally, 24 hour bans were issued on multiple accounts found to have participated in the transfer of this illicit gold.

In the same announcement, he urged all players to report anyone who approaches them seeking to sell gold. I was impressed because in all my past MMOs, gold sellers were always the pariahs but nothing was ever done to punish the buyers. Surely I thought, this would take care of the problem once and for all! That same evening while playing the game, I got about four solicitations and smugly reported all of them. The funny thing was, as soon as one of the rats was banned, another one would immediately take its place. They all had similar names (Zsmdgfadhga something) and the same MO - they’d send you a private message ingame and were very subtle. They wanted you to visit their website “to be friends and make you play the game more freely”. The website wasn’t as subtle - it sells Pirates of the Burning Sea doubloons for real money!

So anyway, you’d think with FLS’ strict wielding of the banstick, these gold sellers would be gone the next day right? Wrong! It actually seems to be getting worse and the subtlety has all gone.

[Zddinqzhqa hfpsuzw] tells you: Hello! Do you feel annoy for afford better ship? we provide the lowest price on the server (price here) more surprise you can find when you come to our wedsite,all in (”wedsite” here).

I have no idea how these people continue to thrive against all odds. All I know is… I am VERY annoy!

Level = Experience?
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Sat, 19 Jan 2008 04:31:59 +0000

Gamer Girl Giveaway #3: Her dog is named ?AFK?

Recently, I was chatting with some new recruits into my guild. They dutifully applied to the guild, detailing what their level was, their accomplishments, and the amount of time they had hoped to play per week. Being a social player, these types of facts aren?t that important to me, but these applicants were hoping to report as experts of their classes.

I reviewed the applicants and selected the ones that appeared to be the best representatives of their class and offered them a spot in the guild. It wasn?t very long after that, we were in a voice chat and I mentioned that I could use a hunting partner.

?What level are you?? one asked.

?16? I replied.


?What?? I asked.

?You are ONLY level 16???? OMG!? he exclaimed. “Our clan leader is only 16!!??”

To them my level was a direct representative of my knowledge of the game. In fact, this isn?t just a view that is shared by my friends, but most of the gaming community. I can?t say that I entirely disagree with them, as to truly get a grasp of all aspects of a game, you have to have played to the ?end game? that the designers have constructed. But does this mean that you can ONLY be respected and know how to play the game if you have attained X many levels?

What about those who enjoy the crafting aspects of the game? You might be an eternal level 5..but does that mean you can?t be a Master Artesian of your chosen craft? Does that mean that you won?t know anything about crafting until you reach a skill of say 200 on a 250 scale? Or will those who reach 250 look down their noses at those who are only 240?

While I agree that you do have to effectively play through levels to get a feel for how the game progresses and your character in that world, I don?t believe that a player?s knowledge or ability should be entirely based on the numbers in your character fact sheet. In fact, I?ve read things and heard comments by players who had ?reached maximum level? and thought ?Did you BUY your character or did you sleep while you played??

In reality though, players will always be assessed (at least initially) by the level they reach or the skill level they attain. Sadly, for those of us who are lower level, a majority of our comments or observations may fall to the wayside. But hopefully, there is one player out there who says: ?Dang..I didn?t know/think of that!?

I am a level 16.

Hear me roar.

Welcome Eekabeep!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on Fri, 18 Jan 2008 21:07:05 +0000

We’ve just recruited another blogger and this one should be a familiar name to a quite a few people. I was in Seattle earlier this week for Flying Lab’s private launch party for Pirates of the Burning Sea, and I was chatting with this lovely lady about blogging or more precisely, how I haven’t been able to blog since I started working on POTBS Vault, and she goes “Oh if you need a blogger, I’d do it!”. I’m not sure how she’ll fit that into her busy schedule and I don’t know how much she would like to reveal about herself so I will let her introduce herself to you.

Please welcome fellow female-gamer, Eekabeep! :)

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