Skip to content

The Final Post on Stillwater’s Blog of Games and Geekery

June 14, 2011

Sometimes, you know that even a good thing like a humble little blog has to end. It’s been 460 posts since I started this blog, and I’m proud to have done so many things and started discussions on particular topics of interest to me and other folks.

That said, it’s time to move on to better things, and it’s time to say farewell to the blog that was once known as Victor Stillwater’s Blog of Games and Geekery.

 

 

Beginning today, until the time that I can’t find anything else to write about and I’ve lost all my friends in the blogosphere and twitterverse, you will have to find Victor Stillwater on a different part of the web, and that’s on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com, otherwise known more succinctly as just plain Games and Geekery.

I’m not leaving the things I love so easily, and I thought that, by buying my own domain, part of a long-standing dream I’ve had, I could grow as a person and take care of and be responsible for something that is wholly and completely my own.

With the help of Arkenor, Geek Goddess, and Stargrace, I’ve been able to work on the beginnings of a new site, though I’ve yet to find time to completely change everything accordingly to fit the needs of a new site. Call this a soft opening or a weird beginning; either way, I’m staying put, and writing what I can, and I hope you can add my new site as Games and Geekery on your individual pages.

As for what’s up next? Give me another hour or so, and I should have some new content up on the new site that might interest you folks. Cheers!

Perspectives on Perfect World’s Cryptic Acquisition (Or It’s Alright to be Wrong, Part Two)

June 1, 2011

Most everyone in the MMO gaming and blogging community has probably heard of the acquisition of Cryptic studios by Perfect World. It was nice to know, thanks to Mr. Jennings of Broken Toys, that Cryptic was bought by Perfect World for almost double the base price that Atari paid for the company.

In reference to my previous post about my blogging habits and about how it’s okay to be wrong, assume we have at least two different viewpoints. On the one hand, we can have a viewpoint where the acquisition can be seen as a “complete mess”, made potentially worse by the fact that a predominantly F2P MMO developer bought the game company(inaccurate wording, but give me a break) for double the price. On the other hand, we have the the generally positive, cautiously optimistic viewpoint that this can be good in the short term for both companies (from a PR and development standpoint), but cannot be accurately predicted in the long-term.

I have no qualms with either viewpoint, and will generally leave my personal bias out of this discussion. Both sides have some good points and bad points, and though the research on the cautiously optimistic viewpoint is more pronounced, acknowledging the possibility of catastrophic failure on the part of Cryptic is something that should be considered and thought, since acknowledging a potential unsavory future for the company and the history of gaming leads us to try and steer clear of it.

With the naysayers in this case, I think the issue of relevance may be a factor in how their perception has come to see this situation. Some of them may have come from an earlier point in time in STO’s lifecycle, and thus have not experienced changes made to the game. Worse still, there’s no pertinent information in the above linked blog post to conclude that Cryptic games will “nosedive” after this acquisition.

As for the cautiously optimistic… well, for lack of a better way of putting it, you can’t be full-blown optimistic about this one, so a measured dose of skepticism may be needed given Cryptic’s track record. So long as people support Cryptic in the future though, and Perfect World can infuse the game with renewed vigor that adds onto the changes Cryptic has made to its games, then it should be good.

As for me, the best part of this is the possibility that curious members of the gaming community will try other Perfect World games, realize it isn’t as bad as it seems, and partake of Perfect World’s offerings outside of Cryptic games and the Torchlight MMO.

Better still, Perfect World now has two companies that have a deep knowledge of how to offer player-created content to the public. If Cryptic and Runic Games can be convinced to share resources and information with Perfect World, it would be an amazing bit of gaming to realize a F2P fantasy MMO with player-created content set in a completely original world. F2P MMOs would no longer be constrained by the stigma of grinding, but instead be connected to player-made content, and that would be awesome.

That said, I have to once again look up at the infinite vastness of space, consider the immeasurable number of possibilities, and say to myself, “Gee, I don’t know. I could be wrong.

Of course, Being wrong never stopped a man from hoping though. :)

Why I Write Without Usually Taking Sides (or It’s Alright to be Wrong)

May 31, 2011

I’ve been looking for a way to discuss why I’m unlike most other bloggers. This is in the sense that I often write without taking sides on a particular issue, or in other cases write something simply to point out inconsistencies or other points of view that I can think of related to that particular topic.

Then my friend Bianca emailed me a link to this 18-minute video from TED Talks, which I think everyone should watch.

Go ahead and watch. This post will still be here when you come back.

 

Done?

 

Okay.

 

Now it would probably seem appropriate now to make an assumption that I write without taking sides because I accept that there’s often more than one side to a story and that people can oftentimes have both categorically correct, reasonable points, or categorically wrong, unreasonable points in their rhetoric.

You would be correct in that assumption… 49% of the time. If you’re wondering about the other 51%, it’s a matter of the exact opposite idea.

Approximately 51% of the time, I write without taking sides because I do not wish to be wrong. By not taking sides and accepting that most things are relative or free to interpretation, I can write opinions without having an opinion and without getting objections to my ideas.

Of course, I could be wrong about the percentages: I do not stop to count which write-ups I’ve done have been made out of acceptance of opposing views or the fear of being wrong, but I can be sure of one thing: I am also uncertain of that uncertainty, as strange as that sounds.

It’s also highly possible that I write the way I do because I see both the fear of being wrong and the possibility of more than one side having merit, but cannot determine how much of the mix is there when I write. In fact, thinking about that possibility now, it seems to be the more likely bet.

That said, I’m writing this post to remind myself that it’s okay to take a side and to be wrong. I just have to accept my misconception, learn from it, and improve myself in the process.

The problem, I would suppose, is that not everyone is as open as regards being wrong. Without naming anyone, I do realize that some people are set in their ways. Still, there’s no reason to become enemies over differences in opinion, so long as everyone can learn to mellow out and talk diplomatically.

It’s alright to be wrong folks. Just saying. :)

Birthday Thanks, and the Origin of the Birthday Picture

May 25, 2011

For those wondering, the picture in my previous post is based on the guy and girl in the above video, who are cast members of the Japanese Tokusatsu show Kamen Rider OOO.

Moving back to the point of this post, I just wanted to address everyone who sent me birthday greetings, whether they were folks who sent me twitter greets, commented on the blog, sent me text messages, said “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, or just hugged me and told me they loved me.

This would include the following folks from the physical world and the Twitter/Blogging world.

  • My Parents
  • @Scarybooster (who even wore a dress to the gala event)
  • @Arkenor
  • @Moxiedoodle
  • @xxJayedubxx (who sent me the gift of Terraria)
  • @Stargrace
  • @G33kGoddess
  • @Scopique
  • @ECTMMO
  • @MMOGC
  • @MaeveMP
  • @SlurmsMP
  • Bonedead
  • Elementalistly
  • Jomu
  • and Pid

I may have missed Twitter notices, so I apologize for that. But thank you for sending good vibes my way. :)

To be honest, it’s not been a good couple of weeks for me, and so the support and love of so many people gives me some comfort when I need to focus on the things I need to do to get past my troubles.

Again, I thank you, and I love you all.

Now get back to doing what you were doing, so you don’t see me tearing up. :)

To Me….

May 23, 2011

Bothered by a Decision: Failing The Month of Gradual MMO/Money Disuse

May 17, 2011

I was supposed to finish a post about quests in games, but I’ve been putting it off because I’m bothered by something I chose to do and want to stick to.

It’s simple really: for one month, I would play one free-to-play MMO for a maximum of 10 hours weekly and spend absolutely nothing on video games by completing single-player PC games I’ve yet to finish. There are primarily two reasons for doing this: the first is to gradually get used to not playing MMOs so that MMORPGs feel new and vibrant again, while the second is to save money as I’m dreadfully close to running on empty.

This started sometime last week when I began playing LOTRO again on the Landroval server and made my final purchase for a month: Brink for the PC.

Here’s what happened since then:

Instead of buying games, I bought other stuff. I purchased a Kindle version of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, then grew so obsessed with reading it on my bed that I convinced myself that I HAD TO HAVE a tablet to read the Kindle book on. $360 later, I became a Samsung Galaxy Tab (which my parents shelled out for after I explained my case) owner.

I got a new job.

I forgot I had started a no-purchase order and tried to buy The Witcher 2, but checked with my bank and found out that I would go over my limit if I bought it online, and in dejected response I spent $55 on junk food and assorted goods (Tablet accessories, dinner at a restaurant by myself, and a massage at a spa) within the span of three hours after finding out I couldn’t buy the Witcher 2 with my e-credit card.

Any halfway sane person can see that there is something inherently askew right now with my self-control mechanisms. I realize it, but I am having difficulty maintaining the restraint necessary to keep myself from doing stupid things like the above, which not only cause me to spend on myself unnecessarily, but also cause my parents to accede to some half-baked whim on my end.

I think my MMO burnout is a sign of something worse: that I have gotten so burnt out with doing things normally that I’m obsessing over the rush I get from spending money and watching a download meter rise on Steam. It’s not the game that I want; rather, it’s the purchase behind a game or other object that gives me pleasure, and that’s a scary thought.

Times like these, I either need a counselor or a support group, and I’m not sure I can afford either at this rate.

A Small Update: Sony’s PSN Servers Actually Up-to-Date (UPDATED)

May 9, 2011

Over on Bitmob, Brad Grenz wrote an update regarding the PSN issue that I think should be shared to people to quell some of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt currently plaguing the gaming public.

Grenz found a post on the Beyond3D forums that detailed what some quick thinking and even quicker researching could do. Writes Grenz,

One member of the Beyond3D forum, deathindustrial, was curious about the outdated server software claim and did a very brief amount of very interesting research into the issue….

(Beyond3D’s community has a unique combination of technically knowledgable user with a low rate of console fanboyism, allowing for an honest discussion of things like the PSN data breach without the conversation devolving into another proxy battle in the great fanboy wars.)

As it turns out, it is fairly simple to use Google’s webcache to show what version of Apache the PSN servers were using back in March. According to a page request archived by Google on March 23, 2011, at that time Sony was running version 2.2.17 of the software. You can see from Apache’s website that 2.2.17 is the latest stable version of the webserver available even today. This is a direct repudiation of the claims being made that Sony’s webservers were out of date by as much as five years.

In connection to this, the poster, deathindustrial, also noted the exact quote said by Dr. Stafford, the “security expert,” during the testimony before congress. Instead of turning there, it might be better if I link to Pete’s post over on Dragonchasers from a few days back, which has the quote written down but also put in video form. As it stands, Stafford had “no information about what protections they had in place,” which sort of makes his testimony a rather moot point.

Of course, we’re all still waiting for word on Sony’s PSN servers, but if we spread the word and get people to think more rationally about the situation, it may prove to our benefit that folks don’t jump to conclusions about the reputation of an entity as important as Sony.

EDIT:

I just had a thought about this. Seeing as Sony’s already mentioned and apologized for flaws in their security, it’s probably good to note that up-to-date servers may not necessarily mean completely secure servers (though I doubt there is something like a completely secure server, anyway, but I digress).

I’ll take my own advice and not make the logical leap from one idea to the next without thinking about it further. Apologies to all.

Update:

I checked back on the post that this write-up is based on, and there appears to be another wrinkle in the entire thing. Bitmob commenter Psycho Logikal is asserting that the news post written on Bitmob is inaccurate, for lack of a better way of putting it.

According to Psycho Logikal, the research done was in reference only to a subset of the servers Sony was using for PSN. If such is the case, then the article from Bitmob would be inaccurate to a certain degree by virtue of bad wording, but contains otherwise useful information.

I’ll watch the discussion for more information as it becomes available.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.