Category Archives: Funny stuff

Happy Moday Post: A Gamer’s Dream

I am a crazy dreamer which I’ve always attributed to my rampant imagination. I dream very vivid dreams on most nights, in stark contrast to my partner who never ever dreams and if he does, he never remembers. I, on the other hand remember lots of things although on average memory is at its freshest right after waking up and then fades miraculously soon after. It’s only ever the most impressive, horrible or delightful dreams that stick with me longterm and honestly this dream business is as much a blessing as a curse at times. Dark dreams can overshadow my mood for the entire day to come – not very pleasant! On the other hand, nothing beats being woken up by your own laughter (and creeping out whoever may be in close proximity). I don’t place much meaning on dreams though; I’ve always interpreted them as “brain doing a clean-out or re-arranging furniture”. I’ve definitely had dreams in the past which were a direct consequence of intense experiences or stressful times, still dreams are ripples on the surface of our subconscious at best, without any indication of what’s to come. I believe as little in oneiromancy as in palm reading. Did you know that’s a word?

Anyway, it so happens that I’ve had one of the most fantastic gamer dreams ever only two nights ago and I’m still thinking about it. I’m having lots of cool gaming-related dreams of late, it must be a lucky streak! That particular one was so geeky and epic however, I just have to share it on this sunny Monday morning! Most people would give me funny looks over this but I feel this blog is a safe place to tell the tale.

“The Ultimate Escapism”

Artwork by HeeWonLee

Artwork by HeeWonLee

So, I am standing on the balcony of my apartment which happens to be a different apartment, but then dreams never seem to care for this type of accuracy. It’s a sunny day and I am looking down on the green lawn below. Suddenly, this tall and bulky male Troll warrior in full battle armor materializes out of thin air; he is lying on the grass quite relaxed, staring up at me. He is also an ingame character (as in WoW cartoon while me and the rest of the world are still erm photo-realistic). He’s winking at me while I’m trying to catch up with my brain. Next thing a shiny sword starts materializing beside him, followed by a Draenei, this time a woman, grasping it. Apparently they’re here to fetch me. And I’m late.

This is where the dream “zones” or makes a cut, or maybe I just don’t remember how I left the balcony. I’m now in company of these two mysterious figures leading me to a WoW style city, where numerous other game characters are fighting and training and basically doing MMO THINGS as I’m given a tour around. I end up being introduced to a cheerful troll girl with pink hair (she actually had a haircut that exists in the game…and tusks) who takes me to the inn. She had a name too but I’ve lost it.

Troll girl introduces me to her girlfriends at the inn and they’re talking about fashion (…). Apparently there’s a party later on and I’m not dressed for the occasion. Worse: I am still no cartoon figure! Immediately I’m taken to this lake where – wait for it – there’s a sort of fishing mini-game going on with small rafts. I have to compete against 7 other players and win the thing by collecting most items from the water.

And so I do! Victorious, I head back to the lobby (or whatever it was) and grab the reward sitting on a table. It’s a fairly lackluster cardboard box really and when I open it, there are several cockroaches swarming out (which I interpret as tokens for the losers). What’s left is a grey bushy tail.

(I’m not kidding! First I thought it was weird but then I remembered this…….)

The tail looks more like a short brush and is made of some cloth fabric (rather than real tail thank god). I’m supposed to eat it to complete the transformation to cartoon Syl. As I start chewing on the thing, the troll warrior from the beginning is back cheering at me. I’m still trying to gulp down what’s left, feeling strangely warm inside.

…And that’s when our neighbor from downstairs (I hate these people) rang at the door, waking me up. It’s SO cliché yet it’s nothing but the truth. And I never got to know what else would’ve happened in that strange dream land after becoming a WoW character, DOH! I went back and tried but re-connecting to dreams is virtually impossible. /sadface

Oh well. It was a wonderful dream nonetheless, a gamer’s dream. One that I got to share with you. Happy Monday everybody – and hang on to those dreams of yours!

The quintessential indispensable guide to successful blogging (and cheeseballs)

In case you’re wondering what’s up with my publishing speed of late, I am finally off work! Yes, that evil work from hell and I couldn’t be happier about it. I am back open road, my old friend! Just this Monday I got an SMS from my successor and she is telling me that she intends to resign this week (after a mere two weeks in a company I stayed at for 8 months) and that the other new gal (who replaced everyone else of my team who have also resigned with me) already resigned last Friday. Ahahaha! If only I could shed a tear for my former bosses but sometimes karma hits the right people.

Anyway, I noticed that I have been entirely too unserious with my blogging of late, so today I intend to fix this by giving quintessential blogging advice after receiving an email from Sam, a silent longterm reader who approached me about how to best establish a successful blogging venture. Now, back in the days I would’ve felt horribly unqualified to answer such a question and just have redirected him over to Larisa, who always offered the best of counsel mixed with some genuine, motherly peptalk. Truth be told, I still feel rather awkward to share my “wisdom” on something I still consider trivial at its core (not the art of great writing mind) but then again, I have been a steady blogger for 2.5 years now with 300ish posts published – so why the hell not?

Of course, the internet is full of serious blogging advice by very experienced individuals. These days you can hardly get a word out before being confronted with “becoming a great blogger” and all the fatal “do’s and donts” of publishing – and rightly so! After all, this is the new journalism and we need to imitate that crowd. So, I can definitely see why some people are intimidated to start their own blog, no matter how long they’ve toyed with the idea. For those, let me guide you on your road to guaranteed successfullness.

The lofty art of SRS blogging

Dear Sam and everyone else it concerns,
I hate saying it but while blogging ain’t rocket science, you gotta know your stuff these days. You wanna stand out among one billion gazillion bloggers out there, don’t ya? Well, you better follow this guide meticulously. It really isn’t so hard (or scary) if you follow few easy steps!

Rule #1: Be overbearingly present!
If you intend to start your own blog, you better know that it’s not enough to write good articles regularly. Make sure to also get accounts on facebook, myspace, google plus, twitter, tumblr and youtube right away – the more, the better. NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING! If you wanna up your traffic, your presence gotta be inescapable!

Rule #2: Nomen est omen!
Naming your blog is serious business. Further down the line to fame and success, you might hate yourself for not having given this proper thought and then it’s too late! Think hard on something fresh and catchy that represents you and sticks with people, or don’t open a blog at all. Ever. 
Good example: a geeky/techie wordplay on your name and chosen subject.
Bad example: completely unrelated monkey business.

Rule #3: Limit your subject and be real!
The worst you can do to establish a big readership fast and harvest hits, is to write about too wide a field of topics. You want to be known for something, right? Even if you are a really interesting person with many different interests, try to focus and deliver one thing only. Also, avoid niche topics and meta analysis. Nobody wants to read a meta commentary blog on MMORPG design, for example. Trust me.

Rule #4: Guides guides guides!
The best you can do to keep’em hits rollin’ is writing guides. Might sound dry and boring to you, but nothing gets you street cred and longterm visits like a nice and detailed guide with pictures. Great writing and insightful debates are cool and all but….guides dude, guides!

Rule #5: Use catchy post titles!
You probably know how the google search engine works, so you want to make sure when people are looking for something they always end up on your blog! Intention means nothing but every hit counts! Try and make your post titles as search engine catchy as you possibly can. Add meta tags and work broad terminology into the mix! If you manage to weave “cheeseballs” coherently into any given post title, you basically got it down. Ninja!

Rule #6: Sound smarter than you are!
Make any given topic sound like an academic treatise. The art of spicing up the mundane lies in correct placement of a few superfluous but trendy or intellectual sounding catchwords the average reader probably won’t understand. Popular words include: “dichotomy, paradigm (shift), per se, oeuvre, juxtaposition” etc. Jep, any of those will do. Or better even, use them all!

Rule #7: Don’t swear!
You may never ever swear or sink to vulgarity in an article. Even if it’s really witty and in context, or alternatively just damn funny and honest, you do not want to alienate anyone by using bad words on your blog. Only unprofessional and shady people swear. In general, avoid being too extreme with your opinions; you don’t want to polarize – to polarize is to lose half of a potential audience. People only like strong opinions as long as they are theirs.

I will stop here because seven is a beautiful number. Also, these are really the most valuable points I can possibly pass on to rookie bloggers – points I live by myself every day. I hope I’ve managed to show that there’s nothing to worry about whatsoever as long as you heed a few simple, widely approved rules. If not, I’m afraid to say your blog’s gonna crash and burn and sink into oblivion.

Also, for Sam – please check my other answer in your inbox!
Best wishes,

(who is entirely guilty of using ‘per se’ when others aren’t looking. The Big Yin would not approve.)

Weekend Challenge: MMO Poetry Scrabble (with a prize)!

Riddles and quizzes, I love them to death. Naturally, there aren’t nearly enough about our favorite hobby-pastime-passion MMOs. I also love poetry quite a bit although I will not pretend that you’ll find anything in this post but primitive rhyme at best – and hopefully to your entertainment.

It’s been too long since my last MMO quiz challenges and it’s really getting difficult now; difficult to come up with something fresh that is genre-wide (because it’s no fun basing everything on only one MMO), interesting and most importantly: hard enough for this audience. Yep, you are just too good at guessing these! Alas, I’ll give it another try.

The Rules

This third MMO weekend challenge on MMO Gypsy is called “Poetry Scrabble”. Further down, you will find ten wildly mixed up scrabble words in no particular order which each correspond to a quick four-line rhyme. Of course your job will be the following: find the correct answer to each rhyme below and then spot your answer among the scrabble words! This means, delivered solutions in the comment section should look like this: “A2 (scrabble word), B9 (scrabble word), C6 (scrabble word) etc.” You should give the solved (arranged) scrabble word with each answer in brackets.

Some pointers: all ten rhymes refer to a key/solution word from popular mainstream MMORPGs only (no korean oddballs or the like). At first, I considered giving away the MMOs…but where’s the fun in that? Answers may range from simple names to specific game features and notorious personae. Anything goes. Also, I am totally cheating; like with the first rebus quiz, reading between the lines is required!

The Winner & Prize
(UPDATE: This quiz has already been solved. You can of course still take it for your own enjoyment but might want to ignore spoilers in the comment section.)

As always, I will not acknowledge any solutions in the comment section before the first person has guessed all ten correctly. I would therefore not advise posting an unfinished list unless you’re happy to help someone else out. The first person to guess everything correctly will be declared winner and, besides getting to call himself a true MMO scholar, be awarded a prize! That’s a first and I’m happy to add this as little give-away. Maybe the picture on the right gives you an idea on what it may be (you will need a Steam account). Now, nuff said – good luck quizzers and a happy weekend to everybody!


The Rhymes
A) Flying islands, guild halls,
– many names for home.
But bartenders can be found
in one alone.
B) “The king is dead,
all hail the king!”
No really – rains killed him.
(How embarrassing!)
C) Three furs of a kind,
ruled by one mind.
A few were quite smitten
before they got bitten.
D) He left the door open,
pissed his boss to the core.
When forty beat his eight,
the big house left the floor.
E) Not a hunter or warlock,
yet commander of pets.
Booksmart and ready
with stuns, blinds (no nets).
F) Some people sing to please
but not this tease.
The ban hammer never fell,
some griefing’s done too well.
G) No place for newbs
up in space. Beware –
you’ll find no mercy
and no space police there.
H) Exotic roulette;
the house will always win.
You know it and yet
you throw another one in.
I) No single player game
despite starting quite alone
in a tor and age
with a tea before.
J) A guild or kinship
by different name.
To elvaan and galka
it’s all the same.


The Scrabbles

  3. NYSFA

ArenaNet really needs character designers!

You’ve probably heard that ArenaNet is hiring character artists, a most prestigious kind of job! After long consideration and making first contact via twitter (to which they still haven’t responded, I can’t quite figure out why), I decided to run for the job and create a first piece of art to illustrate my fitness. The examples given on their page were very helpful pointers in that undertaking…ArenaNet will of course want to find the right type of artists who grasp the art style and aesthetics of Guild Wars 2, keeping things coherent. Luckily all of this applies to me.

(click image to enlarge)

So, what’s your opinion – I believe I have captured ArenaNet’s basic idea for the races and characters in the game? Also, keep in mind this was only a very fast sketch really. I admit I’m not great with the whole environment kind of stuff, but then they’re not looking for landscape artists! ArenaNet pick me, pick me!

Weekend challenge: Guess the MMO UI!

Is it just me or has the blogosphere been rather full on strife and negativity of late? Damn all item shops, ME3 ending drama, the EVE Online controversy….and pretty much every flavor of “what devs do wrong and why they all suck”-type of posts. I’ve raised so many eyebrows lately, my eyes start feeling a little sore. I suspect some are burned out from playing old games or bored waiting for new ones. That’s usually the phase when MMO players are a particularly edgy bunch. I remember waiting for the next expansion in WoW – not a good time for raidguilds either.

Well, whatever it is – I think it’s perfect timing for a QUIZ! In my first weekend challenge, I asked people to find the name of five MMO developers in a rebus. It was immensely entertaining to create and despite being pretty difficult in places, some readers did an impressive job at being creative and figuring out the correct answers. In case you’ve missed that first challenge and love quizzing and wordplay, here’s the link (don’t read comments if you still want to take the quiz).

High time for the new game! This time around, I present you all with a mixed pictures challenge and the topic is, you guessed right, MMO user interfaces. MMO players can spend years on end looking at the same UI – windows, bars, icons and maps. Every UI comes in slightly different colors and shapes, but in terms of functionality most games will copy what’s worked for years. So…just how well do you think you can tell them apart?

How-To: The following SWTOR screenshot contains a total of 12 common UI elements from many different MMOs, old and young. I’ve mixed them up and worked them into a new, completely fictional interface. Your job is to guess them all correctly and be specific about what item belongs to which game. Like last time, I won’t acknowledge any correct or wrong answers in the comments until someone has succeeded to name everything correctly. As usual, eternal fame & glory goes to the winner!

Happy guessing and apologies to the UI-modders!

(click to enlarge)

Wanted UI elements:
1. Main game menu (bottom left)
2. Chat window
3. Stat window
4. Character & target frame
5. Buff bar
6. Mini-map
7. Quest tracker
8. Side bar
9. Bag
10. EXP bar
11. Action bar
12. Cast bar

Are Rift players the better people?

There’s the Carneval of the Ascended world event currently going on in Rift and having re-subbed a couple of weeks ago, I did of course jump into the whole affair while trying to remember how to play my old character. Out of a whim one night (and desperation), I decided to use general chat to get some guidance, not expecting much in terms of help on boring noob questions.

I was shocked to be proven so utterly wrong. Not only did I receive a perfect answer within the minute, I received several more tells from different people. My rusty thank-you muscles were sore afterwards. Surely that was first time luck though, some rare cosmic constellation working in mysterious ways! I had to try again.

And so I did, several more times over the coming weeks. Nothing changed. I was never ignored and never met with uncivil tongue though I must have offered plenty of temptation. Moreover, sometimes players would send me tells after 5 minutes, making sure I had actually received an answer to my problem, while a quicker player was still briefing me on more than I originally dared ask for –

What is it with these friendly, helpful Rift players???

Sadly, I am a complete stranger to this level of support. I gave up in WoW years ago and other MMOs that will even feature beginner channels (such as AoC), were just as big a disappointment. I can only begin to speculate why Rift’s community is so different – is it the cosier size? The numerous WoW quitters? The fresh air in Telara?

….Or do I just happen to find myself on a freak server? Whatever it is, I am duly impressed. Maybe the stars do have something to do with it after all, though; Kleps just ran into an outrageous bunch of Robin Hoods recently, in WoW of all places. If that’s not supernatural, I don’t know what is!

Tunes of Magic III – Skyrim

While ZeniMax Media are eagerly blocking all Skyrim soundtrack clips on youtube, I got myself the official 4-CD OST collection of the game and I cannot recommend it enough. Skyrim’s music is STUNNING, kudos go to Jeremy Soule for creating such masterful tunes for a beautiful world!

Meanwhile, fans worldwide have been busy. Merely five weeks old, Skyrim music clips, movies, cartoons and comics are shooting from the ground like Mora Tapinella (c wut I did thar!). I always loved fan initiatives, the creativity and inspiration the best of games will unleash in their player base. WoW too, has certainly been a remarkable example of that.

In lieu of official tunes to present here, I’ve therefore decided to dedicate a small round-up of musical fan creations for Elder Scrolls V. As maybe more unofficial part of my Tunes of Magic series, this stands on its own as a testimony to player creativity and Skyrim’s most catchy themes – enjoy!

“The Dragonborn Comes” by Malukah

Directly inspired by the bard song ingame, this haunting fan interpretation is beautifully sung, capturing the mood of Skyrim’s cold lands with its clear vocals. It’s available for free download here – just a pity it’s only two minutes long!

“Skyrim Epic Rap” by Dan Bull

You don’t need to be particularly into rap to appreciate this cover for its funny lyrics. The majestic choir of Skyrim’s main theme fits oddly well with the performer’s rhythm. This too is available for free download. A real scream!

“Skyrim meets Metal” by Erock

This put a wide grin on my face – I would expect nothing less than a metal interpretation of Skyrim! The two are pretty much made for one another, a classy performance with a slight /headbang!

“Skyrim Remix” by Levi Doron

Uh-oh…dance techno, really? Of course, somebody had to do it – but then, for all its trashy Euromix flair, I couldn’t help but chuckle. Someone actually went through the trouble to adapt Skyrim for the dance floor – an acquired taste, yet somehow contagious?!

“Literal Skyrim Trailer” by Tobuscus

Literal trailers are almost always great fun and this is no exception. I always marvel at people’s breath on these, I could never keep up! Add to that, they’re actually attempting to sing it (well, kinda) – hilarious!

“Retro Skyrim Trailer” by RubberRoss

This collection of music genres would not be complete without an oldschool 8bit video game tune. I admit, it takes a lot of nostalgia to appreciate them, but both the clip and “song” made me chuckle – this is how all great games began!

Ah and in case you haven’t seen the Escapist’s Zero Punctuation take on Skyrim, I really suggest you do! A good weekend to all of you – be it called Christmas, Hanukkah or just a lazy day somewhere out in the snow (alternatively warm and fuzzy in a chair playing videogames)!

Skyrim fun links

It’s Friday everybody – my favorite day of the week! In lieu of any MMO to talk about, because Starwars does not enthuse, Guild Wars 2 is far away and WoW is becoming Pokémon, I decided to put together some Skyrim links for all those of you who are currently immersed and bedazzled in the vast world of Tamriel. Just a few bits’n bobs you might want to check out and have some fun with!

  • Skyrim easter eggs; like most games these days, Skyrim holds a few hidden movie and pop-culture references and quotes in store, even if somewhat more subtle and scarce in number (and a good thing too). I can’t say I noticed any of them myself ingame, but then I was busy wiping tears away over the beautiful vistas.
  • Skyrim kindle edition; the numerous books scattered over the lands of Skyrim are a wonderful feature of the game, so is the fact that you can read them all, collect and store them on your personal book shelves. Care to browse’m on your way to work? No problemo! Fan initiatives such as these never cease to amaze me. 
  • Skyrim arachnophobia mod; apparently arachnophobia is such a serious issue that it can considerably hinder the enjoyment of video games for people who are affected. The beauty of PC games is the community and interactivity; if the devs allow it, players can write their own mods and fixes for almost everything. In this case turn them nasty spiders into bears or crabs!
  • Legit console commands; while all console commands are “legit” of course, there are several that are more useful and feel less like “cheating”, considerably improving your gaming experience. I certainly find my game flow less disrupted by an improved carry weight or extended night-day cycles, but judge for yourself.
  • Skyrim detailed map; Someone actually went through the trouble of mapping entire Skyrim including all locations, early on after launch. Quite impressive, although I must say I love not having discovered everything just yet.
  • Skyrim sim power; clips such as these show the amazing authenticity of Skyrim’s gameplay, the technical finesse that brings life to this virtual world. Now if only I had such an aim!
  • Skyrim on Cracked; as usual, have their own cynical take on how playing Skyrim will affect your personality.
  • Skyrim on Penny Arcade; not surprisingly, Gabe of PA is an avid Skyrim player, battling with the same initial issues as everyone else. Especially the strip on obsessive looting behaviour made me chuckle – you can never have too many brooms imo!

I wish you all a very good weekend and mighty adventures! I know where to look for mine.

(Quite possibly the greatest quest of all times.)

Happy Monday

I admit I’m not a Monday person. Nor a morning person for that matter. Mornings are for other people. Still, do you need to draw such a sour face? They’re everywhere on my way to work – on the streets, in the bus, as I climb the stairs to my soon-to-be-quit office. Grumpy faces. Nobody smiles anymore, do you notice? Even when it’s the weekend or after-work, people are so dead serious everywhere, you could think they’re all dealing with highly important matters of gravity or are on their way to a funeral. Way to make my morning worse.

Seriously folks, lighten up! Try to smile a little more. I hear it’s healthy. Shake your body to that music in your ears sometime, whistle a tune, laugh about a joke real loud. There’s something strangely infectious about a merry mood. Happy Monday everybody!

Playing WoW on Arcade – Yes, really

Ever wondered how WoW might play as an arcade lightgun shooter?

No? What’s wrong with you?

Epic! They even copied the spell icons, lol!
This vision is brought to you by China and their carefree interpretation of copyright.
The land where possibilities are truly unlimited; fake Apple stores are just the tip of the iceberg.
[Images taken at the GTI Expo China, 2011 – courtesy of a fellow forum member]