Tripod’s “Head of Zombie”

I’m just an old crone in the woods
Mixing my magic potions
Living alone here in the woods
Ninety years, ninety years,
Scraping by on berries and tree sap
Sunken eyes deep in my weathered face
My scraggly hair-like dry white hair
I’m raving to myself
To the few teeth I have left


And I have such…
…a smokin’ body…
…a full and youthful rack…
…the ass of a gym instructor…

My neck is a portal,
between good storytelling…
…and no sense at all.

I am a zombie shambling through
a dark and abandoned building
Horrors I’m told have ravaged me
Jerking and spasming
Seven years I’ve rotted in the waste
My family held out hopes I was alive
And now my son has found me here,
He raises up his knife…
as the tears stream down his face…


And I have such
a smokin’ body
my breasts are both intact
I’m dressed as a nurse-themed stripper

My neck is a portal,
between narrative logic…
…and no sense at all.

Head of zombie,
Body of hottie
Head of orc queen,
Body of hottie
Head of space fish,
Body of hottie

I’m a cartoon aardvark
In a pixelated magical kingdom
Gathering sparkling pumpkins
On rainbow skates
It’s also the case that
I’m stacked like a swimsuit model

My neck is a portal
between good storytelling
…and no sense at all!


Edit: Lyrics fixed, courtesy of Joseph Skyrim!

GW2: 1st Quarter NCsoft Earnings Call

And this is the reason we had 30 days of item sales in March.

The good news is that it has rather solidly and effectively masked the quote unquote “not as expected performance of HoT” – meaning presumably that other than the initial surge, few people were convinced or tempted to buy the expansion later in the following quarter. I figure that means the GW2 veterans picked it up the first quarter it launched, but subsequently, casual players of GW2 or hardcore players from other games were -not- tempted into following suit.

It’s good that the strength of the gem store and gem to gold currency exchange is such that it can provide a Hail Mary last resort to save an ailing quarter. Cos the last thing we need is NCsoft feeling that their investors are asking too many questions about why this title exists in their portfolio, while showing insignificant profit.

I admit to being very curious as to the lesson they apparently learned. 

Is it that they shouldn’t crank difficulty across the board too high, or try to institute too much grind in order to encourage retention?

Or over-focus on the hardcore subset at the expense of leaving the other subsets feeling unheard? Or focus overmuch on Achievers, while forgetting the other subtypes that also play their game?

Maybe they’ve decided that promising the moon in their marketing and under-delivering is a sure way of shooting themselves in the foot, a la O’Brien’s new resolution to deliver actual tangible results for players to judge?

Or that by opening up developer communication channels and inviting civil player discussion and feedback, they might be able to stave off much of the knee-jerk controversy and backlash that follows any sudden surprise change a vocal enough group of players -really- don’t like?

Is it that they’ve decided too concentrated maps and focused metas are no good and they should focus on quantity and more spread out maps like core Tyria?

Is it that they should cater to the seemingly unending call for more 5 man group content at an easy to moderate difficulty level not too far removed from present day dungeons and fractals?

(Mind you, I don’t personally agree with all of the above, especially the latter two, beyond the desire to have more oldstyle exploration and discovery and lore in the maps, but they seem to be somewhat common sentiments.)

Or maybe they took home a completely bizarre unimaginable-to-me lesson learned instead. Like, “raids were the most well-received and regularly played feature of Heart of Thorns! Let’s not bother making open world maps and make our next expansion a whole boxful of raids!”

Who knows.

Hopefully we’ll see more stability in the second quarter and decent enough gem store revenue post-mea culpa patch to take us to Living Story 3, presumably arriving in the 3rd quarter.

Time will tell as to what that lesson learned was.

Game Triage

I’m with Liore and Belghast. Hype cycles are whooshing right over my head. And I don’t know what to blog about. So I go silent for a couple days, which sometimes turns into weeks.

Here’s the main problem:

Too many games. Not enough time.

I suppose one personal habit of mine that has already gotten entrenched is a deep resistance to buying most games on launch day. Or indeed, during the hype cycle when most people are talking about it.

The habit started when I skipped a year or two when I was schooling overseas, or unemployed and conserving money, and ever since then, I’ve been busy playing catch-up.

I don’t regret a thing.

I’m part of the long tail, I get my games cheaper, I still get a very similar experience for most things that ain’t reliant on launch day crowds, and I wasn’t much of a must-do-the-same-thing-as-my-friends-at-the-same-time person to begin with.

It’s a rare game that I buy full price – I must really love it – and often I see it going for much cheaper later, and it rubs in the lesson that I paid a premium for experiencing it at a critical time.

Hell, I have ‘old’ games I want to play again, and I don’t know when I’ll get around to them.

I haven’t quite crossed 1.5 years in Stardew Valley yet, I don’t think. One week I was playing it, and then I wasn’t.

I kinda want to play Don’t Starve again. I bought the latest tropical island DLC thing sight unseen and -haven’t- got around to even seeing any of its content.

I listened to Peter Hollens sing Skyrim and suddenly I want to start another game from scratch, for reals this time, a full second playthrough, and maybe play a different combat style and oh, actually try the DLC? Did I ever buy it when it went on Steam sale? I can’t remember.

Who am I kidding?

Path of Exile lies fallow once more, because Minecraft shoved it aside last week.

I raid now, in GW2, two weeknights of five. Three left.

I took up a real world art class Sunday morning, cos it grew increasingly obvious to me that I needed some form of tangible creative expression. Fills a spiritual, meditative hole. But it does mean that half a weekend is gone where gaming is concerned.

Half of a Saturday is on standby for work or real-life pursuits (eg. family outings) or game community ’emergencies’ (I’m gonna want to play WvW resets if the game mode ever takes off again; the raid group may need to assemble.)

3 weeknights. 1 weekend. (Minus the hour per day finishing GW2 dailies, cos that’s non-negotiable.)

I sit around with a to-do / bucket list, and I have to admit that the most pressing priority for the use of said 3 + 1 isn’t a game, old or new.

I have many epub books and digital magazines left completely unread. I picked up a Netflix subscription when it went global this year (and thus, available in my country.)

There’s also around two decades of accumulated clutter I’ve been trying to divest myself of, and it mostly means taking the time to digitize the stuff I can’t bear to throw away without saving it somehow.

I got started on the project early this year, set an ideal completion date of July, promptly got sidetrekked for two months with GW2 raiding, and really ought to get back to it now that things have stabilized to a place of relative contentment in Tyria… before the Living Story picks up and completely derails the best laid plans.

Between that, Minecraft, the blog and GW2, I am spread completely thin. (And it’s not like the blog is getting that much attention these days either.)

I suspect I’m not the only one with similar issues.

Interesting times we live in now, where our attention and focus has become such a commodity.