Mac the Knife

MS shark has such teeth, dear
And he shows them pearly white

Damn, damn and double damn. Dirge got me all hyped up about playing Everquest and-OK you can stop laughing at any time. Yeah. Yeah Evercrack, I know that one. Yeah, Evercamp. Check on that one too. But anyway-HEY! I heard that snicker! Don’t think I didn’t.

Ugh, computer games. I never did get into the whole arcade thing way back in the day as the ‘rents had some sort of thing against them and wouldn’t let my sis or I go off and have us some video fun. Something about video games rotting the brain or being a waste of time or arcades being seedy hang outs or whatever, the point is I was a deprived child. We didn’t even have an Atari or Nintendo (although my sis and I really rallied for one when the ‘rents were about ready to cave into our pleas to get something of the sort) instead we got…an Odyssey! Yes, that hot “computer and lame game in one” system that swept the market. You remember the whole “it has a keyboard!” draw and the way the “keyboard” feature totally rendered the non keyboardness of Atari and Nintendo obsolete? Sure you do, in fact you can’t find a Nintendo or Atari anywhere today, it’s all Odyssey gaming systems. Yeah, not bitter. Moving on (BTW, point of interest; Word’s spell check recognizes both Atari and Nintendo as a legit words).

So, while I’m sure the ‘rents had all sorts of good intensions going with the whole no video games rule it has put a damper on my childhood nostalging with a lot of my friends. Take Bubbles, for example. She is one mean Mrs. Packman fiend to hear her talk (I haven’t seen her play but I am confident she can kick my ass), she can whip that bad…errr…girl around the maze thing and eat those dots like a circle headed dot eating thing can. I don’t even know the names of Mrs. Packman’s ghosts! Are they Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde too (right turn Clyde) or do they have other names? So yeah, OK Pac-man isn’t rocket science, I pretty much know you go around eating dots and avoiding ghosts unless you turn them blue in which case you go eat them. But Defender? Man, I can NOT get defender (although I do enjoy watching my little guys fall to the ground. They do that a lot). I mean, sure it’s your basic shoot bad guys in space game but what’s with the little dudes that cling to the bottom of your ship? How come mine keep falling?

I can parrot a lot of video game stuff though (I’m pretty good at doing the whole information gather and dispersal thing) so I know what “Blue elf needs food badly” is about. Can’t play THAT game worth a darn either but I at least know the lingo. By the time I got off on my own and could be playing the video games I was at a serious disadvantage. All my other friends had been playing for years and could do this and that and I was all “Ummm, so my quarter goes in here right?” I mostly just sat and watched while they played because I was that dodgeball kid that gets picked last due to extreme suckage. I like to make it a habit of not inflicting my computer game suckage on other people. It takes me a long time to figure out a game and back in the day I just did not have the quarters to spend learning the rules. You wanna know how I play Tekken? I’m a button masher. I have no idea what I’m doing but I do it really, really fast and I get lucky.

So that brings us to the present and damned Dirge getting all Evercrack on my ass. It took me a long time to figure that game out too and man, did it suck. Heh, maybe that’s why I did pretty OK with the game, it’s like two negatives making a positive or something. Anyone who is anything halfway close to smart didn’t much care for the game either because damn, what a waste of time. If you were a caster (which I played primarily) it was all Cast a Spell! Sit on your ass, sit on your ass, sit on your ass, whoops I’m dead! Hike to your body, hike to your body, hike to your body, hike to your body, get your stuff, Cast a Spell! Sit on your ass… and the higher level we got the more frustrating “whoops, I’m dead” became. By the time we dropped the game we lost more experience dying than we did playing. Something about that isn’t exactly fun anymore.

Then, of course, there were the people. Out of 100 players on any given server five would be OK players and one of those five would be good. That wouldn’t be so bad except the game was designed so that people would have to play together in order to get anywhere and you get a lousy player and it’s a whole lot of “whoops, I’m dead”. Oh yeah, I forgot the millions of people all hanging around in line waiting to kill stuff. Yeah, color that fun. “Hey, everyone on-line? Good! Lets go…no wait someone else is there. OK then, lets go…darn, that place is full too. Lemmie check this other place…woah, it’s got a waiting list. Alright then, we can’t do jack today so might as well log off.” Yup, barrels of laughs.

I mostly played to hang with Dirge, Shar, maybe Cz or Rianna and even Balkin when he was online. With a good group of friends it’s a nice way to hang and have some fun so in that aspect it was a good game. In all other aspects, it blew mighty chunks. So when I got an e-mail from Dirge about him and Shar going back I thought they had finally gone over the edge, I mean Everquest for crying out loud! Why?!???

Well, it seems the EQ peoples have made some changes for the better and the game has improved mightily. The ‘sit on your ass’ issue has been addressed (because, really, who wants to be hanging out and sitting around as part of the game?) and the whole negative exp has been lessened. That, right there, just rocks. There is no describing the frustration of losing 8 hours of playtime in exp when you have only been playing for 3. They can’t do much about stupid people but they did make some dungeons where once a group enters them, it’s that group’s gig only. I guess the servers are set up to spawn a unique dungeon for every group and that means no stupid people pulling stupid stunts and getting your own group ‘whoops, I’m dead’ed. I hate random dumb people.

With these new fixes, I was all about maybe giving it another go. I enjoy gaming with Dirge and Shar and now there is TheMan too (whom I have to thoroughly convince that EQ doesn’t suck when I have been ranting about EverSuck for years. Yeah, hello. Whatever, moving on). With four people we could rock the house. Plus, I already am familiar with EQ so I wont be so reticent to up and learn another game (I just want to know why NWN came out just after I finally got comfortable with Diablo II and was starting to enjoy tooling my paladin around? It’s a conspiracy!). It sounded pretty good to me, so I went and sniffed out the requirements for the Mac because poor TheMan has an ageing powerbook.

Did you all hear my resounding “WTF?!??” about noonish today? That would be when I discovered that my totally ancient PC, which I have had for maybe 4 years can easily run the minimum requirements (Win ME, PII 400MHz, 256K Ram, 16MB graphics card, 4x speed CD Rom and 450MB hard drive space) and if I have a PIII in there (can’t quite remember what all is in that machine) it even makes the recommended specs. My 1.5 year old powerbook? My bright new, not going to need to replace it for at least 2 more years happy powerbook of doom? It doesn’t even measure up to the reqs for a mac. You need a G4, 700MHz, 256RAM, 32MB graphics card, with 2.5 Gigs of HD space. You know, OK what? Who wrote this crap? 450MB HD space vs. 2.5Gigs? And PII vs. G4? What the hell is up with that? TheMan thinks some bump programmer just up and wrote a windows emulator for the Mac and slapped an EQ skin on top of that.

Yeah, you Mac users? If you wouldn’t mind bending over and…Oh! I see you already know what’s coming. Good because we hate you and don’t really feel like actually figuring out what’s going on over there in Mac land so we just decided to make your Mac work like a windows machine. It was a lot easier for us. Here ya go, here’s your Mac version that takes twice or more of the resources that a PC uses. Hey, not our problem, get a PC next time. Sheesh! Whine, whine, whine.

Bill Gates can suck my ass. Fucker. (Oh dear, was that my outer voice?)

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