This, readers, is the final installment of our TradeSkillMaster (TSM) series. We’ve previously looked at TradeSkillMaster Crafting and TradeSkillMaster Auctioning, and today we’re going to be having a little look at some of the brilliant additional functionality of this fantastic addon.I really want to encourage reader feedback here. I’m certain don’t have the space to write about all the awesome little things you can do with TSM to make your gold making life easier, and I’m even more certain that I don’t know them all. So please, do share your clever TSM tricks and any tips you think might be useful to other readers. Then we can all learn something.Download TradeSkillMaster: TradeSkillMaster.com, CurseTSM DestroyingFirstly, I’m going to talk about a feature that I use a lot and have recommended to guildmates on several occasions. What does it do? Well, with a little setup and the click of a button, it can disenchant all the greens in your bag. OK, so you actually need to click the button once for every green, but quite frankly, that’s a vast improvement on the other options for disenchanting. TSM Destroying also works for prospecting and milling, but let’s have a quick look at setting it up for enchanting.First, click the boot on the bottom of the TSM main window, opened by typing /tsm into chat. It’ll bring up this screen.Note here that there are two lists on the left side. The top list is of items the Destroyer will disenchant, while the bottom list is of things that are safe from the Destroyer’s clutches. This is particularly important with disenchanting; as I’m sure you can imagine, Blizzard’s support team has limited patience for “Oh, I clicked the wrong button in my addon.” So have a look at those lists, and right-click items that are in the top section of the list to move them to the bottom section, where they’re safe. Prospecting and milling have no such setup, as it’s nigh impossible to accidentally turn your raiding epics into Carnelian.Once you’re happy, click Display the Destroyer, and this little window will appear. You may need to hunt around for it; its default spawn point is right in the center of your screen — yes, underneath the main window.Once it’s appeared, you need to set your destruction method of choice in the top drop-down menu. Only professions your character already has will be available for selection.The lower window sets the speed, and I’m going to let Sapu (lead TSM developer) explain that:Normal and Fast take advantage of the fact that you can cast the next mill/prospect/disenchant while the loot window is still open for the previous one if you time it correctly. At the very least, normal and fast will start the next spell cast immediately when you’re done looting (even though you initiate the cast earlier), but there is a small window in which it’ll actually start casting as the loot window is still open. Normal tries to guess when this window is, while fast leaves it up to the user to figure it out.Slow is the typical ‘/cast Milling; /use ‘ macro and doesn’t start the next cast until you hit the button again once the loot window is closed.Once you’ve chosen your speed, push the button. Make sure you’ve got auto-looting turned on, and the first couple of times you use it for disenchanting, I’d strongly recommend placing anything in your bags that you particularly love into the bank. It’s easy to miss an item the first time you run through the lists!Shopping and dealfinding listsShopping and dealfinding is another truly awesome feature of TSM, one that’s shared by other addons such as Auctioneer and Auctionator. You can, of course, create your own shopping lists, but first we’re going to look at the easy way: importing them.What’s the difference between a shopping list and a dealfinding list? Well, a shopping list simply searches for items. A dealfinding list allows you to set pricing threshholds for each item and see the costs displayed as a percentage of your threshhold. TSM does allow you to ignore items above the dealfinding price in your shopping list, though.Importing dealfinding and shopping lists So, you want to get into that transmog market? Well, all you need is TSM Shopping and Faid’s lists of transmog gear. Copy all the weird code from Faid, hit the Shopping Options button in TSM’s main window (it’s the third one down on the right) and click the yellow Shopping Lists on the left. Hit the big button labelled Import Shopping List, and you’ll get this window.Give the list a name, and check or uncheck the Ignore Existing Items box depending on whether you want items already in lists to be dragged into this one too. Copy the weird code into the List Data window, then click the Accept button below. Check your chat pane — you may notice that I accidentally tried to import a shopping list as a dealfinding list. It told me in my chat pane. Once it’s accepted, click Import List, and Bob’s your uncle, as we say this side of the Atlantic.There are also dealfinding lists for most major materials and other searches.Creating your own dealfinding and shopping lists This is a more labor-intensive process, hence why I led with the importing method. Fortunately, it’s very simple to do; it just takes a while. Head to the shopping options, click on either type of list, give your list a name, and start adding. You can add in many ways: by typing the item’s name, by shift-clicking items in your bag or in chat or anywhere else, or by importing via item IDs from Wowhead.For the latter, I highly recommend this website that converts wowhead links to TSM lists!For every added item in a dealfinding list, you need to set a price that’s some manner of limit around which TSM can work. Say, for example, you won’t buy your jewelcrafting ores for more than 2g per item. Set all the ores at 2g. If there are auctions below 2g, TSM will show you their price as a percentage of 2g, so if there’s an auction for ore at 1g, it’ll show 50%. If the auctions start at 4g, it’ll still show them but at 200%.You can see the results here.Using your shopping and dealfinding lists Head over to the auctioneer and interact with him. Click Search, as highlighted in the above screenshot on the left. Click either on the single list you want to search, or hit the “scan all Dealfinding lists” button to do just that. Click “Show Saved Searches” at the top to return to your list of searches.TSM MailingThis is yet another feature of TSM that actually made me exclaim “Oh, my God!” at my screen when it did its thing. Grab the module, then click on the button (bottom right of the main TSM screen). First thing to do is add a mail target, so choose the character you want to send groups of stuff to.Then click that character’s name to the left, and you’ll see a screen where you can set items to send them — the output of groups or individual items. I have a jewelcrafter and enchanter, so I created an auction group from my jewelcrafting crafts and checked the box to ignore it for posting. These things are to be disnechanted only.Go back to Mailing, add that group to your mail target’s list, head to the mailbox, and click TradeSkillMaster_Automailing at the top of your mail screen. Gasp with amazement as TSM does it all for you. Again.Getting auction data without scanningIn the previous columns, I’ve harped on about the importance of regular scans to get your data. TSM can’t do magic. It isn’t capable of speculation; it does cold, hard math based on the data you supply to it. If you give it bad data, it’ll give you bad results. If you give it good data, it’ll sometimes still give you bad results, so do use your brain!But there are several other options for getting your data apart from scanning all the time. For all these sites, you’re basically accessing an online API of auctions via different channels.WoWuction.com has designed a TSM module in conjunction with Sapu. To get it working, you need to first download the TradeSkillMaster_wowuction module and install it, then head over to wowuction’s data export page and log in if necessary. Enter your realm, then refer to the lower box to download the data, then copy the resultant file into your TradeSkillMaster_wowuction folder. Every time you reload your UI (type /rl or /reload) in game, the data is refreshed.The Undermine Journal also has an addon available from their site that provides data to TSM. Head to the Undermine Journal Addon page to get started; yet again you’ll need to log in, select your realm and download an addon. Install as usual. It’s not as easy as the above, but it works just as well. It does seem that you have to re-download the addon every time you want new data, but I’m not 100% sure about this.AuctionDB Sapu posted instructions over a year ago on how to set up automatic updating based on AuctionDB. You’ll need to visit his post to obtain the automatic updating addon, and I strongly suggest following Sapu’s instructions. I’m not even going to rewrite them here; suffice it to say that you need to download a program and that it all still works!Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you’re new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there’s a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email email@example.com.
The Secret World’s second major content drop is coming on August 28th. The Digging Deeper update includes new avatar customization options, new investigation and action missions, and last but not least, the game’s first post-launch weapon addition.The weapon in question is a rocket launcher that boasts seven new abilities, an eighth ability hotbar slot, and a new auxiliary ability wheel. If you’re unhappy with the results of your initial character creation session, you can visit Dr. Anton Aldini in Brooklyn or Ockham’s Razor barber shop in London for facial feature and hairstyle customization.New missions include the titular Digging Deeper, which continues the story thread originally introduced in The Kingsmouth Code. Finally, the August update will add nightmare modes to the The Facility and Hell Eternal dungeons. More info is available at the official Secret World website.And don’t forget about the newly announced free trial; anyone can sign up for three free days of The Secret World. If three days isn’t enough, you can earn an additional two days and 1200 bonus points when you complete 30 missions.
Last week, Barnes & Noble spilled its plans to bring its popular e-reader to the UK through its own storefront, and now retailer John Lewis is getting in on the fun. This fall, the Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch with GlowLight will be hitting the chain’s 37 UK locations, offering up customers a chance to interact with the devices. John Lewis will also be selling the device through its site at an undisclosed date during the aforementioned season. No information on pricing yet, but other details can be found after the break. Show full PR text Barnes & Noble Announces Partnership with Leading UK Retailer John Lewis to Offer its Award-Winning NOOK Products and Digital Content Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced a partnership with UK retailer John Lewis to bring the company’s award-winning NOOK reading experience and leading digital bookstore to its physical stores and online sales channels this autumn. The partnership with John Lewis, a premium department store brand lauded as “the UK’s leading electrical retailer,” will fortify Barnes & Noble’s newly-announced presence in the UK, and will enable UK shoppers to see, touch and experience NOOK devices and digital content. John Lewis is the first company outside the US to partner with Barnes & Noble to offer highly sought-after NOOK devices in each of its 37 UK stores and on www.johnlewis.com, with Barnes & Noble’s top-ranked line of E Ink® Readers, NOOK Simple Touch™ and NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight™, the first products to be available. As previously disclosed, Barnes & Noble will also offer NOOK devices and content to UK customers this autumn through its own online storefront, www.nook.co.uk “John Lewis is where knowledgeable customers turn for trusted advice on the best products to purchase, and they are a perfect partner to help launch NOOK in the UK,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble. “We look forward to bringing more choice and convenience to discerning UK customers with our critically acclaimed line of reading devices and expansive selection of content.” Ed Connolly, director of buying for electricals and home technology at John Lewis, said: “Always first with the latest technology, John Lewis is thrilled to be chosen as the premier UK launch retailer for the NOOK. This award-winning line of eReaders adds greater choice to this expanding category. We think our customers will love NOOK’s adaptability thanks to its E Ink display and unique built-in GlowLight, perfect for day or night time reading.” Barnes & Noble, a leader in creating innovative products that provide the best digital reading and entertainment experience, currently offers its digital portfolio in the US in more than 1,300 Barnes & Noble and Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, and through top US retailers. Customers in the US can learn more and experience the product line in the immersive NOOK Digital Shops™ in neighborhood stores, with Always Free NOOK Support in any of its stores. Echoing Barnes & Noble’s dedicated Digital Shops™ in the US, devices including NOOK Simple Touch and NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight will be prominently displayed in John Lewis electronics aisles throughout the UK as well as its Web site. The award-winning NOOK Simple Touch – the easiest-to-use Reader with the world’s best, most paper-like reading screen – and NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, which adds an evenly distributed and adjustable light that’s perfect for reading in the dark, are both set to launch in the UK in time for the holiday shopping season. Both lightweight devices feature built-in access via Wi-Fi to Barnes & Noble’s digital catalog of more than 2.5 million digital titles – including top-selling UK books, newspapers and magazines – plus comics, exciting NOOK Apps™ and more. Further product, pricing and availability details will be announced in the autumn. Commercial terms of the partnership have not been disclosed.
If you told us on Monday that we’d be capping our week off by checking out an innovative cranial drill, we likely would have just stared at you funny. But here were are and here it is, a device referred to, quite straightforwardly, as the Cranial Drilling Device with Retracting Drill Bit After Skull Penetration. The drill was designed by a team of researchers at Harvard in order to address a major shortcoming with manual drills. Such devices require neurosurgical training in order to know precisely when to stop so as to not damage underlying brain tissue. In certain instances, such as emergency rooms and the backs of ambulances, medical practitioners may require a cranial drill in order to perform procedures such as the insertion of pressure monitors, with nary a neurosurgeon to be found. The Harvard team has concocted a drill that automatically retracts back into its protective casing, as soon as it’s finished drilling through the skull, using a bi-stable mechanism that is active as the drill spins. After the break, team member Conor Walsh explains the technology is a manner that, thankfully, is not quite brain surgery.
When Star Wars Galaxies’ sunset was announced not much more than a year ago, it made me more than sad — it made me distrustful. I knew that games had shut down before, but they were usually unlucky or unprofitable. In spite of the NGE, SWG maintained a healthy population for a second-gen MMO, and SOE was supporting it better than some studios support their current-gen games, so I fooled myself into thinking it’d be around forever like the rest of SOE’s titles. And when I realized it wouldn’t, my investment in other games fell off sharply. Why pour years into a world that can be ended arbitrarily before its time?Zentia’s impending closure brought that distrust to the surface again. Western audiences have a hard enough time adopting “foreign” games with funky localization and pay-to-win cash shops, so losing one of the best imports inspires no faith that other games will survive long enough to make an investment of time (and money) worth it.What about you? Do MMO sunsets kill your desire to invest in other MMOs?Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today’s Daily Grind!
So much PAX. And even more on the way. Just don’t get the PAX pox. Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski): Guild Wars 2. Please send cooking materials to “Chimelu.” No shame. Ben Gilbert (@RealBenGilbert): I basically stopped playing games. I played Halo: Reach yesterday. Yup. David Hinkle (@DaveHinkle): I’ll be up in Napa this weekend, enjoying the fruits of my friends’ labor, like swimming in their pool, drinking their homebrew beer, eating their grilled meats. And because I very much believe in the barter system, I will show them how great MotoHeroz HD is on my iPad. Fair trade, right? JC Fletcher (@jcfletcher): Whoa, I don’t have anything to review right now? What do I play? What do I do? I’m scared. Jess Conditt (@JessConditt): Snapshot, because — surprise — it’s out now. Jordan Mallory (@Jordan_Mallory): Rhythm Thief, I think, and I’ll probably spend more time trying to improve my fastest VVVVVV time. Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK): I’m shoot-dodging my way through Max Payne 3 again, this time on hard, and I intend to catch up on some downloadable gems like Dyad, Retro/Grade and the latest episode of The Walking Dead. Mike Schramm (@MikeSchramm): I’m at PAX so I’m playing whatever is put in front of me. And nonstop Puzzle Craft on the plane ride out and back. Mike Suszek (@MikeSuszek): Madden 13, FIFA 13, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, and potentially other unlucky games. Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM): Despite its resolution woes, Dark Souls has pulled me right back in on PC. Whenever I don’t hear its siren call, more of the original X-COM and maybe some Dust: An Elysian Tail. Sinan Kubba (@Shoinan): I’d like to play They Bleed Pixels but instead I have to finish Dragon’s Dogma. It’s become a thing. Steven Wong: If I’m not chopping up 8-bit graphics with They Bleed Pixels, I’ll probably be checking out what’s lurking in the depths of Mass Effect 3 – Leviathan. Xav de Matos (@Xav): I’m on vacation in Toronto right now and the only dedicated gaming device I brought was my Vita. Playing Sound Shapes, the Metal Gear Collection, and whatever else I have with me.
One of the aspects of RIFT that I keep trumpeting to friends and strangers alike is just how wonderfully quick, responsive, and engaging Trion Worlds’ updates have been. It’s almost as if the dev team is engaging in a pillow fight with players, swinging away and trying to pummel us into submission with great content that’s not always perfect but usually is great. In comparison, many other MMOs have become stodgy dinosaurs, creaking along with long-promised but never-arriving features.So while I praise Trion for the bounty of nine major updates since launch, there’s one feature that I’ve felt discontented with every since its inclusion: the wardrobe. For me to say this is kind of a big thing; anyone who knows me knows that I adore it when MMOs give us the option to dress up our characters the way we like. An appearance system was a big wish list item for me, and when Trion casually tossed it in the game early on, I was ecstatic.Yet over the months, I’ve grown to dislike the system as a whole, especially in comparison to cosmetic gear systems in other titles that I play. It’s a little difficult to put a finger on why, but I’ve got another 1000 words or so to make the attempt and then discuss solutions. Let’s get to it! Fashion 101The wardrobe system came with last year’s update 1.2, early enough in the game’s life that I suspect the team was working on it well before launch. Integrated into the character panel, the wardrobe lets you toggle between your actual gear and “sets” of cosmetic outfits. Both costume and armor pieces can be slotted into the wardrobe, although the player is restricted to his or her class when it comes to the armor (so no Warriors wearing cloth armor in the wardrobe, etc.).Certain elements of the wardrobe, like regular gear, can be toggled off (such as the head or shoulders) so that they do not appear on the screen. Most wardrobe pieces can be dyed, although some are restricted or locked in to a specific color.I love cosmetic systems like this because of the often-mismatched nature of MMO gear collecting. Sure, your stats may be top-notch, but you can look like a hobo who just threw on any old scrap of clothing without a thought to the overall appearance. How our characters look can often be just as important as how they function, and I know that I take great pride in making my avatars look the best they can be.I had great hopes that RIFT’s system would provide the same satisfaction that I get with designing outfits in Lord of the Rings Online, but after 1.2, I found this not to be the case. How come?Double double your depressionThe key problem behind my dissatisfaction with the wardrobe system is actually quite simple: There aren’t enough different types of armor, and the ones we do have aren’t that visually appealing.Let’s break that down. In his recent Reddit AMA, Scott Hartsman admitted that the team didn’t have as long as it would’ve liked to come up with a larger variety of armor models for RIFT. I concur on this point because as I’ve leveled from 1 to 50 during the past couple of months, I’ve seen the same models recycled over and over and over and over again. I’ve kept my eye out for eye-catching pieces, but they’ve been quite few and far between. I actually count myself fortunate that I’ve been able to cobble together a neat-looking outfit from what I’ve found.Not only are there few variations in what we get, but the armor style of the game leaves a lot to be desired. Now, RIFT is a gorgeous game. I am cuckoo for its aesthetic, from the environment to architecture to enemy models. So it’s extremely disconcordant to me that the game also has (I’m being kind here) very blah armor design. Maybe it’s supposed to be the style of the world, a mix of ugliness and practicality, but it’s never worked for me. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’m a pretty forgiving guy when it comes to looks — and RIFT isn’t cutting it with the outfits.There are just so few model variations and so much blah design in what we get. With that hand, I might as well fold.Obviously, the solution is to get more armor variants into the game ASAP. Some of the high-level stuff looks great, but that’s mostly walled off behind group content. I don’t think it’s a good policy to keep players looking like generic ragamuffins until the endgame, do you?Costume partyCostumes are the flipside of the wardrobe equation, but its been an underused side at best. The RIFT Wardrobe Wiki (yes, there is such a thing) lists only six costume sets in the game at this point, and unless I hear differently, that’s what I’m going with. I know there are other pieces, like the veteran’s reward, but it still feels as though the sample size is small right now.If I had my preference between more armor models and more costume pieces, I’d go with the latter. Trion’s shown more creativity with the costume side of things, especially during the game’s world events. I still adore my festival masks as some of the few hats I’m not embarrassed to wear. Don’t get me started on those bizarre Dwarven happy hats, please.Show me some skin, babyAnother issue I have with the wardrobe is, to put it bluntly, looking like a hooker. Unfortunately, RIFT subscribes to the notion that female characters need completely different armor models for the same pieces of armor, and these suits of armor have about 40% less coverage in favor of showing some skin. Maybe you think it’s ideal to go running out onto the field of battle in a mini-skirt, but I’d much prefer looking as though I mean businesses and not that I’m trying out for the Telara Cheerleader Squad.That’s why I keep trying to find armor models and costume pieces that aren’t skimpy to the point of silliness but instead look good and practical.Restrictive wearThe final problem I have with the wardrobe is the fact that Trion keeps archetypes from using armor models for other archetypes for cosmetic purposes. Apart from PvP — where RIFT could simply force you to show your actual armor — I fail to see why this has any bearing on the game whatsoever. In LotRO, my characters can use any armor model in my wardrobe, whether it’s heavy plate or loose, flowing robes. And that freedom is great.It just makes sense for RIFT to loosen up on this restriction. For me, I think that the Rogue outfits look far better than the other three archetypes, so I’d love for my Cleric to be wearing those duds. But no, I’m restricted to this class and the four suits of armor I seem to find over and over again.Lift the restriction and suddenly you’ve magnified the wardrobe potential several times over. Mixing and matching between different armor types could produce cool new looks. I’ve always thought that cosmetic systems in MMOs are a great tool for players to exercise creativity, and the more freedom given in this area, the better.Final thoughtsThe interface for the wardrobe is clean, easy to use, and intuitive. What I can put into that wardrobe is a different matter, however. As RIFT goes into its first expansion, I can only hope that we’ll be seeing a wealth of variation and options when it comes to our appearance, and I definitely wish that Trion would consider allowing players to look the way they want despite their chosen profession.Whether they’re keeping the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan and Justin Olivetti save Telara on a weekly basis. Covering all aspects of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, their column is dedicated to backhanding multidimensional tears so hard that they go crying to their mommas. Email Karen and Justin for questions, comments, and adulation.
Roleplaying is probably harder to do than any other game activity. The first time you run a dungeon or take part in PvP, you might fail horribly, but that’s a matter of practice and statistics. But the first time you get up in front of a group of other people to roleplay, you’re essentially acting on a virtual stage on which anyone can see you, with no lines, no stage direction, and no indication whether you’re doing it right or not.And if you screw up, your indication that something went wrong will just be a wall of stony silence.So it’s intimidating. It’s all the anxiety of jumping into a new social group with added anxiety over whether your character is interesting enough for anyone to care. I’m not going to pretend it’s not, but I can offer some advice to make your first attempt as smooth as possible. And hopefully provide some useful tips to recover even if everything goes horribly wrong. Watch firstThe first time you see a big gathering, your first instinct is to jump right in and get your feet wet as soon as possible. This is an understandable impulse, and it’s probably also a bad one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just lurking at the edge of roleplaying for a while, seeing how it works, and getting an idea for how people play in the game you’re playing.Personally, I’ve always found that one of the roughest parts of adapting to roleplaying is getting a sense for how all of the ideas you see on paper are supposed to work in practice. There are a lot of articles on how to roleplay, but even the ones that strive for examples ring a bit hollow. It’s only when you see others roleplaying that you really get the sense for how this can work in reality rather than in the mind of a writer.Make your first character likableThere is a time to play a villain, a time to play a morally conflicted individual, and a time to play someone who will turn almost everyone else off at first glance. That time comes quickly. It does not, however, come with your very first character when you’ve never roleplayed before.Your first character doesn’t need to be everyone’s friend, but it’s probably a good idea to make the character at least somewhat fun to be around. Diving into the complicated interplay of IC hatred versus OOC friendships is best reserved for later characters. If you’re socially awkward like I am, the idea of having everyone hate you right off the bat is pretty inherently terrifying, and it’s only after you’ve gotten your bearings that you can start separating the two.Talk OOC to peopleWhen I barge into someone else’s roleplaying, I always make a point of apologizing after the fact because however in-character it might be, and however welcome it might be, it’s still bracingly rude to shove in and declare that you are now a part of this scene.Meanwhile, if someone apologizes to me after doing the same thing, I tell him that there’s nothing to be sorry about because it added a nice bit of spice to the scene. And whenever I apologize to someone, he says the exact same thing. After roleplaying for nearly a decade, you’d expect to have at least one or two people get upset, but no, every person is happy that I involved myself. People appreciate the new experience.If you come to people with your hat in your hand, at least in the roleplaying community, a lot of people are going to be friendly and welcoming. This is an added layer of work that we put into the game because we love doing it, and that means we love sharing. Talking to someone OOC when you’re first getting involved gives you a chance to get some feedback, get some pointers, and reassure yourself that you’re doing it right.Your first character might be dumbI don’t know whether everyone’s first character is dumb. Certainly I’ve got several older characters that I think came out quite nicely, although I’m quite possibly not remembering some of the ones I made before that. But you should be open to the idea that the first character you make is just plain stupid.This is just a thing that happens. Maybe you’re young, maybe you’re new to the idea, maybe a lot of things. The point is that there is no penalty for making a first character that is bracingly dumb because we all make a lot of dumb characters, often early in our roleplaying careers. You can laugh about it later.You shouldn’t feel intimidated by this. Yes, your character might be dumb. A lot of people make dumb characters. I have a list of dumb characters I’ve made; I’ve even written articles specifically regarding some of the dumb characters I’ve made. If your first one is dumb, that’s par for the course. Accept it as a possibility and let it go.Don’t let the man get you downRoleplaying communities are not places of light and wonder. I can say that they should be, but I can also say that we should live in a world where people don’t spend hours arguing about whether Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2 or The Secret World or Darkfall are worth playing. In that magical fantasy land, people just play the games they like and are happy for players who like other games because they want everyone to have fun. Also, there are unicorns.There are going to be jerks. I’ve played alongside them. Every so often I’ve even been suckered in by one of them. There are poisonous people in the community, and sometimes they burrow under your skin and refuse to let go, like dog ticks. Except that most dog ticks won’t turn your entire gaming experience into some ersatz tribute to their own personal egos or something.I can’t give you any useful information regarding dealing with poisonous people that I haven’t given in previous columns, but you need to know they exist. And you need to know that as awful as they are and as bad as they will make your experience, there are also wonderful, charming, enjoyable people who will be thrilled to play alongside you. If you want to put in the effort, maybe the first person you play with won’t reward you, but there are rewards. Don’t run off after one bad experience.Feedback on this — whether it’s useful advice or not, agreement or disagreement, other tips, and so forth — is welcome in the comments below and by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, I’m going to talk about the media that roleplaying most resembles.Every Friday, Eliot Lefebvre fills a column up with excellent advice on investing money, writing award-winning novels, and being elected to public office. Then he removes all of that, and you’re left with Storyboard, which focuses on roleplaying in MMOs. It won’t help you get elected, but it will help you pretend you did.
With closed beta all wrapped up, the free-to-play sci-fi/fantasy mix MMORPG Sevencore is ready to take the next step. And that next step allows everyone the chance to experience the upcoming game; gPotato announced that open beta will begin just two weeks from today on September 6th. Once this beta starts, players will get to test out more mounts, new regions, and higher levels.For a glimpse of Sevencore, take a look at a few new screenshots below, and be sure to check out Massively’s hands-on tour of the world.[Source: gPotato press release] Gallery: Sevencore | 5 Photos 5 +1
Apple has released OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1, and the update is now available in the Mac App Store under the Updates tab. A manual installer is also available for download.In the support notes about the update, Apple recommends backing up your system before running the installer. A reboot is required in order to complete the update.The update includes a number of fixes:Resolves an issue that may cause Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quitImprove compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in MailAddress an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt displayResolves an issue that could prevent iMessages from being sentAddresses an issue that could cause the system to become unresponsive when using Pinyin inputResolves an issue when connecting to SMB servers with long namesAddresses a issue that may prevent Safari from launching when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) fileImproves 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentialsIf you are updating today (and please back up first!) let us know your results. Last week, we rounded up our top Mountain Lion gripes; hopefully some of them were addressed in this update.