October 20, 2003

Playing games and other diversions

Over the past couple of weeks I've been busy playing Priston Tale, an online RPG style game from Korea. They are now beta testing Japanese, English and Chinese clients, so I downloaded and installed the Japanese client on my new computer. The game, for me, lacks any kind of depth. It's really nothing more than running around killing monsters and occasionally teaming up with other players to venture into areas of the online world where the higher level monsters hang out. There is no "market" in the virtual towns where players and non-player characters (NPCs) can set up shops offering equipment, virtual food and drink, and so on. Each town does have a few game-necessary shops: two weapons shops, a potion seller, a weapons upgrader, a skill trainer and a warehouse for storing items or coins, but the interactions are extremely simple and there is no provision for players who want to sell items they've recovered in the field. As a result, players tend to gather around the warehouse offering their findings to the highest bidder, which makes it almost impossible to get into the warehouse when you need to drop off or retrieve something.

Still, to my own surprise I have found the game to be incredibly addictive. The multitude of features that must be balanced in order to move through the levels is challenging enough to keep my constant attention. When I'm playing the game the minutes literally become hours. The other day I logged on after dinner and started playing and when I looked up a short time later I was surprised to discover it was one o'clock in the morning! Of course, since the client and my desktop system are both in Japanese, there are many times when I am guessing at what a particular button will accomplish or whether a sword is better than an axe for fighting a certain monster, but by and large I have not found the interface difficult to navigate, despite the language barrier.

On another track, I recently installed Microsoft Front Page (the Japanese version, of course), on my new system and set about attempting to update Greyhawk Manor. When I uploaded everything I was shocked to discover my hosting company did not support Front Page. Realistically speaking, this is probably a good thing because there are many holes in the Front Page extensions that hackers can use to gain access to a website, but it did complicate uploading the new pages by forcing me to download an FTP client and upload the old-fashioned way. Once everything loaded I was horrified to discover that Apache is case-sensitive! What this means is that many of my graphics do not load because Apache cannot connect a call to "hono001.jpg" to a file named "HONO001.jpg", so my website now looks even more amateurish than it already did! Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go through and rename all my graphics files. It will take time, but very few people visit my website anyway, so anyone who drops by will just have to tolerate the mess until I have a chance to get it cleaned up.

I hate housecleaning, especially virtual housecleaning!

Oh, and in closing:


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
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I am Morpheus, but then, you already knew that. I'll see you tonight.