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Girl on Game

Gaming from a gamine perspective.

Author: Sumeragi

DPS Ain't Nothing But A Number, Baby

Posted by Sumeragi Tuesday September 22 2009 at 6:34PM
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Once upon a time, I was a dirty Elvaan WHM/SMN in a faraway land named Vana'diel.  As a White Mage, my job was to heal, and so, when I got invited to a group or went off for an adventure with my Link mates, that's what I did.

I'd make sure our Protects and Shells were up, I tossed Regens and Cures on my party mates to keep them topped off; I was an  Erasing, Cursnaing and Virunaing fiend, and in between  I even made sure to toss in a few Holys to help out with a Magic Burst.  I didn't know how much healing I did. or how hard my heals hit for, but our tanks always lived (except for the occasional  NIN/WAR tanks miscounting Utsusemis), our DDs kicked ass, we mocked Tarus, we went to Sky and beyond, and everyone had a jolly old time.

We lived to loot without breaking a sweat.  That's how I knew I did my job right.

Fast forward a few years to a game called DDO, where I played a Rogue.  Not a sword and board Rogue (which I saw a ton of later on), but a real, honest to goodness, "DANGER DANGER!" trap disabling Rogue.  I knew where the traps were from experience, and if not, I could sense them and disable them with a happy little click.  I dual-wielded my +5s and stole a lot of kills off our Fighters (thank you Weapon Finesse), I tossed a few heals (thank you Magical Devices), and I could swim in Lava for hours on end thanks to my Robes of Greater Resistance and sexy ability to make all my saves.  I don't know what my "DPS" was, nor do I know how much damage I did, but we ran Giant Caves in under 2 min, were the first to down the Dragon on our server, and everyone had a jolly old time.

We lived to loot (and I picked those pesky locked chests for more locks) without breaking a sweat.  That's how I knew I did my job right.

Fast forward a year or so and as a dirty Shadow Priest (and occasional Holy Priest), I watch this little box in the corner of my screen and IT tells me if I did my job right or not by proclaiming to all how much damage I did, what did I do my damage to, how high my spells hit for, and how much better my GearScore is than JoSchmoe's.  And if this little box doesn't happen to work, NOT TO WORRY, my friends on the Internet are more than happy to broadcast how I did based on their little boxes as well.

It does not matter that on ToC 10, I was the only DPS that didn't stand in a fire or eat the wrong colored balls; who cares that I was the only DPS to survive the Flame Dance until the end, eventually downing the boss while others got their drinks or what not.  Here is what happens:

  1. Arcane Mage 5900 DPS
  2. Arcane Mage 5300 DPS
  3. Marksman Hunter 4900 DPS
  4. Shadow Priest 4500 DPS

Followed by, "Step up your DPS, Priest."  To which I post something akin to:

  1. Shadow Priest 27% Damage Done
  2. Arcane Mage 16% Damage Done
  3. Arcane Mage 13% Damage Done
  4. Marksman Hunter 9% Damage Done

Apparently, it doesn't mean anything to the raid leader because on the next boss, he's back to spamming DPS.  Don't make me even start on HPS, because I know exactly what I need to spam as a Holy Priest to get my HPS up too.  But I choose not to; casting what I need to cast to make sure everyone stays alive.

When, I wonder, will people ever learn that you can do 10K DPS, but if you're dead as a door knob within 2 seconds of the fight, you're even shittier than the DK in greens doing 700 DPS for the entire fight.


But then today, a light at the end of the tunnel, for as I open up Aion again, I see a blank canvas.  No more boxes, no more other boxes.  Just me, my mace, my Victory Mantra and a party with full health.

That's how I know I did my job right.


Raising A Mini Gamer: What I Need to Know In Life, I Learned By Gaming

Posted by Sumeragi Wednesday September 9 2009 at 5:13PM
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I should probably preface this entry by saying that I pretty much grew up gaming myself.  My father moved around a lot and on one of our destinations, we were to stay in Japan for a term, just about when the Family Computer came out.  As a welcoming gift, my aunts got me a Famicom, and I haven't looked back  at gaming since (even during that fiasco that was the Jaguar Gaming System).

I never once thought of gaming as something "weird" or "uncommon" as that's what my friends and I did (practically, all the girls in my class), and only when I came to the States for High School did I discover that gaming was an anomaly, the fate of gamers at my preppy school to be ridiculed and/or stuffed into lockers.  Shamefully, I was forced to go into the closet as a gamer for those sad high school years and *gasp* play sports instead, but soon enough, college came along, thanks to which I was free to game once again!

And trust me, game I did.  Yes, in the years before I had my daughter, I played a LOT of games.  I MUDded--worse, I built for MUDs--my friends and I would hold Quake/CS LANs at the Library under the guise of study, and on the weekends, we'd hold a Tekken for Shots/Food Tourneys (you drink something or eat something awful if you lose).  Queue the mighty flood of awesome console RPGs like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and MMOs that followed Ultima's success and sleep became a thing of the past.

I still play quite a bit now (when my daughter's asleep or napping of course), and though it's not as much as my wild and crazy college days, I still definitely fall into that "casual hardcore" category.  Luckily for me, my husband was a gamer when we met (big plus for me), so I never got too much "hubby aggro" about my habit, and now, 10 years later, we're raising our daughter to be a proud gamer.  (With a side of geek thrown in.)

In addition to Cookie Monster, my daughter gets to snuggle a stuffed Big Goron (and you better believe we do the dance for her from "Ocarina of Time"), and when she was small enough to fit, I admit I took a picture of her sleeping in my Imperial Backpack (the one which Rota the Hutt was carried in).  We are forever "OM NOM NOMing" her to make her giggle, and every so often, when she flails about in her awkward attempts at walking, she will "pwnz" me just a bit in the face.  Just a few days ago, you cannot imagine the joy I felt when I saw her crawling towards the XBOX, picking up the controller and holding it in her little hands in perfect position to score a "headshot BOOM*  (Though I do hope she'll pick a PC over a console for all her FPS needs when she's older.)

Big Goron

That being said, no, I won't be feeding her Cheetos, Jolt Cola and last night's cold pizza for breakfast (like there's ever any left), I will not be raising her to call our basement the "Command Center,"  (it's too long for her to say anyhow) and I certainly will not be teaching her Klingon (I prefer Huttese).  I will not allow Uncle Mario and Luigi to raise her, and she will spend her time in the sun, riding her bike or playing soccer so she can have a more Tauren tan than looking like a pasty Undead all her life.

On the other hand, I will teach her the following things I learned from gaming (in addition to all those pesky other things like, numbers, letters, and of course, nuclear physics).

  1. Team work gets you points and is just as important as kills!  (But FFS, don't de-frib your friends in the line of fire to pad your scores--I'm talking to you BFII medics!)
  2. Bigger isn't always better.  (Gon vs Bryan "My Low Kicks Don't Hit the Shitty Dinosaur" Fury)
  3. When you see demons burst out of Hell Gates, NEVER PAY FOR THE LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION.
  4. Don't play with fire.  (If it's red, it's dead(ly)!)
  5. Looks aren't everything.  (Even a pudgy, middle-aged plumber with a porn-stache can get the girl.)
  6. Food is good!  (Don't shoot--waste--the food.)
  7. Money doesn't mean happiness.  (For just $14.99 a month, I'm pretty damn happy!)
  8. Believe in yourself!  (Elvaan are just as good at being WHMs, and don't let little know it alls tell you differentaru.)
  9. "Exploring Vana'diel is a thrilling experience. During your time here, you will be able to talk, join, and adventure with many other individuals in an experience that is unique to online games. That being said, we have no desire to see your real life suffer as a consequence. Don't forget your family, your friends, your school, or your work."  (I know I know, I ignored it a couple times myself.)
  10. Don't judge a book by it's cover.  (The cover art for the US release of Mega Man.  Need I say more?  Fun, iconic game though!)
  11. "Being polite while in a group with others will get you invited back!"  (But just AFK if it's that one creepy dude trying to tank in DPS gear.)
  12. The Contra Cheat Code.  JUST BECAUSE.

Contra Cheat Code

Love the cover art and live it!

A Friendly Warning To All You Menfolk Out There...

Posted by Sumeragi Friday September 4 2009 at 6:19PM
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**Disclaimer:  There is some bad language in this post.  Why?  Because it's about FPSes.  And for some reason, lots of people get butt hurt when they are shot.  In a First Person SHOOTER.  Go figure.**

Noob Tube

I was playing a little COD4 the other day on Vacant when all a sudden some heated bitching about a noobtuber scrolls up on my screen:

"You fuckin' noobtubing pussy."

To those familiar with FPSes, pillow talk like that is pretty normal and actually, pretty  tame faire, especially for the COD4 crowd.  But for those of you who prefer MMOs and aren't familiar with FPS terminology, a noobtube is usually an over powered but easily accessible weapon that takes little to no skill to use (for example, a rocket launcher or grenade launcher with sexy splash damage that you kinda' sorta' mabbe' aim in a general direction and rack up kills with.)

I don't think much about it, since I've heard much better and much more original insults with that one, usually involving someone's mother, a donkey and some cheese.

"You can't aim so you gotta' fuckin' use the noobtube, you fuckin' noob?"

I check the score.  The noobtuber's only  rank 14/55.  He probably hasn't been playing very long, and when you start, you pretty much got the noobtube and nothing else perk wise.

I continue playing, hear some more bitching and drop an Airstrike on B since lots of idiots like to hide there in them weeds.  Score!  Here comes my Chopper.

And then, something that catches my attention.

"You play like a fuckin' girl."

Whoa whoa whoa whoa.

I check the leader boards.

I'm second.  Where are they?  Ohhh, both somewhere on the bottom on a 32 man server.

And oddly enough, I get ticked.  Ticked enough to speak out.

At the end of the game I type, "You just lost to a "shitty" girl, moron."

(I know I know, not the wittiest come back, but you don't have a lot of time to type between rounds!)

*               *               *

Some believe that women gamers simply don't exist, a myth like the mighty Chupacabra.  But in truth, WE ARE OUT THERE--we're simply stealthy and elusive.  Like a Ninja (or should I say Kunoichi), or better yet, the magnificent Jackalope.

You see, the majority of competent female players  tend to keep quiet, going about our business whether it be topping the DPS charts, dropping air strikes on vital choke points or "melting your face" without ramming our gender down your throat.  We are "gamers" just like anyone else as opposed to "ZOMGZ TEE HEE grrl gamers," and the few that you do encounter telling people to "LOL Stop shoting, I'm a girl,"  or "My DPS is low because I'm PMSing ^^" are the vocal minority that give us all a bad name.

We are confident in our skills and don't need to use gender as a crutch, we can get our own Epics, and we aren't just cannon fodder for your AK-74u.

So the next  time you're online someone calls you a "girl" think about it.

Is it really THAT bad to play like a winner?


WoW: PUGs, Gear and You in A Post 3.2 World

Posted by Sumeragi Friday August 14 2009 at 5:34PM
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In the past, I tried my best not to be one of those, "ZOMGZ, GEAR CHEKZ 4 10 MAN NAXXX PLZ DU 5K DEEPZ," sort of folks that have been popping up all over the place.  All I expected out of anyone running with me was for them to do their job competently regardless of gear.  After all, I know full well how sucky it is to be a top DPS in a PUG but lowest roll for loot.  (Most of my pieces were "pity" wins, because I was the only one who hadn't won anything the entire run!)

But long story short, after a string of particularly horrific raids gone bad (as in, we didn't even get to fail on Thaddius because we never got past Patchwork fail), my friend introduced me to this add on called "GearScore" which allows you to mouse over anyone and immediately pull up their gear scores.  So being a nosy brat with the attention span of a lemur, I loaded it up and within 10 seconds of standing in Dalaran, I was addicted.  The first day I got it, I spent an hour walking from the Fish (Alliance) Bank in Dal to Krasus Landing just checking everyone's gear score.

You see, the way GearScore works, is that it's an elitist calcumalator that adds up the values of each piece of gear you're wearing, and then displays such as a number and colour (from grey to orange) under a person's name.  Before 3.2, you didn't see a lot of folks over 4500 gear score at all.  Only the top raiders on our server had that envious tanorexic glow (and usually dirty Alliance raiders), followed by a number of purple people (4000-4499), and then mostly blues (moderate 80s) and greens (new 80s in quest gear).  While it was certainly not a DEFINITE indication of skill (an indication of luck maybe), usually, when you grouped with folks up there in GearScore, you saw why they had the gear that they had in the first place because it reflected in their DPS, their ability to hold hate or in their spot on, sexy heals.

But with 3.2 and the introduction of the "ZOMGZ Welfare EPIX OVAH 9000" program, that slight inkling of a clue that GearScore gave about skill went out the friggen door.  There's been an Orange Explosion in Dalaran, or more aptly put, an Orange GearScore Bomb.

Now, I'm not a hard core raider any more because I never really enjoyed getting yelled at by some random little shit to put "MORE DOTS NOW" on something or the other.  I roll with a moderate sized guild of friends and family, and PUG everything else when we can't run something.  I could have gotten carried by my guildies, but since I've got the time to invest, as soon as I got to 80, I PUGed like I've never PUGed before, farmed the hell out of every regular dungeon for blues, moved on to farming Heroics for purples, and then epic'd myself out fully by running, Naxx, OS, EoE, VoA and Ulduar 10 over and over again until I became amply geared for Ulduar 25.

So when people comment, "Dang, you have good gear," I can say with a clear conscience, "I worked for it."  And then when they compliment me as a player, I know it's because I chose not to get carried, improving myself and learning as I geared up.

The following folks, however, missed the memo:

  • The Death Knight in Ulduar gear that couldn't hold aggro in H UP.
  • The Shadow Priest with 4700 GearScore who couldn't pull more than 2K dps on XT2 trash.
  • The Ulduar geared Healadin that healed less than the newly nerfed Ret Paladin on Razorscale.
  • The Feral Druid DPSing as a BEAR.

There's more, but I fear I would be talking myself out of ever PUGging again by reliving the moment in listing them above.

I'm not saying that you only deserve gear if you have the time. 3.2 has been wonderful for people who work and can only play an hour a night, and great for people with awful luck to catch up on gear.  Finally, good players with shitty rolls can take command of gearing themselves.  Unfortunately, for every one good player, there seems, about 10 others that suck ass because they got carried, got their welfare gear check and continue to suck despite a 4700 GearScore.  It's as if they believe, "I HAF PERPULS; I R GUD."

To those people who equate Gear with Skill.  GTFO.  All the purples in the world cannot make you into a good player.  T8.5 doesn't come with +50 to L2P, so stop resting on your laurels and make yourself useful.  (Unsubscribe, please?)

As for me, my love affair with GearScore is now over, and it'll only take me FIFTEEN minutes to get to Krasus Landing from the Fish Bank instead.  (I forgot to mention I'm terrible with directions.  50 DKP MINUS!!??)

PUG 101: Introduction to PUGging.

Posted by Sumeragi Tuesday August 11 2009 at 6:42PM
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  1. "In RL, a pug is a small, wheezy dog that looks like it had its face smashed in by brick wall."
  2.  "In online gaming, the acronym PUG stands for "Pick-Up Group," which is a group of players who've gotten together (or been thrown together) in order to accomplish a goal, a quest, or whatever. PUGs are oftentimes mix-and-match, hit-or-miss groups that are less than optimum for achieving a goal."  (Courtesy of LagKills, A Glossary of Online Gaming Acronyms.)


  • As a noun:  "Hmm, no one's on.  I guess I'll just catch a PUG."
  • As a verb:  "Why don't I tank, and we can PUG a Healer."
  • As an adjective:  "No, it's not a Guild group, it's a PUG group."

Signature Examples:

  • WoW:  The group successfully rolls through the first 2/3s of a Heroic Dungeon.  On a trash pull, the healer loses power, disconnects and the group wipes.  A minute later, the healer returns, explains the situation, GETS CALLED A "NUB," by the Rogue pulling 800 DPS and the entire group disbands.
  • FFXI:  The RDM in the group doesn't have Refresh because he wants to be "unique," and not follow the crowd.  The WHM decides to teach him a lesson by only using Hexa Strike, you wipe, delevel and the group disbands.
  • DDO:  You enter the Vault of the Night and notice the Rogue you've picked up to disable the traps is wearing Plate and wielding a Two-Hander.  (Because she's also got 5 levels of PALADIN in case someone needs her to Tank--and 1 Level of Cleric for Cure Light Wounds.)  The trap kills all the healers, a single, stray kobold kills everyone else and the raid disbands.

**NOTE**  You may be thinking, "FFS JOIN A HARD CORE RAIDING GUILD SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUG, R-TARD" as you read through.  But I'm done with 48/7 raiding dramz and am currently very very happy in a smaller guild of friends and family.  Since we're older and work, not everyone can play every hour of every day, and while we can do 10/12 mans no problem, for bigger raids or off nights, I choose to PUG.**

PUGs get a lot of bad press.  There are pages and pages of horror stories littering the Interwebz or announced over Global chat, and surely as a gamer, you have one or two of your own.  Hell, you may even have been the culprit of a "fail" PUG when you were first learning.  And though the worst possible PUGs can make you tear your hair out and never want to log in again, PUGging, really isn't all snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.  It can be suger and spice and everything nice as well with a little bit of skill I call, "luck".

After all, in a group of competent people who know what their doing and are all on the same page, how often do you get in "trouble?"  How often are you thinking on your feet rather than following the rote?  And how often are you forced into doing something you'd never think of doing before in order to help your group survive?  Oh yes, it's easy to be a "good player" when everyone else around you is good.  But it's when you're standing at the very edge of the cliff that you either learn to sink or swim and hold your own.

And then there's the the flip side where you end up the low man on the DPS pole.  Perhaps you're trying out a new spec, or new Job.  PUGs are a great way to meet other folks who can help you with your rotation or guide you through a dungeon you've never visited before.  PUGs can teach you new boss strategeries and give you great tips as well about gearing or what not (yes, I have a Warrior and Shadow Priest crush--you know who you are <3).  You may even meet some of the coolest people whom you befriend for life, all because you decided to take the plunge and put yourself in LFG.

Ah yes, no pain, no gain, and sometimes, lots and lots of pain and still no gain.  But whether you're in a "WIN" or "FAIL" raid, one things for sure, a PUG can get the adrenalin flowing and the blood pumping...and hopefully not just because you chucked your screen out the window.