weekend

WRUP: Names I have used for MMO zones other than their proper names edition

Boregrimmar. Dorkshore. Strangle-me Vale. Dun Moron. Ironfudge. The Kvetchlands. Hillsbad Footfails. Poorgrimmar. Zangrymarsh. More Donuts. Fishguard. Palaran. Nar Shady. Lomsa Lemonsa. L.A. Nausea. Goopstaberg. Winderps. Valkurm Dooms. Fort Smellsba. Rolanberry the Headless Thompson Fields. Castle Ooze Troy. Snoregrimmar. Nar Shut Up.

Lizardtown. Camp Steaky-place. Tython, land of pythons. Ord Mantelpiece. Sith Seattle. Invincible Turtle River. The Lich King Summer Camp. The Boyz II Men Tree. Gay Planet. Shadowlord Fun Time Activity Zone. Kitty Jungle. Pirate Jungle. Crackton. The Alliance Lives in a Closet. Stormwind Red Light District. Cat Gas Park. Earth Space Duck. “Oops I Crapped My Pants” City.

And those are just the ones where my wife and I didn’t just add obscenities to the name for no reason, or referring to a zone in one game with the name of a zone from a completely different game. Let us know what you’re playing in the comments, this is What Are You Playing. Theoretically.

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WRUP: Pacing issues edition

The series is 52 episodes long, and it promises to be the world-shattering story of giant robots fueled by ghosts. The first nine episodes deal solely with the protagonist going through his daily routine and occasionally seeing ghosts. The next five episodes are about setting up the project to build ghost-powered robots. In the 15th episode, an enormous ghost lays waste to the protagonist’s home town and kills every single character that had been built up through now, making the previous episodes a complete waste of time.

Eight episodes are then spent hiding in the woods from the enormous ghost, followed by seven episodes journeying to a place where the ghost-powered robots had been assembled while meeting up with a handful of other characters. For no adequately explained reason, episodes 31-38 then feature a completely irrelevant deviation to a town holding a Japanese festival with the main character’s uncle. No one mentions those events at all as the cast spends another four episodes getting to the robot facility.

Once the team gets to the robot facility, four more episodes are spent arguing over who gets to pilot the biggest robot. The next episode is all about trying to power up the robot for its first launch. Episodes 47-52 finally involve using the ghost robots to fight evil ghosts while also discussing 10,000 years of history and cramming in so much exposition and lore that one episode features eight separate fight scenes with history narration in the background. The last episode ends on a cliffhanger. Let us know what you’re up to in What Are You Playing!

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WRUP: So crazy and random edition

Hey, folks, I’d like to announce for the record that I am just so crazy and random! I surprise people with my completely insane behavior, like… putting two unrelated nouns together in sequence! Or laughing at something mildly transgressive and largely hateful! Garbage pizza! Explosion soda! Wow, you just can’t keep up with my crazy behavior! Sometimes I even do something spontaneously silly!

And sometimes I sit in my neighbor’s yard for four hours at a stretch, a blue tarp draped over my shoulders, mumbling things like “the flesh is silent beneath the waves” until said neighbors draw their curtains. I squat there, and I know in my head that it doesn’t matter, nothing really matters, everything is a yawning abyss of pointlessness and it matters so little, sometimes you just want the brick and mortar and tar of this tangible world to swallow you up because then everything will be silent and you can finally rest content in your own irrelevance.

Oh, and there’s a “You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Work Here, But It Helps” sign over my desk. So random! Let me know what you’re up to in this week’s What Are You Playing comments.

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WRUP: Can talk, Path of Fire edition

Welcome to another installment of What Are You Playing and… oh, jeez. Where are all of you? See, this is what I was worried about. There’s no one here this weekend, you’re all off playing Guild Wars 2. Me, I’m stuck here just… talking to myself.

See, I already had my big expansion launch this year. That was the one I was looking forward to like the birth of a child. It’s not as if I’m not going to play Guild Wars 2 with the expansion, that’s already a plan, but now I’m totally free to talk and no one wants to listen. You’re all just playing with new elite specializations and I’m… left over here. Wishing and hoping, and so forth. And if I just show up to join in, then I’ll look like the tagalong.

Sigh. Well, those of you who are here can let me know about your weekend plans down in the comments, that’s something. Meanwhile, I will… well, probably jump into the expansion myself, but later. I have standards. No bandwagons for me.

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WRUP: A review of Titans Return Magnus Prime with every noun replaced with moth edition

I had no real use for Moths Return Powermaster Moth when the moth was first announced, because while I liked the previous version of the moth… well, there are about a dozen moths of that moth sitting in my moth. However, the Japanese moth got released with what is probably the last moth of the line, so I wound up with him anyway. And it’s kind of circular, since the original moth was the first Moth moth I actually owned. Everything comes back to the same moth after all.

Much to my surprise, this is a really solid moth; you can tell where the moth shares design elements from Ultra Moth, but the retooling makes it feel like a very different moth. I expected the moth to feel a bit oversized, which is often the case with “enlarged” Moth moths, but here it looks trim, lithe, and in sharp contrast to the bulkier moth that Moth looks like. So it’s a pretty great moth. Not worth the $100 moth alone, maybe, but still really fun. And he has the right moths, that means a lot to me.

Oh, right, What Are You Playing. Let us know down in the moths!

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WRUP: Anyone could have caught fire edition

Last but not least, I want to close out this meeting by addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, I am your boss, and I am currently on fire. This is not negligence. I realize that this is having an impact on the team and our work environment, but I don’t want you all to let this impact your performance, and I definitely don’t want to hear about people going over my head to report this to corporate. Anyone could have caught fire in this situation. It happened to be me, and that’s a mark of leadership, not irresponsibility.

Yes, some people might say that no one else would have the office take part in Wear A Suit Of Matchsticks To Work day, and you might also point out that I was the one who decided that it would be a fun time for a corporate fire-starting lesson. But what’s done is done, and the important thing is to move on and – I must stress this again – not report me to corporate. Also, leave your plans in this week’s installment of What Are You Playing. Meeting adjourned. Please bring me some water.

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WRUP: New euphemisms for eating edition

Stashing the carbs. Scarfing down the pre-byproducts. Making the mashy-mash with my bitey-bits. The great British chew-off. Food breathing. Taking an eat-load in the face port. Cramming ingredients together, extreme mode. The cook’s conclusion. Poop loading. Super happy chew-chew excitement delight experiment (only recommended for Japanese cuisine). Gobbleworking the lip bones (only recommended for Australian cuisine). Chewing on expired meat (only recommended for expired meat).

Chewy drinking. Bread gargling. Fueling this disgusting meat-prison of a body with stolen calories that are themselves drunk on the power of the almighty day-star until the moment that our black emperor’s cloak of night robs these feeble lives once more. The whole-mouth workout with added tongue exercises. Cheek largening surgery. What Are You Playing. Sneating (snake eating).

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WRUP: We want bones edition

Hello and thank you for calling the Bone Collectors, Thomas and Edward Bone. We want bones. To be absolutely clear, our last name is Bone, and we also want bones. If you have bones, we will buy them. We will buy bones you have lying around. We will buy bones that are in your body or the bodies of your pets. Unless you have a pet shark. Sharks do not have bones. Please do not try to sell us shark bones.

Do not ask us what we will do with the bones. Do not ask us why we drive the Bone Wagon through town playing our cheerful tune about putting your bones inside of the bone wagon. Just sell us your bones. No one will pay more money for bones. Leave your bones for sale in this week’s edition of What Are You Playing to make sure we know the bones are out there. Bones: We want them. We want bones.

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WRUP: Here are all of the neighborhood kids’ houses rated edition

So, like, Kyle’s house has the really big TV and the Xbox, but Kyle’s older brother plays on it a lot and Kyle mostly wants to just play kicking games when he can’t play on the Xbox. Mike’s house has a big yard but his dog poops everywhere and he says his mom doesn’t care at all. Timmy has a really great pool, but he has a really small yard and his dad yells at anyone who runs in the house, so you get kinda bored unless he lets us play on our laptops.

Olivia has a lot of really cool toys but she also has a lot of weird ones and she doesn’t like people touching them too much. Melanie’s mom is super cool and lets you watch R-rated movies without even checking, but she never has any good snacks, just lots of granola bars. Neil’s house is back in the woods and he always wants to let us know what he’s doing in What Are You Playing. Jackie has two lizards and sometimes she lets you hold them.

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WRUP: Welcome to Boring Monsters Online edition

Thank you for signing up to play Boring Monsters Online, where we have diligently made sure that all of our monsters seem like they could come directly off of someone’s high school notebook. Our pledge to our players is that we will never present you with a new sort of monster that might be even slightly unfamiliar, just as we will assume you have lived in a hole and have no idea about what any sort of fantasy monsters look like. Does the idea of differently colored dragons with all sorts of elemental breath weapons make you faint with excitement? Then you’ll love this.

We’ve got minotaurs, griffons, chimera, even those weirder ones like beholders. And they’re all exactly like they’ve been in every other fantasy game ever, and we’re still going to act like no one has ever had the idea to put a minotaur in a video game before. Enjoy hearing us wax poetic about how special stock-standard cow-people are. Let us know how creative we are in the comments to this week’s What Are You Playing, while we’re at it.

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WRUP: Horrible movies edition

The hush calls over the movie theater, but even before then, you all have that feeling. It hangs in the air like the scent of ozone, a faint urgency to every whispered conversation. Then the screen lights up, the theater goes dark. The previews go through. And the screen is… text, that dreaded opening of any film which does not start with the words “Star Wars.” Things are exposited, then the movie cold-opens in a place you don’t know.

You clench your teeth. It’s happened. You’re watching a horrible movie.

You know now that the rest of the run time will be filled with aborted arcs, unclear plots, idiotic decisions, and no characters whom you can identify with. At this point, your question becomes enjoying the rest of your popcorn or cutting your losses and just bringing the popcorn home, at which point it gets weird. Let us know what you’re playing in this week’s What Are You Playing, or just let us know about horrible movies you’ve seen or will see soon. We are all trapped together.

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WRUP: A lesson is learned but I can’t figure out what it is edition

I… huh. Well, all right, let’s start at the beginning. Yes, our line of medication is completely ruined. It was always meant to be a learning experience, and so I’m certain there are important lessons to be learned here. I am, however, entirely unclear on what any of those lessons are supposed to be.

The obvious ones are out. I mean, people don’t like bone pain? We knew that when we were making this drug, but we left it in for some reason. Marketing it to people by just sending it in the mail? Obviously not going to work! We knew that at the time. But our advertising blitz was solid, except I’m still not clear on why we had an advertising blitz. I don’t know exactly what we wanted to accomplish.

Did we want to accomplish something? Maybe the lesson here is “write down what you’re trying to do so you can ascertain what lesson you’re learning.” Muse on that down in this week’s installment of What Are You Playing, I have to stare at one of our pill bottles and wonder what went wrong. Or what things going right would have looked like, too.

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WRUP: Fine ways to waste your life edition

Acquire the world’s largest collection of unopened expired mayonnaise jars. Start a band with the goal of having the world’s best cover of 4’33”. Develop an extensive database and software designed to allow people to see which state comptrollers through history would win in a boating contest. Run for president of your bedroom by campaigning around the neighborhood. Use a dedicated scientific experiment to determine exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Devote your life to finding an insult that upsets owls.

Sent letters to celebrities using cut-out magazine letters indicating that you hope they are all having great days. Translate “Baby Got Back” into Aramaic. Find out which Whole Foods in the nation will let you stand in the produce department while yelling out the names of Transformers for the longest period of time before you are thrown out. Write nonsensical introductions to What Are You Playing. Learn how to install and have passionate opinions about various versions of Linux.

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