wrup

WRUP. It stands for “what are you playing.” That’s it. Answer the question! [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

One Shots: Healin' skellies in Shards Online

When the NDA is away, the cats will play -- and take screenshots! Bless our dear community for documenting upcoming MMOs as they venture into these virgin territories.

ZulikaMiNam had some fun in one game that I haven't seen much from readers yet: "Since there are no NDA restrictions imposed for this alpha weekend kickoff over at Shards Online I will post some pics from there. I accidentally healed a skeleton while trying to heal myself. So my name turns grey and anyone can kill me now. Time to lay low for a bit."

Are you still laying low? You can... probably come out now. That skeleton owes you a life debt for that heroic action.

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WRUP: Jurassic Park is a pretty bad movie edition

It's time for us to just admit this as a species: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. I know, you have fond memories of it; I do too, aside from the fact that I remember being disappointed with it even as a child because it was more interested in "rawr scary dinosaurs" than actually showing off these magnificent, enormous animals. But the movie is about five minutes of cool, memorable moments mixed in with a bland, overlong plot that's mostly just people running around scared as everything gets ruined.

The science doesn't hold up, the characters are thin pastiches (including Jeff Goldblum being slimy enough to leave a residual bad taste in my mouth), and what made the movie work in the first place was how enormously compelling those dinosaurs look. That part still can impress viewers; not much else does. So "Chris Pratt and a team of raptors vs. invisible T-Rex" is really more of a lateral move for the franchise.

That's all, folks. Oh, right, What Are You Playing is here. Let us know in the comments!

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WRUP: Card trick 74 edition

Today's card trick is known as the Ponzetti Reversal. It's called this chiefly because no one ever pays too much attention to card tricks which sound like chess maneuvers, but you can be certain that your audience will be amazed unless they're not.

First, take an ordinary deck of playing cards. Shuffle, cut the deck, and draw seven cards. Ask a participant to take a random card from those seven, but don't look at it. Tell the participant to memorize the card. Then, return the cards to the deck. Shuffle again, draw seven more cards. Tap an island for one blue mana. Grab the bottom card on the deck and ask the participant if it's the right card.

Get angry. Insist that it's the right card. Fling the deck of cards at the participant's head and inform them to find the [REDACTED] card without you, if the participant is so [REDACTED] smart. Break a window. Tell the police officers that you're completely sober. Refuse to put your shirt back on. Slam your head against the inside of the car window. Insist you want a lawyer after hurling insults at the cops for an hour. Let us know what you're playing in this week's installment of What Are You Playing. Lastly, produce the correct card.

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One Shots: The Reaper comes for all MMOs

In light of this past week's sad Landmark news, it's perhaps too on-the-nose that I asked for players to send in pictures of defunct MMOs. Maybe it's just one of those sober reminders that sooner or later, these games will go dark. Enjoy them to their fullest now!

"To prove I can actually be on topic sometimes, I answer your call for shots from defunct MMOs with one from Dragon's Prophet," Tyler said, "the only game I've played that has shut down. There was a great deal wrong with this game, and I didn't play it for long, but there was still a lot about it that was surprisingly good. In particular I loved the unusual, battle mage-like Oracle class. Who wants to stand in the back waving your hands when your mage can charge into the thick of things and massacre everyone with a giant enchanted scythe?"

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WRUP: Year in preview edition

Well, here we are, a new year. This one has a low bar to clear and it's already not doing a great job. I'd write a four-letter word here that rhymes with "truck," but I like not being fired. Instead, let's just finish with our year in review nonsense by giving you the phrases you'll become intimately familiar with over the next year due to major news stories.

  • January: "It's unclear why so many MMOs are now engaged in cross-promotional campaigns with shaving cream, but still..."
  • February: "A new imported MMO is out, and the studio behind it is very enthusiastic about its chances in the market."
  • March: "The new basketball minigame trend is getting out of hand."
  • April: "It turns out you can't fund your game with a Ponzi scheme."
  • May: "That new import from February is shutting down at the end of the month."
  • June: Reserved for Stormblood.
  • July: "The three new upcoming Hellgate London relaunches."
  • August: "Daybreak has officially announced the shutdown of several games it is not running, begging the question of why."
  • September: "Boy, remember earlier in this year when no one was afraid of the chupacabre?"
  • October: Halloween.
  • November: "This year's BlizzCon featured an unfortunate incident with a snake and far too many computers on fire."
  • December: "Ugh, this year is finally almost done."

Have fun! Let us know what you're playing in the comments, since this is What Are You Playing. It's cunningly disguised, you see.

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WRUP: The sunset edition

At the worst times in my life, I would often watch the sunset. Sunsets are comforting to me. Every sunset you see reminds you that another day is over, that you're going to be living a day further in the future. I never even thought it was possible to be depressed by sunsets until someone first told me that they were the sign of a day ending, of the sum total of everything bad going on. Things are ending.

But I never saw them that way. Sunsets mean a day is ending, but that also means that no matter how bad the day was, it's over now. Tomorrow is a new day, and whatever bad stuff happened during the day that's ending, you'll move away from it one sunset at a time. Every day marks a new beginning, a new start. We've lost, and we've faltered, and we've seen horrible things happen, but it's not the world ending; it's just this day. Each day forward is another day toward a better tomorrow.

Cheers to the end of this awful year, yes, but there's another one coming up, and that means we have another shot at making it better. Let us know What Are You Playing in the comments.

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WRUP: Gifts for some edition

It's that time of year once again, when the Massively Overpowered staff loads into a sleigh and prepares to bring presents to all of the good boys and girls. Then, somewhere over Milwaukee, that plan changes to most of the good boys and girls. By the time we're in Pittsburgh, we're now delivering presents to the most good boys and girls, ranked chiefly by a sorting algorithm that we illegally downloaded from a GeoCities site that has somehow stayed up because no one told it that GeoCities was dead.

Usually we hit a bar in Pittsburgh, just to "get our groove back," and things get a little blurry. Last year, I remember waking up in my front yard with my head in a dollhouse and a pair of crudely constructed Lego shoes along with a piece of wrapping paper in my pocket which said "to David (sic)" and another one which just read "call Bob, important." I don't know anyone named Bob. Now that you're feeling your face just melt from sheer overwhelming holiday cheer or whatever, let us know What Are You Playing on this holiday weekend. We've got gifts to load on a sleigh this year, most of which will hopefully reach some kids.

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WRUP: Come for the main storyline, but stay for the food edition

Welcome, traveler, to Hoodle's Watch! It's a town named after some guy, presumably named Hoodle. Anyhow, I'd ask you why you're here, but I already know; you're on the trail of some villainous plot or another and you need to do these quests for the next four levels before you move on. But may I suggest, my friend, that while you came for the main storyline, you stay for the food?

Seriously, it's very good food. Chef Augustine over there has been experimenting with this sort of pan-continental fusion style, since we get so many adventurers passing through. And you haven't lived until you've seen what my daughter Jessa - that's her over there, hello Jessa! - can do with a turnip and a side of mutton. It's really delicious.

So maybe you can just... oh, I see, you're queued for a dungeon now. Well, all right, but at least go see what has Denna all up in arms, I hear there's a good hat at the end of the quest chain. Also, leave your name in our books so what know about What Are You Playing. Go have fun with the main plot!

Jerk.

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Massively Overthinking: Our favorite MMORPG stories of the year

Earlier this week, we posted our award for the biggest MMORPG story of the year -- the one we thought had the biggest impact on our genre. But in tonight's Massively Overthinking, we're going to put aside the bigger picture and talk about just the stories we liked, the stories we're proud of, the stories that define us, the stories we wish we could write all day long. I asked our writers to pick one story they wrote and one story somebody else on MOP wrote and talk about why they matter. We'd love to hear what you folks think about our best work too -- it helps us decide what you want to hear about in the future.

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WRUP: Could a werewolf offer you savings like this edition

Pathetic mortal creatures with your moist flesh and sloughing skin! It is I, "Crazy" Kak-asha, of Kak-asha's Discount Goods Emporium, the store you continue to tell your friends is "run by a werewolf or something!" Clearly, your fragile brains of pulsing meat are unable to comprehend the true beauty of my immaculate form, for the evidence lies before you! Could a werewolf offer you savings like this? I doubt it! I have supped upon their brittle bones and drained the very essence from their squalling souls, and they know nothing of the secrets of the universe... or discounts!

This week at Kak-asha's Discount Goods Emporium, get Slaughtered Orb Breakfast Cereal at the low price of $2.99 for a family-sized box! You can also obtain the fresh meat of a suckling lamb for only $5.99 per bloody pound, and the tender sugar-filled pods of your apple trees may be obtained for simply $1.99 per pound! Let us know what you are playing, you unfathomably fragile creatures with your eyeblink lives, in this week's installment of What Are You Playing. Then come in for savings, and stop calling me a werewolf. It hurts my feelings.

I have feelings, yes. And perceptions that stretch into dimensions that would bring you endless agony.

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WRUP: The hills are alive with something edition

So I really had thought that the hills were alive with the sound of music up until a couple of days ago. I mean, I would sing out to the hills every morning (I live on the side of a mountain) and they would sing back, so that was all right. Lately, though, I'm starting to wonder. For one thing, they're still singing back, but sometimes they're singing back altered lyrics that talk about how I'm going to die, or they're doing it in the voice of my dead grandfather. Also, there are fewer trees and more tentacles.

That in and of itself could mean anything in New England, but I really start to wonder when I see that the hills are also devouring crows from the sky but leaving the songbirds. Also, an entire town disappeared last week. So the hills are definitely alive with something. I'm going to guess it wants to be friends, so let us know what you're playing in this week's What Are You Playing and I'll see if it wants to be friends with you, too.

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WRUP: Testament from the helmsman of a doomed ship edition

If you are reading this, then it is as an epigraph. Had I survived to shore, I would have destroyed it. Instead, you are seeing what I know as I write it to be my final testament as the waters rise against the hull, as we slowly descend into the ocean which was the birth of all life and will soon host another collection of it. I write this testament not to mourn that the sea will serve as our tomb, but to let those who find this know one undeniable fact: We tried.

You are reading this and that means our efforts were not enough, that our ship sank beneath the waves despite our efforts and that is sad. But at the same time, it is also a sign that simply trying alone is not enough, nor should it be seen as a weakness of intent. We bore ourselves onwards and did everything to the best of our ability and it was not enough, but this was not a sign of weakness. And if I had the chance once more to grasp the helm, I would do so, knowing that I could not avert my fate but that I could steer headlong once more.

So What Are You Playing this weekend?
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WRUP: I know what I'm doing edition

Here, let me take over. Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Here, what I'm doing right now is grotesquely overstating my competence at a task in order to appear more desirable as a friend or companion. Now what I'm doing is attempting to look knowledgeable while simultaneously realizing just how far over my head I've gotten and weighing the social cost of admitting that I'm completely out of my depth with the potential to just charge on regardless.

Having decided that I can't take the shame of accepting fault, what I'm doing now is flailing at the problem in hopes that I might fix it by luck. Now I'm feigning understanding while actually being surprised, and now I'm trying to dissuade examination by obfuscating the actual problem. Now I'm inviting you to go take part in What Are You Playing rather than examining the fact that my dubious and idiotic overconfidence made everything significantly worse. See? I knew exactly what I was doing.

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