wrup

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

WRUP: This ham is your ham edition

Hello, reader. Hello, and good morning. Or should I say… good ham? That sounded clever before I typed it out. Look, the point is that I have your ham. This ham right here is yours, and if you ever want to see it again, you… well, you’ll look at the header, but if you ever want to have your ham back, you’re going to do exactly what I say.

First, go to the nearest Cumberland Farms. Assuming it’s near you, anyway, I don’t want you to be driving like fifteen miles out of your way. I guess you could just go to a regular grocery store, but… wait, they probably have ham. Depending on where you live. If you live in Israel, there’s probably no ham in the grocery stores, right? That would be weird. Or is it weird for thinking that? If you live in Israel, let me know about the ham situation.

You know what, forget it. Just go get another ham and leave your comments on this week’s What Are You Playing. I’ll give your ham a viking funeral. It’s what you would have wanted if you didn’t mind me stealing your ham.

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WRUP: Point of order edition

This installment of What Are You Playing will now come to order. We’d like to begin with a few points of order, starting with the most obvious one. No one – and this means no one – is allowed to park cars in Mrs. Orbison’s living room. That wall is a load-bearing one and knocking out the scaffolding is really making her angry. Also, absolutely no one is allowed to offer to “comfort her” in the bedroom following the death of her husband, especially after you run over her husband by driving your car through her wall. We’re talking about you, Eric. We all know it.

Next point of order: It turns out that sun-dried tomato pizza from down the street is actually really good, so we’ll be ordering that after all. Also, no one is allowed to taunt the werewolves after eating it. It’s got garlic, but the garlic thing is just vampires. Also, we need to stop smashing empty beer bottles against shopping carts; complaints are coming in. Last but not least, let’s not have a repeat of last week’s incident. You may now go about your normal WRUP procedures.

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WRUP: New comment system fun fact edition

So we have a new comment system! Yes, really. There’s a little FAQ about it explaining everything you could want to know, but what about all of the things you never wanted to know about it? That’s what this feature is here for.

For example, did you know that our new comment system comes with integration for Panasonic VCRs? No one knows why comment systems were ever integrated into VCRs in the first place, but now you could get all of our comments streamed right to your VCR. Assuming you have a cable connection and hook it up through your VCR. Boy, VCRs just don’t exist any more, do they? That still seems strange to me.

Also, the new comment system is going to get put through its paces! So maybe it’s more of just one fun fact, assuming you have fun learning about VCRs. And you can ignore that I didn’t feel like scouring Wikimedia Commons for a VCR image. Look, just… it’s What Are You Playing, let us know what you’re up to in the comments and let’s move on. I give up.

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WRUP: Before we’re edited edition

You read our articles every day. Most days, anyway. Why don’t you read our articles every day? Are we just some fling to you? Ahem. Anyhow, don’t you want to know what it’s like behind the scenes when we turn in our articles to be reviewed by the Edit-Tron 5000? Now you can learn! Here’s what it looks like with our articles before they get edited:

  • Bree: You might not think it, but most of Bree’s work is just the lyrics to Led Zeppelin songs with every proper noun replaced with quotes from Bee Movie.
  • Justin: There’s always a lengthy digression about the proper way to cook up hot dogs that has to be snipped out. We’re saving it for the cookbook.
  • Eliot: Just, like, so much profanity about giraffes.
  • MJ: Every single piece includes portions of a hidden ARG to encourage readers to buy a copy of Galaga for their home video game console.
  • Larry: Lots of musical cues, but every single one of them is for Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.
  • Andrew: If you peek at the source code, there is a hidden field guide in Andrew’s work detailing common songbirds found in the northwestern United States.
  • Brendan: Brendan refuses to use capital letters or punctuation until we ship him a fresh smoked ham. The monthly ham budget is significant.
  • Tina: Flawless prose, but it’s about the Time Cube.
  • Matt: Love letters to Missingno. Literal love letters.

And now you know! And knowing is… some part of the battle. Maybe, like, a tenth. Let us know what you’re up to in What Are You Playing, and enjoy yourself.

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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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