Saturday, July 25, 2009

The End of Evony

Wow, most hardcore game ever. Dead and beaten in 3 days, or atleast that's my prediction. The attacks that have been going on the last few days have been relentless and I see no way to stop them. Sure, I have troops in my cities and I have wall defenses but the towns still get pillaged. My loyalty is plumiting and my social unrest is skyrocketing. I have practically no resources left.

In the end, all you can really say is that I am totally screwed over. Some of the said attackers are the people I had recruited to be allies with me, but as I have have learned Evony is hardcore and their is no place for noobs in it. Sure, as a last resort I could beg to be let in to their alliance instead but I'll just take what pride I have and accept this defeat. The last thing I'm going to do is try to crush that lucient guy for backstabbing me. Hopefully, I'll be able to accomplish that atleast by tomorrow and i'll finish my time in the game happily if I can achieve that.

But here, just take a look at how royally screwed I am!

Main City (I used an item to save my loyalty/unrest for now)

Branch City

It's no big deal anyway. Where one project ends another one begins. (Note to self: Get back to anime already)

Evony is Hardcore

Yesterday, about 15 alliances ended up at war with mine for nearly no reason. Today, I get plundered about 15 times between my two cities. Not only that, but the people I had previous recruited to be my allies have changed alliances and are now at war with me. They won't even talk to me anymore. Geese for a browser based game, this is some serious stuff.

I don't think it's going to be possible to play this game casually. Those two (wait no make that three) people who decided to plunder me must have sat at the computer all day to do it. It takes like thirty minutes to an hour to do a military action against someone relatively closeby, and they did that multiple times in addition to there building construction, researching, defense, and marketplace management? Sigh, at this rate I'll be killed by the end of the week. I said I was probobly going back to wow, and that's still the case. Even so, I think I'm going to go on with Evony for a while longer to see how long it takes me to get completely screwed.

[Darkskeleton]: How do you stop people from plundering your city?
[Best]: defence ur walls?
[Best]: archer towers the best
[Darkskeleton]: Thank you

[Best]: see alliance .. war report for how good/ bad defence can help

Yeah, turns out I was magically suppose to know to build Archer Towers to stop that. Kind of late to save my coffers for today though, I lost my entire resource income for today more or less so it'll be interesting to see what I'll be able to do after I get completely resource screwed (Probobly not much).

Before I die a horrible death, maybe I'll just kill off the guy who was suppose to be my ally and follow me to whatever alliance I joined. Sure, I heard a rumor that this JW alliance's declaration of war was caused by members of my alliance DEMONS attacking them when we were suppose to be friendly of some sort, BUT that still doesn't change the fact that bastard double-crossed me.

Yeah, you know what... He's dead. Find out if I actually managed to raise his ass to the ground on my next post. Oh yeah, and I'll get around to doing some anime soon, I know I haven't done anything of that nature recently... Maybe I'll finally start Project HiveMind?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Returning to World of Warcraft

I've been talking the idea over with a few of my friends about going back to World of Warcraft after a 4-5 month break from the game and it seems pretty damn likely I will this week (although naturally nothings finalized till I actually resubscribe). If/when I do, expect some details about my new experiences in World of Warcraft. Perhaps I'll do something like WoW Hobbs or perhaps not. If you don't know who he is you can check his Youtube profile out here

Previously in World of Warcraft I've wasted a great deal of time (but it was a fun waste of time and therefore not really a waste of time at all). Although with all things, it got a little dull for me. Will things be different this time? Eh who can really say. One thing I have the intention of doing is running a casual guild where invites go out on a friends (in game or otherwise) basis, instead of being a raiding guild where invites are done on who has the best gear. I feel things will just flow much smoother that way.

One thing that does nag my mind a little though is how to handle my old guild. I used to do some raid leading for them and stopped after it became more like a job then a game, however I liked the people back there and to my knowledge my old toons still remain. If I go start fresh with new characters and RL friends, would it be right to ignore my old guild? Should I atleast go in to chat with them everyone once in a while if I'm not willing to raid? Sure, it's not like I have a duty to them or anything, but still.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Twitter

The old twitter account was really getting out of hand with things like auto follow and services being used for it. I've deleted it for a completely new one in which I will be very selective about what goes on my twitter and also only manually follow people and only those which I actually care to follow. You could say i'm trying to purify twitter a bit and while this means losing all my previous followers, it also means that I have a chance to connect with people who I actually want to talk to and not just anyone who's willing.

I couldn't reclaim Darkskeleton since it's just inactive at the moment so I've chosen Darkskeletonx instead.

If your interested, check out my new twitter profile at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Look into Evony Part 2

Hey guys, if you checked in the other day you probobly saw me post about having started to play Evony. It's not a hardcore game that you waste half your life on like World of Warcraft, but I've found it worthwhile and enjoyable so far.

There seemed to be some level of interest in that particular post, so I'm going to talk a little more about my adventures in Evony.

The first thing I'd like to note is that the pace of the game has slowed down considerably. A good deal of construction and research projects have been taking several hours upwards to around eight to complete. Fellow alliance members have been discussing they're troop counts and level of research accomplished at the academy. Even though I started on the servers initial launch date which is five days ago I believe, it seems I've managed to fall behind a bit. So basically, the last couple of days have been playing catch up with the bigger players in the alliance.

This has came in a couple of ways. The first, working on my research tech has been quite a pain in the ass really. One alliance member last night noted that he had level 6 archery researched when I didn't even have the prerequisites to complete archery one completed. However, by sitting around yesterday and upgrading my forge I was able to achieve this.

While thats not quite where they are at, it's still a start. The other is in a lack of troops. I believe I had boreline a thousdand the other day when some alliance members had around three thousdand. I had to queue up some troops so I went and made an additional five hundred swordsmen. This was my longest build yet running around twelve and a half hours to completion. My troop count now comes to around 1600 give or take (like I'm going to do basic mathmatics to figure out the exact number)

Oh, but what's this? A letter from the vice-boss himself!?

All alliance members with Prestige of 10,000 or greater must report their troop counts to me by tommorow evening (7/22). Those who have not begun to create an army are suggested to do so very soon. Don't forget to fortify your city and raise your populations to provide tax income. If your prestige is below 10,000 then refer to Ladygrace or Demon_lord for further instructions. Thankyou all, and I hope your having fun!
Sincerely yours,
Zalith - Vice Host

Ah damn... They're going to send my troops to their horrible death (Hopefully not). Well, I dont think i'll be attacked any time soon. I've got allies to the north, allies to the east, and allies to my south with no threats in between any of those. The only place that I could be worried about is off to the west where there happens to be a large concentration of active players. Maybe I should go recruit them like everyone else.

Note to self: Build more farms because food is raising in price while everything else has plummited!

Technorati Claim

Nothing much to see here, I'll get around to having some actual content later today.


Link Exchange with The Anime and Gaming Network

I saw this idea over on and I'm going to shamelessly reuse it.

Blogs and websites have a need for traffic and mine is no exception, so if you're interested in exchanging links then add this blog to your website or blog and post a comment with a link to yours.

There are only 2 requirements.
  1. The blog or website has to be loosely related to either anime or gaming (or both of course). This is simply to keep things related to one another.
  2. The site has to have a quality atleast roughly equal to that of this blog. That means reasonably good structure and not overflowing with advertisements.
If you want to know if your site qualifies first, then post the link in a comment first and i'll look it over and reply to you.

Best of luck to everyone's sites!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Look into Evony

It's been a while since i've posted anything, so I figured i'd start with what i've spent a portion of my time doing these last couple weeks.

My general opinion is that if its free off the internet, its a piece of crap. Yes, I've tried tons of free mmorpgs, flash games, etc to kill time AND it just so happens I get bored of them after a day or two every time. However, recently i've found a MMO that has actually managed to hold my interest these last four days. Surprisingly enough, its free to play although just like every other free online game you can pay money to suddenly become more powerful then everyone else.

This game is called Evony, you might have seen they're annoying advertisements on other websites. Looking at their advertisements and one click on their links and I was pretty sure it would utterly suck. However, it's not bad, not too bad at all.

To sum it up, you could call it a VERY slow paced age of empires game. Buildings and units take minutes, to hours, to supposedly even days to complete. It's not a game you are meant to play constantly, its more of a daily lunch break type of deal. In the game, you are given typical resources to work with and you must build up your cities, alliances, and armies to crush everyone else. Simple yet enjoyable enough.

Personally, I have not gotten to the stage in the game where you go conquering everyone else. However the anticipation of that moment when my beginner's protection wears off is quite exciting. I've been spending my time in the game trying to gain allies nearby me since its better to have more friends then enemies. The social aspect of the game is part of what makes it enjoyable, as with most MMOs. Another nifty thing especially in the first couple days, are the quests you can do. There is a quest for almost everything, and getting useful stuff and resources for completing them is pretty fun.

The bottom line is that playing Evony has been a good way to kill 30 seconds at any given time. It's not a RPG like most other free MMOs but rather a long term strategy game, and while I thought it would suck it's actually not bad at all. Feel free to give it a shot, and if you want to come die horribly by my hand I am Darkskeleton on Server 32, Cordinates X:5 Y:404 in Burgandy. Alternatively, you could apply to our alliance DEMONS (We also have DEMONS2 comming up soon I think since the first one is getting full)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Taking a Break

I haven't posted in a few days which it seemed like I was going to if you read my posts (Project HiveMind) at some point. I'll start posting again at some point (probobly), but right now I just don't feel up to it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Project HiveMind

I've got a new idea for community interaction and I'm going to code name it Project HiveMind. My idea is to do something like a game while watching anime by blogging my thoughts and reactions about whatever it is I'm watching and write those thoughts down here. On each Project HiveMind post there will be the time I the thought hit my brain followed with the thought itself, however it will be grayed out so you can't unintentionally read it.

Now as for the game part, for those interested, you can watch the episode and highlight the text as you reach that point in the video and see how close your reaction was to mine. I got the name of this project from the phrase "Smart minds think alike" because I
want to see how different everyones reaction to the same event is. It could go as far as becomming a game with a ongoing point system with a high score table on the sidebar and possibly even prizes if this takes off.

The Rules
  • You may not select the hidden text until you've reached that point in watching the episode yourself.
  • It's fine if you've already seen the anime and still want to participate, but don't lie about your reactions because that takes away the entire point of the game.
  • You can pop in at any time, but for the sake of not ruining the early episodes of the anime I suggest you start at the beginning and work your way up.
I may start as soon as later today with this, so stay tuned. The test run anime is probobly going to be Detective Conan (AKA Case Closed) since I think mystery anime will work best for this and also because it has plenty (read: too many) episodes to do.

Rawr Zerg =P (Get the Reference?)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Anime-Planet Gets a Makeover

Yesterday, one of the main sites I use regarding anime especailly for keeping track of what you've watched went under it's version 3 update to the site. To be honest I'm a little skeptical of this new layout. I'm not sure I like the layout as much as the previous ones atleast.

If at any point during this rambling that you want to know what I'm speaking of, head on over to the site at

The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that it is much more vertical based then the previous versions. You need to scroll down a little bit to reach the bottom of the page. It seems the reason for this is not because it was shrunk horizontally but because more stuff was added to the page. For some reason, the newest reviews and the manga related stuff is towards the bottom of the page and you can't initially see it just by visiting the site without scrolling down. I somewhat wonder why they did this as I personally would have probobly included it towards the top. I guess the arguement that there manga section of the site isnt as popular yet so having it in the spotlight is a waste could be valid, but if their going to try to promote it they should really TRY to promote it.

As for the new features they're quite a few supposedly (List taken from

  • Blogs – you can now add blogs, complete with embedding video and audio. You can tag blogs with official entries (anime, manga, and site tags), as well as custom tags. The benefit to using site tagging is that then, you’ll see the blogs in the anime/manga/tag pages. However, don’t abuse this feature! Only tag when appropriate.
  • Custom Lists – the other major feature of V3. To add a custom list, go to your profile and click the custom lists tab. If you previously had a top 5 anime, you now have an auto-generated custom list for ‘My Top Anime’. You can change this at any time (the title, and the entries in there). Custom lists can be either manga or anime, and you can only add things to a custom list that you have in your list already. Drag/drop is possible with the custom lists, as well as the advanced filter bar.
  • Advanced Filters – This is a big, big new feature. It’s currently available on the anime/manga browse pages, as well as your personal lists. You can include/exclude tags, and filter by a ton of other stuff including your anime status, year range, episode range, studio, and more!
  • General sorting/pagination – in addition to advanced filters, you’ll find way more instances of pagination and sorting throughout the site. Browsing has never been easier!
  • Profiles – profiles now have tabs and you now have very easy access to all your info. You can browse your recommendations and filter by moderation status and editing status, amongst other things. Site reviewers have a reviews tab that you can browse through, and there are tons of other tabs as well. The profile homepage is now much more robust, and includes rating averages.
  • Tags – tag pages (ie, horror or comedy) are now like profiles, with their own tabs.
  • Average ratings – anime and manga now store an average rating. Avg ratings are weighted depending on the user. For example, users who only rate 5 on everything will have less of a ‘vote’ towards an avg rating than someone who has a more balanced set. Avg ratings were fully funded by the community!
  • Relations – relations are also back, and also funded by the community. Right now the relations are very basic, and show up in a table (without a solid relation reason yet). Coming soon we’ll have a better relation view with suggested orders of viewing again.
  • Review Ratings – you can now vote for what you thought of reviews, and also filter by those rating types (funny, cool, helpful) on the review home.
  • Comments – reviews and blogs have comments, just like profiles! Profile comments are now paginated as well.
  • User Browse – you can now browse users and get better info such as what’s in their anime/manga lists, number of recs, and more. Go to the users home and click browse by username to see more.
  • Themes – themes are back! Only two are up at the moment but more are coming soon.
  • Appearance – V3 is slick as ever with a much prettier, cleaner and functional design.
  • Delete account – not like I’d want anyone to leave, but there’s now an easy to use delete option.
  • Friends – are back! Add friends easily from various parts of the site, and browse them in your friends tab. As with the old site you can also see who has friended you.
  • Recommendation filters – in the recs area of an entry, you can filter by a few options including ‘only friend recs’
  • Anime/Manga list compare – in someone else’s anime or manga list you’ll now see a compare. You can easily see your lists side by side, and filter based on what you share or don’t share.

  • New features are almost always a good thing, so I can be happy about these in the newest updates. The ability to add your own blog to the site is great, but kind of useless for me since obviously this is my blog. Custom lists are something I will almost certainly use at some point. Only being able to have a top 5 list was a little depressing sometimes. As for filters... Meh, I never had much trouble finding what I wanted but I'm sure some people will get a big kick out of it. It might be cooler to me in practice then just how it sounds as a feature. The only other two things that really catch my attention are the Themes and ability to compare anime/manga lists. I love the idea of being able to choose your own layout for the site encase you don't like the original and the ability to compare anime lists is great for teasing friends.

    Anyway, new things are always interesting at the least and it'll be fun to see how all these features come in to play to make the site better. I'm sure atleast some of you were wondering by now about my personal profile on the site. Mine would happen to be

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    The Crystal Skull: Insane Edition - Yu-gi-oh! 5ds

    This video is reason enough why when you get bored, killing time watching kiddy shows is a fair idea. As you might suspect, I was watching the actual show when I happened to notice a scene in the episode (7 if you care) that sounded like it would make a good insane edition (see Mudkip: The Insane Edition

    Sure, it didn't end up exactly like your typical insane edition where the same thing plays for the entire time. That's because I thought it would be a more interesting if it included more jokes.

    Anyways, here it is.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    What Do People See in Rythmn Games? Part 2

    Yesterday, I left off with these two likely reasons that people would want to play rythmn video games instead over doing the same activity without the video game.

    These are
    • People play rythmn games because it gives them a sense of achievement they can't get from performing similar activities in a non-game fashion.
    • The game provides atmosphere into a room which makes it more entertaining then doing the activity normally.
    Today, I'd like to find others and identify the biggest reason for why these ryhtmn games are so popular.

    To start, I mentioned that the games do give off an atmosphere since your getting visual images from playing the game. I didn't really on the fact that the songs play for you from the game though. However, this is pretty key in these games. Without actually hearing the soundtrack playing, I imagine it would be much harder to get down the rythmn. It would be easily set and done that the reason people play rythmn games is because they play the music for you to perform to. However, the fact that you can play songs from a computer or a boom box shoots this straight down. The games combine the songs with voice overs from narration and visual graphics and that is a reason to play the game over playing the songs off a computer or otherwise. That doesn't really add much though, because take away the song and you basically have what I previously referred to as "atmosphere". This only points out that "because the game lets you hear the song while your playing" is not a reason to play the game over real life versions, and that if the games didn't have the songs playing for you it would give you less reason to play the game over the real life versions.

    Another possibility is that people play the games because they have loosely structure rules where as if they perform the activity in real life they can do whatever they want. While not as immersive as other genres, some rythmn games do still have a story mode where you do what the game tells you to do instead of free play. Real life is not beatable, however rythmn games are atleast to the extent of getting a 100% perfect play through on a hard as hell song (Through the Fire and Flames by Dragonforce anyone?). However, this still somewhat ties in with the point I made about achievement, but the structured side of this is justifiable still so that can be added to the list.

    One final thing I'd like to touch on is the fact that it is a video game. Perhaps the reason some people don't want to play the real guitar is because it's not a video game. What I mean is that people have gotten so used to playing video games that even if there was no difference between a video game and real life they would still take the video game. Maybe people walk into gamestop and see a copy of Rockband on the shelf and that's why they ended up with it instead of the guitar which they would have had to buy elsewhere, or perhaps people bank on it being good because of they have the idea in their head that a video game is better regardless of what it is. Maybe an even better arguement is because the games have a controller-console-screen interaction. Yes, I think that is quite sound. People must want to play the games because they are video games afterall and as such allow the user to interact with the game and effect the audio/video outcome.

    I suppose that's about it though. In video games there user is only aware of the input and output that goes into the game so I'd imagine thats about all they could expect out of purchasing a video game product.

    Final Possible Reasons
    • People play rythmn games because it gives them a sense of achievement they can't get from performing similar activities in a non-game fashion.
    • The rythmn games provide atmosphere into a room which makes it more entertaining then doing the activity normally.
    • People play the rythmn games because they offer structure where as in real life without an instructor the equivilent activities pretty much are doing whatever you want.
    • People play rythmn games because it allows them to affect the game world by wielding a controller of some sort.
    You might wonder why I didn't include people playing the games because there friends are playing the games. Well, while people absolutely will and do play because others are playing, it doesn't give a reason for the first person to ever try the game out to play. I wanted to acknoledge the reasons why people played it in the first place.

    Anyway, I'm sure there are a few valid ones that I didn't think of so feel free to point those out to me if you feel up to it. Alternatively, if you think I'm wrong I'm up for constructive criticism too.

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    Spiral - Phoenix Wright the Anime?

    I just happened to be looking through the lists of anime on when I happened to run into this one. The thing that caught my attention was the mystery label for the anime since I get a kick out of mystery/horror/suspsense shows.

    So far the anime plays out like a Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney case but minus the court trial in each episode. This is incredibly amusing for me because I love seeing people making "Figure Shit Out" checks (see Unforgotten Realms =P) to solve cases. I wonder if their are other games or anime series similiar to Spiral or Phoenix Wright. It's somewhat disheartening when a game you like comes to an end and there are no sequals out which you haven't played.

    Encase your wondering, the basic plot of the show is something like this (No spoilers beyond first episode)
    • Crimes (I.E. Murder) are being commited, and from episode to episode they are linked with each other.

    • The link of these crimes is something called "The Blade Children" which the main cast works to figure out

    • The main character is a high school student who has a sister who works as an investigator. He is incredibly bright yet somewhat brooding and dark, he is able to outperform her sister at her own job.

    • Each episode (atleast so far, I've finished episode 3) starts with a murder happening, the main cast ends up investigating said crime, and then they find the perpetrator. There are also subplot things which happen like scenes where characters like the MC's sister who become incredibly frusterated trying to find more out about "The Blade Children" and the main character's natural talent for piano which his older brother also had.
    It's easier to just say that if you like Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney you'll probobly like this because it's very similar to the investigation stages in the Ace Attorney series.

    What Do People See in Rythmn Games? Part 1

    When I speak of "rythmn" games I basically mean any game where you have to perform some action to match the beat of the music. This genre includes games like Rock Band,Dance Dance Revolutions, Guitar Hero, Osu!, and others.

    There is a good reason to bring this up. You don't actually need a video game set to play the guitar, and you don't need a dance pad to dance (to be honest I wouldn't really call your typical DDR player a good dancer anyways). So why do people bother forking over the money to do something they can do without the game. That's what I'd like to digest here.

    Well, lets start with the basics. These are video games were speaking of and a lot of video games let you virtually do stuff you could actually do in real life. So perhaps its all about what the activity's value as a game has over doing it without a giant LCD screen.

    One thing most video games, and all rythmn games have are a point system. Is gathering points what makes these games so popular? Well lets think about it for a minute. A high score means personal achievement, so perhaps people want that achievement from the game. While you can still get achievement out of playing the guitar in real life, perhaps if you and your friends are gamers you would get more attention by playing the game rather then the real life thing. Another sign of ones achievement in a game is the announcer and audience that accompanies every player. You don't even need real people there to get the feeling that people are cheering you on at a solid performance. The idea that the games give gamers a sense of achievement they can't get from performing it normally seems pretty plausible, however there's more to the success of ryhtmn games then that.

    What I mean is, not everyone who plays rythmn games are in fact gamers. Many people play these games casually and as such would not get noticed by bragging about their high scores to their normal friends. Are the games just fun so people play them? Well obviously they have to be fun or else people wouldnt play them. Does that mean doing it without the video game aspect is boring? Certainly, the games provide a certain level of atmosphere for one playing the game. These video games are visual, where as dancing or playing a guitar normally does not have flashy graphics.

    So that leaves two possible points so far beyond "because they're fun"
    • People play rythmn games because it gives them a sense of achievement they can't get from performing similar activities in a non-game fashion.
    • The game provides atmosphere into a room which makes it more entertaining then doing the activity normally.

    There are certainly more things to touch on, so I'm going to make this a two part analysis and finish up tomorrow.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    One More Episode of Higurashi Rei

    This isn't really what I wanted to hear but its better to find out sooner rather then later. There is only going to be one more episode in Higurashi Rei for a total of five since it's only a one arc animation.

    If you read my first post about rei I was debating whether or not Higurashi was going to be killed off eventually with the assumption that Rei was a full season. I guess the OVA label should have been somewhat of a giveaway. Either way, I'm glad it happened anyways since it is still good even though it is short lived.

    Since this might be the last chance, I might as well give some predictions for the final episode. Note that I don't read the manga for Higurashi so I have no idea of what is to come.

    Since these might actually spoil something for those who havent watched it, i'm going to grey out the information so just select the text sould you wish to read it.

    Predictions for the ending to Higurashi Rei
    1. Unlike most stories, the ending will in fact not be a happy ending. Something bad is going to happen. At the very least there will be a cliff hanger.
    2. People are going to die. This is Higurashi, so far in Rei no one has been brutally murdered, it's got to happen sometime and that sometime is episode 5!
    3. Rika will choose the path to accept the world she is in and try to live happily instead of trying to fight it. This seems to be a key plot point of Higurashi Rei. It's not out of the question that she'll go insanely crazy with trying to rebel though.
    4. Episode 5 will have some major plot twist that causes havok to break out. Things have been way too calm so far in Rei for Higurashi.
    5. If the majority of the main cast is killed off as in most arcs, Rika will be the one to live this time. I'm guessing this since this arc focuses on her.