What makes a private RO server good

Ragnarok Online (RO) has to be my favorite MMORPG ever, maybe even the best game game I’ve played. Since it’s release by Gravity, many private servers have come and gone. And each of these servers follow their own rules. Here I list what in my opinion makes a RO server amazing:

High rate, but not so high. You want to take your time leveling your character. Reaching max level in an afternoon is no fun. Anything from two weeks to a month to reach the cap level is acceptable, but longer times are always challenging.
The drops have to be somewhat challenging but not ridiculous. For me regular drops 100%, equip 20-50%, cards 1-5% is perfect.
Level cap is very important. I like high level caps (max base level 255-500) but with no ridiculously easy ways to get to it. The higher the level cap the harder should be to get there. As for job level cap I don’t really like anything below 120. I believe 120 skill points barely fill up the skills for some jobs. And the job level cap must be reached before the base level one!
A medium sized community. Being alone in a server can make everything very boring very quickly. But a huge community where even hunting for the basic things becomes a competition is not fun either.
Questable donation items. This is a great way to attract new players, and a good way to keep old players busy. This quests should not be ridiculously long and hard.
Fair donation items. The donation items shouldn’t be overpowered or god items. The best is when certain items do specific things, that way depending on your job, you would be aiming at a particular item that works for you.
PVP server? I have mixed feelings about this one. It can be a fun thing to skirmish with other players outside the cities. It provides motivation to find better equipment and get better at playing with your character as opposed to just leveling up. But some players can be really annoying and target low level players or prevent them from going into places. I guess this one depends on the community in that particular server.
Has a Santa’s Beard. Yes, I absolutely love this headgear for my paladin character, and having a way to acquire it is one of the things I look for in a server!

Game Review – XCOM Enemy Within

So I finally tried out this new game. I have to be honest and say I am not a big fan of turn-based strategy games. Surprisingly this is a very entertaining game that manages to deliver a very smooth combat experience, something not always true for other turn-based video games. It contains a good dose of science fiction (although sometimes uses random scientific terms just to make you dizzy). I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a challenging all-around strategy game with rpg elements (at times feels like Mass Effect). Fans of turn-based strategy and non-fans alike should try this one.

The Portal Question

Years ago I played the video game Portal. In this game the player has control over two different kinds of portals, one blue and one orange. As one would expect, what comes into the blue one emerges out of the orange one and the other way around. So the player has to use this portal machine to solve ingenious puzzles and eventually beat the game.

In the game a player can open a portal on the ceiling and open a second one directly underneath it. If the player then jumps into it, she (the game’s character is a girl) will come out from the one on top and again fall into the first portal repeating the process indefinitely and gaining momentum with time. At the time I asked myself the question “what happens if one were to do this in real life?” what kind of speed can an object achieve in a hypothetical scenario like this? At the time my physics knowledge was more limited and I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer. l assumed, though it seemed not entirely right, that an unfortunate girl (like the one in the game) in this situation would just keep accelerating until reaching the speed of light.

The answer came years later while watching the TV show Mythbusters. In there the term “terminal velocity” was mentioned and it reminded me of that old question. The answer apparently is that a girl performing the portal experiment on earth would keep accelerating until she reaches terminal velocity (which is about 300 Km/h) due to air resistance. Were the experiment performed in a vacuum (like empty space), then the girl would keep accelerating until she reaches the speed of light; exactly what happens to stuff falling into a black hole for example.
This just leaves me with one more question. Hypothetically, if we could build this portal experiment, how could we use it, for example to generate power?

Just something to think about…

“There is no time to talk[…] it’s time for tea”| A broken promise at Mad Hatter’s domain

The Mad Hatter has always been my favorite character in anything related to Alice in Wonderland. He comes back to Alice’s insane mind  more incoherent than ever.

In this surreal game he reappears in Alice’s path with many “physical” needs. He is emotionally destroyed and dismembered because his only two friends, The Hare and The Mouse turned their backs against him and took over the Mad Hatter’s Domain.


Cranking up and Pressing Down is one of the levels in such realm. This is one of the few levels (in a game) that made me feel rushed by  the atmosphere and ambiance only, not by a typical lunatic-monster-chasing-episode. I was stressed with all the gnashing around me, requiring Alice to move quickly and sharp, being watched by the Hare moving the levers down to get me smashed.

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Everything was gnashing and pounding.
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I wish I could have seen The Hare for a longer period. I actually miss him.
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The abuse and despair reigned the Mad Hatter’s domain

Smelling and Regurgitating is another level at my  favorite lunatic character’s domain. The name made me feel sick just by reading it.  The Mouse’s monologue in the recording is priceless. This recording playing constantly made me think about the big corporations nowadays, the brainwash and the deep influence it can make, created by an authority figure.

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The Mouse’s monologue is priceless. Makes me think about the big corporations nowadays.
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The Mouse is filled with grudge.

 

Pain, suffering and brutality reigns in the Hatter’s mullock palace. The whole flock of Dodos had been mutilated by the Mouse and the Hare, forcing them to run forever.

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Dodo being tortured by the insanity of The Mouse and The Hare

Eyes poked out and replaced by screws, legs had been changed to metallic prosthetic ones and a  gear on the back, which is working endlessly to keep the Dodo running.

dodo
Game code © 2011 Spicy Horse International Ltd. All other materials © 2011 Electronic Arts Inc. EA, the EA logo and Alice: Madness Returns are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This image reminded me of Portal, their fate and my duty were obvious:

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The hidden message reminded me of Portal

I must say, the sound effects were outstanding. Thank you Jason Tai  for creating such an eerie, surreal ambiance. The melody makes us wander in delight between steam, grinding gears and crushing machines. What does the little light bell noises are supposed to imitate? tea drops? some tea-cup tapping ? sugar cubes?


I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Meeting the Mad Hatter again was interesting and in the situation he was found. The insanity the Mouse and the Hare spread throughout the episode is remarkable.

I cannot wait to continue playing this wonderful game. As far as I am with the game, I have the soundtrack ready on my playlist so I can inspire myself into the dreadful and creepy storyline.

Note: I added this link to the walk-throughs in the game by IGN for your convenience. 

 

“The law is just. Just a whisper away. Who knows how to measure rules? With a ruler! Cruel rules.”
-Mad Hatter in Alice: Madness Returns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice: Madness Returns -“My Wonderland is shattered. It’s dead to me.”-

Oh Alice, my dear Alice…you never stop to surprise me. Since the first time I read the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or better know by Lewis Carroll,  I encountered this wondrous character. Now she is different and her psychotic breakdown strikes again in Alice: Madness Returns.

As the Chesire cat mentions in one of his ill-natured lines in this game- “Different denotes neither bad nor good, but it certainly means not the same” – we spot a distinct ambience than the usual, childish movie Alice in Wonderland, 1951 by Walt Disney Productions. Alice comes back madder and more sadist than ever…and even more violent. This jewel was released in June, 2011 by Electronic Arts, becoming the sequel to American  McGee’s Alice and prequel of Alice: Otherlands.

Briefly, Alice returns (again) to Wonderland: lost, confussed and more cursed than ever. At the begining, Alice is getting “psychiatric” help after the past two games, living filthy and unsupervised in the Victorian England in the Rutledge Insane Asylum full of uncanny children. Apparently Alice suffers a psychotic break and goes back to her memories and hallucinatory abode: Wonderland. She encounters childhood memories which help her to construct her own mind, and luckly for us…the game.

I am extremely excited to continue playing Alice: Madness Returns. This is one of the games I have wanted to play many years ago. I hadn’t had the chance to do so, but now this is my opening line fot this category Videogames.

This game is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. I will be posting my ideas from the game and the correlation between her psychological course and the sly  way Spicy Horse, the developers, made it blend.