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Tycho / on Mon, Nov 22 2004 at 4:30 am

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Devil’s Bargain

Imagine if both outcomes of a coin toss represented unmitigated tragedy.  Then, imagine that we had created a comic about just such a scenario.

When screens began to pour out of SOE for Everquest II, I suggested that they were leveraging a powerful piece of rendering technology, but what was being rendered was devoid of any life or character.  Flip through the “art” book for the game next time you’re at EB, stuck in line behind the guy with all the Goddamn trade-ins.  You won’t understand why they went through the trouble of binding a book like that.  The images that accompany your standard Harry/Malfoy slashfic resound with more vigor.  I neglected to relate to you a comment I received when I made the original remark, but it’s pretty awesome, so here you go. 

I’m surprised he was able to complete an entire mail to me without accidentally inputting some kind of EQ macro.  His assertion was two-fold:  one, that I was incapable of making a legitimate statement about Everquest because I hadn’t played it for four years like he had.  Maybe I am a weirdo, but I don’t consider myopia some kind of cardinal virtue.  Anyway, he can have that one.  I’d hate to see him bring that kind of dedication to bear finding my home address. 

The second part was interesting though, because it details the vast cataract he had to develop and maintain in order to keep playing his game.  He said that Everquest looked bad on purpose, and that this purpose was explicit:  so that unlike WoW, the graphics would not obscure the rich gameplay.  Also, he noted, the graphics being bad made it so you could invest the characters you created with your own notions as opposed to some (apparently evil) artist at Blizzard who is trying subconsciously to subvert your imagination. 

I have some experience with World of Warcraft, so this is a topic I can speak on.  I did not find my character looking fly to hinder my investment in any way.  I would submit that it is probably not Blizzard’s fault if you are so inert creatively that you can’t identify with your little analog on the screen.  I loved my avatar in World of Warcraft so much that I actually stopped playing, knowing that they’d just wipe him, no better than the rest of that stale data.  I recognize that makes me the worst sort of beta tester, but it was quite real.  I knew they would take him away.  I couldn’t bear to like him any more than I already did.

(CW)TB out.

the corpse you really love

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