I hate it when the world is right.

Here’s something that I didn’t mention to anyone before: for the past 6 months or so, I’ve been watching closely on the development on a little game called Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. The single player portion of this game is by Arkane, the same people behind one of my favorite RPGs of all time, Arx Fatalis, so my expectation is naturally high.

About two months ago, the single player demo of the game came out. It was absolutely amazing. Everything was done right and I can’t wait to play more of it.

Soon after, the multiplayer open beta came out, and I was one of the early players who get to try the multiplayer mode. Despite being developed by a completely different studio and the feel of the game night and day from the single player portion of the game, I find that there’s some exciting ideas that they’ve implemented.

In short, the hype machine got me this time.

If you’ve read the story this far, it doesn’t take much to imagine what happens next… despite some good things about the game, it is mainly a flop, and I can’t help but feel slightly ripped off. Then finally the naysayers all come out of the closet and put the nail on the coffin.

To come full circle, it makes me realize that despite the legions of complainers about WOW, they’ve manage to keep a small nation of players happy and never majorly screw up to the point that people run away by the masses… that’s something really worth respecting, I think.

Odds and Ends

New tablet arrived from UPS… wacom made a widescreen sized tablet to go with my new monitor. Painted this in about an hourish?…

I really like the improvements they made to the tablet. The pressure sensitivity feels a lot more natural and the function buttons to the side of the tablet are, for once, very useful.

The other completely unrelated topic I want to talk about is Haruhi. I recently finished watching it (because I gave up once trying to sit through episode 1). My first impression with it wasn’t very good – the animation is top notch but in terms of character depth, I’ve seen much better stuff (just off the top of my head… Mai-Hime).

While I was bored one night I decided to go back and try to watch the episodes again in chronological order. There are some interesting tidbits of information that you notice when you watch it again. I’m probably going to watch it a 3rd time in some order just to make sure I don’t miss anything.

But one fact remains true: Kyon should be sent to the firing squad for being the oblivious, indecisive moron that he is.

Update Galore

Thought I’d make a seperate post instead of editing the previous one to bump up my post count. Postwhoring 4tw.

Found more stuff to delete. Vundo was just the inital attack; my anti-virus still occasionally recieved and blockd incoming trojans. I formulated a theory about a software that was downloading other trojan and found one Update.exe hidden in my program files folder. I quarantined it, and seeing that there’s no major problems, deleted it.

That deletion made things feel a little more resolved, but if stuff creeps back, I’m going to seriously flip out.

The whole experience makes me extremely paranoid about what I should download and who I should trust. It really sucks though, because I use to love to download and play other people’s small projects/independent products, and now I’m not so sure if the practice is worth risking my computer over, especially since I picked up the habit of buying stuff online from this home computer.

I really wish the world is a better place.

I used to think they’re cool…

Got infected by a trojan today. Battled with it for about 3-4 hours last midnight and another 2-3 hours this morning… and I still think it’s lurking somewhere, smirking. I’ll not dig into details on how I got myself infected; suffice to say I was not a very smart man.

I’m just here to get on my soapbox about my change of opinions on hacker culture. I mean, as a programmer I’ve always fancied hackers as those who are on the edge, like playing the extreme sports in computer programming – afterall, there’s a certain thrill to being “in the know”, to “infiltrate” other people and insert your “little surprise”, etc, etc. I remember remarking once that “hackers are cool” when I overheard from Justin a long time ago that RO got hacked (again). At one point I did my share of research, learned the lingo, and even created a card game based on it.

But man, it sure sucks to be hacked.

I think the last straw that dispelled the illusion is the fact that there’s no noble cause behind them – they’re not some renegates going after the oppressors, whoever they are… they’re just after money, and that really cheapens them to being mere thieves and thugs on cyberspace. Take the one I got infected with, Vundo. Poor hapless Joe (or my mom) is going to download the software and get blackmailed for money to get the machine “disinfected”. I ended up doing a lot of searching to try and find programs that’s actually removing the trojan and not making my computer worst. No benefits to anyone really, worst comes to worst I’ll need to reformat my hard drive (if it pops up again I probably will), everybody loses.

Finally, lesson learned: If you know it’s Pandora’s Box, don’t you fucking dare open it.

Say hello to my not so little friend.

I’ve done it. I’ve really done it.

Of all the things that makes me look like I’m overcompensating for something, this one takes the cake.

I’m still trying to get used to having a widescreen monitor. It’s gorgeous to play games with, but with more normal activities like web browsing I find the fullscreen mode that I usually use to be most… discomforting.

I’m also struggling with whether to duel screen or not. Turns out that even though there’s two output per vid card, I can’t run dual monitor mode unless I turn off my SLI… which make things take a performance hit on the main screen since I also raised the resolution by using a widescreen monitor.

Only time will tell on whether this is a good investment or not.

P*S* In case you haven’t figured out what I mean by “overcompensating”, the monitor is 24″.