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3321  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: January 06, 2010, 10:08:51 PM

Quote from: rittchard on January 03, 2010, 07:53:35 PM

Now for students, I'm not sure - normally you'd want the better text for less eyestrain, but for graphics/images/graphs/charts, etc you'd likely prefer the (presumably) higher resolution.  That will be an interesting arena to watch.

Here's an interesting demo addressing my comment above:
3322  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 06, 2010, 07:36:19 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 06, 2010, 06:34:55 PM

Think I'm finally out of the woods.  Had the apicoectomy procedure done yesterday, and woke up this morning (after 14 hours of sleep, no less!) feeling approximately 1 million percent better.  I've got the typical pain you would expect from a surgical incision, but the throbbing and shooting pains down my jaw are completely gone.  I can't really open my mouth due to the stitches, but that's a minor inconvenience compared to the pain from the last few days.   I'm actually feeling like my normal self again, which is awfully nice.  smile

SWEET!!!!  Glad to hear it went well.

I'm back to work and fairly normal now, the tooth still kind of hurts (but as you said more normal from all the work done) and I'm starting to get some gas/stomach pains (I think from the antibiotics) but like you, starting to feel close to normal again which is wonderful.  Now I am just hoping for a day when I have no ailment/pain whatsoever, but that might be too much to ask for lol.
3323  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 05, 2010, 07:27:40 PM
Ack, holy crap Gratch!!  Really hope either the antiobiotics take, or the second procedure is successful.

I'm doing OK at the moment but kind of living in fear of another relapse.  I've already had a couple periods where I thought I was done and the pain returned, so I'm not ruling anything out.  Last night a couple of teeth on the other side of my mouth started to hurt and man did my paranoia kick in.  I think it was actually just residual pain/nerves from the main tooth, at least I am praying that's the case.  I'm not sure how much more of this I can handle.
3324  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil on: January 05, 2010, 07:23:30 PM
I saw the preview a while ago and it looked like a lot of fun, particularly since I love both the leads.  I wonder if it's going to get a full/wide release though.
3325  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bayonetta Vs. Darksiders: Which game to kick off your new year? on: January 04, 2010, 10:08:08 PM
I may end up with neither, but right now I'm leaning toward Bayonetta.  After the torturous week I've had, the thought of inflicting "torture" on some animated crap sounds kind of appealing.  Plus I like the sound that it seems like a relatively easy game to play (with 2 easy modes or something like that?) and I'm kind of in the mood for something more stress-free.
3326  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Torchlight, a follow-up to Fate and Mythos on: January 04, 2010, 10:04:08 PM

Quote from: jersoc on January 03, 2010, 07:35:49 AM

also, does anyone know if ironman includes enchants and gambling? so far ironman is god damn hard. i have 3 hp pots left and no id scrolls :|

Is ironman a mod?  Or do you mean Hardcore/Very Hard?  If it's the latter, I believe it has all the same features as the regular game. 

On a side note, I normally play every game in Easy mode, but for Torchlight I'm really enjoying the thrill and challenge of playing HC/VH.  I've died many times already but each time I tend to learn something and usually I'll be able to stash an item or 2 that helps the next guy along.  Every step requires more care and strategy, and every slight gear improvement can make a difference between survival or not.  Every level is that much more meaningful as I have to resist the temptation to simply boost DPS and get cool skills in favor of improving my ability to survive.

My latest attempt has been with a mod class - the Necromage, and it's been a lot of fun.  My first try botched around lvl 7.  Everything was going great up through evil Brink, but suddenly the next level down pwned me in seconds.  This time I started boosting Defense intensely from the getgo and it so far has paid off, though I've had a couple close calls.  Also wearing a shield which I forgot to last time (duh!).  I have Heal Self for me, Heal All on the pet and my finger on the 1 key (for potions) at all times. 
3327  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 04, 2010, 09:54:22 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 04, 2010, 07:19:17 PM

Rittchard, I'm feeling guilty about hijacking your thread.  How you feeling man?

LOL, don't worry about that, it helps in some oddly disturbing way to know that another human can truly understand what you are going through.  I'm not sure on your timeline but I'm hoping you are/were able to get the oral surgery completed!

As for me, I had a mostly pain free day yesterday - until right when I was going to bed, it started to flare up again.  As usual the painkillers were worthless and I was back to ice treatment.  Not quite as intense as before but bad enough that I had to keep grabbing ice every couple minutes and then spitting it back out.  Which made sleep next to impossible.  I finally passed out around 3am and was luckily awoken by my cel phone; the endodontist was calling and they got me in nearly immediately.  After about a roughly 3 hour intense root canal procedure, I'm back at home with the area still numb.  She drilled and cleaned out the infected area but there was no pus, so I was a little concerned about that; she treated it with extra "medicine" due to some oddball condition I have in my tooth (supposedly more common in Asians) that makes it harder for the medicine to get around.  The doc said I would likely experience more pain and soreness due to the trauma on the tooth but hopefully not the weird effect that required ice.  We'll see when this stuff wears off.  Right now I'm not discounting anything from happening, just hoping I can get a decent sleep tonight with relatively low pain.
3328  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: January 04, 2010, 04:41:22 AM
Here's a pretty decent article with predictions, etc.  Pretty much echoes my thoughts that Apple doesn't really need to create some masterpiece of surprising hardware, they just need to make something nice and leverage all their advantages in terms of iTunes, App Store, etc.  Fanbase and developers together will continue to define the "space" it fits into.
3329  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 04, 2010, 04:36:23 AM

Quote from: Gratch on January 04, 2010, 04:21:08 AM

Well, he can see me first thing tomorrow morning...assuming I make it through the night with my sanity intact.  I didn't think it could get much worse than the pain this afternoon.  Sadly, I was very wrong.

It's gonna be a long night.

I'm so so sorry for you Gratch.  Reading your last post and this one actually brought tears to my eyes as I remember exactly how I felt on Thursday.  I was literally on my knees in pain in the backyard begging God for forgiveness or respite and wondering what I'd ever done in my life to deserve it.  Not a single minute of respite, that's exactly what it was for me too.  The only thing I could do was suck on ice constantly.

It sounds to me like you have what I do, an infection and need antibiotics and probably a root canal bad.  I was lucky enough to get them prescribed in time, though it still took about 12+ hours before they started kicking in.  I wish I could offer some form of help but I know there's really nothing anyone can say or do - as you said it's impossible to focus on anything.
3330  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: January 03, 2010, 07:53:35 PM
After having finally seen a Kindle in action, I can finally understand the need for eInk and the quality of the text, etc. - so I can see this wouldn't be a Kindle killer as much as a Kindle adjunct.  Presuming full flash capability, I think reading magazines and more color oriented media, particularly with touch interaction, would be the major benefit.  Now for students, I'm not sure - normally you'd want the better text for less eyestrain, but for graphics/images/graphs/charts, etc you'd likely prefer the (presumably) higher resolution.  That will be an interesting arena to watch.

Compared to the Air, I would say something even smaller and lighter would still be of great use to me.  It's still awkward in some places (like the bathroom), and being able to hold it very comfortably in one hand while touch browsing with the other would be awesome.  Losing the keyboard is kind of a bummer, but I suppose for serious typing I'd have to go back to a laptop or desktop.  Another perfect place that came to mind yesterday was on the treadmill, there's a perfect spot for an iPad-like device there.  I was using my iPhone but the screen really felt too small to watch stuff, and clearly the Air would be too big for that.

Another potential use would be for video chat, presuming there will be a front-side camera.  Sure you can do this with your laptop already using iChat, but iChat on a handheld touchscreen seems to invite a lot of ummmm.... opportunity  icon_razz

Clearly it's not a "necessity" type of item, but it certainly has the potential to fill a subtle space that no one has quite done right yet.  UMPCs have been trying for years to fill this space with a winner (trust me, I know because I have so many different failed attempts in my closet) but I really think Apple is the only one poised to really do it right.  They know how to build sophisticated, user-friendly hardware, and have now proven they can handle tons of software on top of that.  Unlike many of the handheld/portable devices that get released, you can tell their hardware goes through extensive user testing and iterations.  Sure they tend to "forget" a few key things with each initial release, but that just gives them room to improve (and make suckers like me buy future iterations).
3331  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: asked.... on: January 03, 2010, 07:41:35 PM
Very HOT, me likey!!!

Hopefully you won't mind having a creepy GT stalker   ninja
3332  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Next Gen MMO Discussion Topics (now with SW:TOR!) on: January 03, 2010, 04:22:00 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on January 03, 2010, 04:05:02 AM

Until developers stop using WoW as a yardstick to measure success, we won't see another innovative, fresh, fun MMO. I really have a deep hatred for WoW because of the negative impact it had on the industry. I know people will argue that it brought new players to the genre, fixed some broken concepts, etc. And I can certainly see the positives it had - heck, I played it a bunch, was even in the beta. But I can't stand a monopoly, and that's what WoW did. It monopolized the genre, and made it almost impossible for a unique MMO to succeed in the marketplace.

Totally agree with YK's assessment, and had similar experience with it.  I don't really hate WoW so much as I hate the effect its had on the genre.  The ironic thing is I don't think even Blizzard set out to do what they did, it seemed like they were in some ways surprised about the success as well.

To me it just feels like there is this big gap of untapped potential.  It seems like the ultimate fantasy/dream is to enter a true virtual world and experience things you normally couldn't (Holodeck), but the first steps to that kind of technology, it seems to me, are in MMORPGs, and its a shame there's little to no progress toward that end.  It seems like gamers (and thus developers) have become complacent with the status quo.
3333  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 03, 2010, 04:15:57 AM

Quote from: Gratch on January 02, 2010, 06:09:44 PM

Well, I've been at work for 6 hours now, and thankfully, the pain is almost completely gone.  I wish I wasn't so freaking exhausted, but I'm OK with being tired if it means my mouth isn't constantly throbbing.

I hear ya Gratch, and you know I definitely feel your pain!!  I really hope the pain becomes manageable and you are able to get it checked out and taken care of.  My advice is even if the pain subsides, and even though your finances are horrible (sorry), to get it checked out and resolved sooner rather than later.  Because in my experience, its very possible that left unchecked it will come back with a vengeance, and when it returns it's likely to be that much worse. 

Regarding pain meds, as Daehawk mentioned, apparently a combo of the 2 over-the-counters is supposed to work well.  I talked to an endodontist yesterday and man she sounded like she was 100% on top of her game.  She anticipated every question and treatment option before I had even spoken.  Anyway, she recommended specifically:  3 Motrin (Ibuprofen) and 2 Tylenols.  So I think that makes for 600mg of Ibuprofen and 1000mg of Acetominophen, every 6 hours.  She said she knew it sounded like a lot but to trust her.

I thought I was out of the woods as I made it through the entire night last night with no painkillers.  Sadly the pain came back today (not quite as severe as the original but bad enough that I needed ice again to calm it down), but I was too wimpy to try the full cocktail, so I did only 1 Tylenol.  It took a couple of hours to kick in but it seemed to keep me OK for about 4 or 5 hours.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed now as I am in constant fear of the pain returning.  Still have to make it another 36 hours til I can call the endodontists.
3334  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: January 03, 2010, 04:04:09 AM
Rumors point to a January 26th announcement event involving iPods, maybe iPhone and the fabled iPad/iSlate.

I kind of get people (myself included) being skeptical about the "space" such an item might occupy.  But then again, I think some people were skeptical about the iPhone as well.  Someone else mentioned it earlier (Devil and others maybe) but Apple products have a way of being more than their specs/hardware and finding ways to mesh into your life further and deeper than you might have imagined at first.  That's one of the things that makes fans like myself become so dedicated.  For instance, I have far too many computers to talk about, but which one do I end up using the most (aside from gaming)?  My Macbook Air.  It comes with me in the bathroom, to the kitchen table, cuddled up on the sofa, outside in the yard, etc etc.  When I bought it, that really wasn't my intention, I just wanted a really lightweight yet powerful machine possibly for business travel.  Now it's defined a space of its own in my home life.

Speaking of which, this is where I can see the iPad entering people's homes and becoming a permanent fixture.  For those intangible times and locations when you didn't even think you wanted/needed a computer or internet access, it fills the slot for you.  Yes my iPhone is always with me when I'm away from home, but at home when I need to do some quick browsing I still like a larger screen.  Ditto I can imagine watching TV or reading a magazine or newspaper or book off the larger screen as well.  So what I see is something doing all the media, all the apps, all the browsing - but much more effectively.  Very likely it would become the "everywhere" machine that goes to the bathroom, kitchen, yard, sofa.  A coworker of mine suggested that during its "off" times you could leave it in a charge station and it serves a great digital photo frame to boot.  I think one of the endgame goals is to supplant newspapers and magazines as your everyday goto location for information, but with interactive touch features that make it more interesting, and of course being much more immediate.  And of course there's the possibility of being a "Kindle killer" as well.  

And last but not least, let's not forget the potential to become an incredible gaming interface/machine.  Apple themselves admitted they underestimated the iPhone's potential as a gaming machine, my guess is this time around they won't make the same mistake.  By now it's pretty clear the iPhone even in its tiny state is a pretty damn powerful portable gaming device, even running a version of the Unreal 3 engine.  Now quadruple the area to work with and you have the potential to be something that takes things to the next level.  Maybe they can team with Blizzard and make an iPad MMO smile
3335  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 02, 2010, 06:32:26 AM

Quote from: Qantaga on January 01, 2010, 11:21:17 PM

I'm sorry that you had a bad night Rittch, but I am glad to hear you made it through with your sanity. Let us know what the dentist diagnosed.

The dentist couldn't really tell for sure - he was able to rule out abscess and infection in the pulled tooth, which left what I was starting to suspect, infection in the back tooth next to the pulled one.  We both kind of agreed that it was most likely that it somehow got infected and now needs a root canal.  I thought the tooth had already had one, but he checked the X-rays and it didn't.  So long story short, looks like Monday hopefully I will get in to get the root canal done, just need to make it through the weekend.  Luckily, though the pain is still there, it's definitely subsiding as the antibiotics do their thing.  I've been able to eat more or less normally which was wonderful and I was finally able to put down the ice a couple hours ago.  Now that I kind of know where the true sensitive/infected area is, using Orajel (like Ambesol) seems to be able to help calm the nerves and numb the pain.

Thanks to you all for your attention, it helped to keep me sane yesterday when I really felt like I was losing it, and especially the well wishes from Q are/were really appreciated!  Happy New Year!!
3336  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Next Gen MMO Discussion Topics (now with SW:TOR!) on: January 02, 2010, 06:26:50 AM

Quote from: jersoc on January 01, 2010, 10:17:36 AM

here's another hint devs. WoW is NOT perfect. it has very glaring issues with it. Most notably pvp. The game is just plain broken in pvp. The balancing is a joke. 5 years later and blizzard still doesn't know how to play the classes they created. I'm amazed every patch at the stupid nerfs that happen. You want to an easy fix? Here it is. MAKE PVP AND PVE SEPARATE. Period, this isn't even up for discussion.

also bitching about questing that doesn't change anythign is assinine. no shit it doesn't. because you are playing a god damn mmo. so basically if you want that you are saying that the 100th person basically can't do shit in the game because the other 99 people did it already and changed everything. so let's so the first guild to kill arthas is it. that's it. 1 kill per server for any mob. wtf are you high or retarded? your choice because you're one of the 2 if you are seriously whining about that. the entire point of a MMO is to get improve your character and get loot. ya know, the carrot in the string that keeps player subbed. who the fucking shit would play a game where just one guild can monopolize all the loot. that's exactly what you are asking when you say that. don't be stupid, please. if you want to affect the world in an RPG, well keep praying, because not even a SP RPG has done it yet.

I'm going to agree completely with paragraph 1 regarding separating PvP and PvE.  Then again, I'm wondering if we are inherently limiting ourselves by thinking so squarely "in the box" and defining things so fixed as one or the other.  Maybe the solution is to just create as pure a combat engine as possible and work from there. 

Second paragraph, I'll just have to disagree completely - I think your whole perspective is just too limited, you're basing "quests" solely in terms of the standard paradigm of content.  Any of the sandbox games we've discussed at least have the potential to create content (a different style of course) that is exactly what you say is impossible, it's one time only.  When a group of guilds took down my guild's city in Shadowbane (inherently destroying us WAS their "quest"), that was it, the city was gone.  But even SB was still what I consider a true MMO world in its infant state, with AI advances I believe things can go so much further.  That's why I always say AI is a critical factor in next generation innovation of the genre, it can affect everything in the game to make it seem like a more real world.  If you can get the basics of a living AI engine going, the "content" should create itself, and emerge directly from the players themselves.  That's my personal vision of next gen MMO worlds, anyway.

As for affecting the world in a SP RPG?  Uhhh, it's been done plenty, most recently in Dragon Age.  You might argue the semantics, but clearly there were some things that if you chose to do or say, they would clearly affect and change the way the game/story turned out.  If you killed a particular NPC, he/she would never show up again; that's a change in the world in my book.  Granted the things that are malleable are finite and fixed in and of themselves, but as a single player gaming experience, it certainly counts (to me) in terms of a change in the final story/world outcome.  Plenty of other SP games do this, or at least create the illusion of it, I heard about one game (Way of the Samurai I think?) that does a ton of this.  Yes I realize on some level it's just a "choose your own adventure" style of gaming, but at least it's a step in the direction of creating true *consequences* to your choices and actions.
3337  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 01, 2010, 06:20:28 PM
So I survived the night, it was bad but not as bad as I thought.  I took a half an Ambien at my partner's suggestion, which didn't really put me to sleep but it finally calmed me enough mentally to stop thinking and worrying so much.  During the night I would drift off but then be awoken by pain or ice water choking me or getting on my shirt.  I finally fell asleep around 4am til around 9, which was nice.  The pain was definitely not as intense and for a moment I thought it might be gone.  But no such luck, it's back again, though not nearly as intense, so the good news is I believe the antiobiotics are working on something.  I still can't tell what they are working on though something in the "socket" as dragon mentioned or perhaps the tooth next to it.

Luckily, my dentist just called and is still willing to see me - so I'm hoping he can figure it out.  He may not be able to do much since I think he is on his own (no staff coming in) but hopefully he can at least give me some idea of what I'm dealing with.  I'm the type that hates not knowing.
3338  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: January 01, 2010, 06:24:23 AM

Quote from: KC on December 31, 2009, 01:56:01 AM

Aren't several other companies planning to release tablet devices in 2010?  If the software side is done well, I can see them being viable competitors with the Apple product.  The competition should give us more options and lower prices.

My guess is that competitors won't be able to match Apple in terms of user interface, and possibly also with partnerships Apple is already cultivating (with magazines and newspapers).  And if they take full advantage of existing Apps and the App Store (very likely considering Apple has asked some vendors to prepare a "full screen" demo), Apple will again have a huge advantage in the applications and games departments.

But - as is ever the way with Apple - I also predict their initial entry price will be very steep (and very criticized) by a lot of people.  I'm thinking something like $799 or $899, maybe even more.
3339  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 01, 2010, 06:19:33 AM

Quote from: Teggy on January 01, 2010, 05:29:31 AM

There was at least one dentist on this board - can't remember his name. Left dentistry to become a lawyer or something.

I think that was Eightball but I haven't seen him around in ages.
3340  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Wanderers - Starting "Group-centric" MMORPG experiment (EQ2 Rebirth!) on: January 01, 2010, 04:52:12 AM

We are going full (well maybe half) steam ahead with this starting this week, come join in on the fun!!

for all the excruciating details that weren't posted here.

P.S.  I apologize for being out of touch on the "launch" of the project, between the holidays, getting sick and now this awesome toothache from hell (see Off Topic) it's been a pretty crappy couple of weeks and I haven't had a solid block of time to logon.  Hopefully once we get started in earnest, things will go a bit more smoothly.
3341  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: January 01, 2010, 04:47:26 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 31, 2009, 03:32:24 PM

Quote from: Turtle on December 31, 2009, 03:15:04 PM

Strangely enough, Joss does a good job of finding new-ish talent.  He does use a lot of actors he's already worked with, but that's probably because they mesh well with his style and they're friends.

Yeah, sometimes I think he should work as casting director for other shows.  He really has an impeccable eye.  Even with Dollhouse he has now discovered Enver Gjokja and Dimen Lachman and I hope to see them on roles on other shows. 

I definitely agree the 2 of them are awesome finds (that's Victor and Sierra right?).  In a better world, Dollhouse would have had awesome ratings and they could have spunoff onto their own show slywink  Really hope they can find new work soon.
3342  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 01, 2010, 04:45:24 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on January 01, 2010, 04:37:27 AM

Infection maybe? I'd start popping my extensive collection of expired antibiotics, just in case. And I'd hit my Celebrex stash, too. Maybe visit your local Oxycontin marketplace if you can't get Celebrex?

Drugs. It always comes back to drugs.

Hehe yeah.  My oral surgeon prescribed antibiotics so I started those.  I checked online and it sounded pretty hit or miss whether it would be effective.  The problem is no one has actually taken a look so there's no way of knowing what the problem is, it's just guesswork based on the symptoms, and even I'm pretty sketchy on the exact symptoms, other than I'm in pain and the ice seems to calm it.

Normally drugs work great for me, but the Motrin has been almost completely ineffective, even upping the dose to 600mg.  As I mentioned the Hydrocozone (Vicadin?) which people say is so great totally flipped me out earlier today, so I'm hesitant to take any more of that.  I still haven't come down from the effects, it's like part of my brain wants to calm down and rest but the rest of it and my whole body is whacked out and can't keep still.  I've been cleaning, walking on the treadmill, anything to burn some energy but I can't seem to shake it.  When I close my eyes it feels like a part of me just wants to drift to sleep, but then the ice or the pain jolts me back to reality in an instant.

This is some incredible torture, with just about everything else I can usually at minimum sleep or be miserable watching TV or reading, but with this I can't seem to relax at all, and I can't stop thinking about the pain.
3343  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 01, 2010, 04:39:19 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Q!

Yeah the weirdest thing (and in some ways scariest) is that the tooth is already pulled, what more can happen?  Particularly after a month has past?  I'm thinking it could be the tooth next to it in the very back is actually the culprit, but then it's odd that the ice on the empty socket would help it.  But with all the crazy nerves and stuff, who knows how it's all connected?

Biggest fear for me now is the long night ahead, and worse if my dentist changes his mind tomorrow or can't make it.  But just one step at a time, I guess, still about 12+ hours to go before I can call him.
3344  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: January 01, 2010, 02:55:31 AM
I had a tooth pulled (#30 if it means anything to you, lower back right) about a month ago after the crown came off of it, and it was infected yada yada.  The extraction went without incident and I experienced little to no pain after.

Now a couple of days ago, I start getting this strange shooting pain which seems to stem from that area (not 100% sure).  On day one it kind of goes away as soon as I brush my teeth, instantly, but comes back again.  I take some Motrin and sleep it away.  Next day is OK, but at night the pain comes back.  Same thing, and I am able to sleep it away.  Next day pain is more severe but seems more or less manageable.  Stupid me doesn't do the math and thinks I can handle it instead of trying to get into a dentist before new year's eve (in my defense it didn't feel like an emergency at the time).

Come today, I wake up on NY Eve and almost immediately the pain is unbearably excruciating, just shooting straight up to my eye and literally bringing me to my knees and tears.  The toothpaste trick no longer works and seems to aggravate it more.  Ditto on Ambesol and salt water goggle.  The ONLY thing that works is sucking on or leaving ice right by the area.  I think sipping cold water would work too but there's only so much of that I can handle.  Even the ice is driving me insane.  The interesting part is just how effective the ice is, almost instantaneously quelling the pain.  But it's constant, and in less than a minute will begin again if there's no ice.  Interestingly even if there's a tiny tiny piece of ice in the gap, it seems to be enough.  I don't know if that means anything. 

I tried taking stronger painkiller (Hydrocodone) but it didn't help and later made me extremely panicky and nervous, so I decided not to use it again. After calls all over the place (of course every dentist even the 24 hour emergency ones are gone or closed until MONDAY!!), my original oral surgeon calls and prescribes antibiotics (Clindamyacin).  I took one a few hours ago but so far no dice.  Not that I was expecting an immediate miracle but one can always pray (and I did).

I have to say I was impressed, but my regular dentist called later and offered to see me... but not til tomorrow.  So now I'm left with the torturous task of trying to make it through the night, I've got about 15 hours to go.  I have no idea if/how I will be able to sleep given that I have to keep ice in my mouth pretty much constantly, and I'm afraid of taking excessive painkillers or sleep medication after going through major phases of panic and jitters today.

I've dealt with horrible tooth pains before but nothing ever quite like this.  I can poke and prod around the area in question and it just feels a bit sensitive, but nothing seems to indicate or prompt the excruciating pain.  It's just completely bizarre how painful it is, yet how easily it is stymied by ice.  I'm kind of sick with fear and worry it's something that the antibiotics won't be able to deal with (or are inappropriate for) but I guess I just have to have faith.  Plus I'm hungry being largely unable to eat, and totally sick of sticking ice in my mouth which is driving me insane.

All in all (and later hearing my nephew had a bad accident and is now in the hospital!) one of the worst days of my life frown
3345  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: December 31, 2009, 06:36:59 AM

Up until now most storytelling in MMOs has been basically done through a single method, and that's a text blurb shows up on screen in front of a character who's just standing there waiting for you to come and, you know, give you a quest to kill 12 things. And the fact is, that's not very compelling. Like, have you ever read a book where that happens, or seen a movie where two no, no.

Story is something that unfolds over time, where you meet characters that are interesting, where you develop relationships with them, and that's what we're trying to do in this game, and I think that's going to get people into it. And the fact that it's fully voice overed and that they have facial animations they feel like real characters that you want to interact with.

The reason people skip over it, and I skip over it myself when I play MMOs, is it's just that it's not very compelling. It's hard to tell a story in a text blurb that pops up in front of someone. It's much easier to tell a story when you have a character that is fully animated, fully developed, and that can develop over time.

Interesting points, and unfortunately I just responded in the other thread to essentially the same topic.  So here's a blurb from my response for this discussion as I assume many people here are not necessarily following that one:

They talk about story, characters and character depth over time - so my question is how that is maintained and kept consistent for all the players, taking as an example Dragon Age as an MMORPG.

I suppose there might be ways to "cheat" and individualize the experience to not impact other players, but I wonder how they can maintain story/character depth consistently.  Will every player interact with Alistair, and every player's Alistair behave differently due to our conversation choices?  That may be OK in a single player game, but in an MMO, won't it be odd if I have one conversation with him, tell my guildmate about it, then he has a completely different one with the same character?  Maybe that's OK.  But in a more extreme case, if I chose to kill Alistair, then my guildmate tells me about how he is going to rule the kingdom alongside him, I might find that very jarring and it would really break my immersion.

With today's relatively simple quests/storylines, you can use the traditional reset button and players just ignore the inconsistency.  But it seems to me if you truly want to go deeper and more complex, you are going to run into significant problems to maintain immersion consistently between all players.
3346  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Next Gen MMO Discussion Topics (now with SW:TOR!) on: December 31, 2009, 06:31:55 AM

Quote from: Rumpy on December 29, 2009, 11:03:57 PM

To me, the structure of SWTOR, the way it's focusing on the player and having all NPCs have voicovers isn't insignificant. I feel it's a major hurdle into getting MMOs feel more immersive, and I see Bioware trying to find a solution to reading all that boring text that one often reads. I see that as Bioware understanding the need for advancement in the genre. They see more than a need for better graphics. They see a need for social engagement; to make the player feel emotional about his choices.

I agree this would be in theory a major "innovation" (contrary to what the PC Gamer guy says) if pulled off effectively.

But this is ultimately what I'm most worried, interested and curious about when it comes to SWTOR.  So far the articles I've read make it sound interesting, but more in the sense that coopasonic describes, as a single player version of a present MMORPG.  My big question is how do you realistically blend these seemingly opposing game elements together? 

Let's take Dragon Age as our example.  You become more immersed and emotional about the choices because you care about very specific characters and events, and because your choices have direct impact on how they turn out.  The world feels deep and consistent in part because it changes with your actions, and/or characters you interact with may appear again later in the story (assuming you chose not to kill them!).  But how do you apply this to an MMO and remain consistent between the multitude of players, or do you just ignore that entire concept?  What if I choose to kill Jowan in the introduction sequence and player B chooses not to?  How does the world reconcile itself if I choose to aid one character rule the kingdom, but player C chooses another?

I suppose there might be ways to "cheat" and individualize the experience to not impact other players, but I wonder how they can maintain story/character depth consistently.  Will every player interact with Alistair, and every player's Alistair behave differently due to our conversation choices?  That may be OK in a single player game, but in an MMO, won't it be odd if I have one conversation with him, tell my guildmate about it, then he has a completely different one with the same character?  Maybe that's OK.  But in a more extreme case, if I chose to kill Alistair, then my guildmate tells me about how he is going to rule the kingdom alongside him, I might find that very jarring and it would really break my immersion.

With today's relatively simple quests/storylines, you can use the traditional reset button and players just ignore the inconsistency.  But it seems to me if you truly want to go deeper and more complex, you are going to run into significant problems to maintain immersion consistently between all players.
3347  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad? on: December 29, 2009, 10:52:49 PM
Looks like it might possibly get named the "iSlate" or "MagicSlate"

3348  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Next Gen MMO Discussion Topics (now with SW:TOR!) on: December 29, 2009, 07:57:03 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 29, 2009, 05:15:07 PM

There are lots of cases where I wish I had more of the same.  crimson skies, xcom, mechwarrior, I want more of the same slywink

I'm not saying more of the same is horrible - in some cases, like Diablo 3 for instance, more of the same is perfect.  But there's a difference here, in that the games you mention (and Diablo) are self-contained games that had a finite lifetime in terms of true developer content (discounting mods).

But for MMORPGs?  I think it's a waste of an awesome genre.  Think about it.  Just by nature of the genre, you are *already* getting MOTS every day in the original existing games themselves (EQ, DAOC, etc) as they continue to update their games and bring out new content and expansions.  So when the engines are getting a bit old, you then have WoW come along and re-polish and re-package everything you liked in the genre almost to perfection.  So is that the end of the genre in terms of new developments?  Just more polishing?  How much more polished can it get, particularly when WoW itself continues to keep going strong?
3349  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Two MMO Discussion Topics from my blog on: December 28, 2009, 11:28:11 PM

Quote from: Alefroth on December 26, 2009, 08:01:57 AM

I think you were pretty close when you wondered if innovation in the genre is impossible. How can you possibly make meaningful, dynamic, unique content for a game that thousands of people play? If you can create a world that changes permanently with players actions, then likely only those players with the most time and capability will be able to experience that content.

I'm not going to pretend that I can solve this design dilemma that you are talking about in a few words, but I think it's still possible, though a developer may have to do some tricky things or create some illusions to make it all work.  And in some sense, the game/design itself may need to redefine players' conventional thoughts on what constitutes "content".  Let's take the next-gen Shadowbane/sandbox game to its ultimate implementation.  In my concept, the world would constantly be evolving and permanently changing - everywhere, through advanced AI (or something that mimics AI).  So in one part of a forest in one part of the land, there might be an uprising of a new breed of beasts that is encroaching closer and closer to a civilized town, maybe an NPC town, or maybe your guild's town.  Somewhere completely different, there may be a huge war between 2 major political factions, again it could be players, NPCs, or a combination of both.  "Content" now takes on a completely different meaning, it's not a set of static quests and storylines, it's the world as it keeps moving.  When you login, you have to make a choice as to what you want to participate in.  Of course that means you will miss some events that you might not want to, but the trick would then to be ensure that there are plenty of events happening all the time, and all accessible enough so that even a casual player could come in and find something he wants to contribute to.  What it also means is that even the most hardcore player will have to pick and choose his "content" as he can't be in two places at once!  The thing is, SB already showed the framework of this concept in action and proved it can work, it's just a shame no one has taken it further.

- - -

Now this is what scares and disturbs  me.  The quotes below are taken directly from Gary Steinman's Editorial note in the latest PC Gamer magazine:

...the real reason The Old Republic is shaping up to be so awesome?  Because it's not in the slightest bit innovative.

This is a revolution in sensibility.  Finally, a massively multiplayer online RPG that's set to deliver the comfortable yet undeniably compelling offline experience that we've all come to cherish - and covet in our online gaming.

...unabashedly eschews innovation for the sake of polish, familiarity, refinement and classic storytelling.

So let this be call to action for developers everywhere: Innovation is overrated.  Who needs "new" when you can have awesome instead?

This exact attitude is what I feel is slowly killing the MMORPG (perhaps even the entire gaming industry, some genres more so than others) and driving it stagnant.  What he describes as "awesome" for TOR can be (and likely was) attributed in the exact same way to WoW - but that was FIVE years ago!!  And now he wants me to be excited about MORE of more of the same?
3350  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bryan Singer to return to direct X-Men:First Class on: December 24, 2009, 08:55:52 PM

Quote from: Razgon on December 24, 2009, 09:12:40 AM

Man, you guys are a negative bunch - None of us has any clue as to how the movie is going to be, and people are already complaining? I'm sure they picked what would make an awesome movie, and wasnt going for what would make a lousy movie. After all, who's the establish hollywood movie director here? Us, or Bryan Singer?

I think people were disappointed with the direction of the franchise with the Wolverine movie, which I'm guessing producers also thought would make an "awesome movie".  While I thought it ended up being OK (but missed the opportunity to delve deeper into Wolverine's past), I just don't understand the need to backtrack and do prequels with a franchise as incredibly rich as the X-Men - not to mention the diverse amount of spinoff potentials you get with the New Mutants, X-Factor, X-Force, even Exiles.  If you want to go fresh/young, go with New Mutants, if you want to go "dark" the new X-Force is an awesome place to start, etc.  If you don't think you can get the original set of actors, just start with a fresh new batch of X-Men, there are a ton of characters, new and old, that fans love but were never explored fully in the movies (Shadowcat, X-23, Psylocke, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Thunderbird, Cable, etc).

Hollywood producers are an odd bunch, and clearly they are prone to make major mistakes when it comes to some beloved franchises.  This is kind of reminiscent to me of Star Trek: Enterprise, another case where no matter how good the show was, it always felt like a step backward.  Comic books in general are a media all about moving forward, about the next great story and next months' new issue - when you only get a new movie every 3 years, I think most fans want to see something spectacular and fresh.
3351  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movies] James Cameron's Avatar on: December 24, 2009, 01:20:59 AM

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 22, 2009, 07:37:37 PM

Awesome visuals, but the story and plotline was shit.  I guess I'm in the minority as a weak story line was total distraction for me. I was rolling my eyes at some of the dialog.  Anytime, I'm rolling my eyes at the movie something is wrong

I very much felt the same way, so even though we're in the minority, you're not alone.  Even being pretty much on the left politically, I found the plot irritatingly preachy and some of the references just too obvious and in your face.  Antagonists that could have been interesting and nuanced such as Ribisi (compare to Paul Reiser in Aliens) and Lang are made into simple caricatures.  Ditto on the motivation for the humans, just some subtle changes to the scripting would have done wonders for me.  Plot "twists" felt telegraphed, and the combined effect was I also felt distracted, so much so that I couldn't enjoy the effects as much as I would have liked to.  Normally I am the type that is perfectly happy to shut my brain off and enjoy the ride when I see a movie, but Avatar seemed to keep slapping me in the face so that I would effectively have to roll my eyes, similar to Soul.

It's so weird, this movie the more I think or talk about the plot and characters, the more irritated I become.  And yet at the same time I can't wait to go see the movie again in an IMAX theater.  My hope is that without the expectations on storyline, I can relax more and enjoy the visuals.
3352  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bryan Singer to return to direct X-Men:First Class on: December 23, 2009, 10:03:05 PM

Quote from: Wargus on December 23, 2009, 06:51:07 PM

Another prequel?  How about doing something original instead of following the pack of prequels & reboots?

Yeah that's kind of disappointing.  I was hoping for a New Mutants movie if they really wanted to go with a younger cast.  And if they absolutely had to retread older storylines, there are plenty (as mentioned above) that could have been awesome. 

That said, here's my casting suggestions to get the most number of viewers:

Cyclops:  Chris Pine
Storm: Zoe Saldana
Beast: Zachary Quinto
Banshee: Simon Pegg
Sunfire: John Cho
Marvel Girl: Kristen Stewart
Angel: Robert Pattinson
Thunderbird: Taylor Lautner (only shirtless)
3353  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Next Gen MMO Discussion Topics (now with SW:TOR!) on: December 23, 2009, 09:47:25 PM
I still don't know if it makes more sense to repost the whole thing or just link to my blog, so anyway...

What happened to the MMORPG genre?

10 Suggestions to Improve the Next Big MMORPG
3354  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: December 22, 2009, 06:38:56 PM
As a diehard gamer, I really like the concept of bringing back previous players, as the emphasis from day one truly becomes the game.  Even though the show has been on for so many years, the regular season is always still loaded with players who seem like they've never seen the show or thought about how to play.  So then you typically end up with a small group of true players, a few coattail riders, and then the rest of the bunch who seem to play the game like fodder, or are "just there for the experience."  That was OK in the first couple of seasons when the audience was learning the game, but now it seems like a good time to step it up a notch.  From a gaming standpoint, I would love it if they could bring back every single first place winner and pit them against each other.

Interesting about Russell being on the new show - I would think he would be at a big disadvantage since no one would have heard or known anything about him.  His aggressive attitude worked on this season because there were so many fodder players, but in a team with a bunch of "villains" as devious as he is or worse, I don't think he can go very far.  Maybe that's why he looked so devastated to lose this one as well because he'd already been voted off in the other?  Then again, maybe the producers can just load a bunch of "hidden" immunity idols for him to find without clues lol.
3355  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Trek Online (Cryptic's "other" new MMO) on: December 21, 2009, 11:42:03 PM

Quote from: Rumpy on December 21, 2009, 07:35:54 PM

You know, I saw the leaked footage that was on Youtube, and it didn't look particularly inspiring. What really rubbed me the wrong way was how the person bumped into a ship, but the other ship just stayed there like an obstacle until he moved around it. That kind of interaction really looked like something that would throw someone's immersion out of the game. Would it really kill the devs to include some kind of collision physics? You know, have the other ships get bumped and move away due to impact instead of stopping your ship dead cold. This is something I'd expect to see in an Alpha build, not a beta.

Yeah I completely forgot about the collision physics or lack thereof.  In one of my big "boss" ship battles, I kept rubbing up against the ship, slowly rotating around and firing at it, it was so sad.  Then when I couldn't beat it and tried to run/hide, I would just butt up against an asteroid while my shields recharged.  I mean literally I would butt my ship up on the asteroid and just kind of rub on it like a dog lol.  Some fighters would periodically attack but those I could handle. 

Come to think of it, I suppose the ground combat is kind of similar where you end up just rubbing up against the bad guys once they approach, which of course adds to the whole "choppy" feeling of the entire game/engine.
3356  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: December 21, 2009, 09:48:45 PM

Quote from: Purge on December 21, 2009, 08:55:26 PM

I hope Christopher Eccleston reprises his role as the invisible guy who trained Peter Petrelli.

What? WHAT?

LOL, I was thinking about that too.  They might as well have a chubby Asian guy in it too so he can keep pronouncing villain as "virran".
3357  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movies] James Cameron's Avatar on: December 21, 2009, 09:45:57 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on December 21, 2009, 08:56:10 PM

You thought Weaver and Rodriguez were wasted?  Wow.  I thought they did great jobs.  Rodriguez in particular was great.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I am a HUGE Aliens fanboy, I consider it my all-time favorite movies.  So coming from that perspective, I expect first that the major sub-characters will be memorable for some reason or another, and if/when a character is going to die, it will leave an impact on me.  Thinking back on Aliens, each of the characters' sacrifices/deaths was memorable.  It's not that the actresses didn't do well, I love them both in pretty much anything, but I just felt their characters were not given enough to do within the film, and didn't leave the kind of impact on the story that I would have liked.

In Avatar, I never had any doubt Michelle's character would turn to help the "good guys" so that "twist" was lost on me.  Having her sacrifice/die for really no purpose other than to solidify how "evil" Lang was didn't cut it for me.  If she had to die, I wanted to see her kamikaze into the explosives or dive bomb into one of the big ships, or something on that order.  As for Sigourney, she had some decent moments in the movie, but ultimately her character seemed more of an expository role to set the movie up in the first half, and her death did nothing except telegraph exactly how they would allow the hero to join the aliens.  I wanted to see her face down Lang, or bitchslap Giovanni Ribisi, just give me a classic line or 2.  Too cheesy?  Maybe, but clearly the script was not written with tons of depth to begin with, so why not give fans something more classic to remember?  Honestly, I can barely recall what she did in the latter half of the movie.
3358  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: December 21, 2009, 07:26:20 PM
For Season TWENTY, looks like they are going all out:

No cast members announced yet but from the finale last night, it looks like they are probably pursuing Johnny Fairplay and Richard Hatch, maybe Russell (though not sure the timing is right if the show is in February), the guy who fell in the fire, can't remember the rest.  As a longtime fan starting from Season 1, I am excited!

- - -

Also did anyone catch the finale?  I was pretty shocked/surprised that Russell lost to Natalie.  I guess he was just too arrogant and over the top aggressive, and she was just likable enough.  Poor Mick never had a chance (or a single vote, apparently).  It's always interesting that some seasons the "snake"/mastermind/gameplayer gets the votes, and others the coat-tail riders do. 
3359  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: December 21, 2009, 07:19:31 PM
Absoultely amazing show with so many great plotlines.  It's so unfortunate as you can see the vision for the show is being completely rushed to completion due to the cancellation.  So many of the storylines we've seen were likely meant to develop over the course of a full season, or perhaps multiple seasons, and now they are being pushed into single episodes (similar to the series finale of Angel).  I suppose it does make the pacing much more exciting and almost entirely plot-driven, but it's such a shame for fanboys like myself that the stories weren't allowed to evolve more naturally.  I suppose I should just be happy that they had enough notice to tool the show toward a series finale, and I believe Joss is involved in every one of the last 3 eps.
3360  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movies] James Cameron's Avatar on: December 21, 2009, 07:15:30 PM

Quote from: kratz on December 21, 2009, 06:57:14 PM

I went last night... first 3d movie I've seen.

The script and plot were pretty much totally ridiculous - another white man's race fantasy movie like Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai... really it was just a Dances rehash with the added gimmick of the white man being a parapalegic driving a 10 ft tall blue Brendan Fraser.  Everything was over the top, characters were caricatures, the dialog was generally wince worthy... visually it was obviously quite an accomplishment, though it lacked the grit of the CGI in something like LOTR, and was overall less convincing, it was still impressive.

I'm not sure what I think of the 3d technology... it was sort of distracting, and I think interfered with my ability to connect with the film, which you would imagine would be the opposite of what they really wanted to be doing with it.

I'm gonna agree with Kratz, I was really not as enamored with the movie as most seem to be.  I did enjoy the 3D and I do want to see it again in full IMAX-3D to see if the impact is different, but for the most part I think I was actually distracted by the preachy script and obvious plot "twists" (with even more obvious foreshadowing of each), plus the complete waste of some of my favorite actresses (Sigourney and Michelle Rodriguez).  Some of the effects still felt very CG to me, I almost felt like I was watching an nVidia tech demo in some instances.  Still there were others that were very impressive and took great advantage of the 3D.  I will say I was very happy that they didn't do any of the traditional annoying 3D tricks like sticking things into your face just for the hell of it. 

Plot question:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Early on Giovanni Ribisi (can anyone say next gen Paul Reiser?) says they are at the planet solely for money reasons, the Unobtanium (god did he really use that term?!?) but later it seems to be implied/said that the Earth is "poisoned" and the humans want to come to the planet for the green/resources?  I was a little confused there, though it really didn't matter I suppose.  I guess I might have liked the plot better if all of humanity had somehow been forced to come to this new planet after ruining their own, giving the humans a little more depth in their motivation.  Instead we have a bunch of over-the-top caricatures, with that General being the most egregious.
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