Child’s Play can make you awesome

I’m not a fan of using images when words would do, but in this case I feel it’s warranted:

Child’s Play, if you’re not aware of it, is a char­i­ty that gives video games, books, and toys to chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals. Any child unfor­tu­nate enough to be stuck in a hos­pi­tal over the hol­i­day sea­son is low on opti­mism. A dona­tion to Child’s Play isn’t going to cure a dis­ease or get some­one a trans­plant that they need, but it stands a good chance of mak­ing a sick child happier.

My wife and I have made this a hol­i­day rit­u­al since the char­i­ty was born in 2003, and it’s become one of our favorite parts of this time of the year.

Learn more at the char­i­ty’s About page, and when you’re done read­ing that, hit the main page to find your favorite hos­pi­tal to support.

Please, be kind to some peo­ple you don’t even know. Even a lit­tle bit helps, and if you give then you will be awe­some for doing so.

The Most Successful Loot Systems

A friend recent­ly asked me an off­hand ques­tion about zero-sum dkp sys­tems with a 25% month­ly degen­er­a­tion with a weird main/alt pol­i­cy… and I could imme­di­ate­ly rat­tle off the strengths and weak­ness­es of such a sys­tem, includ­ing where it could be sub­vert­ed and where the like­ly prob­lems would be down the road. Ok, so it turns out that I’m inter­est­ed in loot sys­tems and guild lead­er­ship.

So what’s the goal of loot sys­tems? Most arti­cles I’ve seen about loot assign­ments is about get­ting the gear to the right place while being fair.

Well… yes. That’s the stat­ed goal. There’s more, though.

Cas­sio, a guest blog­ger at World of Mat­ti­cus, uncov­ered the truth in a post about assign­ing loot (empha­sis mine):

In my guild, I am cur­rent­ly the raid leader for ten man raids and it falls onto me to sort out loot dis­tri­b­u­tion and how to do so with­out caus­ing prob­lems that could desta­bi­lize the raid group and force us back due to peo­ple leav­ing and hav­ing to replace with new people.

In pro­gram­mer speak, this is Step 0. You don’t list Step 0 to the guild, but when design­ing a loot sys­tem, it should be first on your list.

Con­tin­ue read­ing The Most Suc­cess­ful Loot Systems

But He’s Been Here Forever

In my guild, we have a long-time mem­ber, I’ll call him Mark. He’s a good and friend­ly per­son, but he’s def­i­nite­ly not offi­cer mate­r­i­al. Pas­sive-aggres­sive, flaky, self-cen­tered. Mark’s been pin­ing for offi­cer­ship for years.

I haven’t been in offi­cer­ship for a while (because I’ve been raid­ing more dia­pers than instances), but I was sur­prised to learn of Mark’s recent pro­mo­tion to officer.

An offi­cer friend chat­ted me up:

“Hey, how you doing?”

“Good. So what hap­pened with Mark?”


“What do you mean?”

“I could­n’t help but notice that he’s an offi­cer now.”


“So, what happened?”


“Well, he’s been here forever…”

Oh… crap. Con­tin­ue read­ing But He’s Been Here Forever

Bad Character Names

You’ve got a new char­ac­ter for a big mas­sive­ly mul­ti­play­er game, so you need a name. How do you come up with a good name? Good ques­tion! I might write about that anoth­er time.

This is a list of what peo­ple do wrong. It was writ­ten with both a gen­ero-fan­ta­sy set­ting and a stan­dard Eng­lish key­board in mind.

(High­er on list is less bad, low­er on list is less good.)

  • Gener­ic names: Drag­on. Angel. Valor.
  • “For­eign” Lan­guage words: Grande. Iki­masho. (For­eign to you is not for­eign to all–you’d laugh at a char­ac­ter whose name was “Big” or “Let’s go!”)
  • Jammed words: Drag­o­nan­gel. Burningcat.
  • Meta: An undead named Rot­ting. A tau­ren named Beefcake.
  • Out of game con­text (OOC): Chuck. Spaceship.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal: Lego­las. Drizzt.
  • Jammed and meta: Deathknight.
  • Jammed and OOC: Chuc­knor­ris. Brucewil­lis. Captainplanet.
  • Jammed and meta and OOC: Undead­fred.
  • Jammed and talk­ing to the read­er: Ucantseeme. Pwny­ou. Imdeath. (Per­son­al­ly, I always choose the most obtuse nick­name pos­si­ble for these kind of names: “See you lat­er, Imd.” “My nick­name is sup­posed to be Death <cry>”)
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and late: Lle­go­lass. Driiiiiiizzt.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and late and jammed: Elfle­go­las. Deathknightt.
  • Pre­scrip­tion drug name: Prope­cia. Celexa. (Although giv­en enough time, phar­ma could elim­i­nate the gen­ero-fan­ta­sy namespace)
  • Swapped char­ac­ters: Dragòn. (pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed: Text-based game, yet I can­not type your name.)
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and swapped: Lêgolâs.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and swapped and late: Elflêgolâs.
  • Polit­i­cal state­ments of any kind: Noba­ma. Mclame. (Your polit­i­cal views are unin­ter­est­ing in a game context.)
  • Jammed and talk­ing to read­er and swapped: Üçântsêêmê.

The order of these gets hairy in the mid­dle and is to taste, although I feel pret­ty sol­id about the top and bottom.

Thanks to the read­ers who helped with ideas.

Did I for­get any­thing? Is there a name worse than Üçântsêêmê?