I spoke with Brad McQuaid, former lead designer of EverQuest, about his ideas on making players adjust to different environments in his upcoming MMO. Fascinating stuff, and something the genre’s needed for a long time.
The truth is, that if you’re working on a piece at three in the morning, you’re not Keats; you’re just late.
Someone give this poor man a coat! (at Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio)
Underwhelming snow in Frank Lloyd Wright area of town, but still pretty. (at Arthur B. Heurtley House)
I’m constantly obsessing about what “class” I am when I play RPGs, and lately I tend to oscillate between rangers and mages. This long-ass test seems to provide the most in-depth answer, and yep, it proves that my instincts seem to have been right all along.
I Am A: Neutral Good Human Ranger/Wizard (3rd/2nd Level)
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter’s dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger’s Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)
Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” With Tesla coils. ‘Nuff said.
I took this shot at the Ashland station on Chicago’s Green Line during a bad morning storm on the morning of August 4, 2008. (Original Flickr link is here.) It’s one of my favorites. To this day, I can’t decide if I like the smokestack in the shot or not.
Also, if you look closely, you can see that the Trump Tower is still under construction. It’s also a shame that the Chicago Spire was never built—I had a fun time calling it the Chicago Dildo, but I can’t deny that it would have been an impressive addition to the skyline.
Steve Jobs’ workspace, ca. late ’70s. Amazing photo, and well suited to the minimalism he was known for. Via Jennifer Hood.