Category Archives: Fun and Games

Guild Wars 2: Botters and Hackers

Today marks one month since the official release of Guild Wars 2. There are still several bugs — broken dynamic events, renown hearts, and skill points being the primary ones — but each patch fixes more of them. As they should.

On top of the bugs, there are also “hacked” accounts. No, there hasn’t (to my knowledge) been a security breach. People using repeat account information, falling for phishing attempts, or buying gold and/or power-leveling services comprise most, if not all, of these “hacking” cases.

These accounts turn into botters, for either power-leveling or gold-selling purposes. Just like with anti-virus, as soon as ANet tightens their watch on botters and spammers, the violators will find new ways around it. However! This is not as widespread and apocalyptic as some players would have you believe. Certain zones will have numerous bots, but most days, I get by without seeing a single one.

Though I do not doubt, given time, ANet will get a good handle on the situation, to truly eliminate bots requires the work of both sides, the company AND the players. This means no macros, no buying gold, no caving into power-leveling services, and giving due diligence to protecting your account. If the botters make no sales in the game, or presumably few enough, they will leave — GW won’t be profitable for them anymore. Read the rest of this entry


There’s a thing in many games called PvP, or player versus player. As its name suggests, PvP is when you fight other players instead of computer characters, and tends to have drastically different rules than typical gameplay. Other games revolve around it, such as shooters and real-time strategy games.

I’ve never liked PvP. Whenever I’ve partaken in it, I’ve felt guilty for killing others or foolish when I died trying. Not too long ago, a friend tried to teach me to play Heroes of Newerth, a game in which you must kill other players in order to win. After days of trying, I confessed I simply could not handle PvP of any sort, to which he responded with a single word:


Well, there are lots of possible answers to that. I don’t like competition, I lack confidence, I judge myself too harshly, I don’t think fast enough…but really, it comes down to one word: malice. Read the rest of this entry

The Male Female Gamer

Like many others, I play games to have fun, relax, and de-stress from the day. Most nights, I can chat with people, kill some bad guys, have a few laughs, and call it a day. Yet every now and then, real life sneaks in and ruins that. Like when someone asks about your gender and refuses to accept that you won’t answer personal questions.

One of the major tenets of the Internet is anonymity. This is especially true in gaming, where your skill at the game should matter more than your personal life. You are whatever age, race, gender, etc. you say you are, and in most cases, nobody can prove otherwise.

Yet anonymity reinforces the use of stereotypes. With sparse details about a person, we feel the need to fill in the blanks and fabricate a persona for them. We create a first impression based on less information than we get from in-person encounters, and what’s easier to fall back on than stereotypes? Stereotypes, no matter how detrimental, are based on truth. That’s why they continue to persist with such strength.

So what happens when one of those tiny pieces of information is “female gamer”? The reaction depends on the context and audience, but they boil down into four main responses: Read the rest of this entry

Boomslang Vin: Part 2 — The Tutorial

It’s a bit sloppy and longer than I wanted it, but here’s my rewrite of the Guild Wars 2 tutorial, closer to how I feel it should be. As always, comments/criticisms are welcome. I’m new to this style of writing, so any and all advice is helpful. As before, a video of the current tutorial (subject to change before release) is linked at the end.

Part 1

“Everybody get to the Inn!” someone shouted, “We’ll protect you safe there!”

It was a Seraph Lieutenant. If anyone could fend off the centaur, it would be the Seraph.

I followed the stream of frantic villagers into the Inn in the center of town. Priests of Dwayna tended to wounded soldiers while families huddled together for comfort. Nobody paid me any mind as I weaved through people, looking for a shadow to hide in.

I felt a tug on my pants and looked down to see a young boy, staring up at me with red eyes set in a dirty face.

“Do you know where my mommy is?” he asked.

I knelt next to him, “Are you sure she isn’t in here?”

“I was out playing when they told me to come here. But my mommy was cooking! How will she know to bring the food here?” he spoke between his sniffles.

His mother was probably still in her home, in terrible danger if she was still alive. That meant this boy was in terrible danger of becoming an orphan. An orphan like me.

“Sergeant! There are more centaurs on the other side of town. Captain Thackeray’s calling for reinforcements at the garrison!” I heard a Seraph say.

“It must be serious if he’s asking for help, but I can’t spare anyone.”

The only memento I had from my parents was the broken amulet I wore around my neck. I didn’t even know their names. The Seraph couldn’t help find this boy’s mother, but I could. If I could find his mother and return her safely, I could save this boy from losing everything. Read the rest of this entry