The Essence of Love

on Friday, 29 September 2006
I recently received forward email that contains something akin to chicken soup. As I do not recall signing up for it, after receiving it a couple of times, I almost replied to be removed. For some reason, I didn't, and proceeded to actually read it. What I read suddenly became the very answer that I had been looking for in all my previous posts regarding my own time.

While the topic of the forwarded email was "Spending Time with our young children is Love", the very last paragraph in it applies to everyone around us:

"Your most precious gift is your time. Only when you give up your (leisure, computer, game, social, TV, etc.) time, do you truly prove your love for your children (read: loved ones). Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love. Thus, you show your love in action and not in words only."

Sounds pretty obvious doesn't it? But I was blinded to that simple explanation for so long. I have given my loved ones a lot of pain, frustration, and disappointment. Words are not enough. I know what to do now Lord. Thank you God.

Hardcore Gamer

on Wednesday, 27 September 2006
According to this research, the general belief that the more hardcore gamers are young working adults who have more spending power is false. Apparently, true hardcore gamers are mainly those between age 6 and 17. Wow, I'm kinda... quite out of that range now...

Oh well, time passes, and we age. As highlighted here, as we move from a generally distraction- and commitment-free life of a teenager to that of a working, married, and/or in-a-relationship life, the amount of time that we can spend on gaming gets sliced off to the other more realistic and practical parts of life. I really miss those days school, college, and university days when I can just sit down in front of the computer and let everything else just fade away until I'm fully into the game.

Times like these are getting lesser and lesser, although I'm not saying I'm no longer doing that, just less often and shorter (relative to the good-old-days of course). But if you ask my wife-to-be, she'll definitely say I'm still playing too much. Oh well, I try not to play too much, but it kinda feels like I'm missing out on soooo many things these days; work life eats up a lot of personal time. Even after around 4 years of working (yes, only 4, i'm still young!), I'm still rueing the fact that my personal hours have been shortened considerably and still trying to get used to it. Ah, time, the creator of nostalgia.


on Tuesday, 26 September 2006
You know what I hate about advice from family? They don't give it when you ask; they give it after the time you could've used it. It's a really frustrating and confidence-denting time for me, juggling work problems, wedding preparations, house preparations, and, of course, leisure time (you think I'd leave it out? ;) ). What's so frustrating? Here's a summary of how I feel:
  • Me: How should I do this?
  • Family: You decide loh, whatever you like.
  • Me: Ok, I'll do it this way.
  • Family: No, no, you shouldn't do that, do this instead.
  • Me: ... but why not my way?
  • Family: Cos of this and that and those. Do it my way.
  • Me: ...
How is this frustrating? (Nay, it can even be disgusting sometimes depending on how many times it happens in a day). Sure, I'm probably being too harsh and unfair to my family who are most assuredly saying what they think is best for me. But can't they be more tacit or subtle about it? Or better yet, let me know before I do it instead of refuting and denying and naysaying me. The above sample is not exactly an exaggeration. It happens quite often. Each time something needs to be decided, and I defer my decision, I get pushed into making one. Each time I make one, I get all sorts of objections and opinions on why my decision sucks. I hate it. If you have an opinion, say it. If you have a decision in mind, make it. Why should make the final say? Because it's my stuff? Oh ok... yet my decision gets battered and bashed into an unrecognisable lump of worthless crap. Over-reacting? Yes, I am. But I feel that way. I don't have alot of self-confidence, I admit that; and I know it's a bad thing for a guy. That's why I don't like making decisions, but I do make them anyway, because I know I have to. Sure, let me know if I'm making the wrong decisions. But can't the problems be highlighted to me before I make my decision? It really steps on my confidence. I choose A. Suddenly, I get several reasons why it's a bad idea, and I should choose B. Right... and those reasons couldn't have been mentioned earlier because I haven't decided yet. I had to be made to feel stupid and useless because I should have thought of those myself. How come you didn't think of those? How come you didn't ask this? How come you didn't do that? Right. Here's my response: How come you didn't tell me earlier? Why didn't you make that decision? Why didn't you tell me directly what you're thinking instead of hinting it? Why must you wait until after the event to let me know and then force me to go rectify it? And then act like it's all my fault for letting it come to pass. Sigh. And they're all my loved ones and closest people. This is all so frustrating. I haven't been out working for very long. I've been pretty sheltered (yea, really, I know) my life and I'm still learning how to stand on my own two feet. Can't I get some slack and support and encouragement instead of demoralising negative responses? But then, what am I complaining about? It's been like the whole of my life. I'm used to it already. Didn't speak out about it; I know all were done with the best of intentions, if not the best of methods. Terribly sorry. I'm just ranting. But I just want to let it out. Sure, let the whole world know. A colleagues says blogs are too public. Yea, true, but it's a kind of therapy I think. It's been a good long while since I've ranted on something personal on this blog anyway. Great, now I'm sounding like an emo wimp.

Hmm... I wonder if my sister feels the way with some of the things I said to her... if I did, I'm sorry sis.

Guild Wars Nightfall World Preview Event

on Friday, 15 September 2006
This is turning into a Guild Wars news blog... oh well.

The World Preview Event is starting on the weekend of September 22nd to the 24th. For that period, anyone can log on and get a preview play for Guild Wars Nightfall, the 3rd chapter in the series. I wonder which of the two new profession (Dervish and Paragon) that I'll try out first... hmmm... I invite EVERYONE who has not played Guild Wars to give it a try. The client software is free to download.

For those who don't know, Guild Wars is rather unique in the world of MMORPG in that it does not have any monthly subscription fees. Its business model is such that the developers (ArenaNet) aim to make new content releases every half-year. These releases have come to be commonly known as chapters. Some still refer to them as expansions, but they're aren't really expansion, since the normal meaning of expansion usually implies that the original is needed. Each Guild Wars chapter is completely standalone. You do not need all of them to play. You buy whichever chapter, and you get all the content in the core set plus the content of the chapter you bought. How wonderful is that? Plus, you're not excluded from playing with other people who have bought all. As long as you have access to a particular content or area, you can play with anyone else with access to that as well.

It's a trick? You still paying the same? Nope. Chapter 2 was released late. Chapter 3 appears to be scheduled on time. Assuming they keep to 6-month cycles, every half-year, you pay around... say RM200. It's actually around RM160 - RM180 for the standard editions, but for the sake of easier calculation, let's round up. For those with monthly subscriptions, including popular MMORPGs like World of Warcraft requires you to both buy the box and pay subscription. Let's just standardise that these also cost RM200 per box. And you pay RM50 per month (for some, this is actually cheap). Cost progression...


See the huge difference after 1 year of gaming? And this is only assuming that the subscription-based MMORPG does not release any new expansion packs. Most of these expansion packs will cost more money. And these are usually required purchases or you won't get to play with those who upgraded.

Why do I love Guild Wars? Maybe I'll use that as a subject for my next post. ^-^

PS: The prerelease event for Nightfall is in Cititel Mid Valley (Malaysia) just 2 days from now at 1pm.

Updated Pricing for Nightfall

on Thursday, 14 September 2006
Looks like there's an update for the pricing. Guild Wars Nightfall standard edition (SE) will cost RM149. The pre-release bonus pack will cost RM40. Getting both will be RM174 (RM15 rebate on the bonus pack). The price for the Collector's Edition (CE) is still under revision, but given the changes due to tax, I'd say getting the CE plus the bonus pack is gonna cost more than RM250... hmm... still undecided which to get. I didn't buy the CE for the first two chapters, so maybe I shouldn't start now.

And remember guys, it's 1pm on the 17th of September, at the Pinnacle Lounge in Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley. My guild, the Goda Vos [GV] and the other large Malaysian guild, the Celestial Order [CO] will likely turn out in force to show support.


Guild Wars Nightfall Pricing

on Monday, 11 September 2006
New updates on the prerelease event thread on lowyat's forum. The gist of it (some not 100% confirmed):
  • Nightfall Bonus Pack = RM30
  • Nightfall Standard Edition = RM139
  • Nightfall Collector's Edition = RM220
  • Nightfall Standard Edition + Bonus Pack = RM 155
  • Nightfall Collector's Edition + Bonus Pack = RM??? (around RM235 maybe?)

As mentioned previously, the event starts with a registration session from 11am onwards. The actual event starts at noon. The first 50 registered will get a goodie bag each.

Nightfall Prerelease Bonus Pack

on Sunday, 10 September 2006
The prerelease for Guild Wars Nightfall will be on September 15th. There's gonna be an event at Cititel Mid Valley (Malaysia) on the 17th of September, starting at 11am. The original news posting is here at the lowyat forum (it's gets updated periodically). There's gonna events, prizes, door gifts, and bonus packs and game boxes available for sale.

According the official website for Guild Wars. The prerelease pack will provide a trial key, exclusive items for the new professions, and, most importantly, one additional character slot (which by itself already costs USD 9.99 in the in-game store). Other stuffs include concept art, screenshots, strategy guide, quick reference card, wallpapers, and music tracks.

I think alot of GV members will show up.