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Archive for July 21st, 2008

Monday Morning List Update

Monday, July 21st, 2008

This time we have a list of things that should not be done if you work for an anti-drug non-profit organization. The original author asked not to be credited, as she would like to still work for the anti-drug non-profit organization.

(Submitted by I.M. Employed)
1. When working for an anti-drug association, refrain from making “Cheech and Chong” references.
2. When working for the above, don’t “Talk shop” with those seeking help.
3. Refrain from judging people by “where they get their shit”.
4. Do not give people “better guys” to get “shit” from.
5. Do not refer to the “War on Drugs” as “Vietnam for Society at large”
6. When viewing a slideshow about drug references in media, do not say “That movie’s fucking awesome!”
7. Especially when they show the “bat country” monologue from Fear and Loathing.
8. No matter how you supervisor may act, do not make allusions to the fact that they may be the only person in America who would benefit drug and alcohol use.
9. When hearing a presentation about the state of the drug trade in the United States, try to avoid “correcting” the nomenclature used for street drugs (i.e., “No one calls it “dope” anymore!”).
10. Refrain from mentioning that your friends find your work “ironic” given your past.
11. Attempt to not discuss favorite drinks and new concoctions with your superiors.
12. Especially if they mention they’re in recovery.
13. If one of your superiors is a “stage parent”, do not mention that many child stars fall into substance abuse and ill ends.
14. Even if it is apparent that the kid is pretty much doomed to Dana Plato territory.
15. Never under any circumstances mention that your superiors “drive you to drink”.
16. Especially if the Alcohol Board of Control is in town.
17. When viewing a Powepoint presentation on drug references in the media, avoid laughing at the drug and alcohol jokes when the room is full of drug counselors who will sooner be shocked than funny.
18. If they show Dazed and Confused, Half Baked, Superbad, or Beerfest, just leave the room. Despite how strong you think you are, you will not last.
19. When discussing music with co-workers, never talk about how “Dark Side of the Moon *totally* synchs up with Wizard of Oz”, or how “The Wall movie totally changed my worldview”.
20. Y’know what, just follow the guidelines that Robin Williams gets in “Good Morning Vietnam” from Lt. Haupt regarding musical tastes.
21. Never offer tired-looking co-workers “hair of the dog that bit ’em’ ” on Monday mornings. It just looks bad for everyone involved.
22. “OSHA would have a field day with what I know about this building” is not a good bargaining chip in any circumstance.
23. Especially when your supervisor is on a first-name basis with the people at OSHA.
24. Try to avoid mentioning that your superior might just remind you of a certain character from Rain Man, no matter how compulsively they may repeat some of the same words, over and over again.
25. Never mention that you own any, and especially not all, of the movies mentioned in number 18.
26. Don’t talk about how much you, your cousins, uncles, aunts, siblings, parents and friends are able to drink in a single sitting without passing out; especially if the aforementioned are all together, with what can only be described as an “alcohol topiary”.
27. Taking naps when you’re four years old is okay; taking naps at work on your lunch break will get a piss cup handed to you.
28. Being the only person in the office who knows how to work the big screen in the conference room will bite you in the ass when you come back from lunch and leave “The Marijuanalogues” on.
29. When working for an anti-drug organization, your thoughts on drug legalization are moot.
30. If you are tired and someone offers you a cup of coffee, the proper response is “Yes, please”, not “Put it in my veins!!”, “Can I just snort the grounds?” or any references to a “caffeine speedball”.
30. Cigarettes are apparently a drug, regardless of legality. Therefore “I was nic-fitting like crazy” is no excuse to leave work for a “cancer run”.
31. Incidentally, if a co-worker has a family member they’ve lost or who has recovered from some form of cancer, calling it a “cancer run” will not win you any favors.
32. If a co-worker levels baseless and just untrue accusations against another co-worker who isn’t you, and they really are just ludicrous accusations, you are still not allowed to openly laugh at the concept.

Skippy’s Dream MMO Part 3

Monday, July 21st, 2008

This time I want to talk about in-game inflation. So its a discussion about economics, as applied to an imaginary fantasy kingdom. I’m such a huge nerd.

In a real economy, the government prints money, ideally with some sort of backing to it. And if they just start printing more money then all of the money becomes less valuable.

In an online game, players are constantly creating more money in the game world. They’re solving quests, and killing monsters, and looting dungeons. All of this is going to cause new money to be created out of thin air and handed to the players. And if the game has any sort of auction house, or trading going on between the players, this will cause prices to start skyrocket.

The time where this starts becoming really evident, is when a new player comes into the game. The low level monsters and quests aren’t keeping up with the rapid inflation. The 5 silver coins that was a good reward last year is basically worthless now.

If you really want to see how out of whack it gets, take a look at any item that players want for sale from an NPC vendor, vs how much for the exact same thing from an auction. Its not uncommon for players to purchase things from an NPC vendor and sell them for several thousand times what they paid.

My proposed solution to this problem is to set the game up in such a way that it can adjust itself to take inflation into account.

My idea is that the game tracks the sale of certain staple items that the players tend to trade a lot. In WOW, a good staple item might be copper ore. Lots of players need it, and piles of it are always trading hands through the auction house.

So every now and then, maybe once a week or some such time, the game tallies up the average price of a stack of copper ore. For the first week lets say this price is 1 gold coin on average. And on the next week the price has creeped up to 2 gold coins on average. At this point the game will have determined that all money is now worth 50% less than it used to be. So it will now double the quest rewards and the treasure from monsters.

I know that is won’t actually prevent the inflation problems. But it might mitigate them a little. Plus it might help to make the world feel a bit more alive and dynamic to the players.

Any gamers or economists have any thoughts on this?