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  1. Today
  2. What are you playing?

    It should also be mentioned that Rift finished it in one sitting once he started. That's a good 12 hours straight. I think he was a little on/off through the first playthrough, but after that I think it was non-stop.
  3. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Traj blinked at the bots that blocked their path. "Well, those certainly look unfriendly." [[This is probably fairly obvious, but I suggest Rex and Nebiros each head up a party and take point.]]
  4. Are Loot Boxes Under-Age Gambling?

    To me, the purchase is okay, even more so if the parents talk to their children about what it is they're doing and establish clear boundaries if it's a real concern. I was unclear. What I mean is that, if it can be defined as gambling, you're still endorsing it as a parent. I absolutely agree that the discussion with children is the most critical component regardless.
  5. I personally don't consider them gambling, and I think I may be doing mental gymnastics to get to this. I'm definitely agreeing with your points, Bed, and may end up parroting them in my own way. Gambling, for me, is betting on something, with the potential of getting what you wagered back and then some. You've added to the prize pot, which you can win the entirety of, just a little bit of, or simply just lose more. Where with Lootboxes, you've exchanged money for the box itself. Not the items inside. You've made a purchase and you know precisely what you've purchased. The Box. Gambling and Boxes perhaps run closely parallel to each other, but I can't bring myself to consider them as the same thing. Plus, as mentioned, you're not forced to purchase these boxes. It's completely your choice to buy boxes. You could just play the games normally, and earn them that way. Even in Battlefront 2, who's entire progression system is based on boxes, you still didn't have to buy them. It's just BF2 created such a poor pay-to-win environment that people felt they had to just to have an edge in multiplayer. That's not to say they're not dangerous. Especially for the credit cards of parents. But that's on them for not watching their children. They need to be supervising their children. They need to make sure their credit card or paypal details are not hooked up to these games by default. There should be a number of protections in place to stop kids from ruining their parents in just a few hours when left alone with a game featuring microtransactions. To me, the purchase is okay, even more so if the parents talk to their children about what it is they're doing and establish clear boundaries if it's a real concern. Battlefront 2 may have really spurred this conversation on recently, but it's actually the people who just don't care to spend time with their children and know what they're up to that's the problem and threatening to ruin the option to purchase boxes for the rest of us. Boxes are actually a convenience for me at the end of timed events in Overwatch. If I didn't have the time to play regularly for any reason, I can just drop 10 dollars on boxes and walk away with some of the items I was coveting. Or I can choose not to, wait a year, and get them at an in-game currency discount. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  6. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Chapter 1: The Null Horizon Incident Error 500: Internal Server Error . . . Reloading . . . . . . Reestablishing Connection . . . . . . Connection Successful . . . . . . Login Successful . . . Welcome to Sparkbomb. Never-ending whiteness was replaced by the familiar view of the Front Gate opening, and six members stepped through onto the path leading to the Sparkbomb Mansion. Three stories of unparalleled granite construction—four stories for the towers—stood before them. The Mansion was a monument said to be as old as the world itself, although it was common knowledge that it had been rebuilt at least once. Rumors claimed it had been rebuilt more than once. Whatever the truth of its age and origins, the six that walked towards it had always known this Mansion. Sunlight reflected off the stained glass piece above the double doors, a depiction of a wolf's head eating a spark bomb. Each usergroup claimed the symbol represented their superiority. For the werewolves, the spark bomb in the wolf's mouth was a clear message that the werewolves would devour the spectres as they had done in the past. Phoenixes, however, claimed that the five lines of fur were actually feathers representing their hand at the werewolves' throat. Lastly, spectres claimed that the three stars at the center of the image represented their position at the center of everything. It was a hotly debated subject among some scholars, but most members took the symbol to reflect the unity and peace that had filled the Mansion throughout most of its history. Morning sunlight caught the stained glass, making for a magnificent sight. Except it hadn't been morning when the six members had been abruptly disconnected. It had been evening. Khem was annoyed to find that he couldn't step off of the path, but it was iko, the first to step through the Front Gate, who discovered the cause of the server error. With his eyes transfixed on the sky, he slowly pointed up. For a few moments, everything was normal. A few clouds drifted lazily across the sky as if floating on the surface of a giant pool. But then a spot in the sky flickered, momentarily replaced by ones and zeroes. It was the telltale sign of hacking. “We've got company,” Rex said, and everyone quickly looked ahead. Standing between the six members and the double doors stood two bots, shambling humanoids that resembled members but lacked autonomy. Enough hacking attempts had happened over the years to understand what was happening: The Mansion was under attack, and these bots were here to delete anyone that got in their way. Unfortunately, the bots also stood between them and any chance at safety. [Spambot and Spambot approach. Command? There are two separate Spambot enemies standing between you and the double doors leading into the Mansion. Both must be engaged by separate parties. If a Spambot is not engaged in battle, it may freely target any living player during that round. Party Rules: Up to three (3) members may form a party. Relative to each other, the member at the front of a party will be targeted for attacks more frequently and the member at the back will be targeted less frequently. As a point of clarification, all players currently lack any Abilities. Normal attacks are your only means of damaging the Spambots at this time. iko: Sparks 24/24 Energy 7/7 Khem: Sparks 24/24 Energy 7/7 Rexozord: Sparks 28/28 Energy 5/5 TheLastStarMaker: Sparks 20/20 Energy 6/6 Trajectory: Sparks 24/24 Energy 7/7 Nebiros: Sparks 28/28 Energy 5/5]
  7. Are Loot Boxes Under-Age Gambling?

    This is a very interesting point, as obviously it's a desirable thing for the consumer to be able to resell "content." This is the key point in my mind. These purchases should be controlled by parents, ie requiring parental approval. The logic breaks down, because you're still teaching the child that the purchase is okay, but it's still the critical point in my mind. I'm not sure where my personal stance falls. I definitely prefer a system of buying in-game items/etc outright or in bundles. I also think it may be easy to skirt potential laws by including a guaranteed item in each crate. After all, that's very similar to card game tournaments, where entry often comes with booster packs and winning earns part of a prize pool. I'd be really curious to hear the sports comparisons by those more knowledgeable on that subject.
  8. First in-game post will be made at 8 PM PST. You still have three hours to join to be included in the first update.

  9. Yesterday
  10. What are you playing?

    Yesterday, @Zen persuaded me to play Doki Doki Literature Club. I'm not sure if I've ever played a visual novel dating sim before, but it's an absolutely fantastic experience that I would recommend to everyone. There's a bit of mature content, especially if you continue past your first playthrough and into a new game plus, but this is one of the rare cases where I think that the experience is so worthwhile that most people who would shy away from that kind of thing will still take something out of this. And if not, even a single playthrough is a powerful enough experience to be worthwhile on its own. There's not much more I can say without spoiling it. The poetry in the game is fantastic. And it's worth giving the game the seven playthroughs it takes to unlock the final ending (but you can decide that for yourself after your first or second playthrough). Zen and I have both given it serious consideration for being our Game of the Year 2017. It's an experience that shouldn't be missed.
  11. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Nebiros Username: Nebiros Level 1 Guardian Member ID #006 Title: Guardian Trait: Acrobat Max Sparks: 28, Energy: 5, Charges: 0 Strength: 4, Stamina: 5 Talent: 5, Nerve: 5 Speed: 5 XP: 0, Sparks: 0 Equipment: None Inventory: Empty
  12. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    User: Nebiros Desire: Unknown Group: Spectre Class: Guardian Trait: Acrobat
  13. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    As a reminder to everyone (including the two or three of you that expressed interest but haven't signed up yet), the first in-game post will be made tonight. Players may continue to join after that, but you run the risk of some solo travel and other such, which will obviously be more difficult for certain classes. It should go without saying that I'm taking the parenthetical Traj to be the commonly used name, ie nickname. Trajectory Username: Trajectory Level 1 Savant Member ID #005 Title: Savant Trait: Acrobat Max Sparks: 24, Energy: 7, Charges: 0 Strength: 4, Stamina: 4 Talent: 7, Nerve: 6 Speed: 4 XP: 0, Sparks: 0 Equipment: None Inventory: Empty
  14. Are loot boxes considered under-age gambling? Please note, the definition of gambling can be applied to any situation related to chance with 'desirable result' vs. measured resulting value. It was just annoying seeing people quote the dictionary to draw this line. In recent news, Belgium is considering banning the loot box mechanic altogether, and Hawaii is interested in doing the same. Please also note, 1 politician's opinion probably doesn't represents Hawaii. Articles these days... The rationale: We don't want our kids exposed to gambling. These game makers are predators to young children, messing with their psyche and exploiting them for money. The voices are coming from maybe a couple of old people that have never seen gaming in a good light. As far the internet goes, it is a controversial topic, with many expressing how much they hate loot boxes, and if this is what it takes to get rid of them, they will gladly support the idea. Re-occurring themes or analogies come up: 1.) Gambling is gambling. And so is going to the zoo or new York. There's a chance of it not going well. But we can't ban everything... Time to move on from Dictionaries... But gambling is gambling. AHH! 2.) Card Games like MTG or baseball cards is similar to lootboxes for kids. This is often refuted by saying that when you buy a booster pack, you get physical material. In a game, you get a virtual item in which the integrity of its existence varies. Also, physical cards are tradable and can be sold or bought individually, allowing people to have an alternative option to obtain certain cards. Loot boxes in online games have various alternative ways to get them, but often not for the box contents, individually. For example in Overwatch, you can obtain loot boxes for free by playing more often. In others, you can buy skins individually, but at a much higher price. Trading items that come from loot boxes are rarely found in online games. In games like Dota 2, you get random items as an award for progression, and you can sell/trade these items, creating a sort of small marketplace. In my opinion, the trading element of virtual items actually adds more value or integrity to the item. You can sell these items for real money, which is something very measured in terms of gambling. Virtual items from most loot boxes can't be traded or sent, which really limits how you measure what is more value or less value. They are all equally the same value in this regard. The only reason why you might value something over the other is based on your personal preference, or what the developer labels as "legendary." Although there is intrinsic value like, what there is less chance of getting is considered high value - this notion is nothing less than an opinion or preference. There's probably better way of explaining this. To put it simply, my train of thought is that, it is not gambling because all items coming from a lootbox, or booster pack, or whatever is not gambling because each card all has the same value. For them to have value is if you can sell/trade/buy loot boxes, single cards, etc. Is there any big holes in this logic? I mean, what EA did for their SW battle front game sucks. That's why I don't play it. People shouldn't pay for that stuff. But the kids don't know this stuff, they take their parents cards, they buy and stuff. Well, as you can see, I think this is another case of bad parenting. The reason why I'm strongly against banning loot boxes is because it is another controlling measure that limits the profitability of the gaming industry. I'm all for consumer protection and stuff, but I think in this case specifically, it comes down to a choice - unless it is decided by everyone that the choice to buy something should be controlled by the government for kids and not their parents. The other reason is I think monthly subscription sucks. Single player games are hailed for not containing loot boxes, while online games are criticized for having them. There's a difference in the cost of selling a product and running a service. Online games require the cost of servers and data management to operate their games. I was one of the kids that couldn't afford monthly subs and I always thought it was more "leeching" toward my wallet since it is often automatic. I would rather play for free, and have the rich kids buy stuff, to keep my participation free. What are your thoughts. Are you concerned for the aggressive buying and spending of the underage?
  15. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Character Username: Trajectory (Traj) Desire: Control the Weather Class: Savant Trait: Acrobat
  16. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    TheLastStarMaker Username: TheLastStarMaker Level 1 Duelist Member ID #004 Title: Duelist Trait: Acrobat Max Sparks: 20, Energy: 6, Charges: 0 Strength: 5, Stamina: 5 Talent: 6, Nerve: 5 Speed: 6 XP: 0, Sparks: 0 Equipment: None Inventory: Empty Mansionverse Saga won't be nearly as demanding as Werewolf. It should be much fewer posts, and you should be able to safely check in once every couple of days and keep up just fine. As a reminder to everyone, the first update will be posted tomorrow evening.
  17. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    So, tbh, I'm not super sure how active I'll be able to be, which is why I hesitated in my sign-up xD Character Username: TheLastStarMaker Desire: Acquire Moar Socks Class: Duelist Trait: Acrobat
  18. Last week
  19. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    I'm going to make a tweak to Savants and lower their Stamina to 4 while increasing their Nerve to 6. If anyone chooses to play Bruiser, they will have similar numbers (instead favoring Stamina and lacking Nerve). Duelists will remain at an even 5 on both defensive stats (while having 20 Max Sparks). These shifts do not reflect the final classes within these archetypes, which will share the characteristics mentioned in the main post and have some variance between them. Rexozord Username: Rexozord Level 1 Guardian Member ID #003 Title: Guardian Trait: Leader Max Sparks: 28, Energy: 5, Charges: 0 Strength: 4, Stamina: 5 Talent: 5, Nerve: 5 Speed: 5 XP: 0, Sparks: 0 Equipment: None Inventory: Empty
  20. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Character Username: Rexozord Desire: Maintain Order Class: Guardian Trait: Leader
  21. I'm getting really fed up with our bulk mailer not working.

    1. Shattered Rift

      Shattered Rift

      Never mind. Looks like it was just delayed.

  22. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    I'm in the process of updating the opening post. Some things should be clearer now, and the order of things got swapped around a bit to hopefully aid in clarity. Big thanks to Star for the help with that. I'm going to continue making updates and will edit this post to mention new things. Thanks for reminding me. I probably need to specify that it is an all-female club and figure out exactly how I want to work that in-game. I'll probably require that any Amber Matriarch characters be female (or identify female to the point where there's no distinguishing). Edit: The Speed statistic has been added to the first post. The battle command Posture has been added. The following text has been added to the Amber Matriarch class: "For plot reasons, characters choosing the Amber Matriarch class must be female." Edit 2: For those of you still deciding who your characters will be, I'm planning to post the first update on Wednesday evening, allowing for the following update on Friday or Saturday night.
  23. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    "iko" is fine since... "Iko" looks weird to me. It's pronounced ie-koe. Suppose to be derivative of "Loki" and doubled up in meaning with the Japanese term "ikou." Lunar Jade sounds cool to be in . Amber Matriach... I was reading that, maybe it would be fun to infiltrate an all-female club too...
  24. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Zen Username: Khem Level 1 Savant Member ID #002 Title: Savant Trait: Leader Max Sparks: 24, Energy: 7, Charges: 0 Strength: 4, Stamina: 4 Talent: 7, Nerve: 6 Speed: 4 XP: 0, Sparks: 0 Equipment: None Inventory: Empty
  25. Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

    Desire: Avoid Losing Character username: Khem Desired usergroup: Lavite Desired Class: Savant Trait: Leader
  26. HERE I AM SHOUTING. IN A BOX. IT'S LIKE THE OLD THING RIGHT?

  27. Look at me shouting all over the place.

  28. I mean, we can make it work like it.

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