Site Updates

So our lack of updates isn’t without cause.  Of which there are many, of which we shall not list.  Our forums had to be pulled temporarily until we can curb the apparent spam.  Our comments sections have all been pulled as well, for the same reasons.  Discussions can be made on the PK Facebook page just as easily, no need for two locations in all reality.

Updates of gaming will come more frequently now, and we are setting up to expand in the very near future.  This includes new bloggers, new content, and new media.  The plans are still being laid out, but the future looks bright.

That is all for now. 😉

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Lag, Lessons, and Beer

So for the past two months we have been battling in game latency of between 300 ms – 3000+ms in the evenings (you know, those pesky raid times).  This has made gaming insanely hard to do, pvp impossible but pve just annoying.

I’m not one to speak too soon, but as of right now I am in game at 51 ms at 7pm.  There is no way to describe how happy of a feeling this is!  I know most people have the luxuries of near T1 connections and all that jazz anymore, but we do not.  We live in a farming community and are limited only to a DSL connection.  The problem is, our DSL company recently sold to a smaller DSL company.  While said Company A was working out a deal with Company B; Company A left our area entirely un-monitored and unsupervised and as a result, the entire infrastructure collapsed basically.

Our area supposedly was no where near capacity on the local CO, but obviously it was.  I finally was able to get through to someone that didn’t think I was just some old guy trying to download porn at peak hours and needed a walk through on how to power cycle my modem.  The result was a number of problems found all along the entire system.  Hopefully all of which shall be fixed within the next 48 hours!  I’m not happy that it took so long for something to happen, when we obviously are not the only ones that are affected by said problem, but I am happy it seems to finally be getting fixed.

Things we may, or may not, have done while we were unable to raid:
Go to more bars
Watch more movies
Drink more beer
Play other games
Download random videos (that took over an hour to download and 5 minutes to watch)
Not spend weekends at home
Watch more movies
Download random games that may, or may not, have been any good at all

Oh and I should also add, the same time I had no Xbox Live account due to a decently common account hack that’s been going around and I lost all my Live points too!  Cool!

Also, Blog of nothing!  (Yay!)

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Gamers Guide: Relationships

Having worked in a video game store for years I learned a lot about how couples approach their video gaming habits.  A majority of the couples I met through there had a problem when it came to gaming.  Someone in the relationship enjoyed gaming and the other half did not.  I observed this issue numerous times and I successfully aided in solving it a few times for some of the couples.  All I had to do was show the non-gamers that they can enjoy gaming as well… and explain to the gamers that if they want their lady on board with them, they had to give them time to learn.

There are also plenty of couples out there who already mutually enjoy gaming together.  If you talk to any of them, they probably spend a lot of time at home, together, just gaming the night away.  This may come across as lazy to someone who does not game at all, but the truth about this scenario is that it is a cheap way to spend time together.

Think of all the money a couple spends going out to eat, or to the movies, and compare that to the cost of owning a console system… or perhaps a couple of PC’s.  Once you own those things, you really only have to spend money on new games as they hit the market.  You won’t blow gas to travel places constantly and you will actually spend time at home!  This may not be for all couples, but for many, money is tight… and anything that can help you spend less of it, is a good thing!

People, from your non-gamer lovers perspective… this is what they are thinking when they say they hate your gaming habit.  They feel like you would rather play games than spend time with them.  If that is actually true, then you should not be together anyways, folks!  Think about that.  If that is not true, and you do enjoy your significant other… then keep reading!

A non-gamer who is reluctant to game with you is most likely worried about being terrible at it!  As the gamer in the relationship, you can fix this by being very understanding and open to their noobness.  Encourage them to try playing with you.  If this does not work, tell them they should play on their own when you are not around.  Set them up with their own profile on your system, or their own PC with the games loaded on it.  Do all you can to express how much you would love for them to be able to share the gaming experience WITH you!  And be patient when they aren’t very good… because we all started somewhere, right?  Remember that.

For the non-gamers out there, this is what your gamer sweetheart is thinking.  They enjoyed videos games before you were in the picture.  Whether you knew that or not going into it, it is probably a trait you cannot change about them.  Relationships are about compromise and working together, so the least you can do is take an interest in something they are passionate about… and give it a try.  Ask your other half to show you how to play something.  Or have them take you out to a game store so you can pick out a game that may interest you!  And if you want to learn how to play but you are worried they will give you a hard time as you are learning, play when you are home alone.  Baby steps!

Together, you can both improve your relationship by enjoying the fun that is gaming.  Player 1 is lonely when Player 2 is an NPC… trust me.  And as for online gaming?  Don’t rush your non-gamer into that mess… please.  Stick to in house gaming together for awhile first.

As for suggestions on what to try together… if you don’t have a Wii, Kinect, or Move… get it!  Especially the Wii.  If your other half has hardly ever touched a controller, then the Wii is a good first step.  You can play Mario Kart, or DK Country Returns… any number of 2 players games, TOGETHER.  And that is the whole point, doing something together.  If you are both comfortable with the PC environment, try something like World of Warcraft or similar.  There are plenty of free MMO’s out there as well… but remember to level together.  Don’t jump too far ahead of your first time gamers toon… they may enjoy the actual patience and time you spend together, not you carrying them through everything.

The most important thing to take away from all of this is that you can help one another enjoy something together.  That something can be gaming.  Even if they act like they hate it, deep down most non-gamers simply do not understand the fun of it.  But they will… if you help them!  Instead of selfishly burying yourself in your games, bring them into the picture with you.  Deep down inside we are all gamers.

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Gamers Guide: Car Shopping

Car shopping is a task that a lot of people do not thoroughly enjoy.  This is mostly due to the way in which car dealerships and their sales employees approach their customers.  If you simply just want to browse, be prepared for a barrage of questions and a swarm of bees that follow you around.

Car shopping can be fun, though, if you make it fun.  Don’t let the persistent sales associate ruin this game for you.  Think of them as an aggressive mob that you cannot actually kill.  You have to be creative about how you can get rid of this tail you will have.

There are most likely two types of salesman aggro you will gain.  The first type is the aggressive and pushy kind of mob.  These are the worst.  They do not hear you.  You can politely state multiple times that you do not want any assistance at this time and they will cling to you like a fly on food.  To gain some distance from this type of salesman, you must give them something constructive to do.  Ask them for keys.  Ask them for a brochure.  And when they disappear to find these items for you, work fast to view what you wanted to see so that there is less for them to bother you about when they return.  These salesman are determined to sell you something, don’t let them win!

The second likely type of sales aggro you will experience is the passive but assertive type.  These are slightly easier to deal with in terms of they are less annoying.  But they will attempt to sell you something.  They are sneaky, so don’t let them trick you!  And they will be the most likely to call you several times after your browsing quest just to see if they can win you over.

The rarest form of salesman is that of the one who will greet you and offer to help, then leave you alone if you request as much.   These are who you want to spend your money with.  They understand that you may just want to look.  Or that your quest has only started and you are not ready to commit to something.  They listen to you.  If you find one of these, they’re the one you want to give your number to because they will take care of you, not irritate you.

Now that you know what to expect and look when you approach your journey into purchasing a means of transportation, here is what to expect next.  You find a dealership with a salesperson you can stand to deal with.  You find the vehicle of your dreams.  How much does it cost?  Well, if you are like most people then you probably don’t have enough gold coins to outright purchase your new mount.  So what can you do?  Well, you may be able to get a loan from the good ol’ bank that allows you to pay back the money that your mount cost you, over time.  This is called financing.

Should you choose to go the financing route, you will want to ask yourself a few things.  Have you made any major purchases before?  Do you know your credit score?  Is it a decent score or is it lacking?  If none of that makes any sense to you, then you will probably need someone to assist you in getting the loan for this fancy new ride.  This is called a co-signer.  This person basically signs a paper that states that in the event of your failure to pay your loan installments, they are responsible for paying them for you.  A co-signer is typically someone with a strong credit history who has paid on a loan of some nature before and has and understanding of what they are helping you do.

Once you get this snag in the quest chain knocked out, you can proceed to learn about pricing and getting a good deal.  If you have never seen this whole event in action before you may be overwhelmed. The good news is that it is not as bad as you may think it is.  Approach the boss of this battle armed with knowledge.  This will be your most beneficial weapon in this fight.  Know what the value of your vehicle purchase is.   Know what it should be selling for and make sure that you look it over; test drive it, and learn about its history before agreeing to a price on it.  Make sure you are paying what it is actually worth.  Stand your ground and eventually the boss will either give or offer you a happy compromise.

When you negotiate an agreement on how much you will be paying for, you are nearly finished with this quest chain!  The final steps involve paperwork and lots of signatures.  You will most likely be offered extras, just make sure you ask questions about any of the things you do not understand during this process.  Once you sign the paperwork you are on your way to driving off on your new mount.

If you survived the journey that is purchasing a vehicle then you are well suited to continue on in your life.  You have passed a tough test and you are now ready to take on the next chapter later on in life… buying a home!

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Prom Kings is Hiring!

Sort of…

We are looking for a few more content authors.
What can we pay:  Nothing!
What do you get:  Not much!
What we can promise you:  The world! (*Pending you actually already own it and are willing to give it to us to return it to you in a short period of time.)
What you will get:  However is a fun crew of gamers to work with on content, play games with, socialize with, and possibly, one day, even run the world wee (*See side note under promises)

So if you think you can help add content and drive to the site, feel free to contact us in any way, shape, or form; though we would prefer it not be via snail mail as that might take awhile!

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Gamers Guide: Flirting

If you’re like most gamers you probably don’t openly attempt to make a connection with creatures of the opposite gender. What you most likely lack is confidence. But you shouldn’t! Why, you may ask? Because you’re a kickass gamer!

What most gamers seem to not realize is that being a geeky gamer is attractive to a lot of people! Sure, you’re not every ones type, but you are definantly someones type. You can retell the adventures of hobbits and you can describe what it’s like to slay a dragon! You can probably tell me what the exact guns you use to murder faces with are. You are kickass. You just need to believe that you are.

When it comes to opening a conversation as a gamer the key is to go lightly into it. Don’t be too specific or overly descriptive of something from the very go. Don’t get too eager with your badass nerd knowledge. You have to open just like you would when you’re attempting to find out information from the enemy while being undercover. You have to be willing to listen and give just enough information so that the other party is comfortable.

Once you initiate the conversation you have to add up your experience points secretly in your mind. If she smiled, gain a point. If you made her laugh, 2 points. If she got excited enough to share related stories back, 3 points. Basically you’re aiming to gain about 10 points with her before progressing forth in your quest to flirt.

Once you’re settled in and she’s comfortable with you, then you can be a little more specific. Tell her about the time you staked out in an abandoned building, alone, and held off 6 enemy targets until backup arrived. Tell her how funny it was to ninja something right out from under another players nose. If she is still interested, then you’re almost ready to move on. When you get her smiling, maybe twirling hair or biting her bottom lip, you want to offer a lot of eye contact.

By now she thinks you’re a kickass assassin who can hack the head off of enemies 10x your size. She may not even understand the things you’re talking about but she can imagine how it must feel to be a part of this. You’ve intrigued her. This is good. This is when you can start to share the sadder feats of your gaming hobby. Tell her about the wife you failed to save from the grips of Hell. The princess you just couldn’t quite rescue. She wants to be that princess. You have to make her that princess. She wants the adventure. It’s because you are a kickass story teller who can make her laugh AND cry. You rule.

If she’s still there, grab her hand. Tell her she’s the princess you always searched for and could never save. She wants to know you’ll save her. If she is still smiling, sometimes avoiding eye contact… then she wants to kiss you. Kiss her!

If you pulled out all the nerd cards and kept her interested the whole time then you’ve found a badass girl with whom you should continue flirting with. Keep giving her all the geeky details, she likes them. For all you know she may just want to try gaming with you now. Go you!

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Gamers Guide: Job Interviews

So you’ve been unemployed for the better part of a year (or longer) and you’ve finally determined you need to start making some cash. You’ve been out of high school for a couple of years, hell you probably even have a degree or some sort. You probably earned that degree like a normal kid, right out of high school, and again like a normal kid it didn’t assist you in getting a job in anything more than food service or a factory, right?

It’s no big secret that the American economy is not accomadating to those in search of employment. If you ask many college graduates who didn’t major in medicine or something really specific they’ll probably tell you that they would have probably had a better chance at getting a job if they had no higher education at all.

The common rejection letter from many companies will tell you something along the lines of ‘you’re overqaulified for this position’. The shit of it is, it’s a basic starting position in a company that has something to do with your degree. You have the knowledge but you have no job experience to back it up. So, you continued looking for a job as much as you could stand to but you ended up sitting at home for the past year, playing video games and feeling a little worthless and cheated for all that effort you wasted on an education that’s done nothing for you.

This may not be your story, but for a lot of us out there, it is. So what can you do about it? You need a job, don’t you? You want to make money but we both know you don’t deserve to flip burgers for minimum wage.

This is where gaming comes into the picture.

Say you’re attempting to get a part time management job in a small office somewhere. It’s true you haven’t had an actual job in a year. But you played video games, right? Whether you were raiding online with several other people in an MMORPG or destroying the opposing team with a few other people using guns and hiding behind buildings… you were building a skill set for a resume.

How, you may ask? Well what did doing those things require you to do? You used communication every time you had to coordinate who went to what check point or who was doing the interrupt on the boss. You were managing others and using teamwork to execute an objective. You were multi-tasking and working under the pressure of a deadline. If you led the team or the raid, then all the better. You were using leadership! Now what’s that look like on a resume?

Skills

-Communication
-Teamwork
-Macro management
-Leadership
-Working well under the pressure of a deadline
-Working towards specific objectives to achieve and exceed expected results

(These are just your basic examples, depending on what games you play this can become a huge list!)

Now couple that with what education or previous work experience you may actually have and you’ve got one hell of a resume. And if that resume lands you an interview, you may not want to be quick to feel ashamed of how you gained and utilized those skills you listed. It may seem silly from an average onlookers perspective but there are millions of gamers in this world. What’s to say that Bill from Human Resources doesn’t play those games too? And to unapologetically be confident about yourself and what you have been able to accomplish in your life, regardless of the lack of income from it, can be a great thing to an employer.

I’m not saying that talking about video games will always make you look like a good candidate, but you can spin that year of being unemployed and poor into a good thing if you realize just how much you do actually do when you play video games.

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Bounty Hounds Closed Beta

Bounty Hounds closed beta started the 5th and is running through the 9th of September.  It’s a FTP MMORPG coming out that is a Sci-fi type of game, so far it looks very interesting with great graphics and good game play.

http://blog.raptr.com/2011/08/01/get-your-free-closed-beta-key-for-bounty-hounds-online/

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Diablo III Currency Based Auction House

So Blizzard finally announced their Diablo III currency based auction house.

Thus far the reception has been mixed, but I see it as a good thing.  No longer will you have to trash good items you could have, at the very least, given to someone else, now you have the option to make income from it.  If you sold twelve items a day at $5 a piece, you would be making the same as working eight hours a day at near minimum wage, at least for the area I’m in.  That isn’t too bad really; especially for the summer for a kid that may not have any other way to get a “real” job.

You can also throw things up from any battle.net account toon or in their shared stash.  That makes it even better, no worries of what to do; just list it!  The only real stipulation comes in that there is a nominal transaction fee, which hasn’t been listed yet.  If it’s like Warcraft, however, it won’t really be noticeable.  So you make $4.75 off of $5, oh well, sell one more item and you have covered the fee, plus some extra cash.  Doesn’t sound like a terrible system at all at this point.

The other good thing, is that people should no longer have the temptation to buy gold or whatever to buy an item.  They have essentially squashed the middle man in that area.  Before a person that may have kids and a job and more responsibility then they can name, but still wants to play his toon and have fun, may have gone somewhere, purchased some gold to buy a few BoE epics off the AH in Warcraft.  But here, all they have to do is log in, look up the items they want, pay the $$$ and they have it.  Plus it keeps the money going to Blizzard, which we all want to do right?  No one really wants to see a company as large as them fail or fall under, so even if you say no, you really mean yes if you keep playing. 😉

All in all, as long as the economy in the game is decent and going good, everything will be perfect.  However, if it goes like so many F2P games have gone in the past when they bring out currency based AH systems, it will be bad and it will fail.

And lets not forget, you can still use gold to buy things in the AH, so nothing new there. 😉

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Starcraft II Tournament

As many of you well know, there is currently a Starcraft II world tournament being held exclusively online.  All regions and all levels of players are involved.  It’s a great thing, with some amazing prizes for those that are lucky enough and good enough to win.

However, there are a lot of glaring errors in the tournament itself.  At least on the Amateur level.

The first of which I would like to point out is the lack of player participation.  There are any number of players that you can look up that have almost 100% forfeiture wins.  What kind of judgement is that of the scale of players in the tournament?  Personally I am in the tournament still and I am probably the most terrible RTS player known to exist, but I am in the top 1000 of the tournament, which currently has 3,662 competitors and started with over 7,000.  How does this happen?  Poor management of players.  I realize that some of them dropped out due to their work or life schedules not allowing them to play at that time, but if it does, tell one of the people running it so that you can be removed.  Lets not even go into the 15 minute post-match time, grace window; the idea of that must come from a really liberal person, I’ve never known anything that would let you show up 15 minutes late and still go.  If one person is there and signed in 30 minutes early, the other person can show up 10 minutes late and not show a penalty, forget that.  On time or get out.

Which brings up the second issue.  Lack of communication methods to the officials.  Sure you can use vent, but how is that a good means of communication?  When you got to the main page  you bring up a review of specific matches and a video.  No where are there methods or announcements for what exactly is going on with the tournament itself.  There are no forums, no division forums, no discussion forums, and no feedback forums.  Poor management again.

Lastly, the tournament itself is pretty lack-luster.  During round one there were two matches per week, per player, totaling 7 rounds of play.  During round two there are four matches per week, per player, totaling 9 rounds of play.  This tends itself to a very slow, very dull, play style for the tournament.  No one really wants to spend their summer nights tied to the computer for all of it; granted there will be some here and there that play Starcraft near constantly that are ok with it, but when you look at it from an East-Coasters time frame, the schedule sucks.  The possibility of playing a game at 11pm on a Sunday is just droning.  The best part is, so far the actual tournament hasn’t even started.  Thus-far it has basically been weeding out people that are not really playing in the tournament, while kicking out a few bad players along the way.

When the real tournament phase beings it will be just as bad.  Ten rounds, two times a week, skipping Labor day.

Overall, the tournament is great, the prizes are awesome, but the management in general is poorly done.  I really hope that they can learn from their errors and run a better, more focused tournament in the future.  It’s a great opportunity to meet players, expand your game ability and learn new methods of play.  BUT, you have to actually be given the chance to play for it to work out at all, sadly.

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