Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

GuildWars 2: “The Floating Grizwhirl”

I was a fan of the original GuildWars online MMORPG from the first moment I discovered it included the Mesmer profession for player characters. I played it for several years and still do on occasion, but I long since did everything I could and even creating a new character with a different profession wasn’t all that interesting any longer. Now I’ve found a similar interest in the sequel game, GuildWars 2.

Three years ago, ArenaNet released GuildWars 2. One of the great mysteries surrounding the release was the final character profession, which was (as many players were hoping) again the Mesmer profession, much changed from the first game, alas. GuildWars 2 was, like its predecessor, a non‐subscription game, with only the initial payment for the client software the only main outlay to play the game. At the time, and since, I couldn’t really afford the (admittedly minimal) cost, plus, at the time, I didn’t have a fast enough Internet connection that could handle the massive size of the client download. Therefore, I parked my interest in the game and carried on with other things.

Just recently, however, ArenaNet “unlocked” the game, so people could play it for free. Granted, access is limited to only two characters, and other aspects are limited or locked, but the core elements are still available. I decided to give it a try and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Of course, I had to create a Mesmer character, actually two of them. Part of the character creation is a series of questions about the character’s past. The one human character (the other character is a Norn, which are very large human‐appearing beings: I tried a Sylvari (plant‐based creature) but I wasn’t satisfied with the visual image, although I may return to that race in the future) was asked about what they wished they had done in their past: having seen the questions and the results before, I answered the question with “run off to join the circus.” That determined the series of quests in the second segment of the character’s personal development story, involving the Floating Grizwhirl.

The Floating Grizwhirl

The Floating Grizwhirl was a hypnotic device used by the Ringmaster (no, not that one) to foment chaos and destruction within the capital city of Divinity’s Reach and the ultimate overthrow of Queen Jenna. The character is drawn into the plot through the machinations of a particular Minister and the need to rescue a lost child. That leads to a confrontation with hypnotized carnies, a personal tryout for the carnival, a private meeting with the Ringmaster and the ultimate confrontation with the Ringmaster and the hypnotized audience. Along the way, the player’s character gets hypnotized by the Ringmaster and led to believe that everyone around them is a monster, who are similarly hypnotized.

The above video is the first quest, where the character investigates the missing child. Note that the video above unfortunately cuts out near the end. However, the player character is a Mesmer, which is why I used it.

My only quibble is that we never get to see the Floating Grizwhirl in action. I was hoping for some pretty serious special effects here, at least some spirals or swirls.

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hypnotic Eye”. A movie about a sinister stage hypnotist who entrances his lovely subjects certainly plays to many of the public misconceptions regarding hypnosis, plus the producers had a professional stage hypnotist instruct the actor how to perform on camera as well as hypnotizing the actresses to go in to a trance on cue. Regrettably, it suffers from low public knowledge so it barely registers as a pop culture icon.

Another one that comes to mind is the classic spiral motif that so represents hypnosis in popular culture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accompany it in any advertisement or television episode scene transition. The same also goes for dangling crystals and staring eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Trilby”. No other work so influenced the pop culture regarding hypnosis throughout its history. It is one of the few culture icons that directly influenced the English language, with the addition of “Svengali” as a term for a manipulative mentor.

Eve the Illusionist’ — “Red Dragon Inn” (Slugfest Games)

You are among a party of hard‐working and hard‐playing adventurers. Your party just got back from a hard adventure delving into ruins, fighting filthy creatures and finding lots of gold. You all got back to civilization, and, after getting your armor and weapons fixed, replenishing your supplies and paying off any old debts, its now time to party.

Well, at least that’s the intent, and that’s the theme of the game “Red Dragon Inn” by Slugfest Games. In it, players select one of the adventurers and attempt to drink the other characters under the table or manage to ‘acquire’ their gold during their stay in the public room of the Red Dragon Inn. Naturally, the other characters are trying to do the same thing. The cliché character types include such characters as Fiona the Volatile, Dierdre the Priestess, Zot the Wizard (with Pooky, his psychotic rabbit familiar), Gerki the Sneak and Dimli the Dwarf. But the one that caught my attention was Eve the Illusionist and one of the cards that the player can use during play.

Eve defies description, mostly because no one knows exactly what she really looks like without her illusions. Her powers have saved her fellow adventurers countless times from extremely gullible monsters.

The Good: Eve is a very skilled Illusionist.

The Bad: She’s been known to use her skills on her fellow party members when she gets bored.

Sounds like my kind of character.

And the particular card? It is this:

Eve the Illusionist is one of the characters in the first expansion set (which has been updated, as the original character set was underpowered) to the original game, which now also has a second expansion set. Its a fast and fun game that takes several amusing liberties with the whole dungeoneering trope and for that reason alone I plan on getting copies of all three at some time.

Enchantress — Diablo III

The “Diablo III game is one of the most anticipated computer games of the recent past. Fifteen years after the original game, and later, its eventual sequel, Diablo III is now in the hands of eager gamers across the world.

And one of the things they will find in this edition of the game is the availability of followers: henchmen, so to speak, and one of them is an enchantress named Eirena. An enchantress that is fully capable of hypnotic magic.

Eirena’s bewitching spells mean doom for your foes – she can force them into a dreamlike trance or turn them against one another, rendering them easier to kill.

Eirena offers ranged support, largely spells … to disorient her enemies and protect her allies. Her illusionary magic doesn’t deal a tremendous amount of damage; instead, it focuses on twisting and warping the minds of others.

Moreover, her magical equipment carries over the hypnotic imagery

Eirena’s unique equipment – enchantment focuses associated with scrying and hypnotism, like eyes and mirrors – recalls the ancient mysticism of her order, providing her with potent increases to her abilities.

While I played Diablo and Diablo II, I am now firmly ensconced in playing GuildWars where I can actually play a character profession that casts hypnotic magic (and also have one as a follower.) However, I may give Diablo III a second look.

More information on the Enchantress and the game of Diablo III in general can be found here.

The Hypnotizer” — Sims 3

For a performance that is mesmerizing both on stage and off, the audience will be captivated (and controlled) when your Sim steps into the spotlight with The Hypnotizer, and full collection of the Show Stopping Styles! With the Seeing Stars Set, in no time at all, your Sims will be seeing stars!

Why is it that the online games get all the goodies? The online game / social event network Sims3 is now offering a most interesting item as part of its Seeing Stars Premium Content items: the Hypnotizer! With the power of the Hypnotizer at your command, you can make yourself or other Sims3 characters “strut, pout and put it out” as they can be commanded to flex their muscles, jam on the an air guitar and act like a chicken. Just have them stare into the pretty spiral and let the fun begin!

All of these hypnotic effects can be yours for modest price.

Update: I just found the following promotional video about the Hypnotizer!

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