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The idea behind this blog is to share my opinions about Post-Apocalyptic Literature, Films and Ephemera as well as my random nattering on a regular basis.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anticlimactic In Comparison, Ain't It?

Well five weeks in. Needs some touch up. Feels just a little small now though.

Ah well ... there's always my right arm right?

It was my idea first.

Well maybe.

Ladies and gentlemen I present an Ebola Tattoo that is far more righteous (and quite a bit more ballsy, expensive, uncoverable, painful, attention-grabbing ... ect.) than mine.

It's a damn shame he chose a star for his wrist. I'd've gone for a fallout symbol, perhaps a skull. Ehhh, no accounting for taste is there?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Die2nite, you are a cruel, cruel mistress

So. Show of hands here folks. How many have wondered where I've gone? Why I dropped out of sight all the sudden? I guess I could give all sorts of paltry and untruthful reasons. It wasn't because I've been expending large amounts of energy at my job (although I have; I recently landed a long term sub-gig at a local preschool working with nonverbal, autistic youngsters). It wasn't because I suddenly started reading a whole bunch (well, because I simply haven't). Finally, it's not because I been sucked into any sort of show on the TV Box and have been unable to extricate myself from it (because the TV Box just isn't my thing, I do enjoy watching it whilst I spend time with my lovely wife though).

The fault rests on the shoulders of Megaton and Talenos. Megaton gave my e-mail to the developers of die2nite, but it was Talenos who rode in with an invite code when I didn't jump in soon enough.

I've spent the last three weeks or so (probably longer) completely and thoroughly addicted to scavenging in the wasteland, fending off zombies while scavenging and building defenses in town with the items I've wrested from the clammy grip of the shambling siafu.

It hasn't all been glory and roses for me either. Bad stuff happens, but death is not the end. And every once in a while the leader The Walkers of the Wasteland (my coalition) writes a very nice piece of flash fiction about our trials and posts it in the 'World Forums'. What follows is one such:

Thorgrimm scanned the horizon one final time.

"Where the hell are you two?" he muttered to himself, worry gnawing at his soul.

He looked once again at the timepiece he used, and knew all was lost.

The hot coal in the pit of his gut told him what he had to do, for the good of the town he had to sacrifice Fear and Tinted Grey.

"I failed you two. I should have told you not to venture out to that location. Hopefully, in our next lives you can forgive my inept leadership."

He gave one last furtive glance out over the wastelands, closed the gates, turned and walked back to his tent. Not a word escaping his grim visage.


Once the attack had subsided Thor knew what he had to do. He was not going to let his friends wander around as one of the restless dead.

Thorgrimm headed for the bank where he withdrew three batteries to equip his batt gun. Not a person said a word. They knew what was being done, and secretly they hoped that if they died someone would care enough about them to end their undead lives.

He arrived at the gate, paused, and opened them and proceeded out into the wastes. Almost immediately he saw a zack shambling his way.

Without looking in the direction of the thing he raised his weapon and put a battery into the walking corpse's skull.

He opened the chamber of the weapon, inserted a fresh batt and began to walk west, towards where he knew his friends were located.

There were only two zacks located in the general direction and the gaunt looking man headed west without giving the shambling dead another glance.

When Thor arrived in the area that Fear and Tinted Grey had died he saw them almost immediately. Whether it was karma or not, they seemed to notice him too.

His heart was breaking as he noticed the strips of flesh that was missing from the bodies of his friends. Seeing them in this condition wrenched his heart in two.

He waited for them to get closer before firing. Fear arrived first, due to the fact his legs were not missing as much flesh as Tinted's were.

"I'm sorry my friend. Maybe in our next life I will be a bit wiser and anticipate things just a bit better." The thing just groaned and shambled forward.

Suddenly the pistol shot upward and lined up with Fear's forehead. There was only a moment's hesitation before Thor pulled the trigger, putting Fear to rest for the final time.

He popped open the chamber and inserted a new batt as he waited for Tinted Grey to shamble forward.

"Tinted, you could always put a smile on the faces of the team, no matter how bad we felt. I'm sorry I failed you." With that the pistol shot up and fired, ending Tinted Grey's membership in the family of the undead.

Thor did an about face and began to head back to the town, gathering up resources on his way back. The process of survival continued.

As a review, I'd say this game is not really a 'massively online role playing' one such as WOW. It does drop you in town with 39 other people. Some of these are folks like myself, been at the game long enough to know the ins and outs. Others are dropping into their first town in their first life. They haven't the slightest clue what's going on and either get stuck in the desert or build something stupidly and get shunned. It's a learning curve. My first couple of towns I had no clue what I was doing and didn't last the night. But as I got better I picked up a couple of hard and fast rules that will help you survive (my record is 10 days).

Rule the First: Build a tent. Never build a hovel, unless you have permission from the town. You don't need one anyway. Hovel builders are selfish players. You will be shunned. Ask in the forums before you take this action.

This brings me to the next rule:

Rule the Second: After you have built your tent, opened your Citizen's Welcome Pack along with the doggy bag, collect your water. Then read the town forum. Post in them. Say hi. Make friends with your fellow townspeople. The forum is where you ask about hovels, taking items from the bank and general advice. Most importantly, the forum is the town's radio. It is where you call for help if you get stuck in the desert.

This brings me to the next rule:

Rule the Third: Keep track of your Action Points. When roaming through the wastes make sure you have two AP for every one movement in the desert. It needs to be a two way trip. Make sure you know where the Point Of No Return is and don't cross it. Keep an eye on the map so you are sure.

That brings me to the last rule:

Rule the Last: On you first day use your original AP and go three zones out. Search there and remain until your rucksack is filled. Return to the town and give everything to the bank. After the first day NEVER leave town without a plan and a group of people. On day two it can be just you and another citizen. After day two however groups of four or five become necessary.

Now some helpful hints: 1: Drink your water ration before you eat (and if at all possible reserve your food for an emergency). If you go the other way you'll dehydrate and die. 2: Build a Workshop in your town. Do this first, trust me. 3: If you are ever unsure about what to do or not to do, ask on the town forum. They are normally a nice bunch.

Interested in playing? If so me a favor and use this code:

If I see you around I'll give a shout out and an invite to The Association.

Thank you and good luck out there.

Plague Zone by Jeff Carlson

The land transformed. Gas stations and truck lots appeared first. Warehouses. A car dealership. A quarry. There were homes, too, and freeway billboards and an endless row of great metal trusses supporting electrical lines. Everything looked as if it had been lifted and thrown. The buildings sagged. Even the freeway buckled and split. Ash covered the world, robbing it of any color.