In response to "All That's Shiny is Gold" from The Escapist Forum: Cheers to WiNG and the rest of the Wrench Donors! I've remember following the charity drive during the early part when it was just Wing and 3 others. It was an amazing show of support at first, but started to dwindle early sadly until what seemed as a grass-roots effort finally got tons more steam added back to it.
And that was BEFORE the official TF2 blog updated with what I consider one of the most heartfelt posts ever. ( http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=4151&p=2 ) If the event succeeded in something at least, it was in getting the TF2 Team to acknowledge, promote, and show a level of humility to all their players.
It honestly felt like the first Desert Bus, just a wave of donations and support starting coming in right after that post! From 7 to 13 Wrenches gone, up for donation with all kinds of support. I've always loved the TF2 Community in general, but this explained why the most. :)
Huh, look, a celebrity! At least on this particular thread on this particular site at this particular time.
Anyway... yeah, that's pretty amazing. Collectibles are collectibles, after all, and people do go nuts over them. In my opinion, the story isn't about deleting the wrench. That is just a side issue that happened to be the catalyst for something greater, the charity event.
Personally, that system doesn't seem THAT bad - it's at least better than the first xxxx people to do this, but it could have been improved easily by simply making it a percent chance after a certain time. There, now they won't be found all at once and the people making stuff all the time will still have better chances to get it.
In response to "Toy Story" from The Escapist Forum: Goodness, I didn't realize that these items actually sell. I can certainly see the appeal of them, however.
I imagine that the impulse that drives people to build model cars, ships and airplanes is the same one behind the purchase of video game toys. I'll never fly a fighter or sail on a battleship, but by building a model, or buying a gun from Gears of War, and holding it in your hands, a person can connect with the substance of the object in a way that video can't provide.
In response to "Ghost-Type Story" from The Escapist Forum: The story of Ghost Black reads like a fable to me. In a setting where you normally have to struggle and grind your way through a game to eventually become the ultimate trainer, you are given an awesome, yet clearly evil power. Fights that once got your heart pounding as you traded attacks with opposing trainers, desperately hoping you would be the victor, are now pathetic wastes of time as your Curse ability lays waste to even the strongest Pokemon. Then, once you have demonstrated your power, you get to decide the fate of your crushed opponent, who were previously untouchable. Perhaps they were that one particular trainer that you had to fight to proceed down a certain route, or maybe it was a Gym Leader who thwarted your every attempt on your first playthrough as a child. Regardless of your motives, the choice is clear and simple. Live or die. They are completely at your mercy.
It quickly becomes clear that you have the final word in this world. But the game is always watching you, remembering every time you sealed the fate of an opposing Pokemon or a fellow trainer with the Curse. Finally, just as you think you are the new ultimate power, the game walks you back through your footsteps, showing you the spots where you pointlessly ended the life of another human being. Drunk with power, you didn't realize the devastation you left in your wake. As a sickening realization dawns on you, it abandons all subtlety and lists every single life you snuffed out.
When the list of your misdeeds finally comes to an end, the game casts judgement on you. In its darkest moment yet, the game forces you to sap your own life force until the Ghost takes you, too, with the Curse. Your save file is erased. You cannot go back on your lifelong history of destruction. Your punishment is bleak and final.
When I watched the Youtube video of this story, it sent a chill up my spine. I realized that I would have been the final recipient of the Ghost's curse as well. I think a real version of this game should include an alternate ending - if you don't use Curse during the whole course of the game, Ghost does not Curse you. Rather, he either lets you live just as you think he is going to curse you, or he takes you to the afterlife. I think the second option is more in tune with the Pokemon series' emphasis on collection. You, too, are collected, but not in the morbid way that the 'original' ending had it. And that way, when you think about your games in ten or twenty years, you can rest content knowing that your character lives on.
I was reminded of the Missingno glitch in the same game. Through a certain sequence of events, you could encounter a pokemon with a "missing number" and various garbage for data (its moves were Water Gun, Water Gun, and Sky Attack, and its type was Bird/Normal, where Bird wasn't actually a real type). Most people knew about it because of the duplicate item glitch associated with it.
So I of course abused the hell out of the Missingno glitch to level up a whole party of level 100s. Then I got an idea. I took one of my 127 Master Balls and caught it. Who said there were only 151 Pokemon?
It turns out catching Missingno also corrupts your Hall of Fame, the list of parties you'd used to defeat the Elite Four. So while you can catch Missingno (which actually gives you more copies of the item than just killing it, according to some websites I just looked up), it comes at the cost of devaluing all of your achievements, in a sense.