Queen Sheylara, Champion of Ping.sg Game, reveals all

So, there’s this nutcase who’s leaving nasty comments in Cobalt Paladin’s blog about top ranking people in the Ping.sg game.

Because I won the game, I was singled out to receive the lion’s share of name calling. Woo hoo! :)

He called me a bitch and accused me of “acting like a Queen”.

All the rest (including me) are just called “cheaters”.

Hahahahaha.

About Queen Sheylara

To be honest, I was really embarrassed about winning the game. Cobalt Paladin was the first to give me the Queen title.

[Illustration #1]

And then people in the Ping.sg shoutbox followed suit.

I found it hilarious so I just laughed.

I don’t know how people deciding to call me Queen Sheylara translates to me “acting like a Queen”. But then, you can never win in a logic argument with crazy people.

They are the kind of people to whom, if you show scientific evidence that the earth is round, will nonetheless flail their arms, bulge their eyes out, screech at you, call you a liar and insist that the earth is square.

These people are like that one. No use arguing with them. Just agree with them, pat them on the back for being clever, and then walk away.

So, yes. I am the Queen. Bow to me, peasant.

Right.

Okay lah, seriously.

I’m not sure why everyone is raising a huge ruckus over the game. I must admit that Ping.sg founder Uzyn is a genius for coming up with the idea and then coding the game in seven hours. But it’s just a simple little game lasting one day and I thought people would play it and then forget about it. After all, Uzyn only meant it as an April Fool’s distraction.

About Ping.sg

Ping.sg is a blog aggregator where members’ blog entries get pinged so everyone can see what everyone else is blogging.

Each ping shows a title, a post excerpt and details such as name, date and time.

About Ping.sg Game

In the game, you’re shown a title and post excerpt. You’re given four bloggers’ names and you have to guess which one of them pinged that post.

The game is quite clever in that it will show you four names that are likely to be associated with that style of post, so it keeps you guessing.

You have 10 seconds for each question. Correct answers net you 3 points. Wrong answers take 1 point away.

Very simple game. It started at 7 am on April Fool’s Day and ended 6 am the following day.

Playing the Ping.sg Game

I wouldn’t have even known about it had a friend not asked me to go check out Ping.sg for something.

The game was something new so I tried it out and found it fun. I got a high percentage accuracy in my first 10 questions because I was lucky to get posts and names I vaguely recognise.

And then I looked at the player ranking chart and almost fell off my chair. The top player had, like, 1,500 points.

I thought, “Whoa, good luck to you guys fighting for top spot!”

But it was fun and challenging so I continued playing. Getting right answers gave me a sense of pride (I told you, I’m easily amused!) and getting wrong answers made me want to make up for the lost points.

Cobalt Paladin had the right of it. He said, “The game is like gambling. When you lose, you want to win back; when you win, you want to win more.” (Source)

So, that was how I found myself clicking obssessively.

The Time Lapse Bug

At first, I took time to read all titles and excerpts. Then, I realised there was some bug or lag or something. Once in a while, the question would only flash at me for 2 or 5 seconds. Then it would say I failed, without even giving me the full 10 seconds.

As a seasoned MMORPG player, I am no stranger to such glitches, so I just took it in my stride and ignored those misses. Perhaps my Internet connection was lagging or something, big deal.

But I quickened my pace and tried to answer questions as fast as possible to reduce lag failures.

As a result, my percentage fell because I was just clicking crazily and not really reading or analysing much. But that was okay because I wasn’t taking the game seriously, anyway.

I got to, like, 300 points and decided that it was too time consuming.

Quitting The Game… Temporarily

At this time, the Goonfather sent me a bunch of links about feng shui and decorating because we’re moving at the end of the month.

I stopped playing the game and got engrossed in reading articles and MSN chatting with the Goonfather. We even downloaded an Ikea program which allows you to play like The Sims, decorating your floor plans with Ikea furniture.

Time flew and then it was dinner time.

Back To The Game

After dinner, I really meant to sit down and blog. I haven’t posted an entry yet on that day.

But something (I don’t know what) made me go back to Ping.sg and then, without thinking, I just started to click-click-click.

Very soon, I got into top 20 and realised that I actually had a fighting chance to get into top 10 and win that “mention”.

(1st prize is a Ping.sg t-shirt. Top 10 players get a mention in the Ping.sg blog.)

Then, Ping.sg went down for a while so I couldn’t play anymore. I went to do something else.

Doing Something Else

I went to play Viwawa Mahjong. Wang Wang recommended this game to me last Saturday and I have been playing it compulsively since.

It’s just too cute to resist! This is my avatar:

[Sheylara's Wawa]

A Viwawa avatar is called a wawa, which is the Chinese word for doll. You can customise your wawa after earning credits from playing the game. It’s really cool. And the game interface is super cute! Everyone should go play it!

Back To Ping.sg

Later in the night, maybe 10pm or so, I went back to Ping.sg to check on the game. I noticed that people were talking about a hack in the game, so I went in and joined the shoutbox chat.

Apparently, ironicgamer had found an exploit which allowed him to not lose any points. Using it, he had shot up to top position with a score of over 2,000.

But he was honest and told Uzyn about the bug. Uzyn fixed the bug and ironicgamer’s ill-gotten points disappeared. He was down to about 1,000 points now.

Since it was so fun chatting in the shoutbox, I stayed on Ping.sg. And since I stayed on Ping.sg, I might as well continue playing the game. As I alternated between clicking the game and chatting, I somehow got myself into 5th position. Then 3rd position. Then 2nd position.

It would have been easy for me to get into 1st position if i continued clicking, because the top player wasn’t online. But I didn’t want to because I felt I would be embarrassed by the buzz if I won.

So I stopped and went back to play Viwawa Mahjong, where I stayed for three hours. Wang Wang made me a mahjong addict! OMG.

Ranking #1

At about 2:30 am, I decided to stop playing mahjong and go to bed. But before retiring, I checked my ranking on Ping.sg.

I had dropped to 6th place.

I would have been happy to leave it at that because I only wanted to stay in top 10.

But the shoutbox was really active at the time and I couldn’t resist joining in. Everyone was complaining about how tired out they were by the game.

So I complained jokingly, “Who kicked me to 6th place?? I have to fight back!”

And I did, lol. While chatting with the crazy Pingsters, I continued clicking the game and won back 2nd position within two hours.

At this point of time, the top three spots were held by me, Ridz and ironicgamer, who had climbed back up and regained all his lost points.

At about 3 am, Ridz called it quits. He was now at #1 and I was behind him just a bit, at #2. He said he was going to take a nap and I should overtake him so I could have a screenshot of myself being #1.

But he would be back at 5 am to claim his spot back.

So I did what he said and overtook him to get to #1. But I didn’t take a screenshot because, like I said, I wasn’t planning to blog about it.

It’s like, all I would be boasting about is how bo liao I am and how much time I wasted playing this game. Haha.

Why The Game Appealed To Me

But I still compulsively played it because it was more of a personal challenge.

At one point of time Masterleong came into the shoutbox and asked how I could stand sitting there answering thousands of questions.

I told him it was my MMORPG training. It’s like grinding in an MMORPG. You do nothing but kill monsters 10 hours a day just to see numbers (experience points and gold) grow. Each increase, no matter how minor, gives you a fresh boost of energy to keep increasing it.

It’s a numbers game.

You just want to see the number grow and you derive a weird sense of achievement from it.

Which was why, after I overtook Ridz’s score of 2,609, I carried on.

I was really planning to sleep after getting 2,610, knowing that Ridz will come back to claim his top spot, and not minding.

But the obssession with number-growing overtook me.

Getting 3,000 Points

Arzhou was at that time also playing the game. Arzhou is also an MMORPG player and he understands my limitless tolerance for grinding.

He encouraged me to keep grinding away at the game. *lol*

He was also grinding at the same time as me, although he was much lower on the ranking at that time.

Thanks to his encouragement, I decided to break the 3,000 barrier.

Gamers love breaking records and being the first to reach a milestone. After that, people can overtake you but it doesn’t matter, because you were the first to reach.

So I did it.

I was going to stop at 3,000 exactly but I got 3,001, instead. I didn’t want to purposely lose a point just to make 3,000, so I went on and stopped when I naturally got a nice-looking number: 3030.

I could have gone on. I could have gotten 5,000 points because there were still people in the shoutbox entertaining me with chats. I still wasn’t sleepy, and the game was still fun. I was learning more about bloggers’ styles and getting more right answers when I took the time to analyse and learn.

But, like I said, I really didn’t want to win. I just wanted to be the first to break the 3,000. I knew if I continued playing and got 5,000 points, no one would be able to beat me, since the game would end at 6 am.

So, leaving myself with 3,030 points, I bade everyone good night and went to bed.

Still The Winner

I woke up at 8 am and discovered that ironicgamer and Ridz did not wake up to fight for the championship title!!!!

What the heow!!

I was, like, shit lah!

You two slackers, you!!!

You made me win the game!!!!

Even Arzhou took over 3rd place!!!!

I think I won the game by default!

[Illustration #2]

But thanks, all the same, you guys. I have to admit that winning something is also quite fun, even if it’s nothing to feel proud about. On the contrary, you get people calling you a cheat and a bitch. Hahaha. I think that’s what amuses me the most.

My Trick To Winning

Most Pingsters have already blogged about methods, so I won’t add much. We can all recognise patterns. For example:

  • All titles starting with “of” belong to lancerlord
  • Cowboy Caleb’s posts always end with his copyright notice.
  • Anime posts belong to Tedfox
  • Larry Lim is the SEO expert so all SEO posts are his.
  • Sheylara’s posts always have Goonfather in it (haha).

In my case, I recognise fewer patterns beacuse I’m not a super regular Pingster. So, I relied on my analytical skills and elimination tactics.

For example, if a post had a sentence saying, “My boyfriend brought me to this restaurant today…,” I assume it’s by a female blogger, so I’ll eliminate all male-sounding nicks and choose a female nick.

Or if a post was a serious, businessy one, like “Internet Marketing Tips For The Web 2.0 Savvy”, I would pick a serious sounding username. I would, for example pick henrychan over happygirl1234. (Title and names made up.)

I also relied on my knowledge of individual Pingsters with whom I’ve had a chance to hang out with, to help with the elimination.

After a while, I learned which user wrote which kind of posts and it got easier from there.

The Real Trick…

But it wasn’t that easy. There were times when elimination and analysing didn’t work, like if there’s a totally bimbotic post (which isn’t mine) and the four choices are equally bimbotic names, then it’s a 25% chance.

That’s why I only got a 47.75% accuracy. (It would have been more than 50% if I hadn’t “anyhow click without reading” a huge chunk of time.)

But, in the end, I think the real reason I won is because I am bo liao (free) enough to just sit there and click my night away.

I actually enjoy the game. I only find it a chore when I start getting like 10 wrong answers in a row. But when I manage to analyse my way into getting a correct answer, I feel a sense of achievement.

That’s what kept me going.

And, of course, the entertaining chats in the shoutbox.

Very simple lah. Anyone can do it!

Conclusion

This is a super long post I had no intention of writing in the first place! But I just had to say something because everyone’s making a big deal of it. *lol*

Okay, please stop making a big deal.

And watch out for the next game Uzyn is sure to release.

Thanks for the time sink, my friend! *lol*

Now, go and read the official report of the game, if you’re not already tired of reading about it.

Be a pirate, why not?

OMG. I’ve gone and done the unthinkable.

I just bought (or rather, the Goonfather just bought) Pirates of the Burning Sea!!

Pirates of the Burning Sea

It’s a new MMORPG set in the Caribbean of 1720 where you get to be a pirate or swashbuckler or naval officer.

I’ve never even really liked pirates and piratey stuff. Well, I do adore Captain Jack Sparrow, but that’s largely because I love Johnny Depp and that’s the extent of my pirate fandom.

I’m writing this blog now while my game is patching because once the patch is done, I will never have time to do anything else anymore.

Deciding to play this game is a totally impulsive move and totally nuts. I now have a full-time temp office job, on top of which I still have auditions and shoots, on top of which I have this blog to update daily, on top of which I just joined a choir with our first public performance slated for August.

Where will I find time to play an MMORPG?

I didn’t even know of the game’s existence until like a week ago when the game launched and the Goonfather started arrrrr-ing at me like a pirate, at the oddest random moments.

“Arrrrrrrrr!!” he would say, twisting his mouth in a way that makes him look more like Popeye the Sailorman than a badass pirate captain.

And I would ask him, “What the hell?”

And he would say, “I’m a pirate! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!”

He deliberated for a week before finally caving in and buying the game, in the process also buying a second copy for me.

Many of my friends have already started (or are thinking of) playing it, so talk has been revolving around this game, which makes me all excited for no logical reason. I’m not really excited over being a pirate and sailing my own ship and waging sea battles. I’m more excited about playing with friends.

You can’t possibly know what fun is until you play an MMORPG with real life friends.

Well… I dunno. I’ve been (and still am) really insanely busy and I have no time to play games.

But I can feel the gamer’s blood still running strong within me. I am hyperventilating with excitement over starting a new game which I don’t have much of an interest in playing!

Siao lah.

Regression of the gamer chick

I feel somewhat guilty.

Maybe guilty is not the right word. Sheepish, perhaps.

You see, just two weeks ago, I bought a new computer just so I could play an MMORPG again. I had cancelled my EQ2 account five months ago and been feeling like something’s missing from my life.

So, I got my new comp and I re-activated my WoW account.

I played like crazy for a week and then I stopped playing.

Why?

Because I’ve been stuck to my DS Lite since last week, playing an old school RPG.

It’s so old school you won’t believe it. It’s one of those games in which you create a party of five or six adventurers and you bring them out to bash monsters and find treasure. The movement is grid-based and the combat is turn-based. At the start of each turn, you specify what you want each of your characters to do to which monster.

OMFGGG. The joy!

Old school RPGs were the staple of my misspent childhood, so it’s quite nostalgic.

Well, to be fair, I kinda stopped playing WoW after a week because I suddenly got busy with filming since last week. But that also means I have lots of time to play with my DS Lite (while waiting around on the set).

Ironically, I started playing an RPG on my DS Lite because I was suffering from WoW withdrawal during shoots.

But, in the end, the DS Lite RPG displaced WoW!

When I get home at night after a long day of filming, I should spend a few hours playing WoW before going to bed. But I find myself still stuck to my DS Lite. WoW is all but forgotten.

I can’t believe it.

I am sacrificing this:

To play this:

The game is called Etrian Odyssey and, in view of my recent Bleach craze, I’ve named my characters after Bleach characters and my guild is called Bankai.

Haha. Corny.

I have Ichigo (fighter), Rukia (mage), Inoue (healer), Ishida (archer) and Yuruichi (dark hunter). The classes are not named exactly like that, but they’re the same archetypes. For example, the fighter is known as a landsknecht. I can’t even pronounce it. See, if I’d said landsknecht instead of fighter from the start, you’d go huh like I did when I first played the game.

The other classes are in English, though, so it’s not that crazy.

Speaking of Bleach, someone really should make a Bleach RPG or MMORPG. There’s Bleach on the Wii, but it’s one of those silly fighting games I don’t like.

Anyway, I digress. Although I must say Bleach is always a great subject to talk about so who cares about digression?

But I digress.

I feel kinda stupid spending all my free time playing an obviously inferior game when I’m already paying $23 a month for WoW (on top of having spent over a grand on a new computer).

I think people might laugh at me and call me retro or something worse.

But the game is damn fun lah (in an old school way). I used to make my own maps using those primary school exercise books with squares in them. Etrian Odyssey has an in-built map-making facility so you can use the stylus to draw maps right on the screen as you explore the forests!

Help! I’ve regressed!

You think maybe I ought to have my head checked?

Sheylara in costume

The lines are blurring between my roles as actress and gamer. Sometimes, I’m both at the same time, which is awesome, because I get to wear outrageous costumes and play computer games on the job.

I can’t tell you anything about the job because of confidentiality issues, but the costume is from the Korean MMORPG, Granado Espada, and I’m supposed to be an Elementalist. I wish I could keep the costume! But it’s professionally-made and has a four-figure price tag. Scary.

I think I look a little silly because the costume is kinda poofy and it’s obviously European, which I obviously am not. And my hair is wrong for the Baroque-style costume, but the wig that came with the it was all ratty so the director said to do without it.

I also had the chance to play the game but, to be honest, I prefer WoW and EQ2. The selling point of GE, which is that you can control three characters at once, doesn’t quite appeal to me. I like having only one character so I can focus on her and pamper her exclusively. Haha.

But a game’s a game and playing games is always fun!

I had to take more photographs because I might never get the chance to wear this again.

I also took a group shot with the other actors.

You might notice that two of them don’t have shoes on. Pity, because it kinda spoils the look of the photo. But it was a mad rush at the studio that day because we were running late and we were all changing in and out of different outfits the whole morning.

And the only time four of us were in GE costumes and were available to take a group photo, the two just happened to have their shoes off and the crew didn’t have time to wait for them to put their shoes back on. We had to quickly take our photographs, change out, and get on with the shoot.

Well, I need to have more shoots like that!

Gamergirl Returns

I have, as gamers like to say, succumbed to the dark side. My PC is now downloading a years’ worth of patches from World of Warcraft.

Justyn Olby will tell me, “I TOLD YOU SO.”

And that’s why I have to blog about it, so I can pre-empt his I-told-you-so-ness by telling it so first, thereby depriving him of first dibs pleasure. Hah!

I suppose I should start from the beginning.

Almost exactly one year ago, Chong bought me a WoW box for my birthday in an attempt to “lure me to the dark side”. I was playing EverQuest 2 at that time, he was playing WoW, and gamers have this incurable tendency to tempt all their friends into playing the games they’re playing.

I installed my birthday present but didn’t activate the account because I didn’t have time for two MMORPGs. And paying for two gaming subscriptions is madness.

So I put it off, waiting for myself to get bored with EQ2 before I started on WoW.

In February this year, I quit EQ2. Not exactly out of boredom, but due to lack of time. Because of that, I didn’t start on WoW, either. I suddenly decided that I had many more important things to do with my life. I decided to quit gaming totally.

Many gamers will find this declaration very familiar.

Many gamers before me have made the very same declaration.

Many, I think, invariably return to the “dark side” after a while.

That’s why every time I tell Justyn that I have quit gaming, he goes, “Yeah, yeah, tell me about it.”

Well, Justyn doesn’t give me enough credit. I did quit for five months. (Collecting daily bank interest in Neopets and making buildings and troops in Travian do not count.)

Well, you know, it’s not a game if it’s not MMORPG.

Honestly (and this is addressed to my gamer friends), if someone who only logs in to Neopets once a day to collect bank interest were to say, “I’m a gamer!”, you would die laughing.

SO THERE.

But, of course, Justyn will be pleased to proclaim himself a prophet now that I am back MMORPG-ing.

It was an impulse decision.

There have been one too many traumatising incidents this month. Losing roles, getting crappy roles (worse than not getting any), being embarrassingly bad at auditions (worst of all).

In an attempt to forget the trauma, I have been losing myself in my novels.

This night, as I finished devouring my last book, panic seized me.

I had no more books to escape into. The bad memories always know this and they always find me.

So, my solution: A game. I had to play a game.

I played some Neopets, but that made me feel giddy and restless. I wanted to play an RPG, but one that required no subscription. Just for this week, you know, I needed to kill some monsters and such.

I tried playing a free Flash-based online RPG, some silly game which entertained me for a while but then annoyed me because it started hanging every 10 minutes.

I even considered playing Maple Story.

And that was when I remembered.

I have a dusty box of World of Warcraft sitting in my shelf, still attached with a free one-month subscription (very important since I’m broke).

Wahahaha~!

So I am back to being a gamer.

Maybe only for a month because I don’t think I can afford to continue paying for the subscription after the free month is up.

But I know what Justyn will say to that.

“Yeah, yeah, tell me about it.”