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WRUP: The stupid benchmark game edition

Eliot Lefebvre

Final Fantasy XIV released its benchmark this week. To celebrate, I've been playing the benchmark. Specifically, I've been tweaking settings to see how high I can get the score to go without sacrificing any major visual quality. This is stupid at face value, but it's especially stupid when you consider that I ran the benchmark at maximum resolution and settings and got a score that told me, "You're good; you can run the game like this just fine."

In other words, I have turned a test program into a crude facsimile of a game in which I see how I can game the test. I say this without pride.

Most of us at the Massively offices will be playing actual games rather than whatever stupid nonsense this is, so this week's WRUP is still relevant. Check out our plans past the break, and let us know what you'll be doing down in the comments!

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist
@Beau_Hindman: I'll be checking out the Game of Thrones: Ascent social game for next week's Rise and Shiny. So far it looks a bit like a social game, a bit like an interactive story, and a bit like an MMORTS. It's odd and might be skirting the edges of what MMO means, but it's interesting. For the record, other games are doing the same thing already, but production value on this one seems higher. I'll also be trolling the internet for more mobile and browser-based MMOs, so if anyone has any, send them my way!

Brendan Drain, EVE Columnist and Contributing Editor
@nyphur: I'll be playing around with EVE Online's new Ancillary Armor Repairers this weekend and writing about the some of the best active tanking PvP setups I can come up with that use them. I'll probably also spend a ridiculous amount of time in Path of Exile experimenting with an energy shield Witch and trying to figure out the value of all these currency orbs I keep finding.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna: I'll probably play some more Akaneiro (thanks again to Beau for digging up yet another gem there) and wander through some Guild Wars 2 dailies because my new 80 needs to gear up, and laurels seem like the lazy (wo)man's way to do it.

David Desi, Multimedia Contributor
@PsykopigAU: Unfortunately I won't fit in much gaming other than some RIFT on Saturday night. I will, however, squeeze a little Star Wars: The Old Republic in... at some point... late in the night.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre: Since most of next week will inevitably be spent in the Final Fantasy XIV beta, I think I'd better tie up any outstanding affairs in Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Secret World before I get lost in Eorzea again. And then have to stop playing when the beta phase stops. Man, now I'm not even sure I want to play.

Elisabeth Cardy, Guild Wars 2 Columnist and Contributing Editor
@elixabethclaire: I am on what feels like the last push for my Legendary weapon in Guild Wars 2. It might be a three-month-long last push, but everything left that I need (T6 mats, globs of ectoplasm, and onyx lodestones) are things that don't really rely on chance (like the mystic clovers do), so I'm all full of renewed spirit. To that end, I'll be doing some fractals (gotta get my Warrior her second bit of agony resistance) and some dungeons (CoF is like an ecto machine).

Jasmine Hruschak, Multimedia Contributor
@irljasmine: There's an abundance of space ostriches that need punching, and I'm just the woman for the job. I've been playing through Halo Reach with a friend, and it's been a whole space transport vehicle full of fun gathering around the console, getting out the junk food, and smashing buttons until dawn. And by dawn, I mean dinner time, when we go responsibly make a healthy, balanced meal... what has become of my life? Soda, chips, and a 12-hour gaming marathon needed ASAP. But first, I need to walk the dog.

Justin Olivetti, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Sypster: I recently became the proud owner of a paddle-ball. I'm going to spend a good portion of the weekend attempting to master its intricacies and racking up as many achievements as possible, including 1,000 bumps in a row and hitting myself in the eye on the rebound. Then I will start an outreach program to gang youths to teach them that crack is no match for the addiction and satisfaction that a paddle-ball can give you. Then I will probably be murdered with a hollow Bic pen.

MJ Guthrie, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie: I am totally excited to get further along in Egypt in The Secret World, especially with Issue #6 coming out in a couple-ish weeks. I am also going to dive into Clone Wars Adventures. I might -- might -- manage level 57 in Aion, but I won't hold my breath; I keep getting too distracted with mentoring and housing. And speaking of housing, I have a major project in EverQuest II I am pumped to dive into.

Patrick Mackey, League of Legends and Age of Wushu Columnist
@mackeypb: Is anyone surprised that I'm still playing League of Legends, Guild Wars 2, and Age of Wushu? I don't really have much to say about any of them that would be exciting, though. My GW2 Ranger just hit level 30, and elite skills have been pretty cool thus far. In AoW, I recently hit inner 2 level 36 (the current level cap), and I'm working on cross-training abilities from other schools. I haven't really done much in terms of other progression, though; most of my "achievements" have been social and have little to do with gameplay or political goals. I'm mostly practicing mechanical things in LoL too and have little to report on that front as well. I'm playing a lot of Summoner's Rift to smooth out my skills, and I think it's helping. Otherwise, not a lot exciting has been going on and I'm still unsure which champion I should unlock next. I really like Syndra (in terms of theme and aesthetics), but I also really should get Lulu as she's simultaneously awesome and adorable. Both are kind of expensive to unlock via IP, so I have a little time to think about it.

Richie Procopio, Multimedia Contributor
@RichieProcopio: Guild Wars 2 is definitely on the plate for this weekend as we get ready for the February game update next week. I have keg brawls to participate in and enemy skulls to crack. That's just the Norn way, I guess. I've also been playing a bit of Mark of the Ninja, which is a terrific stealth platformer that I highly recommend. My sons are playing World of Warcraft again, so I'll probably be riding shotgun with them as they explore Azeroth.

Terilynn Shull, Star Trek Online Columnist
@terilynns: Alas, I will not be playing very much this weekend, only enough Star Trek Online to give me my fix. Travels to Los Angeles for an unofficial Oscar party are my biggest plans. I have to say, I'm surprised the Academy hasn't made an MMO yet.

At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

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