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The Days of Pay-to-Play MMOs Are Gone

I never thought I’d say this; in fact I thought it would be the opposite, but more and more MMOs are abandoning the old way of charging everyone to playing their game and leaning towards giving everyone a free membership while charging for premium content that enhances the gaming experience.

I am a staunch advocate against paying monthly to play a MMO and the only time I broke my own rule was in high school when I paid for a couple months as a member on Runescape ( and that was before the graphics got better). Becoming a member opened up a huge number quests, items, monsters, and towns that free-players couldn’t get to. It was practically like playing a whole new game; in my defense of paying monthly, the cost was only $5 a month, as opposed to the typical $12 to $15 charged monthly for games like Warcraft, Lineage II, or Final Fantasy XI (people are still playing that right?).

Many MMOs offer players a free membership as well as a paid subscription and the perks that come with paying monthly. Free versions are always scaled down from the P2P, but the degree of the inferiority of the free play depends on the individual game. The great thing about MMOs that offer a chance to play the game for free is you don’t have to lock into a subscription before playing, so people can get a feel for the MMO with no strings attached. If a player likes the game and wants to dive deeper into it, they can sign up for a paid membership and enjoy the previously unavailable content.

It makes good business sense to have both free and paid memberships because those people who originally do free play may end up subscribing, whereas when an MMO doesn’t have the F2P option, they could be missing out of people who don’t want to subscribe immediately but may pay later on once they get everything out of the free world. Personally, I’m too weary to jump into a game that makes me whip out my credit card before I download the client, but I’m not as against paying a little bit for some premium content like a good quest or rare sword. I would rather spend my money buying some video game merchandize that are worth buying than subscribing to expensive monthly membership. So I always recommend that when it comes to playing video games, always choose the one that is affordable yet quality.

Warcraft has been hugely successful in the P2P MMO world. WOW gives players everything they want in an MMO: a massive world to explore, tons of quests, extremely rare and valuable items, and a huge community and for many people, that’s worth paying a subscription for.

What’s becoming more prevalent are free trials that last for a certain number of days, normally 10 to 14. Many MMOs like Star Trek Online and City of Heroes offer 14 days of free play with a number of features disabled. Some MMOs have an “endless trial” like Warhammer Online or Dungeons and Dragons Online, but they are only endless until you reach a certain level. Still, free trials coax people into playing the game who may end up subscribing. Free trials are a great way to play a popular MMO without whipping out your (or your parents’) credit card. Free trials are probably on their way out too, because this shift from P2P to F2P is going to eliminate the need for them.

Guild Wars has a good plan, which is to sell the software at the price of a regular game and never have monthly fees to begin with. I feel like more people prefer that method because paying for a game is nothing new and players don’t have to worry about being charged monthly.

P2P games are on their way out, players don’t like dealing with monthly subscriptions so we’re going to see a transition from MMOs that are free to play but offer premium content to those willing to pay. In the meantime, enjoy all the free trials that the many MMOs are offering and have some fun.

Lovely Gift Ideas For Your Romantic Partner This Christmas Season

There should not be a holiday devoted to true love, for love itself should be shown and expressed every day on any occasion. Phone, instant messaging and of course talking in person are all great way to tell that one special guy or girl how much they mean to you. But this holiday does exist and thus gives our girls another wonderful reason to hit the malls. I say girls because no matter how much your guy may care about you, chances are he will turn to online shopping for ideas and to make actual purchases. While girls spend countless hours in a mall over analyzing what to get, guys make a few clicks online and they are done with their shopping.

It is often difficult to shop for the one you love, but creativity and thoughtfulness is key, especially if you are low of cash. If you have been together a long time you probably know your sweetheart better than anyone else, and therefore can get him something his friends and family won’t think of. This you can learn from any casual conversation or observation of your guy/girl in the mall. Last year me and my guy were talking about high schools and I learned that he always regretted not getting his HS yearbook (he graduated in 1997). That Christmas I went back to his school (luckily he went to school in my city) and amazingly enough they still had one remaining copy of the yearbook.

The image of his face as he unwrapped his present is priceless. Aside from the usual cologne gift that is often too expensive, an equally thoughtful and much cheaper would present would be to get your guy deodorant that smells like his favorite cologne. It is a known fact that guys sweat more than we do, and a great deodorant is often more useful than another tie.

You can also click on for more gift ideas for men.

If you are shopping for a girl, and you are short on cash, a thoughtful and very inexpensive way to say “I love you” would be to make her some cupcakes and either write it on top. Baking these days has never been simpler and all of the pre-made ingredients can be bought at any supermarket. If you are the type of a guy who will never wear an apron, you can still show her how thoughtful you are by paying close attention to her thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Some of the creative things you can look into is erotic board games for the two of you, a ‘goodie’ bag with some sensual and sexual toys, or you can go in a different direction and get your girl an electrical shaver, a flash for her new notebook, a wireless mouse, etc. This of course all depends on who she is, whether she’s an electronics freak like myself, or whether she’s the kind of girl who will go for clothes, jewelry and make up.

The point here is that a perfect gift takes time, research, and planning. I used to get offended when my boyfriend bought my gifts online, but asking him to go shopping after work and school would be insensitive and unfair. And it really is the thought that counts. It really truly is.

Choosing the Right Treadmill for Your Exercise Program

When people choose to exercise more people work out on a treadmill than any other piece of exercise equipment. Price, which can vary widely is not the only thing to consider before you purchase a treadmill. Deciding where your treadmill is to be located in one of the factors you must consider before your purchase. Treadmills come in basically two designs, non-folding and folding. A non-folding design will on average take up the same space as a small couch. A folding model will take up about half of the space of a non-folding model. Make sure you have plenty of room for whichever model you intend to purchase. Some will automatically fold up on their own which is a plus if you have trouble lifting things or have back problems. Another thing to consider is what kind of workout would you like to achieve on your treadmill. Do you intend to walk or will you be doing some running on your treadmill? If you plan to do any running at all you might need to consider a non-folding upper price range model. The durability that these machines provide will usually far outweigh the extra cost involved if you are really serious about your exercise program. The features that you choose for your new treadmill will be another consideration you will need to make in your purchase. Many machines provide exercise routines, which you can program into the machine. This feature can go along way in eliminating the boredom that can be associated with using a treadmill.

This feature also will let you know how you are doing and is a way for you to set goals as to how to fit you want to become. Other features you might want to consider are a heart rate monitor as well as a treadmill that will allow you to walk or run on an incline. Someone who is serious about getting in shape and uses his or her treadmill on a regular basis will subject it to a lot of wear and tear. Look at purchasing a treadmill that offers at least a one-year warranty on labor and two years on moving parts. For your exercise to be more effective using a treadmill, you may also want to try alternatives from Crazybulk in Canada.

Once you have researched various models and make a visit as many stores as you can to see which model works best for you. Try the treadmills out making sure you are comfortable with all the features and controls and that you fully understand them. If you have been planning to purchase a fold-up model try folding and unfolding it at the store to make sure you can easily handle it. When you think you have found the perfect treadmill for you ask the store if you can take it home and try it out. Many stores and treadmill companies will let you take it home for a certain amount of time to see if you really like it. This may require a small deposit but it is well worth it to make sure you are getting exactly the right make and model for your intended exercise program.

Treadmills can be a great way to get into shape and improve your overall physical health provided you use it and don’t just let it sit in the corner collecting dust. As with any exercise program be sure to consult your doctor before beginning. Once you have been giving the go-ahead get on your treadmill and start giving your body the healthy workout it needs and deserves.

What The Gaming Industry Needs To Flourish In The Future

In hindsight of the current events in the gaming industry it’s safe to presume that the industry is not just headed for a dark age of gaming; it’s in one already. Perhaps that will change in the near future with the new slew of consoles or perhaps publishers will simply stop throwing in overpriced DLC into their unfinished titles and try something more agreeable to make a profit. And that’s despite of the big titles they have launched such as DOTA, and the flourishing dota 2 mmr boosting service offered by some. While the immediate future of gaming looks only like a bumpy road filled with greed fueled people there are some important factors you should also pay attention to.

Some of the bigger publishers of modern gaming prove time and time again that they are not in touch with what gamers want but things will not stay that way forever. Gaming is still a relatively young industry and some of you may fill their shoes someday as the next generation of gamers. Developers today actually do have a relatively strong grasp on what gamers want, but must act upon the wishes of the publishers who fund them which usually doesn’t give them the opportunity to make games the way they want to.

Gaming is now considered an art in the US. This is a huge step towards accomplishing what needs to happen in order for quality games to start being regularly released once more while still keeping publishers happy. That something is a gaming awards ceremony similar to what the Academy Awards are for movies. As a movie studio if you win an Academy Award your movie will have true merit to its name and your sales for the film will go up. It doesn’t matter what category since they all carry importance with them. If your movie wins ‘best soundtrack’ you can market that just as well as winning ‘best picture’. There are smaller gaming awards in existence already but these are not nearly prestigious enough to earn a game merit and boost its sales by very much. The most prestigious award a game can receive right now is a Game of the Year title. This kind of thing is only a single award aggrandizing the entirety of the game. Pretty soon it will lose it’s significance with there being so many of them given out by an increasing amount of reputable gaming websites and magazines.

Right now games do not take risks because there is much to lose and nothing to gain. The next Call of Duty title will still make a large profit no matter how good or bad it is. What then is Activisions incentive to improve the series or take risks in it’s design leading to potentially better results so the franchise can grow?

The future of gaming needs the proper award ceremony it deserves as it becomes a more mainstream form of media embraced not just by hardcore gamers but by the general public. If this happens publishers won’t push developers to release titles sooner and make money with DLC; they will push developers to make quality games that will have to wow people enough to win an award that only a select few titles ever receive. Game of the Year needs its reputation back and amplified even more. Game of the Decade should exist as a category as well. Not to mention the improvements we would see in AAA titles if simpler awards like ‘best soundtrack’, ‘best voice acting’, ‘best combat system’ etc existed.

Questions Behind Legality To Use Music Downloader


Most of the music is covered by the copyrights, but non-copyrights can be downloaded at any time. Only a percentage of music in this world is protected by copyright. Publicly the concept of copyright is not working, especially for the available older recordings. The ‘royalty-free’ or the materials created under Creative Common licensing music are also free.

Online Music Downloader’s

There are many legal uses of these music downloaders; till these downloaders are proved to be illegal, one can download the music from them. Tubidy Mp3 is also one of these music download options available on the internet.

Converting Videos

It is considered entirely legal to watch any of the videos on YouTube. Under copyright law streaming it under legitimate site is permitted. And if it does not involve creating any video mp3 or download, then it’s okay. The safe part is to avoid downloading copyrighted works.

Audio to YouTube Video

The process to be followed to download free songs from YouTube is simple. One must pick an online YouTube to MP3 service, cut and then paste the URL of the YouTube video that has to be converted. Just hit the ‘Convert’ button and need to wait for the download. One just needs to follow the copyright rules for the same. Tubidy mp3 also offers the service to download the songs.

The right use of the Downloader

If one needs to find the right side of the law, one needs to see a particular service in a proper manner. In YouTube, it applies as streaming with by a website or a specific app. With the help of a YouTube downloader and offline or online video grabbing, one can see whether to capture the same or not? But for every video, this cannot be legal to download as some videos are or Creative Common License covers the content on YouTube.

Top 5 Things to Know Before You Buy a Mattress

We spend an average of 1/3 of our life sleeping. Seems like a lot, right? If we sleep about 33% of our life, it mind as well be comfortable. Buying the right mattress at the right price is advice everyone can use. We need to consider all factors of the product before we actually buy it. We need to keep in mind that the mattress is where we spend at least eight hours of every day in. There are five main tips and basic knowledge everyone should have handy before they decide to purchase a mattress.

The first thing you have to consider is the budget. In today’s economy, the price of a mattress is one of the major concerns of families. Shop around. Don’t be suckered into buying the first mattress you see because there may be another deal that’s even better. For the even thriftier shopper, try looking in the classified section of the newspaper for used mattresses. Make sure to leave enough in your budget for the purchase of a mattress. Also, negotiate with the salesman for a better price. Don’t be fooled into the price thats on the mattress.

The second thing everyone should consider is the size and firmness of the mattress. Measure the wall area or the room size to make sure it will fit perfectly. Remember that the sizes from smallest to largest are: twin, full, queen, and king. Obviously, one person does not need a king sized bed, so be wise to shop for captain’s beds and platform beds the correct size for you or your families needs.

The third thing that a potential buyer should know is the quality of the product. The Internet is your friend. Utilize the researching methods online and check out consumer reviews of all different brands of mattresses. If you go in the store, don’t just take the salesman’s word. Touch the mattress, lay down on it, smell it. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

The fourth thing you should be aware of is the maintenance required. Like all things, mattresses wear out and become obsolete. You will need to know how to take care of it and make it last as long as possible.

The last thing you should know is the warranty on the mattress. Most mattresses come with a ten year warranty, but can be easily null and void if there is one slight stain on it. Consider buying a waterproof cover for your mattress to avoid spills and stains. Some warranties also stipulate that the mattress must be flipped every six months. Check with the sales associate for more information.

Remember never to hold back. Fire away with questions for the salesman. Make sure he is doing his job. Test the mattress and have everyone try it out to get different opinions on it.

Essential Tips on Proposing Marriage

Whether it is seven years or two months, one always gets marriage vibes from the partner they are meant to be with. And if there is compatibility, compassion, love, trust, respect, and admiration, why delay the big wedding everyone dreams of since childhood.

But, before the marriage, comes the proposal, that challenges everyone’s courage. While proposals are undoubtedly the sweetest events ever, having the confidence to bend the knee and declare your love, can be a tough job. And there are certain things one should definitely remember as wedding proposal ideas.

  • Location

Locations are crucial for special days as it stays as a memory forever. Proposals are best enjoyed at sentimental locations which have history or relevance with the relationships such as on a gondola ride. Also, one should remember about their partner’s preference, and if needed, propose in a cozier, personal space.

  • Invite People

If he/she enjoys the company of friends or family, it is wise to invite them for your big day. Let them hide, propose and let them take him/her by the element of surprise. Group hugs and get-togethers are the best way to enjoy.

  • Professional photographer

Photographs are crucial these days. They are remembrances of a beautiful memory and serve as a symbol of capturing and storing the moments forever. Photographs are also used to announce life events to friends, family, and acquaintances on social media.

While these wedding proposal ideas will save your day and make it a memorable one, don’t forget to promise each other a lifetime of happiness and satisfaction.

A Look at Whether Public Wi-Fi Networks are Truly Safe

When walking through places like college campuses, coffee houses, hotels and even grocery stores, it has become common to see people hunched in front of their laptops surfing the Web over public wireless (WiFi) networks.

What many people do not know is that if your laptop is not properly protected, when using public WiFi you leave yourself and your computer especially at risk to things like identity theft and computer hijacking.

If you use your laptop and WiFi to do online banking, to store potentially sensitive personal information such as the passwords for online bill paying or work-related sites, or even just for email that you would like to keep to yourself, it is absolutely essential that you protect your laptop with a firewall.

Most antivirus software suites include robust firewalls. My personal favorite is the security suite offered from Zone Labs. This antivirus would become even more reliable if you integrate the best wifi booster on your device. Certainly, you want to have a reliable connection when using Internet in public.

Many computers come with a trial version, or even the full version, of Norton Antivirus installed. Please note that this software is so common that the hacking community regularly comes up with malicious software specifically coded to weasel around the protection offered by Norton.

The program is also a notorious computer resource hog, and I can’t recommend it.

Even the Microsoft firewall built into Windows XP and Vista is significantly better than no protection. You should take the time to configure it if you are not yet using dedicated firewall software.

Also, consider limiting your internet use of public WiFi networks to leisure-type uses which do not directly divulge sensitive information. Please note that just because you are not entering passwords or visiting sensitive sites, you are not guaranteed to be protected.

Even checking your email over a public network can leave you open to crafty password-stealing hackers.

Remember that if malicious software coders can successfully implement a key logger, or a program that records and transmits every keystroke a user makes, then sensitive information such as bank or credit card company passwords can easily fall into the wrong hands.

Using public WiFi networks only compounds this problem, because the nice looking gentleman using his laptop at the table across from you could actually be attempting to crack into your computer. If you do not protect yourself when using WiFi, it will only make it easier for him.

One strategy is to keep user names and passwords in word processor files, rather than typing them directly into your browser. If you keep these files at ready and copy and paste the applicable information into the appropriate fields, you greatly lessen the chance that your information will be intercepted, even if your computer has been infected with a key logger.

Second only to employing a firewall, the most important step you can take to protect yourself when using public WiFi networks is to regularly run spyware removal tools. I have had great results with using Lavasoft’s AdAware.

Not only will regularly running this and similar programs increase the chance that your system is clean from malicious identity theft software; they can greatly increase performance as well.

Diy: Air Conditioner Maintenance

Every new homeowner faces the challenges and excitements of maintaining a new household. And with summer around the corner, the air conditioner becomes a key player in the role their new home can provide. You can visit แอร์ 48000 btuราคา to get all the cleaning material. You can even compare the maintenance cost of different air conditions that are there in the market.

These are some few, quick tips you, as homeowner can do to get your air conditioner in optimal shape for this upcoming summer.

Before you do follow any of the following tips, please remember:

Safety first. Do NOT do anything you think it might be dangerous or it could be a hazard for you, or for the operation of your unit.

All air conditioning systems are different. Have your unit’s documentation manual handy, in case you need to consult something that it is not clear or evident (e.g. what to avoid doing while cleaning the outdoor condensing unit).

Be ready and alert. Make sure you are present, and monitoring the proper operation of your air conditioning system, after you have performed maintenance on it.

In the event something goes wrong, stay calm, turn your unit off by setting the thermostat to “OFF”, and contact your service company of choice.

Tip #1: On a monthly basis, check the furnace filter.

The furnace’s filter must be clean. This is very important for the efficient operation of the air conditioner. If necessary, replace it.

Tip #2: Keep your outdoor condensing unit free of debris.

The outdoor condensing unit (that large metalic box in your yard, next to your home), gets to collect dirt and debris after a long period of inactivity.

Leaves, grass, weeds, and plants nearby, can block the unit’s airflow, reducing its efficiency. It is recommended you cover your condensing unit during winter, or while the air conditioner is not in use, minimizing the impact dirt and debri can cause to your unit’s fins.

Tip #3: Clean the outdoor condensing unit by spraying it with a water hose.

Dirt is common to be present after a whole winter of no activity.

The outdoor condensing units are designed to cope with exposed outdoor conditions. Spraying it a bit with a water hose is a fast, cost-effective, and efficient method of cleaning it.

Tip #4: Make sure your home’s electrical system is in good condition.

Checking circuit breakers or fuses in your home’s electrical panel, is essential to make sure your air conditioning works correctly, and safely.

Make sure to replace fuses with the right AMP setting. By replacing your panel’s fuses with incorrect ones, you run the risk of electrical fire, putting you and your family in danger.

Consult an electrician, if your electrical box operates with fuses, and do not know how to replace them yourself.

Tip #5: Lower the thermostat settings when nobody is in the house.

You can save a lot of money and help the environment, by making the air conditioner not work as much, when there is on one at home.

Using the thermostat efficiently, is one crucial factor, not everybody applies to using the air conditioner effectively.

Tip #6: Good sealing, makes a world of difference.

Keeping your doors and windows closed during the use of the air conditioner, comes as second nature to people; everybody can feel the fresh cool breeze being replaced by uncomfortable, warm, humid air when doors or windows are opened.

But what not too many people come to realize, is that poor door and window seals, can be really devastating to the house budget; the air conditioner has to work longer, even cutting is lifetime, since cool air escapes through door and window frames.

Tip #7: Passive cooling helps.

If you have ever been to a warm beach, you probably know, that an umbrella, is probably the most important item to carry with you, along with a comfy swimsuite.

Properly providing your home with shade, is one overlooked factor that can have a serious impact on the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Not allowing extra heat to warm up your house, makes the job on the air conditioner lighter, and will probably lower both, maintenance and operation costs.

Handbag Designer To The Stars

Stella Page believes in dressing things up a bit – just to keep life interesting.

And so she applies her embellishment techniques to just about anything she can get her hands on. You can get High Quality Designer Replica Handbags. You get the best quality handbags at really affordable prices. These designer handbags are latest and trendy as well.

“I’ve always been prolific,” said Page, whose lines of collectible handbags and compacts have become all the rage in celebrity circles. “I’ve been doing at least one piece a day for years.”

Page, a recent transplant to Moss Landing, Calif., has long-standing family ties to the Monterey Bay area. Her bohemian parents, Robert Page and Clancy Hathaway Page, helped build Big Sur’s legendary Nepenthe restaurant. Her mother’s family is related to the Weston clan of photographers and artists, and Page is delighted to be close to her cousin, Carmel artist Jana Weston, once more.

Page moved her home and base of operations to the little harbor town last year, and now has a 2,000-square-foot studio there, where in addition to the handbags, also creates custom-made, one-of-a-kind furniture for clients upon request.

“Embellished items are making a comeback,” said Page. “Embellishment is very popular, and also things that are handcrafted.”

Her particular style – a sort of fine art collage applied via decoupage – is undeniably unique. Furniture decoupage has been around since Victorian times, but Page gives it a fresh twist with her Asian and Latin American-inspired lines.

Coming to Moss Landing has been a homecoming for Page, who moved here for several reasons: first, to escape the over-caffeinated hubbub of La-La Land, and secondly, to be closer to her mother, who lives in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Now she’s able to explore her family connections in the area, in addition to the other benefits that come with living in a beautiful, less traveled place.

After 25 years in Los Angeles, “I was tired, physically and mentally,” said Page. “It was time for a life change. it’s turned out to be a very good move.”

In addition to coming full circle in her own history, Page is also is going back to her roots in embellishing furniture.

Some of her first creations, more than 25 years ago, included chairs, trunks and footstools. She also decoupaged bicycles, high-heeled shoes, and just about anything else she could find at thrift stores that seemed appealing.

What separates Page’s art from being just craft is the quality and quantity of images that she applies. The pictures are often layered, as is collage art, and often the central images top off intriguing textural backgrounds.

Page also chooses strong themes – for a long time, she used images of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in her work. Japanese, Chinese and Turkish imagery are current favorites.

Despite the rave reviews from family and friends, Page for many years kept her art as a hobby and made her living as a waitress, continuing to work on her creations before and after her shifts. She worked for many years at the famed Langer’s Delicatessen in Los Angeles, serving up knishes and pastrami on rye.

“During that time, I was honing my skills,” Page said. “And it was cathartic.”

She took the plunge into full-time design five years ago with grand ideas – and grand results.

Page established herself at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles, a hub of cutting-edge West Coast fashion and design. At its hundreds of showrooms, wholesalers seek out fresh looks in clothing, furniture, gifts and decor.

Page’s limited-edition handbags were “discovered” and placed at several exclusive Los Angeles boutiques, where they caught the eye of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore. Other fans are Dina Ruiz-Eastwood and Maria Shriver.

To many of us, the purses – which are in the $300 to $600 price range – seem pricey. But they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other designer handbags, which can cost thousands of dollars.

With the help of several dedicated employees, Page is now supplying her wares to stores in the Bahamas, United Arab Emirates, and Cabo San Lucas, as well as numerous Southern California locations.

Locally, you’ll find Page’s bags for sale at Pacific Tweed and Buzbee Studio, both in Carmel, Calif., and The Clothing Store in Pacific Grove, Calif.

In fact, it was for Buzbee Studio that Page created several pieces of embellished furniture recently.

“It was a 1960s-era hair salon and they bought it ‘as is,’ ” said Page. For instance, she applied her art to several existing “turnabouts,” sort of cupboards on casters which hold beauty supplies, which had come with the salon.

“They’re totally functional,” said Page, who uses a polyurethane coating to protect her designs.

She has also embellished baby furniture with an animal-print background for a home in Pacific Palisades – and that’s something you don’t see every day.