Tag Archives: Bad News

The Greatest MMO soon free

This article fromĀ TimeĀ examines an event I’ve eagerly awaited since…February. Not long, still exciting.

Star Wars: The Old Republic can’t keep up with its subscription model and is going free-to-play this fall. The game has fallen under 1 million subscribers, but bad news for Bioware is great news for me.


Matt Peckham examines the free-to-play model as the new MMO-standard, even citing World of Warcraft as joining the bandwagon. What Peckham doesn’t realize is that the WoW free-to-play model is a joke compared to others, with a level limit of 20, despite the fact that DCUO, Champions Online and a host of lesser-known MMOs offer free-to-play with no level cap, and even limited economy participation. WoW’s “free” model is more of a trial account, not a truly free model. Read More →

We’re “approved” but…if only we’d been less responsible, we’d have gotten a REALLY good deal.

At our credit union, we would have been approved for an ARM starting at 5% with 100% financing. But why get an ARM when fixed rates are so low right now? The loan officer we spoke to outright advised us to apply at other banks.

Fast forward to our next appointment. We are approved up to an amount for which we could not hope to make payments in the foreseeable future. That’s the good news; financing is available.

The bad news is we can’t get 100% financing. And I’ll tell you why.

Reason #1: We don’t have kids. Married almost a year, together as a couple 6 years, we have conscientiously and carefully avoided offspring (knock on wood) for the time being for a singular reason:

Limited income.

We were trying to be responsible.

Reason #2: We make “too much” money to qualify for first-time programs with 100% financing. If only one of us were working, or if either of us were still temping instead of working hard enough for that “promotion” to direct hire, we might have qualified. But no. We’re doing “too” well…in spite of the fact that each of us makes less money than almost everyone I know.

Our credit is great, perhaps not quite phenomenal; Megan’s score is 729. Mine is only 691 thanks to Sallie Mae. (Nevermind that Sallie Mae scores a FAILING RATING with the Better Business Bureau.) But if we had less money, or more expenses (like children), we could have qualified for 100% financing.

Isn’t this a beautiful county?

So to move into a house by the time our lease is up, we need to raise a minimum 3.5% down payment on whatever house we want by July. I guarantee you that’s real money we don’t have. It’s doable…sort of. But it’s very depressing to know that this figure (whatever we can save) is going to be the limiting factor in the house we buy far more than our payment or credits.

And this barrier could have been dodged entirely if we’d just been a little bit … less … responsible.

Earliest results are promising…

hatrack-logoSo after critiquing four or five “first 13 lines” of other writers (and offering to read more of the work which intrigued me), I chose Woman’s Best Friend to post first. Not sure why.

Here’s how the first-13-lines reads:

Naomi woke to the sound of Jessie barking.

She could barely identify the golden retriever’s silhouette against the window. For a confused moment, Naomi thought that Mark must be coming home, but that couldn’t be right. Mark was in Chicago, and Naomi had the car anyway. Besides, Jessie would have greeted Mark at the front door, on the east side of the house. The bedroom window faced south.

Naomi squinted at the clock:

4:30 AM.

“Jessie, hush,” Naomi whispered, settling back down to sleep. Jessie barked on, ignoring her.

Finally Naomi stood and walked to the window, unable to sleep, but also curious what had spooked the normally passive dog.

I just posted it this evening, and so far only one person has commented. He replied:

Okay, I’m hooked. Email me your story, and I’ll be glad to look it over.

Well, dammit! I mean, Good! I mean…dammit!

As a writer sincerely desiring criticism, one of the most frustrating things one can be told is, “It’s good.”

…okay, I take that back. One of the most frustrating things one can be told is, “It’s bad.”

Both are bad news. Criticism tells me what to fix. Praise swells the ego.

So I guess both are good news. But it’s highly encouraging that my first “total stranger” comment was: “I’m hooked.”

I must be doing something right.

Now somebody tell an editor, quick.