I’ve moved.

All my gaming posts can now be found at my tumblr blog.  Which is where I have been mainly posting for over a year now.  If you’re interested, please check it out!


Guild Wars 2 – Beta Weekend Event 2: Favourite Moments

A short video of my favourite moments from this past Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event.  We had so much fun, and I am so excited for this game to release.  I plan to make more of these types of videos in the future, so hopefully I’ll be improving!

Guild Wars 2: Beta Weekend Event #2

I’m going to jump right in and say that I really underestimated this game.  I really didn’t think this game was going to be as superb as it is, and this beta weekend has left me with a new view on MMO’s and gameplay.  Honestly, playing another game is going to be hard after this weekend, since the style of gameplay in Guild Wars 2 is so unique and fulfilling.  I can see myself playing this game LONG after release, and there has not been one moment where I’ve been bored with any aspect of it.  There’s still no release date, but as I know they’re still making improvements, I’m okay with that.  I just wish I got to play it more than one weekend a month, but can’t change that so I’ll take what I can get.  So, I’ll elaborate, since I’m sure plenty of people haven’t actually had the chance to play it yet and I’d like to explain more of the game.

After getting a taste of the game during the Stress Test Event, I was pretty excited to get back into the game for this weekend’s BWE2 (Beta Weekend Event 2).  My plan was to play as much as humanly possible, which meant staying up as long as I could over the three day beta test  in an attempt to get my fill of the game.  Doing so left me extremely worn out by the end of the test and I will definitely be playing less hardcore and more casual during the actual release of the game.  But despite being left worn out, I had a ton of fun these past three days, and can’t wait to do it again.

One of the first things I want to touch on is the character creation & armour dye systems.  Customization and an in-depth character creation system are one of the main things I look forward to when I start to play and progress through an MMO.  If a game has very basic creation options and not a lot of customization later in the game, I don’t get hooked as easily, and honestly, I tend to judge an MMO in the first few moments in character creation.  When the MMO has little to no customization options, I’m less inclined to keep playing the game.  Whereas if the character customization has too many options to sort through, I’m extremely interested to see what the rest of the game has to offer, and am very inclined to keep playing.

Guild Wars 2 definitely has a huge number of options for character creation, not to mention five main races to pick from before you even get to the customization of your character.  You can customize everything about your character, from their face to their pupil size, height, skin/fur colour, hair style, armour colour, etc.  And that’s not where the customization ends either.  After you’ve made your character as pretty or hunky as you’d like, you get to choose your character’s backstory, personality, and god.  The choices you make in character creation actually influence your game, and what you will experience.  But, I’ll get to that later.

Once in the game, you can open up your hero page my pressing [H] by default.  Above your character’s armour pieces there is an ‘eye dropper’ symbol, and if you click on it, it will take you to the dye menu.  You can change your armour’s dye colour and appearance at any time at all, completely for free.  And you can acquire new dyes from random mob drops as well as from the “Gem Store” in game.  Being able to change my armour’s colour at any time I wanted was definitely one of my favourite things, and I played with it so much while I played.

Combat is one of my favourite things about this game.  Usually combat in games is boring and repetitive, something I only do to get to the next level or to progress to the next quest, but in Guild Wars 2 it’s just plain fun.  There is no ‘tank’ or ‘healer’ roles, everyone is their own healer even though some professions may be more supportive than others.  And the weapon system is extremely vast and semi-overwhelming at first, although they have done a great job with making it much less overwhelming as they keep improving the game.

Each weapon you pick up comes with it’s own set of unique skills that are specific to your profession.  Yeah, confusing at first, I know.  I played a Guardian during this beta, and I preferred using a mace and shield combo.  I switched to a staff or a scepter with my shield occasionally, but my favourite was the mace and shield.  So, this probably means nothing to you right now so I’ll elaborate, but first I want to mention dodging.  Guild Wars 2 adds the ability for your character to dodge by double tapping the movement keys.  This is useful for many reasons, the main one being to avoid damage or to move out of an Area of Effect (AoE) skill as fast as possible.  Learning how to properly use your endurance and dodge skills seems to be a very important skill to have in the game, as combat is very fast paced and it can mean the difference between life and death.

My mace came with three skills that were automatically set to my [1] [2] & [3] keys.  To unlock the skills, I had to kill mobs while I had that weapon out.  Since I was using my 1 handed mace, I could use a shield or other offhand weapon, and those skills got set to [4] & [5].  The offhand skills could only be unlocked after your main hand weapon’s skills had already been unlocked, but once unlocked they would stay unlocked.  So if I switched to a scepter that I hadn’t unlocked the skills for, I would still have my unlocked shield skills which I could use freely.  The skill on [6] is ALWAYS your self-heal, and is always unlocked no matter what level you are, and should be used frequently.

As you progress through the game and gain levels, you unlock your [7] [8] [9] & [0] skills.  These slots are special, as you can spend skill points to gain special profession-specific skills that can be placed in these slots.  Skill points can be earned by doing special events around the world of Tyria, usually fighting and defeating a special enemy or sometimes by consuming a special item.

For Guardian the [F1] [F2] & [F3] keys are profession specific signets, which have passive effects that are extremely helpful.  Although, the signets can be activated for an even bigger boost of the effect, as well as some extra bonus.  But be warned not to just use them whenever they’re off cooldown like your regular skills, because while the signets are on cooldown you are not receiving the passive effect of the signet.

When your health reaches 0, you enter what is called a ‘downed’ state in which you can fight to survive using special ‘downed’ skills.  If you succeed in finishing off a monster while you are downed, you get revived and pop back up to live another day.  Other players can also help revive you by clicking on you while you are in your downed state, to help you get back up and continue the fight faster.  Beware, if you don’t fight to survive, don’t succeed in killing the mob before it finishes you off, or no one helps revive you, you fully die and can no longer attack to get back up and gain a 2nd wind.  In this state it takes twice as long for another player to revive you, and the only other way to come back besides revival is to travel to your closest waypoint and run all the way back.

Events can be found all over Tyria, and are marked on your map with bright orange or red circles.  Participating in events can be extremely rewarding and can often provide good and most of the time valuable loot.  Which if you don’t need it, can be sold at the Black Lion Trading Company’s ‘Trading Post’ (which serves as the Auction House for the game).  To participate in events you don’t need to be a part of any group.  In fact, you could probably go through the entire game without having to group up with anyone.  The best part about this is that there is no ‘kill stealing’ mobs.  Everyone has their own separate loot table, as long as they tag the mob, and your EXP will never be stolen from you.

Which brings me to my next point of interest, downleveling.  Don’t freak out!  You don’t actually lose your hard earned levels.  You effectively become a ‘level 4 character’ when you’re in a level 4 zone, but when you enter a higher level zone you get upgraded to an effective level 12 character or so on based on the zone level.  I really, really, really like the downleveling system.  It means a level 80 character can have a friend who’s just starting the game, and they can actually play through the entire game with them.  Not for them.  You keep all your skills you’ve earned when you get downleveled which is a bonus and you can kill monsters much easier with them, but they’re still not one-shot-instant-boring-kills.  As a downleveled character, you still gain (about) the same amount of exp too, as far as I’ve experienced.  So it’s really not a burden to go back and experience low level zones with friends or on your own, it’s actually rewarded.

There are so many more things I want to explain about this game, but this particular article has gone on long enough.  In an upcoming article I will touch on the personal story in the game, as well as the art and some secrets me and my friends found while playing, as well as a little bit of PvP.  I will also talk about beta-bugs and some issues I did have with the game, as I want to be fair, even though I love the game dearly so far.  Also, I’ll show off more of my actual screenshots from the game to show it off, since this post was mostly technical and informative screens.  I could talk about this game forever, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the game so far.  Despite my skepticism about it before I tried the beta, it’s seriously going to be hard to wait for this game to release.  I’m eagerly looking forward to the next Beta Weekend Event, and I will see you all in game then!

Look forward to the followup post! =)

First Sims 3 Machinima Video

I worked on it for about 3 hours last night and am very happy with the end result.  I love this song and dance, so I wanted to make a little music video of my sim dancing to it!  The animations were converted by Umpa, not me.  They can be found here.

Guild Wars 2: First Beta Experience

Now, a lot of people have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Guild Wars 2, especially fans of the original Guild Wars.  I admittedly didn’t really like Guild Wars 1 all that much, but I played it a good deal when it first released as well as not too long ago with a few friends.  So naturally I’ve been skeptical about if I’d like Guild Wars 2 at all.  Especially with the removal of ‘the triforce roles’.  Those being: healer, tank, and DPS.  But every character in the game has their own self-heal.  My favourite class to play in any MMO or game, is a healer class who has a very supportive role for the group. I’ve been extremely nervous about how I’ll like GW2 with that role removed, even though there are classes who are quite supportive in group situations.

Yesterday during their server stress testing from 11am to 6pm was the first chance I had to actually play the game.  I didn’t get the chance to play for the entire length of time, but I played for a good chunk of it.  I first logged into the game, and created my first character, which is fun all in it’s own.  The character creation options and customization is pretty extensive and I had a great time actually making my character.  Since I wanted to get a taste of the gameplay though, I didn’t spend as much time as I definitely could have in character creation.

One thing I will mention is the dye system.  You can dye your armour/outfit a crazy number of colours and fully customize it.  And you can do quests to get even MORE dyes, as well as buy them on the Guild Wars 2 store.  Not only can you dye your items in character creation, but any time at all while playing the game if you grow tired of the colours of your armor, you can change it.  Right then and there.

In the game, your character has a personal storyline, which I didn’t get into during my short playtime, but I will hopefully cover it in future reviews when another beta weekend rolls around.  The game does take getting used to, I’ll admit that.  The controls are easy enough with your starter weapon and it’s easy to get the hang of.  I’ll touch on the weapon system in detail later, as it’s pretty large.

I decided to play a Human Guardian, my boyfriend played a warrior also Human, and our friend played a Charr Engineer for our group.  As I’ve said before, the game takes getting used to.  There are no quests.  But there are event-type areas where you can go to perform tasks and get items and experience.  I haven’t played enough to give many details.  But while you’re exploring the map and running around with your friends, you can come into an area that has a special event going on.  Such as “protect so-and-so from the centaurs”, or “put out fires in the town and protect it”.  These events are extremely fun and give out great rewards.  Not to mention there are about a hundred other people running around during the events (and just in general) and it’s easy to get lost or confused.

Special bosses can be found throughout the game, which as you can see from the picture above, take a lot of people to take down.  Low level characters aren’t exempt from special bosses found throughout the world or events.  I was only level 4 when we downed the Champion Bandit Lieutenant boss.  Special boss spawns also are not a group-only event, everyone in an area is encouraged to engage in the fight to help down the boss because everyone can get their own loot.  In group or not, it doesn’t matter.

I’d like to point out that the artwork and graphics in this game are absolutely breathtaking.  I am in awe with some of the things I’ve seen (unfortunately not gotten screenshots to show or I’d have a slideshow available to browse).  But I will be showing this off more in the future.  If you’d like to see some of the artwork or screenshots not taken by me, please feel free to go over to GuildWars2.com and take a look at the official stuff.

It’s not very easy to tell from the picture above, unless you look at the shadows underneath our characters, but the game is not bug-free yet.  When you /sit on your character it is possible to make your character bounce while sitting by pressing spacebar.  It’s actually quite a hilarious bug and we found ourselves laughing like crazy when we found it out, but my point stands.  Some of the emotes in the game, I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, last until you cancel them or move.  As smooth and amazing as the animations in the game are, there are still a lot of bugs that need fixing.  And I for one, am glad they’re waiting to fix these bugs before announcing a release date.  Something I was very disappointed in Star Wars: The Old Republic for not doing, and that’s one of the main reasons I am not still playing it.

All in all, I am eagerly waiting my chance to play the game again.  I’m not an expert on the game’s systems and functions by any means, so if I’ve gotten something wrong I apologize.  I only had a few hours to play it, but while I was playing it I had a ton of fun.

Gen 1: Chapter 1.2: Goldie

It continued all day until the headache I had transformed into a full-blown migraine.  By the time the coffee shop was empty again it was almost time for the parade, and the fireworks show.  I sat at one of the now unoccupied tables inside attempting to calm my pounding head.  Razz was taking the time to browse the web and relax, since the day had left us both exhausted.  I figured that with the main events starting soon in town that we weren’t likely to get any more customers.  So with my growing migraine and the empty shop, I decided to ask Razz for the rest of the night off.  Maybe I would actually go see the fireworks with Misty, although the prospect of loud booming and a screaming cheering crowd didn’t seem like a brilliant idea for my head.

“Hey Razz, would you mind if I took off early?  I was hoping to catch the fireworks with Misty.”  I asked her tentatively.

“Today’s been super busy and hard on us both.  And I know your head is killing you.  So go ahead and take off, I was planning on closing up early anyways.”  She said not bothering to hide how tired she was.

“Oh, thank you!  Do you want help closing up?”

“Nah, Azure and I’ve got it.  We can still make it to the fireworks show too, so we’ll see you there!”

“Alright, see you later.”  I said cheerfully, taking off out the door.  I knew I couldn’t make it downtown for the start of the parade, but I could probably catch the tail end of it and meet Misty for the fireworks.  I walked down the street as the sun sank behind the horizon imagining what the fireworks show would be like this year.

As I was passing a local bar on the way to the subway station I caught the eye of a group of drunks who were hanging around outside.  Apparently, I seemed interesting enough to talk to, because one of them came straight up to me as I was walking past, and got right in my face.  I almost bumped into the man who had gotten a little too close for comfort.

“Heya, sweet cheeks where ya headed?”  He said in a seductive tone.  At least he probably thought it was seductive, as he moved even closer to me.

“Home.”  I said uneasily trying to back up a step.

“Why not stay with me a little while, sweet cheeks?”  He moved in even closer.

“Come on Apple, let’s get inside.  I don’t wanna hang around for this.”  The drunk woman said, seemingly bored, to the other male as they went inside.

I could smell the alcohol on his breath, he was so close, “Please, I’m just trying to go home.”

“No!  You’re staying here with me.”  He said loudly and forcefully as he moved in closer and wrapped his arms around me.

“Get off me!”  I yelled trying to push him away.

“Give daddy a kiss, sweet cheeks.”  He whispered in my ear.  The stench of alcohol was overpowering and I was trying to keep my knees from giving out as I struggled against him.

“Leave me ALONE!” I screamed as I shoved with all of my might against him.  He stumbled back a step or two drunkenly but caught my wrist in a violent grip.

“Oh, you’ll regret that, sweet cheeks.”  Venom dripped from his voice as I struggled to pull my wrist from his grip.

I was desperately trying to pull away, kicking and screaming, but his grip only tightened painfully.  My heart raced and I knew what he was going to do to me if I didn’t get away.  His friends were just going to let it happen.  I started screaming for help at the top of my lungs, but I didn’t know if anyone was going to be around to hear me.  I realized that almost everyone had to be downtown at the parade, and my heart sank.

“SHUT UP!”  He screamed at me and pulled me into his body roughly, unwanted heat radiating from him.

I started to cry, gasping for air as he mashed his lips into mine.  I struggled to break free from the kiss but he was much to strong for me, even as drunk as he was.  Tears cascaded down my face and my hope was lost.  He would never let me go.

Suddenly the man was ripped from me, even though he pulled my hair and held on to me as much as he could, he lost his grip.

“Get the HELL off her!” Yelled the man who had pulled the drunk attacker off me.

I stood blinking the tears out of my eyes, trying to understand what was happening.

“Back off man, we were just having a little bit of fun!  Right, sweet cheeks?” The drunk man lulled towards me trying to make a move for me again.

I ran, as fast as I could, tears still streaming down my face.  Up the entire hill, and locked the doors of my house behind me.

In the shower I scrubbed myself raw trying to wash the feeling of dirtiness and violation from my skin, to no avail.  Standing in my bedroom, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Feeling empty and hurt beyond belief, I moved out onto the balcony trying to understand, running what had happened through my mind over and over.

The fireworks started in the distance, and I stood and watched the colors pop and explode in the sky.  I didn’t know what to do, and I found myself wondering who the man was who had saved me.  I texted Misty as soon as the fireworks ended.

“It’s an emergency.  You need to come over asap.”

Gen 1: Chapter 1.1: Goldie

St. Eclair is a busy city nestled right along the ocean, but I honestly am not an expert on the city since haven’t lived here very long.  I grew up away from home in a boarding school for the arts, where my parents had sent me when I was a child.  Almost as soon as I was old enough to read and learned about the school I had begged my parents to let me to go, and they had reluctantly agreed.  From a very young age I had a plan for my life.  And to carry out that plan I needed to go to this school, I needed to get straight A’s, I needed to graduate by a particular year, I needed to become a teacher.  Or I thought I needed all of those things.

When I was almost done with school and about to graduate, an accident happened at home and I was forced to put off graduating for a whole year. Suddenly my life plans and my meticulous schedule were completely thrown off, and my little sister and my father were gone.  I was left responsible for my mother, who in grief, had become careless, reckless, and unreasonable.  When mother calmed down enough a year after the accident, I managed to go back to school for my final semester.  But when I finally graduated and came home, mother was gone.  She had signed the ownership of the house over to me and then disappeared.  Occasionally I would get a postcard from some obscure locale from her.  But after the accident she never said the words ‘I love you’ to me ever again.  It hurt me how she could blame me, and even hate me for the accident.

Mother payed the bills at first, but slowly began to stop until I was left with the responsibility.  My best friend Misty helped me get a job at a local coffeehouse where I struggled to make ends meet.  But I enjoyed working there, nonetheless.   All my dreams to become a teacher were thoroughly dashed, but I was happy enough, and more importantly, could pay my bills.

Today was a very special day in St. Eclair.  The city was founded over 100 years ago, and the anniversary of the city’s founding was always celebrated widely on May Day.  Despite the excitement all over the city, I was not entirely sharing in that excitement.  My schedule at work had me working from 9am to midnight, so I was going to miss all the festivities.  It wasn’t the long hours that bothered me, in fact I loved them.  There was a possibility Razzberry would let me and Strawberry go home early, but not early enough to make it to the fireworks show or to the celebration parties.  We would miss all the funnel cakes, the parade, the crowds of people dancing in the streets, and all the amazing parties.

Slowly I sat up and stretched, knowing today was going to be a slow, boring day.  After a nice long shower, I took my time making my favourite breakfast, determined to not get grumpy.  Sure, I was missing the annual used book sale at the book store and also the grand opening of the newly renovated library downtown that I had been so eagerly looking forward to, but I was going to make the best of it.  It wasn’t the end of the world.  Misty was planning on meeting me down at the shop before work, so I decided to start my long walk down the hill a little before my usual time.

As I walked, I remembered fondly last year’s May Day.  Misty and I had taken the day to go to the beach, something that I rarely ever do.  We hung out in the sun all day, and told ghost stories around a fire when it started getting dark.  After the sun had set, we threw on our cutest outfits and Misty took me out to hit up a few clubs downtown.  By a few, that usually means we stay out all night hopping from bar to bar until I get too tired and go home, or the sun rises.  Last year we ended the night on a rooftop club, lounging on the edge of a pool as we watched the sun rise.  As much as I didn’t want to stay up all night being dragged from place to place, I was going to miss it.

The walk from home to The Green Tea Lounge where I worked was long, but I enjoyed it.  It kept me in shape too, seeing as I didn’t get out of my house too often, unless Misty got involved.

She was sitting on one of the front steps when I arrived, and got up to greet me when she saw me approaching from down the street.

“Hey, g’morning!  Happy May Day!” She said as she bounded up to me.

“Maybe for you.” I retorted a little glum as she stepped into stride next to me.  But as perky little her, she always ignored my sarcastic remarks.

“Are you still coming to watch the fireworks with me tonight downtown?”

“Depends if Razz lets me off early or not.  I hope so though.”

“Well let me know if she does, and I’ll meet you before they start.”

“Will do!  Hey, are you coming in for a few minutes or headed out?”

“I’ve actually got plans to meet up with the band pretty soon, we’re supposed to be performing tonight so they wanna practice.  I’ll grab a coffee with you tomorrow morning, though!”

“Alright, later.  And break a leg!”

“Thanks!  See ya.”  Misty waved and headed for the nearby subway stop as I walked up the steps to clock into work.  Razz was tidying up before opening as I came in.

“Oh, Goldie, I’m glad you’re here early!  Strawberry can’t make it in today, so you will be in charge of baked goods as well today.”  She said straightening up from organizing the magazines on a small table.

I sighed inwardly.  Of course this would happen.  And it meant that my chances for getting off work early were slim to none now.  Missing the festival that I had been waiting all year to go to was typical life throwing me curve balls.  And I’m terrible at sports.  Stuff like this was always seeming to happen to me.  But Strawberry not coming in didn’t bother me too much, seeing as the festival would probably keep most of our regulars and other customers busy all day.  The most business we’d probably see all day were the few who always came in for their morning pick-me-up americano, latte, or whatever.  And then it would be dead all day after the caffeine addicts were gone.  Even though my day was likely to be boring, I was glad it would be relatively quiet.  I could read my book.

Oh, boy was I wrong.

It started off slow with our regulars coming in for their “usual’s” as expected, which were served to them almost instantaneously because they were always anticipated in the mornings.  Unfortunately the coffee machine decided to spray me with hot steam as I was preparing one, so I was very uncomfortable.  But then the flood of customers came, pouring into the tiny shop, Razz and I scrambled around the shop trying to feed and please every customer, fill every glass, and clean every mess.  By noon, Razz had to call in for reinforcements, and her boyfriend Azure came quickly to help out and to tend the bar on the terrace.

All throughout the day a steady stream of customers passed through the shop, and it was the busiest I had ever seen it.  It hadn’t even been this busy last May Day.  As people would enter the building they would shout, “Happy May Day!”  and a chorus of voices would shout it back to them.

Continued  >>>

So, I don’t wanna rush this.

I think the mistake I made with trying my last legacy was that I rushed into it.  (Given, it was my first and I was extremely inexperienced.)  So with my Rainbowcy I’m really trying to take my time with it, and writing it at a pace that’s good for me.  And actually having FUN playing the game.  I never actually played with the Richardson family, all I ever did was set up shots and take pictures with them. Lately I have been having so much fun just playing with Goldie and Misty, and even while taking shots for the chapter it’s been fun.  And I know this really only matters to the three people actually planning on reading my little blog when I publish the first chapter, but I am really going to take my time with it and make it exactly what I want it to be before I release it. So in advance, thanks for your patience.

I’m still going to be posting my random screenies on Tumblr, and possibly posting a lot of sneak peaks there as well. XD  Actually.  There already are a few on there.  Hehe.  Anyways, night guys!

The Tart Rainbowcy Table of Contents

Generation 1: Goldie


Chapter 1.1  |  Chapter 1.2




Tart Rainbowcy [Sneak Peak]

My name is Golden, but my close friends just call me Goldie.  Though, admittedly I’ve never had many friends.  My best friend Azalea Mist (I just call her Misty usually), I’ve known since high school, where I was invisible to everyone except her.  She’s the main reason I’m not as socially awkward as you would expect a girl like me to be.  Not entirely though, as I don’t  see the appeal of having a multitude of friends when one is just enough.  I prefer to find my friends where they are immortalized, between the pages of the many books on the shelves in mother’s study.

It’s been many years since mother has visited me or the house.  I suspect the main reason for her avoidance is that the house and I remind her too much of my father and little baby sister.  Which I don’t feel very much like talking about so I’ll just say there was an accident and it’s very complicated.

I live alone in my family’s abandoned house, mostly spending my days reading through book after book of my mother’s old collection, and I occasionally feed the stray cat who is always hanging around the back of the house.  The library is one of my favourite places to visit.  Especially on cold rainy days when I can sit for hours immersed in another world, breathing in the faint smell of parchment.

Usually the only other way I would get out of the house was when Misty would drag me out.  Usually to musical performances or to the hottest new clubs, because she is very into music.  Where ever she took me, every time, I would always realize how alone I felt, no matter how hard she tried to include me or to make me social.  She never had any trouble getting along with people or making friends, like I seemed to.  Sometimes she got so exasperated with me, usually sitting in a corner reading a book, she would give up and go hang out with her new friends.  On nights like those I would usually head home early after letting her know not to worry.

When she chose to hang out with people less shy than me, I really didn’t mind, but she constantly worried about making me feel left out or abandoned.  Which, in truth, I didn’t.  Usually it was a relief to see her finally enjoying her night out, rather then spending it with me in some remote corner.  Although, I’m not saying she wasn’t a complete blast to hang out with, and she could almost always get me to try new things I’d never thought I’d try in a million years.  She and I had so much fun together, and got into the worst trouble.  But she was always there to get me out of it.

Except for the May Day celebration.  I was alone then.

Continue to Chapter 1.1 >>>

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