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Vector Art In Powerpoint: Quality, Inexpensive, Easy

Posted by bonesiii , Oct 16 2007 · 687 views

Coolified Artwork


Today the Bones Blog presents the method I use to produce quality vector graphics with Powerpoint. I'll organize this by basic tools and concepts you need to understand, using screenshots to illustrate key aspects. Click image thumbnails for full images -- these contain important details too. Also note the cursor is auto-removed in these printscreens, so sorry for any confusion that causes.

Part 2 is now available here: Coolifying With Powerpoint Vector Art


Powerpoint as a Vector Graphics Program


Many people have asked me how I make art such as my "Coolified Stuff" (see bonesiii_topics), and curiousity goes up when I say I used Powerpoint. A lot of people think "Powerpoint" means words in a slideshow designed to bore employees and students to death. If you read any basic description of Powerpoint, you will be hard-pressed to even find a mention of graphics creation.

It can actually do a large percentage of what high-end vector graphics systems like Macromedia Freehand or Adobe Illustrator can do. This is great, because those programs are very expensive -- Freehand is listed on its website as 400 US dollars, for example -- but Powerpoint comes automatic with Microsoft Office, which most PCs have standard. It is about as close to free as you can get. Many of you probably already own it.

I have used both Freehand and Illustrator, though I cannot afford to own them, and it is certainly true that if you want to get into professional graphic art, Powerpoint ain't gonna cut it. However, the most important tools those programs offer, Powerpoint can replicate easily, so when you buy those, you are paying for many extras you probably will never use, especially if you just want to make an avatar for your BZPower account that will be too small to make out many details anyways. So, do consider those programs, if you have a lot of disposable cash, but otherwise, Powerpoint is far more accessible.


Note that this guide will be written for PC use. I hate Macs. tongue.gif Much of what I'm going to show you is a little harder with a Mac, despite what their ads might lead you to believe. Not even sure if Powerpoint comes with these options for Macs. But Mac users can make the best out of this, hopefully, figuring out the closest method to use. (For example, the Macs I've seen have no right mouse button so you have to hold down the CONTROL key on the keyboard to get the rightclick menu. Ugh.)

Also note: The banner for this entry shows some of my favorites I made with Powerpoint. Note that the upper left hand image was an old avatar made with a different (raster/pixel) program, that isn't included in this guide as it's a rare program; I used that image for inspiration while making my currect av, which you can see in the center. To the upper right you see half of the new Reference Keeper Team shared account's avatar, and to the lower left you can see the original coolified Rhotuka drawing. smile.gif

One final note: I had planned to use an avatar request from Great Being #1 as the example of this entry, but I've run out of time and space to add it in, and as I went it was clear I could illustrate how to do this easier with simpler things made from scratch. Sorry, man. tongue.gif But there's so much more to the actual coolifying process, I plan on making a second entry focusing on that. When homework lets up again... in the distant future... pirate.gif


Polygon/Freeform Tool


Powerpoint has a whole range of various graphics tools, most of which you are probably aware of, such as drawing a square or circle. But one tool in particular is the key to vector graphics -- the polygon tool; also called the "Freeform" tool.


Click for full image.


Here you can see the "lines" toolbar with the freeform tool selected. In the full image, you can see how to get this toolbar; go to Autoshapes, Lines, then click the top part and drag out of the menu to make the toolbar stay in easy access. You can snap it into the bottom of the window with the other buttons or move it anywhere in the work area. I prefer to move it out right next to what I'm working on; easier to grab it.

Also note where the zoom control is (the red arrow in the image above). You'll want to zoom in a lot, like 150% to 300% to draw your shape, so that when you zoom out to printscreen when you're done, any jagged edges in mock-curves will look curved, and just so that you can more easily control the mouse as you draw. Pay attention to what the line thickness looks line in the final zoom, the size you want your actual image to be, not the thickness when you're zoomed in.


Before Using the Polygon Tool:


Two important settings must be fixed before we can continue:


Click for full image.


Make sure these options are turned off. The grid forces each click into rigid squares that make artistic drawing nearly impossible. By default the first one is on, so you'll have to fix that every time you make a new file.

Also, be aware that each time you make something with the tool, you'll have to select the tool again to make a new thing, so you won't accidentally make a new polygon everywhere you click, heh.


Four Polygon Abilities


There are four main abilities of the polygon tool.

1) Click, release, move mouse, click release again, so you create a polygon. Close the shape by end-clicking where you started, or finish the unclosed line by double clicking. This is what I use most.

2) Hold and drag to draw with a pencil. Only use if your hand-mouse coordination is strong. When you release it generates a polygon roughly in the shape you drew. I never use this.

3) Filled areas -- usually, close the polygon and a fill color comes up automatically. Settings can also create this and manipulate it in some useful ways. I use this with gradient effects to create mock-3D surface lighting effects in my coolified avatars. Double click an object or rightclick and select properties to get to the color options.

4) Edit points (right click on a made object for menu) -- after you've drawn something, you can edit the points of the polygon, even make them curve points, to fix minor mistakes without needing to start over, or even to reshape the shape completely. Sometimes I only put down two starting points and draw totally with this option.

Here's an ubercheesy example of all four:




Objects (Autoshapes)


When you draw a shape with the polygon tool, the square, circle, or any other Autoshape tool, it becomes an object. It is not pixels like in Paint -- that would be raster art, but this is vector. These are mathematical formulas that can always be selected, moved around, modified, even after you draw other shapes.

Click an object you've made to select it. It gets eight white dots around it, plus a green dot at the top. Right click it for a menu full of options, the most important being "Format Autoshape."



Here are three major things you can do with an object just by selecting it and clicking something:

1) Hold and drag to move it around. Hold Shift to force its movement into straight lines up, down, or to the sides.

2) Drag the white dots to expand or shrink the object. Hold Shift to keep the shape undistorted as you resize it from the corner dots. Side dots stretch/compress it sideways.

3) Drag the green dot to rotate it. Hold Shift to snap its rotation into the major angles like 45 or 90 degree angles.

(The result of the above is #4 in the image below)


Click for full image.


Click on white space or another object to deselect an object.

Here are some of the basics of the Format toolbox for objects:

1) Fill Color options. Select from preset colors, mix your own, and more. More on this later.

2) Fill Transparency. This can create cool effects with backgrounds. Note that any lines of objects behind will show through, which sometimes creates problems with complex multi-event objects such as my avatar -- if I made that transparent at all, lines of the skull would show through the mask, which would look weird. But used carefully, this is cool. Also, more on this in the color section later.

3) Note you can also type in an exact transparency.

4) Line color. Similar options as the Fill color, except minus some features since lines are one dimensional.

5) Line thickness. I usually go with the standard 0.75, but sometimes if you're making an exceptionally large artwork, you'll want them thicker. Or thinner for tiny details, etc. Note that the line thickness is relative to the zoom, not to the artwork itself. If you zoom out far enough, the lines look way too thick compared to the artwork itself, as you can see in the second of the following images with my avatar art. More on this in the Printscreen section below.


Click for full image.





Grouping


Multiple objects can be combined into one by grouping them. This makes manipulating a whole group much easier as you can select everything in the group with one click and reduce the chance of mistakes that would move one part of the whole artwork where you don't want it. Here's the details on grouping:

1) Select the objects you want to group. You can click and drag a box over them, as shown in the example. You can also click one object, then hold down Shift as you click each object individually. Sometimes there might be one object in the box range that you don't want to include, so the clicking method can be used to avoid including it.

2) Rightclick, go to Grouping, and click Group.

3) This shows the grouped ubercheesy skull object.

4) Click object inside the group to manipulate only them. Hold Shift to select multiple parts of the group. This option you will use less often, because you can do the same thing without grouping, but it can save time once you've already grouped something and you realize there's more to change about it.

5) The results of manipulating parts of the groups -- a color change, obviously.

6) You can also ungroup by rightclicking, selecting Grouping, and clicking Ungroup. If you want to move parts of the artwork around related to other parts, you'll need them to be ungrouped.


Click for full image.



Fill Color Options


Note that I've drawn a polygon and a circle (with the actual circle tool) for this example.

When you doubleclick an object or rightclick it and select "Format", then click the Fill Color menu, you get the following:


Click for full image.


You can select those colors, or select No Fill to remove the fill.

If you click "More Colors..." you get this toolbox with two tabs, "Standard" and "Custom":


Click for full image.


Controls of those are pretty self explanatory.

If you click "Background", whatever color the background of the slide is set to will fill the object you have selected. Not that useful.

If you click "Fill Effects", you get this toolbox with four pages. This takes some in-depth explaining. First page has four main uses:


Click for full image.


1) Gradient. Most useful one. Gradients are one color fading into another. You can use this to create lighting effects, to an extent. Note that they cannot be curved in Powerpoint polygons, though -- this is the one main weakness Powerpoint has compared to the expensive vector art programs. Used carefully, though, it can still create roughly 3D lighting illusions, as I have shown with my coolified stuff many times. Just depends on where you put the gradients. Somtimes gradient objects with no lines can be effective, placed carefully in radiating formations to create an illusion of a curve. Here's a quickie example:



2) Preset gradient. Try these out; they can sometimes be useful. Most of them contain more than two colors, which is impossible to create on your own with Powerpoint (at least not in one object).

3) One color -- darkness or lightness gradient. Works off of the color you selected. Can be useful in shading effects.

4) Double Transparency. This one is very useful; you can have one color non-transparent, but have the other totally transparent to create all sorts of cool effects. Perhaps the coolest is if you use the "From Center" option in a circle or oval with the edge transparent (trying "From Center" with all other objects gives an awkward squarish effect, but not so with circles/ovals). Can be used to make shining effects too.




The second page of the "Fill Effects" toolbox has a selection of textures to choose from.


Click for full image.


Here's the Full Selection of Default Textures. You can also import other textures. Sometimes I draw my own textures with my other program and import them.

The other two pages of "Fill Effects" are self-explanatory so I won't bother screencapping. Patterns are made of just two colors. Not that useful, at least not with "cool" in mind. Picture is useful if you have a photo or other such image you want to use to fill a shape, though I can't recall ever using it.


BZP Blue


One of the most important colors for BZPower avatar creation is BZP blue, the color that's exactly between the two slight variations of background blue in BZPower posts (for some reason, the two slightly different colors alternate with each new post, though it's hard to tell). This color can be used as a background sqaure for av art in powerpoint, like with the examples you see in the banner for this blog entry. Then you can make it transparent with a gif program later, and all pixel fading on the edges looks natural still when such an av is used on BZPower.

BZP Blue's RGB settings are Red 237, Green 244, Blue 252.




Symmetry


Usually you want both sides of your artwork to look identical, although of course there are exceptions. When making most Kanohi, symmetry is essential. It's virtually impossible to draw symmetrically on your own -- the trick is to draw only one half of the artwork, on a vertical line, then copypaste and flip the half to form the complete shape.

For example, when I designed the Kanohi Ehkuata, the mask of Reference, I began with a square (use the square tool) colored BZP blue. Then I put a vertical line (using the line tool and holding Shift as I drew it to make sure it's perfectly vertical). This gives me an artpad on which to work:



Then I used the polygon tool to draw the parts of the mask that touch the vertical guideline, clicking on the line to start, and clicking on the line to end. Note that this gave me an unclosed shape, so by default it had no fill, as you can see in the first image below and the second showing it without the guideline. So I had to go into properties and give it a fill -- this can be done without closing the shape. These unclosed parts are essential to the final product, as it makes sure there's not a mysterious black line going down the middle of the final mask.



I drew the rest of one half of the Kanohi. Note that from time to time you may want to skip ahead to the copypaste step and then delete the copied side, just to remind yourself of how wide the final product will look. Many times I have drawn what I thought looked reasonable when I was only looking at one half, but when I put the two halves together, it was far wider than I wanted it.

Then I select all of one side (being careful not to select or click on the artpad and guideline), group it, and copypaste it. It's very important that you group it before copying and pasting, as you'll see. Note my use of transparency for the visor.


Click for full image.


So now we've got two overlapping identical halves. To put them together, we have to use a few tools.

First, select both by dragging a box over them or by holding Shift and clicking both. Go the "Draw" menu, click "Align or Distribute", and click the bar at the top to drag the menu out to float. Make sure "Relative to Slide" is off, click "Align Left" then "Align Top". Now you've got both halves perfectly overlapped.


Click for full image.


Click in whitespace to deselect both halves.

Then click the top half. Go to The "Draw" menu, select "Rotate or Flip" and click "Flip Horizontal."



Hold down Shift and drag to the left until the two halves meet at the vertical guideline. Use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard for precision once you've got it roughly in place, so that you cannot see the guideline through any crack in the middle. Be careful to use Shift and not to move either half up or down!





Then move the guideline to the back, or delete it, and stitch up the errors in overlap in the center (see below for details).


Layers

Since these are objects, not pixels, each individual object is either on top or below other objects on the powerpoint slide. You can move objects to the "front" or to the "back", or select them and move them forward or backward with relation to other objects to change how objects overlap.

For example, you might be drawing something, but realize you want one shape to be behind something you already drew. Simply draw the new shape, and send it back a few layers.

The Layer control buttons are found by rightclicking an object, going to "Order", and pulling that menu out.



1) Bring to Front

2) Send to Back

3) Bring Forward

4) Send Backward

After I've put both halves together, I usually send the vertical guideline to the back rather than deleting it, so it is behind the BZP blue square, and can be brought forward again in the right spot easily should I need it again.


Click for full image.


Now, you can see that there are overlap problems. This is because the entire left half-group is totally on top of the entire right half, and when I drew it, I must have been off by a pixel-width or the like. Rather than getting a headache trying to edit points and recopy, simply ungroup everything and rearrange the order as needed.

In this example, I select all of the "gaps" in the mask's forehead (really shapes on top filled with BZP blue), and bring them all to the front, then move them left and right with the arrow keys until their fills meet. Make sure you move both sides the same amount towards each other -- count your taps of the arrow keys.

Since all of those are now on top, nothing from the mask below will overlap it, and I can also move in the halves of the mask below that are overlapping. I also shift a few other pieces of the mask around and move them forward or back so there are no line-ends sticking out too much. Zooming out to 100%, I have a complete mask!


Printscreen it!


Zoom out to 100%, or whichever zoom makes the artwork fit the scale you want the actual image to be. Check your line widths again.

Then press "Printscreen" on your keyboard, paste the image into Paint or some other image editing program, crop it, make sure it's within av or sig guidelines if that's what it's for, and upload to brickshelf, majhost.com, or another image hosting site. Voila, there's your pic. You can also use gif programs to select BZP Blue as the transparent color. I use Microsoft Photo Editor, which has also come with all my versions of Microsoft Office (though some people who have Office tell me they do not have this; there are free online gif programs too).

Whaddya think? Should it be my new avatar? tongue.gif




Post comment any questions you may have. And stay tuned, if you're not GB#1, for the guide to coolifying. If you are GB#1, stay tuned for that and your avvie. tongue.gif

Edit: Part 2 is now available here: Coolifying With Powerpoint Vector Art

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I'm actually impressed. I never thought of Powerpoint as a vector drawing program, although I used to use it as such all the time. tongue.gif

Nice work bonesiii, I'll have to give it at try myself now...

-Seran
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I never knew you could do such a thing! Consider this entry bookmark'd.

Arpy
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Photo
Great Being #1
Oct 16 2007 05:18 PM
I gotta hand it to you Bones this stuff is amazing, I might just take it up some time when I'm not swamped with work tongue.gif Oh and I'm definatley staying tuned in for my avvie tongue.gif
    • 0
Oh My Mata-Nui!

I have been doing ALL OF THAT on Powerpoint for years now! I didn't actually read the whole blog... I skimmed over it, saw the pictures, and I have done all of that before to create Kanohi masks, Toa, Matoran, and other Bionicle creatures. I have mentioned it in my posts plenty of times in the past, but I have never heard of anybody else who did it too. And you're using the same basic styles that I use. Wow. dribble.gif

Just one quick question... what version of Powerpoint are you using? I excelled at PP 95, because the freehand grid was more limited, so you could thus move specific points around on a basic grid line (this set up a bunch of limitations, but without the 'snapping to grid line' option, it's a little too loose) I've found 97 and 03 okay on the basics, but for editing complex shapes, I liked 95.

Color filling, grouping, free form, layering, and symmetry on MS Powerpoint For The WIN!

music.gif
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Yay you finished it tongue.gif How's this for a second try (first time with the guide smile.gif):

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


I'll probably make a harder, better and more complexed one on the weekend when I have time tongue.gif
    • 0
Not only that, but you can do many impressive things. For example:

MSWord. Simple, huh?
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Photo
second worst username ever
Oct 18 2007 10:35 AM
This entry is filled with truth.

I made a really good mask (well, it was alright, really) in class but I've seem to have lost it.
    • 0
xccj -- It's whatever is in XP.

Adv. -- Better. tongue.gif

Chuck -- nice!

IT -- Lol at your sig. tongue.gif

The rest -- thanks. smile.gif
    • 0
Oh my! A Nice!

I'm filled up with happiness and bodily fluids!
    • 0
Link
Just trying it out, think I did okay.
.:Sora:.
    • 0
'tworked!

bones, you win so much! biggrin.gif Though I'm not sure I got the Grouping thing right with that mask. tongue.gif

-Ikk
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Ikki -- Well, if you didn't, I can't tell. tongue.gif Looks good.

Sora -- great job! I love the shape; that's very close to the quality I aim for with coolified stuff, congrats! There is a small error on the lower center of the visor; your green shapes are stretching a little too far inward there. That's one I would fix with Edit Points before copying the second half, moving the point precisely onto the vertical guideline.

Not that you should bother, but while I'm thinking about it I should mention it as I sorta breezed past that ability in the entry...

Also, if it helps, I'd change that diamond in the center to a more unique shape, and I'd put an outline around the far left and right edges of the visor. Otherwise, it's a very inventive mask, I like it. smile.gif

Chuckio -- Lol. Sorry I didn't give you a fancy post like Sora; it's very good too (was in hurry). Looks every bit as quality as a typical company logo. LEGO could conceivably use that for their website or the like.

xccj -- BTW, saw your blog entry, good job on the Bionicle characters in powerpoint!
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QUOTE
2) Hold and drag to draw with a pencil. Only use if your hand-mouse coordination is strong. When you release it generates a polygon roughly in the shape you drew. I never use this.
But you did use it in the example. tongue.gif

Well, I never thought of PowerPoint as any kind of graphic design program; you just majorly expanded my knowledge for the week. This is actually really amazing, and that's what creativity is all about: using whatever is available to great potential, not necessarily owning and/or using overpriced programs to design simple things.

I'd like to bring up two points that I thought about after reading this. First, it is possible to save as an image format in PowerPoint; just choose from the file type in the "Save As..." option; after that, just manipulate the file in an image editor. Second, you could make an animation for how an image is designed (without words); although it would take some time to put together, it would be kind of funny/cool to see a speed design. happy.gif

I'll read the second entry soon enough, but I wanted to comment on this one before I forgot.

©1984-2007 Toaraga EAM
    • 0
excellently done there. Thank you for the tutorial and expect a mask by me soon. tongue.gif
Its very well thought out and i might save this so i can come back in future reference.

< V >
    • 0
Wow, that was great, Bones!

Look what I made! tongue.gif



First try... *shrug*
    • 0
Not bad at all, Icy J! biggrin.gif Reminds me of the Hoth monster in Star Wars, heh.

Main suggestions are try lighting gradient effects, and add more clicks to the mock curves. As far as coming up with innovative shapes goes, great job!
    • 0
Photo
CharlieZard
Nov 05 2007 05:43 PM
I've made two masks(first try smile.gif), one Avohkii and one that resembles a Hau a little tongue.gif



(click for full size
pic')



(click for full size pic')

what do ya think?


    • 0
Hehe, made a new one tongue.gif

    • 0
Photo
CharlieZard
Nov 07 2007 05:08 PM
One New here tongue.gif


Kanohi Kawaah


(click pic for larger version)

~Lessy~ infected.gif
    • 0
Ingenious idea! I'm going to go start on one right away.

You might want to share this idea with LEGO or something...
    • 0
*forgot about this entry*

Great work from you guys in the latest comments! Lessy -- I like the first of the three you posted best, probably because it has 3D thickness. Good eye effect on the Kawaah though.

Icy J -- that is spectacular. smile.gif Looks like a bug alien.

BD -- Thanks. smile.gif I hope you enjoy it.
    • 0
Never thought of PowerPoint that way before... Oh, and for avatars, BZP blue is (well, in blogs, anyway): Red 245, Green 249 and Blue 253.
    • 0
how do you give it property?I know where the property is, i just dont get how you gave it a fill
    • 0
kyuubi, not totally sure what you mean by "property" -- but to give an object a fill, right click on it, click "Format" (Usually "Format Autoshape"), and then under the tab "Colors and Lines", near the top under the word "Fill", click the drop-down menu with the word "Color:" to the left of it. You see colors there that can fill the object. Make sense?

Note that this is with the version of Powerpoint on XP; it might be different on Vista (or a Mac version).
    • 0
yah but when i go there the color dropdown menu is blocked.
    • 0
Hm... You're on Windows? Is it XP? And are you sure the object you made was with the Polygon/Freeform tool, not the Line tool? Lines can't have fills; that might be the problem.
    • 0
oh, yeah i made it with the line tool. Thank you for helping me.
    • 0
Ah, you're welcome. Glad to help. smile.gif
    • 0
I use an old laptop that has Windows 2000, can I get powerpoint on it? sad.gif
    • 0
You should be able to, since Powerpoint is much older than that OS. smile.gif It would be unusual for a 2000 not to have it -- for years my college comp labs used that one.
    • 0

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Stolen Thunder:

Evil Lord Survurlode Says...



"Brave Knight Binkmeister thought he could banish me with new software. Ha! Lord Survurlode is immortal--I survived because I retained a connection with the One Refresh To Rule Them All. Sauron tried to survive in the telephone system with his One Ring--but that dastardly Frodo tossed it into Mount Dume. Sauron was lost. But the Refresh still exists, oh yes, and as long as it does, I live also, to bring my floods to the BZP forums!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
in a BZP interview


"Killeth them with kindness. That's what my mother taught me. So I figured, instead of trying to fight Brave Knight Binkmeister's attempt to overthrow me... I would instead give him the one thing he loves most. Bubble Wrap. Not only him, but all of his followers. BZP members once knew me as their common enemy. But now... am I just a kind old man who has free Bubble Wrap?"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Why in the world am I calling him Brave Knight Binkmeister?! That term sounds... nice. It makes him sound like a hero! NO!!! He's my enemy! No, no, henceforth he shalt be known as 'Cowardly Scum Binkmeister'!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Yes, my new minion, you now see the dastardly plans BZP members have--they seek to avoid my floods by getting on in the morning or the late evening, or worse, the nighttime. Sauron might have been a sleepless creature of the night, but personally I can't stand coffee. But not to worry! You, my friend, will go out and enslave the members. You will sit enthroned on their shelves, hung from their walls like a cursed mark, and wrapped around their wrists like handcuffs. Even they shalt know the constraints of time! Behold, the Evil Clock!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"What is that you sayeth, Evil Clock? BZPower is now five long years old? So what? I am thousands upon thousands of years old! I am, in fact, as old as the ocean that I command with my floods! I am even older than clocks like you! What's that? Yeah, yeah, but I just don't feel like AARP is for me..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"What do you mean, I'm not speaking in proper Old English? I am Lord Survurlode. If I say this is Old English, it iseth!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"What doth mine eyes spyeth? I see-eth a member attempting to posteth! No! I shalt not alloweth it! Rise, ye Floodes! Riseth! ...What? No, I ameth noteth tryingeth hardereth to speaketh Oldeth Englisheth! Ye Silly Clocke!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"No, I am NOT an April Fool's Joke! Just because my power increases tenfold on that day doesn't mean my existence depends on it."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Frodo? Why would I be scared of him? He sailed off to the West--it means he died, yo! Besides, the One Refresh cannot be melted in some volcano. It would take a... No, wait... Sorry, that information is classified. Muahahahaha!"

--Evil Lord Suvurlode


"The term 'Yo' can be Old English! Yeesh!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"See, my problem is that I am far older than Old English. To me it's that newfangled slang those Anglo-Saxon types speak. You'll forgive me if I get it confused with the five million different versions that came out since then. Yes, you will. Or else."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode's
Kopeke Impression


"What do you mean, it's really 'Mount Doomah?!'"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"You are getting veeery sleepy. You need more Bubble Wrap. That's right, little member. Wallow in bubble wrap forever. Say it with me now. 'Must. Have. More.'"

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Brave Knight--I mean, Cowardly Sponge Binkmeister has attempted to attacketh me once again! But lo, I am-- What? Sponge? Is that what I said? I meant Scum. Brave Scum Binkmeister-- What now? Oh, be quiet, minion."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"No, I am not a girl!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
on his power over water


"Muahahahahahahahaha*cough* *hack* *gurgle* ..... *ahem* Must remember to watch the evil laugh when the floodwaters get that high..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Oh, that's an easy question. See, Sauron's One Telephone Ring looked like a metal ring, right? Well, the One Refresh looks like a ring made out of those green arrows... like on that refresh button up there. Wait... why am I telling you this?!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
in a BZP interview


"No, I do not get rusty! This is Stainless Steel! What? Yes, yes! They had stainless steel thousands of years ago. Yeesh."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

Gallery Of Explosions

Because explosions are the answer.





























Profundities

"While it's all well and good for someone to turn the other cheek in daily life, in times of great hardship another thought comes to mind instead; namely that one cannot turn a blind eye to the actions of evil and still call himself good."
---Nako



"This is a discussion forum for a reason; it's a place where opinions can be discussed and debated civilly, not where one person can claim their opinion as fact and all others as "just opinions." Every person should, however, support their opinions with facts and evidence of all kinds."




"'The challenge of being a Biological chronicler is understanding why Lego are using another method to sell better. It gets boring using the same ones all the time. Variety is the spice of selling, after all.'
— A Biological chronicler"



"I could convince a thousand people that the moon is made of cheese... and yet it would remain as rocky as ever."



"This is simple, people! If it hurts to hit yourself with a hammer, then don't do it!"



"A famous drummer sits down to do a drum solo, but he has to keep his solo up for five minutes. Does he do all his amazing stuff first? no! If he did that, he would loose all attention because the end would be so boring. If he were smart, he would start out with something simple, and then add to its complexity as he goes along, so that more people would be into it.

The point is, writing either a drum solo, or is like a mountain, the bigger the base, the higher it can get, and the more amazing it is. Think about it, when building a mountain of dirt or sand, you need to slowly create your huge base, then as you build towards the peak things get faster and easier to pile on. The High points are where the story is fast paced and we are reaching the climax--what we just left on the last mountain of story we had (the MU story arch), and now Greg is building a new story mountain for us."

Gallery Of Galaxies

~through the macroscope~































Sigisms

QUOTE
92% of people have moved on from Gregorian chants. If you are part of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy and paste this into your sig.


QUOTE
Least Favorite Edit Of Your Least Favorite Post On Your Most Favorite Day Of The Month?


QUOTE
Secret Info: The Red Star is Tahu's mobile space mansion, complete with servants.


QUOTE
Join the petiton for ban bad grammer toady!


QUOTE
9009 Ways To Say "I Heart Spam"


QUOTE
92% of all teenagers claim they're in the 8% that hasn't moved on to rap.
If you are part of the 0% that still uses real math, copy and paste this into your sig.


QUOTE
What Is Your Alter-Ego's Imaginary Friend's Least Favorite Pet Collar?

Certificates Of Approval

Various award imagery and suchnot:






(Above from Makaru; resized to fit.)










(Resized to fit.)


















The above earned twice.




















Certificates Of Approval

Part 2









Needs sized down



Needs sized down













/---------------!.!----------------\
/This blog has been approved by \
/--------------Saiph--------------\
/----------------------------------\
/-For demonstrating outstanding-\
/~~~~RHYME and REASON~~~~\
\----------------!.!-----------------/











_bonesquotes_i

QUOTE
Logic is the key.


QUOTE
I am insane. I know that I am insane. In fact, I know that I am so insane, that I am incapable of realizing that I am insane. Therefore, I know that I am not insane.


QUOTE
Forgetting things since.... umm....


QUOTE
Creativity should not be confused with nuclear weapons.


QUOTE
I heart logic.


QUOTE
Only dead things do not change. Much.


QUOTE
Pay attention now. Repeat after me. "Bones. Can. Be. Wrong."


QUOTE
The problem is, "Tradition for tradition's sake" is like flying blind in an airplane. It's like saying as you approach a mountain "But we've always flown in this direction before... why would we change direction? It isn't the tradition!"


QUOTE
Remember that -- clever absurdity, designed to harmonize with certain tastes, is the key to originality.


QUOTE
Ironicles.


QUOTE
People are like snowflakes. No two are the same.


QUOTE
Yes, the Toa will win somehow. But let me give you a challenge. Write a story. In which the good guys win, or the bad guys win, doesn't matter. But write it with only introducing the challenges that the winner must overcome, and avoid showing how the winner wins. Just set up the problem, then skip to the end:

"In the end, this character wins, somehow."

Now, do you think this is a successful format for a story, that anybody would really want to read? [...] Readers demand that you as writer have thought through the "how" of the story.


QUOTE
Where is this idea coming from?


QUOTE
Makutarahk


QUOTE
[L]et's not mince words here -- all LEGO products are toys. It's a toy company, in the toy business. There's nothing wrong with that.


QUOTE
[A] wise Daoist once said that a name is merely a label. If a person calls me a "nerd", then that is their label for me. If a person calls me a "human", that is a label. If they call me "bonesiii", that is a label. I would simply reply that, if "nerd" is the term they wish to apply to me, like "human", then so be it -- I would thus be proud of that label, because I am proud of who I am.


QUOTE
I'm not telepathic.


QUOTE
I don't know if this is just the way I'm wired, but I don't really think like "hey, wanna be my friend?" I just be myself, treat others with respect and friendliness, and those who would make good friends just sorta show up. And I really don't think like "well, you're not my friend, you are, you aren't" etc. Anybody can be my friend.


QUOTE
*revives topic, only to kill it seconds later*


QUOTE
My two pieces of eight.


QUOTE
Ha ha! Voriki myth still isn't dead? It's been so long since the constant flow of these topics stopped I guess I thought Voriki had finally kicked the bucket. Well, I hate to put another nail in the old guy's coffin, but...

Topic closed.

I Heart Logic

_bonesquotes_ii

QUOTE
Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of complaint topics in July!


QUOTE
I think Evil Lord Survurlode is out to get me.


QUOTE
Bionicle doesn't revolve around ANY one fan. Not even you.


QUOTE
Bionicle does NOT age with its fans.


QUOTE
If something absolutely has to be done for the greater good, it is by definition NOT evil.


QUOTE
Think, guys, think! You have brains! Use them!


QUOTE
Logic is not some meaningless buzzword you can throw around like pie, at least not as long as I, an actual logician, am here.


QUOTE
Common myth. The answer is: "Yes, if you are an ancient Greek."


QUOTE
Last I checked, most of us aren't ancient Greeks. tongue.gif Some of us are ancient Geeks, but...


QUOTE
Besides, show me a brown rock, and I'll use your logic on you. "That's not a rock, it's hardened lava."


QUOTE
The best symbol of stone would be gray. But it would probably sell almost as bad as brown -- LEGO needed a "flashy" color, more like what Ta, Ga, and Le Toa have.


QUOTE
Do not insult cheese.


QUOTE
Omi's right.


QUOTE
Forty-two.

(Four eight fifteen sixteen twenty-three... *ahem*)


QUOTE
Logic! Why don't they teach logic in these schools?


QUOTE
Can you imagine MNOG ending with the Turaga and Matoran executing Ahkmou?


QUOTE
So here's the question: If LEGO working harder by listening to fans is "lazy", then wouldn't they be "lazy" if they listened to you -- a fan?


QUOTE
You don't need to hate to say it.


QUOTE
Four extra letters. "Bionicle sets." How hard is that?

Actually, three extra letters since the s just moves.


QUOTE
If they are "Bionicles", then you are "History".


QUOTE
BZPers are often the exception, not the rule.

::celestial_drink::

_bonesquotes_iii

QUOTE
Of course it's cruel -- did you think bad guys were Mother Teresa?


QUOTE
It isn't like I hide it, but it also isn't like I go up to random students at college at say "Hey, I like Bionicle, isn't that something?!"


QUOTE
One man's junk is another man's treasure.


QUOTE
I had the same theory in ages past, and Greg personally disproved it.


QUOTE
The thing can destroy time, man. You guard those kinda things.


QUOTE
Brevity is the soul.


QUOTE
Which I suppose is a fancy way of saying, "I have no idea."


QUOTE
I attack my own theories. I'm weird like that.


QUOTE
If only books could be updated like web pages.


QUOTE
Bionicle was supposedly a betrayal of everything LEGO stands for, its pieces far too clunky, a horrible turn away from the more "intelligent" Technic and a total stabbing in the back of the good old brick, an insult to AFOLS, evidence of a mythical trend away from the construction toy, far too violent, etc.


QUOTE
It's really pretty simple:

Gadunka is one of the "coolest" sets ever. Most inventive, most unusual, most striking. Thus, he is horrible.


QUOTE
Of course they're weird. All Bionicle names are supposed to be weird. Show me the Bionicle name that is "normal".


QUOTE
You just completely contradicted yourself. If Mata Nui was working out great, then wouldn't Metru Nui have made less money?



QUOTE
If that's greedy, then you are greedy for driving in a car to get somewhere far away fast, for wearing shoes so you can walk at a reasonable pace without cutting your feet, using silverware to better eat your food, using a telephone to avoid having to make a trip and speak, using a computer to type a forum post when you could walk personally to everybody's house and speak what you just said over and over and over again.... At least 2000 times to account for all the possible active BZP members, and preferably about five million times -- and you'd have to go door to door throughout the whole world to even figure out which people were Bionicle fans anyways before you started confusing monks in Tibet with strange words like "Kongu" and "Cordak". All within your own lifetime, regardless of whatever else you had wanted to do in your life.

And forget speech. You have to scratch out the message with your fingernails in stone. Then maybe you wouldn't be greedy. Maybe.



QUOTE
Nobody would surprise me, so it's probably Makuta. But I went with Hydraxon, because he's a weapons master and it would make sense, no?


QUOTE
Why didn't I think of that earlier?


QUOTE
I don't just ask rhetorical questions -- I answer them.


QUOTE
I knew you'd say that.


QUOTE
You're a body with a head. So what?


QUOTE
A simple conversion is not a business plan to actually get two radically different markets to behave as if they were the same.


QUOTE
Um, hello? Are my posts invisible?


QUOTE
Universe go poof.

We All Live In An

_bonesquotes_iiii

QUOTE
I hate typing Roman numerals above three.


QUOTE
I always find these topics funny -- everybody goes in circles, pointing to the exact same aspect of the set and going "See that? So it's obvious it's horrible! How can you not see that?", and then someone else saying, "See that? It's obvious it's awesome! How can you not see that?"


QUOTE
Obviously, not everybody sees I to I.


QUOTE
They have their uses -- like if you're making a MOC that's supposed to be a light green faceless humanoid.


QUOTE
I hate it when I can't tell if someone's joking.


QUOTE
Yes, that's an excuse to be lazy.


QUOTE
Hold on just a second. I think you have things backwards. Mata Nui was not paradise -- it was a place of horror and war for a thousand years!


QUOTE
Lol.


QUOTE
I'm a logician. I can tell you that your argument does not merely sound illogical. It is.


QUOTE
Yeah, that'd be bad. Next question?


QUOTE
We'd still have wooden ducks, no plastic bricks, and definately no LEGO if change was prevented. Really, we wouldn't even have that.


QUOTE
It is unfortunate that it's this way (at least for us). But it is. We might as well come to grips with it.


QUOTE
And I walk away in peace.


QUOTE
You have no idea how many times I've read this style of opening to this kind of topic, man. I must admit I am very very tired of it.

*deeeeep breath*

*shakes head madly*

Okay, I'm good.


QUOTE
My memory doesn't go back that far.


QUOTE
If I didn't agree with something, I'd try to find out the reasons for it before doing anything else, which is something I think some people forget to do and instead they dig themselves a hole for no reason.


QUOTE
Lol, I think you missed the point -- BR isn't going to think your forum deserves approval if he has to be told it exists.


QUOTE
I'm a coolomaniac.


QUOTE
But I like spam!
Wait...


QUOTE
This is not a country. This is a website. Countries are led by governments. Websites are owned by owners. Countries are places you physically exist in, and may have difficulty leaving. Websites are places YOU choose to go. Countries are places you may be born in, or grow up in, etc.

BZPower is a place YOU sign an agreement in order to join. Blame cannot be placed on us when a member violates that agreement. And if a member chooses not to like that agreement anymore, they are free to leave at will. If a member violates the agreement they made with us, we are justified in punishing the member as agreed.


QUOTE
I'm a logician -- I think in terms of what makes sense all the time. I don't just agree -- I know why I agree, and I think my reasons are pretty sound.


QUOTE
If I'm breaking a rule, it's because I gave myself permission to allow myself an exception, thus I am not technically breaking it.


QUOTE
[A]lthough Evil Lord Survurlode does seem to be making a bit of a comeback, just like Sauron, so we might have an epic war that will spawn a novel and three giant books of a trilogy soon... but yeah...


QUOTE
I object to the wording of this question.


QUOTE
Huzzah?

I'm A Doctor, Not A Great Being

_bonesquotes #whatever

QUOTE
Ever had one of those moments where you think you just passed into an alternate timeline? This is one. ()_o


QUOTE
Rants are based on pompous egos and desire to pick a fight. Not intelligence.


QUOTE
The Monster on LOST is Makuta.


QUOTE
Cynics are some of the most naive people on the planet. They hear someone claim things are bad, and they accept it without question.


QUOTE
I'm a realist with an imagination.


QUOTE
I blame Survurlode.


QUOTE
You see a flamer, your response should not be to just flame him back -- you lower yourself to his level if you do.


QUOTE
Let's open that can of worms, as unpleasant as it might be. [...] *I'm not afraid of you, worms!*


QUOTE
"Transformation" can be as simple as a bomb rearranging a building into a debris field.


QUOTE
Far better to be proven wrong than to be wrong without knowing it.


QUOTE
I remember when I was a kid, and I was just playing around, I didn't know this stuff, so I said gas prices were five dollars at my play gas station.

My dad laughed, said gas would never be that expensive.


QUOTE
Toa carrying rifles... as they ride their space shuttles into... Klingon territory...


QUOTE
Kazi [ha]s Rahkshi staffs. (Oooh, Kazi=evil??)


QUOTE
Take an election between two candidates. Obviously, both candidates will get votes. However, one will get more votes, and one will get less. You would be, in this example, voting for the one with less votes (Mr. Olderfanson). You see why the fact that you, one person, did vote for that guy, doesn't prove that he won the election? [...] "Mr. Newerfanson" won the election.


QUOTE
o_O


QUOTE
In general, I do enjoy debates--but I don't enjoy being flamed, no. Nor do I enjoy wasting time when I have tons of PMs I need to reply to and top secret reference projects to work on and all that responding to things that could have been cleared up with more thought before posting, heh. Debates can still get tedious when it seems (please note "seems"!) that a few people refuse to approach them with an open mind.


QUOTE
<_<
>_>
<_>


QUOTE
I didn't even spell "the" right.


QUOTE
Lol. I never said I'm always right! Yeesh, what do I have to do to convince you guys I don't think that? Purposefully take wrong positions or something?


QUOTE
Guess what? I could draw before I learned to write, but does that mean I should get all huffy and insulted at the fact that not everybody shares my particular talent? This is just absurd, isn't it? Did you honestly think that everybody has the same talents and gains proficiency at the same time?



QUOTE
When someone much older than you was a kid, LEGO was wooden toys. [fogie teeth voice]"These newfangled plastic things are insulting! As if there isn't money to be made in good old fashioned woodblock toys!"[/fogie teeth voice]


QUOTE
Can we sing kumbaya yet? Sing it! Koooooooo----oom---bah-----yaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Or something... Sing it! You don't even have to agree with me! Just sing it anyways, maaan!

Sing!


QUOTE
Your mistake is that you are thinking in terms of a simplistic "formula" of strength, and thinking that can be used to predict everything. It can't--every situation is different, and sometimes a weak Matoran might catch a glimpse of a passing Rahkshi while a powerful "Toa Ultimaultrasuper" might get blasted to bits when the same Rahkshi actually attacks. You need to be realistic--think in terms of the situation. Stories are based on that--they are a "game of seconds and inches" where dangers both big and small can occur to both powerful and weak people, and how you perform depends on your brains and the time you have to prepare more than your actual power level.


QUOTE
Why did the entirely robotic Bohrok need teeth? Someone explain how that is okay but teeth in Piraka isn't?


QUOTE
Phew. Now, to post, and see if I maxed the text limit out.

Yabo! Hahaha!

_bonesquotes #whatever.2

QUOTE
Thanks X. Thanks D. Thanks X and D. XD


QUOTE
I lazy.


QUOTE
You can make any innovation look bad if you point to the non-innovative ways (the old "normal" ways) and claim they must be followed blindly.


QUOTE
But what I don't get about it is -- why the apparent desire to kill characters off for no reason? In real life you meet tons of people who you will never meet again, and they're not dead. Is that to you a problem? I don't get it -- you'd go insane if you tried to stay in touch with every random old lady that said hi when you were walking the dog...


QUOTE
Yes, my post in this topic is product placement. So sue me.


QUOTE
In addition, high gravity affects spacetime on a fundamental level, slowing time down and bending the spatial brane. Not to be confused with the spacious brain.


QUOTE
It would create a field of electrogravimetry that would pull all nearby matter in and then make it explode. The explosion cloud would take the form of an anchovy.


QUOTE
There's only a slim chance that we exist.


QUOTE
I love taking myself out of context.


QUOTE
I think it's admirable to be careful not to offend people where it makes sense. But at some point, you have to be willing to stand up for yourself and be confident enough that if someone comes at you with an unreasonable accusation, you don't take it.


QUOTE
I think aliens invaded already and have fooled us into thinking they are mere animals who "meow".


QUOTE
Good stories aren't puppet shows. They are tales of life, with realistic characters -- people -- living out their lives, with really minimal "guiding" by the author.


QUOTE
Oh goody, a complainer to blast to oblivion.


QUOTE
To begin with, I disagree strongly with pretending it is "killing off", rather than a serious story being told, with serious themes and life in the story. Characters aren't "killed off". They die.

I find this term somewhat offensive, because it implies the writer kills the character like a TV show host telling a contestant to leave. This is not a game show. It is the events of the storyline that kill the character. That term is merely a psychological shield to avoid the emotion of the moment in the story. IMO, that's a kind of immaturity.


QUOTE
Um.


QUOTE
You can't always get what you want "now now now". Your logic makes no sense -- if you want to know what's in the books, that means you support the books' existence. Yet you apparently want spoilers to go up the day it's out, so in the countries where it is bought, people could just read the spoilers and not buy the book, risking its sales going down and the books ending, and thus no more spoilers for you to read!


QUOTE
Truth = Truth. And nothing else.


QUOTE
I had spammed ten thousand times.


QUOTE
A good comedy is a development, like a story, not a punchline. You start with a situation, and it goes in unexpected, funny ways, which leads into other twists, to a conclusion that often can be more serious than funny, avoiding random cliches and developing enough logic that it doesn't feel like you slapped random nonsense down. Comedies Forum has this bad rap of having a lot of Unfunny Stuff -- I think it's the temptation to write short punchlines drawing on typical one-liner cliches that causes this. The 300 word rule is a good basic start to avoiding that problem.


QUOTE
Dude. My voting precint is a "23". ph34r.gif


QUOTE
And what people are saying about randomosity is true -- I hope that it's not surprising that as a logician, I understand how to be funny (though I won't try in this post ). Logic isn't for Spock who refuses to smile -- you actually need logic in your comedy to make it funny. In my experience, a balance of logic and random nonsense helps -- even logic OF the random nonsense.


QUOTE
I highly recommendate it.


QUOTE
Another mistake a lot of people make is thinking a comedy must be 100% funny -- reality is that that tends to just overwhelm the reader and come off more as spam. If you look at my Survurlode interviews, for example, there is always at least one serious theme that the whole work revolves around. The serious aspects support the humorous, and vice versa.


QUOTE
*strongly approves of the use of the term "bionical"*


QUOTE
Well, my observation has always been the opposite -- more established official facts inspires MORE fan imagination -- at least with imaginative official facts. It was really only once the "gappists" starting complaining, in my observation as a 2003+ member here, about "tons of official facts" that I saw the fanfiction community here really explode with creativity.

Think about it -- imagination feuls imagination. Less imagination doesn't -- it starves imagination.

Search My Blog

_bonesquotes #whatever.3

QUOTE
How much wood would a woodwood wood if a woodwood would would wood?


QUOTE
But my point related to that isn't that I literally think it should be FULLY sun-sized. I'm just saying, there's a whole range, from a little larger than Earth, to a LOT larger, to a TONTONZILLION larger, and it's all possible if the story team just feels like it.


QUOTE
*imagines massive asteriod pulling out a pirate's telescope lol*


QUOTE
GD is NOT for storyline-only discussion. That discussion belongs in S&T.


QUOTE
S&T policies are designed for good reasons, tried, tested, and they work.


QUOTE
Sure I'm sure -- it's Bionicle. Anything's possible.


QUOTE
I never understand these claims -- how do you know what "proportionate" is for that character? He's a fictional character, made out of plastic LEGO parts.

So why get annoyed at it? When you look at a giraffe, do you get annoyed? It makes no sense to me to do so.

Besides, you're setting yourself up for it. Nobody ever told you these characters were supposed to be exactly human.

If you look at an ape, would you say it's done wrong, just because it resembles a human?


QUOTE
I plan not to, but I guess if the site shut down I'd kinda have to, wouldn't I?


QUOTE
...they usually give their jokes when they have the upper hand at the moment, though, or when they've just run into a frustrating difficulty that's not immediately dangerous, which are realistic IMO. When they're in immediate danger, I am not aware that they pause to crack jokes.


QUOTE
I strongly disagree -- everybody capitalizes their name. It's cliche.

(I do not capitalize because 1) I hate being cliche, and 2) it is symbolic of humility.)


QUOTE
I knew you'd say that.


QUOTE
Seriously though, obviously the focus groups like silver, guys -- there's no mystery, those of you portraying it as odd that LEGO keeps using the color. This is how personal taste works -- it differs, and you're gonna find yourself in the minority sometimes. Best get used to it -- that's life.


QUOTE
*lets self dp*


QUOTE
I'm not a soldier, but I know that keeping your sense of humor alive even in dangerous or serious situations can be a huge boon to keeping your sanity.

He who forgets how to laugh forgets how to live.


QUOTE
I heart silver. My favorite metallic. If I had my way, gold would be considered lesser than silver.


QUOTE
The red eye thing is the closest thing you have to evidence, but I could argue that Berix is the traitor for spending time away from the villages, or Ackar is the traitor because his name sounds like Admiral Ackbar and there was a traitor in Star Wars called Darth Vader.


QUOTE
Ultimately it comes down to this for me -- YOU choose to dissapointed or miserable.

If you expected the universe to be perfect, that was your choice, and really not very sensible of you.


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If I as a writer were to try to appeal to the attitude you express in your post, I would feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells. Everytime I had a cool idea how to use a character, or more importantly logic told me the character naturally would be involved in something, I would have to worry about whether I shouldn't do it as it might offend someone.

That's a miserable way to write, and I wouldn't wish that on the story team, myself, or anyone.


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But one thing. Everyone expects something when they do something.


Very true. For example, when I posted the above post, I expected somebody to reward me with this point, giving me an excuse to discuss it in a separate post so as to give it better focus.


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Therefore, the more "things to expect" from a "donation or whatever the heck you want to call it", the more likely we get mooooolaaaaaaaa. Therefore good.

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I don't see what the anology has to do with this. "Chevys" (or "Chevies") makes sense. Like "Keets" or Morby or my personal favorite for Makuta -- Terry Mack. "Biological Chronicles" referring to beings makes no sense. And as I typed this, a Chevy ad came on TV. They called it "Chevy." Seriously, exact same time.


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Oh my, you're completely irrelevant metaphor makes you look sooo intelligent.


This is obviously getting out of hand, so I guess I have to close it. Also, you failed to answer my question. When a moderator asks you a question, answer it. Capisce? wink.gif

Please do not attack people like that. That is flaming, or at best trolling, both of which are not allowed.


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What does a premier member buy?

1) YOUR right to be on here for free.

2) Their right to be on here.

3) PM perks, like poll-making, blogs, etc.

4) Proto.

No matter how you slice it, sending in that money is NOT just buying proto. Even if proto is all they want, they're still buying YOUR right to be on here for free. Yall should be grateful.

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