Showing posts from January, 2011

A Few Followups

Okay, so after a long weekend in which I had lots of gaming time to spend, I was able to put some serious time into Magicka and Dead Space 2.  I have a few follow up points to add to the two posts I made about each game. 

We all know Magicka's gameplay is immensely enjoyable.  It turns out, playing the Adventure Mode on multi-player is also immensely enjoyable in its own way.  The multi-player Challenge Mode, however, is just fucking brilliant.  I haven't had that much fun since granny got her britches caught in the wheat thresher.

I'm 10 hours into Dead Space 2, and I'm not finished with the game yet.  And these have been some of the highest quality 10 hours I've spent in a game, let me tell you.  I played the game today until my head was about ready to split open.  (From the throbbing headache I got from all the squinting and screaming I was doing.)  I have also figured out why this game makes me as giddy as a Girl Scout in a Teddy Bear factory.  Someone has final…

Dead Space 2

All right, now this is more fucking like it! 

I play a wide variety of games.  And by that I mean…all of them.  But the shooter is my old glove.  It's where I started.  Where I came from.  And I get this warm and fuzzy feeling all over when I play them. 

The first computer game I played was Doom.  The second was Quake.  After that I only remember Half-Life, followed by Counter-Strike…and I think you get the idea.  When I started playing Dead Space 2, I was filled with this really weird sense of nostalgia for the year 2004…the year Doom 3 was released.  Because this game is so damned similar to Doom 3 it's scary.  Pun intended. 

Okay, enough of my fanboying over shooters.  Dead Space 2 is a survival horror shooter, as I mentioned, very similar to Doom 3.  It's in outer space, it's got a lot of sci-fi mumbo jumbo, and there are monsters lurking about in every dark corner, vent, closet, bathroom, locked room, train car, and whatever else a monster could possibly hide in. …


Whenever I see a game on Steam for $9.99, it always makes me a bit suspicious.  “You get what you pay for” is still a very true statement, and is also true in this case…but not as much as you might think.

Magicka is an RPG game that parodies all RPG games that came before it.  Every fantasy-based idea and concept that you've ever seen will be jabbed at here, and each one is charming and will make you, at the very least, giggle a bit.  For example:  I happened to find a secret area containing a sword in a stone.  Upon looting it, the game gave me an achievement and stated I just looted Excalibur.  I looked at my character, and he was now wielding the sword…complete with the stone still stuck to it.  There are endless more of these humorous moments scattered across every pixel of this game, and they give the whole package an attitude and flavor that makes it very enjoyable to experience.  Another really funny moment happened when I stumbled upon a woman in the game with a big exclama…

Sab's Simple Strats: Chimaeron

What the hell is it?
A big fucking hydra in Blackwing Descent

How's it work?
It's a fight about self-control on the part of the healers, and guaranteed death on the part of the tanks.

What the hell does it do?

Caustic Slime.  Huge ass damage to everyone within 6 yards.  Split.
Massacre.  Huge ass damage to everyone.
Feud.  The three heads of the hydra fight with each other.
Double Attack.  Chimaeron hits the tank twice with one swing.
Break.  Stacking damage and healing debuff on the tank.
Mortality.  Immune to taunt and reduces healing taken by raid by 99%.
What the hell do I do?

The fight is two phases.  100% to 20% health is Phase 1.  If I have to explain when Phase 2 is, then angry horse is angry.

Start the fight by talking to Finkle.  That's not optional.

DPS to 20%.  DPS like hell at 20%.  Tanks will eventually die from no healing.  DPS has to get creative to survive until the boss is dead.  Use defensive cooldowns and kite.

Everyone:  While Finkle's Mixture is active,…

Sab's Simple Strats: Atramedes

What the hell is it?
A blind dragon in Blackwing Descent.

How's it work?
The fight is based on a sound bar mechanic.  Basically, if you are bad and get hit by too many avoidable things, the boss will kill you himself for being a dumbass.

What the hell does it do?

Sonic Breath.  Ground phase.  Cast at the player with the highest sound.  Does damage and adds sound.  Follows the player.  Moves faster depending on how much sound the player has.
Searing Flame.  Ground phase.  Must be interrupted with the gongs.
Modulation.  Ground phase.  Unavoidable raid-wide AoE.
Sonar Pulse.  Ground phase.  Discs of sound energy that move around the room.  Avoidable.
Roaring Flame Breath.  Air phase.  Interrupt with the gongs.
Sonar Bomb.  Air phase.  Bomb hits target on the ground.  Avoidable.
Sonic Fireball.  Air phase.  Avoidable.
Roaring Flames.  Air phase.  Flame patches on the ground.  Avoidable.
Hitting a gong afflicts Atramedes with Vertigo.  Interrupts him and increases damage taken by 50% for 5 sec…

The Maze

So I finally had a rather neat idea for something to build in Minecraft.  Sure, I've had ideas of stuff to build before — such as the underwater house that John and I constructed one evening — but I wanted to make something for him that was rather unique.  And, admittedly, something that would freak him the hell out. 

Cutscene to…THE MAZE. 

I honestly don't know how many blocks long it is.  Basically, I just cleared land until my diamond shovel broke and then I made a square.  From that, I created one path through it (not straight of course), which would serve as the ONLY solution to the maze.  From that, I created MANY different diverging paths from that one solution, all of which are dead ends. 

I had two setbacks in the form of Creepers.  Two of the little bastards got the jump on me while I was laying my sandstone and blew big holes in it.  That sucked. 

But, finally, it was done.  The interesting part was that the last thing I finished was the ceiling.  Which means that I…


I was moving some things around on my PC tonight, and I happened to take a look at the icons I have on my desktop.  That's when I saw Vindictus, which I'd utterly forgotten about.  Fortunately, I happened to be in the right mood to try something new, so I loaded it up. 

Currently, there are only three different “classes” to choose from when creating a new character.  Two of them are female, the other a male.  I chose the male, and was told it was a warrior-type dual-wielding character.  Fine.  Great.  Let's go. 

I played through the prologue when I first downloaded the game back in October, and I was utterly confused as to what the hell was going on.  It wasn't much better the second time around, either, except for the fact that I knew what strange shit was going to happen.  It still didn't make any sense to me, though.  So basically, you're a rookie soldier in this regiment of mercenaries.  There's a huge-ass spider climbing the bell tower, and you're …

Working from Home

We had quite a bit of snow last night, coupled with freezing rain before it actually dropped to a temperature cold enough to snow.  This lasted until around 6:00 AM this morning, so I decided just not even attempt to go into work.  Remote access, for the win. 

In other news, I got a lovely letter in the mail today.  That's sarcasm.  It was from the tax collector telling me I owe $991.  Gee thanks.  I hate the government, especially when they penalize me with late fees for something I had no idea was due.  Because THEY failed to tell me. 

Ah well.  Nothing I can do but pay it and kindly tell them to please, in the future, send me the notices so I know when it's due.  As the old adage goes, “You can't fight city hall.”Now playing:Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You

A Supermarket Story

It's been a while since I've had a good supermarket story to tell.  Well, the wait is over!

So yeah, I went to the supermarket over lunch today to get a few things.  I'm standing in line to check-out, and there's a woman in front of me with perhaps 20 items.  She brought her own shopping bags with her -- cloth ones that she may or may not have made herself.  She had given the cashier three of them.

The cashier proceeded to bag the lady's items in these three cloth bags.  After the three bags were full, the cashier then began putting the few remaining items into a plastic bag.  This caused the lady to flip out and begin waving her arms in a manner I can compare only with an epileptic fit.  She started mumbling something about killing the environment while putting a hand over her mouth in utter shock and dismay.  Then, she began wildly sifting through her goods for another cloth bag, which she found and literally threw at the cashier while frantically telling her to…

Sab's Simple Strats: Maloriak

What the hell is it?
An ugly creature in Blackwing Descent who is very bad at science.

How's it work?
The fight has two phases.  100% to 25% health, and then 25% to 0% health.  Uniquely, you have a limited amount of time to get him to that 25% mark.  During Phase 1, there are 3 mini-phases, depending on which color vial he throws into the cauldron.  Red, Blue, and Green.  Green is always third and sixth.  Red and Blue are randomized.  You will never have the same color twice in a row.

What the hell does it do?

Arcane Storm.  Channeled.  Must be interrupted every time.Release Aberrations.  Releases 3 adds each time.  Can be interrupted.Remedy.  Self buff that heals.  Can be dispelled/stolen.Consuming Flames.  Red vial ability.  Debuff on 1 random person.  Deals fire damage per second for 10 seconds.  Any additional magic damage taken by the player while this debuff is active will increase the damage of the ticks by 50%.Scorching Blast.  Red vial ability.  Frontal fire cone.  Damage sp…

Sab's Simple Strats: Magmaw

What the hell is it?
A really big worm in Blackwing Descent.  

How's it work?
Two phases.  Normal phase where he's attacking the tank and using abilities.  Burn phase where he's stunned and taking 100% increased damage.

What the hell does it do?

Pillar of Flame.  Big fire ball.  Fire ball hurts.  Does and AoE damage and knockback after a few seconds, and also spawns Lava Parasites.Ignition.  Half the room's floor becomes covered in fire.  Magmaw will also slump down on this area, doing massive damage to anyone there.Mangle.  Magmaw eats the tank.Sweltering Armor.  50% armor reduction on the eaten tank after he's spit out.Molten Tantrum.  Raid wiping ability if no one is within melee range of Magmaw.Infectious Vomit.  Caused if someone gets a Lava Parasite, which will happen if a player gets within 8 yards of one.  It spawns more parasites.  They reproduce like bunnies.What the hell do I do?

Everyone:  Stay away from the Lava Parasites.  Avoid the half of the room that…

Sab’s Simple Strats: The Omnotron Defense System

What the hell is it? A council encounter within Blackwing descent consisting of 4 stone constructs of Dwarven design.
How’s it work? First Construct Activates à Second Construct Activates, First Construct Shields à Third Construct Activates, First Construct Goes Inactive, Second Construct Shields à Fourth Construct Activates, First Construct Still Inactive, Second Construct Goes Inactive, Third Construct Shields.
Repeat.Laser Beam indicates which construct is next.Transition occurs when the most recently activated construct’s energy bar reaches 0.
What the hell do they do?

Arcanotron ·Power Generator.Whirlpool.Keep boss out of it, positioned so that melee DPS can stand in it and DPS the boss. ·Arcane Annihilator.Big damage spell.Interruptible. ·Power Conversion.Transition shield.Don’t attack him when it’s active.
Electron ·Lightning Conductor.“Living Bomb” type mechanic.Person who gets it needs to run away from the raid.Tank can get it.Raid runs away from him then. ·Electrical Discharge.Unavoidab…


I need something to do.  My projects here are at a standstill, and there's nothing I hate more than being idle.  Okay, that's a lie.  I do like being idle sometimes.  But only when my bed is within reach so I can lay on it!  Last time I looked, I didn't have a bed at work.

Nor will I ever mention that fact, because they'd probably give me one just in an attempt to keep me here longer every day.

I have an idea.  TO THE LABORATORY!

Dirty Harry

I actually don't remember if I have ever watched the original Dirty Harry in its entirety.  If I did, it was decades ago and I wouldn't have remembered a bit of it anyway.  I watched it last night.  I'm trying to recall why I was spurred to watch the movie, and I think it was a big tangent I was on in Wikipedia yesterday.  I somehow ended up on Clint Eastwood's filmography.

This movie was released in 1971, so I was expecting one thing when I started watching it:  to be bored.  This was a different time and a different mentality when it came to movies.  Back then, they would start very slow and the action would build up.  These days, filmmakers correctly assume that their audience wants to be entertained as soon as the title fades out.  Instant gratification.  Now, now, now.

I was pleasantly surprised that this movie did not start out slow.  But what was also quite intriguing is that it also didn't start out with a slam-bang action sequence like you would see in a…

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I got to work this morning (yes, I work on MLK Day, unlike the government), and I opened up a web browser.  My home page is set to Google.  While there, I noticed on the front page that the normal Google logo was replaced by 4 children playing hop scotch.  I was confused as to what this meant, so I put my mouse on the image to see what the caption was.  It simply said, "Martin Luther King Jr. Day".  I looked at the image again to see why the hell a picture of 4 kids playing would be relevant to MLK, and realized that two of them were black, and two of them were white.

The fact that before I read the caption, all I saw was 4 children playing, is enough to tell me that perhaps MLK's dream will, one day, come true.

I Disagree

So, if I am taking insane amounts of damage, you want me to kite the boss?  Really?  So you want me to move the dragon around so he cleaves the melee?  Breathes fire on the ranged?  Tailswipes the healers?  STILL HITS ME BECAUSE HE MOVES FASTER THAN I DO?

The correct answer is "Utilize damage reduction cooldowns."

There are very, very, very few cases where a boss is designed to be kited, and in those instances he will naturally gain some kind of buff that gives him additional damage done while also slowing down his movement speed so he actually can be kited.

It's situational and a minority of boss fights.  Sorry, your pretty picture is incorrect.

Why So Serious?

That line has been in my head for a couple of days now.  I've been trying to remember why, and I just got it:  Yesterday during the pizza party here at work, when I went into the kitchen to get my pizza, Rodney commented that I looked too serious.  That led me to turn to him, tilt my head to the side, and say the line.  I really want to watch The Dark Knight now.

Moving on, I had a really, really bizarre dream last night, and I'm pretty sure it was a recurring one that I've had before (and possibly finished last night).  I was kidnapped by a sexual predator, and he had me tied up to a chair in his apartment.  I don't recall any of the nasty things he did to me, but I'm pretty sure he DID do nasty things to me.  I was rescued by two or three people that were complete strangers to me, and I don't recall how they found me.  I vaguely remember that I somehow contacted them, but I really can't remember exactly how it went.  In any case, someone untied me while m…
I'm this close || to buying DC Universe Online.


I've cut down on my perusal of forums.  I guess you could call that a New Year's Resolution, even though any time anyone asks me what my New Year's Resolution is, I tell them 1920x1080.  

The reason for this reduction in forum reading is quite simple:  I don't care about your opinion.  It saddens me to admit it, but I really don't, and this is mainly because it sucks and you presented it in a way that makes me want to punch you in the face for being so stupid.

I'm generalizing here, of course, but it gets my point across.  When I want an answer to a question, I want the answer to my question.  That's it.  I don't want to hear about your posturing.  I don't want your useless opinion on why the topic of discussion is stupid.  I don't want to hear what you did my with my mother last night.  Basically, I don't want to hear from you at all.  You should just shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down.  Maybe go make me a sandwich.  

Since forums encour…

I've Returned

Whew, well that was certainly a very quick December.  I'm surprised I remember any of it.  The month typically goes fast because of all the running around in preparation for the holidays.  This year was even worse, because I was quite busy at work and I was also preparing for a week long trip to England. 

For those of you wondering, yes, my holidays were fantastic and so was my trip.  Thanks for asking. 

I would have posted here sooner, but I've been getting over a rather nasty cold that's been thoroughly kicking my ass ever since I got back into the country.  Just this evening I've actually started feeling like my old self again, although I still have a bit of a cough.  It's nothing I can't handle, however. 

Having a look at the coming year, it looks like it's going to be a rather interesting one as far as gaming is concerned.  For starters, we've got a brand new WoW expansion full of new raid bosses to take down.  And there's a metric shit-ton of …