Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 5

We'll start out with the inevitable.  I've found Lord Tarnis, and a duel was pretty much inevitable.

Now, two problems.  One, Tarnis uploaded the weapon plans to his father and all those other Sith.  So now, the Empire has them, and will undoubtedly try to use them.  Second, a very power Sith Lord wants me very, very dead.  I did sort of kill his son, after all.

So, the next order of business is to report back to the General and to Master Satele.

They were able to trace where the plans were sent -- to one of Angral's secret spy bases.  That's my next stop, where I'll hopefully be able to pick up his trail, or at least learn something useful.

First thing's first, though.  It's time to get my own starship!

Coming up next:  On the surface of Ord Mantell, and the exploration of the secret spy base.

And now, I would like to share with you a very small excerpt from a book I'm reading.  The book is "The Talisman", by Stephen King and Peter Straub.  It's a bit of a dark adventure tale, about a boy named Jack who is on a quest to find a mysterious object known as The Talisman.  This is near the end, I won't give out any spoilers.  But just read this paragraph.

"He was the powdered henshit in Buddy Parkin's nose; he was the trembling hairs that would soon cause Buddy Parkins to sneeze; he was the sneeze; he was the germs in the sneeze; he was the atoms in the germs; he was the tachyons in the atoms travelling backwards through time toward the big bang at the start of creation.  His heart skipped and a thousand suns flashed up in novas."


We just went from chicken shit to the creation of the universe in one go.  WTFuken?!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 4

There's an interesting twist in these sets of videos, and the storyline is starting to take shape.  It starts out simple enough -- when last we left our hero, a doctor of the Republic had been kidnapped.  I'm given the task of rescuing him.

I have to convince some troops to join me on this mission.  Y'see, the Justicar are pretty damn well equipped, and these forces have been suffering some considerable losses trying to fight them.  Luckily, I'm pretty good at rousing speeches.

So there we go, busting into the kidnapper's base to save the doctor.  Only to discover...

He's a Sith!  Yeah, that's not exactly good news.  Well, back to the General, then!

So now, I have a Sith Lord to track down.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bloviate, Harangue, Objurgate, Perorate, Vociferate

I'm fucking tired.

It's my own fault, of course.  I stayed up too late reading.  Time got away from me and it was 3:30 when I realized I should probably turn off the damn Kindle and to go sleep.  The problem was that I was trying to get through a certain part of the book I was reading, because it was pissing me off beyond anything you can imagine and I just wanted to be through and done with it.  So now, instead of just being pissed about what's happening in the book, I'm still pissed about that and additionally pissed that it's going on for THIS MANY PAGES.  Oh the rage.

It actually reminds me of why I enjoy writing -- so that I can control the story.  I can avoid yelling at my Kindle after every paragraph, telling the main character to stop being a damned wuss and start kicking ass.  Though, I guess that if the story is evoking those sort of emotions out of me, then it's a relatively good story.  It's better than being bored with it, I suppose.

So, because I'm tired and naturally woke up irritated at the universe and everything it contains, I suppose I should get all my bitching out of the way now:

  • Stop talking about the Witcher 2.  I don't care if my copy is being upgraded to the Enhanced Edition for free.  If you enhance a turd, it's still a turd.
  • Governments needs to get the fuck off my Internet.  Seriously.  Stop it and go away.  I realize that copyright holders that have billions more money that I do are paying you to censor it, and if you don't they won't give you those billions of dollars.  But is it worth me STOMPING ON YOUR TAINT WITH A PAIR OF GOLF SHOES?
  • Sirius XM Radio:  Stop playing the "Live Studio Version" of the song "Cough Syrup".  I don't want to fucking hear that version.  I want to hear the fucking album version.  I don't care how many people request that stupid studio version.  If they think it's better, they are naturally entitled to their opinion.  WRONG AS IT MAY FUCKING BE.  Play the freakin' real version or I will send you mix tapes of Justin Bieber.  You twats.
  • Stupid person in car:  Y U DRIVE DOWN WRONG SIDE OF ROAD?  Just because you're in a parking lot doesn't mean you can drive anywhere you want.  Also, just because you look older than Rupert Murdoch's flabby wrinkles doesn't mean I'd hesitate running your ass over.
  • To people who quote someone on the forums and only say "This." -- THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
Bad plot twists and lack of sleep make PD cranky.  Of course, one e-mail from John and now there are birds singing outside, I feel like dancing, and I don't feel so tired any more.  Either I'm becoming delusional from lack of sleep, or he's just that good at cheering me up.

(Hint:  It's the latter.)

As an aside, the words in the blog title are all synonyms of RANT.  :3

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Serious Sam 3 - Chapter 4

No Jedi Knight vlogs for a bit -- I'm slashing my way through all the non-story based questlines.  I did about a half a dozen of those last night -- fun stuff, but like I said, I'm only recording the story based stuff.

Have a Serious Sam video instead.

Y'know what I'm looking forward to?  Max Payne 3.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jedi Consular Vlog 1 - Intro & Master Cin Tykan

With Steve doing his own Star Wars: The Old Republic video blog, I'm going to make my own to show another side of the story; the Jedi Consular. I've only just figured out how to run FRAPS without my computer exploding, so the Vlogs will start a short way into the story. But, here's what you need to know:

- After passing my Jedi Trials on Tython (the Jedi homeworld), my master suddenly fainted during my ceremony to become a Jedi.

- She was taken to Coruscant to be healed, but none of the Jedi Masters or doctors could figure out what was wrong. She kept babbling about the darkness, and became progressively weaker.

- I went around Coruscant in the search of noeticons, special holographic projections that allowed me to commune with long dead Jedi Masters. After gathering all three of them, I discovered that the illness was some sort of plague/mind control, developed by a mysterious Sith Lord.

- Taking the three noeticons to the Jedi Temple, I learned an ancient shielding technique to temporarily protect those afflicted by the plague. The apprentice to the Sith Lord behind all of this followed me, and destroyed the noeticons before I defeated him. I am now the only Jedi in the galaxy with the knowledge to shield against this plague.

- I shield my master, at great cost to myself, and she thanks me; but her illness will return if I dont hunt down the 'plaguemaster' behind the illness. The Jedi Council reveal that there are other masters that have gone quiet around the galaxy, and it is feared that they too have been afflicted by this plague.

So! I go to Taris, where Master Cin Tykan was leading a reconstruction effort. It is revealed that he too has the plague, and I track him down to a massive super-reactor underneath the planet's surface that - if detonated - could blow the planet in half.

Got all of that? Good! ACTION!

This is getting interesting! Who is Lord Vivicar? My master mentioned a different name, "Parkanas". Are more than one Sith Lord in on this? Must.. play... MOAR!

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 3

This entry will cover the very first part of my Jedi's stay on Coruscant.  And just for the record, that city is utterly gorgeous.  Now, if you recall from last time, Master Kiwikks sensed a dangerous and powerful presence, and pinpointed it to Coruscant.  So, I was sent there to help investigate.  However, it looks like some other matters are going to require my attention before we get to that.

From this point forward, I realize that the game audio is pretty high and that you probably won't be able to hear what I'm saying very much.  I was having a really difficult night in regards to recording and lagging and stuff like that.  I don't say very much that's important anyway -- it's all in the story itself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Video. Also Commentary!

It often makes me disappointed in people when I see how other countries view my own.  There are so many negative American stereotypes out here.  Some of it I can understand -- it's a proven fact that America has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.  So I can understand how some ignorant people will just assume that if you are an American that must certainly mean you're a fat slob.  Right?  And I can understand that just because our government passed a legislature that states a slice of pizza contains the nutrients found in one serving of vegetables, and can thus count as one serving of vegetables, that means that all Americans are retarded and think that pizza is a vegetable.  Right?  And since someone who used to be in Congress then became the head of the RIAA, a greedy corporation, which made it quite easy for that corporation to lobby two very bad legislatures (SOPA and PIPA), then that means America as a whole is turning into a Nazi regime and is trying to censor the entire internet.  Right?  

These ones don't really bother me all that much, though.  For lack of a better term, America is a loud country -- we tend to have an opinion about everything, and in my opinion (see what I did there?) we tend to stick our noses into just about everything.  I think that's one of the main reasons why we get this kind of abuse.  It's all good.  We can take it.

There are some other perceptions of America that I see, which sort of sadden me, however.  These are the ones that aren't "jokes", persay, or trolling.  They are people who legitimately have misconceptions about what America is like.

For example, today I saw a European stating they would never visit America because they were scared to death of getting shot by the military.  They then quoted an American law that states the military can arrest anyone they suspect of being a terrorist and hold them indefinitely without trial.  So already his statement is flawed, since no where in that law does it state the military is allowed to SHOOT you for being a suspected terrorist.  Last time I looked, I didn't live in North Korea.  Secondly, do people really think that we arrest foreigners all the time for no reason and throw them in Gitmo?  That's really sad.  Unless you have a bomb strapped to your chest or you're carrying something illegal (chemicals, weapons, etc.), you're not going to have any problems.

I saw another person, I think they were Australian, stating that they would never visit America because there's nothing there worth seeing.  This gives me the perfect opportunity at one of the most advanced methods of ownage known to man.  Not only am I going to show you places worth seeing in America -- but I'm going to show you beautiful places in America that you've probably NEVER HEARD OF.  Everyone knows about Yellowstone National Park, or Mount Rushmore, or the Grand Canyon, or the Lincoln Memorial, or Niagara Falls.  I'm not even going to MENTION any of those amazing places, and I'm still going to own this guy's ass and show him why there's a song called America The Beautiful.

And not once, but ten times.

1. Asheville, North Carolina

It's a city at the base of the Appalachian Mountains.  The scenery there, especially at sunrise and sunset, is utterly amazing.

2. Aspen, Colorado

Here, you will see mountain scenery that is not unlike scenes out of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films.

3. Cape Cod, Massachussets

The picture speaks for itself.  This actually reminds me of the old Westfall in World of Warcraft.

4. Destin, Florida

If their tourist tagline isn't "Make Us Your Destin-ation", they need to change it RIGHT THIS SECOND.

5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

We're pretty big on our mountains here in America.  This is the Grand Teton range.

6. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

Naturally, I couldn't make a list like this without mentioning Hawaii!

7. Newport, Rhode Island


Beaches or mountains don't suit your tastes?  How about a quaint harbor town with scenic walking routes along the cliff rocks?

8. Point Reyes, California


71,000 acres of wildlife and coastland to explore.

9. Sedona, Arizona


I -love- the Red Rocks of America.  It's desert...but not.  And incredibly beautiful.

10. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Just in case you don't like TROPICAL beaches, here's one along the Great Lakes for you.  You're welcome.

So there you go.  Ten little-known places in America that would make amazing vacation spots with no military standing around waiting to shoot you.

In other news, I mentioned before that I started playing through Serious Sam 3 once more, and that I was trying to record it.  The first two chapters didn't work out so well, and I decided since not a TON happens in those first two chapters, I would just start with chapter 3.  So here it is.

Additionally, I did record chapter 4 last night.  But I once again fucked it up.  The video and audio are actually fine.  What happened was that I wasn't recording when I thought I was recording -- so instead of recording the boss fight and turning off the recording at the loading screen for the next chapter, I  didn't record the boss fight and recorded the loading screen for the next chapter.  Which is not useful in the least!

A lot happens in that chapter, too.  So I'm probably going to have to replay it.  Sad, sad panda.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 2

A smaller post today, but the video is longer than the others.  So that sort of makes up for it!  This video summarizes the conclusion of the whole Bengel Morr  storyline, and also showcases the creation of my lightsaber.  Some assembly was required -- but fortunately it assembles itself!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 1

I've started a Jedi Knight called Kobel in The Old Republic, and I decided to do something a little bit differently this time around.  I've already discussed the game's elements, how it plays, the environments, and stuff like that.  This time around I'm going to focus more on the story itself, and to do so I'm going to offer short videos of all the important sections of the main storyline.  I'll try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible as I'm recording these, but you'll probably hear me making retorts from time to time.  It's just unavoidable.  :D

Also, the audio for the first few videos will be a tad loud.  Sorry about that.  I'm far from an expert in these things.

Finally, I don't think I need to mention the fact that this will spoil the entirety of the Jedi Knight storyline.  But just in case you're an idiot, there, I warned you.

So, the very first problem that I encounter after making a Jedi Knight character is an attack by Flesh Raiders.  I'm sent out to deal with the situation, which leads up to killing a Jedi who was trying to control them.  Impressed with the way I handled the situation, Jedi Master Orgus Din decides to take me as his Padawan.  I then go with him to a village of Twi'lek pilgrims, who are also having trouble with Flesh Raiders.  The first order of business is stealing some of the Flesh Raiders' weapons.  It's here that I meet my first companion.

This droid has a holorecording that may shed some light onto what, exactly, is happening to the Flesh Raiders.  Showing this recording to Orgus is next on my to-do list.

Orgus decides that the Jedi Council needs to see that holorecording.  While he's gone, it's going to be up to me to keep the Flesh Raiders pushed back until he's able to send me reinforcements. (Of course it is.)

While I'm working on that, I notice something a bit surprising -- the Flesh Raiders have begun using the Force.  Ruh-roh, Raggy.

To make matters worse, it appears that the mysterious figure pulling all the strings with the Flesh Raiders is an old Padawan of Orgus.  It's both good and bad, so to speak -- he's not a Sith, but he's also not on our side.  Either way, he needs to be stopped.

So Orgus is going after him, and he needs me to disable the shields for T7.  Bengel decides to say hello while I'm there.  It's the typical evil villain banter.  "Hello.  How are you?  I'm going to kill you soon."

Nevermind him, though, there are more immediately pressing matters.  The Flesh Raiders broke through the lines of defense, and began poisoning the fields of the Twi'lek pilgrims.  Well, we can't have that, now can we?

After dealing with that, it was time to head into the ruins and deal with the rest of the Flesh Raiders.  Only one problem -- one of them now has a lightsaber.

And like any good story, this one would not be complete without some good, old fashioned BETRAYAL!

Up next:  The fall of Bengel Morr, and crafting my lightsaber!  Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

That Thing That's a Virtue, But Not Right Now

I would be referring to patience, naturally.  Of which I have none!

See, I was going to record a play-through of Serious Sam 3 -- the whole game, of course, with me talking through it and stuff.  And actually, I started doing just that.  But, I have this problem:  I'm an idiot.  I didn't exactly do a sound check before I played through and recorded two full levels of the game.  The game sound is actually quite fine -- maybe a bit loud, though.  Still, it's okay.  But, you really can't hear me very much at all.  I thought maybe it would work out okay if I didn't use my headset.  That was an error in judgement.

I was going to process those first two chapters anyway, and just improve upon them from that point forward.  Seems reasonable, right?  I got sofar as to processing the raw video in Movie Maker.  I had a 26 minute video of chapter 1, but for some reason part of the video goes black halfway through.  I have no idea why.  None of it is like that pre-processing, and 90% of the video is perfectly fine.

I don't have the patience to figure it out.  I deleted it and all the footage.  Balls to it.  

Something's not right here

Wait a Sith-stopping second.

Whenever Blizzard patches World of Warcraft, problems follow. Bugs are found, exploits are spread about and things break. This is only natural with the nature of online gaming, and PC gaming in general. It's generally accepted that your framerate and latency will go down a little with each patch.

Then WHY has my framerate DOUBLED in Star Wars: The Old Republic? This isn't right! Are Bioware really pulling this whole MMO thing off properly? I may actually have to play this game more now!

The force is strong with this one. I love you, Bioware.

But not you, EA. Go to hell.

Also, pretty screenshot is pretty.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What the FUCK, id?

I'm about to prove to you that I do not hold back when it comes to game developers that I worship.  Oh how misguided you are if you thought that might be the case with me.  How misguided indeed.  I should start at the beginning though.  And don't worry, this post is not going to be 100% rant.  It'll take me a while to get to that.  BUT GET TO IT I WILL.

Ok, I'm back.  You didn't notice a thing, but I left for like 15 minutes.  I needed new music.  I get that urge randomly, and when it happens there's really nothing I can do about it.  Now, on with the show!

I decided to finish Rage this evening, as I wasn't quite in the mood to play TOR and playing an FPS actually quite appealed to me.  This brings me to the first annoyance of the evening.  I was actually going to record all of my playthrough this evening, and just post it.  But I couldn't get a decent framerate at all.  I tried many things -- internal hard drive, external hard drive, lowering the FPS on the Fraps recording, changing to half size, and so on.  Nothing I tried worked.  Rage was PLAYABLE...but I could notice that I wasn't getting the framerate I should be getting.  And it was varying to a very extreme degree.  Sometimes I'd actually be at 60 FPS.  But it would randomly drop down to 10.  Also, even at 60 FPS, I could notice stuttering when I moved the camera around.

It was rather frustrating...but not incredibly surprising.  With Rage's megatextures, I had a hunch that it would be a problem to record smoothly.  Let's not forget that I had every video setting cranked up to the highest, because, y'know, I can do that.  Game runs fantastic when I'm not recording.  But you know me -- I refuse to turn anything down.  *shrugs*  Oh well!  If it's any consolation, you actually didn't miss all that much.

As for the game itself, I have such good things to say about it.  And one big, huge, massive, gigantic, humongous, WTFuken, blimp-sized bitch about it.


There's a lot of sci-fi mumbo jumbo at the end of the game.  It basically becomes Quake, for all intents and purposes.  I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, of course, I'm just pointing it out.


If you'll recall my previous posts about the game, the story of Rage is that the world was nearly destroyed by an asteroid, humans were put into arks to survive, and you wake up in the wasteland of a future.  You've got the rebels, and they're fighting the Authority.  Simple.  No one playing and id game is playing it for the story, trust me.

In any case, the last part of the game had me breaking into the Authority main base to upload a certain file.  This file would activate a satellite up in space, which would allow the rebels to locate all the other buried arks and free all the humans inside of them, thus creating and army to fight the Authority.

I've already talked about how good this game is previously.  The weapons, the graphics (most of all), the controls, and so on.  Already talked about that, and I still stand by what I said.  And since you've read this far, it's time to reveal what has me so fucking annoyed.

Ok, so I break into the Authority base, thinking to myself that this is probably going to be the end and I'm going to find something horrifying or shocking inside.  Obviously there will be a final boss fight.  This is id after all.  I get to the top.  I fight three or four waves of mutants.  The rebels found out that the Authority was building a mutant army and who knows what else, so I wasn't surprised to find mutants in their base.

So I fight these three to four waves of mutants, and I upload the file.  A cutscene plays showing arks all over the world activating and popping out of the ground.

Then the game ends.

Excuse me what?

No, really.  What the hellassballs?

And you know what:  It was such an abrupt ending that I'm so very sure it wasn't just bad writing.  It's like they didn't finish the fucking game!  Either they had a deadline they couldn't meet, or they simply rushed the game out after seeing that Borderlands and Fallout have already done the same thing.  (And in a lot of ways, done it better.)

You've disappointed me id.  Only a 2012 release of Doom 4 will ever be able to make up for it.

Yeah, I'm dreaming there.  Pft.

Here, have a pointless screenshot from the final cutscene.

Instead, here, have a screenshot of a BFG cameo!


Sigh.  I just...I can't even...so fucking stupid.  God dammit.  Fucking cop-out of an ending.  Ballsacks!

And really, that's my only complaint about the game.  But hell, it's a LULU.

I was able to contain my rage (har har, see what I did there?) enough during the ending credits to pay attention to the song that was playing.  I listened to it again after I calmed down from that TURD of an ending, and then again. And then again.  And I'm listening to it again right now.  It's excellent, and it fits the tone of the game beautifully.  Bravo on that one.  I will take this song as a consolation prize to this STEAMING PILE OF YAK VOMIT OF AN ENDING.

For your listening pleasure, here is the song.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Taking the Grand TOR: Part 7

The finale of the Sith Warrior!  Let's get to it.

Sarah Conner?  Come with me if you want to live.

Seriously, I wonder how many people actually get all of my jokes?  *Ponders*

Come on ride the train, hey, ride it, woo woo!

If I just got Quad City DJs stuck in your head, I vehemently apologize.  At least I'm telling you I do.  Secretly, I'm laughing.

One of my companions answered a holocall in nothing but his underwear.  What the fuck are my companions doing on my ship when I'm not around?!
These guys are pretty cool looking.  Too bad I killed them all.
I went with an orange lightsaber crystal in my main hand for a while.  I've since changed it back to red, though.  I was so close to leveling up that I didn't want to take the time to switch out the crystal right away.  Yes, I'm that insane.
Don't you just hate it when the Dark Side starts ripping your body to shreds?  It really ruins my day.
Here I am practicing my dramatic pointing.  It's also funny watching me freak out in the chat.
This reminds me of the original cover of Wolves of the Calla.  Just the whole glowing eyes, odd face structure, and the arms outstretched.  How odd.
This is the climax of the story just getting started right here.  I'm on my way to the chamber of the Dark Council to confront Darth Baras once and for all.
Epic pose with epic quote.  Too bad I got my ass kicked immediately thereafter.  Twice.  Them's the breaks, kid.
Actually, I take that back.  The first time I took on Baras, it wasn't too bad. I beat him.
Then he took off his mask.  Whenever anyone takes off their mask in this kind of situation, you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.
I'm not going to lie, this screenshot makes me fall down on my knees and praise whatever lords may be out there for giving me such a thing as Star Wars.
The only reason this is here is because I didn't think we had enough epic poses yet.  You're welcome.
And this about sums it up.  Baras is dead by my hand, and the Dark Council bowed to me.  I am now Darth Saburo.
Right, so final thoughts on the story?  Well, the first thing that I want to point out is this:  This is important, so pay attention.  Are you paying attention?  Good.  Playing through this entire story was well worth the $59.99 it costs to purchase this game.  Think about that for a moment.  I finished one of the classes within a month.  It was a lot of playtime, but I did it.  I could cancel my subscription right now, having lost nothing but that $59.99, which is the same price you would pay for, oh I dunno, Battlefield 3.  Or Call of Duty.  Do you see my point?  For the SAME PRICE as those turds, I got my money's worth out of LESS THAN ONE EIGHTH OF THE ENTIRE GAME.  

So do I think the subscription is worth it?  Let me summarize that answer for you:

Enough said.

Do I recommend this game?  Yes but only if just ONE of the following is true for you:  You like Star Wars, you like MMOs, you like epic storytelling, you are a human being with any kind of interest in having your pants entertained off your unworthy body.

It's not perfect -- no game is -- but it's fucking fun and kittens will cry if you miss out on all this good stuff.  Don't make the kittens cry.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taking the Grand TOR: Part 6

Alright, it's time to finish up all of my screeshots, so that I'm actually up to date with where I am in the game.  Also, I'm going to change the way I post images here a little bit.  Well, actually, I'm going to change the format of the text that goes with them, so it's easier to tell which picture the text belongs with.  I'm going to use captions.  Wish me luck!

You're having a nice pleasant walk in the woods and OMG WTF IS THAT THING?!

That thing was elite, too.  Not something you'd want to find in some dark forest by any means.  Also going through that area reminded me of this book I'm reading -- The Talisman.  The main character, Jack, was almost murdered by the forest.  Think of Tokien's Fangorn Forest, only evil.  Or, if you will, imagine the forest from MacBeth...only for real.  (Incidentally, Tolkien's forest really was alive because he was disappointed that Shakespeare's forest in MacBeth was not.  True story.)

These guys remind me of the Protoss.  Just a little bit.

 Beam me up, Sc-OMG WTF ARE YOU DOING?!

I could try and explain what's happening there, but it would take me forever.  Basically, let's just say that those guys being held in those pods are very power Darth Lords that I needed to free.  The not-Protoss were keeping them captive and draining their force energy. 

Why I thought I could totally avoid these creatures is beyond me.

Oh yeah, because THAT'S not ominous.
Stop laughing and get me a can opener.  Quick!
I face off against Darth Baras' other apprentice.  Rumor is he can't die.
My hobbies include long walks on the beach, and disproving myths about other Sith being invincible.
I love this shot.  I sort of missed the other guy, but I don't care, it still looks amazing.
This particular landscape reminds me of Azshara.  Voss is like what Azshara would look like if Blizzard had designed it today, rather than six years ago.
"Gold!  I found gold!"
You know things are getting serious when eyes start glowing.
A long time ago at a prom far, far away...

Okay, so the whole thing with the Voice of the Emperor.  Here's what went down, and I shouldn't need to mention that these are major spoilers:  My master, Darth Baras, betrayed me because he was afraid I was becoming too powerful.  He sent his other apprentice to kill me, and afterwards he declared himself the Voice of the Emperor.  What that means is that he was proclaiming that the Emperor himself was speaking through him and that his word was the Emperor's will.  

The Dark Council was forced to believe this, through a wide variety of scare tactics, blackmail, and other such deviancy orchestrated by Baras.
To combat this, the Emperor put his "Hand" into action.  The Hand of the Emperor is an illusive and secret group of Sith that carry out the Emperor's instructions.  After Baras betrayed me, the Emperor sent the Hand to me to elevate me to the Wrath of the Emperor.  As the Emperor's Wrath, I was sent on a collision course with Baras to bring him down for good.

And now, I actually think I've written enough for one evening.  I have more screenshots than I thought I did.  I do have two more to share before signing off, though.

Saburo without Sith Corruption.

Saburo with Sith Corruption.

This nightmare has been brought to you by PD Industries.  All rights reserved.  You're welcome.  Sweet dreams!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taking the Grand TOR: Part 5

I have all these screenshots that I haven't posted yet, which I need to do before I post the final ones from my Sith's storyline.  So let's dive right into that, shall we?  I believe we left off on Alderaan.

Also, from this point forward, you should assume that any TOR post I make will have considerable spoilers in it.  Just FYI.


Belsavis was an odd planet.  Its quests were also a bit on the grindy side, as far as I'm concerned.  Still, it had its moments.  The idea of a planet's sole purpose being a prison isn't relatively unique, but it was cool to see it visually realized in a persistent game world.

The place had its fair share of lightsaber duels, too.  It's odd seeing this image after everything else that's happened since.  That other guy beside me is the other apprentice of my master Darth Baras.  Here we're working together.  Later on...well, you'll see.

There's no point having pretty landscapes if you're not going to pose in them!

This is the guy that Darth Baras sent me to kill.  His death allowed him to ascend to a seat on the Dark Council.  It ended up being the start of a larger, more sinister ploy, however.  One that directly and negatively affected me!

And that's all the screenshots that I have left on this computer.  From this point forward, they'll be coming to you from Skynet4!


To me, leveling is like the Dark Side.  Its power and influence always seems greater than anything else, and eventually it will consume and destroy you.

Well, I may be exaggerating a little bit.

In any case, I've reached the level cap in The Old Republic, and I've done so with a feeling of relief.  You may question that, and perhaps ask, "Well, if you were enjoying the game so much, why would that be?"  That answer is simple:  MMOs are structured to always make you feel that if you are not at the level cap, you are behind.  It's one of the downsides of the genre.  In fact, Blizzard just recently made a post about exactly that topic:


I've always been one to agree with the notion that it's always the journey that's important, and not the destination.  I envy anyone who can successfully apply that philosophy while playing an MMO.  It's not easy to do.  I find it much easier to think that way in real life.

That aside, the story of my Sith Warrior throughout his 50 levels was nothing short of amazing.  One thing that stands out to me was how the game made you feel powerful no matter what level you were.  That's not easy to do.  (For example, before the revamp of WoW's 1-60 questing, you felt pretty damned weak for quite a few levels.)

I'll have much more to say about the whole thing at a later time, when I have access to my screenshots.

On to a different topic.

My new computer is running perfectly, and I've pretty much got all the settings just the way I want them.  I'm very happy with the quality of the system, its performance, and everything else.  So if you're wondering -- Cyberpower PC gets my seal of approval.

I do have one issue, though:  the monitor.  Actually, two issues with that one item.

The first is really odd and not so bothersome.  It seems that the buttons on the monitor itself don't really work all that well.  You see, it has five buttons.  A power button, a menu button, two "menu navigation" buttons, and a "select" button.  Well, the power button does nothing.  And the other four buttons turn the power on/off.  Wha?  It's bizarre!  But it doesn't really affect me all that much, because I never use those buttons.  (I have my computer set to turn off the monitor automatically anyway.)

The other issue is probably going to cost me my sanity.

The monitor has a stuck pixel.  At least, I think it's "stuck".  I'm hoping it's stuck, because apparently stuck pixels can be fixed.  "Dead" and "Hot" pixels cannot be fixed.  I did some reading, and apparently "dead" pixels are always black, and "hot" pixels are always white.  And they cannot be fixed.  Stuck pixels tend to be red, green, blue, or yellow.  Mine is blue, so I'm hopeful in that regard.

You may be thinking why this is such a big deal, given that a pixel is really, really small, and surely it can't be all that noticeable, right?  You'd be surprised.

While playing The Old Republic, I swear to fucking Crom that little blue dot puts itself dead center in my character's forehead during EVERY FUCKING CONVERSATION.  It is utterly infuriating.  I keep telling myself that it's no big deal, and really it's not.  But I can't stop looking at the damned thing.  It's like an old carton of milk.  You know it's sour, but you're a dumbass and sniff it anyway.  That's probably a bad analogy, but you get my point.

On one hand, I keep telling myself that it's really not that big of a deal and that it's easily ignored.  I'm sure I won't even notice it anymore after another week or two. (Honestly, that's a bit optimistic of me.)

On the other hand, I paid good money for this new system, so shouldn't I demand complete satisfaction?  (I should mention that I don't blame Cyberpower for this.  They simply sent me the new monitor, which they got from their supplier:  Sceptre.  That's the brand of monitor.  It's not their fault.  They just sold the product.  I expect them to test my new system (which they did), and did not expect them to test my monitor.)

So I'm kind of debating with myself what exactly I should do.  First of all, since stuck pixels can apparently be fixed, I'm going to try that first.  I found a guide online about some things I can try to do.  I really, really hope it works, because otherwise I'm left with the following:

First, I'd have to read through my warranty to find out if it covers stuck pixels in a monitor.  I probably won't be able to find a definitive answer, so I'll have to directly contact the company to find out.  If it does, that means I'll have to package up the monitor and send it back to the company.  OPTIMISTICALLY, I'd have the monitor back in a month.  (Two days to figure out if the warranty covers it, one week for it to get back to the company, a week and a half for them to process it and ship me out a new one or fix the old one, and a week for it to get back to me.)  The thought of going through all that makes me want to stab a puppy.

And I realize that every single person who reads that paragraph is thinking, "Wow, he's a whiny little bitch, isn't he?"  Yes, I probably am.  But what I'm trying to do is weigh the options.  Do I really want to go through all of that hassle just because of a little blue dot?  Now that I have this monitor, I'm used to having it, so going back to my old (smaller and less awesome) monitor for a month will make me very irritated, mind you.  (Yes, yes, whiny bitch, got it, we've covered that already.)

To go back in a complete circle, I hope I can somehow "unstick" this pixel myself.  Otherwise I'm probably going to go clinically insane.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

For a day that's traditionally and superstitiously attributed to bad luck, this one is certainly living up to its standards.  It started at lunch for me.  It's utterly despicable outside, weather-wise, so four of us decided to order some delivery and thus avoid having to leave the office.  When our food got here, I opened up my box and it was completely empty.

After one Mother Hubbard and one "What's in the boooooox?  Oh, nothing." joke later, I called up the place and informed them that my lunch was missing.

About an hour later, the guy finally arrives with my food, but he's all shaken up.  When he was retrieving my box from the driver's seat of his car, someone backed into him.  So the guy delivering my food was hit by a car.  Also, please note that I'm not saying that his car was hit.  No -- HE was hit.  Luckily, he was unhurt, since the other car was backing up and thus going quite slowly.  He said the only thing that hurt was his fist -- because he punched the other guy's car.  (Not out of anger -- more in panic and to make noise so the guy would stop backing up and not fully run the poor guy over.)

So yeah, this hasn't been a particularly good day.  Now I have to leave the office and drive home in temperatures far below freezing, high winds, and blowing snow.  Given the way this day is going, I'm not exactly looking forward to it.  

Actually, I am Sure...


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...