Friday, March 23, 2012

Horrifying Mental Images

There are certain things you just don't want to think about when you're leaving the office for lunch.

As I backed out of my parking spot, I looked over and noticed the Wookie's car had a new bumper sticker on it.  It said:

"I'm going commando."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Arrrr, Matey

I started playing The Legend of Dead Kel expansion pack for Kingdoms of Amalur last night.  I call it an expansion pack, because that's basically what it is:  It's a new area on the map with new quests and new mobs and new things to do.  It's not a pack of weapons or anything like that.  It's how DLC should be done.  You get 15% more map to explore for 16.6% of the price of the original game.  I'm sure some self-entitled twat is going to complain about that, but I'm certainly not.

The expansion itself starts out with a pretty basic formula.  You walk into a local tavern, and a man there asks you if you want to make a little extra money.  He then propositions for you to set sail with a crew in a hunt for an undead pirate named Dead Kel and his crew of "Hanged Man" pirates.  I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty fun adventure to me.

As expected, your ship crashes on the shore of a new land ripe for exploring.  You spend a bit of time navigating through some waterlogged caves with the inept captain of your now decimated ship, and then end up in a village that seems to be oddly immune to Dead Kel's influence.  That's pretty much where I left off last night, as it was quite late when I started playing anyway.

So far, the formula of the expansion is exactly the same as the main game, which is perfectly fine by me.  I found some new enemies, and the new areas are nicely designed.   I've only explored the beach of the shipwreck, and that's it, so I've got a lot of ground to cover yet.  I haven't even finished exploring the first main settlement, let alone the wilderness that awaits beyond.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"The Threshold"

Before I get to the topic named in the title, I first want to share a rather interesting and well-written article on the subject of internet trolling.  Have a look at it here.

The article caught my eye because I'd just made a post similar to it yesterday.  I think the most frightening part of that article is the suggestion that human beings are actually cruel animals, and we're simply nice to each other because we have to be.  I honestly don't know if that's true or not, but I hope not.

On to the topic at hand, I realized last night that every book I read has a "threshold".  It's the point where I know I will continue reading the book until I'm finished with it.  This threshold varies from book to book, but I always know it when I hit it.

In "The Stand", it was immediate.  I still remember the opening bit.  It was a man named Charlie trying to wake up his wife, because they had to escape.  That hooked me right away.  Escape from what?  What's happening?  Why do they have to run?

For other books, it takes a long time.  The Gunslinger took until Roland told about his experience in Tull, and that was roughly a third of the way into the book I think.

Sometimes, it never happens.  I was a few HUNDRED pages into The Sword of Shannara, and I still have no desire to continue reading it.

I was thinking about this last night because I've hit that threshold now in Black House.  I think I'm 15% into the book.  I suppose that's about normal as far as books go.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Do I Human Being?

With the rise of digital distribution for computer games, the Internet is more relevant than ever as an integral part of PC Gaming.  I, for one, love digital distribution, because it allows me to get my games very quickly and without having to worry about losing discs or manuals.  However, with the convenience of the Internet comes all the notoriety along for the ride, and sometimes it can be pretty damned disheartening to consider yourself a part of this community.  If you don't realize what the Internet is, and what the Internet breeds, then you could find yourself pretty shocked when you see what the "majority" of people think about certain topics.

I'm here to give you one very important piece of advice:  Nothing that you see on the Internet is the "majority".  Nothing.  I'll repeat:  NOTHING.  I don't care if you see a comments section where every single person is telling you a game is bad -- it doesn't mean ANYTHING.  I don't care HOW passionate someone is hating on something.  It means NOTHING.  THEY mean nothing.  Why?  Well, for starters, only the people that hate the game are going to be inclined to comment.  The others are all enjoying the game and have no need to troll comment sections.  Next, human beings like to feel special, and the most popular way they know how to feel special is to jump on a Hate Bandwagon.  It's called the herd mentality.  That's right.  Herd.  I just called the Internet a bunch of sheep.  And lastly, the Internet provides anonymity.  If you give a human being anonymity, they will abuse it, and they will do things that they wouldn't normally do if their audience could see their face, know their name, or punch them in the fucking nuts for being a twat.

The bottom line is that it's perfectly okay to dislike a game, to say it's not for you, to say that you don't think it's worth the price of admission.  It's NOT okay to just say something is crap and provide no other reason, to hate on someone else who likes the game, or to, in other words, be a useless troll.

I deal with people all day long in the real world.  Very, very rarely to they act like self-entitled cunts who I want to curb stomp into ignoramus-paste.  They don't confuse opinion with fact and they don't hate someone for thinking differently from them.  In fact, at work we PRAISE people for thinking differently, because that quite often leads to finding a solution to a problem. It's called "thinking outside of the box".

So before I bestow upon you another very important piece of advice for when "you Internet", first I have a request:  Don't be a fucking cunt.

And now for the advice:  People are going to hate you and the thing that you like simply because you like it.  That is it.  Ignore them.  Because you know what?  You are a REAL human being.  You're allowed to like things.  And no other human being, no matter how self-entitled they are, no matter how big of a cunt they are, can take that away from you.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Oh, you think you're so clever, don't you QC?  Well, I'm on to you!  You picked the year Ghostbusters was released on purpose!

I'm hip to your oblique jokes.

Also, there are rumors flying about regarding an Elder Scrolls MMO.

Do.  Not.  Want.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alternative Timesinks

There are two hobbies that I would embark upon, if I wasn't a gamer.  Actually, there are probably more than two, but these are the two that I currently have on my mind.  Well dammit, now that I'm thinking about it, I have more than these two on my mind.  Like bicycling.  Stop it, brain!

I was thinking about these other two hobbies this morning due to the weather.  That probably seems odd, doesn't it?  Well it'll make sense here in a moment.  Y'see, the weather here has been incredibly nice over the last three days or so. We're talking temperatures in the low 70's and sunshine all day long.  For mid-March in Pennsylvania, that's fantastic.  This has naturally got me thinking about gardening, which is the other hobby I actively pursue in addition to gaming.  (No one can say that my tastes are not broad and varying.)

Since I've been thinking about gardening, yet it's only March, I start thinking back to when I was in high school and also had this odd concept known as "free time".  During March and April, before it was viable to actually plant things outdoors, I would actually germinate seeds inside beforehand on my own.  It was always flowers that I would work with, and never vegetables because I never liked vegetables.  Besides, I was planting these things around the house, not in a bonafide "garden".  It's not exactly common practice to have pumpkins growing outside your picture window, now is it?  Heh.

Moving on, thinking about this brought my mind around to the first hobby I have considered pursuing on multiple occasions:  Hydroponics.  I did a little bit of hydroponics in high school in my horticulture and floriculture classes.  If you're unaware, hydroponics is simply growing plants in water without soil.  Think of it like this:  You have a six foot long PVC pipe about six inches in diameter.  You drill 3-4 inch holes in the pipe every several inches, just big enough to fit a "starter pot".  Then, you run water through the pipe -- you'd need something like an aquarium pump and a reservoir, naturally -- which would provide anything you'd plant in that starter pot with just about everything they need to grow.  Put fluorescent lighting over it and you've got yourself some hydroponics.

It would probably be quite inexpensive to build something like that myself, but naturally there's the whole "free time" concept coming into play again.  Plus, I'd need a good place to set it up.

And since suddenly I have work to do, I'll leave this post here.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nobody Likes My Toenails

The title of this post is a snippet of lyric from the song "Nobody Eats My Dinner".  The song is by a band called Motive, who I hadn't heard of before yesterday.  I heard part of the song on the radio during my quick drive to and from lunch yesterday, and looked the song up on YouTube when I got back into the office.  I'll embed the music video below.  The lyrics as a whole, if you haven't been able to tell already, are utterly non-sensical.  But, I can't stop listening to the song.  It's one of those cases where it sounds brilliant, so long as you don't really pay attention to what he's saying.  The guitar is fantastic.  The very beginning actually reminds me quite a bit of "Don't Fear the Reaper", which as anyone knows has brilliant guitar strings in it.  I'll embed that song for you too, in case you'd like to listen to it.  That song is from 1976 -- y'know, back when all those hipsters claim that music was still "good" then.  (For the record, I'm not denying music was good then.  I'm arguing that music is also good NOW, if you know where to look.)

To be clear, I'm not comparing these two songs.  I'm merely pointing out that the guitar riff that begins 7 seconds into the Motive song reminded me of the B.O.C. song.

Since finishing Mass Effect 3 over the weekend, I haven't been playing a damn thing.  This has led to more music listening in the evening, which is hardly a bad thing by any accounts.  I'm simply bringing it up to explain the lack of blog posts lately, given that a majority of what I talk about here is gaming related.  Because let's face it -- my life isn't interesting enough to talk about every frickin' day.  Case in point:  In addition to tapping away at this post, I'm staring at records in a database while waiting for soup to be ready.  SO HARDCORE.

I swear there's a meme for everything.

As for me making a post about Mass Effect 3, it's not going to happen.  I enjoyed 99.9% of the game, and that's all there is to it.  The ending failed me, and I'm trying very hard not to let it taint the rest of the series for me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Internet Tips

Today I'm going to provide you with the fastest and most reliable methods to piss off the Internet.

1. Have your own opinion.

2. Disagree with someone.
3. Think for yourself.
4. Say that you like any one of the following things:  The Star Wars prequels, Comic Sans font, Dragon Age 2, Internet Explorer, Apple, Ikea, or Day 1 DLC.

These surefire steps will ensure you get your face flamed right off!

Yeah, I Went There

I figured, since I haven't made a blog post in a few days, that I would write a nice, informative, thought-provoking post this evening.  I lost the will to do so shortly thereafter, so allow me to provide you with this wonderfully philosophical idea.


You're welcome.

Also, I thought I'd try to surprise John by getting back into League of Legends.  So I purchased Nautilus and went into a bot game to practice with him, and I learned something very important -- I despise League of Legends.  Pretty much every facet of it.  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Weighing the Price

Would you work a job that pays a million dollars a year where all you did is sit in front of a computer while someone pokes you in the back of the head every two minutes?  I pose the question because I want to talk about how much frustration a normal person is willing to endure in order to have their desired luxuries.  And, I want to keep things in relative perspective, which is more to keep myself in line because this is a topic that tends to get me very, very pissed off.

There's a lot of drama surrounding the release of Mass Effect 3, and that's what I'm specifically going to be talking about here.  And don't worry -- this post will be completely spoiler free.

The drama with the game started before it was released with the announcement that there will be day 1 DLC available for $10.  (Or, for those who pre-ordered the collector's edition, it's already included.)  This led to a lot of internet rage and calls for a boycott that won't work.  Internet rage is internet rage, which means it's rarely real rage.  It's just whining for the sake of whining.  Most people either want to feel special by jumping on a bandwagon, or they're too lazy to actually do what they say they're going to do.

If you want my opinion on the matter, I do not like DLC nor do I like people making statements without facts to back them up.  So in reality, I feel each side has done something wrong.

That's not the topic I'm here to discuss, though.  I'm here to try an answer this question:  Why am I not pirating this game when the game would be easier for me to play if I did?

This is what I don't understand about game publishers.  Why do they think that a process which makes pirating the easier choice is a viable means of stopping piracy?  Take everything away from it for a moment and let me present you with a bare bones choice.  Pick 1, or 2:

1. I'll give you something if you pay me, but first you must tell me you're taking it.  Then you must continue to tell me you are using it constantly.  If you stop telling me you're using it, I take it back without warning.  If I happen to leave or you for some reason can't reach me to tell me you're using it, I take it back without warning.  While you're using it, I constantly remind you that it's mine, even though you gave me money to buy it.  Also, I constantly interrupt you to tell you about other things that I have that aren't yours but you can use if you give me money as long as you constantly tell me you're using them, too.  Also, anytime I don't feel like letting you have it, I'll just take it back without warning.

2. I'll give you something and you can use it anytime you want.  You won't hear from me again.

Option number 1 is how always-online DRM works.  Option number 2 is obviously piracy.  Can you see why people pirate games?  I certainly can, and in the case of Mass Effect 3, I cannot blame them.

It's a moral dilemma, especially when you take into consideration that Bioware is such a good developer.  It's a shame they're shackled to EA's wrecking ball.  I want to support them, but I'm also realistic.  Without EA, we probably wouldn't even have Mass Effect.  Bioware wouldn't have the money to develop it.  There's nothing I can do to change that.

So my answer?  Buy the game to support Bioware, and then pirate it to remove EA from the game so that you can actually enjoy it with no hassles.

I used to do this back before digital distribution existed, and games were on CDs.  (Yes, CDs.  Not even DVDs!)  Publishers started making it a requirement that you must have the disc in your disc drive or you can't play the game.  It was an annoying anti-piracy effort.  So I would buy my games, and then pirate them so I never had to have the disc in my computer's drive.  Problem solved.  My life was now easier.  No more switching disks.

This pains me, because after you get past all that frustration and all that annoyance, underneath is a truly brilliant game.  You just need the patience of Job to get to it.

Publishers need to stop punishing their paying customers to combat piracy.  It's really as simple as that.  

Monday, March 05, 2012


Oh Monday, why do you suck so much ass?

It all started with the discovery that winter apparently doesn't start until March anymore.  I go upstairs and there's fucking three inches of snow on the ground, and it's still snowing like a bitch.  (I don't know how bitches snow, but if bitches did snow, it would have been snowing like one.)  Immediately that makes my day shit, because it means I have to drive amongst a flock of fuckheads who think that because there are two snow flurries falling from the sky, it means they can drive 20 miles-o-fucking-hour in the fast lane.

The day got worse before I even left the house.  As I was flossing, a large piece of one tooth snapped right off.  Right in the front.  Wonderful -- as if I wasn't self-conscious enough about the appearance of my teeth.  Even on a day that's complete shit, I can still find positives, though.  One, the broken tooth doesn't actually hurt at all, so that's a blessing.  Two, I already have a dentist appointment scheduled for Thursday of this week.  So yeah, it could be worse.

Still pisses my mittens, though.

Also, it annoys me that I probably won't get this tooth fixed on Thursday, because it wasn't what I had scheduled to be done.  (I was just going in for a cleaning.)  I already know exactly what will happen.  I'll get my scheduled cleaning, the old bitch from one of the hottest corners of Hell that serves as my dentist's tooth cleaner will chastise me for not flossing.  (Even though flossing is what BROKE MY FUCKING TOOTH!)  And then I'll have to make another appointment to get the tooth fixed, probably in a week's time.

I do not look forward to what the rest of this day has in store for me.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Son of a BITCH!

First of all, this had me laughing until I was in tears:

I love Jon Stewart.  And I love Neil Tyson, though I'll be the first to admit I had no idea who he was before he became a meme.

Now, in bigger news, I finished KoA.  Literally finished it.  I have NO MORE QUESTS.  I did ALL the quests!  I'm sure there are some that I missed out there in the forest, but I don't care!  I'm done!  Whee!

"DLC announced for Kingdoms of Amalur, adding 15% more area to explore and more quests.  Out March 20th."

Son of a BITCH!

In any case, the ending was epic.  The story was a bit weak in that it eluded to you having a choice in things, but you really didn't have any choice whatsoever in how the game ended.  That was a bit lame.  But it was presented well!

I'm just glad I finished it before ME3 came out.  


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...