Friday, November 30, 2012

A Milestone

This is my one thousandth blog post.

To mark the occasion, I went back and looked at the very first post I made.  Good lord, why the hell did I think dark red font colors in comic sans was a good idea?  Amazingly, that was over seven years ago now.  What is even more amazing is that seven years sounds like such a long time, until I see that it was 2005.  Wait, what?  2005 was just yesterday!  What the fuck!  And don't get me started on the face that 1992 was twenty years ago.  I don't even want to think about that.  What the fuck!  And it's been over ten years since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out.  What the fuck!

In any case, seven years and one thousand blog posts later, and I still don't have that zombie MMO.  We're getting closer!  The War Z might actually be it.  I'm keeping an eye on that one.  But I really don't have any room to complain with games like The Walking Dead already in existence.  I finished the final episode last night.  It was very good.  Heartbreaking, but good.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Patch 5.1 for WoW was released yesterday.  Or Tuesday, if you're playing on the North American/Oceanic servers.  With it comes the start of the Horde versus Alliance campaign in Pandaria, which equates to the main storyline of the whole expansion.  A lot of people dissed this idea, saying that it was stupid to have that be the main focus of an entire expansion.  After all, every expansion has had a main villain!  Oh...wait!  The original game didn't.  How silly of me.  Wouldn't it be ironic if I was one of those people who complained that the game was better in vanilla and also criticized the lack of a main villain to focus the story upon?  I'm sure there's no one out there silly enough to do that.

In any case, the patch adds main quests, daily quests, and scenarios with which to tell an on-going story detailing the clashes between the Horde and the Alliance as they both land in the Pandaria.  I've done very little of it so far, of course, since it was only day 1 yesterday and a lot of the things are certainly reputation bound.  What I've seen I've enjoyed very much, as tends to be the case any time Blizzard pushes along the main story of Warcraft.  The problem with a game like WoW, meaning an MMO with months between content updates, is that you get the story piecemeal and must wait very long times for a conclusion.  As such, I never get fully invested in it.  It's impossible.  For me, if I get engrossed fully into a story, I want to do it at my own pace.  This requires the story to be complete, and sitting right in front of me for me to consume at the pace in which I want to consume it.  This is why I very rarely watch serial TV shows that aren't yet over or canceled.

Fortunately, Blizzard is very good at the piecemeal method of story telling and does a good job of making it very enjoyable without leaving you with that "Oh-FFS-now-I-have-to-wait-3-months" feeling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Serious Boss is Serious

Since I've reached bit of a content plateau within Borderlands 2, and since the WoW servers went down early for Patch 5.1's release, I opted to play through the Serious Sam 3 DLC, Jewel of the Nile.  No, not the movie.  Though, if you have seen that movie, you earn a special place among my list of friends.  Actually, no, that's not enough.  Let's see...oh, I got it!  If you've seen Jewel of the Nile -and- you've played Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, THEN you earn a special place among my list of friends.  


So the DLC itself was pretty fun.  It's three new levels added on to the game, taking place somewhere in the middle of the main campaign.  It's more of the same, as it damn well should be:  There are a lot of bad guys, and you shoot them.  Or blow them up.  Or shoot them while they're blowing up.  It's a hell of a lot of fun.  One of my favorite bad guys from the first game is back, too, so I was pretty happy about that.  Also, the plasma gun is back too.  I'm doubly happy about that.

As far as difficulty goes, it was pretty much on-par with the rest of the proper game.  I died a few times.  Mostly blowing myself up with C4.  (I tend to do that on those large asshats that can only be killed by C4 to the chest.)

And then I got to the end.

Now, the final boss of the campaign in the main game was pretty difficult.  I actually had to look that one up because I had no idea what I was doing.  I didn't even realize I had a jetpack.  To be fair, the game didn't TELL me I had a jetpack.  But then, the Serious Sam games have always been quite old school in that regard, in that hints are non-existent.  (Please keep it that way.)

With the final boss of the DLC, well, it's pretty obvious what I need to do.  I did check online to ensure I was on the right track, and I am.  It's just a matter of doing it, because it's freaking hard.  The boss has five times more health than the final boss of the main game.  He fires a cannonball volley, and one cannon will one shot you even if you have 100 health and 100 armor.  That's his ranged ability.  In melee range, he has a big hammer.  That will also one shot you.

The tactic is to drop C4 at his feet.  Lots of C4.  While avoiding the hammer, of course.  There are audio prompts that tell you when you need to get the hell out.  What worries me is the pair of adds that come with him.  I'm not sure how to avoid their fireballs at the same time.  I guess I have to kill them first, but I'm not sure how to kill them without taking my eyes off the main boss.  If I do that, I'll get a cannon to the face.  I'll have to think about it.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Actually, it hasn't been quite as long as I thought since my last post.  But it's been long enough for me to still prefer to draw attention to it.  It's not that I haven't had much to say recently, but more that I haven't had the desire nor the time to say it.  At least, not here.  And the time excuse is fickle.  I could certainly find the time, I'm sure, just like I find the time to do the things that I want to do.  I find the time to read every night before I go to bed.  I find the time to play video games even though I'm an adult with a demanding job and responsibilities to take care of at home.  So, it's definitely about 80% desire and 20% time.  Though, more accurately, it's probably 82.62% to 17.38%.  Plus or minus 3%.

That changed a few days ago.  Obviously.  Else I wouldn't be sitting here writing something right now, would I?  The inspiration first came from another blogger -- Tim Buckley, the artist for CTRL+ALT+DEL.  If you have never read his webcomics, I suggest that you do.  This is especially true if you enjoy the types of things that I discuss most often -- that being pop culture and video games.  That is also his specialty, and he does a much better job at it than I do since he can draw.  There's one pretty notable difference between him and I, however:  I'm openly saying he's a better source of what I'm good at talking about, and I really don't give a fuck if you go read his shit instead of mine.

In any case, he recently ended his comic.  Or rather, he ended the current incarnation of it.  He has plans for starting over in a different way, and watching it happen and reading his thoughts about it sort of ignited the spark in me to contribute to my own blog again.  Now the desire to do so has risen above the threshold necessary and voila.  You have a blog post.

The other nudge in this direction happened last night, actually, as I was watching Sherlock with John.  (I would be talking about the BBC television show.  Not the movies with Robert Downey Jr.  Which are also very good.  And not the Americanized version of the show called Elementary.  I haven't seen that and I really don't think I want to.) We re-watched the very first episode, since it's been quite some time since we'd seen it.  (It was last Christmas in England when we saw it last, if I'm not mistaken.)  The scenes regarding both Sherlock and Dr. Watson keeping a blog further inspired me to contribute to my own.

So now that we've got my reasons for being back here out of the way, I suppose the most pressing question at hand is whether or not it will become a regular thing as before and not something that happens every two to three weeks or so.  The answer is a vague hopefully.  While it's true that my desire to write had waned there for a bit, it never went away completely.  I still enjoy doing it, and like in the Sherlock series it's a little bit of self-therapy for me.  As it would be for anyone.  It's always good to talk through your problems, even if it's just to yourself.  Though, admittedly (and thankfully) I tend to keep my problems out of this blog.  Because that just wouldn't be interesting at all.  If you want to hear a bunch of people whining about life, go to Facebook.

Now that I'm here, I may as well call attention to the elephant in the room, and the reason why I haven't had the desire to post as much as usual.  Given how completely I am ingrained within the gaming community, I sometimes forget that everything I know isn't necessarily common knowledge.  The desire to write about something is sort of suffocated when you have the feeling that you're not really saying anything that people don't already know.  That's sort of the feeling I've been having lately.

But, I just need to realize it's not always going to be like that, and just talk about whatever the hell it is I feel like talking about.  Pretty simple, really.  So you can expect that, as always.  

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Now that the election is over, I would like to have a bit of optimism that the American government is actually going to make some progress in many of the pressing issues that are currently at hand.  These issues include, but are certainly not limited to, the approaching fiscal cliff, the economy in general, immigration, education, human rights, and the environment.  I think it would be a wonderful thing if the first thing that congress did after this election was sit down, and quickly and efficiently write up a good solution to the fiscal cliff problem before the end of the year.  Do I think it could be that easy?  Sure it could.  Do I think it will be that easy?  Sadly, no.  Despite all the inspirational speeches, and despite both parties stating that they know the people don't want bickering politics but instead just want to get things done...despite all of that, I know that there's going to be bickering, there's going to be fighting, and once again either nothing is going to get done or it's going to take way too long for solutions to be implemented.  Welcome to American politics.

The reason for this, the PROBLEMS, are the extremes on both sides.  I don't want to sound biased, but then, when the hell have I cared about that?  In any case, it's no secret that I'm liberal, but I think I tend to either be center or left of center.  It's the extreme left and extreme right that I have a problem with.  Michael Moore, the documentary movie director, is a good example of extreme left.  And unfortunately, that's the only one I can think of.  The extreme right has a WHOLE ENTIRE POLITICAL PARTY to make fun of.  The Tea Party.  And I can list a whole bunch of right wing nutjobs who I wish would just disappear.  Sarah Palin.  Michele Bachmann.  The Westboro Baptist church.  Victoria Jackson.    Donald Trump.

If you think I'm kidding about how derisive, and DIVISIVE, these people are, just go look at Donald Trump's tweets from election night.  You will be amazed, and probably quite saddened.  What gets to me (And I use that term loosely, mind you.  Nothing Donald Trump does actually "gets to me", because he's nothing more than just a rather loud blowhard.) isn't just that he believes that all left leaning politicians will ruin this country, nor is it about how he called for a revolution after Barack Obama won the presidency.  It's that he'll debase and degrade someone merely because they don't share his (extreme) political views.  An actor on the show Law & Order made a tweet saying he was happy about Obama's victory.  So, Trump tweeted that while Law & Order is a good show, they really need to get rid of that particular actor because he is terrible.

Really?  You're going to criticize someone's CAREER, which has nothing to do with politics, simply because they don't support your own political candidate?  You are THAT petty?

It makes me sad, really, that someone with that much wealth is so clearly miserable with their own existence.  I guess it's true what they say.  Money can't buy happiness.

Ugh.  Enough about that.  Politics gives me a condition.  (It makes me want to stab myself in the face.  Faaaaaaace.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Ah, election day.  I'll be heading to the polls after work.  I get a certain amount of satisfaction out of voting in a presidential election, because of where I live.  This area here is quite a conservative majority, and a vast number of people here are Republican.  So it feels really good to vote Democrat and buck their standards.  Ah, democracy.

For the last month, driving to and from work, all I see are pro-Romney signs.  So yeah -- voting today is going to be incredibly gratifying.  They can stick their propaganda up their well-pressed asses.  

Friday, November 02, 2012

Something strange happened this morning.  I was driving to work, humming along to The Shins, and I noticed something.  It wasn't raining.  I looked up, and lo and behold, I could see blue sky.  So let it be known that on the sixth day after Hurricane Sandy's arrival, the sun shined upon Western Pennsylvania.  


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...