April 24, 2008

Mood: Irked.
Music: The Living Daylights, a-Ha.
Game: Rock Band (360), Call of Duty 4 (PC), Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (360), Hellgate London (PC), MMO Beta (PC), Warhammer 40K (Tabletop. Tabletop?!), Age of Conan Beta (Soon…PC)
Book: Executive Orders, Tom Clancy.
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Warm, Sunny.

Quick news: Got into the Age of Conan Beta…and I am, of course, psyched. Starts in a few weeks…that oughta be awesome.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogpost.

I have well and truly fucking had it with the media.

It appears that Barack Obama’s comment about life difficulties making people bitter and them turning to religion as a result is a big deal. In fact, I heard it referred to as “Bitter-Gate.”


Does that even fucking make sense?

Every time something happens in politics that can remotely be construed as having a slightly adverse affect on a politician, it immediately becomes “WhateverTheFuckHappened”-Gate.

The Watergate scandal was over THIRTY fucking years ago, resulted in the threat of impeachment proceedings against a sitting US president, and ultimately, his resignation.

The suffix -gate does NOT have any meaning whatsoever. It’s a bullshit reference to what happened to Tricky Dick Nixon…as if Barack Obama’s gaffe (if it even WAS a freaking gaffe) certainly is in NO way even close to as serious as what Nixon did. Still…it’s Bitter-Gate. Like we’re gonna arrest the man for wrongdoing.

Iran-ContraGate. MonicaGate. Moron-Gate. It’s fucking STUPID.

These people write for a living, and they use the name of a building that was the scene of a criminal act as some sort of reference to the fact that something bad for a politician has happened, regardless of magnitude, what was actually done…or the fact that Watergate is a FUCKING PLACE. NOT AN ACT. Why don’t we call it BitterNam? Or BitterIraq?

Jesus, people. I don’t know what pisses me off more…the fact that they -Gate trivial nonsense, or the fact that Watergate is a place, which makes it even MORE stupid.

And the media just propagates the use of a fake suffix, like it’s English.

Damn all of them to Hell.



April 11, 2008

Mood: Smiling.
Music: Don’t Go, Yaz.
Game: Rock Band (360), Call of Duty 4 (PC), Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (360), Hellgate London (PC), MMO Beta (PC), Warhammer 40K? (Tabletop. Tabletop?!)
Book: Debt of Honor, Tom Clancy.
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Warm, Sunny.

So, last night a bunch of guys from work decided to play Warhammer 40K, and, not really having anything to do, and seeing as just about everyone in the office was playing, I thought I’d tag along and see what it was all about.

Warhammer 40K is a tabletop miniatures wargame. Basically, everyone decides what army they’re going to play, runs out and buys a mess of metal and plastic miniatures, paints them in ridiculously amazing detail, then puts them on a large slab of wood, painted foam, resin, and so on, and “fights” with them.

Of course, there are tons of rules, dice, tape measures (LOTS of tape measures), templates, reference charts, and so on…but the net of it is that you move your guys according to rules, line ’em up, say who’s attacking what, consult charts to see what you need to roll to “hit” a unit, then determine how much damage they took (if at all) and so on.

Like any social game (even one as geeky as this one,) the draw is that it’s social, full of laughing, good-natured arguing, assorted cursing and questioning of heritage and parentage. The fact that you get to shoot your friends in the face (metaphorically, of course) is a bonus.

The models I saw last night were fabulous…very detailed, well-painted…the tanks some of the guys had were hysterical.

I’m idly thinking about joining them (they play once a month…) and choosing an army, buying little figures, and spending some time painting miniatures, something I used to love years and years ago.

I need a new hobby, and this definitely meets the criteria. It also gets me engaged with some folks here socially, which would be welcome as well. I’ve lived here now for about two and a half years, and I don’t really have any friends out here. It’s be nice to start meeting more people and doing stuff….

Collect this…

April 6, 2008

Mood: Pensive.
Music: Tokyo Drift, Teriyaki Boyz.
Game: Rock Band (360), Call of Duty 4 (PC), Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (360), Hellgate London (PC), MMO Beta (PC)
Book: Nothing.
Watching: Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Weather: Cool, Drizzling.

I just pre-ordered Age of Conan. A couple of the guys from IJSMP pre-ordered it, and that was pretty much the trigger for me to go ahead and get it.

I admit that I’m somewhat skeptical about the game. As with any title that has a lot of hype, rarely does it live up to expectations.

The game itself looks pretty much like any MMO. Quests, characters, levelling…however, this game is the first to be unapologetically rated M (Mature) for language, graphical violence, and sexual content. The world promises to be a lot more rough and tumble, and with any sort of luck, the player base will not be a bunch of kids. (Wishful thinking, I know.)

The part that I’m concerned about has mainly to do with the fact that I wonder if I’m completely jaded on MMORPGs. Since EQ, (and WoW refining it…) the genre hasn’t really changed. Make a character, kill little thingies, gain experience and loot, get stronger, kill bigger thingies, rinse and repeat. Eventually, you get to a point where you need you and a group of your friends to kill the thingies, and then you wait until more thingies get added to the game. I think I’m pretty much done with that aspect of MMORPGs.

I’ve never really been loot-oriented…yeah, I’ll grab gear and loot when it’s available, but I don’t go looking over complete lists of all the gear in the game and make a checklist of what I need, where I can get it, and plan my gaming sessions to advance myself in that manner. Never have. I’m all about the experience with friends, crafting, and commercial systems.

Having said that, most MMOs move in a completely different direction. Now, the big thing is PvP, solo and team. Siege the city! Take the castle from fellow players! Compete in tournaments!

That direction is no different than the MMO cycle I mentioned before…except that instead of trying to stay ahead of the developers, strategy and gearwise, now, you’re staying ahead of other players. You can imagine how that goes over. It becomes a race of who can spend the most time in game, racking experience and loot so that you can beat your fellow players. Clever, devs…clever.

Conan is a mix of all that stuff.

So why bother?

Well, the guys are playing (at least to start…) and so it’ll provide a few weeks or months of diversion. And there’s always the chance that the game is actually engaging, and can hook me for a year or so.

So with all that, why the hell did I order the collector’s edition?

For those not in the know, a collector’s edition of a game release is often a version that costs anywhere from 10 to 40 dollars more. In this case, it’s about 40 dollars more. What do I get for the added money? A map, a book of art, a soundtrack CD…but in this case, I also get some in-game stuff.

When you pre-order from places like Amazon or EBGames, you often get an in-game thingie as an added bonus. Amazon gives you an “amazonian bow” while EBGames gives you a ridable woolly mammoth. (So it’s EBGames for sure. Ridables are cool. Weapons get replaced a lot during your play…but a ridable? You can ride that shit forever.)

But if you get the collector’s edition, you get two other in-game things: A ring that gives you an experience bonus (Hell yes.) and a drinking cloak that gives you free drinks in every tavern in the game.

Sucker that I am, it was the drinking cloak that did it.

I think, fundamentally, I’m a role player at heart, and the idea of being a drunken archer or barbarian is really appealing to me.

So yeah…I shelled out additional cash up front just to get free drinks in an RPG.

What can I tell you?