Monthly Archives: January 2011

Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron



Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron, originally uploaded by theuser.

Last night we downed the Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron, putting us at
3/6 BWD N, 2/4 BoT N, and 1/2 TotFW N, half way through the normal
difficulty content. They were both fairly interesting fights I
thought. Staying so split up for the Conclave of Wind was interesting,
even though Elizabeth and I just hung out on one platform for the
majority of the fight. It was fun though! And it was fun chatting
during low points of the fight. The Skywall is gorgeous, and I love
being there.
One platform gave a stacking debuff that you’d clear by going to a
different platform for a period of time, but you also wanted to be on
that platform at a certain time. I was annoyed that people had trouble
understanding that some people, by nature of when we were telling them
to initially go to that platform, did not have time to go at the
designated time, get stacks, leave, drop stacks, and get back in time
for the next designated time. Eventually we changed strategies that
allowed them to start on that platform earlier, giving them time to
leave and get back in time for split-damage AOE, and that worked well.
But of course, the super awesome team consisting of me and Elizabeth
was awesome anyways.
Chimaeron went really smoothly once Corey and I were actually focusing
on different groups rather than accidentally healing the same group.
This fight has a mechanic that forces all incoming attacks on players
that are over 10K health to bring the player to 1 HP at the least. In
other words, they might be higher than 1 HP, but it won’t kill them as
long as they’re over 10K. This makes it interesting because people
only need to be at 10K HP or above, not anywhere near topped off on
health, which also means that I can spend ridiculous amounts of mana
actually using Flash Heal, my fast but inefficient heal, because I
only need to quickly get them to 10K.
So far, I’m loving the difficulty of Cataclysm raids I think. We’re
making progress every night. Most fights (not all) have still provided
a challenge during which we wipe repeatedly, which is of course good
because I want to work for kills. But I like that we’re still
progressing each night. I don’t want to raid nightly, and I don’t want
to be super hardcore, but I do want to see these raids to the end. I
haven’t seen what others are saying about the current tier or raiding,
so I’m not sure if the consensus is that it’s easy or how it compared
to the start of Wrath. Remember that I only started raiding in 3.3.
Hardcore raiders who want more of a challenge have heroic mode
anyways, so I feel like having normal mode be at a pace that actually
let’s us move through it without weeks spent at the same boss is good.

Poison Lady

Allow me to whisk you away to a strange world where doctors and lawyers are out to get you. I wish this was a fictional encounter; While I am paraphrasing, this conversation did take place.
A woman approaches me as any normal customer would.
“There are people that pose as doctors and lawyers and social workers, and they follow me, but they’re not really those people,” she exclaims in a slightly panicking voice. “I’ll call the cops on you if you’re with them. You’re not with them are you? I need security or something. Those people follow me everywhere and harass me!”
“…uh huh,” I stupidly respond in place of running.
“They say that I harass others, but I don’t! Really they’re the ones who are harassing me! And sometimes they try to illegally drug me! They try to give me the drugs. I’ll call the cops! They follow me and harass me!”
“Oh, wow,” I reply.
“One time during therapy they slipped drugs into my foods. They won’t leave me alone,” she continues. “They follow me around pretending to be doctors and lawyers, and they try to drug me!”
“Wow, that’s terrible.”
“Do you want the proof I have? I can show you papers I have with their signatures on it! The signatures of my family! It shows what’s happening!” She pulls out some slips from pieces of registered mail. “I won’t actually show you their names, of course!” And of course, they’re not proof of anything except that she had some mail.
“Yeah and they won’t leave me alone. They chase me and try to drug me!”
“That’s really terrible.”
“They even tried to poison me. Is my drink poisoned?” She holds out her drink from our cafe to me. “Can you check it for poison?”
“I don’t really know how to do that, but it looks okay to me.”
“Maybe you could get security for me.”
“Um, I could call a manager,” I reply. “But I can’t really call security.”
“No, no, I don’t like bothering people. You know what I mean? I don’t want to make people go out of their way or anything.” Yeah, sure you don’t.
“Well, I don’t mind calling my manager.”
“Can you just assure me that my drink is poison? Can you assure me?”
“I don’t think there’s any poison in your drink.”
“But can you assure me?! Can you promise me that no one slipped any drugs or poison in my drink? Can you assure me? There aren’t any drugs? Can you assure me?”
“I can assure you I didn’t. I don’t see how anyone could have reached your drink, and the people in our cafe wouldn’t do that to your drink,” I reply.
She looks a little relieved. “Okay, thanks. But if I find drugs or poison in my drink, I’ll call the police! And I’ll sue you! I’ll call the police! If there’s poison, I’ll call the police!” She seems to repeat herself a lot. “I’m going to go sit down in the cafe and enjoy my coffee, but I’m going to call the police if you try to follow me or drug me or poison me!”
“…Okay.”
She finally walks away.
And she had a horrible camel toe.

Quotes on ProtoGalaxy Site



Quotes on ProtoGalaxy Site, originally uploaded by theuser.

Source – Games
Source Studio quotes my ProtoGalaxy review on their site.

"It’s a lot of fun! With ProtoGalaxy, what appears
to be a small title actually has quite a bit of depth." – Game Boyz,
8/10

It’s not like I said anything particularly great there actually, but I
did really enjoy the game. It’s always kind of exciting to get quoted.

Dominion

Dominion is a cool card game I tried for the first time last night. You start with a small deck of cards, drawing a new hand each turn and shuffling your discard pile back as a deck when your deck is empty.
On your turn, you can purchase new cards that are added to your deck. In this way, each time you go through your deck, it should be better.You can purchase higher value gold cards, cards that allow you chain together more possible moves per turn, and victory cards, which are cards that are worthless during play but represent points that are sole measure of, well, victory at the end of the game.
That’s it in a nutshell anyways. It’s a fast game (even if I was slower at it than the other players), but I had a ton of fun playing it. It seems nice because it could be fit in to an evening easily.

Leap of Sap

You can cast Leap of Faith on a sapped, frozen, etc. target.
This is so fun and helpful in PVP! gem yelled “get me out of here,” so I ran over to heal her. Then I realized exactly what she asked for, even though I think she meant for me to come heal her, so I broke my cast and life gripped her to safety. It seems like a good way to save someone, at least temporarily, from rogues. I’ve also enjoyed using it to help speed the flag carrier on his or her run or to remove him or her from a combat zone.
I’m loving this skill.

Due Date

I saw Due Date (2010) at the dollar theater tonight. It looked funny in the commercials, although I wasn’t really expecting much. Now, I realize it’s not an amazing movie deserving of gushing, but I found it much, much funnier than I expected. I’ll definitely want to watch it again in the future. Robert Downey Jr. plays a responsible man with an anger problem who winds up in a lot trouble because of Zach Galifianakis’s character. Some people seem to like Zach Galifianakis a lot. I didn’t have a problem with him in the movie, but I didn’t think it was great either. I always like Robert Downey Jr., and he didn’t disappoint.
Well, I didn’t mean to talk so much about this movie. I just enjoyed it, that’s all!

Halfus Wyrmbreaker Downed



Halfus Wyrmbreaker Downed, originally uploaded by theuser.

We killed Halfus Wyrmbreaker for the first time tonight. It was an
interesting fight. For the most part it was pretty easy. The mechanics
were interesting. Three of five possible drakes are involved. Each
gives the boss a buff, and talking to a drake causes him to temper
that buff but become mind controlled and fought alongside the boss.
The strategy comes from deciding when to engage the drakes and which
ones. But for me, it was a matter of stepping out of fire and casting
heals.
1/4 Bastion of Twilight
Chimaeron, on the other hand, was not easy. We didn’t down him.

Grim Batol



Grim Batol, originally uploaded by theuser.

How long are heroics supposed to last? I know they take longer in
Cataclysm than they did at the end of Wrath. An hour? An hour and a
half? Two hours and forty minutes when gem and I queued for a random
heroic. It was our second heroic, but our first was with the guild.
After two hours we had switched a lot of players because they kept
leaving, and only one other DPS stayed with us. One tank even yelled
at me (a disc priest) for DPSing when I should have been healing.
Clearly he hasn’t heard of Atonement. Also, it’s hard to heal the tank
when I have to heal DPS that make mistakes. Anyways, we brought Collin
in to tank and then things went a lot more smoothly.
While that might have been particularly bad, I still can’t see myself
wanting to do a 45 minute heroic after work. I suspect I’ll be doing
most of my gearing during my days off.

Duke Nukem Forever May 3rd

Co-Optimus – Duke Nukem Forever Gets a Release Date, For Real
Source: Game Informer

Duke Nukem Forever has gotten an official release date and its probably sooner than you would have thought. That date is May 3rd, 2011 in North America and May 6th everywhere else.

I can’t believe it’s finally releasing. It seemed more likely that we would stop hearing about it and it would fade out of existence. I really shouldn’t spend any money, but I’m tempted to buy it just because it’s actually DNF and it’s actually released. I don’t really have the time or money though, so we’ll see.

Gemini Rue

Independent publisher Wadjet Eye Games and developer Joshua Nuernberger are announcing a partnership to commercially release Gemini Rue for PC. This retro-style adventure game, which combines creative point and click gameplay with a gripping sci-fi / noir narrative, was an Independent Game Festival Student Showcase winner in 2010. Gemini Rue will release February 24 from http://www.geminirue.com, with preorders starting today.

I think this game looks really fantastic! Usually I’m hesitant to review games for platforms other than the iOS because they’re bigger time sinks, but I had to make an exception. It looks absolutely stunning, and the plot looks engaging as well. Review copies are available in early February, and I’m on the list. Here’s hoping they have enough promotional copies!

Knights of Valiant Fury

The Classifieds: Guild videos are awesome

Rehmaar is the guild master for on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). The guild is an all-blood elf roleplaying guild, and it’s just getting started in the last few weeks. Rehmaar created this video from soup to nuts to help advertise his guild and get the word out about their themes and goals.

How come my guild doesn’t have a sweet, RP video? Or any RP? This guild looks really fun!

The Mathematics of Beauty – OkTrends

The Mathematics of Beauty – OkTrends

So this is our paradox: when some men think you’re ugly, other men are more likely to message you. And when some men think you’re cute, other men become less interested…
However, the variance you create is under your control, and it’s simple to maximize:
Take whatever you think some guys don’t like – and play it up.
As you’ve probably already noticed, women with tattoos and piercings seem to have an intuitive grasp of this principle. They show off what makes them different, and who cares if some people don’t like it. And they get lots of attention from men.
But our advice can apply to anyone. Browsing OkCupid, I see so many photos that are clearly designed to minimize some supposedly unattractive trait – the close-cropped picture of a person who’s probably overweight is the classic example. We now have mathematical evidence that minimizing your “flaws” is the opposite of what you should do. If you’re a little chubby, play it up. If you have a big nose, play it up. If you have a weird snaggletooth, play it up: statistically, the guys who don’t like it can only help you, and the ones who do like it will be all the more excited.

This seems really interesting yet at the same time not totally surprising when the conclusion is actually considered. Check out the article to see the data, but between two women who have same average attractiveness rating (based on others’ opinions), the one who has more people in agreement is less likely to get message than the girl who has more deviance in her rating. Very cool.

Cataclysm, Force Unleashed 2, Super Meat Boy, Beat Hazard

Video games. I feel like I live in their culture but spend very little time playing them.
Cataclysm
I finally hit 85 recently and even met some guildies I didn’t know at a party at my place the other day. Very cool guys! I haven’t even done all the normal instances nor have I tried the new battlegrounds, but I enjoyed the instances I did. Moving the quest givers inside the instances is a fantastic change. I still feel like I’m not sure what’s going on in some of the instances. That said, I only quested in Vashj’ir, and the Throne of the Tides probably felt the coolest to me. I guess the instances are better when I have the lore of the zones backing them up.
Speaking of zones, I still think there are too many quests. Blizzard did a great job making new and interesting quests, but there’s too much padding. Every quest should have some meaning and progress the story in a meaningful way. But I do enjoy the new Orgrimmar quite a bit even if Hellscream won’t even consider a peaceful existence. I’m curious to see where the story will go, but I’m okay with him in the game (even if I wouldn’t care for his politics in real life). Also, “Thrall’s balls” and “Hellscream’s eyes are upon you” are great lines. I’ve always really enjoyed the difficulty of healing and how I need to use many more spells than I previously did.
Force Unleashed 2
Edward bought this game for me for Christmas, and I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s very similar to the first one. I really enjoy how much it feels like I’m in Star Wars. It’s obviously a bit of a button masher, but I’m not always looking for a deep game. In Force Unleashed 2 I’ve found a good way to allow me to feel like I’m in the Star Wars universe, really throwing around my lightsaber and using cool force powers. The way the quick time events play out to kill certain larger enemies is always the same, which is disappointing, but I’m definitely having fun. I also love the cutscenes progressing the story and the cool transitions.
Super Meat Boy
I haven’t been putting as much time into this as I’d like, but it’s definitely a well designed platformer. I loved N and N+, and Super Meat Boy fits in quite nicely. It has superb graphics, music, and bits of polish. Of course it’s very challenging, but it doesn’t make me angry like bad people in WoW do.
Beat Hazard
Beat Hazard, which features procedurally generated levels based on music, is fantastic. Not only is it fun, but it also provides me with entertainment in short bursts, and I don’t always have a lot of time to play video games. While I’m definitely behind all of my roommates in terms of progress, I am nearing the final rank. Yay!

E-mail from Grandma

I have to share this with everyone. This e-mail came from my grandmother this morning and was sent to my brother and me. She’s great, lol.

Hi guys,
Okay, here goes. I was going through some “stuff” in our closet and I came across a new unopened package of men’s underwear.
Gramps bought them (when he was under some delusion that he could actually pick out his own underwear!). He doesn’t wear this style. So I’m wondering if it’s anything either of you would wear. If so, I’ll bring them out in June or send them home with your Mom in April.
The package reads:
Men’s mid-rise briefs.
100% combed ringspun cotton
6 pack
Size 34
They are white.
P.S. In case you’re wondering Gramps wears low rise briefs in dark colors. Or as Chuck put it once, before he and Diana were married, “Your dad still wears Roos?”. They were in sleeping bags on the living room floor in Rancho Mirage when Gramps crossed the hall to use the bathroom in the early morning.
This will probably be the only time I discuss your underwear with you in an email! I’ve been chuckling this whole time, but you know how frugal I am and I wouldn’t just donate them without asking.
Love and smiles,
Grandma

Sorry, Grams. I wear boxer briefs.

Various Things

Hello world!
Today felt like a good day for the most part! That’s always a plus. The store was super busy for a while, and I spent a while in music. Things went fairly well though, which is always a confidence boost.
I played Agricola a few days ago with some friends. It’s a board game focused on farming with the goal of having a balanced farm. I scored 25 while my friends scored in the 40s. Oh well! Next time I might actually know how to play, because I didn’t grok it until a couple hours into it.
I finished Daredevil Visionaries – Frank Miller Vol. 2, collecting issues #168-182, which was really good. I never realized how totally awesome Daredevil was, and I can thank Kyle at work for getting me interested.
Lately I’ve felt in the mood to watch some movies or television but wasn’t sure what to watch. I prefer funny over serious usually, and the only thing funny I still had was Sex and the City. I watched two episodes and thought it was pretty bad. I think it’s supposed to be empowering towards women, but the show trivializes sex. Then last night I started asking for suggestions for movies and watching more Sex and the City. Three more episodes into the series, and I think I’m liking it, although I dislike how it portrays sex. I know, that’s kind of weird considering that’s what the show is about.
Anyways, recommended movies were But I’m a Cheerleader, Little Miss Sunshine, My Best Friend’s Girl, Couples Retreat, and Private Benjamin. I had seen the first two but not the last three, so I’m going to try to watch those soon. (Side note: After getting the recommendations, I claimed that I thought Little Miss Sunshine was okay. And just now I checked my movie log, and I gave it a 10/10. It doesn’t seem to hold up in my memory, but I must have enjoyed it a lot when I watched it. Odd.) Today when Andy found out that I had watched more Sex and the City, he gave me a stack of DVDs – Social Network, Archer Season One, Community Season One, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season One, and Inception. I’ve already seen Inception, but the rest I want to see. I wasn’t too interested in the Social Network, but everyone keeps raving about it, so I’ll give it a go.
So what did I watch? Well, tonight I actually watched But I’m a Cheerleader. Every other time I’ve watched it, it was on television and I was interrupted, so I wanted to watch it straight through. Evening though I knew where the story was going, I still felt kind of sick about some of the shit in the beginning. But then love blossoms and it’s okay. I like that movie a lot, and it’s also important to me because of the circumstances surrounding it when I first saw it in high school.
And last night I hit level 85 in World of Warcraft. Now to grind dungeons so I can start grinding heroics so I can raid!
Edit: Been using Tumblr even more. Damn it. Also logged into Deviant Art for the first time in years. Over 9000 (*giggle) notifications.

MaXplosion for iOS

MaXplosion for iOS | iPhone/iPod, Reviews, Platformer

Good news for platformer fans with an iPhone or iPod Touch! Capcom Mobile recently released MaXplosion. Rather than jumping, in MaXplosion you spend your time exploding. Propel yourself and damage your enemies. The game is easy to pick up and play for short periods of time, and while the level design isn’t amazing, the game is fun and has a cool, action cartoon feel.

The Polka-Dotted Bunny

Once upon a time, there was a bunny who was covered in beautiful polka dots! She was white with a rainbow of colored polka dots! The Polka-Dotted Bunny thought she was very pretty and was happy to be who she was. Unfortunately, the other bunnies weren’t so kind. They started making fun of her for being different. It got to be too much for her, so the Polka-Dotted Bunny decided to change herself!

Because she was mostly white anyways, she covered the polka dots with white paint! For a short while, she felt good about herself. The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) finally fit in with the other bunnies. But inside, she knew she wasn’t a white bunny. She was polka-dotted. Deep down she knew she shouldn’t live a lie, but fitting in felt very nice to her.

One day, the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) met a new friend. Her bunny friend told her that she used to love her polka dots and thought she was quite pretty. She was sad that the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) got rid of her polka dots. Then the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) got sad too and said she wished she could have them back. Her friend suddenly realized that she could use paint thinner!

The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was no longer polka-dotted) poured paint thinner over herself to remove the paint and reveal her true self. What she didn’t expect was that at some point long ago, she must have got white paint on herself, because in reality she wasn’t white with polka dots at all. She was completely covered in beautiful, multi-colored fur! She was ecstatic, and her friend thought she looked even prettier now than before! The Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was actually rainbow colored) no longer cared what the other bunnies thought, although she was quite glad to have a friend who liked her. She realized that what mattered was that she was happy with herself. Even though some bunnies were still mean to her, most came to accept her anyways, and the Polka-Dotted Bunny (who was actually rainbow colored) lived happily ever after.

The end.

Pac-Man Battle Royale Releasing!

Pac-Man Battle Royale now shipping to US arcades | Joystiq

Distributor BMI Gaming is now shipping the wonderful Pac-Man Battle Royale to American arcade operators.

Super awesome news for gamers and arcade sympathizers! People who were friends with me when E3 rolled around last summer probably remember me gushing over Pac-Man Battle Royale, which is finally being released in the United States! Pac-Man Battle Royale is a cocktail cabinet, a flat arcade cabinet intended for more social settings, usually with drink holders, and were more common in the 80s. I’m sure we’ve all (you probably haven’t) wished you could play Pac-Man with three buddies. The time is coming! Pac-Man Battle Royale plays similarly to the classic, but there are four Pac-Men on the screen. When you eat a power pellet, not only can you eat ghosts, but you can also eat other Pac-Men. Be the last one standing, and you’ve won the round!
I really didn’t expect to see this released. After playing it at E3 I immediately loved it, but the Namco-Bandai employees at their booth didn’t seem to know anything about it. They gave me someone’s contact information because I wanted to find out more about it, and that person gave me someone else’s. That person was finally able to talk to me about it. And I have to say, that’s much more journalism than I usually have to do as a “games journalist.”