Co-Optimus – Valve Admits Mistake, Gives Two Free Copies of Left 4 Dead 2
Here’s something interesting I read on Co-Optimus today. Valve banned 12,000 Modern Warfare 2 players for cheating when they weren’t actually cheating. As an apology, Valve unbanned all 12,000 players and gave each play two copies of Left 4 Dead 2 (one to gift to a friend with Steam). That means Valve just gave out 24,000 copies of Left 4 Dead 2!
You know, after both playing a whole lot of Team Fortress 2 and replaying Portal, I wonder how many have noticed how polarized these two games are concerning gender perspective. TF2 is a game full of invariably male avatars toting guns and knives, traditional images of masculine force. Portal, on the other hand, subverts everything about “first person shooters” by placing you in the role of a woman whose presence is not inspired by the male gaze, and whose weapon isn’t so much a phallic instrument of death as it is an egg-shaped object that creates oval portals on most surfaces, simultaneously representing both a receptive entrance and a spatial birth canal exit. And, uh… that’s all I’ve got, really, but it seems enough to make Portal a special game beyond its inventive space/physics mechanics. I’m guessing this sort of thing was discussed more back when the Orange Box came out, but as I only got around to playing TF2 recently I’m seeing this more clearly.
Couldn’t really say how exactly Episode Two or HL2 in general fits into this equation if at all, though I’m sure there are some funny ways of interpreting the gravity gun and Freeman’s one-sided “relationship” with Alyx. Does it feature both the gleefully explosive machismo of TF2 and the feminine subversion of Portal, or neither? Seems like it’s kind of between the two by those interpretations, and more understated (focused more on the dystopian humor that Portal shares)…
Recently someone found WebPageless while looking for a comparison between the Crimson Acolyte Cowl and the Crimson Acolyte Hood. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, so I decided to talk about the two of them a little.
First, Crimson Acolyte Cowl is the headpiece of the shadow set, and Crimson Acolyte Hood is the headpiece of the healing set. I’m just going to call these the DPS headpiece and healing headpiece respectively. DPS headpiece
Gains over healing headpiece: 8 crit, 72 haste
(2) Set: The critical strike chance of your Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague, and Vampiric Touch spells is increased by 5%.
(4) Set: Reduces the channel duration by 0.51 sec and period by 0.17 sec on your Mind Flay spell. Healing headpiece
Gains over DPS headpiece: 80 spirit, 1 spell power
(2) Set: Your Flash Heal has a 33% chance to cause the target to heal for 33% of the healed amount over 9 sec.
(4) Set: Increases the effect of Power Word: Shield by 5% and Circle of Healing by 10%.
Let’s break this down by looking at the two headpieces from the perspective of each spec. Shadow
Spirit is almost worthless for shadow. Spell power is king, and crit and haste are both next in line. Obviously the DPS headpiece has the better stats for shadow. In addition, the healing headpiece’s set bonuses don’t help shadow at all. The DPS headpiece’s set bonuses are pretty nice. This is a no brainer. If you’re shadow, take the DPS headpiece. Holy
Let’s take a look at the four stats that differentiate the two headpieces. For holy, spell power is the most important of the four with spirit close behind. Spirits provide both regen and a spell power boost. Crit and haste, while helpful, are less helpful. Looking purely at stats, the healing headpiece is slightly better. Take into consideration the fact that the DPS headpiece’s set bonuses don’t help holy at all while the healing headpiece’s set bonuses are quite nice and this one is easy as well. If you’re holy, take the healing headpiece. Disc
Disc priests will probably have a harder time than holy priests or shadow priests picking their headpiece. I went through this when I first started collecting T10 as a disc priest myself. Spirit is pretty much worthless for discipline priests. Let’s look at the remaining stats that differentiate the headpieces. What’s better, 1 spell power or 8 crit and 72 haste? Clearly the crit and haste are much more valuable than 1 spellpower. Discipline is in the weird position of wanting the same gear caster DPS players want (except we don’t want hit of course).
The problem is that the DPS headpiece’s set bonuses don’t help disc at all. How about the healing headpiece’s set bonuses? Increasing the effect of Power Word: Shield is great. This spell is what makes disc what it is. You should be using it all the time. PW:S should always be on the tanks and anyone taking or about to take damage. For example, when someone gets the Mutated Infection during the Rotface battle, put a shield on them! Once you have enough mana to not worry about mana at all, you should be blanketing the raid in shields whenever you have the free global cooldown anyways. As for the Flash Heal bonus – I think it’s a nice set bonus. In a lot of fights I hardly use it at all, but in a lot of fights I still do use it.
It’s tempting to go for the throughput stats of the DPS set, but you really should be taking advantage of the healing set bonuses. Go for the healing headpiece. There’s also another way to look at it. Let’s assume you don’t care about the healing set bonuses. Then why get the dps headpiece? If you’re going to forget the healing set bonuses anyway, you should go for Corp’rethar Ceremonial Crown (Heroic) from heroic Gunship 25. I realize you’ll have to do a 25 mode heroic and that might not have been what you wanted to do, but (at least on my server) it’s very easy for anyone to get into a PuG that can do heroic Gunship. This gives you a benefit of 30 int, 30 stamina, 114 spirit, 25 armor, 18 crit, and 47 spell power compared to the 8 crit and 72 haste you’d get from the DPS headpiece. It’s even better than the Sanctified version of the DPS headpiece.
There are a lot of other headpieces that are better for disc than the DPS headpiece as well. Another is the Cowl of Malefic Repose (Heroic) from heroic Blood-Queen in 10-man. This is much harder to do than heroic Gunship 25, so let’s forget it. Next up is Thaumaturge’s Crackling Cowl (Heroic) from Deathbringer heroic 10. Next there’s Corp’rethar Ceremonial Crown from regular Gunship 25. Lastly, Cowl of Malefic Repose from Blood-Queen 10 normal.
Some of those are pretty hard to get. Strangely enough, the very best one is the easiest to obtain. Even if you’re just starting out, finding a PuG for 25 man shouldn’t be hard, and most do heroic Gunship. You should go for the healing headpiece, but if you decide you don’t care about the set bonuses (although you should), there are much better headpieces than the DPS headpiece. Conclusion
So, what you do? Buy the T10 that’s made for your spec! Do it! And don’t sell the set bonuses short!
Recently I finished Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and The Club. I played through The Club on the easiest difficulty and haven’t tried multiplayer at all yet, so I’d like to spend a little more time on that. When I’m done, there are a few games I’d like to finish up.
MadWorld (Wii) – I’m near the end, so I think this will be the next game I play.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) – I’m only in the third world, but I was really enjoying it.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) – I already finished the game, but I’d like to grab the hidden coins and finish the special zone.
Demon’s Souls (PS3) – There’s a lot left here. I only finished the first level, but it’s a cool game. It’s just a bit heavy. I need to really sink time into it.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS) – While I beat the game, I haven’t finished all the puzzles.
Little Big Planet (PSP) – I’m in the third country. There’s a lot left.
Everyday Shooter (PSN) – I’ve played this quite a bit and only reached the fifth level this week. There are eight levels total. Am I just terrible?
BlazBlue (PS3) – I’ve reached 100% with five of the characters. Still need to get through the rest!
Contra 4 (DS) – I played through the easy difficulty, but it doesn’t give you the last level in easy mode. For a while I couldn’t play this game because you couldn’t save regularly, and my DS kept crashing. It’s better now, so I need to return to this in normal mode.
Then there’s a few games that I haven’t started at all yet but want to play soon.
Serenity: Float Out is the newest Serenity comic. It’s a one-shot telling that attempts to tell a bit of the backstory of Wash. The story was written by comedian Patton Oswalt, and the art was done by Patric Reynolds. While it wasn’t bad, it definitely wasn’t up to par with the previous Serenity comics. Only fans who care about seeing everything should really bother with it.
In Float Out, three people are buying a new ship that they’re naming after Wash. They struggle to find something to say about Wash during the floating-out ceremony and decide to reminisce about Wash instead. Each of the three tells a story about Wash. While I want to hear about Wash, I don’t know these three other characters, and I don’t care about them. We’re never really told much about them. Each story is nothing more than telling us what we already know about Wash, such as the fact that he’s a good pilot. To make it worse, each story is only a couple pages. Float Out would have been better as a mini-series, with each story being a separate issue. This would have allowed more characterization of both Wash and the story-teller. The only actual bit of forward-moving plot occurs on the very last page. I won’t spoil it, but it’s an interesting addition to the Firefly story.
The Serenity comics seem to be going downhill. I haven’t read The Other Half yet; maybe that would change my opinion. The first mini-series did a great job of wrapping up the series. In fact, it bothers me that there are big Firefly fans that would watch Serenity without reading those three comics first. The second mini-series wasn’t as good but still told an interesting story, even if it was a prequel that didn’t truly add to the previously told story. Float Out wasn’t much more than a nod to Wash. I want an overall story that leads somewhere. Prequels are fine, but a one-shot that doesn’t offer a new look as a character is kind of boring. I am looking forward to The Shepherd’s Tale, but (I assume that) it’s going to give actual insight into Book. I’d also like to see the Firefly saga move forward rather than always looking backward. The last page of Float Out at least implies that they want to move forward, which makes me happy. Float Out definitely won’t win anyone over to Firefly/Serenity, but fans who want the whole experience should read it. It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t add. Fans who don’t mind missing a little can skip it without regret.