Thursday, August 24, 2006

WoW really pissed me off today

World of Warcraft really got under my skin today. Logged in to find that the battlegrounds on my server (Azgalor) were finally working. I like to play in battlegrounds because it offers a lot of PvP action, but at the same time I despise playing in them because I know the glaring imbalances that are present in WoW's PvP.

Warriors, rogues, and paladins are just insane once they have decent gear. Rogues aren't as bad as I once thought because they are soft enough targets that I can damage them respectably. Still can't fight through stuns, blind, sprint, and a number of other unbalancing features that combine to make the rogue, but with a few lucky crits and blowing my instant heal I can get a kill.

Paladins are truly fighters with heals now. Blizzard did a great job in turning the class around. Once upon a time paladins had to complain about lack of damage ability, but that is a thing of the past. Why? Because you seriously can not fucking kill them solo. If a Paladin is in any decent set of gear it takes forever to kill them. With a boost in their damage and a GOOD ranged execute they can lay the smack down before you ever get them anywhere near death. Why? Because of instant heals, invulnerability shield, and SUPER EFFICIENT MANA COSTS FOR HEALING. Also shield healing needs to be nerfed along with the majority of their healing ability. If a paladin shields they need to be unable to do ANYTHING! No more get out of jail free cards and no more "I NEVER DIE" paladins.

Warriors tip the scales though. A warrior should never be considered by their level, but by their gear. If its shiny, sparkly, or looks bad ass then you probably need to stay away. Warriors are just like rogues with enough tricks in the book to beat you down regardless of how skilled your class is. Combine this with great damage reduction, great hit points, and the most insane DPS weapons in game and you have a zero fun zone. I've seen epic warriors go into 5 on 1's and not even blink wiping them out.

Sad fact of WoW PvP is that your best bet to have fun is the twink out a lower level for lower level battlegrounds. At leas then you know you are the strongest of the strong compared to other twinks. But you won't find yourself fighting other twinks, because its always more fun to one shot the non-twinks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bully Trailer 2 Hits the Web

I am posting about the second Bully Trailer, because I think this is going to be a stepping stone to a better ESRB. In turn, a better gaming market. Even though I hate Jack Thompson, I do agree that the sale of violent video games needs to be controlled.

Bully does not look like it is shaping up into a Columbine simulator, as many people have criticized. The game will still touch on some very touchy subjects. Sexual relations with cheerleaders? Beating up any student, regardless of whether they are "bullying" your character, or not? These are not child friendly messages.

I would play Bully if I was still interested in console gaming, but I am old enough to distinguish between the real world and a game. Most teens and younger children are not able to make this distiction. They do not realize that games can have some lasting effects on their mind. Some teens deal with it better, but for others, it can be the last little shove before going over the edge.

Fortunately, the games really aren't the problem. Its the fact that these kids don't have a better connection to a parental figure. Someone in a child's life needs to see the warning signs and help the child out. Before it turns into a nightmare. Sadly, parenting just isn't what it used to be.

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post, applied labels, and removed YouTube video.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

World of Warcraft Patch 1.12

World of Warcraft patch 1.12 today? Yes indeedy feel the needy; for some cross server PvP battles! I won't be able to try the patch out at this time, because I am still downloading it. Fortunately, Blizzard's torrent seems to be working better. Not great, but not horrible.

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post. This will be kept as a placeholder for historical value.
Originally, this post contained links to various World of Warcraft patch download websites.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Forget Snakes on a Plane... I have Ants in My Mailbox

If anybody remembers back to my "Another Invasion..." post you probably can guess what this post is all about. Yesterday my wife headed out to the mailbox to grab the mail, but that is not what she found. There seemed to be a massive crawling mass inside the box.

As I ventured out to see what this mess was I pretty figured I already knew. It was ants. Not just a few, but a lot. These are not the type of ants that build anthills. These are the nesting type of ants that find any place they can to leave their eggs sitting around. We assume they are in our walls and all around our house, but we never figured they would invade our mailbox.

The mail was literally covered with ants when I made it to the box. I quickly grabbed the mail and shook the ants off. Quite a few had made it onto my arm, but were quickly brushed away. Of course I was out of RAID and the rest of my ant killing devices. After all its been a long war and the supply line to Home Depot has been congested with high traffic.

Later that evening it was off to Home Depot and luckily we ran into a representative for one of the pesticide companies who was stocking the shelves. We have a new product that was just released for the fall season that is supposedly "kick ass". I also picked up my favorite can of RAID Ant & Roach killer.

Armed with my trusty RAID I cleared out the mail box in a single spray. Up and down and all around I continued to ensure they wouldn't make a return. That was last night. Today I returned to wipe the box clean. I have never seen such a massive lump of dead ants and ant eggs before in my life. All I care though is that they are making great fertilizer now.

The fight is tough, but I plan to win.

Update: 5 Aug, 2009 - Edited post, applied label.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I should really start a political blog for this...

...but I'm not going to waste my precious time with creating a new blog just to vent a little bit about politics and the general political atmosphere of the Internet. It is no secret that the Internet has become overrun with far left democrat loud mouths who feel a few thousand hits to their blog turns their opinions into fact. I shouldn't say the net is smothered by these whacko's, but I must say that they are abusing any tool they can to promote their ill will.

Case in point...'s addition of a World and Business section which just so happens to include Political News and Political Opinion. There is a problem though... the liberal agenda can't seem to understand the difference between News and Opinion. I would link to some articles, but it is by far not worth the effort.

The problem is even larger than just throwing around partisan politics as news. is a website that has grown from Tech News into All News. The liberal political blogosphere is spearheading the abuse of the Digg system to deny fair and balanced coverage. It is a true reflection of mainstream media in America which is dominated by the pundits for the liberal agenda. Whoever said the Internet would deliver political freedom was dead wrong. It has provided a system for those who yell the loudest to oppress the rest of us that don't agree.

Since I am a large fan of it pains me to see the Digg community so one sided in political debate. Articles that are equivalent to hate speech are passed off as foregone conclusion on the Digg pages. The Digg community is the editor and chief here, but that only goes so far when the community is driven by hate filled individuals. If you don't agree with the haters you are "dugg -1" and soon any iota of balanced debate is destroyed.

On top of this Digg receives visitors from around the world and it is no more evident than in the World and Business section. is an American idea, an American company, and most of all only possible because of America's free will. You would think that such ideals would come accross from the Digg community. They do not.

Most international posters that actively engage in political discussions on Digg are American haters. They hate us. They probably hate you if you are American. Read through any comments on a political news story on right now. Count how many times you hear about how Americans "don't get it". How American's are ignorant.

Yet day in and day out flourishes. A website built on American free spirit, but slowly being occupied by the hate vendors of the world. Maybe people like myself just don't care enough to counterbalance Digg and provide an equal footing for our ideals. Maybe for people like me Digg is best left as just another news site rather than a revolution in Social Bookmarking. Social Bookmarking only works when everyone's voice can be heard.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Dark Messiah of Might and Magic Demo is HOT HOT HOT!

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic has a single-player demo out. After a few download problems with, I had to go to Fileplanet.

My first impressions: the demo is short, but packed full of action goodness. Players get to test out a little bit of everything. This is a true FPS and RPG hybrid. In the demo the player is only introduced to the first few skills in each class, but players can see the full skill trees. There is definitely a lot of potential!

The combat is fast and engaging. Players don't just spam the attack button, unless they want to watch the enemies parry endlessly. Kicks, stuns, and attacks of opportunity are key. Along with daggers and swords, the environment itself is a weapon. Kick enemies into spikes, throw crates at them, fling them into fires, or whatever a player can come up with. All are valid strategies, but could become boring if overused in the final game.

The only question mark while playing the demo was how strong the single player story will be. The demo followed no reasonable storyline, and ended up just being a couple action sequences tied together. The demo starts in the tutorial area and then whisks the player away to some caverns; a splash screen detailing "Several months later...". Hopefully there will be more of a plot in the final release.

In conclusion; I'm drooling over this game's vivid environments, intense combat, and potential for a stellar fantasy FPS/RPG multi-player experience.

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Who Wants to be a Superhero?

"Who Wants to be a Superhero?" is a new reality show appearing on Sci-Fi and I must admit I was very surprised when I watched it. Being a reality show, I didn't pay much attention to it among the flood of other reality TV shows. However, this show is far from the standard fodder.

The important part to realize about the show is the fact that Stan Lee is "The Man". He invented what it means to be a Super Hero. With that knowledge he knows exactly what to look for in these people. It isn't about some fancy costume, funny stunts, or outrageous back stories. It is about whats on the inside. Like is said in the show by Major Victory... "Stan wants us to be super humans."

It is easy to tell which contestants are there just because they were accepted and those that truly believe in their characters and the idea of being a Super Hero. There is no voting in this show and so far the normal reality TV bullshit has been avoided. Sure people like or dislike each other, but there is no secret alliances or other crap that clouds the meat of the show.

I would love to share more, but I don't want to spoil the shows! They have the suspense and twists of a good M. Night Shyamalan movie. Go and watch now!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Turbine announces they are copying World of Warcraft raids!

Lord of the Rings Online from Turbine has announced they have decided their "Friends Don't Let Friends Tank Balrogs" policy just wasn't going to cut it. So they have decided to make raid encounters and as described they are nothing more than stolen World of Warcraft raid instances! World of Warcraft sort of stole the idea from Everquest, but Blizzard just happened to make them quite a bit more fun, challenging, and less exploitable. Everquest pretty much stole the idea from MUDs, but raised the number of people and added 3D graphics.

So, isn't Turbine just following suit and offering the next upgrade in raid content? If this article is anything close to their final system then this is going to be a near CLONE of the WoW raid instances. Replace LotRO in this article with WoW and you couldn't tell the difference other than the raid party sizes. WoW has 40 and 20 person raids, while LotRO will have 24 person raids.

I really could go on and on about how this is such a blatant rip off, but its not worth my time. Turbine doesn't fucking get it. DDO is basically being redesigned and LotRO has a different design idea being tossed back into the game every other week. None of the ideas are original and there are so many of them (faction, raids, etc) that just STINK of rip off that it amazes me someone isn't suing.

Wake up Turbine! World of Warcraft is here and they have hit the nail on the head for achiever oriented game play. You have THE MOST BELOVED fantasy license of ALL TIME in your hands (Lord of the Rings is 2nd only to the Bible in all-time book sales BTW). Do something true to the nature of Tolkien's work. Don't throw the MMORPG copy-cat bullshit out on shelves with the LotR trademark as you did with Dungeons & Dragons Online. Screwing up DDO is recoverable, fucking up LotR is not.

NOTE: I realize that a big budget AAA title is nothing to go hog wild with. There needs to be a solid and proven game design under the hood. However, this does not mean Turbine needs to go back against their initial designs to include things that are DESTROYING other online communities. Turbine had a very different game with Asheron's Call and I can't understand why all their new games stink of copy cat bullshit. They don't even make the slightest attempt to hide it...

Update: 5 Aug, 2009 - Edited post, applied labels.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A gamer is married.

So my little AFK is over. I am now a married gamer. A happily married gamer. I haven't touched a videogame in almost a month now due to wedding activities. My little brother on the other hand enjoyed rampaging accross the lands of Azeroth in World of Warcraft. I think he spent more time with his Tauren Warrior than with his soon to be married brother. I dragged him away for quite a few matches of the board game Carcassonne and that was all the gaming I got done. Anyways onto the wedding.

It Rained

The day we were to be married the weather was overcast. Clouds hung in the sky, but for the longest time the rain held off. All morning and afternoon there was no rain in sight and the weather radar looked good. We had an early evening garden wedding outside of a historic inn up in the mountains of North Carolina.

Right as our ceremony began the rain started to trickle. By the time "Here Comes the Bride" began to play the rain was at a medium pace. Everyone held firm and the minister did not speed up one bit to get going faster. The light to medium rain continued throughout the ceremony. We have some GREAT pictures of people hiding under trees in the audience and the lighting actually made for better pictures overall.

Funny thing was as soon as the ceremony ended the rain stopped and the sun came out! By the time formal pictures began the rain was no where to be found. The reception followed and a great night was had by all. I probably drank a bit too much wine, but I remember almost everything. I made sure everyone had a good laugh when not thinking I nearly chugged the entire glass of champagne we drank before the cake cutting. My wife elbowed me to stop. Then after cutting the cake my wife handed me a hardened sugar flower. I thought it was soft and chewy... which I was very wrong about. I didn't know if I should spit it out or keep trying to chew it. Thats when the real laughter started and I had to bear trying to laugh and chew this HARD candy flower.

Jamaica and the amazing Mr. Houdini

Our honeymoon was to Jamaica to an all inclusive resort. If you ever have the chance to enjoy an all inclusive resort I recommend it. For one price you get your entire trip paid for. You can eat as much as you want. You can drink as much as you want. You can do whatever activities they offer for no extra cost. I can't tell you how relaxing that makes the whole experience.

We did some snorkeling while we were there and the ship captain was nick-named "Sponge Bob". His deckhad didn't have a nick-name so he asked for any suggestions at the end of our trip. Since the deckhand kept ducking down into the hull of the boat and popping up to run across the roof and appear on the other side I recommended Houdini. I swear if you didn't keep an eye on him you would think he had a twin stashed on the boat. To my surprise on our next snorkeling trip a couple days later the name, Houdini, had stuck. Later in the day I saw Houdini walking past the beach bar and someone that had been on our trip called out to him with his new nickname. He responded and I was satisfied that I had chosen a good name.

Jamaica was great while we were at the resort. Otherwise the airport sucks, the road trip sucks, and its sad to see what some of the surrounding areas look like. The resorts or dreamy, but the local shanty towns are dumps.

The End