Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

After the Move

I am now moved into my new and shiny place. Perhaps a tad on the small side, but really, the only places I ever use in a home is my bedroom, the washroom, the kitchen and a table somewhere for the computer. I could probably live in a single room quite comfortably.

No internet for several days! No internet since… Saturday? Friday maybe? I can hardly remember. It feels like an eternity. A century cut off from the larger world.

I’m not addicted, I can quit whenever I want provided I can start again whenever I want. Which is usually about thirty seconds later.

My time without internet was actually rather confusing. Every five minutes…

  • I’ll go check up on some webco-DAMNIT
  • Twenty hours of straight Dragon Age. Ehh, maybe I’ll play some World of DAMNIT
  • Conversation about Hitler! Woo! And they’re arguing with me about facts! HA! I’ll fire up ye olde internets to cite my sour-DAMNIT
  • I wonder what Temerity Jane is DAMNIT
  • Erfworld hasn’t updated in a bit, maybe I should DAMNIT

EVERY. FIVE. MINUTES. It was simultaneously extremely frustrating and hilarious.

I tried going to a coffee shop to see if I could get any internets there.

YOU GUYS. This was a horrible mistake.

You know all the internet jokes about those coffee places with wifi? All the hipsters standing or sitting around, looking all aloof with their macbooks and so forth pretending to write an epic novel whilst sipping at their mocha coco banana derp derp coffee things?



I don’t know why anyone thinks it’s possible to write anything at such a place. I even commented to the barista as such. Barista… that is the technical term, yes? I wanted to go with “coffee wench”, but that felt wrong.

Anyway, so I sez “How do any of these people expect to write anything of quality in here? The best one would be able to accomplish is pointless, disjointed blog posts about drivel.”

I ordered a hot chocolate, because I like hot chocolate. And they give you a spoon with which to consume the delightful whipped cream they put on top!

Anyway, so I sit down, bust out my own laptop (not even close to a mac) fire up wordpress and start typing.

The barista arrives several minutes later with my delightful hot chocolate, with a barely concealed smirk on her face, “so what are you typing then?”

I stared at the open wordpress page.

I replied, “A pointless, disjointed blog post about drivel.”

So I closed my laptop (the coffee wench’s laughter still haunting me), carefully placed it back in my bag, and busted out a Safeway flyer instead. Oh look! Cheese is on sale!

Now I have internet again, and I’m typing from the peace and quiet of my own little apartment. Well, not entirely. I mean one of my roomates is watching a chick flick over there, but that is fine as I possess headphones. They are large, comfortable, and noise canceling.

However I have been away from WoW for many days now and haven’t the faintest clue what is going on in this universe anymore.

I guess the closed Cataclysm beta is not far off? MMO-Champ is swamped in Garfield meme? Alpha news everywhere and very promising changes on the horizon?

Oh! I’m in the Starcraft 2 beta! It is rather fun!

The beta is but a small snapshot of the full game, but it is, however, a very clear indication of what the online play is going to be. Lessons are cruel, games can be decided firmly by the three minute mark. I was swiftly reminded that I hadn’t played Starcraft in many, many years, and had my ass firmly abused and then sent to me in a tacky box.

I was Zerg last time, but now… I’m not so sure. I seem to be horrendously incompetent this time around. In the original, I was lean, mean killing machine as Zerg. Barely competent as terran, and my capacity to play protoss was limited to flailing about with a pool noodle.

Now that trend seems to have reversed itself. I’m actually quite good at protoss (though I am still terrible at using the High Templar), decent at terran, and absolutely awful with zerg. And I do mean absolutely, dreadfully awful. A backpedaling mage clicking Ice Lance as a fire spec dreadful.

I’m not entirely sure why this is, either. Obviously things have changed quite a bit from the previous game, and the loss of my beloved Lurkers and Defilers hurts me oh so much, but the basis of the zerg hordes are still pretty much the same.

So why is it that now, my efforts at directing the swarm resemble a child randomly gesticulating at a keyboard?

I suppose I should just accept my fate and play ‘toss for now. They ARE Egyptian ninjas with lightsabers, what is there to dislike?

I’m not particularly fond of Terran, due to that race’s inherent lack of mobility. Both ‘toss and zerg feature a great deal of strategical map movement, and thus map control, the terran does not inherently possess either of these.

It is a weakness I suspect the terran are supposed to make up for by walling in (supply depots, command centers that can become uber fortresses, bunkers, hell, they can even research improved armor for buildings), but such a playstyle simply doesn’t mesh with me.

Random trick for anyone else in the beta: if you’re ever on Twilight Fortress, divide your team into a unit production player and the other into a resource gatherer. The theory is thusly:

Once you reach the 5 minute mark, both players can send resources to the other in any amount. What this means is that, at the 5 minute mark, the two players essentially share a resource pool.

Most maps, teammates have separate bases in different areas. This is not so on Twilight Fortress. Players share a base, and as such it is impossible to attack one player and not the other. There is, then, a strategy whereby one player never builds any units beyond the base gatherer units, and simply harvests.

It works extremely well. One player does nothing but build their primary gathering buildings, units and structures for supply, and then piles and piles and piles of gatherers. As they gather, they send all their harvested resources to the other player, who then spends the absolutely huge surplus on units.

To try and put this in perspective: when me and a teammate first tried this, my resource collection rate was greater than all three other players combined. I had over a hundred probes draining the map dry, dumping massive amounts of resources on my teammate, who reached the supply cap by the twelve minute mark. He had a dozen of each production building, and had all of them building simultaneously.

And even with that, he still had a ten thousand surplus of each resource. On average. Most games ended with him having something like forty thousand minerals and twenty thousand vespene unspent.

Of course, we’re both protoss for this to be at it’s maximum effectiveness. Protoss never has to sacrifice a worker to build anything, and thus can maximize resource gathering. Protoss also features the strongest individual units, thus being able mass produce them nullifies the intended smaller protoss armies.

Net result: you usually end up with more units than both your opponent’s combined, all of your units are stronger than theirs on a one by one basis, and you’re raking in far more resources than they.

If you try this, bear this in mind: the guy on unit production will probably feel like he’s playing with cheats on. All strategy goes out the window when you can build an unlimited amount of anything you want.

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Technically speaking, all blogs are a form of social networking. I type stuff, you read the stuff I type, sometimes you type me back and I read that too, which prompts me to type more stuff, and so forth.

It is a delayed conversation, akin to a forum. There are regulars, friends, a whole community of people that all share something in here. Some of you are here for magery, some of you are simply looking for a way to delay working. Not that I’m criticizing or anything, I used to spend entire shifts playing bubble bobble and tetris.

Point is, I sort of take the role of head administrator. If this was a church, I’d be the head priest, giving sermons, preaching to my flock of eager destruction enthusiasts, and I’d have office hours open for one on one time.

Note: next time a prospective employer asks what your hobbies are, tell them you’re a “destruction enthusiast”. Guaranteed success!

You, the reader, would come in for the daily sermon, nod to those you recognize in the congregation, listen to my speech, then retire to the main atrium for strudel and discuss the day’s lessons, perhaps pointing out flaws, adding your own ideas, and so forth.

But what happens when that group of people gets too big? Going from an audience of hundreds to thousands doesn’t have too much of an impact, but what happens when that number starts reaching into the area of tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? (more…)

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Guildies And/Or Friends

Inspiration comes from two places, I Sheep Things… and Righteous Orbs.

A guild is many things. A tag over your head you can be proud of. A collection of excellent players you love to play the game with. A guild bank a bunch of hardcore raiders congregate about. A vent server filled with discussion, abuse, commands shouted at a finely tuned war team, friendly discussion.

A guild can be as varied as the people that make it up, because ultimately, a guild is people. A guild is not a collection of data in pixels in a virtual world, it is something far more than that.

A song is more than just a series of noises at differing wavelengths. A book is more than a collection of really thin tree slices with ink scattered upon it.

The structure of guild, its virtual framework, is just that. A frame. What it is framing is entirely up to the people involved.

Without a picture, a frame is pointless junk. An empty husk, void of meaning.

This is why I have never understood guild loyalty. A guild is nothing without people, it isn’t real in any sense of the word. Why would somebody be loyal to something that can be destroyed instantly by single person typing /gdisband? Would you be loyal to a table? At least it would take effort to destroy a table! (more…)

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The background for this post can be read here and here.

WoW is an escape for many people, myself included. I daresay the majority of WoW players are using WoW as an “escape” from “real” life. Quite a few of them probably feel guilty about it, or type /played and have this hollow sensation of time wasted. Probably even more WoW players have family and friends that constantly deride them for spending so much time on a “stupid game.”

I don’t really understand why liking WoW and playing it a bunch is somehow a bad thing. The stigma held by outsiders and many insiders is utterly perplexing to me.

Tell me. If you weren’t playing WoW in your free time, what would you be doing?

Watching TV? Movies? Reading a book, perhaps? Baking cookies? Building model airplanes and flying them? Getting drunk with friends all the time? Gardening?

How, exactly, are any of those different from WoW?

A videogame is just an enabler, an outlet, for any number of things. It’s just a hobby, something you do to pass the time, to have some fun, to provide an outlet for some emotional trouble. (more…)

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I Cannot Use Apostrophe’s

“It’s” means “it is”, whereas “its” signifies ownership. The apostrophe only shows ownership when it’s used with any word that isn’t it. It’s confusing sometimes, but it should be taught to students from a young age, so it shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

I, for one, struggle greatly with getting it’s/its correctly, and I have been corrected for it many times by helpful commenters. Seriously, I mean it. I type these blog posts up so fast and only proofread them maybe once or twice, of course mistakes are going to get through. It’s inevitable. Posting a comment like “you spelled dysfunction wrong” isn’t going to hurt my feelings or anything.

Point out mistakes, I’ll correct them. Or ignore it and leave it in it’s original state for laughs (oh meta humor). And besides, let us be honest here, somebody who actually gets offended or hurt from having a spelling mistake pointed out to them likely has a whole host of issues beyond typing too fast sometimes.

In regards to it’s/its, well… I have an excuse as to why I make that mistake more often than anything else!

See, I was originally taught way back in grade school that “it’s” is only used to mean “it is”. “Its” being strictly for showing possession.

However, in grades four and five, I was taught that “it’s” shows possession AND means “it is”, the word “its” not appearing anywhere in the english language. Apparently. (more…)

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Ten wipes on Putricide, no kill. Damn it all!

We came so damn close, too. As in “thirty thousand health remaining” close. Only two tanks and one healer were alive at that point though, and all of them died in about two seconds. Gah.

Our raid composition:

Protection warrior, main tank. Protection paladin, abomination jockey and off tank for phase three. Discipline priest and holy paladinto keep everyone alive, then six DPS as follows: arcane mage, boomkin, fury warrior, unholy DK, combat rogue, and a survival hunter topping it off for replenishment.

The boomkin played as a hybrid. Boomkin spec, but he would frequently drop into caster form and heal when it was needed. The raid wide damage is very light up until phase three, the problem we were running into was the huge burst damage that would usually kill someone.

Solution? (more…)

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I originally thought Lady Gaga was some sort of internet meme, some random quasi-terrible 80’s artist resurrected from the dead for the lulz. Think Rick Astley, but chosen more for tripping balls David Bowie-ism than annoying catchy pop music.

Then I actually went and watched a Gaga video (poker face if you must know) and this basically confirmed the “random resurrected 80’s artist” theory I had going.

It took until stumbling across her wikipedia page for me to realize that she was this new big thing that didn’t even release an album until late 2008. Though it turns out she’s heavily inspired by David Bowie, so at least one theory survived an actual fact check.

To put it charitably, I’ve been completely unaware of this whole phenomenon. Those crazy kids these days and their shenanigans. Which makes me think… does this mean that I’m just so out of touch with popular society as a whole that I somehow managed to miss a sensation that literally tens of millions have been enjoying for over a year? Or does it mean that I’ve managed to become an old fogey before I’m even out of university? (more…)

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Ordinarily this would be a time of reflection on the years past, and the decade past. We could talk about the war on terror, about the market crash, about the new culture that the internet has facilitated.

But ultimately, why bother? A year is nothing more than a unit of measurement, a decade is simply ten of those. There’s no real difference between 2009 and 2010, or 2008 or 2007. There isn’t a difference between 8pm and 9pm, or 7pm. By themselves they have no meaning. Instead, we assign meaning to them.

2007 was just a year. But I graduated from high school. I got a job. My best friends moved away to far flung corners of the country. One of them fell in love. One of them got drunk all the time. I started a blog about WoW, one currently enjoyed by thousands a day. I raided, I had fun, I earned phat loots and personally wiped everyone on Solarian. I got drunk for the first time. Those two things are not related, I swear.

2008 was also just a year, but so many things happened. I lost my job. Lich King came out. I moved to expert mode on Rock Band. Getting up at 1pm was considered early. And on and on it went. (more…)

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I am getting your e-mails. I receive lots of them, read them, then sigh in deep regret because I can’t just dash of a quick couple sentences to them. Nearly every e-mail I receive would require time, effort and a lengthy response to adequately respond to. Yes, I could reply to a question about frost mages in arena with a quick bulleted list, but that doesn’t really answer the question, just addresses it.

I’m sure you see the difference.

I may only be in first year University, but I am taking second year level history courses. I went into the IB (International Baccalaureate) program in high school, which can be best labeled as the “International program for students who think they’re smarter than everyone else and want to prove it.” Oh do I have stories about IB… anyway, it means I get treated as if I have already done the first year course of whatever classes I took in IB and did great in.

University is hard, blah blah, not really, it just eats up a lot of time. Especially the history courses.

So in answer to all those people who’ve e-mailed me your excellent questions, consider this your public acknowledgment. Keith, Dan, Theodore, Ripples the Pengiun (I’m not kidding either), I got it. Your e-mail is safe in my inbox with a little frowny face tag.

I’ll get to them… hopefully…

My last final is Monday, I should have a LOT of free time after that to get out proper answers to them. (more…)

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To The Congregation

Since starting this blog, I’ve avoided forums like they were a large group of diseased troglodytes. Elitist Jerks and Arena Junkies are the only forums I visit “frequently”, and the latter is only visited when I have absolutely nothing better to do. Hitting myself in the head with a textbook is included in “better than reading the AJ forums”, and “frequently” means once or twice a week, maybe, for a few minutes at a time.

The EJ forums I can actually enjoy reading, but me and pompous douchebaggery go together like water and more water, so that isn’t really saying much. The AJ forums are like EJ, but replace the “pompous” part with epeens and compensation the size of planets.

Both are actually pretty educational, provided you can survive them. You’ll need a fireproof suit, perhaps a sherpa, but it’s possible.

I was inspired by Megan to try and actively participate in forums again, because she’s right, as always. (more…)

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