Humans, your technology is many things. It is sometimes novel, sometimes mundane, sometimes awe-inspiring, sometimes infuriating. But there is one thing that it always, ALWAYS is…
And so it is that I recently decided to upgrade the storage in my laptop to allow me to stop having to choose what I wanted to delete every time I got a new game. Unfortunately, while the upgrade process was simple enough, some other unforeseen technical issues prevented me from being able to clone my old drive, and thus, all of my old save games for every game I play on my PC are now gone. Now, normally you would think this would be the beginning of a profanity-laced rant in which I threaten to end the world (Editor’s Note: in fairness, this is your typical reaction to…almost everything, really) yes, I’m aware, now shut up. As I was saying, I actually saved myself from a blood-pressure-spiking rage by taking a queue from my good friend and fellow blogger, the estimable “Lightning” Ellen, of both Livid Lightning and The Well-Red Mage fame.
My gaming backlog now consists of…everything.
Yes, I will now begin each game anew, and you gullible suckers (Editor’s Note: I think you mean WONDERFUL READERS) yeah, sure, whatever – you humans get to come along for the ride. I’m not necessarily saying I’ll give full blow-by-blow playthroughs of EVERYTHING – but I’ll be restarting them all, from Skyrim to the games I got for free in a Humble Bundle and didn’t even realize I had. Now you may be asking, “EWE, what is your plan for tackling such a huge task?” Well, fleshbag, I should think my answer, by now, is obvious.
So join me, won’t you, as we answer such questions as “who thought this was a good idea?” “wonder if I should fight that dragon?” and mostly “why the fuck am I doing this to myself again?” – EWE
As you know, humans, I like to try and keep it pretty light here (Editor’s Note: well, relatively speaking…) shut it you, I am NOT in the fucking mood right now. (Editor’s Note: yeah, I know.) I like to talk about my boys, I like to talk about my cats, I like to talk about my games – hell, I’ll even admit what a pathetic personal life I tend to have. Sure, I take the occasional shot at the flaming dumpster full of dog shit that occupies the White House currently, but I try to keep it to a minimum…for me.
But then after two years in the making, Robert Mueller delivered his report on the Trump election. Now, I know some might say “EWE, you’re just a salty liberal angry that Mueller exonerated the Presi- ARRRRGGGGHHHH!” And after I was done setting them on fire, I would respond to their writhing, screaming form that no, that is not the case. You see, I don’t know that Mueller exonerated Trump. I know that Mueller prosecuted and convicted a whole bunch of Trump’s circle of a whole lot of shit. But I don’t know anything about what Mueller concluded in his report, and neither does anyone reading this because the only thing we’ve gotten is A FUCKING FOUR PAGE SUMMARY FROM TRUMP’S HAND-PICKED CRONY AG!
Let me try to put this into perspective. I have read Darwin’s Origin of Species. If you were to ask me “what did Darwin conclude in Origin of Species?” and I were to respond with a note card that said “Darwin said that humans are just shaved apes” then you would not, in fact, know what Darwin had fucking concluded. You would just know what I told you. And to make this EVEN MORE FUCKING RIDICULOUS, Barr has now also said that he will not release the Mueller report until the White House has had a chance to make edits to it. Well why the fuck haven’t I thought of that before?! Attention courts: going forward, I’m afraid that we won’t be able to introduce any evidence into trials until myself and my client have been able to fucking edit it in order to remove anything that might make us look bad. And in order to even BE attorney general, Barr has to be, ostensibly, an attorney – so he fucking knows better, he just doesn’t care! (Editor’s Note: calm down, your blood pressure is going up.) You know, for once you’re right…I think I need some music or something to help me relax.
Whew…that is so much better. Now, what were we talking – oh fuck, that’s right. Listen, fleshbags…I have tried very, VERY hard to be patient with you. I have, against my better judgment on more than one occasion, refrained from summoning an army of hellspawn to just depopulate your species from the earth. But SOME of you – probably the ones that have not read this far – are making a quite compelling argument for me to stop holding myself back. So if you have some of those in your life, just remember – there are 6 billion of you on the planet. It won’t miss a few here and there. Because this…
And while Richard – and I – may not care whose side we’re on…you meatbags will. – EWE
Ho there, adventurous humans! Gather ’round and here a tale of magic and mysticism…of warfare and wonder…of evil and, um, pretty much more evil. Yes, I speak of the founding of the fledgling group of mercenaries and traders known as Murder and Mayhem Inc.
Yes, mortals, what this means for those that don’t know is that my eldest spawn, Beefer (Editor’s Note: Not only does he not hate the nickname he’s had since birth, but he actively uses it as a handle online) managed to convince me to join him in playing The Elder Scrolls Online. As someone who has put many, MANY hours into Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim – not to mention Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 (or as a wise woman once said, The Best Fallout) – I’d heard good things about the MMO chapter in the Elder Scrolls saga. So, with a new expansion on the horizon, Beefer convinced me that this was the best time for me to join him in Tamriel and journey the land together, questing and battling foes as father and son. Until I played with him for the first time, whereupon he had me follow him to a shadowy shrine, turned around, and drained my blood, inflicting me with vampirism. “Hey, cool, I really CAN turn others into vampires at this level!” Whereupon, he left to go fight endgame monsters that I couldn’t even look at without dying.
Thus, it was left for me to begin the long path to joining my treacherous little Beef in the upper echelons of killing ability. Fortunately, ESO is a dream to play. The combat and questing combine the best of Elder Scrolls style with slight twists on the modern WoW MMO formula. Positioning and active aiming of your abilities is generally required, but is not difficult thanks to crosshairs on the HUD as well as smart hit detection by the game engine itself. You can play in both first- and third-person, but generally I find it much more advantageous to play in third-person, as there are so many ground effects to avoid and battlefield variables to be aware of that the zoomed-out, or even over-the-shoulder third-person views are far less frustrating than the first-person. There are a myriad of classes that at first seem to fall within the standard tank-healer-dps trinity, but with the dozens of different skill trees in the game, can all become self-sufficient while also remaining viable for group play. Really, I can’t say enough about the character customization – it is superbly balanced and fun to play around with.
But the true icing on the cake is the questing. While world building and lore have always been a strong suit of the Elder Scrolls, and Bethesda games in general, they absolutely outdid themselves with ESO. Quests are leveled to your experience level – no more picking up quests at level 10 and then finding them not worth completing a few levels later. Instead, the enemies and rewards are tailored to your characters ability at the time they are encountered and it makes it so much more immersive when going through the dozens of quest lines available in every zone of the game. And you’ll want to go through them because every zone is a treat for the senses – absolutely beautiful, with fantastic ambient audio, music, and voice acting.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far in ESO and cannot wait to keep exploring its nooks and crannies. If you are a fan of Elder Scrolls games, MMOs, high fantasy in general, or any combination of them, I encourage you to give it a try. It is free to play once you purchase the game itself, but it has an optional subscription that if you find yourself enjoying the game is well worth the price – giving all content updates as well as various premium perks and rewards on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Until next time, see you in Tamriel, humans! – EWE
Greetings, humans – it’s been far too long, and while life offers no guarantees, I hope it is not so long again after this. And I will leave that at that.
Now, what does a malicious mage like myself get up to in the many months since we’ve met? Who is to say for sure (Editor’s Note: well, possibly some of those villagers…but I don’t think you left them in any condition to talk, actually), ahem – Editor’s flattery (Editor’s Note: I wasn’t complimenting you…) FLATTERY aside, I did engage in one particular activity that I can share with you here that quite intrigued me over the last couple of weeks. You see, several weeks ago my eldest, redheaded clone pointed out that when I had initially completed Persona 5 when it released on the PS4, he had not been able to watch most of it at that time. He seemed intrigued in the gameplay systems as well as the standard SMT storyline of carving your own path through the world to rage against the gods and your opposed humans to grab your destiny with your own two hands.
But the decisions being made moment to moment are what really brought us closer together. Because as you may understand, between the holidays and then some early January scheduling strangeness, they were able to more freely pick and choose time to spend with me. And since my big Beefer has been with often lately, he was able to help establish our personality for our avatar and how he interacts with his social links, er, I meant “Confidants.” For example, it took no time at all for us to agree strongly that Ryuji is a loud, tasteless, useless piece of garbage and gleefully try to envision scenarios in which we could get him destroyed. There were the long discussions about who the best female confidant was and why we should have our character date her as opposed to anyone else.
And then there was watching my young boy, my growing little man, who claims little interest in school topics, show genuine curiousness about the various demons, gods, and mythological figures that filled out the Persona Compendium. He and I loved checking online for more info on whatever the latest god we had tamed and the abilities now at our command. From there would be stimulating back-and-forth conversations regarding the occult, Judeo Christian demonology, Japanese youkai and spirits, and others. It truly is amazing seeing an intellect that reminds me so much of what I once was, but sharper, growing and learning and becoming even greater than I could have dreamed.
We were not, however, able to come to total agreement in choosing between clearly fellow nerd love interest Futaba:
…and more mature, and darker punk rock back-alley doctor Tae Takemi.
Honestly, it’s a great problem to have, choosing between those two. But even better has been the last 130 hours of game time – laughing at the insanity, freaking out at the ever increasing audacity of the villains, and concocting new ways to save our friends. Until finally, on the day we were faced with having to destroy God himself in order to preserve the freedom of humanity, we sat in awe as the main character we’d created ourselves manifested powerful demon lord and destroyed the divine. We were still talking about it when I had to take him home to do homework. About about the bonds the main character forged with his true companions to sustain him. About how outside of one another, they didn’t care what others had to say about what they felt called to do.
So for any of you parents that believe videogames are a waste of time, I openly mock you – because while you are busy denigrating something you don’t understand, you are also losing a valuable tool to connecting with your own children!
Until next time (Editor’s Note: unless in his frustration he summons a meteor to annihilate us all), I will take my leave and see you soon! – EWE
Good evening, humans! How fare you this night? What’s that – me, you ask?
Yeah…the mind and body weren’t very cooperative today. Since my normal response to lack of cooperation (Editor’s Note: …i.e., setting the offending party on fire…) yes, that, didn’t seem appropriate seeing as how it was MY mind and body, I just had to grin and bear it. Well, bear it – grinning being decidedly not my thing and, frankly, very disturbing the few times I’ve attempted it. I’m fairly sure it has something to do with the horrific, Lovecraftian monstrosity that I call my face. Regardless, despite the mental and physical fog, a particular piece of lunacy leaped out to pierce the shroud and assault my mind, common sense, and sense of basic decency (Editor’s Note: and you know that’s really a low bar coming from EWE!) exactl- hey, watch it!
Orrin Hatch, saying if Dr. Ford's accusation of Brett Kavanaugh is true: "If that were true, I think it would be hard for senators not to consider who he is today.''
Upon seeing this, my immediate, gut reaction was something like:
Upon further time to process the Senator’s comments and stance, however, my calmer, more nuanced response was:
You know, this is going to sound selfish and petty, but…why do I have to do this? Why? For fuck’s sake, it is 2018 – why in the hell do I need to waste a single iota of my time and energy explaining why it would NOT, in fact, “be hard for senators not to consider who he is today” if Kavanaugh, a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, sexually assaulted a woman in high school. And is lying about to this very day, displaying no remorse or recognition that his conduct was improper. Why do we even have to fucking HAVE this discussion? What in the actual FUCK is wrong with you miserable sacks of watered-down carbon that this is something that even needs to be addressed whatsoever? (Editor’s Note: Sorry – he’s a little cranky tonight.)
Listen, what a lot of people may not know (although you’d sure think a goddamn sitting Senator would know it) is that Supreme Court Justices are open to impeachment and removal for “high crimes and misdemeanors” much the same way as a President. And that, short of the Justice retiring voluntarily or dying, is the only way they come off the bench. With that kind of job security comes a high standard of behavior that we hold our Justices to. This means that if Bill Clinton can be impeached over a white stain on his intern’s dress, while Kavanaugh is alleged to have teamed up with a fellow classmate to sexually assault and attempt to rape a young woman, then that should damn well disqualify him from even being considered for placement on the Court in the first place.
Which brings me to Orrin Hatch. You pathetic, sniveling, arrogant, senile son-of-a-bitch. You actually said, to national media, with a straight face, that even if Kavanaugh’s accuser is telling the truth, he should still be given serious consideration for the Supreme Court based upon “who he is now?” Well, Orrin, let me give you a little insight into that point of view. If you assume that his accuser is telling the truth, then Kavanaugh is someone who committed sexual assault, and possibly rape, in his late teens. When confronted with this fact, his response has not been to acknowledge his wrongdoings, admit them, illustrate how he has changed and grown, express remorse, or otherwise demonstrate anything in the way of character development. His response has been to deny any wrongdoing on his part, deny even being present, and call his accuser a liar. So, Orrin, if under your scenario his accuser is telling the truth, and Kavanaugh continues to deny any responsibility, that not only makes him a sex offender but a liar. And that doesn’t sound even remotely like someone that should be placed on the highest court in the country, even to a feeble-minded simpleton like you, does it, Orrin? Because if it does, then not only should Kavanaugh be swept out of Washington and back under whatever dark hole he crawled out from under, but maybe you and your fellow slime that place party line over good of the nation should join him there. – EWE
Welcome to Sunday, humans! And what better way to celebrate than to completely ignore whatever mindless nonsense the fluorescent troll-mander-in-chief has spewed all over himself this weekend and instead get back to something more fun. So what’s on the menu tonight?
First off, after quite a hiatus, I’ve returned to World of Warcraft just in time for the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth. After being monumentally disappointed in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, I skipped the Legion expansion entirely, and so I’ve got that entire expansion of content to work through in addition to BfA’s content. Fortunately, Dracollia and my sons all decided to hop back into Azeroth along with me, and the boys’ mom hasn’t stopped playing since we both started back in the days of Vanilla WoW. So I’m not going back alone! But in order for us to coordinate, we decided to form our own small guild – and thus was the Feline Mafia born.
In terms of other games I’m currently playing, I’ve actually been putting more and more time into a game on my phone that my oldest son turned me on to by the name of Alchemist Code. The game itself is a free download, with available in-app purchases. At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking this is a typical gatcha-style anime-based Japanese cell phone game aimed at making a quick buck on American cell phones, but this assessment does it a huge disservice.
Unlike many other similar games, which feature a fairly standard style turn-based tap battle system, Alchemist Code is a full-fledged SRPG, in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. In fact, both of these references feel particularly appropriate – because while you can see from the image above that the main story and vibe of Alchemist Code is very much in the vein of the political machinations of Final Fantasy Tactics, the game regularly engages in crossover promotions with popular anime and game franchises, pulling in popular characters and storylines from universes including Fate/Stay, Phantom of the Kill, and most recently Disgaea.
In terms of SRPG gameplay, I would say that it plays most similarly to the PSP classic Jeanne d’Arc. Party size is initially limited to four (with an optional fifth “mercenary” character that can be hired with currency) and two characters placed in reserve that will sub in automatically upon the death of a party member. Each party member can be developed into multiple classes and skillsets from a master pool of points, gems, and currency. While there is the usual option to use real money to purchase gems or currency to advance at a more rapid pace, I have not put a single cent of real money into the game and I have not felt held back once – advancement still happens at a nice pace without feeling throttled.
All in all, I have to give Alchemist Code the highest marks – it truly is everything that a mobile game should be. No up front cost, no strings attached for players that don’t wish to, or can’t afford to, pay for advancement, but deep gameplay and story hooks that are enough that I have found myself tempted more than once to break my personal rule of not using real money to buy fake money in mobile games. If you have an iPhone or Android device and are a fan of SRPGs, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to give it a try.
And if you play WoW and find yourself on Khaz Modan, consider causing trouble with the Feline Mafia! – EWE
Alright, after last night, a decision needed to be made. I mean, I wasn’t going to just turn this blog into a full time discussion into the insane syphilitic ramblings of Donald Trump (primarily because I would quickly reach the point of just annihilating all of you fleshbags out of frustration), but at the same time, I knew there was just going to be too much material for me to NOT address on a fairly regular basis. So compromise I reached was to introduce a new recurring segment: WTF Did He Say Now?! Now, technically, I suppose we could use this segment to highlight an outlandish statement from ANY public figure, but let’s face it – they’re just about all going to be from the glowing orange shitbag of moronic hatred and stupidity.
Speaking of which…this absolute gem of skull-fucking insanity assaulted the world today:
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…
…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
This infuriates me on two levels. There is the immediate impact of this shriveled sack of shit dismissing the deaths of 3000 people as not happening simply because he doesn’t want to take responsibility for the failed relief efforts that led to them. That is obvious. But there is also a broader problem with this statement that makes me want to set fire to random things – the cockgobbler-in-chief’s regular practice of simply denying reality and creating and embracing an alternate, fictional universe as his official version of the truth. And then the further bolstering of this by his cronies and sycophants and supporters, despite the glaring and obvious evidence that what they are touting is in direct conflict to the OBVIOUS FACTS. To illustrate this another way, let me offer a comparison chart of our most recent presidential administrations.
This wasn’t a political plot by Democrats to make you look bad, you pathetic pissant. This was an independent study that looked at deaths that took place over the six month period following the hurricane that struck Puerto Rico that could have been avoided had electricity and infrastructure been restored. In other words, deaths that were directly a result of damage caused by the storms. So they WERE, in fact, the death toll from the storms. All 3000 of them. The Democrats didn’t kill them to make you look bad. The mayor of San Juan didn’t fake their deaths because she doesn’t like you. They died. Because of the hurricane. And your administration’s botched and failed response to it. You own that. Whether your addled, senile, barely functional brain can comprehend that fact or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened on your watch. It was your responsibility, and you failed. Nothing you say, nothing you do, no tweet, no bluster, no hashtag, no lawsuit, no ranting can change that. President. Trump. Failed. And 3000 people died.
Now…we’ll lighten things up next time, kiddos. I haven’t forgotten how to write about nerdy shit, and I’ve been doing a whole damn lot of it while I’ve been gone, I can tell you that. So next time should be a lot more upbeat. You know, unless Orange Julius Caesar says something stupid again…but what’re the odds of that, right? – EWE