Saturday, June 9, 2018

What's New Pussycat?




Is blogging still in?

I look around and notice that a lot of people are still going at it, but then some people, like myself, have let blogging go by the way side.  I'm not sure if thats because we become more too involved in the life around us and less about the life of the internet or because blogging isn't all that important in the over all scheme of things.

I used blogging as a way to promote my interest in games, to get my ideas out so they wouldn't be stuck in my head all the time, bouncing off the large round hard surface that is my skull causing me pain.  My ideas had to get out.  Blogging, at the time, was the only way to get them out there... so the masses could hear them.  Course, there was Facebook, but who wants their family and real life friends knowing what is going on in their mind?  Certainly not me and to be honest, I'm sure my family is glad that I didn't share my gaming and other hobby's with them of Facebook.

However, the internet changed.  The creation of Twitter, G+, Instagram, Snap chat and similar software made expressing ones self much easier and less complicated than posting on a blog.  It was even possible to stay anonymous while using these apps. A person didn't have to spew paragraph after paragraph to post on a blog which, in turn,  would have to be written and rewritten.  No, they could just express their ideas and perversions in 140 characters or just a simple picture of an alligator eating a kitten.  Things became way less complicated and extremely easy or as we use to say in my college days, dumbed down for mass consumption.

So, after using those short burst of idea apps a try,  I discovered  that you can't say what you want in 140 characters or a picture.  Hell even Twitter knows that since they have since lengthened the number of characters one could use to 280 which is double their original credo.  Course, that now makes Twitter less unique than it once was, but hey, no one really cares.  All they care about is who tweeted what and what kind of backlash that will cause and who is going to get into trouble next.  Sometimes, being able to say more for some people is a really bad idea.  Just ask our President.

That brings me back to blogging.  I find that I have some extra time on my hands these days and I figured that I would start writing again.  To be honest, tweeting is fun and interesting, but by the time I say it, someone else already has and then its really old news.  I tried using Discord as an outlet for chatting and exchanging ideas with people, but you have to be attentive or you'll miss any decent conversation and I'm too busy with life to be waiting for an interesting conversation that I care about to break out on a server.  No offense.  Blogging is the way to go.

Now, that I have decided to get back into blogging, I'm not just going to be talking about games.  I don't play a lot of games and the ones I do play, honestly are kind of boring.  I'm sure if I talked about the three or four games I am engaged with on a regular bases, people would become bored and start sniffing glue or huffing paint just to find it interesting.  With that in mind, I'm just going to blog about things that, well, are on my mind.  So that means anything and everything.  This will be a free for all.  One day I may chat about finding loot in season 14 of Diablo 3 or I might be talking about some photos I shot last week.  There may be a few posts about different things I am into like fishing or the strange crazy people I met at work.  It just depends.  There might be some political discussions and there might be discussions about legalizing pot or legalizing prostitution, who knows.  I might spend a day talking about this idiot commander we have or I might praise him for getting North Korea to disarm their nukes.

I will even open the floor up for ideas as well.  That is if I have anyone reading my blog.  It has been a while and to be honest, I'm not sure if anyone still reads anything longer than a few paragraphs.  I noticed the websites like Polygon only do short bursts on games now, as if they are trying to compete with Twitter.  So sad really.  Its just nuts how society and technology have changed the way humans socially interact with each other now.  We are a slave to our devices.  If it doesn't stream a entertainment services as part of the introductory offer, we won't buy the phone.  Honestly, I remember when we just wanted the thing to have a dial tone, now it has to stream Handmaidens Tale or Stranger Things.  And no, there is no link to either of those shows on this blog nor any link to anything less listed here.  I'm keeping this first blog link free.  Not sure if I will always do that, but you'll have to cut and paste any thoughts here and look it up yourself.  Be less lazy and work for information. 

That about sums it up.  In the next few posts I'll discuss what I've been doing over the last 6 months.  Being unemployed is just one thing to come to mind and getting part time minimum wage job as another or I may just combine the two, who knows.  Its all cra cra up in here.


Monday, February 5, 2018

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Beginnings

Stay Tuned.

I'll be working up some posts again soon.

No, this isn't some hack.  Honest, I will post something sooon.


OAKSTOUT

Monday, August 11, 2014

You Can Certainly Go Back


So, started playing World of Warcraft again.  Yes, I know I said repeatedly that I was done and I was not planing to EVER, EVER go back, but I spent so much time comparing the fun I had in WoW to the fun I was not having in other MMO games recently, especially Wildstar,  that I just had to take a go back and see why I left in the first place.

The game has certainly changed a good bit.  I stopped playing a few months after Cataclysm came out.  That was due mostly to people that I played with slowly losing interest in the game and moving on to other Touristy attractions  So I followed them from one game to another, hoping to settle on something.  I had found a nice home in Guild Wars 2, which I loved, but after a short time, I grew tired and moved on to other stuff.  I've probably tried 5 or 6 different games since leaving WoW and in all that time, I never thought about coming back.  But with another expansion on the horizon that will change the look of WoW models, I felt I need to give the game another shot.  I have discovered that I have not lost my love of the game.  I also managed to snag a few of my old friends, once hardcore WoW players like myself to come back and experience the journey one more time.

With every return, you discover new things and remember the not so good old things.  So, lets talk about some of the good stuff I discovered as I ventured back into WoW.  To start with, I decided to try a Panda Monk.  I had tried the Beta and wasn't all that impressed so, I was a bit surprised when I started one up and discovered how much I really enjoyed the new area.  It only took a few hours to level up to 10 and finish the starter story for the Pandarian race and it was.. well.. a ton of fun.  I don't usually do "Story" in WoW, but this was a really great way to introduce a new race with a new class.  I decided to be a member of the Alliance and even the quest to join up was lots of fun. I also discovered that they've redone a lot of the quests in the other starter areas.  Some of them a lot of fun and some of them still the same as they were years ago, which is great when one is wanting to be nostalgic about a game, like I am. Another surprising and awesome thing I found out upon my return was that mounts are now account bound instead of just per character.  No need to hunt down that elusive blue dragon drop with all your toons when you can just do on one toon and share the prize among all.  Also, they've simplified the spec and talent process.  Some of that is good, wanna be a tank, well, we will provide all the tank skills you need as you level up, no need cluttering up your bar with abilities you won't use.  Another thing they've added with the last expansion is Battle Pets and so far it has been the best reason to get back in the game, but I don't want to get into that with this small little post, that will be later.

Now, that I've listed a few of the good things, let me list a few of the things I don't miss about playing WoW.

Dueling.  Why does the interface not include a "Block Dueling challenge" button?  True, I can ignore them, but just because they are persistent in wanting to test their PvP skills against me, doesn't necessarily mean they are worth an all out ignore.  I can "Block" trades, incoming guild invites and other stuff, so why not block Dueling.  This is something that can be done with mods I'm sure, but why hasn't it been included in the game?  Also, when I set up preferences like blocking trades, guild invites and the ability to auto loot, why isn't it something that's account wide instead of per character?  I mean, if you want those checked on one toon, why wouldn't you want it checked on all toons?  Having to set up auto loot every time I create a new toon is annoying.  Also, people worrying about why your in a newbie zone doing quests.  I had one guy ask, "Are you a bit high for this zone?" to which I said, "Why are you worried about what I am doing."  Just to be clear, one of the reasons I was in that zone, was one, to get Rep with Stormwind and second, to work on my attacking with my monk.  It would seem that I'm so use to the button mashing of other games, that my WoW skills have gone dormant and I was getting tired of the game saying, skill not ready yet, so I was working on timing.  Still, why did he need to worry about what I was doing?  It isn't like I was ruining his questing, by being there.


Course, those are just a few ranting issues. For the most part I am relearning how to play WoW and very much enjoying it.  I've subbed up till Oct, but I'm probably going to continue will into the next expansion whenever that decides to drop.  I have a few friends who are hanging in there with me and we are trying to keep our toons about the same level so we can play as a small group.  I would love for more to join, but I understand that tourists have to be tourists and when a new shiny comes, they will want to see what it holds for them.  For me, I've been fighting the urge to drop back into WoW because, my argument has been that, I've done that.  Been there, time to move on.  But if your spending a lot of your time playing other MMO games, thinking of how you can turn that into your new WoW, then, like me, your doing it wrong.  You should come back to the game that you use as your measure for other games, because nothing is as good as the original..  At least, thats what I am hoping.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dicks will never Die



I have been playing Hearthstone since beta.  Its a fantastic TCG.  At first I was a bit of a noob when it came to the game, but I quickly figured out some strategies that helped me level up characters and get a few basic cards.  As I stated in my last blog, I discovered the horrible truth that, to win big, you have to have good cards.  So over the last couple of days I've been doing a few of the quests they provide you to get in game gold and I've also shelled out a few RL dollars to purchase a few packs.  I could be satisfied with a basic deck, but when your getting spanked a good bit it can be frustrating since their matching system isn't all what its cracked up to be.

That being said, I put together a very nice Mage deck that I felt pretty confident in.  It was based off something I found on the interwebs, having to modify it to make up for a "Few" cards I didn't have yet, mostly the very rare or legendary cards.  Still, what I had put together seemed like a nice combo.  I won't go into specifics about the deck, but lets just say, after playing a few matches in casual mode, I decided to attempt ranked play.  I felt that at the very least, it would match me with people who were at the same rank, which it did.  I managed to play the first couple of matches and was surprised that I was actually winning.  This experience was pretty new to me.  They way it works is you start off at rank 25 with two unfilled stars.  once you win a match, you fill a star, when you win two matches, you move onto the next lower rank.  I managed to win three matches in a row, which placed me at rank 24, so I kept going.  I was patient and too my time working all the options.  I had played against a few of the decks that came up before, so I had a pretty good understand of what cards they player was depending on, so I was able to counter them or remove them from play quickly.  I kept winning, which was a strange thing and once you get a very nice streak going, the game will reward you, so instead of getting one star for a win, you start getting two stars for win.  Once I hit rank 20, I took a moment to decide if I would continue.  I wasn't and still am not sure at which point you start loosing stars if and when you lose a match.  I managed to get a few more wins to finish the night at rank 19, at which point you need three wins to advance to the next rank.  I'm sure it gets even harder the further you go down, but now that I'm at rank 19 once the season is over, I should get a Naxxramas card back.  Its actually pretty daunting since I'm seeing a bunch of cool people with different card backs which indicates some kind of skill.

Now, what does all this have to do with the Hearthstone Community?

Well, one of the reasons I love Hearthstone is the limited interaction with other players you have.  You can do a few basic emotes while playing, but that is about it.  They can't say anything to you via chat, unless you have them on your friends list.  They can't talk to you via voice chat, so basically, you don't have to encounter the "Dicks" that this sort of game might attract.  However, there is a big "BUT" coming.  You see they can still be Pecker heads even if they can't text you or talk to you.  They can do it through actual game play.

Lets say for instance, your waiting on them to take their turn.  Well, some of them will just wait till the last minute letting the timer run out before finishing their turn even its clear they have nothing they can do.  They just want to drag it out.  Another thing they will do is, lets say your pretty much on the ropes, one or two health left and all they have to do to win the match is attack you with any of their creatures, but they don't.  They start casting all kinds of stuff out of their hand, boosting creatures attack, putting more creatures out.  Its clearly them saying "Hey, not only did I kick your ass, but here's all the cools shit I didn't cast".  What I do is when my opponent doesn't concede and its clear I am the victor, then I will do my best to finish him off quickly on my round, I don't drag out the abuse or try to cast more stuff.  I just do the damage I need to finish that person off and conclude the match.  There is no need to be a douche and make the player wait for the kill shot.  What purpose does that server.  Back a few weeks ago, I would just concede the match if I knew the end was inevitable, but now, thanks to one of my twitter buddies, I will wait and let them get the kill shot, because one, it shows that I'm a good sport about losing and two, it lets them savor the victory I am sure they deserved.  But, if they start casting a bunch of crap out of their hand, then I just concede because now its clear that your trying to be an ass and there isn't any need for that.

So, even without the ability to gloat or scream at you through chat, the dicks can still manage to ruin a fun game.  Where there is a will there will always be a way.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A DWARF SPEAKS



I have nothing really interesting thing to say this week, sadly.  I had a few blog ideas, one involving how lame gaming sites are these days and how they are just link bait, but to be honest, everybody probably already knows that,  Those that would care, don't visit those sites anymore and those that don't care probably subscribe to the e-mail news letter to several different sites and get twitter updates.  

I was going to talk about the controversy concerning Giant Bomb hiring two "White" males to be as writers for their site and podcasters;  how a woman gamer caused an uproar about her disapproval that a "Woman" didn't get a chance at the job in a tweet and how that tweet pretty much caused her twitter account to explode into a bombardment of hate by tons of loyal Giant Bomb fans, forcing her to spend the day blocking and reporting people.  Although it would have been an interesting discussion, I decided that the entire incident could be summed up with the statement that mistakes were made by all those involved, people really need to grow up, understand that venting their frustration in an environment where people can be anonymous is just asking for trouble and that thinking before giving your opinion can be a wise decision.  Not that offering your opinion isn't your right, I'm just saying that a person has to understand who the audience is before opening his or her mouth.  I would never walk into the middle of Blizcon and shout that WoW is lame.  I am pretty sure that getting out of there would be hell especially if I expected not to be slayed by a cos-player wielding a plastic sword and shield.  Fans are rabid.  Fan is actually short for Fanatic.  Still, people are entitled to their opinion.  If I thought WoW was lame, then that is my opinion.  I'm sure it wouldn't be a popular one at Blizcon just like the lady gamers opinion wasn't popular with the Giant Bomb fan bases, but they needed to show some civility and not be rabid.


But I decided not to post anything about that incident.

I discovered that playing Hearthstone is fun, but the matching system under the casual game play setting is pretty much broken.  The game doesn't check to see what your card count is or what kind of cards you have, it just matches you based on wins I suspect.  The other day I ended up in several matches playing against people who had cards I had never seen.   When that happens I lose 100% of the time.  So, I decided to fix this problem, purchased 15 packs of cards and found a few that helped my decks.  Today, I was able to go 5 for 5 in play, with 3 of those games being Ranked.  So cards do make all the difference.  Course, being able to get to the cards in your deck in a timely fashion so you can win is also a challenge, but you need to have the cards IN YOUR DECK to start with.

Let me see, what else.  Played some Wildstar PVP last night with a few good guildies from Alliance of Awesome.  Good times were had.  It seemed we broke about even, winning 3 out of 5 or 6 matches.  Towards the end we started losing more, but I decided that drinking beer and tequila was best done while not playing a competitive game. lol

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and I'll blog at you next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Digital Age is Ruining EVERYTHING.



Today, I decided to visit the local Barnes & Noble. Now, before anyone comments, I do own a digital reading device or Nook.  A very nice Nook that is a few generations old, but it is in color and is rather nice.  I used it extensively when I purchased it a few years ago and I still use it from time to time when I am out of town on a trip.  However, like all avid readers will attest to, sometimes you just have to hold a book and turn each page.  I know, it's nuts, but I really do enjoy reading from a book rather than a digital representation of a book.



Now that I've gotten that out of the way.  So, I visited the local B&N looking for a few specific books.  Nothing too crazy.  One was "The Everything Store" by Jeff Bezos, which is a book about Amazon.  I was interested in it after listening to a story on Radio Lab and thought it might be an interesting read.  So, I checked in several areas of the store and couldn't find it.  I tried biographies, computers and I even tried the section marked Essays, but no go.  So, instead of asking a person, which in the past has been a mistake every single time I've done so at this local B&N, including the time I was looking to purchase my Nook (A story that also needs its own post), I decided to use my smart phone and see if the store had it listed as available via their website.  The only store that had that book in stock was about 20 min down the road, so I figured, well, I will just look for the second book I was interested in.




The second book on my list happened to be "The Measure of All Things" by Ken Alder.  What can I say, I'm trying to broaden my mind a little.  Reading comics, scifi and fantasy books are great, but I need to expand my horizons as people tend to say.  So I thought, hey, this might be a pretty interesting book, why not see if they have it in stock?  This time, I chose not to consult the smart phone.  I decided that I would be an average customer and scan all the sections and try and ferret out this book.  Alas, after spending a good 30 mins hunting, I came up with nothing.  Sadly, I have this problem a lot at this particular B&N.  My wife hates going there because she usually has a list of books she is looking for and every single time, they don't have it.  If she asks an employee to help her, they always say, "it's currently not in" would you like us to order it for you and have it shipped to the store?  We always decline because, if I'm going to go through the trouble of ordering a book online, then why not just do it from the comfort of my own home and have it shipped to my front door.

Is it really their fault they don't have books in their store?  That's the question I guess I have to truly ask.  Due to the digital age, people just download or order books directly online, skipping the brick and mortar stores.  If the stores don't get the right kind of traffic, then why clutter up the shelves with books that only a few people might be interested in rather than books that your database says people are more prone to walk in off the street and buy.  Of course, that doesn't excuse why they have books on mythology in the essay section or why they have more books on horror romance and Manga than books on US and World history.  Don't they know young people would be more inclined to buy online than older people?  Still, is it the digital age that's killing the book store or is it just poor management and poor stocking?  I would go in the store more if I felt they would have items in stock that would be of interest to me.  Even when I go looking for a graphic novel, they don't seem to be consistent about what items they keep in stock. They have issues 1 - 4 and then it skips to 7, 9 and 10.  Why not just get 1 - 7 at the very least, so the customer can get a more complete section of a series, rather than piece mealing it.  I just don't understand how businesses can expect to keep customers when they don't even seem to be making an effort.  It's like they are throwing in the towel and letting the digital age whip their ass.

I honestly don't think Barnes & Noble will be around much longer once they spin off their Nook division.  Once they do that, it's pretty much "game over".  Waldens and Borders already bit the dust and I believe that if it wasn't for Christmas and Starbucks, B&N would have closed their doors long ago.  I'm not saying that the digital age is evil, but it has ruined a lot of really good things.  People don't talk anymore face to face, they just text.  They don't have any real physical interaction, it's all virtual.  You don't have playgrounds, you have virtual worlds where you do all your running and jumping.   It's ruining EVERYTHING.