Resistant to Change

You can tell someone is resistant to change when they get an opportunity to do something entirely new, but make it function in the same way previous, older incarnations did.

Example?

One of the guys in my D&D/Pathfinder group bought a Windows Tablet. Cool right? Lets see what Microsoft did with their tablet – could be cool!

Nope.

First thing I noticed?

It was Windows 7.

No really, it was Windows 7.

Same look, feel with menus and all… only they were mostly itty bitty little menus because of the screen real estate.

Wow.

Opportunity totally missed there Microsoft.

Yes, you could poke the screen, pinch, stretch, drag, etc. but it was otherwise the same visual experience as having Windows 7.

I’m only moderately poking fun at Scott for this because I can’t blame the guy for his purchase because he identified a need he wanted to fill which was a really portable device which he could run Excel on because that’s where his character sheet lives – Excel. For that need, it was a perfect fit and more practical solution than some of our other members who bring massive laptops in.

I’m mainly poking fun at Microsoft for not modifying the immediate tablet experience any more than just adding the common gestures.

Let’s take what we have on touchscreen desktops, shrink it down and plop it on a tablet! Great idea!

Very sad.

I’m still without a tablet and juggled the idea of getting one but never really did. I still use pencil, paper and hardcover books.

Maybe I’m the one resistant to change or maybe I’m just waiting for a solution that suits me best…

Sofa King Close

Had Nefarion down to 40k health and I was the last man standing. 40k is about as much I do with a nice crit Chimera Shot, Kill Shot or Aimed Shot. It’s about 3-6 normal or Arcane Shots. It’s probably a few more ticks from the massive number of damage over time spells on him.

But…

… everything was on cooldown. Chimera Shot, Kill Shot, Aimed Shot (really need the instant cast proc), Disengage, Misdirection (to pet, who was dead – nice little speed bump there) and even Readiness (which resets cooldowns) was out.

So sad.

Mike yelled to fire Deterrence, but it was too late. Only other thing that might have bought me time was trying to pop up another pet (if I could – I’ve never really tried).

I’ve so short on hotbar space and key combos it’s ridiculous.

Control+MouseButton5 – maybe that would have done it.

The epic sadness cannot be described in words. The fight was almost lost earlier as our trash/kite tank (Mike) had DCed and our All Star Deathknight Bitterbrew lept in, nabbed the adds and started kiting them around which bought us time. Mike reconnect and Bitterbrew popped a DK Rez on him.

How fucking pro is that? The awesomeness of his performance is diminished by the word, “pro.”

Next time, Nefarion… next time!

Cars vs. Trains

Just got an email from Atari to my spam address (the some one WoW account phishers drill with scams) about Daggerdale and so I watched the trailer.

Interesting. Four player co-op.

One bit struck a chord… not a good chord, but a chord. There is a quote from Gamepro saying, “… the way Dungeons and Dragons was meant to be played”.

They’re doing it wrong.

D&D was meant to be played around a table with friends and one of those friends acts as a judge for results or conflicts often playing the other side of the conflict in the form of a gruff merchant or blood thirsty orc raider.

So they have swords and magic, D&D based rules and some multiplayer aspect, but they’re missing the most critical piece – a DM.

“Dude, I thought this post was about Cars vs. Trains, WTF?!”

Analogies.

Pen and paper D&D is like a car. Computer RPGs based on D&D are trains.

Trains go fast and get you where you want to go, mostly, but they’re very linear and cannot do much more than follow the path laid out for them with some scheduled stops along the way. Much like a computer running a module or game, it’s predefined and hard coded.

With a car you can drive just about anywhere there is a road and even some places where there isn’t a road, but you might get into trouble there depending on the car you’re driving. You can stop where you want, when you want and you can change destination without needing to get out of the car and make other arrangements (like purchasing a ticket to another location). It provides more freedom.

In other words, with a CRPG you’re limited by the fact that you do not have a human being on the other end to handle the odd things players will do or will want to do. In a CRPG you probably cannot attack that Innkeeper that is being a douche because the game needs him alive for some reason or it’s not programmed to handle calling in the local authorities, maybe even setting up a trial with witnesses and a magistrate… it can’t do that stuff on the fly.

A living, breathing DM can so long as they’re willing to do so and capable of thinking on their feet.

So no, “Gamepro”, that isn’t how Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be played.

Nub.

UPDATE: Poked around in the forums a bit, lots of unsatisfied customers. Found this video review: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-pod-dungeons/714234

Doughboys

Funny, I heard a band on the radio (turned out to be Gob) and I thought of the Doughboys and looked up some of the songs I used to listen to on YouTube. Most of them were off of “Crush”; Neighbourhood Villain, Shine and Melt stood out.

I noted the date… 1993.

Holy shit! 18 years ago?! Where’d the fucken time go? I don’t think one of our raid tanks was even alive at that time!

I feel old.

WTF?

Gear Makes a Difference…

… but so does having an extremely competent raid team.

We’ve lost another bunch of members, though mostly more casual members that were helping out. Nice people, but now we’re at the raid team core I had originally planned on – 10-13 people focused on Raiding and not really expecting a whole lot else from the guild.

I’ve nothing against previous members, but there is a difference between someone that wants to raid hard and ekes every last ounce (or close to it) from their class and someone that just wants to be part of the team. Oddly enough, WoW raiding seems more like a team of individuals than an actual team. Sure there are moments where coordination and teamwork is needed, but it is far less common than making sure you’re doing what you need to be doing. It’s not like you’re passing a ball back and forth hoping to score a goal – you’re collectively working towards the same goal with different tasks.

Think about it some.

I believe I mentioned we rolled through Blackwing Descent up to Nefarion in about 1.5 hours? We also killed Cho’gall in our first night of trying him? We’ve since killed him again which also included killing Valiona with 7.5 people (8 people, but I died a little ways in)? Last night we took 9 people into Halfus’ worst possible combination with a tank that had done the fight successfully once previously and someone running their offspec for tanking. We rolled it. I was so impressed.

We’ve got a good thing going here. I’m really hoping people stick with it because I don’t plan on folding it anytime soon.

Recently we’ve been working on Nefarion – spent all our raid night Sunday on him and a bit last night. At first our big challenge was getting the adds sorted out. Bitterbrew (Frost DK who was the offspec tank on Halfus) almost threw in the towel but I’m glad he stuck with it because he worked it out with his girlfriend (Firespire, a Mage) to coordinate snares/CCs and they got it down to a science. Into the evening we worked our way through Phase 1 without any issue on the adds.

Phase 2 wasn’t all that tricky except for the interrupts. A missed interrupt meant dead platform which meant dead raid.

We began to consistently get into Phase 3 where we would get into some trouble by losing the add tank. Our best attempt had Nefarion down to 13%. Not  bad for our first night at him.

Last night (as I mentioned, we started with BoT, 9 manned the hard combo then smoked Valiona first) then popped over to poke Nefarion again. No, we didn’t get him dead. We tried a number of things and ran into problems trying to get to Phase 3.

We got it together for our last couple of attempts. I suspect we’ll get it really soon.

I’m really proud of these folks for sticking through, not  being offended by our antics, meshing well, performing well, and being willing to learn these fights. If we had this team from the start we’d be well into hard modes.

I’m very proud of this group of miscreants. :)

The Mentalist Season Finale

Well, the folks at CBI got Red John. That has been a long running point to the show. The reason for Patrick  Jane to actually work with the CBI. So what’s going to happen next season?

I didn’t call O’loughlin, but I did start to doubt my pick of the big cheese being the leak. The hint was Cho reciting William Blake’s poem. It’s clear it couldn’t have been Cho so that seemed like a hint that a number of people knew that poem without emphasis on  it just being a Red John thing. Likely a bit of misdirection.

I completely missed the rope. Why would you need rope to restrain someone when the hand cuffs were right next to it?

Well done.

The killing of Red John was a mixture of feelings leaving me sort of unsatisfied. He didn’t seem all that brilliant. He didn’t seem like the type that had money and powerful allies. He didn’t seem like the kind of guy that could totally ruin or mind wipe on Jane’s girlfriend/psychic let alone kidnap her right out from under the CBI/Police that were guarding her in her house. No, he seemed like just a guy that was lesser. And maybe that’s the angle they’re going to take.

It seems more like he was just a tool, a weapon, being swung and then cleaned off by someone else. Perhaps it is Bret Stiles (played by Malcolm Mcdowell), he clearly seems to  have the funding, manipulative genius and charisma to own all these folks. Also remember that O’Loughlin made a first appearance during that episode where the CBI was investigating Stiles’ organization and Stiles’ knew they were there. Stiles also revealed where Jane could find Kristina Frye.

There definitely has to be more…

Cho’gall Dead Again.

I mentioned in a previous post (I’m too tired to dig up a link, it’s like a couple of posts down) that we downed Cho’gall on Sunday and on Tuesday we decided to let everything reset and just clear everything. So we did.

Tuesday we clobbered all the way through to Nef, then Halfus but had to stop there. That meant on Sunday we’d abandon the Valiona, Ascendant Council and Cho’gall kill in favor of just working on Nef.

That didn’t sit too well with me.

So the troops rallied and we went at it. Raid formed up with eight people, we knew we were going to have another one coming later and another was iffy so we bought time killing trash. It went quickly and we stood there looking at Valiona with our eight person raid.

We attacked. We wiped. We attacked again. We won.

I won’t lie, there was a mishap early into the fight where I had to hug someone to split meteor damage. I picked UFTimmy because he was close (and cuddly). Unfortunately, Theralon also picked him for that nasty PBAE debuff so I had to run away from him right after giving him some damage. I was then targeted with a meteor again – splat.

So the raid continued on and won… despite only having seven people for most of the fight. I think UFTimmy died too, but they battle rezzed him (makes sense).

We PUGed a spot for Council and brought in our raid leader who was just getting in from work. Raid leader says in Office Chat that he bets this guy will bail on the first wipe. To the PUGs credit, he bailed on the first actual attempt which was the third wipe (we had a mishap with the trash pull). He blamed our healers after he left (apparently telling our raid leader that). To be fair, he had a failbot addon that was calling out people who failed. He was on the top of the charts for that – is that irony?

We pulled in one of the guys we were waiting on and downed it on the third or fourth attempt.

On to Cho’gall. Took us a few attempts but we got it. I think it was three or four – good times.

Feeling about as useful as spoon to cut wood, I switched to SV spec for the last two attempts on this fight. My DPS went down a bit on the single target and it seemed like my focus was eaten up much faster, but I was doing a lot more damage on the slime adds, which was important.

So.. dead Cho’gall. Our raid leader won the shoulders. Rawr!

(Also UFTimmy won the cloak he needed from Valiona so he’s going to quit within a month, imo… to me.. I reckon.)

See You Sunday.

I have a sinking suspicion that if all things go as predicted tomorrow (admittedly, predicted by someone who predicted it before and was wrong), I’ll see you Sunday.

I don’t like talking about religion much, for a number of reasons. One being that I don’t like stepping on people’s beliefs – I’m too respectful for something as serious as that. It’s also one of those things that has done a good job on ensuring you’re nearly terrified not to believe but if you really think about it, you’ve got to wonder why?

Why would some all powerful being create a planet with all sorts of life on there and then do all the things that were supposed to have been done? Reality TV at its finest?

Maybe someone who has had an ant farm in the past can tell me what it’s like to have one, and maybe that’s the reason?

But it just seems so…trivial a matter if there really is such an all powerful being. Take that ant farm and multiply it by millions… gets hard to keep track of. I know, all powerful being, he can handle it.

Again, if this being is so powerful and all knowing, he’d know exactly how everything would turn out – right?

So why?

Other theories suggest aliens seeded the earth with humanity to use them for slaves then packed up and left us to do our own thing because they no longer had any use for us.

Then there is the whole, it is what it is theory of stuff just happening in such a way that we exist. There is reason/science behind everything, we mostly just haven’t figured it out. This suggests the chances of the right stuff happening are pretty slim but given the (apparent) infinite nature of space, if you had an infinite number of chances of getting something just right, it’d happen eventually.

So yeah. I don’t know where I fit or what to think, but I am thinking.

Holy Upgrades! New Mains

We did a clear up to Nefarion in BWD last night then popped over to BoT to try to clear up to Cho’gall but we hit a few stumbling points.

Namely Atramedes slowed us down a bit and we took about three or four attempts on him. Most of the others were fine. Halfus was a bit of a pain as well but we got him handedly when we sorted out the strats and stuff.

So upgrades. Wow.

Cloak for Hunters dropped from Maloriak, a bow dropped from Atramedes and bracer dropped from Chimaeron. Three big upgrades for me. The bow being the big one.

I was sure Malevolence and/or the trinket was going to drop from Halfus but no luck. Well, not THAT lucky. It was a good run, I’m nearly in all epic gear except 2h weapon, a trinket and my leg armor. I’m working towards some more VPs so I get get the legs swapped, then the chest (4 pc T11 is good).

Also seems like we’ve had a bunch of people swap mains recently. I switched from DK to Hunter, another DK switched to a Resto Druid and now our main Paladin tank is switching to a Blood DK. Cool beans. So far it’s gone smoothly.