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I’m breaking up (with WoW)… again.

Another rage quit. This was the longest block of time that I’ve played WoW without rage quitting, but it was just a matter of time. What did it for me this time? Asshole DPS players skipping the queue by grouping with a tank that quits as soon as the instnace pops. For you non-WoW players, this is like using a friend that has connections to skip the entire line to get into a club, or the two-hour-plus line to get into Splash Mountain at Disneyland – all the while increasing the time others have to wait.

The tank player can drop as soon as the instance starts and they can go about their lives – either to go do some PvP, or world quests, or what ever they want – they don’t care about the 30 minute slap-on-the wrist debuff for quitting the PUG to get their friend to the head of the line. But everyone else in the group has to wait for another tank to queue up. As a healer – it’s not that long usually for me – like 5 minutes tops, but for the DPS that waited 20 to 40 minutes just to get into the instance? Yeah, it fucking sucks. It’s the principle of it. Bliz has NEVER implemented a punishment for assholes that do this –  It’s ridiculous… There is no way to report players for being carried this way.

I have so little free time (working +50% the average American work hours) that it’s absolutely asinine to expect me to be totally okay with line skipping fuckwads to waste my time. Moreover, my time is worth +$100 per hour (when I’m doing contract work). It’s at that moment, when I put it all together, that I realized (again) what a massive time sink WoW is and how much it’s potentially costing me. My time is valuable. Maybe not Trump valuable – but it’s valuable to me. I don’t get it back after it’s wasted. And I’m pissing it away waiting for another tank in a shit dungeon because that DPS fuckwad couldn’t wait his turn. No.

Smoldering, I cancelled my account (also my Curse Premium account since I wouldn’t need that either). Just stewing I started to think about my “WoW to-do list” and all the grindy retarded shit on it. Amber scorpion mount? Yeah, probably 20 hours of grinding shit quests that I don’t enjoy? For a shit mount that I get to enjoy for five minutes every few days in my random mount lineup? Invincible the flying undead horse? The math there is about 30 minutes per run, at 2% drop rate, so 50 runs times 30 minutes is 25 hours. Fucking… really? Really? Is that what it’s worth to me? 25 hours of my time? All the other dumbass mounts, the same… right? Water bug mount – probably 20 hours of grinding retarded ass quests so I have the privilege of going slightly faster on water? Hm. That’s about the average play time of most AAA titles, ones that I OWN but I haven’t even broken the seal on. I own the Uncharted series, Bloodbourne, The Witcher 2, the Tomb Raider reboot, Alien Isolation, South Park the Stick of Truth, and many other games that I haven’t even OPENED because I play WoW obsessively. This is exactly that happened to me in 2006-2008 and I ended up missing the original X-Box entirely. By the time I “snapped out of it” we were already in the 360 era, which I couldn’t believe, since there were so many “must play” titles on the Original XBox that I never even played. Oh yes, I could go to a pawn shop and buy them today – and many I have already done that with, but I also missed the early days of online play with those titles. I’m blathering on and on about reasons why I’m upset with myself for getting sucked into a grind-heavy game.

Most of the grindy shit I mentioned about WoW is just cosmetic junk – mounts namely.  That’s not even the core of the game. RBy now I am to the point where the game has become REALLY grindy just to get into LFR. I was probably ilevel 821 or so. Not bad, right? Well, that’s like 8 more upgrades in order to do LFR. That’s another 3 hours minimum of running shit instances or doing samey world quests to get to 825, just so that I could marching-band slog through trash versions of raid bosses in order to get an ilevel barely good enough to keep up with current content. So, I grind in order to grind. I would be wasting time in order to be well geared enough to waste more time.

Ugh. This all sounds like cheap bitchy whining from a ragequitter. And yes – that’s what it is. I’m just spelling it all out for myself so that I have a record of why I should give WoW a big, long break. I’ve burnt myself out, again. The “main quest” of Legion was OKAY. Not bad, but certainly not great. Better than Warlords of Draenor, but not as good as Mists of Pandaria or Wrath of the Lich King. The Legion story kind of trailed off into … nothingness. Just like WoD. I’m at the “Well now what” point in the Legion story line. Like, I don’t care about what’s going on because I don’t know what’s going on. We’re waiting for the page to turn while Bliz focuses all their development effort into the next major Overwatch patch or whatever.

Update: Also, the main quests are bugged as FUCK. One of the core quests in particular about the title character, Illidain, is unplayable for most players. Absolutely unbelievable that they can crank out new fluff content for 7.1 – pets and shit – but they can’t nail down the programming on a CORE quest. Seriously Bliz? Seriously?

What I enjoyed the most about my past three years of continuous play – mostly the atmosphere of the current Warcraft universe. With the World of Warcraft Chronicle Part 1 out we now have a bible of lore to refer to – absolute irrefutable information about the origin of the game universe. And as a huge lore nerd (I grew up on Tolkin and Dragonlance) the Warcraft universe is amazing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously (what with an infinite amount of pop-culture references – more here too) and a depth to the lore that is unmached in any other gaming universe (which is based on an original IP anyway). Warcraft has a legitimate origin-of-everything background that ties into the existing conflicts players are a part of – it’s epic, and it allows the players to feel like they are part of that epic tale. It’s the only game universe I can think of where a demon summoning werewolf warlock can have a sidekick gnome monk ninja in his motorcycle sidecar as they travel through a portal that brings them to another world 30 years into the past. That’s pretty badass.

I’ll miss that – but at 2-8 hours a day everything became routine. Anything becomes routine when it has to be done for 20 to 50 hours to “unlock” something. At that point it becomes a job.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this. But I think quitting WoW is for the better. I might come back in a year once the final patch for this expansion is released – spend a few weeks abusing the catch-up mechanics to see how this expansion plays out, then quit again. Until I’ve beaten 10 of my “must play” games that I’ve already bought, I’m not going to play WoW again. Beautiful game, but it’s become my second job.


Why Don’t I Like Nintendo Anymore?

Why did I stop playing Nintendo games? Namely the new Zelda, Mario, and Metroid…? Lack of narrative, and lack of interesting protagonist. For a long time I wondered why I hadn’t felt the urge to keep up with the Zelda games, or the Marios, or Metroid. I LOVED those games in my youth – and all the way up to Majora’s Mask I would play all the zelda through TWICE. Three times in the case of Ocarina of Time. Yet – I feel like I’d be forcing myself to play Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy, or any of the other top TOP ranked Nintendo games. It all comes down to bland protagonists and relatively weak narratives.

On top of that it was hard to keep playing Nintendo when I moved to Europe in 2000. The power difference knocked out my N64 and I had to wait a while to buy one from Germany that worked (thankfully my US carts worked with the German system). PS2 soundly won the console wars in the country I lived in, with even XBox barely having a niche market – and Nintendo Gamecube was entirely absent. So even trying to keep up was futile. Still, I think it was the games alone that lost my interest as I got older.

Mario basically doesn’t have a story. It’s a perpetual platformer with a silent protagonist. It’s console platforming in its most pure form – for both good and bad. I find myself just not having any reason to want to suffer through the shitty parts of levels. I’m not curious what lies beyond it.

Metroid always seemed to randomly generated – like a Minecraft style world – it was too easy to get lost in the samey looking shit levels. I loved the original, but looking back on it, navigating the game world was tedious and grindy. I never even played Super Metroid because it seemed tedious.

And Zelda. Oh boy. This is the one I think I feel the most “guilty” about having skipped out on. I tried catching up with the boat game (whatever it was called, Wind Waker?) – I beat that game – and I didn’t like any part of it. I didn’t like cell shaded cutesy link, I didn’t like the gameplay, I didn’t like the boat travel, I just didn’t like the game. Even the story was… predictable and trite. Oh, pirate leader tomboy is actually Zelda, and Ganon is … eh, you just never see him (which I guess could be said of the ORIGINAL NES game, but at least in Ocarina of time they built him up as a villian throughout the story) until the anticlimatic underwater Samurai bullshit battle. WTF was up with that anyway? Ugh.

Really though, I think Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, and WoW have ruined simple console style games. Now I expect depth, variety, interesting characters – not just jumping and pushing puzzles with overly simplified combat. What I expect from games these days the Nintendo core lineup just doesn’t provide. They pretty much stayed in the 8 bit era design wise – and only upgraded the graphics. That’s sad… Oh well. I’ll still give the newest ones a try “soon” now that I can emulate them.

The Legion Is Here (and holy crap, it’s a great expansion!)

(Warning: this is a long post)  TL;DR I love this expansion, so far, and I think it’s the best expansion to date.

> Very, very smooth launch. Not a single queue, no noticeable lag increase, no major game breaking bugs, no patches every five hours, and so on. It just… works.
> Not sure if I’ve talked about this so far, but goddamn… I love the “new” bear tank. VERY beefy, decent cooldowns, and AOE bleeds! Woohoo! I was never a fan of lacerate or the cone version of swipe. Very glad that they consolidated swipe and lacerate. Absolutely LOVE, love, love that all druid forms can have a legit off-spec as something else. Just smacking a test dummy as off-spec cat, tank, and moonkin I get respectable numbers for each respective offspec, even without switching gear. This means a kitty can actually tank or pewpew, a tank can actually kitty DPS, and so on… I love it. The resto spec is lacking with agi gear due going OOM almost instantly, but it’s a decent offspec for moonkin (which still goes OOM pretty quickly).
> New lands and music: gorgeous. So far anyway. New Dalaran? I love it… far less lag than Wrath Dalaran, portals are back (even more this time!), and the Dal Hearth? YES PLEASE. 🙂 I’m going to be seriously bothered if they remove the dal hearth or portals in the next expansion – but that’s two years away, maybe three.

I’ve been playing Legion since day 1 – even though I figured I’d wait a few weeks for the day-one lag, queues, and insanity of leveling with 100000 other players on the same quest to die down. This is easily the best launch of any expansion I’ve seen so far. Almost no down time, lag is not considerably worse than before the expansion, no queue times, and best of all: quests now grant credit if you just land a hit on a mob or are nearby – so no more competing with other players for credit. That is HUGE! I REALLY hope this applies to older zones as well but it cuts back on the new-expansion frustration ten fold. It actually makes me GLAD to see other players, because we still get good experience and loot, and get full quest credit. In some cases it also counts if another faction tagged the mob first (namely elites).

The story has been interesting so far, especially since I main a druid and I chose the druid-themed zone of Val’Sharah to start out with. Currently I’m in Stormheim which is like Howling Fjord 2.0 – and I’m fine with that since Howling Fjord was my favorite zone of Wrath. Many quests have interesting mechanics and gimmicks, and the core stories often times tie into the overarching story of the invasion of Legion.

Speaking of story – I have to wonder if this isn’t the last expansion, or second to last – as they have run out of core material (without going back in time, again) other than killing Sargeras or going to Argus. I predict a WoW 2.0 on the horizon… a remake of the original with the expacs all put together as a single game or something, with enhanced graphics. I dunno – just a pipe dream. I’m sure they will sustain WoW in whatever form they leave it, since it’s probably still making money hand over fist…

On to some nitty gritty stuff.

I dropped inscription. It was always kind of a shit profession that I probably broke even on. The only really cool thing about it was making my own weapon for my main and outfitting all my toons with glyphs – which are now useless. GRRR! I don’t even think they can craft weapons anymore either. Heh. I picked up skinning since I play a Worgen to send leatherworking materials to my Hunter alt. By the end of WoD skinning also gave supplies for Tailoring, which is great.

Felhide, Felwort, Infernal Brimstone, those are the big mats this expansion. Felhide seems to be the easiest to get and sells for the most … Skinning FTW.

The invasions. I meant to post about this earlier but never got around to it (I need to post here more frequently!) They were but reminded me a bit too much of Rifts from the eponymous title. They are zone wide however and have harder mobs – which was a nice change. Raid bosses are kind of meh though. No mechanics, just unavoidable AOE that goes to draw distance. Annoying as fuck, especially if you’re in Azshara as Ally since the respawn point is about a 4-5 minute walk back to your body. Lagging out on the boss fight REALLY and losing experience AND loot sucks. 😦 😦 😦

Demon Hunters…. everywhere… Not that excited about them. Not sure why. I wasn’t excited about DKs either when they were new, and now it’s my second favorite class, by far. I guess I’m just a hipster and I’m not keen on what is “cool” or fashionable, which right now that is DH. I’ve already saved a slot on my server for one since they are tanky and they have their own story – so I’ll make one once I’ve hit 110 on my main, but I’m not really excited about it.

The druid changes… where to start. Overall I’m very satisfied with the changes – moreso than any previous expansion. There’s so much to like. New core bear and cat models and beautiful animations, unique attacks for main abilities (rather than just ONE attack animation), and the Artifact forms? Goddamn. Very happy with the new forms.

Another major change that I’m in love with is the Affinity talent series, where you can effectively offspec for any battle. This is lovely for two reason – first is it is incredibly useful to be able to have an offspec to count on. Need to tank as a DPS? Do it. Need to DPS a bit harder on your tank spec for trash? Do it. Want to be ready to emergency heal in a dungeon? Do that too. You can’t do it ALL, but you can now perform two roles with one spec. It’s not 100% but goddamn – the versatility is unmatched. The second reason is this is bringing the class back to it’s original design and lore. In early Vanilla I read the class descriptions online, and Druids were /intended/ to be able to switch forms mid battle to fill in a gap; they weren’t intended to just stick with one form for an entire instance. Now they finally can shapeshift to perform different roles in the same encounter and perform reasonably well. I remember last expansion (or was it the one before?) they gave us some shit tallents that KIND OF let us do this for a few seconds. It was dumb.

Cat and bear changes: very happy. The rotation has been simplified for both, and bears are kind of unkillable in solo PvE. I haven’t run an instance as one, but they feel almost OP with decent DPS (for a tank). Cat changes are fantastic – they still have great DPS, the rotation is no longer John F-ing Madden, they maintained crazy mobility, and it’s just fun to play. They can’t cast Rejuv during combat which sucks, definitely reduced my survivability (and arguably my utility in a group) but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Moonkin changes: meh. Boring as ever. I’m so glad they got rid of the metrinome bullshit of the sun/moon cycle however. Resto is kind of unchanged which is fine. Still my favorite class to heal with.

The class hall is … amazing. The best looking garden / jungle in the game, by far. Absolutely amazing graphics (for WoW), redone Moonglade music, interesting NPCs, portals to EVERYWHRE, EVER, and so on.

Other simple things (that are interesting to me): we now can switch to tree form any time, which I like. Reminds me of Vanilla (or whenever it was that Resto spec was tree form and only tree form). We can now manually change into land travel form (versus flight). I THINK they ditched the ability of people to ride the druid and they made land travel form notably slower than mounted speed (they ditched the +speed glyph), which is sad. They also got rid of Astral form, which I dislike. There’s still a talent that allows you to be astral / gold glowy, but to cast as Balance you MUST be in moonkin form. I’ve never liked moonkin form so … this is a big turn off.

Enough druid talk.

Unlimited specs! Oh thank God. Finally able to play cat form again, and got to try out unholy spec DK (which I love btw).

Dalaran is back. Yes! This was always my favorite capital city. It’s interesting, it has  “safe” feeling to it (being away from the cares of the world and always being mobile). It’s fairly small, so it doesn’t take long to get between places. We also have a hearth here. Nice. Very nice. Portals to capitals and a few other places which is useful, especially the old Dalaran portal since as a Druid I can use that to teleport to northern / northwestern Eastern Kingdoms, something the Alliance never had.

The biggest complaints I’ve seen about this expansion mostly revolve around having TOO MUCH interesting content – people feel like they can’t do everything they want and leveling to 110 is slow going. Others feel bad that they can’t invest time into their alts because there’s so much to do on one character. All of which I agree with, but none of which I feel is bad.

Overall, I’d say this is the best expansion so far.

More Legion WoW stuff :)

> WoW Legion Pre-Event Invasion XP Boost is Back!
> Lovin’ shaman
> Thoughts about having “too many” alts

I found out about the leveling Invasion leveling bonanza a bit late in the game. I wish I had known earlier – I was grinding those things on my main, thinking that lowbies couldn’t participate. I was wrong – the players scale up in level to match the event, which is incredible. I wish more content was like this, and it’s proof that Bliz CAN scale content intelligently – not sure why they don’t do this such that new lowbie players can play with experienced friends on their mains – like have the 100s scale down to level 20 for Wailing Caverns, so they can play together and have the dungeon still be as challenging as intended.

I’ve prattled on about “sidekicking / mentoring / bolstering / level boosting” before. If Bliz does it I’ll be ecstatic. If they don’t, well… shame.

Anyway – they nerfed the invasion experience to the ground. Yesterday they must have reverted the change, now I was gaining experience like I’ve never done before (outside of a well experience crew of dungeon runners in full heirlooms – chain running instances).

I’ve been leveling a number of alts. So far the one I legitimately enjoy the most is Shaman. I like that I don’t have to switch forms to DPS or heal. While I like the lore and feel of playing a shapeshifter with my druid main, it’s ultra inconvenient that I have to blow two global cooldowns to change form in order to do certain things. Healing – in most cases, or in older versions it was to cast moonfire. Even crafting now requires the player to be in human form (a recent change). Shaman? No need! Always ready to go! I don’t know if they snazzed up the lightning animations or what but it feels much better than I remember from cata – it feels kind of like force lightning with a satisfying thunder crack after each cast. They changed totems so that they are all cooldowns (other than a buff based one that acts like a combination of four of the old totems). I guess that’s okay. It was obnoxious at times to always manage totems, but it got easier with each expansion, and eventually it really wasn’t that bad… It feels like the class lost part of its core play style. I can’t say it lost part of its lore, because they still have a few totems, so it’s not entirely gone…

Speaking of class lore versus gameplay: druids lost a number of abilities that have been around since vanilla or so, including hurriacne. That blows my mind – but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it didn’t fit with druid lore – it fits with Shaman. So that makes sense. I really don’t like Sunfire as a replacement – the making of a mini storm with graphics and sounds was definitely satisfying when clearing groups of mobs.

As I level my sham I wonder about my Troll Druid and my Warlock, and of course my other sham, and my hunter, and so on. I wonder if I’d play them enough to be worth leveling to cap. A few reasons I think of to do so: then I can farm holiday and old raid mounts. Well, yeah, but doesn’t that just commit me to spending hundreds of hours GRINDING shit I don’t like in order to have mounts no one cares about, mounts that I only see maybe 10-20% of the time in the game? Is that worth it, versus playing the latest Zelda or Bioware game? Probably not. Second reason is to understand PvP better – to know what other classes will do and how to counter it. Maybe – but, wouldn’t my time be better spent actually playing in PvP than leveling as a class I don’t fully understand? Or spent on Arena Junkies forum reading on how to counter things? Plus, every goddamn expansion I have to relearn all of that classes’ abilities.

I also figure: I’d like to roleplay X. Well, really? Do I roleplay anymore? Ever? At all? No. I don’t. I’ve tried but I found RP frustrating due to how insular existing RPers are. Most RP stories are about one ego maniac, one slutty chick, one mean / enigmatic chick, the funny guy, and the sulking quiet edgy guy. That’s your typical RP crew, and they don’t need another person to join in. I just … I don’t RP. I have fond memories of RPing with my ex, but even then it was always a story about her and her future boyfriend, and her stoner chronie, and some random slutty RPer (that tried to hook up in RL with every underaged teen boy she could). It just… no.

So I’d rather play the Zeldas I’ve missed than farm shit. What about leveling alts just to level them? Well, maybe. I like instances. I’ve been slowly grinding up my stable of alts. I DO want a hunter, at least, so I can do achievement hunting – which is best done on a hunter.

Just got done playing invasions at lunch on my hunter. Damn, those are satisfying. I wish they had something like that on a more common basis. Somewhat brainless zerging from point to point, spamming mobs. Feels kind of Gauntlet-y, which I enjoy.

EA Strongly Hints that Mass Effect Games Will Get Remastered
God. Yes. Please.
I’ve already played ME1 and ME2 through twice (once on PC and XB360)… I’d definitely play all three through again if they came with DLC. Certain DLC I consider part of the core experience and I’m not sure why they were sold separately. Specifically Lair of the Shadow Broker, Leviathan, and From Ashes. Without Leviathan much of the absolute most critical lore is just… gone. If it’s not included… I’ll wait til it’s available, at least for purchase if not bundled. Likely it’ll all be a huge ass “all-in-one” bundle since it’s so old they can’t sell the DLC shit to players AGAIN without a bit of rage.

WoW: Invasion thoughs…
The invasions are just fine. They are a little grindy and repetitive, and they are almost a one-for-one rip off of of Rift. I mean, it couldn’t be more like Rift except the scale perhaps. Rifts are much smaller in scale, whereas invasions span a whole zone. The armor sets are okay, the weapons look nice but aren’t epic… especially important since we’re getting f-ing artifacts in Legion. Apparently players without lag could get MASSIVE XP boosts too for lowbies. I may try it anyway, maybe just completing each section gets some xp reward and I can kind of play it. I’m busy grinding the invasions on my 100s to unlock the armor xmogs. I have the pet. I have all the achievs, just need to get the toy.

The Broken Shore story is pretty damn good. It’s a short event but rather epic. Unfortunately it basically leaves the Horde with NO ONE other than Sylvanis that is interesting. And as I’ve said before, she’s just undead Cersei – so her erratic, spiteful nature makes her hardly a solid leader for the Horde. There’s no one else at all that has enough background story to be worth watching… So Bliz is going to have to build up some new characters Horde side for players to get behind in order to have any story whatsoever.

The Legion is Coming

  • Patch 7.0.3 coming in about a month. It is on PTR *now*.
  • Very excited about the upcoming changes to WoW.
  • I bought Overwatch. I LOVE that damn game!
  • Otherwise not gaming as much, been playing Fallout 4 as time allows.
  • Definitely decided that I’m going to upgrade my laptop, but I won’t until the new nVidia 1080 / 1070 series goes mobile.

So, Patch 7.0.3 is on its way. Here’s a few things I’m excited about.

  • The thing I’m anticipating the MOST is the Transmog system. Hoooorraaaay! Finally!
  • I’m also excited about being able to swap between ALL specs – even at a cost. At LEAST they are letting us do it “for free” for dungeons. That’s kind of all that I need, as outside of intstances I’m USUALLY just Feral / Boomkin for obvious reasons. That may change if they add some bite to Bear or Resto. It sounds like the price isn’t that big of a deal anyway. I’m anticipating the cost is going to just go away. I think player feedback will be SO negative that they’ll just get rid of the cost to respec. It’s f-ing retarded. I get it, they want us to get REALLY invested into our characters and to commit to the play style and the lore – but it’s stifling. For a game with SO many options, there’s not a lot of sense in restricting players. UPDATE: Apparently they beat me to it, and they removed the cost a few weeks ago ( … so, yeah. I’m VERY, VERY happy about that! I can finally run ALL druids specs! Mwahahaha! I can finally experiment with different specs I’ve NEVER even tried in my other classes!
  • PvP changes. Bliz is pretty much straight up plagarizing Guild Wars 2 and Call of Duty for a few things. First, all players are given exactly the same relative power level. They kept in place a greatly diminished version of item scaling, but it’s not going to even really matter. Thank GOD. This has been needed since Vanilla. There is now a Prestige system which seems to have pretty cool unlocks – taken directly from Call of Duty. I’m definitely digging ALL of the PvP changes.
  • Glyphs are gone. I have mixed feelings about this. I get it that they are now redundant with the Artifact weapons, and they were always kind of obnoxious to have to swap out and shit – so I don’t miss them. One of my main professions is Inscription, only because I read it’s supposed to be easy to make money with… So far I’ve had very little luck on that front. There are few items in inscription that sell well, and most require MASSIVE amounts of drop-only ingredients that are only available by farming or paying stupid amounts of the AH. >=/ I might drop inscription and pick up something else. Enchanting has been working fine.

Fallout 4 is good so far. I’d say better than FO3 but not as good as FONV. The biggest issue I have with the game is my laptop’s performance. More on that in a moment. The game world is much more intricate than previous entries – the city of Boston is actually BIG. Unlike New Vegas. Granted, the habitible part, Diamond City, is very small – but the actual remnants of old Boston is sprawling. Probably 1/5th of the entire game world is some urban sprawl. The combat is notably improved over NV and the leveling system is a bit better – more along the lines of Skyrim where you have “trees” (linear trees though). As always, the game is buggy … to the point where I had to quit playing when the game was new. My only MAJOR issues is the PC performance. I know it’s partly my laptops fault, but the game doesn’t look very good on default settings and it still runs like absolute shit. It maxes out my CPU and GPU, which causes my 2.5 (3.5 with boost, or something) to crank all the way down to 900 mhz. Holy fuck! My frames drop into single digits, and this is with every tweak known to man and with all the settings to absolute minimum.

This, Legion, Overwatch, and Fallout 4 have all convinced me I need a new laptop. I’m going to update this later with my thoughts on Overwatch and a new laptop, but suffice to say it’s all good things.


Spoilers! (Game of Thrones etc)

Two of my favorite characters in GOT are back! I knew they would be… HUGE SPOILER….

You’ve been warned.

The Hound is back! Uncle Benjen is back! and of course … Jon Snow, is back!


Been playing lots of Overwatch. Short version: I LOVE IT. Also been playing some WoW. Trying to get money for that stupid spider mount.

Two HUGE personal news items however, save the best for last!

I’ve lost almost 40 lbs so far! Amazing. I got the first 30 through regular diet and some moderate excercise. No big deal. I got the other 10 lbs through a “keto” diet and through working out twice a day. And let me tell you, it is the ONLY way to lose weight effectively.

Lastly, and definitely most importantly: my son is in school! My little clone is attending ABA therapy and he has made huge strides in his behavior and communication!

Now to the nitty grity, if you will.

Starting with my little boy – he now has fantastic eye contact, has far fewer tantrums, and is much more effective at communicating his needs with us. We haven’t had many opportunities for socialization but the few that we’ve had he did great. When we went camping he approached two older kids, sat down with them, and started playing with them! It was amazing.

I took him to school today, and I actually had to hold him back from running into the class – he had a HUGE grin on his face! I wanted to make sure he was with the group when he went in, I didn’t want him to go in alone. At first he really didn’t like school, and how it’s the thing he looks forward to the most, I think, other than me coming home from Alaska. He was upset on Saturday that he didn’t get to go to school, which is amazing.

Yeserday he also gave me his bus when his mom and I were singing to him the “wheels on the bus go round and round” song! He hopped up, went and found the bus, then gave it to me.

He’s been much calmer lately too. At the lake he wanted to go into the water, but he didn’t want to wear his vest, so I had to redirect him away from the water since he wouldn’t wear it – he’d cry a little but it wasn’t a full out tantrum, he’d get over it in a few minutes and go normal stuff. It was great.

He’s eating a lot of “normal” food too lately. Donuts, fries, pizza. He drinks water and soda from a cup now, and he /usually/ doesn’t dump it on the ground anymore. He still “eats” wood (mostly jut spits it out), his mom wants to keep it around in case he’s malnourished for some reason. I don’t think that’s the case, I think it’s just pica, and even if he was “eating” the wood he’s not getting proper nutrition from it anyway. I say take it away entirely. Nevertheless very happy that he’s eating a lot more.

He’s doing very well at bath time too, not sure if that’s him or new tactics that I’m trying, but I can wash his hair without a fit. He’s still excited as ever to play with water toys though, so bath time usually pretty easy, other than washing his hair.

We went to Chuck E Cheese, that was fun. He did well there too. No tantrums, but he was running so fast towards the end that I literally had to sprint to keep up.

Game of Thrones… I KNEW that Benjen didn’t die. I just had a feeling. I think George R.R. Martin has gone a bit soft on us, he’s sparing (and resurrecting) our favorite characters. I KNEW that he’d bring back Jon Snow. From the first episode I knew that things would become about the bastard son. While Martin really likes getting us to know the characters he kills off, I think he’s a sucker for the downtrodden and unfortunate making their rise to power and fame. Look at Tyrian, look at Jon Snow, hell, look at Bran who he turned into a parapelegic in the first episode… He wants the underdog to win. I’m sure he was a fan of the 1980s and 1990s Dallas Cowboys.

The only “fear” I have is he will go a bit monotheistic on us and turn this into a Resurrection story. Already the tone has been set about the God of Light, who allows resurrection and whatnot… That’s the one thing that bothers me about Tolken’s later work, it became just as subversively preachy bout monotheism as it did fanciful about a made up universe.

The double broken femur bit about the Hound. If he was right, then yes, double broken femurs… he’d die. But a fall like that? Unlikely that he’d break his femurs. He looked gravely injured, but the EMT in me says he could have survived that if he was found right away. We never saw a body. And that was a point that was made in one of the most recent episodes.

I love antiheroes, so of course the Hound is one of my favorite characters.

Something about Benjen inerested me from the start. I’m not sure what it was, but he made the Night’s Watch seem more like Marines than any of the others in the show. It was a force to be reckoned with, where men with honor would go to join. Later, it became a death sentence for the irredeemable and corrupt, to go and die against the Wildlings and horrors of the north. Yet Benjen was a purer-seeming soul, one who’d join the Night’s Watch for noble reasons. Then he went missing. Abruptly. I was bothered by that, but this is George R.R. Martin we’re talking about here, so no surprise. Anyway… I’m just very glad that we get to catch up with Benjen.

Gaming front: Really, just Fallout 4 and some WoW. The internet has been broken at work in the rooms, so I haven’t been able to do anything except watch TV, work out, and play Fallout 4. So far I’m VERY pleased with the most up-to-date version of FO4… it’s much less buggy than launch. It’s actually playable. In it’s current state it’s almost on the level of New Vegas, in terms of immersion and story. What it lacks in story it makes up for in action – the gameplay seems a bit more dialed in than FO:NV. In particular I feel compelled to wear the icon power armor as much as I can, and now that I get to upgrade it it’s even more of an important part of the experience. In FO3 and NV it was an item of interest, but it didn’t allow stealth (really) so it just became futuristic plate armor. It didn’t actually provide a differnt way to play the game in a meaningful way. Now, players will seek out leveling upgrades to boost their power armor, they will possibly seek out new parts, and they definitely hunt those stupid power cells…

WoW is definitely in a stalled state. I play regularly (when I can, anyway), but you can tell Bliz is just waiting out the end of this expansion’s life time. I liked WoD. I definitely played it more than any expansion to date. I liked it more than 90% of the hipsters out there … But it had its problems. I’m anxious to play the new expansion, and I’m anxious to server transfer (and race change) my warlock.

I’ve been trying to figure out my ideal roster for filling out the slots on my server. Other than my obsession for Worgen, I wanted one of each race, if possible. In particular I wanted a goblin, since I LOVE the lore of the race, and their general attitudes (Guido Ferengi, basically…)… but I already had an Orc sham and I was happy with that, I wanted a Tauren warrior (that’ll be my level 100 boost), and none of the other Goblin classes interested me… except warlock. Then it hit me, my old Vanilla main – he’d be perfect! He already has maxed mining and engineering, I’ve got a TON of achievements / titles on him, and a LOT Of history with him, so quite a bit of nostalgia. Perfect! My “original” guild didn’t reform during Mists or Warlords, and I g-quit him out of the guild anyway since I got sick of dumb dumbs constantly giving Jess leadership just because she’s a girl, and a flirt. The guild is dead, it never will be what it was, and it probably never was all that I imagined anyway… so I gquit and I’m transferring him to my new “home”.