Category Archives: Uncategorized

Future Proof

Fucking awesome
Fucking awesome

I was bound to put up a post about this, being best friends with the director and creator of the video, but I’m positive I’d be posting this even if that weren’t the case. What that does mean however is that I saw some of what went in to the creation of it, the utter dedication that was necessary to put this kind of piece of work together, and how despite having seen the inner workings, the development and advancement of ideas and in some way the general evolution of a piece of media it still left a huge impact on me after I watched it, entirely as a viewer, in my chair, in my room and on my screen.

If you’re an Eve player and you’ve not already seen it, shame on you. I’d say more but I think the video speaks for itself.

Here’s the link to the forum thread, all download mirrors and a YouTube link are contained within.

If my word isn’t enough for you to watch if you haven’t already, read the responses on the thread linked and here’s a little web coverage to help convince you:

Massively.com
Eve-Online-Fan.co.uk

Worst MMO event ever?

A thousand words.
A thousand words.

For St Patrick’s day NCSoft held an event.

The player populace of Aion have been for the most part crying out for events for quite some time, but this was by no means what they were expecting.

The event revolved around a leprechaun called Fergus McGreedy (apparantly there are leprechauns in the Aion universe suddenly?), and some bullshit about tax collectors and shedding wealth, and losing his glasses, and a bunch of other rubbish circumstances. Anyway, what actually occurred, was that he spammed some stuff in !Shout and then mobs would spawn and be killed for loot.

The problems began before anything even happened really, because on some servers this leprechaun was extremely late to arrive, making me ponder whether NCSoft had one or two people taking care of the entire fucking event? This wouldn’t surprise me, it also wouldn’t surprise me if these people were either not in contact with each other at all, or just immensely irresponsible, because the types of mobs that actually spawned differed from Asmo to Elyos, and even from server to server.

On Telemachus the Elyos had three Zapiel spawns – Zapiel is a world boss that drops, among other things possibly the best spear in the game. The Asmo however, had L10-50 non-elite trash mobs, with some named ones thrown in. Hardly any loot at all, a blue L40 chest piece dropped, not much else.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, some hours later, without any advanced notification at all the GMs had apparantly become aware of the disparity between their mob spawns, and decided to “rectify” the issue by returning to Pandaemonium and spawning some world bosses for the Asmos. Much like I imagine it went on just about every server, a single legion got all the loot, people protested, and the GMs then saw fit to randomly hand out Zapiel items.

I logged back in shortly after this, just in time to find people showing off their Zaps items while this GM continued to spawn a lower level world boss, and then Menotios, which of course, the same legion took the loot for.

So the see-saw of horribly irresponsible GMing has now tilted from Elyos favour to Asmo, with more world bosses being spawned, and endgame items being doled out like welfare.

This wasn’t an event, it was a loot farm for each server’s biggest legions, and some lucky passer-bys. You may wonder if I’d still be complaining if I’d gotten a Zaps spear myself, not as much that’s for sure, but it’d take a whole lot of burying your head in the sand to even pretend this wasn’t an utter joke of an event.

I’d expect better than this from F2P MMOs, nevermind one I actually paid for.

Whaling

With all the recent controversy about the Sea Shepherds and their collision with the Shonen Maru, a Japanese whaling ship, I decided to do a little mooching around for information among the bias and see if I couldn’t piece a bit together for myself.

I started with low expectations – ultimately any collision of ideologies, opinions or other opposing human factors tends to have both sides at fault and I don’t believe this will be any different.

It’s best to start any such investigation at the root of the issue. In this case that’s the general consensus that whaling is bad, and that whale populations suffer due to over hunting.

So how best to look at this objectively? If whale populations were stable, would whaling still be considered cruel by conservationist groups such as the Sea Shepherds? Is killing whales for food any different than killing Cows, Sheep or Birds?

The short answer is yes, from what I’ve read there’s no humane way to kill a whale, the whale will feel pain before it dies. This for us, as a species that loves our pedestals, is problematic. What I wonder though is whether we should be killing Zebras ahead of time in humane ways and tossing the meat to wild Lions so that they don’t have to suffer the pain of being pulled down and killed that way.

It may sound callous to make such a comparison, but predators exist, and I can’t help but ponder just how much of our esteemed humanity is energy wasted. Generally speaking I’m an animal lover, I also don’t particularly see the point of whaling, but I feel as though our tip-toeing around patting other species on the head is often pointless when the predator-prey reality of life on this planet is taken in to consideration.

Now lets focus entirely on the population issue.

Most of the whaling is at the expense of Minke whales, they are by far the most abundantly available whale in the oceans and represent a massive percentage of those caught. Minke whales only produce an offspring every couple of years, with Japan alone hunting in the region of 700 whales per year. It’d be easy to presume a hunt ratio of 1:1 for males and females, suggesting 350 female Minke whales are killed for food and so on each year by Japanese whalers. That’s 700 females every birth cycle, with is 700 less potential births.

Now we need to look at the total population of Minke whales, which at current is actually quite difficult, seen as the IWC (International Whaling Committee) don’t actually seem to know, and are undergoing a “major review” of numbers.

From Wikipedia:

In the early 1990s the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee agreed that minkes in the Southern Hemisphere numbered 760,000 (CPII), which the Japanese whaling industry currently uses as the (2005) estimate. In 2000, however, the Committee withdrew this advice in light of new survey data suggesting 50% lower population than in the 1980s.

Japan has suggested in the past that the population of Minke whales was booming, even to the extent that the population of Minke whales was becoming detrimental to the re-population of larger whales. This has since been debunked by a DNA study conducted by Stanford University. It seems as though the original theory was mostly fabricated based on facts manipulated to support increasing the numbers of Minke whales hunted.

What baffles me is that the Japanese would go to such lengths to continue an industry that is bad for their economy, not only having to fight international pressure and seemingly fabricating supporting theories, but also continually pumping money in to whaling, an industry that is costing money:

In 2008, the Japanese fleet killed 551 minke whales in Antarctica, while in 2009 the figures jumped to a kill of 679 minke whales and one endangered fin whale. The increase in numbers has led to a glut of meat in the Japanese market; by the end of August 2009, some 5288 tons of whale meat was sitting in cold stores across Japan, a 16% rise in stockpiles compared to August of 2008.

Butler-Stroud continued, “Obviously, the Japanese neither need nor want to eat whale meat. The whaling fleet is costing the Japanese tax-payers money, and yielding nothing in return.”

(Source)

Is the insistence on continued whaling due to a knee-jerk defence of culture? Seafood on the whole is certainly integral to Japanese culture, sushi being the staple food a foreigner would associate with the country, but does whaling need to be a part of that?

Then again, even with hazy population numbers, if Minke whales were at a mere 50% of the suggested 706,000, that’s still 353,000 whales, leaving 176,500 females to potentially produce an offspring every couple of years. As previously mentioned Japan alone is catching in the region of 700 Minke whales per year, doubling up to 700 females every two versus the 176,500 females with potential to reproduce. Surely the numbers hunted are negligible?

Obviously that 700 does not include those hunted by other countries, but even if 10 countries are hunting 700 females each every two years, that’s 7000. Surely 176,500 females will produce more than 7000 offspring?

I can understand the fuss where endangered whales are involved, but this debate is confusing from every perspective. The Japanese continue to push on with an industry that’s bad for their economy, and the Sea Shepherds and so on are one step from terrorism while attempting (and failing in truly hilarious ways) to stop Japanese whalers from taking stock of what whales that aren’t actually endangered.

Am I the only person missing the punch line here? Perhaps someone will read this and correct me on some of what I find so perplexing, that’d be nice.

While my sources aren’t exactly comprehensive, and I’ve not done all that much detective work beyond a bit of googling, I feel something is missing.

My only conclusion is that both involved parties need a smack in the mouth.

As for the collision that originally caught my interest, Sea Shepherds, really, if you don’t want your fucking stupid batman boat to get smashed, don’t sit in the path of a much larger ship. The Shonen Maru 2 could not possibly hope to intentionally run down a ship as quick as the Ady Gil without it being handed on a platter. Accusations of such are utterly redundant when your own boats position is taken into account.

To summarize, you’re a bunch of twats, regardless of whether the other ship was also at fault (Which I’m sure it was).

Can anyone really believe that after spending a day or so following the Shonen Maru 2 around hassling the larger ship, the Sea Shepherds would notice they were going to run out of fuel, then decide it was a good idea to stop in the path of the ship they’d been harassing? In the recording that’s available on this page the Sea Shepherd captain suggests the Ady Gil was stationary and out of fuel, yet the videos show wash from the engines of the ship, it’s moving.

With these things taken in to account these people should not be allowed to “represent” the fight against whaling, as they’re nothing but overgrown delinquents that will only perpetuate the practice – the Japanese are far more likely to dig heels in and raise middle fingers at this sort of behaviour than take opposing opinions to heart.

Well, Whatever. At the end of the day, all I’ve done is rambled and filled another post in what is just another blog on the internet. Still, it kept me entertained for a while.

Have a picture as a reward for spending all that time reading me talking about shit I know fuck all about.

Srsly
Srsly

R.U.S.E.

Ahoy faggots (is it hypocritical to refer to the reader as a faggot after using “ahoy” as a greeting? Probably).

Today I’m going to talk about R.U.S.E, Ubisoft’s new RTS that allegedly employs a new and exciting system that is “set to reinvigorate the genre”.

I might seem sceptical already, given my use of the word ‘allegedly’, but having played the RUSE beta online a few times 3v3 I have to say it’s a lot of fun. That doesn’t however mean I believe it’ll be reinvigorating anything, at least not with the RUSE system, which is essentially a number of commander abilities that allow you to misdirect your enemy, spy on their units, hide your own or just go faster in whatever sector of the map you choose to deploy your RUSE card in.

It’s a good system, and as already stated, a fun game, but I do think suggesting it’ll have a large effect on the RTS genre on the whole may be stretching things ever so slightly. The game itself it’s fairly intuitive which makes it easy to pick up and have fun with, which, although I’m comparing apples and oranges, is something it has over the original Supreme Commander – an RTS many will find baffling to play competitively.

The only resources there are to be captured are supply caches, and your entire army is run on just one resource: money. There’s enough unit variety to keep you testing different races but ultimately Ubisoft seem to have done their best to make units largely comparable. By that I mean, the Germans can build Wirblewinds, which if you’ve played Company of Heroes or the lesser known (but much better) Men of War, is a rather unfriendly anti-air vehicle. To mirror this Britain have the Skink and the Russians have the ZSU which basically do the same job.

It’ll be a little longer before I’m aware of the more intricate differences between the races, I’m yet to find out whether the French units can be forced to retreat faster than the other armies, have a prototype white flag, or can build negligible bunkers that can be mostly ignored. I’m also yet to try the Italian army, and discover whether it’s possible to change teams if things are starting to look like they might go badly for me.

What I have established is that Tiger tanks are fairly unpleasant unless you can apply the correct dosage of fighter-bomber, which of course requires that they not be absolutely surrounded by anti-air, which they often are.

The Armour/Infantry/Air/Artillery balance seems quite nice; while it’s possible to spam an ungodly amount of bombers for runs at the enemy HQ and key buildings, it’s also possible to meet those bombers with a nice fleet of fighters and anti-air, which will allow you to practice your best evil villain laugh as they explode or turn back full of bullet holes and flak, only to discover that while they were gone you had some well placed paratroopers slip into their base from the forest behind it and capture their airbase, HQ, and any other useful buildings your elite troops could storm while the player was distracted watching his bombers fall out of the sky.

Oh, sweet justice.

The beta is available on Steam now, I’d say give it a try and see what you think of it. Don’t let the weird looking French blokes that introduce it put you off, I’m sure they’re harmless.

You know you’re out of shape when…

…Going to the driving range leaves you aching the next day. And believe me, I am aching all over, I feel like I lost a fight with a high speed train.

Anyway, YouTube is an unimaginable treasure box for bizarre and ridiculous entertainment – mostly people making retards of themselves or some variety of remix, I’m going to test embedding using one such remix I was shown yesterday, which if wordpress stops being a dick, will be displayed below.

…and there it is, Steve Porter’s Slap Chop “Rap Chop” remix.

So here we go again.

So Aion has reached the end of its time at the top of my interests list at last, I’ve decided to stop playing the game for a great many reasons, despite the handful of lovely people I met while I was there (not to mention the large number of complete tossers). Until NCSoft do something about the absolute lack of enjoyable PVP content in the game I won’t be resubbing. That, class imbalances (particularly while flying) and the mind crushing boredom of PVE instances have utterly ruined the experience.

I’ll be returning to Eve from whence I came, to re-learn how to smash things with Battleships, instead of a pointy spear.

I have no doubt I’ll miss my Gladiator, of course, at L50 even with only half-decent gear I had plenty of fun PVPing in Heiron and Dredgion. If the issues are addressed I’d definitely consider re-subbing at a later date, but as it stands NCSoft won’t be recieving any more money from me.

In other news, Battlefield Bad Company 2 got released today, which I recieved as a birthday present (25, quarter of a century, how is this possible?) from my friends & housemates. Spent a few hours playing it last night after the Steam release unlocked, great fun. Thanks guys!

I also recently completed both Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, both were absolutely excellent, ME2 in particular knocked my socks off. <3 Bioware. As for the anime section... I put my Bakemonogatari viewing on hold until I got all of the extra episodes (13, 14, 15) and I've still not got them, so that sits on the proverbial shelf until I do, though 8 episodes in I would highly recommend it. What I have been watching consists of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (as previously mentioned), Durarara!! (from the makers of Baccano!), Spice and Wolf II and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun.

Run down is as follows.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

FMA: Brotherhood
FMA: Brotherhood

This is, as I understand it, a remake of Full Metal Alchemist that keeps with the original manga storyline. The first 10-12 episodes are not much different from the original, apart from a superb OP theme, but once the storyline breaks away I feel as though Brotherhood really came into its own. It contains characters and arcs I don’t remember appearing at all in the previous incarnation and doesn’t seem as shy about eliminating characters, even if still a long way off the almost indiscriminant killing spree of Ga-Rei Zero.

All in all Brotherhood is not the saturday morning cartoon that FMA was, it feels darker, more fleshed out and isn’t ashamed to bleed a little for the sake of the story.

Durarara!!

Durarara!!
Durarara!!

I jumped at this one the moment I discovered it was the same team that made Baccano!, which I have a very high opinion of. The two are definitely comparable in both theme and style, both focus on forms of gang culture, following several different groups or individuals as each story plays out and paths inevitably cross. Also the inclusion of the supernatural remains, though whether Durarara!! will live up to the standard set by Baccano’s hilarious cast of characters remains to be seen.

I’m looking forward to every new episode so far and thoroughly enjoying it, and perhaps it’s unfair to use Baccano! as a benchmark to judge by, seen as Durarara!! will surely struggle to match characters as unique as comedy costume thieves Isaac and Miria.

Spice and Wolf II

Spice and Wolf II
Spice and Wolf II

I was sceptical about the original Spice and Wolf entirely on the premise that it contains a wolf-girl. That to me sounds like furry fan-service territory and I’m not “down with that”. Fortunately, after giving it the benefit of the doubt (mostly due to the massive popularity the series seemed to be generating) I was pleasantly surprised. The focus of Spice and Wolf is and I think always will be the interaction between Horo (Holo?) and Lawrence, a wolf god of harvest and a merchant, that have ended up travelling together, originally due to the agreement being mutually beneficial.

I’d watch this just for the dialogue, watching the pair battle words and wits to try to get one over the other while trying to get by as travelling merchants and locate Horo’s homeland is strangely entertaining, there’s very, very little action, but the series makes up for it elsewhere – and does so very well.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

Railgun
Railgun

Railgun is probably the silliest of the series I’m currently watching. The setting is extremely unlikely (It’s about an educational city for espers and associated research) and the entire premise of the series is full of holes, but it’s one of those series you aren’t watching for the logical setting, you’re watching it because it’s fun to watch, and Railgun is. It meets the usual plot devices used by slice of life-esque anime series, giving each character their own arcs and within those arcs challenges they have to overcome, often with the help of their friends, in order to become a more mature and well rounded set of pixels.

While it may seem generic it is thoroughly enjoyable to sink into a pillow or chair and binge on at the end of a day. I’m 21 episodes in and we’ve still not seen the full potential of Misaka Mikoto, the series protagonist and the Railgun in the title. Despite this she’s already torn up a road and somersaulted an oncoming car with nothing but a coin, blasted apart a huge abomination (I don’t have a more precise explanation for what it was) and… played the violin.

Try it.

Sorry about that, Aion got released.

You know how it goes, well Aion got released and the blog has been at the back of my mind with that and the plethora of RL rubbish I still need to sort out, which is the reason for the hiatus. Not that I was particularly regular with posting on here in the first place.

I’ve uploaded (finally) a portfolio front page for Claymoredog.com, and I’ll be expanding on it when I get the opportunity to do so.

On the anime front, I think the most impressive thing I’m watching at the moment is probably Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Even if you’re sceptical I reccommend checking it out, it doesn’t deviate from the previous anime adaptation until about 10-12 episodes in, but once it does it gets very good very quickly.

More later, my croissant and orange juice blog post session has run out of croissant, so I’ll finish up with a random image.

I'd do as I was told tbh
I'd do as I was told tbh

I changed it again.

As you can see, I changed and edited the style of the blog yet again. Orange & Bakemonogatari ftw.

Nothing important to report. Most things remain the same, except I just ate chicken dippers. I can confirm that the chicken dippers were good.

We now have an Aion subsection at our forum (www.omertasyndicate.com/bb) so we can post Aion stuff without cluttering up the rest of the boards. Allegedly the Open Beta announcement will be this week, looking forward to messing around with some other classes and skipping the grind for this one – saving my grinding shoes for release now.

Aside from pining for Aion I’ve been watching True Blood, Rurouni Kenshin, Canaan and Bakemonogatari.

Only just started True Blood – four episodes in and enjoying so far. Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X) needs no introduction, Canaan is pretty awesome fun to watch and Bakemonogatari is very different and full of oddly amusing dialogue. Satisfied with all of them, surprisingly.

I’m hooked on this song:

Rurouni Kenshin ED5 – Bonnie Pink – It\'s Gonna Rain.

Okay, real one this time.

Where to start?

Seems recently whenever I open this page my mind blanks out and forgets everything I’d normally post. It’s obvious enough from my last “post” that I’m genuinely looking forward to the release of Aion. This game has been, during the two closed beta stages I’ve experienced, immensely fun to play.

I’m fairly sure at this point that I’ll be playing a Gladiator after release (I’ll post a couple of screenshots below) as I can’t get enough of beating people to death with a weapon larger than my character. Spear ftw.

Gladiator at L10
Gladiator at L10

.

First Blood
First Blood

.

Lava makes you hot
Lava makes you hot

We’ll probably be kicking off release with around 7 (I think) people ready to go pull the wings off the Elyos, so I’m looking forward to that.

My Aion fascination aside, it’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow (cripes, 50th) and I have a job interview on Monday, so this weekend is really breaking my head.

Hopefully everything will go smoothly and to plan.

NOT
FUCKING
LIKELY.

But I can hope.

In other news:

Sharks on a Plane

Withdrawal is a bitch

Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion Aion.

Will post something less nonsensical later.