In this article on ebookmagazine.co.uk I read: In a statement posted on its ereader site, Sony said: “Unfortunately, with little notice, Apple changed the way it enforces its rules and this will prevent the current version of the Reader™ for iPhone® from being available in the app store. We opened a dialog with Apple to see if we can come up with an equitable resolution but reached an impasse at this time.
“We’re exploring other avenues to bring the Reader experience to Apple mobile devices. We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting the application and we appreciate your continued patience.”
I especially like the part about pursuing other avenues, hopefully, those avenues are legal. Apple’s behavior is very anti-competitive, hopefully it will blow up in their face.Tags: Rant | Categories: Humor, Reviews and Rants, Writings | Comments (0) | Permalink
DCUO is about as original as a Xerox of a tracing of a photograph.
I love online games, ever since I played my first MUD back in 1998, I have loved the idea of online gaming, especially the social aspects, call me a weirdo, but I don’t see much difference in the kinds of friendships you have online, and those you have offline with regular people in your own town, or school or work. They are just as shallow and pointless.
I have even made a small number of friends that, long after we both stopped playing the games we met in, we still communicate outside of games.
I love the idea of online games, I just hate the execution.
Nothing about online games has really changed since the late 1980s early 1990s. It’s all theme and variation, you might think that this is due to the intrinsic nature of games, especially the limitations of computer games, but really it has a lot more to do with the general intellectual degeneracy of content generators and providers. I say this only because, every so often, someone does come out with a really good and creative game that breaks all the rules and succeeds. DCUO might succeed, but not only does it not break all the rules, or any of them, it basically embraces the most static and mindless game model ever. Like evar.
If you have ever played card games, then here’s an analogy for you. Imagine if every single card game was exactly like 5 card draw poker, except the names and colors of the cards were different. Same exact method, strategy and rules, just different pictures. There you have the entirety of online games, same dance, different tune. Not even really that different.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have the mentality of an attention deficited 13 year old with low grade psychopathy and a penchant for wanking, this game will be right up your alley.
The graphics of the game are impressive to say the least, some of the best I have seen, and considering the level of customization of the way your character looks, it’s a bit marvelous soaring through a well designed and awesome looking Gotham or Metropolis. The areas are just massive and detailed, and even on my dinky laptop, which hardly meets the hardware requirements, the game flies with nary a glitch. If that’s all it took to be a good game, then DCUO would just PWN. Unfortunately, how a game looks is only important to newbies, and by newbies, I mean people who don’t know what a MOB is.
Character Creation In DC Universe Online
Character creation in DCUO is basically copied directly from City of Heroes, in fact, 99% of the game is stolen right from City of Heroes, and they probably stole it from some other game that I just didn’t play or hear about. It’s confusing, and there are a seeming lot of options which are, for the most part, pointless. You have classes in the most proto sense of the word, Tank, Healer, Magic Wielder which manifest as Ice/Fire tanks, Magic/Nature healers, and Mental/Gadget controllers. These classes come with mentors, one of the DC Universes heros or villains, and can be meshed with weapon skills, like Bow, Brawling, Sword, Dual Pistols and the like. The combinations are not entirely irrelevant, but obey the usual rules of RPGs. There is one thing that I particularly liked that was, to a certain degree outside the norm. It is usual in RPGs for Healer/Shaman type characters to suck really really bad at solo leveling and PVP. In DCUO, this is not the case, and to a certain degree, Magic/Nature characters have some very good advantages in both leveling and PVP, especially because quaffing has some serious limits, so getting heal pots into your tank is hard, so suddenly Magic debuffs and the ability to heal yourself play a more reasonable role.
On the whole, the only thing that is remotely good about the game is the PVP, although it falls down in the normal, “we really didn’t think this crap through” ways, at least healers can hold their own.
You’ll have to make several characters and play a bit of the mindless quest/mission system before you figure out a good combination, which in my opinion is Magic/Bow or Magic/Nature/Dual Pistol, mainly because an important aspect of play is that “mana” is regenerated not by time or quaffing, but by the number of combinations you successfully land, which is dead easy when you spam the bow/pistol ranged attack. The bow also has some pretty cool combos, though in my opinion, they are a bit cumbersome, so the argument that to be good at the game and PVP, you have to have some personal skill is accurate to a point. More or less you have to have a cool head and decent fast twitch muscle response in your index and middle finger, which I do, so I had some fun.
The thing that irritated me the most, and I never really bothered to figure it out is: I spent a good amount of time developing a visually appealling character, well dressed and totally awesome only to have its appearance modified by the eq I got, which was irritating. There is supposed to be a way to style your character, but to be honest, the whole buff/stats from eq method of enhance is about as tired as a 2 dollar whore in Texas, they could have come up with something that didn’t mess up my totally sexy character, and figuring out how to use the “styles” to get it back to the way I wanted it was too much of a waste of time. It’s a small complaint, and to be honest, one that does have a solution, i.e. said styles, so this really shouldn’t be considered a negative point against the game.
The other aspect of character creation is movement mode, the only ones really worth considering are flight and acrobatics. Nothing against super speed, just being able to fly/glide is just…BOSS! One of my very favorite things to do was to climb to the top of the highest building and glide to the boring mission destinations. This is where flying comes in, because most wank gankers will be hovering about and snag you mid glide/flight.
The acrobatics movement mode is very well done and a pleasure to use. There was a small complaint, in that sometimes it went all wonky and you gripped onto the wrong thing but that’s really more user error than anything.
Leveling Your Character in DC Universe Online
There are a few ways to level in DCUO, but it’s mainly the Quest system that we’ve all come to know and love, for nearly 30 years. When you create your character, you can pic either being a hero, or a villain (where have I seen that before?), which is cool, personally the heros are a bunch of nancy boy carebear, let’s help everyone, and the villains, while being slightly humorous follow the old school formula for villainous dialog: “something something Blood Of The Innocent, something something Rule the World!” The Joker missions were kind of fun, and the voice acting for the DC characters you interact with is pretty good, I think James Marsters is back doing Lex Luthor.
The basic idea is: Find character and interact, accept mission and find location, spend 6 hours trying to complete the very basic requirements while dodging 3-4 man wank gank squads of people 20 levels higher than you. Rinse, repeat. If you don’t like it, roll to the PVE servers.
There is apparently a level cap at thirty, wow, that is sooo…arbitrary. Maybe they got as tired of making those retarded missions as I did playing them.
Missions by name aren’t the only way to level, you also have races, which can be kind of fun but you have to practice using your movement mode to be able to win them, and some are actually very tough.
What I would have liked to see was either moving away from the level/XP system, no chance of that.
You have to watch out because sometimes you’ll be offered a mission that you just cannot complete until you level up.
PVP In DC Universe Online
PVP in DCUO is actually pretty fun once you figure it out, but don’t worry, there’s almost no way you will figure it out without some help. You class/weapon/movement mode is really important here.
The system is based on the idea of interrupting and stunning the opponent and blocking/dodging. The main idea is to wait for them to try something and stun them or interrupt their casting. It’s easier said than done. It would take a lot of time to get good at this system, I managed a few kills of people around my level, but got bored pretty quick with the lameness of the spells/skills and the monotony of it all.
One thing that is both cool and annoying about fighting in DC Universe Online is: Combos.
It’s pretty obvious that the combo system was created mainly for console versions of the game, as you will wear your mouse out really quick. It’s usually a collection of mouse button taps and holds as well as using the directional keys. Doing the combos under pressure is pretty tough at first, but pretty soon you get it down and it does become fun…for about an hour.
Summary of DC Universe Online
If you really love comics, especially DC, then you will enjoy this game a lot more for the nerd qualities. Also, the artwork is just…so hawt. All of the characters really feel right, especially the Joker and Batman, Superman is his normal lame self, and Lex Luthor is pretty spot on. As an interactive comic book, it’s pretty cool, same hollow comic storylines, glib and fatuous dialogue and the usual contrivances you get with executive driven money hungry content providers. As a game, for gameness, DCUO is an almost complete dud. Nothing you haven’t seen before, and hardly worth the effort, you’ll be bored to tears halfway through the leveling.
For the social networking aspects, DCUO basically provides a chatbox and the usual clan system, mostly populated by 12 year olds and wankers, or 12yr old wankers…whatever. It really doesn’t have anything to keep players happy for long, and for the price, $50 up front and $14 a month, it’s just a waste. The few good things, art, combos, sexy characters get old faster than Scott Baio.
I strongly recommend you pass this one up. I wish I had.Tags: Game Review, Rant | Categories: Game Reviews, Humor, Reviews and Rants, Writings | Comments (0) | Permalink
Narrator: Hey there little Timmy, why don’t you put down that brush of fine, healthy, lead based paint and come over here to learn something about relationships.
Timmy: Geewiz mister, you nearly scared my socks off. Sure, I’d like to learn about relationships.
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’re in luck, because I’m here to explain to you how to have a dysfunctional relationship with someone who’d just as soon eat their own young as look at you.
Timmy: Really? I am not so sure about that. I thought relationships were about love and understanding, not infanticidal cannibalism.
Narrator: Ahh, the follies of youth. No Timmy, human relationships might seem like they should be about love and understanding, but there’s how a thing should be, and how it really is, and if you want to survive in this world, you better plan on having relationship after relationship based on distrust, mutual feeding, and a healthy dose of heartless lying.
Timmy: Golly Mister, that sounds just awful.
Narrator: Yes Timmy, it truly is, but look on the bright side, after 70 or so years of heart wrenching failure, you’ll welcome death with open arms.
Timmy: That sounds real fun, where do I start.
Narrator: Well Timmy, the good news is, in order to have a dysfunctional relationship and always find yourself again and again in the same position is to not do much at all. The first thing you need to do is let people know you are lovelorn, nothing gets predatory people a flutter like a wounded animal dripping blood in the water.
Timmy: That seems easy enough, so I just say I am feeling lonely? Won’t that make people want to help me out or give me comfort.
Narrator: Oh Timmy! That’s what you’d expect, but people with real feelings are far too occupied either getting into or out of the same kinds of sick relationships that you will be enjoying. No, the only people who will take any notice are the ones who will want to feed off you.
Timmy: Holy Moses Mister, I just can’t wait!
Narrator: I am glad to hear that Timmy, and look, here comes little Peggy sue, a pretty girl right from your class. Let’s give it a try.
Timmy: Okay Mister *winks*, Ahh, shucks, I sure feel lonely and need some companionship. How was that Mister?
Narrator: Very good Timmy, oh, looks like we got a bite.
Peggy Sue: Golly Timmy, you sound really lonely. I think that’s just terrible. Did someone hurt you?
Timmy: Well, no Peggy Sue, I’m just awful lonely and feeling a little weak.
Peggy Sue: Oh, that’s very bad, well, I can’t let you get hurt, I would never allow that, why don’t we become friends?
Timmy: Shucks, you mean it? Wow, you’re awful nice. Umm, Mister, I think you were wrong, Peggy Sue seems like a real nice and sweet girl. She’s so pretty and kind, and she says she’ll never hurt me. I don’t think she’s what I am looking for if I want an unhealthy relationship.
Narrator: Oh Timmy, you simple boy, of course she says that. You have to learn how to filter what people say through a truth translator, to see what they really mean.
Timmy: I don’t understand, don’t people say what they really mean?
Narrator: No Timmy, of course they don’t. Where would you get a silly idea like that. What Peggy Sue really said was: Gee, I sure am hungry, and you look like a tasty and guillible snack.
Timmy: I don’t understand Mister, and I don’t believe you. Peggy Sue is too nice and sweet for that, and I am not gonna let you talk about her that way. Come on Peggy Sue, let’s leave.
…Two weeks later…
Narrator: Well Timmy, why are you sitting there crying?
Timmy: I don’t want to talk about it.
Narrator: Oh come now Timmy, it can’t be all that bad.
Timmy: Well I went off with Peggy Sue, and I really liked her, and she seemed to like me, but all she ever did was talk about other boys and get me to help her with her chores and homework, or give her hugs when she was feeling bad. And when I asked her out, she said she’d rather be friends with me. I am just so confused Mister, I thought she really liked me and needed me. All she wants is for me to do stuff for her so she can chase other boys.
Narrator: Well Timmy, isn’t that what friendship is all about? Helping each other.
Timmy: I guess so, but she never does anything for me, I don’t need help with my chores or homework, and whenever I want to do something, she just wants to talk about other boys or her feelings.
Narrator: Well Timmy, I am so darn proud of you, you’ve just had your first unhealthy feeding based relationship. You’ve become Peggy Sue’s tool, when she wants to dump her feelings, or get advice about other boys, or needs help with her homework, she relies on you. She’s a very subtle operator, because nothing that she does is really wrong, it was just wrong for you. It’s not that she’s evil, it’s just that running after other boys takes a lot of effort, and you are like her emotional battery, you’re there whenever she needs a pick me up.
Timmy: Gosh, I never thought about it that way, she doesn’t really care about me, if she did, she’d know that hugging and kissing me and telling me all about her private life is a bit personal, and makes a guy think you want more, if she was really my friend, she would keep it platonic and establish some boundaries, but if she did, then she wouldn’t have the benefits of me having an emotional investment, which allows her to feed. So she gave me just enough rope to hang myself, and she doesn’t get any blame. Because I should know better, right?
Narrator: That’s right Timmy. Most predators aren’t full out violent or mean, they are subtle, and most of their machinations can be excused as just a few minor indiscretions, and because people SHOULD know better, then they don’t have the right to cry foul. It’s very tidy, and one of the best kinds of unhealthy relationships you can have. Now that you have learned that lesson, how about a nice healthy ice cream cone?
Timmy: Geewiz mister, that sounds just great, and I am buying.
Narrator: Oh really Timmy? Where did you get money?
Timmy: I have a paper route, I am rolling in quarters!
Narrator: Well Timmy, you may have just happened on another great way to start a relationship.
Timmy: Really? How so?
Narrator: You don’t have to do much, just let it be known that you have money and you’ll see, in fact here comes Mary Beth, maybe you should offer to buy her an ice cream.
Timmy: Golly, that’s a great idea, I sure like Mary Beth, but we don’t talk much. Hey Mary Beth, would you like an ice cream?
Mary Beth: Oh would I, I just love ice cream. Hey, why do you look so sad?
Timmy: Oh, that doesn’t matter, I just had a problem with Peggy Sue, but I am over that now, I won’t get fooled again.
Mary Beth: Aww, that’s terrible, she’s really mean for not seeing how wonderful you are. This is sure a real good ice cream, thanks a lot. You want to take me to the pictures?
Timmy: Oh my gosh, are you asking me out Mary Beth?
Mary Beth: I sure am, I don’t know what is wrong with that Peggy Sue, but you are such a generous and kind man. I could never hurt someone like you.
Timmy: Gee mister, do you hear that, she sounds awful nice, and she’d never hurt me.
Narrator: Oh really Timmy, just because she says so? Maybe you should just tell her no and walk away.
Timmy: I don’t believe you mister, you’re just so negative, not everyone is out to get something from someone else, some people really care, like Mary Beth, she knows how I feel and she really likes me.
… 3 days later …
Narrator: Well well Timmy, what’s wrong this time.
Timmy: Oh go away mister, I am in no mood for your advice.
Narrator: Okay, but the least you could do is tell me what happened.
Timmy: It was terrible, all Mary Beth wanted to do was to go to the pictures, she really wants to be a star in Hollywood. All I ever did was spend spend spend, and if I tried to kiss her, she would say she was too shy. Then yesterday I saw her behind the bleachers kissing Billy Thompson, and she was only doing it because his dad works for a theater company and he is always talking about all his connections.
Narrator: Well Timmy, it seems like you’ve hit on another great type of sick relationship. Mary Beth was only interested in what you could give her, and how much it was really worth to her.
Timmy: That’s what I said, and then she said she wasn’t that type of girl, and that you can’t buy love and I shouldn’t treat her like a Jezebel. Whatever that is.
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’ve learned a valuable lesson here, you see, girls like Mary Beth act that way to others because it’s easy to conceal, and because you were buying her lots of things, she can always say that you were the bad guy for expecting so much and acting like you could buy her love. The real truth of course is that you bought her things to make her happy, and you only wanted her to make you happy in return, but because what made her happy was material, and what would make you happy is emotional and sensual, you’ll look like the predator because of the bad connotations connected with kissing and holding hands.
Timmy: Shucks mister, I never thought about it that way. I didn’t mean to buy her kisses or holding hands, that’s just what I wanted, and I thought if I helped her get what she wanted, she would give me what I wanted and it’d be a fair exchange. I mean I worked awful hard for those quarters.
Narrator: I know it seems that way, but people will actually think that you are bad for not understanding that not all energy exchanges are equal. Getting a kiss or holding hands is a lot more valuable than anything else in the world.
Timmy: But if that’s true, then why did she do it with Billy Thompson just cause his dad has connections. And what’s a connection?
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’ll have to learn that value is really relative, it’s less about what is objectively the value of something, and more about what the various people around you think. You see wanting to kiss and hold hands is low and sinful, so if you say anything like: Hey, isn’t what I gave of value? Then you will just come off as a sleazeball, and no one likes a sleazeball. Best to keep your wallet in your pocket next time you meet a girl.
Timmy: Well all I know mister is, I never want to have that happen again, I am starting to think that maybe having these unhealthy relationships might not be a good thing after all.
Narrator: That’s the spirit Timmy, relationships are all about grinding you down into a soulless feeder, just like the rest of us, don’t worry, a couple of more bad relationships and you’ll be so hurt and angry, you’ll start going into relationships with a “can do to you what they did to me” attitude!
Timmy: I sure hope so, I am so tired of always being the bad guy just for wanting normal physical intimacy.
Narrator: Don’t worry Timmy, you just want that because you haven’t yet learned of the joys of using people as emotional shammy cloths. You see in our culture, holding hands is a sin, and trying to get it makes you look like a bad person. Instead, you should try to get emotions, no one really needs those after all, and no one ever got an STD or got pregnant from an emotional feeding frenzy. It’s a much safer way to victimize people.
Timmy: Golly, I never thought of it that way. I just thought kissing and holding hands was really keen, but I see that it’s a lot easier to do and harder to detect if all I want is emotional feeding.
Narrator: Well sport, you’re almost there. You’ll need to be painfully victimized and painted to be the bad guy a few more times before you really start to be cynical and take pleasure in feeding off other people the way you’ve been fed off of. Humanity is like a great circle, and each time you get victimized, or victimize someone else, you keep this whole crazy experiment running.Tags: Humor, Prose | Categories: Humor, Writings | Comments (0) | Permalink