I Can See The Good In TOR, Honest!

Total Biscuit took another gander at TOR at Gamescom, this time it was the intro area for the Smuggler.

Now, as much as I enjoyed the mechanics displayed in his GW2 WTF video I have to say this video got some of the same reaction from me.  The cover system is not something I’ve seen in an MMO before outside of basic line of sight mechanics.  Of all the things I’ve seen for TOR this is the first that really made me sit up and, with a grin, say “That is cool!”

Just recently I made the decision to go Republic when the game goes live.  I left the class portion of my guild application as “Undecided” as I was vacillating between Jedi Knight (and later Sentinel) vs. Smuggler (and later Gunslinger).  With the cover mechanic I’ve marked down Smuggler.

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Would You Trust A Talking FishSnack?

Total Biscuit of Cynical Brit is at Gamescom.  He has put up some excellent footage of both TOR and GW2.

First up, a good 25m in TOR.

I have to say this is the very first video where I actually had some excitement build up about the game.  I’ve already preordered but until now my reaction to the game has been lackluster at best.  The UI looks polished, I like the features I’ve seen so far but it doesn’t look like, combat wise, it is breaking any new ground.  While the melee combat looked excellent, I was disappointed seeing TB’s toon take a few blaster bolts and not react one bit.  I don’t know why it stuck out so much for me but it did.  Though I am certainly willing to give it a go after seeing this video and I’m sure, in time, I won’t really care about that slight immersion breaker.

Next he spent 40 minutes driving GW2.

40 minutes of pure excitement, right there!  First off I giggled when I saw how the weapons worked.  Skills changing based on the weapons you wield?  Awesome! Learning new skills for those weapons as you use them, and not tied to your level at all?  Sweet!  Then he showed the quest system.  Show up to a location, talk to a guy, get several tasks which, in aggregate, complete the quest.  Want to farm items?  Sure.  Combat?  Ok, too.  A little of both?  Have at it!  Now that I’ve seen it I will be disappointed in any MMO which does not have such a wonderful system in place.  But really, the whole 40 minutes I was just giddy.

Of the two games I am still far more interested in Guild Wars 2.  I’m positively beside myself with anticipation now.  I still need to give TOR a fair shake.  Fortunately their relative releases will allow me to do that.  But, seriously, I so need a time machine now.

If This Is Engineer Love…

So to promote the new Deus Ex game Valve teamed up with Eidos to give some Deus Ex themed items to their TF2 players.  I was stunned when I saw that there were Engineer items in the mix.  The Engineer was the last class to get an update and since then is the least updated class.  I quipped on Reddit it couldn’t be real in there were Engineer items in it.

Little did I know how true my words were.  I xreated the new engineer shotty. Gave it a try. 60 metal to fire. Can only carry 200. So, 3 shots. Sure, you get damage back as metal but unless you’re ramming your shotty up their arse you don’t get close to 60 back. So, 4 shots if you’re lucky.

Not only that but when you’re building, 0 shots. Oh, and since you’re shooting 60 metal per shot you can drain your level 3 dispenser dry. Meanwhile crates and dispensers give out ammo anyway.

So, same number of shots, virtually no reloads, wastes your metal and has absolutely no upside. Yup, that’s a Valve Engineer update.

Grief

Redditor amiwrongtowonder posed the question, “Am I a bad atheist because I talk to my dead friend at his grave?

I replied

Short answer, no.

A few days ago I had to put down one of my ferrets. She had been a part of our family for 5 years. She fell ill weeks earlier and refused to eat and drink. We made the decision at 2am and couldn’t even call a vet until 8am to set up an appointment.

In the weeks prior I knew this was where it was going. I cried. I pleaded with her to eat and to drink and be a good little girl and take her medicine even though it was icky and she hated it. I apologized to her for not being a better dad and taking better care of her.

On the 1/2 hour car trip to the vet I held her close and comforted her. I talked to her about silly things.

I held her as she passed. I apologized to her again for not being able to figure out what was wrong. I told her I wished she could’ve told me what was wrong so I could’ve made it better. I told her she was going to see her brother soon (another elder ferret we lost 3 months earlier) and wished her well.

At home I still cried and begged forgiveness for not doing a better job at making her well.

All of that, for pound and a half ferret that slept most of every day.

At some point in the process my wife tried to appeal to my rational side. She told me this was the right thing to do. And I replied, “That doesn’t make it hurt any less. Fuck, this is not rational! This is emotional!”

As a species we are emotional. We fight tooth and nail to maintain some semblance of rational behavior. A good portion of us don’t succeed. Of those of us who do we don’t succeed 100% of the time. No one does. Ever.

When it came to losing a loved pet I failed to be rational. But that is not a failing on my part. That is being human. My grief no doubt pales in comparison to yours in the loss of your friend. Don’t think for one heartbeat that being emotional, and irrational, in times of grief is a failing. It’s being human. Especially since you recognize it as such. And fuck all to anyone who would have you feel otherwise.

Aesa – 2006 – Aug. 6th, 2011

A few weeks ago Aesa was seriously ill.  She had a bad case of diarrhea and was very dehydrated.  It happen during a weekend while our normal vet was on vacation so we ended up finding a local emergency vet hospital that would take ferrets.  They stabilized her long enough so we could get her to the backup vet recommended to us by our normal vet.  Aesa was prescribed a strong antidiarrheal which was extremely bitter.  She did not like it at all.  So much so that the medication she normally took from a syringe with no problem was now an event she dreaded as much as the new medication.  For the past few weeks she has stopped eating unless we hand feed her (and then only sparingly) and recently she stopped drinking.  So much so that when we took her in for her 1-week followup she had lost .2 lbs, down to 1.1 lbs from 1.3 lbs.

Last night I came home to find her dehydrated once again and completely uninterested in drinking anything, though she was modestly interested in the food I was hand feeding her.  Being as it was a weekend again and the vet that was seeing her during this had already hinted it might be time to let her go we were faced with the choice of taking her in today or trying to keep her going until the early part of next week.  Obviously, as I am posting this, we decided to let her go this morning.

Aesa (left) & Samson (right) hanging out by Aesa’s barrel

Aesa was one half of the bonded pair we rescued this month 5 years ago. Samson, the other half, we lost back in May. Aesa was a wonderful little girl who gave kisses to anyone who held her. She hardly squirmed and though she was a tiny sprite she often roughed it up with the boys. She let them know she was to be afforded respect due any lady, four legged and furry or not! Lately she took up residence in her favorite barrel. Aesa broke the cute meter every time she’d peer out from the darkness, her masked face taking it all in.

Of our original 3 ferrets only Fex remains. But he’s not alone. We adopted two more sprites, Xena and Xara, just two-and-a-half weeks ago. I’m sure Aesa spent that time letting them know they had to keep Fex in line.