Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I don't care how many games feature it

I will never get over how Goddamn silly it looks to have a big, scarred, rugged barbarian warrior clad in full leather swinging a greatsword bigger than he is, and right next to him is a wispy lingerie model wearing a leather bellyshirt with deep cleavage. 

I mean I get that Hunted: The Demon Forge is going for the Boris Vallejo look run through a grainy gritty filter and everything but good lord. Every time you put a female into a skimpy top in a place where it's painfully obvious that it does nothing except paint a big target right where your heart/guts are, I groan and facepalm. 

It looks fucking ridiculous. Knock it the fuck off. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

RE: Protomen = Objectivism

So if you actually read all the lyrics and notes for The Protomen's rock opera, and then think about them, it turns out that it's an Objectivist tragedy.

There are exactly 5 individuals who amount to anything: Dr. Wily, Dr. Light, Joe, Protoman, Megaman. Dr. Wily represents the evil of the state, which manipulates first Dr. Light and then the world through altruism. Because he is not himself infected with altruism, Wily gets to win all the time despite ripping off Dr. Light's work and using violence to coerce others: Light allows this because he has allowed himself to be blinded by altruism.

Dr. Light represents the folly of an otherwise productive individual trying to help others rather than himself: Every time he tries to do anything for others, the whole world gets fucked.

Joe comes off better than anyone because he comes closest to the Randian hero archetype: When he realizes what Wily's robot communist "Utopia" is, his instinct is to get himself out and leave the sheeple to rot. At the moment of his escape, he is intercepted by the two great evils of Objectivism: state violence in the form of Wily's assassin, and altruism in the form of Dr. Light. The former fails to stop Joe, the latter succeeds - and we are also reminded that Wily's assassin is Light's Monster.

Protoman & Megaman are both born into Light's altruism, but in the course of their struggle they recognize the sheeple for the unworthy parasites they are and fall into despair, having been denied an opportunity to live for themselves. "The Stand" is the Big Objectivist Speech of the opera.

I didn't care for it myself but, like Ayn Rand's own works, they're still pretty popular.


If these people
Tell this story
To their children
As they sleep,
Maybe one day
They will learn a hero
Is just a man
Who knows he is free.

Oh goddamn it.

I mean to be honest I always kinda thought thematically the entire proceedings of The Stand were really weak and came out of nowhere. The whole concept of the city's populous not willing to stand on its own feet or hold its own rebellion could have made for a great story if it was even hinted at or mentioned earlier, but instead it's just brought in on the final track. As it is, Megs vs Protoman was just a final fight that ended in tragedy and a disgusted Mega Man left them.

I suppose the main reason I can give it the benefit of the doubt and enjoy the music is for what Magus more or less said -
the Protomen ask us to sympathize with this True Altruist, Light, making him the protagonist and tragic hero, something Rand certainly never did and would never do. So to say that the Protomen are Objectivist is wrong, the plot just involves Objectivism and causes us to think about it

- because even though the Rand overtones are there too much seems like it's made to be the bad guy. Their entire 'schtick' after all, is that The Protomen themselves are rallying against Dr. Wily's evil, 'building an army', etc., even when conducting interviews or performing. Maybe I haven't seen the right ones but no interview ever really seems like The Protomen are pushing that kind of an agenda, even though the story may or may not.

I remember the last time Objectivism was used in a story and showed how beautifully it really doesn't work, because it was called Bioshock and it fucking ruled. The fact that the story is not finished feels like it's freezing it at this moment in time, after Act I. We, as the readers/listeners, are perpetually frozen in this moment when the city is at its darkest, and this story is made to be a tragedy.

So yeah, Objectivism is definitely there, but I'm just hoping it's either a bad circumstance (Dr. Light is, after all, the hero, even though life continues to shit on him, and I'm thinking that it might just be because this story is meant purely to be a tragedy) or that objectivism is one of many bad guys.

Oh and re:Tycho again

So I went ahead and read that post from Tycho...

"What I have said is that the end result of that purchase from a developer perspective must be indistinguishable. Isn't it? That is the question I couldn't answer. I still can't answer it. And because I couldn't, I had to change the way I invested my leisure dollar."

Well, that's not so bad...

"People want to talk about used cars, or libraries, or any other thing really, but I'm not talking about the universe in general - I'm talking about the tiny part of it I have any control over.  That bit up there is the part I can't resolve: the moral dimension contained within the purchase. Yes, I'm giving somebody money when I buy used. Is that sufficient? What is the end result, and what systems am I sustaining by doing so?"

Well, okay, it looks like he's just saying that he's not trying to claim the moral high ground, he's just, y'know, choosing to spend his dollar a bit more carefully re: gaming industry. That seems-

"I'd rather not think about things like this, believe me. I'd rather be Mr. Perpetual Good Times, but I'm not built that way. On the whole, I'd say thinking has been a tremendous inconvenience."

Oh you goddamn two-faced motherfucker. As if it isn't bad enough you've essentially boiled down every used game purchaser to a pseudo-pirate via thinly-veiled insults of if you want to support developers then you're a thief, now you're just upfront calling us all oblivious idiots. We just don't think about these sort of things - we're not blessed with your kind of brilliant intelligence and fat stacks of cash, so we're just humble peasants.

I suppose Penny Arcade's own pompous-ass class treatment of the remainder of the world isn't anything new - they do seem to make fun of everyone who isn't themselves - but as a pair of everyday gamers who create a comic strip about video games I would have hoped their own origins would keep them from being snidely condescending, but nope, instead their own  gender/class/race privileges are so convenient and nice, so lets chide others for not having them. 

As I said - the secondhand market is nothing new. It's a staple part of any production of materials for entertainment such as books, CDs, comics, and yes gaming. Gamestop gets crazy amounts of money via the trade-in system, money that could otherwise go to the developers, and some of their business practices are less than reputable. But blaming me - the everyday consumer - for going with the path that is most beneficial for me paints me as a criminal because I'm not blessed with Tycho's altruism (which is to say, disposable income) is an asshole thing to do, and both men are assholes for saying it.

Lesbians are only okay if they're pretty

So I've been going about this lately on Twitter but I only recently came upon enough material for a blog post relation to Mass Effect.

Why are the asari women? 

Don't get me wrong - the asari race is a really cool concept. They're a race of blue aliens that psychically link their nervous systems with their partners to reproduce, and often are encouraged (to the point of disgust at those that aren't born of a non-asari partner) to do so with as many species as possible. They're effeminate in speech, as well as facial/body structure, IE, wider hips, smaller waists, likely redundant breasts, and smooth skin. All of these are beautiful traits to humans, with the obvious exceptions of blue/teal color and the tail-heads, which of course everyone got used to forty years ago with Star Wars.  

I was under the impression that asari were a ungendered race, and this is supported early on with Liara's own words, IE, "mono-gendered" and "not precisely a woman." But I started playing Mass Effect 2, and right under their section in the game's own codex, it says "all-female." Even if this weren't in here, they're obviously women. There's not even a good example to point out about how ridiculous this is, because genders are so specific. Too many concepts of femininity line up with the entire asari species traits for it to be anything other than a species of women. 

Again, let me say that this is a very cool idea; like the Amazons if they were psychics instead of warriors. Amazons, however, were a nation of female warrios, where as this is an entire species. The entire concept of them needlessly being bisexual women, indeed the big Mass Effect selling point is getting Liara naked along with either manShep or femShep, enforces this ridiculous mindset of 'pretty lesbians are okay' via having the only viable gay relationship be an alien species that identifies as 'female' to human perceptions of beauty. You can sleep with Liara as a man, but it's obviously heterosexual. 

My point is, why couldn't they be completely gender-ambiguous? They're aliens - they don't have sexes. The fluff even describes that asari have some sort of supernatural resonance that makes them attractive to all races. Mordin surmises 'neurochemical,' and I've had theories that it's a subconcious biotic power. 

So here's my theory - make them androgynous. Take away the big hips and breasts, and smudge the facial features. Maybe keep the voices higher-pitched, but switch voice actors around so they aren't all women and some are just very high-pitched men. If you make them unisex you can still keep the origins and reproduction, and still have the relationship, but there's no big flaming honking sign that says HEY LESBIAN SEX THIS WAY, PICK FEMSHEP AND LIARA TO SEE SEXY BUTTS TOUCHING!!

I shouldn't be so uppity about this but it just smacks as more sexism/homophobia to consider pretty lesbians okay for absolutely no reason.  It's nice to look at, therefore it's alright. I've known women to be more accepting and appreciative of female beauty but that's purely because of this kind of thing - you don't get that kind of reaction out of men these days. If a man observed another man's being attractive, most of the time he'll be called gay faster than you can say, 'Flamingly Homophobic Chestbump.' Enforcing and encouraging 'pretty lesbians' is just more disgusting homophobia; it all melts away the moment you have elderly lesbians, or overweight lesbians, or anything that doesn't fit this male-driven perception of 'sexy.'

It's the same kind of thing that's propagated in Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. VV, bless her wonderful heart, is bisexual. All the women you can pick up in bars are bisexual, to the point of where nobody even mentions that you, the protagonist, are a woman hitting on these random and all-too-willing ladies. The options for men seducing men, even with powers/Seduction skill are almost nil, to the point of where some men are given the seduction option and recoil in horror. Women seducing women is practically equaling that of hetero. More backwards-ass double standard bullshit. 

It's especially ridiculous since turians are basically cricket humanoids with carapace skin and krogans are giant space hunchback lizard-orcs. You never even see females of either of these species, or salarians for that matter. What's with the underrepresentation of the ladies of other species? The only time I even hear about female turians is Garrus's fantastic story in Mass Effect 2. Why can't we get a female turian in ME3? 

Now to be fair I'm not crying out sexism or homophobia in Mass Effect (okay, Miranda's blatant ass-shot in ME2, yes, most definite sexism). FemShep is probably my favorite version of Shepard and her voice actor rules. The relationship you can have with Garrus is brilliantly written, portraying him as an charming man and a total sweetheart. The relationship with Tali was fantastic, especially that subtle line of how she rambles 'since her face is always covered and people can't read facial expression.' Ashley, racism aside, was a great character to have a romantic fling with. But these are just small gender/sexism nitpicks that, while fine taken alone, continue to reflect a double-standard in our society's perception of homosexuality. 

AFTEREDIT : I think there definitely is more sexism in Mass Effect upon closer inspection. I really shouldn't have been so quick to dismiss it just based on how ME is a good game series.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"The idea that THQ is somehow "disrespecting customers" with this kind of rhetoric misunderstands the situation as completely as it is possible to do so. In a literal way, when you purchase a game used, you are not a customer of theirs. If I am purchasing games in order to reward their creators, and to ensure that more of these ingenious contraptions are produced, I honestly can't figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy. From the the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous."

I'm curious where that mysterious used copy of a game came from. Did GameStop take it off the shelf and slap a USED label on it and screw themselves out of ten bucks? 

Nnnnnnnno, I'm pretty sure someone bought it, traded it in, and then that copy is picked up by another customer. If it's a good game the sales numbers are still going to do well, as people won't want to get rid of their copies. Plus hell, I bought Too Human, and I fucking hated that game. I don't want to support those developers so I sold it. Why is the existence of the secondhand market such an awful thing?

Even the oft-reviled GameStop you seem to berate so often doesn't drop the price on their games for close to three months, and even then it's by like, ten bucks at most. 

By the way that's a real slick strawman there dude, bein all "Oh yeah if I am buying to support the developer/publisher, then piracy is the same as used games." That's really slick, there, instead of just calling the people who buy used thieves, you're saying they are if you support the developers. So, you know, you aren't a thief if you buy used, but you're certainly depriving the developers from their hard earned money, you awful person.

Plus, if you even look at it, how much exactly are they 'losing' in sales? Often times people pick up copies on eBay or Amazon on the cheap, months or even years later, and sometimes that's the only way they buy the game. Are they even going to buy in the first place? 

What you are saying is, if the secondhand market didn't exist, more people would have to buy new. Have to. Removal of the secondhand market results in forcing more people to purchase games for higher value if they like it or not. Call me crazy but that's a terrible idea. 

I understand that Gamestop's push of the used gaming market is good business for them but I don't understand why there's this fucking backward-ass disgust for the entire secondhand market. Cars and CDs and books and comics secondhand take money away from publishers/creators. This doesn't mean that there's any efforts to squelch it. Gaming is pretty much the first time that developers are allowed to provide incentive for buying new instead of picking up used. 

And hey don't get me wrong, Gamestop is bullshit. But what Tycho and Gabe are saying is do not ever buy used. Like, not even eBay or Amazon or your friend selling you his copy for ten bucks. You're a thief. 

How does renting fit into this diagram anyway? If I rent a copy from GameFly or Blockbuster, sometimes even buy used from GameFly's bargain bin, I'm still depriving those developers of their money. I could have bought it to play it, but I did not. I am a thief. 

Also, look at GameStop next time you're going by. I'm going to wager that 90% of their games aren't even in production anymore. Usually when I look for an old game like Okami or Shadow of the Colossus, I call up GameStop since I doubt it'd be more than twenty bucks. Most game publishers stop printing after about a year. 

As I've said before, I don't fault this incentive at all. Mass Effect 2 or Gears of War 2 had perfect responses to it, by signing you up for a free download of a pack of DLC, and I completely understand why developers do that. Tycho even said this. But you are not going to underhandedly call me a thief for buying old PS2 games. 

Don't get me wrong - when digital distribution hits the frontlines like Steam has been and I can buy my game cheap from the developer, I am all in favor of it. But until this alternative exist I don't want to be told, "You're just like a pirate" by the biggest PR name in gaming today because I notice Resident Evil 4 on the cheap.

Bonus Stage: Look at their response to the rape comic vs their response to this one and watch your head explode. Apparently the opinions of gamers are more important than the opinions of rape victims. 

Bonus Bonus Stage: What I hate the most about Gabe's response is that Tycho pretty much called every gamer in the world who buys secondhand a pirate, and Gabe stepped in to say, hey, you know, it's okay, we're allowed to disagree. The fundamental difference is that they both agree and Penny Arcade is their collective brainchild, so this whole thing - just like the rape comic - reads as them insulting you, then following up with saying it's okay that you disagree with them. It's so backhanded and insulting. 

Extra Special Bonus Stage: It's good to know that as wealthy adults who run the biggest internet-distributed comic today they feel my being broke is detrimental to the gaming industry. I should stop being so broke.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I hereby promise

I will never have a wife who is required to be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

I can assure you that if these three things occur simultaneously, it is without my requirements and entirely a coincidence. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My argument with Tobin Cozair

Tobin: I thought political correctness was dying, but people are angry at Penny Arcade for a "raped by dickwolves" punchline. Absolute morons.

Me: It's not political correctness. It's respect and courtesy to those who have been raped and sensitivity to the topic. Between that and "lol tila tequila mobbed and nearly killed" I have a hard time believing you're this cruel.

Tobin: that is absolute horseshit. The root of much humor is tragedy. A joke about a house on fire isn't insensitive to burn victims.

Me: Housefires do not give people PTSD. Rape does. The PA comic perpetuates a "rape is just a word" mindset in our culture. You wouldn't think it was hilarious to play Saving Private Ryan at maximum volume next to a Vietnam Vet, for example.

Tobin: no, what you're saying is that it would be insensitive to make saving private ryan at all.

(Not what I was saying. PA tried to make light of it and turn it into a joke whereas Saving Private Ryan was meant to be a realistic and horrific portrayal of war. Using SPR next to a Vietnam Vet as a 'joke' would be offensive and cruel. I didn't have a chance to reply since THIS stupidity came later...)

and rape IS just a word. A bad one, but to be offended by a dungeon of dickwolves is absurd oversensitivity to an obvious joke.

Me: So the word "rape" shouldn't carry meaning? No different than, say, "nigger" or "Faggot"? Just cause "it's a word"?

Tobin: I got tired of arguing with oversensitive nitwits like you in college, you never listen, and you have nothing but strawmen. Lucky for me, Twitter has a block feature. I'd recommend you unfollow me too, because dickwolves raping cartoons is hilarious.

Look I can totally disagree with someone on the subject but calling them "Fucking morons" is where I say, uh, excuse me, we're not morons. Just saying. 

Then in addition to totally ignoring my point, he says that rape is 'just a word.' To which I say, okay, so then otherwise offensive words that anger people like 'nigger' or 'faggot' are 'just words' too? I mean you can't have this kind of double standard on the entire English language; some words are offensive and crude, others are not.

If your response would be, those words are built around hatred and cruelty, I would say, yes they are. Therefore use of them has to be very careful and deliberate. That is all people who are protesting this comic are asking; the word itself being used more carefully. I'm sure homosexuals hate when the word 'faggot' is being used casually, and this is no different. Acting as though 'rape' shouldn't have extra weight and meaning for no coherent reason other than 'because I say so' makes no sense.

But...a strawman? How is what I said a strawman? I made the legitimate comparison to other words that had meaning to them. I did not call anyone a racist or homophobe and I did not state that anyone saying "rape" is one of those two things. I was very clear that there are words that were more than just words, and rape should be in that category. 

But as I said, I do like that his response to my legitimate point was "IM GONNA BLOCK YOU!" A bit touchy isn't he?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TOTALLY not our fault


It's good to know that my freedom to drive to and from work this afternoon is contributing to the problem that Other People are having in Other Countries that I can safely ignore, like flooding that's part of a climate change/global warming That Totally Isn't Real. 

~American High Fivez~!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Animaniacs really was rockin'


Man I love Animaniacs, but I just have to mention this.

Listening to the creators of Animaniacs talking about creative freedom reminds me of Blizzard or Pixar's creative freedom. While these guys don't have complete control of the money like Pixar/Blizzard do, it's still awesome to see a fantastic show actually get created by smaller, brilliant creators with much bigger freedoms than is otherwise allowed. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Abusing women is funny



Apparently violent abuse is hilarious because
- she's a reality/playboy star and who thinks she can sing so she deserves it.
- she's a girl and therefore its nothing new.
- she took off her top to appease them so she's a whore and she deserves it.
- they got more violent to her bare breasts, which means good on them, showing that whore what proper modesty is.
- she tried to keep singing while bleeding into a towel so she obviously didn't get the message.
- having rocks and broken bottles thrown at you isn't that life threatening I guess.
Its good to know that Insane Clown Posse continue to be the worst thing to ever happen to the music industry since Slipknot. Now their own fans are nothing more than violent sadistic giggling fucking assholes who think anything is funny provided you're not on the receiving end.

I'm really looking forward to the ICP response to this fucking horrifying event which will be the musical version of a high-five from them to the fans.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bioshock Infinite: Cleavage Edition

Call me immature but holy shit, that woman's got some huge knockers.

Like, Goddamn son. 

ADAM can change physical appearances, right? 

I mean, I'm just checking.

Cause jesus christ those are some sweater kittens.

One could say her breasts are quite large.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goodkind Rand Addendum

It's like Goodkind thought that Rand's ridiculous epic author-self insertion fantasy novels were just too unrealistic so he made his own ridiculous epic author-self insertion Fantasy novels. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Terry Goodkind is awesome when you're 16

Then you grow up and read it and it's like, wow, it's a Mobius strip of shitty 'mature' content.

Before anything else, no I haven't read Goodkind in ages. This is all very shaky knowledge from eons ago. If you feel the need to bitch, there's a comment section below. 

You include violence, objectivism, a boring Mary-Suetastic hero, and then just pick your favorite Horribly Evil Act from the Wheel of Cliches. Early in the books it gets into child molestation and political outlooks, and the note only gets higher. It's like Goodkind didn't want to bother himself with actually coming up with villains you love to hate and instead filled them with as much disgusting qualities as possible.

So he starts off with child molestation and fascism. Then he gets into mind control and rape and all sorts of other horrible abominations are on the Wheel of Evil. At one point he basically abandons subtlety in favor of making someone who hires prostitutes and, while they bang, stabbing them in the spine so they die while he fucks them. It's murderape! See, it's like murder and rape at the same time, and, um...Yeah, fuck you Goodkind. 

There's also the fact that every time there's some sort of ~secret power~ that Richard needs to pick up it ends up being a thin veneer of Objectivism the book is trying to push towards you. Understanding is the power that he gains. The truth is what he seeks and therefore he is uncorruptable. Adding is the good magic, subtraction is evil. And so on and so forth. 

The reason I make this post is because when I was 16 I thought it was awesome. The problem is with an ongoing series I read the entire thing and just wanted to know more about the characters and where they were going, but it kept meandering as it pumped them full of power filled with thinly disguised morals. Objectivism was cool and interesting back then, when I was frustrated by the society structure I was forced into.

Like, Fight Club also did this. When you're young you look at society and think, man, I want something else. And nihilism is sexy as hell - nothing really matters, everything is falling apart, so let's remove emotional attachments because they are Illogical and just do something to piss corporations off, consequences be damned.

By the end of the movie/book, however, you realize that not only is nihilism completely crazy, but being uncompassionate is something you really don't want after all. Living without feelings is a shadow of what people should do - being a singe cog in something greater than yourself with no understanding or control is a life not worth living, and you've traded low-income jobs with no meaning for the same Goddamn thing.

Goodkind does not do this, because he believes objectivism to be right and good. Cut, he says, ignore all else and just do what you think is right because you are right. Live for yourself. Be a fucking horrible human being because the rest of the free world can go fuck itself. That is not living. That is being a piece of shit.

And he tries to disguise it all by making everyone in the world even more of a worthless pile of shit than Richard is. Rapists and murderers and fascists are far far worse, so objectivism's 'do what you must because it is right' is far preferable. It's like ad hominem in a novel. 

Bioshock blank-facedly told you that objectivism was totally neat and nifty cause it let you get access to ADAM and EVE so you can shoot lightning out of your hands, but this is all while Rapture is covered in civil warfare and homicidal maniacs who spliced themselves into insanity. It doesn't work. Objectivism is a nice idea in theory that's got its Bible rooted in fiction Ayn Rand wrote almost half a century ago. Hell, have you even read them? It's basically one woman's rockin' Mary Sueadventures of making everyone feel guilty about wanting things for themselves while Rand's author-self insertion fantasy persona soaks up all the awesome stuff for herself. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I need new friends

One of my friends is a closet, denying homophobe and thinks that we already have a cure for AIDS and cancer, but we aren't releasing it cause it isn't profitable.

One of my friends is getting married to a girl who lives with him. At his mom's house. He is twenty five. He has never left.

One of my friends is convinced global warming isn't real and thinks life is can't get any better when he watched a movie on his day off.

One of my friends is working retail at a job she hates getting crap hours while living at home, and has been for five years, and is like 350 lbs. She has no aspirations of any kind.

I'm starting to seriously hate my town.

Terrific writing, that Malachi

"If bad guys steal this book, I'll chop your head off. After I kill all the bad guys you can heal yourself with your Doctor Power."

"Just...just protect the book, okay?" 

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. 

Haven't actually read it...

...but reading Wikipedia on the Blue Lanterns really makes it sound like, ridiculously Marysuetastic. I'm talking like Eragon here.

Like Green Lanterns have this amazing power ring that can do practically anything, and only recently did they overcome the yellow weakness.

And along comes the Blue Lanterns, which can

Blue power rings are fueled by hope; they give their users the most power, but they must be near an active Green power ring to tap into their full potential. Otherwise, the blue rings are only capable of the default abilities (flight and a protective aura). This is because hope is nothing without the willpower to enact it. Blue rings must be fueled by true hope in order to operate at their user's command.

While within the proximity of a Green Lantern's ring, a blue ring can heal wounds, neutralize the corrupting effects of a red power ring, block the energy-stealing properties of orange rings, can drain the power from yellow power rings, and recharge a green power ring to twice its maximum power level. This effect can also negatively impact a green ring, as close proximity to the blue central power battery will overcharge a green ring, causing it to implode (taking the user's hand with it). If a Blue Lantern wishes it, it can also dampen the hunger caused by the orange light. A noteworthy ability of blue rings is the power to scan a target's psyche and create illusions based on their hopes. A blue power ring is capable of feeding off the hope of other beings, eschewing constant recharging while still performing impressive feats, including reversing a dying sun's age. Geoff Johns also confirmed that blue rings grant precognitive visions to their wielders.

Overcharge Green Lantern rings? Heal wounds? Precognition? Block vampirism of yellow? Slices, dices, and makes three different sizes of french fries? 

I mean yeah this is of course only when Green Lanterns are next to each other...but they're allies. Blue Lanterns are good guys. They won't ever be at odds. 

On top of that, Green Lanterns are the only Lanterns with their own books. Sinestro Corps kinda did but it was a big crossover event and they're just Green antagonists anyway. So you have heroes in a book that fight alongside Green Lanterns...and completely pull insane superpowers out of their anuses!

Again I admit I haven't read it yet, but from the sounds of it I'm getting the feeling that Hal and Kyle go to fight off Sinestro, and Saint Walker's like, "Sups." And when Hal and Kyle can't do it, Walker comes in and goes, "It's cool, chill the fuck out everyone, I got this." And Hal and Kyle go, man, those Blue Lanterns sure are great superheroes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ed Boon: Constantly Not Getting It



You guys seem to be angling this new Mortal Kombat as a revival, or reinvention, of the franchise. It's been around for so long; at this point, what's the essence of Mortal Kombat? What are you telling your team, and what are you all trying to recapture with this new one?

Ed Boon: You know, I think it hasn't really been that long since the last MK game came out. It's only been like two years, so from that respect, it's not like a reboot like we've seen... like when Tomb Raider went away for a long time, or Street Fighter, Twisted Metal, and all that. Those games had a long absence.

But from our perspective, the last game we did [Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe] was probably the biggest departure for MK. It was the first T-rated MK game, and we added characters that had never been in a MK game, with DC -- you know, Batman, and Superman, and all that.

So from that standpoint, we just heard a lot of feedback asking, "Is the next game going to be back to an M-rated presentation," and, you know, "traditional" MK? So we really felt that now is just a really great time to explore a reboot of sorts.

You know, we've actually kind of rebooted the presentation and the fighting and all that a couple of times in the past. With Deadly Alliance, in 2002, we did. And so we just really felt like, along with the post-MK vs. DC T-rated thing, and the fact that we haven't rebooted our whole presentation and fighting mechanic in awhile, it was just the perfect time for all that to happen.

I played [MK vs. DC] and it was fun, but there was always the question of whether the series would return to its M-rated roots.

EB: Oh yeah, absolutely. Especially coming from a game that was almost instrumental in defining what an M-rated game was -- just sparking the whole argument that ratings are necessary, which they are. So it's ironic, it's like making a G-rated Halloween movie...

So from that standpoint, yeah, it did really well, but at the same time, it created a great opportunity for us, because it gave us a break in terms of a period of time which there hasn't been an M-rated Mortal Kombat, and created this hunger for a return.

So I guess that I really feel like the planets are aligned, and in so many ways; it's the first M-rated MK on this generation of consoles, our last game was a T-rated game... You know, there certainly is a resurgence of games returning to their classic form; Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, now the more recent Twisted Metal, and there's just a good amount of this trend that's happening.

Oh good lord Gamasutra, are you serious? Nobody gives a shit about Mortal Kombat games that aren't good. Mortal Kombat games haven't been good since the SNES, and then Mortal Kombat vs DC was the first time you did anything right in fifteen years, because the game was, you know, good. It actually had good fighting game mechanics and didn't bother with open-world bullshit, go-kart racing, coffin minigames, or any of the ridiculous crap and just said, hey, I'm a fighting game. Fight people.

I don't know why it is that Boon and Graft are talking about 'returning to the roots', when 'the roots' was a middling fighter with an absurd fixation on middle-schooler violence. Mortal Kombat vs DC was a good game! "Flee!" Boon seems to say, "Run away! Success and money terrify us! We must stick to middle-of-the-road scraping-by to fuel our jobs!" 

Why not take what you learned from the game that's been best recieved, use that as a tool for making better games in the future, and focus on the core mechanics of the fighter rather than making up all this crap about 'returning to roots'? Your roots sucked; returning to them is just downright ridiculous. 

The guy says they're 'reinventing' it, but then Boon keeps going back to 'revival' or 'return to roots.' Pick one! The first one!

Reading Wanted: Hal Jordan

So, let me get this straight. 

The Green Lantern Corps is created by Ganthet and the Guardians who deprive themselves from emotion because it's dangerous, IE fear. However, a rebel group of alien women who don't wish to separate themselves from emotions form a dangerous splinter faction that lets a love-fueled gem zip from planet to planet, making hostile takeovers of whatever female body it wishes with no concern for human life. Its grand plan is to encase everything in crystal to keep it in suspended animation for all time.

So yes, the right and proper men The Guardians cleanse emotion from their lives, while the hot tempered women Zamarons run off and do senseless and dangerous things that turn them into terrorists.

The men are smart, logical, and good while the women are dumb, emotional, and villainous. 


What the fuck Geoff Johns?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

That "National Debt Digging" ad is bullshit

Yeah so let's see - war in Iraq, sure! No problem! Let's go for it.

War in Afghanistan? Heyyyyyy, why not? Sounds like a great idea!

Tax cuts for the rich? PRFFT YOU KNOW IT BABY!

Health care for everyone?


I mean it's fucking astounding how utterly putrid the Republicans are - if we want to go into middle-eastern countries and shoot people 'cause they're brown and spend billions of dollars on money that goes fuck-all anywhere meanwhile the instant you want to give Americans health care so they can live suddenly THE NATIONAL DEEEEEEEBBBBBBBTTT!!! is our main concern, cause God forbid we try to help people rather than let people die and make money off it.


Goddamn it my Blackberry got dropped one too many times, now it's fucking not working correctly with the SD Micro chip.

I spent like a million years trying to jury-rig a solution then ACCIDENTALLY BREAK MY FUCKING CHIP goddamn it now I'm back to the default ringtones.

And cause I'm on a family plan cause it's crazy cheap I can't re-sign our contracts to get a Droid cause I gotta wait for my mom instead. And she's never got time so WHEEEEEEEEE.

So instead of listening to custom ringtones I have to hear BOOPBOBONG! whenever I text my girlfriend and ughhh it's gonna drive me fucking crazy.

My subconcious is wierd

Just had a spontaneous thought while stocking bell peppers. I have no idea where it came from or even how it came into being.

At the end of Chrono Trigger, Robo has to return into the portal to 2300. "Lucca, it is you who have taught me these emotions. Thank you." He climbs onto the portal, and as the timegate closes over him, leaving only his arm sticking out, he gives the thumbs up.

My best friend is a closet homophobe

So let's see what we ran down in the usual checklist of homophobic things he said today.

I worry about Prop 8 overturned because I don't want to see gay men kissing on TV - check!

The reason I feel this way is because I don't want to see it and therefore they should censor it - check!

I shouldn't have to turn off something I don't like watching; I mean, what if it's in the news? I can't turn that off! - check!

No I don't see a hypocricy in lesbians being okay while gay men are gross, why do you ask? - check!

See cause I'm a straight male, that makes lesbians okay because they're pretty to look at, so, there's your explanation - check!

Any otherwise normal movie would be reduced in value by male homosexuality - check!

If I were getting hit on by a guy at a bar I'd probably react violently 'cause I don't like getting hit on by guys - check!

Well yeah, being considered gay is an insult. ...what? There's nothing wrong with feeling that way - check!

See I'm also against it because I'm opposed to gay couples adopting because it might cause problems with the child - check!

What if the child grows up in a gay household and becomes a straight homophobe? - actually he agreed with me on this one eventually because nature vs nurture shows pretty clearly that anything's possible but still, he totally used it for like two minutes, so...check!

With gay marriage legal hate crime will go up - check!

Well the reason it'll go up is because it's more in-your-face today since the media is giving it such attention - check!

I mean, isn't anyone worried about the children during these gay pride parades? - check! (See earlier blog post for explanation of that one)

Society is too homophobic to let that happen without a backfire (And therefore I'm blaming a faceless third party to avoid making it about my homophobia) - check!

I'm not homophobic just because I don't want to see gay men kissing - check!

And the whipped cream topping!

"I have gay friends(so I GOTS HOMOPHOBIC DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY)." - check!


BONUS STAGE: "Transexuals are fucked up. I mean, they are mutilating their bodies." 

EDIT: The worst thing is 99% of his argument was well 'cuz I say so, and I don't know if you've ever tried it but arguing with that point is the equivalent of someone saying "Well if I wasn't a hypocrite I wouldn't have an opinion."

Friday, August 6, 2010

This isn't rocket science, people

If you cut a fuckton of government payroll jobs due to lack of funding, you can't be surprised when said fuckton of jobs proceed to keep the economy slumped

This is not fucking hard.

This is very very fucking simple.

You take this money, this stuff you don't have...and you look at the people who have lots of it. Then you say, hmm, you know, to fix this vapid morale across the entire US and shitty fucking unemployment streak, we need money. So, how do we get their money?

Well there's this great thing called 'taxing,' where the world already owes you money to run the society you protect and serve that's worked out great for almost a century. So, these rich people that have all the money? 


Thursday, August 5, 2010

all NPFers + esp. you @posindustries

Emailed with Noncon a few times, chilled out, and yeah I'm bein a jackass.

Look I really think I'm not being oversensitive to this whole thing but the way users were treating Fifth followed by endorsement by moderators on said behavior rubbed me the wrong way. Just...talking above him, like he isn't in the room, "oh he just thinks he's such a celebrity" carried this *tone* about it that I may have picked up wrong. I didn't think I did, but I've been wrong before.

Basically my experience of events is
-fifth made thread about his opinions
-people made comments about him in the thread that he hated
-new thread for those comments
-POS merges, repeat thrice, then banning cause Fifth is uncompromising on the issue
-Shiney acts like its all fifths fault
- I posted pointing out why he did it since 01d said it perfectly in efforts to point out that nobody stopped it in the pupa stage, but I missed the part where I inform my opinion and just went for wide-spread insults throughout.
- this.

I'm not at my computer but if I looked back and feel that I overreacted to the users' comments on the thread, I admit I am in the wrong. I wouldn't have expected POS to do anything different re: Fifth, but I don't know why (what I felt like was) subtle insults should be Fifths fault for starting the thread.

POS your reaction to Fifth was valid and I'd have done the same thing. Fenris you didn't deserve me smacktalking you just cuz. Fifth I think people were bein assholes to you in the thread.

The assholeness at the time was what got me to post because I felt like 01D's post was pretty much exactly right and yet nobody did anything to stop users from treating Fifth like he's not there, especially since the entire debacle started with Shiney wanting to have the whole forum play nice always.

Just cause I felt like people were jerks doesn't give me the right to act like Rush Limbaugh and start yelling up a storm when its convenient for me. If I had such an issue I could have plainly said what I thought without need of snark or self-righteousness. So, for that, I am incredibly sorry, and I don't blame anyone for being royally Goddamn pissed at me.

"I HATE my civil liberties!!"

"Why do we even bother to vote if a single judge has the power to overturn the democratic majority? I have no problem with equal rights for same-sex couples, that's great. What's the point of making it out to the ballot box when the sole decision-making power of this nation belongs to a select few? People are happily and unwittingly trading their suffrage just because the court's decision agreed with them...this time."

"Absolutely and completely agreed (regarding any issue not specifically addressed in the Constitution or Bill of Rights). To overturn the will of the people is to undermine our system of government."

"I HATE my civil liberties!!! FUCK them! I'd prefer that what I want is dictated by a majority of people under all circumstances! Majority rule should be supreme!!!"

That never fucking works you dumbass. Why don't you go read up some fucking information on what USA's government system is - a constitutional republic - so you don't fucking start talking as though DEMOCRACY IS BEING UNDERMINED without a clue that we're not a pure democratic nation.

Plus next time the government decides that you one time engaged in anal sex and they want to slap you with a good old criminal investigation, jail time, and probably a fine just for engaging in healthy sexual experimentation that you may or may not have engaged in just remember the majority voted for it so I guess it must be okay!!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So @brinstar showed this picture that I loved

I've heard people get bitchy about this, and it never stops sounding stupid. You know, "Oh man I don't mind homosexuality, but the gay pride parade? What about the children!" And if you ask them why, it usually sounds like this:

"But talking about homosexuality is sexual, and I don't want kids dealing with sex before they're ready!"

It's the same bullshit argument that pops up for any gay marriage bitchfest, about how it always has to be "Mom and dad," as though single dads/single moms don't exist and protect the children blah blah blah. 

But the real underlying thought they're pushing is how being gay somehow automatically defaults to 'all about sex.' No, no it doesn't. People falling in love is nothing new. 

Saying that you're 'defending' children from 'dealing with sex' would be accurate if Mom and Dad lived in separate rooms and never did anything other than hugging. Romantic behavior is something boys and girls, even at young ages, understand and wish to emulate. 

There's nothing inherently sexual about a relationship in the eyes of a child provided they aren't seeing anything explicit. If a child looks and goes, "Mommy, why are those men holding hands?" you say, "Because they're in love." 

If the same child sees a man and a woman kissing, and goes, "Mommy, why are they kissing?" and you go, "Because they're in love," it is no more sexual than the prior example. The only thing that's different is in everyone's mind - the child would probably think no more of it when explained that, well, not everyone is the same. Seriously they play this shit on after-school specials, is it so hard for a parent to say it when they see a homosexual couple? 

It's more of the same ridiculous bullshit that constantly peppers homosexual relationships, about how they're so different the kid would just be so fucked up from having two moms or two dads, and all it does is paint the person as an uninformed homophobe dressing their opinion with fancy non-logic in hopes that nobody questions it. But, as always with homophobes, once you turn the tables you find that nothing is different except for their beliefs which amount to, "Cause I say so."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Copypasta from old blog about Pathfinder

Old post is old. Original was August 22nd 2009.

I will, right now, take back what I said about 4e. It is a good game, I love the fact that it came out, and it has its benefits and perks. But I will always prefer 3e’s gritty realism and modular nature.

So when I heard about Pathfinder, I got excited. I was more than ready for a DND 3, notched up to the next level with all kinds of new features, incorporating everything that was basic and fun about DND 3 with the rules balancing of 3.5 and a bit of 4 mixed in there too, along with some crazy new setups tossed into the mix. I was not disappointed.

I was, however, mortified at the giynourmic bible that was dropped before me, and the 50$ price tag. Seriously, this thing is fucking huge. This is the RPG book that Savage Worlds or Warhammer take to high school to beat up bullies for them.

It’s huge for a reason though – this is literally the 3.5 PHB and DMG rolled into one. They cut out a few unneccesary parts from the DMG, but most of it’s all here, all of it modified to the new Pathfinder system. I will only cover areas that actually require mentioning, as this is blatantly a spinoff and improvement of 3.5 and areas that have not been changed (IE, stats and the bonuses within) don’t need mentioning. Having said thus, let us press on! (NOTE: I haven’t read this in depth. I have missed many things, but this is just what sticks out thus far. As I said, this book is fucking huge.)

The first thing I notice is that the old +2, -2 system of stat points apparently wasn’t liked very much, because now it’s a +2 +2 -2. Dwarves, for example, get +2 Wis, +2 Con, and -2 Cha. I kind of like this, as it puts a bit more favoritism on the player, but not horrendously. It also acknowledges that, much like 4e did, stat points are fun! Since 3e places so much emphasis on them they can’t be handed out like candy IE 4th, but this is a nice middle ground.

Half anythings of the -orc and -elf variety, as well as humans, get all the midway bonuses that were present, and…+2 in any stat. This, I think, is nice, as it compliments the system of humans being middle-of-the-road, but not making Humans the option. You get less stat points, albeit you can put it in Str or Dex. Half-orcs also start out with proficiency in orc weapons and some of the bigger, harder hitting ones, much like how elves are good with longblades and bows.

Classes are the ‘meat’ of the changes, which is good as they are the core of the game. I won’t go over everything but I will go over each class and cover the kind of improvements made. (NOTE: since I don’t know where to put it, I wanted to throw in that all level 0 spells, Orisons and Cantrips, are completely free and unlimited. The only change is that Cure/Inflict Minor became Stabilize/Bleed. More in the Magic section, in Part 2).

Barbarians – Holy fuck yes. Barbarians now, while raging, get rage powers starting at 2nd and every other level thereafter. These are incredibly varied, and consist of things as free intimidate check with a bonus, bonuses to jumping checks, bonuses to climb checks, a bite attack, bonus to a strength check (and only a check, not an attack) for a round, ability to instantly double-run towards a fleeing opponent, bonus hit points, bull rush plus damage, immunity to fear, bonus to armor, autoconfirm a critical hit, etc etc etc. They get two entire pages of options for these. Shit yes.

Bards – Bards were useful, but honestly, being a master of none really sucks in DND. Sure you can bust out just about anything you wanted in a pinch, but you didn’t have much keeping you going in 3.5. This got kept about, but on the bright side, as they get better, they become skillcheck masters. Such as, at 2nd 6th and every 4 levels thereafter, he can pick up his Perform skill and use it in place of a real skill check, IE, if you have Perform Act, you can instead use Bluff or Disguise with the Perform Act’s skill check. At 5th, they can take 10 on any knowledge skill they have ranks in, and 20 once per day on any skillcheck, and uses go up with level. This nicely replaces the sometimes useless Lore check. Later on, he starts to be able to use any skill check trained or no, automatically pick up any skills as Class skills, and at level 19 he can do any skill and take 10. They also get a few nice additional song capabilities, but they are plainly the skillcheck masters this time around.

Cleric - Just because they heal you doesn’t mean they like you.

They usually didn’t anyway, because they spent all their time dumping their best and most interesting spells for spontaneous Cure. Well now they don’t have to! My favorite addition to Pathfinder is the Channel Energy. They can burn this up 3+Charisma per day, and it can either be used to harm undead (Straight damage, no hit dice rolls or anything) or heal allies. It goes up an additional d6 every other level. This is perfect. It restricts their healing by another route but it does not sap up all their spontaneous healing. They can still Spont Cast, of course, but it isn’t mandatory. Hell yes. Some of the domains get bonuses, as well, and they work somewhat similar to an inbetweener of 3.5 and 4e, for example, Strength domain gives you the strength surge like in old edition, but at 8th level you also get to add your cleric level as an enhancement bonus to Str for rounds equal to cleric level but only for checks and skills.

Druid – Now here’s an odd one. They can still Wild Shape, and it functions mostly the same. They also (I think?) modified Wild Empathy to being a druid-only ability similar to Diplomacy, but it isn’t a skill. They add their level and Charisma, which is a nice bonus at later levels. They also get animal companions, which I especially like because the monsters you can take are statted and listed in the Druid section, and it covers everything from apes to birds to crocodiles to sharks to wolves. The best thing though, is that these companions progress with the druid, getting bonuses to saves, BAB, natural armor, a Str and Dex boost, Tricks, and feats like Multiattack or Improved Evasion. I’m not too familiar if this is the same as 3.5, as my experience with druids is sadly lacking.

Fighter - Oh hey there Fighter, I didn’t recognize you with that gigantic pile of bonuses surrounding your head. What’s that, you got sick of bonus feats? Well, me too!

They get minor improvements, but it’s all necessary, Weapon Training giving them progression in weapon groups rather than weapon specifics. However this is the one part of the book I don’t like – you get WT at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th. This means that the weapon group you picked first will no doubt be the weaker one, but between 5th and 9th you are going to use one from that group, then abandon it once you get new WT. If I pick lightblades at 5th, I have a +2 bonus waiting in Axes at 9th. This is incredibly easy to fix, however, as I have just ruled that it works like Ranger’s favored enemy progression, in that as you pick new groups they get +1, whereas the old selections get an additional +1 each time. So by the time I hit 20th level, I’d have a +4 in the group I picked at 5th. Why they thought this would be a good idea is beyond me. (EDIT: This is actually what they did and I read it wrong.) 

They also get Armor Training, which reduces the AC penalty and increases the dex bonuses. These notch up at 3rd level, 7th, 11th, and 15th. One of my favorite things is, at 20th level, he can pick a single weapon (not a group) and get autoconfirm critical hits and an increase of crit range (X2 to X3 for example). Shit yeah! It’s sexy as hell but A – it is 20th level, and B – not everything can be crit.

Monk - Thankfully Paizo recognized that everything revolved around Stunning Fist uses, and removed this. Stunning Fist still is governed by its own rules (And you can use it four times a day as a monk), but instead at 4th level they get a ki pool of points to draw from for their supernatural feats. If you have ki points left, your unarmed count as magic attacks (then lawful then adamantine, as in 3.5). But you can burn up points to do an additional attack at your highest bonus (Basically another Flurry attack), add +4 to AC for a round. They brought back Leap of the Clouds from 3.0 (EEEEEE!), but modified it. Instead Monks get a level bonus to jump checks and always count as having a running start. And, better yet, put a point from the ki pool and you get a +20. I can see so many uses of the ki pool for homebrew feats and abilities it makes me giddy.

Paladins – Another class who got boring real fast. Now, every 3 levels, they get a ‘Mercy,’ which is a conditions their Lay on Hands can cure, IE, at 3rd they can pick from fatigued, shaken, or sickened. These get better and better, but there will always be conditions a paladin can’t cure. They also can channel like a Cleric at 4th, replacing their crappy Turn check. They radiate the same amount of energy, so they can heal in a pinch, but it consumes Lay on Hands, which she has little of. They get a few nice perks – Divine Bond is a way to channel the power of the god into the weapon, which is cool and gives nice bonuses including straight temporary +1-5, or axiomatic, brilliant energy, flaming burst, keen, etc. when you want to whup some ass.

Ranger – Favored enemy is back, but Humanoid is no longer the only category. Instead Humanoid breaks down into human, orc, reptilian, dwarf, elf, giant, etc etc etc. Instead of the oldest bonus getting the best bonus, now you can apply the bonus wherever you want, including the one you just got. So now picking Undead at first level isn’t completely idiotic! Combat Style Feats are back, of course, and mostly unchanged. They also get Favored Terrain, which I think was in 3.5? It gives them a +2 on certain checks in that condition, and they get it multiple times. They also get a slightly modified animal companion, with the option of just making the companion your PC allies, which is actually kind of cool. When you wish, you can give your favored bonus to an ally for a few rounds. Animal companions work like druids except their effective level is the druid’s -3. One cool perk is Camouflage, where you just hit the deck and can automatically hide in a favored terrain, regardless of if there’s an area to hide. Like some classes, at 20th he becomes a master and professional, and gets tons of bonuses and the ability to slay a favored enemy outright.

Rogues - Oddly, rogues seem mostly unchanged. They did however give them slightly less powerful talents at earlier levels they can pick from, and these are separate from the later talents, called Rogue Talents and Advanced Talents. Rogue Talents consist of being able to cast the odd 0 level spell and then 1st level spell (which is a nice way of circumventing sor/rog combos being mandatory), disabling traps in half time, Weapon Finesse as the feat, full speed while stealthed, etc. Advanced Talents involve the same thing from 3.5′s old rogue talents. Again, at 20th level they get insane bonuses and an ability, this time the ability to put a target to sleep for 1d4 hours, paralyze for 2d6 rounds, or killed outright. Save stops, of course, but it does make Assassin prestige class less interesting.

Sorcerer – Fuck. Yes. You know how Sorcerers got to fling crazy amounts of spells but always felt a little lacking when wizards, at later levels, could fling less spells but pick from absolutely anything in the world? Paizo listened, and they responded. Sorcerers get the same amount and per day of spells, but when picking a bloodline power (Such as aberrant, abyssal, arcane, destined, elemental, or yes, Draconic, and there’s many more) the character gets skills, bonus spells, bonus feats, and unique capabilities distinct to the bloodline. Aberrant become less susceptible to critical hits (25%, then later 50%), and can stretch their limbs for touch attacks, and at 20th become completely immune to crits and sneak attacks, blindsight, and damage reduction. You might think, but I don’t want to look like I just came out of Urokotsudoji! Well that’s fine, if you’re all boring and stupid and my dad you can be Destined instead, giving you bonuses but nothing creative or weird, you stupid stupid person. And, as always, 20th level gives you insane benefits depending on your heritage.

Wizard – Since Sorcerers got so much they felt it was mean to leave wizards alone. They Bond to an object or familiar, which sounds odd but it basically ensures that a wizard is never found without his amulet, ring, staff, etc. Not having the object means you have to do Concentration to maintain the spell. They can channel a spell for you that you haven’t prepared, giving some much-needed utility to the wizard. Nicely, if you have Craft skills, you can improve the object over time. This means you can turn your staff into a progressively more powerful Staff of Defense +1 if you so choose. This means that Familiars are not inherently better, as you can easily have a special wand or ring or staff and just waive the +2 to whatever and, in exchange, spontaneously cast a spell.

Specializing benefits are similar to bloodline powers, sorta. But they couple nicely with the favored school, meaning that if you pick it as your favored you will be better than someone with a different favored school. My favorite is Illusions – at first level you can cast an illusion and, after you stop concentrating, it will endure for additional rounds equal to half your Wizard level. This means you can juggle multiple illusions and, possibly, spells. At 20th, you can turn a concentration duration illusion to ‘permanent.’ You also gain the ability to fire a ray that blinds for a round, but if they have more hit dice, are dazzled instead. At 8th – and this is my favorite part – they can become invisible at will as a swift action for rounds per day equal to Wizard levels. And this does not have to be consecutive. Holy shit this is awesome.

Again, if you’re boring you can pick Evocation and fling more devastatingly powerful spells, get a free Magic Missile, and create a Wall of (Element) for a similar duration of the Illusionist’s ability, and yes it does not have to be consecutive. These fantastic powers make Divination useless, right? Nope! Divination Wizards always act in the surprise round, grant insight bonuses to attack rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws for a round equal to half your wizard level, and at 8th always know if you’re being scried on and can scry easier. Universalists get a few abilities but they are far inferior to the others.

One thing I’m not too sure about when it comes to sorcerers and wizards – they get a d6 hit dice now. Bwuh? I’ll have to think about that one for a while. It sounds like it’s rooted in 4e’s attempt to make everyone more durable, but it really sticks out for me.

Skills are interesting. They combined Search Spot and Listen into Perception (thank god), and Tumble, Jump, etc into Acrobatics. They also added Fly as a skill, which replaces the Clumsy/Poor/Perfect/Etc flying system of 3.5. You only need it for maneuvers that are complex. This does not give the ability to fly, however it is required for anyone who wishes to fly, IE, druids who shapeshift, wiz/sors who cast Fly, etc.

Tea Partiers! Conservatives in disguise. Tea Partiers! More than meets the eye.


"Taxed Enough Already? Or not taxed at all?

One of the striking ironies of Fox News running with the statistic that 47% of Americans might not owe federal income taxes is that Fox News also moonlights as the unofficial station of the Tea Party movement, which clamors for lower taxes. You might ask: half of the country pays no income tax, how much lower do you want? Here's a more troubling point: if the Tea Party movement has a similar share of Americans making under $50,000 as the broader population (as a recent Gallup poll suggests), then why is this movement rallying under the banner "Taxed Enough Already!" when half of them aren't taxed at all?

Forty-five percent of self-identified "Tea Partiers" make less than $50,000 per year, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Similarly, 50% of the total population makes less than $50,000 in the same poll. Despite this author's lack of direct access to the tax returns of the Tea Party movement, it seems safe to assume that if about half the country avoids federal income taxes, a similar percentage of the Tea Party movement gets away with the same even as they march and scream about their tax burden."

They're not a political party. They're not rational. They're conservatives who went, "Hmm, this Republicanism is too cold. And this Libertarianism is too confusing! But this Tea Party is just right!" 

I'm beginning to think that the Tea Party is the political barrel that everyone who doesn't have an opinion falls into. It's nice and convenient for them to get upset about income taxes, after all, because hey I want more money cause I'm underprivelaged! It reminds me of how recording artists ten years ago couldn't tell you why piracy or Napster affects their incomes, but goddamn it it does and they know it and shut up, ugly!

Ignorant Shit Teenagers Say

"To me, Republicans and Democrats are both just trying to screw me out of my money, and I don't see a difference between them."

This is one of those things you say when you're 16 and know everything, even though you've never looked at the tangled mess of insanity that is the political system and Congress and Senate and the electoral college and you just wanna sound so goddamn smart, you throw out a saying like this that makes you sound sensible, tough, and wise beyond your years.

Except this is the dumbest statement in the world because 

A- If you can honestly consider Republicans - the same ones who enstated tax cuts to privelaged white people - identical to Democrats - the ones who are fighting to stop such selfish, greedy actions like these - you obviously are utterly fucking ignorant to the entire political system (which is why you say the prior statement), and 

B- this kind of pluralistic ignorance that assumes every aspect of politics is just an act to 'screw you out of your money' is pretty much 100% a Republican mantra, as Republicans are the ones obsessed with squabbling over every fucking penny they can find, therefore ironically placing you on their side by burying your head in the sand. By saying both sides want your money, you're placing more power in rich white conservatives taking more from the underprivelaged.

The worst thing about it is that those who aren't teenagers usually fall into the lower class, and this results in more circular logic. Both sides are screwing me over because I refused to pick a side and therefore Republicans did what they wanted, signed more tax cuts for the filthy fucking rich, so I'm not going to bother with politics because they're just going to screw me over. 

So when someone says ""To me, Republicans and Democrats are both just trying to screw me out of my money, and I don't see a difference between them.""

What they mean is, "I don't like politics because it makes me think - just do what you want, leave me out of it, I'm too busy prepping my head to be buried to notice what the most financially powerful and rich people in the world are deciding what's best for me. So instead of a political opinion I'm just going to throw this easy phrase at you that makes me sound smart."