So Wildstar

I was hooked on Wildstar for exactly a month. It was beautiful, fun, bouncy, and had deep house customization.

Then I fell out of love. I’m not sure why. The game gets better on the higher levels, but I think I realized that even the best MMO isn’t for me. I’m done on MMOs, subscription or no. Even the exceptional Guild Wars 2 sits abandoned on my hard drive.

While watching Wildstar’s lore videos one day I got tired of the notion that there’s some moral ambiguity to the Dominion. There’s technically some sympathy in their backstory, what with the Mechari and all, but in Wildstar proper they’re a ruthless bloodthirsty creepily religious empire. They’re evil, screw them.

So Wildstar, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb

It's that very special time of year, Greendale

Family Guy sure has changed over the years. Stewie no longer wants to take over the world, Peter isn’t obsessed with television, Meg has gone from a figurative punching bag to a literal one. And Brian, straight man and voice of reason, is now a liberal douche.

Is this how Christians feel watching Ned Flanders on The Simpsons? Seeing your own views espoused, mocked, and twisted is really awkward, though there’s some evidence that Ned might be a fair example. But watching Brian Griffin is painful, and not just when he’s having sex with human women.

I find Community’s Craig Pelton far more enjoyable. He’s taken political correctness past its extreme limits and sometimes bobs back on the other side. It’s possible to identify with a tiny speck of his sincerity while the rest of it blows far past your own values.

It's that very special time of year, Greendale. When your school acknowledges no specialness to this time of year.

iPhones and lizard brains

A friend in Tallahassee broke his iPhone and wanted me to talk him out of buying a Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. I failed, but he likes the phone. Here’s how he rationalizes his purchase.

I feel like with the money spent I am getting a new toy per se to play with, whereas the iPhone I kind of think of it like this, you have this pretty, reliable, and safe girlfriend that you know won’t let you down (iPhone), and then you meet this exotic stripper (Samsung) and your practical side says “stay with the reliable” but your lizard brain is telling you to go with the stripper, and you know it can cause you some heartbreak down the road but it might be worth it in the short term haha!

I love it.

Repent

Drawn Together is hard to watch. It’s also hard to find a joke from the show that survives outside its x-rated continuity. And can be posted on the Internet without flagging you as a monster. Here’s one.

Wake up, it's time to repent! Repent? But we just pented.

Kill meeee

Another in the saga of Memes Nobody Asked For.

This is a friend’s iPhone 4S after a drop from shoulder height. Is it possible to pity inanimate objects? You wouldn’t feel bad for a floor lamp that somebody knocked over, but this, well.

iPhone kill meeee

Dark Souls II playthroughs

Sometimes I think I was born on the Internet. I remember tweaking settings on my 28.8k modem to improve latency. I remember 56.6k modems and their amazing throughput that let you download an MP3 in the same amount of time it takes to listen to it. I remember being excited for college mainly because of their mythical T1 connection, a blazing pipe of video game demos and Napster.

But images on the Internet always mystified me. How did people go from physical camera to printed picture to scanner to image processor to FTP program to web page? Too many steps! I remember hoarding any pictures I could find (and using them to build an “award-winning” X-Files fan site circa 1997).

Now we have memes and image macros - which anybody can make - but not just anybody can make good ones. So I’d like to toss my hat in the ring. In lieu of the quality journalism and punditry this site is unknown for, I’m going to post some memes I’ve created. You put up with this, and I’ll continue to pretend you exist.

Dark Souls II playthroughs

The Amazing Spider-dope

I was amazed that I liked the first Amazing Spider-man. The subplot with the construction workers and the cranes was unbearably cheesy and Dr. Connors’ underground lab made no sense, but the action was good, the stakes were clear, and Peter and Gwen had a great dynamic and some real chemistry. The high school fight was authentic, I’m told, given the way Spider-man moves, improvises, and cracks wise.

Now for the sequel to ruin everything.

Warning: spoilers. But they’re all dumb, so you might be better off knowing this nonsense in advance.

Who was Peter's mother? You never hear her name.

Amazing Spider-man 2 opens with Peter Parker’s father, Richard, and his mysterious double life that everyone figured out while watching the trailers for the first movie. Big shock, he was a researcher at Oscorp labs and responsible for the radioactive spiders that basically ruined his son’s life. Hey, that’s supposed to be a big shock. I don’t see your jaw on the floor.

Richard Parker discovers that Oscorp is going to sell its biological weapons to a foreign power (PROTIP: this is treason, only the Secretary of State can authorize international weapon sales) and flees Snowden-style with his research (PROTIP: grab yo kid, grab yo wife, call the FBI and go into witness protection). He leaves his son with his sister or sister-in-law and takes a private jet with his wife to God knows where. Oh neat, your jaw’s on the floor now.

What was Richard’s plan? If he felt so threatened by Oscorp that he fled the country, did he really think they wouldn’t target his son? He did absolutely nothing to conceal Peter’s location or identity. They sent an assassin on the flight, I don’t think an after-school kidnapping is out of bounds. For that matter, what was Oscorp’s goal? If Richard just made a copy of their research, then sure, killing him ties up that loose end. Strange that they didn’t do anything once the assassin failed to check in after the flight. That seems like something worthy of a follow-up.

A connector-less protocol that delivers USB 3-level bandwidth. Sure.

I’m trying to be good and ignore the outrageously unrealistic use of technology in this movie, like the circa 1999 private plane whose Internet connection remains steady while an engine is on fire and the cabin has lost pressure and they’re dropping out of the sky; the magic data cube Norman Osborn gives Harry that contains gigabytes of video and turns his desk into a Microsoft Surface (couldn’t just encrypt a folder on the network?); and the Oscorp internal employee search that displays faces of non-matches, takes more than 500 milliseconds, and lets a security employee enter commands to stop the search in progress (hey Oscorp: fire your database admin).

Whoops, I failed.

Speaking of Oscorp, why did Norman send his son Harry away to boarding school for over a decade? Norman recognizes his son’s scientific genius, why not keep him in the family business trying to solve the hereditary disease? I appreciate that Mr. Osborn values a liberal arts education, but if Harry’s going to turn into Darth Sidious the moment he graduates, shouldn’t you put this highly motivated child prodigy in a lab where he can do some good?

Maybe Harry could help Peter Parker with his priorities. I know the premise of Spider-man is that being a superhero affects Peter’s normal life, but I don’t blame Gwen Stacy one bit for leaving him. Petty criminals stealing plutonium seems like something the local police could handle. Or not, considering their pursuit-modified Crown Victorias can’t accelerate past a tow truck dragging an armored car. So Peter’s late for his graduation, late for dinner, and possessing Phillip J. Fry’s capacity for pursuing women, where the strategy is to write “I love you” in a large enough font that she never leaves you. I’m kind of surprised that Max Dillon didn’t think Spider-man was talking to him.

Jamie Foxx is awesome.

Max is a nerdy scientist who’s saved by Spider-man and is then his biggest fan. He becomes Electro, the electricity supervillain, after Oscorp flouts OSHA safety regulations for the fifty billionth time and Max falls into a vat of electric eels.

Now, if you’re Oscorp and the last employee who was affected by your biologic research turned into a supervillain and threatened Manhattan, what would you do with Max as he lies charred on the floor? Would you clean up the mess, erase all records of the employee, and send his corpse to the morgue to be cremated?

You would? Excellent! Who did you send to take care of that? Brock Hardass, your trusted no-nonsense henchman, who would personally oversee every step of the process? Oh. You didn’t. You sent Joe the Intern, who couldn’t convince your systems administrator to purge Max Dillon’s employee file immediately and just dumped the corpse at the morgue and told them to take care of it whenever. Ugh. Well, the CEO’s secretary is your boss now, maybe this can’t be helped.

Oh look, it's Infamous' Cole McGrath.

Don’t ask how, but Electro gets loose and terrorizes Times Square by doing his low-rent Dr. Manhattan impression. With the help of Spider-man and the police and fire departments, Electro is subdued. And then, for assaulting police officers and endangering the lives of hundreds of civilians and causing millions of dollars in property damage - all on the national news - Electro is put on trial and sentenced to life in prison.

Hah! Just kidding. He’s returned to Oscorp no questions asked. The cops don’t monitor his location, Spider-man doesn’t keep tabs on him after realizing he’s Max Dillion, nobody from the news investigates the biggest story since Dr. Curt Connors turned into The Lizard.

Meanwhile at Oscorp (motto: Come And Get Us, Trial Lawyers!) Harry Osborn discovers the company’s secret projects, codename Project Secret Projects. The guy who wanted to call it something innocuous like “Janitorial Wastewater Analysis 2003” must have been voted down. It’s there that Harry discovers the radioactive spider venom his father thought might cure their hereditary disease. He seems to know that Spider-man was bitten by one of Oscorp’s radioactive spiders, so he reviews security camera footage of the lab before Spider-man appeared in New York and deduces it’s Peter Parker.

Hah! Sorry, kidding again. Oscorp uses proprietary data storage blocks that connect to transparent capacitive office desks for their secret projects but doesn’t invest in things like security cameras and tape backup.

Anyhoo, Harry believes Spider-man’s blood will cure his disease and asks Peter Parker to convince the web-slinger to donate some. Spider-man’s being remarkably thoughtful as he turns Harry down, worrying more about the billionaire’s safety than the fact that Spidey’s blood will identify him as the son of Richard Parker. Unfortunately the webbed one doesn’t consider how a doomed, emotionally stunted billionaire might retaliate when denied what he believes to be a life-saving cure.

Harry has some awesome blue curtains. Sorry, what were we talking about?

You might answer “by throwing the vast resources of his company at capturing Spider-man” but Harry is booted out of Oscorp after Evil Businessman faked a file somewhere. This seems as logical as any other corporate action given that Harry can force his board of directors to answer directly to the secretary. Technically powerless but probably still in command of millions of dollars, Harry bluffs his way into the Ravencroft Institute to rescue Electro and take revenge on Spider-man.

What follows is a predictable fight-the-villain-in-his-lair sequence where Spidey confronts Electro in a power plant. Our heroes win after a lecture about eighth-grade science, the kind of thing you’d think Max Dillon - who designed the power plant - wouldn’t fall for.

Confession: I didn’t know Gwen Stacy was going to die. I didn’t realize she had to wear that specific outfit when she died, so it was kind of a shock. Peter’s grief seems appropriate, and throws into relief the whole “Peter Parker is just like me because he has normal person problems.” Yeah, like paying the rent, worrying about his relatives… oh, and being hunted by an infinite number of monsters and/or gangs and causing the death of at least one member of each family he’s close to. Sheesh.

It’s amazing he’s still sane.

Final Archstone

I’m totally out of these. I think. Continued from part two.

Oh good, I did have an airboat joke last time

  • CHLAMIDIOT: Minion cannot be killed on its first turn after being placed
  • REMEMBER SPACEBOT: Select a card from your opponent’s hand that they will never be allowed to play nor discard
  • RODNEY’S PERSONAL PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Select the cards your opponent will play next turn
  • BOOM BUMPER: Hero gains 2 health after attacking their own minions
  • JUST IGNORE IT, IT’S NON-DIAGETIC: Minion cannot be targeted by enemy hero abilities
  • ET ME, BUDDY: After a friendly minion attacks an enemy minion, deal 1 damage to that enemy minion
  • YOU WIN SNAKE KNOWING: Kill any serpent on the board
  • NINETY DOLLAR MANICURE: Cast Divine Shield on a friendly minion
  • WHY ARE YOU STILL GOING HA: After receiving three hits on your hero, deal half the total damage to the enemy hero
  • SUPPRESSING FIRE EXTINGUISHER: Silence all enemy minions
  • RANDY GAVE ME A BIBLE LESSON: Remove any one friendly and one enemy minion from the board
  • HE’S BUTTONLESS: Grant any friendly minion Stealth