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Butts and Bosses

Butts and Bosses

The Great Butt Debate

Note: If you could care less, there’s a lighter non-butt related topic (it’s boardgames instead) below! 😀

So if you’re living under a rock, last week a post over on the Blizz forums for Overwatch spawned a huge thing that folks have started referring to as #TracerGate or #ButtGate (and side note, can we just stop with the “gate” crap? It only made sense for Watergate).

The Internet blew up, as it is wont to do and folks started raging on either side of the spectrum about how “SJWs are taking butts away” and “GGs are opressing females yet again” and the rest of us were sitting there in the middle going, “EHHHH?!”.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the entirety of the original post (I mean, I do oogle on 2D men in otomes), I do agree with what I considered to be the main point of the argument in Tracer’s original “over the shoulder” pose.

From a marketing standpoint, she’s the star of the show. She’s a great hero. When we look at the way she’s portrayed in promotional media, lore, and art in game we know a few things about her.
She’s Fast.
She’s Silly.
She’s Kind.
She’s a good Friend.
Her body seems to be comprised of about 95% spunk.

Then out of seemingly no where we have this pose.

What about this pose has anything to do with the character you’re building in tracer? It’s not fun, its not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer. It just reduces tracer to another bland female sex symbol.

I agree that the pose is boring. It’s bland. It’s taking a typical pose and sticking it on a character, and it feels out of character. The fact that it’s “sexy” doesn’t particularly bother me (which was a point of contention in the rest of the OP, by my reading?). I just felt “meh” about the pose. Plus the wedgie-factor looks super uncomfortable.

So Blizz removed the pose, and today they announced the new pose.

I don’t know pin-up art from my elbow, but @christianmccrea deftly identified the source here pic.twitter.com/RovfwQliYO

— BooDoo (@BooDooPerson) April 6, 2016

The pose is essentially a re-skin of one of Billy Devorss’ beautiful pieces of art (though I am unable to find the title of the piece at this current moment). In a way, it feels like Blizz is trying to troll folks, however, that’s another topic that I don’t plan to delve into. Also, I have to wonder if blatantly copying the pose will result in Devorss’ estate to get into it with Blizzard?

Regardless, I love pin-up art, and I can’t argue with emulating the style. In fact, even though it’s still just as “sexy” (maybe more so?) as the last pose, it’s way more in character. It’s spunky. It has attitude. It’s fun. It’s silly. I, personally, am a fan, and seeing the pose that has attitude compared to the last one makes me much more interested in playing and spending money on the game.

Boss Monster

Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, I wanted to share a neat little game that Chaide picked up yesterday called Boss Monster. We’re big into board games, and have quite a few of them. We even have a few LCGs we’ve collected cards for. But even with games like Dominion and Catan, they’re never quiet as fun with two folks compared to even three. They just don’t work as well.

Boss Monster is a card game designed for 2-4 players, but includes variant rules as well to implement to change up game-play regardless of how many people are playing. It’s essentially a 2D scroller dungeon game out of cards. It’s all pixel art, and it’s adorkable. It goes by fast, too. Our first game took about a half hour, but our two consecutive games only took about ten to fifteen minutes, excluding some breaks to walk the dog.

It’s a rare game where I’m actually looking forward to getting more of the expansions for (and even maybe the epic box?), because it feels balanced as a two-player game. And as much as I love Smashup and Catan, they just don’t feel as balanced for two-players.

So if you enjoy tabletop games, or 2D scrollers, or just fun and wholesome games that you can play with a minimum number of people, check it out! And now I’m off to go play some more because the WildStar servers are down.

Neutral Good

Neutral Good

This is post 30 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and sign up to participate, visit the Blaugust Nook!

An impromoptu prompt that went through Blaugust recently was that of taking the D&D Alignment test as yourself to see what results you garnered. If I have tracked it correctly, it all stemmed from Eldaeriel‘s post a few days ago.

When I took the test, I ended up with the Neutral Good alignment. The quiz states:

A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. The common phrase for neutral good is “true good.” Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias toward or against order.

Taking this from my own perspective was interesting. I’ve always considered myself more Lawful than Neutral, but I guess I could see myself falling into the Neutral category. I did figure that I’d fall into the Good category, though. I care deeply about things/people–whether they be silly little arguments online, or someone truly in need (it’s a blessing and a curse). I always try to follow the “golden rule” as difficult as it may be, sometimes. I also try to stay positive, and keep any negative thoughts about others to myself, though I do have to bite my tongue quite a bit sometimes.

Overall, I feel that it describes me fairly decently, though, as with any character you RP, I’m sure my personal alignment will change as I experience more of what life has to offer. I’d be interested in what it looks like a few years from now.

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet

Goodness gracious, it’s been a bit since posting. But that’s what a busy vacation does! This is more of a real-life focused “micro-post” (as much as I can write a micro-post, anyway), so read or don’t read–it’s your own discretion.

Friday was a Bachelor party for Chaide, Saturday was a car insurance debacle over a silly small paint transfer (and cops being really mean–it kind of ruined my day) as well as a Pre-Wedding hangout, and Sunday was a wedding. We also had to get packed, bring the dog to a friend’s house because they’re being awesome and watching her, and get the cats ready for a week alone.
Monday we dealt with some flight delays and flew into Madison, WI. We spent lots of time hanging out with Chaide’s BFF (who we consider more his sister, considering they’ve known each other over 20 years already), her husband, and their son (~20 months old), who clung to us the entire time we were there. He loved his Uncle Chaide to death while we were out sightseeing (and at the pool), and had a blast hanging out with me at home. 
I also put together an article over at QueueTimes on the TSW DevStream, The Streaming Ones, from last Friday, July 10th. If you’re interested in the changes they’re implementing (which are a lot of awesome ones!) for Issue #12, check it out! It was a fun way (legit!) to spend an evening in our hotel. Because I really do enjoy gaming that much.
Tuesday we went over to the House on the Rock, and I now really have to get a copy of American Gods to read it. It was such a neat place! Though it was a lot of walking around, and a very long self-guided tour. Completely worth it, though! We also played some games after our nephew went to bed, specifically Love Letter and Tokaido. Both were fun. People who hate on Love Letter for being “simple” or “easy” or what-have-you, have not taken into account extremely long days with children, and then mixing in some alcohol after they go to bed. It’s a nice game for when you don’t really want to think too hard, but still want a little strategy or logic-based puzzles.
We also hit up this amazing restaurant in Madison square before we left on Wednesday night (they were lucky enough to have a baby sitter have some time free last minute) called Harvest. The menu was amazing! We enjoyed dinner, and a walk around the Square before heading back to the hotel.
Thursday we spent some more time with them before flying out to Seattle, WA. We got in yesterday, a tad sleep deprived, and then spent a bunch of time hanging out with our friend Tal. We met Tal back in EVE Online when we first started playing, and then started up Black Daggers with him. He’s since moved onto FFXIV (over on Lamia), but we stay in touch, and try to play with him on his server any chance we get.
Tonight (after I take a quick nap when I’m done dealing with a possible car loan to get me a nice used car), we’re going to get in some drinking and play some Eclipse, which we happened to pick up to do some gaming tomorrow night with a few of his friends. We’re also going to go to a nice steak place for dinner, which is exciting.
Quick update on Hero’s Journey – I did Days 1 and 2 in the pool Monday and Wednesday, and today I’m going to work on Day 3. Being on vacation and dealing with planes and airports has limited my time, but even if I’m not getting it in every day, I’m making sure to try to complete the days as soon as I can. Once we get back home, I’ll be able to do them daily. Considering we’re on vacation, I still think I’ve done pretty damn good!
We fly back home to Atlanta on the redeye Sunday midnight PST (3am EST), and then it’s back to work on Monday.
My game time may still be limited, though, until we move into our new apartment. There’s just still so much to do, but that’s another post for another time.
Guess Who’s Back: Life In Retrospect

Guess Who’s Back: Life In Retrospect

Oh, I love how I keep saying “I’ll blog more,” but then never get around to it. I’ll get better about it eventually. Life, overall, has had quite a few ups and downs. And very little time for gaming.

Life 

Feel free to skip this. I don’t normally bemoan or mention real life much online, as I feel they should be as separate as they can be. However, life has been such a rollercoaster since November, that I felt it was best to get it all out and be done with brooding in my head. Please, feel free to skip this section.

In November I lost an okay job in what I thought I wanted to be my career. It wasn’t the best, they weren’t that great with having work for me to do, but it was still income that I was helping to support the Elephant and myself with. I picked up a job in childcare a few weeks later, and it was, again, an okay place. Long story short, the environment amongst the teachers was horrid—nobody wanted to be there, and it was extremely catty.

It’s okay, though, because they laid me off in January after being out two days with a bilateral ear infection (which is terribly painful, I might add) with a doctor’s note. Then I found a great home at a childcare facility that made me question what I wanted to do with my life as a career. When I started college as an undergrad, I wanted to teach Elementary school. Then after a not-so-great experience, I questioned it, decided to just finish out my degree because I was so close, skip my student teaching and teaching certification and fly right to graduate school. In graduate school I wanted to work in the Training and Development world. So I searched for jobs in that field while still working at the childcare center. I found on the end of April that I thought was going to be a great fit. Three weeks later, it turned out not to be so when they let me go with the only reason being, that I “wasn’t a good fit”. So now, I am back to the job hunt. All I need is to find a job in childcare again and I am okay. The problem is that everyone is off from school so numbers are down and they have part-time summer staffers that will go back to school in the fall.

Despite all this, some positive has happened and come of it. In February the Elephant and I were engaged!

We plan to be married in July of 2013, but we are currently holding on planning any more due to our current situation. I’ve also finally realized what I want to do with my career at this point in time. It may have taken quite a bit of time after graduating, but I have finally figured it out. I do want to be in Elementary school, teaching. I am currently looking into a program in my state that will allow me to work for a year while being paid as a specific type of teacher where I essentially finish my student teaching and other courses I may need in that time. Employment isn’t guaranteed, as most school systems that partner with the program will hire certified teachers over those trying to become certified, but I know something good will come of it. It’s one of those rare moments of clarity one has in their life.

See? Positive note.

The Blog 

It’s obviously been somewhat dead. “Somewhat” being an understatement. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things, but I am not going to hold my breath.

I do want to update the layout but I am without a copy of Photoshop, and am desperately searching for even an old copy, if someone has one they are getting rid of, or what have you.

The pages definitely need an update considering my gaming as of late. The blogroll still needs to be created, let alone “updated”. So it’s on the to-do list.

The Computer 

Last time I wrote, my computer was having issues playing the SW:TOR beta. Now, it’s just having an overheating problem in general. But I can’t get it fixed, so I cut gaming short after about four hours or my computer will go kablooey for another few hours. Just let it cool down for a half hour and then back to it. We can’t figure out what fan it is with the problem, but we know it’s a heating issue.

Gaming 

Console and Computer
The Elephant and I have said “goodbye” to WoW. It was a bittersweet departure, but it was necessary with life. After we moved in October and I started a job in January, our time was too caught up in other things. We weren’t prepared for raids like we should have been according to our own guild’s rules, and we felt like a detriment to the raid in general. Besides, who needs a Bear and a Tree when you can have a Death Knight and a Priest?

So we kind of ghosted off WoW. We miss our guild a lot, and we keep in touch with a few members. But most don’t use the site, and after we shut vent down because we couldn’t afford it, we haven’t really had a way to keep in touch aside from activating our accounts again. It works out, however, because we aren’t particularly interested in Mists of Pandaria. Our new game of focus is EVE, and we even just created alt-accounts. We are in a new corporation that focuses on mining, with some mission running and some incursions coming in June. We’re having a blast, and it’s a good distraction from life. The people are a riot, and we have fun. Like when we started playing WoW together.

We want to play some SW:TOR but neither of our computers can handle it, so we haven’t even really been keeping up with it. I am interested in eventually playing some STO, but it again, hasn’t been high on the priority list. We’re still working our way through Skyrim, but we’ve also been enjoying some LEGO: Star Wars. It’s a fairly difficult game despite its “kid” feel and marketing. I’ve kind of raged over it a few times, too. Yeah… go me! We really want Diablo III, but again, his graphics card can’t handle it, and my computer will crash with the overheating issue just starting it up. It also doesn’t help not being able to afford it. So we pine away as we watch everybody else play it. The Elephant did get a key from his best friend’s husband for Torchlight, and he is enjoying the shit out of it. I have been playing the Torchlight II beta for the past day, and can’t wait to purchase it when it comes out.

Tabletop
The Elephant recently decided to DM a 3.5E game, and we had our first game. Only one person could make it, sadly, so we’re holding another this weekend to get everyone up to par for the next full game. The world is pretty neat—sort of a clean slate thing going on after an “apocalypse” (The Wounding) which was essentially a World War kind of deal between Elves and Humans. Now they’re at it again and we’re in the middle of it. In the meantime we’re trying to find out why kids have been captured from a town and ran into some Undead. I’m pumped to play some more of my Gnome Bard—Pofty Xyratris Dragonflinger. Oh yeah. It’s going down.

Books 

I’ve not been reading very much due to a hectic life schedule, and I severely want to get back into it! I’m currently trying to finish up The Amber Spyglass so I can start on the humongous pile of books on my bedside table.

You didn’t believe me, did you?

Wrap it Up 

I am sure that I will again disappear for a while. Once I am finally accepted into the practicum program, I will be working a second job so that the Elephant can finish up his degree sooner, and we can pay for our wedding. In the meantime, look for lots of posts on things I’m doing, both gaming and not. And expect some wedding-splosion at some point or another. Just sayin’.

Blighter’s Dream

Blighter’s Dream

This week, Zahia from One More Alt posed the BA Shared Topic over at the forums:

If you were a developer being asked to design a boss for Cataclysm, what boss would you create? Would it be a vicious warrior, a crazy shaman, a cheating rogue, an overpowered mage, or a mix of all of these? What would his more letal skill be? What type of lair would he have?

Obviously I’m a tad behind on getting to this topic, but my computer crashed. Anyway! The topic at hand!

I’ve always been interested in Druids (and Dragons, but that’s another story for another day). I find the Warcraft lore for Druids absolutely fascinating. The Emerald Dream is something I’ve always wanted to see implemented in the game, and thus follows the implementation of The Emerald Nightmare. Saz wrote an amazing entry on the end boss of an Emerald Nightmare raid (specifically N’Zoth… N’Zath… that Old God guy). My boss would fall more under “end boss of Emerald Nightmare dungeons”.

Image from WOtC

For those that don’t know, I’m huge into DnD. One of the 3.5e campaigns I played as an undergrad, I rolled a Druid. The DM eventually gave me an animal companion which was a desert lizard of sorts (based upon the setting chosen by the DM and the origin of the Druids), and I was eventually able to pick out this epic weapon, that, when held to the ground for a certain number of rounds, would turn into a Treant through the rest of the encounter.

Well, one battle, long after my Druid had obtained the weapon, something went wrong. When the treant was trying to grapple a mob, my dice failed me. I rolled a Nat 1. The DM looks at me, a smirk on his face (DMs are evil like that… all of them), and asks me to confirm. Maybe I can still save from whatever twisted idea he has going…

C’mon dicey, don’t fail me… n–CRAP! Nat 1 again. Yep, a confirmed critical failure. So, instead of the treant grappling the mob, he turns around and grabs my lizard companion. The the DM has me roll again. Uh oh… a Nat 20! That save me, right?! Wrong. The treant makes a critical success in vaulting the lizard onto the end of a polearm (or some other such weapon) held by one of the mobs. Needless to say, I was foaming at the mouth, let alone my character. Since I wasn’t going to get a new companion, I decided to hand off my Druid’s sheet to the DM and roll a Noble/Rogue for the rest of the campaign (which happened to be more fun to RP in the long run). The story I gave the DM to run with (which never showed up, but was fine by me) was that my Druid became a Blighter, driven mad by the circumstances in combat.

Now, what’s a Blighter, you ask? Well! Let me just drag out my Complete Divine 3.5e and give you the description!

Art by Ron Spencer

When a druid turns away from the land, the land turns away from her. Some ex-druids make peace with this change; others seek to restore the bond. A few, however, actually embrace their disconnection from nature and become forces of destruction. These few, called blighters, bring desolation wherever they tread.

A blighter gains her spellcasting ability by striping the earth of life. A swath of deforested land always marks her path through the wilderness.

The vast majority of blighters are nomadic loners constantly in search of green lands to destroy. Some are grim; others laugh at the destruction they wreak. Almost all, however, are friendless and mad. What puts them over the edge is the knowledge that nature gets the last laugh: To gain their spells, they must seek out the richest forests of the land, even if it’s only to destroy them. Thus, even though they’ve turned away from nature, they must constantly return to it. 

Dungeons and Dragons Complete Divine, David Noonan. 

This DnD character has been my inspiration this BA:ST. I started to wonder, “Would the Warcraft equivalent of a Blighter be one corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare”? I came to the assumption, that yes, it would.

The dungeon would have two or three bosses before you come to the Blighter (who is the final boss). I’m not sure what it’s name would be, but it would definitely be a Night Elf. According to DnD, Blighter’s are mostly humans or elves. In Warcraft, Druids can only be Trolls, Night Elves, Tauren or Worgen. Hm. Guess I’m stuck with a Night Elf. But, we haven’t really had any evil Night Elf bosses we’ve had to face, right? Should be something new.

This Night Elf would have been corrupted by his experiences in the Emerald Nightmare, thanks to N’Zoth… Zath… whatever. His attacks would look something like this:

Contagious Bite: A disease that ticks for massive damage until dispelled or falls off. Lasts for 10 seconds. Placed upon a party member by the animated dead.
Animated Dead: The Blighter reanimates dead animal corpses at 75% and 25%. Three animals will rise, and will stay up until burned down.
Plague: The Blighter casts a rolling wave of disease at the party at 50% health. He will have a short speech in which the players can move out of the 15 foot radius. If a player gets it, they will get hit for 150k damage, before resists.
Deforestation: The Blighter lights the vegetation on fire in order to gain more energy for his spells. The deforestation will spread for four seconds and leave charred earth in its place for another two seconds.
Corrupted Bear Form: The Blighter casts an Undead Bear Form on himself. Gains all abilities available to Bear Druids.
Corrupted Wrath: As Wrath works now for druids, but hits for more.

So, the fight would look something like this…

Mr. Blighter is channeling on his starting platform at the front of the circular room filled with live trees and burned trees. Around him are corpses of various animals. The tank extraordinaire would bring him to the middle of the room, and the DPS would start whacking him. He’ll melee the tank, and cast single-target Corrupted Wrath on the raid until 75% (Corrupted Wrath can’t be interrupted).

At 75% he will become immune to damage and will channel Animated Dead. Three of the animals on the platform will rise, and attack the party. They’ve no aggro-table and hit for minimal damage, except for their Contagious Bite. Mr. Blighter will stop channeling and go back to his Corrupted Wrath and hitting the tank while the dead are up. The dead must be burned down ASAP. Once the dead are down, the raid can go back to whacking on Mr. Blighter.

At 50% he will run back to his platform and yell something and channel for about three seconds. This is the warning to the party to GTFO, because he’s about to cast Plague. It can be totally avoided if you move far enough away. Once he’s done casting Plague at the party, he will run back to whomever has threat. Rinse and repeat with the Corrupted Wrath business.

At 25% he again becomes immune and channels Animated Dead. Same deal with the adds–burn them down and then back to him.

Ah, but you say I’m forgetting about his Deforestation and Corrupted Bear Form? Here’s the kicker–he casts them throughout the phases! Every so often he’ll lay down a spot of Deforestation when he runs low on mana from casting Corrupted Wrath on the raid (about five or six casts). At about this time, he’ll shift into Corrupted Bear Form so that the Deforestation can spread and he can regain mana. Once his mana is back to full, he’ll shift out of Corrupted Bear Form and go back to spamming Corrupted Wrath on the party.

Evil? I think so….

Muahaha…