Sunday, January 30, 2011

TLU: To the Girl who kept losing her balance on the bus and stomping my foot...

"You know, if your friend told you to hit on me, I think you're taking her way too literally."

Sadly, being casually flirty with a +-18 year old probably isn't appropriate anymore. At least she was in flats...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

TotD: You Know You've Been Playing WoW Too Long When...

Guildie: Where do babies come from?
Guildie2: nine month cooldown.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TotD: Sarah Palin...

... is, at best, like that relative who has an opinion on everything, is always right, and screams begins dodging or "yeah, but"'ing when you point out where they're wrong. At worst, she's the one who sees your new SO, finds out their ethnic/racial background or past, and then says the most inappropriate thing possible before acting shocked you don't invite them for dinner again.

I mean, really...
“I think the critics again were using anything that they could gather out of that statement,” she said. “You can spin up anything out of anybody’s statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement.”
No shit Auntie Muriel.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FiM: Here's how That Really Goes...

Dear Trojan Ad Executive,

Your new commercial for your "Personal Massager" is trying way too hard to establish your product as "acceptable". Lets be honest here for a second, the vast majority of guys who've just been told their fiance got 3 vibrators from her closest friends at her bachelorette party are not going to scream: "Sweet!" like their team just won the Superbowl.

They're gonna be wondering exactly just how bad she's been telling them the sex was to make three of them think to grab that first...

Because, when it comes to these things, one is a "novelty gift", two is "ok, they wore the same dress to the ball", but three+ is: "What the hell have you been saying about me during girl talk?"

Addendum: Yeah, I get the whole: "blows your hair back!" thing is your pitch line here... but did you stop to consider the implications of it within the context of this ad? Are you implying those three women tested the product before giving it to their friend? 'cause that would be kinda icky...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

WoW: Why Archaeology Sucks.

Imagine you're a Blacksmith who actually mines. You want to craft current level gear and, in order to do this, you need to gather metal. But, there're only four metal bearing sites available on the map at any given time. Oh... and the metal these sites contain is also determined by the zone the server decides to drop your "mine site" into so you'll be running zone to zone to mine each one until they're "tapped out" because you will not be given any new ones until you consume one of the old.

So, now you're gathering tons of Copper, Iron, Thorium, etc inbetween massive amounts of travel time for every bit of Elementium you need to make current level gear.

This, folks, is how Archaeology works.

Think about that for a second... let it really sink in....

Ready to throw something at the screen yet?

You should be because Archaeology is, at it's core, a crafting profession that's been grafted to the single most cumbersome, time consuming, and frustrating gathering mechanic ever applied to the game. Seemingly designed to actively prevent you from getting anything done, it makes the server a gatekeeper who decides when you gain access to the nodes you need to get a race's relic by having it roll up the four relic sites you have available to start at random and then stand there inexpressively like the Queen's Royal Guard waiting for you to remove one so it can stoically press a button to hand you another from the site list; again at random. This becomes even more apparent as you hit the skill cap and find yourself less interested in just getting your 5 or 10 points from "finds" and more interested in actually seeking out finds of interest. It's at this point that you quickly realize such an event is mechanically impossible because, unlike every other gathering profession in the game, this one isn't designed to let you seek only the specific materials you need at any given time.

So, you want the Vial of the Sands Recipe for your Alchemist? Best be prepared to spend days kicking around Kalimdor scooping large quantities of Elf, Troll, Fossil, and Dwarf fragments for every Tol'Vir site that pops. (Even more fun, you need Canopic Jars to get that item so you're gathering materials that pop up at random... to make an item you're only allowed to make at random*... which has a random chance to drop the item that you want. Didn't we just build an entire expansion to remove these kinds of double/triple up RNG quests from the game?)

Because of this, it's technically impossible to "grind" Archaeology in the traditional sense but, at the same time, "grinding" is mandatory because scooping up all those other fragments is the only way to get to the ones you need. This makes Archaeology a massive time sink and, perhaps most annoyingly, one that precludes any normal means of playing the game because the sites very rarely, if ever, end up where you'll be questing/gathering once you get past level 20 or so and they can start showing up in LvL 20-30 zones spread across the continents or all the way back into LvL 10-20 zones you're out of now. In fact, you'll likely end up with a book at your side, alt-tabbing to read the news, or breaking out another game to fiddle with because you're going to end up spending significant amounts of time in the air between flight masters jumping zone-to-zone as you chase nodes to get items done.

That folks, together, is ultimately why Archaeology sucks: you have to give up playing the game to get anything done in exchange for fighting the server and role playing a Griffin/Windrider passenger chasing 10 Million Airmiles like Ryan Bingham.

Only, you don't get your name on a plane for it and Ghostcrawler won't be stopping by with a lifetime subscription.

* This, by the way, is the only part of Archaeology that makes sense within a real world context. After all, Archaeologists rarely have control over exactly what they will find but they do tend to have some control over what they want to work on by controlling where they do their searches. You don't see Egyptologists going: "Gee, I've seen all I can see of the pyramids. Let's go search the Badlands of Alberta for more signs of their culture!", which is essentially what's being forced on the player here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Failures in Marketing: Missing the Pitch...

Dear Silk ad campaign manager,

Claiming "Silk is the best tasting Soy Beverage ever!" is functionally equivalent to saying "the Ford Pinto is the best compact car that explodes in rear end collisions!" It's not going to convince anyone to try your product because it does nothing to attack peoples preconceptions of your product.

I'm not even sure it would convince someone who likes soy milk to drink it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TyL: When You're a Ninja

There's no jump like the jump you get starting an AIM conversation in one room and then finishing it verbally in another. Behind the person you continued chatting with.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Link Storage: Silly Records Edition

Apparently you can duct tape someone to a wall, unable to reach the ground, in ~57 seconds and expect them to stay there for at least one minute

Monday, January 10, 2011

TLU: From the archives

Me: Know how you're always accusing me of having a different girl in every town?
Her: Yes...
Me: Well, now that Toronto's amalgamated I'm afraid I have to downsize. Sorry.

To be honest, I actually told her this one had been floating around in my head for a while after we broke up on her initiative. Err... within 5 minutes of the fairly civil event actually. Outwardly, she got the joke. Inwardly I suspect it was a reminder of how I tend to deal with stress by cracking wise about it; which was cute to begin with because I'd make her laugh when she was upset but I suspect began to wear.

This was also the one where I learnt the: "don't want to hurt her by ending it" relationship trap is bullshit and an attitude I shouldn't engage in again when things start to go south.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

TLU: Because you know you want to say it...

<Insert Familial Meddler here>: "So, when are you two going to get married and have kids?"

"I dunno. When are you going to pay for it and offer to surrogate?"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TyL: Levelling 1-60 Cataclysmically

* mostly Kalimdor edition

1) Some stuff's new, some's the same, some's just moved, everything flows a lot better.

2) If you're a sentimentalist, Darkshore is quite possibly the most depressing place to level. At least, Alliance side.

3) Remtravel is still an idiot. Getting to build a Murloc Village complete with Michigan J. Frog Murloc celebrants: awesome!

4) Yes, lets arm the Grimtotems. That will end well.

5) Oh, you Alliance backstabbers and Horde peons that let them use you to kill off a moderate General who ordered his troops to let the civilians of Taurajo escape... and then kill the son of another turning him into a massive warmonger ready to raze you all to the ground.

6) Stood in the Fire. Almost twice. The crumby part of this particular "event" is that the fire persists for 5 minutes or so and you can end up trapped on respawn waiting for it to despawn so you can get anything done. The first time it occurred it killed the boss mob I was fighting though, so free credit: YAY!

7) There are far too many people who say they're going to meet me again that... never show their faces again...

8) I'm on a Boat!

9) Wait... I'm handing this Doomgem to Magatha Grimtotem instead of running like mad because.... Oh, yeah... boss with 100M health...

10) Tanaris is much nicer with more than one quest hub. But then it hands you off to Un-Goro at 49 and the mobs there are all 50-54 and you'll frequently be up against 52/53 orange mobs until you catch up. Somehow Kalimdor levelling in that bracket got kinda messed up because there was no breadcrumb in the zone to take me elsewhere once I'd finished up (likely because I finished up below the cap for Silithis), and they never tried to redirect me elsewhere or back north either unlike other zones.

11) I suspect you're supposed to come into Swamp of Sorrows from the Burning Steppes backdoor now because the zone otherwise plays out backwards; starting at the Goblin camp on the coast and then back to the Drae camp inland instead of from Deadwind Pass inwards.

12) If you fell in love with the Northrend Murlocs in LK - particularly the tadpoles - you might want to skip the coastline of Blasted Lands where the local branch have been conquered by Naga and are being used as slaves at best, other unfortunate tadpoles are being pit against each other and bet on in Gladitorial pit fights in the middle somewhere, and being fed to a demon at worst.

Monday, January 3, 2011

CBC Radio 3 Playlist: New Year Update

Picking up where we left off...

The Get Down - Dirty Power
Eddie Orso - Moving Straight
Pathological Lovers - Storm Your Little
Women - Group Transport Hall
Jasper Sloan Yip - Kiddo
Rock Plaza Central - My Children Be Joyful
New Country Rehab - Angel Of Death
Death from Above 1979 - Little Girl
Sea Ballast - I Don't Care
The Pack a.d. - B.C. Is On Fire
Silly Kissers - Thinking Of You
Melissa McClelland - Passenger 24
Ready Set Die - Face First
Caffeine Sunday - Plane
The Soft Province - Thin Ocean
The Hidden Cameras - In The Na
Plumtree - Scott Pilgrim
Emma-Lee - Until We Meet Again
Ladyhawk - (You Are My) Hellfire
The Arcade Fire - Haiti

The Super Friendz - Let You Go Cold
Champion - Guy Doune (Patrick Watson's Missing You remake)
Gobble Gobble - End Of Days
HotKid - Yours and Mine
Winter Gloves - Factories
The Tranzmitors - Live A Little More
Faunts - M4 (p.II)
A Northern Chorus - Remembrance Day
Great Lake Swimmers - Pulling On A Line
Said The Whale - Out On The Shield
Record Of The Week Club - On The Street
Attack In Black - Half Moon On The City High
The Creepshow - Creatures of the Night
Maybe Smith - Hearts Like Bears
Colette Trudeau - I Don't Wanna Know
The Lovely Feathers - Pope John Paul
Great Lake Swimmers - Gonna Make it Through This Year
Blurtonia - Foxy by Proxy
Jody Glenham - Snow In New York City
Paper Lions - Lost The War
Jason Collett - A Beguiled Christmas in Sales
Shimmering Stars - Sun's Going Down
The Shilohs - Carolina
Jay Crocker - Falling Out of Windows
The Arcade Fire - Ready To Start

My favourite song in the list is still Maybe Smith's "Crimes and Diplomacy": an eclectic song - moving from a sort of choral dirge into... what?... electronica power pop?... before finishing out in regae - that simply holds together so well lyrically and musically that I just can't get it out of my head sometimes. "I have to take each murder as a sign that I can't believe in you" has become one of my favourite lyrics ever. It's the kind of song that's thoroughly awesome in its uniqueness yet you know it could never get radio play because it jumps through so many genres that it just doesn't "fit" anywhere in the standard pantheons of station ID's.

Anyways, currently running 78 songs. That ought to blow most of a workday.

Restating the rules: what's gone is gone, I'll patch in new stuff whenever I get around to it, the list is not guaranteed to be worksafe at any time. Not intentionally so, mind you, I just can't be bothered filtering for a problem that can be solved with a set of earphones.