Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Legion Post-Mortem (Part Four)

The next expansion, Battle For Azeroth, will be out on or before the end of September this year. That means that we are now into the public testing phase, and right now that means selected influencers get granted access with the expectation that they can and will stream their test play or make videos about it. They are, and stuff like this is often in my YouTube Feed these days.

But have the devs learned their lessons yet?

Not really. There remains a stubborn resistance to acknowledge the reality of their medium: video-gaming IS Mech Piloting. They are also stubborn about acknowledging the reality of their business: people work off the paradigm of "Best Or Benched", especially when it is team-oriented or cutting-edge in difficulty. Make it both? Optimization is inevitable out of necessity to succeed. If something is not relevant to defeating the obstacle, then it's ignored until the problem gets solved and the obstacle rendered moot.

(This is why the lore of the game gets ignored so often; it is not, nor has it ever been, relevant to beating the boss or solving the quest. Make knowing the lore mission-critical, and you'll make most players into rivals for Nobbel the Noble's Loremaster status overnight. This is why I make lore knowledge mission-critical in my tabletop RPG campaigns.)

The developers deliberately chose to reverse their "Bring the Player, Not the Class" policy. They did this by returning utility to specific classes previously removed, but what this really means is that you get the same effect as Affirmative Action; you end up with a set-aside system of slots to fill or you get fucked by the system. Only this class gets that ability, which you need to have to pass this boss fight or that raid mechanic, so you have to have at least one of that class in your group. That's known to breed resentment, especially as suck players move to that class to chase guaranteed raid spots (and with it, the power and prestige raiding brings in this game).

This also means that class-specific buffs also return--Mark of the Wild, Battle Shout, etc.--and this returns another solved issue to the game: Buffs Are Baseline. The problem with buffs, be they consumed or castable, is that they cease to be bonuses and become the new normal. Lacking the buffs is no longer merely missing a bonus; it becomes coping with a handicap, one that can cripple you when it comes to group content.

Under "Best Or Benched", entire group compositions get tossed into the trash because they lack the buffs that the community comes to expect as the baseline for performance. When truly degenerate, whole swaths of classes get benched and players shut out of content accordingly. (e.g. Shattered Halls in The Burning Crusade, where "LFM 3 Mages" was the norm due to the power of their utility and buffs vs. other options; if you had no Crowd Control, you didn't go--and thus not get attuned for higher content, gatekeeping you from it--until it was not relevant anymore unless you had something to trade or a guild willing to carry you.)

The smart thing to do is to revert this stupid design decision. Remove the buffs; adjust performance expectations accordingly. Kill the class-specific utilities; you have superior options to deal with the underlying complaint of blandness and homogeneity. (Which, by the way, is really a sign of useless redundancy in your playable character options; you need to cull that shit, not justify it.) The devs' refusal to see that they're really Mech Designers doing battle sim work will continue to bite them in the ass until they bend the knee to reality and do what needs to be done: cull the dead weight from the game.

But it's not all bad news. Next post: the good things to come.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Voxiversity Presents "Immigration and War"

I'd embed this video, but YouTube put this video into Restricted Status almost immediately and therefore disabled that feature. Instead, you'll have to go watch it there or at its mirror at Bitchute, or Dailymotion. Big Social's censorship of the Virtual Commons continues.

And if you aren't reading the man's blog, you're missing out. Give it a go.

What I can embed is the Darkstream from last night that talks about this Voxiversity video, and I suggest you watch it over your lunch hour.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Narrative Warfare: History Does an Indirect Hit on Alt-Media By Attacking Putin

No one in their right mind takes what airs on History in the U.S. uncritically. This is the network that made Ancient Aliens an enduring basic cable hit, but every once in a while the plausible deniability of "Muh Ratings" and "Muh Ad Revenue" slips when something blatantly political airs.

I'm watching the late-night re-run of "America's Greatest Threat: Vladimir Putin". I did not expect anything other than two hours of political fearmongering about Putin, as that would be the narrative pushed regardless of the veracity of the facts presented or of the credibility of the people featured to present those facts. What I got was a bit of clever misdirection- but only a bit.

Just past the half-way point, when the narrative goes into how Putin seized control of Russia, the real target of the hit piece comes into view: ALternative Media.

Through a narrative thread on Putin's control over Russian media, the hit piece attacks Western Alternative Media. First, they try (again) to push the Fake News attack by tying all of the anti-Hillary coverage from 2016 to Putin's media influence. Second, they go ahead and double-down again on Muh Russia as the second prong of the doubling-down on the Fake News narrative via proclaiming known frauds as Assad's nerve gas attack as truth (again). They bring out a couple of known shills (former RT and Sputnik people) to give it the illusion of credibility, and that's that.

From there the hit piece goes on to paint Putin as a gangster who's got Russia on lockdown and assassinates dissidents that it cannot imprison or otherwise silence. The implication is that Indie Media is Putin's catspaw, because everyone behind the production of this TV presentation is tied to the Deep State.

This, folks, is a Deep State counter-attack against the Alternative Media first and foremost (because there is no way that any foreign policy influence arises out of a wholly domestic television production that will be lucky to be seen outside of US TV, save for those streaming this bullshit). They're hoping that just enough people buy this bullshit to act as they desire. Aside from gullible Boomers and Useful Idiots for said Deep State, it's not likely; you don't succeed on this sort of this when you use the Ancient Aliens network to do it.

I note that this is just a more sophisticated version of standard SJW behavior. This a projection, a doubling-down, and a bald-faced lie all rolled up into a convenient television package. Folks like Frame Game Radio should torrent this bullshit and give it a review to pick apart how this special frames its claims, using what verifiable facts it has to lie to the viewer so boldly.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Narrative Warfare: Big Social Censors Parkland Shooting Commentary

The Supreme Dark Lord, Vox Day, noticed that a specific two-word phrase is now being used to filter out criticism and skepticism of Parkland and those exploiting it for pushing their frauds. He gets into this in a Periscope last night. I concur that this phrase has all the power that "Fake News" does given the behavior of those seeking to suppress it.

This story is fake as a three-dollar bill. These are not criminal masterminds, these MSM plants and their handlers. They're not doing what an actually competent social engineer would be doing; they're acting out, revealing by behavior (Revealed Preference again) what actually sets them off so. As I write this post, I have the national news on and I'm seeing that those outlets are desperately trying to distract from the collapsing narrative that they want to push via Parkland.

Vox Day is right: media confidence is falling, hard, because more and more people finally see that Big Media Always Lies. The big fraud isn't going to work, but there is no other option so Big Media Doubles Down and then wonders why their bullshit doesn't work on those that they haven't brainwashed and gaslit into a virtual lobotomization into easily-led drones.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Geek Gab Hosts L Jagi Lamplighter Wright Today

Geek Gab had on L. Jegi Lamplighter Wright today and this episode spent its time talking about her story in writing and editing as well as what she wrote (and how it came to be). Delightful stories, and the time flew by. Diligent Daddy Warpig made sure to include all of the links needed to follow along (as well as to buy her books) in the Description; do give the woman's books and blog a go, as I am certain that you'll like what you find.

Friday, February 23, 2018

World Class Bullshitters: It's Too Late To Apologize, Last Jedi

The World Class Bullshitters are here once more to replace your shit Friday TV watching with something actually entertaining.

The comments in the video are good as of this post, but this one nails it:

I can’t see how the Last Jedi could ever be saved. There was a small window of opportunity to help get the series back on track after TFA. As we know, that didn’t happen. Just derailed the series even further. I wish a good portion of the film was cut all together. One of the biggest moments for me is the subplot of Finn and Rose on the casino planet. That was a pretty big waste of time, and would’ve been better if it was never thought of to begin with. I don’t see how 14 deleted scenes will make me enjoy it. If there’s a scene or two that is actually good, I’ll still be disappointed since said scene was cut from the film.

Fuck. Mouse. Wars.

When Ancient Aliens is a better use of your time, you know you fucked up.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Razorfist Talks Gun Control

I'm giving my post today over to Razorfist. Just watch, folks. No further commentary by me required.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Templin Institute Expands!

The Templin Institute is a fan group that's gotten some ambition of late. They launched a Twitch account and a Patreon account recently as they wish to extend their reach and expand the material that they cover. Originally focused strictly on fictional groups in science fiction, now they're looking to do character profiles, beastiary profiles, and in collaboration with channels like Spacedock they want to do technology and related topics of interest.

This week they're doing pilots of their handful of spinoff video series, and the one below is the biography one: Dossier.

As I have previously with Spacedock, I urge you to subscribe to Templin's YouTube channel. Follow them on Twitch, Twitter, and (for those still there) Facebook. If you can spare it, donate to their Patreon account. They also have a Discord server for those of you looking to get deeper into their community.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mouse Wars Merch Deserves To Rot: No One Wants Vice Admiral Diversity Hire

SJWs Always Double-Down, the Business Decision.

Time to sell your stakes and short the stocks, folks. Get out, if you're not already out, and walk away. This is the evidence of a business run by fucking retards and insane cultists. Don't see the films. Don't buy the merch. Don't let your family or friends do so either. This might as well be Scientology, so treat it appropriately.

Monday, February 19, 2018

World Class Bullshitters: JJ Abrams Uses "Muh Soggy Knees" to Excuse Last Jedi's Failure

You're not hearing that wrong. Abrams tried to sell "They hate wammen" to excuse the massive fuckup on his watch (as he does have Producer credit for that shitshow). It went over as well as the film itself. The World Class Bullshitters are on it. Take your coffee break and give this a listen.

This has gone from tragedy to farce. Culty Kathy is now revealed as being wholly incompetent, and if Disney had any balls in its headquarters her head would be on a pike right now, along with all the other key shot-callers who could have (and should have) put a stop to Kathy's culty crap- but didn't.

Mouse Wars is a steaming pile of shit. The audience doesn't want it; they walk away in droves, leaving the merch to rot and telling everyone out there to steer clear. But the Mouse Empire is run by insane death cultists, so they're going to fiddle while Rome burns and then fail to rebuild out of the ashes. No, like locusts, they will just move on and try to consume something else that someone else already built up.

George Lucas has to be laughing behind the scenes. He cashed out, and he's living well- the best revenge. I doubt he'll ever buy it back, even if it's for a penny on the dollar, and I wouldn't blame him for having a drink as the last of his edifice burns to ash and flies away on the wind.

Stick a fork in it. It's done. I'll be over here, writing my own stuff and watching/reading others' stuff now rushing to fill that conceptual space- foreign and domestic alike. (Space Battleship Yamato 2202 is solid so far.)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Brief Note on a Good Trend in Bolt-Action Rifles

A few years ago, Mossberg introduced the MVP line of bolt-action rifles. The thing that made them successful is that these rifles can take magazines for the AR-15 (for those chambered in 5.56mm/.223 Remington) or the AR-10/M1A (for those in .308 Winchester). Now you had a bolt-action rifle that used the same magazines at your semi-auto rifle of choice, and for this reason the rifle line took off.

Recently Ruger got in on this action by making the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39mm--the AK-47 cartridge--and designed to use the same magazines at the Ruger Mini-30. This will, and has, had a similar--albeit lesser--effect (lesser due to the Ranch also having the Mini-30's problem with non-brass ammo).

Yet the AK-47 remains very popular in the US, albeit in a semi-auto only version (for legal reasons), as does the cartridge (it's a good substitute for the .30-30 Winchester, America's most popular Deer hunting round). Why no one has a bolt-action rifle out there that takes AK-47 magazines yet is beyond me; whomever put one out that--like the CZ 527 Carbine--can chew up cheap steel-cased ammo all day every day will succeed beyond all measure.

And yet at the SHOT Show nothing of the sort got announced. Fail. Big Fucking Fail.

Mossberg, Savage, someone- get on that. The first one to bring a bolt-action rifle that uses AK magazines wins.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

New Geek Gab and SuperversiveSF Podcasts Today

Geek Gab had a great show today. First an in-depth discussion of Black Panther, and then a Warpig rant on SJW cancer and how it eats at what makes a Civilization great (a lack of heroism and manly virtue), makes this one worth listening to.

The Superversive crew had a show today in support of the Venus volume of their Planetary Anthology series. Worth your time after Geek Gab.

That should hold you over while you take care of the weekend's chores. Enjoy!

Friday, February 16, 2018

The World Class Bullshitters Take on Black Panther

The World Class Bullshitters saw Black Panther. Spoiler-Free take? Not the pro-BLM take the hype wants you to believe, so a solid Marvel movie, but how it shakes out depends on Infinity War. Now, the spoilers will flesh that TL/DR take, and it's got some bad news mixed into the good. Here's the full podcast, so have at it.

Given the problem with the poz on the comic side of Marvel, it was only a matter of time before the poz spread to the films. I'd hoped that it wasn't a thing here, and seems that this is more or less true, but it is present and it looks like it's going to come on hard after Infinity War clears the decks of all the characters whose actors are due to leave the franchise due to their contracts coming up (and being too expensive to renew, especially with some wanting to bail).

So you should be okay with this one, flaws and all, but going forward you should be far more skeptical and wary. Once we get the big payoff from the original Iron Man film, the decks are cleared and we're starting over for all intents and purposes, and that means all understandings are gone with that reset of the table. If you're at all risk-averse, bail after Infinity War is over.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Supreme Dark Lord Talks Comics: DC, Arkhaven, & SJWs Being Stupid

In addition to talking about how DC Comics attempts to gag its SJWs, the Supreme Dark Lord talks a little about Arkhaven Comics and related projects, but most of this is DC closing the barn door after the horses got loose.

I don't think DC will succeed in gagging its SJWs anymore than Marvel has. It's a reaction borne of PR anxiety, and once either the anxiety ebbs or the SJWS cow the leadership then this will end in failure and the SJWs will savage every wrongthinker they can reach in retaliation.

As a bonus, here's something so cutesy sweet that you'll get the 'Beetus and die. It ain't Babymetal, but I like it just the same. Yep, it's Walkure again, doing a MC segment for a live show. If they aren't actually having fun up there on stage, then they're far better actresses than the public thinks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day After The Apocalypse

Mildra posted this to Twitter. I laughed. If you know Fist of the North Star, you will too. If you don't, get familiar; this is a story about a man so moved by love that he destroys every would-be warlord and emperor to end the crapsack world that did in his love. Also, the soundtrack is totally metal.

I'm not kidding about that soundtrack. It has that classic rock vibe, and the lyrics bear this out.

And yes, this has become a meme. Observe.

Happy Valentine's Day, folks. Remember that, even after Civilization collapses, love is a force that can overcome even a nuclear holocaust.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Rant on The Homebrew & Why I Do It This Way

I've been asked about my private TRPG system.

As I said previously, it's meant to make the most of the one vital element in tabletop RPGs: liminality. Therefore it's a system only insofar as it provides a go-to rubric for resolving uncertain situations, where rolling the dice is worthwhile (because one of the sins of latter-day incompetency in TRPG design is to roll when it's not necessary, and it's not necessary when there is no ambiguity).

I don't use levels. They aren't necessary, and their inclusion is the source of the power inflation problem that RPGs in all media suffer from today. (A flaw born of a lack of understanding for the circumstances under which the original use of levels arose; the sort of abstraction needed then is not necessary now.)

The meat is where it's required most: combat.

Your man takes damage off his stats, which works like in Classic Traveller, so getting in that first hit can end the fight right there- much like real life. It makes fighting a serious risk, so it's not done lightly; one good shot and your man won't be able to lift his sword until he recovers. Recovery works the same way as in CT by default. Tech and powers change this, speeding up and slowing down as circumstances dictate.

The result is that my home rules are a set of tools for me to make rulings with at the time, and not something one can compile into a commercial product or a viable wiki, because the mechanics exist purely to handle things that are too common to spot-rule time and again yet are flexible in application to extend to other circumstances as necessary. (e.g. man-to-man combat easily applies to any fight in vehicles, as well as repairing them after the fact).

Because it's meant for maximized liminality, it's not commercially viable and that's why I don't share it; it works for me, but not meant to work for anyone else, much like the specific rifles and handguns for assassins seen in The Man With The Golden Gun.

So a fight would go something like this.

  • Determine who goes first. A single d6 throw per side works fine; ties mean simultaneous actions.
  • Winning side goes first and resolves actions. (Resolution in ties waits until everyone acts.)
  • Losing side goes and resolves.
  • End of turn bookkeeping. Return to initiative throw and repeat until done.

Because you're taking damage right off your man's STR, DEX, or CON scores you can't ignore mooks or do other typical gaming bullshit tricks due to high level or gear. You have to either get armored or not get hit at all. You've got a 10-14, and you get hit for 6, so now you're below the minimum for your weapon or your fatigue reserves just got halved, or whatever. Tends to throw a wet blanket on all that "I'm a hero because STATS!" bullshit that goes on too much.

No, that hero pulls off his deeds because he's smart and experienced. It's about skill, not stats, and that means Player Skill- part of which includes knowing when NOT to fight. (It helps that I don't do Kill XP either, another source of aberrant behavior).< By removing perverse incentives, natural ones reassert themselves and therefore more talking occurs- but what fighting that does go down gets done mean and with malice aforethought. Some of you will approve. The rest need to reacquaint yourselves with the source material.

So, what does your man get out of all this? What he does if this was real. I don't do XP either in the homebrew, so what your man gets is what he negotiates and enforces. By doing this, far more focus on natural language and organic emergent phenomena occurs and almost no Mech Piloting (because, with this set up, there is no Mech to pilot).

And that's how you get RPGs away from Mech Piloting: by ensuring that there no Mech. That's why it is this way- to kill the Mech. The cost is that I, as GM, have to spot-rule far more than most commercial TRPGs; I turn this into another virtue by making the most of the liminality of the medium, such that a game what starts as Ye Olde Knight Errants can easily turn into His Glorious Paladins of the Imperium of Man and no one notices so much as a shift in my tone of voice, much less a rule or ruling.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The SJW Invasion Recognition Chart

If you recognize this pattern, immediately move to destroy the invaders. No surrender, no retreat, no mercy. This is how they steal what you love from you.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Legion Post-Mortem (Part Three)

Today I'm continuing my post-mortem on World of Warcraft: Legion. Previous post is here

There is one glaring issue that arose with this expansion, and it was entirely preventable because it's a repeat of the same big mistake of Wrath of the Lich King: centering the PCs on Dalaran.

We told them at the time that this was a bad idea. We know that they know that this was a bad idea, because they said in public that they acknowledge the former mistake was just that. Cramming every last player through one activity hub, where players will be coming and going at all hours, is hell on PCs. They tried to handle this with the best sharding techniques, but it still wasn't enough; load times in Dalaran--even for beast machines--were worse than anywhere else and only got worst with every patch.

For folks on potatoes, avoiding Dalaran as much as possible meant a literal change in behavior to deal with the matter- just like in Lich King. The most common is to not use your Dalaran Hearthstone, but instead to go one flight point away and taxi into the city if you can; the hassle is far lesser that way. (This also means that you avoid classes who are unduly dependent upon routing through Dalaran to access that class's Order Hall: Priest, Paladin, Shaman, Warlock, Rogue, Demon Hunter.)

The reason this is such an issue is because Legion featured a way to boost crafted gear (The Obliterum Forge), which required going to Dalaran to use. You had to go there for Profession quests and other related progression. You had to go there to get your weekly boss loot reroll tokens, to access one dungeon (Violet Hold, also recycled from Lich King), and to use the transit hub installed in place of the original fountain in the middle (Hall of the Guardian, with portals to several key locations).

The result? Lots of people having to work around preventable problems, primarily by purchasing and installing Solid State Drives and then moving their game install to that SSD, because the devs decided to double-down on a known fuckup instead of maintaining the dual basecamp approach. While that may have gone contrary to the theme of Legion, it is in accord with the espoused ethic of "Gameplay > Lore", and would not have been that hard to make work. (First and foremost, by having faction-specific phases of Dalaran in different locations; put one faction's clone where it is now, and the other where Acherus is parked in the live game- and move Acherus between the two. This assumes that you still couldn't have both phases overlap in the same virtual space without the same issues.)

And that's just the most complex clusterfuck.

Here's some other major clusterfucks that ruined the good stuff for a lot of players:

  • Artifacts

    No, not that we got tied to one weapon per Specialization. That turned out okay, and a revision is going to be used in Battle For Azeroth. It's the two parts that made it a grind that made them a clusterfuck: Artifact Knowledge and Artifact Power. The latter is a revisiting of the old-school Talent trees, allowing you to spec out a weapon until you had the means to take all of the Traits. The former is a multiplier of gathered power, which you need to counter the ridiculous price inflation of buying Traits. The result is that you had to commit to a single specialization on a single character if you wanted to remain a viable player in the endgame, in a game where having a stable of alts is necessary for various reasons.

    This got really bad for Mythic raiders. They had to stay at the top to maintain their spot, leading to stupid levels of poopsock behavior, which only got worse when combined with the Legendary system.

  • Legendaries

    Several classes had to have specific ones to be viable in the endgame. Which ones changed with various patches, as the devs nerfed and buffed in their Sisyphean quest for game balance. Some entire specializations got screwed and did not recover (Outlaw Rogue, Retribution Paladin) as noted in their participation rates in top-end content; their rates are going up now as the lull that comes with the end means that content is becoming trivial and carrying dead weight is now possible- but still frowned upon. The aforementioned Mythic raiders rolled multiples of the same class, and the one that got the right Legendaries became the main character; the rest, more often than not, got deleted. That's degenerate behavior born of bad design, and should be shot down hereafter if proposed.

  • Making WOW Into Diablo

    I mentioned this previously, but the point here is that the RNG system that allowed gear drops to upgrade all the way up to the current cap meant that running dungeons and raids that you did not need for the improbable chance of a drop that would be Best In Slot (and therefore optimal to performance) is truly a clusterfuck that lead to massive player burnout all across the life of Legion. It contributed to the alt-unfriendly nature of the expansion, and that made things Not Fun for a lot of players.

Now that we have a new expansion in open testing, we'll see if the devs actually learn their lessons this time. Next post.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The World Class Bullshitters Superbowl Special

It's Friday. Punt Rebecca Black to the curb and get with the World Class Bullshitters instead, because they're back with Episode 109 of their podcast and they're going to talk about the Solo trailer. (Starts at 32 minutes in, but it's worth the time to get there.)

You should expect them to do a rundown on Mouse Wars being crap by now, and you will get it, but take note of the tone: "These are movies we don't need." is the note they hammer here, as they have all along, combined with noting how the problems in production show up on the screen with how cheap and fake it seems doesn't give anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together any confidence for this film being anything but utter shit. Yes, we're seeing the Mouse Empire write this one off; they know it's shit, so they're doing the bare minimum required before they drop it like a wet sack of shit and wash their hands of it.

Now compare their lack of interest (mixed with disappointment) with Solo, and contrast that with how they regard the TV spot for Infinity War. The tone shifts to something more appreciative and hopeful, tinged with concern for Black Panther being unduly influential on the former film. (On the note about Wakanda being too present in the former film, that's a likely thing for one good reason: reduced production costs by shooting Infinity War scenes while Black Panther is either shooting or re-shooting.)

I share the crew's concern on Marvel Studios not being a thing ten years hence. The TV side of the MCU is already utter shit, thanks to the previous dick-measuring contests between Feige and Perlmuter, a pissing contest that took the Netflix subset into shit as a consequence; the consequence is that the TV shows are disowned from the real MCU continuity (the feature films) so they have no impact at all (destroying the original "it's all connected" plan as a result). The post-Infinity films show all the worrisome signs that afflicted the TV side as well other satrapies of the Mouse Empire (e.g. Mouse Wars).

So sit down, crack open a cold one with the boys, and listen to the crew have a good time. Soon you will too. Then, if you haven't already, subscribe to their channels on YouTube and Twitch. These guys are the ones to watch.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Watch Game Design Happen Live: The Battle For Azeroth Alpha

It has begun!

The next cycle of public testing for a World of Warcraft expansion is on, with prominent streamers and YouTube users being among the cohort of players flagged for access at this time. Several of my regulars are on that list, either for having a big audience or for being a friend or family of a Blizzard employee.

If you're into game design, even if you don't care for the game, this is a good time to lurk and watch things happen live. You'll see a process in action, both the theory and the practice, as the dev team gets on paper and walks it in to the bullseye with each successive patch of the Alpha/Beta client.

And yes, there's more going on than just folks with Twitch and YouTube accounts playing the Alpha build. I'll revisit this over the course of the months before Battle For Azeroth goes live, but for now I'm going to embed a video by Bellular; he's a hell of a prolific WOW video producer who's also professionally concerned as game design is his career, so there's less shitposting and more useful commentary going on here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Razorfist: Iron Maiden Metal Mythos Redux

The Eloquence of Elocution re-uploaded this Metal Mythos episode due to UK copyright fuckery. Still worth watching.

The thing you should take away from any competent review of this band's career is how they adapted to the Internet Age. Rather than futilely fighting piracy, they decided to use it to their benefit; pay attention to how Maiden decides where to tour and when- piracy is how they determine that. (Easier to do when your lead singer is a pilot with his own jet.)

Which is something else a lot of people who want to pay bills with music need to accept as reality: Music is Business. You want to do it as a sideline or hobby? Fine. You want to do it as a living? Learn To Business. Maiden's aforementioned adaptation to changing conditions is part-and-parcel to dealing with the reality that is being an entertainer, and everyone else who seeks to entertain and get paid for it had better recognize that they too need to do just that.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wrath of Gnon: Why You Should Follow This Man

I follow Wrath of Gnon on Twitter. If you're into pre-Modern Civilization, for any reason (e.g. world-building), you should too.

I have philosophical reasons for my following, but that's not why I'm giving him a boost today. Today I'm talking to you folks that deal in creating believable fictional worlds--gamers and storytellers--so I'm giving you an argument based on pragmatic convenience.

What you want to watch out for are his threads on pre-Modern and early-Modern material living: agriculture, architecture, social order, etc. because you will get information on such matters that you likely won't find in popular sources on these topics- the sort of information that people actually living in such environments will consider and talk about as a matter of good practice.

If he quotes someone, jot down the speaker and look them up. You want to get into the pre-modern mind as best you can, and reading the works of pre-Modern thinkers is the fast track to grokking how and why they think as they do. If he cites a historical location, note it; if you can, visit it. Your fiction will be richer for this work, and letting him curate for you like this allows you to hit the important elements of pre-Modern paradigms while allowing you to focus on making the game or story entertaining to your audience. Once you grok the people who were your ancestors, you can put that thinking into terms your audience will grok without making things too bothersome to bother with.

Don't be surprised to find some echoes of your favorite fiction and myth in the stuff he posts; chances are that they drew from the same sources Gnon writes about, which is the final reason to follow this man- to find the sources that the best entertainers in our culture built upon to create their fantastic creations and imbue them with the semblance of reality that gives them their weight. It is there for us to use for that reason, and in turn contribute to it for later generations to enjoy.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Narrative Warfare: Even The Times Admits Mouse Wars is a Failure

The World Class Bullshitters show that mainstream acceptance that Mouse Wars is a failure. The Carlos Slim Blog (New York Times) has an article admitted it now. You can't ignore reality forever. Sooner or later, you hit the ground and your delusion of superpowers comes to an abrupt--and often fatal--end.

Yes, there is plenty of public relations spin, but there is no avoiding the obvious- no attempt to Point Deer to Make Horse. This is a significant shift in the Narrative Warfare scene for the Mouse Empire and Mouse Wars, and as such it is a blow to all of the bullshit surrounding Mouse Wars also, from the psuedo-intellectual psuedo-mythology justifying the shit storytelling ("collective journey" my ass; mythology does not work that way) to the dismissive double-talk on the real end of the business (the merch, still rotting on the shelves because no one buys it), and the utter savaging of the films by nations with no sentiment to cloud judgement (China: "Your actors are ugly shits, and so if your film, so fuck off.")

For all his faults, George Lucas Got It Right. (What he got wrong, he got wrong by doing what Mouse Wars does: deviate from the proven path to narrative success. The lesson? There is nothing new under the sun; don't deviate!) But it's too late for the Mouse Empire. They're on the way to destruction, and the ZIGs moved for great justice a while ago.

All Your Space Opera Are Belong to Us.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Power of Art Lies in Beauty

It's hard to hate manufactured pop groups when they are this enjoyable.

That's "Walkure", a group of actress/singers cast to play their fictional counterparts in Macross Delta, performing live in concert. As with May'n and Megumi Nakajima for Macross Frontier,they do what Western pop music acts used to do but abandoned in favor of the current crass classlessness. (Yes, proof once again that New Isn't Necessarily Better.)

And man did they turn up the cute. I concur with some of the fansubbers that these girls in particular are so sweet that you may want to check your blood sugar lest you get the 'beetus.

And then they mature. If they persist in this business past their youth, you get stuff like this.

Beauty is where the power of music lies, and far too many acts today dismiss and denigrate it, such that I return the favor by dismissing them from my presence. You can be a wholly manufactured pop idol and still get this right- your long-term career depends upon it. Ugly music, like the ugly people who push it, are unworthy of Civilization and should be made to feed its crops.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Narrative Warfare: Vox Day on the FISA Memo & The Cold Civil War

The Supreme Dark Lord, Vox Day, got on Periscope last night to address the release of the FISA Memo.

The point he makes about this sort of corruption being the historical and international norm in government is spot-on, along with how and why the American republic regressed to this mean: the American republic allows non-Americans into the polity, and allows those with no skin in the game a say in how government is run.

In short, the reason the American political establishment regressed to this mean is because the American culture regressed to this mean by the admixture of alien and foreign cultures brought here by alien and foreign populations who--fair or foul--do not accept the American way of life and therefore changed it to conform to that very same mean.

Yes, this includes the SocJus Death Cult. That too is an alien and foreign culture, hostile to the American nation and culture, as shown by over a century of subversion and degeneracy (by other names heretofore, but the excuses and the aims remain the same).

This is why They Have To Go Back. Literally, metaphorically, spiritually. It is the only alternative to taking the Cold Civil War hot. War is upon you, whether you like it or not. It is now only a question of when the shooting stars.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Two for the Weekend: Geek Gab Game Night & World Class Bullshitters

It's Friday. You want to relax, nerd out, and be entertained. Here's two reliable sources for that, talking about how to make your entertainment options more reliable in delivering the fun you seek when you're not working for the man.

There you are. Put these on during your commute home and you'll be pumped for whatever you're about after dinner tonight.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

How It's Done: Monster Hunter World w/ Oliver Campbell

Look, we play games and read or watch stories to entertain ourselves after a long day on the job. We just want the fun, straight no chaser, and fortunately there are companies left that understand this.

Capcom's latest entry in its Monster Hunter franchise, Monster Hunter World, is a fantastic game. But the ads don't show you the full scope available in gameplay. Fortunately the Old Master himself cut a video together showing just how much work you need to put in to Git Gud. Watch this old master show you young cats how it is done: grit, persistence, and iterative progress to mastery. The goof takes care of itself, making the time to mastery a joy.

You can find Oliver live on Twitch here on the regular, so subscribe to him there and on YouTube. You can also catch him with the rest of the Metro City Boys live on Sundays at YouTube here. Come for the goof. Stay for the goof. It's a good time.

(Note for my fellow PulpRev people: this game is totally in our wheelhouse.)