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Okay, first of all, I'm going to discuss the racial issues at the end, for two reasons. The first is that people far more eloquent and with far more to lose than I have gone into it in great detail, and the second is because it is such a big issue, I could write an entire entry simply on that, and there are other things more central to the movie itself that I want to cover first.

I'm no film student, nor do I have any tie to the film industry. I mention this because, again, this is not exactly an area of expertise of mine. I'm sure there are plenty of things I missed, and I'm sure there are plenty of things I had a problem with that actually do have a good reason behind why they were done that way (though of course, seeing how poorly this has gone over with most viewers, those are probably things that should be done in a different way in the future). So take this entirely from the point of view coming from someone who enjoys movies, but has no part in making them and is very unlikely to ever get involved in the film industry. That said, onward.

This is going to be lengthyCollapse )

Current Mood: angryangry
26 July 2010 @ 03:37 am

So anyone who has chatted with me on this subject has probably had their ears typed off, but I have not been a fan of the Airbender movie since I learned it was going to be live action. Then I learned it was completely fail in many. Other. Ways. And then came the reviews (Ebert ILU).

So I got the opportunity to...ah...view this very...very special movie tonight, while writing down whatever thoughts entered my head at the time. I don't expect most of them to make sense, but I think that's what Shyamalan was going for in his dialogue and editing, so it works out.

Note: Things I've bolded are actual lines of dialogue in this movie. No, really. Truly. I can't make this shit up. I also started using the phonetic spellings for certain names because that's how they're actually pronounced in this terrible movie.

"I ran away from home. We got in a storm. We were forced under the water of the ocean."Collapse )

Current Mood: amusedamused
15 September 2009 @ 01:14 pm

I gave the open beta a try when it rolled around. Admittedly that's a pretty short trial period for an MMO, and I was not actually paying attention to the community at all (I was there to take a look at how the game played and such), but I'm afraid I wasn't too impressed and I came up with a few issues that sort've turned me off. (I reached, for reference, level 11 as an Asmodian)

The Good:

- The lore and the setting intrigued me. All dude, you fail astronomy forever aside (it's fantasy after all), it was a pretty unique setup that I'd never seen before, the two playable sides are rather unchangably set against each other for a very convincing reason, neither side is set as being entirely right or wrong (except the Balaur, natch), the world design struck me as pretty neat, and overall it was a place I'd be interested in both playing and roleplaying in.

- The character models were very customizable, except for a few annoying nitpicks (more on that below). You can be very tall or very short or anything in-between, there are tons and tons and tons of hairstyle choices, a decent number of preset face options, all of which are mostly customizable, lots of skin, hair, and eye color choices, and even voice set choices, which are pretty nice for an MMO.

- Animation seemed pretty smooth, weapon models were nice (I liked how, if you're dual wielding, the weapons show up on your back instead of your side), there's the ability to switch between two different weapon loadouts, which I didn't get far enough to find use for, but which I imagine ends up being very nice, flying animation seems pretty good, and you ran into weird combinations of animals among the fauna, such as a hog crossed with a bulldog, or a squirrelbunny thing, and so on.

- Quests were interesting, and even the fetch quests didn't really bore me, and I felt motivated to keep playing for a while to see what happened next. The whole becoming a Daeva thing seemed a little abrupt, but still felt nice.

- There doesn't seem to be a horrendous penalty for dying, at least a low levels. You pop back to your bind spot, you've lost some armor integrity, which you can repair, and you have a timed debuff, which you can pay to get rid of if you're in a hurry, and you're at low life, which you can heal up. You can be rezzed of course if someone is nearby with that ability.

- The environment looks really good, and there were lots of little touches, like giant flying beasts, or airships, or big old blue animals in lakes, that added to the atmosphere. At least on the Asmodian side, the place looked distinctly alien, so that was great.

The Bad:

- Health seems to regenerate extraordinarily slowly, even if you're using food items to speed it up. As you lose health quite a bit during combat, this results in either constant use of bandages (which are not unlimited, and you have to buy more), or a lot of sitting around and waiting. It's not nearly as bad as EQ1, but it's noticeably slower than most other games I've played.

- Combat looks good, but it seemed rather irritatingly random on how well you did (I understand some folks like this, so this is more a personal nitpick than anything). Using the same weapons, abilities, and cast order on the same mob of the same level could have wildly different outcomes, ranging from barely being scratched to near-death to having to use a potion to stay alive. See health regen rates above, and you can probably see why this annoyed me.

- Design comment: While the 'light' side of the world was lighter, and the 'dark' side darker, the differences didn't seem quite as striking as you'd expect from the lore writeups. There were times I was running around Asmodae and it was pretty sunny, which didn't seem to fit with what the lore was going for.

- Tutorials. There are tutorials that pop up for all sorts of basic MMO things, such as basic combat and inventory management, which is good. However, a lot of the Aion specific things seemed strangely absent. Chain attacks for instance, unless I missed it. Which leads into:

- Class selection. At level 10, you're expected to choose your final class. Prior to that, you're a basic archetype (warrior, mage, scout, etc.) Most games that do classes this way do it because they want that feel of being eased into your final class, that you've gone and specialized after proving yourself out in the world, that sort've thing. Aion lacks any sort of 'easing into' when it comes to final class selection. You hit level 10, and abruptly you're asked to choose what class you want, without any option to decline the choice until later, and with only short blurbs to tell you what your options were. While I had a lot of problems with EQ2's initial release, they did this system pretty well--you had a decent idea of what each class was going to be like by the time you made your choice, the NPCs gave you quests that acted as an overview of each option, and you had plenty of time to know that the final decision was coming. Aion tends to toss you into the deep end without much instruction, and the real problem with this that I foresee is that it is no small amount of time to get to level 10. If you're unhappy with your choice, insofar as I know, there's no option to switch later, which means that if you end up not liking your class, or making a mistake (the choice windows are a bit fuzzy on when you're actually making the final decision) your only option is to reroll, level to 10 again, and pick again. Adding to the abruptness is that your combat style might change entirely depending on your choice. For instance, I went with scout, and your options are either assassin or ranger. If you go ranger, your combat style switches to focusing heavily on bows--when up until that point, you have never even used a bow before.

- Flying. It might be surprising to find flying down here on the 'bad' writeup, but let me word for word quote a game design professor of mine: Let them keep their fucking toys. What he meant by this was, if you're going to give something to the player, give it to them. Don't hem and haw over it, don't give it to them and then yank it away later, don't half give it to them and then half not. For all that flying was pumped up for Aion, it seems really marginal when you finally get it. For instance, while I understand the reason for the timer, and while I'm sure this timer gets longer as you level and do quests, putting a timer on flying really seemed to put a damper on what was otherwise pretty fun. You aren't allowed to enjoy it, really, because you only have about thirty seconds or so before you have to land, and even at longer lengths, you'll still be keeping an eye on that timer and avoiding frivolous playing around if you're trying to do something. The other problem with flying is that, for a game that again really pumped up the flying aspect, there seem to be an awful lot of 'no fly' areas. In fact, at the level I reached, there was only one area where I COULD fly--around the fortress and outside around the lake. The entire newbie area? Nope. The big city where you get this power? Nope. The giant forest beyond the lake? Nope. To which I say, if you're going to design a game in which flying is a big feature, design it in such a way so that your players can actually fly where they want to fly, when they want to fly, and for how long they want to fly. City of Heroes did this very well years and years ago, so it's not even close to impossible.

- It may have just been my system, but the graphics engine seemed really shaky and unreliable. The game looks good, but the graphics aren't so incredible that this kind've slowdown on my system makes too much sense. It got very laggy at times, though happily there's the option to turn off other players rendering, so that helped.

- Character customization is so extensive, and yet female Asmodians are stuck with this really bizarre permanent, natural high-heel. You kind've have to see it to understand, but it was really weird, kind've annoying, and rather silly.

- At level 11, I could tell the quests were starting to thin out quite a bit. I foresaw much level grinding in the future.

Anyway, those were my thoughts and nitpicks while playing. For those folks enjoying Aion, I hope you continue to enjoy it!
Current Mood: contentcontent
06 November 2007 @ 06:10 pm

I get obsessive about really weird things.

Tags: ,
18 September 2007 @ 09:35 pm

You know what? I'm just going to immortalize the crazy. There's only so much time before the thread gets locked, and it deserves a spot.

The Crazy can be found here. Just look for the eye-bleeding red text. Fun even if you don't know a damned thing about EQ2!

Current Mood: awakeawake
12 August 2007 @ 03:50 am
So I've gathered a small mini collection of quotes from my time browsing Fandom Wank's massive Deathly Hallows thread, and I've just gotta post them, because they amuse me.

Warning, warning. Potential maybe kinda sorta but not really spoilers unless you're really, really nitpicky, but be careful just in case, and if you haven't read at least the sixth book by now and still give a damn, shame on you:Collapse )
Current Mood: amusedamused
23 April 2007 @ 03:40 am
So in my bleary, late night surfing, I happened to end up following a series of links to this website. And while I found myself rather disturbed with all the 'shoot him grar death murder' posts (because, as much as I may share that sentiment, I see similar things in arguments about whether the US government can detain someone because they MIGHT be a terrorist--it's just not a cool slope to go sailing down), what really pissed me off was the following posts:

Cut for those who don't feel like a dose of pedophile martyrdom this early in the morning.Collapse )

Ranting in which I use the 'F' word. A lot.Collapse )
Current Mood: irateirate
16 April 2007 @ 04:58 am
Waking up at 4:30 in the morning to my roommate yelping about how yes, that really annoying noise IS the fire alarm and that really awful smell IS smoke, and I should get out of bed like NOW, is...not really the best way to start the day.


At least I know the alarm now goes off for actual smoke and not just whenever I try to cook pancakes.

Edit: I present the following very accurate dramatization:

Me: Zzzzzz.

Really weird noise: Goes off. And keeps going.

Me: Zzzzzzz (that is the most annoying noise ever and I'm going to kill someone.)

Really weird smell: Is smelled.

Me: Zzzzzz (and that is an awful smell)

Really weird noise & really weird smell: *do not go away*

Me: Zzzz (Go away!)

Really weird noise & really weird smell: *do not go away*

Me: Zzzz (Go away!)

Really weird noise & really weird smell: *do not go away*

Me: Zzzz (Go away!)

Really weird noise & really weird smell: *do not go away*


Me: Huwha?

Rommate: FIRE

Me: ...

Roommate: SMOKE

Me: ....


Me: ....OH SHIT.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
11 April 2007 @ 12:21 am
So it occurred to me today, as I was browsing the Vanguard forums in a fit of late night boredom, the real reason that game's problems don't really bother me one whit. In fact, it dawned on me that I'm taking something of a perverse pleasure in how poorly it's going so far. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for the game to gets all it's frigging bugs and performance issues sorted, fix their content, and generally turn things around. I'd love to enjoy that game as much as I enjoy any other game. But the fact that it's not doing so hot right now gives me a mean little hahaha all the same.

Why? It isn't the Vanguard team. Poor guys are trying, they really are, and I wouldn't want to be in their shoes right now. No, no, not the team. It's not Brad either, though 30 million dollars and five years in production do make my eyebrows raise to my hairline given how unfinished the project is. No, it's entirely one single thing that has nothing to do with the guys that are running the show.

It's the community.

Oh yeah, yeah, I keep ranting on about these guys, but they truly are amazing in their ability to emulate a large, green skinned creature with warts and bad body odor. A year ago they were all over the EQ2 forums being their retarded troll selves, swearing up and down that Vanguard would be the death of EQ2, and WoW, and every other MMO ever, and it would be so hardcore that only the REALLY hardcore folks could master it, and their e-peens would grow three sizes too small large, and there would be peace on earth, good games to man.

Now it's like watching some perverse comedy of Jekyll and Hyde, where if the trolls aren't screaming and crying at Brad and Co. about how they have betrayed the Vision(tm), are selling out, and have been the sole contributors to global warming, they're still screaming at other forum posters to go back to World of Warcraft because they can't HANDLE a game like Vanguard, often in the same thread, often from the same posters. Through it all they are completely and utterly convinced that their desires for a truly harcore (read: tedious and masochistic) game are what the majority of players want. It's like they're all plugging their ears and screaming LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU in chorus.

There's also revisionist history like you wouldn't believe. The Vision(tm) is held up on a majestic pedestal, the old days of EQ1 pre-SOE were perfect, with no bugs, ridiculous class balancing issues, horrific customer relations, or other such nonsense, and Brad is some kind of god-on-earth...when he's not simultaneously being crucified, of course.

And I laugh. Oh I laugh. They're still over there claiming that Vanguard will kill EQ2 (though they seem to have given up on the delusion that it will massacre WoW), that EQ2 is the worst game ever and no one ever plays it (Yeah, I know all of you guys play WoW, HUSH), and that a 'hardcore' game will somehow validate their existence, the exact same drivel they've been saying since long before the game was in any kind of open beta.

So I can't find myself upset over the way the game is progressing, because it has at the very least managed to corral all of these morons into one place, away from me, and they are currently too busy making EACH OTHER miserable to wander back to the forums of ye olde hated MMO's and troll there. So sure, I'd like for Vanguard to succeed and be a truly great game eventually...but if all it succeeds in doing is slogging along for years, carrying these people along with it? That is a success of a different kind, but a success all the same.

And I'll have lots of quotes for my moron collection.
Current Mood: amusedamused
24 March 2007 @ 04:18 am
Okay, okay, okay. I've got to ask. Do forum regulars all congregate somewhere else? Is there a mailing list that gets sent out once a month, telling them the new stupid topic to post?

This particular one always starts like so. First, some moron posts a whine that boils down to (or in some cases is this verbatim): "Amg, teh armors in [insert your MMO here] need to be more secksie!"

This is followed by several people going "right on!" as though they haven't just read this topic last week. This is followed by at least one post of the ultra-feminist crowd, admonishing the previous posters for wanting to exploit women. Some of the previous posters return to refute the naysayer(s) with the standard argument: "It's fantasy, lolz, so reality doesn't apply!"

This will go on for five million pages.

Okay. Look. Dumbasses. First of all? Choice is grand. If some woman (or guy as woman) wants to go around wearing nothing but a bikini in their digital world, fine, whatever. Go wild. This is why MMO's have social clothing (and as an aside, at least on EQ2, the female versions of social clothing have lots of lovely bare leg/midriff action already). I don't care. I may point and laugh at you if you choose some particularly hideous piece, but I really don't care.

However? I do NOT want to wear it. Generally because my character wouldn't be caught dead in a dress, let alone something that only barely covers the crotch and the nipples, and because I find that, while that works for social clothing, it's really, really, really, really STUPID, fantasy or no, for it to be armor. No, seriously. STUPID. SUICIDAL. So yeah, wear it, fine. But I don't want to.

Oh! comes the inevitable response. But you don't HAVE to wear it. No I don't, munchkin. That is, unless they make it actual armor. Game devs are usually too lazy to make more than one set of same-stat armor, which means at some time, at some point, I'd have to make the choice between wearing a washcloth or gimping myself in combat. And that's annoying. Really annoying.

On the other side of the fence, YOU, ultra-feminist...pull the stick out from betwixt yon ass cheeks. This is not your sociology class. This is a game. These are not evil horny men that only want to keep women in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant, these are horny teenagers/young adults and the occasional female gamer. No one cares about your giant essay about how soandso author wrote a series of fantasy books just to demean women. And everyone will hate you when the retards responding to your post quote the ENTIRE DAMN TEN PAGES YOU WROTE.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course. But frankly, I'd prefer the art devs do something a bit more important than cutting holes in armor and dresses, like, I don't know, FIXING the horrible, horrible character models in Vanguard (and tails. For the love of all that is GOOD and TIME WASTING, TAILS), or doing something about my character's terrifying Soga knees and pencil neck in EQ2.

So, to sum up. To the horny men and female gamers that insist that anyone not wanting to wear a thong is an ultra conservative religious nut: Shut up. At least I can respect the guys that are honest about wanting to look at mostly naked women all day, but seriously. Shut up. Not wanting to wear stupid looking crap doesn't mean I'm an ultra conservative religious nut, it means I don't want to wear stupid looking crap.

To the ultra-feminist in every single one of these threads: Shut up. Please take that passionate energy and put it toward something that actually MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Protests. Activism. Charities. SOMETHING.

To the art devs that are always smart enough to avoid these threads like the plague: Tails. NOW.

To the guy who always starts these threads: Stop spelling it 'secksie'. It makes me want to kill you.
Current Mood: bitchybitchy