Categories
Movies

OPERATION: Nonchalant Corruption

Project Fyr Has Never Seen Star Wars – in which me and my partner watch the first six Star Wars movies – is, roughly eight years after inception, complete. It’s been a rough ride – especially the last three films.

Things I had forgotten: Padme’s such a great character in the first (still awful) prequel. I’m lukewarm on Machete order anyway, and the observation that it means she spends *all* of her screen-time a complete drip instead of just the last two movies probably writes it off. Maybe never knowing is better than the disappointment.

I quite like the “It’s all Jar-Jar’s fault/Jar-Jar is the first Sith Apprentice” theory, but it doesn’t excuse the accent.

Nothing excuses the separatist leader accents either.

Gosh, hasn’t CGI got better?

There’s not a lot about any of the movies that hasn’t been deconstructed to death on this here internet over the last eleven years, but still. I wish they were better, but the last couple are stodgy rather than bad, I think.

Next up: The Force Awakens.

Categories
Personal

Tell me why

In lieu of actual content, an anthology of my opinions on Mondays:

Garfield mode, activate:

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Today is brought to you by the number 94578319, The letter Y, and the phrase “Oh gods it’s still only Monday”
June 09, 2014 at 07:21PM
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That thing where you dream an entire working day, before waking up to find it’s back to being monday morning.
January 05, 2015 at 08:03AM

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Wednesdays exist because you don’t quite deserve a Monday yet, but you haven’t earned enough karma for a weekend.
January 07, 2015 at 09:37AM

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Rassin’ fassin’ cryptomondays.
September 01, 2015 at 08:14AM

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… what? Monday? But… oh… okay then. If we have to.
September 07, 2015 at 08:02AM

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Monday: Proof that you didn’t wish hard enough.
December 14, 2015 at 08:41AM
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Monday. So good they named it once.
December 21, 2015 at 08:19AM

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Welcome to the Mondayist of all Mondays. [Offer not valid in Scotland]
January 04, 2016 at 07:05AM

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Today is Blue Monday, which means not only worse than normal Mondays, but does come with an iconic drum intro.
January 18, 2016 at 11:36AM

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Monday: everything you ever dreamed of, right up to the meeting where you forgot to wear clothes.
February 01, 2016 at 07:57AM

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Due to the timetable change, some may receive an additional Monday instead of the advertised Tuesday. We apologize for the inconvenience.
March 01, 2016 at 11:29AM

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Due to overstock on Mondays, the record run remains, and will continue until morale improves.
March 02, 2016 at 08:49AM

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The endless parade of Mondays continued like a bad remake of Groundhog day. Every morning the people of the world woke up, hoping against hope that they had progressed to Tuesday or – wonder of wonders – the powers had decided to grant a precious Friday in lieu of the rest of the week being skipped over. But no, as they reached for their calendars, the truth stared back at them, grey and impassive as a granite headstone, Monday March 3rd, 2016.
March 03, 2016 at 03:25PM

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On the fifth day the people woke up tired and hopeless. Many of them got up and made tea, some coffee, some showered, some wept. None of them looked at anything that could tell them the date until the last moment they could before leaving. Some shread of optimism remained in a few, hoping that the endless parade of Mondays had finally come to an end; Most resigned themselves to another day as all this week had been: A relentless uphill slog with no end in sight. Though slits of fingers the people glanced at their calendars. Monday, March 4th. It was Monday again. Faces fell, facades fell, and the weeping began. They trudged to work, the weight of the working week heavy on their shoulders, heads down against the drizzle and dismality. As they reached their workplaces, the week stretched before them forever, an endless series of Mondays, grey and cloudy, some etched with the promise of snow. There was no hope left in the world, no weekend to reach for. But at Lunchtime, the sun came out. A beam of pure joy that spread wide across the land, warming the hearts of all who touched it. A decision overturned, a tasklist shortened. Friday had come at last, and tomorrow: Maybe the weekend?
March 04, 2016 at 01:26PM
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Monday: Proof abstract concepts of time can be suffused with malice.
April 18, 2016 at 09:24AM

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Tuesday is the Monday of a new generation
May 03, 2016 at 08:44AM

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In the grim future of 2016, there is only monday.
May 16, 2016 at 11:13AM

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Mondays: If you would just try harder, maybe they wouldn’t come so damn often.
June 06, 2016 at 10:31AM

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This Tuesday is a dirty trick with a rotting Monday at its core.
June 21, 2016 at 10:47AM

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This is Monday. It doesn’t hate you, it’s just disappointed with what you’ve done with the world.
June 27, 2016 at 07:45AM

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In the event of Monday, please remain clam. Transmogrification is the recognised route to survival. Those who cannot: I’m sure it’ll be fine
October 03, 2016 at 08:47AM

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Mondays can sense fear, and attack based on movement. So if you stay very still and don’t even think progressive thoughts, you will be fine.
October 10, 2016 at 07:42AM

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Garfield mode, deactivate. But first: Lasagna.

Categories
Computer Games Gaming

Warcraft Attempt 3 – Pandaing to the masses

One of the benefits of having had this website up for 17 years is being able to trace things through history. So in 2006 I gave World of Warcraft a heavy go. Nobody in my local circle was really playing it (or, if so, hadn’t mentioned doing so), and I was deep into City of Heroes at the time. I bounced off fairly hard due to the grindy questing (Kill 10 rats. Now kill 20 Superrats. Now kill enough rats to get 12 Rat Pelts with a 20% drop rate. Now kill the Rat King. Now kill 10 wolves. Now kill 17 Superwolves…) I did the same shortly before Cataclysm rewrote the beginning in 2010 and then with more success afterwards.

2010 attempt
2010 attempt

The 2010 attempt was a Horde Hunter run that got as far as the Burning Crusade content and then bounced off again when I hit the same grinding that made the 2006 attempt frustrating. I enjoyed a lot of the new Cata content, the phased areas that really felt like you had changed the world, the more variety and substance to a lot of the questing.

This year I decided to make another attempt. I tend to phase through MMOs, spending a few months cycling through Lord of the Rings, Neverwinter, The Secret World, & Wildstar. With all of them not appealing for various reasons, and with Blizzard granting all the prior expansions to everyone ahead of the new Legion launch I took a run at that with the new Pandaren Monk options.

2016 Attempt
2016 Attempt

The Alliance 1-60 levelling experience did not fill me with the same level of satisfaction as my 2010 run. The badly dated CSI:Miami post-tutorial opening area didn’t really work for me, and a lack of any real stakes or observable difference in the world, along with a lot less variety in the questing – still a lot of kill-10-rats, but without the interesting custom-mechanics to break it up – made it a bit more of a slog.

On top of this was a distinct lack of an overarching narrative. Blizzard are really good at making large and lore-filled worlds with big epic stories, but none of that appears to come across in the world itself. Some of the zones have nice consistent arcs with interesting twists, but barely anything seems to persist between zones or relate to the rest of the world story. Five or so of these small arcs and I hit Burning Crusade with the traditional wet thud.

It’s possible that part of missing story was by skipping occasional entire zones because I’d levelled past them. More than once I entered a new area and the first set of quests included the traditional “Thank you for all your help, go over here and help these people next”. But since I didn’t see any sight of it when I *was* paying attention, I guess not.

I was advised if I wanted to skip BC, I could do so via dungeons and extra-circulars, and this was reasonably easy. I took up a flying mount and went on an archaeology binge with the Dungeon Finder queue up, and this was so effective I had to start filtering down which dungeons I had done so as not to outlevel some before I’d done them once.

Eventually I hit 68 and was eligible for the 2008 Lich King content, the point where WoW storytelling kicked in again. Mostly I’m finding I’m levelling too fast through it (Borean Tundra levelled me passed Dragonblight, so I’ve cleared Grizzly Hills and was working through Zul’Drak when I hit 80. So now I’ve stopped XP gain while I finish off the storyline through WotLK and get to Cataclysm content.

I’m finding the WotLK content far better than slogging through BC, although the themes and stories of BC seemed really interesting, the wiki was doing far better than the quests for going through it. WotLK still lacks cohesion in its overarching plot – that the Lich King pops up every so often doesn’t a narrative make – but things like following the rise and fall of Drakuru through a zone/dungeon/zone sandwich is satisfying and I’d like to see more of it. Much like the NPC-Hero/PC-Questgiver stuff I enjoyed from the new early zone refresh, though, this kind of stuff is spotty and rare at the moment.