Monday, 24 January 2011

Why so Negative? WoW and the unpainted Dark Eldar

This post is more of a personal thing than anything, but probably worth sharing.

I resubbed to WoW when cataclysm hit.  I am ashamed.  But, its OK, for it is now cancelled again.

The expansion was a damp squib, the content was easily blasted through, even when trying to keep the pace slow.  The whole thing was just "meh".  Add to this a security breach at my partners work which left my partners main character of 6 years naked next to a post box(got her email details), and there was just no incentive to play.

The other thing I noticed, with nice empirical data, is just how much more productive I am without the time-sink that is WoW.  So much so, that when I resubbed I had a desk full of unpainted and unassembled models, a stack of catch up learning for work and two parts of the existing assassins creed trilogy to play through.

It has been a revelation just exactly how much time you lose to MMOs.  Since quitting once and for all, I have assembled and stage 1'd 500 point of dark eldar, and finished stage 1 on my menite jacks,
Camera on Phone has bright flash...
 (which allowed me to field a painted force for once!)

About to fail...

Still a long way before they are finished , but the basics are in place, time for blending and doing the rivets etc now.  The time it would normally take to log in, faff about, do a daily or two and tank/heal a few instances, and I have a fully painted force.  I mean seriously Grum, what the fuck were you thinking wasting all that time!

My total /played was over 200 days, in 5 years, that's 1825 days, with 200 lost.  Nearly 11% of my life for 5 years.  Bear in mind that there were year long stretches of no playing, time at work and sleeping and you get the following:

1825 Days
43800 Hours
14600 Avg. Hrs Asleep
16425 Avg. Hrs Working
12775 hours left...
3650 Travelling
4800 Hours in WoW.
4325 Hours to do everything else.  Relationship, homebuilding, the lot...that's just 180 days from a potential 1825 left to actually have a life.

Those sums are approximate, but the point should be clear.  I cant get that time back.  The pleasure of wargaming is the good memories, strong friendships, and masses of painted mini's that represent years of effort.  I could have almost doubled the amount of actual fun had I not been playing WoW...
Then there's EVE, LOTRO, DDO, AoC and COH...the numbers are scary...I have played more games that have left me with nothing but stress and bad memories than I have actually had any time for.

It got to the stage, in 2009, where I was playing 2 EVE accounts on one box and WoW on the laptop at the same time!  That was my first wake-up call to the fact that I am not getting younger, and that time is just...gone...

I made friends in wow, sure,  but that's what facebook chat is for now really, like a guild channel without the time sink.

The 80 hours I spent playing through mass effect 1 & 2, assassins creed etc, they dont feel wasted, I followed a story from A to B, and had fun, and have lasting memories and the same emotional experience that a really good book can leave you with.  I never felt that with WoW or EVE.  The universe is just there, unchanging and static, nothing changes, no impact is felt( yes, I know, cataclysm and phasing..but it's hardly the same as a single player game).

My reburst of energy is tremendous as well, I am more efficient at work, never late, never grumpy, I have lost nearly a Stone (14lbs for our colonial cousins), and had to buy new jeans as my current set of clothes was literally falling off me.  I have quit smoking, which was a hand in hand partner to gaming, and find the ability to just "pause" a game and go and make decent, healthy, cooked food or clean up a little or deal with a call from work has let the stress melt away!

I feel so much better about life, and myself, without wow, without smoking, that I have my first regrets in life.

Sometimes you need to regret the things you do.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Maj. Richard Winters Dead

The generation that inspired a century is passing. We lost Major Richard Winters,aged 92, you know , the guy Damian Lewis played in Band of Brothers.

Like most people, BoB brings me to tears in a way that all other films concerning war don't seem to.  I am sad that they are passing, but gladder that they ever lived.

To the fallen and the few who remain.

We will not forget.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The End Of Days

Proof!  The apocalypse, armageddon, and the end times!  Warmachine is now Warmahordes 40K!

Now we'll need comp, restricted lists, the whole sorry mess.

Wrath? pah!  40K with horses!

Now get the fuck off my lawn!

In all seriousness, this is quite a feat for PP...Resin is expensive, finicky and hard to work with, which is why it has been the preserve of speciality castings (all my sexy 20mm Resin WW2 stuff) or botique houses such as Forgeworld.  To get resin into the hands of the public in such numbers as these will be produced is awesome.

They also fit the existing fluff perfectly, and will further serve to distinguish Hordes and Warmachine as seperate but equal products.

Im excited to see whats in store for Mercs and Menoth, although I imagine the mercs offering will be a pirate themed hamsterwheel.

Ultramarines: A review.

Its fucking awful.


OK serious time.  Its really, really fucking awful.   Terrible animation, terrible acting, weak script.

You really have to be a super rabid fanboi to rate this.  I mean , the kind who defends opinions and decisions in opposition to the facts.  The kind who would *still* argue that the sky was pink just so you were right, even when all evidence suggests otherwise.

However, there are ways to give this animated feature a positive review:

  • just flat out lie
  • Focus on the positives( the script..kinda,er...marines...., umm......A thunderhawk?)
  • Special Pleading, and other fallacies.
Of these, the one I see most often is number 3: special pleading.

The argument is summed up thus:  "Its good because its all we have"

I'm fairly sure that the inherent flaw is obvious to all and sundry, but I'm a particularly petty geek when it comes to this sort of thing.  To say "its good because its all we have" is a cop-out, a weak position from which you cannot recover.  If something is shit, it's shit.  If something could be done better, then it should be done better!

Bickering Space Marines , untrustful and paranoid, a wafer thin , poorly explained premise, non-sequiturs all over the place, and people still go "SQUEEE".  Throw in some piss poor voice acting , so bad I doubt that anyone in the production team had the balls to stand up and say "Oh, Hi Mr Stamp, can you do the lines again, only this time...kind of professionally, or good?", and we have a perfect combo of weak plot, bad acting, and poor direction.

I'm fairly sure even the most rabid fanboy cannot argue that the lines were delivered with all the emotion of a wooden chair, I'm also sure that many of those fanboys would agree that the premise for the story is poorly set up, full of holes and doesn't really make much sense within the lore.  

So why so many OMGWTFAWESOME write ups and reviews?

Special Pleading.  My favorite logical fallacy.  Throw in a dash of entrenched position, post-purchase justification and just a pinch of inner-circle membership and there is a perfectly cooked cake of why being a fanboy is a bad thing.

I remember watching Beasts of War's coverage of the special screening down in london and the thing that struck me most was not the details of the film, but that the post-film interviews were all very tame in the use of language.  No one was "OMG THAT WAS AWESOME" , not one person had a massive cheesey grin, the kind you get after a win or sex or a good film (just me?  hmmm).  

All the interviews were of people who iterated good things about the films, leaving out the bad stuff, or of more considered analysis that left any heartfelt praise well to one side.  Despite the underwhelming response, everyone was glad they had pre-ordered or pre-purchased (entrenched position, special pleading and post-purchase justification).  Add to this the horrifically cliquey nature of 40K fanboyism (well, 40K and all wargames, in fact 40K is the least of the offenders here), and you simply cant say that the film was shit or your outside the fold.  Why is it so hard to admit that the minotaurs are a cartoonish and shit sculpt?  Why is it so hard to admit that older PP sculpts are a little 1 dimensional, comical even?  

Why is it so difficult to admit that one facet of something can be flawed, whilst the whole remains undiminished?

The film was bad, we deserved better, lets hope we get it next time.  How do I know there will be a next time?  

Because 99% of people who bought the film cant admit it was a lemon.  

Hey, if you liked it, more power to you, but even you have to admit the voices were flatter than piss on a plate.