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Hamumu Journal
Data Input05:27 PM -- Sat February 12, 2011

Time for an update on what data is going into my head!

Reading:
  • Finished Anathem by Neal Stephenson. That's the kind of complex brainy book that will build new pathways in your neural cortex.

  • Started and finished The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (clearly not updating this often enough!). Adventure funtimes.

  • Reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow now. It seems aimed at teens, the way it's written. Going well so far.
Watching:
  • We have called a moratorium on TV! We both felt like TV (and WoW) really stopped us from spending time doing worthwhile things, so for the past week we have been underway on a 1-month commitment to no TV except one day a week. That's how I did so much reading. I'm trying to use the time to do creative things too, besides actual work on games. We've even reduced our Netflix to 2 discs at a time! It's a monumental shift in life that could kill us all. We shall just have to see. I like TV.
Playing:
  • WoW, moratorium or not! I am allowed 10 minutes to go in and do my daily cooking quest, and until yesterday, to research inscriptions. I now know them all! Except the ones you need stupid 200g Books Of Glyph Mastery to learn. They really need to fix that so those drop from current content. There is also one big exception to my WoW rule - when my WoW buddy emails me to say he is playing, I'm allowed to play as long as he is. It's socializing, that's good for me! We've only done that a little bit so far this week, but the exciting new patch that lets you get guild credit for 3-man dungeon running is going to send us into some exciting adventures if certain Hamumians ever log in, B******K! WoW remains fun.

  • Champions Online has been installed, and played for free, since you can do that now! If it wasn't an online game, it'd be a lot better. It has a very actiony style to it, which really conflicts with being an online game (odd, since games like Quake work fine). A lot of times trying to use a skill is awkward and doesn't fire off, or you can't charge it all the way if it's a charge-able skill, or you teleport backwards a little bit, stuff like that. There are also dumb interface things, like TAB-targeting enemies will cycle through guys that are 3 miles away. I saw an option to limit that, I might want to mess with that. The other thing that blows my mind about this game has been carried over from City Of Heroes. For some reason, instead of humans writing perfectly normal, sane descriptions of your skills like any other game, they've implemented this automatic thing that translates the actual game scripting into English. I don't have a skill in front of me, but skills are worded something like "Self-activate. Ranged 40ft. This only activates under certain circumstances. Ranged fire damage of 40-47 to target." Ahhh... I can't even do it justice (tried checking a wiki, but they're written more normally there). It's this mishmash of random things which you can almost vaguely piece together into something, but you're mostly guessing. Then there's a spot you can click to view the "advanced description", where it throws out another assortment of nearly random data, and for some reason repeats it twice. Totally insane, can't figure out any reason why they would release a game like that. It looks like debugging information. Nonetheless, I have a guy named Roast Beef on... some server. I don't know which. He's a mighty level 9 inferno guy.

  • Lego Indiana Jones is finished! 100%!

  • Then I got back into Borderlands which I have played a ton over the past year or so, but still not won (I keep leveling up 4 different guys, as is my usual, but I've been focusing on one now who is getting very near the end). That's a great game, and now that we have an actual modern TV, I can even read the descriptions on the items you get. Those were so blurry on my CRT TV, I nearly killed my eyes trying to figure out which weapons did more damage. I love having a real TV!

  • Castle Crashers! Fun and exciting. I always love those side-scrolling beat-em-ups, and all the more so when you can level up. It's really excessively hard, though. I may have looked at a FAQ a couple times. I tried playing 2-player online with a friend and discovered that they ramp it even more ridiculously with 2 people, and we couldn't even get past a fairly early bit after about 5 tries (the panda bear-man boss with Rammy helping him). Well, we beat him once but were so dead that we died immediately after in a normal fight.

  • Bulletstorm demo. I was pretty hyped about this game, but the demo cooled me off a bit. It IS fun to whip a guy over to you, kick him away in slow motion, wrap a chain grenade around his neck, and then blow him up. But... I don't know. I would be interested in playing, sure. Not ready to bust out the launch day kind of money or anything. It's almost that it's too complicated to control or something. I'm not sure exactly what it is. I've run the demo several times though, I do get a bit of a kick out of it.

  • Rift beta. I wrote a whole big post about my thoughts on this previously, so check it out if you dare! They invited me again to some final beta event. Maybe I will try out some other classes when that starts, because one of the creative things I was doing this week was making up character classes for a (currently) fictitious game, and one of them was very blatantly "inspired" by one of the souls in Rift (only I made it way cooler, because I'm cool like dat). Playing games really does work as research, lemme tell you.
Listening:
  • Still listen to all my CDs on random.

  • And still Podcasts. One thing I should mention is Frogpants Studios, which is the home of a ton of podcasts. I listen to like half of those. It's crazy to me. Scott Johnson runs that, and he is the host or co-host of at least 2/3 of those podcasts. I haven't added up the numbers, but I'm pretty sure he spends more than 24 hours a day recording podcasts. And about once a month or so, he makes a new one, without ending any of the previous ones (the latest addition, long after I was floored by the sheer amount of his voice that is out there, is a 4 day a week show that is 2.5 hours long!). It's really like some kind of loaves and fishes miracle, and it disturbs me. But I specifically like to listen to Film Sack which discusses bad movies that are available on Netflix streaming, Hypothetical Help which is a funny advice show, and The Instance which I wouldn't really recommend unless you're a true WoW addict like me. I tried about 10 WoW podcasts when I first discovered the magical world of podcasts, and they were all super boring, super annoying (craaaAAAaazy morning show guys! HEY HEY!!), super pointless (thanks for telling me how your guild did on the latest raid!). But The Instance is good. It's professional, not stupid, and gets some insights. I always already know the stuff they're talking about, because I read it online before I hear it on their show (true WoW addiction transcends mere gameplay), but they have a spin on it that's of interest to me. I listen to lots of other podcasts that contain his voice, but those are the most interesting. Some, like FourCast (guests come on and share their guesses for the future) started out really interesting to me, but now they're just kind of in my list out of habit. There's only so many times I need to hear someone predict that the world will be engulfed by nanobots. I occasionally do some pruning.
Now you are updated on my latest inputs.
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