Nov 112018
 

I’m sure many are waiting for my manbaby to emerge and tantrum after the cancellation of the Boba Fett and Obi-Wan movies. The truth is that I’m not bothered by it at all. In fact the decision makes sense. It has absolutely nothing to do with the poor box office performance of the Solo movie. As much as the butt-hurt manbabies try to rationalize, the poor performance is not the result of fan protest. Fans actually went to see the Han Solo movie! That being said, why am I not butt-hurt about the cancellations?

We Know Boba Fett’s Origin

Fan art of Boba Fett’s escape – by Deviant Art

I don’t think Disney mentioned the plot of the Boba Fett movie. The other non-Skywalker movies take place between Episode 3 and Episode 4. I really doubt that a Boba Fett origin film was planned. Attack of the Clones is essentially the origin story. He’s a clone of Jango Fett that remained unaltered. I think it would be a surprise if this was the intended plot of the movie.

So if it’s not an origin story, there is only one other logical story line. The story line that has been an enigma since Return of the Jedi. Boba Fett’s rumored escape from the Sarlacc in the Pit of Carkoon. This is the story I believe Disney would have pursued. Everyone wants to know how Boba Fett survives the Sarlacc but I’m glad we won’t. I would prefer this remain a mystery, why ruin it? Now we are left to the manifestations of our own minds, which are better than any producer, writer or director could ever imagine. Besides, we wouldn’t have as much excellent fan art and depictions.

What Would We Learn About Obi-Wan?

The bigger mystery of these two movies is what would the plot be of the Obi-Wan movie? We learn more about the Death Star plans in Rogue One. We learn about how Han and Chewie met, the Kessel Run and the Millennium Falcon in the Solo movie. What would we have learned about Obi-Wan? The prequels told us how he became a General and the Clone Wars animated series told us how he and Anakin became friends.

A couple of reports emerged that suggested the story was going to take place while Obi-Wan was in exile in the Jundland Wastes on Tatooine. He would become involved with some kind of conflict between local farmers and the Sand People. It’s not a story I was terribly excited about, therefore cancelling this movie made sense to me. Besides, I think what we all really wanted to see is Ewan McGreggor as Obi-Wan Kenobi again.

The cancellation of the Boba Fett and Obi-Wan movies was the smart move by Disney. While we all really want to see more of the two biggest bad asses in the franchise, I think it’s better they remain enigmatic. I don’t think this is the end of more “Star Wars Story” films. I would love to see Donald Glover reprise Lando in his own film, which Lucasfilm has hinted at before.

/MTFBWY

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

Nov 062018
 

If you were paying attention to the news coming out of the Anaheim Convention Center then you are probably aware of the disaster that occurred this past weekend. I admit that I was anticipating a lackluster BlizzCon but I was not prepared for the nerd rage that ensued after the opening ceremonies. There is an order in which Blizzard unveils news at the opening ceremonies, the biggest news saved for last. Everyone was expecting a major Diablo announcement, the leading theory being Diablo 4. What they got was Blizzard’s Diablo epic fail.

Immortal but not Impervious

Diablo Immortal Rig

Epic Diablo Immortal Gaming Rig!

Diablo Immortal the mobile app is the “big news” from BlizzCon this year. Yes, at a convention with predominately PC gamers in attendance Blizzard announces a mobile game. A version of Diablo that is only playable on iPhone, Android and iPad. 

Now that you have let that sink it, this is the first time there was little to know cheering or clapping. In fact there was booing, and not the joking kind. Actual booing. You almost feel bad for Wyatt Cheng, who drew the short straw to make the announcement. Since BlizzCon ended, several reports are coming out from other sources that Blizzard allegedly wanted to announce Diablo 4 but they pulled it at the last-minute.

I’m not a Diablo fan but I totally understand the animosity. After being taunted with a “Diablo announcement”, I would be pissed too if a mobile game was announced. The Q&A was probably the best moment when someone actually asked if it was an “out-of-season April Fools Joke“.

Overwatch Stole the Show

I knew there wouldn’t be a lot for World of Warcraft, we did learn when the next patch and raid is coming. We also learned that the following patch we will finally fight Queen Azshara in, what might be, an underwater raid. Also, you should really check out the Lost Honor cinematic. It’s really good (from a storyline perspective.) Hearthstone will have a new expansion, Heroes of the Storm has a new hero and StarCraft 2 was so insignificant I don’t remember what they said about it. Which leaves Overwatch.

The 29th Overwatch hero, Ashe and Bob

They began with a new video called “Reunion”. It’s McCree on Route 66 and we find out who caused that train wreck. It’s his old partner Ashe. Blizzard teases many new potential heroes in this animated short. I think everyone wanted Bob, possibly more than they wanted a mobile Diablo game. The new hero, as it turns out, is Ashe but her ultimate is Bob. I cannot wait to try out this new hero. My main concern is that I’m terrible at McCree, he feels too slow and clunky. Hopefully I don’t get the same feeling about Ashe.

I still haven’t heard when Ashe will be playable so if anyone knows, please leave a comment.

Rekindling Old Memories

There is one other unveiling that I am still mildly excited about. Something that started it all for me. Warcraft III Reforged. I barely remember Warcraft 1 and 2, but I distinctly remember playing Warcraft III. It is the Blizzard title where I found myself enjoying the story and the lore. If you know anything about Warcraft III, now you know why Wrath of the Lich King is my favorite expansion. The game looks beautiful with the new graphics update. The only problem is, I’m not sure I’m ready to dole out another $40 for a game that I may only play randomly (although that Meat Wagon mount makes it awfully tempting).

And that’s it. There is nothing else, IP related, to talk about. As I said, it was a pretty lackluster BlizzCon. The nerdrage over Diablo Immortal is probably the most noteworthy thing about the convention this year. Kind of glad I didn’t get the Virtual Ticket or the Goodie Bag. I hope they make both of those more enticing next year.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on BlizzCon, Diablo Immortal or any of the other announcements in the comments.

/FOR THE ALLIANCE!

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

Nov 012018
 

I haven’t watched Season 8 of The Walking Dead yet. I forgot it was even available on Netflix. After seven seasons of it I’ve realized that the novelty has worn off. The tragic rumor of Season 9 is that it is Andrew Lincoln’s final season. Rick Grimes will be killed off (because that’s how a character leaves the show). Also I have not seen any statement by AMC that this is the final season. So The Walking Dead will continue on without Andrew Lincoln? That’s like killing Matt Murdock but not ending the series (don’t get any ideas Netflix!).

Just End It and Pass the Torch

If Andrew Lincoln is leaving in true Walking Dead fashion, then end it with season 9. It’s time to pass the proverbial torch. There are many new shows now that are providing that fresh mystery and thrill (e.g. Stranger Things and The Haunting of Hill House). Every season of TWD is starting to be a rehash of the prior season (find a town, encounter someone truly twisted and evil, defend the town, destroy the town).

At this point I’m starting to root for the zombies. In fact let’s just end the series with all of mankind turning to zombies. Just wipe everybody out!

By the way, if you enjoy watching thrillers then check out The Haunting of Hill House. It’s very well done!

/cheers

The things that go through my mind when I’m alone with nothing but my thoughts for entertainment is dangerous. Some might even say eccentric. Consider this your warning about today’s Random Thought of the Day

 

Oct 302018
 

For nearly two decades there has been seven new movies and two animated series (with more on the way). There are trivial details that link all of them and the brilliance lies in the minutiae. The subtle, and brilliant, connections Disney brings to the franchise is outstanding and fascinating. Perhaps “connection” might be a misnomer, considering some of these items are so subtle they’re more like “Easter Eggs”. I’ll get into that later. There are quite a few Easter Eggs in all of the movies, but these are my favorites.

Also, if you have not seen Solo or all of Clone Wars, there are mild spoilers ahead from each.

[**Spoilers Ahead**] Darth Maul’s Appearance

Darth Maul with Mechanical LegsAs you watch Solo: A Star Wars Story, they do leave you wondering what happened to Q’ira after her and Han are separated during the escape from Corellia. Her sudden appearance as a gangster’s lieutenant several years later is one of the great mysteries of the film. She’s clearly tormented by the her choices in the past leaving the audience, and Han, completely in the dark.

Her vexing relationship with Dryden Vos had us wondering if she is his mistress or concubine, like Leia was to Jabba (which would be fantastic symmetry). However, we are all stunned when Q’ira contacts Darth Maul (reprised by Ray Park) leaving us all with more questions about her past. What makes this encounter more mysterious is the fact that it’s the version of Darth Maul with his robot legs thus linking Solo to late episodes of Rebels and Clone Wars. This is one of my favorite scenes in the Han Solo movie.

Hera’s Ghost

Ghost among the fleet assaulting Scarif in Rogue One (Click to enlarge)

Before you think I’m exposing another spoiler, I’m not talking about Hera’s spiritual ghost but her ship, the Ghost. If you are unfamiliar with the animated series, Star Wars Rebels, then none of this will make sense. Hera is a Twi’lek rebellion pilot and the Ghost is a Corellian VCX-100 light freighter. She is a central character to the animated series and the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

This little Easter Egg is very similar to the Millennium Falcon Easter Eggs at various spaceports in the prequels and Clone Wars. Granted most of those are merely Corellian Corvettes and not specifically the Millennium Falcon. However, in this particular case the Ghost can be spotted among the ships preparing to attack Scarif in Rogue One. You may even hear a “General Syndulla” on the PA.

Continue Reading to see my favorites

Oct 192018
 

The concepts in this post will be fairly esoteric if you are not familiar with many of the game features in World of Warcraft. Also, this will likely be a bit of a soapbox as I’ve grown weary of the emphasis put on Mythic+ dungeons. Sorry Blizzard, I just don’t care for the Mythic+ system, in fact I think Mythic+ dungeons are obnoxious.

The original purpose for the them is to give players an end-game option other than raiding. The fact that spec recommendations are usually different depending on whether you are in a raid versus a Mythic+ dungeon is evidence that these two are mutually exclusive. Just because you do one, doesn’t mean you should do the other. As someone who raids heroic content 3-6 hours a week, I don’t find it interesting to spend another 3+ hours suffering through multiple Mythic+ dungeons.

Dungeons Should Be Short

Perhaps I have a bit of PTSD from a 6-hour trip into Shadow Labs way back in Burning Crusade, but a dungeon shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes. If a dungeon is taking you more than 30-45 minutes, someone is doing something wrong and its time to quit. I do like doing dungeons, when I have time to do one. I especially like it when there is a dungeon that has specific lore significance (ex: Black Rook Hold, Scholomance, Culling of Stratholme, etc). This is especially appealing if there is a quest that continues a particularly interesting story line.

Other than adding the Mythic mechanic, my only other criticism for dungeons lately is acting as a gate to furthering professions. As I’ve mentioned before, during Legion, its ridiculous to have to complete an extra boss in a dungeon to further your alchemy profession. This seems to be more tame in Battle for Azeroth, but I also haven’t leveled all the professions, yet.

Affixes and Keystones are Bollocks

How long a dungeon takes to complete, even a Mythic+, varies significantly on the composition and competency of your group. So let’s get to the real reason I think Mythic+ dungeons are obnoxious; affixes and keystones.

What are Affixes? They are special twists on mob and dungeon mechanics to create a new challenge and adds new levels of complexity. Only three affixes are randomly active in a given week. You can see the list of possible affixes here. I’m sure for those players that enjoy Mythic+ dungeons enjoy the variety affixes bring to a dungeon; and I’m happy that works for them. Personally I think affixes create more stress and make dungeons less appealing. I could even feel less annoyed by the hoops you need to jump through for getting appropriate gear if there weren’t affixes to deal with as well.

So that brings me to keystones (and, ultimately, gear). In order to enter any Mythic+ dungeon someone in your group needs a keystone. The only way to acquire said keystone is to complete a Mythic 0 dungeon. Each time you complete a Mythic+ dungeon you get another keystone, for a random dungeon, at an increased level. This is where things get especially gross if you are hunting for better gear. The higher your gear score is, the more Mythic+ dungeons you have to do to get gear that’s worth a damn.

An example

For example, my gear score on my raid toon is 360. If I want ilevel 360 gear to drop I have to get a keystone for a Mythic+7 or higher. Which means I have to do at least 2 or 3 dungeons before I even get the appropriate keystone, then I have to complete that dungeon. You also only have a week to do this (as all Mythic+ dungeons and keystones reset every Tuesday). Of course what gear you get is completely random so there is a chance, that after enduring all of that, you could get a piece that you can’t even use. As your gear score increases, so do the number of Mythic+ dungeons you have to complete within a week.

THAT IS A BIG FAT NOPE! I won’t do that. I refuse. All of that work for very little gain just isn’t my idea of fun. So, to that end, I won’t subject myself to that cruelty. I would rather asphyxiate myself with barbed wire (i.e. I’d rather PVP).

By the way, if you do want to know more about Mythic+ dungeons, because they do sound appealing to you, follow this Wowhead link.

/cheers

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

Oct 152018
 

The last weekend in September was also the last weekend my sister and I shared a last name. In a four-day period we drove 11+ hours down to Destin Florida to participate in an event that will ultimately change all our lives. The details that lead to this union is not a story I am at liberty to tell, however it is the stuff story books are made of, complete with a happy ending. I was unaware that she was seeing anybody but, being the tech savvy person that I am, when I was given his name, I began my Internet deep dive. (FYI, you would be amazed what you can find on the Internet about a person if you just know what to look for and where to look for it). Long story short, my search revealed no red flags and he received a preliminary thumbs up.

Coarse, Rough, Irritating and It Gets Everywhere!

Proof I stood in the sand (the things you do for those with whom you share DNA)

Needless to say, a wedding in Florida means a wedding on the beach. If you know me or have read my blog I’ve talked about how much I loath sand. The only place silicon has in our world is for the manufacture of computer parts. On my feet and between my toes is definitely not where it’s supposed to be. However, at the risk of sounding a bit schmaltzy, I am a devoted brother and I stood in the sand, in my bare feet. 

I’m not without my limitations. Once the post-ceremony pictures were taken, I hopped on the first shuttle back to the reception location (which happened to be a mere block from where we were staying). After a quick 2-minute shower, which involved thorough scrubbing of my feet, I was back. Nobody was none the wiser and I stopped twitching and scratching like a crack addict.

With Friends Like These …

I only really know the friends my sister had when we were kids. Unfortunately none of them could make it, but I did have the pleasure of meeting her new crew. When her and I moved to different cities to embark on our own journeys, our lives would be enigmas to one another. Our routines would change, our jobs would change, our friends would change. You can only glean so much about people from social media. However, I knew she had a great group of friends when they did exactly what I did the moment I found out this new guys name. It appears I wasn’t the only one that dug up whatever they could find on this guy.

I am very happy to know that she has friends that think like I do (at least in regards to my sister’s well-being). I barely knew these folks but I was looking forward to spending some time around them. She has picked some amazing people and I feel confident that she is well looked after.

It was the shortest time I’ve ever spent in Florida. However it was extraordinary, with some extraordinary people for an extraordinary event! God Bless the new couple!

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!