A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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Thoughts and ponderings about PC and consoling gaming.

Movie Review: 1Up

1Up review

1Up

Starring: Ruby Rose, Paris Berelc
Director: Kyle Newman

My Rating:

I am a big fan of Rebel Force Radio (if you are a Star Wars fan, I highly recommend listening to them each week). During the July 15th broadcast Jason and Jimmy interviewed Kyle Newman and they talk about this movie. If you have seen the movie Fanboys then you are familiar with Kyle Newman’s work. First a quick synopsis then my 1Up review.

Vivian (Paris Berelc) is a “support” member of an elite eSports college team. After an egregious display of ego and male chauvinism, she quits the team. She forms her own, female only, eSports team with the help of Parker (Ruby Rose) to coach them against a male dominated industry.

Biggs 1Up Review

This is another one of those movies where it’s more like 3 1/2 stars but since the plugin doesn’t allow 1/2 stars, I generously gave it a 4. It is getting destroyed though on IMDB. So much so that I almost didn’t add the link to the website. I, honestly, don’t think this movie deserves so much harsh criticism.

I admit that it’s a little campy but I feel like it’s campy along the same lines as Fanboys. It’s not a unique plot. In fact this is basically the same movie as Pitch Perfect except using video games. The writers and director do embellish the actual game play a little bit, but I don’t think it ruins the movie. It’s a decent “David Denise? vs Goliath” flick.

Women and Video Games

Erin Brockovich - They're called boobs, Ed

During the first act it does, kind of, abuses the very stigma it’s trying to abolish. Paris Berelc is a “well endowed” woman and we see her frequently in a white tank top where her … “goods” are right in our face. Ruby Rose’s character even addresses the fact that, over the years, “boobs” sell video games. I feel like from that point on, however, Berelc’s wardrobe is a bit more modest. Perhaps that is on purpose.

The movie comes at a time where women are being challenged and/or ridiculed for wanting to feel welcome in a male-dominated industry. Especially on the heels of the Blizzard fiasco. It goes without saying that gaming and eSports has largely been tailored toward males for the better part of a generation. This movie challenges that and I’m on board with it. Women should feel welcome and safe in the video game industry. A penis is not a requirement for playing (or developing) MOBAs, MMOs and eSport games.

If you are a gamer and/or in the video game industry, then check it out. Keep an open mind but your expectations low. It’s not a masterpiece and certainly not as good as Pitch Perfect but I still enjoyed it (boobs aside). It does have a few subtle Star Wars references (not just the Jedi/Padawan reference, let me know if you catch it).

film_reel“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.” 
– Stanley Kubrick

 

Biggs On: Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard

The gaming community was rocked today when the news broke that Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard. Assuming this deal actually goes through, and the DOJ doesn’t intervene with another antirust investigation, how does this affect me? I’m quite vocal about my distrust and distaste for anything Microsoft. This news makes my toes curl.

However, Activision Blizzard hasn’t exactly been a paragon of virtue. While Microsoft has their faults, their employees are not running around groping co-workers. I have respect for a company that provides some innovation, but I cannot respect a company that exhibits such disgusting behavior.

Maybe This Is The Right Change

Optimistic as Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has been struggling for over 6 months now to repair the damage caused by the scandal. During that time the community suffered and many players, including several of my friends, have left the game. After every step forward, new information is found, and we go two steps backwards. Perhaps this is the dramatic change that needs to happen to rectify the sins of the past.

I’ll admit, I was feeling dead inside when the news broke. My wife had an interesting way to explain it though. It’s like when Disney bought Star Wars. At the beginning I had mixed emotions, but now I’m overjoyed. I hope Microsoft makes the right changes to repair the community and bring the game back to life. I imagine Microsoft will be cleaning house of all the people that should have already been fired.

I’ll admit, the gaming division is the lesser evil at Microsoft. As long as it’s XBox that runs the show, I will be cautiously optimistic. My biggest concern is if Microsoft can’t fix the damage. World of Warcraft is the longest running title at Blizzard but its been hemorrhaging players and money for a while. If Microsoft cannot stop the bleeding, WoW might be the first to go.

I’m hoping for the best.

Please share some of your thoughts.

WoW: State of the Raid (9.1.5)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “State of the Raid” post. Blizzard is kind of a sore, perhaps even taboo, topic right now. Every time there is more sickening news makes me sad.

I play this game to hang out with the friends. The kind of friends where hanging out in person isn’t convenient because of distance and borders. Raiding has become difficult over the past few months. Some friends have left the game and recruiting new people is difficult.

Progession

Despite these circumstances, we are enduring. Personally I think our goals are shifting to accommodate the reality and current environment of the community. Ahead of the Curve has always been our main objective before the conclusion of a tier. This rut in active players and the obvious adjustment in the difficulty of heroic encounters may be changing that objective.

As much as I hate to let go of achieving Ahead of the Curve, I think it’s best for my sanity. I really don’t want to burn out because this is my social activity. Several of my friends have already reached this point so I don’t want to be the next victim.

We are currently 6/10 in Heroic and our latest attempt on Guardian has me feeling confident we will be 7/10 soon. Depending on the complexity of the next 3 bosses, and the release date of 9.2, we may still have a chance at AOTC.

I’ve Been Slacking

There is so much to do after you hit max level that I’ve had a difficult time leveling my alts. I’m still sitting at just under half of my alts at max (46.6%). I’ll admit the events going on at Activision Blizzard is awful and gives me a lot of mixed feelings which affects my motivation. I won’t quit though, for reasons I’ve expressed before. This time of year is also very busy for me. I’ve got lots of planning, decorating, and Christmas to enjoy.

While Blizzard has not given us a release date for 9.2, my hope is try to get to as close to 100% on all my alts before it hits live servers. That’s probably a stretch goal by now.

Ultimately I hope Blizzard gets their act together and finds a way to bring players back. I really miss all my friends that have left the game.

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!

 

WoW: Blizzard’s Timing Sucks!

How long have we been waiting for the 9.1 patch? Shadowlands released on October 13th and the patch comes out tomorrow. So that’s approximately 260 days! I’ll admit, if I didn’t have alts I like to level, I would have suspended my account again and played something else. Yea, yea, “but the pandemic!”. I work as a developer too in an enterprise environment and we work just fine remotely. In fact we haven’t pushed a deadline or missed a deadline during the whole pandemic. Using the pandemic as an excuse isn’t valid to me.

A Month Ago Or A Week Later

Then Blizzard finally announces the release date of 9.1; which is tomorrow. However the new mythic dungeon and the raid won’t be available until the week of the 4th of July holiday in the U.S. In general I don’t think Blizzard should be releasing patches in the summer because that is the most popular time people take vacations. I know, that’s selfish. I’m frustrated because I swear Blizzard knows my vacation schedule. It never fails they always release a raid at the worst possible time for me.

When would I have liked to have seen the patch? A month ago! At least! Granted I was trying to level as many alts as I could before 9.1; but I would have rather gotten a decent start on the content before a vacation. I would have been content if they released the patch next week (with the raid starting the following week). Since even Tazavesh isn’t available until the same week, the only content to work on is flying and furthering Covenant Renown.

And no, I refuse to play Classic. I’ve already done that and I never wanted to go back and do that shit again. Maybe if you hadn’t wasted all those developers are this Classic crap, 9.1 could have been finished sooner. It’s called “prioritizing!”

This is really frustrating, Blizzard. I’m mildly unhappy.

“git gud!”

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!

 

Shadowlands: Torghast First Impressions

Torghast First ImpressionsThis is my first Shadowlands post since it’s launch. While it seems logical that I would first talk about leveling, instead I decided to skip to Torghast. This is a brand new game mechanic Blizzard introduces in this expansion. We saw something similar in the Battle for Azeroth 8.3 patch with the Horrific Visions. In fact, I almost suspect that the Horrific Visions were the “beta test” for the Torghast mechanic. I haven’t spent a lot of time in there yet but I thought I would share my Torghast first impressions.

An Ever-Changing Dungeon

There was a lot of build up about this place. Blizzard was pretty clear that it will be essential to our raiding progression. Initially I was skeptical. While the horrific visions weren’t terrible, eventually I became bored doing them every week (and, ultimately, I stopped doing them altogether). The engineers at Blizzard have definitely raised the bar with Torghast.

Basically Torghast is a type of dungeon divided into six wings, each with eight layers consisting of six floors per layer. You can complete Torghast solo or you can go as a group. Every trip into Torghast is different. Statistically you should never experience the same trip twice. As you progress each floor becomes more and more difficult until it becomes too difficult, for your current gear score, to complete. This has not yet happened to me so I don’t know if its actually true. If you complete the third layer on one wing, you can go immediately to the third layer in another wing. I’m not sure how this works when the remaining layer’s become available. Completing the layers awards you Soul Ash which you need to construct legendary gear. As far as I can tell, Torghast does not drop gear.

No Gear?? What’s the Point??

I, honestly, struggle with this concept. It’s probably the one negative to Torghast, especially for alts. Obviously, for my raid toon, this provides the ability to craft gear that will give me a significant advantage in the raids. The amount of Soul Ash you get is capped each week so going in weekly will help craft your legendary gear (and upgrades) sooner rather than later. I rarely, if ever, raid on my alts so getting a legendary for them is simply cosmetic. Does this mean I will still do Torghast on my alts? Probably, because the challenge could be fun, however its not going to be something I do every week on every alt.

So far I like Torghast; more than I thought I would. I’m glad there is a cap each week so I don’t feel obligated to do it every single day, each week. It would get pretty old, really fast if I had to do it that frequently. Granted we are just beginning week 3 so the question is will I continue to enjoy Torghast? Or will the interest wane over the next couple of months? It’s difficult to say. Perhaps I should consider a follow up post in the spring to discuss how its going. I’m also going to predict that something will change about Torghast in future content patches to keep it interesting. We’ll see.

What are your Torghast first impressions?

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!

 

WoW: The Battle for Azeroth is Over

The Battle for Azeroth is OverLast week the pre-patch event for Shadowlands began. As we embark on our journey into the afterlife, let’s reflect on Blizzards 7th expansion. Battle for Azeroth had a tough act to follow. Legion, in my opinion, is the second best expansion since Wrath of the Lich King. Unfortunately BfA didn’t quite live up to the same level as Legion and Wrath. Personally, I would rank this expansion around the middle of the pack. Now that the Battle for Azeroth is over, what ruminations do I have from the past 2 years?

Honestly, the first half of the expansion was pretty good. I enjoyed meeting Jaina’s family and restoring her people’s faith in her and meeting Taelia Fordragon and learning her story. I hope Blizzard will pursue a possible love interest between her and Anduin. It has been a long time since there has been a Queen in Stormwind. The real story is told by the raids and I’m pretty split on that.

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