Monday, October 31, 2011

Tank Free Sunday

For the simple reason that I like the game, and the more (psychologically) complicated reason that I am pretty obsessive I rarely go a day without playing my Game du Jour. Posting about not playing a game may seem pretty cheeky, but I did indeed take a tank-free day on Sunday. My nerd-rage has passed (along with my terrible losing streak) so there is no rage-quit imminent. I just fancied a break.

I have now unlocked the top tier Russian TD, the dreaded, feared, Object 704. It is fully upgraded (technologically) and I have the killer BL-10 cannon sitting on my SU-152 awaiting re-fitting to the new tank. I am, however, going to hold off. I mentioned a while ago that the latest patch (6.7) nerfed the traverse of the Russian TD's and the fun I've had with them has decreased in kind. I have a lot of kills, but my win-percentage is pretty low. Because you are so easily flanked and killed it's hard to play an offensive role which means you hang back a lot and wait, and if you're hanging back and do get to face the enemy it's usually because they've broken through and thus, your death is close to follow.

I will likely get it, but at 3.3 million credits it's a big commitment. I'm waiting for the 7.0 public test server to open to try-before-I-buy. That server should be opening any time now and provide up to three weeks of commitment free fun!

I have also unlocked the heavy Russian IS-3 (tier 8) and am closing in on the Panther II (German tier 8 medium), and the Pershing (American tier 8 medium), not to mention I have unlocked tier 6 of the Russian artillery line. There is no shortage of directions I can go in, then, and want to use the test to see what I like the best. I have accumulated 170k in free experience which I can use on said test server to unlock and try various tanks. As credits and experience are also awarded at 10X on this server I can (again) try out a variety of tanks to see what I like.

I was originally going to use the majority of myt free experience to get into the Russian medium line at tier 8 (with the T-44) but after playing it on the last test server I'm not so sure. Now that I have the T-59 I feel I can wait for a while and am loathe to spend that much free xp merely unlocking a tank that I'll have to play stock (without upgrades). The T-59, as way of explanation, genreally plays a lot like the T-44 and T-54 Russian mediums (brawling, in your face, knife fighters).

The German medium line, on the other hand, is almost fully upgraded already as I have all the guns and engines unlocked from my (painful) time with the Tiger line. As soon as I unlock one of them I can almost fully upgrade it. I have (almost) officially given up on the German Heavies. I seems to suit the Russian line better after reviewing my stats. Maybe they are 'OP' as everyone likes to claim, but the fact is they are played like an over-sized medium tank and I like medium tanks whereas in the German Heavies I can't seem to stay alive or kill my enemies (even with the oft-touted, fully upgraded Tiger II).... two things I am told are sort of relevant for a heavy tank.

Whew! That was a long-winded post about a game I didn't play, wasn't it? I think I'll be laying low in WoT for the next week or so until the test server comes out. I have spent the last few Saturdays perusing new-ish games to try and mean to review them here. I am returning to my roots (and to the sandbox in a way) with Cities XL 2012, and despite hearing it's absolutely dreadful, Stronghold 3, and shall be posting this week on one, or both.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fortuitous Friday..... Still Hating on The World

My mood hasn't improved much. I tend to avoid the news because it is nothing but an endless, cylcle of bad news with no few happy stories to be found. I admit I haven't been following the whole 'Occupy' protest 'thing' that's been taking place world-wide very closely but I think I get the gist: Capitalism bad, right? Well if you're one of these protestors I don't want you to think I haven't been paying attention so:

I'm sure that you are right, and that Capitalism is an evil that must be stamped out. I've watched you occupying various public spaces and setting up your designer tents that cost more than some people earn in a week so it must be true. I've also heard you speaking as you qued up for your $7 Starbucks coffee after spending the night in said tent. I have two counterpoints to your argument that I'd like to make.

  1. Get
  2. Bent

What a bunch of pretentious do-nothing assholes. Only the very people who benefit the most from the evils of Capitalism could take the time to protest it. Those who are truly marginalized by the system are too busy making a living to give a shit about your cause. Don't get me wrong, I'm tuned in to what you're saying.  You're message isn't flawed, it's you.

You want to make a difference? Really? Then make the hard choices, and put in the work. Go down to a shelter and help the homeless. Man the phone at a Sexual Assault Help Line. Be a Big Brother to a kid who has no father. Help a starving child get a meal. Donate some of your wage to charity. Do something, but please, for the love of God, shut the fuck up. You can sit in your warm clothes, in your expensive tent, sipping your bloody latte quoting Marx and you know what? That guy is still homeless, that girl still got raped, and that kid is still hungry so pack up your tent, recycle your cup, adjust your priorities and get to work.

Thus ends the rant.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Hate You All So Much....

The post title does not refer to you, dear reader. The line is from a Simpson's Episode where Mr. Burns is meeting with his lawyers (after finding out Homer was rendered infertile from radiation... around season 5 or so). He offers them coffee and then says:

"You want it black, don't you, black like your hearts? I hate you all so much it's hard for me to look at you!"

I feel like that most days about the majority of the human race. We have our priorities ass-backwards if you ask me. My pet peeve of the day? This article from the Vancouver Sun:

Two dead in Ottawa shopping mall shooting

Nothing wrong with the article per se, but what caught my attention was this particular part:
People who were inside the mall at the time of the shooting were visibly upset. A woman sat near the crime scene as she called for a ride, tears streaming down her face.

Trever Proulx, the assistant manager at the Mongolian Village Grill, said police ordered the mall and all its outlets to close following the shooting. "They came around and said to shut everything down," he said. Proulx said he closed and locked the restaurant's doors, but customers were allowed to finish their meals."

Isn't it great to know that the customers of that restaurant weren't inconvenienced by the brutal murder of two of their fellow citizens a hundred yards away? I hope they choked on desert and Tever Proulx gets sued. What a planet we live on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If You Post It, They Will Come

Like some kind of badly written sit-com sketch, the very day I post about my new, fluffy, happy, love-everyone, rage-free, gaming experience, I run smack dab into a long, messy, rage-filled losing streak in WoT. Damn you irony, and all your ironic irony!

I'm in the process of 'shrugging it off' so I won't bore you with a rant about how stupid people can be in random battles. Life is like a box of PUGS you never know what kind of idiots you'll find inside. What I should do is move on and play something different. Will I do that? Pfffftttttt. No. Don't be daft. I'm going to keep playing until I have fun damnit! Or maybe not.

The problem (other than I get quite obsessive about these things) is that I just don't fancy playing anything else. The Devil you know, I suppose. I could retreat to the solice of the basement and fire up the PS2 to play a round or two of golf but after about 4 holes I can't help thinking about how much fun it would be to drive a tank on the course, running over my opposition and honestly, what is up with the clothes they wear? Damn- I'd prefer to be in a dust-covered, gore-flecked WWII tankers outfit in public over some of that shit...but I digress......

The furnace also crapped out this morning which makes the basement a tundra-like wasteland where I can only visit in full winter gear else I'll lose a couple toes to frostbite. I don't like the golf game that much.... though I do have an EA Rugby that might be worth a mild case of hypothermia which I could forstall with ample, and often, influxes of 12-year old single-malt Scotch into my system.....tempting.....very tempting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quoting You

A different type of quoting you today....

I was checking the spelling of Sandwidge via a God, er I mean, Google search and found the top link to be quite interesting:

Urban Dictionary: Sandwidge
If a parcel has been deliverd to you via chenced bumcheeks, it is said to have been delivered in a 'bumvelope'.
I'm not even sure what the Urban Dictionary is, but based on that, I'm not sure I'd want to order a sandwidge from them.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

On Chinese Tanks and Cognitive Behavior Therapy

If you've looked at my Raptr stats lately you'll see World of Tanks dominating my game time of late. Save for a painful 30 minutes where, for some unknown reason (likely related to mental instability) I downloaded and tried Farming Simulator 2011 (don't ask, it's best we just move past this) WoT continues to be the game du jour.

A short while ago I posted about how Tim's blog made me think about my attitude towards my gaming. Specifically, was I having fun, and if not, why did I continue to play, and complain about why I wasn't having fun?

Tim suggested (or I interpreted it as such) that we all should stop complaining and find something fun to do. I took that on board, and have found my time in WoT to be much more enjoyable. In addition I am finding that my performance is improving as well.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  (basically) states that there is a relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and if we make a change in one, the others are sure to follow. If, for instance, when you are stressed you chew your nails, then this method would suggest that if you stop feeling stressed, you will stop chewing. Alternately you can stop chewing and you should feel less stressed.

While this isn't a therapy session (lucky for you as I'd have to charge you a fortune) I have noted that my increasing performance in WoT has come on the heels of my new attitude toward the game. When I play I am having fun and if I get frustrated (ie the fun stops) I cease to play. Simple, but effective. I certainly hope Tim doesn't cop on and decide to send me a bill for his services as virtual-therapist. It is a nice circle....I have more fun, and seem to do better, which makes the game more fun, which...well, you get the idea. I am happy to report that I am rage-free in local chat since Tim's post.

My win-loss ratio has slowly climbed to a more respectable level (though I don't put too much weight in that as random battles are...well....random) and my kill ratio is up on most of my current tanks. I am having fun with a few different tanks and have put another $100 into the game to convert some experience (170k), train some crews, and buy my first big-ticket Premium tank: The Type 59 Chinese medium.

Type 59 Chinese Medium. 7500 gold (That's 30 real dollars)

I bemoaned this tank a while ago during my time on the test server but I have revisited it with spectacular results. Once I understood how the tank is best used (as a full-forward assault tank with consideration to the fact you are a medium, not a heavy) the success and fun followed.

My best game so far (credit-wise)

Don't think 90k credit games are the average (30K-50K seems to be) but the tank, as a premium, does pay off (it has to, of course, or who would buy it). I was going to use all that free experience I unlocked to jump into the T-44 Tier VIII Russian Medium but I'm happy to use this for a while. They have very similar stats and play fairly similarly (though there are some subtle differences due to speed and maneuverability) so for now I'll keep that free experienced stashed for a rainy day.

I am so close to the final Russian Tank Destroyer (Object 704) I may actually have it by the time you read this. The last patch saw a nerf to the traverse of the ISU-152 (and the 704) which has made the tank just a little less fun to play. The BL-10 gun (a Tier 10) is a real monster and I think one of the most fearsome cannons in the game (outside of artillery) and is still a real game-changer. As I am enjoying all my mediums (I have Tier VII's in all the lines: Panther, KV-13, and the T-20) and the new lights (T-50-2) I find it hard to strap myself into the immovable ISU-152 (a real glass cannon) and sit and wait.........but I do play my 'daily doubles' and so the experience (and kills) have continued to mount and the Object 704 is just around the corner! I already have the 3.5 million credits saved up to buy it!

Only a few thousand to go and then they shall fear me

I have, at the moment, 17 tanks in my garage so there is always something to be working on, or playing. I do think the game, as a whole, lacks real depth and play-variety, but I have to tip my hat to They are doing a great job of communicating with their player base and are trying to move forward on updates, and additions in a timely manner. The end of the year should see some new tanks (yawn) and some new game-play modes (yay!).

I am still clan-less and loathe to take the plunge and join a new one. With the new Company Battles around the corner (with different tier-caps imposed) I will have to find a suitable clan and I do have one in mind. The random battles are fun (honest Tim, they are) but I would like to participate in the coordinated efforts of a 15-man team. People, however, tend to weigh heavily on my poor anti-social personality, so finding a new group is always difficult. Lone wolf, or crazy loner? The line is sometimes a subtle one ;)

Current Stats

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quoting You

This from Syncaine:

Only depressed, weird, ugly single people like cats.
Attractive, successful people like dogs.
Fact not opinion.

ROFL, or should I say Ruff?

Indeed, how many cats can say they explored Hadrian's Wall with their attractive, successful owner?

...or Castles?

...or the Irish Sea?

Well, you get the idea, or perhaps, in keeping with the times I should say: D06Z PWN K47S.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fortuitious Friday's: A Fond Farewell

I'm still pretty new to this whole blogging thing. I am approaching the one-year mark (in December) but still feel like a bit of a noob. I'm starting to wonder where I should be going with this, and if it's worth it anymore. Does anyone care about my progress with the new T-50 Russian light tank in World of Tanks? Is anyone curious about the state of my settlement in Wurm?

I was toying with the idea of diverting some of my energies away from game-related blogging to other projects I have wanted to do. I have, for a very long time, wanted to start a diary of sorts of my adventures abroad. I lived in so many places (over 30) in the years I was away that some of them are starting to fade from my memory. I feel like I should get them down before they are gone forever.

In the end, of course, it doesn't matter. Blogging is strangely satisfying to me and for now I shall continue even if I spend less time talking about games. Today's farewell isn't, then, for me...oh, no, you shall have to suffer through more of my endless babble for some time yet.

A few of my favorites however have decided to take a break and today's Fortuitious Friday will be a farewell (of sorts) to them.

Don't Mention Ze War has decided to take a break. I was always happy to see new posts from Blaq and enjoyed his sense of humor, writing style, and musical tastes. I wish him all the best and an open invitation to post here anytime he wants. Thanks for all the posts. I enjoyed them a lot.

Will at Very Distilled has dissapeared from the face of the blogo-earth. I can't link to him because the blog no longer exists. A real shame.

Cool Story, Sis hasn't been heard from for a couple months now. Another writer who's sense of humor I enjoyed, I even looked past the fact she returned to Warhammer Online in what could only (probably) be explained by a fit of insanity. I hope to read more from her soon.

Shadow-War's last post warned us that there would be a bit of a lull so I guess we'll just wait.....

Absent since July is Ex-Post Ninja who, as well as having good posts, had the coolest blog-layout ever.....but I am a sucker for the 'ole turntable. In an effort to keep my blogroll current (I HATE outdated blogrolls) I have, sadly, booted him. Let me know if you come back.

Will, over at We Fly Spitfires is using the flimsy excuse of "I've started a new business, and my wife wants a baby" as his reason for posting less. Hmphhhh. Like real life should take a backseat to hobbies? Oh well, he seems young, I'm sure he'll learn ;)

Games and Geekery contiunes to post, albeit a bit less, as real life intrudes...

Best wishes to everyone who is no longer posting. Life changes and that is a good thing. Enjoy whatever you are currently doing and I hope you always make time for games and fun.

And especially to Blaq, I wish you all the best. It is nice to know that there are others with a similar view on gaming, humor, and music somewhere in the world.

Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Church......of God

Dear King's Corner Church of God,

I just wanted to write to you in order to thank you for making things clear.

There I was, standing outside your beautiful church with my sacrificed chicken, bucket of virgin's blood, and a list of my most recent evil-doings in-hand, thinking- and this is going to make you laugh- that you were the King's Corner Church of Satan. I know. Can you imagine how embarrased I would have been walking in? Lol. I bet I would have been the only one wearing a black hooded goat's cloak!

In any case, thanks again for ensuring your chosen diety was clearly labelled on the building, unless, of course I have it wrong and you're the King's Corner Church of Cod in which case I should have stopped in as it's been ages since I've been to a good chippy.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fortuitous Friday: Pressed For Time

Unlike a good press, say for wine, olives, or quality newspapers, the pressing of time is not so good. Unlike time compression which could be used in all sorts of devious ways to shorten work days or prison sentences (one in the same in some cases) being pressed for time usually results in anxiety and stress.

Is there a difference between this and a paycheck?

Or maybe that's just me. I'm feeling a bit pinched for time since coming back from my holiday as I try to catch up with everything. The impending doom of my 32nd Candadian winter looms largely in my mind and means I have to get the car looked at (anti freeze in the radiator, anti-freeze in the windshield wash, special oil that won't freeze easily, etc). Our winter is no fucking joke let me tell you. Minus 30 Celcius (-22 F for my American friends) with accompanying windchill's which can freeze skin in less than 30 seconds is, to say the least, a life-style altering set of circumstances. No more frolicking in the sun, no more short-shorts, and no more early sunrises. Let the fight against rickets begin!

The sun is already starting to set by 6pm and doesn't rise until just after 7am. That in itself is a pain as I struggle to get the dogs out for a walk before rushing off to work. Oh, I'm up in plenty of time, but skulking through my neighborhood in the darkness isn't much fun. By the time winter has us in it's icy grip (December) the sun will be hidden until just after 9am and will be gone by 4:30 pm. Ya, it sucks.

I'm not in Hawai'i anymore...sadly.

If you've been with me since last year when I bemoaned the amount of snow that I had to shovel (4 feet fell last year) you'll be pleased to hear that I'm going to be getting a snow blower. All that shoveling cuts into my dog-walking time and since they are the apple of my eye (and other corny references) I try to make sure they are looked after. After three straight hours of ignoring them whilst playing games, they might beg to differ, but they remain stoically silent.... and asleep. Lazy buggers.

Yes, I know, quite disturbing on many levels.

I've also got a boat load of games that are siphoning away at my disappearing pool of time (wow, that's a long-winded metaphor). Hearts of Iron III has made it's way back into my hardrive and I'm starting to see why I put it on the backburner for a year or more.... it's bloody hard! I tried playing as Britian but just couldn't cope with the size of my empire. In addition I found the fact that I couldn't attack Ireland because I felt like it really irked me (come on, you know they deserve it). Stupid rules and historical accuracy....... I have re-started as Canada and promptly turned myself communist and allied to Russia. We'll see how that goes comrades. I'm looking forward to the U.S's reaction when I let them line the border with missile silos.

Despite saying I would give World of Tanks a bit of a rest, I find myself playing it daily. It is easy to jump in to, instantly gratifying (or annoying depending on teammates), and soft on the brain. Since I am feeling overwhelmed with everything, the last thing I need at the end of the day is something mentally taxing. There, I said it, I'm lazy!

Also waiting to be mastered is Civ V (though I doubt I'll play this much as I'm very disappointed by it), Red Orchestra 2 (also with a steep learning curve that simply exhausts me at the very thought of it, though mowing down the invading Hun with a machine gun has proven to be great craic), Shogun 2, and most recently Tiger Woods Golf for the PS2 (more on this some other time). The impending release of the new Stronghold title also looks interesting and there is, of course, my beloved Wurm.

Thanks to a priest who cast enchanted grass so my animals wouldn't starve over my holiday (yes, even my virtual animals are well tended) I no longer have to log in daily. This is nice because when I do log in, it's because I genuinely want to play. The virtual animals are proving to be cheaper, overall, as the enchanted grass cost $6 in real money (in-game silver paid to said priest) while my real animals cost $450 in kennel fees while we were away. Furry bastards. At least if they were children I could re-coup the loss by sending them to work in a factory.... Wait, what? It's not Victorian England? Okay, fine, but I could at least get them a job in a sweat-shop which would have the added bonus of providing me with discounted Adidas items.*

* Dear Adidas legal team: I know that on the surface, it appears that I may have suggested that you use child labor in the manufacture of your goods. In reality, I have no idea if you do, and quite frankly, do not care. I will continue to buy your fashionable clothing because I was brain-washed by your advertising campaign in the 70's and 80's when I was, myself a child. Run DMC's "My Adidas" is also to blame, but if you try and sue them you'll look like a bunch of racists so it's probably best we forget the whole thing.In short, then, I would like to suggest that this is good advertising for you and you shouldn't sue me for slander. I will accept free stuff as a way of thanks: shirts, shorts, and pants size medium, and my runners are size 8, and I am a Pronation runner. Cheers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Back

Yes, the holiday is over, and no, I'm not bummed. The greatest part of any holiday is coming home and thinking about how great it was. I'll be back up and posting this week after I've sorted out my dogs, plants, fish, and yardwork!