Testing The Old Republic

Testing on the Old Republic wrapped up for my group on Monday.

During the early testing I played as a Jedi Consular. (Think Yoda or Obi Wan when he’s Old Ben and chillin’ on Tatooine). That was fun because you get a lot of force powers that enable you to take on large groups of enemies without breaking a sweat.

This time I rolled a Trooper. A Commando. More like what Rambo would be like if he was a stormtrooper. (This is before they were clones or the Original Trilogy rejects)

The question you might ask (and others asked) is why would you play a Star Wars game and play a character that doesn’t get a light saber? But I would say to you that Troopers are awesome. They get big-ass guns and grenades and they have personal shields so they can take on Jedi and  I think I had more fun as a trooper than I did as a consular. I still chose the Republic side. (I’m a goodie two shoes at heart) But for both rounds of testing, I chose classes that I won’t be playing when the game goes live.

I will be a Smuggler (Come on… who doesn’t want to be Han Solo?) and a Jedi Knight. I’m saving those for the full game. Since we can’t keep the characters we played in the tests, I’ll be starting from zero again. So why play the same story over. Oh yeah the story is excellent. Your characters personal storyline is well-written. And like other Bioware games, dialogue choices and Dark Side or Light Side choices really effect your progression and game play and the way NPC’s react and if you have companions it also affects how they feel about you as well.

When you’re grouped with other players you roll for who gets to decide each choice. You gain points for agreeing with the eventual winner. So if you’re grouped with sadistic players a lot of innocent NPC’s will die.

The game rocks. I can’t wait for it to come out. The graphics are excellent. The capital city of Coruscant is gorgeous, especially at night. It reminds me of the city from The Fifth Element with all the flying cars.

Unfortunately both tests ended right before I got my ship, so there is an entire dimension to the game that I never got to experience… space combat. Also PVP. I didn’t really get into that either. The solo storyline is so interesting and engrossing that I never got around to it.

The best part of the game in my opinion is the combat. Also I like the fact that you can pretty much play all the classes in any of the major roles. Tank, Healer or DPS depending on your game style. I played my trooper like a ranged tank. And I’m not really a grinder. I like to fight mobs that are a little too high level for me. So I found myself spending a lot of credits on healing and repairing my battered equipment. But the combat is a lot of fun.

My least favorite aspect is the mod system. You can improve your equipment at modification tables but there wasn’t much variety. It was just adding to the stats it already had. I would have preferred something with more choices. But it’s a new game and there’s a lot of room for evolving and growing.

I predict that this game will have a long life. A lot of MMO’s come and go. It’s hard to go up against World of Warcraft. And even though I don’t think it will beat the MMORPG juggernaut into submission, I do think it will make a big enough dent in the market so that WoW is forced to take notice. I will probably end up playing both but the next 6 months belong to The Old Republic.

-Sloth

Advertisements

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Beta testing the new MMORPG from Bioware; Star Wars:The Old Republic.

So far it rocks.

The opening cinematic is so good I damn near wet myself.

Loving it.

I was an early tester on the game this summer and they have improved it a lot since then (no need to thank me… they paid me… in cookies).

They released us from our non-disclosure agreement, so I will post details on Monday or Tuesday. So far it’s a lot of fun.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic PC box ...

It reminds me a lot of Knights of the Old Republic except bigger. And it feels like Star Wars:The Clone Wars animated series more than any of the live-action films. Although there are elements from all six movies in the game.

When I tested it this summer, it had a confusing map, they fixed it. It had little to no tutorial, they fixed that. And it had UI problems, and they addressed them as well.

Looks like I know what I’m getting for Christmas.

-Sloth

Lust Looks at Legs III: Look at the Legs on Regis

In honor of Regis Philbin‘s retirement from Live with Regis & Kelly, Lust presents the third installment in our Leg Lovers Series, Lust Looks at Legs III: Look at the Legs on Regis.

We begin with one of my favorite young actresses, the lovely Mila Kunis.

"Regis, you're old enough to be my Grandfather."

"I may be old, young lady, but I'm not dead."

"I'm just glad this tie is covering up my chubby."

"Just don't try to look up my skirt, Grandpa."

"Well someone's a little tease. Isn't she?"

Next up is the very beautiful Eliza Dushku.

"So I hear you're a leg man, Mr Philbin."

"Young lady, I'm a professional. I..."

"Steady Regis. Steady boy."

"They're just legs Mr. Philbin."

"That they are, lovely, lovely legs... oh boy.

"Gelman, quick go to commercial."

"I'll be in my dressing room."

But you can’t have a Legs on Regis mega post without the lovely legs of Kelly Ripa.

Here she is putting Amanda Seyfried’s legs to shame.

"If I knew this was gonna be a leg show I would have worn a shorter dress."

"I don't think that's possible, sweetie... and can I get some of that water, Regis is getting hot.

Emma Watson & Hayden Panettiere‘s young stems don’t stand a chance against Kelly’s.

"3 kids. Yes I have 3 kids and I look this good."

"Go to commercial, Gelman. I'll.. I'll be in my dressing room."

There have been many challengers…

But there can be only one… Kelly.

The winner and still champion… Kelly Ripa’s legs.

So what started out as a Regis Philbin retirement post has become a Kelly Ripa leg worship post… funny how that happens.

Don’t worry Regis. You’ve left the show in good hands… and great legs.

-Lust

My Evil Kitty (or Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill)

My cat is crazy.

But since I’m insane, it’s like we’re two peas in a pod (or two nuts in an apartment).

She scratches. She pounces. She bites. Then she has the nerve to rub up on my leg like it’s all good… “I’m still bleeding from the last time, damn.”

And she attacks without warning. Claws come out. Snikt – Slash like Wolverine. If she doesn’t like the way I’m petting her. Snikt – Slash. She’s saying,  “Look… I told you already, you bald-ass monkey fuck, I like long strokes from the neck to the tail and then short on the head then back to the body. If you do it wrong again, I’ll cut you again… Believe it. What was that?” Snikt – Slash.

If I’m walking past her and she does that thing where she gets in the way of my feet, but I walk around her, she jumps on the back of my leg and bites into my calf. Her way of saying “Hey, I’m being cute down here and you better recognize.” Snikt – Slash.

I chose her because she was the only adult cat at the shelter trying to pick the lock on her cage. I should have known she would be a handful. They called her Buster. Most likely because she was a brawler from day one. I call her Lucy after the beautiful and kick-ass action movie star Lucy Liu.

The day I brought her home, I had no idea that she was a devil spawn. I showed her the litter box, put some cat food and water in a dish and left her alone to explore her new home. I bought myself some Chinese food. Not really Chinese food but “Ghetto” Chinese food. You know, that greasy fried chicken that they dump in that fucking vat o’grease and deep fry until it’s all crispy and greasy. I love that shit. And after spending all day at the shelter and then the vet’s office, I wasn’t about to cook.

So I’m sitting on the couch. I got my chicken on the table and she’s on the floor just… staring at me. I’m giving her space. She just got there. So I’m not bothering her. She’s got her food, her litter box. I bought her a little jingle ball to play with. I’m just leaving her alone. “You got the run of the house, go explore or whatever. Stop staring at me… damn.” But she’s just eying me. Just sitting there staring up at me. So I think fuck it, I’ll just eat. But before I can even get the food in my mouth – Pounce! She jumps straight into the air and – Wham! – slams down right in the center of my fucking plate. Right on top of my fucking chicken. Like – “WHAT? What? This is mah food now bitch. What?” Scared me so bad, I swatted her and she flew across the room. I made that cat fly… I’m not proud. I’m firmly against cruelty to animals but she startled the shit out of me.

She was establishing dominance (I guess) but I ain’t no kitty’ s bitch. (okay maybe a little)

Our whole dynamic has been um… dysfunctional ever since. I mean she’s cute. She curls up in my lap and purrs and all that cat shit but she has a mean streak and really sharp-ass claws. She’s constantly sharpening those things getting ready for the showdown. Then she looks up at me while she’s doing it as if to say, “Yeah nigger, you know what time it is. What?” Snikt – Slash.

I would never have her claws removed or clipped or anything because, you know, at this point in our… little battle of the species I would consider that as cheating. Calling in a professional and taking away her weapons would not be cool.

Plus I think she’s a lot like me, in as much as she was probably abused in her childhood like I was. Sometimes it feels like she was raised by dogs; the way she likes to bite when she’s pissed. She also likes to play fetch and she actually brings it back (I’ve never had a cat that actually brought the toy back). And she has serious trust issues just like I do, so I’m not about to take away her claws.

In the meantime, if she wants to fight for dominance, we’ll fight for dominance. “I’m like ten times your size and I have thumbs. You got thumbs? Can you work a can-opener?”

“That’s what I thought. – Ya lower life form, you.”

However, what she does have is that rare combination of cute & scary; fluffy & dangerous, So she usually wins. I call her Sweetmeat when she’s being nice because…

“Lucy is a nice sweet meat.”

And then later she sits there watching me scoop out her litter box. Just sitting there staring at me and she’s probably thinking, “Remember when you made me get off the counter that one time? Well, what you’re picking up right now, that came out of my butt. so um… Who’s the lower life form now?”

Snikt – Slash.

I love my crazy-ass kitty (and hydrogen peroxide… I also love the hydrogen peroxide)

– Mel

I Threw a Brick Through a Window

Hudson, Manhattan

The men and women in their crystal palaces gathered up their stones in preparation for war. Glass warfare was coming. The old saying goes; A glass war benefits no one but the glass makers and the broom pushers. But it was inevitable. It was – from the moment the rock hoarding began.

Some have suggested that perhaps making all houses – glass houses was not the best idea. It was the paranoia and distrust that forced the town fathers to outlaw privacy, security and opaque solid walls. Every building would be demolished and soon all the houses in the town were glass.

Everyone lived out in the open. Nothing could be hidden from your neighbors or your friends or other residents. All of your bad habits were on display for the world to see. There were no secrets.

The positive effects were immediately felt. Without secrets, there was no mistrust. Without walls there was no hiding. I see you. You see me. They see us. No room for shame. If we had something to hide, we no longer could, so we no longer did.

Going into the Glass House

After someone spotted a pile of rocks neatly stacked beside a small house, behind glass soon became an uneasy existence. A child had played army and made a tiny rock fort for his figures. But the people on the street saw this as a coming threat to their community. They gathered what rocks they could find and brought them into their houses. Maybe just to get them off the road but that was where it began. It soon became an arms race that spread to the entire town. Within days every house in the tiny glass town had its own pile of stones on display. A symbol that said no rock would fly without retaliation. Some families had more stones. Some houses had larger ones. But there was no home without them, without weapons. In a town made of glass there was no house without its own weapons of mass destruction.

It seemed inevitable. Surely the war was coming. Someone would strike first. Someone would bring about the glass apocalypse, if only by mistake. But after months of tension and rock collecting, it didn’t happen. They realized that as long as they all had rocks and as long as they all had breakable homes there was always a need for peace, however fragile.

Rocks

Keeping rocks on hand was no longer just the right of every citizen but every citizen’s duty. The rocks became fancy. Decorated, painted or shaped to order. Some were aerodynamic like skipping stones for more speed or distance. Some sharpened or flattened depending on the preference. Sling shots were fashioned. Some nicer homes displayed rock propelling sling canons and catapults. Every citizen had their stones. Some had bricks and boulders. In a world made of glass everyone was dangerous. But still there were no incidents. Because in a world without real walls there were no real conflicts.

Enter the trouble-maker. A soft-spoken man. No one really knew what was his problem. Maybe he thought he knew what was best for them. Maybe he believed they were all trapped. Locked in the cold war of a tension-filled town under constant threat of complete destruction. Maybe he was bored. He claimed later to be a good man. A man who believed that the glass walls of their glass houses kept the town further apart. He would help to tear them down.

He threw a brick. No one had hurled a rock through the air in years. When this good man threw a designer brick through the walls of his own house. The sound was unmistakeable. It was the sound of breaking glass. It sent chills up the spines of all who heard it. Followed closely by fear.

The panic spread quickly through the town as the facts of “the tossing” changed over distance and retelling. Many people began to suspect their neighbors. And with tensions at an all-time high then came preemptive strikes.

When fear takes hold of a community nothing breakable can survive.

The Glass War had begun.

I Put A Spell On You

Snow Angel

One late October morning I awoke to a brutal oppressive heat. It felt like I was being roasted alive. Why was it so hot in October? I opened all the windows in my 5th floor apartment… wide. Peeled off everything except my shorts and stood half-naked Looking out at the banks of virgin snow in the back alley. Beautifully displayed mountains of white frosty snow. I was so hot. The snow looked so good. I couldn’t get cool. The snow looked so inviting. I could jump out of my window and land gently in the snow I thought. It would cool me down. It would be awesome. I could. I could… JUMP OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW?? Seriously? I was really just about to… Is that even actually snow down there? I’m so hot. Why am I so fucking hot? Maybe I should hold off on the swan dive five stories to the pavement and just go to the hospital. Yeah if I’m thinking jumping out my window is a good idea, I should see someone.

I  think I took a cab to the nearest hospital but honestly I don’t remember. I may have walked. I don’t recall. I must have had help. I remember the triage nurse asking me to write my ailment on a slip of paper. “What this?” She said looking down at the paper with the words I AM DYING. scrawled on it in big block letters.

“It’s self-explanatory.” I answered back sweating profusely. I couldn’t stand still even though I could barely stand up. And I could hardly make out the blurry outline of the triage nurse as she looked up at me. She hadn’t bothered to look at me until then. Her diagnosis was instant and easy.

“You’re not dying.” she said “You have chickenpox.”

I had a temperature of 104 and I was hallucinating pretty bad so they admitted me. Used me as a teaching tool I guess because 2 or 3 times a day groups of medical students would enter my room and I would stand naked in front of them while their instructor poked at my pox covered body with a pointer. (Touch my penis with that stick again and YOU will need a doctor)

Also about 3 times a day for several days a nurse would come into my room and take blood. Lots of blood. By day four I was a little less blurry. A little less foggy, so I asked her. “Why are you taking my blood?” She packed up her little portable blood drawing kit without saying a word and left the room in a hurry. I never saw her again. They were stealing my blood. I thought that shit was a myth. Funny thing is if she had said we need your blood for study or we wanted some chickenpox because we’re all out or you have magic blood dude. It grants wishes. I would have said “Take all you want. I’ll make more.”  But she got so scared and left in such a rush, it made me think it was something sinister.

I stumbled out of bed and like Ebenezer Scrooge waking up from a bad acid trip I asked an orderly if I had missed it. “Halloween? Have I missed it.” (Boy what day is it?) But unlike Scrooge I had missed it. Damn, my pox covered face would have made for a great costume. They wanted me back in bed.

I just had to make a phone call before I crawled back for more recovering and sleeping. I left a message on her voice mail. “Okay. You made your point and it almost killed me and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have laughed. I know that now. But I think you may have over-reacted a little. But… having said that, that was pretty awesome. You’re amazing. I thought I was in love with you before… Call me later.”

I was in the hospital for another couple of days before they let me go home. They said I was lucky to be alive. Getting chickenpox as an adult is no joke. But I learned a lot from the experience.

I learned:

There are lots of ways humans violate each other’s trust and you can add stealing blood to that list.

For a shy guy I really enjoyed being naked in front of a crowd. (maybe it was all the attention)

Had I never hallucinated in my life (on purpose) I would not have realized that the snow was a lie. (Thank you LSD)

But mostly I learned that laughing is not the correct response when a girl tells you she has magic. That she’s a witch. Not at all. Because even if she’s full of shit, it doesn’t hurt to show her some respect.

Danboard Snow Angel 11/365

Especially if it’s late October.

-Mel

5 Songs I Can’t Stop Playing Right Now

These are the songs I am driving my neighbors crazy with right now. I play them  loud and I play them often. 5.1 with my subwoofer by the door (neighbors can sleep after I’m dead).

Puscifer on The Late Show with David Letterman. Conditions of My Parole is the song and the Album.

Switchfoot with Dark Horses. I don’t know who said these guys are Christian Rock. I call this cock pop rock but it’s definitely the best thing they’ve ever done. Love that gang vocals chorus.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus with False Pretense. This one’s a little older but I can’t get it out of my head. I have to play it everyday.

Going further back Soundgarden with No Attention. I don’t think I could be any more in love with Chris Cornell than I already am. Love the tempo change in the middle. (Fixed the link)

And rounding out the 5 songs I can’t stop playing right now is Massive Attack with Paradise Circus. Had to get all of their stuff and all of Mazzy Star as well after playing this fifteen hundred times. Can’t wait for new Luther episodes. I hope they bring my girl Ruth Wilson back she is so amazing.

Until next time, remember: Turn your speakers up because your neighbors can go to hell. (It’s not like they invite you to any of their parties)

– Envy