Oh the Irony.

04/16/2010

Of the many things in this world that irritate me, the particular group of what I’m going to label “non-congizent behavior” is near and dear to my heart. This is the sort of behavior that encompasses things like: the militant pursuit of peace, the mindless adherence to the ideas of free thinkers, obstreperous advocation of inoffensiveness, and the like. Just for clarity: while some of these behaviors also contain elements of hypocrisy, that is not what I am getting at. Hypocrisy, while irritating, does not create the same kind of intellectual fracturing that non-cognizant behavior does.

Which brings us to irony. While perhaps not the most “big picture” of these, it is by far the one I have to deal with the most, so it’s getting the proverbial grease.

This is The Internet. People are wrong on it. Which includes misuse of the world irony. This is bad, and should be corrected where it is found. This stipulated, far, far more often I come across people misusing the ‘misuse of irony’. The number of times I’ve head people cry “that’s not irony” after which I’ve quietly muttered “yes it is” is staggering. So, for your viewing pleasure, here it is: IRONY. (If you don’t like the source, pick another one. I don’t care; they’re all going to tell you essentially the same thing.)

The problem, I suspect, arises from that first definition. Let’s take a look at it:

the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning

Okay. So, yes. Irony is used to convey meanings opposite of that which is explicitly stated. That is a definition. There are seven others. Of particular note:

an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected

This. This is the form of irony that most people use, and that same from that most people mistakenly label ‘misused’. Yes, an Olympic swimmer drowning in a bathtub is ironic. Yes, Tony Stark giving the world its’ greatest weapon in his attempts to rid them from it is ironic. And yes, had he pulled it off, Arthas raising an army of Scourge champions from the people that were meant to destroy him would have been ironic. (Thank you /Trade)

Please, for the love of dog, stop misunderstanding irony. The real irony here is that, whether the person wanted to improve others’ literacy or just wanted to seem smarter, they accomplished the exact opposite.


I Beat the Internet.

04/14/2010

Or at least WoW. Okay, so you can’t really beat an MMO. But we did finally kill the Lich King (carried by 264’s clearly). I was actually surprised at how little time it took us to learn and down the fight. There was a bit of a hitch learning the P1 -> P2 transition for some reason, but besides that, we went from first pull to loot in an evening and a half.

TRI often struggles with fights where positioning and situational awareness are key, and initially I couldn’t quite puzzle out what made this different. Later, when I was describing the basic feel of the fight to a friend, it struck me. The reason we were so successful at this is that while the fight is complex, it is not particularly hard.

Allow me to elaborate. Hard fights (Algalon, Vezax, all of ToGC) are fights with a few, relatively simple elements. Failure of a single raider to overcome one of these elements will severely punish your raid, usually resulting in a wipe. Complex fights (Yogg-Saron, Lady Vashj) have many intricate elements. Single point failure is still and issue; however, unlike hard fights, another raider dropping the ball can usually be compensated for by skillful response from the rest of the raid. Even the more unforgiving elements like Necrotic Plague and Defile can be handled by communicating and pre-warning; this both reduces the reliance on reaction time and alleviates the need for every raider to be on top of every ability every time.

Yes, there will always be a little bit on Yin in every Yang (HM Mimiron is composed of equal parts of both), and yes, most of the “hard” fights are not actually all that hard, but the general idea stands. The Lich King is the kind of fight composition I like to see. Multi-element fights keep me engaged, as opposed to fighting sleep while waiting for that one ability that will destroy my face. The complex fights in the game are always my favorites (except Kael, who can eat a dick), and my highly anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of the WoW population agrees with me. So, in stark contrast with the Sindragosa fight, well done Blizzard. A fitting end to Icecrown Citadel.


Tinfoil Hat Time.

04/09/2010

I have several friends who purchased Lord of the Rings Online during the $10 special period of PAX. I’m too cheap even for that, but I did pick up a free trial to play with them. I don’t have anything in particular to say about LotRO itself, but I did find a feature of the class I chose, the Rune Keeper, that I quite liked. Basically, you had both damage and healing spells. As you used either damage or healing spells, you would become more “attuned” to that route, making subsequent spells of the same type more powerful, or even unlocking new powers. The cost was the ability to cast spells of the other type.

This allows for a versatile character able to swap roles quite literally in the middle of a fight. It also allows someone to be a healer yet still nicely solo. (Yes, dual spec took care of that as well, but I think this is a more eloquent solution.)

So, what happens mere days after I discover this little gem? Blizzard releases the Priest Cataclysm previews. (Oh, yeah. Spoilers ahead.) I have to say, the more I read about Cataclysm the more excited I get. While some things like the lack of Spirit buffs or the SP on weapons being part of the item cost I’m a bit iffy on, most things I am not. Like freaking HOLY GRIP. Seriously, I can save people from being stupid. But I digress.

Holy priests are (according to the release) going to be able to “specialize” their heals. Casting good tank heals will improve your ability to tank heal. The same goes for AoE healing, and maybe more specializations will be added. I’m super excited about this, not only because I like to be able to do everything, but also because of the progression of raid fights. This will make transitioning between tank-damage fights and raid-damage fights a cinch.

…also holy grip.

Seriously, that shit is going to be amazing.

Gripping the flag carrier across WSG, pulling hunters into the dead zone, gripping tanks at inappropriate times… yeah. It’s going to be amazing.

Done now.