Welcome to Alli's World!
I recently activated World of Warcraft again, because I'm hoping to play with a friend who just signed up. I figure it might be fun to see my total play time thus far, to the shock, awe and dismay of many of you reading this. To be fair, I haven't touched the game since 2011, I bought the last expansion at release, but never installed it until recently.
1st Character (60 Mage) : Total Played Time - 24 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes.
2nd Character (71 Warlock): Total Played Time - 44 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes
3rd Character (60 Priest): Total Played Time - 29 days, 4 hours, 10 minutes
4th Character (66 Mage): Total Played Time - 22 days, 22 hours, 14 minutes
5th Character (85 Hunter): Total Played Time - 25 days, 21 hours, 38 minutes
6th Character (85 Shaman): Total Played Time - 23 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes
7th Character (80 Priest): Total Played Time- 32 days, 1 hour, 24 minutes
8th Character (62 Druid): Total Played Time- 15 days, 11 hours, 32 minutes
This doesnt count all the lower level charries, but its where the bulk of my time spent playing is, for the most part.
Anyway, if we add all this up, I get a total estimated playtime of ..(are you ready for this??)
This is around 214 days of total playtime, (give or take). Sure seems like a lot when you put it that way, huh? >.>
After it unlocked last night, I bravely staved off sleep for a couple hours to get in my initial thoughts of the game and all I can say is.. Wow!
The game starts off with shades of the original Bioshocks journey to Rapture, if youll remember, youre submerged in a bathysphere and whisked along til you come to the sunken city. In true Bioshock fashion, you are again transported to an odd place, the city in the sky, Columbia. The journey itself, as well as the moment when you see the city for the first time are both awe inspiring.
Your first glimpse of Columbia, City in the Clouds, is very impressive. There are grand buildings everywhere you look, on rails transportation swiftly carrying passengers to and fro, large zepplins moving amongst the clouds, etc. Wherever you look, Columbia never fails to impress.
Columbia itself, for all its eye candy, feels like a heavily southern influenced, religion based society. (Think cotillions and bad southern accents.) There are colonial designed buildings as far as the eye can see, and you arrive at the city at a most opportune time, while a grand festival is taking place. There are carnival games, fireworks, parades, etc.
Things dont stay so serene and peaceful however, as you soon find yourself in the midst of action and the carefree, happy go lucky carnival atmosphere quickly gives way to the darker undertones of the society. It seems Columbia is ripe with storm clouds as well.
I didnt get terribly far, and just wanted to share my initial thoughts and mostly spoiler free quick look at the game. Ill definitely have more on it soon!
Hello, my lovelies!
Hope you've all been happy and healthy and playing fun stuff.
I was watching GameSpot's live stream of Lego City Undercover for the Wii U this morning. Naturally, the chat turned into a suggestion of other games that should be Lego-ized. I think my suggestion of Lego Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Puberty went over quite well, give or take.
In terms of gaming, I'm at the end of Tomb Raider, I just went back to hunt down collectibles, which I normally don't have patience for. A lot of them, unfortunately, you definitely need a guide for, or you have to scour every inch of every level. I'm still not sure if I'm going to put in the effort for those. I may check out the multiplayer, though.
I finished Hitman: Absolution last week, and had a lot of fun with it, even if it is forced stealth. At least it's up front about it (take that, Dishonored!).
I also found myself playing an hour or so of Diablo 3 last night at around 10pm. I'm not sure why, exactly. I wanted to give the Witch Doctor another chance, I guess. It seems a lot better now that I have a huge tank and a few minions to do my evil bidding. Sure, it's not a huge empire of minions like the Necromancer from D2, but it's definitely playable. (I finished the game on Normal about a year ago on Normal with the Wizard.)
I've also played the first mission of Heart of the Swarm, and at least initially, it seems a lot more accessible than Wings of Liberty. What's nice is if you didn't complete the Wings of Liberty campaign, you can play that as well, using the Heart of the Swarm disc. (I'm really bad at SC2, I only completed 7 out of the 20 some missions of the WoL campaign.) I would like to try a few more missions in Heart of the Swarm though.
I also downloaded this productivity app that's got me writing again, even if on a limited basis. It manages little timed "slices" of writings. You set it for anywhere from 15-30 minutes and it counts down, periodically reminding you how much time you have left. The theory behind it is that shorter bursts of creativity are better for stimulating the writing process than sitting at your desk for hours wondering what to type. It's kind of like those 15 minute power naps that some people take throughout the day.
I've also been slowly writing more reviews, as least of the games I'm finishing. Better late than never, right?
If you've been following my progress on raptr, or happen to be one of my many stalkers, you'll know that I've been playing a lot of Hitman: Absolution lately. I'm pretty far into the game and the story isn't all that bad, yes, its cliche and has the expected twists and turns but overall, it isn't as terrible as some bestsellers I could name (take that, James Patterson!).
Anyway, there's something very odd about Hitman. For a game named Hitman, you'd expect a lot of killing, right? Well the game actively discourages you from killing anyone. wait, what?? That's right, you lose points for killing, maiming, throwing knives, and actively bludgeoning non critical mission targets with golf clubs. Anyone else think its a bit odd for a game called Hitman? Maybe they figured calling it "Peace and Friendship Man" might alienate series fans.
It's still a fun game, but it's way more stealth based than action based, which still seems odd to me. I think I'm almost at the end anyway. I don't know what's with this finishing games thing either, when the heck did that start?? I still have Dishonored to finish (I got tired of stealth and took out the whole barracks and dock section in the first mission and that kind of turned me off =P) and I have Ni No Kuni waiting to be played, as well as Tomb Raider arriving this week.
Gosh, so many games, so little time!
(I really need to get back on a weekly blogging thing. )
I've been on something of a PS3 kick lately. Know what's odd? I have one of the old "phat" PS3's, with 80GB of space. I downloaded LBP2 (7.8GB), and the rest of the stuff on it is just a bunch of save files. t tells me I have only 16 GB of free space left. I can't believe all the saves take up that much space. I have PS Home on there too, maybe that's eating all the space? I've been kind of toying with the idea of getting one of them fancy new super slim ones with 500GB's. I do wonder how the transfer data utility works though, if its a cable like Xbox, or via a USB stick or something. It also says its been saving my saves to some online storage thing, so it should (in theory) be easy to access them from a new console, right?
I've also been slowly getting reviews up, after they fixed the evil user review glitch on here. I have few reviews in the works, plus hopefully more to come. (If you're into reading those things.)
(Upcoming Reviews: Batman: Arkham City, Torchlight II )
I just finished Arkham City, after playing it for ten minutes at release and never touching it again. I guess initially it gave me that "too familiar" feeling that seems to plague most sequels lately, but the story was kind of interesting and there were a lot of characters in it from the Batman Mythos, which was nice. I'll be putting my full thoughts in a review soon.
Hope you're all happy and healthy and having a lovely 2013!
I picked up Dishonored on the recent Steam sales, (as well as a bunch of other junk), and wanted to give my first thoughts, as I havent blogged in far too long and the comments section below most of my blogs gives me the illusion that people actually read these things (though we know its all an elaborate ploy by the central Gamespot mainframe to make us think there are dozens and dozens of users when in fact there are only two.)
Im going to try my best not to spoil anything, for those of you who havent played Dishonored and want to go in fresh.
Theres a bit of exposition and once youre in the game, you start off in a prison. This is a pretty common occurrence in gaming, (especially in the Elder Scrolls games), where you start off a lowly prisoner and eventually become a hero or savior or whatever. I get the whole humble beginnings thing, coupled with an epic journey+self discovery, etc, but as a fan of the Elder Scrolls series, Im a little worn out of the prisoner beginnings. (Though to be fair, in Dishonored, youre a person of some importance, flung down into the dregs, but still, I thought it needed mentioning.)
So Im slowly making my way through the game and I notice that stealth is HARD. Not hard in that Demons Souls kind of way, but hard in that, its much easier to slice and dice your way through the game. I mentioned this to a few people, that I dont think stealth seems as well handled as games like MGS or even Deus Ex: HR, the enemies seem like theyre stuck on hyper vigilant mode. This could also be just me and my piss poor stealth skills. (Like most games, I play on Easy, naturally.)
The atmosphere is excellent. I dont remember feeling a game had this much atmosphere since my last journey through Rapture. Little touches about the game world are everywhere, from the readable novels and graffiti on the walls, to the foreboding music. Just playing the introductory levels made me want to see more.
Well I did a normal run through of the introductory levels, and then I went back and (yes, still on Easy, im just that hardcore,) tried to go through it again, using only stealth and non lethal means. (You can holster your weapons, and just choke enemies from behind.) This playthrough was a lot slower paced, and I even noticed items I hadnt before, though I missed playing an audio machine because I didnt want to alert a guard and even though I swear I didnt kill anyone, it said I still had one kill at the end of the mission. I dont want to do it a third time. Oh well. >.>
All in all, it definitely seems quite promising. Ill have to give updated thoughts when I get a little farther in. The story isnt terribly original or exciting, so far, but it is interesting.
Okay, I think I need to stop buying games, I picked up a bunch this past weekend, including:
-XCom (360) 25 bones
-Borderlands 2 (360) 20 bones
-NFS Most Wanted (360) 25 bones
-Lego Lord of the Rings (360) 25 bones
-Dead or Alive 5 (360) 25 bones
-Lego Batman 2 (360) 15 bones
-Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Collection (360) 20 bones
Total bones: Almost an entire human skeleton! (only 51 bones away!)
So this week in class we were talking about personality types and I thought this was interesting enough to share.
It's basically a gamer type personality test, comparable to (but not as detailed as) the Briggs Meyers Personality Test.
(It even asks you, as an optional question, what your Briggs Meyers type is.)
It seemed pretty accurate on my end, here's what it told me.
Your BrainHex Class isSeeker.
You like finding strange and wonderful things or finding familiar things as well as solving puzzles and devising strategies.
According to your results, there are few play experiences that you strongly dislike.
Your scores for each of the classes in this test were as follows:Seeker: 19
I wonder what's out there...
You likefinding strange and wonderful things, or finding familiar things.
Your behaviouroften shows curiosity, sustained interest, and a love of stimulating your senses.
Your major brain regionsare the hippocampus (where memory is co-ordinated) and the various sensory cortices where vision, sound and so forth are processed.
Your chemical messengeris endomorphin, which is chemically related to opium, and has been linked to interest.
If you were an animal, it would be a cat.
Favourite games of Seekerssurveyed so far includeElder Scrolls,Final Fantasy,Grim Fandango,Okami,Shadow of the Colossus, andZelda.
Your BrainHex class is related to the Easy Fun Key (4 Fun Keys), Immersion motivation (Yee), the Wanderer (DGD1) and Mimicry (Roger Caillois), and is partly related to the Explorer (Bartle Type).
I'm kind of curious as to what some of you guys would get. =P
Gaming has been incredibly slow for me lately.
I've been so needing an MMO lately, that last mohth, I returned to Gemstone IV, a text based MMO, that came out before anyone coined the term MMO. To give a little history, it launched in 1988, on GEnie and about a year later, found its way to AOL and Compuserve. In the mid 90's, it made its way to the web.
Well I played from about 1989 until it hit the web or around 1997. There's something about playing a text based game that's inherently satisfying, in an age of ever increasing eye candy in games. If any of you remember the old Zork PC games, its a lot like that, you type n, s, w ,e to go in a direction, etc. There are 8 or 9 classes and tons of stuff to kill. It's actually a lot grindier than most any MMO, with increasing amounts of exp needed at each level. 5000 exp may not sound like a lot at level 1, but by the time you're at 17, you're hunting down 45,000 exp to level. I hear at level 63, you need 400,000 exp. You cant just keep killing stuff either, you can only hunt until your "mind" meter is full, then you have to rest and let it absorb all the exp you've accumulated, or you'll get exp at a significantly reduced rate.
In a lot of ways, its an antiquated game, a sign of an era long past. But that's part of its charm. (Kind of like when a pirahna tries to gnaw your leg off, its just being friendly!) Anyway, my trial ended recently and I've been looking for something else to play.
I've been watching Kevin's Guild Wars 2 stream on twitch quite a bit, and it made me want to pick it up, so I did. I picked up the game Tuesday, installed it, and have been trying to decide on a profession ever since. I know what you're thinking, but this isnt like buying a car or a house or getting married, I mean this is a decision with long term consequences here.
There's elementalist, which might be okay, seems like the stereotypical mage archetype. I always play casters in these things cause I just cant do melee classes (which leaves out warrior and guardian). There's engineer, who uses machines and such to get things done, like turrets and grenades and flamethrowers, and can toss med packs and elixirs, etc. That sounds interesting, but it doesnt sound like it would have long term appeal for me. There's necromancer. which Kevin has been playing, and he has a swarm of pets and that might be okay, but he looks like more of a debuffer (to use MMO lingo), and I wanted something more involved I guess. I haven't played a necro since vanilla EverQuest, nice to see the class in a game again. There's also Mesmer, which can create illusions to fight for him I guess and that sounds interesting, kind of an offshoot of the mage, though it doesnt seem nearly as powerful as an actual mage. Seems a bit like the controller in EQ2. There's Ranger, which I was thinking about, as it can get pets and do both long rangeed and up close combat, so versatility seems quite high. It also seems way too much like WoW's hunter, which I despise for the lack of challenge, and the fact that everyone that wants an easy mode plays one. Total turnoff. There's thief, which seems like the rogue in WoW, which I'm sure I wouldnt be able to play effectively. There's also warrior and guardian, which I dismissed out of hand, because I just cant play melee classes for long, they just dont do it for me, I guess.
So I guess you could say I'm still deciding.
In console news, after a bunch of household drama, my 360 is no longer hooked up, so I just have my ps3 to entertain me now. Been thinking about trying to finish Demon's Souls.
I'll hopefully blog again soon when I get some time with GW2.
So I don't usually promote other websites but I did a review for Diablo 3 for Gamer's Perspective. I'll probably do a few more reviews for them, at least. Figure it gets me writing again before school starts, which is always good.
Most of you know I'm a game music fan, though if you didn't know, out of the 900 songs in my iTunes library currently, maybe 800 are from various game soundtracks that come in collectors editions. >.>
Anyway i wanted to share the current piece of music I've been obsessing over.
It's from Journey. I just love the slow build up to the violins at 1:11. I also love how it slowly fades back into the Journey theme at the end. And I can't say enough about the middle. >.> It's so evocative. What do you guys think?
I've been meaning to blog about this for awhile now.
The annual Oley conference, usually slated for more exotic locales, like Miami, Boston and New Orleans, somehow found its way to the slightly less exotic Redondo Beach, CA this year. Being that it was free, I ended up going. They chose the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is a large hotel right off the beach.
In case you're wondering, Oley is the E3 of annual eating disorder conferences. (let the fun begin!) I got there at 11 or so and missed most of the first day's morning speakers, no biggie. I figured there wouldnt be that many people there anyway. The place was packed. They said they had a record attendance this year, 500+ people. The hotel was quite nice, lots of black and gold everywhere, gold doors. brass handles, golden elevators, etc. (For you snobby types, it was probably a 3 star hotel, but still nice.) The bedrooms upstairs all had a balcony view of the ocean, which made me wish I wasnt local. They had people who'd flown in from Boston, Jersey, Virginia and even one family who apparently came from New Zealand.
Once you get there, there's a little registration table and you give your name and they check to make sure that, yes, you really do have an eating disorder, and they give you a lanyard and name badge that has your name on it in a font so big, that anyone hiding out on the beach behind the rocks with a pair of binoculars can read your nametag, which is nice so they know who to stalk. They give you a little colored ribbon as well (lime green for newbies like me), and a free t shirt, if you're so inclined. Sadly, by noon, they had run out of 2XL shirts, and there's something inherently funny about a crowd of people with eating disorders clamoring for oversized shirts.
The free lunch consisted of the very health conscious menu of hamburgers and hot dogs, which I passed on, naturally, as the large banquet hall of the hotel looked like a cattle call at the slaughterhouse. =P
You also get a schedule/map of the hotel upon signing in, as well as a free tote bag. If there were a surly 16 year old that smelled faintly of weed and cheap beer wearing a mouse suit, I'd have sworn I was at Disneyland.
Peering in the schedule, you'd find quite a few workshops and panels planned not only for the day, but all week. They even had multiple activities, including field trips to the beach and aquarium for the throng of kids that were running around, while their parents mingled.
They also had a ton of drug reps there, some names you may even be familiar with like Baxter and Kimberly Clark. I naturally helped myselr to many drug rep pens, stuffing them in my free tote bag like some aged trick or treater painfully trying to reclaim their lost youth.
I went to one of the workshops at around 1pm, called Managing Your SBS. (It was in italics in the schedule.) There were a good 20 other people there too. It was run by this really nice nurse turned nutritionist, who, with her chef hubby, put out a cookbook/recipe book full of useful foodie goodness for people with SBS as well as other eating disorders. She sounded quite knowledgeable and eventually it turned into one big Q&A session, with many of the people there taking notes. You would have thought we were in class.
So after that it was like 2 or so, and I went to another workshop calledABC's of Labs, it wasnt terribly exciting, but it had a free handout and was taught by this really nice dude from Cleveland named Steve. He was pretty funny. Was only 6 or 7 people in this workshop, however.
For the next few hours I just mingled with the rest of the frea-err ...people....>.>. They planned a silent auction and a trip to the nearby steakhouse in the evening. but I didnt wanna go. I stayed til around 7 or so, which made for a long day. Of course they didnt have any small shirts, so I had to get medium, which is still huge on me. Oh well, it makes a good shirt to sleep in. I should have grabbed one of the 2XL ones though, coulda used it as a tent or something.
*Lots of Spoilers!*
*Avoid Reading if you care about Spoilers at all*
*Actually you should probably avoid reading anyway*
Well not really scathing, but there were quite a few things about it that I didnt care for.
It opens with a nifty plane sequence where people were getting shot, then pushed out of planes (talk about foreshadowing redundancy!), and then we see RoboConnery and he's all like,
"So, do you expect me to talk?"
and then Goldfinger is all like,
"No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die!"
Hang on, I may be watching the wrong movie....
No, I'm good.
Then we see Bruce Wayne, who's been a recluse for eight years apparenly, following the second film. There's a small scene with Anne Hathaway doing a not so great Eartha Kitt impression and stealing some pearls but it wasnt really about pearls, she just wants his fingerprints so RoboConnery can take over Wayne Enterprises, steal a nuclear device, bankrupt Wayne, hold Gotham hostage, and release the prisoners of Blackgate, and ultimately destroy Gotham, not to mention that its not really his plan, its Liam Neeson's plan from Part One, in one of the most convoluted plots ever.
There's a ton of action and a bunch of impressively impressive things blowing up, and louder than a cement mixer fistfights going on and such. Anne Hathaway in a skintight leather outfit is probably worth the price of admission alone, though RoboConnery is fun to watch too, though I cant always understand what he's saying, due to loud noises in the film.
There are scenes near the end with Joseph Gordon Levitt, where he finds the Batcave and the suits and all and I think that would have been a good way to leave it, and there's a new symbol on the Batsignal and so we're supposed to get that he's assuming the role of protector of Gotham now, either as Batman or Nightwing or whoever. But they add the name Robin in there, which really turned me off. I can make the connection here without Robin being tossed in there, thank you. They never once used the name Catwoman in the film, but I never once thought, "Hmm Anne Hathaway must be Poison Ivy!" It's almost insulting, the way the film seems to think we can't make these kinds of connections ourselves.
Throughout the movie, the ever present theme of rising above your own failings is overwhelming. Actually they really hit you over the head with it. Batman rises after getting beat down. Gotham rises from the ashes. Bruce rises from the pit. Blake rises from a cop to take on the mantle of Batman. Talia rises to take on her father's unfinished work. You could argue Gordon rises above his lies and finds some sort of redemption. Selina rises above her sordid past and finds a better life. You notice Blake on the platform at the end rising? Whoa, its so symbolic and not thrown in our face at all! Sorry, but after getting smacked in the face a dozen times with the same theme, it just left me cold.
ALLI Y U NO LIKE BATMAN?
I liked some things about it.
Michael Caine is the best thing to happen to all 3 movies and he was great here, every scene with him dripped with emotional goodness.
I liked seeing Cillian Murphy's Dr Crane again, even if it was a brief cameo. It kind of makes you wonder if Heath Ledger was still around, would we have seen him briefly as well? Maybe a shot of him behind bars at Blackgate?
I liked the few seconds we got of Liam Neeson as well. (hey, a little Irish is better than no Irish at all. >.>
I liked the fact that Bruce didnt die in the end, but something about a warm and fuzzy ending to this kind of trilogy just seems off. I think a darker ending might have worked better, given the context of all three films. What do you guys think?
Stop Releasing Glitchy Games
So I was playing a little Amalur yesterday, and I was minding my own business, strolling through the forest, slaying anything that moves, like we all do in our daily lives, and I get to this dungeon and get to the end and the npc says she'll meet me at this other dungeon and the conversation ends and she walks to the next room and sits down. ...the heck?? I run to the next dungeon and said npc isnt there! Even worse, the waypoint is still on said npc who's still meditating in the previous dungeon. argh! its funny, because I rarely encounter glitches in games. I never had any problems with Skyrim, I just couldnt be bothered to finish it. >.> (take that, Drac!) I had a problem with Deus Ex too, was going through it on 360 and one npc didnt appear for a sidequest near the beginning of the game because I didnt do the quest in the "preferred way". Well I didnt want to start over so I kind of shelved the game.
Stop Releasing Glitchy Presidential Candidates
Have you heard these guys talk? There's the RomneyTron8000, who couldnt relate to normal people if you offered him a cheeseburger and a beer. Have you heard Santorum talk? at this point his ratings would probably go up if he just stood at podiums and played charades. I like Gingrich's idea about more space exploration cause they seem to cut NASA's funding every chance they get, which is sad. Remember that age of innovation and discovery when we were trying to beat the Russians into space? Now we're just trying to beat the Russians to see who can commit the most voter fraud in presidential elections. >.>
Stop Releasing Glitchy Supreme Court Justices
Because I am currently running for most boring person on earth, I've been listening to the Supreme Court hearings on the new healthcare law. (you can read the transcripts or listen to the audio at supremecourt.gov if you're interested.) and its interesting and all the Justices have asked questions and shared insights, except Clarence Thomas. I don't think he asked one question. I read an article by a lawyer once who basically said, "I never thought I was smart enough to serve on the Supreme Court, then I saw Clarence Thomas in action." I love the Court though. A news poll from 2010 found that 2/3 of Americans can't name any of the Justices on the Supreme Court. The Court has never said so outright, but they have hinted that they should have allowed the votes in Florida to be counted in that controversial presidential election that no one can seem to remember.
Stop Equating the Hunger Games to Real Life
I enjoyed The Hunger Games. The book was entertaining. The movie was too. Amidst the opening weekend news about the movie's stars, budget, etc were some articles about religious symbolism in the books. Apparently the characters of Katniss, Prim and Peeta represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of course religious groups were up in arms. There were angry twitter comments about a couple of the characters being black, even though they were black in the books. Why cant people just enjoy this stuff as an entertainment medium? My favorite article had to do with the presidential candidates, how Romney is a career tribute, Santorum is the hard nosed tribute and Gingrich is the say and do anything to win tribute. Funny stuff.
Well after my roomie was sick this past weeked, after traversing god knows what mutant ebola infested hot zone, he gave it to me.
He wasnt even really sick. He had "a headache and the runs."
Pssh, headache and the runs, that's not sick, that's my normal day!
I've been sick for pretty much the whole week and last night, at around 12am, my temp hit a new high:
That's right, 100 degrees!
You know what comes next, hallucinations and the shakes. I cant wait!
Oh, not to worry, its nothing terribly unusual.
Its your basic runny nose, coughing, congestion, chills, achy kind of thing.
What's sad is being sick now isnt nearly as fun as it used to be.
Back when I was younger, being sick was cool.
I got a trip to the hospital, would get from ER to a floor in a few hours, and would spend the time on the peds floor in the playroom, or watching movies, or playing the N64 they rolled into your room on a little cart. Fun stuff!
That's the old UCLA Medical Center. See the top row of windows? That's the 10th floor, aka the VIP Floor, once stayed in by such celebrities as Pierce Brosnan, Larry King and Lindsey Lohan. Features of the VIP Floor included private rooms, your own waiter, and a wine list.
Notable Non Celebrity Visitors: Me.
"hey kid, you better get outta here before I call the waiter!"
"eep!" *runs off*
(I'd like to see them try that on me now, I havent run from a concierge since I was 23!)
But the old hospital had 10 floors, roughly 100 rooms per floor, so you could get a room pretty quickly.
Then they built this one:
this is the NEW Ucla Medical Center. It was designed by I.M. Pei and photographed by R.U. Impressed.
It has 7 floors, and around 20 rooms per floor. Without knowing your medical problem or situation, I can safely say you arent getting a room. I'm not getting a room either. I've sat in ER for 48 hours waiting for a room in this place. They have no rooms, because it is always full.
Each room has an HDTV, leather couch, wi fi internet, comfie bed, etc. They modeled the place like a five star hotel. But what's the point if you cant get a room?
Soo rather than spend days in ER, I'm staying home, hoping my cold/flu/ebola virus takes care of itself.
Sooo I've been playing The Old Republic for a few days now through the early access program and I've got to say, it makes one heck of a first impression.
My first character was an Agent (I've been playing Sith side). The story has you starting on the puke yellow soaked planet of Hutta, running missions for the gangster Nem'ro the Hutt, (Think Jabba, only smaller.) while also undermining his operations from the inside out. What strikes you from the beginning is how every quest giver has that three sided choice dialogue option, that has become a staple in Bioware games, where you can choose to be nice, neutral, or snarky (sometimes extorting more credits or even killing during a conversation.) The choices earn you light or dark side points, which is instantly familiar to anyone who's played the KoTOR games. There's a main story (different for each class), where you'll venture into little self contained story areas for these parts, which is a nice touch. There are also a multitude of sidequests, including group heroic quests (2+ people required.)
I then tried Jedi Knight, and compared to the storyline of the Agent, Jedi Knight is pretty standard. You start as a padawan and there's a training ground and a few quests here and then you make your way to the nearby Jedi Temple, and its all nice looking and such but not terribly compelling, unfortunately. What is interesting is that Jedi Knights (and presumably Sith Warriors) get different stances, or forms. The starting form is a balanced one that provides like 3% to attack and defense, or some such. It isnt terribly powerful, but makes me wonder what forms you can unlock at higher levels. I will say that the Jedi Temple is quite nice looking, draped in blues and golds.
I then figured I'd give Sith Inquisitor (focuses more on Force Powers than Saber Combat). and that story is actually not bad, if a bit cliche. You start as an Acolyte of the Sith Academy on Korriban. The whole place is full of reds and blacks, like most Empire themed locales. You're pretty much the only surviving member of your class and your overseer is an uncaring, insulting dude, who has no love for you at all. So you go through his missions and slowly advance and eventually make your way off Korriban and join the Imperial Fleet, in orbit.
Once aboard, you have the option of finding a partner and going through the game's first real dungeon like group quest, The Black Talon. You get aboard a ship and it gets attacked and you have to fend off the attackers in different parts of the ship. What's really impressive is that based on your dialogue choices with several of the main characters in the Black Talon story, the dungeon itself changes (different events, different bosses, etc). Its probably the most interactive and dynamic dungeon I've ever played in an MMO. It really makes me want to see what they have in mind for high level content like this.
With its focus on storytelling, even at this early stage, The Old Republic seems poised to capture a large share of players from the reigning king of MMO's, World of Warcraft. Only time will tell, of course, but for the ongoing struggle between the Republic and the Empire, (and for gamers) the future looks bright, in a galaxy that doesn't seem quite so far away at all.
Recently, amazon had a ton of deals going on for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Hearing Test Thursday (they're still going too). You know those lightning deals, where they give you a clue and post a time and then a countdown to the deal? Then you check back at said time, click buy and find out that its sold out? This happened to me.
I was on there most of the week and couldnt resist getting Rayman +an artbook for 39.99 and they also had AC: Revelations for 34.99 which I picked up. They also had clues to the deals coming up, and one pretty much told you that it was Uncharted 2. I figured if it was gonna be cheap, I may as well, as I'd never played it.
So I wait til 10pm or so and see the timer counting down and when it hits 0:00. Uncharted 2 GoTY Edition pops up on the page for the low price of 14.99. I immediately hit the add to cart button only to find out that its 100% sold out? what the heck?? Here's the funny part. Now that its no longer on sale, the regular price is a whopping 17.00. Somehow, I just cant bring myself to buy it at that super inflated price. Is that weird?? Heck, I've paid more for nail polish.
In other Alli News, my new Wii (a b day gift) came yesterday. Its still in the box, but I'll be hooking it up soon, hopefully. Its that red bundle that comes with a red wii, red controller, and New Super Mario Bros /Wii Sports. Now I want that flame red 3ds bundle to match.
After the odd occurances scheduling my last ultrasound (UCLA has a reception desk, with a large sign that reads "Radiology" and "Scheduling" over said desk, even though the woman working there has the enviable job of telling people that they dont schedule radiology appointments there, despite the large signs. This has become my new dream job, slightly edging out Elevator Operator and Snooty Parking Lot Attendant, if only because of the minimal responsibilities.) I wasnt expecting much from the dentist.
I call and I think Its the same receptionist I talked to two years ago.
Me: Hi, I need a dentist.
Her: Who was your last dentist?
Me: I don't know her name. I hear she finally succumbed to gingivitis after a long battle.
Me: that was a joke.
Her: Oh. Ha. Ha. Very Amusing.
(Actually my dentist graduated, which isnt surprising, given that she was this asian lady who looked like she was 12 years old.)
Her: do you have any preferences?
Me: preferences? do you have a menu? Oh I would like one who is an expert in the art of causing as much pain as possible.
Her: excuse me?
Me: I want my money's worth. (Though technically I'm not paying.)
Me: That was a joke.
Her: Very Amusing.
The best part about the dentist isnt the scheduling, its the journey. To get to the dentist, you have to first open these two double glass doors, taking you into the main lobby. You then have to go to this elevator around the corner. This takes you to subbasement B, 10,000 leagues under the sea. You then take this long east west hallway, heading west. There's no pictures on the walls, which are a really fugly shade of grey. After about 20 minutes of walking down this long hallway, you come to this other elevator, which has ...wait for it. ...different colored buttons! You then take that elevator up 2 floors. You're now about halfway there. (This is in the old building so there's no shortcut.) You go through a couple more hallways and take one more elevator before passing through the shrine of the silver monkey and then you see a small window set in the wall. This window has the express purpose of telling you that dental reception has moved around the corner, despite more confusing signage.
Tune in next time when I take you on the harrowing journey to the optometrist. >.>
So after a year of pretty much constant use on my lappy, last week I was getting frequent BSOD's and crashes. Most of the time these things happened at really inopportune times (typing school assignments, watching questionable videos, etc). So I back up everything onto a usb drive and I go out and buy windows and office. (I know, I coulda just done a system restore, but I've been wanting to do a clean install for awhile now.) I install windows and format all the partitions, deleting the recovery partition, which I didnt need.
So I get to windows and its all shiny and bright eyed and bushy tailed and its so clean! Its like having a new pc! (that's one year old. >.>) So I install every updated driver I can find (except the BIOS update, which I'm considering..) and I install office and it gives me some dumb pop up that says you might be a victim of software counterfeiting. wait, what?? O.O
So it makes me download this windows validation tool thingie and it proceeds to validate windows. Apparently I'm not a bootlegger since the feds didnt arrive at my house shortly after. So today I boot up the lappy and it asks me for my product key again, because it doesnt think my windows is genuine.
I put it in and apparently its satisfied. For now. This is so silly. How many times do I have to prove that I'm not a terrorist? I just wanna use my own computer. Unless newegg has started selling fake software, I should be okay, right?
Oh by the way, any software you guys think are "must haves" for a super clean pc? >.>
I was at Best Buy earlier, buying a friend some headphones, a mouse and a lock for the new lappy he bought (he really skimped on it too, it has integrated graphics. Oh, the humanity!) We went early and there was no one there. Naturally all the new games were prominently featured on a table near the front of the store. The two contenders vying for the consumers this week (and month), were:
Uncharted 3 and War in the North.
They had both collectors editions out there too. The Uncharted one looked okay, and all. But have you seen the War in the North one?
I'm a huge sucker for CE's, typically. I have every Blizzard CE put out, I have the original Baldur's Gate II CE and Ultima IX Dragon Edition. I even have the Vampire the Masquerade Redemption CE with kindred necklace. >.>
I'm no stranger to these things. But that oversized quiver that comes with the War in the North CE just strikes me as too nerdy. What the heck are you going to do with that thing? Hang it on your wall? Strap it on and go as Legolas to your upcoming family Turkey Day dinner? Get a blonde wig and reinact the Battle of Helm's Deep in your backyard, using your pets as the armies of Saruman?
Best Buy wisely chose not to display the price on this thing for fear of inducing a stroke in any of their valued customers. (Amazon currently has it listed at 139.99.)
Are these things getting too nerdy?