July 29th, 2011

Rainbow Dash 20% Cooler

Yeah, This One, Definitely

There are about four different versions of this idea by various folks, but this is the best one:

I'm just waiting for the R.O.D. version, now. I'm glad the video editing software is on laurie_robey's computer, or I'd be making pony videos for the next month. (Rainbow Dash doing "Bad Reputation"? Oh yeah...)

See you later, Space Pony...
Alex Spaz

So Done With Superheroes

The Nerdist puts it nicely here:

I’ve chosen to discuss this trailer with a little skit I’ve written.

Pitch Man: “I have an excellent idea for the new Spider-Man movie, boss.”
Sony Executive: “Oh? And what might that be?”
Pitch Man: “So you know how Sam Raimi’s first film less than a decade ago set the bar for superhero movies and then its sequel raised the bar impossibly high, and both movies were praised for their frenetic action as well as their wry sense of humor, making us connect to Peter Parker’s trials and tribulations even more than we already would?”
Sony Executive: “Of course I do. I loved those movies when I was in Junior High.”
Pitch Man: “Well, what if we take out all that and make it all angsty and subdued and sort of make it look like The Social Network and even get one of the guys who was in The Social Network to be the lead and then end the trailer for it with a weird, ambiguous quote that doesn’t actually mean anything?”
Sony Executive: Are you going to do another emo-Spider-Man? Market research shows nobody really liked that.
Pitch Man: But in this, he’s going to be extra emo, and there won’t be a dance number.
Sony Executive: I like it! Here’s a bag of money. Give as little as possible to the writer.

That's just one reason I'm so done with superheroes, of course, but it's a good start.

-The Gneech
Lachwen Lightning Girl

Runekeepers and Rumors (LotRO)

So, with Rise of Isengard coming up, there's been a lot of talk about the big changes to champions (major tanking buff, probable removal of healing nerf), the not-terribly impressive changes to wardens ("we know they need work, but it's too big a project for this go-around..."), and apparently some mind-blowing changes to minstrels which, not playing a minstrel, I don't understand (although I gather they're losing the ability to use medium armor, which just seems strange to me).

However, there's been a notable chirping cricket sound in regards to runekeepers ... to the point where the RK forums have reached the flopsweat paranoia stage of speculation on the subject. The general consensus seems to be "They're not telling us anything because it's gonna be a HUGE NERF!!!" *dramatic chipmunk clip here*

Now, some of this is no doubt the usual forum QQ that goes with any MMO release. But it's also true that there sometimes seems to be a big disconnect in what the devs want out of a class and what the people who play it actually want (just go to the warden forums for evidence of that), and that communication between the devs and players isn't always the best. I can't imagine Turbine wanting to screw over the players of any class (I mean rally, why even include a class in the game if you hate it, right?), but I can (and have) seen them effectively do just that without meaning to. So a certain amount of concern is natural.

Insofar as I've just started playing the RK and she's not even level 50 yet, major changes in the class are not likely to have a lot of impact on me unless they make it hard to get the character into a group. My warden already has to put up with a lot of being treated as a second-class citizen by people in the kinship who seem to think the game should pretty much have stopped at Hunter + Minstrel + Guardian, I really don't want to have to put up with that junk about another character.

On the other hand, from what I've seen, I really can't see any justification for a nerf in the class. As a dual-role class, it is true that they can stand in for a hunter or a minstrel, but it's not like they can fill both roles at once -- nor are they obviously superior than any other classes in either role. And given the way the captain is being buffed to give them more flexibility in their role, I don't see how the RK's ability to switch-hit is any kind of a problem. I'm told that RKs are perceived as less-effective healers than minstrels anyway, but about on-par with hunters for ranged DPS. Well, that's working as intended, isn't it? If anything, it sounds to me like the RK should get a healing buff, not a nerf.

As I say, though, this is all rumor, apparently based on a) the assumption that "they aren't saying anything = they're going to smack us" and b) some NDA-breaking stuff that was leaked from the beta and immediately yanked before it could be analyzed properly.

Now, I may or may not have been invited to the beta, I won't say, but I don't have time to participate in it either way if I'm going to get my lil' RK up to par on the live server before the actual release anyway. So it's not like I can just go and find out for myself. And so I find myself watching, waiting, and wondering just like the rest of the RK forum folk. I'm hoping that it's not a disaster -- I like my RK and don't want to end up shelving her because she's been rendered unplayable -- but until Turbine actually says something all I've got to go on is the hope that it will be fine, which given the track record of past releases, is a twitchy hope at best.

-The Gneech