Moebius is headache inducing

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I love time travel and alternate realities, I am a complete sucker for those. I find it really interesting about how different the future can be if an event plays out differently. It’s always so fun watching it on the TV, people are the same yet different. However, I’m pretty big on logic. I know it’s ridiculous to try and apply logic to sci-fi, as it isn’t real, but I try anyway. Basically I just like things to make sense.

I watched the Stargate season 8 finale Moebius last night and I’m still trying to work it out. Stargate has had a couple of alternate universe and time travel episodes. ’1.21 – There but for the grace of god’ where Daniel goes through the mirror, ’2.21 – 1969′ with the solar flare, ’3.06 – Point of View’ where an alternate reality comes through the mirror for help, ’4.06 – Window of Opportunity’ had the groundhog day time loop, ’4.16 – 2010′ where they send a note back, ’8.13 – It’s Good to be King’ has prophecies written on the wall by a time travelling ancient, Moebius of course and finally the Atlantis episode ’1.15 – Before I Sleep’. There may be others in the remaining episodes that I’ve not seen.

So how to make sense of it?

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Stargate: An Evolution

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Today I woke up to news reports that Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the team behind the original 1994 Stargate movie, have been given the green light to reboot and produce a new trilogy of movies. Stargate is returning to the big screen – kinda. You’d think I’d be excited but I’m actually cautious, more wait and see than jumping up and down.

I mentioned Stargate in a mixed post I made in March. On February 26th I started watching it from the third episode of season one, as I’d seen the first two and the movie a year or so earlier. It’s now the 30th of May, so effectively three months later and I’m now on episode 15 of season 8 of SG1 and episode 16 of season 1 of Atlantis. I still have 170 episodes from the combined shows to watch, plus the two TV movies. I’m hooked, it’s as simple as that. I might be a new fan but I am a fan.

The news that the franchise is being revived should be good news right? Well it rather depends on your point of view.

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The Winter Soldier

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I should probably do a recap post on the last month seeing as I haven’t posted at all. However, instead I’m going to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I saw this film a week ago and it needs a post. I didn’t write one about Thor: The Dark World. I liked Thor 2 but I didn’t write a post as I didn’t have anything to say, not really. It was a solid film, there were some eye rolling moments but on the whole it worked well. I did write a post about Iron Man 3 as I was disappointed, that film was all flash and no substance. It wasn’t the film I had hoped it would be.

Cap 2 was different. It had a lot of action, some eye rolling moments but it wasn’t just a solid film like Thor 2, it had a lot of substance. It turned out to be one of those films that are like an onion, the more you think about it, the more layers you start finding. It was a game changing film in more ways than one. In my opinion it’s the first film that really continues the legacy of The Avengers, builds on it and delivers something even better.

Obviously there’s going to be spoilers, don’t read if you haven’t seen the film and aren’t up to date with Agents of Shield either, just to be safe.

The Winter Soldier, how deep does it go?

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Enough is enough

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In my last post I said that everything I write about Warcraft is negative right now, meaning less said the better. Well I wouldn’t read this then, it’s hardly a ray of sunshine. When the pre-order announcement went live, all the Warcraft people I follow on twitter lit up in their enthusiasm, I just felt even more negative. I said in my last post that I was basically asking myself should I quit, the answer being rather obviously yes. I also said that I wasn’t ready.

I have tried to give myself time. I have tried to ensure that I’m not rushing into any decision that I will come to regret. I have waited and waited in the hope that something would change. Nothing has and I’m sick of waiting.

I should never have started playing other games.

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Rewrite and Rebrand: A Random Lockbox of Words

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aka I wasn’t sure what to call it. You know those lockboxes, those bags of potential you get in games? Well, you don’t know what’s inside and it’s a mixed bag, a little like this post.

I started writing this post weeks ago, some posts are like that. I write them, then rewrite them, then add things and rewrite some more etc. I know I write in quite a conversational style, but I don’t just type continuously from beginning to end and hit post, I do go back and read what I have written. With some posts, I realise that what I’ve said is just a variation on a theme, it’s something I’ve posted before. Then I realise that my mood, or current events, are perhaps overly influencing the direction of the post. Then there’s the question, what is the point of the post? I like to, usually, try and at least say something in a post, start with a theory, talk around the subject, and then write a conclusion. After all that I wind up either rewriting or just scrapping the whole thing.

This post started off life with the title ‘Journey vs Destination’ which is something I have written about before. How the way a player approaches a game, and their expectations of it, have an affect on the way that they play and their enjoyment. It’s no secret that I’m less than thrilled with Warcraft right now, either how it is currently or the direction that it seems blizz is taking it in. So that first draft went over old ground, all things that I had said before, about how raiding had changed, about how the way that I raided had changed. There was nothing new and the whole post came across very miserable. It was basically asking the question should I quit? It seemed like the obvious answer was yes. However, I’m not ready to quit, and I’m not going to lose everything I have until I’m sure, no matter how unhappy I am with the game right now.

So what is this post about then? It’s about a lot of things, it’s one of those mixed bag posts where I have a bunch of things I want to say, and I just combine them all into a post. I’m going to talk about Marvel Heroes, Amazon Prime Instant Video with a side order of Hulu, a little bit of general TV, some Stargate SG-1 and of course Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve been itching to tweet about these things but 140 characters is not enough, that was the impetus for starting this blog in the first place.

I know this is supposed to be a Warcraft blog. However, everything I write about that is just so negative right now. I think it would be better to wait for more concrete information, after all beta has to be soon right? I can scarcely believe that it’s not been announced yet, it’s March already. Besides I’m thinking of changing the definition of the blog, it started off as Warcraft, then went to Warcraft and Swtor, before back to just Warcraft. Considering I am writing about more things these days, and more often rather than just occasionally, especially Marvel Heroes, it is probably overdue.

Right, on to the post.

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Free to play games are a misnomer

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I play Warcraft which is subscription based, I buy the game and then pay a monthly fee for access to the servers. My friend plays Guild Wars 2 which is a buy to play game, you buy it and then it’s free to play on their servers after that. I also play Marvel Heroes which is completely free and whether you pay anything is your choice. These are are all PC games, there’s known Facebook games like Candy Crush, also games like Marvel Puzzle Quest which can be played on the iphone or through steam. These mobile games are completely free, like Marvel Heroes, and instead rely on microtransactions.

There’s the saying that there’s nothing free in life. On the surface there are some games that claim to be free, is that really the case? After all if no-one ever paid any money then the games companies would go bankrupt, so is there such a thing as a completely free to play game? Let’s look at the free to play games, that I play.

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The Blizzard Blues

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I remember when I first started playing Warcraft. I looked at the subscription options and I wanted to take the 6 months one, or whatever the longest option was, as it was the best deal. My friend told me not to, he said that there may come a day when I want to unsubscribe for a while. If you’ve just paid for the next six months, then you can’t do that. I told my friend that I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to quit, but I took his advice anyway as the difference wasn’t huge.

Well now I can’t just imagine wanting to quit, I’m actively considering it. I won’t because I’m not ready to say goodbye. I like my guild, I like the in game friends I’ve made, I even like raiding just not as often as I currently have to. I’m not ready to quit the game but I’m really wishing that I could vote with my wallet. Complaining about blizz’s decisions and continuing to pay them money, after all gives them no incentive to change.

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Another look at Marvel Heroes

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I’ve been playing a lot of Marvel Heroes lately so I thought I should do another post about it. A lot has changed in the game since I last posted. I looked back at all my posts with the ‘Marvel Heroes’ tag. It’s interesting to see how things have changed since my first post.

I started writing this post Thursday evening. The Marvel Heroes servers were down for a patch to implement Nightcrawler. I had been supposed to raid but battle.net wouldn’t let me login to Warcraft so I was replaced. I managed to login eventually, and I stayed logged in and afk, as I was too scared to logout in case they needed me and I couldn’t get back in. Having Warcraft open in one window to watch chat, and this post in another, at least kept me busy until the MH servers came back up.

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Warcraft and Questing

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Another post! Crazy right? It’s even a Warcraft one. Yesterday I had several ideas for posts so I’ll be working on those and posting them.The Grumpy Elf did his usual Monday Random Thoughts post and in it he mentioned the level 90 boost, and what that did to trivialise what they did in Cata to reform the levelling zones, and indeed the whole levelling experience.

I replied and from what I said he got “there is one like you that hates it”, in regards to how I feel about levelling. I replied to that comment as that’s not strictly true, and I explained why. I then thought that my response would make a decent blog entry, so here is my post on Warcraft and questing.

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Minipost – 5 reasons to love Marvel Heroes

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1) Christmas credits. When you killed enemies over christmas rather than piles of shiny coins, mountains of wrapped packages appeared. It was just a graphical change but a fun one.

2) Christmas gifts. I think the 12 hour rarity boost potion was to do with the patch rather than christmas. A Hulk costume with Hulk in Santa hat was given for free, not any use to people without Hulk but a nice gesture. The cool christmas gifts were the ones you logged in everyday for. This was a bit bugged in that you had to log in twice for them to appear in your inventory. Apart from that everyday you got 5 cube shards, 3 odin marks and 10 eternity splinters. As this went on for about 10 days this added up to a fair few. It’s all in game currency and it was a nice boost towards getting new things.

3) Speed of patches. The game has been out six months and it’s all but unrecognizable from launch. They have done an incredible amount of work to turn it round in a short space of time. It inspires faith in the dev team, that if something is wrong then they will fix it. I ran into a bugged legendary quest, googled on the forums, a purple had already commented that they’d fixed it internally and it would be applied on live as soon as possible. They have bugs and make mistakes, they acknowledge when it’s gone wrong, work hard to fix it and communicate while they are doing so.

4) Community communication. The purples, as they are in MH, are very active on the forums. They regularly write posts explaining what they are currently doing, what they are planning on doing, what they know isn’t working etc. They give estimated dates for patches and comment on their progress throughout. This is nice as we know the direction of the game, we have things to look forward to. They also actively ask for community input, they don’t always follow it but I get the feeling they listen.

5) The test center. This is obviously where they get people to test their patches, so that bugs are found and they don’t break the live servers. However, I’ve seen more than once one player advising another, to download the test center to ‘try before they buy’. As you can access heroes for free on the TC. I thought this would get stomped on but I saw one purple encouraging it. I suppose if people aren’t going to pay money unless they like it, trying it and liking it will part them from their money. I thought that was nice.