Going to war, continuing the fight. The Coffee Break 4 August 2018.

Being more precise, going to war in Azeroth (because I doubt I’d write much if I was actually going to war – too busy with work-up training, finalizing paperwork in case I die in action, and so on).

 

Earlier this week I finished the burning of Tendrassil quest line and earlier on Thursday I did it on the Horde side just to see if there was anything I missed in regards to story content (I even boosted a character just for the occasion – the price tag better be worth it). Suffice it to say while a lot of people are afraid that Sylvanas is going to become another Garrosh I have different thoughts on this matter entirely.

 

During this week I watched some videos on fan theories as to how Sylvanas will evolve in this expansion, and one theory was that she will eventually be forced to make a hard decision that saves the soul of the Horde but will cause her to voluntarily walk away from the position of Warchief – she survives but is no longer leader as she walks off to find meaning and purpose or to be alone with her thoughts. This felt the most logical direction as I doubt Sylvanas will simply die off like some past characters we have encountered; Thrall is still alive and well last time I checked, and Illidan is alive and acting as a jailer for Sargeras so chances are a major character like Sylvanas will have more to contribute to the story as time goes on.

 

Back to the action, thus far I am quite happy with how things are progressing because we seem to be getting a good fantasy war drama – two factions locked in bitter struggle with shit leaders and great leaders to go around. Both powerful factions are fighting over resources, both are bitter rivals, and both are going to take more aggressive approaches to how they deal with the enemy as time goes on – a real genuine war in my opinion.

 

Thursday also saw the release of the “Old Soldier” cinematic and this is the first time we see a character suffer from confusion and possible survivor’s guilt with a smack of PTSD (watching Teldrassil burn could have been a triggering event); I really like this new aspect to the war. When it comes to war, often at times both sides will claim that their cause is just, and both sides will be just to some degree. However despite this both sides can easily lose their just cause because it can only exist if they remain within a very narrow set of limitations – quite often in war these limitations are tossed aside in the pursuit of victory for one cannot justify going to war if one does not seek to win: either to conquer, subdue, repel, liberate, or retaliate (among other causes).

 

 

Perhaps I am overly optimistic about a game, and perhaps I am looking far deeper into a fantasy world than is necessary – this is part of the fun for me, and this expansion isn’t as clear cut as a daemonic invasion or some other-worldly threat. Instead what we have is a war, and in war innocents die, honour can be lost and gained as easily as one drinks water, combat flows and changes, and nothing is permanent. One would imagine that while Sylvanas is acting in an aggressive manner in the early stages of the war the Alliance could one-up her and set the bar higher as they strive to gain the upper hand either through terror tactics like striking at civilian targets or developing a super weapon akin to a nuclear arms race. This will test Blizzard’s ability in storytelling as they are now required to write two morally grey stories and have both sides commit atrocities and acts of selfless sacrifice all in the scope of this evolving conflict – BFA will be a story of two factions struggling for dominance and survival, rather than a ‘Mary Sue’ faction against the ultimate evil of the universe.

 

One can also argue that the Alliance has their own genocidal heroine in the form of Jaina Proudmoore. Going into spoilers for her book Tides of War (released prior to the Mists of Pandaria expansion) Jaina almost drowned Orgrimmar in an act of vengeance for Garrosh bombing Theramore and destroying it – she relented and did not execute her plan but she has never recovered from the events of the book and she still grieves over the loss of her little City-state. Where Sylvanas burnt the world tree in, what could be described as, a terror tactic and a strategic one (removing a possible staging ground for Alliance forces as well as an unwinnable guerrilla war if she occupied the tree) Jaina could very well seek to strike civilian targets for the sole purpose of demoralizing the Horde forces while neglecting military targets altogether.

 

Yet with all that said I stumbled upon a lore video late Friday night that detailed quite a lot that wasn’t in game (a shame too). According to the books: “A good war,” and “Elegy” the War of Thorns (as the campaign for Darkshore is called) was more calculated on the Horde side that what is initially given to us. The story “A good war” details how the Horde wanted to break the Alliance’s sense of unity by forcing them to choose between Teldrassil and Gilneas as to which area to liberate first – thereby forcing the Worgen as well as other nations to break away from the Alliance and thus helping the Horde win the war and achieve peace on their terms.

 

Meanwhile on the Alliance side in “Elegy” we have a detailed account of what was going on with the Alliance during this time. Rather than breaking apart, Genn Greymane reaffirmed his people’s commitment to the Alliance in a heartwarming conversation with the king of Stormwind and thus the Alliance actually pulls together in this time of crisis.

 

The final part of Elegy was quite depressing to say the least; the priestesses that remained behind with those still trapped in the tree were burned to death. During this final moment a priestess called to their goddess for a final blessing of mercy and they passed peacefully into the afterlife knowing that justice will be met but it will be others who will witness the event and not those who remained.

 

 

There was also a part where the priestess sang to her people as they burned alive together – quite a depressing conclusion actually, and one that further adds gravity to the situation in which we find ourselves. Indeed we have Saurfang in his video unable to rest before the battle of Lordaeron because of his memories haunting him (in particular the screams of those dying inside Teldrassil) and now we have details of those who remained in the tree after the portal to Stormwind collapsed in order to comfort the trapped souls who couldn’t make it out in time – sacrifice and a lack of heroes seems to be a reoccurring theme.

 

Here is hoping Blizzard really makes us think about our allegiances and how we view the world from certain perspectives in this coming expansion – a challenge in storytelling as they are unable to write one side as pure evil (ie: the Legion, the Iron Horde etc) and must instead paint both factions as just what the box says, two opposing factions. Anyways folks this is all I wanted to cover for this coffee break; back to WoW for me, though I feel like some Gears 4 today so we shall see what happens after I conclude this post. Thanks for reading everyone, and I shall catch you next time.

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Re-subbing to WoW, some 40k Armageddon, and other topics. The Coffee Break 7 August 2018

Hello folks,

 

Been a while has it not? Well suffice it to say I have been diving deep into a couple of games: I re-subbed to WoW and picked up the Legion expansion-Battle for Azeroth double pack and have been digging through the endgame content for Legion and getting ready for BFA. While that has been happening I have also been playing some Warhammer 40 000 Armageddon; a turn-based strategy game available on GoG and Steam (I picked up the GoG version – felt it was the better deal).

 

WoW has come a long way since vanilla; I can’t get what all the fuss is about when it comes to the upcoming expansion. While it is frustrating to see our Artifact Weapons lose their power (especially since I came in at the tail-end of the Legion expansion) the game is a living world of sorts – things change in a living world and sometimes that change hurts more than it makes us happy.

 

Alongside this issue of sorts is the whole: “why are the Horde and Alliance fighting – they need to team up against (insert magical threat number something-something here)?” Well the name of the game says it all – World of Warcraft: war is the primary theme here, a struggle between two factions. Now if the game were to move away from that then “Warcraft” might not be an appropriate name to use – can’t have “Warcraft” without war, otherwise it would be: “World of Peacecraft,” much less entertaining in my books.

 

Speaking of WoW the first of three animated shorts was released earlier this week – Jaina was the first out of three (the other two being Sylvanas and Queen Azshara) and it was done in the form of a sea shanty with Kul Tiras being the main theme – more specifically the Kul Tiran memory of Jaina betraying her father (according to the culture). All week-long I have been listening to the song over and over, and while I can recite some of the words, I’d rather just link the video to you readers to watch – all in all it was amazing and I really enjoyed every second of it.

Moving along Warhammer 40 000 Armageddon was the next game in the title; for a turn-based strategy game done in the old style like Final Liberation it was quite enjoyable to play. Now I will be honest, I only poured in some four to six hours maximum but from the short time I did spend on it the game did not leave me frustrated and disinterested.

 

Set during the first, second and third wars for Armageddon (DLC needed for the other two I believe) you play the Imperial forces fighting against the Orc menace as they attempt to conquer Armageddon while you attempt to repel them – shoot all greenskins, right? Unlike games such as Dawn of War when you click on units you will hear no voice overs, but during the campaign the in-game cutscenes have voice overs, and the voice-acting is quite good. Being what it is I rather quite enjoyed it so here’s to the company who developed this title: may you succeed in all future endeavors.

 

Being around 27+ degrees outside it was high time I sat down to some serious PC gaming (and to avoid roasting like some bacon or chicken) – after playing on console for a bit it was nice to return to a familiar setting and just jump right into the action. Speaking of action I picked up the Razer Tartarus V2 gamepad recently while it was on sale at a local retailer here in Canada – the device is basically a quarter of the keyboard with just the main keys of 1 – 5, wasd, qe, rf, alt, caps lock, tab, shift, alt, and spacebar (with a thumbstick section for the arrow keys – RTS in mind?). Due to space limitations on my desk I was searching for something to replace my second keyboard which I was using for gaming as it provided me with the flexibility to angle the device to fit a more natural shape of my wrist and thereby prevent any sort of injury. Suffice it to say the device works exactly as advertised, though some adjustments to any future designs would need to be made in order to make it even more ergonomic – specific attention needs to be paid to the position of the spacebar key.

 

Now when I purchased it I was skeptical and thus immediately fired up Steam and WoW to throw the device into a quick test of sorts – see if the device performs according to my needs. Now a week into using the device I can say that it does what you expect a quarter of a keyboard to do; I do not need the keys past R and F and so it was nice to be able to save some table space for other things like cups and note pads – this is more myself adjusting my work/gaming station to suite my needs but I would recommend the device to those who are looking for something more compact. Sometimes a few inches of space here and there can make a difference – sometimes.

 

Right well that about covers what I wanted to say for this coffee break post – Re-subbed to WoW, 40k Armageddon is fun, and a new gamepad (quarter of a keyboard) works nicely for what I need it to do. Thanks for reading folks, don’t forget to hydrate and we’ll catch you later.

The enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

“As for sleep, the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.”

 

The enemy also doesn’t care about the use of chemical weapons, napalming civilians, firing on their own soldiers without warning to deny the enemy ground, ergonomics, nutrition, and pay and benefits so we should all get used to it.

 

No need for morality, rules of engagement, or veteran benefits – the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

We can spend the lives of our own citizens as easily as we spend ammunition and food – the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

We don’t need to care for veterans – they are disposable, because the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

We don’t need to tend to our wounded; let them suffer and die because they were too weak to dodge bullets and survive gas shells – the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

Raping pillaging is fine – the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

Callous attitudes towards the well-being of citizens shall be the norm; the enemy never cared about anything except total victory at all costs so we should all get used to it like the animals we are.

 

Filthy, savage, brainless.

 

Yes, what a wonderful logic – the enemy doesn’t care so get used to it.

 

I think we are better than that.

Facts, fiction.

What is fact, what is fiction?

 

Lost am I, amidst the smoke and haze of modern discussion – perhaps even debate.

 

People shout, shove videos and articles in my direction; some valid with facts, others with opinions: fiction.

 

“Truth is relative” some may say, but there remains facts – cold, unrelenting.

 

History happened; revisionism is a curse.

 

Cold is cold, that is a fact.

 

Fact remains fact, no matter how much one screams otherwise.

 

Revisionism is dangerous – of that many will agree.

 

Lost am I in this haze and smoke – unsure of what or who to trust.

 

There is no solution, for one must always check facts.

 

Go forth, search – understand “what is” rather than accept “what if” or “what might be” as “what is.”

 

“What is” remains stoic; unyielding – it is timeless.

 

Like it or dislike it, fact is fact, and fiction is fiction.

E3 2018 Nintendo presentation.

Alright here we are, the final stretch;

 

Nintendo did not have a stage this year as they continue the tradition of prerecorded digital presentations: I will spare you the details and talk about what I noticed the most from this colourful company.

 

There was a ton of Super Smash Bros – almost like they were releasing a new title for the long-running series.

 

Humor aside they are, and that took up a chunk of the presentation as well as the Tree House segment that took place afterwards. Despite this rather stellar news there was no Metroid announcements; apparently fans were very disappointed at the lack of Metroid this year at E3 so that was noted.

 

Overall the Switch seems to be going strong with a lot of third-party titles releasing versions of already available games on the console and new titles were seeing Nintendo Switch variants as well – this is a far cry from back when the Wii only featured a limited library of games and almost seemed like Nintendo ducked out of the console market to plot its own course and let Sony and Microsoft slaughter one another in the arena. Overall very good to see Nintendo feature more titles, and the Switch really is a unique console combining home use with a tablet-like feature that lets players – well – play wherever they want: try not to drop it in the toilet like you did your phone, okay?

 

Now there was a ton of other items that were covered, but seeing as my memory is a bit fuzzy from a few days ago I will link the full presentation below: have fun folks and we shall see you later.

E3 2018 Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Sony Press Conferences.

Rapid-fire mode active: let’s do this.

Ubisoft; surprised to see their presentation featured a different host this year around. While many of the titles they showcased were geared towards a more youthful audience, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey stuck out for me as something worth picking up in the near future.

 

Indeed Odyssey is coming out this year so there’s that to look forward towards; it has been a long time since I was interested in an Assassin’s Creed game and Odyssey with branching dialogue and ancient Greek setting has me intrigued. What makes it more enticing is that the game will be available later on this year – not next year like every other title I am interested in but this year, excellent news.

 

The Division 2 looks promising; I expect it will have the same gameplay as the first title but here is hoping it brings something a bit more interesting than the first – the original game was not too appealing to me.

 

Overall Ubisoft’s conference was quite nice; well put together and presented, and the live music made it all the more enjoyable.

 

Square Enix; the presentation felt a lot like the Nintendo presentation (more on that one later). While there was some gameplay, it was trailer after trailer and since a lot of the titles were for the PS4 I wasn’t too excited as I sat there watching the presentation. Now with regards to some folks saying that EA was better than Square, at least Square did not throw investment files at the audience – small victories.

 

One final note for Square; Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks incredible – I will be keeping tabs on that one as it comes out in September.

 

Lastly we have Sony; the presentation felt odd, disjointed even. Sure it was the style of the company to present it via an interactive venue, but after their presentation was over they had their own livestreamers talk at a sort of news desk and I was left sitting there thinking: “was…was that it – is there more?”

 

Ghost of Tsushima looked incredible; out of all the titles revealed there Ghost of Tsushima has me excited as much as Horizon Zero Dawn did back during that game’s announcement (and I don’t even own a PS4 – how good was that?).

 

The Last of Us Part 2 was presented nicely, and Death Stranding was creepy with their floating ghosts and weird setting – definitely not a storytelling style I am used to so here is to new horizons (yes yes I know, I used “horizon,” I had no better word for it, okay?).

 

Overall Ubisoft and Sony had good presentations, and I was quite happy with what I saw yesterday. Now I hope to finish the Nintendo Press Conference (digital presentation) so stay tuned for that one within the next few days (hopefully; no promises). Anyways folks have a good night and I shall see you soon.

E3 2018 Bethesda Press Conference.

Okay last thirty minutes before lights out – let’s do this.

 

Bethesda; a ton of game trailers, a good portion of which are for games that will be available this year – excellent.

 

There were a couple mobile games which despite being mobile looked promising – namely the Elder Scrolls title they are set to release. Sure it is not Elder Scrolls 6 (which was teased at the very end) but it isn’t total trash either – you win some you lose some.

 

Doom was teased but no gameplay, a new Wolfenstein is coming but next year, and Fallout 76 will have multiplayer – that last one was interesting. Indeed you will be able to solo the game, but online multiplayer will be a feature for the game; this will probably come out looking like Borderlands 2 in regards to how they execute their multiplayer (side note: they mentioned the game will be entirely online – no offline mode?).

 

Borderlands 2 did a drop-in, drop-out system but you could still solo the game entirely and not have a single other person playing; we shall see as the game arrives closer to release date.

 

Rage 2, sorry to say folks I am not much of a fan of the series so I have little to say on that title except this: it feels like Bulletstorm (and that game I enjoyed). Tons of action, lots of bouncing off walls, and if the presentation is anything to go by it will not be a boring: “boots on the ground” title.

 

Overall a very enjoyable experience – tomorrow it’s Ubisoft, Square Enix and Sony; I might cover one or all three but chances are it will just be Sony as I will lack the time available to cover the other 2 studios. However with that said I hope to have something by Saturday for the other two but to avoid putting pressure on myself it will not be a promise rather a “may happen,” the Sony conference, however, is a will happen (well, hopefully).

 

Have a good night folks, and we shall see you later.