12.29.2012

Obnoxiously Paladin

I'm really glad that I made the switch to being a Paladin at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria. I had admired the class for years, but for some reason I just never took the plunge and rolled one myself. Having finally done it though, I love it. I'm a convert. I haven't leveled another one of my characters out of Jade Forest yet, because they're just not the same.

12.13.2012

The Secret World now Buy-to-Play

With The Secret World now rocking the same payment model popularized by Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, there is absolutely no reason not to play it.

11.23.2012

Rooting the LG Spectrum 2

The LG Spectrum 2

So apparently the root method that works on the LG Spectrum and the LG Lucid also works perfectly for the newly-released LG Spectrum 2. I just did it myself following these exact directions not ten minutes ago, and I'm now happily rooted. This is current as of 11-23-2012.

Enjoy. (via [ROOT] For the LG Spectrum ICS OTA)

Hello folks, this root method was found by jcase and I scripted the one click. And yes I have jcases blessing on posting it. 

Instructions
  1. Download and unzip
  2. Connect your phone to your PC
  3. Make sure to have the LG USB drivers installed
  4. Make sure to have debugging enabled
  5. Make sure to have USB connectivity set to internet connection
  6. Run the script for your OS (.bat for Windows, .sh for Linux)
  7. Enjoy 
Download


Spectrum ICS OTA ROOT




Credits
jcase - for finding the exploit!!

Just for the sake of clarification, when you set USB connectivity to "Internet Connection", it gives you two options: Ethernet and Modem. I chose Ethernet and the root process went off without a hitch, so I would just go with that to be safe.

11.18.2012


It's not WoW specifically, it's online gaming that has changed. World of Warcraft was released before the Xbox 360, and thus before the mass proliferation of Xbox live. Back in 2004 when the game launched, online gaming was still comparatively niche, and the majority of people you would find putting time into MMORPGs and games of the sort were old school nerds, who are by-and-large a polite and friendly lot. Only after Xbox Live introduced online gaming to a mainstream audience did you see the influx of inbred, racist, wannabe-gangster teenagers that would have formerly been limited to spewing their hatred in more local gaming environments. 

In short, it's Microsoft's fault.

11.11.2012

Isle of Conquest -- 3 Years Later



It's been 3 years and change since Isle of Conquest was added into the game. If you don't remember, let me take you back to the 3.2.0 Patch Notes:

Head to the new 40 vs. 40-player siege-style Battleground, the Isle of Conquest, to vie for control of a strategic location with a host of resources sought by the Horde and Alliance.
- Two level brackets are available: 71-79 and 80.
- Defend the walls of your keep and protect your general by killing enemy players and destroying their siege vehicles.
- Capture the Docks, Gunship Hangar, or Siege Workshop for access to destructive siege vehicles or strategic attacks on your enemy's base.
- Capture the Refinery or Quarry for their resources to garner reinforcements, a steady flow of bonus honor and a 15% increase to siege vehicle damage for each of these capture points your team controls.
- To claim victory, bust through the enemy's keep walls (or find other ways to get inside) and kill their general, or obliterate your opponents until their reinforcements are depleted.

All of the hope in the world, but needless to say it's been a rough few years for this 40-man battleground. Unloved by many, I've remained loyal and hopeful for the future. Tomorrow would always be brighter if we just kept up the fight for the Isle of Conquest.

Now, 3 years later, things have grown dim. Hope has faded, and all but vanished from existence. Any semblance of balancing or even the acknowledgement of disadvantages have gone unseen from the likes of Blizzard staff. But now, as we enter a brave new world of community feedback and more frequent patching, perhaps our hope make kindle anew.

Friends, I cannot claim to speak for the Horde players of the world. But I can chime in with the experience of hundreds of IoC matches across dozens of characters over the last 3 years.   And my experience is this:  [b]The Horde is unfairly disadvantaged in Isle of Conquest.[/b]

Perhaps moreso than any other battleground presently in the game. The glaives--realistically only available to the Alliance in 90% or more instances--simply do too much damage. And the Alliance realizes this, so they defend them with their collective lives. The Alliance do not need to capture any other point in the game. They do not need to actively seek out and engage the Horde, or otherwise even attempt to stop their advance. All they need is to send 40 men to take the docks, 40 men to protect the two glaives, and 40 men to down the boss. Nobody needs to stray from that at all. Meanwhile, the Horde could capture every other node on the map and still fail to down the Alliance Keep gate before the Horde Keep falls. And the difference in damage isn't minute by any means. With four demolishers attacking the gate, 4 bomb runners, and a barrage of cannon fire from the gunship, the Alliance Gate will still routinely have 30% or more life remaining when the Horde Gate falls.

Now, capturing the Workshop does bring with it the added and immensely satisfying bonus of a fantastic Siege Engine. But its spawn timer is so long that more often than not the match is over with before it ever sees the light of day.

These are the issues at hand, among others that can no doubt be chimed in on. The morale in this battleground has grown so poor that many Horde players would rather take the 15-minute Deserter buff than sit through another match.

However, all is not lost. These problems are entirely fixable! An increase in demolisher damage (such that 4 demolishers were roughly equivalent to the 2 glaives), a nerf in glaive damage, or a significant reduction in Siege Engine spawn time would all produce a more equitable and ultimately more satisfying battleground. The Horde would experience the benefit of a fair fight and the Alliance would have the satisfaction of a victory that actually required effort. That it's taken 3 years with no step towards this gives me pause, but I am resilient in my pursuit of justice for all, and a resurrection of competition in Isle of Conquest.

10.24.2012

Writing Experiment

My wife and I are having a bit of fun writing this story back and forth to each other. This is what we have so far. Enjoy.

          He wasn't sure what had happened. The last thing he remembered before the world went black was pouring a glass of milk and reaching for another donut. He had known that a third donut was probably overkill, but he didn't expect to come this near to death because of it.

...

          He was sitting on a worn leather couch. He was uncomfortable. Perhaps he was irritated because he didn't know how he got to be where he was. Perhaps he was irritated because there was nothing in the room except him and the sofa, or the fact that the room was only a few square feet larger than a walk-in closet. Perhaps he was unnerved from the speakers in the corner that looped only ten notes of a song which reminded him of a cereal commercial. Perhaps he was even disturbed because who ever was resposible for the interior decoration of the room decided it was befitting that the walls be painted salmon. Salmon had always reminded him of his grandmother, who coincidentally wore an obvious wig in that color. 

          His grandmother loved strange color schemes and believed seafoam green complimented baby pink. She also loved to bake things. He remembered the delicious baked goods she would send him. He enjoyed the sugar cookies he received for the holidays every year, and he adored the cake she sent him for his birthday. His grandma had even mailed him donuts once. Donuts. Donuts were the last things he remembered before he found himself on this awful leather couch that stuck to his skin like a wet bathing suit. 

          He sat on the sofa day dreaming about baked goods and pink wigs as he slowly lost consciousness. It was a man's voice from across the cramped room that had jolted him awake. He shook his head and looked up. A stout, balding man in a yellow sweater vest stood in the doorway. The man looked at him exasperatedly as if he had done this a few too many times before and was simply tired of his job. He held a clipboard in his hand and tapped the back of it with his fingers.

          "They're ready for you in there Paul." The man said with an empty voice and pointed down a long hallway with only one door. 

          Paul hesitated, then he rose to his feet. The leather couch protesting the sudden departure of his skin by holding on until the last possible moment. Rubbing the raw skin on the back of his legs, Paul stepped warily past the sweater vested man and into the hallway. 

          The hallway smelled sterile, like a school does on the first day of class before the intermingling scents of failure and vomit seep into the walls. It was decorated with a series of elaborate paintings that seemed to depict a succession of eerily similar looking judges all holding the same golden gavel. The hardwood floor creaked uncomfortably under Paul's bare feet as he proceeded cautiously forward. 

           It wasn't immediately apparent where the hallway led to. The lighting was dim and Paul couldn't see more than a few feet in front of him. It came as some surprise then, when he ran abruptly into an imposing mahogany door. Paul looked over the door, scanning it from top to bottom. There was nothing but an elaborate bronze handle, and a single golden word inlaid into the wood:


JUSTICE


          The door creaked as it opened, and paul hesitantly took a step inside, unsure of what fate awaited him. He didn't like surprises. He hated birthday parties, walking into a dark room, people jumping out of every dark corner and crevice within the vicinity screaming at him. Those kind of parties made him nervous. They reminded him of being a kid, laying in bed cowering under his superman blankets staring at his closet door and waiting for a monster to pop out and attack him. Surprises made Paul uncomfortable, and he hoped that nothing in the room was going to attack or jump out at him suddenly. 

          Paul's eyes ached. Unlike the dark hallway, this room was uncomparably bright. Everything was hazy. He rubbed his eyes, and though they grew accostomed to the lighting, the haziness lingered. It felt like he was drifting through a dream.                                                                                                     

           He stood before an assembly of seven elderly people whom were sitting at a dark grained wooden table. They each donned a stern, bitter expression on their ancient faces; expressions as dark as the gowns they wore. A woman at the end of the line shook her head slightly. The skin on her neck 
jiggled. A short man with square glasses who sat next to her shot Paul a glance of pity before he promptly reverted back to a stern expression. 

          The man in the center of the group was the first to speak. He held a golden gavel in his left hand, and had an appearance strikingly similar to the men in the paintings hanging in the hallway. 
         
            "Paul William Haggarty, You stand before the Council of Justice. Here you will receive judgement for your actions in life before the time of your death."

          Paul was stunned. Until this moment, he hadn't known that he was dead. Kidnapped, dreaming, or hallucinating, perhaps, but not dead; and certainly not dead from something quite as unfailingly good as a donut.

          "D-d-dead, sir?" Paul asked, his voice small and quivering.
 
          "Yes, Mr. Haggarty, quite dead," said the gavel weilding old man.
 
          "B-b-but... How? I felt fine. A bit queasy, perhaps, but too much sugar does that to me." said Paul, rubbing his face uneasily.

          "The manner of death is of no significance to the proceedings here today, Mr. Haggarty. This council is only concerned with the choices you have made leading up to your death, A lifetime of choices has been gathered together and weighed, and based on that we have come to a decision," said the old man, sitting up straighter and drawing back his shoulders. 

          The overwhelming importance of the moment was not lost on Paul. To have the outcome of an entire life decided in a single moment, condensed into a single yes-or-no answer was almost too much to bear. He found himself suddenly wishing he had worshipped any number of anonymous deities (unrepresented thus far in the afterlife though they were), and that he had accomplished more than becoming the deputy personnel manager of a medium-sized regional fast food chain. He wished he could take back the pack of gum he stole when he was thirteen and the tests he cheated on in highschool; But, he also realized that wishing was pointless at this point. Nothing could save him now except these grizzled otherworldly bureaucrats gathered before him.

          The gavel-wielder cleared his throat and began to speak: "Mr. Haggarty, are you prepared to hear our decision?"

          Paul could only manage a weak nod.

          "Fine. The conclusion we have come to is this: Mr. Haggarty, your results are inconclusive."

          The moment hung, and paul had a feeling similar to stepping down to a stair that didn't exist. Inconclusive? It was as much of a non answer as one could possibly get.

          The short man with the square glasses leaned forward and spoke. "Mr. Haggarty--Paul-- it's not often a case like yours comes before this council. The sum total of your good and bad decisions in life ammount to no more or less than zero. each positive cancelled out by a negative to a one. You are neither a good person or a bad one. You simply are. however our by-laws are clear: Everyone must go somewhere after death. Given the information at hand, however we cannot accurately place you."

          "So, what then?" said Paul, "what's going to happen to me?"

          "Well, given that you're a bit of a unique situation, we've had to come up with a unique solution. You will return to the Earth for a period of one year in service of the afterlife. Once that time is complete, you will return to be re-evaluated." said the man with the square glasses.

          Paul heard what he wished to hear. He was also told what he feared he would hear. At the speed of events occuring, Paul wasn't sure what to think. His emotions on a rampage, he leaned forward, hunched, and placed the palms of his hands on his knees. Paul's stomach churned, his head pounded. He wanted to vomit. He felt exactly how he did the week after he went to the fish market downtown. He had never been before and a co-worker spoke highly of it. He bought a few pounds of clams and a large trout, he thought he left with a great deal. However, It was mid day and the fish had been sitting out all morning but were not selling out. The merchant promised him that they were still fresh but he soon learned otherwise.

          Paul clenched his lips shut, hoping to avoid vomitting on the floor. He understood that he was going back to Earth. He was relieved that this moment wasn't the end for him. Bitter eyes and dark gowns were not going to be his last memories. He thought of the things he would be able to do, the donuts he could eat, and the games he could play. Paul however, was horrified at the idea of being under contract with someone. He felt owned. Would he be able to do anything that he wanted? Would he be able to go to the store without getting a random phone call to be somewhere? Would he have a schedule that he himself could dictate or would he always have a pre-planned itinerary? Could he eat a sandwich without the constant fear of being watched? Could he take a piss, or shower in privacy? 
          
          He remembered being in elementary school. Bullies targeted Paul often because he was the short, chubby kid. He assumed he got picked on because it made the bullies feel better about their insecurities and he was an easy target. They often bribed him with promises of a "free pass" in exchange for something; either for doing their homework or his lunchmoney. However, after receiving Paul's work or money, they would usually beat him up anyway. Are these faceless Bureacrats much like his childhood enemies? If he unintentionally did something wrong, will he suddenly find himself back on that uncomfortable leather sofa? If drinks his roomate's last cold soda without replacing it, will a day be subtracted from his year? Should he get a message from the afterlife to be somewhere, and he not show up will his year be revoked entirely?  

          Paul straightened his back, he glanced between the hard expressions of each council member. He remained silent, waiting for the next person to speak. It was a different woman than the one with excessive neck skin who spoke this time. She had a voice that did not match her face, it was alarmingly sweet. She brushed a few stray, whispy, gray hairs away from her eyes before speaking,

          "It is quite Natural for you to be nervous or frightened, Mr. Haggarty, very few who stand in your place aren't," she paused, studying Paul's expression before continuing, "Just think of it as buying a second chance at life. You died before you lived, Paul. now is your chance to actually live." 

10.12.2012

Fundamentally Frank






My wife and my new webcomic, "Fundamentally Frank". We've been lazy a bit about putting out number 4, what with Mists of Pandaria coupled with a shared bout of the flu, but it should be ready fairly shortly and they should proceed at a reasonable clip after that.

I've been too lazy about this site over the past few months. Since I've decided to liberate my laptop from its former status as a makeshift desktop and turn it portable again, I'll likely start posting a bit more about everything. I really enjoy being active here, and for some reason I love typing on a laptop keyboard, so expect more content very soon.