Today’s ramble takes a look at my plans for comic book reading in May – I think I’m pretty ambitious; getting through a 5 minute game of SMITE – I got a couple of kills; and watching the start of a Superheroes Decoded documentary that was pretty good.
Comics: Plans for May
I’ve scattered my plans for what I’d like to get accomplished in May across a few posts so far with SMITE gaming and book reading covered in previous posts so I figured I’d cover my thoughts for May Comic Book reading here. I’ve got 2 graphic novels to read this month for my Comic-Con Reading Group – Letter 44 volume 3 and I Hate Fairyland, but as usual, I want to read much more (but usually don’t have the time). For my reading of the Complete Marvel Reading Order, I’ve got 7 issues left to finish off 1962 and I’d like to get through them here in May. Also, with yesterday’s Star Wars day, I took a peek at the Star Wars media timeline and thought it would be nice to learn more about the SW Universe. It turns out while there are a bunch of animation, novels, and of course the movies, there’s also a bunch of comics that tell tales that are included in the canon. I think I might just like to dip my toes into that with a reading of the 5 part Yoda’s Secret War story that’s set during the same year that The Phantom Menace is supposed to have occurred. With all those comics, I think I’ve got more than enough planned for the month.
Gaming: SMITE – A Good 5 Minute Game
This game could have gone better, but it was short and to the point. I ended up at 2–0 having spent only 5 minutes and I’m not sure if I got credited with a loss or a no-contest. It all started in god select where it seemed like a race to call out what role people wanted to play. For my part, I just picked a god I knew – Kukulkan – and was willing to go where ever they needed me. It turned out the Skadi who called mid lane never showed up in the game and Loki just ran around from lane to lane basically leaving mid open. I went to the short lane and faced a Cernunnos who I think was surprised to see me. He was pretty good at hitting minions, but I zoned him outta lane pretty quickly with my Whirlwind and he had to head back to base by minute 3. I cleared, hit the tower a couple times, and then headed back myself having enough gold for my 2nd tier boots. When I got back to lane, Osiris decided to gank me and he and Cernunnos pushed me under my tower. I tried to keep hitting minions to prevent their free shots at my tower but instead of going for the tower, the two of them came after me. It seems at my current level, players focus on trying to get kills rather than attacking objectives – I wonder how long that will last as I level up. In any case, ignoring the tower shots that were hitting him, Osiris dove to take me out. I valiantly tried to dodge and threw down my Whirlwind right on top of myself since I figured that’s where he was gonna be, and the next thing I saw, he was dead. Cernunnos, seeing his buddy dive and die, thought it’d be smart to try the same thing and I got 2 kills (of course with the help of the tower) before the 5 minute mark when we were able to stop the game due to the missing Skadi. I feel pretty good about the game even though I didn’t actually get to finish it.
TV: Superheroes Decoded – The First Hour
I didn’t realize this was a 2 hour episode and I only watched the first half, but I was not disappointed. This documentary follows the history of superheroes from their origins with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman in 1938. The first episode of what I think is a 2 night event, is called American Legends and focuses on comic book superheroes as an American invention. They’re the modern day mythology of a secular nation. The portion of the show I watched highlighted Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Wonder Woman and covered from 1938 to WWII. Superman was equated with wholesome rural ideals while Batman focused on inner city conflicts and took his vigilante justice to the edge of morality. Captain America and Wonder Woman on the other hand, both appearing in 1941, were more focused on America’s discovery of itself as a world power with Cap’s first issue showing him punching Hitler and WW showing how women can kick ass and dole out justice just as well as men. The show was fun to watch and the interviews with comic artists and writers covered the topics really well even though they sometimes threw in current day political opinions where they could have stuck to the actual historical zeitgeist and been more enjoyable. Early film and television footage was great and I saw quite a bit of old superman and batman that I had never seen before. On the whole, it was educational and entertaining and I look forward to finishing the first episode and the series soon.
I finally got around to watching the new trailer for The Last Jedi and it really amped up my desire to see this movie…are they selling tickets yet?
This certainly looks like they’re gonna give some juicy details about the Jedi, what happened with Darth Emo…err..Kylo Ren, and what Luke’s plans are for the Jedi and Rey.
That line at the end of the trailer makes me start to think that perhaps Luke is looking to put his own stamp on the Force and maybe even start a new order that moves beyond the Sith-Jedi conflict.
I’m so excited right now, I’m gonna look up what comics from the new Star Wars continuity are on Marvel Unlimited and if the animate Colne Wars and Rebels are available on any of the many streaming services I subscribe to.
This is an installment of my Six Degrees 2017 series in which I take a look at the wonderful blogs that surround Beyond Tannhauser Gate. The blogosphere is large but there are so many friends to be found within Six Degrees.
The subtitle to A Hobbit’s Journey covers a lot of ground…Exploring the vast world of writing, gaming, and fantasy…and it points to why I find this blog interesting. Iogro Merrybelly seems to have a bunch of interests in common with mine. Take the most recent post – Nintendo Might Be Adding VR To The SWITCH for example.
Morning Ramble January 23, 2017 in which the new Star Wars movie gets a name and I make progress in Destiny.
Star Wars VIII
I was going to simply post about my progress in Destiny, but when I got online this morning, I saw this from Starwars.com…
Is this the story of the end of the Jedi Order? Or is this the story of Luke as the last of Jedi remaining and the start of a new Jedi order?
I am so looking forward to the continuation of the long running story. What’s Luke been up to all this time? Will he teach Rey to be a Jedi? Or Finn? Will we get a real villain rather than an pale emo imitation of Darth Vader?
I can’t wait!
Now I want to get back into SWTOR.
Destiny: My first Archon
So apparently the first boss I faced in the “tutorial” was easy. He was the first opponent that had a shield, but Rahn, the Devil Captain was not to difficult to take down even with the weak weapons I started with. I guess I was supposed to upgrade my abilities before facing him anyway so I could have used my grenade. Either way, he wasn’t too difficult and I was able to get my ship and head to the city.
Afterwards I had to figure out where everything was and follow the steps to get my first “real” mission – Restoration. Basically, I had to head back to where I found my ship to see if I could get a Warp Drive. Fortunately before I started out, I attained level 3.
After figuring out how to get back to the planet and locating where I found my ship, I quickly dispatched the general mobs. There’s a learning curve to following the mission tracker, but I think I figured it out. It’s more difficult to understand where I need to go at the start of a mission than while I’m moving through the quest, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
I had a few wrong turns but eventually the tracker lead me to my main objective. The Fallen had taken my Warp Drive and I had to face off with Riksis, a Devil Archon, in order to get the vital piece of equipment. This guy was the real thing…at least for a level 3 hunter like me (and one with middling shooter skills).
Riksis was tough. He had a shield but he also had a pretty powerful gun and a ton of hit points. I was so glad he moved slow and I was able to hide behind things to kite him pretty well. If this battle took place in the open, I’m pretty sure I would have been a sitting duck. As it was, he kept summoning minions which became a pain. Every time I would kill them all off, he would call another bunch that would keep me pinned down. The cover mechanism worked well for me, but it was taking forever to bring him down. The frustration was increased by the fact that my “new and improved” gun turned out to be a single shot automatic rather than than the full auto machine gun that I started with. I suppose I should read up on the quest rewards before I make a selection…my bad.
My 2nd bad was becoming impatient and running up to melee range on Riksis. Ouch!!!! He hits hard. The fact he just summoned a bunch of friends before I ran into his fist was not good either.
It was only one death, and my first on top of that, but I should have know better. The guy was at least twice my size and had some serious armor on…I should never have gotten anywhere close to his fists.
On the second try, I swapped out my “new and improved” gun for my beginning machine gun. I also used my sniper rifle to take down the minions faster. Finally, I remembered I had grenades…DUH!@#!
If I want this to be fun rather than frustrating, I gotta pay more attention and understand my abilities and weapons better.
In the end, I defeated the Archon and got the Warp Drive I needed for my ship…Mission Accomplished.
This is my first visit to Dragon’s Mind for my 6° posts and I love the images Gag presents from Battlefront.
I’ve played some Star Wars Battlefront but never came close to the cool images that Gag Halfrunt has put together in this post. He’s found places and scenes that actually look like they were taken from one of the movies, and with The Force Awakens coming to cable next week, this is perfect timing. I have of course seen the movie, but it’s still cool that it’ll be on my TV next weekend. Battlefront is a fun game but one I didn’t get too involved with. I always saw people running around as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker and I never got good enough to reach that level. Sure you could fly the Millenium Falcon, but I never got to that point. I suppose I could work at it and reach those milestones, but no joy so far. It’s too much like Call of Duty, and I never really got into those types of games. Gag looks like he’s enjoying the game enough for both of us though, and I suggest you give his blog a look.
I’ve played some Star Wars Battlefront but never came close to the cool images that Gag Halfrunt has put together in this post. He’s found places and scenes that actually look like they were taken from one of the movies, and with The Force Awakens coming to cable next week, this is perfect timing.
I have of course seen the movie, but it’s still cool that it’ll be on my TV next weekend.
Battlefront is a fun game but one I didn’t get too involved with. I always saw people running around as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker and I never got good enough to reach that level. Sure you could fly the Millenium Falcon, but I never got to that point. I suppose I could work at it and reach those milestones, but no joy so far. It’s too much like Call of Duty, and I never really got into those types of games.
Gag looks like he’s enjoying the game enough for both of us though, and I suggest you give his blog a look.
I’ve been to the comic-con symphony events twice over the past few years and every time it’s a wonderful experience. There is something to be said about listening to music that you love being performed by so many people and experienced by fans who share your appreciation. If you get a chance, I highly recommend attending one of these events – you won’t regret it.
– Thursday, the Final Symphony will be performed highlighting the music of Final Fantasy
– Friday, the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will be performed
– Saturday has nothing scheduled so far and there is speculation that there will be a similar surprise concert featuring Star Wars music like last year. I, however, think they might mix things up with a Star Trek performance. Since it’s the 50th anniversary of the show, I could easily see Star Trek taking the Saturday show – they have plenty of music from the different TV shows and multiple movies.
Here’s something I found on the web today…
If you want to be Captain America, it only costs $55 million…
Comics Corner 1.15
This week, I kinda looked at 7 sites, but the first 2 were intertwined and the 4th and 5th covered a common topic, in any case, it was an interesting journey.
The six (seven) sites I visited this week are:
- Contains Moderate Peril
- Gaming Conversations
- A Green Mushroom
- MMO Gypsy
- Tales of the Aggronaut
- Gamer Girl Confessions
Contains Moderate Peril
I guess I knew this already, but sadly Contains Moderate Peril no longer exists as a blog or a podcast even though I still have it on my blogroll…guess it’s time to update.
Gaming Conversations – Beyond Bossfights Episode 25 – Closing Up Shop
Braxwolf at Beyond Bossfights interviews Brian and Roger from Contains Moderate Peril and Burton and Scrooge podcasts (hence the weirdness that the first 2 sites I visited were related). To add to the strangeness, I had just listened to Beyond Bossfights yesterday on my lunch break. I enjoy how Braxwolf conducts an interview and this was no different, except I didn’t like the title…calling your episode “Closing Up Shop” made me worried that I was losing another podcast I regularly listen to. Instead the episode covered Burton and Scrooge and how they were shutting down that endeavor. I found the interview educational and enlightening as I think anyone in the blogging or podcasting “sphere” would as it covered interesting issues related to winding down a project when other priorities start to take precedence. I certainly hope to hear from Brian and Roger again in the future and am relieved to realize that the podcast title did not mean Braxwolf was calling it quits.
A Green Mushroom – Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Review
Void over at A Green Mushroom has a nice article discussing the most recent season of Star Wars Rebels. In Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Review, Void praises the second season, particularly when the episode focus on the main story lines of the Jedi and the Rebels. Unfortunate for me, I haven’t continued watching since the first season. While I enjoyed the show, I let other series take precedence this past season. With Void’s endorsement, I will have to find the time to give this a binge watch sometime before the third season starts up.
Syl put together an interesting post that is tied to Mersault’s post and others from Wolfyeyes and Ironweakness over on their blogs. These four took a topic – group play in MMOs and what game developers do to foster community in their games – and each posted their thoughts on the subject. It’s a pretty cool idea and I think they cover the issue well. One big issue that Syl brings up is the forcing of “cooperation” through requirements that games place on players – things like having a healer/tank/dps trinity, requiring raiding for high level gear, and gating content so that players are prevented from progress unless they group. Why a game penalize grouping is beyond me when you are talking about an MMO, but the post points out multiple instances of developer choices in this area. Syl urges rewards for cooperative behavior that would build community rather than simply promote temporary grouping. One key point that I think Syl makes is “no one likes to pay for a game that’s denying them access to either content or one another as soon as they can’t party up or meet exact requirements.” I think this sums up some of the downfall of the current crop of MMOs and I think Syl makes some good points.
Mersault contributes to the discussion going on and makes some good points as well. One thing I completely agree with from this post is the strength of the EVE Online community. There is so much to Eve that as Mersault mentions, “it’s almost like a parallel universe.” I think Eve makes community a requirement in a good way – sure you can pretty much do anything on your own, but getting into a fleet and taking down stations or jumping from a titan bridge really make the grouping a positive and enjoyable experience. Certainly, there is much down time in Eve that you can fill with solo activity, but the group play is what really makes this game something that makes real world headlines (I don’t hear much about how the 10 man raid in WoW did such and such in Forbes). In any case, I think Mersault puts together a good analysis of where various games fall in terms of grouping and then the post goes into possible ways of improving things. Making the game have ties to the real world is a great way to encourage community, and not just having an auction house on my phone. This is a well put together article and between this and Syl’s. I want to read the other 2 blogs covering the topic.
Tales of the Aggronaut – Rising Light
Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut talks about raiding and gearing up in Destiny. Now Destiny is a game I haven’t tried yet, but it looks (from everything I’ve seen from Belghast) to be pretty fun. The main thing that I think holds me back is platform separation – I have a PC and a PS4 and I can pretty much guarantee that if I get the game for one platform, I’ll find that all my friends are on the other. That, and my PC is maxed out on disk space right now. Anyway, Belghast makes a case for raiding often to build up gear as he’s jumped up to 318 in the past couple of months. It seems, from the post, like the Prison of Elders arena and the King’s Fall content is pretty enjoyable and something you could easily spend a lot of game time playing.
Gamer Girl Confessions – WildStar’s Tutorial Island
Chestnut posts about Wildstar, and something that I didn’t know. Apparently there is a new set of tutorials that are being tested on the PTR right now, and in WildStar’s Tutorial Island, she talks about her experiences there. I’m a little sad since if you participated in the testing, you get a hoverboard…and of course I just found out and its too late. She loved the hoverboard but thought some of the actual tutorial could use some work…there was no comment about double jump and telegraphs were barely covered, but it sounds like it would be an improvement from the current tutorial. Actually, having just went through things, I’d say anything would be an improvement – I don’t recall much about telegraphs, jumping, or dodging in the current tutorial either (perhaps I had the tutorial turned off? Or maybe I’m still in it, only having just ventured down to Nexus). With the layoff announcements a month or two ago, I’m glad to see that there is still work being done on the game and hope they keep improving things as I am enjoying it.
So there’s my Six/Seven Degrees for the week. Podcasts, cartoons, Destiny, Wildstar, and gaming communities really make for a diverse set of topics this week. I’m sad about Contains Moderate Peril but as explained in Gaming Conversations, I can understand the reasons. The shared posting about gaming communities is a great idea and I’m gonna have to keep my eyes open for other topics these guys banter about. And as usual, I love reading about people’s experience in the games they enjoy and the shows they watch. In all, it was a good week.
Morning Ramble 2.64
I’m not usually one to stand in lines for hours to pick up con exclusives, but these from Hallmark might just do the trick…
With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek this year, this ornament seems like a great gift or just a neat collectible for me or any of the people on my list that love Star Trek…namely, everyone I know. I’ve got a 20 questions Enterprise that I received as a gift a few years ago that I love playing with, but this is something guaranteed to be in a prominent location at least once a year.
If you prefer the ‘other’ Stars…
You can choose the Boba Fett (Star Wars) ornament. Personally, I can see getting all three and having a very Stary Christmas.
I think Hallmark has put together a set of ornaments that could see me standing in line this year. Good thing I was lucky enough to get tickets to preview night this year.
Comics Corner 1.11
The Rogue One trailer came out today and it looks pretty good…Here it is…
And here is a reaction by one my favorite people on the web…Father Roderick…
I'm sure we'll learn more about the movie over the next few months, but I like what I see so far. It should offer an interesting perspective on a world we've all come to know pretty well.
Morning Ramble 2.56