Archive for the Social Category

My Thoughts on Mass Effect 3

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Social on November 13, 2013 by tattoohero

Mass Effect 3 is a video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts.  It was released 6 March 2012.  So, yes, this is something I probably should have written back in March of 2012 and not have waited until November 2013 to give my review on the ending of game I wanted to play as much as I wanted to see Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith.  I even reserved my copy at Gamestop a year before it was released.  At the time, it had a Fall 2011 release date then it got moved to 1st quarter of 2012 then the actual 6 March 2012.   Summer of 2011, they announced the Collector’s Edition, so I paid the extra $20 and got the version instead.  I have never been as excited for a game as I was for Mass Effect 3.

I made sure I knew enough about the game without spoiling any of the story.  I’m a fan fiction writer and I have written over two dozen stories set in the Mass Effect universe. [link]  I did a lot of speculating about how the war with the Reapers would play out and some I hit on and some I didn’t.  The last thing I wanted was to know what was in the story.  I knew about certain characters returning.  I was okay with knowing that, but I at the same time, I wasn’t surprised they were returning.  Some of the squadmates from the first game didn’t join the fight in the second game.  The way BioWare create this trilogy is amazing.  Choice matters.  Do I pull a doucher move and punch this reporter chick in the face?  Even as a male Shepard?  Or do I walk away without answering her questions?

I was set, ready to play once I got my hands on the game at the midnight release.  I had been keeping an eye on Twitter because the Mass Effect team had started tweeting about the Reaper invasion, bringing the story of the game to Twitter.  They didn’t spoil anything in the game, they added to the story.  Which I loved.  I applaud them for doing that.  At 11pm EST, I did read a tweet that shocked me and I mentioned to those I was standing around waiting for Midnight what was tweeted.  My favorite reporter had just died.  Why couldn’t it be the one I always punch in the face?  Oh, because I get to punch her in the face for a third time.  That works too.  I was sadden by the lost of Emily Wong, the reporter Shepard helped in the first game.

I knew about the reporter, Diana Allers.  Before the game, I was dead set against letting her on board the Normandy.  I didn’t want to be like General Custer, having a reporter with you all the time.  But once I found out how things were going to work, having her on the ship is a plus.  Allers wasn’t as annoying as I thought, but still rather not have a reporter on the ship.  Some of my playthroughs, she’s not on the ship.  I had 10 different Shepard ready for import.  Five male, five female.  Every Shepard is different some how.  I played the game every way possible, I think.  I still think I might have missed something some where.  I found something new just last week during a PC run.

I get home and start playing by 1am.  I played until the sun came up, went to bed, got up and played all day and all day on Wednesday.  My plan was to import my first run of Mass Effect 2.  It was an import with zero DLC from Mass Effect 2 completed.  It was a rental at the time and the Cerberus Network code wasn’t available to those who rent.  Keep the game, they send you to box and the contents in the box.  Which I did a few weeks later. My plan was to slowly import all my different Shepard(s).  I had conflicts with different love interest.  Some people died because I made a bad choice in Mass Effect 2.  Some died because I had to choose between two people(Mass Effect).

As a fan fiction writer there were a few things I really wanted to know.  What is Dr. Chakwas first name was tops of my list of things I was hoping to get answers to.  Getting more background on characters makes it easier for me to write them into my stories.  Is the things I heard were going to be addressed in the game actually going to be in the game?  Yes, I was very happy when I learned Dr. Chakwas first name is Karin.  I never laughed so hard as I did when Liara finally meets with her father and listen to that conversation.  Pure gold.

There were decisions in the game that were gut wrenching to make.  Some of the renegade moves cut me to the core.  How did I just do that?  What was I thinking?  That happened more than once during my first renegade Shepard.  That was a very rough run.  Shooting people in the back, allowing someone to take their own life in front of you.  Yea, rough stuff.  The game was emotional rollercoaster.  I laughed, I got mad at what was going on, and at the end, I cried.  The ending to this day still brings tears to my eyes.  Seeing that Shepard died had me crying so hard, I couldn’t play anymore that night.  I even tried to play the multi-player but my mind wasn’t into it.  I had to take the rest of the night off.

Even knowing in my stories my canon Shepard lives a long and happy life with Dr. T’Soni.  Knowing you can head-canon Shepard living if your war readiness is high enough does not stop the tears.  The music is very moving at times and sets the tone for the end game scenes.  I found the ending to be very fitting to the arc of the story.  BioWare stated this was the end of Shepard’s story before the game launched.  Seeing the choices with Shepard possibly living in only one of them.  Yea, it’s the end of Shepard story.  I am perfectly fine with that.  I was fine with the ending.  I questioned a few things.

I had many chats with a Xbox buddy about the ending.  Many, many chats.  Then BioWare announces the extended cut to placate the nerd rage about the ending.  Again, they stated they were not changing the ending.  The fans reaction to the games ending and how BioWare handled it makes me question why a company would want so much input from fans.  The extended cut and the Leviathan DLC added much to the back story.  But it wasn’t something me and my Xbox buddy hadn’t already thought of.  Everything in the extended cut, I thought would happen.  

People were freaking out about the destruction of the Mass Relays.  What?  They can’t be rebuilt?  I wonder if people sat and thought about things before they started freaking out?  It’s wouldn’t be the first time in human history for things to be lost during a war and rediscovered a few decade/centuries later.  Knee jerk reactions help no one.  There was a lot of that going on with the ending.  The rage at BioWare Social Network caused me to stop posting there.  There are sections of that forum I refuse to click on because I don’t want to read what people are posting.  It’s been almost two years and people still bitch about the ending.  Get over it already.  It wasn’t that bad.

I hated hearing how our choices didn’t matter.  Actually, yes they did.  Just not in the manner you thought.  They turned everything into a numbers game.  And if you had an import with 100% done in the other two games, it was easy to have a high enough war readiness number to make it seem like your choices didn’t matter.  But I ask this.  What does curing the genophage have to do with a choice at the end?  I wonder how many players who ranted about the ending knows there are actually 6 different cut scene ending to the game and none of them deal with the three choices at the end, but are attached to the war readiness number.  There are ranges to them.  The lower the number the worst things are.  I destroyed the Reapers and everyone else.  No one got off the Normandy.  The two squadmates who were with me died during the trench run added content.  Choices matter, just not how most thought it would.

I think the biggest problem with the war readiness number and how that was configured by adding the multi-player as part of it.  As much as I think the way they added multi-player to a single-player game was a good one, but looking back on it, I’m not so sure it was a good idea after all.  Some one can promote enough classes from the multi-player to never ever have to worry about their war readiness number at the end of the game.  Hell, all the added single-player content did that too.  If you bought it.  This after they lowered the number when they released the extended cut.

After all these months and after taking a lengthy break from Mass Effect, I have can still find things I’ve not seen before.  Which is cool as hell.  I still don’t get all the hate about the ending.  I wonder about the indoctrination theory crowd.  As soon as I started hearing about that, I started laughing.  Then when I read more of the arguments, I stopped trying to figure these people out.  I could go on and on about it, but I won’t.  No way does that theory work in my view.  I’d go with everything was a dream before I go with the indoctrination crowd.

At times, I do think the writers left the ending and what happened to Shepard for the player to decide.  Is that last gasp from Shepard on the pile a rubble, Shepard’s last breath or coming to from being knocked out from the explosion?  I know what happens with my Shepard.

 

 

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Gamers and Bad Attitudes Toward Others

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Social on November 11, 2013 by tattoohero

I’ve been playing games at home since my parents bought a Tandy version of Pong in the mid-1970’s.   I didn’t play much when I was in my early 20’s, but I got back into gaming with the Super Nintendo and I’ve had ever new generation of consoles since the SNES.  Games have improved so much in the past forty years.  While the quality of games have continue to improve with each passing year, the attitude of the gamer as been on a steady decline.

I found this article back in August.  I want to comment on this paragraph….”I could go on and on about this, but I’m just going to consider one example: the word ‘noob.’ If you decide to take up almost any other hobby in the world, you can find beginning classes teaching you how to do it. If you want to knit, you can go to a yarn store and meet fellow knitters who will help you get the basics. If you want to play basketball, you can join a rec center or community league at a beginner level. And generally, the people already involved in those hobbies are thrilled to have someone with whom they can share their passion. But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, ‘go home noob,’ because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult. How are we supposed to thrive as an industry if we are actively hostile to growing our audience?”

When I read this article in August, the above paragraph hit home with me.  I’ve been in the receiving end of the insults because I was new to something in a game.  People don’t think twice about insulting someone on the internet.  We’re all anonymous.  What does it matter if you call someone a ‘fucking retard’?  Gaming is all about you and your desires correct?  Never mind you are playing in a small group with people you’ve never played with before.  Someone in the group might be new to the game and doesn’t know what is going on or hasn’t fully grasped everything and is still trying to learn.  Berating them doesn’t help.  It makes you look like an utter and complete asshole.  It makes the new player question if they want to continue to attempt to learn the game or not.

I’ve been playing video games since Pong.  I grew up with them.  I play games on console and on a PC.  I even play some on my phone if I’m that bored and not home.  I did take ten years off from PC gaming and just this past winter did I finally build a gaming PC tower.  Trying to play games on a cheap laptop wasn’t cutting it when I keep hearing how great games look on it compared to the consoles.  At the time, I wasn’t seeing it.  I have noticed the difference since building the gaming tower.  I do think my monitor looks better than my TV.  That might have something to do with it.

In the years I was only playing games on console, I never really had any horrible experiences playing with others.  I have met some very nice, helpful people on Xbox Live.  I think the worst thing that went on with me was when Mircosoft ran the 1 vs 100 game.  I got many hateful messages because my gamertag was listed in the top 10.   The hate towards me was nothing compared to what others in the group I played with were getting for being in the top 3.  Being called stupid when you were listed in the top 10 for high score in a trivia game is actually funny.  I did laugh those messages off.  The vulgar ones got turned in as a complaint.

Even playing with random people on Xbox Live, I never really had any horrible experiences that caused me to quit playing in the middle of a match.  I wish I could say that with the PC.  I really do.  Some of the experiences I had these past few months while playing with random people has been unpleasant at times.  I’ve never been one to just rage quit on a match with others.  I’ve seen others do it on a whim, but I always try to work my way through the rough stuff and finish.  Whether or not it was successful or not didn’t matter to me.  At least I stuck around to finish and didn’t quit when things got hairy.

I have quit on groups out of frustration while playing on my PC.  Mostly it’s because someone has an elitist attitude and starts berating me because I wasn’t doing what they felt I should be doing.  Too many players have no patience to help a fellow gamer grow as a gamer.  Instead they’ll talk down to them and make them feel unwelcome to the community.  I am curious on how many new MMO players tried any of the bigger title MMOs and quit playing because they didn’t know anyone else playing and those they meet treat them with contempt because they are new?  I’m sure it happens more often than people think.

It’s bad enough when we treat our fellow gamers with contempt, it crosses the line when gamers start harassing game developers like what was going on at BioWare with one of their writers.  Games only thrive when players play them.  When gamers treat other games with contempt because they don’t know everything there is to know about this or that game, it puts gaming in a negative light.   Mass Effect 3’s ending is the prefect example of this.  I, personally, did not hate the ending.  I felt it fit with the story.  Me and one of my Xbox friends had long talks about the ending.  He, like me, was fine with the ending.  Could it have been better?  Yes, it could have.  The original ending should have had the epilogue in it and I think that would have quelled most of the fans frustration.

The easy access to gaming companies make is easier for us, gamers, to communicate with developers of games.  We, as gamers, have a responsibility to communicate with them in a civilized manner.  Nothing turned me off more reading comments at BioWare’s Social Network than those that called the writers of the story lazy.  Those people were not lazy, they had to take choices the player is allowed to make into everything they wrote.  To tied everything together.

The attitude of many at the BioWare’s forums caused me to stop posting there.  Then the one area I was posting in got closed because of the infighting between players over certain characters.  I don’t even know what character thread the problem was in or if it was in many threads.  I was at the site a few days ago looking at stuff for the next Dragon Age game, and took a look and that sub-forum of the forum for Mass Effect 3 is still closed.  A year later, it’s still closed.  Sad.

This is because people can’t get along.  Has the internet jaded us that much that typing an insult is done without a second thought?  Do people forget there is someone on the other side of that connection playing along side them reading the insult and know its towards them?  Or do people just don’t care about anyone but themselves?  The attitudes I have seen while playing MMOs have left a horrible impression on me and makes me question if I want to continue to play in the genre in the future.  People need to take a step back and remember a time when they were new to something.  People need to learn patience with new players.  Either ignore their questions or help them.  Being a smart ass doesn’t help anyone but your ego.  Communities only work and thrive when people work together.  That means the experienced player needs to help the inexperienced player or leave them alone.  The community is at its strongest when everyone works together.  This includes helping the new player gain experience and help them to grow as a player.

Fiasco In Miami

Posted in Entertainment, Social, Sports on November 9, 2013 by tattoohero

I’m sure most who have paid any attention to the sports section of the news knows about what is going on in Miami.   There are allegations of bullying by a veteran towards a younger player.  I don’t live in the Miami area, I’m about five hours north on I-95 in lowly Jaguar Country, so I don’t know all the details on what is  happening inside and outside the Dolphins locker room.  

From the outside looking in, it looks bad.  Hazing has been a part of our society since long before I was born in the late 1960’s.  As the years have gone past, hazing has slowly been frown upon.  Joking around is one thing, but being mean and vicious with the hazing is another.  Far too many think the younger player, Jonathan Martin, needs to “man up” and take the abuse from Richie Incognito.  

I’m not sure what bothers me more.  That bullying in the work place is allowed or how many fans are reacting to this story.  From the stories I’ve read on this through out the week, it seems to be all over the place.  I’m sure some place in the middle is the actual truth. Truth is this…we as fans will never know what was actually said between them or the context on which it was said.  

Maybe the coaches did ask Incognito to “toughen up, Martin”.  Does that mean threatening texts and voice messages were necessary to toughen up a younger player?  My question is if the coaching staff felt the Martin needed to be “toughen up”, why did keep him on their roster and not just release him?  Or draft him in the first place?  Did the Dolphins do enough digging during the interview process at the 2012 combine to get a glimpse of the character of Martin?

One story has a Wide Receiver saying Martin laughed at the text.  Martin may very well have done that, but doesn’t mean he found it haha funny, but used laughter to mask how he really felt.  People do struggle fitting in to groups.  Even ones they should fit easily into.  Martin could be that type of person.  Someone who struggles with mental issues.  A person is unsure if they fit well with others and may not say anything is bothering them, but they struggle every day with trying to fit in.

Do I know for certain this is happening in the Dolphins locker room?  No, of course not.  I don’t know either player nor have I even been to a football game in Miami.

From the outside looking in, it looks bad and it looks like its Penn State all over again.  People knew bad things were going on, but no one bothered to step up and stop it until it becomes too big and blows up in everyone’s face.

What is wrong with this guy?

Posted in Politics, Social on November 30, 2010 by tattoohero

OMG, there is something seriously wrong with Joe Rehyansy?  Momma dropped him on his head too many times as a baby?  In the closet?  Wants to convert a lesbian?  Or attempt to?  I do not know, but OMG this is one of the most fucked up things I have read lately.

Link

It’s ok for straight men to rape? a lesbian?  What makes him think a lesbian wants to have sex with a guy?  Bi-sexual would, but not a lesbian.  What the fuck is wrong with you.  So, Joe, are you ok for the straight women going after the gay guys to convert them?  Is that what your thinking?   Or just straight men to lesbians?

Douchebag Award-26 November 2010

Posted in Politics, Social on November 26, 2010 by tattoohero

Today, I have my choice of two douchebags.  So, I think I will hand out two today.  First one goes to my favorite hate machine, Rush “Drugster” Limbaugh.   I will be completely honest, the Drugster could get the award every time he opens that hateful piehole of his.

Yesterday just took the whole pie of hate.   What is with this guy?  He rips the President on his Thanksgiving Proclamation, when Obama said similar things Reagan did while he was President.

Drugster, you need to actually learn a thing or two about our Country before you can make comments that make ZERO sense.   In  other words, SHUT THE FUCK UP!


Now for the second award.  Once again it is someone from the great state of Misery, oh I mean Missouri.  Do they teach any American History in Missouri?   The comments from this Rep. and Drugster makes me wonder.

The Pilgrims left England because of “Unbiblical” Socialism. HUH?  What the fuck does that mean?  Seriously?  Wasn’t Jesus a socialist by today’s standards? He was all about helping others.  Capitalism helps no one but rich fucks.  Does this guy even read the New Testament or just the Old.  Makes me wonder again what the hell is going on in Missouri.

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in Social on November 25, 2010 by tattoohero

I would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.  Here are a few things I am thankful this year.

No GnOP in the White House.  At least we have someone that thinks before he takes action.   How refreshing.  Do I agree with everthing?  Ah, NO.

Glad my husband has insurance so he can get his back fixed.  Or fixed enough were he doesn’t walk with a limp or hunched over.  Even though he has to always fight with the insurance company to actually pay the damn claims.

I am glad that our First Lady is getting under Sarah Palin’s skin.  OMG, the First Lady wants our children to be healthy and not obese.  We can’t have that.   It might actually save the country some money in the long run.

I will be back tomorrow with a few more awards to give out and I been lazy on doing that this week.
Watch plenty of football today!

22 November 2010 Douche Bag Award

Posted in Politics, Social on November 22, 2010 by tattoohero

Today’s douche bag award goes to………

 

 

…….Mike Huckabee.   For his ass backwards comments in Iowa over gay marriage. This type of attitude is just doucheness.