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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hugo Ballot 2015 with Puppies marked


I don't normally tread all that far outside the realm of gaming, but as I am attending WorldCon this year I've been paying special attention to the Hugos and the...lets call it "kerfuffle" going on around it. It was originally brought to my attention by George R. R. Martin's tweets, and I think he does a fair job of summarizing it. 

The following is the full Hugo Award 2015 bracket with nominees put forth by the Sad and Rabid Puppies slates color coded. When I got down to reading the nominees I realized I wanted a coherent list of how the slates impacted the nominees, including both slates, so I decided to make one myself. Sad Puppies are marked in Blue, Rabid Puppies in Red, and any nominees suggested by both are marked in Purple.* I want to make it very clear that this should not be used as a slate or voting guide. At least some of the authors the Puppy groups included on their slates were not consulted about it, and it would be unfair to them to deny them an award merely because of an undesired association. So say it with me, “This post should NOT be used as a slate.” Each work should be judged on its own merit. Of course if you do not feel that any of the works in a category merit a Hugo award you are free to choose the "No Award" option in that category.

However, due to the exploitation of the Hugo nomination system (and this was an exploitation of a system that previously relied on non-slate voting due to a, apparently misplaced, trust in an honor system) I feel it is only fair that voters have some knowledge as to why individual works were included. All knowledge is worth having, and so I leave it to you to decide what to do with this information. You will notice that in several categories ALL of the nominees belong to a slate. If that troubles you I recommend considering John Scalzi’s system.

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In re: Last Hitting and HotS

Edit Addendum: I was reminded via Twitter that HotS does have some mechanics resembling a last hit; however I have since tested and confirmed that the HotS versions (at least those tested; Diablo's passive and Raynor's first tier talent), despite saying "minions and heroes killed" in their description, only require you be in the vicinity of the death, not actually land the killing blow.

I want to start by saying that from a thousand feet I don't disagree with Izlain that Hereoes of the Storm (HotS) is a more mechanically simplistic MOBA than League or DotA2; but accessibility is Blizzard's wheelhouse and frankly I'd be shocked if they tried to be the next Heroes of Newerth. HotS is angling to be the MOBA for the average Joe/Jane, the person who doesn't want to spend hours researching item builds, buy a rune build for each champ/lane, a mastery page to match, and know each champion by magic defense per level.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Talkback Challenge #3: What Made You A Gamer? #NBI2015

I like this question because it offers an opportunity to dig back into my personal history and try to figure out where my first exposures to gaming came from. Perhaps unsurprisingly my first exposure to gaming came from family. The first video game I can remember playing was Joust with my cousin on his NES. I want to say that it was at that moment that my love for gaming crystallized, but truthfully I was so young that my memory of it is foggy. The next memory I can conjure up was getting bootleg copies of Warcraft 2 and Doom from my father's co-workers.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

[WoW] Botter tears fuel my LOLZ

A day or so ago Blizzard announced on Battle.net that it was issuing a huge wave of bans for the usage of bots. Unlike previous waves this one was accompanied by a lot more visible rumbling from the playerbase than I could recall from previous ban waves. Historically news about these waves has had an undertone that the majority of the banned were offshore gold-farmers rather than the "ordinary" player. This time the wave was accompanied by a myriad of reports of Mythic raiding guilds losing half their roster, streamers getting cut off during their stream, and known personalities finding their accounts banned for 6 months.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do I support unfinished games? TalkBack Challenge #2 #NBI2015

Early Access and Kickstarter – Do you support unfinished games?

I don't think it was intended but this question somewhat frames the issue on its own. I hate to use the favorite phrase of attorneys but I suppose that part of me is showing through, "It depends."

I am eager to support the developer of a game I am enjoying in its current state and the developer has big plans for (that they are reasonably likely to achieve). However, there's no way to know whether the latter is true, or whether I will enjoy said game going into its Kickstarter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

[Splatoon] Let things be different

Over the past few weeks Nintendo's newest IP Splatoon has been in the news because it's been hosting what are basically Open Betas. Splatoon is an FPS in which squid-people shoot ink at each other in team fortress-esque objective based team game. Now if having "Nintendo" and "FPS" in the same thought confuses you...well you're probably reacting the right way. That said Splatoon has all the hallmarks of a Nintendo game; a cute, cartoon aesthetic with minimal if any sexualization, approachable gameplay, a less-violent approach (ink and squirt guns instead of bullets), and an overall goal of being friendlier, less toxic.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Elemint's Draenor Safari #NBI2015Safari

Inspired by Murf's NBI screenshot safari challenge (and completely ignoring the rules thereof 'cause I ain't part of your system! Disqualify thi-[CENSORED]) I ended up packing up my Print Screen key and heading out into the wilds of Draenor. Aided by Aviana's Feather I went on a whirlwind safari in hopes of getting a few shots to capture the beauty of Blizzard's latest continent. As anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I am incredibly critical of Blizzard, but at the same time there's a certain nostalgic fondness for them in my heart, and if they are good at one thing it's making gorgeous landscapes. Keeping in mind that I am just a fan, not a photographer so please bear with my novice (read: terrible) skills. So without further ado, lets go on a trip.... (I think it goes without saying that these are for the Landscape theme)