Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’
If you haven’t heard it by now, Disney bought the rights to Lucas Films, meaning they now own the Star Wars series! Now, at first I was a bit freaked out by this. I mean, it’s Disney… The big bad evil. But after the initial shock wore off, I got to thinking; you know, they bought Pixar and let them do their own thing and they turned out pretty good. And probably their single biggest PR success with this was to announce a new film in the works for 2015. I’m sure any jaded fan was instantly converted or drowned in a sea of conflicting emotions. For me, that’s the big selling point. We’ve all been foaming at the mouth for years that Lucas was just sitting on the franchise, milking every last penny as it slowly dies out. But with a new owner, the franchise is seeing more money and more vitality, so for us viewers, that means more content! Win or lose, the fact that they’re even trying to release a new film and revive the series is a good sign.
The only question remains… Will Leia get to join the princesses club?
Well folks, looks like it finally happened… SWTOR is going Free To Play (F2P)! (this fall)
I can’t say that I’m exactly excited about this move. Albeit inevitable, I have a lot of worries about what happens to games when they go from subscription to free. Mainly, the balancing act. In a subs type game, balance is a HUGE issue, they spend countless hours and are always updating the game to make sure each class has a chance to shine, especially when it comes to PvP. However, in the F2P model, this tends to be overshadowed by “buy the fancy golden sword of justice and smite all your foes… for 3 easy payments of $19.95″. You see scams like this where they substitute a subscription for cashshop epics, many of which give an unfair advantage over other users. The other thing they like to do is little items that you need for various things, worst of which are things that cause grave annoyances, like the death penalty items. I’ve seen the whole gamut of these and most of them either repair your gear (for cash) or reduce time spent dead (for cash) or remove stat reductions from death (for, oh well you get the idea).
The other problem is the decline in quality. With subscriptions, you get the benefits of constant content updates. (Though this highly depends on the company, cause some F2P games really set the bar high with their perks… but not all of them do it) Also, constant in-game annoyances like “come get the sale for a pet yoda!” bleh! And of course… there’s those dang dirty personal shops! Perfect World and various PW based games, let you set up a shop and just leave it there… think I played all of 5min of Perfect World before getting sick of seeing all of them littering the place.
But I guess there’s a lot of issues with the subscription model as well… Pretty much the model as a whole is dead. People really don’t want to pay for a game, like $60 kinda pay, and be told you need to keep paying $15/month thereafter. After 4 months, you should have basically new content equal to a NEW game. Usually you get a patch in that time and it’s usually just a few neat things, but not a full game’s worth of content.
I wonder though, how much longer can the market really support such a payment structure. But what will replace it? Pay once and forget it like Guild Wars 2? Free To Play/Cashshop? Or like Diablo 3 with pay auction houses? I’m not sure, but the path we’re seeing now does not bode well for the mmo genre.
What says y’alls?
The title of this is taken from one of the newer Dr. Whose episodes where one of the disposable sidekicks asked the good doctor why everyone in space seemed to speak with a northern accent (I’m assuming there are different accents in England… my good sir) to which his reply was “every planet has a north”. Man I love the Who!
Anyways, this is something that has bothered me to no end with futurey spacey type shows, such as Star Wars, that take place in other worlds or galaxies or universes than our own… and people still have thick accents! Yeah, it gives the fantasy world a little flavor and certainly an audience would be very disappointed if an upperclassman of high galactic society had anything other than a proper English accent, but sometimes it can be a little distracting. If you’re in a distant galaxy a million years in the future, then why is that green dude speaking with an Australian accent? Bah! Maybe it’s just which ones they use that throws me… Though I’d find it very amusing if some alien busted out in some Medieval tongue… me’lord.
Yeah so, I’d totally be hitting up the dark lord for a little extra juice for my ipods! I guess that’d be one advantage of being dark side, ya know, you can just recharge anything you want… well, since I’m assuming that force lightning is actually electricity. Somehow, when I think of stuff like “the force”, I think “this would be great if construction workers had it!” I mean really, it would give them better control and no need for big fancy machinery. Probably even safer too.
So here’s this week’s discussion topic: What do you think those force users use that force stuff for when there’s not war going on? Mundane practical applications like construction or do they just keep on training “just in case”?
ALSO! Just found out about a little local convention, so I’ll be having a table at LAMEcon this year on Sunday, July 22nd from 9am to 7pm. (click the link for the google map) It’s in the Land O Lakes Library (that’s in Pasco, just a few minutes north of Hillsborough/Tampa area); and they will have a cosplay contest (1-5 member group skits), achievement system with prizes, artist alley (find me here!), trivia contest, panel discussions (ponies), trading cards, video games, and anime viewing room! There will also be another day (saturday july 21st 7-10pm) with an anime dance and costume contest and such (but I’ll be at the sunday one).
Anyways, it’s FREE admission and you can come see me so… good stuff! If you’re in the Pasco/Hillsborough or surrounding areas, you should come on down and join the festivities!
Right, so earlier this year, around January, the issue of unmanned drones being used in areas of the middle east came up in the news. The central theme of the issue being that Iraqi officials were upset that even though troops were officially withdrawing, the drones were still being used and causing all kinds of damage. Our side underplayed it saying they were only surveillance. In the same breath, they confirmed that they were being used in Pakistan but they were trying really really hard not to kill civilians. Glad they’re making an attempt at not killing innocent folks in another country…
Anyways, turns out they’ve been a bit more prolific than the earlier report, with somewhere around 281 attacks in Pakistan causing 1299 militant deaths and at least 153 civilian deaths. That’s about 10% of the deaths being civilians. Imagine if there was a crazy group of people here in the US that was attacking people in other countries; terrorists if you will. Now also imagine if the country retaliated with remote control bombs that took out members of that organization but accidentally killed 1 civilian out of every one of their targets… Now imagine the mass outrage and the number of nukes we’d drop on that country… Yeah, no wonder other countries hate us.
And what the heck guys? Isn’t the guy signing off on all these attacks the same one who won a Nobel prize for his peaceful conflict resolutions and whatnot?
Man… this one was kinda depressing…
Looks like a fun game, even though it takes place during the medieval period… Ok ok, not exactly medieval, but apparently the name is for the inner core of Coruscant. The cool thing is that you get to play a bounty hunter, which I find to be a neat direction with the franchise, since everything else seems to revolve around lightsabers. Still, they really need to make an Imperial Agent based game!
Speaking of… if you like the Star Wars series or similar scifi stuff, check out the Space Janitors series on the Escapist! Kind of a fun little series about the unsung heroes of the outer space lands.
A long long time from now, a galaxy far far away will collide with the Milky Way. These galaxies will not only merge stars and planets, but the species that inhabit these places.
A great battle ensues for control of this new realm. Old feudes mend quickly as a new enemy threatens the entire galaxy. Sith and Jedi must shed their differences to repel the looming Federation’s desire to “unify this new space”.
And thus, the greatest war of all time exploded amongst the Stars…
So these are all my new posters! Worked crazy hard on them! This is my “Star Wars vs. Star Trek” series where both galaxies have collided and they battle it out to see which is better! So if you’re a SW person, you’ll like to see a redshirt getting what’s coming to him, but if you’re a ST kinda fellow, then relish seeing a jedi having a good day to die! Have them up for sale in the shop both individually and in sets. The posters also have free shipping AND there’s a way to get 10% off the whole order as well (but it’s a scavenger hunt!). Click the pics to go to the shop. (NOTE: these are preorders, just sent in the order for them, so it may take an extra week or less… just a little FYI)
(sorry bout the watermarks though) Anyways, check em out and enjoy! >D
Well there you have it folks! The Stars have collided and one can remain victorious! Which side will you choose? If this does well enough, I might continue the series in the future! Cause man, this was a lot of fun to draw!
If you like what you see and would possibly want one of these 11×17 in. posters, then head on over to the SHOP! Got some nice bundles too that saves lots of cash money. And FREE shipping on all 11×17 posters (in the US, $3 for international)! Oh right, and the scavenger hunt!!!
Here’s how to do it… (also in the DISCOUNTS page in the shop) In the little colorful rainbow puzzle below, there are 6 pieces. I have scattered these pieces on COMIC pages throughout THIS website (so only Coffin-Comics.com, not What’s Shakin’, and only pages with comics on them). So if you accept this challenge, you just need to go through the archives and find the pieces at the end of the article, below the polls, in the comic pages (not end of page, end of the article AFTER the polls). These will be in order of color, so if you find a red then a yellow, then you know you missed one. There are, again, 6 total pieces. Each piece has total of 2 letters or numbers! So that’s a total of 12 characters in the code! Make sure you write them down in the correct order when ordering… it goes in order of the rainbow, so Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet!!! (sorry Indigo… nobody knows what you are…) When you have all the pieces and codes from them, and in written in order, just pop it into the discounts/coupons thingy at checkout! Easy (ish)!! For all your efforts, you get 10% off your final order! Nice eh? Lemme know if you have any questions or problems with that. Oh, and NO sharing the code! The point is to sneakily get some pageviews and maybe some archive exploration for newcomers. >D
Uhg… Khem… How I hate thee…
Sure, he’s a big lunk and yeah, he’s got a little sass, but for the most part, he’s the worst companion in the sorcerer’s army. Aside from the never speaking Basic, (which is one thing that annoys me with the SW series, that the alien languages are gibberish, but that’s another story) Khem is sooooo huge that he’s always in your way. To make matters worse, for whatever reason, he tends to path from directly behind you, meaning that whenever you walk up to something or someone to interact with, he walks up behind you thus blocking your way. That usually results in you clicking on him instead, which comes to the pa-toot of this joke, that he always gives you some sass about eating your face or killing you in your sleep. Pretty nice friend huh? Still, when the time came, I ended up keeping the guy… lesser of 2 evils (those past ch1 or 2 will know what I mean).
Anyways, I really enjoy the companion development in this game. I guess that’s a bit of a BioWare specialty, but you don’t really see the same depth in other similar games. Sure, I suppose they could really push it further, especially with more individualized tailoring based on choices. But none the less, I really like how they put it all together. I’m hoping that with one of the “story patches” they’re promising for this year, we will get a lot more side quests and explore the interpersonal relationships between all the companions and your character.
Which all I guess begs the question, to what extent of relationship building do you want from your games? Let’s narrow that down to just MMOs for the purposes of argument, but for me, I can see it going a few different ways. On the one hand, you’d expect that having vast interpersonal connections with NPCs that are tailored to you and your progression would be very desirable. This is what I would want! BUT (that was a big but), it comes at a cost. See, there’s only so many programmers to go around. Time and money are resources that are not easily increased, thus they must be taken into consideration when going into any project. The more connections, the more quests, the more choices you make with the NPCs, the more programming time is required and the less time that goes to other areas. It’s a balance I’d suspect. However, the other side of that is stripping any kind of tailored relationships leaves the player with the feeling that the game is pre-scripted and not a tale of your own journey. While this seems fairly undesirable, it does free up a lot of programming resources to other fun things. So I guess it comes down to personal choice. I’d bet there’s a balance here somewhere, since either extreme doesn’t seem very practical… but what say you?
One of the things I tend to notice in my travels through games is the level of immersion offered by said games. They can achieve high levels by doing many things, such as perspective, story, interactions, familiarities, and even little things lying around like decorations or, food! Maybe not so extreme like in Fallout New Vegas where the hard mode makes you starve without eating for long periods, but more like WoW or even Forsaken Worlds, where cooking is a central part of the game. Well, not central so much as something that reminds you that you got to eat while giving you a little buff as well. Just like in the RLs. I really liked leveling the cooking stuff for the great benefits. And just like a real dinner, in raids, a food table can really bring a group together over a nice roasted beast with a fine chianti.
But then I look at this place far far away and a really long time ago and can’t help but notice the lack of delectables. Sometimes you will see some wine bottles laying about, but I don’t ever remember seeing just a nice turkey diner spread out. In fact, 99% of what my character consumes is in the form of stim, injection, missile, or medpack. Not exactly what I would describe as filling. So this is something I’d love to see expanded upon in the swtor universe! A cooking profession is always a good thing! It’s one of those extra little thingies that occupy your time with. A side quest sort of deal. And I think it adds that extra little bit of immersion that we all love so much. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but even making some vendor foods with a little buff would be nice. (Yeah, I know they have some that give Presence, but idk, it doesn’t really seem like enough.)
What do y’all think?
Happy May The 4th Be With You!!!!
One of things that is absolutely paramount to the continuity and awesomeness of the Star Wars series is the lightsaber. Without a doubt! However, in game form, certain concessions must be made to accommodate the MMO setting. That is, of course, gear and progression. MMOs do well with having better gear from leveling, questing, crafting, and raiding. This gives an unending cycle of acquisition and replacement, and that’s actually a good thing! It gives a lot of purpose to play the games. But one major thing is missing in the SWTOR game, that’s distinguishability. Totally a word. What I mean is this; in many other similar games, the weapons and gear are obvious. They are big and glowing and have things floating around them… so you can tell when something is an upgrade. Visually, it looks more powerful. With the lightsaber, all you have is the hilt and the blade, which have limited visible differences. The hilts (am I using that right?) are way too small to really be noticed and the blades, well, they’re lightsabers. I guess there is some distinction with color intensity, variety of colors, and different colored cores, especially with limited availability with certain combos, but at some point, there will be an end to the combinations. Well… unless they make my rainbowed sword of justice…
So how do we go about fixing this? Or does it even need to be fixed? I’m loving the remoddable gear and sporting a certain look, so maybe… just maybe, this whole thing is a non-issue. BUT, to play Sith’s Advocate for a second, let’s brainstorm some ideas. One thing I really like about the sith assassin types is there little electric blades. Not sure what that is, but visually it’s stunning! Now, I’m thinking of an “enchanted” kind of look. Think of a fiery or an icy enchant! An enchant of undeath! These are wowcraft references, but you get my point. I think exterior glows, little zaps, fire, snowies, floating things, etc… all ideas for blade additions. (obviously wouldn’t be actual enchants you add, but just visual enhancements to the leet gear drops) Another idea would be “activation effects”. What’s cooler than a lightsaber and striking a pose? Firing one up! It’s that sound, the slow draw of the blade, the glow… these things add up to be quite an intimidating weapon. So, additional effects might help to give better visual ques as to the strength and power of the gear level. For instance, stronger/louder/more crackled draw sounds can really beef up the effect. Even stuff like a large flash of light or lightning or sparks on draw would be an amazing plus. Oh! How about effects in addition to the assassin lightningy thing like overcharged glows OR big uncontrollable flamed blades! Like the energy’s all out of control!
Well… those are some ideas anyways. What do you guys think?
Yikes! This one ended up being a little more gruesome than I originally intended… buuuut I think I made my point. >)
I think this might be the only time I may ever concede that a “game” could promote violence. And here’s my theory… There have been a few little games out in the last few years that use a basic form of EEG to convert the electromagnetic activity of the brain into a game controller. At first, there were only a few, mainly just moving a ball back and forth (suspended by an air jet) and all you had to do was “think hard” or concentrate to move it. Of course, there was a Star Wars one and something that’s more useful for console or PC controls. The idea is pretty simple; the brain sheds tons of electromagnetic waves all around the exterior of the head, which is why they can give you brain scans and such to measure activity. I haven’t used one so I can not comment on the accuracy of control, but many reports say it’s pretty responsive.
But here’s the rub… Look up at my drawing again. Now down at me. Now up. I’m on a horse! And not just that! I’m on a high horse with a crazy supposition! That EEG thingy is resting right on the frontal lobe just above the eye. This region controls a whole host of psychological activities! One of which is your emotional responses to anger. (which is why old lobotomies would shove an instrument through your eye and scrape a little gray matter) So my stretch of imagination says, “if you exercise the part of your brain that’s related to anger, rage, strong emotions, and even been linked to stuff like schizophrenia, then all you’re doing is making that area stronger in those types of things”. Long story short, if you lift weights with the evil hand, then you’re going to punch puppies or something. *I’d like to insert here that this is all just massive speculation!
The way the EEG works is by measuring the electromagnetic energy being produced in an area. This much you know. I’m redundant. But that energy is caused by the electrical activity of that area… it’s like looking at a hard drive; if you access your picture files, they are on one part of the disk, if you access your music, they are on another, so without looking at the screen, you can figure out what’s being accessed by looking at what part of the hard drive the read write head is at. Same thing, parts of your brain light up like Vegas when doing different things. For instance, a very specific part of the brain lights up when a person is asked to imagine playing tennis. Cool stuff! But my point with all of this is that forcing yourself to concentrate on certain areas might have unknown effects. It may make this area overactive from stimulation and cause undesirable thoughts, or make you have better control of that area, idk! So if you focus or concentrate on the area that deals with tennis, does that make you a better tennis player? Even when you aren’t thinking about tennis, just concentrating on that location in the brain? I don’t know. That’s for the lab coats to decide. But I will say this, I think we’re entering a very cool, but very dangerous area of technology that starts to incorporate the brain directly into our activities. I encourage the development of this, but also warn of the dangers. Messing with the processor is really something you should do when you’ve got a fairly decent idea of what you are doing. Like, I am deathly afraid of overclocking my CPU because I’m 100% sure that I’ll probably fry it. So same thing here, when we tamper with the old sponge we need to proceed with caution.
That said, I’m all for the integration of technology with biology. I’ll probably be the first in line for cyber implants! Well… for nothing else but to have blinking lights everywhere. What can I say? The SWTOR feng shui bug has gotten to me. However, I just want to be clear… Before we start rolling out with technology that directly influences the brain or specific regions within, we need to be absolutely sure that the effects will not cause us to hoard bodies in a suitcase under our beds. Just saying, it’s good to err on the side of caution.
My apologies to every blind person for this comic…
Alright, so one of the races in the SWTORs is the Miraluka, a humanlike people with no eyes. Apparently they live on a planet with a red dwarf star that only puts out light in the infrared range, thus, very “dark”. I’m assuming it would still be warm enough to maintain life though… visible light is overrated. Not sure exactly why they just wouldn’t evolve some sort of infrared vision like snakes, but whatever. Anyways, they can see with the force so I guess that’s good enough. I am a tad bit disappointed that they don’t wear sunglasses…
Well, the poll of the day was going to be “what’s your favorite star wars race”, but after a little bit of research, I realized there’s like a bazillion races! So… it’s going to be just limited to playable races… HOWEVER, I’d like to know what races that aren’t playable yet would you like to see! Personally, I want to play as a Voss and Cathar!! That and droids! There’s a brief quest for the Imperial Agents where you get disguised as a droid and it’s awesome! Check that link and tell me you don’t want to be a droid now! I dare ya!
For reference, check out the List of Playable Races.
Heh, didn’t mean for a double swtor posting this week, but I wanted to get this out there before the rakghoul invasion event ended. Pretty cool stuff though! Reminds me of the lich plague in wowcrafts just before WOTLK came out. But what’s the deal with zombies anyways? They seemed to have gained quite a bit of momentum in the last few decades. Hell, I challenge you to name a single FPS game that doesn’t have some sort of zombie level or zombie DLC from the last few years! Ok, don’t take me up on that offer cause I’m sure you lot can name plenty… my readers are a little too on the ball, lol! But you get my point. There seems to be an invasion of zombie invasions!!! I guess psychologically, we like things that go wrong. That whole schadenfreude thing. Disaster movies are a huge seller!! I think deep down we like to see a little adversity for us to overcome. I don’t see the human race ever just “settling down” and sipping sweet tea on their porches. They’d sooner set fire to the planet for something to do before ever reaching a state of utopia.
So with that, I think zombies are a hot commodity right now because they offer that fictitious extinction level event we’ve been craving so dearly, but with just enough real world deniability to ease our minds that it’s not real. Meaning, they’re a creepy bad guy that’s more believable than vampires or godzillas, yet not as plausible as a mile long meteor… so it’s ok! Well… kinda… we’ll get back to that. Continuing with why they are so intriguing, I think it also comes back to the Uncanny Valley effect! Zombies ARE the things that all other UC phenomenon are measured against! They ARE uncanny valley! That’s the reason why those creepy robots with latex stretched over their “faces” freak you out so much… because the “animated dead” concept strikes us in an exceedingly uneasy way. It can terrify us, make us sick, or just give you the willies. For whatever reason, our brains don’t like it. Which, of course, makes them an excellent antagonist for any story!
As for that deniability thing, well… I really wouldn’t put too much stock in it. Of all the mythical “monster” creatures, the zombie is probably the closest to being something real. No, I’m not saying you should start sawing off your shotguns just yet, but since we’ve come so far with our knowledge of medicine and infectious diseases, we can say with a good degree of certainty that the zombie effect is real and can be problematic. Ok, first off, the closest we human folks have to anything like it is rabies; which there’s been like, what, 1 death from? However, the way it spreads and causes massive malfunctions in the brain making the infected creatures extremely aggressive and powerful, and the ease by which it’s transmitted, rabies is a great candidate for the zombie apocalypse. Viral and bacterial strains evolve and adapt all the time, making more and more lethal versions, crossing boundaries of species as well, which doesn’t bode well for us peeps… cause you know, a frothy mouthed raccoon with a bad attitude is one thing, but an actual human with a mind like ours can be a dangerous thing to have under the influence of a powerful disease. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the zombies to start shambling into your living rooms… It’s just a theory, plausible and possible as it may be, the likelihood of an outbreak of a strain like that is astonishingly low… we have much more to fear from the germs coming out of China because of improperly handled livestock than we do of a zombie rabies strain.
And there are actually things out there right now that are basic “zombiesque” pathogens… well… sort of. There’s this really cool fungi out in the depths of Brazil that latches on to the brains of ants, controlling their bodies to go to a nice little spot that’s perfect for the parasite to release its spores and continue the cycle. An amazing use of parasitism, especially with our modern goggles on, because we just see “zombie fungus”! Still, when you apply this sort of idea to a “reanimation” type case, we don’t really have anything that compares to that aspect… so no undead walking around. But with stuff like parasites and viruses, we can get a pretty close interpretation of the zombie effect.
Food for thought! … heh!
Ain’t it the truth? Well, if you’re familiar with the SWTOR game, then you’ve probably noticed a disturbingly low volume of water in the galaxy. Every planet with water is only waist deep at it’s lowest point. Pretty concerning if I do say so myself. Maybe it’s that global warming all those scientists were talking about.
Anyways, talking about fishing, I’m kind of disturbed/disappointed that there is a lack of such in swtor. It was one of my favorite little passtimes in the wowcrafts and it seems like it’d be something nice to have in the star wars galaxy. Ah well… at least there’s space combat…