atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5278: Crimes against humanity

"Culprit of the greatest crime since the Holocaust confesses." Apparently Trump's wife gave a speech at the Republican convention which strongly resembled one given by Michelle Obama four or eight years ago, and everyone's up in arms over it because somehow this proves that Trump Is Not Fit To Be President.

I might buy that notion--might--when Trump starts talking about having campaigned in "all 57 states" and talks about army "corpse-men" and so on. But considering what a potential First Lady's job description is, laying out the same platitudes as a prior example somehow strikes me as less important than the question of how is her husband going to govern?

The people objecting to this speech are the same ones who believe they already know the answer to the latter question, and seek to do whatever they can to prevent it. Hence the tempest in a teapot.

* * *

When government causes an ecological disaster, it's an "incident". "This was an accident but we're investigating what happened." The EPA doesn't spool up when government spills two and a half million gallons of toxic waste; only when private industry does.

Let a private company try that line when they accidentally spill a barrel of bleach or something, and see how that works.

* * *

"My dad makes $8 million a year. I'm a professional activist." It's Tumblr so none of the links in the text are active. It'd be nice if the image linked to the source.

* * *

Definitely NOT Black Lives Matter, whatever else it is it's definitely NOT that! Bunch of black people in London congregate in Hyde Park. Violence ensues. Top cop says, "All I can be really clear about is that this is not a Black Lives Matter protest."

You may think it's not, cracker, but guess what?

* * *

2016 is setting new records for global warmenating, because if the raw measurements don't say so they'll be "normalized" until they do.

* * *

So a tab I closed had this in it:

Interestingly enough, it demonstrated that the frequency response of my computer speakers may not be everything it was advertised to be. Admittedly I have two fans running within a ten foot radius of my chair, so that's a factor, but letting the video play I found that the frequency response of my speakers rolls on around 31 Hz and rolls off somewhere north of 10.5 kHz. At least, given the ambient noise in the computer room right now.

When I use the old Skullcandy Ink'd earbuds, I can hear from 20 Hz through that same 10.5 kHz. North of that I start hearing only harmonics, basically artifacts of the audio compression. Since it is compressed digital audio (probably MP3) and not a pure analog sine wave, that might explain the lack of higher frequency response. Or it might just be that my ears are almost half a century old and the higher frequencies have started to go.

* * *

The gameplay "enhancements" for the upcoming Legion's Return expansion pack for WoW went live yesterday.

The character information has been greatly dumbed down again, leaving us with a bare handful of stats. Lots of the stat customization has been removed, finishing the tred started in Cataclysm, and which continued through Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor. Now, when you make a character, there is one build, one skill rotation for that class and specialization; using anything else will leave you unable to keep up.

They can't really continue along this trajectory for much longer. I suppose they could reduce the skill rotation to one attack which changes and improves with experience; maybe they could take class specialization out of the game so that if you want to be a warrior, you must tank; if you want to be a priest, you must heal; and so on.

They should stop mucking about with the gameplay, though, and concentrate on content. The last two expacs have been pretty bad, content-wise; the dungeons from Pandaria and Draenor in particular are a whole bunch of no fun. The fights are tedious and there's no reason to do them, except "yay gear" (that you can get elsewhere); and of course you must still pass a test to get into heroics, which is also horseshit, because you can't get past a certain point in the game without it.

"Pass a test"--you have to go to the "proving grounds" and do this quest. The test is scaled to your character's ability level, so being at a higher level doesn't make it easier. It's timed, and it's purposely designed to use up your resources faster than they regenerate--with very little rest time between waves--so that when you get to the end and there's one enemy left you can't do anything to him, you fail, and must start over at the very beginning.

This is not how it works in dungeons, even heroic ones. If you run out of energy or mana or whatever, you have teammates who can help while you quaff a potion or wait for a cooldown. The combats aren't timed; they take as long as they take, but it's not critical that you conserve your resources perfectly and exactly the way the designers say to in order to beat this or that boss.

The most frustrating thing about a game like WoW is that it's designed to be played as the player wants to; if you want to make a gnome but quest in Elwynn Forest you can do that. If you want to play in zones which are beneath your level, there is nothing preventing it; no game mechanic or system overlord forces you to play in level-appropriate areas. If you want a challenge you can always head for orange or even red zones, and of course there's always PvP to consider.

But the "proving grounds" thing is an example of the game designers forcing you to play the game a certain way to succeed. You must do X and Y and Z, in that order, or else you will fail and have to start all over again. And I hate that kind of crap; it's why I never really got into arcade games. I don't like having to memorize patterns to succeed at a game. To have something like this present a bottleneck is infuriating; it's made worse by the fact that Blizzard has classically not done that with their other RPGs.

I miss WoW the way it was when Wrath of the Lich King was the latest expac; I miss it because there were a lot more options in how you played your character.

Oh well.

* * *

It's pretty hot outside today. I still haven't cut the grass, either. I faded out yesterday after 6 PM and didn't fade in again until it was almost dark. *sigh*

Well, plus side, the grass is still there.

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