Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Weather

It's been very odd here in northern Indiana. Just a week or two ago we had so much snow and sleet fall down that you could stand on inches of snow and it would feel like solid rock. You could even try kicking it, but you'd only end up with a sore foot. There was also tons of near-invisible ice scattered along the sidewalks, despite the university's effort to get rid of it. I almost fell a few times... It was cold and windy and just not pleasant to be walking around in.

But lately temperatures have been really high. It's been between 50 and 60 the past two days and all the snow and ice has finally melted away. I actually walked to class today without a jacket in the middle of February. It felt like the middle of spring.

However, I feel that's going to change really soon. These past few hours the wind has picked up a lot. It's been my experience that warm temperatures followed by wind equals a storm, which is then followed by colder temperatures. I just hope things don't go back to below freezing as I am tired of winter.

I suppose I could always check the actual forecast, but that takes the fun out of guessing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Rift is a new MMO coming out soon and I've been trying it out in the recent betas. The obvious pro is that it's actually a polished game. No stupid bugs (AoC), no extreme lack of finished content (WAR), etc. It feels like a finished game even in beta (although I am only level 12, I haven't seen anything "end game" yet). The UI is also extremely customizable which removes a lot of the need for third-party addons. The "rift" idea is also really cool, it's something you can get into even at lower levels. It takes on the feel of a party quest from WAR, something I always wished they'd implement in WoW, and yet it's even more dynamic than a PQ. They can open anywhere in the zone, with mini-packs of rift mobs patrolling the zone. You get loot and exp. from killing these packs and for closing rifts, so it's a nice break from the monotony of questing. I hope they get more involved at higher levels, though, as at level 12 it's mostly just button mashing.

There's other things I haven't gotten a chance to see like PvE dungeons or any type PvP, but I hear are pretty good as well. But, the major drawback for me is the cost... $50 for the game, $15 a month. I'm dwindling on funds as a college student, so I'm still not sure if I want to spend the money on it. Maybe if I had a job... but then I'd have to get a job.

Anyone have something to add about it that I don't know? Anyone else playing in the betas and/or thinking of buying it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guitar Hero is Dead

Guitar Hero has officially been put to sleep, or so says Kotaku. Activision felt the decline in interest was just too great to continue working on it. Personally, I'm not too surprised. Guitar Hero as a game was kind of following a sports game schedule. Release a new game every year with a different line up, slightly polished graphics, and call it a whole new game. Sure, they eventually added support for other instruments, but it was really too late.

However, for all the Rock Band fanboys, I wouldn't feel too overjoyed just yet. While the main competition is dead, the entire music genre of games seems to be dying. Honestly, there's just not too many innovative things you can do with a rhythm game. Also, they are really expensive for someone trying to get into it... Hell, that's the exact reason I've never bought Rock Band, I don't want to pay for the drums, bass and mic. And now isn't there keyboard? Sheesh. I was content enough with just the guitar.

Anyway, I suppose we'll just have to see how this all plays out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I picked up learning to play the guitar about a year ago and for Christmas I decided to get a little more serious about it and get the guitar pictured above. It's not too expensive or flashy, but really nice quality as far as I can tell. My first guitar had tape holding a pickup in place and tin foil holding the inner wires together so... this was quite a step up.

But anyway, learning to play has been pretty difficult for me. I mean, I can play some scales, some chords (including a few barre chords), and some snippets of songs, but nothing that would really impress anyone. More often than not I still accidentally hit the wrong string with the pick or I finger the wrong fret or something stupid. My friend tells me to practice really slowly and build up to playing normal speed, which makes sense, but ironically I seem to play even worse if I slow it down. It's really frustrating.

Anyone out there play guitar that would have some tips for me? I really want to learn to play well, but as I said, it's really frustrating at times.

Monday, February 7, 2011

World of Warcraft

Anyone play WoW? I've racked up 1000's of hours on that game over the span of 4 years, and most of the time it's actually been pretty fun. Over the last two years I've been in two really cool guilds and in WotLK we cleared all the content (except for 25man heroic LK...). I was getting really excited for Cataclysm, ready to start the cycle all over again...

But now I'm not so sure. I used to raid three days a week, four hours per night. That's 12 hours a week pretty much set in stone for me. Being a college student, I'm not so sure I can dedicate that time anymore. I either have homework I need to do or I would rather hang out with my friends in the evenings.

And yet... It was fun to play with my guild and trivially kill pixel bosses and feel accomplished. It's also a fun game when you've got real-life friends who play as well, which I do.

I don't know, I am conflicted. Maybe, if I manage my time better in the coming weeks, I'll return.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So I bought Global Agenda recently because I can't pass up a 75% Steam sale. On the surface it sounds pretty cool, a third-person shooter MMO. But the game itself.... eh. The third-person shooter aspect is pretty fun, but the MMO part feels rushed and incomplete. Quests are generic and boring and I've only seen one zone (two if you count the city I guess). The itemization is lackluster and there doesn't seem to even be that many items. More emphasis is placed on looks rather than stats it seems.

But again, the TPS part is quite fun, although it's way harder for offense than it is for defense on certain gametypes. I also hear that the game gets way more fun around level 30 what with raids and AvA stuff, whatever that entails. I'll probably keep going for a bit solely because of the no subscription cost.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Computer Science

I'm majoring in Computer Science and at first things were trivially easy. Freshman year was a joke and so was part of my sophomore year. However, things are getting tough now. We can't just write code however the hell we want anymore! It has to conform to runtime and memory restrictions, which is extremely difficult sometimes. I mean, I understand why and whatnot, but every day it gets more and more clear why so many people drop out of CS. It truly is a very difficult field, but I'll make it... I think.