Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

On Hometown Heroes October 31, 2008

Filed under: Games — Gwyddia @ 2:19 pm
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I went to the Phillies victory parade today. It was an outstanding experience. Let me say that I do not consider myself a huge sports fan. I love the Philadelphia Eagles, mainly because my family always has. Despite growing up almost in the shadow of Veteran’s Stadium, I never really took to baseball. I attended games as a kid because they were cheap. $4.00 for General Admission in the 700 level or “nosebleed section” as we called it, and plenty of opportunity to sneak down into better seats after the 7th inning stretch.  For all that, however, baseball games were an activity, not a passion for me.


So why did I go to the parade today? Why I am I so excited about the Phils’ World Series win?  Because of the effect it can have on my city. There is an urban legend in Philadelphia.  The Curse of Billy Penn. It goes like this.  


For many years there was a gentlemen’s agreement not to build any building higher than the hat on the statute of William Penn that sits atop City Hall. Shortly after Philadelphia’s last major sports team win – the Sixers in 1983 – the gentlemen’s agreement was broken, and the tall buildings known as Liberty One and Liberty Two were built in Center City. Local legend has it that the spirit of Billy Penn was none too pleased, and he made his displeasure known by dooming Philadelphia sports for a quarter century.


It would have been bad enough if our teams just outright sucked for 25 years. Being the “losingest” city in the country, with 100 chances for victory across our four major teams, would have been enough. But no, Philadelphia teams have so often been good, coming so close so many times – the Phils in 1993, the Flyers in 1997, the Sixers in 2001, the Eagles in 2004 – and never managing to clinch victory.


Late last year, after the close of the 2007 baseball season, a new tall building opened in Philadelphia. The Comcast Building towers over even Liberty Place. This time, however, the builders did right by Mr. Penn, and put a new statute of Pennsylvania’s founder on its roof. Voila. 2008 World Series Champions.


So the curse is over.  Hooray.  But why do I care? Because when that final out happened on Wednesday night, my hometown went wild. Not just screaming and drunken chanting – yes, there was and is plenty of that outside – but with hope. We were no longer the biggest losers in the country. We were somebody again, a city of the first order. The most common refrain I’ve heard over the last three days is “I can’t believe it!” Well, believe it. We did it. More correctly, they did it. And they did it for us. So go thank the Phillies, hold your head high, and get out there, today, next Tuesday, and every day, and remember that you and each of you now know the awesome feel of victory.


And now, the pictures:


The Beauty of Fall.

The Beauty of Fall.

A Phillies Pup.

A Phillies Pup.

The Crowd on Broad Street

The Crowd on Broad Street.


The World Biggest Pinata Salutes The World's Best Team.

The World Biggest Pinata Salutes The World's Best Team.

A Homemade Phanatic.

A Homemade Phanatic.

The Vanguard.

The Vanguard.

The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.

The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.


“To The Ground, Baby!” October 30, 2008

Filed under: Araan,Blizzard,Games,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 12:37 pm
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From Araan:

First they came for the Paladins, and you said nothing, because you were not a Paladin…

The Nerf bat is coming, friends. Check out this recent Blizz blue post Q&A:


Q: Are we going to nerf Ret?

A: TO THE GROUND BABY. Okay, not really, but sometimes I can’t resist. We’ll see how much that quote comes back to haunt me. We will probably be making some changes soon, perhaps even hotfixes. We want to be very surgical about what we do. We don’t want to overdo it, and we don’t want to hurt their sustained PvE damage. When we’ve decided, I’ll make sure you all know. (Ghostcrawler)

“Surgical”, eh? Well, let’s look at the announced changes:

Paladin (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))

Seal of Wisdom now deal [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] holy damage when unleashed. (Down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage)
Seal of Light now has a chance to heal for [ 15% of AP + 15% of Spell Power ]. (Down from [ 28% of AP + 28% of Spell Power ])
Seal of Light now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] (down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ]) holy damage when unleashed.
Seal of Righteousness now grants each melee attack [ 2.2% of Melee Weapon Speed * AP + 4.4% of Melee Weapon Speed * Spell Power ] additional Holy damage. (Down from [ 2.8% of Melee Weapon Speed * AP + 5.5% of Melee Weapon Speed * Spell Power ])

Seal of Justice now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] holy damage when unleashed. (Down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ])

Judgement of Command Holy damage reduced from 56% to 45%.
Blessing of Might (Rank 8 ) and Greater Blessing of Might (Rank 3) now increase AP by 306. (Up from 305)
Seal of Corruption now deals [ 15% of AP + 8.8% of Spell Power ] additional holy damage over 15 seconds. (Down from [ 19.2% of AP + 9.6% of Spell Power ])
Seal of Corruption now deals [ 14% of AP + 22% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage. (Down from [ 17.5% of AP + 28% of Spell Power + 1 ])
Seal of the Martyr now makes all your melee attacks deal [ 22% of mw ] to [ 22% of MW ]. (Down from [ 28% of mw ] to [ 28% of MW ])
Seal of the Martyr now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of mw ] to [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of MW ] Holy Damage when unleashed. (Old – [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of mw ] to [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of MW ] Holy damage)
Seal of Blood now makes all your melee attacks deal [ 22% of mw ] to [ 22% of MW ]. (Down from [ 28% of mw ] to [ 28% of MW ])
Seal of Blood now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of mw ] to [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of MW ] Holy Damage when unleashed. (Old – [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of mw ] to [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of MW ] Holy damage)
Seal of Vengeance now deals [ 15% of AP + 8.8% of Spell Power ] additional Holy damage over 15 sec. (Down from [ 19.2% of AP + 9.6% of Spell Power ])
Seal of Vengeance now deals [ 14% of AP + 22% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage. (Down from [ 17.5% of AP + 28% of Spell Power + 1 ])
Judgement of Wisdom now restores 1% of the attacker’s maximum mana. (Down from 2%)
Judgement of Light now has a chance to heal the attacker for [ 10% of AP + 10% of Spell Power ]. (Down from [ 18% of AP + 18% of Spell Power ])

… So, does anyone think that those changes above are in any way “surgical”, or that they won’t affect PvE damage? And no one said nerfing Holy and Protection damage was part of the deal, either. Nerfing all seals affects Holy soloing and Protection tanking. A targeted seal nerf would have touched Command and Blood/Martyr only. Of course, it’s not a total nerf. You do get one extra point of attack power from Blessing of Might . . .


Beatles Announcement a Bust?

Filed under: Games,Industry,Rock Band,Rumors — Gwyddia @ 12:07 pm
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It looks like yesterday’s OMGs may have been a bit premature. Yes, there will be a Beatles music game. Yes, it will use Rock Band instruments. But it is NOT a Rock Band expansion pack ala’ Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It is also at least a year away.

You can check out the full text of the press release over at Kotaku.


Fable II Review, Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gwyddia @ 10:52 am

Araan rides again.

Araan rides again.

From Araan:


What could make me revisit an established score?  How about a show stopping bug and a horrible gay stereotype? Oh yes.


One of the good things about Fable II is the sheer amount of variety and content.  If I had waited to review the game until I had met every single person and played through every single scenario, you’d be looking at Fable III before getting my score.  In the last few days I’ve explored the more “adult” side of the game, and I’ve found two serious issues.


First, I’ve discovered that if you save & quit in the presence of your adoring wife, once you log back in she will immediately divorce you. That’s happened to me twice.  Not acceptable, since saving and quitting from your safe home is a logical and common occurrence.


Second, the game features a horrible gay stereotype. All of the male prostitutes are overweight, bearded, and wear leather harnesses and chaps. I wouldn’t complain if there were more than one variety, but with the single model it’s just a great big ugly S&M show. What happened to the other models that were in the concept art shown at the Game Developer’s Conference? The fact that art like that at the right existed tells me that Lionhead made a conscious choice to belittle and mock gays.


These two things are indicative of serious issues in the deep game, and both of them disgust me in different ways.  As such, I am revising my score to give Fable II Three Weiners out of Five.



Review: Little Big Planet

Filed under: 5 weiners,Games,PS3,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 8:09 am
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This is the most charming game I’ve ever played.


I didn’t expect to be sucked in by Little Big Planet. I had pre-ordered it, cancelled the pre-order, and then pre-ordered it again because I figured that any serious game writer needed to try it. I am so very glad that I did.  LBP is more than a platformer, creation sim, kids’ game or adult game.  It is all of that, and so very much more.

A player-made level.

A player-made Donkey Kong level.




The game opens up awesome and doesn’t let go. LBP starts with a series of gorgeous tutorials narrated by Stephen Fry. Fry’s voice and distinctly British sense of humor immediately set LBP up to be a game for all ages. Jokes range from “no, not that kind of a seal – don’t give it a fish!” to jibes about how your stickering style is “very Andy Warhol”.  This quickly blew away any concept I had of LBP being a kiddie game.



The levels are lush and amazing. Zoom and and look at your sack person and marvel at the detail. I chose the blue yarn hair to start, and when I zoomed in I actually gasped to discover finely and perfectly rendered strings of tinsel woven into her yarn hair. That sort of detail is the hallmark of this game. LBP is all about texture. Each surface, character, sticker, and object has incredible weight and depth. You can look at these things and easily imagine how they would feel to touch. More than that, you’ll want to touch them, and find yourself slightly disappointed when you remember that you can’t.



The gameplay is solid.  Developer Media Molecule incorporates the SIXAXIS controls in a way that makes them fun, but not necessary.  You can use the motion controls to make your sack person emote, wave, dance, etc.  Fun, but not make-or-break functions by any means.  


The actual play controls consist of a traditional jump and run setup.  LBP is at its core a 2D platformer, and it carries on the 2D platforming tradition of not being frackin’ easy.  Media Molecule programmed a deep physics engine into LBP.  This means that rocks are heavy, see-saws teeter and totter appropriately, and most of all, you are a light little sack of cloth.  This means that your jumps are floaty, and until you get used to that you will have a tough time getting through some of the premade levels.  


Scary monster is scary!

Scary monster is scary!

Those of you who could give a tinker’s cuss about the platforming and just want to create will have to hold up a moment.  LBP requires you to play through at least the initial planet before it will let you out into the real world. This is a good thing, though, as the Fry tutorials are both a treat and terribly useful. Additionally, the premade levels are packed with design content from stickers to objects for your personal pod, so it’s worth a playthrough for anyone who wants every possible tool at their disposal.


Online play is everything Sony said it would be.  You can dive into other people’s world and marvel at their ingenuity or scoff at their ineptitude.  User-created prizes and goodies make collection quests a gaming delight for the first time in years.


I know it’s a big month for games.  LBP, Fallout 3, and Fable 2 all within days of each other.  But please, don’t miss this one.  You will regret it if you do.


For being the most charming game ever, and for being so much to so many gamers, I am pleased to give Little Big Planet 5 Weiners out of 5.


Who Ya Gonna Play? Ghostbusters!

Filed under: Blizzard,Games,Industry,Kotaku — Gwyddia @ 1:22 am
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Obligatory logo is obligatory.

Obligatory logo is obligatory.

Maybe there will be a third movie, maybe there won’t, but there will definitely be a new Ghostbusters game.


Kotaku is confirming that Atari has officially announced that they have picked up the Ghostbusters game. The game has been in limbo ever since the Blactivizzion merger, but is now on target for an early summer 2009 release. This release will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original movie, and also with me and most of my readers feeling old.


Holy Phucking Shit! October 29, 2008

Filed under: Games — Gwyddia @ 11:18 pm
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Congratulations to the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.  Here’s hoping the car horns outside my windows will die down sometime before 3am.


OMG OMG OMG Beatles!

Filed under: Games,Kotaku,Rock Band,Rumors — Gwyddia @ 7:33 pm
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Not THAT Apple.

Not THAT Apple.

As per Kotaku, MTV Games and Apple Corps, who holds the right to the Beatles’ catalog, are holding a press conference tomorrow to announce “an exclusive agreement to develop a global music project.”



Rock Band Beatles, anyone?


Jack Thompson Calls Me A Criminal

Filed under:,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 11:28 am
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Well, indirectly. Actually he was talking about, a site for which I am a Contributing Writer.


In his last death throes before disbarment, Thompson filed a motion in his lawsuit against the Florida Bar referring to as a “video game enem[y]” doing “criminal activities”. ”


Way to spell there, Jack. You’re a credit to the profession. Oh, wait, you’re not a member of the profession anymore.


I have never been so proud of being disliked by anyone.


Weinercast Wednesday

The Weinercast is go! This week I discuss the WoW Zombie Invasion and the Fall Game Glut.

As always, the Weinercast is available on Gwyddia - Weinercast

Please leave us a review or a comment/question, and we’ll address it on air next week!

And a non-iTunes link if you need it.