Hump Day Listening: Missy Elliott

I apologize for any typos — I am partially blind right now.lol I’ll get this corrected later when my sight comes back into focus.

Today’s HDL song comes from the 90’s. This song always makes me think of an old girlfriend… But fondly (she was kind of a cool, crazy bitch 😛 ). Also, it always reminds me of how much I preferred Timbaland when he was producing tracks like this for Missy, Tim & Magoo, Aaliyah (R.I.P.), etc.

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – She’s a Bitch

MMO: The Legend of (insert name here)

As I contemplate buying Cataclysm in the next few days, old thoughts have been creeping back into my mind — such as “Why did I quit in the first place?”

That one is fairly easy — but I feel like reliving some memories before I disclose that reason.

When I left WoW, my characters — at least the ones that mattered to me — had all reached the end of their progression, and there was really nothing more to be done with them. I’m not a hardcore raider, so I wasn’t about to jump into that shark tank just to have something to do. I ran out of content that I wanted to participate in. I left with few regrets, however. Actually, I left with some pretty good memories, mostly in PvP:

-I’ll never forget taking my rogue into WSG (“Warsong Gulch”, for the non WoW players) with my best bud’s warrior, where we promptly won the whole thing for our team (I returned the first flag, then he returned the 2nd & 3rd while I set up shop in our Horde flag room and killed anyone who set foot in it. We even earned a few achievements in that bg).

-I love reminiscing about a heated PvP rogue vs. rogue matchup I got into in Arathi Basin once. It seemed like we, the Alliance rogue and I, just always ran into each other at every flag and it was on. The battles were close, too (neither he, nor I ever won by a sizeable margin — it was always by the skin of our teeth). I ended up winning overall in our duels (3-2), but even if I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have considered it too much of a defeat. Those fights were just two skilled PvP rogues who happened to clash numerous times, and we both knew how to play our classes. Those are the kinds of matchups you usually find in arenas.

More than just the memories, I also left with some great visual snapshots to commemorate my time in WoW.

"Death floats down on a black cloud, ready to consume all it touches."

Sometimes you just have to dance.

If there was one thing I DIDN'T miss about Outland, it was those things. Many is the time I would be skinning some recently deceased boar, only to have this big sumbitch come right up behind me.-_-;

See, the rhythm can even get dreadlords.

Roughly 40% of all my screenshots are dancing, but this one was the only one I had as my wallpaper for a long while.

"Look at this ludicrous shit..."

Boy, do I know how to digress, or what? This article is already getting tl;dr, and I still haven’t explained why I left in the first place. Now to get back on track.

As I wait in anticipation of Star Wars: The Old Republic, often I get into discussions with people about it. When I mention that I was a former WoW player, I usually get responses along the lines of “then why are you looking forward to SWTOR so much? Isn’t it just WoW-in-space?”

For the longest time, I didn’t know how to respond to that. Mechanically, yes, there are some very noticeable similarities between the two (though you could make that comparison between WoW and many other MMO’s, as well — including Everquest, which much of WoW‘s mechanics were based upon). However, after really thinking about it for awhile, I realized what it was that eventually turned me off to WoW and got me onto the SWTOR wagon — and though Cata‘s questing looks to be much improved, it doesn’t rectify this one nagging deficiency for me.

Basically: I got tired of playing everyone else’s story.

I never felt like I was playing MY story when I played WoW — or any other MMO, really. I always felt like I was playing Tirion Fordring’s story, or Rexxar’s story, or Thrall’s story, etc. Sure, I was there for some of the good moments, but it just felt like being an assistant.

That is probably not even considered a deficiency for people who play WoW for the time sink aspect, or raiders who spend so much time talking through vent, dissecting the mechanics of the encounter to the point where they barely pay attention to the lore of the game. However, for someone who values story and, more importantly, story integration & immersion, it always stood out to me that I was nothing more than a backseat driver in the grand scheme of things. It certainly wasn’t a game breaking omission, but it left me feeling unsatisfied.

Now, when someone asks me why I am anticipating SWTOR so much, I feel like I can give a legitimate reason. Also, this doesn’t simply pertain to WoW, this same situation could be said of all MMO’s, to this point.

I’m ready for my character to be given attention & focus; everything I’ve heard, seen & read about SWTOR suggests I will get ample attention & focus when the game launches.

Ffs, the devs have already confirmed that there will be quests where I, the Pureblood Sith Warrior, will be the quest giver. Instead of running around the world looking for a NPC to give me a random quest, there will be times when I will get my crew together and give out orders, and those orders will be in the form of quests. That is just so wicked to me.

This is the aspect of RPG that I feel is missing from the MMORPG genre — feeling as if YOUR character is a meaningful part of the grand scheme.

RPG is all about creating a character you might like playing, then integrating them into a fictional world. Most MMO’s are great about giving you tools, in the form of talent trees, to make your character your own, and fun to play. However, few MMO’s have made the RPG element of the genre satisfying. Usually, RPG in most modern MMO games is created and policed by the population. Your character, in the overall picture, doesn’t really do much, except maybe free a village that promptly gets “retaken” a few minutes later. All of the major moments happen as if the “real” heroes do the job, while you merely assisted.

That’s why I am eagerly anticipating what a developer like BioWare, who are known for creating flavorful, enriching RPG experiences, can create with modern MMO mechanics, an enormous MMO landscape, and phasing technology at their disposal.

It is my hope that players will, in fact, get an opportunity to impact the world in a meaningful way. Things like assisting the rebuilding of Taris, or killing an NPC that will STAY DEAD after you kill him/her.

The possibilities are all there for advancement of the RPG aspect of the MMO genre. Who better to attempt to make RPG integral than BioWare?

At this point, waiting for SWTOR is wearing on me, a bit. That is why I said in the first paragraph that I am considering buying Cata. However, I am starting to realize that no matter what game I play, I will never stop looking forward to SWTOR.

While some people don’t bat an eyelash at the “Your choices matter.” mantra, I suppose I took it as a statement that maybe, possibly, I FUCKING hope, that I will finally get a chance to play an MMO with some real RPG in it. Whether that will be the case will have to wait for after release, but at least I feel optomistic about it after seeing what BioWare has shown.

For me, story really does matter. That is why, while some scoff at BioWare’s dedication to it, I still think story will end up being the great equalizer in MMORPGs. But not just story — MY story.

I’m ready to play MY story, where I make things happen, and my motivations are what drive things forward.

No disrespect to the major NPCs in most modern MMOs, but I’m ready for ya’ll to make guest appearances on my tracks, you dig? I’m tired of “Thrall featuring Warrior” or “Darion Mograine featuring Death Knight” — I’m ready for “Pureblood SW featuring Darth Angral”, or “Human Imperial Agent featuring Darth Jadus”.

It’s time for me (the player) to come up in the game.

Hump Day Listening: Ween

After receiving a suggestion from a friend, I think I’m going to start posting a song/music video every Wednesday just for the hell of it. Just like the rest of this blog, don’t expect a pattern. I’m sure at some point I’ll make my way through every single genre (even Industrial Noise).

The inaugural post for this little feature is probably one that will divide most people. Everyone I’ve ever shared it with had a different take–some loved the humor of the song and video, some were irritated beyond description with it.

Without further ado: Ween – Push Th’ Little Daisies

I swear, everytime I listen to this song I picture Stan Marsh from South Park singing it.

I Love You, Man (But not in that way, asshole…)

I’ve been wondering these past few weeks if I’m really cut out for blogging. It isn’t that I don’t have things to say, I just don’t really have a theme–and online, where nobody can get the context of where you are coming from without clear indicators, it kind of stands out when you have no theme.

That’s why on this blog, which has no theme, you are likely to see posts about spam, random SWTOR information, and now, the subject of “Bromantic comedies”.

I recently had a chance to watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall for the first time in ages, and I’m reminded how much I really enjoy the genre. I’m not sure what it is about it that resonates with me… Probably the realism.

Man, doesn’t that just sum it up.

When any meaningful relationship disintegrates, it seems like the first thing you do is evaluate every little thing you did to cause it to end. In the back of your mind, you’re probably even thinking if you fix this, you might be able to save it (you can’t). There is a lot of self-loathing that comes along with the end of relationships–guys feel it just as much as the girls.

Bromance flicks really show this side, even for comedic effect, very well. Let’s face it: the world just sucks for a little while after a relationship ends. I don’t mean things seem a little cloudy–things fucking SUCK. It’s just that simple.

Movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall show pretty much how guys deal with things like that. Some of it may seem pretty off-color, but everyone goes through the ugly side of a breakup differently. Some people can just let go after awhile and get back to life, while other people need to replace that person they lost with somebody, anybody. It’s really hard to pass judgement on people who do it (recovering from a breakup) one way or the other, because everyone has an ugly side–you just don’t know how ugly yours is to everyone else (because you usually don’t show that to anyone but the person you trust most).

Bromance flicks tend to show the other side of relationship issues pretty well, also.

One of my favorite flicks on the other side — the bright side — would be Serendipity. While it isn’t the greatest movie ever made, the scenes with John Cusack & Jeremy Piven (who are best friends in real life, so their chemistry really comes out onscreen) make the movie for me.

I urge you to go watch that clip on youtube. It really is a great section from a good movie.

Even though that girl who was sleeping with the guy turned out to be Sara’s sister, that whole section of the film was gold. Right from the moment where Jonathan (Cusack) tells Dean (Piven) about the book his fiance just gave him–the one they had been chasing for years–, through the awesome scene on the plane, and to the hilarious scene out in front of Sara’s house.

I think I liked the movie so much because it felt true. It felt like two buddies, going through shit, but there to support one another. That’s how (good) friends are in real life.

Bromance flicks show things from the guy’s perspective–and if you know how guys think, it can be pretty damn funny. I discussed this with a female friend once and, while she said girls offer a lot of emotional support in the aftermath of a breakup, I told her that guys usually try to get their friends moving on to other things. There isn’t necessarily a lot of hugs or ego pumping, it’s usually just “Let’s go do something else, man. Something that will get your mind off _____.” 

No two guys have the same solution. Some think the best way to deal is to sleep with anything that walks, some guys think you have to drown out the pain in an activity (both of those solutions can tie in together 😛 ).  Either way, guys are kind of there for emotional support, it’s just the words “emotional” and “support” are never uttered… Or even thought of, really.

No matter how you approach it, eventually life does go on. You get knocked on the ground, you get up, dust yourself off, and you try again. That’s all you can do.

If you’re on the other side–again, the bright side–you know that, no matter what, your buddies will always have your back. No matter what happens, how many pieces you get broken into, you know that your boys will always be there to help pick up the pieces. They may light you up a bit for being a bit of a pansy (just a little), but they’ll be there.

Bromance flicks really show that off, and in a hilarious way. Even a refreshing way.

Let’s be real, you don’t always need a hug, or a solution–sometimes you just need someone to be there to say “When life hands you lemons, say “Fuck the lemons!” and bail.”

So anyway, cheers to a genre of films that I am only just now beginning to truly appreciate. Thanks for making the agony, and triumph, of relationships hilarious as hell. Also, thanks for showing that guys do actually have some heart.

*ahem* Ok, now I’m going to go outside and throw a damn football around and work with some drills or something.

SPAM, BITCHES!

Is it weird that I just now noticed my Akismet has blocked spam and I’m thrilled?

To anyone who posts spam: I’m flattered, but you might want to find a more bustling thoroughfare than TheLabyrinthineJar—whose readership, I’m pretty sure, lies somewhere in the teens (I have friends that lurk [shout out!]).

However, in honor of my blog’s first spam posts, well…

Let’s party with the immortal genius of Monty Python:

Oervalantyacil

Oevralantyacil

Use cuaoitn lkie the beraofot fhismearn who geos dwon to a fraiovte pnod aednjcat to a rtsuy nial fcaotry,

taht siad, dno’t let yuor cotaiun pvernet you form lvniig,

dno’t be arfiad to get yuor nsoe boldeiod,

hvae blals of setel (ask pploee pleoltiy not to dorpckik yuor ntus, tguohh),

dno’t apcect envreihytg at fcee vlaue—but seommiets do.

mkee yuor own rthhym—but dno’t be wray of dnciang to smoenoe esle’s

dno’t tnhik too mcuh, but dno’t tihnk too lltite, eteihr,

msot inlmotarpty, don’t srcaeh for eipepihans in an Aripl Fool’s Day bolg psot (or yuo’ll lvie to rreget the ccihoe)

Hvae smoe pproocn and ejony the sohw; dno’t msis it jsut bcuesae you wno’t tkae tmie for smoe lhgaus and siht. 🙂

Pceae out, fkols.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgVNgYXFi_Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDlC7oG_2W4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQXKOxGhMuA