Temporary Hiatus for college

I hate to do this, but feel I must.

Over the next two to three weeks, my final projects and final tests are all going to pile up on me. I’m probably gonna take a break for ’em and come back afterwards.

I’ll try and get something up, but frankly I’m making a video game, writing a program, writing a research paper, and putting together a scene in 3ds max. AND THEN I’ve got finals. School comes first, I’m afraid. =(

If I’m not back by May 16th I’ve probably had a heart attack or something.

Sorry guys. I hate to do this to all the people who read this blog… all two of you.

Feel free to browse.

Prompt: What does being a Solar Exalted mean to you?

To be a Solar is a process, a journey.

A Solar is gifted with power that no human being can truly grasp. It is not only the strength to do the impossible, but the responsibility to do the impossible. But this isn’t going to sink in to a brand-new Solar at first. They’ve lived their entire lives as human mortals in a world where they may as well be a walking sack of meat surrounding gunpowder. The idea that they can change the entire world won’t even cross their mind. They’ll be focused on small, personal things – what they know they can do, and might have been able to do before if they’d been just a bit stronger.

Of course, before long you begin to realize that the things you thought were nearly impossible suddenly are as easy as breathing. Your strength, your intelligence, your sheer power begins to really sink in, and you start to shoot higher. You take on ever greater challenges, testing your abilities and pushing the limits of what you can do, all the while thinking you can make things better for yourself……and still it’s easy as breathing.

And as The Elegant Nova once said, you have no problems, and that is the problem. A solar that thinks in human terms gets everything they want from life and is going to be bored to tears before long. And as a Solar looks for any stimulation they can, they begin to think bigger. A mercenary that wanted to rule a city turns his eyes to ruling a nation. A priestess who converted a village thinks to convert the region. An assassin who killed the south’s worst mortal slaver starts to plan an attack on the Mask of Winters.

And only then, when you find yourself facing an actual challenge to your skills, do you realize just how powerful you are. Because dozens of nations bow to you now. Because a city that speaks a language you’ve never even heard of turns their voices to you and to the sun. Because you wear the Mask of Winters.

To be a Solar is to think yourself weak, to realize you have earth-shattering power, and to learn to use it.

To be a Solar is to learn to be great, because you can no longer be anything less.

To be a Solar is to realize the crapsack world you were born into is not only fixable, but is now yours to fix.

Because the cynics have had their run.

Hope has returned to Creation.

Script for Let’s Play Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos Part 1: The Talking Bird

I wrote a script for my Let’s Play here after three or four attempts to improvise failed miserably. Here’s the script:

Hello everybody, I’m HalfTangible and this is my playthrough of Warcraft 3, Reign of Chaos. If you don’t know what Warcraft is, well A), how did you get here, and B) Warcraft 3 was a High Fantasy RTS released back in 2002. It was the sequel to Warcraft 1 and 2, and is in my humble opinion one of the BEST DAMN GAMES THERE IS.

Warcraft was developed by Blizzard Entertainment, who you’ve probably heard of before. They developed Starcraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo, all good games in their own right. Warcraft originally only had two factions: the human Alliance and Orcish Horde. However, in the third installment this expanded to include two new factions: the Undead Scourge and the Night Elf Sentinels. Each faction has their own unique strengths, weaknesses and playstyle, which we’ll get into when we start up.

[Go into the Campaign screen]

We’ll be playing through the campaign on Hard mode, because I am a bit of a masochist. Now, before we begin, a couple of things to note.
One, I tend to slur my words and trip over myself a bit, for which I apologize.

Two, this game is told mostly through gameplay and cutscenes, but there are occasional full-on cinematics such as these here. I originally tried to record the cinematics for you to set the mood properly, but the game client and Fraps crashed when I attempted to do so. So I’ll be putting the cinematics up on my channel and probably link you to them here – turn on annotations and I’ll put ‘em up.

Third, while I have played it a lot, it’s been a few years, and I am hilariously bad at this game. I intend to see this through to the end, however, and I promise not to show you all the times I get my butt kicked.

Maybe one or two, for the lulz.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

[Start – Change to second page]

Hello Thrall!

“What kind of nightmare was that?”

Ha! Wish my Nightmares were that awesome.

[After the cutscene]

Yes, Thrall, play along with the talking bird. Truly, the voices in one’s head never lead you astray.

Now, I’ll try not to talk over plot-relevant scenes or voiced events like that.

However, in case I do, I have turned on subtitles for your convenience, as you may have noticed once the narrator started talking.

If you’re familiar with Starcraft, Dota, or any strategy game, you’re probably familiar with what all he’s saying here: left click to select, left click and drag to select a bunch of units, double click to select all units of that type, etc.

[Gets to the Horde Camp]

I’ll get more into Thrall’s backstory during the orc campaign proper, but here’s what you need to know for now: Thrall is the current Warchief of the Orcish Horde, the main Orc faction, as well as chief of the Frostwolf clan. As you may have read already, he’s a Far Seer, the Orc faction’s spellcaster hero. Heroes are absolutely critical to Warcraft, and we’ll get to why here in a little bit.

[Finds the grunts]

Wait, so this guy singlehandedly united all of the orcs under his banner and he has three BASIC TROOPERS as his honor guard?…Not even upgraded basic troopers, either!

So yeah, this is the orc grunt. As I said, grunts are the basic foot soldiers of the orcish horde. Now, each faction has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the Orc’s main strength is how powerful their units are. They’re usually more expensive in terms of resources, but their raw strength makes up for it.

[List stats]

For comparison, the human footman does 12-14 damage and has 420hp. But enough blathering, let’s move on.

[Gnolls]

“to defeat this foul creature-“

Oh yes, the gnoll. Truly, the hyena-person is the most evil of abominations.

For the record, we later encounter a monster sewn together from different corpses, demons, racists, and the cult of the damned. BANDITS are fouler than these jerks.

[Thrall levels up]

Okay, this is why heroes are so central to this game. Your units are powerhouses, but they can’t shoot lightning from their hands. Heroes in this game level up with kills and become absolute powerhouses at high levels. The max level is ten, but the campaign limits your hero to a certain level per mission, presumably to keep the level’s challenge.

[Go after the Murlocs]

The Murlocs and gnolls here are called creeps – hostile creatures that basically exist for xp fodder. They’re not actually part of any faction, they’re just jerks who attack whatever’s there to attack.

[Nightfall]

OH NO! NIGHTFALL! WE’RE DOOOOOMED! DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!

Yeah, so this game has a day/night cycle, which I find incredibly cool. Units can’t see as far at night, and the night elf faction gets all sorts of special powers at night, but we’ll get to those.

[Ogre]

Yeah, this doesn’t happen with every creature. If we weren’t already running so long I’d show you the mud golems on this map. Seriously, this is supposed to be the prologue. Let’s hurry this up.

So, quick summary: at the bottom right corner of the map there’s a small area with some golem creeps. They don’t sleep at night, which is pretty much all they’re here to do: show that some creeps don’t sleep at night.

[After talk]

Spirits? Oh, that explains it. He’s not crazy. He’s a drunk.

So yeah, that was the first mission of the prologue. Next time, we rally the Horde and bring them all together in one place. And nothing at all will go wrong. Nothing at all.

This is HalfTangible, signing off.