Prompt: “10 things I believe”

10. We are living in the golden age of humanity that most apocalypse stories look back on fondly, and that’s fucking depressing.

9. When writing a promiscuous character, there must be something interesting about them that has nothing to do with sex, as well as a reason that they wouldn’t have sex, in order for them to be interesting.

8. Sex is as bad for you as drugs.

7. The fanfic ‘Harmony Theory’ is the actual future of the main MLP storyline… well okay, this is more ‘something I wish’, but still.

6. There’s nothing wrong with capitalism… except for black Friday, but that’s not so much the system’s fault, since it’s largely caused by massive sales starting Black Friday instead of… ya know… THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING. (seriously people, I get that everyone wants to visit their families on thanksgiving, but PEOPLE ARE DIEING, extend the sale a bit and have people work on thanksgiving so there’s not as much of a mad rush!)

5. Price Gouging is like amputation: it sounds and looks harsh as fuck, but it saves lives.

4. One day, when I’m ultra famous, someone’s going to go trawling through the internet, find this list and use it to publicly smear me because some people are assholes.

3. Earth’s history is moving as close to a proper anarchist society as it can manage, which is pretty good, but it’ll be at least a few more centuries before we don’t need the state, and a millennium after that before we actually get rid of it.

2. The only thing worse for your soul than politics is to talk about politics.

1. Uther from Warcraft 3 is an idiot.

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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.

World of Warcraft – Why the Alliance is boring.

I’m going to assume that every single person reading this has at least heard of World of Warcraft, or is proficient enough in google-fu to get the cliffnotes on it. If you haven’t and/or can’t, what rock have you been living under?!

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this: The Horde is just more bloody interesting than the Alliance. Until recently though, I had no idea why. Sure, the Horde’s got interesting backstories for each of its factions, a (mostly) unique flavor for each of them, they were (mostly) the villians in the original Warcrafts, and they have a very devoted playerbase. But the thing I never understood was why the Alliance felt so boring in comparison.

Now, I can understand it starting out that way – the Horde was more interesting to me when I started playing WoW because they had the Tauren and the Tauren are awesome (yeah, entirely subjective there, go figure) but when I left, I found myself with a lingering affection for the Horde and a resounding ‘meh’ for the Alliance, despite the fact that I’d been playing Alliance almost exclusively for years. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t hate the Alliance, they have some good characters, good questlines and some great moments. The Horde was just more fun to me, and until recently I couldn’t figure out why.

Nerfnow posted a comic expressing the author’s frustration with the lack of an Alliance/Horde conflict within WoW, a conflict that was supposed to be at the core of Warcraft. I was intrigued by the idea, but that was a reason for the game’s (alleged) decline, not for the Alliance boring me. So I thought back to all of my favorite moments in WoW and Warcraft 3 (sadly, the only two I’ve played 😦 ), and I think I know why the Alliance is so boring: There is so little wrong with the Alliance compared to the Horde that it is almost staggering.

Hear me out.

The Alliance has it’s share of problems, true, but how many of them deal with how the outside world treats them? How many of their problems have to do with how the factions relate to one another? The Dwarves, Humans and Gnomes have been friends basically forever, the Night Elves and Worgen are bound by their link to the Worgen curse, the Dranei worship the Light just like most of the rest of the Alliance… this is a worldwide union of races with little problem with each other. Sure, the Dwarves had to form a council of three hammers after their king was frozen, the dranei are refugees, Night elves have to deal with mages, etc etc… But between the factions themselves, what kind of conflict do we really see? I can’t think of anything, and certainly nothing that takes center stage for half an expansion.

Compare that to the Horde. The side that (in WoW) has always been about separate, disparate races banding together because the world hates them. Garrosh killed the leader of the Tauren through treachery at the hands of the Grimtotem, Vol’jin told Garrosh TO HIS FACE that he was going to assassinate him one day. The Forsaken are becoming more and more monstrous by the day, to the point that even the Horde doesn’t trust them any more despite their alliance.

The problem Nerfnow noted was that the Alliance and Horde rarely conflict in major ways anymore: the Alliance and Horde are working together to take down Hellscream, when the Alliance should be siezeing the opportunity to destroy the Forsaken and push away the Horde’s foothold in Lordaeron. And ya know what? I find it hard to disagree. The conflict has become Garrosh vs the World in Mists of Pandaria, and the Horde/Alliance conflict feels like it is almost gone. This wouldn’t be a problem if the Alliance had major problems other than the Horde… but (discounting problems the Horde also has) it really doesn’t.

Hell, even in the Alliance’s own stories, the Horde is more interesting than they are. Look at the Worgen origin quests – specifically, when Sylvanas lies to the orc sent to oversee her. I was more interested in what the Forsaken were doing at that point than I was the Worgen – they were LIEING to the people they pay lip service to. Meanwhile the Alliance instantly trusts the savage half-wolf things… for almost no reason. I can see the Night Elves doing it, but come on, at least give us a sidequest where a human in Stormwind is like ‘waaah wolf people suck, ima kill ’em’ or something!! Is there a quest like that that I just missed or something?! Come on, Blizzard…

The Horde is more interesting not only because is it still trying to destroy the Alliance, its own factions are in conflict too. Conflict makes the story, my friends, and the Alliance has lacked inner conflict for a long time. (To be clear, I mean faction-to-faction, like humans vs dwarves vs night elves, etc.)

That’s my theory, anyway. What do you think?