How goes Elpis for you Pip?

It’s eating up all my time, and I expect that to remain the case until I finish it!

Also I keep finding bugs. I’ve fallen out of the world in at least two spots, and I just discovered a moment ago that if you save and reload inbetween the point where you leave the Helios station and go down to the moon itself, the scripting breaks and you get stuck with no UI and no way to proceed, as the movie sequence never activates. So uh, don’t do that.

To be fair, I’ve also found places to drop out of the map in both the original Borderlands and the sequel (as well as a gap in the terrain in World of Warcraft so large I was able to FLY AROUND under the ground via it), so this isn’t new to me. At least you die when you fall far enough; if you ever are unlucky enough to drop into the void in Mass Effect, you just keep going forever.. which, yes, I’ve done before.

As with my namesake, I am very much the Explorer type, and curiosity along with poking around the setting is something I greatly enjoy engaging in.

The article linked above is two decades old and focused on pre-MMORPG virtual worlds known as MUDs, but it’s just as relevant today as it ever was. I’ve mentioned it a few times before, and with good reason, so it’s worth a read if you’ve the time to delve into it’s text.

Little Pip what would be required to wield the last two elements of generosity and magic?

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

No, seriously. Paradox timey-wimey stuff and all that. Keep in mind this blog is written from the perspective of “real” time. That is, it was during my story while it was ongoing, and now it’s a decade + the years I’ve been writing here after the end of my adventure. From what I understand, the identity of the final two Bearers of the Elements weren’t publically revealed, so I can’t disclose them. It’ll either destroy the universe or just horribly break something. Or get them killed because reasons. Not gonna risk it, sorry!

But if you wanna know what makes one worthy of an Element, it.. I can’t give specifics because of the above. But you need to be deemed a living embodiment of that virtue and/or to believe in it so strongly that it becomes true. Probably both. Again, avoiding details here!

How are the elements of harmony so powerful without the full set?

Eh, what are you talking about?

See next question. Which might actually be yours..?

So it seems that it’s a tradition that Borderlands promo videos feature awesome music. I am ok with this. 9 hours to go till it unlocks on Steam!

Say, have you ever considered some sort of reflective glasses (Or just plain sunglasses) to wear at all times so your constant flank-staring will go slightly more unnoticed?


Who says I haven’t already?

(Art by 18 Carrot)

Inkwell actually did a whole set of these response images for me a while ago, just as they did for Ditzy Doo, but I don’t wanna steal their thunder, so to speak, so I only use these images sparingly. Still, their rendition of Littlepip is freakin’ adorable, don’tcha think? Of course, you can always commission your own.. I’m sure they’d appreciate the patronage! :3

You play NES games? You really are into older "stuff" (like Gawdyna), aren´t you? ^^ It´s been ages since I played an NES game last time. My console is long gone, so I used an emulator and gamepad afterwards. Good old NES times. Back then, it was a family console. And the sturdiest one I´ve ever seen. Even survived after a TV felt on it. When Nintendo built the NES, they built it to last.

Well she sure has a fine.. uhm.. personality. Yeah! *cough*

Also, keep in mind that I’m 33 years old, so I’ve kinda grown up along with the game industry since it’s inception. The systems I own(ed) include:

The Atari systems were inheirited from my aunt and uncle, thus why I’ve got so many of them. The multiple handhelds are basically the fault of Pokémon and the desire to trade with myself and for my sisters to be able to play a game simultaneously. Now that we’re older, we can own our own seperate systems, of course.

I never owned a Sony or Microsoft console; in the case of the PlayStations, I borrowed a friend’s for stuff like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, and when the PS2 came around, multiple family members had one so I either played it on theirs or watched them doing so. I’m just not interested in much else on those platforms besides RPGs and story-driven games, and I get plenty of that on PC. My current machine’s specs are listed here.

And that isn’t even listing the other systems I’ve used at school or elsewhere and never owned, or that are my sister’s property, like the Apple ][, the original Macintosh, the Atari ST, Atari Jaguar, Sega Master System, Sega Dreamcast, Commodore 64, and so on.


Alright, let’s talk about the tropes in modern military shooters, why they suck in modern military shooters, and how other games do some of those tropes better. You see, I think you can agree with me when I say that most video games are power fantasies. I won’t disagree with that.

However, why is it my super soldier in Call of Duty only allowed two weapons? I’m a super soldier! Lemme stockpile weapons! Our first trope is Limited Loadout. It’s where you aren’t able to carry more than two weapons and an assortment of grenades. It was first popularized by Halo: Combat Evolved, and engrained into shooter culture with Call of Duty. However, it’s a piece of shit in those games. Master Chief is a goddamn space marine! You’re a super soldier in a power fantasy where you pretty much are a goddamn one man army! You’re telling me you can’t carry more than 2 guns in a power fantasy? What the fuck? Doomguy can carry seven to ten weapons! Ranger from Quake can carry eight! Serious Sam can carry thirteen weapons! There’s no goddamn reason for Master Chief or Captain… Planet NOT to be able to carry everything he can! Hell, Bulletstorm has the same problem, even though I like that game.

The Left 4 Dead series, on the other hand, does Limited Loadout right. You have a main weapon, a secondary weapon, a health kit, another health item, and a grenade, which makes sense for Left 4 Dead because you’re not a super soldier, you’re just a normal person trying to survive a zombie apocolypse. That’s why it makes sense not to be able to have every weapon: you’d be overencumbered if you tried to carry every possible weapon. That’s why I like the Limited Loadout in L4D and L4D2. It’s the same thing in Killing Floor, Arma, and Counter-Strike. In a game like Borderlands 2, it’s similar to the Limited Loadout of, say, COD or Halo, you can only use up to four weapons, but you can carry a lot more than what you can use. I think the minimum you can start off carrying, asides from stuff you’re using, is like 15, and you can switch by going into your Storage Deck. That makes more sense to me than Master Chief only carrying two weapons and eight grenades.

Of course, no discussion on modern shooters can’t be complete without a talk on regenerating health. What the fuck. How does a human go behind cover and gain back health? If you’re aiming for realism in your modern military shooter… wouldn’t health kits be a better option? You’re never around a medic for you to be healed, so it makes no sense. It makes even LESS sense in something like Duke Nukem Forever! Regenerating health implies hiding! Duke does not hide! And don’t get me started with the regenerating health in Mirror’s Edge. It’s just… how does that happen? How does Faith regain health?

Now, of course, there are some games that have regenerating health where it does make sense. The Saints Row series comes immediately to mind. The Boss has the ability to recharge their health slowly, with the ability to regain health via pickups in SR1 and SR2. The speed in SRTT is pretty much the same as a maxed out regen speed in SR2, keeping a bit of continuity between the two. In Team Fortress 2, the Medic can regain health unlike his teammates, as he’s the one with the Medigun. It’d make sense for him to add a passive healing for himself.

Speaking of health, why in the fuck are headshots so powerful, killing a person in one shot, but it takes a bajillion of bodyshots to do the same? That makes literally no sense. If you get shoot someone, regardless of where you shoot, it’ll hurt! What about limb shots disarming someone? What about bodyshots staggering a foe? What about a crippling limb shot? If you’re aiming for realism, that’s not really realistic. I mean, Fallout, Grand Theft Auto IV onward, and Borderlands do it! Anyway, I’m getting a bit off-topic. Next trope.

Goddamned motherfucking cocksucking iron sights. Why do so many shooters have iron sights? Why do we need to look down them for better accuracy? Hell, why the fuck does Serious Sam 3 have them? I don’t even use them, I’ve got the fucking crosshair! I know it’s there for the modern milarity shooter fans, but come on, why? We’re shooting a shitton of enemies. Looking down the sights is pretty much death in most games. For me anyway. I’m a run-and-gunner, you know that. It ties into this next trope.

Mobility. Call of Duty considers itself the gaming equivalent of big-budget Hollywood action blockbusters, but it can’t be because you’re only popping out of cover, popping a guy in the head because bodyshots don’t do jack shit, then going back into cover.You get hurt, you just hide longer. That’s how COD tends to played. The cool parts off action movies aren’t the parts where the hero’s pinned down unmoving. While suppressing fire is the way to kill bad guys in reality, we’re playing a goddamned power fantasy video game here. Dodging missiles, leaping over chasms while shooting, rocket jumping, being a fucking hero, THAT’S fun.

Now what games do iron sights and mobility right? I gotta say Killing Floor here again. You only move slightly slower when you’re using iron sights, not like you’re a snail in molasses. That’s how you keep the zeds off you. Sniper weapons are great, I’ll agree with that, but not every weapon is a sniper weapon.

Alrighty, I think that’s enough here. While I do encourage discussion, keep a cool head. I’m just pointing out the poorly-used tropes to what I find to be the lesser of the subgenres of first-person shooters and pointing out examples of those tropes being used WELL. Except for the headshots bullshit, there are NO good examples of that.

Tune in next week!


((Littlepip helped me out with this. :D))


My kingdom! My kingdom for a painkiller!

Well, that was a fun few days.

Read More

Update this afternoon / evening SOON assuming this brief bout of health stabilizes THIS time instead of.. uh, not. Got a whole buncha questions, some going back more than a week, to answer, so uhm, hold off on new ones until after? Thanks! :)

EDIT: Been looking over the last year’s of updates for a few hours. Holy crap, I’ve been sick a lot of ‘em. I mean, yeah, I’m disabled and all, but, in addition to that.. huh.. guess my particular flavor of “optimism” has been working, since I didn’t even realize that ‘till now.

EDIT 2: Went back and properly tagged some older posts, fixed some broken links (although with nearly a hundred pages, fixing all of ‘em would be very, very time-consuming), and so on. Still, it feels good to not feel bad.

… Guess what? Yeah. Dammit!

More medical supplies purchasing time then, it seems..

Musings on Input Devices

Reminder to self: Stop buying (most) NES and Game Boy games on the 3DS Virtual Console. Why? ‘Cause whenever you try button mashing, all those controls are on the console itself, making the screen shake and thus making it difficult to actually play. Not an issue in, say, Shantae or Donkey Kong, two of the best GB games ever made, but it means I’m getting my ass kicked in the interior areas of Blaster Master and the entirety of Life Force. Even though I can still play both just fine on an actual Nintendo system or emulator with “proper” controls.

I suppose I could just rest the system flat on a table or something, but that makes using the D-Pad and analog stick alike rather awkward with most action titles. The older, vertical form factor that most of the older Game Boy models used seem to make this much less of an issue. All newer portable consoles are held horizontally, though..

Just goes to show just how important an input device is to one’s gaming experience, even with the exact same games. Galaga is still playable for me, at least, ‘cause of that old arcade standby of “only two shots allowed onscreen at once" thing.

And uh, I guess since I try and tie posts into MLP and/or Fallout, this could also be a factor for those playing the modern games with a controller versus a keyboard & mouse. I should try that sometime.. a complete playthrough with my gamepad..

First time in many, many days that I feel decent. Here’s hoping it lasts to tommorow so I can freakin’ do things online.

And for those who have worries about the future, here’s a happy thought. My niece and nephew came over today, and, without my asking, offered to help me clean up my room and take care of some basic things as I’ve been too sick to do. No reason, just kindness and concern for me.



(And thanks to everyone who’s left notes or sent messages; your caring is appreciated!)

Status Update

I really, genuinely hope I can get back to normal question answerin’ duties here by tommorow, ‘cause every damn time I try and be functional, my migraines have decided “hahaha no”. I always tell family & friends that the way you can tell if I’m genuinely sick or not is if I don’t feel like playing video games. And I haven’t done much of that lately; most of my recent hours in BL2 were actually with the game left idle and the PC in sleep mode, as I struggled to do the same myself. So that’s why I’ve been on Steam even less than usual.

Thanks again for all your well wishes and feedback, it is appreciated!

Also, to the Anon who sent a creepy sexual Ask recently, please step up your trolling game. You’re not going to offend me with lame god-mode RP actions towards things I like. It just makes you look desperate and in need of attention, which, yeah, you’re getting, so.. congrats I guess?

*shrug* Freakin’ kids these days.. why, when I was your age..!

Blah blah, doctor stuff, ordered some medical supplies to aid with my breathing and migraines, will see how they work so I can get some damn work (and play!) done, since I really hate NOT being productive. There’s a whole bunch of your Asks I wanna answer!

I can always tell if I’m really hurting or not if I don’t feel like playing video games. That’s been true a lot this past week and a half. Heck, I don’t even have the strength to add links to this post, and you know how I am with those!

I really hope to get back to normal in a few days, and I’m going to pursue a few new medicial avenues of research and possible treatment as well, ‘cause this sorta thing usually doesn’t get this bad for this long without me triggering it beforehand. It’s hard to be functional when you’ve virtually got knives stabbing inside your head, behind your eyes and into your spine. The joys of chronic pain! -_-

Again, hoping to be functional soon, just wanted to post an update so you didn’t worry too much. Your well wishes are appreciated guys; ya’ll are awesome!

Where’d the update go?

Let’s just say that migraines suck and leave it at that.