Serious Time with Bel
This morning I am going to break from my normally positive fluffy posts to talk about something fairly serious. Hopefully you will bear with me, because it is a topic I believe strongly about. A few days ago my good friend Jaedia crafted an excellent post talking about her frustrations and outright anger with sexual objectification especially in video game culture. This sparked an interesting discussion among both the women and men on my twitter feed, and I personally ended up rebroadcasting it twice for emphasis. Over the years I have watched as my female friends have had to constantly battle everything from largely harmless statements to the downright creepy and dangerous. What happens time and time again is there is this thread where folks are discussing a specific topic… and then out of the blue some guy will make a comment inappropriately off topic. Then almost by queue it happened to this very discussion.
I’ve decided to mosaic the information about the person and the participants in the discussion to attempt their anonymity. Granted you can scroll through my feed and likely find out who this is about, but in truth I don’t think the guy in question meant any real harm by it. The problem is it was just tragically timed, and interrupting a conversation about objectification. Essentially he was being the poster child of this thing that everyone was talking about being frustrated about… IN the discussion about it. When I called him out on it, he immediately got defensive which is exactly the wrong action to take. If someone calls you out on something in regards to something that is making another person uncomfortable… your reaction should be to re-evaluate this action you just took, not to mount a defense against the “slander”.
After a mountain of back and forth, of Jae and I trying to explain what exactly the transgression was, we get down to the real root of the problem. He quite literally did not care what the conversation was about, and instead felt the need to chime in with his comment. There is this ingrained feeling of the divine right to pass judgment on the appearance of others, made worse by the thought that they should do it against the context of the current conversation. The comment that was made was completely harmless and in the right context would have been perfectly acceptable. However I have seen this play out time and time again… Female friend posts a serious topic, and guys below comment about how pretty she is. Do you not realize just how creepy that seems? The guy in question apparently did not, and he spent awhile raging that we were picking on him for having a penis, completely missing the point. My hope is that by posting about this others might think twice before they interrupt the context of a conversation to essentially objectify the speaker with something completely off topic.
Flamebending for Fun
Last week was a rough week for our raid. We had several people out with the death flu and as a result quite literally half of our healing corp was absent. Early in the day on Thursday it sounded like we were not actually going to raid. After talking to our raid lead, he told me not to worry about rushing home… and instead went out to eat with my wife and ran a few errands. When I got home they were knee deep in Highmaul and I am uncertain what the final results of it were. As a result of not raiding since last Tuesday I was looking forward to hopefully getting back into Blackrock Foundry and making some forward momentum. We started the evening by taking down Hans and Franz. There are a lot of moving parts in that fight, and some RNG elements… but ultimately on our third attempt we got our second kill in the books. My luck with loot in Blackrock was not going to hold however, as I walked away with double gold.
The rest of the evening we spent working on the boss directly after Hans and Franz… Flamebender Ka’graz. She essentially is a blademaster, and as we know blademasters are good at two things… fire based attacks and spinning weapons. There are a bunch of things going on in the fight, the first is dealing with the placement of her flame slash attacks, which draw giant lines from the boss to the edge of the room and will target players outside of melee range. The next problem child is two flame wolves that act much the same as Corehounds in that you have to dps them down within a few minutes of each other, otherwise they will re-ignite the other hound. The last really frustrating attack is that she does a massive room wide fire AOE that players need to stack up for and heal through. We managed to make some solid progress on her, but for whatever reason could not seem to get all the moving parts together. On our best try we managed to get her down to around 30% I believe, but the healing on this fight and the placement of objects ends up with us slowly bleeding players until we simply do not have enough to finish the battle. My hope is with some more research we can come in Thursday and wreck her.
If you remember a few days ago I had a post talking about the three games that I would like to revisit. One of them was Neverwinter by Cryptic now Perfect World, so after the raid I fired it up rather than what has become my more recent winding down game… Guild Wars 2. All told I played around 45 minutes of the game, and it was roughly how I remembered it. There are positives about it and negatives… the most glaring is this feeling that everything you actually want is somehow locked behind a confusing two tier currency system. You have Astral Diamonds and you have Zen… and the two do very similar functions. The problem is it feels absolutely arbitrary which currency is used for which thing. Since I was a preorder I got a large quantity of Astral Diamonds, but it seems like the main function of them is to speed up tasks like training your companion. All of the useful unlocks and content walls seem to be purchased with Zen. That whole mess pretty much guarantees that I would never play this game seriously.
What I was surprised by was how fun the actual dungeons were. Granted I didn’t run a “real” five man dungeon last night, but I did do one of the many lairs that the storyline weaves you in and out of. The one I completed was some sort of orc barracks, and considerably larger than the ones I remember. There were no less than three boss fights, and several hidden treasure chests. The only thing that I really disliked about the gameplay was the fact that health did not regenerate. It was something that I could get used to, but it is just so against the norm of the games I play normally. In fact I stood around waiting for awhile waiting before I realized that my health was not coming back at all… at which point I remembered that I had to use health pots. Mechanically the game is interesting, but I still have the same opinion. Elder Scrolls online just does the action combat style better. That said there is a wealth of player generated content, so more than likely I will be spending my time exploring that.