Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Counter Monkey Association: The RPG formerly known as WoW

First of all, the name "Counter Monkey Association" is inspired by the "Counter Monkey" videos made by Noah "Spoony" Antwiler. I admit that I don't know if he is okay with me using that kind of name for this stuff, but I'll gladly remove it should he want me to.

Now, to the topic: The RPG formerly known as World of Warcraft (aka Wow).

WoW used to be a DnD like game, with various elements such as reagents for spells to the roleplaying elements of playing a race and/or class. However, it's sad when you think the tabletop rpg version of wow has more rpg elements to it than the MMO version does. Why is that exactly? There are many answers and not all of them are right, mostly due to the fact a wide number of answers are based on opinion.

These are my answers based on my opinions, so I don't speak for all of gamerdom or WoW players in general. Lets discuss reasons why WoW the MMO isn't much of an RPG, just to keep things simple and keep people from reading a wall of text.

1) Simplification: This is probably the first and foremost reason I think a lot of people might agree on, so what is that you may ask? WoW now longer has or uses the following that are essential rpg elements:
*Reagents for spells, i.e. materials for spells to work.
*Spell ranks, meaning a fire ball just scales in damage
*Quests to obtain abilities in WoW for your class, such as shamans doing quests to learn and control totems, druids learning and controlling an animal form, etc etc.
*Weapon skills, you no longer have to train to use a weapon effectively.

Now simplification occurs in other ways, not just in regards to remove or streamlining gameplay. Another way that Blizzard simplifies WoW, is "core classes". What are those? They're all the basic classes you'd find in most rpgs, but they have specialties for those classes crammed into one class. So a Rogue in the MMO in WoW has classes like: thief, assassin and duelist for example, combined into one "core class"

2) Nerfing & Buffing: Nerfing can be defined as the reduction of stats (etc) of gear, spells, classes, etc etc. Obviously buffing is the opposite of that, so how does this make WoW less of an RPG? Probably due to the fact that they can't get it right, and most of the time screw up the game accidentally while trying to fix it. Say you're a PVP kind of player, well...someone on the PVE side has used what should be a pvp only move in a pve setting and is doing more damage (for example) than they should. Blizzard eventually gets around to hearing more and more reports about people doing the same thing, so they "nerf" the ability to make it no longer viable for that pve situation...and be extension not worth using in pvp.

Blizzard cannot fully balance all the classes, so they're almost constantly buffing and nerfing classes. And the imbalanced nature of the WoW MMO leads to unintentional bugs and glitches, that plague pve and pvp situations. I am no game designer, not even a computer programmer...and even I admit that progamming for the WoW MMO is hard. They really are trying to "fix" the imbalce issue between classes, but they are failing big time. Case in point, Death Knights. DKs are the first "Hero Class" in the WoW MMO history, they are the last I think. When DKs hit the scene, they were considered overpowered, and many people felt the threw an already unbalanced game into chaos.

Remember, until DKs came along players only had "core classes". Simplified classes combined into when a Hero Class is thrown into the mix, it throws their hold world into turmoil. DKs are a core class too, but a more powerful version of that. So naturally, Blizzard eventually nerfed them right into the ground. I know many people will probably disagree with me, but this class was way more powerful than any other in the game for a reason. But now, it's no different than the other core classes.

3) Limitations in Factions, Races and Classes: You only get two factions in the WoW MMO to play a race/class combo from. You're either the Alliance, which was founded by Humans (mostly) or the Horde which follows the banner of the Orcs. There are so many "neutral" and just plain hostile factions in the MMO you'd have to have all the expansions just to see them all...if that. But Blizzard won't let you play as a member of the "The Scourge" a massive undead faction ruled by the Lich King, or even demonic "Burning Legion".  DKs are somewhat an exception, because you do fight on the side of the Lich King for a brief time, before forming your own Death Knight faction...which still force you to join the Horde or the Alliance.

Races are another issue, there are a number of races that have either allied or are simply a part of the two playable factions. This should mean you could have a wide range of races in such cases to play as right? Nope, and here is why. Blizzard gives 6 on each side to play as, and a neutral 7th race you can play as that will still have to join either horde or the alliance. There are variations of most races that are allied with the factions you play as, but you can't play as one of them. Take a dwarf for example, as of right now...there are 3 main types of dwarves that are allied or out right a part of the Alliance. But you get no choice to play as one of them, you play what is known as a Bronzebeard Dwarf, that's it.

Before one of the expansions, the Dark Iron Dwarves had more or less okay relations with the Horde, and was rumored to maybe join it in the future. However, Blizzard killed that idea with the excuse that having both factions have dwarves would cause confusion and would give the factions as much diversity as they should have. That was a semi-legitimate reason, until the neutral race of Pandaren came into the game. Pandaren can join either the alliance or the horde, and they all look relatively the same. Which means that whole reason for dark iron dwarves that Blizzard gave was either a lie, or they wanted to really test out that theory by adding a truly neutral race that both factions can play as.

The playable undead race you play as is called The Forsaken, and they are pretty diversified in regards to any other race in the for the scourge. But, you can only play as an undead human, despite the fact they have undead versions of half the playable races on the horde side and a few from the alliance side working with them as NPCs. 

Classes...that was pretty much explained in the simplification part, but there are classes in the game that characters can't play as. Many of which I'd like to play as, but can't due to the fact they don't have a core class counterpart or something yet...lame I know, but it's the game Blizzard wants more or less. Also, there are rare exception in the game's lore that allow npcs to be a race and class that players can't. There really isn't any more that I can say about this subject of classes that I haven't already said.

While theses aren't all the reasons, they are the 3 most highly talked about topics I've seen. Remember, I don't speak for or on behalf of any WoW MMO player...these are all my opinions and observations I've made in my years of playing. While I do wish they'd add more of the rpg elements they took away, add more in general, I admit that this is Blizzard's game...not mine. So they can do what they want, even if it is or not based on the opinions of their game's fanbase.

Hope this wasn't a huge wall of text, until next time..

Sunday, July 28, 2013

NERD RAGE: Lightning and the Sexist Gamerdom

For those of you who don't know, in the new final fantasy game "Lightning Returns"....they're turning a pretty cool character into fanservice, why? ...just to do it
I read where the person(s) responsible for the game stated they're doing for no other reason, than to do it. Now you might think this happens all the time (which it does) and that it is no big deal (which it is a big deal)...but people are just being vindictive on anyone calling these developers out on being sexist.
So vindictive in fact, that angry joe has been receiving dozens of responses on twitter (almost every min.) calling him homosexual and stuff like that....WHY?!?!?!?!
I cannot believe that there are so many people calling him gay, all because he doesn't feel that making lightning's bust bigger, nor giving her nothing but blatant fanserivce outfits to show off the bigger bust is anything but stupid sexist marketing ploy...I remind you, the developers are doing this just to do it.

I am also reminded of that time that they covered up Powergirl's cleavage and gave Wonder Woman pants...oh the flame wars that occurred the moment anyone agreed with the change, or spoke out against those who didn't.  So it's not just gamerdom that is capable of what does that say about "nerds" in general?

The time anyone speaks out on sexist stuff in comics, video games, etc....the internet explodes with slandering against the people who call out this kind of stuff. 

This is the typical thing that gets thrown around whenever someone speaks out on sexist stuff like this "Oh they only went up one cup size, chill out ya fag". People are far less forgiving to females on the internet about such things, usually falling her fat...a hater lesbian....etc etc etc.

I'm not even sure what I could possibly say at this point...there is almost no point, because no matter how many people speak out against sexist fanservice for no reason than to do it....there will a majority of people who either don't care or think you're just hating. It's enough to make you go red lantern over this, and I kinda wish my red lantern ring was real at a time like this.

Probably only a matter of time before I get flooded with the hater tweets and whatnot because I agree with people like Angry Joe on this matter.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Comic Inque: Is it racist?

For many decades, comic book characters have captured the imagination of countless children. In recent years, there has been an explosion in comic book related shows, cartoons, video games, clothing, etc etc.

Back when comic first started out, they were seen as trivial. In the 30s and 40s, no one gave so much as a second thought in regards to the financial worth of comics. But in the 80s, there was a sudden nostalgia boom and the comics that were worth less than the paper they were printed on in the eyes of the found themselves worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.

When they first started out, to my knowledge there were no non-white super hero characters or comic books. You might wonder why that is, the answer is simple...racism. You have to understand that when comics were in their infancy, segregation was still in power in a white controlled America.

Oh sure, many non-white super heroes and whatnot came around decades down the line, but that still doesn't change the fact America was willing to accept a white humanoid alien before they'd accept a non-white super hero. 

So in recent years, many people in the entertainment industry feel that the only way to rectify this is to change a white comic book character into someone who isn't white. Is this a good thing to do? Before anyone starts with the racist slandering, allow me to explain.

Doing a handwave and saying it's an another universe is entirely fine, so you can have a super hero team be a bunch of zoo animals for all we care and it'd still be fine. With that being said, is it racist to change a super hero's race because you want to change that character to be based more on a real life non-white actor? Nope, why? Because it's another universe and you can't really do anything or say anything about it. It's not the mainstream universe for your comic publisher, so you can't argue anything about that universe with them.

An African-American Nick Fury for example, isn't a bad idea all things considered. Now in regards, some people are wondering why Nick Fury in the live action Marvel movies isn't white? In the set of Ultimate comics, the Nick Fury of that universe isn't white. And no one really has a problem with that, but when you make a Norse god in the live action movies African American....suddenly cries of racism on both side flood the internet.

People who say making a norse god African American is racist, and then there are the people who respond to those people, by saying that they are racist for saying that the change is racist. it really racist for them to have done that? Again, this is another universe so one must also ask does it ultimately matter in the grand scheme of things?

Yes and no, yes because it might offend some people and no because the Thor comics and related characters while based on the Norse Religion, are only loosely based on it. Thor is generally perceived to be a very tall bearded red haired guy, Marvel's Thor is an average height clean shaven blonde haired guy with long hair.

So who might it offend? Those who believe in the modern revival of the ancient Norse religion, whether they are called Odinist....Asatru...or some other name/form of it. Remember, these are their gods and goddesses being portrayed in manner many of them don't approve of. Let's also not forget a rather obvious fact, that quite a few of the characters in the Thor comics aren't in the Norse religion at all...

Imagine there was a movie based on a comic book series that had Jesus as it's main character, and in a live action movie he was played by a Tibetan actor, or a movie where Muhammad was played by red haired Scottish actor. You know people would cry foul if any movie maker did that, so why do people say it's racist to say it's racist to have an African-American actor playing comic book character based on a Norse god?

I haven't the answer to that question, I can guess though...but the guesses are mere speculation. It could be any of a thousand or more reasons why it is that way to begin with, I'd suggest asking Marvel or the people who actually made the movie what they think/feel on the subject if someone hasn't already.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Comic Inque: Wonder Woman

I really hate when they portray Wonder Woman like they do her Amazonian sisters and her mother, ya a man hating woman on a power trip, that overly stereotypical feminist attitude that sexist writers (usually male) like to showcase women in fictional media such as movies, tv and comic books.

 What I like about Wonder Woman is that she does see the good and evil in matter what the gender. She should be about showing both sexes that women are just as capable at being super heroes as men are, and that one side (i.e. gender) overpowering the other in general isn't the answer.

Wonder Woman is at her best when she is striving for true equality among the sexes, so please....stop ruining a good super heroine by dumping your own sexist views on her.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Comic Inque: What If?...The Missing Issues

I found out something very very odd....and aggravating at the same time, Marvel has not collected into trade paperbacks or hardcovers 109 of 114 What If? comic issues from volume 2.

Not to mention that the What If? classic trade paperbacks are missing issues from volume 1, why are all these issues from volume 1 and volume 2 missing from the trade paperback format?

I love the "What If?" comics, they offer great answers to many what if questions we've had over the years for the various marvel characters, titles and/or events. I decided to review the "What If?" comics, and it's going to make it almost impossible to review them in order. Why? This has to due with the fact that people today on places like amazon and ebay over prices many things as it is. I've seen a NES game that wasn't that rare, isn't worth more than maybe about $10 max in clean condition if it doesn't have a listed for 50+ dollars and half the label was missing.

I can't imagine trying to track down over 109 missing issues from the trade paperback market, while some might be decently priced...others in bad condition might be overpriced and thus make it near impossible to collect every issue, let alone review them in order.

As a big fan of Marvel, I can't imagine what is going on with the 109+  What If? issues that have been collected in trade paperback or hardcover form. How would you feel if over 109 issues from one of your favorite comics series/titles weren't printed in trade?

Granted, they are one shots for the most part...but that's no excuse. I pray that marvel will hear my plea and print the missing What If? issues in trade.

Friday, January 4, 2013

State of the Blog Address: Januauary Update(s)

I had decided on reviewing 5 of my favorite movies, which would lead up to my review of the 1996 Doctor Who movie which is scheduled for release on January 26th (aka my birthday)...however I am no longer positive that I'll review those 5 favorite movies this month.

That could change still change, mostly depending on if I have the time to do each of them. I don't know if any of you whom are reading this know about my comments regarding editing, if you do not know...I hate it. It might sound kind of odd to people that haven't edited review videos and other such things, but it is an unbelievably long and drawn out process.

Given the tools and the fact that it's just me working on the reviews, it can take days to go from scripting for a review to the uploading of a published product. I tend to rush it a tad, or at least as much as possible so that I can just be done with it.

For movies, I'd have to pour and sift through 1.5+ hours of movie footage to find what I want in the review....what jokes I want in there....gather up clips, pics and/or SFX for jokes and whatnot. Often times when I'm editing, I cute out minutes worth of stuff I recorded because I didn't want to make a certain joke in the end or I wanted to keep the video from going over 30 minutes.

Recently I reviewed Rudolph's Shiny New Year, a movie that is only 70 minutes long. It took me around just over 2 hours to write a script for a video that after i finished editing clocked in at just under 16 minutes long. I think that's the shortest script I ever did for any review video, and even then...I still cut out quite of that movie's footage and even stuff I recorded to make it as short as i did. Had I did not, the review would have pushed the 30 minute max time limit I want on my videos.

In fact there was a rant I had about something in the video that could have gone for about 10 minutes just by itself, which i may get around to addressing at a later date.

Now that I got that out of the way it's time for other updates (please note the following list can and will most likely change over the course of the month):
  • I have bought the doctor who 1996 movie on dvd, once it gets here I'll start working on the script and gather materials needed for that review. 
  • I have also bought a Doctor Who Top Trumps game for the Nintendo DS and may do a review on it, but don't hold me to that.
  • They Live is a movie in which I plan to review this month, but again....don't hold me to that.
  • The Doctor Who 1996 movie review will introduce somethings that will affect later reviews.
  • The Doctor Who 1996 movie review may or may not have cameos from certain UK reviewers that I like.
  • I honestly will be doing a couple video game reviews and/or a couple LP (aka Lets Play) videos, one of which will be a game I had wanted for nearly 20 year that I finally got back in summer 2012. 
  • State of the Blog Address is something I should be doing every month, or every other month. It's just a cool sounding means of keeping you updated on my plans for the month in which they are posted.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Japanimania: Nostalgic Memories 2

It was in the middle area of June, 2010...I had come across something about an event that was going on for the pokemon wifi events at the time. The above image is an ad for a Goon's Scizor from the latest pokemon movie, and anyone with a japanese version of pokemon heartgold or soulsilver could obtain one. At first I was a little sad, as I didn't have either of those two games in japanese. But thankfully was talking about the event, and it said that you could get this if you had the japanese versions for pokemon diamond and pearl, which I did own.

You're probably wondering why I would own japanese copies of diamond and pearl right? Well, at the time that I found out about them...there was no US release date, I think. But I got the brilliant idea of buying them in japanese, get all the best pokemon and then transfer them to US copies of the games. Thus I would be able to beat all the newcomers to the US versions, trade for all sorts of really great pokemone etc etc. 

During the event, which started on June 18th, 2010....I lived on meridian hill, which is located in the South Hill/Puyallup area of Washington State, USA. Unable to do the wifi event from the apartment I was living in, due to the fact our wifi connection was WPA and not WEP, I had to search for alternative means to obtain the Goon's Scizor. 

I went on to nintendo's site to locate DS WIFI compatible locations, I found one in a place where I used to live. I had to bus from South Hill/Puyallup to Sumner, and then walk to the Sumner Library near the Sumner Sounder/Pierce County Transit Center. This was the first time I have ever done a wifi anything with a ds, so I had to look it how to connect to the pokemon wifi event because I was operating on a japanese game. 

If I recall correctly, it took 2-3 tries before I got it working. Finally the Goon's Scizor was mine, and it was a great companion on my journey through pokemon diamond. My Empoleon aka Empor and the Scizor were a great duo, they helped carry me through the rest of the game. 

Eventually I gained access to a Pokemon HeartGold and wanted to continue using my scizor, but I knew that it wouldn't listen to my commands due to a lack of I had to breed the scizor with a female scyther I caught on my game. I saved the only metal coat I had at the time for this very purpose, and thus Blade the scyther was born. Blade became my principal pokemon for HeartGold and we kicked major butt together in our travels. Having him follow me outside the pokeball was immensely awesome, reminded me of my pokemon yellow days. 

But after I traded in my ds to get a wii, my poor blade and a few other pokemon were trapped on pokemon heartgold, after I got a 3DS XL I was able to rescue them. But before that, I caught another female scyther, trained up a mightyena to learn thief, and went in search of steelix. In pokemon diamond, steelix which have a low encounter/spawn rate of turn have a 5% chance of having a metal coat on them (the irony is astounding).  For those of you who don't know, Metal Coat was something introduced back in the pokemon gameboy games of Gold and Silver, it's what allows Scyther to evolve into Scizor and Onix into Steelix. 

Hopefully soon, I will have a pokemon heartgold or soulsilver, and thus the next scizor to arise from what has become the Goon's Scizor lineage. And that scizor will be bred, and that scyther shall be sent over to a pokemon black that I will own either this month or next month. And after that, it well be bred again and sent over to a pokemon black 2 that I will get when I beat pokemon black. 

Scizor is one of two signature pokemon for me, the other being Deoxys, but back in the summer of 2010....I had no idea that the Goon's Scizor would have such an impact on the pokemon games I would get later. Quiet recently, I had picked up playing pokemon diamond. I am happy to announce that the Goon's Scizor is lvl 100, and a real power house. 

We all have that special pokemon, our favorite or one that we truly feel suits us the most. For some it's one of the starter pokemon, or mewtwo...but for me, it's Deoxys and Scizor.