Shattered Rift

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Everything posted by Shattered Rift

  1. I got back from a two week trip to Utah on Monday, and similarly to my traveling last summer, I traveled light, only really having my phone for entertainment. I'm currently gearing up to relocate in that direction, and I'm finding myself planning to travel light, computer and phone being essentially the only forms of entertainment that I'll be taking with me. What I found interesting last summer was how much more easily I was able to concentrate and contemplate the circumstances of my life. I've never been the "connect with nature" type that experiences something similar, but here I did, and I found the focus incredibly valuable. Most of you probably know that I grew up as a gamer and spending much of my teenage years online. It feels surreal to look around my room now, to look over my bookshelves filled with movies/shows/books/games, and to both know that I don't care for many of them and want to strip them away (at least in presence: I still want to own them). I'd like to ask, how many others here have experienced something in this vein or another, and has it influenced your material approach to life?
  2. I hadn't considered the opposite(ish) approach. My saturation came at a young age, having access to both the family TV and my brother's NES for about as far back as I can remember. I can't remember how old I was when I got my own TV. What I do remember more clearly is that I split my time between video games, playing outside (bike riding, hanging out as kids do, wandering around a nearby park, and jumping on a trampoline), and then later cutting back on video game time once I reached my teenage years and instead pouring that time into online ventures. For me, having a computer was something that came much later, but my fixation on it came from... I'm not really sure what caused me to focus so much time and energy into it. I'm not sure if I get a limited amount of junk mail or have a limited number of records I need to keep, but these things usually only eat up a few minutes each day. Perhaps I'm treating them too lightly, and I haven't actively done anything to remove them from my life, but in the context of where my head was at in posting this thread I've never focused on them beyond those moments I spend sorting through and throwing them out. They don't hold my attention for any longer than they have to. Perhaps our age difference has something to do with it? I'm in my late twenties, and I forget if you're five or ten years older than me. (Then again, my brother has a decade on me, and I don't think he has too much more of a problem with this than I do, so maybe it's regional?) With the transition from paper to digital advertising, there might be greater forces at work there.
  3. What prompted the move to Japan? It's interesting to hear that you never finished building your PC, and it's fascinating hearing that you don't regret cutting out a lot of your gaming collection/etc. That's the kind of thing I was hoping to hear about. I had never really thought of myself as materialistic while growing up, and I always tried to keep a good sense of which things were essential to me (the Mega Man painting Nebiros gave me, Yu-Gi-Oh! playmats, dance notes, and a small handful of other more sentimental things), but traveling without them made me realize how distracting so many of them were just by being around me all of the time. I don't know that I'm going for any kind of brilliant insight or particular direction. The fact that you've become more social is worthwhile in its own right, especially because that's one of the reasons that's prompting me to pack light when I move.
  4. Played Codenames: Deep Undercover with my cousins. It was nice to have a "dirty" card game (a la Cards Against Humanity) that was competitively charged via teams. Still loses or to Joking Hazard in my book, though.
  5. It seems like quite a few people in our generation have been getting into board games (or tabletop games in general) during the past couple of years. Rex (and a few of my real life friends) have gotten into Dominion. Red brought The Resistance to my attention (a sort of Mafia/Werewolf-esque game). Several friends during the past year or two have recommended Twilight Imperium. Before then, it seemed like there were only a few scattered games like Munchkin and Settlers of Catan and whatever else, but more recently it seems like a lot of other games are going around. Yesterday I played a couple of rounds of Chez Geek with Zen, Kit, and Ward. (The latter two have yet to recreate their accounts.) And then we continued our campaign in Descent. It's Descent in particular that has me making this thread, but I'm curious what games people here are playing or have played or would recommend or the like?
  6. Just want to let you guys know I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks, so mobile-only access in the meanwhile.

  7. I finally got to play BatHotH a month or so back. The round went pretty quickly, and unfortunately one of us had to leave and I had plans to go dancing, so we didn't get to make a second round. I didn't really manage to develop an opinion one way or the other about it. Traj, what kinds of things change with Legacy? Also, apparently I didn't mention either of these points earlier... I backed the Kickstarter for Deep Madness. Mostly because I love me some miniatures in my games, and of course the Lovecraftian theme gets me. Did anyone else back it? Lastly, Joking Hazard is amazing. It's like a better Cards Against Humanity. Not sure if this picture will hotlink to people who aren't friended with me on Facebook, but...
  8. I remembered that you guys were able to meet up, but I'd never heard that part of the story. Props to Khaled.
  9. Happy Anniversary, everyone~! Every third year on Sparkbomb tends to be a quieter year. We upgraded the forum software in December, I enjoyed a summer of travel and getting to meet more Sparkbombers (Puck, Voce, and Pocket), and I finally added my name to the list of All-Stars MC's. Recent life circumstances have also presented the opportunity to focus more on Sparkbomb than I'd been able to while working this past year, and as is common for my anniversary announcements, I've got something in the works. I'd been hoping to unveil an alpha run by today, but it's going to be delayed just a while longer. In the meanwhile, I'd like us all to reflect on our most memorable moments meandering 'midst the Mansion's members. I'm quite proud to say that I've now met eleven Sparkbombers in person. So I'd like to reflect on a few of those memories... Liz, Killerk239, Nell, and Natale: I'm going to include the whole NYC crew together. We spent a pretty awesome day together on Columbia's campus. Liz was always good company, Nell was super chill, Keith (Killerk) played through the entirety of Portal while we hung out (it was my first time seeing Portal), Natale was an excellent hostess, and there's a good number of semi-embarrassing pictures still up on my Facebook to this day. Coaster: I drove up to Seattle to meet Marcus while he was interviewing for Microsoft. We ate at an awesome pizza place by the Space Needle that I remember to this day, and we spent a fair chunk of our Sparkcast episode sidetracked talking about Smallville. Nebiros and Rex: There were a lot of memories with these two, so I have to share two of them. Sam and I were sitting on the couch adjacent to the couch Rex was sleeping on, and I forget what we were talking about. All of a sudden Rex sits up, says "Vanity's activate, yay," and falls back down in sleep. Sam and I just stared at each other in disbelief and laughter. A large group of us (including some local Sparkbombs/friends) drove up to Tacoma for a major Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. We had a pretty sweet split-level hotel room. Nebiros claimed the king-sized bed on the second floor while Rex and I took the downstairs queen and the others took a combination of couches and floor. Humming: So the night Erica's flight got in, we headed back to Zen's place. Erica's a pretty reserved person, but Zen and I tend to be pretty chill in person, so everything was pretty relaxed. Within maybe a half hour, one of Zen's former female roommates, her friend, and the guy the two of them picked up at the bar all stop by unexpectedly. Viewing Erica in the stereotypical way that only drunk white people can, they tried to do what they could to make her feel comfortable. Erica was both exposed to and survived the craziness of Portland on her first night here. Puck: There wasn't much time to make memories since Stef and I just met up for breakfast and good conversation, but thinking about her reminds me of all the shenanigans with Title Zappers, how much fun Sparkbomb Hour was, and all of the connections and fun everyone was having together during '09/'10/. Voce: My very first thought when I think of Voce is how she's simultaneously one of the most distractable people in the world while simultaneously being incredibly driven and motivated. This is the kind of thing that doesn't really shine through when someone plays Werewolf online, and it's a reminder of just how deep anyone on Sparkbomb could potentially be. Pocket: Hanging out with Pocket was a nostalgia trip. We stopped by a cool costume store in Colorado Springs, and we spent a lot of time talking about writing and role playing. Even though we didn't participate in the same communities, the experience is somewhat universal. It was a reminder that so many other people were going through essentially the same things I did years ago. I'd like to hear some of your memories during these past twelve years.
  10. While I enjoyed Smallville's interpretation of the Green Arrow, I prefer DC's heroes to exist in their own individual bubbles. It has something to do with how they feel larger than life, and the power discrepancies between, say, Superman and Green Arrow really force the suspension of disbelief. As opposed to Marvel where most of the characters are on the same level. So what kept you from enjoying Game of Thrones? I take it that the gore was part of the problem? Smallville definitely dove headfirst into that lake. Sometimes it was fine when it was done from the comic book angle (so to speak), but it became a problem as the writers refused to let Clark grow as a character, dragged on and on with the love triangle with Lana (particularly in seasons five and six), and did nothing relevant whatsoever with Kara in season seven. This has been a big part of my issue with The Flash, especially this year with the unnecessary change to Caitlin via Flashpoint. For me, I tend to analyze the shows I enjoy. I have a friend who also posts his critical thoughts on Facebook pretty regularly, so I bounce few ideas around with him. There are very few shows that I'll "turn off my brain" for, and nearly all of them are comedy.
  11. I know it's summer and we just had the season finales for most of the shows on TV, but since we don't have this thread up yet: what are you watching? For the most part, this thread is meant to springboard possible discussions about current TV shows. But it can also be used to get information about older shows. I've mostly just been keeping up with shows on the CW in recent years. When the fall premiers roll around, I'll be watching Arrow (highly recommended), The Flash (because of how good Arrow is), Supernatural (which I no longer like but want to see through to the end), The Vampire Diaries (I like the characters but haven't cared for the plot in the past few seasons), The Originals (Elijah and Claus are two of the best written characters on television), The 100 (which had a surprisingly intriguing first season despite its blatant disregard for accurate science)... and... ::.Checks.:: Oh, and Reign, which seems like the CW's terrible answer to Game of Thrones (and I've never even watched Game of Thrones). For summer watching, I'll be watching Girl Meets World. I actually started rewatching Boy Meets World recently to compare (and to let Cel and a couple of other friends know what they missed out on growing up). I also watched several episodes of Naked and Afraid recently, which is basically two people are sent into an exotic wilderness without clothes (the "naked" part), only one survival item each, and they have to survive for 21 days and then reach an extraction point. A part of the show is meant to consider the question of how early humans were able to survive. What about you guys? What are you watching?
  12. I've been hearing a bit more of the accusations against reality TV shows recently, because I've watched a few of the survivalist shows. While interesting at a glance, there's not a lot of appeal there for me in general. You need fire to survive. Don't suck at building a shelter. Hunting is about tools and luck. It creates an interesting vision of the past, and it does make it abundantly clear why the guarantee of food (via farming) probably led to civilization. I need to put Smallville onto my "need to rewatch" list. It's been at least a few years since I last went through the first six seasons. You're familiar with the Smallville Season 11 comic, yes? They certainly took advantage of the comic medium for storytelling, making it a bit more Justice League (which was kind of the direction the show had tried to go in several times anyway). That said, I kind of have to place most (if not all) of the CW shows above Smallville for storytelling. Nostalgia definitely makes me rank Smallville above all but Arrow and maybe The Flash, but I feel like Smallville only really beats Supergirl outright (mostly due to the sheer lack of direction in Supergirl, whereas Smallville was always fun). What are you looking for in a show right now? Or what's been lacking in the shows you've been watching?
  13. Has anyone else been disappointed by this year of television? Designated Survivor has been a standout success in an otherwise bleak year. I can't say enough good things about the show, especially given the timing of a political show about a decent President. I can't recommend it enough. Girl Meets World ended with a whimper, and the nostalgia (and joke of both Morgans in the finale) wasn't anywhere near enough to salvage anything. There aren't any other spiritual successors that I care about, but I wonder if any of them are doing better. Agents of Shield has been good but is still boring to me. As far as CW shows go, the Arrowverse shows have been lackluster this season. Supergirl is a boring. The Flash is a mess (but speedster Megatron is cool-looking). Arrow has been decent (and tonight's episode was probably the best of the season so far). And Legends of Tomorrow just doesn't care, and I can only really watch it in that context (though it's arguably been somewhat good when I set aside any and all expectations). The Vampire Diaries ended about as strongly as it could (and I did like the ending, problems aside), and The Originals seems poised to follow suit. In the way of past shows, I started watching the first season of Suits, and while I'm only halfway through the first season, I can't give this show enough praise. Why didn't anyone bring it to my attention sooner? It feels a bit surreal to be enjoying so little on television considering that two years ago I was enjoying almost every show I was watching. Is there anything worth looking into right now? Or shows that I've overlooked in recent years? Rex recommended White Collar to me some years back.
  14. I love me some old-school, but I would definitely argue that the newer generations of gaming have been "better" than the old, or are more worthy of being revisited later from a standpoint of "I want to go back to these." Setting PSX aside for a moment, every generation prior to the PSX/N64/Dreamcast can be revisited during a random afternoon, except for RPGs. Games just weren't long enough back then. Meanwhile, as I discovered with a friend the other night, a lot of N64 games can just be thrown in and played around with and then set aside. Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time are the exception on length. I'm not as sure about PSX titles, because my collection is almost wholly RPGs (except for Symphony of the Night and the Megaman Legends games, though the RPG argument is still there with those). Since I broadened the conversation a bit, I do want to comment that it was interesting messing around in the two Pokemon Stadium games. Awkward movesets and odd mechanics made an original Stadium battle particularly challenging. And Stadium 2 almost objectively has better mini-games, despite the fact that I played Stadium's much more. Lastly, Mario Kart 64 did not have nearly so tight of controls as the modern Kart games do.
  15. I've delayed picking up an X-Box One or PS4 for a combination of reasons. Money, lack of a good sale, lack of interest in most games, lack of interest in gaming in general, and the recent (or impending?) hardware upgrades. Meanwhile, I did purchase a WiiU around Christmas last(?) year. The WiiU certainly lacked titles, but there also wasn't really a game I ended up enjoying. I spent a fair amount of time in Splatoon and thoroughly enjoyed Mario Kart 8, but I failed to get into Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (playing about half the game) and Fatal Frame V (which I should be kicking myself for not going through). Even picking up Pokken Tournament and Mario Maker on sale this past Christmas, I still haven't opened either. My interest in gaming has certainly been waning for years, but I'm curious if this generation of gaming has felt sub-par to anyone else? I've picked up Dragon Quest Heroes and Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth on PS4 (without owning a PS4), but the only other titles that I would want to play are Arkham Knight, Mankind Divided, and... well, I'm pretty sure there were some others, but they're not noteworthy enough for me to think of them off-hand. And then there's the Switch coming up, complete with the Zelda game that was promised for the WiiU but ultimately eluded it. And no, I'm not going to spend money on the WiiU version... unless I really decide not to buy a Switch. I realize that this might be a bit ranty and that I might just be losing my interest in gaming, but I'd like to hear where others' thoughts are right now. Some of you have been turning to PC gaming, haven't you? Where are everyone's thoughts at? It feels weird: just a handful of years ago I was quite satisfied with owning the trinity of the Wii, PS3, and X-Box 360.
  16. You're right that my initial question was a poor one. So let's shift it towards this one: how many "great" games emerged in the current generation? The WiiU was certainly lacking. Meanwhile, only a small handful have caught my attention. Witcher III probably deserves to be added to my list of Arkham Knight and Mankind Divided. Along the same lines as my thought above, what all is there in the current generation that's worthwhile? Bloodborne certainly deserves a spot on the general list, but I didn't enjoy the handful of hours I put into Demon's Souls. Uncharted 4 deserves a slot too, but I've only played the first (and haven't gotten around to the second or third) and didn't care all that much. I've been assuming that the images shown were inaccurate and that each screen will work as its own screen. A split-screen that small is just plain impractical. I would assume this misconception has been cleared up by now, but I haven't heard any word on it. Remind me to PM you about this. Somehow I'd almost forgotten that people could live their lives via screen. That's really interesting. The X-Box controller's pad is pretty garbage. I barely used my old one and it quickly lost correct calibration. Or maybe it started to wear out quickly? Can't remember anymore. I'm kind of surprised that I never ran into any muscle issues while gaming. I hadn't even thought about this. Then again, the only joystick I own is on the Genesis. Don't even remember where or why I ended up picking it up. To shift the conversation a bit, I suppose I should ask: what games people are enjoying in this generation of gaming?
  17. I think I remember playing this with you at your place a couple (few?) years back. That was a good afternoon. I played the Wii(?) version of Just Dance (whichever number) with a group of friends a few years back. It seems like it's mostly just enjoyable as a party game. I also wonder what I'd think of it now that I'm working in the dance industry. I had a chance to play DDR recently, and my revised opinion of DDR was that dance experience has a very slight carryover to it. On the other hand, Just Dance was more explicitly dance moves instead of weird feet stuff. While I don't have a chance to do much couch co-op stuff nowadays, the lack of couch co-op nowadays makes me pretty sad. Getting a group of friends together to play a game is definitely something I miss (lack of controllers, limited cord length, and everything else that went with it). I hope the Switch finds a way to bridge the gap, but I'm a tad worried that it will feel like bringing a (3)DS over to a friend's place. You don't have your X-Box in your room? Online costs (which will be added to the Switch, albeit at a lower price than Live and PSN) are one of the interesting quirks about console gaming. I'm surprised that this hasn't shifted since the days of the original X-Box. And I agree that it's annoying. My playing habits tend to be the same, where I'll play online for maybe a week or so at most. I never went back to Mass Effect 3's multiplayer once my subscription ran out, even though I loved it. Manguard for life. I find it interesting that you still play so much. And I mean so much more than I do. Other than Simpsons Tapped Out (my guilty mobile pleasure that keeps me away from worse mobile gaming), I often have to force myself to play games. Even though I'm loving Dragon Quest VII, I still have to make a conscious point to turn it on and clock an hour or so every couple of days. Part of it comes to how much time I was wasting on Facebook (which I've been drastically cutting back on in the past week or two), but part of it is just a lack of interest in gaming as opposed to lack of interest in certain games. Most of my game discrimination, avoiding bad games that I would have played when I was younger, comes down to maximizing my time so that the few gaming experiences I have are higher quality.
  18. A couple (few?) months back I finished my playthrough of Dragon Quest III on Android. I'm still somewhere in the post-game dungeon, but I'm not sure I'll end up finishing that up. Similar disappointment with the difficulty being lowered/experience being doubled. Otherwise still a great game, though. I got Dragon Quest VII (3DS) for Christmas, and I'm about 35 hours or so in. Like with the mobile versions, they doubled XP/gold gains, and I think they also increased the flee rate (which makes metal hunting virtually impossible). Beside that, I'm still loving the game, and I've quickly remembered why it's my favorite in the series. The time travel is simple, and it's just enjoyable to go around and see all of these different islands with their different problems. And there's no looming sense of dread or doom like there was in all(?) of the previous games. It's a sort of perfect exploration game (minus the fact that you're on islands and the world feels small).
  19. I had the opportunity to play Pandemic the other night. I think we did a simplified version or easy mode? Maybe it was simplified rules or the fact that we were all dead tired (it was two in the morning at that point, I think?), but I wasn't particularly impressed. I've been finding more and more often with cooperative games that it's very common for one player to determine the strategy for all of the players. The same issue came up with a group of my friends that were playing Descent. Has that been a general issue for anyone else?
  20. We'll see how the new security question does about keeping spammers out.

  21. Have to give him credit for actually keeping his word. (A dubious statement, and it's not exactly what he's doing, but...) Comparing this to Brexit is an interesting point that not nearly enough people are talking about. Worldwide, people are beginning to remember that the people best suited to handle a situation are the people closest to it. You're best suited to deal with your situation. Your city is best suited to deal with the problems of your city. Your State with the problems facing your State. And the country with problems on the national scale. Meanwhile, the social justice approach continues to try to force a worldwide sameness. Trump declared war on the media, and they're fighting back. And this distrust of media is going to be a damning problem for our international relations, because our own distrust of our media sources will also lead to people outside the country distrusting our sources. As far as ulterior motives, it's very clear that Trump wasn't the horse that the power players were betting on. After Gary Johnson's spectacular failure this election (not even taking the 5% of the vote the Libertarian Party desperately needed), and Evan McMullin failing to take Utah, I don't expect to see a third party candidate elected within my lifetime. Though I sincerely hope I'm wrong about that. The more time that passes, the more fault I place on Facebook and Twitter as being toxic elements in our society. They're gigantic echo chambers that a tremendous amount of the population is engaged in. I do think things will settle down after the first hundred days or so. There's certainly a learning curve to the Presidency, as well as getting the ball rolling on various policies and approaches. Though the past few weeks have certainly been messy.
  22. Starting with a 3-man team in an 8 player game pretty much necessitated that the 1v1 situation couldn't end the game (as else we would have been too powerful), but the consequence is that it results in endings like the one we had. My failing to vote Day 3 combined with Blacjak not using his extra vote on Day 3 would have canceled out and without impacting the game... and Blacjak's extra vote might have drawn extra suspicion anyway. I was much worse about checking in in a timely manner than I expected (checking in mostly late at night and then early in the morning). Fox decided to kill Sinical Night 2, even though I had speculated Star as dreamer since Day 1 (but didn't want to push 'cause I didn't want to kill Star, :(). I'm surprised that Blacjak wasn't a standard Protector. Even with the three wolf team, roles like a Protector and Jailer can increase the number of Nights where kills can be prevented and help to provide balance. After I failed to kill NPM (sorry Zilary, I meant to save you for last), I couldn't figure out if she was some flavor of OMT or what. Jailer was the last thing on my mind (though it should have been more obvious). Good job on the game, Exile! It was definitely fun having a rez as an evil player, and I enjoyed making the all-in play by rezzing Zilary.
  23. Vote: Neopetsmom
  24. Good job, Star! Vote: Blacjak I'm feeling a little uncertain about this solely because I can't come up with a good working theory on what Blacjak's exact power(s) is(/are?). NPM, I assume you picked up Sinical's sign? (If not, Blacjak as some kind of evil Heir fits.)
  25. Unvote: RocktheFox Vote: thezodiac Hooray for teamwork.