April Fools Day in Guild Wars 2

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I logged in today for a big surprise. I freaked and thought it was a bug for a few seconds, before I realized it is still the first of April somewhere in the world.

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Woot crate.

I came home and joy of joys, a box was waiting for me.

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Not just any box of course, but a Loot Crate. The greatest discovery for me in the past month was discovering that these items could now be purchased in Australia.

What is a loot crate?

Yes I hear you asking that, and I’ll explain. Loot Crate is a monthly delivery in which you receive a cardboard box full of goodies based around a theme. This month the theme was “Titanfall”. Opening the box, I was greeted with the following:

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Who am I to argue with what the box says? I want to apologize for the quality of the photos, they’ve been taken with my Samsung Galaxy Potato.

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So being my first Loot Crate I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. Inside, I got the following:

  • Monthly Loot Crate Magazine
  • Large Titanfall shirt, which is apparently a Loot Crate exclusive based on the shirts owned by the development team. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
  • An Attack on Titan sweat band. Attack on Titan is an anime/manga that is apparently popular, though I only know it for this.
  • Speaking of Attack on Titan, the crate also came with the first issue of the English manga. I’ve never really watched the show, but this will give me an opportunity to read it and see if I like the story.
  • A Titanfall Lanyard. This will be pretty good for when I go to PAXAUS at the end of the year.
  • A magnet. Just a simple one that says “Attack on Titanfall”. GET IT? BECAUSE THE CRATE IS FULL OF TITANFALL AND ATTACK ON TITAN THINGS.
  • A coupon giving me a free digital copy of the Titanfall strategy guide. If I end up buying the game, it will be useful.
  • Lollies because lollies. Lollies.
  • A badge, commemorating the loot crate.

After all that, there’s just some coupons for gaming related things that I probably won’t end up using. Anyway, it’s definitely worth the money coming in at twenty dollars. I’m pretty happy with this and honestly can’t wait for next month’s crate. I have no idea what will be coming in it, but I’m pumped.

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What?

Seriously Facebook, what?

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Youtube Alternatives

I like making videos. I’ve made a fair few, pretty much all Let’s Plays of videogames. I’ve been doing it as a hobby, but am starting to take it a bit more seriously with each passing day.

YouTube has been making more and more weird decisions in relation to how it handles copyright issues, which has been causing a lot of displeasure in the community. This has led to a few groups working on their own competitor services, mostly based around gaming.

5dba448910c1faa3026553e24a6d77a2Bitvid is one in progress, but seems like it is a bit of a way off from being released. Gamewisp however, had it’s release just under a week ago. It’s still a work in progress as they add new features and tweak it. The service is to be tailor-made for videos of games, with tools to make content discovery easier, better analytics, and better different forms of monetization.
On YouTube, a creator gets money if they display advertisements on their videos. This is a volatile system where YouTube and Google get the majority of money, and you get paid by them. Gamewisp offers monetization through paid subscriptions. Basically, if you decided you liked a particular series of my videos, you can subscribe to it. When you subscribe, you can opt to sponsor the creator for a few dollars. That money is split 70/30 between the creator and Gamewisp, and gives the sponsor a variety of benefits, including timed exclusives and premium content.

There’s a lot that can be taken advantage of, given a specialized platform. Analytics that can be more relevant to the platform.  As quoted from /u/hootener/u/hootener on Reddit,

[Say] you publish a lot of survival horror content to your channel. As a data platform, GameWisp can provide the information to you that most users who watch a lot of survival horror also watch a lot of RPG content.

So it sounds like data will be easier to interpret in a way that helps the creator.

Right now there’s still more that needs to be added for the platform to really shine. Once the discovery tools are finished, viewing and finding videos will hopefully be a more pleasant experience.
As it stands though, there’s so much potential in the Gamewisp platform and I’m just proud to be able to say I’m a part of it.

By the way my channel is located here and it’d be neat if you took a look.

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Flappy Bird

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I’m always late to the party and don’t even know if people still play Flappy Bird, but I jumped on today and pulled this score out of nowhere and felt it needed sharing.

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Infinity Wars!

Infinity Wars is a Digital Trading Card Game made by fellow Australian company Lightmare Studios which got it’s official Steam release this weekend. I’ve been a reasonably vocal fan of this game since they showcased it to everyone at PAXAUS last year where I first got a chance to play it. I got a beta key and got into the game almost immediately. I’ve even gone so far as to make a series of videos of my playing the game.
The game is simple to learn –much like Hearthstone is– but where Hearthstone feels very basic in it’s mechanics, Infinity Wars has more nuances and gameplay elements that make the game more complicated than merely attacking and casting damage spells. While Hearthstone plays a lot like traditional table-top card games (And as such could easily be converted to a physical card game!), Infinity Wars seeks to define itself by taking full advantage of the digital space it fills.
To me, the biggest way they achieve this is with the feature of simultaneous turns; both players plan their turns at the same time, then once the turn is over, their actions resolve at the same time. This means decisions need to take into account what the opponent is most likely to do as well. Games can be won and lost on whether or not you were able to guess the other player’s strategy and accurately counter it. There’s a certain thrill to that, and the suspense I feel as I wait to see what my opponent does really gets me pumped. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

It’s a fantastic game and I don’t think I could ever give it justice in a blog post. It is a free game which you can (and should) download from Steam immediately.

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I also bought a two terabyte hard drive.

I am now four hundred dollars poorer. A few days ago my computer decided it was going to take a sleep and refuse to turn on when I asked it to. I tried all sorts of things to no avail, before giving in and taking it to a shop to get looked at. As it turns out my power supply was fried (Thankfully it means I don’t need to buy a whole new computer), and I needed to buy a new one. Hence why despite only just getting this new shiny website, I didn’t get around to writing anything until RIGHT NOW.

Today I decided to start geocaching again while I was in Marion waiting for my computer to be finished with. For anyone unaware of the hobby, geocaching is a sort of worldwide treasure hunt built around the use of GPS. People hide caches all over the world, and using GPS you are meant to find them. When you find them, you sign the log inside and place it back in it’s hiding place. It’s a simple but fun hobby that I used to do a lot, but time restraints made me give it up. I figure now I’m on a more stable shift at work, I can begin again.
I went looking for four of them that were all placed along the same riverside track. The first two were relatively simple to find and only took a few minutes (One of those two was covered in ants for some reason. I ended up with a whole heap of ants biting my hand, which sucked.), while the other two were concealed much better and despite the supplied hints I was unsuccessful in finding them.
The thing that bugs me when I can’t find a geocache is I don’t know whether it’s my lack of skill, or the cache is just no longer there. All I can do is sign the cache as DNF (Did Not Find) and move on to try again another time and hope it’s still there.

I plan on doing a lot more geocaching now, and if you’re a fellow player you should absolutely visit my profile and add me (I’m pretty sure you can add people as friends).

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…and back again

Well it’s happened. I’ve departed from Tumblr and moved back to the comfort that is WordPress. I have quite a few reasons for doing this, but the main two are as follows.

  1. Customization. Tumblr lacks a lot in comparison to WordPress and other self hosted blogging platforms. You can customize your theme to death but in the end it’s exactly the same as every other Tumblr out there. You reblog things, they appear on your blog.
    WordPress gives me more options in themes, plugins, and other tools.
  2. The Tumblr community sucks. I am sure that there are many, many fantastic and lovable people that use Tumblr. I know this because I am lucky enough to be friends with several of them. However, there seems to be a lot of issues in the community, in particular misandry disguised as feminism and bullying disguised as social justice. It seems to get worse every day and seeing it all the time feels like it has a toxic effect on me.
    When you write on a website, whether a blog or otherwise, that is your property. Your opinion. Your views. Your work. Since the things you write on Tumblr appear on another person’s dashboard rather than them travelling to your blog specifically, many people seem to be under the impression that it’s theirs and therefore their right to bully, abuse or harass people over it. It’s the same on many websites, but where they are simply comments posted in a controlled environment, the viral approach Tumblr takes in “reblogging” can spread such abuse and hatred far and wide, exposing it to hundreds and thousands of people in the right settings. The nature of such features are meant to spread interesting content to others interested, but unfortunately I frequently see it used to amplify embarrassment and harassment.

I will still continue to use Tumblr, but I know I will also feel far more comfortable having my own personal space carved out, right here. On that note, hello all! You’re in for a peachy time. Prepare for my ramblings about whatever niche thing I’m interested in at any particular moment.
The website will probably undergo some editing changes as I get comfortable and set up everything. Right now it’s very bare-bones because my Internet is capped. I’ll be surprised if this post even publishes.

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