Destiny and Its Discontents 
2015.02.01 18:33 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity
Destiny's big problem is that it's design doc probably reads like "what if we bolted Halo's FPS to a vanilla WoW-like theme part MMO and made lots of money?" This would be a minor variation on the "What if we made a WoW?" thing that was circulating through the games industry a while back. I had thought the last gasp of this idea was ESO, but further reflection suggests it's actually Destiny.

I think Bungie underestimated the amount of content this really required, probably suffered some internal and external political (corporate politics, not federal politics) pressures that made a dysfunctional hash of the story content, and attempted to streamline a progression model that is practically death to a meaningful endgame experience (in this, I think they were successful, but it exaggerates the problems that already went with this design). I'm not sure to what degree the loot and progression system are aimed at extending the paltry content offering vs. being a result of Bungie misunderstanding the sort of game they'd built. It doesn't really matter.

There's some rumors spinning around their forum at the moment that the next expansion will break progression, again, in a way that will favor the raiders over regular PvE shlubs. That's probably good news for me: it'll be a good excuse to give up on this train wreck, if I haven't, already.
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Seems like the thing to do. 
2011.08.24 21:11 - Entertainment, Books
Seen here, and here, and here in my RSS aggregator.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (Only two of three, though)
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan (Excepting New Spring and the last three volumes)
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks (Overrated.)
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

32 out of 100. Not giving myself credit for Verne, or Wells, which entries I've read, but only greatly abridged. Nor for one or two others I've only read excerpts of. Anathem I've got but haven't managed to sit down and read, yet.

Honestly, I found World War Z a bit tiresome. I didn't care for the format, but I also wasn't particularly persuaded by Brooks' ... interesting grasp of firearms. That aside, it's okay.

I think The Road is also fairly overrated, and I'm not sure it really qualifies for a list of science fiction. It sure was damned depressing, though.

Regarding the Foundation trilogy, I gave up early in Second Foundation. I think I was still in middle school at the time, so other than being bored, I couldn't tell you why.
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Double Bummed 
2011.04.20 16:11 - Entertainment, Movies
I was reminded a little bit ago that I really miss drive in movies. There's still a drive-in in the area, but it's a bit of a drive to reach.

It sounds like only other drive-in left in the area might reopen under new management.

However, someone affiliated with the possible new management has posted (on a site I don't frequent and don't feel like linking here) that weapons being on one's person or in one's vehicle will be grounds for ejection and banning from the premises.

I guess it's good to know up front that they don't want my money. (Especially since I recall that being a part of town I wasn't entirely comfortable being in after dark.)

Ah, well.
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Really Dorky Amazon Order 
2011.03.29 00:20 - Entertainment, Books, Meatspace Stupidity
Bought a hardcopy of The Laundry Files pen-and-paper RPG0 and a copy of Hacker's Delight, which will either be educational or mind-numbing, depending.

"I'll add a hardcopy [of Declare] to my next Amazon order[.]" Or at least I would do, except it seems to be out of print, and I don't feel like fooling with second hand books this evening. Still, good book. I recommend you check it out.

Also found some place selling Delta Green, which is supposed to be a modern military setting for the Call of Cthulhu game. So, I blew some money on that, too.0

Now, I'm going to try and behave myself until at least May.

0. I don't really have a good reason for why. I think it's unlikely I'll ever do more than read them.

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O fish, are you constant to the old covenant? 
2011.03.23 02:19 - Entertainment, Books, Microcode
I finished reading Declare, by Tim Powers, a little bit ago, which has been an interesting experience for multiple reasons.

For starters, I read nearly the whole thing on my phone, having purchased the Kindle version. I don't think I'll do that again, right away. Spending hours staring at the screen of my phone seems to be a sure-fire recipe for eyestrain, though it's otherwise an okay experience. I'm quite sure I still prefer paper, on the whole, but I suspect a Kindle device is in my future sometime in the next year or so.

Declare, itself, is an excellent novel and I recommend it. No guarantees you'll enjoy it, but I did. Especially if you've read Charles Stross' The Atrocity Archives, if only for the contrast between the two. I suspect I'll add a hardcopy of this book to my next Amazon order, in case I wish to lend it out.
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