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Messages - Dincrest

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General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:26:40 PM »
I think smoke detectors are the literal definition of "necessary evil." 

Speaking of time changes, is anyone else having trouble with them?  I feel like the older I get, the more difficult it is for my body to adjust to the time changes, especially this one.  I like to stick to one circadian rhythm and just stay there.  I'm up at 5AM every day and I don't like that my work commute is now darker than usual.  I'm a morning person, so I like my daylight in the morning and don't need the sky to be bright at dinnertime.  Knowing my body, I'm going to feel jet-lagged all week at least.  Hawaii and most of Arizona got it right in not having this silly time change nonsense. 

On another note, keeping my spirits up is March Madness.  Most of my students and coworkers like to fill brackets and the games really help make March go faster.  Otherwise March feels like the month that never ends.  I went out on a limb with my bracket (I embraced the "madness" part of March Madness), though I picked Michigan State as my overall winner, and it seems I'm not alone there. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 10, 2018, 10:35:01 AM »
New New Year's Resolution:

I resolve to change the batteries in my smoke detectors every weekend we have the "spring forward/fall back" time changes.  Because few things are more insufferable than a smoke detector chirping for Energizer 9-volts at 2 in the bloody morning.  I'm up every day at 5 AM, so sleep is more precious to me than the Ring is to Gollum.

So, yeah, I changed the batteries in my smoke detectors today.  Luckily, I always have a running supply of 9-volts because one of my basses has active electronics.  Also, luckily, my new house doesn't have high vaulted or cathedral ceilings that are all the rage these days on HGTV.  I actively sought out a home where "changing the batteries in my smoke detectors won't be a pain in the ass."  All I need is a step ladder. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:58:08 PM »
About 100 or so pages into Blackmark.  The plot is thickening and some really cool characters are being introduced.  As always, the more interesting characters to me are the side characters the "point of view" characters interact with, particularly those in the Olea, Ghrenna, and Dherran chapters thus far.  In general, the female POV characters are more interesting than the guys.  The most interesting male POV character so far is Dherran. 

The writing still loses me on occasion with its paragraph structure (sometimes paragraphs go off on ambling tangents and/or combine two trains of thought that would be more cohesive and comprehensible were they separate paragraphs) and snippets of somewhat modern vernacular that don't always feel smoothly integrated into this fantasy world.  The author is creative and the book is filled with potential (which is why I'm still reading it), but she is either still getting her sea legs or doesn't have a good editor to really tighten up the narrative. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:59:33 PM »
better does not necessarily mean ideal/perfect. 

Both versions of FFXII have flaws in story, gameplay, and interface.  The best part about that game was the Gambit system because I could custom tailor to my exacting tastes how I wanted my companion AI to act, and have been spoiled ever since.  That's another one of my pet peeves is companion AI that's so absolutely brainless (even with rudimentary options on how I want them to act) that I have to babysit them or they'll blow themselves up.  That is not fun. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:34:16 PM »
In threads like this, I always gripe about FFXII's License Board.  I loathed it because it felt arbitrary, tacked on, made zero contextual sense within the game, and was needlessly complicated.  Why couldn't I just go to the store, but a hat, and wear it?  Why did I need to earn a stupid license to wear a hat? 

The new system in Zodiac Age was a million times better.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:29:49 PM »
Letting go is always the hardest thing.  I gave up or sold consoles and games to old friends.  They are enjoying tons of play there rather than sitting on my table collecting dust.  I've mentioned before that I donated a couple of my old workhorse bass guitars to the music department of the high school I work at, and am glad that those instruments are inspiring the next generation of rock stars the way they inspired me.  On the opposite end, I acquired an amazing 6-string bass that had been languishing for a long time and I have plans to restore it some.  Make it really shine. 

I'm in the contemplative process of potentially parting with some of my comic books.  I loved those stories (some of which had profound effects on me), but a part of me thinks that they would be better served being read by someone else than just sitting in my collection box.  A few of my LP records too. 

...and watch this, all I'll end up doing is getting store credit for those things at various comic book and secondhand music stores in my area and buying new comics, collectables, and music. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Top 10 Story-Driven RPGs
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:22:06 PM »
True, but this thread was about story and there is no denying that Planescape's story is one of the best video game stories out there, dated gameplay be damned. 

In much the same way, we could say that modern literature is more effortless to read than, say, Gone with the Wind (which was written in the 1930s) but that doesn't stop Gone with the Wind from being one of the most epic stories ever told.  Sure, classics like that are "one and done" books that we wouldn't voraciously re-read, but the one time spent reading it has that profound effect on us. 

There are plenty of video games that are one-and-dones for me.  I do not see myself replaying Planescape or Xenogears now in 2018.  Not with so many newer games out there, particularly those with better "quality of life" gameplay and interface elements.  But I'm glad for the experiences I had with those aforementioned games, because their tales had that effect on me and are still stuck in my consciousness.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:44:07 PM »
Lockpicking was the absolute worst in Shadow Madness. 

The Soundroom / Re: Dincrest needs music recommendations again
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:42:16 PM »
Again, we share a brain.  Gojira's stuff can be very hit or miss.  Liquid Fire is a killer song, though. 

The Soundroom / Re: Dincrest needs music recommendations again
« on: March 05, 2018, 06:13:47 PM »
Parkway Drive isn't a band I typically listen to, but that vocalist was outstanding.  Too bad the rest of the song (the riffs, the progression, et al) was very by-the-numbers mallcore. 

I see Parkway Drive's vocalist the way I saw the bassist in Mudvayne- both are/were way too good for the crappy bands they're in and need to upgrade. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Top 10 Story-Driven RPGs
« on: March 05, 2018, 06:06:21 PM »
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (another classic more people should play)

I've heard amazing things about Bloodlines.  I never got to play it because my PC at the time was too pitiful to run it, and by the time I could run it, Troika went under and the game was still really buggy and without patches. 

On another note, I'm surprised that I'm still the only person in this thread who mentioned Planescape: Torment.  I know I'm not the only one who played it. 

The Soundroom / Dincrest needs music recommendations again
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:29:53 PM »
As most of you know, I love metal.  However, I've noticed that as much as I enjoy harsh vocals, I'm starting to veer away from the more incoherent growlers who enunciate poorly.  I'm into lyrics and several of these bands put great effort into crafting meaningful lyrics, yet when I'm listening in my car I can't really "sing" along since I can't quite make out what they're saying because they enunciate all mush-mouthed. 

I first noticed this when listening to the new Rivers of Nihil song "The Silent Life" (great song) and was able to understand a lot of the words without consulting a lyric sheet. 

So, anyway, who are some good harsh vocalists who enunciate well and can be understood? 

I'm already familiar with Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom), Devin Townsend, and sometimes Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) and Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) but I'm looking for more.  I figured that since RPGFan is a hotbed for fellow metalheads, I would call upon thee. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 04, 2018, 07:45:09 AM »

Teach me how to use a bow

In Zelda or IRL?

This got me thinking about something.  While so many things are far easier in video games than in real life (e.g. fishing, karate fighting, even dating), what instances are there where doing the real thing is easier than the video game? 

For me, I still think getting outside and playing American football in the park with a bunch of friends is easier in real life than in video games.  Yes, even Tecmo Bowl (which is my all time favorite football video game.)  Yeah, I could get hurt playing tackle, but hold ball- line up pass- throw is a simpler sequence to me than the multi-button rigmarole of a video game. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: March 03, 2018, 08:34:08 AM »
So, I started Blackmark by Jean Lowe Carlson.  It was a freebie and the start of a fantasy trilogy.  I'm about 3-4 chapters in and while I'm not wowed by it, I'm not turned off either.  The characters seem cool and the story has potential, but the writing clearly indicates that this author is still getting her sea legs.  The narrative sometimes goes on ambling tangents, making some paragraphs feel loose.  It's nothing some tighter editing couldn't help.  Dialogue also sometimes has instances of more contemporary phrasing.  It usually works, but I'm probably just noticing it more because I just got off of reading Lord of the Rings where Tolkien's writing made everything feel otherworldly because it was older (British) English.   

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 01, 2018, 05:53:44 PM »
. We were shooting Christmas ornaments again, and when you hit them just right/wrong, they fall to the floor and bounce away. That happened to his, so he aimed at my target instead. Our arrows hit at the exact same moment, and it looked like they both pierced the bauble, but upon closer inspection his was half a centimeter off and mine hit true.

OMG, you're Robin Hood!!

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