The first thing I did when I got back into town was go over to Tycho’s and pick up the copy of Warcraft 3 he had waiting for me. The rest of the crew has been playing it quite a bit and I know they have all commented on it here at length. I knew that if I wanted to play with them I was going to have to catch up fast. I spent much of last night battling computer opponents and learning the Night Elf tech tree. By early morning I had a pretty solid build order and I felt like even though I was still getting my ass handed to me I had learned a lot. All I’m gonna say on the topic is the game is a work of art. When I play most games I can see that it was originally conceived by artists who carefully designed its characters and environments. Then those ideas get molested beyond recognition during their voyage from concept to actual game . For proof of this just take a peek at the concept art for one of your favorite titles. Chances are you will find gorgeous paintings or sketches full of character and texture. Then look at the final product and tell me if they don’t share only a passing resemblance. Warcraft 3 is an exception to that rule. It’s like every single part of the game was hand crafted by artists. The original vision of their extremely talented concept artists has been faithfully reproduced in three dimensions. The character models are perfect representations of the original designs, and that is no easy task. From the interface to the smallest lily pad floating in the water this game is beautiful in every way that a game can be beautiful.
I don’t know if you ever visit Gameforms. I know I don’t. Tycho sent me a link to this review of Lost Kingdoms though and I feel like I should comment on it. This guy is an idiot. He claims one of its many problems is that the battle system is to dependant on cards. Well I got news for you buddy, IT IS A CARD GAME. That is like playing poker and saying it would be a lot cooler if it didn’t have all those lame cards. He goes on to say that you often lose your cards right away and are left defenseless. Maybe the main character should have a knife he says. Jesus H. Christ, managing your deck is one of the fundamental game mechanics in Lost Kingdoms. You need to take cards into battle that you can play at strategic moments in order to replenish your deck. There are plenty of cards that will put lost cards back into your hand, you just have to fucking use them. He also bitches about the lack of mid level save points. I guess he didn’t see the “deck points” which are mid level save points. Maybe he is blind or something. I don’t have time to go into all the problems with his lame review. Just know that this guy is a retard and Lost Kingdoms is one of the best games ever.
I spent last week with my family doing the vacation thing. I got to spend some time with my sister who I very rarely see anymore. She happened to bring her children with her, who I also very rarely see. It turns out that my nieces, who I always think of as little girls are actually 11 and 14 now. I took them to the store with me one day and they asked me to by them some magazines. They picked out these teen magazines with pictures of boys on the cover and headlines like “20 kissing secrets he wishes you knew!” I didn’t see any harm in it so I picked them up and we went home. Later that day I found the magazines sitting around and I decided to take a peek at them. It was all pretty standard stuff, embarrassing stories, makeup tips and whatnot. Then I got to the advice section where apparently little girls send in their questions about sex and boys. One 13 year old girl asked “My boyfriend’s penis is crooked, is this normal?” Call me old fashioned, but that seems kind of fucked up. I mean, not four pages before this I had seen this same magazine censor the word S**T. So some editor there decides you can’t put the ‘HI” in shit but you can tell a 13 year old girl why her boyfriend’s boner looks like a boomerang. I have decided that when I have children of my own they will not be allowed to watch television, read magazines or see movies. I’ll raise them on comic books and violent videogames.
One last thing. I am having a strange problem with my Wacom tablet. It seems that the pressure sensitivity has gotten all screwed up. There is now no middle ground between having to press as hard as I can to make a mark and being able to move the pen an inch or so over the surface of the tablet and still have it register. I have tried reinstalling both Adobe Photoshop and my tablet. If anyone out there has any ideas I’d love to hear them.
Lots of people have suggested replacing the tip. I tried that and it did not fix the problem.