Wednesday, July 12, 2017

League of Children

I am using bold text items throughout this
If you look through this blog you will find plenty of posts about video games, a hobby and interest I have had for as long as I can remember. It started with the NES and developed into Genesis and then on and on after that. All of that being said, I have a tendency to get into games, as of late mainly pc games. One of those games being a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), League of Legends.  This post has little to do with the game design, mechanics etc. but more to do with the environment and community.

human beings
As with any online games, you're not alone in this world, you share it with other human beings. With this variable, you will more than likely clash with some personality's and get along just fine with others. But one of the things about competitive games, is an attraction from ego's and hot heads, a short number this game has not.

pointless history
When I first started playing League of Legends, I would only play "bot games" (a game where you and human players fight against computer players), this nearly eliminated the verbal diarrhea, although in this it was mostly people complaining about "kill steals". Overall a semi-peaceful environment. After a 100 or more bot games, you begin to develop a learning curve and these games get boring to play. At the time I never really started playing against many human players, I found the experience to be a little overwhelming and just quit playing the game completely. I cannot say for sure the date when I started playing and when I had a hiatus, but it's been several years, no doubt.

pointless history pt. 2
It wasn't until late last year that I installed the game again, and jumped head first into what I call "human games". I had a group of friends I grew up with who play as well, and we would play regularly after work during the week. It was a lot of fun, but I was far from having any idea of what I was doing. But it was a helluva good time. Of course throughout this experience I started to see more and more angry and hostile players bitching about other people. I am the type of person who knows and understands that I suck at the game, I have no idea what I am doing for the most part. But I know the only way to get better is through practice and playing. That being said, I would take a lot of what these other players would say to heart. I did consider quitting playing the game all together. But like I said, I knew I was relatively new and I wouldn't get anywhere without practice.

learning the game
Let's fast forward to present day, and I have now easily over 1000's of matches and have only ranked as high as bronze 2 in this game (this game has a ranking system, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond and challenger), it's pitiful but I am slowly learning the nature and behavior of how this all plays out in the game itself. To me this game has many different aspects to take into consideration while trying to get wins and be a better overall player. The first and most crucial and elementary thing to learn is a champion. Learn its skills, its weaknesses, what equipment is good, runes and masteries, the list goes on and on. The next thing is learning objectives, taking out towers, "farming" (killing minions), and finally killing the bosses in the map (dragon and baron/rift herald). Throughout the playing process you will no doubt learn the layout of the map and that is also a crucial part of playing. Once I got my head around this, and started exclusively playing one champion I started to feel like I was getting a little better. Though I am a below average player.

assholes and idiots
Learning the game was probably the easiest part of the whole process of getting into this. The hardest and most difficult area to deal with, is the player base. Getting into a game and seeing yourself doing ok, and then out of nowhere somebody will spout out of their mouth something like, "you fucking idiot! what are you doing?!". This will instantly tilt me a little, and then again it will reverberate and echo throughout the match. The next thing I know, I cannot focus on playing but instead am focused on this person talking about god knows what. And I see this countless times over. We will being doing well in the game, and then somebody has to complain about somebody else on the team, and then like clockwork we start losing towers or we will start getting pecked off left and right.

the mute button
This is where I learned the utopia of this game, a kind of holy grail. That being the mute button, yes you have the option to mute particular players, or mute everyone all together. Though this will not guarantee victory, but it will atleast give you an opportunity to focus on the game for yourself. This does come with a kind of blindfold from players who are genuinely trying to see your team succeed, but this game does have pings which are indicators of an action from another player to the team. You can also mute these as well, if somebody is abusing them, which happens almost every game. An indicator to be in a specific spot, or to let teammates know an enemy is out of position and could be wandering to potentially attack them, there also indications of assistance and danger to stay back. All very helpful, but when used simply to attract attention, they become useless and more of an annoyance than anything else.

kills killing and killing yourself
One thing about egos and competitive play, is that you get people who get into these games and there one priority and goal is to get kills. They could literally care less about anything else other than kills. This is great and probably one of the most crucial parts about a victory screen. But when you get more concerned about kills, you begin to make mistakes and die a lot yourself. A good strategy is to play it safe and focus on objectives. Through this process you will no doubt get yourself some kills, but will also help yourself and team actually win.

I still suck
Some things I am still trying to learn and develop is CS (creep score, more or less killing the minions that group into your lane), utilizing active skills within items, faster item buying and overall layout of shop, wards and warding in general, faster reaction and screen movement (especially during combat), skills and auto attacking, what I might call combos. There is an endless amount of things that I cannot even begin to process in my brain. The pros all have the ability to move around and perform quickly without flinching. I am not one of those players.

I still, still suck
Overall the game is fun, and it does give me the enjoyment I got from playing games like Starcraft, Age of Empires, Quake 3 Arena and Counter Strike. It has a certain attractive simplicity about it, but also a hugely complexity. To me not quite as complex as a game like Starcraft or as fast paced and daunting as Quake 3 Arena, but it incorporates aspects over many different genres of games.

Well I hope this was semi helpful to new players, and might encourage you to keep playing. My only goal out of this game is to maybe get silver, and then gold and so on. Right now I feel like I am placed well. That's the beauty of this game, you will always play with people in your own skill level. Although a whole other can of worms, is smurf accounts, and the detriment that have to your games.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

youtube error ublock

what you will see if you have ublock enabled on youtube
Just recently as of this exact date, youtube now has figured out how to disable ublock (a chrome extension that eliminates most ads from websites). I am not entirely sure if there is a way around this, but I find it ironic that I was actually thinking about this the other day, when youtube insistently asks to "try" their new paid service for a free trial. I was just thinking that there is no way that they will allow 3rd parties to interfere with their ability to make money.

Ethically there is nothing wrong with them wanting to get money for an excellent resource they created. With ad's being run in all videos that no doubt, brings in a hefty amount of revenue; considering the volume of traffic youtube gets. I am only saying that because of the endless videos uploaded and the subscriber and viewer counts. I can only imagine the amount of money brought in from ads alone. Take in the fact youtube is bought out by google, a mega conglomerate.

All this being said that they are in fact making plenty of money regardless. I remember back in the day the internet was a free resource. You pay for the internet, and soon you will pay for the web sites that you enjoy visiting. Or you pay for it by commercials and advertisements. I need to learn some survival skills and go live out in the woods.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Sometimes I feel like I'm not solid. I'm hollow. There is nothing behind my eyes. I'm negative of a person. It's as if I never thought anything, I never wrote anything, I never felt anything. All I want is blackness, blackness and silence"
-Sylvia Plath-

Saturday, April 29, 2017

identity, purpose and contradictions

(if this at all sound authoritative, I apologize in advance. These are only ideas that come into my brain, and I want to express them through this blog)

An identity if anything but being a working, breathing, fucking, sleeping and eating creature... just like any other biological specimen is a contradiction to our existence. We have some kind of idea that the media, fashion or whatever else gives us a sense of purpose is important. When we strip away the layers of diatribe prescribed by the television, movies, music, internet we get a false identity. 

I always tried to abandon the popular ideas that our society accepts, only to find myself sad, lonely and confused. But in reality the herd moves instinctively about ideas and lifestyles that match society. They are not actually looking for individuality they are only trying to enjoy the pleasures of life like any other homo-sapiens should. 

The ability to appease the conscience by whatever means necessary is absolutely essential to survival and success in life. To belittle and berate the beliefs of those who live successful and fulfilling lives is a sign of inferiority and displeasure with your own existence. 

This has been a bit wildly described and confusing, though unintentional and a bit contradictory to my first paragraph. My whole intention was to write about the identity crisis in america, particularly in the mental health of human beings. I think it is acceptable to be interested in media, but I also think that the most important regard to identity is the ability to survive. I think identity should be in regards to the animals around us, the ones who instinctively move about and obey nature. It will never be that easy for humans, we have this necessity to please our own species by means of false identity. The more we nurture false identity the more we encourage behavior that contradicts our existence.

In summary, live to succeed and accept the principles that encourage growth. It's absolute polarity, it makes no sense and I think that is the key-piece to living. We expose we contradict we abandon and expose, circling in a endless confusion. But when we accept and adapt, we begin to find living through confusion is acceptable. Besides all of that, the pleasures of life are more enjoyable. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vital Remains evil ~ death ~ live

Alongside the recent Abdullah purchase I grabbed this vital remains dvd. I never got too into vital remains, but always wanted to give them some more attention, so I thought this was a good addition. What sold me on buying this though was the amazing artwork included. I might give my thoughts on this one later, but for now here is what the dvd looks like.






[MUSIC REVIEW] Abduallah - Graveyard Poetry (2002)

Let me briefly go into how I learned about this band in the first place, it kind of coorelates with this review in the first place. Let's rewind back to the early 00's and I was just getting into the whole stoner rock scene, as an initiatory Black Sabbath (ozzy era) fan, I learned that a whole sub genre was created out of their sound and other bands, I am too ignorant to name. At the time there was a web site by the name of stonerrock.com. But it was basically a archive of all bands in the aforementioned genre of music. I would go through the bands randomly listening to different artists and hearing what was out there.

One of the bands that kept my attention was a group by the name of Abdullah. I had a scant amount of mp3's of theirs. At the time my mom was heading to Chicago for some kind of business expo, and while we were there I got to go to this giant record store. And that is where I obtained their 2002 release "graveyard poetry", a disc that got a lot of spins. Fast-forward a few years and my collection of music got expunged to gain funds for what I can remember for probably drugs or something irresponsible and not worth the abandonment of material possessions.

Well I was at a record store around here in my neighborhood. They have a small "metal" section of Cd's, and I almost shit myself when I saw graveyard poetry there. It was a measly $5, so it was a no brainer and I picked it up. I know what your thinking, "cool story bro...". But to me this was some kind of intuitive intergalactic sign, the cosmos were telling me to stop listen, and reminiscence with some of nostalgic relic.

Another side note, I actually remember conversing with the band over AIM (aol instant messenger) at the time, and I remember them telling me that they were going to be playing at Mac's Bar (a local gig). I never did attend the show, which I still kick myself today. Maybe the band would have stuck together had they been given the support and recognition they deserved.

So the music here I can only describe as some psychedelic rock/metal with melodic clean singing. I can't name a song that doesn't have a catchy ring to it. It's more upbeat then what I was typically listening to. But this is all played well and the vocals go great along with it. Listen I am not good at going into detail with musical details, you will just have to take my word for it. And give it a listen. You can find the full album on youtube.

Here is a liner note about the band...

abdullah is:
jeff shrilla - voice * alan seibert - guitar * ed stephens - bass * jim simonian - drums

graveyard poetry was:
recorded by paul hamann
at summa recording studio

bryan stauffer played piano on 13
jeff played drums on 5

artwork design by jeff

dedicated to jasper and matt shirilla
we love and miss you

contact us:
abdullah * po box 159
richfield, oh * 44286 * usa
abdullah@stonerrock.net
www.stonerrock.com/abdullah

not 100% sure if any of the contact information is still active or correct.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

update and randomness

Its been a while, I took a brief absence from the internet due to personal events that compromised my ability to readily use my laptop for blogging purposes. I am now in a stable place, but using the internet is still a matter of taking a trip to the library or a coffee shop. My plans and intentions of this blog where nothing more than to share my thoughts and ideas, and put a emphasis into my taste in music.

Social abilities are limited, I find myself cracking at the surface, but I will never be any different than how I remain. I don't mean to sound cryptic, but I have no other way to write than what seems to come natural to me.

I have had a l lot of time to be by myself and to think, its been refreshing but all the same a conclusion that abandones existence. The idea of teen angst, follows while thinking about this. Everything has a stereotype that saturates any real meaning. It all follows a social code, everything assembles into a social field.

Going off on a tangent here. This post was purely to check in, and say hi. I want to put up some new content. But right now I am at a stand still. That's all for now. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Purgation - Realm of the Dead EP 2000

Updates have been pretty slow for the month of March, being homeless and uninspired dragging me down. Anyways I wanted to share a unknown band I used to listen to all the way back into the early 2000's. The band is named Purgation, and not to be confused with a death metal band from Kolkata with the same name.

Anyways they are a doomy metal band with clean vocal styles. I have listened to a sparse  amount of bands that are in this same variety, most notable would be Abdullah. The more known groups in this genre are good, but their consistency and ability to rationalize a sound that is both evoking and strongly despairing. Why would somebody fall deep into a pit, anger and despair are the responses. Purgation is a group whose message is of the christian variety, but it's not in a preachy kind of way. Although I am certain when he says "will we wake up...", off the track Slumber, he isn't talking about literal sleep, but overcoming an impending doom for those who disbelieve in the faith.

Its simple, its angrily sang, nothing special in the guitar sections or drumming. But in most cases for me its typically the simple in style, who capture the most atmosphere and evoke emotional response. When I found this band, it was like a needle in a haystack. There is absolutely nothing about them on youtube, fortunately archive metallium had a page on them, and I was able to do more elaborate searching. After searching around, I came across their myspace page, and it has their EP in entirety so I am just listening to this, and thinking about the past.

Well nothing great, probably will be less updates for a while, being homeless and uncertain where I will be staying at, makes thinking difficult. I do have a laptop, and plan on making updates soon. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lords of Thunder Sega CD

Lords of Thunder is a horizontal shooter, for the Sega CD. It is a fun and worthwhile game, and for those fans of shmups who don’t make the cut. As far as surviving and feeling a sense of accomplishment when you play, this is the game for you. Consider this title a shmup with training wheels. It is essentially one of the easier shmups to be brought upon us. And considering the amount of shmups that I’ve played, this is hands down the easiest. And I might as well clarify, I am speaking of the Normal difficulty setting.

The game plays well, a lot of the bosses are really cool to look at. Some of the levels come off as repetitive and kind of generic in style. As I said before the bosses are done well, and are great to look at. But where they excel in style, they fail in sustainable and enduring play style. Let’s face it, most of the bosses if not all, come off as pretty lame. I am all about being able to complete a game, but I feel a sense of failure if the game doesn’t respond with a harsher reality.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pestilence - Spheres - 1993

PESTILENCE - Spheres
Roadrunner 1993
Credits: Marco Foddis - Drums.  Jeroen Thesseling - Bass.
Patrick Mameli - Vocals, Guitar.  Patrick Ulerwijk - Guitar.


In the early 90s, a small flurry of death metal bands experimented with mixing death metal and jazz fusion.  Improbably, the results are almost invariably remarkable.  Pestilence was one such band, and Spheres was their death jazz contribution, a wonderfully crafted blend of jazz-themed riffs, odd time signatures, extremely synth-like guitar lines, and mature lyrics (they never bought into the gore schtick put forth by New Yorkers Cannibal Corpse and their ilk).  What else can I say: I love this style of music, and it thus follows that I love this album.  Too bad Roadrunner records hated it so much that it led to the demise of the band.  Pestilence plays advanced music that avoids the "wank-fest" trap that so many progressive metal bands fall into.  These songs never degenerate into over-indulgence, but reveal more and more individual character upon each repeated listen.  The riff to Multiple Beings, while not very complex, gets stuck in my head all day long.  There are many places throughout Spheres where the listener would swear a keyboard was being played - but it is all guitar synthesizers, something that was totally foreign to death metal at the time (and largely, still is).  To a fan of jazz fusion and death metal, Spheres, and its contemporary albums from Atheist and Cynic, is an absolute essential. Bottom line: Like fine wine, Spheres only gets better with age.

Review by, Mark