In this age of Mobile Phones, or Smart Phones, and the Internet and Cord Cutters, we are tempted to think of Mobile Phones as a Utility. But they are not, primarily because they are not regulated to be so. Shouldn’t this service be a Utility?
These are crowd-sourced coverage maps for AT&T 4G from Sensorly. Does this look like a utility to you? To me, this looks like the Provider has decided that coverage is important on main roads, and not in residences or minor roads. So don’t get stuck or have an Emergency on anything except a major road. Don’t use your mobile phone from home, use it from your business.
What if the electrical grid or land line phone service was done this way? What does this say about folks – an increasing majority of us – who only have a cell phone and no land line?
Ok. So it’s Wow’s 13th Anniversary and we got glasses and a XP Buff with a nice Tabard for the rest of the month.
Last time we talked about how Tera changed the Mystic skills sometime around May 2017 when I wasn’t playing. And they basically messed up leveling by removing the tank pet which used to arrive at level 4 and delayed it until level 50. Update: See at the end
Well let’s take a look at the Wow Warlock, which is essentially the same class as Tera Mystic.
Notice you get a Summon Imp spell – which is a ranged DPS pet that follows you around – at level 5. This is not a totem that is fixed in place for a limited time, but a pet that does not time out, follows you around and attacks what you attack. You get control of it – Move it, Passify it, Sick it on a target, etc. – at level 10. You get the Voidwalker, which is the tank pet, at level 20. There are lots more pets, some of them are higher level talents, which means you get choices about which ones etc.
Sometime during this year, apparently, the Mystic class was completely changed. Turned on it’s head actually.
The biggest issue from my point of view is that the Thrall of Protection, a tank for solo leveling, was changed from level 4 to level 50. So you no longer have a tank to use during solo leveling.
This is a severe quality of life change as far as I’m concerned.
Basically the entire class skills have been turned on it’s head.
Skills that you get when you were level 60, you now get when you are level 4. So instead of getting Thrall of Protection so you can solo easily, you now get Boomerang and Contagion, which are AOE skills that were added with the level 60 update a few years ago.
Here’s a description of some changes to leveling coming out of Blizzcon 2017.
I have to say I’m skeptical. At least out of the gate.
Here’s the presentation at Blizzcon 2017.
There has been a lot of discussion lately, in the Run-Up to Blizzcon, about Auto-leveling. Apparently there has been rumor and speculation about the next expansion deploying the same style of auto-leveling across all of the game that is employed in Legion areas, where the mobs around you are leveled to your strength [level?] or vice-versa.
I vote NO on this. There are too many aspects of the game that have grown up over the years that would be trashed by this change.
Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrum and others have been warning of “The Singularity” for some time now.
In their scenario, an AI wakes up one day and is suddenly smarter than any human, and alone, or by coercing humans to help it, this single AI either takes over the world, or helps we poor dumb humans out of all of our problems in a flash of intelligent light.
On the other hand, Daniel Dennett talks at length on youtube and in his books about the power of culture, the power of memes and “Intuition Pumps” and other tools for thinking. It seems to me that the Singularity Folks have it wrong and Dennett is a lot closer to the truth.
Let’s run the numbers. For a private University- Such as Harvard.
The Endowment is about $40 Billion and the Operating Budget is a little over $4 Billion.
So what does it cost to go to Harvard?
So, based on the student population and the expenses per student, the students only contribute about 10% of the annual budget of the University. So it could easily be FREE to go to this University and the University would not go broke. After all, they are making more then 6% on their huge endowment, which is more than $2 BILLION with a B every year in income on their endowment. On which they pay no taxes. Yep. Universities pay no taxes. So what about the students in “Professional Programs”? Well those folks “Live at Home” and their expenses are paid by their employers, right? No? Shame on them.
Other private institutions and I dare say, state institutions are in a similar situation. So why is college tuition going up? Why are these institutions hoarding their endowments rather than making college affordable? Why is Yale running an expensive golf course at government expense – that is, not paying taxes on it?
Pick the college that you are interested in and Google it for yourself.
University should be free for everyone in the US – Tuition and Reasonable on-campus expenses should be paid. The Rip-Off business of College Loans should Go Out of Business and all student debt should be forgiven. Colleges are in the business of selling mortgages on the futures of our young people and we as a society should stop it.
That’s my 2 cents.
So just how do you level these days?
I’m back to Wow after playing back in 2011 – 2013, so a lot of things have changed. As I mentioned in my last Wow post about Economics, the leveling experience is different in many ways. When I restarted in the May 2017, I had some characters up to 85 or so, both Horde and Alliance, and some saved gold. My goal was to build a realm of about a dozen Alliance toons starting with a DK that was already 85, a Hunter in low 80’s and a few other lower level toons. I’m an Altaholic so I try to play all the classes and many of the races.
Here are some tips that I’ve learned about how best to level.
(1) Take advantage of Heirlooms. With a 10% Exp boost for each piece and the power they give, they are worth the gold, even if you need to use a Wow Token to get and upgrade them. I splurged and have both Agility and Intellect Mail as well as Plate and Cloth sets. 32 Total, all upgraded to Level 100. Sure I could get 3 more for the side car mount that comes with the Achievement at 35, but I don’t have any more toons lower than level 20, so everybody already rides. Honored rep with your guild allows you to buy helms and legs, so that can be four pieces of armor. At 10% XP boost per piece that’s 40% XP boost per kill or quest – I think. At least I’m leveling a lot faster than otherwise. I’m leaving areas about half way through as I quest. The heirloom weapons are very powerful too. So that’s a minimum of five heirlooms per spec type. But there’s a lot of overlap. Druids and Shaman can both use the Mace with Intellect or Agility for example.
Of course there is the new Valkyrie class. She’s a babe with attitude, but that’s no different from all the recent class additions. All female, all gender / culture locked and all over-powered. I’ve been away from Tera for a while doing other things. Guild Wars 2, Wow Private Servers, and Guild Wars 1. I left Tera back a while ago when they nerfed Guilds. Took away the guild bank unless you had lots of dedicated players, so the guild bank was locked away from family or multiple account players. But I’ve come back to try Valkyrie and found a few things had changed.
They seem like minor changes and they simplify the game, but some of these changes appear to have had unintended, or at least disappointing consequences.
Update: Pics of Level 53 Armor
Well it’s certainly not ugly. But these folks have not been paying attention. While the game looks great, the developers are stuck in a game design from years ago.
What’s wrong out of the box? I know that the modern way to review games with with a Youtube video where I shout at the screen while I deal with the frustrations of the game. But here is the old style blogging review. Here are my first impressions after a couple of hours with Revelation Online Open Beta.