If you had a choice in a Fantasy Life, would you choose to be Ugly?
Would you choose to grow old and die of old age? In a few years?
Well, if that’s your dream, you may soon will be able to do that.
Today I tripped across a character creation video posted by the developers of this game on Youtube. See below. I think they missed the memo that says that “This is a fantasy world where you can be the way you want to be, rather than putting up with Real-Life.”
Maybe this idea will get traction, but no other popular MMO that I’m aware of makes this choice. All other MMOs that I’ve played have made it easy to be attractive. Yes, there is usually a race or two that are, shall we say, Dramatic in their appearance, But they are usually not designed to be ugly. Apparently all the tribes of Elyria are designed to be, what I’ll call here, Dramatic, and all look similarly so. That is, all the Races, or Tribes, look like variations on a single or two similar looks. For me this is a turn off. An interesting take, but still a turn off. Here are some choices that they showcased in the character creation video. I don’t mind a dramatic choice, but there don’t look like there are any “Attractive” or “Fantasy” choices.
I’m not into “Body Shaming” or criticizing folks looks. Personally, I’m not that handsome. But I don’t seek out ways to identify myself with an Avatar that looks worse than I do. At least not all the time.
I admit that there is novelty here. But I’m not clear that this is going to be popular, especially since these are the Only Choices in the game. Looks like a turn off and bad choice for the game. This is a screenshot of the Concept Art from the website. Is this the fantasy life you would choose?
Mobile Phone as a Utility? To Every home? Too Expensive you say? Really? While we pay an average of $71 / month in 2012.
In one survey, 46% of Americans with mobile phones said their monthly bill was $100 or more, and 13% said their monthly bill topped $200 per month. The average individual’s cell phone bill was $71 per month last year, a 31% increase since 2009, according to J.D. Power & Associates.Oct 18, 2012
So don’t we think that is enough income to allow mobile phone providers to provide coverage at every home and business?
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.