ps238principal (ps238principal) wrote,

Still trying to get Skyrim wrong, in the right way...

I'm still working on that Skyrim playthrough for YouTube, having finally done a third starting episode that wasn't too long and doesn't make me cringe inwardly when I hear it. Now I just have to mix everything together and figure out a few things that Adobe Premiere can/can't do. I'll be playing it vanilla, though some of the mods are bordering on the unbelievable. Quite often with these games, the first mods are dancing, adult entertainment, some kind of Warhammer armor, and lightsabers. I've yet to meet any of the really amazing bugs others reported (aside from my own when I forget to hit "record" or what have you), apart from people being half-in walls or vanishing suddenly, leaving their disembodied voices behind. I suppose I'll just have to rely on my own game playing "style" for comedy, which shouldn't be too much of a problem, given what I've had happen in just the first half-hour alone...

This Supreme Court decision is supposedly only for copyrights to be brought into compliance with international treaty, but from what I can tell, it allows Congress to re-copyright works in the public domain. I know I harp on how "we gamers" think about things, but one of the greatest highlighters of the law of unintended consequences out there when it comes to statues has got to be the rules lawyer. There's probably a lot of entertainment industry cash behind this (or there will be), and it's not hard for the gamer-brain to see the obvious exploit: If Congress will honor the copyright claims in other countries and apply them here, whichever country offers eternal copyright will soon have just about everything registered there (for a fee, of course). Not that our country isn't already inching towards some kind of "life of the artist plus eternity for whoever buys their estate" model, but it just seems like such a blatant disregard for the value of public domain works. I'm wondering if any group out there has eyes for locking up Lovecraft's works, causing a major Triple-Hastur event in the gaming industry alone...

In somewhat related news, the file-downloading site Megaupload got taken down by the Justice Department (so why do they need SOPA, again?). While we've seen this behavior before, I'm going to keep an eye out for how Anonymous' revenge will shake out. It's odd to say it's "just" a bunch of denial of service attacks, since that's really only a short-term thing. I'm wondering if this skirmish will escalate and on which side?

In addition to collating all of the suggestions/bug reports on the new site (and fixing them over the weekend), I'm doing some last-minute reworks to the scripts on that Diablo comic project. I believe some interview questions to me have gone up in various places around the 'net, or they soon will. I'd love to be able to say what impact the comic has on the game, but I've got no clue, so I'll find out along with everyone else. For those planning on playing Diablo III, it looks like there are some pretty significant changes to the game that have just been announced. I'd just like someone to invent a mechanical index finger that clicks the mouse a hundred times a second if I hit the relevant hotkey. :)

I'm still waiting for my PC-based Matrix pod for all this gaming stuff, by the way. Until I get one, I keep having to distract myself from the fact I'm without it via things like:

- Destined to become the nerdy version of "Jingle Cats," here's The Bark Side.
- As with all Top 10 lists, feel free to have personal items that you'd rank higher, but this is still a nice collection of great character introductions in film scripts.
- Fox News (or some branch thereof) has gone after DC Comics' reboot for being too smutty. That's arguable, but the article also points out that Fox still holds several Marvel movie properties. :)
- Fans of Zelda-esque top-down RPGs should find something to like about the Scarlet Stranger. Use your trusty sword and shield (as well as crafting skills) to rescue the obligatory princess.
- Statistic fetishists, here's something that should thrill: The internet in 2011, by the numbers.
- The recent reworking of its logo left a lot of readers scratching their heads, but when "enhanced" with the properties it's attached to, the DC Comics logo looks pretty decent.
- The title says it all: Impudent Cat.
- More video game modification: Here's news and an embedded trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha, a mod that puts a bunch of alpha-build material that was cut back into the game. Then there's Half-Life Dreamcast, a port of the canceled Dreamcast version of Half-Life as a mod, containing lots of material that didn't show up in the PC version.
- My next big dream project is somehow getting Lovecraft-inspired carpets in our house without my wife noticing.
- So it turns out a movie adaptation of the Bone comic is coming and it has a director.
- Since I inflicted LMAFO on everyone with the Skyrim dance video above, here's their song "Party Rock" literally interpreted with MS Paint.
- The SOPA-compliant poster of a character that shall not be named is pretty cool-looking, actually.
- In addition, it would appear that the blackout of popular internet sites and associated awareness of the anti-piracy bills had the desired effect on many congresscritters.
- I harp on Fringe for product placement, but this show has it beat, I think.
- Want to take photos that are two stories high? Get a 35 foot long camera.
- When stuffed animals are no longer adoptable, rest assured that their skins are being recycled as art.
- Here's an early Caturday game, Cats Cannon. Fire your felines "Angry Birds" style against the... possibly evil dogs? I dunno. I just like launching things.
Tags: copyright, diablo iii, new site, skyrim, sopa, video games
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Now here's something interesting - James M Ward has rereleased the first edition of Metamorphosis Alpha in print-on-demand format:

Adjusted for inflation, that's cheaper than $5 in 1976

I'm sure there's a witty comment to be made here about this preceding WOTC's announcement of limited-edition reprints of 1E AD&D core books, but I'm too busy jumping with excitement that MA 1E is back in print :)
Unless Charles Dickens has an ongoing "estate", I seriously doubt you are going to see a lot of public domain works get new copyright protection. This may protect a lot of works about to go into the public domain area, however. And that I regard as a good thing.
Can you imagine the court battles over properties already in public domain but now multiple parties would want the copyright? It would be like the War of the Roses all over again!
I regard that as an extension of a very bad thing.

The purpose of copyright - the reason it was introduced in the first place - was to increase the number of works in the public domain, by granting the producers of those works a short, temporary monopoly on their distribution. Artists and writers and playwrights and so forth now had strong financial incentive to produce works, and these became part of the public commons after this period of monopoly expired. Everybody wins.

Since then, copyright ownership shifted to corporations, and copyright terms have lengthened without bound. This is completely contrary to the original rationale for creating the system in the first place.

The patent system is similarly abused (supposed to foster disclosure of what were once trade secrets, now mostly used as an offensive weapon). At least its term limits aren't quite as insane.
Diablo III: Yup, those are some nice tweaks. Shame, though. Because as long as they uphold the online-only bit, I am not touching this game.
Would someone explain how a *Virginia* injunction against a company that last I knew was sited in *Hong Kong* manages to actually work?
In the area of gaming, Star Trek Online ( has gone Free to Play. Of course there are limitations; monthly subscribers and lifetime members get some things that free players have to pay actual money for (Buying Cryptic Points, and spending those points in the online and ingame C-Store). Things that cost money that are worthy of noting:

- Extra Character Slots: Paying members get 3 character slots, Free Players have only 2, and need Cryptic Points to get more. Old players who stopped paying for their accounts can use their accounts now for free, with all the perks they had at the time that they quit.

- Inventory and Storage slots: It doesn't sound like that much of a thing, and when you're used to getting extra slots automatically each time you go up a rank, it's suddenly very relevant that your Vice Admiral might be stuck with only 42 inventory slots, rather than the 84 a paying member gets. Likewise, you get more storage slots on rank-up if you pay monthly (or paid for a lifetime membership).

- Top Tier of Ships: Each time you rank up (10 levels in each rank), you get a token to buy a new ship in your corresponding tier. This is the case up to Rear Admiral, Lower Half. At the highest level (Vice Admiral), there are much better Retrofit ships available, but you can only get access to those with Cryptic points (and quite pricey, at that).

- Other things that cost real money (including things that always cost extra): costume change slots, Respec tokens (to allow your captain to rearrange his skill points), Extra slots for ships, bridge officers and duty officers, access to special races of bridge officers (like Borg), access to play special races as your captain (like Caitan and Joined Trills), and Dilithium (part of the dual currency of the game).

* Note that playing a Borg captain is restricted only to Lifetime Members (~$300)

** Cryptic Points can be exchanged for Dilithium (which is earned in certain missions and by doing Duty Officer assignments); theoretically making it possible for Free Players to get things that cost Cryptic Points without spending money, but the exchange rate is quite daunting, requiring a lot of grinding to get enough points to buy most things)

Still, it's a fun, addicting game giving most kinds of gamers something to enjoy; space battles, ground combat, diplomatic missions, exploring new worlds; even relaxing on Risa or following the story episodes (giving you a mix of several of the gaming types). Even once you reach the highest level, there are Daily missions that can be done to earn Dilithium, top-tier gear, etc. Special Task Force missions allow you to team up with 4 other players and take on the most challenging missions in the game. There is even player-created content available to play.

Just sharing my addiction :P