the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Burnout Paradise DLC Review, Part 3: Boost Specials

There's only two of these cars, so they get a bit of special treatment.

Carson Extreme Hot Rod
If there's one thing to be said about this car, it's this: you WILL crash. That or you're going to have to slow down enough so that you lost all the speed you gained. For those of you not in the know, this car has unlimited boost. Just press the button and boost away. The catch? There are only two ways to stop boosting: crash or slow down until you're barely moving. If you're really careful, it's almost possible to keep some semblance of control... but not really. While it's not recommended if you're making a multitude of turns, it can't be beat for leaving someone choking on your dust on the I-88, through the mountains, or anywhere with few objects and a decent road:traffic ratio. And if you see that smartarse in the Nighthawk who never seems to run out of boost, you're more than capable of shoving him (or about anything short of a Takedown) into the next state. Just learn from my mistakes and don't t-bone anyone at inordinate speeds. Satisfying, yes, but respawning will lose you valuable seconds you could use taking other people down. And you know better than that, don't you?

Oh, one final warning: don't activate the boost just before a corner. If only I'd heed my own warnings.

Performance: 9/10. It's not exactly the fastest accelerating car in the world, since it's kind of heavy. Boosting removes that problem though.
Handling: 6/10. It'll get you around corners and into other cars with relative ease... not much else though.
Crashing: 8/10. It'll usually be on the winning end of crashes. Which is good, because you'll be doing it a lot, whether you want to or not.
Useful for:
  • Destroying Paradise City, one wall at a time. It doesn't really matter whether there are people driving these walls or whether these walls are in fact "cars", because you'll be destroying them anyway.
  • Bringing the world's rubber supply to its knees. Why do burnouts for fun when you can ruin your tyres AND the atmosphere at the same time?
  • Demonstrating new heights of overkill... that I've probably broken already.
Overall: 9/10. Massive speed cancels out crashing more often than Windows ME, giving you one nice happy smashy speedy death/speed wagon.

Hawker Mech
This is actually a hard car to review positively. Again for the unwashed masses, this can switch between stunt, speed and aggression boost modes whenever you want. The problem is that it's about as agile as a cow riding a bike, about as fast as... a cow riding a bike, and nowhere near as strong as...... a Takedown 4x4 (or a cow riding a bike). That's the problem with branching out: you're never as good at any one thing (except for the cow riding a bike... once it gets back to the paddock, it'll be milked dry then taken to slaughter, you heartless bastards). The Mech's good enough for stunt events (let's face it though, I've beaten a stunt event in a toy Citizen), not really fast enough to beat a lot of race cars (or the Extreme Hot Rod), and nowhere near strong enough to win most of the road rages. So what is it good for? Not bad at marked man, since you frequently have to switch between defense, speed, and trying to make jumps you don't think your pursuers can. It's also not a bad choice for a freeburn online, as you'll be able to at least come close to doing most of the challenges.

Oh, and it has a rather nice light/paint scheme. But that doesn't really make it any more useful.

Performance: 7/10. No slouch. But not a real winner either. You make sure to tell that to the guys whizzing past you.
Handling: 9/10. It'd have to be for the stunt boost to be any good... and it still isn't. But it tries, damnit!
Boosting: 7/10. It's a 10/10 on the cool factor. But since when did I care about the cool factor?
Crashing: 6/10. There's a lot it can't stand up to. Make sure to pick on those weaker than you, in case you weren't already.
Useful for:
  • Looking cool. No, really, it does. Well, mostly. Okay, maybe a little. Possibly a smidge on the fat side though.
  • Changing styles in the middle of a race. All the superheroes do it. Well, maybe just the supervillians. I haven't been to a meeting with those guys in a while so I'm not so sure.
Overall: 6/10. All the cool looks and good ideas in the world wouldn't change the fact that this isn't good enough at any particular thing to beat cars designed for it... or a cow on a bike.

Best in set for:
Burning petrol faster than it's capable of being produced: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Jumping, changing boost types midair, then wondering why just changed boost types midair: Hawker Mech
Lighting up a small neighbourhood: Hawker Mech
Involuntary destruction: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Lifting the front end of your car in the air, then crushing a small car under it: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Staying Alive (cue music): Hawker Mech

If you're only going to buy one, then buy: Carson Extreme Hot Rod. If you can't afford that, then buy the GT Nighthawk and the Manhattan Spirit, put them together and it's basically the same thing. If you still can't afford them, there's only one real option for you... a cow on a bike.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What The Gamertag?, Part 1

For this debut (and knowing me, final) installment of WTG, I'm supersizing it. That's right, 4 gamertags for you.

Today's assailants on sensibility are:

Seriously, what the %$@*? Oh wait... Seriously, what the just before %$@*? Now for those of you haven't figured it out yet... I'm betting these guys are related. Either that or four people just found new friends just as juvenile as themselves within 5 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly expecting class from GTA IV players, but I think this is taking things a little too far. That and last time I checked, gamertags like these were against the Live rules. Still, I think if you're this interested in a certain act then you should be doing said act instead of playing a game where they're censored.

Here's an idea: make everyone's gamertag their IQ. Based on my experience with Live, you'll only need to hand out a few in the triple digits anyway. Think about it... you'll immediately know who to kick from a game before it even loads for them; you'll have a clear reason why that guy in Halo teabagged you and it will be clear why that car in Forza can be heard halfway across the track even though it's constantly doing donuts on the main straight.

If you like my idea (and let's face it, who would?) be sure to either send your support to Microsoft or put a horse's head in Bill Gates' bed... he'll get the idea.

Friday, April 17, 2009

4000 Gamerpoints!

Yes, if you'll look to the right my Xbox Live profile has reached 4000 gamerpoints.
Since I like celebrating pointless occasions, the first person to leave a comment on this post telling me how many more electrons than protons an atom needs to have to be positive will win a fabulous prize*!

*Actual fabulousness of prize my vary. Prize may not be enchanged for money, any form of currency, anything that costs money or a pat on the back. Prize may or may not be imaginary purely at Slashee's discretion. Have a nice day... unless you're the prize winner.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shaman Changes In 3.1 or: How I Learned To Quit Complaining and Accept My Fate

My notes are in italics, for those who care (how many people have mental illnesses, anyway?)

  • Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now last 10 minutes.
    This is bad - soloing it's not going to make much of a difference, as you'll still only be able to use it once every 10 minutes (although if you die you can use it sooner, but that's about it). In groups however, if you have more than one shaman you'll only be able to use it half as often.

  • Earth Elemental Totem: The summoned Earth Elemental should now have significantly more health and slightly more armor.
    Huzzah - now reduce the cooldown so I'm not always saving it for "when I need it".

  • Fire Elemental Totem: The summoned Fire Elemental should now have moderately more health and mana, and its damage scaling has been increased. In addition, the Fire Elemental's spells now cost less mana.
    Great, it'll survive a little longer. Soloing this won't make much difference, as by the time it's done either all your enemies are dead or you are. Might help a little in a group, for when you need a little extra kick or just feel like showing off.

  • Flametongue Weapon: Bonus damage from spell power now based on weapon speed. Slower weapons will benefit more from spell power.
    Well at least now you're finally recognising that you want us to use slow off hands as Enhancement, or probably some nice staves for our Elemental brethren. I'll stick to Windfury for now though...

  • Frostbrand Weapon: Damage increased by approximately 20%.
    Making this 20% more useful make it about... 20% useful. In slightly more seriousness, though, any more damage is good.

  • Mana Spring Totem: This totem has been redesigned. It now provides the same mana benefit as Blessing of Wisdom to the entire party or raid, but is exclusive with that effect.
    Great, so you're giving the small group a benefit (as BoW does give you slightly more mana), but screwing over the large group. You want us to use Healing Stream... just admit it.

  • Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem have been merged into Cleansing Totem. Cleansing Totem pulses every 3 seconds, down from 5.
    Less totems are good when they merge the effects, but I wasn't using either of these unless the situation called for it, and it's going to stay that way.
  • Earthen Power redesigned: Your Earthbind Totem has a 50/100% chance to also remove all snare effects and make you and nearby friendly targets immune to them for 5 seconds when it pulses.
    Okay, this is a buff, I'll admit that. I disagree on principle though... this is clearly a PvP buff, and I don't want Enhancement to become a strictly PvP spec.

  • Flurry: Now provides 5/10/15/20/25% haste instead of 10/15/20/25/30%.
    Last change was a buff. It was also a mostly useless buff for me. This is clearly a nerf, which will hit me (and all Enhance shammies) hard. Well, maybe not hard, but still a hit.

  • New Talent: Frozen Power: Increases the damage done by your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Lash and Shock spells by 5/10% on targets afflicted by your Frostbrand Attack effect, and your Frost Shock has a 50/100% chance to root the target in Ice for 5 seconds when used on targets at or further than 15 yards from you.
    Didn't I just make myself clear on PvP changes? Frostbrand is mostly useless in PvE, and this isn't likely to change that. It's almost like they want us to ignore Windfury and go Frostbrand/Flametounge though. Seriously, WTF?

  • Lava Lash now has a new icon.
    Sorry, Blizz. Nobody cared when it came to Stormstrike, nobody cares about this. Is the new Stormstrike icon nice? Yeah it is. Would I rather you actually fix the class? HELL YES!

  • Spirit Weapons: Now reduces all threat generated by 30%, not just physical attacks.
    Introducing: the change that should have been introduced in 3.0.2 . Seriously, you make us stack intellect, you give us Maelstrom Weapon with which to cast more spells, and you don't help us reduce our spell threat? Well you do now, but that's beside the point...

  • Stormstrike charges have been increased by 2, and cooldown reduced by 2 seconds.
    Finally, something I can't really complain about. I could complain about lack of originality if I wanted (and I do), so couldn't you give us something more than just folding Improved Stormstrike into the base talent?

  • Improved Stormstrike redesigned: When you Stormstrike, you have a 50/100% chance to immediately grant you 20% of your base mana.
    Look at the Spirit Weapons change. We either needed this or a reduced cooldown on Shamanistic Rage, preferably both. Again, a buff, but it's like breaking your leg then putting it in a cast... sure it'll heal eventually, but it'll never be as good as it was.

  • Toughness: No longer increases your armor. Instead, this talent now increases your total stamina by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    More useful. Still mainly a PvP talent. You know how I feel about that.

  • Unleashed Rage: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. No longer increases agility, but instead increases your total expertise by 3/6/9.
    This is just brilliant here, where the class is being taken. Burst damage used to be a Shaman's bread and butter, we couldn't be beaten. It was (among the other things that made us so awesome), what made us unique. But you keep picking away at our burst damage. Sure, our average DPS remains about the same, and we'll probably be more likely to make friends of the local tanks. But it just doesn't feel the same.
  • New Talent: Booming Echoes: Reduces the cooldown of your Flame Shock and Frost Shock spells by an additional 1/2 seconds, and increases the direct damage done by your Flame Shock and Frost Shock spells by an additional 10/20%.
    This is a buff. But why should Elemental get all the fun?

  • Elemental Mastery redesigned: When activated, your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning or Lava Burst spell becomes an instant cast spell. In addition, your Fire, Frost and Nature damage spells have a 15% increased critical strike chance for 15 seconds. Elemental Mastery now shares a cooldown with Nature's Swiftness.
    Again, sacrificing burst damage for consistent damge. It all evens out in the long run, but it's just not as fun.

  • Elemental Reach: Now also increases the range of your Flame Shock spell by 5/10/15 yards.
    If, considering the next change, this hadn't been done, there'd be rioting in the streets of Dalaran, and I'd join them. Not that I'm Elemental... I just like rioting.

  • Lava Flows: No longer increases the range of your Flame Shock spell, but now increases your casting speed by 10/20/30% when your Flame Shock spell is dispelled for 6 seconds.
    There's a trend towards casting speed lately - why? Not that I'm complaining... a buff is a buff (which, again, PvE Elementals get to enjoy), I'd just like to know. I for one would prefer massive hits to fast ones. What am I, a mage?

  • Lightning Overload: Reduced to 3 points (7/14/20%), down from 5.
    Can't introduce a new talent without giving you some points to spend on it, and as long as it ends up the same I don't particularly care one way or the other. Well, I care if the new talent is cool.

  • Storm, Earth and Fire: No longer increases the range of your Earth Shock or Wind Shock spells, but now also causes your Earthbind Totem to have a 33/66/100% chance to root all nearby enemies for 5 seconds when initially cast.
    Oh crap, not even Elemental is immune from the PvP-oriented changes (read: nerfs). RUN FOR THE HILLS!

  • Thunderstorm can now be cast while stunned.
    Well hot dog. And that's what someone will be if they think they're safe while you're stunned. A buff with no negative side effects, what could go wrong?
  • Ancestral Awakening: This talent now accounts for your ineffective healing, rather than effective.
    Another buff... that Enhancement doesn't get. I'm not going to start overhealing like there's no tomorrow just because I can get Ancestral Awakening from it. But it might make the difference between a Lesser Healing Wave and a regular Healing Wave.

  • Ancestral Healing and Healing Grace have swapped places in the Restoration talent tree.
    Meh? Restoration isn't exactly a hugely popular leveling spec (might be used a little bit more thanks to dual specs), but at low levels like that it's not going to make any difference.

  • Cleanse Spirit now has a new icon.
    Restoration: The New Enhancement.

  • Mana Tide Totem: This spell no longer costs mana.
    Irony 101... wait, that was it costing mana in the first place, never mind. Again, a nice buff.

  • Restorative Totems: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Increases the effect of your Mana Spring Totem by 7/12/20%, and increases the amount healed by your Healing Stream Totem by 15/30/45%.
    For those of you playing at home, that's a slight nerf (5%) to Mana Spring and a decent buff (20%) to Healing Stream. I use Healing Stream more so I'm calling this a win, you may not feel the same way.

  • Riptide: This spell has a new icon.
    Riptide: The New Cleanse Spirit.

  • Tidal Force: Now has a new spell effect.
    Slightly more effort than a new icon, I'll give them that much. Should that mean I have to like it? Yes. Do I like it? Not in principle... I haven't seen the effect but it'd have to be pretty awesome to make me think it's worth taking the place of an actual change.
I'd like to make it clear that I will neither quit complaining or accept my fate, but it makes for a good title.

Burnout Paradise DLC Review, Part 2: Toy Cars

Too many toy cars to give each a thorough review, so a few sentences and score out of 10 will have to do.

Toy Hunter Cavalry
Toy Cavalry vs. Cavalry Bootlegger: The ultimate test of toys against the full size demons. Who wins? The bootlegger. But toy barrel rolls are still undeniably awesome. 7/10

Toy Hunter Manhattan
Cruising in toy style. Unfortunately it's not cruising particularly fast. Still, it's good for either that toy pimp or midget wannabe in your life. 5/10

Toy Krieger WTR
Hey, Formula 1. Yeah, you. You want to get people in to races? Start sending these around tracks and watch the money come. 8/10

Toy Jansen P12
I'm sure everyone would rather have a Toy 88 Special, but you can't have everything. It's still damn good for stunts. Doesn't look as appropriate as the Toy Cavalry, but it's better. Style or substance? It's your choice. 9/10

Toy Hunter Takedown 4x4
The very definition of awesome: get a full size Takedown to jump over a few of these.
The very definition of ultra-awesome: get one of these to jump over a few full size Takedowns.
Also useful for forcefully clearing blocked streets. 8/10

Toy Carson GT Concept
It's toy muscle. Theoretically, it should therefore be about 1/8th the size of real muscle, come with indecipherable instructions, break after about 15 minutes, and not come with batteries.
Despite this it still manages to be a pretty good way to humiliate your opponents (especially a Toy WTR if you can pull that off). 7/10

Toy Hunter Citizen
When you first hear the name, you think it'd be useless because those toy handcuffs always have an easy release on them. But trust me, if there's enough left of the crooks after you're done with this, they're doing pretty well for themselves. 8/10

Toy Carson Inferno Van
If the toy van's a-rockin, don't come a-knockin. Oh wait... they never make dolls accurate where people want them to be (be honest, you've looked).
Perhaps it's more useful as a brick wall on wheels... yeah, that'll do. Just remember that brick powered engines aren't particularly fast. 9/10

Toy Nakamura Firehawk GP
Such a shame, if only bikes weren't practically useless in-game. It'd be good for getting through tollbooths, because you'd fit under the gate and you'd be screaming through there so fast they couldn't get your number plate. Wait, Paradise city doesn't have those either? Well what is this good for? Wait, I know... hazing the new guy! *Gets a bunch of friends on Toy Firehawks, then boxes in someone on a regular Firehawk*... sweet. 8/10

Best in set for:
Riding a bike: Toy Jansen P12... most of the time you'll be on two or no wheels.
Having a turning circle larger than a toy city block: Toy Hunter Manhattan
Seeing possibly the first midget in a Burnout game: Toy Nakamura Firehawk GP
Seeing the second midget: Toy Krieger WTR
Vertical takedowns of pure ownage: Toy Hunter Cavalry
Being corrupt and putting toy good guys behind bars: Toy Hunter Citizen
Fitting an entire toy country in the passenger seat, and a full size island in the back: Toy Hunter Takedown 4x4
Causing suicide resulting from embarassment at losing: Toy Carson GT Concept
Constructing mobile indestructible buildings: Toy Carson Inferno Van

If you're only going to buy one, then buy: Toy Hunter Takedown 4x4

Disclaimer: Cuteness of toy cars had no effect on ratings, and will continue to have no effect until someone finds Slashee cute.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Failure in Forums, Part I

As failed at

How Can i make a Game WebSite?

Without HTML Coding

But With Logins

Please Help