The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet


Reviews wroten. World saved.

Got a few new reviews up over in the ol’ GameFAGs. I wrote one for Super Mario Galaxy (which is not just a cut-and-paste of shit I’ve said in the blog), and Dave wrote an epic-length hardcore 20,000-word review of Sid Meier’s Pirates. My new goal in life is to make a game that pisses Dave off so much he writes an entire Edda about it.

December 21st, 2007 Posted by | Games, Meta-meta | one comment


So there’s a new trailer for Duke Nukem Forever. Just came out yesterday. Maybe that means it’s within ten years of release!

The trailer’s not actually especially interesting in any way other than being a new DNF trailer. Some big alien monster, Duke lifting weights, lots of dark and smoke and then a not-especially-zingy zinger. And, sure enough, it doesn’t actually say when or even if DNF is planning to be released. But, hey, it’s clearly still in production!

December 20th, 2007 Posted by | Games | no comments

Schilling weighs in

Curt Schilling has recently posted at length about the Mitchell Report and drug use in baseball; it’s a good read. My honest not-being-an-asshole-for-five-minutes take on the subject is that the Mitchell Report did have one major positive effect: it made it clear that use of performance-enhancing drugs (that’s it, fuck it; I’m saying "steroids" from here on, and you can just intuit that I mean all performance-enhancing drugs) is not a black-and-white issue as it has been portrayed in the past. Sure, there are the black-and-white players – the Jose Cansecos whose entire careers were fueled by steroids, and the people on the other side who were too principled or maybe just too scared ever to consider drug use as a means of improvement. But in between those obvious, clear-cut cases are players – a whole lot of players – who, as Schilling says, made a mistake.

There’s little question in the minds of fans these days that Canseco is a worm. He never would have been a viable major-leaguer without the steroids, and after his drug-fuelled success ran out, he turned around and ratted out all the friends and associates who were also involved. There’s not a lot of love these days for Barry Bonds, largely because he’s spent so many years being a complete penis to everyone around him, and now, hey, the joke’s on him. Public opinion is turning against Roger Clemens, too, since I think people resent his years of smarmy "I’m only great because I work hard; everybody else is just lazy" bullshit. But what about Brian Roberts, who took one shot of steroids years ago and then decided it was wrong? What about Andy Pettitte, who used HGH once to recover from an injury? Both men have admitted their crimes. Both have apologised. There is no evidence that either is still using, and no reason to believe that either was a serious enough user that it’s had major effects on his career. Clearly both men are guilty, but I don’t think very many people would support the idea of a ban from the game and/or the Hall for either of them.

Maybe I’m just too optimistic, but I would like to think that most of the steroid-users in baseball are more like Roberts and Pettitte: they’re people who succumbed to pressure and made a bad decision, then realised it was a bad decision and stopped. Hell, any middle-schooler in the country can tell you about the power of peer pressure – if "everybody’s doing something," it can be very difficult to resist. Baseball needs a comprehensive drug policy, independent testing, and a fair and consistent way of handling players who are found guilty. But more than that, it needs not to become so bloodthirsty that the Robertses and Cansecos of the world are regarded as one-and-the-same.

Oh, and, Roger Clemens? Quit your bitching. Your detractors convicted you in the "court of public opinion" you appear to be so afraid of years and years ago. According to one Clemens-hater I spoke to (holy shit, this guy does research for his sweary baseball posts? What a fucking loon), you were pretty much proven guilty when you threw that bat at Mike Piazza all those years ago. Remember that? Roid rage, my man.

December 19th, 2007 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Update: The 2007 "vehemently" award!

Not very surprisingly, it was Roger Clemens who filed the first "vehement denial" following the Mitchell Report, as I wondered about a few hours ago.

Here’s Dan Wetzel discussing the issue and making fun of the awkward and ungrammatical statement issued by Clemens’ attorney.

December 18th, 2007 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Those battleground people

I actually spent some time in battlegrounds yesterday, which I don’t believe I’ve done in well more than a year now. We had a large enough group of friends that it didn’t suck too badly, but we still had some of Those People included in our few randoms. If you’ve ever played a battleground, you know who Those People are. In fact, you might be one of Those People yourself.

• The Duelist: This is the kind of guy whose PvP experience is composed mostly of standing in front of Ironforge in the duel party, trying to duel every nearby person while waiting for a boat, and getting ganked in STV. In a battleground, he is always totally fixated on a single opponent no matter what’s going on around him; he is very easy to draw away from a flag he’s trying to capture or defend, since his single-minded focus on killing his opponent prevents him from paying attention to the game. This is the kind of guy who also probably fails to use any AOE or CC abilities, opting to focus on single-target damage and snares instead.

• The Meter Maid: You’ve probably been in a dungeon with this guy at some point, too. In PvE, all that matters to him is his position on the dodgy damage meter of his choice; if he’s on top, all’s well with the world, and if he isn’t, he’s willing to endanger the success of the run in any way he thinks he needs to if it’ll help him move up. In PvP, killing blows are what he cares about – this guy lives to see his name on the top of the chart at the match’s end, even if it means losing the match. This is the warrior who saves all his rage for Execute instead of “wasting” it on Hamstring or Piercing Howl or Intimidating Shout. This is the rogue who only pops out of stealth to Ambush a low-health target. This is the hunter who camps near the graveyard to pick off raising mages once they get their buffs up and start drinking.

• The General on the Hill: This guy is good. He is, in fact, really good. So good that the group will benefit more from him hanging back and barking orders in /bg than it would if he actually went out into the field with the grunts. This is the guy who starts whining and berating the rest of the team if the other team ever captures an objective, because he knows perfectly well that if all you idiots would just listen to him that would never happen. This is the guy who tells other people they need to go help a location that’s under attack or poorly defended, but is far too busy with his managerial duties to do it himself. But don’t worry, he won’t take it too hard if you lose; he’ll make it perfectly clear in /bg after the match that this was all because you weren’t doing what he told you to do, and that it’s not his fault at all. He is rarely seen without his companion:

• The Antagonist: If your group doesn’t contain a General on the Hill, it has no need for an Antagonist. This guy’s purpose for being is to argue with, insult, and belittle the General. When the General starts insulting the rest of the team, the Antagonist is the guy you see in /bg insulting the General right back. A good Antagonist / General rivalry is a great way to bring down a battleground team, since they’ll probably get caught up in their repartee and end up not actually playing. Not to mention /bg will become so full of spam that the rest of the team can’t use it for actual communication.

• The Short-Attention-Span Cavalry: These guys are young, impatient, and full of THE FURY. Any second spent not actively attacking the other team is a waste of time, and defense is for losers; this unit won’t wait for a capture to complete before riding off in search of more combat, much less actually stick around to try to defend it. They are very easy to draw off of a flag, because they don’t care about objectives. They’re only here for the killin’!

• The Calculator: This guy is only here to get the rewards, and he wants them as soon as possible, with as little effort on his part as is strictly necessary. Are you wasting time on stupid things like fighting the other team instead of zerging bases and hoping it works? That’s dragging the match out and wasting time he could use to earn more bonus honour. Does the other team have a large advantage? This guy is the one telling you in /bg to lose as quickly as possible instead of trying to rally. His native habitat is sitting in the Relief Hut in AV.

December 18th, 2007 Posted by | World of Warcraft | no comments

This is such fun

The Mitchell Report is still steaming its way around baseball, and everybody’s putting on his best poker face and rounding up denials so denial-y that they’re reported as not just "denying" the accusations, but as "strongly denying" them. As though that ordinary kind of denial just isn’t enough denial for this. We need the big guns. I wonder who will be the first to break through the barrier to "vehemently denying."

A bit odd that, what with so many pages devoted to smearing Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Eric Gagne and real a-list baseball superstars like that, the real heart of the controversy centres around mild-mannered second baseman Brian Roberts. Turns out the whole case against Roberts is based on exactly one statement made – under duress – by Larry Bigbie. I’m sure Mitchell is sincere when he declares that "we think that the statements made in the report are truthful," but come on. Even I have enough journalistic intergrity that I wouldn’t really be comfortable putting Roberts on the list based on wafer-thin evidence like that. And I’m both a) an asshole and b) too overpoweringly sexy to sue anyhow. I can’t speak for senator Mitchell’s assholeness, but I’ve seen his picture and I’m not sure he could mesmerize an entire courtroom with a sly wink and a smile.

December 18th, 2007 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Roid Rage

The day is here: the Mitchell Report is out. According to senator Mitchell, one quarter of baseball players illegally used steroids or human growth hormone, not the least of whom is Roger Clemens. Granted, it should have been pretty clear that anybody who still throws 100 mph at 45 is probably the recipient of some form of outside assistance, but Clemens’ name was still the report’s major shocker.

I agree with Jeff Passan about the oddity of the steroid situation: "Baseball owes its current boom to the fervor caused by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa – neither of whom was named in the report, by the way – and yet with every new development, it wants to separate itself, to disown the time." That’s the irony of the anti-steroid fervor, after all; baseball was dying until McGwire and Sosa reinvigorated it in 1998. McGwire has been linked to steroid use (odd that the Mitchell report doesn’t mention that), and Sosa has long been suspected (though no evidence exists). If either or both of those men actually used steroids… where does that leave us?

Maybe that’s why the Mitchell Report doesn’t mention either of them. It’s one thing to hate on Bonds and Clemens, but stay away from the guys who built the foundation business is running on.

December 13th, 2007 Posted by | Baseball | no comments