Thursday, December 26, 2013

SWTOR Characters I still play

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! Welcome back to the Assassin's Den!

And right now, I present pictures of 4 of the 5 active characters I have on SWTOR. I'll do Mamine's appearance when she's closer to 50.

And there we go. I don't need to say which one is which, because their names are above their heads.  Look forward to see Mamine soon, and for now, happy gaming!

New Movie Review: Grudge Match

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! Welcome back to the Assassin's Den!

Since my dad and I didn't have anything going on on Christmas Day yesterday, he took me out to see a movie (my grandma died recently, my brother's got his own kids, and my dad's girlfriend, who is a nurse, had to work that day); and what we saw was the new Sly Stallone and Robert De Niro flick, Grudge Match.

Now, according to the headline for the movie, Billy "The Kid" McDonnen and Henry "Razor" Sharp, two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr., seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can't refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all. But they may not have to wait that long: on their first encounter in decades, their long-festering feud erupts into an unintentionally hilarious melee that instantly goes viral. The sudden social media frenzy transforms their local grudge match into a must-see HBO event. Now, if they can just survive the training, they may actually live to fight again.

But some of this tagline isn't entirely accurate, but it's close enough.  And on Sly's side, this movie feels like what Rocky 3 would have been, had Rocky dropped completely out of the limelight after defeating Apollo Creed in Rocky 2.  And you see a LOT of homages to the Rocky Saga on Sly's side; the eggs, the running, the slightly abusive trainer who believes in's all there.  But there's a lot more there, so I'm not spoiling anything.

 You actually can see a LOT of Rocky in Sly's character, Razor; he's a down to earth guy who is just trying to make his way in life.  He's kind, cares more for others than he does for himself, and considers himself a fighter first and formost.  But Razor is more bitter and feels more educated than Rocky; he's not oblivious about social ques the way Rocky is.

Robert De Niro is a drunken jackass who has made a LOT of mistakes in his life, and over the course of the story, he gets the chance to become a little better person.  I won't get into why, but trust me, it's interesting.

And finally, Kim Basinger, who plays Sally, has an interesting link to both men, though I won't reveal what it is, because that's part of the plot of the movie.

Now, when you go into this movie, go into it expecting a comedy and a drama more than a fight film.  Yes, they show two training montages, but the movie isn't as much about the fight in the end as it is about the men involved in the fight.  Yes, the movie ends with a boxing match, and there's a slight build up for it, but the focus isn't on the fight. It's about the men involved in the right.

Not to say I didn't enjoy the movie; far from it.  It was funny, heartwarming and all around a good movie to see.  But if you go into the movie expecting Rocky 7, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

SWTOR Character Profle: Second Jedi Knight

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! Welcome back to the Assassin's Den.

I have started a new round of SWTOR characters, though this time, I'm only going to be playing the classes I like to play; the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Sith Warrior, and Sith Inquisitor. 

Name: Mamine (pronounced Ma-Me-Nay)
Gender: Female
Species: Cathar
Age: 24 standard years
Homeworld: Cathar
Class: Jedi Knight/Jedi Sentinel Combat Tree
Personality Profile: "'Do the right thing for the wrong reasons.' This describes Mamine's life. Savage, brutal and dangerously close to falling to the Dark Side at any time, Mamine does things that, while benefiting the Republic, her friends and allies and the Jedi Order as a whole, no other Jedi would think of doing.  Some would say she's indistinguishable from the Sith she kills, but she is completely loyal to the Republic, Jedi and her people, and would never betray them for the sake of power.  However, only time will tell if the Jedi continue to let her operate the way she has been."

I'm going to add a picture of this character soon that I'll take from the game, as well as pictures of the old characters I still play; Ragdat, Vedere, Adaso and Koyi'shak. And while you're at it, check out my SWTOR character tales.

For now, happy reading!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gaming channels on Youtube: What your rights are and are not

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! Welcome back to the Assassin's Den!

With Youtube rolling out changes to their system that absolve them from all liability when it comes to copyright claims, it is important for content creators, particularly those who use Youtube to make a living to understand what is going on.  I'm going to be straight on this right now; the days of milk and honey are over.  If you are trying to make a living from making videos on the internet, you're going to have to do like those who saw this coming a long time ago; by switching to blip or springboard.  These two sites are made specifically for those who are trying to make shows on the internet, particularly content that Youtube is scared of now.  Furthermore, these two sites know their rights as distributors and your rights as a content creator, and are better equipped to fight for your rights.

However, since Youtube is the easiest to use, I have a few tips for people when doing their videos.

1.  Familiarize yourself with Fair Use. I already posted a blog entry on this recently, so no need to go more into this.

2. Know that, if you are part of a network, they will no longer to go bat for you, more than likely.  According to many content creators on Youtube right now,  networks are being forced to have Managed and Affiliate members.  I won't go into details, because a LOT of the affected youtubers explain it better, but most of the networks are putting all of their people on Affiliate status, absolving them from all legal liability.  So if you get a copyright claim on your video, it's yours to fight. And if you get sued, you're screwed.

3.  Know how big the company is for the game you want to do on Youtube.  The smaller the game company, the more they are going to appreciate the exposure, and not give you shit for making money off their game.  Team Meat, the makers of Super Meat Boy, for example, put a small time Let's Player's drunken LP of their game ON THEIR WEBSITE.  That exposure benefited their company, and drummed up revenue for their company.  Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, loves the free exposure it gets from Youtube, because it drums up revenue!

4. Know if the game you are doing is still capable of making revenue for a company. Nintendo has a bug up their butts about this one, since they finally have a way to make their old games available for digital download now.  But, there ARE games that Nintendo, and other companies as well, don't care about anymore.  Which is why you aren't likely to see people doing LPs of the newest Mario games, but those who do games like Super Mario 3 aren't getting hassled.  But games from defunct companies, like Sierra? You're not going to get crap for those; even if someone still holds a copyright to King's Quest 1 on DOS, it would be too much trouble for them to dig up the copyright and then attack a small Youtuber.  However, Fair Use applies here, so again, know what you are getting into.

5.  If you are doing an MMO, be careful.  Most companies who run MMOs understand that free positive exposure is good exposure. Especially ones that are running the free to play model.  Most people who make videos for Star Wars: The Old Republic are being left alone, except for the copyright claim on the Star Wars opening theme, which is being flagged by another copyright claim, despite it being part of the game's soundtrack.  (Figure that one out.)

6. Know how the appeal process works, and how to dispute a claim.  I am not a content creator, so I don't know the specifics, but I've read that this is a relatively simple process.

And finally, 7. Know that this change is brand new, and buggy as hell. Things will get better when the new program adapts to what is going on. Yes, it is frustrated when hundreds of your videos are suddenly being blocked and you are unable to make money from them. Especially now, with Christmas coming in 2 weeks.  But it will get better.  This clusterfuck was going to happen eventually, but we're finally getting word from game companies are finally coming out of the woodwork and saying "Yes, you can make money off our games!"  It is going to get better when things get sorted out.

Lastly, if you want a LOT more info on this, check out the links below.  These provide most of the info I presented here, and they explain exactly what is happening.  Also, follow Angry Joe and TotalBiscuits, and ask them questions about what your rights are if there's any confusion.  He's actually considered a journalist among the gaming developer community; he's been to E3, Magfest and other shows, and is one the the pillars of Channel Awesome.

Happy creating everybody, and be ready to migrate to other video distributors before it's too late.  Also, I'm updating the links as people putting out more information.