Archive for March, 2012

Life in a Day

Posted: 03/12/2012 in Joy

This week in English, we watched a movie called “Life in a Day”. Basically, the makers of the movie sent out hundreds of cameras to different people and places all over the world, and had them all videotape their lives on the same day. They ended up having footage from over 190 countries, and something like 4,500 or 45,000 hours of footage, I can’t remember what it said, but either way,  the result was a movie showing a whole bunch of different cultures and people and places, vastly different from one another.

I remember the first thing I noticed while watching it was that the majority of the footage chosen to be part of the movie, was footage of people who were happy, or at least content with or thankful for their lives. A lot of the movie at one point was a whole bunch of pregnant women excited for their babies, or women who had just given birth. When looking up the definition for the word “joy” on, one of the definitions actually gives childbirth as an example of a common source of joy for people. There were other people, however, who weren’t exactly joyful about their lives, but they were grateful to be alive and with the people they love. There was one father of a family of some crazy amount of kids, I think it was eight or nine, who lived in a graveyard shed in a barren countryside, who had no money, running water, electricity, or anything; nevertheless, he talked about how he was grateful to be with his children, alive.

There was one scene that really stuck out for me, and it was this one Indian man, living in Dubai. He said he had been living there for thirteen years. Throughout his explanation of his living situation, it was showing him doing all sorts of mundane jobs, like watering grass and plants, and fixing up things. As the camera panned out you could see there was a large hotel behind him, and he said that he worked as a gardener, and he loved his life. That stuck out to me because something people are always saying is that money doesn’t equal happiness or joy. That guy is proof of it. He reminded me of myself, because I’m one of those people who just kind of accepts what he has and is happy with it. I don’t need much to make my life meaningful to me or anything like that.

I kind of wish that I knew all the countries that were shown scene by scene, because there were some cool places that looked like they would make for great vacation trips to travel to. I also wish there was a number showing how many cameras were sent out, and how many people actually sent back in the footage, or how many ignored it. I don’t know if anyone would want to ignore a project like that, that basically connects the whole world together to show how much we have in common.


Fiora, the Grand Duelist

Posted: 03/05/2012 in Games, Internet, Joy, LoL

I am very happy with Riot Games this week. They just released their new champion to the League of Legends: Fiora, the Grand Duelist. Fiora is the first female AD (Attack Damage) carry in the game, and the first AD carry to be released for more than a year. I unlocked her as soon as she was available, and fell in love with the heavily French-accented fencer.

The first thing that made me excited for Fiora is the simple fact that she is an undefeated fencer. I’ve always wanted to fence but don’t have the money nor the time right now. Once I’m out of college I will probably try to find a fencing school, but for now, I’ll play as Fiora instead, which is cheaper and less time-consuming. In her lore, she comes from a long line of renowned duelists, and she strives to live up to her father’s name. She has never been defeated in a duel, and she is very egotistic because of that. Controversially, in a duel against another prominent duelist, her father was revealed to have slipped a mildly paralyzing poison into the wine of his opponent. This shamed her entire family, and other fencers refuse to acknowledge their worth as duelists anymore. Fiora hates her father for besmirching her good name, and joined the League of Legends to bring back her own honor.

Now onto the fun part of a new champion: actually playing as her. Fiora has four skills and a passive skill, like every other champion: her passive gives health back when she auto attacks enemies; her Lunge allows her to lunge to an enemy’s position twice within four seconds; her Riposte parries the next attack made against her and deals damage back to the attacker; her Burst of Speed grants her heavily increased attack speed for a short time, along with movement speed; and her ultimate skill, Blade Waltz, attacks random champions five times in quick succession, dealing heavy damage per attack.

Playing Fiora feels like playing a very fast assassin-like character. She is a great duelist 1v1, as her name implies, but she has a tendency to die fast when team fights break out. I often found myself quickly being focused, and unable to cast my ultimate to try to save myself, even while spamming the button. One nice thing about her Burst of Speed ability is that it allows you to focus on augmenting other stats aside from attack speed, as she already has great attack speed. She is very dependent on Armor Penetration and Lifesteal, at least in my opinion. Lifesteal is a must, as it turns her ultimate from a deadly team attack, into an even deadlier “oh shit I’m dying” skill, as she can use it to become untargetable for the duration, and regain a massive amount of health from her Lifesteal.

Her Lunge makes it so that you can keep on an enemy easily, especially once you get Frozen Mallet or red buff to slow your enemies down with every attack. Her Riposte allows you to parry attacks and do damage back, which is great for one on one fights. Riposte is also your best friend when solo topping against a champion with ranged harass such as Gangplank’s Parrrley. Burst of Speed is also great as it allows you to win easily any small one on one or two on two skirmishes.

All in all, I am very happy with Riot Games’ new champion, who is quickly turning out to be one of my favorites to play.

592 Words


Posted: 03/05/2012 in Games, Internet, Joy, TERA

This post, and a great deal of this blog, is going to be largely about video games, MMORPGs in particular, and so if that is not something you are knowledgeable in, I apologize ahead of time. I have recently pre-ordered an upcoming MMORPG name The Exiled Realm of Arborea, or TERA Online for short. This MMO redefines the genre, breaking the mold that MMOs have been stuck in since the original Everquest dominated the market. It essentially combines a traditional MMORPG (dungeons, raids, PvP, questing, leveling, and different races and classes), with an action game (real-time combat, dodging with skills instead of “dice roll” RNGs, not much reliance on gear, and intense combat situations).

By pre-ordering the game, I automatically am granted access to the closed beta testing for the game, which occur every two weekends up until the launch on May second. I have played in the two beta tests that have happened so far, and let me tell you, if you are a fan of MMOs, you will want to give this game a shot. I have played it for all of maybe twenty-four hours total, and now it sucks because I have no drive to play any other game. It’s that good. Playing it is the most fun I’ve ever had in an online game, and I don’t know how I ever could have thought that a game like WoW was fun when compared to TERA. Ignorance truly is bliss.

In contrast to traditional MMOs such as WoW, Everquest, or Guild Wars, you cannot lock-on to your target and just hit buttons to attack them. Like an action game like Devil May Cry, you actually must aim your reticle at enemies or allies, and attack or heal them that way. There are some skills that can lock-on to enemies to guarantee it won’t be dodged, but it still can be blocked, and those skills are few and far between. By requiring you to actually aim at your target and accurately predict his movements and actions, this causes the game to be much more reliant on player skill than any other MMO on the market right now. In TERA, if you can effectively dodge or block ever attack made against you, and be able to accurately hit your enemy, you can win. Gear certainly will make the killing process faster, and your defense higher, but in no way is it even close to the deciding factor.

Another mold that TERA breaks in some ways but not all is the traditional model for tanking and healing. There is no pure healing class. The two healing classes that are present in the game are support classes. Healing is their main job, but  a good Priest or Mystic will also be DPSing, buffing allies, debuffing enemies, and crowd controlling in between healing their group-mates. There is a traditional tank class, the Lancer, who wears heavy armor, uses a shield, and whose job it is to keep the enemy’s aggro on them, and take blows without dying, which makes sure their teammates, who are much squishier than he, aren’t taking the hits and dying. The Warrior, on the other hand, is a different style of tank. The Warrior wears light armor the same quality of an Archer, and tanks by evading and dodging blows, instead of taking them to the face like the Lancer and traditional tanks. The Warrior is a very hard class to play, as he is just as squishy as an Archer, but still needs to keep the enemy’s aggro on him to protect his teammates. One mistimed dodge and you will be flat on your ass, and chances are you won’t be getting back up.

I am very excited for this game to release fully, and in the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting the next beta test on March ninth, ready to hop into the game and have fun.

652 Words