The End of a Different Year and Hexxit

It is getting closer to the end of the year 2013. A lot of changes happened over this year that I was probably not prepared for.  I did not write much here on Biebsworld, mainly because I am not even sure what I want Biebsworld to be. I did a lot more over at joshbieber.com, which is currently dead because my webserver took a dump and I didn’t have a backup for it. The reason it died was due to a power outage that fried the hard drive. Joshbieber.com was my tech site the site I maintained for all my tech stuff. All my articles I wrote are gone which saddens me a bit but it’s not life or death and probably most of them needed to be updated.

I found that I love to write about how to keep your computer up and running and at its peak performance. It is not hard to do so and people pay hundreds of dollars to companies and person all over to have it do when most of the time a little reading could save you that money. The problem with people today is they do not want to self-educate themselves but for those few that are willing to learn I have no qualms teaching.

Teaching, I never thought I would ever hear myself say these words: “I love to teach.”  I am not a teacher but I got the chance to tutor a child this year on the different parts and how to build a computer. I loved every part of it. I wish more young people were more interested in learning like this kid was but alas they are not. They want everything done for them with the least amount of interaction and instant gratification.

I still play minecraft though. Here lately I am playing hexxit (www.technicpack.net/hexxit‎). The Minecraft mod that takes the open world and construction of Minecraft and fuses it with the explorative nature of Dungeons and Dragons. Hexxit doesn’t have a clear goal. Some goals I have set for myself:

  • Make a full set of Hexxit gear
  • Defeat all the bosses
  • Defeat the hydra (the hardest Twilight Forest boss)
  • Clear 50 dungeons
  • Make a wall of every trophy from each epic moment.
  • DO ALL OF THE ABOVE

Hexxit focuses on exactly what I found fun about Minecraft: exploring a procedurally generated world. Only now there’s very real rewards and very real surprises as you’re zipping around looking under every rock and raiding every ruined fort.

fort

The most impressive part about Hexxit is that it focuses the player’s experience without betraying the core spirit of Minecraft. It is not an RPG, there are no stats. It is not a story game, there are no pre-made structures. It is Minecraft in every single way.

I like to think of Minecraft like a generic set of Lego blocks: you can do most anything with them as long as you provide enough elbow grease and imagination. But Hexxit is the Castle set of Legos that provide a granularity and specificity that aids imagination without restricting it. The mods provide you with new pieces and tweaks that promote a very new exploration-heavy experience, but ultimately you’re still finding your own fun by combining the bricks at your leisure.

If “exploration heavy high adventure” doesn’t convince you, here are some of the mods that are included within Hexxit:

  • Tinker’s Construct: Craft tools and weapons out of component parts to create your dream shovel. Socket in diamonds to increase tool durability, cover it in magic slime to make it tools repair themselves over time, and even craft a pick axe made out of flaming gems to instantly smelt ore! It’s complicated but a hell of a lot of fun.
  • Better Dungeons: This mod fills your world with awesome locations like volcanoes and jungle temples, but the real draw to Better Dungeons is its tweaks to enemies. Human enemies will be equipped with real gear with very real powers, so now your enemies may have their own healer, their own grappling-hook to pull you in, or even a grenadier to blast you and your buildings to bits from a distance. This mod also includes awesome staves for players, allowing them to fly like the wind and trap opponents in bubbles.
  • Chococraft: Chocobos. Chocobo breeding. Riding chocobos. How are you still reading this, go download this mod!

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Geek V. Nerd and Why We Don’t Need to Have It

I am about to mount the podium. You’re all welcome to gather up front on the pew, to slink slyly to the rear of the sanctuary or to simply walk back out the double doors before I unleash my fire and brimstone. And I certainly won’t think less of you for choosing the latter.

I have spent my three decades upon this Earth as an outsider, a nerd and yes as a geek. I am as nerdy as I wanna be. No more. No less. At this stage in my life I am self-aware enough to realize who I am, and I have made my peace with that. Another aspect, which I also attribute to age, is the fact that I am now too damn tired to care what other people think of me. Now this certainly doesn’t mean I don’t want others to like me, to respect and accept me. (This is ingrained well within human nature itself, and even we proud nerdlingers fall under its sway.)

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long time no post…DnD Next!

I have not posted anything for awhile. it’s not like I don’t have the time or anything to write about I just have not wanted to write about anything. not much has been going on lately. however I did get a copy of the new D&D Next play test material. that’s Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules. I am finding mixed feelings over the whole ordeal. a lot of my friends absolutely hated 4.0 and have moved on to the pathfinder RPG which is fine to each their own but here is why I will always love D&D. I started on rule set 2.0 when I was a kid and fell in love with the world of D&D a place I can create a character and be who ever I wanted to be and become an epic hero something I could not be in real life.

It is my belief that people who do not like 4e, got their taste of 4e by playing Living Forgotten Realms.  LFR is *NOT* the same thing as 4e.  Yes, it is 4e in that it uses 4e rules and is compatible with all of the core rule books, but there are restrictions in LFR which are not generally used in a standard home-brew game. Living campaigns are a shared campaign setting with a codified set of rules for the campaign that govern how to build and advance characters as well as how the campaign will handle rules elements of the setting. you do not get the freedom as you do with your home-brews. also LFR is set in the world that one of my favorite authors writes in … RA Salvatore. so getting a chance to part-take in some of the adventures that he writes about is another reason I do not mind LFR. I agree home-brews can be a lot more fun, but a lot more work for the DM.

another complaint I hear a lot about 4e is “you can’t roll play” which is utter BS you can RP and I cannot find anything with 4e that hinders your ability to RP. I think the only thing that hinders the RP is the player themselves.

so where am I going with this? well read on fellows read on …

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Characters I create.

in the world of gaming we create characters to play as. be it video games or pen and paper games.  there is always a character we create to play in these worlds that are created for or by us.  To me; the best heroic journey is not the story of an incredible person doing incredible things. It is the story of a flawed, ordinary person who—when called upon—rises to an incredible challenge and finds within themselves something truly extraordinary. that is how it feels when i create a character to play in D&D or guild wars. so when i get asked why i play female characters? because i want too, but get told its wrong of me to play as a female character becasue they think i secretly want to be a female. that is not it at all my characters have a life of their own i just create the story they live in.

the very first character i ever created was Linwe, who died a rather horrible death in one of my old D&D campaigns – her story is as follows(from my old character sheets)

  • Linwe born in neverwinter.
  • she raised by non-relatives, who adopted her.
  •  They were part of a major trade guild.
  • They are alive and well.
  • she was an only child.
  • she favored clothing that blends with the local styles, changing at need.
  • she wore her hair long and flowing.
  • she was given access to a private tutor, who built her knowledge.
  • She made an enemy, a falling out with an old friend.
  • they are both equally annoyed with each other.
  • her enemy had ties to the criminal world and kept this from her.
  • when Linwe stumbled upon this secret she vowed to stop her old friend.
  • She spent some time with street performers, developing balance and agility.

One day Linwe was traveling when her party and was attacked by a monster. This attack knocked out several of those who would ordinarily take charge and defend, changing the Linwe’s fear to determination to protect the downed ones. With the help of another, she brought down the monster. This exposure to possible death left the her very aware of most people’s tenuous link to life. Now she is prepared for every eventuality or merely determined to allow everyone to have a chance to live. Linwe Met her end in the lower levels of Castle Whiterock where a trap was sprung and separated her from the party pitting her against terrible odds. she did not survive that day. through her sacrifice her party members went on to conquer Castle Whiterock.

with the introduction of  Guild Wars it gave me the opportunity to bring my character back to life in the world of Tyria. she can not come back to life in the D&D universe she is forever dead. when this happened, when she was allowed to die it sucked.  I let Linwe die. Linwe died saving the party, but I had such a sense of connection with this character that losing her felt deeply personal. Sure it is  “just a game” however the fictional nature doesn’t make the loss insignificant. this was a character i had been playing for months. a character i had been developing, honing, and adventuring with for a very long time. Characters and their stories can become a way of learning how to face situations we can’t control, grapple with loss, and become resilient. If you spend hours every week for months developing a story and a character, you’re going to get attached to that character.

I have other characters, one in particular is Thodan Roaday

His name was Thodon Roaday. Powerfully built, he was just a hair shy of six feet tall with broad shoulders, black hair cropped close, a neatly trimmed goatee, and steely gray eyes. He wore a leather tunic, dyed to a deep forest green, with blackened metal studs, over fine linen garments in shades of brown, and green, and gray. A heavy black cloak kept the chill from reaching all but his hands and face. A slightly curved saber, with a silver-chased basket hilt hung from his left hip, balanced by a fine dagger with a small emerald set in the pommel on his right. The wolf was a blend of snowy white and grays ranging from near white to almost black with a deep black muzzle. She ghosted along next to Thodon, her boon companion. The name she responded to was Blizzard and, like Thodon, she hated orcs.

he is from a novella i wrote. I didn’t notice it at the time but when i finished and started to read back the story i had created much more than just a character but the character had a part of me in him. a lot of what i was going through life at the time all ended up as underlying themes through out that story. i am able to imagine life as this particular character. In other words, I am able to be in that character’s shoes. I know this character so well that i can know their habits, hobbies, talents, and personalities.  our character have to be “real” people, with lives and souls and motivations, but we create those motivations.

Starmade

logo_1The game feels like a mix of several space themed games such as EVE, freelancer, many more have been used to describe this game and Minecraft.

There’s a huge universe where you can fly in spaceships you build or if an admin of a multiplayer server has added ships to the catalog you can buy them. All around the universe there are planets, asteroids and NPC’s. Also trade hubs.

You start the game with 25000 money in the inventory, and that money is enough to build a very basic ship. The spaceship system is modular, let you build systems with thrusters, weapons, mining beams, missiles arrays. Apparently there’s no limit to what you can build. So if you want to create a 1:1 copy of the Dead Star, you can. These modules are cubes, so the graphics are very similar to minecraft. The planets also are very similar to minecraft, are circles of terrain inside an atmosphere. There’s multiples biomes for planets, different blocks have different prices.

I think the thing that just completely blows me away is how you can design and construct your very own spaceship and travel across the galaxy with your very own crew made up of real-life people.

 

But don’t bail out now. There’s more!

While the videos so far have focused on the hipster indie stuff, take into account that the game has a massive array of action-packed sci-fi adventures awaiting you as well. That’s right, you can do more than just go planet hopping and building up the spacecraft of your dreams. You can create AI that are friendly or foes; you can group up and attack space stations because that’s just how you roll; you can fight it out, duke it out or fly it out like a space jockey with no skills to spare for tomorrow.

Some of the things that you can currently do in StarMade:

  • Explore: Infinite space in all directions using the X/Y/Z axis you can travel from 0,0,0 to 1000,2000,3000 and so on, but infinitely!!!
  • Design: Design the ship of your dreams, from famous ships featured in movies, book lore and other sci-fi/fantasy cannon. Or design something from your own imagination, connecting modules of ships together and challenging your efficiency and design skills. Do you create a ship that kills and destroys everything or a peaceful trading ship that is really just a smugglers ship in disguise?!
  • Customize: Create customized weapons, harvesting, repair, shield and other modules by grouping them into geometrical patterns to increase their abilities! With more modules being dreamed up by the StarMade team EVERY DAY, the possibilities are endless!
  • Multiplayer: StarMade was designed around multiplayer to begin with. Share control of your super massive ship, design a station with friends or conquer the universe INCLUDING your pals, one sector at a time!!
  • Multiplatform: This game runs with Java and is OPTIMIZED to run as efficiently as possible.

go here and start playing today! http://star-made.org/

Tomb Raider

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This game tells the origin story of Lara Croft and how she went from being an unsure academic to adventurer extraordinaire. The story is believable and The game also balances beautiful exploration with action. the Lara Croft reboot was written by Rhianna Pratchett and creative directed by Noah Hughes. I liked it quite a bit, and ended the game somewhere around 67% completion. I have only played the original Tomb Raider before this reboot.

The first thing I noticed when I loaded up this game was the art work and the world that was created for this game. Even though the story line pits you shipwrecked on an island; the environment can at times be breathtakingly beautiful. Playing through this game has probably been the most fun I have had in a very long time. when it comes to my enjoyment for a game; it is game play and story over graphics, but Tomb Raider had it all for me at least. I had a lot of fun playing through the story and it was hard at time to stop and go to bed.  I just wanted to keep playing because i wanted to know what happened next. For me if you can put fun game play and a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat its a winner. throwing in the awesome environment and graphics is just a plus.  Continue reading

Internet TV, music, and movies. Why I find pirating more of a hassle.

I have not had cable television since I was living in the dorms at college, it was free. I never really could afford cable and I often only watched a hand full of shows and I just pirated them through bit torrent, IRC, or UseNet. For a period I pirated everything I could. As technology pushed forward, it became less necessary.  The bulk of my pirating ways happened in the mid to late-2000’s during that awkward time when media companies were fighting the inevitable internet download ecosystem  It was a time when no one was really doing digital correctly, when experiments were happening everywhere, and when sites and stores were popping up (and being shut down) repeatedly. Essentially, if you wanted to go digital, nobody was making it easy for you. There was a point not that long ago when you couldn’t rent a movie online and watch it on a TV. Music downloads fluctuated In short, you had to jump through a lot of hoops.  If you wanted to download software or games, you had to do it on the faith it’d actually run because nobody offered refunds. So, I’d pirate a game or software, see if it worked on my aging computer, and then never actually buy it.  98% of my music piracy was just downloading albums because I feel the artist are getting screwed by the labels and I tend to purchase albums directly from the artist. If I couldn’t buy directly from them my philosophy was to stick it to the labels I will just download it.

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