Thursday, December 7, 2017

Surrender to My Will

We've had plenty of time now to play around with Moira.  Some people love her, some people hate her.  Personally I love her.

Moira is versatile and powerful.  She can function as a healer or as a DPS.  I think she does best as a secondary healer to a more powerful main healer, like Mercy.  She seems to function best as the team's floater, filling in where needed.  Neither aspect of her is a powerful as, say, a character dedicated to that particular role, but she is no slouch.  I like being able to pick whether I want to send out a damaging ball or a healing ball.  That her healing is directly tied to how much she is able DPS tether someone is an interesting mechanic, though it does get annoying if you're the kind of person who prefers to stay farther back.  It can be hard to do enough damage to recharge your heal beam.

Can I just say though that I like the noises her balls make?  The DPS ball makes a sort of goopy noise, and the heal ball makes a sort of bing noise.  If you've played her, you know what I mean.  I like to send off a bunch of balls in the base area before the doors open at the beginning of the match, and I just giggle to myself.

Moira also has an interesting look.  She is not the overtly sexualized female character you see in video games.  She has a much more androgynous look, not unlike David Bowie.  She has a very strong face and short hair, paired with a smaller chest.  I like the diversity of this game's female characters.  You have your Widowmaker, who is literally all ass with her tits practically showing.  And that's okay.  There's nothing wrong with that.  You also have your Mei, who is heavier-set but no less compelling.  And you have Moira, who is more masculine looking.  The diversity is great.  There is no standard big ass big chest look that all the women conform to.  They seem more like real women.  (Not that a woman who does have a big ass and chest is somehow worse, it's just that not all women look like that.)

I have found a playstyle that usually works as Moira.  I generally like to hang back behind my team.  I send out damaging balls first to whittle down the enemy some.  As my team charges in, I make sure I have a meat shield and start spamming my damagers, offhealing as needed.  If you are the main healer, you will need to concentrate more on heal balls and keeping the team topped up.  Only damage as much as you need to recharge your healing.  Also stay back more, because the enemy team will target you if you are the main healer.  Only get close to the enemy team if you have the rest of your team to shield you.  As far as Moira's ult, it doesn't really do that much damage unless you are under the effects of Orisa's Supercharger or Mercy's damage output buff, or if the enemy is Discorded by a Zenyatta.  If none of those are true, then it's best to just use it to heal your team.  It's wasted otherwise.  Moira seems to be better at defense than attack.  I wouldn't play her on an attack map.  I at least seem to do better when I can park her in a general area that is somewhat protected and throw balls out, emerging when needed to heal.
It can be very difficult to angle Moira's balls the right way.  You have to angle them just right or they will bounce right in the opposite direction of where you want them to go.  I suggest going into a training match and getting a feel for how the balls angle themselves.  In the beginning it's really difficult to get them to go where you want them to.  It almost feels like you wasted a ball because it turned in a bad direction.  If you want to throw out a healy ball, I would try pointing it somewhere it will bounce in a small space, like between two walls, so it won't bounce away from the people who actually need it.  It takes practice.

Can we talk about Moira's outfits for a second?  She has such cool outfits.  I really like her whole aesthetic.  You can really tell from what she says and how she carries herself that yes, she is better than everyone else, and no, she is not afraid to show it.  She has SUCH an acidic personality, and I love it.

All of this is stuff I learned from playing Moira coupled with my own playstyle in general.  Some people may have other ways of playing her that work for them, and I'm sure the way I do it is definitely not the best way.  Watch YouTube videos and streams of people playing her.  Take her for a spin in quick play.  Find the way that suits you best.  Or she may not be the character for you.  That's okay too. I love playing Widowmaker even though my aim is shit.  Just play what you think is fun.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Brave Witches Review

I'm back with another anime review!  Today we will be taking a look at Brave Witches.  It is a spinoff of Strike Witches.  If you're not sure what that is, think Girls und Panzer, but with witches and panties.  It takes place in an alternate World War II era, though instead of fighting each other, the countries of the world are fighting alien invaders called Neuroi.  For some reason, as happens in almost every anime like this, teenage girls are fighting deadly battles.

The world of Brave Witches has, as you might guess, girls called witches.  They have magic powers, like creating shields and healing.  With the help of magic-powered machines that allow them to fly in the air, they fight the Neuroi with machine guns and other cool weapons.  They also grow animal ears and tails when they use their powers, because reasons.  They also do not wear pants.  Like what are pants.  There are a few references to the characters and events of Strike Witches in this anime, which takes place between Strike Witches season 1 and 2.  If you are a fan of that show, you will spot the references.

This show packs a LOT of characters into a small amount of episodes.  Their are 10 members of the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing (the main character's squadron).  Most of the characters get very little exploration or development.  It's difficult to learn their names when you never really get to know them.  Several characters in the show are also unlikeably stupid.


The character you see the most of is Hikari.  She is the main protagonist.  She is a very hard worker with a lot of stamina, but a woeful lack of raw magical power.  She has to work twice as hard to be half as good as anyone else.  She idolizes her sister Takami, who is a powerful witch and somewhat of a war hero.  Though she has a sunny personality and works hard, she is just not that smart.  You know that phrase, "Work smarter, not harder"?  She doesn't work smart.  She is also very green when it comes to combat, since she pretty much fell into the 502nd completely by accident.  There is a subplot of Hikari gaining confidence and experience that is enjoyable to watch.  She improves with every fight.  Her journey of personal growth, more than the battles with the Neuroi at times, make this show heartwarming and fun to watch.

Gundula Rall is the squadron leader of the Brave Witches, and while we see a lot of her, we don't really get to know her.  She is a firm but fair leader who doesn't really engage in combat much and prefers to lead from a base of operations.  She reminds me of Minerva McGonagall.  Sasha is the group's main tactician.  She's a hardass, and sort of like the group's mom, but like the mean mom who doesn't let you do anything fun ever.  Waltrud would be a fun character if she wasn't such a womanizer.  Every word she says is a come-on to one of the other girls and it's really creepy and offputting.  Anywhere else, she would have been turned in for sexual harassment.  But it's an anime, so I guess that makes it okay?  Edytha is the group's trainer.  She is the one who knows how to work smarter, not harder.  Nikka is a moron who is always breaking her flying unit.  She is one of those characters who is unlikeably stupid.  Georgette is the group's main healer.  Kanno is another witch from Japan who is unfortunately really mean and stuck-up.  She's not a very likeable character.  I think she's supposed to fill the mean but not really mean person with a heart of gold role, but she is pretty much just mean.  Sadako doesn't engage in much combat but also acts as the group's cook on base.  Obviously this is a LOT of characters to keep up with.  I didn't memorize most of their names and most of their backstories aren't explored.

This series has SO much fanservice it is unreal.  It still has less fanservice than Strike Witches though.  There are so many panty shots.  There are also camel toe shots.  I really should have done a panty shot count but that would have killed my soul.  As you might expect, there is some subtle (and less than subtle) girl on girl action here.  Even with all the fanservice, it seems to be a friendship and rainbows show DISGUISED as a fanservice show.  You come for the panties and stay for the friendship.  For some reason, the witches lose their powers as they approach their mid-20s, which really seems to be a metaphor for how a woman becomes less valuable as she loses her beauty and youth, which is SEXIST.  A girl grows up and suddenly becomes less useful.  Like really.

The military aspect of this show is kind of funny.  Obviously none of this stuff would fly in a real army.  The witches put on magical boots with propellers that let them fly.  In some ways this show just chucks available WWII-era technology straight out the window.  In other ways, it's somewhat of an homage to World War II.  The ships and weapons used are all real WWII-era weapons and historical ships.  The girls are named after historical pilots.  For some reason, females of a higher rank are called 'sir'.  Toward the end of the series they're called 'ma'am'.  I don't know why they flip flop back and forth.  Even when meeting with high-ranking male officials, they STILL don't wear pants.  And don't get me started on the blatant disrespect and insubordination that these girls engage in a few times toward higher officials.  I know that would not go down well in real life.  But this is ANIME, with ANIME logic.

Okay, I know I've been shitting on this show for the better part of this post, but I actually did really like it.  It's heartwarming and cute.  The main point of the anime, besides the war with the Neuroi, is girls from different countries coming together and forming friendships.  The show doesn't get very dark, so if you want to see a cute but not particularly intelligent comedy with heartwarming moe military action, this one is for you.  There's a good mix of slice of life vs. combat.  I just wish there had been more episodes to fit in more of the slice of life aspect and get to know the characters more.  The show's animation is very well done, if not somewhat standard for an anime.  The landscapes and cityscapes stand out as being very pretty and well-done.  They're very detailed, almost like looking an a painting of a real European city.

The combat sequences make use of CG animation.  It's almost too much, because the CG doesn't look that good to be completely honest.  They should have left out some of the CG and opted for more hand drawn animation instead.  I don't like either of the songs used in the anime.  They're not BAD.  They're just standard.  There's nothing that stands out of makes them interesting.  The opening sequence is pretty standard shots of the main character working hard at life stuff and showing cameos of the other characters.  There's nothing special about any of it.

This show tries to be comedic at times, which usually fall flat.  Maybe it's funnier in Japanese?  Some of the comedy comes from the pervyness, which is don't find funny 99% of the time.  Some more of the comedy comes from how unintelligent a few characters are, which I also do not find funny.  Most of the comedy falls very flat for me.

Overall, I did like this anime even though I have a lot of criticisms for it.  If you like anime like Girls und Panzer or C3, this might be the anime for you if you don't mind the panty shots.  It's really cute and shines at showcasing genuine friendships and character development (at least for one character).

Pictures are either screenshots or from Google.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Heroes Never Die... For A Price

One of the best things about Overwatch is its many skins.  The basic character skins are fantastic, but the additional skins plus the customization of sprays, emotes, and voice lines make it possible to craft a character unique to you.  I myself tend to gravitate toward pink and purple skins.  I love Bastion's pink skin and Sombra's base skin.  However, I DO have a favorite skin in the entire game.

Mercy's Imp skin!  I absolutely love it. I love it so much I made it my screens for my stream.  Purple and white is one of my favorite color combinations.  The way it subtly changes her resurrection line makes me giggle.  Like, that is SO me.  Heroes Never Die... For A Price.  I would totally charge for my services if I was her. Everyone's always all like "Someone switch to Mercy!" so she would definitely be in demand.

I love the intricate detailing on the costume.  Her boots are changed into an almost cloven hoof design reminiscent of a satyr or even the Devil.  I love the addition of the tail and the horns, and the purple hair and lipstick.  She also has those black triangles over her eyes.  All of it combined create an awesome, almost sadistic image that I like.  It's like she's saying "I'll heal you... but I'll also fuck you up and steal your soul."

This is always my skin when I play Mercy.  Do you have any skin you ALWAYS use?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Opinion on New D.Va and Mercy changes

Recently there were some changes in Overwatch that affected the characters of D.Va and Mercy.  D.Va was given missiles and a shorter shield time.  Mercy's ult was changed and she was given a rez that is on a 30-second cooldown as opposed to being her ult.

As for the D.Va changes, I have to say I really like them.  I was literal garbage at D.Va before the changes.  Now I have a real feel for the character and I love diving in and charging someone with my guns blazing and my missiles going off on someone, and finishing it off with a good old fashioned bitchslap.  I find that I have more eliminations.  I feel like now D.Va plays like a DPS with more armor, which I like because I haven't yet found a DPS I'm actually good at (RIP).  I like the addition of the ranged missiles as a finisher to get rid of someone whose health is low or as a distraction.  I'm not too sad to see the duration of the shield shortened, as I usually only pop it for small durations anyway, like to block an ult until I can get out of the way or while diving in.  The changes make D.Va more versatile and easier to play.  She's sort of my main now.

I'm a little more iffy on the changes made to Mercy, though I can definitely see why they made them.  It's nice having a cooldown on the resurrection instead of having to wait for that perfect time to hit Q.  The one thing I'm concerned about is how Mercy can possibly get Play of the Game now without that quintuple rez.  I've only seen ONE Mercy PotG in the last few weeks, and that was a very good battle Mercy.  I miss the way her glide ability used to work.  I loved flinging myself around.  I don't like the much shortened range.  Her new ult IS nice though.  It's like Orisa's Supercharger, except healing.  You channel a heal on one person and it's buffed and bounces to nearby people.  The damage boost beam works the same way.  I wish they'd stop changing Mercy already.  She's fine the way she is.

I've been having a really good time playing Overwatch lately, especially since I haven't played World of Warcraft in a couple months.  I will eventually come back of course.  I just need a break.  I've also enjoyed playing Bastion (so trolly).  I bounce mainly from D.Va to Mercy to Bastion.  If all three happen to be taken I pick either Sombra or Pharah even though I'm garbage at both of them.  My aim is just really bad.  That's part of the I love Bastion, D.Va, and Mercy.  You don't have to be able to aim.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Repping the Horde IRL

The Battle of Azeroth cinematic shown at Blizzcon really inspired my inner Hordie.  I loved how it featured Sylvanas in all her banshee glory, and her cry of "FOR THE HORDE!" sent chills down my spine.  It actually made me feel pride in my faction, even though I've never really bought into the whole faction pride thing too much.  It made me want to rep my faction more.

So I took to Google to find some cool wallpapers to replace my D.Va ones.

I made this one my lock screen.  I love it.

This one is now my home screen (yes I keep it tidy).  I love how the lock screen is simple but still very descriptive, and it flows into this dark and foreboding home screen of the Dark Lady looking right at you with her red eyes.

I actually already had this phone case so I dug it out because I knew it would fit my Horde/Sylvanas theme perfectly.  I got it from here.

My final touch was to download the audio from the cinematic and find the spot where Sylvanas yells "For the Horde".  I clipped it to just a few seconds of  the just that audio and I made it my text tone.  Now whenever someone texts me, my phone yells "FOR THE HORDE!" in Sylvanas banshee voice.  My phone makes me feel like a badass now.

Besides that, I also have the Horde racerback tee that was on the Blizzard gear store a while back, but it's gone now.  For a long time I'd wanted to get a Horde symbol tattoo but I just never had the money for it.  I would like to get it maybe pastel rainbow, and more stylized or "chibi"-ish than the traditional Horde symbol tattoo.  If anyone wants to design that for me, that would be awesome.

How do you rep your chosen faction?

Monday, November 6, 2017

World of Warcraft: Gameplay and Systems Recap

This will be my last panel recap, as I didn't watch any other panels.  Blizzcon was a bit meh for me this year, honestly.  I only play 2 Blizzard game, so I only am interested in like... two-fifths of the panels.  But I was fairly pleased with what I saw.  Without further ado... on to the recap!

1. Poor mommy Azeroth getting all fucked up.

2. Of COURSE the goblins and gnomes are the ones who discovered this shit.

3. I feel like this expansion is kind of convoluted.  Like... we're all kicking each others' asses, then we go out and find these two island civilizations that both happen to have awesome navies, and then we both happen to go out on ship battles, all at the exact same time?  It doesn't sound all that interesting to me.  It sounds too tedious, and like this is all coming together TOO perfectly, if that makes any sense.  I like the sense of randomness that comes with just stumbling across an island continent like Pandaria and fighting on it.  This Battle for Azeroth shtick sounds like just more of the same old Horde vs. Alliance nonsense we've been dealing with since World of Warcraft Day 1.  I don't feel like it can be its own expansion.  The entire premise of the expansion with the navies and the islands and the boats sounds almost SILLY.

4. I didn't even like scenarios the first time they were a thing.  These will have to have some bitchin rewards for me to do them.

5. It's cute they wanted the island objectives to be a puzzle and tell a story, but I doubt the average player is going to appreciate the nuance of it.  They're just gonna kill shit and get out.

Can I tame this crab on my hunter though?

6. A shadow hunter, a witch doctor, and a berserker.  Possible future subclasses?

7. Smart AI?  Nonsense.

8. The Alliance architecture on some of the islands sort of reminds me of Tol Barad.  I hated Tol Barad.

9. We just (presumably) won our war with the Legion, and instead of coming together to rebuild our world and make it a better place... we've all decided to fight over it.  So whoever wins is basically king of the shit hill.  Magni is the only one who knows what's up, but who listens to dwarves?

10. So the Heart of Azeroth is Artifact 2.0, basically.  Once wasn't enough?

11. They seem to be trying to customize the class experience by adding these armor "talent trees", but probably people will just analyze the fuck out of them to see which combination delivers the most output.  Ask Mr Robot will probably have a gadget for that.  So it's really no choice at all, because everyone will have the same cookie cutter build that has the most output.

12. So basically every time we get a new item, we're gonna have to plug it into Ask Mr Robot to find the best combination of gear and traits.  How is this any better than the reforging system?  At least that was simple.

13. What's the point of fighting over all this again?  Why don't we just let the Alliance have the Eastern Kingdoms, and the Horde can have Kalimdor?

14. Will we FINALLY find out what that inaccessible zone toward the top of Eastern Kingdoms is?

15. I will probably NEVER do a War Front.  It sounds way too tedious.

16. Yeah they are DEFINITELY trying to replace Discord!  Integrating voice right into World of Warcraft is a direct shot at other voice communication apps.  Whether it will be implemented correctly so as to draw in the player base away from those other apps is the challenge here.

17. My god can you imagine if there was a voice version of trade chat?  I can imagine all the "anal" spam.  I love anal spam.

That concludes the Blizzcon spam (probably).  For more info you can check out great sites like wowhead or Blizzard Watch.  Hopefully the next expansion will be better than I think it will be and I'm just being a downer.

*pics clipped from virtual ticket*

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Overwatch: What's Next Panel Recap

1. This evil bitch is experimenting on a bunny.

2. I still think she sounds like Demona from Gargoyles.

3. Can Tentacle Moira be a skin though?

4. "I think it's cool, but I dunno how I'm gonna use these tentacles..."  I know how.

5. I like Moira's more androgynous feel.  She gives me a David Bowie in the '80s vibe.  I'm glad the Overwatch team don't feel compelled to make all their characters as bodacious as Widowmaker, because women do have these varying body types and we don't all have long legs and huge asses (though those who do, you rock girl!)  I feel like there's a lot more representation for all types of people in Overwatch than there is in most other games.

6. I think Moira's Oasis skin looks gorgeous.  The white and gold with purple accents is super pretty.

7. Holy shit that glam skin.  It's looks like a candy raver on acid threw up rainbows all over the paper.  It's terrible and awesome at the same time.  I guess they were getting David Bowie vibes too.

8. Moira's toolkit seems a bit OP.  Looks awesome.

9. "Stop off for a burger and some Death Wings at Snaxxramas."  I'm literally dying right now. 😂

10. They put a fuckton of detail into this map.  It's like a love letter to the fans of their other games.  I think it's actually really sweet.

11. There should be a skin of Widowmaker dressed as Sylvanas Windrunner.

12. Symmetra's new Halloween skin is very Deathwing-esque.  Perhaps it would have fit better in the Blizzard throwback skin series?

13. Torbjorn as Magni!  That is so hilarious.  But why did they Make Widow look like Nova?  I mean Nova is cool and all but NO!

*pics capped from the virtual ticket*