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Month: March 2016

Butt why?

Or, when political correctness attacks. Volume XXX.

So, a slight furore on ye olde Twitter on a pretty innocuous situation in Overwatch occurred tonight.

tracer-victory-pose-2-over-the-shoulder (1)


Apparently that’s “overtly sexual”. According to one “mom” on the Overwatch forums, her “young” daughter is now seemingly scarred for life because Tracer looks over her shoulder in one victory pose.

The exact same pose Hanzo, a guy, has in his repertoire:

My eyes are up HERE!
My eyes are up HERE cowboy!

What? No complaint about this one? What with that rippling musculature? Those come to bed eyes? That slight hint of “I won’t hurt you…much, tiger” in his demeanour?


Seemingly not. Apparently her “young” daughter isn’t scarred by this. Odd.

Or Widowmaker, another female character in Overwatch who’s pretty overtly sexually attractive.

Even though she’s blue.

Boom-chikka, and indeed, wow-wow
Boom-chikka, and indeed, wow-wow

Never stopped the Draenei from being hit by Rule 34 I suppose.

In all seriousness though, this one complaint, if you could even call it that, has led to Blizzard removing the pose from Tracer’s character. Now they’re trying to state they’re not removing it because it’s offensive, but because it “doesn’t fit with her character”.

Yeah, ok. Here’s a shovel, it’ll help you dig quicker.

Honestly, no matter what content creators put out there, there will always be SOMEONE who takes the opportunity to find offence, no matter how hard they have to dig, or twist the situation or facts.

Usually they’ll find offence where there’s none to very little to be had, at least by any reasonably sane person.

I’ve posted this link on Twitter a couple of times. It’s an article by a woman named Godless Mom, and she writes an Atheism-related blog, but the two streams happen to cross this time.

It succinctly, and superbly, explains the reasons why the generation of people raised around the late 90’s, early 2000’s, the so-called “Millennials”, are the generation “butt-hurt”. Why they WANT to find offence in anything. To scream and shout and make themselves feel important by tearing and railing against anything that others take any form of enjoyment in.

In fact, it additionally relates to the article I wrote on these adult-babies currently derailing and muddying the educational system the western world over.

Generation butt-hurt need to learn some things about the world, and pretty damned fast.

People like sex. People like sexy imagery. It doesn’t make them bad people. Hell it’s what advertising has 90% bet and based it’s entire industry on over the past half-century since the 60’s onwards. Everything from cars, to perfume, to games and movies? Sold via sexy imagery, and it works, because guess what? People like sex, and to feel sexually attractive and attracted to someone.

Hell it’s the main reason I mainly play female characters in games where I have a choice. If I’m going to be looking at a character’s arse for hours on end, I’m at least going to make a character worth looking at!

Does that make me a sexist pig? A violent, misogynistic virtual rapist, if the likes of Anita Sarkeesian are to be believed?

Fuck no! It makes me a normal heterosexual male. That’s ALL.

And if people (women included, shocker I know!) didn’t like sexy imagery? We wouldn’t be here having this discussion. NONE of us, so suck it up cupcake and get on with your life.

The world is a hard place to live in. Life is hard, and we don’t always get anything we want, never mind everything. Things will happen, and you won’t like them, but that’s just tough shit. None of us get what we want, not at least without a hell of a lot of hard work and effort, and no amount of screaming the house down and throwing of Twitter-Tantrums will get you your way.

Well, that’s how it should be at least. Life’s not fair. It’s not, and the main problem is you were spoilt and sheltered from the real world as a child and can’t wrap your head around the fact that the world does NOT in fact, revolve around you. Get over it already.

Blizz flipped on this uncomfortably early, and now they’re facing a backlash. These days companies are all too often, too fast to react like a pendulum, mainly out of fear. Sir Tim Hunt‘s career is a notable example.

Me? Don’t particularly care that it’s been removed, but the reason for it grates. Plus that and I found my twitter feed delightfully full of butt-support tonight, which was hilarious.

One person takes offence, and makes a frankly pathetic, mewling complaint to Blizzard who very rapidly make a change to a game enjoyed by the thousands currently playing in the Beta. None of whom had a problem, until now.

But in folding, they’ve triggered a far worse response than I think they would’ve seen coming. Will they u-turn on this? Who knows? Personally I don’t care, but I think Blizzard can stand to learn a lesson from this to not be so hyper-sensitive to complaints of a character being sexualised, or sexually attractive, or having qualities that fall within that particularly sexy wheelhouse.

I, for one, am all for content creators creating their content, and letting the public choose to consume it or not. Censorship? If this even amounts to that? Not particularly a fan, and I think that we’re all adults here, and should behave as such.

And anyhow, Overwatch is rated T, y’know, for Teen?

Why is a young girl playing the game anyway?

Regardless, I’ve solved the problem in my own ingenious way:

Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts
Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts Butts BUTTS


The long and winding road to fitness

If not fitness, at least being healthier

So today I bought myself a Fitbit Blaze, a fitness watch and smart watch. Not quite as snazzy as the Apple Watch, but it’s snazzy enough, and it does nearly everything I’d want a device like this to do.

I am 5ft 9 inches tall.

Side note, for years I thought I was 5’8″, then I measured myself today and imagine my surprise when I saw I was just over 175cm, or 5’9″.

At that height, and at a weight of 14½ stone (or 203lb for the yanks), my BMI is in the red. Bordering on the Obese end of the Overweight section, I have a BMI of about 30 (a smidge under).

For me to be healthy at my current weight I’d need to be 6’5″, which I’m clearly not 

So for me to be healthy at this height, I need to lose at least 2 stone, or 28lb, and to get to an ideal weight, I need to slightly more than double that loss, and lose about 60lbs.

Why yes, I do have hairy arms, thanks for noticing!

So the Blaze was bought in an effort to make me control my calorie intake, and to constantly monitor my heart rate, steps taken, sleep patterns etc.

I don’t like losing when a goal is somewhat easily attainable, albeit with some effort and a little self-control. I can already feel the presence of this on my wrist starting to work, as I’m aware of how many calories I should now be consuming (about 700 less than I thought), and it hopefully will motivate me to be a bit more active as well.

My initial, easy start, target is a mere 6,000 steps per day. It’s not much, but it’s about 50% more than what I usually do on a given weekday. As you probably know I work in IT, and it’s a fairly sedentary job, so I don’t get to do much in the way of exercise in my daily grind.

Once I’m regularly hitting 6k per day, I’ll up it to 6.5, then 7 etc, until I’m at the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

Once I’m at that? Then I’ll start maybe doing some light jogging. We’ll see though, because I hate exercise 

£160 well spent?

Hopefully that’s a big (not fat) yes.


Choosing a class for Legion?

Or, what happens when an Atheist joins the Clergy…

So, with Hunters seemingly still in a rather disturbing place on Alpha, you’ll probably already be aware that I’ve begun to look further afield for my next class.

I’ve decided that I wanted to give full-time healing a go, as it’s the only role I’ve never main specced with during all my years in Azeroth (it’ll be 8 years this year).

I’ve obviously done the whole DPS & Tank thing, even at one stage thinking of playing all 5 tank classes.

Then I realised how boring Warriors & Druids were to tank with…

giphy (1)
By Grab’thar’s Hammer, what a sav…zzzzzz

As I’d tanked so long, familiarity it seemed had bred discontent. Even tanking on the Paladin had become too easy, boring even, which is why I switched to my Hunter a month or so prior to 6.2 landing.

Crushingly, if Hunters had been left as they are right now on live, albeit with the normal expansion-launch-sized tweaks, I’d probably still be maining a Hunter in Legion.

But, that didn’t happen, so to the class roster I go!

Roll Call

Rogues are dull to me. I can’t get any excitement out of them at all, and, in fact, I deleted my level 90 rogue (please, it was a boost, I wasn’t levelling that up all the way!) for a 3rd Hunter.

Mages? Been there, done that back in Wrath. Ditto Warlocks even further back (my first ever class back in 2006 history nerds!), and more recently at the back end of Mists.

Shaman don’t really vibe with me too much, although they’re fun enough to play, and at least have varied roles across their specs.

Warriors are too bland, too vanilla for me. I like a bit of mysticism, some magic, some flair, a certain “je ne sais quoi” to my class, and Warriors really don’t fit into that theme.

That said, Hunters got a bye on that front simply because of the pet collection aspect.

Death Knights…hmmm.

DK’s are hard for me to quantify. For a pure melee class, they don’t feel particularly visceral, or weighty like a melee class should IMO. A lot of their abilities are more “swish swish swish” and less “smack bash thump crunch”, and it doesn’t sit well. Plus that and I’m godawful at, and in awe of well played, Blood DKs.

Druids are fun, I enjoy playing mine, and for a while a Resto Druid was up there, but I decided against it. No real reason, but I’ve played my druid plenty, and have no real desire to main it. Maybe one for a future expansion?

Holy Paladins are sadly boring as well. If Warriors had a healing spec, this would be it. There’s no…spice to the spec? IMO at least. It’s all single target heals with very little flair. It’s hard to explain, and I realise my thinking could quite easily be countered, but that’s how the spec feels to me. I’ve off-specced as Holy in Mists just for laughs during the long long Siege of Orgrimmar, but it never really felt like an exciting spec to play.

The other side of the coin, Retribution, to me seems like a perennial under-performer. Never regularly topping DPS sims, it always seems very middle of the road at best.

And I’m not touching Demon Hunters other than as an alt as new classes tend to undergo massive changes the expansion after, similar to the clean-slate approach to Hunters in Legion. I wouldn’t want to get too attached again…

Cheer up Toby, you only ruined 1 Spiderman film. Yes Andrew Garfield, I'm looking at you here...
Cheer up Toby, you only ruined 1 Spiderman film. Yes Andrew Garfield, I’m looking at you here…

So it really came down to the two classes left: Monk & Priest.


This is a class I’ve played as both Brewmaster and Windwalker. Mainly WW, because as I’ve recently been forced to admit, I’m a terrible Brewmaster player. For similar reasons as Blood DKs, mainly that when the shit hits the fan it always seems to end up with me as a puddle on the floor, rather than doing what I did on my Prot Pally, and surviving through sheer determination and ability.

Maybe the toolkits didn’t gel with me all that well.

Yeah, maybe that’s it.



Anyway, having made the decision to main a healer, first up was Mistweaving. I enjoy Mistweaving, but presently on Live it has a real problem with gear. Unless you’re at the “I’ve cleared Heroic several times” level of geared, your ability to heal is very limited in terms of sheer throughput. But when you are geared to that level?

You rocket through the HPS meters, even beating out the seemingly unbeatable Disc Priests. It’s not for no reason that a MW was the first spec to solo heal Mythic Archimonde (seriously though, that’s a real fucking thing). MW really bloom late game, and unless you’re a Mythic raider, then it’s easier and quicker to get better results from other classes. So at least until Legion, I’m left with one class.

The Priest.

Feckin Disc Bubbles!

The quintessential healer. The original healing class. The healers’ healer. The grand-daddy of them all. The only class in the game with 2 (count em, 2!) very different healing specs, and I went into this one and completely changed my mind about my intentions.

I loved faffing about with Atonement on my Priest, Sarenity, in previous expansions. Nothing too serious, maybe the odd dungeon late expansion etc, but I loved Atonement style healing. Probably why I love Mistweaving so much, that choice of the optional play-style of dealing damage to smart-heal your allies.

Atonement is back big style in Legion, and I was all set to main spec a Smite bot…

Then I tried Holy, and I fell in love.


This is the first time I’ve ever really gelled so totally with a healing spec. It seems like it’s the Swiss Army Knife of healing toolkits, with something in the drawer to handle any situation. And they don’t need tonnes of gear to do their job, unlike WoD-era Mistweavers.

One great aspect of Holy is that it’s just so damned efficient on Mana. Seriously, unless shit really hits the fan, I leave most fights on 100% mana or thereabouts. At worst, I’ll either have 50%+ mana at the end of an intense fight, or I’ll be dead. And that’s spamming flash heals and AoE heals aplenty.

There are very few smart heals in Holy’s bag of tricks, Prayer of Mending and Cascade are probably the only ones. All the other healing you do is utterly reliant on either single target or AoE heals, specifically and purposefully cast by the player.

Even spells like Circle of Healing require you to select the target based on their physical location, as it will heal up to 5 other people within 30 yards of where they’re standing. Put it on that Hunter standing out by the door? You’ve wasted 80% of the heal. Derp.

As a plus for me, there’s the whole Religious iconography associated with the class and this spec in particular, even moreso in Legion.

Yes, I am a hardcore Atheist, and will be until I die (but not after! :P), but this is one of the many reasons why I chose to stick with my Paladin for nearly 7 years as my main. The main reason of course was their sheer survivability, but the religious overtones and imagery the class evokes was great to me.

So it looks like Holy Priest is going to be The One.

giphy (2)
Turns out? Neo was a sneaky Disc Priest all along…

Only thing now is deciding a race and faction for Legion!

I still have nagging doubts about Thunder’s ability to get back on our feet come Legion, purely because of the length of time off, and I sincerely hope those doubts are not well founded, but if the worst does come to pass and we go purely social?

Then all bets are off and it may not necessarily be a Horde-only future!

That said, she looks great as a Belf, doesn’t she?

Let me see here, “Holy Priest Guide – Chapter 1: What is Healing?”

Black Desert Online: Launch Week

Or, as I call it, the best damned looking game ever made.

So Black Desert launched a couple of days ago for the biggest spenders. The Conqueror’s pre-order pack, which cost a whopping €100, launched for head-start access on 28th February (Sunday).

Today sees my Explorer (€50) pre-order launch date, and I’m really excited to get into it.

I’m a big BIG lover of customising my characters in a game, the main reason I’m such a big lover of the Transmog system in World of Warcraft. It’s also one of the main reasons I loved City of Heroes so much in the years I spent between Vanilla WoW and Wrath.

The reason I missed TBC in its entirety?

A brighter, more fun MMO, with a character creator filled with Superhero costumes.

No brainer really.

Anyhow, the character creator in BDO is a thing of beauty. The level of detail you can go into to customise your character is amazing. You can customise everything from cheekbone placement through to re-arranging the strands of hair on your character’s head manually!

The graphics in the game are second to none, certainly in the MMO genre, and the level of realism in the characters you can create is astounding:

Clean up on Aisle 6!
Clean up on Aisle 6!

The level of detail doesn’t stop with the characters. The world itself is astoundingly beautiful, and it will push my system to its limits. A vegetation, object-heavy world, with rich and highly detailed texturing and modelling, giving rise to realistic, busy cities and masses of NPCs.

The world map system is also superbly noteworthy. Not a 2D representation like we have in WoW, this is similar to Skyrim’s, in that it’s an accurate 3D representation of the world at large.

As for the game itself, it’s a complete departure from WoW, as it’s not a Theme Park MMO. There’s no “endgame” to speak of, and it’s more along the lines of Skyrim, or more appropriately, Elder Scrolls Online.

A world to play and exist in, with mobs to grind, quests to do, players to kill and gear to upgrade, it’s entirely open world with no instancing in sight. A far cry from WoD’s garrisonville.

All that, and a complete lack of fast travel – if you want to cross the world you’d better get running!

Luckily you can set a destination and afk-run or ride there, much like you can in the current flight-path model in WoW.

Of course, rather than go down the beauty route for your character, you can naturally go for the complete derp look:


So WoW may see a slightly lesser look-in over the next few days as I get myself into BDO, and inevitably spend hours poring over character creation…

Hello, from the other side…

And now you have Adele in your head. You’re welcome.

So my Orc monk was sitting wasting away Horde side, doing nothing much of anything, lazily languishing at level 93 and barely being touched.

Given my well publicised female Gnome fetish, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and faction change her to Alliance, and go Gnome! 🙂

Bear in mind that it’s quite likely that Blizzard are going to completely screw up the hunter revamp*, I’m looking to see which other classes or specs might tickle my fancy when it comes to being my main in Legion.

*Yes it’s early Alpha, and yes, lots can and will change between now and then. Suck it pedantic fanboys. The changes as-is atm on Alpha are terrible, and change everything about a Hunter that we now know.

So I got her levelled over the weekend, and within 2 days of hitting 100 she is now sitting at a gear level of 665/667, high enough to get into HFC LFR.

I’d levelled her as a Brewmaster, but I’ve had to be brave, and admit that as much as I loved tanking on the Paladin, and as good as I was on her (and I was excellent, which is why it got so boring, #humblebrag), I absolutely suck a fat one at playing Brewmaster.

Darn it.

So, that meant going back to main spec Windwalker, a spec I loved in Mists, and actually got pretty good with.

That said, if Hunter doesn’t work out, I’m given of a hankering to go main spec healer in Legion, as it’s the one role I’ve yet to main-spec as during an expansion.

I main specced as ranged DPS (Mage) for half of Wrath, before tanking out the final tier of Wrath, all of Cata, Mists and the first half of WoD, then obviously moved to the Hunter for the last half of WoD.

So Healer is the only one I’ve yet to devote myself fully to, outside of off-spec faffing about during expansion downtime on my Paladin.

Mistweaving is pretty fun. A mix of HoTs, direct heals, AoEs and absorbs, yet played in a fairly relaxed manner, and with a unique mana-return mechanic in Mana Tea.

I ran through a few Hellfire LFR wings last night, and while I wasn’t brilliant, I was able to experience the playstyle first hand.

Obviously I have yet to setup keybinds, VuhDo or cooldowns correctly, and I’m still missing a few key pieces of gear, namely healer rings, a trinket and a decent ilevel helm and chest, so I’m missing a decent chunk of spirit as it stands.

All that said, it’s nice to have a max-level (non-boosted) Alliance character, even if I don’t have a guild just yet. Mind you the lack of a guild is a nice change of pace, as it’s nice and quiet and I can just go on about my business solo.

Mind you, the lack of activity in Thunder atm may just as well mean a lack of guild either side of the factional divide, as we only have about 5/6 people on at even the busiest times of the day/week.

My hunter may remain though as my main PvP character, even if it gets fucked over royally.

But it looks quite likely, and very tempting, to say I’ll be main speccing a Mistweaver Monk next expansion. Will she still be a Gnome?

We’ll have to wait and see…