Tuesday, December 13, 2011

people throw rocks at things that shine

Another clip entry, yes. First, this right here explains in one place why we hate the new enchanting system in Minecraft. Because on average--and that's assuming you have the levels for this--it takes 2,480 attempts to get one level 50 enchantment on anything, and that doesn't assume any particular type.

And the enchantments themselves are so widely varied...There's a rather labyrinthine list of possible enchantments on armor, equipment and weaponry available on the Minecraft wiki, but remember the above--to get, say, an enchanted sword with Smite V and Knockback II (just to pick two at random) you're going to be making at least seventy attempts, up to three thousand attempts. Keep in mind, too, that even when the enchantment table is properly built (the table surrounded by two levels of 15 bookcases each, leaving room on one side for a door), you have to make your item, enchant your item, and blindly hope you get lucky.

If you're not opped on a server (so as to freely allow you to summon iron or diamond to make base enchantable items and armor), then this is exactly what that means:
  • 1. Dig deep enough to find diamonds in the first place.
  • 2. Mine out two of the ones you find.
  • 3. Go back to wherever your enchanting room has been built; make your diamond sword (also requiring one stick for the hilt, so if you don't already have wood, go punch down a tree nearby).
  • 4. Place the diamond sword in the enchanting table's enchanting screen.
  • 5. Using only the bottom enchantment values (because apparently slots one and two are bugged, leaving only slot three as an active enchanting slot), place (then lift out, and place again) the sword, until you hit the number you want (keeping in mind that enchanting uses up player levels, so to get a level 50 enchantment, you need to have at least 105 levels).
  • 6. Make your sword.
  • 7. Take out the now enchanted (and glowing faintly) sword. Mouse over it to read what it now does.
  • 8. If unsatisfied (as in, you wanted Knockback and you got Bane of Arthropods, or you wanted Smite V and you got Fire Aspect II), do it all again by either repairing the sword (merging it and another diamond sword on the crafting table screen, which removes any enchantment on the weapon), or going back down to the depths and finding more diamond.
It's a ludicrous, draining, exhaustive waste of time at present. While some good things are coming out of it, mostly it's just a time sink, in a game that really, really didn't need another time sink option.

Two missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered! Why this is such a big deal takes a bit to explain, though there's an article on Mightygodking's blog that does a better job of getting this across, but basically, this is one of the (many) reasons Doctor Who fandom isn't like other fandoms.

Imagine, say: if Star Trek, for instance, had retained bits and pieces from the first season, two seasons from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and one season from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Your best bet to get other people interested in what you're interested in, always, is to just show them the episodes.

But what if they don't exist? While this seems baffling beyond all reason today, the BBC routinely had a habit of destroying the master tapes after initial (and very short) rebroadcasting rights had expired. That, combined with a later fire in the BBC archives, meant that many of the early episodes of Doctor Who aren't just rare, they're outright gone.

And to find even bits of the lost story arcs is a phenomenal thing. Understand: these aren't complete, start to finish episodes even now--they're essentially chapters of larger works. The intact larger works may never be found, and that's something that most fandoms just don't struggle with.

There will likely be some DVD release of even the episodes bit, likely with heavy commentary and still shots fore and aft, but Doctor Who fans are durable and enduring: we'll take that. We're just happy to have more of our show back.

Speaking of Star Trek, have some offbeat Star Trek cameos...For me personally, I knew about most of those--and others not listed!--save for Mick Fleetwood as the giant fish-man. That was just baffling.

How to make a LAN-party-optimized house! Great instructions, great construction, and what seems like a level-headed, good guy working at Google. Good to know they're not all small-minded, tin-plated dictators with delusions of godhood.

Ever wanted to throw a ball and have it walk back to you? Soon you'll be able to.

There's an upcoming LEGO/Minecraft partnership. Though I don't get why that article, and others, are saying Minecraft is saving LEGO with this move. LEGO has their own theme park, and has LEGO-built national monuments that are sent out on secure tours--once you reach that point, there's really no way to fail.

Also, have a Creeper fetish? It's made it into actual fetishwear. (Also winterwear, but latex makes it shinier.)

And Rodvik Linden makes an announcement. I will admit, I have dread based on the language, because it doesn't sound like he's speaking to other people, but directly to other middle managers, using obfuscating business-speak. And the whole statement of making the naming system "intuitive" with "more features" just chills me.

Plus, of course, the fact that he's mentioned they're going to intensely analyze and look at how to better this particular system? That means it's the new shiny. So Marketplace will continue to not be fixed. Merchants will continue to be hard-hit by the global economy and close up shop. Sims will continue to be abandoned. The not-at-all-slow attrition level at this point will continue.

Honestly, by the time they get to the end of the first quarter of 2012, to make the initial announcements? Well, I'm fairly sure there'll be a grid left, but three more months of people giving up and wandering off SL will make even more changes, and none of them good ones.

No comments: