Malik (8/9/04)

This weekend I did something that I am not too proud of...I broke down and thanks to the urgings of a few people and the demonstrations of a few others, I am now a member of Paragon City.  I am now bravely risking my newb ass to stock the petty thugs and the lowlife scum that threaten the ever vigilant citizens.  For those who are saying, "huh?", this means I am now playing and paying for City of Heroes...yes...an MMORPG...yup, I sold out.  As a newb to MMOs, who only could find about an hours worth of fun from most of these plot-lacking abominations, I have to say that CoH is definitely the right one to begin my time wasting on.  While, like all other MMOs, there is a complete lack of plot, there are enough missions to accomplish early on to feel like you're actually fulfilling a greater purpose...plus, as a comic loving geek, this is a dream come true to walk around throwing lightning bolts and flaming punches while striving to one day learn the arts of flying.

Also, for those who know the pain of watching time get devoured by an MMO, I say fear not.  I am still devoted to Tales of Symphonia.  While I am living it up on my week of vacation, I am still addicted to good old ToS...in fact I spent the first 6 hours of vacation playing ToS and gulping coffee.  I think I'll easily meet my goal of finishing ToS by the end of this week while still getting some badass super powers on CoH.  Anyway, I'm in need of my three addictions (ToS, CoH, and caffeine), so I'll wrap this up for now.  Paragon City needs it's newest hero...long live Pyrotex!


Malik (8/10/04)

Well, I am being a bit slow on the post tonight, but for a very good reason...it goes by the name of City of Heroes.  I am still pounding away at the game when I can...by that I mean when my Internet connection is good enough to handle the game.  Sadly, as I learned from a friend of mine earlier today, Comcast Broadband did something stupid in my neighborhood a couple weeks ago that has made usage of a certain line of cable modems glitchy and sporadic...something about adjusting the frequency.  So, I must enjoy my CoH whenever I can since it's hard to tell when the Internet connection is going to go to shit.  I plan to bitch to Comcast tomorrow about it, and probably get quite bitchy since I own my modem and if it is no longer properly compatible with their service, I'm going to be out $80 or so to buy a new one (why not rent?  I'm not wanting to pay more than the price of a modem in less than a year just because Comcast messed up...plus I plan to keep Cable Internet for a long while, so the long term value is a good thing).

Well, I am about done with Tales of Symphonia.  I have a few small side quests that I'm wrapped up in, and then I'm at the final boss fight.  I have to say that a good deal of the value of ToS is definitely the story...despite how so many people say it's a clone of everything from FFX to Secret of Mana.  I mean everything has been done already, and only by having a unique mixture of the classical plot elements, omitting the whiney little whorish protagonists (so no Tidus), and by using a good level of detail can a plot be entertaining anymore.  So, my point is that the plot is hella good and with all the side quests, you can see a new level of detail to the plot that only adds to the depth of the game play and overall experience.

Anyway, I expect to finish ToS tomorrow...and then play more CoH...yes...CoH!!!  For those playing, if you see The Flaming Yuppie, give him the proper salute he deserves for his tireless tolerance of damned KSers...I hate KSing whores...sigh...


Malik (8/11/04)

To show my sold-out nature, I've updated my look a little bit.  I shall now take on the identity of The Flaming Yuppie; brave defender of all loyal capitalist Americans who are striving for a safer and more economical landscape to live in and, more importantly, to do their business in. 

Well, I'm trying to get more play in City of Heroes, but it's slow going.  My Internet connection is complete crap right now, and can only serve me well enough to do the IE and email type thing.  I should have a Comcast person out here today to fix things for me, hopefully, but I'm not too optimistic...I've been burned by Comcast many times already.  If worse comes to worse, I can always rely on going the DSL route...but, that is something I don't want to do if I don't have to. 

Well, as I started writing this stuff, the Comcast guy showed up and had to replace my modem.  Apparently, like my friend told me yesterday, the Comcast service got some lame upgrade that most likely wont affect me in any way, except to make my Motorola Surfboard modem obsolete.  That sucks.  So, now I have to rent a new modem from Comcast and still put up with the slow downs that come naturally from my apartment complex (my apartment is set up with quite an old cable system and this causes a lower bandwidth than you would find in most intelligently designed buildings).

So, enough of me bitching about Comcast, and on to something that matters...I finished Tales of Symphonia last night.  The ending was a little on the saccharine side of things.  By that I mean that everything was happy, there was an attempt at a valiant sacrifice and in the end everyone survived a little wiser, a little happier, and a little more towards the one-dimension character end of thing.  At least the plot of the game made up for this sappiness.  Also, I can now see some parallels with FF...not FFX or FFX-2 like everyone says, but more along the lines of FF4...however, the game is still fresh enough and interesting enough that I would still say that ToS kicks arse.

Well, I need to now get some more leveling for The Flaming Yuppie (due to the crappy connection issues, I got a lag death and now I need to make up for my experience debt).  For capitalist America!


Malik (8/12/04)

Well, I had the fun of more PC issues that started right after my last post.  I decided that even with my change in cable modems that my connection was still lacking something...mainly, I would still get an occasional lag-death on CoH.  So, I tried to use a different NIC...sadly, this resulted in the death of my Internet usage.  So, I put back my original NIC card, and once again I had nothing.  Long story short, I had to do about 4 to 6 hours of PC work to get myself back online, but even with using the original NIC, I think my connection issues may be resolved...for now.  So, The Flaming Yuppie is now up and running hardcore.

I think I may skip out on an issue of Malik's Bitchings this week...I say this since my vacation has been more about catching up on game playing and less about the Geek-Asylum.com thing.  So, long story short, I have nothing prepared and tomorrow is Friday.  So, if I get nothing up for M's B, just remember I am on my first vacation for the last 2 years...and does it ever feel good!  Alright!  However, I will have a new Malik's Bitchings up next week, for sure.  The closest you'll get to a Bitchings this week is the following;

Comcast recently upgraded their Internet connection, in some method that used a new frequency.  This is all well and good, if it improves Internet connections.  However, instead, a large group of people (those using Motorola Surfboard modems) got screwed over as the Surfboard could not handle the new frequency.  So, for most people, the people who rent their modems from Comcast, that is, this was easily solved by calling Comcast and switching out their old modem for a new one.  I, on the other hand, am a true geek, and thus own my modem of choice...I just don't get paying $10 a month for something that costs only about $80 (I only learned yesterday that the rental price is now at $3 a month for a Comcast modem), since you'll pay more than it's worth in only a matter of 8 or 9 months.

So, yesterday, I had to swap out my owned modem for a rental modem, if I wanted a good connection.  What I don't understand is why Comcast didn't tell their customers about this ahead of time, and why, even after they knew what happened, why they didn't contact those who were running on a Surfboard.  This is flat out negligence on the behalf of Comcast and is just inexcusable.  Plus, since they have the modem info on their computers/records, since it is needed to connect to their Internet service, they do have the power to do so.  I, along with my friend who also got screwed, and all the thousands of others who got poor connection issues from this swap over, should not have to feel screwed over by Comcast's negligence and lack of customer service and lack of empathy.


Well, the solution sucked ass for me.  It was something along the lines of finding out from a friend about the whole situation and then stepping up to plate while Comcast sat on their thumbs and gave me the equivalent of a middle finger solute.  Comcast show take the initiative and try to show they give a crap by helping out when they know a problem exists.  On top of that, the poor saps, like me, who own their modems should be compensated by a free year of modem rentals...I mean my modem is still 100% good to go, as long as it's not on a Comcast network, but I can't do much about having an extra modem and paying $3 a month for a rental modem since Comcast doesn't care one bit.

I guess I should look on the bright side of all this...maybe Comcast didn't screw me over...wait...they did.  But as The Flaming Yuppie would say, "For Capitalist America!"

Anyway, that's my semi tipsy version of a Bitchings column for this week.    Well, I have a bit too much celebratory beer in me to think straight today.  I'm not drunk, but I'm feeling lethargic, so I'll fade away into CoH...where the most thinking I needs is along the lines of "Red or purple = bad while going solo".