Monday, 21 January 2008

In Spain we have a saying that goes...

... "Those who go to sleep with children get up wet."

I'll explain it for those of you who insist of making a pedo joke out of that. One of the many annoying things children do, according to folklore, is piss all over themselves while they're sleeping, and it isn't because of a weird kink: it's because they are undeveloped humans unable to fully control their sphincters. Kind of like very old people with Alzheimer's, but the other way around and less forgetful.

The saying means that if you try something (ambitious) with unexperienced (and overall silly) people the results will probably be a piece of shit, a waste of your time, an embarrassing failure... I hope you catch my drift.

Today's piece is the story of one such failure. It takes place in the World of Warcraft, but it can be extrapolated to the real world. It features inexperience, inefficiency, disorganization, disregard for others' input and opinions a high employee... I mean, raider turnover and a blatant lack of knowledge of the medium, so I encourage anyone interested in leading a team (or taking one of those human resources bollocks courses) to throw away whatever they're reading and read this nerdish story so they'll know shit before they trip on it.

The whole thing started as usual, with an invite from a pick-up group for the Mana Tombs in Auchindoun (I think this would be the proper time to say that anything you can't understand from this paragraph onwards should be looked up here). The group was made up of a paladin (he dealt damage and healed a bit), a shaman (of the damage-dealing kind), a hunter (those are damage-dealers, always and no matter what they claim), a warrior (tank) and Yours Truly, a night elf rogue (damage-dealing).

After dealing with some Horde pests outside of the instance, we entered the entrance corridor to the Mana Tombs. After clearing the first few groups and slaying the first boss (a very easy one, the only secret to it is not hitting it while it's phased out, but most people never listen or think they know better, anyway...) the shaman politely said he's got to leave the group to go raiding with his main character, and in a couple of minutes we were looking for a replacement DPS, which shows the first few faults of character in the team members. The hunter didn't want another hunter in the team because he didn't want more competition for the hunter gear, so we ended up picking a shadow priest. On our way to the second boss, the repeated questions about the motives for the hunter not wanting another hunter in the team and the hunter's bickering (generally speaking, players whose main is a hunter are assholes, especially when it's a night-elf hunter, but I'll explain that later on) made the paladin leave, leaving us without a healer. From this point onwards, everything went downhill.

Proper healers being a scarce commodity in WoW, we had to "promote" our shadow priest to dedicated healer and look for another DPS, which this time happened to be a female human warlock. We got wiped once in a very silly and unexplainable way on our way to the second boss, which we toppled without any difficulty, and the hunter got the two-handed weapon he was looking for. The way to the second boss was marked, too, by what would be the leitmotiv for the rest of the instance: an arbitrary use of marks for crowd control, where focus wouldn't be the de facto standard skull, sap wouldn't be the coin and so on, and of course we had to ask many times before the hunter (who was the party leader at the time) explained what the fuck did those symbols mean. In layman's terms, it would be as if a cop used a pink smiley as a STOP sign and then gave you a ticket for skipping a STOP sign. Shortly after killing the second boss and a couple of stupid wipes, the tank, who had some talent points in the protection tree and thus was a proper tank, got pissed off and left and the warlock followed soon thereafter, so we had to look for another tank AND another DPS. The hunter promptly found a male gnome mage (male gnomes are generally stupid, stay the hell away from them unless you know them and/or they are from your guild and therefore liable for their screw-ups). I didn't like the way that was heading... with two assholes in the group, it was only a matter of time before they snapped because of each other's ineptitude and started cursing at each other, forgetting everything and everyone around them in the process.

The gnome called a dwarf warrior friend of his, who wound up as our tank, even though he was a DPS-specced warrior and not a proper tank, and that meant he'd lose aggro to me or to any of the casters very quickly, with potentially messy results. On our way to the last boss we suffered so many wipes and delays because of people going AFK, many times without even any warning, or pulling inadequately (e.g., pulling a group without clearing the patrols near it so that when polymorph or sap wore off they would aggro the whole fucking patrol, which added to deficient healing and crowd and poor aggro management would result in a wipe) that both the hunter and the mage snapped and started calling each other "asshole", "ninja-looter", "limp-handed", "fucking useless son of a bitch" and whatnot. After we (the other 3 team members) got them to shut up, we got to the room before the last boss, and after clearing it the warrior triggered an escort mission without asking anyone else, which eventually resulted in a party wipe, more insults between the mage and the hunter and me politely explaining that my gear was almost broken, that I had wasted two fucking hours and a half there for nothing and that I hoped I wouldn't hear from them anytime soon and goodbye.

To be honest, I can't imagine how the hell can anyone play a game for so long and still be unable to figure out the workings of his own character. Or is it that as soon as they're among non-guildies they forget the meaning of "respect"? I don't know which is worse...

Finally, I'll explain a bit about stupid races and classes. I have observed (and others have, too) that there's a rather large percentage among night elf hunters and male gnomes in general (in the Alliance) and among undead rogues and mages and blood elves in general (in the Horde) of stupid people. I haven't made any proper statistics yet, but if I ever have too much time to spare I'll do that. I think I can say in advance that male gnome characters' players are generally stupid because they probably think that an aged midget is funny and cool-looking, which it isn't. Being a midget is a fucking tragedy, it is only funny if someone else's the midget! How the hell can they interact with traders in the game if they are shorter than the counter?

I think I'll stop typing about that topic before it gets worse and about midget porn. More stuff, probably not about WoW and hopefully not so sad, at a later date.

Friday, 4 January 2008

The blackest day

Yesterday I read in a newspaper that the Church of Scientology had been granted religion status in Spain. That had happened in the last days of October 2007, with little echo on the media. I can only wonder what kind of nutcases granted that status to the Co$ without bothering to take a look at the accusations of extortion, fraud, brainwashing and even murder that have been filed against that so-called Church all around the world, or at the reasons why it's banned on Germany and has been kicked out of Greece. Or even failed to notice the fraud lawsuits against them in this country.

I can only hope that someone in the know of these events can gather evidence to topple an organization that seeks to undermine the rights of the citizens on every country they operate in and that is known for trying to destroy their critics, either personally or financially, through framing and frivolous libel lawsuits.

It could be worse, at least we haven't got shitty libel legislation such as the UK's...

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Money is money, and dead people is dead people

A week and a half ago I had a very funny dream, featuring a machinegun and a mall. Surprisingly, the following day's evening my computer's power supply unit kicked the bucket. Coincidence? I think so.

My computer's PSU had been dying for a long time, probably screwing my computer components' lifespan. In fact, that PSU's death was the longest and most painful (if it was able to feel pain) I have ever witnessed (not that I have witnessed many deaths, or even any at all... when I got there, they were already dead and in a wooden box, or in a furnace!), only second to the life of some guy I bet 1 euro he'd commit suicide by 38 in a dead pool.
Yes, I bet in dead pools.

Death is a funny, glorified thing, and I've got the right to make a profit, even if it's only 1 euro, which thanks to inflation shouldn't be enough to pay me a beer by the time I win it. Bastards.

Many people feel that betting on someone's death is a show of bad taste, because people are supposed to deal with death in a solemn, sanctimonious way. Most of these people are women, because they have "feelings", whatever that thing is, then there are some men who agree because they want to fall in the good graces of ladies nearby (in order to get laid, I suppose, I know some scummy people who would kill their mother and be sad about it to get laid, the desperate bastards), and then there are some idiots who are eager to get killed in gruesome ways for some silly abstract idea and they probably think it isn't cool to risk their asses for money if they don't get everyone's attention and admiration and then some, and they expect to be treated "with due reverence and respect" (sic), whatever that is. A stiff is a stiff, and I don't think it'll turn into gold ingots if you put it into a furnace... oh, wait, I unconsciously made one of those WWII jokes everyone frowns upon.

If death hadn't all that glorified bullshit aura and all that mistique around it, less stupid people would die in amusing ways and we wouldn't have the Darwin Awards for stupid people who succeed in removing themselves from the gene pool, like that poor bastard who wanted to disassemble rocket-propelled grenades with a hammer to sell the scrap metal. I'd rather risk being busted for illegal sale of weapons. Beats being dead any day of the week.

By the way, I was only kidding about that women's feelings thingy up there. There are times when you should be sad because of a death. That would be when a dog dies. Dogs are some of the coolest people around, and they have very short lifespans, which is a real shame. Also, when someone you know and you appreciate meets an untimely death in an unfunny fashion. I mean, if someone I knew died of a heart attack while fucking a hen I'd probably end up rolling on the floor laughing upon hearing the sad story of his demise.