Keeping Battleborn Viable


It seems to me that one of the biggest issues crippling Battleborn is the amount of time one can spend in the game but not playing. That is to say, waiting. Waiting for a team to assemble, waiting to revive, waiting while you ‘sprint’ across the map at a snail’s pace to rejoin your teammates.

Certainly, there are other issues and at least some aspects of the waiting problem are exacerbated by the dwindling player base. However, there are a few things that could be done to minimize the waiting.

  1. Make queuing more dynamic:
    1. Allow players to backfill teams already in a match. It is mind-boggling that there is a menu option to quit a game but no option for the now screwed team (and yes, for the post part you are screwed if you are a character down in Battleborn) to get a replacement.
    2. Give players something to do while waiting. An Overwatch-like skirmish mode, playing checkers, almost anything is better than asking them to watch a nearly static screen for 5, 10, or more minutes. This is just asking for players to get distracted and then either get stuck with a default character or simply not play at all as they found something more interesting to do than watching the video game equivalent of paint drying.
    3. Let players change characters upon revive. Maybe they chose the wrong character; maybe they thought they could do without a healer, but changed their mind. Whatever. If they want to change, let them.
  2. Stop penalizing people for dying a lot. It already sucks to get killed, but then to have to wait progressively longer to revive? That’s stupidly punitive. It makes a losing game worse as characters are kept out of play longer and longer. It’s a dis-incentive to play, not an incentive to play better.
  3. Make some shorter match modes. If I have to wait 10 minutes or more for a match and matches can last up to 30 minutes then, barring getting my ass handed to me and the match ending abnormally quickly, playing Battleborn is a significant time investment. Not everyone has ~40 minutes to play, but surely we want these people to be able to play if they want, no?
  4. Get rid of “move” and have everyone move at “sprint” speed—or even better something a bit higher. Everyone and their cousin complains bitterly about character speed, so fix it. Yes, some gear will have to be adjusted or eliminated—but you won’t need this gear so much if the movement speed is upped, so it seems a small price to pay for a better playing experience.

Now, I want to head off a couple potential protests. First, I like the long matches. A good, well-fought Incursion match that go full time is damned fun even if I’m on the losing side. My team and I, maybe a player down, fought a good fight. We didn’t (all) quit, instead we hung in there and kept the last sentry up.

Players of Overwatch and/or other games will have no doubt noted I got some of these ideas from them. If you think that is somehow a bad thing, I think you are thinking in the wrong way—particularly if you want Battleborn to continue as a viable game. Gearbox should do what works, looking at and doing what other similar, successful games do is a perfectly sensible thing. When I play Overwatch, I’m never not playing for more than a minute or two and it never takes me more than 30 seconds to rejoin my team if I get ganked. I am playing 95% of the time, not 75% or whatever it works out to of the time as I am in Battleborn.

Finally, if you watched the chat about the upcoming winter changes or read about them, it seems that some of these may be in the pipeline already. I sure hope so. I like Battleborn a lot and so I want more people playing it. It offers a richer playing experience via the helix and gear builds than other games do. Sure, it’s got a learning curve, but it engages my brain in ways that a simpler game like OW does not. There is a space in the MOBA ecology for it, but it needs to better and more humbly adapt to that space and the realities of players’ expectations.



RADIOHEAD – A MOON SHAPED POOL


As a die hard Radiohead fan I can’t hold my pride and joy over the band’s new album, “A Moon Shaped Pool”.

It is an ethereal, beautiful and political piece of work. Accompanied by the usual awesome artwork.

The work song “Burn The Witch” got a stunning stop motion video that reminds you of the Paranoid Android video, sort of. As always, everything Radiohead is full of meaning and beauty is everywhere.

I can only be grateful for these 5 people who have been making my life better since 24 years ago.

You can purchase the album in several different kinds of media here:
http://www.amoonshapedpool.com/

Enjoy!



The case for mall love, Star Wars, UBER and Happy 2014!


Yesterday I've been to Cinemark watch Mockingjay 2.

 

Today I've been to the same place, again, to go to the cinema, again, only this time I watched Star Wars VII: the Force Awakens.

 

I confess: despite growing up with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (I always love Han Solo the most,meven when I was like… 4yo), I got frustrated with Lucas' prequels of cute animals and child stories. I hated what's his name who played Anakin. God, they could at least have chosen a real actor for someone as iconic as The future Darth Vader. But not content with the poor choice for Anakin's role, they decide to throw the shit in the fan altogether by pairing Anakin with bland boring equally terrible if not worse in thespian skill matters Natalie Portman. That was way beyong the bearable to watch. Hence my caution in getting excited about Ep VII. All I could think of was “oh no, 3 interminable hours of cute droids and Jar Jar Binks-Like creatures. If I am going to see this, may the force be with me, really”.

 

But to my surprise it was an awesome movie and I needed not to stand up in the middle of the theatre to split the screen in half with my light saber. Picking up the old actors was such a great decision. There was continuity to it and it made me feel like I was watching the original film again for the first time, revamped.

They really built up the characters well, including the troopers, who weren't only mere extras with guns in a white plastic costume anymore. The whole scene where the troopers are summoned to destroy the resistance – a great reference to WWII and Hitler. Big red banner with black symbol in the background, troopers in formation as if SS and Gestapo had been consultants for the movie themselves. And hail to the chief just like a “Heil Hitler”. I loved their choice of actor for “baby Vader”.

Spoiler ahead…

I saw it comming all along but it broke my heart to see Han Solo go like that.

Jedi are sort of like priests, don't marry, etc, it's all force force force. But the ending was literally and figuratively a cliffhanger. The girl could be Leia's daughter (with someone other than Han Solo) OR she could be the daughter of Skywalker himself. After all, he was MIA for years with nothing but his hoodie. nOt even his light saber. Go figure what he's been up to all these years??

But I guess we'll find that one out in Ep. VIII.

I should add I watched the movie in a theatre equipped with all that crazy technology which I cannot remember now. 3D + that crazy rocking chair + something else called D something. Detox, whatever. iT wasn't IMAX though, but it was certainly better or comparable.

It was really …shaky. And completely awesome. I highly recommend to watch it in a well equipped theatre.

 

After the movie I spend the whole day at the mall, shopped for a lot for things I needed and things I didn't, but other people do, with my poor husband having to cope with his really vain pretty empty and bored vacationing wife's love for shoping malls and the only distraction and going out she could afford for the moment.

 

After 1 pound of burgers and bacon, cheese and guava ice crean and an espresso, I returned home using UBER, witch is my current public transportation of choice. And here we are again.

Hope I get a good night of sleep, because tomorrow will be a long day.

Since this year was shit and next year ia going to be worse, I wish you beforehand a happy 2014!!

 



Spotify finally entered the 60’s


For the good of the planet Earth Santa Claus FINALLY gave Spotify the rights to execute Beatles songs, a prohibition that always seemed at least obnoxious, and now the world is finally a much better place.



The complete fail of the Brazilian purse


It is absolutely unacceptable that, in country notable for its citizen being highly subject to several forms of violence and crime by simply walking out the door – where the most notable and common form or crime are known to be wallet, phone, handbag and purse theft (aforementioned executed mostly in a clever and concealed manner by experienced criminals) – all the purses, handbags, clutches, backpacks and akin are poorly executed and offer little if no protection against these thieves.
You will hardly (if at all) find a carrying device that has a double zipper that allows you to use a lock. All handbags have a very regular zipper that has the blind end sticking out out the bag, leaving a gap underneath that may be used not only as a way to steal from your bag, but also as a way to throw something inside your bag without your permission (hey, we live in the terrorism ages). Most carrying devices closing mechanisms are nothing but a magnet button. Or no button at all. No need to say that no bags come without a lock.
A special attention should be given to the bags meant to be used specifically at the beach, a very popular item between Brazilian women. These are as open as they can. They have a closing mechanism just good enough to keep things from flying outside due the the wind in the beaches. they do not protect against sand, and they do not hide and protect your goods at all. It’s just all out there, semi-hanging outside the purse in the open for everyone to see and steal as they like.
As you can now see, it’s not only the Brazilian people, the Brazilian economics and the Brazilian politicians that are unreliable.
Unless you live in a country with nearly zero crime rate and/or wish a purse/wallett/backpack/handbag for decorative or souvenir reasons only, do not buy Brazilian designed and made handbags and alikes.



Interstellar


You can NEVER go wrong with Christopher Nolan! This is the best movie of 2014! And definitely one of my favorites of all time!

I can certainly say that if “2001: A Space Odissey” didn’t exist, “Interstellar” would never be. Yes, it drinks that much of Stanley Kubrick’s, and during certain sequences it looks almost like he’s plagiarizing Kubrick, or maybe it’s a homage, I don’t know. The main sequence towards the end kept reminding me of an iteration in Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse 5. Then very near the end, another scene straight from Kubrick. But don’t think that “Interstellar” is an artsy enigma like Kubrick’s “2001…”. Similarities with Kubrick notwithstanding, “Interstellar” is your typical Christopher Nolan trippy movie, à la “Inception”, with a twist in the end and all that jazz, and you are going to love it!



Breaking Music News


Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has just released a new album/EP online, namely Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, being that you have the option to pay 6 bucks for it or legally download it for free at: https://bundles.bittorrent.com/bundles/tomorrowsmodernboxes

All legal material, no copyright infringement. Go ahead



Mas a Copa estava comprada… só que não!


Mas não é que eu estava errada… e o Brasil acabou eliminado da Copa por inacreditáveis, humilhantes 7×1!!? E caso ainda restasse dúvida de que nada foi comprado, perderam também o jogo de hoje contra a Holanda por 3×0!
Eu confesso que depois daquela derrota homérica passei a torcer para a Holanda. Hoje sequer assisti ao jogo, já dediquei tempo demais assistindo esta Seleção canarinho amadora. A Holanda merecia estar na final junto com a Alemanha. Jogam muito futebol, já chegaram à final várias vezes mas nunca venceram, tem uma história incrível, eles mereciam vencer!! Mas, tristemente o mundo é injusto, e amanhã assistiremos à Argentina x Alemanha. Isso significa que amanhã tudo aqui é vermelho, amarelo e preto! Que os “hermanos” trogloditas voltem sem taça para casa!

Em vez de assistir o jogo de hoje, fui ver “O Teorema Zero” do Terry Gilliam no cinema com a família. Valeu a pena. É um filme típico do Terry Gilliam, lembra muito “Brazil” (o filme), no que apresenta protagonistas não-convencionais, se passa no futuro mas as tecnologias são meio anacrônicas (computadores e afins são grandes máquinas barulhentas, cheias de tubos, engrenagens, luzes piscando, os telefones antigos como os do século 19). Tanto o protagonista de “Brazil” quanto o de “O Teorema Zero” estão em um romance peculiar e complicado, e o final é bastante aberto à interpretações nos dois casos. Mas “Brazil” tem um tom mais épico, grandioso e quixotesco, enquanto “O Teorema Zero” é mais introspectivo.
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Cirque du Soleil – Corteo


We’ve been to see Cirque du Soleil for the first time last weekend. I was surprised that they don’t use a safety during part of the show. All I could think of was ‘please don’t fall!”
Corteo was very romantic and retro, I loved it.
Even though you are not allowed to take pictures, I took some shoots from the outside perspective, and one picture of the stage before the show started. Posted it to my Flickr account.



Breaking Bad Finale


And Walter White is dead. Good finale. I only didn’t like that they let Skyler remain ignorant about the fact that all the major final developments were direct or indirect consequences of HER wishes, and not Walt’s (if she didn’t insist on Jesse being killed, none of what happened aftewards would have happened, including Hank’s death). I’m fine with her getting away with it, but I’m not fine with her conscience getting away with it.



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