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    Israel Reyes
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I commend you to read this blog post. Everthing I could say on agency and the d&d paradigm I already did there:
Typos kill
While I usually wouldn't blame an old man for NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL MAGIC THE GATHERING FROM DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, I do blame him when he's a reporter, and knowing of what he's talking about is HIS JOB. Hasbro's person was talking about how MAGIC THE GATHERING was having a great year, and how they were considering making an e-sport out of MAGIC: ARENA.




Because this blogger's neglect, I had to suffer days of people deluding themselves about "d&d as an e-sport."

For starters, an e-sport has such concise, specific, non-breakable rules, that the game doesn't require arbirtration beyond making sure both players are using the same rigs or consoles in the same condition.

Magic is an actual game, with actual rules. Rules properly codified, in fact so well codified that you can put said rules in a machine, and the machine will run the games flawlessly. THIS is the kind of games you can build professional leagues around. With sponsors. And grown-ass-person money.

Alita vs. Hollywood
All Hollywood's Ghost In The Shell taught me was that Mamoru Oshi did have a price in the end (sad, as fitting as it may be for the cyberpunk genre).

Now, it's Gunm's (that's Battle Angel Alita for you, yanks) turn, and seemingly that one will fare even worse. The googly eyes they put on the actress only make me think it's actually some Marvel-grade anti-manga campaign (remember marvel's "mangaverse"?). "Grotesque" doesn't even begin to describe it.

What particularly grinds my gears is that they're choosing Japan's science fiction for destruction. Hugo Gernsback rolls in his grave every time Hollywood picks a new victim. And then, it's just like the lumbering undead that is the videogame industry. The second crash started long ago, but the industry won't finish collapsing because the sheeple won't let it. They keep selling because people keep buying.

I, for one, I'm voting with my wallet.

Did Not Do Their Homework
The whole point of Smash Bros... is that IT IS SMASH BROS, it is Nintendo's whole cast bashing their skulls in.

...made by Nintendo...a business known for its whimsy, which automatically switches our Willing Suspension of Disbelief On, and with decades of IPs we care about. The Disney of videogames.

TeePee is not Nintendo. Period.

Hell, Sony does have the required number of cherished IPs to try, and PS All-Stars Battle Royale was a colossal failure because Sony as a company in general and Playstation's IPs/exclusives in particular lack the required whimsy to inspire our Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

Now, Blizzard? They made it big with Overwatch... but we're talking about masters of storytelling and world building. They created a cast and raised them from zeroes to icons because they took all the right steps, starting by using Blizzard's name to create hype, and then selling your each individual character, their lore, and personality (with one beautiful movie each), thus making us care about them (regardless of whether you play the game or not).

TeePee... well, they not only didn't do their homework, they missed the point completely.

Is there a masculine for of the name "Cassandra"?
I'm sure I warned you at some point in the past about dumping the Habeas Corpus in favor of mob justice... in fact, I did warn you several times. Remember what I told you would happen once those floodgates were open?

THIS. THIS is what happens. (also, THIS)

It was only a matter of time before nazis and otherwise deplorables learned the outrage brigades' tactics and started unleashing them on innocents (just like the outrage brigades used to do). The ones I hold most responsible, however, are all the businesses who let themselves be bullied over the years, further encouraging the radicals, since their disloyalty to employees led us to this point.

Having said this: No, don't even think, don't dare suggest I would ever equate outrage brigade caricatures with the people who are actually fighting the good fight against the fucking nazis.

Fake Nice, Real Results
So, garbage people have their knickers in a bunch over Overwatch' new Endorsement System.

Fun Fact: We owe our entire civilization to "fake nice." There's no lasting civilization without order, and there's no order without "Fake Nice."

Are we all being treated like children because of the garbage few? Maybe, but since homo sapiens keeps hell-bent on sticking to their worse nature, I'm willing to accept some compromises like this before You Know Who makes a new attempt at a totalitarian power grab on the internet using the garbage people as validating argument.

Elections Weekend
This comic will go online the day after Mexico's elections, and our elections are going to have three things in common with U.S' 2016's elections:

1) The only actually good candidate was de-facto, arbitrarily disqualified (in our case, it wasn't by decree, but by Catch-22).

2) One of the candidates is backed by Russia and is pulling the Trump gambit of spewing populist rhetoric in public while cutting deals with the 1% behind the curtains. (in our case, though, Russian interference is useless).

3) The party in power is pulling the Hillary Gambit (its only saving grace is that the alternatives are even worse).

At my most cynical, I'd usually tell you Mexico has little to fear from demagogues since we're not even a democracy.
HOWEVER... if for any reason either of the alternatives wins, then I might as well start practicing my final bow since, just like Trump, either of the three are going to turn out worse for Mexico than anyone could ever imagine.

It's going to be a MOST bitter pill to swallow having to vote for the party I have deemed as the lesser evil, but I have to vote.

May God have mercy on us..
Saving the world... for later
As of the moment this comic was slated in the queue, Cryptic had just agreed to delay a change in the billing system that would have de-facto fired all of its paying customers. Here's the rundown:

Are you a Champions Online subscriber and you just missed a payment for whatever reason? Well, you're SOL, because subscriptions have just been abolished and you can't renew!

Q: What about all my freeform characters?
A: Locked, all of them.

Q: How do I get them back?
A: Either convert them to silver or pay Cryptic a ransom of $200 (the cost of a Life-time subscription)

If you play CO, I'm sure you can see the problem. Also, let's remember Cryptic isn't backpedalling on it, they're just delaying it. Even if they change it, you can be sure it's not going to be to anyone's liking.

This may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. When even your resident sycopanths turn on you, that means you finally crossed the line.

What they did, however, was removing the possibility of account wide costume slot purchase, and the player base probably hasn't noticed yet... let's see what the sycopanths say once they notice.

The Lockbox Saga Continues
When you see ESA's president arguing on the dictionary's meaning of GAMBLING, you know everyone is on to their bullshit. Then again, and bears repeating, the industry's crap will continue as long as consumers keep enabling the lockbox peddlers.

Eternal Vigilance
No, I won't tell you who is today's Maude Flanders, any visits to their site is boosting their signal, but two weekends ago, these modern-day book burners were gloating about their victory while it came to my attention several indie smut peddlers got an email with Steam's kiss of death at the same time (being demanded to either "censor their game or get delisted" is the same as showing them to the door when the whole point of those games is smut).

I'm focusing on Steam, because being the 800 pound gorilla of online retailers and with the ESA having their backs, it's embarassing they caved in so easily to Moms Against Fun. While some people are claiming Steam backpedaled on this early last week, I won't look away until all indies Steam betrayed confirm they're safe.

Hell, I don't even like visual novels, but I oppose the Thought Police on principle, and will do so every time they rear their ugly heads.

If you want to protest Steam's shenanigans, you have two ways to do so:

1) Buy a cheap visual novel.
2) Report as many AAA games with questionable content as you can, so Steam gets the hint you're on to them. Clearly they won't delist GTA, or The Witcher, or Conan Exiles, the point is confronting them with their double standards.

Finally, a PSA: Always distrust any and all moral guardians organization, especially if they use any fallacious name like "Peace and Love Incorporated."
Credit for this comic goes to the fine people of the Gaming Den.

Let's make one thing clear. There's one and only one reason why Mike Mearls has avoided the chopping block for so long, and that is his mastery of mendacity, and this piece of payola is no exception.

I won't deny, d&d has managed to recover the household name it used to have. This has little to do with 5E's quality and everything to do with Mearls using the money he'd have used paying Monte Cook (and then all other writers he fired one by one) in payola. Having key geek influencers and professional entertainers on board and playing on youtube was definitely the right move towards turning d&d into a brand. Then Stranger Things happened, while Mearls was not involved (he wishes), the series was Mearls' ticket back to easy street, where he is now, living off rental and licensing phone apps and coloring books.

That was the lucky break Mearls needed, especially since he had just about ran out of both spinnable excuses and human shields (WotC's d&d division already works with a skeleton crew, a situation not unlike the last days of White Wolf at CCP's hands).

While it's good for him that he finally found a thing he can actually be productive at, what's good for him is going to be lethal for d&d as a game. Sure, phone apps and videogame licenses make more money for WotC than roleplaying books, but the dnd division already reached a level where they can no longer produce gaming books by themselves (reminder: all of d&d's adventure campaigns were written by contractors) even if they wanted (Xanathar's guide took three years to put together from Mearls' napkin notes).

Oh well, hopefully at least d&d's sacrifice will benefit the rest of the industry and help it get out of the current dark age it's in now.

Lockbox Wars: A New Hope
Make no mistake, it will always be uplifting seeing Germany STAND UP TO THE INDUSTRY's CRAP, but alas, it's by no means a game changer. Back in the day, Germany also outlawed Windows 8 and the Xbox 360, and that didn't deter Micro$oft either.

Unless the rest of the E.U follows Germany's steps (and more importantly, GAMERS stop enabling lockbox peddlers), nothing is gonna change.

Be the change you want to see upon the world. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET.

@Brian: Ikr? No one can blame a game for being true-to-source. Oh well, what can do you? (spoilers: adding blue shells).
The EVE Experience
It's not EVE Online until there's a massive ganking and a real money embezzlement scandal, just saying.

Rick, and Morty, and Dungeons, and Dragons
Sure, it's not the fourth season, but BEATS HAVING NOTHING, and given how Stranger Things brought d&d to light for a bit, it's fair game.

Also... don't try that drinking game, really... at least not alone, have someone close that can call an ambulance for you.

Monopoly With A Twist
I'm not a fan of Monopoly, since there's no way to turn tables on people. Once someone starts winning, chances are the game's already decided, and those with the shortest straw can only sit down and see how hard they lose before the end. Still... a monopoly with actual Mario Kart mechanics sounds like just the thing for me if the dreaded blue shell is there.

3E gags valid while Edition Lasts
Good news and bad news:

The good news is that Paizo is finally working on PF 2E.

The bad news... is that Starfinder IS indeed the template.

So, is that it? Has WotC lowered the bar so much that Paizo can afford saying "eh, fuck it! Let's just pull whatever out of our asses and call it a second edition, it's not like we have competition anyway."

It's going to be a sad day when the "vanilla fantasy demographic" has no playable options. The hobby is indeed in its dark age, like Rome after the fall: The sewage channels are there, but no one knows how to operate or maintain them anymore. Everything smells like shit, and the flagship products of the hobby are un-learning decades of game design.

I have been saying for years that, if the hobby is to have hope, it lies with the indies... now, I'm sure.


P.D: Joke courtesy of the fine people at the Gaming Den.
Better to Reign in Hell
If you ask me, the best that could have happened to maquila-publisher Ubi is being acquired by Vivendi. Blizzard is the last AAA publisher that actually follows best practices. Blizzard thrives. Blizzard belongs to Vivendi. Be like Blizzard.

Alas, seemingly, they "DODGED THAT BULLET."

So, Ubi runs from Vivendi, but welcomes TENCENT, which only convinces me that Ubi really, really wants to be the E.A, and follow every single tip in the book of worst practices.

Oh well, there's a reason I stopped giving them my money long, long ago.

L5R: 5E
This beta release document had been sitting on my desktop for a while, but life had been keeping me too busy to properly read it for a long while.

...only for me to read it, and then realize I've been actually playing the damn game for FORTY YEARS.

If you're an introvert, gravitate somewhere within the autistic spectrum, or just share my particular condition called All Fucked Up Inside, the premise of L5R (the fifth edition at least, I can't speak for the prior ones) is the story your life. My only regret is not having finished this comic on time for Mental Health Awareness week.

Also, for all those gaming tables out there with "that player" (you know who they are, I know I was mine at my first two), by all means. I commend you to play L5R 5E if you're interested in understanding "That Player" a bit better. Walking a mile in their shoes might prove enlightening.

Play it.


So the ESA think they can fool congress into letting them continue their rapacious marketing habits by setting the ESRB with a warning that's as vague as it is useless. If they're resorting to this mendacious crap that means their lobbyists may not be as powerful as they'd like, and they do fear the US congress.

Anyway... if Penny Arcade doesn't beat me to the punch on this note I'll be most disappointed, since they have already let two of these go already. I'll feel alone, very alone... like, John-The-Baptist-alone.


P.S: Yes, the first three warnings apply to all physical objects composed of non-dark matter. It's physics.