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About Zethrin

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  • Birthday 09/04/1986

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  1. Hey people who may or may not notice my upcoming absence from WoW and TNG, So, I started playing WoW again last month. However, due to my amazing skills at bad timing, I started playing right after about half of my IRL friends on Twisting Nether decided to faction/server transfer to Sentinels Alliance, forcing me to either split my time between two characters (thus, lengthening the effective time needed to reach level cap so I can play with them), or give up on ever being able to play with half my IRL friends together at level cap. Given that pretty much my entire WoW experience, apart from a brief interlude when I hit 70 in BC (and even then they were in Black Temple while I was still doing Kara), has been about me trying to catch up to my friends, I am seriously becoming frustrated with this whole endeavour. For a while now WoW has just not been as fun as I first remembered. The magic that was apparent when I first discovered Azeroth is gone. Now it's just, go to NPC here, get quest, perform quest routine, iterate extensively. I just don't feel all that attached to this game anymore. And I find really the only reason I still play is the off chance I can whisper my old friends or RP with the cool people I've met through TNG. Though I've also discovered from actually taking breaks from levelling to try it, that I suck at the improvisational nature of in-game RP, at least far more than I do at forum RP (not that I do that much anymore either). Furthermore, real life things like grad school courses that I need to not only pass but get a B average in to stay in this program are starting to make this whole Zethrin Returns~! project to be shortsighted on my part. Apart from all these things, I have also been thinking about what I'm doing with my life, and I have to wonder if I'm not just wasting my life by spending so much of it playing a game that will essentially never end, and whether I would be better off spending my free time doing something more fundamentally productive. Along with that a lot of IRL issues have been haunting me, and I've been comtemplating just deleting all my WoW characters so I can really break away from my old habits and kick my life out of this inertia and cycle of great hopes and failed expectations that it seems to stuck in. Looking back at the past few years has seen a lot of mediocre underachieving and a dearth of real, meaningful accomplishments. I guess after my latest existential crisis, I've come to wonder if I need to just change things up. So, I've decided to take another break from WoW, and instead use the free time I gain from this to try to do National Novel Writing Month. I've always had these novel ideas in the back of my mind (and some written out in outlines), but never felt I had to skill to do justice to the concept and characters with actual, decent writing. But an art takes practice to perfect, and while TNG has helped me with my writing somewhat, I think I need to try something new, to force me to prove that I can take an ambitious project and finish it for once. It's also being decisive... for a change (people who know me IRL know I'm one of the most frustratingly indecisive persons ever). Nevertheless I have to apologize to my guild, my IRL friends, and my recent RP acquaintances for perhaps getting their hopes up and letting them down again. You guys are the reason I came back/kept playing as long as I did, but when you're not online I feel like I have no reason left to play (compound this with my messed up sleep schedule and find that I'm often online when no one else is). I appreciate the fun we had though, and I wish you guys the best of luck in future endeavours. TL; DR: So basically, I've decided for personal reasons to stop playing WoW for at least a month, and write a novel instead. I hope you understand, and I'll let you all know how it goes.
  2. This reminds me of the time I tanked Blood Furnace around 60 something while specced Ret AND with a Shadow Priest healer (it was a desperation PUG before DKs came out and reduced the tank imbalance). Fun times... well, except for all the wipes... but we finished the freaking instance somehow (lots of crowd control was key), albeit with only one party member left standing after the final boss... Off-spec healing though is much easier than off-spec tanking. I remember being a passable healer in non-heroic Nexus runs since I still had my Tier 4 Holy gear. However I once tried off-spec tanking Utgarde Keep, and we couldn't get past the second boss (though if I remember there was also lag issues on that run). Note that this was all before dual specs were invented, and depended heavily on having complete sets of gear specifically for tanking and/or healing. In this day and age, I'd think that there should be no reason to need to off-spec anything past maybe 60. If I remember, the biggest deal was not being as defense capped as real tanks, and lacking important threat generating abilities (basically off-speccing was playing with a handicap, which reminds me of times when a warrior friend of mine in Tier 5/6 would tank and take some pulls with a two-hander in berzerker just to keep things interesting in heroics). In any case, I'll echo the rule of defense cap first, then stamina. Defense cap prevents crits, which is like stamina, but better, because it reduces and smoothes out the spikes in damage and allows your healer to have an easier all around time keeping you alive. A constant stream of low to moderate damage is much easier to heal than sudden bursts where a big chunk of your health bar disappears. Stam is the second most important thing, but most gear with def rating usually has lots of stam anyway. Keep in mind I've never been prot spec nor seriously tanked anything endgame, so I likely have no idea what I'm talking about compared to real tanks.
  3. This is technically called Wage Slavery, and is a central component of modern Marxist thought. I'd think up a detailed logical rebuttal, but it's 4 AM, so I'll leave it to one of the more conservative posters to do it. Probably something to do with having more freedom to choose to work elsewhere... Someone has been playing too much Civilization. Real life does not work like those games. Seriously, my greatest peeve with that game (other than the RND generator combat system... my helicopter gunship just died to a knight... WTF?!) is that even with Civ 4, the economic system is still terribly simplistic and unrealistic. Back to slavery in general, it's popularity as a system came in part because conquering warlords could just enslave whole populations to augment their economies. The Roman empire was built on this kind of economic growth through military expansion strategy, that had serious problems when they got overstretched and their steady stream of slaves dried up. The economic advantage of slaves is you can literally work them to death, since they have no rights and you can basically use economy of scale to feed and shelter large numbers in mediocre conditions. The problem is the system is the slaves will revolt at any given opportunity so you need a constant physical force present, which after all is how you motivate them to do work in the absense of market incentives like upward mobility. Though some systems had ways of freeing slaves after they'd worked for a time, even allowing them to become citizens. Those systems tended to be more stable, and more similar to caste societies. Eventually those evolved into serfdoms where the peasants had enough rights to own stuff, like say, a cow. Then came the French Revolution and all that jazz about liberty and equality... and now this is turning into a history lesson, so I'm gonna stop. Also... OP spelled economics wrong in the thread title...
  4. Epilogue: On Top of the World Part IV In Northrend there are many barren sheets of ice and tundra. Many of these fall under the shadow of Icecrown Citadel, while others are strewn across the desolate parts of the continent. On one such plain of ice and snow, a sword lies buried it seems into a mound of snow. The sword is rather nondescript, a long thin cobalt bastard sword with a silver cross-guard. Momentarily, it trembles. A hand erupts from the mound of snow. Soon the whole mound lurches and explodes in a flash of light. A figure lies with a sword buried into its centre, pinned to the tundra. Red ice around it glistens darkly. Both hands clasp the handle of the sword. “Erk… GHAAA!” yells the figure, as he pulls the sword out of the ground, and out of himself. The sword falls to the ground beside him. For a long moment he catches his breath, wincing as fresh blood flows from the wound. He begins to chant. Flashes of Holy Light fall upon the figure; the wound stops bleeding and disappears. Tentatively, he sits up and tries to stand. He slips on the ice and falls on his side. His stiff joints and muscles feel like they’ve been frozen for an eternity. It seems he is considerably weakened. Letting himself lie flat on his back, Zethrin stares up at the bright mid-day sun. He calls upon more Holy Light. The energy warms and soothes his aches and restores his frostbitten fingertips. Why is he here? He ponders, tries to grasp at his tangled, disjointed memories. How long has he been in the darkness sleeping frozen? A face he remembered from long ago. Did he see her? No, it must have been the dream from before, or perhaps that death knight’s charade… Death knight. He looked about, but he was completely alone on the icy field. With difficulty, bracing on his old sword, which seemed flimsier than before, he stood up and began to walk ever so slowly southward. It was time to go home.
  5. Wow. Just... wow. Truly breathtaking art. Reminds me of .
  6. My old housemate played this game through and through. I watched him because the dialogue is hilarious at times, and I studied just enough psychology to find the whole premise intriguing... At one point a bunch of my friends started applying the tarot system in the game to real life people we knew. I was Tower apparently... Along with Tales of Vesperia, it's on my shortlist of recent RPGs that actually look awesome enough that I regret not stealing time on my housemate's copy.
  7. See, the danger with Swine Flu is if it cross-breeds with that Bird Flu strain that exists in Indonesia and parts of south-east Asia. That strain has a mortality rate of over 60%, but isn't very infectious at all (mostly bird-to-human cases). But combine it with Swine Flu's human-to-human infectivity, and we have a global pandemic of 1918 proportions, but faster, because we have better air travel now. This is what the CDC and the WHO are afraid of and why they have the alert status so high. I believe there was a news report a while back that noted that Swine Flu is actually a weird hybrid flu with elements of bird flu, swine flu and human flu, and is more accurately called Mexican flu because that is it's apparent point of major outbreak/origin. And then there's the potential irony that if the Swine flu does mutate into a highly lethal strain, it's the people who already got the weaksauce swine flu earlier who will have the highest antibody resistance to the new strain (assuming the new strain isn't completely different). In other news... MADAGASCAR CLOSES ITS PORT.
  8. Didn't Battle for Terra have a similar plot? (I didn't actually watch it.)
  9. Zethrin

    Ponyo

    Actually saw this at an anime club showing like four months ago. Standard Miyazaki stuff. And by that I mean excellent compared to most everything else, but compared to stuff like Nausicaa, or Castle in the Sky, or Howl's, or Kiki, well, you know it's just more of the usual Miyazakiness. I guess it just didn't blow me away since I've seen his other masterpieces. Though I also saw a sub, so it might be more impressive in English (the Buena-Vista/Disney people tend to do some of the best dubs in the industry, lol Billy-Bob Thornton in Princess Mononoke).
  10. m night what now? District 9 is directed by South African director Neill Blomkamp, who was going to do the halo movie but didn't, and produced by Peter Jackson. Oh, you mean about the Avatar movie. Uh, wrong movie. I'm talking about James Cameron's Avatar (his latest sci-fi magnum opus), not M. Night Shyamalan's Last Airbender (where they take an awesomely epic children's cartoon and make it possibly less awesome)... Or, is that not what you meant either? See, that's what I would say about Cloverfield, but they were trying to be obvious in the "OMG this is being recorded on a handheld, lol ok now we'll stop" sense. District 9 had more subtle shaky cam throughout, including the final insane battle. I remember because it made it confusing as hell with all the explosions and WTF who's attacking what now? *Cut to helicopter view, then cut back to the middle of the fight sideways* At least, that's what I remember. I *think* sitting at the back of the theatre will make it better, but I haven't had a chance to test this theory yet...
  11. Err, you're welcome? I don't think you should have to thank me for actually expressing an opinion with points... Unfortunate that more people didn't bother, though I think it's just because this isn't exactly a 'serious business' kinda debate. You might also be being a tad too confrontational about it. Though, I don't know who and how else you asked outside these boards. In other news, does anyone think District 9 will steal some of the 'thoughtful sci-fi' thunder from James Cameron's Avatar?
  12. Funny how myself and my film student friend had this almost this exact conversation. It's very true that if you really want to compare it to the grand sweep of previous filmography, it's been done (heck, it's been done in Warcraft, see: Orcs post-internment). But compared to the average summer sci-fi flick, and considering it's target audience, it was a change from what they would have expected (just another mindless sci-fi action flick). To aim not for the intellectual audience but for watchers who probably were expecting the Halo movie rebranded is at least an admirable attempt to expand people's horizons a little. If anything it's an interesting remix. Furthermore, the movie glossed over things intentionally. It leaves a lot open to the imagination, never explaining why the aliens showed up, or what exactly MNU's experiments were. There's a lot here to think about, partly because it's an open-ended glimpse of a world, one that isn't so impossible that you have to suspend much disbelief to consider. The main character was also for once, not a hero, just a human being, and a selfish one at that. I mean, he even had significant development from pushover-bureaucrat to outraged-laststander. That being said, I don't think this was the best movie of the summer, and was a bit disappointed from all the hype. Ignoring the hype I still think this was worth seeing at least once. Also, I think having a downer ending is preferable to the generic happy ending where somehow everything works out perfectly in the end. But again, just my humble opinion.
  13. Compared to most of the Sci-Fi that comes out these days it was different, and refreshingly thoughtful. Though one of my film student friends could list off movies that make District 9 unoriginal, but they're all films the rest of us have never seen so... The one thing I didn't like about the film was the abundance of Shaky Cam. Sitting near the front of the theatre was probably a bad call on our part. The sheer amount of gore (lol alien death ray makes head asplode) didn't help matters, though I'm sure it looks better from further away or on a smaller screen. And I do hope they make a sequel where the aliens come back with a FLEET. Don't actually want this, but if they mash this movie's universe together with the new Star Trek's (two of the best sci-fi this summer), epic hilarity should ensue.
  14. Intermission: There and Back Again “Oh gods not this again,” groaned Zethrin. All around him the world was colourless. An infinity of greys, like a thin film of haze, covered everything. The clouds churned violently, as though a great maelstrom had replaced the sun. Where was he now? The surroundings were unfamiliar, some lifeless looking trees and hills nearby, a bleak overarching mountain in the distance. Had his soul drifted beyond the spirit world and into the afterlife this time? He wandered for a time. How long? It didn’t matter. He wasn’t hungry, wasn’t sleepy. In fact, he felt nothing. In a way, it was strangely liberating. From time to time, whispers flowed through the air like currents in a strange, alien tongue. Occasionally Zethrin thought he caught snippets of Thalassian, but he could never hold onto them or focus on any sort of source. Through forests of grey trees, and grey seas he drifted aimlessly. The dark pools of what looked like water were solid, but not slippery like ice. Eventually he came upon another. “Why do you wander child?” asked the Tauren, a strange old woman covered in leathers, eyes glistening white. “Am I wandering?” replied Zethrin. “I’ve watched you wander for days now, from where my body lies atop that mountain,” the Tauren said, pointing towards the sheer face of a grey, monolithic rock jutting out of the horizon. “You are dreamer then?” said Zethrin, not sure why he knew what that was. “I am entranced by the spirits here,” the Tauren replied. “Though we are not in the Dream, we are near it.” “Have you seen the one I am looking for,” said Zethrin. “The spirits say you should seek the many winged one,” the Tauren said, pointing eastward. “My thanks dreamer,” said Zethrin. “Walk with the Earth Mother.” He wandered off. *** It was on a wide open grey plain between woods that looked not unlike the Eversong of his childhood. In a field of grey grass that swayed to the ever present winds they met again. “Zethrin!” A voice he’d thought he’d never hear again. Zethrin turned to the sound of her voice. “You’re back again,” said Elysia. Her form was grey and translucent, like some ethereal projection. Even so he found himself unable to resist her allure. He ran towards her, tried to wrap his hands around her, instead stumbling through her as if she wasn’t there. “I’m sorry Zeth, it doesn’t work that way,” she said, turning gracefully to face him. “What’s going on Ely?” pleaded Zethrin. “I— it’s hard to explain.” She looked at him with sadness. “You have to go back,” she told him. “Where?” asked Zethrin. “Back from wherever you came from, Zeth they won’t let us rest until you’ve—” “I don’t want to go back, I want to be with you!” “Do this for me Zethrin Duskbane, find the Lady who waits for you… I have to go; they don’t realize I can leave like this. It was good to see you again.” “I don’t get it,” said Zethrin uncertain. “You won’t remember so it won’t matter,” she said with a touch of melancholy. With that her form rippled and faded like a wind blew it all away. “I don’t get it,” repeated Zethrin clutching at the air where she had been present only a moment earlier. The tendrils of grey mist seemed to be clouding his mind. He found he still couldn’t think clearly in this world. *** A brightly lit chapel sat in full colour, a burst of radiance in an otherwise grey portrait of a world. Around it flowers bloomed, some beautiful, others stark and garish. Beside the chapel, arrayed as though preparing for battle, row upon row of gravestones stood at attention. A single hooded figure wandered the graveyard, pacing back and forth, as though patrolling an endless loop. Zethrin approached him. “Excuse me!” said Zethrin. “Eh?! What der ya want?” replied the old man, a human wrapped in a long black cloak. “Where am I?” asked Zethrin. “Where am I? I am here!” said the old man. “That’s not what I meant…” replied Zethrin, unimpressed. “Oh, ye want to know of the meaning rather than the words?” The old man eyed him warily. “Yes?” said Zethrin, uncertain. “You are nowhere and everywhere.” The old man’s eyes bulged as he said that. “I don’t have time… I don’t think I should have time for riddles, old man,” said Zethrin, concentrating. He felt a sense of urgency every now and again. “Oh, but we have all the time in the world lad,” replied the man. “So where is this church then?” asked Zethrin, pointing at the chapel. “At the end of the world lad,” the man said, grinning. “I just… I just want to go back like before.” “Oh, you’re the one I was told to wait for? The one with the deal!” “Yes, I suppose that is what it is.” “You don’t look much like a champion.” “What?” “They said a Champion of the Light would need to see the Lady.” The old man narrowed his eyes. “You look like a prissy elf boy who’s lost to me.” “Just lead me to the Lady.” The old man turned in a huff and walked off. “Where are you—” “Silence lad!” Zethrin found he could not speak. The old man stepped forward to the steps of the chapel. With a flourish he flung his arms wide open and began to chant. “Oh lady of the lost children, I beseech thee! Awaken the dawn!” The doors of the chapel flung themselves wide open, and a pillar of light engulfed the building. It blinded Zethrin in an instant. He covered his eyes. “What was that?” he said, simultaneously startled and relieved he could speak again, trying to see what had happened through his hands. He dropped them to his side. “A champion returns to the house of judgment,” said a loud, booming yet feminine chorus. Zethrin gaped in awe. He was in a field of light, brightness in all directions. Golden radiance stretched to infinity no matter where he turned. And a few feet away an enormous angel, wisp-like wings arching from its back, shaded entirely in bluish hues, and its head and face covered by a hood, looked down upon him with a strange mixture of grace and perplexity. “Oh, it’s you again.” The angel sounded disappointed. “Have I been here before?” asked Zethrin, uncertain. “You do not remember?” The sound of a choir of incredulous voices was disturbing. “I do not remember many things,” replied Zethrin. Though he could not see underneath the shadows of the cowl on the angelic figure, he felt as though a piercing glare had struck him. “Regardless, you have been judged worthy of continuing your service to us,” declared the angel in a thousand voices. “Service to who?” said Zethrin. “The Light of course! That is what you have sworn yourself to paladin is it not?” “I, uh yes, of course.” “Then continue upon your path. Your mission remains undone. We cannot allow you to rest until it is done.” As soon as the angel finished speaking she raised her hand. “Wait, what is my mis—” With a flick of her wrist the whole world exploded to Zethrin. All at once the light became darkness. He felt cold... ***