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Blogs



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Apex Teamwork

Posted by Ta-metru_defender in TMD's Creatively Named Blog, Mar 23 2019 · 14 views

Essays, Not Rants! 364: Apex Teamwork

Ever since my brother got himself a PS4 I’ve been paying a bit more attention to online games. Sure, I play my share of online, games like Battlefront and Destiny are a great way to relax while watching The Daily Show, but an online multiplayer component has never been a big draw. Now that my brother and I can play online together, I’m ever on the lookout for a game where we can throw down together.

Over the past couple of years, Battle Royale games have very much become in vogue within the online gaming community. I’ve been aware of them, but never really knew what they were (in fact, a few months ago I looked the genre up on Wikipedia to see what the whole buzz was about). Anyway, Apex Legends was released recently, and my brother started playing it. I watched a game or two and figured, ah, what the heck, should be fun, yeah?

It is.

Each game has twenty three-player squads who air drop into a massive map. Players then scramble for weapons and gear and fight it out as the area of playable space slowly shrinks. You’ve only one shot at this; once your whole squad goes down it’s game over (and you return to the title screen to find another game to repeat the whole thing over again).

That gameplay loop necessitates a lot of quick decision making. Where do you land? Do you go to an area with good loot but is sure to be crowded and result in quick violence? Or do you go further off and try and gear up before joining the fray? Most important, however, is the teamwork of the game.

My brother and I are in constant communication while playing, each of us keeping an eye out for foes while making plans about how best to navigate the map (always go for the high ground). The fact that death in Apex is permanent makes teamwork so vital; since you can’t just respawn, staying alive together is paramount. Knowing where your opponents are — and keeping your teammates aware of that — gives you that edge up to outlive a squad.

Here’s the thing that makes Apex such a delight: its ping system. A tap of a button and you can tag whatever you’re looking at for your squad. Could be an untouched treasure chest, could be your idea of where the team should go next, could be an opponent. In and of itself, this system isn’t anything really new, Uncharted 4’s multiplayer had a perk where you could mark enemies. But it’s absolutely vital in a game like Apex where being able to communicate exactly where something is makes the difference between life and death. See, it’s hard to point in games, and exclamations like "contact right" make little sense when you don’t have that physical sense of presence you do in real life. Pinging helps give the squad a shared sense of space, where "over there" actually means something real.

Take sniping and spotting. The ping system means I can be perched high on a building while my brother goes in for a closer look. If he sees someone, he can ping them and I can take potshots at them while he beats a hasty retreat (or uses my covering fire as a way for him to flank 'em). It’s a lot more immediate than me having to search for them myself, or having to figure out what "up the hill behind that rock" means. Teamwork’s encouraged, and I get annoyed if our random third squamate doesn’t ping enemies.

I haven’t won a game yet. We’ve been top-three a couple times and come painfully close to being the last squad standing. I don’t really mind, though; I play the game for those wonderful moments when a plan we’ve hatched comes together (or falls apart stupendously). But I’ve never played the game on my own, and I don’t really see why I would. So much of why I enjoy Apex is the teamworkiness of it, and playing with someone I know is a guarantee that that’s in the cards.

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5G flip phones

Posted by Jean Valjean in Kraggh's Works ♫♪, Mar 21 2019 · 28 views
technology, smart phones and 1 more...

:kaukau: I said that I would wait until the next Big Thing before upgrading everything of mine wholesale to the Apple ecosystem. After asking a lot of people at Best Buy, I've decided that the thing I'll wait for will be the eventual 6G network. So basically, it will probably be around 2030 when I upgrade to Apple.

Also, I discovered that while 2G and 3G are being phased out of service in the next year or two, there are some 4G (and inevitably, 5G) flip phones. That's right, my father can still hold on to his dear Fliposaurus! And then I can wait until the 2030's before I get him a flagship smartphone. I want to put this off for as long as possible because a) nostalgia, I love those dinosaurs, too, and b) I want to contrast between generational technology upgrades to be as dramatic and surreal as possible. Hopefully it doesn't send him into shock.

In the meantime, my next upgrade will probably be the Galaxy Note 10 or 11, which I'll use for educational purposes until it dies on me. After that, I wouldn't mind going for the majority of the 2020's on a flip phone. It wouldn't have as many tools, but its shape and build is ideal to fit in my back pocket when I'm welding. Plus, there's something cool about being the stubborn person from yestergeneration refusing to conform.

24601



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Real Talk

Posted by Super Fighting Pahrak in Mt. Coronet, Mar 19 2019 · 51 views

The Lego Movie 2 made me cry and reexamine my life and is easily on par with the original (and The Lego Batman Movie), but

While I completely understand it wouldn’t be all that practical to put focus on a long-dead theme and the scale would be a huge issue, the fact that it's partially driven by a teenager making his Lego sets/stories as edgy as he possibly can

And they didn't make a single joke about Bionicle??

Missed opportunity

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stadia

Posted by Lucina in Great Games, Mar 19 2019 · 40 views

the future is (almost) here

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Spring Break

Posted by The Hip Historian Iaredios in Scribbler's Hall, Mar 16 2019 · 39 views

So. Spring break is nearing its end. I had plans for it. Namely buying a sword. What happened to divert me so? Be sheer whimsy I saw Sid Meir's Civilization V on my list of owned Steam games, and decided to try it out. 4 days later I pronounce "Enough!" and I have ceased its usage entirely. Game is addictive in a way unlike anything i have seen, and its give-back is near nothing. Its an unhealthy addiction that has robbed me of time I was so looking forward to for the month prior. My cousin had something pop up that has made him unavailable to attend the state Renaissance Festival, now I shall either go with my brother or skip it in its entirety and purchase a sword at a sword shop at the local super-mall. I hope either have in stock the noble Spatha, because I want to get my Rome on (a Gladius is too small for my giant of a frame) and eat a lamb gyro hence'wards. i am also thinking of getting a credit card so I can get a worthwhile laptop and pay it off over time, thereby playing and beating the game of banker usury and showing our unwanted overlords that I am worthy of owning land in the future (away from their morgage-garbed prying hands, the nationless fiends). Woe to America for being in such a state, but there is little I can do then play the game and come out the better for it in the long run if I play right. And it starts with daddy wanting a better life-distraction machine.

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What If Movies Were As Good As Their Memes?

Posted by JAG18 in The JAG18 Stronghold, Mar 13 2019 · 87 views
movies

So, last month after "Green Book" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards I was made aware, through headlines like, "Green Book worst best picture since Gladiator", of the fact that people don't like Ridley Scott's "Gladiator".

Now, my first reaction to this news, of course, was, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!" Which, despite Zoey Deutch saying it in "Vampire Academy" (one of the most cringe worthy moments in any movie from the last 20-ish years) is one of the best lines in cinema of all time.

After that, I did some looking to see what movies "Gladiator" was competing against and found that "Cast Away" is probably my next favorite film from 2000 although I can't say whether I like it more than "Gladiator". When I told my sister about this, her response was something to the effect of, "So it's 'are you not entertained," vs. "Wilson"?"

That made me wonder, "What if movies were as good as the memes they inspired?" Then the Star Wars prequels would all be masterpieces! "Taken" would be worth watching more than once; "The Dark Knight Rises" might actually be better than "The Dark Knight".

I could sit here and think of some more, but I'll let anyone in the comments work out the implications of living in such a world.

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Better late than never

Posted by Bfahome in You're attacked by a Repair Nektann, Mar 04 2019 · 91 views

Better late than never Went to Goodwill yesterday and found this. So now I have Gresh, and it only took uhhh *checks calendar*

oh

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Nearing Graduation

Posted by -ToaD- in Terrible Things for a ToaDally Low Cost, Mar 01 2019 · 66 views

I dig year long school programs, at the very least I'll be able take welding tests for stick and GMAW at possible job opportunities.


I've also set myself on fire twice by accident and flashed myself 3 times lol


Pretty fun stuff overall looking forward to TIG in the next couple of weeks.



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friendly reminder

Posted by Xaeraz in dead cell, Feb 14 2019 · 108 views

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

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The Lego Movie 2 Review

Posted by Lyichir in The Songs of Distant Earth, Jan 31 2019 · 139 views

It's real good.

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2018/2019 Sets

Posted by Vezok's Friend in Designer's Lair, Jan 27 2019 · 150 views

A few things I've worked on over the last two years have finally come out as well, so it's time for another update to the list!

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Review: 41161 Aladdin's and Jasmine's Palace Adventures

Posted by xccj in Team J.A.F., Jan 19 2019 · 149 views
disney

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Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies (making Jasmine one of my favorite Princesses) but I’ve been disappointed that she hasn’t appeared in more than one Lego Princesses set. Well, this year she gets to be in a couple, likely hoping to capitalize on the live action Aladdin movie coming out. The biggest one of the Palace Adventure, so I picked that up. It’s $29.99 with 193 pieces.

The main draw is the characters. Jasmine has appeared in one set before as a minidoll (included in the picture in the lower right). In this set, she gets some printed upgrades on her pants, torso, and face, and I like the details. It looks like her hairpiece is unchanged. Aladdin appeared once in the Disney CMFs, so this is his first appearance as a minidoll, and the details totally fit the character. I think they also reuse his hairpiece, but the rest of the printing is new.

We also get the magic carpet; it was included in the Jasmine set as a simple build, but it’s a bit more detailed here. It uses a wavy wall with a decent sticker on it showcasing all the details. (Sadly, it’s not visible in my picture, and I didn’t quite get the sticker on straight, but it still looks great.) The bigger deal is the use of the gold tassels, which are a major part of the character. In theory, there is room for both characters to ride on the carpet, but minidolls aren’t really built to sit side by side like that. I added some studs to Aladdin’s feat, pushing him back just enough so their arms aren’t colliding, so it kind of works, but I think the set just wants you to use one character at a time.

There are some interesting parts, including some lavenders, golds, tans, magentas, and teals (although those aren’t quite the colors I picture when I think of the palace from the movie.) Some of the big white / lavender wall / window pieces are fairly new, and it could be useful for some builders. Some of the rare or exclusive parts include the teal 1x1x5 brick, teal 2x2 round corner brick, teal 1x4 arch, lavender 8x8 plate, magenta 1x4 tile with 2 nobs, medium lavender doorway, medium lavender 6x6 round plate, purple wavy wall, gold 3x3x2 arch, gold 3x3x2 fence, and the new white bird piece.

The build is. . . well, basic. The Lego Princess builds have never been anything to really call home about. You build two levels with some furniture and accessories on each. On the bottom level there’s a table with some seats, as well as a market stall. The top includes the balcony section with a domed room, and them a small patio with a chair, birdbath, and small tree. The big action feature is that the dome is built on a swivel and had a beam that can attach to the flying carpet, so you can spin it around and have the characters fly over the palace. I like this bit. There’s also a small Cave of Wonders build included, with a hidden compartment for the golden lamp, and a sticker with the Genie on it. The set comes with a lot of sparkly stickers, but I only included about half of them.

One feature that I wasn’t aware of until I read the instruction was that all the Disney Princess rooms this year are semi-modular. You can mix and match them together, and the example picture shows that you can create quite the impressive Disney Castle when you combine most of the sets. I obviously can’t do this because I haven’t bought any of the others (and don’t plan to) but it’s a neat idea and gives the infectious “collect them all” mentality to this line of sets too.

In short, I like the character designs and the flying magic carpet, and I really like the function that lets you spin them around over the palace. The rest of it is pretty bland, and I consider it an okay parts pack, since it does have a few interesting and rare elements. Worth the $30? Probably not, but I was impulsive. Maybe wait for a sale if you’re also a fan of the movie. (Or if you’re buying for somebody in the target audience; there’s plenty to like, but I’m a jaded AFOL who doesn’t appreciate that kind of stuff.)

:music:

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Moving Back to the States

Posted by Vorahk1Panrahk2 in V1P2's Blog, Dec 24 2018 · 155 views
General Life Stuff

It's been a truly wonderful and blessed experience to live in a country that's not my own. But while it was an adventure, all adventures have to end, and I have officially hopped back across the equator (into winter, glorious winter) to continue my life. Now time do all those fun things like... finishing school and finding a new job.

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The Original BIONICLE Fandom are all adults

Posted by JMSOG in Odd Thoughts by JMSOG, Dec 23 2018 · 219 views

Apologies if this is slightly confusing or incoherant.

So, I've been listening to this song over and over for months after finding it on Spotify:



I find it fascinating, and really like it, in a very precise, specific, probably almost nitpicky way.

It's clear the narrator in the song (whether he's supposed to be Ethan Wood himself, doesn't matter) spent his childhood with bionicle. Seeing as he's showing specifically Tahu Mata, and the fact that he still has the original set with the original canister, it likely mattered to him through his childhood, teenage years, and now adulthood.

Now, he's an adult dealing with adult problems...he clearly is approaching the end of a relationship, which is a difficult and confusing thing for anyone to go through.

So, how does he try to make sense of his emotions in that moment? He relates it to Bionicle, something that's been a part of him since he was small. He expresses vulnerability in the confusion of this moment by essentially showing something pure from his childhood. In doing that, he expresses at the core who he is, as expressed in the line "what you see is what you get".

That may be reading in too much...but really, this resonated with me in a big way. The narrator in the song clearly had hopes for everything in his life to go well when he grew up, and when something didn't, he calls back to his childhood in an effort to make sense of it. This isn't a new idea, but to my knowledge, this is the only song to do something like that with specifically bionicle...Bionicle was one of the biggest parts of my development as a child, so this resonated with me in a big way in particular.

So, bringing attention to that song is one thing...but, there's a second thing that it made me realize. All the original fans of bionicle, who were old enough to be there for 2001 and experienced the story as it unfolded until 2011, are adults now. There's an entire population of people who were influenced by Bionicle as much as the singer in that song, all of whom are entering their respective industries right now, if they haven't already.

For star trek, so many of the people who saw it in theaters were so inspired by it that they took jobs in specific scientific fields, changing what technology is available today. Some went into film, creating some of the most well-known movies and shows. Some got jobs in the government out of optimism to try to create the future. Many of those people lived their lives in a way that were shaped by what they took away from star trek. Many of them brought unique insights to their careers that were inspired by star trek. Many of them changed the course of the world in some way, influenced uniquely by star trek. This isn't at all unique to star trek, it just so happens that Star Trek's influence is well documented.

Well, Bionicle's influence begins now. Obviously, the song I showed is not well known at all, but it is deeply unique and could only have been made by someone who grew up with bionicle. I think that some of the media, technology, and policy that emerge soon may begin to be influenced by the bionicle fans who contributed to them, even if it's in small ways. I think, statistically, that at least a handful will make a massive impact in the world, influenced by their experiences with the bionicle story and sets. I have no idea what the specifics of that will look like, but I believe that that will begin around now...and that's really cool to me.

Again, maybe I'm reading too much into it. but it's definitely something I've been thinking about for a few months.

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Light Bluish Gray

Posted by Illuminatus in The Minimalist, Dec 04 2018 · 177 views

My very first topic (or post, for that matter) on BZP was in BIONICLE-Based Creations and featured... an MOC with a very vague description and literally no photos, as I hadn't yet heard of Brickshelf. The MOC was called the "Ko-Defender."

On a seemingly unrelated note, I had no idea about the distinction between "light gray" and "light bluish gray" until yesterday; I only knew about "dark gray" and "dark bluish gray" as the pieces in those two colors tend to be bigger. So obviously, I had to go through my entire list of sets to figure out which ones may have incorrect gray pieces.

The answer was easy: all of the second-hand sets I'd bought from 2013 till now and all of my own sets from before and after the color transition in 2004 that I'd personally mashed up.

And it turns out the last sets I'd EVER mashed up in my life were the sets I used for that cringy-looking ice-based MOC in 2005.

So I opened up my Kopaka Mata, Kopaka Nuva, Kurahk and Toa Nuju to check if any of the light gray pieces were mixed up, and—of course—they were.

And now they're all in their proper places.

I literally can't believe how satisfying it was to trace and redistribute these pieces after almost 14 years.

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Toward My Future

Posted by Windseeker in Wind's Weblog, Nov 12 2018 · 244 views

It was some form of serendipity that I joined this site when I did in 2003. It's been over 15 years now, and somehow this place still figures in my life in a prominent way.

In December 2016, the best OBZPC on this site and I got together, and our relationship is still going strong almost two years later now. Strong enough that we're serious about our future to the point where I am going to finally start toward the independence I've wanted for myself by moving up to Ontario to live with her.

This also comes from my recognizing how far I've come in facing and dealing with the trauma I finally put a name to in early 2017. I've come through spans of daily panic attacks, depression to the point of complete inertness, anxiety of a severity I don't care to look at again, and through so many periods of instability and stability that I still doubt the permanence of my progress. But I know that I am more resilient now, and even if I don't understand entirely, I am able to keep moving forward.

To get myself up to Ontario and settled enough to start working toward citizenship, I'm going back to finish my PhD. I'm starting applying to various schools, and hopefully have enough credentials to pick up where I left things. I have my MA and some incredible references and work from Penn, at least.

Aside from the motivation Emily gives me, I'm also increasingly terrified by the state of things down here for LGBTQIA people, and especially for a trans woman like me. So while I have to face uprooting my entire life while still working through difficult emotional and mental troubles, I figure that, somehow, it's safer. And too, that I'll never fully heal and recover if I stay close to the places where all of my trauma has its roots.

So, this should all come together for better life? I can only say I will do everything to make it work. It's a future I've told myself many times that I would never have, or didn't deserve, but now, I will make sure of having it.

(And if you want to help with some of the initial logistical work, I do have a fundraiser.)

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Breakup

Posted by Valendale in The Frozen Mirror, Nov 12 2018 · 246 views

Well, my life has taken a bit of a turn for the worse since my last entry. About 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. It was pretty mutual, we both had the realization at about the same time, but it's still been a very rough time for me. I've felt a lot of different things since then, which I won't go all into, but mainly it's a lot of just missing him and wondering if we made the right choice.

And while I did wonder, I've felt pretty confident that we were better off not being together, as painful as that may be. It does feel liberating in a weird sense, and since we broke up, I've been being a lot more social. (I'm really enjoying all the time I'm spending with my friends.) That was up until Saturday night, where I ended up breaking down and crying about some other problems in my life. I realized I didn't really have anyone else I could talk to about these things, who even knew. It was moment of weakness, but in that moment I wanted him back, and that's the only time I've felt that way since the breakup.

I just felt like venting that a little, and I had a BZPower dream last night, so I figured I might as well use this lil old place. I'll probably end up saying all of this to my ex since we're meeting up tomorrow to give some stuff back and talk a little, but there's one other thing I wanted to say to someone, that I can't say to him, even though he definitely already knows.

Today, we would have been together for a year.

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Mama Punk

Posted by Queen of Noise in A Pinch of Rock and a Dose of Roll, Oct 31 2018 · 230 views

I logged into this site for the first time in two years to dig up an old recipe I'd lost...figured I'd post some recent pictures and a plug for my band while I'm here, for old time's sake. For those who don't remember me, let's just say I was once an admin...briefly. :psychotwitch:

STRANGE LIPS, fronted by yours truly: http://strangelips.bandcamp.com (twitter/IG: @Strange_Lips). If you live in or around New York, come see us sometime; we generally play at least one show a month.

Most-recent picture of me, post-haircut:

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Some pics from a gig last month, pre haircut:

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Moving forward

Posted by SwagtronYOLO in Designated Tekulo Crying Corner ♡, Oct 21 2018 · 253 views
Life, Goodbye, Hello

Keeping this susinct, I moved back to Ohio for medical reasons. I had a second mental breakdown, failed to set up proper doctors at the West Coast, and I had to pack up, move and say goodbye in less than a day (which wasn't easy on two different levels).

I'm going through a long and expensive process of getting a new diagnosis. I am on new meds now. Some professionals seem to think I'm bipolar. We'll see.

So yeah I was reckless with my health, I was overworked and constantly making overtime, and by the end of one sour week I was jobless, homeless, and wound up working with a charity and then later transferred from two separate hospitals to a behavioral health center (which was actually probably one of the most helpful places I'd visited for me to sort things out).

So yeah, kinda heavy news here. I would like to say the last thing I need right now is pity. I always felt annoyed when people just say "I'm sorry" to this sort of thing when they don't know what else to say. I know I'm guilty of that too, but some of my favorite responses have been words of wisdom, or gentle encouragement, or even from some of my closest friends just saying "I love you and I'm here for you," or something to that effect.

I've been plenty scolded by nurses and a few other people in my life (with very much good advice, to their credit).

So all that aside I've been reaching out to old friends in Ohio. I've been cleaning my room from adolescence and doing my best to ignore the news. It's one step at a time.

I was missing my friends from the west earlier, but I realized all of those friendships and bonds were made in the past three years. I'm still in contact with a lot of friends, and I'm still in my mid twenties. I have so much longer than three years left, and if I can build myself a happy social life in three years, then well... who knows? This chapter of my life is part of the adventure. It may seem like a step backwards, but life doesn't stop, even for these kinds of events.

I dunno. The glass is kinda at an equillibrium to me at this point.

~Tekulo♡

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The Return (Redux (Working Title))

Posted by Haku340 in All That I'm Hearing From You..., Oct 20 2018 · 148 views

Before I continue my years-long pattern of "Hi I'm back" posts followed by radio silence, I thought I'd drop in to the forums once again to see what's been happening. It's been a decade since I made my account, and longer since I started reading the forums (though I couldn't tell you when). Reading back over my old posts has the expected embarrassment of encountering your younger self at any point, but it's cool to see that some people I recognise are still around. I really enjoyed taking a look at the Dark709 Hereafter series in particular; those old flash movies were really inspiring back when they came out, and I hope Dark and the whole comics crowd have gone on to even better things since.

I stumbled back here after I found that someone had made a small page about me over on a wikia site dedicated to the old BZP comics community. I don't know how I compared to someone like Dark709 back in the day (though my younger self certainly felt I was right up there with the big dogs), but it was nice to see that someone remembered me enough to record a couple of random facts and images.

I should really go back and see if I still have all of those old comics buried somewhere on my computer. Now that Majhost is gone, a couple of twitter avatars are the best things I can find outside of Brickshelf.

These days my main presence on the internet is a YouTube series reading some silly old Japanese Visual Novels with a friend of mine, so if that's your speed I'd love if you could check it out.

So hey, if you happen to run past this post and you want to chat about anything old forums, new forums or how much we've all grown up while this place has been around, drop a comment. I promise I'll try not to disappear for at least that long.



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