The laws of internetodynamics are as follows:
(0) - If two pieces of information are each distinct from a 3rd piece of information, they are distinct from each other. 1 - Information can neither be understood nor ignored. 2 - The context behind any isolated idea not already meaningless tends toward minutiae. 3 - Information tends towards truth as its content approaches meaninglessness. 3a - There are some laws of the universe, and if you figure them out, that's cool. 3b - If someone is better than you, fuck em.
And that's why Trump is the next American President (of America).
I played a lot of Destiny for a while. And I watched a lot of Binding of Isaac. And in a tab of Chrome I had Cookie Clicker running day and night. Destiny, if you don't know, is a game about shooting shit with your very real tears that you are constantly crying because of existential angst. Isaac is a game about being a robot wizard tormented by elusive philosophical quandaries while hooking for an engram. Cookie Clicker is a version of the thing that was called Progress Quest when I Was Your Age, except you get to click sometimes which is kind of fun, and it weans you off of itself with effective imagery that evokes the terrors of childhood. Its narrative is squarely in between 'redeeming the whole enterprise' and a turn off.
I feel like you could make an app about Destiny's design just to critique it. It's a shooter house's approach to an MMO. My-first-Triple-A-super-MMO. Peter Dinklage was boring in it. So Nolan North cut his throat and replaced him. There will eventually be nudity.
I guess Dinklage gave the voice over performance he did because he was directed to be a robot, but the other possibility is that he's normally so physically expressive as an actor that we've all been fooled into accepting a deadpan, unenthusiastic, vaguely-accusatory monotone as 'great art'. The lady from Portal who played GlaDOS was more in sync with synth.
Ladies are pretty cool.
I have one of the half-dozen pet theories about lady-hate that everyone has and you've already heard. I think ladies writ large as organisms are a victim of high expectations. If you're a heterosexual male, and testosterone is a factor in your perception of an infinite chaotic universe, then ladies are it. They're hype-city. The #Hype is for real except you use 4 to say for. However, real organisms are women. You're lucky if they'll push their butt against your crotch on a crowded dance floor. Really lucky. I mean, seriously, be grateful, that's some hot shit.
Anyway, there you are, in your hormone soup, and through that perception women are invested with the power to cause car accidents with revealing tops, or to be able to speak about whatever they like without your being able to hear them. How can you function? It's like being in a Blizzard (fix your game, lol!). You're overstimulated, blinded, and leaned over striving against an invisible force; blood flow is affected. So how does the brain figure this shit out?
Every nerve impulse is basically like a scale. You step on it and it says 'this is how much you stepped on me'. In the presence of womanhood as conceived of by intense vagina-cravings, the scale is re-zeroed at "sanguine while under constant titillation". Ideally, with constant sex from many partners, this dies down to a dull roar, like a radio in the background tuned to the groove. But in these modern post Upton Sinclair-The Jungle times, where ignorant ancestors have misattributed meteor strikes, drought, and plague to 'sinfulness', we're left without that otherwise perfectly acceptable avenue to mental stability. In fact, we're facing a situation where otherwise smart people consider it a moral issue when 100s of thousands of people decide to do something.
So anyway, some people are calibrated poorly, and the disappointment makes them idiots. Even if you're not a jerk, the lowered expectations come off like you don't give a shit, and motivates some people to stop trying. If these people are women, that produces a feedback loop that reinforces the premise.
There I was, playing Destiny, and thinking about all of this, when, suddenly, a monster shot me and I died in one hit.
Then they released an expansion pack, and in a frenzy of excitement, I joined a new instance. I died after some time limit, because that was the quote unquote challenge of the area. Then I thought about the 10+ hours of effort it would take to unlock the new features of the expansion pack. I haven't studied economics, but at this point I'm in for over 100 bux and I have to think about whether that matters.
As it turns out, it does.
If you treat entertainment like a job, none of this matters. You drop your face into a pile of mushy oatmeal which triple A publishing then pisses in, via the requirement that you spend 2 hours grinding for the privilege of throwing a new kind of grenade.
We're all motivated to do dumb shit for way too long if there's the prospect of infrequent rewards. But that impetus has to revolve around some psychotic urge caused by a society that feels like being on the surface of the falling clock tower in Bayonetta. Only without the consummate poise and sexuality so devastating it wraps back around into boring. A hairy bush, via witchcraft.
Does anybody solve their own problems anymore? I'm buying a house, and I'm going to watch a video about installing hardwood flooring.
I'm also participating in the latest Diablo 3 season competition (which is a competition in the same way that the special olympics is) and looking up 'builds' which trivialize my involvement in exploring the content of the product.
At the same time, this information provides a bridge between my random experimentation and developer intent. Do I reject it because it provides the right experience? Do I embrace it because it's a metanarrative poison in the water supply of my entertainment? How many deviant sects have to be wiped out in a siege before I'm allowed to fuck 2 people at once?
Warframe is a first person shooter that reminds me of Crusader: No Remorse and Jedi Knight II.
It's also free to play in a way that reminds me of World of Tanks.
So your space ninja cyberwarrior builds a frenetic-mouse-paced life around executing MMO moves. Everything is on cooldown, the natural life of a conch, living a perfectly radially symmetric existence in the lapping waves of the tide. There's at least one objective. There's at least one wall to run off of. There's at least one alien to shoot.
Warframe, apparently, had a different capoeira system before. Parcour, I mean. Whatever. Ninja thing. Anyway, it was different. It used to be based on the position of the main character. Now it's based on the context of collision between the main character and whoever. I box and that makes me like the change.
When you are trying to bring along a new boxer, you are in a dangerous intermediate zone. You can't be incompetent, for 2 reasons. The first reason is obvious; they won't respect you (respect is safety). The second reason is more subtle; you will hurt them (they will feel unsafe). The path to a perfect fighter involves a long period of victories that result in the belief that victory is inevitable. A fighter who grows into invincibility has the will to fight anyone. When you watch Mike Tyson approach his opponents, his upper body is effortlessly tight: relaxed, yet ready. He easily moves out of the way of attacks, and fires off-balance retaliation with what seems to be calorie-free ease, until, years, later, he's accused of rape.
There's more than one way to skin a cat, but what the cat says goes--even when it still has its fur.
Then there's the rest of us. We flutter between dominant styles, hoping for the alchemy that produces success. Except, even a modicum of experience puts you head and shoulders above newcomers, while no amount of fitness and skill can ever really elevate you to the professional level if it wasn't in you to begin with. I am still intimidated by young asshole men throwing punches wildly and getting immediately exhausted. I'm also contemptuous of multi-year vets whose strikes are predictable, and who can't handle dealing with someone in a (much) higher weight class. I'm an emotional mess. And also a physical coward. As far as I know. Most people are smaller than me.
Warframe is a sparring partner. It wants you to become a warframe-player. At the same time, it's a discipline with such rigid requirements and convoluted skillsets that many people will take one look and say 'peace out'. The art direction is a crazy combination of incredibly unique and turnkey 'awesome' as defined by a kid who likes Kamen Rider. The rabbit monster from Donny Darko is probably a warframe.
Let's think about craftsmanship. If you watch the video all the way, you'll note a moment when he says 'I don't want to cut too far past the guideline, because that would make the joint slightly understrength. In all likelihood, an understrength joint would not compromise the ability of a piece of furniture to hold together. Furniture is pampered; it undergoes few tribulations.
Furniture is living off the welfare state of our collective asses.
Then there's a moment towards the end where he puts the joint in the vice and tells you 'this is not the usual' way, and that is exactly like a pornographic video, where the camera is focused on penetration, and the participant's legs are spread akimbo in a way that is neither comfortable, nor convenient--indeed, likely only possible, due to the extraordinary length of the requisite member.
In the joint.
By joint I mean pussy.
The concept of heaven comes from the domestication of animals. When you hunt, you have a tangential relationship to your prey. You may respect it, but, ultimately, it frustrates your attempts to eat it, and that makes for a clear adversary. You often see pets transform from gentle and playful to vicious, when they feel that change between toy and prey. But humans have found animals to be their herd--a family, a pet, and a food source. In a moral being, this should produce trauma.
The way we mitigate this trauma is to create the narrative that the creature we herded--that we cared for, was safer, happier, protected, while under our care. And when we ate it, that was a tax we took after a moral consideration that it was necessary for our continued existence, just so that we could continue to provide and protect. A spiritual relationship of cultivation.
When you have a manager at your job who seems to not be a psychotic life-hating shark-person, then they adhere to this metaphor. They are trying to help by cultivating you.
Also, fire. Because when you cook in the outdoors, smoke, cinders, and sparks rise into a night sky of cool majesty, as if welcoming the new gasses and heat to its inevitable vastness. Cavemen had 3 channels on television; life, fire, and the stars.
Warframe has a all the everything everywhere. I don't know where to start. But it feels like a second job. When you whip your mouse, the precision is unreal--that 3rd person lubricated ball-socket joint of digital boné. You know what I mean? When your cursor moves at the speed of the eye, that's fine--it's a cursor. It's a spiritual element. It cannot be contained.
While your thoughts move in this terrifying way (and perhaps, that's why we are terrified by our thoughts), your body does not. Everything inside the meat castle ebbs and flows. It may ebb and flow very quickly, like a piston engine in heat, but it has a sense of friction.
One of the most sensible things consoles have done for first person shooters is take their control schemes out of the eye socket.
If you compare the Motorhead and Metallica versions of Enter Sandman, two things are immediately apparent: Metallica is more successful because the entire integrated band is more well tuned; more in touch with the music. But, Motorhead is a lesser god of Metal because they have the teeth that Metallica lacks. In the opening bars, Metallica does a preamble not unrecognizable from classical music; a gentle introduction. Lemmy, on the other hand, strikes at the essential core of the song--he understands that you're introducing a delicacy (sleep) and tearing it away with anxiety. BUT! When the transition comes to the main elements of the music, the throbbing guitar from Motorhead is an afterthought. A wall of sound like any other hair metal. Only Metallica understands that there can be a bite and depth to the driving, endless evolution of the main chords in the song.
But! (again) Having established this krampon in your soul, Metallica's vocals are Some Dude In A Bar On A Good night. Whereas, Lemmy is a priest presiding over a restless nocturnal congregation: inciting them to riot. Hey! That's what the song is about!
In the tutorial for Warframe, you can choose between a katana, bladed staff (I think--I kind of forget) and a submachinegun or wrist mounted crossbow. If you have a power fantasy that Warframe does not fulfill, then you are suffering from mental disorder.
So, as it turns out, the meat of a true Frankesteinian Enter Sandman is the Motorhead preamble, with Lemmy Vocals, over the main presentation by Metallica. It looks like this.
Balancing intensity is hard. Shooters are inherently intense. Action games too. Vehemence needs pacing. Stridency needs focus. Warframe is trying too hard, and doing amazing things that earn it a immortal place in gaming.