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Everything posted by Hajile

  1. ‚ÄčI seriously doubt that. It has been mentioned through official sources that are prohibited from being misleading that SWTOR is incredibly profitable. Say what you will about the focus of the devs, its business model or the game's shortcomings, but it's raking in the dough on a colossal scale. As for this new trailer - I'm pessimistic. I don't like the thought of the factions being amalgamated, and they kind of have been already through the main story, which has been one of my main bugbears about the game. This all feels rather like a soft reboot of the entire game, and I'm cautious about how achievable that is without cheesing off a big portion of your player base. However, there has been absolutely no mention of 'no new group content.' That would mean Bioware were being Turbine-level stupid, and I firmly believe that only one developer is capable of reaching those heights.
  2. Gutted. Between Sir Christopher and Sir Terry I have lost two of my absolute heroes this year. Tragic loss, but damn, that man had one hell of a life.
  3. According to Wikipedia the official launch date of Infinite Crisis was 26th March, which means that this game officially lasted for 68 days from launch to notice of cancellation. By the time it closes, it will have technically been in existence as a finished product, birth to death, for 111 days. 111 days. That has got to be some kind of record. All that money spent, all that time in open beta, all that effort spent trying to market it as some sort of big deal. I would be curious to find out the total budget of the game, just to calculate exactly how much Turbine wasted on it per day of its life.
  4. People don't want a 'surprising take' on the Siege of Gondor. They want the Siege of Gondor, period. It's an event that's iconic enough in its own right. It doesn't need the unnecessary tarnish of whatever shitty bells and whistles will be stuck on by developers who couldn't even get Helm's Deep right.
  5. Incorrect - PR would result in more minority governments and coalitions, yes. But that is not synonymous with weak government, just a different kind of government, one less dominated by a two-party structure. Which naturally is not something that parties who enjoy the disproportionate parliamentary representation of FPTP want to give us. Coalitions and alliances of smaller parties are actually supposed to be the status quo of our political system. They do not lead to 'weak' government at all. That is a myth perpetrated by a near 70 year period of loaded parliaments and has regrettably been parroted so often that people have just come to assume it's true. Minority governments instead lead to negotiation and compromise, which results in governance that better represents the interests of the entire electorate. When a country receives them long term they result in strong, impartial, even politics that are based more on individual policies and less on party image and doctrine. Majority governments should be a freak occurrence that we should fear and look to prevent as much as possible, as they lead to large numbers of parliamentary representatives being rendered effectively powerless by a block of MPs who will be acting purely in their own interests and nobody else's. I actually think that PR is only a partial solution - regardless of seats won via PR/FPTP/AV/Whatever, I believe that there needs to be further reform. Politics is increasingly nationalised and regions are increasingly marginalised anyway, so I think perhaps we need to devolve local politics from national. Maybe do away with the House of Lords and have a lower house based on FPTP for regional matters and an upper house based on PR, where the cabinet, PM and national governance reside. But none of this will ever happen as long as we continue to vote in majority parties that have a vested interest in allowing a broken and disproportionate FPTP system to endure. And anyone who supports such a clearly unfair system because of the 'stability' and 'weak government' myths really needs to grow a pair and remind themselves what democracy is actually supposed to be about. As it stands, we are going to have a government that 63% of us voted against making decisions against our interests completely unopposed in any meaningful sense for five whole years.
  6. Sir Terry was the man who made me want to be a writer, back when I picked up my first Discworld book at the age of 12. The world will be a bleaker place, and we a poorer people without him
  7. It's called The Streisand Effect, and it's absolutely hilarious every time it happens because nobody ever, ever learns. And that in turn says something slightly depressing about human nature
  8. The changes to Fili and Kili are among the worst things these Hobbit films have done. In the third movie they deny him his final climactic moment of assertion, too. Kili is not a badass warrior who dies heroically alongside his equally badass brother Fili defending the critically wounded Thorin. That would have made for a fantastic Butch and Sundance-type moment at the three-quarter point of film three, two soldiers standing firm between their fallen king and an army of orcs, fighting to their last breath to protect him. It's hard to imagine that it would not have played out magnificently on screen. No. They weaken Kili, soften him and instead of dying on his feet like a boss he dies prone and crying, reaching out for a girl. But at least he fares better than Fili, who basically shows up just to die. God, it's not complicated to add stuff to the characters without dragging the film off topic with all this romance rubbish. If the filmmakers were dead set on giving their 'sexy dwarfs' a bit more screen time, here's how I would have done it: Kili - have the older dwarves haze him incessantly throughout the films, making fun of him for looking like a little girl because he has delicate features and can't grow a proper beard. He realizes at the mid point when he's starting to get sick of them that they're trying to toughen him up and turn him into a hardened dwarf warrior, and so he throws himself into battle at every opportunity to prove he belongs in the company alongside his uncle. He eventually becomes the warrior they all knew he could be, learns a thing or two along the way from the more grizzled veterans like Dwalin and Gloin, etc, and finally through his actions at the end earns their respect with his valiant death. Fili - the older brother, of whom who Thorin is harder and less forgiving. Gets repeatedly lambasted by Thorin for his every mistake, and becomes sort of furious and resentful of his uncle until he too has a moment of clarity during a quiet moment with Thorin - that Thorin saw him as his heir and was that much harder on him to ready him for the inevitable time when he would have to take on the responsibility of leading his people. He has a different moment on the battlefield when defending Thorin - a moment of regret, where he realizes that he's not going to survive the battle and that all of Thorin's efforts to prepare him were in vain. He is nevertheless bolstered to keep up the fight when the dying Thorin tells him how proud he is of his nephew. Both of those little character arcs could have been inserted into the films easily. They could have been slotted in while the company was on the move, without interrupting the main thrust of the narrative, could have been peppered throughout the movies and periodically brought the characters back to the forefront for a moment or two every now and then. Moreover, they would almost entirely involve interaction with the other dwarves, thus bringing the other dwarves into the story more, and actually enable the viewer to see these characters interacting like real people. That way, by the end of the third movie we might have actually given a toss about these guys. There you go. decent journeys for each character to go on during the films. No need to shoehorn in romances or drag the events of the book radically off topic, and I came up with them in ten minutes at one in the morning. That the actual writers of these films couldn't do something even better in the time they had just highlights their failure to bring this story to life in a satisfying manner all the more.
  9. Interesting aside - the etymology of Tauriel's name is quite amusing. It's Sindarin. taur means 'great wood' or 'forest,' while the -iel suffix is to denote the feminine. So her name basically means "Woman of the forest." However, taur also has another meaning, which is 'vast, overwhelming or awful.' So an alternative translation of her name is "Awful and overbearing woman who takes up too much space." Which I think is a much more appropriate translation of her name.
  10. It's fiction. It's a story. i.e. Not real. Entertainment. Done, one would like to think, with some artistic vision. Feel free to write a book about how you'd murder me if you think anyone would read it. If I, however, threatened to murder anyone who bought your book in retaliation for you releasing it, then I'd be the prick. Not you. Oh, and for persons still alive, see above post details Death of a President. Oh, I knew that was coming. I have never moved anything. I have been making the same point and have been asking exactly the same question since my first post on the subject, in which I differentiated between the two - right there in the post. That you chose to reframe my point in order to respond to a question I did not ask is not my problem. I'll say it again. No, they don't mean the same thing. Somebody 'having a problem' with something is not the same thing as something 'not being okay to do.' One is personal, the other is societal. Fiction is not a threat to anything or anyone. To argue otherwise is to argue in favour of censorship. Nasty, unpleasant, cruel fiction should not be withdrawn from view just because some people think it's nasty, unpleasant and cruel. Nasty and unpleasant things have the capacity to mean something, too. And so do comedies, so genre is irrelevant.
  11. ...and the goalposts start moving already. By the way, Death of a President was released in 2006, smack bank in the middle of Bush's second term. 'Current' enough? If you wanted to make the point that we would only lampoon, denigrate or brutalise foreign heads of state and never western ones, you're not very well informed. And of course, I'm only really au fait with stuff that reaches US and UK audiences. There's a lot of media out there, and I guarantee you there's a sizable section of it in every country centered entirely on visiting comedy violence upon foreign world leaders. Oh and no, I was not asking "why would anyone have a problem with it?" - I know why people would have a problem with it. It's controversial subject matter. That's a bullshit question. Of course people are going to find controversial stuff controversial. What I was asking was "why is it not okay to do it?" Because some people genuinely seem to be making the point that it's somehow unacceptable to tell stories that upset people. Why does the fact that it will upset some people mean that it shouldn't be done?
  12. I don't have to imagine: All of these feature the assassination or death of, or an irreverent and unflattering portrayal of, a head of state of US or UK. Some may have been controversial. But we do it all the time. Artistic freedom. Love it or loathe it, just don't threaten to kill innocent people over it.
  13. Wow - that actually sounds like you're creeping towards an attempt to justify the response by claiming that the fimmakers 'deserved it' somehow. Why is it NOT okay? Seriously. Why is it not okay to create a piece of fiction about someone's assassination? Because it's mean-spirited? Because it's cruel? Because it's offensive? Tough. Nobody said art - in whatever form it takes, even obviously second-rate comedies - has to be nice. Because someone might retaliate? The behaviour of anyone who responds to a piece of art is the responsibility of the person responding, not the responsibility of the art. Even if they're a crackpot dictator. Assign the blame where it actually resides.
  14. Editing is only a small part of the job involved in any good adaptation, and yours is a rather one-sided view - you should only condense, and not expand? Nonsense. It's about excising the chaff, yes. But it's also about translating narrative language and techniques from one medium to another, which invariably requires some measure of restructuring, extension and enhancement, especially when translating from a non-visual medium like books to a visual one like film. In addition to ridding yourself of elements that are not needed, you must also be prepared to embellish that which needs further clarification, and extrapolate that which is in context but unseen within the chronology of the story. In the case of The Hobbit, it is absolutely a legitimate excuse to devote an extended portion of screen time to depicting the Battle of Five Armies when the book did not. It's one of the most important events of the story, and like the flooding of Isengard in Two Towers, DOES need to be shown visually for the event to have a hope of carrying any gravitas. You don't need to depict the minutiae of battle in a book. You do in film. Adaptation is as much about what you add as what you subtract. They simply got it almost uniformly wrong in The Hobbit. That's why they are bad films, not because they are "too long."
  15. Why do people keep saying this? It's a specious argument. One book does not automatically equal one movie. There is enough material in The Hobbit to fill hours of screen time. So much so that I thought that, as each of the 19 chapters is essentially a mini-adventure in its own right, it would have been better suited to be made as a big 19-episode TV series. That's 19 hours of screen time that the material could easily fill. Easily. More if you include the concurrent material documented in the appendices and Unfinished Tales. Plus the events in The Hobbit are actually rather summarised in the book. The Battle of Five Armies itself - a major event in the narrative that needs to be shown at length on screen - gets about three paragraphs in the book. The characters of the dwarves are not particularly explored in the book - you could do a lot with each of them. Hell, with an episodic structure you could have each of the company be the focus of an entire episode, and still leave room for more generally-written ones. Books are lengthy, weighty things that often have to be condensed significantly in order to fit into a mere couple of hours when adapted into film. That they managed to tell the story of The Lord of the Rings in ONLY three movies and twelve hours is testament to their economy of storytelling, because in order to do so they had to abbreviate those books enormously. Think the Game of Thrones TV series. Originally each season of that roughly equated to one of the books, but they very quickly realised that some of the books had to be spread over multiple seasons.The books are each about the length of one of the LOTR books, and each book gets at least a ten episode season, which means a minimum of seven hours of screen time. More than double the screen time than the paltry 3 and a half hours that the LOTR books received in their adaptations. As a minimum! And nobody bats an eye or says that adaptation is too long. The Hobbit films are not "too long" - they are just poor adaptations.
  16. Maybe cliffhanger is the wrong word for my suggestion - after all there would have been a major climax int he movie already, it's own internal events wrapped up. What it would present is more like a bit of portentous setup to the concluding film.
  17. Easy - if they jettisoned the Tauriel nonsense they would have had an extra half hour to play with. That could have got them to and through the death of Smaug, moved the people of Esgaroth to Dale, and Bard and Thranduil's arrival at the gates of Erebor. They could have Thorin starting to succumb to greed and forgetting his honour, refusing their request for a share of the treasure. End it with Thorin, after sending the men and elves away, gold glinting in his eyes as he ponders his wealth hungrily. His own people watching him with concern and suspicion, unsure of their own standing with a man they thought they knew. Boom. Not only is it an effective cliffhanger that sets up the tensions to follow in the next film, it's also - gasp! - character-based! And one that lingers on Thorin, who is after all the deuteragonist of the story.
  18. While they aren't necessarily untruths, there certainly seems to have been a few misleading threads of information within this story that the news media (and the internet) have restated over and over until everyone assumes they are accurate. Which they are not. Sony haven't actually 'cancelled' the film's release or 'given in' to any pressure. The largest cinema chains in America all decided not to screen the movie after these hackers THREATENED TO KILL PEOPLE WHO WENT TO SEE THE MOVIE. If anyone has 'given in' to their demands; if anyone should be accused of 'cowardice;' it should be the cinema chains themselves for refusing to screen it. But no, people are pointing the finger at only Sony. Why? Because the cinema chains are not a known entity in the news right now. It's a more satisfying narrative for people to follow if the blame is laid on Sony's doorstep. After all, Sony are already in the news because of the staggering bloody revelation that some people who work in an industry noted for its meanness sent some emails that made them look like big old meanie poopyheads. And thus nobody looks to assign the blame where it should be assigned - on the doorstep of the cinema chains. Or the hackers themselves. The hackers who THREATENED TO KILL PEOPLE FOR GOING TO SEE A MOVIE THEY DON'T LIKE. And Sony haven't 'cancelled' the movie at all. Mark my words, that movie is still coming out. But they're probably not going to release it right now when most major cinema chains are still refusing to screen it. Giving what is now a very high-profile movie what would essentially be a limited release would be pretty dumb of them.
  19. Seen it. It was pretty incoherent stuff, especially the battle itself, which just seemed pretty rambling and unfocused. They would have done well to look into how Tolkien wrote the battle unfolding and just duplicated that on screen. It would have been more meaningful, and dare I say more cinematic. Too much godawful Tauriel, and they further warped the actual events and characters of the book in their relentless promotion of their ill-advised and self-indulgent Mary Sue. Also, the strange way they close the character's story comes right out of left field, with a THIS IS WHEN SHE'S VULNERABLE NOW GO AWW WHY AREN'T YOU GOING AWW SHE'S ALL VULNERABLE moment. Which is weird, because it effectively involves handing a character portrayed until that point as having no flaws at all the worst kind of Idiot Ball imaginable. Jesus, if you're going to shoehorn invented characters into a classic piece of literature, you should at least make sure they aren't this poorly written. The Dol Guldur sequence ended so anticlimactically I scarcely believed it when it was over. Cute reuse of the original design of Bolg, though. Too much focus on the invented characters and too little on the characters who are actually supposed to feature the heaviest. I don't give a shit about Alfrid. "Dad of Gimli," "Jolly old avuncular Balin" and "Heavy metal headbanging biker dwarf Dwalin" are all in this movie, are far more interesting than any of the characters they chose to centre on, and they're barely featured. The supporting dwarves have no dialogue, nothing to contribute, and have essentially been demoted to the status of extras. Yes, you heard that right. They relegated Jimmy Fucking Nesbitt into a background detail. Thranduil seemingly only exists in this movie to further Tauriel's character arc. That is all. Oh, and the contents of the film run totally at odds with its central theme. I don't think I've seen such a cynically envisioned enterprise as this in a long time. All in all: far too much spectacle, and no character, no charm, and absolutely no heart. That being said it wasn't without things to recommend it. Thorin's descent into madness was well handled. I especially liked how the most pivotal moment of it was all done in the sound edit. That was very creative film-making, and an ingenious way to depict someone's thought process on the screen. I also thought the Laketown sequence was good, although it seems nonsensical to open the third movie with it. Just another lesson they learned from Lord of the Rings that they forgot this time around, I guess. Should have closed the second film with it instead of that weird 'wheelbarrows and golden statue' gibberish. As bland and uninspired as it was, I actually think that An Unexpected Journey was the only decent movie of the three Hobbit films. I don't think I'll bother watching this one again until the extended edition. Maybe they can salvage a mediocre movie out of a terrible one, like they did with Desolation of Smaug. If not, I will eagerly await the fan edit that entirely cuts out Tauriel and the rest of the redundant material and condenses the entire nine-hour trilogy into one tight, lean four-hour movie.
  20. I don't think your silly little playground teasyword will ever catch on, no matter how many times you repeat it. If that's what you've been trying to do all this time, it might be time to make like Elsa and let it go. Mostly because Jackson is; despite the serious missteps he has made with the Hobbit movies; actually a pretty accomplished film-maker.
  21. Tried the Beorning class. Figured I would try taking one through their starter zone to see what it played like. Was not expecting it to just dump me in Archet after less than 10 mins of play. Was a shame - The vale was a tiny, tiny area with nothing to do in it, and was made up of massive amounts of repurposed art assets purloined from elsewhere in the game, but it was actually quite a pleasant little zone. One thing that LOTRO's engine has always done really well is grasslands, and this little zone was lovely and idyllic More could have been made out of it. A lot more. I was also expecting more in the way of storytelling. It's quite sad that a game that once prided itself on its interesting and meaningful writing introduces Beornings to Middle-earth with what is essentially "Oh hai. My name is Radagast, there are now Goblins. Go to Bree." If I was feeling generous I'd call it underwhelming. I definitely had a Theoden moment: "Is this it? It this all you can conjure, Turbine?"
  22. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information, as it's second-hand friend-of-a-friend stuff, but... This week I spent a little time talking to a mate who pals around with a good number of people who work within the games industry. And yeah. Shadow of Mordor IS a reskinned Batman game. Literally. Apparently WB had the developers working on a Batman game that got shitcanned for some reason or another, most likely due to the ongoing successes of the Arkham series. Rather than see all that time and money go to waste they just took the code and hastily converted it into a Tolkien-themed game. Originally it was going to be set in Gotham, with the "Nemesis" system comprising of members of Batman's rogue's gallery vying for dominion of the city's criminal underworld. Batman would duff up their underlings and press them into working for him undercover in order to, for example, bring down The Penguin's smuggling ring from the inside, etc. Which would leave a power vacuum in that part of the city which would be filled by Two-face, who you would then also have to bring down. And so on until the city was totally crime free. All of the Middle-earth flavour in the game was very much tacked on at the last minute as a complete afterthought. Worse, it was done to rush an abandoned concept out the door and try to cash in on it. Again, not sure if that's 100% genuine info so take it with a grain of salt, but to me it seems a better fit for the concept than Middle-earth.
  23. Oh look. An overhyped game from a major publisher is being gushed over by a corrupt and easily bribed press. News at Eleven. Give it three months after launch when all the marketing cronies at WB have lost interest in it and moved onto the next game to hype. Then you'll get the REAL skinny on the quality of the game. For my part, not even gonna bother. It might be getting props for its story, but I'm not interested in the story because it's bunkum of the highest order. Middle-earth does not work that way.
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