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Episode #186 “DAMN YOU SOLO-ZARRRRRR!!!”

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
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We give you part one of Augusts’ MASSIVE indie pile! Mention that we haven’t really been watching comics TV. Tech did watch Flash, and dug it. We start talking Rogue’s Gallery as a result.Finally get to some Indies with teh exciting and well done THE FUSE 5 and 6; STARLIGHT 5, giving us the kids backstory. UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC 4, giving us dumb mooks sticking up Wall Street. I digress to talk about old Diablo 2 characters. Star Wars 20 ends the series on a significantly EH? note. BALTIMORE: WITCH OF HARJU 2 finds the group in a graveyard surrounded by zombies. STAR TREK HARLAN ELLISON 3 gives us more and more recognizable story beats we love. NAILBITER 4 gives us the awesome WTF KILLER. kinda. not really. OUTCAST 3: flash backs and lunch. REVIVAL 23 possibly treats us to Em’s original murder and the Brooklyn shmoo catches up with Hines. Tune in next week for the remainder of the indie set in episode 187.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #186



“THE CLIMB TO 99-TechJedi’s Experience In Maxxing Levels in Diablo 2″ Part 6

Saturday, October 25th, 2014
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Well, it’s been some time since I went through new areas in D2. I’m cheating a little bit and grinding back through levels I’ve been to already-I killed Diablo another 4 times trying to get better gear, and really didn’t. I was able to get a gem shrine to make me a perfect skull, so that was good; I socketed a new Helmet in Horraggoth, using a perfect Emerald to up my Dex by 10. I’ve completed maxxing out Zeal, and put a couple points in Salvation-since as noted before, soon as this act is over, resistance go into the toilet. I’ve got roughly 60 more skill points to put into things, and even maxxing Salvation I’ll have points left over for Vengeance-all the time not yet counting the extra skills from quest rewards. So as long as I don’t leave an area, or a difficulty, before it gets *too* easy, 99 should be in reach. And I still haven’t factored in the “exploit” of “PLAYERS 8″ yet for XP gain. Do you know that one? I didn’t until my buddy Joel researched it in 2003 after it became just too damned hard. The idea is that if the game thinks there’s 8 players, it adjusts the xp reward way up, but you can do it on previous acts and difficulties, so the monsters themselves are not insurmountable. I wonder if that was taken out in patch 1.13?

It’s a few days later, and yes, I’ve factored in PLAYERS 8. Just…damn. I started back from Harroggoth, and before i even finished Frigid Highlands, I leveled twice. I did not go back through again, but went straight through the highlands and into the Arreat Plateau and Abbadon and The Pit of Whatevers, the into the Crystal Caverns, then in to the Frozen Bridge to Rescue Anya. Clearing all that got me to 42! I leveled twice just in the Cavern and Bridge! All the literature, mostly from Diablo 2 Tomb, says that players 8 is not supposed to effect the actual drops, but the *number* of loot drops; initially it felt like that was really really wrong, As I got several yellows and even a couple Golds before leaving frigid Highlands! That cooled off later though so yea, probably NOT a factor.

Wanna see what I got?

And impressive stuff it is! The Golds are always exciting to see come up, even if they don’t match what I can use. The sets are the curious thing-I’ve gotten several set pieces lately, some even doubling up. For once 99 actually seems in reach. I’ve tried to promise myself that i would not finish the game until 50; I don’t know if I’ll get impatient with that, but I’m going to try; I don’t think I was 50 when I left that very first time. Who knows, it was 12 years ago!

Some of the fun of D2 is the monsters. Some have fairly generic video game/pulpy fantasy names, but not this one.

Screenshot042He amuses me. There are several new types of creature in the Caverns and Bridge; The Abominables type we’ve seen before, but now there are harpie types and These Frozen Creeper types. The Harpies CURSE you, but are sick easy to kill; The Creepers have a jetspray cold attack, but now that my Salvation is active, 75% cold resistance disallows their damage. Remaining in these caves are the ROT WALKERS, which are just zombies-but zombies with GIANT ASSED SWORDS, and a run attack that interrupts and causes knockback. Additionally, they get up again, even if they’ve left you loot-and may let you have more. Hit them with cold so they shatter.

So In the past 24 hours since the last paragraph above, I’ve “Players 8″ ‘ed all the way through Level 50! It was rather marathon and took more than 12 full hours. I still haven’t found anything to replace my weapon and shield, BUT everything else finally upgraded. I upgraded my Hireling, Oriana, to a new bow, helmet, and armor, and damn does she kick some ass now.

I got to the Worldstone Keep after fighting the Ancient at the top of Mt. Arreat; that battle took about 10 full minutes. I have fought Pindleskin about 5 times, and although he doesn’t leave as *man* things anymore, he does always leave yellows at least. at about Leve 49.6, I decided that was close enough, and it was time to face BAAL. I had forgotten however just how many minions he had screening him from attach before the Worldstone Chamber, so that was an Adventure! Demons and Undead from every other Act came by, with a Unique each, and boy were they tough! Additionally, I had forgotten about the Super Unique Demon Minions, The MINIONS OF DESTRUCTION; oddly enough the toughest and ugliest of the bunch-that battle, with the six of them, finally put me at 50, and i gambled for a while before facing BAAL, but got nothing worthwhile.

The Baal fight was about 15-20 minutes, as although the bonuses on my weapon are great, the damage no longer is. I had to go back to town twice for health potions despite life steal being about 13% right now. He gave me some Yellows, detailed below, but skimped out on the Golds. Gave me a set though, and a new piece of info-I had no idea the Arctic set featured a bow-there fore, I will not be collecting those. I had hoped all the patches since release would have changed Baal’s quest completion rewards, like giving extra stats or a skill or something, but that was not to be. Tune in next week as i detail what happens when I try to get to 51 on NIGHTMARE!

 



Episode #185-”Every Writer Now Has To Figure Out How To Deal With The Fact He Was FRANKENCASTLE”

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
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We are watching Return of The Incredible Hulk FEATURING THOR; It’s DC week and that means disaster. It also means that this is the last DC you”ll hear from us for a while because I didn’t buy 3D covers because I’m done with gimmicks. We wax nostalgic about remembering when the 80′s Marvel movies came out. We kick it off with DETECTIVE 43, and the undecuded Bats ‘n’ Bullock bout. We can’t figure out why there’s a squid there. SECRET ORIGINS 5 bored us to tears. SUPERMAN 34 brings us the excitement that is parent-visiting, Powers going wonky, and mechanical wolves. MULTIVERSITY 1 is something we end up talking about twice. SENSATION COMICS 1 was a pleasant read, but needs to leave Gotham alone. SINESTRO 5, THE BEAT DOWN gets read. GI ZOMBIE 2 Meth Heads and biological weapons should never mix. BATMAN 34 finally brings us crime that is not earth-shattering and somewhat personal for once. BODIES 2 has affairs and confusing future slang. UNWRITTEN 8 has a deafeated ogre, a penetant Tommy,  there’s stabbings, and more. ASTRO CITY 14 brings us sweet old ladies repairing robots and unethical, secret keeping nephews.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

Episode #185



“THE CLIMB TO 99-TechJedi’s Experience In Maxxing Levels in Diablo 2″ Part 5

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
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HARROGATH!

Hell is over and it was nothing interesting. Act IV has Diablo dying at your hands, but his brother, BAAL, is still out there somewhere. So the mission isn’t really over. For another 25 bucks, (this was 2001) ACT V becomes available, set in the cold an irritating realm of ARREAT, home of the Barbarian protectors of the Worldstone.

At any rate, I’ve made it to Level 30 and this is my loot and adventures at the first mission, destroying catapults besieging a town and killing the nasty-assed SHENK THE OVERSEER. On my way to him I had completely forgotten about the weird little creature DAC FERREN, a Cold Enchanted Super Unique Demon Gremlin guarding the narrowest part of the Bloody Foothills, about half way up. Accompanied by four minions in Normal, he doesn’t guard very well. Takes about 4 seconds to kill his ass. He didn’t leave shit for me this time.

Shenk_the_Overseer

 

Not a screenshot. Stolen image.

 

An hour later, Shenk gave me nothing I care about for myself, but I was able to swap out Oriana’s bow. After moving on after him, I leveled to 31, added some more strength; soon I’ll need it for armor. A few unremarkable named creatures later, and I found  all the barbarian prisoners, and killed their overseer guard, giving me some YELLOW  demonhide boots and a YELLOW crown; the crown turned out to be dooky, but I finally have some boots worth talking about! As reward for freeing the prisoners, I had totally forgotten Qual Khek gives you a set of RAL ORT TAL runes, which, at this current patch level, are actually RIDICULOUSLY easy to find. So now I have four sets. Honestly, in my original run where I got to 88, Once I got the shield to put those in, I never needed another, never did find anything even comparable, and that shield got me though all of Hell and through Act 5 in Nightmare.

Screenshot029 Screenshot030 Screenshot031

Things I had forgotten about in ACT V: I HATE TELEPORTERS! Crush Beasts are funny, towers are dumb, and the Frigid Highlands are irritatingly complex, terrain wise. The Arreat Plateau is about 60,000 friggin square miles; I had forgotten both Abbadon And Acheron, with their tons of relatively easy monsters and magic chests. I had forgotten about the Lashers that create exploding jerks from the Enslaved type creatures.

In the early parts of THE CRYSTALLINE CAVERN, I dinged 33-an important Milestone-Literally 1/3 through the point of this whole exercise. It occurs to me, this late in the game, only 1/3 through to Max Level, which is of course the point-that I better not leave this difficulty level before 40. Considering how many places in Act V I keep forgetting, and there’s likely to be about 4 more, this seems like it won’t be a difficulty. But if I get to 40 and I am, story wise, ready to face BAAL, I think I’ll try to hold off and get to like 42 or 43 before that. Reason being, I JUST maxxed ZEAL levels, so now I can put all other skill points into resistances. For those of you not remembering or not familiar, in Nightmare and Hell, no matter what your resistance numbers are, they drop significantly. You really have to be ready with those stats before you jump to Hell.  At any rate, As you read this I am partying down in Maryland, so I’m not actually playing; I’ll try to play during the week and schedule a post to keep you updated properly.



“THE CLIMB TO 99-TechJedi’s Experience In Maxxing Levels in Diablo 2″ Part 4

Saturday, October 11th, 2014
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Hey Kids! It’s time to get that D2 Groove on in ACT III-The magical pseudo-African/southeast Asian KURAST!

As usual, the complex organization of the jungle pretty much demands the overlay map be on at all times; spiders show up, Jungle Lords, and the mind numbingly irritating Fetishes. As you may know, you find a jade figurine that you trade for a gold bird that you trade for a potion giving a permanent +20 life. Awesomeness. I can skip vitality on next level.

If you read the last part, you know I entered Kurast at level 26; after going through most of the Flayer Jungle,  the XP racked up really quickly and and i was able to get from  just leveled to 60% next level. Found some stuff, but nothing impressive until THIS- which replace both the Gold mace i had kept around in reserve, but the Yellow flail that replaced THAT. This is likely to get my through most of the Act. As I noted in my gaming philosophy in the first article, life steal is cru-shal, but look at that enhanced damage! WOW!

 

Screenshot022

I finally got to 27 after completing the Spider Cave, the Arachnid Cavern, the Flayer Jungle, and the Black Marsh. Finally was able to swap out the chest I’d been carrying around since the end of Act 1.

 

I ended Act III at Level 28. I swapped out some boots but don’t think they’re really that much a change; new chestplate, same gloves since the end of Act 1.I forgot how cool all these Cinematics were. It’s no wonder to this day, this is why everyone I know that’s played this has thought Blizzard should at least make shorts, if not full movies. I looked at the armor available in The Pandemonium Fortress or whatever it’s called; still nothing beats what I found. Got another set piece, but I’ve totallly given up trying to get those, as the inventory will *never* work. I need to pump up my strength now to allow for the use of cooler arms and armor.

Screenshot023

Ok, several hours after the last paragraph, I ground and farmed through Act 3, only dying once and finally facing Diablo at LEVEL 30. Oriana died twice against Diablo, before she copped to standing on the side. The following is his loot-none of which i really feel surpasses my current stuff, but the sabre and the shield I put in secondary loadout to see how they go. Vanilla Diablo on Normal is over. Next week, see what happens in Act 5: LORD OF DESTRUCTION

Screenshot025 Screenshot026 Screenshot027 Screenshot028 Screenshot024



Episode #184-”You’re Tired Of Killing? Take A Nap, You’re A Super Spy”

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
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We are talking MARVELS this week-but before that, I wanted to get a taste of what The REV thought of MULTIVERSITY #1. He doesn’t disappoint. We debate wether we should even watch Gotham to begin with. We watch a Bollywood action flick that never ends. We touch on COMICSGATE, which really made me laugh. We eventually get into NIGHTCRAWLER 5 Kurt’s first day back at school-featuring Danger Rooms and baseball. BLACK WIDOW 9 Crossbones shows up, long awaited-but Punisher seems to serve no purpose. SAVAGE HULK 3 has a magical illusion happening in Hulk’s brain. SILVER SURFER 5-NIGHTMARE! woohoo! In the aftermath, Dawn realizes she must leave earth. ALL NEW X-MEN 31 has Cho and Stark talking portals while the adults are gone from the team-and Warren seems to be making some time with X-23. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1.4 more of Pete’s early days. AMAZING SPIDER MAN 5-A great team up with Felicia and Electro hitting Eels casino. Eel has a casino!? CAPTAIN AMERICA 23 The Mansion is invaded by an unsubtle mystery man! HULK 5 Fake North Korea gets taken out. SHE HULK 7-Love us some Pulido-love us some shrink rays-question some science. AMAZING X-MEN 10 All Wendigo All The Time. MS MARVEL 7 Logan, giant alligators, sewers, Lockjaw! CAPTAIN MARVEL 6 ends this arc, collapsing mines and defeating JSon.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #184



“THE CLIMB TO 99-TechJedi’s Experience In Maxxing Levels in Diablo 2″ Part 3

Sunday, October 5th, 2014
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Come with me now…TO LUT GHOLEIN!

Well, here we are in the fantastic Arabian styled setting of Act 2! Things take a dire turn in Act 2, as monsters suddenly up the game, and I was actually in danger of dying several times. Elemental damage now really means something. Which of course tells you it’s time to up the resistances. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that the first time in THE SEWER, and so lost my companion Oriana. The culpability is mine for that though, as I completely forgot I could both Holy Bolt her or just drop a potion onto her portrait. So it’s back off to Act One and the Rogue Encampment to resurrect her, at a cost of 1600 gold. Additionally, monsters are tougher and more difficult to hit, so all that dexterity I’ve been pumping up is not showing returns yet, and the toughness of the creatures also broke my new Crystal Blade once!

The first mission in Act 2 is to eliminate the threat of Radament, one of the nastier quest bosses at this early a stag. He’s one of those goofy creatures with the largely human body and bizarre dog-demon head like head, but lacking a hand-in place of one of them is a giant assed hook thing. Nasty! Additionally, He is protected by a bunch of various skeletons, and resurrects them!

wall16

Crazy talk, right?

Now although he is a “mini boss”, his drops are more important for story than gearing up-in fact, I got pretty much shit from him, and the giant chest next to him. A Rune, the Horadric Scrolls, and um..shit. Screenshot010The skill book there, if i remember right, is standard for the first kill of this mini boss, and not something I could expect to get again if I tried to farm Radament. The Rocky waste is everything I remember-those damn Dung Soldiers really stick it to you with the Charged Bolt on striking them, and the Huntresses are fast and run away on your ass. Irritating. I’m already almost out of room on my stash, and Runes of the same three types, El, Eth, and Tir, seem to be de riguer. Lots of chipped gems, especially Topaz, which i guess is their way of maybe compensating you for all the lightning damage.

In the Halls of the Undead, I finally got my first set item, and yeah, I LIKE IT! Life steal as I mentioned is CRUCIAL. Screenshot011

And here it is kids! Antioch’s first death and resultant corpse run. I got bagged by the poison of Coldworm The Burrower.  Only took 20 levels.

Screenshot012And JUST as I leveled, no less! and THAT is why the have antidote potions.  This is *also* why it pays to have an alternate gear set handy. I had to literally punch out a Death Beetle I had missed previously on the way back to my body.

Lut Gholein seems to be Set-Happy, as I now have a second set beginning-the ol’ Arctic Bindings. My original Antioch had 3 of these, but long after even their set bonuses were useful.

Screenshot013

Several hours from the above graphic, I finally made it to the Valley of the Magi, ran down into the first fake tomb, and promptly had my ass handed to me. Died three times. I will need to gain at least 2 more levels, maybe even go all the way to 26, before I face that nasty ass boss.

And now it’s several hours and a couple deaths away from the previous paragraph, and I’m only 23; no notable improvement in gear. Have gone through all the false Tal Rasha tombs, so now I save, and do the entire act all over again. Try to pick up better gear and set Oriana up as well. I’ve noted a significant increase in Named creatures since the last time I seriously played; very curious. Pretty soon I got a second copy of the Arctic Bindings belt, which was kinda irritating.

 

Alright- it’s a few days later, and the grind to get that ONE LAST LEVEL before going after DURIEL and ending the act has been seriously, a goddamned pain. I have died at least six times, in various false-tombs, usually against the Steel Scarabs or Unreavelers, with their electricity and Unholy Bolt, respectively. I’ve picked up another set piece-the chestpiece from Isenharts’ set. I’ve found now, over the course of all gaming in D2, everything but the shield for that set, but only across multiple games.

I’m kinda scared to go up against Duriel now, but 26 is probably as good as it gets, and I’m not getting any armor or weapons to replace things lately, although I did trade up from a GOLD mace to a YELLOW flail; that sounds like a down grade but the stats say different.

Screenshot018

As you can see I’m still pumping up DEX so i can get teh TO HIT up, and remember it also brings up armor totals. Here’s the weapons i was talking about above

Screenshot019

Screenshot020

And nowww….the final battle….Screenshot017

Well THAT sucked. I died three times, but i DID remember to set town portals the second i got into Duriel’s chamber, so i actually fought five times. He of course killed Oriana, but eh. she’s only 4680 to resurrect. Honestly, however, I totally got boned on the loot; a simple eagle orb, some town portals, and a Barbarian’s set piece, shown here; nearly worthless to me. BONED.

Screenshot021So having established that, it’s Level 26 and off to Kurast. I’m 25.5 % there.



Episode #183: “Watchoo Know About Pimpin’, Boy?”

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
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We are talking INDIES this week, but before that we talk Rev’s adventures in random comic book finding. Pulling out references from BALDER THE BRAVE to Byrne FF to Shang Chi showcasing a little early Marc Silvestri. We also yap a bit about organizing books, and how TJ will do the Great Comic Book Re-org of 2014. We kick off actual books with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA 2 no.2-which humors me greatly with all Jack’s wives. THE SHADOW 0 has Cranston learning from Houdini, while over in SHADOW: MIDNIGHT IN MOSCOW 2 does the reverse; SKULLKICKERS 29 gives Rolf the WarTyke he always wanted; MORIARTY 5 is filled with double crosses. GROO/CONAN 1 amuses us but isn’t sending us into paroxysms of joy; THE GOON-OCCASION OF REVENGE 1 is just general weirdness on paper. CONAN THE AVENGER 4, just man.  TREES 3 goes from weird scifi to to character piece. OUTCAST 2 has way too much going in any given page. REVIVAL 22 is filled with violence, nutbags, and cannibals. NAILBITER 3 gives us back-story, burnings, and more killers. In SAGA 21 the badass of all intergalactic janitors is still on the run. VELVET 6 is the black widow book brubaker isn’t writing for marvel. BATLTIMORE: WITCH OF HARJU 1 presents a small town under oppression of witchery. RAGNAROK 1 is a great piece from Simonson mythology. ATOMIC ROBO and THE KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE 2 and 3 is just insane western android goodness. STAR TREK: HARLAN ELLISON’S…blah blah, way to deep and heavy at points but it’s nice to see Rand kick ass. VEIL 4-lots of possessions. UBER 15, greatest alternate history out in years. STAR WARS: REBEL HEIST 4 is mildly disappointing in the just kinda…eh denouement. STAR WARS 19 has Seren fleeing IG88. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE 6 focuses on Sabrina for the ish. MANIFEST DESTINY 6: FROG FIGHT. CALIBAN 4 and 5 shows us the creation of the threat. We end with UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC. 3, showing us some historical context to the secession.

Episode #183