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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



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

Sunday, September 28th, 2014
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So it only took to “THE CAVE” in THE COLD PLAINS to get my first Yellow-which turned out to be Javelins I couldn’t-well, won’t-use.

Screenshot004 As you can see it’s actually a reasonably good piece for only Lvl 6-allows for both a standoff fight and close up wetwork, but honestly, a Paladin has no place for it.

Things I forgot about D2-you could swap weapons sets but not armor. Forgot SKULLS could be socketed like gems, allowing increased life stealing. Forgot just how much walkin’ ya gotta do, and how important both WAYPOINTS and SCROLLS OF TOWN PORTAL were.

Things I remembered: the sound of every type of weapon drop, gem drop, key drop. All having distinctive sounds.

Having killed BLOOD RAVEN, which, I know, at this point sounds like a bad Emo fanfic, (or more probably, a Rob Liefeld character) but what do you want, it was released in 2000, which means the name was thought up at least in 1999, maybe earlier! Cliches gotta start someplace, man. I got my first usable Yellow, some nice leather armor!

Screenshot005Not bad, considering I’m still only Lvl 6, and not even out of the starting areas yet. I’m starting to think that at some point in the patching, they really upped this, since Yellows, initially, were some seriously damned hard things to get! We’ll see if this trend continues!

Having killed Blood Raven, (tm and C every goth chick from 1999 to present day), I get my first hireling! So I chose Oriana, because she’s both Fire Arrow equipped, a level 6, and I have the dough to spend. Additionally, other choices such as “Wendy” and “Meghan” were unacceptable to me, as they make me think of our old special needs cleaning lady from a work facility many years ago, not an Amazon Warrior, and some *)%^&^ that dumped me, respectively.

Let’s see how she does, but frankly, I’m likely to trade her in for a Barbarian once I get to Arreat.

 

Screenshot006Things I forgot about in D2: Barrels are perfectly acceptable and standardized as a Zombie containment system. Also, some of the damn things explode for no reason. I forgot also that sometimes the pathfinding for hirelings is just atrocious and at points they just wont be with you anymore, and you’ll have to go back to town through a waypoint or portal just to get them back. Forgot that Experience Shrines only show up when you’ve cleaned an area out.

Forgot how lucrative the second levels of some caves are. Lots of good loot, like the DIRE AEGIS I just got, which repairs itself, and provides lots of elemental protection.

Some of these caves are MONSTROUS LARGE, taking several minutes even running to get from one side to another. Oriana is really paying off in here as well, as I gave her a Yellow bow and now she one shots a lot of the smaller Carver and Fallen demons.

Here’s my new shield; alreadyScreenshot007 mounting the Yellows at only Lvl 8, and not yet having picked up Deckard Cain from the remains of Tristram.

Something I didn’t forget and really didn’t want to face again, those FREAKIN’ little Devilkin things. Gawd. Except now I am ignoring them completely and going straight for their Shaman.

By the end of the first day, I had made it to Lvl 17. This patch level seems different from the last time I seriously played in the first Act; it’s seems amazingly simpler; of course, that’s probably just previous experience catching up; I had been playing so long on Nightmare and Hell, the perception of effort required on Normal is probably lost on me forever.

 

 

 

So finishing Act One Left me at Lvl 17, and at 15 is when  got my first Gold Item, the Pelta Lunata, which was very new for me; I pay close attention to shields, and i would have remembered this one-especially with the low, low drop rate for Golds. Officially LOVE this shield!

Screenshot008

17 out of 99 for just a few hours the first day seems pretty dang good, doesn’t it? Welp mister, it ain’t, believe me. The leveling requirements go up logarithmically, so each level requires even more than the last one, and XP values give the feeling of actually dropping; plus, in Hell, if anyone remembers, you actually lose XP in death. Stay tuned for screenshots from End-Of-Act gearing once Act One is over!

 



Episode #182-”This Is Comics Kids, You Think It’s All Rick Remender, But It’s Really More Ron Frenz”

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
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We watch TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY, talk Manarra for a bit, long before the comicsgate abortion; get curious about the reviews for SIN CITY: DAME TO KILL FOR; which I later found were in fact somewhat accurate. TechJedi notes his re-reading of all of SIN CITY. We finally get to the MARVEL’S for August. Kicking it off is AMAZING X-MEN 7-Whereforeart thou, Wendigo? raises questions about cannibalism digestion and curses. NIGHTCRAWLER 4 has a kinda, um, odd take on the physicality of memories; Hawkeye 19 which is now an experiment in experimenting. IRON MAN SPECIAL 1 has the kids of Cyclop’s team hanging around in alien bars and being kept from Tony Stark as a matter of trust. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 4 makes me love it for Pete actually doing science for once. BLACK WIDOW 8 has Nat somehow broke, despite investments and big contracts. CAPTAIN AMERICA 22 is the manufactured controversy issue, while Zola breaks through to 616. SHE-HULK 6 Magic, monkeys, Nightwatch, new clients. Art. BLOWS. sorry. it does. SILVER SURFER 4 Hulk and Dr Strange guest star fighting against Universal Monsters. Nuff SAID. UNCANNY X-MEN 23 guests She-Hulk and makes things convoluted. ALL NEW X-MEN 29 This was a difficult to follow book at points, especially early on. CAPTAIN MARVEL 5 reveals JSON’s true plan. Ms MARVEL 6has Kamala running patrols in Jersey City and stumbles on a cockatiel clone of Thomas Edison. WHAAAAT?!? WINTER SOLDIER 5 ends with a disappointing and strange denoument, setting up Iron Nail. THOR 24 rounds us out with Broxton destroyed, Agger speechifyin’, and Thor castle-giftin’.

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 #182