WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES happily nerds out
Paying homage to all things nerdy
While I’ve been running around, fixing up popup trailers, camping, grilling, landscaping, getting sun burned, and enjoying plenty of time relaxing outdoors lately, I’ve still found some time to pay respects to the nerdy indulgences that make life indoors worth living. I crammed in a few hours of Diablo 3, perused some comics, and did a ton of “normal” reading as well. After finishing off the Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, and Hulk: The End graphic novels, I dove into some Green Lantern stuff before taking a break from comics in favor of some good, old-fashioned, sci-fi reading on my Kindle.
If you’re into sci-fi at all, I owe it to you to recommend Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (a pseudonym for co-writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). It’s the first book in a new series called The Expanse, and the sequel (Caliban’s War) should be on bookshelves and e-tailers by the time you read this. I’d hate to spoil anything, so take my word for it that the book was fantastic and way better than my vague description. Basically, it’s set in the not-too-distant future, and while humanity has done a pretty good job reaching out into the solar system, we’re still limited to a colony on Mars, Earth’s Moon, and a few scattered asteroids. There are enough people out there living in colonies that it creates significant tension, people start blowing ships up, and to top it all off there’s a mysterious alien goo.
The story is told from the split perspectives of a plucky space ship captain and his crew, and a grizzled old detective from the station on the asteroid Ceres. To say that’s an oversimplification of the nearly 600-page first novel is an understatement. It’s got elements of a good sci-fi “space opera” as well as some genuine noir, mixed with a decent dose of horror in the form of aforementioned alien goo. Just check it out, I was hooked before I even reached the end of the sample I sent to the Kindle.
Don’t nerf me, Bro!
In other nerd news, I got a real taste of collective nerd rage earlier this week when Blizzard released its latest patch for the ultra-hot Diablo 3. I’ve talked about the seething anger around the game related to early server issues, but now that the game has been stable for a while, people have found new things to get peeved about. With these types of games that rely on randomly dropped items with statistics and abilities that change the player’s character, there is often a lot of tweaking that goes on in the name of “balance.” For example, if it turns out that a certain type of character and a certain type of item combine to form some unstoppable Superman that breaks the game, the publisher will often change certain attributes to help make things a little more fair. This is generally referred to as “nerfing” (as in turning a pistol into a Nerf gun).
Well, predictable, the patch that was released this week nerfed a lot of things and made a few other tweaks to gameplay, sending the nerds who have played hundreds of hours already into a blind rage.
The threats are empty, of course, as said nerds will just keep feeding the machine. I haven’t noticed all that much difference, but typically these kinds of things only affect the proverbial “1 percent” of the online world — a tax on the nerd power players, as it were. In the meantime, it remains a fun distraction for those of us who do occasionally like to venture out of the dungeons and into the real, honest-to-god sunlight.