Site search


February 2020
« Jun    


Recent Comments


The Sims 3, Part 2: Good News, Bad News

Since my earlier post about The Sims 3, in which I was impressed at how long it was taking me to find bugs, I have found a few.  Most of them are pretty minor and slightly inconvenient.  But now I’ve hit an actual show-stopper.  More on that later.

Sims 3 is also continuing to impress me.  Its gardening is smoother than Sims 2’s.  The painting is more interesting.  Heck, all the skills are just better-done.  I’m especially loving mechanical upgrades and how an expert mechanic can just keep things from ever getting dirty or breaking.

Among the biggest (and most awesome) surprises for me have been the career changes.  Whereas in the previous Sims games every job was just “work these hours, these days, make this money”, Sims 3 has really broken the mold.

Read more »


WoW Spotlight: Halls of Lightning

I’ll write about The Sims 3 every day if I don’t write about something else, so let me take today to give the stage to the worst non-raid dungeon in World of Warcraft’s second expansion.  I’m speaking, of course, of Halls of Lightning.

Halls of Lightning has the titan-themed look of dungeons like Uldaman.  It’s hidden off in the distant north of Northrend, where many titan-age relics should really just be forgotten.  When I got the final achievement for Heroic Halls of Lightning (Heroic mode is a higher difficulty, if you’re not familiar with the game), I swore to never go in there again.  In fact, on that particular run, I died eight times.  The group was awful, and that is par for the course in that dungeon.

Since then, I have run the dungeon once and only died once – on a trash pull before the first boss.  The rest of the run was smooth.  I only agreed to go because I’d just done two other dungeons with the same group, and they were competent levitra over the counter.  The tank took the blame for the death and we moved on.

Read more »


The Sims 3: First Impressions

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  Yes, World of Warcraft is a big contributor.  But I have my DPS to almost 3k, my achievements over 3300, and something like 12 different titles.

But this is a post about newest entry in a very lucrative franchise, The Sims 3.  I got the game yesterday, as a belated holiday gift from my good friends Jamie and Adam.  To their credit, they didn’t mean it to be belated.  The game was supposed to be released in Feburary, and that release was postpwned for financial reasons.

The good news is that they took those five months to polish the game.  And it is polished.  The bad news is that I have failed to find a bug in the first 24 hours, which means that this is just a dream, it’s still May, and the game isn’t out yet.  It never takes me 24 hours to find a bug in a new game tadacip cipla.

The game is a very smooth transition from its predecessor, The Sims 2.  Honestly, smoother than I expected.  Sequels usually fix something that wasn’t broken, and it’s usually bad.  This one keeps so much of the interface useable, despite so many changes.  I’m impressed.

I’m getting used to not having all the content (What?  Only 15 hairstyles??), which is excused because you can set 4 different colors for the hair, and can interchange and tweak all manner of textures on anything cloth, wood or metal.  I want a plush paisley fridge.

Here are the two things that bother me so far.  It wouldn’t be an honest review if I left them out, because these are examples of “fixing something that wasn’t broken”.

1. The number keys.  In The Sims 2, the ` key is pause, and 1-3 are speeds.  4-9 return you to a camera position you have assigned those keys.  The Sims 3 has added a fourth “speed”, which is “fast forward until the current action is done”.  It’s on the number 4.  I have to get used to 4 not being a camera binding.  It’s otherwise probably a handy addition – not for me, mind you, because I micro-manage the game right down to toggling speed constantly based on what I’m doing.

2. Speed 3 has changed.  Before, it was fast enough that you could get through the night in less than a minute.  This lets you cut the downtime.  But in The Sims 3, it’s not that fast.  Sure, it’s faster than normal.  But not by much.  My sims sleep for at least 3 full real minutes.  What am I supposed to do during this time?  On the plus side, Jamie thinks this may actually be a bug.  If so, maybe this isn’t all just some shiny dream after all.

The game is well-done.  They’re trying to make The Sims seem more like a modern game, and I believe they’ve done it.  I have more control (again, I like to micro-manage) and more options.  This article is based on what I’ve managed to do with the game since yesterday, so expect more.

Let me end with my favorite new features, in no particular order:

  • All sims come with cell phones, which have their own inventory slot.  I don’t have to send Ma Sim to the store to buy a box of them to hand out to all her offspring.
  • Swapping between the house view and neighborhood (map) view is surprisingly fast and easy.  No more long load screens.  No more never-leave-the-house.
  • It asks you for permission for more things, Windows-style.  Like, “Nicky wants to go home with Malcolm after school: allow/deny”.
  • When a sim is doing something at home, school or work, you can choose what level of effort to put in, or what to focus on.  And they even give a tooltip to tell you the side-effects.  Working harder at school leads to increased stress.  I didn’t notice this at first, and my teen sim is ready to commit simicide.
  • You can rearrange actions in the queue.  At least, I think so.  This is how it looked to me, but I had to go to work and didn’t try it out.  But you no longer have to cancel all your actions and re-queue them.*
  • Status is no longer strictly empty-bar/full-bar.  You get buffs and debuffs, World of Warcraft-style.  This is extremely well-done.

The best thing I can say is that this is a better sequel to The Sims 2, than #2 was to the original.

*Edit: No, sorry, I was wrong.  I saw a drag bar and a drag cursor, but wrote that without trying it.  It turns out the drag bar lets you “extend” the action so that it cancels at a specific time.  For example, if your sim is playing chess, he will do so until you tell him to stop.  But if you drag open that extendy-bar, the sim only plays chess until he’s gained a point of logic.  This applies to a lot of actions, and is cool on its own.  But you must still cancel/requeue actions.


World of “Hey, how is it already Monday?”craft

Okay, so, I haven’t posted in more than a week.  That’s basically because all the time I would normally use to write (or clean, or cook, or breathe) has been consumed by World of Warcraft.  I mentioned before that I bought the expansion as a treat when I got my video card and logic board replaced in this late-2007 24″ iMac.  This weekend I also upgraded the RAM from 2gB to 4gB, because Other World Computing was selling 2-gig sticks for $25.  Not kidding.  I spent $50 to double my RAM.

Anyway, when I logged into WoW on Saturday, I had 4000 gold.  I needed 5200 for epic flying, which would let me play the whole game faster.  It basically increases your movement speed from “go make a sandwich” to “hey I’m there already”.  I tried to coax one of my guild-mates into fronting me the cash (I even offered them interest), but it turned out I didn’t need it.  I earned 2000 gold on Saturday.  And that’s in addition to going to cook out at my parents’ house and getting a massage.

Aside: The massage therapist asked me if I sit at a computer for long periods of time, because of my neck, shoulders, and left thumb.  I mentioned that I’m a software engineer and basically sit at a computer all day at work.  I did not mention the World of Warcraft addiction.

Read more »


Xbox Live v. Real Life

This is not something Geekologie reported on first, but it’s where I saw it, so that is where I’m linking the article from.  Also because Geekologie has awesome articles on ridiculous things, like this amazing burger that I’d really like to make.

So Geekologie reports that Xbox Live has banned a woman for identifying as being gay in her profile.  Okay, sure, she was harassed by other players for writing that in there.  But in our fucked up society, that sometimes comes with the territory when you’re not trying to hide who you are viagra side effects.  It’s when the authorities step in and punish you for it that it’s a problem.

Now, for the record, I believe Xbox Live normally bans people for harassment.  How bad is it that this woman was being harassed and one of her harassers got her banned, when really it should have been him? (I assume it’s a him.)

Read more »


Wrath of the Lich King: 70-75

Well, this is awkward.  I had that great post about how fun it is to just play World of Warcraft one night a week and escape the addiction.  But like any good junkie, I’ve got my USB keyboard plugged straight into my profunda brachii and I’m sure I can quit any time I want to.  Right?

Seriously, though, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is very well-designed.  In the original game content, and in the first expansion (The Burning Crusade), areas were huge and I spent half my time riding between quest objectives.  This expansion changes all that.  Each zone is huge, but it has little quest hubs all over, and each has quests in the general area.  Occasionally, (the Dragonblight zone comes to mind), the quest hubs are in an inconvenient place.  But in general, the areas are very well-constructed.  They also put flight points everywhere you want to be.  Read on.

Read more »


La Crosse Charger is a Must-have For Gamers

I actually found this in an article from This Old House about saving money during the recession.  It’s a charger for rechargeable batteries, but it’s not like the kind you see sold in the battery aisle at most stores.  It’s the AlphaPower Battery Charger from La Crosse Technology, and it is amazing.

First off, this charger paid for itself immediately.  Let me tell you how.  In addition to charging batteries, it can also discharge them.  It has a “refresh” mode that continuously charges and discharges batteries to remove the “memory” effect.  Some of my old NiMH batteries took four days, but it fixed all but two of them.  These are batteries that I’ve had for 6 years, and which I thought were all completely dead (but don’t ask why I didn’t throw them out; I don’t know).


That’s right.  It paid for itself right away by rejuvenating its own value in old rechargeable batteries.

On top of that, it comes with 4 AA and 4 AAA batteries.  AND it came with adapters to use them in devices that need C or D batteries (if you’re curious, all of these batteries are 1.5v; the different sizes just last longer). has this charger for $45.  Sounds like a lot?  Well, add up how many batteries you put in your wireless controllers every year.  It also pays for itself there.

Honestly, its best feature is the “refresh” mode.  For that, I rate this “most useful non-video game appliance I have ever bought.”  Okay, that’s a huge exaggeration (I’m sorry, Toaster).  But it’s definitely up there.  Seriously.



I got a message from Shazbot over at Imbacore – it’s another cool blog about gaming generic cialis online.  His focus is on freeware strategy games, multiplayer shooters, and PC tweaks.  If you’re into that kind of thing, give it a shot.


Eyezmaze Amazes

It’s been more than four years since I first saw Eyezmaze‘s Grow and the flash games on that site have only gotten better.  Some of them, like Grow, are sequential puzzles, where you must see which items affect other items in order to figure out the order to place them in.  Others are reaction games, acheter viagra france, like an old whack-a-mole.

The thing all these games have in common is the simple, cute, cartoony graphics and truly addictive game style.  This is as good as flash games get.  Kudos to the guy who thinks all this stuff up.

Warning: Do not visit Eyezmaze if you don’t have a lot of time to waste.  I accidently went to the site when I started writing this post, which is why it’s such a short post – I’m out of time.


My Addiction to TapDefense

It’s time to talk about my addiction to TapDefense, the free iPhone tower defense game.  It’s quick, it’s fun, it’s simple.  And unlike many, many iPhone games, it’s stable.

I first heard about TapDefense when my brother-in-law, Jeff, mentioned it.  I downloaded it (free, right?) and I don’t think I’ve been able to stop playing since.  That was months ago.

Here’s the thing about TapDefense: there isn’t a lot going on.  There’s a few types of towers.  You earn money for killing demons.  You earn interest on your money.  Since I started playing, they’ve added “challenge modes” that create new strategies.

It’s the kind of game you can play in as short a burst as you want деревянная мебель.  I play it when I’m walking somewhere.  I play it at the stoplight in traffic.  I play it while I’m waiting for my computer to start up in the morning.

I know there are other tower defense games for the iPhone.  There are probably even better ones.  But how many of them are free, and how many can I play for months without getting bored?

Read more »

Epic Spoon is a blog about video games, from guys who like to play video games. The opinions expressed on Epic Spoon are those of the authors of the blog, and in no way represent the opinion of the Internet. Read each author's profile to get a better idea of his intentions on this blog, what type of games he likes to play, and who he is. If you like what we have to say, bookmark us or our RSS feed. If there's something you've got to say, or something you want to ask, you can find our e-mail addresses in our profiles.