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No spoilers, unless you don’t want to know about Pokemon gym mechanics


Not dead. And least I’m pretty sure I’m not.

Should have brought home something in buckets. But this is the worst summer flu I can ever remember having. Me and junior are a mess. Fever, chills, sleeping, whole deal.

I’d have preferred buckets.

Don’t finish MEA.


The unforeseen, tragic consequences of Lightly Clothed Beach Vacation: the Reality.

Feel better.

I’m not even playing MEA right now.


I’m trying. Summer colds suck.

And, of course, I spent the weekend installing air conditioners, then got the chills before I used them. Irony.

Maybe I’m not sick. Maybe this is just withdrawls.


There’s only one way to find out–rum! Lots and lots of rum!


Passion Fruit rum. Or mango rum. Or both!

The buckets had both.


Both seems like the way to go, to be honest. Why limit yourself?


See, I have many excuses for not playing, everything from illness to rum. The fuck happened to you?


I dunno, man. The children aren’t sleeping, is the main problem.


Not that I’m complaining. Thought you’d be done.

Silly children.


Well, I’m assuming it’s 600 hours long, so that was always unlikely. Still, I could certainly be farther in than I am. Silly children.

I’m still playing plenty of Pokemon Go, if that helps!



You and Mrs. McP both. Dudes….Dudes.

But hey! On the “We never have time to play anything but what the fuck free stuff” front, this month Until Dawn, a fun little non linear romp is freebs in July. Let’s grab it and let it molder in our library until we forget it’s there. I mean, until we have time to play it! Or something.

It’s supposed to be good. And, most importantly, short.


Well, but…at least we’re playing something!

And listen, they just did a major update to the way they handle gyms that is actually kind of interesting from a mechanics standpoint, so I’m going to discuss it and you can say “hm!”

As you may recall (from when you were DESPERATELY BEGGING ME to get this game, not that it’s TOTALLY YOUR FAULT I am now playing it constantly), gyms are guarded by Pokemon, and in the old system you could either ‘train’ at gyms held by Pokemon of your team’s color, or ‘fight’ at gyms held by another team.

It was the same basic combat either way, but if you defeated all the defending Pokemon at a gym of YOUR color, you added a level to the gym and could put one of your own Pokemon in (up to 10…after 10, you could get XP, but it didn’t have an effect on the gym’s setup).

If you defeated all the monsters of ANOTHER color, you knocked the lowest-ranked one out of the gym, effectively knocking a level off that gym’s status. Defeat everything at another team’s gym enough times to knock out all the monsters, and you can claim the gym for your own team.

Now after this recent adjustment, it’s still basically that way in terms of combat, but with the twist that you can only fight at gyms held by another team: you don’t have to fight to get entry to a ‘friendly’ gym, just go on in if there’s space (which now is only up to 6 Pokemon per gym).

Also, you can now support Pokemon of your own team’s color (your own and other peoples’, whether or not you have a Pokemon in that gym yourself), by feeding them those raspberry- and banana-looking things that you can use also use to make something easier to catch.

You now get XP for feeding a Pokemon, which I think is an interesting way to get people invested in the success of their own team even when their own monster isn’t involved.

It’s kind of a neat way to address the fact that you tend to kind of always want other members of your team to FAIL and get kicked out of gyms, because until they do, there’s no space for your own monster (and just like before, you only earn Pokecoins by placing monsters in gyms, so if you want money, you have to guard gyms).

So they’re balancing the fact that I really have no personal interest in the ability of the Blue Team to hold onto a gym, by giving me a means of benefiting from their holding onto it…as long as the Blue Team has it, I can get XP from feeding other team members’ monsters, even if I don’t have my own monster in the fight.

Now, it’s obviously still possible to be interested in, say, only feeding the stronger Pokemon in hopes that the weakest one gets kicked out and leaves a spot for me, but I think they safely assume that most people don’t have the time to just sit on a gym all day waiting for members of other teams to come fight and hopefully defeat one monster (but not all, or they’d just take the gym themselves).

So bottom line, they’ve given players more incentive to be interested in the gym/team part of the game, even if they really aren’t interested in fighting. With no more ‘sparring’ at friendly gyms, they seem to not want even ‘practice’ inter-team combat, replacing it entirely with this new ‘support’ approach.

I found it an interesting shift in emphasis.



You’re only doing this to convince me that you haven’t finished MEA, aren’t you?


I’m only doing it because I’m barely playing MEA and I have to talk about something.

I played a little Monday night, but didn’t get that far. There’s a lot of places to go and things to do and people to talk to, as always in BioWare games.

These kids, though…neither one of them will sleep lately, and it’s killing my game productivity. The heat, the late daylight, I don’t know.


Dude, where’s Mr O at? Just give them to Mr. O.


Oh, he’s there, but we take turns on kid nighttime duty. Except that only I can handle the baby because baby (grumpy, possibly teething baby in a clingy stage), so basically every night is my turn.

I cherish these moments we spend together and definitely do not gaze forward with longing to the time I can just toss him in his bed with a flashlight and a comic book and tell him to entertain himself.

Not even a little.


Oh right….the whole feeding thing. Forgot about that. Yeah, that would be your problem.

Just give him some chee-tos. He’ll love ’em, and they kinda dissolve, so no teeth needed.


Cheetos! The solution to all problems.

He does eat a possibly excessive amount of ‘veggie straws.’ Because they’re ‘healthier than potato chips.’ (Translation: they are potato chips in tube format with traces of non-potato content.)


Plus they got veggie in the title. Gotta be healthy.


Yeah! Not like Cheetos. They have ‘cheat’ right in the name, so clearly you’re cheating on your healthy diet even looking at them.


Fuck you Shakespeare. Everything is in a name.

T SHIRT!!!!!


T. Shirt.