Tag Archives: Covid-19

You Wouldn’t Go To An End Game Raid without Being Geared. So, Why Would You Wander Around Without Your Mask? – A Rant

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Hey guys, it’s Kernook here. It’s time we have a little chat. My mother had a stroke back in November. This weekend she had to go in for three blood transfusions because her platelets are super low. Where I live, hospitals have been restricted to one visitor due to the Covid-19 protocols. She doesn’t have Covid-19, but this effects us, because today they tightened the restrictions, and no visitors are allowed inside.

I can’t even see my own mother. So those of us not even battling Covid-19 directly are being impacted by the idiots choosing not to be careful, and to me this is just not acceptable. That it needs to get to this point this late in the game is just absurd.

Blog posts may be late for a while, because frankly I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Same with YouTube, don’t expect archived videos for a while. I have bigger shit to tackle. However, this is one post that needs to be made, and it needs to be made today!

Perhaps this is just my logic as a gamer, but that’s just not how you play a game, and it’s not how you live life.

You don’t fight a big boss without drinking your potions and elixirs, buffing your raid, eating the right foods and being ready to face down that new boss that you’re about to fight.

This is what we MMORPG gamers do. We do it every raid night. We have no issue doing it every day, because to be a gamer you want to be at your best. You want to be an asset to your team.

If a raid was dying to a boss while being ill-prepared for over a year, that raid would have some serious breakdowns in communication and stability as a team. Some bosses are called “guild killers” for a reason.

Well, Covid-19 is our real world guild killer. It’s breaking down communication, it’s messing with our economy, and it’s dividing people. It is doing everything an end game boss in an MMORPG is capable of doing, and it’s doing it to the fullest.

When bosses drop what we call “AOE’s” or “Area of Effects” on the ground, we don’t stand in it for a reason. We don’t just go in unprepared. Our healers provide support, and we do our best to mitigate the damage. As many raiders say…

Don’t stand in stupid!

Come on raiders, we know the drill here. No, really, we do.

Covid-19 is one big ass “AoE” that has shit on the entire world, and it’s hurting people. Instead of collectively mitigating the damage as any good raid might, many are choosing to stand directly in the middle of it without that mitigation.

We have some people choosing to believe this isn’t real. That it is still, a year later, not a big deal. As though it’s a video game, or a figment of our imaginations. As if it’s not something to take seriously.

They don’t think we need masks, and don’t believe Covid-19 is still a pervading threat. These are the same sort of people that raiders would call scrubs in gaming. They’d be put on blacklists and kicked from raid groups for not being prepared.

Why? Because they are choosing to wipe the raid. They are choosing to hold ALL of us back from downing the boss.

You don’t get to play in the big leagues if you don’t pull your head out of your butt, listen to your raid leader and work as a team.

In Rift, back in the day when you had to fight the Matriarch of Pestilence that boss would put an “AoE” onto a player. That player had to run out of the group, or risk dropping that “AoE” down on the entire raid. It would kill a raid. So, what did we do? When didn’t spread the “AoE” we kept it away from the raid.

If you’re a raider, you’ve likely faced a boss like this. If you’re a gamer at all, you’ve likely taken down a boss that does something at least kind of similar.

Know what we should be keeping away from each other? Covid-19. The same rules apply. If you have the AoE, don’t spread it. If you know the boss does something that’ll impact the raid, you drink the right mitigation potions. You wear the right gear.

If most gamers can figure that crap out in a simulated environment, people working and living in the “real world” should have no issue grasping this concept. It’s not difficult, it’s not complicated.

Our front line workers are our paladins, clerics, mages and bards. They are both our tanks, and our healers. They are our raid leaders for our communities. We need to heed their calls.

When they said put on your mask, they’re saying that because they can’t just magically cast a little bubble to protect you. Real life is not a game, and choosing to defy these raid leaders now is putting everyone at risk. Not all guilds have good raid leaders, and not every doctor on the planet is giving the best advice.

When we lose people in real life, we can’t just cast a “raise” or a “revive” them. They’re gone, and they’re gone for good. It’s actual permadeath.

So, stop being selfish. Think of your community as your raid, and Covid-19 as the boss we have to down. I realize this is going to go over a non-gamer’s head. That most people won’t care about this and I may just be shouting into the void. You know what, I’m fine with that.

At least if I shout loud enough, maybe someone will hear. If just one person reads this and chooses to put their mask on the next time they go out, or think a little more carefully before hosing that next big party, then that’s a success.

That’s a mini-boss I’ve taken down, and as a gamer I’d take pride in that.

If you want the achievement of downing Covid-19, we need to raid together. This is not a boss you can beat alone. You don’t go into a new 10 man raid with three people and expect to win. You don’t go into a new raid without having the right mitigation and equipment.

So next time you leave your house, wear a mask. Get good gamers, and lead the charge, because society has their thumbs up tier asses on this one. It’s been a year, the boss is still active. We’re out of mana and our abilities are on cooldown. If we don’t want that enrage timer going off, we really need to down this boss, and down it now.

I have long concluded that it’s up to us to lead by example. To show the rest of the world that we know how to deal with this, and do it better than them. In a world where gamers are often treated like total crap by the mass media, this is a fight we know how to face down.

This is a fight we know how to mitigate.

We know to listen to our raid leaders. We know you need to have the right gear score. We know that we can’t just drop boss “AoE” and debuffs wherever we please. We know that you have to let the tanks be the tank, and the healers do the healing.

We know this isn’t a fight we can win unless those in the top tier guilds lead by example, so the scrubs can figure it out too. With the vaccines out, we’ve got the DPS to take down this boss. With our masks and social distancing, we’ve got the mitigation to tank this thing until then…

There’s no excuse anymore. We have to take this boss down, or progression ends here. Think about that.

Ever since the days of EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI (and FFXIV), WoW and Rift, we’ve been trained to handle these concepts on their most basic levels. So let’s get good and lead the scrubs. Let’s take down this boss and get back to normal.

Lead by example, gamers! Get geared, get good, and let’s do what we need to do.

This is a fight we know how to win. Stop faffing around and let’s just beat this thing already…

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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The Problem With N.C.I.S. Season 18…

Before I nag and complain about this long running television series, I want to state a few things first. The first is that ultimately, this is not a hate post about the show. Far from it. I grew up with the likes of J.A.G. and other such series. When I’d come home from school at least someone in my family had it playing, and therefore I grew to enjoy the crime drama myself.

My parents and I still make the habit of watching N.C.I.S. together every Tuesday night. In the era of Covid-19 when so many routines have been upended and obliterated, this one unspoken tradition was something of a boon. Something that I personally clung to, because let’s face it. The world will be upside down for everyone until the virus gets under control.

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However last night, this long running television series made a choice to do something. If you haven’t seen the episode, warning MASSIVE spoiler ahead…

I mean it, don’t scroll down if you care about spoilers…

This is your last chance…

On February 9th, 2021, the series took a turn. It decided to kill off Jimmy Palmer’s wife to Covid-19 so offhandedly that fans took to twitter and fan wiki pages to see if we somehow missed something. That’s how offhanded it was!

As fans of the show, we received a few sections of dialogue coming from a man in grief. Mourning a loss that apparently had taken place a few months back. His nearly unbeatable sunny spirits at war with how he really feels, trapped in his own denial.

I haven’t been a huge fan of season 18. It’s been a bit of a muddy one to be sure, but the true issue showed its face in spades. Season 18 is a season when hope is lost to desperation, and sacrifices come in forms so unsavory that they’re just too dark to swallow.

I don’t like most crime dramas because they’re just too gritty. The reason I enjoy N.C.I.S. is because no matter how dark it chooses to dive into the depths of cynicism, a small light of hope usually lingers upon its surface. Last night’s episode, and the episodes of most of this season lack that all too important thing.

In this season I’ve witnessed Gibbs shooting Mcgee several times to keep him down. To protect him against an explosion that would have otherwise killed him. The show’s ace sniper turning to bullets to protect a comrade… by shooting the comrade. If you’ve watched this season at all, you likely know what I’m getting at by now.

Instead of our heroes coming out on top of their struggles, and carefully laid plot lines to address their problems head on, what we’ve received is a poor attempt at best. At worst, we have character related baggage that won’t ever be healed. It’s too soon to tell if the writers can get themselves out of this mess.

I won’t sit here and complain about Breena’s apparent off-screen death. Or the fact that it has left Jimmy as a single father and deeply grieving man.

Instead, I’m just going to say this.

The virus is real. The loss of life isn’t a story or fabrication. That’s real too. I have been profoundly lucky that I have not yet personally suffered a loss at the hands of Covid 19, but my family and I have also been as sheltered in place as much as possible since the pandemic began. Taking every precaution we can in order to stay safe. While the world loses thousands by the day, I know there are others like myself out there. Families who have gotten incredibly lucky.

Not everyone was so fortunate, and a little care taken to character progression is paramount in situations like this.

You don’t just write off a character’s death to a pandemic virus this way,..a few pen strokes of dialogue unwittingly toying with the confines of reality, in a way that just doesn’t do the real truth of the matter justice.

Jimmy as a character will be a changed man by this, and sure it further’s his story line. It makes him more interesting. At what cost, though? Are the writers just that damn cynical? This choice of theirs was thought out, but it wasn’t in any way meticulous.

Like so many episodes this season, it gazes down into the abyss, but it doesn’t provide any sense of true closure. The true light of hope just wasn’t there… And you know what? We could all use a little hope right about now.

Is that really so much to ask?

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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