All posts for the month June, 2016

Don’t read if you don’t want huge spoilers.

The plots turned out exactly as I predicted. There were only a couple of things I didn’t see coming.

With any luck, Tarly will get lost and forgotten in his huge library, but I doubt it. With even more luck, the pointless and boring Bran will follow Tommen’s example and fall from some high place (maybe someone will help him get to the top of a tall tree). I did not foresee Tommen’s exit, but it looked like something thrown in at the last minute and he certainly won’t be missed.

Jon Snow refuses to die, of course. I can’t believe he’s King in the North after his idiotic management of the battle against Ramsay Bolton. That battle was won by Sansa, who has turned out to be quite the Machiavel and may wind up winning what Tyrion calls “the great game.” I suspect she now has the ruthless wit to get rid of Baelish, which she needs to do as soon as possible. Sansa, I admit, has crept up on me. I didn’t expect her to be a player of any importance.

Quite predictably, Dany got her army and a bonus navy. She has a habit of losing kingdoms, so I’ll be surprised if she hangs on to her power.

Also predictably, Cersei gave the High Sparrow a satisfying send-off and roundly kicked the ass out of everybody else while she was at it. Her remaining enemies will have to get up early in the morning to beat her. Meanwhile, the Iron Throne finally has a suitable monarch (and her coronation armor is one of the best costume designs I’ve ever seen — pretty good picture here).

So now the board has been reset with new factions about to contend in another big war. I have little hope that Jon Snow will get stabbed and buried irrevocably or that one of the worthy people will get all the toys. The worthy people, in my view, include Dany, Sansa, and Cersei. Sansa will probably succumb to some moronic error of Jon Snow. Dany will try to do something unrealistic and get driven into exile again. Cersei has the best chance, but I’m sure she’ll be beaten by some deus-ex-machina idiocy involving Jon Snow, Bran, and the army of the dead (which totally won’t be stolen from Lord of the Rings).

The show will probably end with Tarly on the uberest throne of all.



Diablo 3 may be the strangest game ever made from the standpoint of appearance vs. reality. It’s not intentionally deceptive, but the math doesn’t always work the way I think it does. I’m getting more and more interested in the strange science of this title. Because I’m a casual player, I take a lot of things at face value, but the more serious players break out their spreadsheets and look at things like “relative damage increase” and “effective mitigation.” They actually pay attention to item descriptions and figure out the difference (sometimes huge) between multiplied and added damage or defense.

I return you now to Quin, the eccentric Aussie virtuoso, as he explains the finer points of relative damage and armor. (Maybe he’s not Australian — could be from New Zealand or Tasmania or one of those other places no one pays attention to.)

First, a tutorial on relative damage:

Then one on defense and the value of armor:

Then a trailer for the funniest vampire movie ever made, which I only included here because it’s a New Zealand film:

This guy is a little hard to watch because he chatters so fast and probably has the metabolism of a shrew. However, he makes some of the most valuable D3 guides on the intarweb. In this discussion, he explains the overlooked value of area damage. (A bit NSFW – language. Also Excel spreadsheet alert.)

It seems to me that this would be especially valuable for a character like the monk or barbarian. For the purpose of explaining the math and application, he’s speaking of one hit at a time and one small 10-yard area at a time, but you can easily work out how powerful this can be for a toon that’s hitting multiple enemies with very rapid bursts. I have pretty much ignored area damage, but I’ll be taking it more seriously from now on.

In a future post:

How I’m trying to make my original wizard Torment 10 viable. Lots of trial and error so far — mostly error. But I’m going to steal some ideas from the guy above and others. As I hope to point out, wizards must have crowd control to survive in T10 and 40ish-plus greater rifts. I need some combination of control, safety, and damage equal to or greater than the stunlocking/teleporting build of my alt wiz. I will share that here as soon as I have something definitive.