Pacing back and forth around your trailer almost drove you dizzy. Back and forth. Back and forth; as if that was going to simultaneously solve all of your problems. It wasn’t. Not even close.
You had just gotten the memo that your intimate scene with Jensen was moved to today, not that you weren’t sweating buckets the second you got the script, but the fact that the scene was moved to today instead of five days from now had you ripping your hair from your head. You were going to be very exposed to him, and no matter how long the two of you had been friends, this was something you weren’t comfortable with on so many levels.
The scene opens on the Swan-Jones house. We go into the house. It looks different than before – actually well-lived in now. Books and toys are scattered about and pictures hang on the walls. The camera pans past some of these pictures. There are obvious ones hanging like Emma and Killian’s wedding photos, Emma and David by the Sheriff’s car, but there are new ones, as well. Emma and Hook in the hospital room cradling a small bundle, happy and exhausted grins on their faces. There’s Henry in a graduation robe, flanked by both Emma and Regina. There’s a shot of Regina with a mystery character we haven’t seen together, clearly at their own wedding. There’s even Belle with Gideon, smiling happily. Basically, a few years have passed, and it’s been a good few years.
We hear a squeal, and the scene turns to Emma and Hook preparing a child for bed. Emma’s phone rings, and she learns that there’s a crisis on the docks. Looks like it’s a job for the Sheriff.
“Sure you don’t need backup, love?”
“Please, after the demagorgon last month, this is gonna be a cakewalk. Sure you can handle bedtime?”
“It’ll be a cake walk.”
They kiss, and Emma goes off to save the day. Because she’s Emma Swan, ass-kicker extraordinaire.
We stick with Killian and little Swan-Jones. It’s story time, and the kid holds up a “Once Upon a Time” book. They begin to flip through it, and we realize that this book is different. There are new stories than what we’ve seen.
“Your brother’s been busy, but how about I tell you about a story that isn’t in your brother’s book.”
The kid’s eyes go wide. It’s interested.
“You see, Once Upon a Time, your Aunt Regina…”
And there we go. It’s a new season. The season is literally this story featuring everyone who is coming back. There can be flashbacks within flashbacks. Emma doesn’t die. She’s off kicking ass. We learn that most everyone gets their HEA/HB. If there’s a season after that, it’s another story. The series ends with Hook telling the kid to go to sleep, tomorrow is a big day, after all.
“It’s your Mum’s birthday.”
If we get JMo to come back, the scene cuts to her party at Granny’s. Everyone is there. Henry is wearing a college sweatshirt. Snow and Charming are there. Regina is being her fabulous self with her love interest, who we meet in the story, by her side. Emma, surrounded by her family and friends, blows out the candle. We go full circle.
10 Easy Changes You Can Make To Your Lifestyle To Be Happier And Healthier Almost Instantly
I’ve been having some issues lately with staying positive and pushing myself to build healthy habits. At times I get too wrapped up in work and friends and my education that I forget that I’m a human being and that I need to put myself higher on my list of priorities. I have a major problems with articles that claim they have “easy” tips for being happy and healthy overnight. It’s really not that simple, and I’m not going to lie, the ones below aren’t a cakewalk for everyone, but I thought they were useful in my own experience and wanted to share them with you.
Every time you reach for a soda or an extra coffee, switch it out for water. It provides a healthier and more long term boost of energy by clearing out those mentally depressing toxins from your body.
Meditate once a day. Even if it’s only 30 seconds in the morning after you’ve finished getting ready, take a step back and devote some time to becoming calm and clearing your head to increase focus and encourage a peaceful mindset.
Exercise. Don’t create a hardcore 2 hour daily workout routine right off the bat after months of little to no activity. Start small, maybe 10 abdominal exercises, 10 leg exercises, and 10 weighted tricep curls on each arm paired with a 15 minute walk around the block. There. That’s only roughly 30 minutes of your day and you’re not even sweaty enough to have to shower afterwards.
Use natural ingredients as skin care. Moisturize with coconut oil, make your own essential oils and charcoal face wash, soap, and bath bombs, and maybe devote 1-2 days of the week to wearing no make up (if you wear it every day) in order to let your skin breathe.
Keep your space organised. When you’ve just changed and that sweater you wore today is on the floor, take the two extra seconds to hang it up or fold it and put it away. When you’re done with your meal, rinse it and put it in the dish washer. It’s not that difficult to prevent your home from becoming a pig sty.
Make your bed every morning. It’s a good habit to have, it makes your room look nice and clean, even if there are some things on the floor, and it makes it look even more appealing when you look over at 11 PM and decide whether to watch another episode of your Netflix obsession or get some beauty rest.
Speaking of sleep, do it! Regularly! It is essential to your health and happiness to get a good amount of sleep every night. 7-10 hours is the recommended amount of nightly rest you should fit in, so set a bedtime and your alarm and get that shut eye.
Spend the time to treat yourself. If you think a 20 minute sheet mask or some extra time to have a cup of tea and read your latest pick from the library shelves, set that time aside to enjoy yourself and wind down. You need the time to recharge, so keep that high on your priority list.
Keep a planner. It may be something you’re already doing, but if you’re not, this is a life changing habit to have. Every morning, write down your to-do list, your schedule, and any reminders. Save some room on your calendar for any plans that may pop up and your life will instantly be more organised and you’ll be way less likely to forget that really important due date.
Don’t push positivity if it isn’t there. Nobody is happy and bubbly and super motivated all the time, so don’t spend all of your time reblogging positivity quotes on Tumblr or trying to ignore every emotion that is “negative”. You’re human. Life happens and sometimes you’ll be just plain blue. It’s healthy to acknowledge the feelings that make you feel hopeless and unmotivated and seem all too frequent. The sun will shine tomorrow and you will find more and more reasons to fill every moment with meaning every single day.
Here’s to future health and happiness for you all. Cheers! x
"Accidentally capture the wrong base"? .....tell us more? Please?
this was before we got agent agent back as our handler, and part of the reason why he finally turned up for work again.
so the thing about clint is that hes 1. not a good listener and 2. hes deaf. mostly. these are separate issues because being mostly deaf doesnt stop him from understanding what people are saying most of the time, it just means that you have to be sure he knows youre trying to communicate with him before you say something. (and also that you should make sure your mask doesnt cover your mouth so he can lipread, but whatever.)
we had this agent—incredibly boring guy in the worst sort of way–who’d requested clint, nat, and i for an op. nat and i were supposed to hit two of the leaders of a crime syndicate while clint got the third. easy peasy, kill some guys, free some hostages, small country liberated, total cakewalk. but the agent running the op and the briefing took FOREVER. he was talking us through like none of us had ever overthrown a country before, explaining every minute detail. nat and i could just kinda zone out and let things wash over us, picking up the pertinent details, but clint cant really do that. his hearing aids help but they weren’t perfect, so he also had to be kinda lipreading just to keep up. which takes a lot of focus for incredibly boring info. naturally he zoned out too.
which was how he missed the fact that his guy was not actually staying in his incredibly fortified base-slash-villa. his hostages were, but he wasn’t.
luckily, they covered this in the briefing packet we were each provided with, which was a mere 362 pages.
so obviously none of us actually read it.
we poked through, got blueprints, guard schedules, alarm systems and so on, but didnt bother with most of the rest of it.
they dropped us in the air over each of our respective targets, clint last. i had the cliffside resort, nat had the downtown headquarters, and clint had the base-villa. nat and i handled ours like pros, of course, corpses everywhere, and clint did too–mowed right through the security, got the hostages, and then called in that his syndicate leader wasnt there, what the hell, who gave me this bad intel.
which was when he was informed that the big bad wasnt IN the villa, he was on the ISLAND ACROSS from the villa, and that hed been supposed to covertly infiltrate the beach house there and quietly capture him. ideally without ever setting foot in the villa; he was just supposed to steal a boat from the villa docks and not get spotted by security.
unfortunately, clint had blown up all the watercraft at the villa’s docks to keep syndicate members from escaping. which meant he still had to get to the island and capture this guy, but now there were no motorboats left. and if this syndicate jerkoff got away, fury was gonna have his hide.
and thats how clint wound up launching a one-man amphibious assault on an international crime syndicate from a paddleboat.
John Madden Narrates Touhou: Hidden Star in Four Seasons Edition
Been a while since I made one of these, so I decided to do a four-parter.
“We’re back, Bob, and what an amazing third down we have here. Aya Shammymammy is no stranger to fans, but this is the first time we’ve seen her on the offensive line. She has the speed, and that’s gonna help her as she’s up against Lilywhite, who came outta retirement just for this game. Just a simple zigging and zagging and she should break on through!“
“I gotta say, Bob, I don’t know what kinda interference Kamminy On is trying to run here, but a star runner like Aya should have no problem with this. It’s a classic fade and roll maneuver. I mean what is this? Is the defense slacking? This should be a cakewalk for Aya.“
“It looks like I spoke too soon, Bob! The defense has unleashed the dreaded Curvy Lasers play! That’s a gut buster right there. A seasoned player like Aya should know how to run this: it’s a classic column maneuver. You can’t let yourself get dazzled. You gotta stay focused on the front line and use some nimble footwork. Although I gotta say the defense must be pretty rattled to break out a play this old and-“
“HOLY SMOKES BOB! THEY’RE RUNNING THE PHANTOM AGAIN! We haven’t seen this defense in MANY seasons now. It’s pandemonium in the stands, Bob, listen to that crowd roar! Good thing Aya knows what she’s doing here - you can’t fake her out that easy. She’s gonna have to see the holes as she gets to ‘em, but wow. Just WOW, Bob! If this is what the defense has been throwing out in the first half, we are set for an AMAZING second half. Back to you, Bob!
Summary: Reader and Dean go undercover at a strip club
Word Count: 2406
Warnings: Extreme over usage of the word ‘fuck’, smut
As always, feedback is welcomed and appreciated. Tags are at the bottom.
Dean holds out a pink shopping bag. “I had to guess the size,” he says, “but I think it’ll fit.”
Hesitantly, you take it. Moving aside the tissue paper, you pull out the lacy g-string and bra. Can you even call it a bra? It’s two barely-there triangles of fabric held together with flimsy string. At the bottom of the bag are stiletto heels. It’s so tiny, there’s no way it’s the right size.
“Uh-uh,” you shake your head, shoving everything back into the bag. “No fucking way.”
Dean gives you an exasperated look. “We’ve been over this. It’s the best way to get information. And our guy targets strippers. You chat up the girls that work in the club while I keep an eye on the audience.”
Yeah, you bet he’ll be keeping an eye on things. On all those scantily clad women with perfect fucking bodies that look nothing like you. You’ll be wearing next to nothing with all eyes on you, including Dean’s. It’s pretty much the most mortifying thing you can think of. If only it were Sam going with you to the club, at least you’d feel a little less anxious. It’d still be embarrassing for Sam to see you nearly naked, gyrating on a stage in front of a crowd of men, but it’s Sam. He’s the safe brother. He’s not the one that makes you feel hot and cold at the same time. He’s not the one that makes your heart race every time he’s within your reach. He’s not the one that you think about when you touch yourself at night.
“Listen,” Dean says, clapping a hand on your shoulder. It’s meant to be a reassuring gesture, but it only makes you more anxious. “We’ve all had to play roles that we didn’t want to, but you got this. I’ll be there the whole time. Here.”
He hands you another bag, this one filled with scented lotion, glitter body spray and a shit-ton of makeup. “For real?” you ask.
“Trust me,” he says with a smug grin. “I’m an expert on strippers.”
Based off of what we see of the red lion so far, it doesn't need a pilot in order to find keith. Based off of the traits that the Red Lion is suppose to have, I don't think it would need someone who doesn't fit it's traits in order to save Keith, unless Keith is in serious dire help, in which case Lance having the time of his life doesn't really seem necessary. So Lance in red and having the time of his life doesn't make sense, because Lance doesn't have the traits that allows him to pilot it
I would contest this, mostly because, simply enough- the Lions have to have some benefit from having a seated pilot, otherwise we wouldn’t have a show. We also see in practice that it is very rare, and often evidence of a dire situation, that a Lion attacks or fights on their own, and we’ve never seen a Lion in single combat- the closest we’ve come is Black one-shotting Zarkon out of the astral plane. Red’s assault on the base wasn’t against another enemy, just a stationary target.
Yes, Red hasn’t taken a pilot with her before to go find Keith, but Keith has never been under fire before, he’s just been lost or floating out in space away from enemies. Rescuing Keith in the middle of a firefight would involve Red fighting on her own, and, when it comes to fighting, even with fights where the Lions easily outmatch their foes?
Black still needed Keith to work with her to rescue Shiro from those saber-toothed creatures. Even though Black could basically step on them and hit them with her tail to do so.
That much is given to us by canon- the Lions need a pilot, and sometimes, in desperate straits, any pilot will do even if it cannot work optimally. They would much rather wait or hold out for their designated paladin, if they can choose, but sometimes they can’t. Compare Red ignoring Coran to go get Keith, to Black accepting Keith because Shiro was away from her and about to get mauled by lizards- she couldn’t wait for him to run her way, and, seemingly, sustaining damage from the wormhole and Zarkon’s tampering, she couldn’t go get him on her own.
What do you think of JARVIS? Can he get inside your arm? Has he ever done so? Are you ever concerned about him taking over the world?
i like jarvis. hes everything nickel science fiction novels promised back when i was a kid.
jarvis–and anyone else for that matter–cant get inside my arm because my arm has no ability to transmit or receive data, except for an internal data port under the armor plates which has to be accessed with a unique cable. so if you can get at it and you have the necessary equipment you can mess with my arm, but it’s impossible to hack while im out doing stuff.
not that tony or i told anyone that for the first few months. i managed to knock steves glass out of his hands four times, throw things at clint six times, and smack sam upside the head twice before they realized that my arm was not being remotely controlled by ‘the evil Dr Dextrous.’
im not concerned about jarvis taking over the world because probably hed be a lot better at keeping things running smoothly that current management. jarvis has managed to keep tony stark mostly alive without actually having hands for like. several decades now. which probably qualifies him for sainthood, or at least a really nice retirement package. i figure after all that chaos managing a few billion non-geniuses without access to flying tanks is basically a cakewalk.
but since jarvis has more sense than–well. basically any avenger–he knows that taking over the world would be way more stress than its worth.
jarvis is smart like that.
Someone on twitter asked me this question and I think it’s worth answering in a longer form than twitter allows. I’ve already answered this question in brief and in video form at various points, but I think it’s important to address here:
Something that bothered me from PoE was the constant updating to classes and races to balance them. Did you guys worry about this>
In Baldur’s Gate I or II or even the Icewind Dale series? I mean really who cares if one class is OP or Race or Hybrid class? >>
You guys are making a single-player RPG not an MMO or game with a online multiplayer component.
Variants of this question are common in single-player CRPG circles. The implication is that balance is important in an MMO/multiplayer environment but it is not important (or so much less important that it doesn’t merit addressing in patches) in a single-player CRPG.
I would like to repudiate this in two general ways: 1) I will argue that overall balance is important and valuable for players in single-player CRPGs 2) I will argue that individual CRPG players and CRPG communities overall do not present consistent objections to tuning and this undermines the general complaint. It is not the responsibility of individuals or communities to be consistent in their feedback, but it is the job of the designer to design, which means considering the needs of the audience by listening to and interpreting feedback on a broader scale.
Yes, Balance is Important in Single-Player CRPGs
I think it’s easy enough to make the first point through reductio ad absurdum: why not give AD&D fighters 1d4 hit points per level, a worse THAC0 than wizards, and worse saving throws than any other class? Obviously it’s because playing them would feel terrible. Why don’t we give all of the enemies attacks that do 1-3 damage, a quarter of the hit points of the PCs, and rock-bottom defenses? Because playing through that would feel boring for anyone who had the slightest interest in combat content and systems.
Some may say, “Hey, no one is arguing that balance isn’t important at all,” but in fact that is what many people directly say or suggest. Maybe they don’t really mean it (which I will get to later), but that is often what comes up. If we can agree that some degree of balance is important, then there’s no point in suggesting anything to the contrary and we’re really just debating to what degree is balance important and worth a) design consideration pre-launch and b) patching.
In my view, balance in a single-player CRPG is important to the extent that it allows players making different character and gear choices to be viable through the content of the game. It is always important to remember that system design (including class, race, ability/spell, and item design) is one part of the equation. Content makes up the other big part (setting aside UI/UX for purposes of this discussion).
When our area and system designers build encounters, they have to be built around an understanding of party capabilities: their overall statistics, their available gear, their consumable items, and their various abilities. In a traditional D&D-style CRPG, this spectrum of possibility gets wider and wider the higher the levels get and the more gear becomes available to the player. The less balanced individual choices are from level to level and item to item, the more difficult it is for area designers to design content that works for a spectrum of choices.
It Was Actually a Problem in the Infinity Engine Games
One of the questions was, “Did you guys worry about this in… even the Icewind Dale series?” Well, no. I certainly didn’t worry about it in the original Icewind Dale. I assumed everyone who picked up the game was as conversant as me in AD&D 2nd Ed/Forgotten Realms rules and lore, had played hundreds of hours of it in tabletop with similarly aggressive psychogamers, and had weathered fair but diabolically brutal DMs whose scenarios demanded quick thinking and ruthless min-maxing tactics.
You might not believe the number of Black Isle QA testers (and developers) who yelled or cried in anger, virtually or in person, about how difficult some of the IWD scenarios were. One in particular was the Idol/priest fight in Lower Dorn’s Deep. I had a tester hootin’ and hollerin’ about how it was “impossible”, how he had tried to beat it for two hours and couldn’t make any progress. It was a scenario that I and my office mate (Kihan Pak) both beat on the first try.
On Heart of Winter, Burial Isle practically split QA in half. One half thought it was a cakewalk. The others acted like they were being forced to dive into a swimming pool full of razor blades.
The dividing factor was system mastery. AD&D 2nd Edition (and 3E) are systems with a boatload of trap choices, inherently bad builds, garbage spells/feats, and generally inferior options. They’re not presented as inferior options to the player. They’re presented as options… that turn out to be implicitly awful even in the best circumstances. To the next part of the question, “I mean really who cares if one class is OP or Race or Hybrid class?” The answer is, “The person being brutalized by content designed for the OP classes/races because they picked the ‘bad’ option.”
The broader that spectrum of choices is for players, the more difficult it is to design content that will be at a similar level of challenge for those players given any given combination of choices within that spectrum. And to restate what I wrote before, the balance is mostly important to the extent that viability, i.e., the ability to get through the content, is supported. BG, BG2, IWD, and IWD2 often failed that test. Once viability is addressed, I’m not particularly concerned about balance.
Tuning Down High-Powered Outliers
The exceptions are abilities and items that are so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play. If we design content to be challenging with those abilities/items in mind, any players who lack those abilities and items will effectively be crit path blocked. Their game has either ended or become so incredibly difficult that it’s no longer enjoyable. And if we don’t design content with the overpowered abilities and items in mind, any player who coincidentally or intentionally uses those items effectively no longer has any challenge going through the game. It becomes an unlabeled Easy difficulty slider rendering all other options/choices irrelevant.
In those cases, I advocate reducing the power of the abilities/items so players don’t trip over “Hey I guess I win” options and our testers can still use them in playthroughs and give meaningful feedback. There is one salient example I can think of: sniper rifles in Fallout: New Vegas. In Fallout 3, Bethesda had given sniper rifles a x5 crit rate modifier. Keep in mind that any attack from stealth (e.g. shooting an unaware target with a sniper rifle from long range) is automatically a crit. The x5 multiplier made even standard/close range combat shots have an incredibly high chance of critting. I didn’t notice that sniper rifles had that multiplier and it didn’t come up in testing prior to release. In release, players noticed it quickly and sniper rifles became the de facto way to handle most encounters. Why use a 12.7mm SMG or hunting pistol when any shot from a sniper rifle was likely to crit and do 90+ damage?
In one of the first patches, I reduced the crit rate multiplier to x2. There was initially a lot of complaining about it, as there always is when anything is tuned down, no matter how overpowered, but the sniper rifle retained its role and continues to be used in that role. It’s a sniper rifle. It’s good at sniping. It doesn’t need to be great at close range.
Inconsistent Player Feedback
There is one trend about player feedback regarding tuning that’s hard to argue against: communities generally complain about tuning anything down but applaud (or at least do not complain about) tuning things up. I can tune up 10 things in a patch and detune one thing and will hear far more feedback about the one thing that was detuned, no matter how marginal or necessary that detuning was. If there’s negative feedback about tuning something up, it’s usually because players feel it needs to be tuned up more.
In Patch 3.03 for Pillars of Eternity, Matt Sheets and I tuned up seven rogue abilities, five barbarian abilities, and a variety of other spells and abilities. Players generally seemed to like this, though some wished the rogue abilities had been tuned up more.
In Patch 3.04, the soulbound dagger The Unlabored Blade had a bug fixed where its 10% Firebug proc was never firing. Two weeks later, Patch 3.05 reduced the 10% proc to 3%. This was a change I had requested for 3.04 but it had been overlooked. I requested the change because daggers have a fast attack rate and that dagger has a +20% attack rate enchantment.
Which set of changes do you think I heard more feedback about? If you guessed the marginal drop in proc rate on the soulbound item that had only worked properly for two weeks, you’d be right. The rogue and barbarian changes affect far more players and more significantly, but “loss” (even if imagined for most players) weighs more heavily.
Despite having a reputation for only detuning, I tuned many more abilities and items up in PoE patches (and in F:NV patches, as well as the JSawyer mod) than down. Players remember the losses more than the gains, but both are a necessary part of the tuning process.
I could abstain from tuning, but I don’t think most players would benefit from that. Players remember early Diablo 3 tuning as particularly bad, but the game at launch (especially the economy and itemization) was poorly balanced, as Travis Day elaborated on in his 2017 GDC talk. In the long term, Diablo 3′s economy and itemization today are much better than they were at launch and I believe most players benefit from and appreciate that. Even if you effectively never played D3 as a multiplayer game, you still benefit from that.
I don’t expect players or communities to be consistent in their feedback, but as the director and, in many cases, the lone system designer, I have to make decisions on more than just the volume of feedback on any particular topic. Changes that make bad options better are almost universally good. Changes that make overpowered options worse are often still a good idea if I believe more players will benefit from the change. I didn’t hesitate to reduce the Petrified damage bonus from x4 to x2 in Pillars of Eternity because that affliction was far and away the best way to deal with difficult encounters, either through the Gaze of the Adragan spell or trap.
I Will Tune Again
Just to make this clear, while there will always be a point where I stop tuning a particular game, I’m never going to stop using patches as an opportunity to balance items, abilities, classes, encounters, enemies, etc. I’ve been house-ruling and tuning games since I noticed trap options and OP garbage in 2nd Edition AD&D in middle school. I re-wrote 5th Edition Ars Magica’s certamen system because it’s a cool idea that’s really uninteresting in play. I re-wrote Pathfinder/3.X’s armor system because, as many players have noted, it doesn’t actually provide many interesting options.
If I think players will benefit from adjusting the rules or the content and there’s an opportunity to make those changes, I’m going to do it. I certainly don’t expect players to like all of the changes I make, but if you object to the idea of post-launch balancing, you should probably never play any of the games I direct. I’m always going to tune them, if possible.
So, here it is! I have finished my second week of T25! I didn’t get a four pound weight loss again, but I did get a nice 2 pound loss. So now I’m down 6 whole pounds in 2 weeks!
Although I can’t personally see a difference unless I’m looking at my side by sides I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER than usual. I have more energy and I don’t get tired out doing stuff with the kids. Plus a non-scale victory! My wedding ring is fitting a lot better! Yay! :) It’s been a little tight since my 4th kiddo was born. That really isn’t a problem now.
Anyway, this hasn’t been a cakewalk and if it weren’t for people encouraging and motivating me I probably would have stopped after no being able to just see a change without my pictures. I’m so happy. :) Thank you to everyone who has been encouraging me especially my husband: Without him I wouldn’t have made the big changes in my life that I have the last couple weeks.
I just started Shakeology today too. I know I always hear people talk about how it helped them. I see their results and now I’m going after my own. :) I’ll let everyone know how that goes!
If anyone of y'all wanna make changes but need some extra support, let me know! I’ll add you to my accountability group and I’ll do what I can to keep you on your toes! :)
PS If you wanna jumpstart into your workouts and stuff there’s a challenge group I’m going to be helping out with. Message me and I’ll give you more details. ❤✌️