Regarding Taco Bell’s Response To The “Taco Licker” And Fast Food In General

A picture going around the internet of some guy at Taco Bell licking a stack of taco shells has created an uproar of course among disgusted customers and prompted a big PR response from the restaurant chain.  😛

http://consumerist.com/2013/06/04/taco-bell-in-process-of-firing-taco-licker-crosses-heart-and-swears-shells-were-thrown-out/

http://www.tacobell.com/Company/newsreleases/Statement_Regarding_Prank_Photo

I think this response was a little slow and tame though compared to a similar story that happened back in the 2000s at Domino’s Pizza where some idiots recorded a prank video for YouTube of someone doing gross things with some food they were preparing, even though it wasn’t being served to customers.  The response from Domino’s was nothing short of explosive.

Quite frankly, Taco Bell should’ve been this fierce too, and those of us who remember the Domino’s incident will no doubt be disturbed by the notably tamer response from them.  This gets me thinking though about the state of our fast food industry in general.  Both of these incidents involved young folks working in the restaurants, and the industry is pretty much synonymous with low-wage part time bluh ways to get work experience for young people – all of this of course because of our desire for cheap food.  People are horrified when events like this take place, but maybe one of these years people will consider the idea that our culture’s obsession with really cheap tacos or burgers could have some unintended consequences.  As for me, I’ll stick with Subway.  😛

It’s definitely something to think about though.  People scream in horror at some of these low wage jobs, but sometimes it’s worth taking a look at what specifically causes them.

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Could Guild Wars 2 Downscaling Have Unintended Consequences?

One thing in Guild Wars 2 that makes it an “anti-MMO” much like its predecessor is the dynamic downscaling that delevels characters to an area’s max level if they go back to an old area.  The kneejerk reaction when this system was first discussed was, “Well how does leveling up make my character more powerful then?”  ArenaNet’s response was that downleveled characters would still be more powerful than leveling characters at the same level, which makes sense because downleveled characters still get a fraction of the attribute bonuses from their traits, which means in addition to the more powerful skills, particularly signets that give passive bonuses, downleveled high level characters in low level areas are basically going to be like twinks in low level PVP in games like WoW.  😛

Therefore, even though you won’t one-shot everything in a 5-mile radius, you’ll still 2- or 3-shot all kinds of mobs if you know what you’re doing and basically be able to mow things down unless you get too careless about what you’re doing.  I think this is a nice compromise between no character progression at all and old content being trivial if you’re not at level, but could this system cause some unintended consequences because of this?

I know I’ve thought more than a few times about the whole twink thing while leveling my Guardian through his first 30 levels.  Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have a leveling curve in terms of experience per level and helping out in lower level areas actually gets you some experience and drop boosts so you can get things closer to your level even when helping out in other areas.  With that in mind, because of the twink thing with downleveled characters, what’s stopping someone from casually leveling up and not sticking to any kind of progression curve at all?

For example, let’s say you play a human and 100% complete Queensdale, but instead of going to Kessex Hills, you go to another starter zone and 100% complete that as a downleveled character?  One could theoretically just rotate between zones in the same level range and have their entire leveling experience after Level 15 consist of being a downleveled character and thus easy mode.  😛  I realize ArenaNet has adopted a “Play Your Way” attitude to this game, but seriously now.  Doesn’t this go a tad too far?  😛

I actually did this with World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm because of how the questing system was set up where Level 80 quests didn’t turn green until Level 84 or 85, so at the end of either Vash’jir or Mt. Hyjal, I could just go to the other starter zone and 100% complete that instead of moving on to Deepholm where the at-level creatures would be harder to kill.  But that’s just one poorly-tuned expansion of WoW, not an entire game like Guild Wars 2 is.  😛

I think for comparison’s sake since I’m already being a huge altaholic in this game I’ll have to try it myself.  I’m leveling my Guardian the normal way for the most part.  I think what I’ll do with my recently-started Warrior is try this out.  Rotate between areas in the same level range and then move on to higher level content to see how well leveling as a downleveled character works and how much easier it is compared to “playing the game the right way.”  😛