…to not giving a fuck about giving a fuck.
The last time I wrote about Guild Wars 2, I focused on my first impressions of the game from levels 1 to 10. As of this writing, my plant-elf is level 63 and climbing. I’ve played the game through two major content patches and have done a few instances. I’ve broken down and bought stuff from the in-game store and I’ve actually spammed partychat with my class build and stat rambling. Now that I’ve gotten a further idea of the game, my overall impressions haven’t changed – it’s a good game and a great MMO. Continue reading
That’s it; I’m out!
On November 15, 2012 there was a great disturbance in the Force. It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out “are you serious” because they had tried to play the new free to play version of Star Wars The Old Republic. The conversion of SWTOR from a subscription model to a free to play (F2P) model should be used as a guideline for how not to grow your player base. What they’ve really done, in my opinion, is tried to further promote the subscription model (which wasn’t working) by allowing people to play through the well crafted stories of SWTOR, but with so many frustrating limitations being placed on players that only subscription in one form or another could alleviate. Microtransactions are being added to supplement subscriptions, not replace them. No matter how much money a person puts into the cash shop of the game, they will never be able to have the same experience as a subscriber.
I’m not sure if I like James Bond anymore. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever liked him after the age of 12. Of the last several movies, the only two I’ve found to be worthwhile were Casino Royale and Goldeneye. I’m pretty sure my love for Goldeneye was propped up by hours and hours of the N64 game in college. Casino Royale was great, but it wasn’t really a Bond movie. It was just Daniel Craig being gritty and awesome. Continue reading
RPG enthusiasts are a hard group to buy for. Our games are intimate things that exist more in the bonds between each other than in the merchandise. To the uninitiated, RPG products can be an impenetrable quagmire of polyhedrons and overpriced books. Somehow, we divine that one book with a goblin on it is better than the one with the vampire on it, who knows? Add the high cost of entry to the RPG hobby and you have a gift giving nightmare. To help those on the outside, I’ve put together a few affordable and sure-to-hit choices for table-top fans across the price spectrum. Continue reading
This is false advertising. They’d prefer you read this book.
The genesis of Don’t Read This Book is in Don’t Rest Your Head, a tabletop game from Evil Hat Productions. The premise: a surreal metropolis called the Mad City, straddling the boundaries between waking life and the sleeping world, operating off dream logic and sucking in the victims of nightmares, who are then granted unique and sometimes horrific powers spawned from their dreaming subsconscious. According to Read’s foreword, designer Fred Hicks drew the setting from a combination of a nightmare about a pursuing golem and a radio special about military experiments in sleep deprivation, which should give you a pretty good idea of the game’s gloomy, madcap aesthetic. Continue reading
Guess what time of year it is?
Today marks a hallowed and kind of horrible tradition – Black Friday. This day brings with it a minor form of PTSD for me thanks to too many years working retail. If you live in an area with a Fred Meyers grocery/department store, you’re probably familiar with “Freddie’s Famous Sock Sale.” That was me. That was my department. I would wake up at three in the morning to go display thousands of pairs of socks – and they didn’t let us have any of that free coffee. So I’m not a big fan of rushing to your local retailer and destroying the mental state of a poor retail worker. Also no longer a fan of socks.
What I AM fond of, however, is fantastic gift giving. Every year I try to outdo myself on excellent gifts and as tired as my friends and family may have gotten of my obsessive gift hunting, they don’t understand that GIVING can be as fun as getting when if you enjoy the feeling of finding that perfect fit for someone.
But oh man can that be hard and sometimes with nerds (especially if you love one but aren’t one) it can be even harder. So link this to you clueless mom, your confused brother or your hapless grandma and let’s look at some awesome potential gifts for the nerds in our lives. Continue reading
I stumbled across the tv show Arrow on Hulu this past weekend – and of course quickly watched every episode I could get access to. I will admit, most of my experience was with the Green Arrow is the super left hero of the Justice League comics, I never really read much of his own series. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of this character so I was happy to watch someone else’s interpretation of what I saw (sadly, this same reasoning got me to watch the Twilight movies as well), and I am not thrilled to report, I’m not super excited about this series – still worth watching, and I think you should too! Just don’t expect something amazing. Continue reading
You’d be hard pressed to find a motivator in nerd cultures stronger than nostalgia. When Firaxis announced XCOM: Enemy Unknown as a spiritual successor to the X-COM series of the ’90s you could hear strategy gamers’ collective frothing. Does XCOM honor its predecessor? Does it file down the teeth that the original series had? And does it stand on its own as a good game? Continue reading
Admit it: you wish you were having as much fun as they are.
Probably one of the most awkward experiences I’ve had with all my clothes on is trying to explain the idea of “roleplaying” to someone who doesn’t really roll enough dice or click enough buttons to grok the concept. “So…you pretend to be a character?” I hate answering “Yes” to that almost as much as I hate the mealy-mouthed equivocation of alternative answers. “Yes, but…” or “Not exactly…” or “Well, the thing is – LOOK, A CORGI DOING SOMETHING!” And then I flee the room.
Protip: Even better when alcohol is involved!
If you are a Magic player, you’ve probably heard of “Friday Night Magic,” a tournament night set up at a local comic or gaming shop. The idea of going to FNM may even have occurred to you. However, if you are like me (occasionally so overwhelmed by the thought of contact of those alien creatures known as strangers that you would rather hide in your Batman snuggie than answer the door for pizza); this idea was then probably filtered through your brain and then been laughed out by a series of so many neuroses modern psychiatry would pay for front row tickets to. Hopefully you’re not like me, though, and you’re just a little shy and unsure of what to look for when deciding on a store to visit for your first FNM. Continue reading