Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas, and Other Stuff

Ring Out, Wild Bells - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.  
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.  
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.  
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.  
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.  
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.  
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.  
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of you who venture and read all of my ramblings here. 

As the holidays are upon us, and this is the time to spend with people you hold dear, my ramblings will take a break for about a week. I will be visiting my extended family. As it happens, this also means very small chance of being online. Which I tend to agree is a good thing every once in awhile. Thus, my ramblings will resume soon after the New Year, not before.

In the meantime, I leave you with a Christmas poem, by Lord Tennyson, it should do for awhile, maybe steal a smile or even a grin from your lips. To all you I wish a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. May your favourite MMO stay online and thrive for many years to come, your favourite book get a rival or two, and may your holidays be full of joy and Christmas cheer. 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Game of The Year 2013


Tis the Season I guess. Everyone is doing their list, anywhere I turn I see these lists being posted. So, in order not to just stand around awkwardly and end up with some back-breaking task I decided to join the fun, and at least pretend to do what everyone else is doing. All in the name to avoid more work. We could say this is the real spirit of the season.

First things first. That means more explanations before we get to the real thing. When I talk about game of the year, it simply means games I played this year. It does not mean games that came out in this year. There is couple of reasons for that. First, I am very, very, very, emphasise on very, careful consumer. Or at least I consider myself as such. I rarely buy a game on first day, or even the first month. Most often, before I get it in my hands, it is at least half a year old, and it was held under scrutiny of many others.

Why is that so? First, with the Steam and GOG, there are so many games in my collective library that I still did not get to play, that I do not see the point in buying new stuff until I play through the old. There are exceptions of course, every now and then I will play a new game instead of one of the old ones, but this is only an exception.

Second, with the sales being a regular thing on the Internet, I like to buy cheap. Even if the game is good and worth more, I like saving money. First, because there is never enough money in  the first place, and because there is money to be spent on something else. Like books for example. While I buy digital games, I still buy good old fashioned books. I love the smell of the book, and I like the idea that a forest had to be cut in order for me to read it. If they come bound in leather so much better. The latter is just a poetic exaggeration, but I would not mind.

There are games I play on regular basis, and there are games whose experience could be described as binge drinking. I play them non-stop for some time, and then leave them behind for a couple of months. I am particularly fond of doing this with RPGs. So, with no further ado, let us move to the list of five game that made the greatest impression on me in the year of 2013 Anno Domini.

Honourable mention goes to World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria, and League of Legends. While I enjoyed them both a great deal, and sank into them considerable amount of time, they are the old wolves still going strong. They have their flaws, and they have their strengths. Thus, they get only a honourable mention. Mists of Pandaria introduced a whole new set of tools of how to tell the story, yet I found myself more and more running through the old content, than doing the new. With LoL, it is just an exercise of nerves. Training of patience. because once you learn how to deal with your teammates in LoL, you graduate and become Zen Master.

Another honourable mention goes to Witcher I. It would certainly be on this list otherwise. The only reason it is not, is that I started playing it in 2012. It would not be fair to the other games, thus deserves only an honourable mention.

This was the game that with time I developed love-hate relationship. I loved it for what it was, and hated it for being so frustratingly coy. In short, the things I hated, were the things I loved. Antichamber was meant as such, and it delivered. It plays with the player, toys with him, leads him around and at same time forces the player to step outside of his comfort zone. The usual smash and continue approach is rendered useless. The game expects an intelligent player, and it does not at any point try to make things easy for you. As such, it was great to see that such games exist. After all stupid to ground tutorials, it is nice when game takes you for an intelligent individual and lets you figure things out on your own. And this on your own requires much on unconventional thinking, thus it can be quite a puzzling experience.

Chivalry is in the similar boat as Antichamber. I love it in one moment and hate in another. I love the FFA, and team objective. I love the ability to customise your knight. I love the flow and brutality of combat. I love how everything you do depends on you and you alone. What I hate is what started only a few months ago, random crashing of the game on regular basis. It disrupts the play, the flow, and the mood. I also hate archers, but that is a story for another time. Come here and fight like a real warrior, you cowards!
Yeah, getting an arrow in your eye when you were about to decapitate your opponent can be quite frustrating. :)

It is rare these days, to come across a game that focuses so much on pure narration, and actually succeeds. More often than not we can witness a game with some grand idea, and the poor execution. In that regard, Thomas Was Alone is a shining beacon of what should be a standard when it comes to narration and story. A shining beacon of what a good character development and a strong characters are. And all that with just a bunch of rectangles. Or maybe because it is a bunch of rectangles. In any case, it is worth your time. I loved every moment in this game with the exception of the total darkness when my jumps were based more on blind faith, luck, or sense of direction, than actual knowing of what I am doing.

From my early age I played card games. Many of them in fact, and all with one set of playing cards. Even now I at times play games that most of the people these days never even heard of (Schnapps is not the same game as Sixty-six). I also played Magic when I was older, and could buy my own deck. So we could say that Hearthstone was a nostalgia hit for me for two reasons. Both being a nostalgia. Nostalgia for the old days of Warcraft III and early days of WoW, and the other being that I always loved to play cards. Hearthstone is in many ways an easy to learn, but hard to master type of game. At times you can curse at the amounts of RNG, but at the same time it is this RNG element in it that keeps you at your toes, ensuring you never really know what to expect. Just remember, Lady is as fickle as ever, capricious even, and if you rely on her, she will punish you accordingly.

The first place goes to Witcher II. It is mature, dark, gritty, even realistic. As much as fantasy genre allows realism. In every aspect it is an improvement of the first instalment and it leaves me longing for the third game. It makes me long to play it again, and see what is on the other side. It is enticing to try and play otherwise than I would usually. Although I need to finish it first. Right now, I played it for forty hours. I enjoyed each and every one. I will probably finish it in the coming months. No promises though. What needs to be mentioned as well, is the morality in the game. We see so often, or was that thing of the past, and now everybody tries to make this a murky territory? Anyway, morality and decisions actually carry some weight, and are not simply +2 to lawful, or -3 to evil.

This concludes the list of my top games I played in the year of 2013. I hope you enjoyed it, as well as I hope you might give some of them a try for yourself if you did not do so by now. Next year I should cut it down to three games, and honourable mentions. It would be more in spirit of competition and the best of the best I think. But tht is for next year to think about.

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Desolation of Smaug, or, Peter Jackson Blew It


I can say I am quite a fan of the Hobbit. I am fan of Tolkien's work in general, but Hobbit has a special place. So when it was first announced that there will not only be two films, but three I did not really jump through the roof out of joy, but I thought this would give them enough of working space to show what else was going on while we followed the company of thirteen dwarves and a burglar hobbit.

I thought this would be about filling the voids, and not so much about fabricating something with no basis out of thin air. And I am aware that the adaptation from one form to another demands sacrifices, some things just cannot work, some are thought unnecessary, while others are made to fill the voids. But the second Hobbit is an ugly spit in the face of the people that had faith in Jackson, thinking he would do a proper job. There were some tweaks in the first Hobbit, a lot more in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But those were things we could live with.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wednesday Ruminations:The Princess and the Queen...


The Princess and the Queen, or, The Blacks and the Greens, is the title of George R.R. Martin's novella published in the anthology Dangerous Women. Now that this is said and done, I can take a break, get some air and then continue. I knew Martin loves long titles, but this one takes the cake. It is also the novella that replaced what was first thought to be the fourth short story about Dunk and Egg, called She-Wolves. This was the first story of the anthology I read. I will read the rest as well, but this one had to be first.

Honestly, I would much prefer She-Wolves over The Princess and the Rest of Really Annoyingly Long Title. Just because we could see more of everyone's favourite knight at hearth, and his too smart for his age squire of a prince. It would also show us Winterfell, a little less old Nan, and Starks. It is to be said that Starks are always Starks. Names might change, Winter may come and go, but Starks always remain the same. This can be seen in this novella as well.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

World of Warcraft and the In-Game Store


A couple of days ago I commented on a post talking about the new In-Game Store in World of Warcraft. As my opinion wildly differed from that of what seem majority on the site, there was a challenge shot at me. Commenter JackRobb wanted me to try harder. Knowing that trying harder at the spot would leave me with writing too many words to fit the comment box, I opted to write it here, and then link JackRobb to this post. Maybe then it will be hard enough for him. If he ever reads it.

For this to make any sense, let us start where we should start. Differentiating between the business models of the games. In its essence, we have three models. Those are Buy-to-play, Pay-to-play, and Free-to-play. All of those have their quirks, pros, and cons. Buy-to-play would be any regular title, that is not MMO, because at least to my knowledge, only MMO games have monthly subscription. I will leave the DLC and similar practises out of this, as I wildly disagree with them. DLC in my opinion, means that the developer could not finish the said feature on time, and so opted to push it after the release, and charge extra for something that should be in the game form the very beginning.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Fury of the Lich Queen


This week's Community Blog Topic is an entertaining one. It plays well on all our creative spark, and I intend to take this opportunity and present the most ludicrous scenario that will probably never come to fruition.

Jaina sat quietly in her highest spire of Dalaran. Once beautiful city now falling to ruin thanks to ever more draconian rule of Jaina Proudmoore. Anyone who questions her dies, anyone who defies her smallest of quirks is first horribly tortured and then fed to mana wyrms. Vereesa finally realised what she did when she backed up Jaina and sent an envoy pleading for help to Alliance, Horde, Blood Elves, and even her own sister she hated more than everything.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Friday Musings: The Things That Made Me Laugh


Today we will try something different. This post was inspired by Joseph Skyrim of JVT Workshop, and his post Today I Smiled Challenge. Instead of me writing lots of words, I will show you pictures instead. They say after all, that an image is worth a thousand words. That would in short mean that one image is worth as much as my average post, but today we are going all out. Not too much, but a fair amount of pictures from Hearthstone.

I noticed yesterday, that now the cards have a tool tip of sorts, when you look at them closer in your Collection tab. An entertaining one at that. Often a reference to some tidbit of lore, or something that players did. It is silly in its own Warcraft style. Without further ado, let us have some laughter. And I hope it brings chuckle out of you as it did out of me.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

LoL: Business as Usual


Last week we could hear that Riot, the developers of League of Legends have put some restraints on their streamers. Basically it boiled down to players that are getting paycheck from Riot, need to abide by the rules that Riot has set, no matter how these rules might affect them otherwise.

Now, knowing that the thing will probably explode, and that Riot was probably just testing the waters, like all companies do, I decided to wait a little before writing about this. This way, I can see both sides, and what they have to say. It is to be said, that were there no riot over the new additions to the contract of the streamers, they would probably still be contractually obligated not to play other games while they stream League of Legends.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: NSA and World of Warcraft


So, in recent months we learnt that NSA really loves to spy not only on the rest of us, but also on their own citizens. So what else is new, some might ask. As if that was not enough, or better said, as if that surprised anyone at that point, they also spied on us wretches playing World of Warcraft, among others.

I mean really? You consider us, "heroes" of Internet who fight virtual dragons, and conquerors of digital planes, a threat?

Really?

Is it just me who finds this mind-boggling beyond belief?

I first intended to write something tongue-in-cheek of what everything I did in World of Warcraft over the years that NSA could consider a threat. All those raids, battlegrounds, and random times standing in fire and my raid leader shouting "Don't stand in the fire!" (It was not fire, it was Defile, but he did not care for that). I really did write a couple of paragraphs, before it hit me. Those wankers already know it. So why should I recapture it all here just for them? So I deleted it.

Then I tried to write about why this is such an absurd and waste of time, but it is just so stupid it does not merit a proper discussion. It is like an ugly sick pup not worth of a single breath of air, so it is strangled at birth. Some of you might be disgusted by this thought. This is exactly how I feel about this.

This is a complete waste of time, Mine, Yours, and that of an NSA.

I will keep this short. I will only recommend to those interested in the topic, to take a book written by Terry Eagleton, called Holy Terror. The book might make you chuckle, or even laugh. And it will at least be something worth laughing at, because we are well beyond the point of crying over the amount of stupid we are exposed to every day.

P.S.: I always thought that the point of espionage was that it stayed a secret, and that it actually served some real purpose rather than fighting the windmills.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

PvP and Me


I will not complicate. I do not PvP. At least not out of joy, fun, or on regular basis. I think the last time I really enjoyed PvP in World of Warcraft was during the Wrath of the Lich King and the never ending battles for Wintergrasp. I liked the scenery, I liked the siege element, and I loved the chaos it brought once you breached the first walls. It reminded me on my battles in Alterac during the Burning Crusade.

When I talk about PvP, I mean battlegrounds. I never much fancied Arena. It was never my cup of tea. I always prefered the dynamic of battlegrounds, even if at times some of the objectives were and continue to boggle my mind. You are locked in a stand-still for years over chopping some trees, and the only thing you do to ensure your victory, is to steal the flag from your enemy stronghold? I think this is what led to stand-still in the first place...

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hearthstone, Heroes of Warcraft


This Thursday I finally got into Hearthstone Beta. Some people might say, who cares, but those are probably already in the beta themselves. I say finally, because I have probably watched Hearthstone matches on youtube for a, damn it is a couple of months truth be told. And I wished to be there, playing the game for myself. So I would stop judging others for making stupid mistakes.

And indeed, my wish came true, when I checked my email, and there was this shiny beta key. Evil laughter aside and the vision of total dominance over the field of battle that went through my head in that moment, I patiently downloaded the game, that came in package with new battle.net interface. A necessary evil I guess. It is not an evil to be sure, it actually helps keeping all the games on the same place. I think of it is Blizzard's version of Steam, with a difference that there will always be only Blizzard games I own.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Crowd's Kick-off: Mandate Successfully Funded


Ah, it is hard to imagine how very excited I am about Mandate. How very glad I am they successfully finished their Kickstarter campaign. When I wrote the first time about Mandate the situation looked dire. Well, at least to me. Nine days to go, and they had to collect at least hundred and fifty thousand dollars. A lot of money.

But as campaign went they successfully broke their lower limit, and even gathered enough funds for the stretch goals. I would imagine that those stretch goals were something they were set to have in game, but in event that the budget would not allow it, would still be able to cut it out without impairing the rest of the game.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: Rules of Engagement


Recently I was part of a long, and quite interesting exchange on a particular topic. While I think the discussion was fruitful, I am of opinion, that had we followed a few simple guidelines, it could, and probably would end up in a different tone, and at different end. This inspired me to write about, well fighting arguments.

In this post, I will focus on what makes an argument, how to fight it, and what to fight. To start somewhere, I will make an example. You can dislike Obama because he is a lefthander. No matter how wrong this is, you can do it. It is your personal preference. What you cannot do, is dislike Obama's reforms because he is a lefthander. Now, those are two totally different things, that have nothing with one another.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

All Praise to Connected Realms


Normally a title would say A Week in Review, but currently things are going so well, that such blandness would be considered a grave offence, if not a sin. Last Wednesday, my realm of Daggerspine finally connected with three others. I will take this chance to welcome mighty warriors of Chromaggus, Shattered Halls, and Boulderfist. You guys are awesome, and bring MMO back into my RPG.

So, what got me so excited? Well, there is a prospect of bringing fresh blood to our guild. Which would be very good, and reignite our activity that recently all but stopped. We are old guild, I think we were formed somewhere around the start of Wrath, with only reforming once in the middle of Wrath of the Lich King. Ever since we were strong enough, and active enough to have two raiding teams. One twenty five for normals, and one ten man for heroic raids. Not so much in Pandaria.

Monday, 2 December 2013

LoL: Penta Spin to Win


Since last week I was able to play a few more games in All for One mode of League of Legends. My goal, was to play with Garen. I thought it would be fun to play as Garen, and that, because of his durability he would be able to hold his own against most any other champion.

I have the luck of having friends that like Garen as well, and are usually not able to play him, because I call it first. So, when they heard my idea, the were ready to go along. We limited our Garen games on one per session. Otherwise there might soon be too much Garen in games, and people would start banning him. You might think this silly, but I find it very lucrative strategy.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A long lull to Warlords of Draenor


Warlords of Draenor might hit somewhere by this summer. They might. I might as well hit a jackpot. Chances for both of scenarios are somewhere the same. If I know Blizzard, they love to take their sweet time. Which is fine, and admirable trait on its own. It is much better to have game later, but polished, than early and broken. But this means, that well at best, there is half a year until next expansion, but more realistically, somewhere between nine months and a year.

So what does this mean for us? Well, a very long period without any new content. Blizzard stated there would be no major patches (new content) until the pre-expansion patch. This means, we get to defeat Garrosh, and now patiently wait for almost a year for Garrosh to be removed from Orgrimmar as well. And then portal will go red over night, and shall go onward, where new adventures await.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Friday Musings: Women in Games


I started writing this last week, when I read the Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Nathan Grayson's article Re: That Heroes Of The Storm Interview. It is an interesting piece worth reading, where the writer argues about highly sexualized females in games. The inspiration for the post gave him his interview with Dustin Browder, game Director of Heroes of the Storm. But as I continued with my writing I realised there is no point in writing a response to his post, because, well it is meaningless.

My own post in meantime continued to grow, so instead disagreeing with the author of the interview as I do, I will try and present the role women have in games. More than that, I will try to present my own view on their role in games. This might stir some reaction from people, some might disagree, other might vehemently oppose. Rare few might even agree with me. I would not have it any other way. I would not be able call myself a philosopher if I wrote this just to please the public eye.

But let us leave good old philosophical tradition, school of Cynicism, philosophical arrogance, and search for parrhesia for some other time. A secret desire of every philosopher is to become parrhesiastes. But the question, can you be parrhesiastes if you are willing to be one is to be answered some other time. Let us focus on women, and games.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Witcher II: Chapter II


Last time I stopped with joining Roche and his merry band of Blue Stripes. And now, the plot thickens. Love of Geralt's life was taken by Letho. The Witcher Assassain who killed King Foltest, and got Geralt involved in all this, is the one who forced Triss Merigold to teleport the two of them far from Flotsam. After I dealt with the massacre that the corrupt Commandant Loredo started, and put the the town of angry mob to rest, I finally set sail and went after the mysterious man that seemed to know more about me than anyone else. Or at least he was willing to talk about it, in his own right that is.

We came to the Upper Aedirn in the Pontar Valley. This is where things got interesting. Every so often you would play as someone else beside Geralt. This was only a brief sequence that served the story, in order to make you experience what the game would otherwise tell you. I found it interesting. Although, because I joined with the Roche, I was put in the boots of King Henselt. A berserker king of Kaedwen.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Night Elf Paladins


As the new expansion is showing itself on the horizon, and the little tidbit we got about more paladin lore in Warlords of Draenor, I thought it would be fun to explore which other races could become paladins. I decided to start with the Night Elves. In most cases my starting point is for the race to have two other specific classes. The warrior, and the priest. This is how the first Paladins on Azeroth came to be, and it turned out to a success.

Monday, 25 November 2013

LoL: One For All


One For All is a new mode in League of Legends. Currently, it is on trial. Limited Time Feature is what Riot calls it. Unlike the normal game, where at most there can be two of the same champions on the same map, and even that on opposite sides, One For All plays with the idea What if. What if we had two teams, in each only one champion, well times five.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dissapointment(s) of Warlords of Draenor


Last week I talked about what I look forward the most. It seems only fair to discuss what I find most disappointing as well. As they say, the best critics of the game are those that still play it. Now I would love to say there is nothing I disliked, but as time goes one always starts noticing cracks in otherwise perfect facade. There are several things that are not to my liking.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Musings: Mandate


If this continues, I will have to find some other title for my Friday posts. Today, I once again want to turn your attention to a Kickstarter project. I blame the slow week and lack of any interest for the new console generation. What can I say, I am diehard PC purist. PC supremacy and all that. So, with no further ado, let me present you Mandate.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Witcher II: Chapter I


As I was playing Witcher II, I came to conclusion that it would be shame to have just one post about it. Since I was about to finish only the first chapter but had more than twenty hours of played time already, I decided it would be good if I split it into the chapters.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: The Mystery of the Stolen Painting


The Mystery of the Stolen Painting is a book written by Croatian writer Ivan Kušan. The original title is Koko in Paris, but for some reason and wisdom of old someone thought it was good idea to rename the book into something entirely different. I would hazard a guess they did it just to make me frantically look what was the title of the book in English version, since Koko in Paris gave no results.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Part II: Themes of Paladin Sets


I was about to start once again that Blizzcon is over and that we can finally go to same old same old, but then I realised I already did this. So let us just continue where we stopped with the Paladin armour sets. Last time we examined the Tier sets of vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King. Today we shall continue with our endeavour in search of themes of the armour sets through their naming conventions.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Le Morte d'Chivalry


The title is an allusion to a collection of stories about King Arthur, his knights, and their adventures. It might to certain degree reflect the current condition of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare quite nicely. As in the stories, at the beginning there comes an occasional troublemaker (bug) now and there of whom the eager knights promptly take care of. But as the story grows and continues, Camelot slowly falls to ruin, and betrayal.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Warlords of Draenor Favourites


As Blizzcon finally and truly behind us, we can start nitpicking little by little. We were probably nitpicking for some time now, but today I will try and highlight what piqued my interest about Warlords of Draenor the most. It was not time travel.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Musings: Reset


Usually I am not really one for crowdfunding projects. I like the idea, I just do not see myself parting with the money. When it comes down to it, I am frugal with money. And it is not just crowdfunding, real life as well. I will turn every cent I have three times over, and then another three times more before I decide to spend it, if I decide to spend it. It is just the way I was raised I guess.

Nevertheless, there are people who support nascent projects that can only come to fruition through the collective effort of the crowd. I know I am grateful to them. It is because of those people, that I am able to play Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Thomas Was Alone, and probably some other game that eludes my memory at this moment. And even though I never supported a single project, I do look forward to seeing what comes of some of them. Sui Generis comes to mind.

Today, I would like to draw your attention to Reset. Reset is a lot of things. But as it describes itself, is probably the most accurate. The first quote comes from youtube video description, the second from the game's website.
A sci-fi noir, a mystery, a first person puzzle game. Reset is infused with mind boggling puzzles, a grippingly haunting but beautiful story and an unparalleled immersive atmosphere.
Reset is a single player co-op first person puzzle game with a strong emphasis on story and atmosphere. The unique game mechanic in Reset is the ability to travel back in time to solve puzzles co-operatively, with yourself.
Reset is an adventure game in development by Theory Interactive. A small Finnish indie studio consisting of two people. I do not understand what it is lately with the games that are made with such small number of people, but the ones I get to play are usually really good. So with hoping this will hold true with Reset as well, let us discuss what we can for a bit.

What I will say, is that this is all yet to be seen. What I can say though, it is that the gameplay trailer looks amazing. The particular mechanic of playing the game in pair with yourself sounds interesting, and should allow a new look on co-operative gameplay. I loved the look of the robot, and the idea that to some degree the way you play right now would depend on your actions in the past. The aesthetics of the game look fine. Photorealism suits Reset. It makes the robots feel more real, and the world pristine.

So, with no further ado, here are the links, where you can find out more about the game. The website, link of the video, and the crowdfunder. At the time of this writing, they have already raised over twelve thousand euros. Their goal being sixty-five thousand euros, with short of forty days left.

The links to future past:
Reset Homepage
Reset Gameplay Teaser
Indiegogo Reset Campaign

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Ruins of Tyria


The other day I went back to Guild Wars II to check how things are at the moment with the recent discovery of the Tower of Nightmare. Aside from disliking their concept of the living world on the mere principle, I think the people at ArenaNet have some unusual love for destruction and ruin.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Doings of Three Crazy Goblins II

Part I

Our prime concern, was that we lacked some heavy hitters. Our pirate crew consisted mainly of goblins. Which is fine when you have enough goblins, as they can easily swarm the opponent as a well mannered zerg. But seeing as this was the sea, where plague, disease, and scurvy roam, not to even mention all the enemies, sharks, and venereal diseases, we needed some muscle that would befit our cunning and greed.

We set for one of the islands where we knew ogres and orcs worked as slaves for an elf living in a manor on top of the hill. The manor was surrounded by coconut and banana plantations. We arrived to the small port, guarded by altogether four elven guards. We displayed the old flag of the slavers, thus being mistaken as a vessel of a trading guild. All of the goblins were waiting downstairs. The only one on board, was the dwarf and his elven assistant with Hur's hat on his head. Hur believed this would make the cover more believable.

As the dwarf opened the mouth about the storm and how they had to adapt the ship, the elves just looked at him with a snicker of ridicule on their faces. As the dwarf continued the story, elves realised it was a ruse, and tried to warn the rest of the island. The three captains cursed and ordered the rest of the crew to jump out. Hur took his hat back and charged. He grabbed the barrel of rum from the dwarf's hands in order to use it to set elves afire.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Second Look


Today I intend to take a closer look at what was of interest to me on the second day of Blizzcon. I can say some things pleased me greatly, while others gave me a reason for concern or two. But then again, it is the way of life I guess. You can never have everything. And you can never please everyone, even if you try ever so hard.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Medal of Honor, First Person Spectacle


I have talked in my Spec Ops: The Line post about the concept of First Person Spectacle. A week ago, I was visiting my family during the All Saint's Day. As I had pretty loose schedule, and most of my cousins had still to go in school or to work during the week I had free, I managed to play through the campaign of Medal of Honor.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

First Impressions

The Magnificent Seven

First day of Blizzcon behind us, and much to be excited about. For now at least I decided to be happy about the official announcement about Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion of World of Warcraft. I will give them until tomorrow to really try and explain all this time-travelling that they are saying is not time-travelling. For now at least I shall play along. I will have enough time to deconstruct every little quirk that does not sit well with me later on.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Musings: BlizzCon


On this fine day, and tomorrow's even finer Saturday BlizzCon will take place. What makes it interesting, is that aside from the announcement of the future World of Warcraft expansion (please let it not be time travel), and more details about Diablo III expansion, this year features Hearthstone, and moba called Heroes of the Storm.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

DLC Quest


DLC Quest is tongue-in-cheek super mario style game that takes a poke at modern day practises of the gaming industry. We have all seen the practises of selling additional content in the form of a DLC, or some other way as buying an item for a F2P game from an item shop with real money. If it was just a poke the game took at the modern practises, I probably would not write about it here.

NBI 2013: Newbie Blogger Initiative Award


I won. I won? Have I really won? I won! I feel awesome. And because of that, I decided to write here about it. Unlike all other posts on this blog, this one is destined to be pretty short. I never really was one for long thank you speeches, so in keeping with the tradition, I will only say, Thank you.

This was an awesome experience. When I first entered the Newbie Blogger Initiative a month ago, only thing I hoped to accomplish was to spread the word about the blog. I never thought of actually wining, well anything. I did not even know there were awards at the end.

I will take this chance to thank all who contributed to the NBI this year, both my fellow initiates, as well as all the Sponsors who took their time, and were willing to share their experience with us, and help us with a word of encouragement and a piece of advice. You are all awesome and I hope the NBI continues to grow for years to come.

If you are by any chance unaware of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, here is the link.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Doings of Three Crazy Goblins I

Some time ago, my group of friends wanted to try something new for our tabletop D&D. We usually play our own campaign following the 4.0 rules. It is pretty casual, more laughter and frustration over the dice rolls, than any kind of really serious roleplaying or powergaming. But every now and then we like to try something new. Or even create something ourselves.

So, we tried something new. A friend who ran that game made it all pretty simple. The only dice we would need were the two regular six sided ones. He said that the only rule is, the rule of cool. Anything we come up with goes. As he said it, if he tells us we enter a room, and then one of us decides to jump and swing from it in midair killing three enemies with the flame of the candles, we could do it.

I think this was his attempt at making us roleplay more than we would normally. He wanted a wacky, insane characters, and knowing how our previous game centred around the goblin settlement went, he knew we could deliver. One day I might write about that as well.

We had to roll about our profession. We ended up with a necromancer, healer, and a druid. I was the druid. And this was not your regular druid shifting in all sorts of animal forms. The only power this druid had, was communicating with animals.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Part I: Themes of Paladin Sets



I was thinking the other day. Well, I am thinking most of the days. But that is side-tracking. I was musing around with the idea, that Paladin sets through the game share one thing in common. That one thing as I came to conclusion, was a theme through the expansion. It is not really a theme that inspires a look of the set. It is more of a naming convention that paladin sets follow. .

Monday, 4 November 2013

Spec Ops: The Line


Spec Ops: The Line, the third person shooter that sets to do things differently. Unlike other modern shooters of today. This is probably not the best opening I have ever written, but I am currently running low on inspiration. Thus we will have to make due with what we have. I shall elaborate on Spec Ops as we continue.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Should PvE and PvP stay together?


Unlike some other games, World of Warcraft was built on the foundations of discord and rivalry between the two factions. Namely the Alliance and the Horde. The burning hatred of the one for another might be artificial, and only there to spur the players into greater depths of entanglement inside the story of Warcraft. Yet, over the years the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde changed.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Musings: The Awkwardness of Games


What are games? How should we define them? Why do we even try to constrict them with the other forms of media? And why is talk about what defines, and what a video game is, always full of some sort of tension and uncertainty? What is it that makes games art, and not just another way of entertainment?

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Thomas Was Alone


So goes the story. Thomas was alone. Thomas was also a simple red rectangle. And yet this did not stop him from doing something about his loneliness. It is hard to say anything about this game. It is a stroke of art. Mastery of brilliance. To evoke such feelings as regret, happiness, sadness, empathy.. Well, I would have laughed at the one who told me it could be done with a ragtag group of coloured rectangles of all sizes and forms.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: Modern Adaptations of Classical Myths


Today, we shall talk about classical mythology. To be more exact, about adaptation of the classical myths in nowadays films. We will discuss why Hollywood does it wrong, and what blunders could be avoided. I will be focusing on the Clash of the Titans here. There are some newer adaptations to be sure, but I had not the heart to watch any of those. It seemed as a waste of my time, and money. Not to mention an insult to my intelligence.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Next Hero Class: Demon Hunter


Previously I speculated about how Demon Hunters would finally join the expanded family of available classes. Now would be a good time to elaborate what Demon Hunter would do, how would they do it, and who would lead them until they were capable of doing it on their own. Today, we shall once more dive into pit of speculation that is at times based on nothing more than wishful thinking.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Antichamber: Journey to Escherian World of Impossible


Just like the pendulum that swings l i f e, so does my mood about Antichamber swings every so often. Now is on one side, in next moment on the other. Antichamber is a first person psychological exploration game that tries to twist Euclidean logic and prove it wrong. It is more than that, it is a game that draws inspiration from M. C. Escher's litographies and works in general featuring impossible realities.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Scaling to Lower Levels



It is fun to imagine that murlocs inhabiting the shores of Ghostlands could once more become a real threat. That is a lie. It is horrible. Pure horror. Anyone who ever encountered a pack of murlocs in time before heirlooms, knows what I am talking about. You only need one more murloc spine, just one more murloc has to die, and then you are safe. You are home. You will never again hear another murloc screech, and deep inside, you are thankful for the nightmare will be over. And then this one murloc runs away from you with shred of health and calls three of his friends to help him.

Curious Case of Blind Blademasters


It should be said that what will be written here will be in most a wishful thinking, and what remains pure guess work. The only thing reliable here, is that all this wishful thinking and guessing has its roots in the game. There will be speculation about future expansion, which could be as reliable as augur's divinations. You have been warned, and if you are still interested, you are welcome to continue reading.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday Musings: Cynical Backlash


At the start of this week something happened. Indeed. I could not find a more vague way of describing what I am going to muse about here. But trust me, it will all make sense a bit later. Just bear with me. We could say, that because I am writing this on Friday, we can examine the whole happening from a more, academic perspective if you will. Everything already took place. Only thing for us is to examine the whole thing and ponder how it could, or how it should be handled.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Chivalry: The Knighthood that never was


Since I was little, I was always fascinated by Middle Ages. Mostly about castles and armies. Not really about the peasantry, how work was hard, life tedious, and plague plucked the lives of helpless people like nothing. I did not care about city life, merchant guilds, and how the word "bank" came from the word for a desk. So, when I first saw Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, I was really excited.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: Alcestis, or how not to do Tragedy


I had an opportunity to see a play written by Euripides titled Alcestis. Knowing the myth of Heracles and his deeds, I was familiar with the happenings, even though I never got to read the Euripides's tragedy. Insert the excuse of too many books, and not enough time. To tell you the truth, I was intrigued where the tragedy would come from, since knowing the myth, Hercules comes and saves the day. He brings Alcestis back from Underworld.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Case for Fury Paladins


Ever since Druids got their fourth specialization I was thinking if one such could come in future for Paladins. First idea I came across  was old but, for some time, proven solution. Shockadin. You see, Shockadins were spell power damage dealers that invested half their points in Retribution talent tree, and half into Holy talent tree.

Monday, 21 October 2013

LoL: Anarchy called Jinx


The new champion to stomp the grass of Summoner's Rift is Jinx. Chaotic, playful, anarchistic, childish, and her own. She seems to be the new Joker of Runeterra. And what follows, are my thoughts of her.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Power of Transmog: Archangel


I know what most of you are thinking. This sounds pretentious. Probably is. The truth is, I leafed through the Bible with the illustrations by Gustave Doré. I always loved his work. It has that classical feel that is nowadays mostly gone from all the art. I love his illustrations. And one of the illustrations of the Angels armoured and ready for battle, inspired this Paladin set.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

A Thing or two about Endgame


I can say, and it will not be a lie, that I experienced most of the content in World of Warcraft through years. I quested my way to the highest level. On more than one occasion. On more than one faction as well. I developed my professions to their greatest potential, and I learnt an important lesson of patience through fishing. I ventured into dungeons, in times when druid could, and did steal my plate pauldrons from Zul'Farak.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Friday Musings: The Way of Sliders


It is interesting to see the preview of what is to be character creation in Elder Scrolls Online. For me, the amount of options is astonishing. Mostly because I still play World of Warcraft. And there, you can choose your race, and then maybe between ten face options, ten facial hair, ten hairstyles and you are done. The numbers are not really ten, but are somewhere close to that. It was some time since I counted the number of options given to player in character creation.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guild Wars II: Return to Tyria


When I last logged on my Guardian, there was some immediate crisis involving Norn, Charr and a lot of flame. That is as much as I remember. I think Arena Net calls it Living Story or something like that. To be frank, I was frustrated that the content that became available was there only for awhile. And then it would go away forever. I was not frustrated because I would miss some content, but because I felt that Guild Wars II did not have enough content in first place.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bane of Thousand Ogres


Title says it all. Bane of Ogres, Thousand Ogre Slayer, Destroyer of Boulderfist. All those titles would fit my Paladin nicely after his last few days spent in Nagrand. My paladin was up to his knees in Boulderfist ogres after the deed was done. What led to all that slaughter? The Consortium. And the fact I accidentally sold 150 Obsidian Warbeads to a vendor...