Simple Note.. Dusting the page off…

Hey all,

Just doing a general clearing and am dusting off the old Blog.

Some general notes. Been a long couple months, my Step-father passed away on March 31st, so had to go back home to be with the family during the trying time. Was out there for a while, came back and more or less in a blur, time passed. I then just recently got done with having to report for Jury Duty. That sucked.. having to be awake during the day when I’m a third shifter, and have been for the last 5 years, maintaining that overnight shift pattern during my time off.

But enough about that stuff.. I’ve also been working on a few projects, such as hashing out some ideas for a few board games. And working on making some mechanical changes to the Shadowrun 4 rules. Trying to pare down a few dice, and making the system smoother, more elegant and faster, yet also retain the flair of the game world. But making it more user friendly. It’s coming along pretty smooth, and I think I’ve got a strong handle on that.

Then as far as comp games go, I enjoyed Rift for a while.. hit level 50 and there was nothing else to do, worth my time. So I ended that, I’ve updated my Elemental: War of Magic to the 1.2 version.. but haven’t really dug right in yet. Why? Not sure.. more probably to do with the lack of the really good parts of the fantasy trappings that I’ve come to appreciate. But it’s starting to pop back up on my radar and I will soon be giving it a go again.

Hmm also been working on other things in life, and things are going pretty well. Pulled out some of our old Amtgard gear, (Fantasy LARP), and then made some new weapons, so we could get out there and lay on. That’s been very fun, and quite gratifying. And I’ve been trying to get in touch with the local chapter around here, but haven’t been getting any communication back. (Which is a bit frustrating..).

So over all.. had some rough times lately, but I’ve been trying to focus on a lot of the other things in life. One note.. I really do love my girlfriend. She’s pretty awesome.

Posted in Amtgard, Computer Related Stuff, D&D, Elemental: War of Magic, Games, General Miscellaneous, Life, MMO, Rift | Leave a comment

A RIFT™ opens, and out tumbles the Ascended

Hey all,

Well I’ve been having a blast during the Beta 5 of the new MMO Rift.

So I included a video for your perusal… hope you enjoy it all!

May you find some enjoyment here, cause I certainly did.. and as usual with my videos you can play them at 1080p once they finish loading up. Still may take some time to be fully processed.

Posted in MMO, Rift | Leave a comment

Couple thoughts enter the cortex, swirling and flashing

So let’s see…

In but a short time, beta 5 of Rift will open up. And I’ll finally get my first real taste, from character creation to personal play, to the ever entertaining thoughts of names for said characters.

Excitement abounds, and is found truly to be a surprise. (I have had little interest in MMO’s of late. Few could draw me, and finally this one has…)

As an aside..

I got to watch Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Last night.. and again today. Wow.

I must be honest, it felt good to reconnect with those characters, and get a real handle on their origins as it were. And to hear their verbal word play again was like cerebral candy. Watching good actors portray complex emotions and motivations while presenting it as a brutal society that the ancient times were. Is truly endearing. Oh and a good note for my mind, Jed Whedon and his wife Marissa Tancharoen are involved as co-producers. So we’ll continue to see complex motivations as part of the back story for this series.

I do have to admit a certain lamentation for the loss of Andy Whitfield for the role of Spartacus. He really did become to embody the that character, through and through. His loss for this role will be missed.

And now.. back to some Rift videos.. I found a person put up a few zone event style experiences that were going on in an earlier beta.

1

2

3

4

5

6 – This video is for character Creation. It sounds like the guy had some mic problems, but it gives you an idea of the game character creation.

And a video for those who want to smile.. from The Guild.. Do you want to date my Avatar.

Posted in Entertainment - Cinema/TV/Books, MMO, Rift, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hmm.. Quick notes.. spawn later posts..

Alright couple of quick notes.

Been playing a few games lately. Been intrigued by one or two and looking forward to another.

Also wanted to say I love my girlfriend, she’s pretty damn awesome, and I really enjoy spending time with her. (It’s true, a man can actually say that for the universe to hear, and it just a statement of fact.)

Now..

Games..

Played some Demigod, I liked it. Worth $5.

Played Borderlands, and I’ve been enjoying that.. still worth the costs. And I’ve got some friends to play it with so there is that. Good stuff.

Been playing a free game called Bloodline Champions. Just a note. Fun game, but takes a bit to get used to the combat style and the various classes and their various bloodline flavors. Fun, and something I’ll enjoy over the years. Recommended.

Hmm.. irony, saw another great Impulse deal for Icewind Dale 1 complete, and Icewind Dale 2. And well I picked em up, and been playing a little bit of Icewind Dale 2. Personal note.. it’s amazing to be reminded how bad games were built, based upon some predicated system of old. (Just the idea of a wizard standing around doing nothing because of the fear of wasting their spells outside of an important fight..) is really a thing of the past. The idea that you penalize the player of that class with boredom, was in the later stages of 3.5 being erased with the idea of a Warlock, with their eldritch blast that lets them do something every single round without needing a damn crossbow. (Or the old shotgun carrying gandalf cause his powers ran out). And 4E’s everyone should do something Every round that is core to their character class flavor, and mechanics. No bored players.

That.. last part is amazingly important.. just have to state that fact. When I play games now, from rpg’s in the pen and paper real world setting, to some online game, or crpg, or what not. If it doesn’t let the player do something every round, like shoot of a mana bolt without it being some long drawn out process.. then fix it. It’s broken.

Okay.. the other part about my enjoyment of IWD2 (short hand now easier to type).. is that while I despise 3rd edition rules from the old days. The nostalgia of playing a D&D style game is infectious. And fun. Even if the graphics were antiquated in 2002 when the game came out. And now look like something out of an Atari game. But.. besides that digression. I’m finding it to be enjoyable, and fun. Worth the price of nostalgia.

Which leads me to the next big thing that finally unlocked my real interest in an MMO again.

Rift, it’s a game that really lets you build your own playing style within a class. I’ll go more into it later, but I would have to say the stuff in the game is quite interesting. It’s visually attractive without being too over the top bleeding edge, but with a blend say between LORTO & Warhammer & WoW. Maybe shades of EQ2.. but less plastic.

I’m going to put up a few videos of a guy who’s done some beta testing, and you can follow him through the beta as he’s doing it.. it’s a 7 part series. Fun stuff.

Jesse’s Beta 1 Walkthrough video

Jesse’s Beta 2 Walkthrough video

Jesse’s Beta 3 Walkthrough video

I’ll put up more videos later on. This guy is a reviewer for over at Tentonhammer and is entertaining at times.

I can say that I actually found him distracted though a few times, and I kept going.. dude.. you just got a new knife, equip it.. equip it.. open your inventory.. seriously… are you afraid to put on better gear.. and so on. But it’s good stuff.

And if you preorder as an aside there are a few bonuses out there depending on your flavor du jour. I went with Steam, cause I wanted it to be available for download for the hereafter. And a note there is a beta event happening tomorrow (Tuesday 25th – the 28th, at 10am pst.)

Well gotta jet for now, I’ll write up more later. And once I start participating, I’ll put out a few videos of my own I’m guessing.

I hope you all have a great day and totally get what you need! Bright Light to all!

Posted in Computer Related Stuff, D&D, Games, Life, MMO, Rift | Leave a comment

The death of the elder one, lead way to the.. DEMIGOD!

Hey everyone,

Well after my comments the other day about Impulse vs Steam and the prices on Impulse not matching Steam. Well it was like somebody was reading this blog.. cause uhm yeah..

The game Demigod. Which I’ve been wanting to play for a while, but wanting to get a good deal on.. well.. it went on sale.. until the 14th of January, Demigod regularly for $19.99.. is now on sale for only. $4.99.

I admit it.. I bought it up.. and got a copy for a friend for his birthday yesterday. AND got a few more of my buds to pick it up as well. So if any of you are like me, and want to get your hands on an actually decent sale.. well impulse came through. Here is the link. http://www.impulsedriven.com/dem

So in essence, I put my money right where my mouth is. Because in all truth.. the price of games is ridiculous, now with the advent of the digital distribution platform.. really beginning to take hold. They can cut out massive middle men costs, and share with the developers and the digital publisher.. and then roll in the cash. That’s a huge reason why Steam does so well. Though I’ve read the argument they put super low costs on games and then take 30% of the intake, while generally putting out games that folks don’t want to play. I disagree, in many cases the price point of a game is the reason people don’t play it. The game isn’t worth it.

But.. that’s part of the fruition of free to play for MMO’s, which are telling you that the cost factor is often the concern for many.

Me.. if I see a deal where the cost of the game is 66% off or better.. and It’s a game I’ve considered buying in the past, but didn’t want to waste money on a game that may not be worth it.. well letting me buy in for $4.99 is great.. cause I’ll bite for that for sure, if it’s a decent game. That and this supports Stardock and their developers.. I’m good with that too. But money in the wallet vs in their hands. That’s why I’ve argued that the price of an item that is replenishable (digital distribution) without the heavy manufacturing costs and the extremely limited shelf display, can afford to drop their prices to smaller margins, because then they begin to reach different sectors of the buying pie, that can’t turn down a good deal. It’s just a factor of the human condition, and perception of value.

Similar arguments being that the cost of a RPG book for $40 bucks is dinner for two and a movie. Sure.. and what did you get 3-4 hours entertainment. But humans don’t see that as a similar thing. We never have. And those arguments have never worked. We don’t perceive it in that manner. And those $40 books should be $9 pdf’s because they represent portability and lack of paper…

Hmmm gonna stop on that note or I’ll start ranting about The Slumlords of the Coast. And how they kept telling me how to play their game in their way.. taking away pdf’s.. okay didn’t buy another book from them after that. Take away my character builder as a DM, and the methods of use in my own way that I’ve been doing for 2+ years.. fine fuck you too, I’ll go spend $140 on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay to get a strong system and then mod the hell out of it for myself, without the cumbersome math of the combat system of 4E. (And I LOVE 4E.)

What’s next.. not sure, but I’m sure they’ll screw it up. And that’s okay. I’ve found a system that I really like and I’m just gonna take the information I’ve gleaned in 4E and build them as interesting careers in Warhammer’s system and put it in my own homebrew world. (Mostly cause the warhammer world is way to damn bleak, and I want a more gritty story, but fantastic with full of roleplaying by the players instead of min/maxing the numbers to stand a chance in 4E or any other edition of D&D..)

And seriously.. think about this.. how much do you have to fuck up in order to turn a 28 year gaming veteran who’s played every incarnation of your game away.. (I know.. quite a bit.. but not my problem.)

Anyhow..

I’ll chat more in the near future!

Posted in Computer Related Stuff, D&D, Games, Warhammer | 2 Comments

2011 a New Year, and New Possibilities.. Forged within the Crystalline heart of Gaming Hopes and Malice.

Well how the hell is everyone doing?

Hopefully the new year is really treating you like Kings, and Queens, and you’re getting what you so desperately need.

I think I’m ready for a new recap of some things, and also an outline of some post concepts.

With a new year, I did not make any actual vows or resolutions. Typically cause I find them to be false starts and irrelevant, and easily forgotten or just tools for one to feel guilty, when they don’t accomplish some goal that wasn’t realistic when set.

But.. that leads to .. The Blog State of the Union.

For a while, I’ve been considering what I want this blog to be about, and in a lot of cases, guess what. It’s just an outlet for my creative juices. But by that same token, where as I visit a website daily or weekly myself, waiting for some word or thought or deed, I found myself thinking back to this blog.

And I think I want to turn it into an opinion piece, and share some various factoids, via game reviews, even if they are late to the party “as it were” .. but also movie reviews, and gaming ideas and concepts. And general philosophical debates, with pro and con, and sometimes an actually formed opinion.

So.. let’s get the ball rolling.

Personal life? For me, it’s going very good. Several things I’ve been working on in my personal life have developed into a fruition that will lead to another future fruition. (In love, and it is sappy and eternal, and what not. And I’m not ashamed of stating that I love this woman.) So on that front, great stuff.

Hmm.. okay games.

Wow, this year contained a lot of interesting games (this year being 2010) from the hands of Steams mega deals. I pretty much avoided quite a few games this year, waiting till a Steam super sale. And boy did they bring some seriously interesting games that I’ve been putting off purchasing for a long time, because the price was right.

(Quick deviation note, I realize that Impulse is a good alternative to Steam, and while I like to support Stardock and their developers and publishers that they put out through their system. But I’ll be completely honest. Steam works for me. Hands down. And often the prices during their super sales are exactly what I’m looking for. And also get me to try some other games that I wouldn’t of under any other circumstances. But solely because the price point on their 66%+ off sales are really a nice way to just pick up something easily and give it a shot, without the loss of to much coin if the pay off fails. And I would do similar with Impulse if you know.. they offered the same low costs. But they don’t, so I don’t. For whatever reason they can’t, I also can’t justify going their route short of exclusive games.)

So back to Steam..

I picked up quite a few games this year. Many that I haven’t even played yet, but not to fret. I am beginning to play through them slowly and giving them shots.

Borderlands game of the year edition. I see what everyone was talking about. It really is a great and fun shooter. Coupled with that venn diagram involving RPG items Levels, Shooting, and Screams. “Good Boy Bloodwing.”

I’ve got more to do in that game, but it was worth the price I picked it up for.

A gem of a game that I didn’t know I would enjoy as much as I have.. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. It’s fun in a jrpg format (Japanese RPG for those not aware of that acronym). I’ve played it a bit, and found it really is a fun game. Difficult and unforgiving at times, but quite entertaining across the board. Most definitely worth it’s sale price.

King Arthur – The Roleplaying Game, I’m finding I like this game. It’s got a bit of flavor that I dig, though again I wish they would decouple these ideas from lore of Camelot and instead go with a fantasy feel from stem to stern instead of making us take on the role of Arthur.. But that said, it’s a fun game. Though I’m still within the “Tutorial” that it’s running me through. But good stuff in general. No full rating yet, but I’m liking it, and think it’ll be worth the sale price.

Transformers: War for Cybertron, this one should be an instant hit for me.. and I really like that they’ve got the actor for Optimus. But I didn’t like the campaign they’ve got going on.. it’s visually interesting, but a little too busy on the screen. While also some weird ass side angle view of your Transformer off center.. it isn’t what I was expecting. And while I know it’s doing a good job of sharing an interesting story, and believe me I’m a big fan of Transformers. (Hell my original version of Optimus Prime the miniature in great condition met the Firegod many years ago along with some D&D books in the great Cleansing.. but whatever.. ) but this game isn’t hooking me like I was hoping. (I didn’t want to be prime, Rachet, or Bumblebee , I wanted to be my own autobot.. but that’s only apparently during multiplayer.. I don’t know.. not sure it was worth the sale price. I’ll finish it at some point.. but this was so far the only game I’ve possibly regretted buying.

I picked up a few others, (Aliens vs. Predators, Dawn of Discovery – Venice, Europa Universalis 3, Fantasy Wars, Guardians of Graxia, Hinterland, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 with all DLC, Machinarium, Magic the Gathering Duel of the Planeswalker and all DLC, Wings of Prey & it’s DLC)

But of those, none of have been played for anything length of time yet.

And that leads me to another computer game..

Elemental War of Magic, still haven’t played it. But it sounds like they are starting to make some significant headway with how the game plays, almost enough to be considered worthy of my time to come back and really delve into it. Letting time cool my frustrations with it so it’s like a clean slate so when I get back in.. I can judge it on it’s actual merits. And then I can make some decent suggestions and do more videos for those who may care.

~~~~
Ah.. now remember my rant about D&D and The Slumlords of the Coast.

Yeah still pissed off at them, but the anger is slowly being to be assuaged. But.. that said.. by having gone the route of playing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition..

I am finally for the first time in years, feeling less constrained by the rules.. the heavy handed numbered mechanics.. from D&D any version.. gone. I’m not spending hours on planning out 10 interesting “Fights/Encounters” on the way to some goal, while also paying attention to making sure magic items are found, and wealth distributed.

Those issues.. gone. And now.. I also did something else.. I ditched the Warhammer universe. I’m using the mechanics and reskinning various aspects of the game, using my own game world that I use for my D&D campaign. And I can’t tell you how much freedom that’s given me. By using this system, I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll be making my own careers / classes from the inspiration of 4th edition D&D Heroic classes, Paragon classes and Epic level destinies. And just skinning them into this mechanical system..

And I CAN tell you.. HOLY SHIT!

Wow.. I’m focusing on the stories of the characters and the actual budding story of the campaign. And because I’m not burning the fuck out of myself, by spending hours upon hours upon hours building interesting encounters … and stressing about all the mechanics working perfectly.. to achieve a numerical probability that degenerates into a game of numbers (any edition of D&D as it were).. with these new dice and associated concepts.. it frees up those mechanical locks to give me.. the focus on .. everything else that I couldn’t make work properly cause our group is rather fond of combats, again partially because that’s what the conceit of the system bred.. (kill or drive off X creature for Y XP, repeat Z times for level).. now the players show up and play.. and..

Get an xp to spend that actually improves their character.. thus gratification for the players for showing up.. having fun getting into character.. and helping get us all to focus on the next story “Lord of the Rings” in epic scale.

But I’ll explore that more in future installments.

I don’t have a specific publishing plan for this blog yet.. but I’m going to make a concerted effort to post much more frequently, and at least once a week, until I can get to more frequent stable posting plan.

Oh.. a movie I saw that was enjoyable.. “True Grit” good film, very much similar to the story of D&D characters who are unlimbered from mechanics.. just sayin’
Another film that I viewed, and found very thought provoking.. Restrepo. It’s military documentary about a military deployment to Afghanistan and the Korengal Valley. You owe it to the soldiers who are out there fighting for America.. to watch it. Educate yourself on what the hell they are going through. This is a must see movie. 4 out of 5.

Talk with you all soon.. (off to some game or something to relax!)

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Gorstagg

Posted in Computer Related Stuff, D&D, Elemental: War of Magic, Entertainment - Cinema/TV/Books, Games, Life, Warhammer | Leave a comment

The future soars on the wings of imagination

Well going back to the old homestead, to see kith and kin.

And quiet happy for that. I am also in a new relationship, and happy for that as well.

And excited about all of that above.

Hmmm let’s see.. onto some game topics.

Elemental is taking on a new direction, with a stronger codification with Kael coming on board. That’s good, and probably should.. of wait.. not probably.. should of happened much earlier in the year (like January).

I’m not ready to go back in and give it a shot yet, but that’s starting to finally build back up, in the interest department. So… good on that.

Next..

Mount & Blade: Warband, well.. I got this for like $10 bucks on Steam, and am incredibly glad I did. It’s a totally open sand box game, that let’s you have interesting fights, and let’s you pursue the concept of being a king, carving out your own lands from the corpses of your neighbors.

Seriously.. lots of fun.. with a bit of a learning curve.

Hmmm

Roleplaying…

D&D 4th Edition. I’m still angry at the debacle of the Online Character Builder, and decided to not support WotC. See, I kept on playing the game when they fucked up and took away all the .pdf’s. Because I then stopped buying their books. See I wanted them in a digital format, and they wanted to level forests. So I stopped buying them. Next I continued to have a DDI subscription. Even did the yearly sub, but then this year, they decided to fuck up the update schedule for 3 months, and then ripped the entire program out of my hands and put it up online only. So I’m now angry.

Stop telling me how to play the game YOUR way, using it YOUR way. I want it my way. The same damn way I’ve been doing it for 2+ Years. So … okay.. fine.. you want to make sure I don’t support you.. fine.

Now, we’ve got Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition to play.

Yeah I spent more on this stuff in one month than I have D&D 4th edition since they stopped selling .pdf’s. Good job guys, go make me buy a game that’s more about roleplaying, and from everything I can see, looks even more fun, and just as customizable by me.. with my own worlds and classes/careers.

So.. let’s see.. instead of me spending my money to support D&D / WotC / Hasbro.. I put it into another company, and will encourage others to do the same, until you stop fucking us. Cause you know what.. I won’t keep fighting to show people how much fun 4th edition was. I’m done. You’re trying to make me spend a lot of time using your jury rigged piece of shit. No.

So..

About Warhammer FRP 3E
Wow.. what an interesting system. It has interesting bits and bobs, but it’s the mechanics that support good roleplaying, and make non-combat encounters as important as combat ones.. is a huge plus in my book. But we’ll see after a few games are under our belt. But I can say this.. watching everyone work on creating characters this Sunday, was truly impressive and lots of fun. (Though it would of been nice had the rules been written in a consistent fluffless style to make it as easy as possible to explain and understand, without referencing another page to find an answer..)

Posted in D&D, Elemental: War of Magic, Games, Life, Warhammer | Leave a comment