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Month: September 2012

Where have I been? Summer 2012 Edition

Summer was an ugly dry-spell for gaming as my interests are highly focused.  I played a significant amount of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning after the parent studio closed shop.  It was in the news, you can google the closure and read all about it.

I saw the closure as an opportunity to strike early and fast.  And so I bought a copy of KoA: Reckoning at barely under release price new.  I bought all of the extra quest DLC, hoping to avoid any future cutoff on account of the studio closure.

And then I played for nearly a week straight.  My girlfriend went out of town to visit family and so I spent more time focused on it than I might have normally.  Anyone who liked Fable but had some second thoughts I will heartily recommend to this game.  It’s great, it’s that single person quest game in a style similar to Fable but without some of the naggling mechanical breakdowns.  And sweet mother of god.. it’s long.  40 odd hours in and i’m only maybe 2/3 through the main plot and some of the side quests.  I wholly expect another 10 or more hours out of clearing all the major milestones.  This is a great game with crafting, questing and boss-style fights.  An Xbox exclusive, definitely worth checking out.

Late August saw the release of Guild Wars 2 which I already talked about.  I’ll just take this time to say it’s worth it.  If you like MMO’s, are tired of the classic quest grind but still want that fantasy ‘save the world’ experience, then this is for you.  I’ve invited a number of my friends to play and all my mmo-centric fans are enjoying it.  It’s a highly social game, rewarding you for helping players from a defeated state and for assisting them in combat.  Nobody’s penalized for partying, no xp share fractionalization for joining up with your four chums.  I’m still up to my eyeballs in thrill for the game even after three weeks of exposure.

Mid September saw the release of Borderlands 2 which is challenging FTL for what scraps of attention Guild Wars 2 is leaving behind.  Borderlands 2 is a FPSRPG.  That is, you shoot guns and do quests and get xp from the First-Person perspective.  And boy howdy does it have guns.  The first game had a randomization system proving that no two guns will ever be exactly the same.  Story tells that the sequel only does it better with refinements to this and other systems streamlining an otherwise well-structured system.  More of the adolescent humor dotted with quality plot development. This is the B-Movie Action Flick you’re going to go see with your friends even though you know it’s just going to have big muscles, guns and explosions.  You know what you’re getting in Borderlands 2 and dammit, I want to play.  But I’m holding out, Borderlands 2 is a co-op game and there’s no good reason to play alone if you don’t have to.

FTL is a space strategy game in the likeness of Rogue and Rogue-clones.  You have a ship, a crew and a series of random events based on where you send your ship.  At a measly 10 bucks I tried it out on a whim since I passed on the Kickstarter they ran several months ago.  I’m amazed and pleased.  Simple gameplay with a structured plot you can replay to experience random events every time.  A game I can pick up for five minutes and not spend 2 1/2 minutes just loading.  More of an rpg than really a space game, your crew gains xp, fights off boarding pirates and aliens and douses fires when necessary.  I recommend checking youtube as the screenshots don’t really do it justice.  And for my strategy/rpg fans surely you should give this an extra close look.

And that, was Summer 2012.  If nothing catches up to me in the interim, we’ll be talking again near the end of Fall.


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I stopped in Vanjir’s Stead briefly, having just come East from Demon’s Maw.  Provisions were high on my list and as I prepared to trek North, back above the treeline, I chatted briefly with the few Norn dwelling there.

Seemed Ice Wurms were causing some trouble at the edge of their stead and they were paying well for people to see about dissuading the abnormally active beasts.  A task I assured them I’d look into as I headed North.  I was searching the edge of Dredgehaunt for anything of note as necessitated by my membership with the Oder of Whispers.

How I let them dispatch me to the mountains again I’ll never know.

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I’ve seen Skritt in many places.

I’m no Durmand Priory researcher so I keep my ramblings to a minimum.  But I’ve begun to think they followed the Asura.  Anywhere I find Asura I’ve also found Skritt.  The number of them vary but the presence is unmistakable.

What confuses me is the varied nature of their hostility.  Some are cutthroat merchants.  Most are aggressively territorial.

I wasn’t terribly surprised then as I crossed the Rootangles and neared Ruins of the Unseen.  The area was rife with Skritt activity as they swarmed out of their burrows and attacked anyone within sight.

When it was done, I was told by a nearby Asura that this happens often as a side effect of his research.  I didn’t inquire on his research, Asuran theology is heavily mixed into their academic teachings and I wasn’t in the mood for another debate on The Eternal Alchemy.

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Lornar’s Pass

It should be noted I don’t like Lornar’s Pass.  I hate it in fact.  If the biting winds didn’t chill to the bone, then the sheer drops from thousand-foot passes makes travel extremely treacherous.  Nestled between Grawl, Dredge and the nested Griffon’s, there aren’t a lot of safe havens to make camp if that wasn’t bad enough the lowlands are rife with wurms.  Larger than what you might see in Queensdale which alone makes me long for warmer climes.

I’d tell you why I was there but I can’t recall at this time.  I’m sure it will come back to me.

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Caledon Forest

To call it a forest is to extend the dotted line around your understanding of the term ‘Forest’ and move it back a few leagues.  Caledon is more of a coastal swamp with occasional dry hills crawling with whatever climbed out of the deeps in the Sea of Sorrows.

It was there I met Lithiaria, a mesmer like myself.  She was struggling with grubs the size of a Kryta Hound.  I was looking for something I wasn’t sure about so I stopped briefly to help her.  It didn’t take long for her to request my company while she assisting the various people living in Caledon.  Roughly three days passed while we battled Nightmare Court, giant spiders and Skales.  I was still looking when we took some brief time to camp out at a fort in the middle of the forest and rest briefly.

I met a trader, moving west into Metrica Province, who was able to trade me various items I needed to finish my tailoring project, the Masquerade.  It cost me greatly, but I feel a price worth paying.  We’ll see how the long-term amusement holds me.

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Shadowrun – Post-Industrial Espionage

This ends with Pie.

Team was hired to pick up some data.  Seems Corp A was hoarding some lucrative hot new mid-compact car design on isolated servers running their heavily fenced (10m tall) factory in the industrial corner of Hong Kong.  For this, they needed a hacker.

And Seamus was what they got.  He may not smell nice, his social habits lean on the edge of Hermit, but he knows his way around the matrix.  His inaugural run was brilliant, he was in and out of the system within a minute of plugging in.

The hard part was getting him within cables’ distance of the server.  For that we saw one invisibility spell, two bullets and a lot of blood.  A.. lot.. of.. blood.

The post-mission pizza, what to celebrate the quality work that had ensued, was interrupted with gunfire and Mayhem.  Seamus narrowed down the attackers to a commlink and a series of commcodes to a building in downtown occupied by a string of AA corps.

For the time, the question is looking more like ‘who’ will pay them.

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