Monday, August 30, 2010

Bad Game Design: Final Fantasy 14

Sorry for the delay in posts lately, but my mother was in the hospital for a while. She's home safely now though.

Now, I’m no Game Designer, but I hope to be someday. However, even with my lack of experience, Final Fantasy 14’s XP system reeks of bad design.

“The main concept behind FFXIV is allowing those players with little time on their hands to play effectively, and game balance is based off of that. Furthermore, it is being designed to not give those with more on their hands to play an unfair advantage. Because of that, systems such as Guardian’s Favor (a bonus to Guildleves) have been implemented to make leveling in the short-term easier than leveling in the long-term. To achieve this balance, the amount of possible skill/experience points earned after a certain period of time has a threshold. Think of it as a real-life ‘fatigue’ from working at improving your skills via battle.” – Square Enix

Right now, that threshold is eight hours for full exp, and then it becomes even less for seven hours. After that, you gain zero experience. There’s a weekly reset. So, that’s 15 hours of game play each week, which equates to 60 hours a month. Now, to a person who has never played an MMO, that seems like a lot of time, but it’s really not. Even during my school semesters I pull down about 20-30 hours a week of World of Warcraft. The main problem with this design is that people are paying $15 a month to play this game. So at 15 bucks and 60 hours a month, that’s 25 cents per hour. So, the value of play is still pretty good, but it’s the principle of being how long you can play that throws me for a loop.

Let’s be honest, most people would only play the 15 hours, because whatever they do after is pointless since they aren’t gaining exp anymore. It just seems like Square Enix is setting themselves up for a business failure by alienating and angering people who desire to play the game longer. That’s what a game company should want, is people wanting to play their game. Also, later in the week most of the hardcore group will already be done with their 15 hours, making it harder for more casual players to find groups on the weekends when they can play.

Now, for a game that caters to the casual player, it seems more like a way to frustrate them when it comes to playing catch up. Hardcore players will always find a way to be hardcore, and will without fail play those 15 hours a week to level. Should a casual player fail to play for an entire week, they’re going to fall behind anyway, making this whole exp cap pointless. It becomes even more pointless when the casual player realizes that they can’t make up for that lost time, because no matter what, they will always be 15 hours behind. Even if that casual player got a weeklong vacation to play the game, they could only play for those 15 hours, which makes it impossible to catch up to their hardcore friend.

People will always be creating accounts and joining the game at different dates, which means there will already be a difference in competitive levels, so why handicap them in the beginning anyway? Punishing your hardcore player base also means the casual players suffer, at least with this set up. Everyone loses. Now, Final Fantasy 14 is still in beta, so they still have a chance to change this horrible design. However, with a September 30th release date, it doesn't look likely. It could possibly be patched out at a later date though.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mushroom Clouds and Schooly Skies

 I realize it’s Tuesday, but I didn’t post yesterday… or anything in the last 3 weeks, so here we go. Anyway, fear not, because I am still alive and kicking, and the content will be coming very soon to a computer monitor near you. Just a few updates though. It’s now August 17, which means that I started school again yesterday, and that I failed my summer gaming challenge. Just because I failed though, doesn’t mean that I won’t continue working on it. In fact, I’m working my way through Fallout 3 right now.

With school comes great responsibility, but this blog will still function normally… better actually. Last Monday I started a lifestyle change. I started eating right and exercising. I know right? I won’t be a preacher, so that’s all I’m going to say with that. However, I also made the commitment to regularly update my blog. So, starting today you can expect updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This was supposed to take effect last week, but I got side tracked with courting a lass.

In tabletop news, I won’t be DMing a Deathwatch campaign right now, because two of my would be players haven’t read the rules yet. I still really want to play Deathwatch, but that looks to be difficult currently. In place of that, I will be DMing a D&D campaign instead. My friend, Kurt, has been DMing our main campaign, as well as the side campaign, and really wants to play a character. He plays a character in our side campaign, but he can’t really do anything without undermining his DM stuff. To thank him for all of his hard work, I’ll be taking over DM duties for a side campaign of my own design once the current one is finished. This will most likely happen next week, and I’ve already started fleshing out the campaign. I’m aiming for a light-hearted tone with my campaign. I really only want it to be half-serious, and more on the comedy side. I plan to fill it with many pop culture references, taking most of my inspiration from video games and movies.

Speaking of movies, if you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World yet, go do that. Right now! What? You’re still reading this? GO SEE THE DAMN MOVIE!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Know Your Roots: Starcraft

So, I had originally written something else for today, but I found this article on Gamespot this morning. It talks about the origins of Starcraft (and Warcraft), and how Blizzard borrowed a couple pages from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes. I just thought it would be a nice piece to share since Starcraft 2 comes out tomorrow, which I will be getting. Anyway, Before we go any further, go ahead and read the article if you haven’t already… but then come back and finish reading this one, eh?

Now, this isn’t a chicken/egg scenario, because Games Workshop obviously came before Blizzard. In Blizzard’s defense, they did manage to salvage a half made game, in terms of Warcraft, because you’re not going to spend a lot of work on something and then throw it away, right? They also managed to turn it into their own thing, and it paid off REALLY well for them. That’s Warcraft’s excuse though; I have no idea what Starcraft’s is, because it seems just a little bit too coincidental. However, I do love me some Starcraft.

I knew and played Starcraft before I knew anything about Warhammer 40k. I didn’t even know that 40k existed until about 2 years ago when I got into 5th edition of tabletop. Now, after doing some research into Games Workshop and 40k on Wikipedia when I started playing, I learned the truth that we’re discussing now; that Starcraft is a copy of 40k, and the Warhammer/Warcraft fiasco. Obviously, it was a bit of a shocker, knowing that something near and dear was a clone of something else. Then I thought though, who gives a shit? Why can’t they both exist? Both companies and games do really well with their IP. Once you take away their similarities is when you notice their differences. This is true more so on the 40k side though, because it just has so much more. Such as the other races that inhabit the 40k, and it’s grim dark universe. Although, Starcraft can be just as grim dark with what happened to Jim Raynor and Kerrigan in the first game.

Anyway, the point that I want to bring across is that just because Starcraft borrows a lot from 40k, it’s no right to hate it. They can exist independent of each other. A lot of stories and ideas are often borrowed from another source that came before it. So, it’s better not to think of it as copying, but as inspiration or homage. Just as Starcraft was inspired by 40k, 40k was inspired by Starship Troopers, written by Robert A. Heinlein. If anything, Starcraft is a giant love letter to Warhammer 40k. If you really enjoy Starcraft, I would highly suggest that you look into Warhammer 40k. If not, then at least remember the truth and educate others, because now you know your roots!

P.S. Enjoy Starcraft 2, I know I will be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

D&D: Side Campaign 1 Log - Pt 1

Original Four Characters
Nirreh – Elf Ranger (Me)
Thoradin – Dwarf Fighter
Plainsrunner – Razorclaw Seeker
Kristoph – Human Paladin

Later Characters
Brute - Minotaur Barbarian
Lemartes - Human Invoker (Me)
Hana - Deva Shaman
Furyheart - Longtooth Warden

So for this campaign, most of it was randomized. I don’t know exactly how the rolls worked, since currently, we’re not supposed to know. Our DM had a pre-built map and an encounter chart though. Pretty much whenever we moved to a new room, our DM would roll to see what was in there. Our DM would first roll to see if it was an encounter. If it was, he would then roll to see how difficult it was 6 being the easiest, 1 being the hardest.

The story is that we were an adventuring party, and we arrived into a town. After staying for a while, we heard stories of corpses walking around in the graveyard at night, which had the townspeople all pretty scared. So we headed over to the graveyard at night, and when we arrived, we were ambushed and overwhelmed by a swarm of spiders and knocked unconscious. We then all woke up cocooned in their lair.

Sorry, I don't have any notes from Saturday. The only real notable thing that happened was that we met Arachnia, the Broodmother, when we entered the big room to the far right on the map above. She basically told us that we were going to die down here, and I ended up mouthing off, yelling about how we were going to kill her and all of her friends. She didn't like that and sent the following encounter the next time we played...


-Hanged Ones + Praetorian Spider were sent from Broodqueen during our extended rest

Encounter 1

Praetorian Spider x1
Hanged One x8

Encounter 2
Phase Spider x1 
Mindwarp Spider x1
Rot Spider Swarm x1

-Mindwarp Spider mind controlled the Guard, who attacked, but missed Plainsrunner.

-I got bit by Phase Spider, and contracted something

-I tried to use Parting Strike, but the Phase Spider teleported me back in front of him, and I failed my saving throw, so I was knocked unconscious.

-Phase Spider botched, which made him fuck up and teleport outside of the room

-Guard dies, and the Mindwarp Spider tries to mind control Kristoph, but fails

-Thoradin also contracted something, and failed the saving throw, falling unconscious

-Kristoph went into dying state from Phase Spider bite; Plainsrunner botched First Aid check, and injured Kristoph more. I finally stabilized Kristoph.

-Plainsrunner also went incapacitated from Rot Spider Swarm damage, but I stabilize him

-Thoradin also went incapacitated from Rot Spider Swarm damage, but I failed to stabilize him once, and then succeeded

-With only the Mindwarp Spider left, a vision of the Broodqueen invaded my mind, and said, “I’ve had my fun, don’t you forget whose lair you’re in next time and mouth off to your superiors.” The Mindwarp Spider then disappeared.

-After the last spider was killed, the Noble broke out of his catatonic funk, and thanked us for saving him. Being irritated after watching my whole group come VERY close to death, I told the Noble to fuck off. He then gave my reward to Plainsrunner, because I was being a dick. He also gave Kristoph a reward.

Encounter 3
Darkmantle Spider x1
Phase Spider x3

Encounter 4
Shadow Spider x1
Living Spidermolt x3

-Find a Noble wrapped in a cocoon… except that it turns out to be two Poltergeists

Encounter 5
Poltergeist x2
Acid Spider x2

-An Acid Spider ate Thoradin’s Warhammer, and a second spider almost ate his armor.

-We move to another room, and there’s a Noble, cornered by Spidermolts

Encounter 6
Living Spidermolt x4

Encounter 7
Darkmantle Spider x1
Rot Spider Swarm x3

-Darkmantle Spider ate the noble while we were taking an extended rest.

-Plainsrunner went to dying state from Swarm damage

-Kristoph went to dying state from Swarm damage

-Thoradin also went to dying state from Swarm damage

- I also went to dying state from Swarm damage

-Kristoph critically saves from dying and surges back to life. He hides in a corner and tries to pray to Avandra for help,but ultimately fails. Plainsrunners and myself (Nirreh) die, while Thoradin and Kristoph are captured and cocooned in the starting room.


-While Kristoph and Thoradin were awake in cocoons, they noticed a familiar voice, Arachnia. The Broodqueen continues to taunt them, “I see those Rot Spider Swarms were very effective, two of your original party have perished. I suppose I shall show you how the swarms are made.” And Arachnia disappears, laughing.

-My new character, Lemartes - Human Invoker, woke up in the cocoon room, along with everyone else. A Minotaur Barbarian by the name of Brute has taken the place of Plainsrunner

-We break each other out of our cocoons and hear faint zombie moaning. Upon looking in the direction of the moaning, we notice the zombified corpses of Nirreh and Plainsrunner slowly shambling towards them.

Encounter 1
Nirreh’s Corpse x1
Plainsrunner Corpse x1

-As we “killed” each corpse, a Rot Hatchling Swarm burst through the corpse’s flesh

-Moving to the room below, Arachnia’s voice echoes through the chamber, “I see you managed to escape my little trap. I hope you don’t mind, but I set up another one for you. Kill them my pets!”

Encounter 2
Mindwarp Spider x1
Dire Vampspider x2
Otyugh x2

Encounter 3
Phase Spider x4

-Phase Spider crit Thoradin and knocked him unconscious, eventually saves

-Kristoph and I get knocked unconscious, eventually save

-So we ended our session after totally getting disease fucked. The Fighter got to the final stage of Filth Fever and can't regen health at all. The Berserker failed a save against Meanloc Disease and ran towards the Broodqueen's lair and jumped down the hole, so he's fucked.

-Chasing after Brute, the Berserker, Kristoph grabs him, but Brute breaks free and jumps down the hole. Passing an arcana check, we know that we only have two days to save Brute, otherwise he dies.

-Perception check to look down the hole, we notice that there is a force field covering the hole. Upon poking the force field, we find that we can’t get through. Since we’ve explored every room, except for one more passage, we go there and south of it, we find an exit with sunlight shining through. Deciding that it would be better to try and find Thoradin some help, rather than go find Brute, we head towards the exit. We come across 4 Carrion Swarms eating a corpse. Hesitating on what we should do, a group of spiders appear behind us.


Encounter 1
Carrion Swarm x4 (eating a corpse)
Ettercap Webspinner x1
Tangler Spider x1
Shadow Spider x1

-Once all of the spiders except the Tangler were dead, it grabbed Thoradin and started dragging him off. Luckily we killed it before it dragged Thoradin away into the dark.

-We exit the cave to find Thoradin a disease cleanser. Kristoph doesn’t have enough gold to afford the healing, so he haggles with a merchant to sell his old armor. After getting enough money, Kristoph is cleansed of his diseases also.

-Tired and exhausted, we decide to take an extended rest in an inn.

-After the rest, we decide to look for more adventurers to go with us back to the spider caves. We don’t find anyone willing to go, but we do hear about a female shaman that was interested in the caves. Upon more listening, we found out that she had left for the caves a few days ago.

-We entered the spider cave again to hopefully run into the Shaman and to finally dispose of Arachnia. Upon entering the cave, we hear panting, and we see a female Deva Shaman running towards us, “Run!” she yells. Behind her, there are 2 giant hordes of zombies and some spiders chasing after her.

Encounter 2
Zombie Throng x2
Mindwarp Spider x1
Tangler Spider x1
Adolescent Tomb Spider x1

-The Mindwarp Spider got a crit roll for mindcontrol on Kristoph, whom cleaved Hana, the Shaman, knocking her unconscious. I stabilized her next turn though.

-After the battle, Hana awakens and is very angry with us, especially Kristoph, since he whomped her near to death. She yells at Kristoph for his blunder, even though it was the Mindwarp Spider’s fault, and doesn’t trust us enough to stay. So, Hana storms off out of the cave.

-Chasing after her, we leave the cave, but we are unable to find her, and none of the townsfolk know where she could have gone. In the center of town, we ask more people if they’d seen her, but one woman mistakes Kristoph’s question as an insult and slaps him for 4 damage.

-We then come across the mayor, and ask him if he knows of any people who would help us. He mentions a tribe of shifters north of town.

-We head to the shifter tribe, and greet the chieftain. We inform him of what has happened. He mentions that he met Plainsrunner before he was captured, since being a fellow shifter, Plainsrunner stopped by the tribe before heading to town. The chieftain is saddened by the news that Plainsrunner is dead, and inquires if we are heading back to the cave to avenge Plainsrunner’s death. We tell him that that is one of our aims, alongside saving the town from the horrors. The chieftain joins our party, and we head back to the graveyard and enter the spider cave once more.

-We take Furyheart, the chieftain, to the room with the hole in the ground. We tell him of the barrier, and I try to break the barrier with an Avenging Light, but I end up blinding Thoradin and myself.

Left room with the oval is the giant hole. The room on the right with all the branches
is the room after we go down the hole.

-Furyheart hears noise coming from the hole, “Hide!” Only Furyheart manages to successfully stealth. An Ettercap Praetorian riding a Blade Spider emerges from the hole. They appear to be some sort of royal guard, the Ettercap points towards the hole that it just came from and then skitters back down. The familiar voice of Arachnia echoes through the room, “Come into my parlor.”

-I botch my roll to climb down and end up falling down the hole, but Furyheart grabs me

-Once we get to the bottom, we're in a room that has a bunch of tunnels that branch off. It seems to be some sort of transport nexus that the spiders use to travel around.

-We enter into the second tunnel on the left, and make another left (the room with the tokens in the picture above.) We come across another noble in a cocoon, and I remember something about a special noble down here. We break the noble out of the cocoon and he turns out to the King’s Nephew. Arachnia's voice echoes through the room,  “I will not let you take him, you die here! Brute, after them!”

Encounter 3
Zombie Throng x1
Tomb Spider Broodswarm x1
Adolescent Tomb Spider x2

-Furyheart falls unconscious from the Zombie Throng, but uses his Bear’s Endurance feat to get back up and healing surge

-Kristoph falls unconscious from the Zombie Throng

-Thoradin falls unconscious from the Zombie Throng

-Kristoph crit saves against death saving throw, gets back up and healing surges

To be continued...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alan Wake and the Wookiee + News

So in case you don’t follow my Twitter account, I was on vacation last week, which is why there was a lack of content on the site. I enjoyed a long week at a cabin in Strawberry, CA. So yea, I pretty much did the Alan Wake thing. I was expecting peace and quiet, but my family brought me up there to continue my writing. Things got really weird as my family was kidnapped by evil creatures I had created in a manuscript that I don’t remember writing, and I had to chase after them through my dreams armed with a flashlight… Obviously, I’m kidding, but the whole time I was up there, I couldn’t stop thinking about Alan Wake since the surrounding environment was very similar: the cabin, the lake, the forest. It apparently also looked like another famous setting according to my friend David, “It looks just like Endor up here!” In response, the South Park line, “Why don’t you go back to Endor, you stupid Wookiee!” “Wookiees don’t live on Endor!” became a common staple of awesome randomness. Anyway, I’m back now, and site operations will continue as normal.

In tabletop news, I think it’s safe to say that RPGs have become a new found love of mine, and is a hobby that is definitely here to stay. I got back from vacation Friday afternoon, and already started playing D&D that night and continued on all weekend up, racking up a total of 22 hours played just for the weekend (write ups coming soon). Speaking of write ups though, I’ve made the decision to switch to a summary format, because writing in story mode is just too time consuming. For our main campaign, the write up is about 5 sessions behind, and there’d just be no way for me to catch up unless I committed a whole week to nothing but writing, which like I said, I don’t have time for with all of my projects going on.

So, side campaign write ups will be coming soon, they’re already in progress. They aren’t as detailed as the main campaign one will be, since our characters background and stuff aren’t as well fleshed out. As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ll be the Game Master for an upcoming Deathwatch campaign. I think I’m going to have to delay the start time another week though. I sent all of my players a PDF of the rules, but one of them had problems opening it while I was on vacation. So to give him more time to read, I’ll just delay.

I’ve also started a fitness project today, getting into shape, but a more formal announcement for that is in the works. More video game reviews are in the pipeline, to spice up the variety of gaming content. You know what, just more content in general is coming. So, stay tuned, and happy gaming!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Deathwatch: GMing in about two weeks

For a couple months now, I've been following the development of Deathwatch, a 40k tabletop role-playing game by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). At the end of June, FFG released a free introductory adventure for people to download and play. After a couple of weeks of enjoying sessions of Dungeons & Dragons as a player, I've decided that I want to be the Game Master (or Dungeon Master, if you prefer) for Deathwatch. I finally talked my brother and three friends into playing since we all play tabletop Warhammer 40k anyway. To get them fired up, I sent them the following facebook message last night...

"++++++++ Transmission Begins ++++++++

After many years of exemplary service within your own Chapter, you have been selected to join of the most unique and specialized groups of Space Marines – the Deathwatch. Only exceptional candidates from the fighting forces of the Adeptus Astartes are invited to join the mysterious Deathwatch and take on a new oath to safeguard the Imperium from the darkest of threats. You are called into service to hunt down and destroy hostile xenos forces, to seek out and crush the root of heresy and sedition, and to continually fight against the foul daemon menace that crawls forth hungrily from beyond the Warp. You are at the forefront of Mankind’s war for survival against an extremely hostile universe.

During your missions for the Deathwatch, you and your fellow Space Marines will earn renown, advance in experience and prestige, and garner special wargear only entrusted to the most honored and trustworthy battle-brothers.

Along with the other members, you will form a Kill-team of Deathwatch Space Marines – but the challenges you face are not all external. Since you have been recruited from separate a Space Marine Chapter, your fellow Space Marines may have wildly differing traditions, beliefs, experiences and backgrounds than yours. You must learn to put aside your differences and work with Space Marines who may be strangers or even rivals in order to succeed in the most extraordinary of missions – or face the threat of total annihilation when confronted by implacable alien foes.

Should you accept this honor and respond to this transmission, I will send you a codex (game rules) that will brief you on your duties and how things are run here in the Deathwatch. I will also send an escort craft to pick you up, and should the Warp be willing, you will arrive here in two weeks (be prepared to play in two weeks, the week of July 18th). Accepting this honor comes with the responsibility of showing up to a mission (play session) once a week (to be decided, pending on people’s schedules). Be prepared for Missions to last about 3-4 hours.

Over and out.

++++++++ Transmission Ends ++++++++"

As each one responded, I then sent them the following message...

"Welcome to the Deathwatch, Battle Brother! A Deathwatch Codex (game rules) has been sent to your communications terminal (email). An escort ship has also been dispatched to pick you up and bring you here to our cruiser, The Valiant (not really)."

The email read...

"Greetings Initiate -

At long last, the time has come to walk a new path and fulfill your destiny. After years of successful, unfailing service in the name of your Chapter, your Primarch, and the Emperor - your exploits and successes have revealed you to be a most worthy candidate. Now that the oath has been spoken and the ritual painting of your power Armour is complete, it is time to assume the mantle of service beyond the concerns of your single Chapter, and unlike any you have ever known.
Welcome to the Deathwatch!

Download the PDF file, and have it read by July 18th. Also, email me back with which pre-generated character you have selected to play as. If you have any questions, just email me, and I'll be more than happy to answer them."

Over the next week, I'll be reading the rules and getting things ready for play. Unlike my D&D sessions online, I'm going to host Deathwatch at my house. So it should prove to be a lot of fun, as I have some interesting ideas for various objects and mood setting. I can't tell you them just yet, as the players read this blog too, but I will post them up after the session is over :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

D&D: Session 1 Log: Pt 1

Players from left to right
Turok: Dragonborn Cleric (Top)
Quatre: Human Druid
Alantin: Changeling Warlock
Wergild: Gnoll Fighter
Erdan: Half-Elf Sorcerer
(Click for bigger picture)

Note: I couldn't find the record button on Ventrillo, so I had to write physical notes as the session played out. So I had to pretty much wing it and make up the dialogue and such. The combat also sketchy, because being a new player, it took me a bit to get the hang of my actions and how to roll what, which forbade me from taking notes. Just take this write up for what you will, but I promise it will get better since I have the rest of the sessions recorded, thus they will be more accurate. Anyway...

It was a bright and sunny day in Ebelard as the party was gathered in the middle of the street, discussing various matters when they heard a commotion behind them. Before they could even turn around, a scraggily man covered in rags bumped into them and rushed past.

 A guard shouted, “Stop, Thief!” The guard stopped in front of the party, panting heavily. “I am Officer Garret of the Ebelard Watch. You look like capable men, would you do this city a huge favor and help me catch that man? His name is Dinkus, and he does nothing but cause problems in this town. Just now, he’s stolen a rather important missive that must be recovered.  I would do this myself, but I currently have few guards on hand.”

Raising an eyebrow with curiosity, “What would be our incentive?” asked Alantin with a sly grin.

Officer Garret chuckled, “First, you should check your pockets.”

Everyone except Alantin was missing their gold pouch on their belt. (Failed Thievery Check).

“You’ll get your revenge, as well as a reward if you succeed. If there’s nothing else, I will lead you to the sewers now where Dinkus hides.”
The group agreed to do this favor for Officer Garret, and he led them down into the Ebelard sewers. Dim lit torches lined the grime encrusted walls of the sewer, revealing the walkway, and a river of sickly green water ran through the sewer on the left. The travelers walked cautiously through the dank sewers, staying close to the torches on the wall. It wasn’t too long until the party came upon a wooden door. Deciding that the door might be booby trapped, Alantin casted an Eldritch Blast, violently exploding the door into splinters as the bolt of dark, crackling Eldritch energy collided with it. The room beyond was pitch black, so Alantin cracked a Sunrod, shedding bright light. Upon entering the room, four Dire Rats that were the size of small dogs crept out of the shadows.

“You came to the wrong nest, you have,” yelled Dirkus from out of sight. “You’ll only find pain and suffering here… Get them, my beauties!”

Upon command, the rats scurried forward to attack. Most of the rat’s attacks were futile as they missed. Alantin however, suffered a vicious bite, contracting Filth Fever. Wergild mightily swung his weapon at a lone rat, but the rat proved to be faster as it dodged the attack. In frustration, Wergild flipped off the vile creature. With the help of Erdan’s magic, Turok smited a rat with his broadsword, branding it with a ghostly, glowing symbol of Shelnedok’s anger. Another foe fell to the powerful magic of Alantin, and another from the blows of Quatre. The remaining rat attacked with desperate vigor, wounding Erdan as sharp and pestilent teeth sunk into his flesh. It was the combined efforts of the other party member’s that dispatched the last remaining rat.
As the ensemble took a moment to catch their breath, Dinkus’ shouts echoed nearby, “You’ll pay for that, you will! Dinkus will surely kill you!”

Realizing that Dinkus was just out of range, the band gave chase and dashed through the grimy sewer. After a stretch of running, Dinkus rounded a right corner. Everyone but Turok managed to quickly correct for the change in direction. Turok however, was caught by surprise by the turn and fell into the slimy drink. (Botched athletic roll). The rest of the party raced on, hot on the trail of Dinkus. Soon, Dinkus turned sharply around another corner, catching Erdan and Werguild off guard as they stumbled a bit, slowing them down. (Failed athletic roll).
Since Dinkus knew the sewers so well, he began to pull ahead of the group, beyond their sight, but within hearing distance. As Dinkus’ feet pounded against the pavement, Alantin honed in on Dinkus’ position and quickly cast an Eldritch Blast, sending a bolt of crackling energy into the darkness ahead. Dinkus’ screams of pain echoed loudly through the sewer, as the blast seared his flesh. (Alantin rolled a critical perception roll).

With Turok, Erdan, and Werguild still trailing behind, Alantin and Quatre heard the clicking of a mechanism up ahead, the sound of a lever being pulled. In the corner of their eyes, Alantin and Quatre just noticed a large valve pipe off to their left. (Successful perception roll). They skidded to a halt as slimy and foul smelling sewage spewed across the hall in front of them like a horizontal geyser.As the valve emptied, Alantin and Quatre quickly crossed in front of the valve, but then they heard another clicking sound, and another valve on the left gushed. This process repeated itself a third time, until there were no more valves blocking their path.

Dinkus then came into view as Alantin’s sunrod bathed him in bright light. With a look of horror, Dinkus turned and ran through a door way, trying to quickly close the metal door, but Quatre heaved his weight into the door before it could be shut. (Successful dexterity check). Locked in a stalemate of strength, the door slightly wavered back and forth as Quatre and Dinkus fought over the door’s position. Having now caught up, Turok charged into the door, turning the tide as the metal door swung open, clanging as it smashed into the sewer wall. (Successful strength check).

A few meters ahead, there was a pair of double metal doors and a passage that went off to the right. From behind the double doors, Dinkus shouted, “You has made it this far, enter if you dare, you will!”

To be continued…


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy Review

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2007

Kidnapped again, WTF!?
The game begins like every other Mario game, with Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. Shocker, I know. Then again, we don’t play Mario games for story, am I right? Anyway, it’s the Star Festival, which celebrates a comet that comes by every 100 years. Bowser breaks up the party with his spacecraft and pulls the entirety of Peach’s Castle into space. Mario gets pulled up with the castle too and tries to save Peach, but fails. Mario wakes up on a strange planet and meets Rosalina, who lives on the comet. Rosalina agrees to take Mario to the center of the universe where Peach is being held captive if he’ll get back the Grand Stars that were stolen by Bowser. Without the Grand Stars, the Comet Observatory is immobile.

I like the way you move
The controls are very solid and fluent…except when you’re underwater. As not one single developer can seem to get swimming controls down pat, I guess I can forgive it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still there and feel a bit funky. Anyway, for a platformer, moving and jumping should be the primary function, and if they don’t work right, then you’re game is going to suck. That’s not that case here however, as Mario moves as he’s supposed to.

So your most basic controls are running and jumping, but in addition, you can waggle the nunchuck and Mario will do a spin move. This allows him to knock over enemies and objects, extend his jump by just a bit, and perform special functions in boss fights. There’s also the classic ground pound by jumping and pressing Z.

The newest feature is to aim your wiimote to collect sparkly rock things called Star Bits, which are used to feed hungry Lumas that grant you access to certain areas. The game can be played “co-op,” where if you have a second wiimote, a friend can collect and shoot Star Bits for you. Yea, that’s co-op.

Don’t forget your towel!
There are six domes on the Comet Observatory. These domes house over 40 galaxies in total, which are your levels. There are usually three main galaxies in each dome, including one or two special galaxies and the boss galaxy. In each main galaxy, there are 3 basic stars you can get. Some galaxies have more as there are special comets that appear that increase the difficulty on the level for a special challenge which grants you another star. So in total, there are 120 stars you can collect, but you only need 60 to beat the game.

The galaxies look awesome, are very colorful as expected in Mario games, and are a blast to play. The difficulty varies on which star you’re after, as some are ridiculously easy, or straight up hard. Some levels, especially the comet levels, can really make you want to break your controller in half as you miss a jump or something. Practice, practice, practice. There were some spots that I really got hung up on, mostly on boss galaxies, but I never used more than 8 lives to beat a galaxy.

1 Up Yours!

My only real gripe with the game is the 1up system, it just doesn’t feel right. During stretches where I was doing really well, I had upwards of 20 lives. However, this would all disappear once I turned the game off to take a break, because they reset. What’s the point if they’re just going to reset? Because once I get down to two lives, I can just reset the game to gain back continues. There’s also a way to get practically infinite continues by hitting the box by the Mushroomship, because the box always resets when you leave the area and come back. The only significance it holds is as a check point holder. Once you get so far into a level, you get an invisible check point (invisible, because you never know when you hit them). When your lives run out, you just simply have to restart the level from the very beginning. With continues bearing no weight, there’s no reason to go out of your way to get them or buy them when a Luma offers a 1up or a Supershroom (gives you 3 more HP). Um yea, give me the Supershroom, I can get a 1up from the box in the ship.

Verdict: Awesome

That's also 1 game completed for the challenge, 27 more to go!

Monday, June 14, 2010

D&D: Campaign Info, Tools, and First Impressions

My Dungeons & Dragons group had our first session last Wednesday, and I must say that I was very impressed. It was insanely fun and our Dungeon Master did a wonderful job of keeping things interesting and running smoothly. In the beginning of our session, it took me a while to understand what was going on and how things worked. It’s one thing to read the handbook, but it’s another thing to actually play.

New Player Tip: Pay special attention to Chapter 9: Combat in the Player’s Handbook. During game-play, you’ll spend a good portion, if not most, of your time in combat. I would even suggest rereading the chapter two or three times.

New Player Tip: Familiarize yourself with your character’s skills, feats, and powers. Make sure to know these inside and out. Print out your Character Sheet to help you keep track of stuff. Everything really important that pertains to your character and combat is on that sheet.

As I mentioned a few posts back, I’m playing online with some World of Warcraft guild members. I know I’m missing out on the “true” D&D atmosphere with rolling dice, Mountain Dew, and pizza as seen below, but the group and I still have lots of fun thanks to a few online tools. The group meets every Wednesday night and our party consists of:
Turok – Dragonborn Cleric (Me)
Quatre – Human Druid
Erdan – Half-Elf Sorcerer
Wergild – Gnoll Fighter
Alantin – Changeling Warlock

I took notes during the session of what happened during play, and I plan to write them up for you to read. I intend to write it up in a story style though to help me work on my writing skill and to also spice it up a bit more so that it’s more enjoyable to read.

Since this is a table top game and we’re playing online, we use what’s referred to as a Virtual Table Top. The videos in the link below can explain it better than I can, and it’s always better to show rather than tell, so here you go:

For our campaign, we don’t use a lot of the automatic stat tracking that can be used in Maptool. We still mark and keep track of our own stats on paper/monitor since that’s part of the fun of the game. We mainly just use Maptool for a visual map, token movement, and dice rolling in the chat function. Maptool is free, and you can download it here:
Maptool Video Tutorials:

From what I hear, there are other free to use, or even subscription, application programs that you can use to host and play on, but this is what our Dungeon Master wanted us to use, and we like it.

Since we’re primarily a World of Warcraft guild, our guild owns a Ventrilo server which we use to communicate for raids and such. We just make a passworded channel on the server for our D&D need and to keep wanderers from disturbing play. Ventrilo is free to use, and you can download it here:

You can either host the server on your computer for free or pay a monthly fee to have a reliable company to host it. An alternative is Teamspeak which is pretty much the same thing or Skype.

Character Builder
This is an application program directly from Wizards of the Coast, who own the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. It pretty much walks you through character creation, and helps you manage your character through play. For our campaign, this is what our Dungeon Masters uses to keep track of our character progression and stats. The other players and I just simply e-mail the save file to the Dungeon Master and he does what he needs with it.
There is a demo of the program, which you can download here:

To level your character passed level 3 however, you’ll either have to subscribe to Dungeons & Dragons Insider, or know someone who is a subscriber and they can provide you with an update to grant you full access.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

E3 2010: My Most Anticipated

So with E3 unofficially kicking off tonight and continuing on until Thursday, June 17, I figured I would let you know what I’m most excited about.


10) Killzone 3 (PS3)
Release Date: TBA

Why I’m excited: The third installment of the Killzone franchise. Killzone 2 was excellent, and I definitely want to see more. There’s also the implementation of 3D graphics for the game. It will definitely help prove if 3D has staying power with gaming.

9) Fallout: New Vegas
(PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Release Date: Q4 2010

Why I’m excited: Fallout 3 was excellent. New Vegas looks like more of the same in a new territory, but that’s alright with me.

8) Enslaved
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Release Date: TBA 2010

Why I’m excited: I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories, plain and simple. This game actually deviates from the standard brown and grey spectrum though, and actually has a wide variety of exciting colors.

7) Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
Release Date: April 5, 2011

Why I’m excited: …speaking of brown and grey spectrums, just kidding. I really enjoyed the last 2 games, and look forward to the conclusion of the story. It’ll be interesting to see how they one up Gears of War 2.

6) Dead Rising 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Release Date: August 31, 2010

Why I’m excited: The first Dead Rising was extremely fun and inventive when it came to killing zombies, and now 2 will expand on the whacky and zaniness for new weapons and combos AND with an all new area to explore and cleanse. Plain and simple: Zombies.

5) Dead Space 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Release Date: Q1 2011

Why I’m excited: Isaac is back and now with a voice! Dismemberment was one of the coolest gameplay mechanics when the first game released.

4) Portal 2
(PC, Xbox 360)
Release Date: TBA 2011

Why I’m excited: I’m a big fan of the first game, and Valve is one of my favorite developers. With this second installment however, it’s going to be a full length game and feature co-op! I can never say no to co-op.

3) Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Release Date: March 2011

Why I’m excited: While I never did get to play the first 2 games, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them, and this game is apparently going to be a prequel. The story sounds amazing, and if you can do even half of the stuff in the trailer, that’d be a rad game.

2) Bulletstorm
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Release Date: Q1 2011

Why I’m excited: Military shooters be damned, this game just looks like insane fun.

1) Warhammer 40k: Space Marine
(PS3, Xbox 360)
Release date: TBA

Why I’m excited: Huge fan of the Warhammer 40k universe and Space Marines. I’d love to get into the boots of a Space Marine and just wreck havoc on the enemies of the Emperor… even if they are Ultramarine boots, For Sanguinius!


Even being a diehard World of Warcraft player, it's still fun to take peaks at up and coming competition. Currently I'm really excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic as it's being made by Bioware and looks fantastic. I'm also really looking forward to what THQ will reveal about the Warhammer 40k MMO.

4) Vindictus
Release Date: Fall 2010

3) Tera
Release Date: Q1 2011

2) Warhammer 40k MMO

Release Date: TBA

1) Star Wars: The Old Republic
Release Date: TBA 2011


1)Tie: Kinect (Natal) & Move

Why I'm excited: These two products have been hyped and hyped. Soon we'll find out if they really have staying power or are mere peripherals to capture the casual gaming market. Mini games are all fun and dandy, but they don't essentially make a game. One can only play mini games for so long. It's also software that will have to push the hardware, because like I said, "Mini games will not sell Natal or Move." Sure you'll get some early adopters, but there are many, like myself, who are still skeptical as to what really can be done with these peripherals. "Potential, potential, potential!" has been shouted numerous times, but as stated, it will be software that truly pushes the hardware sells. Let's just hope that Microsoft and Sony show us some living proof of what games we're capable of playing with Natal and Move.

2) Nintendo 3DS
Not much is known about this piece of hardware yet, and it's not known if this will continue in the DS vein or be it's successor. 3D this, and 3D that have been shoved down our throats for almost 2 years now with movies, and it now seems that the phenomenon is coming to gaming. 3D gaming for consoles seems to require a much more expensive buy in to utilize the technology (ie. owning a 3D capable TV). However, 3D in a hand-held form will be much more available and accessible to the common consumer as (hopefully) the price will be more reasonable.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

D&D: My Character's Backstory

So for our Dungeons & Dragons campaign, our Dungeon Master has made a custom campaign for us to explore and enjoy. As such, players were required to write their own character backstory. While I've mainly been distracted with reading the Player's Handbook I hastily wrote mine last night since we begin play later tonight. It could probably use some more editing and detailing, but I like it well enough:

I am forever shamed, because my parents are of different clans; my father being a black dragonborn, and my mother of the brown dragonborn. The two met on the battlefield when all of the dragonborn clans had to come together to defeat the ever growing and dangerous Orc threat in the Tribulation War. After the war, my parents parted ways and returned to their clans. I only know of my parents from what the Cleric leader has told me as my mother passed away during labor. Being alone in the world, Darvinrok, the Cleric leader, cared for my egg and took me in after I hatched.

Growing up in a pure brown dragonborn society, I was often treated different, because I had inherited my father’s black scales but kept the brown dragonborn society’s breath weapon of ice. Although the color difference was subtle, it made me stick out like a sour thumb as my childhood nickname was “Wrongscale.” As much as I tried to fit in, my scales always skewed someone’s opinion or treatment of me.

To prove my honor to the clan and follow the only footsteps I knew, I became Darvinrok’s Cleric apprentice and dedicated my time and devotion to Shelnedok “the Earth Shaker,” Ancestor of the Brown Dragonkind. Under Darvinrok, I not only learned how to live a life of prayer and devotion, but also to slay with a mighty broadsword and protect with a light shield. Wielding these weapons and learning to channel Shelnedok’s divinity, I became a battle cleric.

One day while praying at the Altar of Shelnedok, a group of fiendish Purescales* looking to make trouble on my behalf entered the temple. I heard them laugh and mock me as they walked down the aisle but still I continued to play the fool and stayed kneeling, pretending to pray.

One of them shoved me from behind, “Didn’t you hear me, Wrongscale? You don’t belong here. This isn’t your world.”

I recovered, pretending as if I meant to lean forward in a bow, my eyes still closed as I started to hum.

The same voice growled, “Nobody mocks me, especially not some two-bit dragonborn.”

I heard the hastily unsheathing of a weapon and snapped to attention, rolling into the target’s feet and knocking it over. As I tried to get to my feet, another Dragonborn uppercut me in the ribs. The blow sent me reeling backwards into a third Dragonborn who grabbed me from behind. To loosen his grip, I slammed the back of my head into his face and hurtled myself backwards, using my body weight to crush him as we crashed to the floor. The Dragonborn that had uppercut me now lunged for a second blow, but I sidestepped the attack and drew my shield to bare. The wild Dragonborn swung with another strike, but quicker, I heaved my shield into him, catching him under the chin, knocking him out cold. I drew my broadsword and turned to face the first Dragonborn whom I had rolled into.

The Dragonborn smirked, “Very impressive, Wrongscale, but now you die!”

Yelling, the Dragonborn charged with his sword held two-handed above his head, ready for a devastating blow. I yelled back, holding my ground. As the Dragonborn came within distance and began his downward swing, I broke his stride with a kick to the chest, breaking any chance he had for defense as he jolted and rebound. Upon seeing the opening, I thrust the pommel of my sword into his face, and he was finished.

Even though I didn’t provoke the fight and merely fought back in self-defense, the other members of the clans were none too pleased. Some even went so far as to demand that I be beheaded for my actions. Darvinrok pleaded with the Clan leader however, and their verdict was that I would be sent to Granwald, far over to the east to join the scout post. The scout post was near the edge of the Untamed Wilds, and would keep watch for any Orc or feral Gnoll tribe uprisings.

During this time I was only seventeen, and only Dragonborn over the age of eighteen were rotated to the post, but the Clan Leader made an exception. While I managed to walk out with my life and was told that my reason for leaving was to bring Shelnedok’s divine light to the wilds, I knew that being cast away from the clan was just as detriment as any death. The Clan Leader simply just wanted to cleanse his clan of my black scale impurity, and put me in a place where I would hopefully not cause any more trouble.

After many months of travel across the ashes of Verania and the scorching desert of Zesbalam, I made final camp at the scout post in Granwald. Choosing to have no more association with my clan and no desire to go by my nickname, I am Turok, Dragonborn Cleric.

Personality Traits and such
1) Why is your character interested in adventuring?

Turok has pretty much been exiled from his clan, and doesn't really dig the whole hermit thing. Turok will go anywhere and do anything to fulfill his sense of honor.

2) What drives your character (vengeance, desire for status, the seeking of penance, etc.)? What is the inspiration for this drive?

Even though Turok was always treated differently and disrespected in his clan, he still carries himself highly, because he knows that the situation wasn't his fault. However, living a life where most everyone detests him has left him with a slight chip on his shoulder, and has some slight trust issues as he is mostly reserved and tries to keep a guard up before letting anyone get too close emotionally. Being of Good alignment though, he upholds laws of justice, but should the law be morally unsound he chooses not to follow them. Turok has a deep sense of need for honor, because it's part of his Dragonborn quality and alignment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

D&D: I Put on My Robe and Wizard Hat

So I had originally planned to do a Warhammer 40k tabletop gaming intro series, but an opportunity came to me to play Dungeons & Dragons. I know right? The nerdiest of nerd stuff, but I would be a liar if I said I never had a longing to play at some point. The thing that always eventually turned me off from the idea was that none of my other friends expressed any interest when I would ask them about D&D. So even if I did buy all the books required to play, I wouldn’t have anyone to play with. That was the other problem, the books. Not only would it have cost a small fortune to buy them all, there was then the avalanche of having to read them all.

Recently, I’ve been following a different tabletop RPG, Deathwatch, by Fantasy Flight Games which lets you role-play as a Space Marine in the Warhammer 40k universe. I realize that Deathwatch is a very different setting and will have a different rule set from Dungeons & Dragons, but playing D&D will give me some insight into the game type to see if I even like it. I’ve often wanted to be the Dungeon Master since they control the narrative of the game. I fancy myself an amateur writer, so if anything; it would allow me a chance to work on my writing skills to create custom narratives to play. For this time around though I’ll simply be a player.

Anyway, during a World of Warcraft raid some guild members were talking about an application called Maptool. After asking about it, I came to find out that it was a program they were going to use to host a Dungeons & Dragons campaign online. As I said earlier, I’ve always been curious, so I jumped at the chance to play since they still had room in the group.

Having never played before, I got myself a copy of the Fourth Edition D&D Player’s Handbook. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I’m currently on Chapter 6 – Feats, out of 10 chapters. The book is 317 pages, but it’s actually a pretty easy read if you take it chapter by chapter. The longest chapter is 4, which is Character Classes and is 122 pages. The reason for it being so long is because each class’s powers for all 30 levels are listed after the class description.

A lot of the material is already very familiar to me since I’ve played many a video game RPG such as Never Winter Nights and NW2, which actually used the D&D 3.5 system. So characteristics such as Strength, Dexterity, etc, and stuff like Fortitude saves or Feats aren’t alien concepts to me, which is really making tabletop easy to pick up. Playing tabletop D&D also gives me a chance to actually see the nitty gritty of the math and concepts of the role-playing genre at work and in its original form before it became integrated into video games. In a way, it’s like a history lesson in the development of video games, and hopefully should prove useful one day since a career in video game programming is my dream.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer 2010 Gaming Challenge

With the semester finally over, I don’t have to slave away at studying and writing countless essys anymore. So now I have a bunch of free time until August 16th, when class starts back up again. While I was looking over my video game library the other day, I realized that I had a ton of games, but had barely beaten any of them. The reason for this is that games just come out so fast, and especially with the flood of the Christmas season, so many good games all at once. In an attempt to play them all, I jump around between games a lot, getting maybe half way through if I’m lucky.

I still beat some games, but that feat is accomplished far too rarely for my liking. So in order to remedy this, I’ve decided that with my newly found free time, I have a chance to beat them all. For now, this only applies to current generation games such as Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii, but someday I plan to go back and complete all of my last generation games too. Anyway, with this current goal in mind, I have gathered all of my unfinished games, and they are listed below if you wish to take a gander. There are 28 games on this list, so this undertaking is quite large and should prove to be quite a challenge. My goal is to beat all 28 before the next semester starts.

Since challenges are more fun with other people participating and to hold you accountable, I invite you along for this journey. Go to your game library, pull out all of your unbeaten games, compile a list, and then start knocking them off. Here is my list:

Playstation 3
1) Eternal Sonata
2) Resistance 2
3) Metal Gear Solid 4
4) Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
5) Uncharted 2
6) Killzone 2
7) God of War 3
8) Final Fantasy 13

Xbox 360
1) Fallout 3
2) Bioshock 2
3) Bayonetta
4) Halo 3
5) Halo 3: ODST
6) Lost Planet
7) Battlefield: Bad Company
8) Battlefield: Bad Company 2
9) Dead Space
10) Assassin’s Creed 2
11) FEAR
12) Alan Wake
13) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
14) Modern Warfare 2
15) Red Dead Redemption

1) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2) Monster Hunter Tri
3) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
4) Super Mario Galaxy

1) Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2

Total: 28
Completed: 1

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Activision Rant

I can’t help but feel disgust for Activision lately. Every couple of months or so, my trust is just shaken by them, and most of it revolves around Call of Duty. There’s no denying that Modern Warfare has changed the way multiplayer is played, not only for first person shooters, but all multiplayer. The perk system is excellent; a player gains “levels” through a numbered rank, and rewards of new guns and class modifiers. It keeps the player interested in multiplayer longer than the previous multiplayer iterations, because they’re constantly being rewarded and thus want to keep playing. It brings longevity to the game, and certainly brings a bang for the buck value. Modern Warfare 2 is the height of the series right now, it just plays fluently and certainly feels how a first person shooter should…when it works.

The multiplayer of Modern Warfare 2 is broken. It sounds extreme I know, but it’s true. Every couple of weeks there’s a new glitch that just utterly breaks the game to the point of unplayability. First, there was the ridiculous Javelin glitch, which made people into suicide bombers. Second, there was the Infinite Ammo glitch, which was actually quite fun, but it messed up the stat boards. Then, there was the Unlimited Care Package Glitch.

I understand that every game has glitches, but I can’t help but feel that some of these glitches could have been avoided if there was a beta for the multiplayer. I don’t know if it was Infinity Ward or Activision that dropped the ball, but I’m sure Activision had a hand in it since they treat the IP as a holy artifact.

This is really where Activision gets ridiculous and disgusts me.
"I was disappointed not to see any sort of aggressive price cutting," Kotick said. "Of all the things that the hardware companies need to be doing right now, it's recognizing the difficulties of the economy and pricing their hardware appropriately."
Activision’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, wants console hardware prices to come down because of the economy so that they’re priced appropriately. However, two months later, he then turns around and wants to raise software prices! He’s getting his software price raise through downloadable content as I see it, because Activision is charging $15 for their new Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package. Sure it contains 5 new maps for multiplayer, but 2 of them are imported over from Modern Warfare 1, and they don’t even work properly. Bobby, you want hardware to be priced appropriately, well how about pricing your software appropriately!

I’m just done with Activision, they’ve become what the old Electronic Arts was, money grubbing whores. I won’t be buying anymore Activision games. Unfortunately, this won’t really hurt Activision’s wallet, because Modern Warfare 2 is such a juggernaut and one of the best selling games of all time. What really worries me though is that one of my favorite developers, Blizzard Entertainment, is now a partner of Activision. By continuing support for Blizzard by buying their games, I’m also supporting Activision in the long run, which really sucks.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


My name is Sal, and this is my restart to blogging. I'm a full time college student, and am majoring in Computer Science. Sometime in the future I hope to be a Video Game Programmer and Designer.

I'm a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none" kind of guy. I have a vast amount of different hobbies and interests, but don't really excel at any one. I play video games, play Warhammer 40k tabletop, mess around with Photoshop, write stories, play the drums, and continually plan for the zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, that was a quick overview of me. I'm sure as I keep posting, most of this stuff will be expanded upon, and you'll learn more about me. I plan to use this as a general blog: reviewing video games and movies, Warhammer 40k battle reports, zombie survival tips, sharing my writing and philosophies, and probably some other things I haven't even thought of yet. Here's to many posts to come. /Cheers :D

Work in Progress

Work in Progress
Counts as Lemartes

WIP Automarine Test

WIP Automarine Test
What Optimus Prime would look like as a Space Marine... wow my highlighting sucks >.<