Category Archives: Miscellaneous Madness

Stuff that just doesn’t fit anywhere in particular

Old School meets New School

I’ve recently started playing a D&D 4e campaign. We’re going to be playing online using a web based tabletop in combination with Google+ Hangouts. Old school pen & paper gaming meets new school online gaming.

We played through a test encounter last week and I have to admit that the combination of the bare bones tabletop provided by the fine folks at Roll20.net with the video chat of the hangout made it feel like we were all sitting around a big table throwing dice. The Roll20 site basically provides you the tabletop map and a dice roller. It’s up to the players and GM to figure out what they need to roll and when so everyone has their character sheets and the books handy just like you do around a physical table.

It took us about 3 hours to get through a single encounter but a lot of that was figuring out the software and learning our new characters. I figure we’ll get faster over time but remembering some of my past pen & paper experiences it wasn’t unusual for us to only get through a single encounter in a session then so maybe not.

Pakts Dabagars - Gnome Warlock
Pakts Dabagars – Gnome Warlock

Still, I’m looking forward to getting into the adventure. I’ve written a backstory for my character – that’s his picture there in the post. Instead of adding it as a post here I think I’m going to create a page for it and just post it there. Maybe I’ll add a sub-domain with a blog to journal all of his adventures if I have the time.

Weekend – Open Beta Version

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed in EQ2. There are so many different things I want to do that I find myself paralyzed by choice.

This weekend I decided that what I needed was a change of scenery and since both Champions Online and Fallen Earth had open “betas” I figured I’d give them look. I plan on writing a more detailed post on each of them later but here’s my one line review.

Champions: City of Heroes 2.0 or maybe CoX evolved and that’s not a bad thing.

Fallen Earth: The love child of Fallout 3 and Eve with a crafting system that I find very compelling.

More later – the iPhone is ok for short posts but not so much for longer writing.

Danger…Fallout!

This week is my birthday and Lore got me the collectors edition of Fallout 3. I still consider the original 2 some of the best games ever and I have high hopes that this one will carry on that tradition.

Last night I was torn between attempting the newest D.I.R.T.Y. quests and playing Fallout…Fallout won and I have to say that so far it’s done a pretty good job of bringing the classic series into the modern world.

The first half an hour or so was basically a combination tutorial/character creation session which was pretty cool but I’m hoping there is a way to bypass parts of that since it’s really only entertaining once. I don’t think it will be a spoiler to say that you actually get to start in The Vault in this one and after the tutorial part and the  initial quests that have you leave the vault I spent the rest of the night in the first town you come to.

This is where I can really see shades of the original games. After 3 hours of running around exploring town, talking to people and picking up a bunch of quests I already have what appear to be conflicting quests and I know that choosing one side is going to have an impact on how the story progresses.

So far my only complaint is the first person perspective and the real time combat. I’m getting used to the first person part – though I still don’t like running around either armed or with my fists up like I’m about to punch everyone – but I think the combat might take me a while. I need to play around with the VATS (paused slow motion Action Point based system) to figure out if I can make it come closer to duplicating the strategic turn based combat of the originals.

I’ve seen a couple of complaints about the lock picking and hacking mini-games but I find them entertaining. I find it interesting that they managed to give them appropriately different feels. The lock picking is a slightly twitchy while the hacking is a more mental exercise though neither is overly difficult. It’s true that as an RPG it should be about the characters skills and not mine but I find it a bit more immersive to participate in these activities and I can see that it would be easy enough to tweak the difficulty of the mini-game to make it easier for more skilled characters – I’m not sure it works this way I can just see how it could be made to.

I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those games that takes me forever to finish though since I’ve got about 4 hours in already and I haven’t even left the first city.

Gaming, Interrupted

Last Wednesday SoE surprised everyone with the rollout of GU48 in EQ2. We knew it was coming but everyone figured it would either be later in the week what with Fan Faire taking everyone’s time and energy the previous weekend. This update added a ton of content that Lore and I were looking forward to so Comcast deciding to help us celebrate the release by having our internet connection drop off was NOT appreciated.

 

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