Oh Dear God...

Huge savings (albeit on Steam) from June 30th to July 10th...

Just what we all needed: more games..

Not to mention,

Pre-ordering will get you into the beta..

So many games... so little money for more Magic cards... guh


The more things change..

Finished the New Vegas: Honest Hearts dlc... once again, i'm glad (is that the right word?) that it only cost 10$ b/c it was incredibly short. It took a grand total of possibly 3 hours to complete. Granted, I didn't do much exploring and just the storyline, but it was a short adventure.

And its still buggy with a CTD, losing a few minutes of progression (only a few minutes b/c I save constantly being paranoid of previous CTD sessions).

Ahh.. Fallout... you are so buggy. You should be ashamed.

Whats everyone's plans for this long weekend?



Haven't been playing much these days; my most recent purchase (besides more MTG cards) was the Honest Hearts dlc for Fallout New Vegas, but even then i've only played it for 2ish hours. It seems like it is exactly worth the ten dollars you pay for it. Small additions, small map, short dialogues, one or two unique things.
I've been editing the macro photos I take during the day and didn't end up purchasing Dungeon Siege 3 after reading this online:

Why did they decide to do that? Thats just laziness a la Fable 2.


Quiet Farewell

I guess last night was the last time i'd log into Rift. I figured with my continued night shift schedule that I'd have little time to give out little gift bags personally to my guildies. Sorry if I missed you, I actually sent so many messages, that the system warned me that I sent out too many.

Take care friends and have fun!

Onto new adventures!


Sweet Deal: MTG Duel of the Planeswalkers 2012

Just because this game is a steal and incase Steam wakes up and changes their mind... two entries today:

If you had the pc version of Magic the Gathering: Duel of the Planeswalkers 2010, then you may have noticed that the 2headed Giant format didn't work. If you enjoy multiplayer with your friends/live people, then the MTG 2012 version is totally worth your money.

For 10$ you get:

The traditional campaign
- unlock decks and cards for the decks by defeating other planeswalkers
- complete puzzles for achievements

- a 3 vs 1 MTG format, where the person on their own has incredibly strong cards that makes 3vs1 feel more like 3vs5 (in their favor)
- case in point: getting a card that gives the person on their own a 4/6 Golem token in the first turn, or a 5/5 Flying Dragon on the first turn
- same kind of format as the campaign, defeat these Archenemies one at a time, picking your 2 other party members from any deck to see which combinations work best
- unlock a Revenge mode (haven't got there yet) and additional cards for your existing decks

2Headed Giant Online
- 2vs2 mode

Free-for-All mode
- 4 player format, battle royale
- unlock cards as well here
1 on 1 mode
- pretty self explanatory
Deck manager
- honestly, not the best, but able to switch out cards of your 60+ card deck

The only drawback that i've seen so far is that you pick from a preset deck with a certain set of cards. You can't just create your own deck from a pool of cards. Usually these cards are all mutally exclusive.
The upside to this is that the decks are pretty well made and work well. There is a recognizable theme to each deck and works the way you'd play MTG.

For example:
Gideon Jura's White deck:
- deals with alot of weak soldier creatures and angels that use equipment to boost themselves

Nessa Revane Green/Black deck:
- an elf deck that takes all the best elf cards to overwhelm your opponents
- it looks almost like my Green/Black elf deck

Chandra Nalar Red deck:
- an agro deck based on duels, constantly being on the attack and using spells that directly attack the creature or player

I can't verify right now, but you might be able to unlock a deck for Nicol Bolas and Karn (from Scars of Mirrodin block). There is an interesting Green/Blue Planeswalker deck who's theme is to get TONS of lands on the field to summon incredibly strong creatures including Eldrazi creatures!

In the end: If you're a MTG fan, 10$ is a fantastic deal; this version is much more robust and should be charging easily 30$ for it. If you're interested in learning MTG, this is a great start. And even if you end up not liking it, its only 10$, so you won't feel so bad.


Its interesting: feeling the need to hit max level in a game that no longer interests me.
I'm extremely excited to play some more of the new Magic the Gathering game, pay 10$ and get a new Fallout: New Vegas expansion.

2 levels is all I need. Two.
But for what? To say that I actually did it. That I wasn't a total alt-oholic and had billions of avatars without hitting the max level and finding out what the end-game was like. To set the record straight, had I not regressed and made (only one)a character of each class, I would have easily hit lvl 50 a while ago. It was just a really fun game that made nearly (I made a cleric but didn't get to play much of it) every class a fun and refreshing experience.

It does feel a bit empty having hyped Rift so much, and to only stop my journey at lvl 48, only 3 months in.
I feel that Rift didn't allow me to be too unique, I couldnt' really stand out in the crowd. The dye system wasn't the best. Mounts were relatively cheap when you got to higher lvls (and if you utilized the AH). Companion pets were a dime a dozen if you spent the time hunting/buying artifacts or doing Live Events or even rifted alot. I remembered the big guilds, but what did they really do, other than keep to themselves?
People seem to be much more in a rush to get that next shiney, than to help each other, shoot the breeze, etc.

What have I accomplished?
Met some great guildies and played with bloggers I follow.
Found a new game I could enjoy exploring with my girlfriend.
Discovered unique locations and unlocked achievements that (possibly I imagine) few gamers did.
Dominated pvp matches and was a vital part of a team when organized.

I'll phrase it like my girlfriend and ask: Is it bad that I place getting to max level higher than some of those other achievements?


I'd like my cheque please...

If you haven't already... BUY Magic the Gathering 2012: Duel of the Planeswalkers. NOW
Not later.
Not in an hour.
Not in a few minutes.
What are you waiting for? Don't worry about me! Gogogogogogogogogogogo.

If you want a reason, it'll be available tomorrow :P


The Same Numbers

A few more minutes in Rift led to many minutes last night, a whole lot of grinding, lvl 48, and a new soul specc that I'll need to try out again. Still, it feels like a chore to level up my character... almost there.

Duel of the Planeswalkers 2012 is available on Steam in about 5 minutes from time of writing.. I'll let you know soon how it is..


I Win Button

Such a short (feeling) weekend (dont you hate those?).

Magic the Gathering: Duel of the Planeswalkers 2012 comes out in roughly 2 days for the PC and I believe the 360. Will only be 10$ for the PC so i'll be totally picking it up. Each of those characters look so cool.

Playing with/against infect feels so cheap.

It feels like a cop out, but it is really effective. I hope in the next expansion there is a way to counter it or a better mechanic.

I unfortunately cancelled my Rift sub tonight; I have 21 more days to get to lvl 50 till it expires. Its a great game, don't get me wrong. Alot of polish, very few bugs, very little lag. I've never used an auction house as much as I have with any mmo as much as Rift; it was intuitive and very user friendly. I understand now how my friends would always be so rich. My biggest issue with the game was the Rifting: it wasn't engaging enough. Yes, if you don't help, the world/zone will be overrun with rift creatures and you won't be able to do anything. But once you do one rift, you've done them all. And its always going to be 50+ raiders beating up on one boss monster at the end. I feel like a broken record; have the monster be able to hurt more people more frequently (or hit harder). Have it spawn it's own baddies or make it change agro randomly (not super frequently, but don't be stuck hitting the tanks all the time!).



Now armed with Photoshop, I've found less time to complete the quest to lvl 50 in Rift...

Atleast i'm doing something productive ;)
Happy Friday everyone!


Steam- Dungeon Siege 3 Demo Available

Per the title, Dungeon Siege 3 demo is available on Steam.

Quick thoughts on the game:

- i don't remember having to move with right click and attacking with left; its clumsy (or i haven't played a dungeon crawler in ages)

- graphics is better than any dungeon crawling game so far

- many cut-scenes and conversations with a speaking main character!

- bad: very choppy/laggy; I have a pretty good system, I don't think it should be this choppy

- this feels like a pc game turned console port (aka dumbed down); ugh

- easy to tell which new gear is better than others, BUT what do all the stats mean? "Doom"? "Wither?"

- feels like it is on rails; VERY similar feel like the latest Final Fantasy release..

Biggest Concern: even with lowered video settings, the game was incredibly laggy/choppy; i'm hoping the full game is optimized

Pre-order it: Nah

Buy it: maybe (not full price)


Up close and personal

Haven't had much time to game these days; leveling my 46.5 Mage in Rift feels like a chore.
I finally got Photoshop and was able to touch up some photos such as this macro shot.

I'm testing a theory out (since i'm still a macro newbie), but with a higher f-number I should have more of the shot in focus. There seems to be a very small area of detail in focus when using a macro lens versus other lens.
It was kind disheartening that I took over 100 photos over the weekend at the cottage only to find about 4 that were ok.
Practice practice practice I suppose.

We missed the Anime North 2 weekends ago... FanExpo is at the end of August. Don't Forget!


Challenge Accepted!

Hope everyone had a good weekend.
My coworker Wolfman is always reading TONS of websites at work. Reddit I think. If you see some new web comic links on the right side, those were recommendations by him.

He challenged me and my other coworker Soto to try to replicate that photo.
If you can't tell, you're looking at the end of a ballpoint PEN.


White Knight

An unaltered shot I took with my new macro lens.

Cause I need Freedom Now

Its not Friday, but it may as well be

I found the song that i've been chasing for ever since my trip to the Bahamas for my close friend's destination wedding. Its the quintessential definition of how free it feels there.

Have a great day!


Beneath my Feet

After looking at Hunter's entry and looking at the first concept art,
the thought occured to me: mmo's map design is always horizontal and never truly vertical. Very infrequently are we spending time on different levels such as an underground, ground-level and above ground area. There will be small areas in which there is an underground area, but the whole of mmo design doesn't accomodate that.

Think of WoW, there is the Undercity which is underground and has different 'levels'. It still takes up a separate area than the rest of the map as in, nothing occupies the highest lvl of Undercity, just invisible walls.

When I think of Rift, there are castles in which corridors have multiple levels. The Defiant captial, Meridian, has a mage tower with multiple levels separated with teleporters and tries to give the sense that you're going higher up. There is Lantern Hook, a high lvl city which had levels hollowed into a huge rockface. Scarlet Gorge was a great example of giving a sense of depth; being at the top of the gorge or at the very bottom, or even areas underground.

Aion did a cool job with flight and having items of interest floating in the air.

But look back at that photo.

Imagine an mmo world where (say, for example) you started off in the underground area with plot talking about how one day instead of looking up into the sky, you'll find a way to the surface and be able to look down from where you came from. A truly two-plus level game world. Instead of looking at how big a mmo's land mass is, one will need to take into consideration of the underground AND above ground areas that occupy the same space. Sure, this concept (especially above ground areas: think floating islands) may not be applicable to some lore, but it can in many fantasy settings.

This reminds me of rpg Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. You started off in a tavern of sorts and you are forced to dig deeper and deeper in the dungeons/maze to find the villan. It felt like you were getting incredibly deeper instead of going farther in distance away from your origin. But as a D&D type of game, its levels are not truly connected as an mmo world normally is (no loading screens).

I understand the trepidation of designing such a world though; people have a hard enough time navigating the normal game world, hence the need to indicate waypoints or have a map that shows where to complete quests. And that is only on one plane of design; I myself get confused sometimes when a quest navigator shows me where to complete the quest and I don't realize the quest components are hidden underground. That, and for some people navigating different levels without a defined 'ground' and 'sky' may cause nausea.