Life is like this sometimes

Found at Omake Theater

What to expect at a Comic Con

Cosplay found at the San Diego Comic Con

Not the best stuff i've seen, but still better than anything I can make..


Pew-Pew Indeed

With a serious gaping hole which is the lack of mmo gaming these days, i've been catching up on some Fallout: New Vegas.

I found out how easy it was to finish the 'evil' Caesar's Legion questline (follow the quest indicator: duh). I was stuck at the part in which I needed to get part of the equipment of an Auto-doc from a vault.

I'm currently exploring the wastes of the Mojave wasteland with an avenged Rose of Sharon Cassidy (more damage) and an upgraded ED-E after being tinkered with by the Followers of the Apocalypse.

My character, Vera, is a silent melee brawler currently leveling her lockpicking so she can get access to safes and rooms hopefully brimming with treasures. Travellers of the Mojave must be of great importance (see: Quest related or a vendor)to avoid her terrible cruelty which normally happen at night via a Mr Sandman attack. Those that aren't fortunate to seccumb in their beds will only hear a small thud; a silenced 10mm, to the back of their head.

In this playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas, I intend on:
- purchasing every implant from the Medical Clinic
- finishing each companions side quest
- getting to max level for the Steam achievement
- try to explore every area that I haven't been to yet (not many more places at this point)

Note: The game was very nice to me when I was playing my evil campaign with Caesar's Legion, only crashing one time. With Vera the game has been consistently crashing on me every 1.5-2hours, so I quicksave with vigilance.


2011 Comic Con

I haven't played/thought of Borderlands for such a long time, that I nearly missed this from the (San Fran?) Comic Con 2011:

Go here for more photos. Yay cosplay ;)
There should be Fan Expo at the end of August in Toronto which I intend on taking some photos for practice!



And climbing..

Pretty good.


Fortune favors the Brazen...

If you follow my blog and use my blogroll to access other blogs, you may have noticed I added a new one: The Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk.

Now not a gaming blog at all, but a blog I found incredibly interesting. Catchy titles to entries and engaging entries that suck you into it without requiring *ahem* photos or pictures.

I have a Xanga blog as well and I notice that some bloggers on there are really fake; it seems like they write fake entries that are meant to provoke people into commenting on their site, gain traffic and online notoriety. Many of us gaming bloggers blog because its our therapy, our calling and because we want to share our love of our games. The fakers write outrageous things for fame.

While Penelope has many outrageous things she says in her blogs, it doesn't give off the same vibe. Yes, she gets an incredible amount of traffic and provokes alot of people, but it seem genuine, un-filtered thoughts coming from her own head. She's quirky. She's just a real human with real faults but not afraid to say it.


Heroes 6 Musings

The Harpy attack animation takes too long
- it takes about 3-5 times longer than any other creature

Only one type of special resource? Chaos Crystals?
- I liked concentrating on different resources for different factions

Unique catapults depending on the faction
- spider-like design for the necropolis

More support creatures in Homm6; more healers (usually 3 heal charges), more ranged (looks like unlimited ammo).

The ability to convert enemy faction towns and forts when captured
- pay a small amount of resources and you no longer have a mish-mash of creatures

Taking over an enemy town, will turn over all mines to your control (atleast in this beta skirmish map)
- so no more having to get a secondary hero to steal them away
- but while the enemy holds their town, you cannot steal their mines

Some artifacts have requirements; Magic Heroes cannot use shields, while some artifacts require the Magic Affinity ability

Going from land to a boat doesn't take up a whole turn
- it looks like the Sanctuary faction has water-walking!

Each pre-generated hero comes without starting skills, so you can fine tune them the way you want instead of hoping you have access to them in your tavern.

Your tavern gives you access to all heroes in all factions.

Logistics seems to have a lesser impact/nerfed.

Different look to Phoenix
- at first I thought it was a Thunderbird. The fire shield on the Phoenix is DEADLY with stacks of +50/+100 creatures dying instantly.

- The Necropolis top tier creature has the ability to morph from a vicious melee creature into a spider ranged creature.

- The game likes to crash 3-4 turns before I win the game :P


The Empty Feeling

So much for sleeping early.

Hope everyone's has a good Friday and better weekend.


On RvR Lakes

I was reading Gaara's entry on his meeting with other bloggers with Mythic and the suggestion came up on there being interesting areas of interest in the pve area while the rvr lakes only had small uninteresting buildings or a "pile of rocks" to defend.

Its been a long time since i've played WAR and have forgotten about the server types and have heard there are very few left. I remember there being a PVP type of server where you could attack an enemy whether he was flagged or not. Mythic did a fantastic job in pathing the player through pve where the player would rarely meet up with an opposing faction unless they were specifically exploring and looking for trouble. As an explorer by heart, I always feared for my virtual life while in the enemy territory. Mythic didn't do a good enough job in creating a stealth class like Trion did with Rift, but that didn't stop me from going to each part of the map looking for tome unlocks!

It would be great if the maps, questing and pathing could direct players in every tier to bump into and encourage skirmishes and not be specifically in the RVR area. I always found the RVR area to be a bit too sterile; too empty, too far apart, nothing truly interesting in them except those special scrolls for (what else?) tome unlocks. To make the whole map the RVR lake; where what you do contributes to the warfront. Possibly doing a quest, pushes npc friendlies closer to the enemy towns. Similar to Rift, the ability to destroy the Rift crystal, overrun and convert the town into your control. There would be a warcamp which has no possibility to take over, with max level npcs, and many seige defending weapons.

Pushing the warfront forward, will unlock new pve and pvp quests at each town. Each quest will be unique because the town used to be a player town for a specific faction. The warfront is pushed via pve quests, pvp quests, rvr control, scenarios, skimishes and public quests. The strength of the defenders of the town is based on the progress of those indicators. But as you get closer to the enemy's warcamp, the stronger their defences get, even if you are dominating in each facet. There should be special currency like Rift currency (planarite) that will be granted from all forms of participation, where with reputation (elf/orc/chaos) will grant special items the players will be able to buy. If people are concentrating on a certain task (that they might find is most efficient), Mythic can create Live Events to move it in a different direction.

As before, if you don't belong to a lower level tier, you will turn into a chicken, providing a nice target for the lowbies. The rewards should be good for a realm (elf/orc/chaos) that you are dominating in to encourage defence instead of zerging to a different realm. Zerging should also be minimized in this way b/c domination in one or two areas (rvr control and say scenarios) is not enough and the defending towns will still be rather strong.

These warfronts will not only be a direct line which is rather boring, but a matrix, allowing different venues of attack; if a town is too well defended, the wargroup can go attack a weaker town. And though this can be done, once again, this will make the other defending towns stronger and require more participation (questing, public questing) first, to weaken the defenders.

Mythic can still raise WAR from the ashes and soar like a powerful phoenix and make the game more engaging. It won't be easy (or cheap), but nothing worth it ever is!


WAR's New Relic System

...or atleast an interesting way I can imagine it can be implemented:

3 different zones ; elf, orc and chaos
Each with 1 relic in a random keep

Equipping a relic at a keep will give it indestructible warmachines for the defenders. Or some other bonus. Possibly only for a short time to discourage turtling and encourage constant movement of the relic; possibly giving a bonus of renown for moving it.

When a keep with a relic falls into the hands of the attackers; one person is assigned by the person/leader that plants the banner on the keep on who can carry the relic (only 1 person).
That person cannot use a mount and is unable to move the relic out of the rvr zone. They do have the ability to move the relic to a different racial zone, but only once a day (or within reason).

They cannot stay in a warcamp for longer than 10 minutes, or it will:
- spawn randomly in the rvr area
- spawn in an enemy keep in a different zone

When all three relics are in control of one side, they are able to bring it to the capital enemy fortress, where by combining/bringing them together weakens the capital city defences. This can take X days to weaken the ward to the city, allowing the defenders of the capital city to try to take back the relics.

At this point the relics are immovable at the enemy fortress (captured that is), and vulnerable by the enemy. There should be a postern door to the capital city which should give an opportunity for the capital city defenders to get the relics, strengthen the ward to their city and once the ward is strengthened, the rvr zones reset.



RIP Grandma

Say hi to Grandpa for me.


Heroes 6 Preview

So. Heroes of Might and Magic 6... or more like Might and Magic: Heroes 6. If you bought the preorder on the official website or on Steam, you'd be able to download the closed beta.

Lets get right down to it.

The Good:

The adventure screen is more 3d and shows more depth; you can tell whether you're going to a higher altitude or going down a slope. There is more color and more light bursts. More Shiny. Creatures look impressive both in normal and elite versions; it looks like more thought was put into making the elite version look more impressive and not be just a different splash of color.

Is the same as you loved it in previous versions. Checkerboard design. No more hexagonal design (i like both). Right clicking on a creature will show you all the stats, abilities, buffs and debuffs currently affecting it. You now see critical hits as a special animation; imagine my eyes becoming as big as saucers when I saw the vampire throw his sword high into the air, fly up and do a verical slice down onto the baddie. The death animation is also impressive for creatures.

User Interface
Its new, its different. No longer does the game go into a separate screen to access hero skills, or the town management screen; a smaller window will popup allowing you quicker access to the info. It seems to lag a bit, but i'm attributing it to the more intensive graphics and it being a beta.

The market interface which allows you to trade resources is revamped; it still does the same thing, but now is much more sleek and user friendly.

New Hero Skill/Ability System
There has been a current theme to continuation of series these days (Dungeon Seige 3 or Dragon Age for example) where developers are dumbing down beloved strategy/rpg games to cater to console players but turning away the pc players. I'm happy to report that the skill development system of Homm6 is streamlined, makes sense and doesn't give a feel that it is dumbed-down, but more user friendly instead.

If you remember from previous Homm games, you had your favorite heroes for a certain faction that you'd always start with. I remember in one series where I had the minotaur Dace which had a bonus to logistics which would allow him to run much farther than any other hero. In Homm6, you get to CREATE your own hero; you determine the name, sex, faction, starting bonus, any dynasty weapons (more later), might/magic class. This form of customization is very sleek and very welcome, creating emotional attachment to the hero.

If creating your own avatar wasn't enough, the new ability system appears in a window divided by Might, Magic, General skills. All heroes have access to both Might and Magic abilities, but your class dictates how far down the skill tree you can get. For example, as a Might class, you will be able to get (basic, advanced, elite) elite might skills, but only get advanced magic skills. No longer do you have to rely on manuals or websites to see what skill leads to what and what is available in general; all the skills are plainly revealed. To get access to advanced skills, the hero needs to be atleast lvl 5 and sometimes require you to have purchased the basic skill. Same thing goes with elite skills; the hero needs to be lvl 15 and have purchased the basic and advanced prior versions.

Online hero persona
As you play, you gain experience. As far as I see, they look like you can use the experience as currency to purchase special in-game items that make your heroes more powerful/unique. At the same time, this boosts your dynasty weapons..

Dynasty weapons
What is a Dynasty Weapon, you may ask? It is an equip-able special item that a hero is assigned to which provides stronger bonuses dependent on your online hero persona's level/experience. These is this staff that I have from pre-ordering that gives a bonus to water spells, and if I gain a level, it will give my hero more mana and boost my other skills. Knowing this, I think the Deluxe Homm6 costs would be justified.

There are 5 factions each with it's own feel:
Haven - your traditional knights and angels (european)
Necropolis - undead and vampires (the immortals from the movie 300)
Barbarian - goblins, orcs and cyclops (mayan)
Demons - succubi, demons, pit fiends
Sanctuary - nagas (snake people), sharkmen, frog-ishmen (japanese)

With greater computing power, Homm6 appears to have a much better fleshed out campaign mode. Cut scenes, more dialogue and better character progression seems to make the campaign mode something that i'll pursue.

The Bad
Only 5 factions which seem like alot less from previous versions. Of course the arguement is that they 5 factions that made the cut were polished and work really well, i've always still enjoyed having many different factions and avoiding the feel of rock-paper-scissors. I will truly miss the Wizard faction (titans, genie and mages), Dungeon/Dark Elf faction (evil dragons!), Forest/Elf Faction (elven archers, unicorns, phoenix!) from the normal mix. I really hope the future expansions contain more of these missing factions and that they DO NOT create an elemental town instead (stupid).

Graphic Glitches
Maybe its the game telling me that my new (& rather good) video card is not that great, but every 5 seconds the screen flickers... which is annoying. I will attribute that and the choppiness to being a beta and hopefully this will be fixed by time it goes gold.

UI placement
In the top right part of the screen, there is a globe which allows you to look at the progress of your overall online persona. Its invisible, but if you click on the top right, there seems to be a close button there. If you click on that accidently (which I have twice now), it WILL close your game. Thank goodness for autosave.

It took me till my third game to realize how to create the improvement to creature buildings to be able to purchase elite creatures. Where it has the icon that shows you build the basic creature generator, there is a checkmark to let you know you built it. What you may not realize until you read this, is that you can click on it again which allows you at THAT point to then purchase the upgrade. It wasn't as new-user friendly as I would have hoped, but once you know how it works, it makes sense.

Online Security system
The developers of Homm6 are devious, I barely recognized it: they created this online hero persona to make you forget you need to be connected to the internet to be able to play the game. Just like other Steam games, if you don't have connection to the internet, you won't be able to (legitimately atleast) play a game that you've paid for.

Blackhole has made great strides and changes to a beloved franchise, but kept it true to it's roots that we can all appreciate.

If you're a Homm fan; this takes the game to the next level; everything has been improved, its a reasonable (50$) price for massive replayability. So long as it isn't hampered by too much by bugs and CTDs, this will be a staple in our pc game libraries.

I'm definitely glad I pre-ordered this game to get access to a beta which allows access to 2 campaign stories (Haven & Sanctuary) and a skirmish map allowing you to play ANY faction. I'd highly recommend preordering it if you're a Homm fan and feel the itch to play one more turn.

On Pets: After Rift

I realize i'm not really a fan of collecting in-game pets. Atleast the way that Trion implemented them in Rift, it wasn't too big a draw for me as some bloggers I read about. Besides getting an achievement eventually, you can only display one pet at a time. They don't provide any boosts, barely look cool and because of this, I normally forget about summoning them when I play.
Even worse was that death rift glow item from the first Live Event. It looked very cool, but you'd forget to use it often. After I purchased it for all my characters, I couldn't have used it more than 5 times. Not to mention most people bought that item too, so it wasn't that special.

Warhammer Online also didn't do a very good job in regards to companion pets.. only giving them as rewards for getting people to signup for the game. Their equivalent to companion pets (I imagine) was the trinkets which could be displayed on the character. Great idea, rather unique b/c it was hard to acquire these trinkets, BUT barely visible on the character. Only if you were doing nothing (ie. waiting in keeps during defence locks) would you be inspecting other players, and even then, you're not doing it straight on the screen; you're doing this via their paperdoll.



Heh. I wonder if people read this when there isn't gaming news/content..
Anyways; Happy belated Canada-Independence Day. I finally got to use my expensive cable release for my camera.. you know.. only after 1 whole year..

Some of my work.


Game of Heroes

I ended up pre-ordering the Might and Magic: Heroes 6 on Steam to get access to the beta. I'll have a preview up soon but so far everything looks alot better: graphically, emphasis on storytelling, new factions, interface.