Everything MTG - Innistrad

You can't imagine how excited I am for the next Magic: The Gathering block: Innistrad. Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Abominations, Spirits, Victims and Slayers.. true horror theme. Coming out in late September.. time for some new cards!
Below are some links from Daily MTG to catch up on some news:

The why of Innistrad.

The mechanics of Innistrad.

A trick with card advantage and tempo. (which I don't understand too much)

The background story of why Liliana Vess comes to Innistrad.

What is the Flashback mechanic, and why it comes in handy.

Demons, Morbid Mechanic, Doubling Season trick.


Fan Expo - Moments

I honestly dont' know why I keep thinking its 2012.... ...
Anyways; below are some interesting photos I took that people might enjoy :)

Heroes in plain sight.

An assassin making his move..

Gun Envy


Fan Expo 2011

Fan Expo = Anime Comics Sci-fi Horror Gaming

Also.. famous celebrities (William Shatner, Eliza Dushku).. cosplay.. new games and technologies.. things you don't see every day..

All the things you love in book, jewelry, print, plushie etc-format that you can think of, all in one place and not spread out all over Ontario/farther.
Lots more on my Deviant Art site.

Like-minded individuals, taking part in what they love.

Everyone just being themselves; and thats cool.

(Dunno if this video will load for you; but its a whole group of kids in cosplay, just dancing around)You laugh at first at the absurdity.. but then smile, b/c they're just having fun.



I've always found it curious how we play our games, in particular mmos.
Customization has always been very important to us to cater to the way in which we play, to maximize our effectiveness.

In Warhammer Online I would end up with 5 rows of action bars to accomodate all the skills and abilities of my character. I would have the UI show all 5 bars one on top of each other in a vertical fashion so that i could have my mouse in the middle of what would look like a square/rectangle. This would allow me to access all the skills easily, going up, down, left or right.

Neverwinter Nights got it right in a way, by having hotkeys via CTRL, ALT or SHIFT buttons for numbers 1 to + (I belie
ve) since there was 'less' visible UI customization.

I look at Thrangis' pictures of the new Guild Wars 2 of what looks to be hotbars. One hotbar and skills changing, depending on what main & offhand weapons one has. Being able to assign numbers 6+ for misc/other abilities.

I truly look forward to a game where I don't have a huge plethora of skills that I need to find a place for quick access to.
Maybe something with more strategy, and body placement, rather than pressing a combination of the same keys for abilities. Where a battle will be different each time even if its against the same monster.

This kind of wish, reminds me of one of the best Wii games i've ever played: Monster Hunter Tri. (Granted the Wii didn't really have 'good' games that I liked). It was an single player game that you could play like a mmo, just think of it like Borderlands (drop in, and drop out ability). You battled big monsters all the time, and you had only a small amount of attack abilities (more like different kind of thrusts: high attack, low sweep attack, quick attack, strong attack). It didn't emphasize the many special skills you had or your level, but more of body placement, moving around, dodging and attacking weak points when presented with them. "Mini" boss battles could last an extremely long time (10+ minutes) and we're not even talking about the real bosses. Real bosses would require you to chase them across the map and sometimes require you to run away when you got overwhelmed.

From the videos that you watch in Guild Wars 2 that have released and posted recently on other sites, you see the warrior runs around alot in using his abilities, dodging, weaving, never just standing there and taking the hits except when he actively blocks. Same thing goes with pvp, it looks like there is alot more movement happening.

I'm getting more excited and looking forward to GW2 and even how SWTOR will play..


More immersion

I read this from Spinks' entry:

"Basically tanks will be getting an automatic 200% treat increase next patch. It's mostly due to dps who don't like having to hold back in instances when they get a lower geared tank."

That quote kinda bothers me. Maybe because its generalized so the mass reader can understand what the patch is about, but the reason just doesn't make sense; logically.

What makes a tank/plate warrior draw more attention than an individual that does more damage and more lightly armored?

Is the warrior's armor making more clanking sounds when they move?
Is the warrior now shouting more and waving their arms about to attract more attention?
Are monsters easily distracted by bright shiney things?

I've always thought knives to the back is more annoying than someone all turtley using a big shield and doing minimal damage.

If you draw more agro, because you do more damage naturally, you should have more ways to defend yourself.
You should be able to:

Feign death - ok, the annoying creature is dead, onto the next more annoying stabby guy

Disappear with smoke, ninja style - well he disappeared. Next!

Increase one's dodging/parry ability - nothing is hitting him, and the guy next to him is hitting me and i'm still able to hit him... hmm


Rabbit out of a hat

To create a sense of immersion, logic plays a key role for me.
It has to make sense; it can't always be as "its because its magic."

I was reading Syp's entry on ArenaNet's use of home instances in Guild Wars 2 and while it seems like great way to make a connection with the player (via in-game housing), the way it sounds like it will be implemented doesn't sound 'real.'

There will be an instance of this area in the capital city that you can visit and interact with other npcs. You can invite your friends there. People that aren't your friends will not be able to go, but still have their own instance of the exact same area? Will you be able to see them, or will it be fully instanced?

Is that supposed to be magic.. that you enter some sort of portal and you have your house and the people that you interacted with in your travels.. but in reality it only occupies a small space like in a magical bag of holding, and other people has a mirror or parallel universe/space like yours?

I think that is what made the housing in UO special; you had a house (if you were lucky enough to find a spot) which anyone in the game universe could visit and interact with. The drawback was that there was a huge population and only a finite amount of space available to purchase property.

With the technology of instancing, Arenanet was able to accomodate the player's need of personal housing at the cost of logic and believability; what is the logic that everyone has their own personal space that occupies an actual area in the game?

I guess it comes with the territory of pve; where in reality the quest has been done hundreds of thousands of times by many other players. Heroes you would call them. But when you do that pve quest, you are the sole person of importance: you are the only hero.

Going back to a personal instance that you and people you allow have access to, if this technology or magic is possible, why is it only that small area and not the whole world? A world where you are the most important person: the king or queen?

I look forward to the personal quest and the home instance provided in Guild Wars 2, i'm just saying from what i've read on it, it doesn't seem to be logical.


Life Lessons

We probably don't pay attention to how often we complain in our daily life: how life is unfair and cruel to us. I try my best to recall a picture I saw in the TIME magazine; of a woman scavenging in a garbage dump. She LIVED in said place and that was her only form of income for her family. We all live a charmed life when we compare our trials with that.

I normally don't watch & despise these reality tv shows, but i'm glad I watched this one; it not only reminds me that life is incredibly difficult for people, but they have the opportunity to change it.

Where's Fluffy?

Hey all, back from a very relaxing cottage week vacation. Back to one of my first loves: blogging.
FanExpo for Toronto is coming up in 2 weeks (that was fast). Don't forget!

Just like how Princess Leia is a cult icon for North America, that Final Fantasy heroine is the shiz for asians ;)

Follow the link for more cosplayers!

Went with a new Canadian wireless carrier and purchased a new phone recently; I was with Virgin Mobile before, on a basic texting plan (unlimited incoming, 100 outgoing, for 5$ a month) with an LG Rumor.

One day while talking to my close friend and gaming-brother Capo, and all I could think about the whole time was "how many more minutes do I have left until my pay-as-you-go run out?" It was very uncomfortable and stressing.

So I purchased a Blackberry Bold 9780 (yes, they are coming out with a new line up) and went with a new competitor in the market: Mobilicity. 50$ basically for unlimited everything, including data. Lets do a compliment sandwich:

The biggest plus was the very reasonable monthly price without a contract and unlimited everything (even data).

There are minuses though:
- reception; my BB has no reception in my room, while the Rumor had about a bar or two. Everywhere else, the reception is good, but I want to operate the cell in my room unfortunately
- 'unlimited' when operating in the metropolitan area; i'd need to pay per usage outside.. we'll see how crippling that is when I start paying for that (don't think ill be out of the area too often)
- the reps at the store didn't sound like they knew what they were doing

Back to some positives:
- great customer service; I called the cx service to verify some details on my account and fix an issue with porting my phone number. The people on the line knew what they were doing and the email responses were quick and effective


1.8 Billion Dollars...

Thats quite a bit of customization... i like.

Probably my last entry for a while; my best friend's wedding is this weekend and after that i'll be on my birthday vacation. Have a great time everyone :)



THAT is actual cosplay and not cgi!

In 24 days, the Toronto FanExpo comes to town and we'll get to see lots of crazy things like this:

Roll out!

As a guy, make sure you don't check your nails like that...

Note to self, learn more about your new camera

Nikon D300

Went hiking over the weekend, and although I didn't take any good shots, they were all taken in JPEG and *ahem* true photographers will take them in RAW.