Car! Game on!

After a frustrating and trying week, I finally get my reward... and it was worth it.
Times TWO! Woot!


Its not all about what you think

One may wonder if this became more of a Magic: The Gathering blog rather than a general gaming blog these days, and I assure you that is not the case. Just more limited time for recreation, blogging, and nothing in particular I feel like playing.

I'm looking forwards to Heroes 6: Might and Magic which releases on October 11th 2011, though the beta is out currently. And i'm also really excited for some dual-wielding craziness in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, though I may need a serious pc overhaul (please no!) for that. 11.11.11. If my pc is overhauled, then I guess i'll be trying Deus Ex as well.

For now, I'm concentrating on (besides Magic) my photography. My wonderful gf bought me a new camera bag. 

Kata 2N1-20
While I went out yesterday and rounded out my collection and bought a monopod.

Manfrotto 680B
All that is needed now is a flash, ballhead and better lense filters.

I must say although Fallout: New Vegas is very buggy, it has brought countless hours worth of gaming, and thats with only 1 dlc. I purchased Old World Blues and barely scratched the storyline. Haven't bought Dead Money, or the new Lonesome Road.
Oh! And don't forget, Fallen Earth mmo is going free to play October 12th, which i'm very excited to give a go. Anyone else going to give it a try?


Deja Vu

"Wizards actively tries to put good cards at each rarity, here's a list of commons that have proven to be very strong tournament staples." ~matt

Heh... and this article goes on to further prove the point how there are good cards in MTG even in the commons and uncommons. That, they don't need to be rare or mythic rare to work well. After over 15+ years, they've made their mistakes, make sure they test out to make sure the card isn't flawed and if it does, it makes it into the banned list. Lol; and whats the first card they talk about? The type card we fought so hard and long about.
The next article from Daily MTG talks about various other cards (by the way, all the cards have been released now and can be found in the product section) and their themes such as using the graveyard to fuel your creatures, heavy-token decks and copy spells. I'm eager to have a token deck again... whether it'll work as well as before.. we'll see.


Rulings and Reasoning

I CAN SO tap that creature! SAY IT!
I think Magic needs an online chat room that you can join 24/7 to get instant rulings. There probably is one.. I just gotta find one. Mannnn.. my friends and I had the most heated discussions ever on Friday night. Normally, we're all unsure and we just decide to play it a certain way and then next time have it verified by a veteran. But the sides were insistent and adamant in their own position. I normally save the questionable rulings in my Blackberry so I can email my girlfriend's brother-in-law so he can answer it... but I was so sure in the situation in question that I wanted to text him it... at 2 in the morning. Anyways, i'm glad we're good enough friends to say GG, shake each other's hands and not have hard feelings about it afterwards (though maybe not during the game). lol. Afterall, its only a game.
Not bad for 1 mana.

Ok. So, here are two additional articles from Daily MTG;  the first one is on the reasoning on the 2-sided cards as it didn't sound like it was the most popular decision. One of the biggest complaints was that if you didn't cover your cards, people could easily see that you had a werewolf card. And that it was kind of a hassle if you had to constantly take the card out of the protector to show the correct side (part of the reason why I don't want to play 2-sided cards myself).

The second article, talks about a big part of the horror genre of bringing creatures back from the graveyard.

I absolutely love this kind of play style: concentrating on your offense and attacking creatures, and if your creatures are removed or ever end up in the graveyard, just bring them back and keep the pressure on. One of the greatest things that Wizards are using in Innistrad is the the Flashback mechanic. I love getting better utility of my cards; I dislike when its a one-time use only especially if they get countered. Innistrad seems to lessen the impact of counters as they'll need twice as many with flashback. Make Mill decks less damaging, or actually beneficial. Even discarding cards doesn't seem that bad anymore. Exile seems like its going to be much more important now. 

I think my friends know that I love to use enchantments and have littered their decks with destroy enchantment spells as whenever I get a good enchantment out, its normally destroyed right away before it can do some good damage.


Counter Spell

A particular ginger friend of mine uses this card on me, all the time.
I probably lose because i'm too aggressive and would rather pay the health cost than the mana cost. Now there is finally a card that will slightly nullify it without having to rely on disenchanting it.
For more information on strategies on this kind of card go to the Daily MTG article.

This next article talks alot how a strength of blue mages is to counter spells. This card below is another strategy of theirs:

Card Advantage.
I'm not too fond of cards like this that lets me draw/pick cards... maybe if I get alot of these, coupled with some Ponders, i'll give it a try.


The Frightening Saint

More Innistrad cards today:
Looks like Splinterfright will be pretty good with the graveyard-centric theme. While Saint Traft looks like it'll hit hard and frequently.
More card reveals found at the Product Section of Daily MTG.


Innistrad: Daily Spoilers

 Two (technically three) new Innistrad articles today, revealing a few new and interesting cards. This article talks about a new double-faced vampire card and devises up some decks for it.

This article talks about the card to the right, Prey Upon; how it works, the strengths and weaknesses... basically its pretty good when using Green and big creatures, but is susceptible to counters, redirects and buffs. Use cards with Morbid to counter it, or atleast benefit someway.

Lastly, a very short card reveal article of the below card, Evil Twin. A copy creature card with a slight twist.


Innistrad Spoiler: White

For my friends, to see what kind of cards that are coming out for Innistrad. I sure am liking the white cards.. pretty powerful.


In Memory 9/11

Our Greatest Glory is in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

We will never forget.


Pilgrims and Maniacs

Today there are two articles from Daily MTG... more on the meta game of MTG that teases out some new cards for Innistrad. Not my type of articles, but they still show some diversity in writing styles and have some interesting cards:

Looks like white and green decks are in my future.
  I'm a fan of cards that tap to give mana, especially if it gives a different color than it's own color.

The card reveal for Laboratory Maniac came with an interesting story.. but I don't see it as a very interesting way to play in Casual format. I really hope I don't get this card in my boosters :P


Heroes 6 Beta Improvements

I pre-ordered Heroes of Might and Magic 6 on steam and got access to their beta. I don't recall seeing any NDA, so i'll assume its ok to talk about it and bring the hype.

Town Portal
A great improvement to the franchise: there are two kinds of town portals that can be built in towns: basic and greater. A hero is able to teleport from one town to another as long as: both towns have a basic town portal, the hero is in town AND has 15 movement points (about half of movement points).

No more, teleporting to whatever town you like when you're deep in the wilderness when the opponent sneaks into your area.

Only with a greater town portal can a hero teleport to the NEAREST town with a greater town portal. One might not think this a big deal, but in Homm6, the rare resource Chaos Crystals, are pretty hard to come by. Its as expensive as building tier 2 (4th, 5th, 6th ranked) buildings (or like the 4th/5th levels of mage guilds).

Army purchasing
I always thought it was a pain to have to get my mule heroes to move my armies from my strongest home castle to my adventuring hero. In Homm6, as long as you have the basic creature dwelling on the outpost, you can purchase that un-upgraded version of the monster from a pool of all your creatures from all your castles.

Being designed this way, it is easier to defend specific towns from attack, at the cost that if not enough time is given to upgrade it, you may be playing with weak versioned creatures.

Retreating no longer is 'that' painful in Homm6. Instead of losing your whole army, you only lose 25% of them. The drawback comes when having to purchase your hero again; costing significantly more, coming in with a debuff, having a huge stable of heroes is a thing of the past. Some factions do come with special buildings that decrease the cost of purchasing heroes and even give them a small buff for a week

Leveling Heroes
I always thought it sucked when your main hero was incredibly strong, but then had newbie heroes guarding your home. Even with a strong army, they would seccumb to a more experienced hero with better skills and magic.

In Homm6, there is a feature to have 'more powerful' heroes. As time progresses, the purchasing level of your heroes in the tavern increases. So instead of paying X amount for a level one hero, you now have a level 5, or level 8. Pretty impressive.


New Innistrad links: Curse of the Stalked Prey (fast agro strategy) and Human Champions


Dragon Con 2011

It just came to me, that the other pictures of cosplay wouldn't really interest most people, since it dealt with non-mmo games. Here are some Star Wars cosplay shots that I took from the Fan Expo, 2 weeks ago.

Here is a link to some Dragon Con photos.

And another one here

I'm happy to report that these shots look better than the photos on those at Kotaku =)

Alot of my shots that i've reviewed can be found on my Deviant Art site.

This girl was a fantastic model; great facial expressions!

Innistrad: 2 Sided Cards and Art

Mmm... I think it may be premature to get rid of my dragon deck...
I sure do love my dragons and big creatures in Magic. For additional art of Innistrad.

An article discussing the 2 sided cards which will be used for a the first time since the Kamigawa block..

I do love me some shipwrecks!


Labor Day Goodness

Thank goodness American's share Labor Day with Canada (means I get the day off too!).

Some intersting cosplayers from Dragon Con.

Have a safe weekend everyone!


The Technically New

I was reading a web comic I frequent on a daily basis, GU comics and stumbled upon an interesting discussion on an event that happened recently that involved the new game Deus Ex and Gamestop.

The short form was:
- Square Enix included a coupon for 1 free month to an online game service called OnLive in each copy of the game
- Gamestop has their own online game service called Impulse and to prevent competition, opened and removed these coupons from all copies

People obviously don't like this, and it makes sense.

There is the argument that the game is not 'new' anymore if they:
1. Open the package (for any reason)
2. Remove anything from the package

From my (long) time at EB, there was a legit reason, at the time to open the games and still sell it as new; b/c people steal and we didn't have marketing materials for display purposes. It wasn't the best solution or reason, but it had to be done. I fully understand in what was (at the time) a mostly male-dominated store, guys don't always take the best care of what they handle. But if you had me, I handled it with great care and it would bother me to sell a non perfect condition cd to the point, i'd normally defect it than have a disgruntled customer.

Alot of people tend to pooh-pooh on EB for some reason. Maybe b/c they're a big corporation.. so they're "the man." Or for practices such as this situation. Or the people that work there that were rude to them. But there are locations that have great people that are gamers themselves that treasure their customers. It sounds corny and weird (to treasure their customers), but i remember when I did the opening shift, I'd always have the lunch crew from some nearby office come by, just to see what was new, and say hi. I had the one guy that would call frequently asking for the trade-in values for tons of games. Or the young kid who basically grew up in the mall b/c his parents owned the DQ; we let him sit on a little stool and play on his nintendo ds.

I don't know, at this time, how I feel about removing the coupon from the game; I understand how it is damaging (to Gamestop's Impulse business), how notice should have been provided by Square (keep good relations between companies), that at EB reps will remove the guts of the game to be used for display purposes, and how as a lowly rep, you do what you're told whether it's ethical or not (of course there are things you can report). But taking something that should be included in a game.. thats iffy. I think the best thing to do with the least amount of backlash, is to fully remove the game from circulation and wait till Square provides a version without the coupon, or publicly advise that they will provide a 50$ coupon with Gamestop for removing it BEFORE any are sold without warning. Do you think the normal rep WANTS to deal with irate customers who found out; who probably didn't think it was right having to remove it in the first place; who had to spend the time opening every single copy?

I like to think of the situation from all sides and just think that there should have been a flag set in place to alert Gamestop that this game had a coupon which was against their best interest. And if there isn't one (flag/system)in general, obviously from this public outcry, Gamestop should implement one in the future.

Another day of Innistrad

At this time, there are two new articles for Magic: The Gathering Innistrad

One on a powerful card for zombie decks & the other of the power of cheap agro red decks.