Body Pulling

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I spent my might roaming around in Mulgore some more and knocking out the various newbie quests from Bloodhoof Village at my own prodding pace that very much fits the animation cycle of the Tauren Male.  So the weird thing about World of Warcraft Classic is that I know there is no capturing the feeling of roaming around in Azeroth for the first time back in 2004.  I was 28 at the time and the launch of the game was a magical moment that happened to enrapture all of my friends that were MMO inclined at the same time.  It was a weird amalgam of people I knew in real life, folks I met through Everquest, the few of us that played Dark Age of Camleot together, a bunch of people that we picked up from City of Heroes and some that came from the larger community of Horizon: Empire of Istaria (now just called Istaria).  Everyone was going to be playing the same game at the same time and it was freaking awesome…  the only hitch was that the game was divided into two halves and some of us were dedicated to playing Horde and others playing Alliance.  I wound up joining the Alliance group and let the horde side of me largely atrophy, but from the beginning I found this to be a very artificial choice as I have never really bought into the faction war storyline.

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I cannot fully explain why I am enjoying myself in World of Warcraft right now.  I most definitely do not enjoy the current state of Battle for Azeroth, but for some reason playing Classic Beta feels more simple and pure.  I am roaming around, surviving on nothing…  getting legitimately excited any time I see a copper node or get some linen drops because it means I can advance my crafting.  I got a bag drop during the first part of the newbie zone and was absolutely excited to see it…  and still several levels later I am hoping to see another one drop.  Everything feels to be boiled down to is purest form, of do some quests… kill some monsters…  actually read some quest text because otherwise I cannot remember for the life of me where anything is located.  I am present in the world because I keep my head on a swivel because one bad pull…  one add at the wrong time…  and I end up doing a corpse run.

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The truth is that I have probably died more in the last two nights than I have died in the entire time questing since the release of Wrath of the Lich King.  I am of course not counting raid and dungeon deaths because those are rather “accident prone” settings, but just in over world questing…  most of the time I manage to level my way through almost the entirety of the expansion content before I actually take a death.  In Classic I sorta wish that I had been keeping a death count…  because seriously I have been dying a lot as I have had to adjust to the realities that we dealt with in Vanilla.  I am having to re-learn the dark art of slow body pulling camps…  and dragging them back at a safe distance while watching for any roamers.  I am having to keep track of the spawn times and as I clear keep moving to what is now guaranteed to be a safe spot for awhile.  All of these were skills that I went into World of Warcraft with having developed them in the precursor MMOs…  but that have completely atrophied over time.

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During Battle for Azeroth I played a Tank Demon Hunter…  and on that character if I was not pulling entire camps at a time I was legitimately playing the game wrong.  If I move forward to Classic however…  if I get more than one mob at a time… I am straight up going to die.  There is no safety net for me to fall back on…  no Ignore Pain that I can lean on heavily to bring my health back up to full.  The in combat regeneration rate is prodigiously slow meaning that I basically cannot do anything to better my situation apart from a healing potion during the fight… and even then that is just a temporary salve to a likely inevitable end.  There is a part of me that thought I wouldn’t be as into this as I apparently am.  That said I am having a blast and while I know there is no recapturing the things that made World of Warcraft Vanilla special…  I am finding that it also still strangely works for me.

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All of that said… I am contemplating some nonsense.  I want to build a casual Dungeon and eventual Raid guild in World of Warcraft Classic when it releases in August.  I realize the futility of naming something when I cannot actually register the guild…  but I want to go with Decades Behind because there is a story there.  Back during Wrath of the Lich King a bunch of us on the Argent Dawn Forums started a guild called Years Behind when patch 3.2.0 introduced the ability to lock your level at a specific level.  I rolled a Gnome Warrior and for a short period of time we ran a bunch of the Vanilla raid content while artificially level locked down to 60.  This was fun… but also not exactly true given that most of us were equipping Burning Crusade greens rather than relying on what was actually available back during Vanilla.  With the advent of Classic I want to try and do something similar… and given that it has been over a decade since the launch of World of Warcraft I opted to update this name.  In the months between now and the release I figure we will sort out information.  Right now however I am targeting the Horde for two reasons.  First…  Grace is a die-hard Horde player and is super sad anytime she is playing something else…  and in order to make this work I am absolutely going to need her.  Secondly…  I remember several bosses that Horde had a way easier time fighting than Alliance  (and of course some that horde struggled with as well).  The big one…  was that there just wasn’t a viable way to take down the Ooze in AQ40 as Alliance.  Additionally Horde has bloodlust…  and I am stacking the deck as best I can.

I will of course be providing updates as I know more information about all of this.

Unexpected Installables

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Last night I started the evening as I have done several recently…  spending a chunk of time playing Rage 2.  However at some point I needed to get up and around and when I finally got sat back down at the laptop on the sofa…  I decided to check to see if I happened to make it into World of Warcraft Classic Beta.  I can’t even pinpoint where I heard the news, but at some point yesterday I heard that Beta invites would be going out.  I did not notice that I had gotten an email but I opted to just check the launcher, and sure enough…  nestled beside PTR in the list was “Beta:  WoW Classic”.  I installed the game and popped in to see what all had changed since the BlizzCon demo.

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Side note… at some point during the evening I did in fact receive an email titled “Belghast – You’re Invited to the World of Warcraft Classic Beta Test” and I clipped part of the email above…  which is obviously formatted for mobile devices.  Like I said however my account had received the entitlement long before I got an email, so I feel like your best option if you are curious is to see if it shows up in the drop down of selectable World of Warcraft accounts.  There are rumors that you have to have an active subscription to get access to it…  which checks as even though I am not playing the game I never went through the process of cancelling my subscription.  I also purchased BlizzCon access last year…  so it might also be tied to that for all I know.  Whatever the case I have access and I spent some time playing last night.

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Ultimately I created what was literally my very first World of Warcraft character.  I made a Tauren Warrior back in one of the beta phases in 2004, and since my good friend Grace is excited about Classic and has way stronger Horde loyalty than I do Alliance loyalty I opted to give it a shot last night.  First take away…  Mulgore is way more peaceful than I remember and it was super chill running around as a big damned cow warrior bopping things with a big hammer.  Eventually I managed to get a axe and shield set up going, and since I leveled the original Belghast as prot I am expecting to level in Classic as prot for old times sake.

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There was a weird sense of coming home to roaming around in the world.  One of the things I love about limited access alphas and betas in World of Warcraft… is that the community is generally speaking non-toxic.  I spent a good chunk of the night chatting away with random people in general about what we remembered about the early days of Warcraft.  It is weird but I have sorta missed feeling like I had a community that is worth communicating with.  Sure there are excellent people in a good number of the games…  but in the post Dungeon Finder reality no one talks to anyone else.  This means that general channels are left to the devices of the people who just want to make trouble for others, and a secret to my sanity for years has been disabling them entirely.  I’ve missed an era when it was okay to hang out and chat in a public space, and if nothing else that was refreshing about the Classic Beta.

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The other big takeaway from the night is that they seem to have toned down the game a bit from the Classic Demo from BlizzCon.  The only death I took during the night is when I charged in to attack a mob that I did not properly “con” first…  and wound up fighting a level 9 swoop and level 6.  This probably would have been fine had another level 9 wolf not jumped in to help out the birb.  My goal for the night was to get to the point where I had tradeskills trained, and I now do in fact have both Mining and Smithing after a quick jaunt to Thunderbluff.  My best drop so far is the 4 slot black bag… and I remember back in the day I used to farm the newbie zone until I had gathered four of these before moving onwards.  Hell when Classic launches I might actually do this so that I don’t feel like I am behind the curve the entire time.  As far as tradeskills… I figured Blacksmithing was going to give me the best bang for the buck as a Warrior in that it will let me craft all of my gear for the most part.

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The joys of looking like you dressed yourself for the very first time.  I guess however that is part of the charm of starting over and returning to vanilla.  Getting excited over a grey item dropping for a slot I currently had nothing equipped in is an experience that I have not had for a very long time.  I remember banking shoulder items back in the day just so when my friends got to that point I could hand them one and fill a slot that greys start dropping well before anything reasonable does.  I look forward to running Ragefire Chasm and Deadmines legitimately.  I do not however look forward to trying to make the run to Deadmines as a Horde player.  I keep reminding myself that this is patch 1.12 and not patch 1.0… and in theory Meeting stones exist?  I am not sure at what point they put in the teleports that allow Horde to get to Deadmines easily however.  Ultimately it feels sufficiently vanilla to trigger my nostalgia and doesn’t feel quite as purposefully punishing as the BlizzCon demo did.  I am happy for the moment if for no reason other than I was not expecting to do this last night at all… nor was I expecting to spend the night chatting with strangers.  Good start so far!

Poor Driving and Change

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Last night I largely spent the night playing Rage 2 and doing a really poor job of driving around the wasteland.  In theory I should use this as an opportunity to test out the little 3D Printed controller wheel that I have…  but instead I am just suffering through the mouse and keyboard controls.  It is funny how even when they do not feel amazing… I will still gravitate towards mouse and keyboard in part just to keep from having to switch between controller and keyboard all the time.  I will always be of the firm opinion that shooters are just better with a mouse…  and then many of those shooters also want you to control vehicles which work best with a controller.  So either I suffer with the shooter gameplay or I suffer with the often side content that is driving.  The problem with Rage 2 however is you spend a lot of time in your vehicle as you cross wide swaths of territory between missions.

So while I did not get a screenshot of this because I was enthralled by the combat…  one of the random events that happened in the world is that I encountered an enemy vehicle convoy…  which I followed around trying to take out.  There were roughly 3 car type vehicles, 3 or 4 motorcycle type vehicles and one giant Semi sort of hauler vehicle that was the primary objective.  I managed to whittle down the convoy to just being this big massive vehicle…  and chased it around through the landscape for a good fifteen minutes slowly plinking down its health.  Often times I would drive poorly and get way off track forcing me to jet booster thrust my way back into gun range.  Unfortunately I only managed to know it down by about half health before I got a verbal warning that I was almost out of ammunition.  I am guessing I need some of the vehicle upgrades to realistically fare well in vehicle to vehicle combat…  but I gotta say… I was completely hooked by the experience.

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Every town seems to have a major problem that you need to deal with for them… before they can turn around and help you.  Last night I made it through one of those missions…  which unlocked another sequence of events that I am going to need to do before they can actually help me.  That is fine… like I said yesterday there isn’t a lot of back and forth in the dialog so I more than expected to keep going on fetch and assistance quests until the storyline culminates in a battle with the big bad of the world.  It is the moment to moment game play and the exploration of new areas that make the game interesting to me personally.  I like checking enemy camps off of my list, especially when they happen to be hiding an ark full of goodies.   As I move forward into the game I keep encountering newer and tougher groups of enemies…  and I have to say…  Authority soldiers are already a pain in the butt because I don’t have an amazing answer to their energy armor yet.

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Last night during the quest I was speaking of in the previous paragraph, I picked up my first new weapon…  which is a really amazing shotgun.  Shotguns are a weapon that I always find deep kinship with, because they are sort of the no-nonsense killing machine option that have been pretty much something I gravitated towards since Doom.  The most recent Doom game had an awesome design as far as shotguns go with some interesting mode switching, and Rage 2 does something very similar.  If you are firing the weapon blindly you end up with a fairly rapid fire short ranged blast option.  However if you hold down the right mouse button and aim the weapon, according to the in game dialog, the weapon melts together all of the shells into one large high powered slug that knocks targets back and has a satisfying thump when it fires.  When it says it knocks things back…  you can get some interesting situations where you hit a single target and it ends up knocking a whole line of enemies down if they are approaching single file through a choke point.  So far this weapon really is my only answer to the Authority troops, and you end up getting it in a mission where things are constantly leaping out of the walls so it also does a great job of twitch reflex killing.

I’m still very much enjoying the game and look forward to playing more of it as the week goes on.  However there is one more topic that I want to bring up.  I will be over the next few weeks moving all of my sites from my current host over to a different host.  I’ve been with my current host for the entire decade during which Tales of the Aggronaut has existed.  Initially I used them because a good friend of mine was one of the system admins, and I could always poke him if I needed something weird done.  However after he left the service has not exactly been that stellar.  Additionally there has been a pretty constantly series of blips in server up time and I am getting tired of it.  I needed to find a good host to use for another purpose… and instead of doing a single one off… I bought a big enough hosting account to hold everything of mine and even do MP3 hosting if I choose to do so and move away from Libsyn.  I will go into more details later as I move everything over depending on how positive or negative the experience is.  I’ve moved a single non-gaming site over and it went pretty smoothly.  This weekend I plan on moving AggroChat and depending on how well that goes might move Aggronaut as well.

Mostly I just wanted to give my readers a heads up that some changes will be coming in my infrastructure and it might wind up with me being down more than I intend to.

Rage 2 First Impressions

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Last night I had a bit of a pleasant surprise, in that I came home and noticed that Rage 2 in my Bethesda launcher had 30 minutes left on the countdown to being ready to play.  I was fully expecting it to unlock somewhere around midnight, meaning that I would not be playing it last night at all.  However in theory the Bethesda launcher unlocked the game at the earliest playable time instead of Steam which I believe unlocked it at Midnight Eastern Standard time.  Quake Champions alpha was the game that got me to install the Bethesda Launcher so when Fallout 76 forced me to use it…  it was no big deal given that I already had it installed on my system.  For Rage 2…  it just seemed like a decent idea to go ahead and order directly from the company for fear of there being some last minute storefront shenanigans like there have been recently with the Epic Games store.  One thing that you have to know going into this discussion…  I loved the original Rage, just felt that it was too short of a game that felt like the opening act of a story and not a complete experience.

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So going into Rage I was already familiar with the basic story of how the world went wrong.  That said…  I do think they did a good job of prefacing the major points through some slightly unreliable narration.  Given that if you have not played Rage yet you like area not going to… so here goes my quick rundown of the events as I remember them.  Essentially a planet-killer scale meteor named Apophis fell and destroyed the world…  and you are one of the representatives of mankind’s best hope that were buried in Arks underground in order to survive the impact.  However on the way to earth the meteor bounced off of the moon causing a large chunk to break off…  and also causing the impact to not be quite as devastating as originally predicted.  So in the first game you encounter survivors of the old world both good and bad… and fight your way through the paramilitary power of the time called the Authority and trigger all of the other Arks to rise to the surface in the final events of that game.  However at some point between those events and that of Rage 2 some terraforming satellites have fallen to earth and caused pockets of the world to become a lush oasis…  as was in theory the goal of Project Eden to help reclaim the broken world.

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There is a thirty year gap between the events of Rage 1 and Rage 2 and in that time a number of major settlements have arisen and solidified their hold on the world.  You play as your choice of a male or female character from the Settlement of Vineland.  Within moments of starting the game you are thrust into a battle with the Authority that is now returning after a lengthy absense to begin reclaiming the wastes for themselves.  Through a somewhat creepy sequence you scavenge a set of ranger armor from a dead body and that is apparently all it takes to make you one?  You are sent out on a mission to make contact with three other city states and start something called Project Dagger going.  And thus begins the first of the comparisons to Fallout…  in that from the moment you leave that tutorial sequence you are no longer fettered by any constraints as to what you should or should not be doing.

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Just like your first footsteps out of the vault…  you can roam the world freely and do anything that suits your fancy.  You have markers on your map directing you to each of these major settlements but also a bunch of other micro objectives that will gain you favor with various entities.  The original Rage was essentially “what if Fallout were more like Quake”, and this game is more like “what if Fallout were a better shooter”.  I am somewhat cautious on the Fallout comparisons however because Bethesda games are massively different for each of the players that choose to play them.  For me that core Fallout experience is going off into the wilderness to be a murder hobo and bring back stacks of blood drenched armor to sell for caps…  and then repeating this over and over until I have explored every bit of the world that suits my fancy and done all of the quests associated with them.  In those terms Rage 2 feels very Fallout to me, because I can roam around the map and tick off objectives while looking for tasty loot.

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Much like the first game you have a trusty steed in the form of a Mad Maxian road war vehicle…  this time around it is something called Phoenix equipped with an Alexa style AI that talks to you as you do things.  The game also gives you a decent waypoint system that shows up in game as a series of neon pink chevrons directing you towards your target.  While on the road there are a number of random encounters…  bandit camps of sorts or other vehicles that might try and run you off the road.  One of the first objectives that you encounter is a bridge that has been blocked off by bandits and you need to clear the camp and flip a lever to raise the roadblock.  That is more or less the sort of level involvement you should expect from the encounters in game…  more or less go to an area… murder everything… search for hidden loot boxes and then profit.  If Fallout was a deep role-playing experience for you…  then maybe Rage 2 won’t feel like a reasonable simulacrum.

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For me however the world is interesting and filled with quest givers that want me to help them out either to retrieve items or get much needed revenge on someone who did them or their family wrong.  The feel of the world is also excellent, and not at all what I was expecting given the trailers and neon punk aesthetic leading up to the release of this game.  Sure there are hot pink flares burning in the distance at times, but the world itself feels significantly more subdued and is filled with the sort of broken people you would expect from a broken landscape.  There are no dialog prompts…  just click on an NPC and get their story as well as a quest showing up in your journal…  which admittedly is perfectly fine for me.  I am always going to be the hero and help everyone out…  so it isn’t like I need a red or blue option to the dialog to make me happy.  That said for some the game will feel like it isn’t giving you any options other than killing everything…  but again… it is a shooter first and anything else second.

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Probably the most interesting aspect of the game is that each Ark can teach you a super power of sorts.  From the first Ark located in Vineland you learn the ability to dodge out of the way of things… which comes in handy in many places.  Last night before I shut down for the evening I found an Ark that effectively taught me the ability to double jump, and before that another one that taught me how to take my dodge and turn it into a body slam that can break armor off enemies.  All of the abilities have their own skill tree of sorts that allows you to pour resources find in the wastes into leveling them up.  As you start gaining these the game begins to feel really interesting and unique in that you are given was to both traverse the world but also interact with its combat.  Now so far it is nothing in the way of the types of movement Tam generally craves…  but double jump should at least make Ash as happy as it does me.  I deeply appreciate the fact that the game has a ledge system that allows you to pull up if you get close enough to it… meaning that traversing areas that at first glance that you might not be able to make becomes a little bit more reasonable.

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All in all I am deeply pleased with the experience so far, and all I really wanted in truth was more of the first game.  Rage 2 however gives me enough tweaks to make that prospect significantly more interesting.  The challenge the game has in front of it however is that so far… the game plays NOTHING like the trailer.  The trailers were all so over the top and filled with Neon Punk aesthetic and thus far at least…  I have seen very little of it apart from the occasional colored flare.  The trailers would make me expect that a rainbow shat on my screen…  and so far at least that isn’t exactly the case as you can see from what is a pretty common vista of junk strewn across a wasteland.  This might be a turn off for folks expecting the former… for me personally I am completely fine with this as like I said before I loved the original.

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I mean I guess the screenshots get a little more over the top when you factor in the photo mode that you can apply to things and add all sorts of neon nonsense to the sides.  However that same aesthetic doesn’t really carry over to the gritty world that I have been experiencing.  If you like playing murder hobo in Bethesda games…  then Rage 2 might be a game for you.  If you like post apocalyptic gopher mission shooters…  then Rage 2 might be a game for you.  If you want deep role-playing choices and feeling like you have some effect on the story…  then Rage 2 might not be a game for you.  If you were expecting a carnal bullet ballet in a neon punk wasteland…  then it is probably a coin flip if this game will be for you because there are definitely those elements but as I said before it is nowhere near as over the top as the trailers would lead you to believe.  For me personally… this is a positive but it won’t be for everyone.

I will say that the latest trailers for the game are playing down the elements from the earlier ones…  so MAYBE the style changed over time?  It is a really fun game that I am definitely enjoying, and if what I talked about seems interesting to you then maybe check it out.  I am not about to say the game is going to be for everyone, but for me…  I am completely down for this nonsense.

 

Iceborne Frustration

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Yesterday we were treated to the very awesome gameplay reveal trailer for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne which will serve as both a DLC to the base Monster Hunter World Game and a stand alone game that gives you all of the content contained in both.  This is probably a really good call given that Capcom is used to releasing brand new full games anytime they update the Monster Hunter content, and it would have been sorta sad to start over from scratch were that the option.  However for anyone who was not hooked the first time around it gives them an easy vehicle for catching up and getting everything.  Monster Hunter is a franchise that became near and dear to my heart thanks to World and I have gone back and spent time playing the older titles since finally getting indoctrinated into the flow of the game.

vlcsnap-2019-05-10-06h20m08s445Unfortunately this awesome trailer came with a heap of disappointment in the form of an announcement that while the game would be released on September 6th for console players…  that there was no definite date for the second class citizens of the Monster Hunter universe…  us PC players.  This has been a constant point of frustration during my experience with Monster Hunter World in the fact that the PC release trailed the console release by some seven months.  As a result every bit of post release content has been similarly delayed by several months on the PC making us the bastard children of Capcom…  never quite having all of the nice things our console brethren had.  It was my hope that when Iceborne released that all of this would be a bad memory.  That finally a brand new DLC would set straight the records and allow us both to be up to date with the most current content.  Instead I find out that Iceborne for Steam doesn’t have a release date but instead a very vague “Winter”…  which is similar to the very vague “Spring” the wound up being August for the initial release of the game.

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So now I am left with a decision of…  do I give in and play the game on consoles initially and then later pick it up for my platform of choice…  or do I miss out on all of the fun when it is fresh and bitterly wait to get our turn.  I initially played Monster Hunter World on the PS4 but ultimately found the PC experience to be far superior for my specific brand of tastes.  There is never going to be a point where I prefer a console over the PC…  because console gaming just rarely fits my specific lifestyle.  With PC gaming I can play upstairs or downstairs or even remote in via Parsec from my chrome book at work and have a reasonable gaming experience.  With PS4 I am stuck to playing upstairs in my office as I generally do not have control of the television in the livingroom…  or get to use the cludgy PS4 remote play app which lags constantly unlike my beloved Parsec.  Essentially the console experience is never a comfortable one for me and it also forces me to go back to using a controller when I have gotten so comfortable with the keyboard and mouse gameplay.

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I am super excited about this expansion but now…  all of that excitement is tinged with a bitter aftertaste.  For the initial release of Monster Hunter World I swallowed the frustration of the PC release happening so late and chocked it up to this team not being used to releasing on that platform.  However it feels inexcusable for that same thing to keep happening as we enter the long tailed life of this product.  There is no reason why they should be leaving one of their platforms out of the release… especially when they are still releasing on Xbox which had the smallest user base and absolutely no Japanese presence.  In the same announcement they credit their financial success in part to the PC release and it expanding their users…  but now they are completely leaving them out of the fun.  This feels really bad Capcom.

Part of me knows I will not have the resolve to keep from playing it when it launches on console, in part because very few of my friends followed me when I made the leap to PC.  My daydream would be for them to offer interoperability between the console and PC players…  but it is still sad that it is a dream that will never happen.  I was deeply looking forward to this release, but the entire time I kept thinking in the back of my head “please don’t fuck me Capcom”…  and unfortunately they did.  I am saddened by the news greatly, but…  it still really is an awesome trailer.

Anthem Postmortem

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As you might have been able to tell from my blog, and the lack of coverage…  I’ve more or less stopped playing Anthem.  Apologies for using a memey screenshot to lead this discussion off but I somewhat feel like it is fitting for the current state of the game.  Anthem does an awful lot right when it comes to the moment to moment gameplay of what it feels like to pilot a mech suit into combat.  Once they fixed the controls from the early alpha testing…  flying a suit feels amazing and using those same controls to move around the battlefield during combat feels pretty great as well.  Additionally I was a huge fan of the characters that were introduced with Anthem and the story arc that was played out…  even though it largely felt like the opening chapter of a much larger experience that we have yet to see.  I think Bioware had a lot of ambition with this game, but due to all sorts of reasons outlined in the now infamous Jason Schreier “How BioWare’s Anthem Went Wrong” piece on Kotaku…  the game that was released simply did not have enough focus or time to incubate into a finished product.

I legitimately feel bad for the crew after reading that post, but I am also left with the competing interests of being a consumer that bought in hook line and sinker into a broken product.  I think given time and money and resources and sufficient good will from the community…  Anthem is a ship that could right itself.  However on many fronts things are not looking stellar as we move into May some almost 3 months after the early access release began.  As many users I spent a good part of April waiting on a big patch they were supposedly working on that would in theory fix a lot of things.  While 1.1.0 added a new piece of non-story content and provided some quality of life changes… it also failed to deliver most of the things that were on the road map for April.  More damning however it did nothing to fix the core problems that the player base has been chanting since day one…  that there were issues with both the quality of loot drops and the quantity of the highest end drops called Legendaries.

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April was the month that I more or less stopped playing.  Mentally I was thinking to myself…  what was the point of grinding when there was supposedly a patch to fix all patches just around the corner.  At the beginning of that month it sounded as though the patch would be landing at any day…  and as we reached the tail of the month and the eventually release of it on April 23rd as a community the expectations were pretty high.  From what I hear the Stronghold that was added is in fact a really good experience and was not plagued by a number of the bugs that the earlier strongholds had.  I say “from what I hear” because even if Sunken Cell is the best experience in the world, it does nothing to fix the fact that BioWare built a game different from the one they were intending to build and have done nothing to fix the core loot issues.  I just cannot be bothered to log in to play through any more content when I know all that will be waiting on me at the end of the content is a sea of trash purple drops that force me to play a constant game of inventory management just to stay ahead of the tiny 250 item vault limit.

I feel like I need to dig into the statement I just made that BioWare built a game that they never intended to make.  Once again if you follow the Schreier piece it tells a take of a game studio that wasn’t exactly sure what they were making part from it absolutely not being a “Destiny Clone”.  They leaned heavily into the comparison to Diablo 3, but the problem with that is it denotes a very specific style of game-play.  In Diablo 3 post Loot 2.0 update the drops are plentiful with a bad luck timer ticking in the background and making sure that you get a drop every so often that scales with difficulty.  The reason why it is so plentiful is that a good number of the drops end up being randomized to be not that great for whatever build you are going for… but they become workable until you can get something better.  Getting something better is not a case of praying for the drops, but instead a case of applying time because eventually the thing you want will drop.  I know this for a fact given how many seasons I have completed at this point and managed to get all of the drops I needed for a specific build.  There is a high chance that you will see literally every item that can drop for your character during the course of a season.

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The other thing that the Diablo model has going for it is the fact that the game gives you a number of levers that you can pull to help defeat bad luck streaks as well.  They have a machine of sorts called Kunai’s Cube that allows you to pour crafting materials into it to get a Legendary item for a specific slot.  Similarly doing higher tier stuff in the game rewards you with Blood Shards and you can spend these with the merchant Kadala in order to again get a chance at items for a specific slot.  As a result through a combination of playing the games and getting drops and targeting specific gear slots you can pretty effectively get the items that you were actually needing.  It feels as though you are always working towards the goal of getting your full set of gear needed for your specific build, and even when you get gear drops that are less than perfect the game has an enchanting system that allows you to swap a single stat on an item to help fix the problems with any gear.  Again the game is exceedingly generous with its drops and also gives the player systems in order to mitigate any issues that might occur where they aren’t getting the items that they actually need.

Anthem is sorta like a kid who only read the first chapter of a novel and is now trying to pass the test in English Lit.  They got the part where the gear is randomized, but were apparently absent on the days they talked about all of the ways that Diablo 3 tries to help mitigate any times when the random loot machine isn’t working as intended.  Additionally they seem to have missed the part where if you are building a game with loot that swings wildly between “god rolls” and “garbage fire” that you have to make sure that the drops themselves are plentiful so that sharding an item doesn’t feel like you just destroyed what amounted to several hours of your life.  Legendary drops in Anthem are still fairly rare in that you may see one in a nights worth of play or you may not.  In theory they should be guaranteed drops from the end boss of Tier 2 or higher content, but instead they are an exceedingly rare drop from any encounter in the game which means that you realistically need to clear every single trash mob so that you don’t feel like you are missing the opportunity to see a Lime Green diamond on your screen.

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The rarity of Legendary drops feels more akin to Destiny 2 and getting an Exotic Weapon.  The challenge there however is that an Exotic weapon when it drops is the only version of that weapon you will ever need, because they had the foresight to make all Exotic weapons drop with static rolls.  I have a handful of legendary weapons at this point and none of them are what I would consider to be a good roll for the specific type of weapon or damage that is being dealt with them.  You use them because they are significantly higher level than Masterworks, but they don’t necessarily feel great to use or at least good enough to account for the time spent in acquiring them.  It takes Legendaries to grind to get more Legendaries to grind to get more Legendaries…  and at some point the incentive feels bad and not worth the effort you are expending to get it given the interval of drops seems to ranges from 30 minutes to 300 hours.

The other major issue with Anthem is that months into the game we are still encountering massive issues that tell me that the game itself behind the scenes is held together with duct tape and bailing twine.  On May 7th they released a minor patch, large with the purpose of removing the Elysian Cache reward system from the game.  I could go into how dumb of an idea I think this is since they removed content from a game that already feels like it doesn’t have enough content… and didn’t replace it with anything.  However they did state from the beginning that this was a temporary system and in theory was designed to apply enough friction to keep people grinding until they had gathered all of the 160 or so loot possibilities.  The issue however is that when they released the patch they also inadvertently removed loot drops entirely from a handful of encounter types in the process.  This has been a pretty common cadence with Anthem so far is that touching one system seems to often times wreck what would seem to be an unrelated system.

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One of the things that always impresses me is a PC case that has extremely neat looking cable management.  However often times if you pull off the opposite panel on those cases and you see a rats nest of wires in all sorts of odd places in order to achieve what appears to be a polished look on the visible side.  This is what I feel like Anthem is probably like once you peel back the pretty facade…  a game that has gone through so many rapid iterations and has lots and lots of “temp” code still in place to try and hot wire systems so that they work.  I’ve written more than my share of this style of code when we were rushed to meet a deadline and couldn’t be bothered to follow best practices when so much needed to be done in such a short amount of time.  Crunch makes you do really dumb things that will ultimately bite you in the ass in the long run… and I feel like Anthem is a game full of Crunch decisions and compromises in order to ship a product that was not ready for shipping.

The challenge however is once they released that road-map, to some extent they are being judged upon it.  It is hard to stem the hemorrhaging of all of these short term decisions when you are being pushed to make even more of them.  At this point however… I think the race is over and they lost.  It is far too late to be able to create a narrative of “we had a rough start but everything is on solid ground now” as has been the case with so many MMO launches.  The time has come for them to take their time and figure out what kind of game they want Anthem to be…  and then start working towards that FFXIV A Realm Reborn resurrection narrative instead.  Anthem is dead…  long live Anthem?  At this point I could be grinding for Legendaries, but even then I am not sure what the point in doing so would be?  There is no real end game in Anthem as of yet, no raid to be gearing towards and not even an equivalent of the Destiny Nightfall.  The only end game to the grind is more grind and once I realized that…  and the fact that loot would theoretically never get fixed I checked out of the game.

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I am however keeping tabs on it as is the case with this postmortem of sorts.  I want Anthem to have one hell of a comeback story, much like Destiny did with Taken King…  and sadly Destiny 2 did with Forsaken (because they should have learned the damned lessons the first time).  The negative of the life and death of Anthem has been that it seemingly has soured my tastes for looter shooters in general…  since I seem to have also ejected from Division 2 and cannot seem to get back into the groove of Destiny 2 either.  So now I largely wait and hope that BioWare Austin can pick this game out of the dirt and turn it into something we actually want to play.

War of the Spark Pre-order Packs

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Today is a weird day as far as days go.  I took the day off in order to go see Avengers Endgame as an 11 am matinee in a hope of avoiding the majority of the crowds.  Past that I got up and around like a normal day but because of the lack of pressure it is meaning that I am doing everything a little big slower than normal since I am not actually required to get out the door and on my way to work by 7 am…   aka the time I am actually starting this blog today.  Yesterday was the beginning of War of the Spark on Magic the Gathering Arena and with that I finally got to open my 50 pre-order packs.  If you are playing Magic the Gathering Arena you too can also get three free packs by entering the new “PlayWarSpark” code.  On a whim I decided to stream opening the packs last night and I am super thankful to a bunch of people who tuned in to watch and comment on my pulls.  I love opening packs, and honestly so far I am really liking what I am seeing of this set.  If you are curious you can check out the full opening over on my YouTube channel or through the Twitch VOD.  Be warned however with the VOD there is a bunch of faffing about with sound levels early on that I cut out of the eventual upload to YouTube.  If you are simply curious about what I pulled I exported the list to Google Sheets including everything I currently have from War of the Spark including the 50 pre-order packs and the 3 free packs that you get from the “PlayWarSpark” code.

This morning I am going to talk about a few of my favorite cards so far from the expansion.  Please not that I have deep ties to green and black and as a result am mostly going to be talking about the cards that I know I will be playing.  I can already tell that I will be building an amass zombies deck sooner or later.

Leyline Prowler

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What is not to love about this card.  It is a 2/3 for 1BG with Deathtouch, Lifelink AND is a Bird of Paradise.  It allows you to be offensive with it when you need to…  but if for some reason you can’t be…  you can tap it for mana.  It is a weird card but man do I love it.  I think mostly I just love it because it is a standard legal bird of paradise that happens to be in my favorite Golgari colors.  Even if you take the tap effect off of it…  2/3 with deathtouch and lifelink for 3 seems really good.

Banehound

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This is another of what seems to be a stupidly good common card….  its a one drop black 1/1 with lifelink and haste.  Sure this probably does not matter at all if you are not getting this on turn one…  but still it seems like something worth playing and probably godly in sealed.  It is going to add a lot of turn one pressure I think.

Duskmantle Operative

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Another one of the really good commons I think is Duskmantle Operative.  You get a 2/2 for 2 that cannot be blocked by creatures with power 4 or greater…  which probably won’t come into play when you are actually dropping this on the board but later in the game it might be useful.  Definitely playable in sealed, potentially less so in constructed…  but I still like the card.

Eternal Taskmaster

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So the initial problem with Eternal Taskmaster is the fact that it enters the battlefield tapped, meaning you are going to get this a turn later than you probably want it.  However still a 2/3 for 2 seems pretty okay…  but why you would really play this is for its effect.  When it attacks you can play 2B and if you do so return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.  What I like about this… is it is triggered on attack…  not dealing damage meaning just turning this card horizontal is going to allow you to bring back a creature regardless if your plan actually works.  I view it as a capable early game creature with an optional resurrection card built into the text.

Arboreal Grazer

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Another card that seems just stupidly good is Arboreal Grazer.  Firstly this is a one drop that gives you a 0/3 with reach…   so basically you are just going to use this as anti-air defense.  If it was just that I would probably play it…  but it also allows you to put a land card from your hand into play tapped, adding some mana ramp.  In a Standard format that already has Llanowar elves…  this might not be a first round choice depending on your draw but it would definitely be an alternative slightly slower mana fixing option.

Living Twister

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Now this card sorta falls in the stupid party trick category…  but it might be fun to build a land dredge deck around it.  Living Twister is a decent creature for RRG at 2/5 but then has the ability to plink any target for 2 by discarding a card and spending 1R.  Additionally you can pay G to return a tapped land you control to owners hand… giving you potential fodder for the first ability.  It has a lot of weird use cases, but I still think if you are running this you will want to build a deck around setting up a condition where you can keep pulling lands out of the graveyard and throwing them at your opponent for 2.

Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord

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I’m only calling this one out because at some point I will be building a Castlevania deck full of white/black vampires with Sorin as the focal point.  Vampires are already good but if you can dredge up a creature from your graveyard and turn it into a vampire along with the other types that seems interesting… and worthy of building a weird deck around that mechanic…  and then using the various Ixalan block cards that buff vampires to make it stupid.  I’m not entirely certain what I will be doing with it but it should be fun…  also Sorin is absolutely Alucard.

That was mostly just a first pass and some of the cards that I will probably be playing around with.  Again if you want to see everything that got opened I am embedding the youtube video.  So far I think War of the Spark looks like a fun set.  I might do some sealed later and see what it feels like in a more limited environment.  My big takeaway is that I think aggro decks are going to get a lot of fuel for early game with cheap powerful creatures.

Jedi Train Heist

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Playing World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV spoil you as a player.  What I mean by that is these are both games with rabid fan armies that keep a slew of websites updated with the freshest information.  Playing any of the other MMORPGs means you are going to be sifting through a minefield of abandoned websites and slightly incorrect information.  Hell even my own website adds to this confusion with my Planet and Bonus Series Level Ranges list…  that was created in 2012 as a way of trying to organize when you should be doing the bonus series and intermingling them with the leveling worlds.  For me… I have just been trying to find an accurate list of what order I should be doing the content story wise…  which causes me to stumble across wiki pages that seemingly have not been updated since 2014.  This was the core problem I also had when playing Rift was trying to sift through all of the debris to find a path forward into actually learning about the game.  Official forums are generally the correct answer but even they end up as a stratified mess of older posts when you dig below anything currently available at a surface level and start doing specific searches.

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Last night I worked my way up to and through the Crisis on Umbara Flashpoint, and can I just say how happy I am for the existence of solo mode Flashpoints.  This gives them a way to expose story content in dungeons without ultimately gating story behind a wall that requires a group to see it.  Final Fantasy XIV also loves to put main story quest content in dungeons and primals…  but ultimately causes you to have a gear check wall to see the next batch of it.  SWTOR on the other hand has been expanded out horizontally for awhile, giving you new content without really bumping up the level or gear requirements.  I have a feeling that I am probably wearing the last gear I need currently that I got through Command Crates, which allows me to just sit there and focus on playing through the content rather than trying to gear up.  I realize that statement I just made is something that the raider me would have balked at…  but as a super casual in this game I love the fact that it is an option.  One of the quests leading up to the flashpoint did cause a really interesting bug to occur allowing me to take the above screenshot.

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That is one word of warning that I have to give is that the game seems to be often times in a fairly buggy state.  I’ve noticed having to be very careful with my companion… especially with the sniper variants because they love to park their asses right out of healing range which means I have to keep dragging mobs back to them.  As such I GREATLY prefer the force user healer options because they will wade into combat with me, but when I am running with a “turret healer” I have to refrain from using my leap into combat.  Another thing that I did not remember is that apparently aggro does not reset in instances?  There are wide areas during the instance that just required me to wade back through a bunch of stuff  that I have already been through…  so I decided to mount up and make a run for it.  However this wound up with me getting everything pulled on top of me and summarily dying as soon as my healer dropped.  It was less than a stellar performance but funny enough when I respawned I did so in a way that allowed me to completely skip all of that trash in the first place…  rewarding me for my bad behavior.

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So far the game has given me a train heist…  which is always going to be cool when it happens.  One of my all time favorite missions in The Secret World is Last Train to Cairo which also… was effectively a train heist of sorts.  This really is a bad ass construct and I am surprised that more games don’t use it.  If I had to guess the train I am on is probably stationary and the scenery keeps being spawned in and moving past me, but I have no clue how they actually pulled this off technically.  Whatever the case they make for really cool feeling missions when you get one of them.  The story still remains to be very interesting and there was a bit of a major mic drop spoiler moment in this…  that unfortunately I had spoiled for me ages ago when I watched the wrong trailer.  I will not however spoil that moment here because if I did not know it was coming… it would have been surprising.  I have my theories as to what it actually means however, because I figure it isn’t just as simple as face value.  Playing this game is making me want to commission Ammo to draw my Jedi Guardian…  in the gear that I fastidiously searched the auction house shortly after release to get.  This will always be his default outfit in spite of all of the other awesome outfits I have for him to run around in.

 

Eternal Alliance

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The extended holiday weekend for me was largely about playing Star Wars the Old Republic and working on the Knights of the Eternal Throne content.  As I talked a little bit about last week…  I got caught up in the Star Wars spirit which lead me to return to the Star Wars game I keep visiting periodically.  Thankfully the easing in period was pretty short and my muscle memory returned pretty quickly for hitting the right combat abilities at the right time.  I would have been completely screwed if my hotbars had somehow gotten reset between times playing the game however.  It makes me realize how much of game play for me is sort of fuzzing my mind out and letting my fingers do the actions on their own.  I think that is in part why I keep setting up various games in the same manner so I just don’t have to think about the controls and can instead focus in on enjoying the story and world.

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One of the things that I am amazed by is just how compelling this game is when it releases new content.  While the early expansions Rise of the Hutt Cartel, Galactic Starfighter and Galactic Strongholds are a bit of a snooze fest…  starting with Shadow of Revan and going forward the game reaches a level that rivals the original main class stories.  There is however a necessary shift from class specific stories to being a more general story that has little nuggets of information embedded for specific classes but not necessarily an entire unique arc.  The logistics of maintaining class specific story arcs is just not viable given the less than solvent state that SWTOR has been in at various times in its history.  Knowing that rocky history however makes me appreciate all the more the content that was accomplished against this adversity.

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When I last played SWTOR Fallen Empire had wrapped up and Knights of the Eternal Throne was just about to begin.  I am very thankful that they have a 2 month pass non-reoccurring option because in general this is about how long it takes for me to get the game back out of my system.  I am a content locust and I swarm back into a game after a large volume of content has been released and then fly away while it regenerates a batch of content for me to visit again.  This time I had the entirety of the Eternal Throne campaign as well as a bunch of side content that takes place after those events.  Which should keep me busy for the better part of this sixty day pass.  Again I would never suggest playing SWTOR without subscribing because the free to play experience is highly frustrating to me because it locks away a number of features that I consider crucial.

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The thing that I like the most about both Fallen Empire and Eternal Throne is how cinematic the content feels.  It is weirdly disconnected from the rest of the game which in itself is a little weird to get used to, but once you have accepted that fact it is really great to experience.  At any point you can pick back up the story by simply hitting the play button in the upper right hand corner of the screen at which point you are teleported into the last step that you left off at.  The only real negative with this approach is that I found it extremely hard to stop playing until I had finished a specific chapter of the content.  I wanted to see how each step would eventually resolve, and along the way there were a few things that probably served to be controversial to long time players…  but made your decisions feel like they had significantly more gravity.

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Now however I find myself in the extremely weird position of having defeated this beat the content and reclaimed the Eternal Throne for all that is right and good in the galaxy.  Then immediately afterwards as I started the next batch of content…  found myself as a Light Side Jedi Guardian…  willfully choosing to align with the Sith against the Republic.  There are distinct story reasons why I did this…  but man does it feel really weird to have made that decision.  I am largely hoping that this just has consequences related to the current batch of content and that I did not actually join the Sith Empire permanently.  Maybe the content that I just went through made me way more grey than I expected, or maybe I ultimately made the right choice given the sequence of events that played out leading me to this decision.  Whatever the case I am embracing it for the time being and playing across faction, which in itself is pretty interesting that they went there as an option.  I am no longer a Jedi Guardian… but instead the Commander of the Eternal Alliance… and have to make the choices that I feel best for the galaxy as a whole.

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I am having a blast visiting all of this content, and it makes me realize that now that I have one of every single class… I could in theory do it over and over again if I so got the gumption.  The Jedi Guardian however will always be the character that represents me, and I like a lot of the directions his story has gone in as a uniter of allies rather than a dogmatic practitioner of an ancient order.  One of the things about Bioware and Star Wars that I loved… is there was always a bit of nuance to a lot of the experience.  They after all gave us Jolee Bindo one of my all time favorite Star Wars characters, and now that Kathleen Kennedy has announced that they are working on Old Republic content…  it is my hope that some parts of this universe can make it into the greater Star Wars story.  For me…  Revan and Bastila Shan is just as crucial and fundamental to the Star Wars experience as is Darth Vader or Boba Fett.  I grew up without placing barriers between what was officially Star Wars lore and the stuff that was excluded…  and now that I have Grand Admiral Thrawn another favorite character of mine I am hoping they swoop in and gobble up all of the Bioware goodness.

Replaying this game has left me with weirdly mixed feelings about Anthem.  Seeing Bioware at its story driven greatness is one thing…  but also realizing that this same studio Bioware Austin is largely responsible for reviving anthem gives me hope.  It also makes me chagrin for what might have been had they given that game enough time to properly cook.  That however seems to be the story of every game that doesn’t quite land solidly on its feet… is that it needed a bit more time to coalesce into its final product.

 

The Eternal Throne

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Commemorating the seventh anniversary of Tales of the Aggronaut I had my good friend and artist I keep commissioning to draw stuff for me…  make this collage of “Bel” characters.  If you are so inclined you can even get it in T-Shirt form with all proceeds going to the artist and zero to me as intended…  I have one hanging in my closet.  The characters pictured present my characters scattered through a bunch of games that were important to me…  from left to right:  My World of Warcraft Human Warrior, My Blades/Shotgun character from The Secret World, Middle top my Exo Titan from Destiny 1, Middle Bottom my Bahmi Warrior from Rift, my Imperial Dragon Knight from Elder Scrolls Online and finally my Lalafel Bunny Warrior from Final Fantasy XIV.  As much as I love this image…  it was sort of awkward to work with over the years and mostly just has to be used as is to adorn my blog’s sidebar.  It also made me shift how I actually requested commissions from Ammo, given that each of the individual characters was drawn as you see them and could not be pulled out or separated from the total image.

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Instead these days when I put in a commission for her to draw something, I pay for her to do something in a way that allows me to break the pieces apart and use them as I need for various other purposes like adorning the website, as channel art or turning into a social media avatar.  The individual comissions are more expensive but I also sorta like to make sure Ammo keeps a steady flow of commission work…  as does Tam who has in total commissioned way more than I have.  While I did not have time to deal with this prior to the anniversary post because work has been crazy… and I was up until midnight on Tuesday night dealing with an outage…  I did finish up the intended collage masthead last night and added it to the site.  The logo itself is a little off center so that it is effectively centered over the block of text and then the image extends out over the sidebar as well.  What you see before you is a bunch of individual commissions that I have composited together.   I am exceedingly happy with how it pulled together even though it greatly increases the vertical space of my masthead.

Once again I will talk a bit about each of them going mostly left to right.  First off we have a more updated version of Bunny Samurai Belghast from Final Fantasy XIV wearing the second version of artifact gear and wielding the glowy Palace of the Dead axe.  Next up we have my default visage from Monster Hunter world wielding the Nergigante Longsword and with my Real Life and in Game Palico Kenzie decked out in my favorite Baan Astronaut gear.  Then in the center-ish we have a commission that Tam actually did, with the goal being drawing how he sees me…  the advisement to Ammo was something to the effect of “Warrior Disney Princess and Friend to Woodland Creatures”.  So you have me heavily armored…  and then lots of buckles to make fun of my love for gear with extraneous straps and buckles…  the House Stalwart tabard to represent the guild that I started so many years ago…  and finally woodland creatures in the form of a bunch of bluebirds that play dual symbolism of me and my “birb” friends in my backyard and the fact that I am always on twitter.  Next up you have my Elder Scrolls Online updated Dragon Knight wearing the cosmetic gear that I generally wear in that game.  Lastly you have a Destiny 2 Sentinel Titan shield charging like a badass…  but with a head that is based on a comic book version of my actual appearance.  Last but not least you have a bunch of Moogles that I commissioned to represent the fact that I am part of the Moogle’s Pom Community team even though I have not streamed in eons due to anxiety issues.  The extra chubby one with the beard and a hoodie resting on the logo is the one that actually represents me.

There is an awful lot of symbolism packed into a single image… and while it is extremely busy… it also represents this blog.  I am constantly swapping between games and also giving a dose of myself with each post.  The only regret that I have and this is minor…  is that I sort of wish that I would have had Ammo draw Kenzie and Monster Hunter Bel completely rather than as a single composite image.  I could have faked it out… but it would have been nice to have Kenzie overlaying the logo a little bit to add more depth…  but I am not sure if it would have made visual sense.  I kept the placement of Bunny Bel and Titan Bel in largely the same location as the previous logo more or less on purpose because I thought they made good bookends.  The only problem is…  I already have a bunch more character commissions that I want in my head…  so I fully expect this to evolve over time.  Before I plug Ammo again… I feel like I have to state once more that when I post links to her stuff it is completely unsolicited and it is just the fact that I am a huge patron of her creations and want to spread the word.  Saying that… here comes the link dump of where you can find her (thankfully I already did this in a post and can just copypasta).

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Finally for some actual game related stuff…  I have been playing some Star Wars the Old Republic of late and I am currently blaming Pete since he was talking about it on twitter.  More honestly I think I am being influenced by what I have called the BlizzCon Spirit, but I feel like I need to explain that.  Each year around BlizzCon time I find myself getting enthralled by Blizzard products.  If I am not currently playing World of Warcraft at the time of the convention…  then I find myself playing it shortly after.  Similarly we recently had a whole bunch of news come out of Star Wars Celebration in Chicago…  featuring a trailer for Star Wars Episode IX, a trailer for the Respawn game Jedi Fallen Order, and some leaked footage from the Disney Plus Mandolorian Television Show.  All that goodness in one place has produced a BlizzCon spirit like effect in me…  which is not shocking given that I went through a massive renaissance of Star Wars the Old Republic leading up to the release of Force Awakens.

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When I last played I managed to push my way through a bunch of the new content and through the entire Fallen Empire campaign.  However Eternal Throne was brand new content and I did not hang in long enough to actually start on it.  So Tuesday night after getting home from work… I patched up the client and started working my way through the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion.  I am taking it pretty slow, not playing a ton on a given night with me just finishing the first chapter last night and moving into the second.  Every time I return I forget just how good the storytelling is in the game, and how much it reminds me of Knights of the Old Republic especially in the more modern single player incarnation.  As a cherry on the top it came out yesterday that Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that they are looking at doing a movie set in the Old Republic era…  which gives me goosebumps at thinking that maybe just maybe some of my favorite characters from the KOTOR series will officially enter the canon.  I still very much love Star Wars and even though Last Jedi mostly landed flat for me…  I am looking forward to the end of the Skywalker Saga and seeing what they do from that point onwards.  I am hoping that we see a huge cinematic saga centering around the large set pieces of the Old Republic setting.  Bioware has created so many great characters that are just waiting to be realized on the big screen.

 

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