Dragon Age: Inquisition – a Review

Scribed on December 15, 2014 by Scree.

This will be a shorter review, but for lack of a better subject, lets talk about the game I just finished playing last night.

Part of me wants to start off by saying Dragon Age: Inquisition was a good game. I can’t quite make myself say that without hesitation though. Instead I’m going to say Dragon Age: Inquisition was a solid game. I played a grand total of 85 hours in the game. An impressive number, considering the only title to come close to this in recent history (that’s not an MMO) was Skyrim.

Yet the honest thing to say about DA:I is that there is at least 30 hours of gameplay that was mostly irrelevant. Read More »

How Gaming Led Me To My Wife: a Bloggy XMAS (Day 4)

Scribed on December 4, 2014 by Scree.

I suppose the story of how I met my wife, inadvertently, through my gaming hobby is as good a gaming-community story as one can come up with. Hope you enjoy the tale! Happy Holidays everyone!!

I grew up moving around a lot. The moves were always because of a better job or position, or needing a larger house to support the growing size of the family. I am the eldest of six kids, three boys and three girls (very Brady-like). One of the very earliest and fondest memories I have of my father is his introducing me to video games. He had both an Atarii 2600 and a computer, but it was the computer I grew quickly attached to. This fondness for playing games, extended well out into highschool where things took a depressing turn for me.

Read More »

A Bloggy Xmas Begins!

Scribed on December 1, 2014 by Scree.

 launches this week and I’m hoping my little Scr.ee utility will pick up all the posts for you.

For those of you wondering what “A Bloggy Xmas” is….

  • The topic of the posts should revolve around “gaming and community”; share something positive that has come from gaming/blogging for you as an individual and that involves others in some way.

An interesting and hopefully emotional look at why many of us do what we do. Gaming clearly has brought some of us together, and I have a feeling we’ll soon discover great stories from the community.

A schedule of sorts is up here; http://bloggyxmas.blogspot.ch/p/posting-dates.html

I’ll be sure to update this post with the finds as they come in!

Dec 1

Telwyn @  Bloggy XMAS (1): Gaming and Community

Ikralla @ Bloggy Christmas #1: Community

Dec 2

Aywren @ Self Discovery and Personal Growth in FFXIV

Talarian @ Family Like No Other

 

HEX: The December Release and Speculative Theorycrafting

Scribed on November 28, 2014 by Scree.

HEX has had a rough few months lately. If you’ve played it recently, you have likely encountered all manner of tournament glitches; either directly or indirectly if your opponent suffered them. Compounding this frustration has been a delay in the release schedule, now delayed, to December 9th. While I was an enormous advocate for the game, the hint of more cards coming out has actually decreased both my enthusiasm and my time spent playing. Its not that I no longer enjoy the game, but more that the deck construction metaverse has had so much time to mature in the extended “beta”. The secret of who is playing what and how to counter it has basically run out of variations. In essence, the game has gotten stale.

The best equivalent to what HEX is going through right now is what World of Warcraft players went through for the 13 months preceding Warlords of Draenor.  Depressing right? Read More »

Why Three Recent Games Caused Me To Rethink Everything

Scribed on November 24, 2014 by Scree.

Fairly self explanatory title right? Not quite.

I spent the last few days pouring through the colossal giant of an RPG that I wasn’t prepared for in Dragon Age Inquisition. I had previously spent my free time tackling Shadows of Mordor. What’s interesting to me is the stream of posts I’ve been reading about Warlords of Draneor (its hard not to when 90% of the blogs I read are talking about it). Draenor combined with the other two games have created a fulcrum for my game design brain to go into overdrive. Read More »

Overwatch: Blizzard Theftolution

Scribed on November 7, 2014 by Scree.

No one can question that the audience was pretty excited about Overwatch. For good reason. Blizzard has absolutely adopted an approach to game making thats worked. Copy the best ideas of a previous generation of game-genre and improve upon it. Apply the Blizzard coat of polish and wham; let the money rain down upon thyself.

Overwatch, a new title announced less than an hour ago at Blizcon is absolutely and clearly an evolutionary attempt applied to the venerable Team Fortress 2. From the cartoony characters to the class-based approach clearly present from the gameplay trailer. Its pretty obvious where the roots of this title come from.

So the more obvious question is when does this tactic backfire? The last true genre-making Blizzard did was back in the original Warcraft and Diablo era. Ever since the company seems addicted to #Theftolution; the process of merely applying minor improvements and polish to an existing game genre.

Some might say the industry thrives on the said process; and you’d be mostly right. It seems fewer and fewer studios, however, have really taken any risks lately in pushing the boundaries. Blizzard clearly seems comfortable “borrowing” and polishing. More importantly, we seem to be okay with it.

Whether or not Overwatch is fun, a brief fad (much like TF2 was for me), is beyond the point Blizzard has unintentionally made by revealing this title. I fully expect that Overwatch will likely be as much fun as or potentially more so than TF2. I suppose thats what near limitless budgets can do when you’re a developer.

Will I be playing it? Frustratingly… yes.

#overwatch #blizzcon

The All Things Scree, Update.

Scribed on November 7, 2014 by Scree.

Its been a crazy few weeks. I grew a bit busy with my time during the peak of WildStar and things grew fairly quiet here as I weaned myself off of that title. WildStar has been transferred to a backup hard drive and my years worth of C.R.E.D.D turned in so I don’t have to worry about them expiring.

Despite having a years subscription for my economic manipulation, I have little if any interest in logging back in. WildStar proved two things to me; The market isn’t interested in “Hardcore” anymore and also that I’m not “Hardcore” anymore.

Having a wife and an actual career, hobbies that interest me outside of gaming, has all been a significant impediment to me tackling a “hardcore” experience. WildStar was just my wake up call.

I have been tackling several other titles, none of which many of you follow (HEX for example?). HEX has been a fascinating reminiscing trip down memory lane for me; I highly enjoyed Magic the Gathering back in my highschool days. This title allows me to relive those days, without needing to actually meet most of the scummy trolls who inhabit that franchise. Its also allowed me to take up a CCG as its created, getting me in on the ground level so to speak.

HEX has several major milestones its going to reach before the end of the year and the first of which, a secret “open beta” phase, in which the developers don’t tell anyone its open has just been hit. The second and more interesting milestone should come this November month when they launch Set 2. Set 2 is fascinating because the game feels incomplete, despite having a significant card pool to choose from right now. Many of the archetypes of play I enjoy do not have sufficient card support to play at competitive levels.  This is likely to change and very quickly.

Also important to note is that HEX plans on getting into PVE experience before years end. This means lots of interesting things, all of which I’ll save for its own post.

Finally I’ve been passing my time waiting for these additional milestones in HEX by playing a mix of Battlefield 4 (of which I’m still moderately terrible) and more recently Shadows of Mordor. Shadows of Mordor is fascinating in that the open world approach is actually interesting. More to the point, a lack of “levels” makes the game feel more realistic (in the sense of that world anyways). It feels like a more horizontal and not vertical approach to advancement.

I’m planning on a less frequent blogging approach than I’ve done to date. Several of my projects require a laser-line focus to keep me interested and progressing in them. Don’t be a stranger and hit me up on Steam or Twitter though! I miss talking with my fellow bloggers/gamers ;)

HEX: Analyzing Set 1

Scribed on October 10, 2014 by Scree.

First off, I was taken back a little when a few players picked up my article and posted it on the official forums. Its nice to see that a small time blogger like me can get some positive feedback on an official forum anywhere (they are usually full of trolls and intensely vitriolic). So to those of you who posted it and put up nice comments, you have my thanks. Hopefully my future posts won’t discourage you from visiting ;>

I took to experimenting with a few HEX decks over the last few weeks and honestly was pretty impressed by the range of archetypes the various colors seem to offer. While most of the colors seem limited to two distinct “themes” (with cross support from another color), largely the cards in set one feel fairly unthematic. What I mean is to say the cards themselves don’t seem to pigeonhole you into the two thematic archetypes. I found myself experimenting with numerous decks within Blood and found many of them viable at a given level. Read More »

Improving HEX: My Wishlist

Scribed on October 6, 2014 by Scree.

HEX just recently went through a fairly major patch which upgraded some of its underlying code and more importantly enabled a newer version of the graphics engine powering the game called Unity. During my review of the games patched changes, I hinted that I’d been saving some of my more direct criticisms for a subsequent article. Instead of criticizing the changes in the patch, however, I’ve opted for a much more positive-in-tone post by merely listing a few items I’d like to see eventually make it into the game.  Read More »

The Best Cards of HEX: Shards of Fate

Scribed on October 4, 2014 by Scree.

Set 1 and I have had a few weeks together and its begun shaping up to me what cards are the most influential of the set. I took a queue from the HexTechs.tv crew which posted this top 10 list. Unfortunately I think most of the list is misguided. While Countermagic is a staple amongst CCGs it hardly deserves a place at the top of the list. In terms more appropriate for the interrupting power it brings, its more a “staple card” than a “power cards”.  Likewise on their list is Menacing Gralk; which while it is certainly a powerful card, its fairly difficult for any deck except mono-blue to play.

Factors that go into making a card the “best of” include a cards playability. Being restricted to a mono-color deck (which basically any 3-threshold card should be), really limits the cards ability to be played frequently in the scope of all cards of set one. In fact, most of these cards require mono-color. While I am not opposed to the concept of Mono-color, at this early stage in the game with only one set out, its difficult for a single color to cope with the threats a dual-color approach brings to the table (perhaps with the exception of Blood?). Read More »

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