Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Expansion Explored

Scribed on January 26, 2015 by Scree.

The Ancient Gaming Noob posted up a roundup of Guild Wars 2 related blog posts surrounding the announcement of the first expansion for Guild Wars 2. Part of the issues surrounding the expansion has been a state of denial among the developers. Since launch they have denied the planning or development on an expansion for the title. Why? Because a “living world” should have the game evolve as it ages right? Not quite.

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Crowfall & The Disappointing 2015 MMO Lineup

Scribed on January 18, 2015 by Scree.

I’ve been an mmo evangelist for as long as I’ve been online, going on 20 years now. This has got to be the first time in memory that I’ve been faced by BOTH;

  • a lack of MMOs that I’m interested in playing right now
  • a lack of MMOs to look forward to (coming out “soon”)

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Listmas 2014 & My December Finale

Scribed on December 30, 2014 by Scree.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied playing War Thunder and HEX lately. Both have a novelty to them that has kept me mostly interested in gaming. Yet, as we close in on the end of the year, I realize they are in fact waning in interesting things to do.

War Thunder is unique because its a WW2 combat flying sim that I’m apparently pretty good at it. In the lower tiers I find myself almost constantly dominating in terms of planes shot down. I picked up a large promo sale on planes and premier time and have been enjoying myself greatly. Read More »

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.

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A Bloggy Xmas Begins!

Scribed on December 1, 2014 by Scree.

 launches this week and I’m hoping my little 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;

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 ;)

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