Los Cheevos Hermanos: Forgettable Journeys, Forgettable Riots

Los Cheevos Hermanos: Forgettable Journeys, Forgettable Riots

Ian: I wanted to hit Wetlands after Westfall, to be honest. It’s a zone which I knew had been reworked somewhat and it was always a favorite. The problem with the Wetlands is that it’s now the same level as Duskwood, a zone which has long been considered one of the best examples of what WoW’s narrative capabilities (inasmuch as WoW has narrative capabilities worth contemplating favorably) can do. It was my favorite zone in the original game, one whose absence bothered me when I went Horde all those years ago. Before that, though, Peter began to yammer on about Shadowfang Keep, an instance of slightly higher level requirements than the completed Deadmines. The minor problem involved was that we’d set down rules about how we did dungeons and one of the main ones was that we queued from the entrance. Shadowfang is situated way to the north of where we were, with no flight paths and no friendly quest hubs nearby to shorten the journey. The idea to hit Shadowfang Keep was made on a night on which we were a little short on time, so I was in favor of skipping it for the time being; dungeons tend to be relevant content for about ten levels after they become available, so I was in no rush. Peter, however, decided that it was queue as soon as you can or not at all. Being the magnanimous, awesome fellow I am, I relented and decided to join him on the trek to Silverpine Forest and its resident dungeon. It was his punctured memories at stake, not mine. Peter: I...
Fiona + Toby 4Eva: A Harvest Moon Love Story

Fiona + Toby 4Eva: A Harvest Moon Love Story

<!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is one in a series of farm sim games. You run a virtual farm with livestock and crops, you can supplement your harvest with fishing and mining, and you can make friends and develop a romantic attachment. It’s just like real farm life except with no dangerous chemicals and none of your animals ever get taken down by coyotes. My avatar, Fiona, moved to the island of Castanet…why? I assume to escape some sort of terrible home life. Upon moving there, the Mayor of nearby Harmonica Town just handed over an abandoned farm, complete with house, barn, chicken coop and field. It was probably the site of a horrific family slaying, hence its abandoned status, but the Mayor certainly wasn’t going to tell Fiona that. <!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> Time marched on, and Fiona acquired poultry, livestock, more fields and some friends. Her friendship levels with every freaking thing in the game- from villagers to her animals to random wild animals that show no fear of humans and thus will probably soon be hunted to extinction- were meticulously recorded on a graph with a bunch of little hearts. She could make more friends the old-fashioned way: by giving them stuff. Fish, flowers, food, stuff she cooked…people just wanted stuff, and Fiona was pathetically happy to feed their materialism in the interest of gaining their friendship. After a while though, she was no longer content with just having friends. Fiona had been working this damned farm for a year and a half. The farm was expanding-...

Los Cheevos Hermanos: Stormwind COINTELPRO Agents

Peter: Ian and I finally got to quest together when we met up in Westfall. First I had to figure out how to manage the boats which journey into and out of Stormwind, and then I had to find my way through the city itself. Stormwind is pretty sweet, and I’d never really seen it except for once many years ago when I raided it with some other Horde players. At that time, I mostly just remember a mad rush into the place and then pure chaos. This time I got to look around. When I got to the border of Westfall I met up with my new companion Boggins. He was very grey. Then things got weird. I had to talk to “transients” who were loitering around in someone else’s farmland. Unless I gave them money, they beat me up. I gave in and handed over the copper so they would play nice, but wondered if I was in some sort of simulation designed to train future neighborhood watchmen. Things continued to become more and more uncomfortable. I was spared a lot of the details because I don’t read my quest text, so I’m sure Ian can tell you more, but I’m pretty sure I ended the zone by fighting against a socialist cell of anti-war protestors. Oh, I also got to take part in my first vehicle quest. I’m not a huge fan of Blizzard’s vehicle quests, but this one was particularly bad. I jumped inside of a mechanical scarecrow of some sort and pushed two buttons while I killed other mechanical scarecrows. Maybe I should have...
Los Cheevos Hermanos: The Startening

Los Cheevos Hermanos: The Startening

My brother and I always have the best ideas. For example, this most recent one. Let’s hop on a ten year old MMO and make new characters together. But let’s do it like we’re completely fresh. No gold given to our new characters. No gear hand me downs. No guild but the two of us. Let’s also do it on the faction neither of us had played since said MMO launched their major leveling content reboot. That’s how we ended up on an underpopulated World of Warcraft RP server, playing Alliance characters with barely 1 gold between us, I on my fierce dwarf warrior (Boggins) and he on his really dumb looking wargen druid (Mathenwulf). I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s not been a truly new WoW player in at least five years, maybe longer. It’s a game that’s almost certainly buoyed by alts and recycled players, with server transfers acting in lieu of or as supplements to rerolls. Cataclysm, WoW’s third expansion, was all about redoing the low level content. Leveling curves were smoothed, content made more streamlined, and everything was made more tightly tied to WoW’s story. So, in addition to the merry adventures of our guild of two, I’m legitimately curious if the game has been tuned for the theoretical new player. I want to see if you can come in from ground level and do well, not just muddle through. These are our ground rules: No outside gold or items. Everything has to be gotten legit. Mounts are the only thing which don’t count, since those are account wide. No guild for support other than...
I Hear Chicken Little Has a Kickstarter…

I Hear Chicken Little Has a Kickstarter…

Whenever Gen Con rolls around, there’s always an understandable impulse to take the temperature of the gaming industry. If one were to use Gen Con attendance numbers as a metric one could be forgiven for thinking the industry was on a pretty good upward trajectory. Since moving to Indianapolis Gen Con has practically doubled it’s attendance…which is no mean feat given the economic turbulence we’ve seen the last few years. But what do people mean when they ask about the ‘State of the Industry’? Is it the total revenue generated by RPG’s? Is it the financial well-being of industry leaders (which is now clearly divided between rival corporate entities)? I haven’t got a single clue, myself – my head for business is about as good as my head for particle physics, so if you want me to prognosticate about the financial well-being of the RPG industry you’ll get just as accurate a prediction out of me by handing me a goat and a sacrificial dagger as you will by giving me a stack of sales reports. A few things are clear: 1.) Wizards of the Coast is no longer in a position to assume they’re at the top of the food chain.Thanks to the cold reception given to 4e by the gaming community, coupled with some pretty unwise decisions to kick the OGL (and by extension their former partners at Paizo) to the curb, they’ve now got someone else eating off their lunch tray. Frankly, as much as I despise Pathfinder as a game, this is probably a good thing overall. Competition drives innovation – at least in theory....
Tomb of Horrors Session 3 (and 3a!)

Tomb of Horrors Session 3 (and 3a!)

The Tomb of Acererak the Demi-Lich has finally claimed a victim! Who and how? Watch and you will find out! And yes, after 3 sessions – the party is still left standing in the entry hallway. Will they ever find the way in? Stay tuned! (Also, apologies – we experienced some technical difficulties – the original Hangout crapped out on us and we had to re-start. Therefore this one’s in two parts).   Session 3 Session 3 (Part...