Friday, 29 November 2013

Friday Musings: Women in Games

I started writing this last week, when I read the Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Nathan Grayson's article Re: That Heroes Of The Storm Interview. It is an interesting piece worth reading, where the writer argues about highly sexualized females in games. The inspiration for the post gave him his interview with Dustin Browder, game Director of Heroes of the Storm. But as I continued with my writing I realised there is no point in writing a response to his post, because, well it is meaningless.

My own post in meantime continued to grow, so instead disagreeing with the author of the interview as I do, I will try and present the role women have in games. More than that, I will try to present my own view on their role in games. This might stir some reaction from people, some might disagree, other might vehemently oppose. Rare few might even agree with me. I would not have it any other way. I would not be able call myself a philosopher if I wrote this just to please the public eye.

But let us leave good old philosophical tradition, school of Cynicism, philosophical arrogance, and search for parrhesia for some other time. A secret desire of every philosopher is to become parrhesiastes. But the question, can you be parrhesiastes if you are willing to be one is to be answered some other time. Let us focus on women, and games.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Witcher II: Chapter II

Last time I stopped with joining Roche and his merry band of Blue Stripes. And now, the plot thickens. Love of Geralt's life was taken by Letho. The Witcher Assassain who killed King Foltest, and got Geralt involved in all this, is the one who forced Triss Merigold to teleport the two of them far from Flotsam. After I dealt with the massacre that the corrupt Commandant Loredo started, and put the the town of angry mob to rest, I finally set sail and went after the mysterious man that seemed to know more about me than anyone else. Or at least he was willing to talk about it, in his own right that is.

We came to the Upper Aedirn in the Pontar Valley. This is where things got interesting. Every so often you would play as someone else beside Geralt. This was only a brief sequence that served the story, in order to make you experience what the game would otherwise tell you. I found it interesting. Although, because I joined with the Roche, I was put in the boots of King Henselt. A berserker king of Kaedwen.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Night Elf Paladins

As the new expansion is showing itself on the horizon, and the little tidbit we got about more paladin lore in Warlords of Draenor, I thought it would be fun to explore which other races could become paladins. I decided to start with the Night Elves. In most cases my starting point is for the race to have two other specific classes. The warrior, and the priest. This is how the first Paladins on Azeroth came to be, and it turned out to a success.

Monday, 25 November 2013

LoL: One For All

One For All is a new mode in League of Legends. Currently, it is on trial. Limited Time Feature is what Riot calls it. Unlike the normal game, where at most there can be two of the same champions on the same map, and even that on opposite sides, One For All plays with the idea What if. What if we had two teams, in each only one champion, well times five.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dissapointment(s) of Warlords of Draenor

Last week I talked about what I look forward the most. It seems only fair to discuss what I find most disappointing as well. As they say, the best critics of the game are those that still play it. Now I would love to say there is nothing I disliked, but as time goes one always starts noticing cracks in otherwise perfect facade. There are several things that are not to my liking.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Musings: Mandate

If this continues, I will have to find some other title for my Friday posts. Today, I once again want to turn your attention to a Kickstarter project. I blame the slow week and lack of any interest for the new console generation. What can I say, I am diehard PC purist. PC supremacy and all that. So, with no further ado, let me present you Mandate.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Witcher II: Chapter I

As I was playing Witcher II, I came to conclusion that it would be shame to have just one post about it. Since I was about to finish only the first chapter but had more than twenty hours of played time already, I decided it would be good if I split it into the chapters.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wednesday Ruminations: The Mystery of the Stolen Painting

The Mystery of the Stolen Painting is a book written by Croatian writer Ivan Kušan. The original title is Koko in Paris, but for some reason and wisdom of old someone thought it was good idea to rename the book into something entirely different. I would hazard a guess they did it just to make me frantically look what was the title of the book in English version, since Koko in Paris gave no results.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Part II: Themes of Paladin Sets

I was about to start once again that Blizzcon is over and that we can finally go to same old same old, but then I realised I already did this. So let us just continue where we stopped with the Paladin armour sets. Last time we examined the Tier sets of vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King. Today we shall continue with our endeavour in search of themes of the armour sets through their naming conventions.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Le Morte d'Chivalry

The title is an allusion to a collection of stories about King Arthur, his knights, and their adventures. It might to certain degree reflect the current condition of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare quite nicely. As in the stories, at the beginning there comes an occasional troublemaker (bug) now and there of whom the eager knights promptly take care of. But as the story grows and continues, Camelot slowly falls to ruin, and betrayal.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Warlords of Draenor Favourites

As Blizzcon finally and truly behind us, we can start nitpicking little by little. We were probably nitpicking for some time now, but today I will try and highlight what piqued my interest about Warlords of Draenor the most. It was not time travel.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Musings: Reset

Usually I am not really one for crowdfunding projects. I like the idea, I just do not see myself parting with the money. When it comes down to it, I am frugal with money. And it is not just crowdfunding, real life as well. I will turn every cent I have three times over, and then another three times more before I decide to spend it, if I decide to spend it. It is just the way I was raised I guess.

Nevertheless, there are people who support nascent projects that can only come to fruition through the collective effort of the crowd. I know I am grateful to them. It is because of those people, that I am able to play Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Thomas Was Alone, and probably some other game that eludes my memory at this moment. And even though I never supported a single project, I do look forward to seeing what comes of some of them. Sui Generis comes to mind.

Today, I would like to draw your attention to Reset. Reset is a lot of things. But as it describes itself, is probably the most accurate. The first quote comes from youtube video description, the second from the game's website.
A sci-fi noir, a mystery, a first person puzzle game. Reset is infused with mind boggling puzzles, a grippingly haunting but beautiful story and an unparalleled immersive atmosphere.
Reset is a single player co-op first person puzzle game with a strong emphasis on story and atmosphere. The unique game mechanic in Reset is the ability to travel back in time to solve puzzles co-operatively, with yourself.
Reset is an adventure game in development by Theory Interactive. A small Finnish indie studio consisting of two people. I do not understand what it is lately with the games that are made with such small number of people, but the ones I get to play are usually really good. So with hoping this will hold true with Reset as well, let us discuss what we can for a bit.

What I will say, is that this is all yet to be seen. What I can say though, it is that the gameplay trailer looks amazing. The particular mechanic of playing the game in pair with yourself sounds interesting, and should allow a new look on co-operative gameplay. I loved the look of the robot, and the idea that to some degree the way you play right now would depend on your actions in the past. The aesthetics of the game look fine. Photorealism suits Reset. It makes the robots feel more real, and the world pristine.

So, with no further ado, here are the links, where you can find out more about the game. The website, link of the video, and the crowdfunder. At the time of this writing, they have already raised over twelve thousand euros. Their goal being sixty-five thousand euros, with short of forty days left.

The links to future past:
Reset Homepage
Reset Gameplay Teaser
Indiegogo Reset Campaign

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Ruins of Tyria

The other day I went back to Guild Wars II to check how things are at the moment with the recent discovery of the Tower of Nightmare. Aside from disliking their concept of the living world on the mere principle, I think the people at ArenaNet have some unusual love for destruction and ruin.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Doings of Three Crazy Goblins II

Part I

Our prime concern, was that we lacked some heavy hitters. Our pirate crew consisted mainly of goblins. Which is fine when you have enough goblins, as they can easily swarm the opponent as a well mannered zerg. But seeing as this was the sea, where plague, disease, and scurvy roam, not to even mention all the enemies, sharks, and venereal diseases, we needed some muscle that would befit our cunning and greed.

We set for one of the islands where we knew ogres and orcs worked as slaves for an elf living in a manor on top of the hill. The manor was surrounded by coconut and banana plantations. We arrived to the small port, guarded by altogether four elven guards. We displayed the old flag of the slavers, thus being mistaken as a vessel of a trading guild. All of the goblins were waiting downstairs. The only one on board, was the dwarf and his elven assistant with Hur's hat on his head. Hur believed this would make the cover more believable.

As the dwarf opened the mouth about the storm and how they had to adapt the ship, the elves just looked at him with a snicker of ridicule on their faces. As the dwarf continued the story, elves realised it was a ruse, and tried to warn the rest of the island. The three captains cursed and ordered the rest of the crew to jump out. Hur took his hat back and charged. He grabbed the barrel of rum from the dwarf's hands in order to use it to set elves afire.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Second Look

Today I intend to take a closer look at what was of interest to me on the second day of Blizzcon. I can say some things pleased me greatly, while others gave me a reason for concern or two. But then again, it is the way of life I guess. You can never have everything. And you can never please everyone, even if you try ever so hard.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Medal of Honor, First Person Spectacle

I have talked in my Spec Ops: The Line post about the concept of First Person Spectacle. A week ago, I was visiting my family during the All Saint's Day. As I had pretty loose schedule, and most of my cousins had still to go in school or to work during the week I had free, I managed to play through the campaign of Medal of Honor.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

First Impressions

The Magnificent Seven

First day of Blizzcon behind us, and much to be excited about. For now at least I decided to be happy about the official announcement about Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion of World of Warcraft. I will give them until tomorrow to really try and explain all this time-travelling that they are saying is not time-travelling. For now at least I shall play along. I will have enough time to deconstruct every little quirk that does not sit well with me later on.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Musings: BlizzCon

On this fine day, and tomorrow's even finer Saturday BlizzCon will take place. What makes it interesting, is that aside from the announcement of the future World of Warcraft expansion (please let it not be time travel), and more details about Diablo III expansion, this year features Hearthstone, and moba called Heroes of the Storm.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

DLC Quest

DLC Quest is tongue-in-cheek super mario style game that takes a poke at modern day practises of the gaming industry. We have all seen the practises of selling additional content in the form of a DLC, or some other way as buying an item for a F2P game from an item shop with real money. If it was just a poke the game took at the modern practises, I probably would not write about it here.

NBI 2013: Newbie Blogger Initiative Award

I won. I won? Have I really won? I won! I feel awesome. And because of that, I decided to write here about it. Unlike all other posts on this blog, this one is destined to be pretty short. I never really was one for long thank you speeches, so in keeping with the tradition, I will only say, Thank you.

This was an awesome experience. When I first entered the Newbie Blogger Initiative a month ago, only thing I hoped to accomplish was to spread the word about the blog. I never thought of actually wining, well anything. I did not even know there were awards at the end.

I will take this chance to thank all who contributed to the NBI this year, both my fellow initiates, as well as all the Sponsors who took their time, and were willing to share their experience with us, and help us with a word of encouragement and a piece of advice. You are all awesome and I hope the NBI continues to grow for years to come.

If you are by any chance unaware of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, here is the link.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Doings of Three Crazy Goblins I

Some time ago, my group of friends wanted to try something new for our tabletop D&D. We usually play our own campaign following the 4.0 rules. It is pretty casual, more laughter and frustration over the dice rolls, than any kind of really serious roleplaying or powergaming. But every now and then we like to try something new. Or even create something ourselves.

So, we tried something new. A friend who ran that game made it all pretty simple. The only dice we would need were the two regular six sided ones. He said that the only rule is, the rule of cool. Anything we come up with goes. As he said it, if he tells us we enter a room, and then one of us decides to jump and swing from it in midair killing three enemies with the flame of the candles, we could do it.

I think this was his attempt at making us roleplay more than we would normally. He wanted a wacky, insane characters, and knowing how our previous game centred around the goblin settlement went, he knew we could deliver. One day I might write about that as well.

We had to roll about our profession. We ended up with a necromancer, healer, and a druid. I was the druid. And this was not your regular druid shifting in all sorts of animal forms. The only power this druid had, was communicating with animals.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Part I: Themes of Paladin Sets

I was thinking the other day. Well, I am thinking most of the days. But that is side-tracking. I was musing around with the idea, that Paladin sets through the game share one thing in common. That one thing as I came to conclusion, was a theme through the expansion. It is not really a theme that inspires a look of the set. It is more of a naming convention that paladin sets follow. .

Monday, 4 November 2013

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line, the third person shooter that sets to do things differently. Unlike other modern shooters of today. This is probably not the best opening I have ever written, but I am currently running low on inspiration. Thus we will have to make due with what we have. I shall elaborate on Spec Ops as we continue.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Should PvE and PvP stay together?

Unlike some other games, World of Warcraft was built on the foundations of discord and rivalry between the two factions. Namely the Alliance and the Horde. The burning hatred of the one for another might be artificial, and only there to spur the players into greater depths of entanglement inside the story of Warcraft. Yet, over the years the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde changed.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Musings: The Awkwardness of Games

What are games? How should we define them? Why do we even try to constrict them with the other forms of media? And why is talk about what defines, and what a video game is, always full of some sort of tension and uncertainty? What is it that makes games art, and not just another way of entertainment?

Review: Legionnaire (Galaxy's Edge Book 1)

When Nick Cole, and Jason Anspach started their endeavour of making "Making Star Wars Great Again", over at Galactic Outlaws . I...