Saturday, September 25, 2010

Going Old School - Part 2

Well the GURPS space game didn't materialize. Coming up with a galactic scale game takes a lot of time. Time which I didn't have. So after going to GenCon and playing some FantasyCraft from Crafty Games, I decided to run a fantasy campaign.

I've already run my group through Cleansing of the Black Spur adventure. Which turned out well for them. This weekend I will be running them through The Darkest Hour. Should be a blast!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Return to EQ2

Been a few months since my last post. I've been on hiatus from EQ2 and just recently got sucked into Eve Online with a friend.

As time went on I kept having to fight the urge to resubscribe to EQ2. And as of last Friday I lost that battle and bought the latest expansion. While I'm a little late to the game, I will post my thoughts of the new expansion once I get some playtime under my belt.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mass Effect 2 - Final Review

Over the last weekend I finally finished up Mass Effect 2. I went through all the loyalty quests and upgraded 98% of the upgrades I could. My character made it to level 25 Soldier.

I have to say I was a little let down by the ending. The end boss seemed a little too easy to kill. I did like the ending cinematic part. It definately leaves it open for a Mass Effect 3.

I'll probably play around with a biotic class for a bit.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothing like going "Old School"

Been working on running a table top RPG for my friends. Over the last few months a friend has been running a Twilight 2013 mercenary game. Before you ask, no it doesn't involve vampires or werewolves. This has gotten me into the mood to run a game myself.

So I decided that a space setting is what I wanted to run. Being a fan of Firefly, Babylon 5 and Cowboy Bebop, I'm modeling my universe with elements of each. I decided to use the GURPS rule set from Steve Jackson Games. I know GURPS best and it runs rather smoothly. I picked up a few more of the 4th edition books and have been wracking my brains about what mankind is like in this time frame.

Well I won't bore you with details as I really have little to write about. But talking to my players, my first hurdle was to overcome the idea that they would just buy insanely stupid levels of wealth and have armies and fleets at their beck and call. Were talking 3 billion credits with a 600 million credit monthly income. This was going to totally screw the game up and would put way too much strain on me as a GM. So I muddled back and forth for 2-3 days trying to figure out what restrictions I would put on the use of wealth. After typing up a rather long email to the players outlining what they could do with their wealth, I trashed the email and wrote one stating that I'm limiting how many points they could put into wealth. This makes things much easier.

I'll try and update the adventures here. Should be fun to chronicle their misadventures in space.

As always keep safe and watch your six.

More Mass Effect 2

Been playing Mass Effect 2 off and on over the last couple weeks and I have to say it's as good as the first game. Once I got use to the interface changes, it was easy to get around and do what I needed to to.

I've been playing a Male Soldier and I have to say that the combat has been pretty easy up to this point. I've made it to level 11 and collected 4 of my team members. I've been playing this character heavy on the Paragon side as I typically play a goody-goody character.

Last night I started a female Adept as I wanted to check out a Biotic character. I picked female because it seemed to fit my idea of an adept. My plan is to play this characters heavy on the Renegade side. So far it's fun! Though pulling out my gun and putting it in the face of everyone is going to get old quickly.

Right off the bat I noticed a number of differences in the story. For one, where a male character start play talking to Ashley, the female character starts with Kaiden. Both were potential love interests from the first game. In the scene your character has a helmet on to cover up your face, this helps keep the illusion that it's you. Later in the game you get to select your characters looks.

Another thing I noticed was that the dialogs switch to match your character gender, he/she/him/her/etc. Even though most of the time they just call you Commander or Shepard, it's a nice touch. In the cinematic scenes they even change to more feminine features. One seen your looking through your eyes up from a medical table, with the male character you see a male hand and with a female it's a female hand.

I cannot imagine the amount of time it took to do the extra cinematic scenes and voice dubs, but it's a very nice touch. I was a bit disappointed in my female characters overall body structure. The arms and legs seemed a bit too thin for the rest of her body. After armor was put on, it looks pretty good.

Well more later.

Cya around and watch your six!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Initial Review of Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 is a RPG from Bioware and Electronic Arts. It follows the continueing adventure of Commander Shepard. In Mass Effect 1, your character is tasked with saving the universe from total annihilation. Mass Effect 2 seems to follow this mold. The human race is threatened by some outside threat, colonies that were full of people are now empty with no sign of what happened to the colonists. After meeting your demise 2 years earlier a secret organization has through the miracles of medicine and science, revived you to yet again save humanity!

After about 4 hours of game play, here is my initial review.

While some fans of Mass Effect 1 will be disappointed in the changes to the game mechanics in Mass Effect 2, many will find the story and gameplay to more than make up for the differences from the original game.

The biggest thing that returning players will miss is the inventory screen. In Mass Effect 1, you had an inventory screen that allowed you to equip various weapons and armor. This does not exist in Mass Effect 2. Instead, you have a weapons locker that you assign weapons and armor. I'll admit I'm not overly fond of this new method as it makes it more difficult to equip your character.

In Mass Effect 1 you had 12-20 different skills that you could train in each level. These have been compressed into 5-6 skills. With this compression, the skills seem to have a increase with each subsequent level. Skills range from level 1 to 6 and include weapon, biotic and general stats increases.

Combat is much like it was in Mass Effect 1, though the hud has changes a bit and how you interact with your team is different also. Mass Effect 1 seemed a lot closer to your typical FPS than Mass Effect 2 does. It's tough to say whether the changes are good at this point. Both system are fun to play.

Like Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 really makes player choices mean something. Comments on the web and from the developers have indicated that your choices can mean the difference between living and dying in the final scenes. It seems to revolve around whether or not your team is loyal to you.

Again Bioware produces a stunningly beautify game. The graphics are awe inspiring, especially in the very opening scene where you move through the Normandy 1 on your way to evacuate Joker. The expressions of the NPC's really do an excellent job at conveying emotion.

Not only do the graphics help draw you into the story, but the dialog and voice actors are the best I've heard in a while. Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man, does an excellent job.

Well I'll post a total review after finishing, so look for a post late next week or the next.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Better late than never

Well I've been a bit tied up with real life to be blogging as much as I'd like. What has the addict been up to, some might wonder.

Well first off after months of barely getting online with EQ2 and finances being a bit tight, I have cancelled my EQ2 subscription. While I will miss many of the players I have met while playing, some I still have contact with and talk to from time to time. I suspect I won't be returning but never is an awful long time so no guarentees.

Prior to christmas a few friends and I picked up Left 4 Dead 2 and one gave the gift of Borderlands to each of us. L4D2 is a blast! Very fun and extremely easy to get into a game. It was so fun that when Steam offered L4D1 at a discounted price of $7.49, I couldn't pass it up. Though after a while the maps do get a bit old, still a good stress reliever after a long day at work.

Borderlands seems to be a decent game. I've only played the single player version, and I've played each character for 6-13 levels. So far I think I like the sniper the best. My friends haven't gotten to play much yet so I suspect we will give it a try over the next few months.

I picked up the Deluxe Digital Download of Mass Effect 2. It goes live tomorrow and I expect to be very busy playing it over the next couple weeks. I was very impressed with Mass Effect 1 and I look forward to ME2.

I have through the good graces of a friend, been involved in the open beta of Star Trek Online. While I haven't had much of a chance to play, here's my brief review. Space combat B/B+; the controls of the ship seemed a little clumbsy at first but as you get use to them the clumbsiness lessens. But the fleet actions make up for this. The planet side adventures seemed to be missing something, having come from EQ2 the graphics seemed to be outdated, something I wouldn't have expected from a release of this scope. Planet side gets a C-/D+. I'm sure as the game ages some and enhancements are done, it will improve.

Well until next time. Keep safe and watch your six.