Monday, March 31, 2008

The NOD Redeemer

I had played around with the NOD Redeemer a little bit and wow does it pack quite a punch. I think it's even tougher than the MARV, although it may not hit quite as hard as the MARV does. The Redeemer has only two infantry upgrade slots where the MARV has four, but the Rage Generator goes a long way towards getting the job done.

Got a little video below of a Redeemer rampage. Doesn't quite show everything that the Redeemer is capable of, but it's a nice test.

Buggle Bubbles

Buggle Bubbles is a new Flash game from Mart, Heather, and Greg. It's a cute little game, one they put together for a development contest. I have to say, the art and music are very good. I was really impressed by all the art objects and backgrounds in the game, they look great and feel very fun. Try it out and see what you think!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dangers of Mushroom Kingdom

(Not my work)

Seriously, they need some comprehensive security policies there.

Kane's Wrath Campaign

I've started to dive into the campaign of Kane's Wrath. It tells the missing pieces of the C&C3 story, what happened in the events leading up to that game's campaign, as well as those events that weren't covered in detail throughout the main story. Presumably, it will move into what happened after the Scrin, that much-maligned third faction, arrived on planet Earth. So far, the story is great and the cinematic video sequences do not disappoint. Joe Kucan still puts on a good show.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Two Bowsers Done Right

Greg and I were doing some team matches versus random opponents in SSBB yesterday evening. We both picked Bowser and we were pitted against two very small opponents: Link and Olimar. Wow, it was a beating.

One hilarious moment. Previously I had grabbed ahold of Olimar while Greg breathed fire on the poor guy. Sensing an opening where I would either distract or grab Link as he flew back onto the stage from a prior smash, Greg attempted to smash pre-emptively. It worked like a charm.

Here I (as the lighter green Bowser) go to grab Link, with Greg already winding up.

Link is in my grasp just as Greg follows through with the smash and...


You can also see Olimar winking out into the background as Link flies off. Cracked me up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


There's been a lot of talk lately regarding the phenominom of microtransactions. Defined loosely, microtransactions in the video game world are those small dollar purchases that add minor amounts of content to video games. Many people label microtransactions as bad, and a dangerous creep towards making players shell out their hard-earned cash for game elements that should already be included within the launch title.

The recent furor is over additional weapons for the upcoming EA title Battlefield: Bad Company. EA notes a total of ten additional weapons, aside from the core set in the basic game, will be available for purchase; five will be included with the premium game, and five as individual offers through different promotional venues -- likely like preorders, much as Guild Wars did at launch. Each of these weapons then would be available for purchase, using cash money on XBox Live, after the game launches for those who don't have access to them.

Many have decried this as a slippery slope. People have stated that this is only the beginning of the end, for soon we'll see armor pieces for sale in WoW -- much like the Horse Armor fiasco from Bethesda as part of the Oblivion setting -- additional guns, mechs, spells, whatever. You won't be able to play that game competitively, they say, unless you sink real cash money into it! Those with the most money can buy their way to the top!

I'm sorry; how's that different than the real world?

EA is greedy? Of course they are! They're a corporation. Corporations exist to make money. Additional content, however broken, useless, or unbalanced, represents additional risk on the part of the company, and they expect to recoup their investment. And yet they're still the biggest game publisher on the planet.

For all the anger and arm waving surrounding the issue, I predict the same thing as always happens. People will buy the game, many will cheerily buy the additional content, and everyone will be happy. Many already pay just to plug their game consoles in to play online (XBox Live). And you love it. Why is this additional content such an insult?

Don't you remember playing online for free -- besides your ISP fees? I do. I do it all the time with my PC and my Wii and my DS.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Man, this thing is big. It slices, it dices, it packs a huge punch. The MARV can do it all and is the center of any battle. With an engineer or two onboard, its survivability is also impressive. A quick video demonstration below.

NOD does't stand a chance.

Kane's Wrath Arrived

I hold the expansion in my hands!

Screenshots and video to follow.


Greg and I were doing a little team melee last night. We turned up the difficulty a little bit to 6 out of 9 on the CPU opponents, and I'm ashamed to say they gave us a run for our money. I broke out Ganondorf and started to choke the crap out of opponents.

Ganondorf's Flame Choke special move grabs an opponent...

And slams him down. While Falco (Greg) kicks him.

Luigi meets the same fate.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sins of a Solar Empire -- Ships in the Night

Midway through a game of Sins of a Solar Empire, I'm about to launch an attack on an enemy faction who shares a star system with me. I've assembled a fleet of a quartet of capital ships and a balanced accompanying fleet consisting of robotics cruisers for repair duty, Krosov planetary bombardment frigates, along with anti-fighter and long-range missle frigates for support. I have a decent idea of where the enemy homeworld is, and I send my fleet out to feel them out.

Unfortunately, so do they.

The two fleets pass on the way to one another's space, and the scene is set for conflict.

I quickly build up another force at the volcanic world I departed from in order to meet the enemy force and hopefully redirect them back towards my main force. It works, and they bail out.

I then manage to hop two more planets towards their homeworld and set up another colony to trap their main force. I set up phase lane inhibitors to slow down their retreat if they attempt to bounce back again and summon additional reinforcing gauss guns and frigates.

They don't get away this time.

I wipe out their force to the last ship while losing only a handful of frigates. What the video doesn't show is me taking the fight to their homeworld, now nearly lacking in protection aside from a single capital ship and a handful of defensive emplacements. With this world gone, I will have the sole presence in this star system and can then take the fight beyond.

Kane's Wrath Unleashed

Command and Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath has been let loose upon the world. My copy of said wrath, boxed and shipped through the mail, should get here later this week.

I've had extremely bad experience with pre-ordering PC games from retail box shops in the past, having to chase around Columbus to find copies that I already paid money for, so I just ordered online. has been pretty good, and their price discounts essentially provide for free shipping.

But, the game seems to have gathered some pretty high praise. The user average score is 9.2 at Gamespot. Even discounting rabid C&C fanboydom, that seems pretty good. There are lots of things I'm looking forward to in the game, not the least of which is the strategic mode that I've mentioned several times before. I was also just checking out the epic units, like the NOD Redeemer and the GDI MARV. They look incredible.

Hope that shows up soon; this expansion looks like a ton of fun.


I finished Professor Leyton and the Curious Village last night. Although pretty simple on the puzzle side, the unmistakable charm and unique visual style along with solid game play made this game entirely enjoyable. The story came to a satisfying conclusion while leaving it open for a sequel, which I desperately hope materializes.

Now I can go back to the latest Advance War title, Days of Ruin. If only I could ignore the emo-tastic dialog and style of the story elements...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Quest Design

Mike and I were fooling around with some quests in Guild Wars: Factions last night. Specifically, we were doing the To Tahnnakai Temple quest. In the middle of it, you have to rush to the aid of Togo, Nika, and Mhenlo, and can't let any of them die. Because we weren't paying attention, we let Mhenlo die. Fail the quest, right?

Nope. Even though the quest said that we failed, we ran through it all the way and were still let into the temple.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Legendary Pokemon in SSBB

Finally, a very exciting prospect for many, including my young, Pokemon-consumed son: A stage influenced by the legendary pokemon Dialga and Palkia. Alex actually has large-ish stuff animals that he as named Anne (Palkia) and Whiskey (Dialga). I am not making this up. I believe they have a child: Pikachu, naturally.

Dialga controls the flow of time in its area, allowing the level to slow down to a crawl. Time passes more slowly when its power is activated, allowing you more time to act but more time to your opponents to respond.

Palkia, able to manipulate the makeup of the matter around it, can reverse vertically and horizontally the very level itself. Practically, this turns the level on the screen upside-down or flips it as a mirror image, and the controls themselves stay relative to the previous nature of the level. If you aren't careful, you can walk right off the edge!

The Spears Pillar level itself is very simple but also has many dynamic elements that make it a blast to play. Besides the fact that Alex just goes nuts when a legendary pokemon appears.

The Pikachu Incident

In a match of retribution and competing successfully over the online service, Greg with Cam as co-conspirator attempt to combat me in what we shall dub "The Pikachu Incident."

Pikachu's sins are already well-documented, and the feelings against him strong. Greg and Cam attempt to trap me and execute smashes with abandon.

Setting up the trap

They finally manage to push me to the edge with Pikachu-induced stage-splitting lightning. The electrical charges kept pushing me off the edge for, like, twenty seconds, as I kept attempting to jump back up only to be knocked back again.

The opposite angle.

Ridiculous. But I couldn't stop laughing. But we will never mention this event again.

The Unceremonious Boot

I had to share this picture as I mentioned it in a recent Smash Brothers match from March 19. Below illustrates why I was laughing so hard:

And he falls to his doom.

It still brings tears to my eyes.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Solar Empire -- Aerolian 4v4 Part 2

Turns out the Vasari faction I pinned back came after me quite soon. My main fleet was away defending another system, but I had time to pull back to the new terran world and meet their fleet. Their forces consisted of a superior number of light frigates as well as two capital ships to my one, but I had home field territory consisting of a pair of gauss cannons and a reinforcing frigate factory.

They didn't stand a chance, and lost an all-important capital ship in the process. They tried to retreat, but to no avail, as the video demonstrates.

Those Cuddly Destroyers

Destroyers don't seem so mean and nasty when they drop delicious candy:


Solar Empire -- Aerolian 4v4

Hadn't done any Sins of a Solar Empire in a while, so had to try a little bit of it. I'm playing a locked teams 4v4 on a large map called Aerolian. It suits me, as it seems to have a large amount of neutral factions and reasonably short and contained phase lanes. Put together a little video of my small fleet actions against a neutral faction for control of a terran world.

After taking the planet, I may be up against it. I've cut off an enemy faction's only means of expansion. Either they wither and die or push me off of my new world. Let's hope I can keep hold.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Missing Link?

Prior to the massive brawling last night, we also unlocked a couple more characters and levels last night. Jigglypuff and the Toon Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass -- which has just the best control -- join us in the Brawl.

Luigi standing proud on the Toon Link Pirate Ship level from Phantom Hourglass after smashing Snake into the background.

See you later Luigi...

Several characters grasping Link's ship in the driving rain. The typhoon in the background comes to the fore and picks up the ship, depositing it in the clouds for a brief time before it comes back down to the sea below. As you can see above in the Luigi shot, the sun is shining, illustrating the incredible changes many levels go through.

We're not in Smashville anymore.

What's going on here?

What happened here?

I'm not sure, but I think someone edited the news page incorrectly. However, I think I get the picture...

Won't have a ton of time this weekend, but should be collecting some goodies.

The Return of Smash

We got the Wii back!
To celebrate, we did a series of four-person brawls with Greg, Cam, Alex, and I. Several hilarious fights ensued, including one incident involving Greg walking Pit right past me, out of control, and I kicked him in the back as Ganondorf, gently shoving him right off the cliff as he fell, continuing to attack, without being able to recover.
I cried because I was laughing so hard.
Another great match, illustrated by the pictures below, consisted of me sitting on the competition. Bowser's butt smash attack is devastating.
Bowser executing a smash...


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fun in Arachni's Haunt

10E for ~350dmg = Efficiency!Mike and I ran Arachni's Haunt this evening, had a lot of fun. The sheer amount of mobs in the dungeon is amazing. There are just spiders everywhere. Not only that, but because we both brought a Minion Master, there were just little guys battling all over the place.

We didn't have too much trouble making it through, just got hammered a couple times by the amazing oozes. Mike got spiked down hard by about eight oozes that surrounded him.
The environmental hazards in the place are a little annoying though. All kinds of poison pools and jets all over the place, along with poison darts shooting out at you. It's like an Indiana Jones movie.
We had a little trouble as well with a section with fire jets and darts. Note to self: Should probably pay more attention and not park heroes directly in path of molten flame.

Chomp chompBut we prevailed, and made it to Arachni at the end. It seems that Pain Inverter once again gets the job done. Especially against a mob who Barrages our several dozen minions. Poor Arachni didn't know what hit her.
I picked up an Insectoid Staff as my reward from Arachni's Chest. Pretty cool looking Energy Storage item. Definately a unique skin. Might have to pass that on to a hero.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wii Shipping Update

Alex nearly had a breakdown because he misses the Wii. I am not joking.

Luckily, the Wii is now in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm hopeful we'll see it tomorrow!

If that's the case, we will have been without the Wii for under a week. I dropped it off at the Fedex store last Wednesday evening after 6pm. That's some pretty incredible turnaround.

While I would have been happier that my Wii just worked in the first place, this is pretty classy on Nintendo's part. Provided everything works as good as new -- and I still retain all my data -- less than a week is very reasonable.

Good job Nintendo for fixing your mistake and at no cost to your loyal customers. Now we'll have the cash to pay for Mario Kart Wii.

The Wii Shall Return

Looks like my Wii is on the way back!

I'm very excited. Gotta pick up Smash Brothers again and beat some fools up with Sonic.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Salvage Work

I finally managed to salvage a gem from an item. Holy cow! My slight bad luck streak may be over.


Not sure if it was the Measure for Measure that I added to before, but something seemed to go right. Maybe I should get a lottery ticket.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Frostmaw's Burrows, A First

The goggles, they do nothing!For the first time, the crew defeated Frostmaw the Kinslayer in his burrows. Greg, Mart, Mike, and I teamed up to tear through the dungeon. Although we encountered more than a little resistance, we didn't wipe completely even once. Sorry to disappoint, Latham.

Although Mart's eyesight may never be the same.

Greg ran a very strong curses build using Spoil Victor as well as Pain Inverter. I used a pure damage build using Cleave along with Pain Inverter as well. Mart ran a very interesting assassin build using Way of the Assassin to continuously critical and Critical Defenses to continually block attacks. He said he could critical 75% of the time and thus block 75% of physical attacks. Mike went mostly pure damage as well and also ran Pain Inverter.

You catching on to the theme here?

Not this time.Pain Inverter just wrecks the wurms and caster mobs throughout the dungeon. So many of them use area of effect spells and skills that Pain Inverter triggers multiple times for a single effect. It makes the one hex, judiciously applied, extremely effective.

As you can see in the video and screenshots, several times I used Pain Inverter to nearly solo a large level 24 mob simply because it hit our entire party as well as our four Norn allies simultaneously while under the effects of Pain Inverter. I can't believe Arenanet still has this skill as good as it is in the game. I guess because it's a PvE only skill balances it out and allows serious PvP players to ignore its uses.

Good for me.

Overflow error...
The biggest danger came probably from the pop-up wurm mobs. These guys just come out of no where, and I know now that Arenanet just uses hidden treasures revealed by Light of Deldrimor to lure in suckers like me.

And Mandragors... The conditions were silly. Six out of ten conditions, not too bad. Never saw four bars of effects stretch on like that.

Unfortunately, the rewards for working through five levels of dungeon just weren't that good. Three thousand Norn faction and scattered Dwarven for killing on bounties pushed me up to new levels in each track. Two platinum in cash for the quest was nice, but the items were crap, and I managed to break two more lockpicks in a row -- including the one that I got from the chest. Boo. I didn't get a single yellow in the whole place.

Oh well, I guess the 19.5k from selling Destroyer cores will have to suffice.

But the dungeon was fun, even to just say we did it. Now maybe I can turn in an even-more nearly complete Master Dungeon Guide -- unless we man up and do Slaver's Exile.

But that's for another time.

Getting Lucky in Raven's Point

Mike and I took on Raven's Point last night. Strangely, I had never done the dungeon on my main character. Dryders, elementals, and destroyers attempted to prevent our tear through the icy prison, but were no match for Pain Inverter. The Plague of Destruction feels its effects here.

Mike certainly was getting lucky with the drops last night. While I managed to break six lockpicks in a row, Mike retained his more often than not and came up with some decent items. I did manage to win an onyx gemstone from a the Destroyer Chest and a ruby from a hidden treasure nearby, so I guess I can't complain too much.

At least we got lucky, in our own ways.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Guild Wars Getting Lucky Weekend 2008

It's a St. Patty's day celebration in Guild Wars this weekend. Starting later on today, items such as Shamrock Ale and Four-Leaf Clovers will be dropping throughout the varied areas of Tyria. I plan to avail myself of the event: the alchohol sells to people seeking silly titles, and the clovers are incredibly useful! Hope you get lucky!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

70-270: Ding!

It's not a mega-huge deal, but I passed my exam. I level up at life.

Now out to a fantastic day of looking at expensive cars, dinner out, and a bright, sunny, warm day with my family. It's days like these that allow me to recharge.

Microsoft 70-270: Game Related?

I'm grinding through a bunch of mobs (test questions) in order to level up (get a certification) by soloing the Microsoft 70-270 (I've run out of analogies). So not much gaming recaps. I do have a couple replays from playing CoH with Greg last night, we'll see if the dumb game does the replays better.

We're also hitting the car show today after the test, so maybe I'll have some sweet pics of Lambos, Ferraris, Lotus, or other exotics to put up.

Need for Speed: Cut me a check for a down payment?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Have A Nice Trip, My Friend

I bid a tearful goodbye to my faithful companion this afternoon. I sent my Wii back to NoA to get cleaned up. Apparently, some Wiis have problems reading dual-layer DVDs, of which the Brawl disk is. The first of its kind, apparently.

Nintendo will accept Wiis back for cleaning, free of charge, and free shipping as well. They say I'll get it back in a week; it feels like an eternity.

For nearly a year and a half the Wii has entertained me, through Twilight Princess, Elebits, Super Paper Mario, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, and on to the most recent spectacular duo of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I hope it returns soon; Alex and I are saddened.

Post-Subspace Newcomers: 3

And now for everyone's hedgehog: Sonic the Hedgehog. According to Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Sonic is the world's fastest Hedgehog. He's quite fast indeed, and very acrobatic. He also seems to pack quite a punch with his diving attacks.

The aforementioned diving attack, accomplished by smashing down from above.

A great pose with Diddy Kong flying high.

Post-Subspace Newcomers: 2

Snake is so cool, he gets a post all by himself.

While not particularly fast or agile, Snake makes up for it with big effects and powerful melee attacks. He's also pretty good at escaping situations by flying off using some kind of small helicopter platform. I have no idea where all these gadgets like mortars, rocket launchers, grenades, and hover boards come from.

Lucario and Falco get pummeled by a rocket blast.

Snake's mortar attacks enemies above him.

Post-Subspace Newcomers: 1

Several new characters joined my team as a result of completing The Subspace Emissary story mode.

R.O.B. battles Meta Ridley as our ship attempts to escape a massive exploision. R.O.B. is a strong combatant with laser eyes!

Lucario joined a while ago, but here's a screen of the Pokeman blasting Samus off the map in a brawl on Pictochat.

More to come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Webgame: Travian

Mart introduced me to a neat little web-based game: Travian. It's a Civilization-style builder strategy game. You upgrade your city, gather resources, explore your surroundings and beat up your neighbors. I've had fun with it getting started, but like many other online games, I'm sure to run into my biggest problem with online games: other people.

If I'm building my little city, I just want to be left alone. Don't come take my resources; play nice and get along. See if you can win through better strategic planning for your economy and your skill at trading. Fighting is for those who can't imagine a more profitable way to win.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crushing others in the context of games, but it has to be on my own terms, and in those games where combat is the focus, or the sole activity. And I'm frequently only responding in kind, rather than being an aggressor.

Of course, that's small comfort to those on the opposite end of a horde of Zerg Guardians.

Until I bump up against the expansion of others, Travian is a nice distraction, and it certainly is convenient.

Trucks Trapped!

The evil genius Greg strikes again. In the Company of Heroes, on the Vire River Valley map, Greg used roadblocks from the Panzer Elite to good use to block the map entrance point of a British opponent to restrict the entry of British trucks. After parking a trio of Marder III's along with several other units in range of the entry point, the destruction was remarkable.

I'll put up a video later. It's something to watch.

The Subspace Emissary: Halfway Point

I've finished half of the main story of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, The Subspace Emissary. There were several very cool elements, including a section where you play Zero Suit Samus through a fight verses two dark bounty hunters in an effort to reclaim her lost suit. A great cinematic sequence of a vengeful suited Samus followed, accompanied by Pikachu, tearing up a legion of R.O.B.s.

There are some of the platforming elements of the story I could really do without. The side-scrolling "push" sequences where the levels autoscroll just about kill me. There are some really great parts, where you control characters at your leisure, specifically anything involving Donkey Kong Country-style blast barrels. All told though, the single player adventure is lots of fun.

I've managed to unlock several more characters for Brawl play, including Lucario, Snake, suited Samus, and Falco.

Will try to get some screens up later.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath

As if I didn't already have enough to do, what with Brawl and GW and Company of Heroes and Professor Leyton and Sins of a Solar Empire, there's another great game coming our way in two weeks: Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath.

I've been following this game for quite a while, ever since it was announced several months ago. Several promising new game features are present, including an overarching strategic mode and numerous subfactions that differentiate the already varied races.

The game releases on March 24th. I can only hope there's time enough to enjoy it.

A New Challenger Appears!

Thank goodness my kid loves this game; he's unlocked a new character for me. Luigi appeared, although I had to smack him down myself to add him to our stable.

Alex has moved on to the Wii Remote + Nunchuck control scheme, and man it's hard. Pit's a pretty strong fighter, but I had trouble beating Luigi using those controllers. Gonna have to practice.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Meta Knight Final Smash

Apparently there are already applications (Brawl bin2jpeg software) and web services that will decrypt the contents of the .bin files from Brawl.
Behold, Meta Knight's Final Smash!

Meta Knight veils his form, building up his power...

And then he lets it loose!

You be Smashed!

Snowed in and Smashed

No, we aren't resorting to the past-time of heavy drinking during the winter months. I finally recieved my copy of Super Smash Brothers Brawl -- thanks to Greg! -- and it's everything it's cracked up to be, and more.

First of all, the gameplay has changed only slightly, and for the better I believe. Aerial combat seems smother. Character movement seems a little bit more precise, although I think it's still tough to get the minute distances down. But in Brawl it's easier to get just close enough to smash without wasting effort. I've been using the Wii Classic Controller, while Alex and Greg have used the Gamecube controller. Alex even tried the Wii Remote only and seemed to do okay. I think it just has too few buttons to be used alone. I'll have to try the Wii Remote + Nunchuck and see how that works.

Level design seems less punishing, as there are fewer ways to fall to your death accidentially. The levels themselves are incredibly dynamic, many with destructable elements or buildable objects. The WarioWare and Pictochat levels prove incredibly fun, adding a great wacky feel to an already unserious game.

I've had a lot of fun with the solo -- or 2-player co-op -- story mode, the Subspace Emmisary Adventure. I've played about four hours and am still only about a quarter of the way through it. Many past friends and foes appear as part of this story, although unfortunately crowd favorite Sonic has yet to appear in any game mode.

The Events are also great, different sets for solo and two-player mode. Several Pokemon battles and nemesis tag-teams -- Mario and Kirby vs. Bowser and King Dedede is a good one -- along with specific goals, such as attempting to catch two very quick characters in eggs simultaneously, make for great one-off challenges.

And the collectables. Wow, it seems you can't walk a couple steps without picking up a sticker or trophy. I haven't even tried the coin launcher yet for additional trophies.

One unfortunately thing is that it seems to me that Brawl stores photos and replays in proprietary formats. Unless there's another way to get them off the game, I don't know transferring from the SD card will work. No graphics editor recognizes the plain .bin format.

So, we'll see if I can find another way to post screens.

But all in all, Brawl is everything I hoped for, and more!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Smash Brothers Delayed

Due to the crazy amount of snow in our area, the midnight launch of Super Smash Brothers Brawl will be delayed until tomorrow. It will definately be the next most-talked about game here, just a little late!

Should be putting together a snow-fort building tutorial video for your neighborhood snowball fights soon.

And oh yeah, I'm totally blogging while you're out sitting in the other room.

Friday, March 7, 2008

One Must Fall 2097

Definately not a new game, but One Must Fall 2097 was a great game back in the day. One of the great historical PC fighting games, the customizable robots really made for a fun experience as you built up your fighting unit. Mike reminded me of the game, and I just had to post about it. There's some information floating around about getting it to work on Windows XP. If I get it going, I'll have to post some pictures.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Apparently, Mike found the holy grail of feather farming: two-headed Tengu.

The feather farming has been quite lucrative. With stacks of feathers selling for 6.75k to the merchant, that's a pretty good living. The Tengu in North Kryta are easy enough to beat down, and when Mike and I duoed it, there were no issues at all. Trivial, compared to Destroyer runs or Dead Sword farms. And lucrative! Along with feathers, the runs flow like nothing else. Radiants and minor energy storage all over the place. Not bad.

Feathers: the new ectos!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Great Dungeons and Dragons Mind Passes On

I've definitely done a lot of pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons in my day with the crew. We all owe a lot to Gary Gygax, who passed away yesterday at the age of 69. This influential figure was one of the pioneers of role-playing games. He helped create the initial Dungeons and Dragons system itself, as well as the worlds of Greyhawk. His vision and presence in the industry will be missed.

Economic Stimulus

Given the current state of our economy, I decided to help out by pumping cash into the troubled Guild Wars economy. I outright purchased a set of Silver Eagle armor, a warrior-class exclusive set, and quite stylish as I'm sure you'd agree.

Although an unusual set, one can display this Dwarven armor set within the Hall of Monuments. Other Dwarven armor types don't form a complete "set." Thus, I can show it off in the hall and possibly pass it down to future family members.

I have my set dyed blue, I think it looks pretty good. There are some blue accents on the armor when freshly purchased, and the dye adds more. I tried black, silver, and gold (silver + yellow), and didn't really like any of them, so went with blue.

I think it turned out pretty well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guild Wars, the Solo Album

While I enjoy playing Guild Wars with a group of friends -- since it is a multiplayer game -- I definately love the challenge of playing solo. Specifically, soloing at high-levels without support of heroes or henchmen.

The PvXWiki has a number of great solo builds. These builds are often labeled as "farming" builds, but I don't think they really exploit anything. If you're willing to risk your life going up against dozens of mobs simultaneously, and survive, you deserve a little better reward. I personally don't think the rewards are that much higher in most circumstances than the rewards from designed solo encounters like Kilroy Stonekin's Punch-Out Extravaganza in hard mode. Depending on luck, probably equal to. But you get a lot of variety if you bounce around, and that's what I like.

I've been into the Vengeful was Khanei builds lately, specifically one to solo the first wave of Glint's Challenge. I've used a similar build in the past to collect Dead Swords and other rare weapons by soloing the Destroy the Ungrateful Slaves quest. But verses Destroyers, you have to be extra careful.

This is the build I've been using: W/Rt Solo Destroyer Core. Definately not my own work, I borrowed the build and idea from the PvXWiki. It definately works as advertised. In a single run that takes about 5 minutes I've gotten five destroyer cores. If you're trying to get 250 for Destroyer Gauntlets, it won't take you too long going this route. Plus it's just fun to survive getting beat down by 50+ Destroyers.

And that's really the point, right?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Battlefield Heroes

First I've heard of this game -- Battlefield Heroes. From the makers of the Battlefield game, Battlefield Heroes will be free to download and play. It seems to be TF2 done in WW2 setting, allowing vehicles like aircraft and tanks. The trailer looks hilarious, and the game itself seems very promising. They've stated a release date this summer. One to watch.

Magus Stones Vanquished -- Again

Wow I have fun with this run. I put together a little better team. I found using a minion master really spreads out the damage taken from the hard hitting groups like the Hylek. I managed to clear the zone yet again, netting fifteen thousand reputation points and putting me within 35k of the max Asuran reputation title.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vanquishing Magus Stones

Due to the double Eye of the North reputation weekend, for a limited time you, too, can earn twice the going rate!
I had a great run last night in Magus Stones on hard mode where I actually managed to completely clear the zone, and in the process gain about twenty thousand Asuran reputation points. This pushed me into rank 9 of the title track, putting me just under fifty thousand to max it out. Another good run before the weekend closes would nearly halve the remainder, because I'm sure I could get much more in a single run. I was a little disappointed that I only got one rank upgrade the entire time out there, instead getting mostly wasted Rampage type bonuses. In hard mode, I've had to take much more time before moving on to the next group.
Most mobs out in Magus Stones aren't terribly tough, even in hard mode. The Wind Riders are pushovers. The spiders aren't too bad either, just get the monk Lifeweaver and they fall apart. The Krait can be tricky, just have to watch out for a pair of nuking and blinding Arcanoss.
However, the dang Hylek, they're tough. Every one of them hit hard, and the paragons and ritualists among them add incredible surviveability. I won't lie, I had to use a Powerstone of Courage after a couple run-ins with those evil Heket.

But, in the end, I prevailed. I managed to clear the zone, get a decent gold reward, and move closer to a max title.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A little Team Fortress 2

Had to jump online and play some TF2 last night. Got on a pretty good server. It was the home of the Ars Clan, apparently not related to ArsTechnica, which was the first thought in my mind. But it was a pretty hilarious group of people nonetheless. One match on 2Fort the admin turned on all chat and people were yammering on and on about random stuff, cracking me up, and Kasey as well.

I enjoy TF2. The classes are all very interesting, even if I've just stuck mostly to Soldier and Medic so far, having just played a few hours. Had one great match supporting a heavy and breaking right into the opposing team's area just as the ubercharge filled up. Kill assists galore.

And then this jerk showed up, killing me, stealing my intelligence. I swear. With friends like these, who needs enemies, eh? Luckily I managed to outlast him. And by outlast, I mean stay on the server longer than him and avoid his rockets in his absence. Whew.

We definitely need to get the crew together for some additional TF2. I'd really like to get that achievement that requires you to play with seven other people on your friends list.

Do I have that many friends?