Friday, January 20, 2012

Dual Wielding Insults - Hasbro

First, Wizards announces that they can't create a system that is worthy of replacing a previous edition and ask for players assistance.  Now, they have decided to go back to the well of goodness and kindly offer us a rehash of the original, I give you Dungeons and Dragon 1st Edition!!!!!

At least a portion goes to the Gygax Foundation, but I just have to wonder if Gygax would actually want them to so blatantly try to profit off of his hard work.  Sadly, if I can find these at one of my *local* shops, I will purchase them as mine have disappeared into the ether of multiple moves.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kingdom Rush - Tower Defense

Since I'm not actively playing in any tabletop games, I'm having to find other ways to get my dungeon crawl fix.  I've always liked tower defense games, they sort of feel like reverse dungeons.  Anyway, a friend recommended Kingdom Rush and I'm liking it pretty well.

The games are pretty straight forward with a set path and specific build locations - which I'm usually not as found of.  But, these are well located and force you to carefully consider what type of tower to place where and not all the locations must be used to have a successful map.

Tower Types:
The barracks provide troops you can use to block advancing mobs.
The mage tower is your standard magic damage tower that attacks both land and air.
The arrow tower is the fast firing, low physical damage tower that attacks both land and air.
The artillery tower is heavy physical AOE damage (initially, hint-hint) against land targets.

You also have at your disposal an AOE flame attack and the ability to summon two "helper" troops that are effectively armed farmers.

Depending on how well you complete a particular map, determines how many talent points you get to spend between levels.  The talent trees are interesting and call for some hard choices once the obvious selections have been made.

Each tower has several levels of upgrades, then a specialty choice (i.e. marksman or rangers for the arrow towers, mage or sorcerer for the magic tower).  Once you choose a specialty, then you get to pick from special powers made available from picking your specialty - yes, you can choose poorly.

The mob spawns are creative and various - goblins, orcs, wolves, wargs, spiders, bandits, demons, yetis just to name a few.  Just about all have something special or unique - high armor, fast speed, etc.  Some have special powers that augment other mobs, some heal other mobs and some have really interesting abilities that have surprising in-game effects (hint-hint).  There are creative spawn locations on certain maps and short-cuts that mobs will sometimes use to their advantage.  The pathing is interesting and if you don't have troops in just the right place, they are doomed against certain mobs or the mobs will bypass them - not sure if that's a programming flaw or working as intended.

On the whole, I give Kingdom Rush a 7/10 for Internet flash games overall and a 9/10 for the tower defense genre.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dungeons and Dragons Version 5

I've heard the rumors for awhile, but this is the first official information I've seen: D&D 5.

The article pretty much points out all that is wrong and broken in the gaming industry.  But, I don't think the author actually understands where the industry is today or how the players are dealing with the overall situation.

Might I also provide a link to signing up for being part of the play-test group.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic revisited

So I broke down and decided to give SWTOR a month to try to change my mind about it.  So far, I've gotten a bounty hunter (powertech) and sith warrior (marauder) up to a decent enough level to really evaluate them.  Look for me on The Twin Spears server - Plagueale, Anzuth, Justiciar or Amraam are my toon's names.

Sith Warrior (Marauder)
   Dual wielding light sabers looks awesome.  The acrobatic animations of the various attacks is awesome.  Only having to worry about damage output gear is a relief.  Being bad is so easy.  The second companion you get is a heal-bot (literally, a healing droid).

   The marauder is a paper tiger - you are wearing medium armor (at least its not light armor), but you are in immediate damage range for anything with AOE attacks.  The burst damage done is decent, but not exceptional compared to some of the other classes. The first companion you get spends all of her time stealing aggro from you and your in-combat heal is not that great and has a long cooldown.

    A marauder does damage, nothing else - no shield, no damage reduction,  no threat reducers (at least not yet), no regular healing.

   It is fun to just go on a killing binge.  Generally, I will go through 3-4 pulls before having to stop to heal (out of combat).  However, if you get a respawn, wandering mob or unexpected elite show up towards the end things can get really bad, really quick.

Bounty Hunter (Powertech)
    The armor (for the most part) looks very much like what you imagine Star Wars bounty hunter armor should look like.  The AOE, direct damage and crowd control skills perform admirably.  The companion (Mako) is great, providing some damage and a lot of healing.

    I don't have much bad to say about the Bounty Hunter class.  I've been playing with a real life friend who went mercenary and we compliment each other very effectively.  I think the only drawback is that that powertech lacks a really good ranged-burst damage attack to make for a truly effective pull.

    The headgear items are UGLY and seem  out of proportioned.  I'm not sure that the off-hand power generators are really worth much - they function as a shield, but unlike traditional game shields, you can't use them for additional attacks.

    If I stay with SWTOR, I will definately have a top level Bounty Hunter.

So what's next?  I'm not sure.  I'm taking the last of my master's classes over the next 4 months and that takes up a lot of time.  I may not have a job, but I may be having to spend a considerable amount of time with my parent's due to their deteriorating condition.  I just don't know if SWTOR has hooked me enough to keep me playing.

On a related note, this is a more tasty decision on the Light vs. Dark debate.