Friday, 7 August 2015

Blaugust Day 7 - Mobile Games part 2

I would never have imagined that I would have more than one post on Mobile gaming but when travelling and I have no choice, it gives me an opportunity to explore games I wouldn't consider otherwise.

The first of my next two games I've been exploring is Fallout Shelter. I know I'm a little late to the party on this, but this is an incredible little game, released by Bethesda as a pre-taster of the upcoming Fallout 4.

Taking on the role of the overseer of a shelter or Vault, surviving a nuclear winter, you manage people with various skills to operate various rooms producing food, water and power inititially and later building other rooms with various functions to promote happiness and health of the Vault Dwellers as well as living quarters allowing two Dwellers who love other very much to bring another dweller into the world, who can then work for the betterment of the society. Some of the cheesy chat up lines used during this courtship are hilarious.

My favourite part of the game is that can equip dwellers to venture out into the wasteland, as you do in the Fallout games, to forage for equipment and bottle caps, the Fallout world's currency.

Next up is Angry Birds 2, the latest release from Rovio after the huge success of Angry Birds and it's various spin off games. The game has already beaten records with over 20million downloads in its first week, something that it took the original Angry Birds 9 months to do, some five years ago and speculation is that the studio that created the game, Rovio, are currently worth 9 billion dollars.

As for the game itself, it's just as addictive as the original. It has a few new mechanics, though I've only been through the first dozen or so levels, and has Facebook integration so you can compete against friends. 

The game is a very simple concept (fire birds from a catapult to destroy pigs hiding in various destroyable structures) but they are fiendishly difficult at times. Add to this that failure means starting the level again again, unless you pony up gems for an extra bird, which are earned to some degree in game, but conveniently available via most major credit cards. Also you only have so many tries at a level before you have to either wait a certain amount of time for more loves or again, get your wallet out. This feels like a blatant cash grab and I don't recall the original game being so mercenary. 

Overall, a great game that's very familiar to players of the original but ultimately frustrating due to micro transactions.

This post is part of the Blaugust 2015 initiative. If you are interested in taking part, all the information can be found by clicking the logo below.

Blaugust Day 6 - Mobile games I'm playing

Despite having access to a number of mobile devices, I'm rarely hooked by mobile and tablet games. I find they are often poor versions of a PC game or blatant cash grabs. Two games recently however have grabbed my attention and has me fighting with a four year for my iPad.

The first, which was actually introduced to me by my daughter (aforementioned four year old) is Minion Rush. Featuring those little yellow fellows that seem to be everywhere right now, you control a minion in  a forward facing platform race, following a path, jumping and ducking obstacles and collecting bananas. You are required to collect a certain amount of yellow fruits along with smacking fellow minions (committing Despicable Acts) and other crazy stuff. Overall very addictive with a cash store for cosmetics and life unlocks (which are otherwise timed)

The second game that's been keeping me coming back for more is Warhammer's Snotling Fling. Set in the Warhammer battle universe, this game is similar to Angry Birds, but it's forward facing rather than side scrolling and the enemies are warriors of the empire, stationed in various buildings and the ammunition are Snotlings, tiny goblins trained to be fired from massive catapults. There are also spells you can use to find alternative ways to destroy the enemy, though I struggled to use these effectively. Just as addictive as Angry Birds and has a cash shop to unlock otherwise timed life timers.

This post is part of the Blaugust 2015 initiative. If you are interested in taking part, all the information can be found by clicking the logo below.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Blaugust Day 4 - The sun is setting on some of Lotro's servers

Turbine have now announced the servers that will be closed allowing for merges to create 10 larger servers.

Those affected are Elendilmir, Riddermark, Firefoot, Nimrodel, Windfola, Imladris, Darrowdelf, Silverlode, Vilya, Meneldor, Estel, Gilrain, Eldar, Anduin, Morthond, Maiar, Vanyar, Withywindle and Snowbourn.

That leaves 5 servers in the US - Arkenstone, Crickhollow, Landroval, Gladden and Brandywine, and 5 EUE servers - Belegaer, Gwaihir, Sirannon, Laurelin and Evernight.

Obviously this has left a lot of people sad that they are being uprooted from their home server that some have been at for close to eight years. I personally spent the first five years solely on Windfola and have a roster of 9 characters there. Fortunately, a couple of years ago I rolled a whole new roster on Landroval and the community there made the game a lot more attractive to the point it became pretty much a permanent home. I am actually happy that I can now transfer many of my Windfola characters over, some of which are either at level cap or very close and not only that, my former kinship and some old friends will be joining me on Landroval.

While I feel sorry for those being uprooted against their will, I will say this change will be a good thing and the benefits are a larger community will enrich the game further for you, and give us greater numbers to fight the threat ahead,  at least till the day we sail off to the West and the sun sets on all of Lotro's servers.

This post is part of the Blaugust 2015 initiative. If you are interested in taking part, all the information can be found by clicking the logo below.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Blaugust Day 3 - My Kinship's very own pub in LOTRO

They're a very creative bunch, The Courserrim, my kinship on Lotro's Landroval server but tonight I was invited to take a look at the latest creation, our very own Public House.

There are some very nice touches; yellow and green flowered wallpaper (flock, I'm sure, if I could feel it), tables of tankards and all the kegs and shelves stacked with mugs you could wish for.

The pub was designed by Kin leader, Bredhe and Kin-friend, Daffodilia, with a little colour inspiration from yours truly. Stools were provided by the House of Trecalia.

We are on the lookout for a 'Laden Tasting Table', a fairly rare item, so if anyone of Landroval has one spare, please get in touch. We'll allow you honourary membership and all the beer you can drink!

And, of course, if anyone is looking for a friendly kinship on Landroval, with a strong interest in the source material, The Courserrim, which also incorporates the award winning Remediators band,  welcome new applicants.

Our kinship page is and you can contact Bredhe in game for more information. We are also on Anook at

Captain Diaspora, enjoying a pint.

A good spot to sit after a pint or two

Another great spot, I think I may have dozed off.

A very sinister looking keg

No shortage of Ale!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Blaugust Day 1 : My Evergreen game - LOTRO

This post was already in mind before I saw a writing prompt from Void of A Green Mushroom blog,  to name your Evergreen game, the game you keep coming back to month after month, year after year so felt this fits the bill.

Of all MMO's I've dabbled in, Lord of the Rings Online is the one keep coming back to. My first true MMO, I discovered just before the release of the expansion, Siege of Mirkwood in 2009.

During those years, levelling was a slow process. It was close to a year before I got anywhere close to level cap on Jestro, my hobbit hunter and didn't even dream of having an alt. I never so much as looked at another MMO for about four years and even when I did it was a brief dalliance to return to my first love.

When my interest began to wane, I found renewed joy by playing on another server, rolling a new character on Landroval, having burnt out playing 9 alts on the Windfola server. This coincided with the Coursera course that revolved around the game and along with a new kinship and a community of roleplayers, it gave me a renewed interest.

A year on, I discovered Guild Wars 2 and that took over. I was burnt out again, having reached cap on my warden and rolled even more alts. I stopped playing Lotro altogether. After about two months I decided to end my sub, for the first time in 6 years. As my sub ran out, I logged in to say goodbye and found myself drawn in again. It felt fresh once more and as I'd been having problems with GW2 crashing, I'd become frustrated so returned to my old flame. My account lapsed for a full 24 hours. I logged in, realised what a pain it was not to have the functionality I'd had before, so I resubbed. That was a couple of weeks ago and I've been playing every day since. 

I've decided to try and focus on one character, my captain Diaspora, and so far it's working. Spreading myself thin quickly leads to burnout and I'm loving running through Rohan again and seeing things I missed before as I rushed through the content. The kinship is more active than ever before with new people coming through every day and with server merges ahead, things are looking rosy, at least for Landroval. I suspect Windfola may be one of those put to the wall, so I may have to transfer most if not all to Landroval. This will give me a diverse pool of crafters though the thought of trying to get all of them to level cap leaves me with cold sweats. 

One day at a time...

Friday, 31 July 2015

Blaugust Preamble

So it's August again (or will be in 7 hours or so in the UK) and with it comes Blaugust, a challenge from Belghast of the Tales of the Aggronaut blog. The event brings together a community of bloggers to post every day through August (or at least post 31 times). If you blog occasionally and would love the impetus to blog more often or would like to start a new blog give it a go!

Last year I came in part way through the month so didn't hit the goal so I'm excited to challenge myself this year, starting tomorrow. As I have submitted my consolidated site as the blog,, my posts will very likely stray from gaming but I endeavour to have something out on a daily basis.

 Here are the guidelines as laid out by Belghast.

  • Write a new blog post of no less than ten sentences in length.  This is essentially two large paragraphs and is a good solid minimum size.  If you are doing a screenshot/photo blog just make sure your description explaining what the image is all about fits this constraint.
  • Include a link back to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative Page.  My hope is that this will allow other people to join in the challenge and play catch up.
  • Advertise the post on the Blaugust Nook.  When you join the nook I will be elevating everyone to “Blogger” access to do this.  This is extremely key this year, because this is going to be how I log all posts, and if you do not do this you are not going to get proper credit.
  • Either in the title of your post or the first heading inside of your actual post.. please denote which day this post is for.  Something like “Blaugust Day 21” just to make sure that I am giving everyone credit for the correct day, and this should help to stop the oddities of folks in vastly different time zones getting dumped into the wrong slot.
  • If you advertise the post on social media, please include the #Blaugust hashtag.  Again we are trying to help spread the word and get folks to join in process… and at very least get folks reading the posts.
  • Over the course of the month, write 31 posts.
  • ????
  • Profit!

For the full rules, head to the official announcement
Also,  Anook is getting involved this year to add further encouragement.

Let the insanity begin!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Total War: Warhammer footage

Creative Assembly have just released footage of their upcoming Total War: Warhammer release and it looks incredible.

Having been a fan of Warhammer since the very first edition back in the early 80's and being a fan of all the Total War game, I was interested in this title but having seen this early Alpha footage, I'm sold.

The battle shown is the Battle of Black Fire Pass, an iconic location in the Warhammer Old World and it's rendered beautifully with all the elements I love about the franchise, goblins on boars, steam powered siege engines and of course Goblin Magic - Waaagh!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Diaspora, Ambassador to the Elves

Having returned to LOTRO, I set myself the challenge of getting Reputation to Kindred, the max level for the three Elven factions, Malledrim, Galadhrim and the Elves of Rivendell.

After 5 long days of grinding, I finally hit all three and now not only have a new title, but a shiny new mount, the Elf-ambassador's steed, one of the faster mounts in the game.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Back to LOTRO!

After an extended hiatus, which very nearly became permanent. I have returned to LOTRO. I even went to the point of unsubbing for the first time since I started playing but within 24 hours of the subscription lapsing, I re subbed.

Once I'd dropped down to the F2P model ( or what they call Premium for previous subscribers) the hassle of figuring out what I needed to buy to get the same experience was just too much work, so I re upped, and ventured back.

Rather than go back to my level cap warden, I decided to get my Captain, Diaspora to level cap and to try and stave off the overwhelming feeling trying to level 9 alts at once is, I have opted to only play to progress this character. So far, I'm loving it. I last left her in Rohan at level 77, a zone I have been through more than once, but now it feels fresh again. Fights that I breezed through previously, are challenging to my underpowered (and probably under geared) and the final battle to protect Faldham, one of the towns in Rohan felt epic, as I struggled to stay on my mount and was knocked off before killing the last Uruk commander with less than 100 morale to spare.

I've also been missing the community and have a hankering for group play, something I rarely get in GW2 (at least with people I know) so I joined some of the new Kinmates and old friends for a run through the Grand Stair in Moria, which was great fun.

Diaspora is 79 now and I'm looking forward to getting through Rohan at a steady pace and moving on to Gondor, which I've only played through on my main, so should remain fairly fresh. Looks like, for now at least, I'm here to stay.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Her Story - Most original Indie game this decade

Thanks to the fine folks at The MMO Show, I discovered a great new Indie Game called Her Story.

I grabbed it for my Ipad, as I don't have much in the way of mobile games, though it is available for PC too on Steam for £4.99.

The game, from Sam Barlow, mind behind Silent Hill:Shattered Memories, is basically a detective game using real video, a series of police interviews with a woman who's husband has disappeared. Using keywords, the player has to go through snippets of video and piece together what has happened.

Without spoiling the story, this is so much more than a murder mystery and the most original game I have seen in years. I highly recommend it!

Edit: Having now pretty much finished the game, I can recommend even more highly. The acting talent of the interviewee and her nuanced body language adds another layer to a startlingly well written game and expect to be thinking about this game long after you finish it.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Swordsman - First 30 mins of gameplay.

Having cut the cord with LOTRO, I'm now exploring other MMO's. Having dipped my toe into Archeage, the graphic style, distinctly Asian, reminded me of a game I tried some time ago, Swordsman, from Perfect World. Very much a martial arts game, your character gets to choose between ten fighting styles from Wu Tang to Shao Lin. 

Here is the first half hour of my return to the game, starting a new warrior from scratch. 

NB. It was recording using the new Raptr video capture so apologies for the quality.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

H1Z1 June Roadmap

Some fantastic plans ahead for H1Z1 this month, including the exciting news that Professions for characters are on the way! This will really flesh out characters and give them more of an element of inviduality. AND WALKIE TALKIES!

June 9th Update 
The stairs on the deck foundation have been removed. You can now craft foundation stairs and place them in multiple locations around the deck. 
Added a new recipe for a deck ramp that can be placed in multiple locations around the deck foundation 
Early Survivor Crate containing brand new items 
Items will continue to decay after server restarts and game updates

June 16th Update 
Party System – You will be able to join a lobby with your friends, from the lobby you will be able to join either an H1Z1 Survival server or a Team Battle Royale Server in the future 
New Weapon – AK-47 
Leaderboards for Battle Royale – Everyone will be ranked for now, in the future this will be part of a bigger system involving seasons which will be announced at a later date 
Added a new recipe for a Watchtower that can be placed in multiple locations around the deck foundation 
Radios (CB and AM/FM), Walkie-Talkies

June 23rd Update 
Team Battle Royale will be available. Join as teams of 2 or 5 in this new version of Battle Royale 
4 military outposts will be added to the current map.

June 30th Update 
Professions – When creating a new character you will be able to select what his profession was before the apocalypse. This will give your character different stat bonuses and other unique things. Note that this will be a very early pass at the Professions system and will launch with just a few to choose from. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Witcher 2 : Assassins of Kings

In my continued attempt to finish more single player games, I have dusted off my old copy of The Witcher 2, which I struggled to get into last year.

And it's AWESOME! The controls, that seemed very complex before, now seem very natural and the story and cut scenes are incredible. Having read some of the original books, I'm very familiar with the character and setting and this is an excellent rendering. I'm hoping I can keep up and finish the game and then perhaps try The Witcher 3 that everyone is talking about now.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Darkest Dungeon: Fiends and Frenzy

Great news from the great folks behind the marvellous Darkest Dungeon - their first major content patch, entitled Fiends and Frenzy, with a ton new features. If you haven't jumped in already, this is an outstanding but brutal rogue-like and well worth it!

  • New Hero Class! Man-At-Arms
  • New Hero Class! Arbalest
  • New Ruins Boss! Gibbering Prophet
  • New Warens Boss! Formless Flesh
  • New Weald Boss! Brigand Cannon
  • New Loot: “The Ancestor’s Trinket set” is a group of ultra-rare items once held by the Ancestor himself – be warned, some of these trinkets are only found in the pitch dark!
  • New Building! Ancestor’s Statue: Click the statue to open the Ancestor’s Memoirs – a record of all cutscenes and boss backstories!
  • Heart Attacks! Don’t let your heroes get too stressed. If your stress bar fills again past affliction…it’s over.
  • Sell your junk!  In the Trinket Inventory, hold shift to see sell back value, shift+click to sell trinkets
  • Crit-heals!  Heal, critically!
  • Tons of Party Names as created by Kickstarter and Humble backers!

#NBI2015Safari : Selfie Entry - H1Z1: Ready for the Apocolypse

As the month is not yet out, I felt another entry to the Safari, the challenge set by Murf of the Murf Vs Blog. was in order. This Selfie is of the latest incarnation of Knifesedge, a lone survivor, having just finished his base in the woods, cobbled together with metal sheets and planks. The helmet, looted from a nearby house, serves him well against zombie bites.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Blog Consolidation has begun

After getting some great advise from the folks at the Newbie Blogger Initiative, I have decided to stick with Blogger and consolidate everything to one blog under the banner along with my new logo.

This new site will contain everything from my gaming blog, my Indie Horror blog and my gardening blog. The three original sites will continue to be updated so if you only have interest in one of the topics you can continue to follow there or subscribe to the new feed and get everything.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Landscape: Tequatl in smoke #NBI2015Safari

My only entry to the NBISafari. A Guild Wars 2 shot of heroes charging the mighty dragon, Tequatl.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

#NBI2015 Talkback Challenge - The Secret Origin of Knifesedge Games

A little out of order as this was a previous talkback challenge set by the Newbie Blogger Initiative but I'm nothing if not unconventional and I believe in the mantra 'Better late than never'

So here's a potted history of my life with games. I did an article last year about how I discovered RPGs so this relates purely to the electronic form.

It pretty much started around 1978 at the tender age of 7. My neighbour had a Grandstand console with Bat and Ball, or Pong as it was known elsewhere in the world. From there I was fascinated with video games and was fortunate enough to watch them develop over the years.

A couple of years later, the first arcade machines began to popup and I distinctly remember the first time I saw Space Invaders in a local cafe. As it was on the route to my school, I spent many hours there, just watching the bigger kids play. That was soon followed by other games that since became classics -Asteroids, PAC Man and my favourite arcade game to this day, Kung Fu Master.

As the 80's arrived, along came affordable home computers, and for me that was the Sinclair Spectrum, complete with rubber keyboard. I bought my own, along with a little portable TV from money earns doing a paper round. I remember I saved for months to get it. I also had an Atari console one year as a Christmas present though the Spectrum became my favourite. Games on tape were plentiful and as years passed I upgraded the RAM with massive cartridges. 

Next up was the Commodore Amiga, a great machine with some fantastic games, Bard's Tale in particular I remember fondly. The whole Nintendo scene was happening at the same time but completely passed me by. From the Amiga I upgraded to a PC, some time in the early 90's and really got into PC gaming. I was there for The Realm, a precursor to MMOs.

By the mid nineties I got hold of a PS1, and being in London, had access to a plethora of imported Japanese and American games. The Playstation 2 followed and not long after, the XBox, all the while still playing PC games.

Several years later, I upgraded to PS3, my most recent console but PC gaming is still the centre of my life. I discovered MMO's with LOTRO around 2010 and have not looked back since. Guild Wars 2 is my mainstay at the moment, but I have dipped my toe into SWTOR, Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Secret World and many others. Gaming has been a big part of my life for many years and no doubt will continue to be for many more to come. I have two daughters both very much into games with very little influence from me so it must be genetic!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

#NBI2015 Talkback Challenge - The Seven Gaming Sins

This week, the NBI posed a series of questions around the 7 deadly sins, so here are mine...
Lust – Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and “interestingly proportioned” avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars? Why or why not?
Back in my more innocent teenage years, yes, in particular Lara Croft, but since being allowed to touch a real woman (thanks wifey :)) such avatars hold no interest for me.
Gluttony – Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless? Why or why not?
Yes, Yes,  God YES!. My Steam catalogue, mostly made up of Humble Bundles obtained for a few dollars, buckles under it's own weight. The problem has become worse since I started playing MMO's where the game never really ends. In an attempt to encourage myself to play and finish more single player games, I started recording them on Facebook. Since January, I have still only completed one and even that was a Tell Tale game!
Greed – Do you enjoy hand outs in a game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action / in game activity because the rewards were lacking? Why or why not?
I always enjoy a freebie. Login rewards in MMO's work on me however the rewards have to be worth my time. I will play Guild Wars 2 every day to make sure I get the rewards as they are worth it but LOTRO has dropped the ball, and pretty much everything is worthless to me so I don't bother.
Sloth – Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to help them? Why or why not?
I have gone AFK doing Slayer Deeds in LOTRO, but only with the consent of my party and I always offer other kinmates to do the same if we are doing grouped runs. I don't discourage anyone from trying challenging content and never shy away. I also always help someone in need, because that's how expect other's to treat me.
Wrath – Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums? Why or why not?
Not so much angry but I have certainly argued with people in World chat if I don't agree with their views (usually in the case of rascism.) Usually this results in me bringing out the block hammer rather than stalking anyone.
Envy – Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can’t? Do you ever suspect they are hacking or otherwise cheating? Why or why not?
I have been guilty of being envious of people with sweet cosmetics or titles, but certainly not related to content completion.
Pride – Are you one of those people that demands grouping with other “elite” players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under-performing? Why or why not?
Absolutely not! I am totally against elitism in games and despise players that feel kicking players is necessary. The same people that complain about content not being challenging tend to be the same ones that insist team mates have the max gear and have run the instance 300 times before.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Darkest Dungeon - Take that you Swine (God)

Nice little achievement this evening, my party of level 5 characters took down the Swine God on their first attempt. By the end of the fight, three of them were at Death's Door and one more hit could have spelled disaster, but we did it!

With him down and the Necromancer Lord last week, I just have the level 3 and level 5 hag to take down. Not looking forward to that...

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Gearing my Ranger in Guild Wars 2

This last week I've been getting into the nitty gritty of end game in GW2 or at least trying to figure out what gear my Ranger should be getting. In the space of a week I managed to get two new ascended weapons from the mighty Tequatl. As I have my sword and short bow already, I opted for torch for my offhand melee and a greatbow.

Up to now, I'd preferred the shortbow and had built my build as a 'condition ranger' - a specialist at making things bleed and keeping them bleeding (and/or burning) for as long as possible, or until they drop dead. But the seemingly 'better' or at least more desired spec is the longbow hunter. Pure DPS, so I found a build and decided to give the longbow a go. I managed get into an event train in the Silverwastes ( more on that later) and ran for close to two ours with the spec. I hated it. The skills fired off way too slowly and it just didn't feel right for my little Asura. The Greatbow has gone into storage, perhaps for the Warrior, Itsemekhona, and I'll stick with my trusty shortbow.

As I now seem to be all set for weapons, I now need to focus on weapons. I have a ton of mismatched items and for some time I've been delving into the Silverwastes, a zone where you can collect Bandit Crests. These can be traded in for various things and most notably a recipe I've been trying to get in order to craft 'Sinister' armour, a set that improves condition damage, seemingly a good fit. Every time I've been to the zone it's been solo and usually only get 10-20 crests each time. As the item I needed costs 400 this was set to be a long grind. Then I happened upon a group and started following them. Next thing I know, we were flying from event to event, racking up crests and within an hour I was well over my 400 target (as well as a ton of other random loot) lots of fun, and I managed to get something I've been working on for a couple of weeks, in one session.

So now begins he grind to craft the armour set as I can only make on per day. It doesn't look like I'll be getting any ascended armour anytime soon so at least I can get a set that will help with my build.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Talkback Challenge #2: Early Access and Kickstarter #NBI2015

The NBI Committee are offering topics of discussion and the current one is: 

Early Access and Kickstarter – Do you support unfinished games?

Kickstarter first came into my radar in the form of pen and paper RPG's. I have some contacts in the Indie Publishing Industry, particularly those related to gaming and had the pleasure to get free copies of certain works for review, in particular the outstanding Achtung! Cthulhu from Modiphius Games..

The first PC game that attracted my attention was H1Z1. I'd heard about it prior to release and what attracted me to it was the PVE aspect that was promised, setting it apart from the seemingly vicious gank-fest that was similar Z-game, Day-Z.

When it was offered for early access, I didn't care that it cost $20 for an apparently unfinished game, I snatched it up. It was never out of any wish to test the game or support the developers, I just wanted that experience and wanted it NOW. And I loved it! It didn't even feel like an unfinished game and as it developed even more it got even more awesome. The only downside I can see from it is burnout, that by the time it releases in a finished state, I'll have had my fill.

At around the time of playing H1Z1, I started watching Twitch streams, in particular the awesome CohhCarnage. This introduced me to other early access survival games, Rust and Reign of Kings. I obtained both and enjoyed them thoroughly. I've made a point of not playing them too much to see how I enjoy them once they release in their full state. I think watching these being played gives you an idea of exactly how 'unfinished' they are and if you want to sink your own money and time into them.

The final game I bought in this state, also influenced by Twitch, was Darkest Dungeon. I fell in love with this when I saw it being played and bought it within minutes of being released on Steam. It didn't feel unfinished. Brutal, yes, but worth every penny. To date I have sunk 119 hours into the game and at £14.99 that's incredible value.

So yes, I have supported unfinished games, but only out of my own desire to play them.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Meet Itsemekhona!

Since I started playing GW2 a year ago today, my four year old daughter has shown an interest in the game. Not long ago she wanted to have her own character, mostly so she could dress her up, and so Itsemekhona was born.

This Sylvari Warrior wouldn't be content to just have her wardrobe changed, soon she started adventuring and after a month or so, she is almost totally controlled by her creator with little help from me.

This has helped no end with my daughter's reading (she is already way ahead of her class) and now she know's about the Nightmare Court, the Priory and many other terms in the game. Already she has passed level 30 and is learning to craft as a jeweller.

But most of all, she LOVES to dance!

LOTRO Title Giveaway #2 ENDED

As with my recent mount giveaway for LOTRO, I have some codes for titles to hand out as modelled below by Captain Diaspora. Comment below with your choices (You can choose more than one, or all if you like!)

As before, leave a contact email or Twitter handle and I'll be in touch with the codes for the winners. Draw will take place on Friday May 15th.

Hero of the Small Folk (Winner - Jon Andrist)

The Wise (Winner - Ravanel Griffon)

The Celebratory (Winner - Indra Quintero)

The Sociable (Winner - Indra Quintero)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

When familiarity breeds contempt (and why mystery of an MMO's mechanics keeps me engaged)

My MMO gaming of late has taken a bit of a turn. Guild Wars 2 has become my game of choice, after 5 years of LOTRO. There were a number of reasons for this change, the game had become stale for me, my kinship were often absent at the times I was playing, I was not getting anywhere with my level 100 Warden and my alts were just repeating the same old content I had been through so many times before.

Guild Wars, on the other hand is fast (loading in seconds rather than minutes), it's fresh, the story is all new but most importantly, the systems are a complete mystery. My Asura Ranger, Jestro, is awesome and the cosmetic system is incredible.

LOTRO had become stale because I understood everything about pretty much every character class and while not by any means an expert, it wasn't exciting. GW2 offered not only a raft of classes to discover, each with their own storyline, but a depth to what a character needs to do running up to level cap and even more so beyond. The PVP, which I have never been a fan of, is easy to get into and actually fun! (As much as I love PVMP in LOTRO, you can run round the small zone and not find a single opponent if you're on at the wrong time)

Now a new update for LOTRO has arrived along with a new system, allowing you to Imbue your legendary items, a system I have no idea about and the excitement is back. Today I spent my time back on Landroval, trying to catch up to the current content and figure out how to get a First Age weapon instead of my trusty Second Age.

This excitement may not last forever but it coincides with the latest incarnation of the Coursera course which brought me to Landroval in the first place, so an influx of new players to the kinship (The Courserrim) may be just what we need. Pinestro the Warden is there to help them.

I'll still be back to GW2 each night to slap Tequatl though :)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

I've joined the Newbie Blogger Initiative!

It's the beginning of May which means the NBI 2015 has launched. Simply put it's an organised group of bloggers forming a community to help new bloggers. While I'm not that new, I still consider myself a Newbie and would like some tips on certain elements both technical and otherwise.

If you want to get involved or just find and support new gaming blogs, go check them out.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Guild Wars 2 on Sale this weekend!

With the new expansion for Guild Wars 2 - Heart of Thorns on the way soon, Arenanet are offering the Digital Heroic Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition for 75% off from April 10th to April 13th.
This is a great bargain for a fantastic buy to play MMO (No Sub required!) and I highly recommend it!
* Offer applies only to Digital Heroic Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition purchased through from 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time April 10, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time April 13, 2015.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

LOTRO Mount Giveaway #1 ENDED

Last year, Sapience of Extra Life (Formerly of Turbine) offered various rewards for donating to his Extra Life fundraising efforts.

As a result, I have a bunch of codes that I don't need so I'm having a couple of giveaways to distribute them. So here's how it'll work. I'll post a selection here. Please note that these mounts with be applied to your account so you'll get them on every character.

 Leave a comment on the blog post with which items you'd like and you'll go into a draw. Ensure you leave some form of contact detail (email or twitter) and I'll run this first draw on Saturday 11th April.

Winner: Jonathan Lee

Winner: Giggles

Winner: Indra Quintero

Winner: DKRules

Congrats to all the Winners!

Watch the blog for more freebies...