jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2485 Posts

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lu4k85uRPu1qe9bi5o1_500.png
Bought this game a few months back and have played much more recently. The unforgiving game play of the first few play throughts didn't win me over. I loved the art style and game tone but the lack of save really hampered me on it.

Started it up again recently and immediately unlocked the Magdaline character. I played through as Magdaline and did much better than I had previously. The play control is the same, but Magdaline starts with a Heart item that allows you to recover one heart every so often. After a bit the play control seemed to gel more and I did much better. Still lost but I went further in the dungeon and it didn't seem like a complete annihlation.

That or I am just getting used to roguelikes. Plan on playing this more in the up coming days as we all wait for the Diablo 3 launch.

What are you playing until Diablo 3 drops May 15th?


http://i.imgur.com/cQM2l.jpg
Last night I went to the Magic: The Gathering Avacyn Restored pre-release party at Red Castle Games in Portland.

Red Castle Games is a pretty cool games store. It has a very large selection of awesome board games ranging from Settlers of Catan, Arkham Horror, Castle Ravenloft, Pandemic and others as well has a hefty supply of Magic, Pokemon and other collectable cards. It also has a farily large set of games you can pull of the shelf and play if you want. One such game, Hero Quest caught my eye as it has been out of print for quite some time. I asked at the front if it was for sale as its hard to find and alas, it was not.

My friends arrived and we started with a card game I was unfarmilar with called "We Didn’t Playtest This At All." The game is pretty awesome but winning is pretty random as the cards range from wildly overpowered to useless. Then again, I guess thats the point entirely.

After a few games of "We Didn’t Playtest This At All" we moved into a few hands of Magic. I won a few and lost a few. According to one of my friends my Goblin and Elves dueling deck is worth quite a bit due to it being rare. Odd, I just picked it up round 2007 for about $20. Come to find out, it is worth about $150 new.

http://sales.starcitygames.com/carddisplay.php?product=47791

Whoa! Anyways, I never really thought about it but they are both really good decks. I used the Goblin deck VS a few others and it did pretty well. The Goblin deck is very aggro and fun because if you get a good hand you not only knock around the other player pretty well but if a Golbin dies it does direct damage to the other player as well.

The sealed deck tournament started around 12p and I opened my 6 packs around 12.30p. I created a rather safe Red and White deck with the cards I had. I had a few Humans and Angels so I decided to construct for those bonuses with my Instants and Enchantments. Turns out going on the "safe" side was bad because I handily lost my first two matches. Doh!

7 hours into the tournmanet and 2 straight losses(each round is the best 2 of 3 games) I decided to call it an evening at 3.30am. It was a pretty fun experience meeting people and watching how people play. I have to say there are some really great Magic players out there and I am a beginner in comparision. Stil, learned a bit about some new to me card mechanics like miracle cost. Since I attended the pre-release I got the special Moonsilver Spear foil. Its pretty overpowered and as such will add to one of my decks :)

Very fun and I plan on doing it again in the future. I am going to hang out with one of my friends and go over the cards I picked and figure out a better strategy to constructing a deck. According to the guys I went with I had a pretty solid set of cards but I needed to go a different direction. When the deck is worth showing, ill list the build here.


More Pictures of the Evening:

http://imgur.com/LIpQ3
http://imgur.com/xFrE8
http://imgur.com/MVXGL
http://imgur.com/Wr8Tv

Sources:
http://redcastlegames.com/
http://asmadigames.com/detail_wdp.html


https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/546667_200311833421040_177648035687420_322024_1633520084_n.jpg
Looks like the Diablo 3 free beta weekend blew the doors off battle.net a bit:

"Diablo 3's weekend beta went about as smoothly as a hamster in a ball rolling down an erupting volcano – which is to say it was completely normal for a high-profile beta test. Saturday saw a peak of 300,000 concurrent players, Blizzard community manager Micah Whipple (Bashiok) tweeted, reporting the full number of testers for the weekend was "a lot.""

Friday night was quite laggy, Saturday was better but battle.net was out of commission until 9.50am. Some of my friends on Mac had the game crash a few times. My Windows client was stable but lagged out a bit. On Sunday battle.net was pretty flawless. Hope there is as much interest in the game at launch and they have sorted through the majority set of issues.

If you like the above Diablo III comic, check out the rest over at Hell Yeah! comics facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.200303296755227.43629.177648035687420&type=3

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http://www.joystiq.com/2012/04/24/diablo-3-beta-pulled-300k-simultaneous-players-into-its-special/


Valve will finally release the Portal 2 simplified level editor and rating system May 8th! Looks like it will be free DLC for all PC players and there is no word on it coming to consoles. Awesome.

I don't generally do much in the area of level editing but I plan on giving this editor a spin as it looks pretty straight forward to use. I picked up the PS3 version and that came with a free steam copy. Its cool they are releasing this so far after launch!

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http://www.giantbomb.com/news/portal-2s-perpetual-testing-initiative-launching-may-8/4107/


http://ironhammers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/steam.png
Phoronix has confirmed that Steam is going to be released on Linux:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=valve_linux_dampfnudeln&num=1

Direct from the article:
"For those that have doubted the exclusive Phoronix claims for quite a while now that the Steam client and Source Engine are in fact being ported to Linux, the doubts can be nearly laid to rest. Even I began to wonder how long it would take before the clients for their popular games would be publicly released under Linux. However, after confirming the information perhaps a bit too soon, their level of Linux interest is much more clear after spending a day at their offices. A meeting topped off the day with Gabe Newell regarding Linux where he sounded more like a Linux saint than an ex-Microsoft employee. Valve does have some great plans for Linux beyond just shipping the client versions of Steam and their popular games on the Source Engine."

This is awesome for gamers because it gives us a path outside Microsoft and Apple for PC gaming. Many moons ago I played all my games on Linux and it wasn't pleasant. Wine worked spottily on certain games and native game support wasn't widespread. Now that Valve is entering the area I imagine this will change for the better.

I have to imagine this is a front runner for a Steam Box. Reason? If all your stuff runs on Linux, your Steam Box will no longer have a Microsoft requirement and you don't have to license and Operating System to Microsoft for every unit sold. Makes the cost of producing a console cheaper and Valve can do whatever they want with the box itself. Oh and the article says they are hiring Linux kernel folk too.

Step 1: Steam on Linux, a few games run. Step 2: More games run, publishers follow. Step 3: Shop around a new kind of console based on Linux. Step 4: Goodbye consoles as we know them.

You know the Steam Box is all speculation, but the Linux Steam client is real and totally awesome on its own. Cool times ahead for sure.


"To the umbaru, their mortal duration is but a pale shadow of the Unformed Land, a testing ground for those wishing to ascend to the higher plane. And only the witch doctors are able to look upon the Mbwiru Eikura, through mastery of potent herbs, bloody rituals, and an intense focus known as the Ghost Trance. Their combined spiritual and military acumen has earned the witch doctors a place of status and reverence amongst the tribes. Theirs is a calling that requires an incredible degree of courage, self-sacrifice, wisdom, and foresight."

I will be playing this class at game drop.

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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/class/witch-doctor/


http://www.wizards.com/mtg/images/daily/features/feature192_r8yh149opl.jpg
"The Innistrad and Dark Ascension sets showed us a world where humanity is beset on all sides by monsters, including vampires, zombies, and werewolves. Avacyn, a living covenant whose angelic powers protected humans, was imprisoned within the Helvault and feared lost forever. But just as humanity's darkest hour beckons, Avacyn is freed, inspiring hosts of angels to usher in a new dawn. But even though they no longer have the upper hand, the creatures of the night are still a dangerous threat. The eternal struggle on Innistrad continues in this thrilling conclusion."

I have loved Magic since high school. In recent years I have started playing more and more as I hang out with other adult geeks now. A few weeks back I was camping for a friends birthday and we played many a hand of Magic. I re-instated my love of Magic a few years back during the awesome Shadowmoor expansion.

Taking my love for the game a step further as this Friday(4/27) a friend and I are going to Red Castle Games in Portland for a midnight sealed tournament.

http://redcastlegames.com/2012/04/avacyn-restored-pre-orders-and-pre-release-events/

If you are interested in coming, let me know.

As I have nipped back into Magic I have built up a few decks I like playing with. One of my go to decks is a White/Blue flyer/lock down deck. I also have a few dueling decks. I like the dueling decks because they are balanced to not have one be that much better than the other. As it goes, if two players are evenly matched in skill no one should have an advantage save the randomness of the shuffle.

The dueling decks I like playing right now are a Knights and Dragons deck. As ive played a few hands with it as the Dragons and I have been bested every time. The Knights seem very powerful and the Dragons haven't one a hand yet. Ill keep playing it, perhaps I am playing the deck wrong.

Excited about Avacyn restored and my first Magic release party. If you want more information on this expansion in depth I have compiled some awesome links to the Magic site that go really in depth about the expansion and focus on its art direction.

Details on release tournaments and Avacyn Restored:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/avacynrestored/world

All the cards contained in the release:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/avacynrestored/cig#

A great post about the new art direction of the lands cards. I am in awe of the detail the artists put into each painting, they are incredible:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/956&dcmp=ilc-mtgrss#79850

A bunch of desktop wallpapers:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/downloads.aspx?x=mtg/daily/downloads/wallpapers

The pictured card in the post above is the limited edition card attendees of the midnight event will all receive. Cool they reserve these limited edition cards for the hardcore fans!


So I just picked up the Far Cry movie at the dollar store for ... a dollar.

I know there is no way this can be good, but for a buck ill buy pretty much any video game movie. Too bad they didn't have the original Street Fighter with Jean Claude or the Super Mario Brothers Movie.

Let you know how my viewing turns out.

Another tidbit, it is a Uwe Boll movie. Even better.


"We all know the students at MIT love a good hack, but what’s better than playing a game while doing it? Last night, a team took over the side of MIT’s Green Building and turned it into a giant, playable, multi-color Tetris game."

Cool people take the time to do this kind of awesomery. I wonder how long this takes? I imagine you have a few planning meetings before you start it.

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http://bostinno.com/2012/04/21/mit-completes-the-holy-grail-of-hacks-turning-the-green-building-into-a-game-of-tetris-slideshow/#ss__139833_1_4__ss


http://download.gamezone.com/uploads/image/data/1098610/Diablo3_feature3.jpg
I write this to you Saturday night 4/21 and the Diablo 3 free weekend stress test beta is not available because they are rebooting servers. Error 301 abounds. That said, I did get on today with a few other Cheerful Ghost users. My thoughts on the game thus far in no particular order:

Right away I want to say the game and its user interface are extremely polished. Everything I thought to do in regard to chatting with other users in game or asking them to join my game was intuitive. After I started a chat with a person, simply hitting enter continued it. Click on a persons name sent them a private message independently. When something happened for the first time in game, it let me know what was happening and I could learn more information if I wanted. The game is polished to a detail few games are and it really shows.

My first character was a female Barbarian as I don't typically play tank and I figured for the Beta I would go with the classes I won't play when the game launches May 15th. The barb character was so much fun to play. Blizzard nailed the play style of the Barbarian such that you really feel like the biggest badass on the screen. Hitting a enemy often tosses it off the screen only to have it scurry back for you do pummel into oblivion. The Barbarian also had a special attack akin to warstomp in Warcraft III that stunned all enemies around you. I kept wanting to leap into the fray and pummel everything and the game let me do it.

One other element I really enjoyed was the destructible environments. As I neared the end playing in my second session I would smash up everything I could just for fun. Watching a tombstone fly apart is so satisfying. The only other game I have enjoyed causing so much environment destruction was Red Faction Guerrilla.

Pro-tip: If you see an old table in a dungeon with things atop it step right up... Hold shift and left click. Awwww yeah, watch it fly apart.

Pro-tip 2: When you go deeper in the dungeon you will notice elaborate candle holders and statues. Hold shift and left click. They don't make em like they used too apparently.

The class I was the most impressed with was the Witch Doctor the class I plan to play at launch. The zombie dogs and spiders were awesome to watch. The spiders used to explode after you toss them but now they swarm up and attack enemies and die out quickly. Dogs + Spiders and a pretty hefty mob count lend for a really awesome time.

I am excited to get the game and was happy they opened the beta up this weekend. Clearly they needed to allow a stress test because when I first entered the beta the lag was pretty terrible. All day today it was all but impossible to get on for hours at a time. A friend was playing on his MacBook and it crashed on him a few times. Hopefully Blizzard can work out these kinks before launch.

I don't consider the above to be a huge deal as its a stress test. I did have a few sort of quibbles about the game thus far though:

Compared to Diablo 2 the game is more accessible. I don't mean this as a slight as much as a description. No more configurable skill tree means the classes are a smidge more on rails. Whereas I don't mind that too much, its not what old D2 players or frankly I was expecting. Since I only experienced a limited start to the game my hope is the skill tree and runes really showcase some fantastic combinations later on. I wonder if this simplicity will impact replay-ability? The final game will tell in this regard.

The game kind of feels like Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft. I thought Starcraft 2 felt a little Warcrafty as well. Its not horrible modern Blizzard games feel Warcrafty but it is something I notice. Starcraft 2 had the Ghost Tosh that was basically a Troll Shaman. He even had a similar voodoo man voice. Voodoo in space? I guess. Diablo 3 now has a Witch Doctor as well. I only say this because all modern Blizzard games seems to be tonally similar to each other now. Again, I go back and forth if this is a bad thing because the games themselves are so good. Just a note really.

The art style, whereas very beautiful didn't totally win me over the first time I was presented with it. After existing in the world for a while I found it to be eerie and beautiful. Often times the colors were a bit too dark and I found I really liked it when the game presented a more vibrant color set. For instance the Cathedral around the meteor impact crater. I mused with the people in my party that the impact was Auriel being thrown out of heaven or some such. Be cool to see how the story actually turns out. Maybe the meteor was Superman as a baby and Diablo 3 now joins the ranks of so many cross-over video games?

I like that everyone gets their own instanced drops. Often times with co-op you stop fighting to collect the loot because if you don't you often times don't get anything. Making it so everyone gets their own stuff allows you to collect after the battle. A nice touch. Its also simple to drop what you collect for other people in your group if you get something you don't need.

All in all I am very excited to play the final game. Having the game present more of a challenge and deeper character options will be welcomed. I thank Blizzard for giving everyone a chance to join the beta before launch, it was a cool thing to do.

Oh look, the servers are back. Cool.

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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3657445169


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