Briefly, A Word

You might be wondering why it has been so quiet around here the past few months.  I can answer that very easily.  After my last post, my good friend that I co-host a podcast and write the occasional article for, Frantic, thought it would be a neat idea to start doing something similar to the posts I did on here over on Frantic Talks.  Enter our weekly columns, where we pretty much talk about whatever has been on our mind for that week.  This is where I have taken a lot of my ramblings to and thus explains why it has been quiet over here.

So what will happen to this place?  Honestly, right now I am not really sure.  It’s not going anywhere but it might see less activity as more of my general thoughts start going over to Frantic Talks instead of here.  I’m also really glad that we did make the decision as it certainly helped me get back into the habit of writing something on a regular basis.  Which was something I was trying to do by posting more often on here, but hey; I guess if the end result is the same then it really doesn’t matter the outlet.  I can say this though, since FT is better suited for the more thought out posts than simply just posting a bunch of screenshots, those will probably be going over there more than here…of which I’ll get to those screenshots here in a bit. Continue reading

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A Story to Tell…

As you all know, I have a large interest in video games.  In a post not too long ago, I made mention of how gaming is just as much of a social experience to me anymore and how tabletop games are a huge influence in that.  Lately, I have been playing more tabletop RPG and board games.  When I’ve been playing these games, I dare say I’ve enjoyed the entertainment provided by them more than that of video games lately.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not losing interest in video games and I do find them fun to play yet, but for different reasons.  There’s nothing like sitting down with a group of your friends and going through a raid in Destiny, but that experience is different from the experience of raiding a dungeon in a session of D&D.  Similarities exist, yes, but the difference between failing and succeeding in a Destiny raid is not getting enough damage on the boss, or falling off the edge of the map.  Meanwhile, succeeding or failing a dungeon raid or simple action in a game like D&D is determined by a roll of the dice.  So you could have your 9th level Elemental you summoned land a critical hit on the boss and just annihilate it and its family bloodline, or end up having your entire party curl up and fall asleep on the nearest table.  And yes, all of the previously mentioned scenarios have happened to me.

To briefly continue with these differences, when I’m playing a video game version of an RPG I don’t feel too often that my characters’ decisions actually affect the outcome of the overarching storyline.  There’s a whole discussion to be had on this, and we have, but I feel a little disappointed when you come across an NPC and are tasked with saving them (or not if you wish) and the only thing it affects is your “trust level” with maybe your companion, or lets you bring that person along as a companion.  Whereas if you come across an NPC in a tabletop RPG and you decide to betray them or something way worse, it might change your characters alignment…or maybe they were going to help you infiltrate the mansion of some city’s nobleman.  I guess the short version of this is, I feel that there are more consequences in a tabletop game than in a video game.  Make a mistake in a game?  Just load your last save.  Make that same mistake in a tabletop game?  Sorry, your character now is racist towards Orcs. Continue reading

“Games and Junk”

Why no, I am certainly not ripping the title for this post from the usual phrase that we use on the Frantic Talks podcast.  Alright, so I totally am but is it really stealing if I’m part of the podcast?  Anyways, since my last post I have played a few games but mostly the same ones.  Those games included mostly Destiny, a little bit of Just Cause 3, and even some NHL 17.

Let’s start with my current top game at this time.  That would be Destiny.  Why do I enjoy it so much?  Many reasons, the simplest and most general reason being that I enjoy it and find it a fun game to play.  There’s also the reasoning that Destiny is an amazing social game (of which I talk more about here).  Now, onto what I’ve been doing in said game.  The Age of Triumph update came out a few weeks ago and I’ve been enjoying the new stuff that came with that.  Most of it has been the old raid reprisals and earning cool loot from them.  The Crota’s End raid was fun to do back in the day, and even more so now.  I really enjoyed the challenge modes for the CE raid, I felt they offered the best combination of being difficult yet still being easily accomplished if you have a team that can execute the strategy and work well together as a team.

I tried to do the Vault of Glass last week since it was the weekly featured raid and all of the challenges were active.  We managed to get up to the Templar with few problems, but while attempting the Templar challenge we had troubles mainly staying alive.  At one point, my internet (fun fact about this later) decided to act up and as a result I was unable to continue.  Pretty anxious to give it a go again when it is the featured raid to try and grab a new Vision of Confluence.  Although, my Fang of Ir Yut is doing quite well for now. Continue reading

The Beauty of the Dreadnaught

Last week I finally managed to find the time to hook up my HD PVR with the goal of recording some footage to use to play around with in the newest version of Premiere and get used to it again.  I was able to accomplish that goal and was also able to learn a few things that will be beneficial for an upcoming project for Frantic Talks (you didn’t think I’d get through this post without plugging it, did you?) and threw together this simple video of an encounter I had with some Creepers in Minecraft with Freakshow one night when I was playing it with him.  I basically just put in some text and called it at that, but I feel it added a little extra to what happens.  But you know, obviously I’m biased since I’m the creator of the content.  So I’ll let you judge for yourself.

I figured while I had my capture device hooked up yet, I’d also use that time to grab some more screenshots from a game or two.  Well…I could only think of one game to grab some shots from and that was Destiny.  Skyrim was also in my mind, but I knew the minute I started playing it again I wouldn’t actually manage to take screenshots from it.  Skyrim is a game where I can easily see many opportunities for screens but I always get distracted doing quests and odd jobs in the game. Continue reading

Gaming and Socializing

With almost three months since my last post on here, a decent amount of stuff has happened.  Most of it has been gaming related, of which I will discuss and it will probably be most of this post.  Lately though, I have also been giving some thought about the social aspect of gaming and how my viewpoint of that has changed recently.  There might be some deep, dark, personal secrets about me you may find out through this…ok, so probably not but you might get to find out more about the person behind these words.

The past few years I have been gradually changing my outlook on gaming from less about just playing a game, to more so experiencing it.  So what do I mean by experiencing a game?  Broadly speaking, I mean truly sitting down and enjoying a game for what it is.  Whether it be a storyline, gameplay, the music, or even those times you absolutely wreck people in PvP.  Even playing a tabletop game with friends, such as D&D, Magic, or even Cards Against Humanity.  Specifically what I’m talking about right now though, are the social experiences that games can provide.

Personally, I think Destiny was a great game for me to realize that gaming can be more than just about getting together with a group of friends to shoot some aliens in the face.  I cannot count how many hours I’ve spent just simply sitting in orbit or messing around in the Tower talking to a group of friends as we’re checking out the gear we just got from finishing a raid.  These are people that have real lives and families, not just some random I met via matchmaking.  It certainly makes playing an online game feel more personable when you can ask someone how their day at work was. Continue reading

The Quest For Tasty Cereal: 2016 Edition

Well, this most likely will be a brief post and it kind of sucks to write it.  If you’ve been following my posts for the past few years, you know that I normally do a series called Bowl Bound around this time of the year.  If not, or you don’t want to sort through 48 posts to find out what Bowl Bound is; I basically take all of the collegiate bowl and playoff games that happen at the end of the season and simulate them to find out who wins.  It is super scientific since I’m using a three and a half year (hey, at least we’re past those Terrible Two’s stage!) old game and rely on the NCAA Football community (the games community, not the actual sports’ community) to update the rosters in the game to match the real world ones.

Anyways, I love doing that series because I find it fun to do in general.  It is, on the other hand, usually super time consuming as well.  Considering the first games of this season start tomorrow…and there are six of them…and I since didn’t realize this until this morning, I unfortunately will not be doing this series this year.  Since I haven’t simulated the first games, I would be doing them essentially last minute which is not how I really want to do this series.  It takes a fair amount of time to sim all the games in a day, especially for the days that have four or more games that are scheduled.  I usually like to have two or even three days before the games are to be played in order to simulate them and post them up. Continue reading

The Scenic Route

Apologies for the lack of new posts on here, I’ve been a little busy lately with various things.  This will most likely be a quick update as to what I’ve been doing and playing in that time, but mainly I’ll be showing off some screenshots I took in Destiny a day or so ago.

Anyways, most of what I’ve been playing has been Destiny since the Rise of Iron expansion came out a couple weeks ago.  This is by far my favorite expansion for the game right now.  I was always a little curious about who the Iron Lords were and what the importance of the Iron Banner was, and this expansion dives into that.  Without spoiling anything, it offers a short but epic story to go with.  I think it’s around five missions for the new story, but by the end it feels like you are an Iron Lord.  In the near future I will see if I can write up some more in-depth thoughts (while remaining spoiler free) about what I think of it.  In the meantime, head on over to Frantic Talks and check out the latest episode of the podcast for my thoughts on it.  Also, check out the Magic section of the site…which brings me to my next brief paragraph.

I have recently started to learn how to play Magic: The Gathering.  It’s a trading card game that has been around for…literally as long as I’ve been alive.  I had already known about it because Frantic plays it and has talked to me a little about things related to it as well.  Not too long ago I downloaded Magic Duels on the Xbox One to play it with another friend and this is where I get really interested in it.  It’s not overly difficult to learn as a beginner but there is also a lot of really in-depth aspects of the game (especially with some of the cards in a few sets) that can be overwhelming.  Anyways, I bought my first deck of cards (via a Battle for Zendikar Intro Deck and a couple of Eldritch Moon booster packs) a few weeks ago and have added to my collection of cards since then.  Last weekend I just finished building my own 60-card deck from that collection, I have no idea how well it will work…if at all but I don’t care.  Building the decks is what I thought I would enjoy the most from getting interested in it, and I really enjoyed putting this deck together.  So much so that I already want to start putting together a second deck but I have no idea what I want to put in it.  As with I mentioned earlier with Rise of Iron, I will try to get a post up at some point focused around my current experiences with this and maybe throw in some D&D stuff too.  Old fashioned, tabletop gaming is rather fun.

Alright, now for the screenshots I mentioned that I took from Destiny.  All of these are from the new patrol area from Rise of Iron, the Plaguelands.  This place is going to be amazing for some scenery shots I can tell.  Also, a quick recommendation of someone else to check out for some sweet screenshots I’d suggest someone I know on Twitter.  Relyks has been posting a few images from the daily story mission when they run through it.  I admit, this is what got me to wanting to take some screenshots again.

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This shot was taken in a building in one of the areas in the Plaguelands.  Nothing too fancy about it, but some times I like to show off the interior of structures.  The lighting for these areas can provide some creepy looking places, or even some downright beautiful places to be in.

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I can’t remember exactly where I took this one, but I do remember a bridge.  So there’s that.

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This image…I was really, really happy with it when I was making sure I got a good angle.  Then I went and looked at the shot on my capture feed on my Xbox…and noticed the, well uh, notice at the bottom informing me my HUD was disabled.  I cried a little when I saw that.  Ok, maybe not but I was a little disappointed that the Xbox decided to capture that even though it was like 30 seconds after that message disappeared.  Ah well, guess I just have to retake it at some point again.

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The Archon’s Keep.  I see so many opportunities for shots if I can get the right angle for them in this area.

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This is probably my favorite out of the group I took.  This is in an area between the Plaguelands and the old section of the Cosmodrome.  The Fallen have been busy at destroying parts of the Cosmodrome, meanwhile the SIVA is still spreading throughout the area.

There you have it.  Some screenshots to look at, and a quick update for what I’ve been doing lately.  I want to divulge in more detail about the stuff I mentioned at the start of this post at a soon but later point.  Will I actually do it?  That remains the question.