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

Advertisements

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.

10-6-2016_9-30-21_am

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.

10-6-2016_9-30-11_am

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

10-6-2016_9-29-56_am

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.

10-6-2016_9-29-39_am

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

10-4-2016_12-30-59_am

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.

Sports and Stuff

Huh, what’s this?  A post within the same month as my last post?  This is exactly that.  Anyways, this will probably be a short post as I don’t have a lot to talk about really.  First thing’s first, I haven’t been playing too many games lately.  Why?  Well, to be honest the ones I play on a regular basis have been having issues lately and I have been affected by them.  In turn I haven’t really wanted to play many games, if any at all; and, I’ve been binging on the Summer Olympics the past couple of weeks as well.  Which that plays into a part of this post I will talk about later on.

I’ll quickly talk about Destiny, and share some thoughts of what I think about the upcoming expansion, Rise of Iron.  First, I finally managed to hit 335 on all three of my characters.

“Pics or it didn’t happen!” Continue reading

The Scenery of Destiny

Yesterday morning I took a couple of hours and roamed around the world of Destiny and took some screenshots.  Most of them are from the Cosmodrome, which I’m pretty anxious to see how it will change plus explore the new areas with Rise of Iron coming out in just over a month.  Anyways, I’m here to share a few of those images I took yesterday.

Before I continue and just start posting a bunch of images; there is something I want to say about this game specifically, but all games in general.  Most of the times when we play a game, especially a game that involves continuous, fast paced action, we normally don’t pay attention to the scenery of what we are playing.  It wasn’t until I was wandering around the Cosmodrome in Destiny that I truly realized how amazing the surrounding environments in the game look.  With the ability to turn off the HUD elements (added in the April Update, probably my favorite addition as of late) at most you’ll have your character or a weapon in your view.  Outside of the enemies being disrespectful jerks and not leaving you alone, this really gives you an uninterrupted look at the environment.

That all said, I highly encourage you to stop and take a few minutes to look at the world art of the game you play next.  Maybe turn off the UI if possible, play on a lower difficulty, or if it’s a multiplayer game maybe go into your own private lobby and look at the backdrops and settings of the map(s).  Even if the game is several years old, there might be something that you have never noticed before.  While the artists that put their hours into creating the art for games do get their recognition, I often feel they don’t get as much as they deserve.  As I said before, when we play a quickly paced game we often just run form point A to point B to get everything done and move on to the next task so we really don’t take notice of what is around us in the game we are playing.

Continue reading

Soundtracks: A Brief Introduction

If you have followed me for a while you know every once in a while I’ll brainstorm an idea for a series of posts for here.  You’ll also be familiar that I usually make one post in said series and never return to it again.  Well, I kind of hope to change that with this totally brand new and probably done before in some form or another series.  So let me explain how it will work, and what my intentions are for it.  First I will say this, I highly doubt this will be a weekly series; at most I hope to get a post in the series out every couple of weeks.  Possibly once a month even.  So what exactly will you see in posts in this series?  It might be a weird thing I do but there are a few times where I’ll listen to a song and for whatever reason I can instantly associate it with a certain area, event, or in general even, of a game.  That said, I hope to share about 3 to 5 songs each post that remind me of a certain thing about a game and explain why it reminds me of that.  You’ll also get a more specific idea of what kind of music I listen to in general.  At times though, maybe you’ll find some surprises…  Now, let’s get on with this. Continue reading

Two In a Month

In my last post I mentioned about trying to get another post out in a week or so.  Since it’s the third day of June I put the emphasis on “or so”.  That said, the past month has been really awesome for me.  It started with the launch of REZOHouse, which if you somehow missed my last post that has been up at the front for 30 days, you can read that here.  I’ve been very happy with the place since joining, granted I’ve done a terrible job at actually playing with anyone from the Xbox side there.  That is something I hope to fix however, doesn’t change the fact that ones I have gotten to know through talking with them are pretty cool people.  I’ll divulge a little as to what has been really exciting to me lately along with some quick thoughts on what I’ve been playing.

For the past four years I’ve been fortunate enough to go to at least one concert every year.  I say “fortunate enough” for two reasons, mainly because my area gets mostly country artists (definitely not my style of music in case you wondered) to come to our venues.  However, we’ve been lucky and have had a decent amount of the artists I listen to make our area a stop on their tours.  Shinedown has actually been here twice in that four year period…and yes, I saw them both times.  However, some of the other groups and artists I like and want to see have come as close as Peoria, Illinois or Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  With others only being as close as Chicago or Des Moines.  Those last two cities are a bit of a drive however and it would be very costly to go; which leads me to my second reason, concert tickets in general can be rather expensive. Continue reading