Tag Archives: Roleplaying

The day I ask what you’d like to know.

Question MarkI write many topics here on the blog; personal, professional. Reviews, gaming, roleplaying, game design, writing and more.

I know what brings my Google traffic: SWTOR, Wheel of Time, D&D and managing OCPD. I don’t know how much of that traffic returns to read other things, or how much my regular readers are interested in those topics.

To a large degree, it doesn’t matter what I write; the challenge is to make any topic both interesting and accessible to any visitor.

However, in the wake of personal stories leading up to our anniversary, I’m curious what you, my daily or weekly visitors (especially lurkers) find interesting. What were your favorite posts? What would you like to know more about?

I’m deliberately not attaching a poll or links to specific articles, leaving the question open-ended.

 

Five reasons good Dungeon Masters aren’t great.

Five ReasonsThe title of “Dungeon Master” is odd. In most circles, it’s either meaningless or translates to “permanent virgin.” To a select group, it’s a title of respect. But there’s no test for it. Like writing, once you’ve decided you’re a Dungeon Master…you are.

That doesn’t make you any good at it.

Even good Dungeon Masters often fall short of greatness. Here’s five reasons why. Read More →

The day I went politely dark side.

Last week was stressful. I needed a break when I could be both un-creative and harmlessly vengeful. (Pundits have missed the point of violence in video games…it’s so we don’t act out in reality.)

Typically, I prefer light-sided Sith. Their questlines are convoluted, balancing acts of kindness with impressing their masters and hiding their secret generosity. Dark Jedi balance similar deception among their elders. The gun classes (Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Imperial Agent) are less polarized.

Dark Sith are a different animal. They’re afforded regular opportunities to be truly vicious. Normally, it’s exhausting. But sometimes you just need to play the villain. Tordethal was my first villain who pulled no punches. Weaklings and cowards who beg for mercy get receiving end of Force Lightning. *zap, crackle* Let that be a lesson to my coworkers! Yeah!

Read More →

The Greatest MMO soon free

This article from Time examines an event I’ve eagerly awaited since…February. Not long, still exciting.

Star Wars: The Old Republic can’t keep up with its subscription model and is going free-to-play this fall. The game has fallen under 1 million subscribers, but bad news for Bioware is great news for me.

http://techland.time.com/2012/08/08/the-long-hello-or-goodbye-star-wars-the-old-republic-goes-free-to-play/

Matt Peckham examines the free-to-play model as the new MMO-standard, even citing World of Warcraft as joining the bandwagon. What Peckham doesn’t realize is that the WoW free-to-play model is a joke compared to others, with a level limit of 20, despite the fact that DCUO, Champions Online and a host of lesser-known MMOs offer free-to-play with no level cap, and even limited economy participation. WoW’s “free” model is more of a trial account, not a truly free model. Read More →

RIFT: The Next MMO?

I’ve had the pleasure of beta testing RIFT, a new MMO from Trion Worlds.

As a six-year veteran of World of Warcraft, I have hardly encountered another game (of any genre) which comes close to WoW in quality of storyline, world depth, intelligent game design, difficulty calibration.

During WoW’s impressive reign of the genre (and before), I have tried many other MMOs and found them sorely lacking in one or more regards. Among those discarded lie Dark and Light, EVE, City of Heroes/Villains, Perfect World International, Champions Online, and Warhammer. And while I have good things to say about most of them, they simply didn’t capture me in the way WoW did.

I bring a critical eye to the MMO landscape, an eye tempered by years of game-tweaking of my own in tabletop roleplaying, as well as endeavors into player-content-creation opportunities afforded by venues like Spore: Galactic Adventures and Neverwinter Nights.

RIFT was the first game in a long time to bring some new concepts to a saturated market: Ideas like truly mixed classes, and dynamic world-altering events.

So how does RIFT stack up to the giants of the industry? Is it worth playing? Or will it shortly be set aside? Read More →