Month: March 2013

March Gaming, week 2 – majoring in familiar-slaying at Innsmouth Academy

Reading isn’t all that fun. Well okay, I consider it fun, but I know that some of you pretty guys and gals like to look at some pictures from time to time. That’s why this week’s report on my activities in The Secret World will be mostly a visual one. Even though a picture says more than a thousand words, I still have some words to say without any visual aid:

  • I’m still baffled by how immersive the world of TSW is. Everything works so well together to draw you into this creepy and monster-infested version of our world, and I feel like all this atmosphere and style is seriously underrated by fans of the MMO genre. Also, why do I see so much hate for the character design? Next to the fact that so damn many of the characters you meet have blue eyes (really, it’s crazy!), I find the design cool and well done. Maybe I just use another definition of “beautiful”?
  • If you play the game for the first time, make sure to do most missions in Kingsmouth before moving on to the Savage Coast. The lethality of the zones increases in large steps, so if you leave the safety (as far as a town overrun by zombies can be considered safe) of the little fishing village, check if you have some good gear and your weapon skills at level 3. Otherwise, those demons around Daniel Bach will drag you right into Hell.
  • Nope, the Siren’s Song will never leave your head. Sorry.
  • Ever wanted to know what Hogwarts would be like if it was ransacked by a guy with a magic sword, leaving the students dead and their familiars running around in a berserk, bloodthirsty state? Well, you’ll find your answers to this really specific question right in Innsmouth Academy. I really love that hub. All the NPC’s there are fun and cool, and it’s packed with action missions. Slaughtering familiars and sending ghosts of dead teachers back to their grave is a lot of fun, and Hayden Montag is so delightfully awkward.

I won’t have that much time to play next week, but I’ll try to get into a few runs of the Polaris and Hell Raised, just to see how much fun tanking is in TSW. Hope you’ll enjoy the pictures, and if you want to share anything concerning The Secret World, feel free to hit me up in the comments!

Actual Play – Courage Chapter III

courage logo

Wow, it’s been a while since one of these, but the wait’s over: click below for the third chapter of Courage, a solo Exalted chronicle. We’ll meet a Solar in this one, and find out that Courage’s secret are not as secret as he thinks they are. Want to know more? Well, stop reading this and dive into the three-and-a-half pages of RPG goodness. Have fun!

Courage – Chapter 3

Geek Jitsu – that pain

muscle soreness sore fitness health

I hope that by now, I have motivated a few of my readers to get their butts away from their consoles and into the world of health and fitness. I warned you about many different things during your quest to level-up your physical stats, but I forgot one, minor little thing. If you started exercising by now, I want to offer my sincere apologies for not telling you about this downside to fitness. If you’re still a lazy bum, consider yourself scolded and read on, for I will tell you about the horror of…SORE MUSCLES!

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Going camping

team fortress camping engineer guitar

“Camping” by FlopHouser

You might ask yourself a few things. Why did the Pope truly step down from his office? Is there life on Mars? Is Canada really such a nice place to live? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? Sadly, I can’t provide you with answers to these questions. However, I can answer that one question you have been asking yourself since a few days: what the heck is that weird logo on the right doing there, stealing space from the most popular posts? Well folks, that logo indicates that I’ll be camping in April, literally. Well, wait, not literally in the sense that I will be outdoors getting myself bitten by insects, but literally in the sense of writing. Would that be literary rather than literally? Questions, questions, questions…

Anyway, as the logo indicates, I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo coming April (and probably also in July), which means that I’ll be writing a short story of at least 20.000 words in that month. It’s not much, considering I survived NaNoWriMo 2012 which had me writing more than twice that amount in the same time. The difference with that contest from November is that now I have a blog to vent my writing frustrations, so prepare for an author’s rage next month.

Luckily, my housemates will join me in the writing madness, so I’m looking forward to a month filled with write-ins, writer blocks and really strange plot twists, all crammed into a small house in the Netherlands. We might not be camping outdoors, but if you bring us some tents and fire wood, we can turn our kitchen into a nice, literal (or literary?) campsite!

Strange Sunday – Sports

http://mango-addict.deviantart.com/art/Football-77744238

“Football” by Mango-addict

This is gonna be a short one, but it’s gonna be about something strange, and it’s still Sunday in my time zone. What will this be about? Sports, ladies and gentlemen, sports.

As you might have guessed by some of my posts on this blog, I like sports. I’m not some nut who watches every game of his favourite team every damn Sunday, but I like sports. However, I never liked sports games. No matter how often it will be released with a new year number on it, I will never, ever like FIFA. Or Pro Evo. Or even some more simulative games like Football Manager. However, given the amount of role-players out there who also like sports (trust me, there are more than you think), how come we never got a really good sports RPG? I mean, more than just number-juggling, but something with a bit of drama and real personalities. Where’s the game where I also see what troubles and travails my players have outside of the game, where I have to be the uniting coach who is the head of a rag-tag team of professionals with various backgrounds? When will Mass Effect and FIFA be merged into one game?

When, gaming industry, when?

Alright, I’m done. Strange Sunday has just become even stranger!

March Gaming, week 1 – a town full of zombies & a horny blondie

the secret world cassandra kingsmouth

Well, the first week of my March Gaming has gone by, and boy, did I have fun getting back into The Secret World. Even though I know Kingsmouth like the back of my hand by now, it still has its own kind of allure. The mist in the streets, the sun breaking through the fog in the morning, the smell of daffodils and rotting corpse, creating a unique boquet when the wind blows west…alright, considering the zombies and draugr, Kingsmouth is not such a nice place to be, but TSW is such a nice game to play!

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A self-inflicted illusion of choice

deadpool options marvel choice

“Here are your options:” by FonteArt

Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a moment to ponder a rather philosophical topic, namely the one of free choice. I’m sure that many great minds have already written about this subject, and that since the dawn of mankind, humanity has asked itself: are my choices made by my free, unchained spirit, or is every road I take predestined by my experiences in this world, thus making me nothing more than the product of my environment? Well, I can’t provide you with an answer to this larger-than-life question, but I can tell you this: when it comes to games, choice is just an illusion.

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Geek Jitsu – three things I did wrong when I started running

running what i think i look like when running

Last week, my housemates decided to buy some new shoes and start running. I was really happy when I heard this, because I fully support their endeavours when it comes to healthy living. Seeing their new, shiny shoes and hearing them talk about their running plans brought my mind to a few years ago, when I went running for the first time. I was excited, energetic and ambitious, and I remember that my first round of probably just two kilometres was extremely exhaustic. I also remember that I made some newbie mistakes, which I would not want my housemates (or anyone) to repeat. That’s why I dedicate this week’s installment of Geek Jitsu to the three things I did wrong when I started running!

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A few words about Tenra Bansho Zero

tenra bansho zero title image

Deciding to skip training because of a hypersensitive stomach might sound like a pussy cop-out, but the advantage of having some off-time on a Monday night is that I can dive into some nerdier forms of entertainment. I know that I should have played some TSW, but trust me, I’ll get to that this week. What I did instead was getting my buddy Dee on Skype to check out the fancy-named Tenra Bansho Zero, the first Japanese tabletop RPG that has received a translation. How cool is that, once you move past the funky name and rad artwork? Well, pretty damn cool!

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Strange Sunday – grannies with shotguns and other crazy design choices

the secret world shotgun design

Get off my lawn!

One of the many reasons I love my girl is the fact that she doesn’t mind if I squeeze in some gaming while she’s over at my place. When I decide to launch a game, she either watches me play or reads up on some of that…fantastic fanfiction she’s into. Hey, she ain’t complaining about my odd hobbies, and I ain’t complaining about hers.

Anyway, as I was able to get some time on Chindividual in TSW, I started thinking about some of the odd, or maybe even strange design choices that have been made during the creation of this game. In order to keep this week’s Strange Sunday in line with March Gaming, let me run you through three, by today’s industry standards bizarre choices made during the creation of The Secret World.

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