Monday, May 31, 2010


Shannon and I are off on a holiday.

Not an actual holiday mind you, just a break from Paragon City. For whatever reason (I suspect a Nemesis plot) Shannon is feeling like a break from the City of Heroes and so in finest “WoW Tourist” (Thanks Syncaine for the now old term even if we’ve never played WoW) tradition, we’re off on a holiday.

It is just a temporary break though given that Going Rogue is right around the corner. At most we’ll be away for a month. Of course it becomes complicated when we factor in Shannons computer having died recently and the replacement being … well… crap. No fancy high end graphics games for her and therefore for us.

So options appear to be

  • Allods Online (Suggested to her by OnRPG awesome guy Nic)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online (I wont let it go)
  • Anarchy Online (Blame Sareini)
  • Something else (This is what the comments section is for)

So. Any suggestions? Preferences? Cautionary tales?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Everything There Is A Season

I have never really had experiences with big guilds. I dabble in many many games but my home for the majority of my MMO life has been the Virtue server of City of Heroes.

City of Heroes is a reasonably casual game. You can hop on to either side, grab a random mission from the Police Radio or Newspaper (assuming you don’t have a contact with missions) and hammer it out quickly. Design aspects were taken and further expanded upon in Cryptics Champions Online and to an extent Star Trek Online. As a result of this casual nature, I have never had the experience I hear of with World of Warcraft guilds where courting them is a multiple week long process. I never really had much interaction with many guilds in Warhammer either. The one that I did join which wasn’t just a collection of City Of Heroes friends merely asked that I play with them a lot rather than a little. Given that more often than not I no longer played with friends at that time I had no problem throwing my various alts in.

However recently in City of Heroes old players have come back from the wilds of Champions Online and here is where I get to the point.

There once was a group. I shan’t name it, though anyone who knows me can guess it, so as not to come across as bashing anyone. I had a wonderful time in the group and made many friends. Some of them persist to this day, some of them I have had the fortune of meeting in person. The group was active, had allies, had stories and had fun. With so many people back in those heady days coming and going in City of Heroes there was a vibrance to the Supergroup. People came and people went but the core of what the roleplay group was remained.

As time passes though, so too do people. Eventually the group withered and died. There were brave attempts at restarting it to be sure. There were good ideas and good intentions but in the end, if no one can give the time to the group, the group does not exist. That is the core of my belief regarding Supergroups. Perhaps with hardcore guilds where it takes months to gain entry, where they are a heavy investment in time, money and effort, there is a greater sense of permanence to the guild. Perhaps in those cases it is about the tools and utility of the guild rather than the people. As I said, I don’t know having had no experience. Supergroups though are all about the people. In a casual game with so many coming and going and having so many faces (ahhh altitis, my bane) the time between a group being one you remember fondly and one being filled with strangers who have little link to the original ideals can be quite small.

In the end the casual nature of the game contributed to the death of the group. Some older hands retried it in Champions Online and it seems it has either diverged from the memory of the original or the game itself does not hold the interest of everyone. Why do I say this? Well those same souls are back in Paragon City and trying once more to recreate the group. The name was never the group. The ideals or roleplay reasons for it were never the group. The group was made and immortalised in peoples memories by the people themselves. They’ve moved on, the groups season turned. I just hope that in trying to bring it back again, people do not tarnish their memories (surely rosily coloured by nostalgia at this point) of what they had by the imitations attempted.

They say you can’t cross the same bridge twice because of the water flowing beneath. I suppose you can’t join the same casual dream twice either.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Worthy and On Topic

It is 11.40am GMT on the 11th of May right now. Minus five for the east coast and minus 8 for west coast.

You have 9 hours and 20 minutes remaining to consider the Humble Indie Bundle.

Basically it’s five (really six with the bonus contribution) indie games with no DRM and available on Windows, Linux or Mac for whatever you want to pay.

In fact here’s what they say themselves.

The Humble Indie Bundle is a unique kind of bundle that we are trying out.

Pay what you want. If you bought these five games separately, it would cost around $80 but we're letting you set the price!

All of the games work great on Mac, Windows, and Linux. We didn't want to leave anyone out.

There is no middle-man. You can rest assured that 100% of your purchase goes directly to the developers and non-profits as you specify (minus credit card fees).

We don't use DRM. When you buy these games, they are yours. Feel free to play them without an internet connection, back them up, and install them on all of your Macs and PCs freely.

Your contribution supports the amazing Child's Play charity and Electronic Frontier Foundation. By default, the amount is split equally between the seven participants (including Child's Play and EFF), but you can tweak the split any way you'd like.

And now, thanks to a humble donation from Amanita Design: all contributors are given a free copy of Samorost 2!


I don’t know if I’ll play any of them myself. In fact I’m not sure I have the time to even install any but I contributed all the same. Why? Well deals like this are too good to pass up and really they’ve sweetened the entire deal by letting you pick if you are giving money to just the developers, Childs Play and the EFF only or split across all of them.

How often do you get to be simultaneously charitable and snag an entertainment deal for literally whatever price you name?

I’d hurry if I were you.

Previews, Reviews and Writing

Okay let’s get back into the swing of things.

First thing I should mention is that I have in the past had some communication from PR companies asking me to preview or review games. Sadly the email address you can get on my profile tends to be ignored more often than not. If you have contacted me in the past or intend to in the future, I have taken steps to keep up with that email address better. Also if I may, I would suggest you contact the fantastic editors over at for p/reviews as well. Sure it may not be me who ends up getting the particular assignment but give them a shout and if you still want blogger coverage as well, drop me a line.

Second while they update less frequently than I, if you have an interest in fantasy literature or reading in general, check out

Finally things of mine have started going up over at OnRpg and there’s more in the pipeline. For here though, to get my lazy butt back into the blogging groove I’ll take suggestions on something you want me to natter about. Drop a comment and assuming you’re not trying to torture me (Terry, I’m watching you) we’ll see what happens.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I'm not dead.

Been ill, been travelling and been busy with technomancy. Hopefully blogging will follow soon.