Archive for the Offline gaming Category

And in Other News

Posted in Champions Online, City of Heroes, LotRO, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop RP on September 12, 2016 by koljarn

Still chipping away at LotRO rep. Just need to finish the Ringlo Vale faction, and then I’m done with the repeatable quests. It’s a long, slow grind, really nothing worth reporting there.

I’ve been dabbling in Empyrion: Galactic Survival and Champions Online. I’ll address each of these separately.

Empyrion is very similar to Space Engineers, if you’ve ever tried that. It is, however, not nearly as complex, and your ability to create complex machines is fairly nonexistent. Despite that, I find it to be a better casual game, especially when it comes to playing on a planet. My verdict is that it is a keeper; I won’t play it all the time, but it is nice to have a sci-fi sandbox game that you can fire up and play for a day or two, set it aside, and pick up again whenever you like.

Champions Online was Cryptic’ s successor to City of Heroes. Basically, they sold City of Heroes to NCSoft (who eventually closed the game down, which is another topic entirely), then created a sub-par replacement game (Champions Online), which they sold to Perfect World, the same company that runs Star Trek Online. I was in the Champions Online open beta, and subscribed to the game when it was first released – I hated it. Mechanics were bad, the interface was clunky, and it was just not enjoyable – I quit after a month. However, my friend and I noticed this game on Steam about a month ago, and decided to give it a try. It turns out that many, but not all, of the issues from launch have been addressed, and the game is not bad. That is, so long as you are a subscriber. A free-to-play user will find themselves extremely limited, and buying content a la carte is prohibitively expensive. I’d say that this game is worth playing for a few months, but don’t go nuts.

Now, about subscribing – the ArcGames site interface is absolutely atrocious.  I thought it might be me, but both of my other friends playing this game encountered the same difficulties.  It temporarily locked out my PayPal account, it refused to take my primary credit card, and it denied my second credit card – sort of.  It said it denied the card, but it certainly charged it and began my subscription.  The web site needs some TLC from a dedicated programmer.

In tabletop gaming, I’ve been going through the books for “The One Ring” game. The mechanics seem derived from West End Game’s d6 System, and it looks pretty sound. I particularly like the rules for travel and Shadow (how the corruption of Middle Earth weighs on the character’s mind). If you enjoy RPGs set in Middle Earth, this is worth a look. I understand that they are working on some d20 rules, but I’ve never been satisfied adapting a genre to d20 – stick with the original ruleset, I think you’ll enjoy it more.

Interlude Amongst the Debris

Posted in LotRO, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop RP on August 30, 2016 by koljarn

Still playing LotRO regularly. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much on which to report. I log in, do some reputation daily quests to work on my various Gondor factions, then I log out. If I were more ambitious, I might try some of the instances, but that’s more of a chore than a distraction.

So, I spend my spare gaming time on other pursuits – mainly sandbox games, such as Minecraft, Empyrion, and Space Engineers. I’ve also started to delve into The One Ring, which is a tabletop RPG that shows promise. I’ll compile entries on each of these in the future, but I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of LotRO.

I Played a Praetorian and All I Got Was This Lousy Tee Shirt

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 22, 2010 by koljarn

I’ve been kicking “Going Rogue” around over the last week.  I have mixed feelings about some things – specifically, character archetype roles – and overall positive impressions of the setting.  Regarding the archetype conflicts – I’m not sure who is going to want a tanker when brutes are available to take the same role, or who wants to take a stalker when scrappers can take their place in a team.  I suppose you could take a corruptor over a blaster if you’re desperate for any healing you can get, but blaster DPS is consistently higher, especially when you have aim and build-up on a quick recharge.

On the other hand, the setting is awesome.  I’m only disappointed that there are only enough zones to take you to level 20.  Praetoria is a better venue for your character, regardless of whether you have aspirations to be a hero, a villain, or something in-between.  Elements of the government are corrupt to the core, and some of the vaunted resistance movement has turned to outright terrorism.  From a hero’s point of view, there are plenty of bad apples on both sides that need to be dealt with if the population is really going to be protected.  From a vigilante’s point of view, there are lots of people who need to be punished – lots and lots.  From a rogue’s point of view, there are many people who richly deserve to be manipulated and take advantage from them.  From a villain’s point of view, the place is ripe for a little divide-and-conquer.  Overall, it is a less sterile setting than either Paragon City or the Rogue Isles.  Hopefully, new zones will be added to Praetoria in the future.

On the 40K front, I’ve done a little more painting – I’m actually close to finishing the last few terminators, if I can buckle down for a few hours and set my mind to the task.  Yesterday was the annual Games Day event in Baltimore.  I don’t attend every year, but I do go occasionally.  There was lots of cool terrain to see, and this Games Day seemed a little more relaxed to me than in years past.  Maybe I’m just getting old.  Either way, I actually enjoyed this Games Day more than previous ones.

I’ve Heard It All Before.

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 14, 2010 by koljarn

I’m still knocking about in City of Heroes.  Right now, I’m mostly playing on Virtue – my high level characters are all on Guardian.  It’s interesting – the two servers are alike and yet very different.  Both of them consider themselves “RP Servers,” and there’s plenty of snobbery to go around on both of them.  However, Virtue seems to consistently have more people online.  More people means more snobs and more jerks, but it also means more cool folks that you can meet.  The jerk to cool-person ratio is about the same on both server, but it is rare to get a group going on Guardian.  On virtue, people will group up at the drop of a hat.  Is one better than the other?  It depends on the type of character that you like to play, I suppose.  If you prefer a support character, stick to Virtue.  Solo-friendly character types will do very well on Guardian.

Anyway, to the main subject – server transfers and merges.  The Going Rogue expansion (AKA Issue 18) is going to offer free server transfers.  People from less populated servers are concerned that this will turn their server into a barren wasteland.  Okay, I’m overstating it a bit, but you get the idea.  People from more heavily populated servers are worried that this will mean that their home server will become over-congested and too busy for casual play.  Are both of these concerns justified?  Well, I think so, but I also think that in order for a MMO to be healthy, there needs to be a critical mass of players available to hang out together.  I’ve seen it in WAR, SWG, and even UO.  The single-player game is generally OK, but these games are written around the idea that you have a group of people working together.  Get a group going and all sorts of new challenges open up for you, expanding your in-game possibilities.  The server transfers will facilitate getting the players together, and that’s a good thing.

40K-wise, I’m slowly chipping away at the last few terminators.  I’ve forgotten how annoying the basic power fist can be to paint.  Consider me re-educated.

We Hunt the Fallen

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 4, 2010 by koljarn

Deathwing is always a pain to paint, but the results are stunning, even when the paint job is only table-top level.

The models in the front rank have just been completed.  All of the banners are new.

Six more metal terminators, and I’m done with Deathwing — until I decide to replace the old metal ones with plastics, of course.  I know it will happen, eventually.

Online gaming-wise, I’m playing City of Heroes, on Virtue.  My high level characters are on Guardian, but Virtue really seems to have the most active population.  Getting a rad/rad defender to 20 has been a breeze – there seems to be a critical shortage of defenders and tankers.

More online or offline updates as they occur.  Or if I feel like it.  You know the drill.

“Hello” from Room 42

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on July 7, 2010 by koljarn

The Master of the Ravenwing has been teaching me the error of my ways.  I’ve been neglecting my painting skills for the last few years, and it shows – at least to me.

Anyway, here his is in his glory: Sammael, the Master of the Ravenwing on his custom land speeder.

Here’s a shot of the instrumentation:

And yes, some portions of the model are magnetized.

You Want that Apothecary to Go?

Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on June 26, 2010 by koljarn

Vroom.  He’s gone.

Yeah, my Ravenwing Apothecary is done.  Here are a few snapshots:

He won’t win any painting contests, but he looks good enough for tabletop use.  So, now I have to finish the Ravenwing bike squads (3 bikes to go), work on a regular Ravenwing landspeeder (I might try to make it a magnetized Typhoon, though), and finally, I have decided to paint a Master of the Ravenwing on a speeder, rather than on a jetbike.

Simply Dreadful

Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on June 21, 2010 by koljarn

So, finishing touches have been placed on my new plastic dread, and I’ve added details to my existing Forge World dread. Both painted to a tabletop standard, as is my wont.
Age before beauty. Here is the Forge World venerable dread with TLLC. I also painted a TLAC arm, and started getting mortis TLAC arms ready.

Forge World Dreadnought

That model holds up pretty well, but all the detail seems a little cluttered. I put together one of the new plastic venerable dreads with the same armament as my Forge World one (TLLC and TLAC arms). Here are the photos:
TLLC:

Plastic Venerable Dread

Plastic Ven Dread

And two shots of the ven dread with the TLAC arm:

Plastic Ven Dread, shot 2

Plastic Ven Dread, shot 3

I’m satisfied with the results. Now, on to my next project: a Ravenwing Apothecary.

Paging Doctor Killpatient

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on June 13, 2010 by koljarn

I enjoyed finishing these models.  As always, I painted to a tabletop level of fit and finish.  I may go back and put some satic grass on the bases of the army, but the miniatures are otherwise done.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce Apothecary Nuriel (specialty: unanesthetized surgery):

And here is brother Zadkiel, bearer of the Deathwing Company Standard:

Kindly ignore the techmarine in the background, he’s puzzling over the parts for a new venerable dreadnought.  Those tech-adepts of Mars have a rotten sense of humor.  Some assembly required, eh?

Fluffernutters

Posted in Background Noise, City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , , on June 6, 2010 by koljarn

Yeah, another 40K post.  Them’s the breaks.  I’ll get back to LotRO as soon as they dish out some new content – I do have a lifetime sub, after all.

Something that I have noticed that really tweaks me a little bit is when people build army lists for 40K and cross fluff lines.  I mean that they take special characters and/or units as if they were not just a different sub-group (such as Ultramarines versus Crimson Fists), but as if they were both at the same time.

Let me be clear on this: it is not breaking the rules.  Fine.  However, it is not in the spirit of the game.  It is metaphorically similar to the difference between illegal and unethical.  Obviously, not everyone plays the game fluff-heavy, and gamesmanship is rampant among the tourney crowd.  Again, that’s fine – for them.  Mercifully, the few people against whom I play (on the rare occasions when I get to play) believe in following the fluff – the story – as much as they believe in following the rules.

Oh, well, enough ranting.  I could go one for quite a while if I don’t reign myself in.

I’ve thrown together a City of Villains character, just for the Going Rogue expansion.  If it turns out that you have to be level 40+ in order to do whatever task force is required to change sides, then such is life.  Playing a Mastermind who can summon ninjas is pretty cool, though.  Not as cool as being able to nuke a city block with a Blaster, but still fun.

That’s all for now.