Rainy all weekend. Can’t walk or travel much, so will clean and play video games. Will record Gamer Hangout next weekend!

Mad Max: 1) Definitely not a feminist manifesto 2) A re-do with better stunts 3) wondering how my Smart Car would have fit in.

Everquest RageFire: Bone Chips to Kaladin
Posted by Ogrebear's Thoughts [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 6:54 pm

So getting on today was so so so painful, i ended up playing hearthstone for about 3 round (After every turn spamming the login button). They really need a queue.

After my failure with the Bone Chip quest last night i went straight over to Butcherblock Mountains and spent a good amount of time killing [...]

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  2. Starting out in Everquest 2 again Summer 2015 Everquest and Everquest 2 have been some of my favorite...
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Did they go “Yes” in Ireland? Whoa. Awesome!
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 May 2015, 12:10 pm
Did they go “Yes” in Ireland? Whoa. Awesome! <3 A great start to a weekend with my wife.

Why is this not MINE?! First Gear Wittke Front-Loader Garbage Truck with Custom Accessories https://t.co/XnnsOmnA9X #Toys

It turns out the maker of those vids is a fan of the trash collection industry. Pretty interesting stuff so far. https://t.co/sALMaHEel6

Ekko: Chronobreak Comic

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Click the image to read it (or check original source)

Asked for some employee recommendations to break my recent history/serious book phase. @halfpricebooks came through? http://t.co/RVBZ4hK0hT

The best place to start a 3-day weekend. http://t.co/ld7Oq3Uf54

WooooOOoo! I’m in the Target band!!!! WooOOOooo! Rock ON!!! Ahhhhh!! http://t.co/DvLaSdZtgh

Lego Hurricane
Posted by Morphisat's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 5:49 pm
Found this on reddit. A Lego Hurricane ! Looks very cool indeed. http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/36ttwp/lego_hurricane/  

Day 1 Everquest Ragefire: Level 1-3
Posted by Ogrebear's Thoughts [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 4:17 pm

So yesterday was the first day of Ragefire. I managed to come home from work and log in right as they unlocked the server so i was one of the lucky few that didn’t have to click a billion time to log in (Queue guys… your games been out for 14 years and you really [...]

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This started out as a comment on my previous blog post, but ended up getting too long for a comment, so I made it into another blog post. Michael commented that "Tobold, it's not that I at all disagree, it's that I question the point of continuing to talk about it.". I believe that this touches a rather fundamental and recurring problem of all forms of public writing, including blogging and journalism: Should you engage with and write about people and organizations you strongly disagree with, or should you ignore them?

I've always been with Edmund Burke on this one, see title. Even when I am fully aware of the dangers and unwilling to feed the trolls, I'd rather post to point out where I disagree than just keep silent. So I would like to discuss a recent example:

The Noisy Rogue, a self-proclaimed pro-GamerGate blogger, posted a very hateful post full of personal attacks and insults about how the Newbie Blogger Initiative "has gone full George Orwell. You shall not go against the group think. You shall have the correct opinions. All those who do not have the correct opinions shall be cast out and shunned. For we have the numbers and all agree with us.". I disagree with the post and would have ignored it, if I hadn't also disagreed with the response of a circle of pro-NBI bloggers: They first exchanged a long series of tweets between themselves (but visible to everybody) on what an idiot The Noisy Rogue is, and then wrote a blog post on the same subject starting with "It seems that a certain blogger—whom I will not link to here...".

To me that appears to be the worst possible way to respond. You neither engage or even acknowledge the person you disagree with, but you also don't ignore him and keep silent about the issue. I would always prefer to link to dissenting posts than this sort of half-way treatment. To some extent I blame Twitter, which has a strong culture of "let's talk badly about somebody behind his back" school yard behavior, while making the shared insults publicly viewable, maybe in hope that the object of the insults finds them later. In this particular case The Noisy Rogue might well point out that this is exactly the sort of behavior he complained about in the first place.

Moving smoothly from my previous blog post on games spilling into the real world, I think it is best to understand GamerGate as a political right vs. left conflict spilling into the world of games and game writing. In my opinion the left won a moral victory by using somewhat less objectionable means in the conflict, reducing the right to their standard "all mass media are controlled by the left" excuse. Which gets rather thin when even Fox News comments "Recently, an online campaign dubbed "GamerGate" has led to the harassment of women in the video game industry for criticizing the lack of diversity and how women are portrayed in gaming.".

But the point is that the fundamental right vs. left conflict is never going to go away. And as nobody ever admits defeat on the internet, even GamerGate is probably going to stay with us for years to come. In multiplayer games, griefing is not going to go away. Ignoring everything I don't like isn't really a viable strategy. And there is the danger that I recede into a shell of just reading the sites I know that I will agree with, which leads exactly to the sort of group think that can justifiably be criticized. This is why I link to posts I disagree with. This is why I moderate comments only for personal insults, never for dissenting opinions (although obviously that means deleting comments which have both). Acknowledging the other side and speaking out against things I disagree with is a value in itself, even if it can't possibly change anything.
Tobold's Blog

Puzzles, Dragons, and Mario?
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 10:00 am

There was a free demo for the 3DS Mario version of Puzzle and Dragon on the eShop so I grabbed it to see what the game was about.

I've never played Puzzle and Dragons before, but what I found was a game somewhere between a Bejeweled, Puzzle Quest, and Terra Battle.  If you're not familiar with those games, it's basically a game where you're trying to match 3 or more gems of the same color in a row or column.  Every time you start moving a gem it shifts all the others it travels through in order to get to it's final destination.  The game quickly becomes more about bumping other gems around rather than concentrating on the gem you're dragging.  Moving the gem around is timed, but you can freely move it as much as you want and as far as you want within the time limit.

You end up trying to bump as many gems into combos as you can within the time limit to set up massive damage.  You have a team of characters sitting above the gems, and those team members correspond to gem colors.  When you match up gems of their color they will attack.  So, line up 3 or more red gems and all your red characters will attack the enemy.

I had fun playing the intro level to the Mario version of Puzzle and Dragons but I got demolished in the expert level.

I felt like I must be missing something so I grabbed the regular Puzzle and Dragons on my phone and started to play (since it's free to play).  After less than a day I'm already bored of it.  It's completely designed to make you start running into roadblocks so you need to pay to play adequately.  Once I reached that point - and it only took a few hours -  I deleted the app from my phone and moved on.

Then I went back to the Puzzle and Dragons Mario Edition and tried the expert level again, thinking that maybe my newfound skill would help me.  It did not.

Now I'm kind of caught in a dilemma.  The core gameplay of Puzzle and Dragon isn't bad for a puzzle game, it's actually kind of fascinating.  The thing that turned me away from the game is the freemium/F2P structure... but the Mario version won't have that.  But apparently the Mario version gets very hard and that can be just as frustrating.

I'll probably hold off while I wait to read some reviews on the Mario version.  I'm glad I played around with these games a bunch, now I know what people are talking about when they mention the craze that is Puzzle and Dragons in Japan.

Outside battery limits
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 7:18 am
In engineering there is an important distinction of things being either "inside battery limits" or "outside battery limits". On an engineering plan there is often a dotted line showing that "battery limit", which is the border between "the plant" and "the rest of the world". I think that concept needs more attention when talking about games, especially multiplayer online games. The limits are often not clearly defined, and that leads to dangerous situations.

In Canada a 17-year old League of Legends players has plead guilty to a range of charges: "According to what [prosecutor] Bauer told the court, the teen would often target fellow League of Legends players and their families when they denied friend requests or he felt slighted by them over some minor offense. He would retaliate, according to Bauer, by shutting down their internet access, posting their personal information online, calling them late at night, or calling the police to call in an imaginary emergency situation.". To me that is an extreme example of that League of Legends player having stepped outside battery limits. You are supposed to beat your opponent *inside* the limits of the game; stepping outside of those limits is problematic, and in some cases criminal.

There are some games like EVE Online or Crowfall where the developers deliberately obscure the limits to what is out of bounds, and in consequence serious breaches of those limits happen. There is a whole school of thought among some PvP players where it is not sufficient to beat your adversary in the game, it is necessary to make the person behind the keyboard cry. I have been criticized for calling such behavior "evil" because "it is just a game", but I believe that from a certain point onward it stops being just a game and goes outside the limits of the rules of the game. And not just swatting, which constitutes a serious danger to the life and health of the target, but also lesser forms of cyber-bullying, harassment, and humiliation. If the target is a person as opposed to his avatar or other representation in the game, these actions are evil. That they take place because of a game is not an excuse; rather I find it worrying that somebody would be willing to inflict harm on another real person for something as trivial as a game.

I do believe that game companies and developers have a duty to make the limits of their game very clear, and to strongly react to transgressions that step over those limits.
Tobold's Blog

Too Long; Didn't Play: Bastion
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 6:12 am

Sponsored By: Onion Bubs

Time Played: 59 minutes, plus commercials.

The Kid Review

Welcome to another installment of Too Long; Didn't Play, where our motto is "Late to the party, and going home early." Today we're here with The Narrator and The Kid for an exclusive interview about life, destruction, and federal regulations.

I'm your host, Pinta Winkles. Let's get this party started, after the break

read more

Tilting at the DiGRA Windmill
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 May 2015, 2:14 am
This past weekend, DiGRA held their annual games conference in Germany, which can mean only one thing: clearly it was time for #GamerGate to send in the welcoming committee, flooding the hashtag with a load of unwelcome hate for the attendees to enjoy – a playbook that #GamerGate has seemed to decided to copy from […]

Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 5/21/2015
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 May 2015, 3:06 pm

Sandstorm Ekko

Champion Changes


  • Chronobreak [R] - Cooldown changed to 110/90/70 (up from 90/80/70)

Item Changes

Abyssal Scepter

  • Reverted back to live


Context on Recent PBE Changes and More

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

@Riot: Philosophy Behind Utility Mastery Changes?

Our current focus with the Utility masteries is on making going deep into the tree appropriately rewarding, particularly for caster supports and more utility focused mages. As part of that we're experimenting with making Meditation (the mana regen) significantly more powerful, but putting it later in the tree so it's one of the key distinctions between deep utility and other routes. Expanded Mind (max mana) then goes earlier, as a flat bonus instead of a %, making it particularly targeted at champions that start with a really small mana pool and want an early increase. There's a definite risk that'll leave going 9 points into utility as too unrewarding and we might need to do some work on that too, first thing we want to address is getting 21+ points in utility into a better spot however.

Thor: God of Thunder
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 May 2015, 10:00 am

Thor: God of Thunder is an awesome run of comics.  I want to tell you about it but I haven't done much writing about comics in the past.  I'm going to try anyway.

By picking up a Marvel Unlimited subscription earlier this month I've been able to dive into the entire Marvel backlog of comics.  Without having to worry about price I've been exploring all kinds of comics.  I give a new series an issue or two to grab me and then I either read the entire run or I move on to something else.

Thor: God of Thunder has been one of the best runs I've read.

It requires no previous knowledge about Thor or the greater Marvel Universe.  This is a huge plus for people like me who are just starting to get into comics.

The run comes in at about 25 comics, which is also a plus for me.  Long enough to tell some big story archs with weight behind them.  But not too long to overstay it's welcome.

Thor: God of Thunder actually covers Thor in three different time periods of his life at the same time.  They all weave together to tell a cohesive story on a galactic level.  There's Thor as a young god before he got his hammer, Thor as we know him (the Avenger), and old Thor who is one of the last gods.

The first arc of the story involves a God Killer.  He goes around to all the deities he can find and wipes them out.  Thor tries to track him down and end his killing spree.

There's a lot of depth to this series and if you have Marvel Unlimited I highly suggest checking it out.  Look for Thor: God of Thunder (2012) in the app and you'll find it.

Legacy websites and Chrome stopping to support plugins
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 May 2015, 7:37 am
Google decided that their browser Chrome should stop supporting plugins, especially the Microsoft Silverlight plugin, because well, it's from Microsoft and not from Google. A number of websites are affected by this. And while there are lot of sites with a lot more traffic, the one site where this affects me is the Wizards of the Coast D&D Insider archive with the 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons online tools.

I'm not quite certain why, but official computer and online tools for Dungeons & Dragons have always been a sad story. Usually you get a lot of promises for those tools when a new edition of D&D comes out, and then the whole plan falls apart and you get very little. That is what happened with the current 5th edition. For 4th edition, although the tools never lived up to the promises, at least WotC had two programs that worked quite well, a character creator, and a monster builder / database. And because my group like tactical combat and half of my players don't speak English and 5E isn't on offer in any other language, I am still using those online tools and pay a subscription for them.

But of course WotC isn't providing any new additions or support to the legacy website of D&D Insider. We can be happy enough they didn't shut it down yet. And as the tools work with Microsoft Silverlight, I now need to use Internet Explorer instead of Chrome. And I wonder how many other legacy sites there are out there that got created with plugins, and there is nobody to redo them in the new standard that Google is trying to impose on us. I would imagine that people are much more faithful to their preferred websites than to their preferred browser. If Chrome doesn't support your favorite websites any more, then goodbye Chrome! Google might well be shooting themselves in the foot with this more than hurting Microsoft.
Tobold's Blog

Video Game Development Process – Role of Game Testers
Posted by Write The Game [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 May 2015, 12:57 am
Designing online game involves a number of development methods. When a personal game product is normally developed utilizing all desirable features together with specifications, then that manufacturers look for many who can have fun with their recently developed solution and consecutively help them when controlling every likely error which were present on their product device […]

Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 May 2015, 9:05 pm
Your shrine* to all things Elder Scrolls is about level up. Beginning today on GamingHeads.com and on store.bethsoft.com, you can pre-order this life-sized bust of Dovahkiin. Created by 3D artist Diego D. Gonzalez, the piece will ship in 2016 and is limited to 600 pieces. *Temple of the Divines not included

I just found out (after checking my analytics) that when you export a Twitch stream to YouTube, it does not add ads automatically. lol

The first hour of Spiral Knights! 9PM EST! @SpiralKnights: http://t.co/RmQUzcdOLa

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