Diablo 3 Artisan

Looks like Blizzard’s D3 team are taking the crafting system seriously– something I miss a lot in Torchlight (and am spoiled by D2 Zyel in)—with the introduction of the artisan.  Given that Diablo is at it’s core an item management game, this is an interesting twist that reminds me of leveling up the shops in Disgaea or Makai Kingdom.

Q:  What do the artisans offer?

A:  Skilling up your artisans will unlock unique recipes, granting your character access to benefits that may not be found anywhere else in the world.  The blacksmith crafts weapons and armor, and can add sockets to some items.  The mystic creates scrolls, potions, magical weapons, spell runes, and charms, and can also enchant items.  The jeweler crafts gems , amulets, and rings. The jeweler can also remove gems from socketed items and can combine gems to improve their quality.

Rules for Dungeonquest online

The rules for the Fantasy Flight version of the classic GW dice with death Dungeonquest are now posted online.  Having only played the old version once, while fairly recently, I don’t see a lot of changes to the rules except the combat which, in the original, was rock paper scissors.  The new method uses a mutual deck of combat cards and splits the attacks by ranged, close and magic.  Looks much better, but the play is the thing.  My only worry is that the combats must play out fast fast fast.  While it’s fun to watch the other players die, the key to this game is to keep the game moving as quickly as possible to avoid the inevitable angst of turn.  Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this bad boy!

50 Cosmic Encounters!

According to the board game geek as of Wednesday night’s game, I have played the Fantasy Flight version of Cosmic Encounter 50 times now– almost more than the total plays of all my other board games combined in the last couple years (aside from CCG’s).  Why is this?  Simply: Cosmic Encounter is the best board game there is. Period. That’s not to say it’s the only game I want to play, but it really is the stalwart standby that always delivers a great time.

That said, we have two more eliminated aliens from our COSMIC ANNIHILATION attempt to run through all the Aliens at least once: Guerrilla and Masochist join the Deuce, Amoeba, Leviathan, Tripler in the dead pile.

Blood Meridian

Well the western obsession as an escape from the realities of the first month having two kids continues unabated. As tough it was to find, I tracked a slightly worn copy of Blood Meridian down a few weeks back and read it. While not a huge fan of westerns, I took a Western literature class in college that started with The Virginian (of course) and ended with a few post-modern Indian novels. Why the prof didn’t have us read Blood Meridian I will never know as it’s one of the best books I’ve read, and possibly the best picaresque (I know, I know–what can top Unfortunate Traveler?). In trying to piece together the ending I stumbled upon this two part lecture by a Yale Professor for what looks like a freshman lit survey course. While they dig into the book something fine, the lectures thankfully do not get into the sad and rather pathetic mental masturbationist textual analysis I suffered through in a few classes, wherein the professor spends a majority of the time dealing with what other professors have written about other professors writings about the text in literary journals (in exclusionary language no less) rather than the book itself.  What’s more, there’s apparently a movie in the works.

Blood Bowl CCG?

“a standalone game of deck-building action that takes 2-4 players through the cutthroat excitement of an entire Blood Bowl season, all in about an hour.”  Well this looks interesting and it’s being designed by the dude who made Chaos in the Old World so that’s cooking with gas.  Is it a CCG? That’s the question.  I doubt it as the game is certainly not infinitely expandable with a limited number of teams.  Like Dungeon Quest and the oodles of Talisman expansions, this is yet again something from Fantasy Flight that my money won’t be able to avoid.

Torchlight 2 info

From PC Gamer (is this an online only mag now?) and what looks to be the official website here.

This is my favorite quote: “I think it’s probably important to mention here that we’re not aiming with our multiplayer to provide the perfectly secure, cheat free MMO multiplayer experience. The idea here is that you can play Torchlight with your friends, and you can modify that if you want to make the game with your friends all the better.”

That said, they could get some Zyel up in there!

For the nerds

Penny Arcade and some various others have actually recorded (and presumably took the time to edit) sessions of their D&D playing to offer up on wizards.com as podcasts.  I have listened to about 10 minutes of one and it’s exactly what you’d imagine– cracking jokes that only the people sitting around the table will understand, and then beating these jokes to death over the span of time– with a little gaming thrown in for good measure.  Here is the link. I’m not sure what to think of this– it seems like something you’d want to bash your head in with a rock rather than sit through, but I figured this is a chance for my wife to listen to Will Wheaton play D&D for all that’s worth.

Interview about the Ravenloft

ravenloft STUFF
Look at all the shit you get in the box!

A rather bland, but telling interview about the upcoming D&D board game series.  I really do not believe the R&D story about just ‘wanting to do it.’   I think it came down to marketing saying “we must compete with Descent.”  Regardless, I’m stoked these are coming out as the last good D&D-Heroscapesque board game released in the USA was…never?