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.

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?

Torchlight MMO info of note

“I will never, ever buy a microtransaction item,” he reassures. “I’m that kind of player. And the game has to be enjoyable for me, too. We don’t want our monetisation stuff to offer ways to skip the game because the game is boring.”

And another one

As a follow up to last week’s post on the old school cRPG’s, Spiderweb Software has announced yet another title in their growing line of Ultimaesque RPG’s: Avadon:The Black Fortress.  Though the creator make a big deal of not wasting a lot of time on new graphics, the screenshots from this one look a good deal better than their predecessors.   Again, given the fact I have about 45 minutes per day to devote to playing any sort of game, and can’t even get through my borrowed copy of  such proletariat gruel as Dragon Age Origins, it will be decades before I am able to play, much less review any of these games, so again, I lean heavily on my single reader, who is also a contributor, to pen a review of this when it comes out, in the fullness of time.

Ye olde school cRPG's anew

While I vehemently disagree with the pen and paper RPG resurgence these days that focuses on using antiquated and outdated rule sets from the 1970’s as if they were even mildly comprehensible, some of the best Computer RPG games came from the mid to late 1990’s when the technological constraints allowed developers and artists to get into a 2d groove before everything had to be 3D with explosions to sell to the public.  Two companies (that I know of) are still pushing these types of games out and while I’ve just touched on the demos of each, I found them far better than the “how could I have lost interest if it’s supposed to be so awesome” Dragon Age.

The first company is Basilisk Games, creators of the oddly named Eschalon and Eschalon 2 and who’s mission statement is: Our mission is to produce compelling old-school computer role-playing games for gamers who still rememberwhat great computer RPGs used to be about…

The second is Spiderweb Software, creators of both the Avernum and Geneforge series.  Being founded in 1994– this is a company that simply never stopped making the 2D cRPGs.

Since my single reader of this blog has a bit more time than I do for gaming, get going and get me a review to post!

Finally a D&D board game

4th Edition D&D is really a board game. It has a lot more in common with Descent, Warhammer Quest, Heroquest and the like than say, Paranoia or Vampire the Masquerade.  That said, 4th edition is quite a bit closer to the original D&D games from back in the day: i.e.: extremely combat with miniatures focused.    With the release of 4th edition, I was shocked that the ‘starter’ set was a few books and some chits and dice in a box rather than a massive box filled with miniatures (prepaints or not) and lots of hard cardboard dungeon tiles a la the British Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Board game (only available in England).  That starter set would have been cooking with swamp gas.

Well now Wizards is finally getting on the warhorse and is planning to release Castle Ravenloft D&D Board Game and guess what it looks like? Descent!

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


Being crushed by my enemies…

Being driven before them…

and letting them hear the lamentation of my women!

That’s the story of my first campaign run through Mount and Blade : Warbands.  Being a seasoned veteran of the old version of the game I feel I was slightly overconfident and went into some siege battles that decimated my miniscule warband– then I wandered into three armies of Swadians who had their way with the rest– what’s more, while running away (all alone) I ran into another full army who attacked and had their way with my lonesome self.  I took down 15 or so before, yet again, being captured, probably raped and pillaged.  Though you don’t lose all your good/goods/weapons,  there is a random roll and I lost my elite tempered sabre, about 2K worth of flax, and, of course, all of my followers are locked up in some castle jail somewhere.  A desolate place to be in the game– but who can stop playing even after constant and massive set backs?  That’s the beauty of the game: you and your fellow ‘lords’ are effectively immortal– you just keep going.  Raise another army, train them, go on some trading runs and then you’re back in the field after an hour or so destroying the Swadian masses.

For those that don’t have it yet, if you have the old game and just want to play the single player campaign: wait until you can get Warbands for cheap.  It’s really just an incremental update rather than a new version of the game for single player, which I am fine with as it’s a fantastic indy game.  Sure you can get married and learn some poems (!?) but that’s really not enough to warrant a purchase unless you are dying to get some multi player in.  However, if you have been waiting for multiplayer all these years– immediately go out and spend the cash as that’s where this version shines.