The Evil Within – #SebSelfie Screamshot Sweeps
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 2:45 pm
In our new sweepstakes, celebrate The Evil Within’s craziest moments… with a selfie! Detective Sebastian Castellanos has a knack for getting into close encounters of the scary kind. With that in mind, we’re looking for your best Sebastian “selfie” moment in The Evil Within for our #SebSelfie Sweepstakes. All you need to do to is […]


Game Update 3.0 Class Changes: Gunslinger + Sniper
Posted by Bwblog | Star Wars: The Old Republic [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 11:46 am
It's the final week of Discipline blogs. Snipers and Gunslingers, here are some of the changes you'll see in Game Update 3.0.


Dungeons & Dragons edition 4.5
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 5:01 am
Disclaimer: The title is a joke and a deliberate exaggeration.

My current 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign is scheduled to end soon, after running for 3 years. I am planning on a big, new campaign which will also be basically 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, with some modifications from 5th edition, which is why I call it my 4.5E campaign. But maybe we might first run a few session of the 5E starter box, just to give everybody the chance of an informed view of which edition is most suitable for our group.

A real D&D 4.5 taking a 50-50 mix of the best of the two editions in my opinion isn't possible. 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons and 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons are largely incompatible where combat and stats are concerned. 4th edition has more levels, and your various numbers (e.g. attack and defense stats) go up by a lot. From level 1 to max level in 4E your attack goes up by AT LEAST +15, which is the "half your level" bonus, and not counting stat increases and the assumption that you'll wield magic weapons. The equivalent increase in attack for 5E is only +6; That is deliberate, a concept called "bounded accuracy", and makes it easier to use for example monsters over a wider range of levels. An orc in 5E doesn't become trivial just because you gained 3 levels. So 4E and 5E have an incompatibility based on very simple math, and you can't easily use combat rules or monsters or magic items from one system in the other. There is no such thing as a compromise, a real 4.5 edition which would be somewhere half way between the two. The math just doesn't allow it. Given this incompatibility, I believe that my group much prefers the more tactical combat of 4th edition over the somewhat more random combat of 5E, and so if I have to choose one combat system of the two, I believe that 4th edition for this specific group is the better choice.

That doesn't make 5E a bad system, and in fact it probably is a better system for new players. But one of the disadvantages of 4E is that it is hard to learn (and consequently slow if you haven't learned it well), and my group is already past that stage, so this isn't much of a problem for us any more. That brings me to another disadvantage of 4th edition, which is on the role-playing side. 4E rules are very focused on what your character does in tactical combat, and aren' all that explicit on the role-playing aspects between encounters. That is most visible in character creation, where a 4E character is a basically just a bunch of stats and powers, while a 5E character is far more fleshed out from the personality side.

Fortunately role-playing isn't based on math. Which makes the 5E personality creation system compatible with 4th edition. What I jokingly call D&D 4.5 thus is 4E with characters created using a modified 5E personality traits system. And I'm throwing in a bit of 13th Age in for good measure.

In 5th edition a character has personality traits, bonds, ideals, and flaws. For my system I'm taking the bonds, ideals, and flaws, and replace the generic 5E personality traits by 13th Age's "one unique thing". I am also using a system of backgrounds which will be a mix of 4E "themes" and 5E "backgrounds". And finally I am going to use the inspiration rules from 5E, giving players a bonus roll reward for good role-playing of their personality.

The "one unique thing" is a concept where you ask each player to come up with something which is more or less unique to them. That can range from classical fantasy "I'm the lost heir to the throne of XXX" to weird stuff like "I have a clockwork heart". The player can propose pretty much anything, but it is up to the DM to translate that into rules. For example if a player tried "I am invincible" as his unique thing, I would rule that he *believes* himself to be invincible, without actually having any immunity to damage. The one unique thing should add a lot of flavor to a character, but not really change his power level. I like this one unique thing concept more than I like the more generic personality traits of 5E (example from the starter set: "My flattery makes those I talk to feel wonderful and important. Also, I don't like to get dirty, and I won't be caught dead in unsuitable accommodations.").

For bonds I am slightly expanding the concept from what is described in the 5E rulebooks. It remains a description of what organization the character has a bond to, for example like the "houses" in Game of Thrones, or a location like a home town. But in the campaign I want to play there will also be moments where the players have to talk to connections, people they know, people who owe them a favor or whom their owe a favor. So I'm adding those connections to the bonds category, and that is something that can grow over the campaign.

The ideals and flaws concept I'm taking straight from the 5E rules. What does the character believe in? Where is he vulnerable or at least not perfect. The flaws are the one personality aspect which is the most likely to be rewarded with an inspiration bonus if role-played, because it doesn't come easy to everybody to play a flawed character. The inspiration rule is also straight from 5E: You can only have one inspiration bonus, and can't gain another until you used the one you have. Using the bonus means *in advance* of an important dice roll saying that you want to use your inspiration, and then roll two dice instead of one and take the better roll.

My planned "4.5E" campaign will be one with a big campaign story. That necessitates a certain amount of willingness by the players to follow the given story. But obviously I don't want to turn that into some sort of cinema in which the players are spectators. By encouraging them to freely choose different aspects of the personality of their characters I hope to get lots of interesting personal side stories, as well as adventure hooks. At least that's the theory, I'll have to see how that eventually works out.
Tobold's Blog



Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 11/25/2014
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 9:54 pm

WIP POST

*Poro Icons determine the look of your poros in the new game mode!

Champion Ability Changes

Fiddlesticks

  • Terrify [Q] - Now applies Dread (his passive)

Kennen

  • Electrical Surge [W] - Now also surges at targets affected by Slicing Maelstrom
  • Slicing Maelstrom [R] - Now lasts 6/10/15 seconds and deals damage every .25 seconds. It can hit each champion up to 3 times but no more than once every .5 seconds.

Item Changes

Abyssal Scepter

  • Price raised to 730 (previously 580)

Enchantment: Devourer

  • Magic Damage on hit lowered to 25 (down from 40)

Face of the Mountain

  • Execute minimum changed to 400 (up from 200)

Targon's Bracer

  • Execute minimum changed to 240 (up from 200)

Overlord's Bloodmail

  • Health restore raised to 300 (up from 200)

Skirmisher's Sabre

  • True damage bonus now lasts only 3 seconds (changed from 6)

New Items

Diet Poro-Snax

Item Cost: 0

All the flavor of regular Poro-Snax, without the calories! Keeps your Poro happy AND healthy.

Click to Consume: Gives your Poros a delicious healthy treat.

Lightning Rod

Vanguard

 




Explore Longform with Writing 201
Posted by WordPress.com News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 10:00 am
Explore longform writing in our newest Blogging U. course, Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post. The fun starts Monday, December 1 -- learn more and register today!


Storytime w/ @dcdeacon
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 5:59 pm
Previously streamed live on Twitch.TV, we’ve archived Pete Hines’ PAX Aus Storytime Keynote on our official YouTube channel. Enjoy!


The Terror Beneath, ‘Legend of the Poro King’ Featured Gamemode
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 5:46 pm

New Featured Gamemode Announced!

Legend of the Poro King

More info in the post


The Terror Beneath

NOTE: On official LoL page, it's listed under tag "Champion Preview"

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Traders whisper stories of a beast below Shurima’s sands. They say she stalks the caravans that dare cross her domain. They say she hunts those that run, and kills those that fight. But what if the stories aren’t simple stories? What if they’re true?




GDCNext: Indie Grassroots Marketing video
Posted by Raph's Website [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 4:21 pm
Game talk
At GDCnext I moderated a panel with Zach Gage, Rami Ismail, and Adam Saltsman on indie marketing. It was a fun session, made more so by the fact that they all walked into the room with one minute to spare before the session started (I was about to start pulling dev’s from the audience into [...]


The Terror Beneath
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 3:48 pm

The Terror Beneath

NOTE: On official LoL page, it's listed under tag "Champion Preview"

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Traders whisper stories of a beast below Shurima’s sands. They say she stalks the caravans that dare cross her domain. They say she hunts those that run, and kills those that fight. But what if the stories aren’t simple stories? What if they’re true?




Free Champion Rotation
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 12:57 pm

This week's free champion rotation has been posted. These champions will become free to play starting tomorrow November 25th.




ArcheAge - Future is Less Bright
Posted by Home of my personas Saylah and Alysianah [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 11:31 am
A series of very unfortunate events have caused a slow decline in the ArcheAge population. A certain amount of attrition is to be expected in any MMO. However, if what people say and post on forums and Reddit are to be believed, many are fed up with the constant stream of hacks and exploits coming to light in the NA release. Apparently, none of this is new news for AA that has been out in Korea for almost 3 years and in Russia for 2 years. If that’s the case, then I have to wonder at the due diligence on Trion’s part in signing on as the NA publisher with this many holes in the code base.


November 24 - November 30
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 10:45 am

Don't get too excited by the long release list this week, it's may be wide but it's about as deep as a pothole. This is what I always think of as "stocking stuffer" week, time where companies shovel out a great volume of stuff to stock store shelves both real and virtual.

That might not be a bad thing, though. Word on the street has it that there's a Steam Sale just a few days away. If true, that's going to get my attention, as there's a number of things from the past year that I would normally have picked up, but that I waited exactly for a steam sale to cover.

But, back to the week at hand. I'm giving my nod to Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. I, admittedly, know absolutely nothing about this game, but the original Geometry Wars was the first Xbox Live Arcade game I owned and I played it obsessively for weeks. A week after I picked up the game I bought my first HD television, and I stared at the colors on screen as though I'd had a significant dose of consciousness altering medicines.

For nostalgia reasons alone, Geometry Wars 3 gets my nod for Game of the Week.

read more




In The Process of Trying to Find a More Comment-Friendly Theme
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 1:59 am
I’ve changed the theme to be more readable than the previous, particularly in the reply chains.  I’m still looking for potentially better layouts, particularly for comment threads.  If you have feedback, or better ideas on WordPress templates (keep in mind, … Continue reading


Innovation through core-shell design
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 1:54 am
I have in the past repeatedly talked about my general model for modern games: A core gameplay that is frequently repeated (e.g. combat), with a shell of other activities (e.g. quests, story) binding those core gameplay elements together. One of the interesting things of this model is that if you look at many different games, you'll notice that the core and the shell are not very strongly connected; you can switch out just one of them to get to a new game, while keeping the other identical. One example would be MMORPGs which generally work like World of Warcraft, but which substituted the WoW core combat by some sort of action combat.

That can lead to quite innovative games if you look far beyond typical game elements for a specific genre, and substitute either the core or the shell of a game by something from a very different genre. This weekend I played Rollers of the Realm, a game with a traditional fantasy shell in which the core combat gameplay has been replaced by a pinball game: Your characters are pinballs of different sizes and attributes. Your healer heals the flippers by bumping into mana, your knight damages enemies by bumping into them, your rogue deals more damage if he bumps into the enemy from behind, and so on. It is not a very huge game, I've completed it in 10 hours, but as it only costs 8 Euros ($10?) that is quite okay. At least it was a very new and unique gameplay experience, and we don't get very many of those any more these days.

Usually it is easier to take a game and replace the core gameplay. But some combinations of core and shell have become so traditional that switching to a different shell can also work. Another game I played this weekend is the somewhat mediocre Battle of Littledom, a fantasy game with core combat gameplay similar to the Final Fantasy series. But instead of a more traditional questing and character management shell, the devs used the shell gameplay from games like Puzzle & Dragons, where you collect characters, fuse them together to gain more levels, and evolve them into stronger characters. Puzzle & Dragons uses this shell with a core match-3 gameplay, but there are games that use the same shell for a trading card game (Elemental Kingdoms) core, or even a carnival coin dozer core (Dragon Coins).

I think there could be more innovative games with unusual combinations of already existing core and shell game elements. I'm still waiting for somebody to make my 10-year old Shandalar project come true, a MMORPG using trading cards for combat.
Tobold's Blog



Moving Slowly in Warlords of Draenor
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 November 2014, 1:00 pm
So here’s the thing.  Despite the last week being mostly talk about the expansion and such, I haven’t really been playing a lot more World of Warcraft. Part of that is because I was binging pretty hard on the game during the two weeks preceding the launch.  Such a sprint usually leads to some time […]


Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphired Launch Today
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 1:00 pm
The busy November continues as another launch I have been waiting for arrives.  Nintendo and Game Freak’s remakes of the Game Boy Advance titles Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are finally here. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are now available and, if Amazon keeps its word, a copy of each should be waiting for my […]


This is EVE 2014
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 November 2014, 1:00 pm
CCP has put out a new EVE Online trailer using voice coms from actual in-game operations.  The result gives you a sense of what the high points of the game are. (Direct link to video, or the uncensored version) EVE Online can be a boring game.  You can spend a long time with tedious mechanics […]


Computer Down
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 November 2014, 9:31 pm
After a morning of playing around in Draenor, I went off to do other things, leaving my computer sitting idle. I came back a while later to find it off and unable to power up.  I figured it was probably the power supply, as the whole thing had been making some odd, high pitched noises […]


Computer Down
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 November 2014, 9:31 pm
After a morning of playing around in Draenor, I went off to do other things, leaving my computer sitting idle. I came back a while later to find it off and unable to power up.  I figured it was probably the power supply, as the whole thing had been making some odd, high pitched noises […]


Guitar Hero Finally Gets a Bad Review
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 November 2014, 6:21 pm
This guy’s complaint: “Guitar Hero broke my knee!” We were neck in neck in points… I had to do something special. I needed STYLE points. I breathed deep, my rock


This is EVE 2014
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 November 2014, 1:00 pm
CCP has put out a new EVE Online trailer using voice coms from actual in-game operations.  The result gives you a sense of what the high points of the game are. (Direct link to video, or the uncensored version) EVE Online can be a boring game.  You can spend a long time with tedious mechanics […]



Huge VU Talk

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Hi.

How's it going?

Good. Good. Glad to hear it.

Anyway, we all know the deal with certain visual updates, mainly of the larger scale variety. The Sivir's, the Twitch's, the Garen's. Also, the biggun's like Sion.

Recently you may have noticed some more "smaller scale" VU's that the ChampUP team has been doing. Renekton, Singed and most recently Maokai.

Those last two types of projects are of interest because we didn't used to do them, but recently we've dug around and noticed that we can take some older champions that have relatively healthy rigs but replace models and even tighten/add animations. That's resulted in some "MTU's" which incorporate model and texture updates. While in the past we sort of worried that we'd be unable to keep up the pace that ChampUP wanted to burn at, we noticed a lot of opportunities in areas where we can get a lot of bang for the buck in, primarilly, the model/animation/VFX department without having to scrap an entire character.

SO! Onto my my questions.. Of course there's the BIG wish list. The VU's (or Gameplay & Visual Updates) that we're all frothing at the mouth to see someday. Champions like: Evelynn, Taric, Urgot, etc.




The new Molten Core is the first genuinely bad experience I've had this expansion
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 November 2014, 1:32 pm
I'm not saying this expansion is perfect, but overall I've had fun and there haven't been many things that I've pointed at and said "this thing is reducing my fun." And then I queued for the Molten Core raid.

I was immediately dropped into a trash pull in progress, and it was not going well. A bunch of bosses were dead already, which made it odd that they were fighting at the entrance. And chat, chat was filled with people yelling. All of it was wrong. Somehow they'd become convinced that AoE attacks cause lava spawns to spawn or clone. Or maybe that AoE attacks did too little damage, which is true, but the better way to phrase that is "focus fire". People spent the entire rest of the raid yelling about how AoE attacks are terrible.

I opted to entertain myself by chatting with someone who had been there in vanilla and understood the absurdity of the situation. I might have also claimed that AoE attacks make Onyxia deep breath more often. I had just as much evidence as anyone else in the raid.

It was a slow, bumbling process of 40 people slowly bumbling their way toward bosses, without any idea of how they worked. People kept yelling nonsense directions in raid chat.

Apparently they'd been there for hours. I was sick of it after a few minutes, but I figured I'd see it through to the end. I got a hat and a mount. Wee.

Then I did things that were fun, such as heroics and follower missions. I'm going to have a hard time picking my favorite heroic, but so far, Shadowmoon Burial Grounds is winning.



Friday Fan Art: It’s Wall Good
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 6:00 pm
Mayan-influenced Alduin’s Wall by Audrey We’ve rounded up some of the best artwork and cosplay we’ve seen throughout the week. There’s a bit of variety to satisfy all your gaming needs as we’ve seen incredible works from Skyrim, Morrowind, DOOM, and Fallout: New Vegas! You can pass along your favorite photos, inkworks, costumes, and customizations […]


The Big DING! Warlords Edition
Posted by MMO Gamer Chick [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 7:09 pm
It took some of my guildies a little less than 24 hours, and a lot more of my friends aren’t even anywhere close, but for me it took about eight days. Last night, a week after the release of World of Warcraft’s newest expansion Warlords of Draenor, I hit the new level cap of 100. […]


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