Saturday, August 18, 2018

Medulla Conquered at Long Last: Thanks Cat Club!

You know what's amazing?  People . . . uh, gamer people . . . uh, famous gamer people like THEE Blaze Lifehammer and THEE Tara Dawnbreaker and THEE Marcus River.

Just look at this team. We're gonna do great!

That's right! That's us standing tall in Sepidious after a successful run at Medulla that was streamed last night on Tara's Twitch Channel. Tara was kind enough to also put up a YouTube highlight of the run as well:



I couldn't be happier with how smoothly this thing ran. These guys have this down so good it was absolutely the best time I've had in Wizard101 in a long time. Big ups to the Big Names in Wizard101! They've totally earned their reputations. Quality peeps.

As part of the benefit of working here, KingsIsle employees get a stipend of Crowns to spend each month, so I took advantage of that and blew all my KI Employee Crowns on the second chance chest at the end and ended up with a full set of Cabalist gear . . . banner and all. :)

Oooo! glowing green eye of doom!

Looks pretty cool, but I think I'm going to need to stitch that to my traditional Friendly Necromancer outfit because, yo, that's my jam.  The Friendly Necromancer needs to *look* like the Friendly Necromancer . . . um, I'll just need to wait until I get my Crowns stipend again. *whistles*

Something I don't need to stitch is this adorable Tara Dawnbreaker MERCH!

Adorable! amirite?

I do need to wash it though. ;) (pulled that out of the laundry bin for the pic -- still need to get out that new shirt vinegar smell)

Happy Dueling!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Animal Cove has arrived: Friend me!

It's here! It's finally here!


We've been working on this game for a long time, and I've had my hand in its development for quite some time. This is the first game I've ever had my name mentioned in the credits three times: once for Marketing, once for Writing, and once for Design. So what does that mean? Here's a quick laundry list for my involvement to date:

  • Initial Social Media setup and posts during early beta
  • Early responses to initial app store reviews and our beta forums
  • Sending pre-release gifts to players through the in-game inbox
  • News announcements on KI Live from Soft Launch until now
  • Working with the "early" Writing team up through the Park Entrance
  • Working with the "late" Design team creating Animal Cove levels (my first starts on level 151 and then they're scattered throughout the rest of the game)

Because of Animal Cove, I now have my current job, and I'm getting a chance to get my feet wet with Unity! Woohoo! I couldn't be happier that it's out now on the app stores, and best yet . . . It's been FEATURED in both the iOS and Android app stores. That's never happened for a KingsIsle mobile game before!  I couldn't be happier. Someone reported to me yesterday that we had hit the Number One Trending spot for casual games. YES!

The first thing you need to know, is where to download it. It's a mobile game, so download from here:
-iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/animal-cove-match-3-adventure/id1217914031?mt=8
-Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.KingsIsle.RES&hl=en_US

The second thing you need to know is how to make friends.  You can find out how to do this on this Facebook post, and here's the graphic that details how to do it.


Third, Add me as a friend!  I'm "DeathUnicorn" in game . . . 'cause you know . . . death unicorns win . . . duh . . .


Fourth, Vanessa Mythdust has already been writing up some stellar break downs of the story. If you're the kind that likes to read ahead, follow this link for some great reads.

The fifth thing you need to know is that we are currently making more levels, when you hit level 300, don't worry . . . more are on the way.  After you finish, just log in daily and keep collecting your powerups so that when those new levels are released, you'll be ready to go.

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Let me know if you have any questions about the game!  I'll be happy to answer what I can (leave your questions in the comments).

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hello, old friend!

I haven't posted on the Friendly Necromancer for quite some time, so I thought "Why not just say hello and see who's out there and willing to read along if I blog a little?" Let's chat!

The big news for me of course is that I have a new job at KingsIsle! I announced my departure from being a Community Manager on the forums and on KI Live. Now I'm taking a new direction in my professional life, and it's one that probably seems a bit unexpected from those who mostly see me as a "communicator." It's probably more expected from those who see me as a creative person. If you don't know me, I love to be creative, whether it's making music, or writing blogs, or crafting poetry, or what-have-you, I love to create THINGS.

No need for me to reflect too much, but some of my best times at KingsIsle were when I was a brand new community manager for Pirate101. I loved that position and what I was able to do with a new community. As all things do, that position changed and grew to where I was not only doing work on the Pirate101 community, but many other things as well. (NOTE: Ask me in six years how my Designer job has evolved from now.)

Being a Community Manager is pretty intense, and I don't think those who haven't been a CM can really know what it's like. Even describing it to someone, it always sounds a bit strange. Ultimately, you're a gatekeeper, a town crier, an advocate, a marketer, and a "fun committee" (and more!) combined into one person. Every day brings a new challenge.

It's super cool my company has allowed me to shift into a new role so I can grow and learn: and that I am! This is all good stuff.

~~

Some other cool things have been happening too! Like this amazing picture that Dearly Doodles made for me:

IT'S A ME! FRIENDLYO!

And, as to be expected, I've been playing a lot of games (outside of the ones I play all day for work) like Neverwinter . . .

Currently lost somewhere in the Jungles of Chult.

. . . and Overwatch.



I'm a #dumbfist wanna be (but mostly play Reinhardt) main

I've got a tentative date of "sometime this week" to also finish up the Medulla fight in Wizard101 with Blaze and Tara, so who knows . . . I may even have some more Wizard101 gameplay to share in the future!

Anyway, I just wanted to get this first, uncomfortable, and long overdue post out of the way. Hopefully I can post a bit more again soon, and maybe even try my hand at Twitch streaming again. (I don't know if you happened to catch my marathon run of the game Overgrowth, but it's three and a half hours of bad voice over and animal on animal violence. GOOD TIMES! I want to do that kind of stuff again!)

Let me know what you'd like to hear more about here on The Friendly Necromancer. It's been a long, strange road . . . hasn't it? So what's been going on with you? (That's a request for comments, yo.) 

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stingite . . . and the State of His Gaming Part 4 -- The Kitchen Sink

So this post really serves as nothing more than a summary of everything that wasn't captured in posts 1, 2, or 3.

Lesseee . . . what's left.

1- Wizard101 -- well well well, if it isn't the game that started it all here on The Friendly Necromancer. I'm going to be honest. Lately all I've been doing is logging on to do my various jobs in game and do a little Monstrology . . . although I really would like to keep my Wizard City to Polaris adventures going with Morgrim.

we left on Episode 26 . . . that was back in January . . . WOW!



I never got a lot of feedback about that series, but there were a few kind comments here or there from people who enjoyed the series. Thanks to you all!

This week looks to be the week we launch our Test Realm to the Live Realm, so . . . hold on to your PvP gear and let's DO THIS THING!

2- Pirate101 -- well well well, if it isn't the game that got me into the biz. I've been enjoying reminiscing back in Cool Ranch lately. My apologies to those of you who don't really enjoy the Cool Ranch part of Pirate101, but it's one of my favorites these days.

If I could again find the time (it's in short supply these days), I wouldn't mind heading back to Twitch to play through more of Pirate101 with Virtuous Vanessa.

I loved having Pet Battles with her:

Watch live video from Stingite on www.twitch.tv


3- Ark, Survival Evolved -- Uber Wife downloaded this and started playing it the other day, so I gave it a go for about 30 minutes.  Not a bad game at all!  At some point I'd like to explore that a bit more, but honestly . . . I kind of like the 16-bit Minecraft survival game a bit more . . . call me crazy.

4- The Switch!  We have one!  What the heck am I doing not playing that thing 24-7?  AGAIN, not enough hours in the day.  I would like to go back and give Zelda a more dedicated play through. I watched my kids beat the game, and they had a blast with it.  It's dad's turn now.

5- Rocket League!  Ok, so . . . I got really bummed out about Rocket League the other day. The reason why?  I can't explain it, but my aim is terribly off in that game lately.  To make matters worse, I'm ranked a Veteran now, so I'm getting matched with really good people and if my aim is off, I look like a complete doofus.  If I could rank reset for free, I would, but that wouldn't be very fair to the rookies . . . it's just . . . what is up with my aim???

Anyway . . . this video of Morgrim and myself playing Rocket League is hilarious.



6- Elder Scrolls Online -- I was actually set to play this game with my friend, Andrew before I got sucked back in to Everquest.  WHY EVERQUEST, WHY?!  We managed to sync up our play times a couple times, but group play was a stuggle for us at best.  Sorry, Andrew.  I may come back to this if . . . I find the time. (this is definitely a reoccuring theme this post, isn't it?)

7- DC Universe Online -- NO!  Just no.  I refuse to open that game again. I've spent far too much of my gaming life playing this game. (just between us though, it's still loaded on my PC, and I do get tempted to log on just to say hello to my friends -- even if my stomach instantly turns the moment I log on.)

8- Magicka -- I was convinced to give this one a go by Morgrim, so I bought it for $2 and played the first few chapters.  Pretty fun actually!  I can see how this would be a good time in multiplayer. I'd like to play it again . . . um . . . if I find the time. (It feels silly typing it again.)

9- Dubwars -- what?  It's loaded on my PC but I haven't played it for like forever.

10- Guild Wars 2 -- what? Oh yeah . . . I kind of killed myself playing that game last year, and now I can't bring myself to log on.  Sorry.

11- classic gaming -- You know what I want to do if I ever find the time?  I'd like to have a party where I line up a couple tables, bring out my old gaming systems and invite my buddies to come play classic games with me!  Put that one on my bucket list.

. . . and that's about all I have the time or inclination to write about this morning.  whew . . . that was a nice 20 minute brain dump.

Thanks for reading and Happy Dueling!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Stingite . . . and the State of His Gaming: Part 3 -- Unplugged Gaming

A lot of fun can be had around the table, and I'd say that lately that's where I've been having the MOST fun. Let's take a looksy:

1- Dungeons and Frickin' Dragons -- Yup!  I'm actively participating in four D&D games lately.

The Barrow Maze -- Ben Durbin (aka Ratbeard for those who know him from the Pirate101 forums) has been DM'ing a group of people through a super unforgiving module where you start out as level 0 peasants and hopefully grow to be powerful heroes -- but don't get too cocky or you'll end up dead. Leveling is strictly based on gold acquisition and experience gains. I joined in a little late . . . late enough to watch a couple level 5 characters die before my level 0 characters even made 1st level.  let's just say there's an undead knight and his army that we freed upon the world. whoops.






Out of the Abyss -- Sam Johnson (aka Blind Mew for those who know him from the Pirate101 forums) has been DM'ing a group of us over lunch time 1 or 2 times a week for the past year, and we're finally nearing the end of the Out of the Abyss campaign.  I play a Rogue with a heart of gold. :)  We all leveled up to sixth level yesterday and defeated the Pudding King in Blingdenstone.  Good times.  Give us 2-3 weeks and we may make it to the surface and out of the Underdark! It's been a riot, and some day I'll have to tell more about our adventures we had here.  By the way, having a master storyteller like Sam be your DM . . . it's a choice experience.





Althea and Company -- This is Jeff Toney's game where he DMs for his daughter, two of my kids, and me . . . I play a bard and for the most part I just try to keep people alive with healing word. ;)  I dedicated an entire blog to our fun and adventures, but I just didn't have the time to keep up with it. This is straight up the Lost Mines of Phandelver. Our party hit level 5 and we're about to move on to things more . . . giant related. *squeeee*







The Saviors -- This is my game. I'm DM'ing the same group as above only with the addition of Uber Wife.  I have a game to DM for all of them on Sunday, and I feel woefully unprepared.  I'm hoping to get some time on Saturday to figure out how to approach this.  This troop is now around the level 3 range, and I've been mostly running the one-shots of M.T. Black and I even wrote a campaign of my own to get them from level 2 to 3.




2- Boss Monster! Every time we go to our local bookstore, my son Miles would pick up the Boss Monster game box and really want to get it.  He likes the retro 16-bit look to the cover, and it just sounded fun to him. Luckily for me, Jeff Toney had a copy of the card game in his car. (You gotta understand, Jeff Toney's trunk is always filled with a few games.) I borrowed it and played it with my family, and we had a great time!  It's a bit of a toss up on games like these and my family is a bit burnt from playing Munchkin, which my family really wants to like but surprisingly really doesn't like. I don't know what it is about that game . . . Anyway, Boss Monster was a hit, so I purchased the game for myself and it's in our family rotation of games now.




3- Near and Far. Jeff Toney purchased this game from a kick starter and it's a sister game to Above and Below, which is easier to find at the moment.  Jeff, myself, and Karl Holbert from work all played this over a couple of lunches about a month ago and it was awesome!  This is one I want to get and play with my family.  










And that pretty much wraps up my unplugged gaming news. I'll have to think about writing a Part 4 to this series . . . it'd be about everything else, like console gaming and other PC games outside of Everquest.  I'll put some thought to it. :)

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Stingite . . . and the State of His Gaming: Part 2 -- Mobile

Just continuing here with my catch up posts, let me take a quick post to talk about mobile games and me. 

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1- I've obviously been playing EverClicker . . . like a lot, but not as much as 264 other people. ;)


If you didn't get a chance to catch KingsIsle's EverClicker launch video, then here you go:


~~
2- AlphaCat! Yup. It's installed on my phone and I still hit up Invasions when I can.  I've given up on the dream of owning all the Epic critters and instead just log on to collect my daily reward (trying to get more of those coins), grab hearts, check the daily missions, and see what's up with invasions.

If I have time, I'll also jump into 4 random zones just to see if there's a set of invasion plans on a bad guy.  If not, I'll typically just leave the map unless the objective looks super easy to win.

Leave map?  Yeah I don't know if many people know you can launch a map and then immediately leave it by clicking the gear wheel in the top right hand corner and then the "leave map" button in the bottom right hand corner.  If all I'm doing is checking for invasion plans, this really speeds things up.


~~
3- Fire Emblem Heroes?  Nope.  I finally had enough and uninstalled it.  Sure, they added a really cool new mode where it benefited you to having a deeper team of heroes, but . . . meh . . . after a few rounds of summoning nothing but bronze and silver heroes, I kind of just checked out.  Sorry Fire Emblem heroes . . . you were fun in your time!


~~
4- Miitomo?  Yup. I still have it installed.  It's not really something I'd say I was "playing" so much these days.  I mean, I'll log on, collect my candy drop, spend tickets on clothes, answer 3 questions a day, and . . . oh wait . . . ok, I guess I'm still playing Miitomo . . .


I wish I could find a batch of supportive friends that were fun to talk to.  When I first started playing Miitomo it was like that. There was a couple from Wyoming that was great. There was a guy who moved to Canada with his girlfriend who really had a Girahim fascination, Avery is always amazing to talk to, and my kids were even playing . . .. mmmmm . . . now I just don't know if I have that awesome "group of mii people" vibe going anymore.

~~
5- Rise & Destroy?  Unfortunately I just don't have the memory space on my phone to have all those games installed. I kind of wish I would have had the time and energy to do a full walk through of Rise & Destroy back in the day.  There's part of me that would like to go back and do that just for funsies.  Would you want to see that? Let me know!

~~
And that's all I got for Mobile Games today.  If you've got a suggestion for a great game that you're playing atm, let me know.  I've been thinking about re-downloading Pokemon Go since they've had a few updates, but that hasn't really happened yet.

I do have a backlog of mobile games I've played and never talked about on this blog that might be fun:
  • Contest of Champions
  • Bardbarian
  • Draw Your Game
  • Etc.
It'd be something to talk about at least. lol.

Tomorrow I'll again be continuing my "State of His Gaming" series.  See you then.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stingite . . . and the State of His Gaming: Part 1 -- Everquest

About two months ago I started a blog post that I never finished, and it said this:

"Everquest . . . yes Everquest . . . has me firmly held by the hand . . . and I'm completely in love with it all over again. I'm in a new guild. I'm two-boxing. I'm grinding for xp.

Someone send help.

I love it, it's weird graphics, and GOSH DANGIT THIS GAME IS HARD. I don't even want to talk about the number of times I've died.  It's literally been two steps forward, one step back for the majority of the time."

I don't know what happened to that blog post. Maybe it was just the time wasn't right.  Maybe it said too much, or maybe I just wasn't confident enough that I was really ALL IN on Everquest again.

Let me cut the suspense short -- I'm not really playing Everquest right now and haven't logged on for a month.  That said I did grab 90 or so screenshots from my time playing.  Here are a few of the highlights:

1- This screenshot comes from a new Heroic Instance (well "new to me") where you help out all of bixie-kind with various problems. I was clearing out spiders, ousting spys, and even jumping into war-zone trenches for these dudes. I was soloing or "moloing" (that's soloing with the help of a mercenary) this instance and dying . .  a lot. I later found out that you really should group up to do these instances. I'm not much of a grouper, so . . .


~~
2- Here I am in a dangerously safe tunnel in a zone called . . . I believe . . . The Foundation? Yup. The Foundation. A lot of my first five levels beyond the Heroic Character stages was done here because they now have these great experience quests that are level banded. I honestly don't know why Daybreak doesn't make these quests repeatable for a premium currency price like they do in DC Universe Online. I would have shelled out a lot of money. (This is my character's werewolf form btw and sporting my guild tag.)


~~
3- I purchased a "hoard pack" like item that gives you a random roll on loot. You think wiz packs are bad? You only get two items for about 4 times the price. Anyway, I got a pretty weird looking hand to hand weapon, so I snapped a picture of me looking strong in the guild hall.


~~
4- I snapped this picture in a zone I can't even remember the name of. *shrug* There were sea turtles under the water I needed to hunt for a quest, and you could walk on the floating islands and bridges above. I mainly just loved the alien blue ocean here.  Strangely pretty.


~~
5- There's a zone called "Fear Itself" that is a remake of an old classic Everquest zone. In fact, that seems to be how they mostly operate here 20 years later.  Step one - take an old zone that's pretty much immortalized. Step two -- slightly redo it. Different skybox. A few different landscape touches. done. Step three -- fill it with super insane mobs and bosses. Step four -- itemize those with up to date drops. Step five -- write a few new collection and hunting quests. Step six -- profit. (ok ok . . . there may be just a bit more to it than that.)

In this shot I was giggling over the fact that Baron Bigdeal was trying to pick up on an undead turmoil toad.  Hey baby . . . wanna come back to my lily pad?


~~
6- So, to make some money -- and you WILL need money. I would head over to an oldy but a goody -- I remember raiding this area with a guild ten years ago. There were a few drops here that people really wanted to buy -- did I say people? I meant CRAFTERS. Crafters in Everquest are only kind-of people. I believe they're demi-gods of infinite patience and bottomless bank accounts. Anyway, nothing quite like a giant fountain of blood in a land infested with Vampires. *click* That's a screenshot moment!


~~
7- Oh look, I'm back in the "Fear Itself" zone here . . . It was Gorgonrific. Soon after taking this shot I was pretty much done with the zone, which was sad . . . it was probably one of my favorite places to die.


~~
8- I'm a lizard Luke riding my lizard Taun-Taun on Hoth! Naahhhhh . . . this was again a redone old zone. I can't even remember what it was called, but it was over in the old "Scars of Velious" area. Again, a redone classic zone made new again. There were giant wooly mammoths here that were scaled up to around 90th something level. Good times.


~~
9- This may be what killed Everquest for me . . . or a possibly it was just a sign of my interest in Everquest dying again. I got bored around level 96 (there's 105 levels) and went back to do something super pointless -- level up "monster forms."  At some point Everquest released an expansion where you could level up your character as a low level monster -- you work your way through a class of monsters. The only problem is they never updated the levels on them. There's no badges associated with leveling them . . . and while a neat different way of visualizing your character . . . it's ultimately un-rewarding.

I WANTED these monster-forms to be something cool so badly when they were first released. I even wrote up some weird role-playing event about them at the time. I'm so drawn to wanting to play as the monster, but it just didn't click in Everquest, and Sony (and now Daybreak) stopped spending time and money on developing the system (understandably so). So, here I am as a wandering eye . . . one of the last things I ever did in my recent addiction to Everquest. Griding to unlock forms for this wasn't fun. bye.


~~
That's about all I have time to write this morning, so I'm going to call it here. Part 2 and maybe Part 3 coming soon.

Thanks to my new Everquest guild for being super cool. Thanks to Daybreak for keeping this game alive and running for 20 years. I may be back again in the future, but for now . . . I'm OUT.  It was a fun couple of months though for sure. :)

Happy Dueling