Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Recent Convert: Why I purchased Project Gorgon

These past few days I have been completely engrossed in Project: Gorgon. You know that scary feeling when you sense you really like a game and then slowly by slowly it starts eating away at all your time. yeah. I've got it bad recently.

I think it's partly because the demo does a good job of making you feel great leveling up those initial skills. So far I "maxed out" . . . or rather "demo maxxed out" the following skills to 15:
  • Unarmed 
    • Like martial arts . . . just swinging with your fists
  • Sword 
    • Like stabby stabby
  • Skinning 
    • After you kill things, you take their pelts
  • Shield 
    • Like bashy bashy
  • Pathology 
    • heh. After you kill something, you use an autopsy kit to analyze how it died
  • Mycology 
    • Gathering mushrooms
  • Foraging 
    • Picking up stuff from the ground
  • First Aid 
    • Using healing kits
  • Fire Magic 
    • Casting fireballs like a madman
  • Endurance 
    • Like taking a beating
  • Archery 
    • Like shooty shooty
  • Animal Handling 
    • taming a rat, naming it suzie, and somehow leveling to a 16 in this skill because of a hidden "bonus"?
  • Arthropod Anatomy 
    • . . . basically I killed a lot of spiders and looked at their guts

With all that said . . . I'm now ready to convert to paying player, which I think should be an entirely different experience . . . at least I hope.

At the end of the day, MMOs should be about the group and the guild. I mean, yes, soloing MMOs is something we all do, but I believe what we all hope ends up happening is that we fight a solid group of people that want to play with us so that we win together.

It should be about taking on tough dungeons and hard bosses with a bunch of new and interesting people, and that's what I expect to happen.

The reality here is that server population seems to be small and it seems to be a very solo friendly MMO.

I also suspect there is a leveling curve where the speedy experience you were gaining from 1-15 goes away, and now the game slows way down.

I'll let you know.

Some of the main selling points have been:

1- Oodles of skills and combinations of skills to play with. I love finding layers of complexity and this game seems to have that in spades. Want to play as a staff and shield character? You got it! And while you're holding your staff and shield, gear that is staff and shield centric will drop for you from enemies. Genius!

2- Quirky charm. I covered this in the last post I made about Project Gorgon, but this game has quirky charm in spades.

3- Good Danger Balance. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by enemies in the dungeons, but at the end of the demo . . . can I just say how happy I was to find firewall as an ability? It solves a lot of soloing problems. Also, I wasn't severely punished for dying. They hit a good balance. Imagine Everquest without any xp loss.

4- Nice people. There were guides and people actually chatting with me in the Demo channel. They were respectful, and I totally appreciated their help. I'm sure I'll run into jerks . . . as is the nature of all online games, but so far it's been pretty jerk free.

5- The price is right. That's 40 bucks well spent with no monthly fee. Thumbs up!

6- Demo Level cap at the right spot. I was given a solid sip of Project Gorgon in the Demo. I wasn't given access to all the classes and skills, and I want to play with those as well. In essence . . . decision time has come.

7- Nostalgia trip. Yeah. The graphics remind me a lot of Everquest. You know I have a lot of love for the Everquest. It's like I'm playing a new game with an old familiar skin.

See you in Eltibule! (Um . . . That's the paid area where I have 2 quests waiting to turn in)

Happy Dueling!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cragheart says, "Gloomhaven Good!"

If you've never played a game of Gloomhaven, yet know someone who shelled out the money for this beautiful game, do yourself a huge favor and get in on that good stuff! This game is absolutely amazing. It plays a bit like D&D the board/card game. Rich. Full. Years of fun in a box.

Now that the sales pitch is over, lemme catch you up on the Gloomhaven game that I'm a part of. I play a class known as the Cragheart. He's basically an earth elemental.

. . . and when I play Cragheart, I go ahead and role play him just a bit speech impaired, e.g., Cragheart always talks about himself in the third person. Cragheart talks in small sentences. Cragheart usually look out only for self and friends. Cragheart fun at parties! Cragheart hunt demons!

Every character you play in Gloomhaven has a life goal. My personal life goal is to slay one of every kind of demon, like so:

Once I complete that set of demons, then Cragheart will retire, the group gets some reputation, I unlock a new character class, and I then start a new character out at level one.

Our gang of four dads has been playing this game typically about three hours every other week, and we haven't really even scratched the surface of the game. I have slayed, however, 4 of my 6 demons. So there's that at least. Now to just get my hands on a Frost Demon and a Night Demon . . .

The game board and pieces are absolutely beautiful. It comes in a gigantic box that you almost have to buy a whole separate organization system for, just to keep it all straight. 

Every time I play this game, I can't help but think our sorry dad butts are not the intended target. It feels like this should be permanently set up in some college dudes dorm, and they play it every night while studying. Maybe playing the game that way you'd actually get done with your campaign by the end of the year?

Regardless. I can't recommend the game enough. If you ever get invited to play Gloomhaven, know what you're getting in to and embrace it because it's a great game that you should absolutely play if you're tuned in to the Dungeons and Dragons vibe.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Seek Objective: Best gosh darn skill in Project Gorgon?

In the comments to yesterday's posts, Bhagpus mentioned that he had never discovered the skill for orienting yourself to a goal in Project Gorgon (kind of like a quest arrow). To be honest, I wasn't ever paying attention good enough the first time it happened to know how it happened!

So, I went information hunting on the Googles because after deleting my first character, my new character didn't have this skill, and I've been seriously missing it; although, I am really getting to know these NPCs in Serbule after spending around 6 hours stumbling around here.

Anyway, after some poking around, I finally found the skill in question buried within the Foraging skill, which makes sense I guess. A lot of the early quests have you hunting for wood and berries and apples. A skill that helps point you toward those items would be great.

I had been super neglectful picking up apples along the way and so kind of just let my foraging skill sit by the wayside.  Big mistake. I also made a big discovery, sawing random wood in the wilds is not part of the "woodworking" or "carpentry" skill, it's considered . . . dun dun dun . . . foraging.

So I bought a saw from Therese in Serbule Keep for 75 gold and went to work! Gathering wood was netting a ton more Foraging experience than picking up random eggs or harvesting apples and the necessary level of 5 to unlock "Seek Objective" was mine!

You can see the ability "Seek Objective" in the top left hand corner of the screenshot above. You have to slot that on your action bar to the left side of the screen, highlight a quest in your quest log, and then see if it works. Some quests, it just doesn't work. Others, money!

Apparently this skill gets an upgrade when you hit 15th level in foraging. At that point the skill is called "Objective Orienteering" and puts a path down on the ground for you.

Looks like I have a lot of foraging to do!

Happy Dueling

Monday, September 9, 2019

Quirky like a Gorgon

So I decided to sit down and really give Project Gorgon another go after my first foray since posting about it during Blaugust and discovered more of its strange quirks, and there are plenty!

Initially I just wanted to make it to the quirky looking giant hand sticking out of the ground. spoilers . . . I made it there, and then I just didn't stop playing.

Yup! I got sucked into the world and I was running around town doing quests getting completely lost when the best thing happened. I somehow unlocked a button that worked like a quest arrow. You click it, and it spins you around in the direction of your next main quest objective. GAME CHANGING!

. . . and this is Project Gorgon . . . quirky . . . any normal game would just give you a quest arrow, but in this MMO, you have to stumble around enough until the game says . . . yeah, ok . . .you have no clue what you're doing so . . . here you go. Amazing.

Eventually I found a quest that took me deep into a quirky brain bug dungeon where I immediately got into trouble by pulling too many enemies at one time. I dove into my backpack mid-battle looking for any possible health potion. I clicked on a big red potion . . . and . . . bam. I'm suddenly a pig. At full health mind you, but I still manage to die. And when I come back to life, I'm still a pig.

Come to find out I drank a potion that permanently turns you into a pig.

. . . and this is Project Gorgon . . . quirky . . . digging deeper into what exactly happened there, apparently you can just play the game as a pig or a cow or a deer or probably other mundane things. To turn myself back into a regular player character I'd need to farm pigs for a long time to gain a rare drop that is an "un-pig potion." Crazy! 

Even crazier was that every NPC in the town was simply talking to me as if I was some crazy pig. I had to earn faction with them. When I talked in "Demo" chat, it came out in pig language.

. . . and this is Project Gorgon . . . quirky! So I embraced my inner pig and ran to a random dungeon. When I tried to enter it said the entrance was blocked and that I should find another way in, so I ran behind the portal and clicked on the doorway . . . and immediately got stuck inside geometry. I could have filed a ticket, but instead I just deleted the character and started over. Why not?

This time I hit newbie island LIKE A BOSS! I did the hidden objectives of blowing up the training dummy. I went into the lower levels of the dungeon there. I even fought a giant headed skeleton that permanently changes your head into giant size unless you kill him . . .and yes . . . for awhile I had a ginormous head on my character and had to find someone to help me kill him.

. . . and this is Project Gorgon . . . super quirky. There's an NPC in the town who seems to give interesting "hourly" quests (not daily . . .hourly), and that jerk had me doing things like using only the kick button to kill enemies, jumping off of cliffs to hurt myself, and all manner of quirky nonsense.

So now I'm headed to another dungeon to gather up spider legs. I'm sure the experience will be equally as quirky as the time I talked to the blacksmith who said the dwarf who runs the stable wasn't very good in bed. At least I hope the experience is quirky. Because as I'm quickly finding out: it wouldn't be Project Gorgon if it wasn't quirky.

I'm talking praying mantises that wear purple hats type of quirky . . . keep it up and I may put down the money to buy this game!

Happy Dueling

Saturday, August 31, 2019

#Blaugust2019 Day 31 -- Survived, Thrived and Jived this Blaugust

So here it is, and here am I! 31 posts, ~15,000 words, and a whole lotta nonsense later, Blaugust draws to a close for me.

It's been interesting, and I've talked a bit about Overwatch, Gems of War, D&D, Diablo 3, Slay the Spire, Project Gorgon, Terraria, Rabbids + Mario, Desert Bus Simulator, Wizard101, Neverwinter, Adventure Quest 3D,  Sonic Colors, and even Super Mario Sluggers. Not to mention I took this great shot of all my old Sega CD games as well . . .


I like that mix of video game topics . . . some MMOs, some casual games, and some old school jams. That sounds a lot like what I'd write about. In fact, if you time traveled me to this post from a month ago I'd say, yup, that sounds like me.

In between writing all those posts, a lot of other things have gone on . . . like my kids heading back to school and my free time shrinking (dude, August is way busier for me near the end of the month . . . I should remember this next time Blaugust rolls around.) Work has been busy and other responsibilities kicked up a notch. whew.

At the first of the month I was actually able to keep up on reading more from the other fine bloggers involved in this endeavor, but eventually it all caught up to me and I was lucky if I was able to just make a post. Now that I'm a part of the Blaugust Discord, it should be easier to be a bit more involved in future discussions.

I want to thank those who dropped by and made a comment on my posts, even if it was difficult since I'm on the Blogspot platform. You rock! Comments on posts make my day. And even if you didn't make a comment, thanks for reading. You also rock!

So, I don't have much to post today in the way of "games," but I did wake up to this wonderful view.

That's the top of my tent. I spent the night under the shelter of a big ol' Pecan tree with my son by my side. I should do more of that. Sometimes you just gotta unplug.

Since I did have my phone with me, I was still able to participate in our Guild War in Gems of War. We're leading our bracket this month, and I'm the paragon for this round . . . so . . . gotta keep that up! GO DEN OF WOLVES!

I hope that if you checked in to my blog, you learned a little about a game or two you didn't know about, or that I was at least able to make you smile here or there. I try to be a good natured sort with a light heart, and I hope that comes through with my writing. I am a friendly necromancer after all.

Thanks and keep being amazing! . . . And keep up the great writing fellow Blaugustians!

Until next post . . . Happy Dueling

Friday, August 30, 2019

#Blaugust2019 Day 30 -- Barrowmaze Thursday with The Rock Throwers

Last night was once again a chance to romp through the Barrowmaze dungeon with Jeff Toney taking the lead as Dungeon Master for the evening. Can I just say that it's a bit terrifying when Jeff DM's? He knows the game so well and has the monsters attack so strategically that as a player you're in constant fear he is absolutely going to kill you. And of course the Barrowmaze is terrifying all in and of itself. It was designed to kill you. DEATH DEATH EVERYWHERE!

That said . . . it was the players' night last night, and The Rock Throwers (that's our group's name) managed to come out on top despite Jeff's virtual dice being super mean to us. It's like he's using Devil Dice.

So The Rock Throwers returned down the path we were originally headed two weeks ago, and this time went just a bit further. We encountered a kind of ghost in a room that feared us away, but we recovered, gathered up some of his bones and threw them at him while yelling, "Git! Yer dead, ghost! Now go away!" Gumby, my half orc fighter, isn't really the smartest of characters, but his instincts were pretty on point there, and the ghost disappeared! Lesson learned . . . sometimes you just need to make ghosts realize their dead to make them go away.

We stumbled down the path a bit further and heard chittering noises behind a locked door, so gumby busted it down, Candlewick (A rogue played by Kayly) threw a trap down in front of Gumby and we all groaned when we saw it was three deadly scorpions the size of large dogs. I began to dodge up front, but still took enough damage to spook the group.

Shelack, the tortle druid played by Joel, then pushed Gumby out of the way and transformed into a giant hyena while we shot around him. Gloommist, the Aasimar cleric played by Leah, summoned up a spiritual weapon and began to hack at them from behind.

Things ended up getting dicey for a second when two failed constitution rolls almost meant permanent and immediate death for Shelack, but luckily he used his inspiration to reroll a constitution saving throw and made it. Whew. That was incredibly close!

We finished off the scorpions and found 3 big bags of loot from dead adventurers within the room that ended up being an amazing amount of money for us . . . like 1,000 gold pieces each, and in the Barrowmaze gold equals experience points. Woo hoo, TEAM ROCK THROWERS!

After spending 30 minutes looting the crypt there we headed upwards kind of casually, which ended up being a dirt nap moment for Gumby as he rounded the corner and took 3 arrows to the chest from skeletons that got the jump on us.

Gloommist healed gumby back to full and we dispatched the skeletons quickly after that.

Gumby . . . having learned his lesson about not sneaking out of the dungeon, then went stealth mode and headed toward the exit. Unfortunately Gloommist called out for Gumby because she didn't know where I went, which lead to two sapphire-enchanted skeletons coming down upon the group.

Those Sapphire skeletons are the worst! Once they are defeated, you have to smash their gems in two rounds or they pop back up to full health.

Eventually those fell as well and we made our way out of the Barrowmaze with a new +1 chain shirt, three potions, and a bunch of loot.

All-in-all a wonderful night of D&D on Roll20. Even better, everybody leveled up thanks to our amazing haul of money. I can't believe Gumby has made it to level 3.

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

#Blaugust2019 Day 29 -- Dun Rolled and Dun Told

Yesterday I took time during my lunch break to head down to my favorite comic book store and look for the brand new Rolled & Told release.  It was pretty crowded over by the comics since a lot of new comics dropped yesterday and rather than fight the 4 people in front of the new comics section for positioning, I dropped by the D&D section of the store and looked around there at what they had to offer. Not only that, my comic book shop sometimes also puts the Rolled & Told back with their D&D stuff . . . but not yesterday.

After things had cleared out a bit I made my way over and found the newest as it proudly proclaimed on the cover . . . HERE THERE BE GRANDMAS!  I love you rolled and told.

The cover was soft as ever . . . ohmigosh I love the feel of the cover of Rolled & Told. They made such a good choice on paper stock.

While I was there I glanced over and saw another interesting comic called "The Necromancer's Map," and even better it was issue 1. HUH?!  OK!  I mean, that totally sounds like a comic that the Friendly Necromancer would read, correct?

As it turns out, that's exactly the type of comic a friendly necromancer would read as the heroine of the story is in fact, a friendly necromancer. Looking on the publisher's website there are 5 future issues of this comic slated for now and it is kind of a continuation of a previous comic called Songs for the Dead. There's even a website specifically made for Songs for the Dead. Wild. I had no idea about this!

Aside from the "spaceship porn comic" advertisement at the back of the comic, it was a pretty good read. (That's . . . just not my scene) I liked the characters and premise enough, I'll probably be getting the rest of the series and reading what past stuff I can from Songs for the Dead.

Speaking of reading "past stuff" . . . do you guys realize how amazing my wife is? No? So, she read my blog (that's an awesome wife right there) and called a comic shop down in south Austin who actually had the June copy of Rolled & Told that I was missing from my collection. (You may remember me whining about that earlier in the month). That's how you know you've got a keeper . . . it's not the 25 years of marriage, 3 kids, and all that . . . it's that they read your blog and bought you a comic. LOL. Obviously I'm kidding, but she is pretty amazing. THANK YOU UBER WIFE! MY COLLECTION IS COMPLETE!

As for the new issue of Rolled & Told itself . . . I just love the weird adventures they come up with. This month there's a romp through a haunted house and a Demon Queen's Haven. There's also articles on roadside shrines and how to get your innocent family members involved in roleplay among other things.

All good stuff at the comic shop yesterday! (Also, the gyro I had for lunch was the perfect companion to reading some tasty comics. Yum!)

Happy Dueling!