Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Doin' the Death Deckathalon

Whoa . . . this weekend I was playing Wizard101 like it was a year ago! SO MUCH WIZARD101 THIS WEEKEND! I even got called out for it! (Thanks, Iridian)

Why?

I had to give the Death Deckathalon Event a really good go. I mean . . . I am the Friendly Necromancer, right?

So, I decided to really put my best foot forward, despite it being an extremely busy weekend with relatives in from out of town (that said, I did have a couple days off of work as well). I faithfully logged on every day and ran the event a few times.

I mean, I'm no Tara Dawnbreaker . . . look at this stuff she pulled off! *jaw drops*

GO TARA AND THE CAT CLUB!

No No No . . . I did manage by the end of my time yesterday to rise up to 221st place and complete my entire event bar though. Go me!

Participation Awards! Hooray!

I mostly did that by running Event 3 over and over, but on the final day I decided to really give Event 4 a go.  I watched Eric Stormbringer's great video, which helped (seriously, pick up some Triage treasure cards . . . they rock for this), but eventually the deck that did it for me looked like this:

The deck that carried me through Stage 4

The first floor was an easy win typically with a bladed Seraph spell and one death shield, but every once in a while you'd need a leprechaun to finish him up if you were unlucky.

The second floor involved a death shield followed by a fire elemental minion, then you just follow your fire elemental minion's lead until one of the two mobs is dead. Occasionally I'd need to cast a triage on myself to get rid of the Poison.

The third floor, sometimes I would cast a second fire elemental and sometimes I wouldn't . . . kinda just played it safe the first few times until I felt a bit more comfortable and had my final deck.

I experimented with all kinds of minions in place of the Fire Elementals. Ice Elementals, Troll minions and Cyclops minions were amazing. Storm minion and Minotaur minions took too long to hit, but still worked. The five pip minions just took too long to cast. I like having minions . . . it's just an extra layer of comfort.



Also . . . guys . . . healing pets are amazing in this tower.  Lady Dexter (the most healingest pet in the game) worked like a charm.

You bless me, Lady Dexter!

So, by the end of the event I had my pet, I had my improved death hands, I had my 4th deck, I had the Ravenwood Hamster, and I had a bunch of cool messages from wizzie friends.

Which reminds me! Elijah LightThief was online! Elijah has been playing Wiz since the early days and used to comment on this blog all the time. He gave me a great inside tip, which may actually be a bit OP. Although you will have to use treasure cards only, you can use the Death Deckathalete decks outside of the event. This can give a huge advantage to a lower level character because of the extra pip. Thanks for the tip, Elijah!

So, what did you think, fine readers of the Friendly Necromancer? Did you like the event? Did you have fun?  I thought it was pretty cool to be part of a community event like this. There's only one day left, so I hope you find some time to chip in so we can make that goal . . . we're getting closer!

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Gems of War: Diamond in the Match-3 Rough

While on my quest for a dungeon-based Match 3 game, I found a little treasure of a game that's actually been around since 2014. Gems of War is BY FAR one of the best Match 3 fantasy games I've ever played. I'm totally in love with it right now.

Does it have dungeons? Yes, but they aren't at the core of the game.

"Delves" are dungeon runs for treasure where you move along a map to a boss room.

 Does it have Match-3. Yup, at it's core, it's a match-3 battler game.

Does it have Necromancers? Yes it has to that too! In fact, just this weekend I unlocked the Necromancer class.

The Necromancer is just one of 20+ classes you can level up. Each with their own perks.

Is it available on PC and mobile? YES! This is a huge selling point for me. It's on Steam and it's on mobile, and even better I can connect my account to play the game on both platforms. (It's also on other platforms like the Nintendo Switch, but you can't connect Mobile and PC to the Switch version if I remember correctly.)

So let's back up a step and talk about what Gems of War is . . .

Gems of War takes place in a world called Krystara where you engage in battle for various kingdoms scattered throughout the map.

Krystara is huge, the shown image is only about 1/4 of the entire map

Those kingdoms eventually give you tribute daily based on your interactions with them.  You choose one of these kingdoms as your home base and gain extra benefits for doing so.

After you've conquered the main world, don't forget to plunge into the depths of the underworld, where dungeon delves and more questing await you.

Yes! Bring on the dungeons!

The real name of the game in Gems of War, however, is collecting troops, ascending those troops, leveling up, gearing up, and participating in weekly Guild Events. After spending about 3-4 months playing, let's see how I'm doing with that:

  • Troops: I've collected 466 of the 685 troops available in game. I have a nice team of Undead creatures that I run with, all ascended to "mythic" levels.
  • Level and gear: I'm currently level 208 (it appears to go on infinitely as I see level 1000+ people talking in the global chat).  I've also collected a huge array of weapons and pets to choose from, which give you bonuses and benefits in battle as well.
  • Guild: My guild is a casual guild called Den of Wolves that does ok for our size. I think our highest level player is in the 700 range and I consistently place in the top 5 for our guild during guild events, like taking on other guilds or downing giant raid bosses.

So I'd say I'm . . . the fast one of the slow bunch, which is where I like to be anyway. ;)

My team is on the left . . . and we're about to completely destroy the team on the right. sorry. gg.

As for PvP in Gems of War, I actually like it a lot! In Gems of War PvP you pit 4 troops of your choosing (1 of which is most likely your player character, but it doesn't have to be) against another player's 4 troops. The computer controls the other player's 4 troops, so really you're just seeing how you fare against your competitor's team composition, which is pretty standard fare in the mobile space. Each week you can work your way up through 15 tiers of PvP ranks earning rewards along the way for doing so, but it's totally optional.

It's just such a huge and beautifully put together game. THIS is what a mobile game can become if it's successful across multiple years. It feels more like an MMO than a mobile game, and I love that about it.

I'm just happy to have stumbled upon it while on my quest to find THE ONE TRUE DUNGEON BASED MATCH 3 GAME TO RULE THEM ALL!  This is close and probably the game Puzzle Quest 2, which I haven't tried yet but is made by the same company, is really the game I'm looking for, but . . . now that I think about it . . . perhaps what I've been looking for all along isn't that game, but this one.

Gems of War has it all.

Ok, there are a few downsides . . . being that it's from 2014 some of the graphics seem a bit dated, but from what I can tell, they've already been working hard to update the look over the past 5 years. If you don't like Match 3's, this won't be your cup of tea. If you don't like grinding levels and building power slowly like you do in an MMO, you won't like this. I mean . . . It is what it is. I can't help that.

But did I mention that Gems of War has it all?

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

An Interview with Lish McBride


I have a special treat for you today kind readers of The Friendly Necromancer. Lish McBride (author of Hold Me Closer Necromancer, Necromancing the Stone, and more -- see her website for details) agreed to do a Q&A interview for us! 

I'm so happy she could find some time in her busy schedule to talk with us today! I'll definitely be adding her to my list of VIPs on the sidebar. Enjoy!

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Click here for more about Lish McBride


Question: At the back of your second book, Necromancing the Stone, there is a really good Author Q&A that answers a lot of the standard questions. You explain that the story behind your necromancer books stemmed from essays about a fast food worker getting attacked by Vampires and the undead, which you wrote back in school. Was it hugely gratifying to finish these books and watch them come to fruition from those essays?

Answer: Not really an essay, but a truly awful short story that I wrote during down time in my brief stint in alternative school. Comparing that short story to my novel...well, they really only have the barest of things in common, but I consider that a good thing. Hopefully my writing has improved since I was eighteen. Ha! That being said, it's immensely gratifying to have anything you make up published into book form. It's still a little surreal, honestly.

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Question: While running the Friendly Necromancer blog for the past 10 years, I’ve had a couple of interesting emails from random strangers asking if I had any information on how to become a real-life Necromancer. I made sure to let them know that I write about video game necromancers and not training books for something that in the real world would get you arrested. What was it like researching necromancy for your books? Did you run into any interesting characters?

Answer: Most of my research was done via mythology books (like the Encyclopedia of the Undead by Curran) while I was living in rural Mississippi (where we'd evacuated during Katrina) and New Orleans. So basically book and internet without coming into contact with pretty much any humans at all. I love research, but it's not terribly exciting for most people. 

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Question: On the back of your first book, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, the dictionary definition for “Necromancy” is front and center – and I admit, before playing a necromancer in games like Dungeons and Dragons, Diablo, Everquest, Guild Wars, and Wizard101, I didn’t have a very good understanding of what “Necromancers” were. Was there a fear that readers just wouldn’t know what Necromancy was and, being that it does seem a bit of a darker topic, that the book wouldn’t sell?

Answer:  Dark topics aren't really a worry in young adult books--the age range for YA is actually somewhere between fourteen and early twenties. It's a rough time and you're dealing with a lot of really dark and terrible things. Horror actually helps a lot of teens cope with real life topics. (Believe it or not I wrote a paper on that in college.) So no, it wasn't a dark topic issue. It was, in fact, an issue of people not knowing what a necromancer was. I'm a mythology nerd and cut my teeth on horror and fantasy and I honestly didn't realize how few people knew what a necromancer was when I wrote the book and the publisher was concerned. There was also the unexpected fact that some readers--and we're talking adults here--mixed it up with other similar words. Some decided that the "romance" part of the word meant HMC,N was a romance novel. (I am 100% not knocking the romance genre here, but HMC,N doesn't fall into the category.) A few mixed up "necromancer" and "necrophiliac." No joke--I got an email from a librarian in Louisiana who had her own little free library and one of the neighbors was really upset about my book being in there because she made that mistake. Basically, the publisher wanted to be clear and they were worried that people would put the book down instead of taking the time to google, which is a valid worry. 

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Question: I see you’ve written at least one other short story surrounding Sam and Ramon from your Necromancer books. Will there ever be a third book in the series?

Answer: There are...four? I think there are four short stories with HMC,N characters. Death & Waffles is Ashley's first appearance in a short story I wrote in graduate school. We Should Get Jersey's is a Frank short story. Freaks & Other Family is a bundle with two short stories (One Sam, one Ramon) that I published myself but were originally written for my Patreon page. (There are several more on there that I haven't polished up yet.) Heads Will Roll is a story I wrote for Tor.Com and actually does feature a cameo from Ed, one of the minor characters from the Necromancer books. I have all the short stories listed on my website if anyone wants to look at them all in list form. I do plan a third book--I promise! The series is meant to have at least one more book. The problem was that my publisher wanted me to move on, so I wrote the Firebug books (which are set in the same universe) and now I've moved publishers. I'm currently writing a whole new thing for Putnam, but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable leaving Sam where I left him. I will write at least one more Sam book, even if I have to publish it myself.

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Question: You also have a newer series of books out surrounding a Pyromancer, which I have yet to read. Which do you like writing about more, Pyromancers or Necromancers? Will we see books about different types of magic (like perhaps a wizard that can channel life magic) in the future? 

Answer:  I enjoy writing both for different reasons. There is a weird amount of overlap as both characters have to deal with the fact that their powers are fairly destructive. They both have to deal with the possibility that they might become corrupt, destructive monsters. Both books have fun and weird side characters--I might miss writing the gnomes, but the Pyro books have biker were-rabbits, so...I love them both. Honestly, since all the books take place in the same universe, they didn't feel that different to me. Ava is snarkier than Sam and has definitely had more of a rough time of things. As for the future, who knows? 

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Question: Do you play video games and have any served as inspiration points for your books? Would you ever give Wizard101 a try (I’d love to see if the starting quiz for the game would place you as either a Necromancer or a Pyromancer)?

Answer:  I almost never play video games anymore. When I was a kid I was hugely into the Sierra games King's Quest and Space Quest and Sim games. I would also beg my mom for quarters so we could go play Rampage in the arcade at my local bowling alley (small town life) with my brothers. The thing is, I'm not very good at them. I never rescued the princess in Super Mario Bros. I can't remember what all the buttons do on most controllers and I get lost in large map games. The last game I seriously played was Fable and I was constantly getting distracted and forgetting my quest. (I spent a lot of time kicking chickens.) I'm more of a computer game person, and until recently I spent all my time writing, working a day job and juggling kids, so most downtime involved reading. Most of the kinds of games I would like now force you to interact with other humans and I play to get away from people, so it doesn't really work out. This is probably a good thing though as my husband and sons are huge gamers and I would have to fight for the TV. Right now my house is all Red Dead Redemption 2 and State of Decay. That being said, Wizard 101 looks like it would entirely be up my alley.

Might I suggest the name Samantha Skullmancer? Give it a shot!


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Question: Mounts and pets are all part of the fun in Wizard101!  During Necromancing the Stone, Sam summons an Undead Elk (if I remember correctly??), which in my mind becomes his “mount.” (He even talks about bringing it back to the mansion with him.) He also ends up gaining a Chupacabra pet, which he finds in his basement bathroom of all places. Any backstory to those choices, or did they just naturally happen during writing?

Answer: You are correct on the elk! The elk was mostly chosen based on what animals are natural to the pacific northwest--I needed something big enough for Sam to ride and elk won. Plus, elk are really cool. I grew up in the PNW, and we spent summers camping and such, and we'd occasionally get to see elk, especially if we were at my stepdad's cabin up in Forks. Yes, that Forks. I never saw a vampire there but I did get to play with a machete, so I'm calling that a win. As for Taco, the pygmy chupacabra...I found the idea funny? Honestly, when I'm writing a book, at least during that first draft, it's just me for long hours staring at my laptop. I have to entertain myself. I had to come up with something to hide in that closet and the very idea of Taco made me giggle. Which made my writing buddy ask what was wrong with me and all I could get out was, "pygmy chupacabra!" over and over. Fortunately, he's known me a long times so he understood.

Find out more from Lish's FAQ on her website


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Question: One of the things that really stands out in your books is your love of puns. Case in point, the very title of the book Hold me Closer, Necromancer is a play on words from Elton John’s song Tiny Dancer. In fact, every chapter title in your Necromancer books contain this same fun word play with song titles and lyrics. To be honest, it reminds me a lot of quest titles from Wizard101! Ever thought about working as a writer in the games industry? 

Answer: It's funny because the joke in my house is that I hate puns. This isn't true--I don't hate them, but it's a kind of word play that I'm generally not great to be honest. Also, my husband is a pun-master so I mostly make fun of him for them. If we didn't make fun of each other, I'm not sure what our relationship would be based on. I have thought a little about the game industry, and I do actually have a game writing credit--a minor one from the game Dark Void. My friend Jose threw a little work my way because their game writer was overworked and very tired. The thing is, most game writers don't seem to have much in the way of control. It's like screenwriting that way. I'm okay with doing either of them, but I like getting to do things my way most of the time. 

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Question: There’s a great scene in Necromancing the Stone where Sam spends time in a huge music room full of old LPs and great music. Three questions: Does this music room exist in your real life, what’s your favorite song of all time, and how does your love of music play into your writing?

Answer: The music room does not exist. In fact, my small record collection was destroyed in hurricane Katrina and I haven't really had the heart to rebuild it. The only record that survived was a single of the Patrick Swayze song, "She's Like the Wind" from Dirty Dancing. My husband framed it. Someone did gift me a Tom Jones record recently, because they felt Patrick needed a friend, so I've been considering breaking down and getting a record player again. I don't have a favorite song of all time. I also can't answer the favorite book question--so much of it depends on mood and changes every few moments. I did grow up with a lot of musical influences and that does show up in the books. (My mom loved Bobby Darin so much that my oldest brother is named Darin.) Lots of oldies and classic country and musicals from my mom and stepmom, lots of punk and rockabilly from my oldest brother. My brother Jeremy mostly listened to pop music and rap. I grew up in a small town about an hour from Seattle. There wasn't much to do besides go to the freshly built mall or go to the movies. I didn't have any money for the movies and I hate the mall. The only other option, besides loitering in the bookstore, was to go to shows. So lots of bands in barns and basements and community centers. Social interaction was largely based on what kind of music you listened to. Seattle is also a very musical city, so it would make sense for Sam to be into it.

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Question: As with any fandom, there are a lot of artists and writers that draw inspiration from their game of choice (like Wizard101). Have you done any fan fiction writing in your past that no one knows about? Do you have any words of wisdom for those out there who may want to break out of this type of writing and develop a universe of their own as you have?

Answer:  I have not done any real fan fiction writing, sadly. Well, except for a short story I tried to write in elementary school that was clearly David Eddings fan fiction except Belgarath the wizard was a cat. At that age, everything was cats. At that age I also didn't know what fan fiction was. I think fan fiction is really cool, but it just never occurred to me to join in. I have several writer friends that started in fan fiction and I think it's a great way to learn, really. The other thing you can do besides that is to reread favorite books critically--how did the author pull of the things that you liked? What about their writing do you love? Most of writing is practice and developing your voice. What works for some authors won't work for others. I went to an MFA program to help me figure some things out, but you don't need an MFA to write well. I read books on writing. For world building, I'd check out Wonderbook. That has a lot of good stuff in it from many different authors. I don't have an official writing group, but I've built up a list of friends that I can talk to if I'm stuck or need to work something out, or if I need a quick read on something. Chuck Wendig has some great writing advice on his blog that he compiled into an ebook. It's funny and very practical, but if you have issues with cursing it will not be your bag.

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Question: If Necromancing the Stone and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer were ever made into video games, what would you hope they end up being like?

Answer:  I don't know if I have anything current to compare them to. It would be cool if someone made them so you could explore the world like games like State of Decay do, but I wouldn't want it to be that serious. Something bonkers and fun...but probably gory, like that movie Tucker and Dave vs Evil. 


~~

Friday, March 1, 2019

Happy 13th Birthday DDO!

Dungeons and Dragon Online turned 13 yesterday! It was really cool to sit back and watch as Jerry Snook aka Cordovan played pretty much all day on Twitch yesterday with his DDO Community. He'd go into a typically peaceful town area and unleash hordes of monsters upon the players and then dump tons of party loot down on the ground for them to pick up. (If you're looking for a special 13th anniversary reward for DDO, check out this clipped highlight from the stream. )

Double Dragons!

It kind of reminded me of when I would unleash the turret bosses in the skyways of Pirate101

Anyway, as some of you know, I used to write quite a bit about DDO in my past.  There are a few posts here on The Friendly Necromancer Blog, but at some point I decided to splinter DDO discussion off and make a DDO exclusive blog called the Stormreach Sentinel. I even wrote about playing DDO for Beckett's Online Gamer Magazine back in the day.

gotta love when the magazine crease goes right down the middle of your character's face.

Needless to say, I like the game. Unfortunately I'm pulled in so many different directions that I don't get to visit that particular world as much any more, but I still have a Necromancer I'd like to level a bit more.

Currently they have their anniversary event running, so you too can go battle against the Developers in an Epic Anniversary Party dungeon crawl.


Severlin had a really hot head when we crossed paths

It's really great to see this MMO still kicking around, and I'm incredibly happy that Standing Stone games took up the mantle of responsibility when Turbine stepped out of the MMO picture. Congrats to them for sticking with it and making this a really fun game.

Happy Dueling.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Friendly Necromancer Cosplay Outfit

So a few months ago I was joking around with my buddy Morgrim about how funny it would be to see myself dressed up in a Thomas Lionblood cosplay. So I started thinking . . . huh . . . wonder how much that'd set me back? It's never too late to start thinking ahead to Halloween, right?

I'd call this look the "classic" Thomas Lionblood look (minus the weapon . . . it needs to be a terminus staff)



Straight outta 2009 Wizard City, y'all!

So let's break it down:

step 1: blue hair mullet wig -- I think I could get away with some trimming up this $15 blue mullet wig.



step 2: santa boots -- next up, maybe drop $47 on these Santa boots . . . could probably do that cheaper with some regular boots and a hot glued strip of faux white fur . . .


step 3: heavy black coat with gold buttons on the collar -- man, it's a stretch, but $60 for this Double Breasted Long Pea Coat could do it.  There would need to be a lot more work done, like button changing, hot glue and faux white fur, and the addition of a couple of big patches on the shoulders.



step 4: black jester hat -- ok, this I could probably find for cheaper at a renfaire . . . but $54 for this hat on etsy would be a start, right? It'd need the death school treatment and some jingle bells added at the tips.


step 5: silly skeleton wraith staff -- Really hard to recreate or at least find something readily available -- I guess this $23 Maleficent Staff would be a good starting point.




Step 6: The two leather pouches . . . Hmmmm . . . this one's tough. I imagine they're used for holding decks of cards, so maybe a couple of these $28 leather iPhone cases might do the trick.


So ~$250 later (figuring in tax and shipping and whatnot), I could totally do a Friendly Necromancer cosplay! ;)

I'd look so goofy.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Mobile Monday (2/25/2019) with Friendly!

Heya! It's a Mobile Monday kind of a day, so let me quickly catch you up on a few of the mobile games I've been playing lately.

Animal Cove

Lately I've just been logging on to participate in club events, collect my gardening treats, and start an oven cooking up a new sweet. I'm super happy that last week was Dezhead's first week ever for collecting all three milestones during the week and getting the final prize. WOOT DEZHEADS! (that's my wife's club in Animal Cove in case you didn't know.)

We are getting ever closer to that Level 4 club goal!

Props to iCurley and Anngee!

I'm currently on level 557 on the live game . . . obviously I've played all the levels multiple times behind the scenes, but I'm a bit behind on live. Gotta get up to Infinity mode!

Wake up sleepy butterflies!

Idle Apocalypse

This is a new idle game I downloaded, and I'm really digging it. Basically, you're an evil wizard bent on bringing about the apocalypse through building an enormous monster-spewing tower of wickedness . . . and you succeed.  When the apocalypse is over, you start the game over again, but with a batch of captured "souls" that you now spend on power ups to go even further in your evil plans before bringing about the apocalypse yet again!


. . . and all the while there are funny bits of dialog going on to really show how cute this game actually is.

Love how this demon is more interested in watching TV than destroying the world.

Yup! The graphics are in a fun 16-bit style as well . . . so that's a win win for me. I don't know how much longer I'll be playing the game, but there are things that I haven't seen yet, and perfecting a "system" to bringing about the apocalypse would be fun.

Overall, it's light. It's fun. It fulfills my need to be an evil wizard. BOOM! APOCALYPSE!

Gunspell 2

In case you forgot, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect Match-3 dungeon game. Me downloading this game was an attempt to scratch that itch that can't be scratched. And to ruin the suspense, no, this isn't the match-3 dungeon game I've been hunting for, but it is pretty fun regardless.

I'm down with destroying a Lich while playing as a naga lady!

So Gunspell 2 is a PvP game that at its heart has you making matches to 1- fill abilities that damage your opponent and 2- do damage to your opponent. I swear I mostly go up against bots and Russians in this game though.

You earn and level up heroes through loot crates, and eventually you amass an army of heroes to choose from when you PvP.

Every four wins in PvP, however, you also have enough keys to embark upon a quest for one of your heroes. At the end of the quest, you earn a loot crate. THIS, is what drew me into the game initially. I was hoping for more dungeon to be found in this quest portion.

There's not much to this. It's usually 3 fights and then a boss.

Anyway, that's the game basically.

Some games you can have a really lucky streak of matches and basically destroy your opponent without even trying, but there is that moment of OH YES I'M THE GREATEST! The addition of the abilities plays into skill a bit I suppose.  It is match-3, however, so a bit of randomness is bound to happen. The worst of it is when your match sets up your opponent since you're playing on the same board.

They even have a few smack talk buttons in the game much like Hearthstone. No one ever seems to use them though (also what makes me convinced I'm playing against mostly bots)

Dungeon Raid

I haven't actually played this game . . . why? It's iOS only, it's out of date (meaning it can't be played on the latest OS), and it's 99 cents.  I actually do happen to have an old iphone sitting around the house, so I might actually be able to eventually play this game, but from a 1000-miles view, this looks to actually be the closest to the Match-3 dungeon game I've been hoping for!!


Screenshots from the app store . . . check it out

I'll work on getting this game downloaded over the week and let you know how it goes.

~~

Thanks for reading and as always . . .

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

My Boundless Free Weekend Experience

As of the moment I'm typing this blog post, there's only a few more hours left in the Boundless free weekend. According to this page, it sounds like after the free weekend, you can pick up the game for 30% off in the Steam Store. So, now that I've played this weekend, is it worth it?

For me? Probably not. For my in-game neighbor who built an elaborate set of buildings for all to admire? Probably yes!

Just look at the beautiful city block she created.


She named her claim on the MMO landscape as "New Oort," and it was amazing. Me?  I named my claim on the MMO landscape as "Stingite's Lair," and it was a dump.


Obviously my in-game neighbor took a lot of pride and TIME to build her masterpiece. For me it was all about making a shelter from the horrendous purple beasts that liked to spit ice balls at me and kill me. 

Inside wasn't much prettier, but I did have all the necessary items: a beacon (a device that lets you claim land in Boundless), torches, roof, floor, 4 walls, a stone door, three crafting tables, and several deconstructed work bench pieces . . .


It took me a couple play sessions to realize that I needed to put those work bench pieces in a square formation to make them come alive into a grand master workbench. (Knowledge is power! Thank you Boundless wiki.)

But what do you expect from an ugly green lizard man named Stingite?


COVER YOUR EYES, CHILDREN! HE'S ONLY WEARING A LOIN CLOTH!

I will say that the night time views from the Stingite-Lair-rooftop across a block-shaped desert with a giant Bartleby-esque tree were pretty great.


Unfortunately I never really ran into other players when I was playing.  I think one time a person opened my house door while I was busy crafting something, but instead what I felt in this world was the "presence" of other players who had come before me, which isn't an unfamiliar feeling if you've ever played with a group on the same Minecraft server.  Working on a grand citiscape together and surviving the enemies of boundless together with friends simultaneously would be more fun than the solo experience I had.

So definitely no fault in the game (other than some server lag), but rather more a fault in me. I imagine playing this game on Twitch with a big group of people could be an absolute blast! Just imagine 10-20 lairs just like Stingite's all strung together in a dumpy communal area where we slaughter purple ice spitting beasts all the time!

Maybe next free weekend, if there is one, eh? That could be fun!

Happy Dueling!