Dodging Uncertainty: Teleportation in Chaos Reborn

“The goal the led him on was not impossible, thought it was clearly supernatural: He wanted to dream a man. He wanted to dream him completely, in painstaking detail, and impose him upon reality”
– Jorge Luis Borges

True to itself, Chaos assumes many different forms to many different fields of study. To science, chaos illustrates just how disorderly our universe can be. We see how randomness is the lack of decipherable patterns, of uncertain behavior, unpredictable outcomes. Chaos is used in cryptography to harness all that unpredictability in order to mask the cipher and the message’s true order. In Mythology, chaos is the abyss from which the matter of our current world was fashioned. This act of creation was accomplished by demiurges who are not quite supreme deities but nonetheless wielders of great supernatural power.

Chaos Reborn (Snapshot Games Inc., October 2015) confidently grabs hold of chaos in its variety of forms and balances it on a needlepoint.

Lords of Reformation

The lore of Chaos Reborn puts the game’s setting in a world that once was one but now is fractured. Within the center of this swirl is Limbo. “Limbo,” explains the game’s lore, “is existence waiting for something better.” It is from here that players assume the role of wizards who come from elite bloodlines and are charged with going forth out of limbo to recreate with matter that is leftover and to repopulate… to become overlords.

Using the same magic that was responsible for tearing the world apart, players compete for dominance by materializing beasts and activating offensive spells from the aether chaos. Herein is the challenge because chaos is slippery. So very slippery. Spells can and do fail. Some don’t fail, but should. Very little is certain in Chaos Reborn.

These spells and creatures consist of the player’s hand. Each card has a designated percentage which dictate the likelihood that it will be successfully cast. There are many ways of influencing this number, of teasing it up some to increase the likelihood. But, nonetheless, the player is still uncertain of the cast’s outcome before it is complete; the beast may materialize within a glorious beam of light or break apart before it is fully formed and disperse back to the void.

To heap chaos on top of chaos: Offensive spells like magic bolts and lightning strikes, not only have a percentage to cast but, depending on specific variables, also have a percentage to successfully hit their targets. Slippery, indeed.

One of the few certainties out there in the battlefield is that of movement. Each turn allows the wizard 3 actions: Movement, spell casting, attacking. So long as the wizard or creatures are not detained by spider webs, blobs, or the stone stare of a hellhound, movement from one hexagon to the next is 100% guaranteed.

Movement across the battlefield is therefore slow and calculated.

Sidestepping Uncertainty

One way to flaunt this slow movement is by using the Teleport spell. The spell is of a neutral alignment and comes with a 90% chance of successful cast and is guaranteed to place the wizard someplace within 8 hexes of his current position. Successfully using Teleport exhausts your movement and spell actions for the turn.

Similar to the offensive spells mentioned above, Teleport can be parsed into two actions: casting and function. The uncertainty of a successful cast, though generous, maintains the idea that chaos still reigns. But the sweet certainty of landing on the hexagon of your choosing completely unaffected otherwise contradicts the laws of this universe.

This is a perversion in the face of almighty chaos. Consider what the wizard doing: He is choosing to dematerialize himself, to remove himself from this plane, mix his corporeal form back into the chaotic soup, in an attempt to re-materialize. The wizard is assuming the same chaotic state of the very creatures he has thus far attempted to bring to pass. And yet, unlike the fate of some of these creatures, after a successful teleport cast the wizard is guaranteed a successful re-entry.

The game’s lore explains that the wizards who pass through the portals of Limbo out to the fractured realms are far from all-powerful deities. While still able to wield the power of creation many have yet perfected their abilities. This frustrates the guaranteed flawless teleport re-entry all the more. If there is a chance of a wizard failing to produce a simple rat organism from chaos, there should be an even greater chance of failing the second half of a self-teleport.

Indeed. This is an advanced spell which readily transmutes chaos into complex order. Not only is it just any complex order; it is the self. And it should not be flailed around by novices the way it currently is.

A wizard of the lore warns: “Those who exceed their positions, always face consequences.” As with all other actions a wizard makes, chaos should play a factor in the outcome of a successful teleport cast. And it should affect the makeup of the wizard himself. Perhaps a random selection of cards in the player’s hand should be shuffled back into the deck. Maybe a staff’s inherent mega-spell should change (until the end of the match if playing in Equipped). Maybe talismans should reset. Maybe talismans should change function. And maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that nothing will be altered.

And yet, what guarantee should the wizard have that he will even rematerialize at all? Perhaps there should be a greater percentage of failed reassembly based on the distance traveled from the point of origin. Likewise, maybe each opposing wizard can have vectors of passive influence; the penalty of teleporting further away from yourself is negated if you are placing yourself closer to an opponent. However the uncertainties are calculated, if the re-entry fails, the match is over.

Trumped by Chaos

Chaos is multifaceted, and Chaos Reborn knows this. Like a master wizard the game spins chaos into a wonderful tapestry of lore and gameplay. Let there be no enmity between player and the unpredictability of outcomes. Chaos is a state of nature and is without guile. But its nature conflicts with ours as we strive to have our designs realized.

Nearly every decision a player makes in Chaos Reborn must be thoroughly thought-out, executed and, if chaos so dictates, amended. Nearly every action has its chances for failure – as it should be. This is why Teleport in its current state is far too wieldy. The spell contradicts the facets of chaos which the game so adroitly uses.

Weekend Gaming – Chaos Reborn (again)

The lack of media exposure of Chaos Reborn befuddles me. Rock, Paper, Shotgun gave the game some love while it was in early access, but, strange enough, ever since official release two weeks ago there has been nary a hint of coverage – no major reviews, minimal youtube presence, and maybe an occasional person playing on Twitch.

Chaos Reborn deserves – nay, requires – as much love as possible. Admittedly it’s a tough time of the year to establish a foothold as an indie game. However, the game merits to stand alongside the big names of this holiday season. Sure, the UI is a total mess and the single player realms are a bit convoluted… These matters are minor and will be resolved in due time. Regardless of the current state of the aforementioned, the true power of Chaos Reborn is in the PvP, whose systems are drum-tight and responsive. All that is needed is bigger population of players. RUAWizard

Personally, this past week and upcoming weekend will be one of exploration, to investigate the different game modes and to steadily build my confidence and skills in vying for dominance in a place where so few things are certain and the tides of battle can shift in a single turn.

Yes! The RNG. The percentages. The chaos. It is a thing of beauty. And Chaos Reborn balances it on a razor’s edge.

I am finding that my view towards the uncertainties inexorably tied to each action within each turn are shifting. I am now thinking more offensively. Whereas before I would approach each turn with the mentality of something like: These hits are not guaranteed, so I better turtle up while I try to establish more board presence. This same strategy was utilized by many of my opponents. And when you have two wizards cowering behind structures and defensive creatures you therefore have very long and tedious and boring matchups. Nuts to this, I concluded, I’m going in for the kill, and I’m gonna do it with my bare hands. It was a risky endeavor but the payoff was a sweet victory.

That specific match set forth a change in how I view the RNG of Chaos Reborn. I use the percentages as assets not as impediments. I want to improve on playing the odds and knowing when to push, when to run and when to bluff my way into board dominance – but not get pissed when the RNG royally bones me. Chaos Reborn truly is a state of mind.

What are you playing this weekend?

Indeed, Mr. Christmas. There’s always a chance.

Weekend Gaming – Chaos Reborn

May I begin this post by squeezing in another type of post to serve as a sub-header. “In My Digital Hands” posts are Sir Tony Buttonmasher’s gig, but this is my post and I’m feeling saucy. So I will post whatever I want in this post. (Say ‘post’ again. I dare you. I double-dare you. Do they speak English in ‘post’?)

In My Digital Hands

I added Chaos Reborn to my Steam wishlist as soon as I caught wind of it earlier this year. And then I removed it along with a few others shortly after because I didn’t want early access games clogging up the list. And then I added it again because of a handsome update I read about. And then I removed it again because I was still chaffing against wishing for incomplete games – But, still, it looks really cool!; better keep my eye on it. See? Even before buying it, the game already brought chaos into my world.

Now Chaos Reborn is out of early access and deemed ready for the masses. Can we confidently say the game is complete? Hardly.

But let us not bemoan this assessment. I read a message board comment that breaks CR down into being 25% PvE and 75% PvP. The idea being that PvE will be expanded by both game developer Snapshot Games as well as modders. There is a great desire in the community for more co-op opportunities in PvE and a more refined PvP experience – and more players. Yeah. More players usually helps…

This is why I decided to throw my hat into the ring. Although, in all honesty, the intricacies of most of the above doesn’t mean boo to me at this point as I am still (willingly) making my way through the tutorials. But I believe that I’ve caught the spirit of the game, managed to look at it from a distance and see what it is and what it can certainly become.

Chaos Reborn is all about risk/reward. I took the risk in buying the game even though it isn’t in its final form (and, really, why should there even be a final form?) with the hope that Snapshot will continue to be true to their refining processes. Considering the resumes and pedigrees of the minds behind the game, I trust that the reward of a tremendous game with tons of content and gameplay modes will far exceed the risk of spending a piddly discount price of $16.

What are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming – Hand of Fate, Waves, (maybe) Hearthstone

Hand of Fate continues to be on my mind this week, though I have not played it. Why? Because I had a MONSTER endless run last Saturday – The most successful ever since purchasing the game. The run feels even more glorious because most of the progress was made utilizing sub-par weapons. My skill carried me through.

I say this not to gloat, but more so to commend the control that HoF gives the player. Part of player skill as it pertains to this game is playing the cards – making tough decisions about resource management and movement, i.e. when to pursue a scenario and when to flee. And then, of course, there is the RNG, which, in this run, completely screwed me in some aspects (player loadout) but gave me slight advantage in others (the ‘High Constitution’ blessing. Nod your head enthusiastically if you know what I’m talking about!) This give-and-take setup enables very satisfying gameplay. And, specific to last week’s endless run, raised my level of expectation so high for future runs that I’ve been getting myself amped all week to give it another go.

While we’re on the topic of beating Personal Bests: I want to say a little something about a little twin-stick shooter called Waves: Hachi Machi! I sat on Waves, un-played, for nearly a year. Twelve months it was there in my Steam library, consistently being overlooked. Bruh, why did I do this to myself? This game is so good! On a whim I booted it up earlier this week and I haven’t even looked back. It is intense, satisfying, maddening, blood boiling, orgasmic, instinctive, hectic, etc, etc, etc, et-freaking-c. There are divers game modes, but, bruh,

Rainbow Bombs are Rainbowy.

Rainbow Bombs are Rainbowy.

Survival is where it’s at (Nod your head enthusiastically if you know what I’m talking about!)

Often, after blowing up, I blurt out, “I can’t play these types of games anymore! I’m too old for this crap!” And yet, there’s my high score from a previous run, taunting me, flirting with my wife, always in view. I must surpass this number. I will surpass this number. Indeed. No other game I’ve played in recent memory has me score and achievement chasing like this.

And what of Hearthstone? Will I ever achieve my PR of Rank 14 again? I accomplished this back in February, and have since fallen away from the game. I stuck around back then just long enough to incorporate Goblins vs. Gnome cards into my decks and make my way through all but one of the Naaxramas wings. Since then I have watched from a distance the release of Blackrock Mountain, Tavern Brawl, and The Grand Tournament. My monthly inactivity forced my rank back down to 25.

Come to last Friday. ‘Wouldn’t it be cute’, I thought, ‘to jump back in like no time has passed.’

Well. It wasn’t cute. Hearthstone has moved on without me. It has become a foreign, scary place with all kinds of new devious machinations. Being a stranger in a strange land made gleam the things about Hearthstone that turned me off all those months ago – Primarily, the realization/inevitability of my worst fear which pressed so deeply upon my heart as I sat high upon my Rank 14 lookout: Hearthstone is now exclusively pay-to-advance.

This was an obvious, bitter pill to swallow as I sat there playing my old burst Shaman against these new confangled monstrosity decks. Likewise, I play against decks at these low levels and it is clear they flushed a considerable sum to obtain so many legendary cards… And that turns me the hell off.

So, will I ever achieve Rank 14 again? Probably not. I just don’t care enough to make it happen. I used to enjoy earning the gold from daily quests. But now it will just feel like a grind. Buying packs on a shoe-string gold budget is a total wash because there are so many new cards.

The wild card here is the Arena. I was never very good at Arena. But, as I want to continue dabbling in Hearthstone, this may be the last bastion of hope. The gameplan for this weekend will be to do a few quests and bank up enough gold to buy a few admissions into the Arena, and to hopefully get to a point where my Arena career can be self-sustaining. Nod your head enthusiastically if you know what I’m talking about!

What are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming – Hand of Fate, Dota 2

Hand of Fate possesses a strange kind of appeal for me. It adroitly plucks a happy nerve that I didn’t even know I had, one that is deep in the quagmire of my psyche. Because of this, I find it difficult to put into words just why this game resounds so strongly. This is new territory, compelling and frightful.

After loading the game, I will often stay on the main screen and soak in the environment presented before me: I approach the dealer’s table empty-handed. He greets me with a mesmerizing cloud of cards, flaunting his power to control.DealersSpite Are the cards whispering or is that sound just the breeze flitting through the main hall of the citadel where the dealer’s table now sits? The music washes over me, adding to the intoxicating effect. I look into the dealer’s eyes and wonder how many players before me sat in this very chair. How many failures have these steely eyes witnessed? How has he honed this game, refined it? What does this current iteration hold, and how will the dealer adjust it after I am through? Yes. I sit trying to gain a deeper understanding of just what is happening here, and how this new-found wisdom can alter how I play the game once it starts. The game seems so simple and I can become so very powerful, and yet the dealer is the one drawing the cards. Who truly has the upperhand?

…Of course, all of this is not really applicable to the game; I could just log in and go, go, go. But Hand of Fate is presented so soundly, so confidently – it is so utterly sure of itself that I can’t help but fall under its spell. Even now, after completing the main story mode, I still play endless runs because the game is just that much fun.

At some point this weekend, while in the depths of Hand of Fate, Sir Tony Buttonmasher will message me. Like a finger tapping on the fish tank, the head-splitting boom will jolt me, jolt me back to the immediate world.

“doto?” He will ask.
“k”, I will reply.

And just like that, the gears will shift from immersive single-player happy time to international multi-player potato fest. We’re never the potatoes. Never.

Lately, I’ve been mostly playing offlane. I do not have the patience to be a hard carry and I got bored playing support all the time. I want to start kicking up dirt right at the horns. Offlane affords me the opportunity to be ham-fisted and just a little bit reckless. And I. Am. LOVING. it.

Phoenix was a surprise pickup for my limited yet growing hero roster. I tried him (yes, Phoenix is a ‘he’) in a bot match and was initially repulsed, nothing about this stupid fire bird made sense to me. James Buttonmasher suggested I try again. Long story short: Phoenix is now my most successful hero and is on the fast-track to becoming my most played. He is the embodiment of what I want out of Dota: I want mobility; I want disruption; I want team fights; I want to befuddle enemy carries.

Offlaners may not have the stats to crow about, but that’s because their influence is on a grander scale. They operate outside the bounds of K/D/A. They adapt. They create space. They are the wild cards.

What are you playing this weekend?


Weekend Gaming – Not Alien:Isolation

I don’t care anymore.

This is what I just repeated aloud to myself ad naseum after ragequitting a session of Alien:Isolation. I’ve made considerable headway into the campaign, albeit done with babysteps, sometimes even days inbetween loading the game at all because of IRL matters. And up until very recently this staggered approach to playing didn’t seem to cause my interest to wain. If anything my anxiety and excitement would brew to a simmer, making the next gaming session all the more engaging.
The main campaign in Alien:Isolation is criticized in several reviews for being too long. I chose to look past these subjective remarks and just rolled with the punches. I came to recognize firsthand that the game has a fantastic pace, that it shuffles up scenarios and forced restrictions to keep the gameplay fresh. It succeeds in this.

But, something happened in my brain this past week. My desire to endure the suspense of this cursed game began to wear thin, and it reached the snapping point just now.

Though, I am not blaming the game… I don’t think. Due to it’s psychological nature, perhaps this game is best approached when the player can dive in and dedicate extensive play sessions. Time perhaps numbed my anxiety and excitement and replaced it with apathy and an overall bad attitude. So when the campaign reaches a point where I have multiple Xenos prowling around, it’s easy for me to throw up my hands in exasperation and ragequit and then write a Weekend Gaming post about it.

Alien: Isolation has been a wild ride, one that I will probably resume later on. Even though I have zero (0) desire to complete the game at this point I am still glad I made the purchase. The missions through the San Cristobal Medical Facility was worth the price of admission as it is.

What are you playing this weekend? (Because I have no idea what I am.)

Weekend Gaming – Alien:Isolation

As if I’m not stressed out enough. As if by the time the kids are in bed and it’s gametime I’m not already utterly blitzed and in dire need of decompression. Some stupid part of my stupid brain thought it a good idea to purchase and play a game where I am perpetually hunted by a fierce and pure organism. As if my razor-sharp instinct is still intact by the time I press play. Alienz

And maybe – just maybe – that’s why Alien: Isolation is perfect for me at this juncture. I shall not pucker, cower and scoot. I must outfox this cunning beast. I must overcome my IRL fatigue, not use it as a crutch but to dominate it so that I may stand tall and face my aggressor (except when she acquires visual sight… then I scramble like a badger and hide under a desk). Xeno’s got nothin’ on me, son (except for maybe my scent, my anxiety and my audible whereabouts).

I just completed the fifth mission and suspect that this is the mission where the game removes the training wheels and throws them into the pond. Xeno’s prowl is not confined to zones, nor is it a predefined route, always always always seemingly right on top of me. Jumpscares are fatal; they mean I have been outplayed. I must locate my objective and noodle my way there. Increase variance. Confuse the beast.Yes.

Silly anecdotal introduction aside, I made an exception for Alien:Isolation. I had my eye on it for a while, interested in the audio production and setting. I have previously made exceptions for other games, taking that risk, and sometimes I kick myself for not sticking to my instincts. Thus far I’m glad I made the decision for A:I. I dig on the true-to-form 1970’s Ridley Scott Sci-Fi setting. The audio truly is top notch, accomplishing many things. And having completed the fifth mission (twice impaled in the process) I think I am just now comprehending what I am getting myself into…

… Or maybe I have no clue. That’s what this weekend’s gaming will reveal.

What are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming: Ironclad Tactics, Batman: Arkham City

This weekend shall be one of transition, one of endings and beginnings.

Games of the video variety have been on the back burner these past two weeks. The bulk of my attention has gone into Stephen Hunt’s novel The Kingdom Beyond the Waves.

Kinda sorta pretty alright.

Kinda sorta pretty alright.

I’ve had a curious eye side-glancing at Hunt for a while. He is a step out of my comfort zone as he is wont to mingle Steampunk and Fantasy and SciFi (I guess I am a meat & potatoes, one-or-the-other type of reader), and Steampunk has never really struck a chord with me. But my instinct told me that this book was just the shake-up I needed, enough of a romp to pull me away from compulsively and vacantly scrolling through my Steam library looking for something to play (with one exception as shall be elaborated below).

Even now, some 2/3 into it I can declare that Kingdom hasn’t necessarily blown my skirt up but it has still engaged me enough to follow through to the conclusion. And conclude I shall this weekend. I’m doting as to whether or not I’ll pick up another book immediately after this or if I’ll keep my intellectual faculties in reserve for tackling Neal Stephenson’s newest tome Seveneves, which is primed to break the backs of readers worldwide on May 19th.

Hunt’s world hasn’t been the only presence of steampunk during my leisure hours. Indeed. By neither coincidence or design I initiated the single player campaign of Ironclad Tactics.

Ironclad: 1 Human: 0

Ironclad: 1
Human: 0

The game, true to its moniker, is a tactical deck-building game set in an alternate civil war America where clunky steam-machines are the artillery of the battlefield. The campaign follows a story as it moves from city to city on the map of war-torn America. Each location, be it Tallahassee or the Mojave, requires the player to construct a deck with units and parts to draw from in order to complete that objective – it’s almost puzzle-like. The game puts forth a lot of interesting mechanics and is as challenging as it is flawed as it is fun. I am three objectives away from completing the main campaign, of which I plan to accomplish this weekend.

With the book and the game nearing completion I now see my Steam library with fresh and eager eyes once again. The age of steam is propelling me forward! Propelling me… to Arkham City! Yes. This only seems like a natural progression and change of pace after reading a novel and completing a very tactical game. So, forget starting a new book for now; Sunday night I will throw all in and assume the role of the winged crusader, effortlessly zipping and zooming. And brawling – oh lordy lordy, yes, the brawling. I had a blast in Arkham Asylum, and I’m hearing that Arkham City improves on a lot of it. YISS!

What are you playing this weekend? (how about that Dota patch, eh?)

Weekend Gaming: Dota 2

There was that moment, one million years ago, when I clicked the PLAY button next to Dota 2 for the first time. It was a cold plunge, having never previously played any sort of MOBA. What followed was not some grand epiphany, some majestic revelation that this is the only game I shall ever need from here on out. In fact, the first match was quite uninspiring. From a list of what seemed like seven thousand heroes I picked Sven. More than anything, I vividly remember being perturbed and just a little confused that his weapon animation didn’t change when I purchased and equipped a new one – “That doesn’t look like the hammer in my inventory…”

At the insistence of James ButtonMasher and Sire Tony ButtonMasher, I played on. With every match, I picked up another nugget of understanding. I dabbled in a few other heroes, got the feel for the different roles. But it wasn’t until I played Bloodseeker that the true ferocity of Dota became clear. He was my ‘Oh, OK. I get it now’ hero. What Bloodseeker set in motion was nearly six months of exclusive Dota play time. I threw myself at this stupid game.

But then I stopped. Contrary to the steady build-up to Bloodseeker, I burnt out pretty quick – Which is a bummer because my Enchantress and Pugna had potential.

Now, after another seven or eight months, I may or may not be warming back up to Dota. Through the whispered enticings of James ButtonMasher, I’ve revisited my dota-dabbling ways. And I suspect that this weekend, this very weekend of 6 March 2015 may witness the beginning of a personal Dota renaissance. Instead of Bloodseeker ushering in the new age, it shall be SLARK! He/it has characteristics that compliment a player who may or may not be looking to jump back into the fray after a period of dormancy: He’s quick, fairly simple to play and can work on his own if need be.


Ermahgerd Slerk!

And I love that his only defined role is simply an Escape. Instead of hanging out in the back as a support, which is what I have been doing in all this recent dabbling-ness, I need to stick my neck out as Slark and rattle some cages with a few Pounce + Essence Shift combos. And I need to do it all with a slobbery Australian-ish accent.

What are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming: Minecraft, Dota, Zelda

My kids love the food court at the mall near our home. They love it because the food places have an employee out on the main floor passing out samples. That’s right, my kids are those greedy kids that pester the workers, and I am that parent that allows them to do it. So, while I am waiting in line at a particular food establishment my kids are making the rounds, sometimes completing two circuits before I even have a tray of food.

Recently, and continuing onwards into this weekend, my gaming routine is similar to my kids’ activities in the food court. Instead of investing my attention to a single title I’m just circling around, nibbling at several games that bare no relation to each other in genre or system… And am totally satisfied with the nourishment this brings. The current games in my circuit (beginning from oldest to most recent):

I continue to slowly build and explore my Minecraft seed. I established myself in a Plains biome, building into and atop this weird single mound right in the middle of a field. Adjacent are extreme hills to the south, extreme hills to the north, dark forest to the northeast, and there’s a massive swamp somewhere west-ish. I would give my left arm for a desert; I need Cactuscactus for cyan dye – oh man cyan is so pretty. Had I known better at the very beginning, before even creating this world that now has many hours invested into it, I would have made a 1.7.10 version instead so I can install some mods. At that, I just need to keep a close eye out on a few specific ones to be updated for 1.8. NEI is an absolute mess right now; don’t bother with it.

Moving onto the next station… Outland is platformer/jumper, and the PC port of it doesn’t suck. I played the demo on the PS3, loved it, and was crazy stoked with it came to Steam and went on sale. Awesome music. Snappy gameplay. I kind of wish the player would be rewarded more for enacting fancy fighting maneuvers, but I’m just being foppish. Whatever. You don’t know me.

Next station… The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I gave my 3DS some TLC. The decision to boot up Zelda was impulsive. I’m slowly warming up to the game. The 2D puzzle mechanic is fun, though sometimes I feel that the top-down view works against it. It’s been fun to re-live the giddy excitement of toting the 3DS around and getting StreetPasses.

Jason Buttonmasher and I began a new Anno 2070 co-op campaign. Rather, he invited me to participate in his campaign where I get sloppy with building placement and he steals all my tools. All the underlings on his island are wroth because I am not producing a sufficient quantity of tea. Meanwhile, I take all of his copper so the super-beings on my island can have PDAs. This is supposed to be a cooperative venture, right?

And speaking of cooperation: Sire, Tony Buttonmasher will be home for the weekend, taking some much needed R&R from a rather rigorous work assignment out of town. It goes without saying, the dude is foaming at the mouth for some DOTA. I may pencil in some time to play alongside he and his Juggernaut – because I am so indispensable.

Pray tell, what are you playing this weekend?