Runes of Magic: First Impressions

At first look, I automatically thought this game would be a World of Warcraft copy. After spending a decent amount of time on this game and getting to level 33 I feel I know enough to give some impressions to everyone

First things first, the game is free! Yes, FREE!. Now of course there are micro transactions because after all they do need to make some kind of money off of the game, but you don’t have to buy anything and can still have a good time. The only race you can have is human at the moment, they will be adding elves soon.

pic-786There are 6 classes: Knight, Warrior, Priest, Mage, Scout, and Rogue with two more on the way (Warden and Druid). You pick two classes one primary and one secondary I’ve been playing a Scout/Rogue. (fyi – all I hear about the scout class is that they are underpowered and nerfed all the time. I’m not sure I can 100% agree but I do see where some of the frustration with the class comes from. I do know I am looking forward to trying the new classes, as are a million other people… Back to the post.) You get all of the skills of your primary class (all of the general and class specific skills) and for your secondary class you can only get the general skills. Which leaves you with sometimes either pointless skills from your secondary class or really helpful and necessary skills.

The graphics are more than sufficient for a free game. The armor and weapons actually look like the picture in your inventory(one of my favorite aspects a game if done right.) and the variety is pretty plentiful once you get into the higher levels.

The only complaint I have right now is that the installation/download/update process is long and horrible. Especially since I’ve reinstalled Windows XP after trying the Windows 7 RC. (I should make a post about it.)

There is so much more to go into detail about this game, but I’ll leave that for another post. To wet your whistle I’ll leave you with a trailer.


P.S. If you play or get started I’m on the Osha server and the Name of my Scout/Rogue is Ookami.

Over XBox Achieving

I understand there is a huge debate over the merits of Achievements on the XBox 360, and for the most part I think people tend to make a big deal out of nothing. Either people put way too much into getting them or they often feel too strongly about how worthless the concept is and think it’s important to share this point of view.

I think like any standard of measurement, even as unscientific and illogical as it may be, achievements are only as important as you make them. For me though I established one rule that I have stuck by even though it has been painful at times. I will not put aside, trade-in, give away, or throw out a game that I have not earned at least one achievement while playing.

This was, in theory, my “give it a fair shot rule”. Since not all games dole out achievements equally I have often felt frustration trying to live up to my rule. While I don’t exactly flaunt my Gamercard I’m not going to hide it either. The one useful metric achievements has given me is an easy display that I at least tried a game before I used the disc as skeet.

I don’t think you have to finish a game before you can decide if you like it or not. A game that is absolutely brilliant in the last two hours but painful to play in the first two is not a good game. Of course, the typical game often shows the lack of focus it had later in its development the longer you go through a game, so if it was bad in the beginning it is likely to get worse as a good rule of thumb. My belabored point is that sometimes a bad game is just a bad game and wading through the manure hoping to find a diamond is a fool’s errand.

However, that said, I like to be able to “prove” I give every game that graces my disc tray a real chance. I won’t deny that it’s a point of pride that I will not dismiss, or even love, a game lightly.

Vectorized video game art


Using the VectorMagic web app, Philipp Lenssen took pieces of screenshots from video games and vectorized and enlarged them, creating some abstract, but very familiar, images.


No one ever thinks about the Ghosts

The Dynamic Trinity

From “The Dynamic Trinity” by Matt Burlingame. I especially love the guy from Dig Dug.

(via who killed bambi?)

Must… resist..

… making a Wii joke about this. (via Autoblog)

What I’m (not) playing

I’ve been in a bit of a gaming lull the past few weeks. I haven’t been completely out of gaming, but for the better part of the past two weeks, there has been very little buttonmashing going on. I don’t know if it’s apathy, lack of anything compelling to play, or what, but I just haven’t been playing much.

I got over my initial fear of firing up my 360 last week and everything seems to be copacetic with my system — my downloaded games and content was all there and everything went off without a hitch. It felt good firing up the white and green machine and loading up Crackdown from some mindless jaunts through town. I even downloaded a new arcade game (Dig Dug) to play around with. The kids have asked for “the Pinata” game a couple of times, but they get bored with that after a half an hour or so. The kids love naming the pinatas, and my daughter loves outfitting the pinatas with accessories, but even that gets old after a while. The 360 has returned to service, new and improved.

And yet, that has only been a few hours of gameplay. I watched most of Dawn of the Dead the other night, so I feel like playing Dead Rising again, but that’s about the extent of my gaming ambitions on the console front. I still log in to EQ2 a couple times a week, but it’s been a little tough to get my rag-tag group together. Hopefully we’ll have some time this weekend to get some questing in.

I’m also considering picking up the new Halo 2 maps, as one of them is a remake of my favorite Halo 1 map, Hang ’em High (also the best map name, ever). I’m pretty rusty with Halo 2, though, so I’d just embarass myself. Not that it would be any different from when I was playing Halo 2 nightly, but now I have an excuse.

What have you been playing? Anything new or exciting that I probably missed?

Comic watch – Get Fuzzy

(This is a new (hopefully regular) feature here at, where I find comic strips in the dead-tree newspaper desperately trying be relevant by making pop culture references by referring to video games. I’m not trying to be a “Comics Curmudgeon” (one of my favorite sites) but I still have to point it out when I come across it.)

As the inaugural edition of the Comic Watch, it pains me that I have to single out Get Fuzzy, which is one of the comics I geniunely enjoy, but today’s comic wasn’t one of them:

Get Fuzzy

Surprisingly, the “girls don’t play video games” or “guys who play video games don’t have girlfriends” and “video gamers are lazy” are topics usually ignored by most comics attempting to use video games as punch lines. It’s usually “look how violent little Jimmy is becoming since he started playing that Atari Video-Machine 9000!” So in that sense, GF is going off the beaten path, but it’s still unfunny. Haha! Rob hates girls AND exercise because he loves video games! What a nerd!

It also bothers me that Satchel is bagging on Rob like this. Usually they’re pals that support each other’s quirks, not point them out like the sore thumbs that they may or may not be. But that’s neither here nor there.

As you’ll see, most comics don’t “get it.” A few do (Bill Amend comes to mind) but I feel a responsibility to call them out when they don’t. Consider yourself warned!

(And seriously, if you love to hate (or hate yourself because you love) the daily comics found in your paper, you have to read Comics Curmudgeon)

Video game capital of America?

Where is the Video Game Capital of America? Seattle? Austin? San Jose? Nope. Salt Lake City. According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

It’s called gamer’s thumb, and families in Salt Lake City could be among the nation’s most afflicted: the city has been named No. 1 in the number of households owning video game systems.

The least? People living in Florida’s coastal areas. Makes sense — go to the beach or play Halo 2? No a tough decision there.

Top 10 “Real-life” Games

Got some time to waste? The Thinking Blog presents the Top 10 “real-life” games. Some are pretty clever, a couple not so much.

Update: What a coincidence! Here are some more “live-action” video games.

Drinking the podcast Kool-Aid

podcast icon.jpegInitially, when podcasts where starting to gain traction with geeks (almost always early-adopters) I ignored them. Why would I want to dedicate time to concentrate listening to someone prattle on about their opinions? I like to read other people’s opinions (blogs), but actually downloading someone’s “show” and spend free-time listening to it? Didn’t seem like the best use of my time.

Then I decided (months later) to give it a try. I downloaded a few podcasts and started listening. I realized that I could listen to them at work and still concentrate at the task at hand. I’d listen closely when I heard something of interest, then tune it out when I wasn’t interested. I could also listen to them in the car when there wasn’t anything on the radio. Next thing I knew, I had subscribed to dozens of podcasts and decided this would be a good blog discussion (very meta of me, I know).

So over the next week or two I’ll be sprinkling in a handful of podcast-related posts in with the other fare. Feel free to ignore them (as I did) if that’s not your thing, but hopefully I can interest a few of you to start drinking the Kool-Aid.

I eventually plan to review as many podcasts as I can, but I’m finding that to be a daunting task. In the meantime, I also would like to know what, if any, podcasts you guys listen to. I listen to a lot of the popular ones (1UP Yours, Gaming Steve, Major Nelson, the CAGCast) but I also listen to a few that might not be as popular. I’m interested in hearing what you guys listen to, maybe I’ll find a few that I’ve skipped or have slipped under the radar.