[PF] Done

I let the Pathfinder (D&D/WNG/Wednesday Night) group know I wouldn’t be back playing after taking a number of breaks. First break was during the loss of who would have been our third child (it’s right around that time now), then after the layoff I didn’t much feel like leaving the house and after a short bit back, I took another break because of family scheduling (kids were in soccer 3/5 week nights and which fell on TheWife’s gym nights) where I took one for the Family Team. I was supposed to go back but when the day of return surprised me (literally – I didn’t know until that day that it was the day I was supposed to get back to it) I realized it just wasn’t a priority any more.

I miss the night out and miss the guys – somewhat. Looking over the forums I see things I didn’t miss. Like arguing over (or discussing at length) tracking 1-2 pounds of food which really only ever comes into play if someone can cast Create Food and Water while someone else is 1-2 pounds away from the next level of encumbrance.

Really guys? Definition of pedantic.

That wasn’t intended to offend – in some ways it’s reassuring that I wasn’t the sole source of such things. And in some ways I miss it… the arguing.

Here’s how you deal with it. The one casting Create Food and Water says, “Guys, I’m giving you one day’s worth of food and water so if you’re two pounds away from the next encumbrance level, you’re going to bump into the level until you eat lunch…. or take a dump after breakfast. K? No one is that close to their next encumbrance level? Cool.”(The ‘dump’ bit wasn’t in the rules, I added that part for color… brown color, otherwise see a doctor.)

That said, it’s not the reason I left at all. As I said above, it just wasn’t a priority. I had been considering dropping it before but certain people talked me out of it (for the record: pre-Qwerty and then post-Qwerty; they know what I’m talking about) and I hung on for awhile longer.

It’s a good group of guys that has lasted for a long time (over 10 years now?) and I’m hoping to pop out to the odd pub night they have if they end up canceling a game evening…

[MMO] Paizo Working on Pathfinder Online

Being brought to you by Goblinworks.

Who?

Exactly!

I’m still looking for a professionally made software service that allows you to take pen and paper games to the computer allowing you to bypass that whole geographical location thing that often gets in the way of pen and paper gamers. Really this sort of thing makes more sense as a monthly fee type service and would cost a lot less to develop. Also it wouldn’t have to face off against the existing beasts out in the MMO market. I suggested as much on their forum but haven’t checked back to see what sort of fanboism the post inspired.

I realize that Wizards was working on something like that for D&D 4e, but it was squashed which really is too bad. I know a lot of people that I played MMOs with would really love to rekindle that experience the main deterrent is finding a group (go figure!) to play with or reconnecting with friends and former group members that have moved away.

But hey, let’s scrounge around for investors to create this brand spanking new MMO! Then lets design it so the mechanics don’t reflect the RPG system it is based on, because that would be weird.

The FAQ has some more vague details if you’re curious.

Despite my grumblings, I’ll keep an eye on this…

It’s Still Fantasy…

I’ve complained before about being a little tired of fantasy type settings. I’ve been reading about or playing in fantasy worlds for over 30 years now – maybe it’s just getting a little too old hat?

Looking back to the time that I complained, it was around the time when I had to create a character for my pen and paper group that plays Pathfinder.

I’m in around that point in time again. I’m not very inspired at the moment because everything I think of has been done before, often far too many times before. I’m going with what the group needs, a healer, but I wanted to do a different spin. I’m going to look at making more liberal use of mass healing so I went Gnome for the extra Charisma but also because I’ve never played a Gnome and thought it’d be a nice change.

Reading up on Gnomes, they’re a little different in Pathfinder. They’re more tricky and fey, including some different appearance changes – namely coloring and larger features (eyes and mouth, not the nose like I usually imagine). Then tend to avoid community, being somewhat chaotic in nature, but are drawn to places with strong ties to the fey realm.

It’s different but somewhat similar to my previous Cleric (the crazy Goblin) in nature. I was picturing him more as a small but old and wise figure. He would be serious but also warm and approachable. That doesn’t quite work so well with what Pathfinder Gnomes are so I might just go with a different race.

A Human would likely be a decent change. I could tie him to the nobility that is looking for adventurers to reclaim the Stolen Lands as I intended him to be in more of an advisory role rather than actual leader – more of a gentle guidance with the interests of the community at heart.

Back to my lengthy experience in the fantasy genre, that might be an underlying reason why my current fun in WoW outside of raiding which is more social than about the game. I can’t bring myself to level up more alts because I’ve done it so many times before and the setting is still fantasy with swords and shields and what not. It’s not really new and interesting, at least not for very long.

I’ll piddle around with the character concept some more.

Ding 30!

I hit 30 on my Troll Durid (yes, that’s intentional) last night while in Ashenvale.

Wot?

No Wot is my Shaman.

I mean, you hit 30 in Ashenvale? Isn’t that a little low level for level 30?

Definitely. The mobs were actually grey near the later parts of the quest chain. I was a little disappointed to see I’d out level the content so fast even without any XP enhancing gear. Really all I had was the Guild Level XP bonus… oh, and I ran maybe two and half dungeons.

Not a single opportunity to PVP out in the world (despite being on a PVP server) short of someone that was clearly way above my level. Maybe it’s the fact that the server is only Medium population, maybe it’s phasing or maybe people are just at the higher tier of the game. I only ran into other people doing quests a few times and they were on the Good Team – mine.

I’ll likely let up for the next few days as the Valor cap resets and I should get back to doing the Firelands dailies. I think if I cap Valor this week I’ll either have my two-piece Tier 12 or be just short of it so I should get on it especially since my Wednesday night D&D (or Pathfinder) group is starting up again after a summer break.

Raid night tonight. I suspect we’ll clobber Shannox and Beth’tilac again, maybe have some time left over to work on Lord Ryolith, maybe clobber Occu’thar again.

Tough part is going to be picking who sits tonight. We seem to have a surplus of DPS showing up lately. I’m reluctant to sit people that have missed recently due to other events or who had to sit recently. Heck on Sunday we were over by one and that was without two of our more consistent DPS players being away.

Fun times.

There are a couple of tweaks to my spec I want to make. I’m reluctant to give up Silencing Shot (which I tend to use as an interrupt more than a silence ability) but it might be for the better. I admit having 100% chance (off Chimera/Arcane Shot) to automatically place Hunter’s Mark on a target without actually casting Hunter’s Mark is nice.

Such a tough decision – a little more focus at the end of a target’s life or the ability to interrupt. The interrupt is key for me because I PUG a lot of heroics, sometimes having no guildies in the group at all which means I get some pretty bad groups where I am the only one that seems to know how or when to interrupt.

Maybe I’ll run with two MM specs.. hehe

Not Much (But a Lot)

Not a whole lot going on which is why there aren’t many  updates or posts. Here’s a blurb of stuff, try to keep up, k?

My Pathfinder (RPG) group is on a break for a couple of weeks (we’ve had a few weeks break previously as well) as summer sets in and people are taking vacation.

That’s what we do in Canada – we wait for the nice weather, then take vacation. During the winter we huddle around the warm glow (a.k.a. radiation) of our computer monitors or big screen TVs (or we travel to warmer places if you want to pay inflated airfares).

Oddly enough, we’re facing a surge of players showing up for raids in World of Warcraft. At one point we had four people (the officers basically) show up and now we’ve got about 15-16 on. We put out a recruiting thread and noted we’d cleared all the normal raid content and were looking for some melee DPS. Sure enough, we’re full on melee DPS, a little overflowing actually. We’re eagerly awaiting Firelands and new content.

My family members are online playing a little more too and they’re starting to ask for help running dungeons which I don’t mind doing. My sister is hitting up Heroics (and dealing with some douchebaggery) where as my brother-in-law is not really that adventurous. Someone being an asshole really ruins things for him (he can be a little defensive, even when people are trying to help) so he doesn’t even bother with PUGs. That and he’s big-time casual so I don’t know that he’s got Paladin..ing down yet since the changes. I’ll run through some of the normal dungeons with them so they can see what the boss fights are like (that and the BIL isn’t geared enough for Heroics). This might take place of my Wednesday Night RPG while it’s cancelled.

Speaking of douchebags, I had someone actually call me a “hunter tard”. Why? The paladin tank was tagging stuff and using line-of-sight to get them into a clump while I simply Misdirected, Multishot and Silencing Shot targets to him. I simply responded with, “I’m using Misdirection.” As I was typing that, I realized the guy probably didn’t have a clue what that meant if he was using line-of-sight to pull trash around the first boss in Blackwing Cave.

Yes.

He bailed after we killed the first boss. I didn’t steal agro despite the 22k DPS I dumped on the boss. Maybe it was that the other two DPS did about 13k… combined? Either way, I was glad to see him go. He was slow and clueless – “hunter tard”? Dipshit, it’s “HUNTARD!” If you’re going to use my official title then get it right. We ended up with a DK tank that was competent but seemed super squishy. I think I did somewhere between 40-50% of the overall damage for that instance… even kiting the adds on the last boss. (John/Sabist/Brosiah Jason/Carleys had the privilege of witnessing the “hunter tard” bit and healing the squishy DK hehe)

I saw that Champions Online was Free2Play on Steam so I nabbed it and made an account for the LBO too (LLO is playing off my account using my toon or my second character slot). LBO likes it and managed to get through the first part all on his own with only asking me for help picking rewards from quests. I’m already sort of losing interest in it.

I admit, I’m thrashing about a bit, sort of bored. I did go back and work on some of the TBC and Ironforge rep for Smaken. I still want some Timbermaw Hold rep and some other old world stuff. Ugh, and I maxed Archaeology on Kremus not Smaken so there is that. I might look at leveling my Priest, Mage and Paladin up to level 85 since they’re dwindling around. I may also putter around with my Druid. I do still have a Rogue and Warlock down in the teens – it might be nice to see some of the newer, revamped content.

About the only show on TV I’m watching right now is The Glades and last week’s was sadly predictable. For some reason my PVR didn’t pick it up so I had to watch it over the interwebs. I won’t say more than that because it’s still a good show and I don’t want to ruin it for others.

Speaking of interwebs, I discovered I was blowing my monthly 60gb bandwidth cap the last couple of months thanks to running some Minecraft servers and allowing people to connect externally. I had to dig around to see what it was because it made no sense. The kids weren’t watching any more online videos than before… the only difference was we were running Minecraft servers. I looked those up and was surprised to see how much bandwidth is used… per player.. per second. I’ve killed those. The kids can play on the LAN but no more external connections. I also changed my wireless key just to be sure…

I’m still poking around on a Minecraft server hosted by HellsGamers which is neat. It’s a more legit server without spawning or cheats, short of UFTimmy and other mods/admins resetting the time to day so they don’t have to put out torches to keep mobs at bay. :P

I actually spend more time down in the mine than actually building anything. I’ve developed an obsession with turning lava into obsidian. Also I enjoy exploring and finding natural caves and various rare nodes. Yesterday I surfaced while the guild was raiding (I sat out for Cho’gall and ensuing fights) to work on my platform. It’s sort of a castle, platform, church (with a sign-placeholder for a picture of Tim’s mom behind the altar), tower hybrid mess of engineering experimentation without any real plan. It’s nestled in a  tree-filled (I cut most of the trees down and burned some others) valley with one town (I use for observation) sticking up. The next part of the platform will be a garden with some trees, maybe a fountain and paths. Like I said, it’s mostly unplanned.

I also nabbed Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale 2 from Good Old Games, I realize they weren’t on sale, but at 9.99$ it seemed okay. I never really played IWD2 and on looking at it, I realized it was a pseudo-3e game. There are a number of things missing from it but the system is definitely a step towards 3e. I was a little surprised at the 2e-ism of IWD – I forgot what it was like. I didn’t do much more than create characters and poke around a little in the starting area though.

I picked up Giants: Citizen Kabuto for 2.99$. I remembered playing a demo of it way back when but didn’t end up buying it for some reason. I poked around with that and found it mildly amusing. I think the boys will have some fun with it.

That’s my last few weeks in a nutshell.

Cars vs. Trains

Just got an email from Atari to my spam address (the some one WoW account phishers drill with scams) about Daggerdale and so I watched the trailer.

Interesting. Four player co-op.

One bit struck a chord… not a good chord, but a chord. There is a quote from Gamepro saying, “… the way Dungeons and Dragons was meant to be played”.

They’re doing it wrong.

D&D was meant to be played around a table with friends and one of those friends acts as a judge for results or conflicts often playing the other side of the conflict in the form of a gruff merchant or blood thirsty orc raider.

So they have swords and magic, D&D based rules and some multiplayer aspect, but they’re missing the most critical piece – a DM.

“Dude, I thought this post was about Cars vs. Trains, WTF?!”

Analogies.

Pen and paper D&D is like a car. Computer RPGs based on D&D are trains.

Trains go fast and get you where you want to go, mostly, but they’re very linear and cannot do much more than follow the path laid out for them with some scheduled stops along the way. Much like a computer running a module or game, it’s predefined and hard coded.

With a car you can drive just about anywhere there is a road and even some places where there isn’t a road, but you might get into trouble there depending on the car you’re driving. You can stop where you want, when you want and you can change destination without needing to get out of the car and make other arrangements (like purchasing a ticket to another location). It provides more freedom.

In other words, with a CRPG you’re limited by the fact that you do not have a human being on the other end to handle the odd things players will do or will want to do. In a CRPG you probably cannot attack that Innkeeper that is being a douche because the game needs him alive for some reason or it’s not programmed to handle calling in the local authorities, maybe even setting up a trial with witnesses and a magistrate… it can’t do that stuff on the fly.

A living, breathing DM can so long as they’re willing to do so and capable of thinking on their feet.

So no, “Gamepro”, that isn’t how Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be played.

Nub.

UPDATE: Poked around in the forums a bit, lots of unsatisfied customers. Found this video review: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-pod-dungeons/714234

Ugh.

Updates, because you care. Actually, because I like to occasionally dump what’s on my mind (at least what I’m allowed to dump) out into a list to make things seem less stressful than they feel. Usually a list seems small or I can look at the positives on there.

Reading

Done reading Towers of Midnight, good stuff. I still don’t really see how it can end in one book unless it’s really abrupt.

I haven’t started the other book I bought yet but managed to steal some time to read up on the changes Pathfinder made to classes.

Computer “Crisis

Computer is at the shop (Future Shop) awaiting on the manufacturer (Gateway) to send them (FutureShop) a new part (video card). Dude said it could take about a week or so as I was eyeballing the video cards on the shelf. I contained myself, letting the warrant I purchased do its thing even if it would have only taken about ten minutes to replace the card myself.

The old computer is working well enough though I hate the set up on the kid’s table and the lack of a second monitor. Keyboard on top of the table slides while I’m playing which may have made me miss an interrupt of Arcane Storm… or two. *cringe* Cataclysm is playing fine on it, when I get a chance to log on.

WoW

Tank gear is getting there though it pains me that I’m not getting a chance to earn some cash, level some alts, farming some mats, doing the TB dailies, running dungeons with guildies trying to gear up for heroics/raids and running the daily heroic dungeon. Missing the daily heroic makes me feel a little like I’m letting the guildies down because I’m one of a few tanks in the 10-man guild so that means most of them are stuck in sucky long queues and facing bad tanks.

The guild seems happy with raiding and want MOAR. I want to help deliver that but at the moment, it’s going to be too costly for me. I’m definitely having fun.

We just got Maloriak down on Tuesday after two-shotting Magmaw and Omintron (those will be one-shots soon). Maloriak still needs some work. We would have had it sooner but we kept losing a DPS which meant hitting the enrage timer not once, not twice but thrice! Last time we were down to a Mage (Sjae rocks!) and a Holy Priest in Angel of Shame mode (I’m so happy he ditched Discipline and went back to Holy!). Sjae managed to finish off the last 100k or so (for a good time click here).

DC Universe Online

I haven’t touched it for almost two weeks. Kids haven’t asked about it. I think I’m going to cancel when I get my main computer back. I suppose I could cancel sooner if I figure out which email I created the account with.

Minecraft

Stop it Tim!

Pathfinder

The shift to Pathfinder is complete. Everyone was assimilated and we had our first session last night. It was fun, nice changes.

I flipped over from a Half-Orc Fighter to a full Elf Rogue. It was an interesting switch and I have to admit the rogue changes look good so far. The hit rolls are a little low, but they’ve compensated by adding in more bonus abilities which allow you to, optionally, pick up more combat related feats. Short of it, Rogues are a lot more flexible, not just in skill points as was the case in 3.5e.

First session was interesting. We tripped over a few of the mechanics but otherwise it went well enough. I don’t know if it was just a matter of me being tired but it seemed louder than usual – lots of people talking over each other. It was more of an enthusiastic loudness though, with people going on about some new ability they got.

Things should be interesting.

Hockey

This year my hockey viewing time has plummeted significantly. I simply haven’t made the time to watch any of it at all. That’s probably a good thing because Ottawa isn’t doing so hot this year.

I’ll leave work and family out of this post. Happy Birthday to TheWife… that’s all I’m going to say.