Friday, July 30, 2010

Comic Collection posted

Finally got them all uploaded using Comic Collector, which is a great piece of software by the way, to the official Comic Collector website.

That link will take you to my entire collection if you want to browse it over. Mostly started as far back as 1985.

DC Universe Online to feature shapeshifting

Of course there are more features than that but to get the real scoop watch the developer video below. Have fun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Specs on the new Amazon Kindle

While I like the idea of the Kindle what is to stop people from just upping the ante and snagging an I-Pad? While the I-Pad is not all that amazing I have to figure that after you think about spending money for a top of the line Kindle you can get either a Droid X or some other device that lets you read on it, just minus the convenience of a larger book library.

Tough call. Now if only comic book companies would adapt either the I-Pad or Kindle I would be all over that.

  • All-New, High-Contrast E-Ink Screen – 50% better contrast than any other e-reader

  • Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare

  • New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts

  • New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6" size reading area

  • 17% Lighter – Only 8.5 ounces, weighs less than a paperback

  • Battery Life of Up to One Month – A single charge lasts up to one month with wireless off

  • Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 Books

  • Built-In Wi-Fi – Shop and download books in less than 60 seconds

  • 20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading

  • Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights

  • New WebKit-Based Browser – Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)

Website here:

Apparently Kevin Smith cannot write comics

Since the release of this comic:

is getting some of the worse reviews of the year we all have to assume that Kevin Smith has lost a little of his artistic touch. That comic and the release of some of his latest movies have to have fans wondering what is up with this guy.

Unfortunately, a creator -- any creator, in any creative field -- has to recognize his or her limits, and if he can't, that's what an editor's for. And you eventually come to a point where either the editor has to look at something and decide that it's an unpublishable mess or the creator has to take a step back and ask himself if he really wants his contribution to a 70-year legacy be a story where Batman gets high and pisses himself.

WoW has ruined the chance for anything to succeed

Look what WoW has done to the MMO community. Ruined all these great games…

It is so bad that old time MMO vets refuse to play WoW because it is WoW. They are on a great crusade to purposely avoid it. To slander it and to ridicule its player base (Syncaine).  Yet at 15 dollars a month it is still facing no issues. Will anything end the 6 year reign of tyranny this game has wrought upon our community?

People leave WoW, go back, then leave when some new "great MMO" releases, and then go back leaving said great MMO empty and barren and forced to go Free To Play.

Every week some MMO has a welcome back program, a free trial, a price drop all as if waving their arms in the air saying "HEY LOOK OVER HERE REMEMBER US??? OTHER GAMES!??"

And then what happens? Blizzard drops Starcraft 2 and 1.8 million units in sales on us. Then another MMO will release and guess what? Diablo 3 will hit. Another MMO will release and then the WoW Expansion will hit.

I give up. There is no fighting the beast. And through all the Blizzard smiles and keeps that monthly fee price program chugging right along.

At some point someone...somewhere has to break this reign of terror. Even the chat rooms of other games are full of WoW comparisons, jokers bragging about only being there while WoW servers are down, or someone just popping in for a free 10 days. It never ends. 3 years ago I thought it would end. But it has not ended. It keeps going and going everyday in every general chat in every game I have played lately. It....never....ends.

I read post after post about EQ2's new free program and I have to say "Didn't we all see it coming?" but then Sony does it and they do it WEIRD. Is it me or does an MMO only stand a chance of competing with WoW unless it is free to play?

I have a feeling that some developers are actually rushing to release their MMO's before the next WoW expansion hits so that they can build a playerbase. Well..that will not work. Starcraft2 underwent a beta longer than some so called triple A MMO's and that right there is the first thing someone needs to look at it. Stop announcing release dates and adopt the Blizzard policy of when we get it done. Until then these other games will just continue to draw comparisons to the juggernaut.

I hate seeing all these other games lose population and close down and just give up. If the MMO is the least bit complicated or in depth or mature it gets slandered and doesn't even stand a chance. Got me. I guess this is why I just stepped away from it all.

Star Trek Online price drop, Fallen Earth patch

Two stories for the price of one.

First Star Trek Online's full game price is now $19.99. They also got a mega patch yesterday entitled Season: Two.

There are just too many MMO's out there and Star Trek had to go off my list for now. Between boardgaming, computer games, TV and all that crap I just do not have time to keep up with all these games because I don't have that much free time anymore. For patch details here is the hyperlink:

In other news another MMO near and dear to me that I had to stop playing due to time and money constraints is Fallen Earth and they have patched their client as well.

The Fallen Earth patch has a few common MMO features just now added but overall looks good. For more details on the patch read more of the story.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EQ2 joins the free to play arsenal

It had to happen sooner or later but in Norrath things are going to be a little different than other free to play options. The beta launch of the EQ2X service will occur in mid-August.

Here are the details taken from this post:
But the free-to-play concept is a strong way to expose the world of Norrath to hordes of new players. Think of it as a huge new way to run a “free trial” like we’ve always done, but without the “14-day” limit, and with a lot more content available to try before you decide whether you want to commit to the game or not. We’ve had over eight years to grow this game, its content and its features, and there’s simply nothing else like it out there.

So, we’re about to launch a bold new service named “EverQuest II Extended” (EQ2X). This is a completely separate service from the standard EQII Live subscription service (EQII). It’s aims are simply to attract new players to the world of “EverQuest II” and let them try it out before deciding if and how they want to pay for it.

“EverQuest II Extended” shares all the content and features of Live EQII. It plays the same. It looks the same. It *is* the same, with two obvious exceptions: a) it’s free-to-play, and b) it has a more robust marketplace.

What does “free-to-play” mean? It means that you can download the game and play all of it (except the most recent expansion) all the way up to level 90. Your character is restricted in a bunch of different ways (limited class selection, limited races, limited coin, etc.) and to unlock those features fully, you’ll need to subscribe to Gold level membership. Which, coincidentally, is $15/month. Sound familiar?

What is a “robust marketplace”? It’s exactly the same marketplace that you see on the EQII service, but it also adds lots of “convenience” items. Can’t find a good shield in-game? We sell one appropriate to your level and class. Want a healing potion to use in a pinch? Need an emergency buff? Want to shortcut your research time? Items like that are all available in the marketplace. Do we sell the very best items and equipment? Nope. Legendary and Fabled gear are better than what you can buy in the marketplace. Has the game been rebalanced so that you *need* to buy these “convenience” items? Nope. EQ2X is exactly the same game that you’re playing currently on the EQII servers. Those items are just there if you want them. They are true “convenience” items.

Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood contents

A few days ago the sneak peek for the new Warhammer Fantasy battles version 8 boxset was revealed but the pictures were so so.

Today however we get a "Tale of Two Gamers" as they actually assemble the contents and we get to see the armies put together and what the final setup will look like.

Q. What miniatures do you get in The Island of Blood box?

A. The set contains 74 models in total: a High Elf Prince on Griffon, a High Elf Mage, 10 High Elf Lothern Sea Guard, 10 High Elf Sword Masters of Hoeth and five Ellyrian Reavers; a Skaven Warlord, a Skaven Warlock Engineer, 40 Skaven Clanrats, a Skaven Master Moulder, two Skaven Rat Ogres, a Skaven Warpfire Thrower and a Skaven Poisoned Wind Mortar.

Head over to this link if you want to read the article

Below are pics of the assembled armies:

Monday, July 26, 2010

EQ2 to sport new interface changes soon

A lot of people, myself included, use a totally different interface set than the default EQ2 one which has been lacking for a few years now.

The devs at Sony Online want to change that and here are a few changes to the interface that are heading toward the way of the players: (all of this taken from an interview found here:

  • First, there’s a complete reskin of our textures to freshen up the default interface.

  • All icon sheets and icon frames have gotten rounded edges which really softens up the UI and looks nice.

  • The inventory window is gone and has been merged with the Persona window.

  • The XP window has been overhauled and now acts as a navigation bar in addition to displaying XP.

  • We’ve merged the clock into the mini-map and removed the separate clock window. The map also displays compass directions and the compass window will no longer be visible by default for new users.

  • The hotbar windows have been cleaned up so they now default to the original icon size which makes them look sharper.

  • When you hit F10 to show window frames on all windows, you can now freely move the windows around even if they are locked and click-through.

  • The effects and detriments windows have had their icons shrunk to be the same size as the new maintained window.

  • We dropped the LFG and Friends buttons from the group window and made quite a few small changes like this to clean things up.

  • The tutorial triggers (purple question marks) now display the tooltip next to the icon so you can see what its about.

  • There’s a new tutorial system that shows for new users.

  • There are other bits of functionality that will happen automatically like displaying quest POI’s and regions in the mini-map.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

GMT publications announces tentative lineup

GMT, one of the premiere board wargaming companies out there right now, has announced their lineup and what you the wargamer can look forward to at year's end and starting early in 2011.

Fighting Formations, the highly anticipated release by Combat Commander designer Chad Jensen, has been delayed a bit to work out some kinks. Here is the full release update and you can read the letter AFTER the break...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Field of Glory PC expands to over 900 units

Field of Glory, the ancients battle system game for the PC based off the miniatures set released by Slitherine, has now expanded a 3rd time with Immortal Fire.
"Immortal Fire covers the armies of the Classical and Hellenistic eras from the development of the hoplite system in Greece in the 7th century BC until the Hellenistic successor kingdoms of the 3rd century BC. Fight battles with a huge variety of armies in conflicts ranging from wars between Greek city-states and against the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire. Alexander the Great fans will be particularly exhilarated as they take part in the Greek counter-offensive against Persia, or even the wars of Alexander’s successors!"

A massive patch has been released to accompany this update as well. This patch adds AI improvements, new moving tactics and much more. For all the details see the product page here.

Sony Online announces 35 layoffs

Sony Online Entertainment, the branch responsible for MMO's like EQ, EQ2 and Star Wars Galaxies, has announced some 30-35 layoffs today Joystiq is reporting:
"In a move to better align the company's resources against areas of growth that meet consumer demand in today's online market as well as improve operational efficiency, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated just over 4% of its full-time workforce, equaling 35 people. The changes will better position SOE to deliver against its emphasis on developing games for a wider, more diverse audience and remaining a worldwide leader in online gaming."

Read more here:

Flames of War Blitzkrieg coverage and price increase

Well it had to happen sooner or later but Flames of War and the product line are going to experience a price increase time perfectly of course with the introduction of their early war line of miniatures.

On their site however they do have coverage of "Blitzkrieg" which is their early war supplement and you can read all about it here:

The new US price structure will look as follows:

Price CodeNew Price
Gaming Set$24.00
Book - 64-72 pages$25.00
Book - 180-200 pages$40.00

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Champions Online tips

I picked up Champions Online on Steam a while back for 7 dollars and have played about 60 hours so far. My highest character just hit 17 the other day and is a might build. Basically he goes in like the Hulk and just beats the crap out of things.

In the 60 hours that I have played I have to admit I like the game and the amount of action that you get while you are in combat and how it feels. Yes a lot of the missions are repetitive and yes the indoor instances are usually setup the same (the new expansion Serpents Lair is a repeat fest over and over) but it is hella fun to play and that's what I was missing in my MMO's the past few years.

When the game first came out it was really really terrible. So terrible in fact that after the beta I canceled my pre order and let that title go back in the oven. Over the past few months it has gotten to what I consider release level quality and now I am glad I gave it a shot again. The might build in Champions was fixed recently and it now does what I wanted to do in City of Heroes: gives me great offensive output numbers and does not make me gimp. If you watch some of the videos on my YouTube channel you can see that nothing gives a better thrill than knocking people halfway across the map on a massive uppercut punch. That is what I was missing in my superhero games.

I have used a few posts and important articles to get me back in the swing of things and I would like to link them here:

The 2.o Stat Guide posted by Sarion:

Framework Summaries: A Guide to Power Synergies post by Willblack

Auto targeting in CO posted by Shackle:

Another thing I did: ignore the mathhammers and the min/maxers and just make characters you like. If you hang out on the boards long enough in the POWERS forums you will start to get a feeling that what you picked may suck.

Use my old addage: I make characters based on themes and backgrounds. If I cannot find a power that matches the idea in my head I scrap it. Have fun with the game and do not let it dictate how you play.

Finally: back to comics

Had to give em up near the end of 2008 so finally I am getting caught up and can start reporting on comic books again. I took a long hiatus and also left MMO's behind to wargame and play other computer titles while I got my ducks in order as well as finances.

So where are we in comic book land? Well first off I came back to find out that Dark Reign is over in the Marvel universe and that all the Avenger titles were FINALLY being condensed into a relaunch of the Avengers called...well you guessed it:


The first issue is still on newstands as I type this so if you want to get in on the ground floor go snag it now. Some stores may still have it but overall the series is on 4 or 5 I think. The X-Men also got a reboot and are starting over from issue 1 as well:

I am currently reading Astonishing X-Men and the new X-Men title. Other than that I am picking up my old favorites Iron Man, Captain America and of course Justice League of America from DC Comics.

There is also a little title called Avengers: Prime which reunites Thor, Cap and Iron man for some good old top 3 action. That title just started as well.

Guild Wars 2 Ranger class CGI trailer

New video released from the Guild Wars 2 folks shows off some ranger combat. Pretty cool movie. can always make an MMO LOOK exciting but very few pay off with fluid action. Right now Champions Online is pretty action based but other than DDO I don't usually feel that involved with the combat. Hopefully this game changes that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fantasy Flight to debut Dust Tactics at GenCon 2010

As posted and tweeted by Fantasy Flight they will be debuting their tactical miniatures board game Dust Tactics at the 'con.

Come to the Fantasy Flight Games booth at Gen Con 2010 to experience the premiere debut of Dust Tactics and Cadwallon: City of Thieves!

This remarkable opportunity arose thanks to the fine folks at Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), who approached us with a proposal that we were very excited to accept. We want to thank  both AEG and Dust Games for giving Fantasy Flight Games the chance to take on these exciting properties.

You can read more about BOTH games on the official page here:

Blizzard caves in to cry babies, drops REAL ID idea

Some may have hated it but I looked forward to a board where things that were posted were useful and contained information. Not so much anymore. Threatened by tons of level 80 human paladins and shitty resto druids that promised to "stop raiding" Blizzard execs pulled the plug on the REAL ID concoction that they were cooking up.

In this post

Mike Morhaime was quoted as typing:
"I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

Ah well, back to Elitist Jerks boards. A place that is moderated and kept under strict supervision. They don't even get paid over there either. Amazing.

Matrix Games has announced a new Hannibal game

Matrix games has been keeping very busy lately. With a slew of closed beta tests announced, a new Close Combat game and now this they have really been putting on a media blitz.
Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War is a new and innovative turn-based strategy game that puts you in command of the Carthaginian military during a period of total war over land and sea with the young Roman Republic. With this military juggernaut of the ancient world at your disposal, you will vie for control over Italy, Carthage, Spain and the Mediterranean Sea using a combination of strategic political maneuvering and sheer tactical skill both on land and sea.

Read all about it here:

Guild Wars 2: defeated players will be downed, but not dead

The Guild Wars 2 website talks about how they will handle death and defeat in their upcoming MMO. You can read the article here

In it they promise a new way of looking at the system but honestly I don't see anything new in there that we haven't seen before. ARMA II for example has a state like this and some other games like Star Trek have a "defeated state" as well. At least Guild Wars 2 is thinking outside the normal route of "death then corpse" run which is fine with me.
"Rather than being presented with immediate failure, when a player loses all of their health in Guild Wars 2, they are put into "downed mode." In this mode, the player has a number of downed skills they can use to target enemies and fight for a chance to survive. A downed player can still be attacked, which will send them into a defeated state, leaving them to either wait for an ally to resurrect them or to resurrect at a waypoint."

I imagine this system can lead to a pretty cool heroic moment if given a chance.
Downed skills are less-powerful skills that a player can use in a last-ditch effort to turn the tide. A warrior might daze an enemy by throwing a rock. An elementalist might lock down their foe with Grasping Earth. While you are downed, if you manage to kill an enemy, you will rally,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Star Wars Old Republic will have an endgame

However, they will reveal it in the future. Probably after your 30 day free subscription has run out and there is talk of an expansion because people have level capped their level 80 Wookie Jedis and are bored.

Quotes are from this article over at INC Gamers
" I know some people are worried, for example, about the elder game [and are asking] 'what happens in the elder game, what happens when you get to the highest level?' We do have a plan for that and we will be revealing it the future."

"Don't worry, it's not like we're ignoring that. We have a lot of hardcore MMO players who have like five level 80 WoW characters, so it's not like we don't have the knowledge of what we need to do in terms of the elder game and other aspects of our game."

Whoa really? FIVE LEVEL 80 CHARACTERS IN WOW? Damn that is really really really hard! AMAZING.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Close Combat Arnhem video AAR posted

As a follow up to my news on June 30th there is a new video for the upcoming game posted on YouTube:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Field of Glory patched gloriously

Today Slitherine announced that Field of Glory PC, their digital version of the miniatures wargame system, has been patched to 1.2.8. This new version adds a ton of new features. For those curious about the game you can see a write up we did here a while back:

For information on the patch head over to the Slitherine site:

Patch features:

  • There is now a "Check for Updates" button on the main menu. This removes the need to download and install patches manually – it is all automated to ensure you get the latest version.

  • 17 new battles.

  • Double moves have been added. These allow strategic redeployment of troops within command radius but not close to any enemy.

  • Fog of War has been improved so that it’s possible to conceal lines of troops behind each other.

  • The evade logic has been changed to make it much more realistic.

  • Many AI improvements to make it select better combats, avoid combats it will not win and control its skirmishers better.

A funny thing happened on the way to fight crime

A friend and I were totally outgunned and outmatched so bad we could not finish the mission.

And therein lies the problem with All Points Bulletin. The matchmaking system in game is totally and utterly borked and FUBAR.

What happens in the game is that when you are doing your thing you could be assigned to fight real people or they could be assigned to take you out. The problem is with the limited pool of people to choose from per instance (100 total) if they have sat at home all day and leveled up their rank (a sort of threat level in game) they will have better weapons, upgrades and equipment than some Joe Schmoe that logs in to play a few fast missions.

Of course in time this will all balance out as people will rank up but right now as the game goes live it is a horrid mess of inappropriately matched ranks and unequal side assignments.

For example last night a buddy and I, not over rank 40, were doing routine missions when we got a hit put out on us and 4 other players were assigned. FOUR. Against 2. And we could not call for backup (the equivalent of looking for more in a heroic in World of BoreCraft). To top it off these players were in range from rank 136 to rank 80. Needless to say we were one shotted, had our car blown up easily in 5-6 shots, had our stuff bounce off them, sniped, humiliated and basically gamed to death all evening. Later that night I was playing by myself and had a rank 120 come after me. It was so bad that after a while he stopped shooting at me and spoke to me in /say chat. He literally let me shoot and kill him three times to give me a chance to win the mission. Not only was that embarassing it was downright frustrating. Yet funny at the same time. At least he was nice and recognized I stood no chance with my crappy weapon.

As it stands right now APB is a great time killer and pretty shallow shooter but I cannot keep playing if this system is not tweaked and fixed much like Blizzard did with WoW to remove undergeared shitty players from heroics.

As for the missions if you are NOT PVP'ing. Boring stuff. We had the "grab the money bags and deliver" mission TWICE in a row last night. ZZZzzzzZZZ.

The game does have its moments where it shines and is a blast if you are equally matched. Also even if you are not involved in a mission with someone else you can still mess with criminals that are not "flagged" by running them off the road and making their day hell. However things should have been fixed before launch and I see no launch day patch which is a bad bad sign.

MMO's have a few weeks to live in this market. You have to launch in a good state or you are TOAST. While this is not a real MMO of sorts word of mouth is starting to hurt it already and it may become another Global Agenda soon. Right now this game is at a 2/5 and I have to say wait on buying it. If the devs would talk, fix and respond maybe I would have faith something would get done but when people's free time runs out to play I do not see them resubscribing.

This is pretty typical for us in the game right now (by the way we won because they all disconnected or quit or something. Another nice bug but either way we will take the free cash):