Category Archives: LGBT Related

Weekly Wyrm ~ Kiss This, Blizzard. Pulitzer Prize For PoE.

pillars of eternity dialog imagePillars of Eternity released a week ago and received strong reviews online with a Metascore of 91%, handily slaying Dragon Age: Inquisition, which stands at a respectable 85%.

I just now purchased PoE, and I’m looking forward to playing it tonight. Obsidian released the first patch for PoE, 1.03 on Steam this morning.

The game is built on the Baldur’s Gate isometric Infinity Engine. The writing is supposedly brilliant. A reviewer on Steam said the writing team of Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer, Feargus Urquhart et. al. should win a Pulitzer Prize.

I watched Cohh stream PoE for a few hours last weekend. I was impressed by PoE, even if the game looks a little too familiar at times.

PoE uses a text/voice combo to convey the story, setting, and characters. Since the arrival of full voice-overs (ESO and SWTOR), I’ve really been a defender of text. I hope game history will show that a combo like PoE is better than full voice-overs.

PoE uses a writing style that includes a lot more action and emotes in the text than ‘normal’, which is very interesting. I personally use a lot of action tags (or beats), in my fiction.

pillars of eternity dialog imageAction conveyed through text may also offer a cheap substitute for facial animations in a game where you can’t see the faces well.

I remember facial animations being a part of marketing for Fallout 2, a game made way back in 1998 by the same developers as PoE, when Avellone and Urquhart were helming Black Isle Studios.

PoE is going on the cheap, replacing the animated faces with text descriptions (and probably an animator with a writer, which doesn’t happen often enough). PoE was kickstarted for 4 million. I wonder how that budget compares to Fallout 2.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

If you like PoE or this genre, don’t forget that Torment: Tides of Numenera is also scheduled to release this year, and it’s also a Chris Avellone (and others) writing production.

Torment is supposed to be “primarily story-driven, giving greater emphasis on interaction with the world and characters, with combat and item accumulation taking a secondary role.”

Tides also has an award-winning erotica writer on its staff, while PoE offers no scripted, evolving character romances. For me, this is a strike against PoE, and this issue literally pulled my paw back from the buy button at one point last weekend.

It’s fantastic to see this classic genre making a comeback. I’m worried that PoE has lots of strategic combat. Wave after wave of enemies were the reason I quit playing Wasteland 2 and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced, and also the reason I didn’t buy Diablo 3 on a 50% off sale last weekend.

Thankfully PoE offers an “easy” mode. So, we’ll see.

Escapist dropped an article this week on eight amazing isometric RPGs. I’ve played them all except Divinity. Torment should be on the list instead of Icewind Dale, in my opinion.

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

So what made me buy PoE today? Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain released yesterday.

I logged in ready to play what I’d paid for, but only one wing released. Why would I want to play just 20% of an 8-hour (or whatever) expansion, once per week, for the next month and a half?

I asked in the forums why Blizzard is releasing Blackrock strung out in little weekly pieces like a TV serial, and my legitimate question was insulted and buried in immature negativity.

Blizzard also put a new daily quest in Hearthstone this week – a quest that makes you watch a friend win a game to complete your quest. This quest isn’t a special one-timer.

It’s implemented on purpose to fill up one of your three slots – annoying you, hindering your questing, re-appearing if you reroll it, and most importantly – getting you to invite your friends.

Blizzard is also sweetening their expansion by advertising a “free” card back, while calling the card back a “limited edition” in their advertising. New card backs come out all the time. They have no real value.

I borrowed some ‘friends’ off of the forums, but this whole scene just feels really manipulative suddenly. Hearthstone is Free-To-Play, but I’ve been paying. For some reason I expected more class from Blizzard.

Elder Scrolls: Online

So I’m done with Hearthstone. I’ve just downloaded 14GB of Pillars of Eternity, and I’m also back playing Elder Scrolls Online.

I was happy to see a revamped starting sequence in Elder Scrolls that helps you establish a friend in Lyris and connect with real emotion. It’s working much better. The story is still a little opaque, but hardly more so than Rift, and it’s more personal.

In this week of headline news about Indiana’s new laws allowing religious discrimination against LGBTQ people, I’m also pleased to support Elder Scrolls because Zenimax/Bethesda supports the LGBT community. So happy gaming, whatever you’re playing.

More Reading on Pillars of Eternity:

Overview Video of Pillars of Eternity on MMORPG

Tumblr Gaming Blog Of The Week

I don’t know what else to call these posts, but Fereldanwench‘s gaming-related Tumblr blog is pretty awesome. It’s also labeled NSFW (Not Safe For Work 18+). I’ll flop that up front.

In fact, this blog taught me the word “apostitute“, which is the most startling, remarkable, and rich neologism I’ve cognized in a while, a fusion of the Dragon Age term “apostate” and the obvious.

And Ferelden (with an ‘e’) is of course a geographical kingdom in Dragon Age. I liked the author’s post below. The original link to her enthusiastic caption is here.

Ferelden Wench is also a cosplayer, with some Saint’s Row and some DA2 Isabela to her credit.

It’s nice to see someone re-appropriating the word “wench”. If bitch and **** can get done, it will be a triumph.

dragon age 2 lesbian screenshot

Something Coveted, Something Queer

I haven’t gamed much in recent days. Rift is going slow. I’m giving up dual-boxing. Too time-consuming. Round two of Summer Festival quests were also too time-consuming, so I gave up on the festival too.

Back to leveling.

I was reading Syp’s blog tonight (Biobreak) and noticed he made a few lists: 10 most wanted games and 30 weird things he has in his office (an impressive list–the “life-size” Beaker made me do a double-take).

I’m inspired to write a blog post, having noticed Syp left off at least one important RPG. I’ll shoot for only four things though. My office/studio is minimalist.

Top 4 Kitty-Coveted Upcomers:

  1. The Elder Scrolls Online. It’s everything I don’t want in a blockbuster AAA fantasy MMO title (PvP focus, console, dumbed-down few skills, no mini-map, active block and dodge), but it’s still Elder Scrolls. The good news: low expectations are the best way to enjoy a new MMO, and gone are the days when I play an MMO as a major life commitment, anyway.
  2. Torment: Tides of Numenera. It’s featured on the cover of this month’s PC Gamer, which is great. It raised a cool 4.2 million on Kickstarter, which was like a nuclear bomb of RPG fan-power going off. The non-D&D IP (setting) is concerning, but it still looks interesting. I’ll give it a chance. Excited by this title.
  3. Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls. (Expected title.) The first expansion to Diablo 3 is in the news currently, and after listening to the Diablo 2 soundtrack almost daily on my playlist at work, I’m starting to feel a burn to take the battle to Hell. I haven’t played D3 at all. I pledged to play it because Blizzard incorporated all classes as female-playable. Technically, the only reason I haven’t bought it yet is because it isn’t on Steam, and I’m lazy.
  4. Dragon Age 3. I found out not long ago (the video clip Bioware/EA released in June) that my estimated release date was a year off. Bummer dude! The good news: you can play more races than just human. I like the idea of your character becoming the leader of a faction/cult. So you’re still important, but you’re not saving the world. You can also choose the way your organization develops, just like your character. It’s a fabulous idea to add this second level of choice and roleplay. I hope it works.

Top 4 Queer Kitty Office Decor:

  1. A styled mannequin head wearing white bunny ears with pink satin lining. She’s cute. She never ages a day. She always has an enigmatic smile on her face.
  2. A Wooden Clothes Pin Inked To Look Like A Dragon. This was inked by an actual queer person who I love very much, except she unfriended me on Facebook, so now I sort of hate her despite the chocolate chip cookies she baked for me. It’s my fault. That’s all I can be sure of.
  3. Psych DVD Box Set (Complete Season Three). Two guys. One should be gay, but apparently he is in denial. These DVDs are from the library. I’m not a huge fan of this silly show, but I could use a laugh or two. I would rather be watching Dexter, Lost Girl, or True Blood, but I’ve seen all episodes of all seasons and do not pay for cable.
  4. A Box Full Of Earring Parts Labeled “Earrings” With Sparkle Silver Lettering. Ok, that’s really the best I can do unless you count the paintings on the walls, but this blog is PG-rated. I also have an easel, a cherry wood easel chair from Vermont, and some cabinets that store art supplies and trophies from my victims. Psych! Ok, back to watching.

Kick-Ass Female Characters posted a list of the top 65 female fantasy characters today. This follows a previous list of the top 40 female sci-fi characters.

I’m fine with neglecting Selene from Underworld (Kate Beckinsdale), but it’s silly to leave Hit Girl (from the actual movie Kick-Ass) off the kick-ass list.

As Angry Joe noted last Saturday, Chloe Moretz will reprise her role as Hit Girl this week as Kick-Ass 2 releases on Aug. 16th.

I really hope this movie is, well, good. I loved the first one. It’s one of the few superhero movie franchises I follow, along with X-Men, which has still more kick-ass women not on the lists. Toby MacGuire is boring. Hulk who?

Iron Man and those Norse god guys were ok and entertaining for a once-through, but I haven’t been back yet for the sequels. I do need to dial up the new Superman movie since Joe says an evil superwoman kicks Superman’s ass. I have to see that.

So Molly Weasley and Mary Poppins are listed but not Phoenix or Kitty Pryde? Since when did the lesbian establishment stop drooling over Ellen Page? Don’t forget her performance as the superheroine Boltie in Super, another good movie that threw a bone to Kick-Ass fans who were waiting forever for this sequel.

I was thinking just today at work about doing a review column that includes movies and discusses kick-ass female characters. I’m watching a movie tonight called Cat Run which features an assassin who cuts off noses and fingers, among other things, and leveled her sniper rifle skill to the max.

It’s rare to see a movie with such a wide variety of interesting characters of both sexes. Yes, the movie could be better. but Cat Run starring Paz Vega still wins a 8/10 review with a BAD KITTY STAMP OF APPROVAL.

I haven’t watched the end of Cat Run yet because I keep starting over, but that’s how everyone reviews MMOs these days, so why not movies too.

Midweek Hysteria

Hysteria. The symptoms are:

“Faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Yes, those are the symptoms of trying to romance Morrigan in Dragon Age before she warms up her swamp galoshes a little bit for you.

Until then, you need to be ready to endure tongue lashings of the non-pleasurable variety, generally cause trouble in order to please her, and you’d better have your save game handy. (For the benefit of any Dragon Age romance savants, I am using a Morrigan gender-unlock mod.)

So. I’ve been at least two months in Rift, and I need a break. I’ve never been into festival grinds. I’ve squashed enough summer bugs and fished enough summer fish already. My main character’s roleplay daughter (on the second account) is up to level 40.

Last night I played Dragon Age: Origins and picked up Shale, the DLC companion character. I’m thrilled with DA on the PC compared to the PS3 (except the map is too small), but Shale is a disappointment that ruins the party I had planned.

Tonight I am updating SWTOR while listening to Diablo soundtracks. “Sisters” is my favorite so far.

Dear Bioware, if you’re going to make a companion DLC, the added companion needs to be of maximum amenability with all players instead of a narrow niche appeal. Put niche characters in with the main cast and let people pick and choose, like with handsome assassin boy, Zevran.

So after I originally boycotted SWTOR due to the outrageous anti-LGBT reversal, and then was turned away by F2P due to not being able to make a Twi’lek, I remembered my beta Imperial Agent, who was cool and inspiring while still being human (I think, so playable without paying up front). Primary drawback: no light saber.

We’ll see how long I survive. The last time I entered the spiked pit trap that is the limited F2P SWTOR character creation, I lasted two minutes before quitting, and I haven’t logged in since.

It’s been another weak week for news. Angry Joe is apparently playing games instead of making videos. I adopted The Old Reader as my Google reader substitute recently, and they just now announced they are kicking out their 400,000 new customers and making a private service for 10,000 instead.

I was not a happy camper when I heard this last night. Thankfully I have my blog, and it has a sidebar full of links, which is how I coped without readers in the first place.

Lastly, I’m happy to see the Rift Newbie Guide staying on top of the pop. That guide is like a plant that was dead, an embarrassment to my lack of attention, and I resurrected it for F2P, and it’s beating my WoW guide now daily for visits. This pleases the kitty.