Tag Archives: Beta

Torment: Tides

torment: tides of numenera

Brian Fargo tweeted a short while ago that early access for Torment: Tides of Numenera beta backers will be available tomorrow. I suddenly wish I was one of those people!

Maybe I should start beta backing, especially when Brian Fargo and Shanna Germain are involved. Shanna is the bona fide award-winning erotica writer on the Torment project.

The image small print says “coming to Steam 1/26/2016“, but I don’t find anything on Steam right now. This kitty is confused as usual. I bought a small solitaire game called “Quill tonight instead, which involves letter-writing in a medieval setting.

It looks like a very interesting study in game design.

Quill requires six-sided dice though, and I possess no solemn equipage of antique, romantic hexahedrons. The digital download didn’t come with a game box of course, so.

I’m off tomorrow night to pay real money at the game shop for a bag of six-sided dice, I suppose. Back in the days, I could find six-sided dice hiding on the floor of grandma’s game closet, or in the Yahtzee box. Not so anymore.

The good news is that I’ve created a Drivethru account, and after I purchase six-sided dice, I can finally use my Tunnels and Trolls rulebook. Drivethru also offers T&T adventures. We’ll see.


Game-Related Stocks


This week is another tide of torment in the stock market. Clearly by the time I decided to pool my resources and invest in the stock market (last year), the markets of the entire world were on the brink of collapsing and dying in a fire.

Yesterday a tweet mentioned that the Vanguard (mutual fund) website was turning away customers due to no available representatives. Last night the evening news mentioned that you, yes you, lost $7000+ so far this year if you own an average 401k.

Tonight they featured the same report, but the pain number was more like 8k.

Today the market entered mom and pop half-panic mode, however, and big money stepped in to create a massive turn up. Time will tell whether it will be enough, but consensus on CNBC is clearly that the bottom can’t be in due to China, oil, and currency, and five other things.

So far I’m still holding my original Blizzard and Alibaba, and I’ve pushed 50% back into Microsoft and Electronic Arts. That’s all. I’m cheering every day for the markets to self-destruct as much as possible, honestly, so I can buy.

Today Alibaba announced a big deal with NVidia to build out its cloud, including a second data center on the U.S. west coast. That’s good news for NVidia.

On another scary down day today, Nvidia and Microsoft ended in the green and were the strongest-performing tech stocks I follow, except for Twitter.


Personal RPG Project


Last week I had my final kidney stone surgery, I hope. I survived. I’m no longer sustaining constant pain and blood loss. I’m starting to feel more energized.

I upgraded my animation code to more object-oriented code. I re-worked file structure to accommodate a longer-term vision of modular expansion. Mostly I’m working on more art and scenes.

I really need to firm up my campaign setting.

Like a novice writer/adventure designer, my cat brain has been scattered all over the place with elves, pirates, vampires, Mayans, Greek monsters, and an embarrassing mish-mash of poorly considered architectural styles.

So I need a strong, consistent, sensible, constrained setting. I need a consistent political structure, social expectations, and a thoughtful style of architecture, constructed with logical local materials, in my case forest, sea sand, and volcanic stone.

Those sorts of things.

Tonight I started reading the Oxford Book of Ballads at Project Gutenberg. Just the first short ballad, Thomas the Rhymer, is completely intense. The fairies seem really right to me, especially since my game is mostly an English-speaking educational game.

I was thinking and pacing all day on how I don’t want to be a stupid human tourist, a user of mythology for entertainment or self-serving spiritual narcissism. I needed to make a serious commitment, a reverence to one magical faction, and I hope that faction is the elves and fairies of Brittania.

Maybe I can have just one vampire, and just one pirate? I wanted my pirate to be a rabbit wearing a waistcoat, though! I think I need to do my due diligence and read more fairy and elf lore, and then maybe things will fall better into place.

As always, blessed be and happy gaming.

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Weekly Wyrm: Trion Livestream, Devilian Etc.

Devilian Screenshot

This week I finished part one of Life is Strange, got halfway through Act 2 of Diablo 3, went from level 35 to 55 in Guild Wars 2, and played some Devilian Beta.

I’m not motivated to advance past level 30 in Devilian. The beta characters will be wiped before launch, which is expected by the end of the year. So I focused on watching the Friday official livestream.

Drewcifer (producer for Devilian NA/EU) mentioned not wanting to launch against Star Wars, and also implied a reluctance to go against all the current big releases this month in November.

Since Star Wars ep. 7 is December 18, and Battlefront is this coming week on the heels of Fallout 4 and Black Ops, this kitty guesses Devilian in 3-4 weeks after Thanksgiving.

Drewcifer said a new super-momentous producer letter will be released in the coming days, to be discussed next Friday on the next livestream. So I’d guess we get a release date.

Trion also mentioned some new team members on Devilian. I’ve started working on a newbie guide, but I’m just trying to learn the game myself at this point. So we’ll see.

Anyone can supposedly join the beta this weekend by buying the $20 starter pack.

Victoria Voss said if you’re interested in streaming Devilian, please contact them via the forums, and they will help you get set up.

Drewcifer said there was nothing they can do about the gender-locked classes, which is the most criticized feature at this point. The devs said there is no chance of doing opposite genders for each class, but they mentioned a possibility of adding variations of classes with the opposite gender.

More classes are coming to Devilian in the coming months, which is more than Elder Scrolls Online can say 18 months after launch. One new class was previewed recently, and it’s a great addition to the female selection.

The two current female options are cute and cuter, so the bad girl theme is a really good idea, as is melee. For the sake of the game, a wizard or ranger type for the guys seems even better.


Rift


In the Rift livestream, the devs mentioned they are bringing the Sparkle Quest back, along with Rift patch 3.5, which will include Fae Yule. Last year’s Sparkle Quest was a weekly where you did all sorts of Rift content, and you could get a random piece of tier gear.

This time will not be a weekly that turns all players magically into insane hamsters. You can only do it once for a tier 3 piece. You’ll be able to choose if you want DPS/heal or tank gear. It’s still random between those two types. No weapons this time. Only armor and accessories.

Patch 3.5 will also bring upgrades to PvP gears, PvP convenience improvements, and a button on the crafting panel that lets you jump directly to the correct component to buy in the store. Now that’s some seasonal joy!

Also, all mounts can now be made amphibious, but they still need to be unlocked. The devs went to great efforts to do this, and they need fat paychecks for their NorCal rent. Trion is also hiring, but they apparently need lots of senior and director people.


Personal



This week I was also reading and uploading new versions of my books to stamp out typos. It’s depressing that I made so many mistakes in my final attempt to be perfect. The editor has been flogged.

At least two succubus-focused reviewers may be looking at my books soon, so I’m also marketing more towards the succubus theme at this point. I’m advertising for that on a super-secret bad girl blog.

It’s secret, but I have 750 followers on that blog. How does that happen? Believe it or not, video games are not the most popular online topic.

Today I tried to make sushi. I made the rolls ok, but the rice tasted horrible. I’m still burping up that fake crab leg crud. The sweet potato roll was more promising. I’ll try to do better next time, senpai.

Happy Friday, and happy gaming.


Weekly Wyrm ~ Devilian Beta Impressions, Etc.

Rift spinderella mount imageThis kitty just got a Devilian beta invite, along with a Rift fall festival announcement, which advertises a “Spinderella” spider carriage.

I haven’t checked in on Trion lately, but they’ve been busy. The Spinderella might be the craziest cool pied-à-terre mount I’ve ever seen in my life.

It looks like a lavish mech-gift to a Drow elf bride from her Deep Gnome husband, to compensate for the nigh-fatal shortcomings later in the bedchamber.

Unlike some other horrible F2P come-and-buy-all-this-stuff advertising I’ve seen recently, the Rift festival blurb also leads with a bit of roleplay and a reference to a well-known satyr character being ready to revel. I often feel Rift writing is weaker than it could be, but this is professional.


Quick Devilian Beta Impression


I played the Devilian beta tonight, and I was impressed. It’s slick, fun enough, and probably worth playing at launch. It’s like a cross between Diablo 3 and Aion, but it’s a little more fun, in that it doesn’t take itself as seriously.

The music is good. The gameplay is fast and fun. You use flash-dodge moves to avoid red circles like in Neverwinter.

The quest panel is brilliant, and the entire interface is really slick. Alt-tabbing is a breeze. Pets seem to be only temporary, so you have to replace them. They offer real perks though, like storage and buffs.

There is an “attendance” panel, where you accumulate perks based on how regularly you log into the game. Quest direction indicators are very well done, as is an autorun feature to get to the next quest, in case you’re confused.

The main shortcoming of Devilian so far is the four gender-locked classes. The gender equality is appreciated, but the female customization options boil down to two options: a short and cute loli gunner, or a tall and cute wizard with bouncy boobs.

So equality, but not. The guys look properly big, bad, and heroic. The girls look like girls. My first loot drop in the game was a corset. I didn’t think boobs could bounce in an over-bust corset, but there it is. Have fun with it.

The writing and lore seem a little sketchy, as do the settings and NPCs, but there’s a somewhat understandable story. The Trion devs vouched on stream for Devilian’s clever writing and humor, so the kitty needs to see more before she starts pissing on everything as usual.

Since Devilian is being streamed, this kitty won’t post screenshots. I might have a full, empathetic review at some point, and I’ll probably play at launch unless I’m just too busy.

I can say I just purchased Diablo 3 a few days ago (finally), and I’d rather play Devilian tonight.


Hearthstone And Diablo 3


This week I pulled my third legendary Hearthstone card from a pack – Bolf Ramshield. It’s a terrible card, but a lot of good dust. I decided Hearthstone is too stressful for popcorn entertainment, so I bought the Diablo 3 combo pack this week.

I was thrilled to find the female Crusader looks and sounds exactly like my LotRO Warden! I thought I’d never see my blonde Elf Warden again, and it’s like she’s living and breathing again in Diablo 3. I need to find a nice spear for her, and I have a feeling there will be Hell to pay.


Video Game Stocks


For various reasons, the stock market also soared this week with Nvidia, Microsoft, Blizzard, and EA all in the green. Microsoft was up 10% today. Like I predicted several months ago, their cloud is going to eat Amazon’s lunch at some point.

Microsoft announced a cloud deal with Akamai last week, which is another stock I picked last spring, along with Equinix.

I also predicted the PC is going to make a comeback. Microsoft announced last week that they are rolling out a big media campaign to advertise the power of the PC, in a joint operation with the big PC makers. We’ll see.

I really hope the fear and nail-biting is mostly over, and I can ignore Wall Street and my investments like a normal human adult. It looks like the market bottom was literally when all of the experts and big names were saying to get out.

Jim Cramer, Carl Icahn, and other big hedge fund guys said the economy could be headed for a disaster a few weeks ago, and everything was going to die in a blaze of fire. It still might, but those guys were buying, and so was I.

I’m polishing my first three book covers and studying popular fantasy novel covers to get a feel for what readers want to see. I’m not putting my name in huge letters, bigger than the title, which is too much ridiculous cult-of-personality narcissism.


Nightmare Tide: Livestream And New Screens


Commentary On Today’s Rift Livestream


Massively posted a Nightmare Tide vs. Warlords of Draenor poll today, and Rift did surprisingly well at 29% vs. 44% of readers polled. WoW players may read elsewhere, or maybe they don’t know how to read, but the Rift devs surely feel good about this.

Daglar and Simon were jovial and confident in the Livestream this afternoon. They mentioned a few times that they’d seen concerns about NT’s readiness, and said straight out that a decision would soon be made, and they weren’t afraid to move the date.

Livestream Highlights

  • The new unified currency will be earned in dungeons, PvP, and variety of different weekly quests that target different types of playstyles. This currency can buy you raid gear. At least, that was what I heard said. There is a weekly cap on currency earned.
  • Instant Adventures will be in Goboro Reef only. This is a good idea. They really aren’t needed in every zone, especially as the game ages.
  • Not too many new cosmetics due to focus on three new armor sets: open world, dungeon, and raid.
  • Four new dungeons and two revisits with new mechanics.
  • Four new dimensions at launch: one is Shadow Scion (NT booster pack), and the other three are created by the Dreamweaver profession. It’s great to see support for crafting like this instead of making them store-only.

At one point, Daglar’s tongue seemed to slip, and he seemed to say that F2P is the devil, but I doubt that Daglar is possessed by an evil F2P demon that now controls him like a puppetmaster.

Since Daglar is a demigod, he should be immune to mind control.

The Rift expansion is now in open beta, and it’s my understanding this means the NDA has dropped. Here are some beautiful screenshots showing a few expansion areas (on ultra settings). I was most interested in the overall art, textures, colors, and design.

Killjoys continue pecking at this expansion for its watery-ness, but only a small percentage is underwater.


Screenshots


Goboro Reef: Above Water

Goboro Reef: Below Water

Draumheim: Barnacle Texture

Draumheim: Margle Palace


Nightmare Tide: Toes In The Water

rift nightmare tide screenshot beta This was a memorable week with two highlights: a Nightmare Tide beta key courtesy of Khellendross on his livestream, and KKBB was linked and quoted on Massively.

Last month I saw TAGN linked on Massively, and I thought–wow! That’s when you know you’re a big time, well-known MMO blogger. You’re quoted on Massively.

Well, for one week KKBB stood furry ear-to-ear with TAGN and KTR, and I would like to thank Justin Olivetti (Biobreak) for that.

So the visits to KKBB spiked for a couple days and went back to baseline, leaving in their wake a minor heightened terror of saying stupid things. At least I have a beta key and good screens meow, like this beautiful screenshot of a huge shark and little air bubbles in Goboro Reef.


Rift: Nightmare Tide Beta Pre-Impressions


I have things to say, but it’s too soon. The new expansion is super-colorful, which is super-good. I’ve criticized the Rift color palette on this blog, and this time around the artists are unleashing the color. So far it looks great.

There is a fair amount of intentional mermaid half-nudity. All mermaids are female apparently, otherwise they wouldn’t be “maids”. Surely there are mer-men with glorious pectorals somewhere though.

According to the official lore linked above, the particular mermaid we met in the Ember Isle prologue piece is returning, which is good news for a good, memorable character. You can meet Arethea and hear her singing on Youtube. The chat is just visible, allowing a glimpse into the expansion lore.

Arethea can surely attract a handsome mer-man with her song. Unless the mer-men disappeared like the Ent-wives, lured to their doom by an evil octopus sorceress with less Disney-fied priorities in life. I doubt it.

I asked Khellendross on his stream whether he thought the Nightmare Tide expansion was ready for release, and he didn’t seem sure. I’m not sure either. Supposedly the devs are working well ahead of the state of the beta.

For example, the official Minions livestream showed numerous issues, which have since been fixed. We know this because the Rift devs are so awesome with communicating. So we’ll see.

Nightmare Tide is wedged uncomfortably between the releases of Archeage and Warlords Of Draenor right now. (I’ll never give Warlords the acronym of WoD, which rightfully belongs to World of Darkness. This still makes the kitty’s blood curdle.)


Archeage


The tide of public opinion seems to be turning in favor of Archeage. I’m thrilled for Trion. I hope they have a huge hit on their hands.

I watched some low-level dungeon gameplay from AyinMaiden on Youtube, which is the first time I’ve seen anything in Archeage that really grabbed me and made me want to play.

The fighting looks fun, actiony yet with familiar tab targeting that this kitty prefers. I’m not so sure that resource squirreling for trees and carrots will appeal to the kitty long term, or losing everything in PvP.

I saw some pirates wipe out a livestreamer last night through the open-world PvP. It was fun to watch, but he and his crew were not happy campers. So it’s probably a bad idea to livestream a dangerous resource transport. Noted.

The Rift forums are really dead right now, and surely Trion is cannabalizing some of its players. Can Trion offer an all-access subscription through Glyph? Or does F2P even lend itself well to that?

I’d be much more likely to go play Archeage if my Rift sub transferred, and thereby stay subbed to Trion on a long term basis.

Trion is the only MMO developer this year that landed a tactical shot to Blizzard with its timing. Blizzard is normally the aggressor, taking aim at ESO by announcing pre-orders right before ESO’s launch, and then announcing beta right before Wildstar, like a bully walking into a debutante party and waving around a giant penis.

Regardless of what happens, I’m cheering for Scott Hartsman and Trion. I hope everything turns out well for them in the end.


Personal


In personal news, in addition to exploring the Rift beta, I’ve slogged on with my rogue using an Assassin build, which is better than Ranger in return for more effort. It’s one of the top DPS builds in the game.

So I went from level 52 to level 58 in just one week. As of my last post, I’d given up leveling my rogue at 52, and made her an Assassin just to hunt artifacts. The ‘sin turned out so well that I went back to leveling. She brings back fond memories of my old hobbit burglar.

My rogue is still an artie hunter, but I really need the faster 150% horse available at level 60. Thanks for reading, and happy Rifting or Arching or whatever you’re up to.