Slaying Internet Dragons: A New Home

For those of you who found Slaying Internet Dragons directly though WordPress, you may have noticed that there has been ZERO activity here for a while. We’ve moved. Sort of. You will find us at SlayingInternetDragons.com from here on out. You should go there now.

~Vyn

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Review: Path of Exile

Path of Exile
A few months ago, I was looking for a different game to play over the holidays, as we were off visiting family for a couple of weeks, and the internet connection was spotty at best, and thus, WoW was out of the question. A friend told me to check out Path of Exile, since it’s not quite the internet hog that WoW is. It’s a game made by people who love gaming, a small New Zealand-based company called Grinding Gear Games. It’s a Free-to-play game without the Pay-to-Win systems that a lot of other F2P games have.

PoE has a total of seven playable classes that include Marauder, Ranger, Witch, Templar, Duelist, Shadow and Scion. Given my penchant for playing paladins, I chose to play as a Templar. PoE has a very different play style than I’m used to, so it took some time to adjust, but I got there.

I’ve played a bit of Diablo III (but not nearly enough) and yes, there are a lot of similarities, so it’s clear the developers are fans of the Diablo franchise, but there’s a fair amount different as well. Path of Exile boasts on of the most epic talent trees I’ve ever seen in a game, so you can really customize your character to your specific style.

poe talent treeSeriously, this talent tree is insane!

Wraeclast is a dark, brutal continent. Scarred by mysterious catastrophes of the past and inhabited by creatures of nightmare, the very environment challenges exiles who dare explore it. For the designers, replayability is key. All world areas including outdoors ones are instanced for your party and randomly generated, right down to the magic properties of the monsters that dwell in them and the treasure they guard. While this is good for going back and leveling a new character, it can also be frustrating when you’re trying to finish some lingering quests and everything is different and you can no longer find your way around.

All in all, I think Path of Exile is a game that’s absolutely worth checking out, and considering it’s Free-to-Play, it won’t cost you anything if you end up hating it. But you probably won’t.

Posted in Gaming, RPG | Tagged ,

Fable: Ten Years On

2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Xbox RPG classic, Fable, and developer Lionhead Studios has been updating the graphics to modern day standards (the original graphics were pretty good at the time, but certainly more cartoony than what they’re doing for Fable: Anniversary). YouTuber, Robert Cram posted an interesting video highlighting the changes they’ve been making for Anniversary. Have a look:

Unfortunately, I won’t likely be checking out the new version first hand, as I moved to the PlayStation 3 as my original Xbox aged out, but maybe it’s time to give the original game another spin. If you’ve never played it, you should. It’s a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, Fable Trilogy (featuring Fable: Anniversary, Fable II and Fable III) is slated to release next week, so it might be time to pick up a copy.

Posted in Console, Gaming | Tagged , ,

Shadowrun Online: I Had No Idea This Was a Thing

Until a few minutes ago, while sludging through my morning news feeds, I had no idea at all that something so potentially awesome as Shadowrun Online was even a thing that was soon to find it’s way onto my PC (shh, don’t tell my wife!). While I’m trying not to think about the money about to fly out of my wallet, I find myself more than a little nostalgic for days gone by. While I was in high school, myself and a group of friends spent far more time than was probably good for us running countless campaigns and missions of the Shadowrun pen-and-paper RPG. I sadly haven’t played this game in years, so my recollection is a little foggy, but I do remember having all kinds of fun with Shadowrun.

sro_screenshot_new_01Damnit, why does this have to look so good?!

What looks to be pretty unique to this game is the universe wide impact that storyline will have. Not only is there player-driven content, but events triggered in SRO may also crossover into the pen and paper game. Having read that, I have this sneaking suspicion even more money may try to wiggle it’s way out of my hands as I stock up on all the books and other sundry at my local game store.

A full Unity3D online game, playable on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS  and even on Ouya; SRO is fully cross platform, meaning you can play it on your tablet in the train, then go home to sit down at your PC to continue with the same character. SRO also features a turn based system, which promises to balance fast-paced action with tactical combat. Not having played it, I have no idea if this will be a good thing or not, but I sure as hell am excited to find out!

“Welcome to the dark side of the future, pal. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.”

Posted in Gaming, MMO, RPG, Shadowrun | Tagged ,

RuneScape 3: Umm….

I just uninstalled RuneScape 3, after spending a whopping half hour with it. I can’t tell you how many different levels of suck this game is. That’s because I may never know just how far down in the depths of suckage this game can go, it was that bad. There are two methods to get into the F2P version of the game: you can download the game client, or play in-browser with Java. I chose the former because browser games run very poorly. Imagine my surprise to find that the downloaded version wasn’t any better.

Before I even got to attempt to play the game, I had to spend an excruciatingly long time just trying to get into the damn thing. The interface is slow, sometimes non responsive, and did I mention it’s also slow?

Then there’s the matter of the ads. Wait, wut?! I have to stare at an ad for Viagra like I’m playing a browser game? Oh this is fun. Also notable, you can’t go fullscreen unless you pay for a membership. What kind of F2P MMO is this anyways? Can’t they just have the decency to make a good game and simply have a pay-to-win function like any other good free to play model?

runescape_3_client_logo_icon_by_dusk_pegasus-d6ewrg6

Literally, the only cool thing about this game is the logo.

Once I managed to finally get into the game, create my character and start to play, I had a hell of a time even moving around. Don’t get me wrong, I love an old school RPG like nobody’s business, but this is an MMO, and also, it’s 2014! Having controls reminiscent of a game from twenty years ago is just ridiculous. Oh, and don’t even think about going AFK, because RS3 will log you off if you’re inactive for longer than thirty seconds. I had to relog three times in ten minutes before I got fed up and rage quit.

Posted in Gaming, MMO, RPG | Tagged | 1 Comment

Elder Scrolls Online: Sure, It’s Pretty, But…

A few days ago, Bethesda released the Elder Scrolls Online – Arrival trailer, and wow. It’s just stunning. Go ahead and watch, I’ll wait…

I know, right? It looks really good, but how does that translate into gameplay? Judging from what Skyrim was like, it should be good. Should. But, you may remember, the trailers from Star Wars: The Old Republic looked fantastic, but the game is pretty dull when it came down to it. From what I’ve seen of ESO, it would make for an excellent movie, but will it make an excellent game? Is it just another WoW wannabe? 

Posted in Elder Scrolls, Gaming, MMO, RPG | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Slight Diversion From The Norm…

Today, at least in Canada, is known as Mental Health Day. The initiative is to broaden awareness of mental health being a real issue, and to break down the stigma that those who suffer mental health disorders must also suffer, in addition to the living hell that they must already contend with. On Twitter, Bell Canada has stepped up and will donate 5 cents for every text made on the Bell Mobile network, and every Tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.

Both my wife and daughter suffer from ADHD, and have their ups and downs, and is incredibly difficult for them to deal with on even their best days. It’s incredibly difficult on me, too, even though I do not suffer from any mental health disorder directly. But we all have a great support system to make our lives easier. Not everyone is so fortunate. My wife’s struggle has been even more difficult, as she was only properly diagnosed with ADHD a year and a half ago, when she was in her mid twenties. Up until then, she had gone through many a psychiatrist and was prescribed a veritable gamut of medication before finally figuring out what was going on and getting on the right path. With our daughter, we got the ball rolling on her diagnosis and treatment as soon as she started showing the signs that she might have it as well.

In addition to my wife and daughter, I have a friend who moved out to the west coast who has bipolar disorder, and has been in and out of hospitals for the last few years. It’s sad to see how she’s declined, but good that she’s with her family while she’s at her worst. Unfortunately, I’ve lost a fair amount of contact with her, and only hear from her about once or twice a year.

Another friend, who is the guild with my wife and I, is still undiagnosed, but has been showing signs of OCD/ADHD with auditory issues for the last few years he’s told me.  He’s tried distance learning, because he has difficulties being in large groups and often saw deadlines go whooshing past him because he couldn’t focus himself to work on these assignments. But he’s a hell of a WoW player!

So today, it’s less about slaying internet dragons as it is slaying mental ones.

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