• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why I made Camelot Unchained my first ever Kickstarter pledge

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Just recently I backed my first Kickstarter project, City State Entertainment's RvR sandbox MMO Camelot Unchained. What was it about this particular project on the crowd funding site that persuaded me it was worth backing? Read on to find out.

For UK readers of a certain age...
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Six years and counting

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I can't believe it's been six years already. The Lord of the Rings Online is in the middle of its sixth anniversary celebrations this week. It's a game I played at release for three years before taking an extended break and then recently returning.

video
Party time in Middle-earth

During that time it's seen Turbine taken over by WB Games, a move from a subscription model to a free to play one, and the EU servers move from Codemasters back to Turbine. Despite all those ups and downs it remains one of the very best old-school MMOs on the market as I detailed in my recent blog post.

Against the odds Turbine have succeeded and the servers seem busier than ever, even in the lowbie zones. They have managed to create an excellent game that feels like a real living world (something most modern MMOs fail to do) and have done so without breaking the integrity of Tolkien's lore.

I first played the game in beta, and was immediately struck by how "right" it felt. It may have helped that my character was a Hobbit, but I was amazed at the interpretation of The Shire in the game. It felt and looked just like I had imagined.

Since then there have been plenty of great memories. The social ones really stand out, like performing in a band, taking part in a community horse race, and attending many roleplay sessions in various taverns across Eriador. The game itself delivered plenty of memorable experiences too. The first time I journeyed through Moria was stunning, and I still think it's the best virtual dungeon I've ever seen.

I'm certainly still really enjoying my time in the game (just joined a great kinship) and I'm looking forward to the next six years. Who knows by then we might even have reached Mordor!

If you're looking for a fun old-school MMO with a thriving community, loads of content and some unique systems and social tools you should try LotRO.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A few thoughts on a few games - Batman, XCOM and DayZ

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Most of my gaming time recently has been spent playing Lord of the Rings Online, Portal 2 (again) and a little TSW thrown in for good measure. However I have also been spreading the love around a bit and have found time to play a few other games that I wanted to talk about. They have all been out for a while, are all very different, but as usual I've only recently found the time to play them.


First up is XCOM Enemy Unknown, the new version of the classic X-COM. I was a fan of the original all those years ago, and picked up the game on the recommendation of some friends. It certainly manages to evoke the same feeling as the original, and the battles can be tense and nervy, especially when a character you have spent some time building up faces danger.
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Friday, April 05, 2013

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 14 - Shanghai Surprise

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This session saw a major change of scenery for the investigators as they decided to flee the UK following their most recent exploits. A discussion held in the light of the most recent headline in The Scoop, which identified Harry as a murderer, made their decision to leave the country a relatively easy one. Cassandra was more than a little worried about what she had gotten herself into, but was persuaded to continue her help.

The investigators decided to head to Shanghai. They had come across several leads to the city, and suspected that Jack Brady may be hiding there.

Would the investigators end up in big trouble? The answer will come as no surprise...
So it was that with the help of Cassandra's butler, Farnsworth, the group booked passage on a merchant vessel that would take them from nearby Lowestoft round the coast to Southampton. From there they boarded a passenger steamship called The Ineluctable, after managing to sneak Harry past a suspicious guard at the port.
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Thursday, April 04, 2013

It's new PC time!

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Here are the specs for the new PC I've just ordered. I haven't bothered getting a new GPU as I only recently got myself an nVidia GTX 660 Ti. I'll just be swapping that and the hard drives from my current PC into it.


CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight Nighthawk SD1283
Operating System: Windows 8 (64-bit)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77-D3H
Memory: 16GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance (4x4GB)
Hard Drive: Sandisk 128GB SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: 22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
Graphics card: Onboard Video
Sound card: Onboard 7.1 Audio
Accessories: USB Card Reader
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
PSU: 650W Corsair VS

The total price came to £704.70 including VAT. I decided to go with a pre-built PC this time, rather than building one myself. I priced the components up separately on a few sites and it was only £20-30 cheaper. This way I get a three year warranty into the bargain.

I ordered the PC from DinoPC. Let's hope it all goes smoothly and I'll report back on how the order proceeded.

Ordering a new PC is always exciting. Hopefully it will all be up and running by the end of next week.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

"Melancholia Enshrines All Triumph"* - A tribute to Iain Banks and Iain M Banks

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Iain Banks is my two favourite authors. I have every book he has written, whether as Iain Banks or with the additional "M" (short for Menzies), and have read many of them multiple times. So I am upset to read his personal statement today that reveals he is suffering from late-stage gall bladder cancer and is now only expected to live for "several months".

Iain Banks
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