Friday, September 21, 2012

Digital from GW - now the dwarf sees the pixels

So, I'm a huge fan of digital versions of many things, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, NY Times especially. My white dwarf though?

I will definitely pick at least one up and one print copy. Our hobby is so hands on that it is hard to justify our mag going digital. You want to have it in hand or do you?

In favor; after now settling into the house, space is most certainly at a premium, the ability to zoom in on 'eavy metal paint jobs, see that I'm not the only one to screw up the stalker chariot rail (go look, it's askew, even in white dwarf or on the Web) so being able to see that in digital is great.

On the flip side reading on a back lit screen sucks, for photos it's great just written word is a strain, especially for s tech professional who stares at a backlit screen all day. Not stopping into the game store is a bad thing, those mom and pop stores help the community, one that's tends to be holed in I've met some fine people just hanging at the store. Finally the cost, what happens when I have an old enough iPad, now there's a big outlay to keep using the digital, could I see a PC our Android version please?

So, I'm mixed, what do you think? Will you go digital always, sometimes or never?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The final countdown, and what I do when I can't hobby

Remember that song!? No, well that's ok, neither do I, so let me bless you with this ballad of power.

Amply blessed? Good :)

So we're almost in our new place with a closing date set and all ready to rock!

While I wait and since everything is in storage I've been reading a lot about WH40k, the excitement for the new Chaos Space Marine rumors and playing World of Tanks, Terraria and Team Fortress 2.

I realize as I play these games that all three have similar elements to Warhammer. Yes, not only are they all games, they're all tactical, strategic and progressive.

World of Tanks is about 60% tactics, 30% strategy and 10% progressive. You're in an arcade environment, with a team that may or may not be useful and keep building experience to buy better and better tanks. You've got an over head view, and a basic in tank view. It's no first person shooter yet sometimes it can feel that way. It takes a lot of game play to build up your garage, or as they say "depot." It never feels like a grind though. When you get home from work and just want to blow stuff up, it hits the spot. Quick skirmishes last around 15 minutes, often less and will have you hooked on getting the next round a bit better. Being good at world of tanks requires being clever, using cover of hills and buildings and generally realizing you're not invincible no matter what you're driving. Plan for about an hour to an hour and a half to get your fill. What makes it more addictive is that at any stage you're either wanting to try the new gun/tracks/engine etc on your tank, or you're just that much closer to your next research to get your next tank part or even the next tank. Just three more lost games or one win and you're there. So, you queue up and try for just one more win... It's good fun. Oh, did I mention it's free to play? Purchases can be made that'll speed things up, and the dollar to fun value is very good. Go take a look at their site: World of Tanks

Team Fortress 2 is about the same, 60% tactics, 30% strategy and 10% progression. In this case, it's all first person shooter skills to the nth degree. Be ready for the little kids to be playing, however as the night gets long the college crowd comes on, and they're very, very good. What makes you good in TF2? Not "pwning noobs", instead team play is rewarded through clever map layout and solid balance between player classes. This makes for a rewarding game play, however if you had a bad day at work you may want to pass until tomorrow's game session. Game times are widely varied, from five minute rounds all the way up to an hour or longer, so plan a good two hours to get a good run of it. In terms of progression you're a the mercy of achievements, random "drops" and a robust trading system with other players. So, keep an eye on "player found" messages and see if they're interested in trading one item for another you don't use. This is yet another free to play game which is terrific news for those who can crack walnuts betwixt cheeks. Team Fortress comes from Steam: Steam Powered

Finally Terraria. This one is about 20% tactics, 20% strategy and 60% progression. This is an old school side scroller with completely random worlds, and it does what it does very well. You're going to be often most solo in this world and if you wish a multiplayer level can be made and played in. Regardless solo play shines. This has been the competition to Minecraft, "with bosses." Moving forward in this game requires finding better and better building materials to then summon and beat progressively difficult monsters. The bosses get bigger, badder and faster almost too quickly. There's never a time where you can blame the game, if you can't beat something you'll need to visit the wiki figure out what to build next and try again, suddenly making the fight easy. Some say this is poor balance, to me it's about strategic setup of the terrain in the world (which you have full control of) and getting the boss into a place where you can control the fight. For this reason you can work on the game for five minutes or an entire weekend and still need even more time. It's truly a time sink. At the end of doing all this work however you feel a great sense of accomplishment going from barely surviving a rabbit attack to taking on huge bosses that take up the whole screen. In general, old school fun. This one has a slight price of entry, and definitely worth it. Again, this can be gotten from Steam:  Steam Powered

So that's what I'm up to when not hobbying, go take a look at those games, you may have some fun killing time if you can't get to your hobby or as a break when that wash didn't go on right... again... or when those pesky necron warriors won't assemble properly. We've all been there, getting up and taking a break is good medicine.

Have fun!