Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Banner Saga, WoW, Wild Star, D&D and other news

Damn its been over a month! With the holidays I kind of forgot about this...ok where to start.

Banner Saga: I begin with this.

Play this game.

Play it right away. Its amazing. Its a story based game...its cruel..its beautiful, heart wrenching in fact. It is probably the best game I have played in quite a few years.  Game is available on steam:

I'll just say this; I've never felt the need to cry after a video game (notably only one or two VERY depressing books have made me feel that level of emotion and maybe 3 heart jerker movies have made me tear up when I wasnt expecting it. This is after a life time of loving drama and sadness, so generally feeling pretty prepared to endure it).

World of Warcraft: Having a lot of fun in this game. Don't know what it is about Panda Land but I enjoy it, despite how much against it I was. I still hate the Panda race, but the world is lovely (gorgeous even), the content is very fun and the combat is the best its ever been. Looking forward to Warlords of Draenor and seeing the character model updates.

Wild Star: Admittedly I have not been in the beta much, cause of WoW. What I saw seemed promising although I still don't like the Guild Wars 2 feel I get from it, it is far more polished/nicer than GW2.

D&D: This is a bit of a rant..

Fuck fuck fuck..fuck fuck..fuck 5th edition/d&d next. I started D&D with the tail end of 2nd edition and never enjoyed the system. When 3rd came out I adored the customization, and when 4th came out I really enjoyed the tactics and builds. I for one never thought it was a systems fault that groups could not learn how to roleplay, and the idea that 4th edition somehow inhibited RP even today baffles me. The reality is that 4th edition brought in a lot of new players cause it looked fun and not as intimidating as 3rd edition and those players were not taught proper RP by their DM's. Also lets be clear about another thing; D&D was never a good roleplaying game, it was a good rollplaying game. It took a good group to make the game work as a story telling method. So the idea that going BACK to more simplistic rules to appease the 2nd/3rd edition crowd is a bit insulting to me. 4th edition could have easily have been updated with more content to flesh out non combat options, with more worlds and 'things' to explore but it failed for a few reasons:

1) Books were bad. Most of them were poorly laid out, poorly written and relied to much on filling up the page with large blocks of powers and reprocessed feats. Compare the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms guide to the 4th edition version; no real comparison here which one feels better as a DM.

2) Books all became player supplements. Few books targeted the DM and helped them enrich their game, instead I feel the vast majority of them were going after players with one or two new backgrounds or rules, and the rest of the book was fairly dull and uninspired.

3) Online tools were too little to late. Compendium was nice, and the builder eventually got to a good place, but the other tools were either too buggy (monster builder), too late (open table), or too little (dragon/dungeon magazine content).

They should have had a 4.5. Would have been an excuse to sell books, fix rules en masse and pull back in their old crowd by catering to them a bit more. Essentials was a good step for D&D but the fact is they had too much going on at the same time , and they needed to consolidate options for players a little more.