The PvP Files: Death and Consequences

Posted today over at Grimwell Online.
Why death penalties are necessary for PvP.

Death penalties should be seen as a necessary part to both PvE and PvP, providing a sense of consequence to ingame actions. Granted, dying is not always the result of bad player decisions; mob respawn, runners bringing adds, overpulling, etc. can all lead to player deaths. Without any penalty, players would simply be able to suicide run their way through content. Having at least a minimal penalty helps teach the player to be a bit more careful in the future. Yet, games that have little or no penalty for dying are generally seen by a majority of players as more “fun” or “better” to play. Why is this?  Continue reading

Another Random Update

Well, I’ve been wandering around in WoW, just playing and dinking around with other characters once again. I’m not rushing to level any of my alts though, because I’m enjoying the leveling process again. I’m trying to do and find quests that I didn’t complete the first time around, or do see how the class specific ones differ, and it’s been nice. No pressure, and if I feel in the need for some PvP, well Southshore is a quick flight away (as I did last night. Mass group PvP can be so fun).

I’ve mostly been working on trying to come up with a new look for the HoS website, because the one we are using now is from 2002 and it shows. My skills have far surpassed what they were back then, it’s just a matter of getting Cyreen to agree and update things. Oh well, at least it’s entertaining for me. I’ll post links to some of the work I’ve done lately for this.

I’m also finishing some work on a stylesheet switcher for the different looks I’ve had since I started using CSS regularly, but I want to make sure that the code in those old stylesheets is solid and works properly before unveiling it. I’ll have those two new/old stories up today as well as a few other image links for signatures and other graphics.

Guild Wars Preview Weekend

So after hearing some of the chatter from guildmates and here at Grimwell Online regarding Guild Wars, I decided to hop into the free demo weekend that was held October 29-31.

Downloading the client was simple and quick, and on the default settings, the game looked good. The streaming content (one of the features) didn’t seem to take especially long to download to my system at all, even during US prime time hours. As Tobold has already mentioned in his excellent write-up, each area of the game is instanced into districts. You can tell at a glance which district you are in by looking at the location box in the upper left corner of the screen. The information is there if you choose to use it, without being intrusive or hidden away in some obscure submenu.  Continue reading

Impressions of Lineage II

It took me almost 3 months and countless rewrites, but I finally finished this impressions review of Lineage 2. I don’t usually write specific game reviews, so this was hard for me to do. I think it came out rather well, and I gladly posted it over at Grimwell Online.

Lineage II (L2) has been in retail now for 3 full months, and the highly anticipated release of the Chronicle 1 (C1) patch was finally released on June 28th. I’ve been playing L2 since very shortly before the end of closed beta and these are my experiences up to now. So far I’ve been enjoying myself. Mostly, it’s the “new shiny” feeling that every MMOG has, but also it’s because my most recent prior game was Shadowbane. Plus ça change, plus ça reste la même chose!

So here is a recap of my escapades in the world of Aden, or at least a writeup about some aspects of the game itself. Continue reading

Shadowbane – State of the Crush report

I just wrote and posted this on Grimwell Online just this past Friday, 12/26/03. No one seems to be writing a lot about Shadowbane, so I felt I should put an update out there.

Shadowbane went on a diet last month, and so far, the old gal is looking great! Too bad appearances aren’t everything. Here’s a brief recap (and my occasionally interjected opinion, of course) of all the changes made in the past few months. Note – links are to the news posts on the Chronicle of Strife only, since Ubi has decided in its wisdom to not allow anyone without a game subscription to read the majority of the SB forums. That means no reading the ensuing forum threads for some of the news posts.

So on to the report…

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This was originally written back in December, 2001 when I was actively playing DAoC. I have been looking for a copy of the text since I began the site, but couldn’t find it until today, hidden away in a backup folder I had forgotten about. At the time I wrote this, Hibernia was demonstratively the weakest of the three realms, yet any cries for adjustment on the dev boards resulted in threads filled with endless flames and arguments. I spent almost two weeks writing this post if I recall correctly, and I was rather proud when Sanya Thomas of Mythic replied to my post and said she was going to show it to other coworkers of hers. Considering that the “official” DAoC forums were on the VN Boards (aka the Seventh Cesspool of Hell), it just proved that well written and thought out posts can rise above the usual bitching, whining and moaning that most game forums seem to revel in.
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Shadowbane Update

I’m a wandering gamer, for those that don’t know (random linkers maybe, I should do a raw logs check to see if I get any interesting links a la Grimwell). I’ll probably never go back to AC1 ever again (not unless they give the graphics engine a complete overhaul with a future expansion, oh yeah, and improve gameplay a wee bit), primarily because of the reliance on Decal and it’s various plug-ins just to be even marginally competitive. DAoC – I enjoyed it, but again, the lack of purpose to the game (RvR has no real, viable implications) leaves me cold. I’ve heard from guildmates that the Shrouded Isles expansion made a ton of changes to the game, but the end premise – Realm v. Realm combat – is still the same old thing. AC2 – I had such high hopes for this. My beloved Dereth, alive again after a major catastrophe, with an all new graphics engine and a newer Dereth to explore! Oh joy? After seeing “teh pretty” it showed about as much depth as a sheet of paper, with even less purpose. Once again, no real PvP with consequences to speak of. Holding towns was useless and they served as little more than landscape markers on the path to elsewhere. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  Continue reading

Shadowbane – the bane of guilds?

Shadowbane – the Holy Grail of PvPers everywhere, the game that couldn’t get released. Or could it? With a definite release date finally set (March 25, 2003), it appears that rumour could finally be true and the game to end all PvP MMOGs will finally make it out of development and into the greedy, sweaty hands of the Play2Crush crowd once and for all.

The beta for Shadowbane (SB) keeps expanding, with UbiSoft and Wolf Pack letting in more and more beta testers in recent weeks. This is a good thing, since it’s the largest amount of players the game has tried to handle since development began. However, even if there still wasn’t an NDA in place, the actual beta test isn’t want I want to talk about here. No, what I want to discuss are the faithful followers and eagerly anticipatory fanbase that the game had attracted and retained throughout it’s over 4 years of development, aka “Fanbois.”  Continue reading

Roleplaying, where does it end?

This article was submitted and posted as an opinion editorial at During a site upgrade, there was a major crash, and the original boards were lost. At the time, the names of the person I wrote about (Altariel/Katie/Rob) were changed (Sundancer/June/Steve) because this was written immediately after the incident I describe, and because there was no reason to use RL names. This is the original text that was submitted.  Continue reading