Here is the next version of my game Bloodbath. It is getting very close to being what I call done. When I say that, I mean the rules are done. It will take me considerably longer to flesh out the world of Helboria and provide a ton of charts for more loot and treasures. I also need to create the random dungeon rules, which is in the works now.
It is March and spring although officially not here, it is obviously very close. All the snow is gone and the weather has been almost balmy in the 60s. With that, my clouds of depression have drifted off, but with the roller coaster ride of highs and lows has come a consistent neutrality towards gaming, writing, and creativeness.
Last month I was so excited for the new expansion of Everquest II. For me, it was largely a disappointment which I expressed in Episode 19 of EQual Perspectives. You can listen to the show here on the EQual Perspectives tab. Since then I moved on to play Fallen Earth and have been enjoying the game. Is it a game I could stay with for a long time? I am not sure, although the community is very special it seems lacking in real obtainable loot and the brokering system in the game seems lacking (all over priced or lack of anything to buy).
My game development has also slowed a bit in March. In February we play tested the game to luke warm reception and that meant going back tot he drawing board and re-writing huge sections of the game. Bloodbath is now in the interim phase where it is just plain hard work to get all the systems working. At a certain point I can start developing the game world, which should really be fun. That will only come when the game can stand on its own and players enjoy an afternoon with it.
I have not done anything with Phantasm Adventures in the last several months. It is one of those games, or creative efforts, that never simply disappear. I am hoping to get revitalized with my contact with some Japanese players again. I would love to spend more time on the game, developing the 2nd and 3rd book. These two books will require Herculean effort to get done since they are all charts!!
Monster Fandango my portable little board game has also stalled a bit, and I need to focus on getting the game into a 3rd edition. Once there, I am confident that it can stand on it’s own two legs.
I am back to podcasting again, as noted above, and I am looking forward to doing a new show with Karen — episode 20. I think that should be coming in mid-April. I have also been trying to put forth a new Travels with Troy, but several selections have been hard to finish and now I wonder if it is too dated (some portions of the recording were done in late January).
So much to do, you would think I would be so busy I couldn’t think but I need to focus — that is the problem with the better weather. Without focus, nothing gets done. Instead of worrying about all the projects, I need to concentrate one thing and get it to the next step then move on. Right now I am staring at 8 folders wondering and fretting on how I am going to get anywhere with any of them. OMG!!
It has been more than 2 weeks now since I started Fallen Earth and I am still playing each night. I think this is one of the few games where I can say I could literally play it for a long time, even if I come and go with other MMOs. It is one of those kinds of games where you can spend an hour or a day playing it, and always feel fulfilled.
One of the more striking differences that I have noticed is really the total absence of “uber gear” or significantly greater gear than the average player. You have seen it before, where you start a game and after a week you notice a few at your level with gear that just blows the stuff you have away. Now I am sure their are suits of armor and guns out there that make my stuff look paltry, but it appears that they keep that stuff at arms length from newer players. All the gear I have is made by me, and nothing is overtly powerful or ground shattering. Its funny I am 7th level and using gear that is a hodge-podge of broken equipment and mundane everyday equipment. Later perhaps as I master the game, I am sure my alts will always have better gear.
Questing is fun too, and real basic. Go here and do that; kill this and do that; get this item to this location. I have been wandering all over the map, often into areas I shouldn’t be going. The cool part is that I am having fun, and some how the death penalty doesn’t seem that severe as of yet.
Graphically it is bleak, but perhaps that is the intention of the game designers. There are some buggy things that I have noticed, which cause me some headaches (literally). The mounting and unmounting of a horse can be very jarring. Add that with constantly doing it because you can’t harvest from horseback gets old real quick.
Also, I am a bit disappointed in the very limited sack size you get. It is so difficult harvesting or crafting when you never have enough space in the game. You spend a lot of time, simply sorting your bag. That should not be part of the game — If you thought Everquest 1 or 2 was bad, this trumps them both easily. Worse, unlike those two games you really can’t buy bigger backpacks or larger caches.
Aside from the nightmare of inventory management, the game is rich in the hundreds of items you can find harvesting. I am almost to the point of selling everything I find, and then just buying back at ludicrous rates just the things I need to make my crafting gear — seems a bit backwards but far less easier.
I also wish they would organize their recipes a bit differently. You get books of knowledge that break the crafting down into categories. Problem is they often overlap in skill level and often the categories are very ambiguous in what they contain. Again more time spent opening and closing categories trying to find the item you want. I would rather have a central repository of all recipes, sorted by level or name or difficulty.
Combat seems rather straight forward, and I have chose melee. Up to this point it seems pistols and rifles are so underpowered that it takes you 10 or 20 shots to kill basic things. Doesn’t seem right, standing or running in circles blasting at a giant ant with a pistol because you can’t kill it in two full clips? Perhaps it is just the power of the items I am using — I hope that later on rifles have allot more punch.
Next week I am laying low so won’t be playing as much. I will keep everyone informed on my journey as I learn more.
I have been busy modifying and re-structuring the rules of Bloodbath and it is nearly ready for a new release. The game has really undergone some big changes, which I hope will make the game more fun and easier to play. One of the biggest hurdles was making new characters strong but not over-powered. We are still struggling with making the characters hardy but not immortal.
Some of the bigger changes we made is in how to roll up a character. We have added two new ways of rolling attributes for a total of three methods: straight down the line, place them where you want, and a point based system. We will probably need to modify this rule set at least one more time.
We also changed all the attributes so that they control just 1 aspect of the game. It is my opinion that it makes the game much stronger and less prone to silly math errors and confusion.
Might is used for damage and for carrying loot.
Fury is hit points.
Bloodlust is initiative and determines Sanity.
Arcane is all things magical.
Skill replaces Power, and is just the number of points you can spend on talents (used to be skills).
Tenacity — used to be Wisdom. Now you add your Fury, Bloodlust, and Arcane and reference a table to determine what a monster needs to roll to hit you. This score is modified by armor. This rule set will also be modified a bit over time as well, since I still think the bell-curve is not where I want it to be.
We also got rid of Factions all together — too complicated and not needed.
Now classes determine your ability dice (used to be called Talent). So a Pkahrian Pirate rolls 2 dice for arms, 1 dice for magic, and 4 dice for Adventures.
All Talents (used to be called skills) have been drastically reworked or deleted from the game. I tried to make all Talents work the same way, or if one doesn’t that it makes sense of why it is that way.
All items in the game have been adjusted and I have done away with the silly names for them — just use basic weapon and armor names and leave the creative naming to monsters and the Helborian landscape.
Classes of course now determine the dice a player rolls for all Talents in the game. They also have been structured with bonuses and penalties. I am still up to complete modifications on the classes of the game. I am still toying with the idea of making some drastic changes to how abilities are checked, but I like how these things work.
Still adding monsters and loot as I type this. At a certain point I want to start fleshing out the world as well. I hope that I will have a new PDF before I leave on vacation in a week, then after I get back I hope to flesh out the world and have the game up and running at 100 percent by early summer.
I am still alive in Fallen Earth, but being a clone even if you die you return once again to face the trials of the apocalyptic world.
Yesterday I had a bit longer to play the game, and I plan on playing quite a bit today since it is Saturday. I am still learning the game which shows you its not neither easy nor explained. I am not sure if that was a design decision or just simply not detailed well.
I have reached level 4 and was told that you probably should hang around the starting town until at least 15th level. So I planning on sticking around in the area for a couple more weeks.
I decided against other player’s judgments to spend my AP on what I want up front and not worry too much about saving the points. I think the whole concept of saving points is ridiculous and not the way I want to play the game.
I have found one part of the game that I am not enjoying, and that is inventory management. It seems like you never have enough space for the stuff you have collected. Even using the saddlebags on the horse, you are constantly jostling bits and pieces around trying to hold more harvest able goods and more finished crafting products. There are banks, but I have to learn what stuff I can put in there and which Items I need on my person to harvest and craft.
I also got a new horse. The horse they give you in the start is a real nag — it eats constantly, so get rid of it.
I have also been making a fair amount of armor. I think Flame will be my cook and armorer while Logan will make the weapons.
That being said, I need to get Logan going here soon. I keep weighting the learning curve about starting a second guy.
I am finding a wide arrange of loot — I say loot because although not found on mobs, it is something you can make or sell. A very different game then lets say EQ where its all about killing a monster to get the treasure chest. This game seems more of finding the nodes that lead to making cool items. I am still have so much to learn.
I am off to find water — in the desert this stuff is worth its weight in gold.
See everyone later.
Still enjoying the game. I have been playing exclusively my avatar Flame Johnson, the fiery mean spirited girl.
I am learning the layout of the game and how to effectively ride horses, use combat skills, and harvest. I actually got a horse already, named Brown Bob.
I have also reached level 2, supposedly with a cap of 46th level. Sort of odd level cap, but I was told they were going to add another 4 levels here in the next patch.
I remind everyone that I really get about two or maybe three hours to play the game a night. I don’t have the unlimited free time as many gamers, so my pace at the game is drastically slower.
I am still enjoying harvesting, exploring, and crafting which seems to be the staple of the game.
No real problems as of yet, other than my horse died, which the concept I love, and losing my horse in the wilderness, another concept I think is cool, but it was all made better finding the stables.
UPDATE: I got up this morning and just decided to subscribe and buy the game. It is only 19.99 so even if I grow to hate it, it wasn’t that expensive. I got myself a hat rather than the ATV — seems like everyone has the bike, and the hat seemed kinda cool.
So I finally got some time last night to sit down and play Fallen Earth. If I may be so bold, I think I found a winner with this game. Is it for everyone? Probably not. Is it for me, from what I saw so far it comes very close to the game I have been waiting for such a long time.
First, I love the atmosphere. It is so desolate, lonely and “ruinish” (is that a word?). My avatar wandered the lonely bleak streets of Midway, occasionally seeing other players but often just finding ruined buildings and the feeling that there was something once so great here and now nothing but devastation.
Character development seems a bit weak, but I am not big on making my character look different from other players. There seems to be enough different faces, hairs, tatoos, piercings, and other body configurations to please most people. The art seems a bit ungainly and the shadows often time seems to lay oddly.
Tutorial was fast and simple, just the way I like it. They made it a good story, but didn’t waste a ton of time explaining stuff you wouldn’t use for weeks. Some say they needed to explain some other aspects of your tabs and controls — I like having to discover them on my own. Anyway, the help channel is very helpful and I have made several friends already.
After the short and very good tutorial, you are thrown out into the world. And as I said, it really seems bleak and hostile — It is also an adult rated game and I was surprised at some of the words that my avatar sometimes muttered. Finally a game for adults.
I also found a working saloon, with blackjack and one-arm bandits game machines (ala Las Vegas, baby). Very fun just by itself. I am looking to return and play more.
Missions (quests) seem straight forward and interesting, but like any MMO they often are nothing more than kill X of this creature or go here and do that.
By the end of the night I already had a horse, and that was really special. I look forward to owning a road bike or a dune buggy. It would be cool if they had aircraft in the game too– maybe someday.
Crafting seems very interesting in that you can literally make almost every item in the game and that there are enough disciplines where no 1 character can be good at everything.
The actual crafting takes place offline, or I assume in the background while you play. I have made only 1 thing so far: a small bowl of salsa (HA HA HA HA). Someday, I will be making precision automatic rifles, but that’s not for a while.
As I said earlier, I made two avatars and all of last night adventures was with Flame. I see her as a real hellion, whooping it up and partying all the time — it would be cool if she could find a bar and pole dance or go wild in a saloon and start a brawl.
I wonder if the avatars can get drunk in the game? Any other drugs in the game?
I’m so exciting about playing again — and that should tell you allot of my initial thoughts of the game.
I must temper my judgement with that fact that last year I tried Warhammer and initially thought that game was a winner too. In the end, I didn’t like it. This game may be different because its all about the three things I like doing in a game: Exploring, harvesting, and Crafting. I also like the fact that others can’t just get in big groups and get big loot — that they have to earn it the same way I do by harvesting, crafting, and making money hand over fist.
Until later. . .
While I recover from my Everquest II blues, I thought I would pick up another MMO and experiment with another kind of genre. I am very tired of the fantasy grind and Fallen Earth really looks like a radical departure from EQ.
I will document my journeys through the post apocalyptic world here.
I have already downloaded the game and created two characters, or as I guess now as being avatars. One is a roguish looking fellow named Logan Troy — named after the movie Logan’s Run and the other is a sassy, fiery girl named Flame Johnson.
I tried a very small bit of the game, but had to leave to go to work. Controls seemed fluid and the voice acting in the tutorial seemed decent. Haven’t had a real chance to find out about combat or level advancement.
Oddly, my two characters started out at 40th level? Is that a bug or does all characters start that high?
There are some big changes coming to the next edition of Bloodbath II. After several weeks of playtesting both here and around the world (Yes, I am so excited to know that my games are being played in Japan and in Europe).
One of the biggest changes coming is how to roll for skills and the deletion of the Powers attribute.
In the update, we are doing away with Powers and simply making it Skill. The number of dice one rolls for each talent is determined by the class of the character and not purchased.
The number of skill points are spent directly into the Talent tree. Determination of success is much more quantified.
Combat is made more simply, and the use of weapons and armor is also made easier. Combat resolution is made more simple as well, and instead of rolling back and forth between the combatants, each simply rolls 1 set of dice.
I am still looking for game testers and feel free to send me an email on things you would add or change. I am planning on releasing an update to the rules this week.
Stay tuned. . .
Head over to the EQual Perspectives tab and check out episode 19 of the show. This installment Karen and I really dish some tumultuous discussion on the new expansion and the battlegrounds.
Also check out Karen’s blog: http://www.journeyswithjaye.com/
Head over to Twitter and listen to my rants and raves by subscribing to my feed: ShalimarTroy.