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.