Neverwinter Nights 2 – A Progressive Review

To further my quest into the dark pool of geekdom, I now own a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2. The original was very good, and I’m looking forward to playing this one.

This entry will be a work in progress as the journey unfolds. As background for my comments, I’ve played NWN v1, most of the other real time or turn based DND type games, and played DND since the early 1980s. I dread to think how many hours of /played I have in RPG.

Step 1: Installation
Installation was as you’d expect, just let the machine chug away while you watch TV or surf the web. Interesting that the .Net platform is required, and I’d love to know if that is a core requirement for the game, or just the toolset. Kudos to the developers for using .Net.

During the installation phase you are given the opportunity to register online, but the servers must have been either clogged or down when I tried. Not a good start.

Otherwise the install seemed to be OK…

Step 2: Patching
Patching is done using a little updater application much like WoW or other games, and while I normally like a smoother looking interface, I can handle a little less information being given to me, as long as it keeps me up to date on what its doing.

Patching takes a bloody long time. Get a meal, watch a film, or take your significant other out on a date; you’re not playing this game any time soon.
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Warcraft adds a new PvP area in expansion – called Eye of the Storm

So Blizzard adds a new place in BC dedicated for PvP using a hash on many typical PvP styles; called the Eye of the Storm.

I must say I’m chuffed, and hopefully the sitename here is not a total cliche. Nice to be a week ahead of Blizzard, now if only I’d called something else Stormwind….

A very short review of EVE Online (sink it)

Given the fact that I play online games, and have played games in some form for many years, I was keen to try EVE; especially as they offer a 14 day free trial.

Overall: If you like building slowly, and the prospect of loosing everything, then this is your game. I can see the appeal of a game which really forces its players to consider loss and death as really bad events. But I play for fun, and thats not relaxing for me.

Good:
– 14 day free trial
– nice graphics (space looks very spacey)
– intelligent ship design
– great marketplace/auction system

Bad:
– economy seems subject to corruption (I know is designed that way, but I don’t like that in a game)
– really difficult initial tutorial
– the computer looks almost like the face from System Shock.
– just too much harder to play than other games.

I was not surprised to later read that many others also find it a frustrating game, but surprised to find so many folk who are totally devoted to the game. Perhaps I have missed an essential point of value.

Also mentioned today in the press was the merger with White Wolf, which I hope will bring either new elements to EVE, or new games to the MMORPG market.

See: White Wolf Announcement

A presence in Warcraft

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a while now, and just starting to get a hang of the subtle aspects of the game. Its one of the best non-pen and paper games I’ve played in a long time. My Toons are:

Eonar server
Diamon – 60 Paladin
Aurac – 60 Warlock
Erar – 41 Rogue
Rill – 31 Warrior
Arakai – 20 Priest
Darri – 20 Mage

Feathermoon server
Arsmagica – 22 Mage

See you online.
(edited for leveling: Warlock 60 and War 31)

Websites on a budget

How do you go about creating a blog on a budget?

My brother asked me about setting up a portfolio site for his animation and artwork, and it lead into a huge discussion (which may have scared him a little). While trying to answer his questions I found that many of the services I have acquired or discovered over the past few years means that it is very possible to setup a good website using almost no outlay of cash.

It takes a planning, bit of geek skill, and a flair for design. I have two of those, but cannot design my way out of a paper bag (don’t ask why you’d design the inside of a paper bag).

The sub-topics that I’ll cover are:
domain setup
– web hosting
– blogs
– dynamic scripting language
– security
– backup

And this will also be a discovery project for me, as I am using this site as my test subject.

Cheers, and stay tuned for all sorts or malarky!