Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Haunted Hallows and Violin Dubstep. Odd combo but it works.

For some reason I'm having quite a fun time making videos. I created another one for the Ultima Online Halloween seasonal dungeon on UOEvolution, the Haunted Hallows. This was only a quick preview for up to the first boss, the Over 9000 Year Old Mummy but it was still a lot of fun.

I happen to really dig Lindsey Stirling's music, and the tune used in this video, Moon Trance is hers. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nostalgic Ocean Voyage in Ultima Online on the UOEvolution Shard

I'm somewhat proud of the events I do on Ultima Online, as these crazy ideas always came to me while playing OSI so many years ago but obviously as a player your powers were limited. Welp, not anymore! I wish I had taken video of Expo's gameplay as well but I went from 1.5 hours of video to 7.5 minutes so not bad... perhaps next time. Here's a forum link to the event.

I also realized I haven't posted in over a year... Twitter on the side ---> is more up to date HA!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shards Online - Battle of the Backers Recap

Today was the Battle of the Backers event for Shards Online, an Ultima Online inspired, moddable sandbox game which shows great potential for years to come!

A God's View of the Event
This event was hosted by Citadel Studios and streamed on their channel. It was a FIRST of its kind on Kickstarter... the ability to actually PLAY the (Pre-Alpha) client BEFORE the Kickstarter has even finished! It's unheard of... it's inconceivable!! It's something to REALLY consider, especially with the news of the infamous Brad McQuaid and the (kindly put) failure of Pantheon. The folks at Citadel Studios have a solid platform (right now) that can be built upon by the players (right now) so you should pledge (right now)!

I have to reiterate something from my last post... you can create your own world(s)! Whatever you want! However you want! And if that's not your forte, then you can still play on the Official Clusters (for a small subscription fee) or on Player Clusters (completely free).  These can be anything such as a Free For All Open PvP Hardcore shard, or a true to D&D shard, or a Crafter's Paradise (more on this later) and so on and so forth. It's been said by Derek aka Supreem of CS "If you can set up a MineCraft or DayZ server, you can run your own shard." It's that simple.

Anyways, back to the Battle of the Backers!

I wanted to touch up on how the game "felt" in a Pre-Alpha stage. I'll be completely honest and say that it felt very familiar. Why? Probably because of the countless hours in Ultima Online. The inventory system was very UOish with the ability to move objects around in your backpack, organizing them however you'd like. To move your character, you hold down the right mouse button, aim and run. Special abilities and spell casting were done using QWER and 12345 (respectively).

I'd like to note that casting spells in Shards Online is done by "Pre-Casting", which means you would "load" a spell and then select a target. This was made relatively easy with the a gump/window (and key bindings) that allows the ability to use Last Target, Target Self, and Target Nearest Combatant. If I wanted to cast a fireball at someone, I would use my Fireball spell, a casting animation would play, then I would be engulfed by a circling fireball and decide who to launch it at. This is a GREAT visual cue of what an enemy (or friend) is preparing to cast. But how do you learn these spells?

You can find various spell scrolls in crates or as loot and then "Memorize" them. After a scroll is memorized, it will appear in your action bar. I did notice some scrolls had different properties such as decreased damage but higher critical chance so I wonder if memorizing those would change how effective your spells are? Hmmmm.... interesting!

I really enjoyed the BotB ruleset because it allowed several minutes for players to explore, raise some skills and find equipment then go into a full scale PvP battle and then end with a Sudden Death where all participants were placed into a confined area to duke it out. I accidentally went out of bounds and vanquished myself! *laughs*

As the game is still in Pre-Alpha stage, the graphics aren't an issue for me though I actually enjoy them for their nostalgic feel although the animations were well done. Deer fled from players (and bears) while bears protected their cubs and territory with quite a bit of ferocity. This really makes me excited for their "everything is in motion" statement as the possibilities are quite endless since creative admins will develop some amazing behaviors for not only animals but also the world.

Did you catch the Battle of the Backers? You can watch it and all of the other Shards Online streams here. If not, do you have any questions? You can ask me or hit up the CS staff at their IRC channel. I must say that I am still amazed that I was able to participate in this event and experience a piece of what Shards Online can provide. There's MUCH more than PvP so stay tuned to their Kickstarter page for more updates and make sure to pledge!

Let's make this a reality.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Look at Shards Online

My interest has been piqued. By what? Glad you asked!

You all know I'm a big Ultima Online fan right? Yes? No? Well.... I am. Always have been. It's seriously the best game EVER in terms of gameplay and replayability. I'll just drop this mic right now...

BUT there hasn't been anything on my MMORPG radar since the announcement of Shroud of the Avatar however, out of nowhere, a loud PING went off and Shards Online appeared!

Shards Online

What's this? Did they actually say:

"Ultimately, we aren't just creating (a) game that fosters a single player community, instead, we are giving our players the tools to create their own in-game communities."

That statement 'literally' sent chills down my spine. It's something I've always enjoyed doing and something many players only dream of. Creating a world. Actually dedicating yourself to not only your actions, but those of MANY people. That's the game changer right there.

It's not as simple as you'd like to believe. But it IS rewarding when you see players commenting on your forum how amazing that holiday event was, or how they appreciated the fact you listened to input and nerfed that thing over there.


So what should you look forward to with Shards Online?

  1. Create and manage your own world with custom rulesets!
  2. Adventure with friends or solo!
  3. PvP is NOT an afterthought!
  4. Skill based, not gear focused!
  5. Nostalgic feel to the game!
  6. Persistent housing throughout the world, no set plots!
  7. Living world where many things are possible!
  8. NPC companions to do your bidding!
  9. Built in mod tools!
  10. And more!

I could go on, but I won't. I'm excited, yes... is it that obvious? You should be too! Shards Online is aiming to go where no MMORPG has gone before. You can read much more information about the game on their Kickstarter or watch the video below.

But you've got to remember, this game is in PRE-ALPHA phase... that means graphics, animations, basically EVERYTHING can and will still be improved upon. Focus on the concept of the game, the core elements that you will not find in any other game.

THAT is what makes funding this game worth it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

UOEvolution - The Haunted Hallows Returns!

It's that time again! Halloween is fast approaching and it's probably my favorite holiday of the year. Dressing up, scaring people, candy, all that good stuff. It also means holiday events on most games... and that's where I come in on UOEvolution.

Last year I created the Haunted Hallows, a Halloween themed "dungeon" that was geared towards the more experienced/veteran members of the shard. It had unique critters, boss monsters known as the Halloween Horrors, rares, loot and more. This time around I have made it more "noob friendly" but still challenging as well as created some new content. What that new content is... you'll just have to find out and visit the Haunted Hallows!

There also was the Nefarious Power Source quest line I had going during October last year, but I won't be doing it this time around. Too many things on my plate at the moment so I will just be focusing on the Haunted Hallows.

Here are some pictures from last year. If you want to read some spoilers for this go-around, scroll down to the bottom. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grand Theft Auto 5 aka #GTA5

The kids are awake so I finally had to stop playing... might as well type up a quick "review" of one of the most anticipated games ever... GTA5!

Yes, I admit... I was at the midnight release, but this was/is the first and only time that'll happen. Unless there is a VI?! SHHH!! Anyways...

Hate them on TV commercials. If it is something I ACTUALLY want to see/experience, I will do so much as mute or walk out of the house to avoid any contact. I kid you not. And so of course the moment I found out about GTA5, I kind of went into "radio silence" for a bit.

I've come to find out you can play multiple characters, perform special moves which include bullet time shooting AND driving! A Rottweiler I can own and train?! I'm a sucker for Rottweilers, I used to have one as a kid and she was the best dog ever. Having lived in Los Angeles, I have actually been able to use my internal GPS and find my way around Los Santos with ease... I even passed by my old neighborhood! 

Insane Fantasies That'll Get You Ropes in Real Life!
It sounds like a mouthful, but it's probably not as "serious" as you think. Yes, it's been noted in the GTA series you can perform GTA, assault, trafficking, death, etc... but you have no idea about my insane fantasy. And that is...

To perform a U-Turns whenever AND wherever I please... regardless of collision or bodily damage done to any structures or lifeform, man-made natural, extraterrestrial or otherwise including but not limited to buildings, automobiles, pedestrians, signage and anything else left unlisted. 

Red lights?! "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

One of the best features of GTA5 is the surprise you get from opening the case and finding an instruction booklet that has only 5 pages... wait where's the rest? The game does an ingenious job of pulling off a MegaMan and teaching you everything you need to know about the game in the first "practice scenario". I truly suggest you watch the video below to understand what I mean when I say a "MegaMan was pulled off".

I really can't stress how much I was looking forward to this game and just how much it has delivered. The storyline is extremely enjoyable to watch unfold, especially with multiple perspectives. The city life, music, activities, randomness... I could go on and on.

Now if only I didn't have to wait until late night when the kids are asleep to play. Damn me for being a responsible parent!