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Games. Tech. Musings.

Games offline and online. Technology. Random stuff.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Magic: Coldsnap "Spoiler"

This is only funny if you're a complete Magic geek. Like me.
White Blue Black Red Green Gold Artifact Land

Here's a few of my favourites:
Lucky Pendant
1, T: Look at the top card of your library. You may sideboard that card out at the end of this game.
Brief Fright
Bury target non-black non-artifact creature until end of turn.
Skip your sleep phase.
Whenever you may do something, you don't.
You may play any number of lands each turn.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Guild Wars: Dual Smite in Alliance Battles

Nice little video of a Dual Smite build in Alliance Battles by Kisst of PIE (our guild leader). I must admit that I was expecting Air of Enchantment to receive a lovetap from the nerf bat but it escaped this time round.

I've played this build myself a few - maybe 10 to 15 - times, as one of the smiting monks. It's very effective. The main thing to bear in mind in Alliance Battles is that you're not trying to kill the other team. Yes, you get a few points from it but the majority of your points will come from securing the NPC-guarded shrines. Dual Smite is very nice for this because the sheer DPS is extremely high. Note that in the video the majority of fighting going on is against NPCs rather than the other team.

Of course, that only works for the Kurzicks. If you're playing for the Luxons, the best thing to do is ignore this advice and ball up in a huge group. Also, I hear that Mending is very good, so please run as many copies of that as you can. :)

Guild Wars: Learning PvP from the Nameless Isle

Solid tips (if a rather arrogant tone) in this article by shadex over at GWGuru on training yourself in PvP techniques on the Nameless Isle. If you're not sure where the Nameless Isle is, it's the small island next to the Temple of Balthazar that new PvP characters start at.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Guild Wars: Dear Santa...

Please bring us this for Christmas. In fact, no need to wait until Christmas...

Not original ideas but a bit of Photoshop goes a long way.

Party formation UI is pretty weak in Guild Wars. The shocking lack of skill of most players (take note: I'm not saying I'm great, just that most people are truly awful) is still enough to encourage me to avoid pick-up groups whenever possible, so I'm not sure how much difference a fancy UI would make to me personally.

As a general rule, if there's a ton of boilerplate spam in areas in a MMO-type game it indicates a need for a more powerful UI. The 3 prevalent spam types in GW: party formation, guild recruitment and (most of all) item sales.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Guild Wars: GWWC Season 2 Playoffs

Some upsets in the playoffs this time round. Just saw some nice writeups of the first couple of rounds over at Amped eSports by Josh Lovejoy:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Guild Wars Factions: Assassins in PvP

Useful article on Assassins in PvP over at GWGuru by Lord Ertihan. I've also read elsewhere that the default elite for PvP Assassins is Aura of Displacement.

In PvE, Assassins are having a rough time getting into groups (a) because there's a ton of them and (b) because a lot of people that are playing them aren't very good ("omg i play the ninja!!1!"). The key point is that you're effectively naked compared with a warrior and so just running up to a bunch of monsters and standing there hitting them isn't a great survival tactic. Imagine if you had Frenzy up the whole time as a Warrior and you'll get the idea. Hit and run is the key, just as in PvP - take out their most irritating caster, teleport out, recharge, rinse and repeat.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Guild Wars Factions: Collector armour

Useful post over at GWGuru by Kaguya showing the locations of all the armour collectors (or armor collectors, to speak the local lingo) at the start of the Canthan PvE campaign.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Guild Wars: Confessional

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been a long time since my last confession.
I haven't played any PvP since Factions came out.

Say 10 Hail Marys. And get back into those Alliance Battles.

Yes, between Factions PvE and my toddler deciding that 5:45am is a great time to get up in the morning, I haven't even played a single Alliance Battle yet. Maybe in the next couple of days.

So far I'm having fun with Factions although the limited playtime means I haven't even seen most of the new features yet. I'll post more initial impressions later on.

Privacy's Overrated (apparently)

Doesn't seem like you'd have to be wearing a tinfoil hat to find the latest revelations of the NSA database of US phone calls unsurprising. I'd guess that most people thought that they're tracking phones - it's just that now they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Odds on the next scandal being that they track email too?

On the plus side, if this trend continues it'll soon be much easier to order pizza.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Guild Wars: Elite Mission screenshots

Saw a couple of Elite Mission screenshots posted by Lady Jaye of XoO over at GWOnline. Apparently the missions are pretty tough even for a coordinated team with voicechat and require 4-6 hours to fully complete.
Just check out the sheer number of monsters in that first shot. Crazy stuff. Also, a telling quote in the first screenshot:
Reverend Munk: im not sure if I ever want to do this again

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Guild Wars: Birthdays and Collector's Edition

A new feature added with the release of Factions was birthday gifts, miniature models (no in-game effects) which act as in-game trinkets. The mechanic is that you get a birthday gift for any character that's a year old from creation.

Seems that ArenaNet is feeling guilty about not supplying the pre-ordered Collector's Editions - apparently now preorder CE customers will also get one of these miniatures. Birthday gifts are from a random selection but the CE gift is always Kuunavang, a miniature dragon. There's a screenshot of the little beast on the official site.

In other news, the stated reason for not extending the Head Start to pre-order customers was because some players would "burn through" the whole of Factions PvE and not bother actually buying it. C'est la vie. I hope that EB has my copy tomorrow - fingers crossed!

Guild Wars: New Guild Halls, part 2

Over at GWKB, Deviant posted some more analysis of 2 of the new guild halls:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tech: Inform 7

Inform is a highly specialized language designed for writing Infocom-style interactive fiction (IF) games. The latest release, Inform 7, uses syntax which is largely a subset of English, e.g.:
The Living Room is a room. "This is your living room, as featured in a number of games written by first-time interactive fiction authors." East is the Kitchen. North is the Bedroom.
Yes, that's source code. So is this:
Instead of taking the fire, say "It would burn you."
Verbose, to say the least. Usually, the bulk of code in IF is text anyway so perhaps the extra syntax length doesn't matter. Inform 7 also includes a fancy IDE.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Guild Wars: New Guild Halls

Some nice initial writeups of the new Guild Halls over at Team-iQ. I haven't had a chance to play on any of them yet, but there's a bunch of wacky stuff going on - e.g. 2 flagstands on the Meditation Isle.

Guild Wars: Factions FAQ

An unofficial FAQ for GW: Factions is up at GWGuru.

Before my Factions characters were locked, I was doing the standard PvE unlocking dance. I'm told by one of my guildies that there are no skill quests in Factions after the secondary-profession quests on the Island - but she wasn't 100% sure since she hadn't done all the quests yet. Anyone know for sure?

In any event, it seems like there are very few skill quests - so don't go crazy buying every skill from skill trainers or you'll run out of money. Save the $ for the good skills and leave the trash for later.

Update: according to this thread (warning: potential spoilers!), my co-guildmember (I need a better term here - I hate "guildie"! Suggestions?) is indeed correct. You have to use $ for all the skills after the initial Island and in fact most of the skills at the Island too.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Guild Wars: Black Moa Pet

Here's a guide to getting a Black Moa bird as a Ranger pet in GW: Factions.

Guild Wars: Preorder grace period

Important piece of information came in on Saturday from Gaile if you've pre-ordered a Collector's Edition of Factions but are still waiting for it.

Previously, ArenaNet had said that you'd have a 10-day grace period to register a key and then the characters in your 5th and 6th slots would be deleted. Apparently now that is not the case - you still won't be able to play Factions till you have a key but at least they won't nuke your characters.

I'm in this situation so I guess I'll be missing out on my Factions fix till at least Friday - theoretically that's when the Factions Collector's Edition is supposed to make it to retail. We shall see.