Video

The Plan by Krillbite Studio

It is easy to be mesmerized by the vast landscapes and break neck action in today’s big title games.  But, that is not the only type of game available.  There are games made by small studios or individuals that strive to tell short stories in lush and beautiful worlds.

These indie games can showcase the artistry of the developer.  Forced by small budgets and limited resources, they focus on bringing simple and elegant storytelling.  Sometimes the stories are straight forward, sometimes they are subtle and more about personal exploration.

The Plan which was recently released by Krillbite Studio is an example of the later.  It is described by the developers as a side project; a short, experimental, self-discovery game. The Plan is a wonderfully, quiet game; nearly meditative.  At times, I found myself curiously exploring the environment and wondering the game’s purpose.  Other times, I was surprised and amused by what was happening.

You can download The Plan for free at their website.  We will also be watching Krillbite Studio’s next project, Among The Sheep, with much anticipation.

Originally posted at RaidWarning.

Bacon Flavored Coffee

I don’t know if this means the end of civilization or the gates of Nirvana. But, I would probably try it…just once; at least to see which it was.

This is nothing new, I suppose.  There seems to be a big push for bacon flavored stuff.  I wonder if that is because of the news about a global bacon shortage to hit next year.   Over-compensation due to fear?

Mike Zadorojny and Matt Wuerffel from Arenanet talk about Halloween event and future development.

Mike Zadorojny and Matt Wuerffel from ArenaNet took some time out to answer questions on Twitch.tv. The Q&A centered around the upcoming Halloween event, but the two developers covered a lot of ground including player’s concerns and future development of the game.

A lot of teasers were discussed such as new areas, like Flameheart Rise and Dredgehaunt Cliffs, should not be missed. Zadorojny and Wuerffel did say that all Halloween content will be accessible for all levels of players. They did touch on Halloween specific weapons that can be crafted and how they may be usable after the event (but, don’t count on the resources being available!).

We are going to have content that permanently changes the face of Tyria. There is also going to be content that we do in these updates, like all the living world stuff is going to be there permanently. So, the new jumping puzzles and mini-dungeons that we mentioned and a whole slew of new events, that stuff is going to be there forever.

Beyond the event release, there will be future updates that includes new maps and content. These new areas will be announced as they fit into the developer’s overall vision.

Among quality of life issues, continued bug fixes are going to be a focus for this update. The loot table is going to be adjusted for jumping puzzles and mini-dungeons. Karma will be added to achievement rewards. They concluded with a promise that this is only the beginning with tweaks to making the game more rewarding and enjoyable.

Watch the entire interview here.

A Troll Confronted

Perhaps I am asking for the worst, but I have thankfully never been really harassed or trolled online.  I know it happens, but I don’t have any experience with it, especially when it gets really bad, so I do not have any reference.  I have guessed who does it and the reasons behind the acts, but it has only been speculation based on my experience with all the other nasty things people do to each other.

Leo Trynor was kind enough to share his experience’s to help enlighten me and anyone that may not understand the effects of online (and sometimes not so online) attacks.  He talks about the disturbing threats he and his wife received over a nearly three year span.  The threats crossed various sources (twitter, facebook, etc).  Even after closing accounts and being forced to sever ties with close friends, it got worse.  Physical threats were left at his house.

It started in July 2009. I’d been on Twitter for over 2 years at that point having joined in May 2007, and I’d never had a problem. My account was followed by a fairly innocuous looking one which I followed back and within 10 minutes I had received a Direct Message (DM) calling me a ‘Dirty f*cking Jewish scumbag‘. I blocked the account and reported it as spam. The following week it happened again in an identical manner. A new follower, I followed back, received a string of abusive DM’s, blocked and reported for spam. Two or three times a week. Sometimes two or three times a day.

What happens next is very interesting.  With help of an IT friend, Traynor was able to track down his troll.  He was surprised at what he found (as typically is the case).  His story is poignant, relevant and important for anyone that has an online life.  It is a story of how some can inflict pain  to a person and their family from the anonymity of the internet.  The most important message was what he told, face to face, to the person that had given so much grief to Traynor, his wife and child.

I am not just an avatar

Look out for each other and I encourage you to read the entire story at Leo Traynor’s blog.

Responses to Arenanet’s Security Measures

There has been a lot of talk about how Arenanet is handling security.  In short, if you use a different IP address or computer, an email is sent to your address to ask for confirmation prior to logging in.  This is a pretty good system in my opinion and should be applauded as an alternative to the common authenticator found in games like WoW or, more common, no secondary security measures at all.

But, some people are having a hard time with this system.  Klepsacovic, over at Troll Racials are Overpowered, is asking for authenticators to feel confident that their account security is in their own hands.  Let’s be honest, no system is perfect and hackers will be hackers…they will get into your account, if they want to.  Authenticator systems can be hacked and only give you a feeling of safety because you are holding it in your hand.

What I like about the email verification system is the ability to know when someone is attempting to hack into your account.  It is common knowledge that hackers have your email address and maybe your password.  When you get the notification that someone is trying to get into your account from somewhere you are not at, the system is letting you know that the hackers have your info and they are trying to use it.  Change your password and maybe even your email address!

That is a lot more useful info than just hoping no one has figured out the algorithm to an authenticator.

Use an Xbox360 controller to play GW2

For anyone interested in expanding their Guild Wars 2 experience through peripherals, there is good news.  Numerous third party programs are becoming available to bind your hotkeys to an Xbox360 controller.

If you are concerned about violating Arenanet’s Terms of Use rules, the issue was addressed by Mark Katzbach, who is in charge of Community Special Operations at Arenanet.

“In cases like this, I would go so far as to say as long as the profile that binds controller buttons to keyboard/mouse commands is binding one button to one keypress/activation, you are not in danger of incurring a ban.“

As increasingly more mods and add-ons become available, the conversation surrounding what Arenanet considers legal will heat up.  It is advisable to be careful when using any third-party programs to prevent being banned.

Click here to read the entire thread on the official forums and find links to these programs.

Does Guild Wars 2 Need Leveling?

As I move through the leveling curve of Guild Wars 2, I am noticing with most other players, that there is a lot of other things to do in this game then just leveling.  In fact, I have wondered if leveling is even necessary.

Guild Wars 2 might be better if there were no levels at all.  People, including me, seem to get to focused on getting to max level.  It is a focus on the finish line, on the destination.  It is not uncommon feeling to want to get to the end with hope that there is something on the other side.

But, in my opinion, GW2 is more about the journey, not the destination.  I feel that leveling gets in the way of the actual game.  The “good stuff” seems to already be there, right in front of us.  Meaningful exploration, fun WvWvW and sPvP, story lines and interesting quest chains is readily accessible.  Why do we even need leveling, if we are already receiving everything we want (or maybe even all we are going to get)?