Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Listened Lately: The Idle Thumbs Podcast #4

  • Immersion has been a hot topic in the game blogging community of late, especially since Wolfshead's post about his lack of immersion in World of Warcraft. Tipa from West Karana made an excellent point that echoes my feelings as well. It has all been talked to death. However the topic rose from the grave again in an interesting way recently on The Idle Thumbs Podcast.

  • In episode four, they was a long discussion about sandbox games inspired by the recently released Just Cause 2. Chris Remo said that he liked sandboxes more when the game narrative supports all of the chaos they all players to make. Since the story of Just Cause 2 revolves around destabilizing a government, you can go completely nuts and the story doesn't dissolve.

  • On the other side, Steve Gaynor brought up Grand Theft Auto IV (which is why I'm talking about this at all). He said that he prefers actively avoided gratuitous random violence specifically because he did not want to break the narrative arc of the game. He knew that, so long as he played the game within those constraints that he would have a better overall experience. That summed up my experience with the game in a nutshell.

  • For people like Chris, GTA IV failed as a sandbox because the narrative didn't support what they specifically wanted to do in the game. But for Steve and myself, our willingness to play within the guidelines set my the story allowed us to avoid such dissonance with the narrative. We were immersed in the game because we were playing along with the designers' intentions, not subverting them.

  • Immersion is contingent on a willing suspension of disbelief. The game can only do so much of the job for you. It's perfectly valid if you decide not to participate. But you should not blame the game because you are not willing or no longer able to meet the game halfway.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Played Lately: Brutal Legend

  • Every once in a while, I have the urge to play a game that not very many people liked just to see for myself. My masochistic side coming out, I suppose. Nonetheless, sometimes I just have to make the decision for myself. After finishing Prince Of Persia, I discovered that I didn't have any other Xbox 360 games that I wanted to played. (No, I haven't tried Fable II. No, I'm not sure I care.) My wife very patiently went with me to the local GameStop where I found a copy of Brutal Legend for only eighteen dollars.

  • The best thing about the game is that it really can be funny. I enjoyed the humor quite a bit. Double Fine went out of their way to put a lot of fun in the game and I enjoyed roaming all of the world in search of it. The story line was pretty good too. It did a good job of making me want to push through to the ending in spite of the game's shortcomings.

  • The main (and only shortcoming, I say) is the stage battles. It is certainly an interesting idea, giving you control of an RTS battle while staying in your action game point of view. The problem is that it is all too chaotic for it to be satisfying. You have to pay attention to the RTS stuff or you will lose. But at the same time you don't have the control necessary to make it feel like you're really doing anything. That said, I never lost a stage battle until the very last one. And that one I lost because I didn't figure out the gimmick and how to pull it off right until a few tries in.

  • I think part of draw of the game for me was how much that heavy metal culture was drilled into me as a child. Even without buying the albums, I could not escape the imagery or the music. It all made such an impression on me that the game world made me smile constantly. That sensibility gives it a unique quality that made me want to explore it fully.

  • I dove into Brutal Legend on a Friday night and finished the campaign the following Sunday. Even with that, it did not feel too short. I just could not stop myself from wanting to see what happens next. If you haven't tried it yet, you owe it to yourself see at least the good parts of the game. Like myself, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Played Lately: Robot Unicorn Attack

  • In a completely non-ironic way, I have to recommend that you check out Robot Unicorn Attack. It's a very simple affair. You hit the Z key to jump or double jump or the X key to dash. It plays much like Canabalt with the same breakneck pace, but with slightly more control over metallic fantasy beast. And behind it all plays the perfectly chosen theme, Always by Erasure. It is completely insane and completely awesome. I'm not kidding.

  • My high score is 39,090. You have officially been challenged.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Shots: Developer Appreciation Week

  • By way of Blue Kae's blog, we get news that Scarybooster is having a Developer Appreciation Week. But instead of making him do all the work, we all need to pitch in and participate. Developers take a lot of pain and poison throughout the year, so spending one day to thank them is the least I can do.

  • This is going to be a group award because I don't feel qualified to single out one person from the many people responsible for this game. My appreciation today goes to the team at ArenaNet, both past and present.

  • Guild Wars was the first online game that I ever played. Prior to that, I read all about games like Ultima Online and Everquest with growing degrees of excitement. These new virtual fantasy worlds sounded amazing to me. I wanted to be a part of that. At the same time, though, subscribing to a game still freaked me out. Nowadays, I think nothing of dropping fifteen a month to access Azeroth or Middle-Earth or New Eden. But it was a huge barrier to me trying those games. When ArenaNet told us that once you bought the box, you could play as long as the servers were up, that was enough get me to try it out. And they have stuck to their guns ever since

  • Okay, so the cost wasn't the only factor. The other side of the coin was the art ArenaNet was putting out about the game. I think it was the Mesmer image that sold me. I jsut had to try out a game with such great looking characters. Guild Wars is a beautiful game even now, and it has the most amazing and varied world to adventure in.

  • Many thanks to the men and women of ArenaNet. You opened my eyes to the wider world of online gaming, dominated my imagination for a couple years, showed us all that you don't have to fall in lockstep with the competition just to make a quick buck.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

News Filter: Champions Online's Revelation Launches

  • The day many (Several? Some?) people have been waiting for has finally arrived. The Revelation expansion has launched for Champions Online. Free for all subscribers, all you have to do is log in, download the patch, and you're ready for Vibora Bay. Assuming you're reached level 37, of course. (How's that coming, Blue Kae?)

  • I already patched the game this morning before work so I'd be ready to play tonight. I guess I'll have to take some time off from the old Xbox 360 to investigate the new zone. I hope to see a few familiar face back in the game soon.

  • As an aside, we know (or can safely assume) the Cryptic would love to start charging for these expansion size patches. While they backed down on Revelation, they can't live on subscription fees and C-Store transactions if they want to grow the game. Since the coming Adventure Packs are supposed to be free, will that grease the communities wheels enough to let Cryptic charge for the next expansion?

  • Anyway, I hope to see you Vibora Bay!

  • EDIT: If you didn't catch it live (like me), check out the latest Cryptic Dev Chat. Lost of good info popping up.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Played Lately: Prince Of Persia (2008)

  • I had a strange compulsion the other day. I think it had to do with spending so much time in the living room with Mass Effect 2. As much as I like sitting in front of a big-screen TV, that's not where I do my gaming any more. So I picked up my 360 and moved it next to my computer. After sitting on my desk, mocking my folly for a few weeks, I finally dug out my copy of Prince Of Persia, the series reboot from 2008, and popped it in the disk drive.

  • The story of the game, for those of you who haven't played it, starts with some dude (The titular Price? Maybe, maybe not.) walking through the desert with his donkey. He soon stumbles upon a woman (Elika, a verified princess) running from her father's guards. Her father, it seems, has released a god of destruction on the land and she's not too thrilled about it. With your help, she wants to repair the seals on the dark god's prison.

  • Evidently you do that by running and jumping a lot. I mean a lot because there is no such thing as a level walkway left in this ruined city. That's okay because they make the running and jumping a lot of fun. The world is designed in such a way that, although it is open for exploration, the way forward is painted right on the walls. And if you can't even figure that out, Elika will shoot out a wisp of light to show you the way. From there, it's just a matter of reading the landscape and pressing the corresponding buttons.

  • There is the occasional fight, and each level ends in a boss battle, but combat is not a major focus of the game. Which is good since the combat feels a little silly. The best thing I can say for it is that, every so often, it looks just as cinematic as the developers want it to be.

  • That is something the game trades on heavily: the cinematic look. Prince Of Persia is a very good looking game. The characters are well designed and interact together in amazing ways. I had to demonstrate some of the position swapping moves for my wife because of how much fun those little details put into the game. The voices are well acted and fit the story. And the world is very attractive, at least when you slow down long enough to really look at it.

  • But that's the best part of the game. It's easy to get lost in the runny-jumpy bits and never see the forest from the trees. The monotony of the levels does not help that feeling at all. Since the world is open to tackle at your own pace, the difficulty never really ramps up. Once you know how to finish the first level, you can finish the game. All you need is persistence. That said, the difficult curve was just right for my limited capacity for frustration.

  • One part of the game that everyone seems to talk about is the ending. I'm still not going to spoil things here, but the game does end on a very interesting note. Although I understand why some people did not like it, I don't think it detracted from the game. If anything, I think it went on too long, lessening some of the impact the developers were hoping for. Because of its "To Be Continued..." ending, only a proper sequel will tell whether it was worthwhile.

  • I'm glad I went back to try Prince Of Persia again. The developers deserve credit for trying something different.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Random Shots: My Gaming Community

  • I already wanted to write about this, but Larisa's recent post at The Pink Pigtail Inn about loneliness in MMOs pushed this to the top of my blogging queue. I am a de facto anti-social gamer. Back in my youth, I had a group of friends whith whom I shared my love of gaming. Whether it was gathering around the table for a pen-and-paper RPG or playing with or watching someone play a video game, they were my community.

  • As I grew up and away from those friends, I naturally gravitated toward single player computer and console video games. I substituted social interaction with more engrossing gaming experiences. But my need for community never truly left me. It was sublimated into the gaming magazines I read and, with the rise of the internet, the websites I followed.

  • At the same time, I find myself unable to partake in the greater gaming community. The forums on great websites like Gamers With Jobs and Idle Thumbs are hugely intimidating to me. I mostly avoid guilds and spend my time soloing in my MMOs. I played all the way through Left 4 Dead with bots. I'm the ultimate lurker in the greater internet gaming world.

  • As much as I've wrapped myself in the gaming loner blanket, I still couldn't help but find a community of my own. And the best thing is that it all happened right here. Those of you who read and participate, either in the comments or on your own blogs, you are my gaming community. You are the people I turn to when I want to share the great times I'm having. And you're the ones I complain to when I'm frustrated and annoyed. You are all the friends that I've been unconsciously looking for these many years. And it all happened so organically that I didn't realize it until it happened.

  • Thank you all for hanging out here. It wouldn't be the same blog, and I wouldn't be the same Anjin, without you.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

News Filter: Bill Roper Steps Aside

  • Yesterday's State of the Game article for Champions Online was a mix of the usual status updates, as well as some completely unexpected news. Bill Roper is stepping aside as Executive Producer to move on to other design responsibilities. Shannon Posniewski will be taking over the position. Although I don't know a whole lot about the man (other than the fact that he was previous Director of Game Programming), his one benefit is that his name isn't radioactive.

  • The public face of any personnel changes will always spin positive. But one might speculate that Roper, infamous since the foundering of Flagship Studios, was too large a distraction from the Cryptic message. If anything, though, I suspect he was just a lightning rod for a lot of dissatisfaction with the game.

  • Whatever the case, I wish him the best in his new position. I enjoy Champions quite a lot and I'm thankful for whatever hand he had in making it. And good luck to Shannon Posniewski. You have your work cut out for you.

  • I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention all the other good stuff in the SotG. Revelation will be coming soon, something I'm really excited about. On the horizion, he mentioned seeding additional missions throughout the zones soon, as well as the first adventure pack. For as much as people complain about the instancing in CO, I'm happy to see Cryptic embracing the technology to provide a diverse range of new content. If every new addition was shoehorned into the same five (or six, soon) zones, it would drive me crazy. All in all, it was an interesting day for CO.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Comic Roundup: March 10, 2010

  • The date above says March 10, but I'm pretty sure these all came out on March 3. But I waited until the 10th because what I really wanted was the latest issure of Criminal: The Sinners. Only the comic shop didn't get their order this week. (Arrgh!) So here I am reviewing week old comics. Things could be worse.

  • Astro City: The Dark Age: Book Four issue 2 - It says Book Four, Issue 2 on the cover, but it's really part 14 of 16. That may be the sole reason I bought this comic. Kurt Busiek's survey of the grim and gritty comic moment is still chugging along, pushing Charles, Royal, and the Silver Agent to their appointed ending. While it has been an interesting tale, I'll be glad when it is over.

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight issue 33 - Wow, I didn't see that coming. So, Twilight is [SPOILER DELETED]. I'm not sure if I buy it. I mean [SPOILER DELETED] gave a whole explanation about how he [SPOILER DELETED]. And then at the end they [SPOILER DELETED]. Maybe I should go back and reread everything to find out if [SPOILER DELETED] holds up.

  • Detective Comics issue 862 - The second part of The Cutter continues to follow both Batman's and Batwoman's investigations of a maniac who is cutting specific body parts off of women. Greg Rucka's tale still has me fascinated, although it's more of a straightforward superhero story. Where in the prior issue I was comparing Jock's art with JH Williams III, this issue reminds my greatly of Michael Gaydos and his work on Alias. And that can only be a good thing. (Looking at the first page of this issue made me realize how much I miss that series.) As an aside, I don't think I would have figured out why the story is told the way it is if Aaron from the Awesomed By Comics Podcast hadn't pointed out what was going on. It's all in there, but I wouldn't have seen it myself.

  • What If? Astonishing X-Men issue 1 - I don't buy many Marvel comics nowadays. The whole infinite crossover thing they've been doing for the last few years has driven me away completely. But considering how much I enjoyed Astonishing X-Men, I was curious to see how a What If? version would turn out. It was okay. It was pretty, but it has the compression problems all What If? comics have. I'm not unhappy that I read it.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Played Lately: EVE Online

  • Soon after recording the Shut Up, We're Talking podcast (episode 59, listen now!), I thought about my answer about whether I played EVE Online. I said, in a very flip manner, that I tried it, didn't get it, and then uninstalled it again. All of that was true, but it was true a year ago. Had things changed enough during that year (both the game and myself) that I might give another answer now? The only way to answer that would be to try again. CCP Games makes this extremely easy. My trial account could be upgraded to a full subscription for only twenty dollars with thirty days of play time included. The rest of this post is going to be really random, so please excuse the mess.

  • One of the first things I noticed when logging in was that character creation seemed a lot easier. Maybe CCP just hides the numbers better. When I made my trial character a year ago, it felt like I was making decisions about the game before I'd learned anything about it. Even better, though, is the great tutorial that awaits new players. After finishing the crash course that teaches the basics, you are introduced to five career tutorial agents that give more in-depth instruction about various facet of the game. I just came out the other side with nine ships, several skillbooks, and a couple million ISK. But best of all, I have greater sense of the possibilities in the game. To compare my two attempts at playing the game, my trial was like being dropped into the deep end of the pool with the expectation that I would learn to swim out of necessity. This time was like starting in the shallow end, but with enough instruction that I really want to now how deep that pool gets.

  • While I enjoyed all of the tutorial missions, the ones I was most amused by were the suicide missions. Both of these missions occur during the Advanced Military tutorial. In one mission, you fly a frigate straight into a pirate station and blow it up. The second has you shoot down a pirate only to be overwhelmed by his many, many buddies. If you were every worried about losing your ship, those missions get you over the trauma very quick.

  • One of the recent primary gripes about questing in MMOs is that they are more like errands. The funny thing about EVE is that although the missions feel exactly the same, that actually works in EVE's favor. A capsuleer may have a lot more resources and abilities than the average person, but you are still playing someone trying to make their way in the universe. And if that means taking on jobs for various organizations, you're going to do it because you want the paycheck. So yeah, I'm roleplaying a merchant prince(ss), but at least I get to do it in space.

  • While the tutorials freaked me out with all the things they teach you, I love how the game has so much complexity that you can dig into. While I knew there are any number of roles that you can fulfill due to the ship fitting and skill systems, I don't think I understood how deep that was. And it doesn't even matter if you don't care. You can play on just a surface role if you're interested. But there are so many layers for you to peel back if you're interested. The audacity of designing something so gleefully complex boggles my mind.

  • This may be silly but I really, really like my destroyer. It's the Gallente version, but I don't remember what it's called. I named it the Exeter after the destroyers in the first Wing Commander. Flying the Tristan was fun, but mounting eight (EIGHT!) guns makes its huge wing bristle with pointy death. I barely get all eight guns warmed up before my target goes down. I also found out that, with a couple cargo extenders, you can get a shuttle in the hold. Hilarious!

  • This was really cool. Jump To Contact (a fascinating EVE blog in its own right) recently linked an new blog, EVE Online Essays. It's premise is both simple and awesome: one friend (the author) is explaining EVE to another friend in the attempt to woo him away from his WoW-centricity. All of the big picture stories about EVE do a lot to sell the game from the macro-perspective. It's cool to see someone do it on an individual basis.

  • One final note before I post this: I did complete the tutorial Sunday night and had a good time doing so. But then I freaked out when I realized the training wheels had come off and I was on my own. I turned off the game and went to do other things. But I kept thinking about it. "What should I do next?" When went back to EVE, I looked at the star map (the first time I found myself really using it), investigated systems near my original base, and found a system that was both out of the way, but with plenty of opportunities nearby. I'm already halfway moved into my new home. For the first time, I may finally understand the draw of EVE Online.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Played Lately: Champions Online

  • As I mentioned in my prior post, I went into the weekend with a specific goal in mind: reach level 40 in Champions Online. The objective was well in my sights. Even with the steeper experience curve of the last few levels, the last thirty-three percent would be easily surmountable.

  • I logged in Friday night after work and made my way to Lemuria. Those fish people have a lot of problems, so Arcfire was happy to pitch in. Funny enough though, she wasn't there five minutes before the minions of her nemesis, Project T, ambushed her. The clue they left behind wasn't for just another mission. P-T was looking to steal the Electrovoltaic Polyturbine, a sure sign that things have escalated. Having put one in prison already, I was well conversed with the signs of a nemesis making his or her final push toward world domination.
    Aside: I love the Nemesis system in Champions. It's probably the best thing they have going. But if they begin and end the same way, it's going to drive me crazy. Variety is the word of the day, Cryptic!

  • As I'm sure you can guess, I got out of the water quick and hot footed it to Millennium City. The idea of dinging level 40 while fighting my nemesis was too much to bear. After fighting my way through the bank, I hopped over to Monster Island where Project T was building the inevitable deathray. Some guys never learn. The ending was never in doubt this time, though it still has one of the most amusing ending in the game. I wonder how people without AoE attacks get through it.

  • Unfortunately, sending Project T to prison was not enough to reach my goal, so it was back to Lemuria. If I couldn't level with my nemesis, the next best thing would be to do it killing Soviet Russian submariner zombies. I thought the laser sharks were the best, but you haven't seen anything until a zombie shambles toward you declaiming the benefits of communism. (Shamus Young can suck it, even if he's otherwise a great writer.) After defeating a submarine full of the undead and its zombie captain, I turned in my quest and....

  • DING!

  • Yes, that needed its own bullet point. As did this. Be quiet, you.

  • Immediately upon reaching level 40, Arcfire got her invitation to join UNITY, an organization that helps to intervene in villainous exploits. Upon first arriving in UNITY HQ (for which you need an invitation to even access), she received an assignment to travel to five different hot-spots in various zones and complete short solo instances. Upon completing all five, Arcfire was sent to the Dr. Destroyer museum in Millennium City. I remember finding a miniature city in the back room way back in level 20 or so and was completely bewildered as to why it was there. Now I know.

  • Evidently, some giant monster was shrunk down to a few inches tall and is not imprisoned in the cardboard city. It's really cardboard, too, with the corrugated interiors. I was so happy to see a very different zone. Of course, I was there to fight off the invading shrunken Qulaar as well as the monster, Cazulon. Again, it was nice to see something new in the game, but variety of missions here will be key to my continued enjoyment.

  • Of course, as soon as I finished all this, I logged off and didn't log in again all weekend. EVE Online grabbed me in a strange way that I'll write about next. Champions Online will stay my casual game specifically so that I don't burn out. Anyone interested in a second look at the UNITY and Nemesis systems should take a look at Sente's blog, A Ding World, a blog where I really should spend more time.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Shots: Too Many Things

  • This has certainly been a weird week for video games. How weird, you might ask? Well....

  • The biggest and most insane news has the removal of the studio heads for Infinity Ward (perpetrators of the Call of Duty franchise) and the subsequent extention of the franchise to additional studios. It all puts Bobby Kotick's recent keynote at DICE in a different light. I have no love for the first-person shooter genre, but I do care about art and passion being thrown overboard for the sake of business. (Assuming the IW guys weren't just being jerks. It's still interesting news either way.)

  • On a much more positive note, something awesome happened in Portal. A mysterious update appeared in Steam on Monday that references updating radio transmission frequencies. I was completely confused because radios don't play just about any part in the game. At least they didn't before. There are now 26 radios in the game that, when carried to an appropriate place in the levels, broadcast strange information. Some are Morse code, some are SSTV images. My favorite is a code that translates to "BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP". Translating again gets you "LOL". There's also a BBS that was found in the images that has data from a backup code of GLaDOS. Version 3.11, evidently, which makes people speculate that we'll get an announcement on March 11. Those Valve guys are crazy. It's nice to see something positive coming out of gaming recently.

  • Monday saw Microsoft finally triumph over Sony as every original Playstation 3 on the planet closed up shop for 24 hours. (That was a joke, fanboys.) For all the hard work that goes into our games, it amuses me to no end that something as simple as the internal clock can bring our technology to its knees.

  • The long awaited re-pricing for the Allods Online cash shop has finally arrived. The poster item for microtransaction excesses, the twenty dollar backpack, has been reduced to six dollars. Keen reports that this is still three times the Russian rate, but this looks like a reasonable price for the market. It would be enough to get me back in the game if Kirith Kodachi hadn't convinced me to try out EVE Online again.

  • And because Cryptic just doesn't know what they're doing, Star Trek Online offered 60 days additional play time if you bought the game last weekend. That's right, just for people who didn't preorder or buy collector's editions on day one. The community did its thing and Cryptic did its thing, so the offer is no more. I'm starting to wonder if they like poking the bee hive.

  • And that's it for now. Honestly, that's enough for one week and it's only Thursday morning. You developers need to take it easy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Played Lately: Champions Online

  • In the wake of the great Allods Online explosion, I decided I wanted to play a game with a lot less drama involved. So of course I returned to Champions Online. No drama there, right? (You have my permission to groan here.)

  • Upon returning to the game, I discovered that not all that much had changed. At least nothing big had changed. But there are little things. Various bugs have been fixed and crafting has been updated. I also found that I had a lot of crap weighing down my inventory so my first stop was to sell or bank everything I didn't need.

  • My hero of choice upon returning was my favorite, Arcfire. She's the character I started beta with and have leveled the farthest. And she is, by far, my favorite superhero to play. There is something about throwing fiery blasts and causing huge explosions that makes me happy. When I logged in a few days ago, she was level 37, just three away from the level cap. Although that would be good enough to move over to the expansion zone when Vibora Bay arrives, I wanted to reach the current endgame before that launches.

  • Monster Island was still Monster Island. Nothing to complain about there. I rather quickly moved from fighting VIPER in the western edge of the island to battling the Elder Worms along the northern coast. There are lots of fun little story arcs to run though. My only issue was that one of the mission chains ends in a five player lair. Ugh. Hopefully I'll be able to get a group together long enough to destroy it since soloing didn't work so well. (Actually, screw that. I'm gearing up and trying it again!)

  • From Monster Island, I finally returned to Lemuria. Although it earned the appellation "Lag-muria" once upon a time, I seem to have avoided the worst of it. The undersea kingdom is quite a lot of fun. It's still one of the most interesting, both visually and structurally. While the other zones are divided in more traditional (thus arbitrary) ways, Lemuria's level bands are broken up the deeper one descends under the ocean. You can swim up to where the ocean floor falls away and see the next set of terrors arrayed before you.

  • What I was looking forward to most, however, was renewing my campaign against Project T, Arcfire's current nemesis. The giant cat-man was very elusive a lot of the time. His minions rarely came out to assault me. But when they did, they always left a clue for the next nemesis mission behind. I don't know if people complained about always being jumped my minions, but I kind of miss them occasionally showing up to mess with my adventures. Project T's most recent plan was to free Ghost Veil (Really, Cryptic?) from her stony tomb and partner with her to take over the world. The five thousand year old villainess wasn't having any of that so I, along with someone who looked suspiciously like Lara Croft, blew up the mine and sealed her back in. I guess her weakness was several tons of rock. My nemesis is still on the run, but I'll catch up with him soon.

  • Through all of this, Arcfire leveled from 37 to 39. I'm just one away from the level cap. I'm hoping to hit that last level soon and see what the endgame has in store for me.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.