Screenshot Saturday: RIFT, TSW, LOTRO

Bio Break

ss1Screenshot Saturday is a feature in which I post a choice selection of screenshots from my gaming adventures from the past week.

So let’s kick off this inaugural edition of Screenshot Saturday with my new snail racing mount in RIFT. Coolest and strangest mount that I’ve ever gotten in an MMO? Quite possibly! It was a gift from @Zyngor, who graciously sent me a spare code for this slimy wonder.


Vampire Hunter takes out a backstabbing vamp with a crossbow bolt to the eye. Ouch.


Body parts stuffed into a haystack in Transylvania. Why? Just… why?


I love how warm and homey Bilbo’s kitchen is in Bag End. Wish there was more food, though.


The funeral pyre post-Pelennor Fields is a sight to behold. Was an important interlude before the next stage of our journeys.


Some friends invited me to do a raid skirmish in LOTRO last week, to mixed…

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Shenmue 1 and 2 HD Collection To Release This Year?


The Shenmue 1 & 2 HD rumours just keep on coming.

Last year we had SEGA tell us that they were investigating the possibility of a Shenmue Remaster. Then, earlier this year we had SEGA register a website for the title.

And now, today ricedigital stoked those fires by posting a new rumour.

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Secret Tunnels Beneath the Graveyard

Dyson's Dodecahedron

The tombs and mausoleums of the Graveyard of the Thoughtful Daughter encrust the hill in the northeast of city of the gods concealing the older graveyard that has been here since the foundation of the city that stood here before.

Secret tunnels beneath the graveyard Secret tunnels beneath the graveyard

A secret door in the stonework of the mausoleum of Ankrabar the Violet leads down into a series of tunnels and crypts leftover from the original graveyard. Tight damp tunnels lead from crypt to crypt and to the occasional sealed tomb. Some of these tunnels have evidently been cut from the earth and stone by relentless claws and bones – sure signs of trapped ghouls and other foul creatures.

At the northernmost point of the map, a collapsed stonework wall grants glimpses into a much larger underground sepulcher. However moving all that stonework will require the effort of many men and many hours, unless of course…

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Thazara 1.3 do over

Micki's Delirium

I’m gonna apologize in advance for the “double” post. I use the blog as reference when I level my toons, I open the blog post on my tablet while I have the game in full screen mode. I spent all night going through things in my head. I was very tired last night, I’ve been sleeping too little all week. I donno, for some reason I just don’t care, I get stuck in ddo and see that it’s late, but just shrug at it and continue. I do try to go to bed around 1 am, though, but on Wednesday I went to bed at 3.30 and was at work at 9.30 for a meeting. Being tired means I’m testy and impatient. So, the discussion about Thaz’s build yesterday had me very annoyed, and confused as of what to do.

Let’s have a look at Thazara’s development. The gimpy cleric…

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grimordes blog

Hey, you! Yes, Turbine, stop looking over your shoulder. I’m talking to you….

You see this little thing here? You know, this page? This site? Well, I’m not the only one on here who really likes it. Yes, I admit, sometimes I have trouble thinking of things to blog that people might enjoy reading. But it’s a great place to read ideas, stories, even meet people. I have new Twitter friends because of this place.

And so, my point is…no don’t wander off – this is important. We’d really like you to give this place a bit of love. Like, oh I don’t know, fixing some of the icons, maybe sorting out some of the bugs that stop the pages from loading. Just a bit of attention to get it up to par. I mean, you released this in 2009? That’s 3 years.

You know you want to…. 🙂

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6 things MMOs should do to make a good first impression

Bio Break


You’ll never get a second chance at a first impression, or so the saying sort of goes, so it’s vital to make that impression count. For players — seasoned and fresh meat — who venture into an MMO for the first time, that initial hour or so can be a vital make-or-break moment that will either keep a gamer playing… or send them packing out of frustration, boredom, or annoyance.

So how can an MMORPG make the best-possible first impression? How can it get off on the right foot and serve to suck players into the experience from the start? I have six suggestions from my journey through many games.

1. Have an in-depth character creation system

It’s mind-boggling to me how many MMOs put forth little more than the bare minimum into character creation: pick a class, pick a head, name your guy, let’s gogoGO. Tell me, what does…

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An Ode to High Skill Ceilings

Occasional Hero

areluin-48I miss the days when MMOs created classes that had high skill ceilings. By that I mean classes where your success or failure actually hinges on how well you can play your class. This is why I love my rune-keeper in Lord of the Rings Online; depending on how well I’m playing that day, I can take on four or five things my level at once, or die after a single one-to-one fight. Like in chess, I have to think several moves ahead, about how long I can keep throwing DoTs before I switch to putting bubbles and HoTs on myself before switching back to damage. When it works out, it’s the best feeling on Middle-Earth. When it doesn’t, I have no one to blame but myself, and I’m ok with that. Somehow the knowledge that I couldn’t have possibly beaten an encounter because of my class and level makes the game…

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Nintendo Switch won’t have a Virtual Console at launch 


Nintendo today confirmed that the Switch will not launch with an eShop onboard. However there is a day one system update that will add the function to the system.

There is a major caveat though – on launch, only Nintendo Switch games will be purchasable on the eShop, and there will be no Virtual Console at all!

Older consoles will be added in time through regular updates.

Nintendo released a statement saying they will “share more information in the future”.

I remind you all that there is an eShop direct scheduled for Tuesday 28th at 17:30 (GMT) which will focus on the 60 indie games for the system.

Quite what this means for gamers I do not know – but it’s a strange move.

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FeVRier: Playroom VR Review


playroom-vrWhen a new technology lands; it is incredibly important for it to be bundled with a game that highlights what is unique about it and how it will shape the world for the foreseeable future. The Nintendo Gameboy was bundled with Tetris and it cemented its place on the market; the Wii launched with Wii Sports and went on to be the second biggest selling console of all time and now we have the PSVR which launched with…

…no bundled game…

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The Great MMO Culling of 2017

Bio Break


Last night, the lights went out on one of the strangest and perhaps saddest chapters in the EverQuest franchise history, as Daybreak closed up Landmark and evicted however many inhabitants it had to other sandbox worlds (I hear Trove is doing well, if you like the blocky style…). It was triply depressing, because it was not only the end of Landmark, it not only reminded Daybreak players of the failure to produce EverQuest, but it was the latest casualty in what I’m calling the Great MMO Culling of 2017.

MMORPGs, both young and old, shut down all of the time (and new ones start up as well, so there’s a churn in the industry at large). But once in a while we get a tight bunching of shutdowns and it feels like there’s some sort of small-scale apocalypse going on. Within the first three months of 2017, five MMOs are…

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