Level One Wonk: There Can Be Only One (GM)

Cannibal Halfling Gaming

Welcome back to Level One Wonk, where together we will wonk out on various and sundry gaming topics! Now that you’ve finished gorging yourself on turkey (and maybe checking out some Burning Wheel characters), it’s time to look down that home stretch of the year, get ready for the holiday season, and maybe even make some New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of thinking about the game today, let’s think about the gaming group. While playstyle, system, and campaign all play into a gaming group having fun, there are even more basic structural elements that are key, and it all comes down to who’s doing what.

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Now Arriving: Games of December 2017

Gamer Crash

Well, here it is folks, the final month of the 2017 calendar year. Typically, December is viewed as a time to catch-up. A month where players use to not only catch their breath from the whirlwind release schedule of the past three months but to finally get a chance to play many of those games.

The trend this year is largely the same as it has been, though the truth of the matter is that December does hold a few gems as well.

The biggest of them all this month is likely PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which finally enters into the Xbox One Game Preview program. The unstoppable force from the PC hopes to have the same effect on console now, which has since been dominated by its closest rival, Fortnite. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing if the game can translate that PC momentum to console, or if

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Let’s Talk About…: RPGs

AmbiGaming

We’re back with our “Let’s Talk About…” series! Check out the previous chats here.

Let’s Talk About…: any RPG

I have a better idea. Let’s talk about every RPG. They’re great, aren’t they?

Actually, this is a nice time to start hinting at something I’m putting together for next year. It’s so huge that it’s going to take two people to do it, so BadgersAndBowties will (finally) be rejoining me here as we undertake a massive RPG project while balancing work and other obligations.

rpg cover presposia

One of my favorite things about RPGs is the RP part. I mean, the G part is pretty important, too, and sometimes people like to throw a J on the front and they certainly have a place, as well, but forever and always the RP is going to be my love.

Cary from Recollections of Play once mentioned that sometimes in order to find perspective…

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PS Plus Games For December Have Been Announced

VIRTUAL BASTION

Sony has announced the December lineup of games free to download for member of their Playstation Plus service. For those who primarily play on PC or Xbox, PS Plus is basically Sony’s online multiplayer service. It’s more or less exactly like Xbox Live Gold since having it is mandatory for online multiplayer. Both services have had their good and bad months in terms of what’s been on offer, and it looks like December is just going to be an okay month; good, but not really all that great.

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#IntPiPoMo 2017

GamingSF

Chestnut of the Gamer Girl Confessions blog is organising once again the International Picture Posting Month blogging initiative to fill your blogfeeds with beautiful, colourful and varied screenshots. I’ve enjoyed this annual event as a way to admire the games everyone is playing and to even discover new blogs that I wasn’t aware of.

I have developed a real love of taking screenshots in the games that I play, I rarely took pictures of my gaming before this blog came along, but it soon grew beyond a necessary chore into more akin to a ‘virtual photography’ aspect to my gaming hobby.

I need no excuse to post a few screenshots to break up the text of an article, but having a whole month of picture-focused posts is a rather nice community challenge! I’ll finish this intro post with a trio of pictures that illustrate the last few sessions of gaming.

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Content deluge incoming…

GamingSF

The next couple of weeks feature content-drops for several of my current MMORPG games, it’s a bit of a deluge of new stuff to do:

Everquest 2 is down today between 14:00 and 19:00 (GMT) to deploy Planes of Prophecy.

Blending in, in Kunark

Guild Wars 2 introduces the first post expansion story in the Living World Season 4 Episode 1 later today.

Ticking off the Griffon quest boxes…

Next week, on Tuesday 5th, Dungeons & Dragons Online will be launching the Ravenloft expansion. Typically I’ll be away next week when Ravenloft comes along, so will have to jump into that when I get back.

Is this a Ravenloft decor preview?

That gives me a week to see the new episode of GW2 content, and to get started on Planes of Power. That’s a lot of gaming to do!

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The Loot Box Effect

Gamer Crash

As I was cruising around for deals last week during Black Friday, I began to notice a trend starting to take shape with online stores. As you might imagine, recent EA games have begun to take a nose dive with user reviews (fair enough) thanks to all of the loot box insanity that has arisen with Star Wars Battlefront 2. The backlash has spread to games like Madden, FIFA, and Need for Speed Payback, which is a game that was also hammered for curiously gating much of its customization and progression through the idea of loot boxes.

Curiously enough, other loot box friendly games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War weren’t included in this practice, with many still sporting a sparkling 5 star user review.

So why is this? I can’t be 100% sure, but I do have a theory based on how the microtransactions and loot…

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5 Most Popular Games That Are Much DARKER Than They Seem

THE GAME FREAK SHOW

Every Game is designed with unique complexity and layers of different elements that make the game unique and fun. Most of the games have a lot going under the surface that only a few people can notice but sometimes developers can trick the whole audience into thinking how child-friendly the game is but, in reality, they are much DARKER.

We listed down some critically acclaimed games that are much DARKER than they seem.

SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE

Even three and a half years later, there hasn’t been a more complete, entertaining, lovingly wrought platformer made for the GameCube. – Games Radar
A masterpiece of superior game design, infinite gameplay variety, creativity, and life-and it’s got a water cannon…and a damn brilliant one at that. – GamePro
Although not quite the revolution in game play or visual aesthetics that “Super Mario 64” was in its heyday, Super Mario Sunshine still stands as…

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MMOs and the peer pressure effect

Bio Break

Here’s a weird thought I had the other day: What if WildStar was, er, wildly popular right now? Same game, same patches, nothing different from Carbine’s end, but what if there was a much larger and more prominent community about it these days? If everyone was talking about it, if it was getting more coverage on Twitch and YouTube — how would that change things?

In other words, if nothing was different about the MMORPG itself other than increase activity and numbers with its community, how much — if at all — would that persuade you to play it or return to it?

At least for myself, I think it would matter a lot.

The “community question” is one that you see a lot in general MMO discussions when people are asking about certain titles or looking for recommendations. Players generally not only want an MMO that matches their playstyle…

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