Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gaming Group

Every Sunday I've been doing a gaming group that plays whatever at the time.  I would like to extend the invitation out to anyone that wants to join us.  We usually play something that we all have (translation - free to play) and we just have fun. Normally I will try to stream it.

So if anyone wants to join us we are always looking for more. If you have a desire to watch us I will usually try to stream from noon to 1600 eastern standard time.

Games are more fun with friends so come make friends!

You can leave a comment here or send me an email at with a subject of GAMING.  I have some more things that I would like to write about but I write when the occasion strikes me.  That means there may be some time between posts.

If you have questions about anything from my time in combat or anything gaming related feel free to ask.  I am an open book.  Happy trails people!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Path of Not So Exile

I have added a couple more locations to my frequently visited digital worlds. One is Defiance and the other is Path of Exile. Both games are worthy of my time but for different reasons. I have been in the Path of Exile (PoE) beta for months but I was a terrible tester. After logging in for a couple hours I uninstalled it and made the decision to come back to it when it released. Yeah, I'm that guy. At least I was this time. It was finally released after seven years of development and I am really happy with the result. I played Diablo 2 off and on for the good part of 10 years. Someone wrote that PoE is Diablo 2.5 and I would like to echo that statement. It is Diablo 2 but with a much better multiplayer aspect to it.
So, that is all fine and dandy but the true appeal for sinking hours of my life into my Witch named FlameMcShockLips is the fact that I got back into it when my brother came to visit me after nearly 8 years of not seeing him in person. We visited the National Mall during the day and at night we would both sit down in my living room with my son and travel in a monster destroying trio saving the free world from all sorts of in game nasties. This bond is what I really play online games for. There is something to be said about experiencing that gamers high but it is something else altogether to do it with friends. Add the fact that I was playing with my brother in the same room after so long and I am fully hooked. My son playing with us is simply the icing on the cake and boy does that cake taste good.

Character development is extremely complex with a huge passive skill tree that simply boggles the mind the first few times you look at it. After that you catch on and understand how it works. Mostly. FlameMcShockLips is my second Witch due to not actually knowing that full respecs were essentially impossible after only a few invested points. My first character was a pet based which is fun but I wanted to try something different. The results are pretty interesting I think. For those that know the game I am shooting for a duel element DPS witch. If you didn't guess from the name she is a fire and lightning beast. There are some passive nodes in the skill tree that I am working toward and the last time I counted I was eight levels away from the key skill. The plan is to have a YouTube video up sometime this weekend regarding my witch and what my goals are with her. I'd like to turn it into a gaming vlog of sorts. We'll see though. I know better than to make promises with things like this. Maybe I can just pull a Blizzard and say that it will be up when it's up. 

These days I find it increasingly more difficult to find a game that I will stick with for more than a week. I am glad to report that I have been playing for a couple weeks now and I don't have any inclination to stop yet. Partially because it really is a fun game but mostly because of the people that I play with. Add me to your friends list if you play. The more the merrier. Path of Exile is not best traveled as, well, an exile. 

 What is the glue that keeps you stuck to your particular game?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

First Video up on YouTube

Just wanted to drop a line and let you all know that I put up my first YouTube video.  Hook me up with any kind of feedback so I can make this the end all be all of YouTube.

I will win at internet life with your help.

I have a Path of Exile write up coming soon.  Same Bat time same Bat channel.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Save the Childrens!

Extra Life is upon us again.  This time I am going to do my best to
participate and earn the monies for the childrens!

If you would like to donate to the UC Davis Children's Hospital in
California feel free to do so by clicking here.

My plan is to stream in the evenings between now and the 2nd of November.
If you would like to join me I will be broadcasting under the Twitch name
TheLazyNPC.  I will be on for an hour or so a night until Friday where I
plan on pulling an all nighter.

So far my list of games that I will be choosing from will be from the

Path of Exile
Planetside 2
Guild Wars 2
How to Survive

Everquest 2
Star Wars Galaxies

In addition to the streaming thing I also started a YouTube channel named
TheLazyNPC and I will be uploading some videos to get my feet wet regarding
video production.  These videos will also have the donation link on them.  I
have a couple ideas floating around in my head and will start with those
sometime tonight.

If there are any games that you guys would suggest I play let me know.  MMOs
aren't my only vice.   Just about any genre will get my gamer juices

See you guys on the other side of some healthy kids.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Asheron, are You My Father?

My habits regarding MMOs and gaming in general are somewhat unusual.  They may even be a little self destructive in terms of whether or not I end up enjoying a game enough to stick with it.  This may take a bit to explain so here goes.

In order to spin this tale I need to take you guys back to 1979 when a little Slaynn was thrust upon this world....

OK, maybe not that far.  Let's try that again.

In order to spin this tale I need to take you guys back to 1999 when a somewhat awkward 20 year old Slaynn discovered the joys of Asheron's Call.  The original gem that was, I think, overshadowed by a game that some people may have heard of that goes by the name of Everquest.  Asheron's Call was an unforgiving experience that taught me how to play an MMO.  It forged the foundation of my play methods that I still use to this day whether I like them or not.

Progression in AC was based off of spending your experience points in order to advance.  This was the case for your general stats and also your skills.  The more you improved these attributes the cost to further improve them increased exponentially.  Since your skills were linked to certain stats they would raise indirectly so it quickly became VERY expensive to get that next point in strength, dexterity, endurance and whatever other base stats there were.

When AC was in its infancy in order to maximize your character's combat potential he had to be born with as little endurance as possible.  This meant that without outside help you would be fighting the weakest creatures for a very long time and die consistently while doing so due to having a minuscule amount of health.  It took hours upon hours of grinding things that were far too low level but eventually things would even out.  Your character would start to be able to take on mobs that were on an even playing field.

Ahhhhh, the light at the end of the tunnel could be seen.

After even more time invested your sacrifice would finally pay off.  That handicap that you took on would shine.  Your ugly caterpillar would create his cocoon and a pretty little butterfly of whirling mob death and destruction would emerge.  But only after weeks of being excruciatingly under-powered.  By gimping yourself in the beginning you effectively raised the skill ceiling by a lot.

I learned that in MMO gaming painful beginnings would lead to amazing things in the end.  If you stuck with them.  With the homogenization of today's games this is not something that always happens and I know that.  But for some odd reason I always want to take on the role of the underdog in hopes that I will find his butterfly state.

How does this translate to the Slaynn of 2013?

Well, I will do some research when I decide to start an MMO to find the least played class.  I do this for many reasons and I plan on writing about them later but the least played class has to have the most potential right?  I mean, many people probably have tried to play it but quit because they don't have the intestinal fortitude to push through and get to the good parts.  That has to be the case.  Has to be.  Developers wouldn't have a weak path built into their virtual worlds without that light at the end of the tunnel.  Would they?  That is not a question that can be answered simply and is another post in and of itself but damnit, I have the fortitude.  I have the drive to get to the end.

Queue the Eye of the Tiger montage here.

All of this leads to me often becoming one of the masses that does not have the guts to push through the suck.  I never power through everything in order to come out of the other end having the gaming time of my life.  Nope.  All of the motivation, dedication and drive leaves me after a few play sessions and the most probable course of action is to quit and move on to something else.  Gamer A.D.D. at its finest.

Hi.  My name is Scott 'Slaynn' Cormack and I am a Gaming Nomad.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mario Skills Need Food Badly!

Guild Wars 2 has always been one of those games that appealed to me on the surface but never really sank its teeth into my gaming psyche.  That is, until now.  One of the major attractions for me has been reading about the holiday events.  As someone that has way too many games to play and not enough time to play them all the Halloween festivities that ArenaNet have dubbed 'Blood and Madness' are my first taste of these long fabled pixelated parties.

As of this writing I am approximately halfway through the Halloween achievement grind.  One of the major factors contributing to me not having more completed is the Mad King's Clock Tower.  More affectionately known as 'That God Damned Tower'.  In the last two days I have literally spent upwards of two hours repeatedly attempting this jumping puzzle to end all jumping puzzles.  It is a frustrating, anger inducing, son of a traitorous communist... and I absolutely love it.  My view on this little gem is not a rare or unique one either.  After every attempt I see the same faces trying to ascend this place cursing its existence and yet they continue to smash their heads into the virtual brick wall right along with me.

Not only are the jumps the most difficult I have seen in my 45 levels of Guild Wars 2 it is timed.  By timed I mean fractions of a second can mean success or failure.  After all of these futile attempts to see what is at the top of this tower my revelation was that Mario Brothers style jumping is a perishable skill.  If we were able to roll back the the clock a couple of decades, slap a rectangular controller in my hand and tell me to get to the top I would have been able to complete it multiple times so far.  Back when games like Mega Man, Battletoads and Ghosts 'n Goblins were what consumed my free time I would have looked at something like The Mad Kings' Clock Tower and scoffed.

In the end I think ArenaNet has accomplished what it has set out to do.  Create a frustratingly difficult encounter that is laced with the ever elusive fun that we are all chasing.  Have you guys been able to complete it?  If not is it something that you find entertaining?

MattVisual on YouTube has captured the essence of this place.  Teach me Obi Wan.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Coding: Modern Man's Fire Starter

Off and on for the last 5 or so years I have been slowly teaching myself the skill and art of coding.  Things have progressed at a snails pace until I took a class on Object Oriented Programming that really lit the creative fires that were laying dormant in the far recesses of my brain.  In the past I discovered that things come to fruition much easier when I share my ideas with the world.

So world, here is my idea.

A Windows based RPG tool set based on the GURPS roleplaying system is in the works.  The goal is to have a system that myself, or others, can use to create their own stories.  I know there are other programs that do this already.  RPG Maker and Eclipse are a couple that come to mind as I write this so I am not looking for something that is completely innovative or genre changing.  It's simply a mechanism that I will use to learn the ins and outs of this whole programming thing.

When this is at a stage that is actually usable I will be releasing it to whoever wants it free of charge.   Putting something like this together is not a short term project so it is still going to be several months or more before I have much to show for my work. So far I have some of the background objects created.  Things like game entity attributes and the ability to adjust them is there.  Next on the docket is to throw a database of skills together.  Once those things are in good working order my first milestone will be to code an arena style combat mini-game so that I can test the interaction between entities in a combat situation.  Think Fallout 1 and 2 for a loose feel of what my goals are for that.

As much as I want to share my ideas with the first game that will be put together with all of this I, alas, cannot.  There are those ne'er do wells lurking about the internetz that could take my temporary flash of genius and utilize their superior motivation to have something presentable before I do.  Rest assured, the story will be amazing and not something that I have seen before.  Amazing because my brother is writing it and he is one of those guys that I read and wonder why he is not published.  I tried to get him to apply for a position that was open at Massively for a Guild Wars 2 staff writer but he just isn't in to online RPGs.

Now to get cracking so that this doesn't become one of those things that eternally stays on the back burner.

I think I can, I think I can.