Sometimes I sketch directly into Flash, but lately that’s been frustrating. Maybe I need to update my driver. I think I got better results this time from sketching on paper first.
I keep having an internal dialogue with myself that goes something like this: “Ooooooh so excited for Cataclysm! It looks so awesome and I can’t wait to try a goblin and worgen and play through the new old world and see what archaeology and Path of the Titans are all about! Aww, too bad it won’t be out for a year probably. I wish I didn’t know about it at all. Guess I’ll go fish. Ugh, this is boring, and it’ll be better in Cataclysm. Stupid Cataclysm, ruining my enjoyment of the game now. I don’t even care about Arthas anymore. I just want to get to Deathwing. I wish they didn’t announce Cataclysm yet!!!”
I am, of course, glad that I know about Cataclysm. I admit that I still enjoy the game quite a bit, and I’m very glad I have enough forewarning that I can make sure I experience any old world content I never got to before it becomes forever changed. But still, it takes a little something out of my game experience. I kind of wish that all they told us at Blizz Con was that the next expansion will change the old world forever. Then wait until after the 3.3 Icecrown release to give us all the juicy details. I know that isn’t really feasible, since Blizz Con is all about hype, and it makes sense for them to announce what they already know then. What do you guys think? Does the timing of the Cataclysm announcement affect how you enjoy the game now at all, for good or for bad? Are you still pumped to take on the Lich King in 3.3?
My trip to GenCon in August got me thinking about the direction of gaming. It seems that over the years we’ve sought to make games more immersive. From classic card games, to beautifully illustrated board games, to hyper-real video games, we have enjoyed an ever growing amount of visual stimulation from our games. Video games are getting more and more real while we leave the board games to collect dust.
But are we really leaving the board games behind? GenCon, the board game mecca for North America, continues to attract huge numbers. Fantasy Flight Games, the company behind board game hits like Arkham Horror and Battlestar Galactica, reported that they’re seeing a steady increase in board game consumption in the US. Perhaps we’re all just consuming more games in general, electronic or tabletop alike.
Still, there’s the feeling that we should be heading towards the ultimate gaming experience: the holodeck. But I wonder if that idyllic goal would get turned on its head if our gaming had evolved with video games at the beginning. Maybe instead of trying to satisfy our senses with realistic images, we’d seek to challenge our imaginations with the rule systems and stories in RPG taletops, the ultimate goal to strip down the tools to pen, paper, and dice.
I certainly got a lot of enthusiastic comments about RPGs on my previous post, Got Dice, Need Time. I hope all spectrums of gaming continue to evolve.
I have very little experience with Dungeons and Dragons or other table top RPGs, but I couldn’t resist getting these beautiful cat’s eye dice at GenCon this summer. GenCon, for the uninitiated, is a huge table-top gaming convention held in Indianapolis every August. It holds all things D&D, RPG, card games, board games, and more. And the thing to buy there, if you only buy one thing, is a dice set. My first dice set ever. I still haven’t had the chance to use them yet, and I’m not sure when I will. Between work, making the comic, more work, and spending time with those I care about, I have a hard time committing to a regular World of Warcraft raid group let alone a Dungeons and Dragons group. Hopefully it’ll work out someday.
I played it once, with some good friends (two of whom were our old guild leaders in WoW), but we only did one session and didn’t get very far. I was newly hooked on WoW at the time, and D&D seemed a little dull in comparison. I kept wanting to sneak away and kill some stuff while we figured out math at the table. Of course I was a halfling thief, the closest I could get to my gnome rogue in WoW, both of whom are inspired by my secret desire to be a female Bilbo Baggins. But I really have an itch to try it again, now that the initial WoW addiction has mellowed and I’ve had great times playing board games with the boyfriend and had a great game-filled weekend at GenCon. Any NPC readers out there play D&D or other tabletop roleplaying games?
I heard it last night on Twitter. For thirty real world bucks, you can turn your stout female dwarf into a beautiful slender blood elf, or your giant tauren warrior into an adorable little gnome.
I’m really curious about where the dust is going to settle after the flurry of initial faction changes. I can only assume that most faction changes will be from Alliance to Horde. Am I wrong? It seems like a lot of people make Ally toons when they start out, then they either stay Ally because their friends are there or they’re so invested in the character. Then they hear about how cool the Horde are, but they’re stuck. I have no evidence of this. I’m only led to believe it from my own limited experiences, the podcast community chatter, the hearty Horde warcries at Blizzcon, and the “For the Horde” nod on TNT’s Leverage. It just seems like the Horde are the cool kids and the Allies are the goody goodies.
But I hope I’m wrong. Because Fenwick the gnome rogue is staying where she is. The only possibility of her changing I could foresee is a bizarre engineering accident transforming her into a goblin. But you know, her engineering isn’t THAT bad. And when I play a goblin, it’s gonna be from the starting zone we’ve been hearing so much about.
Mike Schramm over on WoW.com wrote a piece about this, with polls. I urge everyone to go take them, so we can get a better handle on the population shifts.