August 05, 2015, 04:25:49 AM

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Topics - Martini

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Gadgets, Gizmos, and Computers / DXRacer Chairs
« on: July 25, 2015, 04:59:21 PM »
I am in desperate need of a new computer chair, my current chair is a random Walmart-special-cheapie-POS. I've heard and read great things about the DXRacer chairs, and I'm wondering if anyone of you have had experiences with them.

This is the one I am looking at specifically (although I wish it came in purple). :P

General Discussion / Four year birthday
« on: July 14, 2015, 01:27:50 AM »
I can't believe it's already been four years that I've been a Guardian! Time sure flies. I just wanted to say that I love you guys, I'm so glad I stumbled upon this place. A lot has changed for me the last four years, and I've grown a lot. Thanks for being there with me and being my safe place to escape to. I look forward to many more years together and more wonderful memories.

Cheers everyone, Guardians Lead the Way!

Final Fantasy XIV / Chocobo Colors
« on: July 07, 2015, 12:12:23 AM »
I found a great thread on the official forums with screenshots of what the colors look like. Good lord there are A TON! Enjoy!

FFXIV Chocobo Colors

General Discussion / Izzy - I found you some chips
« on: July 02, 2015, 10:17:10 AM »
Wasn't it Ketchup chips that you were desperately seeking? Something that Canada has an abundance of >_> Defeo sent me this name of chips, but I can't buy then in Canada; however, aren't you eastern-ish US? (If not forgive me, I've had no sleep)


They have about a gazillion flavors. Next TG meet up I'm buying chips for months.

Other Games and Interests / FallOut 3 - First timer
« on: June 19, 2015, 04:33:33 PM »
Yes, I know, I'm so behind. I've never played any of the Fallout games before. After a recent conversation and Jeff gifting me the GotY Edition, it's going to happen! I'm pretty excited; I've heard so many good things about this game. I hope I'll have time to delve into this when I'm not working on legal studies or volunteering.

It's my first time so are there any tips, suggestions, dos/don'ts that you would have for a newbie? I don't want to mess up building my character or miss any vital things. :D

World of Warcraft / Horde Raiding
« on: May 09, 2015, 03:38:25 PM »
There are a few people getting together to make a raid group, Horde side.

Looking for: Mostly DPS but any role is welcome to come forward. :)

I'm not sure if anyone is even still playing but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Crowfall / TG Crowfall Streamers
« on: May 04, 2015, 05:54:02 PM »
If you plan on streaming Crowfall for the alphas/betas/etc post here with your link and which alpha/beta group you're in. :D

Alpha 1
Jetah -

Alpha 2
DeFeoBoutique -

Beta 2
Meridian -
Martini -

General Discussion / TG Google Hangout -- Friday, March 27, ~9pm EST
« on: March 24, 2015, 12:40:19 AM »
This is long over due! This Friday, let's get together for games and shenanigans!

For those of you who don't know what a Google Hangout is, it's basically a group video chat with up to 10 people. It's always a good time. Feel free to bring drinks, munchies, your sense of humor, and of course your inner gamer!

We can play whatever people want, even Cards Against Humanity online! See you there.

Friday, March 27th, at ~9pm EST

Join here:

Crowfall / Why You Should Back Crowfall!
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:00:06 PM »
Why You Should Back Crowfall

Small | Large

What is Crowfall?
"Crowfall is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG, for anyone born in a cave).   By that, we mean that the game is played online in a persistent shared environment with thousands (and thousands, and thousands…) of other players. 
We think Crowfall is a very different flavor of MMO – internally, we call it a Throne War Simulator.  That’s because we've designed it to be a very different game experience.  It has elements in common with strategy games, political simulators, survival games… and a few elements that don’t really exist anywhere else."

Persistent characters, dying worlds. While the Eternal Kingdoms are persistent, there are 'campaigns' that will run for a set period of time. In that time the seasons change; the campaign ends when winter is done. Everything in those campaign worlds can be destroyed/built -- thank you voxels -- with resources. Essentially, when campaign is over, that world will look completely different than when it started. Crowfall will be more skill based than gear based, with action combat similar to that of Wildstar or Tera. There will be PvP, building forts, crafting, sieges, and some PvE elements. Gear will be disposable so getting the best sword will not give you a permanent advantage. Armor and weapons will decay with time/use/death.

$36 Pledge Level "Contributor Early Bird 2"
At this level you get a digital copy of Crowfall (worth $50), access to Beta 2, and a thanks in the credits an an early backer. This is an amazing value! Being a buy to play game, you can spend $36 and never worry about having to pay a sub fee! Plus, mmm beta... *drool* Besides, we all know you're going to buy the game anyways at launch; so why not save yourself some money now! Plus, get some awesome backer rewards from the stretch goals!  PACK PIGGY! aka emergency rations. :P

No subscription fees
Crowfall is going to be a 'Buy-to-Play' game; all you have to do is purchase it once, and you can play it forever!

VIP Access
While there is no subscription required to play the game, there is still a VIP Access subscription.  Certain pledge levels(Contributor* and above) get a bonus amount of VIP access. What is VIP access you ask?

VIP members are given additional benefits, including:
  • “Passive training” (automatic skill advancement) for 3 of your characters – not just 1!
  • Priority access to all game servers
  • VIP frame/badge on the forums
  • Discount pricing on any purchases
  • Behind the scenes access to the development of the game
  • Other cool (non-balance affecting) benefits as we think of them!"

* One of the stretch goals was an extra month of VIP, so it's not stated on the pledge descriptions for those below $60, but it's there. ;)

These developers have amazing experience and know what they're doing
Gordon Walton: one of the minds behind Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic!
J. Todd Coleman: one of the creators of Shadowbane, Wizard 101, and Pirate 101!

I read this on the Crowfall official forums and I think it's SO true.

"I know this is not a money grab. The key people behind this really want to make a perfect game for the sake of realizing their dream game. I really have a lot of faith in them."

Also, everyone around here has already backed Star Citizen... Here's what the creator of SC has to say about Crowfall! [ SOURCE ]

Quote from: Chris Roberts, Creator of Star Citizen
If you’ve already heard of Crowfall, I wouldn’t be surprised! With over $1 million raised so far, they’ve already made quite a noise!

Crowfall is exactly what I was hoping Star Citizen might help enable crowd funding to create. It’s an AAA-quality game that shakes up traditional MMORPGs by trying something new. Crowfall is the brainchild of J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton, industry veterans par excellence. In fact, if there’s an award for most impressive MMO pedigree, these two may have a lock on it. Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, The Sims Online, The Old Republic… they were even working on massively multiplayer titles before anyone coined the phrase, with games like Air Warrior and Battletech! These are two developers who could walk into managing any MMO in the industry… and it’s all the more impressive to me that they’ve chosen to build something different with the crowd instead.

Crowfall is something entirely new: the blending of an MMO with a large-scale strategy game… all within a distinctive setting that will feel right at home alongside Britannia and Azeroth. It claims to be an “MMO you can win,” which is an absolutely fascinating concept… and one that they’re backing up, like Star Citizen, by revealing their game design decisions early. Crowfall may not take place in the 29th century, but at its core it’s a game after our own hearts all the same. Check out their trailer, embedded below, or visit their site to see if it’s something you’re interested in.

These guys have decades of experience in the genre and I love that they are not tied to some big-name publisher.  Plus these guys have been more vocal with the community and open about their ideas and concepts than any other game developer I have seen in recent years.  You know what you are getting with this game because they have specifically told you!

Sandbox Game We've Been Waiting For?
Next Generation Old School!  Crowfall is bringing back some of those elements we know and loved in past games. Character development, lore, building, crafting, battles, scouting, etc. We will need to work together to gather resources and build strongholds, gather and craft armor/weapons and summon your courage to break through (literally) enemy walls! Just what we all want, EMPOWERMENT!  Not to mention a crafting system designed by Raph Koster himself, the very man responsible for the best crafting system in the history of MMOs with SWG's crafting.  I think he has a chance to one up himself!

All types of players will have a place in Crowfall even if PvP isn't your thing, there will be building, crafting, scouting and gathering resources, as well as the PvE elements we all love....(minus raids)   Not to mention, the Eternal Kingdoms, who doesn't want their own Kingdom!?  Just imagine building Libertas, The Guardians Legendary Player City in it's own persistent server.  We need City Sim enthusiasts to help us design the best possible city we can!

Guardian Support
It already has a ton of Guardian support with OVER $5000 pledged so far; most likely more to come. (To see our list of backers, and add yourself to the list, click here). You know there will be Guardians in game to play, create, siege and conquer with!

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask and we'll do out best to answer! Guardians Lead the Way!

Crowfall / Update #21 -- 14k backers, pack pigs for all!
« on: March 23, 2015, 02:19:48 AM »
Wow! We're really hitting those goals, now!

Crowfall is now the 17th largest video game in Kickstarter history. 14,000 backers support this project. That's absolutely amazing! As a result, everyone who pledges will receive the illustrious Pack Pig!

Let's take a minute to talk about backer goals. 

We added backer goals to keep things exciting between the larger (and frankly, more expensive) monetary stretch goals. The philosophy is "small, but cool." (In order words: make them fun, but don't break the bank -- because they don't technically bring more money to the game!) 

We added the VR backer goal because we think it would be fun to play with, we have really great ideas for the technology-- and because our game engine, Unity 5, makes it affordable. But, frankly, the feedback has been mixed.

Some people (who are really into the idea of VR) are really into it! Others (who aren't) found it somewhat uninspiring. 

Obviously we can't have that! Rewards should be cool. So, in the spirit of being responsive to our backers, we've decided to insert a new Backer goal to keep the momentum going. 

Bonus parcels! At 14,500 backers, we're adding the following tax-free parcels to the following tiers! 

$40 = 1 tax-free parcel
$60 = 2 tax-free parcels 
$100 = 2 tax-free parcels 
$130 = 3 tax-free parcels 
$175 = 3 tax-free parcels 
$250 = +4 = 9 total tax-free parcels 
$500 = +5 = 15 total tax-free parcels 
$1000 = +10 = 30 total tax-free parcels 
$2500 = +40 = 80 total tax-free parcels 
$5000 = +100 = 180 total tax-free parcels 
$10000 = +160 = 320 total tax-free parcels! 

If you missed Friday's update, jump a little further down to page to find out WHAT these tax-free parcels are and WHY they are cool.

3 days, and counting! 

Let's keep that momentum going, and THANK YOU for helping us make Crowfall a reality!

Crowfall / Crowfall Interview 03/22/15
« on: March 23, 2015, 01:24:30 AM »
Small | Large

Crowfall / Article: Crowfall's Key Innovation
« on: March 23, 2015, 12:12:50 AM »
Great article from Zen of Design.

Crowfall’s Key Innovation and Why MMO PVP Fans Should Support Them

As of this writing, Crowfall has three days remaining on its Kickstarter, and has reached most of its financial objectives.  However, they are very close to some very cool stretch goals, including Oculus Rift support.  Click here to see the Kickstarter, and if you want to help out, act now before the Kickstarter ends!

It’s fashionable to point out disclaimers of prior relationships for articles like these.  In the case of Crowfall, I share this information proudly.  I’m old friends and colleagues of both of Artcraft Entertainment’s principals (as well as multiple other people at the studio).  Gordon Walton is one of the smartest, most influential leaders in the Massively Multiplayer space, and likely the best mentor and boss I’ve ever had.  Todd Coleman is fresh off of his stint working at Kings Isle (where he was the design id behind the very lucrative Wizard 101), and he’s as driven, insightful and laser-focused a Creative Director as you’re ever likely to find in the MMO space. He is exactly the sort of person you want corralling a crazy MMO startup into reality.  Put simply, the pedigree of the studio leadership alone should be enough to convince you to go back Crowfall if you love competitive Player vs. Player MMOs and truly next-gen thinking in the MMO space.

But I don’t want to talk about that.  I want to talk about what they’re actually going to build.

I worked with Coleman on Shadowbane as part of Wolfpack Studios.  I joined the company shortly before they shipped the game (to be honest, too late to impact much one way or the other), and I continued there working on Shadowbane and various other products until the game went Free to Play.  I joined up because it was a crazy ambitious vision for an MMO  – a game about building massive cities, and then going to war and burning them down.  It was a damned exciting vision.  I frequently joked that it was either going to be a ‘thing’, or it was going to be well worth having front-row seats to the results.

Shadowbane shipped to fervent excitement by the fans.  The day we shipped, googling ‘Shadowbane’ got more results than ‘Star Wars Galaxies’, despite us having virtual no marketing beyond board warrioring.  The idea behind Shadowbane is a gloriously big one, and judging by the success of Crowfall’s kickstarter so far, is one that still has resonance today.

Shadowbane did not stick the landing on their launch.  Technical issues marred the release – mostly due to the inexperience of the team, a problem that Crowfall should avoid – and it took some time to get the game stable enough to actually see how that core vision bore out.  And what we found was that the vision for the game was fun and exciting, but had a very interesting fatal flaw.  And that is that it never ended.

Shadowbane PvP was completely freeform – no precreated ‘sides’.  Instead, each warring faction was a completely player-created guild – often merging into alliances.  And the problem is that typically, one of the alliances would get so big and dominant that they’d completely steamroll over any new guild that started up.  Because your city tied to your success, steamrolling another guild’s city increased the gap, making it easier for the leaders to maintain control overall. The dominant alliance would typically become so dominant that peace would reign uncontested.  Which, if you’re making an MMO based upon the vigors of war, is a disaster.

The most interesting fallout to this, academically, was that one time a server got so bored having nobody to kill that the Alliance leaders decided arbitrarily to ban a player class.  For a week, all Thieves were Kill On Sight.  Which is cool in an emergent gameplay sort of way, but also reveals how the game was fundamentally sick.

The players got it too.  We frequently would have better logins on days we launched a new server than on the days we put up major patches.  Shadowbane players LOVE to have a fresh Risk map to start dropping castles onto.  When I left, we talked frequently about whether or not it was feasible to make worlds with a shelf life the core to the game’s design.    After I left, Shadowbane wiped the servers to kickstart a clean map feel again.  Outsiders were aghast, but the cheering of the playerbase was vocal and emphatic.

Shadowbane was not the first game to deal with this problem.  The first to do it well was World War II online, which had a similar problem where the game servers would end up locked in a situation where one side (the germans – It was always the germans) would have the other pinned into a miserable no-win situation.  WW2OL solved the problem a simple and elegant way – declaring a winner, and resetting the map.  Some observers were concerned that this would result in ‘taking away’ some of the earnings of the victors, or ruin the game by destroying the sense of persistence, but this proved not to be the case.  The winners were happy enough to get the bragging rights of victory, and the losers were just happy to have hope again.

Crowfall is not Shadowbane 2, but it is clearly deeply influenced by Coleman’s first game.  As such, I found the fact that Crowfall’s Kickstarter video spent most of their time discussing their fresh map solution – (“eternal heroes, dying world”) a true indication of the fact that these guys are shooting for next generation thinking about MMO gameplay far and beyond simply cloning WoW.

The ambitions built around these disposable worlds are a lot of fun.  Worlds are fully destructable, which means that the difference between a pristine new land and one ravaged by warfare will be made clear.  Also, the physics of the worlds can completely deviate from one another – the idea that some worlds may offer better resources, or have stronger rules of magic, for example, become possible.

Will it work?  There are no guarantees.  It is a bold, ambitious, and breathtakingly exciting vision for a fantasy MMO – and yet at the same time one built upon solid design thinking and the hard crucible of experience.

Go check it out.


Crowfall / Crowfall Meeting Minutes - March 22nd
« on: March 22, 2015, 10:27:19 PM »

I want to thank everyone who could made it to the meeting today. We had some great discussions! There will probably be another meeting held in a couple months time. Here is the link to the recording: Thanks to Airic for recording it.

Meeting Minutes
We will be having a Member Only area of the Crowfall forums. While we're not discussing siege plans at this time, there may be topics that we don't want to be available to the public. ;]

Guild Interest Census Form
Anyone who has an interest in Crowfall, or if you're already a backer, could please fill out the form here. This will give us a better idea of who we have interested and who has pledged.

Leadership Interests
  • Start thinking about if or how you'd like to contribute. If you're thinking about leading Crowfall as a division, or an officer, siege mastermind, etc, start thinking about if you'd be interested in something like that.
  • If you are interested, send a PM to Booms and let him know.

Rules of Engagement
  • Basic consensus is that guildies will work together in FFA campaigns.
  • More information to be discussed as it becomes available.

Guild Eternal Kingdom
  • Discussed having a "guild owned" account that we can pool resources into and make the EK into a social/trading huib of sorts
  • If/when guild leaders change, the EK can stay the same, admin rights can be given to leaders/officers
  • Parcels of land can be moved from one EK to another, but how difficult will it be to build them back up again?
  • If a guild owned EK is not in the guild's best interests, possibly using the person with the largest EK for our hub?
  • teaming up to help clear EK plots for construction?
  • More information to be discussed as it becomes available

  • Possible dedicated crafters, how many of each will we need?
  • Guild wide effort to support our crafters
  • "Gathering parties" to gather resources/ protect gatherers
  • Crafting stations in campaigns until resources can be exported?

Alpha/Beta Participants
List here of who will be in which level of testing. Please post there to have your name added to the list.

If there's anything I missed please let me know. I was having some internet issues there for a little bit.

Thank you all again for coming, I look forward to more meetings and more Crowfall fun. Guardians Lead the Way!

Crowfall / Crowfall Alpha/Beta List
« on: March 22, 2015, 09:34:52 PM »
Please post below and I will add your name to whichever group you belong to.

Alpha 1

Alpha 2

Alpha 3

Beta 1

Beta 2

Total:  29

Crowfall / Update #20 1.3 million achieved!
« on: March 21, 2015, 07:25:54 PM »
$1.3 million in pledges! Mounts & Caravans Achieved!

You guys are amazing. 

We just crossed $1.3 million in pledges, and you know what that means:

 - The MOUNT system!

- The CARAVAN system!  ...which means escort activities, ambushing, and a TON of emergent gameplay!

And it means three in-game Mount Figurines are unlocked as a bonus backer reward:   

Quarter Horse (at $60), 

Quarter Horse + Warhorse (at $100),

and Quarter Horse + Warhorse + Nightmare ($130 and above!) 

Thank you guys SO MUCH for helping us achieve this goal. Resource collection is a massive part of our vision, and the Caravan system is going to make the foundation of that game much, much stronger! 

Also, we have decided that a slight tweak to our reward structure is in order -- to your benefit, of course! 

The idea behind the backer goals was to create a smaller set of "thank you" rewards to go in between the larger stretch goal amounts. As it turns out, the 14,500 backer reward (bonus pack pig for all backers) looks like it would hit at roughly the same time as the $1.4m rewards -- which kind of goes against the point of having staggered rewards! 

Since the caravan system is now official IN the plan, we're changing the pack pig to come in at only 14,000 backers instead of 14,500. That's right: same great Pack Pig, but now it's only a few hundred backers away! 

Again, we can't thank you enough for the support you have shown us, and for the faith you have placed in our vision and our team. 

4 days left! Keep spreading the word, and let's keep the momentum going!

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