D&D: Online games and hiding dice rolls.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) started off as a tabletop game where the roll of a die would decide whether you are victorious or defeated. Now we can play online, websites like Roll20 make life easier for groups which live in different countries or have no access to D&D die. Something that we can also do in online D&D is hide dice rolls from players, and I’d like to talk about that for a bit.

Hiding the players’ own rolls adds suspense to the game, they don’t immediately know whether they hit or miss, bluff their way past a guard, break a lock or not. On the other hand there’s something about rolling your dice, and seeing what you roll, that adds to the tension of seeing your amazing, horrible or ‘meh’ rolls.

During Roleplay (RP) encounters hiding a dice rolls becomes even more useful, personally I think it really shines during critical fails. Let’s assume the party has captured a couple goblins and are interrogating them for information, the rogue checks to see whether they are lying or not and rolls a one. However, only the rogue is aware he rolled a one and the rest of the party is oblivious. The goblins are actually lying but you tell the rogue that he is 100% sure they are trustworthy, and as long as they RP this the rest of the party will have to follow along.

I think this is great because the party doesn’t see the critical fail, they don’t need to RP being oblivious but secretly knowing that something may go wrong, an ambush or surprise attack perhaps. Instead they have to trust that the rogue rolled something decent and will genuinely act upon that information.

If anything, I think hiding dice rolls is best for roleplay encounters but during combat it’s simply more involving and suspenseful when you can see the awesome/horrible/average rolls you’re making.

Dota 2 – The Logic Behind Buying Wards as a Support

Being a support is such a hassle. You need to buy the courier, upgrade the courier and constantly spend all of your precious gold buying wards for the entire game. How are you supposed to buy your items if you’re so busy purchasing support items the whole game?

Here’s the thing, when you place a ward you provide your team with map awareness. That ward stops you and your allies from losing gold when you get ganked by an enemy (Which means you can buy more items) and lets you perform ganks or counterattacks of your own (Meaning you get more assist gold which lets you buy more items). A ward can make the difference between getting teamwiped and successfully repelling an enemy attack. This is because you’ll know where they are attacking from and where different heroes are positioned, allowing you to prioritise targets.

Let’s not forget about sentry wards. If observer wards give your team so many benefits then it’s doubly important to make sure the enemy doesn’t have the same advantages. Predicting where enemy wards are takes practice but just pay attention to the map/how enemy heroes react when you move into an area (E.g. a lane hero moving closer to their tower when you position for a gank) and you’ll be able to make the 200 gold you spent on that sentry back (Since destroying a single observer ward gives you 100 gold)

As a support you’re pretty important to the team buddy ūüôā Just because you don’t make as much gold as your other teammates doesn’t mean you’re useless. Besides, it’s you that’s keeping your carry alive and fat eh?

(Also, professional support players do it. So you should too)

Space is cake. Planets are souffl√©’s

Extra points if you figure out¬†what inspired this post’s title.

Cake? Soufflé? Space? Have I gone bonkers? Probably.

My brother went to a Halloween party one time and I had to pick him up and bring him home. At that party I met an ex-NASA programmer who helped with the programming of the Mars rover. Naturally, at the time, I was invested in KSP (Kerbal Space Program) so I asked him if he knew of the game and if so, what he thought of its depiction of rocketry/space travel. Unfortunately, he hadn’t but this led¬†to a conversation on the differences between the travel between planets and travel on a planet itself.

Note that all of my knowledge on rocket science and interplanetary travel, etc. is either from KSP or random Wikipedia pages so it’s probably safer not to trust everything I say. Then again, NASA did collaborate with KSP to create an asteroid redirection mission so maybe I can consider myself a professional space-travel-rocket-guy.

I always thought that interplanetary travel would be a lot more complicated¬†than travel on a planet. After all, compared to a planet space is pretty humongous. After my talk with, erm.. let’s call him ‘Mars Guy’, I’ve revised that opinion. Look at it this way, there is a lot¬†of maths involved in getting to one planet to another but there are fewer secondary factors to worry about. In space you have more time to create course corrections, there¬†isn’t much that will slow the ship down and there’s a very slim chance of hitting anything.

Fast forward to successfully landing a rover on a planet. Now there are many more things that can mess up your day: terrain, gravity, curious aliens etc. Let’s also assume that it takes 20 minutes for the instructions you send to the rover to be successfully received and carried out. Like I mentioned earlier you can still make corrections, however unlike space if you happen to be driving towards the edge of a cliff you don’t really have 20 minutes to make a course correction. Of course space travel has its own hurdles and maybe Mars Guy is biased but it does make sense.

My little ‘revelation’ likely seems obvious but to me it was a genuine… surprise isn’t the right word but I think you know what I mean. Anyways, let’s get excited about the new KSP update that’s rolling out!

This is also sort of relevant. Soufflé girl anyone? New companion woo!

What it’s like being a noob in DotA 2

Everything is in place, everyone is in their designated positions. It’s almost time. Stay ready, stay vigilant and most importantly just don’t mess up. And… go!¬†WHAT IS HAPPENING!? WHERE DID THAT PURPLE GHOST PONY COME FROM!? WTF DOES MY “E” BUTTON DO AGAIN!?

Let’s face it. DotA is a pretty unforgiving place where (In SE Asia anyway) no one is going to let your mistakes slide just because you’re new to the game. ‘Course there are a few helpful people out there but because of the competitive nature of the game, players tend to be quick to anger which can be quite frightening for someone who’s started up the game for the first time.

I remember the first time I had been introduced to DotA was because a friend of mine literally begged me to join him and try it out, after my first few games of playing solo and being completely lost I eventually quit in disgust (I had never played a moba in my life) and left DotA to collect dust in a dark, dank corner of my steam library. However! after about a year and a half I decided to give it another go, and after asking my friend to show me the ropes (again) he agreed, rather dubiously, to help me out.

And wow did that make a difference, simply having someone there showing me the ropes and informing me of mistakes WITHOUT a rather unnecessary amount of abuse actually helped me to improve and enjoy the game. Granted they may have sounded like they were resisting the urge to throttle my nooby neck because, Erm, well I was pretty bad at the game. But at least they took the time to inform me of mistakes rather than getting angry at me for those mistakes.

And this, I think, is something that must be done more often in DotA. Informing of mistakes rather than getting angry about them, additionally, the person receiving criticism should also consider what they did wrong instead of making up an excuse and getting angry at the person who is informing them of what they may or may not have done wrong.

But, let’s face it. There will always be those annoying troll players or people who are completely hopeless, the ones that never communicate and are playing to annoy other people. I’m aware that what I just said¬†probably contradicts the message I’m trying to put across but, eh… You know it’s true.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to play DotA and know that the majority of the community is full of nice, helpful, decent human beings. I’m just pointing something out, that I at least think is a problem in the SE Asia servers, ¬†and giving my random opinion.

Repetitive Games Are… Boring?

Are they though? Are they really? Look at those swings up there ^, all they do is go back and forth but that doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying them.

Let’s look at the definition of repetitive. According to my friend Google: re¬∑pet¬∑i¬∑tive means “containing or characterised by repetition, especially when unnecessary or tiresome.” And its synonyms are things like “monotonous, tedious, boring, humdrum, mundane, dreary, tiresome

Reviewers apply this word. Repetitive. To the games that they are critiquing, and they do it for good reason; repetitive games are boring. When the repetitiveness is not done right. Let’s look at it this way: Every game is repetitive in some way, essentially you repeat at least one certain aspect of the game several times over. However the way this is counteracted is through variety and creativity to the… repetitiveness. Repeating something in a varied way, so to speak.

Let’s take a look at those swings again. They were created¬†to go back and forth but as children, equipped with our infinite wisdom, we found ways to add excitement and variety to them. We’d jump off the swings, we’d race against others to see who can go higher or maybe we’d twist the ropes and spin around. Oh and let’s not forget that there are also different models of swings, which serve the same purpose but perform differently. All these examples are adding variety to a basic concept.

And that is essentially what all games do. DotA for example is played on the same map. Every single time. (That’s changed a bit with the Reborn update but you know what I mean). So why is the game still fun? Because 1. It’s competitive, it provides a drive for certain players to achieve more, 2. There’s a wide variety of heroes, 3. The way every game plays out is different.

Then again, I will admit I’m not the pickiest person¬†when it comes to games, Dead Space 3 was critiqued for being repetitive and although I noticed this it didn’t detract from the experience. But,¬†I had played it coop with a friend so that may have made it more enjoyable for me, who knows.

My point is… well, I don’t really have a point for this post but… I just found the whole situation about designing a repetitive thing well makes it enjoyable even though the changes tied with it are tiny.

Or y’know, addictiveness and OCD and psychological stuff comes into play as well. Ahem, Clash of Clans (Why’s it getting so much hate anyway, I find it ok… does that mean it’s sucked me into its evil schemes and is toying with my brain? :s)

Steam’s 10 Cent Store

MINE MINE MINE - My Interpretation of Steam Sales

Prepare your wallets steam users becau-…A DISCOUNT! MINE, MINE, MINE!

Steam, it’s the biggest platform for us video gamers to buy and play games; and to interact with each other. On it are large AAA games as well as small (or sometimes large) indie games. Nonetheless no matter what type of game it is, as soon as a sale begins everyone prepares their wallets and flocks towards those sweet, sweet discounts.

If you delve a little deeper you’ll find a section that will list games under $5, which can then be organised by lowest to highest price and it’s here where we find (mainly indie) games for the tiny price of 10 cents. But why are they that cheap?

Alright let’s be honest, some of these games are just plain bad and the developers are trying to sell some extra copies. On the other hand some of these games are actually quite good, but not good enough in the eyes of some to be worth the full price. We see this a lot with games that don’t quite hit the mark but, are nonetheless still quite fun to play.

Then we have the early access games, such as Flesh Eaters which I mentioned in an¬†earlier post. It Has the potential to be an awesome game but it can be difficult for some to place their trust in early access schemes due to some other titles fouling the early access reputation. Because their development process is slow they are worried people won’t value the game enough to be worth buying, which would lead to fewer funds leading to the inability to complete the game. So, a long-term 90% off discount for them is a way to earn funding and makes the investment very risk free to the buyer.

I suppose that my point is that it’s worth browsing that area of the store because you can find some fun or good quality games down there. They may be in early access or maybe not but, take a look for yourself.

The Humble Total War Bundle. It’s One of /Those/ Bundles again…

And by “Those” I don’t mean a bad one. Just like any other humble bundle its coming straight at you out of nowhere for an extremely cheap price. Kind of like those horsemen ^ up there. Came out of nowhere + free arrows for everyone *.

tl;dr Head on over to their site and buy, buy, buy! https://www.humblebundle.com/. Remember, some of it goes to charity as well .

What I mean by “One of Those Bundles” is that it’s one of the bundles which is really, really worth the low price that you need to pay for. Don’t misunderstand me though, indie games are awesome and I love them; but it never hurts having one of the big publishers/developers have a bundle as well. (The Humble Origin Bundle was pretty awesome as well, so was the Tom Clancy one).

Pricing, what everyone is interested in. $1 will get you the Medieval II Total War Collection as well as Viking: Battle for Asgard and the original Shogun Total War. Additionally you’ll get a few cool historical/fiction e-books centered around Total War, a Total War: Warhammer illustrated campaign map, a Total War Arena beta key; and some extra bonuses, and finally goodie codes for Total War Battles: Kingdom. (The new management/free to play sort of game they’re working on)

Paying more than the average will get you the Medieval and Empire Total War Collections, extra goodie codes for Total War Arena, a 66% off coupon for Total War Attila and some hidden games that are yet to be revealed.

Feel like you want to go higher? Paying more than $15 will get you the Emperor Edition for Total War: Rome II (That’s the base game and some dlcs).

Still got more to spend? If you pay $30 or more you’ll also get a Total War T-Shirt.¬†It’s not a game, booooo!¬†Just joking I love you Humble Bundle.

We all love Humble Bundle (And similar sites) for getting us awesome deals for awesome prices but lets not forget that some of it also goes to charity, and to be honest it is a really good way to raise money. This Bundle goes to support; Special effect, The Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Charitable Fund, Willow, Walking with the Wounded and Bles.

What are you waiting for? Get over here! there!

I Made a Steam Guide (For this hidden indie game “Flesh Eaters”)

If you’re reading this it means that pretty much everyone’s got a craving for your lovely flesh. Congratulations! This is what it’s like to be popular!

Hang in there, with just these few simple steps you’ll be beating off those raging fans in no time! *

*May or may not result in loss of fans

Check out the Flesh Eaters guide here.

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