Last Blaugust post 2014

Woo Yay Hoopla!
Today is officially the last day of Blaugust and despite some troubles in the middle of the month it has not been half as bad as I thought it was going to be. Well done to all those who took part no matter how far you got into the event the mere accepting of such a challenge is quite an achievement when you aren’t in the habit of posting each day and I know some bloggers were getting back on the saddle after quite some time, so an extra Bravo! for you folks too.
A final thanks to Belghast for running the event despite having a tonne of other things sapping his time too.

So in memory of the last 31 days I thought that it would be nice to write up some thoughts in the form of questions, feel free to use them if you want.

What is the biggest thing you will take way from Blaugust?

I think the experience has been quite educational for me as writing a post in a day isn’t something that I excelled at.
The event has at the very least given me a taste of how I could make smaller and more frequent posts on my blog, which was one of the main focuses for me tackling the challenge.
From this I hope to improve on my “time-to-publish” so I can push out content with less of a struggle and ultimately feel more confident, independent of the subjects I choose to blog about.

What was the biggest challenge you faced? (if any)

Biting the bullet and posting after only proof reading my post once or twice, usually I would mull over the contents, the tone, the images. Until the post either got modified or was left to rot in the drafts folder.
This was the best thing for me as I felt there wasn’t a great deal of wasted effort which is a bonus as sometime my dyslexia gets the better of me.

I had a busy time in the middle of the month and despite preparing some of writing before hand the time wasn’t enjoyable and it would have been a natural break for me if I was keeping my own schedule.

Would I do it again?

Possibly, a big fact will be if I feel that challenge is achievable. On the face of it 31 posts doesn’t sound like a huge number but considering that my post count for last year only totalled 21, it’s been rather eye opening that’s for certain.

A bonus was that I’ve also discovered a stack of new bloggers who have all suffered tackled the event themselves. All of whom have been added to my RSS reader and blogroll (Hopefully).

#Blaugust #Blogging

Subscription perks

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Rewind to the era of full subscription model and you got unfettered access to the game and aside from the monthly cost your only other expensive were the initial purchase of the original game and any expansions.
Each Free to play MMO calls their pseudo subscription models something different such as VIP, Premium, Membership, gold status or patron, I wanted to take a look at what is really being offered.

Bang for your buck

This is a work in progress please treat it as such, however I’m keen to collect any information that players of these games would like to add, please leave a comment on this post or you can comment on the spreadsheet.

I’ve played a number of MMOs as both a subscriber and a f2p-subscriber, So it’s interesting to look at what that subscription really grants to you the player? Are the perks the same across the board?

After my initial analysis it’s clear to see that the packages offered vary quite wildly some including:

  • Recurring reward of cash shop money
  • Priority Queuing (server and PVP)
  • others grant you full customer service functions
  • Unlocks of different races or classes
  • In-game store discounts
  • More action bars & bag space
  • Not forgetting one of the biggest incentives increases in Experience and Currency rewards

The rewards are weighted against the game they apply to, a boost to currencies being a strong favourite because who doesn’t want more money right?

Price Comparison

There are discounts for purchasing longer periods but the generally most of the games aim place the perk in the range of between $9.99 and $14.99 price range for a month subscription, which is comparable with the previous subscription costs.
Some exceptions to this are games like Aion or Firefall where you have to purchase the monthly sub in game via the cash shop and the other is SOE who changed there model to one called All-Access which offers bonuses across all their games, a nice perks if you play more than one of their titles.

Perk Comparison

I tried to compile a list of what perks subscription models offer, this is often tricky as games don’t always tell you everything that is included off the bat.
If you spot a glaring omissions or mistakes then please let me know and I’ll update my data.

You can browse to the file here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/103mNXwwCd07q013Zp9diQCJQPvwlCnGGPOMiJe5eNv0/pubhtml
or comment here
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/103mNXwwCd07q013Zp9diQCJQPvwlCnGGPOMiJe5eNv0

#blaugust #Subscription #FreeToPlay

The Witches

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I had Tree Frog Games’s The Witches for Christmas we have only played it once and so we decided to take it out for another spin tonight. This is the second game based in the Discworld universe but is quite different from Anhk Morpork.
The game is set in Lancre, players control one of 4 trainee witches who are honing their skills by solving problems of ranging difficulty.

Each turn the game players can move but if they get to problem tile they have to try and solve it.
Solving problems is dependant on the total of 4 dice rolls plus any additional modifiers that a player has available to them. To bring a little chance to the situation players roll 2 dice, has the opportunity to play cards to increase their total, then they roll the remaining 2 dice to complete their attempt at resolving a problem.

TheWitchesThe dice have no ONEs as they are replaced with Cackle markers which if you accumulate too many can lead to losing point at the end of game scoring section. Thankfully to reduce your cackles you can land on the same square as another witch which automatically means you have to have Tea, as it’s etiquette, this gives both player chance to reduce their negative cackle points.

The game progress with multiple factors that could lead to the end of the game and force scoring to occur.

The rules are complete and nicely ordered that means looking up things is rather easy, plus there is a crib sheet included in the box too. However the rule are detailed completely and we didn’t have any problem relearning again as it soon came back to us.

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#Blaugust #Discworld #TabletopGames

More Jumbo

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I do enjoy pick up deals from the Humble Bundle website, usually there is one or 2 games I fancy getting plus I’m a sucker for game soundtracks and jump at any chance to add more to my collection.

This time around is a Humble Jumbo Bundle 2, which includes lots of titles that were on my Steam Wishlist which was nice. I have to imagine that for someone just getting into PC gaming the Bundle deals and offers are a great way of stocking up on titles.
Admittedly some of them are a little old and maybe not as high quality as a stack of newer titles, but half the fun is exploring titles you haven’t tried before and with the reduced price tag it’s not too much of a hit on your bank account.

In the Jumbo 2 bundle I choose not to pay the top tier for The Age of Empires Legacy Bundle and settled for the 2nd tier of games by paying over the average for the Bundle.

So for a Tenner (£10) I managed to get a good few games for under 10% of the cost (as priced on Steam at time of posting), which now I’m a family man is far more than I expect to spend on game purchases in a year (excluding subs).

There is more

Another nice feature that the Humble Bundle folks have recently implement was listing the games that hadn’t been claimed and that are giftable in an easy to access to location. I have a number that have been duplicates from Bundles past so it’s nice to find them without having to hunt through my purchase history.

#Blaugust #HumbleBundle #Steam

Mission achievable

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Following up on my XCOM post yesterday, I think it’s safe to say have a thing for achievement hunting and it’s not necessarily that I want to 100% a game, my main weakness can be found in Steam’s global list versus my own achievements for particular game.

Once I have completed a game I often find myself browsing the achievement list to find either those I can obtain quickly or the more obscure achievements. You often find that games will place a number of achievements that can only be obtained by playing a certain Multiplayer campaign, I may try these but generally if it’s not my cup of tea I’ll ignore those and proceed with some other task.

My Rarest

More often and not there tends to be an obscure achievement that has only been unlocked by <0.4% of players. Those are my favourite as they usually mean playing the game in manner that isn’t completely within my comfort zone, yet rewarding me for doing so and I often discover better ways of playing. I have been known on occasion to have restarted a game once it’s apparent that I have missed out on a reward I was hunting for.

Defense Grid has always been a good go to game for tricky achievements that require some thought and planning in order to obtain them, I recently went back to it to complete some of the DLC that I hadn’t completed. The game is fun and getting gold on the level requires a fine balancing act as you try to avoid spending too much so you can build interest on the cash you have.

My Steam profile pages as one showcase with the rarest achievements I have collected and another that is a selection of achievements, I usually pick the strangest/fun looking ones to show off here.

My Favourites

I fondly remember the Fable 2 achievement The Black Knight with a massive nod to Monty Python, it asked you to shoot  the weapons, arms and then head off a skeleton, I must have tried it a hundred times at least before getting this one.

What’s your favourite achievement?
And do you intentionally hunt certain ones down?

#Achievements #Blaugust #Steam