Posts Tagged ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale – the good, the bad, the button mashing

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Since most of us here at BG come from a heavy pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons background this was a title that peaked our interests a few months back. This franchise is well overdue for a revamped series that is accessible in multi and single player scenarios. Atari and Wizards of the Coast seem to know this but can they bring our dice rolling fantasy to our console/PC and do it justice? Lets see…

The Bad
I want to end this on a good note so just let me get the bad stuff out of the way. I’m not going to fill you in on a story background, this is a ‘hack and slash’ game. The story seems sort of back seat to you runnning around looting barrells and killing goblins. We all could expect this from an ‘arcade’ type game. So don’t expect heavy dialogue (just heavy dwarf grunting), and missions like – go kill these guys here, go destroy that mine shaft there, escort this fella over here so he can make you a new shiny sword..etc. Very lack luster, but like I said, I don’t care much about that here, what I wanna know is if it’s fun for me, or worth my time to invest the 1200 microsoft points to satisfy my RPG fix on our occasional sober weekend nights.

Im a stickler on customization of my character, I will spend much too much time making my toon. Like hours if I can’t get it right. Outfitting and gear are a big part of RPGs for me. That was my first big dissappointment here. You get to pick one of four basic D&D Class/Races. Elf rogue, Dwarf cleric, Human warrior, and a Halfling mage (with corn rolls). No hair or face options, just what you see is what you get. They could of given us a few Male/Female options atleast. Big minus for me…

This was suppost to be a transfer of 4th edition rules right? Well at 3rd level I seem to have acquired 145hp (If I remember I should have around 25hp). The weapon damages are all accurate why wouldnt the players HP reflect that also? Maybe too many dots or since it’s not turn based combat they decided to give us a nice cushiony buff. Probably for the better, but still… D&D nerds will notice their numbers not adding up.

Button mashing. The combat is lots of hitting ‘X’ over and over with the slight special attack thrown in there…somewhat repetitive. It does work, and well we all kinda figured we’d be spamming and spamming to see how much we ‘crit’ for, or how much our ‘backstab’ hits at. It would of been nice to include some tatics here and there, and maybe multi-ing it with friends could lead to flanking mobs, or kiting strategies to handle some of the swarms of mobs that are hurled at you. Respawns of critters seems to be fast also, for those who are into blind ‘XP farming’.

The Good
Once you get past the button spamming and getting over the “I wanted to play a female dwarf to see if she could have a beard”, this game has some nice appeal for the BusyGamer. Quick runs with your friends, levelling up and searching for new gear I will never get tired of. The weapon and armor merchants have random items that are level based, they do change between saves it sorta seems, since I was frequently returning to vendors to see what they may have added. And these items reflect well on your character, better swords glow, bows have fire around them that do ‘fire damage’, and armors change your appearance accordingly. This is do like. When I upgrade my weapon, it should make me feel ‘upgraded’. I see that instead of adding character options, they just added a ton of different loot.

Blood and stuff. The fighting animations are very stylized. Nice blood splats and poision clouds from deadly arrows were a nice touch. Fireballs look like fireballs. Ice spells keep you rooted with ice shards coming out of the ground. It’s good to see the power of these smaller DL’d games be used, and they didn’t skimp on the effects.

The level maps are pretty big. I found myself really looking at the UI map of the cave areas to see what spots or treasure chests I may have missed. They are well marked with quest givers, vendors, and objectives so you wont get lost and caught back in a horde of respawned baddies.

Levelling seems adequately rewarding, not too fast, actually seemed a bit slow, but over all will make the game a good 12hrs or so to finish. Which is pretty fat for a DL.

The Overall
Good if you want a quick jump in and loot some mobs and try to get some upgraded gear. Good if you like a game that you could probably have fun with over XBLive with your buddies while drinking a beer at the same time. Good if you like attention to detail with some nice casting and magic item effects, that reflect well on your playing style, and good if you understand this is not a Dragon Age, or even Baulders Gate caliber of game. Bad if you want good story, indepth character customization, combat tactics, turn based strategy, or a game that requires you to think a whole lot more than past your ‘X’ button. It’s a quick ‘hack and slash let’s see how fast we can dps this mofo down’ type of game, and that’s exactly what I think WOTC and Atari set out to do.

Dungeons & Dragons Online to be a free for all.

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
The microtransactions are making us free! Die!

The microtransactions are making us free! Die!

(Gamestop) – The Dungeons and Dragons Online upgrade, slated for this summer, will allow players to download and play the game free of charge, with revenue coming from microtransactions. Current subscribers will automatically be enrolled in its VIP program, which includes exclusive access to additional races, adventure packs, locales, and the upcoming Monk class.

Moreover, current subscribers will get a “priority access” in the closed Beta of the new DDO Unlimited upgrade, which began today.

Players who choose the free-to-play plan are encouraged to buy additional content, such as potions, equipment, and adventure packs via the new DDO Store which coincides with the release of the Eberron Unlimited upgrade. VIP customers will accrue Turbine Points each month which can be used at the store to purchase virtual goods.

DDO Unlimited will offer over 100 updates, skills, quests, feats, and enhancements. It will also raise the level cap to 20, introduce the Monk class, and add more than a dozen new dungeons.

Co-creator of D&D dies at 61.

Friday, April 10th, 2009
Early prints by Gygax and Arneson

Early prints by Gygax and Arneson

Dave Arneson, co-creator of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game, died after a two-year on going battle with cancer Thursday. He was 61.

Arneson and main creator Gary Gygax developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. This game was worldly known for its oddly shaped dice and was eventually turned into video games, books and movies. Gygax died in March 2008.

Arneson’s daughter quotes:
“The biggest thing about my dad’s world is he wanted people to have fun in life,” Weinhagen said. “I think we get distracted by the everyday things you have to do in life and we forget to enjoy life and have fun”.

“But my dad never did,” she said. “He just wanted people to have fun.”

Dungeons & Dragons was originally a table top game where players created fictional characters and carried out their adventures with the help of complicated rules. The quintessential geek pastime, it spawned copycat games and later inspired a whole genre of computer games that’s still growing in popularity.


Christian Children’s Fund says “No wai!” to gamers

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Seventeen thousand three hundred ninety eight dollars. That’s $17,398 for those of you who hate reading the spelled out amount. That’s a hefty chunk of change that I’m sure any charity organization would be happy to accept. Just not the Christian Children’s Fund. Evidently it’s not the dollar amount that turns them off but the source of the money that has them shaking their heads and shoving their hands in their pockets.

You might be confused at this point but these are the facts as we know them; GenCon, you know, that little roleplaying convention that happens every year around this time… Anyway, GenCon held a charity auction at their little soiree and managed to raise the aforementioned bank roll to donate to Gary Gygax’s favorite charity, you guessed it, the Christian Children’s Fund. But the CCF flatly rejected the donation.

I am willing to bet that if Mr. Gygax had been alive and had sat down and written a check for 17K, the CCF would have cashed it and thanked the old wizard for his kind donation. But whether it was the fact that a bunch of gamers donated the money, that it was GenCon who had performed the charity auction, or that it’s the Devil’s RPG that was at the heart of the convention, CCF declined the donation. Maybe GenCon should have “laundered” the donation through Child’s Play, perhaps that would have softened the impact of the source of the cash.

I understand, and let me say this is only to a very certain point, why a christian organization might not want to affiliate itself with GenCon. I can even understand a hesitancy to accept the money based on D&D paraphernalia sales. But there were other items involved in the auction that weren’t based on Gygax’s game that should have made this extremely generous gesture by the gaming community completely palatable to any religious group.

In regards to the rejection, CCF has been quoted by sources as saying:

“Christian Children’s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts, or the game Dungeons and Dragons.”

Too late. I already interpreted your actions and what your reasons might be. And I can’t say that it presents a very flattering image of your organization.

Gritskrieg – End of Line