Greyfang

Well-designed games are engrossing, exhilarating, and altogether fascinating. Some take a very simple premise, such as black and white stones and a grid, and become extremely challenging, like the Chinese boardgame Go. Others utilize a number of complex principles and electronic technology, such as massively multiplayer games. Either way, the ability to view problems differently and arrive at varying conclusions is thoroughly exercised in a good game, and they have captivated me since childhood.

This weekend I'm joining the open beta for Embers Adrift from Stormhaven Studios. However, I'm enjoying the closed beta for Mad World: Age of Darkness by Jandisoft a bit more.

I'm still playing one of my favorite free browser games in OpenEtG, based on the online trading card game Elements which was built in Flash and is no longer being supported by its original developers. Fortunately a new team has undertaken not only resurrecting this classic but has made some exceptional additions as well. I've also discovered the Royal game of Ur, probably the oldest board game known to human civilization, has been adapted to an online version, so i've been playing that when i can find a partner.

My Games

    MMORPGs

There are many different kinds of MMOs out there, from the nice-guy environment of City of Heroes to the cutthroat universe of Eve Online and everything between, from games which boast several high population servers (or one megaserver) to those which support only a small population per instance. So what factors went into choosing the games i've played? There are several, including the style of gameplay, the feel of the community, the amount of developer support and interaction, the quality of the lore and the overall design challenges. Ultimately, the choice of MMO comes down to the individual.

At this point in my life, i must assert that my involvement with games has not become less enjoyable, but certainly less consuming than was the case previously. Not only do i find entertainment in many different kinds of media, i have also been blessed with a family which brings me greater joy than any i have known before.

I will, however, always be a gamer at heart. Here is a list of online games (mostly MMORPGs) with which i've been involved:

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (closed beta)
Age of Wushu (open beta)
All Points Bulletin (closed beta)
Allods Online (open beta)
ArcheAge (open beta)
Black Prophecy (closed beta)
Bloodline Champions (closed beta)
Champions Online
The Chronicles of Spellborn
City of Heroes/City of Villians
Craft of Gods (open beta)
Crowfall (closed beta)
Darkfall Online (closed beta)
Defiance (closed beta)
Devilian (closed beta)
Dragon's Prophet
Dungeons & Dragons Online Stormreach/Eberron Unlimited
Dungeon Runners
Elder Scrolls Online (closed beta)
Elyon (closed beta)
Embers Adrift (open beta)
Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore (open alpha)
EverQuest II/EQ2 Extended (open beta)
Gates of Andaron
Fallen Earth
Fractured Online (open beta)
Guild Wars
Guild Wars 2 (open beta)
Hellgate: Global
Heroes of Might and Magic Online (closed beta)
Heroes of Three Kingdoms (closed beta)
Lego Universe (closed beta)
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar/Mines of Moria (open beta)
Mad World: Age of Darkness (closed beta)
Need For Speed World (closed beta)
Neverwinter (open beta)
Neverwinter Nights
Past Fate (open alpha)
Path of Exile (open beta)
Perfect World International
Perpetuum (closed beta)
RIFT (closed beta)
Runes of Magic
The Secret World (closed beta)
Shadowbane
Star Trek Online (open beta)
Star Wars: The Old Republic (closed beta)
Tabula Rasa
Taikodom (open beta)
TERA (open beta)
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (closed beta)
Vindictus (closed beta/early access open beta)
Warrior Epic (closed beta)
WildStar (closed beta)
World of Warcraft
Wurm Online
Xsyon
Zentia (open beta)

    Boardgames

Boardgames were my first introduction to strategy, and i've been fortunate to play a variety of them (and yet not nearly enough). If you're interested, be sure to check out the latest award winners and nominees.

    Pencil & Paper (P&P) Games

Not quite boardgames, p&p games utilize a bit more creativity (and more time) than your average boardgame, yet offer an amazing opportunity for those who prefer to utilize their own rulesets and settings over those which have been strictly established for them. Likely the most famous p&p game is Dungeons & Dragons in its various versions and varieties. I played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - First Edition, which utilized the original D&Dsettings, classes, and races, but did so with an updated (and much better organized) ruleset than the original. Three core rulebooks made up AD&D: the Monster Manual (1977), the Players' Handbook (1978), and the Dungeon Masters' Guide (1979). Not only did AD&D add Bard, Illusionist, and Ranger classes to those available in original D&D, but also included the Paladin, Thief, Assassin, Monk, and Druid classes from original D&D supplemental modules. This gave players many more options from the start as to how they could create their characters and party, and more thoroughly enjoy the amazing formula set forth by the originator of the concepts of leveling and looting which so many games have copied since.

Since the success of Dungeons & Dragons, many more p&p games have evolved throughout the years. One universe of which i was particulary fond is the White Wolf games, including Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. These used similar methodologies as set forth by the D&D games but further streamlined the process which allows the player to focus more on the actual gameplay instead of looking up which die is used to determine critical damage with a crossbow after Bane had been cast on a half-orc rogue wearing padded armor from 35 feet away or the different saving rolls required to avoid seduction from a wench versus a strumpet. Tabletop RPGs are currently experiencing a resurgence with new IPs Avatar (Cartoon Network, not Disney) and Blade Runner being released this year.

Nothing is failed from which something is learned.  --  Greyfang