So, anyone who knows me by now knows that I’m a big table top gamer. I’ve devoted quite a number of years of my life, money and time to painting, modeling and playing these games. However, growing up, there weren’t a whole lot of fantasy and sci fi mini options in my area. For the longest time this was dominated by Games Workshop and the assortment of games that they’ve offered. Over the years their minis have gotten much better than when I started, but their price has increased at an exponential rate beyond that which I could sustain multiple armies as I would like. Over the years I’ve been looking for replacement games, looking to Europe and beyond for game companies that may produce quality models and a quality game. Browsing through Kickstarter, I happened across Mantic Games, and a game called DreadBall. Intrigued by what I saw, I began to look even further into what they had to offer. Low and behold they also have a Sci Fi war game called Warpath, and what really caught my attention, a fantasy game. Of course the first thing I look for is Dwarves, which they have in quite a nice amount. Looking through the models, they are look very nice. They look like they are highly detailed and honestly they look like quite an army that I want to paint and model quite a bit. Thanks to The Beasts of War, I finally got my first foray into the fluff and background of the Dwarfs in Mantic’s game world, and I’m more interested than ever. The story surrounding them is quite solid and has all of the classic fantasy Dwarf tropes, though I do not mean that as a negative. Berserkers, kings fitted with gemstones, shield breakers. Everything about it sounds absolutely awesome. The price for what you get is pretty nice as well, and is certainly manageable, which puts another check in the win column for them.

The only problem is that where I live, there aren’t quite as many game stores as there used to be, and those that are still around aren’t always willing to take a risk and stock the models for newer games. So for now, I have to rely on the mini war gaming community to give my fix until I can get my hands on these models and game, and share them with my ever growing amount of local players. Because hell, even if I don’t ever get to really play it (which I will dammit, mark my words!) I’m still going to have a hell of a time painting up some Dwarves, and that is not a terrible fate. At the end of the day, I’m looking to Mantic Games to give me my proper Dwarven fix. Until then, I’ll keep relying on The Beasts of War to keep me informed on what looks to be an awesome game.  Hell, they’ve also done a Demo Game to show how to play the game, which is always welcome.

singature

 

SpiritofRedemptionTCG

Image from WoW TCG

This is a guest post by Wistoovern, a long time priest  raider and real life friend of mine. I don’t often, if ever receive guest posts. I’m posting this because as someone who finds themselves playing World of Warcraft for a very long time, and managing other folks that do, this is something that’s always on my mind. People quit, leave the game for many reasons, but sometimes it’s hard to really put yourself in the mindset of the person who quit. Hoping that this perspective post will aid others in empathizing with those who no longer raid or play the game with you. 

So, I stopped playing WoW about three months ago.  It wasn’t a simple decision.

 Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “He left WoW because he hates what the game’s become” or “because it’s changed so much”.  That’s really not the case.  Yeah, it’s changed.  Some ways were for the better, some weren’t, some were reversed.  There’s two points to this post: one, to thank to Devs; two, to note how much harder it is to get it out of my life than off of my computer.

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To be a Leader, a Lodur Rant

Been a while since I’ve had one of these, figure it’s about time. Be warned that this is a rant / venting session that you all get to read. These are my opinions and you may or may not share them. This is the result of conversations I’ve been having with multiple people from multiple guilds across multiple games over the last several weeks. 

Leading a guild is a thankless job. This is from the guild leader position, to the officers that support it. Often times finding yourself in a leadership position will see you investing as much time as full time job. It’s not uncommon as guild infrastructure in games can grow to rival any business in the real world depending on your goals and what you have envisioned for your organization. Whether it is professional level play, pushing raiding content, Player versus Player and even RP. The only difference between out of game and in game is that in game you rarely get paid for the hours you put in.

I’ve often times argued that the best officers are those that have management experience in real life.  I say this because they can often more easily separate job from person. Lets use the example of a raiding guild that wants to push progression. There’s a social aspect to the guild whenever there isn’t a raid. You’re doing things together, there are sometimes hundreds of people online with you and you have to interact with them. Maybe you play games with each other outside of the game you raid in. But when it comes down to business, you put aside your personal feelings as much as possible and do what you need to do for the good of the group. It’s not an easy burden to bear for some. So what makes a good leader and what are the costs associated with it? Well, here’s my thoughts on that.

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Because not only are the set bonuses super nice, I love how the set looks. So much better than fire bird getup.

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Know your totems

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A call to arms, with incentive.

September is national suicide prevention month, but if you ask me every month, every week, every day should be a day we seek to prevent suicide. That we try to give those that feel they don’t have any other options support, and help them see there are other choices. This will definitely be a bit of a personal post, but I’ll try not to derail things too much.  I’m sure most of you remember my post about Why I react so Violently to Bullying, if not give it a read. I will warn you that it’s full of feels as they say.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Mark. That I won’t wonder what could have been if he had somewhere to turn. He would have graduated college by now, surely, maybe even have found the love of his life. Maybe he’d have found a place to set roots, and have been well into the start of a happy and full life. Maybe he’d have none of those things, but the point is we’ll never get a chance to know. In his memory, I’d like to do something.

This is an attempt to fund-raise, not for myself, but for organizations that actively seek to give options and offer intervention services to help those in need. The Trevor Project, Born This Way Foundation and many others exist to offer help and solutions to those in need. From now until the end of September 2012, to help support them in their efforts, I will not be taking commissions for money for myself but instead I will offer commissions based on donations to these organizations. I know, having donated my own money to both, that they will give you a confirmation of your total in a handy email and or screenshot. If you donate to them, or any other organization that helps prevent suicide or provide crisis services, I will draw you something of your choice. You can see my artwork here, as well as on my Twitter and I’m going to offer it in the following structure.

  • $1 – $10 – A thank you on my live stream for 24 hours of gaming at the release of Mists of Pandaria.
  • $11 – $20 – Black and White sketch of a single character of your choice
  • $21 – $40 – Black and White sketch of multiple characters (in a single image) or a scene of your choice
  • $41 – $60 – Color painting / cell drawing of a single character of your choice
  • $61 – $80 – color painting / cell drawing of multiple characters or a scene of your choice
  • $80+ – color painting / cell drawing of multiple characters ( in a single image) or a scene of your choice, and I will upload a video of myself dancing a jig to youtube dedicated to everyone who contributed.  The highest contributor will get to decide what hat I wear while streaming, and while dancing the jig.

I ask that you email me a picture of your confirmed donation, or leave it here as a comment (again with image confirmation) and we’ll get the ball rolling. I hope that you will participate, you’ll get some decent art of the deal, I’ll embarrass myself for your amusement, and you’ll be helping a great cause. If any of my artists friends would like to join me in this, they would be most welcome.

 

*UPDATE* as an added bonus, the lovely and talented Lore from http://www.exitrealitystudios.com/ has agreed to give a sketch as well to anyone who contributes $20 + . That’s a good extra bonus for all you folks from an artist that far eclipses my own talent.

 

“It’s done. The deed that so many wished accomplished is over with, and Arthas is dead. Though he is gone, the Lich King persists and may yet have a place in all of this. The worst part is, I can openly talk about what happened up there.”

Lodur gazed out across the frozen plains of Northrend through eyes that were not his own, grasping the railing of the balcony with hands too slender to be his own. Even after two years he wasn’t used to the feelings of this body. The sensations were always so strange to him, and it always felt like something was off, like there was a dissonance between soul and form. A small hand worked it’s way hunter one of his hands and squeezed.

“Aye, ah know ye ain’t be likin’ it, but this be for more important thing than either price or valor.”

Yeva leaned into Lodur, the fire haired dwarf let out a sigh of contentment as they took in the view. Dalaran had afforded them all the comforts of a lavish home, hailed as heroes. The view of the frozen lands from this high up seemed so much more beautiful, the distance wiping away the scars of plague and death with the soft brush of blues and whites.

“Besides, ye got ‘nough of a story to be told from when you faced down the Lich King to save me. tis enough valor in that for generations to come.”
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City of Heroes coming to the end of it’s life is actually pretty sad. It was the first, and the best, super hero MMO to date. It was the first community that I was a vocal and active member of when it came to online gaming. From beta, to release, to even now almost a decade later, some of my best gaming memories were the direct result of this game. That said, despite my sorrow at hearing the news, there is the need to recognize that there is a stark reality to face. All things come to an end, and nothing lasts forever. Instead of sitting here lamenting and wailing, I thought I would share memories and highlights of the game over the years in my own way of paying tribute to the memory of an amazing game. To share with you what this game meant to me.

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The fixed mana, mana cost of healing spells and mana regeneration for all healers has been a hot topic as of late, especially among my leafy and plate wearing friends. So I figured I’d offer my two cents on it.

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The Lodur Show: Mists

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