The Last Bastion

For the old guard, the happy fools, the dreamers.

Who Hates “traditional” MMORPGs? Not me.

Posted By on February 24, 2016

Posts in various web communities quite often get me churning…I still have the old forum warrior somewhere inside that always wants to respond and write huge, prolific posts on whatever topic happens to come up. Sometimes I actually write the posts, but these days I usually delete them. Most of the time, it’s not worth getting into a long discussion that will be ignored by game developers, or arguing with people who are never going to change their mind.

On my own blog, though…those kinds of things are great fuel. Just what I need to get the juices flowing so I can fill these terribly boring white “new post” boxes with beautiful black letters. So anyway, my rant which didn’t get posted today was in response to a post on reddit. This user correctly assessed the current situation in the genre in only a few words, without really understanding why –


WoW, Star Citizen, and No Man’s Sky

Posted By on February 23, 2016

Wow is coming back to me a little at a time. I’m really enjoying the old feel and although pretty dated at this point, the game still has a ton of character everywhere. The graphics and voice-overs are great. Verileah and I started level 1 characters, healer and tank in homage to the good old days of relying on friends and holy trinity. We played for a couple hours and I think we both really appreciated getting back to basics and just playing an MMORPG. No rush, no lofty goals, just having some fun.

I found out today that Star Citizen will be open PvP. Based on videos and interviews I had seen earlier on, I didn’t think that was going to be the case. At least not the whole game (other than the single-player mode, of course).


Daily Thoughts: Back to WoW

Posted By on February 22, 2016

I reinstalled World of Warcraft last night. Yeah, I know. You don’t have to tell me. It’s 12 years old, it’s “casual”, and it’s a traditional MMORPG in most of the definitions of the term. Those are all supposed to be huge negatives. In the current environment, and in my current situation, I think it might be exactly what I need.

Logging into my old WoW account was an unbelievable experience. I’ve got a level 85 character and two characters in their 50’s…and I have absolutely no idea of how to play them. It’s been five years since I logged in, and apparently at my current age and mental capacity, five years is long enough for me to 100% forget how to play a game.


Daily Thoughts: BnS final impressions, comments on crowdfunding communities

Posted By on February 21, 2016

I think I’ll try to jot down some stuff every day. We’ll see how that goes.

So I played some Blade and Soul. Just another f2p Korean MMO that arrives in the western market with a lot of fanfare and very little reason for existing. This particular game was very shallow and it seems clear the main goals were simply to squeeze money out of players, to create a hyper-sexualized Barbi dress-up mini-game, and to attempt to handle MMORPG e-sports by simply creating a fighting game and calling it an MMO.


My Guild Wars 2 life comes to an end.

Posted By on February 20, 2016

Here we are again. Right around three years since my last post. What have I been doing all this time? Well, besides being lazy and not finding the time or putting in the effort to write blog posts, I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2.

The game was great. I enjoyed it pretty much the whole time. The aspects of the game that I focused on and found fun changed over the three years, but the game provided enough variety and replayability to keep me going all that time. I finished with a fairly big stack of cool virtual things to attest to my play time. 18 Max level characters, three legendary weapons, and 8,000+ hours played. I did it all, saw it all, and lived to tell the tale.


Six Months of Guild Wars 2

Posted By on March 25, 2013

I’ve been slacking off big time on writing on this blog. I have a great excuse, though. I’ve also been having a lot of trouble finding motivation to do real life things and take care of my responsibilities. Why? I’m addicted. My favorite hobby and pastime is back, finally, after more than a ten-year lull. I have an MMORPG to call home.


My first play experience with Guild Wars 2

Posted By on May 3, 2012

I’m having a really difficult time starting this article. Partly because there’s so much I want to say. It’s really hard to sort it out and figure out where to begin. Also because I don’t feel like anything I could possibly say will describe what I’m thinking and feeling very effectively.

The most clear and concise thing I can say about Guild Wars 2 after playing it for roughly 20 hours last weekend is that it’s like the Matrix. You just have to experience it for yourself. If you are even remotely a fan of the MMORPG genre…if the promise of these games excites you in the least…whether your relatively new to the genre or an old-school fan like me…you owe it to yourself to give this game a try. Open your mind the best you can to some very new ideas, and jump in. I’m willing to bet that you will be pleasantly surprised, no matter how high or low your expectations going in…and in this genre, that’s really saying something.

The second thing I’ll say is that the game lives up to the descriptions. This might not sound significant, until you realize that almost no game in this genre in the last decade has done that. It’s actually become so normal for these games to be disappointing, to be dramatically less, cleverly short-cut, or more shallow versions of their marketing, that players just automatically translate everything they hear and read. It’s like getting a cheeseburger at McDonald’s. You see the picture on the menu, but you know that the real thing looks nothing like that, and you’re so used to that fact that it doesn’t even bother you. You just automatically swap the awesome, juicy, 4-inch-thick fantasy for the squashed, greesy reality in your head, and order it with full knowledge of what you are getting.

Guild Wars 2 provides pretty much exactly what’s in the picture on the menu.


Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

Posted By on April 1, 2012

Well, I’ve been playing the game for about fifty hours now, so I suppose it’s about time I wrote up what I think. For 38 Studios, Reckoning is their debut title, and is supposed to make the all-important first impression of the quality, creativity, depth, and fun we can expect from their games. They also want to introduce everyone to the world, history, and characters that might show up again in future games.

It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a single-player role-playing game (SPRPG from now on). After playing a few MMORPGs, I find it really difficult to feel the same kind of immersion and sense of a living virtual world when I’m all by myself in a single-player game. I also tend to find the modern SPRPGs to be overly complex, and the learning curve too steep to be fun. With the amount of depth and scope that people expect from games these days, it can be very challenging to still make them accessible and intuitive.

To start this review with the above in mind, I’ll say this: I’m really enjoying the game. I’m feeling immersed, I’m losing myself for hours at a time, and after 50 hours of meandering around the world of Amalur, I still feel like logging in and playing. That’s probably the highest praise I could give to any game…It’s fun and I want to play more.

Of course, no game is perfect…read on to see my take on the positive and negative elements that make up this intriguing first title from 38 Studios.


Guild Wars 2 – I’m back on the wagon.

Posted By on April 1, 2012

Or is it “off the wagon”? I can never remember how that goes.

I’ve had plenty of time now to sit in my corner and think. I’ve talked with a lot of folks I trust, and I’ve taken stock of every opinion I could find on the internet. I’ve also had the benefit of a tiny bit of additional factual information due to beta leaks. In short, I’m in a bit better position to take a sober look at Guild Wars 2 overall…including the massive new appendage we’ve discovered – the cash shop economy.

What I’ve discovered is that my initial reaction was overly emotional and in some ways incorrect. Along with stepping back and getting a better perspective on this particular game, I’ve also spent a week or so now taking a hard look at myself, my interest in video games, and the 12 years I’ve spent following MMORPGs. It’s never easy to question yourself and honestly rethink long-held entrenched opinions…especially for someone as stubborn and outspoken as I tend to be. So where am I now?


The Trash Loot Economy and Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Posted By on March 22, 2012

I’ve spent a couple days trying to come to terms with ArenaNet’s last blog post. It’s still a work in progress in my mind, and considering the fact that we are still entirely starved of details and specifics, I can’t really come to a final opinion until likely sometime after the game releases. That’s a shame…but I’m perfectly fine with being patient and holding my wallet closed until I decided whether this game box is worth it for me.

Even though I haven’t completely made up my mind about anything, I would like to share some thoughts I’ve had, and also explain a bit about why this gem currency announcement bothers me (and maybe why it bothers others). It’s not an easy concept to understand, let alone explain, so I think a lot of people struggle and get quite frustrated. They know they don’t like it, but WHY?

To start off, here’s sort of the way I’ve come to look at Guild Wars 2. It’s kind of a tale of two games.