Bookish Wednesday: Io Online by Dave Willmarth

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in another LitRPG series. It’s Io Online, Book 01 of The Greystone Chronicles, by Dave Willmarth!

Plot Synopsis: In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It’s the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the friends must give up their high level characters and begin again at level one….

Plot: The plot is pretty great, in fact it’s one of the better LitRPGs out there. I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel quite a bit. While there are plenty of standard plot devices that occur, they are utilized in such a way that it isn’t grating, at least to me.

Characters: Alex is our main character and PoV for most of the story. He’s a great lead character, and while he’s not the best I’ve ever seen I found myself enjoying his story quite a bit. The rest of the cast is also pretty awesome.

Overall: A good LitRPG and one of the better ones out there. Definitely worth a read if you love games or good Fantasy.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Video Game Tuesday: Most Hated Mission Type

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my most disliked quest genre in all of gaming. It’s my Most Hated Mission Type!

What is it?: Escort Missions, or Quests. I freaking hate doing these missions because I almost always feel like I have to babysit the NPC I’m escorting, who will do nothing but get into trouble and cause me grief.

Really?: Yeah, so I guess my hatred of the mission first really appeared with my time playing Vanilla WoW as an Alliance player in the Westfall zone. As anyone who played during that time will probably remember, that is the first zone most Alliance players will be in that allowed PvP on PvP servers. There’s one specific quest chain that was in the zone that dealt with the first dungeon many Alliance players would ever encounter, The Deadmines. The very last quest before the one that led to you being instructed to actually venture into the dungeon required you to escort an NPC to the entrance of the building that led into the dungeon. You were required to defeat many spawned enemies, in an area that was full of annoying rogue and mage type enemies as well.

In addition if you were unlucky enough to do it when a Horde player was skulking around they could easily just kill your NPC causing you to fail the quest instantly. This would mark them for PvP, but as most of these people were Rogues who could use the skill Vanish it was rather pointless trying to deal with them even if you were of the same level, which you often weren’t.

But they can’t all be bad!: Well that’s true, Bioshock Infinite for example actually had a great escort mechanic, in that not only did your companion Elizabeth not constantly draw fire onto her (she couldn’t die thank god) she also used her powers to change the battlefield to your advantage. She also threw you ammo occasionally during a firefight which would instantly refill your currently equipped weapon. But she is one of the few exceptions. Most of the time, Escort Quests are still a pain in the ass.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your least favorite mission types? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Serial Saturday: Our Chaoz Chapters 1-16 by SlyOkami

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the first few chapters in a series that’s completed. It’s Our Chaoz Chapters 1-16 by SlyOkami!

Plot Synopsis: Kyle was a simple gamer, he always picked the strangest classes or jobs and his characters almost looked the same. He played for the combat, he played for the grind and he played for his guild but above all he played for the story. Kyle is a roleplayer, one who enjoys the simple parts of this virtual life. Whether his guild was starting a war or ending one he’d always have his drammatic entrence or exit, his decleration of annihalition or demand of surrender. After all that? He divulged himself in the game’s story, the interaction with NPCS (Non Player Characters) and their advanced AI. He went through many questlines, many tales of heroics and many more adventurers of legend, but one thing always remained true with his character….

Kyle absolutely loved to the play the villain.

Plot: The plot of these first few chapters is introducing us to the main characters and really understanding what’s going on with Kyle when he starts up this new game. It’s pretty good although if you wanted a righteous main character you’re going to be highly disappointed.

Characters: We get introduced to a lot of characters, but Kyle is our main lead. The rest of the cast is just as good as Kyle though, with some nice depth to them. That being said my favorite side character is probably Sly.

Overall: A solid start to a series that thankfully is already completed.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantastic Plot, Great Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Personal Status: Fully read. I’ll get to covering the rest of the series soonish.

Anime Sunday: Net-juu Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m looking at another new Fall 2017 series. It’s my Net-juu Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Morioka Moriko is a 30-year-old successful career woman who decides to quit her taxing corporate job and become an elite NEET and find a more fulfilling life. She joins an online MMORPG Fruits de Mer and creates a male character named Hayashi as her avatar. In game Hayashi meets a another character Lilly, a high level player who helps him learn the game…

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty decent, not super amazing but there were only a couple cringe worthy moments that occurred. I tend to have a lot more with Slice of Life series, but this being aimed at an older audience might be helpful.

Characters: Moriko is most certainly a NEET, there is one point in the episode where if you paid attention you’ll see she’s upgraded her entire computer set-up to something incredibly gamer centric. The rest of the cast is amusing, though we really didn’t a good look at anyone other than Lilly.

Art: The art is pretty good, not ufotable quality by any means, but it’s not reached the terrible level of a Studio Deen production.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not super memorable either.

Overall: If you are a gamer, you’ll probably find Net-juu fairly amusing and worth giving a shot. Others may not find this as appealing.

For those who like: Gaming, MMOs, Slice of Life, Drama, Interesting Plot.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about why Bungie’s plans for the futures aren’t what players are looking for. It’s why Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough!

Seasons?: If you hadn’t heard, Destiny 2 will have “Seasons” which at the beginning of a new will reset many things like Clan Progress, Reputation Rewards, and Vendor Stocks. Frankly while this is a step in the right direction, it’s not nearly enough. I have absolutely no faith that Bungie will be able to keep up with a real full expansion’s worth of content every 3 months, which is the suggested time frame of each Destiny 2 Season. They are supposed to be bringing in outside help, but even with that I have no trust that they’ll be able to bring something like The Taken King every 3 months. However that’s the sort of thing they promised prior to launch.

As things stand now, we probably won’t be getting a new raid in The Curse of Osiris expansion that will launch on December 5th. That single thing being absent is already a failure in many gamer’s eyes as the only real challenging content was the raids, not that the Leviathan Raid is all that hard compared to some actual MMO hardcore encounters. Many of my friends who were excited about Destiny 2, have already stopped playing simply because there’s no point in doing things like Prestige Raids or Nightfalls, the gear rewards in such things is pitifully lacking. The fact that it’s mere vanity isn’t worth the effort in getting all of us together to do the raid. They might be adding things like Prestige Lost Sectors (How?), or Flashpoints. However these sort of stopgap measures are just that, stopgaps. It won’t be enough to keep the player base interested in the game and they’ll move onto other games and forget all about Destiny 2.

So what can they do?: I don’t know, but Seasons aren’t enough at all. Maybe we could actually get to use our ships in real gameplay like a dogfight instead of having them just be loading screen vanity.  Maybe they can add Sparrow Racing as a weekly event like Trials. But with just Seasons it’s painfully obvious that they’re not looking out for the players best interests.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you want to see Bungie add every three months to the game? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Bookish Wednesday: Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got the first book in another LitRPG series. It’s Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko!

Plot Synopsis: Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins. Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers…

Plot: The plot of this LitRPG is pretty good, It’s not the most enthralling or truly original but it was still quite interesting. There are much worse series you could read, like the Unbound Deathlords or Twilight. Honestly I think I’ll place the former in the league of the latter, since it almost reaches the level of that horrendous piece of garbage which eats peoples brain cells like some really dangerous pond scum. There are better series out there, like Awaken Online, but Ascend Online truly isn’t bad. I’d put it above average.

Characters: Marcus is a pretty interesting guy, and I like the class he specializes in. I won’t spoil what it is, but it’s very interesting. The rest of the cast is also pretty interesting as well.

Overall: A good LitRPG, you could a lot worse than Ascend Online.

For those who like: Fantasy, LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Good Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: The Reborn by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s Eden’s Gate Book 01: The Reborn by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: When Gunnar Long logs into into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. However not is all as it seems as the creator of the game, Rupert Winston, decides to close off the world’s exit to make the world a true reality. Now trapped in the game and separated by an unknown distance from the one person who he cares for who logged in at the same time as him, Gunnar must make some tough decisions…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, there are some moments where I really wanted to throttle Gunnar, but overall the story was good. It’s not super amazing, but it’s not bad. There are some seriously overused tropes that were used, trapped in the game etc. However the take on those tropes was interesting enough for me to overlook it for the most part. I won’t say it’s the best LitRPG book I’ve read, because that’s absolutely not the case.

Characters: Like I said above, Gunnar made me want to throttle him sometimes, mostly because he acts like an ass. There are multiple reasons why I dislike Gunnar, but he does get some very needed character growth over the book. The rest of the cast is great, with Adeelee probably being my favorite character of the lot.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, better than some (Unbound Deathlords I’m looking at you), but not as good as others like Awaken Online.