Bookish Wednesday: Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand

Hey all this week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the third book in Runner’s adventures. It’s Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand!

Plot Synopsis: Runner and his team managed to bring peace to Tirtius, successfully log the crew out, and have begun settling in to make a home on the isle of Vix. North Wood fort itself. Fate isn’t going to let them go that easily though. She clearly hasn’t decided on what to do with him. Plots are in motion. Threats local, outside of the ship, divine, and abroad in game scheme to exterminate Runner and the threat he represents. The possibility of what he could become. To top it all off, the server is clearly ramping up towards a full awakening. What does one do with an entire world of “living” beings who are aware? It all comes to a head when an assassin attempts to take his life in his own home. Now comes the true test. What is he willing to wager to build the future he wants, both in game and out? Or rather, who?

Plot: The plot is awesome, with plenty of revelations all around about the world Runner has come to inhabit. It also deals with Runner’s severe depression after the events of the last book, which I won’t spoil. There’s more “idiot plans” and new additions to Runners group of close followers.

Characters: Of all the new characters I found Satomi to be the best, though that may be slightly affected by the soft spot I have for the name as that was one of my teacher’s names in my Japanese High School class. That said Runner still was great to live the world through, even if Scott and Linda weren’t as present in this book as I would have liked. The rest of the cast was great, but truly the female leads were awesome in this entry with plenty of screen time for Grace, Sparky, Minxie, Brighteyes, Angel, and Bell.

Overall: An excellent ending to the trilogy, but not the end of the series apparently. The series will continue in the future, hopefully by the end of the year.

TNT: The King’s Avatar Chapters 41-80 by Butterfly Blue

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the second set of chapters in Ye Xiu’s adventures. It’s  The King’s Avatar Chapters 41-80 by Butterfly Blue!

Plot Synopsis: In the online game Glory, Ye Xiu is regarded as a textbook and a top-tier pro-player. However, due to a myriad reasons, he is kicked from the team. After leaving the professional scene, he finds work in an Internet Cafe as a manager. When Glory launches its tenth server, he who possesses ten years of gaming experience once again throws himself into the game. Bringing with him the memories of his past and an incomplete, self-made weapon, his return along the road to the summit begins!

After fighting and scheming, who snatched away my glory? Under the tossing of the wind and rain, my dreams shall still appear as though they had never been shattered. In all its splendor, the path shall never be lost. Before the gazes of millions, this is where I return!

Plot: The plot in this second set of chapters picks up the pace, so it’s not nearly as boring as some of the chapters in the first set. That being said if you didn’t like the first set, you probably won’t enjoy the second set either. It’s mostly about Ye Xiu getting Lord Grim’s weapon upgraded via selling his services as a top tier player.

Characters: We get introduced to a few newcomers, but really the spotlight is still all on Ye Xiu and Lord Grim. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.

Overall: This was a decent set of chapters, but if you weren’t already hooked it won’t necessarily get you hooked.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to cover the topic you all knew I would eventually. It’s all about Destiny 2!

Destiny 2: It was announced on March 30th that Destiny 2 was a real thing and would be released this year, but there were some big “surprises” announced. It would release on the PC and everything, or close to everything, wouldn’t transfer from the first game and it’s “expansions”.

PC?!?: Yea color me not that surprised, it was rumored for months prior to the announcement that it would release on PC, so I’m really not that surprised. It was a surprise it didn’t release on the PC in the first place to be honest. And just to clarify I probably won’t be playing it on PC as my main platform if I should happen to receive codes for both PC and PS4.

Wait our stuff?: Yea all that time you spent on gearing up your characters, getting cool things like Exotics, fancy looking ships, awesome Shaders, and cool Emblems was wasted. The only confirmed thing that will transfer over is the appearance of your characters, but that’s hardly a thing to be excited about. It’s not like we were ever all that attached to our characters since Destiny never had much of a story. I’d hope at least cosmetic stuff like Shaders, Emblems, Ghost Shells, Sparrows and Shaders would transfer over, but that isn’t confirmed and probably won’t happen.

My Hopes?: I hope the game transfers over the cosmetic stuff, has a story that isn’t a piece of crap, and has a loot system that doesn’t exploit players. My expectations that any of those will be met is very low, and all of them being met? Practically non-existent. I hope Bungie can redeem themselves, but I highly doubt that is possible at this point.

Video Game Tuesday: Transmog Systems

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing last week’s theme of customization. It’s all about Transmog Systems!

Transmog Systems?: Transmog, or Transmogrification is a term used in World of Warcraft that was introduced in Patch 4.3. It was a system that allowed the player to change the appearance of their armor to match other armor that they owned. It wasn’t the first of it’s kind, but it’s the one that gets pointed at the most in my experience. There might be other names in other games, in Final Fantasy XIV for example it’s called the Glamour System, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

What’s your favorite one?: Personally I’m a fan of Final Fantasy XIV’s system although World of Warcraft has the advantage of a library system to go with Transmog. Final Fantasy XIV’s is much less rigid, and allows you to modify almost any item to look like most others. Many items aren’t restricted by class, but there are some like the Artifact gear. I’d love to see a library system added to Final Fantasy XIV, but I know that doing so takes a lot of time to create and given that Final Fantasy XIV has a dye option as well, it’d be very hard to implement. However in FFXIV unlike WoW, you can wear ridiculous outfits into battle, do you want to be dressed up in a metallic gold pig suit as you run into battle swinging a big axe? Go ahead, that’s completely ok. WoW doesn’t allow for that which is a pity.

What games would you like to see a glamour system in?: Destiny for one would be a great place, but given how small of a pool of options that game has it’s probably not going to happen soon, although who knows with Destiny 2 supposedly coming out this year.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, what is your favorite transmog system? What games do you wish had transmog? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Character Customization

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that is a bit contentious. It’s Character Customization!

Character Customization?: Yes, the ability to change your player character’s appearance either during creation or later in the game. To make yourself look unique, or like a famous person, or yourself, or just plain ridiculous.

Give me examples of good customization!: Well there’s always MMOs, with more recent ones getting some pretty awesome character creation abilities. Final Fantasy XIV has a fairly large character customization feature, and you can even go back and change some of it later on. Other games like the Elder Scrolls games have always had a pretty good customization ability.

Some bad examples?: Earlier MMOs had some okay character creation screens, but they limited a lot of options. For example, World of Warcraft had an okay system, but frankly every race choice was limited to a single height, no options to change height were available. They said it was due to PvP limitations, but frankly I don’t know if that’s an okay response in todays market. I’m leaning towards no, but I’m not certain on that. It was certainly useful to be able to call out “Kill Undead Mage” in flag room in Warsong Gulch for example.  No one would get confused about not killing the giant Tauren Warrior instead of that smaller and skinnier Undead Mage. An example of a bad single player character customization are examples like Sword Art Online Lost Song, which had such a terrible character customization system that it might as well have been removed to allow for something more useful.

Variety: I personally think having a great variety of options is always great, but some people find it overwhelming, while others love spending hours upon hours making the “perfect” character for themselves. Personally I’ll spend a bit of time on it, but if it gets past the 15 minute mark, I’ll start to hurry it up.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are some of your favorite character customization in games? How long do you typically spend in character customization? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: That Destiny 2 Rumor

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to talk about something I heard being discussed and argued over a few weeks back. It’s That Destiny 2 Rumor!

What Rumor?: The one where Destiny 2 is not only coming to the PC, a change that might be great or it might not, and that we will lose our characters in Destiny 2.

What does that mean?: Well for it to come to PC that means more players will get to play the game, frankly I could care less about this as I’m personally not a huge fan of FPS games on the PC, sorry I grew up playing Goldeneye not Doom and I enjoy having a level playing ground when it comes to FPS games. A PC can never offer that, someone else always has a better system than you and that split second advantage might change whether you win or lose.

What about that character loss part?: This is the real kicker and why I’m not even bothering with Destiny: Rise of Iron trying to get geared up for a raid I don’t really want to participate in if I’ll lose everything in the end. I understand why they would do this, and approve of doing so. But it’s a punch to the stomach for those players who have put as much time into Destiny as I have, or more.

I don’t mind losing access to my character, she’s ugly as hell anyways, but those guns I spent days searching for are going to be missed. Like Gjallarhorn, Hawkmoon, Vex Mythoclast and Touch of Malice. That’s not even mentioning the cosmetic items like Ghost Shells, Emblems, Shaders and Ships (I really don’t want to lose my ships and emblems Bungie.) Why would they do this? Because it’s better to completely remake something than have old, broken aspects screw up new content. I’m looking at you “Jump and Die Randomly for No Reason” bug….

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny’s Failure (Again)

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m explaining why I find Bungie’s actions once again unfathomable. It’s all about Destiny’s Failure (Again).

What Now?: Well they announced that we’d have one set of endgame PvE content, that we already have, for an entire year. This is a common practice in real MMORPGs, because the Developers are working on the next expansion, but Destiny has never been a real MMO. The fact that Destiny has a extreme lack of end game content is unacceptable for a game that has a 10-year $500 million contract with Activision. Though I’ve never been fan of Activision or their practices, (Blizzard is essentially an entirely separate existence thankfully) they do know how to pump out content at a pretty decent pace. It’s not amazing content mind, but it’s content at least.

Yeah but they have their free timed events: Funny thing about that, it’s timed events not a permanent addition to the game. I’d not mind if Sparrow Racing was a full feature that stayed around forever, and was built upon in the future. I had a blast this last weekend playing with 5 other friends and trash talking while I kicked their asses in a race. But the fact that this is a temporary feature and not constant is annoying. The additional facts that Bungie has gutted their own economy, a fact that even Forbes noticed, destroyed all semblance of balance in PvE content and left a fan favorite weapon class absolutely destroyed in their pursuit of “Balance” and even failed to correctly communicate the correct percentages about their most recent update trying to achieve said “Balance” is laughable. It shows a severe lack of staffing in a company that shouldn’t have such a lack, ever.

I’m not even going to get into the Kotaku article which was a very interesting read, but regardless it’s a pity that Bungie has once again shoved their feet into their mouth after shooting them a good dozen times. What was once a highly beloved developer is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the Game Developer world.

Once I earn that King’s Fall raid ship I’m done until I get asked to review the next release. I’ve got better developed games to play like Tales of Zestiria and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!