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The above link is my Flipboard magazine -- a currated collection of articles, tweets, even videos about console gaming, MMOs & DragonCon.  Over 2000 viewers and growing.

Disclaimer

History: This blog is the third incarnation, and started as a paper RPG & desktop gaming blog.  After starting the MMO City of Heroes days after its launch in 2004,  It developed into one dedicated to that MMO, as it remained for nearly eight years. On November 30, 2012 that MMO was shut down by the company NCSoft despite an outpouring of fan support and community outrage.  Starting In December 2012, I'm going to be opening up the focus of the blog to cover ANYTHING gaming I'm playing, be it PC, XBox 360, iPad, Dragon*Con, etc.

That being said, their will be images from various games posted on this blog.  No claim here is made to the games, and no intent to infringe on any copyrights are inferred.   Copyrights are property of the respective companies.


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ALL unsolicited off-topic posts and links will be removed, no matter how old the post used to hide them.

ALL SPAM posts will be reported.

Comments on-topic are welcome.

EMAIL any legitimate hyperlinks to me and if on topic, they'll be added to my LINK page. 

 

 

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Sunday
Sep022012

Dragon*Con Day 2 -- Bad News Breaks

I'm downtown Atlanta, camera in hand, taking pictures for the first time beating most of the paraders to the staging area.  I'm wearing a T-shirt to promote my blog, and also have a lanyard with my old logo, the old pre-Freedom COH logo along with BLOGGER in big letters.  I wanted to punch home my interest in the game, but make it clear I wasn't affiliated directly with the game makers.   It worked this time.   I hadn't checked the boards in a day ortwo, and didn't do much more than a quick check & post on Twitter Monday night.

A friendly player came up and broke the news.  COH is shutting down.  Announced yesterday. My heart sank.

So rather than wait at the staging area I went and staked out a spot about two blocks north of the staging area, readied the camera and dtripod nearly a full hour early.  then I pulled out my iPad and hit the web.  A tweet from DJPhoenyx was my first confirmation.  Then the COH website.  Sure enough. And I had a date now.  November 30th of this year is the scheduled last day of COH.  Paragon studios is shutting down.

And here I am hours from running a COH panel/Meet & Greet.   What do you say to something like that?

Needles to say I found myself distressed and depressed.   No MMO lives forever.  But this came without warning.   Paragon seemed to be ramping up additions and development, not shutting down.  Talking about plans months from now.  Promoting the game on Twitch.  But over eight years is a good run for an MMO.  But the games I hear ending usually have almost no players.  Servers are combined and shut down.   Nothing like that has happened in recent memory.  In fact with the European servers we have MORE servers, not less.   The city games haven't had huge numbers, but respectable ones.

The internet, such that I've been able to see through my iPad and overworked networks of Atlanta DURING Dragoncon is a buzz.   In one day there were dozens of pages of comments on the forums.  Twitter had dozens of tweets as well.   Some thankful.   Some sad.   Many hurt.

So to an audience at DragonCon I had the sad duty to repeat the news.   The date.   No more development.  No more billing.   The audience was not happy.  Be we started going through our best memories.   People one after another spoke of their love for the game, things they had done or seen.  People they had met or rejoined with.   Most were still bringing in new players.  Some couples had met in game,  and one even wanted to have an in-game wedding next year.   To many, this was a real loss.   A few were angry, already to promote a complete boycott of any NCSoft game.  I had thought myself about trying Guild Wars 2.  Now I've had second thoughts.

I can just see them wondering about in game protests.  Maybe the protest sign emote wasn't that good of an idea.   Can you imagine the screenshots of a full zone of characters under Atlas -- nearly a hundred caped Protesters?   It is bound to happen now.

Some aren't going to give up.  I've already seen one petition on Change.org, (Now nearly 9000 signatures with others to release source code or work with the players to keep it going).   According to one person in the session, there IS a compny interested in buying City of Heroes.  All hope isn't lost.

The COH Community has always been the most helpful, creative, and productive of any MMO I've ever tried.   I don't think they'll go down without a fight.

To that end I'll be posting any links and news that I run across versus both END of game activities and SAVE the game activities.   Anything I can pass on, I will.   And I'm going to try and make as many covers as I can over the next three months.    If you have news I've not caught, email me at centralnexus@gmail.com

We've done countless rescue missions in game before.   Let us see if we can rescue THE game.

 

Friday
Aug312012

Dragon*Con Day 1 -- overview

Been a busy day

 

  • Con is obviously facing heavier attendance-- my usual parking spot was FULL and I was forced to go to a more expensive alternate.
  • Got to attend sessions for both Richard Dean Anderson AND Stan Lee again. This is first time for Richard.  I was surprised how many McGyver questions were brought up as opposed to Stargate. This is the third time I've seen Stan.   It never fails. Someone always brings up his cameos asking about new ones, which he OBVIOUSLY wants to talk about but can't.
  • Stumbled on two photo shoots -- one of Avengers.  One of DC characters, mostly of the Batman Family and villains.
  • Saw lots of costumes.   As expected I saw 4 or 5 Skyrim costumes -- 2 Whiterun guards, one guy in a Dragon Preist mask, and several in the traditional horned helms. Including one in a wheelchair with an arrow through the knee.   Some are hard to tell -- They could easily be Game of Thrones.   The wildest?   There was a good Dalek roaming around.  And another guy in a wheelchair done up as the George Pal classic Time Machine.  So big its a wonder he can get that thing around at all...
  • Broke my watchband
  • Still fighting the knee
  • Got several Radio Plays from Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, something I've done every year.
  • Got my usual tie-die DragonCon shirt, and one for the wife.   Also found an "arrow-to-the-knee" shirt.   Still tempted on a few - a Dr. Who "The Angel have the phonebox" one, another Skyrim one, and another cute one "Asteroids: Nature's way of saying "How's that space program coming along?"

 

Going to make an early night of it.  Going to have to get up EARLY to get in to the parade.  IT starts at 10AM, but you have to be downtown by a little after 9 to get ANY kind of a good spot, and then fight to keep it.   There is always some family with kids that comes in at 9:55 and wants your spot.  Counting breakfast, travel to downtown, parking time, etc -- It is always close and a hassle.  MORE so now since my knee doesn't want me walking a third of what I'll have to.  Its a good thing I took an extra day for knee recuperation.  I've a feeling I'll need every second of it.

Of Course tomorrow is the big day with the COH Meet and greet.  Wish me luck on that one.  Its been 2 years since the last session, and we've always had a surprising turn out sessions.  I hoping that skipping last year hasn't broken that cycle...

 

Friday
Aug312012

Dragon*Con DAY 1

Getting ready to leave.   Not much is happening until around noon or so.   A few opening ceremonies or track debuts and such happen this morning, but they are usually sparsely attended.   Most of the dealers areas don't open until then either.  But the place will be THICK with people, including thousands trying to get their tickets.   Costumes will abound, and pictures galore will be taken.

I'm betting that there will be a lot of AVENGER costumes this year.  I'm also thinking that Skyrim costumes will be prevalant.  Beyond that, I expect to be constantly surprised.  I've seen everything from complete body paint jobs to full power armor.  We'll see.

The one thing I've learned in the previous 14 Dragon*Con visits is to be READY with the camera at all times, and to be as flexible as possible.  Schedules are changing all the time, and you never know when a session will be packed to capacity or beyond. 

I've always got my eye out for COH costumes -- though I've yet to see one in person.  I know someone came as a Long bow a few years back.  There will be dozens in HERO costume (They tried for a world-record gathering last year or the year before...)), so you never know.

 

Thursday
Aug302012

Thinking of Dragon*Con

Haven't stated much of late and there has been so much going on .  But for now the only thing on my mind is DRAGON*CON.

Already been downtown, got my badge, met with the MMOTrack director, and headed back home to continue packing & preparing.  Still have memory cards to check/clear -- backpack to pack.  Business cards are done, T-shirts ALMOST done.   Here is hoping my bum knee holds out.  

But only spending a little over an hour downtown it is clear the gouging has begun.   2.78 for a 8 oz aluminum bottle of soda??? $15 to park for less than 2 hours? 

Also making last minute plans for the Saturday Meet-N-Greet session.  I expect Issue 24 will be the BIG topic.  Super Packs another hot topic -- especially with the second series coming out.   New content missions, new VIP costume - the Tech Knight?  If the last few sessions we've had are ANY indication, there should be plenty of buzz.

Keep an eye here and on Twitter news...

Thursday
Aug092012

Dragon*Con is coming...

I go to one and only one convention each year.  At least for the last 15 years that is. This will be my 15th consective Dragon*Con. (Knock on wood).  For the first time In years I pre-registered.   I also have been asked to help out on the MMORPG track with a City Of Heroes session.   It is now a meet and greet, but I'm working tos seee what I can add to that.  I've made contact with some people at Paragon Studios -- so wish me luck.   According to the latest version of the schedule I've gotten, this event will be @ 5:30 PM (EST) Saturday September 1st.   Hilton Grand Salon E -- Downtown Atlanta.   This is a Dragon*Con event, so you will have to be a convention attendee for Saturday at least to attend.   Saturday only memberships will be going for $50 I believe.  If I remember right that is a FAIR sized room, at least bigger than the usual venue for City events at DragonCon.   I hope I can get the word spread out there and get a good crowd.  Between the blog, Twitter, City of Heroes Forums and whatever else I can manage -- Who knows.   

Issue 24 rumblings are going gangbusters -- with a whole list of new additions.  Martial Combat, Nature Affinity, A Vet costume set, customizable travel powers, new story arcs -- It just keeps coming.   Even if it doesn't release before Dragon*Con, I have a feeling this will be on everyone's minds at the event.  But some of the pictures present more questions than they answer.   Take the following one:

 

Is this evidence of giantism in the game -- maybe as a powerset later on?  Or are we painting statues now?

What about this one -- with a topsy turvy landscape.  Reality gone mad, or just some dreamscape/mindscape setting?

 

I'm hoping for some answers... and soon.

Friday
Jul132012

Water Water Everywhere

The new Water blasting power went live.  Avalable to Blasters, corruptors and defenders as their attack power, it is unique.    I've tried it at low level and it has some unique effects.   No knockback as yet, but the third power allows a geyser-like effect under multiple targets, but it is more of a knock-down.   It does allow itself to be powered up if followed 2 or 3 uses of the lesser blast powers.   I've gotten as far as the Whirlpool power, so I've only scratched the surface.    

Of course the new power drew the attention of all -- and Antlanteans, fish folk, mutants galore are flooding, if you will excuse the word, Paragon City. It seems bizarre to see it so.   People with names like Pool Boy are popping up.   I'd not be surprised if someone started a "Super Soaker" Supergroup.  *sigh*.

 

Friday
Jun222012

Cover of the Day - June 22, 2012

I know -- I've been getting away from these -- Toon of the days are a lot less work sorry to say.   That being said I've got plenty of those lined up all the way into mid August already.    I should have no problem keeping daily updates going well past Dragon*Con.  I doubt I can do daily covers -- but I can at least set up a couple a week for a while.  MAYBE more, if I have some inspiration and some good luck with screenshots.

Here is the first cover for another toon of mine -- rampant altism strikes again.   I played around with the creator and found the FIRE/ICE stuff under what is usually reserved for cybernetic arms.  One such allowed for complete replacement of the right arm from shoulder down.    I noticed that almost all of the attacks for Street Justice were right-handed punches save 1 kick and 1 knee attack.   I got inspired and made a teen hero (Street Justice/Regen Scrapper) based around the concept of being magically contaminated by minute shrapnel in his hand after being too close to one of the Supernatural events that takes place every so often.  He wakes up the next day to a hand covered in stone.  Not good for someone who had been showing promise as a piano player. MAGI stabilized it only after it had already transformed his arm.  

Originally I had him pictured as much older.  That was not to be the case though.   I noticed an old friend running an alt in a new kids group -- "The Caped Combat Kids Crusaders".   It's a "kids" group, and based a few years younger than the usual teen groups.   So a quick visit to Icon's and he's good to go for this group.  I've had VERY good luck with him-- several recipe drops have funded him well (1 for 80 million another for 60 million -- just to start).   I've already got around 249 badges, and have got over a dozen beacons for the group. Thanks to all the extra funds, I've even donated 100K prestige.    The group is proving to be quite fun - a handful of core players already, a coallition , unique base builder .  The initial base room is a treehouse!

Costume has undergone some evolution, and I've currently got 2 someone different ones, and a casual outfit.