#Blaugust2022 Day 7 Lotro Q and A with Severlin

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve been a diehard fan of Lord of the Rings Online for many years and it’s always my evergreen MMO. I have periods where I take a break from it, but always go back. Of late there has been a lack of new end game content but this latest info from SSG is looking promising.

Some interesting tidbits:

  • New expansion/region
  • New Delving system, making certain content more difficult for greater rewards
  • New 6 Man Instance
  • New Skirmish
  • Alternative levelling area 1-30

youtu.be/5YV_hv6LQxk

#Blaugust2022 Day 6 Welcome to Chimeraland

After seeing a couple of posts from other Blaugustians, I decided to check out the latest MMO/Survival/Open-World game, Chimeraland and I have to say, it’s incredibly addictive.

I’ve never been a huge can of the Asian-style of game, I’ve tried a few like Blade and Soul, Black Desert Online and even Genshen Impact (my daughter’s flavour of the month) but none of them have really grabbed me but there’s something about this.

One fairly unique element of the game is the kind of characters you can play. Races are wide ranging, from humans to every animal type you could imagine each with a different look based on age. I rolled a bull.

It has everything, quick and intuitive combat, resource collection, building, questing and crafting. Just when I think I have the systems figured out, I come across even more detail, Life skills for example, allow you to specialise in particular crafts, with advancement points earned through performing a particular activity. Chopping down trees makes you better at it, which then gives points to learn how to get extra materials from a given tree.

I feel there is still a huge amount to learn, having put in about 30 hours so far, but I’m enjoying everything about it so far.

#Blaugust2022 Day 5 – Intro post

Hi, it’s Craig here, AKA Knifesedge . Although I’m only on post five, we are now into the second week of Blaugust 2022, where the theme is Introduce Yourself, so here is a post about me, for those that don’t know me.

By trade I am an online English tutor, though formerly I was a chef and restaurant manager.

My online presence comes under the pseudonym of Knifesedge, not for any attempt at anonymity, but it was the name I used back when the internet was born and it kind of stuck. I use it for gaming (knifesedge games) blogging (knifesedge blogs) and my teaching (knifesedge TEFL) but the name originally came from the play by Mail gaming operation that started in the early 90’s.

I’m a big RPG fan and have played hundreds of games starting with D and D back in the early 80’s. I currently run games using PBP (Play by Post) now exclusively on the website Gamersplane.com . Currently I run a number of Call of Cthulhu games and a couple of Warhammer Fantasy campaigns.

Gaming is life for me and I’m always on one game or another, be it PC, PlayStation or mobile games. My preference is for MMO’s , Survival and strategy games, but I’ll try anything.

I’m also a keen gardener and occasionally blog about how my growing is getting on. I’ve picked up a lot of tips over the years so if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about on the garden front, please let me know.

I also used to work with the British Fantasy Society and ran their Indie Press reviews section for a number of years. I have a series of blog posts of genre writers under my Guest Post section where they share their thoughts on writing and gaming and where the two might join. I try to add a few posts to this section every year, so I hope you enjoy those.

I’ve been a part of Blaugust pretty much since it’s inception and though I rarely have time to keep up a regular blogging schedule through the year, I try to post as much as I can through August. I am glad to be part of this growing community of lovely people and I will try to swing by your own posts to say hi!

Happy Gaming!

#Blaugust2022 Day 4 – Garden catchup: Tomatoes

After the chaos of the last couple of years, I’ve struggled to find energy to grow much let alone write about it but this year that has turned around. Having found inspiration from a number of YouTubers , notably Huw Richards (channel) I have not only grown more variety than ever before but upped my compost game and started delving into the world of enhancers like nettle tea and leaf mould.

Tomatoes have been a big focus this season. I have 31 plants dotted all around the garden, in tubs, pots, hanging baskets and directly in the ground.
The planting area by my shed gets the most sun and those have been doing much better. Once a week I’ve been feeding them with commercial tomato feed and then a separate feed of home made nettle tea.
Now, being early August, most plants have reached their peak growth and some are slowly starting to ripen.
Today I picked the first ripened tomato of the season. Very sweet!

#Blaugust2022 – Day 3 – Play by Post update

As is traditional (for me anyway) during Blaugust I recap what PBP games I’m currently involved in. For the uninitiated, Play by Post (PBP) is a form of roleplaying game where the players gather together on a forum and describe their character’s actions through a plot run by the Gamemaster. I personally run (and very occasionally play) games through Gamersplane. Looking back at last year, it’s amazing that some of the same scenarios are still running. Of late, Call of Cthulhu has been my focus and the written form works well for investigation games.

Call of Cthulhu – Masks of Nyarlathotep

Having completed the Peruvian step of the campaign, our heroes have found themselves in New York, investigating the death of an old friend. They have found a ton of clues, including some that connect the events in Peru to what’s going on in Harlem to the point we have created a kind of complex murder board via the app Miro.

Call of Cthulhu – Dead Boarder

This is my third playthrough of this Convention scenario and is my go-to to introduce new players to the game. Set in 1930’s Providence, the characters are all tenants of the same building and have discovered the dead body of one of their neighbours in a locked room with no signs of entry. But not all is what it seems.

Call of Cthulhu – Shadows of Yog-Sothoth

My longest-running game, some of the players have been involved for many years. Having solved the mystery of a Coven operating out of the Scottish Highlands, they are now headed to Hollywood to investigate the mysterious murder of a movie mogul.

Call of Cthulhu – Flotsam and Jetsam

This series of loosely connected one-shots has gone down well and the heroes are coming to the end of their investigation of a health farm that has had some connection with unexpected pregnancies around the area,

Warhammer Fantasy – Death on the Reik

Part of the Enemy Within campaign, the characters have infiltrated Castle Wittgenstein where there seems to be some Chaos Activity afoot.

Warhammer Fantasy – Spires of Altdorf

Part of the Paths of the Damned campaign, this one has seen the heroes trying to locate a chaos artifact, the Dagger of Yul K’chaum. Having located it, they are about to take part in a ritual to destroy it, but they are not the only ones interested in this object.

Blaugust 2022 Day 2 – Listening to Liveplays

In recent months I’ve been diving even deeper into my Play by Post hobby and this has given me more of a need to consume content related to roleplaying games, especially related to Call of Cthulhu, of which I’m currently running four different games, but more on those in another post. Live and recorded playthroughs have become popular thanks to Critical Role and are a great way to get your RPG fix when you don’t have time to play yourself. Here is some of the content I’ve been watching of late.

Stream of ChaosA Time to Harvest – This is the official channel of Chaosium, publishers of the Call of Cthulhu RPG and for the last several months the team have run through the newly published campaign, A Time to Harvest. After initially streaming on Twitch (which I only caught live towards the end) the episodes are backed up to Youtube.

Stream of Chaos – Two-headed Serpent – Following from the previous campaign and after a couple of one-shots, the same team are running Two-headed Serpent, another long-form Call of Cthulhu campaign. Expect this to run for months, so jump in now on the Chaosium Twitch channel or catch up on Youtube.

Glass Cannon Network – Masks of Nyarlathotep – I only recently discovered Glass Cannon and they put together some great play-throughs of all kinds of games but one that I’ve become hooked on is their playthrough of the epic CoC campaign, Masks of Nyarlathotep, which I am also running. They stream live on Twitch and replays are on their Youtube channel.

Blaugust 2022 begins. Day 1!

So it’s August already and that means another round of Blaugust, a month of regular posting as inspired by Belghast at Tales of the Aggronaut. What started as an initiative to encourage bloggers to post every day for a month, it has become a beacon for bloggers to keep the hobby alive and encourage any kind of content creation. I personally try to take part each year and while I don’t manage to post every day, it does push me to post more. Sadly the last year has been too busy for me to even open my blog and as a result, I only have a single post since last August! I will try harder, I promise!

As my blog claims, I talk about gaming, gardening, and Indie horror. As I no longer edit fiction reviews for the BFS, I likely won’t be touching on that but I’m still very much gaming and have plenty to discuss. Also, my gardening has taken off this year and probably have some photos to share from my current crops growing.

I have absolutely no plan and I’ll be travelling at the end of the month but let’s see where this year takes us.

So if these things interest you, feel free to follow and drop a comment if you have your own blog you think I should check out!

Vampire the Masquerade: Blood Hunt

This game slipped under my radar but was released a couple of days ago and resurrects to the online gaming world, a beloved IP of mine, Vampire the Masquerade. Developer, Sharkmob are at the helm.

Taking on the role of a member of one of the Vampire clans, fighting it out on the streets and rooftops of Prague. It plays as other Blood Royale games made popular by games like H1Z1 and later Player Unknown Battlegrounds. The arena gets small and smaller as gas closes in, killing anything caught in its path, forcing players into a tight space until only one remains. There’s an interesting mechanic where your vampire can feed on civilians for different buffs or even get extra lives, in case you fall foul of a competitor. Of course, get caught and you break the Masquerade and a hunt begins! Feed at your peril

Different play styles come about through choosing different clans with different specializations or archetypes. The Clan gives a particular skill and the archetype gives another couple.

Clan Brujah has two archetypes – Brute and Vandal. Their clan skill allows them to perform a huge leap. The Brute’s passive skill heals up to 50% of their max health when they aren’t being damaged, while their class skill sends out an energy shockwave to block enemy attacks. The Vandal’s passive skill reduces the damage they take from close-ranged attacks from enemies, while their class skill allows them to punch the ground and create a shockwave that sends opponents flying.

Clan Nosferatu (my current personal favourite) has two archetypes – Prowler and Saboteur. This has class skills that allow them to turn invisible for a few seconds. The Prowler’s passive shows a red trail in the air that only they can see, which leads to other players that have been wounded. Their class skill creates bats that reveal the position of enemies nearby and shows their outline through walls. The Saboteur’s passive skill allows them to turn semi-invisible after crouching, while their class skill allows them to create a poison gas mine that damages over time.

Clan Toreador has two archetypes – Muse and Siren. Their clan skill allows them to project a fake image ahead of them, which they can perform a short-range teleport to, or use as a feint. The Muse’s passive skill refreshes their active cooldowns, allowing them to use their class abilities straight away, while their technical skill acts as a healing regeneration aura that restores themself and allies. The Siren’s passive skill allows them to charm mortals on the map, making it easier to feed on them. Their class skill can temporarily blind opponents, leaving them helpless.

My Nosferatu Prowler, ready for a snack

So far it looks pretty good. Bloody, as you’d expect, given the content but this really gives a fresh spin on the Battle Royale genre and represents the IP well.

Blaugust 2021 Day 9 (of 31) – This is the end (for now)

And so we come to the end of Blaugust and I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to the blog as I’d hoped, but I did manage to get 8 posts in (9 if we include this!), so two a week is better than nothing!

As much as I enjoy writing about gaming, I enjoy gaming more, so what little free time I’ve had has been spent doing that. I’ve tried a new game in Beta (Back4Blood), I’ve continued grinding the end game on LOTRO and I’ve started a new Cthulhu RPG campaign on the Play by Post site, Gamer’s Plane, so a lot has happened. I’ve also dived into not one but two D&D games as a player, a first for me and I’m enjoying both. So I don’t feel too sad not have achieved a higher post count for this years Blaugust, it has been a very productive time.

I was hoping to get in another guest post from a beloved author and that may still appear yet. I don’t intend to stop blogging just because the festival has ended and this has somewhat invigorated my interest in the site if only to keep track of all the fun I’m having!.

So thanks to you, Belghast for creating and organising Blaugust and thank you to those readers that took to time to at least glance at my posts or even comment, and I look forward to Blaugust 2022!

Blaugust 2021 Day 8 – Back 4 Blood

OK, so time got away with me and I missed a number of days, but I’m going to keep my numbering so at least I can see how many times I posted.

Back in 2008 a game-changing game was released on the world, Left 4 Dead, a co-operative shooter where four survivors of a zombie apocalypse survive through scenarios filled with endless waves of zombie hordes. The game was followed a year later by the originally titled “Left 4 Dead 2”, same scenario, different episodes.

I was a big fan of both games, playing them on the Playstation 3. Similar games have launched in recent years, notably Big Shark’s “Warhammer: Vermintide” with a similar idea but set in the Fantasy world of Warhammer Fantasy and instead of zombies, you face the rat-men known as Skaven.

Now Turtle Rock studios, makers of the original Left 4 Dead (as Valve South) and Evolve have created what they describe as a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, entitled Back 4 Blood. Thanks to Discord user, everwake, I got a key for the beta so jumped in over a few days to check it out.

I can definitely say that what little I saw did not disappoint. It has the same feel and general gameplay of the originals, running and gunning through hordes, searching for supplies, special mobs that can take down a disorganised team with ease. In addition, the game has a card system adding extra buffs and you can select from a deck which cards to use based on your play style. Graphics and sound are clearly improved for a modern version.

Obviously being Beta, the game is not completely bug-free yet, but I loved getting into the world and I look forward to its official release.