Durin’s Day in LOTRO

So this weekend is the time of Durin’s Day in Lord of the Rings Online and there’s a Deed available if you visit the monument in Erebor where the thrush tapped on the stone on Durin’s Day, when the light of the setting sun revealed the secret door (in The Hobbit) The deed is available until Monday 22nd October, 2018.

I visited on several characters before taking my Captain, Diaspora there and summoned a load of characters to claim the deed (while promoting the Charity LOTRO Twitch stream, currently raising money for Extra Life)

I got this lovely shot on Diaspora, showing the spot and the one place in LOTRO where you see the sun and the moon at the same time.


Blaugust Ends #blaugustreborn

So here we are at the end of August already and as predicted I had little time to post. Including this, I wrote 6 posts but given how little I’ve posted this year , that’s a massive improvement.

In addition, I have moved over from Blogger to WordPress, something I’ve meant to do for ages and Blaugust gave me the impetus to do that, so going forward it should make posting more streamlined.

I’ve also cleared up my blogroll and added some new folks. If you like to be included, drop me a line and I can include your own blog.

So Blaugust has helped with my blogging, introduced me to some new blogs. And I started streaming again!

See you next year (and hopefully before!)

Play by Post happenings #blaugustreborn

It’s been a while since I posted anything about my pbp games running on GamersPlane.com but they’re still going strong.

Call of Cthulhu – A Time to Harvest

We are now on chapter four of this long running campaign, the students (or what’s left of them) are now working for a major corporation in search of what appears to be an alien race, terrorising the Vermont town of Cobb’s Corners.

Call of Cthulhu – The Dreaming Ward

Another Cthulhu game, this one following the exploit of four friends in short episodic adventures. Louis Karabekian and co have just checked into an institute who are studying dream states and can’t help feeling like they are in an asylum,

Call of Cthulhu – Shadows of Yog Sothoth.

This classic campaign has been running for many years and is still fairly slow going, the intrepid investigators are seeking cult goings on in the Scottish Highlands.

Warhammer Fantasy – The Enemy Within.

My only fantasy game I’m currently running, a new set of green adventurers are trying to get the bottom of a case of mistaken identity, where one of the characters is being followed by a bounty hunter as he resembles a man due to collect a huge inheritance. This is the start of a massive campaign and I hope my players stick around to see it through.

No Man’s Sky 2 ~ Sky Harder #blaugustreborn

So I was one of the few that stuck with No Man’s Sky after its rocky launch and loved the game. I never played on a regular basis, as with all survival games I have a habit of playing non-stop for hours, days, nay weeks at a time, not getting anywhere in terms of story but collecting and building, mining and farming, until I got all the stuff, which of course, is never. Looking back, I blogged about it quite a bit in the 2016 Blaugust season. Eventually I burned out and though I returned a few times, especially after major updates, it never became my ‘main game’ after that initial burst.

20180815001152_1Recently, however, the game has gone through another evolution, with the Next expansion. My stream friend list has gone from half a dozen owning the game, to well over twenty and i have returned and jumped in head first. Base building is a major attraction for me with games like this and the new system is great. I was initially stumped about my old base disappearing but soon enough I got things back on track and have built something bigger and better.

Knifesedge Homeworld

My planet, originally named Knifesedge Homeworld is neighbour to the imaginally retitled Iceworld and Waterworld ( no prizes for guessing what type of planets they are!) and between them they have all I need. With my base built to my satisfaction, now I need to earn some cash and get a better ship. I’m loving it so far and hope it keeps my attention for the weeks to come.

I stream some of my gameplay at http://www.twitch.tv/Knifesedgegames, most evenings around 10pm GMT so stop by if you’re interested, or at the very least, follow my channel, and I’ll gladly follow yours.


To stream or not to stream? #Blaugustreborn

So over the last week or so I have thought about returning to streaming. I never did it with any particular fervour in the past, my machine never up to running both a game and streaming it at the same time, but with a better machine I decided it was time to give it a try.

Now because of my setup, I have opted not to use camera or voice (for now). I know this is no way to build a hugely popular stream but I’m doing this to share my love of gaming, not to become some internet celebrity. I want the focus to be on the game, not me.

Having said that, I have gone to some length to try and figure out the technology required and was to pretty up the stream. I’ve started using Streamlabs OBS, instead of the original OBS software I used previously and I’ve been playing with templates to have a Stream Starting screen and a template to make it my own. I’m never comfortable designing this kind of stuff, but I think I’ve got it working effectively.

So far I’ve tried streaming LOTRO ( a pain as it crashes every time I tab out) and No Man’s Sky, a game a recently returned to following the Next Update. I do get the odd viewer popping in and have a couple of new subscribers since I returned. I’m sure if I start varying the games I play, I’ll attract a wider audience and having access to Pre-release review copies, that might be good opportunity to show them off.

So, dear reader, if you stream, what do you play? Do you have any tips?

If you’re a twitch viewer, swing by my stream if you see me online, and say hi. You’ll find me at http://www.twitch.tv/knifesedgegames

My crop 2018 #BlaugustReborn


So part of the reason I haven’t blogged about gardening in some time is that I simply haven’t had time to grow anything. Last year I gave up my allotment and even my little back garden was neglected as I focussed on my teaching.

This year I’ve managed to carve out some time to grow a little something, so I focussed on things I know my wife and I eat a lot of, tomatoes and cucumbers.

At the end of last year, I obtained some plastic greenhouses, on sale at the end of the season, so I got them set up. I’ve also set a few to grow outside and with the incredibly hot summer we’re having in the UK this year, they’re doing extremely well.


Do you grow your own vegetables? What are you growing this year?

Leave a comment below.

Blaugust Reborn!

Over the last few years (except 2017), myself and a community of fellow gamers have taken on a challenge set by a fellow by the name of Belghast (a veritable legend in our little community.)
This challenge involved posting a blog post every day throughout August. I took part as a best I could and when it was announced it was returning for 2018 I both jumped for joy and groaned inwardly at the same time. I knew I wouldn’t have time to take part given my new work schedule, damn, I’ve barely posted at all this year. I jumped on the community Discord server and announced that I would remain on the sidelines.

 Then I read the post by Belghast about the year. He spoke of burnout that posting daily causes and as a result the dwindling of the gaming blogging community, something I’d experienced first hand in previous years. As a result, the rules were made a little less rigid, posting daily was no longer a requirement to take part, so I decided to jump in. I might only write this post and nothing else. Then again, this has somehow inspired me to try out streaming again and I may post some video content as a result. I’ve recently jumped into No Mans Sky again so might  share something about that. I also have some games to review, so that might end up here too.

Either way, Blaugust has dragged me back in and I’m delighted. Oh and I must update my blog roll, so I am looking forward to checking out other participants and hope you will too!

How PUBG reintroduced the excitement of multiplayer gaming

I’ve not been a fan of first-person shooters for some time. As age got the better of my reflexes somewhere around the 4th Call of Duty, I put down the controller and stuck with MMOs and roleplaying games.

When H1Z1 first created it’s Battle Royale mode, now known as King of the Kill, I dabbled but wasn’t good enough to compete against others, often biting the dust somewhere in 50th place. Recently this game genre has found new life in two big titles, Player Battlegrounds Unknown (PUBG) a realistic army sim and the cartoon-styled Fortnite. The latter is just too silly for me and I don’t like the building element that’s incorporated, but recently PUBG was released on mobile platforms and I grabbed it on my ipad.

I was instantly hooked. I found the controls easy to use and was soon gunning down enemies and making the top ten (out of 100 players) every time. I’ve found myself playing at least one game every night and the introduction of daily awards has only fuelled this. This week, however, I’ve found a new element, something I’ve not felt since early days in LOTRO, running dungeons with friends, their ability to friend and repeatedly team up with other players.

Notably, I’ve become battle buddies with two Italian guys, Antre and Davido, whose mastery of English is just enough to let us communicate. I love it, not only because of the fun of playing with others but hearing them scream at each other (and me) in Italian is hilarious and educational. So a huge shoutout to my brothers-in-arms, who have reignited this old gamer’s passion for multiplayer FPS. Long may it continue.

Genre Humble Bundle

There’s a great offer currently on at Humble Bundle

There are three tiers, $1, $8 or $15 with a great selection of genre books available for download, including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Volume 1, Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2 and many others, up to 20 titles in the largest Bundle.

As ever, Humble will donate some of this to charity and you have the option to choose a charity to support with your donation so it’s a great deal and a worthy cause.

End of Summer 2017 gaming update

So Summer has been very busy work wise and though I’ve had time for gaming at night I’ve not had a great deal of time to blog about it so I thought I’d post here to recap what I’ve been up to.

Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO – Jestro at Mount Doom

After a self-imposed exile of several months from my favourite MMO, returned to Middle Earth after  Turbine let go of it and Standing Stone games took over and I haven’t regretted it one bit. After burning out on Gondor, arriving in Ithilien was a breath of fresh air and the subsequent release of Mordor has kept me hooked. Running regular Roving Threats runs in the Wastes felt worthwhile, giving lots of useful currency for gear and reputation and despite doing it daily on several characters for some time, did not feel grindy and was a lot of fun. Mordor has ramped up the difficulty level, so even my best geared, level capped character, Jestro the Hobbit Hunter, needs to enter with care. I also set myself the challenge of leveling Jodri the RuneKeeper from level 45 to cap, but on the release of Mordor only made it to 85 and got distracted by the new shinies.

Diablo 3 
Diablo 3 – Sir Davvos

On launch of the newest season, I decided to dip back into Diablo 3 with a new character. I’m a latecomer to this game and have only participated in 3 previous seasons and have still not completed an entire season journey, a series of tasks to obtain new cosmetic gear and other goodies. This time round I’m running a Crusader and recently completed the storyline so now working up to level 70. This game is giving me a lot of interesting challenges and where I previously hadn’t hunted builds for the best experience, I have found myself watching videos to learn to gear this class in the most effective way.

Another game I was late to come to, as I’m not a huge fan of FPS games, but I picked this up on sale and I love it, at least in small doses. I’ve discovered that healing is most satisfying for me, so I gravitate to Mercy. I also dipped into the Summer Games event and playing a little LucioBall, a kind of 3-a-side soccer game using the character Lucio and his sonic gun, which led me to try out that character as a healer too. I’ll definitely be playing this game for a while to come.

Steam Summer Sale
This year I grabbed a few games on the cheap in the summer sale on Steam.
Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch is a fun little game, expanding on those mini games from a few years ago where you have a stick man samurai. The game is a lot more detailed with various weapons to pick up to decapitate and generally maim enemies.

Cannon Fodder 3

Cannon Fodder 3 is an awesome update on the great Cannon Fodder games on the Amiga in the 90’s. I recently played Tiny Soldiers on iOS and this is similar, run a number of soldiers around an enemy base and blow things up!

Neighbours from Hell I’ve not yet tried, but I remember it looking awesome when I grabbed it and I must make a note of giving it a try.